intellectual Kassim Ahmad who will be turning 84 early next month, said he is
grateful now he is a “free man” following his discharge and acquittal at the
Putrajaya Syariah High Court yesterday. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Suicide, Murder and War Created a ‘Lost Generation’ Of Middle East Men
Probes Atheist Group after Uproar over Muslim Apostates
ISIS Jointly Massacred 50 Civilians: Afghan Officials
Of 9/11 Victim Identified 16 Years after Terror Attack
Suicide, Murder and War Created A ‘Lost Generation’ Of Middle East Men
Yemeni and UAE Forces Target Al Qaeda Stronghold
officials urge US to clarify stance on future state
to tackle Kurds in Syria: Erdogan
ousted from oil-rich Yemen province
Erdogan says Germany abetting terrorists
to strip Arab attacker of citizenship for first time
allows no West’s inspection of military sites: IRGC commander
regards Pakistan security as extension of its own: Rouhani
Ahmad Thankful, Now a ‘Free Man’, Says Has Always Defended Islam
mufti: Quarrelling Muslim preachers pushed youths away to atheism
calls Ridhuan Tee a bigot for his DAP anti-Islam list
removes unilateral conversion clause from new bill
Toxic Impact of Indonesia’s Abusive Blasphemy Law
Your Humble Friend,' Philippines' Anti-US Leader Tells Tillerson
Deny Cooperating With Daesh in Afghan Attack
Police Hunt Suspected Bangladeshi Terror Group Leader
rejects allegations of human rights abuses against Rohingya
Taliban leader ‘Zarqawi’ killed during clashes in Nangarhar province
'Mulling Airstrikes against Islamic State in Philippines'
asks 'tough questions' on Afghan mission: Tillerson
ambassador to Washington: US, allies realize magnitude of Iranian threat
sees rising tide of migrants from the US
Your Kids Aren’t Vulnerable to ISIS Recruitment? Think Again
Road Party' Will Be Buried On GT Road'-Qadri Hits PML-N
Sindhi Cleric Accuses Minority-Friendly Hindu Lawmaker Of Being A RAW Agent
on Lahore's Outfall Road leaves 46 injured
Abbasi vow to fight terrorism
regards Pakistan’s security as its own: Rouhani
against Nawaz family: Monitoring judge’s appointment challenged
militant outfits behind law enforcers’ killings in Karachi
terrorists killed, 4 arrested in Karachi raids: CTD
Bandhan celebrated at Gurdwara Punja Sahib
must continue to uphold supremacy of constitution: COAS
Forces Attack Popular Mobilization Units Base, Kill 30: Report
Tens of Gunmen Receive Gov't Amnesty in Northeastern Aleppo
coalition agrees to allow fuel for UN aid planes
army increases strikes on capital's last rebel enclave
Army Scores More Victories in War on Terrorism in Eastern Homs
Fails Again to Prevail over Syrian Army Positions in Deir Ezzur
may have fired rockets into Lebanon, security source says
powers targeting Arab identity, unity, says Syrian president
fires several rockets into Lebanon, army shells terrorists' positions
groups urge UK to break silence on top Bahraini activist
army forces strike last militant stronghold near Damascus
wanted terrorists surrender in Qatif: Saudi interior ministry
Basirhat Communal Violence: In Show of Unity, Hindus, Muslims Tie Rakhis
Not Responding Positively To Peace Efforts: Pakistan’s New Foreign Minister
requests India to launch exclusive satellite for Afghanistan
terrorists killed in Kashmir's Machil sector after infiltration bid
on Jammu & Kashmir’s Muslim minority status in Supreme Court today
militant of Abu Ismail group killed in encounter
of Migrants Storm Morocco-Spain Border Post
sailor’s family calls for intervention over kidnap by Nigerian pirates
vote to abolish Senate, boost president powers
councillor defiant on rally’s controversial Islam speeches
Derna Suffers As Haftar’s LNA Tightens Siege on City
Building Local Capacity to Explore Heritages
by New Age Islam News Bureau
and murder take 10 times as many lives as war does in the Middle East and
nearby regions, creating a “lost generation,” particularly among men,
researchers said Monday.
violent acts accounted for 1.4 million deaths in 2015 in the Eastern
Mediterranean region, which includes 22 nations such as Afghanistan, Iran,
Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and the United Arab Emirates,
said the report in the International Journal of Public Health.
in the Eastern Mediterranean region — home to 600 million people — took an
additional 144,000 lives.
and endemic violence is creating a lost generation of children and young
adults,” said lead author Ali Mokdad, director for Middle Eastern Initiatives
at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of
future of the Middle East is grim unless we can find a way to bring stability
to the region.”
also found a “sharp increase” in mental health conditions such as depression,
anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia in the Eastern Mediterranean.
2015, nearly 30,000 people in the region committed suicide and another 35,000
died from interpersonal violence, representing increases of 100 percent and 152
percent, respectively, over the past 25 years,” said the report.
other parts of the world during the same period, the number of deaths from
suicide increased 19 percent and interpersonal violence by 12 percent.”
experts such as counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists are in severe
such as Libya, Sudan and Yemen have just 0.5 psychiatrists per 100,000 people,
said the report. In comparison, among European nations the ratio ranges from
nine per 100,000 to more than 40.
also found a 10-fold increase in deaths related to HIV/AIDS between 1990 and
of the cases of death from HIV/AIDS occurred in Djibouti, Somalia, and Sudan.
this region, individuals infected with HIV are dying faster than the rest of
the world,” said assistant professor at IHME, Charbel El Bcheraoui.
is a sign that HIV patients are not receiving proper treatment in an era where
HIV can be well controlled with the appropriate treatment regimens.”
entire report includes 15 papers and three editorials.
data comes from the most recent estimates from the annual Global Burden of
Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors study (GBD).
GBD is put together by more than 2,300 collaborators in 132 countries, and
looks at health loss from all major diseases, injuries, and risk factors by
age, sex, and population.
Probes Atheist Group after Uproar Over Muslim Apostates
LUMPUR: Malaysia is investigating an international atheist organisation, a
minister said on Monday, after a picture of the group’s local chapter went
viral, sparking claims that Muslim apostates were involved.
is not a federal crime in Malaysia, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country.
However, critics say deepening fundamentalism within the Muslim majority is
threatening religious freedoms.
states, which have their own laws governing Islamic affairs, do not allow
Muslims to formally renounce Islam, preferring instead to send them for
counselling, or fining or jailing them.
Kuala Lumpur chapter of Atheist Republic, a Canada-based organisation, posted a
picture of the group’s members attending a gathering last week, sparking uproar
among some Muslims and leading to threats of death and violence against the
group on social media.
deputy minister in charge of religious affairs, Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, said on
Monday he had instructed the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department
to investigate the Atheist Republic chapter to see if any Muslims were
need to determine whether any Muslims attended the gathering, and whether they
are involved in spreading such views, which can jeopardise the aqidah (faith)
of Muslims,” he told Reuters when contacted.
Muslims found to be in the group would be sent for counselling, while attempts
to spread atheist ideas could be prosecuted under existing laws, Asyraf said.
need to use the soft approach with (apostates). Perhaps they are ignorant of
the true Islam, so we need to engage them and educate them on the right
teachings,” he said.
Republic’s founder, Armin Navabi, said the group’s gatherings caused no harm to
the public and were not considered a threat in other countries.
(Atheists) are treated like criminals. They are just hanging out and meeting
other atheists. Who are they harming?!” he said in a post on his Facebook
apostasy laws have left many former Muslims in legal limbo, as they are not
allowed to register their new religious affiliations or legally marry
2007, Lina Joy, a Malaysian convert to Christianity, lost a high-profile legal
battle to have the word “Islam” removed from her national identity card. In
delivering judgment in that case, the Federal Court’s chief justice said the
issue was related to Islamic law, hence civil courts could not intervene.
ISIS jointly massacred 50 civilians: Afghan officials
Taliban and Islamic State group jointly massacred dozens of civilians in an
Afghan village, officials said Monday, highlighting rare co-operation between
the insurgents that could increase the strain on Afghanistan's beleaguered
fighters killed more than 50 men, women and children in the remote Sayad
district of northern Sar-e Pul province on Saturday after overrunning the
Afghan Local Police (ALP) -- a government-backed militia -- in a 48-hour
battle, according to local officials.
was a joint operation by Daesh (IS) and Taliban fighters. They had recruited
forces from other provinces of the country and attacked Mirzawalang
village," Zabihullah Amani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, told
spokesman alleged that dozens of Taliban and IS group fighters under the
command of Sher Mohammad Ghazanfar, a local Taliban commander who Amani claims
pledged allegiance to IS, launched a co-ordinated attack on the area on
fighters overran the area and it led to the massacre of innocent and
defenceless civilians," he said.
majority of those killed were Shiites. Most were shot but some were beheaded,
information from poor, mountainous areas of Afghanistan made inaccessible by
fighting and with patchy communications is difficult, and AFP was not able to
access the village.
Noor Rahmani, head of Sar-e Pul's provincial council, said 44 of the 50 victims
were believed to be civilians, with the ALP militia also suffering casualties.
is not the final toll. It might change because the area is inaccessible and no
telephone networks are working to get an update," he told AFP.
Taliban and IS fighters have regularly clashed since the latter gained a
foothold in eastern Afghanistan in 2015, as the two vie for supremacy in the
Afghan security source told AFP there had been around three incidents in the
past where fighters from both groups had teamed up to strike Afghan forces in
is not the first time that they have co-operated. There are no strict
ideological distinctions between them so they build bridges when it helps them
both. It's very opportunistic," the source said.
has been adding a sectarian twist to the Afghan conflict, with a number of
deadly attacks on Shiites in the past year.
week two suicide bombers throwing grenades killed more than 33 worshippers at a
mosque in Afghanistan's western city of Herat, in an attack claimed by IS.
resurgent Taliban, whose ranks are mostly made up of Sunni Muslim ethnic
Pashtuns, is at the peak of its summer fighting season.
Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, confirmed to AFP that it had captured
Mirzawalang village but said it had done so alone. It also denied allegations
it had killed civilians.
was an independent operation by our mujahideen forces. There is no cooperation
with the Islamic State on the operation," said the spokesman.
of 9/11 victim identified 16 years after terror attack
remains of a man killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11 have been identified
nearly 16 years after the terror attacks.
name was withheld at his family’s request, the New York City medical examiner’s
announcement marked the first new identification made since March 2015 in the
painstaking, ongoing effort. The office uses DNA testing and other means to
match bone fragments to the 2,753 people killed by the hijackers who crashed
airplanes into the twin towers on 11 September, 2001.
of 1,641 victims have been identified so far, leaving 40% of those who died
more sensitive DNA technology was deployed earlier this year and helped make
the latest identification after earlier testing produced no results, the medical
examiner’s office said on Monday.
DNA testing advanced, so has the multimillion-dollar effort to connect more
than 21,900 pieces of remains to individual victims. Few full bodies were
recovered after the giant towers burned and collapsed, and the effects of heat,
bacteria and chemicals such as jet fuel made it all the more difficult to
analyse the remains.
time, the medical examiner’s office came to use a process that involves
pulverizing the fragments to extract DNA, then comparing it to the office’s
collection of genetic material from victims or their relatives. Most of the DNA
profiles generated belong to previously identified victims.
some cases, scientists have gone back to the same bone fragment 10 or more
times, hoping new technology will provide answers.
9/11 airliner attacks killed a total of nearly 3,000 people in New York, at the
Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Yemeni and UAE forces target Al Qaeda stronghold
Emirati and American troops are conducting a “clearing operation” aimed at
driving Qaeda militants from one of their major strongholds in southern Yemen, American
offensive in Shabwa Province started last week and includes about 2,000 Yemeni
forces backed by dozens of advisers from the United Arab Emirates, and a
“handful of United States Special Operations commandos providing intelligence
and planning assistance”, the New York Times reported.
numbers of US troops and UAE soldiers have overrun wide swaths of the province
of Shabwa, a Houthi militia appointed deputy governor, Mohammad Abu Harbah told
Houthi controlled media outlets.
addition to the ground troops, who the Pentagon says are providing intelligence
support, the US is also refueling aircraft involved in the operation Foreign
policy reported. It’s the largest ground offensive in the country since 2016.
local army commander told the New York Times that the Balhaf liquefied natural
gas plant in Shabwa is being protected by Sudanese, Emirati and Yemeni
soldiers. “The plant is secured from Al Qaeda attacks,” said Khalid Al Adhami.
officials have called on the administration of US President Donald Trump to
take a clear position regarding the establishment of an independent Palestinian
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Secretary General, Saeb Erekat, made
the call in a statement issued on Monday following a visit by Jordan’s King
Abdullah II to the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Ramallah, the Jordanian king sat down with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The meeting came days after tensions at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East
visit carried “a message of support and succor for President Abbas and the
Palestinian people,” Erekat’s statement read.
is one of only two Arab countries that have open diplomatic relations with
Israel, the other one being Egypt.
and Abbas agreed that Washington must clearly admit that the diplomatic process
between Israelis and Palestinians was meant to create a Palestinian state on
the basis of a two-state solution, the statement added.
statement by Erekat also urged the US to agree that the negotiations aimed at
resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict require a complete freeze in Tel
Aviv’s settlement construction in the occupied territories.
Trump administration has been by and large vague about the potential
establishment of a Palestinian state. Earlier this year, Washington suggested
that it would no longer insist on the so-called two-state solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which envisages the establishment of an
independent Palestinian state.
occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, during the Six-Day
War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized
by the international community.
officials say they want the resolution of the conflict with Tel Aviv based on
the two-state solution along the pre-1967 boundaries. However, Israel has been
building settlements deep within territory that the Palestinians want for their
future state. Israeli regime officials also say they consider Jerusalem as the
“capital” of their own “state.”
his visit to Ramallah, the Jordanian king stressed his country’s support for
the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its
capital and the importance of cooperation with the Trump administration to
restart the so-called Middle East peace process, the official Petra news agency
and Abbas further underlined the need for maintaining the status quo at the
Aqsa Mosque compound, according to the report.
spokesman for Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the Palestinian president had
praised Abdullah’s efforts to defend the Palestinian cause, adding that the
Jordanian king’s “important visit… constitutes a continuation of close
coordination between the two sides on all levels.”
