The UN children’s agency UNICEF and the World Health Organisation have suspended a polio campaign in Pakistan after nine health workers were killed in two days across the country.
Pakistan is one of only three countries (Afghanistan and Nigeria being other two) in the world where polio is still endemic, and such attacks are only adding insult to the injury.
While the Taliban, who are vigorous opponents of such campaigns, may be behind the killings, the US intelligence agency, the CIA, also shares the blame equally for obstacles in polio drive in Pakistan.
In 2011, the CIA showed its stupidity when it faked a vaccination campaign to get DNA samples from the children in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound to know his whereabouts.
The killing of health workers cannot be justified. But the fact is that the CIA only intensified the perception of most Pakistani people that the US agency runs a spy network under the guise of such campaigns.
The intelligence agency hired the services of a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, for the purpose and used its heinous means, thinking the end would justify them. But it didn’t.
Now it has become more difficult than ever to run a polio campaign in Pakistan where, according to health officials, the suspension of such vaccinations can put the health of 240,000 children at risk.
There is already a strong anti-US sentiment in Pakistani for various reasons, and the CIA with its agents like Raymond Davis and bogus vaccination campaigns is making the situation worse.