Pakistan urged intl community to join hands in dealing with coronavirus

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has urged the international community to join hands in dealing with the menace and take measures such as lifting of sanctions on Iran, relieving burden of debt-ridden developing countries and ensuring access of medical and essential supplies to Kashmiris in the occupied valley.

The call was made by Pakistan in a letter written by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi to Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union, a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday said.

“As we all recognise, coronavirus (Covid-19) is now a global pandemic which has affected nearly all countries of the world. These are extremely testing times for the entire humanity and, therefore, it becomes all the more important for the international community to join hands in dealing with this menace,” he said in the letter. “While Covid-19 is a humanitarian crisis and its impact on economies of the developing countries will be particularly detrimental, the full ramifications will unfold and become clear only in the weeks and months to come,” he added.

“While the economically-advanced countries have the resources to divert huge funds towards combating Covid-19, the developing countries are not able to do so due to their inherent economic vulnerabilities and presence of weaker segments in their societies,” he said. “The most susceptible sections of the society will be hit the hardest by Covid-19. All our countries are making their best efforts to grapple with myriad challenges posed by the pandemic,” he added.

“There are two issues which I wish to especially highlight. Firstly, we recognize that Iran has been facing serious constraints in its efforts to effectively contain the Coronavirus outbreak due to the existing sanctions,” he said. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has underlined that lifting the sanctions on Iran in this particular context is a humanitarian imperative. Indeed, we believe, the international community must take urgent steps to extend the requisite support and humanitarian assistance to enable Iran to save precious lives,” he went on to say. “Secondly, the UN Secretary General has highlighted the importance of global solidarity and focusing on protecting the most vulnerable. For his part, Prime Minister Imran Khan has underscored the importance of relieving the burden of debt-ridden developing countries to enable them to devote requisite resources for saving lives and stemming economic decline,” he added.

“Thirdly, the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, deteriorating since India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019, has entered into the eighth month. The reports of incidence of Coronavirus in IOJ&K have added further urgency to the need for lifting the communications blockade and ensuring unfettered access of medical and other essential supplies,” he said. “As the world mobilizes for effective action in the wake of coronavirus crisis, the plight of the Kashmiri people must also remain front and center for redressal,” he added. “These are important issues for deeper deliberations and necessary ameliorative measures by the international community.

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