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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi urged the Canadian government on Wednesday to reconsider its decision of suspending flights from Pakistan due to the Covid-19 situation in Canada.

On April 23, it was reported that the Canadian government would temporarily bar passenger flights from Pakistan and Indian for 30 days as part of stricter measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The centre-left Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted after prominent right-leaning politicians complained Ottawa had not done enough to combat the third wave of infections ripping through Canada.

The ban however does not affect cargo flights.

During a telephonic conversation with Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, FM Qureshi said that Pakistan and Canada had historically enjoyed a cordial relationship.

He also underlined the need to enhance the bilateral relations in political, economic, security and cultural fields for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

The Canadian counterpart briefed FM Qureshi regarding his government's decision to suspend flights to and from Pakistan in the wake of an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in Canada.

Qureshi further apprised his Canadian counterpart of the effective measures taken by Pakistan to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of the people.

He also offered condolences on the loss of precious lives in Canada due to the pandemic and extended good wishes to the Canadian government and people to combat the Covid-19 in a holistic manner.

FM Qureshi further appreciated the inclusion of Pakistan in the Students Direct Stream while expressing hope that it would help augment access of more students to the educational institutes of Canada.

The foreign further requested his Canadian counterpart to re-establish the Canadian visa processing centre in Islamabad following improvement in the law and order situation in Pakistan and thanked the Canadian government for positively revising the travel advisory for Pakistan.

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