Dubai: In a surprise move, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan asked for help from Germany to support his global debt relief initiative for developing countries like Pakistan to fight the corona virus.
Imran spoke with German Chancellor Anela Merkel on Tuesday to reassure him about his proposal for the ‘Global Initiative on Debt Removal’ which was submitted more than a week ago.
Imran has requested donations from Pakistan’s foreign and international monetary organizations because his country is facing an acute economic crisis because it is locked in the fight against the corona virus. The increasing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Pakistan also forced it to extend locking for two weeks until April 28, leading to more economic challenges. He has announced a $ 8 billion stimulus package to feed 12 million poor families in the country.
According to a series of tweets by the Prime Minister’s Office, Imran told Chancellor Merkel that COVID-19 has uncovered an unprecedented global health & economic crisis, in which developing countries will be hit harder because of lack of fiscal space and debt repayments. People in developing countries face a sharper choice: death from COVID-19 or starvation.
He also underlined that the ability of developing countries to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 will depend on granting urgent debt relief, at their request, and without heavy conditions.
In another tweet, the prime minister hopes that in addition to the UN Secretary General, countries like Germany will provide leadership on this issue, at the upcoming G-20 Minister of Finance Meeting and the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings.
Earlier last week, Prime Minister Imran appealed to world financial agencies to introduce ‘global initiatives for debt reduction’ for developing countries such as Pakistan to face a worsening financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pakistan, which has experienced low growth rates in recent years, could fall into recession with a population growth of 1.8%, which would imply a painful decline in per capita income, “according to a report released by the World Bank.
National COVID-19 patient counts indicate that confirmed cases have jumped to 6,209 while the number of deaths has increased to 113 and more than 1,400 patients have recovered. With 3,016 cases, Punjab remains the worst followed by 1,668 in Sindh, 865 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 240 in Balochistan, 234 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 140 in Islamabad, and 46 Pakistan managed by Kashmir.
Need better coordination
As the number of cases continues to increase despite being locked up over the past three weeks, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah has called for greater coordination between the federal government and the provincial government to effectively fight the corona virus. “There are some problems that are not approved by the province and the federal government. Some provinces and the federal government agreed that some important workplaces should be reopened. We did not agree to open a shop for barbers, plumbers, electricians etc., “he said.
“We all agreed to restart the domestic automotive and aviation sector with the adoption of predetermined SOPs. However, we suggest that the federal government wait two more weeks before resuming domestic flight operations. We also agree to reopening export-related industries, “he added.
“Given the latest figures, there may be a need for tighter lockdowns in the coming days. We have told the federal government about implementing strict action, “he said.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of National Security Moeed Yusuf said on Tuesday that from April 20, the government would bring 6,000 to 7,000 stranded Pakistanis back to the country.
Yusuf said that the airspace was closed on March 21 with a view to preparing for the arrival of people so they could safely return to their homes without risking COVID-19 transmission.
He said that according to information received by the government, there were around 35,000 Pakistanis who wanted to return to the country. “We will bring them back as soon as possible.”
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