137 dead as Indonesia hit by tsunami, volcano
Two TTP activists, would-be suicide bomber arrested
J&K interlocutors hint at accommodating 'Azaadi' debate
‘Taliban schools’ on city’s outskirts, says teenager
Eight killed in Iraq gold market attack
Pak clerics continue to refuse 'fatwas' against terror attacks
Saudi businessman Sheikh Saleh Kamel wins Islamic finance award
Pakistan world's 34th most corrupt nation
SC clears decks for Godhra judgment
International Court presses Kenya to arrest Al-Bashir
Two killed in Balochistan
90 percent Orakzai cleared of militants: FC IG
Bomb kills three of a family in Orakzai Agency
Gorbachev: Nato victory in Afghanistan impossible
Nato chief hopes for Afghan war boost with Russia
Ajmer blast: Rajasthan ATS to quiz Indresh Kumar
Ajmer blast probe vindictive, says RSS
Terror outfits may aim to grab eyeballs during Obama's india visit
ISI even has a 'Nepal set-up': Headley
Pentagon says WikiLeaks has more secret documents
Govt slams Arundhati Roy, Geelani; BJP demands their arrest
Arundhati Roy defends her speeches on Kashmir
Omar Abdullah meets Chidambaram, discusses situation in Jammu & Kashmir
Centre not for filing charges against Arundhati Roy, Geelani
Iran fuelling Bushehr plant
Iran admits to funding Afghan Govt
Iraq, Afghanistan among ‘most corrupt’ nations
RSS Madhav in Ajmer blast case
Obama calls Zardari, says more needs to done to tackle terror
Obama calls Zardari to allay fears before India visit
UK declines to return visa processing to Islamabad
AI calls for probe into Balochistan killings
Makkah governor sets up anti-graft panel
Security fair opens in Qatar
Iran, Iraq leaders discuss boosting ties
Afghanistan: Nato soldier killed in blast in north.
Clashes as nationalists march in Israeli Arab town
Egypt holds Brotherhood supporters over poll posters
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bereau
11 terrorists killed in Orakzai, Mohmand
27 Oct, 2010
PARACHINAR: Six terrorists and a soldier have been killed in a gunbattle in lower Orakzai while five more militants were killed when security forces shelled their positions in Kareer area of tehsil Saafi in Mohmand agency, government officials said. Aurangzeb Khan, a local administrator says the fighting in Orakzai tribal region began after insurgents attacked troops stationed there on Tuesday. Security forces have been targeting militants in Orakzai since March when Pakistan dispatched troops there to kill or capture insurgents belonging to or allied with the Taliban and al Qaida. A soldier was killed as the armed militants attacked security forces, and in retaliation firing, the forces gunned down six Taliban. A key Taliban commander was arrested, besides five other suspected persons. Five terrorists were also killed during a successful raid by the security forces in Mohmand Agency, officials said. agencies
Oct 27, 2010
JAKARTA: Indonesia struggled Wednesday to find bodies and survivors after a tsunami smashed into a remote island chain and a volcano erupted, leaving scores dead and thousands homeless in natural disasters that struck less than 24 hours apart.
Entire villages were washed away and houses flattened when waves triggered by a powerful earthquake late Monday pounded an area off the west coast of Sumatra on a major fault line in a region known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire".
At least 112 people were killed and over 500 remain missing, officials said on Wednesday.
"When the tsunami struck there were dozens of fishermen out at sea. Their bodies were found the next morning floating on the water or cast ashore on the beach," said West Sumatra disaster management head Harmensyah.
"We need to find the missing people as soon as possible. Some of them might have run away to the mountains, but many would have been swept away."
Several hundred kilometres away on the central island of Java, another 25 people were killed when the country's most active volcano, Mount Merapi, erupted on Tuesday, spewing searing clouds of gas and molten lava into the sky.
Thousands of villagers have been ordered to leave the area and move to temporary shelters.
Monday's 7.7-magnitude quake struck in the remote Mentawai Islands, an area popular with surfers, generating waves as high as three metres (10 feet) and sweeping away 10 villages, officials said.
The tsunami surged as far as 600 metres inland on South Pagai island, officials said. On North Pagai island, a resort and almost 200 houses were flattened, officials said.
Medical personnel were on their way to the worst-hit areas in helicopters but rescue efforts had been hampered by disruption to communications in the islands, which are about half a day's ferry ride away from the port of Padang on Sumatra.
Indonesian resident Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has cut short a visit to Vietnam for a summit of Southeast Asian leaders because of the disasters, a diplomatic source said in Hanoi.
US President Barack Obama, who lived in Indonesia as a boy and is due to return there on an Asian tour next month, voiced his sadness over the deaths and pledged US help.
"As a friend of Indonesia, the United States stands ready to help in any way," he said.
Asked whether the disasters could affect Obama's visit, a White House spokesman said: "I have not heard any expressed concern about any of those things impacting the trip."
The massive Indonesian archipelago straddles a region where the meeting of several continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity. It has the world's largest number of active volcanoes and is shaken by thousands of earthquakes every year.
