Pak military chief orders probe into killings by army
Afghan governor among 20 dead in mosque blast
Drone attack kills 10 in North Waziristan
Malik says shrine attack linked to S. Waziristan
Dargah blast planned in Guj ashram, confirm witnesses
Gunmen in Pakistan torch 30 NATO fuel tankers
ISI elements still helping Afghan Taliban, admits US
Grand mufti's warning: Don't look at pornography!
Four Italian Nato troops killed in western Afghanistan
Pakistan 'to reopen key Nato Afghanistan supply route'
Pak Army chief orders probe into abuse footage
Sharia law being used in Germany in Muslims' domestic disputes
Madinah readying for Haj
Kosovo Muslims protest headscarf ban
Indonesian Playboy editor arrested to serve sentence
Islam World Children's paintings booked
Al-Qaeda's new strategy: Less apocalypse, more street fighting
CBI court denies bail to Amit Shah
Sohrabuddin case: NK Amin hearing on Oct 12
LHC orders AQ Khan not to speak on nuclear programme
In 5 yrs, all-weather road from Jammu to Valley
In Omar wake, Mirwaiz pushes self-determination
Two paths to justice in Ayodhya
3 Ayodhya Litigants Meet, Say They Have Formula
Probe finds Afghan pvt security’s Taliban links
Muslim leagues will be unified soon: Sheikh Rashid
Turkey’s EU membership bid on track
UAE, BlackBerry resolve dispute, averting ban
Threat to blow up JN Stadium, BSE keeps cops busy
Supporters of radical Shia cleric rally in Iraq
Palestinian boys hit by settler's car in Jerusalem
BJP wants Omar remarks expunged
Israel kills two Hamas men
Arabs give US one month to revive peace talks
Niger faces big challenge in tackling Al Qaeda
Border to re-open ‘shortly’: NATO Chief
Iraqis on edge as rocket attacks intensify
‘Iran shows greater readiness to talk’
Compile by New Age Islam News Bureau
Accept Ayodhya verdict, top cleric Madni tells Muslims
Zia Haq and M Hasan , Hindustan Times
October 09, 2010
A section of influential Muslim leaders have decided to try and cajole their co-religionists to accept the Ayodhya verdict, a move aimed at not just ending the conflict but also enabling the community to occupy the moral high ground in the dispute. Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind leader Mahmood Madni, former Delhi Commission for Minorities chief Kamal Farooqui and naib (deputy) imam of Lucknow Khalid Rashid Firangimahali — all members of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board — want Muslims to consider accepting the verdict alongside that of appealing it in the Supreme Court, sources familiar with the developments said.
Muslims are unhappy with the September 30 judgment of the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench, which ruled dividing the disputed area into three parts with one part going to the Sunni Central Wakf Board and two to the Hindus, ensuring, however, that the Ram Lalla deity remains at the spot where it is currently installed.
A politically savvy section of the Muslim leadership thinks that by honouring the verdict, Muslims will be sending a positive signal. They believe if Hindu organisations turn down the gesture by claiming the entire site in their appeal before Supreme Court, the onus of upsetting the chance for peace would lie with those organisations.
This section, however, does not want Muslims to relinquish their claims to a third of the land. They want to build a mosque alongside a temple. Madni, Farooqui and Firangimahali met in the Capital on Friday. S.Q.R. Illyas, convenor of the law board’s Babri Committee, also attended.
The truce proposal could come up at a meeting of the law board’s legal committee scheduled for Saturday. It is likely to be placed before the law board’s working committee when it meets on October 16.
“The idea that Muslims should accept the verdict in the larger interests of both the community and country has been brewing for a while. It is worth considering,” Farooqui said.
Madni said if both Muslims and Hindus built their places of worship at the site, it would be “good for the country”. He, however, added that these were his views and the working committee of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind would take the final call.
Farooqui hit out at both the Sangh Parivar as well as Jama Masjid Delhi imam, Ahmed Bukhari, for being belligerent. “People like them are trying to stir religious passions among the youth, who want to move on.”
By ZEESHAN HAIDER
Oct 9, 2010
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani ordered on Friday an investigation into a video posted on the Internet showing men in Pakistani military fatigues shooting at a group of what the military said were civilians.
The video raised fresh questions about alleged extra-judicial killings by the army, while Pakistan faces mounting US pressure to crack down harder on militants launching attacks on Western forces in Afghanistan from Pakistani sanctuaries. The US officials said last week they had asked Pakistan for information about the Internet video purporting to show Pakistani troops lined up in a firing squad shooting bound and blindfolded men in traditional Pakistani clothing.
Human Rights Watch this year briefed the US State Department and congressional officials about evidence of more than 200 summary executions of suspected Taleban sympathizers by Pakistani soldiers in Swat, a former Taleban stronghold.
Pakistan denied the allegations.
Tom Malinowski, Washington director for Human Rights Watch, told Reuters last week although the video’s authenticity remained a subject of debate, the occurrence of such abuses was not.
The military said Kayani vowed to take action if the perpetrators were found to be soldiers, and has set up a board of inquiry to establish the identity of “uniformed personnel.”
“It is not expected of a professional army to engage in excesses against the people whom it is trying to guard against the scourge of terrorism,” the military quoted Kayani as saying in a statement.
“(It is) unacceptable under any circumstances.” However, Kayani cautioned against “reaching hasty conclusion” as previously militants had disguised themselves as soldiers during a number of attacks including one on military headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi last year.
If the blurry, amateurish video is found to be genuine, it is likely to raise troubling questions for Washington about its support for an army which is vital for efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
US law forbids funding foreign military units singled out for human rights violations.
The video has been on YouTube since late last month and has been circulated on blogs related to Pakistan, Afghanistan and the region, as well as on a Facebook page for a group called Pashtuns’ International Association.
There is no clear indication in the video where the events occurred but it is labeled “Swat,” a valley northwest of the capital, Islamabad, where many ethnic Pashtun people live.
The military drove most Pakistani Taleban militants from the valley after a couple of years of intermittent fighting.
Saturday, 09 Oct, 2010
KUNDUZ, Oct 8: A bomb tore through an Afghan mosque killing an outspoken governor and 19 other people on Friday in the latest attack reflecting growing violence in the north of the country.
Mohammad Omar, who was governor of Kunduz, one of the regions of northern Afghanistan most troubled by Taliban militants, was killed by a bomb in the town of Taluqan in his home province of Takhar.
“We have 20 people martyred and 15 others injured. The dead include the governor,” interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said, updating an initial death toll of 15 given by police.
Authorities were investigating whether the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber or was a planted device, the spokesman said.
Although there was no claim of responsibility, suspicion fell on groups fighting the Western-backed Afghan government for the last nine years.
The Kunduz governor had repeatedly warned that the Taliban and Al Qaeda were expanding in Kunduz and had called for security reinforcements.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, saying that killing a man such as Omar in a mosque and other Muslims at worship was “a crime against humanity and the sacred religion of Islam”.
Mohammad Hassan Baseej, a doctor at the local hospital, said 33 people were admitted with injuries after the attack.
Violence has increased in recent years in the north, which was once considered relatively peaceful compared to Taliban flashpoints in the east and south of the country.
In Kandahar, the largest city in the south and the Taliban’s former capital, cleric Mawlawi Mohammad was shot dead while praying in a mosque on the weekly Muslim holy day, said the head of the local ulema council, Hekmatullah Hekmat.
More than 152,000 US-led Nato troops are deployed in Afghanistan, focused primarily on the south, trying to reverse the Taliban campaign and shore up Karzai’s government.
Nato lost three soldiers in attacks on Friday, one of them British, bringing the number of foreign troops killed to 567 so far this year — already the deadliest on record since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
In eastern Afghanistan, police said Nato helicopters had killed six community police on Friday. The military said it was sending a team to investigate.—AFP
By Pazir Gul
09 Oct, 2010
MIRANSHAH, Oct 8: Ten suspected militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles on a compound in North Waziristan on Friday, official sources said.
The missiles hit the compound in Charkhel village, about 25km west of Miramshah in Dattakhel tehsil, the sources said.
Agencies add: Two suspected US missile strikes killed nine people in the tribal region along the Afghan border, intelligence officials said.
One evening strike in the town of Mohammad Khel killed four people and a second in Datta Khel killed five, two officials said.
The identity of the dead was not immediately known, but the area of the strikes in North Waziristan is believed to be controlled by the Taliban militants. The officials said all nine dead are believed to be militants and some may be foreign fighters. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
An intelligence official in Miramshah said: “Both of the missiles hit the militants’ compound. We are investigating whether there were any high-value targets.”
He said that according to initial indications all of the dead were local militants.
But another intelligence official in Miramshah said: “We are investigating a report that there were four Turkmen fighters among the dead.” Officials said earlier this week that a drone strike had killed five German militants.
ISLAMABAD, Oct 8: Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the National Assembly on Friday that Thursday’s suicide bomb attack on a religious shrine in Karachi had been found to have links with South Waziristan tribal area because, he said, a dead bomber had been identified as a member of the Taliban-infested region’s Mehsud tribe.
Referring to the attack on Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine reportedly by two suspected suicide bombers, Mr Malik said: “Its links have been traced to South Waziristan.”
But the minister talked of only one bomber who, he said, “is a Mehsud and is a resident of that area”.
He also said the government had “proofs” of how some “hostile forces’ he did not name were trying to make followers of Brelvi and Deobandi schools of thought and Sunni and Shia sects to fight one another.
MOURNING CALL: Life in Karachi came to a halt on Friday as roads remained deserted and businesses closed following a call given by different political and religious parties to mourn the deaths in the attacks on the shrine.
The death toll from the attack rose to nine as one more victim succumbed to wounds at a hospital. Investigators claimed to have found evidences showing that two suicide bombers wearing suicide belts rather than jackets had carried out the attacks.
