ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday called for international cooperation to help the countries affected by Covid-19 rehabilitate their economy.
This was stated during a virtual quadrilateral meeting of ministers from China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal for jointly dealing with the pandemic. The meeting was convened by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“Pakistan was ready to both enhance cooperation in combating Covid-19 and in post-pandemic economic recovery with the participating countries,” Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar said. He represented Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the conference.
Talking of the effects of the pandemic, he said it inflicted a punitive human and economic cost globally and had disrupted the social and political architecture of the world.
Virtual meeting held among ministers from China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal
Mr Bakhtiar mentioned the steps taken by Pakistan to curb the spread of the disease, strengthen the health system and alleviate the economic sufferings of the people.
“Pakistan’s smart lockdown policy has delivered demonstrable results with new infection and fatality rate substantially going down,” he said.
He emphasised on building strong and effective quadrilateral mechanism for joint prevention and control of Covid-19 and urged to take pragmatic and practical steps for economic recovery of the pandemic-stricken countries.
The minister said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, could play an important role in boosting regional growth and recovery in the post-Covid-19 period.
Drawing attention to the worsening plight of the people of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of Covid-19, Mr Bakhtiar called for lifting of the military siege, allowing international health experts to access Occupied Kashmir, and immediately extending requisite medical help to the besieged Kashmiris.
In his video-message for the conference, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi lauded the quadrilateral initiative for joint response to the pandemic and stressed that the global community needed unity, solidarity and multilateral cooperation to fight Covid-19 that knew no boundaries, no religion and no ethnicity.
Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2020