One Australian tour guide said Tuesday his boat with 15 people aboard was destroyed by a "wall of white water" crashing into a bay after the undersea quake and said some had to cling to trees to survive.
"The bay we were in was several hundred metres across and the wall of white water was from one side to the other, it was quite scary," Australian Rick Hallet, who operates a charter-boat business, told Fairfax Radio Network.
Another group of nine Australian surfers was alive and well after going missing following the tsunami, officials said.
A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in September last year in Padang killed about 1,100 people while the 2004 Asian tsunami -- triggered by a 9.3-magnitude quake off Sumatra -- killed at least 168,000 people in Indonesia alone.
October 27, 2010
Two alleged activists of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and a 16-year-old would-be suicide bomber were arrested on Monday morning in a raid conducted in the Sohrab Goth area.
The held terrorists were planning a suicide attack in Punjab or interior Sindh, claimed investigation officials, while they have also admitted to beheading one man in Karachi and several others in Waziristan.
The three, who had been nabbed in a joint operation conducted by personnel of Criminal Investigation Department (CID)-Sindh’s Anti-Extremism Cell (AEC) and a federal intelligence agency, were presented before the media by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Omer Shahid Hamid and SSP Mohammed Aslam Khan. The weapons cache and a suicide jacket recovered from their possession were also exhibited.
SSP Khan said that during an investigation regarding the presence of TTP activists in Karachi, the police received information that some terrorists were hiding in the Sohrab Goth area. The men were chalking “Jeay Taliban” on walls, the SSP said, thus identifying themselves as Taliban associates.
A team of CID-Sindh along with the personnel of a federal intelligence agency reached the area, and were immediately engaged in an encounter with the suspects. After a brief skirmish, the police managed to arrest two men, Sher Rehman and Zainullah alias Bilal. Another three suspects, Omer Farooq, Gul Zareen and Zahir Shah, managed to escape under the cover of fire. One Kalashnikov, one TT pistol and three hand grenades were recovered from the suspects’ possession.
When the police searched the house of the accused, they recovered a prepared 22-kilo suicide jacket buried in the floor. They also discovered a teenaged boy in the house, who had allegedly been trained to carry out a suicide attack.
All three suspects were later shifted to the investigation unit’s office.
The accused disclosed to the police that they also worked for their associate organization, Lashker-i-Jhangvi Al-Alami. Rehman was tasked with visiting Waziristan to receive operational plans, and he would often meet with Qari Hussain, Baitullah Mehsud and other commanders of TTP.
Rehman and Zainullah had also “hired” a teenage boy residing in their area for suicide attacks, revealed SSP Hamid, adding that the boy was told him that he had been assigned to carry out a suicide attack in the upcountry.
Rehman had also planned to kill a Shia doctor in Quetta, Dr Nadir, but he was arrested by the police before he carry out the attack. Zainullah alias Bilal, along with an associate, had called one Shahid alias Ranghar from the Saddar area to Sohrab Goth, the officials described, where they beheaded him over his “immoral activities.”
The suspects were also planning to impose Shariah in the Sohrab Goth area, but their network has now been dismantled by the CID, the officials claimed.
Rehman and Zainullah said that were born in the Manghopir area, and studied at a private institution in Nusrat Bhutto Colony till middle school. After that, they joined a Madressah named Jamia Rasheedia.
Rehman had an opportunity to meet with TTP’s Karachi-based leaders, including Akhtar Zaman, Gul Zareen and Maulana Saeed Anwer (now in custody), who convinced him that it was Jihad to fight with US forces in Afghanistan, and trained him in terrorist activity.
Both Rehman and Zainullah then went to Afghanistan, but on Rehman’s return, he was informed that Maulana Saeed Anwer and several of their comrades had been arrested. He then went to Waziristan, where TTP Commander Miraaj ordered them to expand their network in Sohrab Goth. Zahir Shah and Gul Zareen later arrived with prepared suicide jackets, and told him about orders to commit a terrorist act in Punjab or Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa. Further probe is underway.
SRINAGAR: The interlocutors appointed for J&K have suggested introducing amendments in the Constitution to accommodate the discussion on the " Azaadi option" for Kashmir.
"Indian constitution is a beautiful document and there is room for modification with changing times and we can even recommend for the amendments in the Constitution to accommodate the discussions on the Kashmir issue and to find the solution to the problem in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiris," Radha Kumar, one of the three interlocutors told reporters here at the end of a four-day visit to the Valley on Wednesday.
Saying it is my personal belief, Radha Kumar said, the Constitution has been amended more than 400 times and there is no harm if it is modified further to make it more accommodative.
Importantly, the Indian Constitution and the J&K constitution refer to the region as an integral part of India.
The head of the three-member panel, Dileep Padgoankar while interacting with mediapersons also wished to take leaders of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on board to find the permanent solution to the Kashmir issue.
"Yes we would like to visit PoK to talk to the leadership there to get their point of view on the issue .But there are parts in J&K which do not share the same view as the people in Kashmir valley," Dileep added.
