ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday said the fed­eral government’s attitude towards the coronavirus and the locust issues was a “dangerous approach.”

He directed the PPP-led Sindh pro­vincial government to continue its ef­forts to protect the citizens from the virus and the devastation by locust at­tacks with whatever powers it has con­stitutionally and administratively.

Earlier the PPP chief was briefed by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on the steps taken by the Sindh govern­ment in fighting COVID-19 and was in­formed that hundreds of children have been found infected by the virus, prob­ably following the ease in the strict lock­down imposed by Sindh government. In a statement, Bilawal expressed grave concern on the federal government’s false narrative that there needs to be a choice between saving lives or saving the economy, adding it was the govern­ment’s job to provide healthcare, to save lives, and to save the economy.

He said the federal government could not absolve itself of its responsibilities. Chairman PPP said that the PPP and its Sindh government were fully geared up to protect the people from the severe implications of this deadly disease de­spite facing bottlenecks and diversions from the imprudent opponents.

He appreciated the Sindh govern­ment for timely actions and efforts and asked it to continue to wage war against coronavirus by ignoring the el­ements targeting it.

Bilawal pointed out that locust swarms have attacked the length and breadth of the country while the Fed­eral government has miserably failed to implement the National Action Pro­gramme against locusts. “Attacks by locusts on agriculture crops and fruits pose a worst danger of famine in the country and people will suffer gravely due to the criminal negligence of the Federal government,” he added.

The PPP Chairman asked Sindh gov­ernment to employ all available sourc­es and capacity to eliminate locusts in all the districts of the province and Federal government should be awak­ened through continued correspon­dence to take steps as fighting locust attacks was the prime responsibility of the Plant Protection Department of the Federal government.

Separately, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bokhari urges the federal gov­ernment to ensure coronavirus tests of the government employees and the business persons. He said the govern­ment had failed to deliver on the coro­navirus and locust crises.

Meanwhile, Bilawal’s spokesperson Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar con­demned the raid at opposition leader Shshbaz Sharif’s residence by the Na­tional Accountability Bureau officials.

“The government is trying to arrest the leader of the opposition ahead of the budget session. This is political vic­timisation,” he said.

The PPP leader said the government should focus on countering the corona­virus and the locust issues.