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Federal govt opposes decision to implement lockdown in Sindh

KARACHI: In clear opposition to the lockdown enforced in Karachi by the Sindh government, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said that the Sindh government would not be allowed to impose a complete lockdown in the province as the federal government’s policy in that regard is crystal clear.

Commenting on the Sindh Government’s announcement regarding the imposition of the lockdown from today in a statement, the information minister said the Supreme Court has ruled that the provinces could not make unilateral decisions in that regard.

Fawad Chaudhry said the option of complete lockdown is not available to any province. “The policy regarding the Covid pandemic was given by the federation, National Command and Control Centre (NCOC), and the provinces are bound to implement it.”

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was of the view that the complete lockdown would severely affect the working class and daily wage earners.

The minister said that under article 151 of the constitution, Pakistan is a single market and Karachi port is the jugular vein of the country. “We cannot allow anyone to take actions that could affect this vein,” he said and added that a complete lockdown could not be permitted in the province.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Sindh government announced to impose a lockdown in the province from July 31 (tomorrow) until August 08 after an abnormal surge in COVID-19 cases, especially in Karachi.

The decision was taken by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah during the meeting of the COVID task force that was specially attended by opposition leaders and traders. “Lockdown would remain in place in the province from July 31 to August 08,” Murad Ali Shah said.

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