Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri
Territories (Malaysia) Mufti: Nothing Wrong In Wishing Merry Christmas
Arabia’s New Security Apparatus Quotes King Salman: No Place for Radicals
Corridor: Indian Punjab’s CM Sends Goodwill Message to Pakistan Punjab Assembly
Supporting PTI Govt, Says PM Imran
Says Rohingyas Should Only Return If There Is Security, Citizenship
Territories Mufti: Nothing Wrong In Wishing Merry Christmas
Largest Islamic Group Demands Recall of Saudi Envoy over Tweet
Coalition Remains Confident Despite 212 Rally
Coalition Rescues 102 Child Recruits from Houthi Militia in Yemen
Intensify among Tahrir Al-Sham Terrorists in Northwestern Syria
Army Extends Range of Attacks against US-Backed Kurdish Militants in Manbij
Destroy Several Bridges in Aleppo to Stop Syrian Army Advance
of ISIL Terrorists Killed in Syrian Army Mop-up Operation, US-Made Weapons
Seized in Sweida Desert
Army Targets Terrorists, Preempts Attacks on Gov't Forces in Northern Hama
Odd Terrorists Still Active In Jammu & Kashmir: DGP Dilbagh Singh
Violence: Son of a Policeman, He Had Probed Lynching Of Dadri Victim Akhlaq
welcomes India, Pakistan’s efforts to open Kartarpur Corridor
Seeks Pakistan’s Help in Negotiating Afghan Peace
PPP term PM’s interview disappointing
registers FIR regarding 'stolen' car explosion in Karachi
struggling to break stalemate over PAC chairmanship
Khan talks economy, governance and civil-military ties in wide-ranging TV
moves Peshawar High Court against workers’ detention
special envoy due in Islamabad today for Afghan peace talks
Court Records Testimony of 1st Witness in 2016 Terror Attack Trial
Muslims Victims of Genocide - US Human Rights Lawyers
foil bid to assassinate religious scholar in Kabul city
shadow governor for Ghor has reportedly been killed
Ethnic Minorities Up To Twice As Likely To Face Racial Bias, Report Finds
Minister of Defence: Four Countries Fund Radical Islam in Bulgaria
Abbas, Pope discuss Middle East at Vatican
Security Council to meet on Iran missile test
concerned by ‘provocative, destabilizing’ Iranian ballistic missile test
probe launched in UK against anti-Iran TV station
Justice Ministry official in London recalled
Chief to Brief Lawmakers On Khashoggi Murder: Report
Pressured To Declare Rohingya Muslim Killings in Myanmar ‘Genocide’
Khalid: Hezbollah helped Iran in ‘killing dozens of Americans’
airstrike kills Islamic State figure in Syria, American military says
Caucasus Muslim Envoys Visit Turkish Parliament
Court Says Six Sentenced To Death For Collaboration With Israel
military says to expose Hezbollah attack tunnels from Lebanon
Knesset member, dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque
use children to fuel war, Yemen’s PM tells UNICEF regional director
opposes US-drafted resolution against Palestinian resistance Hamas: FM
unwilling to shed old delusions, paying price for own mistakes: Iran
forces attack new freedom flotilla in Gaza, dozens injured
increased airstrikes, abductions, and demolitions in November: PLO report
journalists hail Turkey's moves on Khashoggi case
Higher Council to Coordinate Counter-Terrorism Efforts
president rejects rumours of his death
Haram raid kills two soldiers in NE Nigeria
by New Age Islam News Bureau
JAYA: There is nothing wrong in wishing Christians “Merry Christmas”, said
Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri
Federal Territories Mufti pointed out Muslims are permitted to do so when it is
a congratulatory expression on the celebration of other faiths without
glorifying their religion.
is no more than a mere greeting to express happiness and enjoyment upon seeing
the happiness of those celebrating.
can wish Christians (Merry Christmas), provided they don’t glorify the
latter’s religion,” he said when contacted.
cited the Muzakarah National Fatwa Committee Council in Islamic Affairs’ 78th
meeting in 2007 that had concluded that sending greetings through cards, emails
or text messages to non-Muslims during their festive seasons was permissible,
as long as such greetings did not glorify non-Muslim faiths or use religious
is important to create more awareness on this matter so that no confusion
in harmony with people of other religions is important,” Dr Zulkifli said.
Zulkifli had already clarified the issue in 2016.
2014, certain conservative Muslim groups had said that Muslims should not greet
Merry Christmas to Christians.
had cited Islamic scholars who described the greeting as haram (forbidden).
Arabia’s new security apparatus quotes King Salman: No place for radicals
Arabia’s Presidency of State Security, the kingdom’s security body which was
created in 2017, posted for the first time on Twitter on Tuesday, reaffirming
the kingdom’s rejection of radicals who use the war on extremism to spread
their own radical goals.
security apparatus quoted Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz who had that
there is no place for those who see Saudi Arabia’s war on extremism as a means
to spread chaos and disintegration, and those who exploit religion to spread
their own goals.
kingdom’s Presidency of State Security quoted King Salman who had said: “There
is no place among us for a radical who sees moderation as impiety, and exploits
the noble doctrine to achieve his goals. And there is no place among us for a
degenerate who sees in our war on extremism a means to spread disintegration,
and who exploits the ease of religion to spread his own goals.”
security body combines the counterterrorism and domestic intelligence services
under one roof. It is concerned with all matters related to state security, and
is overseen by the king.
another tweet on its official Twitter page, the security apparatus also quoted
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who had said that the kingdom will eliminate
the remnants of extremism “in the near future.”
will eliminate the remnants of extremism in the near future. I do not think
this poses a challenge. We represent the values of tolerance, and moderation,
and we have a right in everything we face,” the crown prince had previously
Presidency of State Security is meant to enable the Interior Ministry to
provide the best services to citizens and residents in all sectors. The new
presidency will be able to focus on the fight against terrorism on the security
and intelligence levels, as well as monitor its financing.
A 10-member delegation of the Indian Medical Association, led by its president,
Professor Ravi Wankhadeker, called on Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez
Elahi on Monday and delivered him a goodwill message from Indian Punjab’s Chief
Minister Captain (r) Amarinder Singh on the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.
delegation also met Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry
on the occasion, Ch Parvez Elahi said that opening of the Kartarpur Corridor
would enable the Sikh community to easily reach their holy sites in Pakistan.
government of Pakistan attaches importance to all holy places of Sikhs, and the
pilgrims are provided with all facilities during their stay in the country.”
relations between the two neighbouring countries would be advocated, he added.
Ravi Wankhadeker said that Elahi’s establishment of Rescue 1122 Emergency
Service, provision of free medicines and medical facilities in the hospitals
besides other revolutionary measures in the health sector were a proof of his
determination to serve the masses.
other delegates were Indian Medical Association Vice President Professor
Bakhshi, Professor Virk, Professor Faisal Ghani, Nepal Society of Surgeons
President Prof Bakhshi Verma, Prof Abdul Majeed Choudhry, Dr Sabeena and Dr
Indian Medical Association delegation is in Lahore on a three-day visit to
participate in a medical symposium.
supporting PTI govt, says PM Imran
Minister Imran Khan has said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government
is not facing any issues as far as the civil-military relations are concerned,
adding that the army has supported all decisions that he has taken till now.
prime minister said this during a pre-recorded interview with a select group of
TV journalists. He spoke on various subjects of national importance, including
the state of the economy, civil-military relations, governance issues and
Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the US, India and other countries, in the
wide-ranging interview broadcast on Monday.
armed forces of the country are standing by the manifesto of Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI),” said the premier, expressing confidence over
cooperation among different state institutions.
isn’t a single decision that I haven’t taken on my own, and there’s not a
single decision that doesn’t have the support of the army.”
opening of the Kartarpur Corridor was a significant decision of the government
to defuse tensions with India and open new doors of bilateral relations with
the neighbouring country, he said.
a question, he said Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is standing steadfastly by
the government and a meeting had been scheduled between him, Gen Bajwa and
Balochistan National Party (BNP-M) president Sardar Akhtar Mengal to address
the missing persons’ issue. However, Mengal could not make it to the meeting,
for the record, Gen Bajwa has given me full assurance regarding resolving the
missing persons’ issue,” Khan said.
on Pakistan’s foreign policy, PM Imran said, “We want to mediate between Iran
and Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen.”
PM also revealed that he had received a letter from US President Donald Trump
urging Pakistan to bring the Afghan Taliban to the talks table.
the letter, Trump has asked Pakistan to play its role in Afghan peace talks
which are aimed at catalysing an end to the 17-year invasion of Afghanistan by
US troops,” the premier said and reiterated that Pakistan will play its role to
end the war in Afghanistan.
also vowed that the country would not become a part of any outside war.
KNOW ABOUT RUPEE DEVALUATION’:
about the current hike in the value of dollar, PM Imran revealed that the SBP
did not ask the government before devaluing the rupee.
found out about the dollar hike through TV,” he said.
rupee suffered a sharp devaluation in the interbank market on Friday, dropping
to its lowest value ever against the US dollar at Rs144 before the State Bank
intervened to raise its level to Rs136.5-137.5,
as well when the price of dollar touched a record-high against the rupee, I was
not informed beforehand. The central bank had devalued the currency and it’s an
institution which overlooks these matters,” he added.
remember, we are trying to make institutions autonomous,” he said.
have made SBP autonomous, they took the decision because they deem it fit,” PM
Imran said, but acknowledged that situations such as a sharp drop in the value
of the rupee create “uncertainty”.
said the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had left a
trade deficit of $19 billion, which increased from a previous deficit of
PML-N govt had spent $7bn to maintain the value of the rupee,” he said.
have conveyed a message to the SBP to keep us in the loop so we can give our
input,” the prime minister said. “The [rupee] adjustment is a temporary phenomenon.
We are facing a crisis in foreign exchange. Our indicators are now in the right
direction, we will not face the issue in the future.”
at possible changes in the federal cabinet in the next 10 days, PM Imran, interestingly,
said that early elections in the country cannot be ruled out.
