A suicide bomber killed at least 15 people close to a polio eradication centre in Quetta on Wednesday, the latest militant attack on the anti-polio campaign in the country. Most of those killed included policemen detailed to guard polio vaccination workers.
The bomb ripped through a police van that had just arrived at the centre to provide an escort for vaccination workers engaged in a drive to immunise all children under five years old in Balochistan.
This incident shows that despite all efforts to curb the menace of terrorism struggle against it is far from over. Three terrorist groups claimed the responsibility of the attack, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jaish-e-Islam and Jundullah. All the groups are extremists and oppose the polio eradication program on various grounds, one is polio program is a conspiracy to make children infertile through the drops.
In reality polio drops are meant to prevent the crippling disease. It is ironic that Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries left in the world where polio is endemic.
After this attack, death toll of the immunizers have reached to above 80 in last three years only. Mostly front line workers who are usually women have been targeted most.
Due to the operation Zarb-e-Azb terrorists have been forced to run from FATA and northern areas and they have either escaped to Afghanistan or in less remote areas of other provinces. They choose a soft target. Law enforcing agencies are fighting against them. But security to the polio teams should be top priority because they are working to secure the future of our country.
We are fighting war against terror but security of polio teams should also be top priority.