women reportedly wives of Islamic State (IS) group fighters, wait with other
women and children at a makeshift clinic at the Internally Displaced Persons
(IDP) camp of al-Hol in al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria, Feb. 7,
to Move UN to Blacklist Jaish Chief Masood Azhar, All Eyes On China
‘Love Jihad’ If BJP Leader Ram Lal’s Niece “Shriya Weds Faizan”
attack: ‘Horrible situation’, says US President Donald Trump
Cleric of Nahdlatul Ulama Urges Europe to Challenge Radicalism
Rushing To Give Saudi Sensitive Nuclear Technology: Congressional Report
Debates Whether Islamic State Recruits Should Be Given Second Chance
Calls On India and Pakistan to Defuse Tension
Terrorists in Syria Face Two Choices: Surrender Or Death
Galore At Pakistan Official Lunch for Saudi Crown Prince
India-Bangladesh Urs Special Train Has Been In Operation Since 1902
to Move UN to Blacklist Jaish Chief Masood Azhar, All Eyes on China
Shah, Kamal Haasan Have Become Agents of 'Ghazwa-E-Hind’: Giriraj Singh
for Imran Khan to ‘walk the talk’ on terrorism’: Indian leaders react to Pak
PM’s remarks on Pulwama
Food, Plastic Bags for Urination': Sikh Samaritans Come to Rescue of Kashmiris
Imran Khan’s words ring hollow: Pakistan sitting on Jaish dossiers
and Kashmir: Hibzul Mujahideen Valley chief Riyaz Naikoo warns of more attacks
Imran Khan is serious about talks, he must first hand over Masood Azhar:
ST, BC, Muslim Front stage dharna against Pulwama terror attack
CM Jabs Imran Khan, says “Will find Masood Azhar for you”
Malaysia urges Rohingya oppressors be brought immediately to ICC
Cops know individual who posted caricatures insulting to Islam on FB
fintech to improve financial inclusion
House panel opens probe into Saudi nuclear transfer
Senator warns withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan will embolden Iran
American Wives of ISIS Militants Want to Return Home
FM: German halt in Saudi arms sales hurting UK industry
Putin, Saudi King ready to continue energy cooperation
embassy in London faces legal action over racial discrimination
Activist Maajid Nawaz ‘Racially Attacked’ In London
must ensure safety of returning Rohingya: UK
Yazidi Survivors Of Daesh Killings, The Nightmares Go On
Hoist Gov't Flag across Raqqa City
security forces kill 16 suspected militants
Kidnaps, Arrests over 100 Civilians in Northern Syria
Tahrir Al-Sham's Ringleader Al-Jolani Injured in Idlib Blasts
Army Wards off Tahrir al-Sham's Attacks in Hama, Idlib
Army Discovers US, Israel-Made Missiles from Terrorists' Hideouts near Damascus
safe corridors opened for displaced Syrians at Rukban camp
interested in advancing its ties with Israel: Qureshi
Guards say Pakistan national carried out suicide attack on troops
offers help in defusing Pakistan-India tensions
sees more joint ventures with Saudi investors
likely to visit Pakistan next month
talks will be affected if India ‘acts irresponsibly over Pulwama attack’
raises nine points against Kulbhushan at ICJ
Suspected Bangladeshi Terrorist Arrested In Burdwan Blast Case
commanders, militants in Afghan Air Force airstrikes in Faryab province
Ghani met with the U.S. CENTCOM Commander in Kabul
urges restraint by India, Pakistan on Pulwama terror attack
Seeks To Detain Over 300 For Alleged Gulen Ties
Troop withdrawal in Hodeidah could start any time now
Palestinian worshippers injured as Israeli forces raid al-Aqsa Mosque
of Gazans injured during protest against Israeli blockade
police arrest 19 Palestinians at Jerusalem holy site
Forces Free Mali Official From Extremists
detained 5 days for probe into Al-Shabaab spy claims
Haram: Monarch advocates Better funding for Nigerian Army
inflict more casualties on Boko Haram terrorists
by New Age Islam News Bureau
to move UN to blacklist Jaish chief Masood Azhar, all eyes on China
Shubhajit Roy |
a significant move, Diplomatic Advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron,
Philippe Etienne, dialled National Security Advisor Ajit Doval Tuesday and
decided to move a resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for
listing Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”.
said France will be moving a proposal in a “couple of days”. They said that
more countries are likely to join in the next few days and conversations are
taking place through diplomatic channels with other members of the UNSC.
from P-5 countries, New Delhi is also in conversation with Indonesia, which is
the chair of the UNSC resolution 1267 sanctions committee that covers terror
groups, and vice-chairs, Russia and Peru, for moving the resolution.
is the second time that France has decided to take the lead in getting Azhar
listed after a similar attempt along with the US and the UK in 2017 was blocked
French side has also decided to push for keeping Pakistan on the “grey list” of
countries at the meeting of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris this
week. Pakistan was put on the FATF list in June 2018 and placed on notice to be
blacklisted by October 2019 if it did not curb money laundering and terror
financing. This, if implemented, has serious costs for Islamabad as it is
trying to woo investors to Pakistan amid a dire economic situation.
Delhi’s attempts to list Azhar at the UNSC have been repeatedly blocked by
China. The most recent effort began after India blamed JeM for the attack on
the IAF base in Pathankot on January 2, 2016, and proposed a month later to
designate Azhar as a global terrorist. But China intervened at Pakistan’s
behest and placed a technical hold on India’s move in March and again in
October 2016. It subsequently used its veto power to block the proposal in
December 2016, a day before the technical hold ended.
again employed a technical hold and blocked a proposal put forward by the US,
the UK and France on January 19, 2017, to designate Azhar as a terrorist. India
had started pushing for Azhar’s listing since 2008-09, after the 26/11 Mumbai
terror attacks, and even then China had put a technical hold.
the Pulwama attack, India had reiterated its appeal to all members of the
international community to support the proposal to list terrorists, including
Azhar, and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled
latest French initiative comes a day after Saudi Arabia signed off on a joint
statement with Pakistan on the need to avoid “politicisation of the UN listing
regime” — an apparent reference to India’s efforts to list Azhar. As the Saudi
Crown Prince landed in Delhi Tuesday night for a two-day visit, the statement
was seen as a snub to Delhi.
‘Love Jihad’ if BJP leader Ram Lal’s niece “Shriya weds Faizan”
On Sunday evening, a high-profile interfaith wedding took place at Taj Vivanta
hotel in Lucknow, the capital of northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state.
this pool side wedding of Hindu bride with a Muslim groom does not invite the
anger of right-wing organisations and there was no attack on the couple from
the right-wing brigade.
to media reports, Shreya Gupta, niece of BJP’s National General Secretary
(Organization) Ramlal Gupta tied the knot with Faizan Kareem.
wedding was attended by senior leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party including
Governor Ram Naik, Union Minorities Welfare Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi,
Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and functionaries to poured their blessings to
is the son of Dr Wijahat Kareem and Congress leader Dr. Surheeta Chatterji
the news of BJP leader’s niece tying knots with a Muslim youth of Gorakhpur
broke out, people no time to brought-in the controversial issue of love-jihad
and give their opinion.
is love jihad brigade now, the RSS outfits had recently attacked a couple in
Agra,” said a journalist while reacting to this interfaith wedding.
wedding is a private matter and I can’t say much but one cannot overlook the
hypocrisy of the politicians,” he added. “I hope that people who get provoked
by this love jihad bogey are able to see through hypocrisy of the political
class,” he said.
looks like what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. A Muslim
friend married a Hindu girl in Lucknow only to be hounded by the police and
rightwing elements for months on end. The cops would not just raid his house
every few days in the middle of the night, they would conduct similar
unauthorised searches in the homes of his friends and relatives,” recalled Indian
expat Mohsin, 45.
couple lived in fear. The girl was 24 years old at the time of her marriage but
her parents lodged a police complaint saying she was a minor. The police knew
she wasn’t and would refuse to listen or reason with us,” he said.
President Donald Trump Tuesday described as a “horrible situation” the Pulwama
terrorist attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammed group, in which 40 Indian paramilitary
personnel were killed, and said he was getting reports on it and would issue a
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino expressed “strong
support” for India and asked Pakistan to “punish anyone responsible” for the
February 14 attack.
suicide attack has led to escalation of tension between India and Pakistan and
Trump told reporters at the Oval Office of White House that it would be
“wonderful” if the two South Asia neighbours get along.
have watched. I have got a lot of reports on it. We will have comment (on it)
at an appropriate time. It would be wonderful if they (India and Pakistan) get
along,” Trump said in response to a question.
(the terrorist attack) was a horrible situation. We are getting reports. We
will have a statement to put out,” Trump said.
a separate news conference, the State Department Deputy Spokesperson said the
US has been in close communication with the Indian government “to express not
only our condolences but our strong support”.
urge Pakistan to fully cooperate with the investigation into the attack and to
punish anyone responsible,” Palladino said. In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack,
the US has also been in contact with Pakistan, he said.
the terrorist attack, Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has
supported India’s right to self-defense.
of State, Mike Pompeo, Bolton, and the White House Press Secretary Sarah
Sanders in separate statements have asked Pakistan to immediately take action
against the JeM and its leaders and end support to terrorist safe havens.
CRPF personnel were killed when a JeM terrorist rammed an explosive-laden car
into a vehicle carrying them in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama
European politicians dare to tell Muslims what they should do? According to one
of Indonesia’s leading Muslim figures, K.H. Yahya Staquf, general secretary of
Sunni movement Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), it’s important that they do so for the
sake of their own communities.
has been in Europe lobbying for more discussion on his call for Muslim
societies to discard passages of the Quran and the hadiths — the sayings of the
Prophet Muhammad — that condone violence toward others.
Muslim cleric has been arguing that European political parties, including those
on the right, should stay united and actively address populist concerns about
threats linked to Islam, terrorism and migration. Under this scenario, leaders
like Hungary’s Viktor Orban should not only be trying to insulate their
countries from Muslim migrants but also engaging in dialogue with Muslim
while Staquf certainly deserves praise for continuing to campaign
internationally and at home for a more liberal interpretation of Islam, it will
be difficult for European political parties to take up the issue. In doing so,
they would be making themselves targets for radicals and for barbs from
populists such as Orban who reject Muslim migration to Europe.
campaign previously took him to Washington, D.C., in support of what he and his
allies in NU call humanitarian Islam. It argues that Islam has many faces, just
as it has prospered among different cultures. It rejects the Salafist view
favored by Sunni radicals that insists that there is only one formal expression
Islam favored by the Salafists finds its ultimate expression in the hate-filled
diatribes and abuses committed by Islamic State. Followers believe they have
the right to kill infidels and even fellow Muslims who don’t agree with their
extreme position. Staquf is calling for a reinterpretation of Muslim
jurisprudence — fiqh — to reject articles in the Quran and the hadiths that
support this violent ideology.
doing so, he is probably high on the hit list of hard-line Islamists in many
corners of the globe. While Christianity’s holy texts — particularly the Old
Testament — contain vengeful passages, modern Christians have largely put them
aside. In Islam, the followers of Islamic State have resurrected passages in
their holy books that encourage the murder of apostates, including beheading,
and stern action against anyone, Muslim or not, who doesn’t follow Shariah law.
to a press release from NU, Staquf’s visit to the European Parliament on Jan.
31 and Feb. 1 in his capacity as a member of Indonesia’s Presidential Advisory
Council was designed to encourage EU politicians “to halt the rapidly
accelerating polarization of European societies by acknowledging and addressing
legitimate concerns raised by populist forces about the nexus of national and
international security threats linked to Islam, terrorism and migration.”
urged his audiences to take part in “frank discourse” about “problematic tenets
of Islamic orthodoxy” and to encourage Muslim religious authorities and Middle
East governments to “boldly acknowledge and reform them.”
until now, most Western governments have been keen to stay out of the argument,
believing that interference in debate over Muslim jurisprudence would do more
damage than it was worth. The Barack Obama administration steadfastly refused
to recognize the violent passages in Muslim texts as the core problem behind
al-Qaeda or Islamic State. The Donald Trump administration has not addressed
press release noted that Staquf directly addressed this reluctance to get
involved in talks with the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) think
tank — the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies.
critiqued Western governments’ tendency to ignore and even deny the obvious
theological roots of violent and non-violent Islamist extremism. Staquf’s
remarks “validate discussions that have recently emerged at the heart of the EU
itself. These developments reflect the fact that the multibillion-euro P/CVE
[Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism] industry has proven ineffective due
to flawed root cause analysis, while religious supremacism, separatism and
violence continue to spread.”
Taylor, founder of the LibForAll Foundation which is sponsoring Staquf’s lobbying
efforts, dismisses fears that European or other politicians would make
themselves targets by promoting Staquf’s argument and engaging in debate.
says it is in Europe’s own self-interest to be proactive on the issue of
Islamic jurisprudence. “Throughout Europe, election results are increasingly
determined by security issues inextricably linked to Islamist terrorism and
migration,” he told ucanews.com.
effective discourse regarding these issues is the main electoral currency in
Europe today. National elections consistently hinge on political maneuvering
around these issues, and the 2019 EU parliamentary elections will constitute a
de facto referendum on related policy agendas.
trends in Europe appear to favor increased honesty about these issues, and the
spiritual wing of the NU is unique in addressing these issues with clarity and
frankness. European security services can, by and large, ensure politicians'
physical safety but cannot preserve their hold on political power if popular
sentiment on these issues continues moving steadily to the right.”
remains to be seen how successful Staquf’s lobbying will be in encouraging
politicians and governments outside the Muslim world to get involved in an
issue which most Muslims believe is purely their own domain.
a speech last year, Staquf said he had been invited to take part in a foreign
nation’s deradicalization program. He had declined, he said, because NU’s
approach was “not to focus primarily upon the deradicalization of people, one
by one. Rather than limit our focus to individual grains of sand upon a beach —
questioning why they behave as they do — we seek to shape the tidal forces and
other elements responsible for the deposition and alignment of the beach
itself. We do that by reinforcing a civilizational worldview that marginalizes
and discredits extremist ideology while isolating the radicals themselves.”
the past, he has admitted privately that he is not optimistic about his task of
changing the nature of “the beach” but says he feels he has no choice but to
rushing to give Saudi sensitive nuclear technology: Congressional report
congressional report reveals that the United States is rushing to transfer
“highly sensitive nuclear technology” to Saudi Arabia, with President Donald
Trump being “directly engaged” in the push.
