Senate resolves unity with China, lauds medical support amid crisis

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-Shibli urges Opposition to support Government’s efforts to deal with pandemic

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: The Senate passed a unanimous resolution expressing deep appreciation to China for its strong support and timely assistance to Pakistan during the current Coronavirus crisis.
The resolution, moved by leader of the Opposition Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, said China’s support has helped Pakistan to combat COVID-19 by protecting our people, saving our lives, as well as providing our health workers with testing kits, protective gears, and ventilators at a time when these badly needed plus sending medical teams, which are still coming.
Senate also rejects the baseless propaganda against China from certain quarters, which stems from geo-political rivalry and more an attempt to divert world attention from their own internal failings. The Senate feels that this resolution, just prior to May 21, which marks the 69th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China on May 21, 1951, is an auspicious occasion to celebrate the resilience of our time tested friendship, which is evident from China’s consistent support to Pakistan on Kashmir, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and now on COVID-19.
Earlier, resuming discussion on Covid-19 in the Senate today, Lawmakers have called for evolving a uniformed policy to deal with the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Aurangzeb said the government should provide Personal Protection Equipment and other facilities to health workers, who are the frontline soldiers in fight against the contagion. He said also demanded of the government for early repatriation of stranded Pakistanis in various countries.
Mian Ateeq said problems of common Pakistanis should be resolved under a collective vision. He said in the time of digital world, students and other people were doing their academic and business work through internet in the wake of COVID-19. He urged the government to withdraw duty on import of laptops and other digital goods so that students and business people can continue their activities, while maintaining social distance.
Mushahidullah Khan said the government should have created a national consensus on fighting this pandemic. He said, unfortunately, the government rejected offers of cooperation from opposition leaders Shahbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He said the government created Tiger Force instead of seeking cooperation from the opposition as a joint strategy. The session is being held under strict adherence of health guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure safety of the members and the Assembly staff.
The House also offered fateha for the departed souls of those, who lost their lives in recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. Senator Siraj-ul-Haq led the fateha. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said that the opposition should refrain from playing the blame game and support the government in its measures to ward off the coronavirus pandemic. The lawmaker was addressing the Senate, where he said that the coronavirus is not only a cause of concern in Pakistan but around the world as well.
The Senator expressed relief that Pakistan has a less severe situation as compared to the other countries, saying that the country made efforts despite limited resources.
He lamented that the lockdown measures affected the middle class and daily wage workers the most, adding that more than Rs100 billion have been disbursed under the Ehsaas programme. While referring to fellow Senator from PML-N, Mushahidullah Khan, Faraz said that the allegation that diesel is not available in the markets is incorrect.