Khan swept to power in last month's election on a populist platform vowing to
root out corruption among venal elite and lift people out of poverty
Favours Pluralistic, Democratic Government, Say Indian Muslim Scholars
Promises, Imran Khan Raises Pakistani Hopes Sky High
Condemned For Supplying Bombs to Saudis
‘Rights at Risk’ After Myanmar ID Move
In Translation? Not For Muslim Hajj Pilgrims
Dailies Laud Vajpayee’s Contribution to Peace Process
can double per capita GDP in 30 years by turning more secular: Study
Musa of AGH Distances Himself from ISIS, Says “No Links Ever”
hopes Imran Khan's accession to PM's post will be good for Pak, India peace
Iran, US, Turkey Look Forward To Working with Imran-Led Govt
Almighty Allah Help You in Your Tenure: Erdogan To PM Khan
bodies pulled from SW Pakistan mine after blast
blogger announces travel show for Pakistan
Imran Khan plans to address the nation today
Divides over Bushra Maneka’s Attire At Oath-Taking Ceremony
has huge responsibilities to fulfil: Bushra Bibi
sanitary workers protest against non-attendance of Muslim workers
Killed Children to Force Yemenis to Submit: Analyst
sanctions Myanmar military over Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing'
creates 'Iran Action Group' to up pressure on Tehran
cuts Syria 'stabilization' fund, vows to continue anti-Damascus bid
and ISIS Militants Suffer Casualties in Kunar, Nangarhar Airstrikes
on animal import from Afghanistan enters third day
military release airstrike video taken during Ghazni city clashes
Ghani clarifies stance regarding the demands for Eid ceasefire
skeptical of Myanmar inquiry into Rohingya abuses
Intensify on US Forces, Allied Militias in Northeastern Syria
Army Sends More Military Equipment to Border with Syria
Continue Popular Uprising against Turkey-Backed Militants
Army Opens Heavy Fire at Terrorists' Positions in Hama, Idlib
Army Tightens Noose on ISIL in Deserts of Sweida
forces repel ISIS attack on American and French troops east Syria
cleric’s continued detention political revenge: Wefaq
through history: A 1,400-year spiritual odyssey
Option to Protect Palestinians Is A New Force, Says UN Chief
prayers for Muslim victims of Genoa tragedy
and Merkel warn of ‘humanitarian risks’ in Idlib
Spiritual Leader Sentenced To Five Years In Jail For 'Insulting Islam'
Missionary Thrust to the Centre of Turkey-U.S. Crisis
supplied bomb that killed Yemeni children
Sources: UAE, Israeli Pilots in Joint Patrol over Gaza
to appear before Iranian parliament soon, says lawmaker
faction Fatah: No state in Gaza, and no state without Gaza
Coalition destroys SAM 6 air defense system of Houthi militia in Sanaa
blasts Israel’s closure of al-Aqsa mosque
Attacks Make Life Difficult for Muslims, Says Boko Haram Faction
Rescues 23 Minors Seized By Boko Haram
Osinbajo: Why Nigeria's favourite leader won't become president - yet
Haram: UN reveals what makes sect stronger
Marriages Hardly a Muslim Issue Only
backs RCI for judiciary over judge’s claim of ostracisation
AG yet to study papers on child bride case, still busy with 1MDB
by New Age Islam News Bureau
view of the threat to peace in the world from the growing fanaticism in the
young Muslim population all across the globe aimed at 'cleansing' the world of
non-believers, Islamic scholars and thinkers came together in Agra to discuss
the meeting, Bhartiya Muslim Vikas Parishad chairman Sami Aghai said that the
Prophet had ratified Pluralism and not Al-Salaf, the 'Puritan' Islam as
propagated by Islamists.
said that extremists actually try to 'purify' the lands of Allah in a bit to
retrieve the purity of the Salaf (the Muslim predecessors) by attacking the
democratic system of governance. But in reality, the Prophet and his companions
had professed peaceful coexistence because, in his state of Madina, all
religious communities lived by an alliance of shared values known as 'Misaq-e-Madina',
the written constitution of Medina which had the clear causes of religious
pluralism and universal brotherhood.
shall dispute with any Muslim who oppresses anyone from among the non-Muslims,
or infringes on his right, or puts a responsibility on him which is beyond his
capacity or takes something from against his will" (reported by Abu
Adding to Aghai's statement, Mufti Mudassar Ali Khan Qadri said that a clause
in Misaq-e-Madina quoted the Prophet (Hadith) said
alone Muslims, all non-Muslims living in Madina were accorded full protection
of life, religious freedom, and democratic rights.
scholar Naseem Ahmed Advocate said that all terror outfits, including ISIS,
brazenly breach foundations of Prophet's secular system of governance.
fact, common Muslims living in the democratic countries like India embrace the
democratic values and secular ethos by intermingling with citizens of other
faiths. Thus they find themselves inclined towards an inclusivist religious
narrative focused on a spiritual synergy with the people of all faiths and
that the governments of democratic countries take a tough stance against the
spread of this extremist Islam, Sarvdaleey Muslim Action Committee President
Syed Irfan Saleem said in contrast to the Muslims living in the democratic
countries, radical preachers of political Islamism and global Islamic Kalikhate
(Khilafah-Al-Almaiyah) call for permanent war against all 'un-Islamic' forms of
governance, besides all countries epitomizing principles of individual liberty,
freedom of faith, secularism and democracy, the places of Shirk (paganism),
thus continue to attack the age-old tradition of Pluralism, Universalism and
said that to curb the spread of Extremist Islam, religio-political leadership
and scholars of Islam have to disapprove the idea of Extremism and rebuff the
rhetoric of those who conflate Islamic scriptures into Extremism through
ideological counter-narrative which would eradicate terrorism and radicalization
more effectively than the military operations.
promises, Imran Khan raises Pakistani hopes sky high
From creating 10 million jobs to building an Islamic welfare state and
restoring Pakistan's tattered image abroad, new premier Imran Khan is facing a
problem of his own making: runaway expectations raised by his lofty rhetoric.
cricket legend and firebrand nationalist who is hero-worshipped by supporters,
Khan swept to power in last month's election on a populist platform vowing to
root out corruption among a venal elite and lift people out of poverty.
he inherits control of a volatile nation facing mounting problems at home and
abroad, including a looming economic crisis and a fracture with historic ally
the United States over Pakistan's alleged links to militants. Ties are also
fraught with neighbours Afghanistan and nuclear-armed rival India.
in parliament talk of forming a grand coalition against Khan, dubbing him a
"puppet" and accusing him of entering into a Faustian Pact with the
powerful military, which has a history of ousting prime ministers and clashing
with civilian governments over control of foreign policy.
denies all accustations that the military covertly helped him win the election.
in his victory speech, Khan offered an olive branch to India and called for
mutually beneficial ties with the United States.
Khan can become the first Pakistani prime minister to complete a full five-year
term in office will depend on his relationship with influential generals,
his ideas on foreign policy differ from theirs, analysts say Khan would suffer
a similar fate to other civilian leaders who have failed to see out their term.
his future will be the same as anybody else's," political commentator
Aamer Ahmed Khan said.
to rely on smaller parties for a razor-thin majority in parliament, and with
the opposition controlling the Senate, Khan's coalition government could
struggle to push through legislation without major compromises. An increasingly
assertive judiciary could also hold it back.
the mood in the country is one of unbridled optimism, especially among Khan's
young supporters, who believe he can build a corruption-free and prosperous
"New Pakistan" for the country's 208 million people.
biggest challenge is managing expectations among his followers and voters
because he's almost promised them the moon," said Raza Ahmad Rumi, the
editor of Pakistan's Daily Times newspaper.
Independence Day celebrations this week, when flag-waving Pakistanis flooded
the streets of Islamabad, many voiced confidence that Khan would deliver on
promises to build world class hospitals and improve education in a nation where
the illiteracy rate hovers above 40 percent.
have moved my daughter (from a private) to a government school, because we are
confident that Pakistan is going to change," said Sheikh Farhaj, 40, who
volunteered for Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party during the
were delighted Khan has broken the decades-long dominance of the two dynastic
powerhouses, the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party of jailed
former premier Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of the Bhutto family.
have great expectations from Imran Khan," said Shah Sultan, 38, a roadside
flag seller. "We are lower class people and I voted from Khan because what
the politicians have done to our country. They have left it with nothing."
Khan's campaign pledges are likely to be checked by a worsening economic
outlook, analysts say, especially his vow to build a welfare state.
central bank has devalued the rupee four times since December, but the current
account deficit is still carrying the currency towards a crisis, while the
fiscal deficit has ballooned to 6.8 percent of GDP.
growth is running at nearly 6 percent, but given the unsustainability of these
deficits it is easy to predict Pakistan's growth is heading for a fall.
government must urgently decide whether to request more loans from China,
deepening Islamabad's economic reliance on its neighbour, or ask the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) for what would be its 15th bailout since
lenders are likely to ask for more fiscal discipline, requiring drastic
Mahmood, Khan's new education minister, said the economic woes pose a major
problem but the party is determined to deliver a welfare system and enact
in the party realises we will have to work overtime to meet these huge
expectations," Mahmood said.
said Khan's image as a politician untainted by corruption could boost faith in
the government and convince more people to file taxes in a nation where less
than 1 percent of the population pays income tax.
has touted his "100 Day Plan" but many of the reforms PTI is
proposing, from turning around loss-making state-run enterprises to reforming
the tax collection bureau, will take far longer to accomplish.
government corruption outright, or repatriating plundered wealth, is also
supporters) have a simplistic idea that if there is a clean man on top, the
entire machinery becomes clean. That's never the case anywhere in the
world," said Rumi.
condemned for supplying bombs to Saudis
have taken to social media to condemn the US government for supplying the
Saudis with bombs used to kill innocent children in Yemen.
on Friday confirmed that a bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition last week in an
attack on a school bus in Yemen, which killed dozens of children, had been
supplied by the US.
from around the world concerned with the criminal activities going on in Yemen
posted condemnations on social media on Saturday.
actor Jim Carrey tweeted that Saudi Arabia is a US ally and that makes
Washington an accomplice in the killing of 40 innocent children.
experts told CNN on Friday that the bomb was a 227-kilogram laser-guided Mark
also noted that the numbers on the weapon identified major US military
contractor Lockheed Martin as its maker.
consultant Peter Daou asked why the US was supplying bombs to slaughter
children in Yemen.
Krassenstein of the Washington, DC-based political newspaper and website The
Hill wrote that former US President Barack “Obama banned the sale of these
bombs to the Saudis but Trump lifted that ban as part of his attempt to undo
everything Obama did.”
attack on a school bus in the town of Dhahyan on August 9 that killed a
total of 51 people, among them 40 children, and left 79 others wounded, sparked
outrage from international human rights groups and UN officials.
Secretary General António Guterres condemned the attack and called for an
“independent and prompt” probe into the air strike.
emphasized that “civilians and civilian objects” be spared from attacks.
bus targeted by the Saudi forces was carrying a group of young school children
attending summer class.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen in March 2015.
United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid,
including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
‘rights at risk’ after Myanmar ID move
Bangladesh has yet to decide whether it will replace its official description of
Rohingya refugees — a move some claim will limit the Rohingyas’ rights as
Bangladesh Foreign Ministry spokesman told Arab News a decision over the
replacement of the term “forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals” with “displaced
persons from Rakhine state” was still under consideration.
last week’s discussion with the Bangladesh delegation, the Myanmar authority
brought this up. We have listened to their points in this regard,” Delwar
Hossain, director-general of the Foreign Ministry, said.
is continuing among the ministry’s policy-makers, but the decision has yet to
be taken,” he said.
