• Muslim Leaders, Intellectuals
Meet; Say Ayodhya Verdict Should Be Respected By All
• PoK in UT of Jammu and Kashmir,
Gilgit-Baltistan In Ladakh In Fresh Map Of India Released By The Government
• Press Freedom Key for
Democracy, says NATO SCR in Afghanistan
• No One Will Be Allowed To
Create Instability: Pak Army Tells Azadi March Protesters
• Indonesia to Expand Abusive
• Cultural Dialogue Will Change
Misconceptions about Islam: Sharjah International Book Fair
• Baghdadi US 'Brainchild,' His
Death Yet To Be Verified: Russia
• Tehran Fury As Iraq’s Shiite
Leadership Rejects Iranian ‘Interference’
• ‘Rehab Centres Have No
Connection with Islam, Northern Leaders’ Legacies’
• Ahead Of Ayodhya Verdict, RSS
Banks On Muslim Leaders of BJP in Its Bid To Ensure Peace And Harmony In
• Indian Banks Should Exploit
Untapped Potential In Islamic Banking: Experts
• Lashkar man plotting terror
• Act strongly against terrorism
& its enablers, India urges SCO nations
• Pak breaches truce along LoC in
• Some terrorists still active in
Sopore, will neutralise them: J&K DGP
• Bridging 72 yrs, 4km: Kartarpur
Corridor to mark a new chapter in frayed Indo-Pak ties
• Two Pak nationals among 4
awarded death penalty for UP CRPF
• LeT terrorist held from
Baramulla district of J&K
• Intel shows Jaish, Lashkar
planning large-scale terror attacks in winter
• Ayodhya Verdict: Muslims meet
Police Commissioner of Bangalore
• Press Freedom Key for Democracy,
says NATO SCR in Afghanistan
• Special Forces kill; detain 23
Taliban militants in 4 provinces
• NDS Special Forces bust gang of
kidnappers in Kabul, rescue abducted trader
• Taliban IED kills 9 school
children, wounds another child in Takhar
• Afghan forces kill the
assailant who shot a man to death in front of his infant daughter
• Govt to File Mutiny Case
Against Fazl Over ‘Provocative’ Speech
• Arrests Made after Taliban
Flags Spotted in JUI-F’s Azadi March
• Opp mulls mass resignations,
shutter-down strike across Pakistan
• Fazl tells army’s spokesman to
stay away from politics
• Nawaz Sharif remains critical,
platelets drop again: personal physician
• Govt approaches opp for
dialogue to resolve issues
• JUI-F chief hints at prolonging
• PPP-SB workers warmly welcome
• LHC orders protection of
witnesses in lynching case
• Govt plans to confine
protesters to H-9 venue
• JUI-F chief can’t use religious
• Pakistan’s new UN envoy vows to
promote Kashmiris’ struggle for ‘Azadi’, self-determination
• Political turmoil negatively
impacting Kashmir cause: PTI leaders
• Malaysia PM Calls on ASEAN to
Stick Together In Face Of US Trade War
• Don’t blame DAP for everything
wrong with this country, Anwar says
• ISIS Affiliate In Egypt’s Sinai
Swears Allegiance To New ISIS Leader
• Whistleblower: Riyadh Worried
about Growing Public Discontent
• Militants Retreat from
Newly-Occupied Regions in Syria's Lattakia After Heavy Raid by Gov't Troops
• Lebanese keep protest alive in
northern city of Tripoli
• Protesters block roads to Iraqi
port, demand end to foreign meddling
• Lebanon president seeks to
solve ‘complications’ before new PM consultations
• Iraqi security forces kill one,
wound 91 protesters
• US military calls on Kurdish
forces in northeast Syria
• Thirteen killed, 30 injured in
explosion in Syrian border town: Reports
• Russian airstrike kills six
civilians in Syria: Monitor
• Iraqi Human Rights Commission:
120 injured in Basra following clashes
• Hollow building becomes center
of Iraq’s uprising
• At least 13 killed in car bomb
explosion in Syria's Tal Abyad
• Hezbollah slams Twitter for
'politicized' suspension of TV channel accounts
• Saudi Arabia key to world’s
fastest-growing hotel chain
• Muslim Community In Germany
Feels Unsafe Amid Growing Islamophobia
• German City Declares ‘Nazi
• 31 Pakistani migrants found in
lorry in France
• Yellow Vests protest
Islamophobia on Act 51
• Talks on Syrian Constitutional
Committee 'going well’
• Israeli Police Shooting Unarmed
Palestinian in the Back For Fun
• Israel carries out air raids on
Gaza after rocket attacks
• Iran, Iraq synchronize power
grids to boost electricity export
• Iran blasts US 'economic
terrorism' after new sanctions
• Over 4,000 Sudanese militiamen
slain in Saudi-led war against Yemen: Army spox
• Funeral for Palestinian killed
during Israeli airstrike
• Daesh prisoners will be sent
back to home countries in Europe: Turkey
• Israel in emergency situation,
most vulnerable to threats: Lieberman
• Israel strikes kill one in Gaza
after first rockets in weeks
• Explosion in Syrian town on
Turkish border kills 13
• Armenian genocide vote: A
stinging blow to Turkish denialism
• Attack on Mali Military Post
Kills 53 Soldiers
• Boko Haram: Revoke N14bn Road
Project In Adamawa, Communities Urge Government
• Boko Haram scare: Don’t dare to
invade South-West, OPC, Agbekoya warn sect
• Aid group says Italian supply
ship rescues 200 migrants in waters off Libya
• ISIS claims deadly attack on
Mali army, as well as killing of French soldier
• Nigerian Army troops clear more
Boko Haram routes in NE, intensify operations across Nigeria
• Operation Positive
Identification: Inform us about fleeing Boko Haram members, Army begs Nigerians
• US Envoy Seeks Prisoner Swap
With Afghan Leaders
• At least 10 civilians killed in
terror attack in N. Syria
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Of Ayodhya Verdict, RSS Banks On Muslim Leaders Of BJP In Its Bid To Ensure
Peace And Harmony In Society
Delhi (India): RSS leaders held a marathon meeting with Muslim leaders of BJP
here on Friday night ahead of the verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title
suit verdict, that is likely to be delivered in the coming few days.
RSS approach is to keep BJP Muslim leaders at the forefront in its bid to
ensure peace and harmony in society. For which, four committees have been
constituted for communicating with the community with Muslim Rashtriya Manch at
leaders like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Shahnawaz Hussain, Shazia Ilmi, BJP national
president of Minority cell Abdul Rashid Ansari, Chairman Minority Commission
Saiyed Gairul Hasan Rizvi were present at the meeting attended by senior RSS
functionaries Krishna Gopal, Indresh Kumar and others.
the Supreme Court expected to deliver the verdict in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri
Masjid title dispute case in the next few days, the RSS is discussing ways to
ensure that cordial atmosphere and harmony is maintained and is working out dos
RSS leaders held three-day deliberations at Adhyatm Sadhana Kendra in
leaders, intellectuals meet; say Ayodhya verdict should be respected by all
office bearers of top Muslim organisations, clerics and intellectuals from the
community held a meeting here on Saturday over the Ayodhya case, and asserted
that the Supreme Court verdict should be respected by all.
the closed-door meeting convened by Navaid Hamid, president of the All India
Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, the participants resolved to maintain peace and
harmony at all cost after the verdict in the Ayodhya case.
those who were present included Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind president Arshad Madani,
former National Commission for Minorities chairperson Wajahat Habibullah,
former MP Shahid Siddiqui, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind president Sadatullah Hussaini
and parliamentarians Dr Jawed and Imran Hasan.
a resolution passed at the meeting, the participants resolved that the impact
and consequences of the Supreme Court's decision in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri
Masjid title suit should be taken positively in the context of the overall
progress and development of the country.
appeal to all countrymen to face the situation with patience and endurance and
avoid any kind of provocation and incitement and also stick to peace and
optimism whatever be the circumstances," the resolution said.
in UT of Jammu And Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan In Ladakh In Fresh Map Of India
Released By The Government
DELHI: Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is part of the newly created Union
Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, while Gilgit-Baltistan is in the UT of Ladakh
in the fresh maps released by the government on Saturday following the
a notification, the ministry of home affairs also released the new map of India
depicting the two UTs with PoK 'capital' Muzaffarabad within the geographical
boundary of the country.
per the new map, PoK remains with Jammu and Kashmir UT and Gilgit-Baltistan
with the UT of Ladakh, according to the maps.
ministry of home affairs said the UT of Ladakh consists of two districts of
Kargil and Leh while the rest of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir is in
the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
1947, the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had the following 14 districts -
Kathua, Jammu, Udhampur, Reasi, Anantnag, Baramulla, Poonch, Mirpur,
Muzaffarabad, Leh and Ladakh, Gilgit, Gilgit Wazarat, Chilhas and Tribal
Territory, a home ministry statement said.
2019, the government of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had reorganised
the areas of these 14 districts into 28 districts. The names of the new
districts were - Kupwara, Bandipur, Ganderbal, Srinagar, Budgam, Pulwama,
Shopian, Kulgam, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Samba and Kargil.
of these, Kargil district was carved out from the area of Leh and Ladakh
Leh district of the new UT of Ladakh has been defined in the Jammu and Kashmir
Reorganisation (Removal of Difficulties) Second Order, 2019, issued by the
President of India, to include the areas of the districts of Gilgit, Gilgit
Wazarat, Chilhas and Tribal Territory of 1947, in addition to the remaining
areas of Leh and Ladakh districts of 1947, after carving out the Kargil
maps prepared by Survey General of India depicting the new UTs of Jammu and
Kashmir, and Ladakh, as created on October 31, 2019, along with the map of
India, are released, the statement said.
the recommendation of Parliament, the President effectively dismantled Article
370 of the Indian Constitution and gave assent to the Jammu and Kashmir
Reorganisation Act, 2019.
the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supervision of Union home
minister Amit Shah, the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has been
reorganised as the new Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the new Union
territory of Ladakh on October 31, 2019, the statement said.
Freedom Key for Democracy, says NATO SCR in Afghanistan
NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Sir Nicholas Kay has said
Press Freedom is key for democracy.
delivered the message on the occasion of International Day to End Impunity for
Crimes Against Journalists.
in #Afghanistan supports the International Day to #EndImpunity for Crimes
Against Journalists. #PressFreedom, is key for democracy,” Ambassador Kay said
in a statement posted on Twitter.
comes as violence against journalism is on the rise in Afghanistan, parallel to
growing violence in other sectors including the growing civilian casualties as
a result of ongoing conflict.
organization which supports open in Afghanistan reported 96 cases of violence
against journalists until the first week of October this year.
latest NAI report includes at least 7 cases in which journalists lost their
lives since the beginning of 2019, at least 20 others sustained injuries and 7
others were kidnapped.
one will be allowed to create instability: Pak Army tells Azadi March
The Pakistan Army on Saturday warned that no one will be allowed to create
instability and chaos in the country, a day after the incalcitrant cleric and
politician Maulana Fazlur Rehman set a two-day deadline for Prime Minister
Imran Khan to step down.
hard-line cleric addressed a massive protest rally, dubbed "Azadi
March", held on Friday to topple the incumbent government.
his address to tens of thousands of protesters, the right-wing opposition
leader said the "Gorbachev of Pakistan" must resign without testing
the patience of peaceful protestors.
also said that only people of Pakistan and not any "institution" had
the right to govern the country.
do not want conflict with our institutions. But we also want to see them to
stay neutral. We give two days to the institutions (also) to decide if they
will continue to support this government," he said on Friday.
Fazlur Rehman is a senior politician. He should clarify which institution he is
talking about. Pakistan's armed forces are an impartial state institution which
always supports democratically elected governments," Pakistan Army
spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said in response to Rehman's remarks.
would be allowed to create instability as the country cannot afford
chaos," he warned.
said the army was neutral and supported democratically elected governments in
accordance with the Constitution.
also defended the army's deployment during the 2018 general elections, saying
it fulfilled the constitutional responsibility in the polls.
the opposition has any reservations [about the results], it can approach the
relevant forums instead of levelling allegations on the streets," he
said in democracies issues should be resolved democratically and appreciated
the contact between the protestors and the government.
to Ghafoor's remarks, Rehman told the media after meeting with the opposition
leaders that the military spokesman should avoid giving such statements which
violate the neutrality of the army.
statement should have come from some politicians and not from the army,"
also announced the Opposition would meet on Saturday to decide the future
course of action, if the two-day deadline was not met by the prime minister
much-hyped "Azadi March" led by Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl
(JUI-F) reached its final destination Islamabad on Thursday after it set off
from the Sindh province and left Lahore on Wednesday.
with Rehman, leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan
People's Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP) participated in the march
held to topple Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government led by Prime Minister Khan.
by the protest, Prime Minister Khan, while addressing a public rally in
Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday, told the protesters congregated in Islamabad that
when they run out of food, more will be sent to them, but their leaders should
not expect any relief from him.
are the days when one used to use Islam to gain power. This is a new Pakistan.
Sit however long you want. When your food runs out, we will send more. But we
will not give you an (NRO)," he said.
Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was an ordinance issued in October 2007 granting
pardon to politicians, political workers and bureaucrats accused of corruption,
embezzlement, money laundering, murder, and terrorism.
are they wishing to gain freedom from? I want the media to go there and ask
people who they wish to free themselves from," Khan said, adding that all
his opponents appear disjointed in their thoughts and aims.
prime minister said the protest rally had made Pakistan's enemy happy.
will put all of them into jail," he said, in an apparent reference to former
premier Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shehbaz, former President Asif Ali Zardari
and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
to Expand Abusive Blasphemy Law
is set to expand its abusive blasphemy laws as part of an overhaul of the
country’s Criminal Code.
September President Joko Widodo ordered parliament to postpone voting on the
draft Criminal Code to allow more time for review. While that raised hopes the
six new blasphemy provisions would be revised, it’s clear the review won’t
officials argued that expanding the blasphemy law from one provision to six,
articles 304 to 309, will clarify the elements of the crime. These elements
include defaming a religion, persuading someone to be a non-believer,
disturbing a religious ritual or making noise near a house of worship, and
insulting a cleric while leading a ritual. These four articles violate the
right to freedom of religion or expression and, like the current blasphemy law,
will be used to discriminate against religious minorities.
other articles deal with stealing religious artifacts and damaging a house of
worship, provisions that are unnecessary since stealing and damaging property
are already criminal offenses.
new provisions are also discriminatory in that they only cover the six
officially recognized religions in Indonesia: Islam, Protestantism,
Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Hundreds of other local
religions and beliefs are excluded.
misuse of the blasphemy law shows that expanding the law is not the answer.
More than 150 people, mostly religious minorities, have been convicted under
the blasphemy law since it was passed in 1965. It is most commonly used against
people who are deemed to have criticized Islam, as opposed to other religions.
include former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama, a Christian, who was
sentenced to two years in prison on blasphemy charges in 2017 after a
politically motivated smear campaign.
2016, a Buddhist woman, Meliana, complained about the volume of the call to
prayer from a neighboring mosque in Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra. Her private
request prompted Muslim mobs to attack her house, and burn and ransack 14
Buddhist temples. Meliana was convicted and imprisoned for blasphemy against
Islam. Ahok and Meliana would still be liable for prosecution under the revised
new Criminal Code provides an important and long-awaited opportunity to
modernize the country’s penal laws and ensure they meet international human
rights standards. Many revisions are still needed, but it should be clear that
revoking the much-abused blasphemy law is crucial to achieving that goal.
Dialogue Will Change Misconceptions about Islam: Sharjah International Book
he said about faith, religious tolerance, and hard work was greeted with loud
cheers and thunderous applause.
comedian and television personality Steve Harvey is undoubtedly the biggest
draw at the Sharjah International Book Fair this year. On Thursday, when Harvey
addressed a packed Sharjah Expo's 2,000-capacity ballroom, hundreds more waited
to enjoy the company of the 62-year-old.
he said about faith, religious tolerance, and hard work was greeted with loud
cheers and thunderous applause. Even when he gushed unintelligible words
mimicking the Arabic language, no one batted an eyelid. The crowds only cheered
louder. From Emiratis to Asians, and from adults to little kids, everybody loves
Steve Harvey. And, Harvey loves them back. He even wore an olive green kandura
and ghutra to prove his point.
Harvey has visited the UAE before, this is his first time at the Sharjah
International Book Fair (SIBF), an event he hopes to be a part of more often.
He wants to foster cultural dialogue between Americans and Emiratis.
idea of cultural exchange is to bring more Americans to the UAE for his next
trip, especially students, who can see for themselves 'the real meaning of
are many misconceptions about the Arab people in the US. But I can only change
me. I can't change America," Harvey told Khaleej Times, commenting on the
West's misconception of Islam. "America has been that way a long
are the excerpts from Khaleej Times' conversation with Harvey:
From your interactions at the SIBF, it looks like the Arab world loves you.
Were you aware that you have such a massive fan base here?
No, not at all. I was completely surprised. I've been talking to my wife, family,
and business associates about it. It is mind-boggling for me because I had no
idea. You know you go to work every day, trying the best to perfect your craft.
But, this thing called YouTube - it sends out what you do globally. It's
unbelievable to me. People here have seen my clips that meant something to them
or is funny to them. When I came here and saw the popularity that I have - it
was very humbling to me.
Once you go back, what would you tell people back home about your experience at
I would say that they should visit this, and see all this for themselves. You
got to understand - there are many misconceptions about the Arab people and
Muslims in the US. They (the media) take the negative side (of Islam). They are
people who have taken Islam and done some fake stuff with it. ISIS and stuff.
and put Islam on it. That's not what Islam is.
doesn't murder people, kill children and blow things up. If that's what TV
stations are showing the whole country, what do you think they are going to
in the end, you got a president who puts a travel ban on Muslim countries, and
then you think - man, is this guy for real? Is he for real? (laughs). But, you
know, that's the government sometimes. It makes decisions sometimes that's not
the decision of all people. If I were to believe in the government, I wouldn't
be over here.
this mean you are going to be doing a UAE-special on American TV?
No, I think I want to come here and do more shows. With that I can learn and change
me. I can't change America. America has been that way a long time. So, it is
better if I come here to experience and love the people.
time, I want to bring more people with me, and one day, we can do an exchange
where we take UAE students there, and let some (students from the US) come
here, and put them in a protective environment so they can learn off each
other. That's the way I see it.
Can this generation replicate the Steve Harvey success story?
Absolutely, success is always possible. When I said, I don't recommend
Hollywood to anybody that's not to say it is not possible. About 95 per cent of
the people who go to Hollywood to make it, get swallowed up. It takes more than
an average person to be in show business.
So, being authentic is the key to success?
You can't be fake, people know fake. They watch TV closely, people know, and
they put stuff together. Being authentic in your job is important. If you don't
like the lady sitting next to you at work, how far you think you are going to
get without her knowing that? You have to be your most authentic self.
