Amid a rapid rise in coronavirus cases — fuelled by the more contagious and potentially deadlier UK variant — Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said the provincial government will impose a ban on inter-city transport movement "if the federal government did not consider the request".
“I am not advocating a lockdown, I just want a ban on inter-city bus transport service... the goods transport will keep functioning as usual," he said while speaking to the media after inaugurating `Sindh Institute of Animal Health’ in Karachi's Korangi on Thursday.
The Sindh CM said that he had given the proposal to the Centre in order to break the spike in Covid-19 cases during a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
Murad was of the view that Sindh had fewer cases because of the provincial government's timely and preventive measures in past to deal with coronavirus. "We are going to convene a provincial task force meeting what to do in this situation [regarding coronavirus]," he added.
He said that another proposal he gave to the federal government was to open registration for Covid-19 vaccination so that the number of willing people could be assessed for placing the order for procurement. “When we do not know how many people want to get vaccinated, how will we be able to place the order,” he questioned.
To another question, the chief minister said that he had held a meeting with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to rehabilitate Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad. “I am still of the opinion that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and international cricket matches must be organised in Hyderabad and we are working on it,” he said, adding that due to the Covid situation the implementation of the proposal got delayed.
When asked about media reports regarding differences with Sindh police chief, the chief minister brushed aside the impression, saying that the home department through a letter pointed out procedural requirements. “I never develop differences with the IGP and it was another [provincial] government where six IGPs were changed within six months.”
To another question about the rotation policy of transfer and posting launched by the Centre, Murad said that there were 16 posts of grade BS-21 officers of the federal government in Sindh against which only six officers are working.
“These 16 officers of grade BS-21 have been promoted against their quota in Sindh but they have been posted somewhere else,” he said and added under such circumstances the provincial government has to post officers on Own Pay and Scale (OPS).
Murad also urged the Centre to send senior officers to Sindh for the smooth working of the government.
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