Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, on the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Underscoring that the Pandemic was the gravest challenge to confront humanity this century, the Foreign Minister offered condolences over loss of precious lives, and commended the effective measures being taken by Japan to contain the outbreak.
The Foreign Minister thanked Japan for its assistance to Pakistan to combat the pandemic, as well as in dealing with the desert locust attack. While conveying his confidence that Pakistanis in Japan will be looked after, he assured Foreign Minister Motegi of all possible facilitation of Japanese nationals in Pakistan.
The two Ministers exchanged views about the socio-economic ramifications of the pandemic. Highlighting that the developing countries had to fight on two fronts, i.e.s, containing the virus, and staving off starvation, the Foreign Minister briefed Foreign Minister Motegi about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries.
The Foreign Minister underscored that without immediate, coordinated and comprehensive actions to create fiscal space, the developing world may have to contend with dire social, political and economic consequences. Touching upon the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K), the Foreign Minister highlighted that human rights violations were continuing unabated and concerns had intensified about spread of the infection due to restrictions on information dissemination and unfettered access to medical and other essential supplies.
There were also concerns about demonization sof Indian Muslims in the context of Covid-19 and growing Islamophobia. Both Foreign Ministers expressed commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations. It was agreed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-Japan diplomatic relations in 2022 in a befitting manner.