Bangladeshi official present at the meeting at Nay Pe Daw said that Bangladesh
has not given any consent to the proposal from Myanmar regarding the
replacement of the term.
have not received any directive over the issue,” said Abul Kalam, of the
Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), the main coordinating body
looking after the Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar.
experts believe that the replacement of the term “forcibly displaced Myanmar
nationals” with “displaced persons from Rakhine state” will limit the
Rohingyas’ ability to secure rights as Myanmar citizens.
the language or term is, the Myanmar government is the ultimate authority to
determine the citizenship issue of the Rohingyas. We want the (Rohingyas) to
live in Rakhine with honor and dignity,” said Humayun Kabir, former Bangladesh
ambassador to the US.
want to see developments on the ground for the repatriation of the refugees,
and that is the prime concern at the moment.”
migration expert Asif Munir said that Myanmar posted the statement on its state
counsellor’s Facebook page, which is not an official channel.
described the Myanmar approach as “very provocative.”
Bangladesh authorities have not yet officially agreed with the Myanmar
proposal, they (Myanmar) have issued a statement through an informal channel to
see the response of the Bangladeshis. If Bangladesh opposes it strongly, then
Myanmar may take the chance to disown the statement by saying that it was not
at all official,” Munir said.
proposal will hamper the Rohingyas’ identity and citizenship of Myanmar.”
Saudi Arabia: Lost in translation? Not in Mecca, thanks to a dedicated squad of
interpreters gearing up to help two million Muslims speaking dozens of
languages at the annual hajj pilgrimage.
six-day hajj, which starts on Sunday, is one of the five pillars of Islam, an
act all Muslims must perform at least once if they have the means to travel to
of the world’s Muslims do not speak Arabic – Indonesia is home to the largest
Muslim community by population, while tens of millions of the faithful are
native speakers of Urdu.
all, 80 percent of pilgrims to the western Saudi city of Mecca are non-Arabic
speakers, according to Mazen al-Saadi of the official hajj translation bureau.
team provides 24/7 interpretation services in English, French, Farsi, Malay,
Hausa, Turkish, Chinese and Urdu – the most widely spoken language among hajj
Samir Varatchia, who made the trip to Mecca from France’s Indian Ocean island
of Reunion, the men in grey vests – the uniform of the official hajj
translation team – are a welcome sight.
really don’t know much Arabic,” Varatchia told AFP.
French translation will help us understand things, including the sermons.”
interpreter Abdulmumen al-Saket is happy to help, fielding frequent requests
for his phone number.
try to help as much as we can, even with reading the maps,” he said.
ask for our personal phone numbers, to call us later if they need help,” he
come to Mecca from across the world, including India, Pakistan, Nepal and
Bangladesh. Many speak only Urdu, Saadi said.
of the signs directing pilgrims are translated into English, Urdu and in some
Grand Mosque provides a range of translation and interpreting services to
departments deal with sermons and rulings, and a hotline is available in dozens
of languages to answer religious questions.
for practical matters, Saadi’s 80-strong team is indispensible.
department has been in place for four years, he said, and is being continuously
expanded to deal with rising demand.
(pilgrims) don’t speak Arabic and are afraid to ask in the event of an
accident,” Sanaullah Ghuri, an Indian translator, told AFP in Arabic.
deadly stampede in 2015 left more than 2,000 pilgrims dead in Mina, the Mecca
neighbourhood where the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual takes place during
pilgrims were unable to understand security forces’ instructions, delivered in
hajj presents Saudi authorities with vast logistical challenges.
is currently the world’s fastest-growing religion, according to the Pew
Research Center, which says the number of Muslims in the world is expected to
rise from 1.8 billion in 2015 to three billion in 2060.
hajj sees millions of pilgrims visit the country, all clad in white, to perform
rituals in Mecca’s Grand Mosque and on the Mount Arafat plain east of Mecca.
ends with Eid al-Adha, a three-day feast which starts with the “stoning of the
Arabia, one of the world’s most restrictive countries, has recently embarked on
an ambitious reform programme spearheaded by the powerful young Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman.
has included pumping millions of dollars into high-tech initiatives.
services for two million pilgrims is no small feat, and authorities are pushing
a “smart hajj” initiative this year to meet the rising demand.
includes apps providing information on emergency medical services and
geographic guides to Mecca and Mina, the two cities home to Islam’s holiest
app will also translate hajj sermons into five languages.
the Indian translator, Ghuri, said the presence of real-life interpreters made
the experience of hajj easier for pilgrims.
they see someone speaking their language, they feel more comfortable seeking
help,” he said.
dailies laud Vajpayee’s contribution to peace process
Death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (ABV) has resonated
across the border in Pakistan. Almost every newspaper— English and Urdu had
carried front-page reports on the demise of the founding member of BJP. The
reports highlighted Vajpayee's efforts in restoring peace with Pakistan,
acknowledging the existence of Pakistan and his government laying the
foundation of a strong relation for his successors to nurture.
leading English newspaper Dawn carried a single column report on the former
Indian prime minister with a headline ‘Vajpayee, partisan of peace with
Pakistan, dies.’ The article went on to say that his 1999 visit to Lahore had
become so popular in Pakistan that his host and the then Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif said that he (ABV) could win an election there. It also said, "It
was Vajpayee’s policy with Pakistan whose thread was picked up by his
successor, Dr Manmohan Singh".
Nation, another Pakistan-based English daily, began its piece by saying ‘While
most of the Indian leaders are opposed to Pakistan and publicly say they want
to break it up, Atal Behari Vajpayee was the one who had tried to improve
relations with the Islamic Republic.’ Reported by Ashraf Mumtaz who covered
Vajpayee’s trip to Pakistan in 1999 claimed that “Vajpayee had admitted that
many people had advised him not to visit the Minar-i-Pakistan as such a step
would amount to giving the stamp of approval to the creation of Pakistan. But
he said he rejected the advice.” Another English Daily, Express Tribune talked
that India’s three-time Prime Minister Vajpayee was one of the leaders to
express anguish over the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in 2002.
treatment was given by the Urdu newspapers. Nawa-i-waqt, the largest Urdu
newspaper headquartered in Lahore quoted Pakistan’s would-be PM Imran Khan and
Pakistan People’s Party president Bilawal Bhutto in its report on the death of Vajpayee.
The paper acknowledged the positive contribution made by Vajpayee in restoring
Pak-India relations. “Vajpayee has always supported the promotion of SAARC and
regional cooperation,” read the report, which was carried on its front page.
India discards religious beliefs that perpetuate caste and gender inequalities,
it could more than double its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth of
the last 60 years in half the time, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of a
precedes economic development and not the other way around as is commonly
believed, said the study, Religious Change Preceded Economic Change In The 20th
Century, published in the journal Science Advances. The study used data from
the World Values Survey, which mapped people’s changing values and beliefs, to
estimate the importance of religion in the 20th (1900-2000) century.
stood 66th among 109 nations ranked by secularisation. China was first,
Pakistan 99th, Bangladesh 104th and Ghana last.
per capita GDP per annum grew 26 times between 1958 and 2018. “This increase
could have been higher if Indians were less rigid in their religious views,”
co-author Damian Ruck, a post-doctoral researcher at the Bristol Centre for
Complexity Sciences, University of Bristol, told IndiaSpend.
are the dominant religious beliefs that could be holding back India’s growth
from reaching its maximum potential? IndiaSpend research found that these
relate to the two most vulnerable social groups in India — women and
groups are allowed to play a limited role in India’s economy. Consider caste:
The proportion of scheduled-caste individuals in the lowest wealth bracket was
close to thrice that in other castes — 26.6% as against 9.7% — according to the
National Family Health Survey 2015-16 (NFHS-4), as IndiaSpend reported in
and cultural factors restrict women from working outside their homes in India,
IndiaSpend reported in this nation-wide investigation. At just 27%, India’s
female workforce participation is amongst the lowest in South Asia. Between
2004-5 and 2011-12, the year of the last census, 19.6 Indian million women left
their jobs, according to an April 2017 World Bank report.
secularisation (and its tolerance rank, 69th) would suggest that its per capita
GDP per annum should be higher than it actually is. “Our model thinks that
India should be around Rs 457,015 ($6500) per person richer than it actually
is,” said Ruck. “What this suggests is something else is holding back the
Indian economy but that is for Indian specialists to analyse.”
India would still stand to benefit considerably from increased levels of
secularisation, estimated the author. “If India were to reach secularisation
levels seen in western Europe (like Germany, which was ranked 6th of 109
nations), then it could expect to see a Rs 70,175 ($1,000) increase in per
capita GDP over 10 years, Rs 196,490 ($2,800) over 20 years and Rs 350,875
($5,000) over 30 years,” said Ruck.
put this in perspective, India’s per capita GDP increased 2682% by Rs 133,613
($1904) over the last 60 years, from Rs 4,982 ($71) in 1958 to Rs 138,595
($1975) in 2018.
whose development India aims to emulate, has been ranked first in
secularisation. The US, a developed country where hate crimes in the 10 largest
cities touched a decadal high in 2017, stood 57th.
needs to be noted that the study, jointly conducted by researchers at the
University of Bristol in the UK and the University of Tennessee in US, did not
establish that an increase in secularisation drives economic activity. It only
established that secularisation precedes high growth. It did, however, rule out
the belief that religion loses its importance once material development begins
to satisfy the needs of a society.
Indian economists can’t ignore links between economy, religion
India, religion has not lost its place in society though the country has seen
economic development: More than 90% respondents rated religion as “very
important” or “rather important” in the latest round of the World Values Survey.
and Kyrgyzstan are the only two nations where the percentage of people who
considered religion an important part of their lives grew by over 10 points
over the decade through to 2014, with India logging 12.1% growth, from 79.2% to
91.3%, according to the survey.
key takeaway of the new study is that policy makers looking to boost economic
growth, particularly inclusive economic development—a stated aim of the
incumbent central government–need to consider the linkages between religious
thought and economy.
theory tells us that a competitive environment–one without different types of
stratification, of markets–produces the best possible outcomes for consumers
and society,” said
Dubey, a professor at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School
of Social Sciences at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. “But by precluding a
huge section of the population, women and scheduled caste people, from equal
access to resources such as capital and know-how, in India, religion majorly impedes
are, in large part, low-skilled informal workers in India, engaged in work that
requires low productivity and offers low pay, as IndiaSpend reported in March
2018. The inequality between what men and women earn in India is far worse than
gender skews in pay noticed in South Africa, Brazil and Chile, if we consider
the gender gap in median earnings of full-time employees.
is another divisive factor in development. Scheduled-caste individuals are
among India’s poorest people, as we said. “Caste, kinship or family, either or
all these can hamper economic progress if they impose restrictions,” said Andre
Beteille, professor emeritus, department of sociology at the University of
sociologists see a problem: Initiatives to get India’s women and scheduled
castes better access to resources could boost overall economic activity and
promote individual well-being, but they are unlikely to change their social
status, according to Dubey. Casteism is so deeply entrenched in India that even
scheduled caste converts to Islam and Christianity continue to carry their
dalit status, he said.
