• Anti-CAA Protests: Delhi HC
Dismisses Plea Seeking Removal Of Protesters, Police Barricades At Shaheen Bagh
• G25 Decries Laws against
Apostasy, Saying a Muslim’s Decision to Leave Islam Is between That Person and
• Trump: Killing Iran’s Soleimani
Was Delivering ‘American Justice’
• All That Remains for Pakistan
Now Is To Hope Gen Bajwa Doesn’t Turn Out To Be Gen Ayub Khan
• Blast during a Taliban Meeting
in Pakistan Kills 30 Including ISI Members: Sources
• Saudi Policies Increasingly
Hurt Muslim Causes Worldwide
• US Imitating Daesh in Threatening
Iran's Cultural Sites: Zarif
• Tunisian Parliament Rejects
Proposed New Government In A Confidence Vote
• Iran Will Be Further Mistrusted
If It Does Not Investigate Crash Properly: German FM
• Delhi: Shaheen Bagh Juniors
Draw Attention to CAA
• BJP MLA Says Pakistan Should
Also Bring CAA; Take Away India's Aggrieved Muslims
• Muslim Bodies Extend Support to
Student Protests against CAA
• CAA, NRC: Muslim outfits demand
judicial inquiry into police high-handedness
• Sultan Qaboos was a true friend
to India, says PM Narendra Modi
• J&K admin revokes PSA
against 26 people
• Army porter killed as Pakistan
troops resort to unprovoked firing along LoC in J&K’s Poonch
• Fiance behind Pakistan Sikh
Youth’s Murder, Held: Police
• ‘Will table private members
bill in Parliament to check religious conversions,’ says Subramanian Swamy
• Civil society, Kashmiri
migrants, Pak refugees narrate their woes to visiting foreign envoys
• Malay Publisher Initiates
‘Reboot Malaysia’ Campaign To End Interracial Hate, Rebuild Ties
• Ignorance makes some equate
talk about Islam with Islamisation, says Anwar
• PSM, NGOs call for end to
military action against Iran
• G25 questions constitutional
validity of Jakim, national Islamic council
• Hong Kong issues travel warning
on Iran after escalation of US-Iran tensions
• We Will Not Discuss Withdrawal
of US Troops From Iraq: US State Department
• Trump says he believes
Soleimani was targeting ‘four embassies’
• Canada demands ‘accountability’
after Iran plane admission
• Trump believes Iran was
targeting four US embassies: Fox News
• Pompeo: US stands with Ukraine,
ready to support investigation
• No more ‘teary eyes’ from
Trudeau: Iranian-Canadians demand action on crash
• NATO chief backs assessment
Iran missile downed plane
• US activist says Trump ‘bears
some blame’ for Ukraine plane crash outside Tehran
• Trump administration imposes
new sanctions on Iran
• US officials connected to
Israel lobby pushed Trump to order Soleimani’s assassination: Analyst
• Illegal Pakistani Immigrants in
Bosnia Refuse To Return, Senate Body Told
• Bomb Blast Claimed by ISIS
Kills at Least 15 in Pakistan Mosque Used by Taliban
• Musharraf treason case was
filed without cabinet’s approval, LHC told
• PM Imran demands 'immediate
report' on Quetta blast, hails martyred DSP as 'brave and exemplary' officer
• Pakistan: Multan bar
Association Bans Non-Muslim Lawyers from Contesting Council Elections
• FM to visit Tehran, Riyadh,
Washington in bid to defuse regional tension
• Pakistan seeks immediate
de-escalation of US-Iran tensions
• Pakistan, Russia to make joint
efforts to restore regional peace
• Second largest Muslim
Congregation in the world Bishwa Ijtema begins in Bangladesh
• Bangladeshi chef Saiful Islam
fights deportation from UK
• Taliban: US, Iran tensions will
not interrupt Afghan peace process
• Bangladeshis denounce US for
assassinating Iran’s Soleimani
• Oman calls ruling family
council to choose new sultan: State TV
• UN extends cross-border aid to
Syria, but scaled back by Moscow
• Iraq files complaint on Iran at
the UN Security Council: Document
• Several Hashd al-Sha’abi forces
killed in Israeli raids on Syria: Report
• Under Russian pressure, UN
approves scaled back aid for Syria
• Lebanese protesters close road;
scuffles injure 14 soldiers
• US Imitating Daesh in
Threatening Iran's Cultural Sites: Zarif
• Israeli Brutality Fails to
Break Spirit of Jerusalem Neighbourhood
• Resistance Groups Likely to
Start Imminent Missile Attack on US Positions in Region
• Senior Cleric: IRGC’s Missile
Attacks on US Bases in Iraq Just Beginning of Revenge
• Soleimani’s daughter says
Haniyeh, al-Assad capable of avenging her father
• Iranian President Vows
Prosecution of Those Guilty in Ukrainian Plane Incident
• Iranian FM Apologizes for Human
Error in Ukrainian Plane Accident
• Experts Praise Iranian Missiles
Accuracy in Attacks on US Bases
• Ukraine airline chief says he never
believed airline caused Iran crash
• US targeted Iranian official in
Yemen in failed strike: Sources
• Israeli forces filmed kicking
Palestinian worshiper in head at al-Aqsa Mosque
• Daesh terror group praises
‘allied’ US for assassinating Gen. Soleimani
• Libya’s Haftar Rejects Ankara, Moscow’s
Call For Ceasefire
• Militant attack in Nigerian
town kills 20 soldiers, displaces 1,000 residents
• Turks oppose sending troops to
war-torn Libya, survey shows
• Tehran must ‘learn lessons’
from Ukraine plane disaster: Russia
• Sweden halts Iran Air flights
between Stockholm and Tehran
• EU Ministers To Focus On
Bringing Iran Back Into Nuclear Deal: Slovakia
• Ukraine president expects full
investigation, compensation from Iran on plane crash
• Sanders, Warren criticized for
joining conference call with pro-Iran lobby group
• France calls for ‘gesture’ from
Iran over detained academics
• Ukraine demands official
apology from Iran
By New Age Islam News Bureau
Shaheen Bagh Juniors Draw Attention To CAA
DELHI: Australia’s raging wildfires, actor Deepika Padukone’s portraits,
Spiderman and Disney’s princesses: these were the subjects of painting for the
many children of Shaheen Bagh on Thursday. The kids, aged between 5 and 15,
have been accompanying their mothers as they sit under a canopy on Kalindi Kunj
road in south-east Delhi to protest against the new citizenship law.
nearly half-a-kilometre stretch they occupy is blockaded by police at both
ends, but the yellow barricades also bear signs of their protests. “No to NRC,
no to CAA” have been spray-painted across the barricades in bold letters.
Bedsheets have been painted with images of resistance and words from the
Preamble and the tricolor are hoisted at several places.
women’s fight against CAA started on December 16, a day after Jamia Milia
Islamia students were attacked by Delhi police. They came out of their homes,
shaken by the images of violence, determined that they would sit on a “dharna”
until CAA was repealed. But the women did not occupy the road alone. Along with
them came their children — infants, toddlers, pre-adolescents and teens.
the initial days, the children sat with the mothers, unsure of the “civil
disobedience movement” that had brought the neighbourhood to national
limelight. But as days passed, the toddlers began to venture further away from
their mothers’ laps, and the teens began to ask questions about what the law
TOI visited the neighbourhood, many children sat in a group, independent of
their mothers. Most of them had the tricolor painted on both their cheeks, and
they listened intently to the speakers on stage. They carried posters against
CAA and lent their voices to Inquilab slogans. Some even took charge of the
mike and chanted “Hum kagaz nahin dikhayenge”.
children have made new friends and found new hobbies over the last few weeks,
especially after Usama, a young Jamia research scholar set up a makeshift
library opposite the protest site. Today, he is both a companion and teacher to
came here a week ago with a hundred books. But within two days, we expanded our
collection because more people donated their books. The volunteers here also
crowdsourced stationery and A4 drawing sheets for children,” Usama told TOI.
Alina, 9, and Aliza, 6, have been visiting the library daily. So has Deepika.
The three have become best friends now. The library volunteers encourage them
to draw and give them a theme every day. The best paintings are then displayed
in the “open exhibition” space, said another volunteer Younus, who also
conducts art workshops for the children. Younus is a graduate student in
Jamia’s fine arts department.
paintings on display depict the students’ limitless imagination. There were
paintings depicting the Australian wildfires with the message, Shaheen Bagh
prays for Australia. It was drawn by Class IV student Ishtiyaq Nabi. There also
are paintings thanking Deepika Padukone for her solidarity with JNU and slogans
against CAA. But most common are self-portraits of students holding the national
one of the volunteers who donated the art material and books to the library,
said: “The idea was to give the children and other protesters breathing space.
This space gives them a chance to pause, read and think.”
students get their ideas from storytelling sessions held at the library. On
Wednesday, artiste Himanshu Bajpai, who made a cameo appearance in Sacred Games
2, held a session for them. But the children have other sources of inspiration
too. As Hasan, a nine-year-old said, they draw their tales from the
grandmothers who sit on the stage at the dharna. The two women — 82-year-old
Bilkis Begum and 80-year-old Noor-un-Nisa — are an endless source of stories
for the children. The women, who have lived through the Freedom Struggle, instill
ideas of “secularism and unity” in them.
is another fight for freedom. We cannot be mere witnesses while the country’s
Constitution is under attack. We are here to defend the idea of this nation.
Why should we prove that we our grandfathers were born here?” asked Bilkis.
face of the resistance is 50-year-old Mehrun Nisa, who is on a hunger strike
for nine days. A resident of Wazirabad, she quit her job at Jama Masjid canteen
and came to Shaheen Bagh. The women say their fight is for all the children of
this country. “The children are fighting for India, and we are fighting for
them. There would be no future without them,” said Mehrun.
Protests: Delhi HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Removal Of Protesters, Police
Barricades At Shaheen Bagh
DELHI: The Delhi high court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking
directions for removal of demonstrators protesting the CAA at Shaheen Bagh here
in order to clear road blockages that are causing traffic congestions at the
application, in the form of a handwritten letter, was mentioned before a bench
of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar which declined to give
letter, written by Tushar Sehdev and Raman Kalra, said the route from Delhi to
UP, Delhi to Uttarakhand, Delhi to Noida hospitals, Ashram and Badarpur is
unavailable due to this protest as the roads around Shaheen Bagh are blocked
and vehicles are being diverted to the DND flyway.
of people are suffering because of the road closure and it is also an issue for
people facing emergencies, the letter said.
protest, that began on December 14, 2019 and entered its 27th day on Thursday,
is affecting several lakh vehicles which are forced to avoid the route, the
claimed that protesters have put barricades and heavy stones on the sides of
the roads and are not allowing even pedestrians to pass. The protesters have
also damaged road dividers and other public properties installed on the roads
which is also causing loss to the government exchequer, it said.
plea sought that these protests should be done at authorised protesting areas
without damaging any properties and urged the court to pass directions for
removal of the road blockage and make the passage clear for public. Thousands
of people, including women and children, are protesting at Shaheen Bagh and
nearby Jamia Millia Islamia to oppose the CAA and the NRC.
Decries Laws against Apostasy, Saying a Muslim’s Decision to Leave Islam Is
between That Person and God
JAYA: The G25 group of former senior civil servants has spoken out against
apostasy laws, saying a Muslim’s decision to leave Islam is between that person
its report on “Administration of Matters Pertaining to Islam” released today,
G25 said various state laws penalising apostasy, whether by fines, imprisonment
or rehabilitation, were inconsistent with the Federal Constitution, which
guarantees freedom of religion.
11 (1) guarantees to every person in Malaysia, and not merely citizens or
non-Muslims, three distinct rights, i.e., the right to profess, practise and
propagate his religion,” the report released by Asiah Abu Samah, chairman of
the report’s working committee, said.
is no constitutionally permitted ground to prohibit the mere profession of
group noted, however, that the right to practise is subject to general laws
relating to public order, public health and morality.
the constitution, states are allowed to control or restrict the propagation of
any religious doctrine or belief among Muslims.
the Islamic perspective, G25 noted, no one can be coerced to believe in God. No
one should therefore be coerced to remain in Islam, it said.
it added: “Leaving Islam is something that is regrettable. A Muslim who wants
to exercise that choice should be persuaded to remain within the fold.
if he persists to forsake Islam, it is between him and God. There is no earthly
punishment provided in the Quran.”
said a democratic society would cease to exist if there was no respect for
freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
noted that Malaysia used to have clear laws to validate a person’s conversion
out of Islam.
laws have now been repealed and replaced with vague legal provisions in most
states” that allow Shariah High Courts to declare that a person is no longer a
Negeri Sembilan, it said, had an elaborate process for renouncing Islam.
present at the launch of the report were Suhakam commissioner Madeline Berma,
Parent Action Group for Education chairman Noor Azimah Rahim, prominent thinker
Chandra Muzaffar and Muslim activist Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa.
Killing Iran’s Soleimani was delivering ‘American justice’
US President, Donald Trump once again praised the last Friday’s drone strike by
US forces on Baghdad’s airport, killing a top Iranian military leader,
Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds forces.
the campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, Trump spent a lengthy part of his stump
speech defending his order to kill Suleimani and rejecting criticism from
Democrats who say he overstepped his authority with the US military’s drone
strike against the commander of Iran’s military al-Quds force at Baghdad
airport a week ago, Guardian reported.
accused Suleimani of organizing violent protests by Iran-backed groups at the
US embassy in Baghdad earlier this month. Trump, who frequently trumpets his
support of the US military, said that if he had not sent US troops to protect
the embassy, the demonstrators might have broken in and killed Americans or taken
them hostage, a repeat of the 2011 storming of a US diplomatic facility in
Benghazi, Libya, in which the US ambassador was killed.
week the United States once again took the bold and decisive action to save
American lives and deliver American justice,” he said.
appearance at the arena in Toledo was his first campaign rally of the 2020
election year, a sign of how critical the state is to his winning a second
four-year term in office next November. Trump won Ohio in 2016 by 8 percentage
points, flipping a state that had gone for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and
and his top advisers have said Suleimani was masterminding “imminent” attacks
against American targets in the Middle East, but have drawn criticism for not
providing more detail to back up the claim.
was actively planning new attacks and he was looking very seriously at our
embassies, and not just the embassy in Baghdad, but we stopped him and we
stopped him quickly and we stopped him cold,” Trump said.
