Prime Minister Imran Khan aspires coordinated global efforts to combat the novel coronavirus, saying that the “imperative of a common approach has increased manifold” amid the ongoing health crisis that has killed more than 1.2 million people and wrecked the world economy. While speaking via video link at the 20th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Council of Heads of State he said, “Humanity faces the possibility of a slow recovery and a prolonged economic slump with rising poverty and inequality. Under the circumstances, the imperative of a common approach to limit the spread of infectious diseases, reduce the effects and develop potential remedies has increased manifold. Yet global harmony and multilateralism are undermined by rising geopolitical tensions, unilateralism and isolationism.”
He lauded the SCO’s call for “effective multilateralism” and expressed the belief that the forum, with its “core principles of solidarity and mutual support, would be effective in combatting the effects of Covid-19. At a time, when the world is bereft of global vision and shared solutions, SCO has called for effective multilateralism, with the UN playing a central coordinating role. “
He also praised China for its “effective handling” of the virus as well as its assistance to other countries, including Pakistan, to cope with the health crisis and remarked the Pak-China collaboration for vaccine development. He added that there is more to be done and we call for “faithfully implementing UN Security Council resolutions for peaceful solutions to outstanding disputes. Unilateral and illegal measures to change the status of disputed territories adversely affect regional environment”. He repeated his belief that the Afghanistan conflict did not have a military solution and said that the “best way forward” was a negotiated political arrangement, adding that Pakistan supported an “Afghan-led and and the Afghan-owned peace process”.