religions go, Islam and Christianity do not practice caste segregation but we
see dalit converts call themselves dalit Christians and scheduled caste
Muslims,” he said.
will be ‘short-term’ in times of communal strife
per capita GDP has trended upwards since 2014, according to the United Nations’
World Happiness Index 2018, IndiaSpend reported in May 2018.
also saw rising intolerance in this period, available data show. The year 2017
recorded the highest death toll (11 deaths) and the most number of incidents of
hate violence (37 incidents) related to cows and religion since 2010, according
to an IndiaSpend database that records cow-related hate crime.
this simultaneous increase in the annual per capita GDP and the decline in
secular values defy the findings of the new study?
not. “What we measured are the slow changes in public opinion on secularisation
and tolerance that occur over many decades as new generations replace older
ones,” explained Ruck.
can see a rapid increase in intolerance over the short-term but it can be
associated with different forces influencing public opinion, he said. The
scholar described these as “period effects”.
the current political climate, prominent identity qualifiers such as caste,
religion and gender are being stoked for short-term gains, creating negative
emotions of distrust, hate, prejudices and so on against the ‘other’,”
IndiaSpend reported in May 2018.
commander Zakir Musa has distanced himself and his group from the global terror
outfit Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
an audio that has gone viral on social media the chief of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind
(AGH) Zakir Musa Bhat can be heard
distancing himself from the dreaded group ISIS or Dawlah,”Ansar Ghazwatul Hind
has no relationship with the Jamaat u Dawlah, as in ISIS. We never had any
relationship with them,” says Musa in the 15 minute long message addressed to
people of Jammu and Kashmir and India.
stresses upon unity among different sects of Islam and says that he is on the
path of famous Sufi saint Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, “People should overcome sects
and fight the struggle of Islam by getting united,” Musa can be heard saying.
the audio which is generally addressed to Muslims of sub continent Musa
stresses upon Jihad and calls for youth
to be ready for the Ghazwatul Hind (Battle of India),”We have not forgotten the
bloodshed in Kashmir in recent years. Jihad is the only way out to fight and
everything else is scam. Even if India has huge number of forces but we will
fight back,” he adds.
also has a message for Muslims of India
and asks them to wage a war against India, “We invite you to join us. Our
hearts beat for you and we know that Modi led government is oppressing you,”
The founder of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind can be heard saying.
chief of the militant outfit AGH also talks about mob lynchings in India.
Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu today hoped that his
friend Imran Khan's accession to the prime minister's post will be good for
Pakistan-India peace process.
a dark blue suit and a purple turban, Sidhu was among the special guests
present at Khan's oath taking ceremony at the Aiwan-eSadr (the President House)
in Islamabad today.
who famously captained the national cricket team to World Cup glory in 1992,
had invited some of his former teammates and friends to witness his formal
accession to the top ministerial job in the country.
Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa after arriving at the ceremony went to the
front row of the guests where Sidhu was seated next to President of
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) Masood Khan.
Bajwa hugged Sidhu and both chatted briefly. Warm smiles were exchanged. As the
two chatted, they hugged once more.
to the state-run PTV, Sidhu used his usual poetic expression to praise Khan.
new morning is here in Pakistan with a new government which can change the
destiny of the country," said Sidhu, a minister in the Congress government
hoped that Khan's victory will be good for the Pakistan-India peace process.
ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by
Pakistan-based groups in 2016 and India's surgical strikes inside
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The sentencing of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan
Jadhav to death by a military court
April last year further deteriorated bilateral ties.
arrived in Lahore yesterday via the Wagah border. He travelled from Lahore to
Islamabad to attend the ceremony.
the "change" in Pakistan's democracy with the election of Khan as
prime minister, Sidhu on his arrival in Pakistan said Khan should come forward
in peace initiative between the two neighbours.
said he has brought "a message of love" to Pakistan as a goodwill
ambassador of India.
have come here not as a politician but as a friend. I have come here to take
part in the happiness of my friend (Imran)," he had said, adding sportsmen
and artistes help bringing the people of two sides closer.
jeevay, Pakistan jeevay," he chanted while reading a verse.
about the qualities of Khan, the former cricketer said: "I have seen Khan
converting his weaknesses into his strength. I wish Imran becomes a symbol of
prosperity (for his country)."
to a query on the gift he has brought for the former Pakistan Test captain,
Sidhu said: "I have brought a Kashmiri shawl for Khan sahib."
Iran, US, Turkey look forward to working with Imran-led govt
Iqbal | Baqir Sajjad Syed
/ WASHINGTON: Telephone calls and messages continued to pour in on Saturday to
congratulate Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on his election
as prime minister of Pakistan.
Prime Minister Theresa May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and senior officials of the US State Department all
extended greetings to Mr Khan.
prime minister congratulated him on his party’s success in Pakistan’s elections
and on his new position,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement
from London, after a telephonic conversation between PM May and PM Khan. The
statement was shared with the local media by the British High Commission.
May also tweeted about the conversation. “Pleased to talk to @ImranKhanPTI,
Prime Minister of Pakistan. The UK and Pakistan share deep and important links.
There is plenty for our two countries to work together on, not least increasing
bilateral trade and mutual security issues.”
statement quoted PM May as having noted the importance of Pakistan delivering
on its commitments to strengthen institutions responsible for upholding the
rule of law, and to advance the rights of women and minorities.
two also agreed to meet soon.
a letter addressed to PM Khan, the Iranian president expressed Tehran’s
readiness to expand ties and cooperation with Islamabad.
sincerely congratulate on your election as the Pakistan prime minister which
rose up from the will of the brave and distinguished Pakistani nation,” said
President Rouhani according to the official website of the president of the
Islamic Republic of Iran.
US State Department says that it recognises and welcomes Prime Minister Khan,
dispelling the impression that Washington is not happy with his election.
an earlier statement, a senior US official had hoped that the PTI government
would work with the United States for translating tough issues into mutual
recognise and welcome the newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on
taking the oath of office,” said State Department’s spokesperson Heather
the State Department prefers to comment on such issues on a working day but Ms
Heather released this statement on Saturday, hours after Mr Khan took the oath
of his office.
over 70 years, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan has been
a vital one,” she said. “The United States looks forward to working with
Pakistan’s new civilian government to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and
her speech at the Pakistan Embassy, Alice Wells, who heads the South Asia
Bureau at the State Department, not only welcomed Imran Khan’s election but
also expressed the desire to work with his government to resolve difficult
noted that the new Pakistani leader had also recognised the importance of
US-Pakistan relationship in his public statements and in his first meeting with
US Embassy officials in Islamabad.
issues are tough, no doubt, but together, I know we can translate these shared
interests into further action that achieves our mutual objectives,” she said.
also said that now was the time to peacefully end the 17-year-old war in
Afghanistan and encouraged the new Pakistani government to play a leading role
in this process.
negotiated political settlement to the 17-year-long conflict in Afghanistan is
a critical shared goal, and an area where we all would hope to see progress in
the coming months,” she said. “In order to further these shared objectives, the
United States relies on its relationships with the government, businesses, and
people of Pakistan.”
a similar message on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo had stressed
this point and expressed the desire to work with Pakistan to “advance (the)
shared goals of security, stability, and prosperity in South Asia.”
July 27, the State Department had expressed “concerns about flaws in the
pre-voting electoral process”, noting that “these included constraints placed
on freedoms of expression and association” during the campaign period. The
department pointed out that such practices were “at odds with Pakistani
authorities’ stated goal of a fully fair and transparent election.”
Erdogan in his letter to Prime Minister Khan wished him success, adds APP.
wholeheartedly believe that our relations, which take their strength from our
peerless bonds of fraternity and amity, will develop even further in every
field towards the welfare and prosperity of our two peoples.
solidarity that you have displayed and the support that you have extended to us
in the recent critical period that our country has been passing through,
reinforces our belief that your sapient leadership will help further advance
bilateral relations between Turkey and Pakistan to new heights,” the letter
Erdogan reiterated his best wishes for the welfare and well-being of the
brotherly people of Pakistan.
Almighty Allah help you in your tenure: Erdogan to PM Khan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has congratulated Imran Khan after he
assumed the office of the prime minister of Pakistan.
extend you my heartfelt congratulations upon your election as the prime
minister of brotherly Pakistan and wish you success. May Almighty Allah be your
friend and help you in your tenure,” wrote Erdogan in a letter to Imran Khan on
Turkish president hoped that the ties between the two countries would develop
further. “I wholeheartedly believe that our relations, which take their
strength from our peerless bonds of fraternity and amity, will develop even
further in every field towards the welfare and prosperity of our two peoples,”
solidarity that you have displayed and the support that you have extended to us
in the recent critical period that our country has been passing through,
reinforces our belief that your sapient leadership will help further advance
bilateral relations between Turkey and Pakistan to new heights,” he said. On
this occasion, “I reiterate my best wishes for your personal health and
happiness, as well as for the welfare and well-being of the brotherly people of
Pakistani authorities said today they have now retrieved 18 bodies after a
blast tore through a coal mine in southwest Pakistan earlier this week,
including two rescuers who entered after the explosion.
mine caved in after workers used dynamite during an excavation in Sinjidi, some
45 kilometres east of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Balochistan
teams had pulled nine workers alive from different tunnels while eight had been
found dead at the depth of 800 feet.
later found bodies of another eight miners, who were buried at the depth of
4,000 feet, provincial chief mines inspector Muhammad Iftikhar told AFP.
said two of the five volunteers who entered the mine to rescue trapped workers
despite warnings by authorities also lost their lives.
pulled out all the five volunteers who were badly affected by poisonous gases
in the mine. Two of them died on their way to hospital while three others are
currently hospitalised in Quetta," Iftikhar said.
senior local government official official in Quetta also confirmed the new toll
the use of dynamite in the mines is officially prohibited, miners often use the
explosive to quickly excavate coal.
a similar incident, at least 43 miners were killed in Sorange district of
Balochistan in 2011.
mines in the impoverished province are notorious for poor safety standards.
Expressing her love for Pakistan, Polish travel blogger Eva zu Beck, who
stirred the ‘Kiki Challenge’ controversy in a PIA simulator recently, announced
her decision to launch the world’s first interactive travel show for Pakistan
combining social media, TV, live content, written words and on the ground
Beck announced the launch of her new venture at the National Press Club on
Saturday. She said it was her passion to promote tourism in Pakistan and fight
misrepresentation of the country in the social media.
40pc of travellers take the idea of their destinations through social media. We
find Pakistan totally missing in that space.”
also identified challenges faced by Pakistan’s tourism sector which included
lack of tourist friendly infrastructure and limited information about
transport, hotels, guesthouses etc.
said her initiative might lead to the availability of such information.
said the mission of the show would be to transform how international travellers
think about Pakistan and create a positive and long-lasting change to the local
is high time we establish Pakistan as a destination for travellers looking to
experience the perfect combination of nature and culture in a single setting,”
said Ms Beck.
big question that nobody is asking is how we can develop the local tourism
industry in responsible and environment friendly ways?”
said in attracting more attention to Pakistan as a tourism hub, the travel show
would work with local organisations to expand the current tourism
infrastructure and ensure responsible growth.
addition to promoting tourism in Pakistan at the international level, this
programme will showcase the creativity and media innovation coming out of the
country’s young generation. At the heart of the undertaking will be
collaboration with local talent and foreign influencers,” she added.
