Activities of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh in the US
Info Minister Defends Postage Stamp Commemorating Burhan Wani
SIS’ Challenge to Selangor Fatwa to Be Heard
League Hails Spain’s Plan to Recognize Palestine
Reference Verdict Likely On September 28
Forces Rescue 8 Soldiers from the Taliban Captivity in Wardak
orders the upgrade of Ghazni’s administrative formation to first degree
Commander blown up by own explosives in Nangarhar province
Murad demands international pressure on countries supporting terrorism
documents systematic violence against Myanmar Rohingya
Raised in Senate over Imran’s Talks Offer to India
court summons Nawaz Sharif in treason case over Mumbai terror attack remarks
trade potential stands at $37 billion: World Bank
China both important to Pakistan, Qureshi tells press in DC
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Clean About Mass Muslim Detentions, Amnesty Tells China
Naik's Combative Style of Spreading Islam Not Suitable For Malaysia, Says
pro-Syiah leaflets at MRT in KL are illegal, being monitored, says Jawi
To 150 Islamic Extremists Living Here, Claims 'Irish Jihadi'
sues London-based TV channel at Ofcom for supporting Ahvaz attack terrorists
White Helmets family resettled in the UK
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Loss Puts India Back in the Strategic Game in Maldives
Gurdwara: SAD Wants Centre to Negotiate Land Swap with Pakistan
Jawan, three militants killed in anti-infiltration operation in Kupwara
Seeks To Split Middle East Region, Lebanon's President Says
Militants Suffer More Defeats in Clashes with Kurds in Northern Syria
Militants Suppress Popular Uprising in Deir Ezzur
al-Sha’abi accuses US-led forces of attacking its base in Iraq’s Anbar
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
activities of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh in the US
Shankar & Sam Westrop
October 9 to 12, London-based barrister Abdur Razzaq will visit Washington,
D.C. to meet with White House officials, legislators, House committee staffers
and analysts at a number of think tanks. That a lawyer is speaking with
politicians is not particularly worrying. But the fact that Razzaq is also an
assistant secretary general of the violent South Asian Islamist group,
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), is an enormous problem. Are D.C. officials aware of who
exactly they are meeting?
in Lahore (then British India) in 1941 by the Islamist theorist Abul Ala
Maududi, JI has established branches in countries all around the world,
including a substantial network in the United States. JI came to prominence in
1971 after its operatives assisted in the murder of hundreds of thousands of
Bangladeshis fighting for freedom from Pakistani rule. Three million people
reportedly died in the catastrophic war and millions fled to neighboring India
the decades since the 1971 war, JI has committed violent acts all across South
Asia and, today, the Bangladeshi branch is closely involved with Islamist
terror in both Bangladesh and India. JI leaders have openly expressed support
for Taliban terrorists and mourned their deaths. And in 2017, the U.S.
government designated Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmiri jihadist group and JI
Pakistan’s “militant wing,” as a terrorist organization.
the last decade, a war crimes tribunal has tried a number of the 1971 JI
operatives for their role in the genocide, which included establishing and leading
killing squads to slaughter innocent men, women, and children. Some of those
convicted were executed.
lead defense counsel for these war criminals was none other than Abdur Razzaq.
America, JI operatives have their own prominent institutions, which pose as
representative bodies of American Muslims. These institutions and their
officials have served as vocal supporters of JI in Pakistan and Bangladesh,
helped coordinate protests against the War Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh, and
organized lobbying and PR efforts in D.C.
fact, one of the JI war criminals tried in absentia in Bangladesh,
Ashrafuzzaman Khan, fled to the U.S. and helped establish and lead one of these
American JI organizations: the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
Testimony and evidence showed that Khan served as the “chief executor” of a JI
killing squad, named Al-Badr. The war crimes tribunal concluded that he had
carried out the abduction and murder of 18 Bangladeshi intellectuals. “They
killed top professors, journalists, and doctors to make the nation devoid of
any talent,” senior prosecutor M.K. Rahman said immediately following the
guilty verdict against Khan.
does not hide its JI affiliations, and is openly identified as a JI proxy
within Islamist circles. ICNA’s educational programs have featured staunch
hardline ideologues, and JI founder Maududi’s books have been promoted on the
website of ICNA’s youth division, Young Muslims. In fact, JI leader Yusuf
Islahi, a leader of JI’s Indian affiliate (JI Hind), has spoken at ICNA
conventions and is a chief patron of an
ICNA proselytizing project named “WhyIslam.” At a 2001 JI Hind event hosted in
the Indian city of Aligarh, Islahireportedly blamed Jews for the 9/11 attacks,
which he nevertheless described as a befitting response to American arrogance.
operates an international relief arm named Helping Hand for Relief and
Development, a 501(c)(3) which raised an astonishing $40 million in 2016.
Despite its position as one of the wealthier charities in America, Helping Hand
organized a conference in Pakistan last December with the Falah-e-Insaniat
Foundation, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the State
Department in 2010 because of its function as the charitable wing of the
Pakistani terrorist network Lashkar-e-Taiba, which helped mastermind the 2008
Hand chairman Mohsin Ansari (also the former chairman of ICNA Relief) openly
identifies as a JI member, and refers to the convicted 1971 killers as “heroes”
whom the “Pakistani nation will remember… for centuries to come.” He praises
Islamist politicians who are elected in spite of efforts by “anti-Muslim media
headed by jews [sic].” And in 2016, Ansari revealed that ICNA was asked to
arrange funeral prayers for one of the executed war criminals, Motiur Rahman
Nizami, the founder of the Al Badr killing squad. Ansari praised Nizami and
noted that his son had “has worked in USA (sic) tirelessly for years to help
relieve the victimization of Jammat workers in Bangladesh.”
ties have dogged American JI groups for years. One of the two women indicted
for their role in a 2015 Islamic State bomb plot lived in an ICNA-run shelter
and appeared in ICNA promotional material. And just the other week, on Sept. 6,
an ICNA official in Connecticut, Fareed Khan, was indicted by a grand jury
after lying to the FBI about his involvement with ICNA and Helping Hand. An FBI
affidavit revealed that Khan had been questioned on suspicion of financing
terror in Pakistan through the purchase and sale of medical supplies.
visit to the U.S. — to woo administration and legislative officials who will
likely never have heard of JI — is just the latest in a long campaign by JI’s
senior leaders. They seek to persuade American policymakers that JI is a benign
force, while neatly avoiding mention of its long history of theocratically
driven violence and ties to terror.
2011, a senior JI leader, Mir Quasem Ali, and his U.S.-based brother reportedly
spent over $300,000 to hire a top lobbying firm to influence American lawmakers
against the war crimes tribunal. Quasem Ali was hanged in September 2016
following his conviction on eight charges by Bangladesh’s International Crimes
Tribunal, including the abduction and killing of a teenager who had dared to
support Bangladeshi independence.
brother, Mir Masum Ali, serves on the executive board of the JI-tied Muslim
Ummah of North America (MUNA), another prominent American JI outpost. In 2010,
MUNA organized a picnic, at which Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, JI’s then-assistant
secretary general, was the guest of honor. In 2013, the war crimes tribunal
sentenced Kamaruzzaman to death for his role in the murder of 120 unarmed
is an extremist minority movement. In South Asia, it has never achieved
significant electoral success. In America, a 2011 Gallup poll revealed that a
mere 2% of American Muslims thought ICNA best represents their interests.
has no mandate, advocates hardline Islamism, and has engaged in brutal violence
for decades. Policymakers should not be placing its operatives on guest lists;
they belong on terror lists.
Shankar is the Senior Intelligence Analyst at the Investigative Project on
Terrorism, and Sam Westrop is the Director of Islamist Watch, a project of the
Middle East Forum.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday stated that postal stamp of
Burhan Wani indicated Pakistan’s narrative that considers him a freedom
information minister stated this during his address to the Senate. He
maintained that all Kashmiris martyred in the Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) are
freedom fighters, as they gave their lives in the battle against Indian
information minister said that Pakistan’s heart beats and bleeds for Kashmiris,
adding that India should review its oppressive policies and admit that Kashmir
doesn’t want to be affiliated with the state.
said that Pakistan will not be affected by the internal situation of India.
know appropriate response if India continues the same attitude,” he said.
“Entire nation is united for national security,” he mentioned.
said that Kashmir dispute is the prime contention between Pakistan and India,
and there will be no dialogue without taking the issue into consideration.
information minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision is to raise
the living standards of people of South Asia living below the poverty line.
said India Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the line of fire for his alleged
involvement in a multi-billion graft scandal hence the Indian ruling elite
desires to deflect the attention of their masses from the issue.
statements came in the backdrop of cancellation of the proposed meeting of
foreign ministers at the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by
India on the excuse of the alleged killing of his BSF soldiers and issuance of
postal stamps of Burhan Wani.
Minister Imran Khan reacted on the response by saying that he was disappointed
at India’s arrogant and negative response to his call for the resumption of the
peace dialogue between the two countries.
at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for the resumption of
the peace dialogue,” PM Imran tweeted. “However, all my life I have come across
small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger
picture,” he added.
SIS’ challenge to Selangor fatwa to be heard
Muslim NGO Sisters in Islam (SIS) and two others will have their day in court
after four years, with the High Court to hear their challenge to revoke a fatwa
issued by the Selangor religious authorities in 2014.
Federal Court today remitted the matter for hearing to determine the merit of
the case after receiving consent to the action from all relevant parties.
seven-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Richard Malanjum also set aside a
Court of Appeal ruling made on March 2 last year.
consent allowed the religious authorities to raise any issue, including whether
the High Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate the judicial review brought by
SIS, the group’s co-founder Zainah Mahfoozah Anwar and former federal minister
action was triggered in 2014 after the Selangor Islamic Religious Council
(Mais) issued a fatwa that SIS subscribed to liberalism and religious
pluralism, thus deviating from the teachings of Islam.
bench today was scheduled to hear the appeal by the Selangor Fatwa Committee,
Mais and the state government on whether the civil court had jurisdiction to
hear the case.
lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar urged the court to strike out the appeal as the
Federal Court had held in the case of M Indira Gandhi earlier this year that
the civil court had the authority to hear disputes when Islamic religious
authorities act beyond their powers.
court is reminded not to depart too soon from that ruling,” said Malik who is
appearing for SIS, Zainah and Zaid.
added that the appeal had also become academic.
counsel Sulaiman Abdullah, who is representing the fatwa committee, said the
appeal could be heard as leave on legal questions had been given.
said the Court of Appeal, which allowed the appeal by SIS, Zainiah and Zaid
last year, had not made a decision on the issue of jurisdiction.
merely said that jurisdiction could not be raised again as the High Court had
been given leave to hear the judicial review,” he said.
bench reconvened after a short break, with Richard saying its members had
decided to send the case for hearing.
parties then drafted a consent order for the court’s approval.
March 2, a three-member Court of Appeal bench chaired by Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat
said the civil court had jurisdiction to hear the trio’s complaint.
Maimun also ordered for the merit of the case to be heard before a new judge.
was against the ruling by justice Hanipah Farikullah on June 24, 2016 that the
civil court had no power to hear cases pertaining to religious matters such as
said the civil court had no jurisdiction to grant the remedies sought by the
NGO as fatwas came under the exclusive jurisdiction of the shariah court.
confusion over jurisdiction arose when Asmabi Mohamad, who first heard the
case, gave SIS the green light for judicial review.
