Here comes another blow to the already deteriorated health facilities available to poor Pakistanis. Taliban, who control the tribal region of Pakistan, have announced to ban polio vaccination to the children till the United States stops drone strikes against them. Since 2004, the US has been attacking militants and terrorists in the region through drone strikes and dozens of high profile terrorists have been killed so far. US Presidentrecently vowed to continue the drone campaign till all the terrorists based in the area are flushed out.
In a recent drone strike, al-Qaeda no. 2 Abu Yahya al Libi has been shot dead and the Obama administration believes that more potential terrorists can be eliminated based in the area through continuous drone strikes.
Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur said they would not allow polio vaccination in North Waziristan as it is funded and sponsored by the United States. Observers believe that the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan dealt a severe blow to the campaign, as every Pakistani now sees the campaign suspicious after the shaky role of Dr. Shakil Afridi.
Dr. Afridi launched a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad to help the CIA get DNA of Bin Laden. He was later arrested by Pakistani security agencies and subsequently awarded 33 years imprisonment.
The UNICEP was planning to launch the campaign this week and vaccinate around 161,000 children in the region.
Recently, Congressman, along with ten other members of the US House, asked the president to provide legal justification for the drone strikes, besides the targeting criteria. For the last couple of months, the issue of US killing innocent civilians as well in the drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen has also been raised on different forums.
Statistics available on Wikipedia show that a total of 327 signature strikes have been made so far in the tribal region of Pakistan and more than 3,000 people have been killed in these strikes. The data further elaborates that around 830 civilians have been killed in the strikes including 175 children. Also, more than one thousand has been reported injured in the drone attacks.
The campaign was further intensified after Obama assumed the office. According to the data available, around 52 drone strikes were made during the Bush era, while 275 strikes are reported under the Obama administration. The increasing number of the drone strikes has not only frustrated Pakistani people, but also the US citizens.
Although Pakistan has repeatedly termed the drone strikes "counterproductive, illegal and unwarranted," according to Wikileaks, the strikes are made with tacit support of the present Pakistani government.