Condemn Attacks on Polio Workers and appreciate Imran Khan and Asifa Bhutto’s efforts

Posted: January 1, 2014 in News and Views

Again attacks on polio workers are being reported from different parts of the country particularly from Northern parts where the security of polio workers has become very low.

On 21 December 2013 Ghilaf Khan, 35 years old, polio worker, who was administering polio vaccine at a government-run dispensary in the Ghundi area when he was attacked by armed men riding on motorbike. In this case, 8 suspects were arrested in suspicion.

Two were hurt at Peshawer in an attack two weeks ago.  RightsNow Pakistan condemn these acts on polio workers in different parts of Pakistan by extremists. The country is one of only three where the polio virus is still endemic. This can be eradicated by the vaccination which is being prevented by the Islamist militants in Pakistan. These militants oppose vaccination against polio and consider such campaigns a cover for spying and other intelligence activities.They also believe and claim the vaccine is part of a plot intended to make Muslim boys sterile. On the other side, the number cases of polio cases in Pakistan reached 82 this year with five new cases reported in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as the crippling disease remained endemic in the country. Four cases were reported from North Waziristan Agency and one from South Waziristan Agency. The infected children are aged between 10-28 months.

We highly appreciate the efforts of Imran Khan, head of Pakistan Tahreek i- Insaf for making a pledge  to spearhead polio vaccination efforts in the troubled northwest of the country, which remains a hotspot for the crippling disease.

We highly appreciate the efforts of Ms Asifa Bhutto, who is also UNICEF Pakistan’s Ambassador for Polio eradication has been active in reaching to families of deceased polio workers and making efforts for administration of polio vaccination in remote and excluded areas of the country.

We call for an independent and speedy inquiry into the cases so the culprits be hold accountable and demand from the Government to announce compensations for the families affected.

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