rights lawyer Seyran Ates at the opening of the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque.
Wala Taziya' Keeps Hindu-Muslim Harmony Alive
Berlin Muslims Reforming Islam, One Co-Ed Prayer Meeting At A Time
Million Uighur Muslims Held By Chinese Government
to Push For European Recognition of Palestine
Communities Must Take Action against Anti-Muslim Hate
Expresses 'Disappointment' After New Delhi Backtracks From Talks
Ganeshotsav Symbolises Hindu-Muslim Harmony
Too Take Part In Muharram Rituals, Muharram ‘Panjas’ Were Seen Placed In Ganesh
Reservation: Should Muslims Get It In Place Of Other Well-Off Groups?
Third Largest Victim to Terror Attacks across World, Claims US Study
encounter: 5 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists killed in Bandipora
concerned over attempts to rig polls in Maldives
and Kashmir policemen killed: Resolve of force remains unshaken, say senior
procession: Curbs in Bihar town after one killed in firing
Pak terror, India calls off New York meet, says PM Imran Khan’s ‘true face’
Warns Against Upsurge in Racism and Intolerance
Proposes Creation Of Muslim-Only Prisons In Interim Manifesto
children victims of UK's counter-terror policy
Police Remove 'Anti-Islamic Idols' In Luxury Resort Raid
can't accept same-sex marriage or LGBT rights: PM Mahathir Mohammad
Shariah laws on LGBT should be clarified, not compromised
reports Muslim preacher to police over alleged hate speech
Detains 85 Military Personnel over Gulen Ties
begins constructing 310 new settler units in occupied Old City
army kills prominent al-Qaeda leader
Arabia Bans More Than 600,000 Palestinians from Hajj and Umrah Pilgrimages
Russian, Iranian ministers to discuss Syria in New York
Lashes Out: ‘Iran Will Defeat Trump Just Like It Did Saddam’
gunmen ‘kill several’ in attack on Iranian army parade
army seizes military air base north of Hodeidah
denies Palestinians refused peace talks with Israel
Has Done Little to Curb Jaish, LeT: Washington
Scare at Islamic Centre Investigated as Hate Crime
abuses': US denounces China's treatment of Uighurs
Has Nothing to Lose' — Analysts Weigh In On Modi Govt's U-Turn on Talks
Abbasi shifted from Adiala jail to Attock prison after photo leak controversy
taken into confidence over Saudi Arabia joining CPEC: information minister
Mazari calls out Trump's ignorance on US role in destabilising ME
for Afghans, Bengalis opposed
Clerics Condemn Terror Killings, Won’t Watch As Innocents Are Murdered
Says Death Toll from Tripoli Clashes Climbs To 96
Soldiers Reported Dead in Terrorist Attack
years after mall Kenya attack, al-Shabaab's threat grows
World League to Organise an Islamic-Christian World Conference in Beirut
Trying To Stop Yemen War Crimes Probe: HRW
police arrest fugitive linked to Hezbollah
militants killed by coalition airstrike
tribe continues campaign for justice at UN in Geneva
showed Russia proof Syria to blame for downed plane — Israeli military
Bombing Kills 8 Children In Northern Afghanistan
US pact could end armed conflict in Afghanistan
Lawmakers, Politicians React to British Foreign Secretary’s Appeal
to procure additional M4 rifles for the Afghan armed forces
by New Age Islam News Bureau
wala Taziya' keeps Hindu-Muslim harmony alive
the current political scenario, where communal harmony is at stake in the
country, people are still keeping Hindu-Muslim harmony alive. Every year on the
occasion of Moharram, thousands of Hindus and Muslims get together and pray at
the Phoolonwala Taziya’ in Agra.
are miniature mausoleums made of wood, bamboo and paper, and are integral to
the Moharram processions.
six-foot-tall Phoolonwala Taziya, situated in Nai Basti area for four days is
the biggest Taziya in Agra.
Sarvdaleey Action Committee (SAC) president Syed Irfan Saleem told
IndiaToday.in that people come to this Taziya from all corners of Agra and the
neighbouring districts, and it is difficult to differentiate between a Hindu
and a Muslim for these four days. Such a harmonious atmosphere is what is
keeping this country’s spirit alive, he added.
Biradari vice-chairman, Vishal Sharma said that till the time people stay away
from politics, nobody can keep a Hindu apart from a Muslim, because all
politicians see Hindus and Muslims as captive vote banks. He said that Moharram
signifies the victory of justice over injustice where Hazrat Hassan and Hussain
kept justice alive by sacrificing their lives. The Taziya signifies the battle
that was fought in Karbala for honesty, justice and unity against the forces of
Berlin Muslims reforming Islam, one co-ed prayer meeting at a time
security services were recently in touch with one of Berlin’s best-known Muslim
clerics. He should take their warnings seriously, they again told Abdul Adhim
Kamouss. Death threats were being made against him by members of the Islamic
State extremist group and they were real, the officers said.
Kamouss knows why he is being threatened but he will continue with his plans.
The 41-year-old Berlin local wants to start his own mosque, where he will
preach mainly in German; he also wants to establish an advisory service for
Muslims, a center to combat radicalization and a Muslim scout group.
do all this, Mr. Kamouss started a foundation called Islam in Germany. He sees
himself as somebody who will bring his religion into the 21st century,
encouraging his congregation to play a larger role in mainstream German culture
and fighting what he calls “the rat catchers” – radicals who preach a hateful
version of his religion to entice younger Muslims to do their bidding.
popstar for religious extremists
Kamouss wasn’t always this way. He used to preach in a radical mosque in
Berlin’s Neukölln district that was under observation by state security. Back
then, he thought good, Muslim women should never leave the house and that bad
Muslims would all go to hell. In fact, Mr. Kamouss was famous for strict
adherence to the toughest of Koranic edicts.
media described him as “a brainwasher” and “a pop star on the Salafist scene”
(Salafists being among the most extreme believers from the Sunni branch of
Islam, from which the Islamic State also arose). One of Germany’s most infamous
terrorists, former rapper Denis Cuspert, who was later seen in Islamic State
videos, used to come to Mr. Kamouss’ tough-talking sermons.
his message changed. There was no need to wear the full-face-and-body veil
known as the burqa or to avoid having men and women shaking hands. He
encouraged Muslims to vote and to take part in the culture in which they live,
as opposed to separating themselves from what he had previously seen as the
August, Mr. Kamouss, who has been described a traitor to his own religion, a
German suck-up, released a book about his personal transformation: “Wem gehört
der Islam?,” or “To whom does Islam belong?” The message is clear: Islam needs
a reformation. His book is also critical of local Muslim organizations: Why is
it that they can’t offer services in German? Why must they bring clerics from
the Turkish, Egyptian and Moroccan countryside, who know nothing about life in
views only, please
are some 98 prayer rooms and mosques throughout the city, but it is
predominantly the larger mosques and associations who speak for the metropolis’
250,000 to 300,000 Muslims. They tend to be on the conservative end of the
spectrum, both in religious and political terms.
lack of alternatives means the German government and media often turn to these
organizations for the Muslim point of view at interfaith events. This was one
complaint about the new Institute for Islamic Theology, where potential clerics
and preachers can study, that is scheduled to open at Berlin’s Humboldt
University next autumn. Three large Islamic associations were asked to advise
on teachers and course content. Far-smaller, liberal organizations were not
of the smaller organizations that complained, the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque, is
headquartered three kilometers from Mr. Kamouss’ currently-makeshift mosque.
a Friday afternoon, just before services are to begin, about two dozen people
crowd the small prayer room. Some participants are kneeling on prayer mats,
others are seated on chairs around the walls, watching. The observers, not here
to pray, include Christians, non-believers and local Muslims.
intrigued because the German mosque allows men and women to pray together. A
female celebrant is leading the prayers today. That alone is a complete
anathema to most Muslims, conservative or otherwise, and the mosque and its
founder, human rights lawyer Seyran Ates, have been loudly criticized and
threatened. In Ms. Ates’ case, that includes being physically attacked and shot
Ms. Ates says she won’t be discouraged, it seems a lot of Muslims are: There are
usually only around 25 praying at the mosque. “That doesn’t mean there is no
interest,” Ms. Ates explains. “It just means that people are intimidated.”
guest asks why prayers are held Friday afternoon when many people are still at
work. It’s a tradition from the Middle East, Mohammed replies. Given that the
mosque is bucking a fair few stereotypes, they decided to keep that tradition.
“A lot of Muslims are already accusing us of wanting to change too much,”
Mohammed adds. “They say we want to start a whole new religion.”
million Uighur Muslims held by Chinese government
investigation by the Associated Press news agency shows a systematic campaign
by the Chinese government to strip young Uighur Muslims of their language and
UN has said around one million Muslims in the Xinjiang region have been rounded
up and held in so-called "re-education" centres - camps the Uighurs
claim are intended to replace the next generation's Uighur identity with a
Chinese government has denied the allegations.
to push for European recognition of Palestine
says it will try to bring about a "European recognition" of an
independent Palestinian state, saying the country may itself go ahead and
recognize Palestine if a consensus evades the continent.
Thursday, Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said he would launch an
"intensive" consultation process with his counterparts to set a
timetable for achieving a common position on the subject, Ha'aretz reported.
“the EU is not able to reach unanimous decision," the option of individual
recognition of Palestine is “on the table,” he added.
al-Maliki, the foreign minister of Palestinian Authority, welcomed the prospect
of a Spanish recognition, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported. He called
the Spanish foreign minister's remarks a result of his trip to the European
country earlier in September, during which he had proposed the recognition to
far, 139 countries have recognized Palestine.
Spain, some parties have reportedly been trying to convince the government to
follow in their footsteps. Opponents say Tel Aviv might react by recognizing
Catalonia, where an independence drive has been hassling Madrid.
has urged Israel against recognizing the Spanish region.
year, Tel Aviv threw its support behind a controversial independence vote,
which went underway in Iraq's Kurdistan region. The regime was alone in
supporting the drive, while the international community was unanimously warning
about its consequences. In January, the PA's President Mahmoud Abbas called on
the European Union (EU) to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967
Israeli regime occupied the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and the
West Bank that year during a war. It withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has been
keeping the enclave under draconian pressures.
are disagreements within the EU on whether the bloc should recognize Palestine.
communities must take action against anti-Muslim hate
graffiti that was spray-painted last week on the sidewalk in front of the home
of a Muslim family in Homer Glen (“Man charged with spray-painting anti-Muslim
graffiti in Homer Glen,” Sept. 20) was a cowardly act that should be condemned
by all faith communities in the Chicago area. It’s noteworthy that the graffiti
included crosses and a denigration of the prophet of Islam, which is against
Christianity’s message of love. Jesus Christ called “loving your neighbor as
yourself” the greatest commandment, after loving God with all your heart.
Islamophobic, cowardly act proves that many Americans are still struggling to
accept Muslims as part of the American social fabric, 17 years after the
attacks of 9/11. Some Christian churches are not doing enough to welcome Muslim
immigrants and refugees into our midst, and others are actually subscribing to
the fear-mongering agenda of the far Christian Right.
Salam Christian Fellowship in Lombard, we strive to welcome the stranger among
us, help refugees and new immigrants, and provide social services to help them
integrate into the American community.
centers in the Chicago area should help Americans understand that most Muslims
are moderates who came here for the American dream, and do not subscribe to an
extremist, terrorist agenda. Islamic centers need to launch a dialogue in the
West about the Islamist ideology espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood, which
borrows from fascism. Muslims in many instances have proven that they do not
want to live under Islamic Sharia law that the Brotherhood and other Islamists
faith communities need to work together in order to overcome xenophobia and
keep our society safe.
Ali Shehab, Lombard
fees on fossil fuels
for publishing Jesse Jackson’s op-ed, (“By enforcing climate change denial,
Trump puts us all in peril”, Sept. 17). I don’t often agree with Jackson, but
on this subject, he couldn’t be more accurate.
Science can now estimate how global warming from human activity
contributes to additional rainfall and storm intensity during hurricanes. So,
we can now measure impacts and attribute costs to Trump’s “do nothing” plan for
Jackson points out, Trump’s singular focus on reducing regulatory costs for
industry (by rolling back auto emission standards, scuttling the Clean Power
plan, methane leak regulation rollbacks) worsens global warming and hurricane
intensity. This narrow focus ignores the very real economic costs of climate
damage. Taxpayers get stuck with significant additional FEMA, infrastructure
and other storm impact costs, related to these industry-friendly regulatory
time to recognize the huge social costs and future liabilities of allowing big
oil, gas and coal to freely use our atmosphere as their garbage can. Since the
administration hates regulation, it should support a steadily increasing carbon
fee on greenhouse gas emissions from these energy providers. The “fee” would
get returned to every household to offset increased fossil fuel costs. Within
10 years, green energy sources would become cheaper than fossil fuels.
an orderly market transition, the markets would flip towards lower or
non-emitting energy sources, with consumers pocketing the savings. This plan,
unlike Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy plan, grows jobs and GDP, and reduces
future global warming impact.
