Pakistani ambassador calls for deeper Pakistan-China relations

Ms. Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, the Pakistani ambassador to China, stressed the need to deepen the ironclad China-Pakistan friendship and called for greater international coordination and cooperation in the face of COVID-19. April 8, 2020
By Lin Liyao

Pakistani Ambassador to China, Ms. Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi. [Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing]

Pakistan and China are "iron brothers" who have always stood by each other in their hour of need, said Ms. Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, Pakistani ambassador to China, in an exclusive interview with

COVID-19 has emerged as the most formidable challenge for mankind in recent times. As of 10:30 a.m. Beijing Time on April 8, Pakistan had registered 4,035 confirmed cases, with 57 deaths, as shown by an interactive map from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

According to the ambassador, Pakistan has taken stringent disease prevention and control steps in response to this daunting crisis, including the closure of educational institutions, nationwide restrictions on mass gatherings, a suspension of international flight operations and aggressive enforcement of social-distancing measures.

"Like many countries in the grip of COVID-19, Pakistan is facing many challenges to effectively curb and eliminate this epidemic," explained the ambassador. "And due to the lockdown, travel restrictions and a looming global recession, the country is also preparing itself to absorb ensuing economic shocks."

Pakistani, Chinese peoples harbor brotherly sentiments

A friend in need is a friend indeed. In the early phase of the viral epidemic in China, Pakistan extended its utmost material and moral support to the Chinese people. 

"The Pakistani government sent all their stocks of face masks from the country's hospitals to China," said Ma Zhaoxu, vice minister of foreign affairs, during a press conference on March 5 organized by the State Council Information Office (SCIO).

Now, as China has essentially contained the outbreak domestically, the Chinese government and people have reciprocated in kind. 

According to the ambassador, China dispatched a special aircraft to Pakistan with a team of medical professionals and relief aid to help fight the epidemic. Pakistan has been the major recipient of an overwhelming volume of essential equipment including testing kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment, infrared scanners and face masks, which have come from official channels, the corporate sector and Chinese individuals. 

"China is also extending support to Pakistan to help build a hospital against COVID-19," stated the ambassador. "During the visit of Pakistani President Arif Alvi to China on March 16-17, both countries also signed Letters of Exchange to enhance Pakistan's capability to fight the epidemic."

"This important help and assistance, indeed, is an emblem of strong brotherly sentiments that people of the two countries harbor for each other. We are grateful to the Chinese people for the warms sentiments and support they have showered upon Pakistan," the ambassador said.

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