US 'brainchild,' his death yet to be verified: Russia
has described Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the "brainchild" of the US,
saying Moscow still cannot verify Washington’s claim about the Daesh leader's
Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that Washington had facilitated the creation
of Daesh and that Baghdadi "is (or was, if he is already dead) a
brainchild of the United States."
arose after the illegal invasion in Iraq, the collapse of the Iraqi state and
the release of extremists from prisons by the Americans. Therefore, to a
certain extent, the Americans eliminated the one they gave birth to, if it
actually happened," he told Russia-24 news channel.
a televised address, US President Donald Trump announced last week that
Baghdadi had blown himself up and died "like a dog" after American
forces trapped him inside a dead-end tunnel during a raid in Syria’s
northwestern Idlib Province on October 27.
the US did not show Baghdadi's remains and claimed they were dumped at sea
within 24 hours of his death.
stressed that his country wanted "more information" on the alleged
killing of Baghdadi at the hands of American troops
was solemnly and triumphantly announced, but our military is still studying
additional facts, and they cannot confirm yet much of what the US has
said," he said.
statement on the killing of Baghdadi was met with skepticism even inside
Washington, with US Central Command chief General Frank McKenzie saying he
could not confirm that Baghdadi was "whimpering and crying" in his
final moments as the US president claimed.
remarks about Daesh's birth as a result of US policies echo Trump's own views
during the 2016 presidential campaign, where he named former President Barack
Obama and his secretary of state for five years, Hillary Clinton, as the main
founders of the terror outfit.
fact, in many respects, you know they honor President Obama, Isis is honoring
President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS. He’s the
founder. He founded ISIS," he said during a rally in August 2018, using an
acronym for Daesh. “And I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary
Clinton. Co-founder. Crooked Hillary Clinton," Trump added.
claims US knows Baghdadi's successor
a related development on Friday, Trump claimed that the US knows Abu Ibrahim
al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, who was named by Daesh as the group's new chief.
has a new leader. We know exactly who he is!" Trump tweeted.
the contrary, Nathan Sales, the US State Department counterterrorism
coordinator, provided no details on Hashimi, saying Washington was still
"looking into the leader, his role, the organization where he came
US backs White Helmets, sells Syria oil
in his Friday remarks, Lavrov said the US continues to support ''provocateurs
called the White Helmets" operating in areas controlled by the al-Nusra
Front terrorist outfit in Idlib, warning that "provocations involving
chemical weapons may occur at any time."
White Helmets claims to be a humanitarian NGO, but it has been accused of
working with anti-Damascus terrorists and staging false-flag chemical weapons
attacks in Syria. The Syrian government considers the organization “a branch of
al-Qaeda and al-Nusra" and a “PR stunt” by the US, the UK and France.
further accused the US of using the revenue from selling Syrian oil to prop up
allied armed groups in Syria.
is transported out of Syria and, of course, the United States supports loyal
armed groups with the revenues from [selling] that oil," he said.
detailing the operation that purportedly led to Baghdadi’s death, Trump said
American troops would remain in Syria to “secure” oil reserves and even put up
“a hell of a fight” against any force that tried to take them.
also expressed interest in making a deal with ExxonMobil or another energy
company to tap Syrian oil reserves.
following day, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper threatened that American forces
deployed around Syrian oil fields will use “military force” against any party
that may seek to challenge Washington’s control of those sites, even if it is
Syrian government forces or their Russian allies.
fury as Iraq’s Shiite leadership rejects Iranian ‘interference’
The mass demonstrations in Iraq have heightened tensions between Najaf’s
supreme religious authority, led by Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Al-Sistani, and
Iran’s supreme religious leader Ali Khamenei, sources close to Sistani told
Arab News on Saturday.
and nine southern Shiite-dominated provinces have been witnessing mass
demonstrations since Oct. 1 as people protest over corruption, unemployment and
lack of daily basic life services.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and his Iranian-backed allies led a brutal
crackdown on demonstrations in its first week, killing around 150 protesters
and wounding 7,000 others.
demonstrations stopped for two weeks but returned last Friday after Abdul Mahdi
vowed under local and international pressure not to use live ammunition.
Despite this commitment, more than 250 demonstrators were killed and more than
6,000 wounded, mostly in Baghdad and Basra.
demonstrators in Baghdad and Basra were killed by tear gas canisters, while in
the other provinces by gunfire of guards of political parties and armed
factions, whose headquarters had come under attack from protesters.
demands increased to include the overthrow of the government and early national
parliamentary elections preceded by a change in the election law and the
appointment of a new election commission.
political forces and armed factions backed by Iran would be the biggest losers
if the demands of the demonstrators are met, top senior officials and
is the leader of the world’s Shiite community and is the most influential man
in Iraq, considered the godfather of the political process since 2003. Although
there are many religious and sectarian points that he and Khamenei share,
Sistani does not adopt the theory of velayat-e faqih and does not recognize
absolute right of the clergy to control the state.
two men have been at odds over managing the situation in Iraq for years, but it
turned into a rupture a year and a half ago, according to Sistani’s associates.
dispute resurfaced last Wednesday, when Khamenei demanded in a public statement
that the demonstrations in Iraq and Lebanon end. Many Iranian clerics have accused
Iraqi demonstrators of being in the pay of Israel, America and Britain during
their sermons at Friday prayers in the past few weeks.
in an open letter read by his representative, Sayyed Ahmed Al-Safi, in Friday
prayers said that no one is a guardian of the Iraqis and that no person or
group or regional or international party has the right to impose their will on
them or determine their choices regarding the management of their country or
the reforms that they want.
message “irritated Khamenei and worried his allies in Iraq,” Iraqi politicians
and sources close to Sistani told Arab News.
message was earth-shattering,” a top senior Iraqi official said. “No one,
especially Khamenei, expected that Sistani would announce his rejection of
their intervention in this way.
threw all its weight behind Abdul Mahdi. They believe that this government is
their government and they cannot allow it to fall.
early election or amendment to the election law would mean losing the control of
their local allies over the country, which they would not allow.
(the Iraqi forces backed by Iran) are currently rejecting any solutions to get
out of the crisis and any activation of the constitutional procedures that can
dismantle the crisis, means launching an endless cycle of violence because they
they have weapons and power.”
Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who runs Iran’s
operations in Iraq, arrived in Baghdad on Thursday and asked to meet Sistani on
Saturday to discuss the latest developments and try to calm the situation
between Najaf and Tehran, sources close to Sistani said.
Sistani’s office agreed to his request to meet,” the sources said.
now has an interest in meeting him to tell him directly about their displeasure
with Iranian positions.
Sistani stopped meeting with any of Sayyed Khamenei’s envoys more than a year
and a half ago, now the country’s interest requires his meeting Soleimani.
groups (Iranian-backed forces) are ready to burn the country and the message
must reach them clearly.
Iranians must take their hands off the demonstrators and curb their groups.”
Centres Have No Connection With Islam, Northern Leaders’ Legacies’
Abdulganiyu Alabi, Kaduna
Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations and Islamic clerics have
said that the rehabilitation centres from where security agencies rescued
youths recently in the region have nothing in common with Islam or the legacy
of Sir Ahmadu Bello and other notable leaders. While the Northern Youth group
argued that the drug-related rehabilitation centres had nothing to do with the
region or people as it was common everywhere, Muslim clerics distanced Islam
from the menace, saying the religion discourages torture and sexual harassment
the space of one month, a total of 818 persons, suspected to have been sexually
harassed and physically tortured were discovered as inmates in rehabilitation
centres, which claimed to be Islamic, in the northwestern part of the
country.First, Kaduna Police rescued three hundred persons chained together in
Rigasa, Igabi council of the state. The 300 persons, including minors and a PhD
holder, were rescued following a raid on the home allegedly used as an Islamic
news of another illegal rehabilitation centre in Katsina state, where 360
persons were physically abused filtered through. According to reports, more than
200 out of the 360 persons detained in the facility in Daura, Katsina State,
escaped after their revolt against homosexual abuse and other forms of inhuman
treatment meted out by their minders.
week after the raid on the Katsina home, Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir
El-Rufai led a raid on another illegal rehabilitation centre called Malam Nigga
Rehabilitation Centre in Rigasa community, Igabi local government area of
Kaduna State, the same area where 300 inmates were earlier freed in another
centre. During the raid, 147 inmates
including 22 females and five children were evacuated. The raid on two other
illegal rehabilitation centres in Zaria Council, where security operatives
rescued another 11 persons, brought the number of persons discovered in illegal
facilities to 818.
a reaction, the Chief Imam of Waff Road Mosque Forum in Kaduna, Imam Muhammad
Sani, told The Guardian that there was a difference between Muslim and Islam.
Sani said: “While Islam is one thing, Muslim is another. One cannot be
considered a practicing or proper Muslim, except he or she acts in accordance
with the teaching of Islam.
because my name is Muhammad or Usman, for instance, and I build a
rehabilitation centre, I cannot call it Islamic. If it is Islamic, all the teachings
must be abide by the dictates of Islam.He added: “Being a Muslim, if anything
goes wrong with my rehab centre, I am responsible and not Islam. There is a
difference between a religion and a follower of a religion. A follower of
religion can do something wrong, but the religion shouldn’t be blamed.
the Sheikh Hambal rehabilitation centre and that of Mallam Niga should not be
described as Islamic. Calling them Islamic is misinformation. We cannot blame
journalists for reporting rehabilitation centres as Islamic, because it was
written on their signboards as Islamic centres. The person to be blamed is the
one who owns the centre.”Imam Sani advised that all centres found illegally
operating should be proscribed, because they were denting the image of Islam,
the Hausas and northerners. All this should stop. And I am in support of the
prosecution of anyone found operating illegally.
those doing well, government should assist them in standardising their centres.
And give them license to continue. There should be regular checks on them too,”
Sani said.A Muslim cleric, Mallam Haruna Kabir explained that Islam encourages
equal treatment void of discrimination and it does not permit torture.“To
torture human beings in the name of rehabilitation or under any guise, such as
chaining and other forms of maltreatment, is not Islamic. That is why it is
good for people to study Islam and know its teachings before criticising it,”
his opinion, the Convener, Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth
Associations, Murtala Abubakar, blamed the creation of private rehabilitation
centres on government’s failure, particularly in the northern states.He said
that the North being a region with the highest number of drug abusers also
informed the rationale behind people opening mushroom rehab centres.
to him, “For instance, if government rehabilitation centres are functioning
properly, nobody will patronise private ones. Government-owned centres have
completely failed or are non-existent in some states. You should also remember
that we have the highest rate of drug addiction, which leads to having the
highest number of people with disorders.”
would the menace not tarnish the image of the region and erode the legacy of
Sir Ahmadu Bello and other prominent northerners? Abubakar said drug-related
problems and rehabilitation centres have nothing to do with a particular region
or people because it affects every region in the country. He said: “Why that of
the north is an issue is because northerners are conservative in nature. This
has nothing to do with the legacy of Sir Ahmadu Bello, Dr Bala Usman or any of
our great leaders; it is just a phenomenon that we are facing and our
government should address the issue.”
Banks Should Exploit Untapped Potential In Islamic Banking: Experts
and foreign banks should exploit Islamic banking's untapped potential to ensure
the financial inclusion of "unbanked" populations excluded by the
existing financial system, several experts have said.
banking is a finance system based on the principles of not charging interest,
which is prohibited under Islam.
shows that the Islamic finance sector continues to grow and evolve in size and
complexity, with Islamic banking offered in more than 60 countries worldwide.
It is an excellent opportunity for Indian/foreign banks to expand their
footprint in India by venturing into this largely untapped sector," said
Islamic banking expert Hazik Mohamed.
said Shariah instruments like bonds (more accurately, sukuk) and funds that are
looking at Shariah-compliant investments will be able to meet the needs of
Muslim investors from within India and externally from other parts of the
finance, including its interest-free and equity-based banking system, can
complement the existing Indian banking and finance system, said Hazik, who has
spent the last decade researching financial systems to understand the various
types and causes of financial crises.
is currently developing various solutions to reduce such events by implementing
Shariah principles through digital technology.
an alternative financial system, Islamic finance will provide Indian consumers
(Muslim and non-Muslim alike) an alternative system to meet their banking
needs," Hazik said.
example, an Islamic investment product is typically asset-backed and has
additional Shariah rules to curb it from sub-prime quality and equity-based
rather than debt-based, which makes it financially more stable and
contractually-vested to limit rogue and speculative behaviours, he explained.
said Islamic banks show certain advantages over conventional banks.
banks' greater resilience to crises and shocks compared to conventional banks
are based on empirical data from countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Pakistan, Turkey, UAE (GCC) where both types of banks exist," he said.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to not pursue a proposal for
introduction of Islamic banking in the country.
to an RTI query filed by in 2017, the central bank had said the decision was
taken after considering "the wider and equal opportunities" available
to all citizens to access banking and financial services.
to Abdur Raqeeb, general secretary of the Indian Centre for Islamic Finance
(ICIF), an organisation pushing for Shariah banking in India, Islamic banking
has the potential to contribute towards greater financial inclusion besides
providing support to small and medium sized enterprises.
Islamic banking is introduced, he said, the inadequate labour capital ratio for
informal sector workers associated with agriculture and manufacturing industries
could be resolved through equity finance, which might be a revolution in the
Indian agriculture and unorganized sector.
improved labour capital ratio, our vulnerable workers associated with
agriculture and unorganized sector might be able to compete effectively with
the formal sector workers. Thus Islamic banking may financially empower
majority of Indian workers," Raqeeb said.
about roadblocks behind not starting Shariah-based banking in India, he said
Islamic banking has unfortunately been misunderstood in India as a religious
charitable venture restricted to the country's Muslim community.
is a misconception that Islamic banking is beneficial for Muslims only and not
for all. In Malaysia, more than 40 per cent of the investors and 60 per cent
borrowers are non-Muslims. In Kenya, a predominately non-Muslim country, banks
such as Gulf African Bank have indicated that as much as 20 per cent of the
customer base is non-Muslim," Raqeeb said.
to him, in the Indian stock market, the Jain community more than Muslims has
invested in Shariah compliant stocks like Tata Ethical Fund and Taurus Ethical
the first halal product - IBA cosmetics -- was produced and sold by two Jain
sisters in Ahmedabad," claimed Raqeeb.
of Islamic banking remains a point of concern for regulators and policy makers.
A proper Indian name can be given to terminology of Islamic banking
system," he said, adding that "Participatory Banking" has been
recommended by the Reserve Bank of
RBI in technical analysis of its interdepartmental report of 2014.
to the recommendations of the Committee on Financial Sector Reforms (CFSR)
headed by Raghuram Rajan, Raqeeb said the RBI and government of India have
implemented several suggestions of the panel.
panel had also recommended interest free banking to be introduced into the
banking system, citing it to be in consonance with the objectives of inclusion
and growth with innovation. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/indian-banks-should-exploit-untapped-potential-in-islamic-banking-experts/articleshow/71792564.cms
man plotting terror attacks held
DELHI: A 'local' Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist, allegedly tasked to carry out
grenade attacks at busy markets and other establishments in Baramulla, was on
Saturday apprehended by Jammu & Kashmir police from Sopore.
per J&K police, Danish Tariq Channa, a resident of Baramulla, was allegedly
part of an LeT module led by Sajad Hyder, who is suspected to be behind the
recent terror acts including firin g at migrant labourers, shooting and
injuring four family members of a fruit merchant from Sopore.
strongly against terrorism & its enablers, India urges SCO nations
DELHI: India has asked member-countries of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation (SCO) to strengthen and implement all existing international laws
and mechanisms, without exceptions or double standards, to combat terrorism and
continues to disrupt our societies and undermine our developmental endeavours.
It is important for SCO countries to come together to deal with this menace,”
said defence minister Rajnath Singh, speaking as the special envoy of PM
Narendra Modi at the council of heads of government of SCO at Tashkent in
Uzbekistan on Saturday.
SCO has eight full members — India, Russia, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — while another six nations are “dialogue
partners” and four have been accorded “observer” status.
the process of globalisation has opened immense opportunities for the growth of
SCO members, it had also brought to the fore multidimensional, complex and
transnational threats affecting developing countries, said Singh.
nations must work together to defeat challenges like terror, climate change,
endemic poverty, under- development, pandemics and inequality, he said, while
congratulating Russia for successfully conducting the grouping’s military
exercise ‘CENTER 2019’ in Orenburg to evolve drills of the participating armies
in the fight against international terrorism.
to economic development, the defence minister said the Indian government had
resolved to pro-vide an enabling economic ecosystem for partner countries to
invest and do business in India.
listed out various initiatives taken by India, ranging from relaxing FDI reforms
and allowing 100% foreign investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing
to easing sourcing norms for single-brand retailers and approving 26% overseas
investment in digital media.
breaches truce along LoC in Poonch
Pakistan violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and
Kashmir’s Poonch district on Saturday, targeting forward Indian Army posts and
11.20am, Pakistani Army opened unprovoked fire and shelled mortars along the
LoC in Shahpur, Kirni and Qasba sectors of Poonch, to which the Indian Army
effectively retaliated. The fire exchange continued till 1.15pm. No loss of
life or injury was suffered by the Indian side,” Jammu defence spokesperson Lt
Col Devender Anand said.
terrorists still active in Sopore, will neutralise them: J&K DGP
Few terrorists, including a self-styled LeT commander, are active in north
Kashmir's Sopore town and threatening people, including shopkeepers and fruit
traders, DGP Dilbag Singh said on Saturday, asserting that security forces will
law and order situation has improved in Sopore and elsewhere in the Valley, he
town has been mostly cleared of terrorists and efforts are on to make it
terrorism free, the director general of police (DGP) said after inspecting a
police station building in Sopore where 20 people were injured in a grenade
attack on October 28.
became notorious for a large presence of terrorists over the years and was
witnessing frequent law and order problems.
the situation has changed due to alertness of police, Army and CAPF and
cooperation of the people... the area has almost been cleared of
terrorists," Singh told reporters.
are still "some elements, including a local self-styled commander of the
Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) Sajad Ahmad Mir alias Hyder, active and threatening
people including shopkeepers and fruit traders", the DGP said.
and other forces are working to neutralise them," he said expressing
satisfaction over the improvement in the overall law and order situation in the
also reviewed the crime, law and order and functioning of the police station, a
police spokesman said, adding that he stressed on speeding up of operations
against the terrorists and those who are involved in disrupting peace and
situation has improved a lot across the Valley with people opening their shops,
the DGP said.
the forces for arresting a local LeT terrorist Danish Tariq Channa this
morning, Singh said Channa had recently joined the terror group after being
motivated by Mir and was active in the district with other LeT operatives.
