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Despite differences, Opposition manages to pass resolution in Senate

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The Opposition was able to pass a resolution in the Senate relating to the price of coronavirus vaccines on Monday, despite disagreements within the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

The resolution against the selling of coronavirus vaccines at expensive rates was moved by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam's (JUI-F) Sena tor Kamran Murtaza.

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The Senate approved the resolution submitted by the Opposition, with 43 in favour and 31 voting against it.

In the resolution, the Opposition candidate demanded the government provide coronavirus vaccines for free or at a cheaper rate for the public.

Angered at the development, the Leader of the House Shehzad Waseem said the resolution was a charge-sheet against the government.

Senator Faisal Javed, on the other hand, termed the resolution as "strange". "The entire world appreciates Imran Khan's strategy against coronavirus," he said, defending the government's measures to vaccinate the masses.

Similarly, Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety to Prime Minister Sania Nishtar cautioned politicians against mixing the coronavirus with politics, saying that battling the infection is a "national security issue".

The development comes after the PPP and the Awami National Party (ANP) had been served show-cause notices over alleged violation of the Opposition alliance's — Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) — consensus decision and principles.

PDM chief Maulana Fazal ur Rehman had approved the issuance of show-cause notices to both parties.

A day earlier, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had said his party is ready to join hands with allied parties and if they refuse, then he is ready to act as the Opposition alone, but said his party will not sit easy until it sends the "puppet government" packing.

The PPP chairman, while addressing a ceremony in connection with the 42nd death anniversary of former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, had said that only "they [the PPP] know how to run a movement in a democratic manner".

The PDM had decided last month that the PPP will get the slot of chairman Senate while the deputy chairman will go to JUI-F and the PML-N will get the office of the leader of Opposition.

The PPP and JUI-F candidates for the two slots couldn’t succeed in polls, as the presiding officer discarded seven votes of the PPP candidate Senator Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Subsequently, the PPP backed out of consensus understanding and opted to get the slot of the Opposition leader by roping in some members of the BAP party, which is part of the government.

The ANP stood by the PPP.


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