Beck attracted criticism from local authorities while trying to promote
Pakistan’s soft image through her strong social media outreach on Independence
recorded a PIA “Kiki Challenge” video that was featured across all the major
media outlets. But the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)
sensed some corruption case in the matter and took notice of the video.
Beck at the press conference said she did not receive any written notice from
know about the notice as much as you all know about it,” she said, adding she
was blogging about Karachi when she was contacted by the PIA marketing team to
work on this unusual idea.
was a training plane parked in a covered training area and the challenge was
done with all formal permission,” she added. “I received overwhelming positive
response from every section of society.”
said she was overwhelmed by the love and encouragement in Pakistan.
came here with a totally different perception. The perception about Pakistan on
foreign media is totally opposite of what the reality is,” she added.
Senate Standing Committee on Aviation recently also discussed the Polish tourist’s
including Senator Sherry Rehman, criticised the objections over the matter and
wondered what was wrong in the video.
should not make it an issue. There was nothing wrong in it and we should not
criticise everything. Even she (tourist) does not need to apologise for
promoting Pakistan,” said Ms Rehman.
Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan will address the nation on Sunday.
will make a decision concerning the federal cabinet ministers on Saturday and
the elected members will take oath on Sunday.
to a private media outlet, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesman Fawad
Chaudhry confirmed that PM Imran wants the federal cabinet to take oath on
Imran wants the federal cabinet to start work from Monday,” Chaudhry said.
that the new cabinet is under consideration, the PTI spokesman said, “The
cabinet is likely to be finalised today.”
divides over Bushra Maneka’s attire at oath-taking ceremony
took to Twitter to express what they thought of First Lady of Pakistan, Bushra
Maneka’s attire at her husband, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s oath-taking
ceremony on Saturday. Bushra Bibi attended the ceremony in a white coloured
users seem to be divided over the affair. One camp believes that Bushra’s
attire was “funny” and “super conservative” which does not speak too well for
wife’s attire is funny and we have all the right to make fun of it. You cannot
dress like a ninja to your husband’s oath taking ceremony and then expect
people to not make fun of you
Basit (@iBasitt) August 18, 2018
a little bit foreboding that the guy who is PM denounces feminism and his wife
is dressed in a super conservative veil.
Mahwash Ajaz (@mahwashajaz_) August 18, 2018
other camp jumped to Bushra for “making her own choices” since women should be
the one to decide “how covered or uncovered” they would like to be.
can’t people understand that they do not have any right to tell a woman how
covered or uncovered she should be?
ain’t buying her dress from taxpayers money. That’s the only thing you should
care about. https://t.co/1EhpOR0Q1x
Farrukh Abbas (@Farrukh_Abbas12) August 18, 2018
who is mocking the first lady’s attire should remember that being a liberal
also entails respecting people for the choices they make. Didn’t know being an
utter asshole was a pre-req.
(@lightermachis) August 18, 2018
two cents about Bushra Imran’s attire:
first lady of Pakistan, wife of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi, in her
first message for the public on Saturday said she was more concerned than happy
because her husband had a huge responsibility to fulfil. Talking to a private
TV channel over phone, Bushra Bibi said position of power comes and goes but
the most important factor of Imran’s victory is the responsibilities he now
has. Imran’s goal is to eradicate poverty and bring reforms in the health and
education sectors, she said.
on Saturday, Bushra Bibi attended the oath-taking ceremony of her husband, with
her attire becoming the talk of the day. The first lady was seen clad in white,
the colour she is usually seen in, but her gown caught attention with the
the oath-taking ceremony at the President House, Bushra Bibi was seen in a
white abaya of a flowy material. The attire stood out with the white sandal
that peeped through the gown. Her finger and toe nails were painted a matching
white, while she wore a jewelled bangle and ring on her right hand. On the
other hand, Imran was seen in a black sherwani at the ceremony.
sanitary workers staged a protest demonstration against the lack of manpower
and absenteeism of the Muslim sanitary workers outside the office of Chairman,
Municipal Corporation (MC), on Saturday. Due to the protest and the boycott of
work by the workers, the city presented a shabby look because of the heaps of
garbage and overflowing severs.
Mutahhida Christian Council, Aakash Shahzad, also joined the protestors.
Addressing the protestors, Supervisor, Shamoon Masih, said that the Muslim
sanitary workers did not do the job and the whole responsibility to clean the
city lied on the Christian sanitary workers. He said that only Christian
sanitary workers, sixteen in total, could not clean the entire city.
Mahtab, another sanitary worker, complained that the Muslim sanitary workers
regularly took their salaries without doing any work. He alleged that the
former Member Provincial Assembly, Karam Daad, hired these Muslim sanitary
workers for political gain and the matter was not resolved in the last five
years by the district administration. Rehmat Charagh, another worker, said that
there were 40 ghost Muslim workers who never came to the work.
protestors demanded that all the ghost workers must be immediately called to
work or they should be fired from the jobs and other sanitary workers should be
hired to eliminate the shortage of sanitary workers in the city. They said that
they already wrote to the district administration but no action was taken.
sanitary workers warned that they would completely boycott cleaning the city if
their demands were not met by the district administration.
killed children to force Yemenis to submit: Analyst
recent Saudi attack on a school bus full of children was an act of terror meant
to force the Yemenis into submission, according to a military expert.
missile used in the air strike was built in the United States and sold by
Americans to the Saudis who used it in an attack against Yemeni children,"
Scott Bennett, a former US army psychological warfare officer, told Press TV in
an interview on Saturday.
makes the US an accomplice in a war crime," the US military expert said.
condemned the terror attack as "savage and
said that Saudi Arabia killed the children to force the Yemeni people into
said such an incident should never be repeated and it should be opposed in the
US Congress and by the Trump administration itself.
a bus full of children … there is no punishment strong enough for such an
action. It is the murdering of the most innocent people among us."
said that all parties guilty in the incident must be fairly prosecuted.
is upon world nations to submit the incident to be investigated as a war
insisted that this incident "is something we cannot let be covered up and
buried. We really need to exploit it to the furthest it can be, not only for
the settlement of this war and the ending of it, but also for the poor souls of
terrorist act is so huge and revealing that it has the impact to overthrow the
Saudi regime," he said.
pointed out that, “The entire political regime of Saudi Arabia is a house of
cards waiting to fall.”
backwash of the school bus incident will bring down the Saudi regime."
United States has imposed sanctions against four Myanmar military and police
commanders and two army units responsible for the atrocities against minority
Rohingya Muslims in the Buddhist-majority country.
sanctions were imposed on Friday on military commanders named Aung Kyaw Zaw,
Khin Maung Soe and Khin Hlaing and border police commander Thura San Lwin. the
33rd and 99th Light Infantry Divisions were also sanctioned.
sanctions call for freezes of any assets the individuals hold in the United
States, a prohibition on Americans doing business with them, as well as travel
security forces have engaged in violent campaigns against ethnic minority
communities across Burma, including ethnic cleansing, massacres, sexual
assault, extrajudicial killings, and other serious human rights abuses,"
Sigal Mandelker, the treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial
intelligence, said in a statement on Friday.
is sanctioning units and leaders overseeing this horrific behavior as part of a
broader US government strategy to hold accountable those responsible for such
wide-scale human suffering," Mandelker added.
Human Rights Watch on Friday warned that a panel set up by Myanmar to probe
atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state does not seem to be
performing its task in a “serious and impartial” manner.
heavy criticism for committing violence by its security forces against the
Muslim minority group, the Myanmar government established the commission in
July to probe the rights abuses in a declared bid to find those responsible.
panel referred at the time to the process of establishing accountability as
"quarreling," saying it was the opposite of looking for peace.
Muslims previously based in Rakhine were subjected to a campaign of killings,
rape, and arson attacks by the military, backed by the country’s majority
Buddhist extremists, in what the UN has described as “a textbook example of
ethnic cleansing.” The brutal campaign forced some 700,000 Rohingya to flee
their homeland since August 2017 and seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.
of the displaced Rohingya are either living in squalid camps or just across the
border in a plot of land known as the “no man’s land.”
have accused US President Donald Trump of being slow in his response to the
atrocities against the Rohingya.
Rights Watch on Friday called the sanctions "an important but long overdue
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a new high-level team to focus US
and international efforts to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran.
The Iran Action Group will drive Washington's "maximum pressure"
strategy to change Tehran's behavior, including potentially sanctioning other
countries which trade with the country.
group will be headed by Brian Hook as the State Department's Special
Representative for Iran.
currently director of policy planning at the State Department, was in charge of
the failed effort to get support from US allies for Washington's decision in
May to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
nearly 40 years the regime in Tehran has been responsible for a torrent of
violence and destabilizing behavior against the United States, our allies, our
partners and indeed the Iranian people themselves," said Pompeo.
hope is that one day soon we can reach a new agreement with Iran. But we must
see major changes in the regime's behavior both inside and outside its borders."
The US has laid out a long list of activities it demands Tehran changes,
including halting support for the Syrian government and the Lebanese Hezbollah
movement, shutting down its nuclear development program, and freeing detained
Americans. "This team is committed to a strong global effort to change the
Iranian regime's behavior," Hook said. "We want to be closely
synchronized with our allies and partners around the world." Hook, who met
with officials from Britain, France and Germany on Iran policy in London on
Wednesday, held out the possibility of the US engaging directly with Iranian
leaders if they demonstrate a "commitment" to changing their
he was not specific on what would be the minimum required to make that
also said that Washington is stepping up its effort to get other countries to
fall in line with economic pressure on Tehran, including the crackdown on
Iran's oil trade, financial sector and shipping industry announced for early
goal is to reduce every country's import of Iranian oil to zero by November
are prepared to impose secondary sanctions on other governments that continue
this sort of trade with Iran."
week Trump warned the world about doing business with Iran, as European allies continued
to grumble about the US policy and China, India and Turkey appeared poised to
continue importing Iranian oil, providing the Iranian government crucial
the US sanctions appear to have had effect, tightening the country's supply of
dollars and sending its currency in a tailspin - with the result a jump in
inflation that has hurt Iranian consumers.
Monday Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's said there would be
neither war nor negotiations with the United States, and put the blame for
mounting domestic economic turmoil on the shoulder of President Hassan Rouhani.
officials have repeatedly said they only pressuring for a change in Iranian
behavior and not change in the regime itself.
US has reportedly cut its $230 million funding for the so-called Syria
stabilization projects, citing increased contributions from the Saudi regime
and other coalition allies, but vowed to remain active in its anti-Damascus bid
in the terror-ravaged country.
