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Pakistan declines India’s offer of joint investigation


Islamabad: Pakistan declined India’s proposal to jointly investigate Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Masood Azhar and other suspects linked with Pathankot airbase attack, official sources said.

Pakistan authorities arrested Masood Azhar after the terrorist attack at Pathankot airbase on Jan 2. A number of suspects are arrested and authorities closed down several JeM-run madarsas (seminaries) in different cities, The Nation reported on Monday.

Azhar, was released by India in 1999 in exchange for 155 passengers of the Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and was quizzed by the investigators. The JeM chief’s brother Mufti Abdul Rehman Rauf was also detained, officials said on Saturday.

Pakistan is supposed to send a special investigating team to Pathankot in consultation with the Indian government for further investigations.

On January 2, some militants suspected from neighboring country attacked the Pathankot airbase, heavily armed. While neutralising the attack, seven security personnel lost their lives.

Due to the incident, Indian and Pakistani governments agreed to postpone scheduled diplomatic talks till the end of this month.

On Monday, French President Francois Hollande said India was “fully justified” in asking Pakistan for justice against the perpetrators of Pathankot attack.

Hollande said India and France were “united in their determination to act together against terrorism”.

India demanded, to let investigation against Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and his brother. But Pakistan refused.

Pakistan assured India that Islamabad is investigating the case and will take action if anyone is found guilty, Official said.

“India wants us to hand over Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed and as we have declined a number of times, they want us to at least give access to the investigators to interrogate them. We have told them it was not possible,” he added.

Another official said investigators were interrogating the suspects arrested in the Pathankot case.

He said that Indian authorities are in contact with and is being updated timely. Pakistan has already submitted the initial report to India regarding Pathankot attack.

The phone numbers used by attackers were not registered therefore it is not possible to trace the numbers.

They have been working on the leads given by India to find out if Pakistan’s soil was used in the plot, he said.

Analyst Brigadier (retd) Agha Hussain Ahmed said the basic motive of terrorists behind this attack was to derail the recently initiated peace process between Pakistan and India.

“Pakistan has assured the Indian government of its full support in this regard and demanded India to hand over the proofs and evidence against any Pakistani involvement to take further action. Investigation of our citizens must be held in Pakistan,” he added.

Defence analyst Mohammed Khan said the two countries needed to see who was behind the attack on Pathankot airbase in India.

“Pakistan warmly welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his arrival to Lahore. The international community appreciated the meeting between the two premiers and stressed to resolve all matters by using the option of dialogue. After the Pathankot incident, Indian media said the military establishment of Pakistan is against the talks between India and Pakistan,” he said.

Mohammed Khan said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Raheel Sharif both are under pressure and they will fully cooperate with India in eliminating and countering terrorism.

He said that they cannot hand over its citizens to India or any other country for investigations.(IANS)

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

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According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS