ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday urged the commonwealth countries to utilize commonalities in legal and administrative systems to overcome protectionism and maintain free trade.

Virtually, addressing Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting, he also called for launching dialogue for deeper and more sustained debt relief for stronger and more sustained economic recovery.

He emphasized on lending weight to the calls by Prime Minister Imran Khan and other world leaders for a ‘people’s vaccine’ for the treatment of COVID-19 pandemic.  He said there should be a regime in which all treatments and diagnoses are made, patent-free, mass-produced, and available to all countries and people free of cost.

The Foreign Minister said it is a matter of concern that the world over, the pandemic has been accompanied by a spike in intolerance, violence and racial discrimination.  This is manifested in various forms of hate speech, xenophobia, Islamophobia and supremacist ideologies. He said core principles of rule of law, fundamental freedoms and multilateralism are in danger.