cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi and his party Tehreek-Labaik Pakistan held furious
protests after the Supreme Court overturned the death penalty for Asia Bibi in
October 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS
Villagers Open Gates of Shiva Temple for Muslims to Offer Namaaz in Courtyard
Terror Groups Use Women to ‘Honey Trap’ Jammu & Kashmir Youths: Indian Officials
Granted More Time To Pass Law Drafting Ultra-Orthodox Jews into Army
Cleric Who Led Asia Bibi Protests Charged With Terrorism
Case Sought to Dissolve Tunisia’s ‘Ennahda’ For Alleged Terror Links
Villagers Open Gates of Shiva Temple for Muslims to Offer Namaaz in Courtyard
Pandits Demand Kartarpur-Like Corridor to PoK’s Sharda Peeth
To Be A 'Fundamentalist Muslim', Was Targeted In India by 'Enemies of Islam':
Muslim Education and Welfare Society Establishes Minority University
Speech More Important Than “Recitation Of Quran”? Local Party’s Priorities
Encounter Breaks Out Between Terrorists, Security Forces in Shopian's Sangran
Singh’s statement against Darul Uloom Deoband: AIMMM President seeks apology,
threatens legal action
of safety, discrimination force 97 Sindhis to migrate from Pak to India
should seek our help if it can’t fight terrorism by itself, says Rajnath
student who joined militant ranks returns after appeals from his family
Says Missile Program Is Defensive Amid Heightened Allegations, Evidence
City Fights To Resurrect Itself after Al-Qaeda Defeat
court orders release of Palestinian Jerusalem al-Quds governor to house arrest
police recommend indicting Netanyahu in third graft probe
to facilitate evacuation of 50 wounded Houthi militants for treatments
blasts ‘surrealism’ guiding US foreign policy
Man Sentenced To 7 Yrs in Jail for Providing Material Support to Terror Outfit
asks authorities to show ‘PTI-like leniency’ to TLP
actors behind Sami’s killing, says his son
Muneeb seeks PTI-type treatment for TLP leaders
doubts PTI’s seriousness about new province
opens immigration office in Kartarpur
prince allowed to hunt Houbara bustard
won’t compromise on its writ, says info minister
considering renegotiating LNG deal with Qatar: minister
Be Cowards – Buratai Tells Special Forces
people killed in new US airstrike in Somalia
Libyan leaders in Jordan to strengthen bilateral relations
Kilifi Mosque Demolished in Land Dispute Pitting Two Families
Haram claims deaths of eight Nigerian soldiers
deploy 2000 operatives to North East
Haram: Two suicide bombers die in Maiduguri
Takes Control of Bishwa Tableeghi Ijtema Grounds
Jamaat-affiliated Candidates Divided over Using BNP’s Symbol
militants killed in Tagab district of Kapisa province
call’s Mullah Manan’s death a major loss
militants killed, wounded in Afghan, foreign forces operations in Ghazni
Taliban commander killed in airstrike in southern Afghanistan
Repatriation: ‘Do the right thing’, Bangladesh writes to Myanmar
of pope's visit lingers on in Bangladesh
shadow governor for Helmand province killed
militants kidnap 60 coal mine drivers in Samangan province
Coalition Targets IS Leader Linked To Decapitation Of American Humanitarian
Militia Blackmailing Civilians in Eastern Syria
Civilians Killed, Injured in US Raid in Eastern Deir Ezzur
Forces Continue Targeting Kurds in Northern Syria
Non-Syrian Commander of Terrorists Killed in Idlib
accuses coalition of missile strikes on its army positions
Lebanese politician urges calm after aide killed by gunfire
demonstrators gather outside Saudi embassy to protest Yemen bombings
expands air defense network in Syria to US dismay: Report
No Intelligence Directly Links Saudi Prince To Khashoggi Killing
coalition attacks Syrian Army in Homs province
Should Keep Ties with Saudi, Hold MbS Responsible: Top Democratic Senator
cannot cite UN Security Council resolution on Iran’s missiles: Commentator
admiral found dead in Bahrain residence
Introduce Special Act to Protect Islam, Malay Rulers
Pull Out Islam Card on Jokowi
politics show strength in massive Jakarta anti-Ahok rally
Sabu: Don't Be Influenced By Racial, Religious Sentiments
Russia, Saudi agreed to keep oil production low
by New Age Islam News Bureau
It was indeed a rare spectacle, at least for the people of western Uttar
Pradesh, when scores of Muslims bowed down to offer Namaz in the courtyard of a
Shiva temple in Bulandshahr.
example of bonhomie amid rising communal rhetoric in the region, residents of
Bulandshahr’s Jainpur village on Sunday afternoon threw open the gate of Shiva
temple for the Muslim devotees who couldn’t reach the mosque on time due to traffic
a sea of devotees gathered in Bulandshahr on Sunday to attend the final day of
‘Tablighi Iztema’, a three-day Islamic congregation, a few men got stuck in
traffic near the village at the time of Namaaz. When the Muslim men narrated
their tale to the locals, they decided to take up the matter with the temple
committee members. Together, in unison, they decided to throw open the temple
gate for the Muslims. Soon, the Shiva temple’s water taps were opened for
‘Wazu’ and mats were laid for Namaz in its courtyard.
message of love and brotherhood should spread far and wide. Some Muslim
brothers got stuck in the traffic jam here and it was Namaaz time. Since there
wasn’t any other place for them to offer prayers, we opened the gate of the
Shiva temple and asked them to come in,” said Amar Singh, the priest of the
the Muslims also thanked the temple priest and villagers.
many Muslims were in the city on Sunday for ‘Tablighi Iztema’. When some of
them came to us and requested to offer prayers inside the temple premises,
there was no way we could have refused. Love is prayer and prayer is love, and
we just did our little bit,” said Chaudhary Sahab Singh, a member of the temple
Pradhan Ganga Prasad said: “The villagers sat and decided this together. It was
decided in unison to open the temple gate.”
Terror Groups Use Women to ‘Honey Trap’ Jammu & Kashmir Youths: Indian
trapping’ is one of the new methods used by Pakistan-based terror groups to woo
youths towards militancy and use them as human carriers for delivering arms
from one place to another or acting as guides to infiltrating terrorists,
intelligence-based operation had led to the arrest of Syed Shazia, a woman in
her early 30s from Bandipore, a fortnight ago. It was seen that she had many
accounts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram which many
youths in the Valley followed, they said.
from the central security agencies had been keeping a watch on the Internet
Protocol (IP) address used by Shazia for several months. She used to converse
with youths and would promise to meet them only if a certain “consignment” was
delivered from one place to another, the officials said.
had been in touch with some officials in the police department as well, but the
officials termed it a usual tactic of “double-cross” as she used to report the
movement of troops and “not so sensitive” information to her handlers across
interrogation, she told the investigators about the presence of some more women
in militants ranks who had been tasked with luring youths into militancy, they
said. A week before her arrest on November 17, the Jammu and Kashmir Police had
arrested Aysia Jan (28) for carrying 20 grenades in Lawaypora on the city
outskirts, after receiving inputs about militants trying to smuggle arms and ammunition
into the city.
grenades, the police had also seized ammunition from her possession, they said.
monitoring had started during the probe of a case from September last year when
the police killed Abu Ismail, the Lashker-e-Taiba terror chief in the valley,
and Chotta Qassim. Both were involved in last year’s gunning down of Amarnath
pilgrims in which eight people were killed. Some documents and materials were
seized from the encounter site in the outskirts of Srinagar city which
indicated that an unidentified woman hailing from North Kashmir was involved in
supplying arms and ammunition to the two terrorists.
was in April this year, the woman was identified as Syed Shazia. Continuous
monitoring of her social media presence showed that she was getting diktats
from across the border for honey trapping and luring youths into militancy from
across the border, they said.
was in constant touch with Sherwan alias Ali of Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit
who introduced her to Pakistan-based terrorists Sufiyan and Qasim Khan Gauri.
she started working as an overground worker from Jaish terror group and was
acting as the main conduit for ensuring delivery of weapons to other parts of
her arrest, a special police officer hailing from Handwara was picked up by
police for informing Shazia that her phone had been kept on monitoring.
was found that the special police officer identified as Irfan had been passing
information to Shaiza, they said. She was arrested under various sections of
Ranbir Penal Code (equivalent of IPC) and Arms Act.
granted more time to pass law drafting ultra-Orthodox Jews into army
Supreme Court on Sunday extended a deadline for Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu’s government to pass a law related to military service for
ultra-Orthodox Jews, a measure that could potentially provoke early elections.
court agreed to extend the deadline, which was on Sunday, until January 15,
rejecting the government’s request for it to be moved back to the end of March.
government has been seeking to have a law passed that could gradually see
ultra-Orthodox Jewish students serve in the military like their secular
counterparts, as mandated by the Supreme Court.
parties that form a key part of Netanyahu’s coalition reject such measures and
a compromise law given initial approval earlier this year has not been advanced
government is now in a much more precarious position, left with only a one-seat
majority in parliament after defense minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned last
premier says he wants his government to last until the end of its term in
November 2019, but tensions surrounding the issue of ultra-Orthodox Jews and
the military could derail those plans.
parties control 13 seats and at least some could withdraw from the government
over the issue.
need for a new bill arose after the Supreme Court in September 2017 struck down
a law allowing ultra-Orthodox men to be exempted from military service until
court gave parliament a year to pass a new law, before an initial extension
pushed that back to December 2.
issue is part of a decades-old debate over whether young ultra-Orthodox men
studying at seminaries should perform mandatory military service like the rest
of Israel’s Jewish population.
of thousands of ultra-Orthodox between 18 and 24 obtain exemptions from
military service to study at seminaries.
compromise law would set targets on proportions of young ultra-Orthodox who
would begin serving in the army and establish financial penalties against
seminaries that do not meet the goals.
cleric who led Asia Bibi protests charged with terrorism
A hardline cleric has been charged with terrorism and sedition by the Pakistani
government after he led violent protests to oppose the acquittal of a Christian
woman from blasphemy charges, a minister said.
Hussain Rizvi and his party Tehreek-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) held protests after
the Supreme Court overturned the death penalty for Asia Bibi in October.
blocked major roads, burned cars and buses, and left large swathes of the
country paralysed as they called for her execution.
was detained on November 24 after police launched a crackdown on hundreds of
his supporters in the Punjab province and the port city of Karachi.
Chaudhry, federal minister for information and broadcasting, told reporters in
Islamabad that sedition and terrorism charges had been filed against Khadim
Rizvi and other TLP leaders.
the protests, one TLP leader called for mutiny against the military chief, the
murder of the judges who acquitted Bibi, and branded Prime Minister Imran Khan
as a “son of Jews.”
said these charges can carry a life term in prison.
people who were directly involved in destruction of properties, insulting women
and snatching their purses, burning buses, have been charged in terrorism
cases,” he said, saying more than 3,000 people had been arrested in connection
with the TLP protests.
government signed an agreement with the protesters at that time to bring about
a quick end to the violence, but launched a crackdown a few weeks later when
the TLP threatened to launch another protest.
is a hugely inflammatory issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unproven
allegations of insulting Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) can lead to
conviction stemmed from a 2009 incident when she was asked to fetch water while
out working in the fields.
women labourers objected to her touching the water bowl as a non-Muslim, and a
fight reportedly erupted. A local imam then claimed Bibi insulted the Prophet
has consistently denied the charges, and her prosecution rallied international
rights groups, politicians and religious figures.
spent eight years on death row before the Supreme Court’s decision to free her.
case sought to dissolve Tunisia’s ‘Ennahda’ for alleged terror links
Tunisian lawyer, who is a member of the defense team of assassinated political
opponents Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, announced on Saturday that he will
file a legal case to dissolve the Ennahda Movement Party for its alleged links
Kalthum, the defense team’s member said that he will push his case against
Ennahda in front the court which held on Friday a hearing on the assassination
the Court of First Instance postponed its deliberations on the case of the
assassination of Belaid to March 30, 2019.
Thursday, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi stated that the Ennahda Movement
Party threatened him personally and that he would not allow it.
comments came during his supervision of the National Security Council’s meeting
at Carthage Presidential Palace.
development came after the Security Council said it will investigate the secret
apparatus of the Ennahda Movement Party.
Pandits demand Kartarpur-like corridor to PoK’s Sharda Peeth
than 200 Kashmiri Pandits took out a protest march in Anantnag Sunday demanding
that a passage on the lines of the Kartarpur Corridor for Sikhs be opened to
facilitate devotees to visit the Sharda Devi temple in Pakistan-occupied
Kashmiri Pandits held placards and raised slogans in support of reopening the
passage to PoK.
