SC expresses dissatisfaction over govt’s handling of COVID-19 outbreak

SC expresses dissatisfaction over govt’s handling of COVID-19 outbreak

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday expressed complete dissatisfaction over the federal and provincial governments’ steps to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

A five-member apex bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed resumed hearing a suo motu case related to the situation arising out of the coronavirus crisis and the steps being taken by the federal government to curb the spread of the epidemic.

“Nothing is being told as to how departments are working. Everything seems to be just paperwork,” the CJP remarked.

The chief justice also had serious reservation regarding the transparency process of spending billions to control the pandemic.

“How can billions be spent on the purchase of masks and gloves? If there is an audit, things will become clear,” he added.

CJP Ahmed questioned the credentials of the Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza and ordered the removal of the special assistant.

“There is an army of ministers and advisors in place but no work is being done,” the CJP observed. He also alleged that “corrupt people” have been kept as advisors in the government.

Responding to the CJP's comments regarding dismissing Mirza, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said removing the PM's aide at this point and time would be disastrous.

"Do not change him mid-flight," he said, urging the court to leave the matter up to the federal government.