Cleric Hit By Car After Refusing To Chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’
Not Let Nawaz Sharif Become 'Morsi' Of Pakistan: Maryam Nawaz
Voices Concern over Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws, China's Abuse Of Religious
In Sri Lanka As Monk Calls For Stoning Of Muslims
Calls for "Justice" And Citizenship for Rohingya Muslims
Lawmakers Chant ‘Death To America’ As US Called ‘Terrorist’
Human Rights Commission Slams ‘Biased’ UN Report On Khashoggi Case
Rejects US Report on Religious Freedom, Attack on Minorities In India
has long itched for war with Iran; India should prevent confrontation between
its two allies to stave off ultimate damage
After Video Shows Muslims Forced To Say ‘Jai Shri Ram’, Key Accused Held
4 terrorists killed in Shopian
sets conditions for Kartarpur corridor, opposes all Indian proposals: Officials
and Kashmir: Four militants killed in encounter with security forces in Shopian
militant killed in encounter near Line of Control
wants UN to crackdown on anti-Islamic speech
on cusp of achieving peace, stability: COAS
Alvi confers Nishan-e-Pakistan on Emir of Qatar
held for setting ablaze watchman cabin of Ahmadi worship place
at cusp of achieving sustainable peace and stability, says COAS
supports an Afghanistan that is at peace with itself, says Qureshi
signed on money laundering, terror financing
supports Afghanistan that is at peace with itself: FM
leaders begin peace summit in Pakistan
forces prepare to evacuate contractors from Iraqi base
House’s Kushner Unveils Economic Portion Of Middle East Peace Plan
eyes more Iran sanctions, says military action still on the table
Says Will Be Iran's 'Best Friend,’ Thanks For Not Downing US Plane
Donald Trump launches cyber attack on military computer systems
Forces Conducted 14 Offensive, 75 Special Ops, 12 Airstrikes In Past 24 Hours:
among 2 killed in Teknaf ‘gunfight’
clashes underway between Taliban, ISIS militants in two districts of Kunar
Taliban militants killed, explosives and IED components destroyed in Helmand,
drone targets a group of 8 ISIS militants in East of Afghanistan
round of U.S.-Taliban peace talks to begin on 29th of June: Khalilzad
intelligence chief among 7 killed in Kunar operation: Afghan Intelligence
troops ‘saved’ Daesh terrorists, leaders from Taliban siege in east Afghanistan
Poke Wasp Nest’: PAS Women Chief Warns Pakatan over Islamic Education
delegate claims nightmare Malaysia for Muslims as ‘second Singapore’ with DAP
M'sia applying double standard with Zakir Naik
Ulama chief decrees ‘wajib’ to collaborate with others, bring Pakatan govt down
to vet public servants to identify Islamists
PM blames US for rising tensions in Persian Gulf
Reacts To Appointment Of Muslim Religious Leaders In Northern Greece By State
votes in mayoral re-run, in test for Turkish democracy, Erdogan
warns US attack will imperil its interests across Mideast
Strongly Condemns Terrorist Attack at Baghdad Mosque
to appeal for $1.2 billion to help five million Palestinians
jets destroy two Houthi drones in Yemeni air space
rejects Trump’s Palestine deal as ‘humiliating blackmail’
forces, allies shoot down Saudi-led reconnaissance drone in Hajjah
Seeks To Win Over Kurds And Alienated Supporters In Istanbul
Leaders Firmly Call for Expulsion of Foreign Occupying Forces from Syria
Forces Take Military Base in Saudi Arabia
US deny planned evacuation of contractors from Iraqi base
workers killed in a terrorist attack near Egypt’s el-Arish Airport
air defences target terrorists' combat drone in Hama
World League chief meets with Austrian, Spanish diplomats
Proposes Civilian-Majority Ruling Body for Sudan, Say Protest Leaders
al Shabaab fighters killed in Kenya after attack on police
confirms 42 Boko Haram fighters killed in multilateral operation
army chief, regional president killed in unrest: PM Abiy
intercepts nearly 200 Europe-bound migrants at sea
transitional council deputy thanks Saudi Arabia, UAE for assistance
Sudanese forces fighting in Yemen: Official
of ISIS fighter in Britain convicted
Merkel says Iran issue will be discussed at G20
of Turkish origin held over links to PKK
slams Greece for violating Lausanne Peace Treaty
by New Age Islam News Bureau
DELHI: India on Sunday rejected a US religious freedom report, saying it sees
no locus standi for a foreign government to pronounce on the state of its
citizens' constitutionally protected rights.
its annual 2018 International Religious Freedom Report, the State Department
alleged on Friday that mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against
minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018, amid
rumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef.
to media queries on the report, ministry of external affairs spokesperson
Raveesh Kumar said: "India is proud of its secular credentials, its status
as the largest democracy and a pluralistic society with a longstanding
commitment to tolerance and inclusion."
Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens,
including its minority communities, he said.
is widely acknowledged that India is a vibrant democracy where the Constitution
provides protection of religious freedom, and where democratic governance and
rule of law further promote and protect fundamental rights, Kumar asserted.
see no locus standi for a foreign entity/government to pronounce on the state
of our citizens' constitutionally protected rights," he said.
by the Congress, the state department in its voluminous report gives its
assessment of the status of religious freedom in almost all the countries and
territories of the world.
the report at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the state department, secretary
of state Mike Pompeo last week said the report was like a report card which
tracks countries to see how well they have respected this fundamental human
DELHI: A 40-year-old cleric was allegedly attacked by three-car borne people
after he refused to say — Jai Shree Ram.
to reports published in a leading news agency, the incident took place Delhi‘s
Rohini Sector 20 on Thursday evening when the victim identified as Maulana
Mohammad Momin was taking a stroll near the mosque cum madrasa.
Maulana in his formal complaint to the police on Friday said that at around
6.45 pm, a white car stopped on the road and its three occupants called him.
The car had ‘Jai Shee Ram’ written on its windscreen.
men in their mid-thirties asked about the Maulana’s well being to which he
replied, “By the grace of Allah, I am good. They objected to it and asked him
to read some religious lines but he avoided and refused to chant Jai Shree Ram.
started walking back to my masjid, but I was hit by a vehicle. The impact was
such that it flung me in the air. As I fell on the ground, I lost
consciousness,” he said.
passersby called the police who later rushed him to the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital
in Sultanpuri. The Maulana suffered injuries on his head, face and hands.
have registered a case of accident and examining the CCTV footages to gather
information about the three accused.
have registered an FIR of accident. However, Mohammad Momin has claimed that
three boys who were in a white car had asked him to say some religious word,
when he refused, they hit him. Now we are verifying this allegation. CCTV
footage will be examined,”said SD Mishra, DCP, Rohini told ANI.
not let Nawaz Sharif become 'Morsi' of Pakistan: Maryam Nawaz
Claiming that there was a serious threat to the life of jailed former Pakistan
prime minister Nawaz Sharif due to lack of medical care, his daughter Maryam
Nawaz on Saturday said that her Pakistan Muslim League (N) party will not let
him become the "Morsi" of Pakistan.
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who took over the realm in country's first
free elections in 2012 and was ousted a year later by the military, died on
Monday after fainting during a session in court.
a group of British lawmakers and lawyers, who published a report in March 2018
into how Morsi was being treated in custody, concluded that the former
president, who had a history of ill-health including diabetes, liver and kidney
disease, was not receiving adequate medical care.
are not Egypt and we will not allow Nawaz Sharif to become Morsi," Maryam,
vice president of PML (N), said.
said that Sharif, 69, was seriously ill and needed immediate medical care which
was not being given to him in jail.
that there was a serious threat to Sharif's life, Maryam said that her father
was suffering from complicated ailments and needed focused treatment, including
surgeries, and the treatment might go for a year.
said that the treatment is complicated and doctors in Pakistan are reluctant to
treat the high-profile patient.
also claimed that her family was not informed about Nawaz's third heart attack
that he suffered in Adiala Jail last year, The Express Tribune reported.
three-time prime minister had in April sought the Supreme Court's permission to
go abroad for medical treatment.
the permission was not granted.
was given a six-week interim bail by the top court on March 26 to undergo
medical treatment. He had filed a petition on April 27 for permanent bail as he
was suffering from acute anxiety and depression that may lead to "sudden
voices concern over Pakistan's blasphemy laws, China's abuse of religious
The United States on Friday urged Pakistan to do more to stop the abuse of
blasphemy laws and strongly criticized China's persecution of minorities in its
annual report on international religious freedom.
at the release of the report on the International Religious Freedom of the
State Department for the year 2018, secretary of state Mike Pompeo noted how
the Pakistan's Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi, a Catholic, of blasphemy,
sparing her the death penalty after she spent nearly a decade in prison.
estimated that more than 40 others were still serving life sentences or facing
execution for blasphemy in Pakistan.
continue to call for their release and encourage the government to appoint an
envoy to address religious freedom concerns," Pompeo said.
is an incendiary issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where mere allegations of
insulting Islam have sparked lynchings, although activists say many cases stem
from personal disagreements.
a Catholic, was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and sent to death row. Despite
public protests against her, Bibi was acquitted on appeal last year and in May
was able to leave for Canada.
also strongly criticized US adversaries China and Iran, pointing to Beijing's
detention of some one million Muslims, mostly from the Uighur ethnic minority
group, and its "intense persecution" of Tibetan Buddhists, Christians
and the Falungong spiritual movement.
State Department added a special section on what US officials said are the
"staggering scope of religious freedom abuses in Xinjiang" to this
year's report on China.
China, the government's intense persecution of many faiths - Falun Gong
practitioners, Christians, and Tibetan Buddhists among them - is the
norm," Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump's administration has often hesitated to criticize ally
Saudi Arabia, the report spoke of widespread abuses in the kingdom which
promotes the puritanical Wahabi school of Sunni Islam.
non-governmental groups, the report said Saudi Arabia has detained more than
1,000 minority Shias since 2011, mostly for non-violence offenses such as
participating in or promoting protests on social media.
Brownback, the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom,
acknowledged disappointment since the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
think there was a lot of hope at first in the change of leadership that things
would open up substantially. We need to see actions take place in a positive
direction," he told reporters.
continue to be one of the worst actors in the world on religious
persecution," Brownback said.
April, which was after the timeframe of the 2018 report, Saudi Arabia conducted
a mass execution of 37 people, most of them Shiites.
groups said one of the Saudi Shias was crucified after being beheaded, while
the UN rights chief said at least three of those executed were minors when
in Sri Lanka as monk calls for stoning of Muslims
in Sri Lanka say they fear new attacks after a top Buddhist monk called for
violence against members of the religious minority, claiming a Muslim doctor
had sterilised thousands of Buddhist women.
politicians and members of the Muslim minority said Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana
Thero's speech last week was likely to fan communal tensions, weeks after
Buddhist mobs attacked scores of Muslim homes and businesses.
riots were an apparent response to deadly bombings on churches and hotels on
Easter Sunday that killed more than 250 people and were claimed by the Islamic
State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) group. Sri Lankan authorities blamed the
attacks on two small Muslim groups.
the country still reeling from the bombings and subsequent riots, Gnanarathana
repeated unsubstantiated accusations that a Muslim doctor in the central
Kurunegala district had covertly sterilised 4,000 Buddhist women.
female devotees said [people like the doctor] should be stoned to death. I do
not say that. But that's what should be done," he said in a speech
broadcast on national television.
monk, who heads the Asgiriya Chapter, one the largest and oldest Buddhist
chapters in Sri Lanka, went on to call for a boycott of Muslim-owned
restaurants, reinforcing a long-standing and unsubstantiated rumour that Muslim
restaurants served their Buddhist customers food spiked with sterilisation
eat from those [Muslim] shops. Those who ate from these shops will not have
children in future," he told worshippers at a temple in the central
district of Kandy, where that same rumour had unleashed days of anti-Muslim
riots last year.
Saturday, Gnanarathana defended his comments, saying: "The remarks I made
are only in line with what the majority are thinking."
make up more than 70 percent of Sri Lanka's 21 million population, while
Muslims account for 10 percent.
described the comments as hate speech and called on President Maithripala
Sirisena to take action, while members of the Muslim community said they feared
the monk's comments could lead to new violence against them.
of this calibre talking about false accusations and spitting venom like this is
highly problematic because at least the younger generation of Buddhist youth is
going to take this seriously ... he's inciting violence," said Shreen
Abdul Saroor, a human rights activist.
declaring a systematic embargo on Muslim businesses. This is a systematic way
of segregating and socially ostracizing the Muslim communities," added the
Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, a Muslim journalist who spoke on the condition of
anonymity said he was shocked by Gnanarathana's speech.
can't even imagine what could happen to us," he said. "We're afraid
the speech will lead to more attacks on Muslims and their properties."
Kandy, a Muslim businessman said: "Our friends and families are going to work
expecting something bad would happen to them."
to the mob attacks in Sri Lanka's northwest in May, he added: "We
witnessed how less-prominent monks led several mob attacks in recent years, the
latest being last month. So we expect similar attacks could be carried out when
a highly respected monk gives such a statement."
Ghouse, a 29-year-old Muslim law student, echoed the same sentiment.
this was coming from the monks representing Sinhala Buddhist extremist
organisations like Bodu Bala Sena, we ... would've brushed it aside thinking
it's a minority of Sinhalese Buddhists who subscribe to such sentiments. But
this is coming from a chief prelate of a major Buddhist faction," Ghouse
added that the entire Muslim community was being "continuously cornered
for something done by a handful of extremists".
lambasted Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for failing to take
Haniffa, a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge, said Gnanarathana's
speech is "just one event in a series of incidents" following the
April 21 Easter Sunday attacks that "speak to the normalising of hate
sentiment against Muslims".
troubling of all is the deafening silence of our president and prime minister
in the face of such statements," she added.
possible avenue for action, activists said, was the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act, a domestic law based on a UN treaty,
which prohibits incitement to "discrimination, hostility or
Sumanthiran, leader of the Tamil National Alliance, said the monk's speech
"could be an offence to incitement to violence" and that he was
"watching to see how the government and the law enforcement authorities
is unfortunate that a time like this when people are being arrested under the
ICCPR Act for saying things that's that are not even one percent as hateful or
harmful as this, [Gnanarathana Thero] is getting away with it because of this
position he holds," Sumanthiran said, referring to the recent arrest of a
Muslim woman on charges of violating the law by wearing a dress authorities
said resembled sacred Buddhist symbols.
lack of action against Gnanrathana reflects "the Sinhala Buddhist
hegemonic majoritarianism that prevails in the country," he added.
office and a spokesman for the president declined to comment.
calls for "justice" and citizenship for Rohingya Muslims
on Saturday said the perpetrators of violence against Myanmar's Rohingya
minority must "be brought to justice", in sharp comments delivered at
a normally tame regional summit.
does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens, instead officially labelling them
"Bengalis", short-hand for illegal immigrants from neighbouring
military crackdown in 2017 drove more than 740,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh,
carrying accounts of rape, mass killings and the razing of villages.
investigators have called for Myanmar's top generals to be tried for genocide.
