Pakistan dials China, seeks global debt relief for developing nations


World, Neighbours

The foreign minster sought China's support for the initiative, including at the G-20 platform.

File image of Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to seek China's support for a global initiative to give debt relief to developing countries fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Foreign Office in a statement on Wednesday said that Qureshi underlined that the COVID-19 had a devastating impact on global economy and its aftermath was far more severe than the Great Depression.

“The impact on the developing countries would be most severe,” he said, adding that keeping these factors in view, Prime Minister Imran Khan had appealed to the world community to work for providing debt relief to the developing countries.

The foreign minster sought China's support for the initiative, including at the G-20 platform.

The Group of 20 nations announced support Wednesday for a temporary halt to debt payments by the world's poorest nations as they struggle to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Finance ministers of the G-20 group of major economies, which includes the US, China, India and others, said they will immediately put on hold poor countries' obligations to service debt they owe.

Qureshi during his call to Wang underscored that Pakistan and China are All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners and have preserved the fine tradition of solidarity, mutual assistance and mutual support and thanked China for extending solidarity and moral and material support to Pakistan in the wake of outbreak of COVID-19.

Qureshi said that generous donations and assistance sent by China for Pakistan to contain coronavirus were greatly appreciated by Pakistan and its people.

Wang thanked him for reaching out to China and assured that China will support the initiative at the G-20 as well as other relevant fora.

He said that COVID-19 has posed great danger to global economic and stability and coordinated and equitable efforts were needed to deal with its aftermath.

He also maintained that during President Arif Alvi's recent visit to China, Pakistani and Chinese leaders had reached a consensus to jointly fight COVID-19.

The novel coronavirus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province late last year, has so far killed over 1,20,000 people globally.