Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Friday that Pakistan is resolutely confronting the outbreak of coronavirus and taking all possible measures to strengthen the existing health system.
FM Qureshi participated in a high-level video conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation titled ‘Combating Covid-19 with Solidarity’. During the conference, the foreign minister underscored that besides causing deaths the “Covid-19 pandemic had shaken the world and led to economic slowdown, bankruptcies, financial fissures, job-losses and disruption in global supply-chains.”
According to a statement released by the Foreign Office, FM Qureshi highlighted the dangers the pandemic had posed to social and political stability.
“It was time for the world community to demonstrate unity, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation to fight this pandemic,” he said.
He further added Prime Minister Imran Khan had introduced major initiatives including the $8 billion relief package for the most vulnerable people and Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program to help the needy in order to alleviate the sufferings.
The foreign minister also underscored that CPEC, a flagship project of BRI, could play an important role in boosting regional growth and recovery in the post-Covid-19 period.
“Pakistan and China were taking requisite measures which would help in timely completion of CPEC projects,” he said.
While supporting the idea of ‘Health Silk Road’ mooted in the Conference by China, Qureshi proposed that the Covid-19 vaccine, as and when it was developed, must be declared a “global public good” and made available on an equitable basis, according to FO’s statement.
The foreign minister appreciated China’s role in organising the conference and hoped that it will play an instrumental role in successfully fighting the deadly pandemic.
FM Qureshi also drew the attention of the participants to the plight of the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), called for the lifting of the double lockdown and called allowing access of international health experts to the besieged valley, and immediately extending requisite medical help to Kashmiri people.