SC expresses concerns over govt’s coronavirus plan
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday expressed concerns over the government’s plan to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus as more cases were reported in the country.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed questioned the state's preparedness in dealing with the crisis while hearing the petition pertaining to the release of under-trail prisoners amidst the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
During the hearing Monday, the top judge questioned the government’s action plan regarding the spread of the virus and Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza’s qualification.
“What sort of an emergency has been imposed in the country where all the hospitals in the country have been closed?” Justice Gulzar remarked. “Private clinics in the country have also been closed.” “No one knows what is happening on the ground,” he added. “Is this how we will deal with this pandemic? The Centre has nothing and they are doing nothing as well.”
To this, Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan informed the court that they have submitted a report in this regard. “The federal government is taking all the necessary steps,” he said.
However, the top judge further said, “The public has been left on their own. The provincial governments keep talking about distribution of rations and funds and the chief ministers keep issuing orders from their homes. Nobody knows about the ground realities.”
To this, the attorney general requested the chief justice to take a briefing in his chamber.
“What will you tell us there that we don’t already know,” Justice Gulzar remarked.
The top judge also questioned the qualification of SAPM Dr Mirza. “Zafar Mirza only comes on the television for projections. We are not coronologists. We just want to make sure the public is getting their basic rights.”
Moving towards the petition filed pertaining to the release of under-trail prisoners; CJP Gulzar said the court cannot release the under-trial prisoners. “The government needs to find a way around this. Those who have the virus will infect others as well. The government needs to impose precautionary measures in prisons,” he said.