Fawad Chaudhry lauds Sindh's 'dynamic' measures to tackle coronavirus

'Some provincial govts have played a dynamic role but some did not; in this regard, Sindh govt remained most proactive,' he said

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ISLAMABAD: Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday lauded the Sindh government's measures to tackle the coronavirus crisis, which has so far left 15 people dead and over 1,500 infected in Pakistan.

"Some provincial governments have played a dynamic role but some did not; in this regard, Sindh government remained the most proactive," Chaudhry said.

"This is why the Sindh chief minister deserves appreciation and I commend his efforts. I congratulate him on that," he added.

Chaudhry and Shah's law adviser and the spokesperson for the Sindh government, Senator Murtaza Wahab, were speaking about the measures to tackle the COVID-19 coronavirus in Geo News' programme Geo Parliament.

With regard to the Punjab government's measures, the federal minister said it was a question for the provincial chief minister Usman Buzdar's leadership to answer.

"There should have been better communication from the rest of the governments, there are many instances where they failed to carry out adequate communication that essentially was needed. The Taftan issue, too, is one of those instances," Chaudhry highlighted.

He, however, added that federal governments did not engage in micromanagement and that it was for the provincial governments to decide. "We [the centre] can only guide them and provide the required facilities; decision-making is for the provinces to do and they should do it accordingly," he noted.

With regard to a lockdown on a national level, he said the biggest problem was "the special trade traffic, if halted, will make us unable to obtain three million tonnes of wheat, which may lead to a shortage" of grain in Pakistan.

"The government has only controlled oil and gas traffic for two days and there has been a shortage of petrol and diesel in Gilgit-Baltistan. How do you deal with that?

"If a curfew is placed, it would have to lift for 3-4 hours every day and then there'd be queues, so what then would be the use of the curfew?"

In response to a question on religious extremism, the federal minister said the ignorant people were, in fact, the God's curse. "A huge part in the COVID-19 spread in Pakistan is due to religious gatherings," he mentioned.

"Conservative Ulema [scholars] destroy the society but only the Ulema who speak the truth are a blessing," he added. On the other hand, he said while the National Coordination Committee should meet every day, contacting each and every political party during an emergency was a waste of time

With respect to Jang Geo Media Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman's arrest, Chaudhry said that matter was for the court to decide.