LAHORE: PML-N President and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said Sunday Prime Minister Imran Khan would be held responsible if any casualties occurred in Gilgit-Baltistan due...
LAHORE: PML-N President and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said Sunday Prime Minister Imran Khan would be held responsible if any casualties occurred in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) due to delayed actions by him. He was chairing a video-link meeting of party members as well as GB Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider here. He urged the federal government to establish better coordination with provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK for a unified and swift testing for coronavirus. “Gilgit-Baltistan is one of the worst-hit areas of Pakistan, and the federal government must support the AJK and GB governments in the fight against the pandemic,” he added. He appreciated the measures taken by AJK and GB governments on war-footing to protect people from coronavirus, while still taking care of their economic wellbeing during these testing times.
“Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir informed me that he has turned new PM House, all officers’ clubs, hotels and rest houses into quarantine,” he said in a twitter message o Sunday. “Test laboratories have been set up with their own resources.”
Shahbaz criticised the federal government for delaying decisions. “Gilgit-Baltistan is in urgent need of the federal government’s attention, but it has lost a lot of time in over-thinking and reluctance,” he said.
He also relayed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s message for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, saying that Nawaz was concerned about the evolving situation in the provinces and expressed good wishes and prayed for the people of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
He urged the government to immediately fulfil demands of GB and AJK governments and provide them with ventilators, X-ray machines, protective gear and sanitisers. He demanded setting up of testing laboratories in Gilgit, Skardu and Diamir. “The federal government must double Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) quota of wheat for Gilgit-Baltistan,” he demanded.
AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said that despite financial constraint, his government spent Rs150 million and established testing laboratories in Kotli, Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot.
GB Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman said two batches of 500 Zaireen (pilgrims) from Taftan had been sent to Gilgit-Baltistan, whose screening had been completed and they had been kept in isolation centres. He said that the GB government had been providing free food packages to 25,000 households in most affected areas.