In televised message, PM Imran says will appeal to UN to launch debt relief initiative for infected nations

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a brief video message broadcast on PTV, has said he will be appealing to the world’s leading financial institutions and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres “to launch an initiative which will give debt relief to countries fighting the virus”.

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“The US can come up with a relief package of $2.2 trillion […] in Pakistan, with a population of 220 million people, so far the max we could afford was $8bn.”

The premier said that “highly indebted countries face the problem of a lack of fiscal space” and are in dire need of debt restructuring so they may focus the use of funds to combat the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday chaired a high level meeting to review situation in the aftermath of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the steps to control its spread besides, considering the strategy to ensure continuity in the industrial and economic activities and future planning.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers including Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar, Asad Umar, Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Omar Ayub, Hamad Azhar, Syed Fakhar Imam, PM’s advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, PM’s special assistants Dr Moeed Yousaf, Dr Zafar Mirza, barrister Shahzad Akbar, Tania Adrius, focal person on coronavirus Dr Faisal, chairman National Disaster Management Authority and senior officials, PM office media wing in a press release said. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar and Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan also participated in the meeting through video link.

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