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No talks with India minus Kashmir: Pakistan

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Islamabad: Pakistan won’t hold any more talks with India without Jammu and Kashmir on the agenda, it was reported on Saturday.

“The civil and military leadership has ruled out any talks with India without Kashmir on the agenda,” The Nation reported, a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a high-level meeting.

The meeting also decided “to fully help Afghan government in checking the movement of militants across the border”, it said.

Ahead of the meeting, army chief General Raheel Sharif held a one-on-one meeting with Sharif.

Informed sources were quoted as saying that the two leaders were unanimous that no dialogue should be held with India unless Kashmir issue was part of the agenda.

A foreign ministry official said Pakistan’s civil and military leadership was not ready to hold talks without Kashmir being discussed.

“India wants to exclude Kashmir from the agenda to make Kashmir irrelevant. We can’t betray Kashmiris. No talks with India can be complete without Kashmir,” the official said.

The decision comes after India said it was ready to hold talks with Pakistan but only on the terms that were agreed between prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi in Ufa in Russia.

 

(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)