To lock down or not to lock down? Center & Sindh lock horns again!

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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah
15- April Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah addresses press conference

Differences between center and Sindh reached the next level when Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Information & Broadcasting on Wednesday accused politicians in Sindh of playing contentious politics at the sensitive time.

She said that the provincial ministers were dividing the nation by giving conflict-ridden statements. She also said that only Sindh did not follow the decisions made by the National Coordination Committee in its recent meetings.

She added that Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah was propagating fears instead of spreading hope at this time.

She also said that the implementation of the lock-down in Sindh without any strategy did not bring fruitful results as the province witnessed deaths of people both from coronavirus and hunger.

She also said that Sindh was autonomous in its decisions regarding coronavirus but it should not forget its responsibilities as a federating unit.

Yesterday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari blamed the federal government for taking the coronavirus issue non-seriously. Earlier, he had multiple times blamed the federal government for not spending on the health facilities during coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier, federal minsters Murad Saeed and Faisal Vawda had accused Sindh of financial irregularities in the distribution of rashan among the people. Both ministers in their tweets questioned about the proofs of the distribution of rashan in Sindh.

PTI Leader Shehbaz Gill has also been criticizing the Sindh government since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. In his recent tweets, he said that the Sindh government had been making wrong decisions so far and now it was hiding against the federal government. He also wrote that, after the 18th amendment, all the powers were with the provisional governments and Sindh could not blame the federal government for the imposition of any decision. He also advised the Sindh government to work instead of playing politics.

In response to these tweets, Sindh Minister for Women Development Syeda Shehla Raza tweeted that Murad Saeed and Faisal Vawda could not speak against the Sindh government without the consent of the prime minister. She also blamed Imran Khan for backing all these statements against Sindh.

Today, addressing a press conference, CM Murad Ali Shah admitted that during their meeting with the prime minister there were some points upon which they could develop a consensus.

He said that Sindh did not show its consent for opening the shops of barbers, electricians, plumbers, etc. for two more weeks as suggested by the federal government.

He said that the logic behind opening the construction industry was not understandable; however, the industry had been declared open with specific SOPs in Sindh. He further said that the workers above 55 years of age would not be allowed to enter the construction sites and the work would be done in shifts to prevent any rush on the construction sites.

Answering a question about the PM’s visit to Karachi tomorrow, he said that he wanted the prime minister to follow the precautions regarding coronavirus. He also hoped that the prime minister would not gather many people at a place and ensure social distancing during his visit.

Fraaz Mahmud Kasuri

Fraaz Mahmud Kasuri is editor at The Wallet.

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