Labaki, Rami Malek and Talal Derki - Facebook, 3 Arabs, 1 Muslim nominated for
Pakistan Attacks with One Nuclear Bomb, India Can Finish Us With 20, Says
Central Waqf Board Chairman Demands Closure of 'Madrasas' Run By Wahhabis
Hindu MP Calls for Peace with India
Arabs, 1 Muslim Nominated For Oscars; Shouldn’t We Be Proud?
Technology Sales to Saudi Linked to Trump’s Campaign: Analyst
Contributes To Radicalism among Young RI Muslims: Study
Teams Up With Extremist Party Ahead Of Polls
Hindu MP Calls For Peace With India
Devises New Plan to Shield Hafiz Saeed's Jud, Splits Terror Group Into 2 Parts:
peace a chance: Imran Khan to PM Modi
warn of united front if India attacks
stations 2 officers at JeM HQ
again threatens to launch million march
wants to change, says US envoy for religious freedom
more sacred than defence of country, says army chief
Qureshi tells India to dismiss thoughts of pressuring Pakistan with
France May Look Beyond Azhar to Rein In Jaish, Outwit China
Gets ‘Good Leads’ From CCTV Footage of Dar’s Car
& Jawan Lay Down Lives, 3 Terrorists Killed In J&K
house of cards: How its purported aces have been trumped
Jaish suspects questioned, photo released
Sources: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Planning to Organize ISIL in Western Iraq
Source: US Army Transferring 50 Tons of ISIL's Gold to US
Official: ISIL Terrorists Enter Syria with Turkish Visas
British, Pakistani Forces Killed in Southern Saudi Arabia
left by ISIS kills 20 in Syria
Syrian forces hand over another 150 ISIS militants to Iraq
European leaders in joint pledge to fight terror
Stuart Jolly, ex-Trump staffer now working as DC lobbyist for Qatar
senator tweets bloody Gaddafi picture
strategy in Syria is incoherent and dangerous
Muslim prayer rooms open in Japan, but relatively few takers
Muslim leaders call on China to end persecution of Uighurs
Wrong to deny child’s welfare in Islam’s name
‘Monster’ rally if Putrajaya dithers over anti-Islam provocateurs
Zakir Naik talk, but with conditions, says Penang mufti
Releases Senior Palestinian Cleric Arrested After Al-Aqsa Unrest
bans 2 Muslim clerics from entering al-Aqsa for 1 week
Forces Kill Saudi Officer, 5 Bodyguards
demand Abbas resignation at Gaza protest rally
Houthis to quit two ports Monday under peace deal
US main cause of persisting crisis in Syria
Taliban Political Chief To Join Talks With US In Doha
police say suspected plane hijacker had carried a toy pistol
shadow district chief killed in NDS Special Forces raid in Nangarhar
militants and commanders suffer heavy casualties in a premature IED explosion
Taliban commanders among 9 killed, wounded in Sar-e-Pul operations
than 20 militants killed in Afghan Special Forces raids across the country
launches new export route to India through Iran
Parades Syrian War Trophies On A Nationwide Tour In A Bid To Sell Intervention
2018 saw highest number of Afghan civilian deaths
Arab League to hold 1st joint summit amid tensions
urges joint Arab-European action on terrorism and migration
PM Urges Joint Stand To Drive Back Extremists In Sahel
says 4 airstrikes in Somalia kill 2 al-Shabab fighters
elders should speak on Boko Haram
beats Atiku in seven Borno LGAs displaced by Boko Haram
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Pakistan Attacks with One Nuclear Bomb, India Can Finish Us with 20, Says
Delhi: India could "finish" Pakistan with 20 bombs if Islamabad
decides to launch even a single nuclear attack on the neighbouring country,
former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf has said.
newspaper Dawn quoted Musharraf as saying: "Indian and Pakistan relations
have again reached a dangerous level. There will be no nuclear attack. If we
would attack India with one atomic bomb, then the neighbouring country could
finish us by attacking with 20 bombs. Then the only solution is that we should
first attack them with 50 atom bombs so that they cannot hit us with 20 bombs.
Are you ready to first launch an attack with 50 bombs?"
a press conference in UAE, Pakistan's former president further said that if
India launched any attack in Kashmir, Pakistan could respond in other areas in
Sindh and Punjab and "could teach them a lesson".
comment comes over a week after the terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel
in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, claimed by Pakistan-based terror group
also claimed that Israel wanted to establish relations with Pakistan. The chief
of All-Pakistan Muslim League (APML), who is living in self-exile in the UAE,
said he is ready to return to Pakistan as he sees the political environment in
his country favourable.
my opinion, the political environment is good and favourable. Half of the
ministers are mine. Law minister and the attorney general were my
lawyers," said Musharraf.
took power in 1999 following a military coup that ousted former President Nawaz
Sharif. After being president for nine years, he was ousted from power in after
another coup that rose Mr Sharif again to power.
Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi demanded immediate closure of
Islamic religious schools known as `madrasas’ run by Wahhabi sect of Sunni
Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir.
the backdrop of the Fidayeen attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir on Thursday,
Rizvi said that Wahhabi madrasas were a huge threat to internal security and
unity and integrity of the country as they were breeding ground of extremism
the Fidayeen attack on the CRPF convoy that left 42 Jawans dead, Rizvi said
that the extremists were anti-nationals and their sole aim was to spread hatred
and bloodletting in the country.
Shia Waqf Board chairman said that many Wahhabi madarsas were operating by
concealing their identity. "The nation can never win the war against jihad
spearheaded by Wahhabis unless their madrasas are banned immediately," he
Hindu MP calls for peace with India
DELHI: A Hindu parliamentarian from Pakistan Saturday made a fervent appeal to
the governments of India and Pakistan to defuse tension in the wake of the
Pulwama terror attack, saying New Delhi will benefit the most if the two
neighbours joined hands.
Kumar Vankwani, a member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), offered
to play the role of a mediator between the two governments and expressed hope
that the two countries "don't indulge in any blame game and together move
ahead on the path of peace and prosperity".
patron of the Pakistan Hindu Council was in India as part of a 220-member
delegation from 185 countries who attended the Kumbh Mela on an invite of the
two countries should not allow the use of their soils against each other,
Vankwani said, adding that India would benefit the most if the two countries
the rising tension post the terror attack, the lawmaker from Pakistan premier
Imran Khan's party said his government "does not want such a
you have any apprehension, tell me about it. I will share it with my
government. I will also speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in this regard," he said.
said he shares a spiritual connection with India and visits the country twice
every year, even if it's not a governmentsponsored trip.
CRPF personnel were killed and many wounded when a suicide bomber rammed an
explosive-laden vehicle into their bus in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
Indian government has been working diplomatic channels to "isolate
Pakistan" at international forums for providing support to terrorism.
– 24 February 2019: Filmmakers, audience and cinema critics are eager to see
who will win the most acclaimed cinematic awards.
91st Academy Awards is somehow special for Arabs and Muslims as three Arabs and
one Muslim are among the Oscar nominees and are about to make history.
American actor Rami Malek is nominated for Best Actor award, Lebanese film
"Capernaum" directed by Nadine Labaki is nominated for Best Foreign
Film award and Syrian director Talal Derki’s “Of Father and Sons” is nominated
for Best Documentary award.
American actor Mahershala Ali is also nominated for Best Supporting Actor
has won all the awards preceding the 91st Academy Awards: The Golden Globes,
the BAFTAs and SAG, so it will be frustrating if he doesn't win an Oscar after
his brilliant portrayal of Queen's main vocalist, the legendary Freddie
Mercury, in "Bohemian Rhapsody".
is an Egyptian-American actor, who was born in Los Angeles on May 12, 1981, to
Egyptian immigrant parents who are Saeed Malek and Nelly Abdel Malek.
from Minya's Samalut, Malek's parents immigrated to the US in the 1970s. Malek's
journey from Upper Egypt to the Golden Globes was both difficult and
37-year-old actor grabbed the award after a tough competition with acclaimed
stars, Bradley Cooper for "A Star is Born", Willem Dafoe for "At
Eternity's Gate", John David Washington for "BlacKkKlansman" and
Lucas Hedges for "Boy Erased".
has been nominated before for a Golden Globe for his performance in the TV
series "Mr. Robot". Malek was the first non-white actor to take home
the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series in over 18 years in 2016 for his role
in "Mr. Robot".
win, along with the film's win of Best Motion Picture Drama, were the most
tweeted-about incidents at the Golden Globe.
you to Freddie Mercury for giving me the joy of a lifetime. I love you, you
beautiful man. This is for and because of you, gorgeous,” Malek said dedicating
his great win to the legendary singer.
elaborated that he drew personal connections with Mercury after depicting him.
“I tried to find the humanity in him,” he said during a press room speech after
the film's win.
related to him being an immigrant struggling to discover his identity," he
added. "I tried to take everything he was struggling with, his
complication, his chaos, his turmoil and this beauty inside of him. He lifted
me up to be everything I could be in this film.”
Rhapsody" was actually what the Egyptian-American actor needed to shift
from acclaimed actor to established movie star.
Rhapsody" also winning Best Drama, further stabilised Malek's outstanding
performance in the movie that succeeded both critically and commercially,
yielding over $700 million and becoming the highest grossing biopic of all
provided the golden chance to perform the role of the iconic Mercury, Malek was
aware of the huge responsibility and took it very seriously.
was very cognizant of the work it was going to take to get anywhere close to
becoming Freddy Mercury. I flew myself to London and put myself up and just got
hammering away," Malek explained to E News.
lessons and worked with a movement coach and singing lessons—everything I could
possibly do. And then I watched copious amounts of Freddie Mercury
performances," he reiterated.
is now dating his "Bohemian Rhapsody" co-star Lucy Boynton, 24, who
plays Mary Austin, Mercury's first fiancée.
and Bonyton had never talked about their relationship in public until recently
when Malek confirmed their relation at the Palm Springs International Film
Festival where he accepted the Breakthrough Performance Award.
you, Lucy Boynton," Malek said to Billboard. "You have been my ally,
my confidant, my love. Thank you so much," he added.
who used to sell falafel and deliver pizza to support himself financially at
the beginning of his career is now enjoying his newfound fame and saying
goodbye forever to anonymity, giving a true example that it is never
Ali is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the historical drama
2016, Ali played a drug dealer in "Moonlight", a role for which he
won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the first Muslim
actor to win such an award.
American presenter Oprah Winfrey who is at the same time a voting member of the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said that "Capernaum" is
a must-see movie.
has previously won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, drawing much
attention to Labaki as a distinguished filmmaker.
movie tells the story of a rebellious child who lives in a poor area and
decides to file a suit against his parents for bringing him into this cruel
Father and Sons"
Father and Sons" is the only non-American film nominated for Best
Documentary at the 91st Academy Awards. Derki risked his life to make this
lived for two and a half years in northern Syria with Abu Osama, a member of
Al-Nusra Front (an ISIS family).
pretended to be sympathetic to their cause so that he could film them in an
attempt to learn, first-hand, how young men become radicalized.
on a father and his sons, the film lays bare in terrifying details how young
boys with kindness in their hearts find themselves in an Al-Qaeda training camp
at a tender young age, all to gain the approval of their beloved patriarch.
technology sales to Saudi linked to Trump’s campaign: Analyst
United States is rushing to give Saudi sensitive nuclear technology because
President Donald Trump does not want to lose the “biggest financial
contributors” to his campaign, says a political analyst.
Petras made the remarks in an interview with Press TV about a congressional
report that shows the United States is rushing to transfer “highly sensitive
nuclear technology” to Saudi Arabia, with Trump being “directly engaged” in the
House of Representatives’ Oversight and Reform Committee released the 24-page
report on Tuesday, listing the actions taken by the Trump administration in an
attempt to win government support for American firms to construct nuclear power
plants in Saudi Arabia, in what could increase the risk of spreading nuclear
said, “Washington is engaged in rushing the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi
Arabia …..because many of the biggest financial contributors to Trump’s
campaign are involved in the nuclear industry.”
is rushing this through because he suspects in congressional hearings the
technological sales will not go through and this would adversely affect the big
business supporters of Trump,” added Petras, a retired professor who has
published on political issues with particular focus on Latin America, the
Middle East and imperialism.
there is a financial dimension to the rush and it has to do with the elections
in the United States and the importance of big business in financing Trump’s next
went on to say that “Trump has decided that the profits coming from Saudi
Arabia are more important than the human rights issues that Saudi is
Arabia has lately stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction
of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.
the most recent instance of persecution of dissidents by the Saudi regime,
journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a Washington Post columnist known for his
critical writing on the Riyadh regime, was killed on October 2, 2018, after
entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His body was reportedly dismembered
and has not yet been found.
contributes to radicalism among young RI Muslims: Study
study suggests that young Indonesian Muslims who use the internet more often
tend to have radical and intolerant views compared to their peers who rarely go
by the Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University (UIN Syarif Hidayatullah)
in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in late 2017,
the study found that 88.55 percent of 1,859 respondents believed the government
should ban religious minority groups altogether.
addition, 49 percent of respondents — comprising students from hundreds of
schools and universities across the country — disagreed with the government’s
protection of Islamic minority groups like the Ahmadiyah and Shia.
