Bill Gates meets PM Imran Khan during first-ever Pakistan visit

ISLAMABAD: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates called on Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday during his first-ever visit to the country and discussed matters related to polio eradication and other important issues.

Gates, who is visiting Pakistan on a day-long trip, held meetings with senior government officials, including a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to a statement issued by the PM Office.

The Microsoft co-founder attended a meeting of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication, where he noted that despite COVID-19 restrictions, Pakistan’s has performed “amazingly” in eradicating polio.

He thanked the prime minister for inviting him and extending warm hospitality on his first-ever visit. He appreciated the efforts of the leadership, health workers, and parents for working tirelessly to ensure that polio never paralyses a child again.

During the meeting, PM Imran Khan thanked the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its continued support and partnership with the Government of Pakistan in polio eradication.

He told Gates that his government is fully committed and determined towards polio eradication.

PM Imran Khan asserted that Afghanistan, being the primary source of polio incidence in Pakistan’s two bordering provinces, requires urgent international support to avert humanitarian crisis.

“Pakistan is providing full support for the sake of 40 million Afghan people in need of basic amenities,” the prime minister informed the philanthropist.

In the meeting, the prime minister also directed deputy commissioners of the districts adjoining Afghanistan borders, particularly the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to remain vigilant and proactive against contamination of poliovirus.

“The task force paid tributes to the 36 frontline workers and 14 law enforcement personnel who lost their lives during polio vaccination to the children across the country,” the statement from the PM Office said.

Gates visits NCOC

The Microsoft co-founder also visited the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) where he met Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar and other senior health officials.

In a statement issued by the national COVID-19 body, Gates along with his delegation attended the morning session where they were apprised about NCOC’s role and methodology, achievements since the start of the pandemic, the recent COVID -19 situation across Pakistan and various protocols placed by the government to control disease spread and ensure public safety and well being.

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