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Pakistan to become hub for medical treatment, services in region: FM

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday said despite limited resources Pakistan was able to position itself as a hub for medical treatment and services in the region.

He said Pakistan handled the Covid-19 pandemic in a far better way than its neighbouring countries including India, the official news agency reported.

“Pakistan had low resources, but due to hard work by the professional medical teams, it managed the pandemic in a better way and earned international prestige,” Bilawal said while addressing the convocation ceremony of Fazaia Medical College.

He asked all the medical professionals and institutions in the country to keep upgrading their skills in the medical field.

Bilawal said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was ready to play its due role in facilitating international partnership in healthcare cooperation.

He said the export of high-end surgical and medical equipment and products of other avenues would enable Pakistan to qualify in the league of high-technology exporters and to this end, he also urged the country’s industry and academia to proactively strengthen their linkages.

Bilawal, who is also the Pakistan Peoples Party chairman, said that despite low resources, the Sindh government in particular had managed to build state-of-the-art international standard health institutes in the province that were providing free medical facilities to the general public.

In Gambat area of Khairpur district, he said, the provincial government had established an internationally recognised hospital where patients from across the country were availing free liver, kidney, bone marrow and lung transplant facilities.

Further, the FM said, the National Institute for Cardio-vascular Diseases in Karachi was also providing treatment of heart-related diseases free of charge.

He said in every district of Sindh, satellite healthcare centres had also been established to provide emergency treatment to heart patients and children. The minister said after the Covid pandemic, the government had also established the first-ever infectious disease hospital in Karachi where free treatment is being provided.

Congratulating the successful graduates, he asked them to support the government in their efforts to develop high-value services for the people.

With respect to the achievements of Pakistan on the international front, the minister said: “We have worked day and night towards the betterment of our relations with all the international partners.”

He said Pakistan’s foreign policy was guided by national interest, pragmatism and constructive engagements. “It is a matter of great satisfaction that despite enormous challenges faced by Pakistan on national, international and economic fronts, we have been able to advance foreign policy interests of Pakistan.”

The recent achievements on the diplomatic front, he said, include Pakistan’s exit from the FATF grey list and global recognition of Pakistan’s leadership at G77 in China.

“When we gathered at the international convention for climate resilient Pakistan, the entire international community stood shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan,” he added.

The recent SCO meeting in Goa, India was a testimony of Pakistan’s strong resolve to proactively pursue the country’s foreign policy interests, and traditional areas like national security, galvanising international support on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Bilawal said.

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