US State Department said it had notified Congress on Friday that it would not
spend the fund set aside for Syria programs by former Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson in February and would instead shift that money to other areas, AP
reported, noting that the fund had been on hold and under review since
Tillerson was fired in March by President Donald Trump.
to the report, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert emphasized that the
funding cut -- authorized by current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- would be
more than offset by an additional $300 million pledged by the US-led coalition
partners, including $100 million contributed by Saudi Arabia – widely suspected
as the leading financier of Daesh (ISIL) terrorists worldwide.
a result of key partner contributions by coalition members, Secretary Pompeo
has authorized the Department of State to redirect approximately $230 million
in stabilization funds for Syria which have been under review," Nauert
said in a statement.
funds will be redirected "to support other key foreign policy
priorities," added Nauert, who along with other US officials rejected
suggestions that the removal of the funds reflected the administration’s
diminishing interest in Syria.
along with acting assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, David
Satterfield, and the special envoy for the US-led coalition, Brett McGurk, told
reporters on a conference call that the US would remain engaged in Syria until
achieving its purported aim of defeating the ISIL terrorist.
further insisted that "this decision does not represent any lessening of
US commitment to our strategic goals in Syria."
the move was still viewed by Democratic lawmakers as a sign the administration
is heeding Trump's demand to end American involvement in Syria and reduce its
also stated that in a bid to reassure coalition partners and other opponents of
Syrian President Bashar Assad, Pompeo appointed veteran diplomatic
troubleshooter, James Jeffrey, to be a special envoy for Syria.
a former US ambassador to Turkey, Iraq and Albania who also served as a deputy
national security adviser to former president George W. Bush, will hold the
title of "special representative for Syrian engagement."
the funding cut is regarded as the latest US financial retreat from Syria. In
May, the State Department announced that it had ended all funding for
stabilization programs in Syria's northwest.
development comes as the US helped to organize the evacuation through Israel of
ISIL-linked White Helmet workers last month from Syria's south, where Syrian
forces launched a new offensive against the remnants of the terror group.
and ISIS militants suffer casualties in Kunar, Nangarhar airstrikes
Taliban militants and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K)
militants have suffered casualties during the airstrikes conducted in eastern
Nangarhar and Kunar provinces.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the US forces carried
out airstrike using unmanned aerial vehicle, leaving at least three Taliban
militants dead and two others wounded.
to a statement released by Silab Corps, the airstrike was carried out i the
vicinity of Wali Sahar area of Sherzad district in Nangarhar povince.
statement further added that the vehicle of the Taliban militants was also
destroyed in the airstrike.
US forces also carried out similar airstrikes in Titak area of Noor Gul
district in eastern Kunar province targeting the hideouts of ISIS militants.
airstrikes left a member of the ISIS group dead who has been identified as
Aminullah, Silab Corps added in its statement.
Corps also added that a Ak-47 assault rifle and a radio were also destroyed
during the same airstrikes.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban and ISIS loyalists have
not commented regarding the report so far.
KOTAL: The ban on the import of sacrificial animals from Afghanistan continued
for the third consecutive day on Saturday as the talks between local livestock
dealers and Afghan customs officials on Torkham border on the matter failed.
livestock dealers insisted that Afghan customs officials refused to relax ban
until Pakistan allowed cattle export to Afghanistan ahead of Eidul Azha.
had slapped the ban few days ago after Pakistan suspended cattle export to it
to ensure availability of sacrificial animals in the local market to stabilise
ban caused sheep prices to surge in local markets with livestock dealers
claiming that thousands of sheep and goats were stranded on Afghan side of the
the local dealers had agreed to pay Rs650 as customs tax per animal to
Pakistani customs authorities on Torkham border. The Khasadar officials also
began receiving Rs8,000 from every truck taking Afghan sacrificial animals to
livestock dealers however declared the charges illegal saying the provincial
government recently banned levy by the Khasadar personnel on all types of trade
goods imported from Afghanistan, including sacrificial animals.
Haji Dadeen told Dawn that the smuggling of sheep via the Gurruko-Bazaar
Zakhakhel route had begun after the ban on their movement by Torkham border.
said the volunteers of Bazaar Zakhakhel peace committee charged Rs1,000 for
every sheep and goat brought to Bazaar Zakhakhel from Afghanistan via
unfrequented route of Gurruko and then Landi Kotal livestock market.
dealer said the distance between Bazaar Zakhakhel and Landi Kotal was much
longer then the Torkham border, which was only seven kilometers long.
said a number of sheep and goats died due to thirst and suffocation on the way
from Afghan border hill point to Bazaar Zakhakhel and Landi Kotal.
US Military has released a new video which shows an airstrike carried out in
support of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces during the clashes
in Ghazni city last week.
National Defense Security Forces repeatedly took fire from Taliban fighters who
ran out of the building, fired at the soldiers and then returned to the safety
of the structure,” the US Military said.
self-defense, the Afghan National Defense Security Forces requested an
airstrike. After the strike, the building was severely degraded and the threat
to Afghan National Defense Security Forces neutralized,” according to the
statement released by the US Military.
comes as the coalition forces officials in Afghanistan had earlier saaid that
more than 220 militants were killed in the airstrikes conducted by the US
forces during the Taliban attack on Ghazni city.
Support spokesman Army Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell in a statement said last week “From a U.S.
Forces-Afghanistan perspective, U.S. airpower has killed more than 220 Taliban
since August 10.”
to O’Donnell, the U.S. conducted an initial strike on Friday, and conducted
five strikes on Saturday, 16 strikes on Sunday, and ten on Monday.
said U.S. Army Apache helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division (Air
Assault) Combat Aviation Brigade provided close-air support on Friday, Sunday,
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani says consultative meetings are underway regarding the
announcement of a ceasefire during Eid Al-Adha and that the government would
announce its decision in the light of consultations and recommendations being
offered to the government.
made the remarks during a meeting with the members of the High Peace Council
and the Ulemas Council of Afghanistan.
Ghani further added that peace is one of the main demands of the nation,
emphasizing that a national consensus exist regarding the peace process as he
was pointing towards the Fatwas of the religious scholars and consultative
meetings he had with different sects.
Ghani also added that he respects the demands of the Ulemas and High Peace Council
members regarding the ceasefire, insisting that the ceasefire should be
bilateral and the main aim should peace.
said it would not be acceptable that there would be ceasefire in part of the
country while that conflict would continue in its other parts.
to President Ghani, the government has so far received recommendations on
Afghan-led peace process, national unity, territorial integrity, respect to the
costitution of the country, establishment of coordination center for
information, mass coverage of the events through media and social media, and
partnership on all levels, during the consultative meetings he had with
the meantime, President Ghani vowed that the security forces would be on full
alert during the Eid days to prevent the movements of the enemies.
Rights Watch has warned that a panel set up by Myanmar to probe atrocities
against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state does not seem to be performing its
task in a “serious and impartial” manner.
now clear that Myanmar’s new ‘independent commission of inquiry’ into human
rights violations committed in Rakhine State will not be a serious and
impartial investigation that will identify alleged perpetrators to be brought
to justice," Richard Weir, of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia Division, said
the remarks made by the so-called commission, HRW also warned on Friday that
the panel investigation should be treated with heavy skepticism lest Myanmar
tried to use it to shield itself from critical scrutiny.
Rohingya, who have lived in Myanmar for generations, are denied citizenship and
are branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which likewise denies them
former communities in Myanmar have been razed. Report say Buddhists have been
shuttled and settled there in newly-built structures to repopulate the area.
imposes sanctions on Myanmar military over Rohingya crackdown
the United States slapped sanctions on four Myanmar military and police
commanders as well as two army units, accusing them of "ethnic
cleansing" against Rohingya Muslims and widespread human rights abuses
across the Southeast Asian nation.
security forces have engaged in violent campaigns against ethnic minority
communities across Burma, including ethnic cleansing, massacres, sexual
assault, extrajudicial killings, and other serious human rights abuses,"
said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal
Mandelker, using an alternative name for Myanmar.
is sanctioning units and leaders overseeing this horrific behavior as part of a
broader US government strategy to hold accountable those responsible for such
wide-scale human suffering,” Mandelker added.
Saturday, a bomb went off at a gathering of SDF gunmen near the villages of
al-Mahmoudli in Western Raqqa, killing and wounding several militias.
unknown raiders attacked SDF in Dawar al-Kanisah in the town of Tabaqa in
Western Raqqa, forcing the SDF to close off the entire roads to the city and
keeping fighters on alert.
another bomb went off near al-Nour mosque in the Central part of Raqqa city,
while an American convoy was going through the street.
is yet no official account on possible casualties.
the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stormed civilians that had
demonstrated against foreign occupiers in Raqqa city
SDF gunmen opened fire at civilians in Raqqa that had demonstrated against the
occupiers in Baq Rashid neighborhood.
SDF kept fighters on alert in Baq Rashid and seized over ten civilian vehicles.
the meantime, the Arabic-language al-Manar TV reported that three SDF militias
were killed after a bomb planted by ISIL terrorists on the way of the SDF
fighters went off in the village of Jadidah Baladiyah East of al-Karama in
fresh wave of insecurity and tensions has covered Raqqa following the SDF
measures against people and unknown attacks on them.
Turkish army dispatched a long convoy, including tanks, advances weapons and
military vehicles to Hatay province at the border with Syria's Idlib province.
newly-arrived convoy is planned to enter Syria soon to be further sent to two
monitoring points in Tal al-Eis in Idlib and Morek in Northern Hama.
the meantime, some military analysts pointed to the Turkish troops' backup for
the terrorist groups in Idlib, and said the newly-arrived convoy of arms and
ammunition might be transferred to regions that are under the control of Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front).
terrorist groups in Northwestern Syria are getting ready to counter Syrian Army
operation as the government forces are to launch a massive operation that could
involve terrorists in Idlib, Hama, Lattakia and Aleppo provinces.
activists in Northern Syria reported on Thursday that a military convoy of the
Turkish army, consisting of several trucks carrying prefabricated walls and
checkpoint kiosks, arrived in Idlib through Kafr Lousin passageway at the
added that the convoy was then sent to the town of Murak in Northern Hama that
is patrolled by Turkey, saying that the Turkish forces have strengthened their
of civilians took to the streets in Jarabulus at border with Turkey and called
for expulsion of Ankara-backed militants from their town.
uprising came after the Turkey-backed militants opened fire at a marriage
ceremony, killing one of residents of Jarabulus.
of people have been recently gunned down by the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield and
Olive Branch militants in the villages and towns in Northern Syria.
Wednesday, tens of civilians took to the streets in Afrin and chanted slogans
against Turkish occupiers and their militant allies.
uprising came after Ankara-backed militants captured a number of young men in
al-Mahmoudiyeh North of the town.
the meantime, terrorists of Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh and Eastern Ghouta terrorists
engaged in heavy fighting that inflicted several casualties on both warring
artillery and missile units shelled heavily the positions and movements of
Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist groups in al-Latamina and Ma'arkaba in
Northern Hama, inflicting heavy casualties on the terrorists and damaging their
artillery and missile units of the army pounded Tahrir al-Sham's strongholds
and movements in the villages and towns of Um al-Khalakhil, al-Khowein, Tal
Mar'ei, Tal al-Shih and al-Matane'ah along the Southeastern borderline of Idlib
large number of terrorists that were digging trenches and building bunkers in
Southern Idlib were killed in the army's artillery and air attacks.
Thursday, the army forces targeted Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist groups'
moves and key bases in areas near the town of al-Latamina in Northern Hama,
killing and wounding a number of them and destroying their weapons.
also smashed one of the important positions of Tahrir al-Sham in the town of
al-Khowein in Southern Idlib, killing all the militants inside, including two
of their ringleaders named Rezwan Salih and Abdullatif Khalid al-Qadour.
the army's artillery units attacked a large gathering of Tahrir al-Sham in
areas near the town of Saraqib in Southern Idlib, destroying several military
vehicles and killing and injuring a large number of terrorists.
army men engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in al-Ruhbah and Tal Qanem and
managed to advance towards Toloul al-Safa in the Eastern Badiyeh of Sweida in
the meantime, other units of the army advanced towards Toloul al-Safa from Um
Marzakh and Qabr Sheikh Hossein flanks.
the army's artillery units and aircraft pounded ISIL's positions and movements
in Toloul al-Safa region, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
field source said that the army has pinned down ISIL behind its positions in
Toloul al-Safa, and is tightening noose on the terrorists.