72 yrs, 4km: Kartarpur Corridor to mark a new chapter in frayed Indo-Pak ties
Manraj Grewal Sharma
roads in Punjab lead to the Kartarpur Corridor these days — a four-lane stretch
of macadam that arises out of NH-354, goes to the Indo-Pak border in Dera Baba
Nanak, and from there runs to the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev in
Narowal district of Pakistan.
nearly 9-km corridor (around 4 km of it beyond the border) is not just a road
though. It’s an answer to the hopes of Sikhs who have struggled for access to
shrines commemorating the birth and death of Guru Nanak since Partition put
these on the other side of the border. It’s also one of the rare gestures of
peace in the history of the two warring countries.
year after they set aside their differences to build the Kartarpur Corridor, to
mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, and stuck to the decision
despite another nosedive in their relations, devotees from the India side are
set to visit the Darbar Sahib Shrine where the Sikh Guru spent more than 17 of
his last years.
the corridor is inaugurated on November 9, the first jatha from the Indian side
is expected to take just a few minutes to drive down to the shrine from NH-354.
week to go, the small town of Dera Baba Nanak in district Gurdaspur of Punjab
is a beehive of activity, amidst the general murmur that work is behind
schedule. Past the 100-metre bridge across the Budhi Ravi channel, the road
hangs in the air just before the Zero Line. Arshdeep Singh, Deputy Project
Manager for Ceigall India, tasked by the NHAI (National Highways Authority of
India) to work on the corridor, says this is because Pakistan is yet to
construct its side of the bridge. It was only in technical talks in September
that it agreed to complete the bridge, which will make the corridor an
all-weather road, safe from the swollen waters of the Ravi during the rains. Till
that happens, the pilgrims will travel to Kartarpur through an approach road
the Integrated Check Post (ICP), with its futuristic design reminiscent of an
airport hangar, seems far from completion. Sakattar Singh Bal, Sub Divisional
Magistrate of Gurdaspur, says Phase I of work on the ICP, meant to facilitate
the movement of pilgrims, is complete. “They have a lot of prefabricated
material, only the installation is left. It will be completed before
inauguration day,” he insists.
the border is a different picture. A gleaming white ICP with its big dome
stands finished on the Pakistani side, as does the road leading to the gurdwara
as well as the revamped shrine complex. On this foggy day, there is no sign of
any man or machine other than Pakistani Rangers on the watch towers that side.
completed their work ahead of schedule, while we have been beset with delays,”
rues Gurkirpal Singh, a businessman from Dera Baba Nanak who runs a YouTube
channel Panj Aab and claims to have been keeping a close watch on the progress
on both sides.
BSF company commander, on duty at the tightly guarded corridor, however,
attributes the early completion of work on the other side to their “simple”
design. “Look at the hi-tech design of our checkpost, there is no comparison,”
he says, refusing to be named.
nationalism is on full display along the corridor. First, the Pakistanis
unfurled their flag on a 200-foot-high pole, says the BSF officer. The
Tricolour now towers over at 300 ft. “It takes 10 minutes to hoist it with the
push of a button,” beams the officer.
Pakistani side has also launched a charm offensive, flooding social media with
videos showing the Kartarpur shrine with its newly built ponds and gardens,
along with claims that the government has installed the biggest ‘khanda (a
symbol of Sikh faith)’ in the world near the shrine.
number of pilgrims and tourists coming to the BSF watch tower in Dera Baba
Nanak to see the Kartarpur shrine through a telescope is on the rise. A family
from Ahmedabad has driven down 50 km from the Golden Temple in Amritsar to find
out what the brouhaha is all about.
say that in the initial years after Partition, the devout would just walk over
the Ravi bridge to the shrine. This stopped after relations between the two
countries soured, and the bridge was damaged in the 1965 Indo-Pak War.
years later, on the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Prime Minister
Indira Gandhi promised to approach Pakistan for land swap so that the Kartarpur
gurdwara could be brought under India. But this never came to pass.
two countries went on to sign a protocol for visits by their pilgrims to
religious shrines in each other’s countries, but Pakistan did not agree to the
inclusion of the Kartarpur gurdwara.
began to look up in 1999 when then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee took the Peace Bus
to Lahore and proposed the corridor. The same year, late Akali leader Ajit
Singh Wadala started a movement demanding access to the shrine. Every amavas
(moonless night), he would hold a prayer at the Dera Baba Nanak border along
with other devout, banding together under the all-religion body Gurdwara
Kartarpur Sahib Darshan Abhilashi Sanstha.
June 2008, Wadala approached US diplomat John W McDonald, founder and chairman-emeritus
of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, for help. McDonald visited Dera
Baba Nanak and called for a corridor to Kartarpur. His wife Christel says
McDonald even hired an architect to design what he called “the peace corridor”.
passed away on June 4 last year, before the announcement of the corridor. His
son, MLA Gurpratap Wadala, says he performed more than 220 prayers at the
border. McDonald himself passed away on May 17 this year, living to see the
commencement of the corridor, and after being feted by Sikhs in America for his
contribution to it.
movement got another small push when Baba Sukhdeep Singh Bedi, a lawyer who
claims to be the 17th-generation descendant of Guru Nanak, and whose family has
been running a charitable organisation at Dera Baba Nanak, joined hands with
the BSF to build a platform at the border which holds the telescope through
which pilgrims would see the shrine.
we can’t erect a structure up to 150 metres from the border, I just built a
platform on the embankment,” recounts Bedi, all praise for then BSF Commandant
Ajit Kumar P for his cooperation.
says Dera Baba Nanak owes its origins to Guru Nanak, who would often come here
from Kartarpur to graze his cattle. “This village was called Pakhoke Randhawa
then (this remains its name in revenue records). A large tract of land was
owned by one Ajita Randhawa, who gave it away to Guru Nanak,” he says.
Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Dera Baba Nanak came into existence after the holy
guru’s demise on September 22, 1539. Says Bedi, “Since the Guru was revered by
both Hindus and Muslims, an argument broke out on his last rites. While the
Hindus wanted to cremate his remains, the Muslims wanted to bury him. Finally,
they divided the white sheet that covered him into two. While the Muslims
buried it at a mazaar in Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, his Hindu
disciples kept the remains in an urn… When the Ravi flooded Kartarpur a few
years later, Guru Nanak’s son Sri Chand brought the urn here and buried it at the
spot where Gurdwara Dera Sahib was built. Ajita’s well, that Nanak used to
frequent, has also been preserved.”
Baba Nanak and the villages around it are replete with such Guru Nanak stories.
Every year, on March 4, over one lakh pilgrims congregate in the town to take a
look at the ‘chola (gown)’ he wore on his visit to the Middle East. It is
displayed in a glass case at a shrine controlled by a family that also claims
kinship with Guru Nanak. With no resthouses around, the villagers open their
hearts and homes to the pilgrims, says Gurkirpal Singh, the YouTuber.
walls of Dera Baba Nanak are covered with the Guru’s philosophy of “Naam japo,
kirt karo and vand chhako (Remember the Almighty, work hard and share the
fruits of your labour)”.
of Jaudian Khurd say the ancient banyan tree near the corridor has a Nanak
connection too, while Chandu Nangal village is home to a small shrine to Guru
Nanak’s son Sri Chand. “He lived here for 12 years,” says Mahant Bhagwan Das,
telling you that his family, which goes back 500 years, has not meddled with
the main structure except for painting it. Today, it’s a tribute to the
region’s syncretic culture, with the Guru Granth Sahib inside and a havan kund
for Hindu prayers outside.
don’t live off donations, I tend to my fields and cattle. I try to live by the
tenets of Guru Nanak,” says Das.
the corridor has brought much-needed makeover to Dera Baba Nanak, which has
other links to history besides Guru Nanak. Kalanaur, where Mughal Emperor Akbar
was coronated at the age of 13, is just 12 km away. Further afield is Qadian,
the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Islamic sect, which has faced much
persecution in Pakistan.
have seen a lot of work in the last few months,” says Arpit Kumar, who runs
Mukta Boot House, overlooking the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the
cramped trijunction that serves as the main roundabout of Dera Baba Nanak. “The
roads have been rebuilt, they are promising to cover the drains as well.”
market on the main road boasts a ‘beauty academy’, a gym, a gun house, a burger
place and a couple of photostat shops. Amandeep Kaur of Sohal Photostat has
started offering a new service — of registering pilgrims for the day-long
visit. Same as Sat Pal Jakhmi, the owner of Noble Computer Services, and the
town’s self-appointed head-hunter, who regularly puts up placards with job
openings. “Delhi police HC (head constable) di bharti (recruitment). Last date:
13.11.2019”, “Fire operator: 766 posts”, beckon some boards outside his shop.
Baba Nanak is also being remodelled as a City of Fragrance, with an assortment
of aromatic plants such as Chameli, Sadabahar, and Raat ki Rani being planted
alongside its roads and avenues.
administration has brought five of the 13 neighbouring villages into the urban
ambit of the town for better planning, while others await their turn. Also in
the offing are a Passport Sewa Kendra and a post-office.
wish the government would grant them a college as well. “As of now all our
youth have to travel miles to either Gurdaspur or Batala for graduation,” says
Gurkirpal Singh, youngster in the market.
realty sector also seems to be looking up. Kuldeep Singh is busy showing the
land around the corridor to prospective customers from Amritsar. “The land
rates have gone up from Rs 23 lakh for an acre to Rs 37 lakh. And farmers have
started demanding crores,” he laughs.
this would be unthinkable, with Dera Baba Nanak vulnerable to frequent
cross-border hostilities and Ravi’s swelling waters. There was a time when
people wouldn’t marry their daughters to men here, say the locals.
will be collateral benefits for them too, believe neighbouring villages. “We
will soon be like Chandigarh,” grins Balwinder Kaur, marvelling at the
beautification of the corridor. Monica, who stopped studies after Class 12,
asks, “Will I get a job now?”
some farmers fear the corridor is bitter-sweet news. The cauliflower crop grown
here is known all over Punjab for its taste. “We don’t know when the hostilities
will erupt again, when they will tell the pilgrims to stop,” points out Surjeet
Singh, 65, of Jaurian Khurd, reminding about the cessation of trade at the
Wagah border near Amritsar in the wake of the Pulwama attack and the change of
status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Baba Nanak SDM Gursimran Singh says they have acquired 108 acres in all for the
project — 50 acres for the ICP and 58 for the corridor — from 250 farmers.
who had to part with one kanal of land, says money can’t compensate for what he
lost. “I hope they don’t need more, for then we will have to leave our homes,
is also fear what the newly built bridge may entail. As the gateway to Sialkot
in Pakistan, Dera Baba Nanak saw the impact of the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and
1971 from close quarters. Elders remember how the town and nearby villages
emptied out. While the bridge was damaged in 1965, in 1971, it was from here
that an Army brigade launched an offensive on Pakistan. It became the first
Brigade of Western Command to hoist the Tricolour in the captured territory of
year, the Army celebrates Dera Baba Nanak Day on December 5 and 6. In the town
stands a small white obelisk dedicated to the martyrs of 10 Dogra. There is
also a road called 10 Dogra Marg, but few know about it.
the corridor was announced, private contributors too have been coming. Baba
Sewa Singh of Khadoor Sahib, an environmentalist who was awarded a Padma Shri
for his work on planting of trees and restoration of old shrines, is helming
the reconstruction of Gurdwara Dera Sahib, which is being undertaken without
tinkering with the slab under which the urn containing the ashes of Guru Nanak
lies buried. Baba Bishan Singh, his deputy, says they are making a much bigger
hall in view of the pilgrim rush. The doorway to the shrine now faces the
Kartarpur gurdwara instead of a market, as it did earlier.
plantation drive has been undertaken by Baba Manjit Singh of Zirakpur, a town
near Chandigarh. Baba Shabeg Singh of Goindwal near Amritsar has built gates on
the approach roads from Ranmdas and Batala towns, while the Dera Baba Nanak
roundabout is being revamped by Dubai-based philanthropist S P S Oberoi, who
plans to install ‘Ek Onkar (the central tenet of Sikhism)’ there along with an
image of rabab, the musical instrument played by Guru Nanak’s companion
Mardana. Panchayats from neighbouring villages too are offering help.
Punjab government has spent Rs 25 crore to set up a tent city to accommodate up
to 3,500 visitors free of charge, while pavilions have been built for religious
events to be held in the town from November 8 to 12. “We are spending over Rs
560 crore on the events here and in Sultanpur Lodhi (the town where Guru Nanak
is said to have obtained enlightenment). It’s a very important occasion for all
the followers of Guru Nanak,” says Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
corridor had fuelled bitter politics within the ruling Congress when then
Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had claimed credit for it. It was during
his visit to Pakistan to attend Imran Khan’s swearing-in as Prime Minister that
Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa told him about their decision to open the
corridor. Sidhu is now out of the picture, though Pakistan has invited him for
run-up has also seen the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal, which continues
to retain control over the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee that runs
Sikh shrines, trying to upstage each other. But the Chief Minister, who will
head the first batch of pilgrims to Kartarpur on November 9, says his focus is
only on Nanak. “The shrine is of great personal significance to me. My
grandfather Maharaja Bhupindar Singh had donated Rs 1,35,600 for the present
building in 1925 after it was ravaged by floods.”
Pak nationals among 4 awarded death penalty for UP CRPF camp attack
court in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur on Saturday sentenced to death four out of the
six men convicted of carrying out a terror attack on a Central Reserve Police
Force (CRPF) camp on New Year’s day in 2008 that left eight people dead. Of the
remaining two convicts, one was sentenced to a life term and the other to 10
years in prison.
Kumar Singh, additional district judge (III) of Rampur, handed the death
sentence to Mohammed Sharif, Imran Shahzad, Mohammed Farooq and Sabauddin, who
were found guilty on Friday of direct involvement in the attack..
fifth convict, Jang Bahadur, received a life term and Fahim Ansari, who was
found guilty of holding fake passports and illegal weapons, a 10-year jail term
although though he was acquitted of the charge of waging war against the state.
CRPF personnel and a rickshaw puller were killed in a pre-dawn terror attack,
blamed on the Lashkar-e-Taiba,on the CRPF Group Centre in Rampur on January 1,
Shahzad and Mohammed Farooq belong to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, Sabauddin is
from Madhubani in Bihar and Jang Bahadur from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad.
Mohammed Sharif is from Khajuria village in Rampur and Fahim Ansari from
Goregaon, Mumbai. The court acquitted two suspects, Gulab Khan and Kausar
Farooqi, of Bareilly and Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh respectively, on Friday.
six convicts were brought to court under heavy security and produced before the
additional district judge for pronouncement of the sentence at around 2 pm.
lawyer MS Khan said he was relieved that Gulab Khan and Kausar Farooqi had been
acquitted. “Fahim Ansari has also been acquitted of the serious charge. We will
appeal against the verdict in the high court because the prosecution has not
been able to establish their links with each other or with the
Lashkar-e-Taiba,” he said.
Khan said he wasn’t even told the reason for his arrest by the anti-terrorist
squad (ATS) for three months after he was held. “I was 30 when the ATS picked
me up. I am 42 now,” he said, adding that he had full faith in the judicial
system and was confident that ultimately the truth would prevail.
terrorist held from Baramulla district of J&K
Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist was arrested by security forces from Baramulla
district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Saturday.
Ahmad Channa (18), a resident of the old city in Baramulla, was apprehended
during an operation in Sopore area on Friday night and one pistol and one hand
grenade were recovered from his possession, they said. Officials said Channa
was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba and had been missing from the past month.
case under relevant sections of the law has been registered against him and
investigations started, the police said. On Thursday, two overground workers of
terrorists were arrested by security forces in Baramullah district. In August,
police had arrested Mohammad Iqbal Naikoo of Baramulla. He was affiliated with
shows Jaish, Lashkar planning large-scale terror attacks in winter
terror groups Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are preparing
for large-scale terror strikes against India in the coming winter, according to
the latest intelligence reports. The strikes are aimed at preventing the return
to normalcy of what is now the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and to test
the mettle of the Narendra Modi government.
learns that inputs conveyed to the government by intelligence agencies suggest
that the Jaish leadership has asked its trained and indoctrinated terrorists to
report at its Markaz Usman-o-Ali headquarters at Bahawalpur this week as a
precursor to possible Fidayeen attacks in India.
has been briefed on the inputs by top officials at security agencies who asked
not to be named.
Jaish chief Masood Azhar and his younger brother or de facto chief Mufti Abdul
Rauf Asghar are both at Bahawalpur currently.
inputs indicate that LeT’s commander Abu Uzail has claimed that India would
soon face a deadly suicide attack.
inputs also say that Pakistan-sponsored terror groups will make renewed
attempts to send their cadres across the Line of Control (LoC) after October
26— the day that J&K’s erstwhile ruler signed the instrument of accession
that made the former princely state a part of India.
the home ministry and security agencies have largely managed to keep the region
out of harm’s way since August 5, national security planners believe that the
Pakistan-based groups will attempt a strike this winter to prove their
relevance and dominance.
August 5, the Indian parliament passed laws and resolutions to split the region
of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories — J&K and Ladakh (they came
into being on October 31) — and scrapped special privileges that the state
General Headquarters, the nerve Centre of the Pakistani armed forces, has
apparently given the green signal to selective infiltration by Jaish cadres
in Indian security agencies say that due to the counter-insurgency grid in
place since August 5, and the risk of interception of its cadre while moving
from international borders to the Valley, there has been little or no Jaish
infiltration in the Sialkot sector over the past three months.
reports have specifically highlighted the movement of 20 Jaish cadres, led by
seven Afghan commanders, towards forward launching pads across the LoC in
Pakistan for possible infiltration into the Valley. Incidentally, the same
cadres were detained by the Pakistan army in the second week of October and
sent back to their camp at Balakot, Manshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Balakot
camp was struck by Indian Air Force jets on February 26 in retaliation for the
February 14 Jaish attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Pulwama.
now, terrorists active in the Valley including mixed cadres led by the Jaish
are trying to create terror by pin-pointedly targeting outsiders. Meanwhile,
the LeT leadership has again become active with Hafiz Saeed’s number two Abdul
Rehman Makki delivering the Friday sermon from Jamaat-ud-Dawa Markaz Al Qadsia,
Lahore on October 18. Carrying a bounty of $2 million on his head, Makki made
his first public appearance to deliver the sermon after his arrest on May 15,
Verdict: Muslims meet Police Commissioner of Bangalore
Mr. Feroze Abdulla leads Muslim Delegation comprising of Prominent Ulema’s
-Jamath’s – various organisation’s and peace activists to meet Bangalore City
Police Commissioner Mr.Bhaskar Rao, IPS on Thursday, 31 October 2019, to cooperate with the Police Department to
maintain peace – harmony- law and order as the Babri Masjid Verdict is expected
in coming days.
Bhaskar Rao assured that all measures & efforts will be to maintain peace
including strict action against any mischief mongers who try to spread hate
using social media as well as TV channels who conduct debates that will create
matter whatever the verdict is, the Muslim community will completely cooperate as good citizens of the country and there
will be no celebrations or nor any protest whatsoever .
Muslim Community is extremely grateful to the Commissioner of Bangalore Police
and his team for all their cooperation.
you love #CubbonPark, show up with friends and family on Sunday, November 3 at
9 a.m. near Maharaja Statue . Let’s protect our city’s breathing soul. Any
Construction in the park could strangle it and set a precedent a concrete
jungle inside . Who else does our Park have except the citizens to protect it?
Bring your poster, your memories, your
voice, your warmth , paint the park you love,
bring your cycles, your music and your soul. Weigh in ..
