Monday, August 15, 2022

Pakistan pledges US$3 bn to SAARC’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday announced to pledge United States Dollar (USD) three million towards the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support regional efforts in fight against coronavirus, ARY NEWS reported.

A message posted on the Twitter account of the foreign office said that the decision was communicated to the SAARC Secretariat.


“It has been conveyed that all proceeds of the fund should be administered by the SAARC Secretariat and that the modalities for its utilization should be finalized through consultations with the member states as per the SAARC Charter.”

The message further said that Pakistan’s perspective in this regard was also conveyed during a telephone conversation between Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Secretary General SAARC Esala Ruwan Weerakoon today.

It said that being a founding member, Pakistan considers SAARC an important platform for regional cooperation and it remains committed to the association’s process and would continue working with the member states to strengthen regional cooperation.

Yesterday, Foreign Office (FO) clarified Pakistan’s position for not participating in a video conference of trade officials on coronavirus pandemic arranged by India as it was not part of SAARC Secretariat.

Read More: Pakistan defends raising IoK lockdown at SAARC coronavirus conference

The FO spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, while responding to media queries, said Pakistan believed being a founding member that South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) provides an important platform for regional cooperation.

She added the ‘role of the SAARC Secretariat assumes further salience in emergency situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic, and its wider social and economic fall-out.’

“As in the case of other regional and international organizations, SAARC Secretariat also provides the requisite convening platform, institutional framework and support structure for essential coordination and follow-up,” the statement read.

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