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Islamic World News (13 Nov 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)


A Poison Called Zakir Naik and His Role in Radicalising Kerala Detailed By an ISIS Recruit
















A Poison Called Zakir Naik and His Role in Radicalising Kerala Detailed By an ISIS Recruit

Khashoggi Murder Recording May Implicate Saudi Prince

Rohingya Flee Camps Fearing Forcible Return to Myanmar

Muslim World League Chief Calls for ‘Good Faith’ With Other Cultures, Religions

Hate Speech Is Wrong, Even Against ‘Deviant’ Shias, Says Mujahid

 

India

A Poison Called Zakir Naik and His Role in Radicalising Kerala Detailed By an ISIS Recruit

Despite ASI’s Ban Order, Local Muslims to Offer Namaz at Taj Mahal Today

'Indian Recruits Of IS Using Iran Deportation Camps for Afghan War'

Ayodhya dispute: 2 Muslim petitioners support out of court settlement

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Arab World

Khashoggi Murder Recording May Implicate Saudi Prince

Muslim World League Chief Calls for ‘Good Faith’ With Other Cultures, Religions

Ankara-Backed Militants Plundering Artifacts, People's Assets in Northern Syria

Arab Coalition: Houthi Militias Continue To Use Civilians as Human Shields

Tens of Civilians, Turkey-Backed Militants Killed, Wounded in Bomb Blast in Northern Syria

Egypt’s Sisi to visit Italy for Libya conference

Bomb in Turkish-controlled Syrian town kills 1, wounds 24

Bahrain sentences four to death for police killing

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South Asia

Rohingya Flee Camps Fearing Forcible Return to Myanmar

Ghani Condemns Kabul Bombing That Left At Least 26 Dead, Wounded

At Least Six Killed In Kabul Suicide Attack: Officials

Bangladesh Election Day pushed back to Dec 30

Taliban revealed their real faces in Moscow summit: Afghan Senate

Afghanistan sends more forces to Hazara-populated areas amid Taliban violence

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Southeast Asia

Hate Speech Is Wrong, Even Against ‘Deviant’ Shias, Says Mujahid

Entire Village of 250 People Converts To Islam in Philippines

Sandakan Oktoberfest celebration may have overlooked religious sensitivities, says DAP rep

Nowhere safe for Indonesia’s top exiled extremist

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Pakistan

Pervez Musharraf Challenges Court Order to Form Commission to Record His Statement In Treason Case

CJP Directs Authorities To Develop Policy On Collection Of Donations At Mosques, Shrines

Iqbal’s Poetry Brought Renaissance among Muslims of the Region: Pak Senate Chairman

Slain JUI-S leader’s secretary ‘missing’ since the last few days

PTI reaping what it sowed, Opp senators say on TLP protests

Aasia is in Pakistan, won’t leave till end of legal process: minister

PM urges solidarity among Muslim nations to face challenges

LHC dismisses treason plea against TLP’s Khadim Rizvi

Canada in talks with Pakistan over possible asylum for Aasia Bibi

Netherlands pulls several Pakistan embassy staff over threats: FM

LHC dismisses plea seeking treason cases against Fazl, Rizvi

Pakistan releases two more Afghan Taliban leaders to facilitate peace

Following Quran a prerequisite to set up an ideal, tolerant society: speakers

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Europe

In Riyadh, British FM Urges End to Yemen War, Justice for Khashoggi

France Denies Receiving Khashoggi Tapes from Turkey and Accuses Erdogan of Playing Games

Tehran had 'credible information' about Saudi plot to assassinate top Iranian officials: Zarif

Hunt to press Saudi rulers on Yemen war, Khashoggi murder in visit to Riyadh

UK presses Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi murderers

French remarks on Khashoggi case 'unacceptable': Turkey

Germany receives recordings on Khashoggi from Turkey

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North America

Pompeo Tells Bin Salman Khashoggi Killers Will Be Held Accountable

Trump expresses concern over Saudi oil output decrease

Trump will exonerate Saudis for their atrocities over financial interests: Expert

Trudeau: Turkey shared Khashoggi recordings with Canada

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Mideast

Hamas Threatens To Target ‘Millions’ Of Israelis as Its TV Station HQ in Gaza Destroyed

Israeli Warplanes Strike Gaza in Most Intense Exchange of Fire since 2014 War

Deaths reported as Israeli air strikes target Gaza after rocket fire

Gaza mortar fire destroys Israeli bus, wounds at least one

Hodeidah battles intensify as more Houthi commanders defect from militias

Observers predict further Houthi losses as more ministers defect from Sanaa

Ankara rejects French accusation of Khashoggi game-playing as ‘impudent’

Yemeni forces intercept, shoot down Saudi-led bloc reconnaissance drone in Jizan

World responsible for ending human catastrophe in Yemen: Iran

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Africa

Libya’s Haftar Arrives in Palermo for Conference to Kick-start Political Process

UN envoy wants Libya election by June after Libyans decide format

Libya admits to receiving interest payments of UN-frozen funds in Belgium

Car bombing kills 3 civilians in Mali

Hundreds flee after Boko Haram raid in northeast Nigeria

Nigeria appoints new commander against Boko Haram

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/a-poison-called-zakir-naik-and-his-role-in-radicalising-kerala-detailed-by-an-isis-recruit/d/116867

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A Poison Called Zakir Naik and His Role in Radicalising Kerala Detailed By an ISIS Recruit

12 November 2018

New Delhi, Nov 12: The heat is back on Dr. Zakir Naik, the controversial Islamic preacher, who is hiding in Malaysia. His name has emerged right on the top of the investigations being conducted by the National Investigation Agency, which is probing the case of the missing persons from Kerala, who have joined the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

Nashidul Hamzafar, the 26 year old management student from Kerala's Wayanad was in September arrested by the NIA after he became one of the first ISIS recruits to be deported from Afghanistan.

During his interrogation, he details the role played by Islamic preachers such as Naik and what sort of an influence they had on him, which ultimately prompted him to join the ISIS.

Hamzafar says that he was not attracted to the ISIS ideology for long. I found them to be too brutal and the outfit only scared me, he says. My ambition was to pursue my education and find a good job in Dubai.

A lot changed when one of his friends, Shihas sent him an audio clip regarding the Islamic State. My perception towards the outfit changed. Then I began listening to audios of Zakir Naik, Noman Alikhan among others. Their speeches inspired me and my approach towards life changed.

I began telling my family members to become stringent followers of Islam. I told them not to watch television or even lend money for interest. These were anti-Islam, I would tell them, Hamzafar told the NIA.

Going by his statements, it becomes clear that the likes of Zakir Naik through his Islamic Research Foundation and the Kerala based Peace Educational Foundation have played a huge role in the radicalisation of youth in Kerala.

He said that in May 2017, he had left for Bahrain for a job. He however maintained contact with Shihas and others who had joined the ISIS in Afghanistan. Shihas who was working in the media department for the ISIS advised me to reach Iran after I expressed interest in Hijra. I came back to Kerala and then left for Oman in October 2017. From there I reached Tehran. From there I left for Isfahan, where I was picked up by a man and left off at a safe house.

A poison called Naik:

Recently a Mumbai court had framed charges against Arshi Qureshi. The case relates to the indoctrination of Ashfak Majid and his associates into extreme jihadi ideology by a group of like-minded youths from Kasaragod district of Kerala. It was also stated that some members of the Zakir Naik run NGO, Islamic Research Foundation too were involved in the radicalisation process.

It was further alleged that these persons had motivated the youth to join the Islamic state.

Investigations also revealed that Qureshi was involved in unlawful activities and also spread hatred against India.

The National Investigation Agency had recently said that members of the Popular Front of India had conspired to kill Sasi Kumar, a spokesperson of the Hindu Munani. The murder of the leader from Coimbatore was carried out to create terror among the people, the NIA has also said in its supplementary chargesheet.

During investigation, NIA conducted searches at the houses of 4 accused persons on March 18 and recovered PFI donation receipts, PFI literature, PFI Unity March CDs, mobile phones, Compact Disks and pen drives, DVD of Zakir Naik of Islamic Research Foundation and other incriminating documents relating to PFI.

https://in.news.yahoo.com/poison-called-zakir-naik-role-033616652.html

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Khashoggi murder recording may implicate Saudi prince

13.11.2018

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON

A telephone call between an alleged killer of Jamal Khashoggi and his superior may implicate Saudi crown prince in the murder of the journalist, the New York Times reported Monday.

"A member of the kill team instructed a superior over the phone to 'tell your boss,' believed to be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, that the operatives had carried out their mission," said the newspaper.

It quoted three people familiar with a recording of Khashoggi’s murder collected by Turkish intelligence, which "is seen by intelligence officials as some of the strongest evidence" linking bin Salman to Khashoggi’s killing.

"While the prince was not mentioned by name, American intelligence officials believe 'your boss' was a reference to Prince Mohammed," it said.

Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of 15 Saudis in the hit squad sent to Istanbul to confront Khashoggi, made the telephone call and spoke in Arabic, according to the report.

The newspaper said Turkish intelligence told American officials it believes Mutreb was speaking to one of the prince’s aides.

"While translations of the Arabic may differ, those briefed on the call said Mr. Mutreb also said to the aide words to the effect of 'the deed was done'," said the Times.

The report also quoted Turkish officials as saying the audio does not "conclusively implicate Prince Mohammed."

"American intelligence and other government officials have cautioned that however compelling the recording may be, it is still not irrefutable evidence of his involvement in the death of Mr. Khashoggi," it said.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.

So far, 18 people, including security officers, have been arrested in Saudi Arabia in connection with the murder.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/khashoggi-murder-recording-may-implicate-saudi-prince/1309624

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Rohingya flee camps fearing forcible return to Myanmar

November 13, 2018

Teknaf (Bangladesh), Nov 12 (AFP) Rohingya Muslims were fleeing Bangladeshi refugee camps to avoid being repatriated to Myanmar later this week, community leaders said Monday.

Authorities plan to begin returning Rohingya refugees, who have fled what the UN has called ethnic cleansing, to the Buddhist majority country from Thursday.

But the prospect has created panic in the camps, prompting some families who were due to be among the first to be repatriated to flee, according to community leaders.

“The authorities repeatedly tried to motivate the ones on the returning refugee list to go back. But instead, they were intimidated and fled to other camps,” said Nur Islam, from Jamtoli refugee camp.

More than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s western Rakhine state in a military crackdown from August last year, bringing with them stories of murders, rapes and torture.

Some 2,260 Rohingya Muslims had been scheduled to leave the Bangladesh border post in the southeastern Cox’s Bazar district in the first repatriations from Thursday under the voluntary scheme.

But Nur Islam said the plan has created “massive confusion and fear” among the Rohingya and many were unwilling to return to Rakhine unless they were guaranteed citizenship and other rights.

An AFP correspondent was able to speak to three families who said they were due to leave this week.

“We are truly disturbed by the entire issue. As the day is coming closer, our tension is rising,” Mohammad Khaleque, a Rohingya refugee told AFP.

He said he his family were fleeing their camp for another makeshift Rohingya settlement in Cox’s Bazar, in an effort to avoid being forcibly repatriated.

“I don’t see a future for my family if we’re forcibly sent back home right now without confirming that we would get full Myanmar citizenship. That’s why I took my family out of the camp and to another one to live with my relatives. We don’t want to go back like this,” he said.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, who received a list from the Bangladesh government on Monday to assess whether the refugees wanted to go back to Myanmar voluntarily, said the start date of November 15 was an “ambitious plan”.

UNHCR senior spokesman Chris Melzer said “logistical problems” needed to be solved first.

“This is the matter of the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Although we still think that the conditions are not conducive now for the refugees to return in Myanmar,” he told AFP.

The UN assessment may take at least two more days, according to both UN and Bangladesh officials, which may delay repatriation.

Bangladesh refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said the country was ready to start returning the refugees to two centres at the border.

An AFP team visited both the centres. One appeared complete while the construction of the second was “over 80 percent” finished, according to builders.

A Bangladeshi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that the Rohingya refugees were not “mentally ready” for returning.

“They often say to us they would rather die here in the (Bangladeshi) camps than to go back and embrace the harrowing pain they have already experienced,” he said. AFP NSA

https://www.india.com/news/agencies/rohingya-flee-camps-fearing-forcible-return-to-myanmar-3426388/

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Muslim World League chief calls for ‘good faith’ with other cultures, religions

12 November 2018

The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul-Karim al-Issa, has called for the attention regarding Islamic discourse and the need to commit to good faith when talking with the different cultures and religious.

Al-Issa’s statement came during his acceptance of the Moderation Prize given to him in Jeddah by Mecca Governor Prince Khaled Alfaisal in appreciation of his international efforts in disseminating moderation.

“We all have the honor to be in the fold of moderation in the state that values justice and principles, and within the broad horizon that brings together everyone in accordance with the guidance of our wise Sharia. This includes the rational pace which represents the balance between what is in excess or negligent,” he said at the ceremony held at King Abdulaziz University.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/11/12/Muslim-World-League-chief-calls-for-good-faith-with-other-cultures-religions.html

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Hate speech is wrong, even against ‘deviant’ Shias, says Mujahid

Robin Augustin

November 12, 2018

PETALING JAYA: Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, agrees that no one should be persecuted for their beliefs, including Muslims who follow Shia teachings, which Islamic authorities in Malaysia label as “deviant”.

The Amanah leader said the debate on Shia Muslims in Malaysia was made complicated by those who put forward a narrative that borders on hate speech.

Mujahid said the line must be drawn when it came to hate speech against Shias, despite a 1996 fatwa banning Muslims from practicing the second biggest denomination in Islam.

“I can call on people to accept Sunni Islam but it doesn’t mean if a person is a Shia, I have the license to belittle them or utter hate speech,” he told FMT, when asked to respond to a claim by a Muslim activist that the Pakatan Harapan government is no different from Barisan Nasional when it comes to persecution of religious minorities including Shia Muslims.

Mujahid said although he was the federal minister in charge of Islam, it was not within his powers to instruct religious authorities on the issue, as it comes under state authorities.

He said there was a narrative that Shias are deviants who kill Sunnis, and warned that it would only expose Malaysia to sectarian violence.