Myanmar's army and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi have defended the action as
necessary to flush out Rohingya militants from Rakhine state.
talks Saturday with Southeast Asian counterparts, Malaysia's Foreign Minister
Saifuddin Bin Abdullah called for the "perpetrators of the Rohingya issue
to be brought to justice", his ministry said in Tweet.
also said repatriation of the minority from the fetid, overcrowded refugee
camps of Bangladesh "must include the citizenship of the Rohingya."
a Muslim country which hosts a large Rohingya refugee population, is one of the
few members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to speak up
for the minority.
10-member bloc normally abides by a principle of non-interference in each
other's internal affairs.
was heavily criticised by rights groups after a report it commissioned lauded
Myanmar's work on the repatriation issue.
state, the western region home to the Rohingya, remains cut by violence.
a handful of the Muslim minority have returned under a discredited repatriation
has not offered citizenship to the mass of Rohingya in Bangladesh's camps
should they return, while the minority also want safety guarantees and
restitution of seized lands and torched villages before agreeing to go back.
lawmakers chant ‘Death to America’ as US called ‘terrorist’
Iranian lawmakers chanted “Death to America” during a parliament session on
Sunday after a speaker accused the United States of being the “real world
terrorist,” amid escalating tension with Washington following the downing of an
unmanned US drone. US President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a
military strike to retaliate for the drone incident because it could have
killed 150 people, and signaled he was open to talks with Tehran.
said on Saturday it would respond firmly to any threat against it.
is the real terrorist in the world by spreading chaos in countries, giving
advanced weapons to terrorist groups, causing insecurity, and still it says
‘Come, let’s negotiate’,” the parliament’s deputy speaker, Masoud Pezeshkian,
said at the start of a session broadcast live on state radio.
to America,” chanted many lawmakers.
chants, often repeated since the 1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the
US-backed Shah, came weeks after Trump said in a US television interview: “They
(Iranians) haven’t screamed ‘death to America’ lately.”
Human Rights Commission slams ‘biased’ UN report on Khashoggi case
The Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) has slammed a report by UN Special
Rapporteur Agnes Callamard suggesting that the US-based Saudi journalist Jamal
Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated extrajudicial execution, for which
the Kingdom is responsible.
HRC stressed the report was biased and stemmed from prejudice, which neither
reflects reality nor complies with the code of conduct for the work of UN
a press statement, the HRC suggested Callamard’s assertions had breached UN
principles of impartiality, objectivity and professionalism. The report, it
added, constituted interference in the Kingdom’s internal affairs, contained clear
contradictions regarding the evidence of the case, and ignored the directive
issued by King Salman to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation
into the incident.
far, 11 people have been charged in connection with the death of Khashoggi.
Trial proceedings are being followed publicly, and in the presence of all
parties involved in the case, including the family of Khashoggi and their legal
representatives, as well as representatives of the HRC and the diplomatic
missions of a number of countries, including Turkey.
HRC also stressed that judicial action taken in this regard fully complies with
the relevant regulations of the Kingdom, as well as with international human
rights standards, particularly over guarantees to a fair trial. The statement
concluded by calling on the UN and others to respect the Kingdom’s judicial
process, and not to politicize the case.
United States of America declared war on Iran this week and then pulled back,
possible in the modern era when machines can be told to return mid-flight.
President Donald Trump wanted to retaliate as Iran had shot down a US military
drone that was near its border, but said he had called off the attack after
being told that 150 Iranis would die in the strike.
has been itching for a war with Iran, as have been some of the more deranged
members of his administration in the US, such as National Security Adviser John
Bolton. The price of oil shot up by 10 percent this week because of America's
belligerence, bringing suffering to India and nations like it that are dependent
on oil imports.
question is, why does the US want to fight Iran? The answer is neither easy to
locate nor to understand.
civilisational terms, Iran is the oldest enemy of the West. Some 2,400 years
ago, the Irani army, led first by Darius and then Xerxes, invaded Greece and
destroyed Athens, according to the Greeks themselves. The Irani army included a
large number of Indian mercenaries, described in the history written by
Herodotus. Throughout ancient history, the Greeks referred to the Irani emperor
as the Great King ('megas') because of his influence over their lives. The
Macedonian conqueror of Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan and Punjab was called
Alexander the Great not because of his military achievements but because he
took the title of 'Great' from Darius III the Great.
the death of Alexander at the age of 33, his generals divided and ruled his
empire. The largest part, from Punjab to Turkey, which included Iran, went to
Seleucus Nikator ('Nikator' means victor and is the same term used by sports
brand Nike). Iranis took back their country under the Parthian ruler Arsaces.
All these people were Zoroastrian, meaning of the same faith, as our Indian
Parthians fought against the second great western power of history, Rome, for three
centuries. The next group of Irani conquerors were the Sasanians, who ruled
Iran till the Arabs conquered it in the 7th Century. Iran became Shia under the
Safavids around 400 years ago, though the most famous Shia ruler for Indians,
Nadir Shah, who destroyed the Mughal empire, was Sunni.
the modern era, the US has actively meddled in Irani politics. In 1953, Iran's
elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh was overthrown by a coup believed to
have been orchestrated by the American Central Intelligence Agency because he
nationalised the oil industry. America also actively fuelled the Iran-Iraq war,
backing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussain, whom it would later sour on.
1979, during Jimmy Carter's presidency, Irani revolutionaries took over the
American embassy in Tehran and held embassy staff hostage for weeks. It was
following this that the US has not had formal relation with Iran. The Irani
population in America is serviced through the Pakistan embassy.
was able to come to an agreement with the Obama administration on its nuclear
programme. There was hope that these two great nations would finally be
friends. However, under the eccentric leadership of Trump, this hope has
will know that Iran's national religion is Shia Islam. Shiism is quietist by
nature. Their belief is that the 12th Imam, Muhammad al Mahdi, who was born in
869 AD, is not dead. He has gone into occultation, which means he has been
concealed by god and will return at some point. While they await his return,
Shias will largely remain disengaged with the external world and concentrate on
their own affairs conducted by their clergy. This is what I mean by quietist.
may interest readers to know that none of the Pakistani and Kashmiri groups
that have been fighting India or its military have been Shia. The
Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Harkatul Mujahideen, al
Umar, al Qaeda, Islamic State, etc, are all Sunni groups. What is referred to
as 'jihadi terrorism' has no component of Shiism.
Iran has been a supporter of Palestinian groups, including Sunni groups, that
have resisted Israel. This is the primary reason why the US is anti-Iran.
Iranis have no conflict with the US, no border with the country, and there is
no reason for America to hate it except for the fact that Israel insists that
the US be tough on Iran because it speaks for the liberation of Palestine from
Shias are divided into further groups, but the largest one is the Twelver Shia.
Their imams are in Iraq and Iran in cities like Qum and Karbala.
has a civilisational relationship with Iran. Arabs don't understand Urdu, but
their vocabulary is familiar to Iranis. Iran has remained a friend of India's
even under the anti-Muslim rule of the current dispensation.
India is a believed to be a second-rate power, but we should do what we can to
ensure that our two friends do not get into a confrontation that is meaningless
and ultimately damaging to everyone, including us.
After video shows Muslims forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’, key accused held
have arrested the primary accused in a case pertaining to a group of Muslim
youths allegedly being forced to chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’ in Assam’s Barpeta
district earlier this week. Barpeta SP Robin Kumar told The Sunday Express,
“Debojit Deka has been arrested. He was booked under Sections 295A, 120B, 153A,
and 325.” These IPC sections deal with offences of outraging religious
feelings, criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and causing grievous hurt.
Guwahati resident, Deka had posted a video of the assault on the youths with
the comment that “Ram Sainiks of Barpeta district” have taught a lesson to some
people “saying Pakistan Zindabad”, police said. “He had uploaded the video. It
is under investigation whether Deka was present in the mob that attacked the
group,” Kumar said. Police are on the lookout for the other accused.
the video — uploaded on Tuesday night — a group of Muslim youths in an
auto-rickshaw are stopped and forced to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Bharat Mata ki
to The Sunday Express, Ashraful Islam (19), one of the eight persons in the
auto, said the incident occurred around 9 pm on Tuesday. “We took an auto from
Jonia to go to the railway station in Barpeta Road. We were on our way to Nepal
to get jobs as welders. On the way, we were stopped by a group of 15-20 men,
who asked us our names. They realised all eight of us were Muslim, and started
shouting that we have to say ‘Jai Sri Ram’,” he said.
you watch the video, you will realise that one of us said we cannot say ‘Jai
Shri Ram’, and they threatened us. They forced us to say it. What was edited
out of the video is that they asked us to say ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, which we
refused. I was wearing a cap with ‘India’ written on it, and I told them ‘I
love my India’. They threatened us to say ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and hit us and
asked us to say ‘Pakistan Murdabad’. My left eye was injured.”
the video started doing the rounds on local social media, the All Assam
Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) and North-East Minorities Students’ Union
(NEMSU) registered police complaints. Congress MP from Barpeta constituency
Abdul Khaleque also asked police to take action.
describes himself as the founder of an organisation called Ram Sena, Assam, on
Facebook. Barpeta Additional SP P K Kakati told The Sunday Express that he
would not be able to comment on the organisation immediately without enquiries.
Facebook timeline is lined with posts supporting Hindu nationalism and
Hindutva. On Friday, he wrote about police contacting him and said he was a
“Sanatani Hindu soldier” and not a thief or robber or rapist.
Four terrorists have been killed in the ongoing encounter between terrorists
and security forces in Daramdora area of Keegam in Shopian district.
and ammunition have been recovered by the forces.
and affiliations of killed terrorists are being ascertained.
details are awaited.
DELHI: Pakistan has set a host of terms and conditions for the
operationalisation of the Kartarpur corridor and opposed India's proposals to
make it open throughout the year to facilitate travel to one of the holiest
pilgrimage sites of the Sikhs, officials said Saturday.
has either put conditions or opposed all proposals moved by New Delhi and said
that only 700 pilgrimages can have 'darshan' of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib,
Kartarpur, the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev.
said pilgrims would be allowed to visit Kartarpur only under a special permit
regime and on charging a fee against India's proposal for visa-free and no-fee
travel, a government official said.
has proposed that besides Indian nationals, Overseas Indian Card (OIC) holders
should be allowed to go for the pilgrimage. But Pakistan said that only Indian
citizens would be allowed.
suggested that the corridor should be allowed for use seven days a week and 365
days in a year but Pakistan said it would be allowed only on "visiting
Delhi said 5,000 visitors should be allowed every day but Islamabad said not
more than 700 pilgrims would be allowed, the official said.
has not responded to India's proposal to allow 10,000 visitors on special days.
India said individual or people in groups should be allowed but Pakistan said
only groups of at least 15 people would be allowed.
did not agree to India's proposal to construct a bridge over the Ravi river and
also did not respond to India's proposal to allow travelers to visit Kartarpur
Sahib on foot.
Pakistan's "non-cooperation", construction work on the Kartarpur
Sahib corridor was going on in full swing and on schedule for completing the project
well before November 12, 2019, the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev,
another official said.
work on the passenger terminal building (PTB) is going on at a brisk pace and
in parallel with work on the four-lane highway connecting the zero point and
the state-of-the-art PTB from the existing highway.
four-lane highway is 4.20 km-long and connects the existing Gurdaspur-Amritsar
NH 354 highway with the zero point.
project is being executed by the National Highway Authority of India at a cost
of Rs 120 crore.
total of 53 acres have been acquired for this purpose and over 45 per cent work
has been completed till date.
whole highway project would be completed by September 30, 2019, the official
other component of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor is the construction of a
state-of-the-art passenger terminal building with all modern public amenities.
PTB has been designed to handle 5,000 pilgrims per day and an additional 10,000
on special occasions.
PTB project is being executed by the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI)
through M/s Shapoorji Palonji & Co at a cost of Rs 177.50 crore.
total of 50 acres have been acquired for the this purpose.
the foundation work is going on. The superstructure will be quickly erected
using pre-fabricated construction elements.
pre-fab components are being prepared in parallel and the complete PTB facility
will be ready by October 31, 2019.
may be recalled that a decision was taken by the government on November 22, 2018,
to celebrate 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in 2019 throughout the
country and worldwide, in a grand and befitting manner.
Nanak Dev is deeply revered by devotees and his message of humanity, peace and
brotherhood of eternal value are regarded by all and the celebrations will help
propagate his message.
militants have been killed in an ongoing encounter with security forces in
Shopian district of South Kashmir in the early hours of Sunday. The forces also
recovered arms and ammunition from the site.
on intelligence inputs about the presence of militants, the joint security
forces launched a cordon and search operation in Panzar area of Shopian.
militants fired at the forces when they were conducting the search, a police
official said. A gunbattle ensued between the forces and militants thereafter,
the official added.
militant was killed in north Kashmir’s Boniyar area, near the Line of Control,
in an encounter on Saturday, Army officials said.
Army spokesman confirmed the incident, saying that the militant was killed at
Bujthala in Boniyar Uri, and weapons were found in his possession. “The
operation is still in progress,” he said. Police said the militant was
affiliated with Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
wants the United Nations’ help cracking down on what it considers Islamophobia
and hate speech around the globe.