The panel: Dileep Padgoankar, M M Ansari and Radha Kumar, which would undertake visit to the state every month , at the end of present visit , is expected to recommend several measures to be taken by the centre to bring in more credibility to the appointment of interlocutors to diminish the trust deficit of the people in Kashmir.
"We can even recommend the amendments in the Public Safety Act besides ask for release of political prisoners and even ask the centre to allow the peaceful protests in the valley in line with democratic temperament of the country," Dileep Padgoankar said.
Dileep even questioned the logic for imposing section 144 CrPC against holding peaceful protests in the valley. "There is no need of imposing section 144 to quell the assembly of the people for peaceful demonstrations," he added.
By Salis bin Perwaiz
The Taliban have set up “schools” on the outskirts of the city, where they deliver lectures and sermons in an attempt to convince young men to join their ranks, said 16-year-old Mohammad Salaam, the would-be suicide bomber who was arrested on Monday.
Salaam, a student of Class IX at a school in Sohrab Goth, also had a chance meeting last Ramazan with Tehrik-e-Taliban leader Zahir Shah at one of these schools. Shah convinced Salaam that Muslims the world over were being subjected to brutality, and that believers were supposed to respond in kind.
“Zahir Shah said that becoming a suicide bomber was my ticket to heaven, and on the Day of Judgement, I would have nothing to worry about,” Salaam said. “He told me that each and every organ of mine will be offered in the way of God’s will, and as soon as I blow myself up, I will be in Heaven.”
Having been impressed by Shah’s promises of eternal peace, Salaam discussed his sentiments with another TTP leader, Rauf, who also encouraged and convinced him to become a suicide bomber. With his brainwashing complete, Salaam developed a resolve to head to Afghanistan to blow himself up at American soldiers – a desire he conveyed to Sher Rehman.
Full report at:
BAGHDAD: At least eight people were killed, including five policemen, when gunmen attacked a goldsmiths' market in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Tuesday, police and hospital sources said.
Police said there were clashes between the armed men and security forces. Twelve people were wounded, including two policemen.
The gunmen armed with hand grenades and other weapons robbed gold shops at the busy market in Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad, a source said.
It was not immediately clear whether the suspects were insurgents or a criminal gang.
While overall violence in Iraq has dropped since the height of sectarian warfare in 2006-07, bombings and shootings remain a regular occurrence.
Gold markets have been a target of major attacks in past months. An attack on a gold market in Baghdad in May killed 14 people. Around half a dozen gunmen attacked and robbed a goldsmiths' market in Basra in June, killing three people and wounding four others.
Pak clerics' continue to refuse 'fatwas' against terror attacks
Islamabad: With fatwas (legal pronouncements in Islam) playing an important role in Muslim countries, it is questionable why most prominent clerics and muftis in Pakistan refuse to issue them against terrorist organisations and suicide bombings, which are responsible for killings of over thousands of innocent Muslims.
"Rehman Malik and the Interior Ministry have tried their best to seek fatwas from influential Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith clerics but they simply refuse to give out fatwas," the Daily Times quoted a top Interior Ministry official, as saying.
While in Islamabad, under the government's supervision, major Sunni Muslim scholars, academicians, thinkers and political leaders publicly condemned suicide bombings and universally agreed that suicide bombing is anathema, antithetical and abhorrent to Islam, they have shied away so far from issuing any fatwa in this regard.
"Not good enough. They are considered sell-offs - the legit clerics would never give out fatwas or even talk openly against suicide bombings because that would ruin there reputation within the respected sect and they can be killed," an intelligence chief pointed out.
By MUSHTAK PARKER
KUALA LUMPUR: Well-known Saudi businessman Sheikh Saleh Kamel was last night named as the first winner of The Royal Award for Islamic Finance launched in June by the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Center (MIFC) and the Securities Commission Malaysia which honors “outstanding contribution of an exceptional individual in Islamic finance.”
The award was presented in a ceremony Kuala Lumpur in the presence of Sultan of Kedah Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim, and his consort Tuanku Sultanah Hajjah Haminah, Raja Nazrin Shah, the crown prince of the state of Perak and ambassador at large of the MIFC Initiative, Tun Musa Hitam, former deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and Zarinah Anwar, chairman of the Securities Commission of Malaysia.
Kamel could not attend the ceremony in person but sent a video message thanking the Royal Award Jury chaired by Tun Musa Hitam and the Malaysian government for honoring him with the prestigious award. The award was accepted on his behalf by his son Moyhiddin Saleh Kamel.
Saleh Kamel has been a pioneer of contemporary Islamic finance since the 1970s following the convening by the then King Faisal of Saudi Arabia of an extraordinary meeting of OIC foreign ministers which led to the establishment of the Islamic Development Bank in 1975. Saleh Kamel initially worked with Prince Muhammed Al-Faisal, the son of King Faisal, the other pioneer of Islamic finance.
But in the early 1980s the two parted company to set up their own entities in Islamic finance.
Omer Farooq Khan
Oct 26, 2010
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has slipped eight ranks from 42nd most corrupt country in 2009 to 34th most corrupt country in the world in 2010, according to Berlin-based Transparency International's (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
Pakistan's CPI score for the year 2010 is 2.3 on a scale, which ranges from zero (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (thought to have little corruption). In Transparency International's CPI - 2009, which was released on Nov 17, 2009, Pakistan's score was 2.4, out of 180 countries.
The Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has claimed that it has identified corruption cases worth Rs 300 billion in different federal government departments during the last one year.
Expressing his disappointment, Chairman TIP Syed Adil Gillani said that there was no effective accountability process in Pakistan due to which corruption was on the rise. He said that the TIP referred a number of corruption cases to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), one of Pakistan's controversial departments, but it did not initiated so far a single case against the perpetrators.
"Only the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly and the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) took notice of some of these corruption cases," he said.
The report released by TIP on Tuesday indicates that Pakistan is all set to hit further lows amongst the world's most corrupt nations. The 2009 report showed Pakistan climbing five numbers from the previous 47 to become the 42nd most corrupt country in the world.
By Gyanant Singh in New Delhi
THE TRIAL in some of the most infamous 2002 riot cases in Gujarat can finally come to an end.
The Supreme Court ( SC) on Tuesday gave the goahead to the trial courts to pronounce verdicts in the Godhra train burning and seven other major cases pertaining to the communal violence that engulfed Gujarat after the incident.
The trial in some of the cases had been completed but the judgment was not pronounced in view of a SC restraint order dated May 6. The apex court had ordered a stay on the pronouncement of the verdict following allegations of bias against some members of the Special Investigation Team ( SIT) which had been entrusted with the task of completing the probe in the riot cases.
A bench presided over by Justice D. K. Jain gave the green signal following an explanation from the SIT to the satisfaction of the court.
This clears the way for judgments in cases involving murderous attacks in Naroda Gaon, Patia, Ode and Sardarpura among others. The bench, however, did not lift the stay on pronouncement of the verdict in the Gulbarg society case in which a parallel probe was still being conducted by the SIT. The parallel probe was being conducted on the directions of the apex court which had referred a complaint by slain Congress leader Ahsan Jafri’s wife Jakia Nasim alleging that the post- Godhra riots were the result of a larger conspiracy involving people holding top posts in the state.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands: Judges at the International Criminal Court have urged Kenya to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir if he visits for a summit this weekend, the tribunal announced Tuesday.
Kenya drew international condemnation in August when authorities there failed to arrest Al-Bashir a month after the Hague-based court issued an arrest warrant for him on three genocide charges for allegedly masterminding atrocities in Darfur.
Kenya’s refusal to arrest Al-Bashir, who also is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, raised doubts about the country’s willingness to hand over suspects expected to soon be charged by the ICC for postelection violence that left more than 1,000 Kenyans dead in 2007-08.
Now the court’s judges have asked Kenya “to take any necessary measure to ensure” Al-Bashir is arrested and turned over for trial or explain “any problem which would impede or prevent” Al-Bashir’s arrest.
The request issued Monday came after prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo notified judges that Al-Bashir may visit Kenya on Saturday for a summit to discuss the upcoming southern Sudan referendum.
QUETTA: Two persons were murdered in separate incidents of firing in Loralai and Mastung on Tuesday. Sardarzada Junied Tareen, a local leader of Pakistan People’s Party, along with his companion was walking on the road near Garden area of Duki when unidentified assailants ridding on a motorcycle, sprayed them with bullets and fled the scene. Resultantly, Junaid died on the spot while Dost Taj Muhammad suffered bullet injuries. Police rushed to the spot after the incident and took the deceased and injured to a nearby government hospital. It could be an incident of tribal enemity, an official said, adding that the investigation was underway. A man identified as Naseebullah, an employee of PPHI, was shot dead in an incident of target killing near the National Highway in Mastung, police said. staff report
LAHORE: The security forces have cleared almost 90 percent of Orakzai Agency of terrorists, as over 650 terrorists were killed, while about 65 security men were killed in the operation, a private TV channel reported on Tuesday.
In a media briefing in the cleared area, Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General (IG) Nadir Zeb said that around 32,000 families, dislocated from the region, would start coming home from Wednesday.
He said that a limited operation is still underway against the terrorists in the Mamozai area of upper Orakzai Agency, adding that at least 65 personnel of the security forces were killed and 213 others were injured in the operation, the channel said.
He told that clues were found regarding al Qaeda’s presence in Orakzai. However, most of their operatives had been killed, and the rest fled from the area, he said.
KALAYA: Three members of a family were killed and two others sustained injuries in a roadside blast in the Ibrahimzai area of Orakzai Agency on Monday, sources said.
The sources said the family members of Malik Ishaq Khan were on their way to Kohat from Kalaya in a pickup van. The vehicle hit an explosive device on roadside in the Ibrahimzai area, leaving Rahat Ali, Said Shah, Gul Hussain and Kosar Ali dead while a woman and four-year-old Uzma were injured.
The injured were rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital in Kohat. Meanwhile, Pakistan on Monday sealed the Pak-Afghan border in Kurram Agency and fresh contingents of paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), backed by tanks and artillery, guns were deployed owing to the volatile security situation in the region.
