Says political parties should work together over coronavirus
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call to the international community to consider writing off loans for developing countries such as Pakistan in order to ensure resource allocation to fight coronavirus that has gripped the world.
“The UN SG has highlighted the message of Global Solidarity and focusing on protecting most vulnerable,” FM Quershi said in a tweet. “PM Imran Khan has also underscored the importance of relieving the burden of debt-ridden developing countries in order to ensure resource allocation for saving lives and stemming eco decline.”
The foreign minister said alleviating this financial burden will help protect the most vulnerable and already struggling to cope with the virus with limited resources and infrastructure to fight this COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier on March 17, in an exclusive interview with Associated Press, the premier expressed concern over the devastating impact the virus may have on economies of developing countries. The premier said if a serious outbreak happens in the country, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s efforts to lift the economy out of collapse would begin “an unstoppable slide backwards”.
“Exports would fall off, unemployment would soar and an onerous national debt would become an impossible burden,” the premier added. The prime minister maintained that Pakistan does not have the capability and resources to deal with the novel coronavirus.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said all political parties should cooperate with each other over the coronavirus issue.
The foreign minister welcomed Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s proposal to work together against the pandemic. He said the federal government is cooperating with the Sindh government.
“President Dr Arif Alvi and I went to China to express solidarity with them. Strategy against the epidemic is being formulated according to the situation.
We are working to form such standard operating procedures which will benefit people, and all steps will prove to be futile if they are not followed.