ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said on Saturday that the losses faced by Pakistan because of the coronavirus pandemic were far lower than earlier estimates, mainly due to “effective and efficient planning” by the government.
He slammed the opposition for what he called playing politics over a serious threat to the whole world.
Mr Faraz, along with Communications Minister Murad Saeed, was speaking at a media briefing.
He said the government had distributed Rs120 billion among 150,000 families of the most vulnerable sections of society through the Ehsaas programme and took initiatives that allowed poor people to continue earning their livelihood.
“Behind all these initiatives was the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.”
Murad slams PPP, PML-N for doing nothing for health sector during their tenures
The information minister highlighted the government’s efforts to fight coronavirus, including establishment of the National Coordination and Operation Centre (NCOC), which includes all relevant authorities to make consensus decisions on coronavirus-related matters.
“We have always kept the nation aware of all facts and figures so that the nation remains onboard in these testing times,” he added.
Mr Faraz accused the opposition of creating confusion about the government’s efforts for dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak.
He criticised Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and accused him of making false and incorrect statements regarding decisions made in NCOC meetings, adding that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also given similar statements on Thursday.
Murad Saeed criticised Mr Bhutto-Zardari over his recent press conference, saying that he had nothing new to say. The PPP chief had raised the same issues that had been cleared by the government several times, he added.
The communications minister criticised both the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for not investing in the health sector when they were in power.
He said leaders of the PPP and PML-N went abroad when they needed medical treatment. “Why your father has no trust in any of the public sector hospitals in Sindh and is admitted in a private hospital,” Mr Saeed asked Mr Bhutto-Zardari.
Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2020