Pakistan responds to PM Modi's call to SAARC countries to fight Coronavirus

Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to SAARC nations to work together against the deadly coronavirus, Pakistan on Saturday acknowledged the need for “coordinated efforts at global and regional level(s)”.

In a tweet posted early this morning, a spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs ministry said the Special Assistant (Health) to Prime Minister Imran Khan had been deputed to participate in a proposed video conference call on measures to deal with COVID-19.

“The threat of COVID-19 requires coordinated efforts at global and regional level. We have communicated that SAPM (special assistant to Prime Minister) on Health will be available to participate in video conference of SAARC member countries on the issue,” read the tweet.

The spokesperson, according to NDTV, had earlier said Pakistan was ready to extend assistance to its neighbours. The Pakistan Prime Minister has already chaired an emergency meeting on national security to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, PM Modi urged India’s neighbours to join hands to fight the outbreak that has claimed over 5,000 lives worldwide and infected more than 1.3 lakh people. He asked SAARC leaders to help chalk out a “strong strategy to fight coronavirus”.

“I would like to propose that the leadership of SAARC nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus. We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka are members of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).