In a first, Chinese herbal medicine for bronchitis to hit Pakistan's market

A representational photo of herbal capsules. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 15 December 2019

In a first, Chinese herbal medicine for bronchitis to hit Pakistan's market

  • The capsule cleared a clinical test in Pakistan and was declared suitable for local use
  • China and Pakistan agreed in November 2018 to enhance cooperation in the field of traditional medicine

KARACHI: For the first time, a Chinese herbal medicine, traditionally used to cure bronchitis, will be accessible to Pakistani users after it successfully passed a year-long clinical trial at a research center in Pakistan and was declared suitable and effective for the residents of the South Asian state, reported Beijing’s official press agency Xinhua on Sunday.
Presenting the findings of the trial, Raza Shah, general manager of the Bioequivalence Studies and Clinical Research at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) of the University of Karachi, said that Amoxicillin, an antibiotic widely used to cure bronchitis, was “losing its potency against bacteria due to resistance, so there was a need for alternate and Yinhuang Qingfei [the Chinese capsule] proved to be a good alternative."
Chronic bronchitis is a common disease related to chronic inflammation, which is caused by a variety of pathogenic factors, such as air pollution, smoking, and pathogen infection.
A total of 212 patients were treated during the trial period and the effectiveness against cough rate in case of Yinhuang Qingfei was 72.8 percent and that of antibiotic Amoxicillin-Clavulanate was 71.8 percent, the report said.
It may be recalled that Pakistan and China signed a joint statement in November 2018, agreeing to enhance cooperation in the field of traditional medicine. 

Alice Wells discusses Afghan peace process with Islamabad

Updated 21 January 2020

Alice Wells discusses Afghan peace process with Islamabad

  • Islamabad reaffirms commitment to the Afghan peace process, says FO
  • Wells is in Islamabad since Sunday on a four-day visit

ISLAMABAD: The chief US diplomat for South Asian affairs, Alice G. Wells, on Tuesday discussed the ongoing Afghan reconciliation process with Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood in Islamabad, ahead of an expected US-Taliban peace agreement.

The principal deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asian affairs at the US State Department has been in Pakistan since Sunday on a four-day visit to discuss a host of issues of bilateral interest, including the Afghan peace process.

US-Taliban talks have been ongoing in the Qatari capital, Doha, where they are moving toward a peace deal. 

Pakistan has been involved in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table with the US to restore peace in the region.

“The two sides (Pakistan and the US) ... discussed recent developments regarding the Afghan peace and reconciliation process,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement after the hours-long meeting between Wells and Mahmood.

During the meeting, the statement said Pakistan, has “reaffirmed its resolve to continue to support the peace process and pursue positive development of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.”

This is the second time in recent months the US and Taliban have appeared close to announcing a peace deal. 

In September, President Donald Trump abruptly called off the talks in response to a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed an American soldier.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on Monday in a Twitter post that a three-member team representing the Taliban – Mullah Baradar Akhund, Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanekzai and Amir Khan Muttaqqi – met with US special envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Gen. Scott Miller, the US and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

Experts have termed the recent negotiations between the US and Taliban decisive and are expecting them to reach an agreement by the end of this month.

“Taliban have already agreed on a violence reduction in Afghanistan that was one of the key demands of the US. So, it means both sides are close to a significant peace pact,” Rahimullah Yousafzai, an expert on Afghanistan and Taliban affairs, told Arab News.

He said that Pakistan has played a crucial role in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table by using its influence over the militants. “Alice Wells may discuss the pros and cons of the proposed peace agreement with Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership during her meetings,” he said.