“What is happening in the Middle East, we don’t want to see here. That is why there’s a need to address this carefully,” said Mujahid, adding that he was giving a personal opinion on the matter.

Yesterday, vocal Muslim activist Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa spoke out against what he said was the continued demonisation of religious minorities, especially those from the Shia school of thought, even after the change of government on May 9.

Farouk, who heads the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), said Shia Muslims were demonised through the weekly Friday sermons as well as raids on their gatherings.

According to Mujahid, the issue of Shia Islam was a sensitive one for Muslims in Malaysia.

He said, on one hand, Article 11 of the Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, with only Clause 4 of the article restricting the promotion of other religions to Muslims.

“The spirit of this article is that you can be a believer and not be punished unless you promote other faiths to Muslims.”

But Mujahid said a fatwa was gazetted in 1996, declaring Shia Muslims as deviant because they do not subscribe to Sunni Islam.

“So this is a very grey area on whether a person can be punished just for being a Shia, assuming they are not promoting their faith, because that may be unconstitutional,” he said.

Mujahid said action could be taken against Shia Muslims if they did not abide by the 1996 fatwa.

“This is the practice, we are looking at it so as to not persecute someone just for believing (Shia Islam),” he said.

He said he preferred dialogue rather than legal means when it comes to living the spirit of Article 11.

“Article 11 protects the rights of believers but I also can’t say that the enforcement of the fatwa is unconstitutional,” he said.

According to Mujahid, when an Islamic edict is gazetted, the relevant authorities are allowed to take action against those who violate it.

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/11/12/hate-speech-is-wrong-even-against-deviant-shias-says-mujahid/

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India

 

Despite ASI’s Ban Order, Local Muslims to Offer Namaz at Taj Mahal Today

Nov 13, 2018

Agra: In what could lead to law and order problem, members of Masjid Taj Mahal Intezamia Committee has announced to offer the afternoon namaz inside the Taj Mahal on Tuesday. The move comes days after the Archaeological Survey of India’s decision to bar Muslims from offering namaz at the mosque in the premises of the 17the century monument on all days except Fridays.

In a rather controversial action, the ASI had locked the “vazu tank”, where namazis clean themselves up before offering prayers, on November 3 and asked the imam to show up only on Fridays. Imam Syed Sadiq Ali, whose family has been leading prayers at the mosque for several decades, was caught unawares by the order.

While the ASI officials had claimed they were implementing a July order of the Supreme Court, the apex court had upheld a local administration’s order barring non-residents from offering Friday prayers in the mosque on the grounds of security of Taj Mahal.

Since the Taj Mahal is closed for public on Friday, local residents are allowed to offer namaz between noon and 2 pm without paying any entry fee. However, on the other days, any visitor, who had bought a ticket could visit the mosque and offer namaz until now.

After giving a memorandum to ASI’s superintending archeologist (Agra circle) Vasant Swarankar, Syed Ibrahim Hussain Zaidi, president of Masjid Tajmahal Intezamia Committee, said that he along with other members of the committee will offer namaz at the mosque inside the Taj Mahal complex on Tuesday, whether the ASI allows or not. He added that all the members will buy tickets for entering the Taj premises and will offer namaz there.

“I have given the memorandum to the ASI official and requested them to allow the namaz as has been the practice for well over 400 years,” Zaidi said.

“No department or law can stop us from offering prayers at the mosque as this is everyone’s constitutional right,” he said.

Swarankar, on his part, said that he has informed the headquarters regarding the memorandum given by the committee members. “Whatever decision is taken by the higher authorities, will be conveyed to the committee members,” he added.

A January 2018 order by the Agra additional district magistrate (city) barred non-residents from offering Friday prayers in the mosque on the grounds of security. The authorities started asking visitors to carry an ID to ensure that only locals go inside the mosque to offer namaz. The administration’s move came following complaints that “outsiders, including Bangladeshis and nonIndians,” enter the Taj Mahal complex on Fridays on the pretext of offering namaz.

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court against this order, but the apex court refused to intervene into this in July, saying Taj’s preservation was paramount.

Later in July, two Muslim youths from Maharashtra were detained when they offered prayers there on Friday. However, they clarified that they were not aware of any order banning entry of outsiders in the mosque.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/despite-asis-ban-order-local-muslims-to-offer-namaz-at-taj-mahal-today/articleshow/66595653.cms

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'Indian recruits of IS using Iran deportation camps for Afghan war'

Nov 12, 2018

NEW DELHI:The journey to join ISIS in "Islamic" battlefields like Afghanistan often begins with radicalisation by Tablighi teachers and indoctrination by controversial religious outfits like Zakir Naik's IRF and leads to deportation camps in Iran for a final cross over.

The use of deportation camps in Iran by Indian recruits to ISIS has been disclosed by Nashidul Hamzafar, the first Indian to be sent back from Afghanistan after he was intercepted by the Afghan forces while on way to ISIS-controlled territory in Nangarhar.

Despite months of planning, Hamzafar's foray into jihad proved short-lived as he was picked up not long after he reached Kabul. But the transformation of a somewhat vapid youth into a radicalized individual who refused to heed his family's warnings reveals radical networks operating in the guise of charities that link local mosques to terror launch pads in Iran.

Hamzafar, who was deported to India in September, told NIA that he had travelled on valid documents to Tehran via Oman in October 2017. With the facilitation and contacts arranged by his college-time friends from Kerala Shihas and Ashfaq, both of who had gone to Afghanistan earlier, he managed to reach a deportation camp in Isfahan, some 6 hours from Tehran.

There he posed as an Afghan residing in Nooristan province of Afghanistan. The address was given to him by an Iranian intermediary who took away his baggage and passport in Isfahan, saying that these would be returned to him in Afghanistan.

Hamzafar’s biometrics were collected but the camp possibly did not have the facility to match them with the records at Tehran immigration which would have revealed his nationality.

Hamzafar, however, failed to convince the camp authorities of his Afghan credentials and was loaded onto a deportation vehicle for Pakistan. He managed to reach a deportation camp meant for Afghans after he persuaded an officer that he was actually from Afghanistan. He soon found himself at Nimruz province of Afghanistan.

Hamzafar’s ‘hijra’ to ISIS-controlled territory was arranged by Shihas, Ashfaq and Firoz, all accused in NIA case relating to flight of 21 Keralites to Afghanistan in 2016.

While Shihas, Firoz and Hamzafar first turned to religion after a Tablighi member nudged them towards classes at a Ahle Hadees mosque in Bengaluru, Hamzafar's attraction for IS ideology grew after Shihas reached out to him via Telegram and Whatsapp groups. The videos on "Khilafat" and audio clips of Abdul Rashid who along with his wife Yasmin Zahid had recruited at least 15 Keralites into IS, had a big impact on him.

Apart from the role of Tablighis -- members of an organization with missionary aims but who's doctrinaire approach has put it under the lens of security agencies -- controversial preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and Kerala-based Peace Educational Foundation also pop up in the Hamzafar story.

IRF and Peace Foundation have been accused of using contentious teaching material at its schools and seem to be part of a chain that radicalizes and dispatches recruits. The organizations played a role in the indoctrination of Shihas, Bestin Vincent alias Yahiya, Firoz and Ashfaq. Hamzafar even claimed that Bestin converted to Islam from Christianity after his interaction with IRF scholars.

Shihas himself was working with Peace Educational Foundation. Even Bestin had joined Peace School. Abdul Rashid was a volunteer at a Profcon conference arranged by Peace Foundation in Ernakulam in 2014.

When Hamzafar showed an interest in traveling to ISIS territory, he was helped by Shihas, who was in media department of IS, and Ashfaq from ‘hijra’ department. Hamzafar went to Oman where his friend Habeeb joined him. Armed with 5,000 dirhams arranged by Ashfaq, both travelled to Iran on a valid visa. However Habeeb changed his mind and returned to India from Iran via Dubai.

Full report at:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/indian-recruits-of-is-using-iran-deportation-camps-for-afghan-war/articleshow/66582885.cms

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Ayodhya dispute: 2 Muslim petitioners support out of court settlement

Nelanshu Shukla

November 13, 2018

In a major development in the Ayodhya dispute, two Muslim petitioners have signed a letter supporting the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's initiative for an out of court settlement.

The representative of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Gautam Vij met Haji Mehboob and Mohommad Omar, the two Sunni petitioners in Ayodhya dispute case on Monday, who have signed a letter supporting the out of court settlement.

The Imam of Kevda Masjid and Tedhi Bazaar Masjid in Ayodhya also signed the letter in support of resolution of the dispute through talks.

Speaking to media, Haji Mehboob said, "The Art of Living founder is an educated person and is pitching for peace between both the communities. The matter is pending in Supreme Court but an amicable solution through talks will also send a good message. "

While Vij said, "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has full faith in the top court, but we believe that out of court settlement will increase the communal harmony. This is why we are reaching out to the people involved in the dispute. If required, the Art of Living founder will come here again to reach out to the parties involved in the dispute."

Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board ( AIMPLB) has rejected the idea of out of court settlement and has reiterated that the matter can only be resolved by the SC.

Speaking to India Today, AIMPLB member and convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee Jafaryab Jilani said, "If any such letter is signed by Haji Mehboob, then it doesn't hold any relevance. According to Shariat, we cannot gift or donate land meant for mosque to anyone. The matter will only be settled by the top court. "

"Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had earlier urged the Muslims to compromise the land meant for mosque in Ayodhya which is not at all possible. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had also said that he has nothing to do with this case. Therefore, there is no possible of any solution beyond court," added Jilani.

Full report at:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/ayodhya-dispute-2-muslim-petitioners-support-out-of-court-settlement-1387242-2018-11-13

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Arab World

 

Muslim World League Chief Calls for ‘Good Faith’ With Other Cultures, Religions

12 November 2018

The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul-Karim al-Issa, has called for the attention regarding Islamic discourse and the need to commit to good faith when talking with the different cultures and religious.

Al-Issa’s statement came during his acceptance of the Moderation Prize given to him in Jeddah by Mecca Governor Prince Khaled Alfaisal in appreciation of his international efforts in disseminating moderation.

“We all have the honor to be in the fold of moderation in the state that values justice and principles, and within the broad horizon that brings together everyone in accordance with the guidance of our wise Sharia. This includes the rational pace which represents the balance between what is in excess or negligent,” he said at the ceremony held at King Abdulaziz University.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/11/12/Muslim-World-League-chief-calls-for-good-faith-with-other-cultures-religions.html

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Ankara-Backed Militants Plundering Artifacts, People's Assets in Northern Syria

Nov 12, 2018

Hawar news reported that Ahrar al-Sharqiyah terrorists, affiliated to the Turkish Army, have started excavation operation in Af Qayri cemetery in Mobata region in Afrin to find gold and antiques, adding that the Ankara forces destroyed the graveyard and looted historical artifacts.

It further said that Turkish army men broke into residential units in the village of Borj Abadlou in Shirawa, stealing public assets after killing one of the family's members.

Hawar news went on to say that the Ankara forces have arrested over 2,500 civilians since March, adding that the fate of 850 is unknown.  

A media outlet reported in October that the militants were also putting children under custody in Northwestern Aleppo to force their family to pay for their release.

The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that Ankara-backed militias had started excavation operations in Tal Haloubiyeh after looting historical artifacts in Qala Nabi Houri in Afrin.

It further said that Turkey-backed militants have conducted excavation operations in Tal Andara, Tal Jandaris and other historical sites in Akbas square and Albikaseh region in Rajou, adding that the under-excavation sites are on the verge of complete destruction.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970821000559

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Arab Coalition: Houthi militias continue to use civilians as human shields

12 November 2018

The Arab Coalition has said that Houthi militias are continuing to use civilians as human shields in key cities as they continue to incur further losses on the ground.

The statement came during a press conference on Monday held by Arab coalition spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki.

This comes on the same day as a report revealed that Houthi militias have stolen and occupied at least 235 homes belonging to Yemeni political, social and military figures in the capital Sanaa since their takeover of the city in 2014.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/11/12/Arab-Coalition-Houthi-militias-continue-to-use-civilians-as-human-shields.html

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Tens of Civilians, Turkey-Backed Militants Killed, Wounded in Bomb Blast in Northern Syria

Nov 12, 2018

A bomb-laden vehicle went off in front of the base of the Free Army's Military Police in Central Jarabulus that left a number of civilians and militants dead and more than 25 wounded.

Local sources, meantime, pointed to several blasts in the town of al-Bab in Eastern Aleppo in the last two days, and said that insecurity, murder, kidnapping and rubbery have been intensified in the regions that are under Ankara forces' control in Aleppo province.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Sunday that the Turkish troops and their allied militants targeted the strongholds of the Kurdish militias in Manbij region in Northeastern Aleppo in violation of an earlier agreement between Ankara and Washington.

SOHR reported that the Ankara-backed forces known as the Euphrates Shield opened heavy machinegun fire at the village of al-Hamran Northwest of the town of Manbij.

It further said that the Ankara forces targeted the positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces and farms in the region.

In the meantime, the US-led coalition fighter jets conducted round the clock flights over Manbij.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970821000895

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Egypt’s Sisi to visit Italy for Libya conference

12 November 2018

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will attend a Libya conference in Palermo, state news agency MENA said, his first visit to Italy since the disappearance of Italian postgraduate student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016.

Sisi departed Cairo, MENA said, to join a two-day conference in Sicily hosted by Italy to find ways to stabilize Libya in turmoil since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Regeni disappeared in Cairo on Jan. 25, 2016 the anniversary of the start of 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. His body was discovered on Feb. 3 and Egyptian investigators found signs of extensive torture.

Intelligence and security sources told Reuters in 2016 that police had arrested Regeni outside a Cairo metro station on Jan. 25 of that year and then transferred him to a compound run by Homeland Security.

Egyptian officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Regeni’s death.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/11/12/Egypt-s-Sisi-to-visit-Italy-for-Libya-conference.html

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Bomb in Turkish-controlled Syrian town kills 1, wounds 24

November 12, 2018

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey’s state-run news agency says a car-bomb explosion in a Turkish-controlled town in northern Syria has killed one person and wounded 24.

The Anadolu Agency says the explosion occurred Monday in front of a school in the town of Jarablus. Five of the wounded were in serious condition and were evacuated to Turkey for treatment.

No one immediately claimed the attack.

The town is part of a swath of territory in northern Syria that has been under Turkish control since 2016, when Syrian rebels backed by Turkey drove out Daesh militants.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1403466/middle-east

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Bahrain sentences four to death for police killing

November 12, 2018

DUBAI: Bahrain’s top criminal court on Monday sentenced four Shiite Muslims to death for a 2017 bombing that killed a policeman, a judicial official and the public prosecutor said.

A statement by the prosecutor’s office said the four were found guilty on charges of premeditated murder and possession of unlicensed arms “with terrorist aims” over a June 18, 2017 bombing.

A police officer was killed in the blast in Diraz, a flashpoint village outside the capital Manama.

Bahrain, a tiny Sunni-ruled kingdom located between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been hit by waves of unrest since 2011, when security forces crushed protests led by majority Shiites demanding an elected prime minister.

Authorities have since jailed hundreds of dissidents and stripped many of citizenship, banning all opposition groups under court orders.

Diraz in particular has been rocked by protests, police raids, riots and sporadic bombings.

The village is home to Sheikh Isa Qassim, Bahrain’s highest Shiite dignitary, who was stripped of citizenship in 2016 and is under house arrest.

Bahraini authorities accuse Shiite Iran of provoking unrest in the kingdom, which Iran denies.

Rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have labelled many of the trials as politically motivated and said they fail to meet basic standards of due process.

Monday’s verdict comes ahead of controversial parliamentary elections that Bahrain’s King Hamad has called for November 24.

Dissolved opposition parties, including the Shiite Al-Wefaq and secular Al-Waad, do not have the right to put forward their own candidates in the vote.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1403446/middle-east

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South Asia

 

Ghani condemns Kabul bombing that left at least 26 dead, wounded

Nov 12 2018

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani condemned the deadly suicide attack in capital Kabul which left at least twenty six people dead or wounded.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the criminal terrorists once again carried out a suicide attack close to Malik Asghar Roundabout this afternoon, leaving a number of people dead or wounded.

President Ghani, quoted in the statement, said the terrorists will not only reach to their goals by carrying out such criminal acts but will further increase the hatrted of people towards them.m

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

The Ministry of Interior says at least six people have been killed and at least twenty others have sustained injuries in today’s attack.

Today’s incident took place amid ongoing protests against the Taliban attacks in Ghazni and Uruzgan provinces.

Hundreds of protesters marched towards Presidential Palace in Kabul late last night demanding President Ghani’s immediate actions regarding the recent wave of violence which struck two districts in Ghazni and another district in Uruzan province, mainly inhabited by Hazaras of Afghanistan.

The protesters had gathered near the road leading towards Presidential Palace and demand President Ghani to issue a decree to suppress the Taliban militants.

https://www.khaama.com/ghani-condemns-kabul-bombing-that-left-at-least-26-dead-wounded-02727/

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At least six killed in Kabul suicide attack: officials

Nov 12, 2018

KABUL: Six people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Kabul on Monday, close to where scores of Afghans had been protesting against Taliban attacks on the minority Hazara ethnic group.

The attack is the latest in a wave of violence across war-torn Afghanistan as the Taliban intensify pressure on beleaguered government security forces, which are suffering record high casualties.

Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said 20 were wounded in the blast, which struck in front of a high school in the downtown area of the Afghan capital.

Initial reports indicated most of the victims were members of the security forces, but Danish said civilians, including several women, had borne the brunt of the carnage.

A photo shared on WhatsApp showed several bodies lying on the ground.

"The suicide attacker on foot wanted to target protesters, but he was stopped at a security checkpoint some 200 metres (660 feet) from the site," interior ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

A police officer at the scene said he saw 10 to 15 casualties on the ground, as well as body parts.

The centre of Kabul was blanketed with heavier-than-usual security for the protest, which began on Sunday night and continued into Monday.

"It was a huge blast near Istiqlal high school, very close to where the demonstrators were gathering," witness Qais Nawabi told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Demonstrators, including university students, had taken to the streets to demand the deployment of military reinforcements to two Hazara-dominated districts in the southeastern province of Ghazni which have been attacked by the Taliban.

In other violence, a Taliban attack on Khak Safid district in the western province of Farah overnight killed up to 40 local police and civilians, provincial council member Dadullah Qaneh told AFP.

"They set the houses of local police members on fire, killed women and children and local police," Qaneh said.

Provincial police spokesman Mohibullah Mohib confirmed the attack, but had no information on the number of casualties.

The Kabul explosion came as Afghan security forces step up ground and air offensives in Jaghori and Malistan districts, where Hazara pro-government fighters and Afghan troops are battling the militants.

Fighting in the area has been ongoing since Wednesday, fanning fears that the violence could be rooted in ethnic or sectarian differences.

Most Hazaras belong to the Shiite branch of Islam.

The Taliban, which are Sunni and largely ethnic Pashtuns, have been accused of committing human rights violations against the group during their oppressive 1996-2001 rule.

"We have no news from our people living there," Asif Ashna, one of the protesters, said in a Facebook live broadcast.

"If the government's duty is to protect the lives of the people then why have they not taken any measures in the past week?"

Protester Ishaq Anis told AFP that security forces should be permanently based in Jaghori and Malistan to prevent "further attacks against Hazara people".

Hazaras have long criticised the government for failing to protect them from attacks by the Taliban and the Islamic State group, some even suggesting the blundering was deliberate.

The escalation in violence comes as US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad returned to the region as part of efforts to convince the Taliban to end the 17-year war.

Khalilzad met with President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday. The former US ambassador to Kabul will also visit Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, where the Taliban has a political office.

Full report at:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/at-least-six-killed-in-kabul-suicide-attack-officials/articleshow/66591891.cms

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Bangladesh election day pushed back to Dec 30

Nov 12, 2018

DHAKA: Bangladesh poll authority on Monday deferred the date for next month's general elections by a week to December 30, a day after the country's main opposition alliance demanded to delay the polls by a month.

Last week, Bangladesh Election Commission said that the general election will be held on December 23.

Bangladesh's main opposition BNP, led by imprisoned ex-premier Khaleda Zia, on Sunday said it would participate in the general election next month after it boycotted the 2014 polls that returned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League to power due to fears of rigging.

"The 11th general election will be held across Bangladesh on December 30," Chief Election Commissioner Nurul Huda announced responding to the newly formed National Unity Front (NUF) with jailed former prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) being its key partner.

He said the five-member commission decided to reschedule the polls as the NUF proposal "is reassuring to the commission" about their participation in the polls, a dilemma that gripped the nation for months exposing the country's political course to a state of uncertainty.

"Despite extreme adverse situation Jatiya Oikya Front (NUF) has decided to take part in the election as part of our movement to restore democracy," convenor of the platform and prominent lawyer Kamal Hossain announced on Sunday.

He, however, added that the Election Commission must defer the polls schedule by one month and "we will announce our decision later unless the demand is met" while BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the decision was "part of our movement".

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina immediately welcomed the NUF's decision saying their "decision will strengthen the democracy...we will jointly contest in the poll to reflect the verdict of the people".

Ruling Awami League's general secretary Obaidul Quader earlier said they would have no objection if the commission deferred the election date.

The NUF came up with the announcement three days after the commission announced the schedule setting December 23 for the voting amid an impasse between the government and the main opposition alliance.

The BNP, whose leader 73-year-old Zia is behind bars, abstained from the 2014 polls over fears it would be rigged, allowing Hasina to walk into a second term unchallenged.

But rallying supports of the NUF partners, some left-leaning and right-wing groups and individuals, it still insists installation of a non-party caretaker government to oversee the polls.

Experts and political analysts said the opposition was demanding the deferment so the tenure of the current parliament was expired to pave way for a polls-time interim government.

The deferment of the polls, however, will not see the expiry of the Parliament tenure but the NUF or the BNP were yet to come up with any reaction after the fresh EC announcement.

Hasina earlier said installation of a non-elected government could create scopes for "third party interventions", meaning a virtual military takeover like 2007 when an army-backed interim government was installed amid a political vacuum and unrest.

The BNP remained to be in a state of political disarray as Zia is now serving a 10-year prison term in two graft charges and her elder son and "fugitive" acting chief Tarique Rahman's is staying in London while a Dhaka court recently handed him down life term imprisonment for masterminding a deadly attack on a political rally in 2004.

Full report at:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/bangladesh-election-day-pushed-back-to-dec-30/articleshow/66591018.cms

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Taliban revealed their real faces in Moscow summit: Afghan Senate

Nov 12 2018

The Afghan Senate, Meshrano Jirga, Senators slammed the Taliban group for participating in Moscow summit under the shadow of Vladimir Putin and missing the summits in Mecca and Jakarta, despite carrying high Islamic slogans.

The senators also criticized the government’s absence in the summit and said the Taliban group representatives managed to share their plans and demands in a loud voice with the Afghan High Peace Council representatives failing to play a constructive role in the summit.

However, the Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar Meshrano Jirga supports any summit attended by the Afghan representatives and which do not compromise the territorial integrity of the country.

Muslimyar expressed hopes that the summit would yield good results as the representatives of the Taliban had participated in the summit.

He said the Afghans should accept each other and the Taliban must refrain from bloodshed and waging war, emphasizing that only in that condition such summits would yield positive results.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-revealed-their-real-faces-in-moscow-summit-afghan-senate-02725/

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Afghanistan sends more forces to Hazara-populated areas amid Taliban violence

Nov 12, 2018

The Afghan government has sent additional forces to the Hazara-populated areas of southeastern Ghazni Province, which has been under attack by the Taliban militant group for several days.

The troops, including special forces, were deployed on Monday to the Jaghori and Malistan districts of Ghazni, where fighters with the local Shia Hazara community are helping government forces in their battle against the Taliban militants.

“We have sent more reinforcements to Jaghori and Malistan districts,” including 40 intelligence officers and 35 members of the security forces, said Afghan Army chief of staff General Mohammad Sharif Yaftali.

“As part of a bigger plan, we are also sending more ground forces and will soon start a big operation in Ghazni,” he added.

The deployment took place after the Taliban inflicted heavy casualties on Afghan forces during heavy clashes in Ghazni and the western regions of the country, according to officials.

About 25 Afghan commandos were reportedly killed by the Taliban in Ghazni late on Sunday, while 50 security forces lost their lives in similar clashes in Farah Province.

Yaftali confirmed to reporters that Afghan forces had suffered casualties, without giving more details.

Ghazni – which was briefly overrun by the Taliban in August – is strategically important as it is located on a highway connecting the capital Kabul to the major southern city of Kandahar. It is also a gateway into the mountainous central province of Hazarajat, also home mainly to Shia Hazara people.

Fatal blast targets anti-violence rally in Kabul

The stepped-up violence in Ghazni prompted protests in Kabul late Sunday and on Monday morning, when hundreds of Shia Hazaras took to the streets demanding better security in the troubled region.

“We have no news from our people living there,” Asif Ashna, one of the protesters, said in a Facebook live broadcast. “If the government’s duty is to protect the lives of the people then why have they not taken any measures in the past week?”

As the demonstration was underway on Monday, a bomb attack hit a security checkpoint near the site of the rally in central Kabul, an area that also hosts the finance and justice ministries and is close to the presidential palace.

Six people were killed in the explosion, said Najib Danish, an Interior Ministry spokesman. Ten policemen and civilians, including women, were also wounded.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The US, along with a number of fellow-NATO members, invaded Afghanistan in 2001, toppling a Taliban regime in control of most of the country at the time, but it has failed to restore security and the country continues to be plagued by militancy and terrorism.

The Daesh terror group has also used the chaos to establish a foothold in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579798/Afganistan-Taliban-Attacks-Peace-Talks

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Southeast Asia

 

Entire village of 250 people converts to Islam in Philippines

November 13, 2018

Cebu (Philippines): A team of Muslim volunteers cooperating with the UK-based Islamic Education & Research Academy (iERA) on Sunday November 11, 2018 witnessed an entire village in the Philippines converting to Islam.

In a Facebook post, which is also tagged with a video, iERA said its volunteers were invited by a Muslim revert, Abu Bakr, to Madina Mosque in Bantayan Island of the central Philippines province of Cebu.

"The iERA team then boarded the ferry to Bantayan Island and proceeded to hire motorbikes for the outreach team and travelled as a convoy to the remote part of the island to visit local villagers.

"Upon arrival at the village, a local symposium was organised to convey the Message of Islam. The audience with around 250 attendees from a predominantly Christian Background were mesmerised by a passionate talk by both Abu Bakr and Esa Khan. They spoke about the similarities between Islam and Christianity and the true message of Prophet Jesus AS which was to worship Almighty God Alone", iERA said in the Facebook post.

"As a result of this and by the permission of Almighty God, the whole village accepted Islam with 215 people declaring their Testimony of Faith with Esa Khan and Abu Bakr", it added.

"It was an emotionally charged moment as the whole village accepted Islam together as one united community", iERA said.

Abu Bakr has built the Medina Masjid and established a local community of New Muslims from all the Dawah Outreach work he had been involved in for over 20 years.

He has also built over 40 new Muslim communities with satellite masajids from all his Dawah Outreach work in the surrounding villages across Cebu Island. Abu Bakr also runs a local Islamic radio station that he uses to inform people about the message of Islam.

http://www.ummid.com/news/2018/November/13.11.2018/entire-village-with-215-people-converts-to-islam-in-philippines.html

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Sandakan Oktoberfest celebration may have overlooked religious sensitivities, says DAP rep

12 November 2018

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 12 — An Oktoberfest celebration on a street in Sandakan last weekend may have overlooked some religious sensitivities, Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Stephen Wong said today.

Wong said that the area chosen for the beer drinking festival, which also saw the attendance of a DAP assemblyman as the guest-of-honour and Muslim members of Rela on duty, may not have been suitable.

“To a certain extent, I can see how the place may not be so suitable for such an event. It is rather open and I understand there are some Muslim coffee shops and businesses there.

“Although it is normal to me to have such an international event, we live in a multicultural country and have to be sensitive to other people’s cultures,” he said when speaking to reporters at the state assembly building here.