85 percent has access to the internet.
study’s lead researcher, Jamhari Makruf of UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, explained
that there was one positive correlation between internet use among young
Muslims and the way they perceive religious diversity.
found that religious websites are dominated by exclusive and intolerant
views," Jamhari said on Wednesday.
study further revealed that preachers popular among Muslim youths included
those who often conveyed radical narratives, like controversial Indian ulema
Zakir Naik and Indonesian preacher Khalid Basalamah. Meanwhile, Muslim figures
who promote tolerant and moderate views, including Quraish Syihab, Ahmad Syafii
Maarif, Mustafa Bisri and Haedar Nasir, did not interest them.
called on large Islamic organizations such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and
Muhammadiyah to promote moderate values and create more youth-friendly
religious content on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram to
counter more extreme narratives.
youths want to access religious knowledge as easily as they access information
about food; we have to accommodate them," he emphasized.
researcher from UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Irfan Abubakar, revealed on a separate
occasion that learning from the internet was not enough for young Muslims to
gain a thorough understanding of Islam.
Syarif Hidayatullah's Center for the Study of Religion and Culture (CSRC), led
by Irfan, revealed that more young Muslims who are digital-savvy are abandoning
mosques as they preferred to study religion via social media.
religious literacy, as the result of learning religion only from the internet,
can lead to absolutism, which refers to an attitude of regarding one's own
beliefs as the absolute truth.
is a threat to the country's pluralistic society," he said.
he urged the younger generation of Muslims to learn Islam through legitimate
forums, such as pengajian (Quran reading).
leader Haedar Nashir separately conceded that ignorance among large Islamic
Organizations had contributed to the rising radicalism and intolerance in the
added that Indonesia’s second-largest Islamic organization was committed to
preparing its members to be "social-media preachers" and spread
al-wasatiyyah (religious tolerance) and Islamic moderation as
counter-narratives to extremism.
has a strong network in society, including among the younger generations. We
will turn [al-wasatiyyah] into a massive movement," Haedar said.
teams up with extremist party ahead of polls
Jerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made something of an art form
of cutting deals with small Israeli political parties, but his latest alliance
has earned him denunciations from quarters where he has usually been able to
count on unshakable support.
his future imperiled by prosecutors and political challengers alike, has
enraged Jewish leaders in Israel and the United States by striking a bargain
with a racist anti-Palestinian party whose ideology was likened by one
influential rabbi to Nazism.
pro-Israel groups in the United States that prefer to air their disagreements
quietly have issued public condemnations.
embattled Netanyahu, grasping for every potential vote, has turned to the
extremist party Otzma Yehudit, or Jewish Power, whose leaders have a long
history of expressing support for violence against Palestinians, expulsion of
Palestinians from Israel and the occupied territories, and a ban on
intermarriage or sex between Jews and Palestinians.
prime minister arranged for the organisation to merge into a somewhat more
mainstream party of religious Zionists, the Jewish Home.
pact, announced last week, could easily catapult Otzma Yehudit from the
disreputable fringe into Israel’s next governing coalition.
Yehudit’s leaders proudly call themselves disciples of Meir Kahane, the New
York City-born anti-Palestinian militant who served a term in Israel’s
parliament in the 1980s before his Kach party was outlawed in Israel and
declared a terrorist group by the United States. He was assassinated in 1990.
to expel Palestinians
as Kach did, Otzma Yehudit’s platform calls for annexing the occupied
territories, rejecting a Palestinian state, expelling “enemies” of Israel - a
euphemism for Palestinians - and taking “ownership” of Al Haram Al Sharif, the
third holiest site in Islam.
site, in Occupied Jerusalem, is overseen by Muslim clerics under Jordanian
pact between Netanyahu and the Kahanists set off a predictable eruption from
liberal Jewish groups like J Street and Americans for Peace, as well as the
Union of Reform Judaism, which normally stays out of Israeli politics.
the outrage was not limited to the left.
Friday, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American lobbying
group known as AIPAC, and the American Jewish Committee, both of which rarely
weigh in publicly on Israeli politics, declared Otzma Yehudit’s ideas
vowed not to have any contact with its leaders even if they become part of the
an equally extraordinary step, Rabbi Benny Lau of Occupied Jerusalem, a pillar
of religious Zionism, repeatedly assailed the merger over the weekend, warning
on social media that “the defilement and destruction of the land serves as a
guarantee for the loss of the land.”
lamented that the prime minister seemed concerned only with winning
re-election, and, from his pulpit at the Rambam Synagogue, likened Kahanism to
Nazism and its ideas to the Nuremberg Laws.
entry of the racist doctrine into the Knesset is the destruction of the Temple,”
he wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
Israel’s chaotic parliamentary system, small parties, like the ultra-Orthodox
Shas, can be essential when it comes to forming a majority coalition after an
election, and Netanyahu has routinely struck deals giving them outsize
this time, he is running with his indictment on corruption charges widely
expected, and facing his toughest challenge yet from Benny Gantz, a centrist
and popular former army chief.
desperate to prevent any right-wing ballots from being squandered on a party
unable to win its own seats in the Knesset, Netanyahu has pre-emptively
stretched his coalition’s margins farther to the right than ever before.
two leaders of Otzma Yehudit who could win Knesset seats, depending on the
merged party’s share of the vote in April, are Michael Ben Ari and Itamar Ben
Gvir. They are co-founders of Lehava, a group that opposes Jewish-Palestinian
relationships and was implicated in a 2014 arson attack on a school for Jewish and
Palestinian children in Occupied Jerusalem.
Ari calls Palestinians the “enemy” and advocates expelling them. He was denied
a visa to the United States in 2012 as a member of a terrorist organisation.
Gvir, who was a legislative aide for Ben Ari, has acknowledged having a picture
in his home of Baruch Goldstein, the Kahane follower who massacred 29
Palestinians while they were praying at a mosque in Hebron in 1994.
first gained notoriety in 1995, as a radical opponent of the Oslo peace
process, when he stole the hood ornament from Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s
car and said, “We got to his car, and we’ll get to him, too.” Weeks later,
Rabin was assassinated by a member of a group that also had roots in Kahanism.
devises new plan to shield Hafiz Saeed's JuD, splits terror group into 2 parts:
Delhi: Days after Pakistan banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz
Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation
(FIF), Pak-based ISI formed two news fronts of the terror outfit — 'Jammu
Kashmir Movement' and 'Rescue, Relief and Education Foundation', warned the
Intelligence Bureau sources. The new factions have been set up to shield JuD
from the world amid heightened pressure on Islamabad to act against terror
per sources, instructions have been given to all the terrorists linked to
Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamat-ud-Dawa to work silently under the new fronts. While
JuD has been given the responsibility to look after the 'Jammu Kashmir
Movement', its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation will see the work
related to 'Rescue, Relief and Education Foundation'.
sources said that the names given to the newly formed groups have been kept in
the matter so that everyone should feel it they are charity foundations. The
intelligence agencies also claimed that the money collected in the name of
charity from other countries will be invested by these Pak-backed outfits to
carry out terror activities against India.
reports come days after Pakistan, succumbing to intense international pressure
to rein in militant groups operating from its soil, announced to take over the
administrative control of the headquarters of terror-outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad
(JeM), which claimed the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.
Thursday, the powerful UN Security Council comprising 15 nations, including
Pakistan's key ally China, named JeM in a statement. On the same day, Pakistan
also had banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamat-Ud-Dawa
and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, India has up the ante against
Islamabad and has been briefing foreign envoys in Delhi and world capital's
about Pakistan's involvement in the attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday asked his Indian counterpart
Narendra Modi to "give peace a chance" and assured him that he
"stands by" his words and will "immediately act" if New
Delhi provides Islamabad with "actionable intelligence" on the
remarks came a day after Modi in a rally in Rajasthan said, "There is consensus
in the entire world against terrorism. We are moving ahead with strength to
punish the perpetrators of terrorism ... The scores will be settled this time,
settled for good ... This is a changed India, this pain will not be tolerated
... We know how to crush terrorism."
his conversation with Khan during a congratulatory call after he became
Pakistan's premier, Modi said he told him "let us fight against poverty
and illiteracy" and Khan gave his word – saying he is a Pathan's son - but
went back on it.
statement released by the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office said, "PM Imran
Khan stand by his words that if India gives us actionable intelligence, we will
Modi should "give peace a chance", Khan said in the statement.
on February 19 also, Imran Khan assured India that he would act against the
perpetrators of the deadly Pulwama terror attack, carried out by Pakistan-based
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group, if it shares "actionable
intelligence" with Islamabad, but warned New Delhi against launching any
"revenge" retaliatory action.
said Khan's offer to investigate the attack if provided proof is a "lame
is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar are
based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take
action," the ministry of external affairs said.
prime minister of Pakistan has offered to investigate the matter if India
provides proof. This is a lame excuse. In the horrific attack in Mumbai on
26/11, proof was provided to Pakistan. Despite this, the case has not
progressed for the last more than 10 years. Likewise, on the terror attack on
Pathankot airbase, there has been no progress. Promises of 'guaranteed action'
ring hollow given the track record of Pakistan," it said.
Khan said during his meeting with PM Modi in December 2015, "we had agreed
that since poverty alleviation is a priority for our region, we would not allow
any terrorist incident to derail peace efforts, however, long before Pulwama,
these efforts were derailed in September 2018".
of political and religious organisations, on Sunday, unanimously declared that
the entire nation was united in the face of any Indian aggression in the wake
of the attack in Indian-held Kashmir.
Ulema Council Chairman, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, presided over a
press conference at Lahore Press Club, which was attended by a number of
religious scholars, including Allama Zubair Ahmed Zaheer, Allama Ziaul Haq
Naqshbandi, Allama Tahirul Hassan, Allama Ghulam Akbar Saqi, Maulana Muhammad
Hanif Bhatti, Prof. Zakirur Rehman, Allama Tariq Yazdani, Maulana Asadullah
Farooq, Maulana Asidur Rehman Saaedi, Maulana Abdul Haqeem Athar, Maulana
Zubair Zahid, Qari Javed Akhtar and Maulana Abdul Qayyum Farooqi.
clerics advised India to address the ongoing atrocities in the occupied region
in the light of the UN resolutions on the issue instead of waging menacing
threats to Pakistan.
Ashrafi relayed that Pakistan had already sacrificed enough to eliminate the
menace of terrorism, which should never be forgotten. He believed that both the
ruling administration and Pakistanis were united to befittingly respond to any
cleric claimed that Kalboshan Yadev majorly validated Indian involvement with
the ongoing wave of terrorism hitting Pakistan. He was glad that the
international community had acknowledged for the services Pakistan had
undertaken to root out the menace of terrorism. The Indian government appeared
to use the attack in Pulwama to undermine the success of Saudi Crown Prince,
Muhammad bin Salman’s maiden visit to Pakistan, he maintained.
Ashrafi denied Indian allegations on a seminary in Bahawalpur and claimed that
no illegal or terrorism-related activity had taken place in the well-known
centre of Islamic education with as many as six hundred seminary students.
participants underlined the Indian atrocities on the people of Kashmir, which
had left them with no other option but to get involved with terrorism.
Faithfuls of different religions, including Christianity, Sikhism and Islam,
were said to be mercilessly treated by Indian Hindu fanatics, the leaders
further maintaining that as many as 160 mosques and 260 churches were set
ablaze by fanatic Hindu extremists in India in the last three years.
religious leaders believed that all Pakistanis endorsed the stance of Prime
Minister Imran Khan to retaliate any Indian aggression and stood behind the
Ashrafi also talked of plans of hold the fourth International Message of Islam
Conference on March, 3, at Convention Centre, in Islamabad, which would be
attended by 5000 leading clerics across Pakistan as well as representatives
from the Islamic world. The conference would proceed with the president of the
Palestinian Shariah Court as its chief guest, and strive to come up with a
unanimous stance of the Muslim Ummah to eliminate the menaces of terrorism,
extremism and sectarian violence, he added.
Ashrafi also hailed the brotherly ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to be
grounded in faith, further cemented with the visit of Crown Prince. Saudi
Arabia was said to have signed agreements with Pakistan to boost cooperation in
different sectors specifically in energy and trade.
authorities have appointed two administrators to supervise a seminary and a
mosque believed to be the headquarters of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the terror
outfit which claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack that killed
40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir.
Punjab government appointed the administrators two days after it announced
taking over the control of Madrassatul Sabir and Jamia-e-Masjid Subhanallah in
Bahawalpur, over 400 km from Lahore.
seminary and mosque are believed to be the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad
Punjab government has appointed Mohammad Ali, district Auqaf administrator and
Ghulam Abbas, regional Auqaf administrator to supervise the administrative
affairs of Jamia-e-Masjid Subhanallah and Madrassatul Sabir, Bahawalpur,
respectively,” said a senior official of the Punjab government.
