ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday the Sindh government would not be allowed to impose a complete lockdown in the province as the federal government’s policy on controlling the spread of Covid-19 was crystal clear.
The Supreme Court had ruled that the provinces could not take unilateral decisions in this regard, the minister pointed out while commenting on the Sindh government’s announcement about imposition of a lockdown in the province.
In a statement, Mr Chaudhry said that under Article 151 of the Constitution, Pakistan is a single market with the port of Karachi acting as the “jugular vein of its economy”. Any move that could affect the country’s economic lifeline could not be allowed.
The Sindh government had been given a clear message that unilateral decisions could not be allowed in this regard, he said.
Mr Chaudhry was of the view that the option of imposing a complete lockdown was “not available to any provincial government”.
The policy about the Covid pandemic was formulated by the federation and the National Command and Control Centre and the provinces were bound to implement it, he said.
The minister said the government had “fought hard against the virus” and had so far managed to save many lives while maintaining a stable economy.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said, was of the opinion that a complete lockdown would severely affect the working class, particularly the daily wage earners. Had the Sindh government implemented the SOPs effectively, the situation in Karachi would not be so grim today.
Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021