New Delhi: Pakistan government on Monday authorised deployment of Pakistan Army troops across the country in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic, even as the number of positive coronavirus cases neared the 900-mark, with six deaths being reported thus far. Also Read - No Lockdown in Pakistan Yet; 'Complete Shutdown Will Cause Unrest,' Says PM Imran Khan
The decision to deploy the army was taken by the Interior Ministry following which troops would be deployed in the four provinces (Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), as well as in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Separately, addressing a press conference, Major General Babar Iftikhar, DG ISPR, said that the government had summoned the army in accordance with the Constitution, asserting that ‘time has come to take tough and difficult decisions.’
The development comes even as Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruled out imposing a lockdown in the country. In an address to the nation on Sunday, the cricketer-turned-politician had explained this decision stating that doing so would trigger ‘unrest’ across Pakistan.
Thus far, there have been more than 870 confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan, with Sindh and Punjab recording the highest and second-highest number of cases respectively. These are followed by Balochistan, PoK+Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and ICT, in that order.