Peeth is an abandoned temple in Sharda village along the Neelam river across
LoC. It was a major centre of learning and is regarded as one of the 18
highly-revered temples in South Asia.
protesters, under the banner of All Party Migrant Coordination Committee
(APMCC), demanded that the Sharda Peeth corridor between Neelam Valley in PoK
and Teetwal in north Kashmir be reopened on the lines of the Kartarpur
and Pakistan last week laid the foundation stones of the Kartapur corridor on
their respective sides. The construction of the corridor is expected to be
complete in five months, facilitating the visit of Indian Sikh pilgrims to the
16th-century gurdwara in Kartarpur in Pakistan.
Raina, president of Vessu Transit KP Colony, pressed for an early opening of a
corridor to Sharda Peeth.
Jyotshi, president of Mattan KP Colony, said, “We have been waiting anxiously
from 70 years for its reopening. It is the matter of faith”.
pandits of Kashmir have an immense belief that whatever bloodshed or mayhem is
in Kashmir nowadays is due to the neglect of their presiding deity Sharda
Mata,” he added.
APMCC has been calling for reopening of passage for 10 years and they had twice
sat on fasts in support of their demand.
to be a 'fundamentalist Muslim', was targeted in India by 'enemies of Islam':
Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, wanted in his home country of India, said he has
not broken any Indian law and was being targeted by the "enemies of
Islam," in a rare public speech in Malaysia where he has sought refuge.
53, is facing charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, where
authorities last year said he has been "promoting enmity and hatred
between different religious groups in India through public speeches and
lectures".The preacher has been living in Malaysia, where he has permanent
residency, since India started investigating him, but he has kept a low profile
over the past year amid criticism that he is a threat to peace in multi-ethnic
said in a late Saturday speech in Kangar, capital of the north Malaysian state
of Perlis, that he had never broken any Indian law."But because I was
spreading peace, I was giving solution for humanity, all the people who don't
like peace to prevail, they don't like me," he said, adding he was being
targeted because of his work to spread Islam."This doesn't go down (well
with) the enemies of Islam. Be it western countries or the country I was born
has been controversial because of his puritan brand of Islam - recommending the
death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam as their faith,
according to media reports.In a clip on Youtube, Naik says that if Osama bin
Laden "is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am
with him".Bangladesh suspended a television channel that featured his
preachings after media reported that militants who attacked a Dhaka cafe
killing 22 people last year were admirers of him.
State claimed responsibility for the attack.Britain banned Naik from entering
in 2010.About 1,000 people turned up for Naik's speech, along with the state's
chief minister, crown prince and religious officials.The preacher was known to
be close to officials in the previous Malaysian administration, which was
unexpectedly defeated in a May general election.
Marwar Muslim Education and Welfare Society established 32 educational
institutions including a university on a sprawling campus covering an area of
more than 57 acres in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Ahmed Javeed, Correspondent of Inquilab Urdu Daily interviewed Prof. Akhtarul
Wasey, VC of Maulana Azad University Jodhpur.
Akhtarul Wasey informed that in 1981, a Senior Secondary School was set up in
Jodhpur which was inaugurated in 1988 by the then CM of Rajasthan, Mr. Shiv
2013, Rajasthan Assembly passed an act in which permission was given for the
establishment of Maulana Azad University. It got minority status. It has 3300
students studying in it.
may be mentioned that in 1937, Maharaja Umeed Singh had given the gift of a
school for which he had also appointed a regular British principal. After the
independence of India, Govt. had seized this school in 1948.
1987, Govt. of Rajasthan allotted this land on which this education society
started educational institutions. This university admits candidates who secure
40-50 percent marks and fail to get admission in any educational institution.
An attempt is being made to bring these students into the mainstream.
further details of the activities of the university, Prof. Akhtarul Wasey told
that the students who do not get Govt. scholarships are given financial
assistance from Zakat Fund. Last year, Rs. 14.5 lakh were given from Zakar
Fund. He also said that Jodhpur has become a hub in the fields of health and
education. There is an Ayurvedic University, Law University (NALSAAR) and AIIMS
mentioned that this university does not get funds from the Govt. The members of
the education society who were associated with construction work supervise the
construction of the university buildings.
Election Speech More Important Than “Recitation Of Quran”? Local Party’s
After the incident of changing the schedule of Namaz in the Masjid by the local
party leaders, another incident took place in which the recitation of the Quran
was stopped. This was done to facilitate continuation of speech of the leader
of local political party.
incident occurred in Charminar Assembly Constituency. When the local party
candidate of this constituency was about to start his speech, at that time
recitation of the Quran was going on as part of birthday celebration of Prophet
Mohammed (PBUH). The candidate of the local party of Charminar Assembly
Constituency was holding the mike and gave a hint to his supporters for
stopping the recitation of the Quran. The activists jumped from the dais and
stopped the recitation of the Quran. The local party candidate continued his
Delhi: An encounter broke out between terrorists and security forces in Sangran
village of Shopian district in Jammu and Kashmir, news agency ANI reported on
Monday. In the latest development, two terrorists are reported to be trapped.
Firing has been stopped at present, as per ANI tweet.
internet services have been snapped in the area. The area has been cordoned off
and a search operation is underway to nab the terrorists. More details in the
an earlier incident on November 27, a soldier was martyred following an
encounter in Redwani area of Kulgam. According to news reports, two terrorists
were also killed in the gunfire.
to a report, security forces had received a tip-off about the presence of
terrorists hiding in a house. The incident came three days after six terrorists
were killed in an encounter which broke out in Sekipora area of Bijbehara in
Anantnag district. Arms and ammunition were also recovered from the custody of
November 18, two terrorists were killed in an encounter which broke out between
terrorists and security forces at Rebban area of Zainapora village in Shopian
district of Jammu and Kashmir. The encounter came a day after the militants
abducted and killed a 19-year-old teenager.
a former special police officer (SPO) was killed after he was kidnapped by terrorists
in Reban area of Shopian district. Terrorists had kidnapped three persons
including a former special police officer (SPO).
Delhi: President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Mr. Naveed Hamid
condemned the statement given by Union Minister, Mr. Giriraj Singh against
Darul Uloom Deoband.
Hamid further told that by associating a world fame educational institution
like Darul Uloom Deoband with terrorism and claiming Hafiz Saeed and Abu Bakr
Al-Baghdadi to be the former students of this institution is nothing but
diverting the attention. By making this statement, Mr. Singh is creating hatred
among the Hindus and the Muslims.
December 3, 2018 will remain a historic day in the lives of around 97 Sindhis
from Pakistan, who have been staying in Nagpur on long term visas (LTV). On
Monday, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis would be granting them Indian
citizenship, thereby making them Indian nationals.
is such a relief,” sighs Manohar Pamnani currently residing in Jaripatka where
he runs a jewellery shop. Pamnani came to India in 1997 to meet his relatives
and found the environment very positive. “I got so much love and affection from
them, and so in 2009 I returned on a LTV along with my family. On Monday, we
will severe all ties with Pakistan and become Indians,” he says.
Kukreja, Standing Committee chairman of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC),
has played an active role in making this possible. “Sindhis are facing a lot of
trouble in Pakistan and felt very unsafe there. Being a social worker, it as my
duty to help them. After all, our families too had fled from that country
during partition,” Kukerja says.
3,500 Sindhis from Pakistan are staying in the city in Jaripatka, Khamla and
other Sindhi dominated areas of the city.
to the rules, an immigrant can apply for citizenship after staying in India for
seven years. “There are 600 applications for granting of citizenship pending
before the government. A total of 97 applications have been cleared of which 35
got citizenship earlier. The chief minister will give certificates to all 97 of
them on Monday,” Kukreja informed.
issues, cultural clashes and victimization have been some of the reasons why so
many Sindhis have fled from Pakistan.
form barely 2% of the population in Pakistan and face a lot of discrimination,”
says Vijay Nanwani who moved to India in 2004. “There is no sense of
belongingness there,” he says.
partition in 1947 divided many families like that of Bheeman Bhojwani. “Two of
my brothers came to India while my younger brother and I stayed back along with
our mother. In 1991, we too decided to settle in India. The kind of
opportunities that our children got here would not have been possible there. We
run a plumbing and borewell business and can go to villages even at night. This
sort of safety is not there in Pakistan,” he says.
was marriage in 1992 to an Indian which kept Sarwanand Zambani in India. “I
took my wife to Pakistan in 2008 and though she liked meeting people there, we
could not have stayed back as Pakistan will not grant citizenship even to an
it to non-Muslim is out of question,” he says.
minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said Pakistan can seek India’s help if it
cannot handle the fight against terrorism alone. Singh also rebutted Congress
president Rahul Gandhi’s claim that three surgical strikes were conducted when
UPA was in office.
asserted there have not been any major terrorist-related incident in the country
in over 4 years of the Modi government. “I want to ask the Pakistani PM (Imran
Khan) that if in Afghanistan, a fight can be carried out against terror and
Taliban with the help of the US, then, Pakistan can seek help against terrorism
from India if it feels that it cannot handle it alone,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir youth studying in Noida, who had joined militancy in October,
has returned home after appeals from his family.
naming him, J&K Police said an individual has been “brought back into the
mainstream”. “With the help of family and police an individual has been brought
back to the mainstream,” J&K Police tweeted on Sunday.
has returned home,” a senior police officer told The Indian Express. “Police
compliments the community and the family for their effort, which has helped the
boy to come home”.
police, however, didn’t reveal the name and identity of the student and, in a
tweet, requested that his name be withheld “in view of the sensitivity of the
19-year-old’s family said he returned home on Sunday afternoon.
half an hour of his return to his home, a police team turned up at his home and
detained him,” the boy’s uncle said. “When he returned home, he was bleeding
and couldn’t talk”.
student went missing a month after he was assaulted by a group of fellow
students on his college campus in Noida. A week later, on November 3, an audio
message was released on social media in which he announced he had joined the
Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), adding that he had decided to join the
militants the day he was assaulted in college.
after the audio message appeared on social media, his family made a fervent
appeal to him, asking him to return home.
says missile program is defensive amid heightened allegations, evidence
said on Sunday its missile program is defensive and not in breach of UN
resolutions, the state news agency IRNA said, following a US allegation that
Tehran had carried out a new missile test.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday condemned what he described as
Iran’s testing of a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple
warheads as a violation of the 2015 international agreement on the Iranian
missile program is defensive in nature... There is no Security Council
resolution prohibiting the missile program and missile tests by Iran,” IRNA
quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying in response to
did not confirm or deny that Iran had carried out a new missile test.
the UN resolution enshrining the 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France,
Germany, Russia and the United States, Iran is “called upon” to refrain for up
to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear
has repeatedly said its missile program is purely defensive and denied its
missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads.
Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal, approved before he took
office, in May and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran. Trump said the deal was
flawed as it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles
or its support for armed proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
US’s International Institute for Strategic Studies had released a report
stating that Iran was using a space program to disguise its building of
no country has converted a liquid-fuel, satellite-launch vehicle into a
long-range ballistic missile. Yet allowing Iran to continue developing and
launching large rockets in support of its space program is not risk-free,” the
center affirmed that Iran has the largest arsenal of missiles in the Middle
East, including short and medium-range missiles, and cruise missiles that can
city fights to resurrect itself after Al-Qaeda defeat
Yemen: In azure waters off Yemen, newly minted coast guards stormed a fishing
boat in a mock exercise as part of a war-scarred city’s struggle to resurrect
state institutions two years after Al-Qaeda’s ouster.
a nation torn by conflict, the former extremist bastion of Mukalla stands out
as an oasis of stability, offering what many call a blueprint for post-war
a ceremony last week on a beach littered with rusted Soviet-era tanks, dozens
of Yemeni officers took charge of securing the 350-kilometer (217 miles) coast
of southern Hadramawt province, infested with drug and weapons smugglers.
handover in Mukalla included management of local ports, with a Saudi-led
military coalition giving maritime equipment and surveillance boats to the new
coast guard trained by Saudi, Emirati and American officials.
real answer to the humanitarian crisis (in Yemen) lies in bringing about an end
to the conflict in a way that will restore the institutions of the state,” said
Matthew Tueller, the US ambassador to Yemen.
cannot afford to see Yemen continue in this failed state status,” he added at
the ceremony also attended by Saudi envoy Mohammed Al-Jaber.
in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), seen by the United States as the militant
network’s most dangerous franchise, was expelled from Mukalla in April 2016.
was a rare success for coalition-backed Yemeni forces locked in a bloody
stalemate with Iran-aligned Houthi militia.
who stoned women adulterers and enforced an austere vision of Islam no longer
roam Mukalla’s corniche and its squares no longer serve as venues for public
officials concede that the conditions that facilitated the militants’ takeover
of the poverty-stricken city of nearly 500,000 — mainly a lack of services and
governance — still prevail.
fishermen in colorful sarongs, Mukalla’s streets host beggars scavenging
through overflowing dumpsters while raw sewage flows in open drains.
bear the scars of war, including bombed out houses. Joblessness is rampant, and
despite Hadramawt being oil-rich, Mukalla is crippled by frequent power outages
and fuel shortages.
