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April 25, 2020

No official Iftar party to be held in Sindh, says info minister

Karachi

April 25, 2020

Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said no official Iftar party will be held during Ramazan this year in the province due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a handout issued on Friday, he said politicians belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party would also not arrange any Iftar party. He said the entire focus of the Sindh government during this Ramadan would be on protecting the lives of the people from the coronavirus pandemic.

Shah said Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had instructed that politicians who used to organise Iftar parties should spend the same money on purchasing ration and distribute it among people who had been affected severely by the lockdown.

After the directives of the party chairman, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had also confirmed that no Iftar party would be held at the official level this year in the province during Ramazan.

The information minister said all the ministers as well as the members of the PPP in the provincial assembly would distribute rations to people in their constituencies during Ramazan and would help the people affected by the lockdown.

Commenting on the closure of mosques as well as on Taraweeh prayers during Ramazan, he said that it was wrong to give the impression that the Sindh government talked about closing down the mosques or the coronavirus had been spreading from the mosques.

This was not the case at all, he said, adding that the government was requesting the Ulema to close the mosques for congregational prayers and ask the people to offer prayers at home during this Ramazan as a precautionary measure.

The information minister added that because medical experts believed that there was a high risk of spreading of the coronavirus wherever there was a gathering, religious scholars were repeatedly being requested by the government to take precautionary measures and ask the people to offer prayers at home.

“We have the realisation that it is very difficult for us to create a consensus in this regard, especially when it is the month of Ramazan, but we still humbly request our respected clerics and religious scholars to follow the government’s health advisory and tell the people to offer prayers at home during this Ramazan,” he said. He hoped that just as the religious scholars had helped the Sindh government before Ramazan and told the people to offer prayers at home, including the Friday prayers, they would help it again during this holy month too.

He clarified that the Sindh government had no differences with the federal government, and it wanted to coordinate and cooperate with the federal government during the fight against the pandemic, but when federal ministers and federal spokespersons made statements against the Sindh government, only then did they respond, and even then the spokespersons of the Sindh government tried utmost not to create any controversy.