ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Supreme Court has ordered the government to open all the shopping malls across the country. “People will die of hunger even if they survive COVID-19 if the business activities are not resumed in the country,” said Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed. His remarks came as he headed a five-member bench of the Supreme Court to hear the suo moto case regarding measures taken by the government to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Additional Attorney General appeared in the court while Attorney General Khalid Javed started arguments on video link from Karachi.
The court said that it would be the governments’ responsibility to ensure that SOPs were being followed. The court also restricted Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, who had appeared before court today, from sealing shops and markets. He directed the commissioner to reopen the shops that had been sealed. “Instead of closing the shops, educate the shopkeepers and the shoppers about the SOPs,” said the Chief Justice.
Pakistan partially eased lockdown on May 11 and allowed shops, business and small markets to open but it did not allow shopping malls to open. During the court proceedings, the Chief Justice Ahmed questioned the logic behind keeping shopping malls closed.