Panelli, Homer Glen
had to re-read the article in the newspaper the other day (“Coke is ‘closely
watching’ the market for drinks infused with cannabis extract,” Sept. 19) to
make sure I hadn’t misread it. Cannabis in Coke, really! Why would you put any
medication in a soft drink that a child could inadvertently pick up and
drink? Pain medication is just exactly
that — pain medication. It should be treated as such and never camouflaged in a
soft drink. Who would ever think this is a good idea?
waste from Florence
of factory- farmed animals have drowned as a result of Hurricane Florence.
Their pathetic lives have been cut short. But the toxic waste from flooded
“lagoons” of pig waste that now permeates our land and air remains a serious
threat with unforeseen consequences. North Carolina alone creates 10 billion
pounds of wet animal waste annually.
the interests of all of us who breathe and eat, mainstream media must
acknowledge this issue so it can be dealt with.
expresses 'disappointment' after New Delhi backtracks from talks
Pakistan government on Friday expressed “disappointment” after New Delhi
announced to cancel the meeting of foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, to
be held on the sidelines of UNGA in New York, and blamed India for "once
again wasting an opportunity to change the dynamics of the bilateral
statement issued by the Foreign Office said that the reasons cited by the
Indian side for the decision to cancel the foreign ministers' meeting, within
24 hours of its public confirmation, are entirely unconvincing.
so-called ‘disturbing developments’ alluded to in the Indian statement predated
the Indian agreement to hold the bilateral meeting in New York,” Islamabad
more: India cancels New York meeting with Pakistan, says PM Khan's 'true face
its position on the matter, the Foreign Office said that the alleged killing of
BSF soldier took place two days prior to the Indian announcement of its
agreement to hold the bilateral meeting.
the allegations of Pakistan's involvement first appeared, the Pakistan Rangers
clearly conveyed to BSF through official channels that Pakistan had nothing to
do with it. Pakistan Rangers also extended help in efforts to locate the
facts were known to the Indian authorities and a part of the Indian media also
reported that Pakistan had refuted its involvement. Yet, this motivated and
malicious propaganda continued.
takes this opportunity to categorically reject these allegations once again.
Our authorities would be prepared to conduct a joint investigation to establish
the truth,” read the Foreign Office statement.
other reason cited by the Indian ministry referred to the issuance of 20
special postage stamps by Pakistan Post on July 24, highlighting the gross
violation of human rights by Indian forces in held Kashmir.
clarified that the postage stamps mentioned in the Indian statement were issued
before the July 25 elections, following which Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed
stamps highlight the gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian
Occupied Kashmir, which were extensively documented also in a comprehensive
report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as late
as June 2018.
falsely raising the canard of ‘terrorism’, India can neither hide its
unspeakable crimes against the Kashmiri people nor can it delegitimise their
indigenous struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination,” the
Foreign Office maintained.
unfortunate is the reference in the Indian MEA statement to the person of the
Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Foreign Office also expressed disappointment over the “reference in the Indian
MEA statement to the person of the Prime Minister of Pakistan”, and termed it
choose not to further comment beyond saying that these comments are against all
norms of civilised discourse and diplomatic communication,” read the statement.
the record straight, the Foreign Office mentioned that PM Imran Khan had, in
his first public comments after his electoral success, outlined a
forward-looking vision of Pakistan-India relations.
had clearly stated that if India took one step forward, Pakistan would take
two. In the same spirit, PM Khan in his reply letter endorsed PM Modi’s call
for ‘constructive engagement’ and proposed the meeting of the two foreign
ministers in New York to discuss a way forward on bilateral and Saarc-related
matters,” it clarified.
it an “ill-considered cancellation of the meeting”, the Foreign Office accused
India of “once again wasting a serious opportunity to change the dynamics of
the bilateral relationship and put the region on the path of peace and
has always desired peaceful and good-neighbourly relations with India, on the
basis of sovereign equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. In our view,
dialogue and diplomacy are the only constructive way forward for the two
countries to address mutual concerns, rebuild trust, resolve longstanding
disputes, and establish durable peace in South Asia.
its part, Pakistan will persist with its quest for peace and development. But,
as we have consistently emphasised, our approach will continue to be guided by
the aforementioned principles and the dictates of national dignity," read
the Foreign Office statement.
Ganeshotsav symbolises Hindu-Muslim harmony
of the Hindu and Muslim communities in Faizabad's Mukeri Tola locality
celebrate Ganeshotsav with fervour spreading the message of communal harmony.
locals have even formed a Ganesh Puja committee in which people from both the
communities hold positions and take charge to make arrangements for the
chairperson Irshad Hussain says that it started in 2011 and since then, they
have been celebrating Ganeshotsav every year.
the event, Muslims even recite the Sundarkand chapter from the holy book
says that there are 11 Muslims and one Hindu families residing in the area and
they are comfortable with each other.
DM Dr Anil Kumar said that adequate security arrangements have been made for
this year's Ganesh Vinayaka Shobhayatra Visarjan and zonal magistrates will be
posted in the area for the smooth functioning of the event.
many places, Muharram ‘panjas’ were seen placed in Ganesh mandals
of the Muslim community in Dharwad, Haveri and Gadag observed Muharram on
Friday and in many places, particularly in the rural areas, they were joined by
is observed by Shia Muslims to commemorate the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s
grandson, Hazrat Imam Hussain, who was killed in the battle of Karbala in 680
AD. The prophet’s son-in-law, Ali, and Ali’s elder son, Hassan, are also remembered
during this period as having suffered and died for a righteous cause.
time, Muharram is being observed even as the 11-day festivities of Ganeshotsav
are still on and in several places, “panjas” of Muharram and idols of Lord
Ganesha were seen placed adjacent to each other and in a few places in the same
pandals. In some of the villages of North Karnataka, where there are only one
or two Muslim families, the members of the villages got together to observe the
various rituals of Muharram.
is a practice among members of the Hindu community to observe Muharram by
getting themselves painted in tiger stripes, visiting households and performing
“huli kunita” as part of their “harake” (vow).
Dharwad, several Muslims of Iran origin, took out a procession.
all the three districts, the ritual of carrying the “panja” took place in the
morning and a procession was taken out in the evening, in which a large number
of people belonging to both the communities took part. Meanwhile, members of
the Muslims Rights Foundation distributed fruits to visually impaired children.
picture of Suresh Angadi, MP, wishing people ‘Happy Muharram’ raised eyebrows
among cyber citizens in Belagavi on Friday. Several netizens asked if the
martyrdom of religious leaders was a happy occasion to wish believers. Some
wondered if the leader was trying to appease Muslims in an election year.
reservation: Should Muslims get it in place of other well-off groups?
recent study on inter-generational mobility in India by Sam Asher, Paul Novosad
and Charlie Rafkin of the World Bank, Dartmouth College and MIT has created
quite a stir since it argues that “intergenerational mobility for the
population as a whole has remained constant since liberalisation, but
cross-group changes have been substantial”. While there has been an increase in
mobility among Schedule Caste groups, the authors posit, this “is almost
exactly offset by declining intergenerational mobility among Muslims”.
Naturally, this reinforces the view that Hindu-majority India discriminates
against Muslims; the study uses data from the India Human Development Survey
(IHDS) rounds in 2004-05 and 2011-12. Whether the study is right in its
assertions or not, it points out that urban areas are significantly more mobile
than rural areas and that “village assets like roads and schools are associated
with more upward interval mobility”; also, “children are most successful at
exiting the bottom of the distribution in places that are southern, urban, or
have higher average education levels”. In other words, a policy that focuses on
building rural roads and schools, and at increasing urbanisation will help fix
this anomaly and ensure successive generations are better educated and earn
more, irrespective of their caste or religion.
is, though, not immediately clear whether the problem relates to lack of
education or lack of good job opportunities. For, while the study says
intergenerational mobility has been constant, the data it reports shows
considerable increase in educational mobility at an all-India level. So, if a
father had just studied for two years, only 53% of sons born between 1950 and
1959 were likely to have studied for more than two years; the same figure rose
to 74% between 1980 and 1989, suggesting large intergenerational educational
mobility. For a father who had studied till secondary level, only 41% of the
sons born between 1950 and 1959 had studied beyond this; this rose to 56% in
1980-89. In other words, there can be little doubt about educational mobility;
occupational mobility, however, depends upon whether or not there were enough
higher-paying jobs created.
Third Largest Victim to Terror Attacks Across World, Claims US Study
Delhi: India is the third worst hit by terror in the world, data released by US
department of state said. This is the second time in a row that the country has
featured in the list on the same position, which was held by Pakistan till
2015. Meanwhile, Iraq is the largest victim to terror attacks followed by
Afghanistan. (ALSO READ – Jaish, Lashkar Continue to Pose Threat in
Subcontinent, Pak Didn’t Address Concerns in 2017, Says US)
the data claimed that India has witnessed 860 terror attacks in 2017 out of
which 25 per cent were reported from Jammu and Kashmir alone. The state has
reportedly witnessed a surge of about 24 per cent in the number of terror
attacks in the same year.
the most recent attack in J&K, three policemen were abducted and brutally
killed in Shopian district by Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists on Friday. Hitting
back strongly, India called off the foreign ministry-level talks with Pakistan.
The development came within 24 hours of the confirmation that Sushma Swaraj
would be meeting Pak Foreign Minister SM Qureshi on the sidelines of UNGA
scheduled to happen later this month in New York.
the media, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “The latest brutal killings of
our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a
series of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism
confirmed that Pakistan will not mend its ways.”
US study also termed Maoists as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world, and claimed that the group was behind 53 per
cent of attacks in India in 2017. As per the study, Maoists carried out 295
attacks out of the total 860 witnessed by the country last year.
DELHI: Five terrorists were killed in an encounter in Sunblar area of Bandipora
district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, police said.
said the five Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had crossed the Line of Control (LoC)
recently and were on their way to other parts of Kashmir.
terrorists were killed in the encounter on Thursday.
security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in forests of
Sumblar area on Thursday following information about the presence of terrorists.
police official said the search operation turned into an encounter after
militants opened fire on the security forces' positions.
DELHI: As the Maldives' President Abdulla Yameen seeks re-election in the
September 23 polls, India has been alarmed by what many see as blatant attempts
to rig the voting process, notably by the Election Commission (EC) itself.
Also, a major cause of concern is the presence of an international company
operating out of China in matters related to election administration.
company, which has experience of handling elections in countries like Zimbabwe
and Malawi, has allegedly been provided access to Maldives' Department of
National Registration which is responsible for issuing identity cards. Aware of
China's influence on Yameen, the opposition has been suspicious of its
activities and has said the company's presence was another attempt to influence
voting in Yameen's favour.
Wall Street Journal described the Sunday elections as a decisive battle for
influence between China and world's largest democracies. Stating that India was
closely monitoring the situation, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had on
Thursday expressed hope elections would be free and fair.
this stage though, things seem far from it.
spoke to not just Indian but a host of EU diplomats based here and they all
shared concerns about the functioning of EC president Ahmed Shareef. To begin
with he was a member of the ruling alliance until his appointment in March. In
February, he is said to have tweeted that the opposition didn't stand a chance
against Yameen's "transformational economic agenda" which had freed
the country from "decades of economic slavery of neighbours".
the number of international observers for elections has been cut down
drastically by EC, there're other glaring examples of attempts to tweak the
election mechanism in Yameen's favour.
example, discrepancies in the voter list format where EC hasn't included voter
registration numbers and photo identification which was mandated by a Supreme
Court order in 2013. This has made the list susceptible to voter fraud.
re-registration process, meant to allow voters to register for voting at a
location other than their permanent address, is also being apparently
manipulated to suit the supporters of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives
(PPM). Re-registration of voters on islands not in their vicinity and manning
of a number of registration booths by PPM supporters has added to that
another controversial decision, employees of state-owned companies were asked
to register for voting through their management. The international community
was also shocked to notice reports from Male in July that voter data was being transferred
to the President's office instead of the EC.
recordings also surfaced last month suggesting that EC had handed over
confidential opposition voter re-registration forms to Yameen's campaign
a number of restrictions have been placed on foreign media looking to cover the
elections, the civil society and NGOs for the first time have not been invited
to observe the electoral process. The decision to keep Transparency Maldives,
an experienced election observer, out of the national election advisory
committee is an example.
is a high-stakes election for India, possibly the most crucial in recent times
in the neighbourhood, keeping in mind Yameen's efforts to effectively drive
India out of the archipelago. His return is likely to see further consolidation
of Chinese interests in the archipelago and the undermining consequentially of
India's security in the Indian Ocean.
has been hit by fresh allegations of corruption and of having participated in
sorcery, which is seen as against the tenets of Islam, in the run up to the
elections. He remains though in complete control of all state institutions,
particularly EC which is said to be considering a number of steps for the
election contrary to past practices.
include changes in the procedure for counting votes with the objective of
making difficult ballot paper verification.
now, we have taken a soft policy against policemen,” remarked Riyaz Naikoo, the
chief of Kashmir’s largest separatist militant outfit, the Hizbul Mujahideen,
in a video circulated days before three Special Police Officers (SPOs) were
abducted and killed in south Kashmir on 21 September. “But this soft policy has
repeatedly given us negative results. Now, we have to take big steps.”
the nearly 11-minute-long video circulated on WhatsApp, Naikoo said the Indian
government, following the 2016 unrest, has been offering various incentives to
Kashmiri youth to induct them as SPOs.