Mukalla, the security is good, services are bad,” said resident and former
transport minister Badr Basalmah.
sleeper cells still lurk in the city, but Hadramawt governor Faraj Al-Bahsani
says they do not pose a major threat.
is peace in Mukalla but it’s fragile,” said Elisabeth Kendall, a Yemen scholar
at Oxford University.
groups are no longer strong and have mainly gone to ground, but that does not
mean they won’t resurge as they attract disillusioned youths who lack
stability depends on reconstruction and development, but Yemen is reeling from
an economic meltdown led by a collapsing Yemeni currency, leaving many out of
work and unable to afford even basic food staples.
low salaries and high inflation, people are focusing on survival,” said
local government is struggling to pay wages and banking heavily on the UAE and
Saudi Arabia for financial support.
regional airport remains closed to commercial traffic, further stifling
militants — the target of a long-running US drone war — swept into Mukalla
virtually unopposed in 2015.
militants were feared, but some multiple residents said they sought to offer
basic services such as clean water, electricity and fuel, while repairing sewer
lines and paying regular salaries on time — seen as an anomaly in Yemen.
extremists retreated to the province’s mountainous interiors just as swiftly as
they took over the city after looting up to 270 billion riyal ($100 million)
from Mukalla’s banks, Yemeni officials said.
Bahsani said authorities recovered a tranche of AQAP documents after they left,
which revealed intelligence such as blueprints of their military strategy,
their sources of revenue and details of storage sites for armaments.
said the documents had been handed over to Emirati authorities who backed the
main Yemeni offensive to retake the city.
grip on this place was benefiting Houthis,” said General Abdullah Abu Hatem,
from the Yemeni border guard forces.
two separate groups, they were mutually benefiting from Yemen’s war economy.
The porous Hadramawt coastline controlled by AQAP facilitated the smuggling of
weapons which often ended up in Houthi areas, Hatem said.
their ouster, Mukalla is experimenting with a prohibition on civilians bearing
firearms — something unique in a country with a long tradition of carrying
Israeli court has ruled to conditionally release Palestinian Authority (PA)
Jerusalem al-Quds Governor Adnan Ghaith from detention to house arrest, days
after he was detained on charges of collaborating with Palestinian security
forces in violation of interim peace accords between Israel and the
Rami Othman said Jerusalem al-Quds magistrate court justice Chavi Toker ruled
on Sunday that Ghaith will be confined to his home through Tuesday, and could
leave custody on bail and on condition he not enter the occupied West Bank for
and more than 30 Palestinian activists were arrested last week.
month, the Palestinian Jerusalem al-Quds governor was arrested by Israeli
forces and held in prison for two days before being released.
large group of special Israeli forces arrested Ghaith in the Beit Hanina
neighborhood of Jerusalem al-Quds on October 20 after intercepting his car.
charges against him were not clear, but apparently had to do with his staunch
opposition to the recent sale of a Palestinian-owned property in the Old City
of Jerusalem al-Quds to Israeli settlers.
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Ghaith, a longtime activist in
Fatah political party, to the role of PA Jerusalem al-Quds governor in late
his role, Ghaith is responsible for overseeing the PA’s operations in the
neighborhoods within its jurisdiction on the outskirts of Jerusalem al-Quds.
military forces have arrested Ghaith many times in the past several years,
including on suspicion of incitement, according to his brother Hani.
alongside Fatah activists, has spent several hours a week at Khan al-Ahmar
Bedouin village, which is slated for demolition, in the past couple of months.
continue in the occupied Palestinian territories in the wake of Trump's
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.
dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis Jerusalem al-Quds on December 6
last year has triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories,
Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim
21 last year, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor
of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition
of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”
an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals
against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at
the UN Security Council.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with eight
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,”
including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
police are recommending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted in a
corruption case involving Israel’s telecom giant.
say Sunday they have established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu
and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust.
case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Netanyahu promoted
regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company
in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister on Bezeq’s news
have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other
cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second
over trading positive media coverage for advantageous legislation for a
prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a
witch-hunt orchestrated by the media.
recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations
began,” Netanyahu said in a statement after the third recommended indictment
against him in recent months.
the request of the UN special envoy to Yemen and in consultation with the
legitimate Yemeni government, the Arab coalition said they have facilitated the
evacuation of 50 wounded Houthi militants for further treatment.
of the Coalition forces Col. Turki al-Maliki said that the leadership of the
joint forces of the coalition has received the request of UN Special Envoy to
Yemen Martin Griffiths to facilitate the evacuation of the 50 wounded militants
to Muscat for humanitarian reasons.
statement also said the facilitation comes within the confidence-building
framework between the Yemeni parties to prepare for the upcoming peace talks in
said that a commercial aircraft belonging to the United Nations will arrive at
Sanaa airport on Monday to evacuate the injured fighters, which will carry 50
militants, three Yemeni doctors and a United Nations doctor from Sanaa to
Muscat after completing all procedures and special coordination.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemns the “surrealism” informing the
US’ foreign policy after his American counterpart accuses Tehran of violating
the very UN Security Council resolution that Washington is in breach of.
is now the US' modus operandi in its foreign affairs,” Zarif tweeted on Sunday.
Mike Pompeo had accused Tehran of testing a missile “capable of carrying
nuclear warheads” in violation of Security Council Resolution 2231.
resolution -- which represents a nuclear agreement signed between Iran and
other countries, including the US, in 2015 -- bans all activity relating to
“nuclear-capable” weapons. Iran does not engage in any such activity, something
that has been verified on many occasions by the UN nuclear watchdog.
itself started breaching the resolution in May after it left the nuclear
agreement. In the following months, it took further steps in breach of the
resolution by restoring the sanctions that had been lifted under the agreement,
and even threatened the countries potentially ignoring the bans with “secondary
itself violates UNSCR 2231…, it (the US) now falsely accuses Iran of violating
the very same resolution,” Zarif wrote.
to the US’ warning against the countries that could break the bans targeting
Iran, he reminded that Washington now “even threatens to punish those who don't
wish to violate it in abiding with illegal US sanctions.”
top Iranian diplomat incorporated #Hypocrisy at the bottom of his tweet.
in the day, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Pompeo was talking
in “paradoxical” terms since he had predicated his remarks on a resolution that
the US itself had contravened.
also repeated the country’s assertion that the Iranian missile program was
entirely defensive in nature.
asserted that Iran had to equip itself with “whatever it needs to defend
itself” in the light of the past and ongoing tensions in the region, and its
own past experience of coming under an imposed war by Iraq.
official, meanwhile, reminded that the missile program was a matter of the
Islamic Republic’s own discretion. “We do not take advice on our missile
policies from others, and view the matter in the light of our own defensive
preferences,” he said.
spokesman said the US was trying to adversely affect Iran’s current relations
with the international community, especially Europe, in line with its policy of
arming Yemen terrorists
a separate tweet, Zarif remarked about a recent report by The Guardian that
showed weapons supplied by the US and Britain had “fallen into” the hands of
splinter groups in Yemen, “some with links to al-Qaeda and Isis (Daesh).”
in Saudi & UAE war crimes with arms, intel & logistical support
apparently not enough. US also proliferating advanced weapons to extremists
including al-Qaida & ISIS (Daesh),” the foreign minister wrote.
US and Britain have been generously arming Saudi Arabia and its allies since
the 2015 launch of a brutal Saudi-led invasion against Yemen.
countries also provide the invasion, which seeks to restore the impoverished
country’s former Riyadh-backed officials, with logistical assistance, including
Syria; now in Yemen. Aim: Permanent instability to justify heinous policy,”
man sentenced to 7 yrs in jail for providing material support to terror outfit
YORK: A Pakistani man has been sentenced to seven years in prison in the US for
attempting to provide material support and resources to Jabhat al-Nusrah, an
alias name for the terror group Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Javed Sheikh, 39, of North Carolina was sentenced to 84 months imprisonment
followed by a lifetime of supervised release. He had pleaded guilty to the
charge in August and since he is not a natural born citizen of the US, he faces
possible automatic removal from the country.
had been living for years in the US as a legal permanent resident.
affidavit to the complaint describes multiple Facebook postings by him in 2013,
expressing support for Jahbat al-Nusrah. He posted articles acknowledging that
Jahbat al-Nusrah had been designated by the US as a terrorist group.
detailed within the affidavit, Sheikh utilized Facebook to “propagate the
violent ideology of Islamic Extremism,” US Attorney's Office for the Eastern
District of North Carolina said.
mid-2013, Sheikh sought out a relationship with an individual online whom he
believed could assist him in travelling to Syria in support of violent jihad.
This individual informed him of another person described as a member of Jabhat
al-Nusrah able to assist Sheikh. In reality, both of these individuals were
working with and for the FBI.
reached out to the individual he believed to be a Jabhat al-Nusrah member and
expressed his desire to travel to Syria in order to "help the
mujahideen…in any way I can."
asked how he wanted to help, Sheikh responded "logistics, media, fight
that the FBI covert employee would be able to assist in smuggling him from
Lebanon into Syria, Sheikh purchased a one-way ticket with a final destination
of Lebanon and a departure from Raleigh-Durham Airport in November 2013. He was
arrested prior to boarding his flight.
security as a nation, as a state, and as a local community requires vigilance
against the hateful rhetoric and goals of groups and persons who hijack the
tenets of any religion towards their own violent purposes," US Attorney
for the Eastern District of North Carolina Robert Higdon said.
Committee (RHC) Pakistan Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman on Sunday said that the
leaders of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) should be shown leniency over the
losses caused to public property during the protests just as they did to
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) during their sit-in in 2014 against the
RHC chief’s statement came after Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on
Saturday announced that the TLP leaders have been charged with treason and
said that PTI had also been involved in unlawful activities, including
attacking the Parliament Building and Pakistan Television (PTV) Headquarters,
adding that if they can be pardoned for conducting these acts then the TLP
leaders and activists also deserved similar treatment. “Cases were also lodged
against current rulers, which were later dismissed on personal guarantees.
Treason charges are also framed on those living lavishly in palaces in Dubai
these days,” said the renowned cleric, adding that the government should
legislate for a uniform action on damages during sit-ins and protests. He urged
the prime minister, the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) and the army chief to
pardon the TLP leaders for issuing provocative statements against them.
said the authorities must refrain from making the TLP an example as this will
only give them a temporary success but will ignite a fire that can engulf the
entire country. “Even superpowers have failed to control terrorism by using
force and we do not want to arouse religious sentiments and want a peaceful way
to resolve the issue,” he said.
MARWAT: The acting chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-S and former MNA Maulana
Hamidul Haq Haqqani has alleged that the conspiracy to assassin Maulana Samiul
Haq was hatched on the soil of Afghanistan, insisting that the United States,
India and Israel were behind the killing of his father.
he said while speaking at a condolence reference in Darul Uloom Islamia in
Lakki city on Sunday. Other speakers included provincial emir Maulana Syed
Mohammad Yousaf Shah, district emir Maulana Habibullah Haqqani, Maulana
Islahuddin and Hafiz Tahir Shah.
Haqqani said that the assassination of Samiul Haq had saddened the entire
Muslim world as he was an inspiration for Islamic movements and always worked
for unity of Muslims. He said his father wanted peace in Afghanistan and had
made efforts to restore peace in the war-torn country.
external forces, including America, India and Israel, considered Samiul Haq a
big hurdle in accomplishment of malicious designs they had made to harm Islam
and Pakistan,” he maintained.
acting head of JUI-S gave his father the credit of uniting all religious and
political forces on a single platform for defence and security of the country.
said Samiul Haq was the man of great wisdom as he gave political maturity to
masses and also raised awareness among them about defence of the country.
to President Dr Arif Alvi’s visit to the Akora Khattak seminary to condole the
death of his father, Mr Haqqani said he had demanded of the government to
confer Shaheed-i-Pakistan award on Maulana Samiul Haq and take his killers to
assassination of Samiul Haq a great tragedy for entire Muslim world, Maulana
Yousaf Shah said celebrations over the death of Samiul Haq in Afghanistan
proved that United States, India, Israel and Afghanistan were responsible for
said Samiul Haq would always be remembered for services he rendered for Islam
and Pakistan and that his supporters and followers would continue his mission.
