During an All Parties Conference (APC) held on Wednesday, 13 political parties condemned the attack on polio vaccinators and agreed upon declaring polio a national emergency and including its eradication in their respective party manifestoes.
The APC was convened by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) in collaboration with Unicef. The political parties opined that religion does not bar polio eradication.
The parties signed a joint declaration and pledged to allocate financial and human resources for polio eradication strategies. Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi of the Pakistan Ulema Council also volunteered to sign the joint declaration.
He joined the APC as an observer. They suggested the government to provide security to polio field workers. Some leaders also suggested that political representatives of an area may also join polio teams across communities.
Speaking at the occasion, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that polio should be declared a threat to national security in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2012.