Monday, July 29, 2013
For the first time, government advisers are recommending screening for lung cancer, saying certain current and former heavy smokers should get annual scans to cut their chances of dying of the disease. If it becomes final as expected, the advice by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force would clear the way for insurers to cover CT scans, a type of X-ray, for those at greatest risk.
Moscow is calling on all responsible sides in Syria to put an end to the bloodshed unleashed by what it termed “international terrorists,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Monday. Over the weekend “it became known about the atrocious killing” of some 150 people by militants from extremist groups Jabhat al-Nusra and Ansar al-Khilafah during an attack on Khan Assal, a town outside the northern city of Aleppo, the ministry said in a statement on its website. Both militant groups, which have conducted joint operations in the past, have claimed credit for taking control of Khan Assal on July 22-23 and killing more than 100 soldiers. The Russian ministry expressed deep condolences to the entire Syrian people and strongly condemned the acts by “terrorists and their accomplices” on Syrian soil. “The barbarous nature of the crime has come as a shock to all Syrians: It has been condemned not only by the country’s authorities but also by leading opposition groups,” the ministry said. According to UN data, about 100,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict.
Grenade-wielding Taliban fighters battled Pakistani security forces during a sophisticated midnight attack on a major prison holding hundreds of Taliban and other militants, police said on Monday. Fighting continued into the early hours of Tuesday, and security forces said they had imposed a curfew on the city, Dera Ismail Khan, 200 miles west of Lahore. The Pakistani Taliban sent 100 fighters and seven suicide bombers on a mission to free some of their top leaders, said Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid. He said they had freed around 300 prisoners, a claim that could not immediately be verified. Some of the suicide bombers had blown up at the prison walls and some were in reserve, he said. The prison houses around 5,000 prisoners. Around 250 are Pakistani Taliban and members of banned sectarian groups such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group that has killed hundreds of Shi'ite civilians this year. Up to 40 gunmen wearing police uniforms launched their attack by blowing up the electricity line to the prison and detonating heavy explosions that breached the outer walls, said provincial prisons chief Khalid Abbas. "It's completely dark in there. We don't know what's going on but there is fighting," he said. The militants fought their way inside using rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, district police chief Sohail Khalid said. Mushtaq Jadoon, the town's civil commissioner, said dozens of prisoners had escaped. "The Taliban have loudspeakers and they are calling the names of their friends," he said. The gunmen also took over a nearby house and hospital, holding the residents hostage as they fired on police from the rooftops and laid ambushes for reinforcements. Police Constable Gul Mohammed said he was rushing to the scene when he was challenged by two young boys holding rifles. "They told me to stop. I told them I am a policeman, and that's when they opened fire," he said, adding that he was shot three times. Police said there were other small groups of gunmen in the streets leading to the prison. The number of casualties was unclear because the fighting was ongoing. Police said they had called for military reinforcements. WARNINGS OF THE ATTACK Provincial authorities received warning of the impending attack two weeks ago, said one security official in the provincial capital of Peshawar. He said phone intercepts indicated the militants were planning a jail break and interrogations of captured fighters confirmed it. Security officials alerted the provincial governor of the threat based on the intercepts. The attack raises questions over how well-prepared Pakistani security forces are after a series of high-profile attacks. Last week, militants stormed the headquarters of the Pakistani military intelligence service in the southern town of Sukkur. Over the weekend, around 40 people were killed in twin bombings in mainly Shi'ite areas in the town of Parachinar. Pakistani militants have launched successful raids on prisons several times before. Last year, nearly 400 prisoners were freed when the Taliban attacked a prison in the northern town of Bannu. After that attack, militants told Reuters they were helped by insiders in the security services. An inquiry later found there were far fewer guards on duty than there should have been and those who were there lacked sufficient ammunition. The attack comes the day before Pakistan's lawmakers are due to choose a president and two days before a major Shi'ite festival, which security officials have warned could be attacked. The front-runner for Tuesday's election to the largely ceremonial position is a close ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose party swept national elections in May and who has promised to seek talks with militant groups. An analysis by Reuters found that militant violence had sharply increased since Sharif took power.