Dec 10, 2014, Asmabi ruled that SIS had proven its application was not
frivolous and that its arguments should be heard in full.
Hanipah who took over from Asmabi, reversed the findings after a preliminary
objection raised by the state religious authorities.
League hails Spain’s plan to recognize Palestine
Arab League on Monday welcomed Spain’s willingness to recognize the state of
Spanish move reflects the deep attachment the people and government of Spain
have toward the Palestinian cause, the league’s Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul
Gheit said in a statement.
Wednesday, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell announced his country's
intention to officially recognize the state of Palestine, saying Madrid was now
awaiting a unanimous EU resolution in this regard.
to Borrell, his government plans to set a deadline by which the EU should reach
consensus on the issue.
the deadline passes without consensus being reached, the foreign minister said,
Madrid will unilaterally acknowledge the state of Palestine.
current U.S. administration policies starting with the transfer of its embassy
to Jerusalem last May unveiled its complete prejudice to the Israeli agenda.
Those policies require all the peace-loving powers to stand by the Palestinians
in their legitimate peaceful struggle," the Arab League’s secretary general
noted that “such a step will encourage other European countries to follow
embarked on its current strategy of seeking international recognition as an
independent state in 1988 with its declaration of independence.
2009 and 2010, a second phase of this strategy began, during which a number of
capitals formally recognized Palestine as a country.
2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the world
body to a “non-member observer state”.
reference verdict likely on September 28
on 1994 judgment on role of mosques as places of prayer in Islam
Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its judgment on September 28 on whether to
refer the question if a “mosque as a place of prayer is an essential part of
Islam” in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid appeals to a Constitution Bench.
petitions are seen listed in the advance causelist for September 28.
three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok
Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer had taken up the long-pending Ayodhya land title
appeals against the Allahabad High Court judgment of 2010, which had ordered a
three-way partition of the disputed land.
a civil suit’
Justice Misra had in the beginning observed that the appeals would be decided
like any other civil suit, shorn of any “religious sentiments” displayed by the
as the hearings progressed in the appeals, the Muslim appellants pressed that
the place of a mosque in Islam and the importance of the practice of offering
prayers inside a mosque should be first decided by a five-judge Bench. They
said this question should be answered before the court goes into the main title
bone of contention here is an observation made in a 1994 judgment of the
Supreme Court in the Ismail Farooqui case that “a mosque is not an essential
part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can
be offered anywhere, even in open”.
advocate Rajeev Dhavan, for the Muslims appellants, argued that the observation
has affected the status of mosques in Islam.
[the] congregation part of Islam is taken away, a large part of Islam goes
worthless. Mosques are meant for congregation and prayer,” Mr. Dhavan had
argued on why mosques are “essential”.
advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for one of the contesting Hindu bodies,
had countered that the observation in the 1994 judgment, read in its entirety,
only points to the fact that all places of worship are equally susceptible for
fact, the particular paragraph in the judgment reads that “a mosque is not an
essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam, and namaz (prayer) by
Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open. Accordingly, its acquisition is
not prohibited by the provisions in the Constitution of India. Irrespective of
the status of a mosque in an Islamic country for the purpose of immunity from
acquisition by the State in exercise of the sovereign power, its status and
immunity from acquisition in the secular ethos of India under the Constitution
is the same and equal to that of the places of worship of the other religions,
namely, church, temple etc. It is neither more nor less than that of the places
of worship of the other religions”.
forces rescue 8 soldiers from the Taliban captivity in Wardak
Afghan forces have rescued eight soldiers from the Taliban captivity during an
operation conducted in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said
the operations were conducted in the vicinity of Daid Merdad district.
statement further added at least 65 militants were killed and at least 15
others sustained injuries during the operations.
Afghan forces also arrested three militants during the same operations, the
203rd Thunder Corps added in its statement.
the meantime, the Thunder Corps says at least eight Afghan soldiers who were
kept as hostages by the Taliban militants were also rescued during the
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the report so far.
Wardak is among the relatively volatile provinces in Central parts of the
country where the Taliban militants are actively operating in some of its
comes as the Afghan armed forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism
operations in Maidan Wardak and other restive parts of the country.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has ordered the upgrade of administrative formation of
Ghazni province to first degree, the Office of the President, ARG Palace said.
to a statement released by ARG Palace, a meeting was organized in the
Presidential Palace on Monday to review the security situation and administrative
formation of the province.
also added that another administrative complex should be constructed for the
secondary units as the current complex is not having the capacity for the first
degree administrative units.
Ghani further added that the recent conflict in Ghazni has inflicted heavy
losses on Ghazni and its residents, emphasizing that the immediate steps should
be taken regarding the administrative units of the province and to fulfill the
commitments which have been made to the people of the province.
Ghani also added that Bala Hesar area should turned into a landmark place and
work opportunities and safe environment must be established for the residents
of the province, including women.
local Taliban Commander was blown up by own explosives in eastern Nangarhar province
of Afghanistan, the Afghan Military in East said Monday.
to a statement released by 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military, the
incident took place on Sunday in the vicinity of Ghani Khel district.
statement further added that a local Taliban commander identified as Ahmadshah
was transporting an improvised explosive device in a vehicle when the explosion
Taliban commander and his comrades were looking to plant the improvised
explosive device on Jalalabad-Torkham highway, the 201st Silab Corps said,
adding that two Commander Ahmadshah’s comrades were wounded in the explosion.
and other militants often use IED as the weapon of their choice to target the
security forces and government but in majority of such attacks ordinary
civilians are targeted, besides such attacks often claims the lives of the
militants as well.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in its latest report stated that
1,692 civilians were killed in the first six months of 2018.
to UNAMA, the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in attacks by
Anti-Government Elements remained the leading cause of civilian casualties.
Commander of Kabul Garrison Command General Murad Ali has urged the
international community to increase pressures on countries which are supporting
during a press conference in Kabul, Gen. Murad said terrorism is a regional and
international phenomenon, emphasizing that the international community should
unite in the fight against terrorism and increase pressures on countries supporting
the terror groups.
Murad further added that the ongoing conflict has been imposed on Afghanistan
and the Afghans are in the frontline of the fight against terrorism.
comes as the Afghan and U.S. officials have long been claiming that the militant
and terrorist groups, particularly the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani
terrorist network, use their safe havens in Pakistan to plan and coordinate
attacks in Afghanistan.
the Pakistani officials have repeatedly rejected the claims of the Afghan and
the meantime, Gen. Murad hailed the national defense and security forces for
their efforts in maintaining better security during the Day of Ashura.
United States said Monday it had found evidence of systematic violence by
Myanmar's military against the Rohingya minority, including widespread killings
State Department released the report just as the United States announced $185
million in new funding for Rohingya refugees during a meeting at the United
Nations on Myanmar.
State Department study, based on interviews in April with 1,024 Rohingya adults
who have taken refuge in neighboring Bangladesh, provided accounts consistent
with reports from human rights groups but kept largely to dispassionate
descriptions of events.
report notably did not use the terms genocide or ethnic cleansing to describe
the mass killings of the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim group concentrated in
Rakhine state that is despised by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and who are
not considered citizens.
survey reveals that the recent violence in northern Rakhine State was extreme,
large-scale, widespread and seemingly geared toward both terrorizing the
population and driving out the Rohingya residents," said the report by the
State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
scope and scale of the military's operations indicate they were well-planned
and coordinated," it said.
some areas, perpetrators used tactics that resulted in mass casualties, for
example, locking people in houses to burn them, fencing off entire villages
before shooting into the crowd or sinking boats full of hundreds of fleeing
Most see killings, rape -
report said that 82 percent of the interviewed refugees personally witnessed
killings, with 51 percent also reporting sexual violence.
State Department said that witnesses hailing from multiple villages reported
similar rapes, in which military men would force all the women to leave their
would then choose a smaller number of women -- often four or five, but some
refugees reported up to 20 -- whom as many 15 soldiers would then take to
fields, forests, houses, schools, mosques or latrines to gang rape," it
victims were reportedly killed afterward, though not in all cases," it
said, adding that soldiers in some cases would go door to door to find the
"'prettiest' girls" to gang-rape.
an overwhelming 88 percent of cases, the witnesses said that the military was
behind atrocities. Few said they saw attacks against them by the Arakan
Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), the Islamic militant group whose assaults on
military posts in October 2016 triggered the crackdown.
violence in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, was unleashed soon after the
country transitioned to democracy, undermining what Western governments had
hailed as a triumph of engagement.
campaign against the Rohingya has especially tarnished the reputation of Aung
San Suu Kyi, the long-detained democracy advocate and Nobel laureate who has
been reticent in addressing the violence.
Help for refugees -
than 700,000 Rohingya took refuge in Bangladesh, fearful of returning to
Myanmar despite a repatriation deal between the two countries.
Britain hosted a meeting of about a dozen foreign ministers that was also
attended by Myanmar's state counselor Kyaw Tint Swe and International
Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin, although Suu Kyi did not come to New York.
from a visit to Myanmar, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned that
military leaders must answer for any atrocities committed against the Rohingya,
a foreign office spokesperson said.
in a year's time, we have not made a meaningful difference to the lives of the
million or more people affected, then we have failed as an international
community," Hunt told the closed meeting, according to the spokesperson.
Ambassador Nikki Haley announced the $185 million for food, water, health care
and other critical aid to the refugees, even as the United States dramatically
scales back its admission of refugees.
raised in Senate over Imran’s talks offer to India
Senators belonging to the opposition benches on Monday questioned the dialogue
offer made by Prime Minister Imran Khan to India at a time when Indian forces
had intensified brutalities in held Kashmir.
the issue in the House, Senate’s former chairman Mian Raza Rabbani of Pakistan
Peoples Party said that Indian forces continued to perpetrate atrocities on
Kashmiris who were struggling to achieve their cherished goal, adding that
given the situation in held Kashmir the PM’s offer for talks to India was
said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to Mr Khan was ceremonial in
nature, but an offer of dialogue was made in the letter written in response to
it. He also objected to the language used in the letter that “we are ready to
discuss terrorism”. He said it was known to all what India’s position was on
the issue of terrorism.
What the Indian media is saying about Modi govt's cancellation of UNGA meeting
also referred to Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood’s remarks that “let the
CPEC projects be put on hold for one year” and said a clarification just said
he had been quoted out of context, leaving people to wonder what he had
Rabbani also expressed his concerns over reports that Saudi Arabia had been
offered to build a city of oil in Gwadar. “Is it the singular superpower you
are trying to please? Do you want to realign the foreign policy?” he questioned
and said it could not be done by off-the-cuff actions and statements. He
stressed that parliament was the forum to take such decisions.
Abdul Ghafoor Haidri of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl questioned as to how a
single individual could offer dialogue to India. He criticised PM Khan for
writing a letter to his Indian counterpart without taking parliament into
confidence. He advised Mr Khan to tread carefully, saying that the PM was
taking decisions in haste which lacked vision.
Minister Fawad Chaudhry explained that Mr Khan’s letter to the Indian prime
minister was a response to a communication he received from him. He said
Pakistan wanted to find a solution to all bilateral disputes with India,
including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
two countries have been fighting for seventy years and we can continue to fight
for another seventy years if India wants,” he remarked and warned that a
nuclear war — if it broke out — would mean devastation of the subcontinent.
