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Pakistan protests cross-border firing, Indian envoy summoned

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Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday summoned Indian envoy J.P. Singh here to lodge a protest against the recent “un-provoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces on the Line of Control.

New Delhi had on Sunday called Islamabad’s envoy to convey anger over the recent border violations with high calibre weapons by Pakistani troops.

The Pakistani foreign ministry claimed that three people were killed and 15 civilians were also injured as a result of the latest Indian fire along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region.

“The Indian Deputy High Commissioner was called by the Dir. Gen. (South Asia & SAARC) on Monday. A protest was lodged against un-provoked ceasefire violations on August 15 to 16, by Indian troops at the Line of Control in Kotli Sector, which resulted in killing of three civilians,” the foreign ministry said.

“The Deputy High Commissioner was conveyed that the Indian side must investigate the incident, share the findings of the investigations with Pakistan, instruct its troops to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, and maintain peace on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement said.

On its part, India on Sunday summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi to lodge a strong protest and convey anger over un-provoked firing.

Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) in the ministry, “lodged a protest, and conveyed our (India’s) anger, at the unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8, particularly with regard to the incidents of yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday) in Poonch that saw the systematic targeting of our civilian population and the use of high calibre weapons including artillery”, said an Indian external affairs ministry statement.

“The issue of continued unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8 had been raised on several occasions at the DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) level.

“Assurances were also received from the Pakistan military authorities that the firings would stop and their troops would be instructed accordingly. But in fact, the firings have continued up until today,” it said.

The Pakistani statement said Islamabad noted with regret and deep concern that during the last two months, so far, there have been 70 ceasefire violations from the Indian side of the LoC and the Working Boundary.

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Pakistan and India declared ceasefire in 2003 and guns had been relatively silent along the LoC. However, both sides occasionally exchange fire. An escalation has been seen in recent weeks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, met in Russian city of Ufa last month and agreed on a meeting of the national security advisors which is set for August 22.

(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)