LAHORE: A civil court has issued notices to US embassy in Pakistan and others on a $20 billion damages suit filed by a citizen who recovered from Covid-19 pandemic.

The plaintiff, Raza Ali, alleged in his suit that United States was responsible for the losses suffered by him and the country due to coronavirus as the country was behind unchecked spread of the pandemic.

Besides the US embassy, US consul general in Lahore, US secretary of defence through consul general (Lahore) and ministry of foreign affairs had been made defendants in the damages suit filed through Advocate Syed Zille Hussain.

The plaintiff pleaded that his family members were suffering and their health was so compromised that they might be unable to live a healthy life ever. He said unchecked spread of virus in the US and irresponsible statements of its leadership spread it all over the world including Pakistan.

He said: “The defendants are responsible for the colossal death toll, misery, and economic disasters they inflicted on the world, including but not limited to the entire Pakistan.”

He stated that it was unfortunate that “some elements in the US” used detrimental tactics against its rivals but this time the nature had taken revenge from them and unfortunately US lost tens of thousands lives. He claimed that the current US administration was creating hurdles for the global fights against Covid-19.

The plaintiff alleged that the pandemic was a direct outcome of sheer violations of defendants’ duties to the international community and imperiled precious lives and health of billions across the world.

The plaintiff asked the court to pass a decree that “Covid-19 was caused by the US and it played havoc with the lives of Pakistanis. He also urged the court to pass a decree for recovery of $20 billion in his favour.

Civil Judge Kamran Karamat issued notices on the suit for Aug 7. The judge also issued notice on a separate application seeking a direction to stop the US consul general from leaving Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2020