Soleimani was a mastermind of Iran’s intelligence service who had established
several Shiite militia groups and networks to fight for his country’s interest
outside Iran’s border.
the death of Soleimani, Iran’s leaders warned the United States for an act of
launched dozens of ballistic missiles on two military bases in Iraq, housing US
forces on Wednesday morning; Iran immediately claimed they have killed at least
80 Americans, which was later refused by the US president, Donald Trump.
that remains for Pakistan now is to hope Gen Bajwa doesn’t turn out to be Gen
a few brave politicians and intellectuals objected to the overwhelming vote by
Pakistan’s parliament to extend the tenure of Army chief General Qamar Javed
Bajwa for another three years. Little debate or discussion preceded the vote,
as if parliament was rubber-stamping a decision rather than making one.
Qamar Bajwa now has a free hand to run Pakistan, with a minimal civilian
façade, backed by apparent parliamentary consensus and little opposition.
Bajwa’s confidantes say he will concentrate on enacting reforms that Pakistan’s
divided elite has failed to enact. He would like to use his position to create
circumstances to end future military interventions.
Pakistan’s history, there remains a lot of scepticism. But the army’s de facto
primacy in Pakistan has long been recognised and one wonders what difference,
if any, would be made by providing it de jure sanction through nearly unanimous
legislation. Opposition’s surrender
the few supporters of civilian supremacy in Pakistan’s public square, the
conduct of mainstream opposition parties – the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz
(PML-N) led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and Pakistan Peoples Party
(PPP) headed by former president Asif Zardari – was disappointing.
parties have spoken in the past against the Pakistani military’s political
role. But they conceded consolidation of power by the current military chief,
ostensibly in return for having criminal proceedings that had kept their
leaders in prison. Some politicians argued rather incredulously that by
bringing the matter to parliament, the Pakistani military was conceding
total of 315 legislators from various political parties in both houses of
parliament effectively voted in favour of General Bajwa’s extension. This marks
the end of the assumption that the military is content with ‘being on one page’
with the weak and ineffective prime minister, Imran Khan, and his Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The two major parties, PML-N and PPP, are expecting
fresh elections and would probably be happy to be General Bajwa’s new political
of political class
military has been the anchor for the ship of state in Pakistan since 1951. But
after the collapse of the military regime headed by General Pervez Musharraf in
2008, people thought the generals had understood that soldiers alone cannot
ensure a country’s progress. Instead of assuming power directly, they seemed
willing to share responsibility with the elected politicians in running
between Pakistan’s generals and politicians have never been smooth under
dyarchy, or dual control. There was always deference to the military’s concerns
in foreign policy and matters pertaining to national security. But the
politicians’ performance was far from exemplary even in their own domain.
politicians who pushed for greater control over policy-making in the last
decade now seem to have accepted that they cannot have that control. Mainstream
politics in Pakistan has become an arrangement for distribution of patronage,
in which opposition to the military is voiced primarily when a leader or a
political party faces allegations of corruption and bad governance.
Pakistan’s politicians been able to keep their hands relatively clean and
abided by constitutional norms and democratic traditions, the gradual
democratisation of Pakistan might have been easier.
generals are rightly blamed for their part in the country’s difficulties. But
the political class, too, has obstructed Pakistan’s transition along the lines
of Indonesia or Chile, where sustained civilian rule has successfully followed
General Qamar Bajwa became army chief in November 2016, he apparently decided
that Pakistan could not afford to be pulled in different directions by the
military and the civilians. There is considerable potential in stable
civil-military relations and Gen Bajwa expressed a desire to make Pakistan a
General Raheel Sharif, Bajwa did not want a personality cult for himself, nor
did he focus solely on getting an extension in his three-year tenure, as
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had preferred. After getting the three-year
extension in tenure, Bajwa’s interest is now said to be in correcting the
country’s course from General Headquarters (GHQ) through parliament and
is often the case with well laid out plans of absolute control, Pakistan’s
current dispensation has had its share of setbacks. The Supreme Court’s
outgoing Chief Justice, Asif Saeed Khosa, waited until the last few weeks of
his tenure to deliver a series of judgments that challenged Bajwa’s plans. The
extension of Bajwa’s tenure as army chief by three years was determined by the
Court as not possible under existing laws.
Supreme Court allowed a six-month extension to enable a legal fix, which has
come in the form of the latest amendment in the Pakistan Army Act. Consensus
among disparate parties in parliament to enable Bajwa’s extension was worked
out to help recover the military’s image. That image had been somewhat dented
by the Supreme Court’s challenge to Bajwa’s extension as well as another court
sentencing former army chief General Musharraf to death for treason over his
suspension of the Constitution in 2007.
Bajwa vs Gen Ayub Khan
secured his extension with parliament’s blessing, General Bajwa would now like
to focus on straightening out Pakistan’s economy, suppressing Jihadi terrorism,
working out a peace deal in Afghanistan, finding a balance in ties with China
and the US as well as between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and normalising relations
with India without giving up on Pakistan’s claims on Kashmir.
daunting agenda ahead might need more than a general’s sincerity and
patriotism. Bajwa stands now at a point similar to where General Ayub Khan
stood soon after taking over the reins of power in October 1958. Hardly anyone
opposed Ayub Khan’s authority in his first few months as Pakistan’s absolute
he progressed towards becoming Field Marshal, he found that his solutions to
some problems generated new issues. Some of his decisions turned allies into
critics and critics into virulent opponents.
Khan made the mistake of assuming that diverse opinions and policy
prescriptions were damaging for Pakistan; that politicians and
independent-thinking civilians were untrustworthy and lacking in national
spirit; and that learning from the past meant determining whom to blame rather
than figuring out what those mistakes might have been.
General Bajwa move past those assumptions?
Haqqani, director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute in
Washington D.C., was Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008-11.
His books include ‘Pakistan Between Mosque and Military,’ ‘India v Pakistan:
Why Can’t we be Friends’ and ‘Reimagining Pakistan’. Views are personal.
during a Taliban meeting in Pakistan kills 30 including ISI members: Sources
powerful explosion ripped through a religious school during a Taliban meeting
on Friday evening in Quetta, Pakistan claiming at least 30 dead including key
Taliban and ISI members, a security source confirmed.
reliable Afghan security source from the who did not want to be named in the
report told Khaama Press that according to intelligence reports, the explosion
took place when several key Taliban members including Sheikh Abdul Hakeem
(Taliban’s supreme judge), Sheikh Abdul Hakim’ss brother, 3 Pakistan’s ISI
members and some drug smugglers were sitting together on Friday evening in a
religious school, besides a prayer mosque in Ishaqabad area, in Quetta of
explosion has occurred during an important meeting between the Taliban
militants, ISI members, and drug smugglers”, the source said.
to this Afghan security source, at least 30 people have been killed in this
explosion including 3 ISI members, Sheikh Abdul Karim’s brother, Haji Mohammad
Halim, Mawlavi Haji Ahmad Khan, Gul Agha Akhund, Mawlavi Amanullah and Haji
Ahmad Khan, who were key Taliban members.
Abdul Hakeem has been seriously injured, the source said.
security source believes that the motive behind this explosion is due to the
recent internal conflicts between the Taliban members.
according to Pakistan news agencies, the incident has taken place in a mosque
during an evening prayer time, killing a senior police officer, 13 civilians
and injuring 20 other worshippers.
Minister Imran Khan and Baluchistan’s chief minister, Jam Kamal Khan, condemned
the attack. In a statement, Pakistan’s military said soldiers were at the scene
of the attack to assist civil authorities.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to the SITE intelligence
policies increasingly hurt Muslim causes worldwide
custodians of Islam’s two holiest sites have conveniently distanced themselves
from many issues affecting Muslims.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia claims to be the seat of Islam in great part because it
oversees the maintenance of Mecca and Medina – where the two holiest mosques
for Muslims are located — and hosts hajj, an annual pilgrimage.
the years, the Kingdom has faced criticism for not taking up the issues that
affect Muslims worldwide, leaving an impression that its political ideology is
more in sync with states like Israel and the US — both have waged pointless
wars against Muslim-majority countries.
its most recent move, the Saudi Kingdom reportedly made desperate attempts to
jeopardise a summit in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which focused on bringing
together leaders of various countries and discussing the problems that trouble
majority Muslim countries.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan was scheduled to attend the summit, the
Saudi Kingdom and its close ally the UAE allegedly mounted pressure on Khan,
asking him to back off from the event.
who initially promoted the summit, eventually gave in and cancelled his trip to
Malaysia at the last minute.
we see that Saudi Arabia pressures Pakistan. Now, there are promises that the
country has given to Pakistan regarding the central bank (fund deposits).
However, more than that, 4 million Pakistanis are working in Saudi Arabia. They
[threaten that they] would send [Pakistanis] back," Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was one of the main engineers of the meeting, told
reporters after the summit.
both material and political aspects, the Saudi Kingdom has immensely benefited
from being the custodian of Mecca and Medina. More than two million Muslims
visit the two holy sites each year to complete the hajj, an essential ritual in
Islam, which brings together people from different colours, backgrounds and
and the OIC
Kingdom gains political legitimacy from one of the key Islamic institutions,
its Jeddah-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which was founded
in 1969 when the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s third most sacred site,
came under an attack from Israel.
57 members, the OIC became the second largest international body but its
influence gradually decreased with time partly because of Riyadh and its
allies’ passive political stances regarding Muslim causes, from Palestine to
than seeking ways to strenghten the OIC to help liberate the Muslim communities
from occupying forces, the Kingdom’s inexperienced Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman (known as MBS) forged friendships with controversial figures like Jared
Kushner, a Jewish American supporter of the Zionist state, who is also the
son-in-law of the US President Donald Trump.
has come under intense criticism from the international community for his
alleged role in orchestrating the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident
and an international campaigner of Muslim causes, in the Kingdom’s Istanbul
decades, the Saudi military, which does not have a real war experience, has
been trained and equipped by the US.
have also helped enable dictators like Abdel Fattah al Sisi, Egypt's
general-turned-president, who ousted the country’s first democratically-elected
president, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in 2013 in a military coup.
the UAE and Saudi monarchies perceive the Muslim Brotherhood, a
religiously-minded movement, which exercises democracy and peaceful political
activism rather than armed struggle against autocratic regimes, as an
existential threat to their oppressive rule.
Libya, like Egypt, the Kingdom also shows its authoritarian nature, backing a
75-year-old warlord Khalifa Haftar against the UN-recognised Tripoli
has also been part of Yemen’s brutal civil war, bombing civilian areas
occasionally and becoming one of the root causes of the world’s worst
Kingdom has also given a muted response to India's aggressive military stance
on Kashmir, a UN-mandated disputed territory, whose semi-autonomous status was
recently violated by New Delhi. Instead of mounting pressure on India and
holding the country accountable for growing human rights abuses in Kashmir,
Riyadh and the UAE are more keen on building strong businessties with India's
right-wing government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been accused
of being complicit in the massacre of several thousand Muslims when he led the
state of Gujarat.
imitating Daesh in threatening Iran's cultural sites: Zarif
foreign minister says US threats to target landmarks important to the Iranian
culture are an imitation of the Daesh terrorist group's razing of the regional
countries' cultural heritage.
US "seeks to emulate the war crimes of Daesh, menacing the cultural
heritage of the millennia-old civilization of Iran," Mohammad Javad Zarif
wrote in a speech addressing a United Nations Security Council meeting of
remarks were read during the UN Security Council session by Iran's Ambassador
to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi after the US did not issue a visa in a clear
violation of its international obligations for Zarif to attend the meeting.
week, US President Trump threatened to attack Iran's "cultural sites"
in response to any Iranian retaliation of Washington's assassination of the
Middle East's most prominent anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani
Iran's missile strikes on two US bases in Iraq on Wednesday, Trump backed down
on his threats and offered negotiations with the Islamic Republic.
attack killed anti-Daesh heroes'
the Security Council meeting on Thursday, Zarif described the attack on Gen.
Soleimani and a number of his comrades as a "dastardly targeted
assassination" of "heroes who were the nightmare of groups such as
said Iran's Wednesday response to the assassinations was "measured and
proportionate" and within Iran's "right to self-defense in accordance
with Article 51" of the UN Charter.
Iranian foreign minister said the Trump administration has shown its utter
disregard for the UN Charter, lobbing "more and more threats and
attacks" against Iran and other sovereign nations.
highlighted Washington's attempts to derail the 2015 Iran nuclear deal,
punishing "anyone who attempts to comply with UN Resolution 2231 which
unequivocally endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action."
Iranian foreign minister also slammed Washington for what he described as its
"damaging" unilateralism and "defiance of international norms
world is at a crossroads. With the end of monopolies on power, one unhinged
regime is frantically clamoring to turn back time," he said.
parliament rejects proposed new government in a confidence vote
deeply fragmented parliament on Friday rejected a proposed new government in a
confidence vote, meaning a complex coalition-building process will need to start
again, with urgent economic reforms at stake.
prime minister Habib Jemli urged parliament to support his proposed cabinet as
the debate began on Friday morning, before a vote expected later in the day.
the only party in the deeply fragmented parliament to say it will back his
government is the moderate Islamist Ennahda, which nominated Jemli as prime
minister after coming first in the October 6 election with 53 of the 217 seats.
will be further mistrusted if it does not investigate crash properly: German FM
will be further mistrusted by the international community if the cause of the
Ukrainian plane crash is not fully investigated, said Germany's Foreign
Minister Heiko Maas on Friday.
MLA Says Pakistan Should Also Bring CAA; Take Away India's Aggrieved Muslims
Janata Party (BJP) MLA Vikram Saini made a controversial statement on Friday
saying Pakistan should also introduce the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and
take away India's persecuted Muslims to their country.
speaking to reporters, the BJP MLA from Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh said,
"Main toh kehta hun Pakistan ko bhi aisa kanoon (CAA) banana chahiye, jo
yaha par peedit Muslim hai unko Pakistan main nagrikta deni chahiye. [I think
Pakistan should also bring a law like this. The aggrieved Muslims living here
should be given citizenship in Pakistan.]"