Committee Pakistan Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman Sunday said the authorities
should show leniency towards Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leaders and
activists for the losses incurred to public and private property during their
protests and sit-ins last month just like they did to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
(PTI) over their sit-in back in 2014.
day after Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced that TLP leaders Khadim
Hussain Rizvi and Pir Afzal Qadri among others have been charged with sedition
and terrorism, Mufti Muneeb told a press conference on Sunday that the ruling
party had also been involved in ‘unlawful’ activities including attacks on the
parliament building and the PTV headquarters. “If they can be pardoned for
conducting those acts, then the TLP leaders and activists also deserve similar
treatment,” he argued. “Cases were also lodged against the current rulers,
which were later dismissed on personal guarantees … treason charges are also
framed on those living lavishly in palaces in Dubai these days,” he said,
adding that legislation should be made for uniform action over damages during
protests and sit-ins. Urging the prime minister, chief justice and army chief
to pardon the TLP leaders for issuing provocative statements against them,
Mufti Muneeb said the authorities must refrain from making the TLP an example
as this will give them only a temporary success but will ignite a fire that can
engulf the entire country. “Even superpowers have failed to control terrorism
by using force … we don’t want to arouse religious sentiments and want a
peaceful way to resolve the issue,” he remarked. Mufti Muneeb said Prime
Minister Imran Khan was approached to nominate the federal minister for
religious affairs for negotiations with the TLP leadership and leave
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry for the ‘political wrestling’.
Opposition parties doubt that the ruling party is serious about the creation of
a new province and decline to promise their support until the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) comes out with a clear-cut proposal.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had told the media in Multan on Saturday that he
would approach Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif
and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to get their
support for the constitutional amendment needed to create south Punjab
two-thirds majority is required for a constitutional amendment to sail through
the bicameral parliament, while an equal support for a new province’s proposal
is a must in the provincial assembly of the federating unit which is proposed
to be bifurcated. The PTI-led ruling alliance lacks the required numbers in
both houses of parliament as well as in the Punjab Assembly.
Khan, information secretary of the PML-N which is the largest party in the
Senate, said none took ‘the egg and hen’ government seriously, particularly
when the ruling alliance itself didn’t seem to be unanimous on the issue, a
reference to a federal minister’s statement about seeking restoration of
Bahawalpur province first.
argued that the PTI could not think of bifurcating Punjab, because it would
then lose control over 25 central Punjab districts, where the N-League had won
most of the seats, and the ruling party would be reduced to 11 districts of the
southern belt. He, however, said his party would give its formal reaction after
going through the proposal if and when put up by the government.
Sanaullah Khan, another senior party leader, made it clear that in no case the
PML-N would support the creation of just south Punjab province. Rather it would
back the idea of forming a national body to see the need for new federating
units across the country, he added.
in India, a national commission must be formed to see and decide where carving
out new provinces on administrative grounds is needed,” he said, spelling out
the condition for his party’s support.
former Punjab law minister is the mover of the resolution unanimously passed by
the Punjab Assembly for the creation of south Punjab and Bahawalpur provinces
back in May 2012. It, too, had called upon the federal government to form a
national commission to do the needful.
insisted that the Bahawalpur province issue would crop up by design whenever
division of Punjab would be considered.
Sanaullah ruled out cooperation on the south Punjab issue with the Janoobi
Punjab Mahaz leaders, terming them “opportunists” who had been bagging votes in
the name of deprivations of south Punjab but did nothing for the region despite
holding offices in successive governments.
to a question, the MNA from Faisalabad and a lawyer by profession asserted that
a new constitutional bill would be required to be introduced as the previous
one passed by the Senate stood infructuous.
second largest opposition party also doubts intentions of the ruling party on
the issue. PPP finance secretary and law professional Haider Zaman Qureshi said
that by excluding the opposition from the consultative council formed on the
subject by the Punjab government, the PTI had exposed its non-seriousness.
will the PTI morally seek our support for amending the Constitution to create
the new province when it hasn’t taken input from us on the issue?”
that they cannot support the cause blindly for fears that the new unit may be
without powers like Gilgit-Baltistan, he said Foreign Minister Qureshi had been
talking on the issue since coming into power but hadn’t contacted the
opposition even once.
PPP leader rejected the proposal of establishing the south Punjab secretariat,
saying it wouldn’t serve the cause as “decision-making powers will continue to
rest with Lahore as the additional chief secretary will only be forwarding
files to the provincial capital instead of taking decision locally”.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has established an immigration office at
Kartarpur border in Narowal.
Deputy Director Mufakhar Adeel told Dawn that Gurdwara Darbar Sahib was located
close to the Kartarpur border. He said since the border crossing could be an
easy target for terrorists, human traffickers and drug dealers, a strong
mechanism was required to keep the situation under control on both sides of the
said FIA officers would play the role of boarding officers and check the
documents of pilgrims and identify them through biometric technology. He said
Sikh pilgrims having visa would be allowed to enter the city while pilgrims
with permits would be given access to Gurudwara only.
A number of people along with family of a youngster who was burnt to death
protested over police failure in arresting accused.
prince allowed to hunt houbara bustard
Though the Balochistan government has approved guidelines to ensure
implementation of the law for the wildlife’s protection, authorities have
issued a special permit to a Qatari prince, allowing him to hunt
internationally protected houbara bustard in the province.
of the Central Asian region, houbara bustards migrate to Pakistan every year in
winter to avoid harsh weather conditions at home. The return to the region
said that the Qatari prince had paid $100,000 before he was issued the permit
for hunting the migrating birds.
parties are set a limit of 100 birds in a maximum period of 10 days, but they
often exceed their quota.
to the policy, they cannot use shotguns and other inflammatory weapons, but can
hunt houbara bustard with the help of falcons.
A day after the government decided to book Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)
leadership under sedition and terrorism charges, Information Minister Fawad
Chaudhry on Sunday said that the government won’t compromise on its writ and
will take “indiscriminate action” against all those who would violate
to a private news channel, the minister said that the government would deal
with all the “miscreants and extremists in the country with an iron hand”.
said that all political parties have a consensus on the National Action Plan
(NAP), but unfortunately the previous government had failed to fully implement
it. However, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government will implement the
NAP, he added.
to a question, Fawad said the action against the TLP was taken after collection
of evidence and added the government had taken all the religious scholars and
ulema on board, who had shown their support.
case was registered against TLP a week after the police had taken its chief
Khadim Hussain Rizvi and other top TLP leaders into “protective custody” on
November 23, after they refused to withdraw a call for yet another protest in
Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on November 25.
was arrested in a joint operation by the Lahore Police, Elite Force and Dolphin
Force at the Yateem Khana Rehmatallil Alameen Mosque after an approval by the
October 31, TLP led widespread protests which erupted in the major cities after
the Supreme Court (SC) acquitted Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row
since 2010 when she was convicted on blasphemy charges. The protests lasted for
three days and paralysed routine life in several parts of the country.
and his fellow party leaders also passed incendiary remarks against the
superior judiciary and Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as provoking the military
to stage a mutiny against Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
PM Khan’s stern warning to the TLP leaders against challenging the State’s
writ, the PTI government reached a five-point agreement with the protesters on
Building on its continuous criticism of liquefied natural gas import and
processing terminals, the government on Friday said it was considering
renegotiating the 15-year LNG import contract with Qatar.
ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has been criticising the contracts signed
by the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government for import of
LNG from Qatar at a price equivalent to 13.39 per cent of international
benchmark crude oil price and two terminals set up by the private sector for
re-gasifying imported LNG.
price of LNG imported from Qatar is the most expensive,” said Petroleum
Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan at a news conference, adding that even the prices
under proposed gas pipelines from Turkmenistan and Iran were cheaper.
said that his objection to the LNG agreement with Qatar was that why it was
signed for 15 years when the mandate was only for five years. On top of that,
he added, it also contained a clause putting a bar on non-disclosure of the
agreement even three years after the expiry of the 15-year term.
Khan said the government was looking into the agreement from both aspects
[being expensive and non-disclosure]. Responding to a question, he said he
would not speak about its specific terms because the issue could land in the
International Court of Arbitration (ICA). “I am bound under the contract to
keep its specifics secret,” otherwise they would involve the ICA, he said,
adding that “an in-camera briefing will be given to Prime Minister Imran Khan
in a few days” for a decision.
minister said the petroleum division also had some reservations over the
agreements on terminals and some of them were in courts and, therefore, he
would opt not to prejudice the issue.
said the Supreme Court, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal
Investigation Agency (FIA) were looking into the contracts relating to import
of LNG from Qatar and two LNG terminals in Karachi and those found responsible
for signing the expensive deals would be held accountable.
petroleum minister had last month announced sending three LNG contracts to NAB
for investigation and renegotiating the contract with terminal operations to
bring down processing charges.
terminal operators said the agreement could not be reopened. NAB had been
probing the LNG deals even when the PML-N was in power and comprehensively
grilled various officials involved but never took it to the next level of
filing a reference in a court.
prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has always defended the LNG import and
processing terminal contracts as transparent and in best national interest and
has been challenging the PTI ministers for an open debate.
petroleum minister also announced at the news conference that all politically
motivated board of directors of oil and gas companies would be reconstituted in
the next 100 days to ensure transparency in the appointment of heads of these
companies, adding that the government had already reconstituted boards of
directors of six companies. He said the boards would also elect their own
professional chairmen while chief executive officers would be appointed after
clearance from NAB and the FIA.
Khan claimed that the previous government had not auctioned a single block for
oil and gas exploration during its five-year tenure, whereas the PTI government
selected 40 blocks and auctioned 10 of them to exploration companies.
said the federal government had written letters to the provinces, asking them
to give the names of their representatives for boards of directors of oil and
minister said ExxonMobil would start offshore drilling 230 kilometres from
Karachi in January next year for which a rig was on its way. OGDCL, PPL, ENI
and ExxonMobil have 25pc shares each in this offshore block.
be cowards – Buratai tells Special Forces
Nigerian Army has challenged its Special Forces to prove that they have better
training and tactics than terrorists by making a difference and positive impact
in the ongoing counter-terrorism operations.
reports that Chief of Army of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, gave the charge in
Maiduguri on Sunday, while addressing the Armed Forces Special Forces and Army
Strike Group deployed in the North-East.
are selected specially and deployed here in the North East. You are given
special training and that is why you are called Special Forces.
am here to tell you that you have a great job to do and you must do it
are deployed in the North-East to make a difference because of your special
training. If there will be any challenge in terms of capacity, I believe you
will fill that gap and you have all it takes to do that.
you apply the training that you are given, we all have cause to be proud to belong
the armed forces of our great country,’’ Buratai said.
warned them against exhibiting cowardice, saying “we do not have time for the
chicken-hearted, the cowards.
all must brace up and be brave. We have done the greatest job so far in the
North-East; the greatest in terms of degrading the terrorists.
are better trained, better equipped. We know tactics better than them and what
is remaining for us is to dominate everywhere and dominate our areas of
must dominate the whole of the North-East.’’
added that “the terrorists must no longer be allowed the freedom to move about
and commit heinous crime and escape.
must be dealt with squarely. We must say no to their vain and invalid threats.
there should be no dull moment in our operations. There should be no gap, but
make a difference”.
United States military has reportedly conducted an airstrike in Somalia,
killing nine people.
US’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) claimed in a press release that the US military
had struck a position in Somalia and killed nine al-Shabab militants a day
support the Federal Government of Somalia’s continued efforts to degrade
al-Shabab, US forces conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabab militants near
Lebede, Somalia,” AFRICOM said.
currently assess this airstrike killed nine militants with no civilians
involved,” it claimed, Reuters reported on Sunday.
says it carries out periodic airstrikes in the Horn of Africa country to
support the UN-backed government there, which has been making efforts to
eradicate the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in the past years.
US military began conducting airstrikes in Somalia in 2007, with helicopters
and AC-130 gunships. In June 2011, American forces began using drones to carry
out airstrikes in Somalia on purported militant positions, in a mission which
has so far failed to uproot the militants there.
