It was openly declared internationally that any country that still had polio would face travel restrictions, but our government did not take any measures to ensure Pakistan would be polio free. Now that we have come under threat, the government is declaring ‘war footing actions.’

Why was Pakistan unable to eradicate polio? An international agency has identified Pakistan, in South Asia, among three countries and is holding them responsible for spreading the virus. This has got global attention.

Violence carried out against healthcare workers did not help the situation. The idea was fueled by the fact that CIA had used vaccination campaign, as cover for finding and killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Now health workers, who attempt to vaccinate children are kidnapped and even killed. In the last two years dozens of polio workers have been killed. If polio is not eradicated then there are chances that Pakistanis will not be allowed to travel to other countries without medical certificates of being polio-vaccinated and disease-free.

RIZWAN HASSAN MUSTAFA,

Karachi, May 13.