ISLAMABAD                   -                  Chairman Senate Standing Commit­tee on Interior Senator Rehman Malik yesterday advised Prime Minister Im­ran Khan to stop his ministers from playing blame game on coronavirus.

Speaking at a news conference here, he said this was time for national uni­ty to combat this deadly virus.

Malik took serious notice of media reports about the burial of deceased overseas Pakistanis in mass-graves without proper religious rites and graves and directed to fully facilitate the funeral rites per Islamic rites with proper identification of graves.

In a letter to Chairman Overseas Pa­kistanis Foundation which he made public during the news conference through a video link, Senator Malik said in view of the worrisome among the families of overseas Pakistanis due to various media reports about the deaths and burial in mass-graves without proper religious rites, the Senate Standing Committee on Interi­or would like to know that how many deaths of Overseas Pakistanis be­cause of COVID-19 had been reported in USA, Italy, Spain, Middle East and other countries.

He said that he had received a num­ber of requests from overseas Paki­stanis to take notice of the matter. He advised that a joint Special Cell of Ministry of Interior, Ministry of For­eign Affairs and OPF may be estab­lished in all the Pakistani Missions across the world to monitor on dai­ly basis the deaths of Overseas Paki­stanis because of COVID-19 and to en­sure that Pakistani are not buried in mass-graves. He said that this is fore­most duty of the concerned Embas­sy to protect the rights of Pakistanis abroad.

In his letter to the OPF Chairman, Senator Rehman Malik advised that a Special Cells based in OPF shall facil­itate the burial of overseas Pakistan­is and the Community Welfare At­taché and First Secretary be directed to liaison with the respective govern­ment that any Pakistanis who dies of COVID-19 is buried according to reli­gious rites with proper identification of graveyard and name the picture of religious rites of the dead body and grave should be sent to the bereaved families in Pakistan.

He said that the OPF shall bear all the expenditure of the burial and graves of deceased Pakistanis as there are enough funds available with OPF.

Senator Rehman Malik expressed that he understands that this is a dif­ficult task in the given extraordinary circumstances, however, it is the fore­most duty of the government to facili­tate the people in their difficult times.

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior will examine the progress by 20th of this month via video confer­ence, hence, a detailed report may please be furnished with details of ac­tions taken in this regard before 20th April, 2020, he added.

The copies of the same letter were also sent to Secretary, Ministry of In­terior, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary, Ministry of Over­seas Pakistanis & HRD, Secretary, Ministry of National Health services, Regulations and Coordination and Di­rector General, Bauru of Emigration for their input and necessary action.

Answering a question, Senator A. Rehman Malik said that he highly ap­preciates Chief Justice’s observations well on time and advise the govern­ment to obey the directions of Su­preme Court regarding taking meas­ures to prevent Coronavirus.

He said that it will be violation of Constitution if Supreme Court or­ders are not obeyed in true letter and spirt. He said that situation would be far different if the government had not implemented the 37 recommen­dations of Senate Standing Commit­tee on Interior which were given well on time during Committee emergen­cy meeting on February 27th, 2020 soon after the Coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan.

He said that it is not too late for the government to implement the Sen­ate Standing Committee on Interi­or 37-point National Action Plan on Coronavirus