Subhanallah is located in the densly populated industrial area in Model Town-B
of Bahawalpur while Madrassatul Sabir is situated on Bahawalpur-Ahmed East
highway on the outskirts of the city.
in a complete U-turn, the Pakistan government dismissed its own claim of taking
over the control of JeM headquarters in Bahawalpur and said the complex had no
link with the JeM.
a video message on social media, Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry
said the Punjab government took administrative control of Madrassatul Sabir and
Jamia-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur in line with the decisions taken
during the National Security Council meeting held on Thursday and as part of
the National Action Plan.
his earlier announcement that the complex was JeM headquarters, Chaudhry said,
“This is the madrassah (seminary) and India is doing propaganda that it is the
Friday, the minister told PTI that the Punjab government had “taken over the
control of the JeM headquarters in Bahawalpur”.
government of Punjab has taken over the control of a campus comprising
Madressatul Sabir and Jama-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur, allegedly the
headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad, and appointed an administrator to manage its
affairs,” he had said.
was the first time in years that the campus, about 430-km from Lahore, had been
acknowledged by Pakistan to be the headquarters of the Masood Azhar-led JeM.
statement issued by the Interior Ministry on Friday also said the crackdown on
Jaish “has been taken in line with the decision of the National Security
Committee meeting held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister
Islamic seminary in the campus has a faculty of 70 teachers and currently 600
students were studying in it, the statement said, adding that Punjab police
were providing security and protection to the campus.
2002 when the JeM was banned, different intelligence agencies have been
regularly monitoring the mosque and the seminary, the Punjab government
on Thursday also banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led
Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
the two outfits were kept on the watchlist of the interior ministry.
JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Toiba militant
group which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166
was declared a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on February 14 in one of the
deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a JeM suicide bomber rammed
a vehicle carrying a huge quantity of explosives into their bus in Pulwama
between the two countries have heightened after the attack with India asking
Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror
groups operating from territories under its control.
Delhi also announced the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation status for
Pakistan and hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from
Pakistan. — PTI
Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (F) chief Moulana Fazl-ur-Rehman has said his party is
to launch a massive agitation against the incumbent government over the issue
of Namoos-e-Risalat and Islamic ideology and threatened to launch a million
march against the federal government.
to media persons in Sajawal, Maulana Fazl said common people are having a tough
time owing to the price hike of all commodities, including gas and power. He
said the main object of the agitation against the government is to protect the
Namous-e-Risalat as well as Islamic status and ideology.
JUI-F chief, while addressing at the Qasmia Seminary in Tando Ghulam Ali, said
India could not dare attack Pakistan despite the rhetoric and the hatred debate
may disturb the peace of the region. He, however, said Pakistan believes in
peace and freedom, and Indian allegation of Pakistan’s involvement in Pulwama
attack was baseless.
criticising the former army chief General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Maulana Fazl
said recognition of Israel could not be accepted. He said conspiracies to
exclude Kashmir from priorities are underway and it weakens the Kashmir issue.
JUI chief said the economic crisis in the country is artificial, while any
attempt to amend the 18th Amendment would be unconstitutional. He said the
presidential system was illegal and against the Constitution.
DHABI: Pakistan has “a desire to change” its ways and be removed from an
American blacklist of countries that infringe on religious freedoms, a US
special envoy said on Sunday on a tour of a Middle East.
Brownback, the US ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said
he travelled to Pakistan to discuss Islamabad being newly placed on the
blacklist, which can lead to a country facing economic sanctions. Pakistan,
home to some 200 million people, has blasphemy laws that carry death sentence
US put Pakistan on its religious freedom blacklist in December, though US Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo held back on imposing sanctions on Islamabad.
Brownback, a Republican who served in the US Senate and later as the governor
of Kansas for two terms, said he met Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who
promised to appoint a point person to handle the US concerns.
had a lot of difficulties as a nation on this topic on religious freedom so
what I was there for was to talk about changing,” Mr Brownback said.
US ambassador criticised Sudan’s government amid protests against longtime
President Omar al-Bashir during an interview with The Associated Press. He
lauded steps taken by the United Arab Emirates and promises made by Saudi
Arabia while acknowledging far more needs to be done in those countries to
promote and protect the right to choose one’s faith.
it’s not enough but it’s something,” Mr Brownback said in the Emirati capital
of Abu Dhabi. “They’re not perfect countries by any means nor is the United
States, but what I really think we need to do is to start people on a process
and on an engagement moving forward.”
Brownback praised the UAE for hosting the recent visit of Pope Francis. The
pontiff’s visit and his Roman Catholic papal Mass both were the first on the
also praised an Emirati effort to examine school books for children.
though we’re in a ‘Year of Tolerance’ here in the UAE, and I applaud that,
tolerance is too low of a bar,” Mr Brownback earlier told a group of local
journalists. “We need respect between the religions. They need to respect each
other as this is a legitimate search for God.”
Donald Trump picked Mr Brownback to serve as the US ambassador-at-large for
religious freedom in 2017, though he only became ambassador in 2018. He had
faced criticism from Democrats and LGBT groups over rescinding an order as
governor that barred discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender
identity in Kansas.
Brownback opposes abortion and gay marriage.
a senator, Mr Brownback paid particular attention to the conflict in Sudan’s
Darfur region. Asked about the ongoing protests there, the ambassador declined
to say whether he personally thought Mr Bashir should leave.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited troops along the
Working Boundary near Sialkot on Sunday and appreciated their state of high
morale and readiness.
to ISPR, interacting with troops, the army chief said that there is nothing
more sacred than defending the motherland.
said, “I take pride in leading an army which is ever ready to perform this
was the second time the army chief visited troops stationed along the Indian
Friday, he had paid a visit to the Line of Control (LoC) to review the state of
preparedness and lauded the high morale of the troops.
the troops, he said that any aggression or misadventure shall be paid back in
the same coin.
visited Line of Control. Reviewed state of preparedness. Lauded high morale of
troops. “Pakistan is a peace loving country but we will not be intimidated or
coerced. Any aggression or misadventure shall be paid back in same coin,” said
TO DEFEND AERIAL FRONTIERS’:
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan visited the forward
operating air bases of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Sunday.
with the combat crew, the air chief said, “We are a peace-loving nation but if
the war is imposed on us, we would defend the aerial frontiers of our
motherland at any cost.”
alongside other defence forces is ever ready to take on all kinds of challenges
with operational preparedness and immaculate synergy,” he added.
further said, “PAF would thwart any misadventure by the enemy and is ready to
respond with full force as per the aspirations of the nation.”
air chief showed satisfaction over the operational preparedness of bases and
also lauded the high morale of the combat crew.
has been demanding action against militants that Prime Minister Narendra Modi
alleged are from Pakistan and its premier under pressure from his Hindu nationalist
base to show firmness weeks before he is set to call elections.
premier Imran Khan in response urged the Indian government to refrain from
baseless accusations, seeking “actionable evidence” so that his government
could act in this regard. And a few days later, Pakistan Army warned India
against any “misadventure,” saying it was capable of responding.
US in recent years has allied with India, seeing common interests with a fellow
democracy that has been battling extremists.
Trump administration last year cut off $300 million in military aid to
Pakistan, saying that Islamabad has not done enough to fight extremists at home
or close safe havens for militants in neighbouring Afghanistan.
was taking very strong advantage of the United States under other presidents,”
Trump said. “I ended that payment because they weren’t helping us in a way that
they should have.”
also said the United States has developed a “much better” relationship recently
with Pakistan, which has long been at odds with the US over the war in
In light of the heightened tensions between Pakistan and India following
Pulwama attack, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday warned India to
dismiss any thoughts of “pressuring Pakistan with its war-mongering tactics”.
addressing the media following a consultative meeting held at the Foreign
Office (FO), the foreign minister said, “Pakistan is a peaceful country. But [I
have a] clear message for India: if you think we can be pressured, then stop
thinking this,” he said, adding, “Pakistan’s military, political leadership,
and the entire nation stands united with Kashmiris and their struggle.”
attention to the plight of the Kashmiris, Qureshi said, “The Kashmiri youth
will not be subdued or suppressed,” as he reminded India of the words said by
former chief minister of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), Mehbooba Mufti, “you
can [put them in prison] but you cannot imprison their thoughts.”
regretted the recent deployment of an additional 10,000 Indian soldiers in the
valley and the dozens of arrests carried out in the wake of the attack.
Hurriyet leadership is being expelled, there is fear in the valley, dozens of
people are being arrested,” he lamented, as he called on India to end its
is taking steps to ease the tensions. I urge the Indian leadership to exercise
restraint and to ends its irresponsible attitude,” Qureshi said.
also called on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) government to stop
“fueling hatred for the purpose of furthering its agenda ahead of the
elections”, while condemning the killing of a Pakistani prisoner in India and
threats to a bakery in Bangalore named after Karachi.
FM Qureshi met former foreign secretaries and envoys to formulate a strategy to
navigate developments in the foreign affairs department.
to Twitter, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) official account posted
pictures from the meeting and stated that “the consultation was held to discuss
the hostile ambitions of India and the deteriorating situation in Kashmir”.
consultations with former diplomats were held in order to get their input so
that a comprehensive and effective response could be devised to tackle emerging
developments,” Qureshi said.
the meeting, the foreign minister said that the meeting was successful and
helpful, adding that the ministry would try to continue the consultations in
the future as well.
between Islamabad and Delhi have spiked since the February 14 attack that
killed at least 49 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and
injured others when suspected militants targeted a convoy with a car bomb at
Awantipora in IOK’s Pulwama district, in what is the worst attack ever on
security personnel in the state.
car bomb attack was reportedly claimed by militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad and
carried out by a 20-year-old Kashmiri man.
has accused Pakistan of facilitating the attack as tensions between the two
countries escalated and India announced it would withdraw Pakistan’s ‘Most
Favoured Nation’ (MFN) status and lobbied to retain Pakistan on the Financial
Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list. However, Pakistan has denied all
allegations of terror financing.
has been demanding action against militants that Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi alleged are from Pakistan and its premier under pressure from his Hindu
nationalist base to show firmness weeks before he is set to call elections.
Pakistan Army on Friday warned India against any “misadventure,” saying it was
capable of responding.
the diplomatic front, the foreign ministry has established a crisis management
cell and the foreign minister has spoken to his counterparts in various
countries, besides writing a letter to the United Nations.
situation has also raised alarm among the international community and United
States President Donald Trump who voiced alarm at the “very dangerous
situation” between India and Pakistan, warning that New Delhi was considering
“very strong” action after an attack in occupied Kashmir.
a very dangerous situation between the two countries. We would like to see it
stop,” Trump said, adding that the United States was seeking talks with
now there are a lot of problems between India and Pakistan because of what
happened,” he told reporters as he met a senior Chinese official in the Oval
VISITS CRISIS MANAGEMENT CELL:
foreign minister on Sunday visited the crisis management cell established in
light of the heightened tensions between Pakistan and India. He was accompanied
by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua during the visit.
visited different departments of the crisis management cell and interacted with
the on-duty staff. The foreign minister was also given a detailed briefing
about the workings of the cell.
QURESHI, GERMAN COUNTERPART DISCUSS REGIONAL PEACE:
Qureshi has made a telephone call to his German counterpart Heiko Maas and
apprised him about regional peace in the aftermath of the Pulwama incident.
said that despite unfounded allegations and provocative statements from India,
Pakistan has demonstrated utmost restraint and asked the New Delhi to provide
evidence, if any to investigate the Pulwama attack.
sides expressed satisfaction on the nature of bilateral relations between
Pakistan and Germany.
foreign minister also made a telephone call to European Union Representative
for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on Sunday and
briefed the representative about regional situation after Pulwama incident.
France may look beyond Azhar to rein in Jaish, outwit China
DELHI: Looking to build upon the strong UNSC condemnation of the Pulwama attack,
France is likely to bring a proposal in the next few days for a UN ban on
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. However, to give teeth to the
diplomatic offensive against the Pakistan based terror group, India and France
are also giving a "cautious" consideration to several other options
including bringing similar proposals against Azhar's brother Abdul Rauf Asghar,
an accused in the Pathankot attack case, and some other individuals associated
government is preparing dossiers backed by solid evidence for a UN ban on not
just Azhar but also Asghar and other acknowledged JeM terrorists, official
sources here said.
remains to be seen though if the names of Asghar and others are included in the
proposal for inclusion of JeM leader Azhar in the UNSC 1267 sanctions list or a
ban is sought on them in separate resolutions.
at the UN to designate other JeM commanders too as international terrorists
could help India raise the ante on China which has in the past vetoed ban on
Azhar claiming that there was not enough evidence against him.
last time China blocked a ban on Azhar - in 2017 - India responded by saying
such "selective approaches" and "double standards" would
undermine the international resolve to combat terrorism. By all accounts, China
is again likely to take the same position on Azhar. Beijing though could risk
some embarrassment if it chooses to do the same with proposals for banning Asghar
and other commanders of JeM which remains a UN-designated terrorist organisation.
was not just involved in the planning and execution of the Pathankot attack
but, perhaps even more actively than his brother, has in the recent past
repeatedly urged and mobilised people to carry out attacks in India. Days
before the Pulwama attack, on the 'Kashmir Solidarity Day', he was quoted as
having said that he was looking to terrorise India. Ibrahim Athar, another
brother of Azhar, and Shahid Latif, who too is an accused in the Pathankot
attack, are other JeM terrorists whose names could be considered for a UN ban.
