Sehat ka Insaf: ‘Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to be free of polio by 2018’
The fifth phase of Sehat ka Insaf was completed in the city on Saturday after 0.65 million children were inoculated in 95 union councils (UC) of the city.
Inaugurating Saturday’s campaign at UC Gulbahar No 4, Minister for Health Shaukat Yousafzai said after successfully completing four rounds against nine vaccine-preventable diseases, they are hopeful Sehat ka Insaf will achieve its desired results.
“The target of Saturday’s drive was 95 UCs of Peshawar which house 0.74 million children in more than 339,186 homes,” he said. Around 5,750 policemen were deployed to guard the vaccination teams, according to official figures.
Health workers and volunteers went from house to house to administer vaccines and spread awareness among people about dengue, which is expected to resurface in the next couple of months. The minister added 97 union councils would be targeted in the next phase.
Date marked 2018
For the last several years, security had deteriorated in the province but the government is doing its best to provide health facilities to the people and make the programme a success, claimed Yousafzai.
“The country and especially Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa would be free of polio by 2018.”
For the last 20 months, sewage samples in Shaheen Muslim Town and Larma UCs, high-risk areas for polio, had been testing positive for the wild poliovirus type-1, on the basis of which the World Health Organization declared Peshawar a global polio reservoir in January this year.
Finally, Yousafzai said, after almost two years, samples tested negative from the two UCs which is a big achievement for the government.
The campaign will continue till April 21 after which not a single child of Peshawar would have been left unvaccinated, said the minister.
Talking to The Express Tribune, District Polio Control Room Focal Person Dr Ikram Khan said Saturday’s target was 741,259 children but due to the absence of some and refusal of parents, 48,639 children were missed. In the fifth phase, only two union councils of Shekhan and Salman Khel which border Khyber Agency were missed.
He revealed as Sehat ka Insaf continues to forge forward, the campaign would be targeting the remaining “tough” UCs near Bara, Khyber Agency.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2014.
Shireen Mazari's Letter to the Editor regarding National Assembly Members Tax Audit & Reform
Shireen Mazari's Letter to the Editor regarding National Assembly Members Tax Audit & Reform
Central Information Secretary Shireen Mazari writes a letter to The News regarding the National Assembly Members Tax Audit - There is no “lone warrior” but the PTI collective leadership led by Chairman Khan that has for over seventeen years sought to bring tax defaulters to justice and initiate tax reforms
Letter to Editor: 28 February 2014 - The News
It is unfortunate that over the past few days The News has been publishing Umar Cheema’s stories and then an editorial projecting PTI MNA Asad Umar as a “lone warrior” demanding tax audit of MNAs and tax reform. This is factually incorrect. Yes different MNAs put in Motions and Call Attention Notices in the NA on behalf of the Party and as Asad Umar has the main responsibility for financial issues in the PTI Parliamentary group, he was tasked to take up the issue of tax reforms and nonpayment of taxes by the elite.
How that translated into him being a lone warrior on the issue is inexplicable. PTI and its Chairman have been demanding tax reforms and enforcement of tax collection from the time the Party came into being. A quick look at the Manifesto of the Party and the statements of the Chairman since the Party was formed, will reveal this clearly. Even before Mr Umar joined the Party a decision had been made to put the assets and tax declarations of the leadership on the PTI website. Today all our legislators and Core Committee members’ assets and tax declarations are being revised and updated on the PTI website. Those who have not yet sent in their papers have been given a deadline to do so, just as the Chairman had tasked the Chief Whip Dr Arif Alvi to ensure that all MNAs had filed their returns, which has now been done.
It has been Mr Imran Khan who has consistently spoken about tax reform and responsibility and it is a great injustice to the Chairman and the Party for The News to now project this as merely Mr Asad Umar’s cause which he has persuaded the Party to adopt. The reality is the other way round and it is unfortunate that a complete twist has been given to the whole issue. The fact is that it is the PTI Chairman and the Party which has always sought transparency in tax issues and Mr Asad Umar was tasked to raise the issue in Parliament. Since we know Mr Umar could not have initiated a self projection exercise, we would request the Editor to set the record straight. There is no “lone warrior” but the PTI collective leadership led by Chairman Khan that has for over seventeen years sought to bring tax defaulters to justice and initiate tax reforms.
MEPs in European Parliament vote in landslide for ban on covert drone strikes
The European Parliament today overwhelmingly condemned the covert drone strikes that have killed thousands of civilians in countries such as Pakistan and Yemen.
In a vote this morning, a majority of 534 to 49 MEPs supported a resolution demanding that EU Member States “do not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states”, and calling on them to “oppose and ban practices of extra judicial targeted killings.”
Today’s vote will put further pressure on countries such as the UK and Germany to disclose the full extent of their involvement in the covert US programme, both through intelligence-sharing and the provision of infrastructure at US airbases on their soil.
The resolution, sponsored by the Green group of MEPs with cross-party support, also notes that:
- “drone strikes by a State on the territory of another State without the consent of the latter constitute a violation of international law and of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of that country”
- “thousands of civilians have reportedly been killed or seriously injured by drone strikes [but] these figures are difficult to estimate, owing to lack of transparency and obstacles to effective investigation”
- “drone strike policies have been documented as causing considerable harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians in the countries concerned, including deep anxiety and psychological trauma, disruption of economic and social activities and reduced access to education among affected communities.”
Last week, legal charity Reprieve lodged a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) concerning the involvement of NATO member states in facilitating strikes in Pakistan. The complaint highlighted the case of Kareem Khan, whose civilian brother and son were killed in a 2009 strike in the Waziristan area of Pakistan. Mr Khan has in recent days met with Parliamentarians from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands to discuss the impact of drone strikes in the area.
Reprieve Legal Director Kat Craig said: “Today’s vote represents a triumph of conscience by MEPs, who have issued a clear call to national European governments to come clean on their complicity with the CIA’s illegal drones programme, and bring it to an immediate halt. This should be a wake-up call to countries like the UK and Germany; they need to clean up their act not only by ensuring that they stop cooperating with extrajudicial killings, but also by pressuring the US for greater transparency and accountability.”
Kareem Khan said: “As I prepare to return home, I will take with me this heartening news – that Europe is listening to those who have been harmed by America’s illegal drone war. Not just innocents like my brother and son, but all those who are terrorised daily by the drones circling overhead. Drone strikes are not the answer. Today, Europe has taken a first step to bringing a stop to these illegal, unaccountable killings; I hope that national governments will follow suit, so that one day I may finally get justice.”
Green MEP and chair of the Parliament's sub-committee on human rights Barbara Lochbihler said: "The European Parliament has today raised serious concerns with the use of military drones and the deaths of thousands of civilians resulting from drone strikes. MEPs have delivered a strong rebuke to the practice of targeted aerial killings outside a declared war zone, as well as the use of armed drones in war situations outside of the international legal framework. The EU needs to address the legal, ethical and security challenges posed by the increasing use of drones, including the urgent need to secure complete transparency and accountability. The resolution also stresses that EU member states should strictly refrain from participating in or facilitating extrajudicial targeted killings, for instance by sharing relevant information with countries such as the US."
Notes to editors:
1. The full text of the European Parliament resolution can be found here
2. For further information, please contact Alice Gillham in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8160 / email@example.com
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