Chaudhry said PM Khan’s vision was to alleviate sufferings of the millions of
people living below the poverty line in the region. He said Pakistan would be
in the middle of two big international markets if its relations with India were
Javed of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf regretted that efforts were being made
for point-scoring on the issues which required a complete unity in the ranks of
the political class. “We need to project Pakistan’s narrative,” he stressed.
taking part in the debate on the recently announced mini budget, Senator
retired Gen Abdul Qayyum called for immediate efforts for the debt rescheduling
as was done in 2002 with 15 countries, the World Bank, International Monetary
Fund and Paris Club which offered $12 billion with zero interest payments for
initial 15 years. He also asked the government to unfold a long-term economic
policy and macro-economic strategy to implement the evolved policy, besides
immediately privatising state owned enterprises constantly adding to financial
burden or evolving a system of their effective governance.
also suggested effective checks on leakages and pilferage in the energy sector
to put a stop to circular debts once for all.
The Lahore high court on Monday summoned Nawaz Sharif on October 8 during the
hearing of a petition seeking action against the deposed prime minister for
claiming that those involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack belonged to
for the first time in May, publicly acknowledged in an interview to Dawn that
terrorist organisations are active in Pakistan and questioned the policy to
allow the "non-state actors" to cross the border and "kill"
people in Mumbai.
the exclusive interview, he had also criticised the apparent delay in the conclusion
of the Mumbai attack trial.
Lahore high court's three-member bench headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar
Naqvi also issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Dawn journalist Cyril
Almeida and ordered placing his name on the Exit Control List.
Naqvi expressed anger over non-appearance of Almeida in the court, directing
the Deputy Inspector General of the Police Punjab to present him in the court
on next hearing (October 8)," a court official told reporters.
judge, before summoning Sharif on October 8, also inquired from Sharif's
counsel advocate Naseer Bhutta as why his client did not appear before the
court on Monday.
Bhutta said Sharif would appear in the next hearing as he was mourning the
death of his wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. She died of throat cancer on September
11 in London.
prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, however, appeared before the court.
Amina Malik said Sharif, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the
Panama Papers case in July 2017 and subsequently jailed for 10 years in
Avenfield corruption case, in an interview to Dawn made the remarks that those
involved in the Mumbai attack case actually belonged to Pakistan, thus he
petitioner said the "anti-state" statement of Sharif — a three-time
prime minister — could be used against Pakistan by its enemies.
said a meeting of the National Security Council was held to discuss the
'misleading' statement of the disqualified premier and later then prime
minister Abbasi met Sharif and conveyed to him the concerns of the military
leadership on his statement.
act of Abbasi was also a clear violation of his oath as he was bound not to
allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct," the
court adjourned the hearing till October 8.
68, resigned as Pakistan prime minister last year after the Supreme Court
disqualified him from holding public office and ruled that graft cases be filed
against the beleaguered leader and his children over the Panama Papers scandal.
Avenfield case was among the three corruption cases filed against the
ex-premier by the National Accountability Bureau on the Supreme Court's orders
in the Panama Papers case.
his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar were released last
week following the suspension of their sentences by the Islamabad High Court in
the Avenfield properties corruption case.
India and Pakistan have merely scratched the surface of their bilateral trade
potential, as a World Bank report released on Monday estimates that trade
between the two countries today is a mere $2 billion whereas without trade
barriers, this could reach $37bn.
report, “A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia” says
the lack of normal bilateral trade relations between the two countries affects
the formation or deepening of regional value-chains in various high-value
reports has highlighted among key factors, the long list of product
restrictions in bilateral trade. India and Pakistan continue to maintain long,
sensitive lists of items on which no tariff concessions are granted.
has a list of 936 items and almost 17.9pc of tariff lines that apply to imports
from all Safta countries. India maintains a list of 25 items (0.5pc of tariff
lines), which includes goods such as alcohol, firearms, etc.
it has a much longer, 64-item list, (almost 11.7pc of tariff lines) for
Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but which effectively applies only to Pakistan, because
India applies a smaller sensitive list to Sri Lanka as part of a separate
India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.
on the Indian sensitive list can be imported at the most-favoured-nation
tariffs from any Safta country, including Pakistan, because India accorded
Pakistan the status in 1996, soon after the accession of the two countries to
the World Trade Organisation. However, Pakistan has not granted India the
most-favoured-nation’s status or non-discriminatory market access.
addition, the preferential access granted by Pakistan on 82.1pc of tariff lines
under Safta is partially blocked in the case of India because Pakistan
maintains a negative list comprising 1,209 items that cannot be imported from
India. In practice, many of these items are exported from India to Pakistan
through a third country, usually the United Arab Emirates.
report says another barrier to bilateral trade is the proliferation of NTMs
(non-tariff measures), some of which take the form of non-tariff barriers, such
as port restrictions.
allows only 138 items to be imported from India over the Attari-Wagah land
route. Furthermore, cargo trucks from either side cannot move beyond their
border zones, which means that goods must be transloaded at the border, adding
to the time and cost of trading.
factor impeding bilateral trade in goods and services, as well as FDI, is the
encumbered visa regime that India and Pakistan have created for each other,
which restricts the mobility of people between the two countries.
United States and China are equally important to Pakistan, said Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while speaking at the Pakistani embassy in
Washington D.C. on Sunday.
was responding to a media questions on the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf led
government’s foreign policy ahead of his participation at the United Nations
73rd General Assembly.
will address the Assembly on the Sept 29, and will hold meetings with US
officials including, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on October 2.
highlighted that Pakistan considers China as an ‘important and reliable
friend’, while referring to the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He
also stressed, “America is also important to Pakistan.”
on the restoration of US security assistance, he commented that the US had
suspended financial assistance earlier too, in order to apply pressure on
Pakistan, but it proved futile.
on the cancellation of training opportunities for Pakistani soldiers in the US,
Qureshi explained, “Direct face to face connections lead to trust and
confidence, established through a personal understanding of one another.
Suspension of military assistance for Pakistani officers to train in the US has
spoiled the chance for the US and Pakistani officers to establish personal
relationships, trust and shared goals.”
he said the two administrations are now exploring ways to re-establish
confidence in one another. He continued, “Pakistan had a fractured relationship
with the US, but we are working on ways to improve it.”
need to look for convergence and see how we can better manage that
convergence,” he said.
emphasized the importance of the US-Pakistan relationship, highlighting
previous collaborations. He said, “the US has benefited from its relationship
with Pakistan during the Cold War, the hunt for Al- Qaida, and now again in the
War On Terror.” Speaking on the US demand for Pakistan to exert influence on
the Taliban to participate in the Afghan peace process, Qureshi said, “We will
use whatever influence we have. Our intentions are positive. We have a clear
the recent US delegation visit to Pakistan that included Pompeo, and Chairman
Joint Chief of Staff General Joseph Dunford, Qureshi said, “we held very frank,
candid and honest discussions about the bilateral relationship.” He continued,
“the US delegation also viewed the discussions positively, and as a step in
moving the relationship forward.”
US delegation’s next stop after Pakistan was India, where Qureshi said it was,
“understood and a forgone conclusion that terrorism as an issue of discussion
would be raised by India.” However, he stressed this was not something that
concerned Pakistan. Speaking about the flourishing US- India relationship
Qureshi said, “Pakistan has no issue with that.”
India’s recent refusal to meet on the sidelines of the U.N. meetings in New
York, he said that though he was dismayed at India’s vacillation, the door for
negotiations remained open for resumption of talks. “We will not abandon our
efforts for peace he said.”
he also stressed that although peace and stability is essential for the region,
‘It is not just Pakistan’s responsibility’. He encouraged all countries in the
region to actively engage in efforts to achieve peace and stability.
reiterated Pakistan’s offer to open Kartarpur border crossing for Sikh pilgrims
to attend Baba Guru Nanak’s anniversary this year. “Although India appears
reluctant, we will not close our doors,” he said, describing Pakistan’s
willingness to improve relations.
added, “not addressing the issues will not resolve them and neither will it
improve the situation in Kashmir.”
unequivocally rejected India’s concerns regarding a Pakistani postal stamp
depicting Kashmiri freedom fighter, Burhan Wani. “Thousands of people are
fighting for freedom in Kashmir, not all of them are terrorists,” he said.
on the Pakistani delegation’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, he
said, “We made it clear we were not asking for money.” He continued the
relationship with Saudi Arabia is very important to Pakistan. “The purpose of
the visit was to reconnect with reliable allies who have remained with us and
supported us during difficult times.”
Stand firm against LGBT
LUMPUR, Sept 25 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang lauded unnamed
leaders today for remaining steadfast in their opposition of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) proclivities.
likened such non-heterosexual tendencies to a “dangerous disease” and against
his column on Harakah Daily, he also cautioned the people to be wary of leaders
who have supported the LGBT community in return for popular support. He did not
name these leaders.
done to the leaders who realise the dangers of the disease that is misguided
and against nature, and be wary of the leaders who have slipped only to get
support in the general elections, to the point they too had thought against
what is natural,” he wrote in his column.
expressed concern that Islamic principles would be eroded by those advocating
the LGBT and their call for non-discrimination.
said such views came from the West and were deviant.
who are sympathetic are also misguided despite having the ability to think
is what happens when they are influenced by the non-Islamic thinking that is most
ignorant and had caused many problems in the country,” he said.
said one must not champion for what goes against nature.
who do are acting out of ignorance, he added.
is the stupidest (thing) when one does not realise that they are being stupid.
has set a heavy punishment for wrongdoings that goes against nature, which can
bring a negative impact on the individuals,” he said.
clean about mass Muslim detentions, Amnesty tells China
China must come clean about the fate of an estimated one million minority
Muslims swept up in a “massive crackdown” in its far western region of
Xinjiang, Amnesty International said Monday.
has tightened restrictions on Muslim minorities to combat what it calls Islamic
extremism and separatist elements in Xinjiang.Critics say the drive risks
fuelling resentment towards Beijing and further inflaming separatist sentiment.
a new report, which included testimony from people held in the camps, the
international rights group said Beijing had rolled out “an intensifying
government campaign of mass internment, intrusive surveillance, political
indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation”. Uighurs and other Muslim
minorities are punished for violating regulations banning beards and burqas,
and for the possession of unauthorised Korans, it added.
to a million people are detained in internment camps, a United Nations panel on
racial discrimination reported last month, with many detained for offences as
minor as making contact with family members outside the country or sharing
Islamic holiday greetings on social media. “Hundreds of thousands of families
have been torn apart by this massive crackdown,” said Nicholas Bequelin,
Amnesty International’s East Asia director, in a statement.
are desperate to know what has happened to their loved ones and it is time the
Chinese authorities give them answers.”Beijing has denied reports of the camps
but evidence is mounting in the form of government documents and escapee
suggest that Chinese authorities are detaining large groups of people in a
network of extrajudicial camps for political and cultural indoctrination on a
scale unseen since the Maoist era.Amnesty’s report interviewed several former
detainees who said they were put in shackles, tortured, and made to sing
political songs and learn about the Communist Party.
testimony tallies with evidence gathered by foreign reporters and rights groups
in the past year. Amnesty also called on governments around the world to hold
Beijing to account for “the nightmare” unfolding in Xinjiang. Last week, US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced “awful abuses” of Uighur Muslims
detained in re-education camps. “Hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of
Uighurs are held against their will in so-called re-education camps where
they’re forced to endure severe political indoctrination and other awful
abuses,” Pompeo said in a speech.
