Huma Yusuf is a Global Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers. View more opinion articles on CNN. (CNN)Pakistan is entering its fifth week under lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus. But as the Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts this weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will congregate in mosques nationwide to offer special prayers.The government’s submission to demands from senior clerics and religious political parties for mosque exemptions highlights that Pakistan’s fight against Covid-19 is more about managing political divides than saving lives. As of Saturday, the country of more than 200 million people had at least 11,900 confirmed cases and 253 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. That’s more than double the number of cases and deaths the country had on April 13. Despite this steady increase, the religious establishment has remained skeptical of the government’s pandemic response. Hardline clerics urged worshipers to defy restrictions first imposed in March and gather in mosques in great numbers. Congregations attacked police officers deployed to enforce the lockdown. The onset of Ramadan — and the promise of generous charitable contributions by worshipers


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