Sunday, during a meeting with Jordanian parliamentarians, Abdullah raised the
importance of the US contributing to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian
Days after a reshuffle of Turkey's top military commanders, President Tayyip
Erdogan has revived warnings of military action against Kurdish fighters in
Syria that could set back the U.S.-led battle against Islamic State.
militia are spearheading an assault against the hardline militants in their
Syrian stronghold Raqqa, from where Islamic State has planned attacks around
the world for the past three years.
U.S. backing for the Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria has infuriated Turkey, which
views their growing battlefield strength as a security threat due to a
decades-old insurgency by the Kurdish PKK within in its borders.
have been regular exchanges of rocket and artillery fire in recent weeks
between Turkish forces and YPG fighters who control part of Syria's
which has the second largest army in NATO after the United States, reinforced
that section of the border at the weekend with artillery and tanks and Erdogan
said Turkey was ready to take action.
will not leave the separatist organization in peace in both Iraq and
Syria," Erdogan said in a speech on Saturday in the eastern town of
Malatya, referring to the YPG in Syria and PKK bases in Iraq. "We know
that if we do not drain the swamp, we cannot get rid of flies."
YPG denies Turkish allegations of links with Kurdish militants inside Turkey,
saying it is only interested in self-rule in Syria and warning that any Turkish
assault will draw its fighters away from the battle against Islamic State which
they are waging in an alliance with local Arab forces.
comments follow the appointment of three new leaders of Turkey's army, air
force and navy last week - moves which analysts and officials said were at
least partly aimed at preparing for any campaign against the YPG militia.
forces swept into north Syria last year to seize territory from Islamic State,
while also cutting off Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria from the Kurdish
pocket of Afrin further west. They thereby prevented Kurdish control over
almost the whole sweep of the border - Ankara's worst-case scenario.
clashes have centered around the Arab towns of Tal Rifaat and Minnigh, near
Afrin, which are held by the Kurdish YPG and allied fighters.
said Turkey's military incursion last year dealt a blow to "terrorist
projects" in the region and promised further action. "We will make
new and important moves soon," he said.
comments follow weeks of warnings from Turkey of possible military action
against the YPG.
concern to prevent any confrontation which deflects the Kurdish forces
attacking Raqqa may help stay Ankara's hand, but a Turkish government source
said last week's changes in military leadership have prepared the ground.
this new structure, some steps will be taken to be more active in the struggle
against terror," the source said. "A structure that acts according to
the realities of the region will be formed".
battle for Raqqa has been underway since June, and a senior U.S. official said
on Friday that 2,000 Islamic State fighters are believed to be still defending
positions and "fighting for every last block" in the city.
after the recapture of Raqqa, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has left open
the possibility of longer-term American assistance to the YPG.
influence of Turkey's once-dominant military has decreased dramatically since
Erdogan came to power nearly 15 years ago. A purge in senior ranks since last
year's failed military coup has stripped it of 40 percent of top officers.
Wednesday's appointments were issued by the Supreme Military Council, a body
which despite its name is now dominated by politicians loyal to Erdogan.
course the political will is behind these decisions, Erdogan's preferences are
behind them," the source said. "But the restructuring of the Turkish
Armed Forces and the demand for a more active fight against the PKK and Islamic
State also has a role". Vacancies in senior military ranks resulting from
the year-long purge would not be filled immediately, he said, but would be
addressed over time.
all three forces - air, land and sea - are under new command, focus has
centered on the new army chief Yasar Guler. As head of Turkey's gendarmerie, he
was seen to take a tough line against the PKK and the movement of U.S.-based
cleric Fethullah Gulen blamed by the government for the July 2016 coup attempt.
considers the YPG an extension of the PKK, which is designated a terrorist
organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union.
Kasapoglu, a defense analyst at the Istanbul-based Center for Economics and
Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM), said the YPG "remains at the epicenter of
Turkey's threat perception".
was well-placed to address Turkey's "transnational counter-terrorism
priorities" and lead the campaign against Kurdish forces because of his
past roles as chief of military intelligence, head of gendarmerie and postings
is an undeniable likelihood that Turkey's new top military chain of command
might have to lead a major campaign against the YPG," Kasapoglu said.
is now favorite to take over from the overall head of the Turkish armed forces,
General Hulusi Akar, who is due to step down in two years.
gets on well with members of Erdogan's AK Party and is known for his hardline
performance against the PKK...and the Gulen movement," said Metin Gurcan
an independent security analyst and retired Turkish military officer who now
writes a column for Al-Monitor news website.
- Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch has retreated from an oil-rich southern province in
the face of an assault by a US-backed elite government force, a senior military
official said Monday.
in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), seen by the United States as the global
network's most dangerous franchise, has exploited Yemen's war to expand its
presence in the country's south.
the elite force, trained by the United Arab Emirates, on Thursday launched a
"major operation" against the jihadists in Shabwa province.
group staged a "tactical retreat" from the province with no major
clashes, the military official said, requesting anonymity as he was not
authorised to talk to the press.
jihadists appear to have moved even further south into neighbouring Abyan
of an Abyan town near the Shabwa border said they counted at least 45 cars
carrying armed AQAP militants through their district.
Shabwa stronghold has been a focal point in a long-running American-led drone
war which has intensified since President Donald Trump took office in January.
US air raid on the province in June killed AQAP emir Abu Khattab al-Awlaqi,
according to the Pentagon.
has also been the site of AQAP attacks in recent months, with the Yemen
government reporting seven soldiers killed there in a suicide attack last week.
Pentagon on Thursday confirmed that the United States was helping Emirati and
government forces battle AQAP in Shabwa.
UAE, part of a Saudi-led military alliance battling Iran-backed Huthi rebels in
Yemen, said the operation was being "closely supported by a combined UAE
and US enabling force".
spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said Friday that the operation involved
"a very small number" of US forces on the ground whose main task was
to help the flow of information.
assault aimed to "degrade" AQAP's ability to coordinate terror
attacks abroad, he said, adding that the US had conducted more than 80 strikes
in Yemen since February 28.
President Donald Trump ordered a special forces raid on Yemen in his first
month in office which ended in the deaths of a US Navy SEAL and several Yemeni
civilians in Baida province, bordering Shabwa and Abyan.
President Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany on Monday of assisting terrorists by
not responding to thousands of files sent to Berlin or handing over suspects
wanted by Turkish authorities.
is abetting terrorists,” Erdogan told a conference in the Black Sea province of
Rize, in comments likely to further escalate tensions between the two
gave (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel 4,500 dossiers, but have not received an
answer on a single one of them,” he told members of his ruling AK Party.
there is a terrorist, they can tell us to give that person back. You won’t send
the ones you have to us, but can ask us for yours. So you have a judiciary, but
we don’t in Turkey?” he said.
Israeli court has decided to strip an Arab Israeli attacker of his citizenship,
legal sources said Monday, in what a rights group said was the first ruling of
Haifa district court decided to strip Alla Zayud of his citizenship Sunday by
applying a 2008 law that allows the interior ministry to deprive of their
nationality those involved in “terrorist activities”, sources said. Adalah, an
Arab Israeli rights group, said it was the first court decision of its kind.
22-year-old, from Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, was convicted on four counts
of attempted murder after driving a car into Israeli soldiers and stabbing
civilians in October 2015 and he was sentenced to 25 years in jail in June
2016. His mother is an Israeli citizen while his father is a Palestinian with
permanent residence in Israel.
and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel in a joint statement said they
would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. They said the court decision
deviated “from the principles of international law, and from the general rule
according to which an individual cannot be stripped of (their) citizenship and
Israelis are the descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land when
the Jewish state was established in 1948. They number around 1.4 million, some
18 percent of Israel's population.
senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace
Division says Iran will never allow any Western country to inspect the Islamic
Republic’s military sites.
by reporters on Monday about the recent media reports that the US
administration is pushing for inspection of Iranian military sites, Brigadier
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said, “The answer is clear. We will not give them
such a permission.”
comments came after US officials said late in July that the administration of
President Donald Trump was pushing for inspections of the Iranian military
sites in a bid to test the strength of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group
of countries in 2015.
and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States,
Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14,
2015 and began implementing it in January 2016.
further said the IRGC, as the top military power in the region, supported the
Iranian government in standing up against the excessive demands of the enemies,
particularly the US.
would suffer a defeat against the Iranian nation and all those nations standing
up to them, he added.
top IRGC commander emphasized that the enemies sought to disarm Iran by
imposing sanctions, exerting pressure and waging a psychological warfare, just
as they did in Libya, adding, “We will not give them such a permission.”
President Hassan Rouhani says security is currently the most important issue in
the region, stressing that the Islamic Republic regards Pakistan’s security as
extension of its own.
a meeting with Pakistan’s Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani in Tehran on
Monday, the Iranian president added that terrorism poses the main threat to the
countries in the region.
regional countries must cooperate with each other to fight and eliminate
terrorism,” he said.
added that Tehran and Islamabad had the potential to cooperate and hold
consultation on the fight against terrorism and the development of regional
emphasized that Iran and Pakistan were strategically important to one another
and expressed the Islamic Republic’s determination to expand relations with
Islamabad in various sectors such as science and technology, culture and
Pakistan share close stance on regional, global issues: Rabbani
Pakistani Senate chairman, for his part, said relations between the two
countries were based on religious, historical and cultural commonalities.
who had traveled to Iran to attend Rouhani’s inauguration for a second term,
added that Tehran and Islamabad enjoyed a common stance on regional and
stressed the importance of bolstering cooperation in economic, security,
parliamentary and energy fields as well as in the campaign against terrorism
based on common interests.
would spare no effort to promote relations with Tehran, the top senator pointed
Zimbabwe must use potentialities to serve nations: Rouhani
in a meeting with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Robert Mugabe, the Iranian
president said Tehran and Harare must use their extensive potentialities to
serve the interests of their respective nations.
the Iranian people, the Zimbabwean people have fought and are fighting for
their dependence,” Rouhani said.
LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad thanked God for his release
from Shariah charges that have been hanging over his head since 2014, also
asserting that he has been defending Islam instead of insulting the religion as
who will be turning 84 early next month, said he is grateful now he is a “free
man” following his discharge and acquittal at the Putrajaya Syariah High Court
greatly relieved, thank God. I’m of course happy,” he told Malay Mail Online
said he has been “fully vindicated” of the “ridiculous” accusation that he had
dishonoured Islam, pointing out that he has been defending Islam for many
an example, he cited his lengthy criticism against atheist academic Richard
Dawkins’ controversial book The God Delusion, comparing it to the local Islamic
authorities’ response when it was published.
see they accuse me of dishonouring Islam. In the first place, I think I’m one
of those who defend Islam. How can you judge me for dishonouring Islam?” he
who know me, know I defend Islam, but Islam which is the religion that I know,
I defend it. I have been defending it for as long as I know what Islam is… And
so I have been defending that all these while.
God be praised, today I’m free of those charges,” he said.
the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department’s (Jawi) Shariah
prosecutors finally withdrew all three Shariah charges against Kassim upon the
direction of the Shariah court and in recognition of the Federal Court’s ruling
in his favour.
was facing three separate charges — two of insulting Islam and one of defying
religious authorities under Section 7(b) and Section 9 of the Syariah Criminal
Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 respectively. Each charge is punishable
with a maximum RM3,000 fine or maximum two-year jail, or both
more worries for the family
Penang-based son Ahmad Shauqi Kassim, 50, similarly expressed gratitude and
relief over the removal of the heavy mental and physical burden.
thank God Almighty that everything is finally over,” he told Malay Mail Online
have been travelling up and down from Kulim, it’s not easy,” he said, noting
that he needed to drive down from Penang to his father’s house in Kedah’s
Kulim, before making a four or five-hour trip to Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya
respectively for court cases.
Shauqi himself is handicapped with his right-hand paralysed owing to an
accident 11 years ago, but has been driving his father on the frequent trips to
court. Even yesterday, they had left home at around 5am.
is going to be 84 very soon, so we thank God. After all what he said doesn’t
contradict the teachings of Islam and the Quran,” his son said, noting that his
father who has weak lungs and is wheelchair-bound because of gout, has to just
“endure” the long commutes.
February, Kassim had spoken of the difficulties he faced as an 82-year-old then
in making the regular trips from Kedah to the courts here, while his lawyer
Rosli Dahlan had also then said the bail imposed meant that both Kassim and his
three bailors have had to come for every single Shariah court proceeding.
for Kassim’s wife who will be turning 79 this year, she would usually follow
him to care for him but was unable to come yesterday due to medical check-ups,
Ahmad Shauqi said.
sure she will be very happy, relieved, no more worry. My mum worries a lot, she
doesn’t show her worry, she ‘makan hati ulam jantung’ — suffer from the inside.
She worried a lot for my dad for the past so many years
will be very happy, I’m sure, thank God,” Ahmad Shauqi said, noting that she
only has vision and hearing remaining in only one eye and one ear.
Shauqi said his two elder sisters based abroad were similarly concerned for his
father and son credited their lawyer Rosli with doing his work well in helping
secure the acquittal, with Ahmad Shauqi also saying that the judge ruled justly
and wisely after taking into account all the legal arguments.
acquittal marks the end of Kassim’s court struggles of over three years. He had
previously already won in the Court of Appeal in December 2015 and yet again in
the Federal Court this March.
Court of Appeal had unanimously found that Jawi had acted illegally in various
actions against Kassim — including using a defective warrant to cross the
borders to arrest him; denying him access to lawyers in a detention exceeding
24 hours and in its prosecution against him.
Court of Appeal’s 2015 order had quashed the Federal Territories chief Syarie
prosecutor’s decision to charge Kassim in 2014 with three Shariah offences and
to continue prosecuting him; with the same court order also directing Jawi to
cancel the arrest and bail on him.
Kuala Lumpur High Court will have to hear and decide on the compensation that
must be paid to Kassim by those he had successfully sued over the arrest and
Shariah prosecution — minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Jamil
Khir Baharom, Jawi’s then Chief Shariah Prosecutor Ibrahim Deris, Jawi and the
government of Malaysia.
LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria has blamed Muslim preachers who
disagreed in public today for confusing Muslim youths, claiming they
subsequently lead them towards atheism.
Perak mufti also put the blame on several others, including parents and
schools, for the alleged lack of religious knowledge among youths which he said
was a cause behind atheism.
preachers are in a disarray, so many teachings and opinions, until there is
confusion among Muslims themselves,” he reportedly said in Malay paper Sinar
said there were arguments among the Muslim community that Islam in its original
form no longer fits with the current times.
this resulted in those who say previous preachers were wrong. This caused the
youths to become confused,” he claimed.
explained that some Muslims turn to atheism since they believe that religions
are no longer relevant in this day and age.
yesterday, the minister in charge of Islamic affairs said the occasional
conflicting interpretations of Islam between mufti from different states should
be viewed positively.
in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said during
Question Time that the dialectics between some of the Muslim clerics proved
that the country’s Shariah system allowed for diversity.
photo of the gathering by the Kuala Lumpur chapter, or “consulate”, of Atheist
Republic has caused uproar from some in the Muslim community recently after it
was highlighted by pro-Islamist blogs, leading to violent and death threats on
TOWN: A DAP leader has branded controversial preacher Ridhuan Tee Abdullah as a
bigot for coming out with a list of “10 reasons and proof why DAP was
anti-Islam” in Utusan Malaysia yesterday.
deputy secretary-general P Ramasamy said it was unbecoming for a person who
“claimed to be a professor” to come out with such a “hateful list”.
said it was clear that Tee was trying to work up Malay sentiments to spark
racial tensions among peace-loving Malaysians.
said extremists in Umno, PAS and Perkasa had before this hurt the feelings and
sentiments of non-Muslims and non-Malays in the country.
at the comments and statements of Tee himself, a Chinese convert who is trying
to over-please Muslims just to ingratiate himself into their ranks.
is increasing racial pressure in the country to create more disunity in the
country,” Ramasamy told FMT.
is a professor at Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin’s General Studies and
Advanced Education faculty.
list of why DAP was anti-Islam, as reported in Utusan Malaysia yesterday, is as
Perak DAP leader Nga Kor Ming had insulted Muslims by equating the giveaway of
duit raya as akin to graft or “dedak”;
Penang DAP leader Jeff Ooi had insulted the late PAS leader Harun Din by saying
“Adios Harun Din”;
Nga made fun of the “purdah” which is won by Muslim women. When Kepala Batas
Umno secretary Ahmad Darus suggested flight attendants wear outfits covering
the aurat, DAP leaders said Malay leaders were suffering from “otak cacat”;
Ramasamy had called preacher Dr Zakir Naik a satan;
had questioned the contents of Friday prayers and meddled with fatwa matters in
DAP was rude to question the Muslim call for prayer or azan and recital of
Quranic verses through the mosque speakers;
DAP questioned apostasy and also the existence of the Islamic Affairs
Department or Jakim;
DAP dared to insult and make fun of hudud laws;
DAP fought the shariah law amendment in Parliament, saying it was not
DAP was against ustaz and ustazah from Peninsular Malaysia being sent to
also said before DAP could even take over the reins of government in Putrajaya,
it had already “memandulkan” (spayed) Islam.
DAP’s politics will ‘spay’ Islam. Muslims who support PH means they are helping
to ‘spay’ Islam — their own religion. Ask yourself if what you are doing is
right,” Tee was reported in the daily as saying.
said the list concocted by Tee was “false and nonsensical” and condemned the
attack on DAP’s good name.
these 10 ‘commandments’ reflections of his learning or his own dogmatism and
religious person who claims to be a professor should think carefully before
coming out with 10 statements condemning the DAP as anti-Islam.
comes from his mouth is nothing but hatred and venom towards non-Muslims.
this what he has learned all this while?”
has had a fair share of controversial outbursts through his commentaries
published in mainstream Malay dailies.
had called the Chinese community “ultra kiasu” for putting monetary goals above
everything else and attacked the “weak patriotism” said to have been displayed
by Chinese Malaysians at the last Olympics.
being slammed by others, Tee had declared two years ago that he would continue
to “express the truth” in his writings, even if it leads to his imprisonment.
LUMPUR: The government will table a new bill today to amend the Law Reform
(Marriage and Divorce) Act but it will no longer include a clause to disallow
unilateral conversion of children in a marriage where one spouse later converts
the bill to be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat for first reading only seeks to
address issues faced by the spouse who converts to Islam in a marriage
previously registered under civil law.
new Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) bill states it seeks to give
the right to the converting spouse to file a petition for divorce to dissolve
the civil marriage.
the law does not give the spouse who has converted to Islam the right to file a
petition for divorce in civil court under Act 164 as the right to dissolve the
marriage in a civil court is only given to the spouse who has not converted to
Islam. The bill further states since the spouse who has converted to Islam does
not have the right to file a petition for divorce under Act 164, he/she does
not have the right to make an application in a civil court for other relief
such as maintenance, custody of children and division of matrimonial assets,
situation causes hardship to the converting spouse since Act 164 does not
provide for them to seek other remedies (in civil court), hence they seek to
find other remedies by filing an application for a divorce and other relief in
Shariah Courts,” the bill reads.
bill also states conflicts will arise when both spouses make respective
applications in two different courts, for instance, the civil courts and the
the bill states the Shariah Courts can grant an order for a divorce and
ancillary relief, it does not dissolve the civil marriage under Act 164 because
the power to dissolve a marriage is only given to the civil courts.
the Shariah Courts do not have jurisdiction to dissolve the marriage and make
order for ancillary relief and such order for divorce.
bill also states so long as the spouse who has not converted to Islam does not
file a petition for divorce in the civil court, the civil marriage of the
spouses is deemed to be valid and continues under Act 164.
clauses included in the new bill seek to allow a party to a marriage who has
converted to Islam or both parties to present a petition for a divorce before a
civil court under Act 164.
present, the right to present a petition for divorce is only given to the party
who has not converted to Islam. Those who have converted to Islam cannot apply
for divorce under the Islamic Family Law Act as the Shariah Courts does not
have jurisdiction to hear any case where a non-Muslim is involved.
to matrimonial assets
changes are to ensure the next-of-kin of the person converting to Islam who
subsequently dies before the non-Muslim marriage is dissolved, shall be
entitled to the matrimonial assets.
making the distribution, the civil court shall have regard to the extent of the
contributions made towards the acquisition of the assets, debts owing, the
duration of the marriage and the needs of the children.
a separate issue, under clause 3, the bill seeks to confer equal rights in
giving consent for marriage to the mother or adopted mother of a person below
21 years of age, similar to that given to the father.
said the bill will be debated at this sitting, with the MPs then voting for or
against the bill.
for the second time, the government withdrew the controversial bill which would
have barred the unilateral conversion of children by any one parent.
bill was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat last November and was to
have been debated at this sitting.
government’s move to amend the legislation comes following the controversy
arising from two cases where the Muslim convert ex-husbands had unilaterally
converted their children to Islam.
Ignatius Suyanto, a chef living on the Hindu-majority island of Bali, on March
21, 2016 uploaded a video to YouTube in which he questioned the integrity of
the Islamic shahada, or statement of faith. That prompted complaints from some
Muslim bloggers and on July 27, 2017, police arrested Suyanto for blasphemy. He
is currently behind bars awaiting trial.
May 2017, Aking Saputra, a real estate executive in Karawang, West Java posted
on Facebook his opinion that the majority of cadres of the Indonesian Communist
Party, banned since 1966, had been Muslim clerics. A local Islamist group
protested that those comments were blasphemous. Police arrested Saputra for
blasphemy on June 9 and he is currently facing trial.
are just two of the two dozen or so blasphemy prosecutions filed since
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office in October 2014, according to
databases of the Setara Institute and the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression
Network, two Jakarta-based nongovernmental organizations. At least 10 of those
prosecutions have produced convictions that have resulted in the imprisonment
of 15 people. There have been zero acquittals. That compares to a total of 89
blasphemy prosecutions during the 2004-2014 administration of former President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and suggests that despite Jokowi’s rhetorical support for
respecting human rights, he is content to allow abusive blasphemy prosecutions
to continue unchecked.
threat of Indonesia’s blasphemy law is nothing new. The law, article 156a of
the Indonesian criminal code, was passed in 1965 and punishes deviations from
the central tenets of Indonesia’s six officially recognized religions with up
to five years in prison. The blasphemy law has been used to prosecute and
imprison members of religious minorities and traditional religions. Recent
targets of the blasphemy law include three former leaders of the Gafatar
religious community following the violent forced eviction of more than 7,000
members of the group from their farms on Kalimantan island last year, as well
as former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama, who a court sentenced to a
two-year prison term for blasphemy in May 2017 due to a reference he made to a
Quranic verse in September 2016.
even the 22-year-old son of Jokowi, Kaesang Pangarep, has been immune to
blasphemy accusations. On July 6, 2017, a resident of Bekasi, outside of
Jakarta, filed a complaint of “blasphemous” content in a video that Kaesang
posted on YouTube. Police declined to pursue charges because of “lack of
evidence.” Despite the law’s abusive nature, Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious
Affairs is seeking to reinforce and expand its scope through the so-called
Religious Rights Protection bill, which parliament is likely to debate by the
end of 2017. The government’s refusal to abolish the law, despite pressure from
both the United Nations as well as the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation raises
troubling questions about the government’s willingness to respect its
international human rights obligations.
there is a new and equally sinister form of abuse of the right of freedom of
expression linked to the same strain of intolerance fueling the recent spate of
blasphemy prosecutions: vigilante-style persecution by militant Islamists of
individuals who publicly express support for Ahok or concern about the
blasphemy law. Statistics compiled by the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression
Network indicate that militant Islamists have targeted at least 55 people since
September 2016 with abuse including online threats, verbal harassment and
victims include Dr. Otto Rajasa In Balikpapan, East Kalimantan province. On
November 4, 2016, Rajasa wrote a Facebook posting questioning the rationale of
fellow Muslims who travelled from Balikpapan to Jakarta for a huge Friday
prayer-cum-protest organized by anti-Ahok militant Islamists. That prompted a
campaign of online and offline harassment from individuals who accused Rajasa
of blasphemy. On December 21, 2016, the Indonesian Ulama Council, an umbrella
of Muslim groups in Indonesia, issued a non-legally binding edict that Rajasa
was guilty of blasphemy. Within weeks, that campaign prompted his employer to
transfer Rajasa to a remote area in reprisal for his remarks. Classmates and a
teacher of his 14-year-old son tormented the boy by calling his father a
“blasphemer.” Police detained Rajasa on May 23, 2017 and on July 26, the
Balikpapan court sentenced him to a two-year prison term for “spreading online
hostility and hatred against Muslims.”
Lovita, a doctor in Solok, West Sumatra, fled her home with her family on May
29, 2017 after members of the thuggish militant group the Islamic Defenders
Front (FPI) subjected her and her family to a relentless barrage of threats and
insults in response to critical Facebook comments she posted about the group’s
leader, Rizieq Syihab. That intimidation peaked on May 23 when FPI members
confronted her at her workplace and demanded that she delete those postings and
issue a written apology to Syihab. Rather than arrest the FPI members
implicated in those abuses, local police “mediated a dialogue” between the FPI
and Lovita. Lovita and her family have now relocated to Jakarta and have no
plans to return to Solok due to personal safety concerns.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called himself a "humble friend"
of the United States on Monday (07/08), taking a break from his notorious
hostility toward Washington to grant a warm reception to visiting US Secretary
of State Rex Tillerson.
often profanity-laden tirades against the United States has become his
trademark during his year-old presidency, but he appeared happy to meet
Tillerson, who was in Manila to attend a regional security meeting dominated by
North Korea's missile tests, and maritime squabbles.
am happy to see you [...] and you have come at a time when the world is not so
good, especially in the Korean peninsula, and of course, the ever nagging
problem of South China Sea," Duterte told Tillerson at the presidential
know you're worried there, because you also have domestic problems [...] We are
friends. We are allies," Duterte said.
am your humble friend in Southeast Asia," he said.
maverick leader makes no attempt to hide his grudge against the United States,
which he has repeatedly chided for what he says is a history of hypocritical
foreign policy, and for treating the Philippines "like a dog."
last year announced to China his "separation" from Washington, has
complained about being given "hand-me-down" US military hardware, and
once invited American investors jittery about his remarks to pack their bags
Duterte's biggest anger was directed at former President Barack Obama, whose
administration spoke out against his signature war on drugs, a fierce crackdown
that has killed thousands of Filipinos.
warm words for Tillerson indicates Philippines-US ties under US President
Donald Trump may be in better shape.
Duterte still vents about Washington, he has spoken positively about Trump, who
praised him for doing "an unbelievable job on the drug problem."
in an April phone call told Duterte he would invite him to the White House.
when a US lawmaker recently said he would try to block that, Duterte said he
would never go to the United States because "I've seen America and it's
said he and Tillerson discussed "many things" on Monday, but he did
not give details.
defense treaty alliance between the two countries remains strong and US forces
have been providing the Philippines with technical assistance to fight
militants allied with Islamic State. He last year repeatedly threatened to
eject US military trainers and advisers.
prior to his meeting if helping the Philippine military meant the United States
was endorsing the government's bloody anti-drugs campaign, Tillerson said the
two were unrelated.
deny cooperating with Daesh in Afghan attack
Taliban have rejected reports they used foreign fighters and cooperated with
Daesh Takfiri militants in fighting at a remote village in northern Afghanistan
this weekend where officials said dozens of local police and civilians were
Taliban said the claims were intended to discredit it. The movement sees Daesh,
which is fighting to create a global caliphate, as a hostile force.
