President Dr Arif Alvi has said that religious scholars observed that politicians need to demonstrate unity against the coronavirus pandemic and postpone their public gatherings. Addressing a press conference after an interaction with religious scholars in the federal capital on Thursday, the President added the Ulema have urged the political parties to postpone the rallies keeping in view the worsening situation of the pandemic. The President said that akin to the government, religious scholars have also expressed their concern over the rising number of cases in the country during the ongoing second wave of the infection. “The Ulema have also urged people to be careful when they are going to markets and other crowded places,” he said. He said a strategy of combination of prayers, precautionary measures, and taking care of the weak segment of the society will be pursued in the second wave of Covid-19. He said that Pakistan remained successful in controlling the pandemic in its first wave. He announced that the nation will observe Youm-e-Dua (prayer day) on Friday to pray to Almighty Allah for protection against the coronavirus pandemic. The President appealed to the masses to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures to check the surge of the pandemic. He said Ulema have an important role for spreading awareness about precautionary measures. He said they have also agreed to play their effective role in this regard. The President said Ulema have reaffirmed to the SOPs issued for mosques on April 17. The President also urged the media to enhance its role for spreading awareness among people about SOPs against the pandemic. President Alvi said that back in April, religious scholars had fully assisted the government with the implementation of the SOPs. “On behalf of the state, I would like to recognise religious scholars’ efforts in spreading the message of discipline without which we would not have been able to control the spread of the virus during the first wave,” the president said. He added that people look up to the Ulema, therefore, they play a very important role in society. “All religious scholars have unanimously agreed that people should combine precautions and prayers in order to achieve success, just like they did during the first wave,” President Alvi said. All provincial governors, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri and Interior Minister Ijaz Shah were in attendance. Prior to the meeting, Governor Punjab Mohammad Sarwar said the government will finalise SOPs in consultation with the Ulema. Sarwar urged all sections of society to play their role in containing the spread of the virus. “PDM should also stop holding rallies and save the public from the coronavirus,” he said.