Pak asks EU to relax travel restrictions

Pakistan has asked the European Union (EU) to relax travel restrictions imposed on it due to the increasing polio cases in the country.

Islamabad: Pakistan has asked the European Union (EU) to relax travel restrictions imposed on it due to the increasing polio cases in the country.

The issue of restrictions came up for discussion yesterday during a meeting of a German parliamentary delegation with President Mamnoon Hussain.

Hussain called for relaxing the restrictions and said that international community should be considerate and help Pakistan to work towards eradication of polio virus, Dawn reported.

Hussain told German parliamentarians that Pakistan is committed to eradicating polio.

The President said the main cause of the increase in the number of polio cases in recent years was terrorism because of which many tribal areas in the country were still inaccessible.
Pakistan has asked the 28-member European Union to relax travel restrictions imposed on it, the report said.

"Pakistan is not responsible for the situation, but the elements who caused the spread of terrorism in the region," he said.

He assured the delegation that Pakistan was committed to eradicating the disease and the situation was now improving.

The President also informed the delegation that the government was taking effective measures to curb terrorism, violation of human rights, discrimination against minorities and gender inequality.

The delegation is headed by Dagmar G Wohrl, MP and Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development.

Pakistan faced international humiliation when the World Health Organisation (WHO) imposed travel restrictions on the country last year for failure to curb the polio virus.

Already it has been decided that every Pakistani will have to produce a certificate showing polio vaccination for any foreign travel from June 1.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic.

Militant groups often attack polio teams as they see vaccination campaigns a cover for espionage. There are also long running rumours about polio drops causing infertility. 

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