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Many Pakistani expats slam Imran Khan govt over COVID-19, refuse funds

Many Pakistani expats slam Imran Khan govt over COVID-19, refuse funds

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 28 Apr 2020, 12:16 pm

Islamabad/IBNS: The Pakistani expatriate community residing in the United Kingdom has rejected PM Imran Khan's appeal for funds needed to combat COVID-19 and alleged the government is "stealing from the poor by cutting their salaries and benefiting the rich", media reports said.

Giving the example of Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid, activists told ANI, "The minister gives a check of Rupees 5 crores for COVID-19 relief by deducting salaries of poor railway employees. He has not contributed a single penny from his funds." 

Palwasha Khan, a Pakistani politician, also criticized Imran Khan's government, especially the governor of Sindh Imran Ismail, who insulted the poor people while distributing Rs. 12,000 as COVID relief fund under the Ehsas Programme, reported ANI.

She said, "Sindh governor's video is going viral in which he is asking a poor woman to count Rs. 12,000. I want to ask the governor, you are sitting at a place where Mohd. Ali Jinnah used to sit. You are a matric pass governor and you better tell - will you be able to write 'governor Sindh' in English? I challenge you to write it in Urdu." 

She said the money belonged to the people of the country.

The expatriate Pakistanis, including those in the medical profession, have also slammed Imran Khan over failing to convince public to maintain social distancing during the holy month of Ramzan.

While speaking to someone in Karachi, a Pakistani doctor working on the frontline in New York narrated the horrific stories of the US and asked people in Pakistan to follow social distancing and lockdown guidelines, reported news agency.

He told ANI, "We are getting the majority of patients who are not following lockdown guidelines. We doctors are taking all precautions while treating the patients. If we are taking all precautions, why are not you able to do so? What is it necessary to go to a mosque and offer Namaz there? If one person is affected with the virus, it will spread to all those available at the mosque." 

The Pakistan government seems to face a growing challenge in their act to contain COVID-19 as a section of the Islamic clerics have warned they will flout the government’s restrictions on group prayers especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

The warning is believed to be alarming for the country as it has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of Covonavirus cases over the past few weeks.

In their attempt to restrict the spread of the virus, the Pakistan government has restricted gatherings in mosques to five people or less in recent times.

While the regulations haven’t been strictly enforced, they have upset the religious establishment in the devoutly Muslim country, and on Tuesday, a group of 53 senior clerics announced that they would no longer observe the restrictions, declaring that they were not applicable to mosques, reports VICE.

Clerics have said closing mosques and stopping Friday prayers specially during Ramadan months remained unacceptable to countrymen.

“The closure of mosques, shutting down Friday prayers and Taraweeh [additional ritual prayers performed during Ramadan] is unacceptable to the countrymen,” said Pir Azizur Rehman Hazarvi, an Islamabad-based cleric affiliated with the Wafaqul Madaris al Arabia, a large federation of Islamic seminaries, according to VICE.

Stressing the need to attend mosques more, he said people need to apologise to the Almighty if they want to confront the COVID-19 outbreak.

Pakistan is still witnessing religious congregation even as it has been banned in other nations to avoid the spread of the lethal virus which is believed to have originated from Islamabad's all-weather ally China (Wuhan), media reports said.