Pak Army chief, Bill Gates discuss polio, Covid


Islamabad, April 30 : Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates discussed Islamabad's commitment to polio eradication and the Covid-19 situation in the country in a telephone call, the military's media affairs wing said. In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Gates appreciated the army for supporting the country's polio drive and ensuring proper reach and coverage, Dawn news reported. The army chief responded that polio eradication was a national cause, adding that "credit goes to all involved in the process". Gates also appreciated Pakistan's success in combating the pandemic despite resource constraints. For his part, Bajwa attributed it to a "true national response" executed through the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). The COAS appreciated Gates' efforts towards polio eradication and the Covid response and assured the philanthropist of continued cooperation, according to the statement. Earlier this year, Gates had visited Pakistan for the first time and held meetings with the then-prime minister, the president and other national and provincial leaders. He had also attended a luncheon and a ceremony to confer on him one of the country's highest civil awards. President Arif Alvi had conferred the Hilal-i-Pakistan on Gates in recognition of his philanthropic services for humanity, eradication of polio and betterment of the people of Pakistan. /IANS


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