ISLAMABAD            -            Pakistan People’s Party yesterday questioned the role of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Tiger Force as the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman asked how the Tiger Force will benefit the country.

“Now the PM says that Corona Tiger Force volunteers will also help fight locusts. Have they helped control the virus that now they will fight against the locust invasion? Are they going to exercise state authority to enforce SOPs? Are they going to become vigilante gangs,” she said.

The PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, said the federal government cannot place the responsibility on people when “it is continuously giving them mixed messages.”

Senator Sherry Rehman said according to the PM, Pakistan cannot afford another lockdown but “when did the federal government enforce one in the first place?”

She added: “Had there been a proper lockdown, the outbreak would not have escalated out of control. Saying that the lockdown has hurt the poor and our economy, and then also firing 9000 plus steel mill workers is ironic.”

The federal government, she said, does not understand what the whole point of lockdown is.

“This was the best time to ramp up our healthcare facilities, increase testing and trace cases but this precious time was also spent criticising Sindh government who is actually trying its best to control the pandemic,” she added.

Senator Rehman questioned how can the PM say that coronavirus was not spread from mosques?

“We may be the only Muslim country which opened the mosques for Taraweeh prayers but anybody who went for Taraweeh anywhere in Pakistan can testify how no SOP was followed anywhere,” she she remarked.

The PPP leader said: “We do have to ‘live with the virus’, but that does not have to mean killing 1000s daily. Instead of taking the lockdown seriously, restrictions on tourism sector are being lifted. We have left China behind and our per capita death rate from COVID-19 is now on a different level altogether to the rest of South Asia. This is the time to lead by example but the PM himself is not wearing masks in meetings and nor are the government officials observing the SOPs.”

Hospitals, she said, were being attacked because the federal government makes people think coronavirus is not a big deal.

“All this will only end up in a disaster and the only one who will be responsible for this, will be the Federal government and its mixed messaging,” she said.