Pak tries to raise Kashmir issue at Coronavirus emergency meet, receives flak on social media

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited all SAARC members to come together to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Representatives from SAARC nations participated in the video conference. Zafar Mirza, State Minister of Health, represented Pakistan in the video conference. The conference was an initiative of PM Modi to bring the widespread infectious disease under control.

PM Modi held a video conference with SAARC leaders on containing the deadly virus and also extended $10 million as India’s contribution for a Covid-19 emergency fund. PM Modi made significant suggestions during the video conference.

While PM Modi was making a request to all leaders to act together on COVID-19 during the video conference, Pakistan, on the other hand, raised the Kashmir issue. Pakistani representative Mirza tried to politicise a humanitarian issue when all Saarc states were discussing the current outbreak of coronavirus.

“It is a pity they [Pakistan] have to be churlish on an issue that is important to the region. We have demonstrated the political will to come together,” said a person who declined to be named. Pakistan’s childish behavior shows it doesn’t take coronavirus seriously. Pakistan was later criticized a lot by netizens on social media.

Ever since India revoked article 370, the relations between India and Pakistan have gone from bad to worse than ever before after the removal of Article 370 from Kashmir. 

“Our region has reported less than 150 coronavirus cases, but we need to remain vigilant.” said PM Modi at SAARC video conference.

Modi further said, “We started screening people entering India from mid-January itself, while gradually increasing restrictions on travel”. “India has evacuated nearly 1,400 Indians from different countries, India helped some citizens of neighbouring countries by evacuating them from coronavirus-hit nations,” said Modi. 

Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih supported this initiative and said that no country can deal with the situation alone. Mr. Solih also thanked PM Modi for such a wonderful move to combat Covid-19 challenge and welcomed PM Modi’s suggestion of setting up a Covid-19 emergency fund.

“Health ministers of SAARC nations can hold video conference to discuss specific issues related to COVID-19,” said Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina.

The novel coronavirus outbreak has now claimed the lives of over 6,000 people and infected more than 1.6 lakh people globally. The COVID-19 outbreak has also spoiled the international calendar of various sporting events all across the world. The fast-spreading disease has even put the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 under huge doubt.

By far, two deaths owing to COVID-19 have been confirmed in India and over 100 people have been infected with it.

Unfortunately, for now, there is no vaccination or cure available to help patients recover the deadly disease. So, this initiative by PM Modi will certainly help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.