COVID-19 and Political Conundrum
Covid-19, which has been declared, a pandemic by WHO, has shaken the entire world. The deadly infection has now spread to more than 195 countries around the world and number of cases has jumped up to 1,934,557 and more than 120,438 people have died. 

            At the time of writing, the number of cases here in Pakistan stands at 5,716 and the numbers of deaths are 95. United States, the world’s largest economy, has now been declared as an epicenter of virus and has surpassed Italy and Spain in the death toll which has risen to 23,644.

                  In Pakistan, the cases are rising exponentially and the situation is quite worrisome and precarious. Hitherto, the Federal and all the Provincial governments have given a swift response and enforced lockdown in major cities of the country where the outbreak of the virus is on ascending course. 

            The National Coordination committee (NCC) which is headed by Premier Imran Khan has been formed to review performance of the provinces and make strategic planning to combat novel coronavirus. But, one is cognizant of the fact that there is a lack of coordination and understanding on some issues between Centre and provinces, in particular Sindh. 

             The wars of words betwixt the ruling party and the Sindh government have been escalating on the issue of issue of lock down. It flared up on Sunday evening when the federal minister from the ruling party lambasted the policies of Sindh government and in particular Chief Minister Murad Ali Khan in combating Covid-19.  This promoted a counter reaction from CM Sindh and he accused the federal government of ineptness and reiterated that strict lockdown is the only viable solution to curb the spread of coronavirus.

              “Pakistan needed the national leadership to set a direction for the provinces instead of saying that provinces could choose their own path,” the said CM said in a presser. Later on Special assistant to PM on Information and broadcasting in response to CM Shah’s presser said “he shouldn’t have held the press conference to criticize the federal government & should have discussed his issues with the premier.” 
Albeit, the PM and his aides are not against the lockdown, but the point of contention is the severity & phases of relaxation in the lockdown. 
                Notwithstanding their palatable reservations, the spat of words and allegations will make the matter abysmal as it is not the time for political point scoring, rather everyone should work in tandem to synergize the endeavors against this pandemic which has ravaged or neighborhoods and most progressive countries in the world.  It says that bucks stops at the leader, so Prime minister Imran Khan should lead by example and craft a concerted approach for the central and provincial governments. Our politicos should rise above their petty politics and tackle this unprecedented economic and health crisis with resilience and solidarity to prevent our populace and health care workers from demoralization.
One can deem that better sense will prevail.
Author: Salman Yazdani, 
General Secretary APML Youth Wing 
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