Islamabad - Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the Pakistani government has told the international charity to close its last remaining facility in the violence-plagued tribal region along the Afghan border.

MSF on Thursday said that the Interior Ministry refused to issue it a “no-objection certificate," leaving it unable to provide medical services in the Bajaur Agency of the impoverished Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). It said the closure will bring to an end four years of MSF working in the agency.

The move comes less than two months after the Geneva-based charity, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, was told to close its facilities in Kurram Agency following 14 years of operation.

The aid group said it has 120 staff members, all Pakistani nationals, in Bajaur, which has a population of 757,000.

"Health care services are very limited in the area, and most of our patients cannot afford to pay even for basic medical care," said Azaad Alessandro Alocco, the group's representative in Pakistan.

"As the only major hospital providing free, quality health care in the area, the closure of MSF’s activities will leave a major gap and have serious negative implications for the health of people living in Bajaur," he added.

Reuters news agency reported that Pakistan's Interior Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Much of Fata has been subject to attacks by militant groups battling the army the past decade, devastating health care, education, and housing services.

On September 17, Pakistani officials said a roadside bomb blast killed a government administrator and six tribal police officers in Bajaur. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.


Staff Reporter from Peshawar adds: Advocate Anwar Khalil, a resident of Tehkal, sought action against a female teacher of Peshawar Model School for Boys, Warsak Road Peshawar, for slapping his son and causing damage to his ear drum.

While speaking to media persons at Peshawar press club on Thursday, Anwar said that his son was enrolled in the school and was known as one of the brilliant students. He said that his son had made a minor mistake whereupon his teacher started slapping his son, resulting into damage to his left ear drum.

He added that his son was kept for five hours without first aid and in the meanwhile, his left ear was continuously bleeding.

The aggrieved father admonished the unsympathetic attitude of the school administration and said that instead of apologising and taking action against the teacher, the school administration was bent on hiding the event. He said that he had lodged an FIR against the teacher in Machini Police Station but not to avail.

He also announced that he would go to the Peshawar High Court to get justice as, he said, corporal punishment was banned under the law.

He said that doctors had prescribed surgery for his son’s ear. He stressed the authorities to take note of the incident and take stern action against the school administration, adding that he had sought of the school administration to bear all the treatment costs of his son.