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Pakistan cannot afford to go into a complete lockdown: PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday urged the masses to wear facemasks and follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) designed to contain coronavirus spread.

The prime minister was answering questions from the public who were calling in with their queries. PM said the third wave of the pandemic is proving more lethal across the globe including Pakistan. “No one can say how long the third wave will prevail.”

The premier said when the world is going into lockdown to contain virus spread despite vaccination, we here in Pakistan trying to save the people without going into complete lockdown.

“We cannot afford a complete lockdown,” he said.

PM Imran said that the livelihood of poverty-stricken people gets more affected due to the lockdown.

Responding to a caller from Islamabad about rising inflation, PM Imran Khan said his government is trying its best to control the rising inflation.

“I will advise everyone to wear this mask,” he said, gripping one in his hand.

Holding middlemen responsible for the inflation, the premier said growers selling their commodities at the market at cheaper rates and they get expensive while reaching the end-user.

He said prices of sugar were jacked up artificially to earn more profit and the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) report into the sugar scam is ready and has been made public.

Mafias are hoarding commodities that are resulting in inflation, he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said health cards introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government to provide free of cost treatment to citizens is bringing a revolution in the country. “Now a poor can also afford expensive treatment.”

The government is focusing to uplift the health sector and in the coming days, more hospitals will be built to provide easily reachable health facilities to the masses.

Declaring the land mafia as the country’s biggest problem, PM Khan said the mafia use to occupy government lands with the help and support of governments.

Land mafia cannot operate without the supervision of the government and police patronage. “PTI government is first in the country’s history, which is against the and mafia.”

Imran Khan said the government in its ongoing action against the land mafia has recovered state-owned land worth Rs450bn in Islamabad and Punjab so far.

Without taking anyone’s name, the premier said a leader of a political party in Punjab was supporting the province’s biggest land mafia.

PM Imran Khan also said as long as India doesn’t revoke the decision of taking Kashmir’s autonomous status, no normalisation is possible between both countries.

“The way PTI government has fought Kashmir’s case on all international platforms, no other government has done this in the last 50 years,” he said.

The government’s decision to import cotton and sugar from India, was an emergency consideration but then the cabinet decided that Pakistan will not do anything that will make Kashmir’s feel that there’s normalisation with India, the premier said.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

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

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