Chinese and Pakistan government to help India in this covid crisis



Source - The telegraph

The Chinese government and the Pakistan-based world’s largest ambulance network, the Edhi Foundation, have offered to help India in this covid crisis. The external affairs ministry had not responded to either offer for hours. The two proposals, strategic experts pointed out, are in stark contrast to the silence of the US to the crisis in India and also its refusal to ease restrictions on the export of raw materials needed for the production of vaccines. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “The Chinese government and people firmly support the Indian government and people in fighting the coronavirus. China is ready to provide support and help accord to India’s need, and is in communication with the Indian side on this. We believe that the Indian people will defeat the virus at an early date.” The chairperson of the Edhi Foundation, Faisal Edhi, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi complaining about the “exceptionally heavy impact” that the pandemic has had on India and offering 50 staffed ambulances. He has offered to lead the humanitarian effort. In the letter he wrote, “Our organisation understands the gravity of the situation, and we wish to lend you our full support, with no inconvenience to you, which is why we will arrange all the supplies that our team needs to assist the people of India. Importantly, we are not requesting any other help from you, as we are providing the fuel, food and other necessary amenities that our team will require. Our team comprises emergency medical technicians, office staff, drivers, and supporting staff.” Edhi added, “We will deploy our team into any critical areas of concern at your direction without hesitation.” Michael Kugelman, South Asia senior associate at the Washington-based Wilson Center tweeted, “Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation, founded by the late great Abdul Sattar Edhi, has done what most of the world’s richest governments have declined to do: Extend an offer of help to an Indian nation deeply in need. This is the example that must be set, and that the world must see.” Happymon Jacob, a professor at JNU, tweeted, “The US refuses to help India with vaccine raw materials when the latter faces its worst humanitarian crisis! With friends like this, who needs enemies?!.” Responding to a question on when the Joe Biden administration will reply to Indian requests to ease the restrictions on the export of raw materials needed for making vaccines. A US state department spokesperson said on Thursday: “The United States foremost is engaged in an ambitious... effort to vaccinate the American people. That campaign is well underway, and we’re doing that for a couple of reasons.” He also said, “Number one, we have a special responsibility to the American people. Number two, the American people, this country has been hit harder than any other country around the world — over 550,000 deaths, tens of millions of infections alone... It’s, of course, not only in our interest to see Americans vaccinated; it’s in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated. He added, “The point the secretary has made repeatedly is that as long as the virus is spreading anywhere, it is a threat to people everywhere. So as long as the virus is spreading uncontrolled, it can mutate and it can travel beyond our borders. That poses a threat well beyond the United States.”

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