ISLAMABAD – South Asian Affiliation for Regional Cooperation yesterday awoke from hibernation as coronavirus threatened the area.

A video-conference of SAARC member states was held to debate responses to the Covid-19 outbreak. Particular Assistant to the Prime Minister and Minister of State for Well being, Dr Zafar Mirza represented Pakistan within the convention. High leaders participated for his or her international locations throughout the convention.

Pakistan had earlier agreed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name to sit down collectively.

Dr Mirza, whereas highlighting Pakistan’s approaches and responses to the pandemic, underscored that Pakistan had been engaged in containment efforts from the outset of the outbreak. Pakistan’s proactive technique and containment efforts have been acknowledged and recommended by the World Well being Group.

He underscored the necessity to empower and mandate the SAARC Secretariat to behave as platform for regional efforts to fight the pandemic.

Amongst different measures, he proposed instituting exit screening by member states for vacationers within the area, and instituting mechanisms for studying from the efficient efforts of China, a SAARC Observer State, in containment and management. He reiterated Pakistan’s proposal of internet hosting SAARC well being ministers’ convention on the earliest alternative.

The SAARC members mentioned methods to chalk out technique to combat coronavirus.

Modi mentioned ‘prepare, but don’t panic’ has been India’s guiding mantra in coping with the virus outbreak. “Our region has reported less than 150 coronavirus cases, but we need to remain vigilant,” he mentioned.

He added, “Step-by-step approach helped avoid panic, made special efforts to reach out to vulnerable groups.” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani proposed frequent framework for tele-medicine to fight coronavirus.

Ghani welcomed the initiatives advised by PM Modi and referred to as for nations to control the evolving scenario because of coronavirus.

Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih backed coordinated strategy to take care of Covid-19 and mentioned no nation can take care of the scenario alone.

Ibrahim Solih welcomed suggestion of organising a Covid-19 emergency fund.

Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa mentioned SAARC leaders ought to formulate mechanism for “our economies to tide over problems posed by coronavirus.”

SAARC is the regional intergovernmental group and geopolitical union of states in South Asia. Its member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. SAARC includes three % of the world’s space, 21 % of the world’s inhabitants and three.Eight % of the worldwide economic system.

SAARC was based in Dhaka on December 8, 1985. Its secretariat was established in Kathmandu on January 16, 1987 and was inaugurated by the late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal.

India’s defiance is without doubt one of the fundamental the explanation why SAARC shouldn’t be prospering. New Delhi has been opposing SAARC convention in Pakistan for years and urgent different member international locations to remain away.

On his half, Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed the hope that the hiatus created in SAARC’s steady development can be eliminated.

The group promotes improvement of financial and regional integration. It launched the South Asian Free Commerce Space in 2006 which was ratified by Pakistan and India years later.

SAARC maintains everlasting diplomatic relations on the United Nations as an observer and has developed hyperlinks with multilateral entities, together with the European Union.

Pak-India border in the meantime has been closed for all sorts of passengers to curb the coronavirus outbreak. The choice was made amid rising variety of COVID-19 instances within the nation.

Pakistan has reported 35 coronavirus instances whereas India confirmed greater than 100 confirmed instances. Indian state Maharashtra, is the worst affected from the virus.

Nonetheless, diplomats and UN personnel having legitimate visas might permit by the Attari crossing level alongside the Pakistan-India border.

Go to to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur has additionally been suspended for Sikh pilgrims underneath the brand new order.

Pakistan has additionally closed the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib for its nationals however didn’t cease pilgrims from the Indian aspect.