ISLAMABAD, April 12 (UPI) -- Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militants have announced "conditional support" for an anti-polio effort.
The TTP is banned as a terrorist organization in Pakistan.
The TTP made its support of the anti-polio vaccination nationwide inoculation program conditional on a guarantee that the field programs are not used by the United States as a cover for espionage.
TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told journalists via a secure telephone link, "If they can convince us that these polio drops are Islamic and the spy agencies are not using it to kill our fighters, we would have no opposition to any vaccination drive which is in the public interest," Dawn newspaper reported on Friday.
While Pakistan remains one of only three countries in the world where the polio virus is still endemic, TTP militants in the country's restive northwest shut down polio vaccinations campaigns after media reports surfaced that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency had used a polio vaccination campaign in Abbottabad run by Dr. Tariq Afridi to target and kill former al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden.