Come what may: Imran vows to continue anti-polio drive

Published: December 22, 2013
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File photo of PTI Chairman, Imran Khan. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/FILE

File photo of PTI Chairman, Imran Khan. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/FILE

KARACHI: 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Saturday he could not be cowered into abandoning the cause of polio vaccination in the country, despite a wave of deadly attacks on polio workers and security personnel aiding the campaign.

“No matter what happens, we do not have a choice but to take a stand against polio,” the PTI chief said by telephone.

The attackers reportedly left pamphlets threatening to harm those promoting the campaign. “Personal security is not a concern when you think of the terrible consequences the polio virus has for Pakistan,” he said.

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“Workers from K-P will not be allowed to work in the Gulf states and Pakistan may be looking at travel restrictions.”

When asked who he believes is responsible for carrying out the attacks in light of the Taliban’s claims, Imran said that there are 57 groups operating under the banner of the Taliban.

“We don’t know the various motivations of these groups,” he said, hinting at Indian and Afghan financing for some militant factions.

“This is why talks are essential. With dialogue, we can isolate various groups; differentiate those who want peace from those who are involved in the smuggling, land and kidnapping mafia. It is all a hodgepodge,” he said, adding that engaging with the group will “enable us to know who is fighting for what reason”.

Imran said that one of the main reasons behind the Taliban’s hostility towards polio workers is that the group feels the CIA has seeped into anti-polio groups.

Imran said he appeals to the perpetrators of such attacks to think of the debilitating effect of polio on Pakistan. “Polio vaccination is not against Islam. These attacks are against humanity and jeopardise the future of children.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Aysha M
    Dec 22, 2013 - 10:29AM

    What is it PTI TRIBUNE?
    This news item has appeared 6 or 7 times. Yes, we understand IK is into polio vaccination but not telling TTP to back off and let heath workers do their job

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  • rafi ka deewana
    Dec 22, 2013 - 10:40AM

    Something will click for IK. Someday.

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  • pakiboy
    Dec 22, 2013 - 10:50AM

    “CIA has seeped into anti-polio groups”. really?
    way to find reasons to support your stance.

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  • Zulfiqar
    Dec 22, 2013 - 11:06AM

    @Pakiboy
    Brother you really need to be updated, do you know SHAKIL AFRIDI and how he was used by CIA using the POLIO CAMPAIGN to trace Bin Laden??
    Still if you didn’t get it, start reading newspaper :)

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  • leader
    Dec 22, 2013 - 11:17AM

    the title is like something against the polio drive.

    get your english tested please !

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  • Jawad
    Dec 22, 2013 - 11:18AM

    @pakiboy Who was Shakeel Afridi working for???

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  • Noman
    Dec 22, 2013 - 11:24AM

    @Aysha M, We know Imran Khan’s picture is a nightmare for MQM supporters. Guess what you have no option, just live with it :)

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  • Hi Ayesha
    Dec 22, 2013 - 11:38AM

    What ….. ! I think now in these days Imran khan is the Hero of media…

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  • Rasikh
    Dec 22, 2013 - 11:44AM

    @pakiboy
    U should know that Shakeel Afridi was spying for CIA in the guise of a polio vaccination worker.. For better or worse is another discussion but polio vaccination efforts have been damaged by this act. That CIA operation has harmed the polio eradication efforts in the country.

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  • Falcon
    Dec 22, 2013 - 11:46AM

    Keep it going IK. Recommend

  • Aysha M
    Dec 22, 2013 - 12:14PM

    @Noman:
    Yeah right
    How much of a nightmare it is for MQM was made clear on 22nd August by-election when MQM made a clean sweep in the presence of Pak Army in and outside the polling booths

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  • Shoaib
    Dec 22, 2013 - 12:43PM

    What a man, what a struggle, what courage and what a vision, keep rolling Sir the day is not far when this world will know a NAYA PAKISTAN…

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  • tactics
    Dec 22, 2013 - 1:24PM

    Pti is a media driven outlet! Action speak louder than words

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  • Aysha M
    Dec 22, 2013 - 1:50PM

    I made up my mind to shift out of MQM just like Mustafa Kamal. I might join PMLQ or JUIF both are nice parties. No matter what PTI does I will never ever appreciate them.

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  • Komal S
    Dec 22, 2013 - 1:59PM

    @Rasikh:
    I thought these militant groups were against polio vaccination even before the Bin laden issue. What is shocking is most of the people justifying the attack against polio workers because in the past one of workers was used by CIA. May be Imran Khan should recruit Taliban Soldiers to do Polio Vaccination. This way credit goes to them and we then don’t need to to be worried about CIA. But then Taliban can be bought too right! I guess the kids have to fight until Pakistani mindset gets rid of the foreign conspiracy angle in everything.

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  • Umar
    Dec 22, 2013 - 2:21PM

    Really tired of these dramas. Go and do some work in KPK – I’m not taking about dharnas.

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  • csmann
    Dec 22, 2013 - 3:36PM

    Still an apologist for TTP and its factions.He doesn’t face the bullets, brave and caring polio workers do. Why is he such a coward when it comes to TTP,and terror groups.He keeps on ranting about negotiations, but doesn’t do a thing to bring the TTP to the table.

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  • S
    Dec 22, 2013 - 3:46PM

    @Aysha M: This just shows that you have a very biased approach. Even thoughni am a Pti supporter i still acknowledge and appreciate some steps that PML-N takes for Pakistan’s benefit. Our aim should be to help Pakistan grow and not blindly support a party. Out work should be for Pakistan and Pakistan only, not for any political party.

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  • Aysha M
    Dec 22, 2013 - 4:38PM

    @S:
    Absolutely right, one should not blindly support a party. If TTP is encouraged to have offices opened up all over Pakistan, its time to reconsider, so should you

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  • Rasikh
    Dec 22, 2013 - 6:56PM

    @Komal..
    That is correct.. The taliban and a certain religious mindset has always needlessly viewed Polio vaccination drives as suspicious and connected to a global conspiracy against muslims. Fighting that mindset was hard enough. It has been further hardened by the CIA using the polio drives for its purpose and the taliban seeing it as a spying campaign. I am not trying to justify the attacks against polio workers but the fact of the matter is that poor polio workers could have done without their campaign being used in a war.. Hope my point is clarified.. Peace..

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  • unbelievable
    Dec 22, 2013 - 9:45PM

    Other than a speech what has he done to get anyone inoculated against polio? The Elephant in the Room that many refuse to see is that IK is suppose to be in charge of a territory which he has little (if any) actual control over – he can’t provide basic protection to citizens let alone insure that the children are inoculated. So what does a politician do when he can’t/won’t do his job? He makes promises about fixing things that he has no authority or ability to fix.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 23, 2013 - 12:17AM

    @Zulfiqar:
    BTW, just where is it reported that Dr Afridi was using a POLIO vaccination scheme to help trace OBL? Looking for DNA samples is all he was interested in!

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  • Sexton Blake
    Dec 23, 2013 - 2:20AM

    @numbersnumbers:
    Dear Numbers,
    There are many articles suggesting that Dr Afridi, on behalf of the CIA, was running a fake vaccination program in Abbottabad during 2011 in order to acquire DNA samples. As usual, you did not do your homework.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 23, 2013 - 7:47AM

    @Sexton Blake:
    BUT not a Polio campaign as some have commented!

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