Free Press Journal

Swabi polio district coordinator shot dead


Peshawar: Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) District Coordinator Dr. Yaqoob was shot dead and his driver injured when unidentified assailants opened fired on his car in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swabi district this morning.

According to the Dawn, Dr. Yaqoob was on his way to office when unknown motorcyclists shot at his car near Swabi’s Zaida Bypass area. The polio workers have long been targeted due to rumours that the polio immunisation drive is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.

The Tehreek-i-Taliban is not only responsible for the widespread rumours, but they have also stepped up attacks targeting polio immunisation teams after Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to set up a hepatitis immunisation drive as part of efforts to track down Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

Pakistan remains one of only two countries on the World Health Organisation’s list of polio-endemic countries, the other being Afghanistan.