Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has questioned the British authorities over their decision to impose travel ban on Pakistan, including three other countries, from April 9.
The United Kingdom has clarified that Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Kenya were put on the travel red list due to the concerns related to COVID-19 after considering advice from public health experts as well as scientific data.
Responding to UK’s ‘scientific data’ claim, Asad Umar on Saturday stated: “Every country has a right to take decisions to safeguard the health of their citizens. However, the recent decision by UK govt to add some countries including Pakistan on the red list raises a legitimate question whether choice of countries is based on science or foreign policy.”
Meanwhile, he also shared a letter written by British MP Naz Shah to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab dated March 30 (prior to the announcement of travel ban decision).
In the letter, the country-wise figures of infections per 100,000 population of the last seven days (then) were shown. It was argued that despite of the fact that higher numbers of infections had been reported, France, Germany and India were not included in the red list.
“Contrary to what the government is saying, it is clearly not making not decision led by science/data,” MP Shah wrote in the letter. She further added that it was knowingly and consciously discriminating against Pakistan and the Pakistani diaspora community.