As New Delhi declares success of its summit of world leaders, many Pakistanis in interviews describe feeling ?left behind?
In the wake of praise being showered on India for how it hosted the G20 Summit, ordinary residents interviewed in neighboring Pakistan praised New Delhi for its smooth management of the mega event, while lamenting their own country's economic condition.
From the viewpoint of a resident of Karachi interviewed by ANI news agency, how India hosted the summit is not just a source of pride for that country but also a potential catalyst for substantial economic growth.
"It is a great honor for a nation to host leaders from 20 countries," the man told the interviewer. He then added that India stands to "benefit a lot" from its experience of hosting the G20.
Another told ANI that "when such a big conference takes place, people see that the country is moving forward." He also highlighted the role of the media in depicting a favorable picture of India on the world stage.
Pointing out that India has been able to show itself in a positive light during the event, another interviewee lamented that Pakistan is struggling to save its economy. "We are seeing pictures from India of PM Modi posing with world leaders. With this [summit], they have been able to show India in a positive light across the world. Since the leaders of 20 powerful countries were in attendance at the summit, it was to be expected that the eyes of the whole world would be focused on the country which is hosting premiers of the 20 most powerful countries. Hence, India has emerged as a market," he believes.
In another interview, a Karachi resident blames Pakistan's foreign policy for his nation being "sidelined" on the global stage. "The G20 Summit should have been held in Pakistan, but it was held in India instead. It is because of our foreign policy and the deterioration of the law-and-order situation here. Because of these factors, we appear to have regressed a lot."
This man added that in the past five or six years, Pakistan has "fallen behind" other countries in both economic development as well as law and order. "Perhaps the world has sidelined us because of this," this interviewee suggested.
Pakistan has been facing its worst economic crisis since independence from British rule in 1947, with food and fuel prices having soared there. Over the last year, the Pakistan rupee has fallen by around 40% against the US dollar. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July approved a $3-billion bailout for Pakistan to prevent it defaulting on debt repayments.
India has spent 41 billion rupees ($493 million) to host the G20 summit, which was attended by several prominent world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, and others. Russia and China were represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Premier Li Qiang, respectively.
In the aftermath of the summit, on September 13, India's Union Cabinet passed a resolution declaring the summit a success, noting that the "Prime Minister's endeavors created a crucial consensus on the most important issues of the day." Meanwhile, India's presidency of the 20 continues, with fresh meetings scheduled this week in Mumbai and Varanasi. Brazil will assume the presidency on December 1.