who are acquitted include, Jameel Ahmed Abdullah Khan, Mohammed Yunus Mohammed
Ishaq, Farooque Nazir Khan, Yusuf Gulab Khan, Ayyub Ismail Khan, Waseemuddin
Shamsuddin, Shaikha Shafi Shaikh Azeez, Ashfaq Syed Murtuza Meer, Mumtaz Syed
Murtuza Meer, Haroon Mohammed Bafati and Moulana Abdul Qader Habibi.
(War against India) Will Continue Irrespective of Indo-Pak Tie, Jaish-e-Mohammed
Resolved, In a Conference, More Than a Year Ago: Intelligence Report
of Terrorists Erased: 11 Muslims Acquitted In TADA Case after 25 Years
Celebration for Air Strikes, Masjid, Muslim Houses Attacked In Hapur
Islamic Nations (OIC) Meet, Sushma Swaraj Points to Pak Hand In Terror
Calls Modi As Russia Offers Mediation between India, Pakistan
Playing Major Role in India-Pakistan Conflict: UK Analyst
Expert Informs of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's Global Recruitment Plan
Authorities Have Banned Thousands of Websites and Social Media Apps Allegedly
Linked To Pornography, Gambling and Anti-National Sentiments
Prime Minister Imran Khan Announces Abhi’s Release as a ‘Peace Gesture’
Gulen: Erdogan Has Destroyed Turkish Democracy
Offers $1 Million Reward to Find Osama Bin Laden Son
of Terrorists Erased: 11 Muslims Acquitted In TADA Case After 25 Years
Celebration For Air Strikes, Masjid, Muslim Houses Attacked In Hapur
Islamic Nations (OIC) Meet, Sushma Swaraj Points To Pak Hand In Terror
Forces present evidence of shooting down Pak F-16 at joint press conference,
say ready to deal with all eventualities
to continue talks on Kartarpur Corridor, Pak has called it off: Sources
bans Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir for 5 years
Dhabi Crown Prince calls PM Narendra Modi, Pakistan PM Imran Khan, stresses
importance of dialogue
welcomes Pakistan’s decision to release captured IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman
non-committal as push renews for terror tag on Jaish chief Masood Azhar
Arabia welcomes UK’s terror classification for Hezbollah
court rejects return of Daesh brides
Clain, Prominent French Voice of ISIS, Is Reported Killed in Syria
devastated by Belgian ruling not to bring back Islamic State children
wins appeal on repatriation of children from Syria
Terrorists Transferred to US Base in Eastern Syria, Al-Baghdadi's Family
by US, Daesh leader al-Baghdadi travels across Iraq's western desert: MP
Refugees Killed in US-Backed SDF-Occupied Camp in Hasaka
Attempting to Prevent Revival of Adana Agreement between Turkey, Syria
Army Pounds Terrorists' Bases in Hama
discusses Mideast peace with Saudi leaders
foreign minister to visit Pakistan with Crown Prince ‘special message’
Kurdish militants in Syria help Daesh elements flee to Turkey: Report
says all Daesh territory retaken, contradicting allied commander
US Envoy ‘Satisfied’ With Outcome of Peace Talks
forces thwart Taliban attack in Zabul province leaving 28 militants dead
tells UN Security Council cannot take more Myanmar refugees
attack repulse attack on an army base in Helmand
all parties welcome gesture to release Indian pilot
minister boycotts Islamic council meeting over Indian presence
Mehmood Qureshi makes 'urgent' phone call to Chinese FM, briefs him on Indo-Pak
evidence against Masood Azhar acceptable to Pakistan's courts: Qureshi
not escalate this further': PM Khan warns India during joint session of
Sindh head, accomplice killed in encounter: Shikarpur police
hails Imran Khan’s peace overtures
receives Indian dossier on Pulwama incident
Commander: Iran Plans to ‘Break America, Israel and Saudi Arabia’
strikes Gaza after ‘explosive balloon’ damages house
Israel must be held accountable for Gaza crimes
to be indicted on corruption charges, pending hearing
slams Israeli violations of Palestinians' rights in Jerusalem al-Quds
releases Palestinian lawmaker held for nearly two years without trial
2018 killings in Gaza may constitute war crimes: UN probe
Again Asks Pakistan To Deny Safe Havens To Terrorists
congressmen press for oversight of any Saudi nuclear deal
forces responsible for humanitarian crisis at Rukban refugee camp: Syria
says US-backed SDF not part of Syria peace process
Student Faces Jail for Islam Insult
Report Says PAS Compensated It RM1.4m To Kill Suit
in PH govt behave like the opposition, says Dr M
Semenyih, Najib tells Indian voters unity minister lied about temple
FPI members named suspects after commotion during NU’s anniversary
Battle Rages between Al Shabab and Somali Troops after Hotel Attack, As Death
least 10 killed in car bomb targeting Mogadishu hotel
least 5 killed, 25 wounded in Somalia suicide blast
Libyan PM, eastern commander agree national election needed
journalists arrested at censorship protest in Algiers
to double support for Jordan over next five years
by New Age Islam News Bureau
(War against India) Will Continue Irrespective of Indo-Pak Tie,
Jaish-e-Mohammed Resolved, In a Conference, More Than a Year Ago: Intelligence
DELHI: Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, which was responsible for
the killing of 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama, had resolved in a conference more
than a year ago that its "Ghazwa-e-Hind" (War Against India) will
continue irrespective of Indo-Pak ties, according to an intelligence report.
the report, officials said the conference organised in Okara district in
Pakistan on November 27, 2017, saw more than 2,000 participants showering
praise on organisational activities of JeM and the role played by its chief
Masood Azhar, the mastermind of February 14 Pulwama strike in Jammu &
Kashmir, among other terror attacks in India.
to the intelligence report prepared on the basis of inputs from across the
border, JeM resolved at the conference to continue what it called its
conference was addressed by JeM leaders Abdul Rauf Asghar, Md Maqsood and Abdul
said the Indo-Pak friendship and bilateral trade would not end 'jihad' as there
were many youths ready to sacrifice, the report said.
further said that another six-day meeting, held in February 2018, saw the JeM's
'Shoba-e-Taaruf' (Department of Introduction) conducting 13 interaction
sessions in which 700 people, including 65 'Ulemas' (religious scholars),
JeM terrorists had carried out a suicide attack on February 10, 2018, on Indian
Army's Sunjwan camp in Jammu and Kashmir in which five Army officers were
killed and many more were injured.
JeM terrorists took part in the attack in which three were killed and two
report said it was described by the JeM as a pre-planned operation carried out
on the Sunjwan Camp by JeM as part of "revenge" operations launched
by the 'Afzal Guru Shaheed Squad' in Kashmir.
intelligence report also mentioned a four-day visit to Sialkot district in
March 2018 of JeM's 'Shoba-e-Taaruf' delegation, comprising Mujahid Abbas,
Rashid Mushtaq and Abid Mehmood, during which it organised 17 sessions attended
by 1,500 people, including 50 'Ulemas'.
delegation recruited 22 people for a training course and 91 for
'Daura-e-Tafseer' (Training on Jihad and Quran). The participants also promised
to take part in religious events organised by the JeM and the 'Ulema' expressed
satisfaction over the schedule for training prepared by JeM chief Masood Azhar.
also appreciated religious services rendered by Masood Azhar and prayed for JeM
'Mujahideen'. The delegation held five separate sessions with JeM activists,
which were attended by 28 'Ulema' and activists, the report said.
11 Muslims have been acquitted by Nashik’s Special TADA Court on Wednesday, 25
years after they were arrested and charged under it. Citing lack of evidence
and violation of TADA guidelines during investigations, Nashik’s Special TADA
Court Judge S C Khati acquitted 11 from the charges.
Bharati quoted a press release from Jamiat Ulama stating, “Advocates of
prominent legal aid organisation ‘Jamiat Ulama’ from last three years and were
confident of acquitting all these 11 innocents from the case.”
who are acquitted include, Jameel Ahmed Abdullah Khan, Mohammed Yunus Mohammed
Ishaq, Farooque Nazir Khan, Yusuf Gulab Khan, Ayyub Ismail Khan, Waseemuddin
Shamsuddin, Shaikha Shafi Shaikh Azeez, Ashfaq Syed Murtuza Meer, Mumtaz Syed
Murtuza Meer, Haroon Mohammed Bafati and Moulana Abdul Qader Habibi. They were
arrested on 28 May 1994 from Maharashtra and other parts of the country and
were charged under section 120 (B) and 153 of Indian Penal Code and Section 3
(3) (4) (5) and Section 4 (1) (4) of TADA act for allegedly planning avenge of
Babri Masjid demolition and for attending terrorist’s training camps in Kashmir
in this regard.
was also alleged that they were trying to recruit youngsters from Nashik and
Bhusawal for their alleged terror group Bhusawal Al Jihad.
the team of advocates which looked after the case, Gulzar Azmi, who leads the
team of advocates of Jamiat Ulama, after the verdict said, though Justice has
been delayed for these 11, but the tag of terrorists has been erased. The team
of advocates included Advocate Sharif Shaikh, Mateen Shaikh, Ansar Tanboli,
Raziq Shaikh, Shahid Nadeem, Mohammed Arshad and other.
While the whole country is celebrating India’s pre-emptive strikes on terror
camps in Pakistan, some communal elements targeted Muslim houses and vandalised
them at Hapur. They broke open the doors of Muslim houses and misbehaved with
the women. The communal elements didn’t even spare the masjid of the village.
They vandalised the masjid and assaulted the Imam. While throwing the trash
inside the masjid, they created a ruckus.
panic-stricken Muslims anyhow saved their lives and informed the police. Soon
top police officials reached the spot and controlled the situation. A woman
suffered a fracture in the incident. No arrests have been made so far. While
police is trying to trivialize the issue Muslim community is living in the
state of fear.
Urdu newspaper with reference to SNB reported that on Tuesday when the whole
country was celebrating India’s air strike, some communal elements attacked
Muslim houses at Badnoli village. On receipt of information SDM President Satya
Prakash, DSP Rajesh Kumar Singh and police station in Charge Mahavir Sing
reached the spot along with the police force and controlled the situation.
by Divyanshu Dutta Roy | March 01, 2019
DELHI: Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday urged the Organisation of
Islamic Cooperation or OIC to "act together" to combat global
terrorism amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan triggered by the
Pulwama terror attack last month. Ms Swaraj had arrived in Abu Dhabi on
Thursday to attend the foreign ministers' meet of the influential grouping of
57 countries which India has been invited to as the guest of honour for the
we want to save humanity, we must tell the states who provide shelter and
funding to terrorists, to dismantle the infrastructure of the terrorist camps
and stop providing funding shelter and funding to the terror organisations
based in that country," she said, without naming Pakistan in her 17-minute
and extremism bear different names and labels. It uses diverse causes. But in
each case, it is driven by distortion of religion, and a misguided belief in
its power to succeed," she said.
is destroying lives, destabilising regions and putting the world at great
peril, Ms Swaraj added.
was for the first time that India has been invited to an OIC meeting as guest
of honour. Pakistan, a member of the OIC, tried to get Ms Swaraj ''disinvited''
from the Abu Dhabi meet following India's air strike on a terror camp in
Pakistan but its request was turned down.
foreign minister has said he will skip the meeting of foreign ministers because
the OIC had invited Ms Swaraj to the event, adding that lower ranking officials
would attend to represent the country's interests.
between India and Pakistan have plunged to a new low after a suicide bomb
attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama last month that killed 40 paramilitary
troops. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility, prompting India
to lash out at Islamabad for supporting terrorists. This week India sent
fighter planes to strike a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan and
Islamabad tried to target Indian military installations in response.
her speech today, Ms Swaraj said, "I carry the greetings of my Prime
Minister Narendra Modi ji and 1.3 billion Indians, including more than 185
million Muslim brothers and sisters. Our Muslims brothers and sisters are a
microcosm of the diversity of India itself."
also asserted that just as Islam literally means peace, none of the 99 names of
Allah mean violence. "Similarly, every religion in the world stands for
peace, compassion and brotherhood," Ms Swaraj said.
calls Modi as Russia offers mediation between India, Pakistan
Russia is ready to mediate between India and Pakistan to try to calm tensions
between the two nuclear powers, Russian government officials said on Thursday,
warning of the risk of further clashes between the two countries.
made the offer after Pakistan said it was considering returning a captured
Indian pilot and as US President Donald Trump said American mediation was
helping to defuse the crisis.
President Vladimir Putin told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a phone
call that he hopes for a quick settlement of the crisis between India and
Pakistan, the Kremlin said in a statement.
leaders also expressed their interests in further strengthening of
military-technical ties, it added.
has particularly close relations with India which buys large quantities of
Russian military equipment while its relationship with Pakistan has warmed in
asked on Thursday if Russia was ready to help mediate the two countries, the
TASS news agency quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying: “If they want
this, then of course.” Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova later said
Moscow was ready to do anything it could to help.
are concerned about the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan and
the dangerous manoeuvring of the two countries armed forces near the Line of
Control, which risks direct military clashes,” Zakharova told reporters.
spoke to Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday on the sidelines of
an event in China after which he said he hoped tensions could be de-escalated
and that both countries would show restraint.
playing major role in India-Pakistan conflict: UK Analyst
prominent British columnist has argued that Israel’s warming relations with
India has contributed to the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan
amid fears of an all-out conflict between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Fisk, the senior analyst writing for The Independent, said in an article on
Thursday that Israel was desperately seeking to capitalize on the anti-Muslim
sentiment among the Hindu nationalists in India to sell more arms and weapons
to New Delhi.
said the recent escalation between India and Pakistan is in fact a product of
growing Israeli influence in New Delhi, saying Israel’s fingerprints are
visible all over the conflict.
launched airstrikes on Pakistani positions earlier this week after 40 of its
troops were killed in a militant attack in the Indian-controlled Kashmir
conflict has enjoyed an extensive coverage by the media in the UK, a country
home to some 1.4 million people with Indian origin and a community of 1.2
million British Pakistanis.
said the Indian army’s use of Israeli-made Rafael Spice-2000 “smart bombs” in
its attack on militant positions inside Pakistan was a clear proof that the
regime in the occupied Palestinian territories was benefiting from the
don’t let the idea fade away. Two thousand five hundred miles separate the
Israeli ministry of defense in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defense in
New Delhi,” wrote Fisk in his commentary, adding, “but there’s a reason why the
usual cliché-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar.”
an award-winning journalist and writer, said that Israel was trying to
capitalize on the growing power of the right-wing nationalist government of
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by pretending that the two governments are
both under attacks by Muslims.
said India was Israel’s largest arms client in 2017, paying £530m ($700
million) for Israeli air defense. He said Israel ensured the Indian government
about the lethal force of its weapons by providing evidences of their use in
Palestine and in Syria.
standoff between the two neighboring countries has escalated dramatically since
February 14, when Indian paramilitary forces on the New Delhi-controlled side
of Kashmir were hit by a deadly bomb attack orchestrated by Pakistan-based
tensions reached a peak on Tuesday, when India said it had conducted
“preemptive” airstrikes against what it described as a militant training camp
in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Islamabad and New Delhi have also claimed to have shot down each other’s
fighter planes near the disputed border of Kashmir, accusing one another of
violating each other’s airspace.
has been split between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947. Both
countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory.
troops are in constant clashes with armed groups seeking Kashmir’s independence
or its merger with Pakistan.
regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them
across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks. Pakistan strongly
denies the allegation.
al-Jaf was quoted by the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm as saying that
Baghdadi has moved from Syria to Iraq revive the ISIL and is now stationed in
al-Tharthar region near the border with Samarra island.
added that al-Baghdadi is largely relying on recruitment of the sons of those
ISIL militants who have been killed in the battlefields and the Caliphate's
Lion Cubs, the children trained by the terrorist group for operations.
said that the ISIL plots to show off its power militarily and in media by
launching unique operations in Iraq and other countries of the world and media
warfare to recruit forces across the world.
added given the fact that Baghdadi is protected in Iraq under heavy security
measures, he might be able to carry out his plan in the region and the world
for ISIL's survival.
relevant remarks on Monday, a senior member of the Iraqi parliament accused the
US of sheltering al-Baghdadi in Ein al-Assad military base in Western Iraq, and
warned that 3,000 ISIL terrorists are being trained in the country to foment
Salem, the representative of al-Fatah coalition in the Iraqi parliament, was
quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website as saying that
al-Baghdadi was being supported by the US forces in the Western desert of Iraq.
added that Ein al-Assad base provides logistical support for al-Baghdadi,
noting that he is freely trafficking between Iraq and Syria with their backing.
also said that the US forces have trained and equipped over 3,000 ISIL
terrorists in Wadi al-Houran region with the aim of fomenting insecurity and
revival of the ISIL in Iraq and sent them to Nineveh, al-Anbar and Saladin
added that the US support for al-Baghdadi and other terrorists in Iraq comes as
the Iraqi parliament plans to approve a bill to expel all foreign forces from
authorities have banned thousands of websites and social media apps allegedly
linked to pornography, gambling and anti-national sentiments in a move that
activists see as an unprecedented moral policing effort in the Muslim-majority
18,000 porn and gambling sites as well as popular social media apps Tik Tok and
Bigo have been blocked since Feb. 18, according to the Internet Service
Providers’ Association of Bangladesh.
have also summoned several social media celebrities and ordered them to
immediately remove “vulgar and objectionable” content from their pages.
Jabbar, minister of posts, telecommunication and information technology, pulled
the trigger on the latest censorship spree.
have found 15,606 porn sites and 2,235 gambling sites. Included in them are Tik
Tok and Bigo. All are being blocked,” the ruling Awami League minister wrote on
Facebook on Feb. 18.
want to create a safe and secure internet for all Bangladeshis, including
children. And this is my war against pornography. And this will be a continuous
war,” he told the AFP news agency on Feb. 19.
minister’s move follows a High Court ruling last November when the court told
the government to shut down all porn sites and obscene material from the
internet within six months.
court order saw the state-run Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory
Commission (BTRC) block 4,000 porn and 176 other sites within weeks.
controversial Digital Security Act 2018 legitimizes the crackdown. The act
gives the government sweeping powers to ban any website at any time without
citing a reason.
latest crackdown saw the BTRC list a popular community blog site,
somewhereinblog.net, and Google’s online library, Google Books, among the sites
to be blocked.
in 2005, somewhereinblog.net is Bangladesh’s first and most popular community
Bengali blogging site with more than 213,000 registered bloggers at home and
abroad. It has over 60,000 visits per day.
blog entered the spotlight in 2010 amid a tug-of-war between several groups of
bloggers, notably atheists versus Islamic extremists and pro-government versus
blog has been blocked since Feb. 19, sparking uproar among the blogging
community and civil society groups.
blog was blocked due to its anti-national activities,” Jakir Hossain, a senior
BTRC deputy director, told Bengali daily Prothom Alo on Feb. 25.
Feb. 23, about 33 prominent citizens including writers and university
professors issued a statement asking the government to unblock the site. Amid
the backlash, the government partially unblocked the site on Feb. 26.
decision to block the site was “silly but premeditated,” said Baki Billah, a
prominent blogger and social activist.
government hates this blog because people can freely express their grievances
against a lack of democracy and rule of law, corruption and social
malpractices,” Billah told ucanews.com.
cannot stop negative with negative — you should have something positive to stop
2013, Bangladesh has seen a rise in Islamic militancy. Islamic militants have
murdered 14 atheist bloggers, writers, publishers and liberal academics. All
nine atheist bloggers slain among this
group were actively involved with somewhereinblog.net. In response to the brutal
murders, the government launched a crackdown on militancy and formed bodies to
tackle cybercrime including cyberbullying and hate speech.
shut down dozens of sites and thousands of blog posts allegedly hurting
religious sentiments and spreading malice and hate speech, warning atheists not
to “cross limits.”
crackdown on blogs and social apps is part of a wider campaign against dissent,
according to Nur Khan, a Dhaka-based rights activist.
have a government that has no effective opposition and all government bodies
are under strict control. Yet the ruling government is afraid of dissent, which
represents public anger. So, we have unpopular and unethical laws and moves
that curtail freedom of speech and muzzle dissent,” Khan told ucanews.com.
has crept into the government and it wants to sustain a climate of fear to
crush dissent. That’s the really bad news for our democracy.”
on freedom of choice
war on porn is misleading and poised to fall apart, activists warn.
education system and formation of children do not have lessons on sexuality and
safe internet use. Although this is a rather religiously conservative country,
moral policing such as blocking porn sites won’t suffice to make the internet
safe for everyone,” Holy Cross Father Liton H. Gomes, secretary of the Catholic
bishops’ Justice and Peace Commission, told ucanews.com.
you need to train people and make them aware about good and bad things. When
they can differentiate between good and bad, they have freedom of choice and
they will surely choose the good over the bad. Education and proper orientation
activist Khan agreed. “If you don’t educate people and give them a choice, they
will find ways to do what they like by any means. Freedom of choice is a basic
right and you cannot violate it.”
to the BTRC, 91 million people out of Bangladesh’s population of 160 million
use the internet and about 85 million access it from their mobile phones.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday that his government
will release the captured Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday
as a “gesture of peace and as a first step to open negotiations”.
have (the) Indian pilot in our custody. As a peace gesture and as a first step
to open negotiations, I announce that we will release him tomorrow (on
Friday),” Khan said at the joint session of parliament moments after he had
finished his speech and leader of the opposition Shahbaz Sharif was about to
said in his address to members of National Assembly and Senate that he had
unsuccessfully tried to make a telephonic contact with Prime Minister Narendra
Modi on Wednesday night following the dogfight between Indian and Pakistani
fighter jets along the Line of Control in the morning. “I tried to call Indian
PM Narendra Modi on the phone yesterday because escalation is neither in our
interest nor in India’s,” he said.
only purpose of our strike (on Wednesday) was to demonstrate our capability and
will. We did not want to inflict casualties on India as we wanted to act in a
responsible manner,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s desire for peace and
de-escalation with India should not be construed as a weakness.
said despite his government’s multiple overtures of peace, the response from
New Delhi had not been encouraging. “We realised that it was because of
upcoming elections there and decided to wait until the polls in India were over
before making another offer for talks,” he told the lawmakers.
to the Pulwama terror attack, Khan said Indian people should think what made a
youngster to become a suicide bomber in Kashmir. “There is need for debate in
India on Kashmir,” he said, adding that blaming the Pulwama attack on Islamic radicalization
was not correct.
should analyze the phenomenon because it had nothing to do with Islamic
radicalization,” he said.
the example of LTTE in Sri Lanka, Khan said suicide attacks are results of
desperation and humiliation.
foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a Pakistani TV channel that Islamabad
was willing the consider the release of the captured pilot “if such a move will
lead to de-escalation”.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office confirmed that a dossier on the Pulwama attack was
handed over to the country’s acting high commissioner in New Delhi by the
Indian government on Wednesday. “The dossier will be thoroughly reviewed by the
FO and after that any and all legal evidence will be probed. We will take
action against credible evidence provided by India,” the FO said in a
Gulen: Erdogan has destroyed Turkish democracy
Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan of destroying the Turkish democracy by achieving a stronghold on the
country, confiscating major companies, and rewarding his “co-conspirators.”
an article published in the French daily, Le-Monde, and translated to Arabic by
Zaman, an online Turkish newspaper, Gulen says “Erdogan has destroyed [Turkish]
democracy, which was good news for Turkey, by having a tight grip on the state,
confiscating large companies and rewarding his co-conspirators.”
of corruption and nepotism have long followed Erdogan.
son-in-law, Berat Albayrak was the CEO of Çalık Holding, a conglomerate that
operates in many sectors. According to the Panama Papers, the leaked documents
that detail financial and attorney–client information for thousands of offshore
entities, Çalık Holding had entered the media business in 2008 by purchasing
Sabah ATV, which owns ATV television network and Sabah, a Turkish newspaper
that became the government’s mouthpiece.
Sabah ATV was not profitable, and Çalık Holding had lost millions, their
broadcast of positive reports about the government increased the company’s
chances of being awarded lucrative contracts.
was elected to parliament with Erdogan’s political party, the Justice and
Development Party (AKP) in 2015, and later became Turkey’s Minister of Energy
and Natural Resources from 2015 up until he was named Minister of Treasury and
Finance in 2018.
to CNBC, Turkish markets sank after Erdogan hired his son-in-law as finance
minister in 2018 after removing some incumbent officials considered friendlier
to foreign investors.
citizens deprived of rights
said Turkish citizens who are under surveillance for political reasons and who
want to leave the country are deprived of their basic rights by having their
has taken advantage of Turkey's reputation at the international level since
1923, using diplomatic relations and mobilizing state resources to harass and
kidnap sympathizers around the world,” he said.
also declared me an enemy of the state and accused me and my sympathizers of
being the cause of all the evils and problems that occurred recently in Turkey,
in order to tighten his grip on power and influence Turkish public opinion,”
President Erdogan accuses Gulen - a former ally - of trying to overthrow the
government and blamed him for masterminding the 2016 coup attempt, carried out
by a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces. Erdogan had said Gulen used his
followers in the judiciary and military to try and overthrow the government.
lives in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania for the past 17
years. He has denied any involvement in the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
of thousands of people have been held over alleged ties to US-based Muslim
preacher Fethullah Gulen since the failed coup while over 140,000 public sector
employees have been sacked or suspended.
earlier in February, Turkish police launched operations to detain 110 more
individuals, mostly soldiers, suspected of ties to the group blamed for the
2016 coup attempt, the Ankara public prosecutor’s office said.
mass arrests of thousands of innocent people because of their sympathy for an
individual or group continue in Turkey. More than 150,000 have lost their jobs,
more than 200,000 have been placed in pre-trial detention, and more than 50,000
have been arrested,” Gulen said in his Le Monde article.
offers $1 million reward to find Osama bin Laden son
The United States on Thursday offered a $1 million reward for information on a
son of late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, seeing him as an emerging face of
location of Hamza bin Laden, sometimes dubbed the "crown prince of jihad,"
has been the subject of speculation for years with reports of him living in
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria or under house arrest in Iran.
bin Laden is the son of deceased former AQ leader Osama bin Laden and is
emerging as a leader in the AQ franchise," a State Department statement
said, referring to al-Qaida.
State Department said that it would offer USD 1 million for information leading
to his location in any country.
Laden, who according to the United States is around 30, has threatened attacks
against the United States to avenge the 2011 killing of his father, who was living
in hiding in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad, by US special forces.
intelligence agencies increasingly see the younger bin Laden as a successor to
his father for the mantle of global jihad, especially as the even more extreme
Islamic State group is down to its last sliver of land in Syria.
2015, bin Laden released an audio message urging jihadists in Syria to unite,
claiming that the fight in the war-torn country paves the way to
in a message a year later, following in the footsteps of his father, he urged
the overthrow of the leadership in their native Saudi Arabia.
bin Laden's three surviving wives and his children were quietly allowed to
return to Saudi Arabia after his killing.
Hamza bin Laden's whereabouts have been a matter of dispute. He is believed to
have spent years along with his mother in Iran, despite Al-Qaeda's strident
denunciations of the Shiite branch of Islam that dominates the country.
say that the clerical regime in Tehran kept him under house arrest as a way to
maintain pressure on rival Saudi Arabia as well as on Al-Qaeda, dissuading the
Sunni militants from attacking Iran.
of Hamza bin Laden's half-brothers told The Guardian last year that Hamza's
whereabouts were unknown but that he may be in Afghanistan.
also said that Hamza bin Laden married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead
hijacker in al-Qaida's September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that
killed some 3,000 people and sparked the US intervention in Afghanistan.
Delhi: Pakistan used a F-16 aircraft in its futile attempt to target military
establishments in India on Wednesday, senior officials of the three armed
forces said at a joint media briefing on Thursday, where they presented proof
of the intercepted and shot down aircraft. The senior officials also assured
the nation that the defence forces are in a state of heightened readiness to
deal with any eventuality.
Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor who began the briefing by narrating details of
Wednesday’s intrusion by Pakistan into Indian air space said, “On February, 27
at around 1000 hours, Indian Air Force aircraft detected a large package of
Pakistan Air Force Aircraft heading toward Indian territory. They breached the
Indian air space west of Rajouri in Sunderbani area.
engrossing aircraft were at various levels. IAF fighters including Mig-21
Bison, Sukhoi 30 MKI and Mirage 2000 were tasked to intercept the intruding
Pakistan aircraft. The Pakistan intruding aircraft attempting to target our
military installments were intercepted by the IAF aircraft which foiled their
were unable to cause any damage to our military installment. In aerial combat,
one F-16 was shot down by Mig- 21 Bison aircraft. The IAF lost one Mig 21 in
aerial engagement, though the pilot ejected safely, his parachute drifted
towards Pakistan territory and was captured,” he added.
further refuted many factually incorrect statements made by Pakistan.
was only by late evening that Pakistan accepted the fact that there was only
one pilot in their custody. Pakistan claimed that they intentionally dropped
weapons in open space where there was no human presence or military post. The
fact is Pakistan aircraft targeted military installment however they were
intercepted which thwarted their plans. Although PAF bombs have fallen in
Indian army formations compound, they were unable to cause any significant
damage to our military installation due to our swift response.”
Air Vice Marshal also asserted that there is enough evidence to show that F-16
was used in the mission.
of AMRAAM Air to Air missile which is carried only on Pakistan F-16 were
recovered from Indian territory in Rajouri. IAF remains vigilant, committed and
ready to combat any eventuality,” he said.
also displayed visuals of the cover of AARAM missile fired from Pakistani F-16
aircraft that were found near the LoC in India.
the media briefing, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor while responding to a question
by ANI regarding bombing on JeM terror camps in Balakot said, “Premature to say
the number of casualties on the camp, whatever we intended to destroy we got
also said that we have the evidence to prove that the effect that we wanted and
the destruction that we wanted to cause to terror camps has been achieved and
it is up to the government to decide whether or when to release it.
General Surinder Singh in the joint briefing said, “Pakistan resorted to
various ceasefire violations and has been retaliated appropriately. As many as
35 ceasefire violations have been there from their side in the last two days.
mechanised forces have been placed on standby. The nation we are fully prepared
and in a heightened state of readiness to respond to any provocation by
Pakistan. Indian army is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the
region and will continue to act against agencies who harbor evil design against
India,” General Singh said.
Rear Admiral DS Gujral also addressed the media briefing and said that the
Indian Navy”>Indian Navy is completely ready to deal with any eventuality.
said, “Indian Navy has been deployed in a high state of readiness and remains
poised in all three dimensions- on the surface, undersea and in the air to
deter, prevent and defeat any misadventure by Pakistan in the maritime domain.
I can assure of a resolute, swift and strong response by navy when needed.”
are ready for any misadventure by Pakistan and we are ready for resolute
action. We want to ensure the safety and security of our citizens,” he added.
in the day, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced that Indian Pilot
Wing Commander Abhinandan will be released on Friday as a peace gesture.
flying a MiG -21 Bison fighter plane, was chasing Pakistani jets which
transgressed into Jammu and Kashmir yesterday and crossed over to PoK where his
aircraft was shot down. He ejected safely and was taken to the custody by the
Wednesday, the three service chiefs-Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat, IAF Chief BS
Dhanoa and Chief of the Naval Staff had also held a meeting with Prime Minister
Narendra Modi at his residence.
Delhi: India has not ended talks on the Kartarpur Corridor and it will continue
doing it; it has been ended by the Pakistani side, sources said.
is ready for talks on Kartarpur and has not called it off, said sources adding
that Pakistan has now called it off.
Indian government, on the eve of Guru Purab on November 22 last year, approved
the construction of Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur
district to the India-Pakistan International Border.
Pakistan government had also confirmed the corridor’s opening.
Kartarpur route, along with the India-Pakistan border, is 3 km away from
Gurdaspur in Punjab.
functional, the corridor would allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to the
historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, where Guru Nanak passed
away in 1539.
February 27, Pakistan violated the Indian airspace. This happened a day after
India launched an anti-terror strike against a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror training
camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Centre on Thursday banned the Jamat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir for five years
under anti-terror law on grounds that it was "in close touch" with
militant outfits and is expected to "escalate secessionist movement"
in the state.
notification, banning the group under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,
was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs after a high-level meeting on
security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
notification said the Centre is of the opinion that the Jamaat is "in
close touch with militant outfits" and is supporting extremism and
militancy in Jammu and Kahsmir and elsewhere.
said the outfit claims "secession of a part of the Indian territory from
the union" and supporting terrorist and separatist groups fighting for
notification, which came barely a few days after the Jammu and Kashmir Police
had arrested around 100 cadres of the group in the state, said Jamaat has been
indulging in activities intended to disrupt the territorial integrity of India.
the intervening night of February 22 and 23, the police had carried out a
crackdown on Jamaat cadres and arrested 100 across the valley, including its
chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz and advocate Zahid Ali (spokesperson).
action came following the February 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama, in which 40
CRPF personnel were killed.
have been allegations in the past that the group was a political outfit of
banned terror organisation Hizbul Mujahideen but the group has denied.
Centre is also of the opinion that the group is "involved in anti-national
and subversive activities in the country intended to cause disaffection".
banning it under the anti-terror law, the Centre reasoned that the group was
intending to escalate its subversive activities, including attempt to carve out
Islamic state out of the Union of India by destablising the government
group is also expected to escalate secessionist movement, support militancy and
incite violence in the country, the notification said.
group has been banned for five years. It has to be ratified by a tribunal
constituted by the Home Ministry.
outfit, which was formed in 1945 as a chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and
separated in 1953 due to differences over political ideology with the parent
body, was banned in 1990.
previous ban lapsed in 1995 and since then it has never been invoked again.
party, with pro-Pakistan leaning during the Plebiscite Front days and also
during the eruption of militancy, pitches itself as socio-religious
organisation working mainly in the field of education and awareness about
Jamaat-e-Islami was an influential founder member of the undivided Hurriyat
Conference from its inception in 1993 till 2003, when the amalgam suffered a
vertical split led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani over alleged proxy participation in
2002 Assembly polls by some leaders of the People's Conference led by Sajad
Jamaat withdrew from the Hurriyat and decided to focus on its social work while
maintaining its separatist stand on Kashmir issue.
cadre-based party has a powerful Majlis-e-Shoora (advisory council) which takes
decisions on important issues through consensus.
Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan on Thursday called Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, stressing the
importance of dialogue and communication in resolving differences.
Crown Prince said in a tweet that he talked to Modi and Khan, and stressed the
“importance of dealing wisely with recent developments and giving priority to
dialogue and communication”.
Crown Prince is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
tweet came a day before the meet of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
in which India -- for the first time, has been invited as guest of honour at
between India and Pakistan escalated after India struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed
(JeM) terror camp in Pakistan on Tuesday following the February 14 Pulwama
terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
sought to target some Indian military installations next day and in the ensuing
aerial fight, both countries lost a fighter jet.
US on Thursday welcomed Pakistan’s decision to release captured Indian Air
Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, from their custody.
a surprise announcement during a joint session of Parliament, Prime Minister
Imran Khan said Thursday that the captured IAF pilot Varthaman will be released
on Friday as a gesture of peace.
detained Varthaman Wednesday following a fierce engagement between air forces
of the two sides along the Line of Control when his MiG 21 fighter jet was
welcome Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitment that Pakistan will
release on Friday the Indian pilot held in its custody,” a State Department
spokesperson told PTI responding to a question on the announcement made by Khan
in the Pakistani parliament.
the US has urged both India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to de-escalate
tensions. “The United States continues to urge both sides to take immediate steps
to de-escalate the situation, including through direct communication. Further
military activity will exacerbate the situation,” the State Department
spokesperson said. The US reiterated its call to Pakistan to abide by its UN
Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their
access to funds.
reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council
commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds,” the
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Thursday joined other lawmakers in expressing
concern over the escalating tension between India and Pakistan. “This is “a
result of a Pakistan-based terrorist group’s brutal attack”, he said.
the UK and the US have launched a fresh bid at the UN to list Masood Azhar,
founder of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) that took responsibility for the February
14 Pulwama terror attack, as a global terrorist though China remained
non-committal on backing the move.
is leading the latest and fourth attempt to put Azhar on the blacklist of UN’s
1267 Committee that already includes the JeM, which he founded after being
freed by India in 1999 in exchange for passengers of an Air India flight
hijacked to Kandahar.
previous attempts were blocked by China, which cited the rules under the UN
Security Council Resolution 1267 and lack of evidence and consensus.
1267 allows for the listing of individuals and groups with links to al-Qaeda or
the Islamic State.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson was non-committal when asked whether
Beijing will block the latest move to list Azhar. “We have said many times that
the UN Security Council 1267 Committee has clear regulations on the listing and
related procedures of terrorist organisations or individuals. China will
continue to participate in discussions in the Council on sanctions committees
and other subsidiary bodies in a responsible manner,” the spokesperson said.
repeated blocking of the move has been an irritant in bilateral ties, which
have improved markedly since last year’s informal summit in Wuhan between Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
adopted a more nuanced approach after the Pulwama attack and backed a
strongly-worded statement by the Security Council that named JeM.
officials are cautiously optimistic of the prospects of the new move in the
backdrop of the Pulwama attack on that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force
is a direct link between the Pulwama attack carried out by Azhar’s
Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Balakot camp that was run by his brother-in-law Yusuf
Azhar, one of the five hijackers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814, who is on
CBI’s listed of wanted criminals,” an Indian counter-terrorism official said.
familiar with developments in New Delhi said China’s ambiguous position was not
unexpected. They said every effort is being made to convince China that there
are reasonable grounds for sanctioning Azhar, and other countries too have
information that they are using to persuade Beijing.
has given specific information about JeM and its leaders to all members of
Security Council and will continue to lobby them, the people said. Listing
Azhar is not the endgame, and the move is aimed at sending a message to
Pakistan that no one is on its side on the issue of terrorism, they added.
process of putting together a case for the UN sanctions committee is technical,
painstaking and confidential. Contents of previous proposals for Azhar’s
designation remain confidential, as do reasons for their failure.
an age where informed publics increasingly demand transparency from public
institutions, the sanctions committees are the most egregious examples known to
multilateralism in terms of their opacity and lack of accountability,” India’s
permanent representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said during a debate at
the UN on multilateralism last November.
Saudi Arabia welcomed on Thursday the UK’s decision to classify Hezbollah in
its entirety as a terrorist organization.
Saudi Presidency of State Security said that the decision is an important step
in the fight to counter terrorism and financing it at a regional and
added that Hezbollah represents a real and clear threat to international
stability and security, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
presidency added that the decision reflects the UK’s keenness on countering
terrorism and extremist ideologies.
UK said on Monday it would join the US, Canada, Israel and the Arab League in
banning the all of Hezbollah. Previously it had just proscribed its militant
wings as “terrorist”.
proscription, which comes into effect on Friday, will make membership of the
movement or inviting support for it a crime punishable by up to 10 years’
Kingdom urged the international community to take similar steps and intensify
cooperation to coordination to ensure that terrorism is eliminated.
Arabia said it will continue to work with its allies to stop Hezbollah and
Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region, to maintain international peace and
Belgian court on Thursday overturned a previous decision to repatriate two
citizens formerly married to Daesh members in Syria.
appeals court quashed a 2018 decision by a lower court that Belgian citizens
Tatyana Wielandt, 26, and Bushra Abouallal, 25, would be allowed to return to
the country as would their six children from camps currently controlled by the
YPK/PKK terror group.
lower court had also ruled that if the government did not implement the
decision within 40 days, it would have to pay a daily compensation of €5,000
(nearly $5,700) per child of up to one million euros ($1.1 million).
decision came on the heels of opposition to the earlier decision to bring the
women back by Health Minister Maggie de Block, who is in charge of refugee and
— A high-profile French jihadist and Islamic State propagandist, Fabien Clain,
who is believed to have recorded the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility
for the November 2015 attacks in Paris, was killed by an airstrike in
southeastern Syria, the American-led coalition said on Thursday.
Coalition strike killed an active Daesh media official named Abu Anas al
Faransi, also known as Fabien Clain, in Baghouz,” the coalition said in a
Twitter posting, using the Arabic name for the Islamic State.
also spelled Baghuz, is a village in the last bit of territory in Syria still
held by the militant group.
was unclear when Mr. Clain was killed, but he and his brother, Jean-Michel,
were believed to have been targeted by an airstrike on Feb. 20. The defense
minister of France, part of the coalition, called his death “possible” the next
day. The fate of the brother remains unclear.
Clain, 41, narrated a six-minute audio recording produced by the Islamic State,
claiming responsibility for the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks on Paris that killed 130
people and wounded more than 400. The recording, released the day after the
attacks, included religious chanting by Mr. Clain’s brother.
brothers also recorded several propaganda songs in French that were released by
the Islamic State, or ISIS, urging people to commit terrorist attacks or to
leave France for ISIS-controlled territories, according to the Middle East
Media Research Institute.
advance, never retreat, never surrender,” went the chorus to one released
immediately after the Paris attacks.
well-known figure who navigated French jihadi circles for 20 years, Fabien
Clain was one of the most prominent foreign members of the Islamic State.
Although the full extent of his influence within the group is not entirely
clear, analysts said he played a significant role in spreading its messages to
the French-speaking world.
involved in communications were close to those in charge of preparing the
attacks,” said Romain Caillet, an independent French expert on ISIS.
Clain’s death comes as France and other countries are assessing how to handle
their citizens who joined the Islamic State but are now detained in makeshift
camps in Syria by Kurdish forces, after President Trump’s abrupt decision to
withdraw American troops from the region.
handful of jihadists who were close to the Clain brothers have been detained by
Kurdish forces and could be repatriated to France within weeks, according to
experts and government officials. Adrien Guihal and Thomas Barnouin, two
high-profile Islamic State members who were also involved in its
communications, are believed to be among them.
via Associated Press
could be transferred to Iraq and face trial there. President Barham Saleh of
Iraq said during a visit to France on Monday that 13 French citizens had been
handed over by Syrian Kurdish forces in January.
