Sindh Information Minister denies politicizing coronavirus issues
Karachi, April 19, 2020 (PPI-OT): Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said that the Sindh government had dealt with the pandemic of coronavirus very seriously from day one, and no leader of the PPP could ever think of point scoring on the issue of a pandemic. He said in a statement that Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on day one when the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Sindh directed all the members of the Sindh cabinet, including Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, to avoid politicizing the issue of coronavirus.
“We cannot even think of politicizing an issue related to pandemic and human lives” he said. Shah said that Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had also told Prime Minister Imran Khan on the first day that his party was with him on this serious issue of the outbreak of pandemic and wanted to work in cooperation with him.
Shah said that the day when the issue of the coronavirus emerged in the province and across the country, we had put point scoring and politics in Quarantine from the same day, adding that, to this day it was still in Quarantine. He said that all the provincial ministers, including him, were very careful not to give any statement that would lead to a dispute.
He said that if everyone had followed the serious approach of Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah right from February 26, the situation could had been different today. “We do not want to keep our people in the dark,” the information minister said. He said that at this moment in time no one knew the exact volume of the virus spread but everyone was commenting on it.
The minister asked had all these services were stopped on the orders of Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah? Syed Nasir Hussain Shah further asked that had the other provinces opted for and extended the lock down at the behest of the Sindh government? The minister said that whatever the information the Sindh government had gathered so far, the situation was alarming at this moment in time, adding that, the exact figures were not being conveyed to Prime Minister Imran Khan and therefore he could not to be blamed.
He said that when the federal government would constantly say that people would die of starvation due to the lockdown, people would suffer from various problems in case of prolonged lockdown, then how could the Sindh government succeed in implementing an effective lockdown?
Shah said that after the statements made by the federal government about the lockdown, people of Sindh were doubting our state of mind, opining that, when the federal government was informing that everything was fine then why the Sindh government was constantly insisting on a lockdown. The info minister said businessmen in Sindh would now be allowed to do business only by following the rules made by the Sindh government.
He said that Sindh government had great regard for the business community of the province and that was why they were also being exempted from excise and SRB tax to a certain extent. The business would be opened gradually after the standard operating procedures were finalized. Shah said that although still not every needy person had been served, but the Sindh government had given ration to millions of families at the government level and also at the individual level and with the help of welfare organizations, and till date the process was ongoing.
Representatives of all the political parties were also engaged in distribution of ration in their respective constituencies, the provincial Minister said. Talking about the Ehsaas program, he said that in this regard the federal government should reserve more centers, so that people could not gather in one place, because wherever people would gather, there were chances that they might get affected by the Coronavirus. Shah said that thanks God no one in the province had died of hunger so far, but a woman died when she could not manage herself in the crowd gather to collect cash under Ehsaas Program.
For more information, contact:
Sindh Information and Archives Department
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-99204423, +92-21-99204401