“is today the most prevalent expression of racism and hatred against ‘the
other’,” Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said Wednesday during a
Security Council meeting on a hate speech proposal.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has been a staunch defender of his country’s
blasphemy laws. Last year, he defended laws mandating death for those who
offend the Prophet Muhammad by “imputation, insinuation or innuendo.”
this month, Khan urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to play a
role safeguarding the religious sentiments of Muslims.
was up to us to explain to the western people the amount of pain they cause us
when they ridicule or mock our Holy Prophet,” Khan said at the OIC’s 14th
Islamic Summit in Mecca. “I would like to say from this platform that in the
forums like the United Nations and the forums like the European Union, we must
explain to them that they cannot hurt the sentiments of 1.3 billion people
under the garb of freedom of expression.”
is about political struggle, not religion, he argued, and equating Islam with
terrorism does a disservice to the world’s Muslims and fuels massacres such as
the March attack at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
OIC unsuccessfully sought the U.N.’s support for a global Islamophobia ban in
2014. The OIC’s 57 members represent the U.N.’s largest voting bloc.
new channels for hate speech are reaching wider audiences than ever at lightning
speed, we all – the United Nations, governments, technology companies,
educational institutions – need to step up our response,” said U.N. Secretary
General Antonio Gutierrez at Wednesday’s Security Council session. “While
digital technology has provided new areas in which hate speech can thrive, it
can also help to monitor activity, target our response and build support for
announced plans for a conference on the role of education in addressing hate
speech. Gutierrez didn’t discuss what would happen after that, but it could
lead to a U.N. proposal regulating hate speech and Islamophobia worldwide.
endorsed the secretary general’s desire to tackle the issue of hate speech even
though what the U.N. would actually do remains undefined.
are fully committed to support the UN’s strategy on hate speech. This is a
moment for all of us to come together to reverse the tide of hate and bigotry
that threatens to undermine social solidarity and peaceful co-existence,” Lodhi
United States opposes any idea of the kind, invoking the U.S. Constitution and
saying “speech restrictions do not work. Instead, they constrain democratic
engagement, diminish respect for human dignity, and stifle change and social
other things, the strategy calls on U.N. entities to “engage private sector
actors, including social media companies, on steps they can take to support UN
principles and action to address and counter hate speech, encouraging
partnerships between government, industry and civil society.”
far, Twitter has shown a willingness to voluntarily enforce Pakistan’s Islamic
blasphemy rules even if the U.S. government doesn’t abide by any potential hate
speech treaty that could stem from the planned conference. This raises the
possibility that it and other social media companies might voluntarily follow
suggestions from U.N. bureaucrats to the detriment of free speech.
has tried to compel social media platforms to impose its blasphemy laws
internationally. Twitter’s legal department sent American writers Michelle
Malkin and FrontPageMag.com’s Jamie Glazov notices that their posts violated
free thought and expression is a problem when countries like Pakistan, Iran and
Saudi Arabia do it to their own people. But it is even worse to allow them to
impose their will beyond their borders. Social media platforms should stand by
the principles of liberty that have allowed them to thrive. Yielding to
Islamist censorship is disappointing and dangerous.
of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said Pakistan is on
the cusp of achieving sustainable, irreversible and enduring peace and
stability. Speaking during a talk titled ‘Pakistan’s Regional Security
Perspective’ at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, the
army chief said peace and stability can be complemented through meaningful
international partnership, support and a will to take on regional challenges.
“Improved security offers foreign investment in Pakistan, a pivot to regional
connectivity,” he said. However, the COAS added, the future of enduring peace
and stability in South Asia hinges on the ability to resolve issues and
long-pending disputes within the region.
Arif Alvi on Sunday conferred Pakistan's highest civil award —
Nishan-e-Pakistan — on Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during a
ceremony held at the President House in Islamabad.
Al Thani is on his second visit to Pakistan since ascending to power in 2013.
Earlier, he visited Pakistan in March 2015.
Minister Imran Khan personally received the Qatari emir at Nur Khan Airbase on
Saturday. The Qatari emir is accompanied by a delegation comprising key
ministers and senior officials of his country.
Qatar Emir welcomed by Prime Minister Imran on two-day visit to Pakistan
formal reception ceremony was held at Prime Minister House, where a contingent
representing the army, navy and air force presented a guard of honour to the
visiting leader. The Qatari emir also planted a sapling at the PM House. A
JF-17 squadron of the Pakistan Air Force presented a fly-past.
Al Thani and Prime Minister Imran held a one-on-one meeting before holding the
two sides signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on trade and
investment and cooperation on financial intelligence and tourism.
MoUs related to the establishment of the Pakistan and Qatar Joint Working Group
on Trade and Investment, cooperation in the field of tourism and business
events and cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to
money laundering — associated offences and terrorism financing. The last MoU
was signed between Qatar’s Financial Information Unit and Pakistan’s
Financial Monitoring Unit.
sides also agreed to take steps to significantly expand collaboration in the
agriculture and food sectors; enhance cooperation in the energy sector
including the LNG and LPG fields and exploration and production of oil and gas;
promote Qatar’s investments in energy, tourism and hospitality industries;
expand cooperation in the fields of aviation, maritime affairs, higher
education, and defence and defence production. It was decided that ministers
concerned would hold follow-up talks on these areas to give concrete shape to
the proposals agreed upon between the two leaders.
the prime minister hosted a banquet dinner in honour of the Qatari emir and his
Police have arrested four people for torching a watchman’s cabin located
outside a worship place of Ahmadis in Wah Cantt, it emerged on Saturday.
to police, those arrested were teenagers who were returning home after playing
in a cricket ground last week when they spotted a watchman’s cabin outside the
worship place of the Ahmadi community, near sector 14 in the jurisdiction of
Wah Cantonment police station. The youths set fire to the metal-wooden cabin
and escaped from the scene.
have registered a case under Section 436 of the Pakistan Penal Code (offence of
committing mischief by fire or any explosive substance, intending to cause, or
knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, the destruction of any
building which is ordinarily used as a place of worship or as a human dwelling)
on the complaint of the caretaker of the worship place, Riaz Ahmed Qureshi.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that Pakistan is
getting closer to attain sustainable peace and stability.
to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director
General (DG) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the army chief was addressing a seminar on
“Pakistan’s Regional Security Perspective” at the International Institute for
Strategic Studies (IISS), in London.
Bajwa told the participants that is possible through two-way international
relations and supporting each other in the regional challenges.
also said that Pakistan’s has improved its security to a great extent which now
offers foreign investors a peaceful environment to indulge in economic
also expressed his concerns regarding the long pending disputes in the region
and said that without resolving them it would be hard to embark on the journey
of progress and prosperity.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said that Pakistan is
resolute towards finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict as
“Pakistan supports an Afghanistan that is at peace with itself”.
comments were made while addressing the inaugural session of a conference on
Afghan peace titled Lahore Process held at Bhurban.
Lahore Process has been set up to discuss different aspects of the Afghan peace
process, which include bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan through
connectivity, trade, economy and health.
moot will discuss the issue of repatriation of Afghan refugees who have been
living in Pakistan for the last four decades and delegates are expected to give
proposals on the future course of action for Afghanistan.
perspective on Afghanistan is clear, we support an Afghanistan that is at peace
with itself, and at peace with its neighbours,” Qureshi said in his welcome
respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our neighbour and remain
firmly committed to a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous
Afghanistan. We are determined to build our bilateral relationship on the
principles of non-interference, mutual respect and common interest.”
on how Pakistan has been affected by the conflict, Qureshi said: “The
decades-long conflict has brought great suffering to the people of Afghanistan
and Pakistan. After the Afghan nation, no one has suffered more than the people
of Pakistan due to this persistent instability and conflict.
security continues to be deeply influenced by the security situation in Afghanistan.
Advancing the cause of peace and stability in Afghanistan is, therefore, in
Pakistan’s own national interest.
this be absolutely clear: No one in Pakistan subscribes to any notion of
so-called ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan. We must not let anyone resurrect
this dead horse to advance their propagandistic aims or seek to sow the seeds
of misunderstanding between us and our Afghan brethren. We wish to see a
friendly Afghanistan, governed by an elected leadership, representative of the
aspirations of all Afghans.
about the previously prevailing mistrust between the two countries, the foreign
minister said: “For far too long, the vicious circle of mistrust, often fed
into by our common enemies, has affected our relationship. The blame-game has
not helped either of us. It is indispensable to move away from this negative
is incumbent upon the leadership of the two countries to take practical steps
to build mutual trust and confidence. We must not allow our respective territories
to be used by anyone to the detriment of our interests.
must also remain vigilant of the other forces that wish to create
misunderstandings and divisions between us. We must not allow them to harm our
brotherly relations. We both have the same objective of long-term peace and
prosperity in Afghanistan and the region. If there is, at times, variance in
approaches, it must not be construed as difference in objectives.”
Pakistan’s commitment to the Afghan peace process, Qureshi said: “While others
believed in a military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, we always
thought that a politically negotiated settlement was the only way forward. It
is gratifying to note that others have also reached the same conclusion now.
has whole-heartedly facilitated the Afghan peace process in good faith and as a
shared responsibility and will continue playing its due role. Our support has
been crucial in overcoming the political stalemate that looked impossible to
break just a year ago.
Minister Imran Khan has for long been personally committed to peace and
reconciliation in Afghanistan.My first visit after assuming office again in
August 2018 was to Kabul. I have since visited Kabul three times. I also
visited other regional countries including China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE in an effort to build regional consensus on the
ongoing peace process.”
believe the ultimate arbiters of future of Afghanistan are the Afghans
the fact that it is only the Afghans that can effectively lead the peace
process in their own country Qureshi said: “While efforts of all stakeholders
are important, we do believe that the ultimate arbiters of the future of
Afghanistan are only the Afghans themselves. We appreciate the progress
achieved by Afghanistan over the past 18 years despite enormous challenges.
is critically important to preserve those gains and in fact, build on these
achievements. Strengthening of democratic institutions in Afghanistan and
progress on human rights, particularly women empowerment, are praise-worthy.
will continue to deepen its engagement with all sections of the Afghan society
and their representatives in further cementing these achievements, as per
expectations of the people of Afghanistan. In addition to playing our role in
the peace process, Pakistan also remains committed to the Afghan reconstruction
and development efforts, post-settlement.
stand ready to help Afghanistan through trade, investment, connectivity and
capacity-building of the Afghan people. We are committed to enhancing
people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges. We also wish to work with
Afghanistan, and the world community, to help create conditions that enable
dignified, safe and voluntary return of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan.”
of the renewed push for peace and stability in Afghanistan, the foreign
minister said: “The renewed push for peace has created a new opportunity and
every effort must be made to seize it. We cannot afford to miss this rare
me conclude by reiterating Pakistan’s unshakable resolve to support peace,
stability and long-term prosperity of Afghanistan and appreciating your
respective contributions toward that end.
is the leadership of the country that can steer it out of conflict and put it
on the path of stability and prosperity. This is a test of the wisdom and
sagacity of everyone involved.
people of Afghanistan are looking towards their leaders including all those
present here, with the hope for a better future, a future that they so
of all Afghan political parties and the political advisory to the Afghan
president are participating in the conference.
all, fifty seven delegates are attending the moot including Gulbuddin
Hekmatyar, senators and members of Afghan parliament.
conference is being held before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to
Pakistan, which is expected to take place on next Thursday.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani arrived in Islamabad on Saturday on a
two-day official visit to Pakistan. He is accompanied by a high-powered
delegation comprising key ministers and senior officials.
Thani was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan on his arrival at Nur Khan
Airbase, where he was given a 21-gun salute. This was followed by a formal
welcoming ceremony at the Prime Minister’s House, where the visiting dignitary
was given a tri-services guard of honour. He also witnessed fly-past of JF-17
Thunder. The visiting dignitary also planted a tree at the Prime Minister’s
Minister Imran Khan and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani held one-on-one
meeting, followed by delegation-level talks. The talks were marked by
exceptional warmth and cordiality. All aspects of bilateral relations came
under review. The two leaders reaffirmed the closeness of Pakistan-Qatar
fraternal ties and reiterated the resolve to forge a robust political and
other things, it was agreed to take steps to significantly increase bilateral
trade; expand collaboration in the agriculture and food sectors; enhance
cooperation in the energy sector including in the LNG and LPG fields and
exploration and production of oil and gas; promote Qatar’s investments in
energy, tourism and hospitality industries; increase the number of Pakistani
workers employed in Qatar; expand cooperation in the fields of aviation,
maritime affairs, higher education, and defence and defence production. It was
decided that the respective ministers would hold further follow-up talks on the
areas to give concrete shape to the proposals agreed between the leaders.
two sides also exchanged views on the regional situation and efforts to
facilitate the Afghan peace process.
the talks, the prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood
Qureshi, Energy Minister Omar Ayub, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan,
Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi, Special Assistant to the PM on Information
Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, SAPM on Overseas Pakistani Zulfiqar Bukhari, Finance
Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Commerce Advisor Abdul Razzak Dawood.
the official talks, Pakistan and Qatar signed the following MoUs:
Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Pakistan and Qatar Joint
Working Group (JWG) on Trade and Investment;
Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the fields of Tourism and
Business Events between Government of State of Qatar and Government of Islamic
Republic of Pakistan; and
Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Exchange of
Financial Intelligence related to Money Laundering, Associated Predicate
Offences and Terrorism Financing between Financial Information Unit of State of
Qatar and the Financial Monitoring Unit, in the Government of Pakistan.
Minister Imran Khan hosted a banquet dinner in honour of the Qatari emir and
his entourage. In a special gesture, Al Thani presented the Qatar National
football team jersey to Prime Minister Imran Khan and received a cricket bat
signed by him.
distinguished guest will have a meeting with the President Arif Alvi on Sunday
(today). The visit will further cement the close brotherly relations between
Pakistan and Qatar and give a significant boost to bilateral cooperation in
upon his arrival at the Nur Khan airbase, Amir of Qatar was warmly received by
Prime Minister Imran Khan. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Special
Assistant to PM Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari and other high officials were also
present there to welcome the foreign dignitary. Children clad in traditional
attire presented bouquet to the visiting dignitary.
the PM himself drove Amir of Qatar to the Prime Minister House where an
official welcome ceremony was held.
anthems of the two countries were played and a smartly turned out contingent of
the armed forces of Pakistan presented a guard of honour. Amir of Qatar Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani reviewed the guard of honour.
prime minister introduced him to the federal cabinet members and also welcomed
the delegation accompanying the Amir of Qatar.
Pakistan: A 57-member Afghan delegation arrived in Pakistan to attend a two-day
peace conference in the hill station of Bhurban, Murree on Saturday.
meeting, titled the “Lahore Process,” is being led by Pakistani Foreign
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
years, Pakistan has been accused of seeing Afghanistan in terms of “strategic
depth,” meaning that in the event of war with India, Pakistani forces could
withdraw over its western border into Afghanistan to regroup and fight back
this be absolutely clear: No one in Pakistan subscribes to any notion of
so-called ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan,” Qureshi said in the opening
support an Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and with its neighbors,” he
added, reiterating his government’s determination to help its neighbor find a
negotiable solution to a war against Taliban insurgents that is in its 17th
peace conference in Bhurban is an initiative of the Lahore Center for Peace and
Research (LCPR) co-organized and moderated by the South Asian Strategic
Stability Institute. Delegates representing 18 political parties and groups,
including Pakistani government officials and experts, are participating.
on viable paths to peace and stability in Afghanistan, trade, the economy,
health, women’s empowerment, reconstruction, development, and regional
connectivity are on the agenda.
must not allow other forces to create differences between us,” Qureshi said, in
a veiled reference to India.
stressed Pakistan’s role in providing refuge to millions of Afghan refugees,
and said “no one” had suffered more than Pakistan post 9/11.
of the Afghan Taliban, the principal stakeholders in the Afghan war, and Afghan
officials from President Ashraf Ghani’s government, did not attend the Bhurban
meeting, but the Afghan President is expected to visit Islamabad on June 27 at
the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
asked how the peace process would reach its conclusion without the
participation of the Taliban, Pakistani and Afghan delegates told Arab News that
discussions were just a preliminary step.
is the first step to share ideas to support the efforts and try to evolve,”
Shamshad Ahmed Khan, LCPR chairman and a former diplomat, said.
to a question from Arab News, Qureshi said: “The time to move forward has come
and the fact that 57 delegates have traveled all the way to Bhurban is an
acknowledgement of a new beginning and of a new process.”
are a number of processes going on at a time. One cannot replace the other, but
one can complement the other,” Qureshi added, highlighting the many peace talks
that have taken place this year, Including in Doha and Moscow.
