Shakil Afridi partially responsible for K-P's polio problem: Imran Khan

Published: January 17, 2014
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We cannot continue to play with the lives of our future generations when prevention of childhood diseases is readily available,” says PTI Chairman Imran Khan. PHOTO: ONLINE

We cannot continue to play with the lives of our future generations when prevention of childhood diseases is readily available,” says PTI Chairman Imran Khan. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan stated that Dr Shakil Afridi was partially responsible for the spread of polio in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Express News reported on Friday. 

Speaking at the press conference, Imran Khan noted that polio is a very serious issue and that the PTI is committed to eradicating the virus from the province.

While speaking about the various problems facing the anti-polio campaign, he mentioned Dr Shakil Afridi who ran a fake vaccination campaign and collected DNA samples on behalf of the CIA in the bid to locate Osama bin Laden.

Because of him, Imran explained, people have become suspicious of health workers.

Polio immunisation

Alarmed at the World health Organization (WHO) statement that Peshawar is the largest reservoir of endemic poliovirus, Imran asked the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and Minister for Health Shaukat Yousafzai to immediately commence a crash course against not only polio but child care comprehensively, a press release stated.

WHO had declared the Peshawar as the largest polio virus reservoir in the world and had urged the provincial government to take steps to eradicate the polio virus from the city.

Imran urged the K-P government to undertake an immunisation program on an emergency basis to stamp out all nine diseases, including polio, that fall under the provincial expanded programme on immunisation.

PTI Chairman stressed, “We cannot continue to play with the lives of our future generations when prevention of childhood diseases is readily available”.

“The neglect of previous governments towards immunisation of children including against polio is criminal and today this has endangered our children’s welfare and Pakistan’s international standing.”

Imran further added that K-P government must communicate to parents that immunisation can make the difference between a healthy child and a disabled one.

“The battle must be fought on all fronts to make Pakistan free of all preventable diseases, including polio. We cannot afford failure.”

North Waziristan 

During the press conference, Imran stated that after attending the All Parties Conference held on September 9, he found out that the North Waziristan military operations have a 40% success rate.

He added that the remaining unsuccessful operations result in suicide blasts and unrest all over the country.

One of the points raised at the All Parties Conference was that all provinces should protect themselves. To this Imran responded that K-P does not have the facilities to do so as 700 police members have been killed in the province.

Taliban Talks

Imran also addressed the issue of drone strikes in his press conference.

He made a statement directed towards PM Nawaz Sharif, asking whether or not he had asked them to “stop drone strikes.”

Imran also said the issue of drone strikes was supposed to be taken to the UN Security Council by the government, but that didn’t happen.

“Why will the Taliban talk to you now?” Imran said.

Commenting on the criticism PTI faced upon conducting talks with the Taliban, Imran said, “When talks haven’t formally started, how can you criticise us?”

NADRA

During the press conference, Imran also demanded that Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani take suo motu notice of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) ‘former’ chairperson Tariq Malik’s resignation.

He accused the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government of coercing Malik over thumbprint verification of votes cast during the general elections.

The government had removed Malik on the night of December 3 and appointed a new chairperson within hours. However, the Islamabad High Court had reinstated him on interim basis. Malik later resigned from his post on January 10 citing personal reasons.

Imran claimed Malik and his family received threats and that interior ministry failed to address Malik’s security concerns.

The PTI chairperson also said that the new chief of NADRA has already hinted his lack of interest in vote verification.

He called upon the chief justice to realise the national importance of this issue and how the future of democracy in Pakistan depends on this.

Imran alleged that the government was trying to hide the rigging done in May 11, 2013 elections by making changes in NADRA.

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Reader Comments (51)

  • FR
    Jan 17, 2014 - 6:26PM

    Love you Khan. A true leader and a trust worthy human.

    Recommend

  • saddened
    Jan 17, 2014 - 6:38PM

    When will these excuses and madness stop?

    I feel so sorry for the innocent people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular because instead of having a courageous leader who could rise to the immense challenges they face, they have an apologist who won’t solve any of their problems as his party is the best buddies of the very same religious extremists that are destroying the country.

