Islamabad: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday condemned an attack on a UN team involved in an anti-polio drive in the southern city of Karachi and said the act could not detract Pakistan from its strong commitment to be a polio-free country.
Asharf rejected the propaganda against the polio vaccination campaign by a handful of elements and said Pakistan will do everything to ensure that the crippling disease is wiped out in the country.
Two persons, including a Ghanaian doctor working as a consultant for the World Health Organisation, were injured when gunmen attacked a United Nations vehicle near a polio vaccination camp in Karachi yesterday. The attack came in the wake of threats from the Taliban against the polio campaign.
In an effort to dispel misperceptions about the polio campaign, the premier said the vaccine supplied by the WHO in Pakistan was of the same quality as those distributed across the world, including in Muslim countries. There was no adverse reaction against the campaign in any Islamic country, he said
Even people going for the Haj pilgrimage, one of the holiest of Muslim rituals, were administered the same polio drops, Ashraf said. He regretted that a handful of extremist elements were trying to create "negative perceptions" about the polio campaign in Pakistan.
Ashraf said it seemed these elements were working against Pakistan and were the enemies of the people that are trying to get rid of the crippling disease.
Pakistani authorities began a drive to immunise 34 million children against polio on Monday.
However, over 350,000 children in North and South Waziristan and parts of Khyber Agency will not be covered by the campaign due to threats from the Taliban and fighting between security forces and militants.