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SC withdraws order on reopening of markets on Saturday, Sunday

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Monday withdrew its earlier order of reopening of markets, shopping malls on Saturday and Sunday. A larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Monday resumed hearing of the coronavirus suo motu case. Last month, the Supreme Court ordered the opening of shopping malls across the country and said that the decision regarding the reopening of markets will be reviewed after Eid-ul-Fitr. As the hearing went underway, the Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan told the top court that the federal government was taking every necessary measure to control the spread of coronavirus in the country. He said that specific laws have been made by provincial governments. Press conferences won’t help protect people, remarked Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed. The government must make laws and implement them. “Why can’t Parliament work if all other institutions are working? The federal government should be playing the lead role in the fight against the virus.” Justice Ijazul Ahsan said that the virus doesn’t differentiate between provinces. People are dying because of it and something should be done, he said, adding that ot’s about time people start taking it seriously as 100,000 cases have been reported now. People have no awareness about the virus, remarked Justice Ahsan. Many people didn’t follow the SOPs during Eidul Fitr. The federal government should think about sanitary workers too, said the chief justice. A law should be made for their protection as well, he added. During the hearing, the bench also asked about the locust attack in different parts of the country. The NDMA told the court they have been leased a plane from Turkey for locust spray, to which Justice Ahmed asked if there is a shortage of planes or pilots in Pakistan. The NDMA does not have the licence to work on its own, he said, adding that the court wants audit reports of all the equipment it has ordered so far. The court has also summoned details from the NDMA on the number of masks, protective suits, gloves and ventilators imported from foreign countries. It has also summoned the record of the Turkish plane and adjourned the case for two weeks.

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