Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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#Coronavirus and Islam: Pakistani clerics refuse to shut down mosques

Haroon Janjua
As Islamic clerics refuse to stop allowing religious congregations, Prime Minister Imran Khan continues to downplay the coronavirus threat to his country. Could this be a "recipe for disaster" for Pakistan?
Last week, Pakistani President Arif Alvi and provincial governors held a meeting with Sunni and Shiite clerics to convince them to close mosques for congregational prayers across the country amid rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases in the country. The clerics, however, rejected the request.
"We can in no way close mosques ... It is not possible in any circumstances in an Islamic country," said Muneeb-bur-Rehman, a cleric who attended the meeting.
The clerics' blatant refusal to shun collective prayers has raised doubts about Pakistan's resolve to fight the pandemic, which has killed at least 25 people in the country and infected nearly 2,000.
Earlier in March, when coronavirus cases in Pakistan were relatively lower, the federal government allowed Shiite pilgrims from Iran to return to the country through Baluchistan province.The pilgrims were not properly quarantined, which resulted in a spike of infections. Also, the government allowed thousands of Sunni worshippers to go ahead with the "Tablighi Jamaat" congregation in Pubjab province. Many of the new COVID-19 cases have emerged from that mass gathering.Health experts say the government's measures are inadequate, fearing that the number of coronavirus cases in the South Asian country could increase exponentially in the coming weeks.
Civil society activists say that Pakistani authorities continue to appease Islamists even when the country is facing a worsening public health crisis.
Clerics' defiance
Many Pakistanis have refused to offer their prayers inside their homes, saying that religion is more important than anything else.
"I offered prayers in the mosque on Friday. More than 300 people were in attendance and it looked like a routine Friday prayer," Muhammad Ashraf, a kiosk-owner in Islamabad, told DW.
"The mosque is a safe place. I don't fear coronavirus," Ashraf said, adding that he intended to attend the next Friday prayer as well.
Many Islamic countries have shut down mosques and banned mass prayers after the emergence of coronavirus cases. Saudi Arabia even closed down Islam's holiest site, the Kaaba, and other sacred mosques to contain the spread of COVID-19. But even these examples did not deter many Pakistanis.
"The pandemic is spreading due to our sins and because we are not following the teachings of Islam," Ejaz Ashrafi, a senior cleric belonging to the Tehreek-i-Labaik (TLP) Islamist party, told DW.
Ashrafi leads the Friday prayer at a mosque in the eastern city of Lahore. "People are still going to super markets, yet the state only wants to shut down mosques. We will continue to offer prayers in the mosques," he said.Fawad Chaudhary, the federal minister of science and technology, told media that the coronavirus is spreading in Pakistan "due to the ignorance of religious clerics." Islamist groups decried Chaudhary's statement.Rights groups say the government must act strictly against the clerics who are defying its orders.
"The laws clearly state that anyone who deliberately spreads diseases should be imprisoned or fined. Prime Minister Imran Khan's government seems to be completely helpless," Osama Malik, an Islamabad-based legal expert, told DW.
Khan reluctant to impose a lockdown
On Monday, Prime Minister Khan spoke to the nation in a televised address (his third in the past three weeks) and argued that the country did not need a complete lockdown. He said that his government could have shut down entire cities but chose not to do it because at least 25% of the country's population would have died of hunger.
Khan's own dislike for a lockdown has emboldened those who are downplaying the virus threat to Pakistan, say experts.
Health experts say there is lack of awareness about COVID-19 among people who are not taking the disease seriously.
In contrast to Khan's "strategy," provincial chief ministers have favored the lockdown. Sindh's CM Murad Ali Shah of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has successfully implemented it to contain the virus's spread in the province. Political analysts say that the powerful Pakistani military is assisting provinces in enforcing the partial lockdown.
"Lockdown is the only way to stop the virus from spreading. The cases are expected to rise in the coming weeks if religious gatherings are not banned across the country. Clerics should understand the seriousness of the situation," Dr. Qaisar Sajjad, secretary general of Pakistan Medical Association, told DW.

#PPP #CoronaVirusPakistan - Bilawal Bhutto - The government cannot do everything alone, philanthropists have to come forward to help

MARCH 27 - 

A video link meeting of Larkana District was convened under the aegis of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to discuss measures taken for the prevention of COVID19. Ms. Faryal Talpur, Jamil Ahmed Soomro, Sohail Anwar Siyal and Larkana Mayor Khair Mohammad Shaikh participated.Speaking to the participants of the meeting, Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he would not leave the people of Larkana alone at such a time.

He directed the Sindh government to ensure fair distribution of rations to the poor during lockdown, no matter what the case. ‘The government cannot do everything alone, philanthropists have to come forward to help us care for our communities.He once again insisted on the need for a complete lockdown, saying that only the complete implementation of the lockdown can yield desired results.

He asked the Larkana administration to engage with local social influencers to spread the message of the importance of social distancing.

Larkana Commissioner Saleem Khuru, DIG Irfan Baloch, Deputy Commissioner Noman Siddique, Larkana Senior Superintendent of Police Masood Bangash, District Health Officer Dr Athar, Chairman District Council, Chandka Medical College, PPHI and IHS duty managers were also present.

On the occasion, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari made inquiries regarding the prevention of the coronavirus in Larkana, at which Larkana district administration officials briefed him and informed him that four quarantine centers have been established in Larkana, where 83 people are quarantined.

According to the administration, seven cases of coronavirus have been reported in Larkana whilst they have tested more than 600 people who had returned from Iran and Arab countries.
Speaking on the occasion, Jamil Soomro said that the social distance between farmers is being implemented in Larkana during the harvesting period.

The PPP Chairman directed the Larkana district administration to support local farmers so that food supply chain would not be disrupted.

He told the police officers that during lockdown, the officers and officers should improve their attitude to the citizens as much as possible. Police should not misuse their powers.
On this occasion, Ms. Faryal Talpur stressed that we have to create a system in Larkana that should ensure no one in the district goes hungry.

Locals in Larkana are most affected with the lockdown as they solely are dependent on local transport revenue, Jamil Soomro said.

Sohail Anwar Siyal said that all the directives of the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be implemented in letter and spirit no matter the cost .


Imran Khan’s policies are detrimental for people

Information Secretary Pakistan Peoples Party  Parliamentarians Dr. Nafisa Shah said that it is unfortunate that Imran Khan could not understand the purpose and advantage of lockdown despite the fact there is no other option to save people’s lives.
Dr. Shah said that Imran Khan is insisting on his faulty policy because Chairman PPP and his team has been successful in the policy they adopted to deal with coronavirus and thus save the nation from this virus in time. Imran Khan is telling lies to the nation with consistency and misguiding the people of Pakistan.
Information Secretary PPPP said that Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa did not follow Imran Khan’s directives and the lockdown was followed by both the provinces and thus the people of both the provinces were saved from Imran Khan’s antics. The federal government should take immediate measures against coronavirus spread, she demanded.

