Pakistan to receive 15m Covid-19 jabs under Covax by May: Qureshi

Pakistan to receive 15m Covid-19 jabs under Covax by May: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said that Pakistan will receive 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine under COVAX — a platform to ensure coronavirus shots reach those in greatest need — by May 2021.

Qureshi, who is on a two-day official visit to Germany, announced the development following his meeting with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

COVAX is led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and has promised to deliver two billion doses of safe and effective vaccines to at least 172 countries by the end of 2021.

“Following my meeting with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, I am happy to announce that Pakistan will receive 15 million doses of the #COVID vaccine under COVAX, with a commitment for these to be delivered by May,” FM Qureshi wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Earlier, addressing a joint news conference with his German counterpart, FM Qureshi said that Pakistan wanted to have more economic linkages with Germany for enhancement of bilateral trade and investment.

He apprised the German diplomat about the shift in Pakistan’s policy from geo-politics to geo-economics, the government’s focus on economic diplomacy and the new incentives being offered to investors.

Referring to the regional security situation, Shah Mahmood said India will have to take the first step to create an enabling and conducive environment for talks with Pakistan following the revocation of the special status of occupied Kashmir on August 5, 2019.

He said Pakistan wants to have peaceful relations with all the countries, including India, adding that all issues can be resolved through dialogue.

In addition, the top diplomat stated that the objectives of both Pakistan and Germany regarding Afghanistan are identical, wanting peace, stability and progress in the war-torn country.

FM Qureshi said his visit comes when Pakistan and Germany are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Both countries are planning to undertake a number of activities in this context.

The two countries have been collaborating closely on regional matters and at the multilateral fora. Germany is the largest trading partner of Pakistan in the EU and is also home to over 100,000 Pakistani diasporas.

The visit is expected to help enhance collaboration in various sectors and the scope of relations between the two countries. It is the first visit by any Pakistani foreign minister to the country since 2012.

Speaking on the occasion, the German foreign minister said the two sides held a constructive discussion on enhancing bilateral trade and investment. He said Pakistan is of great importance for Germany.

The German diplomat also said Pakistan has played great efforts for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. He said any situation in Afghanistan intensively influences Pakistan.