Pakistani Taliban bans polio vaccination
The Taliban led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur in North Waziristan on Saturday banned polio vaccination campaigns as a protest over frequent US drone attacks.
“On the one hand the United States is spending billions of rupees on anti-polio campaign, but on the other it is carrying out drone attacks with the help of Pakistan in North Waziristan.
Innocent people, including women and children, are being killed in the drone strikes. Almost every person in Waziristan is suffering from psychological disorders due to drone strikes and round the clock flying of spy planes over their homes and villages. This situation created by US drone strikes is more dangerous than the poliovirus. Therefore, administering polio drops is banned from today and those defying the ban would be responsible for their losses” the Taliban shura or council stated in a leaflet issued in Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan.
The Taliban shura also said there was a possibility that the US could send its spies in their areas of control in the guise of such anti-polio campaigns to work for them. It said this was done in the case of Dr Shakeel Afridi who ran a fake polio campaign in Abbottabad and helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden.
The Pakistani Taliban said the anti-polio campaign would remain suspended in North Waziristan until the drone attacks were stopped. The Taliban decision has worried government officials as well as those involved in efforts to root out poliovirus from Pakistan. They said the situation was already alarming in the tribal areas in North Waziristan. Government officials said they had already recorded 18 polio cases so far.
18 The number of polio cases recorded so far this year in Waziristan