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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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PTI to move IHC against acceptance of 43 resignations

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PTI to move IHC against acceptance of 43 resignations

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday decided to knock at the Islamabad High Court s (IHC) door to challenge the acceptance of 43 resignations tendered by the PTI members of National Assembly (MNAs).

Sources said that the party had drafted the petition which was expected to be filed today or on Monday. A letter written by Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi entailing the acceptance of resignations only after the physical appearance of MNAs in the assembly would also be attached to the plea, sources added.

Mr Ashraf had earlier accepted the resignations of 43 MNAs taking the tally to 123 including a resignation by the AML chief Sheikh Rashid. Later, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denotified them.

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President imposes fine, orders Shifa hospital to refund Rs2.9 mln over patient’s death

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President imposes fine, orders Shifa hospital to refund Rs2.9 mln over patient's death

President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday directed the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) to issue instructions to Shifa International Hospital Islamabad (SHIFA) to refund an amount of Rs2.9 million to the daughter of a patient who died due to the medical negligence, professional misconduct, and malpractice of the doctors of the hospital.

The president also upheld the imposition of fine of Rs900,000 on SHIFA as maladministration and medical negligence had been proven against the hospital, President Secretariat Press Wing said in a press release on Saturday.

The president issued these directions while rejecting a representation filed by IHRA against the orders of the federal ombudsman in which the ombudsman had held that the complainant (deceased patient’s daughter) had been discriminated against as in a similar case in the past, IHRA had not only imposed a fine on SHIFA but had also issued the directions to the hospital to refund the amount in lieu of medical bills.

He ordered that the refund should be paid within a week to the complainant.

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While rejecting IHRA’s representation, the president observed that IHRA had investigated the complaints, found medical negligence and imposed fine of Rs900,000 upon SHIFA which had also been received by IHRA and thus medical negligence had been established upon the healthcare establishment.

He further said that IHRA did not direct the hospital to reimburse actual amount of medical bill incurred on the treatment of the complainant’s mother as per orders of the learned ombudsman whereas in another case namely Dr Iqtidar Mehmood Dara against Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, IHRA had held that “The medical bill should be refunded to the complainant by SHIFA International Hospital”.

The president held that it was an established principle that similarly placed persons should be treated alike and equal treatment to all is the hallmark of our Constitution i.e. Article 4 and 25.

He said that the object and purpose of the law would be fulfilled only when the complainant was provided relief for any negligence by the hospital. “The Agency must have been more vigilant and watchful to fulfil its responsibilities”, he added.

The president further observed that the main purpose of the establishment of Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority was to provide a regulatory framework to ensure provision of quality health care services, by implementing quality standards by the healthcare sector, to residents of the Islamabad Capital Territory”.

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He noted that IHRA was responsible to “exercise any powers and perform any functions as may be necessary for carrying out the purposes of its Act on the instruction of the Federal Government”, and since maladministration and negligence had been established and it had not been assailed by SHIFA, therefore, the orders had been rightly passed, and the representation deserved to be rejected.

As per details, Mst Farrukh Naeem Tahir (the complainant) had alleged that her mother was diagnosed with COVID-19 who died due to the negligence of the doctors of SHIFA and she lodged a complaint before IHRA against the hospital and IHRA imposed a fine of Rs900,000/- on the hospital for committing negligence but did not ask the hospital to refund the medical bill amounting to Rs2,979,637 as per order of the ombudsman.

Thereafter, she filed a review application and requested to re-open the case and re-visit its earlier decision with the direction to IHRA to issue instructions to the hospital to refund the medical bill.

The ombudsman issued the orders in her favour, which were impugned by IHRA by filing a representation with the president.

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PPP seeks police action against Imran for accusing Zardari of ‘murder plot

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PPP seeks police action against Imran for accusing Zardari of 'murder plot

A request against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was submitted to register the case by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Hyderabad leader on Saturday, in Baldia Police Station regarding Imran Khan’s accusation of murder against the deposed premier Asif Ali Zardari.

The application was submitted by PPP leader and Information Secretary of Hyderabad Nadeem Jatoi of PS-66.

The application read as “Imran Khan, without solid evidence made serious accusations about Asif Zardari which affected his repute. The application will help start investigation about who pushed Mr Khan to make such statements.”

Earlier, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the allegations levelled by the PTI chief Imran Khan against Asif Ali Zardari had exposed his family to increased threats.

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Mr Khan had earlier alleged that Mr Asif was behind the “new plot” to assassinate him as he had links to a terrorist outfit.

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