President Donald Trump has approved increased military operations against
purported members of al-Shabab in Africa and Daesh in the Middle East and Asia.
observers say the US has stepped up its operations in Somalia — as well as
elsewhere — in often secretive efforts to expand its military influence in
recent report suggested Pentagon had secretly expanded its military presence in
Tunisia, another North African country.
US military has in recent years used the presence of Takfiri militants as a
pretext to build up its forces across the continent, where it reportedly has
over 6,000 boots on the ground.
US also carries out drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya.
say the US drone attacks often target civilians in those countries.
King Abdullah of Jordan received Fayez Al-Sarraj, chairman of the Presidential
Council of Libya and prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA)
on Sunday in Amman.
discussed bilateral ties and recent developments in Libya and the region,
Jordan’s royal court said without elaborating.
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz also met with Al-Sarraj, and “spoke about the deep
relationship between the two countries and the expectation that mutual
cooperation can accomplish the aspirations of both people,” his office said in
discussed existing agreements, unresolved issues and the potential for Libyan
investment in Jordan, the statement added.
Shteiwi, head of the Strategic Studies Center at Jordan University, said Jordan
provides a safe environment for reconciliation talks between rival Libyan
has historically had a great relation with all political and military parties
in Libya,” he told Arab News.
of that, Jordan “can play a role in bringing them together,” he said, adding
that international players have been supportive of the country’s role as an
government spokesman Jumana Ghnaimat told Arab News that the presence of Libyan
officials in Amman provides an opportunity to resolve a number of issues,
including unpaid hospital and hotel bills.
Hakim Al-Hindi, chair of the Hotel Owners Association, said hotels will receive
$46 million of the $150 million due for providing accommodation to Libyans.
Zidane, deputy director of the Jordanian Hospital Association, said the Libyans
have promised to pay back $220 million.
Libyan government had appointed an audit firm, and this was the amount that it
confirmed is the debt to Jordanian hospitals,” he told Arab News.
— A mosque which is sitting on a contentious piece of land in Kambe Bondora in
Kaloleni Constituency in Kilifi County has been demolished.
Sunday morning, a contingent of police officers arrived at the site with an
excavator and pulled down three structures sitting on the half-acre piece of
land; the mosque, an orphanage centre and a residential home.
families, that of Juma Ali and David Mwamutsi, are fighting over the said
ownership of the land.
Friday, over 300 Muslim faithful, who worship at the mosque protested the
impending demolition, saying they have been in that area for over 40 years.
to Emmanuel Chengo, a human rights activist in the region and who witnessed the
demolition, describe the scene as "very bad and disheartening."
is an issue which could have been settled by the two families without
necessarily pulling down a place of worship. We are staring at the bulldozers
helplessly, we cannot do anything," said Chengo.
May this year, the Mwamutsi family obtained a court order to demolish all the
structures on the said piece of land, arguing that that is their family
matter is currently being heard at the Supreme Court following an appeal.
group Boko Haram said on Saturday it was behind an attack that killed eight
soldiers and injured 17 more in northeastern Nigeria.
group said they had attacked army positions near Gamboru in the Lake Chad area
near the border with Cameroon, in a statement translated by the SITE monitoring
group, which calls itself Islamic State's West Africa Province (ISWAP), said
they had suffered no casualties in the clash, and promised further attacks.
army statement Friday confirmed the attack, without mentioning any casualties.
residents told AFP on condition of anonymity the Islamists had launched the
attacks on Thursday around the bridge straddling the border with Cameroon.
has logged 18 attacks on military bases since July - almost all of them in the
ISWAP-controlled region around Lake Chad.
Muhammadu Buhari vowed on taking office in 2015 to eradicate the jihadists and
has said on several occasions that Boko Haram is "technically
Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris kpotun has deployed additional 2000
Police Mobile Force, PMF, and Counter Terrorism Units, CTU, Personnel of the
Force and the Sniffer Dog sections to the North East to fight Boko Haram
insurgency, under the operation Lafiya Dole.
new deployment was said to be consistent with Section 4 of the Police Act and
Regulations which specifies the general duties of the Nigeria Police Force.
Jimoh Moshood in a statement said the deployment was made to support the
strength of the military to defeat the dreaded insurgents.
added, “Before now, the Nigeria Police Force has on ground 47 PMF Units (63 X
47 = 2961) in Borno State in addition to the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Squadron
in Borno State.
Units (63 X 26 = 1638) on ground in Yobe State in addition to the Police Mobile
Force (PMF) Squadron in Yobe State.
Units (63 X 18 = 1134) on ground in Adamawa State in addition to the Police
Mobile Force (PMF) Squadron in Adamawa State”.
was disclosed that the Counter Terrorism Units of the Force has deployments of
over 1,250 specially trained Counter Terrorism Police personnel and that the
Police Anti-Bomb Squad has about 300 personnel, while over 100 Sniffer Dogs are
working with the military in the fight against Insurgency in the North East.
of the statement reads, “It is of significant note that the Police Mobile Force
(PMF) Personnel, Counter Terrorism Units (CTU), Anti-Bomb Squad (EOD), Sniffer
Dog Sections, the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and conventional Police
personnel have being fighting along with the Military in the front line against
Boko Haram insurgency and also providing security for restoration of law and
order in the North East, security for all the liberated towns and villages in
the North-East, escort of Foreign and Local Humanitarian workers and relief
materials, protection of IDP camps and security of public and private
Police Air-wing Surveillance Helicopters and crews are also deployed to support
most of the operations of Operation Lafiya Dole throughout the North East in
the fight against insurgency in the North East.
unidentified suicide bombers suspected to be agents of Boko Haram insurgents
have died near Mina garage in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Spokesman, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman, disclosed this on Sunday in a statement issued
to journalists in Abuja.
to him, the suicide bombers, a male and a female, on a mission to infiltrate
the garage hurriedly, detonated one of their suicide vests upon sighting troops
of 195 Battalion on patrol.
further said the incident, which occurred at about 8pm on Saturday, left no
fewer than five members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, injured.
statement reads: “Two Suicide Bombers (Male and Female) on a mission to
infiltrate Muna Garage Maiduguri, hurriedly detonated one of their suicide
vests on sighting troops of 195 Battalion on patrol at about 8 P.M on 1
patrol team quickly moved to the scene and discovered it was only the female
suicide bomber’s vest that was detonated, killing herself and the male suicide
five members of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) on duty at the market were injured
in the explosion.
the area was cordoned off and the Explosive Ordinance Device Team were drafted
to defuse the other unexploded vest, while Borno State Emergency Management
Agency and the Red-cross evacuated the mutilated body parts of the suicide
have taken control of the Bishwa Ijtema grounds in Tongi after a clash between
two factions of the Tabligh Jamaat led to a man’s death on Saturday.
cases were filed till 4pm on Sunday about the death.
the clash between supporters of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, top scholar of Indian
Tabligh Jamaat and Maulana Jubayer took place on Saturday, police barred them
from entering the Ijtema grounds.
gate of the grounds was in control of the police at the moment to avoid any
Alam, a pharmacy owner near the Kamarpara-Tongi road near the Ijema grounds
said: “Till Saturday evening, supporters
were seen leaving the grounds. After that, police barred everyone from the
Metropolitan Police (GMP) Commissioner YM Belalur Rahman visited the grounds on
Sunday. He has set up a nine member committee putting Additional Commissioner
(Crime) Abu Hanif in charge of returning belongings which were left behind by
worshippers at the grounds.
Belalur said: “According to the directive of the Home Ministry, no group of the
Tabligh Jamaat is allowed to carry out any programs at the grounds before the
election and it will be under the control of law enforcement agencies.”
(west) police station OC Emdadul Haque said: “Ismail Hossain, 70, of Munshiganj
who died at the Ijtema grounds, was sent to Gazipur morgue for autopsy. If his
family files any case we will take it.”
on Saturday, Ismail was killed in a series of clashes between the two factions
of the Tabligh Jamaat over establishing dominance at the Bishwa Ijtema grounds
on the banks of the Turag River.
than 200 people were also injured in the clashes at the Ijtema grounds in
Ahsan Ullah Master Health Complex physician, Dr Monira Begum, said around 150
people received treatment at the hospital and more people were being admitted.
them, 25 people who were severely injured, were transferred to Dhaka Medical
College and Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, and other hospitals,” she
of Indian preacher Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, and Maulana Jubayer’s supporters,
engaged in sporadic clashes, chases, and counter-chases for several hours since
morning, said OC Emdadul.
trouble mongers also vandalized a number of cars and motorcycles parked at the
Ijtema grounds,” he said.
clash broke out around 8am on Saturday when supporters of Saad Kandhalvi tried
to enter the Ijtema premises where the supporters of Maulana Jubayer had taken
one stage, the supporters of Maulana Saad broke open the main gate of the Ijtema
grounds and swarmed in.
clashes took place between the two groups, leaving Ismail dead on the spot and
scores of people injured. The Tabligh men hurled brickbats at each other and
attacked each other with sticks.
Jamaat-e-Islami, the party that sided with Pakistan during Bangladesh’s 1971
Liberation War, has internal disagreements on whether to file their candidates
using BNP’s symbol or not in the upcoming general elections.
which is no more a legal political party registered under the Election
Commission, is a core component of the BNP-led 20 party alliance.
total of 85 candidates from the party will be contesting in the polls,
including 25 of them competing in polls under the ‘paddy sheaf’ symbol of BNP,
while the rest will be competing as independent candidates, Jamaat leaders told
the Dhaka Tribune.
17-18 Jamaat candidates were elected members of parliament in the 1986 and 1991
elections. In 2001 election, Jamaat contested for 31 seats as part of the
Four-Party Alliance – 30 seats were with the alliance and one seat was contested
for the party. However, the popularity of those candidates in the
constituencies remains the same as in the past, said the party’s senior
the 2008 elections, the party contested for four seats under the party banner
though it cleared 39 seats for the alliance.
the party is filing those candidates who are qualified, popular, and honest
candidates, and those having public support to compete in the 11th
parliamentary polls slated for December 30, they added.
the popular names that received BNP’s ticket are convicted war criminal Delwar
Hossain Sayedee’s son, Shamim Sayedee in Pirojpur 1, and former lawmakers
Professor Mia Golam Parwar in Khulna 5, Farid Uddin Chowdhury in Sylhet 5, Syed
Abdullah Md Taher in Comilla 11, ANM Shamsul Islam in Chittagong 15, and
Hamidur Rahman Azad in Cox's Bazar 2.
war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami’s son Nazibur Rahman will be contesting from
Pabna 1 as an independent candidate.
are still popular across Bangladesh. Since our registration has been canceled,
we will take part in the polls for 25 seats under the BNP-led coalition.
However, considering the organizational strength, we will file another 60
candidates as independent ones before the last day of withdrawal of nomination
papers,” Matiur Rahman Akand, organizing secretary of Jamaat, told The Dhaka
to a query on what are the criteria for shortlisting candidates, he said
experienced leaders who are popular for their honesty will be given preference.
an example, he said their candidates secured victory in 203 upazilas in the
upazila parishad elections of 2014 because of their popularity.
candidates are not young. Shafikul Islam Masud will be competing from Baufol of
Patuakhali who is about 40 years old and is the youngest candidate. The rest
are experienced,” he added.
asked on whether they are hopeful, he said they are looking for justice.
have worked across Bangladesh neutrally to serve people. If there is a fair
election, we will get 18-20 seats like in the 1986 and 1991 elections,” he
the Jamaat leader said it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to
hold a credible poll.
of now, the commission has not been able to ensure a level playing field
although less than a month remains till the polls. If there is proper
preparation, the elections will be fair and normal, which is an expectation of
all political parties,” he said.
central leader, advocate Ehsanul Mahbub Jubayer, said they will finalize the
number of total candidates on December 9, but it is likely to be set at a total
senior Jamaat leader said most of their candidates will be new faces, but all
of them are experienced enough.
Afghan Military in the East claims that several anti-government armed militants
have been killed during the operations in northeastern Kapisa province.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said the
Afghan army, Afghan police, Local Police, Public Order Police, and Afghan
intelligence forces conducted joint operations in Badrab village of Tagab
statement further added at least 13 militants were killed during the operations
and 19 various types of improvised explosive devices were discovered and
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the operations so far.
