The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terror group has intensified its targeted attacks on security personnel across the country, after ending a month-long ceasefire agreement.
In the latest such incident, unidentified gunmen shot dead a policeman, who was guarding a polio vaccination team in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province on Sunday, making it the second consecutive killing in two days.
On Saturday, two men, associated with the TTP, shot dead a policeman, who was guarding another polio vaccination team in the same area.
“Two gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire on a policeman who was guarding a two-member female polio vaccination team in Sheikh Uttar area, killing him on the spot,” said Sajjad Khan, district police chief of Tank area.
Sunday’s attack was not claimed by any organisation, but the militant group said they had carried out the earlier one.
The latest attacks come as the TTP refused to give any extension to the month-long ceasefire agreed with the Pakistan government.
The group accused the Pakistani authorities of violating the terms of the agreement and rejected any possibility of extending the agreement any further.
In an audio statement, Noor Ali Mehsud, a senior leader of the TTP, said that no progress was made in the fresh negotiations with government.
Mehsud was heard calling on his TTP fighters to restart their attacks as the ceasefire agreement term had ended and that it would not be extended any further.
TTP has had a rigid standing against the polio vaccination campaign in the country. It claims that the vaccination campaigns are a western conspiracy to sterilise children.
It should be noted that late Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, KP, was found through a similar polio vaccination campaign, which was carried out by doctor Shakil Afridi.
The menace of terrorism has haunted Pakistan for decades now, while polio has remained rampant. Pakistan has been struggling to curb the spread of the virus, making such polio vaccination drives pivotal to the cause.
The World Health Organization (WHO) made it mandatory for all people travelling from Pakistan to have polio vaccination certificate.
Pakistan government maintains that it would call on TTP to extend the ceasefire agreement, insisting that it is ready to abide by the agreed terms of the agreement.
However, the country’s leadership has also warned that any terror activity by the group will be dealt with accordingly.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline and minor edits to conform to HinduPost style guide)