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Minister’s killing is not the last death: Pakistani daily

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Islamabad, Aug 17 (IANS) Punjab home minister Colonel (retired) Shuja Khanzada’s being killed in a suicide attack “will not be the last death that arises from the ongoing battle against militancy”, a Pakistani daily warned on Monday.
Pakistan-Army3An editorial “Line of fire” in the News International said that the death of Khanzada in a suicide bombing on Sunday at his political office in his native village of Shadi Khan in Attock District “will not be the last death that arises from the ongoing battle against militancy”.

“But this attack on the head of security matters in Punjab should not be taken lightly.”

Khanzada had earlier spoken of how terrorists had infiltrated Attock and other parts of Punjab and he “had also talked about specific threats against himself”.

The daily said that the audacious attack on the “sitting provincial minister who had taken a strong line against terrorism was obviously designed to send out a very specific message”.

It noted that the point “the militants wanted to push through has been made. They will strike back when they are targeted, and they will strike back where it hurts most”.

The editorial wondered whether Khanzada have been provided more security? Should his concerns have been taken more seriously?

“We will need to be prepared for more possible attacks as this effort continues,” it said, adding that there is every reason to believe that, driven to desperation, the militants will strike again.

“Counter-efforts require good intelligence and good security. It should by now be possible for the many agencies working in our country to penetrate the most dangerous militant groups working within it. If this has not happened, we should be asking why. We must also review how we protect our key leaders,” the daily said.

(IANS)

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Pakistani Doctors Blame Quacks for Alarming Rise in HIV Cases: Report

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN

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HIV
Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has blamed quack doctors practicing without training and professional certification for an alarming rise in the number of HIV positive patients in the country, the media reported on Wednesday.

The doctors associated with the PMA said that the quacks, especially fake dentists, spread the virus by using instruments that were not sterilized, adding that despite free-of-cost availability of life-saving antiretroviral drugs at government hospitals, mortality ratio among patients carrying the virus was also increasing.

An alarming surge in HIV cases has been witnessed in five districts of Pakistan’s Punjab province, with 70 to 90 cases being reported monthly at the main government health facility in Faisalabad city, Dawn News reported.

Earlier this month, an international team of experts from the World Health Organization kicked off an investigation into the sudden HIV outbreak in Pakistan’s Sindh province after over 700 people were diagnosed with the virus in a matter of weeks, most of them were children.

HIV
School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016. (VOA)

Following the outbreak, authorities launched a crackdown on unqualified doctors as well as illegal blood banks and laboratories said to be involved in spreading the disease. At least 17 quack doctors were arrested and more than 70 clinics in Larkana district were shut down, according to Xinhua news agency.

According to the PMA, over 600,000 quacks are currently practicing in the country with more than 80,000 based in Punjab province alone.

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The association demanded the government to make all-out efforts to stop the menace of quackery in the country.

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN. (IANS)