The Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam has claimed that there is no ban on Pakistani nationals to travel abroad imposed by WHO. She clarified that WHO has recommended Polio vaccination for Pakistanis before embarking on an international journey. She said that WHO only recommended and not restricted.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan has raised the issue of undercover polio campaigns carried out by UN agencies where Pakistani Dr Shakeel Afridi played a vital role to discredit the effectiveness of polio vaccination campaigns in the country.
The spokesperson at the Foreign Office, said that IHR regulations put forward in an emergency meeting of WHO are not restrictions; these are recommendations. WHO has raised a strong alarm for three countries including Pakistan to adopt extra measures to eradicate polio.
Pakistan has taken some interim measures for administering polio drops to travelers. Tasnim Aslam said, “So, our federal and provincial authorities have immediate work to do and then we have the larger and more fundamental objective of total eradication of polio virus from Pakistan.”
Spokesperson further said, “This created some doubts about the agenda of vaccination among the people. On top of that, a fake campaign of vaccination was conducted in Pakistan in which the UN agencies were also used”.
She explained, “I am referring to Dr Shakeel Afridi’s case. This further reinforced the negative perception about the agenda behind the polio eradication campaign.”
No matter what Pakistan Foreign Office says to please the Pakistanis, the truth is restrictions are imposed by the countries where the Pakistani will be traveling. India has already imposed restrictions on Pakistani travelers and now require them to produce vaccination certificate. Soon other countries will follow the suite and will ask Pakistanis to produce polio vaccination certificate as requirement to apply for visa or entry.