Pakistan as a state has always been beyond its means, but will always be kept afloat through international financial institutions or foreign benefactors because no country wants a “nuclear Somalia”, former Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar Vivek Katju said at an event in Delhi Saturday.
He was speaking during a discussion on recent developments in South Asia and how they affect India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.
The discussion was chaired by former major general in the army Ashok K. Mehta, while the speaking panel included Katju, Krishna V. Rajan, India’s former ambassador to Nepal, and Dr Gulbin Sultana, Associate Fellow at the South Asia Centre of the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
Gen Mehta began by asking Katju about his take on the economic and political crises unfurling in Pakistan, and who would take responsibility in its “hybrid government”.
“In Pakistan, nothing unusual has happened as far as its financial situation is concerned, it has gone through this period for decades now,” Katju said.
“Pakistan as a state has always been beyond its means and so it has as a society. But at the end of the day, the Pakistanis don’t seem to be bothered, because they know full well that no country wants a nuclear Somalia,” he added.
The former envoy further said that the country will “always be kept afloat, whether that will be through the instruments of the international financial institutions or through the benefactors of the Arab peninsula, principally the Saudis and the UAE, and to some extent the Chinese”.
“Indian analysts should understand that’s the advantage the Pakistanis have,” he added.
Katju went on to say that China won’t do to Pakistan what it did to Sri Lanka vis-a-vis the “debt trap”.