Friday, the army men advanced against terrorists in Tal Alam and joined hands
with their comrades in Qabr Sheikh Hossein in Badiyeh of Sweida.
army men further imposed control over Southwestern Toloul al-Safa after
advancing 12 km towards North.
the meantime, other units of the army clashed with a group of ISIL terrorists
deployed in Qabr Sheikh Hossein and Um Mazrakh and attacked Toloul al-Safar,
killing a sum of ten terrorists and destroying their military equipment.
forces have repelled a raid by ISIS extremists group targeting barracks housing
American and French troops in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights said Saturday.
Syrian Democratic Forces and the US-led coalition supporting them were on high
alert after the raid late Friday at the Omar oil field in the eastern province
of Deir Ezzor, the Britain-based war monitor said.
attack targeted the oil field’s housing, where US-led coalition forces and
leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces are present,” Observatory head Rami
Abdel Rahman said.
extremists were killed in the attack, which ended at dawn after clashes near
the barracks, he added.
by AFP, neither the US-led coalition nor the Kurdish-led SDF were immediately
available for comment.
October last year, the SDF took control of the Omar oil field, one of the largest
in Syria, which according to The Syria Report economic weekly had a pre-war
output of 30,000 barrels per day.
the largest attack of its kind since the oil field was turned into a coalition
base” following its capture by the SDF, Abdel Rahman said.
overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a
“caliphate” in territory it controlled.
the extremists group has since lost nearly all of it to multiple offensives in
main Shia opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, has
denounced the continued imprisonment of its prominent leader and former
lawmaker Sheikh Hassan Issa as “political revenge.”
in a statement released on Saturday, demanded Sheikh Issa’s immediate release,
noting the cleric’s detention was in line with the Manama regime’s revenge
against opponent political, intellectual and social figures in the kingdom. It
also stressed that such a practice was against law.
added that Sheikh Issa was one of the most prominent advocates of peace in
Bahrain, and that the continued imprisonment of such a popular personality
attested to the failure of the Al Khalifah regime’s policies.
will further wreck the political prospect in Bahrain, and fairly reveals the
extent of division between people and officials. Sheikh Issa’s arrest points to
the continuation of the policy of political revenge against dissidents. Rulings
are being passed daily in Bahrain in the worst forms of injustice. They are
politically-motivated and will not be able to stop the legitimate popular
uprising,” the statement underlined.
March 29, 2017, a Bahrain court sentenced Sheikh Issa to 10 years in prison.
faced trumped-up charges of funding a "terrorist group" that
allegedly carried out a blast in the island of Sitra, located about 12
kilometers southeast of the capital, Manama. Two policemen were killed and 66
others injured in the purported attack.
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14,
2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to
assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or
got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
The annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj is an Islamic practice more than 1,400
years old that holds an incomparable spiritual value for Muslims when performed
during their lifetime.
is one of the five pillars of Islam, and a journey that every Muslim must
embark on at least once in their lifetime (so long as they are financially and
physically able). It is a physically taxing five-day voyage that begins in
Makkah, and has pilgrims trekking more than 50 kilometers by foot. Comparing a
pilgrim’s Hajj journey in the past with today, the hardships have been greatly
reduced as the advancements of the Saudi government in technology, logistics,
hospitality, and security have considerably eased the burdens on pilgrims and
road for pilgrims
the Saudi state was founded and the current monarchy formed, the Arabian
Peninsula consisted of many small tribes and sheikhdom-governed territories.
This frequently led to constant states of chaos and instability within the
region, and often the most prone to this violence were often defenseless Hajj
pilgrims making their way through unfamiliar territories. At the turn of the
19th century, the security conditions en route to Makkah were unforgiving. When
pilgrim began their Hajj journey, most had full knowledge that they were indeed
risking their very lives while leaving worried families behind, putting their
faith to the ultimate test.
Bedouin tribes would often attack convoys, pillaging vital food and supplies.
Those who resisted would often pay the ultimate price. Others would be left
with insufficient supplies to stay properly hydrated. The unforgiving weather
conditions would naturally claim additional casualties.
beginning of the 20th century saw additional advancements in transit methods
with the Hejaz Railway opening in 1908, running from Damascus to Madinah.
railway was built on the order of the Ottoman Empire, financed by Deutsche
Bank, and strongly supported by the then-German Empire. Seemingly from one Hajj
season to the next, a pilgrim’s journey to Makkah was now drastically reduced
from weeks by steamboat to only four days by train.
ushers in era of security
the late 1920s King Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia’s founder-to-be, was consolidating
his power having overrun most of the central Arabian Peninsula. After capturing
the holy city of Makkah in 1925 from Sharif Hussein, he ended more than 700
years of Hashemite rule. Prominent figures from Makkah, Madinah, and Jeddah now
acknowledged King Abdul Aziz as the King of Hejaz. Najd was soon elevated to a
monarchy as well in 1927, and for the next five years King Abdul Aziz ran a
dual Kingdom of Hejaz and Najd, operating them as separate territories but both
firmly under his control. In 1929, King Abdul Aziz would formally unite Hejaz
and Najd into what we now recognize as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in 1932.
long after that, oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938 by American
geologists working for the Standard Oil Company partnered with Saudi officials.
King Abdul Aziz’s tremendous influence over the region had increased
exponentially. Rather than use this tremendous power to conquer additional
territories, King Abdul Aziz used this heavy influence to promote peace and
stability across his newfound Kingdom, forcing Bedouins to abandon intertribal conflicts
that frequently involved Hajj pilgrims. For King Abdul Aziz, establishing the
safety and security of Hajj pilgrims was of paramount importance.
transportation in the form of aircraft effectively began after World War II,
with the Kingdom establishing the Arabian Transport Company in 1946 and the
Bakhashab Transport Company in 1948. Although the first official air transit
contract for Hajj pilgrims was established between the Saudi government and
Misr Airlines of Egypt in 1937, the airline frequently experienced engine
trouble that disrupted the transport flow of pilgrims. This, coinciding with
the impending WWII from 1939 to 1945, had Hajj pilgrim numbers decrease
greatly. Once the war ended, though, traveling by plane proved highly effective
for the pilgrims. By 1950, the use of camels as a means of transport during
Hajj virtually ended.
guidance for all
Hajj pilgrimage, in many ways, bears little resemblance to its early
20th-century counterpart. Aircraft have, for the most part, replaced sea and
rail travel, and in doing so, have transformed Hajj from a months-long
multi-site journey into a much more rapid, safe, and fairly direct voyage to
the Makkah Metro is expected to shuttle more than 350,000 pilgrims from Mina to
Arafat and back to Mina. That is more than two million pilgrims every day.
There are electronic maps equipped with multiple languages to accommodate the
diversity of pilgrims, and water supply has improved considerably, as well as
waste management, with more than 36,000 restrooms readily available. Thousands
of government security officials, emergency services, and volunteers constantly
guide pilgrims at every stage of their journey.
medical equipment is regularly updated to adapt to the wide range of illnesses
and changing environmental factors. Free medical care is provided with more
than 100 ICU ambulances, each equipped with a physician, a nurse, and the
latest technology on board.
many aspects of Hajj have evolved with the times, some traditions have stood
the test of time. Pilgrims used to pray on open fields on their Hajj journey,
and likewise today, people do not hesitate to pray on the open path. The means
of transport may have changed but the commitment to the punctuality of prayer
has always endured. While larger in numbers, and many tents are now equipped
with air-conditioning, Saudi Arabia has maintained this aspect of Islamic
heritage. During Hajj, the “Kiswa,” made of pure silk with gold and silver
threads that drape over the Kaaba, is annually replaced and folded up about 10
feet to protect it from harsh weather conditions, as well as overcrowding
during the peak days of Hajj. To this day, this practice is maintained to
prevent the cover of Kaaba from suffering any damage.
option to protect Palestinians is a new force, says UN chief
NATIONS: Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a new report that options
to protect Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation range from
establishing an armed military or police force to deploying civilian observers
or beefing up the UN presence on the ground.
UN chief stressed in the report circulated on Friday evening that every option
would require the cooperation of Israelis and Palestinians, “a sustained
cessation of hostilities and additional resources.” But the prospect of getting
Israel’s consent, especially for a UN or non-UN armed force, remains highly
was responding to a request in a Palestinian-backed resolution adopted by the
General Assembly in June that blamed Israel for violence in Gaza and deplored
its “excessive use of force.” It asked the secretary general for proposals to
protect Palestinian civilians and recommendations “regarding an international
the 14-page report, the secretary general said the combination of more than 50
years of Israeli military occupation, “constant security threats, weak
political institutions and a deadlocked peace process, provides for a
protection challenge that is highly complex politically, legally and
stressed that the solution to protecting Palestinian civilians is a political
settlement to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
that is achieved, he called on the 193 nations in the General Assembly to
explore “all practical and feasible measures that will significantly improve
the protection of the Palestinian population,” adding that the measures “would
also improve the security of Israeli civilians.”
said additional UN human rights, political and coordination experts could
strengthen UN prevention capabilities, increase the organisation’s visibility
and “demonstrate the international community’s attention and commitment” to
protecting Palestinian civilians.
said expanding current UN programmes and humanitarian and development
assistance could more effectively address Palestinian needs. But he said the UN
appeal for about $540 million for basic services and support to 1.9 million
vulnerable Palestinians is currently only 24.5 per cent funded. And he said
major cuts in funding to the Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, “have created
an increasingly complicated and desperate socio-economic environment.” This was
a reference to the US cut of around $300 million in funding for UNRWA earlier
this year which has resulted in a $217 million budget shortfall.
said establishing a UN or non-UN civilian observer mission with a mandate to
report on the protection of Palestinian civilians and their well-being “would
particularly be relevant in sensitive areas such as checkpoints, the Gaza
fence, and areas near settlements.” He said the observers could provide local
mediation. He said the UN could provide armed military or police forces, if
given a mandate by the Security Council, “to deter and, if necessary, ensure
the safety of the civilian population.” As an alternative, he said a group of
“like-minded” countries operating under a UN mandate to provide physical
protection rather than a UN mission.
stressed that a UN civilian observer mission or a new military or police
mission established by the UN, or operating under a UN mandate, would require
Security Council approval. He also noted that UN missions currently operating
in the region don’t provide for the protection of civilians and it would be up
to council members to expand mandates to include protection.
