Commonwealth states should make efforts for deeper debt relief to boost economic recovery: FM

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has called commonwealth countries to make efforts for deeper and more sustained debt relief for stronger and more sustained economic recovery, Radio Pakistan reported.

Addressing a virtual meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers on Wednesday, he said the commonwealth countries should utilize commonalities in legal and administrative systems to overcome protectionism and maintain free trade.

He said a “people’s vaccine” for the treatment of COVID-19 pandemic should be developed.

The FM maintained that there should be a regime in which all treatments and diagnoses are made, patent-free, mass-produced, and available to all countries and people free of cost.

Qureshi stated that it is a matter of concern that coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a spike in intolerance, violence and racial discrimination around the globe. This is manifested in various forms of hate speech, xenophobia, Islamophobia and supremacist ideologies, he said.

He said core principles of rule of law, fundamental freedoms and multilateralism are in danger.

Regarding human rights violations by India in Jammu and Kashmir, he said a South Asian state is targeting specific religious and ethnic groups in order to foment division and hatred among communities.

It has usurped the rights and freedoms of millions, fanned hyper-nationalism, engineered illegal demographic change in disputed territories, and stoked regional tensions, he added.

About the negative impact of climate change, the FM emphasized on developed countries to fulfill their pledge to mobilize 100 billion dollars annually for climate action. He said despite Pakistan’s limited contribution to global Green House gas emissions, it is among the most climate-vulnerable countries.

He said Pakistan has also joined the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group on “Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods”.