ISLAMABAD - The government has seemingly no plans to call Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting as proposed by Minister IPC Fehmida Mirza to Prime Minister Imran Khan for creating unity among provinces to mutually defeat Coronavirus [COVID-19] in the country.

One week ago, Minister IPC/ senior member CCI Fehmida Mirza suggested calling a meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) as soon as possible. The proposal might be floated after heated debate among the provinces amid the blame-game for improperly dealing with coronavirus crisis. The Balcohistan province blamed Sindh government and reacted in a same manner over the matter of spreading infectious disease.

Provinces also held responsible centre for delay in providing necessary health materials to province. Even, Prime Minister intervened and asked the provinces to avoid indulging in blame game. The proposal for calling CCI was floated in the meeting of parliamentary committee on coronavirus attended by all the representatives of parliamentary political parties. “I have given proposal about calling CCI meeting. Obviously, the meeting would be summoned when Prime Minister’s secretariat deem it necessary,” said Minister IPC/ senior member CCI Fehmida Mirza.

The provinces involved in blame-game have so far not stressed prime minister to call meeting of CCI. Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif around a month before had once asked prime minister to call this meeting to take a mutual decision to work with unity. However, the demand was not given due importance.

Opposition leader had demanded for meeting when the country was less than ten positive cases of Coronavirus. Opposition had also requested to summon joint session of parliament to chalk out joint strategy but this proposal was also turned down.

Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on the last day of 20th national assembly session, had demanded to summon joint session on novel Coronavirus. He was supported by other opposition parties as well. Speaker national assembly had even immediately prorogued the proceeding of national assembly to avoid any possibility of spreading dangerous virus among parliamentarians.

Parliament is a place where lawmakers across the country with their staff attended the proceedings of national assembly and standing committees of ministries. Political gurus viewed that the meeting of CCI is normally called to resolve the misunderstanding between provinces on any matter.

Around 2/3 members of committee can also submit requisition to bound the chairman of committee to immediately call the meeting. They said the CCI meeting had been called in past in crisis time to work jointly. The numbers of COVID-19 patients are fast increasing in the country as reportedly in Pakistan tally has reached 2714 with maximum number of cases in Punjab province [1087].