Amid coronavirus outbreak, Imran Khan begs world to write off Pakistan's loans

Agencies | Updated on: Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 04:12 PM IST

Imran Khan | AFP
Imran Khan | AFP

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked developed nations to ‘prepare to write off the debts’ of the world’s poorer countries.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Khan said that keeping the coronavirus pandemic in mind, the world has to think of a debt write-off for countries like Pakistan that are vulnerable.

He also called for lifting sanctions on Iran, which after China has the most number of recorded coronavirus cases in the world.

Pakistan on Monday witnessed a surge of 83 coronavirus cases, mostly in the Sindh province, bordering Iran, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the country to 136, an official said.

Most of the new cases were reported in the southern Sindh province where a government spokesman said the infected persons were among those who were shifted from Taftaan on Iran's border to Sindh.

The official said that Sindh was on the top of the list with 103 patients, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 15, Balochistan 10, Gilgit-Baltistan 5, Islamabad 2 and Punjab 1.

Sindh Health Minister Azra Fazal Pechuho said the provincial tally of coronavirus victims soared to 103. She said there were 76 confirmed cases in Sukkur, who all arrived from Taftan, 26 in Karachi and one in Hyderabad.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra said the first reported cases in the province came from Taftan on the border with Iran where they were kept in isolation before allowed to go to their areas.

Earlier, 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.

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Published on: Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 04:12 PM IST