Shibli slams Bilawal's statement, says Sindh free to end or extend lockdown

Instead of political point scoring Sindh govt should focus on controlling coronavirus, says information minister


APP May 02, 2020
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference in Islamabad. PHOTO: RADIO PAKISTAN/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Saturday said the Sindh government was free to take any decision about ending or extending the coronavirus lockdown in the province.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his party's Sindh government, he said, should not blame the federation for their own failures.

"Instead of political point scoring they should focus on controlling the coronavirus in the province," the minister said in a statement.

Faraz asked Bilawal not to ruin the atmosphere of national unity and cohesion, only to keep himself in politics.

Bilawal lashes out at Centre for 'disrupting unity' in fight against Covid-19

Bilawal and his provincial ministers, he said, were holding long press conferences instead of working to stem the deadly virus.

"The opposition should support Prime Minister Imran Khan in the war against the coronavirus instead of doing petty politics," he added.

He said the Sindh government was not acknowledging the support given by the federation to Sindh to control the pandemic. Over 45,000 Sindh industrial and 717,000 commercial consumers were given relief in electricity bills. Similarly, small business owners were also given the same facility in paying their bills.

Moreover, the people of Sindh, like other parts of the country, were benefitting through the utility stores, Senator Shibli Faraz said.

The minister said the State Bank of Pakistan's Deferred Scheme had facilitated in the repayment of loan instalments, which would also benefit the people of  Sindh.

Pakistan 'sleep walking' into virus disaster, says Bilawal Bhutto

He said Rs1.2 trillion support stimulus package would be given to all the provinces, including Sindh. Moreover, small traders and business owners had been given a relief package to pay the salaries of their workers and under the Ehsaas Cash Emergency Programme, Rs27 billion had been distributed in Sindh so far.

The Sindh government, he said, had also been provided 504,447 face masks, 290,986 surgical masks, 30,142 N95 masks, 203,840 KN 95 masks and 148,334 protective suits by the Centre.

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