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In meeting with President Alvi, Ulema urge political parties to postpone jalsas

President Arif Alvi during an interview. Photo: File

In meeting with Alvi, Ulema urge political parties to postpone jalsas

LAHORE: In a consultative meeting with President Arif Alvi to review the implementation of coronavirus SOPs in the country, the Ulema have urged the political parties to postpone the rallies keeping in view the worsening situation of the pandemic.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, President Alvi said that akin to the government, religious scholars have also expressed their concern over the rising number of cases in the country during the ongoing second wave of the infection.

"It has been decided that a day of prayer will be observed on December 4," President Alvi said. "The Ulema have also urged people to be careful when they are going to markets and other crowded places."

President Alvi said that back in April, religious scholars had fully assisted the government with the implementation of the SOPs, adding that the Ulema agree with the government's stance and have appealed to the opposition to postpone public rallies to contain the virus.

"On behalf of the state, I would like to recognise religious scholars' efforts in spreading the message of discipline without which we would not have been able to control the spread of the virus during the first wave," the president said.

He added that people look up to the Ulema, therefore, they play a very important role in society.

"All religious scholars have unanimously agreed that people should combine precautions and prayers in order to achieve success, just like they did during the first wave," President Alvi said.

All provincial governors, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri and Interior Miniter Ijaz Shah were in attendance.

Prior to the meeting, Governor Punjab Mohammad Sarwar said the government will finalise SOPs in consultation with the Ulema. Sarwar urged all sections of society to play their role in containing the spread of the virus.

"PDM should also stop holding rallies and save the public from the coronavirus," he said.

Alarm bells

Pakistan's number of active COVID-19 cases surged above 50,000 on Wednesday as the country continues its fights against the second wave of the virus.

In the latest figures from the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), Pakistan reported 3,499 new infections in the last 24 hours, raising the total tally to 406,810 as active cases climbed to 51,654.

The NCOC data shows the pandemic's pace in Pakistan has quickened as the tally crossed 400,000 on December 1 with at least 29,881 new cases reported in the last 10 days only.

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