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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid