There has been increasing discussion from across-the-board on unity and setting aside political differences during this difficult period. But these platitudes do not seem to carry any weight behind them once we look at what has been happening in the political arena these past few days.

Opposition parties such as the PPP and PML-N have offered to assist the government wherever possible, but at the same time are demanding that their suggestions be included in any initiatives in fighting the virus. This is not to say that opinions from all sides should not be taken into consideration. But demanding that the government needlessly go back and forth with opposition over strategy and what might be the best course of action will only waste important time. This is something we don’t currently have; we cannot divert any resources, time included, from actually fighting the virus. That needs to be our foremost priority.

Another issue is one of perceived insults and egos; who heard which speech and who walked out in protest is yet another example of political parties letting old rivalries hamper the productivity of a discussion between parliamentarians; the representatives we have chosen to steer us out of something like this.

With the number of cases in Pakistan above 1000 currently, we are fast approaching the stage where more deaths are a distinct possibility. It is time for all state institutions, political parties and individual citizens to get on the same page. There will be time enough for mud-slinging later once the coronavirus has been controlled and we no longer have to fear for the health of our people. Until then, instead of just saying that we are not going to make this issue political, let’s also try and act on it.