In a new development, it has emerged that Dr. Zafar Mirza who represented Pakistan at the SAARC conference on COVID-19 is being probed for his alleged involvement in the smuggling 20 million face masks out of Pakistan. As per a notification issued by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the director of the agency’s Islamabad zone has been told to investigate the matter and submit a report within 15 days. Young Pharmacists’ Association’s Secretary-General Dr. Furqan Ibrahim lodged the complaint in this regard with the Pakistan Prime Minister’s complaint cell.
It has been alleged that the smuggling of masks was carried out by Dr. Mirza in collusion with an aide of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Deputy Director Ghazanfar Ali Khan. This comes amid 51 confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus being reported in Pakistan. Moreover, news reports in Pakistan suggest that there is an acute shortage of masks in the market after a rise in demand.
Instead of Pakistan PM Imran Khan, his Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza took part in the SAARC conference. The latter expressed concern over the outbreak of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover, he called for the lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir to be immediately lifted in the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis.
Dr. Zafar Mirza remarked, "We hope that during this COVID-19 our member countries will provide access to all the regions. In this regard, it is a matter of concern that COVID-19 has reported from Jammu and Kashmir. In the view of emergency its imperative that all lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir must be lifted immediately, opening up communication and movement."
Reacting to this, Republic TV’s Consulting Editor Major Gaurav Arya highlighted the irony of Pakistan showcasing its concern for Kashmir when it had ignored the plights of its own citizens stuck in Wuhan, Iran, and Europe. Moreover, he observed that Kashmir was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s existence. Major Gaurav Arya also stressed that the common person in Kashmir had nothing to do with Pakistan.