BJP leader from UP also said India and Pakistan should exchange their
badli kar lo. Jo wahaan peedit hai vo Hindustan aa jane chahiye, jo yahan
peedit hai vo Pakistan chale jayein. Kaun rok raha hai?... Bilkul, 100 per cent
jaane chahiye." Vikram Saini said.
the video here:
Khatauli BJP MLA Vikram Saini says,"Pak ko bhi aisa kanoon banana chahiye
jo muslim yahan par pidit hain unko Pak me nagarikta deni chahiye, adla badli
kar lo,jo vahan pidit hain voh Hindustan aa jane chahiye, jo yahan pidit hain
vo Pak chale jayen kaun rok raha hai." #CAA
PM - Jan 10, 2020
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bodies extend support to student protests against CAA
the new citizenship law “unconstitutional”, Muslim organisations in a meeting
on Friday extended “full moral support to the struggles launched by the Jamia
Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University and other students and youths against
these laws (CAA)”.
meeting, attended by the Darul Uloom Deoband vice-chancellor, apart from
representatives of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Jamaat Islami Hind, Markazi
Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees, All India Milli Council and All India Muslim Majlis-e
Mushawarat, also condemned “in strongest possible terms the police attacks on
the students of Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University, Jawaharlal
Nehru University and Hyderabad Central University”.
NRC: Muslim outfits demand judicial inquiry into police high-handedness
DELHI: Prominent Muslim organisations on Friday expressed concern over the
“grim situation” in the country, particularly in BJP-ruled-states, over
protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of
revocation of the CAA, the groups sought judicial inquiry into police excesses
and compensation for victims of “police firing” during protests against the
controversial citizenship law.
organisations, after a meeting, also voiced concerns over the proposed NRC and
the National Population Registration, asserting that either NPR should be
withdrawn or its additional clauses be removed.
meeting of Muslim organisations, held under the chairmanship of Jamiat
Ulema-e-Hind president Maulana Arshad Madani, was attended by Darul Uloom
Deoband vice -chancellor, representatives of Jamaat Islami Hind, Markazi
Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees, All India Milli Council, All India Muslim Majlis-e
Mushawarat, and prominent leaders from various parts of the country.
meeting took stock of the situation prevailing in the country and deliberated
upon the CAA, while reviewing the “ongoing movement and struggle” against the
controversial law in detail, a statement issued by the Jamiat said.
Qaboos was a true friend to India, says PM Narendra Modi
Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condoled the demise of Oman’s Sultan Qaboos
bin Said. He said Qaboos’s strong leadership had built a vibrant strategic
partnership between India and Oman and that he was a true “friend to India”.
to Twitter, Modi said, “Sultan Qaboos was a true friend of India and provided
strong leadership for developing a vibrant strategic partnership between India
and Oman. I will always cherish the warmth and affection I received from him.
May his soul rest in peace.”
deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos
bin Said al Said. He was a visionary leader and statesman who transformed Oman
into a modern and prosperous nation. He was a beacon of peace for our region
and the world.
image on Twitter
Qaboos was a true friend of India and provided strong leadership for developing
a vibrant strategic partnership between India and Oman. I will always cherish
the warmth and affection I received from him. May his soul rest in peace.
AM - Jan 11, 2020
people are talking about this
his nearly five decades in power, Qaboos, 79, transformed his Persian Gulf
kingdom from an isolated enclave into a developed nation. He was known for
brokering quiet talks between global foes.
this story in Malayalam
as the longest-serving leader in the Arab world, he used Oman’s place in a
turbulent region, next to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, to become
a discreet but essential diplomatic player.
admin revokes PSA against 26 people
Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday revoked detention warrants issued
under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for 26 individuals from different parts of
the detainees, 11 hail from Baramulla, followed by Pulwama (seven), Kulgam
(three), Anantnag (three) and one each from Shopian and Srinagar districts,
according to an official statement.
in the administration told The Indian Express that the move to withdraw PSA
against these individuals was done “after a regular review by the competent
authority”. They said 11 of the detainees were being held in Kashmir, and 15
were lodged in jails outside the Union Territory.
revocation of the PSA comes days after a delegation of some former ministers
and ex-legislators, mostly from PDP, had called on Lt Governor G C Murmu
seeking, among other demands, a compassionate policy for PSA detainees who are
citizens of J&K. They had said it would be a great confidence building
measure if the cases of these PSA detainees were to be reviewed on
compassionate and lenient grounds to facilitate their early release.
list of detainees against whom the PSA was revoked Friday includes Nazir Ahmed
Ronga (55), the former president of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar
Association. Ronga, who has been under detention since August 5 at Central Jail
Muradabad, was detained for being “very vocal against abolishing of Article 370
and 35 A of Constitution of India and also against bifurcation of erstwhile
cited against him also included his leading “many protests marches in this behalf”
which, the administration said, “created problems in public order within
District Srinagar.Your capacity can be gauged from this fact that you were able
to convince your electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers during poll
boycotts”. Baramulla District Bar president Abdul Salam Rather is also included
in the list.
Jammu and Kashmir PSA is an Act that allows the government to detain a person
without trial for a period of three to six months. The Act was promulgated in
1978 by the Sheikh Abdullah government as an administrative detention aimed to
keep the timber smugglers “out of circulation”. However, over the past
three-and-a-half decades, the government has frequently used it against its
porter killed as Pakistan troops resort to unprovoked firing along LoC in
army porter was killed and two others injured as Pakistani troops resorted to
unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire along the Line of Control (LoC)
in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district Friday.
said they were moving in Kasuliyan village when a Pakistani shell fell nearby
injuring all the three. They were rushed to a local hospital where one of the
behind Pakistan Sikh youth’s murder, held: Police
murder of a member of the Sikh community in Peshawar was not a ‘targeted’
attack but was carried out by his fiance who had hired hitmen as she did not
wish to marry him, The Express Tribune reported quoting police.
officials, the leading Pakistan daily said Ravinder Singh’s fiance Prem Kumari
had promised the contract killers Rs 7,00,000 and that a part of the amount was
already paid in advance. “She promised the hitmen Rs 7,00,000 for Ravinder’s
murder. A part of the committed money was paid in advance, while the rest had
to be paid after the murder,” the official was quoted as saying by the
had condemned the killing of Singh, who was shot dead by unknown assailants on
Saturday. In a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
had asked Islamabad to “stop prevaricating” and protect its minorities.
to the probe team, Ravinder was murdered in Mardan and his body was shifted to
Peshawar by the hitmen. His fiance, Prem Kumari, was taken into custody at
Mardan, an investigator told the newspaper.
Peshawar, the hitmen dumped the body at a deserted place and called the family
from Ravinder’s phone to demand ransom or else they would kill him. All this
was done to divert any investigations into the murder,” the officer said.
a resident of Shangla district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was killed on Saturday
night when he was out shopping for his marriage to be held six weeks later. He
is the younger brother of Harmeet Singh, the “first Sikh TV anchor in Pakistan”
who works with Public News in Pakistan.
table private members bill in Parliament to check religious conversions,’ says
order to check the flow of overseas funds “meant for religious conversions in
India” and to ensure that the “Hindu majority” remains intact, Subramanian
Swamy, national executive member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rajya
Sabha MP, on Friday said he will table a private members bill in the Parliament
to enable the government draft a pan-India freedom of religion bill that will
make permission from district collectors mandatory for religious conversions.
are seeing that a lot of money is coming from foreign countries for religious
conversions. In many regions, including Tamil Nadu and the South Indian states,
they are very active,” said Swamy while interacting with mediapersons at Indus
University. He said money was also coming into India to help people convert to
Islam. “In order to preserve the country’s heritage and culture, it is
important to see that India remains a Hindu majority country,” he said.
request the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) to bring in a national freedom of
religion bill wherein the district administration conducts an investigation
into applications (for conversions) before clearing it,” he said adding that
persons found to be lured into conversions in return of money should not be
allowed to convert.
said this pan-India freedom of religion bill is already in place in several
states, including Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh. “I am thinking
that in the next Parliament session, after the Budget is presented, I will
bring in a private members bill to request our government to pass an Act in
this regard,” the MP added.
addressing the students and faculty members at the Indus University on the
outskirts of the Ahmedabad, Swamy said, despite having battled Islamic forces
for the past 600 years and Christians for 200 years, Hindus form 82 per cent of
the population. Narrating how the 100 per cent of population of Persia ruled by
Zoroastrians were converted to Islam, Swamy said populations of Babylon and
Mesopotamia which lie in modern day Iraq and Egypt were converted to Islam in
17 years and 21 years respectively. “The Christians converted 100 per cent of
Europe in 50 years. But in this country, war was waged for 600 years with Islam
and 200 years with Christians who were the British and yet we are 82 per cent
Hindu. What does that mean?” he said.
have to recognise that we are under threat. The whole world wants us to believe
that we are not the ancient Hindu civilisation and that we are a new country.
We are a not a new country. We are a new Republic. Our national identity is the
same and we are culturally one people…,” Swamy said.
society, Kashmiri migrants, Pak refugees narrate their woes to visiting foreign
Members of civil society told 15 visiting foreign envoys that successive
governments had adopted a casual attitude towards the “discriminatory” Article
370 and hoped for early restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, while
Kashmiri migrants, refugees from Pakistan, Gorkhas and Valimkis also narrated their
stories of woe.
15 envoys — Mohamed Maliki (Morocco), S Chris Eze (Nigeria), Goldwin David
Pollard (Guyana), Daniel Chuburu (Argentina), S Ramon Bagatsing (Philippines),
Hans Jocob Frdenlund (Norway), Aishath Mohamed Didi (Maldives), Yogesh Punija (Fiji),
Kondi Mani (Togo), Pham Sanh Chau (Vietnam), Kenneth Juster (US); Bong-kil Shin
(S. Korea), Ado Leko (Niger), Rokebul Haque (Bangladesh) and Maria Mercedes Gil
Juscamaita (Peru) — are on a scheduled two-day visit to J&K to get
first-hand reports on the ground situation after the nullification of Art 370.
some of the envoys asked why they had remained silent for so many years if Art
370 was discriminatory, Labha Ram Gandhi, a refugee from Pakistan, claimed,
“For over seven decades we have been struggling against this article but our
voice was repeatedly gagged by the ruling elites through the state apparatus.”
publisher initiates ‘reboot Malaysia’ campaign to end interracial hate, rebuild
Jan 10 — The managing director of Kumpulan Karangkraf Datuk Hussamuddin Yaacub
has started a campaign aimed at restoring interracial harmony in plural
Malaysia amid growing divisiveness over communal rights.
his opinion piece in Malay daily Sinar Harian today, published by the group,
Hussamuddin called Malaysians to support his campaign called “Uninstall Hatred
dan Reboot Malaysia”.
all have one similarity, which is to throw away the hatred in the community so
that we can live harmoniously with other communities.
hope this will be a good start to unite all Muslims and the people of Malaysia.
We have to stop talking about hot issues and the leaders should find solutions.
Everything has a solution, it’s just whether we want to do it or not,” he
his opinion piece, Hussamuddin said interracial and interreligious ties in
Malaysia have been simmering for the past 20 years.
alluded to the recent nationwide uproar over Chinese New Year decorations in a
Puchong school, triggered by the vice-president of a fledgling Malay party
Putra as an example of the deterioration of racial and religious harmony in the
reminded the government that seemingly petty issues could potentially turn into
powder kegs and destroy Malaysia’s multiculturalism if handled poorly.
the tanglung decoration was protested at the school, seven ministers, including
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail had to go to the school to
action by the ministers is not productive. It will only cause Muslims who never
hated tanglung to hate (it) now.
is because when the jawi issue was protested by Dong Zong and non-Malay
leaders, the Malay leaders were quiet. This is what makes the Malays angry,”
said the previous government’s management of racial and religious matters was
not good, but added that the current government was also handling it poorly.
leaders have to stop this. Don’t let the Jawi and Dr Zakir Naik issues be
prolonged. These are all small matters. I urge all leaders, public and the
media to not exaggerate such issues.
non-Muslim leaders should explain to Dong Zong. Leaders from DAP and PKR have
to understand the contents that were written in Jawi in the three pages of the
primary school textbook.
the non-Malays can accept this, then the Malays may not be questioning tanglung
decoration in schools or the issue of Chinese vernacular schools,” he added.
stressed that even he would not accept any education policy where all subjects
are made compulsory to be taught in jawi script.
right now it’s only three pages and it’s so difficult for us to accept it. If
we want to live in harmony, we should be open to the introduction of jawi,” he
also alluded to controversy surrounding Mumbai-born preacher, Dr Zakir Naik —
popular with Muslim Malaysians but who is regarded as offensive by non-Muslims.
said the preacher was only one person and played down concerns that he is to be
feared, despite his widespread influence.
called for speeches that are not beneficial and insulting others to be replaced
with content that mirrors the Quran.
suggest that the religious minister and ustaz who teaches in schools to include
the spirit of al-Quran on people instead of condemning people.
only the Chinese and Indian should improve themselves, but also Muslims should
also improve themselves. The leaders should be brave to take action in uniting
everyone,” he wrote.
makes some equate talk about Islam with Islamisation, says Anwar
LUMPUR: Anwar Ibrahim said “sheer ignorance” has led to some people thinking
that any talk about Islam is tantamount to Islamisation or Arabisation.
PKR president said this when recalling the dialogue on Islam and Confucianism
held on Nov 30 in Penang, which was attended by 400 Muslim and 400 Chinese
said many of the Chinese leaders had told him that it was their first time
attending such a talk.
is why, because of the sheer ignorance, there is so much prejudice to the
extent that anything you talk about Islam becomes Islamisation or Arabisation,”
he said when delivering his keynote address at the International Unity in
Diversity Conference here.
Anwar did not deny that “there may be some elements” to it.
the recent controversy sparked by the government’s decision to introduce khat
(Jawi caligraphy) in vernacular schools, Chinese educationist group Dong Zong
cited research by “some scholars and literary experts” that showed khat had
been used as a medium to spread Islam.
then education minister Maszlee Malik had denied that introducing khat was a
form of Islamisation.
late last month, the education ministry dismissed accusations that it was
forcing Islamisation on students in public schools and universities, following
the leak of a letter allowing a government religious foundation to carry out
Islamic programmes there.
ministry said the permission given to the government’s Islamic Propagation
Foundation of Malaysia, or Yadim, was to only involve Muslim students.
a related matter, Anwar said one could not defeat the purveyors of extremism or
terror if one was completely ignorant of Islam.
