Daily Briefs

Photo : Dawn

05 May 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No 5

Questions raised on the Government's decision to ease lockdown

Supreme Court directs the Federal Government to form a unified policy; Pakistan accuses India of "whipping up a frenzy over alleged infiltration from Pakistan" and calls for a UN fact-finding probe;

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
by Abigail Miriam Fernandez & Lakshmi V Menon

Questions raised on the Government's decision to ease lockdown
The Government's decision to gradually ease the lockdown due to the economic condition has become a concerning matter. 

An editorial in the Dawn is critical of the government move, given the alarming data of the scenario if lockdown is lifted. The decision to ease the restriction comes after the Planning and Development Minister addressed the unfavourable impact that the lockdown is having on the economy, where more than 18 million people could be left unemployed, 70 million people in the country might fall below the poverty line, and over one million small businesses might be forced to shut down due to the pandemic and lockdown. 

Further, the Government has built its case by comparing Pakistan's low death rate to the rest of the world, stating that the coronavirus has not been as fatal in Pakistan.
There are several difficult questions to be answered. How prepared is Pakistan to respond and cope if there is a spike in infection? Should fighting the virus or addressing the economic issue be the priority of the Government now? Although, an extended period of lockdown would leave the economy in a pathetic state, at what cost will the easing down of the restriction come?

Pakistan accuses India of "whipping up a frenzy over alleged infiltration from Pakistan" and calls for a UN fact-finding probe
On 4 May, Major General Babar Iftikhar, the Director-General, Inter-Services Public Relations, speaking to a private news channel, rejected Indian claims of infiltration from their side across LoC into Jammu and Kashmir. He called them as a futile attempt by India to externalize the self-created dire situation in Kashmir and challenged Indian military and political leadership to furnish evidence.

He also said Pakistan was willing to comply to inspections by United Nations to prove Indian claims of terror launch pads and infiltration false. 
The DG blamed the incumbent BJP government's 'saffronization' policies for causing the national unrest in India and alleged that blaming Pakistan as a means to shift global attention from human rights violations in India. The DG argued that infiltration by Pakistan was not possible due to UN Observes monitoring mechanisms, the three-tiered fencing apparatus along LOC and India's constant satellite supervision.

On the other hand, the media also had a field day accusing India. Dawn in its editorial, blamed India, and said that "it is imperative that both states assume a less threatening and more cooperative posture, as the Covid-19 pandemic knows no borders." 

In Brief
By A Padmashree & P Harini Sha

Supreme Court directs the Federal Government to form a unified policy
The apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) has ordered the Government to frame a unified policy to combat the crisis. From its observation, the lack of a coordinated policy by the Federal Government caused the functionaries to disagree. The court also stated that an interim order would be passed if the required steps were not taken by the Government. (Dawn)

Islamabad High Court says that the faith in the criminal justice system in Pakistan would be totally misguided
Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court made a scathing on Pakistan's criminal justice system. On Monday, Dawn quoted him saying: "Notwithstanding and conceding the weaknesses and shortcomings of the judicial branch, it is dependent on the integrity, quality and professionalism of the other most important stakeholder, i.e. the police, the prison authorities and the prosecution." (Dawn)

Tensions surge as Sindh refuses Tiger Forces
Prime Minister's Special advisor Usman Dar accused the Sindh government of refusing the operation of Corona Relief Tiger Force (CRTF) and "politicizing" the involvement of the volunteers without understanding its Terms of Reference. The tensions between the Centre and Sindh government flared up recently for terming the CRTF initiative started by the Prime Minister as a "political gimmick". (Dawn)  

Quote of the day
"We have to open more sectors to mitigate the miseries of poor and daily wage earners by gradually easing restrictions of lockdown."
– Imran Khan (Dawn)

"Whether due to corruption, complacency or sheer incompetence and lack of professionalism, the criminal justice system is definitely not serving its purpose; rather it is perpetuating miscarriages of justice and appears to have become a source of grave injustice."
Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Islamabad High Court (Dawn)

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