Staff Reporter Lahore
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said that the Sindh government’s unilateral decision of imposing a complete lockdown in the province was “unconstitutional” and it is bound to hit the country’s economy hard.
Asking the Sindh government to revisit its coronavirus policy in consultation with the federal government, he said that Karachi was jugular vein of the country’s economy and the decision would have adverse effects on entire country.
He was talking to a private television channel after visiting the residence of senior anchorperson Ajmal Jami and offered condolences over the sad demise of the latter’s mother. The information minister was accompanied by Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib.
Fawad said that the decisions of the Sindh government to control coronavirus in the province had raised serious concerns, adding that a complete lockdown in Karachi would hurt the national economy and add to the miseries of the common man. He said a curfew-like situation in the country’s economic hub was unacceptable.
He asked the Sindh government to immediately lift the complete lockdown on the industrial sector, adding that the provincial government could not take unilateral decisions in the light of the Articles 149, 151 of the Constitution and the verdicts of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Fawad said that the Sindh government could not ignore federal government and National Command Operation Centre directions, adding that no province had the right to introduce complete lockdown as the provinces were bound by law to follow the government policies in letter and spirit.
He said that complete lockdown would badly impact the daily wagers and labourers, adding that the industries, which had ensured 100 per cent vaccination of their workforce, should be exempted from the ban.
“The situation would have been different had the Sindh government implemented the coronavirus SOPs,” he said, stressing that the federal government had been extending full cooperation to the provincial administrations to curb coronavirus in the country.
To a question, the minister said the fourth wave of novel coronavirus had originated in India and the Indian government of Narendra Modi could not take necessary measures to check the spread of the Delta variant of the virus in the region.
Fawad said that India was the source of the Delta variant spread in the region, adding that many economies of the world were facing impact due to the poor policies of the neighbouring country.
“Delta virus has spread at a time when the coronavirus-hit economies are fast recovering from the economic crisis,” the minister said, adding that the Indian government badly failed to check the virus’ spread.