PM Imran opposes complete lockdown in the country

09:58 AM | 1 Aug, 2021
PM Imran opposes complete lockdown in the country

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the people to strictly observe Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), especially wearing of face masks, to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Interacting with the public over the telephone in the live TV Programme "Aapka Wazir-e-Azam Aap Ke Saath" on Sunday, Imran Khan said the 4th wave contains Indian variant of COVID-19 virus, which is very lethal as it spreads at a very fast pace.

He said 60 to 70 percent spread of the contagion can be controlled by wearing face masks at crowded places.

The Prime Minister said, so far, 30 million people have been vaccinated and the government was making vigorous efforts to get rest of the population immunized at the earliest.

He said the government will ensure that there is no dearth of vaccine in the country. He, however, made it clear that the government would continue its strategy of smart lockdown instead of going for imposing blanket lockdown to protect economy and employment of the people.

Smart lockdowns can be imposed in areas identified as hotspots, he said, adding that schools should not reopen unless all the teachers get vaccinated.

Free media is blessing

Responding to a call made by renowned journalist Habib Akram, the Prime Minister said the government believes in freedom of expression as constructive criticism is a blessing for a vibrant society.

He said that leaders who are scared of free media are the ones who are either corrupt or have something to hide.

"If I had apartments in London [or had been involved in corrupt activities], I would have been scared of a free media too," he said.

"I only oppose the media when fake news is disseminated, otherwise free media is a blessing for any country."

Ehsaas Programme

Replying to a caller, Imran Khan said Ehsaas Programme is being expanded and data of entire Pakistan has been compiled for the purpose and direct subsidy would be provided to 40 percent people by December this year.

Noor Mukadam case

Regarding a question about gruesome murder of Noor Makadam, the Prime Minister said he is personally following this matter and assured the nation that culprits will not be allowed to escape the law.

He termed the incident as tragic saying that irrespective of the citizenship or influence of the culprit, he will have to face the law.

Electronic voting machines

The prime minister, stressing the importance of electronic voting machines (EVMs), said former US president Donald Trump could not prove rigging in the elections as America uses EVMs.

The prime minister said he had been inviting the Opposition for electoral for a year, but they paid no heed and showed no interest in this regard.

Speaking about the July 25 Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections, he said the umpires and the sitting government were of PML-N; the police and the election staffer were also picked by them.

Climate change

Talking about adverse impact of climate change, he advised the people to plant at least one sapling in this monsoon season.

The prime minister said that the government launched the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project to provide a healthy environment to our future generations.

Imran Khan said no attention was given to prepare master plans of cities; instead we ruined the only planned city of Pakistan, the federal capital of the country.

He said now we are focusing on vertical construction to protect environment and to contain unplanned spread of cities.