a bid to communal harmony, Hindus and Muslims in Agra together celebrated the
festival, making preparations for the same. "We have been doing this since
the last 15 years. We want India to be united just as the way we are.
To Govt: Idea to Drop ‘Muslim’ From Name Preposterous
Communal Violence: Ahmadi, Muslim Communities Sign Accord for Peace
Caning Will ‘Invite Allah’s Blessings’ To Terengganu, PAS Cleric Claims
and Hezbollah ‘Trafficking Drugs to Fund Military Operations’
in Stabbing Of Americans Believes Dutch Insult Islam
Warns Of ‘Real Threat’ From ISIS Regrouping In Afghanistan
and Muslims Celebrate Janmashtami Together In Agra
agrees to allow Pakistan to inspect Kishanganga project
wants India to join group to check Islamic State funding
separatists call for poll boycott, say process ‘propagated as verdict in
Held for Plot to Target Hindu Leaders: Tamil Nadu Police
light scheme to enhance structural details of Qutub Minar
alert: Man beaten up in Dehradun not a Naga Sadhu, was not thrashed by Muslims
Stills from Malayalam TV soap used with claims that ISIS killed IPS officer,
twin bomb blasts: 2 of 5 accused convicted, sentencing on Monday
Imran Khan Sends ‘Peace Message’ To Sidhu
may be amended to pave way for PM’s Hour in National Assembly
urges PM not to meet Pompeo
Rabbani renew trust in Pak-Afghan dialogue mechanism
chief says Indian agencies are victimising his family
terrorists killed during search operation in Karachi
begins in five legislatures to elect 13th president of Pakistan
To Hand over Malaysia PM’s Post In 2 Years
group: Public Shariah caning tarnishes view of Islam
Islamic Tide Threatens Indonesia’s Jokowi
88 Kills Two Terror Suspects Allegedly Involved in Attack on Traffic Police
killed, 14 injured in latest explosion by Daesh-linked militants in southern
Official: Turkey, Terrorists Not Popular in Idlib
civilians killed in Iraq in suspected IS attacks
Media Reveals Turkey's Concession to Anti-Terrorism Operations in Idlib
Resumes Activities in Eastern Syria after US Intensifies Aid to Allied Militia
in Northern Syria Call for Expulsion of Turkish Army, Allied Militants
Army Sends More Troops to Borders with Syria Ahead of Idlib Battle
French Army Convoy Arrives in Manbij in Northeastern Syria
Army Sends Heavy Military Hardware to Idlib
call for Iran, Hezbollah withdrawal from Syria meaningless: Sheikh Qassem
Assad say Western pressure will fail to stop Iran-Syria terror fight
Not ‘Recklessly Attack’ Idlib, Trump Warns Syria, Russia
defends Iran deal, censures Trump for 'making things up'
US to discuss “shared objective” with Pompeo
Cancels €9.2mn Deal to Sell Saudis 400 Precision Bombs
government says ‘concerned’ by civilian deaths in Yemen, keeps mum on Saudi
Confirms Death Of Haqqani Network Founder Jalalauddin Haqqani
ISIS Militants Killed, Wounded During the Operations in Kunar Province
Myanmar show maturity by not raising Rohingya issue at BIMSTEC summit: Official
Army Uses Images Of Fleeing Rohingya Muslims As Bangladeshi Immigrants,
Apologises Later For 'Mistake
Church sets priorities for the next decade
suspects arrested over suspicious transfer of 381 young men to Nangarhar
soldier killed, another wounded in East of Afghanistan
ISIS militants hailing from Pakistan surrender to Afghan forces in Nangarhar
with Palestinians Are Pointless: Israel
Colombian President: Recognition of Palestine 'Irreversible'
Claims on Religious Minorities' Rights In Iran Biased: Bishop
will act ‘unilaterally’ on Gaza Strip, West Bank issues: Lieberman
detains over dozen officers over affiliation to Gulen movement
signals it could attack Iranian weaponry in Iraq
chief defends refugee criteria for millions of Palestinians
to trade in local currencies with Iran, China
will continue support for Syria's fight against terrorism: Zarif
says to start controversial drilling for gas in East Mediterranean
troopers kill another Palestinian over alleged stabbing attack in West Bank
Toll Hits 48 in Boko Haram Troop Attack: Military Sources
Haram No Longer Control Any Part of Nigeria – Buhari Claims amid Killing of
trapped as clashes rage in Libya’s Tripoli
and Jordan reject ‘confederation trial balloon’
kill 11 villagers in Nigeria's Plateau state
by New Age Islam News Bureau
back at the government panel that suggested the word “Muslim” be dropped from
its name, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), in its formal response to the
University Grants Commission (UGC), has called the proposition “preposterous”
for ignoring the institution’s long history and unique character.
the committee for going beyond its mandate, AMU Registrar Javaid Akhter wrote
to the government, “The name of the university gives us an idea about its
history, purpose and character and preserving the same is our bounden
Constitutional duty.” “The committee incorrectly draws the conclusion that by
renaming AMU as Aligarh University would instil secular values. One must recall
that in India the concept of secularism arises more from the discourse of
justice and equality than from an anti-religious position mostly practiced in
the West,” he said in response to the 15 suggestions contained in the audit
ordered by the government.
first reported by The Indian Express on October 9, 2017, the above
recommendation was mentioned in an audit of AMU by one of five committees set
up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on April 25 last year, at the
behest of the HRD Ministry, to probe complaints of irregularities against 10
the panel’s audit mandate was limited to infrastructure and academic, research
and financial operations in the 10 varsities, the report on AMU suggested that
the institution should either be called just ‘Aligarh University’ or be named
after its founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. According to committee, the presence of
the word “Muslim” impinges on the secular character of the university, which is
funded by the union government.
to The Indian Express report, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had told reporters
on October 9, 2017, that the government would not accept the suggestion to
committee had also recommended that the selection process of AMU’s
Vice-Chancellor should be tweaked to align it with the appointment procedure
followed by other central universities. Currently, AMU has a greater say in
appointment process. The university’s Executive Council shortlists a panel of
five candidates and forwards it to the AMU Court, which, in turn, selects three
names and sends the list to the HRD Ministry. The President then appoints one
of the three finalists.
university defended its process saying “it is in line with top class world
universities who have all the freedom and autonomy to choose their own V-Cs
best suited to them”.
selection process advised by the panel and followed by other Central
universities is neither perfect nor infallible. No one even knows what
objective criteria are followed by the search committee in shortlisting the
candidates,” AMU’s response states.
response to the committee’s criticism that AMU promotes a culture of
“inbreeding” in which a majority of faculty appointments are of its former
students, the university cited statistics that 388 teachers have experience of
working outside AMU and 237 of its teachers have worked abroad including reputed
institutions like Harvard University, University of California, University of
Michigan and Washington University.
response states: “Suggestion of the committee to have a gap of five years after
award of Master’s/PhD from AMU for taking teaching assignment in AMU is neither
prescribed in UGC regulations not practiced in any comparable university such
as DU, BHU, JNU and JMI… It must be appreciated that meritorious students can’t
be denied appointment merely because of the fact that he or she is an alumnus
of the same institution.”
audit was done by a committee comprising IIT-Madras professor Shripad
Karmalkar, Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University V-C Kailash Sodani, Guwahati
University professor Mazhar Asif and IIM-Bangalore professor Sankarshan Basu.
this year, the government had asked the university for its comments on the
observations made in the panel’s report. AMU submitted its response in the last
week of June.
communal violence: Ahmadi, Muslim communities sign accord for peace
The Ahmadi and Muslim communities of Ghaseetpura signed a written agreement,
promising to avoid giving a religious colour to personal and individual
disputes and present any issue in future to the local committee.
was signed by Mian Nazir, Abdul Jabbar, Prof Abdul Hameed, Rana Idrees,
Muhammad Sarwar and Muhammad Hanif, representing the Jamat Ahle Sunnat and
Shafi, Allah Rakha, Rana Manzoor, Bashrat Ahmed, Arshad and Ghulam Murtaza of
the Jamaat Ahmadiyya on Aug 28, following a clash which left 19 people from
both sides, including 13 Muslims and six Ahmadis, injured.
Aug 23, both the sides clashed and resorted to firing against each other from
the worship place of Ahmadi and adjacent houses. The Ahmadi worship place
(Baitul Zikr) was also ransacked and some of its belongings damaged.
to the six-point accord, any personal and individual disputes would not be
given religious colour. Any dispute or any other issue would be brought to the
notice of the local committee. Both the sides would not deliver provocative
speeches or make announcements (against each other) in mosques or the worship
places. The Ahmadi community would bear the repair expenses of its worship
place damaged in the clash and no objection would be raised to the repair work.
Both the communities would exercise their religious rights according to the law
and constitution of Pakistan. An ex parte decision will be made in case of
violation of the agreement.
committee was formed by City Police Officer Ashfaq Ahmed Khan to keep an eye on
the investigation. The police also initiated a preventive action against 15
people (seven Ahmadis and eight Muslims) to avoid further clash in the area.
Balochni police had registered a case on the complaint of Station House Officer
Zahid Hussain against about 200 people under terrorism charges and the Pakistan
Penal Code sections of 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149
(unlawful assembly, guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common
objective), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious
feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 324
(attempted murder), 427 (mischief causing damage) and 436 (mischief by fire or
explosive substance with intent to destroy house etc).
police officer said it was a good sign that both the communities had inked the
agreement to maintain peace. He said it was easy for the police to conduct the
investigation into the issue and put the suspects behind the bar. However, the
department had tried to ensure permanent peace in the area as both communities
had been living peacefully for years. He said investigation into the issue
would be conducted on merit.
caning will ‘invite Allah’s blessings’ to Terengganu, PAS cleric claims
LUMPUR, Sept 4 ― PAS MP Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali has lauded Terengganu’s
public caning sentence against two women yesterday, claiming the Shariah
punishment would “invite Allah’s blessings” to the state and its people.
Muslim cleric suggested that the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality and
Malaysian Bar should demand the implementation of Shariah caning in civil
cases, and the amendment of the Penal Code to be Shariah-compliant instead if
they were rational and humane.
is more important is the method of Shariah caning will invite Allah’s blessings
to the people and the state, like it was convicted in the Prophet’s hadith.
is no spiritual soul in the implementation of civil criminal punishments,” the
Kuala Nerus MP said in a statement.
also claimed that the sentencing proved that the Shariah judiciary is ready and
able to implement Shariah criminal code enacted in the state laws.
his claim, the sentencing yesterday was carried out by a Prisons Department
officer from the Kajang Prison in Selangor, and not by an officer of the state
of Terengganu or the Shariah courts.
Prisons Department officer from Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan was also present, but
did not mete out the punishment.
two women found guilty for attempting to have lesbian sex were caned six times
in public at the Terengganu Syariah Court, as around 100 people watched the
punishment received worldwide condemnation, with federal minister in charge of
religious affairs Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa saying public presence during the
sentencing should be reviewed.
and Hezbollah ‘trafficking drugs to fund military operations’
militias have been trafficking drugs, which the Yemeni security forces with the
support of the coalition have been fighting to stop,” said Col. Turki
Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition at a press conference in
Riyadh on Monday.
spokesman accused the Houthis of being drug traffickers in cooperation with the
Lebanese Hezbollah group.
said that coalition forces were helping Yemen’s legitimate security forces to
counter the Houthi drug trade. He added that many drug shipments had been
seized and that some of the seized shipments had the slogan “Beirut Youth
explains the relationship between Hezbollah and the Houthi militias in an
effort to find sources of funding for military operations,” he said.
militias continue to threaten maritime navigation in the Strait of Bab
Al-Mandeb and the Red Sea.”
security forces in Marib governorate confiscated a shipment of drugs coming
from Lebanon, on its way to the Houthi militias in the capital Sanaa, according
to the Yemeni Information Ministry.
Thursday, the Yemeni minister of Information Mouammar Al-Aryani said on his
Twitter account that the seized drug shipment was hidden inside coffee packets.
said that Iranian-backed Houthi militias are using schools in Taiz district to
avoid the Saudi-led coalition’s targeting.
in stabbing of Americans believes Dutch insult Islam
Hague, Sep 4 (AP) An Afghan asylum-seeker accused of stabbing two Americans in
Amsterdam believes that Islam is insulted in the Netherlands, Dutch prosecutors
said Monday, giving the first indication of why they think a “terrorist motive”
was behind the attack.
19-year-old suspect is accused of stabbing the 38-year-old tourists Friday in
an unprovoked attack after he arrived at Amsterdam’s Central Station on an
American men were not targeted because of their nationality, which the alleged
attacker did not know, prosecutors said. The suspect’s grievance was with the
European country where the assault took place, they said in a written
is apparent from his statements that he believes that in the Netherlands, the
Prophet Muhammad, the Quran, Islam and Allah are repeatedly insulted,”
prosecutors said, noting that the young Afghan man specifically mentioned Dutch
lawmaker Geert Wilders, who is well known for his fierce anti-Islam rhetoric.
the suspect’s statements so far, it is clear the man had a terrorist motive …
and that he traveled to the Netherlands for that reason,” the prosecutors’
Monday, German authorities said the man had applied for asylum in Germany and
was not considered a security threat there.
last week called off a planned contest for cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad
following death threats and concerns other people could be put at risk.
