Govt using Covid-19 relief fund for political agenda, alleges PML-N

Updated March 31, 2020

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PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has established himself as the minister of coronavirus spread and personal enrichment.  — AFP/File
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has established himself as the minister of coronavirus spread and personal enrichment. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The PML-N has alleged that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government is using the Corona Relief Fund for its political agenda, therefore a parliamentary monitoring committee must be formed to ensure oversight and transparency.

Presiding over a meeting of senior party leaders and lawmakers through a video link here on Monday, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said not only has Imran Khan Niazi failed as a prime minister but also as the federal health minister. “Imran Khan has established himself as the minister of coronavirus spread and personal enrichment. Therefore, it is demanded that a parliamentary monitoring committee should also be responsible to know the details of the import process of all items being procured from abroad.”

Party meeting calls for parliamentary oversight

The meeting said the government was [allegedly] using foreign aid for coronavirus for its political activities. It stressed that the National Assembly speaker should summon a meeting of the standing committee with immediate effect.

Shahbaz Sharif said the rapidly-increasing number of coronavirus patients in Punjab was an alarming situation. “A serious notice of this must be taken immediately,” he said and warned that hiding [actual] data and deaths was a criminal act which should be avoided at all costs. He said the government was refraining from conducting the required testing and screening especially in Punjab that might cause an unimaginable disaster.

The PML-N president lauded the decision of the court to revive the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) as his party had been demanding this for a long time.

The meeting said Imran Niazi had completely failed as the federal health minister and had proven to be the minister for ‘spread of coronavirus’ and his task force was destroying the healthcare system. It condemned the act of not allowing the PMDC registrar from entering the building.

The meeting also pointed out that the new notice from the health ministry regarding revival of PMDC was a ‘cunning’ act and instead of the so-called Tiger Force, local governments needed to be reinstated.

It stressed the need for providing preventive gear to the doctors as ensuring their well-being was the key to ensuring the well-being of the nation. The meeting took notice of the numerous complaints of terrible state of affairs at hospitals, while the government was busy doing politics in the name of relief funds. It criticised the [alleged] distribution of money to favourites through PTI MPAs and MNAs.

MARYAM: PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has paid tribute to medics for their services in Covid-19 pandemic.

“The mankind has not known a bigger sacrifice than to save lives imperiling your own. Stand with pride, because you are the best amongst us. Our heartfelt gratitude & homage to our heroes in white armour, our doctors, nurses, paramedics the healers & humanitarian leaders of our times,” she said in a tweet.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2020