UNSC ban on Azhar and others will help impose targeted sanctions on these men
including assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. For that to happen
though, India must provide, as it has already done in the case of Azhar, enough
evidence keeping in mind the listing criteria.
the US had on the last occasion proposed a ban on Azhar, France is this time
leading the efforts with help from some other European countries. Sources here
said that probably having sensed the move, Pakistan had started reaching out to
its own friends and allies to stall the French initiative.
gets ‘good leads’ from CCTV footage of Dar’s car
DELHI: Inching closer to establishing how the February 14 Pulwama car bombing
was planned and executed, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has obtained
CCTV footage from the area around Awantipora in which the explosive laden
Maruti Eeco car, driven by suicide bomber Aadil Ahmad Dar, can be seen on the
day of the attack, highly placed sources said.
CCTV footage, obtained through some locals who had installed cameras on their buildings
and other sources, is being analysed to ascertain which village near the
national highway the car came from before entering the highway near Latoo Mode
and ramming the fifth bus in the CRPF convoy.
confirming if Dar could be seen driving the car towards the convoy or there
were others in it, an officer said, “The only thing I can say is we have good
leads from the CCTV footage.” The sources said that they had also obtained old
videos and pictures of other suspects which were being examined by experts to
make sure the voice used in the Jaish-e-Mohammed video, in which the outfit
claimed responsibility for the blast, was Dar’s.
teams are working on gathering technical evidence and the NIA top brass is
learnt to have assured the government that they will unravel the conspiracy
experts have confirmed that the explosive used in the blast was military grade
RDX, while the NIA believes it was brought to India in tranches through the
international border in Jammu.
workers of JeM, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and others are being
intensively interrogated to find out about known suppliers who travel across
the border and bring explosive material to India.
local Jaish cadre, Muddassar Ahmad Khan, who took part in the conspiracy, is at
large. TOI had first reported his role in the Pulwama bombing.
& jawan lay down lives, 3 terrorists killed in J&K
Three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were killed in an encounter at Turigam in
south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday afternoon. A deputy SP and an Armyman
also died while three soldiers, including a Major, were injured in the same
credible inputs about the presence of Jaish terrorists in the area, a joint
team of Army’s 34 RR, CRPF and SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation in
Turigam village in the morning. The encounter erupted when the hiding
terrorists opened fire on the joint team.
police spokesman said DSP (Operations) Aman Kumar Thakur received critical
bullet wounds in his head during the encounter and was immediately taken to a
nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.
Army major sustained a bullet wound in his leg and was hospitalized, the
spokesman said, adding that his condition was stable.
the initial phase of the gunfight, a militant was killed and a soldier injured.
The police spokesman said that the injured soldier was evacuated to a hospital
where he died. The other soldiers received injuries and two more terrorists
were killed towards the fag end of the encounter in the afternoon.
slain DSP, a resident of Gogla in Doda district, was a 2011 batch Kashmir
Police Service officer, who was leading this operation from the front. He had
been heading the counter-terrorism wing of J&K Police in Kulgam district
for the last one-and-a-half year. He had played an instrumental role in killing
several dreaded terrorists in the area, the spokesman said, adding that Thakur
is survived by aged parents, wife and a six-year-old son.
after the encounter, dozens of youths took to streets and clashed with forces,
who used teargas shells, pellets and live ammunition to disperse them. Several
protesters were injured and taken to a nearby hospital, reports said, adding
that three of them have received bullet injuries.
has used various “trump” cards over the decades to stalk and stall India’s
growth fuelled by being an open, democratic and plural society despite some
of Pakistan’s purported aces have been trumped by New Delhi over the years, others
have been neutralised, and some have outlived their utility. Here are nine
cards Pakistan has played against India.
American Card: Used from the time Pakistan was formed when its leaders quickly allied
with Washington even as India stumbled into the Soviet orbit. The end of the
Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, India’s economic reforms and
subsequent growth, the Kargil war, and 9/11 (which had Pakistan’s fingerprints
on it) resulted in Pakistan losing this hand.
Afghan Card: Fearful of India’s size and growing heft, Pakistan has long sought
“strategic depth” in Afghanistan by installing a friendly, puppet regime in
Kabul, a strategy that resulted in the coming to power of Taliban in 1996 (and
eventually led to 9/11). But Pakistani overreach built on a Sunni-Wahhabi
construct has ruined this card. Except in Taliban pockets, Pakistan is now
despised by most Afghans who see it as a malign force.
Kashmir Card: A card the Pakistan military and its elites have played since
1947 to corner resources. Most poor Pakistanis care squat about Kashmir, which
is “cash mere” for the Pakistani military as it dips its hand in the till. The
Pakistani establishment continues to lie to its own people about UN Resolution
(47) on Kashmir (which actually enjoins that Pakistan should first withdraw
from the areas it has occupied before other steps). With the passage of time,
changes in demographics etc, the resolution, which was non-binding in the first
place, is now infructuous. But Pakistan won’t accept it because peace would
mean having to whittle down its military budget.
Saudi Card: In this petro dollars-for-nuclear cover deal, the House of Saud has
long backed and bankrolled Pakistan, acquiring an outsized influence on its
domestic politics to the extent that it is a go-to place for Pakistanis in
retirement or exile. But Saudis themselves have embarked on a nuclear quest,
and India’s growing influence (it has greater number of workers and white
collar workers) means Pakistan’s influence is being reduced down despite Ummah
solidarity. As Crown Prince Salman suggested to his hosts last week, when living
next to the world’s #3 and #2 economies Pakistan would benefit from peace.
Muslim Ummah Card: Over the years, Pakistan has presented itself as a champion
of the Islamic world and has singularly prevented India from acquiring even an
observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), whose
associates go beyond the 50-Muslim majority countries in the world (Russia and
Thailand for instance have observer status). India, which has the world’s second
largest Muslim population after Indonesia, has gradually increased its
influence in the Islamic world (particularly in the Gulf), and a breakthrough
is inevitable. But its task will be made difficult if the Hindutva hotheads at
home run amuck.
Russia Card: As India has gravitated towards the United States and Pakistan has
lost traction in Washington, Islamabad has tried to woo countries such as
Russia, Turkey and even Iran in the hope of strengthening its China card. But
it is a weak hand. Pakistan is so caught up in domestic radicalisation and
internecine bloodletting that few countries have any confidence in its
long-term prospects. And despite India’s on-again, off-again ties with these
countries, New Delhi retains interest and influence on account of its economic
China Card (and for China, Pakistan Card): China finds it useful to constrain
India using Pakistan. The day India begins to use demographic, economic and
cultural clout, the usefulness of this card could diminish. Just think of all
the Chinese phones we buy, the general size of the Indian market. China will
also not want to import Pakistan’s radicalisation into its sensitive Xinjiang
Terrorism Card: Pakistan’s most potent card, an extension of its “death by
thousand cut” policy following its defeat in the 1971 war.
weaknesses, including in its security doctrine, and global indifference, had
enabled Pakistan to export terror (its principal export) and get away,
literally, with murder. New Delhi has failed to sensitise world capitals of
Pakistani fingerprints on not just terror attacks in India but in many other
places across the world.
Nuclear Card: Pakistan’s ultimate trump card that gives cover to its terrorism,
one that India failed to take care of between 1971 and 1984 by which time it
was too late.
Pakistan does not have a Pakistan card. The world’s sixth most populous nation
has the sixth largest army (and is a nuclear power to boot), but its economy is
ranked 24th in size. Maharashtra has a larger economy, and Tamil Nadu,
Karnataka and Gujarat will each overtake it soon. Nearly ten times the size of
Pakistan’s economy, India is adding one Pakistan to its GDP each year, and will
have an economy roughly 40 times larger by 2050. This growing imbalance is actually
what makes the Pakistani military reckless in its support of terrorism.
youths who were arrested for suspected links to Jaish-e-Mohammad, the group
which has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack, were interrogated by
the DIG on Sunday.
youths were allegedly involved in recruiting for the terror outfit in Deoband
of UP’s Saharanpur district, police said. DGP Om Prakash Singh interrogated
them for about four hours and later coordinated with his counterpart in Jammu
and Kashmir, said an officer of the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS).
Teli (26) from Kulgam and Aqib Ahmed Malik (28) from Pulwama were on Saturday
brought to Lucknow from Saharanpur on transit remand. They were later produced
before a local court in Lucknow, which sent them to 10-day police custody.
Sunday, the ATS released a photograph of the DGP questioning one of the youths.
“An analysis of their mobile phones has started… They were using BBM, virtual
numbers and an app not available on Google Play Store. It was used for
messaging. In their conversation, the movement of weapons and preparations to
commit major terror incident were discussed,” Singh said.
accompanied by a number of his senior commanders, has arrived in al-Hasiniat
region in Al-Anbar desert, the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website
quoted an intel source as saying.
source noted that al-Baghdadi is trying to reorganize the ISIL terrorist group
by utilizing al-Anbar desert and turning it into ISIL's new base.
strategic expert Hesham al-Hashemi told Baghdad l-Youm that al-Baghdadi is in a
region in Raveh Island or West of al-Sarsar in al-Anbar province.
a relevant development on Saturday, Iraqi sources revealed that the US wants to
occupy the Western parts of the country with the help of the ISIL terrorists
after transferring them from Eastern Syria to its bases in the region.
al-Baldawi, the representative of al-Bana coalition in the Iraqi parliament,
told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website that the US forces have
transferred all terrorists and their family members, who have recently
surrendered at the Syrian borders, to the US bases in Iraq.
referred to collaboration between the US and the ISIL terrorists, and warned
that the terrorist group will be reorganized for operations against Iraq's
Qusai al-Anbari, the head of Badr organization's office, said that the ISIL
militants have been sheltered in the US military bases and the desert areas
near these bases, adding that all terrorist operations in al-Anbar are
conducted with Americans' direct supervision.
added that the US forces stationed in al-Anbar want to pave the ground for the
ISIL to occupy certain cities and areas in the region.
relevant remarks earlier this month, Iraq's security experts disclosed that the
US Army was training ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province after relocating them
from Syria to Iraq to prepare them for creating insecurity in the country.
US Army troops are preparing and training the ISIL militants in al-Qadaf and
Wadi al-Houran regions of Al-Anbar province with the aim of carrying out
terrorist attacks and restarting insecurity in Iraq," al-Ma'aloumeh quoted
Kazim al-Haaj, an Iraqi security expert, as saying.
noted that according to the intel obtained from Iraqi security forces in
Al-Anbar province, the US had transferred the ISIL terrorists on Apache and
Chinook helicopters to Iraq.
to the occupation of several regions in Western Iraq, including Wadi al-Houran
and al-Qadaf, al-Haaj reiterated that the US Army was using this opportunity to
deploy the ISIL terrorists after training them in areas where it plans to make
Kurdish-language Bas News quoted a Kurdish source as saying that the Americans
have transferred tens of tons of the gold ingots they have seized from the ISIL
terrorists in Baghouz region in Southeastern Deir Ezzur to their own country
and only kept a small portion of the treasure to be given to the Kurdish
source who spoke on the condition of anonymity reiterated that about 50 tons of
ISIL's gold has been sent to the US from the US military base in Kobani in
report comes as the US has been using the airport in Southern Kobani for
transferring consignments and military equipment in recent years.
a relevant development last week, the US Army troops took out a sum of 40 tons
of gold ingots belonging to the ISIL in heliborne operations after agreeing with
the terrorist group and as Washington is preparing to announce the end of ISIL
in Eastern Euphrates.
US troops in concordance with the ISIL terrorist group relocated big boxes
packed with ISIL's gold treasure on several helicopters from al-Dashisheh
region in Southern Hasaka," the SANA news agency quoted local sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur said.
sources pointed to boxes containing 40 tons of gold ingots that the ISIL had
hidden in the Eastern part of al-Shadadi city, and said that the ISIL had stolen
the treasure of gold from the Iraqi city of Mosul and different parts of Syria.
US troops reportedly took out a group of ISIL terrorist commanders from Eastern
Syria in two heliborne operations in Hajin region of Eastern Deir Ezzur and
al-Dashisheh in Southern Hasaka and they were directed to the place where the
gold treasure was hidden.
a relevant development earlier this month, the London-based Syrian Observatory
of Human Rights (SOHR) said the Washington-backed militants were trying to find
and seize millions of dollars and at least 40 tons of gold left behind by the
ISIL terrorist group,
SOHR reported that the ISIL terrorists had stolen about 40 tons of gold and
millions of dollars from the population once under their control in Iraq and
Syria, which was later transferred to Eastern Euphrates in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
US-led coalition forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) deliberately do
not target the areas under the control of the ISIL terrorists and commanders in
Eastern Euphrates in Deir Ezzur as they are trying to locate this treasure by
forcing the ISIL militants to speak about its location after
surrendering," it quoted informed sources as saying.
noted that part of the cash dollars and gold have been transferred from Turkey
to the areas under the ISIL control by Turkish brokers and intelligence service
who have close ties with the ISIL.
an SDF Commander, Adnan Afrin, said that the ISIL is now under the siege of the
SDF in an area no larger than one square kilometers in Eastern Euphrates.
a relevant development on Tuesday, a prominent Syrian military expert revealed
that Washington plans to transfer the remnants of the ISIL terrorists from
Eastern Euphrates to other regions through Turkey and Iraq.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted Brigadier General Mohammad Issa as
saying that less than 600 ISIL militants are stationed in a 4-km/sq region in
Eastern Euphrates who will be soon evacuated from the region to foreign
added that the operations to transfer these militants will be conducted similar
to the operations earlier carried out to evacuate the ISIL terrorists from
Raqqa, saying that the US forces will transfer them via Iraq or Turkey to some
other Arab states for future operations.
questioned the US forces' claims of fighting against the terrorist groups along
with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), stressing that the Syrian army will
soon move to retake control over this region.
reports said last Sunday that the US army had agreed with the ISIL on the
latter's exit from areas under Washington's control in Eastern Euphrates.
