KARACHI: Coming down hard on Prime Minister Imran Khan for making "contradictory statements" regarding the coronavirus lockdown, Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah stated that people would start doubting PM Khan's health.
"The PM asks people to take precautionary measures and stay at home, but at the same time, he also tells them that everything is okay," said the minister on Saturday, adding that such statements reflected Khan's mental state. He was addressing a press conference, flanked by Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, in Karachi.
The strong criticism comes after Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari lambasted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government for allegedly sabotaging Sindh's efforts to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
"We haven't received a single ventilator from the Centre. The federal government sent just a few N-95 masks and other surgical masks," said Shah in Saturday's press conference, adding that over 90 per cent of the Covid-19 testing kits used in Sindh had been imported by the provincial government using its own resources.
The provincial minister also alleged that due to the incompetence of the federal government, the lockdown could not be properly enforced across the country and as a result, people would have to face the coronavirus outbreak for a longer period of time.
"The PM blamed the 'elites' for enforcing the lockdown, but after some time, he praised his government's decision to impose a timely lockdown. These are [his] double standards," said Shah.
Claiming that the Sindh government was cognisant of the hardships being faced by the business community and the common people, he said the health of the masses was, however, the top priority.
Speaking on the occasion, Ghani also took a swipe at his opponents, saying, "The federal government is sabotaging national efforts required to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. It does not realise that this crisis is a matter of life and death."
Lashing out at the Centre for discussing the 18th Amendment at a time of crisis, Ghani said that the PM himself did not even know how many Articles there were in the country's Constitution.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2020.