“We have no sympathies with them,” he said, calling these young men,
mostly from poor families, as “silent killers” of the separatist movement.
with backlash from the State, the militants have turned to carrying out
low-risk attacks on security personnel on leave at their homes, particularly
the lower rung personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, in a bid to
destabilise the vital force. Only last month, nearly a dozen policemen and
their relatives were abducted in retaliation to detention of militants’
families. They were released unharmed but with a stern warning: We don't have
jails to imprison you, only bullets.
at the forefront
Jammu and Kashmir Police has consistently been the only working organ of the
state government—for the most part—when State machinery is paralysed during
times of turmoil. In a state marred with poor administration and unpopular
legislators afraid of visiting their own homes, much less their constituencies,
the police is also the only visible form of government and acts as a buffer between
an angry people and an administration perceived as inaccessible if not
ineffective, and corrupt.
police continues to bear the brunt of the public anger and in recent years, has
become the prime focus of the separatists’ ire, both verbally and physically.
Much of it is rooted in the handling of the 2016 unrest in the wake of Hizbul
commander Burhan Wani’s killing. The widespread use of pellet guns and the
chaos that followed gave rise to exaggerated reports of the damage caused. Two
years on, the plight of these pellet victims and the government’s failure to
rehabilitate them serves as a constant tool in the hands of separatists to
highlight the State’s "oppression".
2016, public's perception of the police has drastically changed. It is being
seen largely as a counterinsurgency force with a single motive: To crush the
militancy. On its part, the state police has played a vital role in
counterinsurgency. There is a consensus in the security establishment—and also
the general public—that most intelligence inputs for counterinsurgency
operations are generated by the police. This is also a recurring motif of the
militant propaganda that is aimed at justifying these killings and subverting
the police’s writ. The separatists have achieved great success on this front.
the turmoil began in the late 1980s, its proponents have argued it to be a
political conflict in nature. However, its religious currents—which were always
visible—remained limited. Though the killing of policemen, targetted or otherwise,
is not new to the Valley, today, militants have repeatedly termed serving in
the police force as "un-Islamic". Corresponding with a growing
acceptance of extreme interpretations of Islam, particularly among the youth,
who now consider members of the police force as infidels serving a taghooti
nizam (secular government), the killings have received a new social sanctity.
security establishment stepped up the ante in late 2016. Within a year, many
top militants had been eliminated. By mid-2018, the militancy had lost most of
its known figures. The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed’s top leadership, too,
was decimated early this year. Security officials are of the opinion that this
led to a growing pressure on the militants to show their presence, just as it
did in the wake of Wani’s killing.
largely of local recruits, unable to receive proper arms training and faced
with a weapons crunch, militants have found a low risk but maximum results
strategy in targetting off-duty security personnel based in the Valley. “The
militants also 'report to someone' and needed to show results,” said a senior
police official. “It is not easy to target an on duty army soldier. It is much
easier to kill an unarmed local policeman. It spreads terror locally.” Whether
or not these men play a role in counterinsurgency, their killings receive
similar media attention and the message is put across effectively.
the aftermath of several bouts of attacks against the police, each time a few
policemen have tendered their resignations. However, senior police officials
said this may not be enough to shake the force. Besides, the Jammu and Kashmir
Police, as per estimates of its officials, is about one lakh strong. In the
past, sarpanches have resorted to symbolic resignations in the face of militant
threats, only to resume political activities after the State achieved some
success in pushing back the militancy.
even as the levels of violence remain lower than the late 1990s and early
2000s, police officials said “frustration” runs high among the militants.
Moreover, such killings are a “routine matter”, the senior police official
said, albeit “on a much larger scale”. The police official dismissed the spate
of attacks as inconsequential in the long run.
1999, he added, within the span of one hour, six policemen were killed on a
busy stretch of Srinagar, from Residency Road till Jahangir Chowk, where the
Assembly and the civil secretariat are located. At some point in the early
2000s, perhaps 2002, he added, 40 policemen were killed in Srinagar district
Vaishali district administration has imposed prohibitory orders in some areas
of Hajipur town to prevent any law and order situation after one person was
shot dead and two were injured in firing during a Muharram procession in the
police blamed the incident on a fight among Muslim groups over leading the
Tazia procession, some Muslims linked the incident to public anger after the
arrest of a Hindu Putra Sangathan leader for an objectionable social media post
regarding Muharram procession routes.
Qureshi (38), a plumber, was shot dead while Qaisar and Anjar are receiving
treatment at Patna Medical College and Hospital, police said. While the assailants
are yet to be arrested, police have arrested four people for pelting stones at
police and damaging public property.
incident took place around 3 am when several Tazia processions from different
routes converged at M Chowk in Hajipur, which has a population of nearly 2
lakh, about 25,000 of which are Muslims. As each Tazia group wanted to lead
from M Chowk, there was a clash between two groups, leading to firing.
Qureshi succumbed at a hospital, a group of people damaged public property, vehicles
parked near the hospital, and later some shops and houses, some of them
belonging to another community. As crowd gathered, police resorted to
lathi-charge after some people threw stones at the police. Prohibitory orders
were later imposed in the town.
police station in-charge Om Prakash said, “Prima facie investigation suggests
that there had been some tension between two groups of Muslims.”
day after India accepted Pakistan’s proposal for a meeting between their
Foreign Ministers in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General
Assembly gathering next week, the government Friday cancelled the meeting and
said “the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed” and the “true face” of Imran
Khan, the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, has been “revealed to the world”.
to the Indian announcement, Pakistan Minister for Information and Broadcasting
Chaudhary Fawad Hussain claimed that “internal politics” and “BJP ke andar jo
tagda group hai (the dominant group within the BJP)” were behind the cancellation
of the meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York.
New Delhi’s decision, Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson for the Ministry of
External Affairs, cited “two deeply disturbing developments” — the “brutal
killings” of security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the release of
postage stamps glorifying Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani who was
killed by Indian securitymen in July 2016.
conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless. In view
of the changed situation, there will be no meeting between the Foreign
Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York,” Kumar said.
to The Indian Express over phone, Chaudhary Fawad said: “What stamps, are we
still using stamps? Those stamps were issued in July. It’s absurd that this is
being cited as a reason for calling off talks… Look, these are not reasons why
India has cancelled (on BSF head constable’s mutilated body)… Asli issue pata
kya hai (Do you know what the real issue is)? It is internal politics. BJP is
going into an election year, and they cannot do this. BJP ke andar jo tagda
group hai, unhon ney isey rok diya (the dominant group within the BJP stopped
this)… The Indian cabinet is divided.”
what Pakistan would do to rein in terror groups such Laskhar-e-Toiba, Hizbul
Mujahideen and others including Hafiz Saeed, he said: “In Pakistan and in
India, there are groups that are not in favour of talks. The leadership in the
two countries has to decide kisko tagda karna hai (who to make strong). Do you
want to make the groups against talks stronger, or do you want to make those in
favour of peace stronger? That is what leadership is all about.” He said
Pakistan “cannot guarantee that terrorists will not strike within our own
country, so how can we guarantee anything in India?”
government and Army are so close that if the Army did not want us to talk, our
Prime Minister would not have taken the initiative to write to your Prime
Minister saying let’s talk… Pakistan has been serious and open-hearted about
holding talks with India from the day Imran Khan came to power, our seriousness
is now before the whole world, what India has done is also before the world,”
Chaudhary Fawad said.
New Delhi, sources said that the decision to call off the meeting was taken by
the government after consultations with all stakeholders, including the
ministries of External Affairs, Home and Defence, the armed forces and
yesterday’s announcement of a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India
and Pakistan in New York later this month, two deeply disturbing developments
have taken place. The latest brutal killings of our security personnel by
Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of twenty postage
stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism confirm that Pakistan
will not mend its ways,” Kumar said.
MEA spokesperson said: “Now, it is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for
talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and
the true face of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been
revealed to the world in his first few months in office.”
said the decision to agree to Pakistan’s proposal for a meeting between the
Foreign Ministers was in response to the spirit reflected in the letters from
Pakistan’s new Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. The letter from Khan had
spoken of bringing a positive change and mutual desire for peace and also
readiness to discuss terrorism.
read | ‘Militants could have warned, why kill’: Mother of SPO killed in Shopian
Fawad, on his part, said: “The advantage now is that the Pakistan civilian
government — usually it is said that the civilian government and military are
not on the same page — at this time, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiatives
have the full backing of the military. We and the military are together, we are
very close to each other — hum bahut qareeb hain eik doosrey key, the institutions
are close. So whatever the government says has the endorsement of the Army of
Pakistan and vice versa. So I think this is a good chance for India and
Pakistan to explore normalisation,” he said.
said they were hoping that when the Foreign Ministers meet in New York, they
would be able to finalise the visa-free corridor for devotees from Punjab to
visit Kartarpur Sahib, 4.5 km inside Pakistan from the border at Dera Baba
Nanak in Gurdaspur district.
said Imran Khan, during his visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this week, had said
that Pakistan will have to normalise relations with India.
said if we normalise, Pakistan’s geographic positions is such that it will
place us right in between the world’s two biggest markers, that is China and
India. And we have to normalise relations with India to make use of the full
economic potential of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor in which, by the
way, we have also invited Saudi Arabia to participate,” Chaudhary Fawad said.
that only an “economic revolution” could lift the poor in both India and
Pakistan out of their condition, he said this would be possible only through
normalisation of ties. “So we are trying our best, Pakistan is making the best
effort… India-Pakistan relations are frosty at the moment for various reasons.
What is necessary now is for the leaderships of Pakistan and India to decide
how to move forward from here,” he said.
said Kashmir is the “nucleus” of all problems between the two countries, and
will not go away just because India insists that it is not a problem.
warns against upsurge in racism and intolerance
Francis warned that attitudes that many thought were a thing of the past – such
as racism – are on the rise again and can lead to intolerant and discriminating
behavior and policies and he urged politicians to avoid exploiting fear against
those seeking refuge and better lives in our countries.
was addressing participants at a just-ended Rome-based conference
"Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global
Migration" at the Vatican on Thursday.
of racist sentiments
are living in times in which feelings that many thought had passed are taking
new life and spreading" Pope Francis said to the over 200 participants of
an international conference on "Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism
in the Context of World Migrations."
his message that marked the conclusion of the event promoted by the Vatican's
Dicastery for Integral Human Development, by the World Council of Churches and
by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, the Pope
reflected on how, in our globalized world, there appears to be an upsurge
of “feelings of suspicion, fear,
contempt and even hatred towards individuals or groups judged for their ethnic,
national or religious identity and, as such – he said - considered not
sufficiently worthy of being fully part of society's life”.
sentiments, he warned, “all too often inspire real acts of intolerance,
discrimination or exclusion".
to leaders and policymakers
his speech Pope Francis also warned political leaders not to exploit fear
saying “Unfortunately, it also happens that in the world of politics” some
yield to the “temptation of exploiting the fears and objective difficulties of
some groups, using illusory promises for short-sighted electoral interests”.
called on those responsible for the formation of young people and on the media
to foster a culture of encounter and openness to others, in mutual respect for
diversity, while inviting those “who
take economic advantage of the climate of distrust in foreigners” to search
into their own conscience, “knowing that one day they will have to respond to
God for the choices they made”.
to promote respect for the dignity of every human person
Pope said the seriousness of these phenomena cannot leave us indifferent, thus,
“we are all called, in our respective roles, to cultivate and promote respect
for the intrinsic dignity of every human person”.
particular, faced with the spread of new forms of xenophobia and racism, the
Pope said, leaders of all religions have the important mission of spreading,
among their faithful, the ethical principles and values inscribed by God in the
heart of man.
a matter of making and inspiring gestures that contribute to building societies
based on the principle of the sacredness of human life and respect for the
dignity of every person, on charity, on brotherhood - which – he said - goes
far beyond tolerance - and on solidarity.
the Christian Churches, Francis concluded, become humble and active witnesses
of Christ's love. For Christians, in fact, the moral responsibilities mentioned
above assume an even deeper meaning in the light of faith.
