I have been advocating for a lockdown and medical emergency since 27 February. The government is confused and till now those sitting in power are confused even on the definition of a lockdown; which is a complete lockdown in the rest of the world which is called a smart lockdown. For God’s sake, have the full lockdown with special emergency laws to have an effectively controlled lockdown.

My consistent views have been endorsed today by Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and World Health Organisation urging the Pakistan government and state institutions to enforce complete lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The Federal and provincial govts are using different implementations of lockdown from a smart lock down to a partial lockdown. However, I have previously stated that there is only one form of lockdown which basically is imposed on the basis of emergency directions which prevents the public from leaving a certain area.

The commanding authority has to be the state which can impose emergency and order the lockdown to make it fully legal. This could be used for implementing law and order to prevent interactions within the public to stop the spread of epidemic or pandemic.

You might have noticed that many countries have recently promulgated laws to deal this emergency. I conclude that in our case, the government itself is confused on how to impose a lockdown and many related matters and it has further confused the common man.

No decision of the government can be implemented unless enforcement of the rule of law is ensured.

This pandemic needs to be stopped and therefore the interaction of potential patients’ needs to be stopped and generally without testing one cannot identify the presence of coronavirus in a patient. The Prime Minister and his cabinet are jeopardising national security when the government itself failed to detect a corona patient who spent over an hour with the PM and his staff and thereafter, he met other cabinet members as well.

According to WHO if there is one patient in a given area, then consider 28 persons already infected.

Now by this principle, we have latest figure of 11000 patients all over the country from the given reported number. Then, as per the protocols of WHO, we have already reached the statistic of nearly 300000 patients which are consistently infecting others unknowingly.

The government should first define this as an emergency and bring a law either through the parliament or via ordinance on a lockdown to ensure the proper lock-in.

I will be proposing a legislation on it as well, as this has to be a different emergency to control this pandemic and to cover various expects of national security.

The main issue is to make our public aware of the use of the rule of law because in the absence specific legal orders for lockdown under emergency, the public has no fear of formal arrest and trial as they are not bothered about the punishment since they know the violation of lockdown or Section144 will not give them stringent punishment.

During the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, emergency lockdowns have been implemented worldwide including mass quarantines.

The first time in history that lockdown measures were used was during the plague outbreaks in Italy over the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries and were applied in full force during the plague in Florence in 1630-31.

The measures taken against COVID-19 today are parallel to the ones taken by health authorities in Italy 400 years ago. The plague outbreaks in Italy were seasonal that began in spring till summer and started to diminish in winter. It is unfortunate that this pandemic is not weather dependent and nobody has a clue as to how long it will haunt us and how it is going to change the world order.

Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) says “When you hear that [a plague] is in a land, do not go to it and if it occurs in a land that you are already in, then do not leave it, fleeing from it.” This is what we need today to follow strictly as this saying of our Holy Prophet is the only way across the world to combat this pandemic.

It is unfortunate that this deadly disease is attacking us and its prey is a large part of the population. We have two choices; either we allow this virus to attack us or we build an iron curtain to stop this disease from infecting us, which would be the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones as an entire nation.

A friendly lockdown can be defined as defence against these invisible attackers.

There should either be a complete lockdown with well-defined laws of emergency for national security, or there needs to be a friendly lockdown where individuals isolate themselves from society with their own self-controlled laws and day to day self-handling. They can be their own supervisors to avoid arrest or punishment.

Can anybody define what a “smart lockdown” is? I call it “less than half a lockdown” since it does not meet the “lockdown protocols” set by the WHO.

In normal days, time drives you, while during a friendly lockdown you may drive time your way. The question is how to drive time and keep stress away, bringing happiness by managing your time in your own way with your dear ones restricted within your own four walls.

Take this as God-given opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones. I propose a few tips to follow to kill your time in a qualitative way.

Start your day by first calling your worst enemy and then engage them in friendly conversation simply with the excuse that we have been fighting and have differences but let us bury all grudges, as we never know who will be the next victim. Arrange some flowers or some sweets and send them as a friendly gesture. After that, call your relatives who are abroad and inquire about their health and recall all the good moments you spent together.

In another context, the lockdown has also given people a chance to reunite with their families, spend time together and create happy moments with each other which was not really possible to do in their normal routines. If the family is with you, then chalk out your time your way to cherish these moments with them. You can also start playing indoor games with your family by getting all the tech-savvy kids of your family involved in physical games and activities.

You can also cook food for your family; even if it is burnt or tasteless, it will still be fun. Use this time to reorganise yourself and revert to your God who is merciful and gracious. Start saying prayers and see the tafseer (meaning) of the Quran and trust me you will have lot of peace of mind. Start writing your memories which you had with your parents, which will be a great present to your children and your grandchildren. Get Netflix or YouTube and watch some historic or other interesting movies of your choice. Read books online as you have technology at your disposal even when everything else is locked down.

My own life and career remained very busy and I have learnt that solitude is one of the greatest gifts from Allah which gives you a chance to think and concentrate on certain issues and plans.

I have always done my due diligence by examining multiple angles of various encountering issues.

Churchill was asked as to what was the key to his success was and he stated, “Come what may, I give half an hour a day to myself just to sit alone, have my thoughts processed to strategise my future plans.”

I have locked down myself having all the normal political activities carried out through Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp.

I have also written my new book on coronavirus vs national security during this lockdown. We have to learn as to how best can we use this period.

Dear all, let us pray and hope that we get rid of this deadly virus soon.

These are my own views and do not necessarily represent the views of my party.