French authorities issued arrest warrants for the Clains in June of last year
for their suspected involvement in the Paris attacks. Mr. Caillet said
intelligence services had concluded that Mr. Clain’s role in the attacks was
more significant than they had believed earlier.
the Clain brothers converted to Islam in the 1990s, they were obsessed with rap
and wrote Christian hip-hop songs as teenagers, according to a 2016 article in
Boudu, a local French magazine.
believe that they were radicalized in the early 2000s, when they switched to
writing a cappella Islamic songs, known as anashid. They posted at least one to
a Myspace page.
the following years, they were part of the “Artigat cell,” named after the
small town in southwestern France where a group of Muslims followed the
extremist teachings of Olivier Corel, a Franco-Syrian preacher.
Caillet met Fabien Clain during that period, in Egypt, and described him as a
“modest, affable individual open to debate.”
Artigat, the Clains grew close to another prominent French jihadist, Abdelkader
Merah, who was convicted in 2017 of being part of a criminal terrorist
conspiracy. Mr. Merah’s younger brother, Mohamed, killed seven people in
Toulouse in 2012, including four at a Jewish school, before the police killed
January 2015, just before leaving for Syria, Fabien Clain bought $4,000 worth
of music equipment, including a microphone, voice changing equipment and a
license to Pro Tools, the music editing software, from a shop in Toulouse,
according to French media reports.
was a ghost whose name could be found in almost all jihadi cases, a figure who
fascinated the whole French jihadi sphere,” said Guillaume Denoix de Saint
Marc, the president of the French Association of Victims of Terrorism, or
Denoix de Saint Marc said he would have preferred that Mr. Clain be captured
and interrogated about his involvement in the Paris attacks.
wasn’t very talkative, but his brother Jean-Michel usually had more to say,”
said Chantal Anglade, an A.F.V.T. member whose daughter was wounded in a Cairo
bombing in 2009, for which the Clain brothers were interrogated.
2009, Mr. Clain was sentenced to five years in prison for his role, as part of
the Artigat cell, in recruiting radicalized people and sending them to Iraq. He
was released in 2012 and is believed to have left for Syria to join the Islamic
State around March 2015.
(Reuters) - A Belgian court's decision to overturn a ruling forcing it to
repatriate two Belgian women convicted of being Islamic State militants and
their six children from Syria has left their family devastated.
grandmother of the six children, aged from 11 months to seven years, has been
trying for more than a year to bring them back from Syria, where they are being
held by U.S.-backed Kurdish militias.
a judge ordered the state in December to do everything possible not only to
bring the children back but also their mothers, she had begun to prepare for
and blue backpacks hang under pegs with the children's names in the hallway of
her home near Antwerp ready for them to return to school.
has been sending their mothers - her daughter Bouchra Abouallal, 25, and
step-daughter Tatiana Wielandt, 26, - school material via WhatsApp for them to
girls are devastated, too," Fatiha, who has a different last name from her
daughter but asked for it not to be used for the safety of her grandchildren,
told Reuters, choking on tears over the phone on Thursday.
nations are wrestling with how to deal with hundreds of suspected militants and
their families seeking to return from the combat zone, an issue made more
pressing by U.S. plans to withdraw troops from Syria.
is little sympathy for militants' families with the trauma of attacks claimed
by Islamic State still fresh in many cities, and governments have maintained
they cannot act in a region where Kurdish control is not internationally
Belgian government fought the case fearing it would set a precedent. Siding
with the state, the Brussels court of appeal ruled that it was not forced
"to undertake any act of repatriation".
winning on Wednesday, Justice Minister Koen Geens said Belgium was still ready
to bring back the minors, adding that their mothers had previously said they
would stay behind if the children could return.
and Abouallal were convicted last year in absentia of being members of Islamic
State. Fatiha says she wants them home even if they go to jail.
girls have been sentenced to five years in prison. They deserve that prison
sentence, and I have never opposed it. I also want them to be arrested, brought
here and locked up," she said last week ahead of the decision.
friends turned step-sisters, Wielandt converted to Islam to marry Abouallal's
brother Noureddine when they were still teens.
after, they left with their husbands for Syria - each with a baby - joining
more than 400 Belgians who have headed to the conflict zone. Their husbands
died with a year of being in Syria. Both widowed in 2014 and each pregnant with
their second child, Abouallal and Wielandt returned to Belgium.
few months later, while Abouallal's mother, Fatiha, was out of the country on
vacation, the step-sisters left again - leaving her heartbroken with an empty
house full of toys.
like other parents across Europe, who have received messages from their
children pleading to come home, Fatiha began lobbying the government early last
relatives are among 17 Belgian women and 32 children being held in Syria,
according to security sources.
won an appeal Wednesday against a ruling ordering it to repatriate six children
of Belgian militants living in a refugee camp with their mothers in Syria.
Brussels appeals court finds in favor of the appeal of the Belgian state”
against a lower court’s decision handed down on December 26, it said in a
statement, confirming that “the Belgian state is no longer obliged to undertake
any act of repatriation.” Another court had previously rejected a demand lodged
by two women, each mother to three of the children, for their home government
the Flemish-speaking Court of First Instance in Brussels overturned that with
its December ruling, ordering Belgium to take “all necessary and possible
measures” to bring the children home from the al-Hol refugee camp, overseen by
Kurdish forces, near the Iraqi border.
rights campaigners welcomed that ruling. The children, all aged six or under,
are the offspring of alleged extremist fighters. Human rights groups fear as
many as 160 Belgian minors are trapped in the Syrian conflict zone.
December ruling gave the Belgian state 40 days to comply or face fines of 5,000
euros (almost $5,700) per child per day. As a proportion of its population,
Belgium has been one of the main suppliers of Europeans travelling to fight for
extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.
all, more than 400 adults are thought to have left to join groups such as ISIS
extremist group or al-Qaeda since 2013. Belgium has been hit by several attacks
claimed by ISIS, notably the Brussels attack in March 22, 2016 which killed 32
Belgian government has said it is willing to “facilitate the return of children
(of extremists) under the age of ten whose descent from a Belgian parent is
proven. But for the remainder it is on a case-by-case basis.”
London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Wednesday
that over 700 people, including 40 ISIL militants, a large number of them from
Turkistani and Asian origins, left Eastern Deir Ezzur on 15 trucks belonging to
the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
added that the ISIL members have been transferred to the US-led coalition's
base in Deir Ezzur, noting that 51,750 people with different nationalities have
been evacuated from the region so far.
the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm quoted a local Iraqi source as saying that
the SDF has transferred 21 families of ISIL militants, including the family
members of al-Baghdadi, from Baqouz region in Eastern Deir Ezzur to an unknown
place after an agreement with the US forces.
a relevant development on Monday, a senior member of the Iraqi parliament accused
the US of sheltering ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Ein al-Assad
military base in Western Iraq, and warned that 3,000 ISIL terrorists are being
trained in the country to foment insecurity again.
Salem, the representative of al-Fatah coalition in the Iraqi parliament, was
quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website as saying on Monday
that al-Baghdadi was being supported by the US forces in the Western desert of
also said that the US forces had trained and equipped over 3,000 ISIL
terrorists in Wadi al-Houran region with the aim of fomenting insecurity and revival
of the ISIL in Iraq and sent them to Nineveh, al-Anbar and Saladin provinces.
Iraqi lawmaker says the leader of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, Ibrahim
al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is alive and traveling freely between
neighboring Syria and desert areas in Iraq’s western province of Anbar under
the protection of US military forces.
Salem said in a statement on Thursday that “Baghdadi is in the Anbar desert,
which he is using as a safe haven.”
is being provided with US support at Anbar’s Ayn al-Assad military base and is
traveling freely between Iraq and Syria.” Salem noted.
Iraqi legislator said the US is helping the Daesh leader as Iraq’s parliament
is set to vote on a bill on a complete US troop withdrawal from the country.
United States supports Baghdadi “out of concerns over possible endorsement of
[a] bill on expelling US troops from Iraq,” he noted.
last December, a number of Iraqi politicians and religious leaders have
contested the continued presence of US forces in the country, with some calling
for a vote in parliament on whether to expel foreign troops from the country.
in an interview with CBS television network broadcast on February 3, US
President Donald Trump said he planned to keep US troops in Iraq to monitor and
maintain pressure on neighboring Iran.
highlighted the importance of Anbar’s Ayn al-Assad military base, which he
visited during an unannounced trip to the country last December, saying it was
crucial to the surveillance of Iran’s activities.
spent a fortune on building this incredible base; we might as well keep it. And
one of the reasons I want to keep it is because I want to be looking a little
bit at Iran,” Trump said.
eight Daesh terrorists were apprehended during a military operation in Anbar
province on Wednesday.
intelligence forces launched a preemptive military operation in Zankuro and
Albu Tiban areas of the province to target Daesh terrorists,” Arabic-language
Baghdad Today news agency said, citing a statement issued by the Directorate of
General Military Intelligence.
statement added that government forces managed to arrest eight terrorists,
whose mission was to collect information about the whereabouts of security
forces and citizens to assassinate them later.
February 18, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said he was concerned about
developments in Syria, where Daesh terrorists have lost their last stronghold
on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River and are fleeing in droves towards
desert areas in Iraq’s Anbar.
Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declared the end of military operations
against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in the strategic
northern city of Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold
activists reported that only in the last 24 hours, 7 children and 2 women have
died for the lack of medical and treatment possibilities in al-Hawl refugee
camp in Southeastern Hasaka.
added that nearly 14,000 families, consisting of 47,000 people, are living in
the camp under an acute shortage of food, drugs and hygiene aids, warning that
the children are in critical conditions.
World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday that 73 Syrian refugees
have died in al-Hawl camp in the past few months, adding that two third of them
least 29 children and newborns are reported to have died over the past eight
weeks, mainly from hypothermia, while travelling to the camp or shortly after
arrival, the WHO said in a statement early February.
said about 23,000 people, mainly women and children fleeing hostilities in
rural areas of neighboring Deir Ezzur, had reached the camp over that period.
Syrian people sheltering in al-Hawl camp earlier this month staged massive
rallies over the death of tens of children.
sources from Hasaka province reported that the rallies were held to protest at
SDF's incapability to supply the needs of the displaced community sheltered in
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted the UAE's 'The National' as reporting
that the administration of US President Donald Trump is after creation of an
international force consisting of 2,000 NATO soldiers instead of the safe zone
desired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Northern Syria.
referred to the recent remarks by Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Chavushoglu
on the possibility for the deployment of Russian forces at the bordering areas
in Northern Syria, saying that it means success of Russia's efforts to persuade
Ankara to return to the Adana protocol.
added that the US measures to replace its troops with NATO forces in regions
that it would withdraw from means Washington's attempts to distort efforts by
Moscow to revive the agreement.
relevant remarks earlier this month, Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of
Rai al-Youm newspaper, said that the Adana agreement, signed by Turkey and
Syria in 1998, killed in the bud Washington's plots to establish a safe zone in
Northern Syria and disintegrate the country.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that during the trilateral meeting in
Sochi, Moscow and Ankara reached this conclusion that the Adana agreement
signed between Syria and Turkey in 1998 is the best way to confront the
terrorists' threats at the Syrian and Turkish borders," Atwan wrote.
agreement which was declared five days after holding the trilateral meeting
among Iran, Russia and Turkey means burying the safe zone plot that US
President Donald Trump had asked for its establishment across the Northern
borders of Syria. It also means thwarting attempts to disintegrate Syria for
the sake of the formation of a small state on the Eastern banks of the
Euphrates," he added.
terrorist groups stationed in the demilitarized zone in Northern Hama targeted
the Mahrada power plant with 20 missiles, leaving heavy damage and destroying
one of the gas tanks.
Syrian army units responded the offensive with heavy missile and artillery
attacks, targeting the terrorists' positions and moves in al-Latamineh, Kafr
Zita and al-Zakat in Northern Hama, destroying several bases and hideouts of
militants and killing the terrorists inside.
also launched missile and artillery attacks on terrorists in al-Hawijeh,
al-Nashameh, al-Shariat, Murak and Jisr Beit al-Ra'as in Northern and
Northwestern Hama, leaving heavy tolls on them.
reports said on Tuesday that Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation
Board or the al-Nusra Front) had recently delivered 3,000 long-range and
mid-range missiles jointly produced by a number of Arab states in one of the North
African countries to the underground caches of Jeish al-Izza terrorist group in
the towns of Kafr Zita and al-Latamineh in Northern Hama.
Arabic-language service of Sputnik quoted special sources in Idlib as saying
that the operations to deliver the missiles was carried out at night and took
for two days, adding that commander of Tahrir al-Sham for weaponry named Abu
Ahmad al-Checheni has ordered transfer of the missiles from the depots in Idlib
city, Saraqib and Ariha in Idlib province to Jeish al-Izza after coordination
with its commander Jamil al-Salih.
the missile attacks by Jeish al-Izza against the residential areas in the town
of al-Saqilbeh and Mahrada in Northern and Northwestern Hama, a civilian was
killed and 7 others, including a child, were severely wounded and a large
number of houses were destroyed.
on the report, the terrorists stationed in Southeastern Idlib also launched
missile strikes against the Western parts of the town of Abu al-Zohour, killing
7 Syrian military forces and injuring 20 others near the town of al-Sukriyeh.
the Syrian army forces in response targeted the terrorists' moves in Western
Abu al-Zohour, inflicting over 25 tolls on them and smashing their military
House advisor Jared Kushner held talks with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman during a regional tour to rally support for a long-awaited
Middle East peace proposal, US officials said Wednesday.
on previous conversations, they discussed increasing cooperation between the
United States and Saudi Arabia, and the Trump administration’s efforts to facilitate
peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” the White House said in a brief
was accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, the US Middle East peace envoy and Brian
Hook, the US special representative for Iran.
this month Kushner briefed countries at a conference in Warsaw on Washington’s
plans for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian to be formally
presented after Israeli elections in April.
the Palestinians rejected the meeting as an “American conspiracy” with aims to
“normalize” the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. The Palestinians
have refused to talk to the Trump administration since the US president
recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
Trump administration has since dealt a series of blows to the Palestinian
Authority, including cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for the
increasing tension between India and Pakistan, Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi
minister of state for foreign affairs, is expected to visit Pakistan with a
special message from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Pakistan’s Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday.
to television station Geo TV, Qureshi also said Pakistan would be prepared to
return the Indian pilot shot down and captured this week if it helped ease the
crisis with its neighbor. “We are willing to return the captured Indian pilot
if it leads to de-escalation,” Qureshi was quoted as saying.
