Saturday Jan 16 2021
Web Desk

Bilawal says Pakistan will lose gains made in coronavirus fight with delay in vaccine

Web Desk
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses a press conference in Karachi, on January 16, 2021. — GeoNews
  • PPP chairman says Pakistan will fall behind in the region in the fight against coronavirus due to a delay in vaccine procurement
  • Says Sindh was told to prepare for rollout by January but "vaccine never came"
  • Demands that the foreign funding case against PTI be made public

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday criticised the delay in the procurement of a vaccine by the government, saying that all the gains made during the fight against coronavirus in the earlier months of the outbreak will be lost at this rate.

"The only solution to come out of this difficult situation is the vaccine," he stressed.

"Where due to your sacrifices and lockdown Pakistan was ahead, it will now fall behind," the PPP chairman said.

He said Pakistan has made no arrangements for import of the vaccine, whereas India, Bangladesh and Western countries are moving very quickly to secure the vaccine.

"Sindh government was expecting to roll out the vaccine in January. We were told to be prepared by January so the vaccination can begin," Bilawal said.

He said the Sindh government had prepared and readied "all mechanisms", especially to ensure vaccination for frontline workers who are "most vulnerable and the most important" but the vaccine "never came".

"It seems we will have to wait for a long time."

Pakistan hasn't placed any orders for coronavirus vaccine yet: report

Bilawal said this "unfair" approach by the government will lead to the private sector being given a preference. "The private sector will have full freedom. The private sector will be the first to arrange a vaccine and whoever has money will get vaccinated," he said.

He said instead what should have occurred was that the government should have first procured it for the frontline workers, "after which obviously the private sector can begin to as well".

"But this will not happen now."

'Govt should step down'

Bilawal said that whether its Pakistan's economy or its health sector, "our government has failed and this is why the people are suffering".

"This is why we demand that they step down," said the PPP chairman.

He said that the controversies and cases the PTI is embroiled "are there for everyone to see".

"Transparency International says Pakistan's most corrupt government is the PTI government," he said.

The PPP chairman said that during their time, the Billion Tree Tsunami scandal, the BRT project scandal and the foreign funding case all surfaced.

Foreign funding case

"There are very serious allegations that the PTI is a foreign-funded party. Their own member has raised allegations. But unfortunately, whether it is the court or the election commission, the truth has not been put forth before the people.

"This is why the Pakistan Democratic Movement will protest on January 19 outside the Election Commission of Pakistan and will demand that the case be taken to its conclusion and all the facts of the case be made public," Bilawal said.

He said the people must be told which people from which countries "gave so much money to PTI".

"If a citizen from India or from Israel funds a Pakistan party there must be a reason behind it."

Bilawal said it must be probed "why this money was given to PTI and since PTI came into power did they facilitate these people in any way or not".

He said he believes "if such a senior member has provided proof of such a serious allegation", the truth of these allegations should have been put before the public by now.

The PPP chairman said he hopes after the protest, "we won't be disappointed like in the past".

He said the party, as well as he, in a personal capacity will fully participate in highlighting the issue through press conferences and other means.

Bilawal Bhutto may skip PDM protest outside ECP on Jan 19: report

Responding to a reporter's query regarding PPP "using back-door channels to hold talks with the government", he denied and condemned such reports, saying: "You yourself accept that these are negative reports. Had there been any truth you would have known about it. There is no such thing."