Dozens of Afghan political leaders are holding a peace conference in
neighboring Pakistan to pave the way for further Afghan-to-Afghan dialogue.
three-day conference comes ahead of President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistan
his political opponents and a broad swath of civil society have been meeting in
recent days with the United States’ special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay
Khalilzad, who is continuing to press for talks between the Afghan government,
the opposition and the Taliban.
are no representatives of the Taliban at Saturday’s meeting near the Pakistani
forces are preparing to evacuate hundreds of staff working for Lockheed Martin
Corp and Sallyport Global from an Iraqi military base where they work as
contractors, three Iraqi military sources said on Friday.
400 contractors from the two firms were getting ready to leave Balad military
base, which hosts US forces some 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, over
"potential security threats." Their departure was imminent, the
sources did not give any details about the security threats.
sprawling Balad base was hit by three mortar shells last week. No one claimed
responsibility for the attack.
US military informed Iraqi officials that they would begin evacuating about
half of the 800 employees who work for both companies at Balad, said a military
official with knowledge of the base's daily operations.
official said the evacuation would take about 10 days.
other military sources said the evacuation would take place in two stages and
would be carried out by military aircraft.
informed us that they will only keep limited, necessary staff who work closely
on the maintenance of Iraqi F-16 war planes." Lockheed Martin began
delivering the first F-16s to Iraq in 2014.
sources said the evacuation could start at any moment.
other Iraqi bases hosting US forces have been hit by rockets in the past week
in unclaimed attacks.
Wednesday, a rocket attack hit near a site used by US energy company Exxon
Mobil near the southern city of Basra.
officials blamed Iran-backed militias for the Basra incident. Iran has not
commented on the Iraq incidents but has strongly rejected accusations by
Washington that it was behind several attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf in
uptick in violence comes amid rising regional tension between the United States
has ramped up sanctions pressure on Tehran since last year and several violent
incidents in the Gulf have been blamed on the rising tension.
Donald Trump on Friday said he had called off a US strike on Iran at the last
Iraq, Iran backs several militias which have positions close to US military
militias have not publicly commented on the recent incidents.
ISIS is also trying to stage a comeback in Iraq and has mostly used hit-and-run
insurgency tactics against Iraqi forces in recent months.
House’s Kushner unveils economic portion of Middle East peace plan
Trump administration’s $50 billion Middle East economic plan calls for the
creation of a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighboring
Arab state economies, and construction of a $5 billion transportation corridor
to connect the West Bank and Gaza, according to US officials and documents
reviewed by Reuters.
“peace to prosperity” plan, set to be presented by President Donald Trump’s
son-in-law Jared Kushner at an international conference in Bahrain next week,
includes 179 infrastructure and business projects, according to the documents.
approach toward reviving the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process was
criticized by the Palestinians on Saturday.
economic revival plan would take place only if a political solution to the
region’s long-running problems is reached.
than half of the $50 billion would be spent in the economically troubled
Palestinian territories over 10 years while the rest would be split between
Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Some of the projects would be in Egypt’s Sinai
Peninsula, where investments could benefit Palestinians living in adjacent
Gaza, a crowded and impoverished coastal enclave.
plan also proposes nearly a billion dollars to build up the Palestinians’
tourism sector, a seemingly impractical notion for now given the frequent
flare-ups between Israeli forces and militants from Hamas-ruled Gaza, and the
tenuous security in the occupied West Bank.
Trump administration hopes that other countries, principally wealthy Gulf
States, and private investors, would foot much of the bill, Kushner told
unveiling of the economic blueprint follows two years of deliberations and
delays in rolling out a broader peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians.
Palestinians, who are boycotting the event, have refused to talk to the Trump
administration since it recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in late
Palestinian negotiator Hanan Ashrawi dismissed the proposals on Saturday,
saying: “These are all intentions, these are all abstract promises” and said
only a political solution would solve the conflict.
made clear in two interviews with Reuters that he sees his detailed formula as
a game-changer, despite the view of many Middle East experts that he has little
chance of success where decades of US-backed peace efforts have failed.
laugh when they attack this as the ‘Deal of the Century’,” Kushner said of
Palestinian leaders who have dismissed his plan as an attempt to buy off their
aspirations for statehood. “This is going to be the ‘Opportunity of the
Century’ if they have the courage to pursue it.”
said some Palestinian business executives have confirmed their participation in
the conference, but he declined to identify them.
overwhelming majority of the Palestinian business community will not attend,
businessmen in the West Bank city of Ramallah told Reuters.
Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, will also participate in the June
25-26 US-led gathering in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, for Kushner’s rollout of
the first phase of the Trump peace plan. Their presence, some US officials say
privately, appears intended in part to curry favor with Trump as he takes a hard
line against Iran, those countries’ regional arch-foe.
White House said it decided against inviting the Israeli government because the
Palestinian Authority would not be there, making do instead with a small
Israeli business delegation.
are strong doubts whether potential donor governments would be willing to open
their checkbooks anytime soon, as long as the thorny political disputes at the
heart of the decades-old Palestinian conflict remain unresolved.
38-year-old Kushner - who like his father-in-law came to government steeped in
the world of New York real estate deal-making - seems to be treating
peacemaking in some ways like a business transaction, analysts and former US
officials reject the overall US-led peace effort as heavily tilted in favor of
Israel and likely to deny them a fully sovereign state of their own.
attempt to decide economic priorities first while initially sidestepping
politics ignores the realities of the conflict, say many experts.
is completely out of sequence because the Israeli-Palestinian issue is
primarily driven by historical
and overlapping claims to land and sacred space,” said Aaron David Miller, a
former Middle East negotiator for Republican and Democratic administrations.
acknowledges that “you can’t push the economic plan forward without resolving
the political issues as well.”
administration, he said, will “address that at a later time,” referring to the
second stage of the peace plan’s rollout now expected no earlier than November.
says his approach is aimed at laying out economic incentives to show the
Palestinians the potential for a prosperous future if they return to the table
to negotiate a peace deal.
House officials have played down expectations for Manama, which will put
Kushner just across the Gulf from Iran at a time of surging tensions between
Tehran and Washington.
for instance, is calling it a “workshop” instead of a conference, and a “vision”
instead of an actual plan. He stressed that governments would not be expected
to make financial pledges on the spot.
is a small victory that they are all showing up to listen and partake. In the
old days, the Palestinian leaders would have spoken and nobody would have
disobeyed,” he said.
proposed new investment fund for the Palestinians and neighboring states would
be administered by a “multilateral development bank.”
financial lenders including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank plan
to be present at the meeting.
signature project would be to construct a travel corridor for Palestinian use
that would cross Israel to link the West Bank and Gaza. It could include a
highway and possibly a rail line.
narrowest distance between the territories, whose populations have long been
divided by Israeli travel restrictions, is about 40 km (25 miles).
insists that if executed the plan would create a million jobs in the West Bank
and Gaza, reduce Palestinian poverty by half and double the Palestinians’ GDP.
most foreign investors will likely stay clear for the moment, not only because
of security and corruption concerns but also because of the drag on the
Palestinian economy from Israel’s West Bank occupation that obstructs the flow
of people, goods and services, experts say.
sees his economic approach as resembling the Marshall Plan, which Washington
introduced in 1948 to rebuild Western Europe from the devastation of World War
II. Unlike the US-funded Marshall Plan, however, the latest initiative would
put much of the financial burden on other countries.
would “consider making a big investment in it” if there is a good governance
mechanism, Kushner said. But he was non-committal about how much the president,
who has often proved himself averse to foreign aid, might contribute.
programs have been tried before in the long line of US-led peace efforts, only
to fail for lack of political progress. Kushner’s approach, however, may be the
most detailed so far, presented in two pamphlets of 40 and 96 pages each that
are filled with financial tables and economic projections.
Manama, the yet-to-released political part of the plan will not be up for
discussion, Kushner said.
economic documents offer no development projects in predominantly Arab east
Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
Kushner hopes, however, is that the Saudis and other Gulf delegates will like
what they hear enough to urge Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to consider
message Kushner wants them to take to Ramallah: “We’d like to see you go to the
table and negotiate and try to make a deal to better the lives of the
officials fear that, even with all the high-priced promises, Kushner’s economic
formula is just a prelude to a political plan that would jettison the two-state
solution, the long-time cornerstone of US and international peace efforts.
and Jordanian delegations to attend Bahrain conference
Egyptian delegation headed by a deputy finance minister will attend the
conference in Bahrain, the state news agency MENA quoted the foreign ministry
spokesman as saying on Saturday.
also announced on Saturday that it will send its deputy finance minister to
attend Bahrain conference.
a statement carried by the state news agency, the foreign ministry said it will
deliver a message at the conference that convenes on Tuesday that no economic
solutions can replace a political solution to end Israel’s occupation of the
West Bank and the setting up of a Palestinian state.
President Donald Trump said on Saturday he will impose additional sanctions
against Iran in an effort to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons,
adding that military action was still a possibility.
are putting additional sanctions on Iran,” Trump said.
some cases we are going slowly, but in other cases we are moving rapidly.”
spoke to reporters as he prepared to depart Washington for the presidential
retreat Camp David, where he said he would be deliberating on Iran.
made his comments after recently calling off military actions against Iran to
retaliate for the downing of a US military drone.
Saturday, Iran warned the United States that any aggression against the Islamic
republic would have serious consequences for US interests in the region.
says will be Iran's 'best friend,’ thanks for not downing US plane
President Donald Trump has said that he would be Iran's "best friend"
and that the Islamic republic could be a "wealthy" country if it
stopped pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran’s leadership has repeatedly expressed
their firm opposition to the development and use of nuclear weapons.
not going to have a nuclear weapon. We're not going to have Iran have a nuclear
weapon,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Saturday.
they agree to that, they're going to have a wealthy country. They're going to
be so happy, and I'm going to be their best friend. I hope that happens,” he
on Trump’s statement, American political analyst and activist Myles Hoenig
said, “It is hard to get rid of something (nuclear weapons) you never had to
are definitely seeing in the Trump White House a stark division between those
who promote war and those who look for a more peaceful approach," he said.
is ironic that Trump is seen as the peacemaker, as he welcomes and even
encourages hate speech here at home and directed at others outside the US
(immigrants, for example),” he told Press TV.
one also has to question his reasoning abilities as all allies support the Iran
nuclear agreement and he has pulled the US out of it for contradictory
arguments. Is he unable to comprehend the reality of Iran abiding by the
agreement or is he, like all presidents before him being pulled to war by more
powerful forces?” he asked.
thanks Iran for not shooting down US plane
then praised Iran for not shooting down a manned plane with 38 people on board
when it decided to shoot down an unmanned American surveillance drone on
made the comments a day after Iran announced that its forces refrained from
shooting down the manned plane that was accompanying the American spy drone
which was shot down in the Persian Gulf after intruding into the Iranian
was a plane with 38 people yesterday, did you see that? I think that's a big
story. They had it in their sights and they didn't shoot it down. I think they
were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn't do that. I
think that was a very wise decision,” Trump told reporters.
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Thursday that its air
defense force had shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s
southern coastal province of Hormozgan.
IRGC said in a statement that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was
brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region, which sits in the
central district of Jask County, after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.
IRGC Aerospace Force on Friday released the first photos of the wreckage of the
downed US spy drone.
displayed parts of the doomed drone, refuting earlier claims by the US that the
drone was flying over international waters, and had not violated the Iranian
with the US drone, there was also an American P-8 plane with 35 people on
board," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Aerospace Division of the
IRGC told reporters on Friday.
plane also entered our airspace and we could have targeted it, but we did not
because our purpose behind shooting down the American drone was to give a
warning to terrorist American forces," Hajizadeh added.
seeks more sanctions against Iran
praising Iran’s restraint, Trump, however, threatened the country with imposing
additional sanctions and taking military action to prevent Tehran from
obtaining what he called nuclear weapons.
are putting additional sanctions on Iran,” Trump said. “In some cases we are
going slowly, but in other cases we are moving rapidly.”
a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week in Tehran, Leader
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said, “I have issued a
fatwa (religious decree) prohibiting the production of nuclear weapons, but you
need to know that if we were after building nuclear arms, the United States
could not do anything about it.”
Leader emphasized that Washington is in no position to decide which country can
be in possession of nuclear arms while it is, itself, stockpiling several
thousands of nuclear warheads.
should remain strong against Trump’
political analyst Dennis Etler told Press TV on Friday that Iran should remain
firm and resolute against Trump.
decision to hold off a military strike against Iran is in keeping with his
pattern of bluff and bluster. So long as Iran remains strong and resolute Trump
will back off. He has his pit-bulls, Bolton and Pompeo on a short leash,” he
United States launched a cyber attack on Iranian military computer systems on
Thursday, according to US media reports.
attack, which targeted computers controlling rocket and missiles launchers, was
launched in response to the downing of a US surveillance drone in the Strait of
Hormuz on Thursday.
marks the first known offensive operation by the United States against Iran
since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a nuclear deal in May 2018.
attacks against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were reported first by
Yahoo News and The Washington Post on Saturday and later confirmed by the
Associated Press. Both organisations cited anonymous sources. One US official
told The National they could not confirm the cyber attack took place.
reported action by the US Cyber Command was a demonstration of the US's more
offensive cyber capabilities under the Trump Administration.
also represent a world where conflict is increasingly taking place on the
digital plane, with real-world outcomes.
stepped up its offensive actions against the United States in recent weeks, AP
said, citing cyber security companies CrowdStrike and FireEye.
hackers reportedly sent waves of spear-phishing emails to US government
agencies and sensitive sectors such as finance, oil and gas companies.
President Donald Trump said on Friday that the United States was "cocked
& loaded" for strikes against Iranian targets, but did not consider
the estimated 150 people killed to be a proportionate response to the downing
of the drone.
