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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Tuesday, said that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which was set up to articulate unified national efforts against coronvirus has completely failed and its clear evidence is as today we are still in the worst epidemic of Covid-19 after passage of one year.

Talking to reporters after appearing before Accountability Court in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case, he said that currently spread of the Covid-19 in the country was an important issue.

The whole world has controlled spread of the coronavirus but we are where, we stood last year, he said.

"The number of Covid-19 cases have significantly increased in the country as compared to last year," he said, adding that death ratio due to Covid-19 has also increased 10 times as compared to last year.

Abbasi said that government has so for not purchased a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

"Today, we fight deadly coronavirus through charity vaccine," he said, adding that Pakistan was the only country which has allowed private sector to purchase Covid-19 vaccine.

The price of vaccine imported through private sector is also fixed by the federal cabinet, he said.

He further said that the government has completely failed to implement Covid-19 standard operating procedure devised to control spread of the virus.

"NCOC had announced closure of marriage halls and made mandatory wearing of face mask but I have attended as many as 11 marriage functions but did not observe implementation of these SOPs," he said.

Abbasi said that the NCOC does not know what step it has to take to control spread of Covid-19.

Without naming Tariq Bashir Cheema, the federal minister for housing about whom a video emerged on social media in which his whole family allegedly got vaccinated against Covid-19, Abbasi said that coronvirus vaccine has been administered to whole family of a minister.

He said that the present government did not care about the general public.

They did not purchase vaccine and asked the private sector to purchase vaccine and vaccinate themselves.

To a question about the removal of finance minister Abdul Hafiz Sheikh, he said that after passage of two years, the prime minister came to know about the incompetence of the finance minister. Inflation will not be controlled through replacement of ministers, he said, adding that one incompetent person has been removed and another incompetent has replaced him.

He said that we were thinking to include Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to resolve all problems.

To a question about the PDM, he said that PDM is well established.

"Do not worry about the PDM, worry about the government," he said.

About his case, he said that he had been appearing before Accountability Court for the last three years.

Abbasi said that the fact of the cases which we had come to know from day one, were also known to whole Pakistan. I think Prime Minister has also come to know that either NAB or Pakistan will remain, he said, adding that the main purpose of these cases was to discredit politicians.

He said that NAB was set up by a dictator and unfortunately it still exists after the passage of 21 years.

The reality of NAB was that when Broadsheet scandal surfaced files disappeared from the anti-graft body, he said.

Earlier, he appeared before Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan in LNG case against him and others.

The court marked Abbasi and other accused's attendance and allowed him to go.

The court recorded the statement of the NAB witness, Abdur Rasheed, director Ministry of Petroleum, and directed the defence counsel to cross examine prosecution witness, Hassan Bhatti, who earlier recorded his statement during the next hearing.

The court also summoned another witness Allah Nawaz for recording his statement during the next hearing to be held on April 6th.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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