Altaf Hussain lives in London but leads Pakistan's powerful, controversial MQM party, which has millions of supporters. He has also been acccused of inciting murder and violence in his home country
By Owen Bennett-JonesPakistan's most vibrant, vivacious and popular 24-hour news channel, Geo TV, generally has little difficulty recruiting staff. Its headquarters are in Karachi, Pakistan's so called "city of dreams" – a massive, sprawling conurbation with 20 million residents seeking a better life. And yet there was one vacancy recently that Geo TV could not fill. The channel wanted a lookalike for its popular satirical show, in which actors play the parts of the country's leading politicians. It was a job offering instant stardom and good money. And not a single person in Karachi was willing to do it. The man Geo TV sought to satirise was Altaf Hussain, the leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). And the reason no one applied was the fear that if Altaf Hussain were unamused by the performance, the actor playing him would be murdered.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud has announced his defection from Al Saud royal family through a statement, calling on other princes to break their silence and reveal the truth for sake of God. In his statement on Saturday, the Saudi prince referred to his ‘sufferings’ under reign of Al Saud regime describing them as bitter experiences that will be revealed by the Saudi twitter writer Mujtahid and Saudi activist Saad al-Faqih, who is currently living in London. He said he thanked God that helped him understand the truth about Saudi regime through a “direct horrible personal experience” so that he could have a taste of what people suffered from throughout the country. “With pride, I announce my defection from Al Saudi family in Saudi Arabia,” he wrote in his statement. “This regime in Saudi Arabia does not stand by God’s rules or even (country’s) established rules and its policies, decisions, and actions are totally based on personal will of its leaders.” “All that is said in Saudi Arabia about respecting law and religion rules are factitious so that they can lie and pretend that the regime obeys Islamic rules.” He criticized the royal family for considering the country as its own property while silencing all voices from inside and outside the government calling for any change and reforms. Khalid Bin Farhan said the ruling family has deliberately pulled the country to the current condition where cries of oppressed people are ignored. “They don’t think about anything but their personal benefits and do not care for country’s and people’s interests or even national security,” he added. H warned that current problems of the Saudi Arabia are not “temporary or superficial” and they do not end at unemployment, low wages and unjustified distribution of common wealth, facilities and services. “The problems are deep and real,” he said adding that they are concerned with political and financial corruption and abuse of power by the regime and fraud in the parliament and judiciary system. The Saudi prince said everything that the pro-reform opposition says about country’s political, economical, judiciary, social and security condition as well as their abuse of religious values are true and “the situation is even worse than what is said in criticisms”. He called on all those who cared for the future of the country to join him and the reform stream and break their silence on Al Saud corruptions.
Saudi security forces have burnt a number of cars and houses in the eastern city of Awamiya during an operation to arrest an anti-government human rights activist. According to a video posted online, the incident took place as Saudi security forces stormed the house of human rights activist Abbas Ali Mohammed Al-Mazra on Monday. One person is reported to be injured by the security forces. Abbas al-Mazra is one of the 23 Saudi activists wanted by the kingdom’s Interior Ministry for organizing anti-government demonstrations in the eastern cities of Awamiya and Qatif. Some of the activists on the list have already been arrested. It was not clear whether Mazra was arrested in the operation. Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province has been witnessing anti-government demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters demand political reforms, greater liberties, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners some held without trial for more than 16 years. They have also condemned economic and religious discrimination in the oil-rich region and their government's involvement in a brutal crackdown on protesters in neighboring Bahrain. In Saudi Arabia, protests and political gatherings of any kind are prohibited. Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in the country.