Trump said that military action is still an option to reporters on Saturday,
but insisted that he is acting with "common sense".
was saying I’m a warmonger. And now they say I’m a dove. And I think I’m
neither, if you want to know the truth,” Mr Trump said. “I’m a man with common
sense. And that’s what we need in this country, is common sense. But I didn’t like
the idea of them knowingly shooting down an unmanned drone and then we kill 150
also said the United States will place additional sanctions on Iran on Monday,
adding to three rounds of sanctions placed on the country since withdrawing
from the nuclear deal.
Hook, the US special representative to Iran said he expected "push
back" against the latest round of sanctions, but did not specify how that
would take place.
are going to push back and it is important that the international community
does not let Iran get away with the status quo of an acceptable level of
violence,” Mr Hook told The National.
fired a surface-to-air missile at the $120 million Global Hawk drone in the
Strait of Hormuz, in what Tehran said was their territorial waters, but the
Pentagon insists it took place in international airspace and was an
weekend of retaliation against Iran comes after months of escalation in which
Iran has been accused of attacking at least six oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman
and using a proxy militia in Yemen to launch attacks on Saudi airports and oil
tensions started with Mr Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018 which was signed by the permanent five
members of the UN Security Council, Germany, the EU and Iran. The deal removed
sanctions against Iran in exchange for curtailing its nuclear ambitions. The US
says Iran has continued to develop missile technology, something the deal warns
against, and funded militias across the Middle East.
forces conducted 14 Offensive, 75 Special Ops, 12 airstrikes in past 24 hours:
Afghan armed forces conducted 14 Offensive operations, 75 Special Operations
and 12 airstrikes against the militant groups.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement said Saturday that the operations were
conducted in past 24 hours.
security forces conducted the operations in Faryab, Kapisa, Uruzgan, Zabul,
Farah, Nimroz, Takhar, Helmand, Paktika, Badakhshan, Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, Ghazni
and Logar provinces.
security forces killed at least 60 militants including two foreign nationals
during the same operations.
Ministry of Defense also added that the security forces wounded several
militants during the operations.
security forces also and destroyed the compounds, weapons and ammunition
belonging to militants.
anti-government armed elements have not commented in this regard so far.
people, including a Rohingya, have been killed in a “gunfight” with police in
Teknaf upazila Cox’s Bazar.
incident occurred at Katabunia of Sabrang union around 4am on Sunday.
deceased are Md Rubel Hossain, 28, son of Rashid Ahmed of Teknaf; and Omar
Faruk, 33, son of Habibulla, a Rohingya refugee of staying at Kutupalong Camp.
Both of them were accused in cases filed over human trafficking.
Kumar Das, officer-in-charge (OC) of Teknaf police station, said: “We conducted
a drive to arrest members of a human trafficking group.
human traffickers opened fire as soon as our team reached the spot. Rubel and
Faruk got shot during the gunfight and were sent to Teknaf Health
they were shifted to Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital, where duty doctor declared
bodies will be handed over to their families after autopsy, the OC said.
policemen-- Sub Inspector Nurul Islam, Md Shamim Reza and Md Mohiuddin-- were
also injured in the incident and received primary treatment at the hospital.
clashes are underway between Taliban militants and ISIS terrorists in Kunar
senior government official in Kunar said the clashes are underway in remote
areas of Chapa Dara and Manogi districts.
official did not disclose further informatoin regarding the ongoing clashes and
possible casualties inflicted on Taliban and ISIS militants.
the official confirmed that the Afghan Special Forces killed 5 ISIS commanders
during an operation in Nurgal district of Kunar.
military officials had earlier said the Special Forces have killed 4 ISIS
militants during the operation.
the meantime, the official said the Special Forces also arrested 14 ISIS
militants and confiscated some weapons and ammunition during the operation.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban and ISIS sympathizers have
not commented in this regard so far.
security situation in some districts of Kunar province has deteriorated during
the recent years.
militants are active in some districts of the province and often conduct
terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in this province.
security forces killed 7 Taliban militants during the operations in Helmand and
informed military sources said Saturday that the Afghan Special Forces killed 2
Taliban militants during an operation in Helmand province.
Special Forces conducted the operation in Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand.
Special Forces also wounded another militant and arrested 3 others during the
the Special Forces destroyed 75 pounds of homemade explosives, 4 pressure
plates and other IED components during the same operation.
U.S. drone strike killed two militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) terrorist group in Nangarhar province.
201st Silab Corps in a statement said the U.S. forces conducted the airstrike
on Sunday morning.
statement further added that the airstrike targeted a group of at least eight ISIS
militants in Zawi area of Khogyani district.
next round of bilateral peace talks between U.S. and Taliban representatives
will kick off from 29th of June.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation said Sunday that the
7th phase of negotiations will begin on 29th of June.
Khalilzad said “Based on my recent visits to Afghanistan and Qatar, I believe
all sides want rapid progress.”
American and Taliban representatives have held six rounds of talks regarding
peace process in Qatari capital of Doha.
sixth round of talks between U.S. and Taliban representatives concluded earlier
Khalilzad said the sixth round of talks made steady but slow progress on the
aspects of the framework for end the war in Afghanistan.
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS) put the ISIS
militants’ death toll in Kunar operations at seven.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said Sunday the Special
Forces of the Afghan intelligence targeted a gathering of ISIS militants in
statement further added that the NDS Special Forces killed 7 ISIS militants
including the shadow intelligence chief of the group.
also added that the militants had gathered in the Command and Control Center of
the group in Nurgal district.
to NDS, the militants were planning to execute attacks against the government
and security institutions.
NDS Special Forces also arrested 14 suspected ISIS militants and destroyed a
compound of the group along with a weapons and ammunition depot and a vehicle.
troops in Afghanistan have rushed to help members of the Daesh group following
a Taliban operation to purge the terrorists from the country’s east, according
to Taliban militants.
Taliban militant group said in a statement on Friday that US soldiers “saved”
Daesh members as well as their local leaders by helicopters from a siege they
had been trapped in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar.
US troops saved them from the siege by helicopters,” the statement said, adding
that the Taliban had been launching an anti-Daesh operation for one week in
Kunar and had surrounded the terrorist outfit’s important individuals.
large number of Daesh terrorists were rescued by choppers while fleeing a
battlefield with Taliban last year in the northern province of Jawzjan.
Economic Times estimated in a recent report that around 10,000 members of the
Takfiri terrorist group were present in Afghanistan and the number was growing
on Washington’s watch.
recent years, Daesh has established a foothold in eastern and northern
Afghanistan. The terrorist group has mostly been populating Nangarhar, from
where it has carried out high-profile brutal attacks at major population
centers across the country.
February, three months after the group's defeat was announced in Iraq and
Syria, the Associated Press reported that the US military was pulling its
forces from a base in Iraq and shifting them to Afghanistan.
report flew in the face of US President Donald Trump's campaign promises to end
Washington's Afghanistan intervention.
US and its allies invaded Afghanistan and toppled a ruling Taliban regime some
17 years ago. That ongoing war has failed to bring stability to the country
despite the presence of thousands of foreign forces.
around 14,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, half of them assigned to what
Washington insists are counter-terrorism missions.
of Afghan political leaders are holding a peace conference in neighboring
Pakistan to pave the way for further Afghan-to-Afghan dialogue.
poke wasp nest’: PAS Women chief warns Pakatan over Islamic education
June 23 — PAS Central Committee member Dr Halimah Ali Abdullah warned Pakatan
Harapan today not to meddle in Islamic affairs, in a veiled jab at DAP.
during the winding-up speech for PAS’ 65th Muktamar or annual congress here,
Halimah warned that any attempt by non-Muslims to meddle in Islamic education
was akin to "poking a wasp nest".
now the most pressing issue is that PH and the DAP are trying to poke a wasp
nest. They try to meddle in the affairs of Islamic education,’’ she said.
have to accept that the majority ethnic group here are Muslims and they want
the Islamic education system to be prioritised and even be part of the
mainstream education system one day,’’ she said.
she did not name her, Halimah was referring to Deputy Education Minister Teo
Nie Ching, who earlier this week shared her ministry’s invite for public
feedback on how to improve the Islamic syllabus on her Facebook page.
also said that some in DAP wanted to lodge a police report over a remark made
by her wing vice-chief Salamiah Md Nor, who called for the “end of vernacular
Salamiah reiterated calls for the abolition of Mandarin-medium schools in
Malaysia, but this time proposing Arabic as the language of instruction.
also said she does not want to see Mandarin taking position as the country’s
Halimah also praised those who had fought for the vernacular school system,
stating that they had pushed for the betterment of the system to the extent
that even Muslims families are sending their children to such schools.
you see in our Constitution, there is no mention of vernacular schools. But
personally, I congratulate those who have fought for the vernacular school
is because they have worked hard, was able to synergise efforts to raise the
vernacular schools' systems up to a point that even Muslims families end up sending
their kids to vernacular schools,’’ she said.
said such achievements cannot be denied and hoped for Muslim communities to
fight for the betterment of Islamic education.
June 22 — Malaysia is in danger of becoming a “second Singapore” where the
rights of Malays and other Bumiputera will be ignored, a PAS delegate from
Selangor claimed at his party’s 65th annual congress here today.
the DAP as a bogey, Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir urged his fellow Muslims to rise
and defend their rights, claiming the party that is now a component of the
ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition is in fact a local-based entity of
Singapore’s leading People’s Action Party (PAP).
many voted for Pakatan Harapan, unaware of DAP’s insidious influence on the other
parties, especially during the last general election.
many were seemingly unaware that it is essentially a reincarnation of late
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s party PAP.
we falter in our vigilance and become complacent, the dignity of the Malays as
well as the nation’s will be jeopardised, thereby hastening the day when we
become a second Singapore,” he said while debating PAS president Datuk Seri
Abdul Hadi Awang’s policy speech at the party’s 65th annual congress here.
urged Malaysia’s Malays to unite against this threat, saying they have a duty
to lead the rest of the country’s citizens.
Malaysia’s two largest Malay-Muslim political parties, he said PAS and Umno
must partner each other as the best solution to counter the PH coalition
Malay Muslim ummah have placed their hopes on our co-operation, awaiting to see
what the next move will be. Let us not waste these hopes.
seen in the Semenyih by-election, Malay voters unhesitatingly gave their open
support when they saw PAS and Umno alongside each other, for this is what they
have been waiting for,” Roslan said.
reiterated his belief that PAS grassroots will not hesitate to cast off their
decades of programmed hostility towards Umno if the leadership asked.
the preacher home and allow him to clear his name in India.'
K: Several warrants of arrest have been issued for Indian preacher Zakir Naik’s
warrant of arrest means exactly that, it is to facilitate an arrest formally
and legally. The arrest warrant was issued due to Zakir’s failure to attend his
cannot expect a country like India to forgo the rule of law and set aside the
warrant of arrest for one man simply because he refuses to attend his own
hearing. That will set a dangerous precedent. Imagine if that happened in
Malaysia – if no one bothers attending their court hearings anymore?
is evidently a very wealthy man. He has the means to hire the best lawyers. At
most, he will be arrested for a night before the court allows him bail. It’s
simply a matter of filing for bail. Surely his lawyers will know how to file
only most Muslims in India, but most Muslims all around the world will be
watching the Zakir trial closely, should it happen.
of how we feel about this, we cannot allow Malaysia to disregard the rule of
law of another country when we ourselves put so much of emphasis on the rule of
want murder convict Sirul Azhar Umar back, and we are upset that Australia
isn’t honouring the extradition request. India is also upset with Malaysia for
not sending Zakir back.
want fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho back, but we appear to not know of
his whereabouts. India knows exactly where Zakir is, so do we, and India has
requested that he be sent home, formally or informally.
red notice requests have been sent to the Interpol for Zakir’s arrest. Send the
preacher home and allow him to clear his name in India.
can always return to Malaysia, with his head held high, cleared of all charges,
once that’s been sorted out.
Wondering: Indeed, why should the Indian Supreme Court give Zakir any
go before the Supreme Court and plead your case, not the other way around. You
are only a permanent resident here and a citizen of India. Go back and face the
court of your motherland.
5201: So Sirul will return to Malaysia if the court promises in writing not to
impose any death sentence on him, and the police not arrest him but gives him
these prejudicial conditions make a mockery of the rule of law, and monkeys of
I didn't know one can dictate terms to be tried. The law treats everyone
is making a big mistake in applying double standards in the rule of law. We
have no good reasons to keep someone like Zakir as a worthy person to the
Fernandez: Zakir should know that in India, unlike Malaysia, you can apply to
the courts for what is known as ‘anticipatory bail’, which, if granted, will
prevent remand upon arrest.
Dear Zakir, I have carefully studied your “Conditions for Repatriation” and
unlike the nasty people here in Malaysiakini, I find your gentle, humble
requests (not demands), most reasonable.
one can find fault with you as you have addressed your plea to an Indian forum,
the Supreme Court.
is not as though you wrote to US President Donald Trump, the United Nations, or
Queen Elizabeth II especially since the British Raj ended on Aug 15, 1947, when
Jawaharlal Nehru led India to its tryst with destiny as the world slept.
guarantee that you be not arrested or jailed is not all that impossible to
proffer since it only requires the Indian Constitution to be amended – an
achievement well within the means of the BJP, even though it is generally
considered a Hindu party.
that score, I am sure that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home
Minister Amit Shah will welcome your explanation whether this protection from
arrest applies to you only or to all Muslim accused, assorted criminals, and
members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
the by, as they say in Karol Bagh, I note that you stated “until I am
convicted.” A small prophetic Freudian slip perhaps? The correct wording should
have been “unless I am convicted”. But who’s counting!
all that aside, I admire you’re not making additional requests like asking that
Jammu and Kashmir be declared provinces of Pakistan before you, like Douglas
MacArthur, “will return”.
my part, I would pray that you also ask for your disciple, Muhammad Zamri
Vinoth Kalimuthu, to be allowed to accompany you – that would be the icing on
the alu gobi. Jai Hind (Long live India).
Dear Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, please send him back to India. You
have saved Malaysia and done great work. Don't let Zakir spoil your great work.
should go back and stand trial, just like former prime minister Najib Abdul
Razak has to stand trial here. And Low too.
Zakir won't be sent back. He is a bosom buddy of Mahathir.
you thought and hoped for the 14th general election to bring about a New
Malaysia, think again. Mahathir won't change.
is still the same corrupted mind that authored the Malay Dilemma and late Tunku
Abdul Rahman (bless his soul) predicted that Mahathir will be the cause of
chaos in Malaysia.