    Recommend

  • sabi
    Jan 17, 2014 - 6:40PM

    Biggest thing in IK is, he doesn’t feel shame for distorting facts.

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  • Hasan
    Jan 17, 2014 - 6:49PM

    And IK goes on a rampage again. Always blaming other for his problems. TAKE OWNERSHIP for once; please.

    Shakeel Afridi is no saint, but your government has been emplaced in KPK for almost 7 months, enough to curb, if not sustain such Polio issue. You have your own health Minister, provide security to health workers and give them the platform to go door to door.

    Khan Sb please stop the blame game; and take OWNERSHIP of porblems and deliver.

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 17, 2014 - 6:56PM

    Not Afridi sir Imran, but the USA administration who is involved in using the most amcient methods including those which the Egyptians, Romans, Byzanteniians and the Mongolinions to name few used in support of their domains. The only difference being that the use of most advanced chemic als and technical means. The name of the game in Senator Kerry words is to know what the others are thinking? This is the.official justification of the ‘Prism’ program. But what he did not elaborate on the follow up actions on the people who they regard enemy?

    Your scientists should provide you with the list of chemicals which can passify humans and or influence the individuals by paralysing their specific senses.

    Rex Minor

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 17, 2014 - 7:09PM

    i love u khan u are the man & last hope for pakistan.

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  • Thor
    Jan 17, 2014 - 7:53PM

    Not “partially” but “fully”. USA doesn’t care about our children, why should they? they r just concerned about war of terror.

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  • salman
    Jan 17, 2014 - 7:56PM

    If as you allege Shakeel Afridi is partially responsible for the spread of polio in KPK who/which person/organisation is mainly responsible? You can name one but not the other, such a disgraceful, dishonest and cowardly stance from the PTI leader.

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  • Kohestani
    Jan 17, 2014 - 7:57PM

    Not Afridi, but the responsibility lies thoroughly with the deeply ingrained ignorance found in abundance among the people of Pakistan and its leaders. Give them education, they will stop acting like a cave man.

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  • just_someone
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:03PM

    No IK, the people who are killing polio workers are responsible.
    Logic dictates my conclusion, not emotion and/or deception. You should look into what this logic stuff is.

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  • SAK
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:21PM

    Totally agree with IK…Even WHO accept that this will harm Polio campaign, you can google it rather than criticizing IK for the thing he is not responsible

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  • ASM
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:36PM

    It is easy to criticize some one from the comfort of your bedroom. KPK is not once small city where you provide enough security to every polio worker. You need enough man power and resources.
    If the federal does not know how to deal with Talibans then how come we expect it from PTI who is facing this problem at front.

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  • Ahmed
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:39PM

    This man has just gone insane. Every problem of KPK is due to America, he wont even take the names of those blowing up people and killing polio workers. I think he has some serious mental issues after falling from the lifter.

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  • anonymus
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:44PM

    there is no shame left in peopel who are blaming every one for their problems

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  • aAmir
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:44PM

    IK and the rest.
    It is not Shakil Afridi doing. It is our uneducated clergy and their brand of religious teaching that has bought this on us.
    Family planning, polio campaigns, other social welfare programs have been suffering from this for long, and Afridi now is being made a scapegoat.

    Please please please, it is time to take the bull by its horn, before the horn gorge us.

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  • Shah
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:46PM

    Go on Pak Army – get rid of those low lifers. 40% success rate might come down to 10% before we know it. Recommend

  • Ahmed Shaikhani
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:57PM

    For all those who are saying that IK can only criticize and blame, our biased media never publishes any articles on work done or in progress within KPK. Kindly visit KPK, you will see many good changes over their. Recommend

  • Nisar Hussain
    Jan 17, 2014 - 8:59PM

    yes, Shakeel and America are fully responsible for polio Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Jan 17, 2014 - 9:22PM

    Insanity has got no limits!Recommend

  • 3rdRockFromTheSun
    Jan 17, 2014 - 10:08PM

    I thought DeNile was a river in Egypt – but it seems to have shifted course is cover a large part of Pakistan!Recommend

  • shahid
    Jan 17, 2014 - 10:25PM

    How come most of the traitors are afridis; This quack doctor must be strung up and hung by his nuts; Recommend

