Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif forewarned the world leaders of never having global peace until there was a judicious formula for the distribution of resources.
“If North is progressing, we are happy because we look forward to having their experience and implementing their experience in our country,” he told a session at the Parris summit on Thursday.
“It must be remembered that if south is in trouble the world can’t move ahead. We are like one body and if one limb of the body is in trouble it is painful for the rest of the body as well.”
The prime minister said last year, Pakistan faced devastating floods due to climate change. At least 33 million people were affected, millions of acres of standing crops were washed away, 1700 people including children died and half a million animals were drowned, he added.
Two million houses were either completely demolished or partially damaged, he told adding people of Pakistan bravely faced the devastating impacts of the floods.
He claimed that his government had to spend hundreds of millions of dollars from its own scarce resources to give financial assistance to flood affectees all over the country.
“We are very grateful to friendly countries across the globe for the valuable and timely contribution,” he added.
He said the international financial institutions agreed to give loans to help millions of people, but it would have burdened Pakistan, further exacerbating the already precarious financial situation.
Shehbaz said he took the United Nations secretary general to the flood affected areas where city after city was sunk. Thousands of women gave birth to children in the camps set up for the flood affectees, he recalled adding in far-flung areas, the government had to provide food, medicine, water and education at temporary camps.
He said the people of Pakistan faced crises and problems in the past courageously and they would also overcome the adverse effects of the floods.
He urged the world to come forward to generously provide opportunity and assistance through a mechanism which satisfied the most vulnerable having the bare minimum. “It will create harmony in terms of economic justice and fairness. It is never too late to say no to injustice.”
He appreciated French President Emmanuel Macron for organising the summit to discuss the very important subject related to financing issues of humanity.
PM Shehbaz meets world leaders
PM Shehbaz met with Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad bin Salman on the sidelines of the summit.
Besides discussing matters relating to mutual interests, the two leaders agreed to further expand the shared actions to promote bilateral cooperation in diverse areas.
PM Shehbaz expressed his best wishes for the Saudi crown prince. Prince Muhammad bin Salman also expressed his goodwill for the Pakistani government and its people.
Moreover, the premier met with US Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, French President Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Meeting with IMF MD
Earlier in the day, PM Shehbaz met with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Paris on Thursday, in yet another attempt to unlock funding from the money lender.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the New Global Financing Pact Summit in Paris.
Reports said that Shehbaz told Georgieva that Pakistan had fulfilled all the requirements set by the IMF for the remaining part of the bailout tranche to be released. He also assured Georgieva that Pakistan would fulfill its commitments to the program once the funds were released.
Shehbaz also said that he hoped that the remaining $1.1 billion would be released soon as it would help stabilise the economy and provide relief to the public.
The IMF funding is critical to unlock other bilateral and multilateral financing.
Islamabad has expressed its frustration over the delay. It argues it has met all the painful fiscal measures the lender requested.
The IMF, however, still has concerns over Pakistan’s external financing gap, foreign exchange market operations, and the budget presented earlier this month which it said violated the programme’s objective.
Pakistan has defended the budget but at the same time offered to review it in any further talks with the IMF.
PM attends New Global Financing Pact session
PM Shehbaz joined the world leaders here at the inaugural session of the summit for the New Global Financing Pact.
French President Emmanuel Macron was chairing the Summit which is being attended by over 50 heads of states.
As a leading stakeholder in G-77 plus China grouping and also as a country adversely hit by climate change threat, Pakistan is better positioned for this role.
The two-day summit will conclude on June 23 (Friday).
The PM arrived here on Wednesday on an official visit to attend the Summit, at the invitation of the French President. The prime minister was warmly received by Pakistan’s ambassador in France and diplomatic officials, besides senior French government authorities.
During the visit, the prime minister will also hold bilateral meetings with different heads of state.
(With input from APP)