Taliban militants group in Afghanistan has called the death of Mullah Abdul
Manan, the group’s shadow governor for Helmand, a major loss.
group in a statement said the death of Mullah Abdul Manan Akhunda is a major
loss for ‘Islamic Emirate and the Muslim nation’ emphasizing that ‘martyrdom’
is the desire of all leaders of the group that leaders’ deaths will not have an
impact on their ranks to wage ‘a holy war’.
comes as the Helmadn provincial government media office in a statement said the
shadow governor of the group Mullah Abdul Manan was killed in Nawzad district
on Saturday night.
statement further added “The shadow governor of Taliban for Helmand Mullah
Abdulu Rahim alias Mullah Abdul Manan was killed with his four comrades,
including two spokespersons identified as Hafiz Rashid and Mullah Javied, and
two of his security guards.”
Afghan Military in the Southeast claims that 64 militants have been killed
during the operations of the Afghan and foreign forces in Ghazni province.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said
the Afghan and coalition forces carried out airstrikes in Andaar, Deh Yak,
Qarabagh, and Geru districts, leaving at least 35 militants dead.
statement further added that at least 17 militants were also wounded during the
to 203rd Thunder Corps, the military commission chief of the group for Deh Yak
Hazrat Khalid and two other group leaders were among those killed.
senior Taliban commander and dozens of his comrades have been killed during a
joint operation by Afghan and US Special Forces in southern Afghanistan,
officials and Taliban members say.
provincial governor Mohammad Yasin Khan said Sunday that Abdul Manan was killed
along with 29 others in an airstrike while he was meeting local commanders and
militants in Nawzad district on Saturday.
death of Mullah Manan, who was in charge of Helmand province for the insurgent
group, was also confirmed by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. Manan
commanded Taliban militants as they steadily increased their control over
Helmand in recent years.
senior security official in Kabul described Manan’s death a serious blow to the
insurgent group. "He was the most senior Taliban commander in the south
and his death will have an overall impact on security."
Dave Butler, spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement that
Afghan forces had gone on the offensive with US support, notably through
precision airstrikes to push the Taliban to accept peace talks.
going to have trouble intensifying the fight when their fighters and leaders
are under constant assault. Peace talks are the only solution," Butler
Kabul government has stepped up efforts to convince the Taliban to end the
17-year militancy amid Washington’s failures on the battleground.
President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday announced the formation of a team for
prospective peace talks with the Taliban. At an international conference on
Afghanistan in Geneva, Ghani said the 12-person negotiating team includes both
men and women and will be led by Abdul Salam Rahimi, his chief of staff.
have already started between US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban
representatives with both sides aiming to build a favorable position in advance
of any talks.
the November 15 failed attempt to begin the Rohingya repatriation process,
Bangladesh has communicated with Myanmar to reiterate the concerns of the
refugees on Sunday.
asked Yangon to address the concerns that refugees have to facilitate the safe,
voluntary and dignified return of the persecuted people from Rakhine, diplomats
in both Dhaka and Yangon told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.
note verbale (government to government diplomatic communication), containing
the issues to be addressed has recently been sent to the Myanmar government;
they said requesting anonymity as they were not authorized to officially speak
to the media.
has been the first official communication between the two governments after the
failed attempt to begin the repatriation on November 15, said the diplomats.
after the failed attempt, we have sent a note verbale to the Myanmar
authorities to address the issues that were raised by the Rohingyas,” a senior
diplomat at the embassy in Yangon told this correspondent over phone.
asked about the content, he said that all the aspects concerning Rohingyas,
especially verifiable safety and security in the short term, and citizenship in
the long run has been mentioned in the letter.
see what they come up with,” said the diplomat.
contacted, Ambassador to Myanmar Manjurul Karim Khan Chowdhury said: “We are
always intent on engaging with Myanmar, the international community and the
senior Foreign Ministry official said: “We have just informed what needs to be
done on the other side of the border to begin the repatriation without any
is waiting for the reply, they said, stressing that living up to the pledges
has never been Myanmar’s strong point.
accordance with a decision taken by the Bangladesh-Myanmar joint working group
on repatriation on October 30 in Dhaka, the repatriation of hundreds of
thousands of Rohingyas, who had to cross into Cox’s Bazar to escape the
unprecedented atrocities orchestrated by the Myanmar security forces, local
Buddhist mobs and people from other ethnic groups in Rakhine, was supposed to
begin on November 15 with the persecuted people earlier cleared by the
authorities in Naypyitaw.
Francis' journey to Bangladesh in late 2017 has had a positive effect on
society while his appeal to keep an "open heart" has seen people work
harder to overcome their differences and thwart the threat of extremism,
according to Oblate Bishop Bejoy N. D'Cruze of Sylhet.
pontiff's visit touched the lives of everyone in the nation yet there is still
much work to be done to fully materialize his call for a culture of love and
justice, Bangladeshi Christian, Muslim and Hindu leaders say.
is a good example of a country that strives for religious harmony and offers
cultural diversity. For decades, the church has actively promoted dialogue
among various religions," Bishop D'Cruze, chairman of the Catholic
Bishops' Commission for Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue, told
pope's message of love, peace and harmony has given a significant boost to our
efforts to have people of all creeds and classes peacefully co-exist," he
Francis visited Dhaka from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. He was the third pope to visit
the nation after Paul VI in 1970 and St. John Paul II in 1986.
before he arrived, he was hugely popular among Bangladeshis from all parts of
the social spectrum," Bishop D'Cruze said.
was largely because of his strong advocacy for the poor and oppressed, and his
appeal for an end to the culture of injustice and corruption," he said.
welcomed him not just a top religious leader, but as a global advocate for
peace, harmony, and the voiceless."
the upsurge in radicalism and Islamic militancy in the region, the pope chose
Bangladesh for its long tradition of religious pluralism and harmony, the
visit also highlighted the contributions of Christians, who make up less than
half a percent in Bangladesh's more than 160 million people, said Nirmol
Rozario, president of the Bangladesh Christian Association, the country's top
inter-denominational Christian forum.
are a minuscule minority but they have made great contributions in various
sectors, including education, health, and social development," he said.
"But they need to do more in the fields of justice, human rights, and
pope's visit shone a spotlight on Christians and raised their image in the
country," he told ucanews.com.
is dominant in Bangladesh with about 90 percent of the public identifying with
this religion, followed by Hinduism (8 percent), and other faiths including
Buddhism and Christianity.
are about 600,000 Christians, mostly Catholics spread across eight dioceses.
Roughly half of the country's Christians hail from ethnic groups.
all the fanfare, pageantry and excitement surrounding the pope's historic visit
one year ago, however, many Catholics are still not practicing what he
preached, Bishop D'Cruze lamented.
pope warned against materialism and abuse of power but some of the faithful,
including religious leaders, seem to have forgotten this already," he
are following his instructions but others continue to neglect their vows and
put aside their duties for their own comfort. We need to work harder to
advocate in favor of peace and justice, not just for minorities but for
everyone," Bishop D'Cruze added.
Benedict Alo D'Rozario, a former executive director of Caritas Bangladesh, the
church's charity arm, said the pope urged "inclusive growth" for
message highlighted the need for inclusive development, both from the church
and the state. He called for more participation from laity, women and young
people, and he sought to help the poor. He entreated us to denounce materialism
and march to a life of holiness," he said.
said the church's recent pastoral workshop incorporated the pope's messages and
priorities, but expressed concern that implementation was still stuck at the
far, there haven't been many visible signs of the pope's teachings reaching out
to people effectively. Pope Francis asked us to be more vocal about minorities'
rights and justice for all to help break the culture of silence. We still have
a long way to go," he added.
church must work harder to involve laity and women, said Rita Roselin Costa, a
development worker and women's rights activist.
seen an increase in the participation of women in the church, yet there are
still many limits placed on what women can do," she said.
Chandra Pramanik, a Hindu leader and Supreme Court lawyer, said the pontiff's
visit inspired hope for socio-political change but that this has not borne much
called for tolerance and stability, which could be achieved with more
compromise and dialogue. Sadly, our society and political parties don't care
too much about other people so intolerance is on the rise. The pope came with
great messages but most of us have failed to grasp and internalize them,"
his three-day visit, Pope Francis paid tribute to the millions of martyrs from
Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence with Pakistan. He met President Abdul
Hamid on Nov. 30, held a public Mass on Dec. 1, and ordained 16 deacons to the
also met Catholic bishops, and attended an interfaith gathering featuring
thousands of people from various faiths and Christian denominations.
highlight of that meeting saw him pray with a delegation representing nearly a
million Rohingya Muslim refugees who had fled a series of deadly crackdowns in
neighboring Myanmar's Rakhine state.
provincial officials in southern Helmand province are saying that the shadow
governor of the Taliban group for Helmand province has been killed.
provincial government media office in a statement said the shadow governor of
the group Mullah Abdul Manan was killed in Nawzad district on Saturday night.
to the provincial government media office, Mullah Abdul Manan was killed in an
airstrike late on Saturday night in Nawzad district.
anti-government armed militants have abducted at least 60 drivers working in a
coal mine in northern Samangan province of Afghanistan, the local security
governor’s spokesman Sediq Azizi sadi sixty coal mine drivers who were on their
way to Balkh province were abducted by the Taliban militants.
police spokesman Mohammad Munir Rahimi had earlier confirmed that the incident
has taken place in Dara Suf district at around 10 am local time.
further added that the anti-government armed militants have kidnapped at least
60 drivers in Khush Dara village.
said efforts are underway for the release of the kidnapped passengers and the
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the kidnapping of the passengers so far.
Dec 3 (AFP) The anti-jihadist international coalition in Syria said Sunday it
had targeted in a strike an Islamic State group leader involved in the
execution of American humanitarian worker Peter Kassig and other Western
coalition forces carried out specific strikes against a high-ranking IS leader,
Abou al Oumarayn… in the desert” in Syria, said Sean Ryan, spokesman for the
leader “was implicated in the murder of American citizen… Peter Kassig”,
kidnapped in Syria in 2013 and executed by decapitation in November 2014, he
was also “directly implicated in the execution of a number of other prisoners”,
Ryan said, adding that coalition air strikes “continued to disrupt the command
and control of IS on the battlefield”.
Kassig, aged 26 at the time of his death, founded a humanitarian organisation
in 2012 and adopted the name Abdul Rahman after his conversion to Islam.
international coalition intervened in Syria and Iraq in 2014 to fight the
expansion of IS after it had taken control of vast swathes of territory
straddling the two countries.
in Iraq, the group still retains territory in some parts of the Syrian desert,
particularly in the east of the country, where the coalition continues to fight
the jihadists with the support of an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters.
(AFP) GVS 12030552
sources said that the SDF captured a 40-member group of civilians that had
escaped from ISIL-held regions in al-Souseh and al-Sha'afah in Southeastern
Deir Ezzur and transferred them to their base in al-Umar oilfield.
SDF claimed that its forces have arrested the civilians for interrogations, the
sources further said that the detainees were later transferred to a school in
the small town of al-Dahlah by the SDF who later asked for a hefty mount of
money to release them.
the captured civilians reject to pay the SDF, they will be accused of
cooperation with the ISIL terrorists," the sources said, adding that some
of the captured civilians have been freed after paying the ransom money, while
others are still in custody. In September, heavy clashes were reported between
the SDF and civilians in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur said that the SDF forces fired at the residents
of the town of al-Sajar, and wounded several people, adding that a number of
them were also detained by the US-backed militants.
noted that the incident happened after residents of the town attacked one of
the SDF commanders, namely Damhat.
number of people were killed and wounded in a fresh raid by US fighter jets in
the town of Hajin in Southeastern Deir Ezzur on Saturday.
the meantime, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at
least 4 civilians have been killed in the US airstrikes on Hajin.
airstrikes by the US-led coalition warplanes killed many more civilians in the
Eastern part of Deir Ezzur last week.
