Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemns ‘shocking’ attack on Slovak PMBreaking

May 16, 2024

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday strongly condemned the “shocking” attack on his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico in which he received four bullet wounds and now he is fighting for his life in the hospital. In a post uploaded on X platform, PM Shehbaz Sharif wrote: “Strongly condemn shocking attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Our thoughts and prayers (are) with him and his family. Wish him a quick recovery and good health.” “We stand by the government and people of Slovak Republic in these critical moments,” the prime minister remarked. Meanwhile, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico fought for his life in hospital Wednesday after being shot multiple times in what the government called a "political assault". Surgeons spent hours battling to save the 59-year-old populist leader after the attack, which has been condemned around the world. Deputy Prime Minister Tomas Taraba told the BBC he believed the leader's hospital procedure had gone well. "I guess in the end he will survive," Taraba said. "He's not in a life-threatening situation at this moment."

Earlier, Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok told reporters at a hospital in the central city of Banska Bystrica that the prime minister was "in critical condition and his life is in danger". Footage of events just after the shooting showed security agents grabbing a wounded Fico from the ground and hustling him into a black car that speeds away. Other police handcuffed a man on the pavement nearby. Police detained a suspect at the site of the attack in Handlova, President Zuzana Caputova told reporters. "I am shocked, we are all shocked by the terrible and heinous attack," she added. Defence minister Robert Kalinak, who also serves as Fico's deputy, would not give information on the suspect but said: "What has happened is a political assault. It's absolutely clear, and we have to react on that." - Unprecedented attack - Fico was shot multiple times, according to a post on his official Facebook page. "Today, after the government meeting in Handlova, there was an assassination attempt" on Fico, the government said.

Public RTVS television showed a stretcher taken out of a helicopter by medics and wheeled into the hospital in Banska Bystrica surrounded by security guards. A cover was over the stretcher. Fico, whose Smer-SD party won the general election last September, is a four-time prime minister and political veteran accused of swaying his country's foreign policy in favour of the Kremlin. Media reported that the suspected gunman was a 71-year-old writer, but police have not named any suspects. "I have absolutely no idea what father was thinking, what he was planning, why it happened," the alleged suspect's son told Slovak news site aktuality.sk. Analyst Grigorij Meseznikov told reporters "there has been no (previous) attack on any minister or prime minister in Slovakia." "I only remember the case of former minister of economy Jan Ducky who was shot dead in 1999," he added. "But he had not been politically active anymore when he was killed."

Credit: Independent News Pakistan