While India is fighting a battle against Coronavirus, the political leaders from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan who are now living in exile have praised the leadership and various decisions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in tackling the deadly virus. A political leader from PoK who is now living in Glasgow, Dr. Amjad Ayub Mirza said, "It is a highly commendable act that Prime Minister Modi has announced a 'Janta Curfew' on Sunday to combat Coronavirus, PM Modi's leadership is to be noted."
Lamenting on the situation in Pakistan and the lack of action of Pakistani government to combat the virus, he said that the situation in Pakistan is still out of control due to lack of a national action plan. He also highlighted that the COVID-19 patients of Pakistan are being sent to PoK for isolation, calling it “totally unacceptable” he opined that it might lead to the spread of the virus in the region. He also called for the closure of China and Gilgit Baltistan border amid the virus outbreak.
"There is a serious lack of quarantine facilities as well as test kits. A young doctor from Gilgit by the name of Osama is struggling for his life due to Coronavirus while treating patients. Hospitals, where Coronavirus patients are being kept, lack basic facilities such as running water or proper toilets," Mirza revealed while speaking about the plight of the region during the virus outbreak.
He also opined that the Indo-Pakistan border between Gilgit Baltistan and Kargil should be opened up and India should send a team of doctors to help the people of the region. While speaking over the virus outbreak, he asserted that Pakistan should halt the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) immediately and impose a 'Janta Curfew' like the one initiated by PM Modi in India instead of Pakistan’s ongoing ‘wait and watch’ policy. He also alleged that the Pakistani government is not revealing the actual figures which are much higher than the ones disclosed.
"So far in Gilgit, more than 21 people are confirmed to be infected with coronavirus but (as figures of those testing positive are being kept a secret) the actual figure is much higher. No masks or sanitizer is available in Gilgit Baltistan. I urge people of Ladakh and the Indian government to come to our help," Mirza appended.
A political activist from Gilgit Baltistan who is living in Washington DC, Senge Hasnan Sering told ANI that PM Modi is playing a constructive and supportive role as expected from the leader of the world's fourth-largest economy.
“His policy of 'no citizens left behind' has earned him recognition from opposition parties who are also supporting his Sunday lockdown directive," Sering said.
"Although Gilgit-Baltistan is a direct neighbour of China's Xinjiang, its inhabitants are getting coronavirus infection transmitted from a completely unexpected location like Iran. When compared with Pakistani provinces and PoK, G-B has the highest number of positive cases in proportion to population size," He added.
Blaming Pakistan-China's ambitious CPEC project for the chaos, he said, it was because of the CPEC that COVID-19 is now raging across Pakistan and Iran, adding that it should serve as a lesson to the three nations to halt the project. Both Mirza and Sering condemned Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's who said that CPEC will continue despite the Coronavirus outbreak.