@HeritageBeku on Twitter & Instagram ?
your FB Cover Page to support ? Hastagged #CubbonParkUlisi #HeritageBeku
Forces kill; detain 23 Taliban militants in 4 provinces
Afghan Special Forces killed 8 Taliban militants and arrested 15 others during
the operations in Zabul, Helmand, Balkh and Paktiya provinces.
military officials said Sunday the Special Forces killed 4 Taliban militants
and arrested 6 others during a raid in Qalat district of Zabul province.
officials further added that the Special Force killed 3 Taliban militants and
arrested another militant during a raid in Musa Qala district of Helmand
Special Forces arrested 5 Taliban militants and destroyed a cache of weapons
during a separate operation in Dowlatabad district of Balkh.
Special Forces killed a Taliban militant and arrested 3 others during a patrol
in Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand, the officials said, adding that the
Special Forces destroyed a cache of weapons during a separate operation in
Zurmat district of Paktiya.
Special Forces bust gang of kidnappers in Kabul, rescue abducted trader
Special Forces of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) busted a gang of
kidnappers in Kabul and rescued an abducted trader.
to a statement released by NDS, the Special Forces of NDS busted the gang
during a raid in Qarabagh district of Kabul and arrested 7 members of the gang.
statement further added that the gang had kidnapped a trader and his driver
from Kabul-Parwan highway last week and were demanding ransom of $500,000 for
IED kills 9 school children, wounds another child in Takhar
explosion triggered by an Improvised Explosive Device killed nine school
children in North-eastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said the Taliban militants had
planted the IED in Tahiraha Village of Darqad district.
statement further added that the school children were on their to school when
stepped on IED which killed nine of them.
explosion also wounded another school child, the Ministry of Interior added in
Taliban group has not commented regarding the incident so far.
militants often use Improvised Explosive Devices to target the security
personnel and government officials.
forces kill the assailant who shot a man to death in front of his infant
Afghan forces killed an assailant who had shot a man to death in front of his
infant daughter in southern Kandahar province.
local officials confirmed that the National Directorate of Security personnel
killed the assailant in Kandahar city on Friday night.
Bahir Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial government said the NDS forces
killed the assailant in the 9th district of Kandahar city.
further added that the NDS forces also arrested five others in connection with
killing of a man in front of his infant daughter last week sent shock waves
across the Afghanistan.
gunmen shot the man to death in Arghandab district of Kandahar province early
on Thursday, the officials said.
Tadin Khan Achakzai, the police chief of Kandahar confirmed the incident and
blamed the Taliban militants for the murder.
to file mutiny case against Fazl over ‘provocative’ speech
Adopting an aggressive stance, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government on
Saturday warned the Azadi march participants against advancing towards the
sensitive D-Chowk and decided to file a mutiny case against Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for delivering a
provocative speech and “instigating people” against the prime minister and
the same time, the government held out an olive branch to the opposition by
extending the offer of dialogue and expressing its readiness to revive the
Parliamentary Committee that had been constituted last year to deal with the
issue of alleged rigging in the 2018 general elections.
at a news conference with members of the government’s negotiating team and
after attending a meeting of the core committee of the ruling PTI presided over
by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said they had
decided to “move courts” against the Maulana for “instigating” the public and
asking them to arrest the prime minister.
chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is spearheading the anti-government Azadi
march, while giving a two-day ultimatum to PM Khan at the conclusion of his
speech on Friday had said the public could detain the prime minister at his
residence and force him to resign.
an announcement is tantamount to instigating the masses and an act of mutiny,”
declared Mr Khattak.
Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood, Minister for
Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, former finance minister Asad Umar and
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Media Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan were
also present during the news conference, which was held at a committee room of the
defence minister said the PTI government was not “worried at all” over the
opposition’s Azadi march, but the speeches by opposition leaders “maligning the
national institutions” were unfortunate. He said the speeches against the institutions
which gave sacrifices for the country would be tantamount to “enmity with the
Khattak, who also heads the team constituted by the prime minister to hold
talks with the opposition ahead of its Azadi march, categorically stated that
PM Khan would in no way tender his resignation.
government, he said, would not succumb to the opposition’s threats and pressure
the participants of the Azadi march move forward from the agreed venue, it will
be seen as a breach of the agreement with the local administration,” the
minister said, declaring that such an act would compel the authorities to take
action as per the law.
anything happens and damage is caused, then the responsibility of it will fall
on the opposition, not the government as per the agreement,” Mr Khattak
announced, asking the media to be witness to the fact that the government did
not violate the agreement.
minister said the government was open to dialogue with the opposition parties,
but at the same time warned that the law would take its course, if it violated
the agreement signed with the Islamabad administration.
Khattak claimed it was the opposition that “did not press for” the working of
the parliamentary committee on rigging. He said he was even ready to have an
“open meeting” of the parliamentary committee if the opposition desired so.
minister also claimed that they were in contact with Rehbar committee members,
including its convener and JUI-F leader Akram Durrani, and expressed the hope
that the opposition would not violate the agreement. For talks, he said, the
opposition should present demands while remaining within the limits of the
only demand the opposition had so far made was PM’s resignation, he said,
adding that this demand was not acceptable to the government. He asked the
opposition “not to even think of it [PM’s resignation].”
30,000 or 40,000 or 50,000 people come and say they want to topple the
government, it cannot happen,” Mr Khattak said.
naming Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the
defence minister said those who had been opposing the use of religion for
politics were also present on the container with the JUI-F chief.
to a question regarding the reports that some of the marchers were carrying the
flags of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Afghanistan, Mr Khattak said perhaps some
elements wanted to spread anarchy in the country.
minister said: “All institutions are on the same page and the army has always
supported democratic governments.”
then criticised Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and president
of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Shahbaz Sharif for claiming that his party
had not got as much support from the institutions as the ruling PTI was
enjoying. The defence minister then said everyone knew General Niazi had
brought the Sharif brothers to politics.
Khattak said the army was playing a “completely neutral” role and it had
already issued a statement in response to the opposition’s criticism.
finance minister Asad Umar also criticised the opposition leader for alleging
that the PTI government had immense support from the country’s “institutions”.
asked Mr Sharif how his family could have “hosted the Indian prime minister at
private gatherings” at their home if they did not have the military’s support.
“Did the army stop you from building schools and hospitals, or fixing the
police and judicial systems?” Mr Umar asked.
Minister Shafqat Mahmood said PM Khan had effectively raised the Kashmir issue
on every forum, while the Maulana was working on his own agenda. He added the
Indian media was giving extensive coverage to the march.
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry through his official social
media account on Twitter warned the opposition against taking law into their
hands. “Don’t dare to underestimate the PTI government. We are exercising
self-restraint because Imran Khan has desired so. If he (IK) makes a call,
these bunch of opportunists will not find a place to hide in Pakistan,” the
said that during the core committee meeting, the prime minister declared the
opposition’s demand for his resignation as “unconstitutional and undemocratic”.
He, however, advised the negotiating committee to engage the opposition and
keep him updated on the developments.
prime minister reportedly instructed the interior ministry to be prepared for
any untoward incident.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on
Saturday contacted leaders of the PPP, the PML-N and the Awami National Party,
asking them to come to the negotiation table to amicably resolve the persisting
sources said Mr Qaiser talked to Mr Sharif and ANP’s Mian Iftikhar over the
phone whereas Mr Sanjrani contacted PPP secretary general Nayyar Bokhari before
the meeting of the opposition’s Rehbar committee.
made after Taliban flags spotted in JUI-F’s Azadi March
number of Azadi March participants were arrested on Saturday for hoisting
Taliban flags during the protest.
administration of the Azadi March has also distanced itself from the people who
hoisted Taliban flags in the protest,” Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza
to defence analysts, hoisting of Taliban flags in the JUI-F’s Azadi March can
put a negative impact on the improving image of Pakistan.
mulls mass resignations, shutter-down strike across Pakistan
The joint opposition’s Rehbar Committee, formed to negotiate with the
government on matters related to Azadi March, on Saturday said that
recommendations, including en bloc resignations and countrywide shutter-down
strike, are currently under consideration.
a press conference flanked by other members of the committee, Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Akram Khan Durrani said that they were open
to negotiations with the government but the latter’s attitude is not
resignations from the parliament and strike, blocking highways and locking down
the whole country at the district level and all other options necessary for any
movement are also being considered, said Durrani.
have signed an agreement with DC Islamabad and stand by it,” he said, adding
that any irresponsible action by “non-democratic forces” would be against the
opposition parties are unanimous on this point and oppose it,” he said.
on the occasion, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal said
that he was shocked to know that Prime Minister Imran Khan had waived off the
mandatory requirement of passport for the visiting Sikh pilgrims from India.
welcome Sikh pilgrims, who are set to visit the country for Baba Guru Nanak’s
550th birth anniversary next week, but how can an Indian citizen cross an
international border and enter the Pakistani territory without the basic
document… it means you are changing the status of that territory,” he added.
government has turned Pakistan into a laughing stock with blunders such as
privy to the discussions held in the Rehbar Committee meeting told Pakistan
Today that PPP and PML-N representatives opposed the suggestion of marching
towards D-Chowk and prolonging the protest.
of the two major opposition parties said that it would not be a wise move to
breach the agreement reached with the government,” the sources said, adding
that the PML-N and PPP were of the opinion that there’s no need to create anarchy
by marching towards D-Chowk.
said that the JUI-F members expressed their desire to prolong the sit-in for
some more time, however a final decision in this regard would be reached after
consultation with heads of all opposition parties.
in the day, the government rejected the opposition’s demand for the resignation
of Prime Minister Imran as the Azadi March protest in the federal capital
entered the second day.
of government’s negotiating committee, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, said
that Prime Minister Imran’s “resignation was out of the question”.
reply by the government comes after JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had
demanded the PM’s resignation within two days on Friday night.
defence minister further warned the leaders of opposition parties that the
government will not show leniency if they backtracked from the earlier
agreement reached with the government.
of JUI-F workers descended on the capital late on October 31 night after their
five-day marathon journey which set off from Karachi on October 27.
tells army’s spokesman to stay away from politics
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has asked the
military’s chief spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor, not to “involve
himself in politics“, hours after the director general of the Inter-Services
Public Relations (ISPR) called out the former to tell which institutions was he
referring to in his speech to the Azadi March protesters on Friday night.
we don’t want a clash with institutions why has the DG ISPR tried to push the
institution of the army towards a clash with the people?” the JUI-F chief said
while talking to media.
don’t know on what basis he has issued the statement,” he said after attending
a multi-party conference of opposition leaders at his residence late on Friday
said such a statement should have come from a politician instead of the
speaking to media, the DG ISPR said the JUI-F chief should tell which
institutions was he referring to in his speech to Azadi March protesters in
Islamabad. “Maulana Fazl should take up his reservations with the concerned
institutions,” said Maj Gen Ghafoor.
added that the army was an “impartial” institution.
to the deployment of the troops during the general elections last year, the
ISPR DG said that the military fulfilled its “constitutional” responsibility.
Ghafoor said that the Pakistan Army and the nation made immense “sacrifices”
for peace and stability in the country and that the opposition should not make
such statements that go against the “national interest”.
a massive gathering at the H-9 venue in the federal capital where the Azadi
March culminated on Thursday, Maulana Fazl had said it will come down to the
voters to decide the next move for the Azadi March.
mammoth crowd has the power to arrest the prime minister from his residence,”
Sharif remains critical, platelets drop again: personal physician
Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's health condition remains critical
as his platelet count has dropped again, a day after it rose to 51,000, his
personal physician said on Saturday.
69, was admitted to the Services Hospital on Monday night from Pakistan's
anti-graft body's custody after his platelets dropped to a critical low level
Thursday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo's platelets
increased from 35,000 to 51,000, showing improvement in his condition.
PM Nawaz Sharif remains critical. The treating doctors tried to reduce the
Steroids dose being given to him but unfortunately resulted in drop in Platelet
count again yesterday," said Adnan Khan.
doctor said the cause behind the drop in platelets needs to be diagnosed and
established without delay, Geo News reported.
very delicate balance has to be maintained between coagulation and
anti-coagulation to sustain fragile unstable health status," Khan said.
Tuesday, the doctor had tweeted saying that the former prime minister's health
was in a critical condition and he was fighting a battle for survival.
Islamabad High Court on Tuesday suspended Sharif's sentence for eight weeks in
a corruption case, paving way for his release on medical grounds.
had already secured bail from the Lahore High Court in the money laundering
case linked to the Chaudhry Sugar Mills.
shifting Sharif to London for better treatment, PML-N secretary general Ahsan
Iqbal told PTI on Wednesday that the first and foremost effort of doctors is to
stabilise his condition.
his condition is stabilised, the question of his going abroad will arise and be
decided," Iqbal said.
PML-N leader and former foreign minister Khwaja Asif said Sharif will decide on
his own whether he wants to be treated abroad or not, the report said.
December 24, 2018, an accountability court had sentenced Sharif to seven years
in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case and acquitted him in the
approaches opp for dialogue to resolve issues
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government on Saturday contacted the
opposition parties part of the ongoing Azadi March to find an amicable solution
to the conflict.
Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser telephoned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President
Shehbaz Sharif and stressed the need for resolution of issues through dialogue.
The PML-N president told the speaker that door for talks are still open. Both
the leaders agreed on steps aimed at strengthening the democracy.
said the speaker also spoke to Awami National Party leader Mian Iftikhar
Hussain regarding the Azadi March.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani contacted Rahbar Committee member and Pakistan
People’s Party leader Nayyar Bukhari who said he will respond after consulting
other members of the body. Sanjrani said the government team is willing to meet
the opposition’s Rehbar Committee for a dialogue.
of protesters under the rallying banner of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F)
chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other opposition parties have converged on the
federal capital, seeking to send packing Prime Minister Imran Khan-led
government, which they say is a ‘fake and selected’ regime.
chief hints at prolonging protest sit-in
A tense calm hangs over Islamabad as the 48-hour ultimatum given by Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to the prime minister for his
resignation ends on Sunday evening (today), with the law enforcement personnel
gearing up to meet any eventuality in case the protesters camping at the
designated H-9 venue violate the agreement.
the Maulana on Saturday hinted that there was no immediate plan to enter the
Red Zone, he also made it clear that the protesters did not intend to return
either until PM Imran Khan stepped down.
people want to go ahead but D-Chowk is not our destination. This is a movement
and it will continue. There is no timeline,” the JUI-F chief said while
speaking to the gathering on the third day of the anti-government protest in
hinted at prolonging the sit-in, claiming that more caravans were on their way
from different parts of the country as they were expected to join the
protesters in Islamabad on Sunday.
can we call off the protest, when people are still pouring in?” the JUI-F chief
said while taking a commitment from the participants that they would abide by
the decision taken by their leadership that had “actually” brought them to the
Imran’s government as a “security risk”, the Maulana asked the rulers to step
down without “testing our patience”.
will remain in the arena until we get rid of the government,” he said.
JUI-F chief explained: “Our history is full of movements [...] We have to take
a decision by tomorrow or day after tomorrow.” He said that he would be
weighing options to shift from this place to another ground, from there to
another ground and then to the next ground until they got rid of the
Maulana said: “They (the rulers) should have the belief that their writ on
Pakistan has ended. You are no more the rulers of Pakistan. The writ is in our
hand. We will now run the country. We will run the country peacefully. We will
develop this country. We will restore the economy … this country does not
belong to you anymore.”
praised the participants for maintaining ‘complete discipline’ during the Azadi
march that had begun from Karachi on October 27 and entered the federal capital
on Oct 31.
don’t want to worsen the situation. We have organised 15 ‘million’ marches in
nine months, which are enough evidence to prove how organised we have been and
how we maintain law and order,” he added.
PM Khan issued instructions to the interior ministry to get ready to deal with
any kind of situation in case the protesters violated their agreement with the
local administration by trying to advance towards the sensitive Red Zone of
Islamabad. Sources said the law enforcers had already devised a plan to keep
the protesters confined to the designated H-9 venue and not to allow them to
move to some other place.
members of the opposition’s Rehbar committee met at the residence of JUI-F
leader Akram Durrani, and discussed possible scenarios and the government’s
latest offer for talks.
reporters about the committee’s meeting, Mr Durrani said all options, including
resignations from assemblies, lockdown and blocking of highways, were under
said leaders of the opposition parties agreed that the Azadi march’s objective
was to have “premier’s resignation” and “fresh elections without army’s
committee convener said being democratic, they were ready for talks with the
government, but its representatives must not to use “harsh” language against
workers warmly welcome Fatima Bhutto
Amid slogans of ‘Zulm ka khatma [end to repression], Fatima Fatima’ and welcome
chants, emotionally charged activists of the Pakistan Peoples Party-Shaheed
Bhutto (PPP-SB) warmly received Fatima Bhutto, the daughter of the party’s
founder Mir Murtaza Bhutto, when she returned home after a gap of seven years
party leaders had informed media personnel that she would speak to them during
the visit but she avoided a press talk, though she discussed various issues
with party leaders and workers.
large number of PPP-SB leaders and activists received Fatima Bhutto when she
arrived at Sukkur airport and escorted her to Bhuttos’ mausoleum in Garhi Khuda
Bakhsh in a caravan of vehicles. Prominent among them were PPP-SB’s Larkana
division organiser Inayat Umrani, Ali Ahmed Palipoto and Dr Sikandar Jatoi.
laid wreaths on the graves of her grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and other
members of the Bhutto family and offered fateha. She also stood silent for some
time beside her father’s grave to pay respect to him.
workers showered rose petals and flowers on the graves while continuing to
raise slogans, one of them against PPP co-chairman and former head of state
Asif Ali Zardari.
Bhutto was also warmly welcomed by party workers when she arrived at Al-Murtaza
per Sindh’s age-old traditions, she spent much of her time in offering
condolences to those relatives and party colleagues whose near and dear ones
had recently died. She went to Mor Khan Umrani village near Ratodero and
offered her condolences to Inayat Umrani over the death of his mother and
brother. She also visited Umranis’ graveyard, offered fateha and laid floral
wreaths on the graves.
her visit to Izat Ji Wandh, near Naudero, she offered her condolences to Abdul
Majeed Narejo, Liaquat Narejo and Manzoor Narejo over the demise of Allan Khan
Narejo, the estate manager of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mir Murtaza Bhutto.
Later, she was taken round Bhuttos’ estate, where she met haris.
orders protection of witnesses in lynching case
Lahore High Court acting Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh has ordered the
Punjab home department and the inspector general of police to ensure protection
of witnesses in the 2014 lynching of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan.
directive issued by the director general of district judiciary directorate
required the government to provide security to the witnesses in light of the
instructions of the Supreme Court.
of the case including Shahbaz Masih and Iqbal Masih had approached the high
court with a complaint of non-provision of security by the police.
Sheikh expressed dismay over the non-provision of security to the witnesses and
ordered the government to ensure foolproof security of the witnesses as per the
guidelines set by the apex court.
trial of the case is pending before an anti-terrorism court of Lahore against
dozens of suspects. The court has already convicted several suspects while some
of them has been acquitted by the high court.