Prosecutors said the suspect did not mention the contest in his statements.
reacted with a tweet, writing: “Muslim terrorists hate our way of life and our
freedoms. They answer criticism of Islam with violence.” The prosecutors added
that there was so far no indication the suspect, identified as Jawed S. under
Dutch privacy rules, was working with anyone else.
shot him after the stabbings, and he remains in a hospital.
investigating judge held a closed-door hearing there Monday and ordered him
held for two more weeks on suspicion of assaulting the Americans “with a
terrorist motive.” They suffered serious, but not life-threatening injuries in
warns of ‘real threat’ from ISIS regrouping in Afghanistan
has issued a new warning that defeated extremists and militants driven out of
Iraq and Syria are regrouping and organizing their cells in Afghanistan and are
preparing for attacks that could target various parts of the world, including
the United Kingdom.
warning came from UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson who said on Sunday that
his country and other European states are being threatened by extremists from
Afghanistan-based branches of ISIS.
we see is a real threat posed by these groups to the UK and we’ve got to be
acting as we are to ensure that we do not see future Manchester-style attacks,”
Williamson told Sky News.
and Muslims celebrate Janmashtami together in Agra
The auspicious festival of Janmashtami was celebrated all across the nation
with much fervour. While some celebrated the festival on September 2 this year,
in some parts it is being celebrated on September 3.
a bid to communal harmony, Hindus and Muslims in Agra together celebrated the
festival, making preparations for the same. "We have been doing this since
the last 15 years. We want India to be united just as the way we are. There are
no barriers of caste and religion in celebrating festivals," a local
resident, S Qureshi said.
yet another instance, Muslims in Aligarh presented a tale of communal harmony
as they made statues of Krishna and Radha on the occasion of Janmashtami. They
said that it was not the first time the Muslim workers in Aligarh made those
statues. It is an annual procedure for the Muslim workers in Aligarh to make
Krishna's statue. They are well-crafted with the making of these brass statues
and know how to polish them and which clothes to equip them with.
occasion of Janmashtami marks the birth of Lord Krishna - the eight avatar of
god Vishnu. It is known as Gokulashtami in several parts of the world.
According to Hindu lunar calendar, it is observed on the eighth day (Ashtami)
of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Shrawana or Sawan. It overlaps with
August and September of the Gregorian calendar. The festival of Shri Krishna
Janmashtami is followed by Nandotsav - celebrating the occasion when Nanda Baba
distributed gifts to the community in honour of Krishna's birth.
India has agreed to allow Pakistan to inspect the projects in the Jhelum basin,
including Kishanganga hydroelectric project, in the near future and Islamabad
will allow New Delhi to carry out inspection of the Kotri barrage over the
Indus under Article VIII (4) (c) of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), it has been
to the minutes of the 115th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission held
between the two countries from Aug 29 to 30 in Lahore, “Pakistan also urged
India to arrange for the Special Tour of Inspection of the projects in Jhelum
basin including Kishanganga HEP which is pending since 2014, on which ICIW
(India’s Commissioner for Indus Waters) gave his assurance to arrange the same
the meeting, the Pakistani and Indian authorities were unanimous about
strengthening the role of the Permanent Indus Commission. Islamabad also
highlighted the need and asked New Delhi to share the information about
potential projects at the planning stage for examination. “In this way any
objections (if raised by Pakistan) can be addressed in the design at the early
stage of planning instead of debating with India at belated stage when
practically incorporating the requisite changes becomes a challenge.”
order to converge on the objections raised by Pakistan, both sides reiterated
their stance and endeavoured to resolve the issues. In this regard both sides
agreed to exchange the detailed basis of adopting various design parameters for
both 48MW Lower Kalnai and 1000MW Pakal Dul HEPs at the Chenab River. “During
the meeting both the sides agreed to conduct the General Tours of Inspection
which could not be conducted since 2014.
this regard first PCIW (Pakistani Commissioner for Indus Waters) will visit the
Chenab basin in the last week of September 2018 followed by the tour of ICIW to
the Kotri barrage in the Lower Indus, according to Article VIII (4) (c),” the
the meeting, which was held under Article VIII (5) of the IWT, both sides also
agreed to arrange the next meeting of the commission soon after the tour of
inspection on both sides to discuss and endeavour to address Pakistan’s
objections on Lower Kalnai and Pakal Dul.
has already approached the World Bank and sought referring the case to
International Court of Arbitration (ICA). However, India, on the other hand,
wants the dispute decided by the neutral experts. In June, this year, World
Bank had reportedly asked Pakistan to accept India’s demand of a ‘neutral
expert’ and stand down from pursuing its stand of referring the dispute to the
ICA. Pakistan had also raised concerns over the inauguration of the Kishanganga
hydropower plant by India during talks with the World Bank in Washington.
the talks between the two countries have been restored, Pakistani team may
inspect the Kishanganga project on the eve of the next meeting of the permanent
commission for the Indus waters in India or before this,” a senior official
told Dawn on Monday.
reply to a question, he said India had no objection on the Kotri barrage in the
lower Indus. “Their (Indian experts) visit to Pakistan will be after ending our
experts’ inspection of the Lower Kalnai and Pakal Dul projects scheduled by end
of this month,” the official said. “The Indian experts’ visit / inspection of
the Kotri barrage is sort of routine one, as they have no objection or concerns
in this regard. It is a part of the compilation and exchange of the data by the
two countries related to rivers’ flow, water storage, releases, etc,” he added.
of the first ‘2+2’ dialogue between India and the US, Washington is learnt to
have suggested that New Delhi should be a part of the Counter ISIS Finance
Group (CIFG), a broad international group formed to “degrade” and “defeat”
ISIS. With US, Italy, and Saudi Arabia as co-chair, the group was established
in January 2015, and has 49 member states, including Australia, Bahrain,
Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq and China as
US homeland security officials and their Indian counterparts have worked on a
draft plan related to six areas, including anti-terror cooperation in
intelligence sharing, terror financing and cyber security, that will be shared
during the September 6 dialogue, said officials. CIFG, the global coalition to
prevent Islamic State’s use of the international financial system, has been
holding discussions with member states and intergovernmental bodies like
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) since 2015.
no major attack with direct involvement of Islamic State (IS) has been reported
in India so far, the terror outfit has managed to recruit dozens of youths
using online propaganda, officials claimed. In a written reply in Parliament,
Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir, had stated on March 15, 2017,
“The National Investigation Agency and state police have registered cases to
investigate the alleged links of individuals with ISIS and 75 individuals have
so far been arrested.”
Block officials maintained that the group has no physical infrastructure in
India and has managed to influence a very small section of youth. “Our
intelligence and investigating agencies have managed to counter financing of
these small modules. We have been sharing our findings with various foreign
agencies and have participated in various FATF deliberations on terror
financing. Islamic State and all its manifestations have been banned in India
under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967,” a senior home ministry
Indian security agencies had expressed reservations over being a part of US’s
Terrorist Screening Centre (TSC), a multi-agency organisation administered by
FBI which consolidates several terrorist watchlists maintained by US government
agencies into a single database on terror suspects. However, discussions are
being held to further allay concerns. The Intelligence Bureau is the nodal
agency for the pact for TSC.
CIFG charter includes denying ISIL funding from abroad, including from external
donors, foreign terrorist fighters, kidnapping for ransom and preventing ISIL
from providing financial or material support to foreign affiliates in an effort
to expand its global ambitions, among others. The discussion over CIFG follows
a meeting between an Indian delegation led by Additional Secretary in Home
Ministry Rajni Sekhri Sibal and her US counterpart, Deputy Under Secretary in
the Department of Homeland Security, James McCament.
separatists on Monday called for a boycott of the local bodies’ polls in Jammu
and Kashmir, saying people’s participation in elections are propagated “as a
verdict in India’s favour”.
municipal and panchayat polls are being held in the state after over a decade
in October and November. The state government has deputed over 15,000
additional paramilitary forces to conduct the polls amid a spike in the
Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq issued the poll boycott appeal
under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL). Separatists have
routinely issued poll boycott calls since elections were conducted first in
1996 following the beginning of an armed insurgency in Kashmir in the 1980s.
uses it (polls) as a means to dilute Jammu and Kashmir’s disputed status and to
undo the holding of a referendum as promised at the United Nation,’’ the three
said in a statement after a JRL meeting.
statement referred to the petition in the Supreme Court against the
Constitution’s Article 35 that allows the Jammu and Kashmir assembly to define
the state’s permanent residents and confers special rights on them. It added
the state’s identity and disputed status was at stake and the provision was
sought to be done away to alter its demography. “While a Sword of Damocles is
kept hanging over us on this issue, they now want to thrust and enforce
panchayat and municipal elections upon us through the additional deployment of
lakhs of forces…”
Mujahideen, Jammu and Kashmir’s biggest indigenous militant group, had last
week warned the people of acid attacks if they participated in the local
bodies’ polls. As many as 16 sarpanches (panchayat heads) and panchs (rural
bodies’ members) have been killed over the last four years. A record 75% voter
turnout was recorded when panchayat polls were last held in 2011.
held for plot to target Hindu leaders: Tamil Nadu police
Coimbatore police on Monday said they had arrested five youths under the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for an alleged conspiracy to kill
leaders of two Hindu fringe groups in Tamil Nadu. Relatives and acquaintances
of one of those arrested, however, said he had gone from Chennai to Coimbatore
to look for footpath space to sell clothes ahead of the festive season.
police statement said the operation — comprising a search near the station, the
arrests, seizure of cellphones and five sickles, and filing of an FIR — took
about six hours on Saturday. According to police, they received information
that Ashiq (25) from Coimbatore, and his friends, who were arriving from
Chennai, were plotting to target Hindu Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath and
Sakthi Sena leader Anbu Mari. Around 1 pm, the police statement said, five of
them were picked up from a road near the station.
Ashiq, Ismail (25) from Dindivanam, Salavuddin (25) from Otteri, Jafar Sadiq
Ali (29) from Vyasarpadi near Chennai and Shamsuddin (20) from Pallavaram in
Chennai were picked up. All five of them have been sent to Coimbatore central
police statement said all of them were “active in defending radical Islam and
posted on social media against those who criticise Islam and Prophet”.
Ismail’s alleged confession, the statement said Ashiq had promised them help
from more people for their “operation” and that Ismail had links with the
Islamic State. The statement said some of the accused were members of the
Indian National League (INL) — an outfit found 10 years ago with the objective
of preventing Muslim youths from joining radical groups — and they also
supported Islamic State’s ideology.
that the alleged conspiracy was to be carried out during the Ganesh Chaturthi
celebrations, the police statement said the arrests were also significant in
view of the two murders in Coimbatore — that of Hindu Munnani spokesperson C
Sasikumar in 2016 and of atheist H Farook in 2017. The role of radical Muslim
groups is suspected in both cases.
senior intelligence officer claimed at least two accused were members of INL.
“They were furious on social media against anything that criticised Prophet or
Islam. They never had a direct communication with the targets (Sampath and
Mari), but developed enmity against both as they were very vocal against
Islamic groups,” the officer said.
officer said Ashiq, who worked at a mutton shop, was being watched for over six
months since he was linked to a case under the POCSO Act for allegedly abusing
schoolchildren. Among the five, the officer said, two had completed their
Bachelor’s degree, one had a diploma in a technical course and others had
of them hail from lower middle class backgrounds. Except Ashiq, none had a
permanent job,” said the officer.
founder Tada J Abdul Rahim said Salavuddin and Ali were active in his movement
till five months ago. In a statement, Rahim said the youths were picked up when
they had gathered in Coimbatore to look for footpath space to sell clothes.
“Taking them into custody, linking them in a murder conspiracy and foisting
charges such as UAPA is a conspiracy against Muslim youth, they should be
immediately released,” he said.
whose outfit has arranged lawyers for the accused, said Salavuddin went to
towns and sold old clothes during festive seasons while Ali worked as a helper
in interior decoration works. “It may be
a fact that these youths were very vocal and outspoken in defending Islam on
social media when hate mongers put up posts against Islam and Islamic groups.
Their tone and tenor in resisting hatred online might have been equally
problematic and needed correction as they sound angry in this age. But foisting
such serious cases to trap them forever is cruel,” Rahim said.
through the 12th century Qutub Minar complex after sunset will soon be a better
experience with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) deciding to replace
façade lamps at the minaret with ‘architectural lights’.
new illumination, similar to the ones installed at Red Fort, will spruce up the
Minar complex enabling visitors a detailed view of its opulent architecture,
calligraphic verses, corbels, and intricate carving even at night.
73-metre-tall tapering tower having five storeys, built by Shams-ud-Din
Altamash, the Sultan of the Mamluk dynasty that had roots in Turkey, is the
highest brick structure in India.
from within, it has circular staircase with 378 steps.
first Sultan of the city, Qutub-ud-Din Aibak laid the foundation of the Minar
in 1193 AD, possibly as a tower of victory but also as a minaret attached to
the Quwwatul Islam mosque located next to it.
had perhaps only succeeded in raising the first storey, the remaining storeys
being eventually completed by his successor Altamash,” says a guide book on
Delhi’s monuments by ASI.
ASI has engaged the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to carry
out the replacement of lights, for which the design is being prepared.
the next three-four months, Qutub Minar will become the second world heritage
site in the national Capital to have state-of-the-art illumination after Red
historic buildings look weak in comparison to such sites abroad as they are
beautifully illuminated. Architectural lights at Qutub Minar will enhance its
aesthetic and will attract more tourists. Next in line is Safdarjung Tomb,”
said Mahesh Sharma, Union minister for Culture.
lighting is a simple arrangement to illuminate historical structures in which
lights are directed at the frontages or surfaces to be highlighted.
lighting also known as element illumination is programming based technique in
which beams of light are cast on components such as domes, ramparts, minarets,
arches, and balconies, from different angles to highlight their architectural
importantly, under architectural lightings plan, lamps are not fixed on the
surface of the structure but are kept or placed at strategic points. This does
not damage the building. For architectural illumination, energy efficient LED
lamps are used, which reduce power consumption significantly,” said a senior
official of ASI, which is the national custodian and watchdog of heritage monuments
present, the Qutub Minar complex remains open till 10pm for night viewing,
however no other monument is lit up except the minaret.
campus has several prominent edifices, including the tombs of Altamash and
Ala-ud-Din Khilji and two mosques. The lights are switched off at 10.30pm.
the new lighting project, features of three more structures—Alai Darwaza, Alai
Minar, and Quwwatul Islam mosque, will be embellished with LED lights.
we will not allow tourists to go near or enter other structures to be
illuminated as part of the plan. It may take three-four months to complete the
project,” said the official, who is familiar with the matter.
lights at several ASI and state archaeology department protected historical structures
such as Feroz Shah Kotla, Purana Qila, Safdarjung Tomb, Gol Gumbad, Mutiny
Memorial, and Quli Khan’s tomb were installed in the run up to the Commonwealth
Games in 2010. However, Qutub Minar was provided with ultraviolet protective
bulbs in May 2005.
illumination will enhance the Minar’s aesthetics by exposing beautifully
inscribed calligraphy and other decorative features such as corbels, flanges,
and balconies. People travelling towards Mehrauli will also be able to
appreciate the monument from a distance,” said an official of the NBCC.
state-run real estate developer, NBCC, has also planned a slew of measures at
Qutub Minar complex to facilitate visitors such as a pedestrian underpass
connecting parking lot and the monument complex, pathways, ramps for sightseers
with special need, and an information cum interpretation centre.
will install new water kiosks, built cloak rooms, souvenir shops, and redevelop
toilet, and parking facilities. Pathways will be re-laid and benches are planned
for the comfort of the tourist. These measures are crucial to promote our
heritage,” said Anoop Kumar Mittal, chairman and managing director (CMD), NBCC.