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Fears grow for Pakistani journalist missing in Sweden


Sajid Hussain, who escaped Balochistan province in 2012 and was living in self-imposed exile, went missing on March 2.
Fears are growing for a Pakistani journalist who, having escaped the South Asian country for safety reasons in 2012, has gone missing in Sweden where he was living in self-imposed exile.
Rights groups are concerned about the disappearance of Sajid Hussain, 39, could be related to his reporting.
Hussain's family, however, said they did not want to accuse anyone, adding they hoped the Swedish authorities will provide them with answers. On Friday, the Balochistan Times, an online magazine published by Hussain, announced that he went missing from Uppsala, a city near Stockholm, on March 2. In the magazine, Hussain reported on alleged human rights abuses in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, where he hails from. For more than a decade, political and armed groups in Pakistan's largest province in the southwest, home to more than 12 million people, have been waging a separatist movement.
His wife Shahnaz Baloch, who lives in Balochistan, told Al Jazeera they were in contact on the day he went missing.
"I don't know how he went missing or where he is right now. We need the Swedish police to help us locate my husband. They initially said that it was normal in Sweden for someone to go in isolation. We are concerned about his safety and wellbeing. It is very unusual for a journalist like Hussain to go somewhere without informing us."
Hussain's friends registered him as missing on March 5 with Swedish police, who have since carried out several searches for him.
"Initially, police refused to register the case saying it is normal in Sweden for someone to go in isolation. We insisted that it was not normal for us. Then they registered the case," Taj Baloch, a friend of Hussain's, said from Stockholm.
Jenny Johansson, case officer at Missing People (Sverige), an NGO that works with the Swedish police to find missing people, told Al Jazeera the group was in regular contact with the police to find Hussain.
"We don't have a clue so far. We only know his last location and we are working from that angle in close collaboration with the police," she said. "Because of his background and his job, this case is pretty unique." By the time of publishing, Swedish police had not responded to Al Jazeera's request for comment.
The Pakistani embassy in Stockholm refused to respond to Al Jazeera's request for comment.
'Might be work-related'
Erik Halkjaer, president of the Swedish chapter of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), urged Swedish police to continue to investigate Hussain's disappearance, which he also said could have been due to his work.
"At this point, we can't ignore the possibility that his disappearance might be work related," he said.
In recent months, several Pakistani activists and bloggers living in Europe have claimed to have been targeted for speaking up against human rights violations in Pakistan.
An RSF report last month said a Rotterdam-based Pakistani blogger, allegedly a victim of kidnapping and torture while in Pakistan three years ago, was attacked and threatened by two people believed to be Pakistani intelligence agents.
In an email to Al Jazeera, Daniel Bastard, the Asia Pacific head of RSF, said Hussain could be a victim of enforced disappearance, given the circumstances of his case and testimony by his family and colleagues."When you think about who could find interest in suppressing a dissident journalist, the first hypothesis leads to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence," he said, referring to the country's main intelligence agency, the ISI."We also know that two other Pakistanis based in Europe have been the victims of pressure upon their family back home in the past two months. And we know that a list of possible targets among Pakistan dissidents abroad is circulating," said Bastard. "The fact that Sajid Hussain was writing about human rights and the situation in restive Balochistan makes him a potential priority target."
Hussain left Pakistan in 2012 after his house in Quetta was broken into. The unidentified perpetrators stole his laptop and some notes, while he was out working on a story.
He then moved to Oman, and later the United Arab Emirates and Uganda in self-imposed exile before arriving in Sweden in September 2017 as a refugee. His wife was expected to join him there this year.

RSF Points Finger At Pakistani Intelligence After Exiled Journalist Disappears In Sweden

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) suspects that a Pakistani journalist who has been missing for a month in Sweden was abducted "at the behest" of an intelligence agency in Pakistan.
Sajid Hussain, the editor of the Balochistan Times news website, went missing in the Swedish city of Uppsala on March 2, according to the website, which covered human right violations and other aspects of the situation in the southwestern Pakistani region.
"Considering the recent attacks and harassment against other Pakistani journalists in Europe, we cannot ignore the possibility that his disappearance is related to his work," Erik Halkjaer, the president of RSF's Swedish section, said in a statement on March 30.
Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said that "everything indicates that this is an enforced disappearance," adding, "And if you ask yourself who would have an interest in silencing a dissident journalist, the first response would have to be the Pakistani intelligence services."
The Balochistan Times "often crossed the 'red lines' imposed by the military establishment in Islamabad," according to the Paris-based media-freedom watchdog.
Meanwhile, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also urged Swedish police to step up efforts to find Hussain
"The disappearance of a journalist who focused on one of Pakistan's most sensitive issues -- human rights in Balochistan -- and who escaped Pakistan because of threats he received, is especially concerning," said Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia program coordinator.
Hussain fled Pakistan in 2012 after receiving threats related to his reporting, and lived in exile in several countries before seeking asylum in Sweden in 2017, according to news reports.
No one has heard from Hussain since he boarded a train in Stockholm on March 2 to go to Uppsala, 70 kilometers north of the Swedish capital, to collect the keys to his new apartment and leave some personal effects there, RSF said.
It quoted local police as saying that Hussain, who has political-refugee status in Sweden, did alight from the train in Uppsala 45 minutes after it left Stockholm.
Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan has been plagued by sectarian violence, Islamist militant attacks, and a separatist insurgency that has led to thousands of casualties since 2004.
Successive Pakistani governments and the powerful military have been accused for years of censoring the media.
The country is ranked 142nd out of 180 countries in RSF's 2019 World Press Freedom Index.