Pakistan, China’s biggest Muslim ally, quickly denied reports last week that it
had criticised Beijing — which is pouring billions in infrastructure investment
into the country — over the issue.
affairs minister Noorul Haq Qadri told AFP China has agreed to exchange
delegations of religious students to help promote “harmony” between Muslims and
Chinese authorities. China’s top leaders recently called for religious
practices to be brought in line with “traditional” Chinese values and culture,
sparking concern among rights groups.
Naik's combative style of spreading Islam not suitable for Malaysia, says
LUMPUR: The combative style of propagating Islam, which puts down other
beliefs, as practised by Dr Zakir Naik (pic), is not suitable for Malaysia said
Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs hit
out at the controversial preacher from India who has a penchant for insulting
has sought refuge in Malaysia amid an investigation for fostering terrorism by
authorities in his home country.
don’t want a debate that ridicules others. We need a more intellectual and
composed method of Islamic propagation without the need to ridicule other
religions,” he was reported as saying on Free Malaysia Today in his speech to
launch a seminar today on Islam and the challenges in a multiracial society.
have also pointed out that he is wanted by the authorities in his homeland of
India due to allegations involving terrorism and financial irregularities.
52-year-old televangelist, who was close to leaders of the previous Barisan
Nasional government and was granted Malaysian permanent resident status, is
fighting attempts to have him deported back to India.
Mujahid said he was also responsible for defending the rights of other
said Islamic missionary work in the past was successful because it did not
attack other beliefs.
JAYA: Only one school of Muslim thought is allowed in Malaysia and the
propagation of anything other than the Sunni Islam teachings known as “ahli
Sunnah Wal Jamaah” is forbidden, said Federal Territory Islamic Religious
Department (Jawi) director Mohd Ajib Ismail.
is following the distribution of doughnuts and leaflets believed to be by the
pro-Syiah “Who is Hussain?” movement at the Bukit Bintang monorail station in Kuala
Lumpur. (The Muslim world is split into Sunni and Syiah schools of thought, and
the latter is illegal in Malaysia.)
Ajib said that Jawi was aware of the uneasiness of the Muslim community
concerning the programme which was organised on Sept 22.
the matter, Jawi will continue to monitor the development based on the public
report received through social media,” it said in a statement.
or Sunnah Wal Jamaah, means “followers of the Prophet’s teachings who are the
righteous majority in the Muslim community”.
to its YouTube page, the programme is a global movement and a charitable
organisation aimed to inspire individuals from different backgrounds based on
the characteristics of Hussain, who is the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and
the son of Saidina Ali. (Hussain is a central figure for the Syiah school of
Ajib said based on the fatwa made by The Islamic Legal Consultative Committee
under the Administration Of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 - Act 505,
it is affirmed that the teachings other than the Sunni school of thought known
as “ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah” is illegal.
the spread of any other teachings to Muslims besides Sunni Islam in the Federal
Territories is forbidden.
urge that any parties who have additional information on such matters to come
forward and report it to Jawi for further action.
the same time, we urged all parties to calm down and let the authorities handle
any matter that arises from it,” he said.
from the Federal Territories, Syiah Islam is also illegal nationally.
1996 fatwa or decree by the Fatwa Committee of the National Council of Islamic
Religious Affairs stated that Muslims in Malaysia must only follow the
teachings of Islam “based on the doctrine of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah on
creed, religious laws and ethics”.
to 150 Islamic extremists living here, claims 'Irish jihadi'
Irish woman who admits she was radicalised after converting to Islam has
claimed that there are up to 150 Islamic extremists living in Ireland.
Virgin Media One documentary with Paul Williams called Ireland's Jihadis, to be
broadcast on Wednesday night, lifts the lid on the presence of Islamic
extremism in Ireland and questions whether it poses a threat to national
security and to our neighbours in Europe.
programme focuses on the dramatic claims made by 'Aaliyah' - not her real name
- who converted to Islam when she moved to live in the UK, claiming to have
been influenced by the 9/11 attacks, before being radicalised there.
Williams also interviews leading Irish and UK experts and survivors of the
London Bridge attack, which happened on June 3 last year and claimed the lives
of eight innocent people.
the frenzied Saturday night attack, which left a further 48 people seriously
injured, a van ploughed through pedestrians walking on the bridge before three
terrorists - Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba - ran through the
nearby Borough Market randomly stabbing people out socialising.
three attackers were shot dead by armed police eight minutes after the incident
programme will tell how the follow-up investigation uncovered evidence which,
for the first time, established a direct link between Ireland and IS-inspired
terrorism in the UK, when it was discovered that one of the attackers, Rachid
Redouane, had been living in Ireland.
a Moroccan-born pastry chef, had been denied asylum in the UK multiple times
and had been arrested in 2009 boarding a ferry to Belfast using a false
passport and name.
his record, Redouane was able to move to Ireland in 2012, where he married his
English partner and was granted residency status - which meant he could live in
programme will examine how Islamist terrorists are using Ireland as a safe
haven where they can hide out, radicalise recruits and raise funds through
also suggests Ireland is being used as a back door into the UK and Europe.
programme hears from a number of international security experts, a former spy
and a leading Muslim cleric.
academic Dr Ed Burke, who specialises in insurgency, terrorism and security at
the University of Nottingham, also believes that Ireland is seen as a safe
haven for terrorists.
think once they get to Dublin there's a sense and awareness among Islamist
extremists that the heat is off to some extent," he said.
awareness that Ireland isn't a first-class security infrastructure State is
known by Islamist extremist networks, that we are stretched and don't have the
same type of intelligence capability as other European countries."
Iranian embassy in London has filed a lawsuit against the London-based TV
channel Iran International at the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom over the
channel’s support for a terrorist group involved in the Saturday attack on a
military parade in Iran’s Ahvaz.
Iranian embassy in London has taken its official lawsuit to ‘Ofcom’ [asking it]
to investigate the Iran International TV channel’s illegal move to broadcast an
interview with the spokesman of the [al-Ahwaziya] terrorist group,” Iranian
ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said in a Monday tweet.
[the embassy] has separately requested the UK government to identify members of
the terrorist group, ban their activity, and expel them from the country,” he
went on to say.
"al-Ahwaziya", which receives backing mainly from Saudi Arabia, is
the terrorist group which claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack on the
military parade in Ahvaz, southwest of Iran, killing at least 25 and wounding
over 60 innocent people.
after the attack, the London-based TV channel Iran International allowed the
terrorist group’s spokesman to go live on air to justify their heinous crime.
move was strongly criticized by Baeidinejad on Saturday. “Iran International
has shamefully broadcast an interview with the spokesperson of the terrorist
group behind today's terrorist attack in Ahwaz. We condemn this heinous act and
will pursue formally with Ofcom to investigate it as an act in supporting
terrorism and violence,” he said in a tweet.
Iranian foreign ministry also conveyed the country’s strong protest to the
interim British chargé d’affaires in Tehran, who was summoned in the absence of
was stressed to the UK envoy that in the eyes of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
it is not acceptable, whatsoever, for the spokesperson of the al-Ahwaziya
terrorist group to be allowed to claim responsibility for this terrorist act
via a London-based TV network,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said
addition to al-Ahwaziya, the Daesh terrorist group also claimed it was behind
the attack and published online purported footage of the assailants.
of the four assailants involved in the attack were killed by Iranian security
forces, and a fourth one was arrested but later died of the wounds he had
sustained during a security chase.
hideout found, 22 arrested’
a Monday statement, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced its forces have
found the hideout of the terrorists involved in the Saturday attack, and
arrested 22 elements in connection with the incident.
to the statement, the ones arrested provided support for the foreign-backed
will resettle up to 100 people linked to Syrian volunteer group the White
Helmets, the government announced on Monday
rescue mission led by the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany in July, and
carried out by the Israel Defence Forces, evacuated 98 White Helmets and their
families, a total of 422 people, to Jordan via the Golan Heights in July. Now
the British government has announced its willingness to resettle some of the
families in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
White Helmets, named for the distinctive white hard hats they wear, operate in
rebel-held areas of Syria, acting as an emergency response service.
to The Telegraph, the first family has already moved to the UK and the rest are
due to move by the end of the month. This includes 29 White Helmets members and
around 70 of their family members.
actions of the White Helmets demonstrate true modern day heroism. They are
rightly respected for their courageous, life-saving work and have previously
been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize,” foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said
in a statement.
welcome the first White Helmets to be resettled in the UK.”
not all members of the civil defence group escaped from Syria, and they now
face an uncertain future.
Bashar Al Assad issued a warning to the remaining White Helmets in the wake of
told Russian media, “The fate of the White Helmets will be the same as that of
any terrorist. They have two paths: either lay down their arms and take
advantage of amnesty, or be liquidated, like other terrorists”.
has condemned the mistreatment of the Baha’i community by Houthi rebels in
Yemen, after a court under the Iran-backed rebels’ control began prosecuting 24
members of the religious minority.
in the mass trial, which includes eight women and one child, are accused of
atheism and spying for Israel and the United States, charges which could lead
to death sentences.
persecution of members of the Baha’i community in areas of Yemen under Houthi
control due to their religious beliefs is a serious violation of international
human rights law, Britain’s special envoy for freedom of religion and belief,
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, said on Monday.
cases of arbitrary detention and continuing reports of the abuse of detainees
by the Houthis are deeply concerning, and we wholly condemn this mistreatment.”
Wimbledon added: “We are working closely with our partners to raise these
concerns directly with the Houthi authorities and press for the release of
detained individuals. We also call on our partners to take a strong stance on
this matter during the Human Rights Council next week.”
Baha’i faith originated in Iran in the 19th century and advocates universal peace
and acceptance of all religions as manifestations of one God.
of the 2,000 Baha’i live in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, which was taken by Houthi
rebels in 2014.
Netherlands' newly appointed ambassador to Turkey on Monday expressed hope to
play a positive role in Turkey-Netherlands relations.
am happy to be here [in Turkey]. This is a very important moment. I hope to
play a positive role in Turkey-Netherlands relations," Marjanne de
Kwaasteniet told reporters upon her arrival at Ankara's Esenboga airport.
as ambassador to Turkey on Sept. 7, Kwaasteniet previously served as the
Netherlands' Permanent Representative to NATO.
between the two countries plunged ahead of the April 16, 2017 presidential
referendum in Turkey, when Dutch authorities canceled the flight permit of a
plane carrying Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on March 11 last year.
Dutch government also expelled the then Family and Social Affairs Minister
Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam, blocking her from addressing the Turkish
community in the Netherlands ahead of the referendum.
number of converted Muslims in Norway increased to at least 3,000 in the recent
years, a researcher at Oslo University’s Department of Culture Studies and
Oriental Languages said.
leading Verdens Gang newspaper reported on Sunday that the number of Norwegians
choosing to become Muslim since 1990s have increased.
report said the number of converted Muslims in the country during 1990s were
around 500 while this number has reached around 3,000 in the recent years.
that previously Norwegian women used to convert to Islam as a result of
marrying Muslim men, Vogt said: “This trend has now changed drastically. Now,
women are choosing Islam after reading and researching about Islam.”