In 1973, my paternal grandparents visited Makkah to perform the first of their two Hajj pilgrimages. With them were two of my grandmother’s sisters and their respective husbands. Upon reaching Jeddah, they hailed a taxi from the airport and headed for their designated hotel. The driver of the taxi was a Sudanese man. As my grandparents and one of my grandmother’s sisters settled themselves in the taxi, the driver leisurely began driving towards the hotel and on the way inserted a cassette of Arabic songs into the car’s Japanese cassette-player. My grandfather who was seated in the front seat beside the driver noticed that the man kept glancing at the rear view mirror, and every time he did that, one of his eyebrows would rise. Curious, my grandfather turned his head to see exactly what was it about the women seated in the back seat that the taxi driver found so amusing. This was what he discovered: As my grandmother was trying to take a quick nap, her sister too had her eyes closed, but her head was gently swinging from left to right to the beat of the music and she kept whispering (as if in quiet spiritual ecstasy) the Arabic expression Subhanallah, subhanallah …’ My grandfather knew enough Arabic to realise that the song to which my grandmother’s sister was swinging and praising the Almighty for was about an (Egyptian) Romeo who was lamenting his past as a heart-breaking flirt. After giving a sideways glance to the driver to make sure he didn’t understand Punjabi, my grandfather politely asked my grandmother’s sister: ‘I didn’t know you were so much into music.’ ‘Allah be praised, brother,’ she replied. ‘Isn’t it wonderful?’ The chatter woke my grandmother up: ‘What is so wonderful?’ She asked. ‘This,’ said her sister, pointing at one of the stereo speakers behind her. ‘So peaceful and spiritual …’ My grandfather let off a sudden burst of an albeit shy and muffled laughter. ‘Sister,’ he said, ‘the singer is not singing holy verses. He is singing about his romantic past.’ My grandmother started to laugh as well. Her sister’s spiritual smile was at once replaced by an utterly confused look: ‘What …?’ ‘Sister,’ my grandfather explained, ‘Arabs don’t go around chanting spiritual and holy verses. Do you think they quote a verse from the holy book when, for example, they go to a fruit shop to buy fruit or want toothpaste?’ I’m sure my grandmother’s sister got the point. Not everything Arabic is holy. Even though I was only a small child then I clearly remember my grandfather relating the episode with great relish. Though he was an extremely conservative and religious man and twice performed the Hajj, he refused to sport a beard, and wasn’t much of a fan of the Arabs (especially the monarchical kind). He was proud of the fact that he was born in a small town in north Punjab that before 1947 was part of India. In the early 1980s when Saudi money and influence truly began to take hold on the culture and politics of Pakistan, there were many families (especially from the Punjab) that actually began to rewrite their histories. For example, families and clans that had emerged from within the South Asian region began to claim that their ancestors actually came from Arabia. Something like this happened within the Paracha clan as well. In 1982 a book (authored by one of my grandfather’s many cousins) claimed that the Paracha clan originally appeared in Yemen and was converted to Islam during the time of the Holy Prophet (Pbuh). The truth, however, was that like a majority of Pakistanis, Parachas too were once either Hindus or Buddhists who were converted to Islam by Sufi saints between the 11th and 15th centuries. When the cousin gifted his book to my grandfather, he rubbished the claim and told him that he might attract Saudi Riyals with the book but zero historical credibility. But historical accuracy and credibility does not pan well in an insecure country like Pakistan whose state and people, even after six decades of existence, are yet to clearly define exactly what constitutes their nationalistic and cultural identity. After the complete fall of the Mughal Empire in the 19th century till about the late 1960s, Pakistanis (post-1947), attempted to separate themselves from other religious communities of the region by identifying with those Persian cultural aspects that had reigned supreme in Muslim royal courts in India, especially during the Mughal era. However, after the 1971 East Pakistan debacle, the state with the help of conservative historians and ulema made a conscious effort to divorce Pakistan’s history from its Hindu and Persian past and enact a project to bond this history with a largely mythical and superficial link with Arabia. The project began to evolve at a much more rapid pace from the 1980s onwards. The streaming in of the ‘Petro Dollars’ from oil-rich monarchies and the Pakistanis’ increasing interaction with their Arab employers in these countries, turned Pakistan’s historical identity on its head. In other words, instead of investing intellectual resources to develop a nationalism that was grounded and rooted in the more historically accurate sociology and politics of the Muslims of the region, a reactive attempt was made to dislodge one form of ‘cultural imperialism’ and import by adopting another. For example, attempts were made to dislodge ‘Hindu and Western cultural influences’ in the Pakistani society by adopting Arabic cultural hegemony that came as a pre-requisite and condition with the Arabian Petro Dollar. The point is, instead of assimilating the finer points of the diverse religious and ethnic cultures that our history is made of and synthesise them to form a more convincing and grounded nationalism and cultural identity, we have decided to reject our diverse and pluralistic past and instead adopt cultural dimensions of a people who, ironically, still consider non-Arabs like Pakistanis as second-class Muslims.