ISLAMABAD              -          Pakistan on Monday said that coronavirus could only be defeated through joint global efforts.  

Participating in the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Nepal Quadrilateral Foreign Ministers’ Video Conference on Joint Response to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stressed that global community needed unity, solidarity and multilateral cooperation to fight COVID-19 that knew no boundaries, no religion and no ethnicity. 

The conference was hosted by China and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the conference. 

In his video-message for the conference, FM Qureshi lauded the initiative for the Quadrilateral platform for joint response to the pandemic. 

Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, formally represented Foreign Minister Qureshi in the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Nepal Quadrilateral Foreign Ministers’ Video Conference. 

The minister underlined that COVID-19 had inflicted a punitive human and economic cost globally and had disrupted the social and political architecture of the world.  

“Pakistan is ready to enhance cooperation in combating COVID-19 and in post-pandemic economic recovery with the participating countries,” the minister added. 

Bakhtyar said that Pakistan was resolutely and successfully confronting the outbreak of COVID-19 and taking all possible measures to strengthen the existing health system.  

The primary focus remained on both saving lives and securing livelihoods, he said.

“In order to alleviate the sufferings of the masses, Prime Minister Imran Khan had introduced major initiatives including Pakistan Preparedness and Response Plan of worth $595 million, $8 billion relief package for the most vulnerable people and Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme and launched ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’ for developing countries to overcome economic losses due to COVID-19,” he said.  

The minister emphasized that Pakistan’s “smart lockdown” policy has delivered demonstrable results with new infection rate and fatality rate substantially going down. 

Bakhtyar emphasized 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 pandemic-stricken countries.  

Bakhtyar said that 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 increased plight of the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of COVID-19, Bakhtyar called for lifting military siege, allowing access of international health experts to occupied Kashmir, and immediately extending requisite medical help to the besieged Kashmiris.