16-April- 2020 – Pakistan Observer
ISLAMABAD Jinnah’s Pakistan after treading the bumpy path in last few weeks has finally embarrassed the Quaid’s motto of ‘Unity’ with the decision of federal cabinet acceding to the urging of provinces to extend the lockdown up to 30th April,“ said Nisar A. Memon, former federal minister and senator on the decisions of National Coordination Committee meeting attended by the chief ministers of all provinces.
He opined that the provincial recommendations were based on global experience, specially of China where effective lockdown of Wuhan arrested and finally controlled pandemic and today they are open and life returning to normalcy. He hoped that this unity will be joined by political party spokespersons and commentators with their responsible behavior in our polity, not only until this COVID-19 is eliminated, but beyond to rebuild the country towards sovereignty.
He said that despite the difference of opinion over the viability and intensity of lockdowns between Federal and Sindh governments, the positive aspect is that federal government recognizes the Constitutional right of provinces under 18th Amendment and accepted their right to further delay the opening of industries if they so wished.
The federal and provincial governments are backed up by armed forces and NDMA is playing its role along with the civil administration to meet this national emergency. He urged all organs of state namely: judiciary and media to play their historic role while ensuring justice and freedom of press is not compromised at any cost. He called upon the government, “to make renewed commitment to supremacy of parliament and summon session to discuss and evolve national plan to face this unprecedented challenge as ONE.”
He added that this demonstrated first step of unity must be coupled with all necessary economic actions to overcome the challenges pointed out in State Bank of Pakistan’s third quarterly report of increasing investment, ending energy shortages and improving business sentiments and International Monetary Fund’s projected economic recession for Pakistan following the coronavirus with economy shrinking by 1.5 pc during this fiscal year.
He went on to add that reported IMF plan to defer repayment of loan tranche is a saner course and will help member countries to overcome this pandemic. He appreciated Asian Development Bank’ plan of lending $800 mio. to Pakistan to help combat COVID-19, but the most important is the local contributions by all.
“While administration is bravely fighting pandemic,” senator said, “the organized immoral crime is raising its ugly head with loot, theft and minor dacoities to harass the citizens at this difficult time, even in Islamabad. We must unite to fight this law and order challenge to protect citizens and against the price hikes and increasing corruption.” He said that the announcement of promulgating an Ordinance to curb smuggling and hoarding of essential items is a welcome move and must be implemented without any discrimination.