Salmouk, a converted Muslim, told the newspaper that she chose Islam 4 years
ago after researching and reading number of books about the religion.
said she visited the Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) mosque in Greenland, Oslo
and chose to adopt Islam as her religion.
loss puts India back in the strategic game in Maldives
DELHI: India was first off the bat to welcome the results of the presidential
election in the Maldives, which threw up yet another surprise as the incumbent
president Abdulla Yameen+ lost to a unified opposition candidate, Ibrahim
only early provisional results in, the foreign office said in an early morning
statement that said, “We heartily congratulate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his
victory and hope that the Election Commission will officially confirm the
result at the earliest.” After two years of tetchy relations between India and
its Indian ocean neighbour, the elections have opened a new chapter in
bilateral ties. According to the final tally put out by the Maldives Election
Commission, Ibu Solih got 134616 votes compared to Abdulla Yameen who got 96132
votes, out of a total of 230748 votes cast. Yameen got 41.7 per cent of the
vote, well behind Solih on 58.3 per cent. Over 89 per cent of eligible voters
came out to vote, even waiting hours to cast their vote.
was quickly followed by Sri Lanka and US in welcoming the election and the
results. The action was more to remind Yameen that the world stood behind the
process and its outcome than anything else. The elections surprised people yet
again since it had become virtually accepted wisdom that Abdulla Yameen would
be using the elections to merely consolidate his already overwhelming power. In
the past year, Yameen has not only thumbed his nose at India but was well on
his way to becoming a security threat for New Delhi, by allying too closely
with Beijing. Given Maldives’ strategic location in the Indian Ocean, India had
been feeling the heat for some time. Sources in Male said Yameen invited the
president-elect to the presidential palace after conceding defeat, although the
final results will take a week. The inauguration of the new president will take
place in November after Yameen’s term ends on November 17.
the atmosphere in Male, Masood Imad, media secretary to former president Waheed
said “There is jubilation. There is no violence or animosity. President Yameen
said he will hand over power to Ibu and continue to stay in the Maldives to
serve the people. He has urged the public to cooperate with the new
Maldives ambassador to India, Ahmed Mohamed said to TOI, “History has proved
that although we may be accused of all sorts of things, we do practice
democracy, irrespective of what the results may be. President Maumoon Abdul
Gayoom ruled for 30 years, but it was he who opened Maldives to elections and
multi-party rule.” Mohamed, who is close to outgoing president Yameen, said he
would go back to join the opposition in his country.
played a waiting game since February 5, when Yameen upended the judicial system
by jailing Supreme court judges, which he followed in the following weeks by
throwing into prison almost all other political leaders, including his
half-brother and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. At times, India seemed
almost ineffectual or helpless, as Yameen demanded that India remove its
helicopters, cut visas for Indian workers etc.
non-kinetic approach to Maldives was offset by US and EU, both of whom
threatened to put Maldives under sanctions if the election process was tampered
couple of things went against Yameen- his arbitrary style made him deeply
unpopular though he did not start out that way.
the economy started to show strains. With tourism flows down as a consequence
of a slew of travel advisories, the Yameen government’s room for manoeuvre was
constrained. Second, a divided opposition would not have achieved success, particularly
as most of their leaders were in jail. The fact that they were persuaded to
come together to put up a unified single candidate, consolidated the
moved Maldives from its India moorings to assiduously courting China and Saudi
Arabia. China built infrastructure, resorts and reports said, deepened its
presence in at least seven of the important islands. Slowly, Yameen began to
edge India out, which became a problem as India found China was trying to take
over the southern atolls which are crucial for India’s Indian ocean security_
in particular, China was trying to take control of the one-and-half degree
channel which would allow its submarines unimpeded access into the Indian
Solih is likely to correct this tilt and be more accommodating of India’s
security interests. He has already said he would remove the draconian
defamation laws. But it would be foolish to believe that China would be out of
the Maldives. With 70 per cent of Maldives’ external debt to China, and
Maldives’continuing demand for infrastructure, China is not going anywhere, as has
been seen in neighbouring Sri Lanka. What the elections have done is to put
India back in the strategic game in Maldives.
the past eight months, India has come under pressure domestically to act
against Maldives, either militarily or by squeezing the island country. No
military option was on any table after the first 24 hours of the crisis
breaking out. However, the Indian government also refused to repeat its
experience of the 2015 blockade in Nepal, saying India would never “win” in
Maldives, if the common people were put at risk. Maldives uses India for almost
all its essential commodities and a blockade or anything like it would be
terrible for the people.
as the crisis unfolded and Maldives began to be seen as a security challenge,
it was India that led the way in crafting the international response. Both US
and EU looked to India to lead the way — but India played it very quiet, but
urged them to take diplomatic steps against Maldives. That may have irritated
them but it ensured that India was not a factor in the Maldives election
campaign which could have gone against India.
the coming months, India will completely recast its approach to Maldives. Male
will find India to be a generous neighbour again, with New Delhi moving quickly
to recover lost ground in the island nation. South Block will get to work soon
to set out a high-level visit before India’s own election season gets underway.
Modi has not yet travelled to Maldives in four-and-half years.
would have been unpleasantly surprised by the outcome today. As in Pakistan and
Sri Lanka, China prefers to deal with dictators and arbitrary rulers, by
weaponizing its capital in the form of generous infrastructure projects and
resultant debt, leading to greater Chinese control — that model came apart
gurdwara: SAD wants Centre to negotiate land swap with Pakistan
wants the government to negotiate a land swap with Pakistan so that Gurdwara
Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur becomes part of India in exchange for a mutually
agreed piece of land to Pakistan elsewhere along the border. SAD patron and
former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday said the party’s
core committee had passed a resolution to that effect in its meeting in Badal
village on Sunday.
to the resolution, the SAD core committee has decided to “approach the Union
Government to request to approach its Pakistani counterpart in order to secure
the inclusion of Kartarpur Sahib shrine into India in exchange for a mutually
agreed piece of land elsewhere along the border”.
however, defended the Centre’s decision to call off the meeting between foreign
ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the United Nations General
Assembly, saying it was “difficult to hold talks in the backdrop of recent
incidents of brutal killings by Pakistani armymen [and terrorists]”
soldier was killed and three militants were gunned down Monday by security
forces in an ongoing anti-infiltration operation in Kupwara district of Jammu
& Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC). Two militants were killed last
night in the same operation.
more terrorists have been killed today as the Army foiled an infiltration
attempt along the LoC in Tangdhar sector (in north Kashmir’s Kupwara
district),” PTI quoted an Army spokesman as saying. “One gallant soldier has
been martyred in the operation,” the spokesman said, adding the operation is in
anti-infiltration operation was launched by security forces after they noticed
suspicious movement along the LoC on Sunday. The infiltration bid comes at a
time of increasing tensions along the LoC with India rejecting Pakistan’s
proposal for holding talks along the sidelines of UNGA.
days ago, the Indian Army chief issuing a stern message to Pakistan, said it is
time to avenge the kind of barbarism meted out by the neighbouring country to
ensure the “other side feel the same pain”. “We need to take stern action to
avenge the kind of barbarism that terrorists and the Pakistan Army have been
carrying against our soldiers. It is time to give it back to them in the same
coin but not by resorting to similar kind of barbarism. I think the other side
must also feel the same pain,” he told reporters in Jaipur.
seeks to split Middle East region, Lebanon's president says
President Michel Aoun says the Tel Aviv regime is attempting to create division
in the Middle East, and split the region along social and religious fault
the Middle East Israel is trying to carve up the region into a patchwork of
secular and religious entities, quasi-states, in a bid to put together a
sectarian puzzle,” Aoun said in an exclusive interview with French daily
newspaper Le Figaro published on Monday.
then described the Israeli regime as a threat to his country’s sovereignty and
blamed it for continuously violating Palestinian rights.
Lebanese president also urged Europe to “support Lebanon’s effort to ensure the
safe return of Syrian refugees to their homes,” and to “contribute more to the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
further noted that the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has weapons in
its possession due to the ongoing Syrian crisis and the status quo of the
Middle East region.
doesn’t play any military role inside Lebanon, and doesn’t carry out any act of
provocation along the border with occupied lands. The party’s arms ownership is
linked to the situation in the Middle East and the Syrian conflict,” he pointed
out. Aoun also dismissed allegations that Hezbollah had a veto on strategic
decisions on the national Lebanese level.
is a consensus system and expressing an opinion has nothing to do with using
the veto right," he said.
highlighted that the international pressure on Hezbollah isn't something new
and is in fact on the rise.
Lebanese president said some sides are seeking political revenge against
Hezbollah after the resistance movement defeated Israel in several occasions.
popular base constitutes more than a third of the Lebanese society.
Unfortunately, some foreign outlets insist on portraying it as an enemy,” Aoun
September 13, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the
ongoing developments in the Israeli-occupied territories do not allow the Tel
Aviv regime to launch new military aggression against Lebanon.
however, noted that Hezbollah is ready for any possible military confrontation.
his supporters last month via a televised speech marking the 12th anniversary
of Hezbollah’s victory in the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary
General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed that the movement is not scared of a
potential war with Israel.
one should threaten us with war and no one should scare us by war... We are not
scared or worried about war and we are ready for it and we will be victorious,”
he said on August 14.
resistance in Lebanon today, in its possession of weapons and equipment and
capabilities and members and cadres and ability and expertise and experience,
and also of faith and determination and courage and will, is stronger than at
any time since its launch in the region,” Nasrallah pointed out.
news reported that the Kurds targeted the positions of the Ankara-backed Ahrar
al-Sharqiyah in a region between Rajou and Jandaris, killing and wounding three
the meantime, one of the gunmen of the Ankara-backed Faylaq al-Sham was killed
after other units of the Kurdish militias attacked the militants.
T55 tank of Faylaq al-Sham was destroyed and a militant was killed in the
Kurds' attack on the Ankara forces between the villages of Qazawi and Iska in
other units of the Kurdish militia targeted a vehicle of Faylaq al-Sham along a
road connecting Kavandi to Qazi in Mobata region, killing four militants and
wounding two more.
Saturday, Hawar news reported that the Kurdish units targeted a vehicle of the
Turkish troops along a road between the villages of Khaletah and Koblah in
Shera region in Afrin, killing two Turkish soldiers and injuring several more.
sources reported on Monday that a large number of residents in the town of
Sweidan in Southeastern Deir Ezzur rallied against the SDF.
added that the SDF forces fired live rounds at the protestors and surrounded
the town, detaining several civilians.
sources said that the protest rallies were held after the SDF militants
destroyed the trade centers of the town, adding that a child was killed and a
number of other civilians were wounded in the SDF attack.
a relevant development earlier this month, heavy clashes were reported between
the SDF and civilians in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur said that the SDF forces fired at the residents
of the town of al-Sajar, and wounded several people, adding that a number of
them were also detained by the US-backed militants.
noted that the incident happened after residents of the town attacked one of
the SDF commanders, namely Damhat.
Popular Mobilization Units have accused the US-led coalition purportedly
fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group of attacking its base in the
country’s western province of Anbar as government troops and their allies are
seeking to purge the war-ravaged Arab country of remnants of the Daesh Takfiri
of the volunteer forces – better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi – in
Western Anbar, Qassim Mosleh, told the Arabic-language al-Forat news agency
that Danish forces launched eight artillery rounds at a base belonging to the
pro-government fighters in the Sa’ada area of al-Qa'im district, located nearly
400 kilometers northwest of the capital Baghdad, on Sunday evening.
added that the projectiles slammed into an area close to the base, describing
the incident as a “deliberate attack.” No Hashd al-Sha’abi fighter was dead or
injured as a result.
six Daesh terrorists were killed when Iraqi fighter jets carried out an
airstrike against a militant position in the eastern province of Diyala.
of the Tigris Operations Command, Mazhar al-Izzawi, told Arabic-language
al-Sumaria television network that the military aircraft struck an area on the
outskirts of Khanaqin district, emphasizing that the assault was mounted
following accurate intelligence reports.
four Iraqi army troopers lost their lives when they engaged in an exchange of
gunfire with Daesh Takfiris northwest of Mosul.
