Supreme Court Orders to Remove Dr. Zafar Mirza as SAPM Health

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed has asked the government to remove Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza. He remarked this during the hearing of suo motu case on coronavirus pandemic.

Attorney General, Khalid Jawed Khan, requested the CJP to leave the matter to the government, adding that removing Dr. Zafar at this critical time would be catastrophic.

The Attorney General further said that changing the pilot mid-flight would be disastrous as the country is going through a health emergency.

A five-member larger bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Gulzar Ahmed was hearing the case.

The CJP remarked that at this point, the government has not done anything to control the virus.

There is an army of ministers and advisors in place but no work is being done.

He remarked that “corrupt people” are in the cabinet as advisors.

During the course of hearing, Justice Gulzar questioned the credentials of Dr. Zafar Mirza, the former Director of Health System Development at WHO, and ordered his removal from the post.

On Friday, the apex court had sent notices to the Attorney-General of Pakistan, the health secretary, and the interior secretary seeking a response from the federal government on facilities provided to citizens.

In response to the notice, the federal government submitted a report with the top court informing that SAPM Mirza has been leading the fight against COVID-19 from the front.

The report submitted that special screening counters had been set up at all major international airports, and at ground crossings, including Taftan, Chaman, and Torkham borders.

The court was apprised that an emergency had been declared in the border areas of Balochistan with Iran, and additional teams have been deployed at border crossings.

The government also informed CJP Gulzar that all the passengers coming into Pakistan were required to fill mandatory health declaration forms before entering the country.

Moreover, the government has declared 207 hospitals in 154 districts across the country as isolation wards for suspected coronavirus patients.

Further, 300 beds quarantine facilities were established Islamabad, while two 1000-bed field hospitals were established in Lahore and Karachi in record time.

To identify the suspected patients, 83 thermal scanners have been installed at different places across Pakistan.

With inputs from Syed Ahmed Raza and Sajawal Rehman

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