PM said that all ministers have reported their achievements to him and that he
will review their performance during the ongoing week. “We might change some
ministers,” he cautioned.
prime minister said the country is currently facing crises on multiple fronts
and all institutions are running in losses.
per the Singapore model, we will incorporate these institutions into holding
companies,” he said. “Our performance in the given scenario is exemplary. You
will see stability in the coming days.”
asked about the issues facing the business community, Khan said Pakistan is
lagging behind when it comes to ‘ease of doing business’.
are trying to create a [positive] environment. We are establishing an office
entitled ‘ease of doing business’ to provide a one-window solution to investors
and to resolve their issues,” he said. “Though it is a slow process, we are
trying our best.”
said the government will provide incentives to the industry.
quoted the Chinese ambassador as saying that China is making investment
contracts with Pakistan for the first time.
created export zones with foreign investment and local labour. We want to
replicate the same model.”
about a case of alleged abuse of power against federal minister Azam Swati, PM
Imran said he does not interfere in the matters of institutions to protect
will obey the court orders. Azam Swati will resign if found guilty,” he said.
was also asked about the role allegedly played by Punjab Chief Minister Usman
Buzdar in the transfer of former Pakpattan district police office Rizwan
is wrong if the chief executive of a province calls a police officer to inquire
about the alleged abuse suffered by somebody’s daughter, who happens to be the
daughter of Bushra begum, at the hands of police?” Khan questioned in response.
expressed “regret” over remarks by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib
Nisar in which the top judge pointed to alleged nepotism on the PM’s part in
the appointment of Zulfi Bukhari as PM’s Special Assistant on Overseas
Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
said the nation would have to decide whether “it wants to let corruption
premier cited the example of China in ridding itself of corruption. “China is
sailing past the US in economy, they have convicted 400 ministers during the
past five years,” he noted.
said the major hurdle in his government’s anti-corruption plans are some
“old-minded bureaucrats” who are “going slow [and] creating an impression that
the government will not be able to run”.
have recovered land worth trillions of rupees,” he said. “Mafias are behind
real encroachments. We have asked the authorities not to target poor people,
but the mafias.”
FIA and the anti-corruption [watchdog] are working under the government. We
have signed agreements on data sharing of each others’ citizens with 26
an “interesting aspect” of the drive, Khan said the UAE and Saudi Arabia had
refused to share the data of Pakistani iqama holders saying it was equivalent
to sharing their citizenship information. “Now, you’ll know why iqamas were
sought secretly,” he remarked.
goal is across-the-board accountability and I’m willing to shake hands with
anyone who won’t object to that,” he said.
prime minister said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was an autonomous
body and the government had no say in its affairs in any way. “My political
opponents have been after us since day one as they fear that their massive
corruption will be unmasked,” he remarked.
Imran also warned of stern laws against money laundering. “Big names will soon
be revealed, and the opposition can walk away if they cannot support us,” he
also stressed that the government will not let National Assembly Opposition
Leader Shehbaz Sharif become the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee
will not grant any NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] to anyone,” PM Imran
said. “The country was looted in the past in the name of the Charter of
he refrained from responding when asked if Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)
Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari is going to jail, saying he wanted to give all
‘thieves’ as little time as possible.
U-TURNS & ‘CHICKEN AND EGG ECONOMY’:
response to a question regarding his recent statement on ‘chicken and egg
economy model’, the prime minister said the actual poverty is in rural areas of
the country, “that’s why we need to empower rural people. Halal food industry,
for instance, should be exploited at its optimum.”
are working to introduce a uniform education and health system, which will
provide equal opportunities to all,” he remarked, adding that the government
will introduce health cards throughout the country, as well as a legal aid
service to bring professional legal help within the reach of the masses.
to a question on the formation of a new province in Punjab, the premier
maintained that the formation of South Punjab province is a lengthy phase, and
will take time.
Khan once again defended his inclination towards reversing his own decisions,
saying, “People always blame me for taking U-turns, I have never denied that
and I don’t think of it as a bad thing. What’s wrong in changing the strategy
to achieve your goals?”
PM said he decided to travel abroad only when he knew the visit would be
beneficial for Pakistan’s economy. “Right now everyone abroad is aware that our
economy is destroyed. So, my focus is on fixing that before touring abroad.”
a question pertaining to crackdown on Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), PM
Imran said, “We tried our best to hold talks with TLP leadership and deal with
the situation peacefully, but to no avail.” No country in the world would allow
anarchy and chaos which followed the acquittal of Aasia Bibi, he added.
Imran also said he intends to turn the PM House into a post-graduate
says Rohingyas should only return if there is security, citizenship
Rohingya community has continually expressed their unwillingness to return to
Myanmar unless their security, basic human rights and citizenship are ensured.
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN refugee agency, has
repeatedly stated at different levels that the repatriation of the Rohingyas should
be premised "upon the free and informed decision by refugees, on an
individual basis, to return", reports UNB.
the latest report by Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) that is
coordinating the overall Rohingya refugee crisis, the refugees’ sentiments
remain the same.
report says: “The refugee return should only take place at their freely
expressed wish and based on relevant and reliable knowledge of the conditions
within the country of origin and the area of return.”
report on the Rohingya situation in Cox's Bazar district is from November
13-26, ISCG said on Monday.
than 14,922 new arrivals were reported from January 1 to November 15, 2018, the
ISCG report quoted UNHCR.
advised all the partners that they could refer refugees having questions on
returning to the two UNHCR offices in the Kutupalong and Nayapara Registered
Camps, the UNHCR protection hotline and UNHCR protection staff in the camps.
August 25, 2017 extreme violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar drove over 700,000
Rohingyas across the border into Cox's Bazar in span of a few months.
people and government of Bangladesh welcomed the Rohingyas with resounding
generosity and open borders, the report reads.
largest Islamic group demands recall of Saudi envoy over tweet
largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has demanded the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Indonesia be recalled from the country following
his controversial tweet about a rally organized in Jakarta on Sunday by
urge the Indonesian government to send a diplomatic note to the Saudi Arabian
government to recall the ambassador, Usamah Muhammad Al-Syuaiby, as punishment
for his reckless move to interfere in a matter of national politics,” NU
chairman Said Aqil Siradj said in a press briefing on Monday.
Sunday, a group calling itself the “212 Rally Alumni” organized a mass rally at
the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta to commemorate the second anniversary
of the 2016 rally that demanded then Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok"
Tjahaja Purnama be prosecuted for blasphemy. Ahok was subsequently convicted
after the rally on Sunday, Ambassador Usamah posted photos of the rally on his
Twitter account, @Os_alshuibi, accompanied by a caption in Arabic, which could
be translated as: “The action of millions of Muslims as a reaction to the
burning of a flag bearing the tawhid text by a deviant organization.”
tweet referred to an incident in October, in which members of the NU's youth
wing, Banser, burned a flag that had an Islamic text on it.
tweet had been deleted on Monday afternoon but it sparked protests from the
central board of the NU, the parent organization of Banser.
NU’s Said also accused the ambassador of intentionally spreading slander in
alleging the flag burning was done by members of a "jamaah
al-muharifah", which means deviant organization. The NU chairman said the
“rogue members” of the organization had been duly punished. “We also have
regretted the burning.”
lambasted the ambassador, saying he had committed a "serious diplomatic
violation" by getting involved in internal Indonesian affairs, in
violation of his authority. "This clearly undermines Indonesia-Saudi
Arabia relations," he went on.
Suryana, a communication staffer at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
in Jakarta, told journalists on Monday that the embassy had yet to make any
comment about the ambassador's tweet. "We will let you know
tomorrow," he said. (evi)
coalition remains confident despite 212 rally
of the coalition endorsing the President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin
ticket shrugged off the call on Muslim voters to shun presidential candidates
and political parties that supported former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok”
Tjahaja Purnama at a rally on Sunday, organized by a group calling itself the
212 Rally Alumni.
call was a strong reference to Jokowi, who led Jakarta together with Ahok
between 2012 and 2014, as well as most parties in the Jokowi coalition. Ahok,
Jakarta’s first ethnic Chinese and second Christian governor, was sentenced to
two years’ imprisonment for blasphemy following a series of rallies in 2016
organized by the 212 movement to demand his prosecution.
as a “reunion”, the rally, attended by hundreds of thousands of marchers,
quickly turned into a political arena for opposition leaders and outspoken
critics of the Jokowi administration.
Watubun, chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said
actions against a nationalist party in Indonesia were not unusual. He was of
the opinion that the PDI-P would not be affected much because eventually the
hubbub would die down.
think we also wouldn’t need to anticipate problems from this because our voters
are also Muslims. They are rational and mature Muslims. They are used to facing
issues like this,” he said in Jakarta on Monday.
believed that a straightforward call like this would backfire on presidential
candidate Prabowo Subianto’s supporting parties because such aggressiveness
could discourage prospective voters.
all, the call was conveyed to people who were against the PDI-P from the
beginning. So, it would not affect our voters as each party has its own base,”
coalition includes the Gerindra Party, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), National
Mandate Party (PAN) and Democratic Party.
Party secretary-general Johnny G. Plate said the call was predictable given
that the 212 movement’s leaders were also opposition leaders. “Of course there
could be an electoral impact for us but it would not be significant enough to
affect Jokowi’s electoral base,” he said.
Fawaid, executive of the National Awakening Party (PKB), another member of the
Jokowi coalition, suspected a potential violation of the Elections Law during
me, reunions are usual; people come together. However, reunions do not usually
involve a political agenda,” he said without elaborating on the details.
the rally, politicians with the Prabowo coalition expressed their gratitude
because the rally had run smoothly and peacefully. Prabowo’s running mate,
Sandiaga Uno, who was in Magelang, Central Java, at the time of the rally, said
he believed the rally would boost Jakarta’s economic growth.
chairman Zulkifli Hasan, who is also the People’s Consultative Assembly
speaker, said the rally was proof that Indonesian Muslims were tolerant, as
evidenced by the peaceful spectacle. “No one was harmed and no building was
destroyed,” he said on his Instagram account.
the rally, a video featuring leader Rizieq Shihab, who is residing in Saudi
Arabia, was shown. He said it was haram (forbidden) to vote for presidential
and legislative candidates backed by Ahok’s supporting parties, based on edicts
issued by religious leaders. The Islam Defenders Front also endorsed the
anti-Jokowi movement, bearing the moniker#2019GantiPresiden (
political communication expert from Paramadina University, Hendri Satrio, said
in consideration of Ahok’s defeat in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election to
Anies Baswedan, the call for Muslim voters should be taken into account by
Jokowi’s coalition. “The problem is the non 212 who came to the reunion,” he
coalition rescues 102 child recruits from Houthi militia in Yemen
The Arab Coalition fighting to support the legitimate government in Yemen said
it rescued and rehabilitated 102 child recruits from Houthi militia.
at a weekly press conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Monday,
spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki affirmed that the coalition is continuing its
fight against Al-Qaeda and Daesh in Yemen.
also said the coalition was continuing to grant permits to Yemeni ports and
airports, however he added that Hodeidah port has been clear of ships for the
past three days because the Iranian-backed Houthi militia has blocked vessels
Al-Malki said 14 permits have been issued for ships heading to Yemeni ports,
carrying food and petroleum products.
added the coalition had issued 23 air permits, 14 maritime permits, 6 land
permits, and 61 permits to protect convoys, a total of 104 permits, within 72
coalition spokesperson added that there are five ships waiting to enter the
port of Hodeidah and Salaf, and the waiting period is 26 days.
