Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, politics in Pakistan has been limited. But that has not stopped political leaders from trading barbs over one issue or another. The consistent back and forth between the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), over each other’s policies in their governments, shows us that neither is willing to bury the hatchet temporarily for a greater cause.

The latest in this series of volleys is the Sindh government’s accusations that the ruling party’s relief plan is unconstitutional and must be agreed to by the parliament to be functional. Pointing out technicalities in the constitutional process is one thing, but when these political points come at the expense of the lives of citizens, politicians should learn to stop and consider the implications of their words and actions. Given that this relief package in many cases is all that stands between life and death for those living below the poverty line, surely procedural issues are not supremely important?

While there is a dire need to hold a parliamentary session over several pertinent issues, the situation at hand requires that we first ensure that the virus is kept at bay, and our people don’t starve. Everything else is secondary. There will always be a difference of opinion on what the best course of action is during this pandemic; Pakistan is not the only country that is grappling with the debate for a smart lockdown versus closing down everything. Both sides have valid points. But for now, let’s roll up our sleeves and get the work done, time will judge the suitability of the policies we employed.