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Pakistan: FO clears confusion over Pak-US info sharing, Afridi arrest | The News International.

[November 23, 2018]

Waseem Abbasi writes:

ISLAMABAD: There is an apparent confusion about Pakistan’s stance on detained US-spy Shakil Afridi after the fresh statement of Foreign Office (FO) on the country’s intelligence cooperation with the United States leading to the eventual killing of Osma Bin Laden in May 2011.

However, the FO is clear that the issue of Pakistan’s initial intelligence sharing is different from the country’s position on Shakil Afridi who spied for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) breaking Pakistani law. “Our position is clear. These are two different matters,” the FO Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal told The News on Thursday.

When asked about confusion, he said the statement should be read carefully as it only says that “it was Pakistan’s intelligence cooperation that provided the initial evidence to trace the whereabouts of OBL.” On the other hand, the spokesman said, Shakil Afridi was caught red-handed while spying in the guise of administering polio drops for the NGO ‘Save the Children’.

He added that Afridi broke Pakistan’s law. Dr Faisal said Pakistan has 40-year history of intelligence with the US. Former President Pervez Musharraf had even shared Pakistan’s Shamsi airbase with the US forces during their invasion of Afghanistan soon after the 9/11 attacks. In a statement that shocked many, the FO admitted on Tuesday that Pakistan had played a role in helping the US locate and kill bin Laden. The statement said Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua summoned US Chargé d’Affaires Paul Jones to the Foreign Office and registered a strong protest on “unwarranted and unsubstantiated” allegations made against Pakistan by President Trump.

However the spokesman clarified that the Tuesday’s statement by FO referred to initial intelligence sharing by Pakistan. This is not the first time Pakistan claimed credit for OBL operation. Asif Ali Zardari, the then President of Pakistan, had also written an article in the US newspaper The Washington Post soon after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. In his article, the former President had also claimed that Pakistan’s cooperation played important role in elimination of OBL. “Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilized world. And we in Pakistan take some satisfaction that our early assistance in identifying an al-Qaeda courier ultimately led to this day,” wrote Zardari.

While announcing OBL’s killing, President Barack Obama had also noted: “Our (US) counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.”

However, immediately after the US Navy SEAL raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan had complained that the United States did not share details of the operation with the civil and military leadership of the country. Dr Afridi was arrested immediately after the US operation on the charges of treason as it was revealed that he had been running a fake vaccine programme which helped the CIA confirm the al-Qaeda leader’s presence in the city of Abbottabad, paving the way for the US Navy SEAL raid.

The continued imprisonment of Dr Shakil Afridi has long been a source of tension between Pakistan and the US.

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Pediatric HIV Infection and Decreased Prevalence of OPV Point Mutations Linked to Vaccine-associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis | Clinical Infectious Diseases.

[Open Access] [Published: 30 October 2018]



Mutations associated with prolonged replication of the attenuated polioviruses found in oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) can lead to vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) and cause paralysis indistinguishable from that caused by wild poliovirus. In response, the World Health Organization has initiated the transition to exclusive use of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV), with OPV administration in cases of outbreak. However, it is currently unclear how IPV-only vaccination, well known to provide humoral but not mucosal immunity, will impact the development of paralysis causing OPV variants. Children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been documented to show decreased mucosal immunity following OPV vaccination. Thus, HIV-infected children vaccinated with OPV may serve as proxy for children with IPV-only vaccination.


We conducted a prospective study of Zimbabwean infants receiving OPV as part of their routine vaccination schedule. Stool samples collected from OPV-vaccinated children serially until age 24 months were tested for OPV serotypes using a real-time polymerase chain reaction protocol that quantifies the amount of mutant OPV variants found in each sample.


Out of 2130 stool samples collected from 402 infants 365 stool samples were OPV positive: 313 from 212 HIV-noninfected (HIV−) infants and 52 from 34 HIV-infected (HIV+) infants. HIV− infants showed significantly higher proportions of OPV mutants when compared to HIV+ infants.


HIV infection is associated with a reduced proportion of OPV vaccine associated paralytic polio mutants. These results suggest that OPV administered to individuals previously vaccinated only with IPV will show decreased propensity for OPV mutations.

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