House of Representatives’ Oversight and Reform Committee released the 24-page
report on Tuesday, listing the actions taken by the Trump administration in an
attempt to win government support for American firms to construct nuclear power
plants in Saudi Arabia, in what could increase the risk of spreading nuclear
report is based on whistleblower accounts and documents showing communications
between administration officials and nuclear power companies.
worry that transferring sensitive U.S. nuclear technology could allow Saudi
Arabia to produce nuclear weapons that contribute to the proliferation of
nuclear arms throughout an already unstable Middle East,” says the report.
House panel has opened an investigation into case.
report said the probe was “particularly critical” because the administration’s
efforts to hand over the technology to the kingdom appear to be ongoing.
is reportedly “directly engaged in the effort.”
report, meanwhile, questioned why the push was characterized by such haste.
said the House panel had obtained additional documents bolstering earlier
whistleblower concerns about potential illegalities and conflicts of interest
facing top White House aides, whom it accuses of advancing the push.
document names some of the officials as former National Security Advisor
Michael Flynn, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Trump’s son-in-law and senior
advisor Jared Kushner, and Tom Barrack, the president’s inaugural committee
report also implicates some firms linked to the president in contributing to
commercial entities named are IP3 International, a private company, which has
reportedly organized a group of US companies to build “dozens of nuclear power
plants” in the kingdom, ACU Strategic Partners, a nuclear power consultancy
group, Colony NorthStar, Barrack’s real estate investment firm, and Flynn Intel
Group, a consultancy and lobby group.
House report divulges communications between Trump administration officials and
nuclear power companies.
states that “within the US, strong private commercial interests have been
pressing aggressively for the transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology
to Saudi Arabia.”
commercial entities could “reap billions of dollars through contracts
associated with constructing and operating nuclear facilities in Saudi Arabia,”
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman laid the foundation of the kingdom’s first
nuclear research reactor last November amid nuclear talks with the United
report also says that private commercial interests inside the US are behind the
push to trust Saudi Arabia with the “highly sensitive technology.”
has refused to agree to safeguards, which ban it from using nuclear technology
for military purposes.
Sumaiyyah Wakil was 16 years old when she sneaked away to war-torn Syria,
flying first to Bulgaria, then Turkey, to join the Islamic State terror group.
in IS’s de facto capital, Raqqa, she bragged, according to British court
documents, about watching the public stoning of a woman, describing the killing
as “so cool.”
now her family say the British authorities should repatriate her when she
re-emerges, likely soon, from IS territory as well as other British teenagers
who joined the militants. Wakil’s parents and the families of IS recruits argue
their offspring were manipulated by jihadist recruiters and were too young to
know what they were doing when they went off to Syria.
predicament of surviving young foreign IS recruits — especially of the women,
most of whom left like Wakil, as schoolgirls without family approval or prior
parental knowledge — has sparked a ferocious moral, political and legal debate
in Britain, as well as other European states, about whether they should be
readmitted to their birth countries, let alone helped to return and given a
polls suggest most Britons don’t think they deserve the right to return.
Britain, the debate was triggered in earnest last week with the discovery by
reporter Anthony Loyd of a pregnant 19-year-old British woman in a
Kurdish-managed refugee camp in northeast Syria. Shamima Begum, who gave birth
to her third child Sunday, joined the militant group in 2015 at the age of 15,
slipping off with two school friends, all from east London.
of the girls died in an airstrike in 2016; the other, Amira Abase, is still in
IS territory. At least 900 Britons, an estimated 145 of them women and 50
minors, joined IS. In total, an estimated 5,000 Europeans joined the militant
group, although some analysts say the figure is likely higher.
like other European countries, has been reluctant to repatriate IS recruits,
whether it be male fighters or so-called "jihadi brides," as well as
their children. A small number have been assisted in returning to their countries
of origin, but hundreds are awaiting political or legal resolution of their
cases as their appeals for repatriation have largely been ignored by alarmed
European governments, who see the recruits as security risks who betrayed their
officials have been urging European governments, for more than a year, to take
back surviving recruits — and prosecute them. Otherwise they will slip away,
they say, from refugee and detention facilities in northeast Syria and pose a
greater threat once unsupervised. On Saturday, a frustrated U.S. President
Donald Trump urged the Europeans to take charge of their rogue citizens, saying
the alternative is the Kurds will have to free them.
officials say most can’t be put on trial because of the difficulty in
collecting hard evidence against them for individual wrongdoing, and they worry
their presence will over-tax already strained security services. More than 900
foreign jihadists and 3,200 wives and children are being held by the Kurds.
whose two previous children died from malnutrition and sickness, says she wants
to return to Britain, mainly because she’s worried about her baby’s health. “I
think a lot of people should have, like, sympathy towards me for everything
I've been through,” she said in a recent interview.
she has neither expressed remorse over joining IS nor disavowed the group's
ideology. In an interview with Sky News, she claimed she was "just a
housewife" during her time in IS's self-styled caliphate, where she
married a young Dutch jihadist shortly after arriving.
asked whether she was aware of the IS beheadings and executions, she answered
matter-of-factly that she’d been “OK with it.” She said: “Yeah, I knew about
those things and I was OK with it. Because, you know, I started becoming
religious just before I left. From what I heard, Islamically, that is all
allowed.” In an interview with the BBC, she said the 2017 terror attack on the
Ariana Grande concert, in which 22 people were killed, was justified
lack of contrition has prompted public outrage, with detractors saying she
displays a breathtaking sense of entitlement. Her family, though, says she is
Rahman, her brother-in-law who is married to an older sister, told reporters:
“I can understand why many people in Britain do not want Shamima to be allowed
back into the country after what she has done … but she went as a 15-year-old
and I don’t know a 15-year-old can make such a decision with any
responsibility. She was a minor when she left and she surely has been
radicalization experts have long argued that young Westerners were cleverly
groomed by recruiters, in much the same way pedophiles target prey with
tailored, manipulative narratives to build a false sense of kinship.
Bloom, a communications professor at George State University and recognized
radicalization expert, highlighted, as the caliphate unfolded, how IS groomers
were skillful at exploiting the vulnerabilities and confusion of disoriented
Western teenagers already struggling with identity issues.
said IS matched recruiters with potential supporters in terms of age,
nationality and gender. The marketing narratives would shift depending on the
target’s vulnerabilities — from arguments about equality and inclusion to
offers of friendship and the promise of belonging. For some, there would be the
lure of utopian adventure. Others would be manipulated by recruiters
emphasizing their obligations to Islam.
or not, commentator Janice Turner, a columnist with The Times of London, says
while the age of some IS recruits should be taken into account, she questions,
“at what point does a young person stop being a gullible victim, malleable clay
moulded by older minds and dangerous ideology, and become responsible for his
or her deeds?”
Begum’s east London neighborhood of Bethnal Green, there are mixed feelings.
Some locals say she might have been manipulated into going, but her lack of
remorse now is alarming and suggests she remains a radicalized menace. The
plight of the children of IS recruits is what pulls at most heartstrings, and
even those adamant that the recruits should not return, say the children can’t
be left to their fates.
the legal front, there have been calls for treason laws to be applied against
IS recruits, including jihadi brides, but those laws may not be appropriate,
legal scholars say.
minister Sajid Javid reflected British anger last week by saying Begum and
other recruits shouldn’t be readmitted. He later conceded, however, that he
can’t block legally most of them permanently from re-entry. But Tuesday he made
a U-turn, ordering his officials to start the process of stripping Begum of her
calls on India and Pakistan to defuse tension
Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to
take immediate steps to defuse tensions and offered to help broker a solution
if both sides agree.
two countries have been locked in a diplomatic clash following a suicide attack
on February 14 in Kashmir that killed 40 Indian security personnel, triggering
counter-operations by Indian forces in the area.
are deeply concerned at the increasing tensions between the two countries,”
said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
stressed “the importance of both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take
immediate steps” to de-escalate, while also offering to mediate “should both
sides ask,” said Dujarric.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi appealed to Guterres to step in to defuse
tensions, in a letter seen by AFP.
is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in
to defuse tensions,” said the letter sent on Monday.
attack was claimed by Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), but
the foreign minister insisted that “attributing it to Pakistan even before
investigations is absurd.”
response to the rising tensions, France, Britain and the United States were
considering a new push at the Security Council to place Masood Azhar, the
leader of JeM, on the UN terror list, but faced opposition from China,
has twice blocked -- in 2016 and 2017 -- attempts to put the JeM leader on the
blacklist. The group itself was added to the terror list in 2001.
has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in
1947. Both countries claim the former Himalayan kingdom in full and have fought
two wars over it.
has long accused Pakistan of harboring militants who launch attacks on its
UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi met with Guterres and with the president of the
Security Council to appeal for action, warning that a flareup in Kashmir could
undermine peace efforts in Afghanistan.
escalation in the subcontinent poses a threat to prospects for peace in
Afghanistan,” Lodhi told AFP.
United States is holding talks with the Taliban on ending 17 years of war.
envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s talks also involve Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates, the three countries that recognized the Taliban regime in
Kabul before the US-led coalition toppled it following the September 11, 2001
terrorists in Syria face two choices: Surrender or death
OIL FIELD, SYRIA: Militants defending their last dreg of territory in Syria
will be “killed in battle” if they do not surrender, a Kurdish-led force said
on Tuesday ahead of a final showdown.
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they are trying to evacuate
civilians trapped in the last half-a-square km of Daesh’s once-sprawling
“caliphate” before storming the terrorist holdout.
are working on secluding and evacuating civilians and then we will attack. This
could happen soon,” spokesman Mustafa Bali said, declining to provide more
details on the operation.
militants “have only two options, either they surrender or they will be killed
in battle,” he said. Daesh declared a “caliphate” across large swathes of Syria
and neighboring Iraq in 2014.
small hamlet of buildings in the village of Baghouz is all that is left of the
proto-state, which at its height spanned an area the size of the UK.
UN on Tuesday expressed concern over “the situation of some 200 families,
including many women and children, who are reportedly trapped” in the Daesh
of them are apparently being actively prevented from leaving by Daesh,” the UN
said in a statement. The frontline in Baghouz was quiet on Monday afternoon.
Tattered buildings and the twisted skeletons of cars dotted the side of the
the entrance of the village, the SDF had turned an embattled building into a
of people have streamed out of Daesh turf in recent weeks, but no civilians
have made it out in the past three days.
that managed to escape have been ferried on trucks to Kurdish-held camps for
the displaced to the north.
International Rescue Committee said on Monday that 62 people, mostly children,
had died on the way to the Al-Hol camp or shortly after arriving in past weeks.
Baghouz, Daesh still has thousands of fighters and sleeper cells scattered
across several countries.
Syria, it retains a presence in the vast Badia desert, and the terrorists have
claimed deadly attacks in SDF-held territory.
SDF official on Monday said that an announcement will be made this week.
a few days we will announce a great victory over the largest terrorist
organization that waged war on the world and wreaked chaos and death
everywhere,” Zeidan Al-Assi said in a statement.
entered Baghouz to evacuate remaining civilians on Tuesday, Reuters quoted an
SDF source as saying. A Reuters witness in a location near Baghouz saw dozens
of trucks moving along a road toward the village.
Galore At Pakistan Official Lunch For Saudi Crown Prince
DELHI: Pakistan state lunch in honour of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
on Tuesday saw some embarrassing moments and violation of protocol by the
videos of the event circulating on social media, Pakistan President Arif Alvi
is seen facing a moment of embarrassment when he had to be prodded to stand up
and give his speech during the state lunch for the Saudi Crown Prince.
a move that went against the protocol, the Pakistan president started his
speech to welcome Crown Prince Salman while others on the table, including
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, were still having their lunch.
is busy eating, President begins address sitting down, then is told:
"kharay hu jaey". They have to be micro man… https://t.co/X3qdd5130l
Naila Inayat नायला इनायत
what was supposed to be a welcome speech was not read out before the lunch. It
was as if the president had to be reminded to read out the welcome address even
as the Saudi Prince sat quietly in between the Pakistan president and the PM.
Saudi Crown Prince was looking towards the Pakistan President as he started his
speech sitting on the table.
Alvi started reading out the opening lines from a paper, he was prodded by
someone on his left, possibly Imran Khan to stand up and speak.
Pakistan President then stood up and continued with his speech.
incident evoked funny reactions on Twitter, with many trolling the Pakistan
leaders for the protocol lapse.
India-Bangladesh Urs Special train has been in operation since 1902
the morning of 17 February, a train chugged into India from across the border
with Bangladesh ensuring the continuation of a long history of religious
harmony between the two nations. But the train was not the Maitree Express.
2255 pilgrims, the Indo-Bangladesh Urs Special Train arrived at Midnapore railway
station in West Bengal from Rajbari in Bangladesh.
pilgrims are here for the annual congregation for all faiths held in Midnapore
every year. The train itself has been making the trip every year since 1902,
barring a few instances.
the Maitree Express, which runs between Dhaka and Kolkata, the Urs Special
Train has been relatively little known even though it holds a very important
place in the hearts of all the pilgrims who board it and the shared history of
the two nations.
its 117-year history, the Urs Special train was cancelled only four times –
1965, 1971, 1992 and 1994. While the first two cancellations were due to the
Indo-Pak wars, the 1992 cancellation came after the Babri Masjid demolition.
