By Mathias Samuel
In Pakistan so far about 2,450 people have been infected by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and still, the numbers are increasing day by day. The government of Pakistan asked the people to stay at the homes and put themselves in quarantine. Policies were also made to make sure that there is a sufficient amount of social distancing among the people. The government’s so-called lockdown has not been that of success as the people are still going out. The problem is not just of social distancing, the government should also acknowledge that if they want people to stay in their homes, they need to provide them with basic necessities such as food, extension or some sort of cut off in the electricity bills, relaxation in taxes, etc.
It is not that the government is not making policies, they are but none of them seems to be in action. The three main policies that have been devised at the federal and provincial levels especially wherein the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in power include the formation of Corona Relief Tigers Force, Ehsaas Ration Program, Insaf Imdad Package, and Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program.
Before the distribution of ration, the government obviously had to think that how they are going to distribute it. For that, they announced to establish a tiger force but still there remains a question that where the ration will come from. Prime Minister Imran Khan did what he always does ask for donation through the Ehsaas Ration Program, according to which, the people were to be provided with cash and ration.
It would be really convenient for the public to know what their prime minister and his ministers have donated for these policies.
The Ehsaas policy is a failed program in itself. If anyone wants to apply for the Ehsaas program, they first need to send their CNIC on 8171 and not to mention the fact that a single text is worth Rs 10. As a result, the people who are in need of cash are donating Rs 10 without even knowing, is this really fair? I sent the CNIC of one of my family members on 8171 and in reply the chatbot asked me to contact the regional government.
While launching the program, the prime minister showed by sending his CNIC that it won’t accept if you are a government official and it was also showed that only one member of the family can register. I did not receive any text saying that I wasn’t eligible as my family members had also registered. The program isn’t even fully ready. The program has a lot of technical problems, how is the cash going to be distributed.
At first, you need an Android Mobile Phone and the problem is that a lot of people do not own a smartphone, there are so many areas where there is no internet or no signals, how are those people going to apply and even if they find a way they would have to pay Rs 10. There is no equal distribution of cash and how will the people get the cash, through Jazz Cash or Easypaisa? The first thing to notice is that the shopkeeper cannot give this much cash to people, the company will pay him whenever it will but what will happen before that and what about the crowd people are going to gather at a place, how is the government going to handle that.
As far as the tiger force is concerned it is clearly a political stunt, the workers of PTI are known as tigers just like the PPP’s workers are known as jiyala. It is even said that the tiger was the name of the prime minister’s first dog.