US-led coalition troops and the SDF had reached an agreement with the ISIL
terrorists on the militants' retreat from areas under the control of the US and
its allied forces, the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV news channel reported.
pointed to the preparations by the ISIL to move its terrorists out of Eastern
Euphrates, and said that the ISIL terrorists might be transferred to al-Anbar
desert of Badiya al-Tanf in Western Iraq.
report comes as the SDF claimed that it had started the final battle for
uprooting the remaining elements of the ISIL from Eastern Euphrates.
the Arabic-language service of RT quoted media activists as saying on Saturday
that the US-led coalition forces have carried out heliborne operations in the
Eastern Badiyeh of Deir Ezzur.
Bali, the director of the SDF's Media Center, released the images of visas
issued by Turkey for the ISIL terrorists in the town of Baqouz in Southern Deir
added that tens of other similar visas have also been discovered, noting that
they prove Turkey's collaboration with the ISIL for the free trafficking of its
members to Syria.
visas released by Bali also showed the terrorists' easy trafficking from Turkey
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had announced last month that Turkey's presence
in Syria is legal based on Adana agreement, concluded by Ankara and Damascus in
1998, while one of the most important paragraphs of the deal is preventing the
traffic of terrorists to Syria and Turkey by both states.
reports said earlier this month that hundreds of foreign terrorists had entered
Syria under the supervision of a Turkish mediator and with collaboration of the
country's gendarme forces.
large number of foreign militants have opened their way into Idlib from
Sarmada, Atmeh and Bab al-Salam passageway and joined the troops of Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and Horras
al-Din terrorist groups," local sources in Idlib reported were quoted by
the Arabic-language website of Sputnik as saying.
killed British and Pakistani military officers were conducting a top-secret
mission commissioned by the UK, the US, and the UAE, Taez news, a Yemeni news
outlet, reported last night.
source added that the killed officers were experts in planning and managing
military operations, and were tasked with commanding the Saudi-hired foreign
militants involved in the war against Yemen.
week, Britain’s Daily Express reported that two British Special Forces soldiers
of the elite SAS regiment deployed on a top-secret joint US-UK mission in Yemen
were injured in a roadside bomb blast.
soldiers were in a 12-man coalition taskforce which flew into the wartorn
country three weeks before that. The SAS is working alongside members of
Operational Detachment Alpha, the primary fighting force for the Green Berets.
Under US command, the heavily armed Special Forces team flew into Aden from
Djibouti aboard a UAE Chinook helicopter and met UAE commanders before heading
Northeast in unmarked pick-up trucks.
soldiers sustained leg injuries and were evacuated in a Emirati helicopter to
the US military base in Djibouti, a small heavily dependent country manipulated
by regional and international powers like Saudi Arabia and the US.
Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan,
launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall
Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with
a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen. Around 20,000
people have died since the war began, says Yemen’s Health Ministry.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations (UN) has said
that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4
million threatened by severe hunger.
Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters,
Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
landmine left by ISIS struck a van packed with workers in eastern Syria on
Sunday, killing more than 20 of them, Syria’s state news agency said. The
agency earlier reported that 24 people were killed.
said the explosion on Sunday morning near the central town of Salamiyeh was
caused by explosives left behind by the extremists when they controlled the
area. Another mine exploded in a nearby area earlier this month, killing seven
said the workers hit by Sunday’s blast were heading out to pick desert
has been driven from virtually all the territory it once held in Syria and
neighboring Iraq, but the extremists left behind countless bombs and booby
traps, and large areas are yet to be cleared.
fighters are now cornered by US-backed Syrian forces in a small area near the
estimated 300 ISIS militants are besieged in the village of Baghouz, hemmed in
by the Euphrates River and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a
Kurdish-led militia spearheading the fight against ISIS following an intense
push since September.
of civilians have fled the area held by the extremists in recent weeks.
security officials say they have received custody of a second batch of 150
Iraqi ISIS fighters from US-backed forces in Syria.
officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of media regulations,
said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) handed over Iraqi nationals on Saturday
fighters will be interrogated about their participation with the extremist
group, the officials said.
SDF has told Iraqi authorities it has captured 650 Iraqi militants in the
fighting for Baghouz, an ISIS-held village in eastern Syria, according to the
Thursday, the SDF handed over 150 militants, in the first significant transfer
EL-SHEIKH: Arab and European leaders
pledged at their first joint summit on Sunday to fight terrorism together.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi opened two days of talks at the Red Sea resort
of Sharm El-Sheikh with a speech celebrating what he said was historic
cooperation between the Arab League and the European Union.
the Saudi delegation, King Salman said the Kingdom was one of many countries
that had suffered from terrorism. He called for even greater efforts to combat
terrorist financing and money laundering, and to deny intellectual legitimacy
to extremism. The two-day meeting is intended to strengthen Arab-European ties
and address a wide range common challenges. Among the issues on the leaders’
agenda are multilateralism, trade and investment, migration, security and the
situation in the region.
relations cannot be established without full respect for mutual sovereignty and
non-interference in internal affairs,” the king said.
also held talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, at which they
discussed UK-Saudi relations, and the summit agenda. The king also met with the
PM of Netherlands, Sweden and the president of Iraq during a dinner on Sunday
his opening speech, El-Sisi called for a broad plan to combat terrorism that
would deprive extremists of funding and “include a strict security offensive to
counter the terrorist organizations and other elements of terrorism. And there
should also be an effective ideological offensive against their ideological
summit delegates said Arab and European leaders sitting down together for the
first time was an achievement in itself.
meeting is the message,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
said, and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: “This summit is, in
itself, a deliverable.”
migration challenge from the Middle East and North Africa is at the heart of
the two-day meeting. The EU wants El-Sisi to order the Egyptian coast guard to
pick up migrants leaving Libya and take them back to the African mainland,
ensuring they do not become Europe’s responsibility.
must work together — countries of origin, transit and destination — in order to
break the business model of smugglers and traffickers who lure people into
dangerous journeys and feed modern-day slavery,” said EU Council President
am aware there are differences between us. We are not here to pretend. We agree
on everything. But we face common challenges and have shared interests.”
Sadek, professor of political sociology at the Canadian University in Cairo,
said the summit timing was important “because it comes after eight years of
instability in the Mediterranean affecting Europe and the Middle East.
Qatari government has hired ex-Trump campaign staffer Stuart Jolly as a
lobbyist for the kingdom in Washington, DC.
former national field director for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign
was registered as a foreign agent of Qatar late last year, Politico reported
joined the list of allies of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski
that have forged ties to Doha.
energy-rich Persian Gulf kingdom is under a Saudi-led diplomatic and trade
boycott over alleged support for terrorism.
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have cut off diplomatic
ties with Qatar after officially accusing it of “sponsoring terrorism.”
June 9, 2017, Qatar strongly dismissed allegations of supporting terrorism
after the Saudi regime and its allies blacklisted dozens of individuals and
entities purportedly associated with Doha.
Jolly could be part of Doha’s efforts to put an end to the Saudi imposed
to Politico, “Doha hopes the US government — which maintains a strategically
vital airbase in the country — will pressure its neighbors to end the
employment at Qatar’s embassy in Washington came as a subcontractor to Gary
Silversmith, a Washington lawyer.
they didn’t really need anything,” Silversmith said of his clients. “They never
really asked me to do anything."
Senator Marco Rubio published a graphic tweet on Sunday, showing a
before-and-after picture of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in between
messages aimed at the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
had been deposed in 2011, after 42 years of rule over the country, following a
U.S. led intervention by NATO forces. During the conflict, rebel forces had
located the leader and murdered him in public.
has since been locked in a civil war that has divided the country between two
rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk, a conflict that has killed thousands
of people and brought continued instability to the country.
tweet, which did not contain any written message and was posted in between two
other tweets condemning Maduro, had been criticized by many as a thinly veiled
threat of a military intervention in Venezuela.
really have to be a special breed of warmongering, interventionist loon to
think this tweet is a good idea. Or to think Libya, Iraq, Syria etc were good
and should be repeated," Doug Stafford, a political strategist, tweeted in
response to Rubio.
also comes hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Maduro's days
in Venezuela "are numbered."
a Florida senator of Cuban descent, is one of the most outspoken voices on
Venezuela and a supporter of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared
himself interim leader of the country last month.
post also comes after at least four people were killed and 200 others injured
during anti-government protests in Venezuela. Fifty-one people were also
arrested as they clashed with security forces at the Colombian border.
has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when President Nicolas Maduro was
sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
escalated when Juan Guaido, who heads Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared
himself acting president Jan. 23, a move which was supported by the U.S. and
many European and Latin American countries.
US President Donald Trump declared ISIS had been defeated and announced in
December last year that he was pulling all 2,000 troops out of Syria, there
were fears the withdrawal was ill-advised and premature, would weaken the US’s
role in the future of Syria and expose its allies and the Kurdish fighters it supports
of defence James Mattis and US envoy Brett McGurk resigned in protest but the
president seemed determined to stick to his guns.
if belligerence is one of his defining characteristics, so is his mercurial
temperament and it was the latter which seemingly prompted his U-turn last
weekend, when he announced that he would be keeping 400 troops in Syria “for
the foreseeable future”.
the confusion and frustration caused by his volte face is one certainty: a
smattering of troops and no coherent strategy is the most damaging approach the
US could take in Syria – for itself, its allies and for Syrians.
presence of 400 pairs of boots on the ground – 200 maintaining the safe zone in
northeastern Syria and 200 at the military base in Al Tanf – will be tokenistic
at best and amounts to a mere representation rather than any effective fighting
force. The vastly reduced deployment can only aid America’s enemies and
undermine its allies.
wavering over Syria shows the White House fails to grasp what is at stake. Much
of Syria is still volatile. ISIS, despite American insistence to the contrary,
remains a flame to be fanned. The Syrian Democratic Forces, chiefly Kurdish
fighters who have played such a vital role in beating back ISIS, remain as
exposed as ever to attack by Turkey, whose hand has been stayed only by the
threat of US involvement. Faced with abandonment by the US, in the interests of
self-preservation the SDF is already drifting towards alignment with the Assad
anything, the White House’s chaotic policymaking will only further convince the
Kurds that their best hope of survival lies with the Syrian regime.
are suggestions Mr Trump only decided to stay put in Syria because the UK and
France threatened to pull out without a US presence. However, neither European
country seems willing to step up their military capability in Syria to replace
the severely depleted US numbers, and both are battling with issues on the
domestic front – the looming prospect of Brexit in the UK and the ongoing
gilets jaunes protests in France.
a US presence can prompt a greater Nato response, the limitations of its
smaller force opens up a regional power vacuum that Iran and Russia are only
too ready to fill.
April 2018, when the US mounted a joint missile strike in response to a regime
chemical attack, it seemed that America was willing to defend the Syrian
people. Less than a year on, it is clear that the US no longer has the best
interests of the Syrian people at heart.
an increase in Muslim visitors to Japan, more prayer rooms are being installed
in commercial facilities across the country, but the number of users remains
limited due to reasons such as lack of awareness and difficulty of access.
prayer rooms, often equipped with a washing area for cleaning hands and feet
before prayers, and a sign indicating the direction of prayer, are mainly
designed for those who conduct obligatory prayers five times a day.
to the operator of a website providing information for Muslims, there are about
170 prayer rooms in Japan, and the number is increasing as more tourists visit
Japan from Southeast Asia.
from Malaysia and Indonesia, which both have large Muslim populations, totaled
around 700,000 in 2017, a sevenfold increase from a decade earlier, according
to the Japan National Tourism Organization.
more prayer rooms open up, making the most of them remains a challenge,
prayer room installed recently in a shopping mall in Hiroshima Prefecture,
western Japan, has been used only two or three times a month.
customers misunderstood the purpose of the room and tried to use it as a place
to rest. "It is difficult to promote the room," an official of the
LaLaport Expocity, a major shopping mall in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, a prayer
room there has been used not only by travelers but also people working in the
area since the mall opened in 2015. The room is used around 30 times a month.
news has spread through word of mouth and the number of users has been
rising," said Sachiko Kato, who manages the room.
there is room for improvement.
who want to use the room have to ask staff at the service counter to unlock it,
and this instruction is written in English and Japanese only.
is hard to leave the room open because it is located where many people come and
go," Kato said.
Miichi, an associate professor at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies
of Waseda University, pointed out that it is not enough just to increase the number
of prayer rooms.
we need to understand why (the rooms) are necessary by learning (Muslim)
customs and culture, and then develop an environment where people can use them
easily," Miichi said.
than 130 American Muslim leaders and scholars have signed an open letter
condemning the Chinese government’s continued persecution and detention of the
mostly Muslim Uighur minority.
letter, initiated by the Sound Vision Foundation and signed by prominent Muslim
leaders, called for the release of detainees from internment camps in Xinjiang,
where Uighurs have reportedly been forced to attend indoctrination sessions.
leaders also called for U.S. consumers to boycott imports produced by the
detainees’ forced labor and to join a planned rally on behalf of Uighur people
on April 6 in Washington, D.C.
call upon fellow citizens to stop buying products produced through slave labor
from these camps,” the statement says. “We thank the U.S. government for
raising the issue of human rights abuses and detainment in the concentration
camps and ask the rest of the world to do the same.”
include prominent civil rights activist Imam Omar Suleiman, who heads the
Yaqeen Institute in Texas; Imam Yasir Qadhi of Al-Maghrib Institute and the
Islamic Seminary of America; Imam Mohamed Magid, who leads Virginia’s All
Dulles Area Muslim Society; as well as several representatives from the Council
on American Islamic Relations.
said the Uighur crisis, which he called “the world’s most blatant violation of
any sense of religious freedom and human rights,” has not received the
attention it deserves from world leaders.
this was any other religious group, the world would be up in arms,” Suleiman
told Religion News Service. “The reality is that Muslims have been so
dehumanized that even those who are usually credited as being champions for
human rights can turn away without being called out on their double
of the United Nations Committee say there are credible reports that the Chinese
government had “turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that
resembles a massive internment camp,” detaining as many as 1 million Muslims —
nearly 10 percent of their regional population — without charge, in order to
strip them of their beliefs and religious practices.
rights advocates say reports of torture, forced labor and indoctrination are
widespread. A massive surveillance program includes streets lined with facial
recognition devices and closed-circuit television cameras and government spies
living in suspected Muslims’ homes. The crackdown has made many Uighurs too
frightened to pray or call family abroad. Avoiding alcohol and pork, both
banned in Islamic teaching, is thought to be cause for suspicion.
signed statement begins a broader effort to call attention to the Uighurs' cause,
said Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, founding chairman of Sound Vision Foundation. A
number of mosques across the country agreed to read the letter to congregants
during Friday prayers on Feb. 6.
imams have a far larger following in social media as well as in mosques than
all national Muslim organizations together,” he explained. “I am sure the list
and the movement will grow.”
Sound Vision Foundation, based in Chicago, organized the Bosnia Task Force in
1992 to help declare rape a war crime. More recently, it launched the Burma
Task Force and the SaveUighur project to advocate for Myanmar’s Rohingya
Muslims and China’s Uighur Muslims.
Feb. 7, SaveUighur launched a national campaign to urge Muslims to call their
representatives in Congress and demand their support for bills condemning human
rights violations against Uighurs.
activists say they are frustrated by the lack of international condemnation,
particularly from the global Muslim community.
JAYA: It is wrong to kidnap, hide or deny a child his or her welfare in the
name of Islam, says Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who is in charge of Islamic
affairs, said he would support efforts by the police to look for 11-year-old
Prasana Diksa, who was taken away from her mother M. Indira Gandhi in 2009 by
her father K. Padmanathan.
later changed his name to Muhammad Riduan Abdullah when he converted to
remains missing until now.
(conversion of Prasana) is the result of having unilateral conversion laws,”
was speaking at a press conference after attending a “Muhibbah Chinese New
Year” organised by Muslim Chinese Association, Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah,
Islamic Development Department, Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department
(Jawi), Islamic Welfare Association of Malaysia and the Hidayah Centre
Foundation here yester-day.
pointed out that in 2016, Clause 88A was retracted from the Bill of the Law
Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 2017 before it was passed.
88A states that the religion of the child “shall remain as the religion of the
parties to the marriage prior to the conversion” and that the child can, after
turning 18 and with the consent of both parents, convert to Islam.
is more interesting is that the courts have decided that underage children
cannot be converted and that Jawi had made a mistake when they accepted the
it has to do with the Standard Operating Procedures that should be followed (in
underage conversion),” said Mujahid.
was allegedly taken away from her mother by her father when she was just 11
Federal Court on April 29, 2016, ordered the Inspector-General of Police to
execute a warrant of arrest for Riduan, who disobeyed the Ipoh High Court’s
order to return Prasana to her mother after granting Indira full custody of her
Jan 29 last year, Justice Zainun Ali of the Federal Court said consent of both
parents must be sought in cases of religious conversion and the word “parent” in
Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution should not be construed literally.
LUMPUR, Feb 25 — PAS today demanded the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government
step up its pace to rein in provocateurs against Islam if it does not want
another “monster” rally of the ummah on its hands.
Opposition party’s information chief Nasrudin Hassan accused the government of
being too easy-going against people who have insulted the religion of the
majority, citing the case of a Facebook user who was released from police
custody after three days despite posting a “rude caricature” of Prophet
Muhammad and the latter’s wife.
care of Islamic sensitivities and that of its adherents. If the government is
lazy and slow to act, it will cause those who insult this religion to grow
there is no firm action, the people will rise and a Monster Rally will be held
to pressure the government to act,” he said in a Facebook post.
said his party was stunned that the police would release the owner of the
Facebook account Foo Sing Wai whom he claimed to be a Chinese over the rude act
said the action raised questions among Muslims on the supposed ease at which
the person was let go despite the 395 police complaints filed nationwide
against the “suspect” and investigations under Section 298A of the Penal Code
and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
298A which criminalises religious disharmony punishes those found guilty with a
jail sentence of no less than two years but not more than five.
convicted under Section 233 which concerns improper use of network facilities
can be fined up to RM50,000 or jail up to a year, or both and a further fine of
RM1,000 for every day the offence continues to be committed after conviction.
contrasted the latest treatment to another similar case last year where a woman
who insulted Prophet Muhammad was investigated and sentenced to six months’
jail and fined RM15,000 under Section 298 of the Penal Code.
298 is a slightly different provision and prescribes a maximum jail term of one
year or a fine or both for those convicted of deliberately uttering or making a
gesture to wound the religious feelings of another.
claimed that the rude individual who was arrested in the latest incident does
not qualify for release from police custody based on the facts of the case.
such, PAS demands an explanation from the authorities to assuage the anxieties
of Muslims,” he said.
said such provocative caricatures against Prophet Muhammad and his wife “cannot
TOWN: Penang Mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor today said Indian Muslim preacher Dr
Zakir Naik should be given an opportunity to give ceramahs in the state.
Naik must follow certain set guidelines so as to not cause “problems” affecting
the harmony of Muslims and Malaysians at large.
said Naik, a well-known preacher and personality, should apply for his teaching
credentials (tauliah) to fulfil state Islamic laws and requirements. This
usually takes only a short time to approve, he added.
Penang Islamic authorities stated that Naik had yet to obtain his “tauliah” and
as such cannot speak in public on Islamic matters.
followed plans by a group to bring Naik to speak in George Town in June.
Salim said the local Islamic authorities were obliged to follow the laws set as
they were responsible for ensuring all religious activities do not cause
tensions among Muslim groups or Malaysians of different races.
every person who plans to talk on matters related to Islam has to apply for the
‘tauliah’ before the programme can be held.
Islamic authorities can bar any individual from teaching or delivering a
religious talk if it is found to have the potential of causing a situation that
could be difficult to resolve later on.
it is my opinion that for a well-known preacher such as Naik, he should be
given a chance to give talks with a set of guidelines given to him to follow so
as not to cause problems,” he told FMT when contacted.
Salim said any decision to let Naik talk is up to the authorities, as they
might have their own reasons for allowing or barring a person from speaking.
releases senior Palestinian cleric arrested after al-Aqsa unrest
police released a senior Muslim cleric who helps administrate a sacred compound
in Jerusalem after he was arrested earlier on Sunday, two days after he
re-opened al-Aqsa mosque sealed by Israel during a Palestinian uprising in
Abdel-Azeem Salhab, who sits on the religious council appointed by Jordan to
oversee the Islamic sites at the compound, personally reopened the gate leading
into the Bab al-Rahmeh mosque on Friday, and hundreds of Muslims went inside to
pray for the first time in years.
spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Reuters Salhab and another person were arrested
on Sunday morning, two days after the incident, for breaching an order, and
that they were being held for questioning.
Monday, Israeli police arrested five Palestinians for allegedly “causing a
disturbance” at al-Aqsa mosque.
authorities have banned two senior Muslim clerics of the al-Aqsa Mosque in the
occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds from entering the holy site for one
Abdel-Azeem Salhab, the head of the Waqf Council appointed by Jordan to oversee
the Islamic sites at the sacred compound, and his deputy, Sheikh Najeh Bkerat,
were initially arrested at their homes by Israeli forces in pre-dawn raids on
later, the clerics were released under the condition of not entering the
al-Aqsa Mosque compound for a week, Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
clerics had had important roles in reopening a gate leading into the Bab
al-Rahma Mosque on Friday, when hundreds of Muslims held prayers for the first
time in 16 years. The mosque had been sealed by Israeli authorities.
al-Rahma, with a gate of the same name, consists of a large building and a courtyard
that lie east of the 35-acre sacred al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Inside the
compound are the two Muslim holy shrines of the Dome of the Rock and the
Bab al-Rahma Mosque was sealed by Israeli authorities in 2003 after they
claimed it was being used by Palestinians for political activities. Israeli
authorities renewed the restriction order annually until an Israeli court
ordered the building closed until further notice in 2017.
in the day, Palestinian Minister of Waqf (Islamic Endowment) and Religious
Affairs Sheikh Yousif Ideis had denounced the detention of the two clerics,
saying, “This is a sign of the failure and crisis experienced by the [Israeli]
police also released at least three Palestinian activists later on Sunday after
detaining them in the morning for paving the way for worshipers to enter the
Israeli police threatened on Sunday to carry out more detentions in the
upcoming few days over the same matter.
on Sunday, Israeli authorities also handed an order to another Waqf official,
Sheikh Raed Daana, banning him from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound for
six consecutive months. The reason for the ban was not clear.
reopening of the Bab al-Rahma Mosque followed days of tension between Israeli
forces and Muslim religious authorities over access to the compound.
Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported late on Saturday that a high-ranking Saudi
officer and the 5 bodyguards accompanying him were killed in Northern al-Hadd
region in Yemen.
official Saudi media added that two other members of the convoy were injured.
on Saturday night, a Yemeni military source announced that 9 British special
force experts and 3 Pakistani agents were killed in the Southern regions of
sources announced that the killed British and Pakistani military officers were
conducting a top-secret mission commissioned by the UK, the US, and the UAE,
Taez news, a Yemeni news outlet, reported last night.
soldiers were in a 12-man coalition taskforce which flew into the wartorn
country three weeks ago. The SAS is working alongside members of Operational
Detachment Alpha, the primary fighting force for the Green Berets. Under US
command, the heavily armed Special Forces team flew into Aden from Djibouti
aboard a UAE Chinook helicopter and met UAE commanders before heading Northeast
in unmarked pick-up trucks.
soldiers sustained leg injuries and were evacuated in a UAE helicopter to the
US military base in Djibouti, a small coastal nation on the Horn of Africa
located across the Gulf of Aden.
of Palestinians have staged a demonstration in the besieged Gaza Strip,
demanding that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas step down.
Sunday, the protesters converged on al-Saraya Square in Gaza City to express
their resentment over the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority’s recent
decision to cut salaries of civil servants in the impoverished enclave and
continue cooperation with the Israeli regime.
demonstrators also chanted, “Go, go, Abbas, that’s the demand of the people,”
as they took part in a rally organized by the Free Gaza Movement, a coalition
of human rights activists and pro-Palestinian groups working to challenge the
Tel Aviv regime’s 12-year naval blockade.
of the movement had reportedly been circulating anti-Abbas content on social
media networks over the past few weeks.
the Popular Movement for National Salvation in Gaza has sent a message to the
participants of the forthcoming Arab-European summit in the Egyptian resort
town of Sharm el-Sheikh, stating that "Mahmoud Abbas is no longer a
representative of his own people or a legitimate Palestinian Authority (PA)
like to inform you that Mahmoud Abbas no longer has a legitimate status to
represent the Palestinian people and speak on their behalf in accordance with
the Palestinian Basic Law, which has limited the term of the president to only
four years; accordingly, Abbas’ term of office expired in 2009,” the message
added, “Abbas has been practicing presidential duties for 10 years as a fait
accompli…this situation, however, has dismembered the Palestinian political
system and excluded active Palestinian factions and political forces from
participating in decision-making and playing a role in public life, which has
led to deepening of the constitutional and legal crisis that has overshadowed
the Palestinian political scene.
those years, Abbas has abused the powers granted by the Basic Law to the
Palestinian Authority president through issuing more than 200 law decrees…and
taking punitive measures against the civilians in the Gaza Strip.”
movement then held Abbas fully responsible for the lingering Israeli siege on
the Gaza Strip.
this month, the Palestinian Authority reduced the salaries of 263 employees
from the Gaza Strip's Ministry of Health, as well as a further 400 employees
from the Education Ministry.
for both ministries announced the numbers in separate statements on February
11, denouncing the salary cuts as “flagrant violation” of the rights of public
Iranian-aligned Houthi forces have agreed to draw back from two Yemeni ports on
Monday while withdrawal from the main Hodeidah port will occur later alongside
a retreat by coalition-backed forces massed outside the city, UN and Yemeni
sources said. Houthi forces will withdraw 5 km from the ports of Saleef, used
for grain, and Ras Isa, an oil terminal, as a first step agreed with the
internationally recognized government, three sources said.