Pakistan teeters on the edge of potential disaster with the coronavirus

Madiha Afzal

As of March 26, coronavirus cases in Pakistan — the world’s fifth most populous country — climbed to 1,190; nine people have died. Pakistan currently has the highest number of cases in South Asia, more even than its far larger neighbor, India. In this densely populated country of more than 210 million, with megacities Lahore and Karachi each teeming with more than 10 million people, the government took important steps early to stop the spread of the disease, and each of its provinces implemented varying levels of lockdown in the past week as the number of cases rose.
But the country also gravely mishandled the return of coronavirus-infected pilgrims from Iran, and its prime minister has waffled on messaging and implementing a full, federally mandated lockdown. While many Muslim-majority countries, including Saudi Arabia, have cancelled communal prayers, Pakistan’s mosques remain open. The country’s health system — with dated and limited public health facilities, and costly private hospitals inaccessible to all but the rich — is woefully unprepared to deal with COVID-19 and its influx of critically ill patients. Doctors lack personal protective equipment; at least one of the nine victims so far is a doctor.
The consequences of letting the disease spread further would be devastating. And Pakistan’s initial coronavirus response is already exposing concerning political patterns — including the powerful army asserting competence over the civilian government— that will persist beyond the pandemic.
Before Pakistan had any cases of the virus, it made the decision to not allow 800 Pakistani students stranded in Wuhan, China to return to the country. Pakistan’s government did not want to risk them returning and spreading the disease at home, and it also hoped that the move signaled support for China at a time when it was embarrassed in front of the world. (Pakistan and China are steadfast allies; Pakistan is the flagship location for Beijing’s One Belt One Road.)
The country’s first coronavirus case, a returning pilgrim from Iran, was diagnosed on February 26 in Karachi. He was quickly isolated and his contacts traced. As of March 12, two weeks ago, Pakistan only had 21 confirmed cases of the virus. On March 13, the government announced a number of aggressive steps, including closing the country’s western border (with Iran and Afghanistan), shutting down all public and private educational institutions, and canceling the Pakistan Day parade set for March 23. A National Coordination Committee was set up to deal with the coronavirus on a federal level, and the National Disaster Management Authority was tapped to implement the response.
At the same time, the state prevailed on the Tablighi Jamaat, a pan-Islamic body that holds an annual religious gathering outside Lahore, to pack up and go home. It may have been too late: More than 150,000 people were gathered there until March 12, and a number of them were later diagnosed with coronavirus — some of them were diagnosed after they returned to Islamabad, and two Palestinian men who returned to Gaza became the first known coronavirus positive cases there.
In the days after these steps were announced on March 13, the problem of returning pilgrims from Iran ballooned. All returnees were “quarantined” together in reportedly squalid conditions at a camp in Taftan after crossing the border into Pakistan in remote Baluchistan. There was no testing, and those with symptoms were not isolated. Instead of containing the virus to those who had it, it spread to others at the camp, and people at the camp were also allowed to leave to shop at markets in the town. After two weeks, they were “returned” to their provinces. It is unclear what precautions were taken as they traveled, but they were tested by the provincial governments once they arrived, and those who tested positive were re-quarantined at centers created in those provinces. Thousands of returnees remain in quarantine centers across the country; a number of them have reportedly attempted escape. Nearly 600 returnees in total have tested positive.

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Opinion: Who Will Win the Fight for a Post-Coronavirus America?

 By Rebecca Solnit
Every disaster shakes loose the old order. What replaces it is up to us.
The scramble has already begun. The possibilities for change, for the better or the worse, for a more egalitarian or more authoritarian society, burst out of the gate like racehorses at times like these.
Progressive and conservative politicians are pitching proposals to radically alter American society, to redistribute wealth, to change the rules, to redefine priorities. The pandemic has given the Trump administration an excuse to try to shut down borders and, reportedly, a pretext to try to secure the unconstitutional capacity to detain people indefinitely. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, among others, has made the case for reducing the prison population, whose crowding in poor conditions constitutes a health risk — for freeing people, rather than the opposite, in response to the crisis. Other progressives have sought to expand workers’ rights, sick leave and implement other policies that would improve lives even in ordinary times. Social programs long said to be impossible may well come to pass; so could authoritarian measures.
Every disaster shakes loose the old order: The sudden catastrophe changes the rules and demands new and different responses, but what those will be are the subject of a battle. These disruptions shift people’s sense of who they and their society are, what matters and what’s possible, and lead, often, to deeper and more lasting change, sometimes to regime change. Many disasters unfold like revolutions; the past gives us many examples of calamities that led to lasting national change.
The catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans generated just such a power struggle. Conservatives won some things as the city ruined by the failure of levees was rebuilt: All New Orleans public schools became charter schools, and the city’s huge housing projects — which had survived the inundation largely intact — were torn down, displacing thousands of impoverished residents. But the city also cleaned up some of the corruption in its justice and prison system, made improvements in its evacuation plans and began to address its long-term vulnerability to flooding via more ecologically sound water policies and infrastructure. The changes weren’t just local. The George W. Bush administration four years earlier had used Sept. 11 — another calamity — as a pretext to strip Americans of their civil liberties, to conduct a pair of wars that were themselves humanitarian, diplomatic and economic catastrophes, and to amplify its own authority. In fact you can see the administration’s response to Sept. 11 as a struggle primarily not to subjugate terrorists or battle distant regimes, but the American public. It did so by instilling fear, chipping away at rights, demonizing Muslims, expanding its powers and using wartime ideas of patriotism to quell dissent. The failure to prevent the Al Qaeda attacks could have discredited the regime; the regime was trying, as regimes often do, to shore up its authority.
That authority came crumbling down with the administration’s callous and incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina, particularly to the stranding of New Orleanians, mostly poor and mostly black, in their flooded city. (Two days after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and put 80 percent of New Orleans underwater, Bush said, “I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees,” videotape of him being warned of that possibility a day before the catastrophe later hit the media.) The outrage over the response undermined the Bush administration’s mandate to govern. “Katrina to me was the tipping point. The president broke his bond with the public,” Bush pollster Matthew Dowd said. “I was like, man, you know, this is it, man. We’re done.” It ended the post-Sept. 11 era of deference to this particular authority — and some argue that by exposing the festering racism in American society, it strengthened the case for electing a black president a few years later.
“This is our Chernobyl,” a doctor in New York City said recently. He seemed to mean that not only were medical staff front-line workers in grave danger, but also that institutional authorities were in the process of failing civil society, as Soviet hierarchies all the way up to the Kremlin did in the 1986 disaster of a nuclear meltdown that spewed radiation internationally and contaminated hundreds of square miles of Ukraine for millenniums to come. The man at the top of that hierarchy, Mikhail Gorbachev, reflected years later: “The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl 20 years ago this month, even more than my launch of perestroika, was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later. Indeed, the Chernobyl catastrophe was an historic turning point.”
Managua, Nicaragua, in 1972 and Mexico City in 1985 both suffered major earthquakes after which the corrupt and venal government response prompted long-term change. The Somoza dictatorship seized more powers in the wake of the Nicaraguan disaster, but in so doing it strengthened the case for the Sandinista revolution that swept it away later in the decade. In the wake of the quake in the Mexican capital, made worse by corruption in the enforcement of building codes beforehand and in the distribution of relief and rescuing the trapped afterward, public dissatisfaction with the one-party government boiled over. (In one instance, the police provided support for a sweatshop owner who wanted to rescue his equipment from a collapsed building but not the seamstresses trapped inside; this concern for property and profit over human life is often one of the flash points for ensuing political conflict.) A seamstresses’ union, a housing rights movement for the displaced and challenges to one-party rule were among the results.
Disasters test regimes. Some fail the test. Incompetence, indifference and self-interest are easy to see in the stark light of an emergency. People whose lives have been thrown into turmoil are no longer cautious or deferential, and no longer accept the inevitability of a status quo that is already in disarray. Things that seemed impossible have already happened — in our case, much of the economy has shut down, much of the population has suspended its ordinary activities, and sweeping new social programs (canceling student debt, for example) suddenly seem within reach.
There are no simple rules for when disaster becomes insurrection. Strong public outrage at the ruling party and its response is one factor; recognition of the possibility of deep and lasting change is another; and of course, how the story of what happened takes shape — who deserves credit or blame — yet another.
No one knows yet what will come out of this crisis. But like so many other disasters, this one has revealed how interconnected we are; how much we depend on the labor and good will of others; how deeply enmeshed we are in social, ecological and economic systems; and how prevention or survival of something as deeply, bodily personal as a disease depends on our collective decisions and those of our leadership.
It has also revealed how squalid the Trump administration’s selfishness is; early reports suggested — and a presidential tweet on Wednesday reiterated — that Mr. Trump viewed the pandemic as primarily about how it would affect his re-election chances and sought to minimize it for his own sake rather than respond to it as we needed. Most recently he and the Republican congressional leadership have aimed a bailout package at large corporations rather than citizens and, while fumbling delivery of urgently needed medical supplies, made proposals focused on keeping the market strong rather than human beings safe.
Will this catastrophe bring back the social safety nets we’ve been gutting for 40 years? Will it make the case for universal health care? Will a universal basic income seem like a more reasonable idea? As consumer spending free-falls while whole populations stay home, will we redefine what is necessary and important and how people’s needs are met? Will addressing climate change seem different in a world where air travel and consumption of consumer goods and of fossil fuel has been significantly curtailed, a world in which it is more possible to imagine sweeping change because so much is already altered?
No one has the answers to these kinds of questions yet, because what so many disasters tell us is that the outcome is not foreordained. It depends on what we do, and that depends on how we read what’s happening and what we value and how that changes in a time of stunning upheaval. Along with the struggle to overcome a disaster comes a struggle to define what it means. The two struggles are inseparable, and out of them a new order emerges.

