LAHORE - Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif has accused the government of its failure to devise a proper mechanism to distribute relief sum among poor people.

Chairing meeting through video-link to review the relief work amid coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, he feared that the mess at relief amount distribution centres could become a source of COVID-19 spread. Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider Khan, Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman, party’s provincial presidents, general secretaries and other party leaders attended the meeting.

Shahbaz Sharif said that political gimmicks such as Tiger Force must end now and the government should chalk out a proper plan to formulate a system for fair distribution of relief sum among people with proper precautions to avoid the spread of coronavirus as well as maintain dignity of the people.

He expressed his grief over the sad demise of a woman in Multan, who had come at the relief sum distribution centre to collect the money, adding that the current system of distribution of money among people was extremely dangerous and may cause spread of coronavirus among people. He emphasized restoring the local bodies system to ensure provision of relief to the people at their doorsteps.

He paid tribute to the doctors and medical staff for providing treatment to the COVID19 patients and fighting as frontline soldiers in the fight against coronavirus. On the instructions of Nawaz Sharif, he said that the party had distributed lakhs of protective kits among doctors, nurses, security forces to protect these frontline soldiers from the virus during fight against COVID19. “We, as a nation, can fight together and defeat coronavirus pandemic and scourge of hunger in the country,” he added.

Shahbaz Sharif said that PML-N had held consultations with experts in all sectors including medical, agriculture, economic sectors as well as political parties to prepare recommendations and presented to the government to take action. “The history will always bear witness to it that we always provided necessary guidance to the government to help the people in these difficult times in their lives,” he added.

He also appreciated the AJK PM Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan and GB Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman for their urgent measures for protection and relief of the people during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as treatment of COVID19 patients.

He also lauded the PML-N leaders and workers at national, provincial, district and organization level to carry out relief work such as provision of protective gear to the medical staff as well as ration and other essential items to the people at their doorsteps. He advised them to continue their service to the people in their respective constituencies, while ensuring it not to be a show-off activity to embarrass the people. He further informed that they had started a campaign to spread awareness among people regarding maintaining social distancing, hand-washing and wearing masks to protect themselves against the coronavirus.

Earlier, at the beginning of the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif and all senior party leaders expressed their grief over the sad demise of three party stalwarts including Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, former MNA and Senator from Jhelum Raja Muhammad Afzal Khan and former Secretart General Saranjam Khan and paid tribute to their services for the party and democracy in the country. They offered fateha and prayed that may Allah rest their souls in peace and grant patience to their families.