Masih and his pregnant wife Shama were bonded labour at a brick kiln of Yousaf
Gujjar. An aggressive mob of over 400 people allegedly led by the kiln owner
brutally killed the couple on charges of blasphemy.
plans to confine protesters to H-9 venue
The federal government appears determined to block the Azadi March from leaving
its designated protest site after Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana
Fazlur Rehman threatened to march on D-Chowk on Sunday (today) if the prime
minister does not resign.
officials decided on Saturday that the protesters would not be allowed to march
towards D-Chowk from Peshawar Mor at any cost.
meeting, which was chaired by the interior secretary, was also attended by
representatives of the army and Rangers as well as the Islamabad chief
commissioner and the police chief.
meeting reviewed the situation following Mr Rehman’s two-day deadline and
discussed how to deal with any untoward situation after it concludes. The
administration was asked to meet organisers of the sit-in and ensure their
earlier agreement, under which the JUI-F said the march would not enter the Red
Zone, is implemented.
were also issued permitting the use of force, including arrest, tear gas and
baton charge to counter violations of the agreement and the law.
administration and police officials told Dawn the venue would be sealed with
shipping containers to confine protesters and JUI-F leaders to the protest
leading to the Red Zone from Peshawar Mor and all roads leading further into
Islamabad, including through residential sectors, will be closed off with
containers. A contingent of police will surround the containers to intercept
marchers if they successfully remove the cordon around the venue, they said.
rings of security will also be in place to take action against the marchers.
and Frontier Constabulary will be deployed in the Red Zone alongside police,
and all the roads leading to the Red Zone will be placed under surveillance.
Police contingents will be deployed in various areas, including on Kashmir
Highway and Khayaban-i-Suhrawardi.
a few participants of the march made an effigy of the prime minister and pelted
it with stones, while others held a dummy funeral. The JUI-F leadership
criticised both acts and asked the participants to refrain from such practices.
from Ansarul Islam took notice of the effigy and removed the participants
responsible from the venue, the officials said. The group that held a funeral
was also removed.
officers told Dawn a few people were also taken into custody at the protest on
man was apprehended by Ansarul Islam volunteers for hoisting an Afghan Taliban
flag, they said, and was handed over to the police for legal action. The
officers said the man was taken to an undisclosed location.
people were also caught stealing purses and mobile phones from participants by
volunteers. Police officials deployed at the metro bus depot told Dawn five
pickpockets were handed over to them by volunteers, who were taken to the
Industrial Area subdivision for legal action.
addition, more than 300 participants have been injured or fallen ill in the
last three days.
Red Crescent first aid trainer Mehmood Saboor and volunteer Tasawar Ahmed Butt
told Dawn that they had treated more than 350 people at the medical camp set up
at the protest site.
said most of them had sustained injuries to their feet and legs from stones,
road dividers, shrubbery and barbed wire.
chief can’t use religious card: Firdous
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous
Ashiq Awan said on Sunday that the nation is well aware of Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s plans to challenge the
sovereignty of the country.
a series of posts on social networking website Twitter, the special assistant
regretted that Moulana Fazlur Rehman is threatening to create anarchy in the
country by bringing innocent students of seminaries to the streets.
people of Pakistan would not allow Maulana to use the religious card for his
vested interests, she added.
Ashiq Awan said Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan would neither make a deal with
these elements nor give them any relaxation in the accountability process.
are trying to undermine national institutes, that’s what enemies do. Maulana
and opposition are only doing this to save themselves from cases of colossal
corruption against them,” she said.
new UN envoy vows to promote Kashmiris’ struggle for ‘Azadi’,
to promote Pakistan’s national interests at the United Nations, Munir Akram,
the Pakistani Ambassador-designate to the United Nations said that his mission
was to help advance the legitimate struggle of people of Indian occupied
Kashmir for “Azadi” and self-determination.
am highly honoured to have been asked to represent Pakistan at the United
Nations once again and I am most grateful to the Prime Minister (Imran Khan),
Foreign Minister (Shah Mahmood Qureshi) and the Government of Pakistan for
their confidence they have reposed in me,” Ambassador Akram said in his first
statement after assumption of his office.
the United Nations,” he said, “Pakistan’s central endeavour will be to uphold
the security and dignity of our country and to promote legitimate struggle of
people of Jammu and Kashmir for ‘Azadi’ and self-determination while alerting
the world to India’s threats against Pakistan.”
to threats to Pakistan emanating from the East and the West, he said challenges
were always accompanied by opportunities.
Prime Minister Khan’s address to the UN General Assembly, in which he expressed
Pakistan’s desire for peace with all its neighbours to realize its priority
goal of economic and human development, Ambassador Akram said, “We are
facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan and mediating reduction of
tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.”
said, “Pakistan’s objectives at the United Nations encompass a number of
important issues: building global and regional security and arms control;
strengthening UN peacekeeping; countering Islamophobia; addressing climate
change; promoting the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals); preventing cross
border corruption and money laundering; ensuring equitable reform of the
Security Council and strengthening the capacity of United Nations to fulfil its
delegation in New York, Ambassador Akram said, would work with all friendly
Member States to promote those goals.
gratitude for the messages of felicitations from friends in Pakistan and the
welcome extended to him by old friends at the UN, he pointed out he has a
“young, capable and enthusiastic team” at the mission and the able support of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Departments.
turmoil negatively impacting Kashmir cause: PTI leaders
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders on Saturday said that political turmoil
in the country would negatively impact Kashmir cause and the opposition was
pursuing the agenda of enemies of Pakistan.
Minister Ali Zaidi said Prime Minister Imran Khan has rightly said that no one
can blackmail him, adding, PM Imran Khan is a strong man and this tactic will not
work out for opposition.
inherited a financial disaster and the incumbent government is putting all
efforts to bring Pakistan back on track,” he added.
is malicious agenda behind this Azadi March, the minister said, adding that
protests are being held globally against corruption, but here protests are
being held in Pakistan to save the corrupt leaders who just wanted to save
their looted money.
said PTI led government is committed to stabilising the economy and taking all
possible measures to boost business activities in the country.
under the leadership of Imran Khan is heading towards the right direction, he
of Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said people of Gilgit-Baltistan are
our asset and the prime minister is determined to improve the lifestyle of
underprivileged segments of the country.
is highly appreciable that the prime minister is connected with the people of
the country, he said adding, the opposition is using religion as a political
tool to influence the nation and manipulate their sentiments.
PTI Sadaqat Ali Abbassi said opposition’s long march is just a tactic to create
political turmoil by using religious sentiments of people.
Fazlur Rehman has no moral grounds to stage any protest against the government,
he said, adding that opposition just wanted NRO for their corrupt leaders.
said the government has not created any hurdle and facilitated the protesters
in a democratic manner but their demand of resignation is not acceptable.
Fazal Ur Rehman is pursuing foreign agenda to destabilize Pakistan, he said.
PTI Shaukat Basra also said the timing of long march is very controversial and
this protest is staged by the opposition just to save corruption of their leaders
and stop the process of accountability.
incumbent government is handling the current political situation wisely and
they have not made any arrest till now, he added.
PM calls on ASEAN to stick together in face of US trade war
Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has called on the Southeast Asian countries
to stick together in the face of a trade war launched by US President Donald
Trump against China.
the sidelines of a gathering of leaders of the 10 member Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, the Malaysian
leader said “ASEAN is quite a big market for the whole world.”
don’t want to go into a trade war,” Mohamad said. “But sometimes when they’re
un-nice to us, we have to be un-nice to them."
Trump administration launched the trade war with China last year, when it first
imposed unusually heavy tariffs on imports from the Asian country. China has retaliated by hitting most of what
the US exports to the Asian country.
trade war has increased the specter of a global recession.
an obvious reference to Trump, Mohamad said, "If the person is not there,
maybe there will be a change.”
US, which is a major trade partner, is sending a delegation to the summit, led
by the newly appointed national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, and Commerce
Secretary, Wilbur Ross; instead of Trump or his Vice President Mike Pence, who
attended last year’s summit in Singapore.
signals that the US is a lesser player in our area," said former Thai
Foreign Minister, Kantathi Suphamongkhon.
said the trade issue would be the main topic of the summit.
issues, such as maritime disputes with China over the South China Sea, are not
expected to top the agenda this year.
China, Premier Li Keqiang is attending the summit.
resource-rich sea has long been a source of tension between Beijing and
Washington, which has been taking sides with several of China’s neighboring
countries that have competing sovereignty claims to the strategic waters.
regularly dispatches its warships and warplanes to the waters as part of what
it describes as “freedom of navigation” patrols.
has constantly warned the US against its military activities in the sea, saying
that potential close military encounters between air and naval forces of the
two countries in the region could easily trigger miscalculation or even
accidents at sea or in the air.
blame DAP for everything wrong with this country, Anwar says
LUMPUR, Nov 2 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim came to DAP’s defence today, saying
the party should not be blamed for the country’s problems.
a report by Malaysiakini, the PKR president said many of the accusations
against the Pakatan Harapan (PH) ally from Malay-Muslim critics have no basis.
want to tell you here, if you have any basis, I have no problem for you to
criticise DAP. But if you make them a target to show that the problems of the
country are being caused by DAP, then it is not right.
is against my principle as a Muslim. [The principle] is peace and just. What is
religion without love and compassion?” he reportedly said during the Kuala
Lumpur PKR Convention here.
talking about religion, you just hate and oppress the others, and everything is
the fault of the others and they were caused by DAP and others,” he added.
said he has also been criticised for allegedly being too friendly with DAP.
places I went, the people there told me, ‘Anwar, you are good, but the problem
is you are too close with that [DAP]’. Yes, many told me that.
I am not apologetic. [Rather than] I make enemies with the robbers, murderers
and those who oppress the people,” he reportedly said.
also urged for PH to address the concerns raised by DAP secretary-general Lim
Guan Eng yesterday, that the party had allegedly fallen victim to the “deep
think it is an issue of concern and the parties and government leaders have
been alerted,” he said.
think there is a need to explain [these issues] to reduce suspicions and
misconceptions,” he said.
affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai swears allegiance to new ISIS leader
ISIS affiliate, Sinai Province, has sworn allegiance to the new leader named by
the group following the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the affiliate said on
Telegram on Saturday.
Province, which has waged an insurgency against the Egyptian state, posted
pictures of around two dozen fighters standing among trees, with a caption
saying they were pledging allegiance to Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi.
was named on Thursday in an audio message that also confirmed Baghdadi’s death
and vowed revenge against the United States. US special forces killed Baghdadi
in a raid in northwest Syria.
has resorted to guerrilla attacks since losing its last significant piece of
territory in Syria in March, and has posted dozens of claims of responsibility
for attacks in several countries since Baghdadi’s death.
ground and air forces launched a major offensive focused on North Sinai early
last year. Military operations and militant attacks continue in the area.
Riyadh Worried about Growing Public Discontent
al-Jadid, a Twitter account which discloses leaks from the House of Saud,
claimed that it has recently gained access to a new security report to the
Royal Court, where the ruling class has been cautioned against the consequences
of public anger against Mohammed bin Salman’s so-called “reforms”.
al-Jadid wrote that the Saudi community is showing growing opposition to the
moves made by the body known as the General Authority for Entertainment (GEA).
this regard, the Saudi security has recently sent a report to the Royal Court
surveying the public opinion about the GEA’s actions, with examining comments
in the society, remarks in parties, social media posts and the messages
exchanged via Whatsapp messaging application. The report concludes that the
society in Saudi Arabia is still supportive of Islamic traditions and the
government has a difficult task in dealing and engaging with the Sahwa Movement
(Awakening movement) and other Islamic trends.
to al-Ahd al-Jadid, the Saudi security apparatus has also conducted a survey
among students of Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University and has found that
the vast majority are strongly opposed to the decisions made by Mohammed bin
Salman. "Students hold that the Saudi crown prince is a servile puppet of
powerful countries and the UAE," the findings showed.
the measures of the GEA has been holding the World Wrestling Entertainment
(WWE) women wrestling in Riyadh on Friday which sparked widespread
measures undertaken by GEA, which is a new entity founded in 2016 to implement
bin Salman’s reforms for the 2030 vision, have so far sparked protests from
many Saudi missionaries. The GEA measures are often considered against the
norms, conventions and traditions of the Saudi society.
month, Reuters reported that bin Salman had faced criticism from a number of
Saudi royal family members who expressed frustration over Crown Prince’s
ability to lead the kingdom following a devastating attack by the Yemeni forces
on the Riyadh-owned oil sites.
to a senior foreign diplomat and five sources close to the ruling family, all
of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, the raids by Yemen sparked anger among
several prominent members of the Al Saud family and also some in elite circles
who maintain the young crown prince has adopted an exaggeratedly aggressive
foreign policy towards Iran.
is a lot of resentment” about MbS' leadership, said one of the sources, adding,
“How were they not able to detect the attack?”
source also stated that some people in elite circles have “no confidence” in
the crown prince, an assertion echoed by the four other sources and the senior
Yemeni drones targeted Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais in
mid-September. The attacks shut down about 50 percent of the kingdom’s crude
and gas production, and cut the state oil giant’s crude oil supply by around
5.7 million barrels per day. A return to normal production could take months,
not weeks, according to reports.
Saudi critics say MbS's aggressive foreign policy towards Iran and involvement
in the war in Yemen exposed the kingdom to attack, according to four of the
sources with ties to the royals and business elite.
also express frustration that the crown prince was unable to prevent the
attacks despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars on defense, according
to the five sources and one of the senior diplomats.
crown prince, during a television interview aired on Sunday by US broadcaster
CBS, stated that defending Saudi Arabia was difficult because of the kingdom's
large size and the scale of threats it faces.
insiders and Western diplomats say the family is unlikely to oppose MbS while
the king remains alive, recognising that the king is unlikely to turn against
his favourite son.
monarch has delegated most responsibilities of rule to his son but still
presides over weekly cabinet meetings and receives foreign dignitaries.
of the king's future, the insiders and diplomats say, a challenge to MbS's
authority could be difficult given his hold on the internal security structure.
royals view 77-year-old Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, King Salman's only
surviving full brother, as a possible alternative who would have support of
family members, the security apparatus and some Western powers, according to
two of the five sources with ties to Saudi elite.
Ahmad has largely kept a low profile since returning to Riyadh in October 2018
after two and a half months abroad. During the trip, he appeared to criticize
the Saudi leadership while responding to protesters outside a London residence
chanting for the downfall of the Al Saud dynasty.
of the five sources with ties to the Saudi elite stated that Prince Ahmad's
position on whether he will challenge MbS is that he "will cross that
bridge when we come to it".
Retreat from Newly-Occupied Regions in Syria's Lattakia After Heavy Raid by
(Mount) al-Turkman and Jabal (Mount) al-Akrad front in the Northern Lattakia
province has witnessed heavy clashes between the Syrian army and terrorist
groups in recent weeks. The bloody battles have intensified since almost ten
days ago, and both parties of the conflict have sustained casualties.
Friday, militants kicked off their large-scale military offensive by storming
the Syrian Army positions at, at least, seven regions. But as army airstrikes
and artillery shelling intensified on their recently-seized positions on
Saturday morning, the militants pulled back.
indicated casualties on both sides, and said the Syrian Army has managed to
take back all lost regions.
army source in Damascus said these groups still receive support from Turkey,
who allows them to operate freely within their zone of influence in Northern
keep protest alive in northern city of Tripoli
of Lebanese flocked together in Tripoli on Saturday, an AFP reporter said, to
keep a protest movement alive in a northern city dubbed “the bride of the
its reputation for conservatism, impoverished Tripoli has emerged as a festive
nerve center of anti-graft demonstrations across Lebanon since October 17.
movement has lost momentum in the capital since the government resigned this
week, but in the Sunni-majority city of Tripoli late Saturday it was still going
the main square, protesters waved Lebanese flags and held aloft mobile phones
as torches, before bellowing out the national anthem in unison, the reporter
means everyone,” one poster read, reiterating a common slogan calling for all
political leaders from across the sectarian spectrum to step down.
people had journeyed from other parts of the country to join in.
Chehayeb, 38, said he had driven in from the central town of Aley.
came to Tripoli to stand by their side because they’re the only ones continuing
the revolution,” he said.
Fadl, 50, said she had travelled from the Shiite town of Nabatiyeh south of
Beirut to Tripoli to show her support.
feel the demands are the same, the suffering is the same,” she said.
Tripoli, more than half live at or below the poverty line and 26 percent suffer
extreme poverty, a UN study found in 2015.
Tuesday embattled Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his cabinet would step
it is still unclear what a new government would look like and if it would meet
protesters’ demands that it include independent experts.
and banks have reopened after nearly two weeks of nationwide paralysis.
Karame, 49, called for a “rapid solution to the economic crisis.”
waiting for a government of technocrats,” he said.
the Lebanese capital, hundreds protested on Saturday evening after a day of
block roads to Iraqi port, demand end to foreign meddling
3 November 2019
forces killed a protester and wounded 91 others in Baghdad on Saturday,
security and medical sources said, as tens of thousands of Iraqis gathered in
mass anti-government protests in the capital and blocked roads leading to a
have been congregating in the capital’s central Tahrir Square for weeks,
demanding the fall of the political elite in the biggest wave of mass
demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
have accelerated dramatically in recent days, drawing huge crowds from across
sectarian and ethnic divides.
have focused on the ramparts to the Republic Bridge leading across the Tigris
to the heavily fortified Green Zone of government buildings, where the
protesters say out-of-touch leaders are holed up in their walled-off bastion of
forces on Saturday erected concrete walls on one of Baghdad’s main streets
which leads into Tahrir Square in an attempt to reduce the turnout but a
spontaneous protest in which crowds surrounded soldiers driving bulldozers
forced them to take the structures down.
it down, take it down,” they chanted.
protests, driven by discontent over economic hardship and corruption, have
broken nearly two years of relative stability in Iraq.
the country’s oil wealth, many live in poverty with limited access to clean
water, electricity, health care or education. The government of Prime Minister
Adel Abdul Mahdi, in office for a year, has found no response to the protests.
of protesters were blocking all roads leading to Iraq’s main Gulf port Umm Qasr
near the oil-rich city of Basra, after security forces used live rounds and
tear gas overnight.
at the port, which receives the vast bulk of Iraq’s imports of grain, vegetable
oils and sugar, have been at a complete standstill since Wednesday.
Friday, both the teachers’ and lawyers’ unions said they would extend strikes
they declared last week. Schools had been due to reopen on Sunday after a week
of cancelled classes.
see the political class as subservient to one or another of Baghdad’s main
allies, the United States and Iran, who use Iraq as a proxy in a struggle for
don’t want anyone interfering in our affairs. It’s our country, our demands are
clear,” said protester Ahmed Abu Mariam.
root cause of grievances is the sectarian power-sharing system of governance
introduced in Iraq after 2003.
want an end to sectarian power-sharing, jobs should not be doled out based on
whether you are Sunni or Shi’ite. We want all these parties gone and replaced
with a presidential system,” said 22-year-old law student Abdulrahman Saad who
has been camped out in Tahrir Square for nine days.
president seeks to solve ‘complications’ before new PM consultations
2 November 2019
president said on Saturday he will soon set a date for formal consultations
with lawmakers to pick a new prime minister following Saad al-Hariri’s
resignation this week, but is working to resolve some complications first.
