Here is what’s happening across the border: PIA wants passengers at new airport five hours before take-off, Pakistan lashes out at US with ‘tit-for-tat’ curbs for diplomats.
Protests erupt against polio vaccination in Peshawar after 2 children die
The residents of Shaleen Muslim town staged a demonstration outside Peshawar Press Club Thursday after two children died following vaccination for polio. They have also announced a boycott of the drive.
The protesters claimed the children’s death certificates proved they were killed by the polio vaccine. They also demanded an FIR against the district health officer for “failing to make public an inquiry report about the vaccine”. The protests were led by Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour.
Pakistan is one of only three countries, besides Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio remains endemic. The country’s polio-eradication programme, now in its last stage, has been hit by repeated protests amid Islamists’ claims that is a garb for a US spy operation.
Father to sue TV channel for documentary on minor rape-murder victim
The father of a seven-year-old raped and murdered in January has threatened to sue a private TV channel for making a documentary on her and using her name without the family’s permission.
“The TV channel did not bother to seek my permission. I would not allow anyone to use the name of my daughter for one’s vested interest. I am going to sue the TV channel…,” Amin Ansari was quoted as saying by The Dawn.
On 4 January this year, the child was abducted while she was on her way to Quran classes. She was later found dead, with a medical examination confirming sexual assault. The assailant, Imran Ali, has been sentenced to death.
According to the executive producer of the documentary, Kashif Kabeer, the documentary is intended to spread awareness about child abuse. However, there have been several protests amid claims that the documentary seeks to capitalise on the rape of the child.
Pak to impose reciprocal restrictions on US diplomats
With the US government imposing restrictions on Pakistani diplomats, obligating them to seek permission at least five days in advance for travel beyond 25 miles (40 km) of the city they are posted in, Islamabad has introduced certain limits on US diplomats too.
According to the Pakistan Foreign Office, American diplomats will no longer get the luxury of ‘fast-track’ luggage clearance at airports, will not be allowed tinted windows on their vehicles or to hold more than one passport, and will have to stay in the country strictly by visa dates. The FO clarified that the limits were a response to the US’ restrictions. According to Geo TV, Washington had made the same claim while imposing restrictions on Pakistani diplomats.
PIA asks passengers to report five hours before flight from new Islamabad airport
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the country’s national carrier, announced Thursday that all international passengers would need to check in at the new Islamabad International Airport five hours before their flight departs.
The airline clarified that this was being done in light of “the traffic congestion due to strict security checks”, The Express Tribune reports.
This comes at a time when the new airport grapples with several logistical issues, including a lack of sitting facilities for passengers at the lounges as well as inadequate staff to help them.