No polio drives in N Waziristan unless drone strikes stop: Hafiz Gul Bahadur

Published: June 16, 2012

Gul Bahadur says that more people have been killed by drones than polio. ILLUSTRATION: TRIBUNE COMMON

MIRANSHAH: A senior Taliban Commander in the North Waziristan Agency, Hafiz Gul Bahadur has issued a decree according to which anti-polio drives in the tribal agency will remain banned unless the drone attacks are stopped.

The pamphlet titled Mas’ul-o-Khadimul Mujahideen, stated that the head of the Higher Council of Mujahideen in collaboration with other council members has decided that till the drone strikes in the troubled agency are not stopped, there will be a complete ban on administering polio drops to children.

“Anyone who does not respect these orders, will be responsible for their actions” the pamphlet warned.

Elaborating on the reasons for the ban, the pamphlet said that the people of Waziristan did not require benefits from such a benefactor who on spends billions on the eradication of polio on the one hand, but also kills people on the other. It alleged that drone attacks are carried out with the help of Pakistan.

“Polio infects one child in a million, but hundreds of Waziri women, children and elders have been killed in these strikes” reads the pamphlet.

Building an argument against drone strikes, it further says that the consistent surveillance of the unmanned predators has caused severe psychological problems for the locals. “Each day the list of psychological patients increases in Waziristan, which is worse than Polio” it states.

The pamphlet also made note of the fake campaign used by Dr Shakil Afridi to identify Osama bin Laden. “There is a high possibility that the campaign be used for spying against the Mujahideen, an apt example for this is Dr.Shakil Afridi, therefore, there shall be a total ban on the anti-polio drive” it concluded.

They threatened to stick to their stance until the provision of electricity

Electricity for polio drops

Elders of North Waziristan reiterated their call for a boycott of the polio vaccination programme in the agency until the government provides them with the basic amenity of electricity.

Elders Asad Khel, Dhur Dhanee, Muskee and Dosalee deliberated and before announcing their decision in a grand jirga on Saturday.

The sub-tribes of Wazir tribe reside in 18 villages of the agency, starting from Kam Sehrobi to Faryatt in sub-division Dosalee of Razmak.

They lamented that they had been deprived of electricity for the last 30 years and alleged the political administration of embezzling Rs34 million, allocated for the provision of a new electricity line to the areas.

The elder of Dhur Dhanee tribe told The Express Tribune that they “are without electricity for the last 30 years and the government is redressing the problem. The government is least bothered to look into the matter despite repeated requests and protests. Thus, we have no other option, but to refuse vaccination of our children.”

Malik Mashal Khan said “if our children die from the scorching heat and mosquito bites, so what if they die of polio? We will continue the boycott until the government fulfils our demand. We are betrayed with false promises of the government and the officials are doing nothing in practical,” he alleged.

He further said that electricity poles and cables have already been installed in some areas but electricity was yet to be provided. The former political agent, he said he had provided a special fund for completing the project, but the allocation remains unused. He threatened that they would block Razmak and Miran Shah road, if their demands were not met.”

The political administration of North Waziristan told The Tribune that they cannot do anything until a new political agent takes charge of his office. Political Agent of North Waziristan, Yahya Akhunzada, was transferred two months ago and now the seat is lying vacant.

Aditional repoting by Zulfiqar Ali in D.I.Khan

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Cautious
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:00PM

    The true face of the Taliban – hold the health of Pakistani children as leverage against the USA to stop drone attacks. Unfortunately the Taliban have no more understanding of the USA than the political and military leaders of Pakistan.

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  • ayesha_khan
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:03PM

    So where is Pakistan government’s sovereignty when Hafiz Gul Bahadur is preventing a polio drive?

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  • Jun 16, 2012 - 9:04PM

    The sub-tribes names listed are wrong. Please correct them. They are
    Dirduni (not Dhur Dhanee)
    Musakki (not Muskee)

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  • H.A. Khan
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Explain me this logic please?

