Friday December 01, 2023

QWP says govt yet to take practical steps to mitigate sufferings of people

By Bureau report
April 08, 2020

PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) provincial head Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao on Tuesday said the government had taken no practical steps to provide relief to deserving families to help them cope with the difficulties caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

He was speaking at a meeting of party leaders through a video link, said a press release. The QWP leaders, including Hashim Babar, Tariq Khan, Asad Afridi, Adnan Wazir, Hashim Raza Advocate, Shamsher Khan, Nasreen Khattak, Tania Gul, Neelum Bibi, Bacha Hussain Khan, Mufti Iftikhar, Qaiser Jamal Khan, Bakht Biland Khan, and others participated in the meeting through the video link. Sikandar Sherpao asked the government to set up more laboratories to conduct maximum tests of suspected coronavirus patients, fearing that the actual number of the affected people could be higher.

He also called for creating awareness among the family members of the coronavirus patients to prevent them from getting infected. He also urged the people to get tested. However, he maintained that social pressure was preventing the people from getting tested. Paying rich tributes to the medical fraternity for fighting the pandemic at the frontlines, he condemned the arrest and police baton-charge against the doctors protesting for personal protective equipment in Quetta. Rejecting the formation of ‘tiger force’, he believed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was looking to get political mileage from it and it was evident from the recent statement of the prime minister.

He suggested that the government should engage the polio workers, teachers, revenue staff for the distribution of the relief goods among the needy people and it could even revive the local government system. Asking the government to build consensus to coordinate efforts to contain the spread of the virus, he said that ignoring input from the opposition parties would damage the efforts being made to bring the situation under control.

The QWP leader said the government must avoid playing politics over this issue and come up with a tangible strategy to provide relief to the people particularly the ones belonging to the poor strata of the society. He asked the government to help mitigate the sufferings of the masses by lowering the prices of the petroleum products and fix the same at Rs60 per litre. He maintained that the provision of Rs3,000 per month announced by the government should be raised to Rs15,000 besides writing off the utility bills.

Sikandar Sherpao said that all segments of the society including traders, business community and the salaried-class, daily wagers and labourers have been hit hard as a result of the lockdown, therefore, the government should expedite its efforts to mitigate their sufferings. The QWP leader also announced that his party was going to hold an all-parties conference to which all the political parties would be invited to thrash out a strategy in order to help the government fight coronavirus pandemic besides identifying the gaps in its response to Covid-19 outbreak.

The meeting participants demanded the government to ensure the availability of the food items in Chitral and other far-flung areas and bring the rising prices under control.