ISLAMABAD (City News) – Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
on Monday called for pooling of region-wide research capabilities to
combat Coronavirus for effective coordination in relief and containment
In a telephonic conversation with Secretary General of Shanghai
Cooperation Organization (SCO) Vladimir Norov, Foreign Minister
Qureshi said in order to strengthen regional cooperation in South Asia in
the wake of the pandemic, Pakistan had proposed a video conference of
SAARC Health Ministers to learn from each other’s experiences.
The foreign minister briefed the Secretary General on the measures
being taken by Pakistan to contain Covid-19 pandemic.
He said Pakistan attached high importance to SCO as its member states
comprised more than 40 percent of the world population and accounted
for a quarter of global GDP.
At a time when the entire world was facing this challenge, coordinated
efforts through SCO platform were essential to adopt an effective
strategy to control the pandemic, he added.
Qureshi said China was providing valuable support to Pakistan in
dealing with the pandemic.
Underlining that China had led the way in effective containment, and a
lot could be gained from the Chinese experience, the Foreign Minister
appreciated SCO Secretariat’s role in disseminating timely information
on China’s effective response to the pandemic.
FM Qureshi also lauded the Russian initiative to hold a video conference
of the Experts of Health Ministries of SCO member states on April 1,
Alluding to the adverse socio-economic ramifications of the crisis,
Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call
for debt relief and restructuring for developing countries and said that he
had discussed this issue with other leaders including the Secretary
General of UN, the Secretary General of OIC and his counterparts from
He expressed the hope that SCO would play an effective role in taking
the proposal forward through its own platform.
The SCO Secretary General thanked the Foreign Minister for the call.
He expressed appreciation for the Prime Minister’s proposal for debt
relief and restructuring for developing countries and said that financial
support for developing countries was the need of the hour.
The Secretary General conveyed his best wishes to the Government and
people of Pakistan in successfully facing the challenge posed by the
pandemic and reiterated his resolve to utilize all possible means to
ensure effective use of SCO in coordinating efforts of Member States to
combat the pandemic.
The foreign minister invited the SCO Secretary General to visit Pakistan
as soon as the situation permitted, which he accepted.