The train did not come to India in 1994 because of the fear of plague outbreak.
while the Dhaka-Kolkata rail service remained suspended for 43 years after the
1965 Indo-Pak war, the Urs Special service resumed in 1966.
is the train religiously significant?
pilgrims are followers of Midnapore Boro Huzur, a descendant of Quaderia order
pioneer in Bengal Abdul Quadir Jilani.
Iraqi, Jilani had come in India in the 19th century to preach Islam. Devotees
of Boro Huzur believe that his disciple Midnapore (the name of the person) came
from Rajbari on 17 February 1901.
the Muslims call Midnapore Boro Huzur, the Hindus devotees call him Guru Dev.
They, too, like the Muslim Bangladeshi, make the trip from Rajbari.
Anjuman-e-Quadria Committee manages the trip.
to Bangladeshi media reports, the pilgrims are selected by lottery and their
papers sent for visas to the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh.
trip starts the journey every year on 15 February from Rajbari and stops at
Darshana in Bangladesh, Gede and Rana Ghat in India before reaching Midnapore.
train, which has 24 carriages, returns to Rajbari four days after leaving for
Shah, Kamal Haasan Have Become Agents Of 'Ghazwa-E-Hind’: Giriraj Singh
DELHI: Union Minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh on Tuesday labelled actors
Naseeruddin Shah and Kamal Haasan as the agents of 'Ghazwa-e-hind’ at a time
when anti-Pakistan sentiments are on the rise after the deadly attack on a CRPF
convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama last week.
Pakistan, there are talks of ‘Ghazwa-e-hind’, which means 'Islamikaran' of
India (the spread of Islam) and the same have gained momentum after the Pulwama
attack. It is unfortunate that in India, people like Naseeruddin Shah and Kamal
Haasan have become agents of those who talk of ‘Ghazwa-e-hind’,'' the Bihar BJP
Shah and Haasaan have in the recent past faced intense criticism for their
comments on mob lynching and Hindu terrorism and have even issued
clarifications over the same.
is not the first time that Singh has made such critical remarks targeting
celebrities and his political rivals for their soft posturing on issues like
cross-border terrorism, Ram temple, Triple Talaq among others.
Singh had earlier called the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband a 'temple of
terrorism' and warned that no one in this world will be able to stop the
construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Union Minister had earlier suggested that India needs a law to control
said the population of Hindus in 54 districts of the country has fallen and
said if population control measures are not put in place it would pose a threat
to social harmony and impede progress.
Singh made these controversial remarks in Uttar Pradesh's Amroha hours after he
used population figures to tweet that India would face another partition in
2047 if population control in not put in place.
population of the country in 1947 was 33 crore. Today, the declared population
is 125 crore and the undeclared population is 136 to 141 crore. The population
level of Hindus has fallen in 54 districts across the country. There will be no
social harmony if population control laws are not passed. Neither will there be
progress," Singh had said in Amroha.
after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement Tuesday saying his
country has nothing to do with the Pulwama terror attack and was open to any
investigation, leaders from Opposition parties in India have lashed out at him
saying he needs to ‘to walk the talk’ on terrorism.
Khan’s statement, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari told The Indian Express,
“This is like a two-headed snake. While one head continues to bite India, the
other head makes sanctimonious noises about talking….If Imran Khan is serious
about what he is saying then he should first hand over Masood Azhar to India.”
Read MEA’s response to Imran Khan’s statement
Congress leader also said that Maulana Masood Azhar and the Jaish-e-Mohammad
(JeM) had helped Khan become the Prime Minister of Pakistan and his support to
them is not surprising.
had asserted that the country wanted stability. Hailing the concept of ‘Naya
Pakistan’, he said in a pre-recorded message, “We do not benefit by attacking
India. It is in our interest that nobody from our soil spreads violence. I want
to tell Indian government that we will take action if evidence is found against
anyone from Pakistan.”
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mahmood claiming responsibility for the Pulwama terror
attack, Khan accused that India was blaming Pakistan government over the
attack, “without any evidence”. He also demanded proof from India for the
recent terror attack and had said that appropriate action would be taken if
‘evidence were found against anyone from Pakistan’.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh further nudging on Congress’ earlier statements,
questioned what proof was Khan demanding as Masood Azhar, the mastermind behind
JeM initiated terror attacks with the help of ISI, was sitting in Bahawalpur in
Pakistan. Singh said, “Imran is a `Courtesy ISI’ prime minister, so how else
can one expect him to react. Time to walk the talk.”
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti said on Twitter
that Pakistan was not being blamed without any evidence. Hitting back at Khan’s
assurance for action, she said, “Disagree. Pathankot dossier was given to them
(Pakistan) but no action was taken to punish the perpetrators. Time to walk the
minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore alleged that security agencies have ‘strong
evidence’ on Pakistan’s involvement in the Pulwama attack which has already
been clearly conveyed to the neighbouring country.
while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in Delhi, was quoted
as saying to news agency PTI: “The security and investigative agencies have
strong evidence regarding this (Pakistan’s involvement in the Pulwama attack)
and it has been clearly conveyed to them.”
Navjot Singh Sidhu who has been under the gun to file his resignation over his
statements in favour of Khan in the wake of the attacks was trolled by senior
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh as he urged Sidhu to convince his “friend” and
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to act against terrorists.
Delhi: With fear hanging in the air over Kashmiri students being targeted in
Dehradun following the Pulwama terror attack on Thursday, Khalsa Aid
International is reaching out to the distressed students and offering them
transportation, food and accommodation.
Punjab-based NGO has got in touch with Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Organisation
(JKSO) and providing transportation to 250 students waiting to leave for Mohali
I saw members of Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Organisation are providing help to
students facing threats after Pulwama, I followed up with them. We are giving
them transportation, food and accommodation. I saw them hungry and scared,”
Amarpreet Singh, managing director, Khalsa Aid International, told News 18.
adds, “What is their fault… that they are Kashmiris? We will stand by them and
help them. About 250 more students are stranded in Dehradun and want to leave
for Jammu. We will take care of their travel.”
some Kashmiri students are huddled up in a housing society, others have found
refuge in gurudwaras. The JKSO — a socio-cultural group that has been working
for the Kashmiri students since two years ago — has helped 800 students from
Dehradun find safe refuge. Some have been sent back to Jammu and some are
staying at various places in Mohali.
says the issue is being hijacked by those who don’t know the ground realities
of Kashmir. “People with no understanding of what’s happening on ground are
playing politics over the issue. Another country is being dragged into our
internal matter. At this hour, we are there for those who need help,” he says.
Students Expected in Chandigarh
students studying in Dehradun, many of who have been roughed up since the
Pulwama attack, are fearing for their lives and fleeing to Chandigarh, where
several shelter camps have surfaced. Khwaja Itrat, president, JKSO, said 300
more are joining fellow Kashmiri students in the Chandigarh camp. Those who
were assaulted by the Bajrang Dal and VHP members have been sent to Jammu.
students are extremely worried for their well-being. After the protests broke
out, we helped 800 Kashmiri students from Dehradun and some from Haryana.
Today, again, 300 students have joined the camp as things are not safe for them
in Uttarakhand,” Itrat said, adding that there are some students like Imtiaz
Ahmad Mir — final-year postgraduate student of chemistry at Alpine College in
Dehradun — who spent two days to reach Chandigarh — “without food and by using
plastic bags for urination.”
of the students, on the condition of anonymity, shared: “Our college has assured
that in 10 to 15 days when things get normal they will call us back. There is
no safety for us and the crowd outside the campus has threatened to beat us up.
Some of our brothers were beaten up. We will return when we get a call from our
Dehradun, the Bajrang Dal convener Vikas Verma continues to issue threats to
Kashmiri students, claiming they “engaged in anti-national activities”. He
says: “The Kashmiri students are our targets and we want them to leave
Uttarakhand. Today, we protested at the medical college near Shimla bypass,
making sure those who are still living in area also leave.”
declares his message loud and clear: “Dogs are allowed but Kashmiri Muslims are
not allowed in this state. Within 48 hours, we want them gone from here.” He
adds, “Only when the access to education will get restricted will these people
stop pelting stones. The nationalists anywhere in the country should make
Kashmiri students leave.”
Pakistan has been sitting on “actionable intelligence” for quite a while when
it comes to the Jaish-e-Mohammad — and hasn’t responded to several official
requests for help against Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
fact, Azhar was named by India in two key investigations: the 2001 Parliament
and the 2016 Pathankot attacks.
Red Corner notices were issued against Azhar by the Interpol, first in 2004 for
the attack on Parliament and in 2016 for his role in the Pathankot airbase
attack. You can read the full text of Imran Khan’s speech here
persons including Afzal Guru, Shaukat Hussain Guru, both members of Jaish, were
named by Delhi police in Parliament attack. Afzal Guru was convicted and hanged
in 2013, Shaukat Guru’s sentence was reduced but no trial was held for Azhar.
Azhar, released by India in exchange of the passengers and crew of the hijacked
IC-814, is in Pakistan.
prime accused, identified as Ghazi Baba, was killed in an encounter with the
Border Security Force (BSF) in Srinagar. Azhar was named by the National
Investigation Agency (NIA) in its probe into the airbase attack. After the
Jaish’s role was established, a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from
Pakistan including an Additional IGP, a DIG, two Lt Colonels and one Inspector,
offered assistance and visited India in 2016.
in its chargesheet, filed before the court noted, “The CIO of NIA requested
them (JIT from Pakistan) in writing for providing relevant investigational
assistance such as DNA samples of family members of the terrorist (killed
inside Pathankot airbase), details of JeM and Al-Rahmat trust, questioning of
Maulana Masood Azhar and other accused. They promised to revert back and also
assured for reciprocal visit to Pakistan by Indian investigators. However, no
reply was received till date.”
December 2016, NIA sent a Letter Rogatory (LR) and an additional LR seeking
assistance in its probe but no response has been received so far.
Azhar, NIA named his younger brother, Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar and Jaish members
Shahid Latif and Kashif Jan in the chargesheet. Also named were four militants
killed in the Pathankot airbase, all Pak nationals. On Tuesday, Imran Khan
again offered Pakistan’s help to probe the role of its nationals into the
Pulwama attack where 40 CRPF jawans were killed by a suicide attacker owing
allegiance to JeM.
its Pathankot chargesheet, the NIA said the outfit headed by Azhar, Jaish, has
been designated as a terrorist organisation in Australia, Canada, USA, UK, UAE
and the UN. “It was designated as militant organisation by United States by UN
1267 committee and Foreign Terrorist Organisation by US State Department in
2001,” the chargesheet said.
New Delhi has been demanding a ban on Azhar before the UNSC, Beijing has vetoed
its dossier on Azhar given to the UNSC and Pakistan, New Delhi describes
Maulana as a “Pakistan-based international terrorist and a leader of JeM, its
chief financier, recruiter and motivator. It adds Azhar has been associated
“with ISIL and al-Qaeda for participating in the financing, planning and
perpetrating” terrorist attacks.
Azhar’s role, New Delhi’s dossier says, “In early 1994, Azhar surfaced in Jammu
and Kashmir to mediate between various feuding factions of terrorist groups
active in the State. He was arrested in February 1994 by Indian security forces
and charged for terrorist linkages.”
funding for the JeM is derived from both business interests and the so called
Islamic charitable foundations. According to the NIA chargesheet, the
JeM-linked front includes Al-Rahmat trust which collects donations in the garb
of helping families of mujahideen and has been seeking land in donation to
build mosques in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi.
after a suicide car bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a paramilitary
bus, killing 40 CRPF personnel, Hibzul Mujahideen’s operations chief in the
Valley, Riyaz Naikoo, has warned of more such attacks, thus signalling a shift
in dynamics of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. On Monday, Naikoo released an
audio message praising the suicide bomber, Adil Ahmad Dar, and warned against
attacks on Kashmiris outside the Valley.
statement assumes significance since it hints at a shift in dynamics of
militancy in Kashmir.
Hizbul Mujahideen has been the largest militant outfit in the Valley, in the
past it has refrained from carrying out suicide the fidayeen on security camps
in the Valley.
Congress on Tuesday said that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement
that his country had nothing to do with the Pulwama terror attack was
“unacceptable”, and argued that Khan should “first hand over Masood Azhar to
India” if he is serious about talks with India.
extended support to the Narendra Modi government, the Congress, however, said
it did not want India’s response to be foolhardy or reckless. Explained: Imran
Khan’s speech had these two significant departures
to The Indian Express, former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said,
“Frankly, it is unacceptable when Pakistan says it has nothing to do with it.
Whether they have ability to control or not…Merely saying that we are not
responsible will not do,” he said.
Khan’s demand for actionable intelligence, Khurshid said, “We have given
actionable evidence in the past. Mr Shinde gave it, Mr Chidambaram gave it. I
am not sure if there was any satisfaction at all. And even the trial of the
Mumbai attackers has not progressed. So how do we accept that they will now do
the offer for talks, former Union minister Manish Tewari said, “This is like a
two-headed snake. While one head continues to bite india, the other head makes
sanctimonious noises about talking… If Khan is serious about what he is saying,
then he should first hand over Masood Azhar to India. Jaish has claimed
responsibility for the attack.”
The leaders of SC, ST, BC and Muslim Front registered a protest at Ambedkar
Statue located at Tank Bund, Hyderabad. Chief Convener of the front, Mr.
Sanaullah Khan led the protest. Maulana Syed Tariq Qadri, Mr. Hayat Husain
Habeeb, Mr. Nayeemullah Shareef demanded Govt. of India to extend every
possible help to the relatives of the martyrs.
asked Govt. of India that how is it that after demonetization, terrorist
attacks have not been reduced whereas Mr. Modi had claimed that demonetization
is a great success against terrorism.
leaders also felt the need for Govt. of India to change its foreign policy.