Houthi withdrawal from Hodeidah port and the pull-back by coalition forces 1 km
away from the city’s “Kilo 7” eastern suburb would take place as a second step,
orderly troop withdrawal from Hodeidah, now a focus of an almost four-year war,
is key to UN-led efforts to avert a full-scale assault on the port and pave the
way for political negotiations.
conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink
United Nations has been trying to salvage a truce deal agreed at peace talks in
December between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed government. That process has
stalled over who would control of Hodeidah, a Red Sea port used to feed Yemen’s
30 million people.
is held by the Houthis while other Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led
coalition loyal to ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi are positioned on
the edges of the city.
top negotiator, Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani, said the initial Houthi
redeployment must be verified before further progress can be made and
humanitarian corridors reopened.
is what was agreed by the Yemeni government: we verify the first step before
implementing the second,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in remarks
published on Sunday.
small team of UN observers arrived in Hodeidah after the cease-fire went into
effect on Dec. 18 to oversee troop redeployments by both sides.
deal calls for local authorities to assume control of Hodeidah but did not
detail the process, leaving it open to interpretation.
Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore Hadi’s government after
it was ousted from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014.
conflict, widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and
Iran, has been locked in military stalemate.
high-ranking member of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says the
United States is the main cause of the persisting crisis in Syria.
remarks published by Hezbollah’s Media Relations Office on Sunday, Hezbollah
Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the US had prolonged the
presence of foreign-backed militants in the Middle Eastern country.
long war in Syria is because of the US, which is now hindering the settlement
there,” he said, adding that Washington was also using evil schemes in an
attempt to destabilize the Arab country.
the US “is moving from one defeat to another, but it doesn’t want to
acknowledge that,” Qassem further said.
resistance, we forced Israel out of Lebanon. Through resistance, we managed to
impose the equation of deterrence. Through resistance, Lebanon and Palestine
managed to confront Israel. Through resistance, we wiped out Takfiri terrorism
in the region. Through resistance, we dealt blows to the US and prevented Washington
from achieving its goals in our region,” Qassem added.
also cautioned those who count on the US to resolve the persisting issue of
Syrian refugees in Lebanon, saying they were making a losing bet.
also described the US stance toward the region’s issues as an oppressive one
and against the people’s interests. He also lashed out at some Arab countries
for destabilizing the region, noting that they were being supported by the
than one million Syrian refugees are registered with the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon. The Beirut government estimates
that the true number of Syrians in Lebanon stands at 1.5 million.
of thousands of Lebanon-based Syrian refugees have so far returned to their homeland.
However, Hezbollah says that the US is spearheading a global scheme aimed at
preventing the return of the rest of the Syrian refugees under the pretext that
the situation in Syria is still unstable.
armed conflict began in Syria in 2011. The Syrian military, backed by the
Russian air force and Iranian military advisers, has taken back control of most
of the areas in Syria that had been held by militant and terrorist groups.
Taliban political chief to join talks with US in Doha
has announced that the Taliban political chief is set to lead a delegation from
the Afghan militant group for what would mark the highest-level negotiations
yet with the US on ending the 17-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.
Taliban and Qatari officials said Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has arrived in the
Qatari capital, Doha, to attend the peace talks, which are expected to begin
later on Monday.
said Sunday that Baradar will head the Taliban team, despite earlier reports
that he could be absent, citing problems in obtaining travel documents.
American delegation will also be led by US Special Representative for
Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad.
Baradar, who spent eight years in a Pakistani prison, was released in October
Eide, a former UN envoy to Afghanistan, who was involved in some of the
earliest peace contacts with the militant group, described Mullah Baradar’s
arrival to join the negotiators as an encouraging sign the Taliban’s top
leadership was directly engaging in talks.
participation certainly means that the Doha team will become more of a
decision-making body than before,” he said.
my own experience 10 years ago, I believe that he was already, before his
arrest, the most prominent Taliban leader in favor of finding a political
settlement,” Eide added.
latest round of talks between the Taliban and the US were held in the Qatari
capital last month, during which they agreed on a framework truce deal that
would lead to the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and end the war
new round is expected to revolve around the agreements reached last month. US
officials said the two sides remain at odds over the timing of the ceasefire.
talks have so far excluded the Afghan government because the Taliban view it as
illegitimate. The militant group has rejected a government bid to attend the
talks as well as an offer to open an office in Kabul, urging, instead,
international recognition of its office in the Qatari capital.
officials, however, said any final agreement would require that the Taliban
meet with Afghan officials.
said formerly that he would be pushing the Taliban figures to agree to joint
steps with the Afghan side.
are still “unsolved matters,” according to a spokesman of the militant group,
which has said it will not engage in direct talks with the Afghan officials
unless they agree on a firm date for the withdrawal of US troops from the
House officials said last December that the administration of President Donald
Trump was planning to withdraw about half of the 14,000 troops deployed to
Army General Joseph Votel, the head of the US military’s Central Command, also
confirmed the reports in a visit to Oman earlier this month.
Taliban's five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an
end following the 2001 US-led invasion, but 17 years on, Washington -- having
failed to end the Taliban’s militancy campaign – is seeking truce with the
Taliban have strengthened their grip over the past three years, with the
government in Kabul controlling just 56 percent of the country, down from 72
percent in 2015, according to a US government report released last year.
annual UN report said Sunday that civilian deaths in 2018 jumped by 11 percent
from 2017, with 3,804 people killed, including 927 children, both all-time highs
since the world body started recording figures in 2009.
A Bangladeshi man who was shot dead after he tried to hijack a plane had
carried a toy pistol and did not have any explosives on him, police said on
pistol with the suspect was a toy pistol and he had no bomb attached to his
body,” Kusum Dewan, additional commissioner of police in the southeastern city
of Chittagong, told Reuters.
appeared to be mentally imbalanced. We heard he had a personal issue with his
wife and demanded to speak to the prime minister. But we are still
investigating. We don’t want to come to any conclusion right now.”
shadow district chief of Taliban for Lalpur district of eastern Nangarhar
province has been killed during a raid conducted by the Special Forces of the
National Directorate of Security.
provincial government media office in a statement said Sunday that the shadow
district chief of Taliban for Lalpur district Sher Zaman was killed during a
raid of the NDS Special Forces on Saturday night.
statement further added that another comrade of Sher Zaman was also killed
during the operation and two others were arrested.
NDS Special Forces also confiscated some weapons, munitions, and drugs during
the operation, the provincial government said in its statement.
least 15 Taliban group members and their commanders were killed or wounded in a
premature explosion triggered by an Improvised Explosive Device in northern
Ministry of Interior in a statement said Monday that nine Taliban group memebrs
including their four commanders were killed in the explosion.
statement further added that six other Taliban group members also sustained
injuries in the explosion.
to the Ministry of Interior, the incident took place in Jaga Aaraq Qazaq area
of Qala-e-Zal district on Sunday as the militants were busy planting an
Improvised Explosive device.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the incident so far.
least nine Taliban group members including two of their senior commanders were
killed or wounded during the operations in northern Sar-e-Pul province of
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
Afghan forces have cleared Gozar, Landji, and Bazar-e-Taghai villages during
Pamir-38 operations in Sancharak district of Sar-e-Pul province.
statement further added that two Taliban militants were killed during the
operatins and two of their senior commanders, including the shadow district
chief of the group for Sancharak Mawlavi Noor Ul Haq and the group’s military
commission chief Mullah Noor Ahmad alias Khalid were critically wounded along
with five other Taliban group members.
209th Shaheen Corps also added that the armed forces also discovered and
detonated 5 improvised explosive devices during the same operations.
than twenty anti-government armed militants were killed during the operations
conducted by the Afghan Special Forces in various provinces of the country in
the past 24 hours.
to the informed military sources, the Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in
Khogyani district of Nangarahr province killing a Taliban commander, Shir
Zaman, and one of his fighters.
sources further added that the Afghan Special Forces conducted a multi-day
operation in Qarabagh district of Ghazni province, killing 7 Taliban fighters.
Over 50 Taliban fighters have been killed in Ghazni this week.
air strike killed 1 Taliban fighter in Sayyidabad district of Wardak province, the sources said, adding
that 11 fighters were killed in Wardak last week.
sources also added that the Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in Tarin Kot
district of Uruzgan killing 3 Taliban fighters while a similar air strike in
Zurmat district of Paktia province killed 4 Taliban fighters and wounded
Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in Sabari district of Khost province
killing 2 Taliban fighters while the 215th Corps Brigade is conducting a
multi-day clearance operation in Helmand killing 3 Taliban fighters and
destroying 3 roadside bombs, the sources added.
Afghanistan began exports to India through an Iranian port on Sunday, official
said, as the landlocked, war-torn nation turns to overseas markets to improve
said 23 trucks carrying 57 tons of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral
products were dispatched from western Afghan city of Zaranj to Iran’s Chabahar
port. The consignment will be shipped to the Indian city of Mumbai.
the inauguration of the new export route, President Ashraf Ghani said
Afghanistan was slowly improving its exports in a bid to reduce its trade
port is the result of healthy cooperation between India, Iran and Afghanistan
this will ensure economic growth,” he said.
Iranian port provides easy access to the sea to Afghanistan and India has
helped developed this route to allow both countries to engage in trade
year the US government granted an exception to certain US sanctions that
allowed development of Chabahar port as part of a new transportation corridor
designed to boost Afghanistan’s economy and meet their needs of
non-sanctionable goods such as food and medicines.
has sent 1.1 million tons of wheat and 2,000 tons of lentils to Afghanistan
parades Syrian war trophies on a nationwide tour in a bid to sell intervention
is flaunting the trophies of its war in Syria with a nationwide exhibition of
armoured vehicles, drones and weapons its army says it captured from militant
groups in the country.
rail car carrying the war spoils will travel across Russia’s 11 time zones over
several months. The display, consisting of around 500 pieces of military
equipment that includes tanks, assault rifles a wide array of drones and
armoured vehicles repurposed by ISIS for use in kamikaze attacks.
exhibition, dubbed “Syrian Breakthrough”, is being organised by the Defence
Ministry and is said to have received the approval of President Vladimir Putin.
dates that the exhibition will traverse the country are symbolic. The rail-car
museum opened in Moscow on Saturday, a national holiday in Russia called
“Defender of the Fatherland Day,” when Russians celebrate the country’s armed
forces. It has been timed to end ahead of May 9, when Russia celebrates its
victory over Nazi Germany in 1944 with a large military parade through Red
tour is scheduled to make 61 stops across Russia, from Vladivostok near the
border with China down to Crimea, annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.
of the armoured vehicles being paraded through Russia, which include a T-55
tank, bear the markings of the Free Syrian Army and the United Nations. Russian
Deputy Defence Minister Andrei Kartapolov said in Moscow on Saturday that the
hardware originated in countries including Georgia and China.
here is real,” said Major General Alexander Yaroshevich at the opening of the
exhibition in Moscow. “Displaying these items produced in European countries
and America shows visitors everything that we deal with in Syria."
intervention in the Syrian war in late 2015 on the side of embattled president Bashar
Al Assad, is widely credited with having turned the tide of the war favour of
the Syrian regime.
Kremlin said its air campaign was launched to rout terrorists, including ISIS,
but war observers say Russian airstrikes have been responsible for the deaths
almost 20,000 civilians.
tour is an extension of how the Kremlin has sold its military role in Syria as
a revival of the army and of Russia’s greatness, says Andrei Kolesnikov, Senior
Fellow and Chair of Russian Domestic Politics Program at Carnegie Moscow
Centre. “This campaign had an effect — in the eyes of Russians it is one of the
rare examples of victory,” Kolesnikov told The National.
its impact is limited, he warned, saying that the exhibition may not boost Mr
Putin’s overall approval ratings, which have plummeted to historic lows in
recent months over Russia’s economic performance.
role in Syria doesn't mobilize people or help boost the president’s ratings,”
he said. “This event is simply one more attempt to revitalise militarisation of
the mass consciousness.”
exhibition comes are Mr Putin and his counterparts from Iran and Turkey are
working to find a political solution to the nearly eight-year conflict. Earlier
this month, Mr Putin met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan
Rouhani in the Black Sea town Sochi to agree on how to wrest control of the
last pockets of opposition for Mr Al Assad.
Putin has sought to minimize Russia’s footprint on the ground in Syria by
deploying a small contingent of military servicemen alongside fighters from
private mercenary groups with links to the Kremlin.
the conflict has served as an important training ground for the Russian army.