NGOs call for end to military action against Iran
LUMPUR, Jan 10 ― About 50 people representing non-governmental organisations
staged a protest outside the United States’ embassy today, calling for an end
to military action against Iran.
by Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), the group managed to submit a memorandum to
the embassy which stated five demands.
five demands are ― to put an end to the belligerent actions and war-mongering
rhetoric coming from the US; the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq;
restraint on the part of both the Iran and the US to avoid another war
happening in the Middle East region, end to sanctions on Iran and close down
all US foreign military bases outside of its country.
memorandum was undersigned by 47 NGOs which include Suarat Rakyat Malaysia,
Aliran, Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (Abim), G25, Kuala Lumpur-Selangor
Chinese Assembly Hall Youth and Socialist Alliance (Australia), among others.
who will die, like the soldiers are ordinary people, not those in high places
sitting at the comfort of their offices.
want to urge everyone to speak up. Injustice is injustice, it doesn’t matter
what race or religion. People of all races must come out otherwise these
problems will continue to happen,” said party chairman Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj
when met by reporters on Jalan Tun Razak.
the war in Iraq, it will destabalise the regime and create very extreme groups.
you push, this will cause chaos. Especially when you back one militia against
the other militia (arm the Sunni to fight the Shiah, arm the Shiah to fight the
Sunni). These are the problems that will arise, and you cannot turn it off,” Dr
also pointed out that the whole Islamic State and extremism is caused by
Americans and Britains, not due to the religion itself.
30 to 40 years of mishandling the issue, it takes a long time to negotiate
are a global community, what happens there will affect us. Malaysians will also
get pulled there and get radicalised,” he said.
protest today came after the US government’s assassination of Iranian general
Qasem Soleimani with a drone strike in Iraq last Friday.
general was one of 10 individuals killed as he departed from his plane at the
Baghdad International Airport, where he had just arrived from either Lebanon or
Syria. Largely considered a national hero in his homeland, Qasem was
alternately held by the US government to be a terrorist who assisted Iran’s
allies in their attacks on American troops based in the Middle East.
PSM central committee member S. Arutchelvan, who was also present at the
protest ,said peace can only be achieved in the Middle East when US military
bases are removed.
we want world peace, the US troops must leave the Middle Eastern countries.
long as they are there, problems in relation to Syria, Libya, and most recently
Iran, will continue.
the first time to date, we see that the Iraq community is calling for the US
troops to leave the country. This is a strong message indicating that the US
troops are no longer welcomed in Iraq,” he said.
added that there was no reason for the US military bases to be stationed in
the point of the US remaining there (Iraq). Just to sell their weapons?” he
questions constitutional validity of Jakim, national Islamic council
LUMPUR: The G25 group of former top civil servants has alleged that the
government took unconstitutional actions when it established the National
Council for Islamic Affairs (NCIA) and the Islamic development corporation
known as Jakim.
a report on the “Administration of Matters Pertaining to Islam” released this
morning, the group said there were no provisions in the constitution for the
two bodies to be set up.
NCIA was instituted to be the highest national authority for the coordination
of Islamic administrative matters. Jakim serves as its secretariat.
pertaining to the Muslim religion and Malay customs are within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the state legislatures and the state executive councils,” the
report presented by Asiah Abu Samah, chairman of the report’s working
acknowledged that the people who drafted the Federal Constitution did propose
allowing the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, in consultation with the Conference of
Rulers, to set up a department to coordinate religious affairs at the federal
it said this was never included in the final document.
report noted that the powers of the Conference of Rulers, which are limited to
those prescribed under Article 38 of the constitution, do not include
establishing a federal agency such as the NCIA or Jakim.
that as it may, we do appreciate that the intention of establishing the NCIA is
to have a federal agency to coordinate and to promote uniformity in the
administration of Islamic law among the states,” it said.
constitution would need to be amended If there was a need for such an agency,
even if the NCIA were to be legally established, it added, its role would be
confined to advising the states, which would not be obliged to heed its advice.
noted that Jakim, on top of serving as the NCIA secretariat, had also been
entrusted with such functions as the development of Islam and missionary
substance of these functions, arguably, exceed the executive authority of the
federation (exercisable by the Cabinet), given that the executive authority of
the federation does not extend to the Muslim religion except for the Federal
Territories only,” the report said.
Cabinet’s entrusting of these specific functions to Jakim was therefore
inconsistent with the constitution, it said.
report said a legal challenge of the validity of these functions could provide
greater clarity and would “be of great public interest, particularly given that
much of the deliberations of the NCIA or Jakim do not seem to be openly
available to the public”.
report was launched at the Persatuan Alumni Universiti Malaya clubhouse in
Kong issues travel warning on Iran after escalation of US-Iran tensions
Kong warned its residents on Friday to avoid “non-essential” travel to Iran,
days after Tehran launched missile attacks on US-led forces in Iraq in
retaliation for a US drone strike that killed an Iranian commander.
a red alert, which implies a significant threat, on travel to Iran, Hong Kong’s
Security Bureau said residents should avoid non-essential travel, including
already there should monitor the situation, exercise caution, attend to
personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people,” it said in
will not discuss withdrawal of US troops from Iraq: US State Department
delegation the United States would send to Iraq would not discuss the
withdrawal of US troops from the country, the US State Department said on
Friday, saying the force presence there was “appropriate.”
does, however, need to be a conversation between the US and Iraqi governments
not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic
partnership,” department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
says he believes Soleimani was targeting ‘four embassies’
Confronted by persistent questions about his military action in the Middle
East, President Donald Trump and his top officials offered a string of fresh
explanations Friday, with Trump now contending Iranian militants had planned
major attacks on four US embassies.
hours earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the US didn’t know when
or where attacks might occur. Trump and other officials insisted anew that
Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani had posed an imminent threat to the US, but they
rebuffed repeated attempts to explain what they meant by “imminent.”
meanwhile, announced additional sanctions against Iran, which he had promised
after a barrage of missiles fired by the Islamic State against American bases
in Iraq earlier this week.
Iranian missiles, which caused no casualties, were prompted in turn by the US
drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week in Baghdad. That US
assault set off a chain of events that may have included the downing of a
Ukrainian jetliner, possibly by an Iranian missile, and calls by the Iraqi
government to expel US troops from their country.
demands ‘accountability’ after Iran plane admission
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday that “closure, accountability”
are needed after Iran admitted it had downed the Ukraine airliner, killing 176,
57 of whom are Canadians.
also demanded “transparency and justice for the families and loved ones of the
believes Iran was targeting four US embassies: Fox News
Donald Trump said on Friday Iran probably had targeted the US embassy in
Baghdad and was aiming to attack four US embassies when its top general, Qassem
Soleimani, was killed in a US drone strike.
will tell you probably it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad,” Trump said
in a clip of an interview on Fox News.
US stands with Ukraine, ready to support investigation
US stands with Ukraine and is ready to support the ongoing investigation into
the Ukrainian International Airlines plane which crashed in Iran, said US
Secretary of State Pompeo on Twitter.
added that he had spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to express
his condolences and signaled that the US would support the investigation into
the causes of the crash.
with Ukrainian President @ZelenskyyUa to express my deepest condolences for the
lives lost in the tragic crash of Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752.
We stand with #Ukraine and are ready to offer our support and assistance in the
PM - Jan 10, 2020
people are talking about this
crash killed 176 people, including 11 Ukrainians.
Zelenskiy said he had received important data from the US about the flight.
leaders have said that it is likely the plane was brought down by an Iranian
surface-to-air missile, which Iran denies.
more ‘teary eyes’ from Trudeau: Iranian-Canadians demand action on crash
and families of some of the 63 Canadians killed in a Ukrainian plane crash in
Iran are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take a tougher stance
after Ottawa accused Iran of having downed the plane, albeit probably by
while Trudeau faces pressure at home to respond strongly, his options are few.
Iran has said it will allow Canadian, US, and other international officials to
participate in the investigation into Wednesday’s crash.
said on Thursday that the airliner was likely brought down by an Iranian
missile, a view echoed by the United States and Britain. Iran denied that the
airliner had been hit by a missile, and asked Canada to supply proof.
prime minister “completely misses the point” when he does not condemn the
Iranian government, said Ali Ashtari, 39, a data scientist from Toronto who
lost a friend in the crash.
said Canada should designate the entire Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps
(IRGC) as a terrorist organization and impose sanctions on them.
is the minimum that we want from the government,” Ashtari said at a vigil in
Toronto. “Otherwise it’s just giving speech with teary eyes, it gives nothing.”
said that Ottawa had demanded Canadian access to Iran to provide consular
services, identify victims and participate in the crash investigation. Shooting
down the plane may have been unintentional, he said, adding that he was
“standing with” mourners.
crash, which killed all 176 people on board, occurred as Iran was on alert for
possible reprisals after it launched missiles to attack US troops in Iraq.
would just urge him (Trudeau) to use all his power to find out what really happened
and hold the responsible accountable,” Amir Arsalani, who lost his sister Evin
Arsalani, her husband Hiva Molani and their one-year-old daughter Kurdia Molani
in the crash, told Reuters.
broke off diplomatic ties with Iran in 2012, and trade is already limited by
sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program. The government lists the
Revolutionary Guards’ overseas arm, the Quds Force, as a terrorist group and
has imposed sanctions on senior individuals and specific entities connected to
the broader organization.
means Trudeau has few ways to punish Iran in the short term.
cannot go without consequence,” said Edmonton engineering student Ali Azimi,
21, whose professor was killed. “If it is determined and proven that this was
related to a missile launch, we need to make the government of Iran pay.”
was asked this week whether the United States should be held at least partially
responsible for the crash, given that tensions in the region ignited after a US
drone killed Qassem Soleimani, the former leader of the Quds Force.
is too soon to be drawing conclusions or assigning blame or responsibility in
whatever proportions,” he told reporters.
whether he supported the US government's assertion that killing Soleimani
prevented an imminent attack, he replied: “The Americans made a decision based
on their threat assessment.”
between Trudeau and US President Donald Trump are formal at best, with Trudeau
last month caught on camera joking about the US president, and Trump calling
was no benefit to the government “to make a big public statement” about the
United States, further souring relations, said Stephanie Carvin, a former
national security analyst and international relations professor at Carleton
University in Ottawa.
however are increasingly concerned that we are collateral damage in several
campaigns by the United States in achieving its political objectives without
any consultations whatsoever,” she said. “(This) is probably top of mind and
that is not good for our long-term relationship.”
government officials including the prime minister’s office were not immediately
available for comment.
said on Friday it wanted to download black box recordings itself, and that a
probe into the crash could take up to two years.
chief backs assessment Iran missile downed plane
chief Jens Stoltenberg said Friday he had no reason to doubt reports from
Western capitals suggesting an Iranian missile brought down a Ukrainian
airliner, killing 176 people.
will not go into details about our intelligence but what I can say is we have
no reason to not believe the reports we have seen from different NATO-allied
capitals,” Stoltenberg said.
and Britain have both said Iran shot down the plane outside Tehran, possibly
activist says Trump ‘bears some blame’ for Ukraine plane crash outside Tehran
American political activist says US President Donald Trump “bears some blame”
for this week’s crash of a Ukrainian plane outside Tehran, which took place
after Trump massively escalated tensions in the region by ordering the
assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.
Benjamin, a co-founder of Code Pink, a women-led anti-war group, said on
Twitter the crash was a “tragic collateral damage."
military says it was at its highest level of alert amid the heightened tensions
with the US and in the confusion, they accidentally shot down the plane,”
Benjamin tweeted on Saturday.
bears some blame, don’t you think? Tragic collateral damage from his murder of
Soleimani,” she added.
military says it was at its highest level of alert amid the heightened tensions
with the US and in the confusion, they accidentally shot down the plane. Trump
bears some blame, don’t you think? Tragic collateral damage from his murder of
AM - Jan 11, 2020
people are talking about this
International Airlines Flight 752, which was operating a Boeing 737-800, went
down near Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.
says the aircraft had flown close to a sensitive military site and been brought
down due to human error "at a time of crisis caused by US
a statement issued on Saturday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the
Islamic Republic of Iran said that at the time of the incident, the forces had
been on the highest alert.
176 people on the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight died in the crash
just after take-off from Tehran on a flight to Kiev.
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered Iran's "profound regrets, apologies
and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other
sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:
Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,"
US military carried out an airstrike on the direction of Trump at Baghdad’s
international airport last Friday, assassinating Gen. Soleimani and the
second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi
al-Muhandis, as well as eight other companions.
Wednesday, Iran responded to the assassination, striking the American airbase
of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq and another in Erbil, the
capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called the assassination “provocative
and disproportionate,” and other members of Congress said they were unconvinced
after a closed-door intelligence briefing provided by administration officials.
administration imposes new sanctions on Iran
administration of US President Donald Trump has imposed new sanctions on Iran
targeting the country’s metals sector and several senior government officials
following Tehran’s retaliation for the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant
General Qassem Soleimani.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced
the new measures at a press conference at the White House on Friday.
sanctions were initially promised by Trump on Wednesday after Iran launched
more than a dozen missiles on two airbases in Iraq housing US troops.
new sanctions targeted the Iranian construction, manufacturing, textiles,
mining, aluminum, copper, iron and steel industries, Mnuchin said.
also imposed bans on eight senior Iranian officials, saying they were involved
in the missile strike on the bases housing American troops.
are announcing additional sanctions on the Iranian regime as a result of the
attack on U.S. and allied troops,” Mnuchin said. “Today’s sanctions are part of
our commitment to stop the Iranian regime’s global terrorist activities.”
think we have 100 percent confidence and we are consistent in our view that the
economic sanctions are working,” he said. “That if we didn’t have these
sanctions in place, literally Iran would have tens of billions of dollars. They
would be using that for terrorist activities throughout the region and to enable
them to do more bad things.”
Trump administration’s latest baseless accusations against Iran come after the
US military launched a terrorist strike on Iran’s most prominent anti-terror
commander in Iraq on January 3.
