Government negotiators flew down to the North Waziristan
tribal region to hold the first-ever direct talks with the Pakistani Taliban
to end the deadly cycle of violence that has claimed over 40,000 lives.
The government’s team was accompanied by the nominated
negotiators from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The much-anticipated direct talks would be attended by
all four members of the government’s reconfigured negotiating committee, TTP
intermediaries and members of the Taliban ’Shura’.
The new committee consists of former ambassador Rustam
Shah Mohmand, Additional Chief Secretary ,FATA, Arbab Arif, Secretary Ports
and Shipping, Habibullah Khattak and Additional Secretary to Prime Minister,
Fawad Hasan Fawad.
The Taliban’s intermediaries are Maulana Samiul Haq —
head of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema Islam (Sami group),
Jamaat-e-Islami’s Ibrahim Khan, and JUI-S spokesperson Maulana Yousaf Shah.
The committee will also seek extension of the month-long
ceasefire announced by the TTP.
The talks struck an impasse last month after a faction of
the banned militant group killed 23 kidnapped Pakistani para-military
soldiers, resulting in multiple targeted airstrikes by the military against
militant hideouts in the tribal region of the northwest.
Medical diagnostics and imaging equipment company GE
Healthcare,said it was jointly investing Rs.720 crore with U.S.-based Cancer
Treatment Services International (CTSI) to set up a chain of 25 cancer
detection and treatment centres across the country.
GE Healthcare would put a minor portion into the
$120-million programme planned over the next five years.
With the new tie-up format, the diagnostics-focussed
company had made its closest approach towards treating a disease anywhere in
GE was also developing low-cost diagnostic technologies
‘in India and for India’ for various diseases, 100 of them targeting cancer
alone. It recently launched a low-cost version of PET-CT that is widely used
to find cancerous tumours.
GE would provide equipment while CTSI, which set up the
250-bed American Oncology Institute in Hyderabad in 2012, would take care of
treatment, doctors, medical personnel and related services.