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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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EditorialWar against Polio

War against Polio

Two more police officials were martyred in the line of duty while safeguarding polio workers in Tank. Unidentified gunmen attacked the polio workers team during the second day of the vaccination drive in the area. The attack has once again raised concerns about the security of courageous polio workers who put their lives at stake to vaccinate young children in security-prone areas. The nature of the attack shows that the militants have once again assailed the police personnel after declaring an end to their ceasefire agreement with the government. It also shows that the extremists’ movement against polio vaccinations has still not been thwarted.

In the past, several health workers and policemen have been killed in the line of duty. While the state’s commitment to fighting polio is encouraging, it is not enough to just initiate vaccination drives without any security plan. This case is a reflection of the neglect demonstrated by the authorities concerned. Who will provide protection to the police if they cannot even protect themselves? What defensive action was taken by police after the first shots were fired?

It is high time to have a proactive response against all such evil-minded forces. Such heinous acts would not allow Pakistan to become a Polio free-state. The TTP terrorists still have the ability to strike at will. This incident reflects that our intelligence agencies have become complacent. This is a security letdown. Instead of being on the watch and following a three-pronged security plan, the policeman became a victim of the attack. The police need a lot of advanced training when so much is going on and polio workers and policemen are being killed. However, the attack on polio workers and policemen should not weaken the government’s resolve to rid the country of this crippling disease and save the future of our children. The concerned authorities need to come up with a proper security plan before the launch of each anti-polio drive, especially in risk-prone areas. There is also a need to launch an awareness campaign in risk-prone areas where people still abhor the vaccines due to the evil agenda of evil-minded persons.

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