Michel Aoun is obliged to hold a formal period of consultations with members of
parliament and designate the figure with the most support as the new prime
minister who will be tasked with forming a government.
has not yet set a date for those consultations to begin, but said he had been
making the “necessary calls” to lay the ground for them to start.
challenges in front of the future government require a rapid but not hasty
approach to the designation process, because rushing in such cases can have
harmful consequences,” the presidency media office said in a statement. The
statement said Aoun needed to resolve some complications but did not elaborate.
Minister Hariri resigned on Tuesday after nationwide anti-government protests.
protests have been less intense since he resigned, but demonstrators are still
on the streets, and one of their main demands is for the rapid formation of a
new government led by technocrats to carry out badly needed economic reforms.
nationwide protests that erupted on October 17 tipped Lebanon into political
turmoil as it grapples with the worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil
uprisings caused banks to close for two weeks on security concerns. Analysts
and bankers had cited widespread concern about a rush by depositors to withdraw
their savings or transfer them abroad when the banks reopened.
formal capital controls were imposed when banks opened their doors on Friday,
but customers encountered new curbs on transfers abroad and withdrawals from US
dollar accounts, bankers and customers said.
security forces kill one, wound 91 protesters
forces killed a protester and wounded 91 others in Baghdad on Saturday,
security and medical sources said, as thousands of Iraqis continued to gather
in mass anti-government protests.
of thousands have been gathering in the capital’s central Tahrir Square this
week, demanding the downfall of the political elite in the biggest wave of mass
demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
have accelerated dramatically in recent days, drawing huge crowds from across
Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic divides.
have been comparatively peaceful by day, becoming more violent after dark as
police use tear gas and rubber bullets to battle self-proclaimed “revolutionary”
than 250 people were killed in October, as security forces fired tear gas
canisters and rubber bullets directly at crowds of protesters, hitting some in
the head and chest.
military calls on Kurdish forces in northeast Syria
military vehicles on Saturday entered a Kurdish-held area in northeastern Syria
and met with officials, AFP correspondents and a local source said, in the
second such visit since an announced US pullout from the Turkish border area.
armored vehicles flying the American flag pulled up at the headquarters of the
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces outside the city of Qamishli.
also passed by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) who have spearheaded the
SDF, and Kurdish security forces in the area.
days earlier, a similar US convoy was seen further east along the border,
outside the town of Qahtaniyah, in an area they used to operate in before
Washington announced a military pullout last month.
US-led coalition has for years backed the SDF in fighting the ISIS group, but
the announcement of an American withdrawal triggered a deadly Turkish invasion
against the Kurds on October 9.
source who took part in one of the Kurdish-US meetings on Saturday said the
Americans wanted to return to Qamishli.
coming to set up a major military post in Qamishli,” the source told AFP.
coalition declined to comment specifically on Saturday’s visit, but said the
alliance continued to withdraw forces from northern Syria.
would relocate some troops to oil-rich eastern Syria to help stamp out
remaining ISIS fighters.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, says Washington
also still has forces in a base near Rmeilan, a town further east along the
a ceasefire deal signed last week, joint Turkish-Russian patrols started on
Friday in the area.
war has spiraled into a complex conflict involving word powers since it started
in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
killed, 30 injured in explosion in Syrian border town: Reports
least 13 people have died Saturday in a car bomb blast near a market in the
Syrian border town of Tal Abyad controlled by Turkish forces, Ankara and a
rights watchdog said.
defense ministry said 13 civilians were killed and another 20 people injured in
the attack, which it blamed on Kurdish fighters.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights meanwhile reported the deaths
of 14 civilians and Turkish-backed rebels in the explosion.
airstrike kills six civilians in Syria: Monitor
airstrike Saturday by Russia killed six civilians including a child in the
embattled opposition bastion of Idlib in northwestern Syria, according to a war
strike hit the village of Jaballa in the south of the Idlib region, taking the
lives of all six from the same family, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Britain-based monitor, which relies on sources inside Syria, says it determines
who carries out an airstrike according to flight patterns, as well as aircraft
and ammunition involved.
head Rami Abdel Rahman said it was the bloodiest such Russian air raid in two
months since Moscow announced a truce for the surrounding area on August 31.
then, eight other civilians have been killed in Russian airstrikes on different
dates in the region, he said.
Idlib region, which is home to some three million people including many
displaced by the eight-year war, is controlled by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces launched a devastating military campaign
against Idlib in April, killing around 1,000 civilians and forcing more than
400,000 people to flee their homes.
a ceasefire announced by the regime’s major backer Moscow has largely held
since late August, though the Observatory says skirmishes persist.
Friday, 23 regime fighters, as well as 11 extremists and allied rebels, were
killed in clashes on the western edges of the Idlib region.
last week said Idlib was the main front remaining to end the civil war, as he
made his first trip since 2011 to visit troops in the region.
Human Rights Commission: 120 injured in Basra following clashes
Iraqi Human Rights Commission said on Saturday that 120 protesters in the city
of Basra were injured after security forces used live rounds and tear gas.
of protesters were blocking all roads leading to Iraq’s main Gulf port Umm Qasr
at the port have been at a complete standstill since Wednesday, after
protesters first blocked its entrance on Tuesday.
Qasr receives the vast bulk of Iraq’s imports of grain, vegetable oils and
sugar, needed to feed a country heavily dependent on imported food. Iraq’s oil
exports take place mostly from nearby offshore platforms which have not been
carrying goods have been prevented from entering or leaving the port. Some
international shipping lines have halted operations because of the port’s
closure, port officials said.
on Saturday burned tires and set up concrete blocks, angered by the anti-riot
forces’ violent attempt to disperse them. At least 30 people were injured,
security and medical sources said.
protests are part of a movement that has brought tens of thousands of Iraqis to
the streets to demonstrate against corruption and the poor state of public
demonstrations in the capital Baghdad were the biggest anti-government protests
since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. About 5,000 people were demonstrating
on Friday in Basra, the nearest big city to the port.
than 250 people have died in a government crackdown on the unrest since the
start of October. Much of the unrest has focused on southern cities in Iraq’s
Shia heartland, which also includes its main oil producing areas.
disruptions to port operations could cause financial damage to the country and
impact the inflow of commodities, port officials said earlier this week. They
also said they were holding talks with protesters to allow the port to resume
building becomes center of Iraq’s uprising
skeleton of a high-rise building overlooking Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square
known as the Turkish Restaurant has become a temporary home and a bustling
center for protesters staging demonstrations against Iraq’s ruling elites.
the ground floor, a group of young men calling themselves the logistical
support committee organized stacks of donated clothes, food, and other supplies
such as battery packs, blankets and cigarettes on Saturday to keep the
once-empty building’s new occupants well-stocked.
didn’t know each other but here, we became one,” said Abu Al-Baqir, wielding a
large wooden stick. “We are all Iraqis.”
in combat trousers and wearing an Iraqi flag as a cape, the 35-year-old is the
leader of the group, made up of 20-odd young men who occupy a corner of the
need razors up here!,” shouted a young man wearing a gorilla mask from the
third floor, lowering a basket. “And don’t forget the bread, we’re starving!
of young men have occupied all 18 floors of the building, with its cramped
unlit narrow staircases. Inside, they dance, smoke shisha, play backgammon and
chant for the downfall of the ruling elites.
mass squat started after a second wave of mass demonstrations against Prime
Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government began on the night of October 24.
demonstrators want to end the post-2003 political order, which they see as
endemically corrupt and which has failed to deliver basic services. Abdul Mahdi
has promised reforms and a broad cabinet reshuffle but that has so far failed
to appease them.
a commercial center, the building was bombed in two wars and subsequently
abandoned. It has been dubbed the Turkish Restaurant because of the restaurant
that occupied its top floor in the 1980s.
protesters now call it Mount Uhud, in reference to a mountain in Medina where
early Muslims battled those who sought to destroy the nascent religion. That
battle ended in defeat.
said they took over the building to stop security forces who used it to shoot
at them in the first wave of protests in early October. More than 250 people
have been killed nationwide since the protests started.
tried more than once to enter, they used violence, they used tear gas, some of
us died, but we did not leave this building,” said Khalil Ibrahim, a
28-year-old mechanical engineering graduate who introduced himself as the 14th
floor spokesman. He has not been able to find work in three years.
are staying until this corrupt regime and this subservient government fall,” he
the balcony of the ninth floor, groups of young people draped in Iraqi flags
dangled their feet far above the swarms of tuk-tuks and protesters below.
the distance is the Jumhuriya - or Republic - Bridge, scene of fierce clashes
in recent days. It leads to the heavily fortified Green Zone which houses
government buildings and foreign missions.
watched their fellow protesters, barricaded against scrap metal and dumpsters,
face security forces firing tear gas.
tell them today we are standing here in this building, tomorrow we will be
standing in the Green Zone,” said Ahmed Salah, camped out in the building for
the lower floors, young people handed out flyers listing their demands. Medical
volunteers came to check up the wounded and distribute saline, inhalers, and
masks for those in need.
here to help our children - these young people fighting for their country,”
said a 44-year-old doctor who gave only her first name, Sahar. She had brought
her son and daughter, also a doctor, to the protests to help distribute the
$400 in supplies she brought.
we don’t help, who will? Neither the Ministry of Health nor our own hospitals
will give us supplies to help treat wounded protesters,” she said.
engineer Bashir Ghalib, wearing a white construction hat, was instructing young
men setting up an electric grid.
least 13 killed in car bomb explosion in Syria's Tal Abyad
a dozen people, including children, have lost their lives and several others
sustained injuries when a car rigged with explosives went off in Syria’s
northern province of Raqqah.
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the car bomb exploded on
Saturday at a busy marketplace in the center of the border town of Tal Abyad,
located about 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of the capital Damascus.
Britain-based war monitor added that at least 14 people were killed and 21
injured in the terrorist attack. It noted that Turkish-backed militants from
the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) were among the dead and injured in the car
Turkish Defense Ministry, however, put the death toll at 13, saying some 20
others were also injured in the attack.
blames Kurdish militants
Turkish Defense Ministry "harshly" condemned the attack and blamed
Kurdish militants for the explosion in a post on Twitter.
Millî Savunma Bakanlığı
harshly condemn the inhuman attack of the bloody PKK / YPG terrorists who
committed a bomb attack against the innocent civilians of Tel Abyad who could
return to their homes and lands as a result of the Operation Peace
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presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also pointed the finger at the YPG.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said in a tweet that the attack
“should serve as a lesson to those who provide shelter to YPG terrorist
organization and justify its actions. This heinous attack proves once again how
right and timely #OperationPeaceSpring was.”
attack targeting innocent civilians in Tal Abyad should serve as a lesson to
those who provide shelter to YPG terrorist organization and justify its
actions. This heinous attack proves once again how right and timely
PM - Nov 2, 2019
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group has yet taken responsibility for the attack.
development took place only two days after a car bomb went off in Syria's
northwestern city of Afrin, leaving at least nine people dead and 30 others
to witnesses and a rescuer, the explosion took place at a busy market in the mainly
Kurdish city near the Turkish border, which is controlled by Ankara-backed
Abyad has been the scene of heavy fighting ever since the Turkish military and
its allied militants launched a cross-border incursion last month against militants
from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG
militants must withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in
northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow will run
joint patrols around the area.
announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish
and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.
October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a
long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared
attempt to push YPG militants from border areas.
slams Twitter for 'politicized' suspension of TV channel accounts
Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has slammed the US-based social media website
Twitter for its decision to suspend pages related to the group, saying it came
under political pressure.
TV channel Al Manar said on Saturday that most of its Twitter accounts had been
accused the Twitter of giving in to “political pressures”, an apparent
suggestion that the decision by the US-based social media platform had been
influenced by the policies of the government in Washington.
US government has blacklisted Hezbollah, a popular group in Lebanon with huge
political influence, while government officials and lawmakers in Washington
have consistently pressured others to cut or restrict their relations with the
group despite the fact that it is represented in the Lebanese government and
decision to suspend accounts run by Al Manar came after a series of protests
across Lebanon which led to the resignation of the cabinet led by Prime
Minister Sa’ad Hariri.
also comes amid a rise in the popularity of Hezbollah in Lebanon and in other
countries in the Middle East, especially after the group managed to
successfully help the government in neighboring Syria to win a years-long
battle against terrorists.
Twitter spokesman told the AFP news agency that the social media platform could
not allow illegal groups to operate on its website.
the same news agency said specific television shows with Twitter names of Al
Manar were still available on the platform on Saturday.
Arabia key to world’s fastest-growing hotel chain
founder of Oyo Rooms, the world’s fastest-growing hotel chain, has said that
Saudi Arabia is crucial to his $10 billion company’s global growth strategy.
on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, Ritesh
Agarwal, the firm’s 25-year-old CEO, told Arab News that the Kingdom offered
“very exciting, magical opportunities.”
Arabia is a relatively recent market for the company, but will become
increasingly important, he said.
came to the Kingdom only about 10 months ago, but it is a very special market
for us. At the moment, we have 9,000 rooms in 14 cities. We have gone to
600,000 customers in the first 10 months, and are aiming to get to 2 million
next year,” he said.
believes Saudi Arabia is on the cusp of a hotel boom as domestic tourism surges
following Vision 2030 reforms.
planned increase in religious tourism — at least 30 million pilgrims are
forecast to travel to Makkah and Madinah by 2030 — is another growth factor,
and Oyo has plans to expand into the two holy cities.
the new online visitor visa as a game-changer, Agarwal said the third growth
area will be a rise in international tourism to attractions such as the Red Sea
development, NEOM and Al-Qiddiya.
community in Germany feels unsafe amid growing Islamophobia
Muslim community is "not feeling safe enough" amid growing
Islamophobia in the country, a German Muslim leader told Anadolu Agency (AA) in
Berlin on Friday.
year we had more than 80 attacks on mosque communities in Germany. The security
situation is very tense. Muslims are not feeling safe. Talks with security
authorities have shown that no sufficient concept exists and, above all, we as
Muslims are not being sufficiently advised," said Burhan Kesici, the
chairman of the Berlin-based Islam Council.
authorities need to work closely with the communities, develop concepts and
provide advice [to them]. Otherwise, Muslims lose confidence in the security
agencies, because protection is simply being blurred," he added.
remarks came only a day after police were forced to evacuate a mosque in the
western German city of Cologne on Thursday following a bomb threat.
by AA about a reaction to the latest bomb threat against the mosque, German
Interior Ministry Spokesman Steve Alter said: "The minister has repeatedly
expressed concern about attacks on religious institutions in recent
a thorough search at the Cologne Central Mosque complex with special teams and
bomb-sniffing dogs, police found no bomb and determined the threat was a hoax.
was the second time in four months that the Turkish-Muslim umbrella group
DITIB, which runs the mosque, had been threatened with a bomb attack.
mosque complex in Cologne also houses the headquarters of DITIB.
June, a bomb threat, apparently emailed by a far-right organization, had also
forced the evacuation of visitors and staff at the mosque complex, however it
also turned out to be a hoax.
has witnessed growing Islamophobia in recent years sparked by hate propaganda
of far-right parties. Police recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last
year, including verbal insults, threatening letters and physical attacks which
led to the injury of at least 54 Muslims. More than 100 mosques and religious
institutions were also attacked by far-right extremists in 2018.
country of over 81 million people, Germany is home to the second-largest Muslim
population in Western Europe after France.
the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, at least 3 million are of Turkish origin.
city declares ‘Nazi emergency’
MAIN: The eastern German city of Dresden has declared a “Nazi emergency” as
officials warned of a rise in far-right support and violence.
city is the birthplace of the Islamophobic Pegida movement, which holds weekly
rallies here, while the anti-immigration Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD)
party won 28 per cent in September regional elections.
city council on Wednesday backed a resolution against far-right extremism with
the title “Nazinotstand?”, or “Nazi emergency?”.
was brought by Max Aschenbach, a local councillor for left-leaning satirical
party Die Partei, who told the DPA news agency that “this city has a Nazi
resolution said the city was “worried that anti-democratic, anti-pluralist,
discriminatory and far-right positions which include violence” were on the rise
for “strengthening of a democratic culture”, making a priority of “the
protection of minorities, human rights and victims of extreme-right violence”.
motion also stressed the importance to fight “anti-Semitism, racism and
resolution was approved by 39 council member votes against 29.
was backed by the left and liberal parties, but rejected not only by the AfD
members but also by centre-right Christian Democrats who said it should not
have targeted right-wing extremism only.
title is clearly pointed,” said Thomas Loeser, a council member for the Green
Pakistani migrants found in lorry in France
More than 30 migrants from Pakistan were found hidden in a lorry in southern
France, prosecutors said on Saturday.
said the driver, who was also from Pakistan, was detained.
discovery came after 39 people were found dead in a refrigerated truck in
Britain last month, once again laying bare the risks faced by migrants en route
group of 31 Pakistani migrants was discovered during a routine check on a
motorway near the Italian border on Friday, French prosecutors said. The
migrants, who included three teenagers, were handed over to the Italian
authorities in accordance with immigration procedures.
Vests protest Islamophobia on Act 51
Yellow Vest anti-government movement marched for the 51st consecutive week amid
wildcat strikes and increasing social discontent.
his latest radical reform which goes against public opinion, unpopular President
Emmanuel Macron is forcing through a 2-year hike to the retirement age and the
creation of an unprecedented one-size-fits-all pension system.
response, public transport workers, truckers, pensioners, student groups and
others have united for the largest general strike since 1995, starting on
December 5. With the Yellow Vests 1-year anniversary also around the corner,
many believe Macron has turned Islamophobia as a distraction.
the end of summer vacation Macron, his ministers and the nation’s mainstream
media have stoked a raft of Islamophobic controversies. The No.2 news channel
recently gave a daily platform to the country’s most notorious anti-Muslim
ideologue Eric Zemmour.
Vests joined Muslim groups in protesting the attempt to bring xenophobia and
jingoism into the daily mainstream public discourse.
on Syrian Constitutional Committee 'going well’
Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said Friday the first round of talks by
the Syrian Constitutional Committee was “successful” and the next round, with a
whittled down group of 45, will start Monday.
last two days have been very good,” said Pedersen, addressing journalists in
the evening after chairing two days of talks with the 150-strong committee
said the committee also agreed on the 45 members that will work in the
so-called “drafting body” to meet Monday, made up of 15 members of the Syrian
regime, 15 opposition members and 15 members of civil society.
also know, of course, that after eight and a half years of conflict, there are
deep differences, a lot of suspicions, a lack of trust. But the fact that 150
Syrians have been sitting together respecting each other, talking to each
other…I think was quite impressive.”