Afghan government officials quoted villagers as saying as many as 600 fighters,
who appeared to include both Taliban and Daesh militants, had overrun Mirza
Olang village in the northern province of Sar-e Pul on Saturday.
said that many of the fighters appeared to be foreigners, speaking Turkmen,
Uzbek and Punjabi, a language spoken in the Punjab region of Pakistan.
reports appeared to offer support to claims that the Taliban have been using
foreign fighters, but in a region with a patchwork of different ethnicities and
national borders close by, establishing a true picture is difficult.
Afghan government and its foreign masters are making false claims that we are
working with Daesh (Islamic State) just to discredit us in the local
community," one Taliban commander said.
the Mirza Olang incident adds to the picture of growing insecurity across
Afghanistan where many remote areas are completely out of government control.
Amani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said that contact with the
village was difficult, in part because fighters had been going house to house
confiscating mobile telephones.
Taliban said a force led by a commander named Ghazanfar had staged the attack
and had killed 28 local police members but they denied using foreigners or
cooperating with Daesh.
senior Taliban member said the fighters were Uzbeks, but he did not say whether
they were part of Afghanistan's substantial Uzbek minority or from Uzbekistan
don't have Arabs, Turkmen or Pakistanis in that area. Only
the Uzbek mujahideen took part in the fighting," he said.
officials say that villagers reported exceptionally brutal treatment in the
Mirza Olang attack, including beheadings and victims being thrown off a cliff.
The Taliban denied such killings.
fighters didn't behead them but it's possible they were killed in
fighting," said one senior Taliban member.
police launched a massive manhunt Monday for the suspected leader of a
Bangladeshi terror cell believed to be operating in India, a day after a member
of the group was arrested in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, an official
name of Mohammad Faizan, a Bangladeshi national, came up during the
interrogation of Abdullah al-Mamon, another Bangladeshi who was arrested in the
state’s Muzzaffarnagar town on Sunday, according to the official.
who had been staying in Uttar Pradesh since 2011, allegedly was involved in
radicalizing and recruiting people for Ansarullah Bangla team (ABT), an
al-Qaeda inspired extremist group which is banned in Bangladesh, police said,
adding that Faizan was his handler.
has named quite a few of his colleagues, besides Faizan, during interrogation.
We have started raiding his possible hideouts across Uttar Pradesh,” Senior
Superintendent of Police of the state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Umesh Kumar
Srivastava told BenarNews.
ATS has sought a 14-day remand for al-Mamon to hold him for further questioning
in order to unravel his alleged links in India, Srivastava said.
investigations have revealed that he was involved in making fake Indian
identity cards for Bangladeshi citizens living illegally in India. He also made
Faizan’s passport on the basis of false documents,” Srivastava said.
than a dozen fake Indian I.D. cards, a passport and Islamic extremist literature
were found among al-Mamon’s possessions, he said.
counter-terrorism chief, Monirul Islam, told BenarNews that they had identified
the man arrested in India.
is from Tarakanda in Mymensingh and has been living in India for the last eight
years,” he said.
of blogger’s murder
police have blamed ABT for the murders of six secular bloggers in the country
between February 2015 and May 2016, including Niladri Chottopaddhya who was
hacked to death exactly two years ago on Monday.
years have passed but the police have not even submitted a charge-sheet so far.
They don’t communicate with us anymore. We are losing hope,” Asha Moni,
Chattopaddhya’s wife, told BenarNews.
the police have arrested eight suspects for Chattopaddhya’s murder, a
charge-sheet has not yet been filed in court, investigating officer Bahauddin
Faruki told BenarNews.
want to submit the charge-sheet as soon as possible. There is also some
pressure from the authorities to finish the investigation quickly. But since
this is a case of a militant attack, I need some more time,” Faruki said.
living in India without proper papers
is no accurate figure to determine the number of Bangladeshi nationals living
illegally in India, but the government last year estimated the number to be
close to 20 million.
called for the government to take serious and effective steps to tackle the
cross-border infiltration into India by Bangladeshi criminal elements and
infiltration is continuing despite the government’s promise to control it. If
even with so much vigilance at the borders and complete knowledge of
intelligence and government agencies, the cross-over happens unabated, it needs
to be investigated and from all sides,” said Amit Aryan, a right-wing activist.
illegal smuggling of weapons by Bangladeshis has been a long-known fact. The
funds generated goes into aiding terror organizations. And since Bangladeshis
look like Indians, it is hard to identify and arrest them,” he told BenarNews.
Maj. Gen. Afsir Karim, a New Delhi-based security expert, said Indian security
forces ought to step up action against undocumented Bangladeshis, who are
considered a threat to Indian security.
on Sunday rejected allegations of crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing
during a crackdown against Rohingya Muslims last year, accusing the United
Nations of making exaggerated claims in its report on the issue.
militants killed nine border guards in October, sparking a response in which
the army was accused of raping Rohingya women, shooting villagers on sight and
burning down homes, sending an estimated 75,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh.
UN report in February said security forces instigated a campaign that
"very likely" amounted to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic
cleansing. This led to the establishment of a UN probe which is being blocked
country's own 13-member investigation team - led by former head of military
intelligence and now Vice President, Myint Swe - has been dismissed by human
rights monitors as lacking independence to produce a credible report.
to reporters gathered in Yangon to conclude its 8-month-long probe, Myint Swe
said the UN report exaggerated the claims and created misunderstanding for the
is no possibility of crimes against humanity, no evidence of ethnic cleansing,
as per UN accusations," said Myint Swe.
added that, "some people from abroad have fabricated news claiming
genocide had occurred, but we haven't found any evidence."
panel said that the UN report did not take into consideration "violent
acts" committed by the insurgents, instead focusing on the activities of
the security forces.
UN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Myanmar commission had received 21 reports from villagers of incidents of
murder, rape, arson and torture by the security forces, but, unable to verify
their veracity, it referred them to the authorities.
opened doors for them to complain to the courts if they have evidence that they
suffered human rights abuses, but no one came to open a lawsuit until
now," Zaw Myint Pe, the secretary of the panel said.
commission blamed the violence on the insurgents, accusing them of links to
organizations abroad, "set up to destabilize and harm Myanmar".
treatment of the roughly one million Muslim Rohingya has emerged as majority
Buddhist Myanmar's most contentious rights issue as it makes a transition from
decades of harsh military rule.
key Taliban leader who was famous as ‘Zarqawi’ was killed during the clashes
with the security forces in eastern Nangarhar province.
provincial government media office in a statement said clashes between the
Taliban insurgents and the security forces broke out in Khogyani district
earlier today, inflicting casualties to both sides.
statement further added that two Taliban insurgents including one of their key
commanders identified as Nematullah also famous as Zarqawi were killed.
least two Taliban insurgents were also wounded during the clashes, the
statement said, adding that the incident took place in Hakimabad area of
Khogyani district at around 7 am local time.
provincial government also added that a member of the Afghan national police
also lost his life during the clashes.
anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report
is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the
anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency
activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.
comes as an anti-ISIS as well as anti-Taliban operation is underway in
Nangarhar to eliminate the presence of ISIS affiliates in this province.
'mulling airstrikes against Islamic State in Philippines'
Pentagon is reportedly mulling plans to conduct airstrikes against Isil
terrorist targets in the Philippines.
recent surge of terrorist networks affiliated to Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant (Isil), including an ongoing assault on the southern city of Marawi, has
caused alarm in the Philippines and neighbouring countries that Islamic State
could establish a regional southeast Asian hub even as it declines in the
authority to strike Isil targets as part of a strategy of collective defence
could become part of a military operation that may be named as early as
Tuesday, two defence officials told NBC News.
strikes would likely be conducted by armed drones, a strategy already used
across the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and one which has a
controversial record over allegations of civilian casualties.
the Pentagon plan is approved, the US military would be able to conduct strikes
against the Isil groups the Philippines forces are currently battling in the
country’s southern islands.
US has been sharing intelligence and had a counter-terrorism presence in the
Philippines for 15 years.
at a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in the Philippine capital,
Manila, on Monday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington had
already provided Cessna planes and UAVs (drones) for intelligence purposes.
providing them some training and some guidance in terms of how to deal with an
enemy that fights in ways that are not like most people have ever had to deal
of US troops on the ground near the besieged city of Marawi emerged as early as
June. Marawi, a Muslim-majority city of 200,000, was overrun by groups claiming
allegiance to Isil in late May, and the Philippine military has been unable to
regain full control.
Americans were not fighting but “operating equipment to provide information on
situation awareness to our troops,” said military spokesman Brigadier General
Restituto Padilla in June.
Rodrigo Duterte initially claimed he was “not aware” of their presence and that
he had “never approached America” for help.
seeking stronger ties with China, Mr Duterte has tried over the past year to
distance himself from Washington, which he has accused of treating the
Philippines like “dogs on a leash”.
Monday, he changed his tone. “I am happy to see you,” Mr Duterte told Mr
Tillerson at the presidential palace. “I am your humble friend in Southeast
- President Donald Trump has asked his advisers "tough questions"
about American strategy in Afghanistan and is not willing to continue on as
before, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday.
White House has launched a review of the US plan for Afghanistan after 16 years
of war, and reports suggest that Trump's national security team is divided on
whether to send more troops or to pull out. Speaking in Manila on the sidelines
of a regional security forum, Tillerson did not reveal his own advice to the
president - but said Trump would not be content with continuing the fight as
president is not willing to accept that, so he is asking some tough
questions," Tillerson told reporters.
said the president's National Security Council has met three times on the issue
and that Vice President Mike Pence has joined Trump in taking a close interest
in the strategy review.
president is asking some very, very pointed questions, and I think good
questions that he should be asking," Tillerson said. "And perhaps
these are questions that no-one has been willing to raise in the past," he
we want to give him good thorough answers and good thorough analysis to go with
that - a very clear-eyed view, a very realistic view of what the future is
likely to look like." Trump's generals have called the Afghan conflict a
"stalemate" and even after years of intensive help from the US and
other NATO nations, Afghanistan's security forces are still struggling to hold
back an emboldened Taliban. In an early move to address the situation, Trump
gave his Pentagon chief, former general Jim Mattis, broad powers to set troop
numbers. But several months later the level remains stuck at about 8,400 US and
about 5,000 NATO troops.
wants to wait until the White House has come up with a coherent strategy for
not just Afghanistan but the broader region, notably Pakistan and how it deals
with terror groups, before he commits to adjustments.
reports have suggested that other Trump advisers, including his influential
strategy chief Steve Bannon, favor cutting American losses by pulling out or
sending private military contractors to replace troops.
does this all play out and where does this go?" Tillerson asked,
one thing to say we're just going to keep fighting because there's no other
options. There are always other options," he said.
his first media interview since taking the post of Riyadh’s ambassador to
Washington, Saudi Prince Khaled bin Salman told The Washington Post that the
United States and its allies realize “how big the Iranian threat is to
international security and are ready to work together to contain Iranian
actions and expansionist policies”.
newly assigned Saudi Ambassador also described the Saudi-US relations as strong
and improving since President Donald Trump took office.
is a huge improvement in the Saudi-US relationship under this administration. I
think that President Trump is determined to work with his allies in the region
to counter Iranian expansionism and terrorism. We are happy with the current
policies in the region,” Ambassador Prince Khaled told the Lally Weymouth, a
senior associate editor at The Washington Post.
interview with Weymouth touched upon multiple topics pertaining to the Middle
East, especially on the Syria, Yemen and Iraqi front and warned of Iran’s
overreaching negative influence on several parties.
sectarianism always leads to terrorism. The Sunnis and [Shiites] have to be
treated equally as Iraqi citizens. Iran wants Iraq to obey Iran. We support the
independence of Iraq,” Prince Khaled said.
flow of migrants, mostly Haitians fearing expulsion from the United States, has
surged in recent weeks on Canada's southern border, with requests for asylum
tripling since mid-July, officials say.
than 100 persons were processed Sunday morning, while 50 others waited
patiently to register with the Canadian border services.
of them were Haitians but they included some Yemenis and Somalis.
registered, the migrants are taken to a transit center, and from there sent on
to Montreal, where they are housed while authorities consider their requests
Olympic stadium has been turned into a shelter for more than 1,000 people.
estimated 450 to 700 migrants traverse the border each week at the Lacolle
crossing point, according to the head of the union representing customs and
immigration workers, Jean-Pierre Fortin.
immigration minister Kathleen Weil said this week that asylum requests averaged
50 a day in the first half of July, but "the pace has surpassed 150
Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday promised that Canada would step up its
efforts to handle the surge.
he also appealed to those seeking asylum to go through proper immigration
channels rather than cross the border illegally.
wave of Haitians coming into the country stems from their loss of
"temporary protected status" in the United States, which was granted
to 60,000 Haitians after the Caribbean nation was devastated by a 2010
– Homegrown terrorism is a major national security threat to the United States
in the 21st century because of the combination of violent extremist ideology
and the internet.
week, 22-year-old, of Topeka, Kansas, was sentenced to 30 years in federal
prison for attempting to detonate a car bomb on the Fort Riley military base.
say he tried to connect wires to what he believed was a bomb inside of a van.
What he didn't know was the device was fake -- provided by an FBI informant. Thankfully,
federal authorities had him under surveillance for months.
say, Booker, who pleaded guilty last year, acted on behalf of the ISIS terror
Booker was a young man who born in Kansas, raised in Kansas, went to school in
Kansas but somehow became lost," said former U.S. Attorney of Kansas Barry
Grisson. "He became self-radicalized in the basement watching jihad tapes
and adopted a perverse notion on what Islam was."
says the FBI investigation began after Booker posted on Facebook that he wanted
to commit jihad.
tried to enlist in the U.S. Army to commit an inside attack against American
soldiers," said Grissom. "The notion that we can build a wall, that
we can deny visas for folks who want to do our citizens harm as if that is
going to address any issues we have, is completely wrong. Our biggest problem
in law enforcement right now is the lone wolf."
experts say people who feel disenfranchised from society as a whole and are
looking for something bigger than themselves are targets for groups like ISIS.
