Tue, 21 Mar 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 1 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday slammed the partial COVID-19 lockdown imposed by the provincial government in Sindh as it went against the wishes of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government.

While speaking during a question-and-answer session, Khan addressed the Sindh's decision to impose a partial lockdown to curb rising Covid-19 cases, saying it hadn't taken into consideration the hardships of the poor, Dawn newspaper reported.

"We had a small problem between the federal government and Sindh," Khan said. "Sindh government wanted to impose a lockdown, which is the correct decision and will curb the spread of virus.""But on the other hand, the thing to see is that will we be able to save the economy from the lockdown? Then there is the issue of hunger ... the daily wage earners and especially the poor section of our society ... how will they make ends meet during the lockdown?"These remarks come as the Sindh government has requested the federal government not to politicise the lockdown issue after a war of words erupted between the Centre and the provincial government over coronavirus.

During a press conference, the Sindh government's spokesperson Murtaza Wahab Wahab had earlier called for not bringing the issue in the political arena as the focus must remain on saving people from the deadly epidemic, The News International reported.

Defending the government's decision, he said that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has not said anywhere that the lockdown should not be imposed. "It has always been our aim to work in conjunction with the federal government. Unfortunately, when these people appear on TV, their statements are different," said Wahab. "I say to those issuing statements left and right: convince people to get vaccinated instead. Please stop creating chaos," he added, as quoted by The News International.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said that the federal government is "concerned" about Sindh's decisions.

"We successfully combated the first three coronavirus waves [...] The Sindh government should clamp down on vaccinations. A lockdown is inappropriate," he said, adding that the government of Sindh "cannot make decisions unilaterally".

Pakistan's Sindh province has gone for a partial lockdown from Saturday till August 8 as the COVID-19 cases are surging in the country. (ANI)

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