–Shehbaz demands immediate NSC meeting to discuss anti-coronavirus measures
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and National Assembly (NA) Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif, after consultation with leaders of opposition parties on Tuesday, issued a joint declaration rejecting the creation of “Tiger Force” as a political stunt and called for the immediate setting up of a parliamentary monitoring committee to prevent usage of Corona Relief Fund for political purposes.
Shehbaz contacted Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) head Mahmud Khan Achakzai, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Shairpao and National Party (NP) head Hasil Khan Bazinjo.
In a joint charter of demands, the leaders called for the setting up of parliamentary oversight for the monitoring and just distribution of Corona Relief Fund. They demanded that a parliamentary monitoring committee be set up immediately to ensure transparency of how and where the goods and items in this regard are being procured from and where are they being used.
They also demanded that the criteria for disbursement of ration among the laborers and the deserving be clearly shared and followed and warned the government against using this money for its political gains.
The demanded that a meeting of the Coronavirus Parliamentary Senate Committee and Standing Committee on Health be called immediately and be briefed on the real on ground situation of the outbreak.
The opposition leaders demanded that coronavirus testing be made free at all hospitals and the scope of the testing be widened. Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) must be revived and operationalised with immediate effect, they demanded.
They once again renewed their call for the provision of protective gear to doctors, nurses and paramedics while additional ventilators must be provided without delay.
The leaders stressed that the awareness campaign be spread far and wide with all regional and national sources of information dissemination. A Disease Surveillance System is imperative and must be established while factual data be gathered and the truth be shared with the nation, they added.
They vehemently rejected the so-called “Tiger Force” and said that in the presence of the police and the already active Rangers, this step is mere political gimmickry, therefore, they said the nation’s money and resources must not be wasted on this and instead, the local government must be revived immediately to increase administrative force.
Meanwhile, the PML-N president also urged the government to immediately summon a meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, Shehbaz said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address on the coronavirus situation has raised several questions regarding important decisions taken by the NSC.”
“Hiding facts from the masses will create more problems for the federal and provincial administrations,” he added.