Monday , February 17 2020

Pak ignores criticism over not evacuating students amid virus

Bloomberg

Pakistan’s government ignored criticism over the delay in evacuating its students from China and its lawmakers found unanimity in an otherwise divided parliament to praise its key economic partner and ally Beijing’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The nation’s parliament unanimously adopted a resolution appreciating “the leadership of President Xi Jinping, who is a great friend of Pakistan, in strongly leading what will be a very successful operation to combat, contain and finally eliminate the coronavirus.” The move comes a week after Zafar Mirza, a special assistant to PM Imran Khan on health, said that Pakistani students in China won’t be evacuated in the “best interest of the region.”
While Pakistan’s conciliatory attitude is driven by Islamabad’s increased economic dependence on Beijing, which was the country’s biggest source of foreign loans and investment last year, the stranded students and their relatives have been increasingly vocal in their criticism of the government’s delaying evacuation.

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