They reiterated that breaking economic ties has no sanctity for ending
DELHI: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comment on Pulwama attack that he
will take action if evidence is found against anyone from Pakistan has not gone
down well with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Singh said that the mastermind of the attack, Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood
Azhar was in Pakistan, and if the country was unable to nab the terrorist, “we
will do it for you”.
took on Twitter and said “Dear Imran Khan, you have Jaish chief Masood Azhar
sitting in Bahawalpur and masterminding the attacks with ISI help. Go pick him
up from there. If you can’t let us know, we’ll do it for you. BTW what has been
done about the proofs of Mumbai’s 26/11 attack. Time to walk the talk.”
terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad was behind the deadliest terror attack on
security forces in Kashmir in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday
when their convoy was targeted in Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu
National Highway. Earlier today, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan while
addressing the media for the first time after the Pulwama attack today said
that Pakistan will retaliate if India attacks. He denied any role of Pakistan
in the Pulwama terror attack in which over 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide
bomber from Jaish-e-Mohammad
Feb 19 — Malaysia urged that the ‘criminals’ who oppressed the Rohingya ethnic
community in Myanmar to be brought immediately to the International Criminal
Court (ICC), said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
said although the matter could take a long time, the Malaysian government is
very serious regarding the issue because such oppression had forced the
Rohingya ethnic community to become refugees all over the world.
Malaysian government is openly adhering to the principle that the
(humanitarian) criminals must be punished. The root problem is that the
Rohingyas have been driven out from their own country.
us, the investigation into the case of Myanmar and the (humanitarian) crime is
very important to be resolved from the root of the problem so that the
criminals could be dragged to court,” he told reporters after visiting the
Rohingya Education Centre (REC) in Klang, today.
added the information from the Independent International Fact-finding Mission
on Myanmar (IIFFMM) reported by the United Nations (UN) last month revealed
that six individuals were allegedly involved in the humanitarian crimes against
Rohingyas in the country.
Saifuddin said, Malaysia wanted to be involved in ensuring the humanitarian
‘criminals’ were brought to the ICC as soon as possible and the steps taken
would be announced later.
August last year, UN-appointed investigators recommended that Myanmar’s top
military commanders be brought to justice for an inquiry and be prosecuted as
it ‘undoubtedly amounts to the gravest crimes’ against the general public,
including genocide, under the international law.
IIFFMM report has drawn up a list of alleged perpetrators including Myanmar’s
Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing and five other military
Saifuddin said, for the time being, Malaysia will still adhere to its principles
to accept the Rohingya refugees as most of them said they were too afraid to
return to their home country for safety reasons.
government standpoint is we don’t reject people (Rohingya refugees) coming. On
the humanitarian ground, we never send (Rohingya refugee) boats away. We don’t
have the capacity to do much more, but we never reject, we want to do more in
understood the concerns of our own people (about the presence of the Rohingyas)
but we do not have the heart to send them back to Myanmar just like that. The
majority of them want to return, but for the time being, they feel unsafe to go
back,” he said.
also believed that if there were social problems related to the ethnic Rohingya
in the country such as begging and so on, surely the local authorities had
taken the necessary action.
also mentioned, so far, there are 88,880 Rohingyas from all age groups that
took shelter in the country and were registered with the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) but some are unregistered and the number is
said 25 per cent of them also received educational facilities provided by
non-governmental organisations in certain locations.
instance, REC educational facilities that were provided by the Jaringan Islam
Global Malaysia Association. Although this school does not have the same
standard as the Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK), the curriculum used is at par with SK
and the personnel of the association has wide experience in terms of school
administration and education,” he added.
from the Klang branch, REC which was established since 2006 has three other
branches namely in Permatang Pauh, Penang; Kuantan, Pahang; as well as the
latest centre in Gombak, which provides primary and secondary education to 724
Rohingya ethnic children. — Bernama
The police have identified the owner of a Facebook page who posted caricatures
deemed insulting to Islam.
Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he had received information from the
Inspector-General of Police that the person concerned had been identified.
have yet to question the individual but will carry out investigations,”
Muhyiddin said when asked on the multiple police reports that had been lodged
against the individual.
to the largest Muslim population, Indonesia is looking to sharia-compliant
financial technology (fintech) to enhance financial inclusion in the country,
where access to financing remains limited.
as the chairman of the Sharia Economic Society supervisory board, Ma’ruf Amin,
the running mate of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in the 2019 presidential
election, told a conference in Jakarta recently that sharia-compliant fintech
players could increase loan disbursement to many Indonesians lacking access to
ummah [Islamic society] should be empowered to have access to economic and
financial services,” he said. “That’s why we should push for bottom-up economic
development, building the economy of the ummah through the use of the sharia
system. This will also strengthen the nation’s economy.”
to a recent survey conducted by the Financial Services Authority (OJK), at
least 40 percent of Indonesia’s population does not have direct access to
financial services, including banks.
National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (SNKI) aims to make financial
products accessible to 75 percent of the population this year.
argued that shariah-compliant fintech companies could not only give people in
rural areas easier access to financial services but could also introduce
innovative products in the country’s sharia economy, which has seen slow growth
amid low economic literacy.
records show that only 8.11 percent of the country’s population were versed in
the sharia economy in 2016. Although about 88 percent of Indonesia’s population
of some 260 million people is Muslim, Islamic finance is struggling to
penetrate the market. OJK data also show that the market share of Islamic
financial services stood at 8.47 percent of the total financial services market
as of June last year, marking a slight increase from 8.24 percent in December
market share of Islamic banking at less than 6 percent lags far behind
Malaysia’s 24 percent.
it comes to fintech, only three of 99 peer-to-peer (P2P) financing companies
registered with the OJK are shariah-compliant, and only one sharia-compliant
financing company, Paytren, is registered with Bank Indonesia.
the promising market, Ma’ruf said more regulations were needed to support the
growth of sharia-compliant fintech.
should pay more attention to the lack of regulations needed to protect the
interests of the stakeholders,” he said.
OJK has the same requirements for conventional and shariah-compliant fintech
companies. The latter, though, must be screened by the National Sharia Council
(DSN) under the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), which has issued a fatwa to
ensure the companies comply with Islamic principles. One of the requirements is
for sharia-compliant fintech companies to have a board of sharia advisors
requirement put a financial burden on companies in the sector, said Indonesia
Sharia Fintech Association (AFSI) chairman Ronald Yusuf Wijaya, who is also the
CEO of multinational crowdfunding platofrm Ethis Crowd.
said sharia-compliant fintech companies were commonly start-ups that did not
have enough capital to set up a board of sharia advisors, which could be
supported by the government, maybe we could come up with some alternative
[solutions], such as assigning a board of sharia advisors for several companies
at once, at least for those unregistered, so that they can comply with the OJK
regulations,” he said.
House Oversight committee opened an investigation Tuesday into the Trump
administration's plans to transfer "highly sensitive" nuclear technology
to Saudi Arabia.
committee issued a 24-page interim report that catalogues charges brought by
whistleblowers who claim the proposed U.S.-Saudi joint venture, which would
create a series of nuclear power plants in the Kingdom if realized, would create
glaring conflicts of interest that could jeopardize American national security.
report says plans to build the nuclear plant network may be accelerating
following a meeting last week at the White House, and a planned trip to Saudi
Arabia by U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared
committee Chairman Elijah Cummings sent a letter to the White House requesting
all related documents, including emails from Trump's former National Security
Advisor Michael Flynn who whistleblowers said was pushing the plan early in the
effort was continued after Flynn's ouster by senior White House officials
despite warnings from top ethics advisors "who repeatedly and
unsuccessfully ordered senior Trump Administration officials to halt their
efforts," the report says.
investigation is needed to determine whether the actions being pursued by the
Trump Administration are in the national security interest of the United States
or, rather, serve those who stand to gain financially as a result of this
potential change in U.S. foreign policy," Cummings' staff said in
concluding the interim report.
has already mounted about the prospective deal following the Oct. 2 murder of
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia acknowledged he was
killed by Saudi agents, claiming he was killed in the course of a botched
initially denied any knowledge of his whereabouts after Khashoggi went missing,
and critics have taken issue with the Saudi government's explanation, insisting
Khashoggi's murder could not have been executed without the explicit consent of
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
October, five Republican senators - Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Rand Paul, Marco
Rubio and Todd Young -- sent a letter to the president urging him to suspend
talks that covered the transfer of civilian nuclear technology to the Kingdom,
in part because of Khashoggi's murder.
Trump has equivocated on bin Salman's culpability in the murder, and his top
officials have pointed to punitive sanctions taken against lesser officials as
an adequate response to the controversy.
abrupt US withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan will have ripple effects in the
region and open the door wider to Russia and Iranian influence in the Middle
East, Democrat Senator Chris Coons warned on Monday at the Royal United
Services Institute (RUSI) in London.
we are talking about a future where the United States and its regional allies
have no forces on the ground… I think we are suddenly looking at a regional
ascendant Iran with consequences that we are to take quite seriously,” Mr Coons
said after attending the Munich Security Conference, which came to a close last
strongly support a continued presence of US forces on the ground in Syria and
Afghanistan to retain the capacity to prevent groups like al Qaeda, ISIS, from
establishing strongholds and launching again attacks against our nations.”
absence of “meaningful consultation” with Congress on the plans to withdraw US
troops, as well as with regional and international allies, “gravely concerns
me”, Mr Coons said.
frustrates me deeply to think that such behaviour may cause our allies across
Asia and Europe to wonder if they might be the next American partner to be
year’s Munich Security Conference — an event that was conceived during the Cold
War — largely fell short of its intent to showcase the solidity of the post-war
Western alliance and America’s commitment to European security.
estrangement between the US and the EU has grown out of a number of issues
including the Iranian nuclear deal, climate policy, trade and commitment to
NATO. President Donald Trump’s abrupt announcement on Twitter of plans to
withdraw US troops from Syria and to remove up to half of the 14,000 US forces
in Afghanistan is the latest strain in the relationship between the
Coons was among those senators who presented an amendment last month that
challenges President Donald Trump's plans. The non-binding amendment, which
would be attached to a bill on broader US policy in the Middle East, warns that
a precipitous withdrawal of US forces could allow terrorists to regroup and
create vacuums that could be filled by Iran or Russia.
Coons – who was one of 68 senators to vote in favour – said more should be
done. “In my mind, Congress can and should do more,” he said.
the US cannot expect a clear-cut battlefield victory after decades of military
engagement in the region, Mr Coons said the US “can lose, and we can lose
decisively.” A US withdrawal could mean the resurgence of an ISIS-like groups,
a surge in Russian and Iranian influence in the region and the loss of US
credibility as an ally and peace-keeper on the international level.
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces launched an offensive earlier this month to
oust ISIS from its last enclave in the town of Baghouz Al-Fawqani in the
country's east. Mr Coons said he believed that US partners may not be there
after April if the US ends its key protection role.
voices demanding the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq will also grow louder,
weakening an already tentative grip on the country and opening it up further to
of Mr Trump’s move argued that the US should focus on more pressing issues –
such as the perceived immigration emergency at the border with South America –
and that a US withdrawal from the Middle East is long-overdue.
is time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan and Syria," Senator Rand
Paul, who backed Mr Trump, said on Twitter. "It is ludicrous to call
withdrawal after 17 years 'precipitous.'"
Coons claimed this move would be a mistake born out of the president’s own
skewed vision of international politics.
Rukmini Callimachi and Catherine Porter
HAWL CAMP, Syria — She was a 20-year-old college student in Alabama who had
become convinced of the righteousness of the Islamic State. So she duped her
parents into thinking she was going on a college trip, and instead bought a
plane ticket to Turkey with her tuition money.
being smuggled into the caliphate, the student, Hoda Muthana, posted a
photograph on Twitter showing her gloved hands holding her American passport.
“Bonfire soon,” she promised.
was more than four years ago. Now, after being married to three Islamic State
fighters and witnessing executions like those she had once cheered on social
media, Ms. Muthana says she is deeply sorry and wants to return home to the
surrendered last month to the coalition forces fighting ISIS, and now spends
her days as a detainee in a refugee camp in northeastern Syria. She is joined
there by another woman, Kimberly Gwen Polman, 46, who had studied legal
administration in Canada before joining the caliphate and who possesses dual
United States and Canadian citizenship.
women, interviewed by The New York Times at the camp, said they were trying to
figure out how to have their passports reissued, and how to win the sympathy of
the two nations they scorned.
don’t have words for how much regret I have,” said Ms. Polman, who was born
into a Reformed Mennonite community in Hamilton, Ontario, to an American mother
and Canadian father and who has three adult children.
Muthana, who attended high school in Hoover, Ala., and the University of
Alabama at Birmingham, said she was first drawn to ISIS in high school reading
Twitter and other social media posts.
I look back on it, I can’t stress how much of a crazy idea it was,” she said.
“I can’t believe it. I ruined my life. I ruined my future.”
a tweet this weekend, President Trump criticized allies including Britain,
France and Germany for not taking back hundreds of ISIS prisoners captured on
the battlefield. “The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced
to release them,” he warned.
president made no mention of American women who had married ISIS fighters and
whom the United States had not returned home. Both Ms. Muthana and Ms. Polman
said they had not been visited by American officials since their capture last
month. They also said there was a family of four sisters from Seattle, with
four children, who were being detained in a separate camp. A former law
enforcement official confirmed that a Seattle family had traveled to Syria to
join the Islamic State, but did not have further information.
small number of Americans — as few as 59, according to data tracked by the
George Washington University Program on Extremism — are known to have traveled
to Syria to join ISIS. Nearly all the American men captured in battle have been
repatriated, but it is unclear why some of the American women and their
children — at least 13 known to The Times — have not been.
spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment on the
two cases, but said that agents would typically work to build a criminal case
against any American who joined the Islamic State, a designated terrorist
Palladino, a spokesman for the State Department, on Tuesday described the
situation for Americans in Syria as “extremely complicated.” He said, “We’re
looking into these cases to better understand the details,” but declined to
comment further, citing privacy and security concerns.
