PM Khan talks to President Xi as Pakistani parents demand students' evacuation

Pakistan's Health Minister, Zafar Mirza (R), interacts with the mother of a Pakistani student, who is stuck in the locked down Hubei province at the center of China's coronavirus outbreak, as people demand evacuation of their children during a meeting in Islamabad on Feb. 19, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 20 February 2020

PM Khan talks to President Xi as Pakistani parents demand students' evacuation

  • Angry parents gave the government three day ultimatum to evacuate the students 
  • Around 1,100 Pakistani students are stranded in China with majority based in Wuhan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday spoke to President Xi Jinping about the spread of coronavirus, offering to assist the Chinese authorities in their fight against the deadly outbreak by sending them a field hospital.

According to an official statement released by the PM office, Khan had a telephone conversation with the Chinese president in which he “conveyed his heartfelt condolences over the precious lives lost due to the outbreak of the virus.”

The conversation took place a day after parents of Pakistani students in China gave a three-day ultimatum to the government to evacuate their loved ones from the coronavirus-hit country.

The death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 2,000 this week while it has infected more than 75,000 people, with over 1,000 cases outside mainland China.

According to the Pakistan authorities, no case of the virus has so far been confirmed in the county, though it shares a border with China.

During the conversation with Xi, Khan reiterated Pakistan’s offer to send “a field hospital along with a team of doctors to China to help Chinese people fight the virus,” the statement said.

The Chinese president expressed “gratitude for Pakistan’s support to China at a critical time and underscored that China was taking effective, swift and timely measures to battle coronavirus,” the statement continued.

Xi reaffirmed that China is treating “Pakistani students ‘as our own’ and will spare no effort in ensuring their safety, health, and well-being,” the statement read.

Around 1,100 Pakistani students have been stranded in Hubei province, with the majority based in Wuhan, since the lock down was enforced on Jan. 23. A total of 28,000 Pakistani students are enrolled in different Chinese universities, according to the foreign office.

Khan expressed “complete confidence” in the Chinese efforts to eliminate the virus.

Pakistani army chief, Saudi ambassador discuss regional security 

Updated 10 August 2020

Pakistani army chief, Saudi ambassador discuss regional security 

  • Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy calls on General Qamar Javed Bajwa
  • The two leaders discuss matters of mutual interest, bilateral defense relations 

ISLAMABAD: Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, called on Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday and discussed the security situation in the region, the military’s media wing said. 
“Matters of mutual interest, regional security situation and bilateral defense relations between the two brotherly countries were discussed during the meeting,” the Pakistani army said in a statement.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are longtime allies. Saudi Arabia remains the main source of Pakistan’s remittances despite global business shutdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic. The country has also loaned Pakistan billions of dollars in recent months to help stave off a balance of payments crisis, and offered oil on deferred payments.