ISLAMABAD - Declaring polio eradication a health emergency President Mamnoon Hussain has reiterated unflinching commitment of the government to protect children from polio and eventually eradicating the crippling disease from all parts of the country and the world indeed.
The president said this during his meeting with Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani, President Islamic Development Bank (IDB), at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Sunday.
Those who were present during the meeting included Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, speaker National Assembly, Senator Ishaq Dar, federal minister for finance, Saira Afzal Tarar, minister of states for national health services regulations & coordination, Ayesha Raza Farooq, prime minister's focal person on polio eradication, Dr Waqar Masood Khan, secretary finance, and other senior officials.
The president apprised that despite immense security challenges, especially in restive tribal areas, Pakistan remains firmly committed to the eradication of polio and all possible steps at all levels are being taken to stamp out the menace from the country.
The president said that the government has already engaged local populace, especially the influential people, including Khateebs and Ulema, religious scholars and the tribal elders in the fight against polio to play their role in persuading the people to allow anti-polio vaccination to the children in their respective areas.
Briefing about the meeting Saba Mohsin Raza, press secretary to the president, said that the president appreciated the support and assistance of the IDB in the eradication of polio from Pakistan and lauded the recent initiative of the IDB for organising the International Ulema Conference in Islamabad to enhance dialogue and to mobilise opinion for polio eradication programme in Pakistan.
Highlighting the government's efforts for economic stability, the president said that the present government has prioritised economic revival as a key policy objective and intends to pursue it in consultation with development partners and stakeholders. The president appreciated the financial facility extended by the bank and expressed hope that the Group Member Country Partnership Strategy of IDB for Pakistan (2012-2015), with a resource indication of US $3 billion will be very helpful in development initiatives in Pakistan, assuring that the government will continue to strengthen its association with the bank and will work closely with IDB for the promotion of socioeconomic agenda of the government.
About energy situation, the president said that all-out efforts are being made by the federal government and the provincial governments in collaboration with all partners and stakeholders to meet the growing energy needs of the country. He also highlighted the various projects under way and in the pipeline to overcome the energy shortages.
The president thanked the president IDB for cooperation in the energy sector and appreciated the support provided by IDB for Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project and various private sector projects including Uch-II Power Project (Balochistan), Patrind Hydropower Project (AJK) and Foundation Wind Projects (Sindh).
President Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani, offered his thanks to the president for meeting and appreciated the various steps being taken for polio eradication, meeting energy shortages and economic stability in Pakistan. He assured all possible support and cooperation of the Islamic Development Bank towards socioeconomic development of Pakistan.
The president later hosted a lunch for Dr Madani.