Canadian government official said that it could be difficult for Canadians
detained in Syria to leave the region because they were likely to face serious
charges in neighboring countries.
the many crimes committed by ISIS, Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the George
Washington program, said there were “thousands of legitimate reasons to
question the sincerity” of appeals like those of Ms. Muthana and Ms. Polman.
foreign women of the Islamic State, while often reduced to simplistic
narratives about ‘jihadi brides,’ ‘brainwashing’ and ‘online grooming,’ aided
and abetted many of these atrocities and in some cases directly perpetrated
them,” he said.
Muthana and Ms. Polman acknowledged in the interview here that many Americans
would question whether they deserved to be brought back home after joining one
of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups.
do you go from burning a passport to crying yourself to sleep because you have
so much deep regret? How do you do that?” Ms. Polman asked. “How do you show
the Right Thing’
daughter of Yemeni immigrants, Ms. Muthana grew up in an ultra-strict household
— no partying, no boyfriends and no cellphone.
she finished high school, her father gave her a phone as a graduation gift. It
soon became her portal to the world of extreme Islam, she said.
years later, in 2014, an online contact walked her through the steps of joining
the Islamic State, she said: Board a flight to Turkey. When you land, call this
pay for the trip, Ms. Muthana enrolled in classes at the University of Alabama
at Birmingham, where she was a sophomore business major, but then withdrew and
cashed the tuition check from her parents. She packed a book bag with her
clothes and told her family she was going to an event in Atlanta, a two-hour
drive away. Instead she headed directly to the Birmingham airport for a flight
was crying because I thought I was making a big sacrifice for the sake of God
and I was giving up my family, my home, my comfort, everything I know,
everything I loved,” she said. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”
Muthana said she was smuggled across the Syrian border in November 2014 and
taken to a female dormitory, which was packed with hundreds of single women
from around the world. Every day, she said, an ISIS official roamed the
dormitory carrying a list of men looking for brides.
are not allowed to leave the house until you get married,” she said. “I did
know that would happen, but I thought there was a way out. I didn’t know there
were locks on the doors. I didn’t know there were chains. There were people guarding
said that she held out for a month before acquiescing to meet Suhan Rahman, an
Australian originally from Melbourne. He used the name Abu Jihad, or “Father of
Jihad,” she said. They met in a room with a chaperone. After a brief conversation,
he took her home.
took the name Umm Jihad, or “Mother of Jihad.” Home alone as her husband went
out to fight, she posted toxic tweets under her pseudonym. “Hats off to the
mujs in Paris,” she said in one of them, using an abbreviation for “mujahedeen”
on the day in 2015 when jihadists stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo and
killed 12 people at the satirical magazine.
also urged others to join the terror organization. “There are soooo many
Aussies and Brits here but where are the Americans, wake up u cowards,” she
she used her account to help incite attacks in the West, including in the
United States. “Americans wake up!” she wrote on March 15, 2015. “You have much
to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on
drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over
Twitter account has since been suspended, but the posts were copied by The
had barely been married three months, Ms. Muthana said, when she was at home
napping and a man ran up the stairs yelling that her husband had been
“martyred.” After his death, she consented to two more arranged marriages, she
Polman said she was smuggled into the caliphate in early 2015, after using an
American passport to fly from Vancouver to Istanbul.
said she had recently taken an interest in nursing, and had begun corresponding
with a man in Syria who used the nom de guerre Abu Aymen. The man, whom she
later married, told her that nursing skills were needed in the growing
earlier, she had left the Reformed Mennonite faith of her childhood and
converted to Islam. With nothing else to do, she said, she spent her days
online, where her Facebook timeline exploded with images of Muslims dying in Syria.
Polman said that at one point in her life she learned she had post-traumatic
stress disorder and had been unable to get out of bed. Two of her siblings,
speaking from British Columbia, said she had been told she had a mental
illness. “She hasn’t created an easy life for herself,” said a brother, who did
not want to be identified for fear of reprisals.
Polman studied legal administration at Douglas College, and for a brief time
worked at a Muslim school in Richmond, British Columbia, according to her
sister, who also did not want to be named. She won a Women’s Opportunity Award
in 2011 from Soroptimist International. The announcement of the award, printed
in the local paper, said her “ultimate goal is to work as a child advocate.”
sister said that in summer 2015, Ms. Polman left on a trip to Austria,
ostensibly for two weeks. “She gave me a hug goodbye and said we’d have tea
when she got back,” the sister said.
was only after the family heard from the Canadian authorities that they
realized she had joined ISIS. At one point, the sister had not heard from Ms.
Polman in six months and assumed she had been killed.
been able to help her as a family in the past,” the sister said. “This was the
one time we haven’t been able to help her. So it’s been very hard for us.”
the time Ms. Polman arrived in the caliphate, its crimes were well documented,
including beheading journalists, enslaving and systematically raping women from
the Yazidi minority and burning prisoners alive. Both she and Ms. Muthana were
evasive when asked about that brutality.
not interested in bloodshed, and I didn’t know what to believe,” Ms. Polman
said. “These are videos on YouTube. What’s real? What’s not real?”
her telling, Ms. Muthana began to pull away from the terrorist group in her
second year in the caliphate. She was married to a second fighter and was
pregnant. Anemic from an iron deficiency, she spent much of her time in bed.
started having doubts,” she said in an account that The Times could not verify.
“I was pregnant. Very emotional, because I missed my family,” she said. “I
thought — what am I doing?”
second husband was killed in Mosul, Iraq, she said. “Either a missile or an
airstrike,” she said.
then it was 2017, and the siege of Raqqa, Syria, had begun. When her water
broke, she walked more than a mile at night to reach the nearest clinic as
bombs fell on the city, she said.
giving birth to a son, Ms. Muthana moved from house to house, chasing the
shrinking shadow of the caliphate. When Raqqa fell in late 2017, she moved to
Mayadeen, along the Euphrates River Valley. When Mayadeen fell, she moved to
Hajin, and from there to Shafa, a village in the last sliver of ISIS’s
territory. Hundreds of airstrikes hammered the area.
married a third time and sometime after, she divorced her husband, whom she
declined to name.
Polman said her break with the caliphate came more violently, just a year after
her arrival. She claims that she tried to escape, but was spotted by ISIS
intelligence agents as she approached a woman about finding a smuggler at the
market. She was imprisoned in a jail cell in Raqqa, she said, where she spent
so much time that she eventually counted all 4,422 tiles.
was repeatedly taken out of her cell and interrogated, she said. One night, she
said, she was gang-raped.
took me down the hallway, and it was really dark,” she said. “There were metal
doors, heavy ones, and I slipped, I remember, and they kicked me.”
said the guards warned her that if she ever reported the rapes, they would say
they had evidence that she was a spy. Before releasing her, she said, they had
her sign a statement in both Arabic and English stating that if she tried to
run away again, she accepted the “hukm,” or Shariah judgment, of death.
two women, a generation apart, met and befriended each other in the final
pocket of the caliphate, which by January consisted of less than six square
the area faced severe shortages. When the market ran out of paper diapers, the
two friends cut up towels. When food was hard to come by, they collected grass
from crevices in the pavement, boiled it and forced themselves to eat it.
“Seeing a potato,” Ms. Muthana said, “was like seeing a Lamborghini.”
began talking about making a run for it, and they said they shared their
growing horror over the choices they had made.
hard to change your mind-set when you have lost everything and sacrificed
everything. Even if you feel a tug that tells you something’s not right here,
this isn’t O.K., and that there’s too many holes here, something’s wrong, I
think it’s very, very difficult when you feel like you have burned bridges, to
know how to shift,” Ms. Polman said.
forbade anyone to leave, planting land mines and using snipers to shoot down
anyone who tried. But last month, Ms. Muthana said, she decided to give it a
try by latching on to a Syrian family who left Shafa at dusk.
she took was her baby and his stroller, she said. When darkness fell, the group
got lost and spent the night in the frigid cold, she said.
next day, Jan. 10, she completed the journey and surrendered to American troops
in the Syrian desert, who fingerprinted her.
has urged Germany to exempt big defense projects from its efforts to halt arms
sales to Saudi Arabia or face damage to its commercial credibility, the German
magazine Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday.
said last November it would reject future arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia
over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It has not formally banned
previously approved deals but has urged industry to refrain from such shipments
accounts for just under 2 percent of total Saudi arms imports, a small
percentage internationally compared with the United States and Britain, but it
makes components for other countries' export contracts. That includes a
proposed 10-billion-pound deal for Riyadh to buy 48 new Eurofighter Typhoon
fighter jets from Britain.
am very concerned about the impact of the German government's decision on the
British and European defense industry and the consequences for Europe's ability
to fulfill its NATO commitments,” British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt wrote in
a letter to his German counterpart Heiko Maas, Spiegel reported.
said British defense firms would not be able to fulfil several contracts with
Riyadh including the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Tornado fighter jet, both of
which are made with parts affected by the German halt in deliveries to Saudi
letter shows how Germany's arms export practices are costing it the ability to
partner with its closest European allies,” Hans Christoph Altzpodien, head of
Germany's defense industry association BDSV, told Reuters.
has not seen the letter and a spokesman for the German foreign ministry declined
his letter, Hunt also wrote that the German government's decision to halt arms
exports to Saudi Arabia would cost German defense firms 2.3 billion euros in
revenues by 2026.
German move is also holding up shipments of Meteor air-to-air missiles to Saudi
Arabia by MBDA, which is jointly owned by Airbus, BAE Systems and Italy's
Leonardo, since the missiles' propulsion system and warheads are built in
Germany. MBDA has declined to comment on the issue.
can't expect to be a part of the European defense industry and various
cooperation projects if it behaves so unilaterally on this,” said one European
top Airbus official said on Friday that the German halt in exports to Saudi
Arabia was preventing Britain from completing the Eurofighter sale to Riyadh,
and had delayed potential sales of the A400M military transport and other
letter comes as Britain prepares to leave the European Union on March 29, in
the biggest shift in its commercial and diplomatic relations with the continent
in decades. It has still to reach a deal with the EU on the terms of its exit,
raising the risk of serious economic disruption.
President Vladimir Putin and Saudi King Salman, in a telephone conversation,
voiced their support for continued coordination on the global energy markets,
the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
Kremlin also said the two leaders praised bilateral cooperation between Russia
and Saudi Arabia.
both sides, a high assessment was given to the high level of cooperation
achieved, including in the trade, economic and investment spheres. Mutual
attitude for further strengthening of multifaceted Russia-Saudi Arabia ties has
been expressed,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
schedule of upcoming contacts at various levels was also discussed,” the
former receptionist at the Qatar embassy in London is attempting to raise
£25,000 so he can fund legal action against his ex-employers over claims of
Ahmed, 79, from Kensington, worked for over 20 years at the embassy before
being dismissed in 2013.
claims that he suffered verbal and physical abuse from a Qatari diplomat, who
called him a “black slave” and assaulted him.
a crowdfunding page set up by his son, Somali-born Mr Ahmed claims to have been
“immediately sacked” when he stood up to the abuse.
Ahmed, who has British citizenship, had his legal claim delayed while the
embassy tried to claim diplomatic immunity from UK employment laws.
2017, the Supreme Court ruled that embassies in the UK could not claim immunity
from such laws.
Ahmed’s son Rashid said the family had paid the legal costs until now but “now
have to find a much needed shortfall to afford to attend the court”.
added that his father’s case is one of the first to go to trial against an
embassy in the UK.
in the UK have been able to hide behind the shield of state immunity for so
many years and, in our case, we hope to bring to light Qatari human rights
abuses that have been suppressed for too long,” he wrote.
activist Maajid Nawaz ‘racially attacked’ in London
anti-extremism campaigner said he could be scarred for life after being
racially attacked outside a theatre in central London.
Nawaz said he was racially abused and hit in the face by a white male as he
stood alone outside Soho Theatre.
LBC radio presenter posted images to social media of showing a deep cut to his
forehead, which he said could have been caused by a signet ring.
Nawaz wrote on Twitter after the incident: “Tonight I was racially attacked
while alone outside Soho theatre, from behind, as I bent down to pick up my
said the attacker had called him “f***ing P***” before hitting him and then
“ran away like a coward”.
took nothing,” the presenter added. “He was just a racist.”
Metropolitan police said they were called to a report of racially aggravated
assault at 7.10pm GMT on Monday.
investigation has been launched but no arrests have been made, police said.
Nawaz wrote on Twitter: “My forehead will probably be scarred for life. But we
will find you, you racist coward, and you will face British justice.”
presenter, a Briton of Pakistani heritage, is the founder of counter extremism
organisation the Quilliam Foundation. Formerly an extremist, he later became a
critic of radical Islamic movements.
thanked those who looked after him in the aftermath of the attack as well as
well-wishers for their support.
top British official on Tuesday urged Myanmar’s authorities to ensure a safe
environment for the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of persecuted
Rohingya Muslims who fled the country since August 2017.
major man-made humanitarian crisis has been ethnic cleansing on an industrial
scale and I urge the government of Burma [Myanmar] to create the necessary
conditions that would allow those Rohingya currently living in Bangladesh to return,”
Penny Mordaunt, Britain’s international development minister, told reporters in
Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, on Tuesday after visiting Rohingya camps in Cox’s
Bazar, some 278 kilometers (173 miles) from Rakhine state, Myanmar.
the first British Cabinet minister to visit Bangladesh since the country’s
elections late last year, met Rohingya refugees living in Kutupalong camp at a
food distribution center, spoke with women being protected from violence, and
saw how children with disabilities were getting the therapy and treatment they
need, supported by U.K. aid, according to a British press release.
aid has provided £129 million to Bangladesh in funding to address the refugee
crisis, said the press release.
added: "The plight of the Rohingya refugees to return home must not fall
off the international agenda and they must be given justice."
was accompanied by Bangladeshi State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shariar
Alam, who spoke of new strategies for peaceful repatriation of the Rohingya,
but gave no specifics, local media reported.
visit to the camp also focused on exploring longer-term solutions by supporting
education, developing skills, and improving access to training opportunities,
according to a press release by the U.K. High Commission in Dhaka on Tuesday.
