PM Imran Looking into the Issues Regarding Chinese Vaccine with Saudi Arabia

Sheikh Rashid, the Interior Minister, recently revealed that the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, is personally looking into the matter concerning the non-acceptance of Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, in countries in the Middle East, as well as Saudi Arabia. 

Rashid added that the Prime Minister informed the cabinet that he is currently in touch with various Middle Eastern countries, trying to find a solution to this issue. 

While addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday, the Interior Minister commended the vaccine made by China and thanked them for their cooperation. 

On the 22nd of May, the Foreign Office of Pakistan informed that it had decided to meet with the Saudi government. The FO had wanted to discuss the issue regarding the kingdom denying entry to Hajj Pilgrims from the country, who had been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus with a Chinese vaccine. 

At the meeting, the relevant officials from the FO requested the authorities in Saudi to approve Chinese vaccines, inclusive of Sinovac and Sinopharm, so that Pakistani citizens are able to perform Hajj. It also informed the kingdom that it had been difficult for the country to acquire the vaccines from any country except China. 

It further went on to say that a large chunk of the Pakistani population had already been given the jab of the Chinese vaccine. Therefore, the doctors do not recommend that another vaccine should be administered now. 

On the 3rd of June, Asad Umar, the Federal Minister for Planning, announced that the Pfizer vaccine will only be administered to citizens intending to go for Hajj, due to the limited number of doses available. 

Umar went on to inform that the relevant government authorities had already successfully established a large vaccination center, located at Park F-9 to administer vaccinations to at least 7,000 citizens on a daily basis, through 75 operational counters.

According to the Minister, around 100 trained professionals will be assigned duties to vaccinate, as well as provide standard services to the citizens coming in at the center. 

Rashid was also asked about the emerging role of the opposition against the current government of the country. He said that he does not see anyone protesting against the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Interior Minister went on to deem the opposition to be useless and ineffective.

He recalled how the same opposition had announced in December of last year that they will oust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government by January. But he added that the incumbent government was soon going to be presenting the next budget. 

Rashid was also questioned about Nawaz Sharif, the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), to which he responded that the former Prime Minister had succeeded in deceiving the government and ran away. Though Imran Khan regrets letting that happen, according to the Interior Minister, he is happy about the fact that Shahbaz Sharif, the President of PML-N, was prevented from escaping abroad too.