ISLAMABAD – Pakistan is scheduled to host an international conference on eradication of polio in which dignitary Islamic clerics from all over the world, including the Chief Cleric of Kaaba (Imam-e-Kaaba), would participate.
Ministry of Health has confirmed that with the assistance of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Islamic Development Bank, Pakistan had invited Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais to an International Ulema Conference on Polio eradication from June 15 to 16.
The conference will be held in Islamabad and expected to draw at least 50-60 religious dignitaries and experts from across the world, including scholars from UAE, Kuwait, Al-Azhar University Egypt as well as one former Imam-e-Kaaba.
Involving local religious figures to change public opinion is an old practice in Pakistan.
Previous polio campaigns in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Fata have been conducted with the help of local clerics.
One of them was run between 2010 and 2012 by the National Research & Development Foundation which claims to have reduced refusal rates in Fata almost tenfold.