Policeman escorting polio workers shot dead in KP’s Karak

Published January 12, 2021
A file photo shows a polio worker administering vaccination to a baby. — Dawn archives
A file photo shows a polio worker administering vaccination to a baby. — Dawn archives

A police officer escorting a team of polio health workers was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Karak district on Tuesday, authorities said.

The slain officer was providing security to a team of polio health workers, who remain unharmed.

Karak's District Police Officer (DPO) Irfanullah, while confirming the incident, said that a search operation had been launched in the area to catch the culprits. He added that the polio vaccination drive — which began across the country on Monday — had not been halted after the incident.

KP Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi also took notice of the incident and said that the official's killers will be caught soon. He further said that security was being provided to polio workers and added: "The martyrdom of police [official] is proof that security is being provided."

Abbasi said that there are "some people" who were against polio vaccination but added that they would be rooted out soon.

Polio health workers and law enforcement officials who are tasked with providing security have often been targetted by militants and miscreants.

Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan are the only two remaining countries in the world where polio is endemic, after Nigeria was last year declared free of the wild polio virus.

A five-day polio vaccination campaign started yesterday, during which over 40 million children under the age of five will be vaccinated across the country.

A supplementary dose of Vitamin A drops will also be administered to the children aged six to 59 months.

According to data issued by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio, around 285,000 polio frontline workers will visit parents and caregivers at their doorsteps, adhering to strict Covid-19 precautionary measures and protocols while vaccinating children. These measures will include wearing a mask, using hand sanitisers and maintaining a safe distance during vaccination.

Opinion

Editorial

Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.
New Covid danger
30 Nov 2021

New Covid danger

The government’s messaging around the coronavirus and the potential threat of Omicron must be reactivated.
Updated 30 Nov 2021

Saudi conditions

DECADES of fiscal profligacy have trapped the country in a situation where it not only has to borrow more money to...
30 Nov 2021

Mental health concerns

THE economic and psychological effects of Covid-19, combined with the issues of joblessness and inflation, have had ...