The Foreign Minister thanked the New Zealand government for providing visa extension to Pakistanis on temporary visas in New Zealand who could not leave due to border restrictions. PHOTO: COURTESY FO/FILE

FM Qureshi discusses pandemic response with New Zealand counterpart

FM Qureshi highlights PM Imran's call for debt relief during the call

​ Our Correspondent April 30, 2020
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday underscored the importance of a coordinated international response in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand Winston Peters.

In a telephonic conversation, the foreign minister praised New Zealand’s response, under the proactive leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in curtailing the spread of the disease.

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During the conversion, the FM Qureshi highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for debt relief and hoped that New Zealand would lend its support to the initiative. He underscored that a global recession was imminent, and the pandemic had seriously impacted the developing world.

Qureshi also appraised his counterpart about the ongoing restrictions in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJK), which were hampering dissemination of information and preventing the unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials needed to combat Covid-19.

He also expressed deep concern over the increase in hate crimes and demonization of India's Muslim minority.

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The US Commission on International Religious Freedom had expressed concerns regarding the steepest and the alarming deterioration in religious freedom conditions in India earlier.

The FM Qureshi thanked Peters for his government's support in providing visa extension to Pakistanis on temporary visas in New Zealand, who were stranded following the outbreak of the pandemic.

He also appreciated the assurances of FM Peters for taking care of the 200 Pakistani students in New Zealand.

The two top diplomats agreed to stay engaged on Covid-19 and other matters of mutual interest.