The law-enforcement agencies also got suspicious of a family at the hospital and collected their DNA samples to find if they were related to one of the suicide bombers.— Dawn Report
AJMER: Key witnesses have disclosed that plotting of the Ajmer dargah and Malegaon bomb blasts was carried out at Shabri Dham Ashram in Dangs region in south Gujarat. Swami Asmanand and Sadhvi Pragya Thakur also met Sunil Joshi, one of the masterminds behind the two blasts, at the ashram. The trio then reportedly planned the execution of the terror plot for the right-wing outfit Abhinav Bharat.
The shocking revelation was made by 11 witnesses belonging to Jharkhand, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh before a local court in Ajmer over the past 15 days. Rajasthan's Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) recorded their statements under section 164 of CrPC, and is likely to file a chargesheet this month.
While Asmanand is on the run, Pragya Thakur is in Malegaon jail and Sunil Joshi was killed mysteriously at Mhow in MP, almost two months after the Ajmer blast.
The Ajmer dargah was attacked on October 11, 2007, while a blast shook Malegaon on September 29, 2008. The ATS had arrested three persons — Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma and Chandrashekhar Barod — in connection with the case. While Devendra and Lokesh were taken to Hyderabad by the CBI, Chandrashekhar was produced in the court for a hearing on Wednesday. The next hearing will take place on October 19.
9 October 2010,
Gunmen in Pakistan set fire to 30 tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan, two days after the US apologised for a cross-border air raid that killed two soldiers.
Suspected Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on convoys carrying supplies for NATO forces since the Sept. 30 NATO air strike in northwestern Pakistan described by the US ambassador as a terrible accident.
About 20 gunmen set fire to around 30 tankers parked outside at a roadside restaurant near the southwestern town of Sibi in a pre-dawn attack, the official said.
The tankers were on their way to the border town of Chaman.
“The attackers first fired shots and then fired small rockets at the tankers. Twenty-eight to 29 tankers caught fire,” local government official Naeem Sherwani told Reuters. He said one of the paramilitary soldiers escorting the convoy was wounded.
The U.S.-backed Pakistani government is battling Taliban insurgents who remain effective despite military crackdowns on their strongholds in the northwest near the Afghan border.
Full report at:
Arun Kumar | Washington
Some members of Pakistan’s spy service ISI may be encouraging the Taliban to continue fighting US and coalition forces in Afghanistan, US officials say, but insist the agency’s leadership is not behind the effort. “The ISI as an organisation does not support terrorism, but whether there are elements within the ISI that are doing things that are not productive, that’s what we are discussing,” Pentagon spokesman Col Dave Lapan told reporters on Thursday.
Reacting to a Wall Street Journal report that officers from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency are pushing Taliban field commanders to fight against the US and other NATO troops in Afghanistan, he said the US has been talking with the Pakistani Army chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani about the problem.
“The ISI has done a great deal in fighting terrorism,” he said, but added that US officials “also have some concerns with the strategic focus of the ISI”.
“Gen Kayani is aware and shares that, and they are working towards making changes. But change happens slowly, over time,” Lapan said.
The Defence Department spokesman stressed that the US is not blaming official leaders of the Pakistani spy agency, but the Pentagon’s concern is that “elements of the ISI might be interacting with terrorist organisations in ways that aren’t consistent with what the Government and the military are doing.”
CNN cited another unnamed official as saying there is no indication the leadership of the ISI is trying to direct the Taliban.
By MUHAMMAD HUMAIDAN
Oct 8, 2010
Grand mufti warns against watching sleazy sites, TV channels
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Asheikh has warned young men and women against watching pornography on the Internet and satellite channels in his Friday sermon at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh.
“The eyesight is a bounty given to us by Allah so we should not misuse it,” he said, adding that it is sacrilegious to sell or circulate CDs containing pornography. “This is a means to deviate the youth and corrupt society,” he said, adding that modern technology should be used to benefit man, and for educational purposes. The mufti was referring to the recent announcement by the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) that said it had blocked about 240,000 Internet sites in six months, of which 95 percent were pornographic.
The CITC said Internet subscribers have gone up from five percent in the year 2001 to 40 percent this year to reach 11 million people. It also said there are currently 47 million mobile phone service subscribers with 85 percent of them using prepaid services. It also said there are 4.3 million landlines in the Kingdom of which 74 percent are at private homes.
9 October 2010
Four Italian Nato soldiers have been killed in an insurgent attack in western Afghanistan, officials say.
The Italian army said that the men were killed and another wounded in an ambush in the Gulistan Valley in the western province of Farah as they were returning from a mission.
Italy has about 3,400 soldiers in Afghanistan, with the deployment set to grow to 4,000 by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he had heard the news with sorrow.
"We are grateful to all Italian soldiers who, in various missions around the world, allow our country to keep its international commitments in support of peace and against any form of terrorism," he said in a statement.
