Rajat Sharma

A study in contrasts: How Modi rescued Indians from China and how Pakistan is still dithering

akb0712India TV in its prime time news show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ on Tuesday showed Pakistani students stranded in China’s coronavirus-hit Wuhan crying for help from their government. This happened after Indian government sent two special Air India flights to bring home all Indians trapped in Wuhan city. So far, 647 Indians and seven Maldivians have been brought back from China. Most of them have been quarantined in Manesar for tests and observation, in order to contain the spread of deadly coronavirus.
In several video messages going viral, these trapped Pakistani students are openly praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his quick action and slamming their own Pakistani government for refusing to rescue them in this hour of distress.
The Pakistani government has refused to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan in order to show ‘solidarity’ with its all-weather ally Pakistan. A group of Pakistani medical students wearing masks are seen in videos saying, “Indian students are returning back because their government has sent planes to evacuate them…We want to ask our government, are they waiting for us to die? If not, then please evacuate us as soon as possible.” A female student was seen saying on video, “Sadly, our embassy has said that death is Allah’s willing, which can come at any place.”
There are nearly 30,000 Pakistanis residing in China, out of whom more than 500 students are in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak.
I have only this to say. Narendra Modi has always excelled in rescuing and evacuating people during natural disasters, wars and pandemic outbreak. He plans to the minutest details any relief, rescue or evacuation plan that is to be executed. He has used his vast experience in providing relief and rehabilitation after the disastrous Gujarat earthquake. He launched operations to evacuate Indian nurses trapped in war-hit Iraq and Yemen. As chief minister of Gujarat, his exploits in evacuating stranded tourists from flood-hit Kedarnath are legendary.
Narendra Modi always believes in forward planning. Even before China allowed Air India special flights to land in Wuhan, Modi had kept ITBP quarantine centre in Manesar and Army hospital ready to handle the inflow of Indians from China.
One is appalled at the obduracy of Pakistan government. If Pakistan lacks resources, I believe, Modi will surely come forward to extend help if Prime Minister Imran Khan sends him a request. In the same way, as India saved Pakistanis trapped in Yemen along with other nationals.

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