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 women and
children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
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
UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and
young children – brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state
Yazidi survivors of Daesh killings, the nightmares go on
Iraq: Ever since Daesh visited death and destruction on their villages in
northern Iraq nearly five years ago, Yazidis Daoud Ibrahim and Kocher Hassan
have had trouble sleeping.
Hassan, 39, who was captured, it is her three missing children, and three years
of imprisonment at the hands of the extremist group.
Ibrahim, 42, who escaped, it is the mass grave that he returned to find on his
burnt one house down, blew up the other, they torched the olive trees two three
times...There is nothing left,” the father of eight told Reuters.
than 3,000 other members of their minority sect were killed in 2014 in an
onslaught that the United Nations described as genocidal.
and Hassan lived to tell of their suffering, but like other survivors, they
have not moved on.
will never set foot in her village of Rambousi again. “My sons built that
house. I can’t go back without them...Their school books are still there, their
clothes,” she said.
want to be buried’
US President Donald Trump prepares to announce the demise of the extremist
group in Syria and Iraq, UN data suggests many of those it displaced in the
latter country have, like Hassan, not returned home.
Ibrahim and his family live in a barn next to the pile of rubble that was once
their home. He grows wheat because the olive trees will need years to grow
again. No one is helping him rebuild, so he is doing it himself, brick by
is bad. There is no aid,” he said sitting on the edge of the collapsed roof
which he frequently rummages under to find lost belongings. On this day, it was
scarves, baby clothes and a photo album.
day that I see this mass grave I get ten more grey hairs,” he said.
grave, discovered in 2015 just outside nearby Sinjar city, contains the remains
of more than 70 elderly women from the village of Kocho, residents say.
hear the cries of their spirits at the end of the night. They want to be
buried, but the government won’t remove their remains.” They and their kin also
want justice, Ibrahim adds.
the militants came, thousands of Yazidis fled on foot toward Sinjar mountain.
More than four years later, some 2,500 families — including Hassan and five of
her daughters — still live in the tents that are scattered along the hills that
weave their way toward the summit.
grass is green on the meadows where children run after sheep and the women pick
the peaceful setting masks deep-seated fears about the past and the future.
for the sun
a year and a half ago, Hassan and five of her children were kept in an
underground prison in Raqqa with little food and in constant fear of torture.
doesn’t know why Islamic State freed her and the girls, then aged one to six,
and hasn’t learnt the fate of the three remaining children: two boys Fares and
Firas, who would be 23 and 19 now, and Aveen, a girl who would be 13.
is no electricity or running water in the camp where they live today. She
doesn’t remember when her children last ate fruit. “Life here is very difficult
but I thank God that we are able to see the sun,” she said.
the day, her children go to school and are happy, but at night “they are afraid
of their own shadow,” and she herself has nightmares.
night, I dreamt they were slaughtering my child,” she said.
Khalaf, her husband, says Islamic State not only destroyed their livelihoods.
The group broke the trust between Yazidis and the communities of different
faiths and ethnicities they had long lived alongside.
is no protection. Those who killed us and held us captive and tormented us have
returned to their villages,” Khalaf, 40, said referring to the neighboring
Sunni Arab villages who the Yazidis say conspired with the militants.
have no choice but to stay here...They are stronger than us.”
Hoist Gov't Flag Across Raqqa City
Syrian flags were hoisted in several districts such as al-Sokna and al-Hani in
Raqqa City Center as well as al-Basel Street and Shabat 33 Street stretched
from Rashid Garden to al-Sanaeh Street, the Arabic-language service of Russian
Sputnik News Agency reported.
three explosions also hit an SDF patrol in al-Sanaeh Street, the SDF security
headquarters and another patrol near Hazimeh Square which resulted in the death
and injury of several SDF troops.
SDF declared a state of alert after the blasts and the US helicopters also
increased their flights over Raqqa city.
Monday, President al-Assad implicitly warned the Syrian Democratic Forces
against reliance on the United States, and said Washington would not protect
those who depend on it.
say to those groups who are betting on the Americans, the Americans will not
protect you. The Americans will put you in their pockets so you can be tools in
the barter, and they have started with it,” Assad said in a meeting with the
heads of local councils in the capital Damascus, without naming those
will protect you except your state. If you do not prepare yourselves to defend
your country, you will be nothing but slaves," he added.
US forces have long supplied arms and training to the SDF, and used the
predominantly Kurdish militants as their main partner in the purported fight
against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
has been threatening for months to launch an offensive in Northern Syria
against Washington-backed People's Protection Units (YPG), which forms the
backbone of the SDF. Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist organization and an
extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been
fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.
in his remarks, Assad further noted that support for terrorism plus attempts to
undermine the Damascus government’s sovereignty form the core policies of some
states vis-à-vis Syria.
went on to say that the United States and its allies will not give up plotting
to partition Syria, but rather want to break up the entire Middle East region.
US scheme to impose hegemony on every corner of world has not changed at all,
but the fact is that our people [Syrian nation] have mounted stiffer
resistance," the Syria's president noted.
all these years of crisis, mercenaries and agents have not realized that
nothing can maintain their value expect for their own essence. The only way to
get rid of misguidance is to join the reconciliation process and to hand over
your munitions to Syrian government forces,” Assad emphasized.
Syrian president added that his country has managed to score major victories
over terrorist groups, thanks to the enormous scarifies made by government
troops and the solid support offered by its allies.
couldn’t have been possible to protect our homeland without a unified front and
contribution of people from different strata of the Syrian society. Syrian
people have a deep-rooted history and they have resisted terrorism… We can
achieve the final victory with each other not over each other,” Assad
said the Damascus government is doing its utmost for the return of displaced
people to their homes and an end to their sufferings.
will not allow the sponsors of terrorism to transform Syrian refugees into a
political tool to achieve their goals,” he stated.
are currently at war on multiple fronts: The first front is a military one; the
second is the blockade, the third is through cyberspace and the final is the
one being carried out by corrupt people,” the Syrian president underscored.
stressed that the current situation in Syria demands greater discretion,
saying, “Having failed in generous support for their agents and proxies, enemies
have now turned to attempts to create chaos inside the Syrian society.”
Syrian president said the future of Syria must be independently decided by its
will not allow hostile states to achieve any of their objectives through their
agents, who hold the Syrian nationality. Hostile countries are still insisting
on their aggression and obstruction of all viable processes, namely the Astana
talks and relevant consultations,” he commented.
security forces killed 16 suspected militants in two separate raids in the city
of Arish in North Sinai, state media said on Tuesday.
report came the day after an explosion in central Cairo killed three policemen.
suspected militants were killed in the Obeidat district of Arish and another
six were killed in the Abu Eita district of the city, state-run Al Ahram said.
undisclosed quantity of weapons, ammunition and explosives were found with the
six in Abu Eita.
two sides exchanged gunfire, it said without elaborating. It made no mention of
any security forces casualties.
suspected militants’ bodies were taken to several hospitals in the city of
Ismailia to be examined and identified, security and medical sources said.
SDF fighters have conducted a wave of arrests of civilians and dissidents in
areas under their control in Raqqa and Hasaka provinces as well as the cities
of Kobani and Manbij in Aleppo province, Syrian Network of Human Rights (SNHR)
noted that a sum of 107 Syrian citizens, including women and children, were
arrested by the SDF while the fate of 52 of them is still unknown.
SOHR also said the arrested people are tortured by the Kurdish forces,
"and in one case, one of them has died under torture".
report also cautioned that children aged 13-17 have been forced to join the SDF
a relevant development in late January, hundreds of people were arrested by the
Syrian Democratic Forces in the recent uprisings against the US-backed SDF in
Raqqa's areas under the control of the Kurds.
Syrian Democratic Forces have detained more than 1,300 Syrian citizens, most of
them children, youth and women, in areas stretching between Abu Qabi and
al-Tabaqa, South of Euphrates River, the Arabic-language service of Russian
Sputnik news agency quoted media activists as saying.
noted that a number of Arab members of SDF left the group after the US-backed
militia arrested a number of Arab tribesmen in Raqqa.
media activists in Raqqa were quoted as saying that the residents of Raqqa
hoisted Syria's national flag and printed graffiti against the US occupying
troops and the SDF in several regions, including the town of Kadiran to West of
Raqqa, calling for the Syrian Army rule over the region.
least 56 people were killed and wounded in two huge explosions in one of the
main bases of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at in Idlib city near the venue of a
meeting between al-Jolani and other terrorist commanders.
(Al-Nusra Front chief commander) was injured and two of his Uzbek aides were
also killed in the twin simultaneous blasts in Idlib's al-Qasour region,"
the Arabic-language service of Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted local sources
as saying on Tuesday.
bomb-laden cars exploded almost concurrently in al-Qasour region in the Center
close to the White Helmets - that is affiliated to the military groups
specially Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at - pointed to the tight security measures
adopted by Tahrir al-Sham terrorists near Special Surgical Hospital after
al-Jolani was moved to the hospital following the blasts, and said that
al-Jolani has been swiftly relocated to an unknown place outside Idlib after
explosions occurred near one of the main strongholds of Tahrir al-Sham which
was due to host a meeting between Jolani and other commanders of Tahrir
sources said that the explosions targeted a security convoy - that was said to
be part of Jolani's security escort team – passing through al-Qasour region.
report said, at least 24 people, including 11 foreign terrorists, were killed
in the explosions and 32 others were wounded.
a relevant development earlier this month, a number of Tahrir al-Sham
commanders and members, including one of the Egyptian leaders of the group
named Abu Mus'ab Misri, were killed by unknown assailants in Idlib province.
late last month, a notorious commander of Tahrir al-Sham and a close aide to
Jolani was killed in a failed attack on the Syrian Army's military positions in
an attack by Tahrir al-Sham and their allied militants on the Syrian Army's
military positions near Abu Dhuhour Military Airport in Southeastern Idlib,
senior commander of Ajnad al-Kavkaz, nom de guerre Abu al-Bara Qafqazi, was
killed," the Arabic-language service of the Russian Sputnik news agency
quoted local sources in Idlib province as saying.
report noted Qafqazi's proximity with Abu Mohammad Jolani and that he was
second-in-command of Tahrir al-Sham who had taken part in worst possible crimes
in Northern Syria.
Damascus Army's artillery and missile units pounded the movements of the terrorists
in the towns of Latmin, al-Zuka and al-Sayyad in Northern Hama, inflicting
heavy losses and casualties on the militants.
Army also heavily pounded the terrorists' military positions in the towns of
al-Latamanieh and Kafar Zita in response to their attacks on safe regions,
killing and wounding a large number of them.
the terrorists attacked the town of Shizar in the demilitarized zone in
Northern Hama, killing a civilian and injuring four children.
Southern Idlib, the Syrian Army troops also targeted and pounded the military
positions of Tahrir al-Sham near the towns of Khan Sheikhoun and Ma'arat
al-Na'aman, destroying an arms and ammunition depot as well as several hideouts
of the militants.
Syrian Army's missile and artillery units pounded the terrorists' movements in
areas near the town of Deir Sonbol, Northwest of Ma'arat al-Na'aman and Badama,
Southwest of Idlib, pushing back militants' invasion after the start.
a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian Army pounded and destroyed the
military positions, centers and arms cache of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at in
Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.
Syrian Army units pounded the terrorists' military positions and movements near
Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib in response to the terrorists' continued
attacks on safe areas in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib, destroying a large
Northern Hama, the Syrian Army's artillery and missile units targeted the Jeish
al-Izza and Tahrir al-Sham terrorists' military positions and movements in the
outskirts of al-Masaseneh, al-Latamineh and al-Jiesat, destroying several
military positions of the terrorists as well as killing and wounding a large
number of militants.
Army Discovers US, Israel-Made Missiles from Terrorists' Hideouts Near Damascus
Damascus Army's engineering units continued their cleansing operations around
Damascus and retrieved large amount of weapons, ammunition and military
equipment, including hundreds of Grad missiles, US-made anti-tank missiles and
128-Caliber missiles made in Israel.
army troops also discovered an arms cache packed with large amounts of
weaponry, ammunition, canons, mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades.
a relevant development in mid-December, the Syrian army discovered several arms
and military equipment caches which included Israeli missiles and West-made
medicine during cleansing operations in Dara'a province.
engineering units of the Syrian army found the arms caches in the Western parts
of Nawa in Northwestern Dara'a which included missiles, missile launch-pads,
Israeli LAV missiles, different types of anti-tank missiles, some of them
Israeli, as well as a large number of ammunition for heavy and mid-sized
machine guns and explosives, RPG rockets, mines, Dushka guns, artilleries,
mortars and thermal cameras.
a Syrian field source reported that the engineering units also found another
cache which included different types of medicine produced by the Persian Gulf
littoral states and western countries.
and Syrian coordination centers on returning refugees have managed to open two
humanitarian corridors for thousands of displaced Syrians stranded in a camp
near the Jordanian border to leave the site toward government-controlled areas.
accordance with the February 16 joint statement by the Russian and Syrian
coordination centers on opening the humanitarian corridors for the evacuation
of Syrians from the Rukban camp, two checkpoints at Jleb and Jabal al-Ghurab
opened today,” the chief of Russia’s National Defense Control Center, Major
General Mikhail Mizintsev, said in a statement on Tuesday.
added that the Syrian refugees will be provided with voluntary, unimpeded and
safe exit from the camp to places of their choice of residence within 24 hours.
situation in al-Rukban camp is catastrophic, and civilians are being held
hostage by terrorist groups under the auspices of the United States. They are
hovering between life and death. They continue to live in appalling conditions
despite the arrival of humanitarian convoys to the camp,” Mizintsev said.