Proposes Creation of Muslim-Only Prisons In Interim Manifesto
has proposed Muslim-only prisons and special security screening for would-be
migrants “from Islamic countries” in a new policy document.
as the party’s annual conference began in Birmingham, it calls for the creation
of jails “exclusively for” Muslims who “promote extremism or try to convert
ambitions outlined in the so-called ”Interim Manifesto” include a ban on mosques
receiving money from overseas and the abolition of the “hate crime” category.
leader Gerard Batten, who has previously described Islam as a “death cult”,
said the policies were intended to “make Ukip a populist party in the real
meaning of the word”.
document claimed segregation in prisons was needed because non-Muslim inmates
were frequently forced to convert to Islam “for their own protection” from
Muslims gangs behind bars.
Nawaz, chairman of counter-extremism Quilliam Foundation, described the policy
as “the first step to Muslim concentration camps”.
next, deportation of all Muslims from these ‘Muslim only jails’? The rest of
us, civilised human beings, will resist you to the end,” he tweeted.
Not Hate said the policy demonstrated that “Ukip’s march further and further
conference features extreme figures, their manifesto proposes racism and
Islamophobia as policies, and their leader spouts vile hate about Muslims,” the
anti-racism group added.
Independent has contacted Ukip for comment.
Batten has denied he is taking Ukip to the far right, after the party’s former
leader Nigel Farage warned it faces “total and utter marginalisation” if it
moves to the extremes of politics.
the Ukip children’s spokesman received a standing ovation from party members
after claiming Muslim sex gangs were responsible for a “holocaust of our
children” that authorities had refused to tackle.
a speech at the party conference, he suggested the practice of preying on
“white English girls” could be traced right back “to Mohammed himself” and
described the issue as “the biggest social crime and scandal in our country for
manifesto claimed decades of sexual abuse of children had been covered up due
to “political correctness and the fear of identifying the vast majority of the
perpetrators as Muslims”.
called for “an independent national enquiry into local authorities and police
forces’ historical failure to protect children from rape gangs”.
Batten, who took over the Ukip leadership from Henry Bolton in April, has
repeatedly provoked anger with anti-Islam comments and has embraced far-right
figurehead Tommy Robinson.
party is considering offering membership to the English Defence League founder,
something Mr Batten said he “would personally approve of”.
ahead of the conference, Mr Farage said he was “really upset” at the prospect
of Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, being admitted to the
said: “I’m completely opposed to it. I wrote very explicitly into the rules of
the party when I first became leader: we did not want anybody in the party that
had taints with organisations we deemed to be on the far-right of British
warned Ukip was ”in danger now, unless it changes direction very, very quickly,
of total and utter marginalisation”.
Batten denied taking his party to the far right, telling Sky News: “For the
last 25 years, myself and everyone else in Ukip has worked to restore our
country’s former status as an independent democratic nation that is governed by
our politicians, elected by us, sackable by us, in accordance with our
traditional laws and customs and constitution.
that makes you far right, I think whoever thinks that has got a very strange
idea about what constitutes far right.”
Batten said he wanted to use the two-day conference to present his Ukip as a
populist alternative to the leading parties.
Ukip manifesto also included proposals for an ”NHS health card” entitling
British citizens to free medical treatment. Non-Britons would require private
medical insurance unless the UK had done a reciprocal deal with their
policies include turning the UK Border Force into a “Migration Control
Department” with a remit to exclude “extremist” Muslims, and a five-year ban on
property purchases by foreign nationals in designated areas.
Batten said the package was “aimed at helping the people who form the backbone
of Britain: ordinary workers and taxpayers, the unemployed who would like to
work, and small and medium-sized business owners”.
added: “Its purpose is to make Ukip a populist party in the real meaning of the
word – one whose policies are popular with voters.”
Batten addressed party members at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre
children are being falsely accused of radicalization by the British government
as part of its counter-terrorism strategy Prevent, a report said Thursday.
report released by the human rights advocacy group Cage details how Prevent has
erroneously targeted Muslim communities throughout the U.K. on the pretext of
tackling radicalization and extremism and has even separated Muslim children
from their families.
is offering documentation that the removal of children, and the attempted
removal of children, is taking place in the family courts of the United
is being done using an unreliable and highly subjective method of measuring
extremism and radicalization, themselves subjective terms that have not been
adequately defined,” it said.
has been in contact with the families affected and has represented them on many
occasions, concluding that in many cases, the judicial system employs a “flawed
and inaccurate method” to separate Muslim children from their families and that
these methods are often politicised and based “on the notions of ideology”.
advocacy group quoted current statistics from Mark Rowley, head of the
counter-terrorism policing unit, who has said that around 100 children have been
separated from their families and has called for a response from British
society to confront the dangers of extremism even though, according to Cage,
there is no agreed upon definition of extremism.
also included personal testimonies from four family members affected by
of these testimonies is from Mariam, whose house was raided by counter-terror
police just after she had given birth to her son, based on the evidence that
Mariam’s ex-husband, who she hadn’t seen for two years, was jailed for offences
unrelated to terrorism.
then goes on to explain how social workers and officers would come and visit
her and ask questions not regarding child neglect or abuse, but her religious
beliefs, whether she was sending her children to religious schools and what
aspects of the religion she was teaching to her children.
the social workers warned Mariam that if her daughter went to school with her
headscarf, “we, the local authorities, will seek the removal of your children,
and if you teach your children Arabic or the Quran we will remove them from
will never forget the mental abuse local authorities and police have put on me
and my children. My children and I have witnessed such hatred from the police and
local authorities for being a Muslim,” Mariam said.
used my children as tools. At no point do I remember the counter terrorism
officers mentioning any concerns for me as a mother or the children in terms of
abuse. They just wanted information and they were ready to destroy my
children’s lives at any cost,” she added.
victim, Yusra, had two of her children questioned by the police in school
without the knowledge of their mother.
explained how she had a one-on-one meeting with social workers and that “they
asked me what I thought of ISIS and what I thought about democracy, whether it
was a viable system to live under. It was all about my belief.”
felt like it was my religion and belief that was on trial. It was not about
whether I was caring for the children properly. The whole thing was led by the
police. I saw on the form, the referral was made by counter-terrorism police,
SO15,” she added.
Qureshi, who wrote the report, stated: “We had to be completely transparent, in
our research and in the way we interviewed and portrayed the stories of those
families who have been, and are in the midst of being, subject to the attempted
removal of their children.”
police remove 'anti-Islamic idols' in luxury resort raid
Maldives - Guests on a five-star honeymoon resort in the Maldives caught a rare
glimpse of the decades-long political and religious tensions rocking this
island nation when policemen - armed with axes, concrete saws and ropes -
stormed the Fairmont Maldives to destroy model human figures that had been
unprecedented raid on Friday came as President Abdulla Yameen railed against
what he said was a plot by the "Western-backed opposition" to
undermine Islam in the Maldives ahead of a highly charged election on Sunday.
in a tropical storm on the tarmac in a half-completed airport in northern Maldives,
Yameen lambasted his opponents for promoting "Western standards" that
"are intolerable to our society and values".
bring you development and prosperity," he declared as the rain and wind
whipped coconut palms in the distance.
does the opposition offer? They talk of democracy ... What do they do in the
name of Western-backed democracy? They protest to seek rights for
made no mention of the police raid on the resort.
who is seeking re-election after fives years of rule marred by allegations of
human rights abuses and corruption, had ordered the removal of the nearly 30
statues from the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi in July, citing
"significant public sentiment against" them.
was after several clerics warned against "the sin of worshipping
idols" when the Fairmont hotel opened the art gallery, called a
coralarium, to the public.
Candian hotelier called it the world's first semi-submerged gallery, and Jason
deCaires Taylor, the British-Guyanese artist behind the installations, said his
aim was "to raise awareness for the protection" of Maldives' coral
reefs, which are under threat from warming oceans associated with climate
Thursday, police said the civil court had issued a ruling ordering the resort
to take down the sculptures, saying the installation "undermines Islamic
faith, peace and order" in the country.
judgment ordered the police and the army to remove the human models if the
resort failed to do so within five hours, the police said in a statement.
video posted on Twitter by the state-owned Public Service Media showed
policemen cheering as one statue was pulled off its plinth into the lagoon. The
broadcaster described the figures as "illegal".
police, also in a post on Twitter, said all "human model sculptures"
in the coralarium were cleared out by 5:45pm on Friday evening.
Ismail, executive director of human rights group Maldivian Democracy Network,
described the police's actions a "destructive and desperate" attempt
by the president to court the religious vote.
said Yameen, who is facing sanctions from the European Union over alleged
rights violations, began his re-election bid by putting Islam at the centre of
after facing criticism from Western powers and neighbouring India over a
wideranging crackdown on dissent, Yameen has sought to portray himself as
defending sovereignty and religion in the Sunni Muslim nation. He quit the
Commonwealth, and fostered close ties with China and Saudi Arabia, praising the
two countries for funding his development agenda without interfering in the
his running mate this year, he chose a cleric with close ties to the Saudis, Dr
Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed.
opponents, however, accuse him of politicising Islam in order to deflect
criticism over rights abuses.
the past five years, Yameen has jailed or forced into exile nearly all of his
political rivals, suspended parliament, shuttered critical and independent
media, and declared two states of emergencies over alleged threats to national
has presided over a crackdown on liberal voices even as scores of young men and
women left the country to join armed groups in various conflicts in the Middle
East, including fighting with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
a journalist was disappeared, a blogger was killed, and several rights
activists have received death threats for criticising street crime and
Mohamed Solih, the opposition's joint candidate, has promised to investigate
the attacks, restore democracy, release dissidents and investigate corruption
allegations against Yameen.
of the Maldivian Democracy Network, said those who seek to promote human rights
and democracy in the country have been "branded anti-Islamic" ever
since prison riots in 2003 led to a democratic uprising.
governments have used religion to legitimise authoritarian actions since then,
she said, which has empowered far-right religious actors in the country.
is why the art installation at the Fairmont has become a flashpoint, she said.
hotel did not respond to calls for comment.
Muaz Ali, Yameen's spokesman, denied any link between the taking down of the
statues and the upcoming vote, but refused to answer additional questions.
Ahmed Nihan, parliamentary group leader of the ruling Progressive Party of the
Maldives, posted a tweet with police destroying the statues and the hashtag
had previously thanked Yameen for the removal order.
similar outcry occurred in 2011 during a meeting of South Asian leaders in the
Maldives' southern Addu City over the installation of statues gifted by the
monuments, including a bust of Pakistan's founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was
torched, while the head of Sri Lanka's lion statue was decapitated.
police eventually took down all the monuments.
Abdul Ghafoor, spokesman for the Maldivian Democratic Party, which leads the
four-party alliance seeking to remove Yameen, declined to comment on the
removal of the statues from the Fairmont hotel.
cannot accept same-sex marriage or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(LGBT) rights, Prime Minister vsaid on Friday, amid growing instances of
persecution of LGBT community in the Muslim-majority country."In Malaysia
there are some things we cannot accept, even though it is seen as human rights
in Western countries," Mahathir, 93, told reporters. "We cannot
accept LGBT, marriage between men and men, women and women."
comments are likely to spark further debate in the country where activists have
voiced concern over the hostility towards LGBT groups both from within society
and from the administration.
women were caned this month for "attempting lesbian sex" in
Terengganu, a conservative state in the east.
denounced the punishment, saying it "did not reflect the justice or
compassion of Islam".
month, a gay bar in Kuala Lumpur was raided by police and religious enforcement
officials, while a transgender woman was beaten up by a group of assailants in
Seremban, near the capital.
minister in charge of Islamic affairs also came under fire, from activists and
other ruling party lawmakers, after he ordered the removal of portraits of two
LGBT activists from an art exhibition.
describes oral and anal sex as against the order of nature. Civil law
stipulates jail for up to 20 years, caning and fines for offenders, although
enforcement of the law is rare.
BARU, Sept 21 ― The Federal government will urge state governments to amend
their Shariah enactments for better clarity, especially those affecting the
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, said Deputy Minister
in the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh.
said the move was not to change the current laws to suit the LGBT community,
but to make clear the current Shariah laws.
no mistake as the government is firm on our stand against LGBT culture and we
will not compromise on Shariah laws,” said Fuziah after a dialogue session with
Johor PKR women members at Hotel Seri Malaysia in Larkin here today.
said the proposal will involve amending the enactments to better reflect
today’s social environment.
have to be fair as the enactments may generalise on a particular issue that
need to be proven before action can be carried out.
example, the current enactment that concerns transgenders states that any male
person who, in any public place, wears woman’s attire and poses as a woman for
immoral purposes shall be guilty of an offence.
need to look into what is considered immoral as intent is important in such
matters,” said Fuziah.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s stand against LGBT, Fuziah said she
agreed with his stand that Malaysia does not accept LGBT culture and same-sex
Kuantan MP said the Malaysian value system is different and what the government
does is to prevent and also rehabilitate the LGBT community.
Islam, transgenders are considered as asnaf (destitute and eligible for tithes
and assistance) under the Al-Riqab category.
our approach is to guide them out by teaching them skills, through education
and also dakwah (religious teaching),” said Fuziah, adding that assisting the
transgenders change their lifestyle was important as 85 per cent are involved
as sex workers.
also criticised some social media users for painting the transgenders and LGBT
community in a very negative light.
should be moderate in our outlook and at the same time look into how we can
assist them and not just saying what they are doing is haram (prohibited) in
Islam,” added Fuziah.
Awakening Party (PKB) secretary-general Abdul Kadir Karding has reported Muslim
preacher Yahya Waloni to the police for alleged hate speech.
Friday, Karding came to the Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) in
Jakarta to report the Muslim preacher over statements he made during his
sermons on Youtube. Those statements, he said, allegedly violated the 2016 law
on electronic information and transactions.
said Yahya’s sermons were provocative and insulting to vice presidential
candidate Ma’ruf Amin, former West Nusa Tenggara governor TGH Zainul Majdi,
also known as Tuan Guru Bajang (TGB), and Indonesian Democratic Party of
Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarno Putri.
is inappropriate for figures like Ma’ruf Amin, Pak TGB and our former president
Ibu Megawati to be attacked with such derogatory and insulting statements,” he
said as quoted by kompas.com.
detains 85 military personnel over Gulen ties
police on Friday detained 85 military personnel in countrywide raids over
alleged links to the group blamed for the 2016 failed coup, state media
in Ankara issued arrest warrants for 110 active duty personnel in the air
force, state-run news agency Anadolu said, as part of a probe into followers of
US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
launched operations in 16 provinces including Ankara while those detained in
other cities would be taken to the Turkish capital.
of those sought by police were pilots while three were colonels, the agency
claims Gulen ordered the attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
on July 15, 2016 but he strongly denies the charges.
77,000 people including military personnel, teachers and judges have been
arrested over suspected links to Gulen under the two-year state of emergency
imposed five days after the coup bid. The government ended the emergency this
allies have expressed concern over the scale of the crackdown, which saw over
140,000 people suspended or sacked from the public sector.
the face of stringent criticism, Ankara has insisted the raids are necessary to
remove the “virus” that is the Gulen movement’s infiltration of key Turkish
who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, denies this and
insists his movement is peaceful, and promotes moderate Islam and secular
officials have started building hundreds of new settler units in the occupied
Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds, despite the international outcry against the
Israeli regime’s land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in
official Palestinian news agency WAFA, citing Hebrew-language media outlets,
reported that the so-called Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee
will hold discussions on constructing two settlements in the eastern sector of
the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, one of which will be erected in Sheikh Jarrah
neighborhood, located 2 kilometers north of the Old City.
authorities allege that the construction projects will be carried out on two
pieces of land owned by settlers living abroad.
report added that 15 settler units will be built in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood,
while 75 others will be constructed in Beit Hanina neighborhood. The remaining
220 units will be built in the Yeshiva Neveh Zion district on the outskirts of
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations
Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and
completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian
territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major
sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement
expansion on Palestinian territories.
backtracked on Washington’s support for a “two-state solution” earlier this
year, saying he would support any solution favored by both sides.
at two-state or one-state, I like the one that both parties like. I’m very
happy with the one both parties like. I can live with either one,” the US
president said during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on February 15.
boy injured after being struck by settler car
a Palestinian teenage boy has sustained injuries after an Israeli settler ran
him over in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.
sources, requesting anonymity, told Arabic-language Ma’an news agency that the
16-year-old victim, identified as Munir Abdullah Gharib, was struck on a road
in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of al-Khalil (Hebron), located 30 kilometers
(19 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Friday afternoon.
sources added that the settler fled the scene after the incident.
was quickly transferred to the Governmental Hospital in al-Khalil to receive
have been scores of “hit and run” incidents targeting Palestinians in different
parts of the occupied West Bank, with most of them largely going uninvestigated
by Israeli authorities. Some of such events have resulted in fatalities.
Yemeni national army backed by the Arab coalition launched a successful
military operation against a hideout run by al-Qaeda terrorist organization in
Khor district west of Ataq which is a major town in the governorate of Shabwah.
operation which was launched in the early hours on Friday, resulted in the
killing of Naif al-Sayari al-Daiyani, a prominent leader in al-Qaeda terrorist
military source said that three others from the terrorist group were captured.
military operation comes as a continuation of the efforts of the Yemeni
security forces supported by the coalition to support legitimacy in Yemen.
move comes in accordance with security and military operations that are in line
with the pursuit of terrorist organizations inside Yemen and to eliminate them
and protect the Yemeni people from terrorist organizations and the
Iranian-backed coup militias.
Arab coalition supporting the Yemeni legitimacy, has been carrying out joint
operations to combat terrorist organizations based in Yemen, such as al-Qaeda
in the Arabian peninsula, ISIS and the pro-Iranian Houthi militias.
Arabia Bans More Than 600,000 Palestinians From Hajj And Umrah Pilgrimages
than 600,000 Palestinians have effectively been banned from participating in
the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom announced it
will no longer provide visas to Palestinian holders of temporary Jordanian
passports, according to local travel agencies.
agencies in Jordan and the Israeli occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds were
informed of the Saudi decision in early September without any further
explanations on the reason of the ban.
will refuse to issue visas for any temporary passport that has no national
[citizenship] number," Abu Khaled al-Jimzawi, an East al-Quds-based
tourism office director, told the Middle East Eye.
new Saudi policy will deny the Palestinians the chance to participate in the
Hajj pilgrimage, a religious ritual that has to be completed by Muslims at
least once in their lifetime.
Palestinians fled to Jordan between 1947 and 1967 as a result of Israeli
occupation. Today, more than 600,000 Palestinians live in Jordan without any
citizenship but are given temporary Jordanian passports for travel. Moreover,
the Saudi decision will also affect most Palestinian residents of the Israeli
occupied East Jerusalem as they also rely on the temporary Jordanian passports.
believe the passport ban seeks to induce Palestinian refugees to apply for
Jordanian citizenship. East Jerusalem residents will have to apply for Israeli
citizenship or request travel documents from the Palestinian Authority, a move
that is known to be used by Israel to revoke resident status from Palestinians
on the basis of numerous pretexts, such as a newly passed "breach of
emails from US President Senior Adviser Jared Kushner disclosed by the Foreign
Policy Magazine in August revealed plans that sought to neutralize Palestinian
refugees in Jordan, effectively ending their Palestine related status.
foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia and Iran will hold a meeting in New York to
discuss Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying
by state-run Anadolu news agency on Friday.
and Russia announced an agreement on Monday under which Russian and Turkish
troops will enforce a new demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib region.
is expected to join President Tayyip Erdogan in attending the United Nations
General Assembly meeting in New York next week.
lashes out: ‘Iran will defeat Trump just like it did Saddam’
President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at US President Donald Trump on Saturday,
saying Trump would fail in his confrontation with Iran "just like Saddam
was referring to the 1980s war between the two Middle Eastern powers, and
vowing that Tehran will not abandon its missiles despite US pressure.
same will happen to Trump. America will suffer the same fate as Saddam
Hussein," Rouhani said in a speech carried live by state television that marked
the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
will never decrease our defensive capabilities... we will increase them day by
day," Rouhani said at a military parade. "The fact that the missiles
anger you shows they are our most effective weapons," he said, referring
to the West.
people were killed after unknown gunmen opened fire during a military parade in
the southwestern Iranian city of Ahwaz on Saturday, state television reported.
began by several gunmen from behind the stand during the parade. There are
several killed and injured," a correspondent told state television.
report Saturday described the assailants as "Takifiri gunmen," a term
previously used to describe ISIS.
television showed images of the immediate aftermath. In it, paramedics could be
seen helping someone in military fatigues laying on the ground. Other armed
security personnel shouted at each other in front of what appeared to be a
viewing stand for the parade.
semi-official ISNA news agency published photographs of the attack's aftermath,
with bloodied troops in dress uniforms helping each other walk away. The attack
struck on Ahvaz's Quds, or Jerusalem, Boulevard.
was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Yemeni army said on Friday that it seized control of a military air base east
media office of the army’s Giants Brigades said its units seized the air base
and surrounding farms in the area of Kilo 16, east of Hodeidah.
added that army and resistance forces secured the al-Nakheel farms in the Bayt
al Faqih district following battles against the Houthis in the south of
Arab coalition’s fighter jets also launched a series of strikes on Al-Jabana
base, Al-Arj area and Al-Kutheib, north of Hodeidah.
Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported that coalition forces intensified their
military operations in northern Yemeni governorates.
military source told Al Arabiya that the coalition fighter jets and rocket
launchers destroyed Houthi strategic posts in the Abs and Mustaba districts in
the Hajjah Governorate, and also targeted gatherings of Houthi militiamen.
Sanaa, the coalition carried out several strikes, and the Yemeni defense
ministry said the coalition fighter jets launched military strikes on a base
that the Houthi militias control north of Sanaa.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has denied US claims the Palestinians have
refused to enter peace talks with Israel.
denial came after talks in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron Friday.
Abbas asked Macron to pass the message onto US President Donald Trump.
National Security Adviser John Bolton said earlier this month that the
Palestinian de facto embassy in Washington was being shut because the PLO
hadn’t taken steps toward negotiations.
said “we didn’t reject negotiations as the Israelis claim,” adding that the
Palestinian side is “ready for any confidential or public talks.”
has done little to curb Jaish, LeT: Washington
DELHI: Pakistan remains a safe haven for terror groups, the United States has
said in its annual “country report on terrorism 2017”, and claimed sufficient
action has not been taken against Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which
operate from its soil and carry out attacks in India.
US report states that Pakistan detained LeT chief and mastermind of 26/11
Mumbai attacks Hafiz Saeed in January 2017 but he was released in November
following a court order.
(Pakistan) government failed to significantly limit LeT and JeM from openly
raising money, recruiting, and training in Pakistan — although Pakistan’s
Elections Commission refused to allow a LeT affiliated group register as a
political party,” the report says.
to the report, Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) claimed several major
attacks (43) in Pakistan last year, some of which may have been conducted in
collaboration with other terrorist groups.
adds that terrorist groups operating from Pakistani soil use various tactics,
including stationary and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs),
suicide bombings, targeted assassinations and rocket-propelled grenades to
attack individuals, schools, markets, government institutions and places of
that Pakistan’s military is becoming more powerful, the report says the
(Pakistan) government renewed for two more years a constitutional amendment
allowing military courts to try civilians on terrorism charges. “Critics argued
the military courts were not transparent and were being used to silence civil
society activists,” it said.
about terror funding in Pakistan, the US report says the Financial Action Task
Force continued to note with concern gaps in the implementation of the UN
Security Council’s ISIL (Da’esh) and al-Qaida sanctions regime and that
UN-listed entities, including LeT and its affiliates, are not effectively
prohibited from raising funds.
sanctions related to designated entities and individuals such as LeT and its
affiliates have not been implemented and these groups continue to make use of
economic resources and raise funds.
November, the Lahore high court refused to extend detention of Hafiz Saeed for
alleged lack of evidence nor had the government charged Saeed with a crime, the
US report says.
Conn. (AP) — Police say they are investigating a white powder scare at the
Islamic Center of New London as a hate crime.
substance, which has been sent to the state crime lab for analysis, was found
in an envelope at the mosque just before 9 a.m. Friday.
say a 43-year-old man was exposed to the powder, but was not injured. Police
say experts at the scene determined there was no danger to the surrounding
had everyone in the building shelter in place and the street outside the center
was closed for three hours while authorities, including the FBI, state and
local police investigated.
Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the
envelope contained a white substance and a letter that included derogatory
comments about Islam.
