ISLAMABAD- Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehtab Ahmad Khan said a joint strategy will be evolved to overcome polio cases in tribal areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa adding that polio campaign in tribal areas would be held with the help of army.

Addressing a news conference along with UNICEF Regional Director Karin Hulshof in Islamabad today, he said under this strategy every child in the tribal areas as well as those residing in the IDP camps will be immunized against polio.

He said we will leave no stone unturned to eradicate polio in the shortest possible time. He said the polio virus has not only put the future of our children at stake but is also bringing embarrassment to the country. Keeping in view the current situation, the prime minister has directed all the provinces to pursue a robust strategy to deal with this issue.

Responding to a question, the governor said the areas of North and South Waziristan were not accessible in the last two years. However, since the launch of North Waziristan operation, the children of migrating families have been vaccinated against polio. Similarly, children belonging to Khyber Agency and South Waziristan are also being immunized.

He said a focused immunization drive will be carried out in each district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the pattern of Peshawar model in the next three months. He said polio is not a political issue and collective efforts are needed to eradicate the disease from the country.

About the security of polio workers, Mehtab Khan regretted killing of thirty workers in tribal areas. He said adequate steps have now been taken for their security. Immunization in North and South Waziristan will be carried out by the military officials.

In her remarks, the UNICEF's regional director said all the development partners of Pakistan including UNICEF will stay in Pakistan and work hand in hand with the government to eradicate polio. She appreciated the government's commitment towards polio program and expressed the confidence that this will make the difference in eliminating the virus from the country.

Earlier, the governor held a meeting with the UNICEF delegation and discussed the strategy to be implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas for the eradication of crippling polio virus.