Italy's sports authorities called for a minute's silence as a sign of respect at all weekend sports events, including top flight football matches
The deaths brought the number of Italian soldiers killed in Afghanistan in the last six years to 34, of whom 21 have lost their lives in the past two years.
The soldiers who died on Saturday were members of the Alpini elite mountain troops, traditionally recruited among the highland areas of central and northern Italy.
So far this month 24 Nato soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.
More than 2,000 Nato service members have been killed there since the start of the war. in 2001.
Pakistan is to reopen a crucial overland supply route for Nato forces in Afghanistan with immediate effect, the country's foreign ministry says.
The main north-western crossing at Torkham was closed 10 days ago after a cross-border air strike by Nato forces which left two Pakistani soldiers dead.
Since then, the Pakistani Taliban have attacked a number of convoys with Nato supplies bound for Afghanistan.
The latest, on Saturday, saw gunmen torch nearly 30 tankers carrying fuel.
9 Oct 10
A leading law professor has contradicted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that Sharia law was not practiced in Germany, saying a variety of Sharia-based rulings were being made all the time.
“We have been practising Islamic law for years, and that is a good thing,” Hilmar Krüger, professor for foreign private law at Cologne University, told Der Spiegel magazine.
Family and inheritance rulings were often made according to Sharia law, he said, listing a range of examples.
Women who are in polygamous marriages legal in their countries of origin can make claims of their husbands in Germany regardless of the fact that their marriages would not be lawful here. They can claim maintenance from their husbands and a share of an eventual inheritance, said Krüger.
MADINAH: The Private Establishment of Guides has started executing its operational plan for this year's Haj, its chairman announced on Friday after a tour of the reception areas for pilgrims in Madinah.
Yousef bin Ahmad Huwala was accompanied by senior officials of the establishment as he toured Al-Hijra, Al-Bar, and Prince Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Airport.
"We are always endeavoring to upgrade our services for the guests of God. We do this by studying the development points of the previous year," he said.
Huwala said the establishment is closely monitoring the implementation of its plan that aims to provide top services to pilgrims who visit Madinah either before or after the Haj to pay homage to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and pray at his mosque.
"The reception is the first service provided to the pilgrims, so we are keen that it is administered in the best way possible," he said.
Huwala said guides from the establishment would also see the pilgrims off, whether they leave by land, sea or air.
Oct 9, 2010 23:25
PRISTINA, Kosovo: Hundreds of Kosovo Muslims have demanded the government reverse its decision to ban use of Muslim headscarf in schools.
The protesters gathered Friday outside the government building in the capital carrying placards reading “Stop Discrimination” and “Unveil the mind, not the head.” While Kosovo’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, education authorities have banned the display of religious symbols — including the wearing of headscarfs — in schools.
Most recently, a 16-year old girl was suspended from high school for wearing a headscarf.
Some 90 percent of Kosovo’s 2 million people are ethnic Albanian Muslims, majority of whom are secular.
The former editor of Indonesian Playboy, Erwin Arnada, has been arrested on the island of Bali.
Police had been looking for Mr Arnada, who ignored orders to surrender after being sentenced to two years in jail for indecency in August. He had first been tried in 2007 and cleared of all charges.
Islamist groups forced Indonesian Playboy to close down after only a few issues in 2006.
The Islamist Defenders Front (FPI), a hardline Muslim group in Indonesia, had said Mr Arnada was a "moral terrorist", and the group criticised the authorities for failing to track him down. South Jakarta chief prosecutor Mohammed Yusuf said Mr Arnada had ignored three orders to turn himself in.
"We picked him up from Bali today to fly him to Jakarta", Mr Yusuf said on Saturday.
Mr Arnada's acquittal in 2007 was seen as a victory of freedom of the press in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation where Islamist extremists launched violent protests when the magazine appeared in 2006.
But the FPI and other Islamist groups lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court, which found him guilty of public indecency after publishing a handful of issues of Indonesian Playboy, which contained no nudity.
"We are being forced to act by the FPI as a plaintiff in this case", Mr Yusuf said on Saturday.
The Indonesian parliament passed a controversial anti-pornography law in 2008, which was backed by Islamist groups.
But the law also prompted protests across Indonesia, particularly on the predominantly Hindu island of Bali - a favourite destination for tourists.
9 Oct 2010
The third International Islam World Children's Paintings Festival will be inaugurated on Sunday 17 October and is followed with the publication of select books of painting.
IBNA Teen: Muslim children of 15 countries have participated in this festival and the final shortlisted works are from Brunei, Syria, Kenya, Bangladesh, Canada, and Germany.
This festival is held in contribution with the Cultural-Artistic Institute of 'Art Cube' and the exhibition will be held from October 17-27 at Saba Institute.
The festival will be inaugurated on Sunday 17 October,16:00, at the site of Saba Cultural-Artistic Institute.
The festival's special issue is going to be published after final judgment of paintings and will include works in the public exhibition and select works of this festival.
