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Why is Pakistan under lockdown despite PM’s opposition?

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 26, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 week ago
Posted: Mar 26, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 week ago
Why is Pakistan under lockdown despite PM’s opposition?

Photo: Samaa Digital

Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the nation on Sunday in the wake of mounting coronavirus cases in the country and rules out the possibility of a lockdown.

Moments after the address, the Sindh government announced a lockdown and by that evening, Punjab, whose chief minister has the endorsement of the PM himself, does the same, followed by the other provinces.

A day later, ISPR DG Major General Babar Iftikhar confirmed the countrywide deployment of the Pakistan Army after the interior ministry okayed the provinces’ requisition in accordance with Article 245 of the Constitution.

SAMAA TV anchor Nadeem Malik asked on Wednesday night’s show federal government spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan the significance of PM Khan’s call if the country was to go under a lockdown shortly after.

Awan cited the 18th Amendment which, she says, gives provincial leaderships the autonomy to make such decisions.

She admitted that the provinces imitated Sindh’s move of imposing a lockdown instead of taking the Centre into confidence prior to their announcements.

“I agree that there should have been some uniformity, a proper roadmap,” she said. “The provinces copied Sindh and acted in a chaotic manner.”

The anchor said the public was wondering whether the prime minister’s orders were actually being followed by everyone. Awan said the premier was against the lockdown because it takes a toll on poor families and daily wage workers.

“It is surely the prime minister who’s in the driving seat of making decisions,” she added.

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