Many times these people are not on government watch lists because they've never
say the FBI has over 1,000 active terrorism investigations in all 50
states. Also, at least 250 people have
attempted to or have traveled from the U.S. to join extremist groups in Syria
or Iraq. Since March 2014, 128 individuals have been charged with
terrorism-related activities in connection with the Islamic State.
call it a 'homegrown' phenomenon in the truest sense of the word.
are vying for our youth. They are trying to attract them. There is a whole long
list of various groups, " said Christianne Boudreau, who lost her son,
Damian, to ISIS.
growing up in Calgary, Boudreau remembers Damian as warm and compassionate.
That all changed in high school. At 17, feeling disconnected from his
classmates, Damian converted to Islam. She had no idea what was coming when
Damian told her he wanted to study Arabic in Egypt. In reality, the 22-year-old
headed instead to Syria to join ISIS fighters.
"At the end of January 2013, that's when
our Canadian equivalent to the FBI showed up at the door step and said they've
been watching him for almost two years," she recalled.
November 2012, Damian died during rebel infighting.
now runs Hayat Canada Family support and Mothers for Life to provide support
and outreach for those affected by violent extremism.
road party' will be buried on GT road'-Qadri hits PML-N
Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chairman Tahir-ul-Qadri reached Allama Iqbal Airport,
to media reports, large numbers of PAT supporters are workers are present
outside the airport to welcome Qadri. He will go to Nasir Bagh for a public
gathering in shape of caravan. He will also go to Data Darbar Lahore.
1,000 policemen are being allocated for the security at Airport whereas 3,000
personnel will be present during the of rally in Nasir Bagh.
talking to media, Qadri stated that it seems that blood of Model Town martyrs
resulted in Nawaz Sharif's disqualification through Panama Leaks.
is punishment for rulers by Allah Almighty," he said.
PAT Chairman further stated that Pakistan is his home, his country. "The
blood of my workers spilled in this country and I will get justice for it till
end of my breath," he said.
praised the verdict of Supreme Court in Panama Leaks case. "It seems that
doors of justice has started opening in Pakistan and we are now hopeful that
martyrs of Model Town will get the justice," he said.
Court ousted the Prime Minister disgracefully and he should stay in his home
silently," Qadri said.
discussing Article 62, PAT Chairman said that four years ago, he gave a lecture
to Pakistani nation on this and today it has shown its power. "Supreme
Court disqualified him on Article 62 not on other allegations or cases against
him," Qadri maintained.
hit Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) calling it a 'GT road party'.
"The GT road party will be buried on GT road," he said.
further asked Nawaz Sharif on whose orders he is conducting this rally.
"Who is behind it, you should tell it whole nation clearly," Qadri
Sindhi cleric accuses minority-friendly Hindu lawmaker of being a RAW agent
Sindhi cleric has alleged that a Pakistani Hindu lawmaker known for opposing
forced conversions of minorities, is a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent,
the news agency ANI reported on Tuesday.
Chand Malhi, a legislator nominated in 2013 by cricketer-turned-politician
Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, is "being targeted for his stance
against" such conversions, feminist and lawyer Shumaila Hussain Shahani
other tweets, Shahani said the cleric, Peer Jaan Sarhandi, is "notorious
for forced conversions" and that accusations such as the one Malhi now
faces are a "common tool of harassment and blackmailing."
posted the video of the Umerkot rally where Sarhandi called Malhi an Indian
of links to RAW have also been famously foisted on Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian
national captive in Pakistan without consular access, and controversially
sentenced to death by a military court.
Chand Malhi, a working member of Pakistan's Human Rights Commission, was the
MNA (Member of National Assembly who tabled a 2016 resolution in which the top
lawmaking body asked former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government to put an
end to fored conversions and marriages of minority women, ANI's report said.
year, forced conversions of many as 1,000 girls - most of them Hindus - take
place in Pakistan, the South Asia Partnership-Pakistan says.
Sindh province is home to its largest Hindu population, and reportedly
witnesses several abductions and conversions of girls from the community.
Up to 46 people were injured, of them four critical, when an explosion occurred
in a truck at a parking stand on Outfall Road on Monday evening.
to eyewitnesses, it was a powerful blast which damaged, partially or heavily,
more than 100 vehicles, such as cars, mini-trucks and motorcycles parked at the
stand. Up to 46 people were also injured.
of the eyewitnesses said three or four cars parked by the truck went airborne
about 10 to 15 feet due to the impact of the blast. He said windowpanes of a
nearby building were also shattered while the roof of a school building in the
vicinity also collapsed due to the blast.
large number of people in the area came out on roads after the explosion. The
blast was heard in several areas of the city in the radius of four to five
kilometres of the site. The high voltage wires (132kV) from Saggian Grid
Station were also damaged leaving the area in darkness.
to the police authorities, the initial investigation suggested that the truck
was carrying crates of apricot being transported from Swat to the city. The
truck had been at the stand for the last three days.
have yet to ascertain the exact route of the truck from Swat to Lahore.
said a huge cache of explosives had been stored in the truck. They were trying
to assess the exact weight of the explosives.
injured were taken to Services and Mian Munshi hospitals from where 12 of them
were discharged after first aid.
people suffering life-threatening injuries were admitted to the Mayo Hospital.
Inspector General Dr Haider Ashraf said the attackers might have been intending
to transport the explosives to other areas of the city.
to Rescue 1122 officials, the powerful explosion left a 10 to 15 feet crater on
Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and sought its report from
Capital City Police Officer Amin Wains. He also directed the authorities to
investigate the incident.
officials said they feared that the explosives-laden truck might have been
arranged to target the caravan of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif who was
earlier scheduled to arrive in the city on Sunday from Islamabad. His rally
would have passed by the point as per the earlier plan.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani agreed to
work together not only against the menace of terrorism but also to meet the
challenge of energy in the region in their first telephone contact on Monday.
last known contact between the leaders of the two neighbouring countries was
made when ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ghani met on the
sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Astana about two
sides in the Astana meeting had agreed to use the Quadrilateral Coordination
Group (QCG) mechanism as well as bilateral channels to undertake specific
actions against terrorist groups and to evolve, through mutual consultation, a
mechanism to monitor and verify such actions.
relationship between the two countries remains cold till date, as the two sides
continued to blame each other for acts of terrorism in their respective
Monday, President Ghani phoned PM Abbasi and congratulated him on his election
as the new chief executive of the country, said a PM Office statement.
added that the Afghan leader expressed satisfaction over the smooth transition
and said that it was good for democracy in Pakistan.
brief statement did not mention any other thing from President Ghani.
Abbasi thanked the president and said that terrorism was a common threat for
both the countries.
will work with Afghanistan for security and stability in the region,” the PM
said, adding that terrorism was a common enemy and “we will work together to
eliminate this menace from the region”.
was agreed to work together to address the challenge of energy in the region
and improve the economic condition in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” the statement
allegations against Khyber-IV operation rejected
on Monday, the Foreign Office rejected the allegations levelled by the governor
of Afghan province of Kunar that the Khyber-IV military operation was meant to
push militants into Afghanistan.
FO spokesperson in a statement underlined that such statements were contrary to
the spirit and understanding arrived at during recent engagements at the
leadership level of the two countries. “Such media headlines are misleading and
part of the malicious campaign.”
is part of the ongoing counterterrorism operation Radd-ul-Fasaad. Our security
forces have achieved success in fighting back terrorists,” the statement said,
adding: “The political leadership of the two countries had agreed that the two
sides would coordinate and cooperate in their action to eradicate the menace of
terrorism, which is a common challenge.”
Iran regards Pakistan’s security as its own security, President Hassan Rouhani
said on Monday, stressing that the two countries have the potential for
combating terrorism and ensuring regional security.
a meeting with Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani in Tehran, the Iranian president
said terrorism posed a major threat to the region and security was currently
the most important issue. “All regional countries must cooperate with each
other to fight and eliminate terrorism,” Mr Rouhani said, according to Iran’s
and Pakistan were strategically important to one another, he said and expressed
Tehran’s determination to expand relations with Islamabad in science and
technology, culture and energy.
Rabbani, who was leading a Senate delegation to Iran to attend Mr Rouhani’s
inauguration for a second presidential term, said relations between the two
countries were based on religious, historical and cultural commonalities.
“Pakistan will spare no effort to promote relations with Iran,” he said.
two countries had a common stance on regional and international issues, he said
and stressed the importance of bolstering cooperation in economic, security,
parliamentary and energy as well as in the fight against terrorism.
Senate chairman also thanked Iran for its principled stand on Kashmir which was
recently expressed by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the
APP news agency reported, citing a press release issued on Monday.
Kashmiri people were suffering the worst kind of torture at the hands of
occupied Indian forces who were using new tactics of brutalities such as pellet
guns, blinding hundreds of innocent Kashmiris as a result, Mr Rabbani informed
the Iranian president.
Rouhani recalled his two visits to Pakistan during the past one year and hoped
that bilateral relations would continue to improve.
The appointment of Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Supreme Court as monitoring
judge in references to be filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)
against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his other family members has
been challenged before the apex court.
Zafarullah Khan of the Watan Party filed a petition at the Lahore registry
saying the Panama case judgment delivered by the apex court and
disqualification of an elected prime minister without trial would be remembered
mostly for the infirmity of legal reasons, for question it raises about the
integrity of the process leading to the verdict and for distorting
institutional balance of power.
petitioner contends that the very purpose of fair trial under Article 10-A of
the Constitution is impossible if a judge of the SC continues to monitor the
whole process from the joint investigation team (JIT) to NAB and the
argues that affected party cannot get fair trial from a lower court, which will
remain prejudice by the apex court’s constant monitoring. He points out that
there is no precedent that a Supreme Court judge had monitored a specific case
in lower courts. Furthermore, he says, the NAB ordinance does not have any
clause for monitoring of the court’s proceedings by a superior court judge.
Khan submitted that the judiciary of Pakistan unfortunately does not have an
illustrious history when it comes to standing up for democracy and
constitutionalism or exhibiting allegiance to the scheme of institutional
checks and balances.
asks the court to declare the appointment of Justice Ahsan as monitoring judge
in the NAB references against the Sharif family null and void for being
violative to right to fair trial under Article 10-A of the Constitution. He
pleads that the monitoring of the trial court proceedings by a judge of the SC
would obstruct the course of justice.
Contrary to their previous assumption that one single group has been targeting
policemen and retired personnel of law enforcement agencies, counterterrorism
officials now conclude that there are numerous splinter groups — of either
outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan or Lashkar-i-Jhangvi — responsible for the
spate of attacks in recent months, it emerged on Sunday.
are multiple groups involved in targeted killings of policemen in the city,”
said Counter-Terrorism Department’s chief Additional Inspector General
said the CTD assessed that there were apparently separate militant groups
involved in around half a dozen acts of terrorism in the metropolis as their modus
operandi were different in each case.
were operating in the East and West zones of the police’s organisational
CTD assessment about recent targeted killings revealed that one group was
almost certainly linked with the new outfit Ansar al-Sharia. Militants from
banned Jundullah might have also joined this new outfit.
group, however, is made up of educated and media savvy individuals, who are
equally concerned not only with their targeting of police officials but also
with winning public perception and delegitimising the state,” said Mr Abbasi.
other groups were “less calculated in their approach”, according to the CTD
analysis, which added that at least one such group was a possible offshoot of
the banned TTP or Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.
groups were likely to be affiliated with the militant Islamic State group
and/or LJ offshoots.
may also still be some remnants of Naeem Bukhari’s faction of the banned LJ who
are now either operating independently following Bukhari’s arrest or forming
new splinters with other groups,” said the CTD analysis.
CTD assessment about the killings showed that Dawood Mehsud, a former policeman
who has become the TTP-Karachi chief, might have led a group for targeting law
the CTD said that there were also some indications that Mehsud might have died
or had switched his allegiance to the IS.
June, four policemen were shot dead by armed pillion riders when they were
sitting at a roadside eatery in SITE to break their fast. The responsibility of
the attack was claimed by the Ansar-ul-Sharia Pakistan.
appeared later that the attackers were more “dangerous and trained” as if they
had come from war zone, believed Abbasi.
disclosed that the CCTV footage showed the attackers wearing “commando jackets”
and sparing the life of a civilian who witnessed the gory incident.
July, three policemen and a passer-by were shot dead by six armed assailants in
Korangi. The gunmen had opened indiscriminate firing on the policemen. One of
the policemen fell down in a storm-water drain but the culprits chased him and
fired at him.
killers, according to the CTD, lacked “precision”.
appeared that there was also an element of vengeance behind the targeted
killings of the three policemen in Korangi,” said the CTD chief.
in July, a traffic policeman, Mohammed Khan, was gunned down and another
wounded by armed assailants on busy Abul Hasan Ispahani Road in
CCTV footage obtained from the crime scene showed that one attacker was wearing
pants and shirt.
said that the outlawed TTP had established at least five different groups in
the country to carry out terror acts.
of such groups was known to the counterterrorism officials as the “Special Task
Force (STF) of the TTP”.
CTD assessment indicated that the STF was a “dangerous group” that appeared to
be active in Karachi and other parts of the country.
group has been tasked with carrying out attacks on the police and personnel of
other law enforcement agencies.
this group [STF] seems to be very active in Karachi and members of this group
have expertise in making small IEDs [improvised explosive devices],” said the
to a task force led by the Rangers director general and comprising officials of
CTD, intelligence agencies, etc, he said each terrorism case was being
discussed by it and assessments of threat were also made to chalk out future
said apart from recent killings of law enforcers in the city, the security officials
were also working on the deadly Sehwan blast and the escape of two high-profile
LJ militants from the Karachi central prison.
are some positive developments in all these high-profile cases,” he said,
Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on Monday claimed to have foiled a terror
bid in Karachi by arresting four suspected terrorists and killing three others
during counter-terrorism operations in different parts of the city on Sunday
to the CTD, three raids were carried out as a result of a rise in terrorist
activities in the city over the past month.
operations were carried out in Machhar Colony and near MA Jinnah road after the
CTD was tipped off about the presence of terrorists with ties to the banned
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the areas, the CTD said.
dead terrorists have not been identified, the CTD said, adding that those
arrested had admitted to killing a police sub-inspector in 2015.
to the CTD, the terrorists had planned to target jamaat-khanas belonging to the
Aga Khani community, imambargahs and shrines.
