–Imran says if the country goes into another lockdown, PDM will be responsible for it
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a series of tweets on Sunday, said that the careless actions of the opposition alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), can result in a second lockdown for the country, and would adversely affect people’s livelihoods.
“Opposition is callously destroying people’s lives & livelihoods in their desperation to get an NRO. Let me make it clear: they can hold a million jalsas but will not get any NRO,” he tweeted.
While the premier has been against going into lockdown, he felt that the actions of the PDM and their refusal to stop their rallies would result in faster spread of the novel coronavirus, and this in turn would leave the country with no choice but to go into lockdown.
“If [coronavirus] cases continue to rise at the rate we are seeing, we will be compelled to go into complete lockdown and the PDM will be responsible for [the] consequences,” he tweeted.
PM Imran said that another lockdown would be terrible to the economy, which declared was “showing signs of a robust recovery”. However, he added that should the PDM continue with its actions, the government would have no choice but to impose another lockdown.
At the moment, there are a number of smart micro-lockdowns taking place across the country, where those streets with more than eight cases reported are shut down. Similarly, wedding halls, large public gatherings, and indoor events have been banned as per the official orders of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
On Friday, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government had refused to grant permission for a public meeting planned by the PDM due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.
In response to the notification, the PDM had refused to back down and claimed that this is a ploy by the ruling party to prevent the rallies from taking place.
Ikhtiar Wali, the spokesperson of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) KP chapter, had insisted that the coalition would go ahead with the rally.
Speaking to media persons on Friday, the spokesperson had said that the premier had held a rally in Swat a week ago and that the KP chief minister had held a large public gathering two days ago.
“Who did they ask for permission? And who granted them permission? So if there is no rule for the ruling party, then why is [there one] for us?” he had asked.
Separately, referring to the government as ‘Covid-18’, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz had rejected the government’s demands to postpone jalsas and public gatherings as coronavirus cases rise across the country.
“While a mask gives you protection from COVID-19, ‘Vote ko izzat do’ narrative & struggle will protect you from ‘Covid-18’ & all such future attempts, Insha’Allah. Protect yourself, protect your vote,” she wrote on Twitter.
It is pertinent to mention that on last Monday, PM Imran had urged the nation to strictly adhere to the health guidelines to curtail the transmission of the contagion disease and announced new restrictions on public events, including the suspension of his party’s political rallies.
“We have cancelled our jalsas and will ask other [parties] to do the same because that is one place where the virus spreads rapidly,” he said, adding that the recent campaigns in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) seem to have resulted in a rise in the number of cases.
“This is the time to take precautions. If we do [adopt restrictions], we can slow down the virus. Just like earlier we were saved due to following precautions, that time has come again,” the prime minister had said in a televised address.