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Nashenas _ زخوشرابی.یم.شیخه سه.راسره.جنگ.کری.برخی ازلی.دی.کاشیکی.مادزان.پرنگ کری.

#CoronaInPakistan - It is Sindh government’s responsibility that not a single deserving citizen remains hungry, Chairman PPP

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that he will not tolerate any shortfall in terms of assistance to the those who are dealing with the consequences of the pandemic.

He directed the Sindh government and said that it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that not a single citizen goes hungry.

He expressed these views in a meeting held at Bilawal House Karachi, regarding the mechanism of assistance to those who depend on daily wages.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Imtiaz Shaikh, Murtaza Sahab attended while Saeed Ghani and Harris Gazdar participated via video link.
On Sunday, in consultation with Sindh leadership, a detailed consultation was held on identifying deserving persons and plans to access them with targeted relief activities.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was informed by Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah about the performance of the government in this regard.

On the occasion, the PPP Chairman directed the Sindh government to arrive at the house of every single deserving person and provide them with rations.

He also stressed the need of creating a system that would help the government, welfare organisations and philanthropists work in a coordinated manner to maximize relief efforts.
In this regard, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari directed the Sindh government to immediately consult with the donors and officials of welfare agencies, and to reach out to philanthropists to formulate a joint action plan.

The Chairman, in a message to philanthropists and officials of welfare agencies, said that the Sindh government has carved out a plan of action and that their help was needed to make it successful. He said that charity and welfare organizations could be more effective by working with the Sindh government.

Speaking on the occasion, the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also said, ‘I call on everyone to help thy neighbor. This is a time of global crisis and it requires us to unite in our humanity. We are stronger together and must lift everyone else with us.’

The PPP Chairman added that we all had to be united to overcome and control this crisis.
He told the cabinet members of the Sindh government that the Sindh government should have a full plan in case the lockdown is prolonged.

He appealed to the public to fully comply with the lockdown, because only with the complete implementation of the lockdown can we cope with the coronavirus epidemic.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the most important thing for him is to secure the lives of his people.

He directed the Sindh government to carry out maximum screening of the suspected coronavirus patients in Sindh so that we could save more lives.

“Our doctors at Corona Emergency Centers and Hospitals are risking their lives to keep ours safe. They deserve all the credit in the world.”

He applauded doctors and other medical staffs for their fearless services.


Coronavirus Crisis In Pakistan Has Exposed The Hollowness Of Populism

Raza Rumi
After weeks of inertia, confused decision-making and contradictory signals, the federal government appears to have realized the urgency of tackling the coronavirus pandemic that is threatening millions of lives worldwide and has set into motion a global recession. It took media pressure, the emergency measures by provinces and ultimately an intervention by the armed forces to move the country towards a state of lockdown.
Prime minister Imran Khan is still not fully convinced about lockdowns and his confused messaging has not been helpful in the recent weeks. PM Khan has a valid point about the economic hardship and the impact of shutting down businesses on the economy. Other governments have been grappling with the same dilemma. However, the lessons from Italy, Iran, the UK and more recently the United States are clear: suppressing the outbreak of the pandemic is the only way forward. Otherwise there is immense human cost and the prospect of a collapsed health system.
What is happening in Pakistan is not different from the experiences of countries where populist rhetoric couched in denialism, half-truths is being exposed for its futility during a crisis. Whether it is the United States, India, Brazil, the Philippines or Pakistan, high sounding political oratory is unable to confront a pandemic. PM Khan is not too different from his counterparts elsewhere. They all started with not taking the pandemic seriously, downplayed what the scientists, epidemiologists and experts were saying and acted when public opinion started turning against them. Even in the ‘action’ phase they have been berating their opponents and substituting oratory for clear action.
The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan are increasing even though mass testing is not available. The shortage of protective gear, ventilators, masks and trained personnel are under the media spotlight. The provinces and their inadequate health infrastructure are struggling with the brewing crisis. Yet, there seems to be lack of clarity, leadership and coordination that is vital in such times. Even in a federal structure leadership from the centre is essential.
A major fallout in this crisis has been the government’s faltering credibility, particularly Islamabad’s lack of seriousness in giving policy direction. Unlike most Muslim majority countries, the federal government appeared helpless in even getting the mosque congregations regulated.
Currently, the provinces with the support of Pakistan Army are taking the lead in the battle against Coronavirus. Murad Ali Shah, chief minister of Sindh province has emerged as a clear-headed, action-oriented leader prompting even his critics to acknowledge the solid work underway in the province.
Noting the negative public opinion, the prime minister has been meeting journalists to salvage his image. He held two detailed sessions with media persons which once again were full of ‘good intentions, pro-poor rhetoric but short on policy and strategy. Journalists who met PM Khan urged him to take the crisis more seriously. Those who challenged him were later subjected to social media bullying by ardent followers of the ruling party.
This is nothing new for the pro-PTI social media bullies – patronized by the party stalwarts and now through a government cell – who have been doing the same for years. PM Khan’s dwindling leadership will not be helped by such antics. This is not about media but the way the business of the government is being conducted.TV anchor Nasim Zehra asked PM Khan on Friday to conduct an inquiry into the horrific treatment meted out to a coronavirus patient in Lahore’s Mayo hospital. The PM responded by blaming his predecessors who had not invested in the health sector. In the same meeting PM Khan also gave a long spiel about the privileged ‘minority’ who in his view were responsible for all the ills of the country. He made these earnest statements with a straight face.
Here are two reminders for the PM.
First, he has been in power for nearly 20 months and the excuse of his opponents who ruled the country is something that will no longer work or even sell in the court of public opinion. Far from doing anything for the social sectors, the PTI government has cut development expenditures in its tenure. Its economic policy is the handiwork of neoliberal technocrats imported from IMF and the World Bank not to mention the powerful tycoons in his kitchen cabinet.
Second, the PM made the anti-elitist comments while seated in a royal-esque setting (which he promised earlier to undo by turning PM secretariat into a University) flanked by billionaire ministers, former World Bank staffers and other members of the same elite whom PM Khan was castigating. A little factoid: PTI has a good number of billionaires in its ranks present in the National Assembly. Worse, while complaining about how privilege works, he presented no plan on how to weaken the stranglehold of the elite. In fact, his ascension to power has been made possible by the same VVIP club comprising generals, tycoons, judges and media barons.
Of course, PM Khan was addressing his supporters who, like him, are not likely to detect such ironies of populism.