Yesterday, the Sabah Amanah complained that the event hurt the sensitivities of Muslim people in the area because of the event which celebrated alcohol consumption on a massive scale and was held openly on the street.

Its chairman Haris Alimudin said that previously such events were held in more confined areas. The area also already has

Wong, who is Sandakan MP said he was not consulted before the event but acknowledged that the Sandakan Municipal Council had no objections to having the event on the street in Bandar Indah.

“It was perhaps just an oversight on the organisers and the municipal’s council’s part. We hope that this doesn’t become a heated issue. There’s some lessons to be learnt and we can take for the future but we hope this does not create any tension between races here,” he said.

Wong said that Sabah was known for its racial and religious tolerance where people of all backgrounds can sit in the same coffee shop and hoped that parties do not seek to provoke the status quo.

“We should respect other cultures but we should also not think inclusively and seek to create friction among the different cultures,” he said.

When asked whether he thought Amanah was politicising the event for political mileage, Wong declined to comment.

Although the Pakatan Harapan coalition in Semenanjung sees a close working relationship between DAP and Amanah, the Sabah Warisan Government has left Amanah out of their equation.

Meanwhile, Elopura assemblyman Calvin Chong Ket Kiun, who was the guest of honour at the event said that it was extreme to claim that the party disrespected the Muslim faith.

“I was there because the NGO, Rakan Elopura, invited me to witness them handing over a donation to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre.

Full report at:

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1692506/sandakan-oktoberfest-celebration-may-have-overlooked-religious-sensitivitie

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Nowhere safe for Indonesia’s top exiled extremist

By JOHN MCBETH

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

Now in his second year of self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia’s extremist Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) founder, Rizieq Shihab, is finding he can’t always do as he likes in his new safe haven, where he fled to escape pornography and other criminal charges at home.

In early November, Saudi authorities briefly detained the 53-year-old cleric for allegedly hoisting a flag at his Mecca residence that resembled the black standard of the Islamic State (ISIS), whose self-proclaimed caliphate is now on the brink of collapse.

The Indonesian government was forced to deny allegations that the flag raising was a black intelligence operation designed to embarrass the FPI leader, who supports opposition candidate Prabowo Subianto in next April’s presidential race.

Shihab’s problems do not end there. On top of restrictions being imposed on his activities in Saudi Arabia, Indonesian foreign ministry officials say he has also over-stayed his visa, which expired on July 20.

Any foreign national seeking to extend their stay is required to leave the country before they can do so, but Saudi authorities have complicated matters by stopping him from flying to Malaysia on three separate occasions in July.

The flag raising appeared to be related to Shihab’s call for all FPI branches to fly flags bearing the shahadah, the Muslim declaration of faith, after members of the mainstream Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) organization burned the standard of the outlawed Hizbut Tahrir (HTI) in Garut, West Java, on October 22.

Part of a worldwide extremist organization whose flag is similar to those flown by ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, HTI was officially banned in Indonesia under a presidential decree issued in July 2017, which branded it as a threat to national security.

It was the first time the government has taken such a draconian measure since the birth of democracy in the late 1990s. But critics have long complained that ignoring the dangers of religiously-inspired incitement is the reason extremism and intolerance has grown to dangerous levels.

Hizbut Tahrir was deemed a threat because it supports the creation of an Islamic caliphate stretching from Morocco to the southern Philippine island of Mindanao that would usurp the power of sovereign governments. It is already banned in most Arab countries.

Disbanding the FPI would be far more difficult, despite the group’s long involvement in attacks on minority groups and their places of worship and on so-called “immoral” entertainment places over the past 15 years.

A staunch critic of President Joko Widodo, Shihab has long supported Subianto, who last month signed a so-called integrity pact with the National Fatwa Guards Movement (GNPF), a conservative coalition which opposes Widodo’s re-election.

Two members of NU’s paramilitary youth wing were jailed for 10 days for carrying out the October 25 flag burning in Garut, despite demonstrations by extremist groups across the country calling for the men to be charged with blasphemy.

But the failure of the protests to reach critical mass is an indication that the wider Muslim community has little appetite for creating the same divisive furor that brought down ethnic-Chinese Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama last year.

Indeed, as controversial as it was, Widodo’s choice of hardline cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate appears to have removed religious populism as a major factor in the campaign for next April’s presidential election.

Without Shihab at the forefront, a lot of the sting has gone out of the FPI and the conservative coalition that dominated the political stage for much of the last year and clearly worried Widodo far more than he was prepared to let on.

Shihab fled Indonesia in May last year after being accused of violating the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law by exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a woman who was not his wife — a charge that had earlier earned local pop star Nazril Irham a three-year jail term.

The FPI leader claims the charge was politically motivated, but although police dropped it last June, citing a lack of evidence, Shihab has refused to come home, famously saying at one point that Indonesia’s democracy was “more dangerous than pig’s meat.” That’s because he is still facing two other pending cases, one involving his false claim that the design of the new Indonesian rupiah notes contains hidden communist symbols, and another that he blasphemed against Christianity in one of his sermons.

Although he has not been named a suspect in either of the two cases, they remain open to potential indictment. Even the pornography case could be re-opened if investigators are able to find the key witness who uploaded the offensive material on the Internet.

An Arab-Indonesian educated at Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University, Shihab founded the FPI in August 1998, less than three months after the fall of President Suharto, who had kept a tight rein on Muslim activism for much of his 32-year rule.

Shihab has already served a total of two years in jail – in 2003 and again in 2008 — for inciting his followers to carry out violent acts. In 2011, leaked US diplomatic cables claimed the police had been funding the group and using it as an “attack dog” to extort businesses.

One cable said the sponsors had created an uncontrollable “monster,” adding: “Although anyone with money can hire FPI for political purposes, no one outside of the group can control Rizieq Shihab, who functions as his own boss.”

Still, pressure began mounting on the FPI early last year with civil society activists and the two biggest political parties urging the government to take stronger action against mass organizations they said were threatening national unity.

Seemingly untouchable until then, Shihab became a target after leading mass protests against the otherwise popular Purnama, who subsequently failed in his bid for re-election and was later jailed for three years on a charge of blasphemy.

Full report at:

http://www.atimes.com/article/nowhere-safe-for-indonesias-top-exiled-extremist/

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Pakistan

 

Pervez Musharraf challenges court order to form commission to record his statement in treason case

November 12, 2018

Pakistan’s former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Monday challenged an order of a special court to form a commission to record his statement in the high treason case against him, according to a media report.

The 75-year-old former army chief, who currently stays in Dubai, was indicted in the case in March 2014.

The special court on October 15 ordered that Musharraf’s statement in the case would be recorded through a commission.

The former president challenged the order of the special court in the Islamabad High Court. In his petition, Musharraf stated that the formation of the commission by the special court to record the statement was alien to Pakistan’s criminal procedure and unprecedented, Geo News reported.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf over the imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.

On March 18, 2016, Musharraf left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment.

A few months later, the special court had declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his no-show in the case.

Later, on the orders of the Supreme Court, Musharraf’s passport and identity card were also cancelled since he failed to return to the country despite a last chance.

https://indianexpress.com/article/pakistan/pervez-musharraf-treason-case-5443082/

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CJP directs authorities to develop policy on collection of donations at mosques, shrines

Nov 13, 2018

The Supreme Court on Sunday directed authorities to develop a policy over the collection of donations for mosques and shrines across Punjab, a local media outlet reported.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that donations made by people were being used by the Auqaf department to pay salaries to its employees.

The top judge observed that Rs850 million were being collected and spent to pay salaries of departments officials.

Hearing over the matter was then adjourned till next week.

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/11/12/cjp-directs-authorities-to-develop-policy-on-collection-of-donations-at-mosques-shrines/

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Iqbal’s Poetry Brought Renaissance among Muslims of the Region: Pak Senate Chairman

Nov 13, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Friday said that Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s poetry was a major source of a renaissance in the minds and hearts of the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent.

In his message on Iqbal Day, he said that poet of the east, Allama Iqbal, through his astounding, penetrating and thought-provoking verses, turned the tide in the subjugated Indian subcontinent, said a press release issued on Friday.

“The Muslims of South Asia who had accepted being ruled by foreign invaders for long and had become docile in their lives, saw a reformation in their conduct through his words and verses and by following his ideology of the two-nation theory they were able to have for themselves a separate homeland which we now call Pakistan,” he said.

“On this auspicious day, as we remember Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal on his 141st birthday, I express my heartiest felicitation to not just the people of Pakistan but the entire Muslim brethren who have benefitted from the philosophy of the great poet in different times, places and forms,” he added.

He observed that Iqbal should be remembered on all days of the year while this day brings about new vigour to follow his principles of khudi (self-reliance, self-respect, self-confidence, self-preservation and self-assertion), love of God, leaving a mark in this world and a message for the Muslim Ummah to unite under one flag.

“Pakistanis at present need to follow the principles brought forward by Iqbal in the same rigorous and passionate way as they were presented and followed back in the early 20th century,” he maintained.

Full report at:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/11/12/iqbals-poetry-brought-renaissance-among-muslims-of-the-region-sanjrani/

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Slain JUI-S leader’s secretary ‘missing’ since the last few days

Mohammad Asghar

November 13, 2018

RAWALPINDI: Late Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) leader Maulana Samiul Haq’s secretary Syed Ahmed Shah has been missing from his house in Akora Khattak for the last three or four days.

His family claims he was picked up by the law enforcement agencies while the police deny they have him in their custody.

Mr Shah is said to have discovered Maulana Samiul Haq’s body. The late JUI-S leader was stabbed in his bedroom in a Safari Villa in Bahria Town in Nov 2. Doctors said the former senator had died an hour before he was brought to the hospital.

Syed Ahmed Shah was also the first to inform Maulana Hamidul Haq Haqqani, the son of Maulana Samiul Haq, of his father’s death.

Maulana Hamid told Dawn Mr Shah has been missing the last three or four days. He said his family has been trying to call him on his mobile phone and that his phone has been switched off.

He said Mr Shah may have either gone into hiding himself or may have been taken by the law enforcement or intelligence agencies in connection with the investigation into the JUI-S leader’s murder.

“He has not been in contact with us the last couple of days,” Maulana Hamid said.

Maulana Hamid said it was the police’s job to find his father’s killers as the family had been cooperating with the police. He said the police had only visited Akora Khattak once but did not contact the family again with regards to the investigation in the case.

He said Syed Ahmed Shah was in Akora Khattak before he went missing and that he had repeated his initial statement where he said he left Maulana Samiul Haq at home and found him dead in his bed when he came back 15 or 20 minutes later. He said he had locked the door from outside and had found it open when he returned.

“No one has stopped the police from investigating Ahmed Shah or anyone else they wanted. We had no enmity with anyone but people from the outside or inside could be involved in the murder,” Maulana Hamid said.

“It is the police’s job to find the killers and bring them to justice,” he said.

He added that a few days before he was killed, an Afghan delegation had come to Maulana Samiul Haq, requesting him to initiate a peace process with the Taliban but he had refused.

Maulana Hamid said his father had been facing threats to his life but never kept the police or guards nearby as he did not have any personal enmity.

The Rawalpindi police have denied they have Syed Ahmed Shah in their custody.

However, the police investigation teams have been working on different lines and have questioned several individuals who were in contact with Maulana Samiul Haq on his phone.

According to senior police officials, Ahmed Shah is a key figure in the murder investigation as his statement could lead to the murderers and uncover the motive behind it.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1445231/slain-jui-s-leaders-secretary-missing-since-the-last-few-days

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PTI reaping what it sowed, Opp senators say on TLP protests

Nov 13, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties on Monday again put the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government on the mat in the Senate over its handling of protests by hardline parties against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who was recently acquitted by the Supreme Court in Pakistan’s most high-profile blasphemy case.

Taking the floor of the House, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Mushahidullah Khan claimed that the ruling party was reaping what it had sowed while it was in opposition.

He alleged that the last time such protests had taken place, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari had participated in the sit-ins. Government leaders had also exploited the issue to gain votes, he claimed.

“It is divine justice that the fire the ruling party had started has now become impossible for it to extinguish,” Mushahidullah said, adding that agreements are now being signed with the people who issued statements against state institutions.

“You hindered a country that was speeding towards progress… but today you are unable to even answer whether Aasia [Bibi] is present in the country or not,” the PML-N leader said while addressing the treasury benches.

“The Khatm-e-Nabuwwat [protesters] that are your foes today were your friends yesterday… is this not ‘divine justice’?”

After an exchange of hot words with several government members over his criticism of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who was not present in the House, Mushahidullah resumed his jibes against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party.

“They say the three-day [TLP] sit-in resulted in a loss of Rs50 billion per day… why don’t they multiply Rs50bn with 126 days?” he said, in a taunting reference to the 126-day sit-in staged by the PTI in 2014.

“Why didn’t you think then that this was causing loss of the country and people?”

Mushahidullah also took a jibe at the government for what he called “begging” from other countries, saying it was unprecedented for the government to term the economic assistance it has received an “achievement”.

Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the senator said it was the first time that a leader had gone to China and said “everyone in my country is corrupt” and later sought financial aid.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar regretted the situation that had arisen from the countrywide protests staged by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other outfits.

“A registered political party crossed the red line,” he said, referring to TLP. “Are we going to continue tolerating a political party which talks about creating anarchy in the country?” he asked, observing that the constitution calls for the suspension of a party’s membership if it talks against the country’s sovereignty. He wondered why the government had opted to “escape” from the national consensus that emerged over the protests and proceeded to enter into a deal with the agitators.

“The interior minister laid all the blame for this on the opposition, which was standing next to you,” he said, addressing the treasury benches.

“The government’s inefficiency spread despair among the people,” he said.

FINANCIAL BAILOUTS:

Briefing the House on the financial assistance promised to Pakistan by Saudi Arabia and China, State Minister for Revenue Hammad Azhar said that $3 billion will be deposited in the State Bank as part of the economic package committed by Saudi Arabia.

He said matters of financial assistance are currently being discussed with China, and the Senate “will be informed when they are finalised”.

“The balance-of-payments crisis has been stopped now due to government efforts,” the minister claimed, adding that exports and foreign exchange reserves are rising as the imports fall.

Responding to Mushahidullah’s query about the action taken against Pakistanis who were named in the Panama Papers leaks, Azhar said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has started taking steps in this regard.