Sharma, director general, ASI, said light swapping project is part of ASI’s
ongoing restoration and preservation of city’s monuments for which ₹140 crores
have already been earmarked.
video of a man, who looks like a Naga Sadhu, being beaten up, was shared widely
across social media platforms and WhatsApp yesterday.
social media users shared the video with claims that the man seen the video was
indeed a Naga Sadhu and that he was beaten up by Muslim men.
Police spoke to TOI and clarified that the claims are fake and said that action
will be taken against those who circulated the video on social media.
those who shared the video with the fake claims on Twitter are actor Koena
Mitra, My Nation editor Abhijit Majumder, columnist Shefali Vaidya, and many
other anonymous handles.
handle @imamofpeace shared the video posted by a user named Shikha saying,
“Islamic extremists in India beating up a poor and elderly Indian beggar. I
truly wish this Islamist criminal is arrested soon,” and tagged Prime Minister
Narendra Modi in his tweet.
people who responded to this tweet claimed that the man seen in the video is a
not a beggar but a Naga Sadhu. Social media users then quote-tweeted the tweets
sharing the video saying a Naga Sadhu was attacked by Muslims. Koena Mitra’s now-deleted
tweet said, “He is a Naga Sadhu. This happens in our country everyday.”
got in touch with Dehradun Police who clarified that the man seen in the video
is not a Naga Sadhu but a beggar. Police said that the incident took place on
August 24 in Patel Nagar police station jurisdiction and said that the man is a
Dehradun tweeted about the incident and in it, said that the man seen in the
video is an impersonator and was arrested after he molested a woman under
SSP Dehradun (@DehradunSsp) 1535644795000
man, now identified as Sushil Nath, a native of Haryana, entered a house and
molested a woman, police said. When the woman raised an alarm, her brother --
Shubham -- intervened and thrashed the man using a stick along with some
locals. SSP Dehradun tweeted this information as well.
@uttarakhandcops @DehradunDm @annantsrivastav सोशल
SSP Dehradun (@DehradunSsp) 1535885434000
stills from a Malayalam TV soap are being used with a false claim that ISIS
terrorists killed a Kerala IPS officer and her husband. The intent behind
making such a claim is to target the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government,
accusing the government of being inefficient.
post that went viral said this - "Shocking! Kerala IPS officer and husband
were killed by ISIS jehadis in Kerala using modern capsule bomb.
the commie government is doing there? Is there no security even for an IPS
Facebook user, Santosh Kumar Paswan had made the same claim but seem to have
deleted the post.
above post has been shared over 1,300 times and garnered nearly 3,000
reactions. Some Facebook users commented saying the claim is fake and even
shared the episode of the Malayalam soap 'Parasparam' from which the stills
used were taken but the post is still intact.
some users think this is a satirical post, scrolling through this particular
handle will give an idea that the person is a serial fakester, who has shared
misleading posts in the past as well.
Kumar Paswan, the user who shared a post to spread this fake news, is now
facing the wrath of Malayali social media users who are now commenting on most
of his posts.
reverse-image search of one of the fake posts will lead to Google giving a
"best guess for the image" as Gayathri Arun.
on the suggested name will lead you to a TOI article titled "Parasparam:
The end of a saga" that has used the same image seen in the fake posts.
The story talks about how the popular Malayalam TV soap has finally come to an
find the original video from the show, if you start typing 'Parasparam', Google
will suggest 'Parasparam last episode' and on searching with these keywords,
you will get a YouTube video, again with the same image from the fake posts.
years after 42 people were killed in twin blasts that rocked Hyderabad, a
special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court convicted two and acquitted
two others in the case on Tuesday. The quantum of punishment will be announced
on Monday. The two convicted are Aneeq Shafeeq Sayeed and Ismail Chaudhary.
blasts had occurred at Gokul Chat eatery in Koti and the laser show auditorium
at Lumbini Park around 7.45 pm on August 25, 2007. While 32 people were killed
at Gokul Chat, 10 lost their lives at Lumbini Park. More than 50 were injured.
An unexploded bomb was also recovered from Dilsukhnagar that night.
the judgment was to be delivered on August 27, however, Second Additional
Metropolitan Sessions Judge T Srinivas Rao postponed it to September 4. Those
arrested included Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chowdhari, Aneeq Shafique Sayeed,
Farooq Sharfuddin Tarkash, Mohammed Sadiq Israr Ahmed Shaik and Tarik Anjum —
were produced before the court on August 27 through video conferencing from
Cherlapalli Central Prison
accused, who are alleged to be associated with the Indian Mujahideen, were
arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in October 2008. They were
charged under section 302 (murder) and other relevant provisions of the IPC and
sections of Explosive Substances Act in the twin blasts.
Counter Intelligence (CI) wing of Telangana Police filed three chargesheets
against Mohammed Sadiq, Ansar Ahmed Badshah Shaik, Akber Ismail and Anique
Shafeeq Syed and others — some of whom are still absconding. According to the
prosecution, Aneeq Shafique Sayeed allegedly planted the bomb at Lumbini Park
while Riyaz Bhatkal planted the bomb at Gokul Chat while the unexploded bomb
was planted by Ismail Chowdhari.
Imran Khan sends ‘peace message’ to Sidhu
cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, almost two weeks after his
visit to Pakistan, has revealed on Sunday that he recently received a message
from Prime Minister Imran Khan.
said that Imran Khan has sent him a message expressing his desire for peace
between India and Pakistan.
war happened after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned from Pakistan.
Pathankot attack happened after PM Narendra Modi returned from Pakistan, but
when Sidhu returned from Pakistan and some nok-jhonk (bickering) took place,
the message from my friend came that ‘we want peace… You take one step and we
will take two’,” Sidhu said, referring to Imran.
to a question at an event organised by Youth Congress in Ajmer city of
Rajasthan, Sidhu said sportsmen and artists break barrier and bring people
said dialogue is the only way to improve ties with Pakistan.
is the biggest top (cannon), which conquers the impossible. My hope has
strengthened after my friend became the prime minister of Pakistan after a
struggle of years… I can say with full confidence that relations between both
the nations would be enhanced,” he said.
attended the oath-taking ceremony of the PM in Islamabad on August 18.
the visit, Sidhu sparked controversy after he was photographed hugging Chief of
Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The hug triggered a torrent of
criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Monday
discussed amending rules in order to ensure the former could respond to
questions on different government matters in the house every fortnight.
speaker during the meeting also apprised the prime minister about the expenses
incurred by the NA.
meeting discussed how the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the
National Assembly-2007 could be amended so that the prime minister could reply
to the queries of the opposition in the house during what is called ‘Prime
2012, the rules of the Senate were amended under which one hour was allocated
for the prime minister to give reply to the questions.
61 of the Senate says: “The prime minister shall whenever possible personally
respond to points raised by members whenever he is present in the house.
However, the prime minister shall attend the Prime Minister’s Zero Hour at
least once in each week when the Senate is in session.”
to Dawn, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said although the prime minister
could speak on the floor of the NA any time, necessary amendment to rules was
required to allocate Prime Minister’s Hour once in a fortnight.
the prime minister at another meeting reiterated his commitment to build five
million housing units at affordable prices without removing Kutchi Abadis in
of low-cost and affordable five million houses is the foremost priority of the
government which would not only address housing issues of the people especially
in the major cities but would also promote economic growth and create job
opportunities,” the prime minister said while presiding over a meeting.
we have to devise a comprehensive mechanism for regulating Kutchi Abadis and
slums without dislocating poor people and ensuring provision of all civic
amenities to the people in those areas,” he added.
Izhar, Najeeb Haroon, Arshad Dad, Housing and Works Secretary Dr Imran Zeb
Khan, Law Secretary retired Justice Abdul Shakoor Paracha and other senior
officers attended the meeting.
the meeting the prime minister, after a detailed discussion on various
international models and road-map for addressing the issue of housing, formed a
committee under housing and works secretary to devise a comprehensive and
coherent plan of action, in consultation with relevant experts and
representatives of concerned departments, taking into account all aspects
including the legal framework, availability of the land bank and raising of
required resources for smooth implementation of the project.
committee would submit its initial recommendations to the prime minister within
Khan emphasised that the private sector should be encouraged and maximum
facilitation be extended to those who would be partnering with the government
in the implementation of ‘5 Million Housing Programme’.
Hawala / Hundi
Prime Minister Khan formed a committee headed by Attorney General Anwar Mansoor
to make necessary laws to curb smuggling and illegal channels of money transfer
from and to Pakistan called Hawala and Hundi.
committee will submit its report within a week.
Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Raza Rabbani has suggested that Prime Minister
Imran Khan should not meet US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo during his visit
to Pakistan and only the foreign minister should hold talks with the US leader.
to Dawn on Monday, he said that protocol demanded that the prime minister
should not meet Mr Pompeo as whenever a Pakistani prime minister visited the
US, he was not received by the US president.
this is not for the first time that the US has cut the Coalition Support Fund
(CSF) of $300 million as it had also previously stopped payment of $500 million
to Pakistan,” he said.
regretted that despite a number of sacrifices rendered by Pakistan for peace in
the region, the US was constantly asking to do more. Not only the US has
advised the International Monitory Fund (IMF) not to give loan to Pakistan, but
it also ended military training programme, he said.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi recently explained that the US had not blocked
any aid to Pakistan, but it had only stopped reimbursement of $300 million to
Pakistan and Afghanistan on Monday renewed their confidence in
Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) as the most
comprehensive mechanism for bilateral dialogue on issues of concern to the two
was agreed during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Shah
Mehmood Qureshi and his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani. The Afghan foreign
minister had called Mr Qureshi to greet him on his appointment as foreign
Qureshi too had in one of his earlier pressers expressed his desire to speak to
his Afghan counterpart and visit Kabul.
sides appreciated recent improvement in relations since the launch of the
APAPPS process in May 2018. It was noted that the framework provided the most
comprehensive institutional mechanism to discuss all mutual issues,” a
statement on the conversation issued by the Foreign Office read.
improvement in relations was observed since the two sides agreed to
operationalise APAPPS — the new bilateral ties framework. However, the Afghan
side began questioning its efficacy after the recent upsurge in violence,
particularly after the Ghazni attack.
had alleged that the Ghazni attack had been carried out by militants backed by
Ghani went public with his frustration when he said: “Gen Bajwa, you signed a
document with us and told me repeatedly in our conversations over the phone
that when elections (in Pakistan) are over you will pay attention to it. I need
answers now….From where they came and why are they receiving treatment in your
now looks Afghanistan is again ready to engage with Pakistan under APAPPS.
two leaders agreed that the next round of APAPPS would soon be held in
Islamabad,” the FO said.
two foreign ministers also welcomed the holding of joint Pak-Afghan Ulema
Conference in Islamabad, the dates for which are being finalised.
the conversation, Mr Qureshi also touched upon the partial suspension of
working of Pakistan’s consulate in Jalalabad over interference by the
provincial governor and removal of security barriers around the mission’s
Qureshi requested the Afghan government for restoring the previous security
arrangements existing till 28th August, 2018, so that the Consulate General’s
normal functioning could be resumed at the earliest,” the FO said.
Minister Rabbani, the statement said, reassured a positive outcome soon in
this regard and recalled his meeting with the ambassador of Pakistan in Kabul
A top Kashmiri militant leader has said that Indian agencies are constantly
victimising his family members in India-held Kashmir to force him abandon his
pro-freedom activities but added that they will not succeed.
on Monday, the statement of Syed Salahuddin, supreme leader of Hizbul
Mujahideen, Kashmir’s largest and mainly indigenous militant outfit, came in
the wake of arrest of his son Syed Shakil Ahmad by India’s National Investigation
Agency (NIA) during a night raid at his residence in Rambagh area of Srinagar,
last Thursday in a funding case.
who works as a lab technician in a health facility in Srinagar, was shifted to
India’s infamous Tihar jail in New Delhi.
Police and law enforcement agencies conducted a joint operation in metropolis’
Ittehad Town where three terrorists belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP) were killed on Tuesday morning during a police encounter.
to the Police sources, two of the three terrorists killed were suicide bombers.
suicide jackets, ball bearings, and weapons were recovered from the possession
of the terrorists, the sources added.
sources claimed that the terrorists had planned to carry out an attack in
Karachi on the same level as the deadliest attack in Mastung.
process to identify the terrorists as part of the further investigation are
underway, the sources reported.
Chaudhry | Hafeezullah Sherani
has commenced at the Parliament House in the capital, and the provincial
assemblies in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta for the election of the
country's new president via a secret ballot.
the running for the post are Dr Arif Alvi of the ruling Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI); PML-N backed chief of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA),
Fazlur Rehman; and senior PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan.
sitting of the Senate and the newly elected national and provincial assemblies
— together known as the electoral college of Pakistan — has been called to
elect the country's 13th president.
voting, which is being held simultaneously at the Parliament House and the four
provincial assemblies, started around 10am and will end at 4pm. The NA and
Senate members are voting inside the National Assembly hall, whereas the MPAs
are doing the same in their respective provincial assemblies.
Election Commission of Pakistan has barred the members from carrying mobile
phones with them at the time of voting.
of Rangers and FC have been deployed around the Parliament House and the
buildings of the provincial assemblies, which have been declared as polling
the Constitution requiring the presidential election to be held at least a
month prior to the outgoing president's final day in the office, the exercise
taking place today should have been held by August 9, as incumbent President
Mamnoon Hussain's term will expire on September 9.
since the electoral college was not complete by the Constitutionally set
deadline, the presidential election was subjected to delay.
exercise today will mark the end of a lengthy poll season that began with the
July 25 general elections and was followed by various speaker, deputy speaker,
prime and chief ministerial ballots.
over opposition candidate
the Election Commission of Pakistan set September 4 as the day of the 2018
presidential elections, four candidates were nominated and had subsequently
filed their papers.
the PTI and its allies have seen their candidates stave off any upsets in all
the post-general election polls this summer, its presidential candidate, the
PM-nominated Dr Arif Alvi, could have had a tougher task since the PTI does not
have a majority in the Senate, whose members are also going to vote today.
the presidential election is held via a secret ballot, which keeps the door
open for horse-trading.
