ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday assured that work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will go ahead as planned despite the drastic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In conversation with a Chinese daily, Qureshi said the two countries are committed to the mega project as per the scheduled construction plan.
“I don’t think it will have an impact on the CPEC in the long run. But in the short run, yes, there could be a slight slowdown. As soon as we are over the hump of dealing with the coronavirus, I think we’ll be back on track.”
POL PARTIES SHOULD COME ON SAME PAGE ON PANDEMIC
Separately, the foreign minister said all political parties should unite on the pandemic. He welcomed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s proposal to work together against the disease.
He said the federal government is cooperating with the Sindh government on the issue.
“The pandemic has affected the entire world, more than 300,000 persons have been tested positive for the virus and over 10,000 people have died of it globally. Every individual needs to fight against this epidemic.
“[Developed] economies like France are also struggling to counter COVID-19. Pakistan is facing the challenge to save more lives within its limited resources.”
Qureshi also reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call to the international community to consider writing off loans for developing countries in order to ensure resource allocation to fight coronavirus that has crippled the world economy.
QURESHI ENDORSES IMRAN ON CALL TO WRITE-OFF DEBT
In a tweet posted Saturday, Qureshi said, “The UN SG has highlighted the message of Global Solidarity and focusing on protecting most vulnerable.”
“PM Imran Khan has also underscored the importance of relieving the burden of debt-ridden developing countries in order to ensure resource allocation for saving lives and stemming eco decline.”
I reiterate PM’s call for alleviating this financial burden to protect the most vulnerable already struggling to cope with the challenge with limited resources & infrastructure to fight this pandemic (Covid-19). https://t.co/17eeF1K7aT
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) March 21, 2020
The foreign minister also said alleviating this financial burden will help protect the most vulnerable and already struggling to cope with the challenge with limited resources and infrastructure to fight the pandemic.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the premier expressed concern over the devastating impact the virus may have on economies of developing countries.