A woman anti-polio worker has been shot dead in the Daudzar area of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), allegedly by her former fiancé.
Iqra Hayat was gunned down on her way home after working on the ongoing polio vaccination drive in Peshawar. Iqra had administered polio drops to children in the neighbourhood where was shot by an armed man, according to the News. She died at Lady Reading Hospital, where she was taken following the incident.
Police reported that the woman’s father had named Saif Ullah of Nowshera, KP as a possible suspect. Iqra was engaged to the man, but broke off the engagement, which had angered the suspect. Police said the suspect had killed Iqra out of rage.
It was not immediately clear to police if the attack was meant for the woman, or targeted polio workers more broadly. Polio workers routinely travel with police escorts, due to violent assaults against them.
Last December, a police officer was killed when gunmen opened fire on a group of polio workers he had been escorting in Karak, KP. The incident is not uncommon in the province, where vaccine hesitancy and misinformation engender scepticism and worse against the health workers.
Pakistan is one of the two remaining countries which has yet to eradicate polio. During a recent visit to Islamabad, Microsoft-founder Bill Gates, who has made eradicating polio his personal cause, commended Pakistan on its vaccination efforts, and resolved to assist the country further.