You can visit the exhibition of 3rd International Islam World Children's Painting Festival during this time from 9 to 17 at Saba Cultural Institute located at Baradaran Mozafar Alley, Next to Cinema Palestine, Taleghani Street, Palestine Square.
By Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson
October 10, 2010
The scene in Europe last week called to mind the heyday of the IRA in the 1970s or of Algerian terrorism in the 1990s: Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square were teeming with police, the Eiffel Tower was repeatedly evacuated, and everywhere, tourists were on edge. The threat, however, involved a newer brand of terrorist: The CIA and its European counterparts warned of an al-Qaeda plot to kill civilians in France, Germany and Britain, and alerted travelers, especially Americans, to be extra-vigilant.
Few operational details were released. But unlike many thwarted al-Qaeda operations of days gone by -- such as the 2006 Heathrow plot, in which several airliners bound from London to America were to be blown up at coordinated intervals -- it was clear from news reports that the European plan called for less spectacular, smaller-scale attacks, perhaps using machine guns to strafe clusters of tourists near public landmarks.
Has al-Qaeda become dispirited? No.
Recent plots, including the Mumbai raid in November 2008, the Times Square car bomb attempt in May of this year and now the plot in Europe, show that al-Qaeda is not only operationally alive and well, but has transformed its post-Afghanistan tactical retreat into a formidable new strategy. In the early part of the last decade, al-Qaeda had no choice but to use conventional explosives and old-fashioned terrorist tactics to hit soft targets, the 2002 bombing of nightclubs in Bali being perhaps the best example. With its leadership under siege in Pakistan, it lacked the capacity to mount sophisticated and coordinated attacks that would match, let alone exceed, the innovation or shock value on display on Sept. 11, 2001, or even in the USS Cole operation the year before.
Watching this shift, the tacit assumption of most counterterrorism officials and analysts was that al-Qaeda was simply biding its time and trying to rebuild its capacity to stage unprecedented, apocalyptic attacks on the United States and Europe. But even if that was once the group's intention, it appears to have been sidelined.
AHMEDABAD: Expressing apprehension that his freedom could prove dangerous for the life of witnesses, special CBI court on Friday denied bail to former minister of state for home Amit Shah. Shah was arrested by CBI on July 25 in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, and the probe agency has dubbed him the main conspirator behind the killing of Sohrabuddin, his wife Kauserbi and a witness, Tulsiram Prajapati.
Designated judge, GK Upadhyay has not considered Shah's case fit for bail mainly on the ground of apprehension that he could continue to temper with evidence the way he had been doing in the past. "If released on bail, there is likelihood that he may misuse his political power as well as his good offices to hamper the investigation by winning over witnesses or by putting them to death," the court observed.
The court also observed that there is an eye-catching evidence against the former minister in the form of statements recorded under Section 161 as well as 164 of CrPC. Moreover, the investigation is at a critical stage. The judge also noticed that Shah was at the helm of affairs as MoS Home, when the fake encounter took place on November 26, 2005 and the entire machinery was at his disposal.
AHMEDABAD: A day after the Gujarat High Court made it clear that co-accused cannot have any say in NK Amin's plea to turn an approver and seek pardon, the special CBI court has kept the proceedings on the issue for October 12.
The probe agency in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, CBI, on Friday filed an application urging the court to expedite accused cop Amin's proposal to turn an approver. CBI has stated that the Supreme Court extended its term to probe the case for three months, which would be over at the end of this month. Moreover, Amin too had filed the application more than two months ago, but due to litigations, the issue could not be decided.
Following CBI's application, additional judicial magistrate AY Dave asked the Vadodara jail authorities to bring Amin to the court for the next hearing.
Since it is now clear that the issue of granting pardon is strictly between the accused and the court, the court may record Amin's statement on Tuesday.
LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry on Friday, while disposing of a petition to provide freedom of movement to nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, ordered him not to make any statements about the nuclear programme, or on the security issues.
The judge directed the federal government to implement the court’s orders in letter and spirit.
Barrister Syed Ali Zafar on behalf of Dr Khan submitted that the LHC on May 28, deciding a petition in this regard, had declared that Dr Khan was a free man and that no restrictions under the garb of security could be put on him. He alleged that the court had repeatedly given directions that free movement should be provided to Dr Khan, but the government had constantly been violating the orders. He alleged that in Dr Khan’s case, the federal government had continuously been defying court orders.
Zafar said that when Dr Khan had written a letter to the judge to bring to his notice various violations of the court’s judgment. Dr Khan in his letter, requested the judge to issue new instructions to the government to stop the “mischief of his continued harassment”.
NEW DELHI: In five years' time, the Jammu-Srinagar highway is likely remain open even in case of heavy snowfall or avalanches. The NHAI has awarded work of constructing two tunnels of 9km to make the stretch an all-weather highway. NHAI officials said that the entire mountainous stretch of NH-1A from 189.350km to 220km is geo-dynamically active which results in frequent slope failure, rock falls and avalanches. On an average, the road remains closed for over 40 days in a year due to periodic maintenance work.
