Pakistan: On the 30th of November 2022, a police truck designated to protect a team of polio vaccinators in Quetta in Balochistan became a target for a suicide bomb attack by the Tehreek-I-Taliban. (TTP). This group has claimed responsibility for the act. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif, and President Arif Alvi have expressed their condolences to those who died during the incident.
The primary rationale behind this act is that polio vaccination is against Islam’s basic tenets, and it makes men sterile. It is often seen as a Western tool to sterilise Muslim Children and spy on them. Currently, Polio is rampant in all provinces of Pakistan.
A total of 28 persons were injured, and five were reported dead. A police sub-inspector called Ibrahim, and a woman and a child were among the deceased. The injured have been rushed to a civil hospital in Quetta.
The main aim of the Tehreek-I-Taliban-Pakistan or the Pakistan Taliban is to overthrow the Pakistani Government and establish its rule under its interpretation of strict Sharia Law.
Muslims are known to have an extremely negative attitude towards all types of vaccines, not just Polio. They believe that it affects fertility. In rural Pakistan, Muslim locals have also killed and tortured health workers trying to administer vaccines to children against deadly diseases.
Many Officials have been thrashed to death, kidnapped and murdered. Local Afghanistan and border areas near the Afghan Pak Border have issued several fatwas.
Almost all the nations of the world are free from Polio. However, there are three countries where Polio is yet to be eradicated. They are Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. All three nations have festering terrorist influence in their political system. Religious opposition is the primary cause of the failure of vaccination in Islam.
The Polio vaccines used in Pakistan have their origins in the WHO (World Health Organisation), including the United States of America, which is a cause for resentment from militant groups operating in these countries.
Despite their infertility issue, Fundamentalist Islamic organisations, experts and medical associations have arguments that the vaccine is built from pork, monkey kidney cells and faecal matter. All of these are considered ‘Haram’ in Islamic Law.
The Polio Menace has the highest number of cases in the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. All these regions are underdeveloped and face extreme poverty. The only province which seems to be prosperous in Pakistan is the Punjab Province. The rest are bearing the brunt of diseases. In the Indian context, a Similar resistance has been shown by Indian Muslims, especially in Western Uttar Pradesh (Loni Region, Ghaziabad).