Lourdesamy: Since Zakir has asked not to be arrested and jailed until his
trial, the Indian government should place him under preventive detention for
his own safety. That would not amount to an arrest and jail.
Mahathir refuses to extradite Zakir even after the Indian warrant of arrest is
issued on July 31 by the Special Court and the Interpol red notice is obtained,
I would advise New Delhi to give Low permanent resident status in India and
refuse to extradite him to Malaysia.
can enjoy the high life in Mumbai with India's rich and famous.
that, just stop importing palm oil from Malaysia, impose a 100 percent tariff
on our exports to India, and lastly, terminate all the huge infrastructure
projects awarded to Malaysian companies including GLCs in India.
June 23 — It is “wajib” or obligatory for PAS members to collaborate with
others to take the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration down, the Islamist
party’s new Ulama wing chief Nik Muhd Zawawi Salleh has ruled today.
Islamic scholar also said that nobody in PAS can dispute the fact that Malaysia
is multi-ethnic and governing the country requires cooperation with other
parties including former rivals Umno.
willing, we accept this fact. And we must also acknowledge the fact that there
is no political strategy where any single party can rule individually. It must
co-operate with others,” he said in his closing speech during the final day of
PAS’ Muktamar or annual congress.
in the fight of PAS against Pakatan Harapan, it is ‘wajib’. To bring down the
current government, it is ‘wajib’.
this issue, we cannot be at odds. We move forward, don’t look back,” he added.
also told members that any judgment on tahaluf and ta’awun siyasi — Arabic
terms referring to political consensus and cooperation — with former rivals
Umno should come from top to bottom, to ensure a clear target for the party.
stressed that as an Islamic movement, PAS must co-operate with other political
do not wish to be calculative with these parties, for if I do then who will we
work with? Surely we cannot work with Parti Amanah, or DAP?
still have other friends, and I am thankful that they represent all the races
in Malaysia,” Zawawi said, adding it meant PAS will have an easier time
approaching all communities and make them understand the party’s struggle.
was especially appreciative of MIC, saying the Indian-based party was the first
to approach PAS, even before Umno.
wanted to be with us, and we as an Islamic movement will accept anyone in with
- Indonesia plans to tighten vetting of senior public servants amid fears that
hard-line Islamist ideology has permeated high levels of government, according
to documents reviewed by Reuters and a senior official involved in the plan.
is officially secular, but there has been a rise in politicians demanding a
larger role for Islam in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, with some
groups calling for an Islamic state.
rise in conservatism was a major test for President Joko Widodo in the April
election, with some Islamist groups accusing him of being anti-Islam and
throwing their support behind political rivals, including challenger Prabowo
was re-elected for a second term but voting patterns revealed deepening
divisions between areas known for a moderate following of Islam and
conservative Muslim regions that backed Prabowo.
senior government official, who is part of a team formulating the new vetting
policy, said Widodo intends it to be a part of his legacy of ensuring Indonesia
remains a model for moderate Islam.
official said the president strongly believed that radical Islam threatened the
state apparatus as well as the future of democracy. The vetting plan was a big
priority for him, said the official, who declined to be identified.
wants that before the next election in 2024, hard-line and radical elements be
weeded out to aim for a healthier democracy,” said the official.
office did not respond to requests for comment.
to the documents reviewed by Reuters, the government wants to introduce
stricter background checks and a new psychological test to gauge candidates’
political leanings — especially for those seeking promotions to the top two
rungs of the bureaucracy.
official said the plan will be rolled out by the end of the year at 10 of the
country’s biggest ministries by budget and several state-owned enterprises.
to be targeted as priorities include Finance, Defence, Health, Education,
Religious Affairs, and Public Works. Priority enterprises include state energy
company Pertamina, flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, the biggest state bank BRI,
state miners Antam and Timah, and two state media companies.
servants would not be sacked but the new policy could be used to keep those
with hard-line leanings from rising through the ranks, the official said.
of the factors driving the new policy is a 2017 survey done by independent
Jakarta-based pollster Alvara Research Center that found one in five civil
servants and 10 percent of state enterprise workers did not agree with the
secular state ideology Pancasila, and instead favored an Islamic theocratic
we’re seeing is not sudden but the result of seeds that were planted years ago
through small movements that at the time were not considered a threat to the
state. For over 10 years, these ideas have been tolerated, accepted, and
perhaps even used by elements of the state,” one government document said. The
government official who spoke to Reuters is part of a team of 12 officials and
experts that will work with the National Agency to Promote Pancasila and with
civil society organizations to formulate new metrics to strengthen existing
includes upholding national unity, social justice and democracy alongside
belief in God, and enshrines religious diversity in an officially secular
system of government.
official said the government is expecting a backlash both from within the state
bureaucracy and from rights activists who could liken the moves to the
authoritarian era of former President Suharto, when loyalty to the state
ideology was mandatory and equated with loyalty to the regime.
are aware the Pancasila was used in the past as a tool to consolidate power,
but we believe it is an umbrella that protects all Indonesians and is a tool to
unify against the virus of radicalism,” Benny Susetyo, an official at the
national Pancasila agency, said in an interview.
representative for the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), an Islamist group that
calls for Shariah law to be imposed in Indonesia, said the planned vetting
procedures would “amount to discrimination against Islam.”
government is affected by the disease of secularism and is trying to separate
politics and religion, which is very dangerous,” said Novel Bamukmin of the
FPI’s Jakarta chapter.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has slammed the United States for its continued
provocations against Iran, which he says might prompt a real conflict in the
said in a Saturday interview that Washington’s decision more than a year ago to
pull out of a landmark nuclear agreement with Tehran and its recent actions in
the Persian Gulf had raised the chances for a large-scale war in the region.
think as far as I can see, it is America, which is making all the provocation,”
Mahathir told CNBC , adding, “First, they withdrew from the (nuclear) treaty,
and now they’re sending warships to the (Persian) Gulf, and doing things that
will provoke Iran.”
Malaysian premier made the remarks while attending a summit of the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations in Bangkok, Thailand.
remarks came after reports emerged that US President Donald Trump had cancelled
a series of military operations against Iran early on Friday hours after Iran
downed an American unmanned aircraft which was flying above its southern
in Tehran have condemned a series of sanctions imposed on the country since
Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement.
have indicated that going to war with the US over the issue would not be a
default option although warning that they would not hesitate to defend the
country’s sovereignty when facing a US aggression.
said that if a war erupts between Iran and the United States, the repercussions
will be devastating and energy prices will go up exponentially.
they go to war, it will not be Iran against America. It will be a world war,”
he said, adding that other countries “will have to come in and put a stop to
93-year-old Malaysian PM said US sanctions against Iran had negatively affected
his own country while criticizing Washington’s bullying tactics to force
sovereign nations to comply with its regime of embargoes.
the sanction is against Malaysia also ... because we can’t trade with a good
trading partner that Iran provides for us,” he said.
kind of play of applying sanctions and forcing other countries to comply with
the big power’s decision is totally undemocratic ... This is bullying,”
reacts to appointment of Muslim religious leaders in northern Greece by state
Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued a statement expressing objections
to a recent Greek presidential decree stating that the religious leaders of the
Muslim minority in northern Greece will be appointed by the state instead of
decree, the ministry said in a lengthy statement on its website on Saturday, is
an “aggravation” of Greek “violations” of Muslim minority rights in the
country's north and “disregards the rights of the Turkish minority in Greece
guaranteed by the Lausanne Peace Treaty also on the basis of reciprocity.”
decree, the statement said, “is clearly aiming at destroying the institutional
autonomy of the Muftis by transforming them into an ordinary government
Foreign Ministry accuses the Greek government of failing to consult with
representatives of the minority and adds that it “expects” Athens to “turn away
from its mistake of imposing illegally appointed Muftis.”
invite international and regional organizations as well as the EU institutions
to monitor the situation of human rights in Greece to carry out impartial
investigations about Greece's legal actions that contradict the European values
and universal human rights,” the statement added.
Millions of Istanbul residents began voting on Sunday in a rerun of a mayoral
election that has become a referendum on President Tayyip Erdogan's policies
and a test of Turkey's ailing democracy.
the initial March 31 vote, the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate
secured a narrow victory over Erdogan's AK Party (AKP) in
largest city, a rare electoral defeat for the president amid mounting economic
after weeks of AKP appeals, Turkey's High Election Board in May annulled the
vote citing irregularities. The opposition called the decision a "coup"
against democracy, which has raised the stakes for round two.
stations across Istanbul opened at 8am, with 10.56 million people registered to
vote in a city which makes up nearly a fifth of Turkey's 82 million population.
Voting ends at 5pm Results will be announced in the evening.
has repeated his line that "whoever wins Istanbul wins Turkey." A
second loss in the city, where in the 1990s he served as mayor, would be
embarrassing for Erdogan and could weaken what until recently seemed to be his
iron grip on power.
economy is in recession and the United States, its Nato ally, has threatened
sanctions if Erdogan goes ahead with plans to install Russian missile defences.
second AKP loss could also shed further light into what CHP mayoral candidate
Ekrem Imamoglu said was the misspending of billions of lira at the Istanbul
municipality, which has a budget of around $4 billion.
Imamoglu wins again, there's going to be a chain of serious changes in Turkish
politics," journalist and writer Murat Yetkin said.
will be interpreted as the beginning of a decline for AKP and for Erdogan as
well," he said, noting that the president himself had called the local
elections "a matter of survival".
Imamoglu win could eventually trigger a national election earlier than 2023 as
scheduled, a cabinet reshuffle, and even a potential adjustment in foreign
policy, Yetkin added.
narrow the roughly 13,000-vote gap in March, the AKP re-calibrated its message
recently to court Kurdish voters, who make up about 15% of voters in the city
of 15 million.
campaign received a twist when jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan
urged the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic
(HDP) to stay neutral in the vote. The HDP, which backs Imamoglu, accused
Erdogan of trying to divide Kurds.
campaigned hard ahead of the March vote, a strategy that many within AKP
believe has backfired, Erdogan initially kept a low-profile this month. But
last week he returned to his combative campaigning and targeted Imamoglu
directly, including threatening him with legal action, raising questions over
whether the AKP would accept a second defeat.
have shown Imamoglu, a former district mayor, retaining a lead over his AKP
rival, former prime minister Binali Yildirim.
polls put him up to 9 percentage points ahead, with his more inclusive message
resonating with some voters.
Mert, who works at a textile shop in the working class Esenyurt district,
complained about a lack of business and rising unemployment. He said he was
unconvinced by what he saw as Yildirim's new focus on policies.
have seen it all and we've heard it all in the past 20 years. What else is
there to do? Imamoglu won and they denied him his mandate," Mert said.
decision to re-run the vote drew international criticism and accusations from
Turkey's opposition of an erosion in the rule of law. Residents in several
districts took to the streets banging pots and pans in protest.
voters told Reuters that an AKP victory on Sunday could lead to bigger
uncertainty over the fate of Istanbul, Turkey's business hub, and potential
delays in broader economic reforms, have kept financial markets on edge.
Turkey's lira currency tumbled after the decision to annul the March vote and
is down nearly 10% this year in part on election jitters.
Eissenstat, nonresident senior fellow at think-tank POMED, said the AKP's
legitimacy had rested on its purported respect for elections expressing the
will of the people.
Tehran warned Washington on Saturday that any attack would see US interests
across the Middle East go up in flames after President Donald Trump said he
called off a strike at the 11th hour.
aborted military action was to have been in response to Iran’s downing of a US
reconnaissance drone, which has seen tensions between the two countries soar
after a series of attacks on commercial vessels the US has blamed on Iran.
one bullet towards Iran will set fire to the interests of America and its
allies” in the region, armed forces general staff spokesman Brig Gen Abolfazl
Shekarchi told the Tasnim news agency.
the enemy— especially America and its allies in the region — make the military
mistake of shooting the powder keg on which America’s interests lie, the region
will be set on fire,” Shekarchi warned.
his comments, Iran said it had executed a man convicted of spying for the US.
execution sentence was carried out for Jalal Haji Zavar, a contractor for the
defence ministry’s aerospace organisation who spied for the CIA and the
American government,” semi-official ISNA news agency reported, quoting the
than a year after Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 multilateral nuclear
accord with Tehran, the US president said on Saturday that Iran’s prospects
would improve if it renounced nuclear weapons.
they agree to that, they’re going to have a wealthy country. They’re going to
be so happy, and I’m going to be their best friend. I hope that happens,” he
told reporters outside the White House.
has denied seeking a nuclear weapon and says its programme is for civilian
the downing on Thursday of the Global Hawk surveillance aircraft, Trump tweeted
the United States had been “cocked & loaded” to strike Iran but he had
pulled back at the last minute as it would not have been a “proportionate”
US president subsequently said he did not want war with Iran, but if it came to
pass, there would be “obliteration like you’ve never seen before”, according to
excerpts of an NBC interview conducted on Friday morning.
insists that the drone violated its airspace — something Washington denies —
but it was prepared to accept on Friday that it might have done so by accident.
aircraft could have entered Iran’s airspace over a mistake by “a general or
some operators,” the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace arm, Brig
Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh told state news agency IRNA on Saturday.
this was an act of trampling international aviation laws by a spy aircraft,” he
Pentagon released a map of the drone’s flight path indicating it avoided
Iranian waters, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday
published maps showing the aircraft inside its territory when it was downed.
can be no doubt about where the vessel was when it was brought down,” he wrote
on Twitter, providing coordinates.
foreign ministry said it had summoned the charge d’affaires of the United Arab
Emirates, from where the US drone launched, to protest against its decision to
“put its installations at the disposal of foreign forces for aggression”
said its Minister of State for the Middle East Andrew Murrison would travel on
Sunday to Tehran for talks.
US Federal Aviation Administration has barred American civilian aircraft from
the area “until further notice,” and major non-US airlines including British
Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Emirates and Etihad said they too were
altering flight paths to avoid the sensitive Strait of Hormuz.
downing of the US drone came with Iran already accused by Washington of
carrying out attacks on tankers in the congested shipping lanes out of the
Gulf, charges Tehran denies.
Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi deplored the terrorist attack at a
mosque in Western Baghdad which killed and wounded tens of Iraqi citizens.
also voiced sympathy with the Iraqi government and nation, specially the family
members of the victims.
suicide bomb blast at a Shiite mosque in Western Baghdad killed at least 10
people and wounded 30 others on Friday, Iraqi security officers said.
explosion hit Imam Mahdi al Muntadhar Mosque in Baladiyat, near the massive and
densely populated district of Sadr City.
least one attacker wearing a belt of explosives tried to enter the building but
was stopped by the guards, and detonated himself outside," said one
are conflicting reports on the death toll, as some sources say seven people
were killed in the attack.
head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Friday he hopes donors will
be as generous this year as they were last year after the United States cut all
funding for the $1.2 billion program meant to help some five million
Krahenbuhl said at a news conference that 42 countries and institutions
increased their funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency last year. He called
that “unprecedented,” adding that it was also “very remarkable” that every
single pledge in 2018 was honored.
praised the strong mobilization of funds from Europe, the Gulf countries, Asia,
the Americas and beyond, adding that “we’re very inspired by that result.”
said the agency is pursuing the same appeal for $1.2 billion this year and
hopes donors will pledge that amount at a conference Tuesday at UN
was established after the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948 to aid
the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes.
it provides education to 500,000 Palestinian students, health care at 144
centers that handle 8.5 million patient visits a year, and social services to
some 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as Jordan,
Syria and Lebanon. The agency is also a major employer in the Palestinian
said UNRWA has covered its expenses for the first five months of 2019 “in a
fairly stable way ... and that is positive.”
he said, “in June, we started entering deficit figures.”
Tuesday’s pledging conference, Krahenbuhl said, “If every single donor would
preserve and maintain their level of contribution reached in 2018, we would be
able to cover the financial needs of UNRWA.”
said he will be appealing for immediate funds to avoid any break in services.
big question, Krahenbuhl said, is whether there will be enough money for
schools to open in late August and early September.
US government contributed $360 million to UNRWA in 2017, but the Trump
administration cut that to just $60 million last year and to nothing this year.
announcing the total cutoff in funding, the Trump administration called UNRWA
an “irredeemably flawed operation.” It said the US was no longer willing to pay
for a “very disproportionate share” of UNRWA’s costs and criticized what it
called the agency’s “fundamental business model and fiscal practices” and its
“endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries.”
UNRWA pledging conference is taking place on the same day that the architects
of the long-awaited US plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace - Trump’s son-in-law
Jared Kushner and the president’s special envoy for international negotiations
Jason Greenblatt - are rolling out their economic plan for the Palestinians at
a workshop in Bahrain. The Palestinians are boycotting.
told reporters that “contrary to what you might expect, I do not see any
elements of tension between a conference and workshop that is being organized
in Bahrain and our own focus.”
focus is a very immediate one,” he said, stressing that UNRWA has to ensure
education, health care and food for one million Palestinians in Gaza and other
services “not in two years, but today and tomorrow.”
said UNRWA is focused on delivering on its mandate immediately while the
Bahrain discussions “have value” but are not immediate.
fighter jets of the Arab Coalition backing the legitimate government in Yemen
on Saturday intercepted and destroyed two drones in the Yemeni air space.
Coalition said the drones were launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia
from the Sanaa Governorate.
Arab Coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Maliki said: “We affirm the right
of the Coalition to take appropriate deterrent measures in accordance with
President Mahmoud Abbas once again rejects as “a humiliating blackmail” US
President Donald Trump’s upcoming deal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
hours after Washington released details about the economic aspect of the
to officials of his Fatah party in Ramallah on Saturday, Abbas said “there can
be no economic solution before there’s a political solution.”
slammed the plan as a “humiliating blackmail” and said the deal “cannot pass
because it ends the Palestinian cause.”
White House on Saturday unveiled the economic plan, which would inject $50
billion into struggling economies in the Middle East over the next ten years.
the document, dubbed “Peace to Prosperity,” over half of the funds ($28
billion) would go toward the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the remaining to
Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, which have absorbed Palestinian refugees.
also includes a $5 billion “transportation network” to connect the West Bank
economic portion of the US plan was released just three days before a US-led
workshop in Manama, Bahrain, where the initiative is set to be discussed.
in his comments, Abbas stressed that the Palestinians would not attend the
are not going to attend this workshop, the reason is that the economic
situation should not be discussed before a political situation, so long as
there is no political situation, we do not deal with any economic situation,”
Palestinian factions have already boycotted the Bahrain event, arguing that
Washington was offering financial rewards for Palestinians to accept the
on Saturday, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeineh denounced both the Bahrain
meeting and Trump’s “peace” plan, called the “deal of the century.”
American administration is committing daily mistakes against the Palestinian
people. Without Palestinian approval, there is no value to any meeting, and
without a political horizon, no one will deal with any effort. This conference
was born dead just like the deal of the century,” he said.
Arab Israeli lawmaker Ayman Odeh slammed Trump’s proposal, stressing that the
only solution to the conflict is ending the Israeli occupation and establishing
an independent Palestinian state.
has to explain to Trump that not everything can be bought for money, certainly
not the just national aspirations of the Palestinian people,” he tweeted.
army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have
intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led
military coalition as it was flying in the skies over the country’s
northwestern province of Hajjah.
unnamed Yemen military source told Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah
television network that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down
the drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission over al-Mazraq area in the
Harad district of the province, located approximately 130 kilometers northwest
of the capital Sana’a, on Saturday.
development came only a day after Yemeni army forces and Popular Committees
fighters shot down a spy drone of the Saudi-led military coalition in the skies
over Yemen’s strategic western coastal province of Hudaydah.
unmanned aerial vehicle was struck with a surface-to-air missile over al-Fazah
area in the al-Tuhayta district.
June 19, the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree
said, said Yemeni army forces, backed by allied fighters from Popular
Committees, had launched a string of airstrikes against unmanned aerial
vehicles and military targets at Jizan Airport, using a squadron of
domestically-manufactured Qasef-2K (Striker-2K) combat drones.
further noted that the attacks led to the suspension of flights at the airport.
have sophisticated military hardware that US-built and other air defense
systems deployed in Saudi Arabia cannot intercept. Our ballistic missiles,
rockets and drone can hit any target all across Saudi Arabia. Our strikes will
not be limited to Asir, Najran and Jizan. The Saudi enemy must know that we
will d expand the scope of deterrence in case the military aggression
continues,” the top Yemeni military official pointed out.
on Saturday, Yemeni forces and their allies struck the positions of
Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur
Hadi, in Yemen’s central province of al-Bayda as well as the southwestern
province of Ta'izz.
Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said scores of
Saudi mercenaries were killed and injured in the offensives.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed
the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
seeks to win over Kurds and alienated supporters in Istanbul
ruling party raised the tempo of its campaigning in the final days before
Sunday's re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election, seeking to prevent a repeat
of its shock loss in the first vote.
polls indicate that Ekrem Imamoglu of the opposition Republican People’s Party
(CHP) will win again, with one survey putting him nine percentage points ahead
of Binali Yildirim of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and he is
also widely considered to have won a televised debate against his main rival
with only a narrow margin separating Mr Imamoglu and Mr Yildirim in the March
31 election, both sides have been manoeuvring to pick up vital votes in the
AKP has been targeting the Kurdish vote, which was seen as instrumental to the
opposition's victory. Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party did not field candidates
in the major cities in the west of the country during the nationwide local
election in March, and called for its supporters to back the opposition.
Yidirim visited Diyarbakir, the largest city in the Kurdish-majority
south-east, during the Eid holiday earlier this month. Authorities allowed
lawyers and family members to visit Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of
the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, for the first time in years. Ocalan, who founded
the Kurdish separatist group, issued a call this week for Kurds to remain
“neutral” in the election.
success in the last election was because of the Kurds,” said student Ferhad
Aydogan, 23, whose family is originally from the south-eastern city of Sirnak.
“Many Kurds like Imamoglu because he’s not like the old CHP, but some think he
has not recognised the part we played in helping him beat the AKP.”
the same time President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s trademark fiery rhetoric, which
took a back seat in the early part of Mr Yildirim's campaign, has made a return
even though his aggressive speeches seemed to alienate many AKP voters in the
earlier election. This week he accused Mr Imamoglu of lying and supporting the
group said to be behind a 2016 coup attempt.
Bulbul, 37, said she had not voted in the March poll despite previously
supporting the AKP. “I think all the talk of the local elections being so
important for the country’s survival was not correct,” she said, referring to
Mr Erdogan’s portrayal of the race.
Leaders Firmly Call for Expulsion of Foreign Occupying Forces From Syria
Syrian tribesmen and elite issued a statement after their meeting in Aleppo,
and voiced their support for the Syrian Army in fighting terrorism and
confronting foreign threats aimed at disintegrating Syria.
Syrian tribesmen also underlined the need for maintaining Syria's territorial
integrity, and said that all US and Turkish occupying forces ought to leave the
Northern and Northeastern territories of Syria because they have illegally
Syrian tribes also pointed to the need for the presence of the Syrian Army in
all Eastern provinces of Syria and reconstruction of those regions, and voiced
preparedness of the residents of al-Jazeereh region and Aleppo to defend their
a relevant development on Wednesday, media reports said that the Syrian tribes
in Deir Ezzur province have stood against a Saudi-US plot to support the Kurds
to decompose Eastern Euphrates from Syria.
Arabic-language al-Ahd news website quoted the leader of al-Moshahedah in
al-Jazeerah region in Eastern Euphrates Sheikh Heidar al-Hamadi as saying that
all Syrian tribes, except a little number of them, have opposed the recent
meeting by Saudi Minister for Persian Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan to
Kurdish-occupied regions to study plots to separate Eastern Syria from the
underlined al-Sabhan's attempts to coax the tribes in Eastern Syria into
implementation of separatist plots, and said most of them want Damascus to
retake control of the region.
the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that a Swedish delegation,
including the country's representative for Syria affairs, the Swedish foreign
ministry official for Syria affairs and the official for the agency on
international aid, have entered the Kurdish-occupied regions in Eastern Syria
and held meetings with a number of commanders in line with the western states'
accelerated attempts to interfere in Syria's internal affairs and assist the
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their separatist dreams.
al-Akam, a senior Syrian legislator, said that a tripartite coalition has been
formed among Saudi Arabia, the Kurdish forces and Israel under the US
supervision which pursues pressures on Damascus after gaining victory over
terrorist groups, by separating the Northeastern parts of the country.
of the politburo of Turkey-backed Lawa al-Mo'etasam-Free Syrian Army terrorists
Mostafa Sejari wrote on his twitter page on Monday that Riyadh had stopped
financial support for the terrorist groups in Northern Syria in line with a
fresh scheme to help Kurds cut off Eastern Syria from the mainland after a
Saudi-US delegation met in Deir Ezzur.
added that Saudi Arabia had decided to cut financial support for the regions
occupied by the terrorist groups in Northern Syria.
added that the measure was adopted after Riyadh started support for the
separatist Kurdish groups in Northeastern Syria following a visit by Thamer
al-Sabhan to Kurdish-occupied regions.
underlined that Saudi Arabia wants to pressure Turkey, warning, "All of us
will be harmed by this measure."
Nasrallah Resistance Movement announced last night that its Popular Forces in a
joint military operation with the Yemeni Army seized control over a military
base of the Saudi-led coalition against the poor country in Saudi Arabia’s
Southwestern province of Jizan.
another development on Friday, the forces of the Saudi-Emirati coalition who
intended to cross the border into Yemen through the Saudi province of Najran
were ambushed and repelled. The ambush inflicted heavy casualties on
Saudi-Emirati forces with scores of deaths and injuries.
al-Masirah television network reported that the Saudi-Emirati forces were
supported by the coalition’s jet fighters but Yemeni artillery units and
snipers overpowered the aggressors.
Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive
president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so
far killed more than 20,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah
fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian
is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in
need and is seeing a spike in needs, fueled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing
economy and diminished social services and livelihoods. The blockade on Yemen
has smothered humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the
UN has repeatedly criticized the Saudi-UAE-led military coalition's bombing
campaign and placed it on a blacklist of child rights violators last year.
and US military spokesmen denied on Saturday that US forces were preparing to
evacuate hundreds of staff of Lockheed Martin Corp and Sallyport Global from an
Iraqi military base where they work as contractors.
separate military sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said
on Friday the contractors from the two firms had been preparing to leave Balad
military base, which hosts US forces some 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad,
over “potential security threats”, without saying what those threats might be.
of the military sources and a fifth security source later said the evacuation
had been called off early on Saturday after US and Iraqi military personnel
assured the companies that safety measures would be stepped up around the base.
mortar shells landed on Balad last week, the first of several unclaimed attacks
in recent days targeting bases in Iraq hosting US forces and a site used by a
US energy firm.
and US military spokesmen denied there were any plans for an evacuation in the
first place, which the sources disclosed at a time of rising regional tensions
between the United States and Iraq’s eastern neighbour Iran.
are no plans at this time to evacuate any personnel from Balad ... Should there
be increased threats to our people, the US Air Force will put measures in place
to provide the protections required”, Air Force Colonel Kevin Walker said in a
of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement: “The United States is not evacuating
personnel from Balad Air Base.”
military spokesman said Iraq “protects the safety of our fighters and American
advisers and trainers”.
source familiar with one of the company’s operations said its management
informed staff supervisors early on Saturday that the evacuation plan for both
companies, which was being prepared until Friday, had been halted.
companies had received assurances from US military personnel at the base that
they would step up security at Balad as well as around the base, including
aerial surveillance, to ensure the safety of their contractors, the source
of the military sources at Balad said Iraqi commanders had also assured US
military officials they would ensure the safety of foreign staff at the base in
case of future attacks.
forces would be allowed to help secure the outside perimeter of the base, a
task normally only assigned to Iraqi forces, as part of efforts to step up
safety measures for contractors, the source said.
US coalition in Iraq declined to comment on the additional security measures.
spokeswoman for Lockheed in the Middle East said: “We are not evacuating Lockheed
Martin employees right now from Balad Air Base.” She did not say whether any
other evacuation was being prepared.
and Sallyport did not immediately respond to requests for further comment later
mortar attack on Balad last week caused no casualties, the military said. No
one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
incident was followed by attacks on two other military installations hosting US
forces, near Baghdad and in the northern city of Mosul.
energy giant ExxonMobil evacuated at least 21 foreign staff from a site near
the southern city of Basra on Wednesday after a rocket also hit that facility,
an Iraqi security source said.
of the military sources, an official with knowledge of Balad base’s daily
operations said on Friday that the US military informed Iraqi officials they
would begin evacuating about half of the 800 employees who work for both
informed us that they will only keep limited, necessary staff who work closely
on the maintenance of Iraqi F-16 war planes,” one of the Iraqi sources said.
civilian workers were killed in a terrorist attack near el-Arish International
Airport in Egypt’s North Sinai province, an Al Arabiya correspondent reports.
Associated Press reported quoting Egyptian officials that militants have
attacked construction workers in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, killing
at least four civilian workers.
officials say Saturday’s attack took place in the Mediterranean city of
el-Arish as workers were building a fence around the city’s airport. They say
the militants wounded five other workers and burned two vehicles.
