Pak Govt. urged to halt U.S. drone strikes to enable successful anti-polio campaign
Peshawar, July 15 (ANI): Members of Pakistan's National Research Development Foundation (NRDF) have urged the government to take proactive steps to halt U.S. drone attacks in tribal areas, so as to affectively carry out polio eradication campaigns.
NRDF Coordinator, Abdul Jalil Paracha said the anti-polio campaign could be efficiently launched if U.S. drone attacks are halted in the tribal regions, reports The Nation.
Paracha added that the U.S. drone attacks are against the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
On June 16, a senior Taliban Commander in North Waziristan, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, had issued a decree against anti-polio drives, which was followed by a similar decree by Mullah Nazir, commander of his own faction of the Taliban in South Waziristan. Both warlords linked the anti-polio campaign in the tribal agencies to cessation of U.S. drone attacks.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of children will be deprived in the three-day anti-polio campaign in the country, despite hectic efforts by the government to persuade the warlords of South and North Waziristan to lift a ban on polio vaccinations.
An official in the Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) confirmed that the two agencies will not be included in the July 16-18 campaign, depriving a total of 227,654 children - 145,845 in North Waziristan and 81,809 in South Waziristan, reports The Express Tribune.
The three-day anti-polio campaign has a target to vaccinate a total of 751,060 children below the age of five years. (ANI)
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