  • Adnan
    Jan 17, 2014 - 10:39PM

    I can only laugh at people who follow IK and think that he is a leader. CrapRecommend

  • Anon
    Jan 17, 2014 - 10:55PM

    @sabi: Distorting facts?! Are you insane? Which part exactly is being distorted?Recommend

  • shahid
    Jan 17, 2014 - 11:03PM

    Stop staying in Past. Irrespective of what may have contributed to the problems address the issues and solve the problems henceforth.Recommend

  • Raza
    Jan 17, 2014 - 11:06PM

    @Instantaneous: who is calling these (zardari, NS, etc) a leader. Point is two wrong doesn’t make one right. They all are CRAP and Imran Khan is. No one in this country deserve to be called a leader. they are simply gimmicks. Politicians who exploit their AWAM for their politics or only struggle for political mileage, SIMPLE !!!! Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Jan 17, 2014 - 11:35PM

    @Thor:

    USA doesn’t care about our children,
    why should they? they r just concerned
    about war of terror.

    Pakistan polio immunization is totally funded by foreigners with Bill Gates and USA constituting the vast majority of that funding. Anti USA blather is popular in Pakistan but seldom has any facts to back it up.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 17, 2014 - 11:36PM

    Yeah right Nawaz sharif and baby bhutto is a leader crapRecommend

  • faisal
    Jan 17, 2014 - 11:38PM

    Sabi: I don’t see any distortion of fact there by IK, the shame thingy holds good for you here.Recommend

  • Midas
    Jan 18, 2014 - 12:01AM

    The problem with IK is not that he distorts facts but he doesn’t get them. He is George W Bush’s younger brother in that respect – he believes whemently what he wants to believe in – hence it becomes his facts. Secondly, to all the US bashers – how is it their fault? they offer money and some of our people take it, if we don’t look after own interests then why should someone else? We have lousy morals not them – they are looking after their interest, and looks like they are succeeding at our cost.

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  • Fahad
    Jan 18, 2014 - 12:17AM

    @faisal:
    Rightly said faisal. But that wont make a difference to them. They are paid trolls.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jan 18, 2014 - 12:17AM

    Let us continue to blame others and partially responsible. While we ignore those mainly responsible. This is called politics of rightwing.

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  • Mogambo
    Jan 18, 2014 - 12:19AM

    @Adnan:
    I can only laugh at you that you still believe the old tried, tested and failed leaders can do something for this country. It is only IK who can do it. No one reports what KPK say. They are satisfied with the positive change. It will take time but it has started.

    Recommend

  • Mogambo
    Jan 18, 2014 - 12:24AM

    @Hasan:
    Go visit KPK and you will know the difference. People there are happy.

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  • gp65
    Jan 18, 2014 - 1:16AM

    @Anon: If Afridi is responsible for facts after 2011, can Imran explain why it was not eliminated before the Afridi incident in 2011 by which time almost all other countries in the world had eliminated it? India’s last case was in Jan 13 2011.

    The reason if you see that the last 4 countries (includes India ) have large Muslim population and there was a deliberate misinformation cmpaign that polio drops were a Western plot to reduce fertility of Muslims. This campaign dates back to early 2000. Afridi was nowhere on the picture then.

    Further Afridi incident can explain why some parents refuse innoculation. It cannot explain why polio workers are getting shot.

    Anyway, Afridi incident has happened. So now what for all times to come Imran will continue to justify polio or will he take it as government responsibility to communicate clearly that the camps being now are by the government and people should not hesitate to get themselves innoculated.Recommend

  • muhamamad
    Jan 18, 2014 - 2:06AM

    The campaign against polio drops started in 1994 by Sufi Muhammad.

    Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jan 18, 2014 - 2:09AM

    @3rdRockFromTheSun:
    Good one! DeNile is with IndUs….. I would Jelhum all!

    Recommend

  • Sexton Blake
    Jan 18, 2014 - 2:16AM

    @sabi:
    Dear sabi,
    Which distorting facts did you have in mind?

