KARACHI              -            Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that December 16 was an unfortunate date in the history of Pakistan on which the nation faced fall of Dhaka in 1971, witnessed killing of 132 innocent children in Army Public School attack in 2014 and now the nation was facing crip­pling virus of polio in which 104 cases have so far been detected all over Pakistan.

“I think December 16 is the date on which we have to reiterate our national commitment to eradicate polio and evolve a strategy to stop the incident like Army Public School attack.”

This he said while talking to media on Monday just after inaugurating 50-day polio eradication derive by administer­ing polio drop to children at Janat Gul Hospital, UC-4, Gadap. He was accom­panied by Minister Information Saeed Ghani.

The chief minister said on this day (Dec 16) our innocent children were killed in APC, Peshawar. “I pray for the children who lost their lives and also pray Almighty Allah to grant courage to their parents to come out of the pain which is alive in the heart and soul of every one of us.”

The chief minister said that he had been chairing a meeting before the start of every campaign. “My efforts had borne fruit and we had only two cases of polio last year, 2018, but this year has become quite horrible for us with emergence of 16 cases in Sindh,” he deplored and went on saying that these new cases have emerged because of the migration from Afghanistan Pesha­war and Balochistan but “I won’t make it an excuse- every child coming to Sindh is our child and we have to take care of him. Murad said that after a gap of six months, this fresh campaign has been launched to­day, December 16 to 20, and it would be our utmost efforts to achieve the target of giving polio vaccines to all the 9,087,234 children under five. He said that a proper inquiry had been conducted to trace each and every po­lio case, its causes and origin. “The in­quiries have revealed that most of the cases have happened in Gadap area and the reason is travelling,” he said and added therefore he decided to launch the campaign from Gadap area.

He said that the prime minister had held a meeting on polio eradi­cation a year ago and he had urged him to keep holding such meetings so that this menace to the new gen­eration could be eradicated. “I don’t know whether more meetings were held by the prime minister or not but we have to wage war against this crippling virus,” he said.

To a question, Murad said that af­ter emergence of 16 new cases in the province, he has changed the strategy by involving all the elected representatives right from union council to provincial assembly mem­bers. “Our health minister had given briefing to all the assembly mem­bers and requested them to involve personally so that we can defeat po­lio,” he said.

The chief minister said that the refus­al would not be accepted this time. He urged each and every parent to cooper­ate with the polio workers and ensure proper vaccination to their children. “This is our collective responsibility to administer polio vaccine to our chil­dren,” he said.