Wednesday, April 22, 2020
ISLAMABAD: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday assured Prime Minister Imran Khan of the United States' economic help to Pakistan and provision of ventilators to deal with the coronavirus pandemic
President Trump thanked PM Imran for his telephonic call and appreciated Pakistan's efforts against the coronavirus. "After hearing about the prime minister getting tested for the virus, he offered to send the latest rapid testing machine for coronavirus to PM Imran," stated Radio Pakistan.
The two leaders discussed "COVID-19 pandemic related challenges, its implications on the global economy, and ways to mitigate its impact" during a telephonic conversation.
PM Imran expressed sorrow over the loss of lives due to the coronavirus in the US and at the same time, informed Trump about the measures being taken by Pakistan to contain the spread of the virus.
He informed the American president that Pakistan was faced with "a dual challenge of overcoming the pandemic and saving people, particularly the most vulnerable segments of the population, from hunger due to lockdown".
PM Imran took the opportunity to thank Trump for his support to Pakistan at the International Monetary Fund and other forums, saying that the funds will enable Pakistan to have fiscal space to deal with the pandemic.
The Afghan Reconciliation Process also came under discussion in the conversation. The prime minister informed Trump that Pakistan wanted a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, emphasising the importance of a "political settlement".
"The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan's support for facilitation of the Afghan peace process and underscored the importance of next steps leading to the earliest commencement of Intra-Afghan negotiations," said Radio Pakistan.
The telephonic conversation between the two leaders took place at a time when the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus crossed the 10,500 mark in Pakistan.
As of April 22, 2020, Pakistan reported 10,503 cases of the infection and 222 fatalities. Officials have recorded more than 2.5 million cases and more than 177,000 deaths since the virus emerged in China in December.
The virus, which spread from the wet markets in Wuhan, China, has infected people in 210 countries. Globally, the virus has caused a setback to economies as trade sectors and industries are forced to scale back activities to contain the infection from spreading.
The situation is grim in the United States, where more than 831,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed and more than 46,000 have died. President Trump has been accused by the media and critics alike of not taking the virus seriously, which according to most experts, has reached its peak in the US.