News / Asia

Pakistan: Indian Polio Crackdown 'Unfortunate'

FILE - A Pakistani child receives a polio vaccine by a health worker in Islamabad, Nov. 26, 2013.
FILE - A Pakistani child receives a polio vaccine by a health worker in Islamabad, Nov. 26, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Officials in Pakistan have criticized as "overreaction" recent cross-border travel restrictions India has imposed to prevent the polio virus from entering the country.

Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan are the only three nations across the globe where the crippling disease remains endemic.

Last week, the Indian diplomatic mission in Islamabad announced that travelers from Pakistan, both adults and children, would require mandatory polio vaccination at least six weeks prior to undertaking a trip to India.

The mission said that that the policy, which will come into effect from January 30, 2014, was meant "to safeguard India's polio-free status attained after sustained efforts and investment".

But Pakistani authorities have criticized the move.

Pakistan's advisor on national security and foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, told reporters in Islamabad late on Saturday, "It [India's polio ban] is unfortunate. I think it is an overreaction because people traveling from Afghanistan [to India] face no such restrictions."

He added that Pakistan was strengthening its anti-polio drive so the disease did not become "a pretext" for denying visas to Pakistanis.

Indian officials, however, insist that the new policy is applicable to travelers not just from Pakistan but all countries where polio is endemic or where victims are reported.

The ban, many believe, will make cross-border travel difficult for hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis who have families in India.

Pakistan's polio immunization efforts have suffered critical setbacks in recent years. Islamist militants linked to the al-Qaida terror network in insurgency-hit northwestern tribal areas have banned national vaccination drive on suspicions the American CIA is using it to gather information.

In addition, attacks elsewhere in the country on polio teams have left some members of vaccination teams and security personal escorting them dead. The suspicions about the anti-polio drive and the deadly attacks are cited as primary reasons for a surge in polio cases in Pakistan.

World Health Organization recorded 72 cases so far this year in Pakistan compared to 58 in 2012. The WHO confirmed last month that an outbreak of polio in war-hit Syria that affected more than dozen children was linked to a strain of the virus from Pakistan.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Raghu Nandan B S from: Bengaluru
December 16, 2013 12:07 PM
Yeah, These Pakistanis get something or the other to mock on us! but who gives a damn?? :P


by: John
December 15, 2013 10:53 PM
The Indian requirement seems reasonable to me. Pakistanis have exercised their free choice by refusing to eliminate this disease. The Indians therefore require them to take the necessary precautions to avoid inflicting it on Indians. I note the killing in Pakistan of a large number of sheep from Australia on similar grounds.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid