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Daily Briefs


Photo : The Express Tribune

9 May 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No 9

Record COVID-19 spike in a single day;



"By hoping, the virus will not be contained" says Dawn Editorial

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
By Abigail Miriam Fernandez
 
COVID-19
Record COVID-19 spike in a single day
Pakistan has seen a record rise of 2000 new cases on 8 May, just a day before easing down of the lockdown. With the number of cases increasing, the Punjab and Sindh government have asked for an extension of the lockdown restrictions. However, the federal government has urged people to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been put in place. (Dawn)

"By hoping, the virus will not be contained": Editorial
The News International, in its editorial, feels that the people are left to their own to fight the COVID-19. It argues, "since the first case of Covid-19 emerged in Pakistan, and a lockdown of sorts was partially imposed across the country in March – most stringently of all in Sindh – we have been left essentially on our own to grapple with the world's biggest crisis in recent times. Is this matter not too serious to be left to the people alone?"

The editorial concludes with a warning: "The virus is not a joke. Medical specialists warn that things could worsen very quickly. There could be a massive storm ahead, pulling into its epicentre thousands of people. Do we want this?"

Bilawal says, Sindh is not ending the lockdown on Monday, and counters the media report that the CM has agreed to lift the curb
Imran Khan, after the meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Thursday (7 May 2020) announced a phased lifting of the lockdown within Pakistan. Following that, there have been reports that Sindh has also agreed to lift the lockdown agreeing with the Centre.

However, Bilawal Bhutto, the President of the PPP refuted that Sindh is going along with Sindh. He tweeted: "Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has categorically said that Sindh was not ending the lockdown on Monday and "we are entering the second phase of lockdown with some extra restrictions, particularly at hotspots."

The Centre-Sindh differences on lockdown has been one of the most significant setback in fighting COVID-19 within Pakistan.

Pakistani students in Wuhan to be repatriated
More than 1000 Pakistani students who are stranded in Wuhan will be repatriated by special four special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights. These students have been stuck in Wuhan since the breakout of the coronavirus. A foreign ministry spokesperson stated that these students have been "very patient and brave" during this difficult time. (The Express Tribune)

INTERNAL
Major and five soldiers killed in an IED blast near Iran border
A major and five soldiers were killed in Buleda near the Pakistan-Iran border. The security personnel were returning from their routinely patrolling when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated by remote control close to the border. (The News International)

A day earlier, there were attacks on the security forces in North Waziristan, in which two soldiers were killed.
 
"Limited access to technology means that millions of students who cannot hop online will be left out", says Dawn's Editorial
This new age of digital learning amid this pandemic will be a huge challenge in developing countries like Pakistani due to the lack of technical support and already existing structural inequalities leaving many students to drop out or simply not have access to this new system of remote learning. Further, the editorial sheds light on how the government would need to take measures to address this matter. (Dawn)

Islamabad High Court continues its crusade on the criminal justice system in Pakistan
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a written order on 8 May questioning why the Police Order 2020 has not been implemented. According to the IHC, it is an important mechanism for the criminal justice system response and effectiveness. The court issued that "is being resisted for reasons that are required to be explained and justified by the federation as well as the administration of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT)". (The Express Tribune)

A few days earlier, in a different case, the IHC issued a scathing verdict on reforming criminal justice system by proposing a policy to conclude criminal app­eals within three months in order to shorten the duration that these cases otherwise run for.

Dawn on the formation of National Commission for Minorities
Dawn, in its editorial, looked inwards to identify the major problems facing the issues in Pakistan, forming a National Commission for Minorities. It read: "The problems surrounding the formation of the body simply reflects how far we are from becoming a truly equitable society in letter and spirit. While we rightfully condemn the cruel treatment that minorities — particularly Muslim minorities — in many other parts of the world are subjected to, we turn a blind eye to the abuse taking place under our watch or go into denial and get defensive about our own poor track record."
 
EXTERNAL
Gen Bajwa extends support to the Afghan Talks
Chief of Army Staff, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa conveyed to the US Special Envoy for Afghan Reconciliation Dr Zalmay Khalilzad that Pakistan's "support towards peace process is a manifestation of our goodwill towards the cause".  (Dawn)

Supreme Court on Gilgit-Baltistan Polls
On 8 May, the Supreme Court stated on the federal government's appeal which sought to amend the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 to conduct the upcoming general elections and the creation of a caretaker government during the interim period. The court stated that "We expect that the caretaker government shall comprise of highly respected persons with a proven track record of high levels of integrity, impartiality, uprightness, and competence" (The News International)

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