PM makes polio vaccination mandatory for travellers from FATA to other provinces

Published: May 15, 2014
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A file photo of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: REUTERS

A file photo of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: In a desperate attempt to control the spread of poliovirus in Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday issued an order to not let people from tribal areas enter other provinces if they are not immunised, Express News reported.

Pakistan is facing global travel restrictions for its failure to ensure a polio-free country.

The government – criticised for not doing enough – has now decided to deploy army personnel on the border of the tribal belt to monitor movement of locals into the bordering provinces.

Many in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas – where propaganda against polio vaccination is rife – are not immunised against the crippling disease.

Pakistan’s reported polio cases for the year climbed to 61 on May 12, as two fresh samples collected from children in Karachi and North Waziristan Agency were confirmed as poliovirus type 1.

Finally waking up to the global fallout from the polio threat, the federal lawmakers had recently passed a non-binding resolution calling for the implementation of polio immunisation programme (EPI).

The resolution urged the lawmakers to make a commitment that they would monitor and implement vaccination campaigns in their respective constituencies.

Agendas discussed during Cabinet session: 

Amendment in Seed Act, 1976, (National Food Security & Research Division).

Framework Agreement between China and Pakistan on Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project (Economic Affairs Division).

Agreement between Turkmenistan and Pakistan on Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation (Economic Affairs Division).

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding Up gradation of Pakistan- Bahrain Joint Economic Committee (JEC) to the Level of Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) (Economic Affairs Division).

Ratification of the Agreement in the Field of Vocational Training Signed between Jordan and Pakistan on 7th March, 2012 (Education, Trainings & Standards in Higher Education Division).

Ratification of Memorandum of Understaffing (MoU) between Pakistan and Turkey in the Field of Urbanization (Housing & Works Division).

Signing of an Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Handicrafts between the Governments of Pakistan and Tunisia (Industries & Production Division).

Starting of Negotiations on Cultural Exchange Programme  between Nigeria and Pakistan 2014-2017 (Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Division).

Programme of Cultural Cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia   for 2014-2019 (Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Division).

Cultural Cooperation between Pakistan and the Russian Federation for 2014-2018 (Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Division).

Starting of Negotiations on Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cultural Cooperation between Pakistan and Iraq for the Period 2014-2019 (Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Division).

Starting of Negotiations on the Executive Programme for Cultural Cooperation between Kuwait and Pakistan for the Period 2014-2018. (Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Division).

Starting of Negotiations for Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cultural Cooperation Between Norway and Pakistan for the Period 2014-2019 ( Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Division).

Starting of Negotiations for Cultural and Scientific Cooperation between Pakistan and Jordon for the Period 2014-2018 (Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Division).

Signing of an Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons between Pakistan and Korea (Interior Division).

To Start Negotiations and Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Food Security, in Particular Rice, between Pakistan and Bahrain (National Food Security & Research Division).

Convention between Pakistan and Republic of Moldova for the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (ADTA) (Finance Division).

Signing of the MoU between the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE) and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) (Science & Technology Division).

Ratification of MoU between Board of Investment and Kuwait Investment Authority (Board of Investment) with the direction to come up with a comprehensive road-map for increasing foreign investment in Pakistan.

Confirmation of the Decisions taken by Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP) in its meeting held on 3rd October, 2013 (Cabinet Division).

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Reader Comments (41)

  • goldconsumer
    May 15, 2014 - 12:28PM

    Dear PM
    Please also inform us exactlky how are we going to ensure that? We cant even lay barbed wire across the durand line, from where terrorists openly cross by and even wage wars on their opponents.

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  • Aamer Khawaja
    May 15, 2014 - 12:33PM

    Some will give it an ethic color (read: punjabi hegemony) but I think this is a very good step, its extremely important to curb the spread of virus from people who are unwilling to take the drops out of fear of ‘infertility’, this is the most lenient punishment for them.

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    May 15, 2014 - 12:58PM

    This statement may/shall be the cause/reason of the hatred and prejudice within FATA and other parts of Pakistan or people of FATA and other provinces.Very well done Nawaz Sharif…..

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  • Ali
    May 15, 2014 - 1:01PM

    Wow…Some one just woke up!

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  • Polpot
    May 15, 2014 - 1:05PM

    “PM makes polio vaccination mandatory for travellers from FATA to other provinces”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Under what provisIon of Law? Mr Khan pls raise this in the SC!
    BTW is this a reccomendation or a restriction…a la FO??

