PTI MNA from Hafizabad flouts ban on public gatherings

By: Maqbool Ahmad      Published: 12:57 AM, 17 Mar, 2020
PTI MNA from Hafizabad flouts ban on public gatherings
PTI MNA from Hafizabad Shoukat Ali Bhatti (first from left) at a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.–File photo

A member of the National Assembly (MNA) from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday flouted the government’s orders banning social and political gatherings across Pakistan.

The government has banned gatherings across the country keeping in view the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Shoukat Ali Bhatti, the PTI MNA from Hafizabad, led a rally of hundreds of voters, supporters and party workers to inauguration of a gas supply project at a private housing colony in his electoral constituency. They local administration watched all this silently instead of taking action against the MNA or anyone else over this flagrant violation of the federal government’s orders.

In addition, the Punjab government has imposed Section 144 in the province, banning all kinds of gatherings at public places in the province. The decision was taken last week to stop spread of the virus.

On Friday, the National Security Committee (NSC) decided to take a number of steps to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country, including closing the border with Iran and Afghanistan for two weeks and banning all large public gatherings for three weeks. The NSC meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, was attended by the chief ministers of all provinces and the civilian and military leadership.

Major decisions taken by the NSC included closure of border with Iran and Afghanistan, closure of schools until April 5, ban on large public gatherings including weddings for two weeks, suspension of international flights from all airports except Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, cancellation of Pakistan Day parade on March 23 and holding matches of the Pakistan Super League cricket tournament without spectators.