US-led coalition warplanes struck the homes of civilians in the town of
al-Sha'afah in Eastern Deir Ezzur, killing at least 14 civilians from a family
most of them children and women," battlefield sources in Eastern Deir
sources noted that many other civilians were also injured in the US airstrikes
on the residential areas.
large number of houses were destroyed and the region's infrastructure was
extensively damaged in the US warplanes' raids," the sources added.
news reported that gunmen of the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield Force targeted the
positions of the Manbij Military Council from the village of Tokhar in
further said that the Euphrates Shield forces, deployed in the village of
al-Mohsenli, targeted Kurdish militias' strongholds in al-Sajour region.
news went on to say that fierce clashes are underway between the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Euphrates Shield forces near the village of
al-Hamran Northwest of the town of Manbij that have, thus far, inflicted major
casualties on both sides.
news website, affiliated to the Kurdish militia, reported last week that units
of the Ankara-led Euphrates Shield, deployed in the village of Jub al-Dam in
al-Bab region in Northeastern Aleppo, targeted the positions of the Manbij Military
Council in the village of Korhodok West of Manbij.
further said that the Turkish forces' provocative measures intensified after
Turkish and the US troops carried out joint patrol around Manbij to prevent
escalation of the situation.
website went on to say that Turkish reconnaissance planes carried out continued
flights over the town of Ra'as al-Ein West of Hasaka.
the meantime, Turkey's state-owned Yeni Safak paper pointed to the US plan to
set up observation posts in the Kurdish-held regions at Syria's border with
Turkey, and said that the Turkish army is planning to launch a military
operation in the region regardless of the US measures.
sources said that Abu Omar Tunisi from Tunisia was a notorious field commander
of Tahrir al-Sham who was killed by unknown raiders North of the town of
the meantime, the sources said that terrorists have declared curfew in Southern
Idlib after tensions intensified among militants in the small town of Ma'arat
went on to say that Ahrar al-Sham's decision to expel rival terrorist groups
from Foua'a and Kafraya regions has fueled fresh wave of tensions and
infighting in Northeast of Idlib.
among terrorist groups and insecurities in regions occupied by militants in
Idlib and Aleppo provinces exacerbated, field sources in Northern Syria said
last week, adding that more senior terrorist commanders were shot dead by
unidentified attackers in the region.
assailants killed several terrorist commanders, including two from Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at, in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
commander of Tahrir al-Sham named Abdullah Ansari was killed in an attack by
unknown gunmen in the town of Ahsam in Jebel al-Zaviyeh region in Southern
Idlib, field sources in Idlib said.
another Tahrir al-Sham commander nom de guerre Abu Jalbib was shot dead by
unidentified assailants in the town of al-Dana in Northern Idlib, they added.
Western Aleppo, a former commander of Jeish al-Mojahedin was also killed by
unknown gunmen in Batbou village.
on Sunday accused the anti-extremist international coalition, led by the United
States, of launching missiles against Syrian army positions in the center of
the country, the official Sana news agency said.
American coalition forces launched around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) this evening
several missiles against some positions of our forces in the Ghorab mountains
south of Sukhna,” causing only “damage to equipment,” Sana said, citing a
to the monitoring Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, coalition forces
positioned in the Al-Tanf region fired “more than 14 missiles” at a Syrian army
convoy as it was passing through the desert in the far east of Homs province.
group was lost in the middle of the desert around 35 kilometres from the
Al-Tanf base” of US and British troops, the Observatory’s director Rami Abdel
Rahmane told AFP.
United States generally uses this base to launch its strikes against ISIS
extremists. It has also been used in the past to train Syrian opposition
year there were clashes in the region between Syrian regime forces and those
supported by the coalition.
pro-Syrian Lebanese politician urged calm on Sunday after one of his aides was
killed by gunfire during a police attempt to bring him in for questioning over
accusations of stirring civil strife.
Wahhab, a Druze ally of the powerful Shiite group Hezbollah who has close ties
to Damascus, has been at the heart of rising political tension over the last
week with a series of verbal attacks on Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
supporters lodged a legal complaint against him after a video surfaced in which
he was widely perceived to direct obscene insults at the Hariri family,
including the late prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, without naming them.
tension has cast another shadow over efforts to form a new national unity
government more than six months since an election, with rival parties still
unable to agree on how to share out portfolios in the new cabinet.
internal security forces said they went to Wahhab’s village of al-Jahiliya on
Saturday evening to take him for questioning after the public prosecutor
accepted the legal complaint against him and referred the matter to the police.
a statement, police said one of Wahhab’s aides- Mohamed Abu Diyab- was shot in
“random” gunfire by Wahhab supporters and denied the police had opened fire.
Arab Tawhid Party said he was hit by a bullet fired by “the attackers”.
said on Saturday the incident meant “civil war” but on Sunday urged calm while
addressing Abu Diyab’s funeral in Jahilya.
am working to calm the atmosphere. I have (told) the guys it is forbidden to
block roads or to annoy any citizen or to open fire during the funeral,” Wahhab
told al-Jadeed TV.
accused officials including Hariri of responsibility for the killing.
source close to Hariri, referring to Saturday’s events, said: “These were
judicial proceedings in which we had no intervention”.
has said his comments in the video, which appeared to have been shot by mobile
phone at a private gathering, were “general” and not directed at Rafik
Future Movement said last week the Hariris were being targeted by “a campaign
of falsehoods” hatched by “sick minds” bent on destabilizing Lebanon and
obstructing efforts to form the new government.
of people have gathered outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in the Lebanese capital
city of Beirut to protest against the Saudi-led military aggression against
people, which claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and left the
country's infrastructure in ruins.
holding signs and placards chanted outside the residence on Sunday afternoon,
with many calling on the United Nations and other world bodies to stop the
massacres against the Yemeni people.
participants also denounced attempts by a number of Persian Gulf littoral
states to normalize diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime.
security forces set up iron barriers in front of the Saudi embassy and removed
protesters 100 away meters from the building. There were no reports of clashes
between security forces and the demonstrators.
Friday, thousands of Iraqis took to the streets in the capital Baghdad to
express outrage over the Saudi-led aerial bombardment campaign against Yemen.
protesters, carrying Iraqi and Yemeni flags as well as banners in condemnation
of the Saudi-led aggression, converged in the al-Jadriya neighborhood.
chanted slogans and censured Saudi-led war crimes against the Yemeni nation
during the demonstration, which had been organized by religious scholars as
well as social media activists and dubbed as “We Stand With You.”
demonstrators condemned the continuation of the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen,
and deplored the international silence on the tragic humanitarian situation
al-Qabali, a representative of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, said the
Saudi-led military alliance has unleashed a relentless onslaught against Yemen
aimed at starving ordinary people to death and destroying the country.
added that more than two million Yemeni children are suffering from acute
malnutrition, warning that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Daesh
Takfiri terrorist group are acting freely in areas seized by the Saudi-led
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of
former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
has reportedly completed an advanced anti-access/area denial network in Syria,
posing a challenge to US military presence in the Arab country and the Eastern
Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in new report that
in 2015, Russia began to establish a partial independent air defense network in
Syria to protect its military assets at the Hmeimim Airbase and Tartus Naval
Facility on the Mediterranean Coast.
then, the report said, Moscow has deployed S-300 and S-400 missile defense
systems as well as four unique electronic warfare systems to Syria.
also stationed at least one advanced 1L122-1E targeting radar and Barnaul-T
mobile command-and-control system for short-range air defense systems in the
war-torn state, the report added.
report further noted that Russia opted to expand its air defense network in
Syria following the April 14 western missile strike on Syria and the September
17 accidental downing of an Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft in the country.
has finished an advanced anti-access/area denial (A2AD) network in Syria that
combines its own air defense and electronic warfare systems with modernized
equipment formerly commanded by Syria. Russia can use these capabilities to
mount a long-term strategic challenge the US and NATO in the Eastern
Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East," the ISW report said.
also stressed that recent deployments to Syria "significantly widen the
geographic reach of Russia’s air defense network" there.
jets have been targeting positions held by terror outfits inside Syria at the
Damascus government’s request since September 2015. The airstrikes have helped
Syrian forces advance against the militants, who have been wreaking havoc in
the Arab country since 2011.
the report said that Russia's expanded presence in Syria is meant to force
American troops' pullout while disrupting a bombing campaign by the US and its
allies against alleged Daesh positions inside the country.
is currently positioned to disrupt US' anti-ISIS Coalition and constrain future
military options for the US in Syria," it said.
ultimately aims to use its technical capabilities as part of its wider campaign
to force the withdrawal of the US anti-ISIS (Daesh) coalition from Syria.
Russia can use these systems to decrease the overall freedom of maneuver - and
increase the overall risk - faced by the US in Syria."
report further said that Russia's air defense network in Syria would increase
the cost of future airstrikes by Israel on the Syrian soil.
no intelligence directly links Saudi prince to Khashoggi killing
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday he has seen all the
intelligence possessed by the United States on the killing of Saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi and repeated that no direct evidence links Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman to the incident.
have read every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of United
States government," Pompeo said in an interview with CNN in Buenos Aires
on the G20 summit sidelines.
it is done, when you complete that analysis, there's no direct evidence linking
him to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is an accurate statement, an
important statement and it is a statement that we are making publicly
today," he said.
if the Central Intelligence Agency had concluded with "high
confidence" that Prince Mohammed was involved, Pompeo said: "I can't
comment on intelligence matters, CIA conclusions."
CIA assessed that the crown prince ordered the October 2 killing at the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul of the Washington Post columnist Khashoggi, a critic of
the Saudi royal.
said the United States was working with Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan and against
Iran, and that Riyadh was "an enormous support" for Washington.
"They're a relationship that has mattered for 70 years across Republican
and Democrat administrations like ... We're aiming to keep that
relationship," he said.
the sidelines of G20, Mr Trump met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
who has sought to keep international pressure on Saudi Arabia over the slaying
in October. Mr Trump reiterated that there is no definitive evidence that
Prince Mohammed is complicit in the killing. He said the kingdom is an
important ally that has helped keep oil prices low.
Mohammed, who is attending his first major international event since the murder
of Mr Khashoggi, met United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on
Saturday. Following the meeting, Prince Mohammed told Saudi TV that the two
leaders had reviewed aspects of partnership between Saudi Arabia and United
prince also met on Saturday with Italy's prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, and
reviewed bilateral relations, the Saudi news agency SPA said.
Erdogan demanded on Saturday that Saudi Arabia extradite suspects in the
killing in Istanbul, saying a trial in the kingdom was not satisfactory.
reporters at the Group of 20 summit, the Turkish president said that Prince
Mohammed had given an "unbelievable explanation" of Riyadh's role in
Erdogan said that Turkey had no intention of harming the Saudi royal family,
adding that holding those responsible for Mr Khashoggi's killing would also be
beneficial for Saudi Arabia.
says the United States-led coalition alleging to be fighting Takfiri terrorists
in the Arab country has attacked the positions of the country’s army in a
military source said on Sunday that at around 8 PM, the US-led alliance forces
fired several rockets at army positions in al-Ghurab mountain south of
al-Sekhneh, causing only material damage,” the official Syrian Arab News Agency
reported, citing a military source. The area is located in Homs province.
to a so-called monitoring group, the coalition forces at a US military base in
al-Tanf region fired "more than 14 missiles" at a Syrian army convoy
as it was passing through the desert in the far east of Homs province.
group was lost in the middle of the desert around 35 kilometers from the
al-Tanf base," the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP.
coalition invaded Syria without a United Nations mandate in 2014 under the
pretext of defeating the Takfiri terror group of Daesh. It sustains its
operations although Syria and its allies defeated the outfit late last year.
September, the monitor said US airstrikes had killed 3,331 civilians in Syria
since they began.
April, the US, the UK, and France launched a joint missile offensive against a
research center in the town of Douma near the Syrian capital. The incursion
came after the allies blamed Damascus for a “chemical attack” in the city’s
year earlier, a suspected sarin gas attack hit the town of Khan Shaykhun in the
northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, killing more than 80 people. The Western
countries rushed to blame the incident on Damascus, with the US launching a
missile attack against Shayrat Airbase in Homs three days later.
countries have been backing so-called aid workers, known as the White Helmets,
which Syria and Russia, a Damascus ally, blame for staging chemical attacks
inside the Arab country to help justify such military actions.
turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and
the United States back in 2013.
should keep ties with Saudi, hold MbS responsible: Top Democratic senator
United States should maintain its strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia while
holding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the murder of
journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a top Democratic senator says.
to Fox News on Sunday, Senator Ben Cardin said he had no doubt that bin Salman,
also known as MBS, was involved in the murder of Khashoggi, who was killed
after entering the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on October
no doubt in my mind that the crown prince knew what was going on in Turkey and
was very much involved in that," Cardin said.
cannot allow that type of conduct to go unchallenged," the Maryland
lawmaker added. "The United States needs to have a pretty strong position
on it and we have to demand that there be accountability."
