'The decisions made yesterday, especially those pertaining to industries and transport, need to be reviewed,' he says
The Sindh government's move to ease coronavirus restrictions are appreciable, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said Saturday.
However, the federal minister said they were not enough and a further relaxation in the imposed restrictions was needed.
The minister, in a series of tweets, wrote: "The decisions made yesterday, especially those pertaining to industries and transport, need to be reviewed. We put forth our point of view yesterday, as well as today, based on which a partial amendment has been announced, which is a welcome sign. But further amendments are needed.
The minister was referring to the Sindh government's announcement of a nine-day lockdown after COVID-19 cases surged in the province, which later saw amendments made to the initial order to facilitate people.
Umar said Pakistan's strategy — of smart lockdowns — which protect both people's health and employment was "praised across the world".
"Such decisions were made after minutely reviewing ground realities," he said.
"These decisions are taken via a platform where there is a presence of all federal, civil, military, and provincial institutions," the federal minister said.
The NCOC chief said after a year's performance, there should be no doubt that the forum operates "with no political bias" and takes decisions that are in the best interest of the nation.
The federal minister reminded everyone that the NCOC makes decisions after consultations with provinces it is due to this that the country was able to beat three COVID-19 waves.
"If every province would have relied on its own resources and made decisions without consultations, then this could not have been possible," he said, indicating that without teamwork, it is impossible to beat COVID-19.
The federal minister hoped the Sindh government would further consult NCOC on its decisions in a meeting tomorrow, following which a strategy that could protect both the citizens' health and their jobs would emerge.