Talking to The News, Commanding Officer of Kurram Militia Colonel Tausif Akhtar said the Pak-Afghan border was closed to tighten the noose around the militants hiding in the troubled tribal region besides ensuring peace in the area. He said cross-border movement had been banned.
27 October 2010
The former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, has warned Nato that victory in Afghanistan is impossible.
Mr Gorbachev said that the US had no alternative but to withdraw its forces if it wanted to avoid another Vietnam.
As Soviet leader, he pulled his troops out of Afghanistan more than 20 years ago after a 10-year war.
He praised President Barack Obama for his decision to begin withdrawing troops next year, but said the US would struggle to get out of the situation.
"Victory is impossible in Afghanistan. Obama is right to pull the troops out. No matter how difficult it will be," Mr Gorbachev said in an interview with the BBC's Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg.
He said before the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, an agreement had been reached with Iran, India, Pakistan and the US.
"We had hoped America would abide by the agreement that we reached that Afghanistan should be a neutral, democratic country, that would have good relations with its neighbours and with both the US and the USSR.
LONDON: Nato’s top diplomat was quoted on Wednesday as saying the alliance believed it was close to a new start in ties with Russia, including greater cooperation over the Afghan war and collaboration on a missile defence system.
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an interview with the Financial Times that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s attendance at Nato’s annual summit next month would boost relations, strained by Moscow’s 2008 invasion of Georgia.
“The summit will represent a new start in the relationship between Nato and Russia,” said Rasmussen.
“It will be a very substantive Nato-Russia summit and definitely the most important event for cooperation since the Rome summit of 2002 when we established the Nato-Russia council.”
Rasmussen said the Lisbon summit could see Nato and Russia deepening cooperation on Afghanistan.
The Financial Times quoted Nato officials as saying the United States and Russia were working on a package that could see Moscow providing more than 20 helicopters to Afghan forces.
JAIPUR/NEW DELHI: Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar whose name figures in the chargesheet relating to the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast will be interrogated by the Rajasthan Anti Terrorist Squad since there is "concrete evidence" against him, Home Minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal said on Tuesday.
In New Delhi, RSS dismissed the charges against its functionaries, dubbing it as "fabricated and politically motivated".
In Ajmer, Chief Judicial Magistrate Ratan Lal today committed to the sessions court for trial the blast case, in which three persons were killed and 15 others injured in 2007. The next hearing is scheduled in the court of the district judge on November 2.
" ATS included Indresh's name in the chargesheet on the basis of evidences and he will be interrogated soon," Dhariwal told PTI.
Refuting charges that naming Indresh in the chargesheet was politically motived or part of some kind of conspiracy , he said the ATS has done "an independent and fair inquiry".
"The ATS has concrete evidence against him. Indresh was present at a secret meeting held in a Gujarati Guest House here in October, 2005, and he stayed there under some false name," he said.
NEW DELHI: On Tuesday when the Rajasthan Home Minister told journalists that the State's Anti-Terrorism Squad might be getting ready to interrogate senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Indresh Kumar for his alleged role in the Ajmer blast case, top RSS leader Suresh Joshi came out strongly in his defence hinting that the probe was less than fair.
Two days ago when a charge sheet was filed and Mr. Kumar, member of the RSS central executive committee, was mentioned as having attended a meeting where the conspiracy was hatched, the Sangh's top brass did not say a word, although spokesman Ram Madhav did speak out, and described the entire investigation as politically motivated.
NEW DELHI: Terror outfits may not only create trouble in Jammu and Kashmir in the run up to US President Barack Obama's visit to India, but also try to show their strength in the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) to catch eyeballs during the high-profile trip of the American president.
Intelligence reports available with India agencies suggest that all the terror outfits -- Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Al Badr and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) -- have jointly chalked out a plan to do something like what the Lashkar terrorists, led by its commander Muzammil, did in J&K during visit of the then US President Bill Clinton in March, 2000. The Lashkar terrorists had killed 36 Sikhs in Chhittisinghpora.
Sources said the border guarding forces and other agencies had already been alerted amid reports of the Pakistan-based terror outfits' plan to sneak in a number of militants to the Kashmir Valley from across the LoC for carrying out some deadly attacks.
In the backdrop of such reports, the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday met Union home minister P Chidambaram and discussed the prevailing law and order situation and state's preparedness to handle it.
NEW DELHI: Pakistani spy agency ISI does not only have a " Karachi set-up" to bleed India using locals through the Lashkar network, but also has an exclusive " Nepal set-up" to pursue its design by putting Nepalese and their Indian relatives on the job.
The revelation came from American terrorist David Coleman Headley who had told the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in June about the existence of the `Nepal set-up', which has its network in India, to aid ISI as and when needed. The basic component of the set-up is to use the network of Nepalese Muslims through their friends and relatives in India.
Headley told his interrogators: "Abdur Rehman (retired Major of Pakistan Army) has a set-up in eastern part of Nepal which has sizable Muslim population. I got an impression that there was close coordination between the `Karachi set-up' and 'Nepal set-up', both run by him (at the behest of ISI)."
