COVID-19 war can only be won through national unity: PM

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan says the war against Coronavirus pandemic can only be won through national unity and coordinated efforts of all stakeholders concerned.

He was speaking at the largest Ehsaas Telethon being simultaneously telecast by the PTV and private TV Channels for raising funds to fight COVID-19.

He said the PTI government announced massive historic relief package for poor families with an objective to reduce miseries of the masses amid a lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Terming the Ehsaas Cash Emergency Programme as transparent and merit-based, he said cash assistance worth 12,000 rupees is being distributed among 5.437 million beneficiaries across the country.

He said the government allocated 144 billion rupees for poor segments of society under Ehsaas Cash Emergency Programme.

Imran Khan said entire world is struggling against Coronavirus which has emerged as the major global issue. He said the lockdown adversely affected the world economy, resulting in growing poverty across the globe, especially in developing countries like Pakistan.

He said the government is mulling the option of imposing smart lockdown in the country to wisely provide relief to labour class, daily wagers & lower-middle strata of society.

Imran Khan said imposition of ‘balanced and smart lockdown’ on the pattern of western countries will be an effective and viable option under prevailing situation in the country.

He made it clear that an “indefinite lockdown” is not an option and any decision regarding a smart lockdown should be for “all Pakistanis and not just the elite”.

Imran Khan said lockdown in India and Singapore badly affected the poor people, and now countries like the United States, are also thinking to impose ‘smart lockdown’ despite deaths of over 40,000 citizens.

The prime minister expressed the confidence that the government will take further decisions in consultations with all stakeholders to resolve issues being faced by the people living below the poverty line.

He said the government prepared a comprehensive roadmap for holy month of Ramazan by taking all religious scholars and Ulema on board. He, however, warned that the government will come into action, if any one resorts to violate the 20-point standard operating procedures to prevent spread of the virus during Ramazan.

The prime minister warned that the next three to four weeks can be critical for Pakistan in terms of coronavirus infections and deaths.

Quoting his recent telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump, he said Washington is planning to ease the ongoing lockdown, which was imposed to contain the virus.

Responding to a query, Imran Khan advised people to offer their prayers and avoid gatherings in mosques to overcome the Coronavirus challenge. He urged the people to have firm faith of Allah Almighty, and make special prayers to steer the Muslims out of prevailing challenge.

Talking about upcoming federal budget, the prime minister ensured that upcoming federal budget will be stimulus and business-friendly. He expressed the confidence that the government will take concrete measures to boost national economy, provide employment to coronavirus-hit population, and alleviate poverty in the country.

Imran Khan expressed gratitude to all overseas Pakistanis, philanthropists and humanitarians, who donated generously for Prime Minister Covid-19 Relief Fund in this testing time.

Participating in the programme on video link, renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq urged the nation to promote truthfulness, honesty, forgiveness and curb the ruthless attitude from the society in line with teachings of Quran and Sunnah.

In the end, he made special prayers to Allah Almighty to steer the nation out of all prevailing challenges, including Coronavirus.