Indian and Pakistani troops traded fire briefly along the contested border in
Kashmir on Thursday morning, a day after the two nuclear powers both downed
enemy jets, with Pakistan capturing an Indian pilot.
United States, China and other world powers have urged restraint from the two
nations as tensions escalate following tit-for-tat airstrikes in the wake of a
suicide car bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in
Indian-controlled Kashmir on Feb. 14.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited both Pakistan and India earlier this
month. An AP report quoted Qureshi as saying that he spoke to al-Jubeir on the
phone the previous night. He did not give further details.
US-backed Kurdish militants in Syria have reportedly been helping the remaining
Daesh terrorists -- who are now holed up in an eastern village -- to escape
their last hideout and reach the Turkish border in exchange for "hefty
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Thursday that some 120
militants of the US-sponsored Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have formed a
"smuggling network," which works to secure the escape of Daesh
terrorists and their family members from Baghouz village in the eastern
province of Dayr al-Zawr; the final piece of land still held by the Takfiri
militants then help the fugitives reach SDF-controlled northern border areas
near Turkey and receive "hefty bribes" in return, it added. The
report claimed, however, that several members of the network have been arrested
by SDF's "intelligence services," while others remain at large.
monitoring group based its report on information obtained from sources inside
Baghouz, the Kurdish-controlled areas and the Turkish territory.
United States has long been providing the SDF -- a predominantly Kurdish
alliance of militants -- with arms and militants, calling them a key partner in
the purported fight against Daesh.
support has only angered Washington's NATO ally, Turkey, which views militants
of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF, as a terrorist
organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant
PKK has been fighting for autonomy inside Turkey for decades.
launched two military operations against the YPG and Daesh in northern Syria in
August 2016 and January 2018, and has threatened a third should the US fail to
remove the Kurdish militants from the east of the Euphrates.
itself, also stands accused of supporting the Daesh terrorists, who are
currently on their last legs in Syria.
this week, Syria's official SANA news agency, citing local sources, reported
that the US has received massive amounts of gold in exchange for providing safe
passage to the Daesh terrorists confined to Baghouz.
forces have already shipped out huge quantities of gold they had seized in
Daesh’s strongholds, bringing the total amount of gold acquired and transferred
to the US to around 50 tonnes, SANA said.
and Syria have recently opened humanitarian corridors out of Baghouz to help
civilians leave the area, calling on the US to end its illegal military
presence in the country so they could complete the task.
Daesh terror group lost its territorial rule in Syria in late 2017 thanks to
national army operations backed by Iran and Russia.
the terror group's collapse, the US and a coalition of allies -- which invaded
Syria in 2014 under the pretext of Daesh -- have refused to end their aerial
operations in defiance of the Damascus government.
US has deployed some 2,000 troops to Syria and runs military bases there.
reports have emerged over the past months, indicating that Washington lets the
terrorists enjoy freedom of movement near its military base, and even trains
week, Iraqi lawmaker Hassan Salem said Daesh’s ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai,
aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is being protected by the US forces based at Ayn
al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq.
President Donald Trump told American troops on Thursday that US-backed forces
in Syria have retaken 100 percent of the territory once held by Daesh
militants, contradicting the commander of the US-allied Syrian Democratic
Forces, who said it would take another week.
just took over, you know, you kept hearing it was 90 percent, 92 percent, the
caliphate in Syria. Now it's 100 percent we just took over, 100 percent
caliphate," Trump told troops at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during a
refueling stop in Alaska.
on Thursday, the commander of Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Kobani, said in
a video released to the news media that the SDF would be able to announce
"the complete victory over Daesh in a week."
made his comments while talking to US troops in Alaska about the progress his
administration has made in Afghanistan and the Middle East over the past two
years. He stopped in Alaska on his way back from talks in Vietnam with North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
US president has been anxious to declare that Daesh has been driven out of all
its territory since announcing in December that he would withdraw American
forces from Syria, claiming they had succeeded in their mission to defeat the
the United States has withdrawn some troops, Trump responded to criticism of
his move by deciding to leave some 400 US troops in the country over the longer
run: 200 to remain in the northeast as part of a multinational force and 200 to
remain at an outpost in the southeast to counter Iranian influence.
US envoy ‘satisfied’ with outcome of peace talks
Afghan Taliban and US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad are apparently satisfied
with the outcome of the peace talks in Qatar as both sides are likely to reach
an understanding on the withdrawal of the foreign forces and preventing the
Afghan soil from being used against other countries.
spokesman for political office Suhail Shaheen told Daily Times that technical
groups on foreign troops and terrorism have wrapped up the two-day talks and a
statement may be issued at the conclusion of the current round of negotiations.
talks will resume on Saturday after two-day break during which both sides will
hold internal discussions.
who led the US team, described meetings as ‘productive’ on Thursday. “We
continue to take slow, steady steps toward understanding and eventually peace,”
he posted on his Twitter handle.
Taliban negotiator Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa also said the talks were
‘positive’ where both sides explained their views. “Now both sides will consult
their leaders and resume negotiations on Saturday,” Khairkhwa, the Taliban
former interior minister, told Afghan website nunn.asia.
was among the five senior Taliban leaders who were freed from the US detention
center at Guantanamo Bay in 2014 in exchange for a US soldier.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also released some details of the meeting.
“Extensive discussions were held about the procedure of withdrawal of foreign
troops from Tuesday till Wednesday noon, and from that time onwards, discussion
revolved around preventing Afghanistan from being used against other
countries,” he said, and added that the meetings ended late Wednesday as both
teams agreed to take a break for two days for consultations and preparation for
the third meeting which shall be held on Saturday.
Taliban senior leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar held meetings with top US
commander in Afghanistan Scott Miller, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Qatar Abdul Rahman al-Thani and National Security Advisor
Muhammad al-Masnad in Qatar. “The meetings focused on discussions about the
ongoing negotiations process and withdrawal of foreign forces from
Afghanistan,” Mujahid said in a statement. “Baradar clarified the Taliban
policy regarding foreign forces’ withdrawal and changing situation of
Afghanistan while emphasizing commitment to the current peace process along
with peace and establishment of an Islamic system in Afghanistan,” he added.
insist they are discussing two issues with Khalilzad-led team but the US envoy
said on Twitter that all four key issues remained on the table. He did not
explain the other two issues but the US side had earlier called for ceasefire
and urged the Taliban to talk to the Afghan government.
have refused so far to sit with the Kabul administration on the plea that they
want to strike deal with the US on the withdrawal of troops.
path to peace doesn’t often run in a straight line. The situation in
Afghanistan is complex and like all sensitive talks, not everything is
conducted in public,” Khalilzad wrote on Twitter. “Emerging from three solid
days of talks with the Taliban in Doha. Meetings were productive. We continue
to take slow, steady steps toward understanding and eventually,” he added.
Afghan security forces have thwarted an attack by Taliban militants in Arghandab
district of Zabul province leaving at least 28 militants dead, informed
military sources said Thursday.
the meantime, at least 30 militants were killed were killed during the
operations of the Afghan Special Forces and an airstrike which were conducted
in Tarinkot of Uruzgan, Nahr-e-Saraj and Sangin districts of Helmand, and
Hisarak district of Nangarhar province.
sources further added that similar operations were also conducted in Sabari
district of Khost, Shahwlai Kot district of Kandahar, Sancharak district of
Sar-e-Pul province, and Qarabagh district of Ghazni province leaving at least
32 militants dead and 5 others wounded.
NATIONS: Bangladesh told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that
it cannot take any more refugees from Myanmar, some 18 months after more than
700,000 mainly Rohingya Muslims started pouring across the border fleeing a
on security posts by Rohingya insurgents in Myanmar’s Rakhine state triggered
the crackdown that the United Nations, the United States, Britain and others
describe as ethnic cleansing. Myanmar denies the accusations.
regret to inform the council that Bangladesh would no longer be in a position
to accommodate more people from Myanmar,” Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul
accused Myanmar of “hollow promises and various obstructionist approaches”
during negotiations on returns.
a single Rohingya has volunteered to return to Rakhine due to the absence of
conducive environment there,” Haque said.
says it has been ready to accept returning refugees since January, but the
United Nations says conditions are not yet right for their return. The Rohingya
say they want guarantees over their safety and to be recognized as citizens
powers on the council on Thursday lamented the lack of action from Myanmar’s
very disappointed ... that there hasn’t been more progress on getting the
refugees back and that obviously includes creating the conditions where the
refugees feel able to go back,” British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce told the
council members from western countries stressed that the return of refugees
needed to be safe, voluntary, dignified and secure, and pushed for the Myanmar
government to allow the United Nations widespread and unconditional access to
envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner-Burgener told the Security Council that UN
access was currently “insufficient.”
scale of what has been done to the Rohingya Muslims and the allegations of
crimes against humanity really mark this out as one of the most terrible events
of this century so far,” Pierce said.
15-member Security Council has been split over how to deal with the crisis,
with western powers pitted against Russia and Myanmar ally China.
Deputy UN Ambassador Wu Haitao said it was mainly an issue between Myanmar and
neighboring Bangladesh “and as such it is up to the two countries to work out a
Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy agreed.
group of Taliban militants and suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on
an army base in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan earlier today.
to reports, the attack was launched on 215th Maiwand Corps headquarters.
media office of the provincial government has announced that the attack was
immediately repulsed by the security forces leaving at least 3 suicide bombers
and 6 other militants dead.
to a statement released by provincial government media office, a clearance
operation is underway to ensure assailants are not left in the area.
The announcement by Prime Minister Imran Khan to release the captive Indian
pilot as a goodwill gesture has widely been welcomed by almost all the
political parties, but the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has questioned its
to Dawn News after attending the joint sitting of parliament, PPP leader Syed
Khursheed Shah said he believed that the decision to release the Indian Air
Force pilot should have been delayed a little.
said as Pakistan had already offered dialogue and declared that it was ready
for talks with the help of a number of friendly countries, it would have been
better that such a decision was taken during the talks.
a look: When truth is the first casualty
would have been better if we have taken this decision by involving some of the
countries and through them,” Mr Shah added.
it’s worth the price if India avoids war after it,” he said.
on the prime minister’s speech during the joint sitting, the PPP leader said
that they did not want to make any criticism on the government at this point of
time. He said Pakistan did not want war and only desired peace in the region
and there was no other option. He was of the view that India should benefit
from this attitude of Pakistan.
a number of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers and office-bearers praised
the prime minister’s speech, saying that Mr Khan had adopted a statesman-like
Minister Imran Khan has shown an extraordinary gesture in international
relations that despite no obligation to return a prisoner of war (POW) till
armed conflict or hostilities are formally over, he has chosen to adopt a
statesman-like approach and decided to repatriate the Indian prisoner,” said
Senator Faisal Javed, who is also the chairman of the Senate Standing
Committee on Information and Broadcasting, in a statement.
said under the international law provided in Article 118 of Third Geneva
Convention, obligation on the state to return POW triggered only upon cessation
of hostilities. Whereas, he said, despite no legal obligation, the prime
minister had taken a bold decision.
Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Friday he would not attend a meeting of
foreign ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Abu Dhabi
this weekend because his Indian counterpart had been invited to the event.
will not go to the council of foreign ministers,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi told
parliament, adding that lower ranking officials would attend to represent
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made an "urgent" phone
call to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to update him about the tensions
between Pakistan and India, Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
the phone call, Wang briefed Qureshi on China's efforts to promote peace talks
and reiterated his hope that Pakistan and India would exercise restraint and
"earnestly fulfil" their commitment to prevent the escalation of the
situation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
phone call came as tensions between India and Pakistan rose Wednesday after
Pakistan claimed it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space
and arrested a pilot in response to Indian counter-terrorism in Balakot.
at night on February 27, 2019, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
made an urgent call to State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to update
him on the situation between Pakistan and India," the Chinese Foreign
made the phone call after Wang held extensive talks with External Affairs
Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Russia, India,
China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting in the Chinese city of Wuzhen.
forcefully raised the terror strike issue with her Chinese counterpart and said
the Pulwama attack is the direct result of the "impunity and cover"
provided to the Jaish-e-Muhammed terror group by Pakistan.
meeting with Wang came a day after India destroyed a major Jaish-e-Muhammed
(JeM) terror training camp in Pakistan. China, a close ally of Pakistan has
repeatedly foiled India's attempts to brand JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist
by the UN.
JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN's list of banned terror
told Qureshi that China will continue to play a "constructive role"
in easing the current tension.
expressed deep concern over the escalation of tension between Pakistan and
India and briefed Qureshi on China's efforts to promote peace talks and
reiterated his hope that Pakistan and India would exercise restraint and
earnestly fulfil their commitment to prevent the escalation of the situation,
the statement said.
also stressed that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries
should be truly respected. China does not want to see any behaviour that goes
against the norms governing international relations," it said.
the RIC Ministers meeting, India won the support of China and Russia in the
fight against terrorism as China and Russia agreed to step up policy
the media after the RIC Ministers talks, Wang said, “We agreed to jointly
combat all forms terrorism through closer policy coordination and practical
cooperation. Especially important is to eradicate the breeding grounds of
terrorism and extremism."
at the same Wang tried to cautiously tread a fine line, highlighting that
Pakistan, which is its close ally, is also opposed to terrorism.
Russia and India have reaffirmed our strong opposition to terrorism in various
forms and manifestations. At the same time, we believe that Pakistan has always
been opposed to terrorism," he said at the joint press conference with
Swaraj and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
on China's stand, Wang said, "on the recent developments between India and
Pakistan, China appreciates the statements from Indian and Pakistani friends
saying that they will exercise and avoid escalation of the situation."
said China for its part is playing a "constructive role as a mutual
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that if India has "solid
evidence" regarding Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar's involvement in
the Pulwama attack, it should share that with Pakistan "so we can convince
the judiciary and the people".
foreign minister made these remarks during an interview with CNN journalist
Christiane Amanpour regarding Pakistan's ongoing tensions with India, which was
sparked by the Pulwama incident and has since led to armed conflict at the Line
was asked how he would respond to Indian concerns regarding Jaish-e-Muhammad
(JeM). "My message to the Indians is that this is a new government that
has a new mindset. We want to live in peace. We have a people-centric agenda.
