In the videoconference that was held on Sunday to deal with the Coronavirus menace, in which SAARC members participated, Pakistan called for immediate lifting of the "lockdown" in the valley to allow disease containment measures.
Bengaluru: In what was supposed to be a meet to discuss ways and strategies to contain and curb the spread of Coronavirus (SAARC videoconferencing), Pakistan played the dirty game.
It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to hold such a conference for making lives better, but a flippant Pakistan exposed itself by playing the Kashmir card irrelevantly.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan did not take part in the videoconferencing but instead, had deputed Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister on Health.
While the member nations decided to focus on ways to deal with the global malaise, Pakistan called for immediate lifting of the "lockdown" in the valley to allow disease containment measures.
Quite naturally, the Indian government is incensed.
It called this an attempt to "politicise" a humanitarian issue by raising "unwarranted" statement on Kashmir during a crucial videoconference on coronavirus.
Even Abhishek Singhvi, a senior Congress leader, did not take it lightly.
#Pakistan cant stoop lower thn this. During a humongous humanitarian crisis, it sends a junior minister for #SAARC meeting of heads of state. Then raises #Kashmir issue in the meeting out of nowhere. Pity..— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) March 15, 2020
deserves 2be #quarantined by the global community.#SAARCfightsCorona
It would be very apt to say that a country, which refused to fly back its desperately help-seeking students from Wuhan, China a few months ago, to first extend the courtesy of being chivalrous to its own citizens. Till date, there is no confirmation of Pakistan flying back its citizens, but India has successfully brought back its citizens from China, Italy and Iran.
The videoconference was attended by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Bhutanese premier Lotay Tshering, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza.
Narendra Modi earned a lot of plaudits for his initiative to bring all leaders on one platform.
He even offered a sum of 10 million US dollars in order to set up a fund to deal with the crisis.
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Last Updated Mar 16, 2020, 12:58 PM IST