Pakistan’s number of coronavirus cases could be much higher than given statistics

Pakistan’s health experts as well as the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) officials have expressed fears the country’s efforts to control coronavirus could end in complete jeopardy as still, there is no data available on the possible number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Presently, there are more than 1,600 confirmed cases of virus reported in the country but according to eminent scientist Dr Ataur Rahman, who is also Chairman the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science & Technology, the number could be much higher in the coming days.
While talking to media on Sunday, Rahman urged the government to put all those who are leaving their houses without a genuine reason into lock-up. “Unless we take stringent measures, the situation would remain out of control,” said Dr Rahman.
Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire and even the US seems to be losing its battle against the virus, said Dr Rahman, stressing the number of tests as many as possible.
When asked about the country’s coronavirus testing capacity, he said that at the moment, a few thousand suspected cases can be tested every day but that is not being done.
“We have sought the Chinese government’s help in this regard and they are facilitating us with testing kits and medical equipment, besides sharing their experience with us to help defeat this pandemic,” he added. Vice Chancellors of Health University and former Executive Director of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Dr Javed Akram also called for widening the testing facility and termed it essential to fight the virus.
“We need to test maximum number of suspects of coronavirus and do exactly what South Korea did to restrict the virus spread,” said Dr Javed.
In population, he explained South Korea is less than 25 per cent of Pakistan but it has conducted 0.5 million tests of its total population of 51 million. On the other hand, Pakistan has so far conducted only 2,000 tests while the number of suspected patients could be more than 15,000.
Coronavirus is spreading fast from one person to another and unless we conduct large-scale tests and isolate the carriers of the virus we cannot effectively fight this war, he said.
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also criticised some nations for not doing enough to detect and contain deadly coronavirus.
There has been a rapid escalation of Covid-19 cases over the past week but we have not seen an urgent, enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing which is backbone of the response, he said.

#CoronaInPakistan کورونا مریض زیادہ ہیں، حالات بگڑتے دیکھ رہا ہوں: ڈاکٹر عطاء الرحمٰن

چیئرمین ٹاسک فورس سائنس اینڈ ٹیکنالوجی ڈاکٹر عطاء الرحمٰن نے کہا کہ حالات کو بگڑتے ہوئے دیکھ رہا ہوں، کورونا وائرس کے مریضوں کا جو ڈیٹا آ رہا ہے وہ صحیح عکاسی نہیں کر رہا، مریضوں کی اصل تعداد زیادہ ہے۔
میڈیا سے گفتگو کرتے ہوئے چیئرمین ٹاسک فورس سائنس اینڈ ٹیکنالوجی ڈاکٹر عطاء الرحمٰن نے کہا کہ کورونا وائرس کے زیادہ سے زیادہ ٹیسٹ کیے جائیں۔
انہوں نے بتایا کہ کچھ ڈرگس کا اگلے ہفتے سے جاوید اکرم کی نگرانی میں کلینیکل ٹرائل شروع کر دیا جائے گا، پاکستان میں کورونا کی ساخت سے متعلق 10 روز میں اندازہ ہو جائے گا۔
ڈاکٹر عطاء الرحمٰن نے کہا کہ کورونا پر اگر قابو پانا ہے تو زیادہ سے زیادہ ٹیسٹ کرنے ہوں گے، یہ مرض آگ کی طرح پھیل رہا ہے، امریکا جیسے ملک نے اس کے آگے گھٹنے ٹیک دیے ہیں۔
انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ جو لوگ بغیر کسی مقصد کے گھروں سے باہر نکل رہے ہیں انہیں جیلوں میں ڈالنا ہو گا، سخت اقدامات نہیں کیے گئے تو معاملہ خراب ہو سکتا ہے۔
چیئرمین ٹاسک فورس سائنس اینڈ ٹیکنالوجی نے یہ بھی کہا کہ اللّٰہ کرے کہ میری بات غلط ہو لیکن حالات مزید بگڑیں گے، حکومت کو فوری طور پر آئسولیشن سے متعلق سخت اقدامات کرنے چاہئیں اور ٹیسٹنگ کرنی چاہیے۔

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Urdu Music - Naheed Akhtar - Teri Ulfat Mein Sanam

Video Report - #StayAtHomeAndStaySafe #Pakistan Mullahs Forcing You To Attend Religious Gatherings Biggest Conspirators

COVID-19: Pakistan losing time to ‘act decisively’

Think-tank casts doubts over the effectiveness of government response.
As COVID-19 positive cases continue to surge across Pakistan infecting nearly 1,400 people and killing 11 so far, a Washington-based think tank has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is losing precious time to act decisively to fight the pandemic in his country.
Madiha Afzal, a researcher at Brookings Institute has said, “Khan’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis reveals the limits of his populism, the precariousness of his position, and his lack of experience in dealing with a crisis.”
“While many Muslim-majority countries, including Saudi Arabia, have canceled communal prayers, Pakistan’s mosques remain open. The country’s health system -- with dated and limited public health facilities, and costly private hospitals inaccessible to all but the rich -- is woefully unprepared to deal with COVID-19 and its influx of critically ill patients. Doctors lack personal protective equipment; at least one of the nine victims so far is a doctor,” the researcher said.
“The consequences of letting the disease spread further would be devastating. And Pakistan’s initial coronavirus response is already exposing concerning political patterns -- including the powerful army asserting competence over the civilian government-- that will persist beyond the pandemic,” she asserted.
“Internal government projections are dire,” Afzal noted while further questioning that should a federally mandated lockdown work amid such circumstances.
Pakistan’s army and police can be effective enforcers in Sindh, which has the strictest measures in place. Around 300 people have been arrested for violating the lockdown. But the military establishment may not be able to reach remote parts of the country, and will likely be ineffective, the report said.
“Pakistan’s prime minister is losing precious time to act decisively, and his dawdling is confusing the citizens,” it added.
In recognition of this fact, perhaps, the government’s press conference on March 26 did not feature Khan, but was led by Asad Umar, his planning minister.
“What Pakistan needs now is for Khan to back a lockdown wholeheartedly, including shutting down mosques, rather than hope for a miracle. The alternative is a disaster no country, least of all Pakistan, can afford,” the researcher added.