Dr Alvi's presidency bid was given a huge boost due to disagreements within the
Alvi, Rehman, or Aitzaz — who will be the next president of Pakistan?
PPP claims it's "suggestion" to nominate Aitzaz Ahsan as the
opposition's candidate was misconstrued as a finalised nomination, which did
not sit well with the PML-N as Ahsan had been a front line critic of the its
leadership in the past.
episode reopened old wounds, and despite efforts to reconcile, a middle ground
was not to be reached. PPP o-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari did not budge and
stuck with his nomination of Ahsan. Meanwhile, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur
Rehman, who had been given the task to mediate between the two parties, ended
up garnering the joint opposition's support for himself; he was nominated by
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif.
fourth candidate, PML-N's Ameer Muqam had also filed his nominated papers but
withdrew from the race at the eleventh hour, possibly in Rehman's favour.
is the president of Pakistan elected?
mentioned above, the electoral college of Pakistan comprises six leading
elected bodies of Pakistan: the Senate, the National Assembly and the four
the sextet, the Senate and the NA's members are given one votes each. However,
the four provincial assemblies are assigned an equal weight with the smallest
of them all — the Balochistan Assembly — serving as the base.
Balochistan Assembly has 65 members while the strength of the Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Assembly is almost double this number, i.e. 124; so the vote of a
member of the KP assembly has half the value of the vote of a member of the
to hand over Malaysia PM’s post in 2 years
LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhamad said that he will honor the
understanding among Pakatan Harapan (PH) partners that he will hold the role as
an interim prime minister for two years before stepping down.
will allow the handover of the prime minister’s post to former political
prisoner Anwar Ibrahim.
Bernama news portal reported that the 93-year-old leader told an audience of
Malaysians in Brunei that he will honor the PH secession agreement following
concern about a repeat of history on the choice of successor.
am confident that he (Anwar Ibrahim) is now more mature and much experienced,”
Mahathir said. Analyst Prof. James Chin is not surprised by Mahathir’s remark.
He told Arab News that most people around the world expect Ibrahim to take over
it goes ahead, it will be good as it shows you can have peaceful transition,”
added Prof. James.
demonstrated a peaceful transition during the 14th general elections in May
where the new PH government was formed without bloodshed or violent riots.
Greg Lopez, political analyst at Australia’s Murdoch University, said that this
is unique in Malaysian coalition politics because Mahathir is from a different
political party than Anwar Ibrahim.
a region filled with chaotic and violent politics such as in Myanmar, Thailand
and Indonesia, Malaysia would demonstrate a very peaceful transition,” he said.
PH coalition consists of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu),
Democratic Action Party (DAP), National Trust Party (Amanah) and People’s
Justice Party (PKR). Mahathir is the president of Bersatu while Anwar is the
newly elected PKR president.
being called a chameleon politician by many, Mahathir denied accusations that
he is an “Ultra Malay,” saying that it was no different from other labels
hurled against him describing his authoritarian leadership.
has set Malaysia on the path to democratization and despite all suspicion from
international media, he sticks to it.”
a region stirred by the resurgence or the continuity of authoritarian
practices, the once called dictator is now setting an unexpected example,” said
Dr. Sophie Lemiere, a fellow at NUS- Stanford University.
me the country comes first, so that there no wide gap between the races. Even
if a country is not multiracial, if there is wide disparities among the people,
it will invite disaster,” he said, adding that his and PH’s mission is to
prevent inequality gap and address racial issues.
said that after stepping down, he hopes “to see Malaysia as a pride of all
people as in the past and return Malaysia to its glory when the country was called
an Asian Tiger and wanted the government to be more democratic and not
also wished to see the upholding of the rule of law to protect the people and
Malaysia as a developed nation as envisaged under Vision 2020, though the
target date may need to extend further. Vision 2020 was introduced in 1991 by
Mahathir Muhamad during his first premiership.
Anwar may have some unresolved baggage regarding his alleged sodomy charges and
his Islamic credentials.
James said that there is a section of the Malaysian public who feels Anwar is
not eligible due to the sodomy allegations. “If Anwar does become prime
minister, it’s a remarkable comeback considering he was imprisoned just a year
ago,” he said.
not for Najib Razak and his wife’s personal failures (1MDB corruption
allegations), I do not see much difference between Najib Razak, Mahathir
Muhamad and Anwar Ibrahim. All subscribe to the same model of politics — Malay
and Islamic supremacy and patronage politics,” said Dr. Lopez.
JAYA, Sept 4 — The public caning imposed on two alleged lesbians by the
Terengganu Syariah Court will negatively colour public perception of Islam,
said the Lawyers for Liberty rights group today.
executive director Latheefa Koya said homosexuality was not a crime in Islamic
penal law and was at most an offence under tazir that encompasses minor
offences not covered under hudud or qisas.
emphasises heavily on the concept of mercy and the protection of the privacy
and dignity of individuals.
this thirst for punishment is affecting Islam more negatively than any sinful
act can,” she said in a statement today.
also criticised the Terengganu Syariah Court for claiming the caning did not
“hurt” the women or that the privacy of the offenders had been “protected” as
they were allowed to use private doorways to enter and exit the court premises.
is an utterly ridiculous statement when you take into account that the
punishment was carried out in the presence of 100 people which included curious
bystanders and the mental anguish that these women must have suffered through
this ordeal,” she said.
also questioned the legality of the corporal punishment as caning could only be
administered to prisoners under the Prison Act 1955 and Prison Regulations
echoed suggestion that the Shariah court in Terengganu exceeded its authority
by imposing the physical punishment on two citizens who were not prisoners at
the time when the law restricts such sentences to those currently incarcerated.
two women found guilty for attempting to have lesbian sex were caned six times
in public at the Terengganu Syariah Court as around 100 people watched the
of former Special Forces General Prabowo Subianto, who is attempting for the
second time to deny Joko Widodo Indonesia’s presidency, are turning to the same
Islamist movement that drove Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama
from office in 2017 despite his record for efficiency, and put him in jail on
latest survey released by the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) in mid-August
shows that Jokowi, who has paired with a cleric Ma’ruf Amin, is backed by 52.2
percent of respondents, while Prabowo, with his partner, a wealthy businessman
Sandiaga Uno, is favored by a considerably smaller 29.5 percent of respondents,
in general elections scheduled for April 2019.
there are deep concerns that growing Islamist sentiment could actually end up
delivering the presidency to Prabowo, who has aligned himself with the
conservatives despite the fact that he has personally shown little indication
of piety. In regional gubernatorial elections recently, while moderates won key
races in Java and other areas, radical groups such as the Islamic Defender’s
Front (FPI) gained ground.
years, the country’s secular, official Pancasila philosophy has been under
attack, partly on the strength of a tide of money from Saudi Arabia, which has
sent Wahabist clerics to prosetylize Muslim nations across the world. A strict
Halal Law, the harshest in the world, passed in 2014, will go into effect in
2019 amid demands that all food products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, clothing
and even car seats be certified Halal.
Women are increasingly intimidated into conservative dress and
supposedly apostate sects have been violently attacked.
of people have attended meetings put together by the 212 movement, named for
the December 12, 2016 rally that started the campaign to bring down Ahok and
branded him a blasphemer against the Quran on dubious evidence. Originally
limited to social media, the hashtag #2019 GantiPresident
(2019ChangePresident), created by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)
and its leader, Mardani Ali Sera, is increasingly popular.
the midst of the presidential change movement, which is gaining speed, Jokowi’s
supporters have accused the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), a radical
Islamist organization that wants to change the Constitution to use Islamic law
to achieve its interests, of appropriating the hashtag. “Declaration
#2019GantiPresiden is ridden by the HTI Group,” said Maman Imanulhaq, a top
official with Jokowi’s campaign. “HTI is clearly a community organization that
has been banned.”
also warned that the slogan “replace the president” was used by Islamist
opposition groups in Syria in 2011 to overthrow the secular government under
Bashar Al-Assad and cause chaos in the country. Jokowi dissolved HTI in July
2017 by issuing a presidential regulation in lieu of legislation, known as a
Perppu, which gave the government greater authority to dissolve community
organizations that were considered to threaten Pancasila, Indonesia’s ideology,
and national unity.
accusation against HTI came after photos of the banner of the movement spread
on social media, featuring HTI’s flag logo, the PKS logo, and writing to change
the state system into a Caliphate. In addition, in an interview with Tempo magazine,
HTI spokesman Ismail Yusanto stated that HTI supports the presidential change
movement because it is in line with their aspirations.
is a popular movement that is already critical of wrongdoing, lying and
breaking promises,” Yusanto said as quoted by Tempo.co.
Mardani Ali Sera, who is also a member of the House of Representatives, denied
the accusation that HTI is part of the presidential change movement because the
Islamic organization has been dissolved. Instead, he pointed out the
intelligence operations behind the spread of the banner to weaken the movement.
argued that #2019GantiPresiden is a social movement and part of the community’s
right to gather, unite and express opinions. “Indeed, this movement has
contributed to the realization of active citizen participation in the political
process,” he said.
the growing hullabaloo, the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) ruled that the
#2019GantiPresiden isn’t a campaign and doesn’t violate general election laws.
the election body says, “Presidential change” declarations in cities such as
Surabaya, Riau and Batam have ended in chaos because of clashes between
supporters and opponents of the movement. In one case, opponents blocked an airport
against one of the main figures behind the movement, Neno Warisman.
the government opponents is Warisman, a former actress turned preacher, who
critics say is skilled at arousing hatred among community groups. In a
passionate speech in Medan on July 22, for example, Warisman used Quranic
verses to arouse the audience against the government, which she called a “zalim
regime” (despotic regime).
is no power on the face of the earth, there is no tyranny on the face of the
earth, there is no regime in power on the face of the earth that is eternal,
because that power belongs only to Allah,” said Warisman, who was greeted by
the cry of “takbir” (the Arabic phrase Allāhu akbar) by attendees.
also voiced issues – without foundation — often used by opposition groups to
attack Jokowi, including: rising prices of prices of basic necessities,
accusations that the government has overborrowed to build infrastructure, and
paranoia against Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgenders (LGBT).
do you want your son to marry a man? Gentlemen, are you willing your son to
marry a man? If you are not willing, then 2019 replace the president!” she
said. She likened the election to the Badr War, which occurred at the time of
the Prophet Muhammad, between truth and falsehood. Muhammad, she said, prayed to God to win because he was afraid
there would be no more people to worshiped God if he lost.
(election) is our Badr war, we will continue to guard with our prayers, agree?”
Warisman shouted, waving a clenched fist, which was greeted by shouts of
“takbir” by her supporters.
of Nation’s Split
some academics and experts agree that the movement does not violate the rules,
they say it has the potential to foment clashes between supporters of the two
are no laws that are violated, but clearly (the movement) is spreading hatred
towards the president who was in office before the official presidential
election campaign time. So if there is an equally hateful reaction from the
incumbent president’s supporters, that is logical,” said the former Chairman of
the Constitutional Court, Jimly Asshiddiqie.
psychology expert from the University of Indonesia (UI) Hamdi Moeloek said the
presidential change movement has generated provocative narratives and
incitement. “This will be a potential horizontal conflict between two
supporters,” said Moeloek. He criticized the supporters of the movement who are
using democracy and free speech as a justification, even though the potential
for conflict at the grassroots was very large. “We are democratic but without
ethics and empathy. We keep talking about freedom of expression, but we close
our eyes, that there is potential for clashes at the grassroots,” he said.
Densus 88, the National Police's elite counterterrorism unit, has shot and
killed two men believed to be responsible for an attack on two traffic police
officers on the Cikampek-Palimanan Toll Road in Cirebon, West Java, last month.
police source with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity, said
officers arrested two other men also believed to have been involved in the
Insp. Dodon and First Insp. Adj. Widi were shot while on patrol on Aug. 24.
later died in hospital, while Widi is currently still in critical condition.
four men who allegedly carried out attack are believed to be members of the
Cirebon chapter of Islamic State-affiliated terror group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah
source said the two suspects were shot after resisting arrest during a raid on
a house in Kalisalak village in Margasari subdistrict, Tegal, Central Java, at
South Jakarta District Court declared JAD a forbidden organization in July,
over its involvement in high-profile terrorist attacks in Indonesia, including
a series of suicide bombings in Surabaya, East Java, that killed more than 30
An explosion rocked the municipality of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province in the
southern Philippines on Sunday night, leaving two people dead and 14 others
is the second bomb attack to hit the town in the span of one week, with the
military pointing to the Daesh-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
(BIFF) Turaife group, led by Esmael Abdulmalik, alias “Abu Toraife,” as
perpetrators of the attack.
released by authorities showed that the blast occurred about 7:30 p.m. local
time in an internet cafe adjacent to the Novo Department Store in Kalawag 2
village, Isulan town.
after the explosion, authorities cordoned off the town and launched an
operation in the area to apprehend the perpetrators, but to no avail.
on Aug. 28, three people were killed and another 30 injured when a bomb blast
occurred in the middle of festivities marking the towns’s 61st founding
Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, Commander of Army 6th Infantry Division (6ID), said
that the site of the second incident was only about 400 to 500 meters away from
where the Aug. 28 explosion took place.
identified the BIFF, a Daesh-inspired group, as responsible for both incidents.
The military particularly pointed to the group of Abu Turaife, who heads a
breakaway BIFF faction.
Arvin Encinas, 6ID spokesperson, told Arab News that prior to the latest
incident there were already intelligence reports that the BIFF would carry out
a series of attacks to retaliate for their losses in recent military
the areas being targeted by the militant group, he said, were the towns of
Isulan, Tacurong and Esperanza, which are the three urbanized areas near the
BIFF stronghold in Maguindanao.
on the other hand, claimed they were already monitoring five improvised
explosive devices (IED) that were transported to South Cotabato before the
blast on Sunday. The bombs were allegedly intended to be launched in the city
of Tacurong and the municipalities of Isulan and Esperanza.
asked how the group still managed to stage the attack despite strict security
measures being imposed in line with the implementation of martial law on
Mindanao island and with intelligence information already gathered by
government forces, Encinas said that “it happens even in highly developed and
most advanced countries.”
are instances wherein (criminal elements) manage to slip through the security
cordon that has been laid down. And this unfortunate incident shows we still
need the cooperation of the civilian sector,” he said.
further as to whether the explosions in Sultan Kudarat and the bomb that
exploded at a security check point at Lamitan in Basilan province which killed
11 people including a detachment commander from the Army Special Forces last
July 31 are signs of an increasing footprint of the Daesh in southern
Philippines, Encinas said “no.”
