Mushahid hosts All Parties webinar on coronavirus
ISLAMABAD: Senate Foreign Affairs Committee & Pakistan-China Institute, Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed hosted an all parties Webinar on “Confronting Coronavirus and Pakistan-China relations’ in which eight political parties participated.
This online videoconference was the first event of its kind held in Pakistan since the outbreak of coronavirus crises which focused on ‘Confronting Coronavirus: Pakistan China relations, CPEC and impact on global order, said a statement.
The two-hour long conference was participated by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Senator Azam Khan Swati (PTI), Deputy Chairman Senate, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla (PPP), Senator Usman Kakar (PKMAP), Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar (BAP), Senator Talha Mehmood (JUI-F), Senator Sitara Ayaz (ANP) and Senator Mushtaq Ahmed (JI).
The participants were also given presentation by the Executive Director Pakistan-China Institute, Mustafa Hyder Sayed giving details about the assistance provided by Pakistan to China and China to Pakistan during this crisis.
According to the fact sheet, Pakistan sent a special transport plane to China on February 1, 2020 sending valuable medical supplies including masks, at the time when there was a big shortage of masks in China.
On February 10, 2020 Senator Mushahid Hussain sponsored a resolution in the Pakistan Senate, which was unanimously passed, expressing solidarity with China and a few days later a similar resolution has been passed by the National Assembly and the Pakistan Parliament was the first Parliament to express such solidarity with China on the coronavirus crisis.
Pakistan is one of the few countries not to evacuate its nationals out of China, including the students at Wuhan which showed Pakistan’s confidence and trust in China’s ability to take care of our nationals “as their own”.
On March 16-17, President Dr Arif Alvi specially flew to China to express Pakistani nation’s solidarity with China, a gesture which was appreciated by President Xi Jinping and entire Chinese people.
The fact sheet also mentioned the airlift from China to Pakistan beginning March 25, which included 2 million face masks, 70,000 medical protective equipment, 100,000 testing kits, 217 ventilators plus a $4 million emergency medical grant from China to Pakistan to build a special hospital for corona virus patients.
In his opening remarks, the host, Senator Mushahid Hussain said that the coronavirus crisis had strengthened the Pakistan-China Friendship and solidarity because like other previous crises China again had stood by Pakistan firmly like a rock.
Talking about the impact of the crises of global order he said that Asian countries like China, South Korea and Singapore have shown quality leadership as well as the efficiency of their medical and healthcare system as opposed to Western countries and in this regard China has shown leadership during this global pandemic, as the Chinese doctors are working in Asian countries like Pakistan as well as European countries like Italy and Spain.
Senator Mushahid Hussain welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Imran Khan that the CPEC projects will be restarted on top priority, he said that CPEC like Kashmir issue & the nuclear program enjoys national consensus above party lines as CPEC is the guarantor of the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.
He also demanded that the government should also announce National Health Emergency to cope with the crisis so that all resources and institutions are utilized for this one-point agenda.
Senator Azam Swati talked of two major challenges in the present situation namely, hunger and coronavirus and said that “prevention is the cure” for coronavirus. He said, “China has always stood by us and we have no words to thank China”.
He said that so far only 17,000 Pakistanis have been tested for coronavirus out of which approximately 2300 were found to be positive.
Senator Saleem Mandviwalla referred to the fact that at his own initiative 2000 testing kits were imported early on. He hoped that big business groups from the private sector would come forward to play their role.
Senator Sitara Ayaz underlined the need for creating more awareness about the coronavirus since this was lacking, and she said that the situation in provinces was ‘pretty bad’ and there was need to ensure food supplies for the needy and the poor. She also expressed gratitude for China’s support to Pakistan for combating coronavirus.
Senator Usman Kakar paid tribute to Dr Osama, the first Shaheed of coronavirus, the doctor from Gilgit Baltistan who died in the line of duty and he specially focused on the needs of his province, Balochistan where, he said a large number of people are living below the poverty line. - APP