Platform was humanitarian, not political: MEA on Pakistan raising Kashmir during SAARC video-conference

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also said the emergency SAARC fund proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat coronavirus was operationalised.

Published: 19th March 2020 05:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2020 05:32 PM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a video conference with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders on chalking out a plan to combat the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus in New Delhi. (Photo | Twitter)


NEW DELHI: India slammed Pakistan on Thursday for raising Kashmir during a SAARC video-conference earlier this week, saying it was not a political platform, but a humanitarian one, and Islamabad "misused" it.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also said the emergency SAARC fund proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat coronavirus was operationalised and India had received requests from member countries for assistance.

"A crisis of this magnitude does not recognise borders. In this spirit, the prime minister had called the SAARC video-conference on coronavirus. The platform was not political, but humanitarian. They misused it," Kumar said on Pakistan raising Kashmir during the video-conference.

The MEA also said it was being planned to evacuate the next batch of Indians from Italy over the weekend.

"We have evacuated 590 people from Iran, where the situation is very severe. The Indians infected with coronavirus in Iran have been segregated and taken care of very well. We believe that they will recover and we will bring them back," Additional Secretary in the MEA Dammu Ravi said.

He also said the ministry was strengthening its COVID-19 control room.

"Right now, 25-30 people are working in the control room. They work in shifts. We are getting about 400 e-mails and 1,000 calls in a day," Ravi said.


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