ISLAMABAD - On the PML-N government’s written request, Pakistan Army has decided to assist the government in anti-polio campaign, but contrary to the past practice, its personnel will not accompany the health workers in door-to-door campaigns.
According to the statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), at a high-level meeting held at General Headquarters (GHQ), the Pakistan Army has decided to assist the civil administration in the areas where security situation is not much better. “The Army was asked to assist the government in making this campaign a success. The meeting reviewed the challenge which arose after the attacks on polio teams, the ISPR said.
While talking to this correspondent, an ISPR spokesman said no army man would accompany the door-to-door campaign. “The army will only ensure a safe environment through strict security plans and check posts in the light of intelligence information, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi. Its jawans will try to help out civilians to save our future generations,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the past army personnel were part of polio teams in door-to-door campaigns.
Agencies add: Representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and representatives of the federal and KP government and the Fata secretariat attended the meeting at the General Headquarters.
The forum was informed about the current polio situation in the country and challenges being faced for smooth conduct of polio campaigns.
The meeting also expressed the urgency for polio eradication imitative to save future generations.
The participants emphasised the need to take all necessary measures including improving the security situation to make Pakistan a polio-free country.
Pakistan is one of only three countries where the crippling poliovirus remains endemic. The country may face international travelling bans as it continues to house the highest number of polio cases.