Pakistan blames US for its polio mess

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • Updated: May 10, 2014 00:46 IST

Pakistan has blamed the US for its dismal record on polio inoculation, with the government citing the CIA’s fake drive to trace Osama Bin Laden being the reason for the rise in vaccine refusal by families.

A government spokesman told the media on Friday that the decision to place restrictions on passengers leaving the country “unfortunate” given that it is the CIA that is to blame for the problem in the first place.

In 2012, an alliance of about 200 US-based NGOs had expressed deep concern over a vaccination campaign carried out in Abbottabad by the CIA and expressed fear that the action may jeopardise the lives of aid workers in the country.

In a letter written to CIA Director, the NGOs registered serious objections to the vaccination campaign launched to collect intelligence about Al-Qaeda chief. The fact that the CIA had launched such fake campaigns was confirmed by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta in an interview on Janurary 2012.

On Friday, foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said that the rise in polio-related incidents could be attributed to the distrust of NGOs by Pakistanis following the fake CIA drive.

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