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Pakistan

Web Desk
June 3, 2020

Coronavirus takes lives of two more lawmakers in Pakistan

Pakistan

Web Desk
Wed, Jun 03, 2020
PTI MPA Mian Jamsheduddin Kakakhel from Nowshera (left) and PML-N MPA Shaukat Cheema from Gujranwala (right). — Photos courtesy Twitter/Punjab Assembly websit

Two provincial assembly lawmakers, one each from  Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, died after contracting coronavirus on Wednesday.

PTI MPA Mian Jamsheduddin Kakakhel from Nowshera and PML-N MPA Shaukat Manzoor Cheema from Gujranwala both passed away after being on ventilator for a few days.

Kakakhel's funeral prayers will be offered at 6pm in Nowshera.

According to Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shahid Ali Khan, Kakakhel had tested positive for coronavirus 10 days ago.

"Mian Jamsheduddin was on ventilator for the last three days and passed away this morning," Khan said.

"Mian Jamsheduddin's son Mian Omar has recovered from coronavirus while other family members have tested negative for it," he added.

According to Radio Pakistan, the 65-year-old was hospitalised in Islamabad's Kalsoom Hospital.

In 2013, Kakakhel was elected a member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on a PTI ticket and became the Provincial Minister for Excise and Taxation.

In the 2018 elections, he was elected from the constituency of PK-63 Nowshera on a PTI ticket once more.

Meanwhile, Cheema, a member of the Punjab Assembly, had been admitted to the Pakistan Kidney And Liver Institute (PKLI) after contracting the virus. He had been on a ventilator since Eid, according to hospital officials.

He also suffered from heart ailments, said the officials.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif expressing grief over the demise of Cheema said that his death has left the party traumatised and that he was a valuable asset to the party whose services can never be forgotten.

Sharif also extended his condolences to the family and loved ones of Manzoor.

In addition, Punjab government spokesperson Musarrat Cheema extended condolences over Cheema's death.

"May Allah give strength to his family and may his soul rest in Peace. I request everyone to follow safety guidelines. This is a real threat," she added.

Separately, two more MPA's from KP — where 11,373 people have been infected and 500 COVID-19 related deaths have taken place — tested positive for the virus.

Awami National Party's MPA's in KP Faisal Zeb Khan and Salahuddin Khan contracted coronavirus, according to the party's twitter post.

"ANP Members Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly @FaisalZebKhan2 and Salahuddin Khan have tested positive for #COVIDー19 . Praying for their speedy recovery," it read.

Three lawmakers succumb to COVID-19

Earlier, at least three lawmakers had lost their lives to coronavirus, including one each from PTI, PPP, and Jamiat Ulema-E-Islam (F).

The first lawmaker, in Pakistan, to lose her life to the virus was PTI's Punjab Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA), Shaheen Raza.

According to Mayo Hospital CEO Dr Asad Aslam, Raza had tested positive for coronavirus and was then admitted to the hospital.

Furthermore, on June 2, Sindh Minister for Human Settlement Haji Ghulam Murtaza Baloch passed away after battling coronavirus.

He had contracted the virus during relief activities in his hometown on May 14 and requested prayers for a speedy recovery.

In addition, on May 20, former Balochistan governor Syed Fazal Agha also died after contracting coronavirus at a private hospital in Karachi.

Agha was JUI-F's Balochistan MPA. He served as the province's governor during Nawaz Sharif's last tenure.

Chaudhry blames parliament session for increasing infections

Earlier in the day, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had claimed that the coronavirus started infecting the country's lawmakers shortly after the in-person sessions of the parliament.

“Within a week, the coronavirus claimed lives of four parliament members including a provincial minister,” said the federal minister.

He said that currently, 18 lawmakers are still fighting against the virus.

Chaudhry said that instead of calling a direct session or summoning one at hotels, virtual sessions should be held of the parliament.