Sketchy details of the `Nepal set-up' are there in the Headley's 106-page interrogation report, compiled by NIA. The American terrorist, who was arrested by FBI in Chicago in October last year, told the agency: "One Papu of Nepal whose son is in India, is an important component of Abdur Rehman's set-up." He, however, claimed that he did not have any information about Papu.
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon says WikiLeaks may have more classified US material than previously thought.
The website of the international anti-secrecy group has already posted half a million secret Iraq and Afghanistan war files since July.
The group is also believed to have another 15,000 Afghan war field reports, 260,000 diplomatic cables and US video of casualties in Afghanistan.
Defence Department spokesman Col Dave Lapan told reporters today the Pentagon suspects the group may have even more classified US data than previously reported, but declined to characterise it.
The US has said that the release of secret Afghan and Iraq war documents threatens national security.
NEW DELHI: As the authorities mull filing a criminal case against them, a senior Union minister on Tuesday slammed Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and writer Arundhati Roy for backing Kashmir's independence while the BJP demanded that the two be arrested on sedition charges.
A defiant Roy justified her support for 'azadi' for Kashmir, saying she only spoke what "millions of people" in Kashmir say everyday for years.
While not being forthcoming on what action the government proposed to take against the duo, Law Minister Veerappa Moily said their comments were "most unfortunate". While there is freedom of speech, "it can't violate the patriotic sentiments of the people," he said.
On BJP's allegations that government remained silent on the developments, he said, "Politics cannot be mixed with statements which border sedition."
Asked whether his ministry had received a request from the Home Ministry seeking its legal opinion on whether the two can be booked for sedition, the Law Minister said, "I was away for three days...I have not seen the file so far".
Roy, the Booker Prize winning author, had said "Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this."
At a convention in the capital on 'Azadi--The Only Way', Geelani shared the stage with Roy and pro-Maoist leader Vara Vara Rao among others. Geelani, who harped on independence for Kashmir, was heckled by a section of the audience with one of them throwing a shoe.
NEW DELHI: Unfazed by the Centre's hardening stand of contemplating legal action against Arundhati Roy over her incendiary speech on Kashmir, the Booker Prize winning author-activist defended herself on Tuesday, claiming she had only spoken what "millions of people" in Kashmir have been saying for years. "Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds," Roy said in a statement from Srinagar, where she is on a visit.
Roy along with hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani are in the dock for allegedly making seditious speeches.
Roy made two speeches in New Delhi and Srinagar in the past few days, where she advocated Kashmir's independence.
Roy said she had read in newspapers that she could be arrested on charges of sedition for her remarks supporting `Azadi' for Kashmir. "I said what millions of people here say every day. I said what I as well as other commentators have written and said for years. Anybody who cares to read the transcripts of my speeches will see that they were fundamentally a call for justice," she said.
Union law minister M Veerappa Moily responded to Roy's assertions by maintaining that freedom of speech cannot violate patriotic sentiments of the people. "Yes, there is freedom of speech...it cannot violate the patriotic sentiments of the people," he said. On the BJP's allegations that the government remained silent on the developments, he countered that "politics cannot be mixed with statements which border on sedition".
NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and discussed the progress of interlocutors and the present law and order situation in the state.
The 30-minute meeting was held immediately after the standing committee on National Integration Council (NIC) met.
During the meeting, the visit of interlocutors -- Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M M Ansari -- to Kashmir was discussed and the Chief Minister apprised Chidambaram of the developments in this regard, official sources said.
The Chief Minister also briefed him about the Unified Headquarters meeting last evening to review the preparedness of the security grid in the state.
The meeting, chaired by the Chief Minister, came in the wake of an encounter in which three JeM militants were killed at Malroo in the outskirts of the city last week.
The JeM claimed that the militants were on a suicide mission to attack the headquarters of 15 Corps and another army camp in the city.
"Our effort will be to foil any attempt to disturb peace and all necessary steps will be taken to thwart any militant attack," Omar had said yesterday.
“Acting on BJP's demand will undermine the fragile dialogue process”
Police permission given because organisers could have moved court
Police don't need Home Ministry's nod for filing case of sedition
SPEAKING HER MIND: I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir, says Arundhati Roy. Here, she is addressing a seminar in Srinagar on Sunday.
NEW DELHI: The Union government has no intention of filing criminal charges against Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, writer Arundhati Roy and others who spoke in favour of ‘azadi' for Jammu and Kashmir at a seminar here last week, highly placed sources told The Hindu on Tuesday.
The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is taking a strident position, insisting that a case of sedition be lodged against those who spoke at the seminar, but the Centre believes that acting on this demand will undermine the fragile dialogue process the government's three interlocutors have begun in Srinagar.
TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday began fuelling the reactor core of its Russian-built nuclear power plant while saying the content, date and venue of new talks with the big powers on its atomic programme have yet to be agreed.
“Today, the plant is going through the sensitive phase of loading fuel in the core ... We hope that the electricity produced by the Bushehr nuclear plant will be connected to the national grid in three months' time,” state television reported atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi as saying. “Bushehr power plant is one of the world's exceptional plants ... I am optimistic about the future and, with the commissioning of this plant, we will witness the construction of other plants in different areas of our country.”
