ISLAMABAD - The way Pakistan has addressed the COVID-19 challenge is really commendable and Pakistan is a role model in this context.

Mr. Christian Turner, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan said this in a meeting with Senator Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting here on Monday. He said that effective communication and care are effective weapons in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Shibli Faraz said that Pakistan’s government, from day one, had maintained a balanced approach and exercised due care for both lives and livelihood of the people. He said that the strategy of smart lockdown has proved very effective in coping with the COVID-19 challenge. We have also adopted an effective communication strategy, continuous public messaging, kept the people engaged and attentive to deal with the changing situation, he said. We shall keep up our efforts, Shibli Faraz said.

The Minister said that National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) is the nerve centre to synergise and articulate national effort against COVID-19 and to implement the decisions based on authentic data and information. He added that Ministry of I&B and NCOC are working in close coordination as far as dissemination of information is concerned. Regarding forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha, he said SOPs will be followed. Slaughtering of sacrificial animals will be carried out in slaughter houses. Likewise, arrangements for sale of sacrificial animals will be made in suburban areas, the Minister told.

Senator Shibli Faraz said Pakistan highly values its relations with the UK, which are based on historical linkages and shared perceptions on a broad range of regional and international issues. The Minister offered his deepest condolences over loss of precious lives in the UK due to COVID-19 pandemic. The government and people of Pakistan, he said, stand in solidarity with the UK. We commend the efforts of the UK government and resolve of its people in the fight against the deadly virus, he said.

The only way to fight the pandemic is to work together, the Minister said.

The British High Commissioner said “we are friends and we stand together in fighting the COVID-19 challenge.” Information Minister appreciated the gesture of Mr. Christian Turner and said we value your contribution to assist us in fighting this pandemic.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of Ministry of information and Broadcasting.