6ID spokesperson emphasized that the BIFF, one of the extremist groups in the
country that have pledged allegiance to Daesh, continue to suffer losses.
(bombing) incident yesterday is in retaliation by the group of Abu Toraife for
their losses in recent military offensives. Like one week ago we had surgical
operations that resulted in the death of seven BIFF members,” he said.
not gaining strength. Daesh is not growing in Mindanao,” Encinas said, but
admitted that militant groups in the area are using their expertise with IEDs
to sow terror.
said that President Rodrigo Duterte, who is in Israel for an official visit,
had been informed of the latest bombing in Sultan Kudarat.
spokesperson, Harry Roque, said that Duterte has ordered tighter security in
is a Syrian province and the government cannot leave it with the terrorist
groups. Today, the province's citizens clearly demand the Syrian army's
deployment. The government is paving the ground for schools to start,"
Head of the executive department of Idlib's governor-general office Ali
al-Jassim told the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper on Monday.
added that the occupying Turkish army and affiliated militants are not popular
said that most people in Idlib do not accept the current situation, and
expressed the hope that they would start uprising against the terrorists upon
the Syrian army's arrival.
reports said on Sunday that terrorist groups, directed by Ankara forces, plan
to launch a heavy offensive on the Syrian Army in Aleppo province as government
troops are preparing to kick off their long-awaited assault on terrorists in
Idlib, a media outlet reported.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that the Ankara-backed terrorists are
reinvigorating their combat capabilities via fortifying positions and
concentrating militants in Aleppo to kick off a surprise attack against the
further said that the terrorists' upcoming attack has been directed by the
Turkish army command, adding that the terrorists are to start the offensive by
suicide attacks and artillery fire on Aleppo city.
report comes as the Syrian Army is preparing for a major operation in Southern
and Western Aleppo to open the Lattakia-Aleppo road as a prelude to the major
offensive on terrorists in Idlib.
- Suspected Islamic State group militants have killed eight people and wounded
four others in two attacks in northern Iraq, security officials said Monday.
extremist group has stepped up its attacks since the release of a purported new
audio message late last month from IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. On Monday
“seven civilians were killed when militants fired on houses in the village of
Albu Shaher”, 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic city
north of Baghdad, a security services official told AFP.
police officer was wounded in that attack, which also saw militants raid a
currency exchange office and steal $20,000 (17,225 euros) before fleeing, he
added. Late on Sunday, a man was shot dead and three others were wounded
outside a mosque north of Baghdad. The attack took place in the village of
Khanouka near Ash-Sharqat, one of the last areas retaken by government forces
from IS last year, 100 kilometres north of the capital, a police officer said.
man, aged 80, had just finished praying (and was leaving the mosque) when the
militants opened fire at him,” the officer said, speaking on condition of
was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the attacks.
to the police officer, IS holdouts are still present in the hills of Khanouka
and other mountainous and desert regions of Iraq.
Minister Haider al-Abadi declared “victory” in December in the fight against
IS, which seized nearly a third of the country in 2014.
sleeper cells continue to launch attacks from sparsely populated areas.
to Hisham al-Hashemi, an expert on radical Islamist groups, about 2,000 IS
militants are still active in Iraq.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted special sources privy to the
Russian-Turkish negotiations as saying on Monday that talks have progressed a
lot and Turkey has agreed with efforts to gradually return Idlib to the Syrian
government either through political efforts or military operations.
added that the results of such talks which have not yet ended will be raised in
the Friday meeting among the Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents in Tehran,
noting that the date of the Idlib attack will be decided in the Tehran summit.
to the Syrian newspaper, the army's military operations will likely kick off
immediately after the Tehran summit.
Foreign Minister Walid Muallem stated on Sunday that the recent US threats to
strike Syria would not stop the Damascus government from Idlib operation.
that is actively promoted by the US will not affect the determination of the
Syrian people and Syrian army’s plans to clear Idlib and finally put an end to
terrorism in Syria," Muallem said in an interview.
to him, the US accusations about alleged plans regarding chemical attacks have
become questionable in the eyes of public opinion and are just an excuse for a
possible attack on Syria.
Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that the US-led coalition has increased
its military aid to the SDF which is sending food stuff convoys to ISIL-held
further said that the SDF dispatched several trucks, carrying food stuff, from
the small town of Abu Homam to the regions that are still under ISIL's control,
including al-Sha'afa and al-Souseh in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
said that the ISIL has been reinvigorated after arrival of the SDF's aid
daily said that the coalition has provided the SDF with several aid and military
convoys in Eastern Syria in the recent weeks.
the meantime, military sources reported that the Syrian Army engaged in fierce
clashes with ISIL on the Western bank of the Euphrates River in a region
between the town of al-Mayadeen and al-Dowayer desert, in al-Tayem oilfield and
also South of Deir Ezzur military airport.
army managed to repel the attacks after inflicting major losses on the
Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported in mid-August that the SDF dispatched a
sum of 13 trucks to the regions that are still under the ISIL terrorists'
control in Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
state news agency, SANA, quoted residents of the village of Homam West of the
town of Afrin as saying that the Ankara forces destroyed hundreds of hectares
of their farms and cut thousands of olive trees by their bulldozers under the pretext
of building a new road.
further said that the Ankara forces' measures are aimed at forcing people in
Northern Syria to obey them, but people have opposed occupiers' brutalities and
have called for expulsion of the Turkish soldiers and allied militants from the
sources in Afrin reported that a bomb was detonated near the Nowrouz square in
Rajou road in Central Afrin on Wednesday afternoon, killing and wounding over
35 militants and a number of civilians.
sources said that 3 Turkish soldiers and one of Faylaq al-Sham terrorist
commanders were among those killed in the attack, adding that the Turkish army
and militants have called for help from Azaz hospital.
heavy clashes between Sultan Mohammad al-Fattah militants and other terrorists
affiliated to the Turkish army near Kava al-Hadad square in Central Afrin
killed fighters from both sides.
reports said that Ferqat al-Hamzeh and Faylaq al-Sham terrorists detained over
21 civilians in the town of Ein Dareh and the village of Borj Haidar in
news agency reported that the Turkish army has dispatched a long convoy of
advanced tanks and a large number of military trucks to Hatay region at border
the meantime, media activists reported that a convoy of Turkish army, including
12 vehicles, moved towards Yalada'a region near al-Yamziyeh passageway at the
border with Syria.
military convoy with thirty trucks, carrying tanks, has moved toward Bab
al-Hawa region, the sources added.
the Syrian army has gathered a large number of ready-to-fight forces and a large
volume of military hardware in Northwestern Syria to kick off a major operation
against terrorists in Idlib, Aleppo, Hama and Lattakia provinces.
Hawar News quoted field sources in Aleppo province as reporting on Saturday
that the Turkish army dispatched a sum of 500 Ankara-backed militants to the
Bab al-Hawa border-crossing between the town of Reihanly in Hatay province and
al-Artab region in Aleppo.
further said that a fresh wave of tensions and defections covered the terrorist
front over participation in the upcoming final battle with the Syrian army as a
part of the Ankara-backed militants intend to surrender and some others are
fleeing the region.
Lebanese al-Manar TV Channel reported that a French military convoy arrived at
a base run by the US-led coalition in the village of al-Sa'eidiyeh East of the
town of Manbij.
further said that a group of French troops were also dispatched to the
coalition base in the Cultural Center in central Manbij.
first group of the French militaries arrived n Manbij in April after Turkish
troops threatened to launch military operation against Kurds in Manbij.
Arabic-language al-Watan daily quoted opposition sources as reporting on Sunday
that the US-led coalition reinvigorated its military presence on the Eastern
bank of the Euphrates River in the second half of the current year via setting
up 18 bases in the Northeastern and Eastern provinces of Syria.
US-run bases are in Ein al-Arab (Kobani), Kharab Ashak, Manbij, Ein Issa, Raqqa
and Tabaqa in Raqqa province, al-Shadadi, al-Houl, Tal Tamar, Tal Bidar and
Romeilan in Hasaka province and al-Amr oilfield and al-Bahrah region in Deir
Ezzur province, al-Watan went on to say, adding that some of the bases have
runways for the take-off and landing of military aircraft.
army forwarded a large number of tanks and heavy arms to Southeast Ma'arat
al-Nu'aman in Idlib province.
large number of fresh army men have also deployed in provinces bordering Idlib.
army's unprecedented dispatch of forces and equipment testifies that the
long-awaited operation in Northwestern Syria is imminent.
army's artillery and missile units have been pounding terrorists' positions in
Northern Hama and Southern Idlib to weaken the militants' defense
AMN reported on Sunday that recent satellite images, taken on August 17, showed
heavy military equipment amassing at the Eastern part of Abu al-Dhohour
military airbase, specifically meant for Idlib offensive.
month, hundreds of Russian Special Forces accompanied by military advisors
arrived at the strategic airbase to take part in the assault.
January 2018, the Syrian Army recaptured Abu al-Dhohour airbase which was under
jihadists control for years.
airbase will act as the main operation room for the expected Idlib offensive.
says the US, whose pro-terror policies have faced defeat in Syria, is in no
position to call for the withdrawal of Iranian advisors and allied Lebanese
resistance fighters, who have emerged as “victors” of the war against
terrorists in the Arab state.
week, Lebanon’s al-Akhbar daily reported that an American delegation,
comprising security and intelligence officials, had visited Damascus in June
and met President Bashar al-Assad’s special security advisor, Ali Mamlouk.
the four-hour meeting, the report added, the delegation had set three
conditions for the pullout of US military forces from Syria, including the
withdrawal of Iranian advisors from southern Syria near the Israeli-occupied
Golan Heights, data on “terrorist groups” and a role in the oil business in
on Monday, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem described
those conditions as “meaningless,” stressing that it is the “victors” who are
eligible to set out conditions, not the US which has been defeated in Syria.
also hailed the achievements made by the Syrian army and its allies against
US-backed Takfiri terrorists.
and the Syrian government are now in the stage of “successive victories for
Syria and its axis. We have lifted this black cloud, victories will continue,
and we will achieve more,” the Hezbollah official noted.
further called on “all factions counting on America” to “reconsider” their ties
with the “Great Satan” as it is not loyal to its friends.
are Saudi Arabia’s allies, and tomorrow Saudi Arabia will see that the first
strike it will get will be from America,” Qassem said.
Syrian army has managed to drive the terrorists out of most parts of the
country and end Daesh’s territorial rule with help from Iran, Hezbollah and
is now on the verge of fully liberating the southern parts near the occupied
Golan, prompting serious concerns in Tel Aviv, which supports the terrorists
operating there against Damascus.
is now preparing for an operation to liberate Idlib Province, the last major
the request of Damascus, Iran has been offering advisory military assistance to
the Syrian army. Tehran says it will continue its anti-terror mission as long
as the legitimate government in Damascus wants it to do so.
forces have also been assisting the Syrian government on the ground to clear
areas bordering Lebanon from terrorist groups.
turn, Russia has also been providing air cover to Syrian army operations. It has
also military advisers in the Arab country and runs a number of military bases
the opposite front, the US – along with Israel and its other allies -- has been
backing the militant groups fighting to topple the Assad government.
an interview with the al-Alam News Network in June, Assad said the United
States was an occupying power in Syria and that Damascus supported “any act of
resistance, whether against terrorists or against occupying forces, regardless
of their nationality.”
has deployed around 2,000 troops to Syria.
forces maintain significant presence in the country’s north, where they back
Kurdish militants operating against the Syrian government.
President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif say
Western pressure on Tehran and Damascus will fail to deter them from fighting
a meeting in Damascus on Monday, Zarif and Assad asserted that Western
countries would not be able to deter Iran and Syria from defending their
principles, the interests of the two nations, and the security and stability of
the entire region.
two sides emphasized that Western policy of threat and pressure against Syria
and Iran shows the West's failure to achieve its goals in the Middle East.
Syrian president and Iranian foreign minister hailed the current level of relations
between the two countries in various fields and agreed to further continue
consultations and coordination, particularly in the light of the
rapidly-shifting regional and international issues.
also discussed the latest developments in Syria and other regional countries as
well as a planned summit of Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents in Tehran.
President Hassan Rouhani will host his Turkish and Russian counterparts Recep
Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, respectively, on September 7 in an attempt
to find ways to end the ongoing crisis in Syria.
three presidents have previously held summits in the Russian resort city of
Sochi in November 2017 and in the Turkish capital, Ankara, in April.
in the day, the top Iranian diplomat held separate meetings with his Syrian
counterpart Walid al-Muallem and Prime Minister Imad Khamis.
and Muallem discussed regional issues and the latest developments in Syria,
including the return of the displaced people to their homeland.
top Iranian and Syrian diplomats stressed the importance of strengthening
economic cooperation and the participation of Iranian firms in the
reconstruction of war-ravaged Syria as well as cooperation in international
organizations, particularly the United Nations.
Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami on August 26 hailed the
steadfastness of the Syrian people and government forces in their battle
against terrorism, expressing confidence that they will achieve a final victory
in this path.
only regional people, but people around the world are indebted to the fight
carried out against terrorists in Syria," Hatami said in a meeting with
President Assad in Damascus.
in a meeting with Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi
in Damascus in May, the Syrian president said the development of economic
cooperation with Iran and all the countries that insist on defending their
sovereignty and independence is one of the most important ways to confront
not ‘recklessly attack’ Idlib, Trump warns Syria, Russia
President Donald Trump on Monday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and
his allies Iran and Russia not to “recklessly attack” Syria's rebel-held Idlib
province, saying hundreds of thousands of people could be killed.
Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part
in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be
killed. Don’t let that happen!” Trump said in a Tweet Monday.