Russian official added, “The camp is suffering from lack of basic healthcare.
The fact is that women, children and people with disabilities do not receive
the lowest level of medical assistance. Eight children suffered food poisoning
last month alone.”
officials have accused the US and Washington-backed militants of holding people
in Rukban hostage.
call on the American command and leaders of illegal militant groups in the
al-Tanf region to put an end to the forcible keeping of women and children,
mostly affected by cold, illness and malnutrition in the camp. All of them will
be given necessary assistance,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major
General Igor Konashenkov said on February 15 as a humanitarian convoy of the
United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) delivered aid, including
medical supplies and basic commodities, to Rukban.
added that Russia and Syria would jointly establish a temporary housing area
for refugees from the camp.
UN says about 45,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped inside
Rukban, where conditions are desperate. This is while Geneva-based
international aid agency Doctors Without Borders has put the number there at
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that US forces are unlawfully
deployed to al-Tanf region in southern Syria, training terrorists, who carry
out acts of terror across Syria and prevent the return of displaced people in
the Rukban refugee camp to their hometowns.
January 12, a Syrian mother attempted to torch herself and her children to
death in the camp after she failed to find food for her family for three
October, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said people in
Rukban had been without access to food and humanitarian aid for several months,
highlighting that the tough situation was further complicated with a closed
border by Jordan.
area where Rukban is located is controlled by the former US-backed Shuhada
al-Qaryatayn militant group. The extremists were supposed to evacuate to
northern Syria in accordance with a Russian-backed deal, but refused to do so.
200 families under Daesh siege in eastern Syria
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has warned
that some 200 families are trapped in a shrinking area in Syria’s eastern
province of Dayr al-Zawr, which is controlled by Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
of the families in the village of Baghouz “continue to be subjected to
intensified air and ground-based strikes by the US-led coalition forces and
their [Syrian Democratic Forces] SDF allies on the ground,” Bachelet said in a
statement on Tuesday.
understand that ISIL [Daesh] appears to be preventing some of them if not all
of them from leaving. So that's potentially a war crime on the part of ISIL
[Daesh],” her spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing.
also voiced concern for some 20,000 people, who have fled Daesh-held areas in
Dayr al-Zawr province over the past few weeks.
are being held in makeshift camps run by the Kurdish armed groups, including
the SDF, who are reported to be preventing the internally-displaced people from
leaving the camps, she said.
Pakistan is interested in advancing its ties with Israel if there is an
improvement in the political situation in the region, foreign minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi has said.
remarks assume significance as Pakistan does not recognise Israel and the two
nations have no diplomatic ties.
is interested in advancing its relations with Israel, but this is a question of
the political situation in the region," Qureshi told Ma'ariv, an Israeli
news portal, on the sidelines of recently concluded Munich Security Conference.
in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be very helpful," he said
adding, "if the American plan succeeds in doing so, it will be good. We
wish all the best for Israel. We have many friends in the region and we would
like you to join them," the Pakistani minister was quoted as saying.
and Israel have also in the past tried to engage each other with their foreign
ministers meeting on September 1, 2005 in Istanbul in a much publicised coming
meeting was followed by a handshake between Pakistan's then President Pervez
Musharraf and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon just a few weeks later on the
sidelines of a UN summit.
Islamic countries with no diplomatic relations with Israel have been
increasingly coming close to it with the common threat of Iran bringing them
The suicide bomber who carried out last week's attack that killed 27 members of
Iran's Revolutionary Guards was a Pakistani national, the elite force said
suicide bomber was named Hafez Mohammad-Ali and was from Pakistan," said
Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the Guards' ground forces,
quoted by the force's Sepah news agency.
February 13 suicide bombing killed 27 Revolutionary Guards on a bus in the
volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan which borders Pakistan.
general said the probe into the attack had made headway after the model of the
explosives-packed car that exploded next to the bus had been identified.
days ago the first clue, a woman, was identified and arrested, and through this
woman, we reached others," Pakpour said.
from the suicide bomber, one of the suspected accomplices was also Pakistani,
said the attack had originally been planned for February 11 to coincide with
celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution.
had security forces had been "fully prepared" on that day, he said.
jihadist group, Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which Tehran says operates
mostly out of bases in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.
NATIONS: Expressing deep concern “at the increase in tensions between India and
Pakistan”, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has asked both sides to
exercise maximum restraint and offered his “good offices” to ease the crisis.
secretary general stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum
restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions. His good offices
are available if accepted by both sides,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson
for the UN secretary general, while responding to a question at a media
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Tuesday
hailed business-to-business agreements with Saudi Arabia while stressing on the
need to improve standards of Pakistani goods and services to avail maximum
potential of the deals.
a media briefing held at the apex body’s capital office, FPCCI high-ups
welcomed bilateral arrangements with the private sector of Saudi Arabia.
most important part of these agreements is that the crown prince is directly
supervising these business agreements,” said FPCCI President Engineer Daroo
Khan Achakzai. “It is for the first time that the private sector has been given
the opportunity to take the lead in devising business deals,” he noted.
by senior FPCCI leaders including Mirza Ikhtiar Baig and Vice Chairman Saarc
Chambers of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar A Malik, Mr Achakzai stressed that
the agreement for technical cooperation will be the key to success of the MoUs.
Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation (SASO) and PSQCA of
Pakistan will cooperate so that standards of Pakistani goods and services can
be improved for exports to Saudi Arabia,” he added.
Baig on the occasion welcomed the establishment of Saudi-Pak Joint Business
Council. The council, which will have 10 members from each side, will hold its
first meeting next month. The FPCCI leader stressed on reducing high markup
Mr Malik said that Pakistan has a strong base in industrial, agriculture and
research sectors but there is a need for modernisation and investments to
compete in changing global environment.
Pakistan allows investments on 100 per cent ownership but we expect that there
will be joint ventures with Saudi business community as they too are seeking to
broaden their economy and also want to enter into the agri-businesses,” Mr
suggested that Pakistani business community as well as the government must
adapt to the changing business environment globally.
product and service standards have to be in accordance with the importer and
after improving the standards of our human resources, we should approach other
Muslim countries that they should invite our workforce,” he added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to arrive in Pakistan on an
official visit next month, Turkish Consul General in Pakistan Tolga Uçak said
at an event in Karachi, Uçak said that Erdoğan will bring along a delegate of
Turkish businessmen to announce fresh investments in Pakistan. The populist
president is expected to land in Islamabad on March 23 – the Pakistan Day.
Minister Imran Khan, on his two-day maiden official visit to Turkey on the
invitation of Turkish president earlier in January, formally invited Erdoğan to
observed that “bilateral ties between Pakistan and Turkey are deeply rooted in
history” and the “two countries have always cooperated with each other in
said that “Turkey seeks further business opportunities with Pakistan in all
sectors including defence”.
has emerged that Turkish officials – who had always expressed keen interest in
joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – were in touch with their
Pakistani counterparts in matters pertaining to the game-changer project.
Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan said on Tuesday that peace talks between
the United States and Afghan Taliban would be affected if India resorted to
violence against Pakistan in response to a deadly bombing in occupied Kashmir.
remarks by Zahid Nasrullah come as tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours
has risen sharply over the killing 40 Indian paramilitary police in a suicide
bomb attack reportedly claimed by
envoys say Pakistan has an important role to play in the Afghan peace effort.
representatives are due to meet US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in
Qatar on February 25 in the next round of talks to end America’s longest war.
Haqqani asks why Jaish-e-Muhammad took responsibility for Pulwama attack
Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani on Tuesday asked why
the “Bahawalpur-based Jaish-e-Muhammad” claimed responsibility for carrying out
the terrorist attack in Pulwama.
a Twitter user asked him why he blamed Pakistan for the attack, citing
intelligence report, and why those intelligence agencies were unable to stop
the attack before it was executed, he said, “Good question. Better question for
ppl of Pakistan: why did Bahawalpur-based Jaish-e-Muhammad accept
responsibility for the attack and issued a statement from Pakistan within
minutes of the attack?”
he drew ire of Twitterati for his comment about Pakistanis “justifying” the
Pulwama attack on social media despite state’s condemnation.
on Tuesday made a strong statement in Kulbhushan Jadhav case based on solid
evidence of espionage against the Indian spy as International Court of Justice
(ICJ) resumed its public hearing on the second day at The Hague, Netherlands,
reports said. At the Peace Palace, English Queen’s Counsel Barrister Khawar
Qureshi representing Pakistan raised nine points in light of evidence pertaining
to espionage, Jadhav’s confessional statement, his 17 times travel on fake
Indian passport and unlawful claim of consular access under Vienna Convention.
case proceedings were shown live from the courtroom and shared by the ICJ’s
website for real-time update of the viewers worldwide, including in the party
states Pakistan and India.
the 15-member bench, Qureshi termed India’s oral arguments – presented a day
earlier – as ‘an opportunity wasted’, saying India failed to answer fundamental
questions regarding subversive activities of its serving navy commander inside
Pakistan. He argued India’s demand of provisional measures without conduct of
any hearing since it invoked ICJ’s jurisdiction on May 8, 2016, and termed
‘outlandish’ the Indian claim for ‘at least’ acquittal, release and return of
India’s proposition as ‘absurd and nonsensical’, he said India was showing lack
of good faith and sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan through Jadhav. He also
referred to a few cases of Russia and China where states were free to modify
their own practice in dealing with espionage as a special case. He said India
and Pakistan entered into a clearly worded agreement on consular access
(operative since 1982 and amended in 2008) which identified the basis to
consider the option of consular access in case of espionage.
emphasized that India’s conduct in sending Commander Jadhav to engage in acts
of espionage violated the Article 5(a) of Vienna Convention and said permitting
consular access would be in blatant violation of the fundamental precepts of
international law. He requested the court to declare India’s petition
inadmissible by reason of its conduct manifesting abuse of rights, illegality
alternative, he said, even if the court were to hold that Vienna Convention’s
Article 36 was engaged and a right to consular access was denied, the
appropriate remedy would be filing a review before Pakistan’s high court, any
time by Jadhav and his family.
Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan as Agent said Pakistan
remained committed to peaceful resolution to all outstanding disputes and
mentioned that the country suffered more than 74,000 casualties due to
interference by neighbouring India. In this context, he said, Commander Jadhav
working for Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) entered Pakistan
with predetermined plan of sabotage and confessed to his crime before the
attorney general said Jadhav was involved in carrying out bombings, targeted
operations, kidnapping and unlawful activities to create anarchy in Pakistan
and target the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He mentioned that he himself
had been a victim of Indian brutalities when faced torture during the 1971 Indo-Pak
war as a prisoner of war.
recalled that Jadhav’s mother and wife were allowed to meet him in December
2017, and said it was a challenge for India to quote a similar example where a
person involved in espionage and terrorism was granted access to family on
attorney general said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 and also
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval admitted to use of spy activities for
creating unrest in Pakistan. He mentioned the massacre of Army Public School
Peshawar, where 140 school children as young as six years, were killed by
militants operated by India through Afghanistan.
Judge Ad hoc Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, who was to sit in the bench,
could not attend the hearing on the second consecutive day due to ill health.
attorney general requested the court for replacement of the Judge Ad hoc in
view of the country’s right under Article 35(5) of Rules of Court, to which the
head of the bench reserved the decision.
Co-Agent Dr Faisal, Ambassador to the Netherlands Shujaat Ali Rathore and
junior counsels Joseph Dyke and Catriona Nicol attended the hearing from
The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police arrested an operative of terror
outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) who allegedly got training under
Kausar, one of the key accused in Burdwan's Khagragarh blast case of 2014, an
officer said on Tuesday.
Iqbal alias Nadeem (22), an active JMB member since 2017, was arrested from
Kolkata's Santragachi railway station at 6.20 p.m. on Monday. He was produced
today (Tuesday) before the court, which remanded him to 15-day police custody
till March 5," an STF officer said.
to the STF, he was part of the conspiracy hatched to secure Kausar's escape on
the way from court to the Presidency Correctional Home.
of criminal conspiracy (IPC 120B) and aiding escape of state prisoner from
lawful custody (IPC 130) has been slapped on him.
a resident of Kulgachi village in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, allegedly
visited Chennai in 2017 and got training under Kausar.
was involved in some cases of dacoities in Bengaluru. He came to Santragachi
station on Monday (February 18) and was subsequently arrested by a team of STF,
the official said.
STF on Saturday had arrested another JMB operative, Ariful Islam, from central
Kolkata's Babughat area. He was said to be involved in last year's Bodh Gaya
said he was also working on securing escape of Kausar.
NIA had arrested two suspected JMB terrorists from West Bengal's Hooghly
district for their alleged involvement in the case last month.
least fourteen Taliban group members including two of their commanders were
killed or wounded during the airstrikes of the Afghan Air Force in northern
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
airstrikes were carried out in Garziwan district on Tuesday.
statement further added that the Afghan Air Force A-29 Super Tucanos carried
out four airstrikes in Aliabad Village at at around 11:10 am local time,
leaving ten militants dead and 4 others wounded.
of the commanders of the group identified as Mullah Najib was also among those
killed while another commander of the group Mullah Wali has been critically
wounded, the 209th Shaheen Corps added.
statement by 209th Shaheen Corps also added that 3 compounds and some weapons
and munitions were also destroyed in the airstrikes.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday met with the Commander of the U.S. Military’s
Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel in Kabul.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the two sides
discussed peace process, funding and equipping the Afghan forces, and joint
fight against terrorism.
statement further added that Gen. Joseph informed President Ghani that his
mission and service period has come to an end but assuring that his successor
would be someone who would have better knowledge of Afghanistan and remain a
strategic partner of the government of Afghanistan, the Afghan armed forces and
people of Afghanistan.
his turn, President Ghani hailed the United States and Gen. Votel for his
cooperation in different sectors with Afghanistan.
also added that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have become
more capable as compared to the past.
