UP clerics offer to spread awareness on polio in Pak

UP clerics offer to spread awareness on polio in Pak

They urge to debunk myths in Taliban-affected areas

Amid reports of killing of several polio campaigners in Pakistan, especially in Taliban affected areas, clerics from Uttar Pradeshhave offered to spread awareness about the benefits of vaccination in that region.

Rotary Ulama Committee, which has helped in eradicating misconceptions related to polio vaccination in UP to a large extent has proposed to Rotary International that it can campaign in Taliban affected areas of Pakistan.

Executive member of the committee Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali said during a meeting between Rotary chairman Bob Scott and Ulama last month, concerns were expressed over attacks on polio campaign volunteers in various parts of Pakistan specially Taliban strongholds.

“During the meeting we proposed that members of Ulama Committee wanted to remove misconceptions in Pakistan and were willing to go there,” he said.

Farangi Mahali said on the proposal the office-bearers of Rotary said they would talk to the Pakistan government in this regard, though no reply has been received so far.

“Spreading awareness on polio vaccination in Taliban dominated area of Pakistan can be risky thing, but effort should be made for a noble cause,” he said, adding that the committee would want to repeat UP’s 2006 success story in that country.

One person was killed in Mardan area of Pakistan during attack on polio volunteers on April 10.

On April 16 unidentified armed men attacked polio volunteers in Baldia area of Karachi and in another incident a woman was killed in Kaggawala area of Peshawar on May 28.

“We will inform the Ulamas there that children’s health was the responsibility of their parents and that the religions has paid attention to this,” he added.

According to reports Tahreek-e-Taliban and other terror outfits are strongly opposing polio vaccination, terming it to be a US conspiracy to make Pakistani children impotent.

Farangi Mahali said besides Muslim doctors in Pakistan would be contacted and credibility of polio vaccine would be established so as to instill faith in the people.

In 2006 the Ulama committee spread awareness in Muslim dominated areas when a number of cases were detected with people opposing vaccination due to misconceptions.