We do not want to damage our economy by imposing a lockdown, Imran says while responding to live calls from Pakistanis.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday criticised the partial coronavirus lockdown imposed by the Sindh government against the Centre’s wishes, explaining that doing so would break the back of the common man.
The premier expressed his views on the issue while conversing with the people of Pakistan in a live programme “Aapka Wazir-e-Azam Aap Kai Sath” question-and-answer session via telephone, which was telecast by all TV channels.
Imran Khan began the session by thanking the people of Pakistan for co-operating with the government over the first three waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged them to again adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of the ongoing fourth wave.
He then addressed the government of Sindh's decision to impose a partial lockdown to curb rising COVID-19 cases, saying it hadn't taken into consideration the hardships of the poor. "We had a small problem between the federal government and Sindh," he admitted.
"The Sindh government wanted to impose a lockdown, which is the correct decision and will curb the spread of the virus. But on the other hand, the thing to see is that will we be able to save the economy from the lockdown? Then there is the issue of hunger ... the daily wage earners and especially the poor section of our society ... how will they make ends meet during the lockdown?"
Imran cited the example of "destruction in India" to tell the Sindh government "never to impose a lockdown until you have the answers to these questions."
"Their (Indian) government imposed a lockdown at once without thinking anything of the public. They only thought of the upper class and elite like us," the premier said.
"The Sindh government should know that when you force a lockdown you are going to keep people hungry. You cannot keep hungry people under a lockdown if you do not have the resources to bring them food."
The prime minister said that the policy of smart lockdowns and mass vaccinations was the way to go, as he stressed that the economy that has "survived very difficult times and is headed on an upwards trajectory" should not be hurt at any cost.
The prime minister said he was not imposing a lockdown for now but that he would close down cities if Pakistan started facing a situation line in neighbouring India,
Prime Minister Imran said those who were deprived of their jobs by the lockdown should visit the website and register themselves. He said those who want to get themselves registered will have to provide evidence of the organisation they were enlisted to work before losing jobs.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday defended his government's response to the coronavirus crisis, saying there has been no confusion or contradiction in his policies since the start of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Imran Khan says the last two years of his life were the toughest, despite having struggled all his life, as Pakistan was facing challenges from all fronts.
“My entire life has been a struggle,” he told Dunya TV channel.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill held a fiery media conference in which he lashed out at Shirazi for criticising the government’s economic policies in her article.
Sheikh Mohammed exchanged cordial conversations with Simonyte about the bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to advance economic relations towards a new stage that achieves the interests of the two countries and their development aspirations in various fields of common interest, foremost of which are the sectors of advanced technology, innovation, and renewable energy.
This was announced by the Seismology Department of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), which monitors earthquake activities in the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied during the visit by his sons, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, and Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.