ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party Vice President Sherry Rahman, on Monday, criticised the federal government’s policy against lockdown to fight coronavirus.

The PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate said,“People are dying because of the irresponsible behaviour shown by the Federal government and PM Khan is still talking about how he is against a lockdown. This is the height of stubbornness and insensitivity. Unfortunately, crucial time has passed and now the follies of this government are going to cost us heavily.”

She adddd,“Easing down the lockdown so the poor are not affected was just an excuse to hide behind. Saying that the lockdown has hurt the poor when the government is only concerned about big businesses is self-explanatory. The Government was consistently anti-lockdown and gave in to the demands of power lobbies. It never had a pro-poor strategy.”

The Senator said, justifying opening up by saying rich countries are also opening up was ridiculous when they actually took the lockdown seriously and managed to flatten their curve.

“The only reason that Pakistan did well initially and did not suffer like America was because Sindh government took it seriously and came up with timely effective measures. Other provinces followed the suit and this is what PM Khan did not like,” she added.

She questioned: “Why did the government open marriage halls, religious congregations, even tourism when every doctor in the country was warning against a surge.” Talking about the government’s messages, she asked, “How can it be the responsibility of people when you are continuously giving mixed messages? The top-down confusion about the point of lockdowns/distancing has reduced public support for it, as most have been conditioned to think of it as an indefinite imposition.

If the public is thinking that it is common flu then it is because the Federal government created confusion by their mixed messages, took no preventive measures, in fact hampered the ones being taken & now they are blaming the public for their incompetence”.

Sherry Rehman concluded by saying that, “Had PPP opposed the lockdown the PM Khan would have ensured a lockdown for months. This is not the time for point scoring or reactive politics. Lives need to be saved and timely action is needed”.