ISLAMABAD : Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) president Mian Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari walked out of the parliamentary leaders’ meeting when Prime Minister Imran Khan left after completing his speech. According to details, Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed a meeting of parliamentary leaders convened on account of the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country. Leaders of the two major opposition parties expressed their resentment and walked out of the meeting when the PM left after completing his address.
PML-N president Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif criticized the PM saying that he is not even ready to sit down with the opposition, which shows his level of seriousness. Addressing the meeting, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said that it is not the time to criticize or play politics, it is a matter of national security and we have to get rid of the coronavirus collectively. Earlier, the PM, while addressing the meeting, said that preparations would have to be made before curfew imposition in the country. The government will seek the help of volunteers in case of curfew and a program of volunteers will be announced soon. Addressing parliamentary leaders via video link, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government remained in contact with China and keeping Pakistani students in China was a good decision as no cases of the virus have come to Pakistan from China. Pakistan was also in contact with Iran but Iran did not have the ability to fight the virus, he added.
Imran Khan said that Iran sent Pakistani pilgrims to Taftan border and pilgrims had to be shifted to Pakistan due to mounting pressure. Laying out further details, the PM said that so far, 9 million people have been screened at airports and about 900 people have tested positive for the virus, of which only 153 are locally transmitted cases. The PM further said that a lockdown that could result in transport closurr consequently affecting the construction sector was not desirable as decisions taken in a state of panic could aggravate the situation.
Imran Khan said that there is a shortage of oil in Gilgit-Baltistan and if curfew is imposed, food will have to be delivered to people’s homes, but the government does not have the logistic capacity to do so.