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Twenty-three years after it was eradicated in the United States, polio still stalks Pakistan, one of three countries left in the world where the devastating disease remains endemic. Prevention should be easy – all it takes is two drops of the vaccine, administered three different times, for a child to become immune. For years, polio has hovered on the brink of extinction in Pakistan, thanks in part to a 25-year effort by UNICEF, WHO, the CDC and Rotary International that has established a system of nationwide vaccinations that take place every six weeks. In 1988 there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 different countries; today, that number is down to 176 cases in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Hopes that polio could be knocked out for good in Pakistan faltered this summer when a pair of militant commanders in the ungoverned tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan banned the program, saying no vaccination teams should come to the area until the drone campaign against militants came to a halt — essentially holding the nation’s children hostage. The militant ban has spread amongst Pakistan’s Pashtun population, reaching as far as Karachi, in the country’s south.

There were 48 cases of paralytic polio last year in Pakistan, down from 154 in 2011. And while the cases are concentrated in the Pashtun speaking populations of Khyber Pakhhtunwa Province and the tribal areas, many of them have direct links to Gadap Town, Karachi’s biggest slum. Home to more than 400,000 people, of which 60,000 are children under the age of five, the tightly packed warren of concrete-block low-rise apartment buildings and small family compounds has become something of a black hole for government services. There is only one basic health clinic to serve the entire population, no sanitation services, no water treatment and a high likelihood that waste water is mixed with drinking water. For polio, it is the perfect storm, combining limited access, bad hygiene, low education levels and severe malnutrition: the polio virus has recently been found in water samples collected from the fetid stream that runs through the slum, a popular playground for area children. One polio worker recounts watching young children play tea party there, sipping stream water from the lids of water bottles scavenged among the heaps of rotting refuse lining the banks.

Pashtun-speaking migrants from the tribal areas dominate the area, and militant networks have made inroads among the population. Local officials call Gadap town “mini Waziristan,” in reference to an area near the Afghan border that is home to both the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants. It’s not much of an exaggeration. In Gadap town, women, if they are seen at all, wear the trademark shuttlecock burqa of the Pashtun heartland. A recent survey conducted in Karachi by the World Health Organization noted that Pashtuns account for 75 percent of Pakistan’s polio cases even though they are only 15 percent of the population. Pakistan will never be free of polio, concluded the report, until a way is found to persuade poor Pashtuns to vaccinate their children. The Pakistani government is working with local communities on an education campaign, and making sure that every child on a public bus coming into or out of Karachi gets the drops. Still, some families have had to learn about the value of the vaccine the hard way.

Not so long ago, every child in Muhib Banda, a Pashtun village not far from the provincial capital of Peshawar, was vaccinated each time the polio teams came through. Local shopkeeper Saiful Islam says that he made sure his sons were first in line. But in late May, rumors swept through the town, as vicious and quick as a virus. “Some people were saying that the polio vaccine was made of pig urine, or monkey urine,” says Islam. “They said that it was a conspiracy to make Muslim children infertile. I believed them.” When the vaccinators came through a few days later, he refused to answer their knock. He refused again in July. And then his six month-old daughter Sulaim came down with a fever. When she recovered, she could no longer move her legs. It’s likely that she will never be able to walk. “Our ignorance made her paralyzed,” says Islam. He has pledged to join the fight against the disease, praying that Sulaim will be its last victim.

Diego Ibarra Sánchez is a Spanish documentary photography based in Pakistan.

Aryn Baker is the Middle-East bureau chief for TIME.

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Victoria Mitchell of VIC clears the water steeple during the Womens 3000 Metre Steeple Open during day two of the Australian Athletics Championships at Lakeside Stadium on April 14, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. North Korean people hold up plastic flowers during an unveiling ceremony of two statues of former leaders Kim Jong-Il and Kim Il-Sung [...]

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One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services. In this post, I've included images from several slums including Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the second largest slum in Africa (and the third largest in the world); New Building slum in central Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Pinheirinho slum - where residents recently resisted police efforts to forcibly evict them; and slum dwellers from Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, India. India has about 93 million slum dwellers and as much as 50% of New Delhi's population is thought to live in slums, 60% of Mumbai. -- Paula Nelson (55 photos total)
Cambodian lawmaker Mu Sochuo, from the opposition Sam Rainsy party, pleads with riot policemen to stop a forced eviction of villagers at a slum village in the centre of Phnom Penh, Jan. 4, 2012. Cambodian lawmakers from the opposition Sam Rainsy party visited the village after authorities forcefully evicted villagers from the Borei Keila community in the capital. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)

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McGruber writes "Following up on the earlier Slashdot story, the Christian Science Monitor now reports that GPS spoofing was used to get the RQ-170 Sentinel Drone to land in Iran. According to an Iranian engineer quoted in the article, 'By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain.' Apparently, once it loses its brain, the bird relies on GPS signals to get home. By spoofing GPS, Iranian engineers were able to get the drone to 'land on its own where we wanted it to, without having to crack the remote-control signals and communications.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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A Pakistani woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road holding an axe to cut wood, in Digri district near Hyderabad, Pakistan. The United Nations and Pakistani government appealed for $357 million in foreign donations to urgently help more than seven million people swamped by a second year of catastrophic floods.

One year from the country’s worst-ever floods that left more than 21 million people in need, Pakistan’s southern plains have been inundated again, with some parts of Sindh province swamped with more water than last summer.

