South Asia
Pakistan Minister who raised Kashmir issue during SAARC meet is facing FIA probe in masks smuggling case

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 16 Mar 2020

Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistan's Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza, who tried to make India uncomfortable at the SAARC conference on COVID 19 on Sunday by raising the Kashmir issue, is himself facing an investigation for allegedly smuggling of 20 million face masks abroad, media reports said.

According to reports, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched a probe into the alleged involvement of Dr Zafar Mirza in the case.


According to a notification issued by the agency, FIA’s director of Islamabad Zone has been directed to immediately investigate the allegations and submit a report within 15 days and take immediate action, reported Pakistan Today.


According to the complainant, 20 million masks were smuggled out of Pakistan allegedly by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza in collusion with an aide of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Deputy Director Ghazanfar Ali Khan, the newspaper further said.


The complaint against the Minister has been launched by Young Pharmacists’ Association’s Secretary General Dr Furqan Ibrahim with the Prime Minister’s Complaint Cell.


Reacting to Zafar's comments, a source in India said: "However, the Pak PM still chose him to attend such an important meet, may be telling the world that crooks and thugs are the only representatives of his State. By raking up the Kashmir issue in the conference held to collectively tackle Coronavirus (Covid 19), he proved the shortsightedness of Pakistan, which cannot see anything beyond Kashmir, not even the threat of an imminent danger of catastrophic proportions waiting at his and our doorstep."


Raising of Kashmir lockdown issue during video-conference of SAARC leaders on Sunday on how to combat the spread of Novel Coronavirus in the region was slammed by the Indian government sources here who described it as an attempt to politicise a humanitarian issue, reported UNI news agency.


While admitting that no nation can afford to be unresponsive to the situation in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's Special Advisor Dr Zafar Mirza raised the issue of lockdown in Kashmir.


Government sources in India said that Pakistan sent their Health Minister who was uncomfortable in speaking and he was given a slip, showing their churlish approach. The sources said that it was a humanitarian issue which Pakistan was trying to politicise, adding that Pakistan's comment does not merit a reaction. It showed what they are, the sources said.


Meanwhile, Pakistan is now witnessing a major increase in the number of COVID 19 infection cases.


The number of confirmed cases rose to 88 in the Sindh region of the country on Monday.


The number of COVID19 infected people in Pakistan now stands at 106.


Confirming the issue, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab tweeted: "Another 11 have tested positive. These patients came to Sukkur from Taaftaan & were purportedly kept in quarantine at the border. So the total patients affected by corona virus has reached 88 now. All these patients are being kept in isolation."

Coronavirus infection was first reported from Pakistan's all-weather ally Pakistan and then the disease spread to different parts of the world.


Meanwhile, sources said a team of doctors at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) claimed that pilgrims from Iran are moving out from the quarantine camps.


Iran is one of the severely Coronavirus-infected countries in the world.


Doctors even rued that they were not provided masks, sanitizers or medical kits.

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