Monday March 19, 2018
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Pakistan not ready to give MFN status to India


New Delhi: Pakistan Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Pakistan is in no mood to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. He further clarified that no such proposal is under consideration.

While, India had granted the MFN status to Pakistan way back in 1996, but they have not reciprocated.

He said that existence of the negative list means that MFN status has not been granted to India. 150 Indian items are being imported through border currently.

The minister added that Pakistan has to debate whether the security of the country and the trade can be kept separate.

Khan also said that Pakistan has raised their concerns with the World Trade Organisation about the security when it came to trade with India. Non-tariff barriers are though dealt on case to case basis.

He blamed the Modi government for no progress as he said that since NDA Government has come into power, there hasn’t been any bilateral talks with India regarding trade.

India and Pakistan both share a strenuous political relation but with a border of almost 3000 KMs between them, both countries are forced to depend on each other. Locals of both countries close to the border, have a very similar culture and trade always been there since ancient times.

India and Pakistan both seem to follow the same tactics of blaming each other for security reasons and still there is no solution for the terrorism in the sub-continent.

With India pushing for foreign investment to increase, MFN status from Pakistan will not be a bad thing at all.

However, Pakistan does not seem to give MFN status to India anywhere in near future and it is a diplomatic blow for India.

India’s trade with all of its neighbours has increased in recent times but because of political relations, trade with Pakistan faces too many hurdles. Governments sitting in capitals make decisions and impacts the lives of people living at the border and it increased the illegal nature of trade which turns into smuggling.

It is why India and Pakistan need to sort their issues so that people of both nations can enjoy a better and peaceful cross-border and economic relations.


(With inputs from agencies)

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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