Shah Mehmood Stresses Restructuring of Pakistan’s Debts to Counter Economic Collapse

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has stressed on the restructuring of Pakistan’s debts amid growing economic challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairing a high-level meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the economic impact of the contagion, the foreign minister said the easing of international loans of developing countries will prove helpful in saving precious human lives and ensuring their sustainable development.

This meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Planning and the government’s focal person on COVID-19 Asad Umar, Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, and Adviser to PM on Finance Hafeez Sheikh.

Due to the lockdown imposed in Pakistan to contain the coronavirus, the economic activity is suspended with a decline in exports. The pandemic has put a significant amount of additional pressure on Pakistan’s struggling economy.

The foreign minister mentioned that the proposal of Prime Minister Imran Khan for facilitation to the developing countries in payment of loans was being discussed at international forums. He directed the permanent representatives of Pakistan in New York and Geneva to make efforts in that regard.

Permanent representatives Munir Akram and Khalil Hashmi from New York and Geneva respectively attended the meeting through video-link.

This was discussed at the last meeting of G-20, the premier forum for international economic cooperation. The leaders expressed concerns about the consequences of COVID-19 outbreak for developing and least developed countries (LDCs) and agreed on the need for global financial safety nets. However, the proposal for support to these countries is yet to formalize.

He also apprised the meeting of his telephonic conversations with the secretaries-general of the United Nations and Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the foreign ministers of European and SAARC countries.

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