Syrian Constitutional Committee began the third day of talks Friday at the
United Nations in Geneva with more discussions on a constitutional roadmap.
had launched the Constitutional Committee with co-chairs Ahmad Kuzbari from the
Syrian regime and Hadi Albahra from the opposition in an opening ceremony
two co-chairs also addressed journalists Friday after Pedersen.
said the first part of the meeting “has worked well, and members have expressed
their opinions and made their suggestions for the group of 45.”
said Syrian constitutions written since 1920, including that of 2012, will be
discussed at the meetings.
new constitution will be created. The important thing is that it is to be a
fair and free constitution," he said.
security reasons,” he said the next meeting after Geneva “is not possible in
Damascus because opposition members’ lives are endangered.”
said: “We exchanged ideas in two days, and the three different groups had their
police shooting unarmed Palestinian in the back for fun
video has emerged of the Israeli police firing at an unarmed young Palestinian
man as he was leaving the scene with his arms raised.
the 26-second clip released by Israel Channel 13 News on Saturday evening,
officers can be heard yelling at the Palestinian youth to leave the scene,
which appears to be a tunnel road in the central part of the occupied West
a backpack and ID card, the Palestinian man raises his hands and begins walking
away from the area.Then, as the man makes his way down the tunnel, the officers
yell at him to drop his hands. He appears to not completely understand them,
briefly turning around before complying with the order.
short time later, when the man appears to be a considerable distance from the
police and still walking away, one of the officers opens fire, causing the
young man to fall to the ground and call out in pain.
female officer who fired the bullet was reportedly discharged from the police
and returned to the military to complete her mandatory service.
evidence includes text messages in which members of the unit boasted about the
incident and the main suspect's admission via text messages.
also faces a charge of obstructing justice, since she allegedly asked her
fellow police officers not to talk about the incident.
police said the incident had taken place roughly a year and a half ago and the
officer was arrested on suspicion of shooting the Palestinian man “as a dubious
form of entertainment.”
event came to light during the investigation of a different incident, in which
members of the Israeli police allegedly beat a Palestinian man for no reason.
Israeli military regularly opens fatal fire on Palestinians, claiming they pose
a threat to the regime's forces.
rights groups have repeatedly criticized Tel Aviv for its shoot-to-kill policy
as a large number of the Palestinians killed at the scene of the alleged
attacks did not pose any serious threat to Israelis.
troops have on numerous occasions been caught on camera killing Palestinians,
with the videos going viral online and sparking international condemnation.
carries out air raids on Gaza after rocket attacks
has carried out air raids on various targets in the Gaza Strip, Al Arabiya’s
correspondent reported, after at least 10 rockets were fired Friday at southern
Israeli army said added that a house was hit causing damage but no casualties.
Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted eight of the rockets,
according to the Israeli army.
far 10 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians. Eight of those
rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome” anti-missile system, the military
said on Twitter.
rockets were fired in waves, the army said, adding that air raid sirens had
sounded in southern Israel.
also posted on Twitter a picture showing damage to a house.
family home in southern Israel was just hit by a rocket fired from Gaza,” the
was the second consecutive evening that the army reported rocket fire from the
Palestinian enclave, which is run by the Islamist group Hamas.
to Thursday, there had been no such reported rocket fire from Gaza towards
Israel since September 12.
Iraq synchronize power grids to boost electricity export
and Iraq have synchronized their power grids, an important step that will allow
a boost in Iran’s electricity exports to Iraq in order to address the country’s
current electricity shortfall and future energy needs, while sharing technical
know-how in order to pave the way for Iraq to become self-reliant, as head of
Iran’s Grid Management Company, IGMC, explained.
to a World Bank report released in April, Iraq’s challenged electricity sector
faces a demand growth of over 10 percent per year. There are chronic
electricity shortages with power supply standing at less than 15 hours per day.
But Iran has set its eyes far beyond its neighboring countries.
can become a regional electricity hub. It is already connected to all of its
neighboring countries and is capable of exporting electricity to them.
next step would be exporting electricity to the neighbors of its neighboring
countries, for example in Iraq’s case, a 400-kilowatt line can connect easily
Iran to Syria and allow electricity exports there, a country that is currently
in great need of power supply.
September 2004, Iran has exported over 65 billion kilowatt hours of electricity
to Iraq and earned over 5.2 billion US dollars in revenues. The synchronized
power grids pave the way for Iraq to address all of its energy needs by 2021.
blasts US 'economic terrorism' after new sanctions
officials have slammed new US sanctions on the country’s construction sector as
yet another attempt to wage “economic terrorism” against the Iranian people.
Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri on Saturday denounced the sanctions as
“coercive and unilateral measures” targeting Iranians.
sanctions are “a clear violation of international law and the Charter of the
United Nations,” he told a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s
Council in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.
international community bears responsibility in this regard,” Jahangiri added.
US imposed sanctions on Iran's construction sector on Thursday despite an
earlier announcement last week claiming that it had created a new mechanism to
facilitate "permissible trade" with Tehran.
Friday, Zarif dismissed the new sanctions, stating that "subjecting
construction workers to economic terrorism only manifests maximum failure of
'maximum pressure'," referring to Washington's campaign of "maximum
pressure" against the country.
new sanctions are set to make it further difficult for average Iranian
households to attain affordable housing after earlier sanctions destabilized
Iran's real estate market last year.
denouncing the sanctions, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said
the measures demonstrated Washington’s “weakness and incompetence” in
US should return to implementing its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive
Plan of Action (JCPOA) instead of embracing its self-made illusions and
imposing repetitive and rhetorical sanctions which will never realize its
objectives,” Mousavi said.
embargoes mark the latest round of Washington's sweeping sanctions against Iran
after the US government unilaterally withdrew from the multilateral 2015
nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions previously lifted under the agreement last
has reciprocally suspended many of its nuclear commitments, as permitted under
his Saturday remarks, Jahangiri said despite Washington’s withdrawal from the
deal, Iran has always expressed willingness to engage in talks with other
signatories of the agreement.
said Iran would return to fulfilling its JCPOA commitments if other signatories
commit to theirs.
is clear that the continuation of the JCPOA can only be achieved by attaining a
balance between the commitments fulfilled by all sides of the agreement and
guaranteeing that the Islamic Republic of Iran receive the economic incentives
it was promised under the deal,” Jahangiri said.
Iranian vice president described the JCPOA as an “efficient and successful
model for multilateral diplomacy” that was undermined by the current US
administration in a bid to prevent international economic engagement with Iran.
welcomes multilateral cooperation
further said Iran attaches exceptional importance to multilateral cooperation
and that the SCO could become a flag bearer for multilateral regional collaboration.
regards regional and international cooperation to be crucial in ensuring
international peace and security and combating terrorism collectively,” he
went on to highlight Iran’s Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) -- which seeks to
facilitate regional cooperation without foreign military presence in the
Persian Gulf region -- as a suitable opportunity to achieve sustainable peace,
strengthen maritime security and facilitate regional and international trade.
4,000 Sudanese militiamen slain in Saudi-led war against Yemen: Army spox
spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces says more than 4,000 Sudanese militiamen
fighting alongside Saudi-led military forces against Houthi Ansarullah fighters
have been killed and many more injured ever since the Riyadh regime and its
allies launched a military aggression against Yemen.
at a press conference in the capital Sana’a on Saturday afternoon, Brigadier
General Yahya Saree said 4,253 Sudanese militants have lost their lives in
clashes with Yemeni forces, noting that the total number of the Saudi-paid
Sudanese mercenaries killed in Yemen since the beginning of the current year
stands at 459.
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pointed out that 185 Sudanese militiamen have been killed and tens of others
wounded in battles against Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular
Committees during the past few months.
said 5,000 Sudanese fighters are now present in the al-Khobe area of Saudi
Arabia’s southern border region of Jizan, located 967 kilometers (601 miles)
southwest of the capital Riyadh, in the name of the so-called Fifth Brigade.
highlighted that 2,000 Sudanese militants are stationed in the al-Majazah area
of Asir region, while another 600 are deployed in Saqam area in Narjan region.
spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces added that 1,000 Sudanese forces are deployed
in Yemen’s southern provinces of Aden and Lahij, and that they are present in
Ra’s al-Abbas area, Aden International Airport and al-Anad Air Base.
noted that Sudanese mercenaries have perpetrated various crimes and abuses,
most notably cases of rape, during the past two years, and that the involvement
of Sudanese child soldiers in battles against Yemeni forces is among the crimes
and violations committed by the Saudi-led coalition of aggression.
Yemeni army spokesman pointed out that all captured Sudanese militiamen have
been treated humanely and in accordance with Islamic principles and moral
underscored that the continued participation of Sudanese forces in the ongoing
military aggression on Yemen serves only the agendas of the Saudi-led
coalition, and that Yemeni forces reserve the right to take proper measures and
force them out of the country.
fighters in Yemen or any other foreign force that supports the coalition of
aggression are legitimate targets, regardless of their nationality. Yemeni
armed forces have the full ability to target any new military dispatch of
mercenaries before they reach Yemen,” he concluded.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than
100,000 lives over the past four and a half years.
for Palestinian killed during Israeli airstrike
have held a funeral procession for a 27-year-old civilian who was killed during
a wave of pre-dawn airstrikes in Gaza.
health officials said the 27-year-old, named as Ahmed Al-Shahri, was killed and
three men were wounded in an airstrike on a militant training camp.
Israeli army said it targeted sites belonging to Hamas resistance movement
after Palestinians fired 10 rockets into the occupied territories late on
Friday, November 1.
of the armed groups in Gaza claimed responsibility for firing the rockets. The
Israeli military said Hamas was ultimately responsible for the attack.
prisoners will be sent back to home countries in Europe: Turkey
says it will send foreign members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group back to
their home countries in Europe after the suspected militants were captured by
the Turkish army troops during Ankara’s cross-border offensive into
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu made the remarks in a press conference on
Saturday, saying that Ankara would return the captured militants to their
countries of origin despite the unwillingness of European countries to take
will send the captured Daesh members to their countries,” Soylu added,
complaining about European inaction on the matter.
military forces and militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), who
enjoy Ankara’s patronage, on October 9 launched a cross-border offensive into
northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to clear Kurdish militants from the
so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG) from border areas.
regards the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been seeking an
autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
says its troops have managed to capture some escaped Daesh terrorists over the
last month since the onset of the offensive, called Operation Peace Spring.
These terrorists had escaped from a prison in northeastern Syria following the
Turkish military operation.
are not going to keep them until the end of time. We're not a hotel for Daesh,”
Soylu further said, adding that his country would only hold captured militants
“for some time. After that we'll send them back to their countries.”
to the Turkish minister, member states of the European Union (EU), including
the Netherlands and Britain, have already stripped some of the Daesh militants
of their nationality to prevent Ankara from sending them home.
found an easy solution. They say 'I took his nationality away, it's your
problem now'. That's unacceptable in our view, that's totally irresponsible.
What do you want me to do with your terrorist?” Soylu further said.
There are thought to be at least 10,000
detained suspected Daesh terrorists imprisoned in northeastern Syria, with
another 100,000 family members held at displaced person camps, including 70,000
in al-Hol refugee camp.
officials say nearly 800 Daesh prisoners have managed to escape from a prisoner
camp after the Turkish offensive.
in emergency situation, most vulnerable to threats: Lieberman
Israeli minister of military affairs Avigdor Lieberman says the regime is in an
“emergency situation” amid heightened tensions in the Middle East means that it
is now vulnerable more than ever.
IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin warns that the challenge of aerial
defense is becoming more complex and the threat of missiles and rockets is now
being joined by drones and cruise missiles…, it means we are in an emergency
situation,” Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page.
was referring to comments made by Israeli air force chief Amikam Norkin who
said the military’s multi-tiered network of air defense systems were “on alert”
amid a general threat of coming under attack.
challenge of air defense has become more complicated. Joining the threat of
missiles and rockets are now attack drones and cruise missiles,” he said. “Even
as we speak, Arrow, Patriot, David’s Sling and Iron Dome batteries are on
experts have warned that America's recent decision to pull troops out of Syria
and abandon Kurdish allies in the wake of a military incursion by Turkey meant that
President Donald Trump's White House is not willing to engage militarily in the
Middle East region.
means Israel can no longer count on Washington's unconditional support in case
it traps itself in a new military conflict, the Times of Israel wrote.
warning by Liberman follows similar statements by Israeli prime minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, who has a long record of using Iran to stir security
concern for political gains.
this week, Netanyahu claimed that “Iran wants to develop precision-guided
missiles that can hit any target in Israel within five to ten meters.”
hopes to use Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen as bases to attack Israel
with statistical missiles and precision-guided missiles. That is a great, great
danger,” the Israeli prime minister claimed.
Houthi movement strongly dismissed Netanyahu’s allegations that Iran is seeking
the means to launch precision-guided missiles at the Israeli-occupied
territories from Yemen, stressing that such remarks are meant to prolong the
Saudi-led military campaign against the Yemeni nation.
has on occasions rejected accusations that it is providing missiles to Yemen’s
Ansarullah movement, saying such claims are merely aimed at diverting attention
from atrocities that Saudi Arabia and its allies are perpetrating in Yemen.
has also used such claims by its officials to pound Syrian armed forces in an
attempt to boost anti-government militant forces in the country a boost amid
their major defeats.
strikes kill one in Gaza after first rockets in weeks
Israel carried out retaliatory strikes on Gaza on Saturday, killing one
Palestinian and seriously wounding two, following two nights of rocket attacks
that were the first since September, the Health Ministry said. Dozens of
pre-dawn strikes targeted bases of Gaza rulers Hamas and allied militant groups,
a Gaza security source said.
Israeli Army said the strikes targeted “a wide range of Hamas terror targets,”
including a naval base, a military compound and a weapons manufacturing plant.
Health Ministry identified the person killed as Ahmed Al-Shehri, 27. It did not
say whether he was affiliated with any armed group.
sound of explosions was heard across the tiny but densely populated territory,
AFP correspondents said.
daybreak, curious onlookers gathered around a large crater scooped out of the
sandy soil by the force of one of the blasts.
Hamas source said it had fired at the Israeli aircraft carrying out the raids
and the Israeli military confirmed fresh “incoming fire.”
strikes came after at least 10 rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel
late on Friday causing damage but no casualties.
Israeli military said eight of the rockets were intercepted by air defenses.
Air raid sirens sounded in Israeli communities near the border.
family house was hit, without causing any casualties, the army said, posting a
picture of the damage on Twitter.
was the second consecutive evening that the army reported rocket fire from
Gaza, shattering a calm that had lasted since Sept. 12.
August, a spate of rocket attacks, retaliatory airstrikes and clashes along the
border had raised fears of an escalation as a general election approached in
polls — Israel’s second general election this year — took place on Sept. 17,
but have yet to yield a new government.
enemies Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the Palestinian enclave
say a fourth round remains likely. There have been repeated bouts of violence
between Hamas and Israel over the past year as the Hamas leaders have sought to
improve on the terms of a UN- and Egyptian-brokered cease-fire first hammered
out in November last year.
return for Hamas silencing the rockets, Israel agreed a package of measures to
ease the crippling blockade it has imposed on Gaza for more than a decade.
included allowing in millions of dollars in aid from Hamas ally Qatar to pay
for fuel for the territory’s sole power station and cash for salaries and
grants to tens of thousands of needy families.
truce has also seen Israel expand the distance it allows Gaza fishermen out
into the Mediterranean — although it reduces it or even cuts it to zero in
response to violence from the enclave.
Palestinians have also pressed on with weekly demonstrations along the
Gaza-Israel border first launched in March last year.
protests have frequently drawn live fire from Israel forces stationed along the
heavily fortified border fence.
in Syrian town on Turkish border kills 13
At least 13 people were killed and more than 30 injured in the Syrian town of
Tel Abyad on Turkey's border after a car bomb exploded in a market on Saturday,
according to Turkish state media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Abyad is one of two major border towns that were the initial focus of Turkey's
cross-border assault in recent weeks to capture territory from Kurdish militia
in northern Syria.
government blamed the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the Turkey-based Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK) for the "inhuman attack". The Observatory said
pro-Turkey fighters and civilians were among the dead and injured in the car
state-owned Anadolu Agency said 13 were killed after a "bomb-laden vehicle"
exploded in a marketplace in the centre of Tel Abyad.
town is where some of the heaviest fighting has taken place since the Turkish
military launched its incursion last month in northeast Syria against the YPG,
which for years was allied to the United States in the fight against Daesh.
condemn this inhuman attack of the bloody PKK/YPG terrorists who attacked the
innocent civilians of Tel Abyad who returned to their homes and lands as a
result of the Operation Peace Spring," Turkey's defence ministry said on
spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes the YPG, was not
immediately available for comment.
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), based in Turkey, is designated a terrorist group
by Turkey and its Western allies. Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group
because of its ties to PKK Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey.
Friday, Turkish and Russian troops in armoured vehicles held their first joint
ground patrols in northeast Syria under a deal between the two countries that
forced the YPG away from territory near Turkey's border.
genocide vote: A stinging blow to Turkish denialism
October 29, 2019, has become another significant date in the history of
Armenians worldwide after the US House of Representatives recognized the
systematic killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 onwards in
modern-day Turkey as a “genocide”.
House voted 405-11 on that day, the first time a chamber of the US Congress
officially labeled the slaughter as a genocide.
measure was adopted at a time when Ankara’s military intervention in northern
Syria has strained already tense relations between the US political
establishment and the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
vote was widely seen as a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump’s decision
to pull American forces from northeastern Syria and the ensuing Turkish
military onslaught on Kurdish-administered areas there.
adoption of House Resolution 296, which recognizes the Armenian genocide from
1915 to 1923, is first and foremost a victory for truth and justice,” said
Levon Avedanian, coordinator of the Armenian National Committee of Lebanon
(ANCL) and professor at Haigazian University in Beirut.
29, 2019, is a historical day. This recognition is important for Armenia and
Armenians, for Turkey and Turks, and also for the United States, since it
places the US on the side of justice, which has, for far too long, been denied
to the victims and surviving generations of the Armenian genocide.”
described the recognition as a culmination of 35 years of efforts by Armenian
Americans, led by the Armenian National Committee of America, to honor the
memory of the 1.5 million victims of the genocide.
addition to the House of Representatives, 49 US states have acknowledged the
Armenian genocide, and a resolution in the Senate – Senate Resolution 150 – is
currently gathering pace.
is our hope that the Senate resolution will also be adopted and, eventually,
(lead to) the US government’s change in its complicity-in-denial policy,”
adopted resolution also calls for educating generations about the Armenian
genocide in order to prevent atrocities. As Armenians, we regard genocide
recognition and condemnation as important factors in preventing future
to genocide scholars, denial of a genocide is its last stage.
Armenians, the denial of the Armenian genocide by Turkey is a continuation of
the genocidal policies,” Avedanian said. “In that sense, recognition by Turkey
and by members of the international community is an essential foundational step
on the long path of restoring justice, which would inevitably also include, in
addition to recognition, reparations and restitution.”
response to the Turkish assault on the Pentagon’s Kurdish allies in Syria, the
Trump administration slapped sanctions on Turkish defense and energy
ministries, as well as several high-profile Turkish officials.
House recognition is a major blow to Ankara’s obstruction of justice for the
Armenian genocide,” Avedanian said. “The House also adopted another resolution
demanding that the US administration impose sanctions against Ankara due to the
Turkish incursion in Syria. However, US foreign policy is devised by the State
Department and the US administration, so one should not expect that these
resolutions will have a lasting effect on US-Turkey ties.”
