Sindh, Balochistan seek Army’s help to contain virus spread

By: News Desk      Published: 11:11 AM, 22 Mar, 2020
Sindh, Balochistan seek Army’s help to contain virus spread
A Rangers man wearing a facemask stands guard next to people washing their hands during an awareness campaign amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Karachi.–AFP

In the face of the everyday surge in the cases of coronavirus, the governments of Sindh and Balochistan Sunday sought assistance from the Army under Article 245 to help them in containing the spread of the pandemic.

The Sindh’s call for help came as Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah is preparing to announce a complete lockdown of the province Sunday.

Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said the lockdown initially could be for 15 days.

As the situation getting worse with every passing day, the Sindh government has requested the Federation to send in Army for the help of civil administration under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in imposing the lockdown.

On the other hand, the Balochistan government has also written a letter to the Centre for delegating civil authority to the Army under Article 245 in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The provincial government wrote to the Interior Ministry requesting for the military in aid of civil power under Article 245 of the Constitution read with Section 131(A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc).

PDMA said that 650 pilgrims are being kept at five quarantine centres at Taftan and they are being provided with food and necessary medical assistance.

The requests from the two provinces came as the coronavirus cases in Pakistan have shot up to 646 with Saturday recording a big rise in infections throughout the country. Sindh has now 292 patients, Punjab 152, Balochistan 104, Gilgit Baltistan 55, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 31, Islamabad 10 and Azad Kashmir one.