“We have obtained data of 96,000 foreign accounts [held by Pakistanis] from 27 countries,” he said, adding that the FBR has recovered Rs7 billion through the investigation into the Panama Papers leaks.

BILL SEEKS RATIFICATION OF FOREIGN:

PPP’s Raza Rabbani presented a bill that could make it binding upon the government to place agreements and contracts with other countries, donors and international monetary organisations before the parliament for ratification.

The bill titled “Ratification of Foreign Agreements by Parliament Bill, 2018” had been moved by Rabbani, the former Senate chairman, in August.

Through the bill, the PPP leader has called upon the government to place a foreign agreement, contract or protocol to be signed with any country before both the houses of the parliament to seek approval of its draft within 15 days of its finalisation.

Speaking in the Upper House, Rabbani said it is a practice in some countries that all agreements are ratified by the parliament.

He explained that the bill would force the government to present in the legislature agreements on which it has negotiated with foreign parties, but before the agreement has been signed. The parliament will then send its recommendations on the agreement to the relevant ministry, which will inform the parliament about the approval of the suggestions within a specified time.

Commenting on the proposal, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said although he principally had no objections against the bill, there is no uniform practice around the world regarding ratification of agreements and treaties by the parliament.

“Many countries do not get agreements ratified by the lawmakers,” he informed the Senate. A situation of uncertainty can be created by frequent amendments to international treaties, on which talks can last for several years, he added.

“A method of review should be devised that doesn’t become a hindrance in the [signing of agreements],” he stressed.

Opposition Leader in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq supported the bill, saying matters like foreign agreements should not stay confined to the executive and that the parliament should have a say in them.

Full report at:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/11/12/pti-reaping-what-it-sowed-opp-senators-say-on-tlp-protests/

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Aasia is in Pakistan, won’t leave till end of legal process: minister

November 13, 2018

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noorul Haq Qadri said on Monday that Aasia Bibi, who was recently acquitted by the Supreme Court in a blasphemy case, was still in Pakistan and would not leave the country till the “finalisation of legal process”.

“Aasia Bibi is very much in Pakistan as I address this august gathering,” the minister said while addressing a Tahafuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat conference here.

He dispelled the rumours of Aasia Bibi leaving the country as “mere propaganda”.

As far as any alteration in the Section 295-C (blasphemy law) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) was concerned, he said it was very much part of the Constitution and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government did not intend to change it. He added the government would rather “defend” the blasphemy law “on every forum”.

“It was Prime Minister Imran Khan who got the competition of blasphemous caricature (to be held in the Netherlands) postponed through diplomacy. The Dutch government was persuaded by the PTI to cancel the competition and avoid hurting the Muslims’ feelings. Every Muslim is committed to the respect and finality of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) because this is an essential part of the faith. That is why the PTI government is this time observing Eid-i-Miladun Nabi at the official level and (with) religious fervour,” he said.

He said the courts were there to define and redefine every law in the country. Had the entire case of Aasia Bibi been fought in the courts, the results might have been different, he told his audience. Unfortunately, the case was taken to the streets for no reason, he added.

“The review petition is with the Supreme Court and all of us should wait for the final verdict instead of resorting to violence on the roads,” Mr Noor said.

He said it was unfortunate that fatwas were issued against those who had “true faith” and were performing their professional duties. Mercifully, he said, the army did not react in spite of insult to its chief and the judiciary kept its cool despite the anti-judges statements.

“Those who issued these verdicts and statements said sorry and the state has forgiven them. This forgiveness now necessitates that all should respect law of the land and let it take its course.

“There are some people who want violence on the streets. They wanted the government to call the army or the Rangers in to control violence and spill blood in the process. But, the government did not want it to happen. As Prime Minister Imran Khan underlined in his speech, the government wanted solution of all issues through dialogues. That is precisely why the state only used persuasive power to clear roads and end sit-ins. It is the time all should respect law and state,” he concluded.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1445297/aasia-is-in-pakistan-wont-leave-till-end-of-legal-process-minister

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PM urges solidarity among Muslim nations to face challenges

November 13, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday stressed the need for cooperative relations among Muslim countries to deal with problems they faced.

Talking to Qatar’s Chief of Staff of Armed Forces Lt Gen Ghanim Bin Shaheen Al Ghanim, who called on him at the PM Office, Mr Khan “expressed his desire for amity, friendship and good relations among Muslim countries and solidarity to confront common challenges”, according to an official statement.

Pakistan and Qatar have strong defence and intelligence relations and experts say the two countries are working to further strengthen that relationship.

The two sides have been working together for Afghan reconciliation and have regularly coordinated on the issue. More recently, diplomatic observers say, Doha and Islamabad were in touch with each other before the two latest publicly known direct interactions between the US and Taliban. It is believed that Taliban’s upcoming meeting with US Special Envoy for Peace and Reconcilia­tion Amb Zalmay Khalilzad was the major agenda item during Gen Ghanim’s Pakistan trip.

Qatar has been hosting the Taliban’s political office since 2013. Both Amb Alice Wells and Amb Khalilzad held their meetings with Taliban representatives in Doha.

The statement, issued by the Prime Minister Office on Gen Ghanim’s meeting with PM Khan, said the discussions centred around bilateral relations, particularly trade and manpower export aspect.

Mr Khan, the PM Office said, expressed satisfaction over the steady growth of bilateral relations and underlined the commitment of his government to build mutually beneficial relations with Qatar.

“Referring to 73 per cent increase in Pakistan’s exports to Qatar, following launching of the Hamad Port and its linking with Karachi Port through a ferry service, he (PM Khan) expressed confidence that the bilateral trade will further expand in coming years,” the statement said.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1445332/pm-urges-solidarity-among-muslim-nations-to-face-challenges

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LHC dismisses treason plea against TLP’s Khadim Rizvi

Nov 13, 2018

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday dismissed petitions seeking proceedings of treason against Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

LHC bench headed by Justice Atir Mehmood heard the petition and apprised the petitioner that the government initiated a crackdown against those involved in vandalism.

The petitioner had sought proceedings of treason against the two leaders for ‘issuing anti-state remarks’.

The crackdown came as the government released footage of the rioters torching vehicles, blocking roads and vandalising public and private property following apex court verdict on Aasia Bibi’s acquittal.

On November 10, Shabbirullah, the petitioner, argued that the two political leaders had issued anti-state statements against the judiciary and the armed forces.

The petitioner had prayed the court to direct the federal government to initiate proceedings against the TLP and JUI-F leaders under the charges of high treason. He pleaded that the country was held hostage for three days following their statements.

Full report at:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/11/12/lhc-dismisses-treason-plea-against-tlps-khadim-rizvi/

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Canada in talks with Pakistan over possible asylum for Aasia Bibi

Nov 13, 2018

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that his government was holding talks with Pakistan over potentially offering asylum to Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman recently freed from prison after her blasphemy conviction was overturned.

“We are in discussions with the Pakistani government,” Trudeau said in an interview with AFP in Paris, where he was attending a peace conference organised by French President Emmanuel Macron.

“There is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don’t want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country,” he said.

Bibi has been blocked from leaving Pakistan after the overturning of her conviction prompted a wave of protests by religiopolitical groups.

She has since been flown to a “safe place” in the country as several governments have offered to grant her family asylum.

Her husband has appealed in particular to Britain, Canada and the United States, claiming that Bibi’s life would be in danger as long as she lived in Pakistan.

The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other religiopolitical parties had launched countrywide protests after the Supreme Court acquitted Bibi, who had been on death row for the past eight years on blasphemy charges.

Three days later, the government and the TLP had signed a deal to conclude the latter’s protest. One of the major concessions the government agreed to was to “initiate the legal process” to place Bibi’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The government had also assured the party that it would not oppose a review petition filed against the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Aasia Bibi blasphemy case. The state further promised to take appropriate legal action to redress any deaths that may have occurred during the protests against the Aasia Bibi verdict and to release all people picked up in connection with the protests starting October 30.

Full report at:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/11/12/canada-in-talks-with-pakistan-over-possible-asylum-for-aasia-bibi/

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Netherlands pulls several Pakistan embassy staff over threats: FM

November 13, 2018

The Hague: The Netherlands said Monday it has pulled several embassy staff members from Pakistan over persistent threats, reportedly from religious groups angry over anti-Islam tweets by the far-right politician Geert Wilders.

Although the Dutch embassy in Islamabad remains open and visa requests are still being handled, "a whole number of people" have returned to the Netherlands, Foreign Minister Stef Blok said.

"Unfortunately Dutch citizens are being threatened, Dutch diplomats," Blok told a news programme on the NPO public broadcaster´s Radio 1 channel.

"That is serious enough already" for the step to be taken, said Blok, adding that he had spoken with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi about the issue.

Blok did not specify how many embassy staff were affected by the move.

Last week, the Netherlands said its ambassador Ardi Stoios-Braken has faced "threats" in Pakistan, apparently over "blasphemous depictions" by Wilders on Twitter.

Wilders in August called off a planned cartoon competition that stirred anger in Pakistan, but the MP has since posted several such images on the social network.

Pakistan's interior ministry last month wrote a secret memo on plans to "target" the Dutch ambassador by the hardline Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party (TLP), media from both countries reported.

The TLP, founded in 2015, led protests in August calling for Pakistan to sever diplomatic relations with the Netherlands over the Wilders cartoon contest.

The TLP has denied making any threats.

Last week, the Pakistani lawyer who saved Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy, from death row fled to the Netherlands.

The Dutch gave Saif-ul-Malook a temporary stay after he fled Islamabad when violence erupted following the Pakistani Supreme Court's acquittal of Bibi on the charges.

Following Bibi's release, the TLP vowed to return to the streets if she was allowed to leave the country.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday his country was holding talks with Pakistan over potentially offering Bibi asylum in Canada.

Full report at:

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/393247-netherlands-pulls-several-pakistan-embassy-staff-over-threats-fm

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LHC dismisses plea seeking treason cases against Fazl, Rizvi

NOVEMBER 13, 2018

LAHORE: Justice Atir Mehmood of the Lahore High Court on Monday dismissed as not maintainable a petition seeking directions to the federal government to initiate high treason proceedings against Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi for delivering speeches against judiciary and the armed forces.

The court held that chief justice of Pakistan had already taken suo motu notice of the issue, adding that it is prerogative of the federal government to initiate high treason proceedings and that the petitioner should have approached the appropriate forum instead of filing such a frivolous petition in the high court.

In his petition, Shabbirullah submitted that both the political leaders had been continuously spewing venom against the judiciary and the armed forces which was tantamount to committing high treason. He said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman and TLP central leadership including Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Pir Afzal Qadri and Waheed Anwar had violated Article 6 of the constitution in the garb of protest. He submitted that under Treason Act, 1973, only federal government was empowered to initiate treason proceedings. He requested the court to direct the federal government to initiate proceedings against the JUI and TLP leaders on high treason charges.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/321572/lhc-dismisses-plea-seeking-treason-cases-against-fazl-rizvi/

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Pakistan releases two more Afghan Taliban leaders to facilitate peace

Tahir Khan

NOVEMBER 13, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday released two more senior Afghan Taliban leaders apparently in the wake of meetings between political representatives of the Taliban and the US officials in Qatar.

Two Taliban officials confirmed to Daily Times the release of Abdul Samad Sani, a Taliban fundraiser, and Salahuddin, a military commander, weeks after Pakistan set free former Taliban deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

Sani was among a group of six Taliban and Haqqani Network leaders who the US had designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) in January this year for ‘providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.’

The US Department of the Treasury had stated that Sani had served as the Taliban’s deputy finance commissioner, and served as the governor for the Afghan central bank during the Taliban regime. The department had issued a long list of charges against him that included collecting funding to purchase supplies and ammunition for Taliban commanders and fighters engaged in combat in Afghanistan.

Pakistan had arrested Sani in Balochistan in October 2016 along with Suleman Agha, the Taliban governor for Daykund province.

Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Faisal said this month that Pakistan freed Baradar at the US request in order to ‘move forward on the shared objective of pursuing a political settlement in Afghanistan’. “The decision was taken following the visit of US Special Envoy on Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Khalilzad to the region and his meetings with Taliban representatives in Doha,” Faisal had said during a weekly press briefing on November 8.

Khalilzad met Taliban political envoys in Qatar last month, in a second meeting by any US officials with the Taliban as part of their direct contacts to explore ways for a political solution to the conflict.

The release of the Taliban leaders coincided with Khalilzad’s second visit to the region, who held meetings with President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul at the weekend and is currently involved in consultations with Afghan leaders to take them into confidence about US talks with the Taliban.

The State Department says Khalilzad will also travel to Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar with an interagency delegation from November 8-20 ‘to advance the goal of an intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations that include the Taliban and lead to a sustainable peace’.

Sources say the US envoy is likely to arrive in Islamabad at the end of this week, however no dates have been decided yet.

Release of the prisoners is one of the issues on the agenda of the Taliban-US meetings. Head of Taliban political office Sher Abbas Stanekzai demanded release of Taliban detainees in his speech at the Moscow consultations on November 9.Stanekzai had claimed that the US and Kabul administration have detained thousands of the Taliban in their ‘secret and open prisons and are ill treating them in violation of all the laws’.

Full report at:

https://dailytimes.com.pk/321565/pakistan-releases-two-more-afghan-taliban-leaders-to-facilitate-peace/

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Following Quran a prerequisite to set up an ideal, tolerant society: speakers

Nov 13, 2018

LAHORE: Following the teachings of Holy Quran is a prerequisite to achieve the objective of establishing an ideal, tolerant and peaceful society and countering the menaces of terrorism, extremism and sectarianism was the crux of two days of discussions held here at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and the University of Lahore (UoL).

The discussions titled “Paigham-e-Pakistan Narrative and the Establishment of an Ideal Society” were organised as part of a two-day “International Quran Conference”, attended by international scholars, including professor of Comparative Civilization, Department of Political Science and International Relations Istanbul Sehir University Dr Abdullah al-Ahsan; Dr Khairi Mahyuddin of Faculty of Leadership and Management, University Sains Islam Malaysia; reader in Islamic Studies, University of Glasgow Dr Lloyd Ridgeon; Dr Martin Mahmud Kellner of Institute for Islamic Theology, University Osnabruck Germany and UK Academy of Islamic Sciences principal and director of Wiselife Academy Manchester, UK Shaykh Ahmad Dabbagh.

