ISLAMABAD: With the number of Covid-19 cases rising steadily, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is alarmed at the way the federal government is handling this public health crisis.
There is an absence of clarity in the federal government’s measures – a clarity without which it cannot hope to curb the pandemic and create space for the country’s already fragile healthcare system. The government in Islamabad has sown confusion among the population by relaying mixed messages about the lockdown and inciting its supporters in Sindh to undermine the actions taken by the provincial government.
Instead of learning from the experience of more developed countries that have suffered hugely at the hands of this pandemic, the federal government remains indecisive. Worryingly, despite clear warnings from the Pakistan Medical Association, it has allowed congregations in Ramazan under pressure from certain clerics, even though this contravenes lockdown decisions in other Muslim countries. When a large part of the population across Pakistan is at risk, it is deeply disappointing to see the federal government indulge in scoring political points against a provincial government, while capitulating to the big business and religious lobbies.