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Afghanistan hopes an agreement with Iran to use one of its ports will help boost exports to Europe and India and reduce its dependence on neighbouring Pakistan's ports for trade. Iran will allow land-locked Afghanistan to use the port to export goods like fruit and carpets to India and other countries, according to the spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Commerce and Industries. "We want to export to central Asia and Europe, India wants to use the port to send goods to Afghanistan," Wahidullah Ghazikhel told Reuters. Afghanistan currently relies on the port of Karachi in Pakistan for the bulk of its sea exports.But that leaves traders vulnerable to political disputes between the United States and Pakistan, which has closed its border with Afghanistan at least twice over recent years, cutting US military supplies to Afghanistan, as well as routine trade. "If the Pakistani government's relationship with the United States goes bad, this impacts our traders," Ghazikhel said. In the most recent disruption on the Afghan-Pakistani border, private transport companies were banned from moving Afghan goods to Karachi, delaying containers for about three months. Not only did the contents, including milk and eggs, spoil, but companies were also charged a total of $10 million for renting storage space for their delayed containers, he said. "We are very interested in exporting to European countries and working on other ways (that avoid Pakistan's port)," the spokesman said. Millions of dollars have been invested in companies that aim to export "premium" fruit such as pomegranate, prized by the health-conscious in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Afghanistan also exports many other types of fresh and dried fruit, saffron and carpets. But although it sees agriculture as a driving force in its economy, Afghanistan continues to rely on imports for most of its food.
According to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Sales Tax and Federal Excise Duty collection has fallen sharply in the first 26 days of current financial year. Some kind of slowdown in economic activity is normal in Ramazan but certainly not to the extent the revenue collection figures indicate. Sales tax being the biggest contributor to the revenue stream has fallen by 32.61 percent. In July 2012, it was Rs 53.609 billion; now it's Rs 36.126 billion. Even if one was to add another Rs10 billion, on account of extension of sales tax filing date from July 15 to July 29, it is still short by a huge number. A further segregation shows that sales tax collection on the import stage did not exhibit such a sharp decline: Rs 28.701 billion (July 2012) versus Rs 28.055 billion (July 2013). It is on domestic supplies that one sees the real reason for such a sharp decline: Rs 8.071 billion compared to Rs 24.907 billion. A 67.59 percent decrease despite an increase in the rate from 16 to 17 percent. Sales tax in GST mode is more or less in VAT mode even though FBR is unable to extend it to the retail stage. But on most items FBR collects sales tax from industry at the factory stage by applying the tax on the retail price. Therefore, the devil which needs to be checked is the adjustment of sales tax paid at the import stage. No one in his right mind would not seek a 17 percent adjustment of sales tax paid at the import stage as input tax. A cursory glance of sales tax data paid at imports vis-à-vis adjustment taken at the domestic stage shows that adjustment taken in sales tax paid on imported raw material exceeds the sales tax paid at the factory gate. How is this possible? Was there no value addition when an intermediary product is converted into a saleable item. Therefore, fraud on the exchequer is committed at import adjustment stage. A detailed sectoral analysis will also clearly explain this menace. There are two ways to counter this fraud. Either lower the sales tax rate at import stage and disallow adjustment or else link the system of sales tax whereby an audit of balance sheet should show value of letter of credit opened, tax paid at the import stage with value of sales. Linkage of WEBoC with CREST is needed if sales tax is to be collected in GST mode. It should be apparent that domestic sales tax collection has shown a downward trend since May this year in comparison to higher collection in the January to March quarter. So, FBR appeared to on the right track but now has lost its way. If five percent depreciation of the rupee and one percent hike in rate is to be discounted, then the actual sales tax collection at import is also in the negative. Budget is a sub-set of an economic strategy. Raising rates on a small base instead of broadening the base is wrong. We are now told that there is no institutional arrangement between FBR and Nadra to share the data. This is indeed shocking. It reverses the earlier strategy to go after consumption using a regression model. The problems that need to be surmounted are immense. Having a political heavyweight like Ishaq Dar as Finance Minister is a plus. The confidence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Dar can only accrue added benefits provided he is allowed to concentrate on economy and is not involved in matters generated by political heat. For example, Dar had to abruptly leave the meeting with exchange companies at SBP on Friday as he had to rush to MQM's 90 headquarter. Dar the chartered accountant can indeed be very useful in improving the tax-to-GDP ratio, although he has been out of the loop for quite some time. Dar's grip on the economy needs to be strengthened. He needs to be more open with economic agents and be in a listening mode before taking decisions to avoid backtracking later. Processed milk was placed in the exempt mode in Finance Bill 2013. It was zero-rated in the Finance Act. Now what will happen during the intervening period between the bill and the act. Similarly, items which are retailed were first put in and later withdrawn from the 3rd schedule. Businesses are caught in the conflicting demands of revenue collection authorities of Sindh and Punjab. Businesses should not feel harassed. A critical mass of taxpayers first needs to be created and the value of tax viewed over a life time not just for today. Processes need to be strengthened to capture transactions into a data base. The data of revenue for the first 26 days of the financial year indicates that revenue collection will not only be far short of the target given in the budget but may be lower than the last fiscal year's. The IMF Board of Directors is to meet on September 4. Pakistan has committed to taking prior actions before the Board meets. That needs to be Dar's top priority. The PM should himself tackle the political negotiations and leave Dar exclusively available for matters and issues that strictly fall within his ministerial jurisdiction because tough business of economy becomes tougher in tough economic times.