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A Pakistani woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road holding an axe to cut wood, in Digri district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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This photograph taken from a Pakistani Army helicopter shows flood affected villagers seeking refuge on a dry patch in the flood-hit Sanghar district of Sindh province on September 19, 2011. The United Nations and Pakistani government appealed for $357 million in foreign donations to urgently help more than seven million people swamped by a second year of catastrophic floods. One year on from the country's worst-ever floods that left more than 21 million people in need, Pakistan's southern plains have been inundated again, with some parts of Sindh province swamped with more water than last summer. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Pakistani boy, right, reaches for his bowl after crossing a flooded field in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A Pakistani woman stands in floodwater as she removes belongings in her house following heavy monsoon rain in Hyderabad on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. AFP PHOTO / YOUSUF NAGORI #

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, a displaced Pakistani man gestures to Pakistani army officers as they deliver rice and sugar to flood victims, in Badin District, in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A Pakistani family member stands between patients suffering from the mosquito-borne disease, dengue fever, at a local hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities who are already under pressure to help hundreds of thousands of flood victims, struggling to contain dengue fever which has killed many people and around 4,400 cases have been reported, officials said. (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash) #

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Local residents wade through a flooded street following heavy monsoon rains in Quetta on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. AFP PHOTO / BANARAS KHAN #

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, displaced Pakistanis run through flood water to pickup bags of rice and sugar delivered by the Pakistani army, in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Pakistani Navy personnel distribute aid to flood-affected villagers in Jhudo district on September 16, 2011. The United Nations said that it was stepping up aid to Pakistan, where monsoon floods have killed 270 people, affected over 5.5 million others and destroyed 1.1 million homes. TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

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Pakistani flood affected peoples line up for relief supplies at a distribution point on the outskirts of Badin on September 18, 2011. In Pakistan's fertile south, a grim-faced soldier found himself in a standoff with 100 flood-stricken protesters demanding help for their communities marooned by the surging water. The UN and Islamabad on September jointly issued an emergency funding appeal for 357 million USD to shore up rescue and relief efforts. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

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A displaced Pakistani girl sleeps on a bed as she and her family take refuge on a roadside in Tando Allah Yar, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A displaced Pakistani child, his face covered with flies, lies on the ground as he and his family take refuge on a roadside in Tando Allah Yar, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Displaced Pakistani Orung Zeeb, 1, sleeps in a hammock attached to a bed his mother laying on, as they take refuge on a roadside after fleeing their homes in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Displaced Pakistani Shahinaz Afser, 8, stands inside her family's tent in a relief camp set by the Pakistani army in Kaloi, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A Pakistani woman displaced by floodwater, carries a young boy while crossing a flooded way, in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Pakistani flood affected villagers arrive at a safe place in flood-hit Badin district in Sindh province on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. Local officials say devastation in parts of the country's main breadbasket is worse than last year, when a fifth of the country was left under water by the country's worst ever floods that affected a total of 21 million people. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN #

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, Pakistani farmers look up while working in their partially flooded fields in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A displaced Pakistani youth, crosses a flooded field carrying tree branches, in Mirpur Khas in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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An aerial view shows the tents of people displaced by flooding in a relief camp in Kanri Village district Umarkot on September 24, 2011. A United Nations food agency launched an appeal for 18.9 million USD September 23 to help farmers in southern Pakistan hit by floods it said were even more disastrous than last year. AFP PHOTO/Rizwan TABASSUM #

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A displaced Pakistani man pushes a bed through flood water after fleeing his home in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A displaced Pakistani boy, center, looks on as he and others collect water from a tanker in Umerkot District in Pakistan's Sindh province, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Flood victims camped out near inundated fields and crowded hospitals on Monday as authorities and international aid groups struggled to respond to Pakistan's second major bout of flooding in just over a year. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A displaced Pakistani child looks on while being held by her mother as they and others take refuge in a college in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Pakistani authorities are unsure how many people are still stranded by floods that first hit Pakistan in August following unusually heavy monsoon rains and have affected at least 5.4 million people. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Displaced Pakistani Nelo Fotah, 10, sits inside his grocery stall, where he and others take refuge on a roadside after fleeing their homes in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Flood victims camped out near inundated fields and crowded hospitals on Monday as authorities and international aid groups struggled to respond to Pakistan's second major bout of flooding in just over a year. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A Pakistani flood effected child cries beside a makeshift tent on the high ground of flooded area of Jhudo on September 16, 2011. Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani cancelled a visit to the United States to address the UN General Assembly because of widespread new floods, his office said. Heavy rains in the fertile southern province of Sindh have caused flooding that has so far killed 289 people and forced 400,000 others to leave their homes, one year after the country suffered its worst-ever floods. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

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Displaced Pakistani Shanmaha Radow, 37, sits with her daughters, Reemo 4, left, and Zuma, 2, as they take refuge on a roadside in Tando Jam, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Frontline’s new documentary on Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, al-Qaida and the drone war is an amazing piece of journalism. It’s so good that we thought you’d want to chat with one of its reporters about it.

In “The Secret War,” Stephen Grey traveled through Afghanistan and Pakistan for a first-hand look at the double game the Pakistanis play in the war on terrorism. One of his interlocutors was a Taliban commander, sheltered in Pakistan, who boasts of the support the Pakistanis provide. If the Pakistani government decided to roll up the extremist networks, the commander tells Grey, they’d be shut down before dinnertime.

The report provides a certain context for how Osama bin Laden could have lived in a safehouse in the shadow of Islamabad for as long as six years. What’s more, a former top CIA terror hunter, Robert Grenier, expresses concern that the drone war his old agency wages is radicalizing a new generation of killers to menace the U.S. now that bin Laden’s gone.

With so many questions remaining about counterterrorism strategy post-bin Laden, we jumped at the chance to chat with Frontline’s Grey. But it’s no fun if we’re the only ones talking. So you see that Cover it Live box below? Type your Af/Pak questions in starting at 11 a.m. EST and we’ll field them. And make sure to watch the doc if you haven’t seen it — a short promo’s on display below.

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