State & Community: Combating COVID-19 through pragmatism

You must look at facts, because they look at you.

Mian Haroon Masood Political Leader, Pakistan

 

The steps taken by Imran Khan for the containment of corona in Pakistan are exemplary. The army is by and far the best institution as far as taking measures in the outbreak of any virulent epidemic is concerned, and when the country is faced with a global threat as this.

China after recovering and maintaining strict controls are now in a position to help other countries. The front line entrenched physicians must be equipped with all the necessary equipment. The doctors from China have arrived to train and assist the present lot of Pakistani doctors who are doing their best despite meager resources. I humbly salute the ones who have been affected performing their duties, before they begin to treat patients.

Their own personal safety is of paramount importance. That could come only if they have the Hazmat (hazard material) suits and the proper gear to go about their duties. We salute the young Dr. Usama from Gilgit Baltistan who lost his life in fighting against COVID-19. Like the young army soldiers, doctors are the second best such force who have physically dedicated themselves for this noble cause. Hats off to them. We hold them in gratitude.

We are highly indebted to our dearest friend China for helping Pakistan in this dire moment of need.

All districts must maintain command and control systems. We are thankful to our district administration and it’s paraphernalia for bringing calm and peace to its citizens despite all threat of contracting the disease themselves.

Ours is a poor country yet we have a population of brave hearts. They will not leave any stone unturned in helping their country fellows when they need them the most.

And for our dear prime minister. We know any step taken by him will be in the best of our interest. His reputation is one which can’t be called into question. We put our faith in him in such darkest periods of time. There will be a lot more help coming in from brotherly countries to alleviate our suffering. We know not a penny will go to waste as far as Imran Khan’s personal conduct is concerned.

That is where the difference lies. Let’s fight the problem through wisdom and sagacity.

We may have to strike a balance because we are fighting at different fronts. Taking care of the poor remains the top most priority. The government should involve the private sector, the rich, and the caring people of the society.

This is a national emergency. It may well be catered to by all its citizens regardless of cast, religion or any other political prejudices.

Imran Khan must take all parties on board. There are some senior experienced parliamentarians belonging to their respective areas. He should talk to them personally if he is not interested in talking to their party heads. He must as a strategy, leave the rest to them.

I have served my Tehsil as its Nazim representing 1.5 million people of Gujrat then, I had about 65 union councils directly under me, and Tehsil council which was a representative body of 92 members. Each one of them having strong clout in their areas.

Now these can be put to a constructive use. This is no time for vengeance or vendettas, a whole lot is at stake. If we all survive only then shall we be in a position to play further. Until then just bury the hatchet. You will be remembered as a kind and a benevolent leader which you are anyways.

The decision to induct tiger force is a very good idea but I would still maintain that the older lot from the UCS be incorporated with your present lot. It’s like making them relive their dream to do something for the country. If they are made to come back in the forefront then the deputy commissioner should in his own capacity liaise with them and entrust them the duty to provide them whatever they may require from time to time to give it to the needy.

Government through its intelligence service must report and maintain a record of who did the best. On the basis of this valuable information the job for proposing the names in future for any such job would become much easier. A very valuable suggestion.

We need people of honour and dignity who are not craving for fame.

But the men of honour still exist in the different parties whose potential must be tapped and now is the time. Go up to them personally. That’s a game changer.

Start from the lowest tier. Don’t let the tiger force be labelled or maligned as a force which served the interests of the chosen ones through ones person likes and dislikes.

The borders must be sealed, the poor taken care of and the doctors be equipped with the necessary protective material. Social distancing is good only to the extent in fighting COVID-19. Distancing otherwise which lacks empathy and togetherness, or compassion, in terms of not reaching out the needy will be reprehensible and unjust.

A holistic approach must be carried out for people coming from humble backgrounds. Those who live through rents or pay rents must be spared through the draconian levies of the Excise and Taxation Department. They must for one be asked to come easy on the wretched people and not push them to extremities of wretchedness.

I think all would have learnt the lesson now when we feel that the most sacred of all the developments is basically a hospital, where we have all possible facilities like state of the art operation theaters with top of the line ventilators, et cetera.

During the Nawaz Government, at a privately hosted dinner amidst other friends I told Rana Tanvir sahib that would not it be a better proposition if your Government had earmarked 1 billion PKR for each district and its hospitals across Punjab. His answer was in affirmation. The metro was not a bad project but, hospitals come first if the money had been spent on hospitals, things would be different, I am sure.

There would not be such craziness, doctors would not be running a muck crying for ventilators. Prioritization is still what we need to be emphasizing upon. Start from now and get data from all districts and build your hospitals. Without having to blame each other.

Your real test would be to actually devise a way that a transparent transmission in distribution of merchandise or financial help be dished out to the most needy at the union councils level No harm if the the army personnel is also engaged to allay all allegations of any misconduct or financial impropriety thereof.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Winston Churchill Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom

As Winston Churchill said, “Personally I am always ready to learn, although I don’t like being taught”.

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