Think tank unveils The Politics of Scapegoating Zaireen on COVId19 and declares it unfair.
Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI) in a report said this in a report launched in Islamabad.
Think tank unveils The Politics of Scapegoating Zaireen
The IPI publication looks into the handling of the pilgrims at Taftan, their transfer to provinces (in the name of quarantine) and the political and media narratives about the returning Zaireen.
It underlined the haphazard closure of border crossing on Feb 23 and absence of a proper explanation for shutting down the crossing and then its subsequent reopening on Feb 28.
The report said all that contributed to the deluge at the Taftan.
IPI Executive Director Sajjad Bokhari said there were genuine fears about the new disease, but the row here was driven mainly by intense political polarization, the undercurrents of sectarian bias, and anti-Iran sentiments.
Particularly, he called the government’s communication on Zaireen crisis irresponsible and could have consequences for a society with a delicate sectarian balance.
Factually speaking, Coronavirus had already reached United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Arab countries in January 2020.
But the government of Pakistan had not taken any action to put the returnees from those countries under quarantine at the government’s quarantine centre.
Instead, it only focused Zaireen returning from Iran alone. And among them more emphasis laid on Taftan border crossing.
Due to that exemption to all returnees from rest of the world and targeting Zaireen (pilgrims) returning from Iran resulted in spread of Coronavirus in Pakistan.
The first two deaths in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province proved that Saudi Arabia and UAE exported Covid19 to Pakistan.