Monday, Iran called for militants to be “cleaned out” of Idlib, as it prepared
for talks with Syria and Russia about confronting the last major enclave held
by rebels opposed to Assad.
government forces are planning a phased offensive in Idlib and surrounding
areas held by insurgents fighting Assad, who has been backed by both Russian
and Iranian forces in the country’s civil war.
secretary of state John Kerry has censured Donald Trump's claim that the 2015
nuclear deal with Iran was the "worst ever", saying the US president
makes things up and does not often make decisions based on fact or advice.
— and I say this sadly — more often than not, he really just doesn't know what
he's talking about," said Kerry, who led the American team in nuclear
negotiations with Iran.
makes things up. And he's making that up, as he has other things," the
former top diplomat said in an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation"
angered Trump in May after reports said he had secretly met with world leaders
in a bid to salvage the Iran nuclear deal ahead of Trump’s withdrawal of the US
from the agreement.
slammed the ex-diplomat on Twitter, saying “John Kerry can’t get over the fact
that he had his chance and blew it! Stay away from negotiations John, you are
hurting your country!”
on the attack and whether he wanted “to say something at the time, tweet back
at him," the former State Department head said, "I haven't yet."
think America and our democracy are more thoughtful than dishonest
tweets," he added.
also denied Trump's claim that the Iran agreement is weak and harmful to the
US, saying the allegation is false and disruptive to the possibilities of
international nuclear policy.
saying that doesn't make it that," he said of Trump's criticism of the
accord. "This is the toughest agreement in terms of inspection,
accountability — no country has had to do what Iran did in order to live up to
this. But to just walk away?"
noted that China, France, Germany and Britain have all tried to protect the
nuclear pact and even some of Trump’s administration officials supported it.
the United States walked away. Only Donald Trump," he said. "His
defense secretary thought he should keep it, his intelligence people thought he
should keep it. The fact is this agreement is working."
added that his defense of the policy was not a hit at Trump, but was in the
best interest of US involvement in a positive policy.
was trying to have the policy of the United States of America, which is part of
the agreement, to continue, and common sense to continue," he said.
announced the US withdrawal on May 8, pledging to reinstate the sanctions on
Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the country,
jeopardizing the survival of the landmark accord.
As Islamabad prepares to receive US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and military
chief General Joseph Dunford, defense and strategy experts on Monday urged
Pakistan’s newly-elected government to find a middle ground on issues of
regional peace and security.
visit by the two top US officials is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
to the estranged bilateral ties, the Pentagon on Saturday said that it would
scrap $300 million in aid "due to a lack of decisive actions” on
Pakistan’s part to eliminate terrorists from the country.
request, however, awaits congressional approval.
claims the money -- around $900 million and part of the Coalition Support Fund
– is a refund for expenses incurred during the war on terror and for its
support of the US and Nato-led armed forces.
want to improve our relationship with the US. Issues of bilateral interest
[such as] regional peace, Afghanistan and the recent aid cut would be taken up
for negotiations with Mr Pompeo,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on
US has consistently engaged with Pakistan’s military officials at the highest
level, based on a shared commitment to defeat terrorist groups and as part of
its vision to attain peace in Afghanistan, Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Kon
Faulkner said on Sunday.
continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups,
including the Haqqani Network and LeT, and we continue to call on Pakistan to
arrest, expel or bring the Taliban leadership to the negotiating table,” he
on the other hand, claims that it has eliminated the safe havens of all
militant outfits from its soil, especially in North and South Waziristan -- the
country’s tribal districts bordering Afghanistan.
and security analysts said that diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the
US remain strained since January, following the announcement of a South Asia
strategy by US President Donald Trump. Trump had accused Pakistan of sheltering
terrorists – a charge which Pakistan denies.
is willing to cooperate with the US for peace in Afghanistan, but the role of
India in Kabul’s affairs remains a major concern for Islamabad,” Zaigham Khan,
a security analyst, told Arab News.
said that the US cannot win Pakistan’s trust until it agrees to limit India
from interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.
cancels €9.2mn deal to sell Saudis 400 precision bombs
Saudi-led coalition’s recent slaughter of Yemeni children has prompted the
Spanish defense ministry to cancel a €9.2-million deal to sell Saudis 400
Spanish Ministry of Defense announced on Monday that it will return the 9.2
million euros already paid by Saudi Arabia to buy 400 Spanish-made precision
bombs amid fears that they could be used to target the innocent people of
Yemen, the El Mundo reported.
arms deal had been negotiated and finalized by former Spanish defense ministers
Pedro Morenés Eulate and Maria Dolores de Cospedal.
the recent deadly attack on a bus carrying Yemeni students, which killed 51
people including 40 children, prompted incumbent minister Margarita Robles to
revise all arms deals with the Arab kingdom. The recent decision to freeze the
bomb sale contract is said to be the first stage of the revision process.
Amnesty International says Spain is the fourth country on the list of major
arms exporters to the Riyadh regime. In one of the most recent contracts, the
Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia signed a €1.8-billion deal to sell
five small warships to Saudi Arabia.
deal was signed in April by Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed
bin Salman after his meeting with his then Spanish counterpart Cospedal in Madrid.
main customer of Spanish arms
Spanish defense ministry’s decision to halt the arms deal it had earlier signed
with Riyadh would open the door to the possibility that Spain would join
countries such as Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway, Belgium or Germany, which
have suspended their arms exports to the Saudi-led coalition.
to media reports citing the Amnesty International, between 2015 and 2017, Spain
reportedly exported 1.2 billion euros worth of military equipment to the
is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led
coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians. But this has not
deterred the USA, the UK and other states, including France, Spain and Italy,
from continuing transfers of billions of dollars’ worth of such arms. As well
as devastating civilian lives, this makes a mockery of the global Arms Trade
Treaty,” the Amnesty said.
reports said ever since Saudi Arabia launched the military operation in Yemen
in 2015, its purchases of Spanish ammunition have nearly tripled, rising from
€34.7 million in 2016 to €90.1 million in 2017.
European Parliament has urged its member states to halt these sales on numerous
occasions, admitting that the alliance led by Saudi Arabia violates
international humanitarian law by using this weaponry in attacking the civilian
population and bombing hospitals, markets and schools.
Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall its
former Riyadh-allied government. The military aggression has so far killed over
14,000 Yemenis and put millions on the verge of famine. It has also caused a
deadly outbreak of cholera.
countries like France and Britain have provided billions in weapons to the
Saudi military amid international calls to halt their arms deals.
UK government has voiced “serious concern” over the rising numbers of civilian
casualties from Saudi Arabia’s years-long military aggression against Yemen,
even as London refuses to end its extensive arms deals with Riyadh.
Government expresses serious concern at the tragic loss of life in Yemen over
the last month. In the first two weeks of August alone, over 400 Yemenis lost
their lives, including young children, and many more continue to face egregious
violations of their basic human rights,” read a statement by Prime Minister
Theresa May’s office on Sunday.
the beginning of the unprovoked war in March 2015, Riyadh had enjoyed the
unconditional support of its Western allies as the Royal Saudi Air Force and
its regional peers kept pounding what they claimed were positions of the Houthi
Ansarullah Movement across Yemen.
the Saudi regime found itself in hot water last month when a surge in civilian
casualties following a series of brutal attacks on undeniably civilian targets
made it too costly for others to stay silent.
August 2, at least 55 civilians were killed as Saudi-led aircraft targeted a
hospital and a fishing harbor in the Yemeni port city of Hudayda. The so-called
Saudi-led coalition has been trying to capture the besieged strategic city for
several weeks now.
attack that stood out and drew firm responses even from Riyadh’s closest allies
took place on August 9, when Saudi pilots hit a school bus in the Sa’ada
province, killing at least 40 children and 11 adults.
United Nations blasted the attack as “abhorrent” while the US and the UK, the
two main purveyors of weapons which also provide intelligence and training to
Saudi military forces, rushed to distance themselves from it.
Defense Secretary James Mattis even sent a representative to discuss the attack
and threaten Riyadh with withdrawing support if such attacks continued.
UK took a more cautious line with Saudis back then and only reacted in the form
of tweets posted by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
his posts, Hunt called for investigations into the attack but defended
new statement from London used a tougher language and even included references
to another attack on August 23, which killed 31 people, most of them women and
are also deeply concerned by the tragic incidents of 2 August, 9 August, and 23
August in which so many Yemenis were killed. We offer our sincerest condolences
to the families of the victims,” read the statement from 10 Downing Street.
tone down its criticism of Saudi allies, London welcomed alleged Saudi
investigations into the attacks and blasted the Houthis for conducting
retaliatory missile attacks against Saudi Arabia.
the British government failed to address in its statement though were its
continued sales of missiles, bombs and aircraft to Saudi Arabia, which have
increased manifolds in the face of international criticism.
with a pending exit from the European Union that will shutter most EU markets
on Britain, the UK views Saudi Arabia and other repressive Arab regimes as
lucrative post-Brexit markets for British weapons and goods, even though many
of them have been blacklisted by the Foreign Office for human rights
and his ministers have toured the Middle East on several occasions over the
past two years looking for possible customers.
confirms death of Haqqani Network founder Jalalauddin Haqqani
founder and leader of the notorious Haqqani network Mawlavi Jalaluddin Haqqani
has died, the Taliban militants group in Afghanistan said Tuesday.
to a statement released by the Taliba, Mawlavi Jalaluddin Haqqani died of
illness he was suffering during the recent years.
Taliban group has not disclosed further information regarding the death of
Mawlavi Jalalauddin Haqqani.
network was formed in the late 1970s by Jalaluddin Haqqani. The group is allied
with al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban and cooperates with other terrorist
organizations in the region.
network is accused of staging numerous cross-border attacks from their base in
North Waziristan, including the 19-hour siege at the US Embassy in Kabul in September
is considered the most lethal insurgent group targeting the NATO-led coalition
security forces and Afghan personnel in Afghanistan.
US Department of State designated the HQN as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
on September 7, 2012.
ISIS militants killed, wounded during the operations in Kunar province
least ten militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
Khurasan (ISIS-K) were killed or wounded during the operations in eastern Kunar
province of Afghanistan.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the militants were
killed during the airstrikes and ground operations conducted in Suki district.
to a statement released by 201st Silab Corps, the operations were jointly
conducted by Afghan army, Afghan police, Afghan intelligence, andd public order
police forces with the support of the Air Forces.
statement further added that 7 militants were killed and three others were
wounded during the same operations conducted.
operations were conducted as part of the Silab-2 (8) operations to eliminate
the terrorist groups and pave the way for the elections, the 201st Silab Corps
201st Silab Corps also added that some villages have been cleared from the
militants and the security personnel and local residents have not suffered any
secretary general of the BIMSTEC has said member states, including Bangladesh
and Myanmar, have shown their “diplomatic maturity” by not raising the Rohingya
issue at the just-concluded Summit in Kathmandu.
denies the crisis and Bangladesh and Myanmar should remain engaged to resolve
the issue, Ambassador Shahidul Islam said at a press briefing on Monday.
cooperation in trade, investment and technology should also move on, he said.
the vantage point of the secretariat, we feel that Bangladesh and Myanmar have
shown diplomatic maturity by not raising the issue when the organisaton is not
ready to deal with an issue such as this,” Islam said, replying to a question.
organisation has its own characteristics and BIMSTEC is meant for the technical
and economic cooperation, he said.
whether it is possible to move forward keeping a major issue aside, Islam said,
“It is possible to work on the issues where we have clear consensus.”
in areas where we have a consensus should not suffer for the areas where we
don’t have a consensus. We continue to keep up progress in trade, investment,
connectivity and energy cooperation.”
member states actually proposed that the Rohingya issue should be on the
agenda. So that has not been on the agenda so there was no scope for holding
discussions on this,” Islam said.
agenda was prepared and circulated by the host country [Nepal] and it was
agreed upon by the member states.”
Bangladesh and Myanmar have not stopped trade despite differences they have on
the Rohingya issue, according to Islam.
ability to compartmentalise issues is a sign of maturity on the part of member
states and that would lead to the hope of the future of this organisaton.”
provided shelter to over 700,000 Rohingyas who fled ethnic cleansing from the
Rakhine State in a year and is now working on their repatriation with the
support of the international community who are asking Myanmar to create a
conducive environment for them.
South and Southeast Asian leaders under the BIMSTEC framework in their summit
on Aug 30-31 have taken a number of decisions to give the cooperation a boost.
include institutional reform, poverty alleviation, transport and
communications, trade and investment, counter terrorism, climate change,
energy, technology, agriculture, fisheries, public health, people-to-people
contact, cultural cooperation, and tourism among others.
also signed an MoU for grid connectivity.
the Rohingya crisis that received global attention has not been on the agenda.
secretary general said the summit has been a “successful” event where the
leaders have made an attempt to review the achievements during the past 20
the summit after a four-year gap is already a positive thing and there was an
urge to move forward,” Islam said.
have received a number of decisions on which we need close follow-up and if we
can follow up properly, I think it will be very good for the future cooperation
among member states in the Bay of Bengal region.”
said they decided to establish a BIMSTEC development fund.
Army uses images of fleeing Rohingya Muslims as Bangladeshi immigrants,
apologises later for 'mistake
Myanmar military issued a rare apology on Monday, acknowledging that two
photographs it published in a book on the crisis over the Rohingya Muslim
minority were "published incorrectly".
published an exclusive report on Friday revealing that two of the pictures in
the book that aimed at illustrating the army’s account of last year’s events in
the western Myanmar state of Rakhine, were, in fact, archive pictures of
different conflicts, and one was posted with an incorrect caption.
erroneous publication of the photographs comes amid a series of government
steps against what it has seen as media abuses, including a report on army
activity in an ethnic minority guerrilla zone and the flying of a drone in the
Monday, a court jailed for seven years two reporters from Reuters on a charge
of violating a secrets law.
found that two of the photographs in the military book on the Rohingya crisis
were actually taken in Bangladesh and Tanzania and a third was falsely labelled
as showing Rohingya entering Myanmar from Bangladesh, when in reality the
picture was of refugees leaving Myanmar.
military’s official newspaper, the Myawady Daily, issued a statement on Monday
from its publishing arm, which produced the book Myanmar Politics and Tatmadaw:
Part I, apologising for two of the photographs.
was found that two photos were incorrectly published,” the publishing arm said
in a statement carried by the newspaper, referring to the photograph from Tanzania
and another showing victims of Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.
sincerely apologise to the readers and the owners of the photographs for the
mistake,” it said.
did not mention the photograph incorrectly captioned as showing Rohingya entering
Myanmar when the picture was of them leaving.
government spokesman Zaw Htay and military spokesman Major General Tun Tun Nyi
could not be reached for comment.
army’s department of public relations and psychological warfare published the
book in English and Burmese in July.
the 80 images in the book, most were recent pictures of army chief Min Aung
Hlaing meeting foreign dignitaries or other officials visiting Rakhine.
eight photos presented as historical images, Reuters found the provenance of
three to be faked and was unable to determine the provenance of the five
faded black-and-white image shows a crowd of men who appear to be on a long
march with their backs bent over. “Bengalis intruded into the country after the
British Colonialism occupied the lower part of Myanmar,” the caption reads.
photo is apparently intended to depict Rohingya arriving in Myanmar during the
colonial era, which ended in 1948. Reuters determined the picture is, in fact,
a distorted version of a colour image taken in 1996 of refugees who had fled
the genocide in Rwanda.
picture, also printed in black-and-white, shows men aboard a rickety boat.
