UK’s biased decision | By Attiya Munawer


UK’s biased decision

PAKISTAN has been much safer from Corona Virus than many other countries. The strategy adopted by Pakistan to save people from Coronavirus has been praised and imitated by many other countries.

Nevertheless, it is incomprehensible to adopt a double standard and biased attitude towards Pakistan at the Global level.

The UK has announced a new policy on international travel, which will take effect on August 8.

Under this policy, some Gulf countries, including India, have been removed from the red list and added to the “amber” list, while it is very unfortunate that Pakistan is still on the red list.

There is no doubt that at present the rate of coronavirus cases is at the highest level in the country, but where very effective measures are being taken to control it, new records of daily vaccination are also being set.

In Pakistan, the vaccination capacity with Smart Lockdown has exceeded one million per day, while the situation is improving due to strict implementation of Smart Lockdown and Coronavirus SOPs.

In contrast, forty to forty-five thousand new Coronavirus cases are coming to light every day in India with 42,625 new cases and 562 deaths were reported in India, while so far a total of more than 31.8 million Indians have been infected with Coronavirus and India is the third largest corona-affected country in the world with more than 400,000 registered deaths.

The world, on the one hand, is a champion of justice, while on the other hand, injustice is being perpetrated against weaker countries.

The decision to remove the quarantine requirement for Indian nationals from entering the UK by keeping Pakistan on the red list is surprising and deeply regrettable.

A petition has been filed in the UK against the decision, which has so far received more than 60,000 electronic signatures, with more than 100,000 people signing the petition, the issue will be debated in the British Parliament.

While the Pakistani community is protesting against UK’s biased decision, British MPs are also criticizing the government.

Naz Shah, a British MP, expressed surprise at the move, saying it was not the first time the UK had exhibited callous behaviour in managing its quarantine traffic light system. Injustice has been perpetrated on several occasions before.

She questioned that the infection rate in Pakistan is 14% while in India it is 20%. Even so, what if India’s progress on the amber list is not the end of prejudice?

It is welcome that voices will be raised from within the UK on this biased decision of the UK, however, the Pakistani government should also adopt an effective strategy against the British decision, as the Pakistani community in the UK will be most affected by the decision.

But other aspect of the issue that needs to be considered is Pakistani diplomacy as to why India, despite being so affected by coronavirus, managed to make it to the amber list while our country is still on red list.

The main reason for this is India’s active diplomacy, while we have, as always, been tolerant.

From our Foreign Ministry to our diplomats, the focus has been on Pakistan’s internal politics, while there is a need to counter Indian conspiracies through active foreign diplomacy.

In view of this issue, we urgently need to reconsider our diplomatic affairs, as long as the Foreign Ministry corrects its Qiblah and changes its tolerant attitude, Pakistan will continue to face such biased decisions.

—The writer is a regular columnist, based in Lahore.

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