India slams Pak after delayed SAARC corona fund contribution

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New Delhi [India], April 10 (ANI): After Pakistan pledged to donate USD 3 million to SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, India on Friday highlighted the “early commitment” made by other member countries and said the ‘degree of seriousness’ of each nation can be gauged by its behaviour.

Pakistan’s foreign office on Thursday announced that it will contribute USD 3 million towards the South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC) COVID-19 emergency fund. This comes weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed to establish fund during a video conference of SAARC member countries.

While the SAARC countries immediately responded to a united call for the COVID-19 emergency fund, Pakistan made its contribution recently.

“It is for each SAARC Member State to decide on the timing, manner and implementation of their SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund commitments. Where India is concerned, the commitment made by the Prime Minister is today in an advanced stage of implementation,” Ministry of External Affair’s spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a statement”Assistance in material and services has been extended to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. These SAARC countries have also made early commitments to the Fund. The degree of seriousness of each nation can be gauged by their behavior,” he added.

All other SAARC nations had promptly donated to the COVID-19 emergency fund except Pakistan.

Afghanistan had contributed USD one million as per the discussions among the SAARC heads of nations, in a bid to collaborating and strengthening partnerships to fight the pandemic.

Nepal had committed NPR 100 million to the SAARC emergency fund, Maldives government contributed USD 200,000 to the COVID-19 emergency fund.

Bhutan has committed USD 100,000 to the SAARC emergency fund while India has made an initial offer of USD 10 million for the fund. (ANI)