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

Misplaced anger at poor show
24 Jan 2021

Misplaced anger at poor show

In the UK, when a party is elected to office after being in the opposition, its leader takes over as prime minister seamlessly.

Editorial

Updated 24 Jan 2021

Delayed olive branch

THE PTI government has finally mustered up sufficient political prudence to extend an olive branch to the opposition...
24 Jan 2021

Bureaucracy reform

WHILE the intention behind the endeavour may be lauded, the civil service reform package unveiled by the government...
24 Jan 2021

Minority rights

ON Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to safeguard religious sites around the world,...
23 Jan 2021

Power price hike

ALREADY struggling to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising food prices, consumers received yet...
Updated 23 Jan 2021

Israeli land grab

WITH the chapter now closed on the Trump presidency, the eyes of many in the international community — ...
23 Jan 2021

New PhD policy

EARLIER in the week, the HEC chairman announced several changes for undergraduate and PhD degrees in the country....