Had Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto been alive today, poor people of Pakistan would not have been so pathetically treated by Imran Khan government for want of co-vid vaccine, utter lack of proper medicare, running from pillar to post for sustainable oxygen ventilators and pep. It is indeed, an irony that the world scientists are speeding up to outrun each other in producing a viable curative vaccine. It is a matter of pride for the breed of global scientists for having produced vaccines faster than what is known as speed of safe practices. World has noted with great deal of satisfaction that three world pharmaceutical manufacturers have crossed the goal of attainable success while others have been in the race competing hard. The three that have emerged ahead of others in the Free World are- the Pfizer, the Moderna and the Oxford Astra-Zeneca. They seem to be like the major political parties in the West, their mission is identical in purpose, distinguishable from each other only in the detail. As per the common man, scientists have noted major differences such as the temperature required by the vaccine to be stored safely without adversely effecting vaccines efficacy. Manufacturers have ensured its cost to be accessible to the reach the pockets of the most poor. According to experts Oxford’s vaccine can be stored at fridge temperature, Moderna requires storage at -20o C; Pfizer at an Arctic -78o C. The comparative cost of the doses is debatable. According to a report estimated cost is $39 for two doses for the Pfizer vaccine, $50 for two doses of Moderna, and a low $3 a dose for the Oxford. The Oxford loaves-and-fishes miracle might be made possible through Covax, a global initiative that hopes to distribute about 2bn doses to 92 low- and middle-income countries at a maximum cost of $3 a dose. On the other hand, what was once an iron curtain, Putin’s Russia has developed its own Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik-V) vaccine. As against oft repeated promises of providing vaccine to its poor people free of cost, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a massive ‘voluntary’ free vaccination programme against COVID-19. It is another thing that the Russians are finding it hard to have volunteers for its massive vaccination programme. It faces much similar opposition from its clergy as we in Pakistan have been facing in the execution of polio immunisation programme. Despite the fact that the masses appreciated Generic Scheme as a major healthcare reform, it became a sordid victim of the conspiracy by the international pharmaceutical conglomerate and greedy Pakistani bureaucracy As compared to others our Chinese friends have been pursuing a parallel programme. China has been concentrating on two state-sponsored vaccines – Sinovac and Sinopharm. Although they have not been tested to the nth degree, these Chinese vaccines, like Covid-19 itself, have been exported already to other countries, hopefully with less lethal consequences. In Pakistan Imran Khan’s approach is much more quixotic. On the other hand PDM being a larger mulla created platform is busy what is at best be described as bullshitting distractions. While the PTI government under IK is busy bemoaning financial bankruptcy having no money for its dilapidated medicare – with greater emphasis on Covid-19 prevention rather than its cure. Having established his own ShaukatKhanum Memorial Cancer Hospital IK seems to have accomplished his life longambition, while leaving rest of healthcare to privatised social distancing, leaving it to the masses to self-restraint while allowing free for all in larger social gatherings such as weddings etc. For a country with a population of over 220 million with poverty ruling from cradle to grave, whatever funds are allocated to meet the co-vid19 consequences from its empty treasury, PTI government’s measly allocations towards the procurement of a co-vid19 vaccine, ‘initially to cover the most vulnerable 5% of the population’ [i.e. frontline health workers and people above the age of 65 years]. Experts are busy debating to decide from which source the vaccine supplies will be procured – western or eastern, when or at what price. $150 million doesn’t buy much these days—most probably we will send loads of PTI teams with big beggars bowls to beg for donations. PTI government feels that there would be no harm to seek Saudi bailouts and Chinese donations—after all Muslims in Pakistan from time immemorial when Bedous only knew camel to be the sole mode of transport in their barren country. Although our health authorities are expected to ensure what quantity of vaccine we would be needing and how much would be available with manufacturers, our ability to pay especially for the government with big holes in its pockets. According to rough guess work two vials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will cost Rs1,000 in Pakistan. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s vials will cost Rs6,000. The Moderna vaccine will cost Rs12,000.’ Charity may begin at home. It is not elastic. It does not extend to pharmaceutical companies. In the midst of co-vid19 pandemic one is reminded of Pakistan’s great leader martyred Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Jan 5 birthday) on his coming birthday anniversary. Besides many of his achievements including his pursuit of nuclear bomb, one cannot forget his brave attempt at introducing Generic Medicine scheme 1972 opening flood gates of reducing prices of multinational products. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the masses appreciated Generic Scheme as a major healthcare reform, it became a sordid victim of the conspiracy by the international pharmaceutical conglomerate and greedy Pakistani bureaucracy. Generic scheme’s impact was immensely great, it led to drastic reduction in prices. Much like Bhutto paid the price with his life for acquiring nuclear glow for Pakistan, the powerful western pharmaceutical lobby and their local licensees, abetted by the country’s medical profession—contributed huge funding to the Zia-backed PNA movement. We hope and pray that some socially-conscious corporate entity will obtain a licence to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine locally learning a lesson from our next door neighbour India which has become a major manufacturer of all vaccines. Author is the former High Commissioner of Pakistan to UK and a veteran journalist.