Pakistan celebrates a sombre March 23 amid social distancing
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Day celebrations have been curtailed in light of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, with the country's top leadership pledging to fight the pandemic that has claimed more than 14,000 lives across the world.
On Monday morning, Pakistan's death toll from the virus stood at six, while the total number of cases at 803.
All public gatherings, including the much-anticipated military parade, were postponed as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the virus.
President Arif Alvi
In his message, President Arif Alvi reiterated Quaid-i-Azam's slogan of 'Unity, Faith, and Discipline', stating that "there is no better message" for this year's Pakistan Day.
Quoting the nation's founding father, Alvi said: "There is no better message this president can think of, for March 23, Pakistan Day 2020, than what was said by the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah in 1947. My dear Pakistanis, his every word is for YOU and applies to the corona crisis in Pakistan today." In a separate statement carried by Radio Pakistan, the president maintained that it is the responsibility of all segments of society — including the ulema, the media and political leaders — to play their role in education the people about precautionary measures.
"Doctors and health workers are the first line of defense in this crisis, and the nation salutes them for their unrelenting and selfless endeavors," he added.
Prime Minister
Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan urged people to stay calm in the face of the coronavirus outbreak and to take precautionary measures.
According to Radio Pakistan, he said: "The nation has the capability to face any ordeal […] we will emerge victorious."
FM Shah
Mehmood Qureshi
In a statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that Pakistan Day provides the country "an opportunity to reflect on our journey as a nation state and contemplate about the future".
The coronavirus pandemic is testing the resolve and resilience of nations across the globe, the foreign minister said.
Opposition
leader Shehbaz Sharif
Leader of the opposition in the NA Shehbaz Sharif, who recently returned to the country after spending approximately four months in London with his brother Mian Nawaz Sharif, expressed that the nation must emerge as one in order to to defeat the coronavirus.
In a tweet, the PML-N president said: "As the nation celebrates Pakistan Day today and pays its homage to the founding fathers, there could be no greater relevance of the message of the Day than it is today. We must emerge as one nation 2 defeat COVID-19. High time we revived the spirit that marked our freedom struggle!"
Sindh CM
Murad Ali Shah
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah urged citizens to show national unity by staying at home and staying safe, as the province observes a lockdown for the next 15 days.