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Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Likely To Sign MoUs Worth More Than $10bn

He said that four Malaysian firms were also due this month and would invest in four sectors - halal meat, gemstone, information technology and hi-tech education

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

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are likely to sign memoranda of understanding (MoU) worth more than $10 billion this month, the media reported on Thursday.

The announcement was made at the second meeting on ease of doing business (EoDB) presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday.

Speaking to Dawn news after the meeting, Finance Minister Asad Umar said Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz would visit Pakistan next month and most of the MoUs were expected to be signed during his trip.

Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif said Saudi Arabia was interested in Pakistan’s four sectors – oil refinery, petrochemicals, renewable energy and mining.

“According to a survey, 65 per cent of the investments will take place in the country’s commercial hub Karachi and 35 per cent in Lahore,” he added.

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Imran Khan, wikimedia commons

The $10 billion investment will be in addition to the $6 billion bailout package given by Riyadh to Islamabad during Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2018.

Similarly, Pakistan will also sign MoUs with China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia over the next two months.

Sharif told Dawn that he had recently visited China and signed MoUs on industrial cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC).

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The BoI chief said the UAE was interested in agriculture, housing and other sectors.

He said that four Malaysian firms were also due this month and would invest in four sectors – halal meat, gemstone, information technology and hi-tech education. (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.

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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)