President Donald Trump has so far resisted growing calls from both sides of the
isle in Congress for a strong response to Khashoggi’s murder, arguing that
doing so would endanger deep financial and political ties between the two sides
and push Riyadh towards Russia.
reluctance to go after MbS became clearer after he undermined a CIA assessment
that the prince was indeed aware of the murder, despite Riyadh’s denials.
the biggest reason is the risk that losing Saudi Arabia’s services would pose
to Israel, Trump has admitted
would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump said after a Thanksgiving
Day telephone call with military personnel from his Mar-a-Lago resort home in
you look at Israel, Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” he added.
“So what does that mean, Israel is going to leave? You want Israel to leave? We
have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia.”
President said the Saudis were “tremendously helpful” in the region as they
also helped keep oil prices down.
to say who should be held accountable for Khashoggi’s death, Trump made a
the world should be held accountable, because the world’s a very very vicious
place,” Trump said during the Thanksgiving call.
said in his interview that he believed the US had the upper hand over Riyadh
and could use this to its advantage without worrying about the possible
United States cannot cite United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 on
Iran’s missiles program given the fact that it is the same resolution which
endorsed the nuclear deal Washington withdrew from, says a political
a matter of fact resolution 2231 is the same resolution that accompanied the
nuclear deal and endorsed the multilateral deal and the US violated the
resolution and discarded it the same way that it discarded the nuclear deal
after withdrawing from this multilateral agreement. So basically if we were
living in a fair world, then this is the US that should have been punished for
this disrespecting a decision by UN Security Council … So the United States is
not entitled to refer to this resolution,” Mostafa Khoshcheshm told Press TV in
an interview on Sunday.
it calls resolution 2231 with regard to Iran’s missile program is not at all a
reference to the conventional missile program of the country. First of all it
is a non-binding paragraph in that resolution … Second it asks Iran to avoid
testing those missiles that have been designed for carrying WMDs … So basically
we are here speaking of a very false and wrong interpretation of resolution 2231
for the propaganda purposes that the United States has,” he added.
has rejected US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's claims against its missile
capabilities, saying the program is defensive and does not violate the
international agreement on Tehran's nuclear program.
claimed in a statement released on Twitter Saturday that Iran was increasing
its "testing and proliferation" of missiles and called on the Islamic
Republic to "cease these activities."
test, he said, "violates UNSCR 2231," citing the United Nations
Security Council's endorsement of the international nuclear agreement, which
the United States abandoned in May.
U.S. admiral in the Middle East was found dead in his residence in Bahrain, the
Navy said Saturday.
Adm. Scott Stearney was the commander of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain.
a video released on Twitter, the 31st Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John
Richardson said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Bahraini Ministry
of Interior are cooperating on the investigation.
at this time no foul play is suspected," said Richardson.
according to defense officials quoted by CBS News, Stearney was found dead of
Introduce special Act to protect Islam, Malay rulers
LUMPUR, Dec 2 — Right wing Malay movement Perkasa has proposed that a special
Act, namely the Insulting Islam and the Malay Rulers Act or abbreviated as the
‘Amir’ Act be enacted to prevent actions or attempts to threaten the peace and
harmony of the country.
president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said the law could be enacted with the consent of
the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers.
new Act proposed by Perkasa is the same as the one (lese majeste Act)
implemented in Thailand right now. Perkasa suggests that the Act has two
sections, the first part provides for detention without trial and the second,
open to prosecution in court as a criminal offence.
Amir Act... the concept is similar to the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 and
imposing a five-time mandatory caning and a minimum of five years
imprisonment,” he told a press conference after opening the 9th Annual General
Meeting of Perkasa here, today.
said this punitive Act would act as a reminder and lesson to all parties not to
touch on or insult the honour of Islam and the Malay Rulers, as the Malay
Rulers are the head of Islam at state and federal levels.
at noon, more than 100 Perkasa members had gathered peacefully for an hour at a
hotel compound in Jalan Raja Alang here holdings placards and shouting ‘Allahu
Akbar’. — Bernama
pull out Islam card on Jokowi
radical Indonesian cleric behind the push to jail former Jakarta governor Ahok
for blasphemy has declared it unIslamic to vote for any parties who supported
him — a thinly veiled attack on President Joko Widodo — at a mass rally yesterday,
setting the stage for another bitterly divisive election influenced by
Shihab addressed a huge crowd — which police estimated to be “in the hundreds
of thousands” — gathered in central Jakarta’s Monas square yesterday by pre-recorded
message from Saudi Arabia, where he fled in 2017 facing treason charges and
pornography allegations related to allegedly explicit text messages.
was tight at the rally to mark the anniversary of the so-called 212 Movement,
named for the December 2, 2016, Jakarta demonstration where about half a
million people demanded former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama,
an ethnic-Chinese Christian seeking re-election, be jailed for blasphemy.
police were also deployed to the Australian embassy from midnight on Saturday
after protesters at a Friday rally against the relocation of Australia’s
embassy in Israel to Jerusalem called on the 212 Movement to help it occupy
the diplomatic mission.
billed as a non-political reunion, yesterday’s event was highly partisan
involving many of the political players behind the opposition campaign to
unseat Jokowi (as he is known) at next April’s elections.
challenger Prabowo Subianto addressed the crowd, thanking them for their attendance
while carefully avoiding any breach of electoral laws. He left that to clerics
such as Rizieq, who told the crowd that held banners for his Islamic Defenders
Front as well as the banned pro-caliphate Hizbut Tahrir, that it was time to
us change this country from one that is full of sinners and blasphemers to one
blessed by God. My message is … at the presidential and legislative elections
2019, it is haram to vote for presidential and legislative candidates supported
by parties which supported blasphemers,” a clear reference to Jokowi and his
Democratic Part of Struggle, which supported Ahok ahead of his conviction.
vote for a presidential candidate supported by clerics. ”
University Indonesian law specialist Tim Lindsey said the rally was a reminder
of the rising influence of political Islam in Indonesia and the fact that
hardliners — though not strong enough to capture government themselves — could
set the agenda.
now a fact of mainstream Indonesian politics that nobody who is a good
politician can afford to ignore what hardliner Islamists think about issues and
that is the legacy of the Ahok campaign,” Professor Lindsey said. “Jokowi is
fully aware of that, having lost his close colleague (and former deputy
governor) Ahok to it.”
shocked many earlier this year by choosing as his vice- presidential running
mate Ma’ruf Amin, a cleric who gave evidence against Ahok. The pick was seen as
an attempt to neutralise the sort of political attacks by hardline Islamists
that he encountered in 2014 when he first stood for president against Mr
Hendri Satrio, a politics lecturer at Jakarta’s Paramadina University, said the
high turnout suggested the tactic wasn’t working. “It shows Jokowi’s efforts to
boost his Islamic credentials by picking Ma’ruf as running mate, convincing
Rizieq Shihab’s lawyer to switch sides, his stance on Palestine issues, his
foreign policies are not working,” he said.
yesterday’s rally would give Mr Prabowo a boost, the question was whether he
could maintain the momentum, as the 212 Movement did by uniting Indonesians
against Ahok ahead of last year’s Jakarta gubernatorial elections.
groups behind the downfall of former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja
Purnama are calling on Muslims to vote against the presidential candidate and
political parties that backed the city’s first Chinese and second Christian
a big rally that shows the growing clout of the Islamists in Indonesian
politics and the 2019 general elections, hundreds of thousands of conservative
Muslims flocked to the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta on Sunday (Dec 2)
to commemorate the second anniversary of the 2016 anti-Ahok rally that led to
his imprisonment for blasphemy.
a close ally and deputy of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo when the latter
served as Jakarta governor, was found guilty of insulting the Quran in a
blasphemy case that was widely condemned as flawed and politically charged.
rally, organized by a group calling itself the 212 Rally Alumni, was billed as
a “reunion” for those who participated in the 2016 protest, although it quickly
turned into a political stage for opposition leaders and outspoken critics of
the Jokowi administration.
than calling on Muslims to boycott candidates backed by political parties that
had supported Ahok, they also endorsed the anti-Jokowi movement bearing the
brought thousands of flags of various colors bearing the Islamic creed “There
is no God but Allah”, also known as the tauhid, and chanted slogans in defense
of the flag, which they called “the Prophet’s banner”.
flag seems to have served as a unifying symbol for the various Islamist groups
joining the 212 movement in the wake of a controversy surrounding the burning
of one by members of Banser, a paramilitary group under the Nahdlatul Ulama’s
youth wing, GP Anshor, which is considered to be pro-Jokowi.
report released in April 2018 by the Institute of Policy Analysis of Conflict
(IPAC) highlighted fractures in the 212 Movement following Ahok’s conviction,
but analysts said the upcoming elections might prove to be a unifying factor
among sympathizers of the political-religious movement.
Party chairman Prabowo Subianto, who is challenging Jokowi in the presidential
race for the second time, made a brief appearance at the rally together with
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, who beat Ahok in the 2017 regional elections.
opposition coalition politicians were also in attendance, including National
Mandate Party (PAN) founder Amien Rais, People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR)
Speaker Zulkifli Hasan and Gerindra deputy chairman and House of
Representatives Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon.
like to thank the committee for inviting me today. I’m proud at seeing millions
of Indonesians, millions of Muslims, gathering here peacefully,” Prabowo said
in his speech at the rally.
am proud to be an Indonesian Muslim.”
who appeared at the 2016 rally, was not invited to this latest event and
neither was his running mate and Indonesian Ulema Council chairman Ma’ruf Amin,
once an influential figure among the 212 activists.
had previously signed a fatwa declaring that Ahok’s remarks were blasphemous,
which was considered a trigger for the 2016 rallies.
Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab took part in the rally through a
phone call from Saudi Arabia, where he lives. He called on his supporters to
continue the fight against Ahok during the 2019 presidential and legislative
the 2019 elections, it is haram for us to vote for presidential and legislative
candidates backed by parties supporting the blasphemer,” he said, in a
reference to Ahok.
vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates based on the decision of
ijtima ulama [the consensus of the ulema].”
had been recommended as a presidential candidate at a gathering organized by
the National Movement to Safeguard the Ulema Fatwa (GNPF) in August, while all
the parties that backed Ahok in 2017 are now supporting Jokowi.
Ishak Institute research fellow Quinton Temby said the upcoming elections and
the flag-burning incident contributed to the scale of Sunday’s rally.
think the approaching election is focusing the views of a certain constituency
that the government is in some sense against Islam,” he told The Jakarta Post.
Sabu: Don't be influenced by racial, religious sentiments
(Bernama): Muslims in Malaysia are reminded to be cautious and not to be easily
swayed by racial and religious sentiments being played up by supporters of the
Minister Mohamad Sabu (pic) said the group had intentionally used this method
to appeal to Muslim sentiments, thus diverting people's attention from their
leaders' corruption issues.
(Pakatan Harapan) have just taken over the administration for six months and
there is no better way for them to rise immediately except through racial and
is very easy to stoke sentiments through such talk so we have to be
knowledgeable and careful,” he said in his speech at the Sabah Parti Amanah
Negera (Amanah) convention here on Sunday (Dec 2).
said Malaysians should be aware of spillover effects of stoking such sentiments
as experienced by some Muslim countries including Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia
added that he raised the subject to make people realise that the recent
incident over the temple in Selangor had nothing to do with racial issues.
said the matter could be resolved amicably but there were people who took
advantage of the situation to incite racial sentiments.
he expressed hope that Pakatan Harapan leaders would be transparent and honest
in their dealings to win over the hearts of people at the grassroots level.
and Saudi Arabia have agreed to extend an agreement on cutting their respective
oil outputs to prevent crude prices from slumping further.
President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that he and Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammad bin Salman had come to the arrangement following talks during the
Group of 20 countries’ summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
we have an agreement to prolong our accords," Putin told reporters on the
is no final deal on volumes, but we together with Saudi Arabia will do it. And
whatever is the final figure, we agreed to monitor the market situation and
react to it quickly," he noted.
is the most prolific oil producer outside the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer.
has been cooperating with the body for years to engineer a rebound after the
prices sank in 2014 due to oversupplying of the market.
steadily facing the threat of decline, the prices have almost stabilized at
around $60 per barrel.
weeks earlier, Putin had said he favored a level of $70 per barrel for Russia.
On Wednesday, however, he told an investment conference in Moscow that the
current prices were “absolutely fine” for his country. He also praised bin
Salman for what he described as the success of the agreement between OPEC and
is while the United States, which renewed its oil sanctions against major
producer Iran last month, has been pressing other producers - particularly
Saudi Arabia - to speed up production to stabilize the market.
OPEC, Russia, and other big producers will meet in Vienna on December 6-7 to
discuss further steps concerning the situation governing the oil market.
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