PM urges Trump to lift sanctions on Iran

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday urged the United States President Donald Trump to lift sanctions on Iran on humanitarian grounds, as the country was worst hit by the recent wave of deadly Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.
On his twitter account, the prime minister posted, “I want to appeal to President Trump on humanitarian grounds to lift the sanctions against Iran till the COVID19 pandemic is over.”
He further said the people of Iran were facing untold sufferings as sanctions were crippling Iran’s efforts to fight COVID19.
“Humanity must unite to fight this pandemic,” he added.
Iran is among the worst affected Coronavirus countries in the world with over 1,000 reported human casualties. The country had already been facing crippling US sanctions after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday appealed to the nation to impose self discipline and should not indulge in panic buying, as with collective efforts, they would overcome the threats of Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.
In his second televised address to the nation after the country reported above 600 Coronavirus cases, the prime minister said that they were not going for complete lockdown as the situation in Pakistan was different from the rest of the world. It would create economic woes as 25 per cent chunk of its population was living below the poverty line.
“The issue of panic is more dangerous than Coronavirus. If all go on panic buying, it will result in irreparable damage to society,” he stressed.
Noting a difference between the situation in Pakistan and those of US, UK, Italy and France after the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the complete lockdown would mean imposition of curfew across the country with the law enforcement agencies and armed forces on the streets to enforce it.
In case of such scenario what would become of the laborers, daily wagers, rickshaw and taxi drivers, he said adding they would have no resources to look after their families, similarly, the government did not have the resources to cater to their needs.
The prime minister said China did it because it was the second richest country in the world with adequate system and huge resources. Reminding the nation to adopt precautionary measures, he said “They should go for self-quarantine. If you have symptoms like flu and cough, stay inside your homes instead visiting hospitals.”
The prime minister observed that about 90 per cent affected persons from the disease had mild symptoms and they recovered quickly. The disease posed serious threats to the old and senile population or those who had respiratory complications. “The pandemic could spread quickly, if the nation did not take precautionary measures,” he warned.
The prime minister said that social distancing should be given preferences instead holding marriages or other social gatherings insides homes as it would be an injustice with the old population of the country who were the most vulnerable segment of society.
“My advice is to impose discipline upon yourself, take care of yourself and avoid going outside,” he stressed. The prime minister said the government had already issued directives for the closure of shopping malls and rescheduling of cricket events.
The prime minister said Allah Almighty often tried the believers with ordeals.
“I have firm belief in my nation which always emerges out of the trying times successfully. I am proud of my nation which faced the difficult times.
I have strong hopes with my nation and it will not disappoint me,” he said and cited the natural calamity of 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods which inflicted huge damages upon the country.
The prime minister said today, his government required nation’s fully support and cooperation in tackling the Covid 19 threat as any slackness or irresponsibility on their part could lead to a problematic situation.