Italy - Chants of "Allahu akbar" rang out Saturday at a solemn
Catholic state funeral in the Italian city of Genoa for the victims of a bridge
collapse, who included two Albanian Muslims.
were among at least 38 people to have died in Tuesday's tragedy.
imam was invited to the ceremony, a particularly poignant move in a staunchly
Catholic country, where the far-right is now in power and which has seen a rise
in the number of attacks against foreigners and Muslims.
led several minutes of silent prayers - punctuated by four resonant chants of
"Allahu akbar" (God is the Greatest) - in the presence of Italy's top
dignitaries including President Sergio Mattarella and premier Giuseppe Conte.
ceremony was also attended by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini whose far-right
League party is in a ruling coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star
Muslim communities of Genoa, Liguria and the whole of Italy pray that peace
will be with you all," the imam said in front of thousands of mourners
gathered inside the flower-filled exhibition hall where 19 coffins were lined
are close to you all," he added as loud applause erupted inside the
will be able to pick itself back up again. Our Genoa, which in Arabic means
President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced concern
Friday about the humanitarian situation in the opposition-held Syrian region of
Idlib, which is shaping up be the country’s next big battleground.
a telephone call the two leaders described the “humanitarian risks” in Idlib,
where regime forces have stepped up their bombardments of opposition positions
in recent days, as “very high,” according to the French presidency.
also called for an “inclusive political process to allow lasting peace in the
Bashar Assad has set his sights on retaking control of the northwestern
province of Idlib — the biggest area still in opposition hands after seven
years of war.
week, regime helicopters dropped leaflets over towns in Idlib’s east, urging
people to surrender.
which sits between Syria’s Mediterranean coast and the second city Aleppo, has
been a landing point for thousands of civilians and rebel fighters and their
families as part of deals struck with the regime following successive regime
UN has called for talks to avert “a civilian bloodbath” in the northern
province, which borders Turkey.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said US-backed forces had repelled a raid
by Daesh targeting barracks housing American and French troops in eastern
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition supporting them were on
high alert after the raid late on Friday at the Omar oil field in the eastern
province of Deir Ezzor, the Britain-based war monitor said.
terrorists were killed in the attack, which ended at dawn after clashes near
the barracks, he added.
October last year, the SDF took control of the Omar oil field, one of the
largest in Syria, which according to The Syria Report economic weekly had a
pre-war output of 30,000 barrels per day. “It’s the largest attack of its kind
since the oil field was turned into a coalition base” following its capture by
the SDF, Abdel Rahman said.
overran large swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” in
territory it controlled.
the terrorist group has since lost nearly all of it to multiple offensives in
spiritual leader sentenced to five years in jail for 'insulting Islam'
(Reuters) - An Iranian court has sentenced the founder of a spiritual movement
to five years in jail, his lawyer told ILNA news agency on Saturday, after he
was accused of corrupting Muslims.
Ali Taheri, founder of Erfan Halgheh, which calls itself “Interuniversalism” in
English, was arrested in 2011 and charged with “insulting Islamic sanctities” and
“spreading corruption on earth”.
was sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in 2015, but acquitted on
appeal in 2016. The court then re-imposed the death sentence in 2017, but the
five-year sentence replaces it.
lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, told the semi-official news agency he
would lodge an appeal against the five-year sentence, but added: “We are
hopeful that they would release Taheri this week as promised, since he has
already served half of his sentence.”
founded Erfan Halgheh after receiving what he claims were “spiritual
inspirations” that empowered him to connect with a larger “cosmic
practised his beliefs, along with his thousands of followers, in “healing
sessions” often involving alternative medicine.
has spent most of his arrest in solitary confinement, according to human rights
has gone on several hunger strikes in protest at his detention, lack of access
to his family and lawyer, and repeated death threats against him and his
International says he is a prisoner of conscience, targeted for the “peaceful
exercise of his rights to freedoms of belief, expression and association”.
authorities dismiss such criticism as part of an effort by the West to put
political pressure on the Islamic Republic.
missionary thrust to the center of Turkey-U.S. crisis
Turkey (Reuters) - When Andrew Brunson saw a police summons on his door in late
summer 2016, the U.S. evangelical pastor thought it was a routine appointment
to sort out his residency papers in Turkey, his home for nearly a quarter of a
went to the police station on Oct. 7, 2016, was detained and later charged with
involvement in a coup attempt. He is still in detention and is now at the
center of a diplomatic row that has fueled Turkey’s most serious currency
crisis for almost two decades.
he was more than surprised” to be detained, Brunson’s lawyer, Ismail Cem
Halavurt, told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
lived and preached in Izmir, a city on Turkey’s Aegean coast near some of the
sites of Christianity’s first communities. At his first hearing in April,
attended by Reuters, Brunson said he was “raising disciples for Jesus” in a
country he deeply loved.
July, after nearly two years in prison, Brunson was moved to house arrest. A
court on Friday rejected an appeal to release him, saying evidence was still
being collected and he posed a flight risk, according to a copy of the ruling
seen by Reuters.
President Donald Trump has demanded Brunson’s unconditional release, describing
him as a “great patriot hostage”, and has slapped sanctions and tariffs on
Turkey which have helped push the lira currency to record lows.
President Tayyip Erdogan has linked Brunson’s release to the fate of Fethullah
Gulen, a Turkish Muslim cleric living in the United States whom he blames for
the July 2016 coup attempt. Erdogan has raised tariffs on U.S. cars, alcohol
and tobacco in a tit-for-tat response.
have one pastor as well. Give him (Gulen) to us... Then we will try him
(Brunson) and give him to you,” Erdogan said in a speech last September to
police officers in Ankara. It is a suggestion Washington has dismissed.
breakdown in relations between the two NATO allies has thrust Brunson’s case to
international prominence and made the 50-year-old American the unlikely center
of attention in a currency crisis that has shaken global emerging markets.
courts have rejected several appeals for Brunson to be freed and allowed to
leave Turkey. A senior Turkish official, asked about the case, said that the
judiciary is independent and the verdict is up to the courts.
Brunson’s lawyer, said the North Carolina pastor was not unduly alarmed when he
first went to the police station. He expected at worst to be given a two-week
deadline to leave the country - standard practice with residency violations -
and to return to Turkey when his papers were sorted out.
he was held in a detention center for two months before being formally arrested
on Dec. 9, 2016.
was charged with crimes committed on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers Party
(PKK), a Kurdish militant group which has waged a three-decade insurgency
against the Turkish state, and on behalf of Gulen’s network, according to the
indictment seen by Reuters. Both are designated terrorist groups by Ankara.
was also charged with disclosing state information “for political or military
has denied all the charges against him.
indictment, interviews with his lawyer, and three trial sessions attended by
Reuters show the accusations against Brunson center around support for
separatist Kurds and connections with alleged coup plotters.
came to Turkey in 1993 to tell people about Jesus,” he told the judge at his
first hearing in April. Dressed in a black suit and white shirt, he spoke in
fluent Turkish, ignoring the two court translators.
never done something secretive in my time in Turkey. The government monitored
us all the time but I’ve never done anything against Turkey,” he said.
judge told Brunson he was not on trial for carrying out missionary activities
but to face the charges against him.
questioned why he traveled hundreds of miles from his church on Turkey’s
western coast to the mainly Kurdish southeast interior, where the PKK is
on his phones, travel details, testimony from his congregation and what the
indictment refers to as three secret witnesses, codenamed “Prayer”, “Fire” and
“Meteor”, were cited in evidence against him.
indictment cites GPS data showing trips to Suruc, near the Syrian border, and
the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, as well as a meeting in 2010 with a man
described by one of the secret witnesses as a U.S. special forces soldier.
said his trips to Kurdish areas were to help refugees who had escaped war in
do not accept that I acted in accordance with PKK targets ... We wanted to
convert Syrian refugees coming to Izmir. I do not differentiate between their
ethnic identities,” he said.
the secret witness, was quoted in the indictment as saying Brunson was linked
to prominent suspected members of Gulen’s network.
said the witness had failed to offer concrete evidence of any such connections.
prosecution said in its indictment that Brunson’s phone records and witness
testimony did establish the connections.
has detained 160,000 people since the abortive putsch, almost half of them
formally charged and kept in jail during their trials.
was not in the country at the time of the coup attempt but returned soon
afterwards, according to his lawyer. In a text message cited in the indictment,
he said the coup attempt “was a shock”.
were waiting for some events that would shake the Turks - preparing the
conditions for Jesus’ return ... I think the situation is going to get worse.
We’ll win in the end,” said the message, which was dated July 21, 2016 and
addressed to a fellow pastor, according to the indictment.
did not deny sending the message but said it had been misunderstood, the
DIDN’T KNOW HIM”
the Alsancak district of Izmir where Brunson lived, a pharmacy owner described
him and his wife as “quiet people”.
owner of a boutique two streets from his home said she never met him. “I know
everyone in this neighborhood and I had no idea these people lived here,” she
government says it was similarly unaware of Brunson until his case was raised
by the U.S. consulate.
Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said this month that the case was triggered by a
criminal complaint filed by a translator who had worked for Brunson and denied
that the pastor had been detained for use as a political pawn.
possible benefit could we get from this person,” Cavusoglu said at a meeting of
Turkey’s ruling party in the southern coastal town of Alanya.
senior Turkish official said negotiations had been held with U.S. counterparts
“in different formats” but declined to comment further.
a NATO summit in Brussels last month, Trump and Erdogan discussed Brunson.
Trump thought he and his Turkish counterpart had agreed a deal to release the
U.S. pastor, according to two U.S. sources.
has denied any such swap was agreed upon.
had sought U.S. help to persuade Israeli authorities to release a Turkish woman
being held in Israel, accused of ties to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
In exchange, Ankara would release Brunson , a senior White House official said.
deported the Turkish detainee, Ebru Ozkan, on July 15 and later confirmed that
Trump had requested her release. Ankara has denied ever agreeing to free
Brunson in return.
transfer to house arrest 10 days later was deemed too little, too late by
Washington and a phone call between the two leaders on July 26 “did not go
well”, according to the U.S. official.
later, Trump announced sanctions against two Turkish government ministers.
- The bomb that killed 40 children and 11 others in a Saudi-led coalition air
strike on a bus in rebel-held northern Yemen was sold by the United States
under a State Department deal with Riyadh, CNN has reported.
numbers on shrapnel, of which images were taken shortly after the attack this
month, indicate that it was a laser-guided Mk 82 bomb manufactured by defense
contractor Lockheed Martin, CNN said Friday, citing munitions experts.
president Barack Obama banned the sale of precision-guided weaponry to Saudi
Arabia after it used a similar bomb in an October 2016 attack that killed 140
people at a funeral in the rebel-held capital Sanaa. But President Donald Trump
overturned that ban after taking office in 2017. Fifty-six children were also
among the 79 people wounded in the August 9 strike on Saada province, a rebel
stronghold that borders Saudi Arabia, according to the International Committee
of the Red Cross.
coalition has promised an internal inquiry but analysts and aid groups have
voiced doubt that it is ready to provide the transparency and accountability
demanded by the wider international community.
is part of the world's worst humanitarian crisis, a conflict that has killed
nearly 10,000 people since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March
2015 as Huthi rebel fighters closed in on the last bastion of President
Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's government.
UAE pilots have participated in the Zionist regime's air patrols over Gaza
airspace as part of their training with the US-made F-35 fighter jets,"
the Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying
also added that a delegation from the UAE military is at present in the
occupied territories to strengthen security cooperation between Abu Dhabi and
report came after Israeli journalist Edy Cohen said that an Emirati pilot
participated in the bombing of Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip three
weeks ago during his training on Israeli air force F-35 fighters.
a tweet, Cohen challenged Dubai’s Deputy Chairman of Police and Public
Security, General Dhahi Khalfan, to deny the presence of an Emirati pilot in
the Israeli air force during the bombing of the Gaza Strip three weeks ago.
remarks came days after the Emirati General called on Arabs to recognize
Israel’s reality which he said “wants nothing but destroy the Arab world”.
response to the tweet, Cohen accused Khalfan of being complicit in
assassinating the Hamas leader, Mahmoud Mabhouh, in Dubai in 2010.
