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Pakistan, India were on verge of nuclear war after Balakot incident: Pompeo

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Pakistan, India were on verge of nuclear war after Balakot incident: Pompeo

Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo wrote in a book published Tuesday that India and Pakistan came close to nuclear war in 2019 and that US intervention prevented escalation. 

“I do not think the world properly knows just how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to spilling over into a nuclear conflagration in February 2019,” the likely future presidential contender wrote in “Never Give an Inch,” his memoir of his time as Donald Trump’s top diplomat and earlier CIA chief.

India in February 2019 broke precedent by launching airstrikes inside Pakistani territory after blaming a militant group in Balakot for a suicide bombing that killed 41 Indian paramilitary soldiers in the Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOJK). In response, Pakistan shot down an Indian warplane that intruded into its territory and captured the pilot.

Pompeo, who was in Hanoi for a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said he was woken up with an urgent call from a senior Indian official.

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“He believed the Pakistanis had begun to prepare their nuclear weapons for a strike. India, he informed me, was contemplating its own escalation,” Pompeo wrote.

“I asked him to do nothing and give us a minute to sort things out,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said that US diplomats convinced both India and Pakistan that neither was preparing to go nuclear.

“No other nation could have done what we did that night to avoid a horrible outcome,” Pompeo wrote.

Pompeo said he spoke to “the actual leader of Pakistan,” then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in an attempt to avert the crisis.

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Pompeo at the time publicly defended India’s right to act. In his book, Pompeo spoke highly of India and, unlike officials in New Delhi, made no secret of his desire to ally with the South Asian democracy “to counteract Chinese aggression.”

‘I’m still trying to kill you’ 

Pompeo writes extensively in the book of his diplomacy with Kim Jong Un, which included preparing three meetings between the young totalitarian leader and Trump.

He recalled a chilling first conversation as he flew into Pyongyang in March 2018 on a clandestine trip as CIA director.

“‘I didn’t think you’d show up. I know you’ve been trying to kill me,’” Pompeo quotes Kim as telling him.

“I decided to lean in with a little humor of my own: ‘Mr. Chairman, I’m still trying kill you.’”

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But Pompeo described a budding understanding with Kim as the Trump administration offered incentives to lower tension.

Pointing to Kim’s smoking habit, Pompeo wrote that he told Kim he would take him to “the nicest beach in Miami and smoke the best Cubanos in the world. He told me, ‘I already have a great relationship with the Castros.’ Of course, he did.”

As for their substantive conversation, Pompeo said Kim spoke candidly on concerns about China, usually viewed as North Korea’s main ally.

Told that China believes North Korea wants US forces out of South Korea, “Kim laughed and pounded on the table in sheer joy, exclaiming that the Chinese were liars.”

Kim “said that he needed the Americans in South Korea to protect him from the CCP, and that the CCP needs the Americans out so they can treat the peninsula like Tibet and Xinjiang,” Pompeo wrote, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.

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Pompeo became known for his hawkish stance on China, controversially accusing Beijing of spreading the “Wuhan virus.”

He said that Trump told him with an epithet that Chinese President Xi Jinping “hates you” and asked Pompeo to “shut the hell up for a while” as the United States needed health care equipment from China.

Pompeo has not ruled out running against Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, although early polls show little support for Pompeo.

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Musadik Malik emphasises adoption of environment-friendly technology for sustainable development

Musadik Malik emphasises adoption of environment-friendly technology for sustainable development

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Musadik Malik emphasises adoption of environment-friendly technology for sustainable development

 Federal Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik underscores the need for embracing environment-friendly technology to ensure sustainable development in Pakistan. 

In a recent address at a ceremony held in Islamabad, Minister Malik highlighted the pressing issue of environmental instability, noting that despite a purported zero carbon footprint, Pakistan was grappling with the adverse effects of climate change. 

He pointed to alarming indicators such as rising global temperatures and increased incidents of extreme weather events, including flash floods in Sindh that have devastated numerous villages, exacerbating food insecurity in the region. 

Acknowledging the dual challenge of environmental and economic instability, Minister Malik stressed the imperative for concerted action to address these issues. 

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He revealed that Pakistan’s total exports stand at $30 billion, with energy exports comprising a significant portion at $20 billion. 

To confront these challenges head-on, Minister Malik announced plans to ramp up petroleum products production, citing its critical role in ensuring energy security and fostering economic growth. 

He outlined various policies aimed at facilitating this increase, including incentivising consortiums for small companies and fostering cooperation with international stakeholders.

Underlining the centrality of energy security to economic development, Minister Malik reiterated the importance of adopting environment-friendly technologies to meet the nation’s energy demands sustainably.

He emphasised the utilisation of national resources as a key strategy in this endeavour.

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Islamabad police register case of armed assault on PTI leader Raoof Hasan

Islamabad police register case of armed assault on PTI leader Raoof Hasan

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Islamabad police register case of armed assault on PTI leader Raoof Hasan

A day after unidentified transgender persons armed with blades wounded PTI leader Raoof Hasan in an attack in Islamabad, police on Wednesday registered a case of the assault. 

The case registered against unidentified transgender persons at the Aabpara police station includes sections related to the charges of attempted murder and death threats. 

According to the first information report (FIR), Raoof Hasan was heading to a parking lot after participating in a TV talk show when he was ambushed by three transgender-like persons. 

The FIR details that these attackers tried to cut his throat with a sharp-edged tool. Hasan suffered a cut in the face when he stepped back in a bid to protect himself, it adds. 

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In the FIR, Raoof Hasan alleged that a similar attack was attempted on him two days back in Islamabad’s Blue Area. 

The PTI information secretary was attacked on Tuesday afternoon by some unidentified transgender persons with a blade in Islamabad’s G-7 area. He suffered a cut in the face.

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JAP urges Punjab governor to return defamation bill unapproved

JAP urges Punjab governor to return defamation bill unapproved

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JAP urges Punjab governor to return defamation bill unapproved

The Judicial Activism Panel has penned a letter to Punjab Governor Sardar Salim Haider Khan, vehemently urging him not to approve the controversial Punjab Defamation Bill 2024 recently passed by the Punjab Assembly. 

The letter, authored by the Judicial Activism Panel, highlighted grave concerns over the Defamation Bill, asserting that its passage by the Punjab Assembly contradicts the principles outlined in Article 19 of the constitution. 

According to the panel, the enforcement of this bill poses a significant threat to the freedom of speech, a fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen. 

The panel argued that the implementation of the Defamation Bill would severely restrict the public’s access to vital information, serving as a formidable obstacle to the citizens’ right to information. 

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They emphasised that the bill, if enacted, would curtail the freedom of speech, thereby violating the fundamental right of the citizens.

Expressing apprehension, the letter said the law could potentially be exploited to serve political interests, further undermining the democratic principles upon which the nation is built.

In their fervent plea to Governor Sardar Salim Haider Khan, the Judicial Activism Panel demanded that he refrain from approving the bill and instead return it to the Punjab Assembly without his endorsement.

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