polio-picKhyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai, on Tuesday, called some political figures responsible for the fake news making rounds against the provincial anti-polio campaign.He was speaking at a news conference in Peshawar, where he noted that he did not wish to give more details about the report in this regard. However, he asserted that an investigation was underway while those spreading panic in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were being dealt with.Minister Yousafzai inquired, “Administrating polio drop is volunteer work. Do you want to keep your children in danger zone?” According to the provincial information minister, “There are 25,000 children who should get polio drops but not a single child was there to get the drops yesterday.”“The same polio drops were administered to the children everywhere but there have been no complaints,” he maintained. FIRs lodged against 12 individuals thought to be behind the Peshawar polio dramaThe minister vowed, “A planned conspiracy is being hatched to create chaos. But we have to eradicate polio the way we have eradicated terrorism from the province.”He was determined when he pledged, “We have to eradicate polio from the country and not make the campaign a political matter.” Yousafzai also lauded the role played by media in this regard; highlighting the importance of the issue.Meanwhile, the police authorities, on Tuesday, arrested the key accused in defaming the anti-polio drive in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The conspiracy was exposed in the late hours of Monday when a video of a man named Nazar Mohammad surfaced on the social media. Around 40 children from a school in Mashokhel village were brought to a hospital with complaints of diarrhoea, nausea and headache.The video saw him employing children, who were in madrassa uniform, to find faults with polio vaccinations. After administering them polio drops, he was seen asking children to pretend to faint. He could be heard asking the children to lie down on the stretcher, following which all children, who were standing on their feet moments earlier, started dropping on hospital beds.A group of conspirators were said to fake the illness and hospitalisation of children in Mashokhel village to spread panic and misinformation about the polio campaign.When a child raised his head in the video, Mohammad told him to keep his head down and pretend. The children seemed to be totally fine in the video.In another video, the same man was seen spreading lies regarding the fake and baseless news of deaths of children due to the anti-polio vaccination.As per details, police took immediate action against the perpetrator and nabbed him on Tuesday.Earlier, the spokesman of polio eradication in Pakistan, Babar Atta, said in a tweet that police had lodged an “FIR against 12 individuals who were behind the Peshawar Polio Drama.”‘Do you want to keep your children in a danger zone?’ Yousafzai to parents“Raids [are] being conducted to get all of them arrested. I am in touch with Peshawar Police Chief & following up on all updates. InshaAllah not a single one will be spared,” he maintained.Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI) Coordinator Kamran Afridi, noted, “There can be no reaction to the anti-polio vaccine. The vaccine was not expired and the condition of all the children is normal.”He further added, “Doctors also said the children did not get a reaction from the vaccine. There are parents in Mashokhel who do not want to administer the drops to their children and they could have fallen sick owing to other reasons.”Police was said to have registered an FIR against a total of 12 suspects accused of vandalising property and sabotaging the anti-polio campaign.Earlier on Monday, panic struck all quarters after reports surfaced of several children being rushed to nearby health facilities after being administered anti-polio vaccination. Both the school administration and the affected parents claimed that the children had fallen sick because of the polio vaccination. As the news of the children’s supposed illness spread like wildfire in Peshawar and nearby areas, more panicked parents started rushing their children to hospitals. In the midst of the campaign, Lady Reading Hospital, Khyber Teaching Hospital and the Hayatabad Medical Complex were soon flooded with anxious parents bringing in their children.It was reported that at least 700 schoolchildren fell sick in the wake of the polio vaccination in Peshawar.However, health officials have rejected their claims.The agitation began when family members and locals held protests against the incident. Despite assurances from the authorities that the anti-polio vaccine was completely safe, enraged residents broke down the main gate and set the Mashokhel Hospital in Peshawar on fire.On Monday, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had launched a three-day anti-polio campaign, asking thousands of polio workers to visit schools and madrassas to administer the oral vaccination to children under five years of age.