Rest of Asia

Video: Pakistan PM Imran Khan's blueprint to combat the coronavirus

APP/Islamabad, Pakistan
Filed on November 10, 2020


Khan tells Shanghai Cooperation Organization that joint efforts are needed to help address the pandemic's impact globally.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, speaking at the platform of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), on Tuesday proposed a six-point strategy to galvanise joint efforts to combat the coronavirus. These included setting up a knowledge bank to counter the second wave of Covid-19, policies to mitigate the pandemic’s economic impact and declaring a vaccine a source of global good.

Addressing the 20th Heads of State (SCO-CHS) meeting of trheShanghai Cooperation Organization Council held through video conference, the Prime Minister said an exchange of knowledge among SCO countries was significant to reduce the risks of virus, which he said continued to rage the world with high positive cases and death toll.

The heads of State and government from China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan addressed the SCO meeting.

The 20th Heads of State (SCO-CHS) meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council was held through video conference.

Imran Khan suggested that SCO should formulate short, medium and long-term policies along with a framework in consultation with World Health Organization to reduce the adverse effects of pandemic.

He stressed that Covid-19 vaccine must be seen as a “global good” for the betterment of mankind rather than restricting it to certain nations.

On other proposals, the Prime Minister called for a multi-year strategy on educational institutes, partnership on scholarships for young people in scientific fields, and also on public health and the global economy.

Khan lauded China’s effective handling of the coronavirus and assistance rendered to countries including Pakistan. He said China and Pakistan were also collaborating in vaccine development, which was in phase three after human trials.

He insisted that Pakistan’s policy of a smart lockdown protected the country from the worst fallouts of the pandemic, saving people both from the virus and hunger.

He recalled his earlier proposal on debt relief for developing countries and welcomed the measures by G-20 countries to help create fiscal space to deal with the after-effects of pandemic.

Under SCO’s vision of regional connectivity and integration, he said Pakistan and China were pursuing the Economic Corridor under the Belt and Road Initiative.

He stressed upon equality and sovereignty of states, non-oppression, sanctity of borders and recognising people’s right for self-determination and also strongly supported role of the United Nations in securing peace and global development.

Khan said a peaceful solution to outstanding disputes was important to averting crisis in regional peace.

He warned of the role of “spoilers, within and outside” who did not wish peace and stability to return to Afghanistan.

Khan said he strongly supported China’s global data security initiative.

He said as Pakistan fought terrorism as frontline state, it was against resurgence of extremist ideologies, racism, neo-Nazim and Islamophobia in the region and world over.

The Prime Minister also spoke on issues including climate change, widening inequality among nations, poverty, disease, hunger and illicit money flow to offshore accounts.

Pakistan, he said, had launched an ecosystem restoration initiative to plant 10 billion trees in next three years.

He said Pakistan firmly opposed illicit financial flows to impoverished nations restricting their development.

Russian President Wladimir Putin, speaking as chair of the meeting, said the SCO countries reached out to developing states in providing assistance to each other during the coronavirus pandemic. Sixty joint events of SCO were held by Russia to share experiences on the spread of virus.

Putin called upon the SCO countries to stay united against the challenges of terrorism and fierce regional conflicts as the organisation believed in facilitating political dialogue. He expressed Russia’s readiness to work towards developing a safe and drug-free Afghanistan.

Putin also stressed the need for business cooperation, digital economy and energy security among SCO states.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said trending towards peace and mutual development essential in the current situation as ‘multilateralism would win over unilateralism’.

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