Federal Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema allegedly used his influence to get his family members including famed actor Iffat Omar vaccinated against COVID-19. A video shared on Instagram showed the family members of the federal minister get a dose of vaccine.
Dr. Shahbaz Gill, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication, took to Twitter on Monday to condemn the actor and ‘activist’ Iffat Omar for getting vaccine against COVID-19 out of turn.
“What a shame. These fake liberals are only liberal to the point of swearing. By the way, they have no morals and no shame. Listening to their words, it seems that there is no such thing as a great law-abiding person and it shows how morally corrupt they are,” Gill wrote.
Pakistan’s COVID-19 vaccination drive has been underway since February, with health care workers as a priority. The country recently launched a COVID-19 vaccination for the general public, starting with older people while it tussles with a high degree of vaccination hesitancy among its 220 million people, even among health workers.
It is being said that Cheema used his ministerial powers to influence the people responsible for the vaccination drive. Note that the government is currently administering the vaccine only to people 60 years of age or above.
However, the minister even got his acquaintances vaccinated using his influence. A video of the minister purportedly misusing his power is making rounds on social media. Moreover, the renowned TV actress was among the privileged few who were vaccinated against COVID-19 at the place of Cheema.
Meanwhile, in response to the video that soon went viral, Omar shared a tweet. “I would like to clarify this was a booster shot of a Cansino (trial) vaccine received from UHS who also provided the previous shot. It’s not illegal or privilege,” she wrote.
However, Omar soon deleted the tweet as the social media users canceled her, and her tone deaf explanation.
It is pertinent to mention that this is the second time that power has been misused in order to receive the vaccine out of turn. Last month, the Singh government authorities reportedly suspended the official of the District Health Office in Karachi’s East district.
He violated the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to facilitate the vaccination against COVID-19 of PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair’s daughter and son-in-law. Both of them were neither health workers nor elderly.
Will the authority take an immediate action against the minister too?
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar announced that the vaccination drive for citizens 50 and above will start from March 30.
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