US military carried out an airstrike on the direction of Trump at Baghdad’s
international airport early on Friday, assassinating General Soleimani and the
second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi
al-Muhandis, as well as eight other companions.
on Wednesday, Iran responded to the assassination, striking the American
airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq and another in Erbil,
the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
missile attack on US bases in Iraq was in defiance of Trump's threats to Iran
not to retaliate and presents him with the biggest crisis of his presidency to
date, according to an editorial by CNN.
of Americans believe Pres. Trump's behavior with Iran was 'reckless,' according
to a USA Today/ Ipsos poll. https://on.msnbc.com/36ISiBv
GOP attempt to re-frame Democratic criticism
the president now says he ordered the killing of Gen. Soleimani because he was
plotting to blow up U.S. embassies, Trump and some GOP allies are trying to
claim Dems who question the killing are...
PM - Jan 10, 2020
people are talking about this
vast majority of Americans say the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani has
made America less safe and shows that Trump's behavior with Iran is
"reckless," according to a new poll.
USA Today/Ipsos poll found that Americans, by 55%-24%, said they believe the
killing has made the United States less safe, rejecting a fundamental argument
the Trump administration has made.
officials connected to Israel lobby pushed Trump to order Soleimani’s
US officials in President Donald Trump’s administration who are "heavily
connected" to the Israel lobby and US arms industry pressured Trump to
order the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, says a
political analyst in Virginia.
reason he did that seems to have been due to the influence of his immediate
circle of advisers,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark
Esper, these were the people who pushed the president towards carrying out the
assassination,” Preston told Press TV on Wednesday.
are individuals that are heavily connected to the Israeli lobby in the United
States; these are individuals that are heavily connected to the American
military–industrial complex, which profits heavily from American sales of
armaments to Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Preston added.
and more, the fingerprints of Israel, and to some degree Saudi Arabia, are on
this particular action,” he added.
US military carried out an airstrike on the direction of Trump at Baghdad’s
international airport last Friday, assassinating Soleimani and the
second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi
al-Muhandis, as well as eight other companions.
Trump administration claims it carried out the assassination to avert an
"imminent attack," which is being faced with growing suspicion and
skepticism in the US.
of countries attending a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday condemned the
Trump administration for killing Soleimani, the Middle East's most prominent
USA Today/Ipsos poll released Thursday found that Americans, by 55%-24%, said
they believe the killing of General Soleimani has made the United States less
safe, rejecting a fundamental argument the Trump administration has made that
the assassination made the US safer.
poll also found that a majority of those surveyed, by 52%-34%, called Trump's behavior with Iran
a Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Tuesday found that 53 percent of adults in
the US disapprove of Trump's handling of Iran, which is an increase of about 9
percentage points from a similar poll that ran in the middle of December.
US House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday to stop Trump from
further military action against Iran, rebuking the president days after he
ordered the killing of Soleimani and escalated tensions in the region.
Pakistani immigrants in Bosnia refuse to return, Senate body told
Around 3,000 illegal Pakistani immigrants detained in inhuman conditions in
Bosnia have refused assistance from the government of Pakistan to return home.
Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Aman Rashid told the Senate Standing
Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development that the Jungle
Migrants Camp in Vucjak was located on the border with European Union (EU).
These Pakistanis, mostly youngsters, are waiting for an opportunity to escape
into EU in the hope of better jobs.
from the Pakistani mission in Bosnia have visited the detainees seven times and
offered them a chance to be shifted to a detention centre with better
facilities. But they declined the offer because the new camp is far from the
border and minimises their chances of escaping into Europe,” he said.
of the committee had taken up the issue after some Pakistanis in the Jungle
Migrants Camp sent messages to be rescued and repatriated.
of the committee Hilalur Rehman said he had watched disturbing videos of
Pakistani immigrants locked up in the camp, and had been requesting the
government to assist.
official told the committee that governments deliberately created an unbearably
inhospitable environment for migrants hoping that they would eventually return.
also prefer miserable conditions hoping that someone would take notice of their
conditions and release them, said Mr Rashid, adding the Pakistanis were not
prisoners.Pakistanis mostly escape through Iran. The meeting was told that the
border trade agreement between Iran and Pakistan was exploited. Under the agreement,
settlements on both sides conduct trade.
of the drug smuggling and human trafficking happen through that section of the
border,” the special secretary said, explaining if the route was monitored
illegal activities could be curbed significantly.
said Greek and Italian ambassadors regularly registered complaints with Foreign
Office regarding illegal immigration from Pakistan.
official suggested that the government should fully exploit an offer from Japan
to take in 350,000 skilled, semiskilled and unskilled workforce from all over
Noor, an official from the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, told the committee
that Japan had had to revisit its immigration policy as its population growth
runs into negative figures.
needs manpower in the automobile, fisheries, agriculture, food service
industry, construction, shipping and food and beverages. However, Japan will
not compromise on language and skills, which are the two most important
requirements to settle in Japan,” said the official.The committee also took up
400 cases of human trafficking referred by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis
to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
FIA told the meeting that out of the 400 cases, 40 pertained to cancellation of
licences of travel agents and 63 were for action against illegal advertisements
in newspapers. Another 87 cases related to legal action against agents and
meeting was informed that an inquiry had been launched into 92 cases, another
68 cases were being verified, only two first information reports (FIR) had been
registered and no evidence would be found in 28 cases.
Blast Claimed by ISIS Kills at Least 15 in Pakistan Mosque Used by Taliban
Salman Masood and Zia ur-Rehman
Pakistan — A bomb blast inside a mosque in southwestern Pakistan, believed to
be frequented by senior Taliban figures, killed at least 15 people on Friday
and wounded at least 18 more, according to police officials.
of the wounded were in critical condition, and hospital authorities feared the
death toll could climb further.
blast tore through a mosque during evening prayers in Quetta, the provincial
capital of Baluchistan Province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to the SITE
local leader of a religious political party in Pakistan, who is familiar with
Taliban networks in the country and spoke on condition of anonymity because of
fear for his safety, said that the mosque was sometimes used by a Taliban
leader, Mawlawi Abdul Hakeem, but he was not present at the time of the attack.
Taliban and the Islamic State have battled each other for control of territory
in Afghanistan, and Afghan Taliban leaders have long used sanctuaries across
the border in Pakistan. But Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman,
said that no Taliban leader was present and no meeting was taking place at the
mosque when it was struck with the bombing.
head cleric of the mosque and a police officer were among those killed.
troops reached the mosque soon after the bombing and cordoned off the area for
civil and military leaders condemned the bombing, calling it an act of
who targeted innocents in a mosque can never be true Muslim,” said Gen. Qamar
Javed Bajwa, the Pakistan army chief, as quoted by a military spokesman, Maj.
Gen. Asif Ghafoor.
has a history of sectarian and militant-related violence. Sunni militant groups
there have in the past targeted the country’s minority Shiite Muslims. And a
secessionist group, the Baluchistan Liberation Army, has waged a low-level
insurgency for years. The secessionists are demanding more autonomy and a
greater share in the region’s natural resources, such as gas and oil.
treason case was filed without cabinet’s approval, LHC told
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday posed questions regarding the legality of
the treason case filed against former military strongman General (r) Pervez
Musharraf and the formation of the special court that conducted the trial and
handed death sentence to the retired general after finding him guilty.
three-member bench, comprising Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Mohammad
Ameer Bhatti and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir, was hearing a set of
petitions filed by Musharraf challenging multiple actions against him,
including his conviction for high treason, the establishment of the trial court
and filing of the complaint by the government.
Ali Zafar, who has been appointed as the court’s amicus curiea in the case,
said that the case against Musharraf seemed to have been filed on the behest of
then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, as there is no record of the matter being on
the agenda of any of the cabinet meetings held at the time.
case under Article 6 cannot be filed without the cabinet’s approval,” Barrister
Zafar insisted. The court asked if the matter was on the agenda of any cabinet
meeting, to which Zafar responded in the negative.
of the cabinet meetings were held on the matter,” Barrister Zafar said.
was history’s most important matter; can the cabinet discuss it without it
being an agenda item?” the bench asked.
Bhatti pointed out that during a recent case pertaining to the extension and
reappointment of the army chief, the strength of the cabinet was discussed.
in Pervez Musharraf’s case, the cabinet’s approval or its role cannot be seen,”
the judge said. Justice Bhatti was referring to a recent case pertaining to the
tenure of the army chief heard by the Supreme Court, where the bench had
inquired how many members of the federal cabinet had approved Prime Minister
Imran Khan’s decision to extend the tenure of Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
June 21, 2013, the attorney general sent a summary to the prime minister that a
case be prepared against Pervez Musharraf under Article 6,” Barrister Zafar
told the court. “The interior secretary was given the authority to file a complaint
on December 29, 2013.”
case that was prepared was not in accordance with the law, neither was the
formation of the special court in accordance with the law,” Zafar said.
complaint against Pervez Musharraf was not filed by the lawful authority; the
law was violated here as well. According to the law, the cabinet has to
nominate the relevant authority which would file the complaint.”
the formation of the court [that heard the case] is wrong and illegal then all
its steps and decisions will be considered illegal.”
APPOINTMENT TO SPECIAL COURT:
Naqvi also inquired how the judges who heard the treason case were appointed.
what basis were the judges appointed to the special court?” he asked. “Was
there a written communication regarding the appointment of judges to the
special court or was everything [decided] over the telephone?”
Ministry of Law and Justice wrote a letter to the Supreme Court registrar
[asking] for names of judges to form the special court [bench],” the counsel
for the federal government told the court.
the formation of the court [that heard the case] is wrong and illegal then all
its steps and decisions will be considered illegal,” Zafar said.
court also discussed the charges levelled against Musharraf and the manner in
which the trial was conducted.
federal government constituted the special court but did not decide how the
criminal proceedings will be held,” Barrister Zafar said. “After the 18th
Amendment [in] Article 6, it was imperative to amend the 1973 and 1976 laws
pertaining to treason.”
said that though a new offence was added in Article 6, its manner of punishment
was not decided.
charge sheet which was filed does not mention Article 6 at all,” Justice Naqvi
special court indicted [Musharraf] on the first day the case was heard,” Zafar
told the court. “The Supreme Court did not define the relation [of the action]
with Article 6 but termed it as an unconstitutional step.”
further said that that the trial was conducted in Musharraf’s absence.
a person is not joining a trial, the court can, at most, declare him a
proclaimed offender,” Justice Naqvi said and added: “Which law allows punishing
a person without hearing them?”
to the special court’s verdict, Justice Naqvi said: “Looking at the verdict,
everyone who supported [Musharraf] at the time can be accused of abetting.”
Zafar insisted that “no one can commit an Article 6 offence alone”, saying that
“it would be unconstitutional if proceedings are carried out against selected
the special court summon other suspects if the federal government does not name
them [in the case]?” asked Justice Jahangir, to which Barrister Zafar responded
in the negative.
DIRECTED TO SUBMIT COURT FORMATION SUMMARY:
court asked the federal government to submit a summary of the formation of the
special court and directed the state’s lawyer to present arguments on Monday.
The hearing was adjourned until Monday.
special court of Islamabad had on December 17 handed down the death penalty to
Musharraf with a two to one majority after six years of hearing the treason
case against him. The case was filed by the PML-N government in 2013.
Imran demands 'immediate report' on Quetta blast, hails martyred DSP as 'brave
and exemplary' officer
Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that he had directed authorities to submit
an "immediate report on the condemnable, cowardly terrorist attack"
in Quetta on Friday, which claimed the lives of 15 people including a senior
a tweet, the premier hailed the martyred deputy superintendent of police (DSP)
as a "brave and exemplary officer". He added that he had asked the
Balochistan government to ensure the injured victims are provided with medical
have demanded an immediate report on the condemnable cowardly terrorist attack
in Quetta targeting a mosque and people at prayers. Have asked provincial govt
to ensure all medical facilities are provided to the injured. Martyred DSP Haji
Amanullah was a brave and exemplary officer," the prime minister tweeted.
deadly blast had ripped through a mosque during evening prayers on Friday night
in Quetta, killing 15 people, including DSP Amanullah. At least 19 people were
reported to be injured in the attack, which authorities said was a suicide
injured and the deceased were shifted to Quetta's Civil Hospital while an
emergency was imposed in all hospitals of the city.
Multan Bar Association Bans Non-Muslim Lawyers From Contesting Council
another case of subjugation of minorities in Pakistan, the Multan Bar
Association passed a resolution that has barred non-Muslim lawyers, including
Ahmadis, to participate in the Bar Council elections. As per the local media,
the resolution was presented by the lawyers of the District Bar Association of
Multan which stated that the lawyers contesting bar elections will also need to
submit an affidavit to prove their faith in Islam. Pakistan has also been
condemned internationally for cracking down on its minorities.
it was also reported that Islamabad has been discriminating against its
religious minorities. Various forms of targeted violence, mass murders,
abduction, rapes, forced conversion to Islam among others, has made Pakistani
Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas, and Shias one of the most persecuted
minorities in the region.
plight of minorities has deteriorated in Pakistan. They have always been
mistreated and suffered injustices from fellow civilians and the
administration. Akali Dal leader Manjinder Sirsa, in August, had shared a video
of the grieving family telling how 18-year old Jagjit Kaur was allegedly
abducted and converted to Islam in Pakistan. The family had alleged that she
was converted by coercion and was threatened that her brothers and father would
be shot if she did not convert to Islam.
passport ranked 4th-worst in the world
per the Henley Passport Index, the Pakistani passport has been placed at the
104th position out of the 107 passports listed making it the fourth-worst
passport for international travel ahead of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The
ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport
Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest and most accurate
database of travel information, enhanced by ongoing research.
to visit Tehran, Riyadh, Washington in bid to defuse regional tension
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is scheduled to open his regional trip on
Sunday (tomorrow) with a visit to Iran for offering Pakistan’s help for
defusing tensions prevailing in the Persian Gulf in the aftermath of the
assassination of senior Iranian commander Gen Qassem Soleimani by the United
States in an airstrike in Baghdad.
would later on Jan 13 visit Riyadh and then travel to Washington on Jan 17, a
senior diplomatic source said.
Qureshi would tour the three capitals for meeting his counterparts to convey
Pakistan’s desire to help in de-escalating the situation.
Qureshi has made a number of telephonic contacts with his counterparts over the
situation. More recently, he spoke to Russian and Iraqi foreign ministers.
foreign minister, meanwhile, met the new Iranian ambassador in Islamabad Seyyed
Mohammad Ali Hosseini on Friday at his chambers in the Parliament House.
