Centre under fire yet again over coronavirus handling.

ISLAMABAD: A day after National Assembly session, opposition parties in the Upper House of Parliament on Tuesday again grilled the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government over what they said insufficient and unclear response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

"Today, the country is confronting severe challenges while the PM unable to even attend National Assembly or Senate session," PPP's Parliamentary Leader in Senate Sherry Rehman questioned while addressing the Upper House. "This is the first time in Pakistan's history that we are fighting a pandemic of this nature but PM's words of unity and healing are missing along with his presence in the parliament," she said. "What is keeping him so busy that he cannot attend the sessions? Is the parliament irrelevant, because this is the message he is giving? Who is running the country if he is missing? Why has the CCI not met yet? Like the missing person, there is a missing policy. He needs to be here sharing his plan of action because what is more important than forging unity for your people," she added.

"Provinces have been told to fend for themselves. Even though they are self-sufficient, they are not the State. The need of the hour is to come together and form a uniformed strategy to tackle this situation, as it is not possible for a province alone to tackle an issue of this magnitude alone," she maintained. "Provinces should not be feeling isolated and left on their own. 18th Amendment is being used to hide federal government's incompetency and provinces are being told to do their own thing. But 18th Amendment has nothing to do with this. We can all sit down and discuss this matter but now is not the time to create such distractions," she added.

Addressing the House, Opposition Leader in Senate Raja Zafar-ul-Haq said that the government should have taken a lead in summoning an in-person session, but the opposition had to requisition it. "During such times, opinion is sought from the institutions such as the parliament," he said, and lamented that the government, instead of consulting the opposition to find solutions against the pandemic, did not bother to even approach them. He condemned the statements implying that the novel coronavirus was developed in a lab in Wuhan. He also thanked China for its assistance to Pakistan at this difficult time.

PML-N's Senator Javed Abbasi bashed the government for not 'taking the parliament in confidence'. He regretted that the prime minister had...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT