MIRANSHAH: In another alarming development, the people of Haiderkhel village of Mir Ali tehsil in North Waziristan tribal district have threatened to boycott the polio vaccination campaign if they were not paid compensation for their damaged houses.

People of the area have made it clear that they will not vaccinate their children until they get compensation for their damaged properties. They said many houses were damaged in Haiderkhel village during military operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan. They said people of other villages got compensation, but the people of Hiaderkhel village were left out for unknown reasons. They said they have also sacrifices for peace in the region and they deserve compensation for damages.

The area people said they have decided collectively that they will boycott the polio vaccination campaign in the village against this discriminatory behaviour of the government.

This boycott call by the residents of North Waziristan has come two days after traders of Bannu district announced polio vaccination boycott in protest against imposition of new tax.

However, KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai made it clear that the campaign will go ahead and no hindrance will be tolerated in the vaccination campaign.

The Emergency Operation Centre says the main reason behind emergence of polio cases is refusal by parents to administer anti-polio vaccine to their children. It requested the parents to fully cooperate with the vaccination teams to save their children from the crippling disease. It said the parents should not pay heed to negative propaganda against vaccination and vaccinate their children for their safe future.

Five new polio cases emerged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa few days ago after which the total number of polio cases in the province this year reached 41.

The government has taken several measures including arrest of parents, blocking of computerised national identity cards (CNICs) and suspension of privileges of people who refuse to cooperate with the vaccination teams. Several polio officials not performing their duties have also been sacked recently. Despite all these measures taken by the government, polio cases are still surfacing, which means much more needs to be done to realise the dream of polio-free Pakistan.