Bengaluru: The masks are certainly off! 

Zafar Mirza, who is Special Assistant on Health for Pakistan PM Imran Khan, created a needless ruckus on Sunday (March 16) when the SAARC videoconferencing was going on, headed by PM Modi, as he raked up the Kashmir issue, is now accused of stealing 20 million masks. 

As reported by a popular website, Zafar Mirza has been accused of conniving with the deputy director of DRAP Ghazanfar Ali to smuggle 20 million face masks to other countries.

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched a probe against him, added the website. 

The website further notes that Young Pharmacists’ Association’s General Secretary Dr Furqan Ibrahim was the one who submitted an application to the Prime Minister’s complaint cell. Following the complaint, FIA’s Additional Director General has directed to submit the report within 15 days.

“20 million face masks were smuggled out of Pakistan by the aide of Mr Ghazanfar Ali Khan S/O Mr Maqbool Khan Deputy Director DRAP and Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister,” was how the complaint letter read. 

Pakistan PM Imran Khan did not take part in the videoconferencing but instead, had deputed Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister on Health.

While the member nations decided to focus on ways to deal with the global malaise, Pakistan called for immediate lifting of the "lockdown" in the valley to allow disease containment measures.

Quite naturally, the Indian government is incensed.

It called this an attempt to "politicise" a humanitarian issue by raising "unwarranted" statement on Kashmir during a crucial videoconference on coronavirus.

The videoconference was attended by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Bhutanese premier Lotay Tshering, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza.

Narendra Modi earned a lot of plaudits for his initiative to bring all leaders on one platform.

He even offered a sum of 10 million US dollars in order to set up a fund to deal with the crisis.