Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with his Qatari counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

The two Ministers discussed the situation resulting from the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and ways to mitigate the crisis. Foreign Minister Qureshi stated that Pakistan was deploying all available resources to curtail the spread of Covid-19 and reduce its impact. Appreciating the timely measures taken by the Qatari government, he noted with satisfaction that these steps had helped contain the disease in Qatar.

The Foreign Minister apprised his Qatari counterpart about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for debt relief and restructuring to enable the developing countries to free up resources to combat the disease and shore up economies.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also appreciated the role played by the State of Qatar in facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Minister expressed deep concern over the situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K), where the coronavirus had spread and fatalities were being reported. Continued restrictions on movement and communication were imperiling the health and safety of 8 million Kashmiris. He called for immediate lifting of all restrictions to allow dissemination of information and unfettered supply of medicines, and other essentials.

The Foreign Minister also called for immediate release of all Kashmiri leaders, youth and civil society members, who had been languishing in Indian jails and were at heightened risk of contracting the infection.

The Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked Foreign Minister Qureshi for his call and highlighted the steps being taken by Qatar to contain the pandemic. He underscored the importance of learning from the experience of the countries whichhad managed to control the disease successfully.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Al Thani described Pakistan’s call for debt restructuring for developing countries as an important and timely initiative and stated that Qatar was supportive of it.

The two Ministers underscored the need for joint efforts to deal with the current challenges and agreed to stay closely engaged on all issues of common interest.

2 April 2020

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