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EghtesadOnline: Pakistan’s Minister for Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar says Pakistan is interested to promote its collaboration with Iran in health sector and the country is ready to import pharmaceutical products from Iran.

Talking to reporters after a meeting with Iranian Minister of Health Seyed Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi, Afzal Tarar said that a large delegation from Pakistan led by her would be visiting Iran at the end of this month with an objective to enhance ties with Iran in health sector. 

Responding to a question by IRNA, she said to cope with the problem of smuggling of Iranian medicines to Pakistan we have to go with multi-sectoral approach and we have to involve all the stakeholders and sort out this matter. 

Expressing her views, the minister said that Iran and Pakistan have so many things in common; 'Iran is our brother'. 

“The efforts by Iran to uproot polio and family planning are commendable,' Afzal Tarar noted. 

She added that Pakistan and Iran in many fields like public health sector, pharmaceuticals industry, medical education, can have collaboration.

“When in 2016 President Hassan Rouhani visited Pakistan we signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and in today’s meeting we discussed how to implement the features of the MoU,” she said.

Afzal Tarar said that the both sides also discussed the cross border exchange of diseases, adding, 'We can learn from each others’ experiences in many areas.' 

She expressed the hope that relationship between Iran and Pakistan would further improve, especially in the health sector. 

Afzal Tarar said the Iranian side has shown interest in exporting pharmaceutical products, so keeping in view the Iranian desire 'we would ask our private sector to come forward in this regard'. 

“If those medicines which are used in Pakistan are available in Iran at cheaper rates then we are ready to import them. But the government of Pakistan does not import anything; it is the private sector. We would ask our drug regulatory authority and medicine companies to visit Iran for the purpose,” added the minister.

She said that 'today we focused on the implementation of the things which we had signed'. 

“We have G5 forum with WHO in which Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and WHO are the members so now we have to take some concrete steps to enhance cooperation among the countries in health sector,” Afzal Tarar said.

Pakistani minister said that the end of this month a very large delegation led by her would be visiting Iran to discuss all things regarding health sector in detail. 

Seyed Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi is in Pakistan to take part in the meeting of World Health Organization Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The 64th meeting of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean is being held in Pakistan’s Islamabad from October 9 to 12.


Iran Pakistan Iran pharmaceutical products Saira Afzal Tarar