Mehsud tribesmen announce boycott of anti-polio drive

Updated August 24, 2019

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The tribesmen said they would boycott the anti-polio campaign due to government’s apathy towards their plight. — AFP/File
The tribesmen said they would boycott the anti-polio campaign due to government’s apathy towards their plight. — AFP/File

LADHA: Shamankhel clan of Mehsud tribe from Bangiwala village in Sararogha tehsil of South Waziristan has announced to boycott the anti-polio vaccination campaign starting from Aug 26 in protest against the government’s failure to construct a bridge over a stream near their village.

Shamankhel tribesmen told Dawn on Friday that absence of bridge over the stream was causing them great distress as the locals, including children, had to cross the stream to reach markets and schools located on the other side. They said when it rained the stream overflowed, cutting them off from rest of the areas.

The tribesmen said they would boycott the anti-polio campaign due to government’s apathy towards their plight. They demanded that the government immediately construct a bridge over the stream.

Miraj Mehsud, 24, told Dawn that due to absence of a bridge over the stream their children could not attend school. He said some pregnant women died for want of medical treatment as crossing the stream was an uphill task for people, particularly for women.

Gul Badshah, another tribesman, said he had a job in Karachi, but fearing that his children might get drowned in the stream while crossing it, he had decided to stay at home.

Alauddin, another tribal, said they had to carry food items on their shoulders while crossing the stream, which became a bit tricky when it rained.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2019