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to
brief the media.
group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore hallmarks
of an affiliate of the ISIS.
air defense systems have intercepted and shot down an unmanned aerial vehicles
launched by members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly
known as al-Nusra Front, in the country’s western-central province of Hama.
official news agency SANA reported on Saturday that Syrian army reconnaissance
teams were able to detect the aircraft as it was approaching Hama Military
Airport, located some 200 kilometers north of the capital Damascus.
report added that the drone was armed with rockets containing high explosives,
and equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker.
Arabic service of Russia's Sputnik news agency, citing an unnamed Syrian
military source, reported late on June 4 that Syrian army units had detected a
number of aircraft as they were approaching a helipad of a government military
site in Jubb Ramlah village, located about 189 kilometers (118 mi) north of
report added that Syrian forces then used anti-aircraft defense systems and
targeted the drones as they were flying in the sky. There were no reports of
state TV reported on May 22 that army forces had shot down a drone loaded with
bombs near Hama's airport.
television network added that the drone had been launched by members of the
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front,
without providing any further details.
on Saturday, Syrian government forces struck the strongholds of
foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants positioned in the de-escalation zone of the
troubled northwestern province of Idlib.
reported that Syrian troops fired a barrage of artillery rounds and missiles at
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiris’ fortifications in al-Naqeer village, which lies
in the Maarrat al-Nu'man district of Idlib province, leaving scores of the
extremists killed and injured in the process.
militants were apparently heading towards Hobait town on board several sport
utility vehicles with roof-mounted machine guns.
in Hama province, Syrian army artillery units targeted Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and
Jaysh al-Izza (the Army of Glory) terrorists on the outskirts of Jubbayn
village in Mahardah district. Many terrorists were killed and their vehicles
destroyed as a result.
Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim
Al-Issa received the Austrian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Georg Postinger in his
office in Riyadh.
importance of benefiting from common human values to promote the values of
harmony between nations and peoples and understand the nature of cultural
diversity was discussed at the meeting.
Austrian ambassador praised the efforts of the MWL in establishing the values
of tolerance and harmony between followers of religions and cultures and called
on the MWL to continue its contributions in raising awareness of the dangers of
extremism and hate speech.
Al-Issa met the Spanish government’s envoy to the Middle East, Eva Martinez, accompanied
by Ambassador of Spain to the Kingdom Alvaro Iranzo.
meeting discussed constructive dialogue and bridging different cultures and
ethnicities according to the concepts of awareness, which represent common
proposes civilian-majority ruling body for Sudan, say protest leaders
protest leaders said Saturday that an Ethiopian envoy mediating with the ruling
generals has proposed forming a civilian-majority governing body for a
political transition in Sudan.
a compromise blueprint for the transition which they saw, two protest leaders
told AFP it suggests the creation of a 15-member body led by civilians.
between the protest leaders and generals, who seized power after ousting
President Omar al-Bashir in April, has been high since a deadly crackdown on a
protest camp in Khartoum killed dozens earlier this month.
crackdown carried out by men in military uniforms came after talks between the
two sides failed to reach an agreement on the composition of the new ruling
body and who should lead it - a civilian or soldier.
after the crackdown, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tried to mediate
between the two sides.
envoy on Saturday Mahmoud Dreir was to discuss the compromise blueprint for a
political transition with protest leaders.
of them, Amjad Farid, said the document “asserts the previous agreements, as
well as a proposal to form the sovereign council of eight civilians and seven
said of the eight civilians, seven would be from the umbrella protest movement
the Alliance for Freedom and Change.
protest leader Madani Abbas Madani also confirmed that compromise calls for a civilian-majority
previous talks, protest leaders and the generals had agreed on a three-year
transition period and to form a 300-member parliament, with two-third lawmakers
from the protest movement.
stepped up its efforts to resolve the political crisis in Sudan since the
deadly June 3 dispersal of a long-running protest camp outside army
headquarters in Khartoum.
least 128 people have been killed in the crackdown, the majority of them on
that day, doctors linked to the protest movement say.
health ministry put the June 3 death toll at 61 nationwide.
generals deny they ordered the army HQ protest broken up, insisting they
authorized only a limited operation to clear drug dealers from around the camp.
expressed “regret” over the “excesses” that happened on June 3.
(Reuters) - Security forces in Kenya killed three suspected militants from
Somalia’s Islamist group al Shabaab after they attacked a police outpost in
Garissa county near the border, police said on Saturday.
incident happened on Friday night after the militants raided a camp used by a
border patrol police unit, according to a statement. No security personnel were
injured in the operation, it added.
officers effectively engaged them and with quick reinforcement from special
forces, the attackers were repulsed,” police said. “The enemy suffered three
fatalities during the incident.”
Shabaab frequently stages attacks in Kenya to put pressure on Nairobi to
withdraw its soldiers from Somalia.
of the group’s most deadly strikes in Kenya include an 2015 attack on a
university in which 148 people, mostly students, died, while a 2013 assault on
the Westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi killed 67 people.
Shabaab is fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government so it
can install its own government based on its strict interpretation of the
Islamic sharia law.
June 22 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian defense authorities on Saturday confirmed at least
42 Boko Haram fighters had been killed in a clearance operation against the
terror group along the Lake Chad fringes.
operation on Friday was carried out by the Multinational Joint Task Force in a
combined land and sea offensives on the enclaves of Boko Haram, said Timothy
Antigha, a Nigerian military spokesman who also doubles as a spokesperson for
the multinational force.
operation was conducted in Doron Naira, an island in Lake Chad, and Nigerian
border areas including Cross Kauwa and Baga in Nigeria's northeastern state of
Borno, Antigha said.
multinational force comprises troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and
soldier was killed in the confrontation with the Boko Haram fighters, and 10
other soldiers were wounded, the military official said.
gun trucks and three motorcycles were destroyed by the multinational troops,
while two light machine guns and two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the
terrorists, according to Antigha.
operation, he said, would be further intensified through raids, ambushes and
fighting patrols to clear terrorists from their last stronghold in the Lake
December, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues of the Lake
Chad Basin Commission renewed their commitment to ending the Boko Haram
insurgency, declaring "a fight to finish."
Haram has been trying since 2009 to establish an Islamist state in northeastern
Nigeria, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin.
army chief of staff was shot while trying to thwart an attempted coup on
Saturday in a federal state north of the capital Addis Ababa, Prime Minister
Abiy Ahmed said.
head of Ethiopia's Amhara state and his advisor were also killed during a coup
attempt in their state, state media reported on Sunday.
Mekonnen and his advisor were attacked in their offices on Saturday, state
media reported, without saying who was responsible.
on state television late on Saturday, Abiy said General Seare Mekonnen was one
of several casualties. But his press secretary, Billene Seyoum, told Reuters
later that it was unclear whether General Seare had been killed or wounded.
was shot by people who are close to him,” Abiy said.
prime minister said the general had been trying to prevent plotters carrying
out a coup in Amhara state, one of Ethiopia’s nine federal states.
coming to power last year, Abiy has tried to spearhead political reforms, to
open up the once isolated, security-obsessed country of 100 million people on
the Horn of Africa.
has released political prisoners, removed bans on political parties and
prosecuted officials accused of gross human rights abuses, but his government
is battling mounting violence.
bloodshed - long held in check by the state’s iron grip - has flared up in many
areas, including Amhara, where the regional government was led by Ambachew
to Abiy, regional government officials were in a meeting when a coup attempt
are a few people who were killed while others were injured,” Abiy said.
Ethiopian army general was behind a coup attempt in the state of Amahara, state
television reported on Sunday.
media named him as General Asamnew Tsige, who was Amhara's head of security.
is one of nine regional states in Ethiopia.
regional television broadcaster affiliated with the Tigray People’s Liberation
Front (TPLF), a member of Abiy’s coalition, reported Seare had been killed,
alongside another senior military official, Gize Abera.
US Embassy said on Saturday that it was aware of reports of gunfire in Addis
Ababa, though Reuters could not confirm those reports.
of Mission personnel are advised to shelter in place,” the Embassy said on its
on Sunday, Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, the head of special forces in Amhara,
told state television that “most of the people who attempted the coup have been
arrested, although there are a few still at large.”
in Amhara’s capital Bahir Dar said late on Saturday there was gunfire in some
neighborhoods and some roads had been closed off.
coast guard says it has intercepted Europe-bound vessels carrying nearly 200
migrants, including women, off the country’s Mediterranean coast.
Ayoub Gassim said on Saturday that five rubber boats carrying 199 migrants were
intercepted over the past several days near the capital, Tripoli.
says the coast guard intercepted 39 migrants on Wednesday in two boats, another
boat with 17 migrants on Thursday and two more with 143 migrants on Friday.
were Africans, except eight from Bangladesh.
were given humanitarian and medical aid, then taken to refugee camps in
became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe
after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted and killed longtime ruler
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt have provided Sudan with assistance without
interfering in its affairs, the deputy head of the transitional military
council in Sudan Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo said on Saturday.
also thanked Saudi Arabia and the UAE for their support.
also said that infrastructure and services in Sudan are now the priorities for
the military council.
added that the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are fighting terrorism and
on Saturday, Sudan’s protest leaders said they are meeting with an Ethiopian
envoy over proposals to resume negotiations with the ruling military council.
leaders say they’ve received Ethiopia’s initiative for the transition from
military to civilian rule, and would declare their position during Saturday’s
meeting with Ethiopian diplomat Mahmoud Dirir.
protesters are represented by a coalition of political groups, the Forces for
the Declaration of Freedom and Change.
talks collapsed over the military’s crackdown against a protest sit-in earlier
this month that killed dozens.
protesters are calling for an international probe into the crackdown, as well
as for restoring all previous deals they’d made with the military council
before resuming talks.
many as 30,000 Sudanese soldiers are fighting alongside the Saudi-led coalition
in Yemen, said deputy head of Sudan’s ruling military council.
a public address in Abri on the outskirts of capital Khartoum, Mohamed Hamdan,
deputy chairman of Transitional Military Council (TMC), said the Sudanese
forces are the biggest among the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in
ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE are very strong. For example, we have 30,000
fighters fighting alongside the Arab coalition," said Hamdan, who also
leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Sudan.
parties want to sabotage our good ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE and this
is unacceptable," he said, referring to opposition.
fell into civil war in 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebels overran much of the
country, including capital Sanaa.
2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at
rolling back Houthi gains in the impoverished country.
heard that in July 2015 Jack spoke about wanting to decapitate a former school
friend on social media. Linus Doubtfire posted a picture on Facebook as he
completed his Commando Artillery Course in the British Army. Jack then posted:
‘I would love to perform a martyrdom operation in this scene.’”
Letts somehow got the idea that his new religion required him to commit treason
and mass murder. His parents apparently didn’t care. But of course, authorities
the world over also ignore the recurring phenomenon of converts to Islam
turning to jihad violence.
Jack’ parents guilty of funding terrorism,” BBC, June 21, 2019:
parents of a Muslim convert dubbed “Jihadi Jack” have been found guilty of
Letts, 58, and Sally Lane, 57, from Oxford, sent their son £223 in September
2015 while he was in Syria despite concerns he had joined Islamic State….
March 2015, police warned the couple they risked prosecution if they sent their
in September, Lane transferred money to an account in Lebanon after Jack Letts
insisted it had “nothing to do with jihad”….
added Letts and Lane were repeatedly told by “numerous police officers” not to
send any money.
heard that in July 2015 Jack spoke about wanting to decapitate a former school
friend on social media.
Doubtfire posted a picture on Facebook as he completed his Commando Artillery
Course in the British Army.
then posted: “I would love to perform a martyrdom operation in this scene”.
parents of Jihadi Jack have been convicted in Britain, a notorious criminal and
ISIS-funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and his family are still living in the United
Kingdom despite international media’s coverage on their illegal activities
including fraud, forgery, money laundering, dealing in arms and funding Islamic
State and other militancy groups. The Khans also are business associates of
notorious terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company, which is involved in
transnational trafficking in drugs and weapons.
2009, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, his wife Farjana Anjum along with their three daughters,
Shehtaz Munasi Khan, Parisa Pinaz Khan and Zuman Fiza Khan had entered the
United Kingdom by buying ‘Golden Visa’ under Visa Tier 1. They have laundered
millions of dollars and the entire amount of their investment in Britain was
January 17, 2019, the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of
Bangladesh Police raided the residence of Khans in Dhaka and recovered huge
volume of explosives, illegal weapons, counterfeit currency and jihadist
materials. Subsequently, several cases were lodged against them. On May 25,
2019, British newspaper the Sunday Times had published an investigative report
on the activities of this family. This influential newspaper had also exposed
the secret connection between the Khans and British Tory Party MP Stephen
Iran issue will be discussed at next week’s meeting of leaders of the Group of
20 leading economies in Japan, at least at a bilateral level, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel said on Saturday.
at an annual gathering of Protestant churches, Merkel also said that the
international community must seek a political solution on Iran. This comes
after US President Donald Trump said he had aborted a military strike to
retaliate against Tehran’s downing of a US drone.
security forces have detained a Norwegian citizen of Turkish origin in eastern
Bingol province for his alleged links to the PKK terrorist group in Norway,
according to local provincial governorate on Saturday.
a joint operation carried out by the provincial police department and National
Intelligence Organization (MIT), Roger Carlsen -- a former Turkish citizen --
who is believed to be responsible for the PKK's structure in Norway, was
apprehended in Solhan district.
large number of PKK's organizational documents were also seized during the
procedures at the police station, the suspect was remanded in custody by a
criminal court of peace.
as Ahmet A. while holding a Turkish citizenship, it was learned that the
suspect had come to visit his relatives in the district a while ago.
on Friday decried a decision by Greece that local religious leaders, known as
muftis, among the Turkish minority living in the Western Thrace would
henceforth be appointed by the state instead of being elected by the local
violates the Lausanne Peace Treaty by not recognizing the muftis selected by
the Turkish minority," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said.
said the move violated the minority's religious rights.
that this decree would eliminate the autonomy of the Mufti establishment in the
country, he urged Greece to have intimate and comprehensive communication with
the Turkish minority to resolve this problem in line with the Lausanne Treaty.
said Greece must recognize the muftis elected by the minority and reverse its
policy of imposing illegally appointed ones.
also underlined that it was "worrying" that such intrusive and negative
acts took place in an EU member state.
Greece, the muftis of the Turkish minority in Western Trace are appointed by
the government; however, the Turkish minority rejects this policy and demands
the muftis be locally-elected by them.
about 150,000 ethnic Turkish people reside in Western Thrace with their status
set by the Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 and their rights guaranteed by several
bilateral and multilateral agreements.
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