LAHORE                 -          Pakistan People’s Party has demanded the Punjab government to share data of pilgrims from Iran with political parties to get their feedback for controlling coronavirus spread.

Addressing a press conference at party secretariat in Lahore on Wednesday, PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira accused the government of continuing the tradition of giving delayed response to issues of national importance.  “Delayed response only worsen the crises. Sindh government compiled data of the pilgrims and put them into quarantine centres. Whereas in Punjab, no such effort is seen though more and more pilgrims are pouring in”, he said.

Flanked by Ch Manzoor and other office bearers, Kaira demanded the Punjab government to share data of pilgrims and its efforts for handling them with leaders of the parliamentary parties. He urged Punjab Assembly Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi to play his role as a seasoned politician in making the government share the data so that all parties could give their feedback and suggestions for containing the threat.

Criticizing the prime minister for what he said lack of strategy in his televised speech on the issue, he demanded the government to allocate funds for the provision of food supplies to the masses during the lockdown situation. He criticized the government for poor screening and quarantine arrangements at Taftan border for the pilgrims. He asked the government not to repeat the mistake at the hostels of various universities it had earmarked to be turned into quarantine centres. He also sought explanation from the federal government about the corona testing kits gifted by the Chinese government as only a couple of hundreds of them had been given to the Sindh government.

Dissatisfied at the meagre cut in interest rate by the State Bank, he said in rest of the country central banks had brought down markup rates almost to zero per cent while here it was yet above 12 per cent to the disadvantage of economy and business in the country. Ch Manoor demanded that the government to establish at least Rs100 billion fund for tackling the corona virus threat, inform the nation about screening of the pilgrims, and pay the Rs3.0 billion audited dues to the media making the release conditional to payment of salaries by the media houses.