How is Pakistan balancing religion and politics in its response to the coronavirus?

Muslims maintain safe distance as they attend Friday prayer after government limited congregational prayers and ordered to stay home, in efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lahore, Pakistan April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

As Ramadan begins, Pakistan has loosened social distancing restrictions on gatherings in mosques, allowing communal prayers to go forward during the holy month. David Rubenstein Fellow Madiha Afzal explains how Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political compromise with the religious right and cash assistance programs for the poor help burnish his populist image, while leaving it to provincial leaders to issue stronger social and economic limits to protect people from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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