Kalashnikov, five pistols, and a home-made bomb were recovered from the
possession of the suspected terrorists.
CTD also claimed to have dismantled two sleeper cells in the overnight raids.
a day before these counter-terror operations, the CTD had concluded, contrary
to their previous assumption that a single group had been targeting policemen
and retired law enforcement personnel, that numerous splinter groups with ties
to the outlawed TTP or Lashkar-i-Jhangvi are responsible for the spate of
attacks in recent months.
are multiple groups involved in targeted killings of policemen in the city,”
CTD chief Additional Inspector General Sanaullah Abbasi had said on August 6.
CTD assessment about recent targeted killings revealed that one group was
almost certainly linked with a new terror outfit Ansar al-Sharia. Militants
from the banned Jundullah group might have also joined this new outfit.
group, however, is made up of educated and media savvy individuals, who are
equally concerned, not only with their targeting of police officials, but also
with winning public perception and delegitimising the state,” Abbasi had said.
to Abbasi, the outlawed TTP has established at least five different groups in
the country to carry out terror acts.
CTD's assessment indicated that the TTP's Special Task Force was a “dangerous
group” that appeared to be active in Karachi and other parts of the country.
to a task force led by the Rangers director general and comprising officials of
CTD, intelligence agencies and others, Abbasi had said each terrorism case was
being discussed by the counter-terror body and threat assessments were also
made to chalk out future strategies.
Hundreds of Hindus and Sikhs observed the festival of Raksha Bandhan, commonly
known as rakhi, on Monday at the Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal.
tie rakhi on the wrists of their brothers and pray for their safety while the
brothers promise to protect their sisters forever and also give them presents.
Those observing the religious festival dress up for the occasion and the holy
thread is usually tied at a time prescribed by pundits.
a woman ties a thread around a man’s wrist, he will not forget the meaning of
the bond established the next day. He will look out for that woman for the rest
of his life. This is a serious responsibility,” said Neha Kumari, who was
observing the ritual.
the festival is now observed between siblings, it began as an honourable
relationship between strangers. Some years ago, two women to whom I was not
related by blood made me their brother. They are now married and live in India
but always send me a rakhi every year,” said Ratan Kumar, who belongs to
Shakirpur and also made a new sister at the temple. Another participant
explained that Raksha Bandhan translates to the bond of protection.
to Evacuee Trust Property Board’s (ETPB) Deputy Secretary Shrines Syed Faraz
Abbas, Rakhsha Bandhan begins on the full moon in the Hindu month of Shravan
and could go on for seven days.
to the Hindu history, the festival dates back to the Vedic period when deities
and demons were fighting on a poornima, or a full moon night of the Hindu month
king of the deities, Lord Indra, was worried as the demons were in a stronger
position so his wife, Indrani (also known as Shashikala) prepared a magical
thread and tied it to Indra’s right wrist.
thread protected him and the deities and they won the battle. The magic was
called Raksha Sutra and later renamed to Raksha Bandhan.
festival takes place on a poornima day in Shravan each year.
the Bhog ceremony, which marks the conclusion of the three-day festival, ETPB
Additional Secretary Shrines Tariq Wazir said the government was committed to
ensuring religious freedom in Pakistan and that the ETPB was making efforts so
all important religious days were celebrated.
than Sikh temples, the board is also looking after the nine mandirs in the
country, he said, adding free boarding and lodging facilities were provided to
the pilgrims at the Punja Sahib. He said funds had also been allocated for
talented students from minority communities.
Commissioner Jannat Hussein also visited the temple and talked to the Hindu and
Sikh pilgrims about the facilities provided to them and issued necessary orders
on individual requests.
to mediapersons, the AC said about 1,400 pilgrims were visiting the Punja Sahib
to observe rakhi and that the ETPB, local administration and the TMA were
making efforts to make the stay of the pilgrims comfortable. Though there is no
specific security threat, a three-layer security plan has also been put in
inside the temple had set up stalls for selling rakhi, which came in many
colours and designs and the prices for which varied between Rs100 and Rs700.
The more expensive rakhi were imported from Hyderabad Deccan, India.
have zircon, beads and rudraksha seeds. The combination helps ward of the evil
eye and brings good luck to whoever will wear them,” said Sharma Kumar, a
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday said that
efforts must continue in collaboration with other national institutions to
defeat terrorism in order to establish the rule of law and uphold the supremacy
of constitution in the country, according to the Inter-Services Public
must continue, in concert with other elements of national power to defeat
terrorism/militancy in order to establish rule of law and uphold supremacy of
constitution," the COAS said while presiding over the 203rd Corps
Commanders' conference held at the General Headquarters (GHQ). The forum
undertook a comprehensive review of internal and external security environment and
deliberated upon regional security situation, especially the situation in
Afghanistan. The conference reaffirmed its commitment to work for regional
peace and security. "We look forward to a trust based mutual cooperation
in this regard which can achieve the policy ends of enduring regional
peace," Gen Bajwa said.
conference was briefed about situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and
Indian violations of the ceasefire agreement. The forum acknowledged positive
long-term effects being achieved through Operation Radd ul Fasaad, according to
the ISPR. The army chief especially appreciated successful conduct of Operation
Khyber 4 in the most inhospitable terrain of Rajgal with minimal own
casualties. He said the achievement made possible through high standards of
professionalism of Pakistan Army. The army chief also expressed satisfaction on
army's commitment to national defence and security.
forces attack Popular Mobilization Units base, kill 30: Report
forces have reportedly attacked an Iraqi military base affiliated to the
country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), killing over 30 troops and injuring
to a statement released by the Sayaed al-Shuhada brigades on their website on
Monday, their base was targeted by US artillery fire and smart bombs.
the statement, the brigades called on the Iraqi government to launch an
extensive investigation into the incident, while noting that the US’ actions
will not remain unanswered.
Hashd al-Sha’abi forces retake 17 villages southeast of Tal Afar from Daesh
PMUs, aka Hashd al-Sha’abi, is a group of Shia and Sunni fighters that was
formed after the emergence of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Iraq in
2014. In the early days of Daesh’s terror campaign, the then-volunteer fighters
played a major role in reinforcing the Iraqi army, which had suffered heavy
setbacks in the face of lightning advances by the terrorists.
November, the Iraqi parliament recognized Hashd al-Sha’abi as an official force
with similar rights as those of the regular army.
Hashd al-Sha’abi forces are now actively cooperating with Iraqi forces in
operations to rid the whole country of Daesh elements.
sources said that the Syrian authorities pardoned 78 gunmen of the Northern
Syrian city of Manbij in accordance with amnesty decree issued in 2016 after
the latter vowed not to participate in any activities affecting the country's
Russian Defense Ministry said in its latest report on Saturday that gunmen in
more regions have ended fight with Syrian government forces, adding, "The
total number of regions, towns and villages that have thus far endorsed peace
agreement with Damascus stands at 2,131."
ministry added that talks are underway between the government officials and
representatives of militants in the province of Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs,
Quneitra and Damascus to join the peace plan.
NATIONS - The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen will lift hurdles hampering
deliveries of jet fuel for UN planes bringing humanitarian aid to the
rebel-held capital Sanaa, the UN spokesman said Monday.
UN Development Program last week said it was having trouble operating two
humanitarian flights into Sanaa from Amman, Jordan because there was no fuel
available in the Yemeni capital for the planes to make the return trip.
Lootsma, the UNDP’s country director, said the coalition and the Saudi-backed
Yemeni government were denying permission to transport the fuel to Sanaa from
the government-controlled port of Aden.
fuel will be moving this week from Aden to Sanaa,” UN spokesman Stephane
Dujarric told reporters.
added that the United Nations is seeking a concrete arrangement for fuel
deliveries to allow the UN flights to provide regular deliveries of aid.
ask authorities for a mechanism to help ensure regular delivery of aviation
fuel for UN operations,” he said.
United Nations has declared Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with a
deadly outbreak of cholera, famine threatening 7 million people and a war in
which civilian targets have been hit.
Saudi-led coalition has repeatedly been accused of blocking aid to Yemen, one
of the Arab world’s poorest countries, which has been brought to its knees
since the military campaign began in March 2015.
stressed that all sides in the conflict were hindering aid deliveries to Yemeni
people who are caught in an “unspeakable humanitarian crisis.”
health system has collapsed during the war pitting coalition forces against
Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels.
Sunday, Saudi Arabia pledged $33.7 million to help fight cholera in Yemen,
which has killed nearly 2,000 people since April with 436,000 suspected cases.
- The Syrian army intensified shelling and air strikes on the last rebel
enclave in the Syrian capital on Monday, its heaviest bombardment in a
two-month military campaign, rebels and witnesses said.
the strategic Qasyoun Heights that overlooks Damascus, elite units of the army
struck Jobar district, some 2 km (1.2 miles) east of the Old City wall and Ain
Terma just to the south.
offensive has dented a Russian-sponsored ceasefire announced two weeks ago in
the Eastern Ghouta area to the east of Damascus.
have been injured and at least ten civilians killed in three days of
bombardment, civil defence sources said. Less intense shelling hit Zamalka,
Harasta and Kafr Btna, also in Eastern Ghouta.
successful, the campaign would help the army in its eventual goal of regaining
Eastern Ghouta, which has been under opposition control for much of the
six-year conflict. Jobar is in northeast Damascus and borders the Eastern
Ghouta district of Ain Terma. The army is also using more elephant rockets -
inaccurate improvised munitions often made from gas canisters and fired on a
high trajectory - insurgents said. "The elephant rockets are not having
mercy on us. We have dug tunnels and fortified our positions so they are unable
to advance," said Abu Obada al Shami, a commander from Failaq al Rahman,
the rebel group whose fighters are drawn from the area.
rebel battle to keep their last foothold in Damascus follows the loss earlier
this year of Qaboun and Barzeh districts, located north of Jobar, after intense
bombardment. Before the war began in 2011, more than half a million people
lived in Eastern Ghouta, a sprawling mix of towns and farmland. Two residents
said Ain Terma was now a ghost town, with only a few hundred families taking
shelter in basements after most former residents fled to other towns in Eastern
is non-existent. Permanent terror and people are not coming out of their
basements," said Abdullah al-Khatib, a former electrician, who lives there
with his eight-member family.
accuse the Syrian army and its Iran-backed allies of breaking the
Russia-brokered truce in Eastern Ghouta to throw its full weight against Jobar
and Ain Terma.
government has said it will abide by the truces Russia has brokered but says it
continues to target Islamist militant factions not covered by the agreement.
army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL South-East of Jubb al-Jarah
region and pushed the terrorists back from the village of Manoukh Northeast of
Jubab Hamd region.
the meantime, the army's missile units and aircraft pounded ISIL's positions in
the battlefield, destroying several military vehicles and killing a number of
reports said that the army aircraft launched repeated air assaults on ISIL's
movements and concentration centers in the towns and villages of Um Sahriaj,
East of al-Tayebeh, Toweinan and Humeimeh near Deir Ezzur's provincial border
with Homs, destroying several command centers, vehicles and military equipment
of the terrorists.
the warplanes targeted ISIL's gathering centers in the villages of
al-Khashabiyeh, al-Fasedeh, Abu Habilat, Jani al-Bawi, al-Dakileh Shomali and
Salba in Eastern Hama.
army men engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL that had attacked the
pro-government forces' positions from the village of al-Baqaliyeh and repelled
their offensive after hours of clashes.
army soldiers also exchanged fire with ISIL in al-Maqaber (cemetery) region,
around Regiment 137 base and Deir Ezzur base.
the meantime, the fighter jets bombed heavily ISIL's positions and movements in
al-Sina'ah neighborhood, around Tal (hill) Alloush, power company in the
Southern outskirts of Deir Ezzur city and the village of al-Jafrah South-East
of the city, inflicting heavy casualties on the terrorists.
sources reported that Abu Mohammad Khorsani, a notorious commander of ISIL, has
fled following the terrorist groups' defeats in battle.
reports said that the army men engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL in
al-Maqaber region, Panorama base, Deir Ezzur base and al-Baqaliyeh.
the meantime, the warplanes bombed heavily ISIL's positions in Panorama,
al-Ma'amel region, Jonayd Division base, Tamin Brigade base, power company, the
neighborhoods of al-Omal and al-Hamidiyeh and the villages of al-Tabni,
al-Shamitiyeh and al-Boytiyeh.
may have fired seven Grad rockets into Lebanon on Monday from its enclave on
the border with Syria, without causing any injuries, a Lebanese security source
would mark the first use of those weapons by ISIS fighters there for several
years, and comes as the Lebanese army prepares for an expected assault on their
rockets fell around the town of al-Qaa and led the Lebanese army to shell ISIS
positions in the hills nearby, the source said.
from ISIS and the former Nusra Front group established pockets in the rugged
border area near the Lebanese town of Arsal early in the six-year Syrian civil
war, the biggest spillover of the violence so far into Lebanon.
Shi'ite Hezbollah group late last month forced the Nusra fighters to quit their
pocket after a brief offensive, and the Lebanese army is expected to launch an
assault on the ISIS enclave soon.
President Bashar al-Assad says foreign powers have desperately attempted to
divide Arab nations by targeting their identity and igniting strife among them.
external interventions will continue with the aim of changing our identity and
dividing us into communities and small groups,” Assad said on Monday, Syria's
official news agency, SANA, reported.
