Polio near eradication in KP, claims govt

Published August 7, 2021
Rumpus rocked the KP Assembly proceedings when Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan, who was presiding over the sitting, called the sergeant-at-arm to expel minority MPA Ranjeet Singh for creating disorder. —  Photo courtesy Abdul Majeed Goraya/File
Rumpus rocked the KP Assembly proceedings when Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan, who was presiding over the sitting, called the sergeant-at-arm to expel minority MPA Ranjeet Singh for creating disorder. — Photo courtesy Abdul Majeed Goraya/File

PESHAWAR: Health minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra has claimed polio is near eradication in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as no case of the acute viral disease has been reported in any of its districts during the current year.

Earlier, rumpus rocked the proceedings when Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan, who was presiding over the sitting, called the sergeant-at-arm to expel minority MPA Ranjeet Singh for creating disorder.

Winding up discussion on an adjournment motion in the provincial assembly on Friday, Mr Jhagra said 99 per cent children below the age of five had been inoculated against polio in the province and access to the remaining one per cent was major challenge for the health department.

“Total eradication of polio is possible when drops are administered to the remaining one per cent or above children,” he said, adding that the government would take measures including use of technology to make it possible to vaccinate one per cent missing children against the crippling disease.

Rumpus in PA after chair called sergeant-at-arm to expel minority member

Pakistan had reported a total of 84 cases of wild polio in 2020 in which the tally of KP was 22. During the current year, one polio case has been reported from Balochistan.

Hailing the contribution of both treasury and opposition members in the eradication of polio, the minister urged MPAs not to politicise polio issue.

He said environmental samples collected from Peshawar were clear, while the overall ratio of environmental passing case of the province was 85 per cent.

The minister said that the government focused 18 union councils in Peshawar district where risk factor existed in addition to six more districts in southern region of the province. He said that technology would be used to collect maximum environmental samples.

Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan who was chairing the sitting asked health minister to arrange briefing for the lawmakers on the assembly’s premises regarding current situation of polio.

Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Nighat Yasmin Orakzai who moved the adjournment motion said that 11 union councils including Shaheen Muslim Town and Larama in Peshawar had been declared sensitive regarding polio virus. She said that presence of polio virus in sewage of Larama and Shaheen Muslim Town were being reported.

Commotion marred the proceedings when the chair called the sergeant-at-arms to move minority MPA Ranjeet Singh out of the house.

During question hour, the MPA, who belongs to Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), asked the chair to give him floor to raise an important issue related to minorities.

Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan asked the member to take his seat and he would be given the floor after question hour. Despite warnings from the chair the member remained defiant and insisted that he would speak on point of order that caused disorder.

“This is not the way… I warn you (Ranjeet) to leave the house,” remarked the chair and ordered the sergeant-at-arm to remove the member from the house.

PPP member Nighat Orakzai confronted the sergeant-at-arm when he along with his staff rushed to expel Ranjeet Singh.

Other opposition lawmakers also encircled the minority MPA.

“Madam, don’t shout,” he snubbed Nighat Orakzai when she protested against the chair’s order.

The chair gave a warning to MPAs Ranjeet and Nighat Orakzai under Rule 227 of the assembly’s rules of business and conduct.

Under the said rule, the speaker may direct any member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the assembly and any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall absent himself during the remainder of the day.

The opposition staged a walkout but returned after the chair sent the treasury members to pacify them.

The assembly, through a unanimous resolution, condemned the desecration of a Hindu temple in Rahimyar Khan and demanded of the provincial and federal governments to bring culprits to justice. PTI MPA Ravi Kumar moved the resolution.

The government introduced the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Transplantation Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Employees Social Security Bill, 2021 and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sentencing Bill, 2021.

The house passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

An adjournment motion regarding use of narcotics drugs in Peshawar and Islamabad was admitted for detail discussion.

MMA MPA Inayatullah Khan who tabled the motion said a new drug named ‘Ten Wheeler’ was sold in Peshawar and Islamabad.

The chair later adjourned the sitting until 2pm on Monday.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2021

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