Pakistan rejects reports of receiving doses of Indian vaccine

Muhammad Asad

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri addressed media on Thursday, commenting on the COVID-19 vaccine agreement with India. He notified that the procurement and supply mechanism of vaccine doses is undertaken by GAVi and not the respective countries.

Mentioning more details on the matter he rebuffed the reports that Pakistan would receive 45 million ‘made in India’ doses of COVID-19 vaccine and said that Pakistan had not entered into any bilateral procurement agreement with India on purchase of COVID-19 vaccine and the supply of doses was being carried out through GAVI, the international vaccine alliance.

He said GAVI had offered doses to several countries including Pakistan under COVAX, the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access as an initiative launched by the World Health Organization to ensure vaccine access to the world’s most vulnerable.
Foreign office spokesperson also notified that regarding the update on missing Pakistani retired army office Habib Zahir in Nepal, the spokesperson said on request of the government, Nepal had constituted a special team to look into the incident, but there was no progress in the matter so far.

There was a strong evidence pointing towards the involvement of Indian hostile agencies in the abduction of Habib Zahir, including involvement of Indian nationals who reportedly received him at Lumbini, made his hotel reservations and booked his tickets, he added.

Pouring our more details, Foreign Office spokesperson highlighted that “The abduction of Habib Zahir is a serious transnational crime which is in sharp contravention to the international law, especially human rights and humanitarian law,”.

He said the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappeara-nces had also registered the case of Habib Zahir, on the request of his family.

Furthermore, he also highlighted that the pertinent authorities in India to respect the United Nations (UN) and constructively engage with the UN Working Group and take essential steps to enable immediate release of Habib Zahir.

The spokesperson said the resolution adopted by Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Ass-embly demanding interim provincial status was “an e-xpression of needs and de-mands of the local people”.

He strongly rejected the impression that the situation of GB was in any way comparable to that of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), where extrajudicial killings and illegal disappearances were a norm known to international community.

Calling out for India’s international scrutiny , he also said that its scrutiny continued to grow as world watchdogs and foreign media spotlighted its non-compliance of human rights violations.

Moving forward, foreign office spokesperson also pointed out Afghanistan situation saying that Pakistan had constantly supported the Afghan peace process including facilitation to the Unite

States Taliban Peace Agreement and subsequent intra-Afghan negotiations.
“Pakistan has continued to emphasize that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and the only way forward is through a political process,” he said.
Pointing out the importance of Afghan peace process, Foreign office spokesperson also mentioned it was important for Afghan parties to continue negotiations and pursue an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

“All sides must work together for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement,” he remarked.

Foreign Office spokes-person welcomed the United States efforts to re-energize the peace process and expedite the final political settlement, adding that
Pakistan favoured a “systemic and well-resourced” rehabilitation of Afghan refugees and mentioned that Pakistan had taken steps to facilitate the travel of Afghan nationals to Pakistan.