Qureshi told Amb Hosseini that Pakistan was determined to play its “positive
role” for ending tensions in the region.
Iranian ambassador said that Tehran was clear that it did not want escalation.
however, said that the countries counselling restraint need to, at least, first
verbally condemn the incident.
afterwards can they ask the countries in the region and outside to de-escalate.
He said those countries needed to stop treating the aggressor and the sufferer,
the murderer and the slain, and terrorists and their victims equally, a
diplomatic source revealed.
foreign minister, on this occasion, recalled that the statement issued by the
Foreign Office on Jan 3 had called for avoiding unilateral actions and use of
seeks immediate de-escalation of US-Iran tensions
In order to avoid getting entangled in international conflicts, Pakistan has
decided against mediating between Iran and the United States but seeks
immediate de-escalation of tensions between the two countries to prevent a war
in the Middle East.
informed source told Pakistan Today on the condition of anonymity that Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would depart on his diplomatic mission for Tehran
on January 12.
Foreign Office (FO) is working on scheduling meetings of the foreign minister
in Tehran, Riyadh and Washington over the next week. After Tehran, Qureshi
would be visiting Riyadh on January 13. On January 16 and 17, the minister
would be visiting Washington,” the source said.
asked about the objective of the foreign minister’s visit to the Gulf region,
the official said that the foreign minister was going with an open mind.
would listen to the ideas of friendly states in the thick of things and then
would contemplate if we can help them come closer. But for the time being,
mediation is a huge ask and we do not find ourselves fit for this task. You
know even the peace deal brokered by P5 countries under United Nations (UN) had
failed. So mediation is an inappropriate word for our effort,” the official
why Pakistan was so eager to be the only country on earth to launch diplomatic
efforts for a de-escalation between US and Iran, the official said that both
Iran and US were friendly countries of Pakistan.
are partners in peace, not in conflicts. We do not thrive on wars. We are
looking for efforts to develop and also to support regional development. Any
conflict in the region would not only destabilise the region but also it would
affect Pakistan,” the official said.
merits mention here that FM Qureshi has contacted his counterparts from Iran,
Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar and other gulf states and he would be soon departing for a
diplomatic overture to help calm down the situation.
asked to elaborate, the official said that any conflict between Iran and US may
affect the Afghan peace process.
know that the US and Iran are major stakeholders in Afghanistan. So any
conflict between the two may have fallout in Afghanistan. We have made tangible
progress in the Afghan peace process and we want to take the Afghan peace
dialogue to a logical conclusion,” the official said.
official also said that Iran enjoyed good influence in Afghanistan and even the
Afghan Taliban had a strong relationship with the Iranian government.
know that the US troops are present in huge numbers. We also know that groups
linked to Iran may target US troops in Afghanistan. Hence, any such incident
may ignite a new war in Afghanistan. Pakistan would like to see peace talks
progressing in Afghanistan,” the official added.
official further said that a regional conflict may also shift world focus from
Indian Occupied Jammu (IOK) that is closely being monitored by the UN and its
allied organisations as Indian state terrorism continues there.
regime right now is in a thick soup. Today is the 160th day of state curfew
imposed on Kashmiris in IOK. Though Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
regime staged a drama by taking some right-wing MPs from European Union (EU) to
IOK but the EU distanced itself, calling it a private visit. Moreover, the
visiting delegation was also not allowed to meet none of top Kashmiri leaders
or the public at large and a select group of pro-regime people had met them,”
the official said.
source said that the media spotlight was also on the anti-Modi protests across
India and police torture on peaceful protestors who are raising their voice
against CAA and NRC laws. He said that the Modi regime was under huge domestic
and international pressure right now and any regional conflict may shift the
spotlight from the Indian state terrorism against its own people.
the official said, any conflict may also have negative implications for
Pakistan’s economy which was making fast progress after reforms introduced by
conflict in the gulf region may further raise oil prices which would badly
impact our economic revival. Moreover, Pakistan has been graded as a number-one
tourist destination as we are hoping for a huge number of tourists visiting
Pakistan this year. Any conflict may have negative implications for tourism
prospects,” he added.
Russia to make joint efforts to restore regional peace
Following the dramatic escalation in tensions between the United States and
Iran over the killing of Qasem Soleimani, Pakistan and Russia have agreed to
launch joint efforts to restore peace in the region.
a phone call between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov, the two leaders discussed issues relating to the
escalation of tensions in the Middle East as well as the overall situation in
the region, the report added.
Qureshi and Lavrov agreed to make joint efforts for regional peace, Pakistan’s
foreign minister told his Russian counterpart that the increasing tensions
could cause a “severe blow” to regional peace, adding that both sides have to
show restraint in order to de-escalate the situation.
to Radio Pakistan, Qureshi “made it clear that Pakistan will neither be a party
to any new conflict in the region nor will its land be used against any
regional or neighboring country”.
Qureshi on Friday met with the newly appointed Iranian ambassador to Pakistan
Syed Mohammad Ali Hosseini during which they discussed tensions between the US
and Iran as well as the situation of peace and stability in the region.
Wednesday, the United States and Iran came to the brink of war after Iran
launched missile attacks on US-led forces in Iraq, in retaliation for the US
drone strike on Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani whose killing has raised
fears of a wider war in the Middle East.
situation de-escalated after US President Donald Trump while delivering a
televised address on Wednesday, extended an olive branch to the “people and
leaders” of Iran to work together for “shared priorities”. In the same breathe,
he announced more “punishing” economic sanctions against Tehran.
the escalating regional tensions, Prime Minister Imran Khan had instructed
Qureshi to visit Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States and meet with
respective foreign ministers, and the US secretary of state.
Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa called upon all concerned parties in
the dangerously escalating conflict between the US and Iran to “avoid rhetoric
in favor of diplomatic engagement”.
largest Muslim Congregation in the world Bishwa Ijtema begins in Bangladesh
first phase of the world’s second largest Muslim congregation after Haj began
on the outskirts of Dhaka today. Thousands of devotees from Bangladesh and
abroad are thronging the bank of river Turag at Tongi near Dhaka to participate
in the congregation called Bishwa Ijtema. Noted scholars give religious sermon
to the devotees on this occasion. The Ijtema began with the ‘aam bayan’ and
will end on January 12 with the final prayers ‘Akheri Munajat’.
has made extensive security arrangement for the congregation. Large number of
police personnel have been deployed near the venue which has been brought under
second phase of Bishwa Ijtem will take place between January 17-19.
Ijtema has been taking place on the Turag riverbank in Tongi near Dhaka since
1967. In 2011, the congregation was split into two phases to ensure better
Ijtema draws in Muslim devotees from about 150 countries. In 2010, 5 million
people were estimated to take part in the Bishwa Ijtema. It is a gathering that focuses on prayer and
meditation and is not open for political discussions.
chef Saiful Islam fights deportation from UK
chef from Bangladesh is fighting deportation from the UK after he was
wrongfully labelled a sex offender.
Islam, 44, moved to the UK in January 2003 to work in a restaurant.
his files were later mixed up with those of three other people, resulting in
criminal convictions being wrongly attached to his name.
Home Office has apologised to Mr Islam, who lives in Cardiff, for the mix-up -
but he was still denied right to remain in December 2019.
to a judicial review judgment, errors by the Home Office did not affect the
decision to reject Mr Islam's application to stay in the UK, which was based on
a 2008 application being refused as he did not have a work permit.
with wrongly attaching criminal convictions to his name, the errors included
destroying part of his file and withholding it in a previous court case, and
not providing relevant pages of his passport which proved he had entered the
country legally - which Mr Islam maintains are the reasons he did not have a
permit in 2008.
Jackson ruled there had been "a number of errors" and "historic
injustice" in the handling of Mr Islam's applications over a number of
years, but documents "did not support" Mr Islam's claim that these
directly led to his situation "nor was there any confirmation that he was
still required in a particular employment".
Islam said he planned to fight the decision. The matter has so far involved 18
court cases and a huge volume of correspondence with the Home Office.
the Home Office said it could not comment on ongoing legal proceedings, it has
confirmed to Mr Islam that three other profiles were mistakenly attached to his
said all indefinite leave applications are considered on their individual
merits in accordance with the immigration rules and when someone has no leave
to remain in the UK, they are expected to leave voluntarily.
they do not, their departure will be enforced.
Islam has spent 16 years fighting to remain in the UK and, after a battle to
obtain his file through the Information Commissioner, he discovered the errors
and received a full apology in 2019.
Islam, who has no convictions, said: "The Home Office has not treated me
like a human being - they have treated me like a criminal.
have lost so many years, my health and money."
said he had suffered depression as a result of his plight.
trouble with Mr Islam's right to remain began in 2005 when he raised concerns
about working conditions with his then employers, alerting the police and the
Home Office. His permit was curtailed that year but he was not served with any
Judge Jackson ruled: "The historic injustice could not have had a material
impact on the outcome of the specific decision under challenge."
Qureshi, chief executive of Migrants' Rights Network, said: "If Saiful had
not persevered with his case for nearly 16 years, he would not have known that
the Home Office had mixed up his file and wrongly labelled him a criminal.
US, Iran tensions will not interrupt Afghan peace process
Taliban leaders believe the recent tensions between the United States and Iran
will not interrupt the Afghan peace process led by the United States.
Shaheen, a spokesperson to Taliban peace delegation said the talks between the
Taliban and US peace delegation have reached at a concluding edge and close to
signing off an agreement. He said the US-Iran tensions will not interrupt the
talks, VOA reported.
developments will not have a negative impact on the peace process because the
U.S.-Taliban peace agreement is finalized and only remains to be signed by the
two sides,” Shaheen said.
comes as the major issues on the recent discussions table were the US forces
withdrawal, violence reduction, ceasefire, and Intra-Afghan talks.
details are not out yet to know how these terms have been agreed between the
Taliba and US delegations.
recent regional tensions that arose following the death of a top Iranian
military leader by a US drone strike in Iraq, have created concerns in
reference to the Afghanistan peace process led by the United States.
has an influence on one or several Taliban militant groups who are on the
denounce US for assassinating Iran’s Soleimani
in Bangladesh have protested the United States’ assassination of top Iranian
anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
protesters held banners and chanted slogans against the US and its
interventionist policies in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Friday.
America killed our beloved brother, top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, in
Baghdad,” said Ashraful Haq, a protester. “I want to say to the people of
Bangladesh that America and Israel are the enemy of Muslims.”
demonstrators also praised Soleimani for his role in fighting the Takfiri Daesh
terrorist group, which had once swept over large parts of Iraq and Syria but
which lost the territories in operations under the command of Lt. Gen.
Soleimani is the reason Daesh got destroyed in Iraq and Syria,” read a placard
held by the demonstrators.
US military launched a drone strike outside the Baghdad Airport last Friday,
assassinating Soleimani, who led the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution
Guards Corps (IRGC). The attack also killed a number of Soleimani’s Iranian and
Iraqi comrades, notably Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the deputy head of
Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).
assassination of Soleimani and his comrades have led to major anti-American
protests across Iraq and Iran. Smaller protests have also been held in countries
across the region and other parts of the world.
calls ruling family council to choose new sultan: State TV
high military council on Saturday called on the country's ruling family council
to convene in order to choose a new ruler following the death of Sultan Qaboos
bin Said, who died on Friday evening, state media said, carrying a statement
from the military council.
who has ruled since 1970 when he deposed his father in a palace coup, had been
ill for some time and had been believed to be suffering from colon cancer.
left no apparent heir. He was unmarried and had no children or brothers.
is not clear who will succeed Qaboos, whose country has a distinct method of
choosing the next ruler.
to the Omani constitution, the royal family shall, within three days of the
throne falling vacant, determine the successor.
extends cross-border aid to Syria, but scaled back by Moscow
UN Security Council voted Friday to extend cross border aid to Syria but under
pressure from Russia drastically scaled back the program that has been helping
the war-ravaged country since 2014.
assistance is being prolonged for six months and deliveries will be made from
only from two points along Syria’s border with Turkey.
a series of concessions by Western countries since late December, a resolution
extending the aid was passed by 11 votes in favor and four abstentions: Russia,
China, the United States, and Britain.
files complaint on Iran at the UN Security Council: Document
has sent a letter to the UN Security Council, according to a document obtained
by Al Arabiya on Friday, complaining about Iran.
the letter addressed written by Iraq’s Permeant Representative to the United
Nations Mohammed al-Uloom, Iraq said it considered the bombing of Iraqi lands
under the pretext of Iran’s defense “is totally unacceptable and violates the
principles of good neighborliness.”
Iraqi complaint also denounced the UN Security Council of involving the country
in regional or international conflicts.
Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi had confirmed earlier on Friday that his
country rejected all operations that violate his country’s sovereignty,
including the recent Iranian operation that targeted the Ain al-Assad base in
Anbar and another in Erbil, pointing out that he is making constant efforts to
contact all parties to prevent Iraq from turning into a battlefield.
complaint letter to the UNSC on Iran:
Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced on Tuesday that it had carried out a
missile attack on Ain al-Assad base in Anbar province in western Iraq, and
another base in Erbil, both of which houses US forces.
Hashd al-Sha’abi forces killed in Israeli raids on Syria: Report
has launched several airstrikes on eastern Syria near the Iraqi border, killing
at least eight fighters of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), a key
player in the fight against Daesh and other Takfiri groups in the region.
air raids struck trucks and weapons depots in Albu Kamal in eastern Syria early
Friday, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
group said “unidentified aircraft” targeted the area, but Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen
news outlet said Israel was responsible for the strikes.
chief Rami Abdurrahman said the airstrikes killed at least eight forces of the
PMU, better known by their Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, and wounded several
Israeli regime has a long record for attacking forces fighting Daesh terrorists
in Syria. The recent air raids were the latest in a series of attacks that have
targeted positions of the Hashd al-Sha’abi forces across the region over the
August, Israeli aircraft killed and wounded several PMU forces near the Syrian
July 2019, a drone dropped explosives onto a PMU base near the town of Amerli,
in Salahuddin Province, killing at least one resistance fighter and injuring
June 2018, Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters came under attack in Syria’s border town
of al-Hari, in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, as they were chasing Daesh
terrorists out of the area.
