New Delhi: Impressed with India's successful effort in polio eradication, Pakistan is keen to emulate the model to achieve polio-free status.

A nine-member Pakistani delegation on Thursday met India's Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and senior officials of the Ministry and took tips on the polio eradication programme.

The Pakistani delegation also met Bill Gates and discussed with him plans of his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a major fund source for its programmes.

"We are learning from your country. We hope that this will bring us closer in relationship to India.... The components of your plans are very useful for us. The focus of our visit here was for us to learn firsthand from the government officials and partners exactly what it took for India to become polio free," leader of the Pakistan delegation Shahnaz Wazir Ali said.

Ali, who is special assistant to prime minister on social sector, said their visit is in context with Pakistan's efforts on polio eradication and in view of the fact that India has managed to achieve a polio-free status as on January this year.

"We've learnt a lot. It's been very educative, very informative, extremely valuable and very impressive," she said, adding that they were equally impressed with the fiscal and financial effort that the central government put in.

"Our meeting with the Health Minister was very useful. We have invited him to visit Pakistan so that we can have more sharing and exchange of information. We do hope that an exchange of experts can exchange with each other," she said after meeting India's health minister.


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