We want to concentrate on fixing the economy. We want to improve governance and
eradicate corruption in Pakistan. That's the mandate given to us.
want to see peace and reconciliation in Pakistan and the region. The western
front is consuming us; we do not want [escalation on the] eastern front. The
policy of our government is that we will not allow our soil to be used by any
organisation or individual for terrorism against anyone, and that includes
was asked what he thought of India's desire to have the JeM's head's name on
the international terrorist list. "We will be open to any step that leads
to de-escalation. If they have good, solid evidence, please sit and talk,
initiate a dialogue and we will show reasonableness."
asked if Azhar was present in Pakistan and would the government go after him,
Qureshi replied: "He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is
very unwell, to the extent that he cannot leave his house."
urged India to share with Pakistan any evidence that "is acceptable to the
courts of Pakistan".
Prime Minister Imran Khan's decision to release the Indian Air Force's (IAF)
captured pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, Qureshi said: "This was a goodwill
gesture and we feel that this should be an expression of Pakistan's willingness
to de-escalate." When asked how serious the conflict between Pakistan and
India — two nuclear-armed countries — was, the foreign minister said: "The
situation certainly was serious when India attacked Pakistan, when they violated
our airspace and dropped bombs, when they violated the UN charter and
international law. This was serious. The Indian and Pakistani air forces are
fully mobilised ... how dangerous can it be?"
being asked if he envisioned an all-out Pak-India war, Qureshi said: "I
hope not. That would be a mutual suicide. Pakistan never wants to escalate or
want to be in a hostile position. From day one, Prime Minister Imran Khan
offered that if you take one step towards peace we will take two. He wrote to
the Indian prime minister, saying 'let the two foreign ministers meet on the
sidelines in New York so that they can chart a way forward'.
this Pulwama tragic incident took place and I landed in Munich for the security
conference and I learned about it, what did I do? I condemned, condoled and
then the prime minister made a reasonable offer that 'if you have actionable
evidence, share it with us and we will honestly, sincerely investigate.'
joint session of Parliament was held on Thursday to discuss rising tension with
India in the wake of the Pulwama attack and subsequent airstrikes by both
Minister Imran Khan, who was the first to speak, thanked the opposition for
standing by the government "at a time when Pakistan is facing an external
about the ongoing tensions between Pakistan and India, the prime minister said
that despite his government's multiple overtures of peace, the response from
New Delhi had not been encouraging.
realised that it was because of upcoming elections in India," he said and
added that the government decided to wait until the polls in India were over
before making another offer for talks. However, he disclosed, he had
"feared they (India) would do something".
told the Parliament that after an Indian aircraft violated Pakistan's airspace
in the wee hours of Tuesday, he had a meeting with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed
Bajwa where it was decided that Pakistan will not respond straightaway.
realised that Pakistani people might get upset that we did not respond, but we
(army chief and premier) decided that since we did not know if there were any
casualties, in case of an immediate response there will be escalation."
only purpose of our strike was to demonstrate our capability and will,"
said PM Khan while addressing the House. "We did not want to inflict any
casualty on India as we wanted to act in a responsible manner."
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Wednesday — a day after India violated the Line of
Control (LoC) — undertook strikes across the LoC from Pakistani airspace. PAF
shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, with one aircraft
falling inside Azad Jammu and Kashmir. One Indian pilot was arrested by troops
on ground, the Army's media wing had said.
Khan said he tried to call Indian PM Narendra Modi on the phone yesterday
because "escalation is neither in our interest nor in India's".
not take this confrontation further," the premier said, addressing the
Indian leadership. He warned that whatever action New Delhi decides to take in the
future, Pakistan will be "forced to retaliate" to it.
lauded the Pakistani media's coverage of events over the past three days,
saying that the reporting was "responsible" and "mature".
it was upsetting to see the warmongering done by the Indian media," the
premier said. "It's because our media has seen the dead bodies and
bloodshed that results from terrorism. If [the Indian] media had seen what our
journalists have witnessed over the past 17 years, they would not have created
this war hysteria."
said instead of pointing fingers towards Pakistan, the people of India should
introspect as to what great extent the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir have
been oppressed that they now stand ready to even lose their lives in their
struggle for freedom.
premier, before Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif started his address,
announced that the captured Indian pilot will be released tomorrow [Friday] as
a gesture of peace.
our desire for peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open
negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our
custody," PM Khan said, adding that Pakistan's efforts for de-escalation
should not be construed as a "weakness".
gesture was greeted with near unanimous support in the parliament.
day earlier, the top political leadership of the country was given an in-camera
briefing at Parliament House.
parties expressed satisfaction over the briefing mainly conducted by Foreign
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director
General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor.
official handout issued by the National Assembly Secretariat had said: “The
forum unanimously expressed that they stand united against any aggression
against Pakistan and will support the government and its institutions
said the participants also “expressed hope that those who want peace and
stability will prevail as war is not an option but a failure of policy”.
not a solution: Shahbaz
leader Shahbaz Sharif in his remarks said this was a critical turn in
Pakistan's history, and the nation had to face the situation with collective
wisdom, courage and statesmanship.
said the PAF pilots by shooting down the Indian aircraft which crossed into the
Pakistani airspace had "refreshed" the memories of the 1965 war.
stressed that wars are "never the solution" to any conflict, and the
involved parties eventually have to come to the table for dialogue.
said peace in the region will not prevail until and unless the Kashmir dispute
is resolved in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people and relevant
United Nations resolutions.
will have to give the Kashmiris their right [of self-determination] eventually,"
the opposition leader added.
The news regarding killing two notorious terrorists spread like fire in the
Jungle in Shikarpur because Shikarpur has infamous owing to suicide blasts and
remote control blasts and people of Shikarpur suffered a lot.
master mind and notorious terrorists identified as Molvi Abdullah Brohi and
Hafeez Brohi were killed in an encounter with Shikarpur police in the area of
Sibi, Balochistan province, at about 3:30 PM, on Thursday.
Ameer Sadozai, SSP Shikarpur told the media men during press conference held at
his office that Molvi Abdullah Brohi and Hafeez Brohi, the Ameer and Naib Ameer
of Daish Sindh and Balochistan chapter, respectively, were involved in plotting
and carrying out many suicide attacks, remote control blasts and IDE blasts in
Sindh and Balochistan.
went on saying that Molvi Abdullah Brohi and Hafeez Brohi came in limelight
since 2010 and carried out many suicide attacks including two suicide attacks
on former MNA Dr Muhammad Ibrahim Jatoi, who survived, remote control blast on
Dargah Hajjan Shah Marri Sharif in which 12 innocent persons including
Gadinasheen Syed Hajan Shah embraced martyrdom, two suicide blasts on
Imambargahas of Shikarpur in which 75 innocent person were martyred and at
least 100 persons sustained injuries, murder of Allama Shafqat Abbas Matuhari
in Khanpur, carrying out suicide blast on mourners during Muharram ul Harram in
Jacobabad in which at least two dozen persons were martyred and score of
persons sustained injuries, blast of Masjid Ul Harram of Quetta in which at
least 20 persons were embraced martyrdom, Sehwan Blast in which score of
followers of embraced martyrdom and sustained injuries.
both the killed terrorists were involved in carrying out blast on Siraj Ahmed
Raisani in which at least 150 persons were martyred and score of persons
sustained profound injuries and also involved in committing attack on police
requirement centre in Quetta in which a large number of police personnel
embraced martyrdom and sustained injuries.
Shikarpur claimed that police have recovered 04 hand grenades, two Kalashnikovs
and two TT Pistol from their possession. Sindh government had placed bounty
amount Rs10 million on Hafeez Brohi while Rs 5 million bounty amount has been
announced for Molvi Abdullah Brohi, SSP said.
also claimed both the terrorists were involved in plotting subversive
activities in Balochistan and master mind of many subversive activities in
Sindh and Balochistan as well. Also,
both came to Sibi to plot terror activity in Shikarpur in this regard who were
residing near Sibi to target once again Shikarpur, however Shikarpur police has
foiled their plans.
to a question, SSP Shikarpur said that ASP Shikarpur Amjad Farooque was
supervising special police party who carried out mission. However, SSP termed
it a big achievement of Shikarpur police and informed the media men that IG
police has also announced Rs 2 million reward money for raiding police party.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday called Prime Minister Imran
Khan and congratulated him on his speech in the parliament as well as his
statesman-type offers to India for de-escalating the situation and working
towards peace, according to a statement issued by the PM Office.
is the religion of peace that underscores resolving disputes in a peaceful
manner, Erdogan said, and appreciated the announcement by the prime minister to
release the captured Indian Air Force pilot. He pointed out that this gesture
was a sign of strength.
Minister Khan briefed President Erdogan on the situation that evolved over the
past few days and the efforts he made to de-escalate the crisis. He also
referred to the extremely difficult situation in Indian-held Kashmir and the
brutalities inflicted upon the Kashmiri people. He also thanked President
Erdogan for his constant support for Pakistan and the Kashmiri people.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Faisal Thursday confirmed that a dossier
regarding Pulwama incident has been received from India.
to reporters in Islamabad, the spokesman said any legal evidence present in the
documents will be reviewed for further action. Pakistan is ready for dialogue
with India on all issues including terrorism, he reiterated.
the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan, he said, “We have
activated the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan,
which will be taken for a visit to the site where the Indian Air Force jets
were shot down.”
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s condition, the FO said the Indian Air
Force pilot is safe and sound. “The armed forces rescued him from the mob that
went after him after his plane crashed in Kashmir.”
the upcoming sessions of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation where India
has been invited as ‘guest of honour’, the Foreign Office asserted that Foreign
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will boycott the conference if Indian Minister for
External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is not disinvited.
commander: Iran plans to ‘break America, Israel and Saudi Arabia’
senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander has threatened to “break America,
Israel and Saudi Arabia” and vowed that Tehran will “never lay down” its
General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps, reportedly made the threats during a speech on February 19 just days
after a deadly suicide car bombing killed 27 members of the organization.
nation’s sword has been drawn out of its sheath. Our enemies should know that
we will never let them be,” Salami said. “The Saud regime should know that it
will not last,” he added.
head of the IRGC General Mohammad Ali Jafari threatened to retaliate against
Saudi Arabia and the UAE over the attack last week. Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni
militant group that operates near the Iran-Pakistan border, claimed
responsibility for the attack.
went on to describe the United States as “distressed” and called into question
its world power status. “America, too, has been defeated. The Zionist regime is
struggling to survive by using psychological warfare. Our enemies have
despaired. They are helpless, and you advance,” the senior IRGC commander said
in the speech.
war is not a local war”
shall fight them on the global level, not just in one spot. Our war is not a
local war. We have plans to defeat the world powers,” he added.
this month, Salami warned Europe against forcing the Islamic Republic into
boosting the range of its missiles by trying to halt their development. Iran
develops its missile technology according to a “defensive strategy” which
changes according to need, he said.
had earlier this month announced the “successful test” of a new cruise missile
with a range of over 1,350 kilometers, coinciding with the anniversary of the
country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
aircraft targeted several militant sites in Gaza after an “explosive balloon”
launched from the Palestinian enclave damaged a house in the Jewish state, the
army said Thursday.
explosive balloon launched from the Gaza Strip damaged a house in an Israeli
community, apparently after exploding in the air,” the army said in a
response, IDF fighter jets and attack helicopters struck a number of terror
targets in a Hamas military compound in the central Gaza Strip,” the statement
witnesses in Gaza said a position of al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of
the Hamas rulers, was targeted in western Deir al-Balah, south of Gaza city
were no reports of casualties in Gaza.
in Gaza have for months been sporadically launching balloons with incendiary
and explosive devices at southern Israel in parallel with weekly protests and
clashes taking place at the fence.
least 251 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the
majority shot during weekly border protests and others hit by tank fire or air
Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says Israel must be fully held
accountable for crimes it has committed in the besieged Gaza Strip.
request came after an investigation mandated by the UN Human Rights Council
found that Israeli troops may have committed “crimes against humanity” in
response to Palestinian protests in Gaza.
the UN report released on Thursday, chair of the UN Independent Commission of
Inquiry Santiago Canton said Israeli soldiers have breached international human
rights in confronting the Gaza protest rallies.
erupted in Gaza in March 30, 2018, which marked the start of a series of
protests dubbed the “Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for
those driven out of their homeland.
clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the
Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
violence left 189 Palestinians dead and more than 6,100 others injured between
March 30 and December 31, 2018, the report said.
sources say nearly 270 protesters have been killed by Israeli troops since the
beginning of the rallies.
on Thursday, Hamas issued a statement on the UN report, denouncing the Tel Aviv
regime for the crimes it has committed against Palestinian protesters in the
report indicates beyond any doubt that the Israeli occupation has committed
clear war crimes against the Palestinians who came out to protest peacefully to
demand the right of return and lift the siege,” said Bassem Naim, a senior
also called on “the international community to hold the Israeli occupation accountable
for the war crimes that it continues to commit against the Palestinians.”
"March of Return" demonstrations are held every week to demand the
right to return for the Palestinians driven out of their homeland by Israeli
also demand a halt to Israel’s inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has
deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.
attorney general says he intends to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on
charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption investigations.
Mandelblit announced the decision in a statement on Thursday.
indictment would be handed over pending a hearing, in which Netanyahu will have
a chance to refute the charges before they are formally laid.
Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of receiving gifts from businessmen overseas.
He is also being investigated in Case 2000 for a media bribery scheme to help
Yediot Aharonot newspaper against its competitor Yisrael Hayom in return for
favorable coverage. Case 3000 surrounds Israel's $2-billion purchase of
Dolphin-class nuclear-arms-capable submarines from German shipbuilding company
who always denies engaging in any corrupt practices, has said he is convinced
that the three cases against him will yield “nothing.”
January, he said he would not step down even if the attorney general sought to
indict him for corruption.
Israeli prime minister is not required to step down if indicted but he would
have no option than to resign if he is convicted with all appeals exhausted.
has been prime minister for a total of around 13 years.
US President Donald Trump, who has portrayed himself as Netanyahu’s supporter
by repeatedly recommending him as the regime’s next prime minister, has
endorsed him again.
can say this, he's done a great job as prime minister," Trump said earlier
announcement, however, compromises Netanyahu’s chances of winning another term
in April 9 early elections, in which he is facing a tough challenge from a
centrist political alliance headed by Benny Gantz, a former military chief of
Geneva-based organization has documented continued and excessive human rights
violations committed by Israel against Palestinians in Jerusalem al-Quds within
the space of a single month.
