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Pakistan faces mounting US pressure on terror “safe heavens”

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Jim-Mattis

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Defence Secretary James Mattis in Islamabad

At a time when Hafiz Saeed has announced to enter politics, US have accelerated pressure on Islamabad to contain terrorists and  destroy their “safe heavens” in the country. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Islamabad on Monday.

Hours before landing at Islamabad, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said that he intends to work hard to find common ground with Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. He believes that this was necessary to restore the level of stability in South Asia.

Mattis is the first top U.S. official to visit Pakistan after August 21, when Preident Trump had announced his new South Asia Strategy. He is currently on a five day four nation tour visiting Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan and Kuwait.

Mattis is visiting Islamabad about a week after White House asked Islamabad to immediately charge and arrest Hafiz Saeed, the 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind and warned of repercussions.

Mattis was responding to questions of the reporters travelling on his way to Pakistan from Egypt. He said, “The first thing I’m going to do is do some listening, like I always do. My goal is to find common ground. I need to go, to sit down and listen to them, start there, start by listening.”

While discussing on the larger issue Mattis said, “These are 39 of the most economically powerful, generally speaking, most long-term democratic institutions in the world. These are powerful nations morally, economically and diplomatically, and certainly militarily,” he said.

He asserted that it was essential in South Asia that all countries work together saying,  “I mean, can you imagine a border between Pakistan and India where economic trade is not ongoing to the benefit of people on both sides of that border. We can not only imagine it; it’s a reality right now.”

US Defence Secretary said that we have got to work together and there’s a sense of urgency. He said, “There’s people who are living below the poverty line in both those countries. So as you look at this problem, if you’ll expand the problem you can understand the sense of urgency to move beyond violence and get back to the normal order of things,” he said.

Mounting further pressure on Pakistan CIA Director Mike Pompeo has also recently  warned Pakistan that if it does not eliminate the alleged safe havens inside its territory, the United States will do “everything we can” to destroy them.

Pompeo was asked at the Reagan National Defence Forum in Simi, California on Saturday, on how US administration would persuade Pakistan to adhere to its new Afghan policy, Mattis said, “You begin by seeking their assistance.”

The CIA director said that Secretary Mattis, while travelling to Pakistan, will “make clear the president’s intent” and “will deliver the message that we would love you to do that. And that the safe haven inside of Pakistan has worked to the detriment of our capacity to do what we needed to do in Afghanistan”.

On November 30, Reuters carried a story that President Donald Trump was considering plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo within weeks. However, it was later denied by Washington officials.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Trump shooter rejected by school shooting club for being really bad

He had slipped onto a rooftop 140 meters from the stage where Trump was speaking and began firing an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle.

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Thomas Matthew Crooks, the 20-year-old man, who tried to assassinate former US President Donald Trump, was rejected by the school shooting club for being a really bad shooter and making crass jokes, as per the reports.

The Trump shooter was shot dead by the US Secret Services when he attacked the 78-year-old Republican Presidential candidate at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania on July 13 evening. As Trump talked to a large crowd, a continuous gunfire broke out, causing widespread panic and prompting an immediate response from security personnel.

Crooks, who allegedly tried to assassinate former Trump, was a resident of Bethel Park, about an hour away from where the shocking shooting occurred, and he was a member of a local shooting club named Clairton Sportsmen’s Club. He was a high school student who was rejected from his high school’s rifle team for being a terrible shooter.

Crook was shot dead on Saturday, the Secret Service said in a statement. Afterward in the day, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) distinguished him as a Pennsylvanian man. He had slipped onto a rooftop 140 meters from the stage where Trump was speaking and began firing an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle. According to officials, the continued gunfire scuffed Trump’s right ear. The officials added that a 50-year-old man was killed in this incident, and two others were critically injured.

According to reports, Crooks graduated from Bethel Park High School in 2022. He received a $ 500-star award, from the National Math and Science Enterprise, officials also told that Crooks does not have a criminal history according to Pennsylvania’s public court records. Police added that they have not yet identified the official motive behind it.

An individual who claimed to be an eyewitness of the incident, in an interview with the international media, the individual said he and the individuals he was with began yelling at the man, attempting to alarm security. According to the security agency, the shots appeared to have come from outside the area secured by the Secret Service.

Addressing a conference, the FBI stated that they were still working through the security apparatus that the Secret Service had in place to understand what potentially happened. Kevin Rojek, the special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh office, remarked that it was able to fire multiple shots. He included that there is going to be a long examination into exactly what took put and how the person was able to get to the area, what type of weapon he had.

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Donald Trump survives assassination attempt, bullet pierces his right ear

The dead gunman has been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, aged 20, from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

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Former US President Donald Trump was immediately rushed offstage to his motorcade, with blood visible on his right ear and streaking across his cheek after gunshots erupted at a rally in Pennsylvania in an apparent assassination attempt on Saturday evening.

According to US Secret Services, the former President was injured in a volley of gunfire at 6.15 pm from an elevated position outside the venue. The gunfire erupted a few minutes after Trump began his speech at a rally of supporters in Butler, a rural town in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The available witnesses and footage suggested around eight shots were fired at Trump. The footage also showed him grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.

Following the incident, the US Secret Service officers neutralised the suspect at the scene. The agency’s spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said that one bystander was killed in the shooting and two others were critically injured.

The US Secret Service, which is responsible for shielding current and former presidents, said the suspected shooter had fired multiple shots towards the stage and that the assailant was now dead.

The dead gunman has been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, aged 20, from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

The former US President Trump, in a post to his Truth Social network, said a bullet pierced the upper part of his right ear. Earlier, his spokesperson informed that he was receiving treatment at a local medical centre.

In a post, Trump said he knew immediately that something was wrong in that he claimed that he heard a whizzing sound, and shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Trump further wrote that much bleeding took place, so he realized then what was happening.

The incident received condemnation from across the US political spectrum, with President Joe Biden, who spoke to Trump late on Saturday, describing the incident as sick and said the reason why the US needs to be united. There’s no place in America for this kind of violence, Biden asserted.

International leaders also have denounced the act of violence, with UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer saying, he was appalled by the shocking scenes. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he would pray for President Trump’s speedy recovery. There were conflicting reports about the cause of Trump’s injury.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, also expressed his concern over the assassination attempt on former US President Trump and said violence has no place in politics and democracies.

PM Modi wished him a speedy recovery. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased, those injured and the American people”, he added. 

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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