Prime minister Imran Khan has stated that he fears the coronavirus will devastate the economies of developing nations and warned developed countries to prepare to write off the debts of the world’s poorer countries.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Imran Khan expressed concern over the devastating impact the virus may have on economies of developing countries.
“My worry is poverty and hunger,” Khan said.
The world community has to think of some sort of a debt write-off for countries like us, which are very vulnerable, at least that will help us in coping with (the coronavirus).
He said that if a serious outbreak happens in Pakistan, he’s worried that the government’s efforts to lift the ailing economy out of near-collapse would begin an unstoppable slide backward. Exports will fall off a cliff, unemployment will soar and an onerous national debt will become an impossible burden. Pakistan secured a $6 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund last year.
AP noted that the global virus pandemic presents the biggest test yet for Khan’s populist leadership since he took office in 2018.
It’s not just Pakistan. I would imagine the same in India, in the subcontinent, in African countries. If it spreads, we will all have problems with our health facilities. We just don’t have that capability. We just don’t have the resources.
He further directed lifting sanctions against Iran and lauded the country’s humanitarian imperative to contain the outbreak by pushing aside political rivalries.
In a call for action from the international community, Khan said it is time to end U.S. sanctions on Iran, where one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world has unfolded. Iran has struggled to respond in part because of crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
The outbreak in Iran has also hit close to home. Most of Pakistan’s cases of the coronavirus have been traced back to Iran. Khan said Iran is a “classic example” of a place where the humanitarian imperative to contain the outbreak outweighs political rivalries or economic dogmas.
The pandemic comes just as a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban has given Afghanistan its best chance at ending its endless war, and bringing U.S. troops home after nearly 19 years.
Khan called Ghani’s comments “disappointing,” and said that since taking office, he’s worked hard with the U.S. to help cobble together a peace deal in Afghanistan.
If anything, it should have been an appreciation of the way Pakistan has gone about furthering the peace process.
Khan said he’s also warned about violent strife on the other side of his eastern border, amid the rise of Hindu nationalism in India.
The worst nightmare of the world has happened — an extremist, racial party that believes in racial superiority has taken over a country of more than one billion people and has nuclear weapons.
Referring to the riots and massacre of Muslims in New Delhi, the premier said Indian Prime Minister Modi’s government threatens to suppress millions of Muslims through the controversial anti-Muslim law.
Source: Pro Pakistani