Residents of the provincial metropolis are concerned due to the sharp increase in the attacks in the suburban and urban areas. Though there has been no suicide bombing or major militant attack in the recent past, targetted attacks are happening almost on a daily basis in urban and rural parts of the city. It has increased the sense of insecurity among the general public. There have been a series of target killings of known people from the Shia sect followed by another wave of attacks on law-enforcers within the urban limits of the city. A senior superintendent of police (SSP), Gul Wali, was among the many police and intelligence officers who have come under attack in the city during the last several weeks. Gul Wali sustained bullet injuries in the attack, but his gunman and driver were killed. The attackers managed to escape as it happens in most such incidents. Deputy Superintendent of Police Amanullah, Station House Officer Mira Jan, Sub-Inspector Gharibullah, around eight constables and two former assistant directors of the Intelligence Bureau Arif Khan and Mujahid Khan are among those killed in the targetted attacks during the last five weeks. Except for the killing of Mira Jan, the rest of the attacks happened in the old part of the city or its surroundings. Not only the security officials, but a number of well-off traders, politicians and others have been attacked within the city limits during the last several weeks. Two houses were bombed in the limits of Yakatoot Police Station and one each in Hashtnagri, Faqirabad, Gulbahar and Pishtakhara police stations during the last few weeks. Also, a bomb targetted a police van in the jurisdiction of the Yakatoot Police Station on Sunday. The owners of most of these houses have been receiving calls for paying extortion which they either failed or refused to pay. Many others who received calls to pay the extortion money have already paid the amount to avoid harm while many have shifted from the city. The situation in the limits of Matani, Badaber and Sarband police stations has gone from bad to worse since October last year. Security posts and officials have come under frequent attacks in the limits of the Matani and Badaber police stations during the last almost nine months. Several senior and junior officials as well as civilians were killed in these attacks. SP Rural Khurshid Khan, the known bomb disposal expert Hukam Khan and another bomb disposal official were among those killed in the area since October 2012. District Police Officer of Kohat Dilawar Bangash sustained serious injuries in the attack on his life in in the area in which six policemen were killed. The convoys of army and FC have also come under attack on several occasions in these lawless areas during the last few months. There are reports that militants have not only strengthened their networks in Matani and Badaber, but are also actively operating in parts of Peshawar city. Capital City Police Officer Liaqat Ali, however, told reporters during a recent media briefing that the situation was not that bad. “We have worked out many cases and work is going on several others. Gone are the days when one group would remain active as we will soon break it,” said Liaqat Ali while referring to increase in attacks on security officials. He added that life in the city was normal.
