The Novel COVID-19 is in full swing and Pakistan’s priority seems to be politics, as always. The latest conundrum has seen a war of words between Sindh Govt and Federal Govt over the latest Chinese donation.
The owner of Alibaba, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma recently announced a hefty medical donation from China to Pakistan. 500,000 N95 masks reached Karachi the other day. This, as a part of Alibaba’s massive relief drive in Asia.
However, ever since the aid reached Pakistan, Sindh Govt and Federal Govt have been keen on taking credit for it. As per CM Sindh, the 500,000 N95 masks were presented to Sindh Govt. Thus, the Govt decided to keep 200,000 masks for Sindh and distribute the rest to Balochistan, KPK, Punjab, GB, and AJK.
CM Sindh has decided that out of the 500,000 KN95 masks received from China earlier today, #Sindh will keep 200,000 masks and the remaining will be distributed amongst Punjab, KP, Baluchistan, AJK & GB Governments. Yes together we can
— SenatorMurtaza Wahab (@murtazawahab1) March 25, 2020
Since then, the Federal Govt has been stating that the aid was for all of Pakistan, not just Sindh Govt. Additionally. Senator Murtaza Wahab and his team have been defending their claims with this notification/letter. The letter states that indeed, the aid had been given to the Govt of Sindh.
The letter reads: “After coordination, this donation will be for Sindh province. The chartered aircraft will arrive in Karachi at 11 am on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. In order to show to the people of Pakistan and China that our two brotherly countries are joining hands to fight COVID-19, especially to show to the people of Sindh of the great assistance from China at a difficult time. I humbly invite H. E. Mr. Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh, to attend the handover ceremony at the airport.”
In the light of the letter above, it does seem that the donation was for Govt of Sindh, and indeed, Sindh has been far too generous in its distribution. Together we can, as Senator Murtaza Wahab stated.
However, it is also pertinent to add here the political point-scoring in tough times like these needs to be stopped. Politics in Pakistan does not see the content or the context of an issue, it is usually a battle of egos. The same is the case with this Chinese aid.
It is time for Pakistan to remain steadfast. If a battle is to be fought, it should be for the lockdown in Kashmir amidst coronavirus, which has now reached 235 days.