New Delhi [India], Mar 19 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday called out Pakistan over raising the Kashmir issue at the video conference between the leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) which was held with an aim to chalk out a joint strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic which has gripped the entire world.
"This SAARC platform was to address this pandemic. It was a humanitarian platform that Pakistan misused," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a weekly briefing.
"This was not a political platform but a humanitarian platform of how you address a pandemic," he added further.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with the leaders of SAARC member countries to exchange their views in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. However, Pakistan raked up the Kashmir issue, saying that the "lockdown should be lifted" in the region amid the coronavirus outbreak.
At a time when the Prime Minister proposed the creation of a COVID-19 emergency fund based on voluntary contributions from all countries in a bid to address the global health crisis, Pakistan's representative, health minister Zafar Mirza told the forum that it is a matter of concern that COVID-19 has been reported from Jammu and Kashmir. "In view of the health emergency, it is imperative that all lockdown in the territory must be lifted immediately," Mirza said.
It was "churlish" of Pakistan to politicise a humanitarian issue by raking up the Kashmir matter at a video conference between SAARC leaders held with an aim to chalk out a joint strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Indian government sources had said after the videoconferencing.
"Pakistan sent their Health Minister who was uncomfortable in speaking. He was given a slip. It is a churlish approach. This is a humanitarian issue and Pakistan tried to politicise the humanitarian issue," the government sources added. (ANI)