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May 29, 2020

Govt has no strategy to combat corona: QWP leader

Peshawar

May 29, 2020

PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) provincial head Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao on Thursday said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had failed to come up with a proper strategy to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

He was speaking at a meeting of provincial office-bearers of the party through the video link. QWP leaders including Hashim Babar, Asad Afridi, Tariq Ahmad Khan, Fazal Panyala, Prof Hameedur Rahman, Shamsher Khan, Iftikhar Zaida, Dr Alam Yousafzai, Amanullah Khan, Tania Gul and Eng Yousaf Zaman attended the meeting. Sikandar Sherpao said the number of the Covid-19 cases was increasing day by day, but the government lacked the ability to bring the situation under control. He said the incompetent rulers were merely issuing statements and were taking no practical steps to provide relief to the people in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. Paying rich tribute to the doctors and the paramedics, he said they were the real heroes fighting the coronavirus pandemic on the frontlines, but the government was yet to provide them the personal protection equipment to prevent them from getting infected.

Sikandar Sherpao urged the government to freeze the Annual Development Plan and divert all the funds to the health sector to better fight the coronavirus pandemic. The government should adopt austerity measures to spare funds to equip the hospitals so that Covid-19 patients could be better served, he added. He also expressed concern over the reports that the government hospitals had become overcrowded and no more new patients were being admitted. The QWP leader said the people had become disenchanted with the PTI government as it could not provide any relief to the people.

The government could not ensure transparency in the distribution of relief funds under the so-called Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, he added. He maintained that deserving people were leftout while the undeserving ones got the financial assistance. Sikandar Sherpao said his party would not abandon the Pakhtuns and would spare no effort to help mitigate their sufferings. “The Pakhtuns are now looking to the QWP leadership to lift them out of the prevailing difficult situation as the PTI rulers have left the people in the lurch,” he added. Keeping in view the surge in the number of the Covid-19 cases, he advised the people to practice social distancing and adopt precautionary measures to stay healthy.

Sikandar Sherpao asked the government to bring back the Pakistanis mostly Pakhtuns, who have been stranded in the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia. He said the government should increase the number of flights for the Gulf states and lower the air fare to facilitate the Pakistanis, who have become jobless in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The participants of the meeting offered Fateha for the QWP leader from Balochistan Jalil Mardanzai who passed away in Ramazan. The meeting also expressed grief over the death of a journalist Fakharuddin, who reportedly died from the coronavirus.