"Bengalis entered Myanmar via the watercourse," the caption reads.
the original photo depicts Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants leaving Myanmar in
2015, when tens of thousands fled for Thailand and Malaysia. The original has
been rotated and blurred so the photo looks granular. It was sourced from
Myanmar’s own Ministry of Information.
Myawady’s publishing arm, in its statement, made no mention of an alteration of
prime minister of neighbouring Bangladesh, where about 700,000 Rohingya Muslims
have fled from a Myanmar military crackdown launched after Rohingya insurgent
attacks in August last year, denounced the use of the photographs when she was
asked in a news conference about them.
Myanmar has done is simply heinous. They have lowered their reputation,”
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told a news conference in Dhaka on
are diminishing their position in the international arena.”
117-page book gives the army’s account of the crackdown last year which led to
reports of mass killings, rape, and arson.
of the content is sourced to the military’s “True News” information unit, which
since the start of the crisis has distributed news giving the army’s position,
mostly via Facebook.
Catholic Church in Bangladesh plans to treat the welfare of families and
poverty, as well as environmental protection and migrant welfare, as pastoral
priorities in the next decade.
guidelines state that such an approach would "give witness" to the
Church in the low-lying nation.
12-point 'mission statement' was issued at the end of a national pastoral workshop
of the Catholic Church held Aug. 28-31 at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of
Bangladesh secretariat in the capital, Dhaka.
was themed 'Communion: Witness of the Church in Bangladesh.'
priorities are to include spirituality of communion in individual, family and
social life as well as the formation of faith, evangelization and pastoral
cited was educational opportunities and values formation together with family
life and pastoral services to marginalized communities and the poor.
priority would be afforded to socio-economic development and self-reliance,
inter-religious harmony and Christian unity as well as enhancing religious
vocations and services.
would also be an emphasis on safeguarding the environment, civic rights'
awareness and improving health services, advancing political engagement and the
adopting of new technologies as well as use of the mass media.
workshop drew about 200 participants, including all the archbishops and bishops
of eight Catholic dioceses, and representatives of clergy, religious and
laypeople along with social and political leaders from across Bangladesh.
Church's pastoral priorities aimed to meet challenges of the times, said Holy
Cross Archbishop Moses M. Costa of Chittagong, who was the president of
announced priorities would be the Church's guiding light for the faithful to be
emboldened through a sense of communion, he said.
detailed pastoral guidelines would be distributed with a view to dioceses
determining how to implement them, Archbishop Costa told ucanews.com.
challenges could result in discord and disunity, he said, adding that great
feats could be achieved if people work together.
pastoral workshops would be held to consider the priorities, said Bishop James
Romen Boiragi of Khulna in southern Bangladesh, which is vulnerable to climate
well as the formation of communion, the resulting diocesan pastoral plan would
seek to tackle adverse impacts of climate change, Bishop Boragi told
Catholics see the pastoral plan as needed, but difficult to implement.
faithful in many places are gradually distancing themselves from clergy and
religious, largely because priests and religious are less interested in
pastoral and family visits," Babli Talang, an ethnic Khasia Catholic woman
from north-eastern Sylhet Diocese told ucanews.com.
church officials often fail to take up a strong stance on issues of justice and
and religious need to be close to people in order to make the pastoral plan a
the issuing of pastoral priorities is seen as a positive thing, there are
concerns that the Church has in the past been lacking in fulfilling them.
like migration, climate change, concern for the poor and indigenous communities
are really important," said Kerubin Hembrom, an ethnic Santal Catholic
from northern Dinajpur Diocese.
concern is church officials cannot fulfil them alone unless laypeople are strongly
many places, people are not closely attached to the Church despite being
members, so the Church has a lot to do to unite people and work for common
Muslim-majority Bangladesh, with a population of 160 million, Christians account
for less than a half percent or about 600,000 people.
least eight people have been arrested over the suspicious transfer of 381 young
men to eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the young men were being
transferred to eastern Nangarhar province under the guise of providing work for
the collection of pine nuts.
statement further added that the suspects and the young men were arrested
during an operation in Khogyani district of Nangarhar.
governor’s office also added that a delegation consisting of deputy provincial
intelligence chief, police chief, officials from the provincial and district
administrative government has been formed to investigate the incident.
detained suspects are in the custody for further questioning while the young
men have been sent back to their relative provinces, the statement added.
is yet not clear for what purposes the young men were transferred to Nangarhar.
the Taliban group and ISIS Khurasan loyalists often hire young men in their
ranks to conduct terrorist related and insurgency activities.
U.S. soldier was killed and another soldier sustained injuries in an apparent
insider attack in East of Afghanistan.
U.S. service member was killed and another wounded during an apparent insider
attack in eastern Afghanistan, Sept. 3,” the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission
said in a statement.
sacrifice of our service member, who volunteered for a mission to Afghanistan
to protect his country, is a tragic loss for all who knew and all who will now
never know him,” said Resolute Support and U.S. Forces – Afghanistan Commanding
General Scott Miller. “Our duty now is to honor him, care for his family and
continue our mission.”
further details have been given regarding the exact location of the incident
but the alliance added that the wounded service member is in stable condition.
U.S. forces are engaged in counter-terrorism operations against the ISIS and
other terrorist groups in eastern Nangarhar and some other eastern provinces.
militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K)
surrendered to the Afghan forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the militants were
operating in the leadership ranks of the ISIS terrorist group in Nangarhar.
of the militants, Naqibullah, said they joined the ISIS ranks four years ago
together with a group of Pakistani Taliban militants led by Hafiz Saeed,
admitting that they have been involved in anti-government armed activities and
killing of the civilians.
further added that he contacted the Afghan intelligence after realizing that
all their activities have resulted in the loss of the ordinary civilians.
said the ISIS group was paying their salaries and other required materials and
the weapons and munitions were also coming from the other side of the Durand
to Naqib, militants hailing from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Chechnya,
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, and some other countries are also
fighting in ISIS ranks in Afghanistan
member of the group, Sajad, who surrendered to the Afghan intelligence, said
their family members, including the wife and two children Naqibullah and his
wife along with his son, are also accompanying them.
governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said the surrendered militants hail from
Orakzai Agency of Pakistan and previously had links with the leadership of the
further added that the two militants have resided in Nangarhar for four years
before surrendering to the intelligence forces.
with Palestinians are pointless: Israel
- Israel’s defence minister said Monday that negotiations with Palestinians on
the situation in both Gaza and the occupied West Bank were pointless and that
the country should act unilaterally.
Lieberman’s remarks came as Egypt and the United Nations were working to forge
a lasting ceasefire between Gaza rulers Hamas and Israel after months of
tensions and violence.
aware of all the negotiations and all the mediators and everything going on
there,” he said at a Jerusalem conference, in remarks relayed by his office.
negotiations, regardless of whether they’re on Ramallah or Gaza, won’t lead us
anywhere,” he said.
the negotiations have led us to a dead end, therefore we need to act on the
Palestinian issue - regarding Ramallah and Gaza - unilaterally, and define the
reality unilaterally, according to our understanding,” Lieberman said.
outspoken minister reiterated the strategy of enabling more commerce and travel
in and from the blockaded Gaza Strip in return for a decrease in militant
activity from the Palestinian enclave and clashes along the border.
average Gazan concerned about his livelihood and how to feed his family must
understand that whoever participates in terror activity harms his livelihood,”
quiet brings economic benefits.”
have been months of tension along the border and several military-flare ups,
but recent weeks have seen relative calm.
militants in Gaza and Israel have fought three wars since 2008.
Colombian president: Recognition of Palestine 'irreversible'
new President Ivan Duque says he will not reverse his predecessor’s decision
last month to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state.
told a local radio station on Monday that the decision made by Juan Manuel
Santos in the last few days of his term in August was “irreversible” because
“the president of the republic is the person designated by the constitution to
mange foreign relations.”
government governs until it is replaced by its successor administration;
therefore, Santos’s decision cannot be disputed and will stand, he argued.
Colombian president, however, said that he would have preferred more debate on
the issue, but that he respects the decisions his predecessor made during his
would have benefited from more analyses [about the pros and cons of recognizing
Palestine], but we should be part of the solution, not the problem,” Duque
said that he believed the so-called two-state solution is the best way out of
the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
we, the international community, should not do is be part of the problem,
instead, we must be part of the solution. The solution is to form lasting
peace, stability, and that the two-state solution will move forward,” he said.
handed a letter to Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on August 3,
saying that Colombia “decided to recognize Palestine as a free, independent and
Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said in a statement at the time that
the new government would “cautiously examine” the “implications” of the
decision and would “act according to international law.”
response, the Israeli embassy in Colombia immediately issued an angry
statement, saying it was “deeply disappointed” by the move and demanding that
Colombia’s new government reverse the decision.
until then, Colombia was the only South American country that did not recognize
the State of Palestine.
are seeking to create an independent state in the territories of the West Bank,
the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem al-Quds, with the latter as its capital.
November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s
status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite
strong opposition from Israel.
Palestinian national flag was also hoisted for the first time at the UN
headquarters in New York in September 2015.
Palestinian efforts for statehood have been hampered due to Israel’s illegal
settlement activities in the occupied lands and Washington’s latest
anti-Palestinian measures, among them US President Donald Trump's recognition
of Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and relocation of the embassy
from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
claims on religious minorities' rights in Iran biased: Bishop
of the Armenian Diocese of Iran Bishop Sarkis Davidian says claims made by some
US officials about the rights of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic
and lack of freedom to perform their religious rituals are "biased and
a statement on Monday, Davidian added that the Catholic Armenians are followers
of one of the divine religions in Iran who can perform religious rituals and
carry out social and cultural activities in the country with full freedom.
added that the US is pursuing an "opportunistic" approach to
minorities to meet its own interests.
Washington supports religious minorities but in fact it is victimizing them for
its hegemonic policies, Davidian said, adding that the US attitude to the
colored people is a clear example in this regard.
month, Iran’s Assyro-Chaldean churches censured US officials’ “interventionist”
claims about the situation of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic,
calling on Washington to be concerned about its own poor human rights record at
home and abroad instead of shedding “crocodile tears” for others.
a statement released on August 14, the churches rejected US accusations of
rights violations against religious minorities in Iran, saying all divine
religions in the country have their own representatives at the Iranian
Parliament and enjoy equal rights with fellow lawmakers.
official religion of Iran is Shia Islam under the Constitution. The Islamic
Republic recognizes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian religious minorities.
Constitution stipulates that “investigation into individual beliefs is
forbidden,” and that “no one may be harmed or taken to task simply for holding
a certain belief.”
minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, says negotiations with
Palestinian authorities on the situation in both besieged Gaza Strip and the
occupied west Bank are pointless and that Tel Aviv should act on the
Palestinian issue in both regions “unilaterally.”
aware of all the negotiations and all the mediators and everything going on
there. The negotiations, regardless of whether they’re on Ramallah or Gaza
[City], won't lead us anywhere,” he said at a press conference at Jerusalem
al-Quds on Monday, referring to the capital cities of the West bank and Gaza Strip,
comments came as Egypt and the United Nations are working to hammer out a
lasting ceasefire between the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, which has
been running the Gaza Strip since 2006, and the Israeli regime after months of
tensions and violence in the occupied territories.
the negotiations have led us to a dead end, therefore we need to act on the
Palestinian issue -- regarding Ramallah and Gaza -- unilaterally, and define
the reality unilaterally, according to our understanding,” Lieberman added.
have been running high along the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the
start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding
the right to return for those driven out of their homeland by Israel.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of
the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. Israeli fire
has so far taken the lives of more than 170 Palestinians since March 30.
Naval Forces have arrested more than a dozen officers on suspicion of
affiliation to a movement led by US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen,
whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup
attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the suspects were detained in
the capital Ankara, and that they are believed to have contacted Gulenists via
payphones and prepaid mobile phones.
sources added that the group consists of one major and 12 non-commissioned
August 31, Turkish security forces detained 23 suspected Gulenists in two
separate nationwide operations.
former military pilots were among those arrested, while the rest were Turkish
Air Forces personnel.
the 2016 botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has since accused Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure
is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the
government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army, police
and the judiciary.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated
slanders,” he said in a statement.
77-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his
followers, a move he says is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to
President Erdogan and his regime.”
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of.
which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in
suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in
the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
signaled on Monday that it could attack suspected Iranian military assets in
Iraq, as it has done with scores of air strikes in war-torn Syria.
Iranian, Iraqi and Western sources, Reuters reported last week that Iran had
transferred short-range ballistic missiles to Shi’ite allies in Iraq in recent
months. Tehran and Baghdad formally denied that report.
sees in Iran’s regional expansion an attempt to open up new fronts against it.
Israel has repeatedly launched attacks in Syria to prevent any entrenchment of
Iranian forces helping Damascus in the war.
are certainly monitoring everything that is happening in Syria and, regarding
Iranian threats, we are not limiting ourselves just to Syrian territory. This
also needs to be clear,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a conference hosted
and aired live by the Israel Television News Company.
if that included possible action in Iraq, Lieberman said: “I am saying that we
will contend with any Iranian threat, and it doesn’t matter from where it comes
... Israel’s freedom is total. We retain this freedom of action.”
was no immediate response from the government of Iraq, which is technically at
war with Israel, nor from US Central Command in Washington, DC, which oversees
US military operations in Iraq.
