Invisible enemy: Army stand with nation to curb corona threat: ISPR DG

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SIDDEEQ SAJID

Rawalpindi

Director General (DG) Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar has said that Pakistan Army stands with the nation to overcome the threat of coronavirus. Troops have been called in to assist the civilian government, he added.

The federal government has green-lighted the deployment of Pakistan Army soldiers in aid of civilian administration across the country to cope with the novel coronavirus crisis as partial and complete lockdown is in place in almost all provinces effectively implement the social distancing measures.

During a press conference on Monday at GHQ , DG ISPR said that world has seen our resolve in earthquake of 2005, floods and against terrorism and assured that Pakistan Army stands with the nation. He also announced that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) will denote a month’s salary in corona fund while other officers and soldiers will donate one to three days salary in emergency fund.

Major General Babar Iftikhar also appealed to the masses to fully cooperate with the government and Pakistan Army in this war against coronavirus and stressed that following preventive measures is a way to avoid the virus.

He also said that there is no doubt that brave and proud Pakistani nation will overcome this challenge. This is the time to take tough and difficult decisions on an individual, familial and societal basis,” he added.

The Major General further said that provincial governments will issue further guidelines which are to be implemented through assistance of administration. Inter-city transport will be open only for Food supply, he informed.

Spokesperson of Pakistan Army further said that trust in the state can help in getting out of this serious challenge of coronaviurs. He also urged everyone to get united once again for safe Pakistan.

With regard to the Pakistan Day, he said the citizens — the heirs of those who fought for the country’s independence — “face a new challenge, an evil that has taken over the entire world … so much so that even the developed nations seem powerless against COVID-19”.

The Army spokesperson added that there was a need for everyone to once again unite with a passion for safe Pakistan. “Today is also a day to remember our Kashmiri brothers and sisters, who, despite being helpless in the face of the worst state-sanctioned terrorism and this natural disaster, are an example of resistance in their fight for the right to self-determination,” he added.

“People of the occupied Kashmir will be successful in their struggle,” the army spokesperson added.

The interior ministry issued a notification according to which Pakistan Army troops were deployed throughout the country to help tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

“The Competent Authority, in exercise of the powers conferred under Article 245 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Section I31-A of CrPC is pleased to authorize deployment of sufficient strength of troops of Pakistan Army in Punjab province depending upon the requirement to be worked out by the provincial Government in liaison with the Army authorities in connection with the prevailing situation related to the spread of COVID-19 and matters ancillary thereto, subject to laws enforced in Pakistan,” read the notification for Punjab.

Similar notifications were issued for Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The notification comes at a time when the number of affected cases in the country have soared past 800 and six have succumbed to the infection in Pakistan.

Earlier, Special Corps Commanders’ Conference chaired by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa was held at General Headquarters (GHQ) on single point agenda with regards to COVID-19.

According to ISPR press release, Corps Commanders participated through video link from respective Corps Headquarters.

Forum reviewed countrywide spread of COVID-19 and deliberated army’s readiness to assist civil administration to contain the pandemic.

All available troops of Pakistan Army and it’s medical resources across the country have been tasked to be ready to assist activities in concert with civil administration on short notice.

“Nothing can defeat a responsible and determined nation. Pakistan Army being part of national effort shall serve and protect the nation as a sacred duty InshAllah,“ COAS said.