Pakistan SC takes Imran Khan govt to task over COVID-19 measures

Islamabad: A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Monday expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government in tackling the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The Supreme Court has directed the federal government to remove Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza.

According to the Dawn, the court, in its order, sought a reply from all four provincial governments and the Gilgit-Baltistan government regarding steps taken to curb the spread of the virus. The order, however, made no mention of Mirza’s removal. The detailed order is expected in two days.

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Responding to the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s (CJP) comments regarding dismissing Mirza, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said that removing the PM’s aide at this point of time would be disastrous.

“Do not change him mid-flight,” he said, urging the court to leave the matter up to the federal government.

The Dawn has reported that the court also took the Sindh government to task over the decision to cordon off 11 union councils, observing that there were no arrangements in place to provide the people with food and medicines.

The court directed the Sindh government to present a report regarding ration distribution in the province.

The hearing was adjourned till April 20

Earlier in the hearing, the SC had questioned the performance of the federal government in tackling the coronavirus situation.

“I cannot understand what kind of a team is working on the coronavirus outbreak,” the CJP remarked, adding that there was an entire army of advisers and ministers but work was still not being done.

The CJP also said that corrupt people have been made advisers, and subsequently given the same status as federal ministers.

There are serious allegations against many top government officials, the CJP observed.

Pakistan’s coronavirus cases have reached 5,374 with 334 new infections reported, while seven more people have died due to the disease, taking the toll in the country to 93, health officials said on Monday.

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