Houthi militia are affecting the Yemeni people by deliberately disrupting the
entry and unloading of these five vessels,“he said.
Arabic-language al-Mayadeen reported that a large number of Tahrir al-Sham's
militants have defected to Horras al-Deen West of Idlib city.
further underlined widening rifts among Tahrir al-Sham militants, and said that
those gunmen, who oppose the decisions of the ringleader of the terrorist
group, Abu Mohammad al-Joulani, have threatened to defect to Horras al-Deen all
together if Tahrir al-Sham continues to lean on Turkey.
went on to say that a large number of non-Syrian members of Tahrir al-Sham have
joined Horras al-Deen and Turkistani Islamic Party after Tahrir al-Sham
colluded with Turkish intelligence service to hunt foreign members of the group
in return for the guaranteed survival of Joulani and his group in case of an
TV Channel said that clashes are likely to break out soon between Horras
al-Deen and Tahrir al-Sham after the recent defections.
sources said last week that Tahrir al-Sham Hayat and Ahrar al-Sham terrorist
groups resumed and intensified their clashes over a strategic road in the
Southern part of Idlib province.
clashes broke out between Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham militants on the
outskirts of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman in Southern Idlib, field sources reported.
sources noted that the infighting broke out after Tahrir al-Sham entered Heish
region controlled by Ahrar al-Sham and set up an inspection post there. Ahrar
al-Sham also targeted and pounded Tahrir al-Sham's post and put their forces on
al-Sham also hit the military posts of the National Liberation Front in Babolin
area in Heish region, they added.
sources also pointed to the preparations by Tahrir al-Sham Hayat to launch a
large-scale military operation in the region, and said Tahrir al-Sham aims to
seize control of the international highway passing through Ma'arat al-Nu'aman
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that the Turkey-backed militants targeted
12 gathering points of the Manbij Military Council in the villages of al-Dadat,
al-Halounji, al-Mohsenli, Toukhar Kabir, al-Rafi'eh, Arab Hassan and Um Jaloud
in Sajour frontline with heavy weapons.
added that the two sides were engaged in clashes for several hours, noting that
the Kurds have repelled the attack by the Ankara-backed militants.
report said after the US and Turkey launched joint patrolling missions in
Sajour, a region separating the Manbij Military Council forces and the
Ankara-backed militants, the Turkish army has increased its aggression against
the villages in Northern Manbij.
news had reported on Sunday that the Turkey-backed militants continued shelling
the strongholds of the US-backed Kurdish militia in Manbij region in
Northeastern Aleppo regardless of the US support for the Kurds.
added that gunmen of the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield Force targeted the
positions of the Manbij Military Council from the village of Tokhar in
sources disclosed that Tahrir al-Sham has detonated several bridges between the
small town of al-Eis that is under Tahrir al-Sham's control and the small town
of al-Hadher in Southern Aleppo that is under the control of the Syrian army.
army men have deployed in Tal al-Eis region to set up observation posts, the
sources said, adding that Tahrir al-Sham's move to destroy the bridges aimed to
slow down the army's advances an incoming operation in the region.
terrorist groups deployed in Northern Syria had also made similar moves earlier
and destroyed the infrastructures, including bridges, to prevent the Damascus
forces' military advances.
terrorists' refusal to implement the Sochi Agreement to establish a
demilitarized zone is pushing the army to initiate its long-waited assault on
militants in Idlib that had been put on hold due to the Sochi Agreement.
Mar'ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language
website of Sputnik news agency as saying last month that Tahrir al-Sham is in
control of nearly 70% of towns and villages in Idlib province and makes
provocative moves against the Syrian army, adding that the army's commitment to
decrease tensions is not lasting forever.
added that the Syrian army has so far repelled all attacks by terrorists
against its positions and inflicted heavy damages on them, noting that the army
is now necessitated to come out of the defensive mood to retake control of
said that Tahrir al-Sham will resort to a full-scale military operation against
the Syrian and Russian armies soon, after rejecting the Sochi agreement last
October, which leaves no room for ceasefire or disarmament anymore, and
underlined that the Syrian army's battle against Tahrir al-Sham is inevitable.
the Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham and National Liberation Front (NLF) terrorist
groups has also dismissed the Russian-Turkish Sochi agreement and is preparing
for military operations against the army in Northern Syria, calling for a
coalition with Tahrir al-Sham.
al-Sham and other allied terrorist groups have not left the demilitarized zone
two months after the Sochi agreement and have instead reinvigorated their
strongholds and targeted the army positions every day.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted Spokesman for the Russian Armed
forces Oleg Makarevich as reporting that the Syrian Army continued its
cleansing operation in the Eastern desert of Sweida, hunting over 270 ISIL
Arabic Sputnik further said that the army also seized a large volume of arms
and ammunition and landmines, adding that a sum of 12 US-made TOW anti-tank
missiles was found at terrorists' positions.
news agency pointed to the rugged terrain and bad weather conditions in Sweida
desert during the army operation, and said that the Damascus forces first
destroyed ISIL's supply lines and bases to pave the ground for easier
liberation of the region from the terrorists.
army forces launched their operation in the Eastern desert of Sweida and purged
almost 3,000 sq/km of land of ISIL after the terrorist group attacked Sweida
city and its nearby villages in late June, killing and injuring a large number
army men that captured the entire Toloul al-Safa rugged terrain last month and
started mop-up operation in the Eastern desert of Sweida immediately after.
During the operation, the army seized control over a large number of regions,
including Tal Marati, Sotoh al-Mahriqahaf al-Kawaber, al-Mosaha, Jour
al-Hasaan, Jour Qarimah, Mobabyat, al-Motalah, Satah al-Jamal, al-Khazrah, Soto
Salmi and al-Jafajef.
army men, deployed in the village of Shalitout, opened fire at a group of
terrorists that tried to prevail over the army positions via the village of
al-Zakah in the demilitarized zone, inflicting major losses on the militants
and forcing their remaining pockets to retreat.
the meantime, the army's artillery units shelled terrorists' movements South of
the town of al-Latamina before they could conduct their planned attack on the
Damascus forces in Zalin region.
odd terrorists still active in Jammu & Kashmir: DGP Dilbagh Singh
There are at least 250 terrorists still active in Jammu and Kashmir even as
security forces killed around 230 of them in counter-militancy operations in
the Kashmir valley this year.
General of police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh told the TOI that though the militant
recruitment had declined considerably in the last two months, there were still
250 active terrorists in the region. Fall in the recruitment, the DGP said was
an indication that youth in Kashmir realized the futility of violence and
didn't find it appealing anymore. Stone pelting incidents have also decreased,
again an indicator of peoples' cooperation with the forces, the DGP said.
said the police was targeting top commanders. "We try to ensure that
operations are conducted without any collateral damage," he said adding
that the government is seriously pursuing the rehabilitation policy for those
who have shunned the path of violence.
violence: Son of a policeman, he had probed lynching of Dadri victim Akhlaq
house officer Subodh Kumar Singh, who died in a clash between police and a mob
protesting against alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr on Monday, was the
first investigating officer in the murder of Dadri resident Mohd Akhlaq, who
was lynched in 2015 by a crowd over rumours of cow slaughter and beef
was the IO from September 28, 2015 to November 9, 2015. He was subsequently
transferred to Varanasi,” said Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar.
Subodh was, at the time, in-charge of Jarcha police station in Noida and was
instrumental in the prompt arrest of the accused, his colleagues said. Trial is
yet to begin in the Dadri lynching as the city court is still hearing arguments
on charges against the 18 accused. All of them are out on bail.
Singh, circle officer posted in Lucknow, said he had worked alongside Subodh on
several assignments, including raids where the police team came under fire. “He
was not one to run the other way. He always faced the challenge with bravery,
head on. On at least three occasions, I saw him refuse to back down from such a
situation,” Singh said.
after the Dadri lynching, he went to the village every day to quell rumours and
keep the peace, Singh said, adding that Subodh held multiple meetings with
representatives of both communities to make sure the situation did not
escalate. After Akhlaq’s death, a Muslim wedding in the village was under a
cloud, and he made sure it was not stopped under pressure, Singh said.
resident of Tarigawa village in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district, Subodh was the
son of Ram Pratap Singh, who also served in the UP Police. “He got a job on
compensatory grounds after his father died of a prolonged illness,” said
Saurabh, his cousin.
wife Rajni and two children Shrey and Abhishek – one in school and another in
an engineering college – live in Noida. “The family would regularly visit
Tarigawa. Subodh’s elder brother Atul Singh retired from the Air Force and
stays in Delhi,” said Subodh’s cousin Rahul Singh, adding that Subodh joined
the police force in 1995.
on Monday welcomed India and Pakistan’s efforts to open the Kartarpur Corridor,
saying strengthening dialogue between them and properly addressing their
differences means a lot to the world peace and development.
corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting
place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in
India’s Gurdaspur district.
India and Pakistan last month announced that stretches would be developed in
their respective areas to link the two revered places.
are glad to see the good interactions between Pakistan and India. Both are
important countries in South Asia. The stability of their relations means a lot
to the world peace and development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng
Shuang told a media briefing here answering a question on the corridor.
seeks Pakistan’s help in negotiating Afghan peace
said on Monday US President Donald Trump has sought its help with faltering
Afghan peace talks, part of intensifying efforts by Trump to end one of
America’s longest wars.
in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, asked for Islamabad’s ‘support and
facilitation’ in negotiating an end to the war and offered to renew the
strained relationship, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
overture to Khan represents a sea change from Trump’s normally harsh rhetoric
towards Pakistan, and will add to growing speculation that the United States is
planning to pull out of Afghanistan in the near future.
