As world attention is diverted to Ebola epidemic threatening most of the West African countries, Pakistan is still struggling to contain a far more dangerous disease, Polio. Its victims are handicapped for life, to become a never-ending burden on the society. But apparently the newspapers’ shrieking headlines in the last few days are being treated as the normal course of life in Pakistan —- Anti-polio campaign in Karachi postponed due to security threats, attacks on polio vaccination team leaves three injured in Gujranwala, polio team fired upon in Rahim Yar Khan, 3-day anti-polio drive deferred in Quetta and Pashin, Islamabad excluded from anti-polio campaign due to ongoing political unrest in the Capital, fearful upsurge in polio cases being reported from Karachi, Baluchistan, KPK, tribal areas and other pockets across the country.

Do all these headlines ring any bells? Perhaps not, otherwise an emergency would have been declared to contain the epidemic but we have far more important tasks to do, miles long protest rallies, impressive public meetings, routine sit-ins to disrupt the government functioning. Sadly Pakistan has become a country with the largest number of reported polio cases. Perhaps the non-seriousness of federal and provincial governments and politicians is far more epidemic than polio itself. Mind you, tomorrow all these handicapped angels will ask their parents, relatives and authorities why they are a burden on the society, is anyone awake?


Saudi Arab, October 2.