During the meeting of UN Secretary General’s representative on Human Rights, Abdullah al Maatooq, with more than 30 delegations of Pakistani ulema, it has been highlighted that if polio eradication campaign was not allowed to proceed smoothly, most of the foreign countries might be compelled to impose travel advisory for Pakistani travelers by November or December next, The News has learnt from reliable sources.
According to the sources, in case a travel advisory on this count was prescribed for Pakistanis travelling abroad, the precondition of producing the polio vaccination card might also become necessary.
It has been further revealed that most of the religious scholars have plainly told the UN representative that TTP and some other groups are of the conviction that some office-holders of NGOs and global health organisations have remained engaged, at times, in espionage activities inside Pakistan in the garb of polio eradication campaigns. This ‘activity’ was not acceptable. Pakistan Ulema Council scholars, at this occasion, suggested to al Matooq to advise the UN secretary general to arrange for the passage of a resolution in the UN assembly against such surreptitious activities under the ‘health’ cover.
The UN representative was also told that people in tribal areas were quite skeptical of the help from abroad in the form of polio eradication campaigns specifically in the backdrop of continued drone attacks. A good few people of these areas were of the opinion that on one hand, there were tall claims of polio eradication whereas, on the other, people of the same region, were being brutally subjected to drone strikes. This dichotomy impacted negatively on health-improving drives or whatever, the UN representative was further informed.
According to the sources, during the meetings, al Maatooq was also informed by some religious scholars of Pakistan that the issue has been politicised unnecessarily and given religious meaning although it had no such connotation attached to the so-called impediments in the administration of polio drops especially in the tribal areas of Pakistan.