Monday Aug 09, 2021
Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari on Monday slammed the UK government for keeping Pakistan on its Red List of countries facing travel restrictions, saying that they never asked Pakistan for data related to the country's coronavirus situation to review their decision.
The minister was responding to a report in The News that quoted sources in the UK government as saying London had kept Pakistan on its Red List as the country had not provided UK authorities data on vaccination and testing.
In a sharply-worded tweet, Mazari said the UK government is dominated by 'Indophiles'.
"Ridiculous! UK govt, dominated by Indophiles and despite globally documented India's continuing disastrous handling of the COVID pandemic, moved India to the Amber List but keeps Pakistan on the red; then under pressure from Opposition MPs, gives feeble excuse that Pakistan didn't share data," she tweeted.
She further defended her stance, saying British authorities never asked for the data as the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has "the most centralised & daily updated data bases anywhere & data shared with UK HC".
She criticised the UK government for 'shifting goalposts', noting that it had earlier said Pakistan had been placed on the Red List because more passengers from Pakistan compared to India were testing positive for COVID.
Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said that the country was looking into Pakistan's placement on the Red List.
The News had learnt that PM Boris Johnson made these remarks during a conversation with a Pakistani delegation at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he was attending the Sovereign’s Parade as the Queen’s representative, to watch 243 cadets commissioned as army officers.
The PM’s remarks indicated that there was a chance that Pakistan may be moved to the Amber List in a few weeks.
The Pakistani delegation included top envoy Moazzam Ali Khan and three other diplomats.
According to official sources, PM Johnson's remarks were in response to the Pakistani delegation raising the issue of the "red list" and how inconvenient it was for thousands of Pakistanis.
Johnson had assured the delegation that his government was looking at the data and "considering possibilities" based on scientific advice.
PM Johnson had said that he is looking forward to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the United Kingdom soon. The Pakistani delegation told the UK premier that the South Asian country, too, is looking forward to the visit.