United States has denounced China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslims in
unusually strong terms, adding to a growing list of disputes in increasingly
turbulent relations between the two powers.
secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, voiced alarm after a United Nations report
described the mass internment of Uighurs under the pretext of preventing
extremism in the western Xinjiang region where the minority group is
of thousands and possibly millions of Uighurs are held against their will in
so-called re-education camps where they’re forced to endure severe political
indoctrination and other awful abuses,” Pompeo said in a speech on the state of
religious freedom around the world.
religious beliefs are decimated,” Pompeo said.
a letter to Pompeo and the treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, and both
Republican and Democratic members of Congress late last month called for
sanctions on Chinese officials implicated in the internment of Uighurs.
did not say whether the United States would take punitive measures but his
remarks were striking for their tone, with Donald Trump’s administration
putting human rights on the back seat in relations with allies such as Egypt
and Saudi Arabia.
Trump administration itself has faced criticism at home and abroad for its
stance on Muslims, with the president as a candidate calling for a complete ban
on Muslims entering the United States and, soon after taking office, barring
entry to citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.
also expressed concern about the fate of Christians in China, who he said had
been targeted in a government crackdown.
government, he said, has been “closing churches, burning Bibles and ordering
followers to sign papers renouncing their faith”.
an interview earlier in the week, Pompeo had described China as a greater
threat to the United States than Russia, saying that Beijing was a
treats our intellectual property horribly, it treats its religious minorities
horribly,” he told Fox News.
has rejected the findings of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial
has nothing to lose' — analysts weigh in on Modi govt's U-turn on talks
Indian government on Friday cancelled a meeting between the Pakistani and
Indian foreign ministers, scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the United
Nations General Assembly, just a day after confirming the development.
spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Raveesh Kumar,
claimed that the meeting has been called off due to "unclean
intentions" on Pakistan's side.
however, argue that it is the upcoming Indian election that has Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and the Bharti Janta Party (BJP) hesitant from engaging with
Pakistan. Here's what they have to say:
reply sounds like script of Bollywood movie'
Khurho, DawnNewsTV anchor
am not going to fault the Pakistan government for reaching out to the Indian
government that is fairly standard for any new government. However, the
language used in the Indian cancellation is nothing short of a Bollywood script
or a Star Plus drama.
is an accurate assessment that with the election coming up the Indian
government would not have reached out to Pakistan as they are catering to a
local audience that they themselves have radicalised.
general, I don't think the relationship between Pakistan and India would
normalise anywhere in the near future. This cancellation just goes to show that
sides have been picked in the region and the upcoming Indian election will only
escalate this situation and there may even be some military adventures closer
to that time."
will lose popularity if he engages with Pakistan'
Shuaib, defence analyst
Modi shows any flexibility towards Pakistan he will lose all the popularity he
has gained through his anti-Pakistan narrative, and the election is just a few
should now give a counter-narrative and highlight India's tactics to the world
or else we will be shouldering all the blame for the lack of dialogue once
need to understand that India will not be ready for talks even in the next
10-12 years. They will be ready once they are done changing the proportion of
the population in Kashmir — something that they have been actively trying to
that proportion is in their favour, then they will be ready to talk.
does not want to engage in talks with Pakistan, this has always been their
strategy. They first started to propagate the narrative that the civilian
leaderships want peace but it is the army that is the creating hurdles for
we see all the examples of the way their civilian leadership speaks about
Pakistan. They say things like 'burn all the products that are coming from
truth is, friendship cannot be thrust upon someone, it is a two-sided
does not have anything to lose from this'
Hussain, political analyst
believe that this is not a major setback. We made an offer and India refused
it, this does not mean we have anything to lose. We should not be too worried
also think that it is okay if the talks are not happening as yet. If the
meeting had occurred, there would have been a rise in expectations [that
various issues between the two countries would be resolved].
is talked about a lot during the Indian election, so it is correct to think
that that is part of the reason.
the other hand, they may not have wanted to talk as yet because they know that
nothing would come out of it and a meeting like this would create a false
perception. India is not in the mood for that right now."
leader Mohammad Hanif Abbasi was on Saturday morning shifted from Adiala prison
in Rawalpindi to Attock jail, sources told DawnNewsTV.
who is serving a life sentence after his conviction in the ephedrine quota
case, was shifted to the prison in Attock in the early hours of Saturday on the
recommendation of a two-member inquiry committee, a source in Adiala jail said.
committee was formed to investigate how photographs were taken of former prime
minister Nawaz Sharif, PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and others in the office
of the Central Jail Adiala superintendent prior to Sharif’s release on
Wednesday on orders of the Islamabad High Court. Abbasi was one of the leaders
seen in the photo.
had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under
sections 9-C, 14 and 15 of the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Act for
misuse of 500kg of ephedrine.
has been taken into confidence over Saudi Arabia joining the China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as a strategic partner, Minister for
Information Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday.
minister was responding to a tweet by former interior and planning minister,
Ahsan Iqbal of PML-N, who asked whether Beijing had been taken on board before
formally inviting Riyadh to join the mega venture.
China been taken into confidence? CPEC is a bilateral project in which
induction of any other country has to have [the] concurrence of both
sides," Iqbal wrote.
response, Chaudhry said Chinese assent had been sought and that the
"expansion of CPEC is in China and Pakistan['s] interest."
will be a centre of economic activity of this region, era of darkness is
over," he added.
minister had announced on Thursday that Saudi Arabia is set to become a third
strategic partner in CPEC and has reportedly agreed in principle to invest
heavily in Pakistan after it was formally invited to join the project, Dawn
landmark announcement by Chaudhry came in the backdrop of Prime Minister Imran
Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates apparently aimed at
convincing Islamabad’s allies in the Middle East to help the government deal
with a looming financial crisis.
high-level coordination committee has been constituted and it has the complete
backing of the Saudi King, His Highness Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, as well
as the Crown Prince [Mohammad bin Salman] and PM Khan,” said the minister, who
was part of the prime minister’s entourage during the trip, at a press
conference in Islamabad.
high-level Saudi delegation comprising ministers for finance and energy as well
as business heads would visit Pakistan in the first week of October to work out
details of a grand economic partnership, Chaudhry said, adding that major
investments from Saudi Arabia were expected.
for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari on Friday hit back at United States (US)
President Donald Trump's tweet in which he complained that despite the
'protection' afforded to Middle Eastern countries by the US, they continue to
raise oil prices.
Trump in a tweet on Thursday said: "We protect the countries of the Middle
East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to
push for higher and higher oil prices!" he said. "We will
2016, major oil producers both within and outside OPEC agreed to slash
production in an attempt to boost prices following the 2014 oil market crash.
US withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran earlier this year, after which
it reimposed sanctions on the Islamic republic that had been suspended in
return for controls on Tehran's nuclear programme.
and China, Iran's top buyers, have also distanced themselves from Tehran ─ after Trump warned importers to stop buying oil from
Iran or face US sanctions ─
leaving its crude output the lowest it's been since July 2016.
new set of US sanctions is due to hit Iran's oil industry on November 4, while
Venezuela, another OPEC founding member is also under sanctions from
the oil cartel as a "monopoly", the US president in his tweet issued
a fresh call on the OPEC members to lower their crude prices, reminding them
that the US is providing certain Middle Eastern energy giants with security.
OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!" Trump wrote.
a strongly worded response to the US president, Mazari wrote: "Surely
there is someone in Washington DC who can teach him [President Donald Trump]
history and how [the] US has historically destabilised the Middle East with its
support for illegal Israeli expansionism and unbridled militarism!"
added: "Also oil comes primarily from west Asia and Gulf, not Middle East!
He should also be told about OPEC member states!"
Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Iraq, Algeria, Libya and
Ecuador are other countries that are part of OPEC, in addition to Iran and
prices steadied on Thursday after Trump's call on OPEC to "get prices down
now!", slowing after an upward surge that had pushed the market towards
responds to alleged gender discrimination in NUST smoking policy
Mazari also took to Twitter on Wednesday to respond to a notification making
the rounds on social media allegedly released by the National University of
Science and Technology (NUST), which provided locations of designated on-campus
smoking areas to be used by male students, and simultaneously restricted female
students from smoking or appearing within the university's designated smoking
notice warned that female students found in these designated smoking areas
would be fined and their parents informed, although there is no similar rule
applicable to male students ─
who, according to the notice, will
be fined for smoking in areas other than the designated smoking areas.
are not allowed at these smoking areas. In case of violation, fine of Rs1,000
will be imposed, in addition to information to parents," the notice reads.
purpose of dedicated smoking area is to curb tendency of cheating, smoking at
hidden places and save non-smokers from passive smoking hazards," the
Businessmen and traders on Thursday rejected the prime minister’s announcement
for the grant of Pakistani citizenship to Afghan nationals living in the
country for decades and warned that if the government made such a move, they
would stop paying taxes and utility bills.
separate statements, All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association chairman
Abdul Jalil, Peshawar Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industries senior vice
president Haji Mamoor Khan and Markaz Tanzeem-i-Tajiran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
president Malik Mehr Ilahi urged the premier to withdraw announcement on
citizenship for Afghans, Bengalis saying it has caused serious unrest among
businessmen and traders.
Jalil said the country had around four million Afghans and most of them lived
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where they completely controlled different businesses.
Afghan nationals are not paying any kind of tax and are in the habit of fleeing
to own country whenever the Federal Board of Revenue or other tax collecting
agency cracks down on tax evaders,” he said.
said Pakistanis regularly paid taxes but didn’t get incentives.
Mamoor said the premier had issued the citizenship statement without knowing
(businessmen and traders) have been left with no option but to stop paying
utility bills and taxes as the foreigners doing different businesses don’t pay
taxes,” he warned.
Ilahi said the grant of Pakistani citizenship to Afghans would turn the local
population into a minority as the Afghan nationals had a majority in many
areas, especially in markets.
said various trader bodies of the province would hold a joint meeting after
Ashura to take a unified stand on the matter.
traders of Peshawar have unanimously rejected the premier’s announcement on
citizenship for Afghans,” he said.
trader leader said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already suffered heavily due to
militancy but the successive governments had never considered it serious to
support the people affected by it.
said instead of awarding citizenship to foreigners, the government should focus
on the resolution of the problems of own tax-paying citizens.
Ilahi said Afghanis had controlled business in the country and if they were
given citizenship, then the local traders won’t be able to do business.
clerics from Garissa on Friday condemned terrorism by al Shabaab, saying Islam
does not support murder and holds human life to be precious.
leaders, who included Supkem national organising secretary Sheikh Abdullahi
Salat and Garissa branch treasury Sheikh Hassan Abdi, spoke at Garissa Primary
School during International Peace Day.
were referring to last week’s attack in which al Shabaab militants separated
Muslims from non-Muslim bus passengers at Sangailu en route to Garissa from
militants flagged down the bus and ordered everybody out. They demanded that
everyone produce an ID, which they used to separate the Muslims from
non-Muslims. Three passengers were non-Muslims. One of them, a teacher was
spared after he recited Suratul Fatiha. The other two were tied to a tree and
Salat said they will rally the Muslims to reject the ideology of the terror
clerics who understand what Islam stands for, we feel so pained when misguided
individuals misinterpret the Koran to advance their cause,” Salat said.
cannot continue keeping quiet as innocent Kenyans are massacred in broad
urged leaders to work with security personnel and religious leaders to foster
peace among different faiths. “Muslims are living in areas dominated by
Christians and other religions and if we allow this to continue, it might
create bad blood between Muslims and other religions,” he said.