White House official said Trump had sent a letter to Imran Khan ‘requesting
Pakistan’s full support for the US-led Afghan peace process’ and assistance to
US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in a current trip to the
officials have long been pushing Pakistan to lean on Taliban leaders, who
Washington says are based inside Pakistan, to bring them to the negotiating
table. “He has asked for Pakistan’s cooperation to bring the Taliban into
talks,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said. Trump told Khan the Pakistan
relationship was very important to the United States and to finding a solution
to the Afghanistan conflict, he added. Trump has been open about his desire to
bring home about 14,000 US troops who remain in Afghanistan as part of Resolute
Support and a separate counter-terrorism mission aimed against militant groups
such as al Qaeda and Islamic State.
Trump has also acknowledged that the war had cost both US and Pakistan. He has
emphasized that Pakistan and US should explore opportunities to work together
and renew partnership,” the Foreign Ministry said, adding that Pakistan is
committed to playing a ‘facilitation role in good faith’.
has appointed Afghan-born US diplomat Khalilzad as a special envoy for
Afghanistan, tasking him with pushing through peace talks. Khalilzad on Sunday
began an eight-country tour, which includes Pakistan, Russia and Qatar, to
promote peace and convince the Taliban to join negotiations.
Trump’s letter, “the president recognizes that Pakistan has the ability to deny
the Taliban sanctuary on its territory. The letter also makes clear that
Pakistan’s assistance with the Afghan peace process is fundamental to building
an enduring US-Pakistan partnership,” the White House official said.
allies in fighting terrorism, Pakistan and the United States have a complicated
relationship, bound by Washington’s dependence on Pakistan to supply its troops
in Afghanistan but plagued by accusations Islamabad is playing a double game.
month, Trump said in an interview Pakistan doesn’t ‘do a damn thing’ for the
United States despite billions of dollars in US aid, adding that Pakistani
officials knew of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s location before his
killing by US troops in a 2011 raid inside Pakistan.
hit back by saying the United States should not blame Pakistan for its failings
in Afghanistan. Pakistani officials, who deny offering safe havens to the
Afghan Taliban, say their influence on the group has waned over the years.
week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he had formed a 12-strong team to
negotiate peace with the Taliban, but warned that implementation of any deal
would take at least five years.
Terming the latest interview of Prime Minister Imran Khan “a total
disappointment”, leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan
Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday expressed their surprise over Mr Khan’s remarks
about the possibility of fresh elections in the country.
a statement, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the opposition didn’t
need to do anything to topple the government because its “disastrous
performance in the first 100 days and the incompetence of Imran Khan and his
associates are already doing the job”.
prime minister who has given a vote of no confidence in his own government with
this statement of early elections does not deserve the top office of the
country for even one day, and should resign with immediate effect,” she said.
Aurangzeb, who served as information minister in the previous PML-N government,
ridiculed the prime minister’s statement that he had learnt from television
that his “pathetic government” had caused another landslide devaluation of the
rupee. The PML-N leader referred to the prime minister’s observation that the
PML-N government’s finance minster Ishaq Dar had artificially controlled the
exchange rate for dollar.
that stance was a lie or his current position is a farce,” she added.
Aurangzeb said that Mr Khan had once again used the “same lame NRO rhetoric” to
distract the attention of the nation away from “the massive failures” of his
a separate statement, PPP’s Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said it was very
“irresponsible” of the prime minister to talk about early elections.
Khokhar, who is also a spokesman for PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, said
it was disappointing that the PTI government wasn’t even trying to solve
Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on Tuesday — on behalf of the station house
officer (SHO) of Darakhshan police station, Arshad Janjua — filed a first
information report (FIR) regarding an explosion that occurred in a 'stolen' car
in Karachi's Khadda Market a day earlier.
FIR, that has been registered under Article 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, says
that "unknown terrorists" had planned to launch "a huge
terrorist attack" in Karachi.
a car that was reportedly stolen from Karachi's Jamshed Quarters on Sunday
night, was traced to the Khadda Market area in DHA, where it had exploded
overnight in an empty plot.
Inspector General South Javed Alam Odho said that the blast was caused by a
vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) that had been planted in the
car, along with multiple gas cylinders. However, the cylinders were found
intact, the DIG said. The car's CNG cylinder was also found in one piece.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Monday met Prime Minister Imran Khan
along with other members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and
discussed the issue of formation of house committees and a strategy to break
the deadlock with the opposition over the chairmanship of the all-powerful
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament.
meeting took place hours after the prime minister recorded an interview with TV
anchors in which he had once again declared in categorical terms that Leader of
the Opposition and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz
Sharif would not be offered the PAC chairmanship.
who accompanied the speaker in the meeting included Defence Minister Pervez
Khattak, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan and
Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz.
before going to see the prime minister, the speaker held a consultative meeting
with the ruling party members and informed them about the “number of meetings”
he had with the opposition on the issue of formation of standing committees.
The consultative meeting was also attended by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri and PTI
chief whip in the National Assembly Malik Aamir Dogar.
handout issued by the NA Secretariat quoted the speaker as having told the
meeting that he was hopeful that the committees would be constituted during the
upcoming session of the assembly scheduled for Dec 10.
his interview which was aired on almost all TV channels in the evening, Prime
Minister Khan said Pakistan would become a laughing stock in the world
community if they allowed a detained person facing corruption cases to preside
over the PAC meetings.
government would not be “blackmailed” by the opposition on the issue, he said,
adding that they would constitute the committees on their own without the
opposition members. “We are making a decision. We are forming committees. If
they (opposition) are not coming, then we will form the committees,” the prime
sources in the PTI told Dawn that the government had decided to make another
attempt to engage the opposition parties on the issue, adding that the PTI
would ask the opposition parties to nominate a “clean person” other than Mr
Sharif for the PAC chairmanship.
are making efforts to break the persisting deadlock,” said a senior PTI leader
who was present in the two meetings. The PTI leader, while requesting
anonymity, said the government was not interested in keeping the PAC
chairmanship with it.
will suggest very reasonable options to the opposition and I hope it will
respond positively,” he said, adding that they believed that there were some
capable people in the opposition ranks. He, however, said that if the
opposition did not accept their offer, they would have no option but to go
ahead with the formation of the committees without them.
opposition parties claimed that the speaker had during a meeting with them
previously agreed to their demand of nominating Mr Sharif as PAC chairman, but
he later backtracked due to resistance by PTI members.
contacted, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government had not
formally contacted them on the issue for the past almost two months. She said
they were determined to stay away from all the committees if the speaker did
not fulfil his commitment to appointing Mr Sharif as PAC chairman which he had
made with them.
Minister Imran Khan has shed light on various subjects of national importance
including the state of the economy, civil-military relations and governance
issues in a wide-ranging interview broadcast on TV on Monday.
the pre-recorded interview, Khan answered questions by a panel of journalists
representing various media organisations.
prime minister said he had found out about last week's plunge in the value of
rupee after watching the news. He said the decision to decrease the value of
the currency against the US dollar was taken by the State Bank.
remember, we are trying to autonomise institutions," he said. "We
have made SBP autonomous, they took the decision because they deem it
said the previous PML-N government had left a trade deficit of $19 billion,
which increased from a previous deficit of $2.5 billion.
PML-N govt had spent $7 billion to [artificially] maintain the value of the
rupee," he said.
acknowledged that such a sharp drop in the value of the rupee creates
"uncertainty", but stressed that he had not been aware of the
decision to decrease the currency's value.
have conveyed a message to the SBP to keep us in the loop so we can give our
input," the prime minister said, adding that he would have preferred if
the devaluation took place a bit later.
[rupee] adjustment is a temporary phenomenon," he assured. "We are
facing a foreign exchange crisis. Our [macroeconomic] indicators are now headed
in the right direction, we will not face the issue in the future."
said bringing in foreign investment will be crucial in raising the dollar
reserves of the country. He quoted the Chinese ambassador as saying that China
is entering investment contracts with Pakistan for the first time.
created export zones, with foreign investment and local labour. We want to
replicate the same model."
said all ministers have reported their achievements to him and that he will
review their performance during the ongoing week. "We might change some
ministers," he cautioned.
prime minister said the country is currently facing crises on multiple fronts
and "every single institution" is running in losses.
per the Singapore model, we will incorporate these institutions into holding
companies," he said. "Our performance in the given scenario is
exemplary. You will see stability in the coming days."
asked about the issues facing the business community, Khan said Pakistan is
lagging behind when it comes to 'ease of doing business'.
are trying to create a [positive] environment. We are establishing an office
entitled 'ease of doing business' to provide a one-window solution to investors
and to resolve their issues," he said. "Though it is a slow process,
we are trying our best to ensure ease of doing business."
totalling standing by PTI manifesto'
a question regarding his government's relationship with the military, Khan said
the Pakistan Army "is currently totally standing by PTI's manifesto".
have no problems at the present," he said, adding that his government also
hasn't faced issues of "civil-military discord" as seen during past
said leaders around the world seek the opinion of their military establishment
"since they are equipped with the means to brief us on security
said Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is standing steadfastly by the democratic
government, and both are on the "same page". "There is not a
single decision that was not taken by me, and there is not a single decision
behind which the Pakistan Army does not stand."
about his government's efforts to address the missing persons' issue, the prime
minister said a meeting had been scheduled between him and Balochistan National
Party (BNP-M) president Sardar Akhtar Mengal. However, Mengal could not make it
to the meeting due to some reason, he said.
have full assurance from Gen Bajwa that they want to help in resolving the
missing persons' issue," Khan said.
over CJP's remarks
about a case of alleged abuse of power by federal minister Azam Swati, Khan
said he does not interfere in the matters of institutions to protect anyone.
will obey the court orders. Azam Swati will resign if found guilty," he
was also asked about the role allegedly played by Punjab Chief Minister Usman
Buzdar in the transfer of former Pakpattan district police office Rizwan
Gondal. "What is wrong if the chief executive of a province calls a police
officer to inquire about the alleged abuse suffered by somebody's daughter, who
happens to be the daughter of Bushra begum, at the hands of police?" Khan
questioned in response.
expressed "regret" over remarks by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar in
which the top judge pointed to alleged nepotism on Khan's part in the
appointment of Zulfi Bukhari's as the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister
on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
election in Punjab?
a question regarding his promise of creating a new province in south Punjab,
Prime Minister Khan said it was a gradual process and that in the first phase,
his government is administratively facilitating people of the southern region
Hamid Mir pointed out that if a South Punjab province is formed, the PTI risked
losing its government in central Punjab, where it does not have a majority.
this, Khan responded by suggesting that such a situation would perhaps arise by
the time the next general elections are scheduled to be held. However, after
interjection by some journalists, he said: "No no, it is possible that
election happens even before [the scheduled time, in the two Punjab
know a captain can change his strategy at any time," he added in a lighter
Minister Khan said the nation would have to decide whether "it wants to
let corruption prevail".
cited the example of China in ridding itself of corruption. "China is
sailing past the US in economy, they have convicted 400 ministers during the past
five years," he noted.
said the major hurdle in his government's anti-corruption plans are some
"old-minded bureaucrats" who are "trying to sabotage [our
efforts] and creating an impression that the government will not be able to
have recovered land worth trillions of rupees," he said. "Mafias are
behind real encroachments. We have asked the authorities not to target poor
people but the mafias."
