With the fight on polio seemingly making large strides worldwide as of late, some countries are heading in the opposite direction. This past weekend, a Pakistani Taliban commander has banned polio vaccinations in North Waziristan, in the tribal belt, days before 161,000 children were to be inoculated. His actions were in retaliation against frequent drone attacks by the United States and fears that the CIA could use the polio campaign as cover for espionage. Past examples cited include the use of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor and his help tracking Osama bin Laden.
Their demands? The commander, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, said that the vaccinations would be banned until the Central Intelligence Agency stopped its drone campaign, which has been focused largely on North Waziristan. Pakistan is one of only three countries left where the polio disease is still endemic. Having the highest rate in the world, with 198 new cases just last year, it is followed by Afghanistan and Nigeria.
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