Wednesday, Garissa leaders accused police officers of doing little to fight al
says death toll from Tripoli clashes climbs to 96
Libyan authorities say the death toll from fighting between rival armed groups
in the capital of Tripoli has climbed to at least 96 people, including
Health Ministry said on Friday that clashes since Aug. 26 have also left 444
says 11 people, including eight civilians, were killed and 33 others were
wounded on Thursday when fighting flared up again, breaking a UN-brokered
cease-fire from earlier this month.
fighting between militias allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli and an
armed group from a nearby town underscores Libya’s lingering lawlessness since
the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longtime dictator Muammar
— An unconfirmed number of Mozambican soldiers died on Thursday morning in an
ambush by a terrorist group in Palma district, in the northern province of Cabo
Delgado, according to a report in Friday's issue of the independent newssheet
unnamed local sources, the paper said the ambush took place in the
administrative post of Pundanhar, where members of the armed forces were
patrolling in an armed vehicle. The attackers fired two bazookas at the vehicle
and killed some of the occupants. The "Mediafax" source gave no
number for the dead, but said they included a Colonel.
fundamentalists have been waging an insurgency in parts of Cabo Delgado since
October 2017. They are generally referred to as "Al Shabaab", but do
not seem to have any direct connection with the Somali terrorist group of this
name. All the orthodox Islamic organisations in Mozambique have denounced the terrorist
group, and say that their actions have nothing to do with islam.
number of armed incidents in Cabo Delgado seems to have fallen sharply in
recent months, but Thursday's attack indicates that the insurgents have not
disappeared. After suffering losses at the hands of the defence and security
forces, the jihadists are now believed to be moving round in small groups.
by "Mediafax", the local authorities neither confirmed nor denied the
attack. The Palma district administrator, David Machimbuko, said he was on
holiday in the provincial capital, Pemba, and so was unaware of the attack. The
district police commander did not answer his phone, when the paper tried to
contact him, and nor did the spokesperson for the General Command of the
police, Inacio Dina.
years after al-Shabaab fighters burst into a luxury shopping mall in Kenya's
capital, hurling grenades and starting a days-long siege that left 67 people
dead, analysts say the Somalia-based extremist group has been pushed down
Africa's east coast as far as Mozambique as its regional threat expands.
assault on Westgate Mall on a sunny weekend afternoon horrified the world and
exposed weaknesses in Kenya's security forces after it took them hours to
respond. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta promised reforms.
the government of east Africa's commercial hub is praising itself, saying
security forces have effectively limited attacks to areas near the Somali
border. "We learnt our mistakes and corrected them," police Inspector
General Joseph Boinnet told reporters this week, pointing out real-time
intelligence sharing among security agencies.
however, say few sustainable lessons have been learned while al-Shabaab, the
deadliest Islamic extremist group in sub-Saharan Africa, has changed its
strategy with devastating effects.
al-Qaeda-linked extremist group has vowed retribution on Kenya for sending
troops to Somalia since 2011. The group has killed hundreds of people inside
Kenya, which has been targeted more than any other of the six countries
providing troops to an African Union force in Somalia.
goal in carrying out attacks outside Somalia is to pressure authorities within
the region to pull their troops out of Somalia. That aim has not been achieved
and all indications are that the movement continues to plot assaults in cities
across East Africa to advance its objectives," said Murithi Mutiga, a
senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.
new report by the think tank says some al-Shabaab extremists previously based
on the Kenyan coast have moved south into Tanzania and, in response to
crackdowns there, relocated into northern Mozambique and forged ties with local
Kenyan government's initial response to the Westgate attack, involving blanket
arrests of Muslims and indiscriminate crackdowns aimed at ethnic Somalis,
inflamed communities and made matters worse, Mutiga said.
government later changed its approach and appointed local ethnic Somalis to
lead security operations in the northeast near the Somali border.
area, however, has seen growing attacks by al-Shabaab that have killed more
than 100 police officers since May 2017.
security officials seem to have failed to contain that threat," Mutiga
said. Other major attacks since Westgate in the region, often targeting
Christians, have included massacres of bus passengers and the assault on Garissa
University in 2015 that left 147 people dead.
pressure on al-Shabaab since Westgate has included training and
counterterrorism equipment provided by Western countries including the US and
life is precious and must be protected'
attack also changed the way Kenyan institutions are protected. Shopping malls,
office buildings, university campuses, government facilities and the main
airport have invested substantial sums in additional security, including
al-Shabaab focuses its attacks largely on Christians in Kenya's Muslim-majority
border communities, it has managed to stall economic activity and education,
said Kenya-based security analyst and former US Marine Andrew Franklin.
children who drop out of school as teaching staff flee become targets for
recruitment by the extremists.
make up the majority of al-Shabaab's foreign fighters.
economic activity in the borderlands weakens and corruption grows, the morale
and effectiveness of security forces has eroded, Franklin said.
is a "tremendous amount of complacency" among security agencies, he
said, leading to the conclusion that senior officials have little interest in
countering al-Shabaab's insurgency.
Andrew Munya, who was injured in the Westgate attack when shrapnel hit his left
shoulder, Kenya will not be safe until al-Shabaab is dealt with for good.
World League to organise an Islamic-Christian world conference in Beirut
(AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Muslim World League (MWL) has decided to organise a
world Islamic-Christian conference next year in Beirut, the organisation’s
secretary general, Mohammad al-Issa, announced yesterday.
MWL, the religious arm of Saudi Wahhabism, promotes pan-Islamism, the political
unification of all Muslim peoples, and has as its mission the spread of Islamic
teachings through Islamic schools and institutes.
a former Saudi Justice minister, has led the organisation since 2016.
Yesterday, he met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, National Assembly
Speaker Nabih Berry, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Elias Audeh, and Shia (Jafari)
Mufti Ahmad Kabalan. Afterwards, al-Issa gave a press conference at the
al-Issa, Lebanon is the "natural" location for the MWL initiative of
reconciliation between Muslims and Christians and between Muslims. Addressing
the mufti, he said that it was time to "turn the dark page of the past and
start a new relationship based on tolerance, equality and cooperation ... and
achieve brotherly Muslim reconciliation, developing in depth all that can lead
to the purification of hearts and the dissipation of conflicts and differences,
particularly between the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of
Iran, to block those who use the Ummah to pursue personal interests and act
according to the principle of divide and rule.”
al-Issa put a side for a moment such a conciliatory tone when he criticised the
"extremist confessional politics of Iran in the region", albeit
noting that this does not apply to Shias.
to criticism that his country promotes the most rigid Islam in the world, he
said that "Saudi Arabia was not like that before 1979. Saudi Arabia and
the whole region were touched by the Sahwa movement (close to the Muslim
brotherhood), which has tried to propagate extremist ideas. We want to go back
to what we were: a moderate Islam open to the world, open to all
we do and what we want to do is to purify Islam,” he insisted, in order to
“free ourselves from extremism, false interpretations, and pass on the correct
readings of Islam".
trying to stop Yemen war crimes probe: HRW
Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned attempts by the regime in Riyadh and its ally
the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to stop an investigation into crimes committed
Arabia and the UAE are trying to shut down a UN-backed war crimes investigation
in Yemen, HRW said on Friday.
47-member United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva is divided into two
group made up of European countries and Canada calls for a one-year extension
after investigators issued a damning report saying the conflicting governments
of Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE could be responsible for war crimes in
second group, led by Arab state Tunisia on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition,
makes no mention of extending the probe but calls for Yemen's almost defunct
National Commission of Inquiry to continue investigating the conflict.
two sides could bridge differences before the council session ends on September
definition, there are differences," council spokesman Rolando Gomez said
Friday. "One speaks to technical assistance. One is slightly more of a
condemnatory nature. There are informal consultations that are under way. There
are always efforts to meet in the middle."
Sabella, an international advocacy officer at the Cairo Institute for Human
Rights Studies, said independent investigations like those led by experts were
important for the credibility of the council.
said failure to renew or strengthen such mandates would "empower
repressive governments that want to destroy the UN human rights system."
choice is clear for UN member states: Support the renewal of independent and
international investigations into war crimes in Yemen, or bow to Saudi threats
and allow these investigations to be quashed," she wrote in an e-mail.
"Nothing would make Saudi Arabia and the UAE happier than to do away with
independent investigations into war crimes in Yemen."
described the Saudi attempt to kill the investigation as a "blatant
attempt to avoid scrutiny."
Saudi-led coalition's campaign to discredit and undermine a UN investigation
into abuses by all Yemen's warring parties is yet another blatant attempt to
avoid scrutiny of the coalition's own actions in Yemen," John Fisher,
HRW's Geneva director, said in a statement.
Human Rights Council cannot afford to fail Yemeni civilians. States should
renew the mandate of the (probe) or risk the Council's credibility," he
forces are accused of numerous war crimes in Yemen including the bombing of
civilian targets such as a school bus and hospitals.
Saudi-led aggression on its southern neighbor Yemen has turned the impoverished
Arab country into what the UN has described as “the world's worst humanitarian
PAULO: Brazilian police on Friday arrested a fugitive sought in Paraguay who is
accused by US officials of belonging to Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and of
being a key financier of terrorism.
took Assad Ahmad Barakat into custody in the border city of Foz do Iguacu,
which is home to the famous Iguazu Falls and sits where Brazil, Argentina and
in Paraguay are seeking Barakat on allegations of false representation, police
said, and Brazil's Supreme Court authorized his arrest earlier this month. The
Brazilian federal prosecutor's office said in a statement that Barakat's case
meets the requirements for an arrest with a view to extradition.
Paraguay, Barakat is accused of presenting a declaration of incorrect
nationality and omitting information about the loss of nationality, the
prosecutors' statement said. Barakat was born in Lebanon but has lived in South
America for years.
said they had information that Barakat applied for refugee status in Brazil
when he learned of Paraguay's arrest warrant, but that only the recognition of
refugee status would prevent his extradition, which was not the case here.
2004, the US Treasury Department accused Barakat of serving as a treasurer for
Hezbollah, which it considers a terrorist organization, and ordered American
banks to freeze any of his assets found in the United States. At the time,
Barakat was serving time in a Paraguayan prison for tax evasion. Two years
later it added several of his associates to its watchlist, on which Barakat
police said Argentine authorities have accused associates of Barakat of
laundering $10 million in a scheme in casinos, and they have frozen the group's
was extradited from Brazil to Paraguay in 2003 and was convicted of tax
evasion. He returned to live in Brazil in 2008 after he was released from
prison, police said.
PAULO: Brazilian police on Friday arrested a fugitive whom US authorities have
accused of serving as Hezbollah's financier and who has repeatedly been accused
of illegal activity in a lawless border area where three South American nations
took Assad Ahmad Barakat into custody in the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguacu,
which is home to the famous Iguazu Falls and sits where Brazil, Argentina and
Paraguay converge. The Tri-Border Area, as it is known, has long been a haven
for smugglers, traffickers and counterfeiters, and US authorities and others
have alleged it is also a redoubt for terrorism support and financing.
in Paraguay are seeking Barakat on allegations of false representation, police
said, and Brazil's Supreme Court authorized his arrest earlier this month.
Brazilian federal prosecutor's office said Barakat's case met the requirements
for an arrest with a view to extradition — but it was not clear when or if that
2004, the US Treasury Department said Barakat was one of the most influential
members of Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, which the US considers a terrorist
organization. It accused him of using his businesses in the Tri-Border Area as
a front for fundraising for Hezbollah as well as coercing local shopkeepers
into giving money to the organization.
Treasury official at the time said he had used "every financial crime in
the book" to fund Hezbollah and "underwrite terror," and the
department ordered his assets frozen in the United States. Barakat was then
serving a prison sentence for tax evasion in Paraguay.
years later it added several of his associates to a list of people whose US
assets can be frozen and whom Americans and U.S. companies are prohibited from
dealing with. Barakat remains on that list.
a 2001 interview with The Associated Press, Barakat acknowledged that he was a
"sympathizer" of Hezbollah but said that did not mean that he
to reach Barakat's lawyer were unsuccessful.
Simon Wiesenthal Center, which researches and advocates against anti-Semitism,
hate and terrorism, praised the arrest.
have monitored international terrorist activity in the lawless contiguous
Triple Frontier region for some 20 years," Shimon Samuels, the center's
director for international relations, said in a statement. He added that he
hopes the arrest was "a sign that the three countries will begin to drive
Hezbollah out of Latin America."
the longstanding accusations of his involvement with terrorism, Barakat has
faced other legal troubles over the years and was even extradited from Brazil
to Paraguay once before, according to police. They said he returned to Brazil
in 2008 after serving his sentence.
Paraguay, Barakat is currently accused of presenting a declaration of incorrect
nationality and omitting information about the loss of nationality, Brazilian
prosecutors said Friday. Barakat was born in Lebanon but has lived in South
America for years. Prosecutors said they had information that Barakat applied
for refugee status in Brazil when he learned of Paraguay's arrest warrant, but
that only the recognition of refugee status would prevent his extradition,
which was not the case here.
A number of Houthi militiamen were killed on Friday morning by an airstrike by
the Arab coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government, a
field source said.
airstrike targeted their vehicle in Al-Malgam district of Yemen’s central
Al-Bayda province, destroying the vehicle and killing all the militiamen inside
it. Meanwhile, several coalition airstrikes hit a Houthi camp north of Yemen’s
November, the Houthis have launched several ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia
that were intercepted by anti-aircraft defenses.