Addressing the participants, the speakers said the Holy Quran as well as Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) have advocated the creation of a socially inclusive society that embodies a sense of inclusion, establishes a tradition of mutual respect, encourages diversity of perspectives and commends broadmindedness without any racial and religious prejudice.

“Extremism is not the message of Islam. Islam is the religion of peace and humanity. Collective efforts for dissemination of the true message of Islam are imperative and the Paigham-e-Pakistan narrative is a timely step to pursue this goal. The message should be spread across the globe. We must portray a soft and positive image of Islam and highlight Islam as a religion of peace, brotherhood, tolerance and accommodation,” they said.

The speakers especially highlighted the role of ulema, faculty members, civil society and youth to achieve the goal of successfully building a counter-narrative to violence, extremism and terrorism.

“It is the fundamental responsibility of Islamic scholars to protect the religion from corruption, defend it from aggression and protect its sanctity and purity,” they said.

“However, sustaining the positive image of Islam should not be seen as a responsibility of the clerics alone but a collective responsibility of all segments of a society,” they said and called for devising a comprehensive strategy against Islamophobia through close linkages between ulema and the educational institutions.

The speakers said the terrorists and extremists were trying to propagate their mindset among the youth through sectarianism, militancy, intolerance and division.

“Such an ideology can endanger the sovereignty and harmony of a society. There is no room for intolerance in a civilised society as it badly affects its social fabric. If we want to correct our direction for the future, it is necessary that the society is peaceful and stable because without it we cannot embark on this journey,” they said.

The speakers also lauded the efforts of Pakistan’s security intuitions and said that the armed forces and the intelligence agencies had taken concrete steps in eliminating safe heavens of terrorists from across the country.

Full report at:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/11/12/following-quran-a-prerequisite-to-set-up-an-ideal-tolerant-society-speakers/

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Europe

 

In Riyadh, British FM urges end to Yemen war, justice for Khashoggi

Nov 12, 2018

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called on Saudi Arabia to end its devastating war against Yemen while pressing for the kingdom’s cooperation with an investigation into the brutal killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Hunt held talks with Saudi King Salman in the capital Riyadh on Monday, discussing the "latest developments in the region" in a meeting also attended by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Britain's ambassadors to Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Hunt is also due to meet later with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a main proponent of the Saudi-led military aggression against Yemen.

The visit comes as the kingdom is already under fire over kicking off bloodshed in the impoverished country more than three years ago with a declared bid to remove the Houthi Ansarullah Movement from power and reinstate former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

"The human cost of war in Yemen is incalculable: with millions displaced, famine and disease rife and years of bloodshed, the only solution is now a political decision to set aside arms and pursue peace," Hunt said in a statement ahead of the trip.

"So today I am traveling to the [Persian] Gulf to demand that all sides commit to this process," he added.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A number of Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, stand accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.

Saudi Arabia is also facing global criticism and potential sanctions over Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on October 2.

Khashoggi, a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who wrote for the Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, had lived in self-imposed exile in the US since September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia over fears of the Riyadh regime’s crackdown on critical voices.

The 60-year-old was seeking to secure documentation for his forthcoming marriage when he entered the Saudi consulate, but never came out despite Riyadh’s initial claim that he exited the mission less than an hour after completing his paperwork.

The Saudi kingdom, after denying the murder for several days, finally admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in the consulate during an interrogation by rogue operatives that had gone wrong after diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on Riyadh to give an account on the mysterious fate of its national.

However, Saudi Arabia said that it did not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body, which is widely believed to have been dismembered.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the assassination was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.

Britain has called for a "credible" investigation into Khashoggi’s killing, urging Saudi authorities to do more to provide accountability for his family.

"The international community remains united in horror and outrage at the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi one month ago. It is clearly unacceptable that the full circumstances behind his murder still remain unclear," Hunt said before the Riyadh visit.

"We encourage the Saudi authorities to cooperate fully with the Turkish investigation into his death, so that we deliver justice for his family and the watching world," he added.

Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey had shared recordings related to the killing with Saudi officials as well as intelligence services from four Western countries, including Britain.

Canada PM 'fully briefed' on Khashoggi recordings

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that his country’s intelligence had listened to Turkish recordings of what had happened to the dissident Saudi journalist.

"Canada's intelligence agencies have been working very closely on this issue with Turkish intelligence and Canada has been fully briefed on what Turkey had to share and I had a conversation with Erdogan a couple of weeks ago and here in Paris we had brief exchanges and I thanked him for his strength in responding to the Khashoggi situation," Trudeau said at a news conference in Paris.

Trudeau stressed that Canadian agents had heard the Turkish recordings but he himself had not.

"We continue to be engaged with our allies on the investigation into accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and we are in discussions with our like-minded allies as to the next steps with regard Saudi Arabia," the Canadian premier added.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579828/Jeremy-Hunt-Riyadh-Saudi-King-Salman-Yemen-Khashoggi

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France denies receiving Khashoggi tapes from Turkey and accuses Erdogan of playing games

November 12, 2018

LONDON: France on Monday denied being in possession of recordings related to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and accused Turkey of playing political games with the case.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that France, Germany and Britain had been handed the tapes, but French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said this was not the case, as far as he knew.

“If the Turkish president has information to give to us, he must give it to us,” Le Drian told French TV. “That means he has a political game in this situation.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi national living in the United States, was killed in the Kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last month.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1403396/saudi-arabia

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Tehran had 'credible information' about Saudi plot to assassinate top Iranian officials: Zarif

Nov 12, 2018

Iran knew about Saudi Arabia’s plans to assassinate senior Iranian officials, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed.

"Tehran had credible information on this," Zarif said in an interview, which will be published in full on Tuesday.

His comments came after a Sunday report by The New York Times, revealing a March 2017 meeting in Riyadh to assassinate Iranian officials, namely Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani.

The meeting brought together businessmen that also “pitched a $2 billion plan to use private intelligence operatives to sabotage the Iranian economy,” read the Times report released.

As the meeting came at a time that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was consolidating his power in the kingdom, the report concluded that planning for assassinations, like that of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, started “since the beginning of Prince Mohammed’s ascent.”

Zarif further exemplified other atrocities by the Saudi government, including support for terrorism, attacking Yemen as well as blockading Qatar and kidnapping Lebanese Prime minister Saad Hariri.

"All the world has opened its eyes to what Riyadh is doing such as blockading Qatar, bombing Yemen, detaining the prime minister of Lebanon and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi," Zarif said.

This is while the US has emerged as a passionate supporter of the monarchy ever since President Donald Trump appeared in office.

Trump has also withdrawn Washington from the internationally backed nuclear deal with Tehran and re-imposed illegal sanctions on Tehran.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579858/Tehran-had-credible-information-Saudi-plot-to-assassinate-top-officials-Zarif

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Hunt to press Saudi rulers on Yemen war, Khashoggi murder in visit to Riyadh

Nov 12, 2018

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is due in Saudi Arabia later on Monday, will question the kingdom’s rulers about the continuation of a deadly war against the people of Yemen while urging them to come clean about the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Hunt would hold talks Saudi King Salman, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman once he touches down in Riyadh, a spokesman confirmed to British media.

Hunt said Sunday that he will try to stop the ongoing Saudi-led military aggression against Yemen during the trip, which also includes a stop in the United Arab Emirates, one of Riyadh’s key allies in the war.

Saudi Arabia kicked off the bloodshed in Yemen over three years ago with the declared goal of removing the Houthi Ansarullah Movement from power and reinstating former fugitive President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The war has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians while destroying the impoverished country’s critical infrastructure, putting millions on the verge of famine and exposing them to deadly cholera outbreaks that have already consumed over 2,000 lives.

Saudi atrocities in Yemen have even prompted the US and the UK, who both provided Saudis with weapons and intelligence during the war, to join an international campaign to end the war by demanding a UN-brokered armistice.

Ignoring the calls, however, Riyadh and its regional allies have stepped up their push to capture the strategic Yemeni port city of Hudaydah to get the upper hand in any future peace talks.

“The only solution is now a political decision to set aside arms and pursue peace. Britain has a unique position, both as pen-holder [lead state for drafting decisions] at the UN security council and as a key influencer in the region, so today I am traveling to the Gulf to demand that all sides commit to this process,” said Hunt.

“We are witnessing a man made humanitarian catastrophe on our watch: now is the window to make a difference, and to get behind both the UN peace process and current UK efforts in the security council,” he added.

While in the UAE, Hunt will continue the ongoing case of Matthew Hedges, a 31-year-old British student who was detained at Dubai Airport in May on charges of spying.

Pushing Saudi to come clean over Khashoggi's murder

Hunt's trip is the first by a UK minister since Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul over a month ago,

After Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh insisted for weeks the he had walked out of the consulate but later on it changed its account to say the journalist died in a brawl and was killed in a “rogue” operation.

Hunt said he will ask the Saudi intelligence community to step up cooperation with Turkish officials and help them get to the bottom of the issue.

"The international community remain united in horror and outrage at the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi one month ago. It is clearly unacceptable that the full circumstances behind his murder still remain unclear,” Hunt said ahead of the trip.

"We encourage the Saudi authorities to co-operate fully with the Turkish investigation into his death, so that we deliver justice for his family and the watching world."

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579789/UK-Jeremy-Hunt-Saudi-UAE-trip-Khashoggi-Yemen-war

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UK presses Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi murderers

13.11.2018

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON

British foreign made clear to Saudi Arabian officials that those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder must be held accountable, Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday.

May also reiterated the U.K.’s calls for a transparent investigation into the killing.

“As we seek to protect and advance our common security, it is vital that we and our partners in the international community demonstrate our common adherence to the rule of law,” May said in an address to the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet. “We have seen this most recently in the terrible murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

“And as the foreign secretary made clear again in his visit to Riyadh today, there must be a transparent and credible investigation and those responsible must be held to account.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday visited Saudi Arabia and met with King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

It is “unacceptable” the full circumstances behind Jamal Khashoggi's murder still remain unclear, Hunt said Sunday prior to his visit to Riyadh.

He urged Saudi officials to fully cooperate with Turkey to enlighten what happened to Khashoggi.

Hunt is the first U.K. minister to have visited Saudi Arabia since the murder of the Saudi journalist last month, a Foreign Office statement said.

Full report at:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/uk-presses-saudi-arabia-for-khashoggi-murderers/1309602

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French remarks on Khashoggi case 'unacceptable': Turkey

12.11.2018

A senior Turkish spokesman on Monday hit back against French remarks critical of the president’s handling of the Jamal Khashoggi case.

"If it wasn’t for Turkey's determined efforts on the Khashoggi killing, the case would already have been covered up,” Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish Presidency’s communications director, told French news agency AFP.

Altun called French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's statements criticizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the case of Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, “unacceptable.”

Contradicting Erdogan’s accounts, Le Drian said on Monday that France didn't have recordings related to the Khashoggi killing.

Le Drian claimed Erdogan was playing “a political game” over the case.

On Saturday, Erdogan said Ankara had shared recordings related to the Khashoggi killing with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K.

"Sharing evidence about the Khashoggi killing with many friendly nations obviously shows Turkey's intentions to bring the truth to light,” Altun told reporters.

“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed in a press release today that Turkey gave them the evidence."

Altun added that Turkey gave this evidence to French intelligence on Oct. 24, including transcripts of the recordings.

"If there is lack of communication between France's state institutions, they will be the one to solve this problem, not Turkey,” he added.

“Turkey continues to work on this case so that all the details will be revealed."

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Full report at:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/french-remarks-on-khashoggi-case-unacceptable-turkey/1309319

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Germany receives recordings on Khashoggi from Turkey

12.11.2018

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN

German government has confirmed intelligence sharing between Turkey and Germany about the recordings of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Asked about recent media reports over the weekend, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman confirmed that they have received information from Turkey.

“I can tell you that there has been an exchange of intelligence service information on that,” Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference, but declined to give any further details.

On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara shared the recordings related to the murder of Khashoggi with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted that Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate but claimed that the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.

Full report at:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/germany-receives-recordings-on-khashoggi-from-turkey/1309069

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North America

 

Pompeo tells bin Salman Khashoggi killers will be held accountable

Nov 12, 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that Washington will hold accountable all those involved in the killing of a dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The Secretary emphasized that the United States will hold all of those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable, and that Saudi Arabia must do the same,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Sunday. 

The top US diplomat has previously said Khashoggi’s murder “violates the norms of international law,” and that the US was reviewing possible sanctions on individuals identified as having been involved.

Khashoggi, who was a US resident since 2017 and a columnist for The Washington Post, was critical of Prince Mohammed and the country’s devastating war in Yemen, a conflict which also came up during Pompeo’s call, Nauert said.

Pompeo “reiterated the United States’ calls for a cessation of hostilities and for all parties to come to the table to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict,” she said.

The killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and the Saudi war against Yemen, which has pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine, are two of the main sources of strain in the decades-old alliance between Washington and Riyadh.

Bin Salman, also known as MBS, has played a direct role in overseeing the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Yemen and has also been accused of orchestrating the murder of Khashoggi on October 2.

But Pompeo and US President Donald Trump have both emphasized America’s important commercial, strategic and national security relationships with the world's largest oil exporter and second largest arms importer.

Ankara increased pressure on Riyadh on Saturday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country had shared recordings related to Khashoggi’s killing with Riyadh, Washington and other capitals, adding that the operation had been ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

Turkey has been demanding, to date without success, the extradition of those involved in the killing.

Trump and Erdogan discussed how to respond to the killing, a White House official said on Sunday. The conversation took place on the sidelines of ceremonies in Paris marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War l.

After initially denying the murder, Saudi Arabia finally admitted the 59-year-old journalist had been murdered at its diplomatic mission in what it termed a “rogue” operation.

Pompeo’s latest remarks come just days after the announcement of the end of a controversial refueling arrangement between the US and the Saudi-led coalition carrying out strikes in Yemen.

