MIRANSHAH: Pakistani tribesmen have endorsed ban on polio vaccinations, closing the door to the prospect of any child being vaccinated in North Waziristan as part of a nationwide campaign.
Officials had pinned their last hopes of inoculating children in the northwestern district on talks with tribesmen, which were successively delayed until Wednesday, the last day of the nationwide campaign.
"Polio vaccination will be banned until drone attacks are stopped," tribal elder Qadir Khan told a gathering of more than 200 elders and Islamic scholars in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan.
"Drones martyr so many children, while polio afflicts one or two out of hundreds of thousands," said tribal elder Maamoor Khan.
North Waziristan administrator Siraj Ahmed Khan said he had sought to convince the tribesmen to accept the vaccinations for the disease, which leaves children crippled for life.
"Polio is rampant in tribal areas and government desires to prevent its spread," Khan told the meeting. (AFP)