FIA and the anti-corruption [department] are working under the government. We
have signed agreements on data sharing of each others' citizens with 26
an "interesting aspect" of the drive, Khan said the UAE and Saudi
Arabia had refused to share the data of Pakistani iqama holders saying it was
equivalent to sharing their citizenship information. "Now, you’ll know why
iqamas were sought secretly," he remarked.
a reference to his political opponents, he said people had laundered money out
of the country but they weren't caught because they held UAE iqamas.
not 'revenge tactics'
the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) differences with the opposition
parties regarding the appointment of the chairman of the Public Accounts
Committee (PAC), Khan said the PML-N wanted Shahbaz Sharif to head the committee,
even though he is currently in a NAB jail and facing cases regarding 56 public
it not be a joke of our democracy if a person comes from the jail to chair the
said the opposition has boycotted all standing committees over the issue of PAC
chairmanship. "They are trying to pressurise us into saying, 'We support
democracy, let’s work together' and giving them an NRO [National Reconciliation
Ordinance]," Khan added.
premier said the opposition parties "term accountability as revenge
tactics", but that none of the corruption cases against opposition members
was instated by his government.
wrong in taking U-turns?'
once again defended his inclination towards reversing his own decisions,
saying: "People always blame me for taking U-turns, I have never denied
that and I don’t think of it as a bad thing. What’s wrong in changing the
strategy to achieve your goals?"
goal is across-the-board accountability and I’m willing to shake hands with
anyone who won’t object to that," he said.
said he decided to travel abroad only when he knew the visit would be
beneficial for Pakistan’s economy. "Right now everyone abroad is aware
that our economy is destroyed. So, my focus is on fixing that before touring abroad."
nice' letter from Trump
Minister Khan informed journalists he had received a "very nice"
letter from US President Donald Trump seeking Pakistan's assistance in bringing
about a negotiated end to the Afghan war.
The Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan on Monday moved the Peshawar High Court against
the detention of its 133 workers in the province and sought orders for the
provincial government to release them and not to make more arrests.
the petition, TLP provincial chief Falak Niaz requested the court to order the
recovery of its 133 workers from the ‘illegal and unlawful’ custody of the
government by declaring their detention illegal and unconstitutional.
petitioner claimed that the party hadn’t been informed about under what law its
workers had been detained.
the court to declare null and void the government notification of the
detentions in question if any.
interim relief, the petitioner prayed the court to stop the government from
arresting more TLP workers until the final disposal of the petition and issue
directions for the right of visitation to the detainees.
petition filed through lawyers Yousaf Ali and Syed Saud Shah said the 133 TLP
workers were taken away from their houses or other places on Nov 23, 24 and 30,
before being kept at the Haripur Central Prison.
respondents in the petition are the interior ministry through its secretary,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home department through its secretary, KP inspector general
of police, KP chief secretary, KP inspector general of prisons, and superintendents
of Haripur, Dera Ismail Khan, Mardan and Peshawar jails.
petitioner said the police had made forced entry to the TLP workers’ houses to
said the detainees’ repeated requests to the government and relevant officials
to explain the reason for their detention had fallen on deaf ears.
petitioner said the detained TLP workers had lived a peaceful life and there
was no FIR registered against them anywhere in the province.
added that his party workers were arrested without the issuance of any
notification and without giving any opportunity of hearing to them at the time
of their ‘illegal’ arrest.
petitioner said Article 10-A of the Constitution gave the fundamental right of
fair trial to everyone accused of committing any illegal activity but no such
opportunity was provided to the TLP workers.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad is scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on Tuesday (today) to seek
Pakistan’s help for a political solution to the Afghan conflict, officials said
State Department had announced earlier that Khalilzad will be traveling to
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United
Arab Emirates, and Qatar with an interagency delegation from December 2-20.
Khalilzad held three-day talks with the Taliban political envoys in Qatar last
month and more discussions are expected during his upcoming visit to the
oil-rich Gulf state. The US special envoy skipped Pakistan in his four-nation
trip in November. He had earlier visited Pakistan in October.
US envoy’s visit to Pakistan has assumed importance after President Donald
Trump sought Pakistan’s help in negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict. A
Foreign Office official told Daily Times that Khalilzad is also likely to brief
the Pakistani officials about his talks with the Taliban.
State Department said in a statement that Khalilzad will meet with Afghan
government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an
inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to decide
their nation’s fate. He will be in communication with Afghan President Ashraf
Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other Afghan stakeholders to
coordinate closely on efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table
with the Afghan government.
United States remains committed to supporting the Afghan people’s desire for
peace, and to facilitating a political settlement between the Afghan government
and the Taliban that ensures Afghanistan never serves as a platform for
international terrorism again,” the statement said.
Taliban spokesman for political office Suhail Shaheen said preliminary meetings
with the US officials in Qatar in July, October and November were mainly
focused on trust building. “Though, end to invasion and security concerns were
raised, a detailed discussion will be held when formals talks are started,” he
told Taliban’s Haqiqat magazine. “We have reiterated our demands of opening of
the office, scrapping the UN black list and release of the prisoners as
confidence building measures,” he said while talking about the Taliban-US
was upbeat at the outcome of the Taliban’s participation in the Moscow
conference on Afghanistan last month. “The world considers the Islamic Emirate
as a political group and wants to listen to our demands and views to end
foreign invasion. Russian, Chinese and Iranian delegates at the Moscow
conference called for the withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan and
political solution to the problem. It will now be difficult for anyone to
defend the invasion of Afghanistan under the excuse of terrorism,” he said.
court records testimony of 1st witness in 2016 terror attack trial
anti-terrorism special tribunal in Bangladesh on Monday recorded the statement
of first witness in the 2016 terror attack case, three years after the
country’s deadliest attack killed 22 people, mostly foreigners, including an
of the banned Neo-Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo-JMB) attacked the posh
Holey Artisan restaurant in the Gulshan diplomatic enclave on July 1, 2016 in
the Bangladesh capital.
people—an Indian girl, nine Italians, seven Japanese and five Bangladeshis,
including two police officers—were killed in the attack.
sub-inspector Ripon Kumar Das testified before the court as the first
prosecution witness, being the complainant in the case,” a court official said.
of the eight accused, who had earlier confessed to their involvement in the
attack, appeared before the court on Monday amid heavy police security to face
the trial. The other two accused are on the run, but were being tried in
the accused belonged to the banned Neo-JMB.
trial in the case began on November 26, when the court indicted them after
reviewing the police charge sheet.
investigations, it was found that 21 people were involved in the assault, but
police said 13 of them died in subsequent anti-terrorism clampdown.
said only five militants staged the carnage and all of them were killed on the
July 2 in a raid by the military commandos.
Neo-JMB, said to be inclined to Islamic State or IS, executed the carnage
sparking an uproar globally and signalling the strong presence of militants in
the Muslim-majority country.
outfit emerged as the revived chapter of the radical Islamist group.
terrorism unit chief of Bangladesh Police, Monirul Islam earlier said the
police gathered 75 pieces of evidence for the trial and mobilised 211 witnesses
to the carnage to testify before the court.
alleged that the militants staged the attack to announce their strong presence
in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh and particularly show their brutality by
killing foreigners and draw international attention.
said since late 2015, the Neo-JMB militants, led by Bangladeshi-origin Canadian
Tamim Chowdhury, killed in a subsequent security clampdown, were carrying out
small scale attacks on foreigners and non-Muslims.
victims of the Holey Artisan restaurant were found with their throats slit when
the commandos and other security forces entered the scene.
gunned down two police officers and injured over 20 others when they approached
the restaurant. —PTI
a months-long investigation into the Myanmar government’s persecution against
the Rohingya, a U.S.-based humanitarian rights law group has found that there
is a reasonable basis to conclude that Rohingya are victims of genocide.
Washington-based Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) said it will
hold a press conference on Monday for the release of the Factual Findings and
Legal Analysis Report based on the investigation on Rohingya refugees in
said that the would-be-published report states there is a “reasonable basis to
conclude that war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide were committed
against the Rohingya population.”
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children
and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community.
U.S. State Department had tasked PILPG to undertake a comprehensive human
rights documentation investigation mission in the Rohingya refugee camps and
settlement areas in southeastern Bangladesh in March and April this year.
September, the rights law firm had released an initial qualitative report to
outline the factual findings and initial conclusions from PILPG’s investigation
second report, which presents the key factual findings and subsequent legal
analysis of the interviews, including the patterns of violations committed
against the Rohingya and recommendations for future justice and accountability
efforts, is due to be released on Monday.