The transfer of fuel into the facility began on August 21 in a process that was described as the “physical launch” of the power plant by Russia, which took over construction of the complex in the mid 1990s.
Rich in both oil and gas, Iran says it needs the plant to meet a growing demand for electricity. Tuesday's announcement takes Iran a step closer to putting its first nuclear power plant on stream.
Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that it has been sending funds to neighbouring Afghanistan for years, saying the money was intended to aid reconstruction of the embattled country. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Monday that he receives millions of dollars in cash from Iran, adding that Washington gives him “bags of money” too because his office lacks funds.
US officials said the money flowing from Tehran was further proof that Iran is playing a double game in Afghanistan — wooing the Government while helping Taliban insurgents who are fighting US and NATO forces.
“Iran has provided the country with plenty of help,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in his weekly news briefing in Tehran. “Iran has helped construction of Afghanistan and the preparation of its economic infrastructure and it will pursue it in the future, too.” Mehmanparast said Iran’s help began years ago. He said peace and stability in Afghanistan is important for Iran.
Somalia is the most corrupt country in the world, followed by Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iraq, an international watchdog said on Tuesday.
The annual report of Transparency International found that Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore tied for first place as the world’s least corrupt nations.
The watchdog group found that some countries that were especially hard hit by the fallout of the global financial crisis became more corrupt during the last year. Among those were Greece and Italy, but also the United States, which declined to 22nd place, compared with 19th place last year. Of the 178 countries surveyed, nearly three quarters fell below an index score of five on a scale where zero is the most corrupt and 10 is the least. Transparency International’s corruption index draws on 13 different surveys of businesspeople and governance experts conducted between January 2009 and September 2010.
October 27th, 2010
New Delhi, Oct. 26: The name and phone number of Mr Ram Madhav, another high-profile Sangh functionary, were found in the diary of the Ajmer blast accused, Sunil Joshi, by the Rajasthan ATS.
Mr Madhav, the media face of the Sangh Parivar, when asked, strongly denied that he or any other RSS functionary had any role in the 2007 bomb explosion at the Sufi shrine. Mr Madhav said the name or number of any person being found in anybody’s diary does not confirm that the person was involved in an offence.
First, the police said Indresh Kumar’s name figured in the chargesheet as he attended a meeting prior to Ajmer blast in connection with the conspiracy behind it, and now they say my name is there in some diary. It is all fabricated and politically motivated, said Mr Madhav.Sunil Joshi, one of the main accused in the case, died in the course of investigation.
The RSS, however, denied that any of its functionaries were involved in the blast case and said it would challenge the “malafide intentions” of the investigators and their “political masters” to malign its image at all possible levels, including the courts.
Oct 27 2010
Washington : Days after the US-Pak Strategic Dialogue, the Presidents of both the nations, during a telephonic conversation, agreed to do more in combating threats posed by terrorists in Pakistan.
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday called up his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the results of the third round of Strategic Dialogue, held between the two countries in Washington early this week.
"Both President Obama and President Zardari acknowledged that more work needed to be done to address the direct threat to our countries posed by terrorist groups in Pakistan," a
White House statement said.
"They also agreed that the US and Pakistan have worked hard to build an atmosphere of trust and cooperation, and committed to ongoing efforts to build a stronger, strategic, and more collaborative US-Pakistan relationship," the statement said.
Obama emphasised US' commitment and support for democracy and transparency in Pakistan, highlighting Washington and Islamabad share an interest in ensuring democratic traditions in Pakistan are strengthened, it stated.
By Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON: Days before a historic visit to India, US President Barack Obama telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday to reassure him that America’s relations with New Delhi did not affect its partnership with Pakistan. But diplomatic observers in Washington told Dawn that the conversation focused on the third round of the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue held in Washington last week.
Mr Obama reiterated the US desire to “helping Pakistan in helping us in Afghanistan”, a subject also discussed extensively during the strategic dialogue, the sources said.
President Obama told the Pakistani leader that the dialogue endorsed America’s commitment to building a strong and long-term relationship with Pakistan. He also told Mr Zardari that his visit to India, so far his longest trip abroad, should not be seen as neglecting Pakistan.
Mr Obama, who had invited President Zardari to visit Pakistan during a meeting with a Pakistani delegation in Washington last week, personally conveyed the invitation to the Pakistani leader. Mr Zardari thanked him for the invitation and said that he planned to visit Washington as soon as he could.
ISLAMABAD: Britain is not ready to entertain Pakistan government’s request for exclusion of the country from the ‘hub and spoke’ programme and return visa processing to Islamabad, but says it is committed to streamlining the procedures.
British Home Secretary Theresa May, while talking to reporters at the high commissioner’s residence on Tuesday, said: “The focus is on ensuring processing of applications swiftly and expeditiously.”
She was replying to a question that whether visa processing was being brought back from Abu Dhabi, which serves as a hub for processing of visas for Britain.
