Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held video conference with Minister of International Development of Canada Karina Gould. The two Ministers discussed the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also exchanged views on bilateral relations. The Ministers agreed to further strengthen the historic cordial ties between the two countries and acknowledged the role of Pakistani diaspora in the bilateral relationship.

The Foreign Minister, while appreciating the efforts of the Government of Canada to handle the pandemic and acknowledging its assistance to Pakistan, emphasized the importance of continued mutual collaboration between the two countries. He apprised the Canadian Minister of the decisions taken to gradually open the Pakistani economy in order to support the livelihood of millions of people. He elaborated Government efforts to maintain delicate balance of saving lives by preventing spread of COVID-19 pandemic and securing livelihoods of millions affected economically.

The two Ministers discussed efforts regarding debt relief, particularly for the developing countries. In this context, Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for a “Global Initiative on Debt Relief”. While appreciating Canada’s support, the Foreign Minister urged Canada, as an important member of the G-7, and the G-20, to continue to play an active role in steering the efforts to successful culmination. He added that it would help to mobilize resources to fight the COVID 19 pandemic and shore up economies. The Canadian Minister assured that her country would play an active role to help address the issue.

The Foreign Minister appreciated the role and contribution of Canada in the development sector. He commended the joint initiative of Canada, Jamaica and UN Secretary General on Financing for Development (FfD), in which Prime Minister Imran Khan was also invited to participate last week.

The Foreign Minister also apprised Minister Gould of the grave human rights violations and intensified military crack-down in IOJ&K as well as Indian moves to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. He said that Indian Government’s attitude and demonizing policies towards Muslims would undermine peace and stability in the region.

The two Ministers agreed to remain engaged and further strengthen bilateral ties.


3 June 2020

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