Pattern of abuse
first report revealed “clear patterns of abuse against the Rohingya, some of
which stretch back for decades.”
report is based on interviews of more than 1,000 refugees who had fled the Rakhine
State of Myanmar after October 2016.
interviews revealed years-long patterns of violence and widespread human rights
violations targeted against the Rohingya, including curfews and movement
restrictions, property and land confiscation, restricted access to food,
marriage and family restrictions, religious persecution, extortion and threats
of violence, forced labor, and regular beatings, rapes, and murder,” the report
emphasized that here was a long period of “most consistent persecution and
escalating violence against Rohingya” that began in 2012 and intensified in
August 2017, when the Myanmar army conducted major attacks against the group,
causing a mass displacement of Rohingya to Bangladesh.
and abuses targeting Rohingya were perpetrated by the Myanmar armed forces --
mainly the Tatmadaw-Army -- the Border Guard Police, Combat Police Force, and
Rakhine State Police.”
added that these attacks left out non-Rohingya civilians or they were evacuated
by the security forces before the attacks.
also noted that the investigation showed a notable increase in the military and
police presence in the northern Rakhine State, where there are Rohingya
villages, weeks before major systematic attacks in August-September 2017.
attacks were brutal. […] Of the 1,024 Rohingya interviewed, 20 percent were
themselves physically injured in the attacks, nearly 70 percent witnessed their
homes or villages being destroyed, and 80 percent witnessed the killing of a
family member, friend, or personal acquaintance,” it reported.
also said that the perpetrators did not just want to expel Rohingya but they
wanted to “exterminate” them.
against Rohingya] was well-planned, widespread, systematic, and aimed at
terrorizing the Rohingya, rendering them defenseless, and ensuring their
removal from Myanmar—whether by displacement or death,” it said.
Myanmar armed forces burned many of the bodies or sought to dispose of them in
mass graves or in nearby bodies of water, including wells,” it reported, adding
that findings suggest that “these attacks were all part of a highly coordinated
military campaign that required tactical and logistical planning”.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya:
The Untold Experience."
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), has foiled bid to
assassinate a religious scholar in Kabul city.
in a statement said a prayer leader of mosque and his comrade were arrested on
charges of plotting the assassination of a religious scholar in Kabul.
statement further added that one of the individual arrested by NDS has been
identified as Noor Ur Rehman who was a prayer leader in Hazrat Bilal mosque in
the 5th police district of the city while his accomplice has been identified as
Enayat son of Khan Shah.
to NDS, the two individuals were appointed by Haqqani network member Qari Noor
Agha to assassinate the religious scholar.
two suspects were held during an operation on Friday, NDS said, adding that
both men have confessed to their crime.
shadow governor of Taliban for Ghor province has reportedly been killed in a
U.S. drone strike in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.
Afghan Military sources have confirmed that the group’s shadow governor for
Ghor Abdul Qayoum alias Rouhani was killed in a coalition airstrike in Helmand
province on Monday.
sources further added that Qayoum was travelling in Bahramcha area of Helmand
with his five comrades and were attempting to cross into Pakistan when they
came under airstrike.
to the army sources, Qayoum and his comrades were all killed in the airstrike.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not commented
regarding the killing of group’s shadow governor so far.
ethnic minorities up to twice as likely to face racial bias, report finds
survey on unconscious bias in Britain has revealed that ethnic minorities are
more likely to face unfair treatment than white people.
study, commissioned by the Guardian and carried out by independent pollsters
ICM, asked 1,000 black, Asian and minority ethnic people and 1,797 white people
several questions about negative experiences in their everyday lives as a
result of such bias. The results showed in some cases minority ethnic people in
Britain are up to twice as likely to be mistaken for an employee rather than a
customer, be refused entrance to a bar or club for no good reason and be
overlooked for a job application process or for a promotion at work.
per cent of minority ethnic respondents said they had experienced a stranger
being rude or abusive in public to them in comparison with 51 per cent of white
62 per cent of BAME respondents said they had been stopped going through
airport security and customs.
findings revealed that 69 per cent of people from a minority ethnic background
believe Britain has a problem with racism.
parliamentarian and civil rights campaigner David Lammy described the survey
results as “harrowing”.
prejudice continues to weigh on the lives of black and ethnic minority people
in the UK,” he wrote on Twitter. “We share the same hard-won rights, but our
experiences are too often shaped by bias. Pretending to be colour blind has not
worked. We need to talk about and properly understand race.”
survey comes just days after a parliamentary report found that myths and lies
about Muslims are contributing to discrimination in sectors of public life
including employment, housing and the criminal justice system.
from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims have called for the
government to introduce a definition of Islamophobia.
interim report by Islamophobia monitoring group Tell MAMA also published last
week warned that institutional and structural forms of anti-Muslim hatred “are
insidious and often unspoken forms of prejudice”.
hate crime in Britain is at an all time high according to latest police
statistics, with more than half of offences committed between April 2017 and
March 2018 directed at Muslims.
countries fund the manifestations of radical Islamism in Bulgaria. Target is
the Roma population, ghettos in particular. " Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Defense Krasimir Karakachanov said during his visit to Rousse. The
recent case, with a Bulgarian citizen arrested and convicted in Austria, is
proof of this in his view.
in Bulgaria should stop watching the Roma population as a cheap electorate they
buy and whose crimes are neglected, Karakachanov said. According to him, it is
precisely the version of the Religious Law that the United Patriots offer will
stop the political influence on religious communities.
criticized his colleagues from GERB, who have drafted a similar bill. According
to him, however, it serves the interests of the Movement for Rights and
Freedoms (MRF), who hope to strengthen their influence over the Muslims in
Bulgaria by providing funding.
is still unclear which company will win the military airplane delivery order
for our country. According to Karakachanov, there are three options left after
the procedures that have been carried out so far. He also explained that the
treaty would be interstate rather than a company.
President Mahmoud Abbas and Pope Francis on Monday discussed the issues of the
Middle East in a meeting at the Vatican, reported Italian media.
the meeting at the Papal Palace, Abbas told Francis: "We pray for peace
this Christmas season and we trust you."
pontiff also conveyed his wishes to the Palestinian president for peace in the
the meeting, Abbas gave Francis a present showing ancient Jerusalem, and the
pope gave a medallion depicting the Basilica of San Pietro in the 1600s, said
Italian news agencies.
Abbas stressed in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa that U.S. efforts
will not make peace in the Middle East.
U.S. cannot be the only mediator in the Middle East. A state which constantly
imposes punitive sanctions against Palestine cannot be a mediator. U.S.
leadership is an obstacle in the Middle East," wrote Abbas.
do not want to continue to cooperate with the current U.S.
administration," said Abbas. “We will not agree with conditions that
violate international law."
year, U.S. President Donald Trump sparked an international outcry by announcing
plans to move Washington’s Israel Embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city
as Israel’s capital.
the move this May, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has rejected any
mediating role by the U.S. in the moribund Middle East peace process.
UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Tuesday at the request of
France and Britain after they accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range
missile at the weekend, diplomats said.
United States said the missile launch on Saturday was a violation of a UN
resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which Washington has
resolution calls on Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a
said it was concerned by the test-firing with the foreign ministry describing
it as “provocative and destabilizing” and “does not conform” with UN resolution
2231 on the Iran deal.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the missile test “provocative, threatening
and inconsistent” with the resolution and said Britain was determined “that it
has long maintained that its missile program is defensive in nature and not
aimed at ensuring the delivery of a nuclear weapon, a stance supported by
Russia at the Security Council.
Iran envoy Brian Hook urged the European Union to slap sanctions that target
Tehran's missile program as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to
Brussels for talks with European partners.
has said it is concerned by the Iranian ballistic missile test conducted last
Saturday and called it provocative and destabilizing.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday condemned what he described as
Iran’s testing of a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple
warheads as a violation of the 2015 international agreement on the Iranian
missile program is defensive in nature... There is no Security Council
resolution prohibiting the missile program and missile tests by Iran,” IRNA
quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying in response to
media regulator has launched an official investigation into claims that a
London-based TV station praised terror attacks in Iran apparently under
influence and support of Saudi Arabia.
Guardian said in a report on Monday that Ofcom had begun investigating whether
Iran International, a TV station based in western London which broadcasts
programs in Farsi, broke broadcasting standards by airing a footage in
September in which a representative of a terror group outlawed in Iran praised
an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz.
Ofcom’s rules, potentially offensive content must be presented with sufficient
context,” said an Ofcom spokesperson, adding, “We are investigating whether
this news program fell short of these requirements.”
media regulator also issued an announcement saying that the probe, which was
based on three complaints, did not mean that Iran International had broken the
laws by airing comments of Yacoub Hor al-Tostari, a spokesman for the Arab
Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz, which condoned the killing of
dozens of people and military personnel in the terrorist attack.
Ambassador to the UK Hamdi Baeidinejad tweeted on Monday that Ofocm had
officially confirmed that it was considering Iran’s complaint against Iran
in the British media have suggested that Iran International has been directly
sponsored by the Saudi Arabian government. Sources revealed to The Guardian in
September that the channel had received an initial payment of $50 million, a
fist installment of a $250-million budget, meant to help launch and operate the
station over four years, from the Saudi royal court, through a company based in
London and run by people close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
International has denied the allegations and has even called on Guardian
journalist Saeed Kamali Dehghan, who reported on the secret links, to attend a
debate on air to clarify the issue.
Turkish Justice Ministry official at Turkey’s Embassy in London has been called
home amid a so-far unsuccessful attempt to extradite a member of the FETO
attache was summoned home and faces an investigation over improper paperwork on
the extradition of Akin Ipek, a fugitive suspected member of the Fetullah
Terrorist Group (FETO), the group behind a 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
post shared on social media allegedly sent by the Justice Ministry regarding
FETO fugitive Akin Ipek's extradition process doesn’t reflect the truth,” the
ministry said in a statement.
ministry sent proper documents to the British court on Sept. 13. We have
ascertained that our official in London prepared a one-page information sheet
on his own and sent it to the British Prosecutor’s office without ministry
clear that this information note, which was allegedly sent by our ministry and
shared on social media accounts, didn’t correspond with the procedures for
correspondence in our ministry and didn’t include any title, name, or
signature,” it said.
launched a probe into our London attache and summoned him to Ankara on Nov.
30,” it added.
Nov. 28 a British court rejected Turkey’s request for extradition of three
suspects linked to FETO, but the verdict is open to appeal.
and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July
15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
chief to brief lawmakers on Khashoggi murder: report
director Gina Haspel has agreed to brief Senate leaders on what the agency
knows about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The Wall Street
Journal reported Monday.
briefing will take place on Tuesday, the Journal said, after the Central
Intelligence Agency failed to take part when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis spoke to senators on the issue last week.
details of the briefing were not available, and the CIA would not confirm or
deny whether it would take place.
spy agency is reported to have concluded with "medium-to-high
confidence" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directed the
October 2 assassination of Khashoggi by a team of Saudis in the country´s
consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
veteran journalist was a strong critic of Prince Mohammed and had been resident
in the United States, where he wrote about politics in Saudi Arabia and the
Middle East for The Washington Post.
