ISLAMABAD            -         Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday stressed on the need for a comprehensive coordinated plan of action on debt relief and restructuring to stave off socio-economic turbulence in the face of economic repercussions due to COVID-19.

Prime Minister Khan expressed these views during telephonic conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and highlighted his call for ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’ for developing countries aimed at helping them to cope with the challenges.

The Turkish President offered condolences on the tragic crash of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane in Karachi and reiterated Turkish nation’s strong support to its Pakistani brethren in this difficult time, according to an official statement.

On Friday, the PIA flight PK-8303 crashed into a densely-populated area near Karachi airport, leaving 97 passengers and crewmembers dead.

The Prime Minister also briefed the Turkish President on the steps taken to control the spread of coronavirus in the country. He thanked President Erdogan for providing valuable medical equipment, which was reflective of historic linkages between the two countries to help each other in times of need.

The two leaders agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation against COVID-19 pandemic to jointly address the situation. Imran Khan also briefed President Erdogan on the worsening human rights situation in Occupied Kashmir, accentuated by double lockdown and intensified military crackdown.

He shared Pakistan’s concerns on India’s moves to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory, while the world was preoccupied with fighting the pandemic. The Prime Minister also apprised Tayyip Erdogan of the demonization of Muslims in India in the context of COVID-19, which should be rejected by the international community.

Meanwhile, the Turkish President also called to President Dr Arif Alvi and assured to stand by Pakistan in every difficult time. Turkish President Recep offered condolences to bereaved families who had lost their near and dear ones in tragic crash of PIA Plane on Friday.

President Erdogan also extended best wishes of the government and people of Turkey for the people of Pakistan on the occasion of blessed Eid-ul-Fitr. President Alvi reciprocated heartfelt Eid greetings to President Erdogan and the people of Turkey and expressed hope that the current challenge of Coronavirus pandemic would be overcome soon.

He thanked the Turkish President for looking after Pakistani nationals during this difficult time and sending personal protective equipment against Covid-19. President Alvi also appreciated President Erdogan’s message of abiding solidarity after the unfortunate airplane crash in Karachi. The President reiterated that Pakistan on its part would continue to nurture time-tested and un-paralleled fraternal relations between the two countries.