Islamabad, Nov 6 (IANS) A statement issued by Prime Minister House spokesperson Thursday denied that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced any deadline for the eradication of polio in the country during a meeting.
Chairing a meeting of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication Wednesday, Sharif was reported to have vowed to make Pakistan polio-free within six months. He said that he would personally review the progress of the eradication programme every fortnight.
However, the statement issued Thursday denied that Sharif made any such comment, stating that he did not set a deadline for the eradication of polio in the country, Dawn online reported.
The prime minister has directed the provinces to take extensive measures against polio eradication during the months of November and April, when polio virus cases are relatively low.
Sharif also directed the authorities to take the initiative and vaccinate every child on an emergency basis.
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic but efforts to stamp it out have been badly hit in recent years due to attacks on immunisation teams.
Some 59 people, including health workers and policemen providing security, have been killed in militant attacks on polio vaccination teams since December 2012.
The militants allege that polio vaccination is a cover for a Western conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.