Pakistan PM Imran Khan
Pakistan PM Imran Khan
AFP

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday extended something of an olive branch to India by offering to share Pakistan’s cash transfer programme to help those facing financial trouble in India, which includes a large chunk of migrant workers.

“According to this report, 34% of households across India will not be able to survive for more than a week without add assistance. I am ready to offer help & share our successful cash transfer prog, lauded internationally for its reach & transparency, with India,” Khan said on Twitter quoting a Tribune report on a study conducted by the University of Chicago, Mumbai-based Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, and the University of Pennsylvania said.

When Pakistan imposed its definition of the lockdown, the Imran Khan-led administration launched an Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme that provides urgent cash payments to the poorest and hardest-hit families during the lockdown. While the World Economic Forum has been in praise of the programme, there are some things to keep in mind before we declare the scheme an out and out success.

Only recently, former cricketer Javed Miandad pleaded to Pakistanis abroad to pay off Pakistan's IMF loan.

A video of Javed "begging" went viral all over social media. In the video he can be seen saying, "I beg all the Pakistanis overseas. Consider this a charity and help their nation to pay of the IMF loan. "

Pakistan’s debt is beyond how much It owes the International Monetary Fund. As of December 2019, the country’s public debt was estimated at Rs $40.9 trillion, which is 14.1 per cent of the country’s GDP. The government owes Rs 18.17 trillion to domestic creditors, and about Rs 1.378 trillion to public sector enterprises.

As of March 2019, the external debt of was estimated at $105 billion. Pakistan owes US$11.3 billion to Paris Club, US$27 billion to multilateral donors, $ 5.765 billion to International Monetary Fund, and US$12 billion to international bonds such as Eurobond, and sukuk. About fifth of the external debt which is estimated around $19 billion is owed to China due to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

So if India decides to accept Pakistan’s olive branch, it may want to see what it does to ensure that the lives of the poor improve in that country.

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