General Hazem Tawfiq told Arabic-language Basnews news agency that government
forces launched a large-scale counter-terrorism operation in Badush Mountains,
combing the area for Daesh remnants.
added that the offensive led to skirmishes with a group of extremists who had
been hiding in a tunnel. The militants managed to flee after the clashes.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi
forces, pledged on June 30 to hunt down Daesh terrorists across Iraq after a
series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.
will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill
them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi
declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on
December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over
Daesh in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the
conflict-ridden Arab country.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of
fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) met with religious
leaders during his official visit to Lebanon.
bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa started his visit by meeting with Lebanon’s Grand Mufti
Sheikh Abdullatif Durian.
also met with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi. During the meeting,
the secretary-general stressed the importance of dialogue in order to promote
common values based on love, respect and cooperation, and to confront hatred.
visited Elias Audi, Metropolitan bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of
Antioch. They discussed bilateral cooperation and coordination.
also met with the president of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council, Sheikh Abdul
secretary-general met with Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Al-Aql Naim Hassan.
They discussed bilateral cooperation and coordination.
in the spotlight as Trump, Rouhani set for UN clash
showdown looms at the United Nations over Iran on Tuesday as President Donald
Trump and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani are set to square off during the
world´s biggest diplomatic gathering.
the opening day of the General Assembly debate, Trump and Rouhani are to take
their turn at the podium four months after the US president ditched the Iran
five remaining parties to the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany and
Russia — announced Monday plans to keep business ties alive with Iran, staring
down Washington´s move to impose sanctions.
his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump will also tout
his diplomacy with Pyongyang as a win, even if the North has taken little
concrete action to dismantle its missile and nuclear programs.
withdrew from the nuclear deal in May, to the dismay of European allies, Russia
and China which had invested years in negotiations to achieve a milestone
agreement on keeping Iran´s nuclear ambitions in check.
his address, Rouhani will stress that Iran continues to stick to the 2015 deal
and portray the United States as a pariah for breaking its international
used his UN address last year to bash the nuclear deal as "an
embarrassment", signaling that the United States was ready to walk away
from the agreement.
its exit, the United States maintains that it is seeking to ramp up pressure on
Iran which it accuses of sowing chaos in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
I have said repeatedly, regime change in Iran is not the administration´s
policy," Trump´s national security adviser John Bolton told reporters.
imposed very stringent sanctions on Iran, more are coming, and what we expect
from Iran is massive changes in their behavior," he said.
a late meeting on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced
that a new legal entity would be set up to preserve oil and other business
links with Iran.
will mean that EU member-states will set up a legal entity to facilitate
legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European
companies to continue to trade with Iran," Mogherini told reporters,
flanked by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
has said he has no plans to meet Trump while in New York during the marathon of
meetings and slammed the offer of talks as "not genuine".
a precondition for any dialogue, Rouhani said Trump would need to repair the
damage done by exiting the nuclear deal. "That bridge must be
rebuilt," he told NBC news.
Wednesday, Trump will for the first time chair a meeting of the Security
Council on non-proliferation that will give him a fresh opportunity to make the
case for a tougher international stance on Iran.
Trump administration´s approach toward Iran seems to boil down to: squeeze and
let´s see what will come," said Robert Malley, president of International
warns that "rising tensions between the US and Iran in the absence of
diplomatic channels is a recipe for an accidental, perilous clash."
on North Korea
only six weeks to go before key midterm US elections, Trump will be seeking to
appeal to his hard-right voter base from the dais of the General Assembly.
used his debut address 12 months ago to threaten to "totally destroy"
North Korea and belittled its leader as "rocket man," prompting Kim
to respond by calling the US president "mentally deranged."
returning to New York, Trump hailed "tremendous progress" to halt
Pyongyang´s nuclear and ballistic missile tests and said that a year later it
was a "much different time."
Kim has been really very open and terrific, frankly, and I think he wants to
see something happen," Trump said after meeting South Korean President
making his second address at the General Assembly, French President Emmanuel
Macron is expected to take issue with Trump´s America-First policy and make the
case for strengthening the rules-based multilateral order.
is championing the Paris climate agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions
that Trump ditched in June, arguing it would harm the US economy.
administration of US President Donald Trump is attempting to “demonize” Iran in
order to prepare Americans for another possible war in the Middle East
following Washington’s failed invasion of Iraq, says an American political
rhetoric against Iran coming from hawkish US officials resembles the language
used against Iraq before the 2003 military intervention, said Media Benjamin,
best known for co-founding Code Pink, a grassroots anti-war and social justice
very scary what the US administration is doing; I’ve seen this before prior to
the invasion of Iraq where they kept making up lies and distortions to paint
Iraq as a threat to the United States; to prepare us for a military
intervention,” Benjamin said in a phone interview with Press TV.
important for the American people to know what this administration is up to and
to counter the attacks against Iran,” she added.
Wednesday, Benjamin disrupted an event at the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based
think tank where the US special envoy to Iran, Brian Hook, was speaking.
the end of the first part of Hook’s speech, Benjamin stepped on the stage and
protested America’s anti-Iran policy by
shouting “No more war. Peace with Iran.”
doing exactly the same thing we did in the case of Iraq. We don’t want another
war in the Middle East...how did Iraq turn out? How did Libya turn out?” she
yelled while being removed by security guards.
his speech at the Hudson Institute, Hook repeated false claims that Iran is the
“world's leading state sponsor of terror” and said Washington sought a treaty
with Tehran over its ballistic missile program and its influence in the Middle
also said that the Iran nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive
Plan of Action (JCPOA), lacked support among members of the Republican-held
Congress, when it was clinched under former US President Barack Obama.
than 50 prominent US foreign policy, intelligence and national security figures
have urged the administration of President Donald Trump to change its strategy
toward Iran, saying any desire for “regime change” in the country is “wishful
a statement released on Sunday, the national security leaders said that the
current administration’s strategy of pressure campaign against the Islamic
Republic could lead to military conflict.
Trump Administration’s Iran strategy is to assert maximum economic, political
and military pressure to change Iran’s behavior and threaten, if not cause,
collapse of the regime. But since it has not undertaken diplomatic engagement
on any of its twelve demands on Iran, the Administration has left Iran the
option of either capitulation or war,” the authors wrote.
signatories of the letter, which include former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former
Senators Richard Lugar and Carl Levin, asserted that President Trump’s decision
in May to withdraw the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal “does not advance the
achievement of any of the U.S.’s objectives.”
further argued that the “suggested policy of regime change reflects wishful
thinking and a flawed interpretation of intelligence about Iran’s
Iran’s economy is under pressure and there are some signs of discontent among
its population, the country “remains strong, well-armed and united against
outside threat,” the security experts noted.
cautioned the White House that the 2003 US invasion of Iraq served as “a
striking reminder of our inability to estimate accurately the long-term impact
of U.S. actions."
letter, however, is not entirely critical of the Trump administration's
approach and the signatories offer support for some of the administration’s
message comes ahead of President Trump’s appearance at the United Nations
General Assembly on Tuesday, where he is set to deliver a speech dominated by
Iran and North Korea.
US president will also chair a Security Council meeting on the nonproliferation
of weapons of mass destruction on Wednesday. Observers expect him to use the
opportunity to again attack Iran.
of State Mike Pompeo said that Trump was open to holding talks with Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani during this week's General Assembly gathering.
think the president's been pretty clear about that. He's happy to talk with
folks at any time," Pompeo said on NBC on Sunday. "If there's a
constructive dialogue to be had, let's get after it."
entered the White House promising to take a more aggressive approach to Iran
than his predecessor, Barack Obama, whose administration negotiated the
landmark nuclear deal with Tehran along with Britain, France, Russia, China and
then, he has surrounded himself with known Iran hawks like John Bolton, and
reimposed many of the sanctions that were lifted as part of the 2015 deal.
Saturday, Trump’s attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, told members of an exiled
anti-Iran group that the administration sympathized with their efforts to
overthrow the government in Tehran.
I say to the Iranian government, you must truly be afraid of being overthrown,”
Giuliani told members and supporters of the National Council of Resistance of
NCRI comes to New York annually during the gathering of world leaders at the UN
General Assembly, staging protests outside the world body against Iran’s
the escalation in Syria over the summer, there were fears that world leaders
would be meeting in New York as a full-scale military assault on Idlib was
raging. However, days before the United Nations General Assembly came into
session, Russia and Turkey struck a deal to avert a military confrontation.
week, diplomats are seizing upon this deal as a new opportunity to restart a
political process that can end the war. While the Russians have pushed the
Astana process, restricted to Iran, Russia and Turkey, key Arab countries and
the United States are reasserting the importance of the UN’s role in bringing
about a peaceful resolution to the seven-year war.
role is enshrined in UN Security Council resolution 2254 – the main
internationally-agreed upon document on how to end the Syria war based on a
political transition. After largely being ignored for the past two years,
Resolution 2254 is back on the table and diplomats in New York are finding ways
to revive it.
the High Level General Debate coming to a close at the end of the week, all
eyes will be on how the UN can regain its place as the convener of peace
efforts in Syria. The constitutional committee being set up by UN Envoy to
Syria Staffan de Mistura is being touted in diplomatic circles as the next step
in getting a political solution on track. De Mistura is in town this week
holding meetings with officials on how to make the constitutional committee and
Geneva process the main engine for change in Syria.
conversations with senior Arab and Western officials about Syria, the issue of
refugees comes up repeatedly. Six million Syrian refugees, and close to six
million internally displaced, need to return home.
that issue cannot be disentangled from the wider political issues in Syria.
While Russia and supporters of the Syrian regime wanted to tout reconstruction
as the way forward, an emerging consensus among Arab and American officials is
that this cannot precede a viable political solution. And that rests largely on
his interview with The National in New York, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr
Anwar Gargash highlighted the need for a greater Arab role, saying its
marginalisation “has not been good for Syria”.
European and World Bank officials are trying to encourage Arab Gulf states to
get involved in Syria by pledging money to the reconstruction efforts –
expected to come with a multi-billion dollar bill.
Gargash said that any reconstruction support must be linked to the wider
political issues around Syria, explaining “you can’t expect someone who doesn’t
have an influence on the political process to basically help with
reconstruction. The Arab role should display its return politically over the
whole issue, on the issue of refugees, on Iranian presence and reconstruction”.
those issues are all interconnected, developments on the ground can overtake
any talks at the UN.
receives warm welcome from Palestinians, Muslims in US
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received an enthusiastic welcome from hundreds of Turks,
Palestinians and other Muslims living in the U.S., when he attended a meeting
organized by the Turkish-American Steering Committee (TASC) in New York on
was greeted by cheers, as 200 people in the meeting room and more than a
thousand waiting outside carried signs and banners reading, "We love
Erdoğan" and "We love Turkey."
Palestinian, Abubakir Serag, overcome with emotion upon seeing the Turkish
president, threw his arms around Erdoğan's neck in a warm hug.
so happy, this is more than a dream for me. I can't even believe this really
happened. I'm 78 years old, and I've loved Erdoğan as I never loved any other
leader. If I could, I would wholeheartedly give my life for his safety and
well-being," Serag said after meeting the president.
gave him a three-page letter and told him that the whole community is behind him,"
at the event applauded Erdoğan's leadership and humanitarian efforts around the
are witnessing that some states openly support the killing of Muslims as well
as crimes against humanity in the name of political interests and global
problems," TASC Co-Chairman Halil Mutlu said in a speech.
