PM sticks to no-lockdown policy as virus cases in Pakistan near 100,000

Imran Khan says Modi's lockdown in India crushed the poor

Published: 01:43 AM, 7 Jun, 2020
PM sticks to no-lockdown policy as virus cases in Pakistan near 100,000
Caption: Prime Minister Imran Khan accompanied by Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa speaks at an event.–File photo
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Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that only the elite class in Pakistan wants a complete lockdown in the country because they have spacious houses and their income remains unaffected by any such drastic measure.

In a tweet on Saturday, the prime minister said that a complete lockdown means collapse of the economy and a steep rise in poverty in the country. Referring to the coronavirus lockdown enforced by the BJP-led government in India, Khan said that Modi’s lockdown crushed the poor in his country and this is what a complete lockdown would do if enforced in Pakistan.

The prime minister said that Pakistan is the pioneer of the “smart lockdown” concept after the coronavirus outbreak in the country and now the world has realised that this form of lockdown is the only way out to keep the life going in the prevailing situation. He called upon the civil society, religious figures and the media to educate the nation about severity of Covid-19 and urged people to comply with the standard operating procedures while performing their routine duties in their practical lives.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has been under an immense pressure from the opposition parties, doctors’ associations and other segments of the society from day one to impose a complete lockdown in the country to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, he refused to take any such step, pleading that Pakistan is a poor country and it cannot afford a complete lockdown like China or some European countries.

From the first coronavirus case in Pakistan that was reported in Karachi on February 26 to the 100000th case that was reported on June 7, Prime Minister Imran Khan has defended his no-complete-lockdown policy, but it remains to be seen how long he can manage the situation developing in the country with his “smart lockdowns” policy.

Maqbool Ahmad

The writer is a seasoned journalist.