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15th day of January, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is getting more and more popular

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Karachi

Outgoing US CG Grace Shelton celebrates  National Day and 70th year of Pak-US relationship!

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M. M. ALAM

KARACHI: Arabian Sea Breeze kept on hissing through the swaying leaves of palms in the majestic mansion of (outgoing) US Consul General Grace Shelton, who gave a red carpet welcome to karachiites here on Thursday (15th of February). She was celebrating the National/Presidents Day and the 70th anniversary of the Pak-US relationship.

Speaking on the occasion to the members of diplomatic corps posted at the Port City, crème de la crème of the Metropolis including educationists, journalists, artists, civil and military bureaucrats, the host stated: 

Honored guests and friends asalam-u-alaikum!

Thank you so much for joining us tonight as we celebrate our national day.

I would particularly like to welcome Chief Minister Sindh (Syed) Murad Ali Shah and Governor of Sindh Mohammad Zubair.

I’m delighted to welcome you all to the old Consul General’s residence for our tradition of celebrating National Day alongside Presidents Day.

I would like to thank everyone at the Consulate who has been working for months to make this event happen.

Organizing such an evening takes an excellent team, so thank you all!

I’m sorry to start out with some unfortunate news that Ambassador Hale fell ill at the airport in Islamabad today and so couldn’t fly down and was unable to make it here today.

He sends his apologies and regrets and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Turning to happier news and the reason why we’re all here today: this is a landmark National Day. In addition to celebrating America’s independence, we are also honoring 70 years of the strong partnership between the United States and Pakistan.

The focus of our partnership has remained consistent throughout our 70-year-partnership is our people. Together the United States and Pakistan have built better, safer and more prosperous lives for our citizens.

The United States has worked across Pakistani society to enhance Pakistan’s security, health and economic prosperity.

American assistance in the sphere of education has been particularly meaningful…The United States Agency for International Development has built 33 schools and is building or plans to build 73 more. (I’m looking at our colleague the  minister of education. Thank You!)

Education and professional exchange programs bind our citizens, the Pakistan US exchange alumni network now boasts over 25 thousand members, the largest of its kind in the world.

Over 2 thousand PhD and graduate students have participated in academic exchanges like the Fulbright Scholarship and the Pakistani government pledged $25 million to support the next generation of Fulbright Scholars and future leaders, evidence of a shared commitment to education.

The United States has partnered with you to supply healthcare to 8.8 million women and children in Sindh alone and trained thousands of new health practitioners.

American assistance helped vaccinate more than half a million children against deadly preventable diseases. Many people can now live longer and healthier lives. The United States has also worked closely with our law enforcement partners in Sindh and Balochistan to help police better protect themselves and therefore better protect Pakistani citizens.

We recently donated 5 thousand bulletproof vests to the Sindh Police and we provided 3 thousand bulletproof vests as well as 6 armored personnel vehicles to police in Balochistan.

So over 70 years we have worked together to better the lives of Pakistanis and Americans.

As most of you know I will be leaving Pakistan soon.

As a diplomat I’ve found this tour to be one of the most rewarding  of my career. Since I arrived in Karachi in 2016 Pakistanis – both inside and outside the city – have offered me incredibly warm welcome. The hospitality in Sindh has been unbelievable.

I’ve been fortunate to have seen, time and again, the tangible products of our enduring bilateral relationship.

Our 70 years of strong partnership is a foundation that represents tremendous opportunities to work together to build a brighter future for Pakistan, And I’m privileged to have spent 18 months, leading the team here in Karachi, doing exactly that.

From the deepest place in my heart I thank you for sharing your culture and your friendship, I will cherish my memories of Pakistan forever!Presentation of Colors! National Anthem of PakistanNational Anthem of USAHost addresses the ladies and gentlemen in the audience!Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah speaking on the occasion!(L-R) Consul General of USA Grace Shelton, Acting Consul General John Warner, Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah used a ceremonial sword to cut the cake on the occasion. Consul General of the United States of America Grace Shelton pose for the lens flanked by Editor NPTV M. M. ALAM & GS PFUJ G. M. Jamali!

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Crime

Unbridled Gun Sales in USA results into death of 17 in Florida!

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FLORIDA: Police has arrested 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz who is believed to have entered a high school here yesterday (14th of Feb.) armed with an AR-15 rifle and  a number of magazines and killed 17 children and adults.

Cruz, who was expelled for disciplinary reasons from the school (and was receiving treatment for mental health issues) was arrested at the scene of crime and is presently being questioned.

According to details after the assault twelve people were found dead inside the school, two were killed outside the building, one in the street while two later succumbed to injuries during treatment at a medical facility.

Out of fifteen injured hospitalized five are in a life-threatening condition.

Cynics go haywire wondering while buying a gun is so easy in USA how could the Government control such incidents that occur incessantly.

While Trump took to the twitter to condole to the families of the victims, many retweeted warning that such shooting would continue until assault rifles were outlawed and background checks were carried out before selling weapons. 

RELEVANT PIECE PUBLISHED EARLIER

Deadly shooting in Orlando a week before the 1st anniversary of Pulse carnage!

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USA

There’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled in 2016 US election: Bush

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ABU DHABI: George W. Bush (US president from 2001-2009), while rejecting Trump’s denials said there was pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

Giving a talk here on Thursday (8th of Feb) Bush added: “Whether they affected the outcome is another question…It’s problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our election system. Our democracy is only as good as people trust the results.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the intelligence agencies of USA, after due investigation, had confirmed that Russia did meddle in the said elections.

Though Trump had repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia, a number of investigations are being carried out to figure out whether Trump’s campaign aided Russia in its efforts.

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