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Primary focus on saving lives and livelihoods: FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday called on the world community to exhibit unity, solidarity and multilateral cooperation to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing a video conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity, hosted by China, he said the pandemic has shaken the world and led to the economic slowdown, bankruptcies, lay-offs and disruption in global supply chains.

The foreign minister underscored that Pakistan is determinedly confronting the once-in-a-century pandemic and taking all possible measures to strengthen the existing health system.

Read More: Pakistan witnesses record 136 coronavirus deaths in past 24 hours

The primary focus remained on saving lives and livelihoods, he said, adding that in order to alleviate the sufferings, Prime Minister Imran Khan brought in major initiatives including eight billion dollars relief package for the most vulnerable people and Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program to help the needy.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said CPEC, a flagship project of BRI, could play an important role in boosting regional growth and recovery in the post-COVID-19 period. He added Pakistan and China are taking requisite measures which would help in timely completion of CPEC projects.

Read More: Relief provided to people in federal budget with no new taxes: FM Qureshi

He supported the idea of ‘Health Silk Road’ mooted in the conference by China and proposed that the COVID-19 vaccine, as and when it is developed, must be declared a “global public good” and made available on an equitable basis.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also drew attention of the participants to the plight of the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and called for lifting of the double lockdown, allowing access of international health experts to occupied Kashmir, and immediately extending requisite medical help to besieged Kashmiris.

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