AJK PM concerned over fast spreading COVID-19 pandemic in IoK

Demands Indian to lift curfew in IoK, release all political detainees,


MUZAFFARABAD:   (Parliament Times)    AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan has demanded to the Indian government to lift its inhuman prolonged curfew imposed in the Occupied Valley since August 5, last year and immediately release all the political detainees in view of the outbreak of coronavirus.

Addressing a news conference along-with cabinet ministers at Prime Minister Secretariat here on Monday, he expressed grave concern over fast spreading COVID-19 pandemic in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK).

Raja Farooq Haider Khan said that his government and people of the liberated territory were extremely concerned about the hundreds of innocent prisoners, especially the aged and ailing ones, languishing in Indian jails.

“While the prisoners are being released worldwide to protect them from the rising cases of coronavirus, the Indian authorities, instead of releasing the Kashmiri detainees are keeping them in the overcrowded Indian jails, exposing them to the serious health threats”, Haider added.

Terming Indian propaganda, which, claimed, that Pakistan Army forcibly moving Covid-19 positive patients to AJK as baseless, Raja Farooq Haider said that Indian allegations are totally wrong and unfounded. “Pakistan Army is extending invaluable support to the state government in combating the corona pandemic in the region”, He commented.

The Prime Minister pointed out that a corona positive person belonging to Hajira, AJK died in Lahore, even his dead body was not sent to the state.

He said state government has taken unprecedented steps to respond to the pandemic with proactive approach to protect the health and safety of its citizens. “So far, there is no death of corona positive patient in AJK while six persons had been confirmed positive in which four are under treatment in Mirpur and two in Bhimber districts’ isolation wards .”, he informed.

Raja Farooq Haider said that lockdown as precautionary measure, declaring health emergency, and converting newly constructed PM house and Officer’s Club buildings into quarantine centers, establishing corona test labs in all three divisions, 37 quarantine centers throughout the state, corona alert control room to compile the data of foreign returned state subjects and pilgrims were the government immediate response to deal with the global epidemic.

He added that through PM Corona Combat Fund, the government would also provide special assistance to the poor, laborers, daily wagers and other marginalized segments of the society. “One month basic pay as special bonus announced for the doctors and other health staff in the state while magistrates have been deputed to take strict action against the hoarders and profiteers during the lockdown period”, PM added.

The Prime Minister told that 90 million rupees donations from the salaries of cabinet members, MLAs and government officers have been deposited in the Corona Combat Fund and appealed well-off people to generously contribute in the fund.

Replying a question, he appealed Prime Minister Pakistan to build a national consensus and release all political detainees including Mir Shakeel ur Rehman. He urged media to play a positive and constructive role in this extraordinary situation.

To another question, Raja Farooq Haider said that safety kits for doctors and other allied staff working in the quarantine centers and isolation wards had been provided throughout the state. “There is no shortage of edibles and sufficient stock of the flour is available in the state”, he added.

Meanwhile, a high-level video-link meeting presided over by Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider decided to further tighten and toughen the lockdown in AJK.

The meeting decided to complete close the entry points to the state, all connecting points of AJK to Pakistan would also be closed for indefinite time.

“All the major cities of the state would be distributed in different zones to properly monitor the lock-down situation. Prior permission has been made mandatory for inter-district movement”. The meeting decided.

The meeting was informed that a firm has been awarded a contract to install the ventilators in all district headquarter hospitals in the state.

Minister Finance and Health Dr. Najeeb Naqi, Minister Education Barrister Iftikhar Gillani, Minister Information Techology Dr. Mustafa Bashir while Minister Information Mushtaq Ahmed Minhas, Minister SDMA Ahmed Raza Qadri, Chief Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana, Secretaries, IG and Commissioners attended the meeting through video-conferencing.

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