Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Malaysian counterpart Hishamuddin Hussein on Wednesday discussed the COVID-19 situation in their countries and exchanged views on ways to control the pandemic.

Qureshi, in a telephonic contact with the Malaysian foreign minister, underscored that the infection rates and fatalities of both Pakistan and Malaysia were similar and required effective measures.

He commended the steps taken by the Malaysian authorities to contain the virus and apprised his Malaysian counterpart of the measures being adopted by Pakistan.

He felicitated Foreign Minister Hussain on his recent appointment to the important position and offered condolences for the loss of precious lives in the pandemic.

Qureshi also thanked the Malaysian foreign minister for looking after Pakistani nationals based in Malaysia, as well as facilitating others at the airports.

He briefed the Malaysian foreign minister about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative for debt relief and restructuring to enable developing countries to save human lives and support their economies.

The foreign minister highlighted developments in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K), where taking advantage of the world’s preoccupation with the pandemic, the Bharatiya Janata Party government had amended domicile rules in a bid to change the disputed region’s demography.

In view of the pandemic emergency, he called for removal of all restrictions on movement and communication in the IOJ&K, ensuring unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials as well as release of all political prisoners.