Will participate in COVID-19 video conference: Pak on PM Modi's joint SAARC strategy proposal

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar 14 (ANI): Pakistan said it will participate in a video conference of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed at tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aisha Farooqui tweeted on late Friday that Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan (SAPM) on Health, Zafar Mirza, will be available for the conference as coronavirus requires coordinated efforts at the global and regional level.

"The threat of COVID-19 requires coordinated efforts at the global and regional level. We have communicated that SAPM on Health will be available to participate in the video conference of #SAARC member countries on the issue," Farooqui said.

Pakistan's response came hours after Modi proposed that the leaders of the SAARC countries should chalk out a joint strategy to fight coronavirus pandemic which has killed over 5,000 people globally.

The SAARC is a regional intergovernmental organisation that comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

"I would like to propose that the leadership of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight Coronavirus. We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy," the Prime Minister tweeted on Friday.

Several leaders of SAARC including Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the Maldives endorsed the Prime Minister's proposal.

Coronavirus, which originated in China's Wuhan city, has so far spread to more than 100 countries infecting over 1,20,000 people. India has confirmed 82 cases of lethal infection. (ANI)