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  • May 15, 2014 - 1:30PM

    I think neither people or Govt. Of Pak knows anything about polio vaccination. This polio vac. during pulse polio programme Is not to protect the individual or the child from polio. OPV contains attenuated P virus. The disease causing virus is wild polio virus. When we give it in mass, in one day in whole of country , wild virus is replaced by attenuated virus in the children’s gut& wild virus is thrown out in stools & get killed bcs it can’t survive outside gut. So whole wild virus is killed in the country. Idea of giving OPV to adults is same. So that they don’t carry P V in their gut to other country. IPV is of no use for this purpose. It is duty of your health deptt. to educate the people.

    Dr. H.S.Sran

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  • Farhan
    May 15, 2014 - 1:38PM

    Great move. Polio vaccination refusals must be penalized.

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  • reader
    May 15, 2014 - 1:40PM

    @Polpot.. start minding your own business and shed your genious comments on the problems of your country india.. we do not need your advice

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  • Parvez
    May 15, 2014 - 1:42PM

    Saying this is good……making sure its implemented would be much better.

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  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    May 15, 2014 - 1:42PM

    I am an Indian and Nawaz is doing the needful. Nobody can be satisfied. He is a good man and good for your country after bhutoo. Give time and space and he will deliver. He has a heavy load to take care.i am not saying this because I am a Punjabi but living in west Bengal, my heart goes for the welfare of us all…Indian and Pakistani. Rab rakha

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  • Uzair Malik
    May 15, 2014 - 2:12PM

    A lathargic government – could have taken control measures when the WHO started blowing the trumpets and beating the drums about a year ago whilst the ‘highly experienced’ PM and his cabinet were busy making world records on foreign trips and ‘smashing akhroads’ froms ones forehead. Perhaps, its clear now that this country needs a leader who thinks and plans ahead – hopefullly, you have all got the vibe of who I am talking about.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 15, 2014 - 2:27PM

    While the populist Imran Khan talks and demonstrates, the Prime Minister of the country acts, decisively and with prudence. KPK Government could have acted in similar manner. Even certain commentators are now playing the devil’s advocate and questning this thought through very simple and straight forward move.

    Rex Minor

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    May 15, 2014 - 3:05PM

    @Uzair Malik:

    18th Amendment has devolved most issues including health to the province. Instead of blowing the hollow trumpet of CHANGE and Jahangir Tareen making millions through advertisement campaigns on eradication of polio in KPK, the PTI government should have done something meaningful.

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  • Polpot
    May 15, 2014 - 3:11PM

    @reader: ” we do not need your advice”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Those who are most in need of advice are least apt to heed to it.
    Hence I shed my genuis in the service of Pakistan.

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  • salman
    May 15, 2014 - 3:50PM

    Why just FATA why not entire KP ? In Karachi many migrants are from other places in KP including Afghan refugees who are spreading this disease.

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  • Liaqat Yousufzai
    May 15, 2014 - 4:08PM

    @Aamer Khawaja:

    What about Karachi then ? Should we immunize them before entering into the rest of Pakistan

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  • Liaqat Yousufzai
    May 15, 2014 - 4:09PM

    This is not the solution, these Nooras always believe in ad-hoc measures.

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  • Uzair Malik
    May 15, 2014 - 4:21PM

    “WHO reports that two samples of sewage water from Peshawar tested negative for polio virus.”

    Is that not meaningful enough?

    If IK (and jehangir tareens advertisement campaign wasn’t there), these sewerages would have tested positive, drones hovering in the sky, an operation being carried out with Taliban extremists wandering around the streets of Pakistan blowing themselves up and probably exploding in the over budgeted and overrated metro buses.

    Look at the bigger picture, a strong opposition has made the government take decisions that benefitted the entire lot!

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  • Patriot.N
    May 15, 2014 - 4:27PM

    So FATA is now the ubiquitous Pakistan and the rest of Pakistan is the west and the rest of the world.

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  • Patriot.N
    May 15, 2014 - 4:34PM

    @Polpot:
    A genius with no job. If you have believed in the Einstein’s mantra ‘ genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration’ chances are you can get a job.

    This makes good reading for you(no xenophobic thoughts here).

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-geniuses-dont-have-jobs/

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  • Patriot.N
    May 15, 2014 - 4:46PM

    This all seems to be part of the bigger game. People of FATA are were fierce, tribal people for whom pride matters the most. The could take take it as an insult from the federation and might revolt against Pakistan. Remember it is the Tribal region which decided to be a part of Pakistan and not Afghanistan, in 1947.
    The government should be more cautious in this regard. Instead of this measure they can upstart the polio vaccination campaign in a big way with help from local clerics, ulemas and can get help from JUI(F) and all religious political parties.
    I think this is not a wise decision…

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 15, 2014 - 4:53PM

    Its a good move but still too little too late.

