Last summer a Pakistani Muslim cleric said that polio vaccinations were un-Islamic. And you know what happens to un-Islamic things in Pakistan. “Gunmen Kill Anti-Polio Workers in Attacks in Pakistan,” by Salman Masood and Declan Walsh for the New York Times, December 18 (thanks to all who sent this in):
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan “” Five Pakistani women and a man were killed on Tuesday in separate attacks on health workers participating in a national drive to eradicate polio from Pakistan….
The attacks forced health officials to temporarily suspend a large polio vaccination drive in Karachi, the country”s most populous city, where the disease has been making a worrisome comeback in recent years….
The shooting represented a brutal setback to polio immunization efforts in Pakistan, one of just three countries in the world where the disease remains endemic. Pakistan accounted for 198 new cases last year “” the highest rate in the world, followed by Afghanistan and Nigeria.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Taliban insurgents have repeatedly vowed to target anti-polio workers, accusing them of being spies.
In the tribal areas along the Afghan border, Taliban leaders have issued religious edicts declaring that the United States runs a spy network under the guise of vaccination programs.
That perception was strengthened after the American commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in June 2011, when it emerged that the Central Intelligence Agency had paid a Pakistani doctor to run a vaccination program in Abbottabad, where Bin Laden was hiding, in a bid to obtain DNA evidence from his family.
Pakistani authorities arrested the doctor, Shakil Afridi, shortly after the American raid, and he has been sentenced to 33 years in prison….
Two female aid workers were killed in an attack in Landhi, according to local news reports. In Orangi, unknown gunmen opened fire on a health team, killing one woman and a male volunteer. Another female worker was killed in nearby Baldia Town.
The Karachi neighborhoods where aid workers were targeted Tuesday are being used as safe havens by militants, who have escaped American drone strikes in North and South Waziristan tribal regions, according to police officials. Security forces regularly conduct search operations in these neighborhoods.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar, gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on two sisters who had volunteered to help administer polio drops, killing one….
“Ahmadis, Shias, Hazaras, Christians, child activists, doctors, anti-polio workers “” who”s next on the target list, Pakistan?” asked Mira Hashmi, a lecturer in film studies at the Lahore School of Economics, in a post on Twitter.
Who indeed? Who will be the next victim of #MyJihad?