Via Dawn.com: Imran wants govt committee to address polio in talks with TTP. Imran Khan, a former star cricket player, is now an important political leader. Excerpt:
PESHAWAR: Appealing that the government committee should hold talks with the Taliban regarding the polio issue, chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the matter had become more problematic after the Abbottabad operation, DawnNews reported.
Speaking to media representatives after meeting with Director General World Health Organisation (WHO) Margaret Chan, Khan said the increasing number of polio cases in Waziristan did not fundamentally suggest any medical concern but hinted at the security problems in the area.
He added that a number of security officials had lost their lives during immunisation campaigns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where Khan’s party holds power.
Khan also referred to the KP’s Sehat ka Insaf (Health for All) program, saying it had been commended internationally. The program entailed a complete package under which free kits were to be given out to families to protect their children from nine diseases, including polio.
Meanwhile, Chan said she feared that restrictions may apply on Pakistanis travelling abroad on account of the dismal state of polio containment, adding that at the same time, the international community could not abandon Pakistan to fight out the battle against polio.
Polio persists in Pakistan with militant groups seeing vaccination campaigns as a cover for espionage. According to WHO, Pakistan recorded 91 cases of polio last year, up from 58 in 2012.