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jan 18, 2014 - 2:51AM

    @ Adnan… please get a life. How pathetic are the likes of you. IK is niether the PM nor leader of the oppostion OR the Chief of Army and yet EVERYTHING is expected of him. Yes just by simply looking at the amount and type of criticism he receives… Imran Khan is indeed the ONLY leader currently present in Pakistan. He is indeed Pakistan Khan.

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  • Pakistani
    Jan 18, 2014 - 3:11AM

    Shakil Afridi should be made incharge of the KPK polio campaign and sent to North Waziristan to vaccinate children

    Recommend

  • AKR
    Jan 18, 2014 - 3:28AM

    PTI and Imran Khan have turned out to be a huge dissapointment. A lot of people that voted for them and gave them a chance are regretting voting for such a confused, muddled, spineless lot. Will not vote for them again.

    Recommend

  • sabi
    Jan 18, 2014 - 4:04AM

    To trolls:
    Go and read history.Its as old as polio elimination drive itself is.Second SA conducted false drive in Abbotttabad but there is no report of people suspicious of polio vaccine in that area.Enough for the time being!.

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  • Muhammad
    Jan 18, 2014 - 5:19AM

    IK , your lovers too many, no hope left in this land of pure!

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  • Ali
    Jan 18, 2014 - 7:09AM

    No OBL caused the problem.

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  • Suhail
    Jan 18, 2014 - 9:43AM

    The man has gone mad for sure. He is the king of blame game.

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  • Rhymetime
    Jan 18, 2014 - 9:52AM

    @sabi read fully or listen what IK talks about he totally rite on that regard current issues of polio r related with dr afridi otherwise not known that teams been attacked

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  • observer
    Jan 18, 2014 - 10:25AM

    excuses, excuses and more excuses, that is all we can do as a nation.

    Recommend

  • observer
    Jan 18, 2014 - 12:01PM

    If Pakistan does not wish to do what is expected, then others will do it. It makes no difference whether he happens to be a doctor or his name is Afridi. If OBL was here for nine long years, that is time enough.

    Recommend

  • Anon
    Jan 18, 2014 - 12:17PM

    @gp65:
    It cant explain polio workers getting shot?! An immunisation campaign turns out to be a CIA front and you cant see how it explains polio workers getting shot?!

    And IK is not saying Afridi did this, and now he should clean it up, we are no longer concerned! He’s saying that incident made things more difficult.

    Obviously everyone is having a hard time understanding the word “partially”.

    All of you guys blaming the mullahs and taliban and whatnot, consider this. So there is a bunch of idiots in the area who always oppose immunisation programs saying these programs have ulterior motives… that health workers are CIA and front and jewish conspiracies and whatnot. Ideally the govt and other educated people can talk to people there and convince them that this is not the case. Obviously with varying degrees of success.

    Then comes Dr. Afridi and he and the US proudly tells the world about the fake immunisation program they ran to get Osama. Guess who was proved right, and whose claims suddenly got a lot more weight?!

    Nobody is saying that had there been no Afridi there would be no polio, but he certainly made things worse.

    This is why aid and medical services are not used as cover during military operations, so that neither side has to worry about them being spies. Mature states should never have stooped to this level. They have brough the entire aid and health worker community into the forefront and now Pakistani people have to bear the brunt of the blowback.

    If only people would grow a spine and learn to at least speak out when something wrong is done by civilised govts!

    Recommend

  • Babbarsher Khan
    Jan 18, 2014 - 8:28PM

    It is high tine that brain of our beloved Kaptaan be examined. His IQ looks dangerously low. Wondering if a medical examination could reveal if this state could be reversed to an acceptable level. If the speed of deterioration (intellectual) is not somehow stopped or reversed he will be “brain-dead” soon!Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 19, 2014 - 7:14AM

    Take note of Mr Obama speech on Prism surveillnce program!! He wants to know what the people of the world and their Governments think and plan so that his administration can connect the DOTs!

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Arif Hassan
    Mar 16, 2014 - 10:05AM

    who says people at pukhtunkhwa are happy. no single project has been launched in the current fiscal year. apart from that after 9 Months again the same hallow promises and nothing more. the projects has not been started because of the fear of corruption as per Govt. and appointment of consultants was another way around for corruption. What AG office is doing an ARMY of consultants at your payroll.

    Recommend

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