ISLAMABAD: Pakistan rejects the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ attempts to twist the remarks made by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, at the Covid-19 Video Conference of the SAARC member countries on 15 March 2020. The Indian contention of “politicization” of the humanitarian issues is both misleading and mischievous.

The MoS for Health had drawn attention to the health emergency in IOJ&K in the context of Coronavirus and underscored the need for lifting of restrictions on communications and ensuring access to medical supplies. In making this call, Pakistan has not been alone. Indeed, numerous voices from within IOJ&K, India, and the world are echoing the same message.

Pakistan’s participation in the Video Conference of SAARC member States on Covid-19 was aimed at showing solidarity with SAARC members and reaffirming our abiding commitment to the SAARC process. The people of South Asia are well aware as to which country has been seeking to “politicize” the SAARC process and continues to obstruct its onward march.

Pakistan believes that the collective endeavors of South Asian nations to fight common challenges should not be allowed to become a victim of self-serving propaganda. As an illustration of Pakistan’s commitment, we have reaffirmed our readiness to host the SAARC Health Ministers’ Conference at the appropriate time.

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