Islamabad - Eminent Muslim scholars met here on Thursday for intensifying efforts against spread of poliovirus transmission in the country.

The fourth meeting of National Islamic Advisory Group (NIAG) on “Streamlining Islamic Scholars Support for Polio Eradication and Immunization at National, Provincial and District Levels” organized by Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IIIRD) of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) was held at the university.

Acting President IIUI Dr Mohammad Bashir Khan, Secretary General Wafaaq ul Madaaris Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhari, Director Programs IIIRD Dr Talib Hussain Sial, Zubair Usamani of Darul Uloom Karachi, Deputy Director General Dawah Academy IIUI Dr Imtiaz Zafar, representatives from National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) and partner organizations, attended the meeting.

The meeting agreed that the scholars who have any reservations regarding vaccination procedure should be approached and convinced. The participants also agreed that media should be involved with more focus on eradication of polio.

They also agreed upon on the point that Ullema of the remote areas and union councils of polio sensitive districts should be approached to have positive results in eradication of polio.

The WHO representative told participants that so far 400 cases have been identified in the world, of which 306 cases were identified in Pakistan while the biggest problem to deal with the menace of polio is security challenge.

Qari Hafeez Jalindhari stressed that Fatwas given by the authentic scholars regarding polio eradication should be disseminated appropriately as this could help in convincing the public.

Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication, Ayesha Raza Farooq has said that terrorism is the biggest constraint in polio eradication and government has decided to eliminate it through Zarb-e-Azb, hopefully peace would be resorted soon which will help in fight against polio. PM’s Focal Person on Polio apprised that efforts for polio eradication have been expedited and after two and a half years vaccination work in Waziristan has also started. Training has also been provided to 550 Islamic scholars regarding polio eradication orientation awareness.

Dr Mohammad Bashir Khan informed that IIUI has organized 25 seminars, programs and workshop on polio awareness across the country including Quetta and other far flung areas of Pakistan. He vowed that university and its units would keep working for the elimination of polio.

Dr Talib Sial said that IIIRD has arranged numerous programs for awareness regarding polio while 120 Ullema who participated in workshops of Dawah Academy and Shariah Academy of IIUI have been given orientation regarding Polio.

He also said that university’s Dawah Academy has also launched a special number on health measures in which Fatwas regarding polio vaccine and special articles on polio eradication and information have been published.