ISLAMABAD             -          Pakistan People’s Party Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman, on Monday, said coronavirus rate in Pakistan was alarming. In her response to Prime Minister Khan’s speech, the PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, said; “Of all people being tested in Pakistan, almost 20 percent are reporting positive, which is the 3rd highest ratio in the world.”

She said; “On June 19, deaths crossed the 3,200 mark. This number doubled in 17 days (1600 on June 02). The previous doubling had happened in 18 days and the one before that in 15 days. If it continues this way, then till end August, we will be looking at 25,000 deaths. And yet we are being told that the situation in Pakistan is under control. Which parallel reality is the Federal government living in?” The PPP leader said the first task was to unite the country but PM Khan had instead chosen “to divide” it at a time of terrible crisis.

“BISP (Benazir Income Support Programme) which is the only organization helping and is the most critical element of the economic response to the pandemic, got a 15% budget cut. If the government is actually so concerned about the destitute, then why didn’t it ensure that BISP’s budget was increased,” she added.

Senator Sherry Rehman said that the PM had announced that the government would account for every penny of corona relief fund but till date “we are unaware of where the international aid has gone. We have been asking repeatedly but no heed is paid to it. On one hand he says that Pakistan is a poor country and on the other, he is asking our people for charity.” Pakistan, she said, was experiencing the fifth fastest outbreak in the world. which was accelerating beyond the point of containment. Local transmission was 96% in Pakistan, as per the ministry of national health data.

“While the federal government is still confused and unable to reach a decision. This confusion and the government’s mixed messaging has cost us a great deal. Actually, wrong and misleading messaging has become a hallmark of this government’s COVID-19 response. Data from around the world clearly shows that all those countries that showed reluctance in lockdown or reopened prematurely, suffered but we are continuously given examples of USA and India.