SC grills federal, provincial governments on poor virus strategy
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Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Monday blasted federal and provincial governments on the poor state of facilities being provided at quarantine centres across the country.
A five-member Supreme Court bench heard a suo moto case on federal and provincial governments' response to the Covid-19.
CJP Gulzar Ahmed said there was no substance in the governmental reports submitted in the court pertaining to facilities being provided at quarantine centres.
He said there was complete exploitation being done in the country amid the coronavirus crisis and it seems that federal and provincial governments are conspiring against the public as there was no unified strategy to combat the crisis.
“The policy of the federal government is confined only up to 55 kilometres,” the CJP said.
The court sought a detailed reply from the four provinces and the federation and adjourned the case for two weeks.
During the hearing, the court showed displeasure as no officer from NDMA was showed up. On asking who represents the district administration, Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat pointed out that it was NDMA who made the Haji Camp as quarantine centre and district administration only provided meals.
The CJP then remarked the Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat Islamabad that he gave orders to make Haji Camp as quarantine centre while sitting in his office.
CJP Gulzar Ahmed asked whether the Punjab government has taken permission to stop those businesses which gave tax to the federal government and if permission was not taken then all those verdicts would be considered as illegal.
Justice Qazi Amin inquired the advocate general of Punjab government about the state of affairs in the quarantine centres of the province. He said the reports submitted in the court were against the ground reality.
He said on Saturday most number of deaths reported in a single day in Punjab. He said the court would ask the question no matter what the people outside the court think about it.
Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan replied that court could definitely ask about this matter.
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah hearing the case remarked that 90 percent mosques have been opened without the implementation of the regularisations imposed by the government.
Lack of visionary leadership
The CJP remarked that Sindh government instead of making a policy allowed the opening of factories. How the Sindh government would give permission to 150 factories to resume work?
The CJP said one provincial government minister said he would lodge a case against the prime minister. He questioned if his mind was out of order?
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said the arrogant attitude of the people sitting in the federal government was a problem and it was damaging the central government.
He said: “A good and visionary leadership is need of the hour.”
Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan replied that in the National Coordination Committee, the federal and provincial governments jointly make the decisions.
Earlier in last hearing, the SC bench examined the federal government report submitted on measures taken to combat the deadly respiratory virus. The chief justice said there was no transparency in any of the steps taken by all governments (federal and provincial) to stem the virus.
Heading the bench, Justice Gulzar said the reports submitted by federal and provincial departments lacked transparency.