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) released a report, detailing
the violations of Palestinians’ rights by Israeli forces in January.
Pritchett, Euro-Med’s spokesperson said, “The Israeli authorities continue
their policy of restricting freedoms of the Palestinians in Jerusalem [al-Quds]
and preventing them from holding activities or events that reflect the
organization characterized the instances of infringement as deliberate and
systematic, listing them as forcible demolitions, arbitrary arrests, torture,
and attempts at manipulating the religious identity of Jerusalem al-Quds.
troops, it said, would recurrently engage in razing Palestinian homes and shops
and would even force them to pay the demolition costs or destroy their own
Israeli forces regularly carry out night swoops on Palestinian houses, the
report added, adding that they would also attack hospitals on routine bases,
intimidate the staff and take away the patients without any consideration for
their health condition.
also cited cases when Palestinians would be subjected to “humiliating searches”
in public places and tortured inside detention facilities.
also recorded “practical” measures taken by Israeli forces aimed at
“obliterating the city's identity and impose control over the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Al Aqsa Mosque is Islam’s third holiest site.
organization said Israeli troops either detain Palestinians there or forcibly
remove them “without them committing any violations,” noting that Israeli
forces also detain women during “settler incursions” into the compound.
are not spared harassment during their visits to the compound, while Israeli
settlers also recurrently storm the site under strict protection of Israeli
called on all United Nations bodies and the European Union to take “a clear and
firm position towards such illegal practices, especially regarding the
restrictions on religious freedoms and the demolition of homes.”
claims the entire Jerusalem al-Quds as its “capital,” while Palestinians want
its eastern part to serve as the capital of their future state.
December 2017, the United States recognized Tel Aviv’s claim over the city in
stark defiance of the Palestinians’ demand.
the same month, the UN General Assembly ratified a resolution, calling on
Washington to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as
authorities have released Khalida Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian legislator
and a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
(PFLP), who was held without trial for 20 months under the practice of
a 56-year-old member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was released near
the Salem military checkpoint, west of the northern occupied West Bank city of
Jenin, on Thursday morning.
lawyer said that he and Jarrar's family had been told in advance that the
administrative detention would not be renewed against the Palestinian lawmaker
unless significant new information was received.
a staunch advocate of Palestinian prisoners’ rights, said after her release
that she would continue to campaign for the release of all Palestinian
prisoners held in Israeli prisons and detention centers.
Arabic-language Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported on October 25 last year
that Israeli officials had extended the detention without trial of Jarrar for
the fourth time in a row.
Palestinian lawmaker has been jailed multiple times.
was last arrested in July 2017, when a large number of Israeli troopers raided
her home in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, located 10
kilometers north of Jerusalem al-Quds. Her husband, Ghassan, said Israeli forces
also seized her computers during the raid.
internal spy agency, Shin Bet, later announced in a statement that Jarrar was
arrested along with a Palestinian activist for “promoting terror activities,”
without providing any further information.
is one of the most outspoken critics of the Israeli occupation and has
repeatedly slammed the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.
Israeli regime has been denying the lawmaker the right to travel outside the
occupied Palestinian territories since 1988. She campaigned for months in 2010
before receiving the permission to travel to Jordan for medical treatment.
August 2014, Jarrar received a “special supervision order” from the Israeli
military, which ordered her to leave Ramallah to live in the West Bank city of
Ariha, also known as Jericho.
Jarrar set up a protest tent outside the Palestinian Legislative Council in
Ramallah, where she lived and worked, until the controversial order was
overturned later in September that year.
to reports, a total of 13 Palestinian lawmakers are currently held in Israeli
detention facilities without any trial under the so-called administrative
detention, which is a policy according to which Palestinian inmates are kept in
Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.
Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11
UN Human Rights Council-mandated investigation into Israel's deadly crackdown
on the 2018 anti-occupation rallies in the Gaza Strip says the regime’s forces
may have perpetrated “war crimes” or “crimes against humanity”in the campaign
a statement released on Thursday, Santiago Canton, chair of the UN Independent
Commission of Inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,
said Israeli soldiers have breached international human rights during the Gaza
soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian
law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against
humanity,” the statement read.
erupted in Gaza in March 30, 2018, which marked the start of a series of
protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for
those driven out of their homeland.
clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the
Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
violence left 189 Palestinians dead and more than 6,100 others injured between
March 30 and December 31, 2018.
in its statement, the UN probe said that over 6,000 unarmed demonstrators had
been shot by Israeli military snipers at protest sites.
were reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli troops killed and wounded
Palestinians “who were neither directly participating in hostilities, nor
posing an imminent threat,” it added.
Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at
journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing
they were clearly recognizable as such.”
further stressed that Gaza protesters “were civilian in nature” and that the
demonstrations “did not constitute combat or military campaigns.”
also complained that Israeli authorities had not responded to the UN inquiry's
repeated requests for information and access to the occupied lands.
inquiry's statement is based on 325 interviews with victims, witnesses and
other sources as well as reviews of over 8,000 documents, drone footage and
other audiovisual material.
UN probe’s statement infuriated Israel, with Acting Foreign Minister Yisrael
Katz calling it “hostile, deceitful and biased.”
rejects the report outright,” he said.
has been under a crippling siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since
again asks Pakistan to deny safe havens to terrorists
The US has reaffirmed its demand that Pakistan abide by its UN Security Council
commitments to deny safe havens to terrorists and block their access to funds
as it welcomed Islamabad's decision to release the captured Indian Air Force
a surprise announcement during a joint session of Parliament on Thursday,
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Wing Commander Abhinandan
Varthaman will be released on Friday as a gesture of peace.
welcome Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's commitment that Pakistan will
release on Friday the Indian pilot held in its custody," a State
Department spokesperson told PTI responding to a question on the announcement
made by Khan in the Pakistani parliament.
the US has urged both India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to de-escalate
United States continues to urge both sides to take immediate steps to
de-escalate the situation, including through direct communication. Further
military activity will exacerbate the situation," the State Department
reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council
commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to
funds," the spokesperson said.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Thursday joined other lawmakers in expressing
concern over the escalating tension between India and Pakistan.
is "a result of a Pakistan-based terrorist group's brutal attack", he
urge both countries to de-escalate the mounting tensions," Hoyer said.
have escalated between India and Pakistan in the wake of the February 14
Pulwama attack claimed by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
Forty CRPF soldiers were killed in the attack.
carried out air strikes against the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In
the operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior
commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for suicide attacks
on Wednesday claimed it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air
space and arrested an Indian Air Force pilot.
lawmakers have introduced legislation to ensure congressional oversight of any
civilian nuclear deal signed between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
was sought by some lawmakers from both sides of the aisles
legislation was introduced on Thursday by Senators Edward Markey, a Democrat,
and Republican Marco Rubio.
similar legislation was introduced in the House by Representative Brad Sherman,
a Democrat, and Ted Yoho, a Republican.
Secretary Rick Perry has had held talks with Saudi officials on a possible
nuclear deal, however details of talks are not clear.
has pushed for easing nonproliferation standards so it could be able to enrich
uranium or reprocess plutonium made in reactors - two paths to making nuclear
legislation bids came after a business group called IP3 International announced
plans to build multi-billion-dollar nuclear reactors in the Middle East,
including in the country of Saudi Arabia.
which is a consortium of US technology firms founded by retired Navy Rear
Admiral Michael Hewitt, retired Army General John Keane, and Robert McFarlane,
a former national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, is linked to US
President Donald Trump. its managers had a meeting with Trump earlier is month.
Saudi Arabia’s dishonored Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MbS as he is
known in media, laid the foundation stone for Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear
told US media last year that his kingdom aimed to develop nuclear weapons in
order to counter Iran’s nuclear development program. The controversial move was
made amid growing calls in the US for a halt to nuclear talks with the Riyadh
regime, which has been rattled by a scandal over the murder of dissident
journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
at MbS’ orders Khashoggi was killed and his body to be dismembered with a bone
saw and dissolved in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.
government that cannot be trusted with a bone saw, should not be trusted with a
nuclear weapon,” said Sherman, hinting that the bone saw was used for cutting
up the body of the dissident journalist.
Syrian official has held US military forces and their allied militants
responsible for the humanitarian crisis affecting thousands of internally
displaced people at a refugee camp near the Jordan-Syria border, saying
American troops are preventing residents from leaving the site toward
responsibility for the humanitarian crisis of our people at al-Rukban camp
falls solely on US occupation forces and their stooges, as they have been
preventing civilians’ departure by means of force and threats. This is while
safe corridors have been opened for those who are willing to leave the camp,”
the unnamed official at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates
was quoted by official SANA news agency as saying on Thursday.
stressed that the Damascus government is prepared to take responsibility for
securing a safe and decent return of displaced people to their hometowns.
renews its call on our people in Rukban to leave the camp and return to their
homes. The Syrian government will provide all facilities to transport the
citizens from the camp to their places of residence,” the official pointed out.
a Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday, Syria’s Ambassador to the
United Nations Bashar al-Ja’afari said that Damascus has opened two
humanitarian corridors to provide a safe exit for displaced people stranded at
aspires for an end to the sufferings of people at Rukban camp, where most of
the residents want to return to state-controlled areas, and demands an end to
the illegitimate presence of US troops and terrorist gangs there,” the senior
Syrian official commented.
officials have also accused the US and Washington-backed militants of holding
people in Rukban hostage.
call on the American command and leaders of illegal militant groups in …
al-Tanf region to put an end to the forcible keeping of women and children,
mostly affected by cold, illness and malnutrition in the camp. All of them will
be given necessary assistance,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major
General Igor Konashenkov said on February 15, as a humanitarian convoy of the
United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) delivered aid, including
medical supplies and basic commodities, to Rukban.
added that Russia and Syria would jointly establish a temporary housing area
for refugees from the camp.
UN says about 45,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped inside
Rukban, where conditions are desperate. This is while Geneva-based
international aid agency Doctors Without Borders has put the number there at
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that US forces were unlawfully
deployed to al-Tanf region in southern Syria, and were training terrorists, who
carry out acts of terror across Syria and prevent the return of displaced
people in Rukban to their hometowns.
U.S.-backed SDF is not part of ongoing UN-led talks to end the Syrian conflict,
the UN said Thursday.
UN's Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told reporters at the UN's New York
headquarters "Syrian Kurds are already part of the process," but said
the SDF "are not part of the political process so far.
think this could turn into a challenge in the future so it is important that we
address this issue in a proper way," he said after briefing the Security
Council for the first time since taking his post last year.
SDF is a group led by the PYD-YPG, the Syrian branch of PKK terror
his remarks to the council, Pedersen stressed the need to create a "common
forum" for interested nations to "engage seriously" on resolving
key issues to end the conflict.
addition, he said going forward his top priorities will include ensuring
"sustained dialogue" with the Syrian regime and the opposition, to
see additional actions taken through the political process being carried out by
Turkey, Russia and Iran to address persons detained in the conflict, to start a
constitutional committee "as soon as possible."
long-elusive efforts to form the committee to draft a new Syrian Constitution,
Pedersen said "we are making progress but there are still unresolved
issues, and we are working on the package, we need to agree on the names, but
we also need to agree on the rules of procedures."
student faces jail for Islam insult
in Indonesia have demanded an 18-month jail term and a $715 fine for a
Christian student accused of insulting Islam.
Kurnia Ritonga, 22, a student at the University of North Sumatra in Medan, is
currently on trial for insulting Islam in an Instagram post by mocking the
burning of an Islamic flag in October last year.
Muslim youths in Garut, West Java burned a tawhid flag presumed to belong to
Hizb ut-Tahrir, a banned militant group on Oct. 21, 2018.
Instagram post on Oct. 24, was said to have insulted the tawhid flag that has
script describing the monotheistic God in Islam and God himself.
the matter if the tawhid flag is burnt? Your God apparently gets burnt
also? So, don't take many recitations
that teach culture, that makes fools. Your God is just silent over there,
playing guitar, getting drunk, and writing porn poetry, why are you so
busy?" Ritonga wrote.
was arrested the next day after hundreds of Muslims surrounded his house in
trial proceedings this week, prosecutors told the panel of judges that
Ritonga’s actions could have damaged interreligious harmony.
Irwansyah Putra, a local mosque official who made the initial blasphemy
complaint, said he was satisfied with the trial’s outcome and agreed with the
jail term demanded by prosecutors.
agree with the proposed sentence as it should appease anger and avert possible
violence,” he told ucanews.com.
Hasonangan Harahap, Ritonga’s lawyer, said the student had shown remorse and
apologized to Muslims.
he wrote did not aim to insult Muslims, he only wanted to debate [with them],”
Tigor Naipospos, deputy director of Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace,
regretted that such a case required a jail sentence.
was because of pressure from radical Muslim groups,” Naipospos said.
referred to the case of a Buddhist woman, also from Medan, who was jailed for
18 months in August last year for complaining about the noise from a local
mosque’s loudspeakers during the call to prayer.
blasphemy law is discriminatory, he said.
are expected to deliver their verdict next week.
Report says PAS compensated it RM1.4m to kill suit
LUMPUR, March 1 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had to cover
Sarawak Report’s RM1.4 million in legal fees to withdraw his defamation
lawsuit, Clare Rewcastle-Brown confirmed today.
Sarawak Report editor said this was not stated in the mutual settlement as
Hadi’s lawyers had placed the sum in escrow prior to the termination, she wrote
on her website.
included an excerpt of a letter of undertaking confirming the amount, and said
the payment was the only item from the settlement both parties had agreed to
remain silent over.
out of court agreement did not oblige Sarawak Report to provide any of the
remedies sought in Hadi’s claim, such as keeping silent on the subject of Umno
payments to PAS or anything else, since Sarawak Report had refused to apologise
for its remarks or to surrender its commitment to fair reporting in the public
interest,” Rewcastle-Brown added.
also derided Hadi and PAS leaders for paying the RM1.4 million in order to
terminate the lawsuit, saying they would have spent significantly more had they
pursued the case to the end and ultimately lost.