Russian pressure, UN approves scaled back aid for Syria
NATIONS: The UN Security Council voted Friday to renew cross-border aid to
Syria but under pressure from Russia scaled back the program, which has been
helping millions in the war-ravaged country since 2014.
assistance is being prolonged for only six months, whereas it had been extended
deliveries will now be made from only two points, which are along Syria’s
border with Turkey, down from four.
a series of concessions by Western countries since late December, the
resolution extending the aid was passed by 11 votes in favor and four
abstentions which came from Russia, China, the United States and Britain.
existing mandate was to expire Friday.
and France expressed disappointment over the scaling back of the aid.
million Syrians need humanitarian assistance,” said Belgian Ambassador Marc
Pecsteen de Buytswerve.
US ambassador, Kelly Craft, meanwhile said “Syrians will die with this
a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saw international authorization
of cross-border aid shipments as a “breach of sovereignty” a western diplomat
diplomat said Russia wanted to force recognition that Damascus had largely
retaken control of territory inside Syria a year ago, admitting that Moscow was
in a “strong position” in the face-off with western countries.
western concessions to Russia keep the program alive but on a reduced scale.
aid is vital for almost three million Syrians living in the northern Idlib
region, where fighting and bombardments have increased in recent weeks.
resolution extends cross border aid until July 10. It does away with two entry
points, one along the border with Turkey and the other on the frontier with
Iraq. The latter helped 1.3 million people in northeast Syria.
the insistence of Germany and Belgium, the council asked Secretary General
Antonio Guterres to compile a report by the end of February on finding an
alternative to the aid point on the Iraqi border, which is the town of Al
December 20, Russia — backed by China — vetoed a proposal to extend aid for a year
from three border spots: two along the border with Turkey and the Iraqi one.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the Russian and Chinese veto as
“shameful” and told Moscow and Beijing “you have blood on your hands.”
negotiating position had been less than subtle however, one diplomat told AFP,
starting out with a demand for five crossing points that could be bargained
down to its desired number of three, then two.
United States also wrongly assessed that Moscow would not resort to a veto,
which it did, the same source said.
British ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce, said the council’s vote Friday let
down the people of Syria.
an inadequate response for the Syrian people. And it’s an inadequate response
to what the UN have been asking for,” she said.
protesters close road; scuffles injure 14 soldiers
Protesters closed a major road in northern Lebanon, triggering scuffles with
Lebanese troops that left more than a dozen soldiers injured, the Lebanese army
incident occurred late Thursday night when protesters closed the Biddawi road
near the northern city of Tripoli. They were protesting electricity cuts that
can last for hours each day. Lebanese troops detained some of the protesters
who had blocked the road.
in the evening, more demonstrators came to the protest site to demand the
detainees’ release. They then attacked troops with Molotov cocktails and hurled
stones, injuring 14 soldiers, the army said, adding eight protesters were
detained in those clashes.
has seen increased electricity cuts as the country grapples with its worst
economic and financial crisis in decades.
took to the streets in October over proposed new taxes. But the nationwide
demonstrations quickly grew into calls for an end to the rule of the political
elite that has run the country since the 1975-90 civil war ended.
protesters blame the politicians for widespread corruption and mismanagement,
which they say are the main reasons for the country’s financial crisis.
Minister Saad Hariri resigned in late October, meeting a key demand of the
protesters. However, that’s left the country without a government ever since,
as politicians bicker over the shape of the new Cabinet.
banks have imposed unprecedented capital controls, putting limits on
withdrawals and preventing transfers outside the country.
Beirut, at least one person was injured Friday during protests calling for the
resignation of Beirut’s mayor and governor over alleged corruption within the
municipality. The protesters were attacked by men who support the two local
Brutality Fails to Break Spirit of Jerusalem Neighbourhood
Despite the fact that locals are arrested daily and that a number of houses
have been demolished, residents of Issawiya, a small neighborhood in East
Jerusalem, continue to defy Israeli attempts to break their spirit.
the past two months, Israeli police have detained an estimated 200 residents of
Issawiya — many of them children — in defiance of international law. Orders to
demolish three more homes in the neighborhood were also issued this week.
to data from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than 600
residents have been arrested since the launch of regular police raids in
Issawiya. About a third of those, according to residents and lawyers are
ACRI has written to the Israeli attorney general saying that the systematic
over-policing directed at thousands of people — most of whom have never even
thrown a stone in their life — along with intimidation, arrests, and the use of
gas, stun grenades, and sponge-tipped bullets “are not legitimate means” for
imposing law and order.
policy serves only to exacerbate and foment the confrontations, and in itself
causes disturbances, while using means intended to punish, humiliate, and
oppress an entire population that is mostly innocent of any crime,” the Israeli
human rights organization wrote.
June the situation in Issawiya, as described by the ACRI, has been intolerable.
“Day after day, night after night, Special Patrol Unit and Border Police forces
enter the neighborhood, patrolling the streets, haranguing youths, invading
homes, ordering shops to close, blocking roads, handing out incessant tickets,
and conducting arrests, many of which prove to be spurious.”
Darwish, an activist in Issawiya, told Arab News that the daily attacks would
not deter people from standing up for their rights. “They have been attacking
Issawiya almost every night, and this week alone they have issued demolition
orders for three homes in the center of town, claiming that they (were) built
without a license,” he said.
Israeli human rights organization, Btselem, said that in 2019 alone Israel has
demolished 169 homes in East Jerusalem — 18 of them in Issawiya — more than had
previously been destroyed in the years since 2004, and that those demolitions
“resulted in making 328 Palestinians, including 182 children, homeless.”
Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ziad AbuZayyad told Arab News, “(The Israelis)
want to break their spirit and force them to kneel, but the people of Issawiya
are stubborn and the entire town has stood up to the Israeli police and other
Israeli officials’ efforts.”
Issa, head of the Islamic Christian Committee for Jerusalem, told Arab News
that the constant attacks are a prelude to an attempt to displace this small
neighborhood, which is close to Israeli institutions including the Hebrew
University’s Mount Scopus Campus and the Hadassah Hospital.
want to knock off the head of anyone that dares raise his head so that Issawiya
will be an example to other neighborhoods, and so that eventually they can move
these areas while widening the borders of what they call their unified
capital,” Issa said.
Rosenfeld, spokesman for the Israel National Police, told Arab News that police
carry out regular patrols in the neighborhood of Issawiya, and “have done so
for years,” in order to prevent and respond to security-related incidents
whether caused by criminals or terrorists.
officers have been attacked when on patrol by masked residents with petrol
bombs, and have had fireworks fired at them from close range, causing the
officers to be in a life-threatening situation,” he claimed.
added that Israeli police officials “are in contact with the leaders of the
community to discuss the general situation and coordinate.”
Groups Likely to Start Imminent Missile Attack on US Positions in Region
close to the Resistance Front said the resistance groups are preparing for pending response to
the last night attack on Syria and other terrorist actions of the US
local media reported on Thursday night that a strong explosion occurred near
Iraq’s border with Syria in the town of al-Qaem. Reports said the blast came
after the recent US airstrikes on Syria.
Wednesday, the IRGC Aerospace Force launched heavy ballistic missile attacks on
US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a
US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the assassination of General
Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels,
which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the
radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad had failed to operate
and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army's
central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.
80 US army personnel were killed and nearly 200 more wounded in Iran's
Wednesday missile attacks, informed sources said.
second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in
Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of "Martyr Soleimani"
flights were cancelled at Erbil airport.
said the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these
two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone,
including the Iraqi army.
was the first direct attack on the US army ever since WWII.
officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.
the attack, the IRGC issued a statement immediately after the attacks,
declaring that it had fired tens of ground-to-ground missiles at "the
airbase occupied by the terrorist and aggressive army of the United States
known as Ein Al-Assad" in reprisal for the martyrdom of IRGC Qods Force
Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
IRGC warned the US to avoid retaliating the Wednesday attack or else "it
will face a more painful and crushing response".
IRGC Statement also warned "all the US allied states where the terrorist
army has a base, any territory that becomes the origin of any hostile and aggressive
action against the Islamic Republic of Iran in any way will be targeted".
believe that the Zionist regime by no means stands aside from the criminal US
regime in these crimes.”
Cleric: IRGC’s Missile Attacks on US Bases in Iraq Just Beginning of Revenge
a large and fervent congregation of the people in Tehran on Friday,
Hojjatoleslam Haj Ali Akbari said, “Iran’s promised ‘harsh revenge’ on the US
over the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani has just
reiterated that from now on, US interests across the world will be posed to
extensive threats, and said, “This US regime has numerous military bases; from
now on, having too many bases, especially in this region, won't be an advantage
Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Soleimani was martyred in a targeted
assassination attack by the US drones at Baghdad International Airport early on
airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq's
Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shaabi. The two were martyred
in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the
Iranian and five Iraqi militaries were martyred by missiles fired by the US
drone at Baghdad International Airport.
attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that
killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US
embassy in Baghdad.
targeted assassination attack represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward
Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in
May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck
under his predecessor.
IRGC Statement also warned "all the US allied states where the terrorist
army has a base, any territory that becomes the origin of any hostile and
aggressive action against the Islamic Republic of Iran in any way will be
believe that the Zionist regime by no means stands aside from the criminal US
regime in these crimes."
Iranian underground missile towns were on alert.
daughter says Haniyeh, al-Assad capable of avenging her father
daughter of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani said that others like Hamas’ Ismail
Haniyeh, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and the Houthis’ Abdul-Malik al-Houthi were
all capable of avenging the death of her father, according to a video of a
speech she gave.
Hassan Nasrallah gave his message. Ismail Haniyeh, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, Bashar
al-Assad, Abu al-Hassan al-Ameri, and Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, who are all, just
like my father, capable of destroying the likes of you on their own, will
[also] give their messages,” Zeinab Soleimani is heard saying in the video.
President Vows Prosecution of Those Guilty in Ukrainian Plane Incident
Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake... My thoughts
and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,"
Rouhani said in a statement on Saturday.
president stressed that "the terrible catastrophe should be thoroughly
investigated, and those responsible for this unforgivable mistake will
definitely be identified and prosecuted".
General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said in a statement on Saturday that
the Ukrainian Boeing 737 Plane was shot down as a hostile object due to human
error at a time of heightened US threats of war.
statement said an expert investigation by the General Staff of the Iranian
Armed Forces after the Ukrainian airline company's Boeing 737 incident has
found that flight 752 of the Ukrainian airlines has been shot down as a hostile
flying object that was approaching a sensitive IRGC center and was shot down
due to human error few hours after Iran's missile attack on the US and as
Iran's military was expecting attacks by the US army.
FM Apologizes for Human Error in Ukrainian Plane Accident
sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:
Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,"
Zarif wrote on his twitter page on Saturday.
profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of
all victims, and to other affected nation," he added.
Praise Iranian Missiles Accuracy in Attacks on US Bases
fired more than a dozen missiles early Wednesday at two American military bases
in Iraq in retaliation for Washington's assassination of Tehran's elite
commander, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander
Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, warning of further strikes against the
came to surprise everyone after it declared victory hours after Iran struck two
American bases, with President Donald Trump claiming "no Americans"
were harmed in Tehran's attack. While the American leader recently declared
that the US would wipe out 52 Iranian state and cultural targets if Washington
interests were attacked, he struck a more conciliatory tone in his speech on
Wednesday, backing away from threatening further strikes against Tehran.
has stated that the country was not after killing anyone although "tens of
US troops have likely been killed and wounded and were transfered to Israel and
Jordan on 9 sorties of C-130 flights", rejecting Washington's speculation
that Iran deliberately sought to avoid US military casualties in its missile
strikes in Iraq, which some believe provides further evidence of the
preciseness of Tehran’s missile systems.
Lewis, a US arms control expert, posted satellite images of destroyed buildings
and structures at Ein Al-Assad Airbase in Southwestern Iraq on Twitter, stating
that missiles produced by Iran enjoy high precision-striking power.
Iranians did *not* miss. These buildings were hit quite precisely.
image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
AM - Jan 9, 2020 • Monterey, CA
people are talking about this
weapons expert also mocked claims by Pentagon officials that Iran deliberately
avoided human targets, saying that "this is insane but if that’s the lie
we’re going to tell ourselves so that our fragile masculinity doesn’t drag us
is director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program for the James Martin
Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of
International Studies at Monterey. He has written two books on China's nuclear
weapons, and numerous journal and magazine articles, blog posts, podcasts, and
tweets on nonproliferation and related topics.
nuclear expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vipin Narang,
admired precision of ballistic missiles produced by Tehran used in recent
attacks against US bases in Iraq, stating that "the accuracy revolution is
real and no longer a monopoly of the US".
me the most important takeaway from Iran’s strike is just how precise their
SRBMs were. Have to think even Iran was surprised and relieved. The accuracy
revolution is real and no longer a monopoly of the US. This has huge
implications for modern conflict, and limited war.
PM - Jan 9, 2020
people are talking about this
is an Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT and a member of MIT’s
Security Studies Program.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has called the
Wednesday operation "only a slap across the face" of the United
States, stating that "military moves like this are not enought. The
Americans' corruption-stirring presence should come to an end".
remarks by the Iranian leader on necessity of American troops' pullout from the
Middle East, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali
Hajizadeh stated on Thursday Iran's missile strikes on US bases in Iraq
triggered vast operations to expel American troops from the region.
missile strikes on one of the United States' most important bases within the
framework of martyr Soleimani operation was the start of big operations which
will continue in the entire region," General Hajizadeh told reporters on
Thursday, briefing media on operational objective of recent missile attacks on
Aerospace Commander: Wednesday Missile Strikes Marks Start of Major Operations
PM - Jan 9, 2020
people are talking about this
around Iran have been rising since Trump torpedoed the landmark 2015 nuclear
deal and reimposed sweeping sanctions targeting large swathes of Iran’s
economy. Later, Washington raised the stakes in the standoff, sending
additional military assets – including a carrier strike group, a bomber task
force, and Patriot missiles – to countries bordering Iran. The conflict between
Washington and Tehran hit record highs after an intruding American spy drone
was shot down by the IRGC in Iranian sky.
airline chief says he never believed airline caused Iran crash
International Airlines President Yevhenii Dykhne said on Saturday he never
doubted that the airline had not caused the crash of its passenger plane in
Ukrainians, including nine crew members, died in the plane crash that killed
176 people on Wednesday, according to Ukrainian government figures. Dykhne
wrote a statement on social media after Iran said it had mistakenly shot down
didn’t doubt for a second that our crew and our plane couldn’t be the cause for
this horrible plane crash,” Dykhne said.
targeted Iranian official in Yemen in failed strike: Sources
United States carried out a secret operation in Yemen that targeted, but failed
to kill, an Iranian military official last week, two US officials told Reuters
strike was carried out on the same day that the United States killed Iranian
military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad, the officials
said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
timing could suggest that the United States had sought to take out a broader
swathe of the Iranian military leadership when it killed Soleimani, citing an
imminent threat from him.