#StayAtHomeAndStaySafe - کرونا وائرس نام نہاد لیڈر شپ نگل گیا

وزیراعظم تو خود کھلاڑی ہیں ان کو تو پتہ ہوگا کہ انسان آدھی جنگ اسباب سے تو باقی جنگ اعصاب سے جیتتا ہے، انہوں نے تو ابھی سے ہتھیار ڈال دیے۔

اسے مشیت خدا کہیے، قدرت کا نظام، فطرت کا انتقام کہیے، اسرائیل امریکہ کی سازش سمجھیں یا انسان کی غلطیوں کا خمیازہ، لیکن انسانی آنکھ سے نظر تک نہ آنے والا کرونا وائرس نوع انسانی کو گھٹنے ٹیکنے پر مجبور کر چکا ہے۔
کچھ سال قبل جب ڈینگی نے پنجے گاڑے تھے تب یہ عجب لگتا تھا کہ ایک نازک سا مچھر اپنے ڈنک سے آدمی کے جسم میں موجود کیمکل کے توازن کو اُتھل پُتھل کرسکتا ہے۔ یہ ننھا سا مچھر، چہ پدی چہ پدی کا شوربہ، خون جمانے کی صلاحیت ختم کردیتا ہے۔ موا مچھر تو پھر ایک دو تالیوں کے بیچ پس سکتا تھا، اب اس ان دیکھے کرونا کا کیا کیجیے؟
ناحق ہم مجبوروں پر یہ تہمت ہے مختاری کی
چاہتے ہیں سو آپ کرے ہیں ہم کو عبث بدنام کیا
میر تقی میر نے کچھ غلط شکوہ نہیں کیا، دنیا کے اس گولے کے اوپر کشش ثقل سے چپکے انسان اپنی قسمت کے فیصلے خود نہیں کرسکتے۔ کہیں ان زندگیوں پر لوح محفوظ پر لکھا اچھا برا پورا اتر رہا ہے اور کہیں خدا کا نائب یعنی خود انسان ہی انسان پر مسلط ہے۔
ہم پہ مسلط انسان جنہیں ہم سسٹم چلانے کی خاطر لیڈر، نجات دہندہ کہہ کر دل بہلاتے ہیں، اکثر آڑھے وقت میں بھوسے کی ڈھیری ثابت ہوتے ہیں۔ ایسے ہی کرونا کا وائرس ہماری نام نہاد لیڈرشپ نگل گیا۔
جنوری فروری پورے دو مہینے ملے کہ تیاری پکڑ لو مگر نہیں پکڑی۔ ملکی سرحدوں پر کرونا چیک لگانے کے لیے انہیں ایک ماہ بھی کافی تھا مگر نہیں کیا۔ فروری کے پہلے ہفتے میں ایران سے کرونا وائرس کی شدت اور ہلاکتوں کی خبریں آنے لگیں مگر مزید زائرین کے ایران یا عراق جانے پر پابندی نہیں لگائی۔
میری ایران، عراق قافلے لے جانے والے قافلہ سالار شبیر رضا سے خاصی طویل گفتگو ہوئی۔ شبیر رضا سیالکوٹ سے زائرین کا گروپ لے کر پہلے عراق پھر ایران گئے تھے۔ وہ اس وقت پاک ایران تفتان سرحد پر بنائے ایک قرنطینہ مرکز میں موجود ہیں۔ میں نے صحت پوچھی تو کہنے لگے کہ بیابان علاقے تفتان میں رات کو اتنی ٹھنڈ پڑتی ہے کہ کرونا نہیں نمونیا مار دے گا۔
تفتان سرحد پر جہاں زائرین کے کیمپ ہیں، وہیں ان خیمہ بستیوں میں ایک گروپ پاکستانی تاجروں کا بھی ہے۔ ایک پاکستانی تاجر نے کہا کہ بلوچستان حکومت نے خیمہ تکیہ رضائی تو دی ہے مگر صفائی نہیں۔ کئی سو افراد کے لیے گنتی کے 12 ٹوائلٹ ہیں۔
شبیر رضا نے شکوہ کیا کہ تفتان کسٹم ہاؤس کے ساتھ موجود جس عمارت میں عارضی ہسپتال بنایا گیا ہے، وہ خود کرونا وائرس کی نرسری بن گئی ہے۔
جن لوگوں کا اعتراض ہے کہ زائرین کو واپس آنے کیوں دیا، انہیں وہیں قم یا مشہد میں رہنے دیا ہوتا، ان سے عرض ہے کہ ایرانی حکومت وضاحت سے کہہ چکی ہے کہ عالمی پابندیوں کے باعث ایران اپنی عوام کو کرونا سے بچانے سے قاصر ہے کجا یہ کہ وہ زائرین کو طبی سہولیات دیتی۔
دوسرا یہ کہ آپ زبردستی اپنے شہریوں کو کسی دوسرے ملک میں نہیں رکھ سکتے، چین کی بات اور تھی۔ چین میں موجود پاکستانیوں کی اکثریت کے پاس مستقل رہائش یا ہاسٹل کا بندوبست تھا جبکہ زائرین صرف دس، پندرہ دن کے سفر کی تیاری کر کے گھر سے نکلتے ہیں اس لیے کسی دوسرے ملک میں ان کا مہینوں اپنے وسائل سے رہنا تقریباً ناممکن تھا۔
پاکستان کے پاس دوسرا آپشن وہ حکمت عملی تھی جو تہران میں بھارتی سفارت خانے نے اپنائی، یعنیٰ بھارتی شہریوں کے لیے قرنطینہ مرکز ایران کے بڑے ہوٹلوں میں قائم کر دیے۔ ایران میں پھنسے بھارتی زائرین بھی شکایت کر رہے ہیں مگر کم از کم یہ ایرانی ہوٹل اس پیمانے پر کرونا پھیلانے کا سبب نہیں بن رہے ہوں گے جو حال تفتان قرنطینہ میں ہو رہا ہے۔
