National Assembly commenced on Wednesday the second sitting. Lawmakers addressing the policy to combat the health crisis being faced by the country.
While addressing the floor, Federal Minister of Education Shafqat Mehmood expressed great regret that lawmakers consistently busing in criticizing government despite of looking a united way to defeat the novel coronavirus. Shafqat Mehmood said that the opposition lawmakers should “thank God” that Pakistan’s condition is not as bad as European countries, where thousands have died.
He further said that while the government has shut down marriage halls, transport, schools etc., a blanket lockdown will have a devastating effect on lower-income people. Mehmood dismissed claims that the federal did not help provinces, by saying that the 18th Amendment has granted autonomy to provinces.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Addressing the floor, former prime minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan asked government to state its strategy regarding the ongoing pandemic. The former premier said that in situations like these, governments first need to promote awareness in the nation. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said foreign minister’s claims that 20,000 tests conducted in Pakistan, however only 11,848 tests conducted the previous day. “We have a 19 per cent infection rate,” he told the lower house. Furthermore He added that the total number of tests included those that were conducted randomly.
“No country in the world has allowed this. Do you know that every person who comes to this House has to get tested?” he said. “Who is responsible [for this] in this country?” asked Abbasi. In addition to this He also raised questions over the lock down policy implemented in the country, saying that initially, the government said it will not impose a lockdown. Moreover Shahid Khaqan Abbasi criticized the government for not consulting the parliament on developing a strategy to cope with the health crisis.
Raja Pervez Ashraf
Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in his address said that the government has failed address the challenge. The PPP leader said that New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was the only leader in the world who had taken timely steps to curb the spread of the virus and took the nation into confidence while formulating a strategy. Raja Pervez Ashraf criticized the lack of acknowledgment afforded to the Sindh government for the measures it took to cope with the crisis. Instead, the federal government sent two ministers to abuse the Sindh government.