February 17: Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP) has issued a set of comprehensive policies on the procurement and administration of Coronavirus Vaccine, and on the management of the Impact of COVID-19 on Economy and Education.
In an Exclusive Working Session of JIP’s Policy Planning Wing held in Islamabad, the party’s policies were discussed and finalised by the party members. The finalised JIP Policies on Vaccination, Economy and Education under COVID-19 were also released to the media in a press talk by Dr. Fareed Ahmed Paracha, Naib Ameer, JIP, Mr. Azhar Iqbal Hassan, Deputy Secretary General, JIP, Syed Waqas Jafri, Deputy Secretary General, JIP, Dr. Tariq Saleem, Mr. Asif Luqman Qazi, Director, President, Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, JIP, and Dr. Khubaib Ahmad Shahid, Central President, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association after the session.
The party’s policy on Coronavirus Vaccination states that the media is to be used fully to dispel doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine and reliable, experienced and senior doctors should give a positive message to the people. The policy emphasises that a helpline is also to be set up to allay public suspicions about vaccination, adding that an integrated and organised system to be established for corona vaccine use. The policy highlights that all vaccine purchases should be made by the government, and there should be only government-controlled system of order placement, booking and delivery of vaccine. On prioritisation of population for administration of the vaccine, the policy states that healthcare workers from public as well as private sector are to be vaccinated first, followed by persons above the age of 55 years and people exposed to crowds such as in markets, hospitals and mosques respectively. The policy states that database of NADRA should be used to identify persons above the age of 55 years and Health Care Commission database should be used to select vaccination centres. The vaccinators should be trained and National Immunisation Programme should be engaged for COVID-19 vaccination. The party believes that the Parliament should be updated regularly on the vaccination process.
JIP’s policy on Education under COVID-19 states that a formula of discount in fee is to be devised after mutual consultation of the government, parents and school administration. The policy highlights that schools are to be barred from charging for sports and other extra-curricular activities. Similarly, full fee concession should be given to the children whose parents/ guardians have lost their jobs or were severely affected in any other way by the pandemic. The party believes that as a compensation, the government should provide grants and interest-free loans to private institutions so that they can pay salaries to teachers, and save the educational sector from a big crisis. The policy highlights that a new article should be added to the Constitution of Pakistan to make provision of internet mandatory along with free and compulsory education for children from the age of 5 to 16. An agreement should be signed between the government and telecommunication companies for provision of internet throughout the country. The policy states that learning centres are to be established through special funds to help students in regions where there are internet connectivity issues. The policy states that a special fund should be allocated for tackling educational losses and teachers and other staff should be vaccinated on a priority basis now as the schools have reopened.
The policy on Economy under COVID-19 states that a complete lockdown is not the optimum solution as there is a trade-off between healthcare and economic objectives, therefore, economic activity should not be completely shut down as it brings its own miseries. It states that the wearing of masks should be enforced and a fine of 50 rupees should be imposed on violators. It highlights that gatherings including political gatherings which observe safety guideline and SOPs must be allowed. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should be provided special power tariff packages of electricity, gas and tax breaks for a certain duration to reduce their input cost. Interest-free loans should be provided to eligible businesses including shops, private schools and restaurants. JIP believes that in the context of the pandemic, all the instruments of Islamic social finance including zakāt, Sadaqah, waqf, takāful ta’awuni, and others, should be coordinated together and integrated with the fiscal policy of the governments in the form of safety nets and pro-poor expenditure. The policy states that all public and private safety net programmes should be integrated under one database to avoid the problem of duplication and omission. IMF programmes are part of the problem, and not part of the solution therefore, the party believes that Pakistan needs to get rid of IMF programmes and adopt an approach of self-reliance, the JIP policy states. It further states that Pakistan in collaboration with other developing countries must push for debt relief from IMF and other international lending agencies.
JIP members who attended the policy planning session included: Ms. Aneela Mehmood, Chief of Election Cell, Lahore Women Wing; Mr. Asif Luqman Qazi, Director, President, Standing Committee on Economic Affairs; Ms. Ayesha Syed, Former MNA; Ms. Ayesha Syed, Naib Nazima, Foreign Affairs Department, Women Wing; Mr. Azhar Iqbal Hassan, Deputy Secretary General; Dr. Fareed Ahmed Paracha, Vice President, JIP; Mr. Hanif Ullah, Ameer Jmaat-e-Islami Upper Dir District; Dr. Kausar Firdous, Former Secretary General, Women Wing; Dr. Khubaib Ahmad Shahid, Central President, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association; Dr. Mian Muhammad Akram, Former Central President, Teachers Association Pakistan; Ms. Naila Syed, Deputy Secretary General Public Relations; Dr. Samia Raheel Qazi, Former MNA, Director Foreign Affairs Department, JIP Women Wing; Dr. Rukhsana Jabeen, President, Women and Family Commission; Dr. Tariq Saleem, Ameer, Northern Punjab; Hafiz Shamsher Ali Shahid, President (Muntazim-e-Ala) Jamiat Talaba Arabiyaah Pakistan; Mr. Iqbal Khan, Secretary General, Northern Punjab; Mr. Maaz Ahmed Kakakhel, Member, JIP; Mr. Muhammad Amin, Member, Former Member KP Assembly; Mr. Muhammad Bilal, Businessman; Ms. Sakina Shahid, Deputy Secretary General, Women Wing; Ms. Samina Saeed, Deputy Secretary General, Women Wing; Syed Bakhtiyar Maani, Deputy Secretary General, Former MNA; Syed Waqas Jafri, Deputy Secretary General; Mr. Zikrullah Mujahid, Ameer, Lahore.
The policy can be accessed by clicking the links below.