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