The opposition parties in the National Assembly will hold a video conference today in view of the prevailing coronavirus situation in the country. The government, argue some opposition leaders, is lacking confidence and adequate understanding to take appropriate measures to deal with the existing and emerging situation in Pakistan.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly and #Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shahbaz Sharif offers services of hospitals run by Sharif Group to the Pakistan government to establish quarantine facilities for #coronavirus patients. https://t.co/bzliuJcL65
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) March 23, 2020
It is worth noting that the incumbent government remained unable to take concrete measures to fight against novel Coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan cited economic reasons to justify his policy to deal with Coronavirus challenge. The premier has said on several occasions that he is not going to impose ‘complete lockdown’ in the country. Pakistan’s economic crisis, said the premier, does not allow the government to impose lockdown or curfew.
Opposition parties urged the government to go for lockdown. “Every hour, every day that we delay is going to make dealing with the pandemic more difficult. Pakistan must move towards a lockdown,” tweeted PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday, as new cases of the novel coronavirus continued to emerge in different cities across the country.
Taking to Twitter, Bilawal called on the government for “decisive action ASAP” to mitigate the coronavirus crisis. “Pakistan must move towards a #lockdown. Every hour, every day that we delay is going to make dealing with the pandemic more difficult. We’re already late, should’ve done it earlier, need decisive action ASAP to mitigate this crisis now.
Highly appreciated the government and Bilawal Bhutto. I have never thought that opposition party's leader would be unit with our PM Imran Khan.Thanks to CoronaVirus for making us seeing such love and cooperation of all the parties.Yes!! Now, we can say this is our Pakistan 🇵🇰❤️ pic.twitter.com/qanpTEVJYD
— Uعzمa♡ (@uzmayy_248) March 19, 2020
“No province can handle this alone. We need the full force of the federal government to facilitate a lockdown, increase tests and assistance for those in need. While we hope for the best we must prepare for the worst.
At this rate our health system will be overwhelmed. We must learn from the experience of other countries. It’s a question of when not if. Stay at home now until the government makes up its mind. Stay at home to protect yourselves & others. 3/3
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) March 21, 2020
“At this rate our health system will be overwhelmed. We must learn from the experience of other countries. It’s a question of when not if. Stay at home now until the government makes up its mind. Stay at home to protect yourselves & others.”
Yesterday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, who returned to the country on Sunday after over 4-month of stay with his ailing brother Nawaz Sharif in London, had contacted leaders of other opposition parties including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and formally invited them to attend a video multi-party conference (MPC) on Tuesday (today).
According to PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb, besides Bilawal, Shehbaz also spoke to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali, Qaumi Watan Paty (QWP) chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and Pakhtun¬khwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai.
Besides these opposition leaders, Sharif also contacted the head of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) Sardar Akhtar Mengal, whose party is a part of the ruling coalition, headed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).“The objective of the meeting,” Aurangzeb said, “is to draw up a strategy and provide a guideline the government to tackle the virus.”
When asked why her party had not invited anyone from the government to show unity at such a critical time, she claimed, “If we invite the government, then the purpose of the MPC would be defeated.”
As of Tuesday, Pakistan’s virus tally stands at 879, with six reported deaths. Six patients have completely recovered in different parts of the country.