New Delhi/Islamabad, April 2 (IANS) People suffering acute shortages in food and essential supplies during the coronavirus lockdown in Pakistan have appealed to the Army to help them.
Over 30 people have died and around 2,200 tested positive for the Covid-19 infection in Pakistan so far. Though the Imran Khan government did not go for a countrywide lockdown, most parts of Pakistan have imposed restrictions on the movement of people.
A Pakistani newspaper on Thursday reported that dozens of starving women with their children and hundreds of poor men could be seen sitting along roads waiting for the government to distribute rations in Rawalpindi, Punjab. While slamming the Imran Khan government’s inaction and apathy, people recalled the Army with admiration for the help it provided during floods, earthquakes and other natural calamities.
“Army, Rangers and local managements performed very well in difficult times even in the days of flood, earthquakes and other natural calamities. The government should have at least provided relief to the poor and needy through relief organisations or armed forces of Pakistan who have always stood by people in need,” people waiting for their daily meals told the News.
They appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to provide them food on emergency basis within 24-hours through army, rangers and local management.
Punjab has become the worst-hit province in Pakistan with 845 cases followed by 743 in Sindh, 276 in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, 169 in Balochistan, 187 in Gilgit Baltistan, 62 in Islamabad and nine in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Opposition leader and president of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), PML-N, Shehbaz Sharif lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government for “wasting crucial time on thinking” instead of acting immediately to fight the coronavirus outbreak. He said that the number of coronavirus cases increased rapidly in Punjab due to delayed response by the government.
Incidentally, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has appealed to people especially overseas Pakistanis to donate to acorona relief fund’ for the destitute. Those who donate in the relief fund are not being asked the source of donations and are being given tax incentives. The fund started receiving donations on Wednesday.