چین کے وبا زدہ علاقے ہوبائی سے آنے والے ایک طالب علم نے مجھے واٹس ایپ پر پیغام بھیجا کہ جو چھچھورپن ہمارے یہاں کرونا وائرس کو لے کر ہو رہا ہے، جتنی غیر سنجیدہ ہماری حکومت ہے اسے دیکھ کر احساس ہو رہا ہے کہ واپس آنے سے تو بہتر تھا کہ ہم چین میں ہی رہ جاتے۔
رہ گئی بات زلفی بخاری کے مشتبہ کردار کی تو اب تک میں نے جتنے بھی شیعہ علما اور زیارت ٹور آپریٹرز سے بات کی، سب زلفی بخاری کی بے اعتنائی سے ناراض ہیں۔ ان کا ماننا ہے کہ زلفی بخاری نے کچھ مدد کی ہوتی تو زائرین پندرہ، بیس دن تفتان سرحد پر یوں خوار نہ ہوتے۔
خود زلفی بخاری اس بات کا اعتراف کر رہے ہیں کہ جو پاکستانی تفتان سرحد پر پاکستان کے دروازے تک آگئے آپ ان پر ان کے ملک کے دروازے کیسے بند کر سکتے تھے؟ زلفی بخاری کے سارے جواب قبول مگر جن پاکستانیوں کا آپ کو اتنا درد تھا ان کے لیے کچھ بہتر انتظامات بھی کرا لیے ہوتے۔
یہ زائرین حکومت پاکستان سے چوری چھپے ایران، عراق نہیں گئے تھے۔ ان کی تعداد، ویزہ کی مدت، واپسی کی ممکنہ تاریخ سب کچھ حکومت کے علم میں تھا سو ان کی واپسی پر خطرے سے نمٹنے کی تیاری حکومت کا کام تھا۔
ٹوئٹر پر ایک شہزادہ گلفام فرماتے ہیں کہ تفتان قرنطینہ مرکز سے فرار ہونے والے افراد کو دیکھتے ہی گولی مارنے کا حکم دیا جائے۔ شہزادے سے یہ پوچھ لینا چاہیے کہ جن کی مجرمانہ غفلت سے کرونا وائرس درجنوں سے سینکڑوں افراد تک پھیل گیا ان کے بارے میں کیا خیال ہے؟
اپنی نااہلی اور غفلت سے جو خطرہ وفاقی حکومت نے پیدا کیا ہے اس خطرے سے اس وقت اکیلی سندھ حکومت نمٹ رہی ہے اور خوب نمٹ رہی ہے۔
سکھر کے علاقے گولیمار میں حال ہی میں تعمیر لیبر کالونی کے فلیٹوں کو قرنطینہ مرکز بنایا گیا ہے۔ اس قرنطینہ مرکز میں کے ڈی سی (خیرپور ڈیزاسٹر مینجمنٹ سیل) نامی مقامی تنظیم بطور رضا کار کام کر رہی ہے۔
کے ڈی سی کے نمائندے اظہر بروہی نے بتایا کہ ان فلیٹس میں کرونا مریضوں کے لیے صحت و صفائی کے انتظامات بہترین ہیں۔
کے ڈی سی کے رضا کار کرونا مریضوں کے لیے پڑھنے کو کتابیں لا رہے ہیں۔ مشتبہ اور تصدیق شدہ مریضوں کا معائنہ ڈاکٹروں کی خصوصی ٹیم کرتی ہے جبکہ طبی سہولیات کے لیے میڈیکل کے طلبہ بھی بطور رضاکار موجود ہیں۔
کراچی میں اس وقت نجی ہسپتال، بلامنافع کام کرنے والے ادارے، این جی اوز اور مقامی سیاسی قیادت مل کر کام کر رہی ہیں۔ جماعت اسلامی بھی ملک کے مختلف علاقوں میں اپنی بساط کے مطابق طبی مراکز قائم کر رہی ہے اور بارہا جتا رہی ہے کہ دعا کرو، دوا کرو۔
ہاں ایک جماعت ہے جس نے اپنے محلات میں بیٹھ کر بیان داغنے کا آسان کام پکڑا ہوا ہے۔
ضروری نہیں کہ لیڈرشپ کے جلوے اسی وقت دکھائے جائیں جب آپ حکومت میں ہوں، اس لیے کرونا کرائسسز میں حکومت کی نااہلی کے ساتھ ساتھ نام نہاد قائدین کے منفی کردار پر تنقید بنتی ہے۔
اس وقت پوری مسلم لیگ ن صرف عمران خان اینڈ کمپنی کے لتے لینے پر لگی ہے۔ ملک کی سب سے بڑی سیاسی جماعت کا بحران کی اس گھڑی میں کردار صفر ہے۔
جہاں چاہ وہاں راہ، یہ وہی سندھ ہے جسے ہم پچھلے سال رو رہے تھے کہ کتے کے کاٹے کی ویکسین تک موجود نہیں۔ آج وہی سندھ ہے جو بحران میں لیڈر بن کر ابھرا ہے۔ اگر ہم ٹشن کی بجائے کام کو اہمیت دیں تو مراد علی شاہ ہمارے نئے قومی ہینڈسم ہیں۔
سائنس دان کہہ رہے ہیں کرونا وائرس سے ہماری قوت مدافعت لڑتی ہے، ٹھیک ہے مگر اجتماعی مصیبت کے خلاف قوم کی اجتماعی قوت مدافعت بھی تو کوئی معنی رکھتی ہے۔
وزیراعظم تو خود کھلاڑی ہیں ان کو تو پتہ ہوگا کہ انسان آدھی جنگ اسباب سے تو باقی جنگ اعصاب سے جیتتا ہے، انہوں نے تو ابھی سے ہتھیار ڈال دیے

