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Pakistan Decides To Shelve Major CPEC Power Project

A leading business tycoon had proposed the project and was expected to be one of its key sponsors

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Imran Khan, taliban
Pakistan Decides To Shelve Major CPEC Power Project. VOA

The Pakistan government has decided to shelve a major power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that was pushed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s regime, the media reported on Monday.

Background discussions with government officials suggest that Islamabad has officially conveyed to Beijing that it was no more interested in the 1,320MW Rahim Yar Khan power project in view of sufficient generation capacity already lined up for the next few years, Dawn news reported.

It has requested China to formally delete the project from the CPEC list.

During the 8th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting held last month, a Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar “proposed to remove the Rahim Yar Khan imported fuel power plant (1,320MW) from the CPEC list, in order to provide structure optimisation space for the subsequent power market of Pakistan”, a government official said.

Imran Khan, Sikh
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is seen during talks in Beijing, China. VOA

The project was originally pushed as an imported coal-based plant by Quaid-i-Azam Thermal Company of the Punjab government led by former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

A leading business tycoon had proposed the project and was expected to be one of its key sponsors.

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The official said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has also decided to remove almost 400 “politically motivated” Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects as part of a comprehensive mid-year review later this month.

“We are reviewing all such schemes in detail; we do not want to waste public funds where lien has been created or sufficient progress achieved, but we definitely don’t like to throw good money after bad,” a cabinet member told Dawn. (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)