Journal, the Post, and The New York Times have all reported that the CIA has
evidence Prince Mohammed exchanged 11 messages with his close aide Saud
al-Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the murder, just before and after it took
New York Times reported Monday that Haspel was furious over the leak of the
CIA´s conclusions, which increased pressure on the White House to take strong
actions against the Middle East powerhouse.
relations with Riyadh already fraught, President Donald Trump has declined to
accept the conclusion that the powerful heir to the Saudi throne approved the
murder, saying there is no direct evidence of it.
could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event --
maybe he did and maybe he didn´t!" Trump said in a statement on November
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being pressured by lawmakers and activists to
declare that Myanmar’s military is committing genocide against Rohingya
House Representative Steve Chabot, a Republican, has sponsored a resolution
over the matter that is expected to easily pass as early as next week.
would declare that Rohingya are victims of genocide and crimes against
deliberate campaign of murder, intimidation and displacement against the
Rohingya by Burma’s security forces clearly meets legal standards for
genocide,” California Representative Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the
House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Politico in a statement. “It’s long past time
the U.S. call these atrocities what they are.”
US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Public International Law & Policy
Group have also called for dubbing Rohingya crackdown genocide.
Trump administration has so far declined to take a stance on the matter.
not acting, the US government is making itself complicit in the genocide of the
Rohingya,” said Simon Billenness, the executive director of the International
Campaign for the Rohingya.
August 2017, Myanmar’s armed forces, backed by Buddhist extremist mobs, have
launched an intensified crackdown against the Muslim community in Myanmar’s
of Rohingya Muslims have been killed, and those who fled are now living in
severely-overcrowded squalid camps in Bangladesh.
however, has blatantly denied the violence. However, massive evidence has been
collected by international observers, medics, and journalists.
United Nation has concluded that the atrocities amount to genocide.
Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman on Tuesday
criticized the Iranian regime for its creation of Hezbollah which has helped
Tehran in “killing dozens of Americans and committing genocide against the
Iranian regime founded Hezbollah in Lebanon, a terrorist proxy which acts as
it’s subcontractor in the region, helping the regime in killing dozens of
Americans and committing genocide against the Syrian people, among other
things,” Prince Khalid wrote on twitter.
regime of Iran is trying to copy the Hezbollah model in Yemen, where they
finance the Houthi militia and arm it with lethal weapons, enabling them to
attack the Yemeni people, disrupt international shipping routes, and
destabilize the whole region,” he added.
Iranian regime’s project, as described by Nasrallah, is to make the whole
region a part of “the greater Islamic Republic”, ruled by the Ayatollah of
Iran, the ambassador said.
— A senior Islamic State commander involved in the execution of U.S. hostage
Peter Kassig was killed in an airstrike in southeastern Syria on Sunday, the
U.S. military said.
Sean Ryan, a U.S. military spokesman, identified the Islamic State commander as
Abu al-Umarayn and said he was killed in "precision strikes" in a
desert area known as Badiya.
coalition had reason to suspect that Umarayn posed an "immediate
threat" to coalition forces in the area, Ryan said in an emailed
was also "involved in the killing of American citizen and former U.S. Army
ranger Peter Kassig," the statement said, and was linked to or directly
involved in executing several other prisoners.
who changed his name to Abdul-Rahman Kassig after he converted to Islam while
in Islamic State captivity, was executed at some point in November 2014, the
year after he was taken hostage in Syria. His captors released a video showing
his decapitated head beside his body but did not include scenes of the actual
execution, unlike with the other hostages they killed.
is the first Islamic State figure to be publicly identified as having been
involved in Kassig's execution.
had been the ringleader of a group of four Islamic State fighters nicknamed
"The Beatles" by their captives and was identified as the man who
appeared in the video of the execution of American journalist James Foley in
U.S. military did not say how it knew Umarayn was involved in Kassig's killing
or what role he may have played. He was with several other Islamic State
members when the strikes were carried out, Ryan said.
Caucasus Muslim envoys visit Turkish parliament
Muslim delegation from the North Caucasus region of Russia paid a visit to the
Turkish parliament on Monday.
Berat Conkar, head of the Turkish-Russian Social Forum, received the delegation
led by Ismail Berdiev, mufti and chair of the Coordination Centre of Muslims of
the North Caucasus, in the capital Ankara.
told reporters that Russia was an important and valuable neighbor for Turkey.
Muslim brothers and brothers of Turkish origin in Russia form the most
important circle of our relations [with Russia]," said Conkar, Istanbul
lawmaker of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
added: "They play an important role as a bridge for our relations."
Muslim community reached around 25 million in Russia that has a population of
144.5 million, according to Grand Mufti of Russia Sheikh Rawil Gaynetdin.
the meeting, Conkar showed Berdiev and his delegation the sections of the
Turkish parliament that had been bombed during the defeated coup of July 15,
Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated
the defeated coup, which martyred 251 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.
court says six sentenced to death for collaboration with Israel
military court in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Monday sentenced six people,
including a woman, to death by hanging for “collaborating” with Israel,
authorities announced Monday.
total 14 people were sentenced for “collaborating with the occupation,” with
six sentenced to be hanged, a statement from the interior ministry in Gaza
rulings come three weeks after eight people were killed when an alleged Israeli
army cell in Gaza was uncovered, leading to a vicious fire fight.
fired hundreds of rockets at Israel in response, with the Jewish state striking
dozens of targets in Gaza before a ceasefire agreement.
six sentenced to death Monday were not related to the November 11 flare-up.
woman, named only as Amal, was sentenced in absentia and is alleged to have
encouraged her nephew in Gaza to collaborate with Israeli intelligence.
al-Bozum, the spokesman of the interior ministry in Gaza, hailed the rulings.
military said on Tuesday it was beginning an operation to "expose and
thwart" cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon into Israel that were dug
by the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.
Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israel military spokesman, said they were aware of a
number of tunnels crossing into Israel from Lebanon to the north, and that the
army would only be operating within Israel and not crossing the border.
military had also enhanced its readiness along the border, the spokesman said.
see the Hezbollah activities as a flagrant and blatant violation of Israeli
authority,” said Conricus.
ultra-Orthodox Israeli legislator and dozens of Israeli settlers have stormed
the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds
amid frequent acts of violence committed by Israeli forces and settlers against
the Palestinian people.
Palestinian Ma'an news agency, citing Firas al-Dibs, spokesperson of the
Islamic Waqf (Endowment) organization, said that Israeli’s Knesset member
Yehuda Glick, who is a member of the ruling party of Likud-National Liberal
Movement, and dozens of other Israeli settlers stormed the compound on Monday.
report added that Glick, who campaigns for expanding the settlers’ access to
the al-Aqsa compound, entered there for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah,
performed prayers with his companions while under the armed protection of
Israeli forces and police, who had been deployed across the area.
number of Israeli lawmakers, or members of the Knesset, who storm the sacred
compound, has increased in the past few months after Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu decided in July to allow the legislators to visit the compound once
every three months following a restriction of access that has been in place
since October 2015.
of the Knesset members are right-wing extremists, who support the demolition of
the Islamic site in order to build a Jewish temple instead, on what is known
among settlers as the Temple Mount.
November 18, Uri Ariel, the minister of agriculture and rural development in
the occupied territories, and dozens of other Israeli settlers stormed the
compound. The Israeli minister had previously stormed the compound in
al-Aqsa Mosque compound sits just above the Western Wall plaza and houses both
the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque.
continue in the occupied Palestinian territories as part of the aftermath of US
President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s
"capital" and relocation of the US embassy to the occupied city.
December 21 last year, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted
in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial
the vote, the US went ahead with the embassy transfer on May 14, triggering
demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt,
Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.
militia use children to fuel their war in Yemen, Prime Minister Maeen
Abdulmalik Saeed told UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North
Africa on Monday in Aden, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
a meeting in Aden with Khairat Kabalari, the Yemeni prime minister said
children were the most vulnerable in the war and that the militia were
abducting them from their homes and using them to fight on the front lines.
said UNICEF was working to expand its activities in Yemen in health, education,
water and the environment, and to identify the emergency needs of the Yemeni
has voiced its objection to a US-drafted resolution condemning the Palestinian
resistance movement Hamas, saying the Islamic Republic would do its utmost to
prevent its ratification at the United Nations General Assembly.
a telephone conversation with the head of Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail
Haniyeh, on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reaffirmed
the Islamic Republic's full support for the Palestinian people's rights.
UN General Assembly plans to vote on Tuesday on the motion that would
reportedly condemn the resistance movement “for repeatedly firing rockets into
Israel and for inciting violence."
will make its utmost efforts at the General Assembly in coordination with other
Muslim and progressive countries to prevent the ratification of the resolution
[which is] a violation of the United Nations Charter and runs counter to the
Palestinian people's resistance," the top Iranian diplomat said.
added that the policies of certain regional countries have emboldened the
administration of US President Donald Trump not only to relocate its embassy in
Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds in violation of international law,
but also to propose a resolution against the Palestinian people's resistance at
the General Assembly.
on Monday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party vowed to
support its rival Hamas at the General Assembly against the US-drafted
will stand against all hostile efforts to condemn Hamas at the United Nations,”
Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh said.
a letter addressed to UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa
late last month, the Hamas political bureau chief condemned
"aggressive" attempts by the US to pass the resolution against the
resistance movement, urging the world body to end Tel Aviv's “abhorrent”
occupation of the Palestinian territories.
highlighted the importance of international work to thwart Washington's efforts
meant to delegitimize the Palestinian resistance.
letter came days after Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said that US
diplomats had been in talks with their EU counterparts to win their backing for
a draft resolution against Hamas.
says Saudi Arabia is not willing to change course even though it continues to
pay the price for its own mistakes, leaving little to hope for in terms of
to reporters on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said
Tehran welcomes a more stable Middle East but there are no indications that the
regime in Riyadh is ready to take on a more constructive role in the region.
policy in the region and towards its neighbors has always been clear and any
country that is willing to improve ties will get a positive answer from Iran,”
he told reporters in Tehran.
we don’t see a similar vibe coming from the Saudi government,” Qassemi said.
