Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar on Monday said “we have never seen in our lifetimes” a danger like COVID-19 but Pak Army was fully aware of its duty and would counter the pandemic with the nation’s help.
DG ISPR while addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi wishing citizens on the Pakistan Resolution Day, Maj Gen Iftikhar said he wanted the citizens to know about Pak Army efforts in the war against coronavirus, which has so far infected 882 people and left at least 6 people dead.
“The borders had been closed as a preventive measure but “the actual border” is between the man and the coronavirus, which we have yet to take control of”, he said.
“This will only be possible through self-discipline and cooperation. The best defense against the coronovirus is cooperation,” said DG ISPR.
Pakistan was facing a serious challenge and that only with the people’s belief in the state could this problem be resolved, he said, adding that, “Pakistan Army is well aware of its responsibility and will bring all of its resources”.
“Yesterday [Sunday] evening, in a special corps commanders conference to deal with coronavirus, Pakistan Army’s aid to civil institutions and its plan of action was reviewed,” ISPR spokesperson said.
“Despite being deployed at the Line of Control (LoC) and the western border, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Javed Qamar Bajwa has directed that all available soldiers and the Army’s medical resources be deployed to tackle the coronavirus,” he noted.
“The government of Pakistan has summoned the Pakistan Army under Article 245 in aid of civil power,” he added.
The military spokesperson further said, “According to the notification issued by the federal and provincial governments, only hospitals, shops selling food items, medical stores, and food and medicine manufacturing industries would only remain open, while schools shall remain closed”.
He stressed that the petrol pumps and markets would remain open only according to the timings issued by the respective provincial governments.
The spokesperson also stated that Gen Bajwa had decided to contribute one month’s salary to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, while personnel between the ranks of Brig to Lt Gen would donate three days’ worth of their salaries. The personnel below the Col rank and soldiers would contribute two and one days’ worth of their salaries, respectively.
Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar also urged people to follow the guidelines issued by health authorities and the government.