In North Waziristan, the Utmanzai Jirga declared a boycott of the polio campaign until its demands are fulfilled. Mufti Baitullah, the Jirga spokesperson, stated that polio vaccination is prohibited across Waziristan, with a hefty fine of Rs 5 lakh for violators.
Additionally, the Main Miran Shah Bannu highway is closed for all traffic as part of the boycott, causing inconvenience to commuters.
The Utmanzai Tribal Alliance’s 30-member core committee submitted a set of demands to the administration, emphasizing law and order, equitable distribution of natural resources, and resolution of missing persons’ issues.
Qadeer Dawar, a senior leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, cautioned against the polio campaign boycott, suggesting that addressing Utmanzai’s demands is crucial to secure the children’s future. Notably, Utmanzai tribes have been protesting against unrest in North Waziristan for four months, extending their boycott to the polio campaign.
In a separate incident, a police officer on polio duty in Bannu was shot and injured by unknown assailants in the BHU Zarwam area of Surani.
Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s most polio-sensitive region, has reported all three cases in Pakistan for the year 2023.