کورونا وائرس: پاکستان میں صوبائی حکومتوں کو وزیراعظم عمران خان کی مخالفت کا سامنا - تحریک انصاف کی حکومت اس معاملے کو سیاست سے الگ کرکے قومی مسئلہ کے طورپر دیکھنے کو تیار نہیں

پاکستان میں کورونا وائرس کے پھیلاؤ کا خدشہ روز بروز بڑھتا جارہا ہے، ملک میں مصدقہ کیسز کی تعداد چودہ سو سے زائد ہو چکی ہے۔ لیکن تحریک انصاف کی حکومت اس معاملے کو سیاست سے الگ کرکے قومی مسئلہ کے طورپر دیکھنے کو تیار نہیں۔
مبصرین کہتے ہیں کہ عمران خان بھی وہی غلطی کر رہے ہیں جو کورونا سے متاثر  چار بڑے ممالک کے سربراہان نے کی، امریکی صدر ٹرمپ اپنی قوم کو صورت حال کنٹرول میں ہونے کا جھوٹا دلاسہ دیتے رہے، اسپین میں کورونا وائرس کے کیسسز کی تصدیق کے باوجود عورت مارچ منعقد کرنے کی اجازت دی گئی، اٹلی کے عوام نے اپنی حکومت کی بات نہیں مانی اور حکومت نے بروقت لاک ڈاؤن نہیں کیا جبکہ ایران میں تو روحانی پیشوا اور حکومت دونوں نے ہی کورونا وائرس کی وبا کو امریکی سازش سمجھ کر عوام کو متنبہ کرنے کی بجائے تسلی اور دلاسے دیے۔ غیر معمولی صورت حال میں وزیراعظم عمران خان کو سوچنا ہوگا کہ کہیں وہ پچیس فیصد شہریوں کو درپیش ممکنہ خدشے کے باعث ایک سو فیصد کو ناقابل تلافی نقصان پہنچانے کا یقینی بندوبست تو نہیں کر رہے۔ رفاعی تنظیموں کے اتنے بڑے نیٹ ورک کو استعمال کرنے کی بجائے رضا کاروں کی نئی فورس بنانے کا شوشہ بظاہر 
سیاست کے سوا کچھ نہیں ہے۔
پاکستان میں کورونا وائرس کے پہلے کیس کی تصدیق چھبیس فروری کو کراچی میں ہوئی اور ایک ماہ ہی کے دوران یہ تعداد صوبہ سندھ میں چار سو چوالیس ہوچکی ہے لیکن پاکستان میں مجموعی طورپر کورونا وائرس کے کیسز کی تعداد انتہائی برق رفتاری سے چودہ سو سے تجاوز کر چکی ہے اور ملک کے سب سے بڑے صوبے پنجاب میں صرف پندرہ روز میں کیسز سندھ سے زیادہ ہو گئے ہیں۔
اس دوران سندھ حکومت ابتداء سے ہی اس وبا کو کنٹرول کرنے کے لیے سنجیدہ اور متحرک نظر آئی اور اس حوالے سے وزیر اعلٰی مراد علی شاہ انتہائی اہم کردار ادا کر رہے ہیں۔ قرنطینہ مراکز کا قیام ہو یا ایران سے آنے والے زائرین کے ٹیسٹ سندھ حکومت نے اب تک ہر کام بروقت کیا ہے۔ پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کئی مرتبہ وزیراعظم عمران خان سے لاک ڈاون کا مطالبہ کیا لیکن انہوں نے نہ صرف اس پر توجہ نہیں دی بلکہ قوم سے خطابات اور نیوز کانفرنس میں لاک ڈاؤن کو ملک کے پچیس فیصد سطح غربت سے نیچے رہنے والے افراد کے لیے قاتل قرار دے دیا۔

وزیراعظم عمران خان کہتے ہیں کہ ''چین نے لاک ڈاؤن کیا کیونکہ چین دنیا کا دوسرا بڑا امیر ملک ہے، پاکستان جیسے ملک میں یہ ممکن نہیں کہ پورا ملک اچانک بند کردیا جائے، ہمارے پاس اتنا بڑا نیٹ ورک ہی نہیں کہ ہم چھوٹے، شہروں، قصبوں اور گاوں دیہات میں رہنے والے لوگوں کے گھروں پر راشن پہنچا سکیں، لوگوں کو خود رضا کارانہ طور پر گھروں پر رہنا چاہیے۔‘‘
وفاقی حکومت نے مطالبات پر کان نہ دھرے تو سندھ حکومت نے تئیس مارچ سے صوبہ بھر میں لاک ڈاؤن کا اعلان کر دیا جس پر عملدرآمد کی بھرپور کوشش کی جارہی ہے، مگر وزیراعظم نے اس کی بھرپور مخالفت کی، لیکن اگلے ہی روز پنچاب، پھر خیبر پختونخواہ اور آخر میں بلوچستان نے بھی لاک ڈاؤن کا اعلان کردیا۔ یوں وفاقی دارالحکومت کی انتظامیہ بھی بلآخر لاک ڈاؤن پر مجبور ہوگئی۔
لاک ڈاؤن کی خلاف ورزیاں
ملک بھر میں یہ تالہ بندی مؤثر ہوتی نظر نہیں آ رہی کیونکہ لوگ شاید گھروں میں بیٹھنے کو تیار ہی نہیں۔ صرف صوبہ سندھ میں گزشتہ پانچ روز کے دوران لاک ڈاؤن کی خلاف ورزی پر تقریباﹰ دو ہزار سے زائد افراد گرفتار کیے جا چکے ہیں۔ بلکہ نماز جمعہ کے اجتماعات منعقد کرنے والے پیش اماموں اور مساجد کی انتظامیہ سمیت پانچ سوسے زائد مقدمات بھی درج کیے گئے ہیں، پھر بھی صوبائی حکومت کو کورونا کے حوالے سے مطلوبہ نتائج حاصل کرنے میں کامیابی نہیں ہو رہی۔ ملک بھر کے علما نے صدر مملکت عارف علوی کو اختیار دیاکہ اسلامی ریاست کا سربراہ جمعہ کے اجتماعات پر پابندی عائد کرسکتا ہے لیکن صدر بھی اپنی سیاسی جماعت پاکستان تحریک انصاف کے رہنما عمران خان کی راہ پر چلتے ہوئے مشکل فیصلہ نہیں کر پائے اور سندھ حکومت کو یہ فیصلہ بھی تنہاہ ہی کرنا پڑ گیا۔

پاکستان میں صحت کی سہولیات کورونا وائرس سے پہلے بھی قابل زکر نہیں تھیں لیکن کورونا کی وبا کے بعد نہ صرف ڈاکٹرز بلکہ پیرامیڈیکل اسٹاف کو بھی خطرات لاحق ہیں۔ کراچی کے دو بڑے ہسپتال عملاﹰ بند ہو گئے ہیں اور حکومت سندھ کو فوج کی مدد سے دس ہزار بستروں کا ہسپتال بنانا پڑا ہے۔ ایسے میں طبی عملہ بغیر کسی حفاظتی اقدام کے بہت زیادہ دیر تک خدمات سر انجام نہیں دے پائے گا۔

Friday, March 27, 2020

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#Pakistan #PPP - #coronavirusinpakistan - Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asks government to renegotiate terms with IMF

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Thursday asked the federal government to renegotiate new terms with the IMF by keeping in view of the impact of coronavirus pandemic. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from his twitter account tweeted that it has been Pakistan People’s Party’s position for some time that the federal government must renegotiate its ruinous deal with the IMF.
He stated in a message through his twitter account that the given we are facing global pandemic government must renegotiate new terms with the IMF that takes into account impact of COVID-19 global economy.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from his twitter account tweeted that it has been Pakistan People’s Party’s position for some time that the federal government must renegotiate its ruinous deal with the IMF.
He stated in a message through his twitter account that the given we are facing global pandemic government must renegotiate new terms with the IMF that takes into account impact of COVID-19 global economy.

#Pakistan - #SaveSajidBaloch - Sajid Hussain, editor in chief of #Balochistan Times has gone missing in Sweden

The editorial board of the Balochistan Times has decided to share the deeply concerning news about the disappearance of our Chief Editor, Sajid Hussain. He has been missing from Uppsala, Sweden, since March 2, 2020. A formal case was filed with the Swedish police on March 3, 2020.

As of today, there is no clue about his whereabouts and wellbeing. The police have not shared any progress into the investigations with his family and friends.

We urge the Swedish government to deal with this matter with utmost urgency. Considering his role as a leading figure in the Baloch media and his work on the conflict in Balochistan, we share his family’s fears about his safety. Since it is an ongoing investigation, we hope to see progress on the matter soon.
We would like to assure Sajid’s family that the Balochistan Times stands with them at this uncertain and difficult time. Our team is also ready to offer any assistance the Swedish authorities might need in locating him.