President, at this very moment, you have gained the respect and love of 100
million people worldwide, especially in the Muslim world, through your
truthfulness and out-of-the-box stance that protects justice and human
dignity," he said.
Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) Secretary-General Osama Gamal said
Erdoğan is writing "his own modern history" through humanitarian
support to Rohingya Muslims, in Yemen and in Syria.
five superpowers of the world cannot find a solution to the crisis in Idlib.
You have shown that the world is really greater than five," Gamal said.
added that Muslims in the U.S. are praying for an agreement to be reached
between Turkey and the U.S. to resolve the two countries' recent tensions.
of Majlis Ash-Shura of New York, Abdel Hafid, said Muslim Americans, who
continue to oppose Islamophobia and the persecution of Muslims, will take
Turkey as an example on this issue.
is the brother of all Muslims in the world," he said.
will be in New York until Thursday for the 73rd General Assembly of the United
politicians under pressure, 40 years after revolution
: Hard-liners batter President Hassan Rouhani over his faltering nuclear deal,
sending his popularity plummeting. Women in the streets film themselves
removing their mandatory headscarves, or hijabs, in protest.
state television airs moments from a major corruption trial.
to the tops and turvy world of Iranian politics.
of the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution, the country's government
is allowing more criticism to bubble up to the surface.
say that may serve as a relief valve in this nation of 80 million people, which
already has seen widespread, leaderless protests rock the country at the start
of the year.
limits still clearly exist in Iran's Shiite theocracy, ensnaring lawyers, activists
and others in lengthy prison terms handed down in closed-door trials. And the
frustration people feel may not be satiated by complaining alone, especially as
US sanctions on Iran's oil industry take effect in November.
we continue like this, the situation will be more complicated, because people
are very tired and they have less tolerance, '' Faezeh Hashemi, the activist
daughter of Iran's late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, told The Associated
Press. ``I don't think that the majority of people are after regime change .
because everybody is worried what may happen next. But people are after their
the person in the biggest lurch in Iran now is Rouhani. America appears poised
to further sanction Iran despite Tehran abiding by Rouhani's nuclear deal with
world powers, which saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for
sanctions being lifted.
response, Rouhani has slowly replaced his message of rapprochement with the
West with hard-line hints about Iran's ability to close off the Strait of
Hormuz, through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes.
of that may be a hedge over his political future. The 69-year-old Rouhani,
himself a Shiite cleric, could potentially be considered when Iran picks its
third-ever supreme leader. It isn't out of the realm of possibility: Iran's
current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, served two four-year terms as
president before becoming leader after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,
the Islamic Republic's founder.
(Rouhani's) perspective, the most important thing is to come through the
presidency in one piece and keep himself in the running for the ultimate job,
the supreme leadership, which will be up for grabs the day the 79 year-old
Khamenei dies, '' recently wrote Alex Vatanka, an analyst at the Washington
based Middle East Institute.
popular anger continues to rise against Rouhani, threatening whatever mandate
he could claim in the future.
surveys by IranPoll, a Toronto-based firm, also have seen a precipitous drop in
Rouhani's popular support. After scoring a high of 89 percent popularity in
August 2015 in the wake of the nuclear deal, Rouhani is now polling at an
"all-time low'' of around 20 percent, said Amir Farmanesh, the CEO of
IranPoll . The margin of error for the firm's polls was around 3 percentage
president whose election slogan was the `Government of Prudence and Hope' will
be hard-pressed in the next three years of his term to bring back the promised
hope, '' Farmanesh told the AP.
are signs, however, that the Iranian government recognizes the growing anger.
Iranian broadcasters, all state run, have been airing major corruption trials
in recent weeks. They've also allowed skeptical reporting by local newspapers
on some cases, like mobile phone importers abusing their foreign currency
privileges and another where an alleged "Sultan of Coins'' somehow hoarded
two tons of gold coins.
the same time, social media photos of children of the country's elite enjoying
luxuries the average Iranian can't have similarly sparked outrage.
stories suggest that the Islamic Republic may be approaching an existential
crisis, where its core values such as adopting a simple lifestyle and observing
Islam strictly are widely promoted by the establishment but not necessarily
followed by the elite, '' analyst Sara Bazoobandi recently wrote for the Arab
Gulf States Institute in Washington. "The hypocrisy of the elite that has
become apparent through these scandals has prompted widespread public anger in
saw nationwide protests in late December and early January over its worsening
economic situation, which resulted in nearly 5,000 reported arrests and at
least 25 people being killed. Iran's economy only has gotten worse since
President Donald Trump withdrew America from the nuclear deal, with the rial
going from 62,000 to $ 1 US to as low as 1,50,000 rial to $1.
an attack by Arab separatists Saturday on a military parade in the country's
southwest killed at least 25 people.
social change can be seen on any street in Tehran, as some young women wear
their state mandated hijabs loosely over their hair. Some even shrug it down to
their shoulders while driving. An image of a young woman, her head uncovered
and waving her hijab like a flag in Tehran's main Enghelab Street while
standing on a telephone junction box, became famous during the economic
the time since, authorities have welded slanted roofs over such junction boxes
to stop women from carrying out similar protests. Tehran's police meanwhile
have said they won't arrest women for not observing the Islamic dress code.
However, online videos of women being harassed continue to circulate on social
public referendum on the hijab and other issues, such as whether Iran should re
establish relations with the US, could be one way to address the public's
concerns, said Hashemi, who learned politics from her father while growing up
in a home only steps away from Khomeini's own.
nearly 40 years have passed since the Islamic Revolution, she added: "The
world and the situation have changed.''
Russia-Turkey deal may have stopped a regime assault on Syria’s Idlib for now,
but analysts are sceptical that rebel backer Ankara can impose it on the
militants who dominate the area.
the agreement announced Monday, a demilitarised zone is to be set up around
Idlib, one of the country’s last major militant and rebel bastions on the
border with Turkey.
now, that averts a Russia-backed military offensive on the region, currently
hosting some three million people, which many had feared would spark a
humanitarian catastrophe. But the deal hands Turkey the near-impossible mission
of ensuring that battle-hardened militants and heavy weaponry are removed from
the u-shaped zone in just a few weeks.
don’t see how Turkey will be able to impose its will on militants,” Syria
expert Fabrice Balanche said. “Implementing the deal will be very difficult,”
he warned, adding that it would likely result in “a failure of the ceasefire
and a Syrian army offensive in the coming months”.
the agreement, “radical” groups - seen as meaning the militant-led Hayat Tahrir
al-Sham alliance and fellow hardliners - must pull out of the planned buffer
zone by October 15.
fighters in the area, including some pro-Ankara rebels, have until October 10
to hand over their heavy weapons. Almost 70 percent of the planned zone is
controlled by either HTS, which is dominated by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda branch,
or other militants, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Britain-based Observatory says some factions in the buffer area have actually
begun reinforcing their positions instead of withdrawing from them. An AFP
correspondent in Idlib said there had been no sign so far of hardliners or
heavy weapons being pulled out.
Saturday, Hurras al-Deen, a smaller Al-Qaeda-linked group in the planned buffer
area, rejected the agreement.
has not officially responded to the deal, but its propaganda channel Ebaa cast
doubts on Turkey’s intentions.
group has spent months cracking down on anyone willing to negotiate with the
regime, and its chief Abu Mohammad al-Jolani has previously warned rebel
weapons were a “red line”.
(HTS) abandoned its defence lines, it would find itself in an extremely weak
position as no one would protect it in the case of a Syrian army offensive,”
Balanche said. He said he expected Turkey would even have trouble convincing
its own proxies in the town of Qalaat al-Madiq and the region of Sahl al-Ghab
to relinquish their heavy arms.
rebels tentatively accepted the deal in a statement on Saturday, but said they
remained wary of “betrayal by the Russians, the regime or the Iranians”.
Persuading militants to leave the buffer area is just one step towards ousting
them from the larger region partly encircled by the zone. HTS controls more
than half of that territory too, while rival Turkey-allied rebels hold sway
over most of the rest.
al-Deen and the Turkestan Islamic Party, a Uighur militant group close to HTS,
also have a small presence.
Aron Lund said Turkey faced the unenviable task of “dismantling, destroying, or
displacing some of Idlib’s most powerful extremist factions in the coming weeks”.
“I suspect Ankara will use every instrument in its toolbox to persuade HTS to
dissolve, split, rebrand, or just move out of the way - whatever works,” he
might, for example, attempt to influence some HTS elements, or allies like the
Uighur militants, said Lund, a fellow with The Century Foundation.
may be partly successful. “With the right mix of carrot and stick, it’s likely
they could peel away sympathetic factions to weaken the hard core that
remains,” said Lund. Then, Ankara may try to remove some of the more
irreconcilable extremists from Syria. “But it’s unclear where they’ll drop them
next - no one wants these guys in their own country,” he told AFP.
than 360,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria’s war
started in 2011 with the brutal repression of protests against President Bashar
Monday’s deal, Turkey - which already hosts three million Syrian refugees - has
averted more violence on its doorstep and a further influx of people across its
border. “Despite this success, Turkey is still in a predicament,” said Nicholas
Heras, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “The Russians want
the Turks to provide unmistakable proof of Turkey’s successful completion of
this task in a month,” he said.
terrorists who carried out the attack were killed; their backup lines will be
identified to the last person by the intelligence ministry, Armed Forces, Law
Enforcement Police forces, security and judiciary forces, Islamic Revolution
Guards Corps (IRGC) and Army forces and the political apparatus of the
country," Alavi said, addressing the funeral ceremony of the people
martyred in the Saturday terrorist attack in Ahwaz.
major part of them have been captured and they will be identified to the last
person," he vowed, stressing that conspirators and culprits behind the
terrorist attack will be severely punished.
people were killed and 70 were injured in the Saturday morning attack by
al-Ahwaziya terrorist group during the nationwide military parades in Iran's
Southwestern city of Ahwaz.
terrorists attacked the bystanders watching the annual Armed Forces' parades,
marking the start of the Sacred Defense Week, commemorating Iranians'
sacrifices during the 8 years of the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s, in
disguise of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij (volunteer)
forces, killing and wounding several people, including innocent women and
of the officials participating in the military parades in Ahwaz city in
Khouzestan province was injured in the attack.
of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier-General Abolfazl Shekarchi told FNA that
4 terrorists carried out the attack during military parades in Ahwaz, noting
that three of them were killed and the last one was captured by security forces.
added that none of the terrorists could escape, noting that other reports about
the details of the attack are not confirmed.
Head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Public Relations Department and
IRGC Spokesman General Ramezan Sharif said that the terrorists who attacked
people during the Armed Forces' parades in Ahwaz were affiliated to al-Ahwaziya
stream which is nourished by Saudi Arabia.
added that the terrorists aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the Iranian
Armed Forces' parades.
Sharif said that people were also invited to watch the parades and the
terrorists both fired at people and the Armed Forces.
