Foreign Minister’s Conversation with Australian Counterpar on Covid-19 Pandemic


9th April 2020 (GNP): Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Marise Payne of Australia today. Covid-19 Pandemic, as well as other issues of mutual interest came under discussion.

Expressing deep condolences over loss of precious lives, the Foreign Minister appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Australian government for dealing with the outbreak and mitigating its economic impact. Recalling Australia’s valuable support during 2010 floods and 2005 earthquake, Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed the hope that Pakistani Diaspora in Australia, particularly the students, will be looked after.

The Foreign Minister briefed the Australian Foreign Minister on the measures being taken by Pakistan to contain the pathogen.

The Foreign Minister highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for debt relief and restructuring for developing countries to enable them to free up resources to combat the disease, save precious lives, and shore up economies.

The Foreign Minister also highlighted concerns relating to on-going restrictions in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K), now entering ninth month, which were hampering dissemination of information, and preventing unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials needed to combat the disease. He also called for release of all IOJ&K political prisoners arbitrarily incarcerated by India.

The Foreign Minister further drew attention to India’s opportunistic attempts to change IOJ&K’s demographic structure in contravention of UN Security Council Resolutions, and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention.

Underscoring the importance of collaborative endeavours to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the two Foreign Ministers agreed to stay engaged.