Sufi Saint’s Followers To Boycott Anti-Polio Drive
Kurram and Orakzai tribal districts are witnessing opposition to an anti-polio campaign that was to start today.
The opposition comes from the followers of a Sufi saint, Shah Anwar Shah, as they aim to protest against the deterioration and closure of the saint’s shrine.
A committee has been set up to bring to attention the repair and opening of the shrine to public. The spokesman of the committee, Mahir Hussain, announced the move to protest and oppose the anti-polio campaign at the Parachinar Press Club on 25th August.
The spokesman said that the committee knew about the importance of vaccination, but they also wanted their religious freedom and rights.
Mahir Hussain said that they had been protesting to demand the reopening of the shrine and its renovation, but with no success. Due to this, they have announced a boycott of the anti-polio drive.
The shrine in question is 200 years old and is located in Kalaya, Orakzai, with its followers spread over Kurram and Khyber.
Due to the rise of militancy in the last decade, the government had taken over the shrine for its protection. To this day, the shrine remains unopened, though people are allowed short visits.