The Pentagon had provided refueling capabilities for about 20 percent of coalition planes flying sorties over Yemen,

The end of the arrangement comes amid ongoing international outcry over Saudi actions in Yemen, particularly after a string of Saudi-led strikes that have killed scores of civilians, many of them children.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579817/US-Secretary-of-State-Mike-Pompeo-Saudi-Jamal-Khashoggi

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Trump expresses concern over Saudi oil output decrease

Nov 13, 2018

US President Donald Trump has expressed concern over the Saudi decision to decrease its oil output in December, requesting oil prices to remain low.

"Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!" tweeted Trump on Monday.

The president made the comment a day after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih announced the oil-rich kingdom's decision to reduce exports by about 500000 barrels a day next month. The minister further suggested that members of OPEC may also reduce supply next year "to balance the market".

"The consensus among all members is that we need to do whatever it takes to balance the market," said Al Falih, adding that "if that means trimming supply by a million [barrels per day], we will do it."

Russia, the world's second top oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, welcomed the decision. Russian oil minister Alexander Novak expressed his country's willingness to reduce sales if the matter was decided by a coalition of oil-producers.

The announced reduction, however, imperils Trump administration's domestic and international policies. Facing newly empowered Democrats after the midterm elections, Trump further seeks to ensure low oil prices in order to push for added economic growth. Moreover, having granted oil waivers to many of Iran's top buyers, a reduced Saudi oil output may also further weaken newly imposed oil sanctions, increasing oil prices and making up for Iran's decreased oil sales.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/13/579868/Trump-expresses-concern-over-decreased-Saudi-oil-output

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Trump will exonerate Saudis for their atrocities over financial interests: Expert

Nov 12, 2018

Donald Trump’s financial interests with Saudi Arabia will compel the US president to exonerate Riyadh for its atrocities in Yemen and the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an investigative journalist in Washington says.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that Washington will hold accountable all those involved in the killing of Khashoggi.

“The secretary emphasized that the United States will hold all of those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable, and that Saudi Arabia must do the same,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Sunday. 

Despite the remarks, Pompeo and Trump have both emphasized America’s important commercial, strategic and national security relationships with the world's largest oil exporter and second largest arms importer.

“No one should really believe Secretary of State Pompeo when he says he’s going to hold the Saudis accountable,” said Wayne Madsen, an author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.

“We know Donald Trump has financial relations with the Saudis,” Madsen said during a phone interview with Press TV on Monday.

“The problem is that Saudis have a huge lobbying operation in Washington; they have senators and members of the House in their pockets, as well as people in the [Trump] administration,” he added.

The killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and the Saudi war against Yemen, which has pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine, are two of the main sources of strain in the decades-old alliance between Washington and Riyadh.

Bin Salman, also known as MBS, has played a direct role in overseeing the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Yemen and has also been accused of orchestrating the murder of Khashoggi on October 2.

Riyadh is under immense international pressure to explain why Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate. The regime first denied that it had anything to do with the journalist’s disappearance but eventually admitted his murder and promised to punish the perpetrators.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579852/US-Saudi-Trump-Pompeo-Wayne-Madsen

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Trudeau: Turkey shared Khashoggi recordings with Canada

12.11.2018

By Omer Aydin

Canada is among the countries Turkey has shared recordings with about last month’s killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Canadian premier said Monday.

“Canada’s intelligence agencies have been working very closely on this issue with Turkish intelligence and Canada has been fully briefed on what Turkey had to share,” Justin Trudeau told reporters at Canada’s Embassy in Paris, where Trudeau attended weekend Armistice Day ceremonies.

Trudeau said he had not personally listened to the recordings but Canada’s intelligence services had.

On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had shared recordings about the Oct. 2 Khashoggi killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, France, and the U.K.

Trudeau added that he had discussed the slain journalist's case with Erdogan in a recent phone call, as well as in a ceremony on Sunday marking the centenary of the end of World War I.

In that Oct. 26 phone call, both leaders agreed “all aspects of the murder” must be made public so that the killers can be held accountable, according to Turkish presidential sources.

Trudeau also told reporters that he had thanked Erdogan for his “strength in responding” to the case.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Once inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office.

Full report at:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/trudeau-turkey-shared-khashoggi-recordings-with-canada/1309244

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Mideast

 

Hamas threatens to target ‘millions’ of Israelis as its TV station HQ in Gaza destroyed

Nov 13, 2018

The headquarters of Al-Aqsa TV station run by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas was razed to the ground on Monday in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza amid a fresh round of violence in the besieged enclave, which the world blames on the Israeli forces.

The building of Al-Aqsa TV station located in an-Nasr district, west of Gaza, was totally destroyed by the Israeli raids, footage of the attack shows.

Many local residents had reportedly fled after calls to evacuate, witnesses said. The TV station said it would resume broadcasts soon.

The raid was part of the fresh airstrikes and rocket attacks by Israeli warplanes and artillery which are targeting areas “throughout” the Gaza Strip and have so far killed several people, including a Hamas commander.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health puts the number at 10, within around 24 hours, according to media reports.

In retaliation, the Palestinian resistance has so far fired over 400 rockets, mortar bombs, and at least one anti-tank missile from Gaza into the occupied territories, including military positions, Israeli and Palestinian media reported.

A spokesman of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said the Joint Operations room for Palestinian Resistance has vowed to expand the range of military strikes deeper into the occupied territories.

Ashkelon is just the beginning as a million Zionist colonists may enter the range of our rockets, Abu Obaydah said in his tweet.

The Qassam Brigades also said two Israelis were killed and 19 others were wounded in its counter-attacks against Ashkelon early Tuesday.

In one of the rocket attacks, an Israeli bus in the northeast of Gaza was directly hit and exploded by a Kornet ATGM.

The Israeli military claimed in a statement that the aerial aggression was in response to the rockets and mortar shells fired against the southern parts of the occupied territories, wounding over 40 Israeli settlers, one in critical condition.

However, the international community blames the Israeli regime for the renewed violence in the impoverished enclave.

Israel epitome of state terror in region: Iran

In a statement on Monday night, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the Israeli attacks, saying such crimes prove that the Israeli regime is the embodiment of state terrorism in the Middle East.

The usurper regime of Israel is going ahead with its crimes and aggression against the Palestinian nation with the support and encouragement of the US government amid the silence of certain regional countries, he added.

Qassemi also called on international bodies to immediately intervene and stop the Israeli regime’s war machine.

Russia, Jordan and an Egyptian delegation all declared Monday that Israel is responsible for the violence in Gaza.

The Russian condemnation came after an Egyptian delegation to Gaza, set up with the purpose of creating a ceasefire, placed the blame on Israel for starting the violence.

The European Union and the United Nations also urged the immediate end of rising tensions surrounding the Gaza Strip.

In a written statement, Maja Kocijancic, the spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, said that "the escalation of violence in and around Gaza during the last hours is very alarming".

"The EU urges both parties to step back from the brink and avoid any further actions that would contribute to the escalation, put civilians’ lives at risk, and jeopardize recent efforts towards reducing tensions," she said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the situation in Gaza "an extremely worrying situation," stating that "the suffering of the people of Gaza is unimaginable". The UN chief said that the tensions in Gaza should be defused as soon as possible, warning that otherwise it could turn into a "massive tragedy".

"He (Guterres) urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint. The United Nations Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, is working closely with Egypt and all concerned parties to restore calm," Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for Guterres, said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency security meeting with his minister of military forces and other senior Israeli military officials in Tel Aviv on Monday, a day after the Israeli raid on Gaza ignited new tensions in the region.

The flare-up came just a day after Israeli special forces infiltrated the Gaza Strip, assassinating a top Hamas commander, while subsequent Israeli airstrikes killed six others, including another commander with the Palestinian resistance movement. Reports also said that an Israeli officer was also killed during the ensuing clashes.

Tensions have been running high near the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” The Palestinian protesters have been demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland by Israeli wars and other acts of aggression since 1948.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/13/579863/Gaza-Hamas-station-Israel-airstrike

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Israeli warplanes strike Gaza in most intense exchange of fire since 2014 war

13 November 2018

Smoke was seen billowing in the distance after an Israeli strike on a Hamas camp in Beit Hanoun early on Tuesday.

Palestinians bombarded Israel with dozens of rockets and mortar shells on Monday, while Israeli warplanes struck targets throughout the Gaza Strip in what appeared to be the most intense exchange of fire since a 2014 war.

One man was pulled dead from the ruins of a building in southern Israel hit by one of dozens of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, an emergency service said Tuesday.

It was the first confirmed death caused by the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza since Monday afternoon in a flare-up following a deadly Israeli special forces operation in the enclave.

A woman also recovered from the building in Ashkelon was in a critical state, said the emergency services organization United Hatzalah. The man killed was around 40 years old, according to media reports.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged all sides to exercise maximum restraint.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/11/13/Israeli-warplanes-strike-Gaza-in-most-intense-exchange-of-fire-since-2014-war.html

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Deaths reported as Israeli air strikes target Gaza after rocket fire

12 November 2018

At least three Palestinians were killed and five others wounded as Israeli warplanes struck targets across Gaza on Monday, the strip's health ministry said in a statement

Israel’s military said it was carrying out air strikes “throughout the Gaza Strip” on Monday after a barrage of rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave towards its territory.  

Hamas TV station bombed

Israeli warplanes bombed the studios of Hamas’s television station in the Gaza Strip on Monday during a surge in cross-border fighting, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.

There was no immediate word of casualties in the air strike on Al-Aqsa Television, which destroyed the premises in Gaza City and damaged nearby buildings.

Many local residents had fled after Israel phoned in calls to evacuate and launched at least five non-exploding missiles nearby as warnings, witnesses said.

Al-Aqsa Television - named after a major mosque Jerusalem - said it would resume broadcasts soon.

Israel reported some 80 “launches” from the Gaza Strip towards its territory -- reportedly rockets and mortars -- with a number intercepted by missile defenses.

It also said an Israeli bus was hit by fire from the Gaza Strip. It was not clear yet if there were injuries.

The flare-up follows a clash that erupted during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza Strip late Sunday that killed eight people. Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, had vowed revenge.

The renewed violence was threatening to derail weeks of efforts to end unrest along the Gaza-Israel border.

“What is happening puts into the jeopardy the Egyptian efforts to help with calm between both sides, whether Hamas’ attack today was intentional in order to escalate the situation,” Dr. Ghassan al-Khatib, a professor at Birzeit University, told Al Arabiya.

The dead from the incident late Sunday included an Israeli army officer and a local commander for Hamas’s armed wing. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a trip to Paris and rushed home as tensions rose.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008 and recent unrest has raised fears of a fourth.

Egypt tells Israel it needs to de-escalate Gaza violence

Egypt told Israel on Monday it needed to stop an escalation of violence in the Gaza strip, state TV quoted sources as saying.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/11/12/Israeli-air-strikes-target-Gaza-strip-after-rocket-fire.html

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Gaza mortar fire destroys Israeli bus, wounds at least one

12 November 2018

A number of rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on Monday, AFP journalists said, while Israel's army said an Israeli bus was hit by fire from the Palestinian enclave.

It was not clear if there were any injuries. Palestinian security sources also reported that a Hamas observation point was hit by tank fire in the Gaza Strip.

The flare-up follows a clash that erupted during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza Strip late Sunday that killed eight people. Hamas had vowed revenge.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/11/12/Several-rockets-fired-from-Gaza-Strip-toward-Israel.html

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Hodeidah battles intensify as more Houthi commanders defect from militias

12 November 2018

The fighting in the Yemeni city of Hodeidah intensified as the battles between the national army, aided by the Arab Coalition, and the Houthi militias increased as more Houthi leaders continue to defect from the militias.

Military officials said Coalition warplanes and Apache attack helicopters targeted neighborhoods where Houthis are positioned, adding that violent clashes erupted around a university south of the city, near Al-Thawra Hospital and May 22 Hospital.

Meanwhile, several top Houthi commanders have been defecting following the severe losses that the militias are suffering. There are expectations that more figures will defect as the Houthis suffer more losses and as the grip is tightened around their major strongholds in Saada and in their last naval port in Hodeidah.

According to sources close to the Houthi commanders, the latter are under pressure due to all the defections in their ranks. The sources said that despite the restrictions and despite imposing what resembles house arrest on figures loyal to the Houthis, many were still defecting “to jump off the ship that’s about to sink.”

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/11/12/Hodeidah-battles-intensify-as-more-Houthi-commanders-defect-from-militias.html

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Observers predict further Houthi losses as more ministers defect from Sanaa

12 November 2018

The number of defected figures in the Houthi coup government in Sanaa, is on the rise and from senior leaders amid expectations of more of them to take this step, coinciding with the huge military loses among the pro-Iranian militias fighting the Yemeni national army backed by the Arab coalition.

The Houthi militias’ senior leaders are living in a state of pressure and fear, according to close sources observing the situation, due to the defections, despite the stifling control of what some describe as kind of “house arrest” on pro-leaders, but that did not succeed in stopping a number of figures to defect and break away.

The sources expected that the imposition of house arrest on the remaining officials in the areas of control of the Houthis will become public and more stringent procedures, after the departure of many officials, the latest split of the Minister of Information in their unrecognized government, Abdulsalam Jaber, a few days after the resignation of the Minister of Tourism, Nasser Bazqzouz, and the split of Deputy Minister of Education, Abdullah al-Hamdi, in addition to unconfirmed reports of the escape of Foreign Minister, Hisham Sharaf.

Many officials who were part of the Houthi coup and who turned against their ally Ali Abdullah Saleh, and killed him at his home in Sanaa, saw this as an indication that there was no room for partnership with sectarian militias that would destroy all its allies.

For their part, officials in the Yemeni legitimate government are expecting further splits in the Houthi leadership in the coming days.

Observers agree that an increase in splits from the Houthi leadership is expected, stressing that the legitimate government should exploit the military progress and field victories to connect with the civil, tribal and military leaders, who are still in the ranks of the militias to ensure they get out of their grip.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/11/12/Observers-predict-further-Houthi-losses-as-more-ministers-defect-from-Sanaa.html

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Ankara rejects French accusation of Khashoggi game-playing as ‘impudent’

Nov 12, 2018

The Turkish government has rejected as “very impudent” France's accusation that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is playing a “political game” over the brutal killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s diplomatic mission in Istanbul, raising speculations that France is trying to cover up the crime despite global resolve to hold perpetrators of the act to account.

