Via The News International: Fata reports five more polio cases in a single day. Excerpt:
PESHAWAR: Officials of the Prime Minister Polio Cell, who are trying to eradicate polio through meetings and closed door briefings, received another setback within days of Maulana Samiul Haq’s issuance of a public statement against his own polio fatwa and emergence of five more polio cases from Fata on Saturday only.
The detection of five new cases in a single day from Fata also poured cold water on the high level meeting chaired by President Mamnoon Hussain at the Governor’s House on Saturday, where yet again more promises and commitments were made through closed door briefings to lift the ban on polio immunisation in North Waziristan Agency and provide security to the polio workers in Fata.
According to the official date sheet of the health department, Adil, son of Gul Nawaz, is a 15 months old child, resident of Dre Nishtar area, village Sara Melowa (Shawal), tehsil Razmak, North Waziristan Agency. The child did not receive a single dose of the polio vaccine.
Similarly, Zakimullah, son of Sharoof, is an 18 months old male child, resident of Toortangai area in tehsil Miranshah, North Waziristan Agency. The ill-fated child also did not receive a single dose of the polio vaccine.
Amina, daughter of Hayatullah, is an 18 months old female child, resident of Land area, Boya village, Miranshah tehsil, North Waziristan Agency. She was also not immunised.
The fourth polio case is Shamsullah, son of Adot Khan. He is 15 months old and resident of Milward area, Madakhel Krapa village, Bara tehsil, Khyber agency. Like others, he could not receive any dose due to insecurity. The fifth case is Muntazir, son of Maulvi Attaullah. He is two years old and resident of Shnakhawra area, Khuziai Mandau village, Miranshah tehsil in North Waziristan. He has not received a single dose of the polio vaccine either.
During last week, the polio programme had received a major blow when the spokesperson of Darul Uloom Haqqania termed the publicising of the polio fatwa of the seminary a conspiracy hatched to sabotage the peace talks between the TTP and Maulana Samiul Haq.
“There are so many fatwas available in favour of polio vaccination, but no-one is publicising them. The publicity campaign targeting the fatwa of Dar ul Aloom Haqqania seems to be a big conspiracy as all are aware that Maulana Samiul Haq is playing a key role in bringing peace to the region,” the spokesperson of the seminary said while talking to The News.
Officials associated with the polio programme argue that the major reason for Pakistan’s sorry state of affairs globally was the inability of the polio teams to vaccinate over 262,000 children in North and South Waziristan Agencies due to the ban on anti-polio immunisation by the Taliban and they linked it to the cessation of drone strikes.
“Fata is a federal subject and it is the sole responsibility of the Prime Minster Polio Cell to take appropriate measures to lift the ban imposed by the Taliban in North and South Waziristan Agencies,” remarked an official of the Health Department.