Channel 1 television reported that in recent weeks the United States asked
Israel not to attack in Iraqi territory. It said it had gleaned the information
from “Western officials.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday he was “deeply concerned” by
the reported Iranian missile transfer.
true, this would be a gross violation of Iraqi sovereignty and of UNSCR 2231,”
he tweeted, referring to a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the 2015
international nuclear deal with Iran. The Trump administration abandoned that
deal in May, citing, among other factors, Iran’s ballistic missile projects.
to regional sources, Israel began carrying out air strikes in Syria in 2013
against suspected arms transfers and deployments by Iran and its Lebanese ally,
the Shi’ite Hezbollah militia.
operations have largely been ignored by Russia, Damascus’s big-power backer,
and coordinated with other powers conducting their own military operations in
of Palestinian refugees “cannot simply be wished away”, the head of a UN
support agency said on Monday, hitting back at a US aid cutoff and allegations
its work only perpetuates their plight.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides services to about 5
million Palestinian refugees across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank
and Gaza. Most are descendants of some 700,000 Palestinians who were driven out
of their homes or fled fighting in the 1948 war that led to Israel’s creation.
growing refugee count was cited by Washington, UNRWA’s biggest donor, in its
decision last week to withhold funding, and has potential ramifications for the
Palestinians’ pursuit of a right of return to land now in Israel.
Israeli governments have ruled out such an influx, fearing the country would
lose its Jewish majority.
express deep regret and disappointment at the nature of the US decision,” UNRWA
Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said in an open letter to Palestinian
refugees and the agency’s staff in which he pledged its operations would continue.
to echo Israel’s view that descendants of the 1948 refugees should not share
that status, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert criticized UNRWA on
Friday over its “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described UNRWA on Sunday as “the refugee
perpetuation agency” whose money “should be taken and be used to really help
rehabilitate the refugees, whose real number is a sliver of that reported by
Krahenbuhl said “the protracted nature of the Palestine refugee crisis” was not
unique. He said the children and grandchildren of long-displaced refugees in
Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Congo and elsewhere are also recognized as
refugees and assisted by the United Nations.
matter how often attempts are made to minimize or delegitimize the individual
and collective experiences of Palestine refugees, the undeniable fact remains
that they have rights under international law and represent a community of 5.4
million men, women and children who cannot simply be wished away,” he said.
United States paid out $60 million to UNRWA in January, withholding another $65
million, from a promised $365 million for the year. Krahenbuhl said Gulf states
had injected funds but UNRWA still needed more than $200 million.
Lebanon on Monday, UNRWA opened its school year as scheduled. Studies in
UNRWA-run schools in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip got under way on
Cordone, director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, told Reuters that funds would
last only until the end of the month but the agency would continue to raise
money to ensure the schools remain open.
move against UNRWA was the latest in a series of US and Israeli policy
decisions that have angered Palestinians and raised international concern.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has plans to ditch the dollar in trade
with Iran and China and instead use local currencies.
was quoted by the media in Ankara as saying that his government was also
discussing the same idea with Moscow.
stressed the need to put an end to US dollar dominance of trade exchange
gradually by dealing in local currencies.
world trade, particularly with the US dollar, is becoming a big problem day
after day,” he was quoted as saying by Anadolu news agency.
companies and traders have to cope with the difficulties linked to the US
dollar, the exchange rate pressures and difficulties arising from the nature of
the trade itself,” the Turkish president said at the Kyrgyz-Turkish Business
Forum held in the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek.
Turkish president further emphasized that the “trade facilitation system” was
already becoming a major obstacle to global free trade, warning that emerging
economies were suffering from this problem, with the biggest example being the
economic attacks that he said Turkey had suffered in recent weeks.
aim of manipulating foreign exchange rates is to raise doubts about the
strength and robustness of the Turkish economy,” Erdogan said.
the steps taken by the global credit rating institutions are politicized. These
institutions are not honest, they are fraudulent and [we] do not believe them.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic will continue
to support Syria in its fight against terrorist groups.
made the comments in a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in
Damascus on Monday ahead of a planned summit of Iranian, Russian and Turkish
presidents in Tehran.
and Muallem also discussed regional issues and the latest developments in
Syria, including the return of the displaced people to their homeland.
hailed Iran's support for his country in the battle against terrorist groups
and called on Tehran to continue its cooperation with Damascus in this regard.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the request of the
Damascus government, enabling its army to speed up its gains on various fronts
against terror outfits.
Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami was in Damascus last week and
signed an agreement on defense and technical cooperation designed to ensure the
continued presence and participation of Iran in Syria's reconstruction.
a meeting with his Syrian counterpart, General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, in Damascus
on August 26, Hatami warned of extra-regional countries' plots to sow discord
in Syria and vowed the Islamic Republic's full support for the war-ravaged country
in a bid to preserve its territorial integrity and improve its stability.
will spare no effort to maintain Syria's territorial integrity, because
security in the country will help [improve] regional stability," the
Iranian defense chief added.
Iranian commander said on August 28 the country's military advisors will
maintain their presence in Syria, giving more details about the military
cooperation agreement reached between Tehran and Damascus.
continued presence of Iranian (military) advisors in Syria was one of the
points of the defense and technical agreement between Tehran and
Damascus," Iran's military and defense attaché to Damascus, Brigadier
General Abolqassem Alinejad, said.
will start reconstruction process in cooperation with Iran, Russia: PM Khamis
a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis
said the reconstruction process of his country would start in cooperation with
friendly countries, particularly Iran and Russia.
also said the two countries' embassies should prepare the ground for the
participation of Iranian private firms in the reconstruction of Syria.
says it may begin drilling for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean this fall in
reaction to the Greek Cyprus’s “unilateral” drilling in the disputed region.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made the remarks on Monday in a joint press
conference with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Kudret Ozersay.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has territorial waters and a
continental shelf which Turkey would take all measures to protect,” Cavusoglu
said, reiterating his country’s opposition to the Greek Cyprus’s drilling in
areas which Turkey says belong to the Turkish Cyprus.
said he would later on Tuesday meet his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias in
Western Izmir to discuss the issue of Greek Cyprus and its “unilateral steps”
regarding the gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.
the Greek Cypriot side continues taking unilateral steps, Turkey will start its
own drilling activities, the Turkish FM warned.
Turkish Cypriot foreign minister also warned that if Greek Cypriots would
continue their unilateral drilling activities, Turkish Cypriots will also
"start drilling soon" in accordance with the license it has already
provided to Turkish Petroleum.
in February, the Turkish military prevented the Greek Cypriot government from
exploring for oil and gas in the disputed region.
which does not have diplomatic ties with the Greek Cyprus, has vowed to prevent
what it sees as a unilateral move by Greek Cypriots to claim offshore
resources. It says some areas of Cyprus’s offshore maritime zone fall under
what Ankara calls the territory of the Turkish Cyprus.
island has been divided into Turkish Cypriot-controlled northern and Greek
Cypriot-controlled southern territories since a brief war in 1974, which saw
Turkey intervene militarily in response to a military coup on the island, which
was backed by the Athens government to annex Cyprus to Greece.
Cypriots run the island’s internationally recognized government, while Turkish
Cypriots have a breakaway state in the north — only recognized by Turkey — and
say offshore resources belong to them, too.
Greek Cypriot leader has said the reunification talks cannot resume as long as
Turkey blocks foreign companies from drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus. He
has accused Ankara of practicing “gunboat diplomacy.”
soldiers have fatally shot a Palestinian following an alleged stabbing attack
in the occupied West Bank, the military says.
to a statement released by the Israeli military on Monday, the incident
occurred in the vicinity of Kiryat Arba, a hardline Israeli settlement, near
the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) earlier in the day.
Israeli army added that the victim, while “wielding a knife,” had approached an
Israeli military checkpoint in the area when he was shot dead by the Israeli
live fire. It further identified him as Wael al-Jabari, 27. No Israelis were
hurt in the incident, the army added.
Israeli military regularly opens fatal fire on Palestinians, accusing them of
attempting to carry out stabbing attacks against its forces.
rights groups have repeatedly criticized the Tel Aviv regime for its
shoot-to-kill policy as a large number of the Palestinians killed at the scene
of attacks did not pose serious threats to Israelis.
tensions have been running high along the Gaza fence since March 30, which
marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,”
demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland by Israel.
toll hits 48 in Boko Haram troop attack: military sources
death toll from a Boko Haram attack on a Nigerian army post on the border with
Niger has risen to 48, military sources said on Monday.
of Boko Haram fighters in trucks stormed the base on Thursday in Zari village
in northern Borno state and briefly seized it after a fierce battle.
Haram, which has been waging a deadly insurgency in Nigeria since 2009, has
intensified attacks on military targets in recent months.
least 30 Nigerian soldiers were initially said to have been killed in
casualty toll now stands at 48 with the recovery of 17 more bodies of soldiers
in surrounding bushes in Zari by search and rescue teams," a military
source who did not want to be named told AFP.
operations are still ongoing and more bodies are likely to be recovered."
Another military source confirmed the new death toll.
far (the) bodies of 48 troops have been recovered. Yesterday rescue teams found
17 bodies of fallen soldiers," he said, adding that they included two
officers and 46 soldiers.
the troops were overwhelmed by the terrorists they withdrew in different
Haram no longer control any part of Nigeria – Buhari claims amid killing of
Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that no part of Nigeria was under the control of
Boko Haram insurgents.
stated this while recounting some successes of his administration during an
interactive session with some Nigerians in Beijing, China, on Sunday.
said security operatives deployed to counter-insurgencies in the North East
were responsible for the successes of the operation.
is coming at a time about 30 soldiers were alleged to have been killed by Boko
Haram insurgents at Zari village in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno.
Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, Director, Army Public Relations stressed that the
report was a “figment of the imagination.’’
raged Monday on the outskirts of Libya’s capital Tripoli trapping residents
indoors and hampering rescue efforts, emergency services said, after more than
a week of deadly fighting.
since August 27 between rival militias in the southern suburbs has killed at
least 47 people and wounded 129 others, most of them civilians, according to an
updated toll put out by the health ministry Sunday night.
Monday, armed groups had cut roads leading to their positions, “blocking access
to aid and relief” and trapping families in the area, emergency services
spokesman Osama Ali said.
could be heard from the Tripoli’s centre and witnesses reported heavy fighting,
particularly along the perimeter of the Wadi al-Rabii suburb in the southeast
of the capital.
Sunday, some 400 detainees managed to escape after rioting at a prison in Ain
Zara, also in the capital’s southern suburbs, as the fighting raged.
detainees at the prison have been convicted of common crimes or were supporters
of former dictator Muammar Qaddafi, found guilty of killings during the
uprising that toppled his regime in 2011.
justice ministry official told AFP on Monday that the prisoners escaped from
Wing A, reserved for those convicted of common crimes.
of Qaddafi’s regime are being held in another wing where “no trouble has been
recorded”, the official said on condition of anonymity.
main figures from Qaddafi’s regime are held in another prison in Tripoli and
one in Misrata, 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of the capital.
internationally recognized Government of National Unity (GNA) on Sunday
declared a state of emergency in the capital and its surroundings.
Jordanian and Palestinian officials, experts and activists are united in their
opposition to a confederation that precedes the end of Israeli occupation and
the creation of a Palestinian state.
and Jordanian official speakers have rejected the idea circulating in the
Israeli media following a discussion President Abbas had with Israeli peace
the discussion, Abbas told the Israelis that Trump Administration mediators
offered the idea of a confederation with Jordan but that Abbas rejected the
idea unless it also includes the state of Israel.
Abu Zayyad, international spokesman for Fatah in Jerusalem, told Arab News that
the confederation discussion is premature.
Palestinian state must be established with security, borders and a capital
before talking about any kind of confederation since it is needed to be able to
achieve such a thing.”
ABdulHadi, head of the PASIA think tank in Jerusalem, also called the US and
Israeli discussion about Jordan “a new version of their obsession” and
suggested that this “trial balloon should be left alone because it will soon
run out of air.”
Qadoumi, a senior Fatah leader in Jordan and a member of the Palestine National
Council living in Jordan, told Arab News that this is an old topic and Abbas
has tried to avoid dealing with. Qadoumi noted that a confereration is a union
between “two independent states and must be approved after their independence
by means of a referendum.”
said that if the goal is to be a confederation “like the EU where countries
like France and Germany are sovereign that there is no problem as long as all
of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza are included.”
Faraneh, who has the distinction of having been a Jordanian member of
Parliament and a member of the Palestine National Council legislative councils,
told Arab News that the confederation issue was a political trick that
president Abbas was able to cleverly circumvent.
knows that Jordanians reject confederation because it attempts to make Jordan
become a replacement of the PLO and because it will be the beginning of a
process that aims at kicking Palestinians from their home and country.”
told Arab News that “any unity at this time while occupation has not ended and
Palestinians have not enjoyed true independence is totally unacceptable.”
said that president Abbas is aware of this and that is why he escaped this
issue by adding Israel.
are the only common denominator that is present in all three regions in Israel,
Palestine and Jordan,” he said.
Jordanian member of parliament Ghazi Musharbash told Arab News that the
Americans and Israelis really want a Jordanian federation without Gaza.
is why the late King Hussein and King Abdullah II are consistently on the
record as opposing the idea and have repeatedly said that they are only willing
to discuss the idea once Palestinians are genuinely independent.”
police say gunmen have killed at least 11 villagers in an attack in Plateau
state, a central region riven by conflicts over land rights between mainly
Christian farmers and Muslim nomadic herdsmen.
incident occurred late on Sunday in Lopandet Dwei Du village just outside state
capital Jos, Terna Tyopev, police spokesperson, said in a statement on Monday.
said at least 11 people were also wounded in the attack and transferred to
and other parts of central Nigeria have witnessed a spate of killings in recent
months as herdsmen in search of grazing land and water for their cattle attack
villages inhabited by farmers and retaliatory assaults.
conflict has killed 1,500 civilians in the first half of 2018, six times more
than the Boko Haram armed campaign, according to the International Crisis Group
the violence escalated in January, an estimated 300,000 people have fled their
homes, the group said.
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