Coalition spokesperson, Turki al-Maliki, has announced the opening of
humanitarian corridors between the Yemeni capital Sanaa and the port of
Hodeidah to secure humanitarian passage via al-Mahwit, Hajjah, and Bajil.
said that the Yemenis are still suffering from the coup staged by Houthi
militia, which took place on the 21st of September 2014.
also highlights that there are regimes in the region that sponsor terrorist
groups by providing them with weapons, missiles, drones, and speedboats.
man was killed and scores were injured by live ammunition and tear gas used by
Israeli security forces on Palestinian protesters gathered along the
Israeli-Gaza border on Monday.
fishing boats carrying Palestinian flags participated in the protest just off
the shoreline, before being forced to head back to shore.
have been holding regular protests along the Israeli-Gaza border since March,
as part of the Great March of Return. 136 protesters are reported to have been
killed by Israeli fire since the protests began.
army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have
intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle, belonging to the Saudi-led
military coalition, as it was flying in the skies over the country’s strategic
western province of Hudaydah.
unnamed Yemen military source said Yemeni air defense forces and their allies
shot down the drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission north of the
al-Durayhimi district on Monday afternoon.
Saudi soldiers slain in clashes with Yemeni forces
Saudi authorities have confirmed the loss of three servicemen during clashes
with Yemeni troopers and Popular Committees fighters in Yemen's northern
province of al-Jawf.
pro-government Shohada al-Vajeb (Martyrs of the Military Service) group, which
keeps track of Saudi military personnel killed since 2009, identified the trio
as Lieutenant Nader bin Hamad bin Dhafer al-Ayadhah al-Ajami as well as
Conscripts Yousef bin Sa’ad bin A’edh al-Fahad al-Wa’la and Hussein bin Maraei
group, in a post published on its Twitter page, said the three Saudi soldiers
were killed during an operation in the al-Hazm district of the Yemeni province.
of Saudi mercenaries killed in Yemeni bomb attack
on Monday, scores of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi were killed and injured, when Yemeni army
soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees detonated two roadside bombs as
the former were travelling along a road in the al-Maton district of Jawf
Yemeni civilians also lost their lives and three others sustained injuries when
Saudi warplanes bombarded an area of the Zabid district in Hudaydah province.
ballistic missile targets Saudi-backed militiamen in Asir
Yemeni army forces and their allies fired a domestically-designed and
-developed Zelzal-1 (Earthquake-1) ballistic missile coupled with a salvo of
Katyusha rockets and mortar shells at the positions of Saudi mercenaries at the
al-Alab border crossing of the kingdom’s southern region of Asir, leaving a
number of them killed and injured.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
authorities have ordered the arrest of 61 soldiers from the navy and land forces,
including senior officers, on suspicion of affiliation to a movement led by
US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having
masterminded and orchestrated the mid-July 2016 coup attempt against President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on Monday, 18 of those
ordered to be detained were on active duty as part of a probe into the Turkish
Land Forces Command and the Turkish Naval Forces Command.
Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued the arrest warrants on Monday as part
of a probe into the Turkish Land Forces Command and the Turkish Naval Forces
Command, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
also said that 18 of those suspects were on-duty servicemen, adding that the
total number of those ordered to be detained included 13 majors and 12 captains
from the land forces and 24 first lieutenants from the navy.
a separate report on Monday, Anadolu said that Istanbul police detained 21
people, who were accused of using an encrypted messaging application, known as
ByLock, allegedly used by members of the Gulen movement.
added that the arrests were made after police forces conducted anti-terror
raids at 54 locations in 24 districts of the city.
to Istanbul police, most of those detained were teachers who formerly taught at
the network’s schools or public institutions.
the attempted coup, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of yet.
has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to
have played a role in the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
The Gaza Strip’s economy is in “free fall,” a report from the World Bank warned
Tuesday, calling for urgent action by Israel and the international community to
avoid “immediate collapse.”
to the report, Gaza’s economy contracted by 6 percent in the first quarter of
2018. It said unemployment is now over 50 percent — and over 70 percent among
World Bank cited various factors, starting with Israel’s decade-long blockade
against the territory’s militant Hamas rulers, for the precarious downturn. It
also cited budget cuts by the rival Palestinian Authority and a reduction in
international aid to the Palestinians, particularly from the United States.
combination of war, isolation, and internal rivalries has left Gaza in a
crippling economic state and exacerbated the human distress,” said Marina Wes,
the World Bank’s director for the region.
report was released ahead of a high-level meeting of the bank’s Ad Hoc Liaison
Committee, responsible for coordinating development assistance to the
Palestinians, on September 27.
said the increasingly dire economic situation in Gaza “has reached a critical
frustration is feeding into the increased tensions which have already started
spilling over into unrest and set back the human development of the region’s
large youth population,” she added.
have staged near weekly demonstrations along the border with Israel since late
March, in part to protest the blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt since 2007,
when the militant group Hamas seized the territory. Hamas has led and organized
the protests, but turnout has also been driven by growing despair over
blockade-linked hardship, including lengthy power cuts and soaring
soldiers have killed at least 136 Palestinians during the weekly protests since
March, including 27 minors, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. A Palestinian
sniper also fatally shot an Israeli soldier. Israel contends it’s defending its
border and accuses Hamas of using the protests as a screen for attempts to
breach the border fence to attack civilians and soldiers. Human rights groups
have accused Israel of excessive and unlawful use of force against unarmed
Somali forces kill 35 Al-Shabaab militants
least 35 Al-Shabaab militants have been killed and several others injured after
an exchange of fire between Somali national army, backed by African Union
forces, and the militants in Somalia's Qoryoley town.
Somali soldier was killed and two others injured during heavy fighting with the
militants overnight, Qoryoley Deputy Governor Abdi Ahmed Ali told reporters on
forces killed 35 Al-Shabaab militants and injured several others after
defeating the enemy who attacked the town," Ali said, Xinhua news agency
have collected their bodies to bury now."
had prior intelligence that the terrorists are going to attack us and this
caused more casualties on the enemy side," he said.
has not yet commented on Ali's statement.
group, however, claimed to have carried out mortar attacks on bases of the
Somali national army and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) near
Barawo, a town in the same region.
fewer than 73 people have been freed from Boko Haram captivity in Nigeria's
northeast Borno state as troops intensified operations in the region, an army
spokesman said on Monday.
Chukwu, the army spokesman for the counterinsurgency operation, said in a
statement the captives were freed in two different operations in Sirdawala and
Valley of Gwoza local government area of Borno state.
said seven militants were also killed in the operations.
an officer sustained injury during the operation and is receiving treatment in
a military […],” he added.
fears that a crackdown on Muslim group will court another Boko Haram
Nigeria (RNS) — Two years ago, Modu Bukar, a local leader of the Islamic
Movement of Nigeria, was gunned down in Potiskum, a city in northeastern Nigeria.
spoke only about five minutes before,” said Mala Mohammed, a 24-year-old
student at Bayero University Kano and a member of the Movement, led by Sheikh
Ibrahim Zakzaky, a radical Shiite cleric who has called for an Iranian-style
Islamic revolution in Africa’s most populous country. “He had just said the
late evening prayer and was just chatting with some people outside when gunmen
shot and killed him.”
investigated the shooting. But Mohammed and others believe it was an
extrajudicial killing — a security officer executing the religious leader
without due process.
worry that killings such as Bukar’s in recent years could convince the Islamic
Movement of Nigeria to follow in the footsteps of the Boko Haram, the militant
group that has wrought havoc in Nigeria for years, killing people
indiscriminately, kidnapping girls and displacing thousands.
was the alleged extrajudicial killing of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf in
2009 and other leaders that led to that group’s full-scale uprising in northern
2015, Nigerian security forces arrested Sheikh Zakzaky, also known as Ibrahim
Yaqoub El Zakzaky, after 350 of his followers clashed with Nigerian troops in
Zaria in northwestern Nigeria. Two of Zakzaky’s sons were killed in the fracas.
Another Islamic Movement leader, Sheikh Umar Sokoto, was shot and killed by
police during a protest in January.
the 2015 arrest, Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention on charges of
murder and the government has refused to let him go, despite a December 2016
court order for his release.
is quite possible for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria to transform into
militancy like the Boko Haram,” said professor Ishaq Akintola, director of the
Muslim Rights Concern, an advocacy group for Nigerian Muslims. “There is a
serious security implication for the continued detention of Zakzaki.”
make up about half of Nigeria’s almost 200 million people but suffer
discrimination, according to the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs,
as a legacy from the colonial era, when Christian missions established
Nigeria’s educational institutions, including the Muslim north. The country won
independence from Britain in 1960.
have been maltreated, oppressed,” said Abdullahi Musa, secretary of the
Academic Forum of the Movement, a branch of the group based at universities.
“And many of us have been killed by the police.”
Sani, a longtime disciple of Zakzaky who lost two brothers in the Zaria
violence, said: “Our struggle was not built on the foundation of militancy.
Even our leader said members will not carry arms.”
the court order to end Zakzaky’s detention, the sheikh’s only surviving son,
Mohammed Ibrahim Zakzaky, petitioned the Nigerian Bar Association to compel the
government’s justice minister to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to release
an apparent response, Buhari, in a speech to the bar association, urged the
country’s legal practitioners to seek to prioritize national security above the
rule of law.
rule of law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and
national interest,” said Buhari, who ruled the country as a military dictator
in the 1980s but calls himself “a converted democrat.”
individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place in
favor of the greater good of society.”
June, the Middle East Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.,
claimed that members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria have received military
training from Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamist political party and militant group
based in Lebanon.
men, in long, traditional African garb specific to northern Nigeria are
sometimes spotted in Dahieh, a predominantly Shiite suburb south of Beirut
where Hezbollah runs a cultural center,” wrote the institute in an analysis.
“The Shiite Nigerians initially receive a religious training before a military
one that is provided in two camps in the Lebanese Bekaa.”
at Muslim Rights Concern, said his group initially defended Zakzaky after the
2015 incident, but he and his organization have pulled back.
Movement has become a huge security threat, the cause of discomfort, with
bullies intimidating fellow Muslims,” said Akintola. “For these reasons, we
found that in good conscience, we could not continue fighting their cause.”
fears continue to mount over the group’s activities in Nigeria even as the
April of this year, authorities sought to prevent the group from using the
Unity Fountain in Abuja as a venue for sit-ins to protest the detention of
their leader. A fight erupted and police killed a Movement follower.
on Monday called for stronger UN sanctions on Libyans who stand in the way of a
political solution in the conflict-ridden country.
current situation “forces us to show greater firmness toward those who want to
insist on the status quo for their sole benefit,” French Foreign Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters at the United Nations.
sanctions recently imposed by the Security Council against a number of
traffickers should be followed by further sanctions, especially, I think,
against militia members who threaten Tripoli,” he said.
UN Security Council in June slapped sanctions against six human smugglers amid
outrage over slavery in Libya, which has become a major transit point for
migrants heading into Europe in the chaos since the Western military campaign
that helped topple dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
week the internationally recognized government in Tripoli called on the United
Nations to do more to protect civilians and end fighting near the capital that
has claimed more than 100 lives since August.
Drian, whose government has been pushing a peace plan that includes elections
by the end of the year, also called for stricter control of the cash flow from
sales of Libyan oil to prevent funding of hostile groups.
feuding militias come mostly from Libya’s third city Misrata and the town of
Tarhouna to the southeast of the capital, with fighting flaring despite a
ceasefire reached on September 4.
Drian, speaking on the eve of the annual General Assembly, also urged countries
to mobilize to end the war in Syria, which has claimed more than 360,000 lives
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