Pentagon declined to comment on the failed strike in Yemen, first reported by
the Washington Post.
Department of Defense does not discuss alleged operations in the region,”
Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Rebecca Rebarich said.
of the US officials named the Iranian who had been targeted as Abdul Reza
Shahlai, a senior officer in the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds force, the
unit in charge of foreign operations that had been headed by Soleimani.
US Treasury Department says he was based in Yemen and accused him of “a long
history of targeting Americans and US allies globally,” including killing
US-led coalition forces in Iraq. It has offered a $15 million reward in
connection with him under its “Rewards for Justice” program.
United States has accused Shahlai of coordinating a failed 2011 plot to
assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States at a cafe in a posh
neighborhood of the US capital.
approved financial allotments ... to help recruit other individuals for the
plot, approving $5 million as payment for all of the operations discussed,” the
Treasury Department said.
carved out a sphere of Iranian influence running through Syria, Lebanon, Iraq,
Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States killed Soleimani in part
because “they were looking to blow up our embassy.” “And he had more than that
particular embassy in mind,” Trump said.
was unclear whether Shahlai may have been part of that broader plot.
forces filmed kicking Palestinian worshiper in head at al-Aqsa Mosque
new video has emerged showing Israeli forces kicking a Palestinian man in the
head repeatedly during his arrest at the al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old
City of Jerusalem al-Quds.
the clip, Israeli forces can be seen pushing the man to the ground while trying
to handcuff him. They then start kicking him as the victim tries to shield his
head. Six other Palestinian worshipers were also arrested.
incident happened near Bab al-Rahma (Gate of Mercy or Golden Gate) in the
al-Aqsa Mosque compound, where tensions have been mounting between the
Palestinian worshipers and Israeli forces.
said Israelis provoked and attacked the worshipers after storming into the
prayer area with their boots on.
closed Bab al-Rahma in 2003, alleging that it had turned into a place for
political activities against the Tel Aviv regime.
February 2019, for the first time in 16 years, the Islamic Waqf defied Israel’s
ban and re-opened the gates to Palestinian worshipers.
by the move, Israel has launched an arrest campaign against the Palestinians
joining prayers in the premises of Bab al-Rahma.
al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flashpoint, highly respected by Muslims, Jews, and
Christians alike. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Masjid
al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.
have long been wary of Israeli attempts to change the status quo of the al-Aqsa
Mosque, where only Muslim prayers are allowed under the status quo reaffirmed
holy compound is administered by the Islamic Waqf endowment on behalf of Jordan
and Palestine. Non-Muslims can visit the site, but cannot pray there.
status quo also coincided with the chief rabbinate of Israel’s declaration in
1967 that Jews were not allowed to the compound as it would desecrate the
terror group praises ‘allied’ US for assassinating Gen. Soleimani
Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has hailed the recent assassination of Iran's top
military commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, by its “allied” US forces in
Iraq, describing the criminal act as a “divine intervention” made by direct
order of American President Donald Trump.
the early hours of January 3, a US drone strike assassinated Gen. Soleimani,
the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC),
and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of the Iraqi pro-government Popular
Mobilization Units (PMU), near Baghdad International Airport.
other Iranians and four more Iraqis in their company were also martyred.
Pentagon said in a statement that President Trump directly ordered the US
military to assassinate the top Iranian commander.
assassination prompted Iran to take revenge by pouring more than a dozen
ballistic missiles on two military bases housing US troops in Iraq early on
commanders were admired by Muslim nations for eliminating the US-sponsored
Daesh terrorists in the region. General Soleimani, in particular, was an international
figure who played a leading role in promoting peace and security in the region,
particularly in Iraq and Syria.
an editorial of the terror group’s weekly propaganda al-Naba publication on
Thursday, Daesh praised the assassination of Gen. Soleimani and al-Muhandis,
saying they “died” at the hands of its “allies” - a clear reference to the US.
believe that Washington created the Daesh terrorist group and helped it rise
and commence its reign of terror and destruction in Syria and Iraq in 2014.
in January 3, 2016, Trump, then a US presidential candidate, said during a
campaign stop in Biloxi, Mississippi, that Democratic presidential candidate
“Hillary Clinton created” the Daesh Takfiri group “with [then president Barack]
Obama”, stressing that “they created” the terror group.
on August 10 of the same year, Trump reiterated what he had said several months
ago, stressing that Obama was “the founder” of Daesh, whose co-founder “would
be ‘Crooked’ Hillary Clinton.”
there are multiple reports of American aircraft airlifting Daesh commanders
from various parts of Syria to safe places.
November 2017, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency cited several eyewitnesses as
saying that US aircraft had recently picked up Daesh commanders from the town
of Mayadin, which was later liberated.
month earlier, reports from a group affiliated with the Syrian opposition also
alleged that the US military had several times airlifted Daesh Takfiri
terrorists amid the Syrian army’s advances on Dayr al-Zawr province.
US has long been accused of colluding with Daesh to provide safe passage and
logistical support to its members in conflict zones.
Syrian army troops, backed by Russian airstrikes, managed to remove Daesh from
all of its urban strongholds in the country. In Iraq, the PMU forces, better
known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha'abi, did the same against the terror
group, prompting former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi to announce the
total defeat of Daesh in the Arab country in late 2017.
the remnants of the Takfiri group, which conduct terror sporadic attacks
against Iraqi security forces and civilians alike with increasing regularity,
attempt to regroup and wage a new era of its reign of terror and destruction in
the assassination, US-led NATO suspended its training mission in Iraq over
claimed security fears. Furthermore, some of the allied troops attached to the
mission have been withdrawn from in the Arab country for their safety.
Haftar rejects Ankara, Moscow’s call for ceasefire
Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar late Thursday rejected calls for a ceasefire by
Turkey and Russia and announced a continuation of military operations against
the UN-recognized Government of National Accord.
a statement read by his spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari, Haftar claimed that a
revival of the political process and the country’s stability could only be
assured by the “eradication of terrorist groups” and the dissolution of
militias controlling Tripoli.
Libyan National Army in April launched an offensive against the capital, seat
of the UN-recognized GNA.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin
issued their call for a truce on Wednesday in Istanbul.
“hailed... President Vladimir Putin’s initiative” in his statement Thursday but
stressed that the “efforts of the armed forces in the war against terrorists”
groups have seized the capital and received the support of some countries and
governments who supply them with military equipment, ammunition... and drones,”
countries also send terrorists all over the world to fight (Haftar’s) armed
forces,” he added.
was referring to Turkey, which has recently sent some troops to shore up the
GNA, while he also accused Ankara of sending pro-Turkish Syrian fighters to
attack in Nigerian town kills 20 soldiers, displaces 1,000 residents
20 soldiers were killed and nearly 1,000 people made homeless in a militant
attack on a town in northeastern Nigeria, two residents and a military source
said on Wednesday.
militants entered Monguno in Borno state posing as a convoy of soldiers on
Tuesday evening, the sources said. They then attacked troops inside the town,
destroying at least 750 homes in the process.
Gumati Sadu said people fled into the bush for safety during the fighting and
that three civilians were killed by stray bullets.
military spokesman declined to comment.
West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack on its Amaq
said that one of its militants detonated a car bomb in the town, killing at
least 8 soldiers and destroying 3 armored vehicles.
group also said it had seized a vehicle, weapons and ammunition before leaving
split from the extremist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since staged its own
frequent attacks in the region.
Haram's decade-long insurgency campaign has killed thousands and displaced
millions in northeastern Nigeria.
oppose sending troops to war-torn Libya, survey shows
Deployment of Turkish troops to war-torn Libya has a strikingly low rate of
support among the country’s population, a recent survey suggests.
than 1,500 people across 12 provinces took part in the poll, conducted by
market research firm Istanbul Ekonomi Arastirma, with 58 percent of respondents
saying they disapproved of any troop deployment to the war-torn country. Only
34 percent were in favor of the deployment.
Selcuki, general manager of Istanbul Ekonomi Arastirma, said that people fail
to see any benefit in sending troops to Libya.
other military involvements, such as those in northern Syria, the threat was
Syrian Kurdish YPG taking root along Turkey’s borders. Hence public support was
above 75 percent for both the Euphrates Shield and Peace Spring operations.
involvement in Libya may be well justified from a national benefit perspective,
but the government has more convincing to do,” he told Arab News.
intervention also divides the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and
its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Only 61.8 percent of the AKP voters
consider the deployment of forces to Libya as a necessity, while 45 percent of
the MHP voters are against the military presence in Libya.
party supporters are principally against military deployment to the North
African country, with 92.9 percent of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party
voters opposed to the move. In the newly formed Iyi Party, the rate is 88
percent, while in the main opposition Republican People’s Party the figure is
people are also reluctant for the government to become involved in every
conflict in its neighborhood, with 75 percent of respondents suggesting Ankara
should adopt an intermediatory role for regional conflicts rather than becoming
must ‘learn lessons’ from Ukraine plane disaster: Russia
which admitted on Saturday that it accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner
killing 176 people, must “learn lessons” from the disaster, the chairman of the
Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee said.
decryption of the black boxes and the work of the investigation do not prove
that the Iranian army did this intentionally, and there are no logical reasons
for this, the incident must be closed.
that lessons will be learned and action taken by all parties,” said Konstantin
Kosachev, quoted by the Interfax news agency.
halts Iran Air flights between Stockholm and Tehran
Transport Agency said on Friday it had temporarily halted Iran Air flights
between Sweden and Iran after the crash of a Ukrainian airliner near Tehran on
Wednesday which killed all 176 people on board.
reason is the uncertainty around the accident and the security of civil
aviation,” the agency said in a statement.
foreign ministry said on Friday that 7 Swedish citizens and a total of 17
people who lived in the Nordic country died in the crash.
ministers to focus on bringing Iran back into nuclear deal: Slovakia
foreign minister said on Friday the Iran nuclear deal was not dead and that
European Union foreign ministers would focus on finding ways on how to bring
Tehran back into the accord after its decision to scrap enrichment limits.
steps they announced are reversible and verification by the IAEA [nuclear
watchdog] is ongoing, but we are not happy with the step 5 that was announced,”
Miroslav Lajcakbut told reporters on arrival at an EU foreign ministers meeting
president expects full investigation, compensation from Iran on plane crash
expects a full investigation, a full admission of guilt and compensation from
Iran after the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane, President Volodymyr
Zelenskiy said in a statement on Saturday.
had earlier said it mistakenly shot down a plane killing all 176 people aboard
and voiced its deep regret, after initially denying it brought down the
aircraft in the tense aftermath of Iranian missile strikes on US targets in
said “Iran has pleaded guilty to crashing the Ukrainian plane. But we insist on
a full admission of guilt.”
Warren criticized for joining conference call with pro-Iran lobby group
US presidential hopefuls Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are being
criticized for taking part in a recorded conference call with an
Iranian-American advocacy group that has been accused of actively lobbying on
behalf of the Iranian regime.
conference call hosted by MoveOn.org, another advocacy group, took place last
Wednesday and included Jamal Abdi, the president of the National Iranian
American Council (NIAC).
is an advocacy group that claims to be a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization
but has faced accusations of lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime and
against the interests of the Iranian diaspora in the US.
group has a history of attempting to raise unsuccessful lawsuits against its
critics. The council and its founder, Trita Parsi, have previously sued
Iranian-American bloggers and intellectuals who published pieces that
challenged its status as an independent nonprofit organization.
calls for ‘gesture’ from Iran over detained academics
France said on Friday that the imprisonment of two prominent French academics
by Iran was unacceptable and that their release would represent a “significant
gesture,” as tensions mount between Tehran and the West.
plea for the release of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal — imprisoned since
June last year — comes as Iran is embroiled in an international crisis over its
missile attacks on US troops in Iraq and a passenger plane crash near Tehran.
arrests and the fact that they are in prison today is totally unacceptable,”
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio. “It would be a
significant gesture if Iran freed them as soon as possible,” he said.
has repeatedly called for de-escalation in the latest intensification of the
Iran-US standoff, sparked by the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem
Soleimani in an American drone strike which prompted Iran to attack bases in
Iraq housing US troops.
Britain and Germany are scrambling to keep alive a 2015 deal that reined in
Tehran’s nuclear program, which US President Donald Trump walked out of in
has dropped espionage charges against Adelkhah but she still faces charges of
spreading “propaganda against the political system” and “conspiracy against
national security,” her lawyer said this week.
does not recognize Adelkhah’s dual French-Iranian nationality and has lashed
out at Paris for what it has described as “interference” in the cases of the
academics, both from Sciences Po University in Paris.
is also accused of “collusion against national security,” according to his
two researchers are not the only foreign academics behind bars in Iran —
Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert of the University of Melbourne is serving a
10-year sentence on espionage charges.
Po said late last year that Adelkhah and Moore-Gilbert had begun a hunger
strike. Moore-Gilbert has issued a plea to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to
work for her release.
demands official apology from Iran
has demanded an official apology from Iran after Tehran admitted earlier on
Saturday that it unintentionally downed a Ukrainian aircraft killing all
passengers on board.
Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Facebook post: "This morning was not good,
but it brought the truth. Even before the end of the work of the international
investigative commission, Iran admitted its guilt. But we insist on a full
admission. We expect from Iran's assurances to readiness for a full and open
investigation, bring those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of
the victims, payment of compensation, an official apology through diplomatic
General Staff of the Armed Forces said Saturday that a Ukrainian aircraft was
“accidentally” hit by an Iranian missile earlier this week.
Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini
International Airport just hours after Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards
Corps (IRGC) launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles targeting U.S.
troops in Iraq in retaliation for last week’s killing of Qasem Soleimani, a top
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Anti-CAA/NRC/NPR Protests on the pattern of Shaheen Bagh have started in
several parts of India.