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June 5, 2020

Strange ideas

Newspost

 
June 5, 2020

This letter refers to the article 'The fault is in our strategy' (June 3, 2020) by Abdul Sattar. I do not think many Pakistanis are taking the threat of the coronavirus lightly, due to the views expressed by the prime minister on the scale of the risk. On the contrary, the Kaptaan has always posited that we must learn to live with the coronavirus. However, the government should have decided on the mandatory use of face masks much earlier. Many segments of the population believe that the coronavirus is a hoax created to benefit the pharmaceuticals industry and to impoverish the Muslims. These segments also deny that the earth is not stationary, and that humans have not reached the moon.

The blame for such strange ideas should not be shifted towards the political leadership as conspiracy theories have been a prominent part of our national discourse long before the incumbent government came to power. However, the federal government has exhibited extreme negligence in responding to the locust threat. The provincial governments lack the wherewithal for aerial spray, the only remedy for the onslaught of a large locust swarm.

Dr Najeeb A Khan

Islamabad