Ppl cooperation is vital for success of lifting restrictions of lockdown: Shibli Faraz

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Friday said people's cooperation is vital for the success of lifting the restrictions of lockdown.

In a tweet, he said Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for various businesses will have to be implemented strictly.

He said that lockdown would have to be imposed again if precautionary measures were not strictly observed. He said coronavirus pandemic was a common issue, which can only be defeated with unity.

The minister said gradual easing of lockdown shows government's approach of compassion for weaker segments of the society. He said this step would also help support small businesses in the country.

He said a long-term lockdown could ruin employment of people involved in small businesses. He said economic activities and steps for protection of people’s health should go side by side.

Meanwhile, Senator Shibli Faraz said it had been the endeavour of the government to care for both lives and livelihood following outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

He said during a meeting with Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Kuninori Matsuda who called on him here. Matters relating to Pak-Japan bilateral relations, current COVID-19 situation and media cooperation were discussed on the occasion.

At the outset of meeting, the minister apprised the Japanese ambassador about the latest announcement on May 7 by Prime Minister Imran Khan to relax the COVID-19 lockdown in a phased manner.

He said during the lockdown in the country, special attention had been paid to the welfare of the needy and poor segments of the society. The ambassador said the prime minister of Pakistan had led the national response on COVID-19 pandemic from the very beginning, which was highly commendable.

He said the government’s due care for lives and livelihood during the campaign against corona pandemic was a great example to follow and it had really helped the cause of the poor and needy. He recalled Pakistan’s support to Japan during the Tsunami and various incidents of earthquake.

He said Japan in the same spirit had provided $2.16 million assistance to Pakistan to fight the COVID-19. Tokyo would keep up its support to Pakistan in this hour of need, he said. Kuninori Matsuda expressed Japan’s keenness for support and cooperation in developing clean drinking water facilities, ecology protection and for measures regarding flood control.

He said Japan also intended to cooperate with Pakistan in the agricultural sector with particular emphasis on efforts for locust control. He said once the situation turned to normal, a technical experts’ team would be invited to visit Pakistan to have meaningful exchange of views in the relevant sectors. He also briefed the minister about the ongoing economic cooperation between the two countries including different projects.

Both sides also discussed matters pertaining to modernisation and technical up-gradation of Pakistan Television and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.

The minister said Pakistan would be eager to benefit from Japan’s expertise in this sphere. Senator Shibli Faraz welcomed the Japan government’s $2.16 million assistance in the ongoing war against corona pandemic.

The information minister also expressed his gratitude for provision of medical equipment and supplies by Fair Medical Company, Japan and emergency support by Japanese NGO KnK for deserving families in Mansehra and Haripur areas.

The ambassador congratulated Senator Shibli Faraz on assuming his office as Minister for Information and Broadcasting and said the decision was hailed by the media community.

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