How can one forget the rage and fury boiling in the tweets and twitter timelines of people who were busy opposing the 33 years prison sentence of Dr. Shakil Afridi? And the opposition was for completely right reasons. However, what most of us failed to realize the flip side of the story.
Read More at: Dr. Shakil Afridi And The World’s Contempt For Pakistan
The story that the fake polio campaign initiated by Dr. Afridi as means of getting close to Osama Bin Laden’s hide-out was a cynical attempt to hijack the credibility of public health workers and their efforts to reduce the number of polio cases among the local population. Belatedly, the existence of a fake campaign was also acknowledged by CIA.
According to statistics from last year, 198 cases of polio were reported in Pakistan, a 15-year high, and also the highest number of cases reported anywhere in the world. I know what you are thinking right now. An intense rage for CIA, surging anti-American sentiment accompanied with the desire of butchering every other American. But wait a moment and your feeling of disgust is just going to compound.
Clerics in the northern area of Muzzafargarh have recently declared polio campaign as un-Islamic. The cleric has further announced to conduct holy war or Jihad against teams who visit their areas with the intent of vaccinating their children against the disease.
Their explanation for opposing these campaigns might be traditional, but is undoubtedly hilarious. They believe that the campaign is a ‘western conspiracy’ to render the population ‘impotent’.
Furthermore, since polio drops are against Islam they are poison for the people. Is there anything extra you need to for rib-tickling? Jokes apart, the magnitude of the problem is constantly amplifying. New born kids who are highly susceptible to the disease are not being immunized against polio and will surely suffer permanent physical deformities at earlier stages of life.
It’s been a year since the American raid killing Osama Bin Laden took place, but the clouds of distrust still remains prevalent at large. Whether you want to blame a pawn like Shakil Afridi or religious clerics is up to you, but what I think is that cleric looking forward to ban polio vaccination in the areas could not get a better reason than to what has been provided to them by the CIA.
Moreover, any initiative that helps them reinforce their image of being the ‘champions of Islam’ is actually an opportunity they would definitely capitalize, even if they have to risk the lives of small children for that. They will do that since it’s their self-created version of Jihad.