Syrian president made the remarks in Damascus during a meeting with a
parliamentary delegation comprising members of a number of Tunisian parties
headed by Mbarka Brahmi.
external powers use similar methods to divide Arab nations, but under different
titles and names, he stressed.
in his remarks, Assad stressed the need for the exchange of high-level
delegations between Syria and Tunisia for further cooperation.
parliamentary delegations can be helpful in exchanging expertise and creating a
state of dialogue not only about the current situation, but also about the
future, the president pointed out.
their part, members of the Tunisian delegation said that they came to Damascus
to convey a message of support for the Syrian government and people, who have
long resisted foreign-backed terrorist groups.
also hailed the ongoing reconciliation process among various echelons of the
Syrian society and their resolve to achieve victory against the foreign-backed
militancy in their country.
has been gripped by a deadly conflict since March 2011. The government has
repeatedly blamed certain foreign countries for the spread of the devastating militancy.
the past few months, Syrian forces have made sweeping gains against Takfiri
elements, which have in turn increased their acts of violence across the
too, has experienced violence since the 2011 uprising that ousted the country’s
dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was in power for over two decades.
Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has reportedly fired seven Grad rockets into the
Lebanese territories from a militant-held enclave on the Syria-Lebanon border.
Lebanese security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, further said that
the attack had been carried out on Monday, without causing any casualties.
source also said that the rockets fell in the vicinity of al-Qaa town, in
Baalbek-Hermel province, and prompted the Lebanese army to respond by shelling
Daesh positions in the nearby hills.
development came as the Lebanese army has intensified its shelling of Daesh
posts in recent days amid reports that it is set to launch an operation aimed
at purging the Takfiris out of the border region with Syria.
Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement formally announced an end to its
security operation around border town of Arsal against members of the
foreign-sponsored and Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham – previously known as the
Nusra Front – militant group.
launched a major push on July 21 to clear both sides of Lebanon's border with
Syria of “armed terrorists.” Hezbollah fighters have fended off several Daesh
attacks inside Lebanon. They have also been providing assistance to Syrian army
forces to counter the ongoing foreign-sponsored militancy.
Friday, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the next
phase of the battle with terrorists would be aimed at eliminating the Daesh
Takfiri terrorists in the border areas between Lebanon and Syria. He also
asserted that Hezbollah fighters were backed by the Syrian army in their battle
least thirteen rights group have condemned Britain’s awkward silence on the
situation of prominent Bahraini human rights activist and pro-democracy
campaigner Nabeel Rajab, who has been kept behind bars over his criticism of
the ruling Al Khalifah regime and the Wahhabi ideology, calling on London to
take up a condemnatory stance.
is appalling that … the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has turned a
blind eye to the human rights abuses in Bahrain, including the reprisals
against Mr. Rajab,” the groups stated in a letter addressed to the FCO on
Monday, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
urge you to overturn this policy of silence and support Nabeel Rajab and all
human rights defenders in Bahrain … by condemning his sentence and calling on
the Government of Bahrain for his immediate and unconditional release, and
abolition of all charges leveled against him,” the letter added.
December 22, 2016, Bahraini authorities accused Rajab of making comments that
“harm the interests” of the Manama regime and other Persian Gulf kingdoms
through an article attributed to him and published by French daily Le Monde.
article slammed the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group for their crimes against
humanity. It also slammed Persian Gulf Arab countries for their failure to stop
the spread of the violent Wahhabi ideology.
the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia and freely preached by its
clerics, fuels the ideological engine of terror organizations such as Daesh and
Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda's Syrian branch formerly known as al-Nusra Front.
Takfiri terrorists use the ideology to declare people of other faiths
“infidels,” justifying the killing of their victims.
who was detained on June 13, 2016 for tweets that criticized Manama’s role in
the deadly Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen, could face up to 15 years
Throssell, the spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said
in a statement that Rajab was arrested for “exercising his right to freedom of
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14,
2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to
assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or
got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
government forces have intensified shelling and airstrikes on the last militant
stronghold near the capital city of Damascus as army soldiers and allied
fighters from popular defense groups continue to make territorial gains against
foreign-sponsored militant groups across the war-battered country.
sources said elite units of the army, positioned on the strategic Mount Qasioun
that overlooks Damascus, struck Jobar district, located some 2 kilometers (1.2
miles) east of the Old City walls, as well as Ain Terma suburb, located 3
kilometers (1.9 miles) east of Old Damascus.
army troops also struck militant outposts in Zamalka, located 3.5 kilometers
(2.2 miles) northeast of Old Damascus, Harasta city and Kafr Batna town.
Obada al-Shami, a commander from the Takfiri Faylaq al-Rahman militant group,
said the extremists had dug tunnels and fortified their positions in the
Eastern Ghouta district in a bid to impede the government forces’ advance.
Syrian Air Force jets bombarded Daesh positions in al-Bawlieh Mountain, Ma'adan
subdistrict, al-Khamaiseh, al-Jaber and al-Numaisa districts south of the
northern city of Raqqah.
in Salamiyah district of the central province of Hama, Syrian military aircraft
pounded Daesh position, inflicting heavy losses on their ranks.
Air Force warplanes also carried out airstrikes against Daesh gathering points
and fortifications in al-Khashabiyieh, al-Fasda, Abu Hubailat, Jana al-Albawi,
al-Dukailiyah al-Shamaliyah and Salba districts, killing and wounding scores of
Syrian government forces regained control over Manoukh village in the eastern
part of Homs Province after eliminating the last pockets of Daesh terrorists
military aircraft also hit Daesh positions across the troubled eastern province
of Dayr al-Zawr, leaving many terrorists dead and injured.
The Saudi Interior Ministry confirmed on Monday that three men from a list of
23 wanted terrorists have surrendered to security forces.
spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said that Ali H. Al-Zaid, Ramzi M.
Al-Jammal and Mohammed Al-Lubbad, all Saudi citizens, gave themselves up to the
said their voluntary surrender would be taken into consideration, and that they
will be treated according to the laws in force.
emerged on Sunday that two of the men had surrendered in Qatif in eastern Saudi
Arabia, with confirmation of a third man having given himself up coming later.
ministry warned of grave consequences for anyone sheltering, hiding or offering
any kind of assistance to wanted criminals.
three fugitives are still at large from a list of 23 terrorists issued in 2012.
They are Salman A. Al-Faraj, Fadel H. Al-Safwani, and Mohammed H. Al-Zaid.
ministry had already renewed its call to the rest of the wanted fugitives to
surrender, and called upon anyone with information about them to inform the
Mohammed Al-Ebidan, former judge in the Court of Endowments and Inheritance in
Qatif, called upon terrorist groups to give themselves up, refrain from
carrying weapons, and answer the call of Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin
Saud told Al Arabiya News Channel earlier: “My message to those is to let this
country remain stable and in peace. Enough with the innocent blood they have
shed so far. I call upon them to give themselves up to the responsible
authorities, and, God willing, they will see nothing but good matters.”
Mohammed Al-Ebidan stressed that “terrorism and terrorists are a cancerous
gland our secure country has been infected with.”
the damage terrorists brought upon Qatif and its people, Sheikh Mohammed said:
“We all know the extent of harm which has been brought upon this area due to
carrying weapons, resisting security forces, killing innocent people, and the
adverse effects caused by such behavior. All this necessitated a strong and
serious stance to put an end to the bloodshed, especially since this has drawn
the region to unwanted miseries, and it may draw it in the future to other
Basirhat communal violence: In show of unity, Hindus, Muslims tie rakhis
a show of harmony, members of the Hindu and Muslim communities in Basirhat on
Monday tied rakhis on each other, a month after the area was hit by communal
violence. Violence had erupted between the two communities in Basirhat and
Baduria areas of North-24 Parganas over a controversial Facebook post. In an
effort to revive cordial ties, the Bangla Sanskriti Manch and Rights to Life
Foundation jointly organised a Raksha Bandhan celebration at Basirhat Town
Hall. Residents of Basirhat took part in the event, and lauded the effort to
was totally an apolitical event here in which local people participated.
Children danced on stage and tied rakhis on the wrists of people. They sang
songs written by Rabindranath Tagore and Nazrul Islam on communal harmony.
Later, they took out a rally in Basirhat and tied rakhis on local people,”
Mizanur Rahaman, a participant in the event, told The Indian Express.
participant, retired banker Nirmal Ghosh, said the show of unity should be
replicated in parts of the state which have witnessed communal tension in
recent times. “The message was loud and clear. People are united here. Members
of both communities delivered speeches on communal harmony and vowed to stand
united. We all know the tension was intentionally created by some people. But
people here want to rise above that, and want to continue this show of unity
against all odds,” he said.
residents also said no political party had tried to organise such an event, and
that they were happy to see an apolitical organisation organising it. “Bengal
is land of Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Netaji Subash Chandra
Bose, where Muslims and Hindus lived together. We appeal to the people of
Bengal to be united against all kinds of communal forces, and we are sending a
peace massage that is need the need of the hour. Raksha Bandhan programme has
been organised in Basirhat to convey this message to the people,” said Samirul
Islam, president of Bangla Sanskriti Manch.
not responding positively to peace efforts: Pakistan’s new foreign minister
newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif said India
is not responding in a positive manner to Pakistan’s efforts to establish peace
in the region, Pakistan newspaper Dawn reported on Monday. Addressing his first
press conference at Pakistan Muslim League-N House in Sialkot since taking over
his new role, Asif said both India and Afghanistan have failed to respond
positively to Pakistan’s desire for peace. He further stated that Pakistan’s
efforts to establish good relations with neighbours should not be thought of as
high time for both India and Afghanistan to come forward as good neighbours and
give positive response to Pakistan’s peace initiatives and end the blame game,”
went on to express his regret that “India was continuously violating the the
ceasefire accord by shelling the civilian population along the Line of
Control”. He further alleged that India is supporting conspiracies against
Pakistan being hatched by Afghanistan to “destabilise this country economy and
accused India conspiring with the US to sabotage the Indus Water Treaty. He
said Pakistan has gained support from the international community on the treaty
and has been able to take up the issue with the World Bank. Asking India to
support Islamabad’s peace initiatives, Asif said, Pakistan’s strong defence is
capable of defending its own borders.
DELHI: The Afghanistan government has requested India to launch a special
satellite exclusively for its use, three months after India launched the South
Asian Satellite. The Afghan Ministry of Telecommunications and Technology
recently made such a request to the Indian government, officials in the Afghan
government told ET.
minister Syed Ahmad Shah Sadat recently met Indian Ambassador Manpreet Vohra in
Kabul to make the request. It is not yet clear if Kabul wants to use a
dedicated satellite to track terrorist hideouts. The minister and the Indian
envoy discussed opening of a terminal for Afghanistan in the South Asia
Satellite, another special satellite and India-assisted small development
MoU would be signed soon to let Afghanistan benefit from South Asia Satellite.
Two of the 12 transponders will be provided to Afghanistan and the satellite
will be used in areas of telecommunications, television services, agriculture,
mines and other sectors. A special satellite station in Kabul is also under
DELHI: Five terrorists were killed as security forces successfully foiled an
infiltration bid from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) into Machil sector of
north Kashmir's Kupwara district on Monday.
monitoring the area noticed suspicious movement along the LoC and immediately
challenged the intruders. Five terrorists were shot down in the ensuing
forces have recovered weapons from the scene. The identity and affiliation of
the terrorists is being determined.
weapons have been recovered from the slain terrorists. The operation is still
going on in the area," Defence ministry spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said.
security forces have launched a cordon and search operation in Pulwama
district's Pinglena village, following specific inputs about presence of
year, the Army has foiled a total of 22 infiltration bids along the LoC in
Jammu and Kashmir, and 38 armed intruders have been eliminated in such
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government is facing another challenge in the
Supreme Court along with that to the state’s permanent resident law that has
triggered a political storm. A public interest litigation (PIL) questioning the
minority status of the state’s Muslims is coming up for hearing on Tuesday.
Jammu lawyer Ankur Sharma had filed the PIL last year, seeking a Minority
Commission for the state’s Hindus, other religious and linguistic minorities.
