Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with The Right Honorable Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, to discuss matters related to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic as well as bilateral relations.
Highlighting cooperative relations between Pakistan and New Zealand, the Foreign Minister underscored the importance of a coordinated international response to deal with the unprecedented pandemic.
Foreign Minister Qureshi commended New Zealand’s efforts, under the proactive leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, to control the spread of the disease.
Underscoring that a global recession was imminent, and the pandemic had seriously impacted the developing world, Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Global Initiative for Debt Relief and hoped that New Zealand would lend its support to the Initiative.
The Foreign Minister highlighted on-going restrictions in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K), which were hampering dissemination of information and preventing unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials needed to combat Covid-19. He also expressed deep concern over heightened hate crimes and demonization of the Muslim minority in India in the context of Covid-19. The Foreign Minister also noted that the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom had expressed concerns regarding the steepest and alarming deterioration in the religious freedom conditions in India.
The Foreign Minister thanked the New Zealand government for providing visa extension to Pakistanis on temporary visas in New Zealand who could not leave due to border restrictions. The Foreign Minister also appreciated the assurances of the New Zealand Foreign Minister for taking care of the 200 Pakistani students in New Zealand.
The two Ministers agreed to remain in touch.