World Hepatitis Day is observed every year on 28th July to make awareness among the people about the the disease of hepatitis but the day was silently observed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. About one million people die each year from the chronic disease of hepatitis while globally in every 12 people one was infected from hepatitis B and C with around 240 million people suffereing from hepatitis B while 150 million people from hepatitis C. According to the data received by The Frontier Post that 47,000 patients were registered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the disease was spreading rapidly and the patient ratio was increasing day by day in hospitals of the province. The data shows that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 11,000 patients of hepatitis B were treated in the province while 21,000 patients were under treatment as well as 27,000 patient of hepatitis C were treated while 12,000 patients of hepatitis C treatment were in progress. According to the data in Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar 2,000 patients of hepatitis were under treatment while in City hospital 5000 patients of hepatitis were under treatment, in Khyber Teaching Hospital 700 patient of hepatitis were under treatment while in Hayatabad Medical Complex 250 patients of hepatitis C patients were under treatment. The data further said that that in Nowshera,600 patient, Mardan 800 patients, Swat 700, Bannu 300, Dir lower150, Chitral, 10, Kohat,300, Swabi 240, Batagram 170 and in Abbotabad 370 patients of hepatitis C were under treatment in the province. The Hepatitis Control Program of Health department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was badly affected due to the scandals over the low quality of interferon injection distributed to the hospitals of the province as the previous DG health and many others officials of the health department were arrested in the scandal for playing with the life of innocent people. The health experts were of the opinion that the water of Peshawar were contaminated as most of the people were infected of hepatitis B and C due to the low quality of drinking water while most areas of Peshawar where the sewerage system and water pipes were gone through canals which was the main factor of hepatitis in the area. The previous government of Awami National Party claim that they would change the rusted pipes of Peshawar but still most of the areas was rusted water pipes which were the main cause of hepatitis B and C. It is the need of the hour that the current government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf takes step forward and changes all the rusted pipes of Peshawar as it was the main cause of hepatitis B and C and save the life of people.
The Baloch HalAn alleged suicide bomber was killed by residents of Hazara Town in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan on Saturday. Capital City Police Officer Quetta, Mir Zubair Mehmood told Dawn.com that a suspected suicide bomber traveling on foot was killed by residents of Hazara Town shortly before Iftar. He said residents tried to stop the suspected bomber from approaching a mosque they were guarding but he refused to do so. “Residents then fired and killed him on the spot,” he said. Mehmood said a suicide jacket and a hand grenade were recovered from his possession. “A major terrorist attack was averted,” he claimed. Another police official, DIG Operations Fayyaz Sumbal, said the bomber, who had strapped explosives around his body, could not explode himself because of timely action by the volunteers. “One of the volunteers hit the bomber’s head with a brick while another opened fire on him, killing him on the spot,” Sumbul told a foreign news agency. He confirmed that the suicide jacket recovered from the attacker had been safely defused. The body of the bomber was shifted to Combined Military Hospital for postmortem, he said. A large number police and paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) personnel reached the spot and started investigation into the incident. Quetta has witnessed a recent surge in incidents of violence, with sectarian militants repeatedly targeting the Hazara Shia community in several bombings and gun-attacks. On Monday, two youths belonging to the minority community were gunned down in an apparent targeted killing on Shahrah-i-Iqbal. On July 15, four men belonging to the community were killed when gunmen sprayed bullets on their vehicle on Masjid road area. On June 30, a deadly suicide bombing at an Imambargah killed 30 members of the minority community. The banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi had claimed responsibility for the blast, one of a series of bombings this year by the extremist sectarian outfit targeting the Hazaras. The city also saw the country’s two bloodiest attacks so far this year. A giant bomb planted in a water tanker being towed by a tractor killed 90 Shia Hazaras in February, while another suicide bombing at a snooker club in January killed 92 others. Both of those bombings were also claimed by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.
The Express TribuneAnother infant in Bara, 12-month-old Maryam, will be crippled for life. As Khyber Agency remains cut off for vaccination teams, the area recorded its ninth polio case. The National Institute of Health Islamabad confirmed the new case on Sunday. Like all other cases that have surfaced from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) so far, the infected child had not received any dose of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). Maryam is a resident of Nawia Qamar Surband, Fort Slop area, Bara tehsil. Due to security problems, the agency has been inaccessible to polio teams since September 2009. In the past seven months, 13 polio cases have been reported from Fata, while five cases have been reported from K-P. Of the 22 cases so far in 2013, 17 have been of children who had not been vaccinated. The last case reported from the same area was on June 11 where the crippling virus affected one-year- old Ayesha, a resident of Nala Kajori in Bara. Despite repeated efforts, the official from the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in Fata did not respond to phone calls to discuss the matter. Last week, however, the EPI had confirmed the lack of accessibility to the area. Around 85% of the cases in the country are said to be because of inaccessibility to volatile areas, bans by Taliban warlords in North and South Waziristan and refusals cases from parents.