The construction of two tunnels would make the road usable throughout the year. This will also reduce the distance between Banihal and Srinagar by about 16 km, said a senior NHAI official.
He claimed that as per estimates, the Rs 1,987-crore project will help save about Rs 27 crore per year on account of vehicle operation cost. Besides, travel time will also be reduced by about two hours.
M Saleem Pandit
SRINAGAR: Chief minister Omar Abdullah's remarks questioning Kashmir's merger with India continued to cause ripples in the state. While Jammu observed bandh in protest and BJP MLAs staged a dharna outside the assembly, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called for the House to pass a resolution for right to self-determination.
Chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference, the Mirwaiz, welcoming the CM's statement said: ''Time has now come when National Conference and PDP need to pass a resolution in the state assembly for right to self-determination for people of J&K. Government of India should read the writing on the wall and give up its hard stand on Kashmir and allow people to exercise their right of self-determination.''
Though the October 6 statement on the floor of the House was populist, aimed more towards his constituency, it embarrassed NC legislators from Jammu.
Biswajeet Banerjee/VN Das
It’s a fight between ‘locals’ and ‘outsiders’. The locals want the vexed Ram Janmabhoomi–Babri Masjid issue to be solved through mediation while outsiders are looking for a legal recourse.
The divide is pronounced. The peace process initiated by Md Hashim Ansari, lone surviving plaintiff in this case, won kudos in the twin cities of Faizabad and Ayodhya, the land known for its Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb. There is unanimity between the Hindus and Muslims to solve this issue through dialogue. The common refrain is — leave the issue to us and we will solve it ourselves.
A few hundred kilometers from Faizabad, the tone and tenor is sharp and shrill. The leaders of different Hindu and Muslim organisations clamour for poora kabza of the land. Leaders have minced no words in saying that “this issue would now be solved only in Supreme Court.”
“Talk with whom? Much water had flown down the River Saryu. This issue can not be solved through dialogue anymore,” said Zafaryab Jilani, advocate of Sunni Central Waqf Board in Lucknow.
However, away from the humdrum of city, the lone surviving petitioner in the Ayodhya title suit, Mohammad Hashim Ansari blamed outsiders for threatening to subvert his attempt to solve this dispute through dialogue.
“When I started to negotiate peace with Mahant Gyan Das on October 3, those busy so long in deriving political mileage out of the issue felt their shops will shut down now. They are issuing threats and plotting to eliminate me,” Ansari said, claiming he had been receiving anonymous threat calls.
Oct 09th, 2010 - Amita Verma | Lucknow
The Ayodhya issue seems to be inching closer to an out-of-court solution despite contradictions within various groups in the two communities.
The three main parties in the title suits — the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, Hashim Ansari and the Nirmohi Akhara — met formally on Friday for the first time to discuss the possibility of a negotiated settlement.
The meeting, held at the residence of Mahant Gyan Das of the Hanuman Garhi temple, included Hashim Ansari and Mahant Panch Ram Das of the Nirmohi Akhara.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, the three claimed to have arrived at a formula that would be acceptable to Hindus as well as Muslims. However, the three leaders refused to divulge any details about the formula, saying it was too early to talk about it in public.
Oct 09 2010
Washington: Afghan private security forces with ties to the Taliban, criminal networks and Iranian intelligence have been hired to guard US military bases in Afghanistan, exposing US soldiers to surprise attacks and confounding the fight against insurgents, according to a Senate investigation.
The Pentagon’s oversight of the Afghan guards is virtually nonexistent, allowing local security deals among US military commanders, Western contracting companies and Afghan warlords, according to the report by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The US military has almost no independent information on the Afghans guarding the bases, who are employees of Afghan groups hired as subcontractors by Western firms awarded security contracts by the Pentagon. At one large US airbase in western Afghanistan, military personnel did not even know the names of the leaders of the Afghan groups providing base security. So they used the nicknames that the contractor was using — White and Pink from Reservoir Dogs, the movie by Quentin Tarantino. Pink was later determined to be a “known Taliban” figure, the report said.
Sheikh Rashid said the time has come when the nation will see a positive change in politics. PHOTO: EPA
Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Saturday that the Muslim Leagues will be unified soon and if someone has any reservations then he should remain apart.
While speaking to the media alongside Pir Pagara at his Kingri House residence in Karachi, Rashid said that leaders of various fractions of PML have agreed to unite under the leadership of Pir Pagara and the time has come when the nation will see a positive change in politics.
Sheikh Rashid had made a similar suggestion in his earlier meeting with Pir Pagara as well.
Recently PML-Q and PML-F combined to for the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) with Pir Pagara as its head.
By SIMON CAMERON-MOORE
ISTANBUL: A European Commissioner reassured Turkey on Friday that its membership bid was on track, days after Turkish leaders aired suspicions that some EU members were stalling the entry of a Muslim country to the club.
"We need Turkey and Turkey needs the EU," Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries told journalists during a visit to Istanbul.
"I have believed that for years," said Damanaki, a Greek former politician.
