In two separate attacks on polio vaccination teams in Pakistan, a police officer escorting one of the teams was killed while another officer escorting another team was injured. As per reports, on Monday, a gunman shot dead a police officer who was assigned to protect the polio vaccination team. The incident took place in Kolachi area of Dera Ismail Khan district.
As per reports, officer Dilawar Khan was on his way to escort the polio vaccination team on his motorcycle when gunmen attacked him. Pakistani radical fundamentalists and militants often target polio vaccination drives as they believe it is ‘western conspiracy to sterilise children’.
In an attack on Sunday in Peshawar, another gunman killed a policeman returning after escorting polio vaccination workers. In another attack, a bomb went off near police van escorting the vaccinating team in South Waziristan which left a police officer injured. None of the medics were hurt.
As of now, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where polio is still an endemic. Nigeria was declared polio-free last year.
In June this year, Pakistan had suspended the polio vaccination programme ‘indefinitely’ over attacks on health workers. Back then too two policemen were gunned down in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two polio workers were shot dead in Swabi.
There have been reports that the Pakistanis are hesitant for getting polio vaccines and hold polio vaccine workers with distrust after the CIA carried out fake vaccination drive to nab Al Qaeda terrorist Osama Bin Laden who was hiding in Pakistan’s Abbottabad.