Pakistan urges Denmark to ease travel restrictions

FM Kofod thanks Qureshi on evacuation of Danish citizens from Kabul

Our Correspondent September 12, 2021

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with his Danish counterpart on Sunday and urged him to ease travel restrictions placed on the Pakistani citizens.

During the discussion with Jeppe Kofod, Qureshi said the restrictions should be reviewed with regard to an improvement in the situation pertaining to security and pandemic.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and the current situation in Afghanistan and vowed to further strengthen the existing ties between the two countries.

The minister apprised Kofod about the support provided by Pakistan for the safe evacuation of the staff of different embassies, international organisations and others.

The Danish minister expressed his gratitude to Islamabad for its support in evacuation of Danish citizens from Kabul.

Read Denmark lauds Pakistan’s ‘rapid, efficient assistance’ on airlifts from Afghanistan

Qureshi, on the occasion, emphasised that Pakistan gave special importance to its ties with Denmark, and thanked Kofod for Denmark's continued support to Islamabad regarding the GSP Plus status.

The foreign minister invited his Danish counterpart to visit Pakistan, which he said to have accepted with gratitude. Reciprocating, Kofod also invited Qureshi to visit Denmark.

Earlier, it was reported that Pakistan had intensified lobbying in the European countries against anti-Pakistan elements to neutralise influence of India regarding the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), rice brand and GSP scheme.

“Our ambassadors in EU countries and Brussels have enhanced their engagements with the host governments,” Pakistan Ambassador to Italy Jauhar Saleem had said while responding to a question regarding the EU parliament’s resolution against Pakistan.

In April this year, the European Parliament had adopted a resolution calling for a review of the GSP Plus status granted to Pakistan in view of an increase in the blasphemy accusations in the country as well as rising number of online and offline attacks on journalists and civil society organisations.

Pakistan is still on Britain’s “red list” due to the "worsening Covid-19 situation and low testing rates".

In a letter dated August 6, UK senior health official JO Churchill while explaining the reason for keeping Pakistan on the red list of countries said UK’s Joint Biosecurity Centre continued to assess risk based on factors including incidence, trends in deaths/hospitalisations, exported cases as well as testing and test positivity rates.

Her response came after Pakistan including several members of the British House of Commons slammed the UK government for keeping Pakistan on its red list of countries at the latest coronavirus travel update while removing India from it.

The British government had placed Pakistan and India on the red list on April 2 and 19, respectively. However, in an updated list, the government announced that India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE would be moved to the amber list from August 8.

“In Pakistan, the combination of a deteriorating epidemiological situation, combined with low testing rates and limited genomic surveillance, presents a high risk that an outbreak of a new variant, or existing VoC [variant of concern], will not be identified before it is imported to the UK,” she said in the letter.




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