Turkey’s reaction came on Monday after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian questioned Erdogan’s remarks at the weekend that Ankara had given tapes pertaining to Khashoggi's murder to Saudi Arabia as well as four Western countries – the United States, Germany, Britain and France.

Le Drian said France was not to his knowledge in possession of the recordings and accused Erdogan of lying and not cooperating in the investigation process.

“If the Turkish president has information to give to us, he must give it to us,” Le Drian told France 2 television. “That means he has a political game to play in these circumstances.”

Le Drian's comments were met with a furious response from Ankara which insisted that it had shared evidence related to Khashoggi’s case with Paris and rejected the French foreign minister’s remarks as unacceptable.

"Our intelligence shared information with them on October 24, including the voice recordings," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. "It is very impudent for them to accuse our president of playing political games."

"I wouldn't be surprised if soon France chooses to deny this murder, even though Saudi Arabia already confessed," Cavusoglu added. "What's behind the remarks of the French foreign minister? I wonder if they are trying to cover up the murder."

The dispute comes as British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia and called for the kingdom’s cooperation with a “credible” investigation into the killing of the dissident journalist.

Saudi Arabia is facing global criticism and potential sanctions over Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on October 2.

Khashoggi, a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who wrote for the Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, had lived in self-imposed exile in the US since September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia over fears of the Riyadh regime’s crackdown on critical voices.

The 60-year-old was seeking to secure documentation for his forthcoming marriage when he entered the Saudi consulate, but never came out despite Riyadh’s initial claim that he exited the mission less than an hour after completing his paperwork.

The Saudi kingdom, after denying the murder for several days, finally admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in the consulate during an interrogation by rogue operatives that had gone wrong after diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on Riyadh to give an account on the mysterious fate of its national.

However, Saudi Arabia said that it did not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body, which is widely believed to have been dismembered.

The Turkish president says the assassination was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.

Turkish media have pointed the finger at the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with analysts saying the Turkish government is keen to have the ambitious heir sidelined from the nexus of power in the Arab kingdom.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579847/Mevlut-Cavusoglu-French-accusation-Jamal-Khashoggi-political-game

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Yemeni forces intercept, shoot down Saudi-led bloc reconnaissance drone in Jizan

Nov 12, 2018

Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle, belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition, as it was flying in the skies over a mountainous region in the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Jizan.

An unnamed Yemeni military source said Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down the drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission over the mountainous Jabal al-Doud district in Jizan, situated 966 kilometers south of the capital Riyadh, on Monday evening, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.

Earlier in the day, Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees fired a domestically-developed Zelzal-1 (Earthquake-1) ballistic missile at a position of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the country’s northwestern province of Hajjah.

The missile slammed into an area in the Hayran district, leaving scores of Saudi mercenaries dead and injured.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579845/Yemeni-forces-intercept-shoot-down-Saudiled-reconnaissance-drone-in-Jizan

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World responsible for ending human catastrophe in Yemen: Iran

Nov 12, 2018

Iran has expressed deep concern over the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, saying all nations in the world are responsible for putting an end to the ongoing human catastrophe in the impoverished country.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is deeply concerned about the terrible humanitarian situation in Yemen and the developments in the port city of Hudaydah during the recent days," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.

Iran believes that the "disregard of aggressors for the warnings and concerns of the international community" has led to "such a dire and inhumane situation" in Yemen, the Iranian spokesman added.

He expressed the Islamic Republic's readiness to cooperate with the international community to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen and said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly believes that efforts to put an end to the humanitarian catastrophe in the country are a historical responsibility for the world."

Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, on Friday launched a “vast offensive” to take full control of the strategic western port city of Hudaydah as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its atrocious bombardment campaign against its southern neighbor.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have deployed about 10,000 new troops to Hudaydah after repeated campaigns to seize the coast were thwarted by Houthis and their allies in the Yemeni army.

After 11 days of clashes, Saudi-backed militants say they have now reached residential neighborhoods in Hudaydah's east, sparking fears of street fights that would further endanger civilians trapped in the city.

Medics and military sources were quoted as saying Monday that nearly 150 people had been killed in 24 hours of clashes, including several civilians.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson further said since the beginning of the crisis in Yemen, Iran has always called for an end to the suffering of civilians and urged the international community to pay heed to "bitter realities" in the war-ravaged country.

Qassemi said given the ongoing circumstances in Yemen, all countries, the international community as well as global organizations and institutions have moral responsibility in addition to their political and legal responsibilities to show their firm determination and carry out practical measures to end the aggression in the country.

He added that the Saudi-led coalition has always created obstacles in efforts by the international community to help intra-Yemeni negotiations.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A number of Western countries, the US and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance. A top UN official said earlier this month that Yemen has turned into a "living hell" for all children with thousands dying every year from malnutrition and easily preventable diseases.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/12/579839/Qassemi-Yemen-Hudaydah-Iran

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Africa

 

Libya’s Haftar Arrives in Palermo for Conference to Kick-start Political Process

13 November 2018

Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar arrived late on Monday in Palermo to attend an Italy-brokered conference, the latest bid by major powers to kickstart a long-stalled political process and stage elections in Libya.

Haftar was received by the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the guest reception podium.

Haftar had announced on Sunday he would not join the Palermo Conference, citing presence of Qatar and Al-Qaeda-linked groups.

Following the reception, Haftar refused to enter for a dinner hosted by the PM for all the guest delegations, according to Libyan media.

Libya fell into chaos following the NATO-backed 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

Two rival administrations have since emerged- the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and an eastern administration backed by Haftar.

They agreed in May to hold national elections on December 10.

But acknowledging the country’s chaotic political situation, the UN on Thursday conceded elections will not be viable before at least the spring of 2019.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/north-africa/2018/11/13/Libya-s-Haftar-arrives-in-Palermo-for-conference-to-kickstart-political-process.html

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UN envoy wants Libya election by June after Libyans decide format

12 November 2018

The UN envoy for Libya hopes another attempt to hold an election will take place by June after he scrapped a December plan, but said Libyans should first use a national conference in early 2019 to decide on the poll’s format.

UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salame decided to abandon a plan to hold elections on Dec. 10 after a spike in violence in Libya, which has been gripped by conflict and paralysed by political deadlock since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Salame was speaking to Reuters before the start of a conference in Palermo organised by Rome with the aim of pushing forward a new UN plan. Salame said last week this plan would include an election in the spring, without elaborating.

At Monday’s interview, the envoy said this meant the vote would be held between late March and late June, but that the format of the poll would depend on what was decided at the national conference scheduled for early 2019.

“We want to ask at the national conference what type of election do you want, parliamentary or presidential, and what kind of law,” Salame said.

The envoy said the national conference should “preferably” take place on Libyan soil. He said surveys had shown that 80 percent of Libyans want elections to end the stalemate between Libya’s rival administrations, both of which are backed by armed groups.

Salame said he hoped the Palermo conference would put pressure on Libya’s internationally recognised parliament, the House of Representatives (HOR), which has refused to approve an election law.

“The HOR has been sterile, has produced no law ... I think we need wider representation of the Libyans,” he said.

Salame also called on the central bank to unify the exchange rate of the dinar to the dollar to prevent armed groups with access to cheap dollars from selling them on the black market at a premium.

Libya had introduced a fee on hard currency transactions which had helped to lower the spread between official and black market rate but a unified rate was needed.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/north-africa/2018/11/12/UN-envoy-wants-Libya-election-by-June-after-Libyans-decide-format.html

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Libya admits to receiving interest payments of UN-frozen funds in Belgium

12 November 2018

The Libyan Investment Authority said on Sunday that it has received the interest payments on the Libyan funds frozen in Belgian banks until the end of October 2017, but said it did not know who benefitted from this money, hinting that the money was either misused in Libya or embezzled.

The authority’s statement came in response to Belgium’s acknowledgment that Euroclear Bank in Brussels transferred the interests of Libyan funds that are frozen in four Belgian banks to bank accounts in Luxembourg, Bahrain and Britain.

According to the authority, the accounts that received the funds are “special authority accounts abroad.” It added that withdrawing the interests was based “on the sanctions system imposed by the UN Security Council at the beginning of 2011 and which some countries, including Belgium, interpreted as lifting off the freeze over interests and dividends of the frozen funds.”

The authority however did not provide any information about where these funds ended up and said it will launch an investigation to know the fate of the funds which were transferred to its accounts in Euroclear Bank, noting that these funds were transferred during a former administration’s term. It added that it will submit a report on the matter to the UN and relevant authorities.

The authority’s statement contradicts a previous statement it published earlier this month as it had said that reports about withdrawing the interests of UN-frozen Libyan funds were “mere allegations” and there was “no evidence at all stipulating that the funds were used to fund armed groups.”

Political divisions in Libya have negatively impacted the Libyan Investment Authority which manages billions of dollars abroad. Since 2011, the authority has had four presidents and armed groups in control of Tripoli who interfered in the authority’s work and imposed its presidents by force, a UN report on Libya said in September.

Member of Parliament Ali Al-Tikbali told Al Arabiya English that the authority’s lack of administrative stability and the interference of armed groups in its work make it easy to reach the authority’s accounts and benefit from them, especially amid the absence of an oversight mechanism.

The authority’s “late” statement acknowledging that money was transferred to its accounts in Luxembourg, Britain and Bahrain was not convincing as many Libyan officials, such as the head of the Dialogue Committee of the House of Representatives Abdel Salam Nasiya, demanded an investigation to know who benefitted from the money.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/north-africa/2018/11/12/Libya-makes-suspicious-confession-to-receiving-interests-of-UN-frozen-funds.html

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Car bombing kills 3 civilians in Mali

Nov 13, 2018

A car bomb attack has killed at least three Malian civilians and wounded two others in northern Mali, the country’s security ministry says.

“A loaded 4x4 vehicle exploded in the vicinity of a residential complex” in the city of Gao at around 8:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Monday, the ministry said in a statement.

The blast also damaged surrounding houses.

A Western diplomatic source separately told AFP that four foreigners working for a United Nations (UN)-contracted mine-clearing operation had been injured in the attack.

“Two Cambodians, a South African, and a Zimbabwean working for an organization subcontracted by UNMAS (the UN’s mine-clearing operation) were wounded on Monday in a terrorist attack in Gao,” the source said.

The attack was claimed by a group allied with al-Qaeda.

Mali has been in turmoil since Tuareg rebels and loosely-allied militants — some of them with links to al-Qaeda — took over the desert north in 2012. French forces intervened the following year to allegedly fight back the militants.

But the militants have since regrouped and now regularly launch attacks on civilians, government soldiers, and international missions.

Mali’s security ministry said Malian and international forces had been mobilized in the wake of the Monday attack.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/13/579874/Mali-car-bombing-civilians-UN-contractors

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Hundreds flee after Boko Haram raid in northeast Nigeria

Nov 11, 2018

Hundreds of villagers fled their homes in Nigeria's northeast late on Saturday after an attack by militants from the Boko Haram group, militia officials and witnesses said.

No casualties were reported but the raid highlighted fragile security in Nigeria's northeast, where the army is still battling to end a conflict that erupted in 2009.

Militants arrived in trucks in Jimmi, 5 km (3 miles) from Maiduguri city, and opened fire, setting homes ablaze and also attacking an informal refugee camp.

"Boko Haram terrorists this evening attacked Jimmi village," militia leader in Maiduguri Musa Ari said. “They burnt homes in Jimmi and tents in the camp."

Military authorities scrambled reinforcements and fighter jets to repel the attack, said militia leader Ibrahim Liman.

Panicked villagers from the area fled to nearby Maiduguri, capital of Borno state which along with neighboring Yobe state has been at the center of the militant insurgency.

"We left our village to escape Boko Haram who attacked our neighbors in Jimmi," said Bale-Shuwa village resident Suleiman Balarabe.

He said villagers saw military jets flying overhead towards Jimmi.

"The sounds of guns coming from Jimmi terrified us and made us leave our homes because we were afraid they were going to attack our neighborhood," said Sanda Gini, a resident of Jiddari-Polo area on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

In April, scores of Boko Haram fighters launched a gun attack on Jiddari-Polo when they advanced on Giwa barracks where hundreds of their militant comrades are being detained.

Insurgents fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at troops before they were repelled with aerial support.

Despite government insistence Boko Haram militants are near defeat, in recent months the militant group has carried out major attacks on military targets, killing dozens.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/11/579741/Nigeria-Boko-Haram-militants-villages-army-security

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Nigeria appoints new commander against Boko Haram

2018-11-12

The Nigerian Army has appointed a new commander to lead the fight against Boko Haram jihadists in the country's restive northeast, where attacks on military targets have spiked in recent months.

Major General Benson Akinroluyo has replaced Major General Abba Dikko as head of Operation Lafiya Dole, according to an army statement released at the weekend.

Akinroluyo becomes the fifth commander in two years to head the fight against the Islamist insurgents, who have staged a series of attacks on military bases, killing dozens.

Dikko was only appointed in July. Since then there have been at least nine attacks on military bases, most of them in the northern part of Borno state near the shores of Lake Chad.

Most have been blamed on or claimed by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), an ISIS-backed faction of Boko Haram whose recent activities have prompted speculation the group has been taken over by hardliners.

The conflict has claimed more than 27 000 lives since 2009 and nearly two million people still cannot return to their homes in the Lake Chad region.

Despite government insistence that Boko Haram is near defeat, northeastern Nigeria is still hit by regular attacks.

Full report at:

https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/nigeria-appoints-new-commander-against-boko-haram-20181112

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TOTAL COMMENTS:-   3


  • Hats Off probably thinks he made a clever comment! I do not think anyone else would want to make such a dumb comment.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/13/2018 11:26:51 PM



  • "Entire village of 250 people converts to Islam in Philippines"

    let us see if an entire indonesian village can convert to hinduism.

    By hats off! - 11/13/2018 5:56:54 PM



  • Islam is what the Quran and RasoolALLAHﷺ say.  Islam is not what the Muslims do. Please change your name to New Age Muslims.
    By Kaleemulla Mohamedali - 11/13/2018 9:51:07 AM



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