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  • Polpot
    May 15, 2014 - 5:13PM

    “PM makes polio vaccination mandatory for travellers from FATA to other provinces”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Sadly a kick on the hind side was required to push the PM into action.
    Future generations of Pakistanis need to be thankful to WHO.

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  • Polpot
    May 15, 2014 - 5:18PM

    @Patriot.N: “A genius with no job.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    When I visited Pakistan the IQ level of both India and Pakistan rose higher. Figure that out.

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  • Aamer Khawaja
    May 15, 2014 - 5:21PM

    @Liaqat Yousufzai:
    Most of the virus in khi has origins from FATA or KPK, nonetheless, yes, anybody moving from karachi should also be made to take polio drops, u see this isnt about ego, inferiority or ethnicity, this is a disease and should be dealt with accordingly. love from Karachi.

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  • bean
    May 15, 2014 - 5:57PM

    @Liaqat Yousufzai:
    As most of the Polio cases in Karachi are detected from Gadap area (inhabited by Wazir / Mehsud tribesmen), you might rethink your hostility. Or would you rather have the newscaster tell the ethnic origins of the polio victims as well?
    Isn’t it enough that these tribesmen are cruising the roads of Karachi 24/7 in dumpers; all registered in Quetta / Lasbella? Why should I expect goodness and reason from a group of people who repeatedly abuse the land of Sindh, yet even refuse to pay a small vehicle tax towards it? I don’t really care how they treat their own kids’ well-being, but I wouldn’t allow mine to be jeopardised. And that, too, in my home.

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  • Zulmi Cousin
    May 15, 2014 - 6:14PM

    A travel restriction for Pakistanis against travelling inside their own country. Is this even legal? How is it a great idea?

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  • kay
    May 15, 2014 - 6:39PM

    Seperate FATA from Pakistan and 80% problems will be solved.

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  • Riaz Murtaza
    May 15, 2014 - 7:37PM

    Well done. But it should have been an excellent act if done before the spread of Polio and the restrictions by WHO on Pakistani travelers !

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  • xor
    May 15, 2014 - 7:50PM

    Polio problem is not problem of 2013 or 2014, its failure at different levels span over last few decades. Mr Nawaz n his party part of this crime.

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  • Jamal
    May 15, 2014 - 7:53PM

    They(the people to the west of Indus) should also get visa for Punjab along with their vaccination certificate in order to cross Indus to enter Punjab.

    A great step in the right direction.

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  • Blithe
    May 15, 2014 - 11:58PM

    Thanks to stupid 18th amendment , there is no federal minister for health!!!

    And there are so many health issues with bacteria , not to mention polio.

    Please undo this stupid 18th amendment

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  • Uzair Malik
    May 16, 2014 - 12:16AM

    @kay:

    People with mindset like that of yourself are the ones to be kicked out!! The problem is not people of fata/balochistan, it’s poor governance and inefficient leaders like NS who take a year to implement a decision when damage has already been done!!!
    People of fata are the ones who liberated Kashmir and fought afghans in 60s…you are an ill-informed person!Recommend

  • Ali S
    May 16, 2014 - 1:20AM

    @Rex Minor:

    I’m no fan of IK or PTI, but FATA isn’t their jurisdiction (the name ‘Federally’ administered tribal areas should give a hint), and their Sehat ka Insaf program in KPK has so far been a moderate success. The most recent survey of Peshawar sewers tested negative for type 1 poliovirus.

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  • Ali
    May 16, 2014 - 2:07AM

    Why not ban punjabis from other provinces unless they are vaccinated. There are a lot more diseases coming from Punjab than any other province

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  • Arindom
    May 16, 2014 - 2:53AM

    Much as I want to see polio eradicated, the order seems to be ‘unconstitutional’. You can’t prevent people from one province travelling to another within the same country. I don’t think there is any law forbitting this?.

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  • Bhutti
    May 16, 2014 - 3:22AM

    @kay:
    Not only FATA, KPK and Baluchistan as well. It is time that we get divorce from them.

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  • someone
    May 16, 2014 - 4:12AM

    A step closer to disintegration……

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  • someone
    May 16, 2014 - 4:17AM

    ET:

    Why are you not publishing my posts??????????????

    Recommend

  • someone
    May 16, 2014 - 4:19AM

    ET:

    You call yourself liberal and yet not publishing my posts?Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 16, 2014 - 4:08PM

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday issued an order to not let people from tribal areas enter other provinces if they are not immunised.
    However, they are allowed to enter if they carry guns- P.M added.

    Recommend

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