Around 200 pieces of new military equipment were tested on the ground in Syria
and according to a senior military officer, 60 per cent of the Russian military
police have participated in special operations in Syria.
of those officers who were deployed to Syria will accompany the “Syria
Breakthrough” exhibition across Russia as guides.
experience in Syria has been invaluable to the officers,” Lieutenant General
Vladimir Ivanovsky, the chief of Russia’s military police, told Russian media
civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year than in any of the previous nine
years of the increasingly bloody conflict, according to a UN report released
Sunday, which blamed the spike in deaths on increased suicide bombings by ISIS
and stepped up aerial attacks by US-led coalition forces.
its annual report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said
3,804 civilians were killed last year, the highest number since the
international organization began tallying figures in 2009. Another 7,189 were
report comes amid efforts to find a peaceful end to the 17-year war, which have
accelerated since the appointment in September of US peace envoy Zalmay
Khalilzad, who is to begin another round of talks with the Taliban on Monday in
the Gulf state of Qatar, where they maintain a political office.
envoy Tadamichi Yamamoto called the spiraling number of civilian casualties
“deeply disturbing and wholly unacceptable.”
of thousands of Afghan civilians live as refugees in their own country after
fleeing fighting in their home provinces. Tens of thousands more have fled
their homeland, seeking safety in neighboring countries and in Europe.
to the report, 63 percent of all civilian casualties were caused by insurgents,
with the breakdown blaming the Taliban for 37 percent of the dead and wounded,
ISIS for 20 percent, and a collection of other anti-government groups for the
remaining 6 percent.
government and its US and NATO allies were blamed for 24 percent of the dead
and wounded civilians caught in the crossfire, many of them killed in stepped
up aerial attacks, most of which are carried out by the US and NATO.
report said civilian casualties at the hands of Afghan and international forces
were up significantly in 2018 compared to 2017.
the first time since 2009 when it began systematically documenting civilian
casualty figures, UNAMA recorded more than 1,000 civilian casualties from
aerial operations,” the report said.
US military says it carried out 6,823 sorties last year in which munitions were
fired – the highest number in the last six years.
year “witnessed the highest number of civilian casualties ever recorded from
suicide attacks and aerial operations,” according to the report.
the UN began documenting civilian casualties 10 years ago, more than 32,000
civilians have been killed and another 60,000 wounded.
is time to put an end to this human misery and tragedy,” said Yamamoto. “The
best way to halt the killings and maiming of civilians is to stop the fighting.
That is why there is all the more need now to use all our efforts to bring
US and the Taliban have openly embraced a strategy of talking while fighting,
with the Taliban carrying out near-daily attacks on Afghanistan’s beleaguered
European Union (EU) and the Arab League are to kick off their first-ever joint
summit in Egypt, amid internal and mutual tensions.
two-day conference is to go underway at the International Congress Center in
the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.
security, climate change, economy, and regional conflicts are expected to be
discussed during the event.
the European side, the summit is overshadowed by internal differences arising
from Britain’s controversial push to break away from the EU. The Arab states,
on the other hand, have had tense relations among themselves over a Saudi
Arabian-led blockade of Qatar.
relations with the Arab states have also partially suffered over a Saudi-led
war on Yemen — which has prompted sporadic protests from European states due to
its huge civilian casualties — and the state-sponsored murder of Saudi
dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last October.
crown prince avoids event
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, whom Turkey has hinted ordered Khashoggi’s
assassination, is also avoiding the summit.
attendance at the weekend summit in Egypt would have put the Europeans in an
awkward position as they try to strengthen cooperation with their Arab
partners,” the DPA said in a report.
confirmed their attendance only after it became clear” that neither Sudanese
President Omar al-Bashir nor the Saudi crown prince would show up, Reuters
is subject to an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court and is
facing domestic protests, which have taken a deadly turn.
ailing Saudi King Salman will be leading the kingdom’s delegation to the
sends low-level delegate
is also sending a lower-ranking representative to the Arab League, according to
London-based paper al-Araby al-Jadeed.
decision by Doha came after “unprofessional” behavior by Cairo to send the
invitation to “the Greek Embassy in Doha instead of submitting it to the
permanent representative of Qatar to the Arab League.”
the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain are three of the four countries that have
imposed the blockade on Qatar under Saudi leadership since June 2017.
the tensions, the EU and the Arab League are attempting to enhance relations by
holding the event anyway.
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa has warned that Arab nations need to
assert themselves. “If the Arab side weakens itself, Europe will impose its
agenda,” he has said.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi made a strong appeal for a joint strategy
against terrorism as he opened a landmark Arab-European summit on Sunday.
El Sisi also called for a framework allowing “organised and safe” migration to
Europe, for the benefit of both regions.
need a joint vision to deal with the dangers since it is clear that it’s
difficult to do so unilaterally,” he told the leaders of Arab League and EU
states gathered at the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh for the two-day
El Sisi, who has invested significant time and effort since taking office in
2014 to cultivate close economic and security ties with Europe, said the summit
was proof that what brings the two regions together outweighs what separates
unprecedented, 50-nation meeting is the fruition of more than a decade of talks
between representatives of the Cairo-based League and the EU, with the first
round taking place in 2008.
Saudi delegation is led by King Salman, while the UAE's representatives are led
by Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah.
from the EU side include European Council President Donald Tusk, European
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU foreign policy chief Federica
Mogherini and heads of government from Germany, Britain and Italy, among
El Sisi said the two regions must agree on a joint strategy to counter
terrorism, warning that anything short of that was destined to fail.
terrorism has become a tool used by some nations to create chaos in their
neighbours to gain a stature that comes at their expense,” he said, in a thinly
veiled reference to Qatar and Turkey, which have long been accused of
El Sisi said failure to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict would also have bad
ramifications for both regions.
said settling that conflict would deny the “forces of extremism and terrorism”
the chance to recruit youths raised amid strife and violence.
leaving the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya without a settlement
"constitutes a failure that future generations will hold us accountable
for”, he said.
El Sisi's international standing has steadily grown in the nearly five years
since he was first elected.
month, the former military leader assumed the rotating, one-year presidency of
the African Union.
El Sisi said that since 2016, Egypt had prevented illegal migrants from leaving
its shores to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
he also proposed that illegal migration, a pressing domestic problem for most
of the EU’s member nations, must be dealt with “not as a challenge but as a
chance for co-operation”.
surplus of labour in the Arab world could be a perfect fit for the needs of
industrialised Europe, Mr El Sisi said.
and safe migration to Europe could achieve mutual interests when done side by
side with combating human trafficking,” he said.
Arab League-EU summit comes at a time when both regions are plagued by internal
differences over a range of major issues.
agenda covers a wide range of topics and stresses the significance of the
gathering as a mostly symbolic, but important event that could be a prelude to
deeper co-operation between the regions.
has for years been fighting an insurgency by militants in the Sinai Peninsula
while struggling to revive its economy.
civil wars in Yemen and Syria have raged for years, while Libya has become a
haven for militants in a country ruled by rival administrations backed by armed
PM urges joint stand to drive back extremists in Sahel
Mali: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Sunday urged partners to commit
to stand with Paris in driving back jihadi violence in the Sahel.
require everyone’s commitment to progress toward durable stabilization. Nobody
can boast of being able to do without the backing of others,” Philippe said,
citing a Malian proverb at his troop’s headquarters at Gao.
was speaking days after the African Union’s peace and security chief Smail
Chergui urged member states to tackle the root causes of extremism in the Sahel
is backing a 5,000-man joint mission among the five nation G5 Sahel force on
the front line: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.
Chergui voiced disappointment in difficulties faced in financing and equipping
the force at a time when the future of the current UN mission MINUSMA is
Islamist revolt in the Sahel took off after chaos engulfed Libya in 2011.
Militant attacks erupted in northern Mali as Boko Haram emerged in northern
areas of Mail remain out of contril, and the extremists have gained ground in
neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, while Chad is battling unrest on its
is the action of all, with (French-led anti-insurgent Operation) Barkhane,
alongside Malian forces, which will drive back jihadism,” said Philippe, who
arrived in Mali late Friday for a two-day visit.
Sunday he addressed French, Malian, British and Estonian forces saying he
wanted to salute the troops’ “remarkable and decisive” results to date,
including the recently announced deaths of extremist leaders Amadou Koufa and,
last Thursday, Algerian Djamel Okacha, alias Yahya Abou El Hamame.
day our enemies are suffering important losses, reducing their capacity to
cause trouble,” said Philippe, though he conceded the threat has not
he said 2,700 French forces in the region since 2014 “will remain as long as is
in Gao, Philippe, accompanied by Defense Minister Florence Parly, visited a
monument to 24 French soldiers who have died in Mali to date.
– The United States military says it has killed two al-Shabab extremists in
four airstrikes in Somalia.
attacks eliminated checkpoints and facilities used by al-Shabaab to collect
taxes to fund their violent campaign in Somalia, said a statement Sunday from
the U.S. Africa command.
addition to creating enhanced security, airstrikes help to disrupt al-Shabaab
operations and the network while preventing future attacks by this terrorist
group," said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, U.S. Africa Command
director of operations.
to the statement, two airstrikes on Saturday hit the Kunyow Barrow area, about
250 kilometers (155 miles) southwest of the capital, Mogadishu. Another strike
was in the Awdeegle area, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Mogadishu and
a fourth was near Janaale, about 75 kilometers (46 miles) southwest of
civilians were injured or killed in the attacks, said the statement.
these four airstrikes, the U.S. military has carried out at least 16 such
airstrikes this year in Somalia against al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist
group in Africa and which is linked to al-Qaida.
We must thank God that the Vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo and his co-travellers
did not die in the helicopter accident in Kogi State.
I cannot but think of the innocent people being killed in the unjustifiable war
against Boko Haram and protection of the Fulani herdsmen terrorists and
Osinbajo is comfortable with it all.
we say President Muhammadu Buhari is the most corrupt and expensive, it is an
all round fact regarding his health which led him to be going to London and
spending up to more than forty days and more than hundred days before protests
in Nigeria and London embarrassed him out of habitual recourse to seeking
health and rest in London.
much altogether did Buhari’s romance with London cost Nigeria? The answer is
blowing in the wind, as a top official secret.
Buhari is the worst liability because it took him more than five months after
his own inauguration as the President before installing his ministers.
what happened in the ministries in about half a year when no minister was
overseeing the affairs of the ministries? The answer is blowing in the wind.
Buhari promised to defeat Boko Haram in six weeks, and he repositioned the
Army, at the end of which he degraded Boko Haram, the northeast populations,
the military personnel, and the economy.
are the total costs of the war against Boko Haram in human lives and economic
resources? The answer is blowing in the wind. Buhari added protection of the
Fulani herdsmen terrorists to the war against Boko Haram, ravaging agrarian
communities throughout Nigeria.
you estimate the costs of the Fulani herdsmen terrorism in human lives and
economic resources? The answer is blowing in the wind.
is Nigeria’s gain as Buhari doubles himself as the Petroleum Minister,
increased fuel price from N87 to N145, and he is recovering looted funds
without accountability for anything to anybody? Nigeria has gained
unprecedented hyper inflation and widespread penury.
are all the answers blowing in the wind? It is because there is no
accountability. Buhari shrouds everything in secrecy, yet claiming to be
fighting corruption oh!
All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, is in
clear lead ahead of his major challenger, Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP), in seven local government areas that have been displaced by Boko
the reclaim of most local government areas that were once under the control of
Boko Haram fighters, many of the displaced persons still live in camps. These
camps are either located in Maiduguri, the state capital, or at various local
expect that the opposition parties, especially the PDP, might be able to make
some inroads in these displaced local governments, especially over residents’
fixation on the ruling party’s inability to effectively degrade the insurgents.
despite the impressive presidential campaign rally that Mr Abubakar had in
Maiduguri about three weeks ago, the voter return in his favour does not seem
to be commensurate with the promises made to Mr Abubakar.
to results so far announced at the Borno state presidential collation centre,
Mr Buhari continues to maintain a comfortable lead in all the seven council
areas that were brought in.
Nganzai local government, Mr Buhari polled 6,804 votes, while Atiku got 975 votes.
The local government had 8,058 votes while about 335 ballots were rejected.
Magumeri LGA, with a total registered vote of 50, 991 and 14, 364 accredited
voters, Mr Buhari polled 12,079 votes, while Mr Abubakar got 692 votes out of a
total the 13,738 total valid votes.
Mobbar local government, Mr Buhari polled 13,112 votes to beat Mr Abubakar who
got only 280 votes.
Buhari won Gubio local government area with 10,207 votes to beat Mr. Abubakar
who got 510 votes.
Dikwa, Mr Buhari got 17,805 votes to defeat Mr Abubakar, who managed to get
only 100 votes.
Abadam local government where there was a serious voter aparthy, the displaced
people who had challenges with their voting centres gave Mr Buhari 5,907 votes
with only 270 of them thumbprinting their ballots for Mr Abubakar. Abadam has a
total of 45,707 votes.
Guzamala, another local area with low voter turnout, only 6,284 votes were
received. And of that figure, Mr Buhari swept 5,370 votes and left only 521
votes for Mr Abubakar.
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