ISLAMABD, 13 May 2020: Addressing the Senate, PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “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. 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 said, “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 uniform strategy to tackle this situation as it is not possible for a province alone to tackle an issue of this magnitude alone. 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. Everyday there is a tirade of abuse against Sindh which we are ignoring because we do not want to get into dirty politics, especially at this time when the country is fighting a national emergency. This is the time for national unity where all provinces must be on the same page.”
“The lives vs livelihoods debate is irrelevant right now. Lives come first and there should be no confusion about it. We don’t need to cite other countries and their decaying economies of the west as our priorities need to be shifted. We need to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them. This is an unprecedented situation, why should we experiment on our people’s lives? A major chunk of the 1.2 trillion relief package has been allocated to big businesses and construction sector but now our budget needs to reflect human security. We need to realise that capitalism has failed us,” she added.
Rehman said, “This situation is worse than war. Our healthcare system is collapsing. We have 6 beds per 10,000 people. Healthcare professionals are constantly saying that our resources will exhaust. Since there is no policy, there is a chance of losing 10 lac people to this virus. Is that acceptable to us? There must be a single message and policy”.
Criticizing the ambiguity in government policy regarding the lockdown, PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying that, “Federal governments mixed messages have led to serious confusion amongst the various segments of society. SOPs are not being followed and people are out shopping for Eid, this is only because the highest office of this country is giving a mixed and confused message to the public. There needs to be a single message and policy to avoid chaos and create national unity. Our people are not alone and this is the message which needs to be given out”.