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Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Ms Retno L. P. Marsudi, today to discuss matters related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Foreign Minister offered deep condolences to the Indonesian government and people over the loss of precious lives in the outbreak. Apprising her of the situation in Pakistan, he commended Indonesia for the steps being taken by the Indonesian authorities to contain the virus. The Foreign Minister indicated that like Indonesia, Pakistan was attempting to strike a balance between the need to arrest transmission of the disease through social distancing and other measures, and keeping the wheels of the economy moving.

Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted the call by Prime Minister Imran Khan for debt relief and restructuring for the developing countries to create the fiscal space needed to save human lives and shore up economies. In this context, he noted that the initiative had resonated globally, and the World Bank, IMF, the EU, and the G-20 were working along these lines.

The Foreign Minister apprised his Indonesian counterpart of the developments in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, where, despite reporting of cases of Covid-19 in the disputed territory, as well as deaths, restrictions on movement and communication remained in place. He stressed the need to call on India to lift communication restrictions to enable dissemination of information and to ensure unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials.

The Foreign Minister further pointed to the heightened risk of contracting the virus in crowded Indian prisons and called for release of Kashmiri leadership, youth and civil society members incarcerated by India.

The Foreign Minister briefed the Indonesian Foreign Minister on the latest actions by India aimed at illegally changing the demographic structure of the Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K) including the recent changes in domicile laws. The Foreign Minister stressed that these steps were in violation of international law and must be stopped.

The two sides also discussed prospects of collaborating on combating Covid-19 on the platforms of OIC and the UN. They agreed to remain closely engaged.



3 April 2020

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