Turkey strongly condemned both resolutions passed by the House, Erdogan has an
invitation to meet Trump on Nov. 13. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s Foreign
Minister, called the vote “null and void,” saying it was revenge for the
offensive in Syria.
countries, including Lebanon, Germany and France, officially recognize the
genocide, which for most Armenians is a deeply felt issue.
violence began with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople in
1915 and continued with a centralized program of deportations, murder, pillage
and rape until 1923.
Armenians were then driven from their homes and sent on death marches through
the Mesopotamian desert without food or water.
death squads massacred Armenians, with only 388,000 left in the empire by 1922
— when the genocide ended — from 2 million in 1914. (Turkey estimates the total
number of deaths to be 300,000.)
Armenians were deported to Syria and the Iraqi city of Mosul. Today descendents
of the survivors are scattered across the world, with large diasporas in
Russia, the US, France, Argentina and Lebanon.
great-grandmother was a child during the genocide and she never knew her
family,” said Nayri Kechichian, a Lebanese-born Armenian who lived in Armenia
for many years.
lost everyone she was related to and was orphaned at a young age. Seeing her
pass away aged 92 was the most emotional thing I’ve encountered in my life.
hoped she would finally be reunited with her family and find peace knowing that
what she went through had been recognized.”
many Armenians, Kechichian expressed excitement over the House of
Representatives statement. “This is a step forward in realizing our dream of
getting back our occupied lands and having closure,” she told Arab News.
next wish is to see the US as a country officially recognizing the Armenian
been fighting for years to make our voice heard, and up to this day,
governments and parliaments of 32 countries have recognized the first genocide
of the 20th century.
is high time Armenians got recognition for what they’ve been through and what
they have lost – 1.5 million lives and their lands.”
said recognition of the genocide gives Armenians the chance to ask for their
“occupied lands” back, adding “we have so much history there.”
personally would like to go and find my ancestral lands and homes, to finally
know what it feels like to belong,” she told Arab News.
currently face identity issues because I am a foreigner in Lebanon despite
being born here and holding citizenship. And I am a foreigner in Armenia,
despite having lived there for nine years and being a citizen of that country.
So, where is my home? It hurts to not know where you came from or who your
Khatchadourian, a Dubai-based Lebanese-French-Armenian, said the genocide is a
very painful topic for the Armenian community. “Having this recognition gave me
hope that maybe one day, it will not only be recognized by US Congress and 32
other countries, but also everywhere else in the world,” she said.
“1.5 million Armenians were killed, slaughtered in cold blood should count for
something and never be forgotten. This lack of recognition (from other
countries) proves to me that, no matter how much people may suffer or endure,
there is no justice in the world,” she said.
pointed out that the House resolution clearly states that “the US government
should reject efforts to associate itself with the denial of the Armenian
genocide or any other genocide.”
we expect that the US administration will strongly reflect these principles in
its dealings with Turkey,” he said.
on Mali military post kills 53 soldiers
soldiers were killed Friday in a “terrorist attack” on a Mali military post in
the northeast of the country, the government said.
assault is one of the deadliest strikes against Mali’s military in recent
civilian was also killed at the outpost in Indelimane, in the Menaka region,
close to the border with Niger, the country's communication minister Yaya
Sangare said on Twitter.
situation is under control. A search and the process of identifying the bodies
is continuing,” he added, after giving the latest update on the death toll.
said 10 survivors were found at the outpost, which suffered “significant”
further details of the attack were given.
Malian government earlier condemned the “terrorist attack,” saying it had left
numerous dead or wounded but without giving a precise toll.
have been dispatched to secure the area and hunt down the attackers,” the
group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday's assault.
comes a month after two extremist assaults killed 40 soldiers near the border
with Burkina Faso, however several sources said the death toll had been down
deadly assault sparked protests outside a military camp in the country's
army has been struggling in the face of a revolt that has spread from the arid
north to its center, an ethnically mixed and volatile region.
recent assaults are also a humiliation for the so-called G5 Sahel force -- a
much-trumpeted initiative under which five countries created a joint 5,000-man
anti-terror force -- and for France, which is committed to shoring up the
Mali came under the control of Al-Qaeda linked extremists after Mali's army
failed to quash a rebellion there in 2012.
French-led military campaign was launched against the extremists, pushing them
back a year later.
the extremists have regrouped and widened their hit-and-run raids and landmine
attacks to central and southern Mali.
violence has also spilt over into Burkina Faso and Niger where militants have
exploited existing inter-communal strife, leaving hundreds dead.
Haram: Revoke N14bn Road Project In Adamawa, Communities Urge Government
three years, communities have urged the Nigerian Government to revoke
non-performing contracts on the construction of bridges destroyed by Boko Haram
in Adamawa State.
2014, when the terror group overran the Northern axis of the state, covering
seven local government areas, they also destroyed three bridges linking Adamawa
and Borno states.
collapsed bridges have since Boko Haram occupation disconnected Madagali and
Michika local government areas from the rest of the state.
government in 2017, awarded N14bn contract for the construction of the bridges
and general road rehabilitation.
three years on, only six per cent work had been done, "after the
contractor was mobilised with N2.2bn", according to the Controller of
Works, Salihu Abubakar.
things stand, communities worst affected by the collapsed bridges have summoned
their senator, Elisha Abbo, urging him to prevail on the government to revoke
the project manager, Ghais Sarieddine, said the slow pace of the project was
due to bureaucratic bottlenecks.
said, “It took the ministry two years to give us advanced payment of N2.2bn and
another 14 months to approve our working drawings.
Haram scare: Don’t dare to invade South-West, OPC, Agbekoya warn sect
Yoruba socio-political groups comprising Afenifere, Agbekoya and the Oodua
Peoples Congress on Saturday warned the violent sect, Boko Haram, to reconsider
its alleged plan to attack Yorubaland.
warning came on the heels of a viral letter stating that Boko Haram members
planned to attack commercial banks in Ondo State; one of the six states in the
South-West, on November 1.
letter was said to have been sent to the state commissioner of police by a
security agency. The development made banks in four council areas in the state namely;
Akoko North-West, Akoko North-East, Akoko South-West and Akoko South-East, to
close for operations, thereby making many customers to travel to Akure, the
state capital, to carry out banking transactions.
attacks Yorubaland ’ll regret it, says Afenifere
with one of our correspondents on Saturday, spokesperson for Afenifere, Mr
Yinka Odumakin, said there was an agenda behind Boko Haram as it had got to the
level of issuing threats to Yorubaland.
group said, “That Boko Haram can get to the level of issuing threats to any
state in Yorubaland clearly shows that there’s an agenda behind it. The
conquest agenda is the reason. They are part of a larger agenda to overrun the
should know that Yoruba have never been conquered on their land. What did
Yoruba take from Boko Haram to get needless threats?
don’t have history of aggression. They should go and ask what happened to those
who tried it in the past. Yoruba have never gone out of their land to threaten
anybody on their land. If anybody thinks they can overrun Yorubaland, they will
live to regret it.’’
speaking, the Ondo State Coordinator of the OPC, Mr Victor Olayemi, said his
group was ready to resist any form of external aggression.
said, “We are battle-ready for anybody who wants to wage war against us in
Yorubaland. We don’t want war in this land and we will resist any form of
aggression against Yorubaland.’’
what the group would do if the sect should strike in the region, Olayemi said
the group wouldn’t pray for such attack or fold their hands to watch it happen.
added, “We don’t pray for it to happen. But if it happens, we won’t fold our
hands and allow some miscreants to destroy our land. We will fight and resist
its part, the farmers’ revolt group, Agbekoya, noted that the purported
effrontery to invade Yorubaland was an invitation to ignite religious and
group’s National Secretary, Chief Olaolu Akinpelu, in an interview with Sunday
PUNCH on Saturday, described the development as a huge joke.
said, “The news must be a huge joke that they are threatening banks in Ondo
State. But if they are contemplating such, they had better be warned to steer
clear of any part of Yorubaland.
Solidarity Movement of Nigeria is battle ready to defend any part of the region
and we will confront them with the arsenal at our disposal.
hope they would heed such warning to stay away from the region, otherwise, we
will swoop on them and chase them to their strongholds anywhere in the
Agbekoya scribe also called on the people in Ondo State to furnish security
forces with information on any strange movements of aliens in their areas.
must be vigilant and make sure that no part of our land is captured by any fundamentalist,”
not sure of operations this week —Ondo banks
of commercial banks with branches scattered across the four local government
areas of Ondo State affected by the Boko Haram scare told Sunday PUNCH on
Saturday that they were not sure of opening this week.
of the banks with branches in the four LGAs are First Bank of Nigeria Limited,
Access Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria, Wema Bank and Polaris Bank.
of the affected banks who spoke to one of our correspondents under condition of
anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue said it was based on the
advice of security agencies that they shut down on Friday.
a result, they would only open on Monday if security agencies asked them to do
was based on the advice of security agencies that we shut down. Once they say
the coast is clear, we will open,” a top official of Ecobank in Ondo State told
a top employee of First Bank said the bank might open this week going by the
preliminary reports it was getting. He, however, said the bank would make its
position known later.
spokesperson for Wema Bank, Funmilayo Falola, when contacted on Saturday night,
said it was late to get the lender’s position on the matter. He said the lender
might come up with a position as to whether it would open on Monday by Sunday
put adequate security in place — Police
the Ondo State Police Command, in a statement, said it had deployed its men in
strategic points in the state to protect lives and property of the people. The
statement was signed by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Femi
statement read in part, “The Ondo State Police Command hereby reassures the
general public especially the banking community across the state that adequate
security has been put in place to protect lives and property.
banking community and other financial institutions are enjoined to go about
their normal business as our men have been put on red alert to prevent any act
of criminality anywhere in the state.
command further advised the people of the state to be conscious of events
around them and quickly alert the police upon suspecting or observing anything
strange or unusual.
the Police Public Relations Offcer for Zone XI Command, Ade Ajisebutu, said the
Assistant Inspector-General of Police for the Zone, Leye Oyebade, had directed
the Ondo State commissioner of police to fortify security around banks in the
state and in every part of the state.
said the situation was under control, assuring business owners and residents of
added that before the current matter became issue of public discourse, police
in the zone had always been ahead of criminals with several innovations designed
by Oyebade to prevent crime.
need for panic. The AIG is fully on ground and he is in firm grip of all
commands under his zone. We have always been ahead of criminal elements and
that has not changed.
has directed the commissioner of police to provide adequate security across the
state. The banks don’t have any reason to be afraid. We urge every member of
the public to go about their lawful business without fear,” Ajisebutu said.
not resting on security —Akeredolu
to the matter, the Ondo State governor, Rotimi
Akeredolu, said the government was on top of the situation.
group says Italian supply ship rescues 200 migrants in waters off Libya
private aid group says an Italian offshore supply ship has saved some 200
migrants in waters off Libya.
Phone, a charity hotline for refugees in distress in the Mediterranean Sea,
says the Asso Trenta has the migrants aboard after rescue late Friday and early
was not immediately known where the migrants might be taken.
discourage the arrival of migrants, Italy has refused docking to humanitarian
rescue ships. Asso Trenta is a commercial vessel.
claims deadly attack on Mali army, as well as killing of French soldier
ISIS group on Saturday claimed responsibility for one of the deadliest attacks
in years against Mali’s military, which killed 53 soldiers and one civilian at
an army post in northern Mali.
of the caliphate attacked a military base where elements of the apostate Malian
army were stationed in the village of Indelimane,” the extremist group said in
a statement on its social media channels.
said one of its soldiers in Mali had died after his vehicle hit an improvised
explosive device, according to a statement by the French presidency.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that killed the French soldier in
restive eastern Mali on Saturday.
Army troops clear more Boko Haram routes in NE, intensify operations across
Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement
on Saturday in Abuja, said that troops of 27 Task Force Brigade Garrison and
Explosive Ordnance Devices (EOD) Team safely detonated three large IEDs on the
Buni Gari-Kamuya Road, linking Borno and Yobe States.
said that the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE also raided a Boko Haram camp at
Kerenoa, Marte Local Government Area of Borno .
to him, the visibly shocked insurgents fled their hideout on sighting the
robust advancing troops, abandoning one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) as
another development, following credible information of suspected cult
activities, troops of Operation MESA in Plateau State arrested four suspected
cultists at Jos University Teaching Hospital in Jos.
troops also raided a suspected drug peddlers’ hideout at Richa Village in
Bokkos Local government area of Plateau.
arrested one Joe Agai, a notorious drug peddler, with a large quantity of
substance believed to be Cannabis Sativa, a locally fabricated pistol and one
notorious drug dealer, Benjamin Jumbo was arrested by troops of 146 Battalion
(Main) in Bonny Island, Rivers State with a 50 Kg sack containing substance
believed to be Cannabis Sativa,” he said.
also said that an alleged notorious Tarok militia gang leader, Shehu Jatau and
five of his accomplices were also arrested in a hotel in Abuja.
added that preliminary investigation had revealed that the suspects were very
active in the Plateau crisis that led to loss of lives and destruction of
properties worth billions of naira.
to him, the criminal gang resorted to kidnapping, extortion and unleashing
unprecedented carnage on innocent residents after the return of peace to
troops of 2 Battalion, while on a routine patrol between Polewire and Gayam
Villages in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, rescued seven
kidnapped victims from a group of bandits on Oct. 29.
sighting the approaching troops, the bandits abandoned their victims and
escaped into the nearby forest.
rescued victims, who were initially travelling from Pandogari in Niger State to
Kano, were escorted out of the area and continued with their journey.
troops of 8 Division, while conducting clearance operation at Mai Yashi Village
of Isah LGA of Sokoto State, rescued two kidnapped victims namely Shamsudeen
Bisharawa and Sadiq Mustapha from their abductors,” he said.
further disclosed that troops of 31 Artillery Brigade encountered a group of
bandits that had been terrorising Ungwan Shai community in Wushishi Local
Government Area of Niger State.
said that one of the bandits was killed in the shootout while others were
believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds.
a related development, troops of 3 Brigade deployed at Falgore in Kano State,
conducted a successful operation that led to the arrest of one of the most
wanted kidnappers within the area, Umaru Abubakar Kaduwa, operating along the
Kano – Kaduna Highway.
the Niger Delta region, troops continue to frustrate the activities of economic
saboteurs by scaling up the tempo of operations against illegal oil bunkering,
illegal oil refining and oil theft.
Positive Identification: Inform us about fleeing Boko Haram members, Army begs
Nigerian Army on Saturday called on Nigerians to assist the ongoing Operation
Positive Identification by giving information that will assist in the
identification and arrest of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists in any part of the
army said the operation, which is to last from November 1 to December 23, “is
integral and complementary to Operation Lafiya Dole in the North-East.”
acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, said this in a release.
He said that the aim of the operation is to arrest terrorists fleeing from the
war zone and theatre of operation to a “safe haven or peaceful areas in Nigeria.”
said, “In order to complement the ongoing operation in the North-East, the army
has an ongoing Operation Positive Identification which is an
intelligence-driven, deliberate, targeted operation and not an independent
it is integral and complementary to Operation Lafiya Dole. The aim of the
operation is to arrest all those terrorists fleeing or escaping the war zone
and theatre of operation to a safe haven or peaceful areas in Nigeria.
of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenance the hitherto faceless and
mischievous alert by one company.
army wishes to use this opportunity to enjoin all Nigerians to cooperate with
it and indeed all other security agencies by giving credible information that
will assist in the identification and eventual arrest of the fleeing criminals
and terrorists in any part of our beloved country.”
envoy seeks prisoner swap with Afghan leaders
US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has held talks with Afghan leaders in order to secure
the release of Taliban prisoners in return for the freedom of two Western teachers
held by the group, an official source said on Saturday. The move is part of
confidence-building measures and efforts to resume stalled peace talks with the
Akbar Agha, a former Taliban figure who now lives in Kabul, told Arab News that
the Taliban had given Khalilzad a list of 70 to 80 Taliban prisoners, but the
exchange process had not been finalized.
has given the Taliban list to the government, but it will take time. The
prisoner swap will happen at some stage,” he said, adding: “The exchange is
entirely aimed at confidence-building and for resuming the talks.”
month, Khalilzad held his first direct meeting with the Taliban in Pakistan to
find ways to restart discussions with the group, after US President Donald Trump
called off the talks in September.
was after nearly a year of intensive talks in Qatar between the two sides.
week, after several meetings with regional leaders and NATO ambassadors in
Europe, where he pressed the need to find a political settlement to the Afghan
war, Khalilzad traveled to Kabul and held talks with President Ashraf Ghani and
Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
Afghan-born diplomat then traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Prime
Minister Imran Khan before returning to Kabul where he has stayed, hoping to
arrange the prisoner exchange deal, an official source, requesting anonymity,
said on Saturday.
Ghani’s National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib confirmed that initial
discussions with the president revolved around the prisoners exchange, the
government has stayed silent about Khalilzad’s latest trip.
two professors, Kevin King, an American, and Timothy Weeks, an Australian, were
abducted in Kabul in 2016 while employed at the American University in Kabul in
broad daylight by the Haqqani network, the main military wing of the Taliban
which has been accused of conducting major attacks in urban areas.
Arab News understands that the Taliban have demanded freedom for dozens of
inmates held by Kabul, including Anas Haqqani, son of the founder of the
(Khalilzad) has been in Kabul for days, trying to get the prisoner exchange
done. He has met with President Ghani on this. I do not know of any progress or
opposition about it so far,” the source said.
was no word from Khalilzad or the US Embassy on the issue.
in Ghani’s office refused to comment on Khalilzad’s latest trip and his push
for the exchange of prisoners.
Abdullah said the exchange was necessary.
we have prisoners held by the other side, and their prisoners are here, work
should be done for their release and this should, of course, help us in
achieving peace in the country,” Abdullah said on Friday.
lawmaker Mir Dad Nijrabi added that Khalilzad had asked Kabul for the freedom
of Taliban prisoners, including Anas Haqqani, for the release of two American
least 10 civilians killed in terror attack in N. Syria
Karacaoglu and Omer Koparan
least 10 civilians, including children, were killed and many others injured
Saturday in a terrorist bomb attack in northern Syria, according to an Anadolu
Agency correspondent on the ground.
bomb-laden vehicle targeted a busy marketplace in Tal Abyad’s district center,
according to initial reports.
the wounded are referred to the nearby hospitals in Turkey’s border city of
Sanliurfa, the death toll is feared to rise.
Syrian National Army (SNA) rebels, who rushed to the scene, are evaluating the
possibility of YPG/PKK terror group’s role in the attack.
YPG/PKK terror group is targeting settlement areas under control of the Syrian
National Army (SNA) that has fought alongside the Turkish forces in Turkey-led
anti-terror operations in northern Syria.
YPG/PKK terrorists continue attacks in Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn districts
despite pulling out of the area under a deal reached by Turkey and the U.S. on Oct.
launched an anti-terror operation, Operation Peace Spring, on Oct. 9 to
eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders,
aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial
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