Pakistan to prepare Covid vaccine locally: Qureshi

Published January 24, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses PTI workers in Multan on Saturday. — PID
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses PTI workers in Multan on Saturday. — PID

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said the trials of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine —CanSino — are successfully underway in Pakistan, after which the country intends to prepare the vaccine at the local level with the help of China.

Addressing various ceremonies in his constituency here on Saturday, Mr Qureshi said the government was making efforts for the provision of vaccine to every citizen.

“Till Jan 31, China will donate 500,000 doses of the vaccine to Pakistan, while we have requested the Chinese government that we need 1.1 million doses in near future,” he said, adding China had assured Pakistan of the provision of the required quantity of the vaccine till the end of February for which we are grateful.

He said the government, besides improving the economy, also worked to counter the Covid-19 situation.

Hopes ‘breakthrough’ in ties with new US administration

“For what we did to strengthen the economy, the international community is praising us. Now our next challenge is to arrange vaccine for the doctors, paramedics and elderly citizens on priority,” he said.

He said Pakistan was facing multiple challenges at the diplomatic level, adding the country’s position was “weakened” because the previous (PML-N) government did not appoint a full-time foreign minister.

“Now we are fighting the case of Pakistan at every diplomatic forum and will not compromise on the Pakistan’s interest,” he said.

He said Pakistan was hopeful for a “breakthrough” in its relationship with the newly elected Joe Biden administration in the US.

“We intend close ties with the Joe Biden administration. Pakistan made all-out efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan and faced difficult challenges to create favourable environment for peace there. We are also willing to work with the new US administration in this regard, as we believe that we should avail the chance that we got in Afghanistan. The new US administration should also continue the peace process in Afghanistan,” he said.

He said for the PTI government it was time to deliver and record development schemes were underway in his constituency.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2021

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