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  • Sultan
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:09PM

    We’ll cripple our children if you don’t give us what we want.

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  • Chopper
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:11PM

    not a bad argument really

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  • Javed
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:24PM

    It’s the people’s choice whether they want their children vaccinated or not but vaccination should not be used as a blackmailing tool. The drones should continue as they are the only tools available to eliminate these Terrorists.

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  • Thoughtful
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:35PM

    And.he is your friend! How does he feel about malaria, dengue etc etc.

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  • R.A
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:38PM

    WHAT?
    If they kill our people
    we will paralyse our children
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  • shahid
    Jun 16, 2012 - 10:00PM

    why do you need electricity.There was no electricity during prophete’s time. By not vaccinating your children you are only subjecting your own children to paralysis, there is no harm to the rest of world but again there was no vaccination when islam comeRecommend

  • Peace for all..............
    Jun 16, 2012 - 10:22PM

    I think they should not be blame or responsible for banning vaccination in their areas, I think even everyone must ban or sharing any of data or information Because it was/is the prime responsibility of the Govt. and security Institutes to safeguard and protect their national privacy, data and rights it any cost. It’s their National and Constitutional rights and responsible people must accept their duty.

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  • observer
    Jun 16, 2012 - 11:07PM

    Is ‘negotiating with a gun pointing to one’s head’ endemic to Pakistan or what?

    If the Khadimul Mujahideen refuse polio drops to their children, do they somehow feel that the Drones will become afflicted with Polio? I mean how is this likely to hurt anyone else other than the children of Waziristan?

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  • Imran Con
    Jun 16, 2012 - 11:14PM

    If they were actually related in some way logically it might get some supporters. But it’s just a form of blackmail that occurs daily anyways. “if you don’t do this, we’ll harm these people,” “if you don’t stop that, harm will come to these other people.”
    It’s just less direct here.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 16, 2012 - 11:22PM

    I am glad that the mullahs and fanatics are unmasked by their own statements. They are taking their own children hostage and not vaccinated if the US does not stop drone attacks! They are our children not the drone operator’s children, even if they were depriving children of basic vaccination is the worst crime and there may be no parallel in human history.

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  • aladeen
    Jun 17, 2012 - 12:17AM

    bravo mr shakeel afridi well done

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  • DevilHunterX
    Jun 17, 2012 - 1:08AM

    So they admit they are hiding terrorists!Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Jun 17, 2012 - 1:37AM

    “…………..anti-polio drives in the tribal agency will remain banned unless the drone attacks are stopped.”

    This is just a short order. The detailed order that will be issued next Friday shall clarify that anti-polio drive shall remain banned until Afia Siddiqi is freed, $10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed is withdrawn, Palestine State is declared with Jerusalem as its Capital, etc., etc.,

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Jun 17, 2012 - 3:05AM

    Polio vaccine is to protect children and obviously they do noy care for their own children. All world community has to do is to ban the travel of Pakistani people to other countries as they are from the polio endemic area with a potential of carrying polio virus with them or quarentine them on arrival. Stoneage is here.

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  • Jun 17, 2012 - 4:51AM

    I actually laughed out loud at this. Frankly, the US doesn’t care if Pakistani children are crippled. WE Pakistani however seem to be fully committed to shooting ourselves in the foot, again and again.

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  • Harry Stone
    Jun 17, 2012 - 5:35AM

    @Muhammad Hassan:

    Well it sure is clear that the people of PAK don’t care about their children. The logical question that must be asked is why should anyone else care?

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  • Jun 18, 2012 - 9:02PM

    These Mujahideen are already crippled mentally, now they want all the children of Pakistan suffer from polio paralysis, which is a dreaded disease. The question is why the political leaders including Mr.Imran Khan don’t condemn these statements.Recommend

  • Y Khan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 5:08PM

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