Briton also asserted that the inconsistencies in the party’s claims and
statements could have landed Hadi and his witnesses in legal trouble, resulting
in his premature withdrawal.
they continued to contradict each other in front of an English Court someone
would have committed perjury for lying in a London law suit (‘sharia compliant’
lying is not recognised in the UK civil court any more than in most Muslim
added she was abandoning the confidentiality pact as PAS leaders have breached
the agreement by variously misrepresenting it or denying its existence when
they should have declined comment.
Sarawak Report editor declined comment when asked to confirm the RM1.4 million
Report therefore is entitled to consider itself released from confidentiality
also, in order to be able to tell the truth to the Malaysian people who are
being misled,” she said, appending a photograph of a cheque for the amount.
had sued Rewcastle-Brown in 2017 over a report the preceding year alleging PAS
leaders took RM90 million to support Umno and Barisan Nasional ahead of the
14th general election.
inexplicably withdrew the lawsuit filed in London, UK, this year, prompting
views that he was no longer disputing the accuracy of the report that remains
on the Sarawak Report website.
Wednesday, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim divulged that PAS paid
Rewcastle-Brown RM1.4 million in order to terminate the suit Hadi had launched
against her, claiming he had documents to prove this.
yesterday claimed it could rebut Anwar, but did so prior to Rewcastle-Brown’s
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is still investigating PAS over the
allegation it took RM90 million.
called in PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan yesterday over the
matter and is expected to haul in other party leaders today.
Some leaders in Pakatan Harapan (HP) behave like the opposition with a socialist
mindset, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
said some leaders viewed capitalist businessmen as “pests who needed to be
those who are in the government, are those who were previously in the
opposition. At this juncture, they are still opposing.
when we become the government, we can no longer condemn the capitalist system,
because this system enriches us,” he said.
further defended the businessmen for creating jobs and contributing to the
businessmen are the ones investing with their capital and setting up
businesses, which in turn creates job opportunities for Malaysians and they pay
that, the federal government will not have enough money to govern the states
and the country,” he said in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Johor
government’s retreat session at the Pulse Grande Hotel here today.
present were other Pakatan Harapan (PH) Cabinet ministers, Johor Menteri Besar
Osman Sapian as well as other Johor MPs and state assemblymen.
leader in the government can’t condemn entrepreneurs and businessmen, the PH
of us view them as capitalists who oppress the people. But if they are not
successful in generating large profits, we cannot collect taxes from them.
must help them to be successful and generate profits as 26% of it will go to
the government as corporate tax,” he said.
said the people and the state governments stood to benefit from job
opportunities and the payments of various types of taxes.
is why we need to change our mindsets. We are now the government. We need to
cooperate and establish good relations with entrepreneurs and businessmen so
that they can succeed and the government can collect taxes from them.
need to remember this as we are now the government,” he added.
another note, Mahathir called on members of his administration to safeguard
racial and religious sensitivities.
must be aware that we are a multiracial party. We must take care of the
sensitivities of different races.
us not slight the feelings of other races with harsh words or criticisms,
whether Muslim or non-Muslim,” he said.
Langkawi MP said if there were problems with relations, they needed to refer to
the government first, and not air their opinions to the masses.
is not our way. Our way is to discuss and find solutions. This requires
compromise,” he said.
Feb 28 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy should apologise to Malaysians for
claiming thousands of Hindu temples were demolished during the previous Barisan
claimed that during his tenure as prime minister, he ensured the basic
necessities for temples would be provided in the form of allocations, when
my time, we never shut down or demolished any temples (intentionally). If a
temple was demolished it was because of development. The temple was shifted to
another location and a new one built in its place,” Najib said during a
cultural unity programme organised by MIC Hulu Langat in Seksyen 2, Bandar
to Indian voters in the final leg of the ongoing by-election, he said it is
unfortunate that the person who alleged thousands of temples were demolished is
now a minister.
should apologies to the Indian community in particular, because he cheated and
lied to them,” Najib said, never referring to Waytha directly.
problem, but we have all been lied to. Or more like we kena kencing (pissed
upon) if a liar can become a minister, or even one holding a fake college
degree can become one too,” he added, in reference to deputy Foreign Minister
Datuk Marzuki Yahya, who was involved in the scandal last month.
by the audience, Najib also spoke at length of the efforts he made to change
the fortunes of the Indian community as prime minister, including granting over
RM1 billion in allocations to Tamil vernacular schools, matriculation programme
spots for 1,500 Indian students, and assisting small-time Indian businesses.
came under fire at the end of last year when a Dutch television interview of
him during his time as Hindu Rights Action Force president in November 2007
resurfaced on social media.
North Sumatra Police named 11 members of hardline group the Islam Defenders
Front (FPI) suspects on Thursday for allegedly causing a commotion during the
93rd anniversary event of Indonesia's largest Islamic organization Nahdatul
Ulama (NU) in Tebing Tinggi, North Sumatra, held on Wednesday morning.
Sumatra Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Tatan Dirsan Atmaja said the suspects, who
are all residents of Tebing Tinggi, violated Article 160 of the Criminal Code
were shouting misleading statements while wanting the event to be disbanded,”
Tatan said Thursday, adding that they were wearing shirts with
#2019GantiPresiden ( 2019ChangePresident ) on them.
added that the police would detain the suspects immediately to ease the
said the suspects were provoking the forum while the religious event was still
taking place. They were shouting and insisting that the event be disbanded.
event was attended by authorities, including North Sumatra Police chief Ir.
Gen. Agus Andrianto and Tebing Tinggi Mayor Umar Zunaidi Hasibuan.
police have found that their actions were planned prior to the event.
North Sumatra FPI leader Indra Suheri said the FPI made the move because they
assumed that the NU forum would declare support for the incumbent Joko “Jokowi”
Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin, who is a former NU supreme leader.
battle rages between Al Shabab and Somali troops after hotel attack, as death
A gunbattle raged in Mogadishu on Friday between Somali soldiers and Al Shabab
fighters, holed up in a building next to a hotel they had hit with a suicide
car bomb the previous evening.
gunfire resounded across the Somali capital through the night and as dawn
broke, police said the death toll was rising following the blast at the Hotel
Maka Al-Mukarama, located on a street lined with hotels, shops and restaurants.
security forces rescued dozens of civilians in the hotel and nearby buildings.
The militants are still inside and exchange of fire still continues. So far we
confirmed 13 people died and scores were injured,” Major Mohamed Hussein, a
police officer, told Reuters on Friday.
death toll may rise. It was very difficult for the security forces to enter the
building last night because it is dark and electricity was cut by the blast.
Now it is daybreak, and we hope the operation will be concluded in the
following hours,” he said.
witnesses saw frantic residents in the city searching for missing relatives
through the night, making countless phone calls to find out if anyone had seen
their family members.
have been running to and fro from blast scene to hospitals since yesterday
evening in search of my husband and brother who were selling a shop at the
place where the blast took place. I have just seen them in hospital, they are
in critical conditions. My husband lost his stomach and my brother suffered
severe wounds to both arms,” Halima Omar, a mother of three children told
has been convulsed by lawlessness and violence since 1991. Islamist group Al
Shabab is fighting to dislodge a Western-backed government protected by African
A suicide car bombing targeting a Mogadishu hotel by the extremist group Al-Shabaab
on Thursday killed at least 10 people and destroyed buildings in the Somali
capital's busiest street, police said.
was one of the heaviest blasts to have hit Mogadishu in recent times.
took place in a business centre in Maka Al Mukaram street which has hotels,
shops and restaurants, Police Major Mohamed Hussein told Reuters. Cars in the
street were set ablaze.
ten people died. A hotel is burning and other buildings were ruined by the
blast. Twenty injured people were carried out. We believe more dead bodies are
in the ruined buildings," Police Major Abdullahi Ali said.
claimed responsibility for the attack.
targeted and stormed Hotel Maka Al Mukaram. We are still inside it,"
Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab's military spokesman, said.
said he did not believe the militants were inside the hotel. "But anything
can happen because it is dark in some of the buildings because the blast cut
the electric wires," he said.
gases from the blast reached several kilometres away from the scene.
least five people were killed and more than 25 wounded when a suicide car bomb
targeted a hotel in Somali capital Mogadishu Thursday, officials said.
suicide car bomb blast targeted the Maka al-Mukarama hotel,” police captain
Abdukadir Ali told Anadolu Agency. “It’s very earlier to say how many people
have been killed as gunfire is still going on the area.”
attack was one of the biggest in the capital in two years and caused
disruptions, he added. Aamin Ambulance Service confirmed the casualty figures
to Anadolu Agency.
we can confirm to you is that at five people were killed more 25 others wounded
and we have rushed them to hospitals for treatment,” the service said.
increased the number of our rescue teams and ambulances operating in the scene
to respond quickly to calls from the injured civilians at Maka Mukarama”, the
only free ambulance service in Mogadishu said in a statement on Twitter.
internationally recognized Prime Minister and the military commander of its
breakaway eastern half have met and agreed that national elections are
necessary, the UN said on Thursday.
meeting in United Arab Emirates was the first to be confirmed between Fayez
al-Serraj and commander Khalifa Haftar since November, when they came face to
face in Palermo, Sicily.
agreed “on the need to end the transitional stages in Libya through holding
general elections,” the UN Libya mission (UNSMIL) said in a Tweet.
also agreed on ways to maintain stability in the country and unify its
economy and political institutions in the oil-producing country have been in
turmoil since long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.
UN, supported by Western powers, has sought for almost two years to organize
elections as a way of ending eight years of conflict.
proposed date of December 10 came and went due to lack of progress in resolving
differences between the heavily divided nation’s rival powers.
spokesman confirmed that a meeting with Haftar had taken place but said no date
for elections had been set. There was no immediate comment from the commander’s
al-Serraj heads Libya’s internationally recognized government in the capital
Tripoli while Haftar is based in the east and allied to a parallel
UN gave no further details about the Abu Dhabi meeting. After similar
encounters it has engineered, it often releases pictures showing handshakes
between the participants. It made no such picture available on Thursday.
UN tweet made no mention of a UNSMIL plan to a national conference to decide on
the type of elections, an idea which has met resistance in the east where many
see it as a waste of time.
forces, the Libyan National Army (LNA), last month started an offensive in
southern Libya, capturing the main city in the region and two oil fields.
Monday, Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla arrived
in the UAE to meet with a number of Libyan and international parties to discuss
the el-Sharara oilfield crisis.
police arrested a dozen journalists participating in a rally on Thursday
against alleged censorship of coverage of protests against a fifth term for
veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, an AFP correspondent reported.
100 print and broadcast journalists, working for both state-owned and private
outlets, joined the demonstration in central Algiers against reporting
restrictions they say have been imposed by media bosses on the protests that
broke out last Friday. “Free our colleagues,” the remaining demonstrators
shouted as those arrested were driven off in the back of police vans.
estate, not a press that follows orders.”
has been hit by a wave of protests over the ailing Bouteflika’s announcement he
will seek a fifth term in an April 18 election despite using a wheelchair and
making few public appearance since suffering a stroke in 2013.
of thousands took part in the first protests last Friday, and there have been
further demonstrations daily since, both in the provinces and in the capital,
where demonstrations are illegal.
for several days, both the state broadcaster and private channels owned by
media magnates close to the government kept silent about the protests.
radio journalists said they had been ordered by management not to cover them.
watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) accused Algerian authorities on
Tuesday of seeking to “muzzle” the media.
Britain on Thursday doubled its bilateral support funding to Jordan, pledging
£650 million over five years.
UK government hosted a ministerial conference to promote growth and investment
opportunities in Jordan, inviting a host of senior financial representatives,
non-profit organizations and several business and economic delegations from
around the world.
conference fulfills a pledge by Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017 to encourage
the partnership between the United Kingdom and Jordan, according to the UK
Minister of State for the Middle East.
has been a really good conference and we are very pleased to hold it here
because London is a great place to bring people together. We’ve had very high
level representation, senior foreign ministers, from not only the region but
all over the world,” Alistair Burt told Arab News.
the attendees were King Abdullah II and May and her Jordanian counterpart Omar
the next five years the UK’s bilateral support to Jordan includes a new £50
million contribution to the World Bank’s Global Concessional Financing
Facility, the UK’s Department for International Development said.
will include grant-financing to enable Jordan to undertake key economic reforms
and will go towards a youth, technology and jobs programme with a focus on jobs
and business opportunities for Syrian refugees.
will also include a £14 million contribution to a new World Bank led trust fund
for Jordan aimed at modernising government systems, promoting exports and
making doing business easier.
addition, the UK will underwrite a $250 million World Bank loan to Jordan.
the last five years, the UK’s support was around £300 million to Jordan.
conference was designed to showcase how Jordan can demonstrate how its meeting
its economic challenges, the reforms it was putting in place, and what it
offered to private investors, as well as people who wanted to take part in
infrastructure projects and we think it’s fulfilling all those objectives,”
had the chief executive of Jaguar and Land Rover, a major world company, saying
we are investing in Jordan.
of course business talks to business, a minister telling businesses to invest
might not have consequences, but it’s different if a business is saying we can
invest here, and we can provide more for the people of Jordan both in education
terms and employment terms.”
also discussed some of the key issues effecting the region and relations with
whether the British government was lobbying Germany to reverse an arms embargo
that was placed on Saudi Arabia, Burt said his colleagues are talking to their
German counterparts about the issue and that the UK recognizes its strategic
defensive relationship with the Kingdom.
means that we continue to support our partner and there are some impacts of the
German situation,” Burt said.
are extremely conscious of the impact of a decision by a sovereign country and
a partner country and relations to the arms embargo, we take a different view
of course, we have very strict export controls.”
said Saudi Arabia had been generous in its support for Jordan and the
humanitarian needs in Yemen.
minister said he visited Riyadh a couple of weeks ago and again the importance
of that relation was evidently clear.
whether the British government was concerned over the aspects of the Trump
administration’s deferred Middle East peace plan, Burt said: “At first, like
everyone else, we need to see what the plan actually is.
United Kingdom is certainly in no better position than anyone else to know any
of the details. We have expressed our concern about unilateral decisions taken
by the United States in relation to Jerusalem and refugees and we have made it
very clear this is not our position.
remain of the view that the Middle East peace process is fundamental to world
the issue of Shamima Begum, the teenager who fled the UK to join Daesh, and is
now in a refugee camp in Syria, Burt said the legal position of her situation
will be resolved in due course.
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