Sindh has refused to resume transport services as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced it is reopening all public transport from Monday, following in Punjab’s footsteps.
Sindh refused to do so, citing the rising number of coronavirus patients in the country and a “critical situation” in the province as cases, deaths, and recoveries continued to increase simultaneously.
The announcements from the KP, Punjab, and Sindh governments came after Prime Minister Imran Khan had requested the provincial authorities to open public transport.
“I believe that whatever steps we opt for must take into account helping the most affected — our lower income strata of society,” the premier had said in a press briefing earlier today.
“When we shut public transport, we must remember we are making life difficult for the poor. So I request everyone to open public transport.
“The United States has not shut it nor has Europe. Why have we?”
Responding to the prime minister’s statement, Sindh Transport Minister Ovais Shah stated that although he respected the premier’s decision, coronavirus cases in the province were on an upward trend and the provincial government could not afford to let public transport open.
“Factory owners did not implement the SOPs after making a commitment with the government earlier,” Shah said. “Does the prime minister wish for Pakistan to become Wuhan or Italy?”
“We fear that resuming public transport operations will turn Pakistan into Italy. The prime minister has admitted that people are not adhering to the SOPs after the lockdown was eased.
“Let us work together, respected prime minister. The provinces need your help at this time,” said the minister.