BEIJING, Feb 18 (APP):Pakistan Ambassador to China, Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi on Tuesday reiterated every possible support to China in its battle against novel coronavirus and expressed the confidence that China had the conviction, capacity and wherewithal to surmount this challenge with characteristic dignity and firm resolve.

“As a time-tested friend of China, the people of Pakistan stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters here. We will continue to extend every possible assistance and support to our friends in this challenging hour,” she said in an interview with People’s Daily.

Ambassador Hashmi said that China’s efforts were not only for China’s own benefit but were of direct consequence to the health and well-being of humanity as a whole.

She said that Pakistan was deeply aggrieved over the loss of precious lives in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak and added “In the face of this challenge, Pakistan believed the leadership, government and people of China had taken swift, decisive and effective measures to contain the outbreak and ensure the health and well-being of the citizens.”

She said : “The consensus in Pakistan is that, faced with such an unforeseen crisis, it would have been very difficult for anyone to have responded as effectively and quickly as China has. This should be acknowledged and supported.”

She remarked that China had shown great openness, transparency and willingness to cooperate with all parties to confront this novel coronavirus outbreak. The healthcare workers and local authorities at the forefront of epidemic control and prevention – including some expatriate Pakistani professionals in China – were humanity’s heroes, and should be acknowledged as such.

Ambassador Hashmi said that faced with this outbreak, Pakistan-China cooperation had been nothing short of exemplary, in the best traditions of the time-honored all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.

“At every turn, we have exchanged information and consulted closely to arrive at a rational, level-headed approach to outbreak prevention. Our shared goal is ensuring the safety and well-being of our peoples. No one should lose sight of that,” she added.

She said that Pakistan was happy to see that China had received considerable international recognition and moral and material support for efforts to contain the virus and develop appropriate remedies.

“I consider the facts: China is the world’s second largest economy, the single largest contributor to global economic growth, and the world’s foremost trading nation,” she said.
“While it is still quite early to assess the exact economic costs of the coronavirus epidemic,

I am certain that the disease will not alter these facts.”She said that China’s economic fundamentals were rock solid, and she believed that the epidemic would only be a temporary and relatively minor drag on China’s overall development. China’s economic
prospects were as bright as ever.

“We admire and support the precise and targeted support measures being taken by China to shield the most vulnerable segments of the population and the economy from the epidemic’s economic impact,” she said, adding China’s comprehensive approach to countering the epidemic had showcased the strengths of China’s system and capacity for governance.

Without a doubt, the tragic human cost of this disease outbreak was a source of immense grief for Pakistan. “At the same time, we look forward to the brave and united Chinese nation working as one to overcome this temporary setback; in the process writing a new chapter in the glorious story of China’s unstoppable march towards national rejuvenation,” she added.