ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday rejected Indian external affairs ministry’s attempts to twist the remarks made by State Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza during the video conference of the Saarc member countries on March 15 on COVID-19.
The Foreign Office said in a statement that the Indian contention of “politicisation” of humanitarian issue is both misleading and mischievous.
At the video conference, Dr Zafar Mirza had drawn attention to the health emergency in Indian occupied Jammu and 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 IOJ&K, India, and the world are echoing the same message,” the statement read. “The people of South Asia are well aware as to which country has been seeking to ‘politicise’ the Saarc process and continues to obstruct its onward march.”
The Foreign Office stressed 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.
“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. As an illustration of Pakistan’s commitment, we have reaffirmed our readiness to host the Saarc health ministers’ conference at an appropriate time.”