MULTAN/ ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi on Sunday showed concerns over violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) by the people issued by the government to control the spread of the coronavirus.

He regretted that the public was not taking the coronavirus outbreak seriously. The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing with each passing day and if the situation remained the same, the government would have to impose a strict lockdown, he warned.  The foreign minister was speaking to a delegation of Caterers and Marriage Halls Association, which called on him here. Qureshi said the entire world was facing the COVID-19 challenge and the economies were staggering globally due to it.

He said the government wished to not only fight the virus, but also wanted to save the people from  hunger. It was fully alive to the problems faced by the people from every walk of life owing to the coronavirus, he said, adding he would present the point of view of Caterers and Marriage Halls Association regarding the permission for opening the business in National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting to be held on Monday in Islamabad if they committed to abide by the SOPs.

Earlier, the delegation apprised him of the hardships faced by them during the lockdown. They said 90 per cent of the marriage halls were on rent and it was not possible for their owners to pay rent and salaries of the staff without business.  The association demanded the government to permit them opening of the business with the SOPs to earn livelihood for their families. The delegation included Association President Nusrat Mian, General Secretary Kashif Mirza, Mahmood Mirza, Jamil Ahmad and others. \932

PML-N leaders misleading nation: Waleed

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Waleed Iqbal Sunday lauded the government for making public the sugar inquiry report so that strict actions could be taken against the responsible. Talking to a private news channel, he said the government was determined to punish the responsible of wheat and sugar crisis and added nobody could escape from the punishment.

He said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Maryam Nawaz and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi were trying to mislead the nation regarding the sugar inquiry report to divert attention from their corruption.

The senator said many leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and PML-N were involved in massive corruption and looted the national exchequer ruthlessly. The PTI government was committed to eliminate the menace of corruption and recover the looted national wealth from corrupts and plunderers, he added.