Asad Umar, Shireen Mazari question UK’s decision of putting Pakistan on ‘red list’

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister Asad Umar and Dr Shireen Mazari have raised questions about the UK government’s decision of putting Pakistan on the travel “red list”.

In his Tweet, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said, “Every country has a right to take decisions to safeguard the health of their citizens,” adding that “However, the recent decision by UK govt to add some countries including Pakistan on the red list raises a legitimate question whether choice of countries is based on science or foreign policy.”

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari ​slammed the United Kingdom decision in his Twitter post “Clearly putting Pakistan on red list but leaving out countries with a far worse COVID 19 record has nothing to do with any scientific or fact-based decision. Reflects foreign policy compulsions perhaps. Unfortunate but that is why reciprocity in foreign relations is so critical.”

Earlier, the UK government has added Pakistan to its ‘Red List’ of travel ban countries.

The British High Commissioner in Pakistan, Dr Christian Turner on Friday announced the travel update in a video message posted on Twitter.

“Red Listing means that the only UK and Irish nationals and those with residency rights in the UK will be allowed to travel to the UK if they have been in Pakistan in the 10 days before they arrive,” he said.

The commissioner said passengers seeking to travel to the UK from Pakistan will have to pay for a mandatory quarantine stay at a hotel in the UK.

The measures will come into effect from April 9, 4:00 am. The High Commissioner added that direct flights between both countries will continue to operate as usual, however, their schedules could change.

Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines have also been added to England’s coronavirus “red list”.

Earlier, Thousands have travelled from the UK to Pakistan in recent months as the UK went into a second lockdown. Many of them are still in the country on extended holidays.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has said that the UK variant of the coronavirus is much “more deadlier” than the original COVID-19 virus that had emerged from Wuhan in China

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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