Under the hub and spoke programme, Britain processes visa applications from a number of countries in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan was placed on the list after the British embassy determined that Islamabad had become unsafe for westerners and shifted the visa processing work to Abu Dhabi, which serves as ‘hub’ for the region.
Theresa May said the issue of Pakistan’s exclusion from the hub and spoke programme had been raised by Prime Minister Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
The inclusion of Pakistan in the hub and spoke programme because of concerns about security, fraud and corruption led to massive delays in issuance of visas in addition to a sharp surge in the refusal rate that jumped from 22 per cent to 44 per cent.
Among those people whose visa request had been rejected were leading businessmen, professionals and other eminent figures. The issue, which mostly pertained to visitor and student visas, seriously hurt UK’s image in Pakistan.
By Saleem Shahid
QUETTA, Oct 26: The Amnesty International has urged the government to investigate reports of torture and killings of more than 40 Baloch leaders and political activists over the past four months.
“The Pakistani government must act immediately to provide justice for the growing list of atrocities in Balochistan,” the rights group’s Asia-Pacific director Sam Zarifi said in a statement on Tuesday.
He said activists, politicians and student leaders were among those who had been victims in enforced disappearances, abductions, arbitrary arrests and cases of torture.
“Baloch political leaders and workers are clearly being targeted and the government must do much more to end this alarming trend.”
Mr Zarifi said that among the latest victims of violence were Faqir Mohammad Baloch and Zahoor Baloch whose bodies were found in Mastung district on Oct 21.
“The discovery of the two men’s bodies is part of a growing trend of ‘kill and dump’ operations,” he said.
By GALAL FAKKAR
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has set up a committee to combat administrative corruption in the province.
The formation of the panel, which will be directly linked to the governorate, has been welcomed by human rights activists and the general public.
Mahfouz Bin-Mahfouz, a legal expert and former deputy chairman of Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the governor’s decision would contribute to ensuring transparency in government dealings.
“It will also support the government’s economic and social reforms and enhance financial and administrative discipline in all government departments in Makkah province,” he said.
Majed Garoub, chairman of the National Committee for Lawyers, said Prince Khaled’s decision came in line with government’s efforts to combat corruption.
“The Council of Ministers has approved a national strategy to ensure transparency and combat corruption,” he pointed out.
26 October 2010
DOHA — A security fair opened in the Qatari capital Doha on Monday, showcasing state-of-the-art equipment from 33 countries including the United States.
France, which hosts the Milipol exhibition alternatively with the oil-rich Gulf state, had the biggest presence with 35 companies displaying their wares, followed by the United States with 15 and Germany with 10.
A number of security officials attended the exhibition, including French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux and Dubai’s police chief, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan.
In total, 220 companies are taking part in the exhibition, which continues until October 27.
TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telephoned his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani and discussed boosting relations between the two neighbours, state media reported on Monday.
Sunday’s conversation between the two leaders came a week after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited Tehran as part of a Middle East tour aimed at securing regional support for keeping his job following an inconclusive general election in March.
“I hope that with the formation of a new Iraqi government, bilateral ties will expand in different areas, especially in the economic and political fields,” state television quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Talabani.
The Iraqi president said he hoped to travel to Iran once the new government is in place, the television said on its website.
Protracted coalition talks in Baghdad are set to come to a head after Iraq’s highest court told parliament on Sunday to end the deadlock in electing a new prime minister and president.
A Nato soldier has been killed in a bomb attack in northern Afghanistan, the alliance says.
The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) has not given details of the incident or the nationality of the dead soldier.
More than 50 Nato soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan this month.
Northern Afghanistan was once considered relatively peaceful but has seen a recent upsurge in bombings and other attacks.
The worst of the violence in Afghanistan is still in the south and east.
Israeli police have clashed with Arab protesters in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm, where Israeli right-wing activists staged a protest march.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to try to disperse the protesters.
The Jewish activists are followers of a far-right movement, Kach, which believes Arabs should be expelled from Israel and the West Bank.
Dozens of people were wounded when clashes erupted during a similar march last year.
Tensions were running high in Umm al-Fahm after the Supreme Court authorised the march by the right-wing Israeli group through the mainly Israeli Arab town.
The activists say they want Israeli authorities to outlaw the Islamic Movement, whose leader Sheikh Raed Salah comes from the town.
"The Islamic Movement is part of the international Islamic jihad," Michael Ben Ari, a right-wing lawmaker who took part in the protest, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
He accused the movement of having ties to Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Some 20 to 30 Jewish demonstrators travelled from Jerusalem to Umm al-Fahm under heavy police protection.
They arrived in armoured buses, but were only allowed off briefly by police, and the march was largely symbolic, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes from the site of the clashes.
Egyptian security forces have detained about 70 people as they put up election posters for the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria.
A security official said the posters breached a law against using religious slogans for election purposes.
However, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood said posters for Egypt's governing party quoting Koranic verses were left untouched.
Egypt holds parliamentary elections on 28 November.
The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's biggest opposition movement but was banned in 1954.
However, it won 20% of the seats in parliament in 2005 by fielding candidates as independents.