Pakistan rejects Indian contentions of “politicization” of COVID-19 issue

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan has rejected 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 March 15, 2020, the Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency reported.

In a statement on Friday, the Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that the Indian contention of “politicization” of the humanitarian issue is both misleading and mischievous.

The Spokesperson said that the Minister of State for Health had drawn attention to the health emergency in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (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 the IOJ&K, and the world are echoing the same message, she noted.

Aisha Farooqui said that 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. She said that the people of South Asia are well aware as to which the Country has been seeking to “politicize” the SAARC process and continues to obstruct its onward march.

“Pakistan believes that the collective endeavours of South Asian nations to fight common challenges should not be allowed to become victim of self-serving propaganda,” she said.

The Foreign Office Spokesperson further said that as an illustration of Pakistan’s commitment, we have reaffirmed our readiness to host the SAARC Health Ministers’ Conference at the appropriate time.