Senate Questions PM’s Absence From Session On Coronavirus

Senate Questions PM’s Absence From Session On Coronavirus
The opposition parties on Tuesday severely criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for not attending the 'utmost important' sessions of National Assembly and Senate on the deadly coronavirus.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Parliamentary leader Sherry Rehman, while addressing the floor of Senate, questioned the premier’s coronavirus lockdown policy. “Where is the prime minister? Who is running the country? Which sort of work is keeping the prime minister busy even today?” the PPP leader asked the questions, adding that PM Imran should have appeared in the Senate [today] to give his statement regarding the coronavirus.

The PPP senior leader said that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were being flouted and the top leadership was sending ‘confused’ messages regarding the lockdown imposed to counter the spread of coronavirus. She said the doctors were warning that the healthcare system would outrun its capacity, but their statements were being ignored.

“We only need to focus on coronavirus. This is a bigger disease than terrorism for us,” Sherry Rehman said, adding that the Senate’s session should have mulled over an increase in the health budget. “The annual budget needs to reconsider its priorities,” she added.

While addressing the House, Opposition Leader in the Senate Raja Zafar-ul-Haq said that the government should have taken a lead in summoning an in-person session, but the opposition had to requisition it. “During such times, opinion is sought from the institutions such as the Parliament,” he said.

He also lamented that the government for not consulting the opposition to find solutions against the pandemic. “You [government] did not even bother to approach the opposition parliamentary leaders,” he added.

Last week, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjarani had announced the session upon the opposition’s requisition.

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