The petition challenges benefits given to the state’s Muslims in view of their
minority status and asks for a probe into it. Sharma has sought the commission through
legislation besides time-bound identification, notification of religious and
linguistic minorities. He has called for appointment of an experts panel under
the court’s supervision to identify communities, which qualify as religious and
linguistic minorities. The petition pleads for extension of National Commission
for Minorities Act to J&K.
state’s ruling coalition partners — the Peoples Democratic Party and BJP – are
not in agreement over the issue. But the state government has ignored this
case. Earlier this year, the court had slapped a Rs 15,000 fine on the state
and Central governments for not filing their replies. J&K Advocate General
Jahangir Ganai said that the Union minority affairs ministry had constituted a
committee after the court had asked the Centre and the state government
representatives to together take a stand on the issue. He said that a secretary
of the ministry heads the committee while J&K chief secretary and a
National Minority Commission representative are its members. “The committee has
held a meeting and decided to have more discussion on the issue before arriving
at a decision,” said Ganai. He said that senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi will
represent the state government.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant from Pakistan was killed during an overnight
encounter that started on Sunday at Samboora in Pulwama district. The militant
has been identified as Umer and belonged to the Abu Ismail group.
militants are believed to have escaped from the spot. According to police
officials, acting on a tip-off on presence of militants, a joint team of
Awantipora Police, 50 Rashtriya Rifle and CRPF launched a cordon and search
operations in Samboora village on Sunday night. During the course of the
operation, the militants opened fire on the search party, triggering an
encounter. Pakistani LeT militant Umer was killed in the process.
role in different crimes committed by Ismail is being ascertained now. One
AK-47 rifle has also been recovered from the encounter site, police officials
added. Ismail is the mastermind behind the Amarnath Yatra attack that took
place on July 10, in which eight pilgrims were killed and 20 injured. He is
believed to be the new Kashmir division chief of Lashkar, operating in southern
part. With Umer’s death, the total number of people killed since July 30 has
reached 16, including three civilians, two Army personnel and 11 militants.
of migrants storm Morocco-Spain border post
than 100 migrants stormed a border post between Morocco and the Spanish
territory of Ceuta on Monday, careering through with agents unable to stop
them, police said.
started running from the Moroccan side, crossed the border posts and reached
Spanish soil, a spokesman for the Guardia Civil police force told AFP, in the
latest incident there.
and Melilla, another Spanish territory on Morocco's northern border, have the
EU's only land borders with Africa.
a result, they are entry points for migrants desperate to get to Europe and who
regularly try to climb the high border fences, swim along the coast or hide in
vehicles crossing the frontier. The police spokesman, however, said this type
of border-crossing attempt -- sprinting through manned posts -- was very rare.
been a long time since we've had any attempt of this kind here,” he said,
adding that the migrants who reached Spanish soil were taken to a reception
centre in Ceuta, which would later give the exact number of people who crossed
week in Ceuta, about 200 migrants stormed the high border fence, with 73
managing to get through using wire cutters and mallets.
is ringed by a double wire fence eight kilometres (five miles) long. The
six-metre high fence also has rolls of barbed wire.
family of a Moroccan merchant navy officer abducted by Nigerin pirates in the
Gulf of Guinea issued an appeal to the government to intervene amid silence
surrounding the kidnapping of the crew of a Panamanian navy ship, a week ago.
news website Hespress reported on Monday that it has received an appeal letter
from the family of one of the two kidnapped Moroccan officers, one a captain
and the second an engineer.
the letter the family demanded that the Moroccan authorities intervene through
the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of International Cooperation with the
Nigerian authorities to rescue the men and start negotiations with the
its first reaction the Moroccan government confirmed that it was following the
matter, the report said.
quoted the Moroccan government spokesman, Mustapha al-Khaliji, making a
statement in which no new details had been disclosed.
week, Moroccan and Nigerian media outlets reported that unidentified pirates
had intercepted a vessel carrying the Panamanian flag about 15 nautical miles
southwest of the island of Bonny, operating for a Congolese maritime shipping
Moroccan merchant navy officers are among the crew of a ship targeted by an act
of piracy in Nigerian waters on 31 July,” Casablanca-based, Moroccan
privately-owned website Le360 reported on August 2.
by Le 360, a source from the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces [FAR] confirmed the
information, adding that it was indeed civilian sailors and not members of the
have voted to abolish the upper house of the country’s parliament and change
the national flag in a controversial referendum boycotted by the opposition.
national electoral commission said on Sunday that 53.73 percent of the nation’s
eligible voters took part in the referendum, with 85 percent of them voting to
abolish the Senate.
view the vote as a victory for President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who had
described the Senate as “useless and too costly” and decided to have it
abolished after the body rejected his proposal to change the constitution.
opposition, which boycotted the referendum, says by abolishing the Senate,
Abdel Aziz becomes the sole decision-maker and could scrap presidential term
limits to remain at the helm. It also said the vote was marred by fraud.
capital, Nouakchott, was on high alert before the vote on Saturday due to
opposition protests in the week before. Voting, however, went ahead without any
week, police clashed with anti-government protesters in the country. Senators
also occupied the Senate building in a show of protest on Saturday.
resource-rich African country has never had a peaceful transfer of power, with
senior officials speaking in favor of lifting presidential term limits, currently
set at two terms.
Aziz, last year, said he had no plans to extend the presidential mandate.
leader, who has cordial relations with the West, first came to power in a coup
in 2008 and won a second term in 2014, but is barred by the constitution from
Belfast councillor has said she is happy to stand over claims that “all
Muslims” are obliged to “wage war” on the Christian population of the UK and
helped organise the ‘Northern Ireland Against Terrorism’ rally outside Belfast
City Hall on Sunday, independent unionist councillor Jolene Bunting said she
had no issues with any of the right-wing speakers who condemned Muslim
immigration – and said she would cooperate with police if an investigation is
rally gave a platform to a number of Britain First members including its leader
Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen.
Fransen told around 60 supporters in Donegall Square East that Muslims were
“baying for our blood,” and added: “The world is at war with Islam. Every
single Muslim is obliged to kill you and your husbands and your wives and your
on terrorism carried out by people regarded as Christian, Ms Fransen said
violent Irish republicans were “not Christian,” but added: “The terrorism waged
by republicans is just as bad as the terrorism waged by the Muslims.”
Bunting, who was elected as a TUV candidate before resigning from the party in
February this year, introduced each of the four speakers in turn but also
addressed the small crowd herself.
will start today’s rally by asking for God’s blessing on the rally,” she said
before reading the Lord’s Prayer.
don’t care what colour your skin is, I don’t care where you come from, if your
faith teaches you that you should murder people if they don’t conform to your
beliefs and your ideology, then your faith needs to be opposed.”
went on to say: “There are republican terrorists elected to our government in
Stormont. Can you imagine if Prime Minister Theresa May let the political wing
of Daesh go into coalition with the Tories? Yet that is exactly what we have
had happen in our country.
are not just in our government but they are in charge of our government ...
while innocent victims of terrorists struggle to have their voices heard.”
counter demonstration was held by the ‘Belfast Says No to Fascism’ group.
to the News Letter on Monday, Ms Bunting said she was pleased with how the
rally had passed off – and how many people had viewed the video of the speeches
was a complete success, and what I am really impressed with is that over
100,000 people actually saw it online,” she said.
the police want to investigate anything I will cooperate with them.”
if she thought any of the speakers went too far in the denouncement of Islam,
she said: “No.”
Sunday’s rally, Mr Golding said: “England is going to descend into civil war.
There’s going to be bloodshed. You’ve seen the template for this kind of thing
over in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
is going to come to the mainland. Except it’s going to be far more vicious and
Muslim immigration, he said that “politicians are deliberately replacing us in
our own country – it’s an act of genocide”.
Derna suffers as Haftar’s LNA tightens siege on city
Libyan National Army (LNA), a militia group led by General Khalifa Haftar, has
tightened a crippling siege on the northeastern city of Derna as the renegade
military strongman seeks the permanent ouster of rival militia from the region
he controls in eastern Libya.
of Derna said Monday that a decision by Haftar last week to tighten the
long-standing siege on the city has made their life extremely difficult.
situation is extremely bad. Everything is stopped, the supplies are depleted
and nothing is getting into the city,” one resident said, adding, “There is a
total blockade with no entry or exit. They only allow you to leave as a
siege around Derna was reinforced after militiamen from the Derna Mujahideen
Shura Council (DMSC), which controls the city on the Mediterranean, shot down
an LNA fighter jet at the end of July. The pilot of the jet was killed in the
a former general under slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has been backed by
countries like Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in his quest for ultimate
power in Libya.
month, he announced victory against a rival coalition of militants in Benghazi,
which lies around 350 kilometers from Derna.
victory, which came after a three-year military campaign, effectively elevated
the position of Haftar and the LNA in talks with Libya’s Government of National
LNA, which is allied with a parliament and government in the eastern Libya, has
refused to endorse the GNA since it was established with the United Nations
backing in 2015.
Haftar and GNA heads met for talks in Paris in late July amid efforts to broker
a peace settlement for Libya.
UN has expressed deep concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation
in Derna. The GNA, which is based in Tripoli in Libya’s west, has called on all
sides to "facilitate ways to provide for all the needs of the
resident of Derna said Monday that there was an acute shortage of medicine in
the city, adding that most bakeries had closed because of a shortage of fuel
and that petrol stations remained shut for eight months.
sixth biannual conference of the East African Association for Paleoanthropology
and paleontology (EAAPP), co-organized by the EAAPP secretariat in
collaboration with the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural
Heritage (ARCCH) and the ministry of culture and tourism was held here in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia from July 30th to August 2nd 2017.
to Professor Zeresenay Alemseged, a scientist who discovered selam, co-founder
and President of the EAAPP who hosted and spearheaded the conference, over two
hundred local, regional and international scholars are said to have attended the
conference and presented high number of scientific papers pertaining to
heritage research, conversation, management and development.
to the professor, it was extremely hard for young African scholars to take part
thereby present and discuss their findings in such international scientific
forums. But the EAAPP has, now, reversed the situation by bringing this forum
to the region. He, with reference to that, added that by creating this forum
and bringing the scientific discourse back to the Eastern region, the EAAPP
aims at augmenting collaboration between international researchers and local
scientists. "Though the eastern African region is endowed with impressive
archaeological paleoanthropological resources, a platform where research
outputs could be discussed within the region was missing up until the formation
of our association," said Zeresenay.
to him, the association has, as one of its main achievements, enabled young
African scholars to establish broad collaborative networks globally. As could
be learnt during the occasion, the objective of the conference is to create an
enabling environment for East African scientists to present their own research
outputs away from merely being participants in such conferences unlike the
previous times. For instance, in this scientific conference, right here, over
20 young Ethiopian scientists are expected to present and discus their
scientific research findings thereby let the two parties-scientists and policy
makers- discuss face to face on issues which need their collaborative efforts.
expressed in his keynote remark that the association will continue to play a
key role in promoting scientific discourses in the region and beyond, Ato Yonas
Desta, Director of the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural
Heritage (ARCCH), said in this regard that the association is key in bridging
scientists and policy makers together.
Hirut woldemariam, Minister of Culture and Tourism, on her part said during the
occasion that eastern African region holds the single most important promise
for the solution of the many mysteries that still surround the question of
origins of humanity and its early days. It is indeed gratifying for Ethiopians
to begin to talk about themselves as descendants of Lucy or as distant
relatives of Ardi or selam, she added.
to her, it is beginning to figure increasingly in the parlance of the ordinary
public too. She expressed to the participants that there is something very
powerful for Ethiopians about Ethiopia being described as the cradle of
furthermore, accentuated in her speech that it is even more gratifying that
this is not just a self-aggrandizing banter exchanged among the literati only.
She said that Ethiopia is the origin of mankind and this ascertained not by
Ethiopians but by these scientists who are here in the conference. They have,
through Lucy, Ardi and Selam, reached a consensus that mankind from its very
beginning was evolved here in Ethiopia and then dispersed to the rest of the
on his part said that some of the earliest evidences for the emergency of the
first humans and upright walking have been discovered here. As to him, a unique
record of human biological and cultural evolution, spanning the past 6 million
years, has been documented at various sites in Ethiopia. Further, some of the
most iconic fossils specimens known to date in the history of paleoanthropology
including Lucy, Selam and Ardi were discovered here in Ethiopia.
the government's efforts, the minister expressed that various tasks are being
carried out to make Ethiopia a tourist destination taking all the above facts
into account though much more still remains to be done.
said by her, the government is promoting the country's wonders through various
national and international media outlets, festivals, tourism programmes,
websites and many other marketing mechanisms."For instance, as we all
know, Al-nejashi is the first mosque, where Islam could be practiced openly in
the world after its birth in Saudi Arabia, so, we are working to make it
Islamic (pilgrimage) tourists destination like that of Mecca, so
internationally branded Nigerian investors are investing on that to open
international resorts," said Hirut.
minister added that, nowadays, in addition to the other forms of transport
facilities, there are 25 local airports in Ethiopia; so, travelers can simply
and safely visit any sight they want by using air flights. The same is true for
other facilities too, as sources indicate, for instance, currently; a worldwide
hotel is being launched here in the metropolis at a monthly basis.
to activities being undertaken at a government level to build the capacity of
Ethiopian Paleoanthropologists and paleontologists, laboratories, research
centres, bureaus, libraries, meeting halls and other related services not
mentioned here are almost met. As to Hirut, the government is working on human
resource development. A considerable number of individuals have been sent to
different parts of the world to attend their PHD programmes in this particular
field of study in addition to allocating budget for research away from the
other fund sources as this is a critical field.
Zeresenay added that the government's support to the field in all dimensions is
really wonderful. Many young Ethiopian students are showing interests to this
field and are therefore joining to the department in various old and newly
flourishing universities here and there.
expressed that it is necessary to expand and support archaeological field
schools in east Africa, Dr. Hirut, called upon the association to work toward
creating the East African regional centre of excellence in these fields of
study given the very fertile ground the region has.
relation to this, Hirut promised to the participants of the conference that the
government would be more than willing to support their valiant efforts to
expand paleoanthropological and paleontological research in our country.
Zeresenay told this reporter in his exclusive interview with The Ethiopian
Herald that he in collaboration with all other concerned organs wants to open a
centre of excellence here in Ethiopia in these fields.
to Yonas, organizing such conferences locally and beyond that is quite critical
if African museums and universities are able to be centres for science and
could be known in the occasion, research into human origins in Ethiopia is
relatively young compared to many other countries. The director of ARCCH says
that yet, the research output registered during this relatively short time is
phenomenal showing that the potential of the nation is indeed huge. After
irregular intermittent searches at the beginning of the 20th century and in the
1930's, systematic paleontological and archeological exploration in Ethiopia
began in the lower Omo valley in the 1960's and Melka Kunture. Work in the
lower Omo valley documented a huge number of faunal and floral remains.
Research in the Omo was soon followed by new missions to the Afar depression,
which subsequently, became an epicenter for paleoanthropological exploration.
"Currently, there are over 27 paleontological and archaeological missions
throughout the country making unparalleled impact on the search for human
origins. But the country's paleontological and archaeological resources are
still untapped and much more remains to be discovered," he said.
this regard Hirut said that there may be plenty of research findings of
prehistoric flora and fauna in the East African region but she is not quite
sure they are kept properly and safely, while being at the same time accessible
to the public both for scientific investigations as well as viewing by local
visitors. She said, "I humbly urge the association and other collaborators
to work toward establishing a state of the art museums and safe showcase areas
for prehistoric fossil remains and related scientific findings.
indicated by Yonas, researches into human origins in Ethiopia have been
conducted by non-Ethiopians, mostly western scholars for various historical
reasons but, now, the authority is working to transform itself from just being
an institution which facilitates researches to conducting researches and
develop modern field and laboratory conservation plans
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