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News of the Day

Trump fires national security adviser John Bolton

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he has fired National Security Adviser John Bolton saying he and others in the administration “strongly disagreed” with many of latter’s suggestions. He will name his fourth NSA next week.
Bolton, a foreign policy hawk, had been at odds with the president on many issues such as North Korea talks, Iran and, most recently, on the peace talks with the Taliban and a meeting at Camp David, presidential retreat, which the US president called off last week, and has since declared them “dead” as far he was concerned.
“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump wrote on Twitter, announcing yet another personnel change on the social media site. “I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could be counted among the “others” referred to be the president who also differed with Bolton — the two were on opposite sides of the Taliban peace talks. And Bolton’s exit is being seen as a victory for Pompeo, who is closely aligned with Trump on most foreign policy issues.
But Bolton followed up the announcement with his own tweet, disputing the president’s version of his exit: “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow’.” This was seen as a sign of things to come that Bolton, unlike others fired by Trump, will push back and may have more to say.
Bolton, who was named by Trump NSA in March 2018, had played a key role for the administration in the India-Pakistan tensions following the Pulwama terrorist attack in February, telling his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in a phone call that India had a right to defend itself, signaling US understanding should India carry out a retaliatory strike, which it did, bombing a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Balakot.
It was Bolton, once again, who was told of Indian readiness to launch missile strikes against Pakistan over the captured Indian Air Force pilot, which spurred the Trump administration into leaning on Islamabad leading to the president announcing from Hanoi, where he was then for his second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, that he had “reasonably attractive news” for India. The pilot was released later in the day.
New Delhi will wait for the president to announce his next NSA to start building a key relationship from scratch for the fourth time on Trump’s watch.
Trump’s first NSA Michael Flynn, a former defense intelligence service head, lasted just a few days, becoming the first casualty of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections. He was fired for lying about his interactions with Russian official. He and Doval had talked for an hour when they first met in December 2016, before Trump’s took office. They had “connected well”, people familiar with the meeting had said then.
The second was H R McMaster, a serving general, who was extremely bullish on ties with India and was an outspoken critics of Pakistan’s support for terrorism, and had publicly called it out for using them as “an arm of its foreign policy”. He had also argued, unsuccessfully, for hosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Camp David presidential retreat during his June 2017 visit for to meet resident Trump.
 News of the Day 11 Sep 2019

‘Fabricated narrative from terror epicentre’: India’s biting rebuttal to Pak

India on Tuesday delivered a stinging rebuttal to Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Qureshi at the UN human rights body in Geneva, insisting that the statement made by Qureshi was a ‘fabricated narrative from epicentre of global terrorism’.
“One delegation here has given a running commentary with offensive rhetoric of false allegations and concocted charges against my country. The world is aware that this fabricated narrative comes from the epicentre of global terrorism where ring leaders are sheltered for years,” Vijay Thakur Singh, secretary (east) in the foreign ministry told the UN body.
“This country conducts cross border terrorism as form of alternate diplomacy,” she added, without once naming Pakistan in her brief but biting response where she first spoke about parliament’s decision to amend the law on Jammu and Kashmir in televised proceedings.
She stressed that restrictions, introduced to ensure security of people in Jammu and Kashmir from cross border terrorism, were gradually being eased. And then turned the focus back on Pakistan and terrorism, asking the 47-member human rights council and the international community to speak out against terror.
“Silence only emboldens terrorists. It also encourages their intimidatory tactics. India appeals to the international community to work together in the fight against terrorism and their sponsors.
In a pointed counter offensive targeting Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the senior Indian official asked the world to call out those misusing “this platform for malicious political agendas under the garb of human rights.
“Those who are attempting this speak on the human rights of minorities in other countries whilst trampling upon them at will in their own country. They cry victim when they actually are the perpetrators,” she said.
Vijay Thakur Singh’s steered clear of the specifics. But just a few hours earlier in India, a former lawmaker from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Baldev Singh, sent an SOS message to the Indian Prime Minister to seek political asylum. Not only are Hindus and Sikhs being “tortured” in Pakistan, Singh said, but even Muslims are not safe in the neighbouring country.
Outside the entrance to the UN building in Geneva, there was also a quiet protest with posters and banners highlighting the human rights transgressions in Pakistan’s Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The “#PakistanStopGenocide” campaign, a movement created by the Balochis seeks to rouse international support as they remain sandwiched in the middle of what they call is a Pakistani-sanctioned genocide, said extra-judicial killings, torture, and forced disappearances of rights activists had been key elements of the Pakistani state’s terror campaign against Balochistan.
In his statement a few hours earlier, Shah Mahmood Qureshi had focused entirely on Pakistan’s version of the events in Kashmir. Qureshi had accused India of turning Kashmir into the planet’s largest prison and sought an international investigation by the UNHRC into the situation in Kashmir.
When he emerged out of the UNHRC meet, Qureshi sought to summarise his argument on Jammu and Kashmir – which Pakistan describes as Indian-occupied Kashmir – for the television cameras. But he slipped up and described it as an “Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.
“India is trying to give an impression to the world that life has returned to normalcy. If life has returned to normalcy, then I say, why don’t they allow you, the international media, why don’t they allow international organisations, the NGOs, civil society organisations to go into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and see for themselves what the reality is,” Qureshi said.
Source – Hindustan Times
News of the Day 11 Sep 2019

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