Last month's referendum result on constitutional reform in Turkey was a big positive, she said. The changes are meant to bolster Turkey's democracy and lessen chances of military coups that have blighted the country's history.
Passage of EU-related legislation is a priority for Turkey's parliament, and a bill on competition regulations was due to be presented to it on Friday. Yet, out of 35 "chapters" — or subject areas for negotiation on EU entry -- Turkey has only completed one and opened 13 others, leaving 21 to go.
Eighteen are blocked, mostly due to an impasse over Cyprus, an EU member that Turkey has refused to recognize.
By ADAM SCHRECK
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The United Arab Emirates on Friday backed off a threat to cut key BlackBerry services, just days before a planned ban that could have harmed the country’s business-friendly reputation.
The last-minute decision ended more than two months of brinksmanship with the Canadian company that makes the smart phones, a tool popular both with businesspeople and gadget-loving consumers in this Gulf federation.
The ban on e-mail, messaging and Web services — which the government threatened to impose over security concerns — was due to take effect Monday.
Half a million local users and thousands of BlackBerry-toting business travelers would have been affected. Dubai’s airport, the region’s busiest, handles about 100,000 passengers daily.
“It’s going to come as quite a relief,” said BlackBerry user Matthew Reed, a Dubai-based analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, a research firm. “It was not at all clear what would happen until right up to the end.” While a number of countries, including India and Saudi Arabia, have threatened BlackBerry crackdowns in recent months, the UAE’s proposed ban drew widespread attention because of the country’s tough negotiating stance and its role as a highly wired, tech-savvy trade and transportation hub.
The Emirates telecommunications regulator confirmed that a deal had been reached with device maker Research in Motion Ltd. that brought the devices into compliance with local laws.
S Ahmed Ali & Viju B
MUMBAI: Mumbai police on Friday revamped their security arrangements in Mumbai after Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) received another email on Thursday night threatening to blow up either Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi or BSE or a Mumbai-Delhi flight.
Apart from Bombay Stock Exchange, Intelligence Bureau too has received similar alerts stating there was a possibility of another 26/11-like terror attack through the sea route. Heavy police bandobast has been made in and around BSE and all along the sea coast. Navy, CISF, Coast Guard personnel and fishermen have been put on high alert. Senior police officers said CISF guarding the airport has been told to be extra careful and has been asked to use sniffer dogs for patrolling the areas in and around the airport.
United States foreign policy expert Stephen P Cohen, in Mumbai on Friday, too, did not rule out the possibility of another terror attack on Mumbai in the near future. He said the recent attempted bombings at Times Square in New York had brought India and the US on the same platform when it came to dealing with terror attacks. US and India have common interests in normalizing relationship with Pakistan, Cohen, who has authored 10 books on India and Pakistan's military and political regimes, said.
Supporters of radical Shia cleric rally in Iraq
09 October 2010
BAGHDAD - Hundreds of followers of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr took to the streets in Iraq on Friday to show support for their leader’s decision to nominate Nuri al-Maliki as prime minister for a second term.
Maliki won the nomination with support from Sadr’s movement which previously opposed a second term for the incumbent. Once Sadr’s foe, Maliki sent troops to crush Sadr’s Mehdi Army militia in 2008.
More than a thousand Sadr supporters demonstrated in Iraq’s southern city of Basra on Friday, while in the holy city of Kerbala, hundreds more took to the streets to push for the speedy formation of a government.
In Baghdad’s Sadr City — the Shia cleric’s stronghold in the capital — hundreds rallied after Friday prayers in support of their leader. All the rallies were peaceful and orderly.
“The leader, Moqtada al-Sadr, made his decision for us,” Hassan Abdul-Hussain, a 36-year-old government employee, told Reuters. “We obey it fully and without controversy because we all know he looks out for Iraq and Iraqis.”
Palestinians boys hit by settler's car in Jerusalem
Two stone-throwing Palestinian boys were injured after being hit by a car driven by a Jewish settler leader in East Jerusalem, officials have said.
Imran Mansur, 11, broke his leg after being thrown into the air and bouncing off the car windscreen. Iyad Gheit, 10, had to have glass removed from his arm.
David Be'eri said he accidentally hit them when trying to escape the assault.
The incident was photographed by journalists, who were in the area in case of unrest after Friday prayers.
Silwan, just south of Jerusalem's Old City, has been the scene of regular clashes between hardline settlers and local Palestinians.
A Jerusalem police spokesman said: "We have opened an investigation into the driver of the vehicle and we will check all the footage."
Mr Be'eri has been questioned by the police and released on bail.
He is the local leader of Elad, a right-wing group that supports increased Jewish settlement in the Old City and occupied East Jerusalem.
Elad spokesman Udi Ragones told the Jerusalem Post: "His car was surrounded with tens of people with rocks, when they started throwing them, and he hit them when he tried to flee from the area.
"It seems that they were lying in wait and the ambush was planned with rocks. It may have even been a lynch situation. He felt his life was in danger," he added.
