Pakistan has called for finalising the modalities for using the SAARC Covid-19 Emergency Fund and for placing it under the secretary-general of the South Asian grouping, reports Hindustan Times.
The development comes even as Pakistan is the only SAARC member state that has not contributed to the Fund, which was created with an initial contribution of $10 million from India following a video conference of SAARC leaders on the Covid-19 pandemic that was called by Prime Minister Modi on 15 March.
According to the report, during the telephonic conversation with his Bangladeshi counterpart on Tuesday (24 March), Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the fund should be placed under the secretary-general of the grouping.
“Discussing the need to share resources, it was underlined that SAARC Covid-19 emergency fund should be placed under the secretary-general of SAARC and the modalities for its utilization should be finalized through consultations at the earliest,” said a statement by Pakistani foreign office.
Currently, veteran Sri Lankan diplomat Esala Ruwan Weerakoon is the secretary-general of the SAARC.
Earlier on 15 March, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was the only head of government who opted out of the SAARC video conference. Pakistan was represented by its de facto health minister, who raked up Kashmir issue during the meeting.