Minister threatens polio vaccine boycott in ex-Fata areas

Published August 13, 2022
A screengrab from a video clip showing Federal Min­ister for Religious Aff­airs Maulana Abdul Shakoor (C) warning of polio vaccination boycott in erstwhile tribal areas. — Photo courtesy Gul Bukhari Twitter
A screengrab from a video clip showing Federal Min­ister for Religious Aff­airs Maulana Abdul Shakoor (C) warning of polio vaccination boycott in erstwhile tribal areas. — Photo courtesy Gul Bukhari Twitter

PESHAWAR: Federal Min­ister for Religious Aff­airs Maulana Abdul Shakoor has warned that people of the erstwhile tribal areas would boycott a polio vaccination campaign if the government and security institutions failed to restore peace.

“We want to make it clear that if the government and security institutions fail to provide us with peace, the people of [formerly] Fata won’t accept the measures being taken by the government, on top of which is polio vaccination,” he said in a widely circulated video on social media.

He said the boycott might be followed by civil disobedience campaign “like the one started by (PTI chief) Imran Khan”.

He said the JUI-F did not favour such protest measures, but people were being compelled to head towards such a situation. He urged the security institutions and the government to restore peace in those areas before things got out of control.

While it could not be confirmed who had filmed the video, the JUI-F’s provincial information secretary Abdul Jalil Jan confirmed to Dawn that Maulana Shakoor was addressing a delegation of party leaders and workers from former tribal areas in Peshawar.

He said it was an internal meeting of the party where the media was not invited, but someone might have uploaded the video on social media.

In the video, the minister also spoke about the recent killing of a JUI-F leader Qari Samiuddin in North Waziristan and last year’s killing of another leader, Maulana Abdul Salam in Bajaur, and asked the participants to stage protests and highlight the killings.

He also asked them to condemn the provincial government and the security institutions “as they have completely failed in maintaining peace”.

The video footage has since drawn criticism on social media.

“Sitting federal minister Mufti Shakoor of JUI-F announces boycott of polio vaccination,” activist Gul Bukhari wrote on Twitter and wondered if such people could remain in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Some of his supporters defended him by uploading one of his previous videos in which he was supporting the polio vaccination campaign in the erstwhile Fata.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Punjab crisis
01 Dec, 2022

Punjab crisis

ADMINISTRATIVE chaos has ruled Punjab ever since the ouster of the PTI government in April, deepening the...
Quetta attack
01 Dec, 2022

Quetta attack

It would be foolishness of the highest order were the authorities to ignore the emerging threat.
World AIDS Day
01 Dec, 2022

World AIDS Day

AS countries mark World AIDS Day on Dec 1, a timely report from Unicef has renewed concerns about the severe...
A call for bloodshed
30 Nov, 2022

A call for bloodshed

The state has wasted precious time by not consolidating its success in pushing TTP out of its strongholds in the north.
Missing childhoods
30 Nov, 2022

Missing childhoods

THE fact is that despite some legal efforts to end the curse of child marriage taking place in Pakistan under the...
Unemployment concerns
30 Nov, 2022

Unemployment concerns

THE ILO finding that labour market recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan, as in many other...