China on Tuesday urged restraint by India and Pakistan amid escalating tensions
over the Pulwama terror attack and called on both the countries to peacefully
resolve their issues through dialogue as soon as possible.
February 14, at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were
killed in Kashmir's Pulwama district in a suicide attack claimed by Pakistan-based
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group.
attack has heightened bilateral tensions with both New Delhi and Islamabad
calling back their envoys for "consultations". India on Friday announced
the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan and hiked the
customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from the neigbouring country.
and India are both important countries in South Asia. A stable bilateral
relationship between the two is essential to the peace and stability in the
region," Geng Shuang, spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry told a
media briefing when asked about the tensions between the two countries
following the Pulwama attack.
Asia has maintained an overall stability which should be cherished and upheld
by all sides. China hopes that Pakistan and India will exercise restraint,
engage in dialogue and realise the soft landing of the relevant issues as soon
as possible," he said.
another question about Saudi Arabia and Pakistan signing $20 billion agreement
for Saudi investments in Pakistan during the just concluded visit of Saudi
crown prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Geng said, "China is glad to see
Pakistan having friendly exchanges and cooperation with other countries
including Saudi Arabia".
the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Geng said, "It will help with
connectivity and shared development. China is ready to on the basis of
consultation and consensus with Pakistan have a third party cooperation."
seeks to detain over 300 for alleged Gulen ties
police on Tuesday launched raids to detain over 300 people, including military
personnel, suspected of ties to a group blamed for a 2016 coup bid, state media
in Turkey’s three biggest provinces -- Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir -- issued
arrest warrants for 324 people as part of different probes into followers of
US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, the private DHA and the Anadolu state
news agency said.
accuses Gulen of ordering the abortive bid to topple President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan on July 15, 2016 but he strongly denies the claim.
Istanbul public prosecutor sought the arrest of 53 active duty soldiers in 15
provinces, including in the metropolis, Anadolu reported.
the Aegean province of Izmir, the public prosecutor issued 182 arrest warrants
with police conducting raids across 42 provinces, including Izmir, DHA
capital’s public prosecutor said it issued 89 arrest warrants in two separate
probes including one looking at the gendarmerie, which is in charge of domestic
Ankara prosecutor’s office said 30 suspects had already been detained.
operations against alleged members of Gulen’s movement have increased in recent
than 760 people were detained last week in operations across 76 provinces of
Turkey’s 81 provinces, although 122 suspects were later freed under judicial
other suspects were released, according to the Ankara public prosecutor’s
2016, tens of thousands of people have been arrested over suspected links to Gulen.
more than 100,000 people have been sacked or suspended from the public sector.
criticism from Western allies and human rights defenders over the scale of the
crackdown, the police operations and probes continue with rigor.
officials insist that the raids are necessary to remove the “virus” caused by
the Gulen movement’s infiltration of Turkish state bodies.
redeployment of forces in Yemen’s Hodeidah by the warring parties could start
“possibly even today or tomorrow,” United Nations Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths
told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
Houthis and the Yemeni government agreed at talks in Sweden in December to
withdraw troops by January 7 from the Red Sea city under a truce aimed at
averting a full-scale assault on the port and paving the way for negotiations
to end the four-year war.
the pact stalled over control of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions facing
famine. After weeks of diplomacy, the United Nations said on Sunday the parties
had reached agreement on phase one of a troop redeployment.
the beginning, possibly even today or tomorrow, of the implementation of that
part of the Hodeidah agreement we now have the opportunity to move from the
promise made in Sweden to hope now for Yemen,” Griffiths told the 15-member
phase one, the Houthis would withdraw from the ports of Hodeidah, Saleef, used
for grains, and Ras Isa, used for oil.
would be met by a retreat of the coalition forces from the eastern outskirts of
Hodeidah, where battles raged before a ceasefire went into effect on December
spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said late on Monday the withdrawal of troops from
the ports could be implemented in the two days following Sunday’s agreement but
the group was waiting to hear from the United Nations.
the Yemeni government believes implementation of phase one should only start
when both sides agree on the local authority that will run the ports and the
city under the Stockholm agreement, said Sadeq Daweed, a government spokesman.
sources involved in the negotiations, who declined to be named, said on Monday
that both sides had yet to agree on a mechanism for local forces to take over
security at the ports and city.
said phase one of the redeployment of forces would “facilitate humanitarian
access to the Red Sea Mills.”
World Food Program grain stores at the Red Sea Mills are enough to feed 3.7
million people for a month and have been inaccessible for more than five
months. The United Nations has warned the food is at risk of rotting.
urged the parties to agree on the details of the second phase of troop
withdrawals, which entails full redeployment of both parties’ forces in
a dozen Palestinians have been injured after Israeli military forces attacked
worshipers entering al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem
sources, requesting not to be named, told the Arabic-language Palestine al-Aan
news agency that ten Palestinians sustained injuries on Tuesday evening after
Israeli troops assaulted them at Bab al-Rahma (Gate of Mercy) to the
third-holiest site in Islam.
sources added that 15 other Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces inside
the mosque as well. A majority of those arrested were reportedly seminary
Palestinian sources identified some of those arrested as Mohammed Abu Shousha,
Omar Zaghir, Omar Ouda, Hamza Zagir and Hisham al-Bashiti.
Ma'an News Agency reported on Monday that Israeli soldiers had sealed off Bab
al-Rahma with locks and iron chains a day earlier and prevented the Palestinian
worshipers from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
agency said the Israeli move sparked clashes between Palestinian youths and the
Tel Aviv regime forces, which resulted in the detention of five Palestinians,
including a woman.
al-Dibs, spokesperson of the Islamic Waqf (Endowment) organization, said
Israeli forces had installed the locks and chains at the gate in response to
members of the organization performing prayers at the gate last Thursday.
al-Rahma Gate is a big building that lays to the east of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
building was sealed by Israeli authorities in 2003 as it was the headquarters
of the Islamic Heritage Committee. Israel claimed at the time that the building
was being used for political activities.
2017, an Israeli court ordered that the building be closed until further
continue in the occupied territories following US President Donald Trump’s
decision last year to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and
relocate the US embassy to the occupied city.
dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis Jerusalem al-Quds on December
6, 2017 triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran,
Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim
December 21, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in
favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”
an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals
against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at
the UN Security Council.
the vote, the United States went ahead with the embassy transfer on May 14 last
year, triggering demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and
across the Muslim world.
of Palestinians have been injured as hundreds of people staged another
demonstration near the Gaza Strip’s northern maritime border with the Israeli-occupied
territories against the Tel Aviv regime’s 12-year naval blockade.
spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said in a statement
that 39 protesters were struck with live bullets on Tuesday as they
participated in the 24th weekly naval march near Zikim naval base, which lies
just north of Gaza.
of Palestinians also suffered excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli
forces sought to suppress the protest rally.
imposed a limit of three nautical miles on fishing in the waters off the Gaza
shore until August 2014, when Palestinian fishermen were allowed to go out six
miles under a ceasefire agreement reached between the Israelis and Palestinians
following a deadly 50-day Israeli war in the same month.
fishing zone is supposed to extend to 20 nautical miles under the Oslo Accords.
The Oslo Accords were signed between the Israeli regime and the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) during the early-mid 1990s to resolve the
May 2017, Israeli authorities increased the fishing area for Gaza fishermen to
nine nautical miles.
the past few years, Israeli forces have carried out more than a hundred attacks
on Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating several
have held weekly protests on the Gaza border, over the siege on the enclave and
the right for refugees to return to their homes they were forcibly expelled
from during the 1948 creation of Israel.
than 260 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over
26,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14 last year, on the eve of the 70th
anniversary of the Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year
with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem
June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution,
sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, condemning the Israeli regime for the death of
Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli police say they have arrested 19 Palestinians as clashes broke out at a
contested Jerusalem holy site.
say dozens of Palestinians participated in a prayer protest Tuesday, attempting
to breach a section of the compound that has been closed by Israeli court order
medics reported that several protesters were injured in the standoff.
incident follows a similar scuffle on Monday in which Palestinians tried to
break the gate that Israel placed on the closed area last week.
compound, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble
Sanctuary, is considered the holiest place in Judaism and the third holiest in
forces free Mali official from extremists
Mali: A senior government official and a journalist abducted by suspected
extremists in Mali have been freed, a security source told AFP on Tuesday.
Doumbia, the prefect of Tenenkou commune in central Mali, “was freed Monday
thanks to an action by state security,” the source told AFP.
the most senior government representative in the commune, was abducted in the
Mopti region on May 8 last year.
is now being treated in intensive care in the capital Bamako, said the source,
who refused to comment on claims that Doumbia was freed under a prisoner
son of the official, who declined to give his full name, also confirmed the
prefect had been released.
was able to speak to my father. He is very tired. But the most important thing
is that he is free. I am very happy,” said the son.
journalist Issiaka Tamboura, who was kidnapped in central Mali in December, was
also released and taken to hospital in Bamako, security and media sources said.
elsewhere in the Mopti region, four hostages taken by suspected extremists were
killed at Toguere-Koumbe last week, according to Kisal, a rights group for
announced on its Facebook page Monday that those killed were members of the
Bozo ethnic group.
security source confirmed that “four civilian hostages of terrorists” were
found dead at Toguere at the weekend.
militias linked to Al-Qaeda seized the north of Mali in 2012, but were pushed
back by French troops the following year.
peace agreement signed in 2015 by the Bamako government and armed groups was
aimed at restoring stability, but the accord has failed to stop violence by
extremist militants — who have also staged attacks in neighboring Burkina Faso
Mandera court has allowed police to hold a man believed to an Al-Shabaab spy
for five days so they can complete investigations.
of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) arrested Mr Abdu Hassan Yamah alias
Somo Dubat Oukor on Sunday, informed by an intelligence report.
noted that Mr Yamah is Somali but was found with a Ugandan identity card.
praying for the suspect's detention for a probe by a multi-agency security
unit, ATPU officer Newton Mbogo said he is believed to be a spy for the terror
to the ATPU, intelligence revealed that Mr Yamah acquired the Ugandan ID
fraudulently for purposes of concealing organised criminal activities.
is believed he was to be deployed to the Kenya–Somalia border.
is suspected to have been collecting information for Al-Shabaab in Mandera,” Mr
Mbogo told Mandera Resident Magistrate Dancun Mtai in a sworn affidavit.
ATPU wants to carry out investigations in Kenya, Uganda and Somalia to
exonerate or charge the respondent."
further argued that the suspect did not give a clear picture of his mission in
Kenya during preliminary interrogations.
did not tell us where he was coming from. We suspect he is a spy (Amniyaat)
who, on several occasions, conducted surveillance and gave information to
Al-Shabaab,” said Mr Mbogo.
Nigerian Army needs better funding than it presently enjoys if the fight
against insurgents and armed banditry across the country will be totally won.
is the view expressed by a Yoruba monarch, the Olowu Of Owu-Kuta, Adekunle
Makama while speaking at an interactive session with the media in Lagos on
Tuesday commended the Nigerian Army for its noble role in the fight against
insurgents and renewed drive to make the country safe for all.
however, noted that there was still the need for improved budgetary allocation
to the defence ministry which can be utilised to confront the challenges of
modern urban and conventional warfare.
monarch also expressed happiness that in all the reasons adduced for the
postponement of the 2019 elections by the Chairman of the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, the military was not accused of
bias in the discharge of its duties.
said: “I am happy that our armed forces were never accused of bias in the
discharge of their duties in the run to this election. In fact, two days before
the election was postponed, our armed forces announced to provide support for
the police and other security agencies deployed for the election if the need
arises. And despite the attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Kashim
Shettima, and the attack on Buni Yadi, our armed forces was able to dislodge
the insurgent and restore hope.
salute the courage of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai for his
professionalism despite the daunting task to contain the Boko Haram and other
banditry. I want to plead with our politicians across the board not to play
politics with our Armed Forces being the symbol of our unity.”
new dates already announced for the presidential and gubernatorial polls, Mr
Makama enjoined all candidates to be primarily concerned with peace.
want to urge all the presidential candidates to keep to the peace accord they
subscribe to recently, bearing in mind that we must have country first before
any other thing.
Nigerian Army said on Tuesday that troops have inflicted heavy casualty on
fleeing Boko Haram terrorist after an attack at Gajigana on Saturday.
Deputy Director of Public Relations, Colonel Ado Isa, said in a statement that
the troops recovered weapons from the terrorists.
Isa said :”Following the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) attack at Gajigana on
Saturday 16 February 2019 at about 1850hrs and successfully repelled and
fatally dealt with by the gallant troops deployed at Gajigana Forward Operating
Base (FOB), an early hours exploitation operation was conducted today 17
February 2019 through their withdrawal route to mob up and clear the general
area of the remnant elements of the BHTs.
the exploits, it was confirmed that members of the BHTs suffered heavy casualty
based on the splits and flow of bloods around the parapets and the tracks where
their deads were dragged away through the escape route.
recovered along the route includes: One 36 hand grenade, Five 60 Millimetre
(mm) Mortar rounds, 13 X 12.7mm rounds, 142 X 7.62mm rounds, one AK 47 magazine
and a Night Vision Goggle.
on the occurrence, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division
Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, Brigadier General
Abdulmalik Bulama Biu and his team visited the location on Sunday 17 February
2019 to assess the situation and the success of the operation.
Bulama addressed the troops and salute their fighting spirit and urge them to
maintain the momentum with assurance that the Division will promptly support
them at all times.
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