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Pakistan to host SAARC virtual conference on coronavirus

Pakistan to host SAARC virtual conference on coronavirus
April 23, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – A video conference of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Member States on Pakistan’s proposal is being held today to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic. Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza will lead the Pakistani delegation in the conference. The Conference will also be attended by Secretary General SAARC, Esala Ruwan Weerakon. The virtual meeting takes forward Pakistan's earlier initiative to host the SAARC Health Ministers meeting, which has assumed urgency in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video conference is also part of Pakistan's efforts to foster greater cooperation at the regional level to effectively overcome the public health crisis, and mitigate its socio-economic impact. Earlier, Pakistan accepted the request of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for SAARC conference to tackle the novel coronavirus. Pakistan stance got victory as the Indian prime minister acknowledged the importance of SAARC. The Indian government invited Pakistan to participate in a meeting of SAARC nation video conferencing to discuss means to tackle coronavirus. Meanwhile, Pakistan agreed to participate in a meeting of the SAARC in India on the level of state minister.  Pakistan responded to the appeal by the Indian government and said they will be available for talks. Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza will participate in a video conference of SAARC member countries to formulate a joint strategy to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. It is pertinent here to mention that Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a tweet said, “The threat of COVID-19 requires coordinated efforts at global and regional level. We have communicated that SAPM on Health will be available to participate in the video conference of SAARC member countries on the issue.”