Members of a tribe persecuted for more than 20 years by authorities in Qatar
appealed for help on Friday from the special rapporteur on the rights of
indigenous peoples at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
was the latest stage in a campaign for justice by the Al-Ghufran tribe, whose
members have been stripped of their nationality and suffered torture, forced
displacement and deportation.
delegation from the tribe has taken their case to the 39th session of the UN
Human Rights Council in Geneva. They said they sought international assistance
only after years of being ignored by the government of Qatar, and when they
realized that the Qatari Human Rights Council was in league with the regime in
Doha to deny them their rights as Qatari citizens.
member of the tribe, Gaber Saleh Al-Ghufrani, also appealed to the people of
Qatar for help. “We call on the elders of the honorable Al-Thani family and to
the generous and righteous people of Qatar and to the Al Murrah tribe, known
for their nobility and chivalry,” he said.
call on you as your brothers, young and old, elders and children, men and
women, inside and outside Qatar, and we appeal to your proud Arab origin
because the Qatari government has let us down, made untrue claims about us and
stripped us of our rights.
have been subjected to much injustice and humiliation in our homeland from
those who, unfortunately, we thought to be virtuous. We have been discriminated
against in the most painful of ways; they have stripped us of our dignity.
chose to go to the United Nations and to the international human rights organizations
only after the government of our own country closed all ways of appeal, and did
not engage or listen to our demands.”
tribe’s ordeal began in 1996, when some of their members voiced support for
Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani, the Qatari emir deposed the previous year by his son
Hamad, father of the current emir, Sheikh Tamim.
800 Al-Ghufran families, more than 6,000 people, were stripped of their
citizenship and had their property confiscated. Many remain stateless, both in
Qatar and in neighboring Gulf countries.
have taken away our social, political and economic rights,” said
bin Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a tribal elder, at a press conference on Thursday. “The
Al-Ghufran tribe has been subjected to unjust treatment.
left on a vacation in 1996, and now I can never go back to my country. I can go
to any place on this earth, but not my home, not Qatar.”
of the delegation produced passports, certificates and other documents to show
that their right to Qatari citizenship was being denied.
ask for my rights. Our people have been asking for our rights for a very long
time now and no one has even explained to us why this is happening to us,” said
Hamad Khaled Al-Araq.
member of the tribe, Hamad Khaled Al-Marri, said on Friday:
Israel has provided Moscow with proof it bore no responsibility for bringing
down a Russian plane in Syria, an Israeli military official said on Friday.
Russian crew were killed when an IL-20 surveillance plane crashed near Latakia
in northern Syria on Monday. Russia has said Syria shot the plane down shortly
after Israeli jets hit a target in the area.
the incident appeared likely to cause friction between Israel and Russia, with
the Defense Ministry in Moscow accusing Israel of indirectly causing it. But
President Vladimir Putin later called it “a chain of tragic, chance events.”
Israeli delegation led by its air force chief this week presented Moscow with
its findings on the incident, “including recordings of the conversations
between the Israeli air force and the Russian air force component in Syria,”
said the Israeli official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.
proved how the Syrian reckless anti-air fire was the direct cause of hitting
the Russian aircraft. They fired quite recklessly and irresponsibly and
unprofessionally into the air long after our planes were no longer there,” the
than 20 Syrian anti-aircraft missiles were fired during the incident, the
Russian counterparts had a few questions, those questions were answered,” the
official said. “Our impression is that the discussions were professional and
that the information was well accepted.”
Defense Ministry was initially critical of Israel, saying it had only given
Moscow one minute’s warning before its jets attacked, putting the Russian
aircraft in danger of being caught in cross-fire.
the Israeli official said: “We definitely gave a warning, a time much longer
than one minute. We acted in accordance with the standard operating procedures
that are in place with the Russian military.”
dispute between Israel and Russia could lessen Israel’s ability to carry out
air strikes inside Syria against what it regards as the greatest threat to
Israel’s security from the country’s civil war — build-ups of Iranian forces or
those of Iran’s ally, Hezbollah.
intervening in Syria in 2015, Russia has usually turned a blind eye to Israeli
attacks. Israel has launched about 200 such raids in the last two years,
Israeli officials say.
Israeli official said the meeting in Moscow was an opportunity to improve the
mechanism the countries have been using to avoid unintended confrontations.
bombing kills 8 children in northern Afghanistan
Afghanistan: An Afghan official says at least eight children have been killed
in a roadside bomb explosion in northern Faryab province.
Yuresh, spokesman for the provincial police chief, says six other kids were
wounded in the blast that took place late Friday afternoon in Shirin Tagab
says that according to a hospital report, two of the wounded kids are in
critical condition. All of the children are between 5 and 12 years of age and
were playing when the bomb exploded, he added.
one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yuresh blamed
Taliban insurgents who usually plant roadside bombs to target Afghan security
forces in different part of the province.
- An agreement between Russia and the United States on Afghanistan will be hard
to achieve but it may put an end to the long-running armed conflict in the
Asian country, Delawar Aimaq, a member of the security commission of the Afghan
National Assembly, told Sputnik on Thursday.
Tuesday, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said that
Moscow expected Washington to take part in the new consultations on the
situation in Afghanistan. Taliban representatives would partake in the Moscow
format meeting as well, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
will be very hard to achieve this, however, if the United States and Russia
reach an agreement, peace will come to Afghanistan,” Aimaq said.
also said that Washington was not interested in putting an end to the conflict
in Afghanistan because it would no longer have a reason to maintain a presence
in the country.
Americans will never allow that, they always need a war in order to maintain a
presence in our country. Their plan is, while remaining in Afghanistan, to
spread their influence on other countries in Central Asia and extend the area
of their operations,” Aimaq added.
lawmaker also stressed that Kabul had no evidence proving Moscow’s alleged aid
to the Taliban movement.
is what local residents have been saying, some claim to have witnessed it.
However, the Afghan authorities have no proof [of Russia supporting the Taliban
movement],” he said.
has repeatedly accused Moscow of supplying weapons to the Taliban movement,
while the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that such accusations were groundless
and insisted that Russia was contacting the movement solely in an effort to encourage
the settlement of the conflict and ensure the safety of Russian citizens in
Taliban movement has been one of the major forces fighting Kabul for control
over the country. The movement managed to seize power in 1996 but was overthrown
five years later by the United States, who deployed its troops in Afghanistan
following the 9/11 attacks to fight Al Qaeda terrorist organization (banned in
of the US troops left Afghanistan by the end of 2014, however, Washington
maintains part of its troops in the country under an agreement with the United
UN sanctions mechanisms to fight IS
intends to more actively use the anti-terrorism sanctions mechanisms of the UN
Security Council to combat the Islamic State (IS, ISIL, banned in Russia)
terrorist group in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria
Zakharova said at a briefing Thursday.
into account ISIL’s growing expansion in Afghanistan and, as a result, the
creation of hotbeds of tension throughout the country, including directly at
the borders of our Central Asian partners, we intend to use more actively the
anti-terrorism sanctions mechanisms of the UN Security Council to counter ISIL
militants in Afghanistan,” Zakharova said.
said Russia is preparing requests to the UN Security Council’s sanctions
committee to put specific individuals and organizations from the Afghan wing of
the IS on sanctions lists.
of serious disagreements between Kabul, Moscow
are no fundamental disagreements in bilateral relations between Russia and
Afghanistan, Mohammed Ibrahim Tamil, deputy presidential special envoy for the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), told Sputnik, welcoming Russia’s
efforts to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan.
do not think that there are disagreements, which could not be resolved ...
There are technical nuances, which could be resolved quickly at the negotiating
table,” Tamil said.
diplomat stressed that Kabul welcomed the efforts of the Russian authorities to
end the conflict and establish peace in Afghanistan, referring to the
consultations initiated by Moscow.
continue to support this process but we think that [these consultations] should
be led by the Afghans themselves as it is the inter-Afghan problem. We not only
support this process but are also grateful for any efforts made by other
countries, especially Russia,” Tamil underlined.
attempted to arrange a meeting on Afghanistan in early September but decided to
postpone the talks on request of Kabul.
Russian Foreign Ministry’s team headed by Director of the Second Asian
Department Zamir Kabulov is expected to meet with the Afghan delegation later
on Thursday to discuss the details of the Moscow-format talks.
arrests IS suspect
Indian National Investigation Agency has arrested Nashidul Hamzafar, suspected
of plans to join the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, outlawed in Russia),
after deporting him from Afghanistan, a source in the Indian Home Affairs
Ministry confirmed to Sputnik.
originally from Wayanad district in the southern Indian state of Kerala, was
caught by the Afghan security agencies last year for illegally entering the
country to join IS.
in Myanmar on Friday rejected international pressure to hold the country’s
powerful military accountable for a brutal crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim
government of Aung San Sui Kyi has faced mounting pressure over the 2017
campaign that pushed more than 700,000 members of the Muslim minority group to
Rohingya were also subjected to indiscriminate killings, rape, and torture, and
their villages were burned during a campaign of violence that began in August
2017 in northern Rakhine state in response to deadly attacks on police outposts
by a Muslim militant group.
latest international figure to call for Myanmar leaders to take action against
top military brass that ordered the crackdown was British Foreign Secretary
is essential now is that the perpetrators of any atrocities are brought to
justice, because without that there can be no solution to the huge refugee
problem,” Hunt said in a printed statement issued Thursday. “We will use all
the tools at our disposal to try and make sure there is accountability.”
wrapped up a two-day visit to Myanmar on Thursday, during which he met State
Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint and toured northern Rakhine
to meet with different groups who live in the multiethnic state.
appeal was rebuffed by politicians across the spectrum in Myanmar.
Htay, spokesman for Aung San Suu Kyi, suggested that foreign delegates who
visit Myanmar put trade above the Rakhine issue, because the country’s
political situation will become more stable if there is a strong economy.
the government has to spend a lot of time and energy only on this Rakhine
issue,” he said. “For example, whenever we have an international delegation,
they raise the Rakhine issue first followed by other important topics such as
developing international ties and then trade.”
Hla Myint, spokesman of the opposition, army-supported Union Solidarity and
Development Party (USDP), said Hunt’s request that the government prosecute top
military leaders was unacceptable.
now, the international community has pressured us to prosecute our military
leaders,” he said. “It is the international community that is flagrantly
interfering in our domestic issues, and we can’t accept it.”
is important to resolve this problem without hurting the country, the people
and the country’s stability and development,” he told RFA’s Myanmar Service.
government shouldn’t do something whenever it gets international pressure,” he
Hla Myint dismissed the Rohingya as “people from the other country who cross
the border illegally and live in our country,” underlining the prevailing
hardline view of the ethnic group as Bengali immigrants from Bangladesh.
Nyunt, spokesman of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, said
that although Hunt asked the government to prosecute top military leaders,
Myanmar’s constitution will not allow it.
constitution says the military can determine and act independently on military
matters,” he said about the charter drafted in 2008 by a former military junta
that ruled the government at the time.
means that the military acted [in Rakhine] according to its constitutional
rights, so that it is difficult for the government to take action against it,”
will take time’
visit came just after a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission that
investigated atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Rakhine issued a
comprehensive report on Tuesday, providing chilling details of violence by
security forces and calling for the prosecution of top defense force commanders
as well as the removal of the country’s powerful military from politics.
mission also called for Myanmar commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung
Hlaing and other top leaders to be prosecuted for genocide.
same day, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened
a preliminary probe into whether Myanmar’s “forced deportations” of Rohingya to
Bangladesh can constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
ICC decided earlier this month that it has jurisdiction over the alleged crime
of deportation because Bangladesh is a member of the international tribunal
though Myanmar is not.
Khin, chairman of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, suggested that the
International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) be used as another
way prosecute military commanders responsible for the atrocities.
U.N. General Assembly set up the IIIM in December 2016 to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of those responsible for committing the most
serious crimes in Syria under international law.
it will take time,” he said. “If we have international support, we can do it
group weighs in
the World Kachin Congress on Friday welcomed both the ICC probe and the U.N.
fact-finding mission’s report on evidence of genocide against the Rohingya in
Rakhine state as well as crimes against humanity committed against ethnic
minorities in Shan and Kachin states.
between ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar military in the latter two states
has forcibly displaced more than 100,000 civilians in Kachin state, many of
whom have been unable to return to their homes as the conflicts continue.
Rights groups have accused Myanmar authorities of denying humanitarian access
to displaced people in the regions.
Nay Li, general secretary of the Kachin Women's Association of Thailand, told
RFA that Kachin civilians have suffered greatly at the hands of the military
U.S. Department of Defense or Pentagon has announced that a new contract has
been awarded for the procurement of additional M4 Carbine rifles for the Afghan
Manufacturing Co. LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut, was awarded a $57,722,819
firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Jordan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Senegal,
Tunisia and Pakistan) contract for procurement of up to 10,000 additional M4
and M4A1 5.56mm carbine rifles,” Pentagon said in a statement.
to Pentagon the contract has an estimated completion date of Sept. 20, 2019.
comes as efforts are underway by the Afghan government and the international
allies of Afghanistan to boost the capabilities of the Afghan national defense
and security forces.
U.S. Department of Defense or Pentagon last week announced that a contract has
been awarded for the procurement of Hydra rockets for the Afghan Air Force.
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