Khursheed Wani | Srinagar
BJP legislators staged a sit-in outside the Assembly complex on Friday, demanding Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s remarks on accession of Jammu & Kashmir be expunged from the Assembly record.
The BJP and Panther’s Party legislators had raised a furore against CM’s statement on Thursday. They blamed Abdullah of running a pro-separatist Government furthering Hurriyat Conference’s agenda. The legislators were marshaled out of the Assembly, which resulted in minor injuries to four legislators and a staff.
NPP members re-entered the House on Friday and submitted a petition to the Speaker on expunging the Chief Minister’s remarks.
BJP State president Ashok Khajuria told The Pioneer that Abdullah has no right to stay in power. He had lost the confidence of the State’s people and those of the entire country, he added.
HEBRON, Oct 8: Two Hamas militants, whom Israel said were behind an attack which left four settlers dead, were killed by Israeli troops in the southern West Bank on Friday, officials said.
Top Israeli officials praised the operation, which the army said targeted a Hamas cell responsible for killing four settlers in August, one of them a pregnant woman.
The men, who were members of Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, were killed in the southeastern part of Hebron, known as H2, which is under Israeli military control.
Palestinian security officials named them as Maamun al-Natsha, 25, and Nashat al-Karmi, 35, both of whom lived in Hebron.
Witnesses said troops had surrounded a three-storey house in the southeast of the city before dawn, and opened fire before sending in bulldozers to demolish the building.
The army confirmed the operation, saying troops had also arrested another six suspects connected with the August attack.
“During the operation, the wanted terror suspects opened fire at the IDF (army) force, which then returned fire and identified hitting one of the suspects,” a statement said.—AFP
By Joseph Badaoui
SIRTE (Libya): Arab countries have given Washington a month to try to rescue Middle East peace talks, a diplomat said on Friday after Palestinians threatened to quit the talks over Israeli settlement building.
The call to “give the US administration a one-month chance to seek the resumption of negotiations, including a halt to settlement” building, would be made in a resolution to be adopted later Friday by the Arab League Follow-up Committee on the peace process in the Libyan city of Sirte, the diplomat said.
Under the draft resolution, the committee grouping 13 Arab foreign ministers would meet again within one month “to examine the policy alternatives if the diplomatic efforts fail,” the official said.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was in Sirte to seek the support of Arab leaders to pull out of the peace negotiations after Israel adamantly refused to extend a freeze on settlement building that expired on Sept 26.
By Boureima Hama
NIAMEY: After the kidnapping of seven expatriates in mid-September, Niger has beefed up its military presence in the north, but one of the world’s poorest countries faces a huge challenge tackling Al Qaeda.
The mining town of Arlit — where Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on Sept 16 kidnapped five French nationals, a Madagascan and a Togolese - is now under tight military surveillance, residents said.
Arlit lies in the desert 800kms northeast of Niamey and has become a home base for staff of the French nuclear giant Areva, which mines uranium there. The kidnap victims included an Areva staffer and his wife and five workers for Satom, a subsidiary of construction giant Vinci.
BRUSSELS—Pakistan has promised to reopen its border with Afghanistan ‘shortly’ so that NATO convoys can bring supplies to troops there, NATO’s secretary general said Friday.
A week ago, NATO helicopters killed three Pakistani soldiers in a botched cross-border strike. NATO apologised, but Pakistan closed a main border crossing in protest, leaving NATO convoys stalled and vulnerable to attacks. “The Pakistani civilian and military authorities have assured us that we could expect the borders to be reopened for our convoys shortly,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “From a security point of view, it is a matter of urgency to reopen the border crossings,” he said.
BAGHDAD: Insurgents are reviving the tactic of firing rockets at Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, unsettling the Iraqi capital’s residents and adding to a sense that security is eroding as US troops withdraw.
Violence may have dropped sharply from the peak of sectarian carnage two years ago, but political squabbling that has delayed the formation of a new government has emboldened militants.
The US military says rocket attacks against the Green Zone, home to the Iraqi government and foreign embassies, spiked in September. The military blames both Iranian-backed Shia groups and Sunni Islamist al-Qaeda for the violence. “Over the last four to six weeks, we’ve seen a spike of indirect fire,” said Brigadier General Ralph Baker, commander of US troops in central Iraq, using the military term for rocket or mortar attacks.
‘Iran shows greater readiness to talk’
By DAVE GRAHAM
BERLIN: Iran is showing increased readiness to resume talks about its disputed nuclear program but has not indicated any willingness to make compromises yet, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Friday.
Western powers hope the imposition of tougher UN, US and European sanctions since June on Iran, the world’s No. 5 oil exporter, will persuade it to enter serious negotiations and ultimately agree to curb uranium enrichment.
Following talks in Berlin with Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Westerwelle said Iran was still flouting the demands of the international community regarding its nuclear program.
“We’ve not been able to ascertain any substantial changes in the Iranian position, but we are certainly picking up new signals about their readiness to talk,” he said, adding that only time would tell whether this would produce results.