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When Corona Tigers Are Hungry For Bribes

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On Tuesday, the police arrested a member of the Coronavirus Relief Tiger Force. This is the same youth volunteer team Prime Minister Imran Khan created as a part of the government’s COVID-19 response strategy. Their tasks range from ensuring social distancing to distributing the cash as disaster relief in marginalised communities. PM Khan also wants Tiger Force volunteers to help tackle climate change and the country’s locust problem.

Details

Tiger Force member, Mohammad Sadeeq, visited a bazaar and confronted shopkeepers for violating the government’s COVID-19 prevention regulation. He allegedly demanded money in exchange for not reporting the violation. Even though volunteers don’t have the power to enforce rules, and don’t have official authority, they still need to report the violations. Are you wondering if Sadeeq got the money? Nope. Shopkeepers beat him up and handed him over to the police.

The context

There are 157,738 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, and 3,033 virus linked deaths. There are 8,320,288 cases worldwide and 447,628 global deaths.

The bottom-line

PM Khan said the Tiger Force will recruit more volunteers. However, there isn’t a lot of information on the screening or training requirements for these volunteers. Opposition parties have been skeptical from the beginning, calling the Tiger Force initiative ‘a headline-grabbing stunt’.

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Naya Daur