By raising Kashmir during SAARC video conference on COVID-19, Pakistan has shown its insensitivity towards the issue of humanitarian concern

The bizarre move of Pakistan to raise Kashmir issue during the SAARC video conference on the Coronavirus situation was condemned by people familiar with the development.

“Pakistan can’t stoop lower than this. During a humongous humanitarian crisis, it sends a junior minister for SAARC meeting of heads of state. Then, raises Kashmir issue in the meeting out of nowhere. Pity,” noted Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in his tweet.

Special Assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, represented his country in the video conference of SAARC leaders, organized at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion. Instead of taking about the way to fight Coronavirus, he raised the Kashmir issue. He was seen politicizing a humanitarian issue at the time when all SAARC member countries were making an effort to deal with the deadly virus which has so far killed over 5,000 people across the world.

In his 90-minute remarks during the video conferencing, Mirza said Pakistan hoped SAARC members would “provide access to emergency assistance to all our regions in our countries.”

Imran Khan was the only head of government of the South Asian region who didn’t join the conference. Although Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, despite being discharged from hospital after a surgery a day before video conference, had agreed to participate in the event and made notable suggestions.

To the disappointment of international watchers, the Pakistani representative at the video conference was the only speaker who didn’t acknowledge India’s effort to organize the conference to foster regional cooperation to fight the virus.

But there were leaders like Nepal Prime Minister Oli and Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina who underlined the importance of SAARC in playing a greater role in fighting with Coronavirus outbreak.