KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah on Friday said that that it was extremely regrettable that on one hand the Sindh government was striving to protect its people from the coronavirus, and on the other hand this serious problem was constantly being politicised by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He said that the prime minister was yet to get out of the politics of container. He said that the premier appeared on TV on a daily basis, and through a political statement, politicised the coronavirus pandemic.
Shah also apologised to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari because according to him he had forbidden all the party members from making such statements, but he added that, what should he do when the prime minister was constantly politicising serious issues. He said that all the decisions, whether it was about the suspension of the train service or the suspension of the airlines operation or the closure of mosques, came from the federal government, but unfortunately the PM Imran did not own any of the decision, which according to him could make a difference.
He said that it was a matter of great regret that the prime minister was doing politics for “cheap fame”, so that people would praise him and say, “look, how the premier was taking so much care of the laborers, daily wagers and the other poor segment of the society”.
He asked whether PM Imran had a plan to handle a full-blown coronavirus crisis in Pakistan, considering the condition of healthcare system and the shortage of medical equipment in the country.
He said that it was deeply regrettable that on one hand the country was facing such a dangerous pandemic, while on the other, the Sindh government and its chief minister were being mocked. He also said that because the federal government was not capable of handling the situation well, therefore, their ministers were constantly mocking the provincial government and its ministers. Shah also said that the sole purpose of the Sindh government’s actions so far was to protect its people from getting affected by coronavirus.
The minister also thanked the people of the province for strictly following the health advisory of the Sindh government as they stayed in their homes from 12 pm to 3 pm on Friday. He added that that if people continued to cooperate like this then they could effectively rid themselves of the coronavirus crisis.
Shah further said that if the lockdown was to be softened after April 14, then the first priority would be given to mosques and other places of worship. He said that even if mosques were opened, the elders and children would still be requested to pray at their homes.
Shah said that although suspending congregational Friday prayers and other religious gatherings was a very difficult decision, but the Sindh government took these undesirable and difficult decisions just for the safety of the public. “Maintaining social distance and staying at home are two ways through which we can protect ourselves from being infected with coronavirus,” he added.
Shah said that since the country is going through a very difficult time, the people should not only follow the law completely, but they should also abide by the health advisory the government was issuing from time to time. The information minister said that the Sindh government had only one objective right now, and that was to save the lives of its people. “In this hour of difficulty, we have not forgotten the needy people, or the people who are suffering due to the lockdown, and all the essential food items are continuously being provided to them with the support of welfare organisations,” he said.
Shah thanked all the clerics and religious scholars as well as all the security agencies for their cooperation with the provincial government in this difficult time.
He also expressed deep grief and sorrow over the death of Syed Mehdi Shah, the brother-in-law of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, and conveyed his condolences to the chief minister and the family members of the deceased.