Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted on Thursday about his interaction with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates regarding the ongoing polio eradication campaign in the country. Khan spoke on the telephone with Gates, who serves as Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The two exchanged views on the ongoing anti-polio campaign and public health challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, a statement from the prime minister’s office said.
“The prime minister reaffirmed that polio eradication remained a key national priority for the government and earnest efforts were continuing to further intensify the anti-polio campaign across the country despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 crisis, in order to achieve a polio-free Pakistan," the statement said.
“Spoke with Bill Gates last night & thanked him for the help his Foundation provided for polio eradication in Pak. This time last yr we had 56 reported cases - this yr so far only 1 case. InshaAllah we will eradicate polio completely in coming yr (sic)," Khan tweeted.
Spoke with Bill Gates last night & thanked him for the help his Foundation provided for polio eradication in Pak. This time last yr we had 56 reported cases - this yr so far only 1 case. InshaAllah we will eradicate polio completely in coming yr.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 24, 2021
In another tweet, Khan informed that he asked Gates to set up a Microsoft incubation lab in Pakistan.
Also asked Bill if he could set up a Microsoft incubation lab in Pakistan.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 24, 2021
While netizens hailed Khan for his work on polio-free Pakistan, many others wondered if Gates really had a say in Microsoft.
For some context, Board members at Microsoft Corp. made a decision in 2020 that it wasn’t appropriate for its co-founder Bill Gates to continue sitting on its board as they investigated the billionaire’s prior romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal reported that board members looking into the matter hired a law firm in late 2019 to conduct an investigation after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship with Gates over several years. The Journal reported that Gates resigned before the board’s investigation was finished.
With Gates not on the Microsoft board anymore, could he fulfill Pak PM Khan’s wish?
Tho Bill Gates doesn't run Microsoft but he told PM Pakistan main aik banday ko janta hoon wo kar de ga apka kaam. Bill also said "hor koi khidmat saday laik". https://t.co/XCVfhOzZ0a— Naila Inayat (@nailainayat) June 24, 2021
This is interesting given the fact that Bill Gates has no formal role in Microsoft anymore. Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s Board in early 2020. https://t.co/tyulwN52xF
— Saad (@SaadGH) June 24, 2021
Meanwhile, Khan thanked the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation for the work done by his charitable foundation, especially in polio drives, promoting universal health services and combating infectious diseases.
Gates expressed his appreciation for the prime minister’s leadership in national causes, adding that while progress is encouraging, keeping up the momentum would help completely check the coronavirus transmission.
(With PTI inputs)