“We think they continue to live with the same delusions from the past.”
has time and again called on Riyadh to abandon its destabilizing policies and
work towards resolving regional conflicts.
Arabia stands accused of propping up terrorist groups wreaking havoc in Syria
while also providing support to separatist groups that have carried out attacks
against Iranian people.
Saudi regime is also facing growing international criticism over the actions of
its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
waging a deadly war on Yemen, which has prompted a backlash from even Riyadh’s
closest Western allies, bin Salman has put the Saudi regime into more trouble
by ordering the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Kahshoggi.
young prince’s policies have chased away foreign investors while persuading a
growing number of governments to reconsider financial and political ties with
leaders are delusional and keep struggling with the problems that they have
created in the region and pay the price today,” Qassemi said.
seeking to promote Iranophobia
also dismissed as “psychological warfare” a lawsuit at a US court that sought
to hold Iran responsible for the deaths and injuries of US soldiers in Iraq.
the three-day trial, which begins on Monday, a group of US veterans and their
families will try to sue Iran for the deaths and injuries caused by what they
claim have been “Iranian weapons” in Iraq.
want Iran to ignore atrocities: Rouhani
is part of the psychological warfare that the US is always in pursuit of in
different ways,” Qassemi said, noting that the “baseless” accusations are only
meant to spread Iranophobia.
has always played a constructive role in fighting terror in the region,
specifically in Iraq,” he added.
said Iraq is still suffering from the “widespread humanitarian atrocities” that
resulted from America’s actions, including its 2003 invasion of the Arab
payment channel with EU coming through
further said negotiations with the European Union to establish a special
payment channel with Iran are ongoing although US pressure and the “complexity
of the issue” has slowed down progress.
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is supposed to bypass US sanctions against Iran
and allow European businesses to freely trade with their Iranian peers.
forces have opened fire on a new flotilla attempting to break the Israeli siege
on the Gaza Strip and people rallying in its support, leaving dozens of people
wounded, Press TV reports.
in the Gaza Strip launched a new flotilla on Monday for the 18th week in a row
in an attempt to draw attention to their plight under more than a decade of
Israeli siege, but they were met with live fire from Israel.
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a sharp decline
in living standards.
of demonstrators were injured by live ammunition and tear gas inhalation as
Israeli troops attacked the boats and hundreds of peaceful protesters who had
gathered on the coast to see off the flotilla.
flotilla of boats is launched as part of the anti-occupation protests dubbed
“The Great March of Return,” which began on March 30, during which Palestinian
protesters demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland as
a result of Israeli wars and other forms of aggression.
peaceful rallies began on March 30 to draw the world’s attention to the plight
of the Palestinian people, who continue to suffer due to Israel’s inhumane and
illegal practices. Lifting the siege will be the first step in achieving our
goals,” flotilla spokesman Mahmoud Masoud told Press TV.
240 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded during
the anti-occupation protests, according to the latest figures released by the
Gaza Health Ministry.
in November, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said around 1,000 Palestinians shot
by Israeli forces during the anti-occupation protests had infections that could
leave them permanently crippled.
international medical charity also warned that a “slow-motion healthcare
emergency is unfolding in Gaza” as hospitals — already under-equipped due to
the Israeli siege — were being overwhelmed by the “huge numbers of patients
with complex and serious gunshot wounds.”
world must take a stance against the Israeli regime and exert real pressure on
it to lift the blockade. The Gaza Strip is going through a humanitarian
catastrophe because of the blockade. Many Palestinians have been killed and
injured simply because they are demanding their rights,” Palestinian activist
Amer Abu Qumsan said.
has been an escalation of Israel’s aerial aggression against the besieged Gaza
Strip, Israeli soldiers’ attacks against Palestinians across the occupied
territories, demolitions of Palestinians’ properties in the West Bank, and
abductions, a PLO report says.
to a report by the International Relations Department in the Palestinian
Liberation Organization (PLO), cited by the Palestinian Ma'an news agency on
Monday, a total of 24 Palestinians were killed and 232 others sustained wounds
during attacks by Israeli troops in the month f November.
report added that of the 21 Palestinians lost their lives in the blockaded sliver
and the rest had been killed in the occupied West Bank.
further said that the Israeli troopers shot dead seven Palestinians during a
military attack in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, while another eight lost
their lives during three-day-long airstrikes conducted by Israeli fighter jets
in the impoverished enclave.
remaining six Palestinian succumbed to their wounds received during protest
rallies along a border fence, which separates Gaza from the occupied
territories, where most of the injuries were sustained either from live
ammunition or tear-gas inhalation, it added.
report went on to say that three more Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli
troops during alleged stabbing or car-ramming attacks against Israeli soldiers
in the West Bank.
report continued that Israeli army nabbed more than 260 Palestinians last
month, mostly minors, adding that Adnan Ghaith, the Palestinian governor of
Jerusalem al-Quds, and many activists of the Palestinian Fatah movement had
been among those abducted.
in the report, the International Relations Department in the PLO said that
Israeli authorities had also demolished dozens of Palestinian buildings,
including 16 shops and a four-story building with 12 apartments in Shufat
refugee camp in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
added that Israeli authorities also demolished several other buildings and
Palestinian-owned structures in different neighborhoods of East Jerusalem
al-Quds as well as in Area C of the West Bank.
Israeli settlers uprooted and cut down a number of trees in the West Bank,
mainly olive ones, which are a main source of livelihood for Palestinians, in
Israeli military also ordered Palestinian farmers to uproot at least 260 olive
trees in the village of Bardala, in the northern Jordan Valley, and seized 500
palm trees in Ariha (Jericho).
have been running high near the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the
start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding
the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of
Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy
relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
than 240 Palestinians have lost their lives and over 23,000 others sustained
injuries by Israeli live fire during the protests since March 30
territory has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has
caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and
political analysts and journalists are praising Turkey’s handling of the case
of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
acted professionally and followed a good media strategy for uncovering the
truth in the case of Khashoggi, who was killed on Oct. 2 in the Saudi Consulate
in Istanbul, Hassan al-Jabri, a Yemeni political analyst, told Anadolu Agency.
authorities have considered the case a long-term process from the beginning, he
said, adding that Turkey consistently pushed back on claims coming from Saudi
a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post, was killed shortly after he
entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
weeks of saying he had left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration later
admitted he was killed there, blaming his death on a group of rogue Saudi
only positive side of this crime is that it was committed in Turkey," said
Farouk Akkari, a political analyst and journalist, adding that if it had been
committed in another country, it would have been covered up.
Turkish media always followed developments closely without directly accusing or
blaming anyone, he added.
had a skilled media strategy for getting the case out into the press, said Maher
Hejaze, a Palestinian political analyst currently living in the Netherlands.
also said authorities in Turkey provided technical and legal facilities for
Arab, foreign, and local media organizations to carry out their duties.
to Palestinian journalist Muaz Hamid, Turkey managed the case well and cleverly
with high-level diplomacy, which put pressure on many governments around the
world to find the truth.
higher council to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts
joint statement issued on Monday announced the establishment of a higher
council for coordination between Saudi Arabia and Algeria under the
chairmanship of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Algerian Prime
Minister Ahmed Ouyahia to enhance cooperation in the political and security
fields and combating terrorism and extremism.
statement comes after Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince held talks with the Algerian
Prime Minister during which he reviewed the bilateral relations between the
countries and opportunities to develop them in various fields, in addition to
discussing developments in the region.
higher council will further exert bilateral efforts in the economic, trade,
investment, energy, mining, and culture and education fields.
president rejects rumors of his death
President Muhammadu Buhari has denied claims spread on social media that he has
died and been replaced by a double.
real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still
go strong," Buhari told fellow Nigerians at a town hall gathering in
Poland, where he was attending a conference.
of the questions that came up today in my meeting with Nigerians in Poland was
on the issue of whether I‘ve been cloned or not. The ignorant rumours are not
surprising — when I was away on medical vacation last year a lot of people
hoped I was dead. pic.twitter.com/SHTngq6LJU
Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) December 2, 2018
was widely rumored on videos posted on YouTube and Facebook that Buhari, who
had spent five months in Britain last year being treated for an undisclosed
illness, had died and been replaced by a lookalike from Sudan named
lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health," he said, adding
that those who spread the rumor were "ignorant and irreligious."
Takfiri militancy persists as a main security issue in the country. Attacks by
the once-weakened Boko Haram militant group seem to have gained momentum in the
country's northeast in 2018, pushing into towns and villages in the restive
Borno and Yobe states northeast of the country it had previously lost to the
who rose to power in 2015 pledging to wipe out militancy, is running for
re-election in February.
former army general who became the first opposition candidate to defeat an
incumbent at the ballot box, Buhari hails from the Muslim-dominated north of
Africa's most populous country.
Haram jihadists killed two soldiers and seriously wounded five militia members
in separate attacks in the troubled northeast of the country, military and
militia sources told AFP Sunday.
from Boko Haram faction the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked
a remote base in Buni Gari village, in Yobe state, 60km from the state capital
Damaturu on Saturday, with six of the attackers killed.
lost two soldiers in the attack and six terrorists were also killed and their
bodies recovered by soldiers," a military officer told AFP.
support and reinforcements from a military base in the nearby town of Buni Yadi
"effectively routed" the jihadists, said the officer. He asked not to
be named because he was not cleared to speak about the incident.
member of the militia fighting beside the troops confirmed that the bodies of
two soldiers and six jihadists had been recovered after the gun battle, which
lasted less than an hour.
Yadi district is a known ISWAP stronghold
the same time in Maiduguri, capital of neighbouring Borno state, a female
suicide bomber seriously wounded five members of the local militia at a checkpoint.
militia members had stopped two female suicide bombers at Muna Garage security
checkpoint, but one managed to detonate her suicide vest, militia leader
Babakura Kolo said.
bomber and her accomplice were killed in the blast while five of our colleagues
were injured," Kolo said.
explosives on the other bomber did not detonate and were defused by a bomb
squad," he said.
attack bore the hallmark of the Abubakar Shekau faction of Boko Haram,
notorious for using suicide bombers to attack military and civilian targets.
Haram has in recent months intensified attacks on military targets in Borno and
two states, along with nearby Adamawa state, have born the brunt of nine years
of jihadist violence that has claimed 27 000 lives and forced 1.8 million
people to flee their homes.
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