MIRAMSHAH, Dec 17: The political administration of North Waziristan Agency has suspended all perks and privilege of Othmanzai Dawar and Wazir tribes for not cooperating with the authorities in the anti-polio drive in their areas.
Political Agent Siraj Ahmed on Monday issued directives to heads of all government departments including Nadra, passport and tehsildar office to stop issuing passports, national identity cards and domiciles certificates to members of Wazir and Dawar -- two major tribes of North Waziristan.
According to the directives, ban has been imposed on provision of lungi (honorarium given to tribal elders), fresh recruitments of Class IV employees and developmental work till these tribal elders ensure security of teams taking part in the anti-polio campaign.
The decision was taken under collective territorial responsibility clause of Frontier Crimes Regulations.
The political agent told Dawn that the decision was taken after the elders of Wazir and Dawar tribes failed to cooperate with the government in carrying out the anti-polio drive.
He said that thousands of children were at risk in the tribal region owing to a ban, imposed by militants, on anti-polio drive. He said that government would not tolerate challenging its writ at any cost.
The political agent said that it was responsibility of tribal people to make security arrangements for the polio teams.
It may be recalled that Shura Mujahideen of North Waziristan (Hafiz Gul Bahadar group of Taliban) had imposed ban on anti-polio campaign in the tribal agency.
A pamphlet distributed on June 15, 2012 by the Shura stated that the ban on polio campaign would be continued till end to US drone attacks.
After one week, the Shura of South Waziristan Taliban (Maulvi Nazir group) also distributed a similar pamphlet, linking anti-polio campaign to drone attacks in the tribal agencies.
However, tribal people had held America responsible for ban on polio campaign. They said that Dr Shakil, presently languishing in Peshawar jail, and other ‘US agents’ had played negative role during anti-polio campaign.
They said that Dr Shakil and his team helped America to trace out whereabouts of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden by running a fake immunisation drive in Abbottabad.
A doctor responsible for carrying out polio campaign in tribal areas told Dawn on condition of anonymity that 160,000 children were deprived of vaccine during each campaign.
He said the government had made alternative arrangements to reach maximum children by administering vaccine to children under the age of five years at various points on roads from Bannu to Peshawar.