Iranian lawmaker said on Saturday that President Hassan Rouhani would appear
before parliament on August 28 to answer questions on his government’s handling
of Iran’s economic struggles, but an aide to Rouhani denied a date had been
Assadollah Abbasi was quoted as saying by the parliamentary news agency ICANA:
“It has been agreed that the parliamentary session to question the president
will take place on August 28.”
the vice president for parliamentary affairs, Hosseinali Amiri, was quoted as
saying a few hours later by the state news agency IRNA that “no date has been
agreed on” for such an event.
would be the first time parliament has summoned Rouhani, who is under pressure
from hardline rivals to change his cabinet following a deterioration in
relations with the United States and growing economic difficulties.
senior official Izzat al-Risheq said on Friday that the movement offered its
vision on the ceasefire deal and reconciliation, after the Palestinian factions
ended their consultations in Cairo.
added that Hamas listened to the ideas and observations by the Palestinian
factions, stressing that any steps must be taken within the national framework.
said further that internal Palestinian talks on a long-term ceasefire agreement
with Israel were put on pause until the conclusion of a Muslim holiday later
the other hand, the Central Council of Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation
Organization confirmed their total rejection of projects aimed at separating
the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, stressing they
were calling for “no state in the Gaza Strip and no state without the Gaza
council warned in a statement issued at the end of its 29th regular session in
the presidential headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and in the
presence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as saying: “The proposal of
humanitarian projects, ports and airports outside the borders of the State of
Palestine” aims at “consecrating the destruction of the national project and
the liquidation of the Palestinian cause,” the council warned.
Arab Coalition in support of the legitimate Yemeni national government said on
Saturday that it had destroyed the SAM type 6 air defense system of Houthi
militias in Sanaa.
Coalition said that indiscriminate use of air defense systems threatens air
navigation and relief.
will prevent terrorist organizations from acquiring capabilities that threaten
air navigation,” the coalition source said.
has condemned Israel’s recent move to shut down the al-Aqsa mosque, which
forced Muslim worshipers out of the compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem
Media Affairs Minister and government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat said
Saturday that the Israeli regime’s move violated the sanctity of the holy site,
warning that it would “touch off the passions of Muslims around the world.”
said the move contravenes the occupying regime’s obligations under
move, she said, violates all international norms, which affirm respect to all
places of worship.
Jordanian minister, whose country serves as the custodian of the al-Aqsa mosque
compound, held the Tel Aviv regime responsible for such provocations and called
for an immediate halt to such practices.
Friday, Israeli forces closed all entrances to al-Aqsa mosque for hours
following an alleged anti-occupation attack in the occupied city.
occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US
President Donald Trump announced his decision on December 6 last year to
recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in
Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis the city triggered
demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt,
Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.
December 21, 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.
however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his
decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.
faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) under the
leadership of Abu Musab al-Barnawi has accused Abubakar Shekau of
indiscriminate killing, which has made life difficult for Muslim to celebrate
Islamic holidays publicly.
the United States Government has declined comment on whether the closure of its
Abuja embassy in Nigeria has any connection to a possible attack from Boko
Haram or ISWAP.
was stated in a newly released book by the terrorist group titled, ‘The Islamic
State West Africa Province vs. Abu Bakr Shekau: Cutting out the tumour from the
Khawarij of Shekau by the allegiance pledge of the people of nobility.’
faction loyal to ISIS condemned what it called Boko Haram’s unprovoked attacks
on Muslims during religious festivities like the Eid-al-Fitr.
one of the sons of the late Boko Haram leader Muhammed Yusuf, said: “Since
2014, Shekau has directed the aperture of his weapons against the Muslims,
killing them and taking their offspring captive.
that year, Shekau has been observing gathering places in which monotheists are
presumed to be present, like stations, Sunni mosques and places of prayer on
feast occasions, and then he sends a suicide bomber to blow himself up amid the
that time, the Muslims have not prayed their feasts in peace without an
explosion or pursuit from Shekau while he threatens the Crusaders (professed
Christians) with empty threats ‘like the brayer in the enclosure,” the book
added that no explosion “has been heard, nor trampling, nor even a hollow spit
at a Crusader while they hold their feasts in their churches in security and
safety, and perhaps he has resorted to killing the Muslims while abandoning the
book also recorded an incident in which Shekau said President Muhammadu Buhari
was a pagan.
said: “One day a brother quarrelled with one of the students of al-Sheikawi,
regarding the kufr of Muhammadu Buhari – the Taghut of Nigeria: was he an
original disbeliever or a murtadd? So the student went to his sheikh and
informed him about the dispute that happened between him and the brother.
Shekau arose raging and thundering, and raised his voice saying: ‘Disbeliever!
Disbeliever! By God a disbeliever! Disbeliever.’ So, the people gathered around
him – of course, the people of his centre and we were in attendance – and he
began with idle talk and bleating for a period of around two hours, building
one and destroying another, making an argument at one moment and then
contradicting it in another.”
book also accused the Boko Haram leader of kidnapping women and girls using
them to form a harem.
to the book, Shekau is another story, unlike the rest of the walis, for he took
captive the women of the apostates in the land he conquered, especially in the
towns of Bama and Baqa, and he took some of them as concubines and others as
mothers of children.
the US Department of State referred THISDAY to the American embassy in Nigeria
concerning its inquiry.
repeated email requests to know if the American shut the embassy because of a
possible Boko Haram’s attacks that usually occur during Islamic holidays, the
Public Affairs Section did not respond to or acknowledge them.
official, Mr. Russell Brooks, who responded to THISDAY, said he was on vacation
and would not be able to answer the newspaper’s query.
rescues 23 minors seized by Boko Haram
Nigerian Army on Saturday handed over 23
minors rescued from Boko Haram
insurgents, to the United Nations Children Fund for rehabilitation.
Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Abbah Dikko, who stated
this at the command headquarters in Maiduguri, said the exercise was in
conformity with global best practices.
said, “In compliance with global best practises, we handed over these children
associated with armed group to UNICEF.”
explained that the gesture was in line with the commitment of the army to
promote civil military relationship toward achieving lasting peace in the
UNICEF Chief of Field Office in Borno State, Mr. Geoffrey Ijumba, who received
the minors, welcomed the release of the 23 boys and girls aged between 12 and
17 years from military custody.
said UNICEF was working with the military and the Borno State Government
through the Ministry of Women Affairs to provide medical attention,
psychological and social supports to victims displaced by the Boko Haram
Osinbajo is basking in the love of many Nigerians at the moment - not a common
experience for politicians in this country where they are generally held in low
vice-president has been praised for the decisive - and dramatic - actions he
has taken while standing in for Muhammadu Buhari during the president's recent
dynamism of the sprightly 61-year-old have been contrasted to the ponderous
nature of Mr Buhari, 75, who has been nicknamed "Baba-Go-Slow".
as a southerner he is unlikely to be able to stand in next year's presidential
elections, due to the country's tradition of alternating power between the
mainly Muslim north and largely Christian south.
torture and killings'
Osinbajo's most recent intervention was to order the overhaul of the police's
notorious anti-robbery squad, known as Sars, and ask the country's Human Rights
Commission to investigate the numerous allegations of abuses committed by the
more than a year President Buhari has been under pressure to take action
against Sars, as stories were shared on social media about extra-judicial
killings, arbitrary arrests, torture and extortion allegedly committed by its
#EndSars campaign was launched amid calls for the squad to be disbanded.
Osinbajo said he was moved to act because of the "persistent complaints
and reports on the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) that
border on allegations of human rights violation".
did not disband the unit but said it would get a new commissioner, be
intelligence-driven and its mandate restricted to combating armed robbery and
of the squad would also have to wear proper identification while on duty.
on Twitter celebrated - and many just seemed relieved to have an efficient
politician getting things done.
previous week, he took the huge step of sacking the controversial head of
Nigeria's spy agency after a siege of parliament by men in masks, who turned
out to be operatives from the Nigerian equivalent of the FBI.
was a mysterious affair - and the reasons for the Department of State
Security's (DSS) invasion of parliament are still murky, though it is thought
to be linked to political machinations ahead of elections next year.
DSS boss Lawal Musa Daura has long been seen as one of the officials denting
the government's reputation because of the agency's alleged excesses.
have long wondered why President Buhari, who appointed him, has failed to take
action against Mr Daura.
contrast Mr Osinbajo did not delay. He took the figurative bull by the horns,
calling Mr Daura's actions "unacceptable" and "a gross violation
of constitutional order, rule of law and all accepted notions of law and
of public opinion
former law professor, the vice-president comes across as quiet, unassuming and
he is an eloquent and jovial person, who is usually seen with a smile on his
was the state commissioner of justice in Lagos between 1999 and 2007, where he
passed several reforms including a body tasked with protecting citizen's
was also the pastor in charge of the city's Redeemed Christian Church of God.
has been vice-president since 2015, when Mr Buhari overcame the odds to defeat
the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan.
year when Mr Buhari went on medical leave, his deputy took some far-reaching
economic measures to prop up the country's currency, the naira.
was a scarcity of US dollars at the time, which is needed by importers.
he asked the Central Bank to inject millions of dollars into the market to help
stabilise the naira on the foreign-exchange market.
the economy was one of Mr Buhari's main campaign pledges but he has failed to
pass many of the reforms which economists say are needed.
Osinbajo never tries to hog the limelight - and maintains that he does not take
any decision without first consulting his boss and getting his approval.
his leadership style is winning him fans as he seems to feel the pulse of
suggest one reason for this dexterity is that with fewer powerful aides, he can
the other hand, President Buhari, finds it very difficult to punish his erring
government officials or make rapid institutional reforms.
observers say it is unfair to compare the two - stepping in for a few weeks or
even months is just not the same as running a country full time.
Africa's most-populous nation, is a complex place and balancing competing
political, ethnic, religious and regional interests in a federal state can be
many Nigerians do not doubt Mr Buhari's integrity and ambition to solve the
country's myriad problems, they say he is surrounded by selfish aides who do
not put the interest of the country first.
health problems he experienced last year are also believed to have hampered his
agility and general performance, although he seems much improved recently.
the criticism of the pace of his decision-making, Mr Buhari has been praised
for his dogged fight against corruption, tackling the Boko Haram Islamist
insurgency and his attempts to diversify the economy.
is only months away from elections - and it has left some wondering what it
would be like to have Mr Osinbajo permanently in the top job.
there is no immediate prospect of this happening - and Mr Osinbajo has never
spoken of having presidential ambitions.
Buhari has already indicated his ambition to seek re-election in February -
with his loyal deputy once more his running mate and unlikely to challenge him.
is also Nigeria's informal policy of rotating the presidency - after two terms
- between the mainly Muslim north and the largely Christian south to consider.
Buhari, a northerner, is just completing his first term. Mr Osinbajo, a
southerner who was born in the mega city of Lagos, would therefore be an
unlikely presidential choice for the governing All Progressive Congress (APC)
there is of course, the possibility of an opposition victory which would
further remove him from the corridors of power.
United Nations (UN) has revealed that cash economy is a major factor fuelling
the nefarious activities of the Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the
Lake Chad Basin region.
was contained in the 22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions
Monitoring Team, pursuant to resolution 2368 (2017) concerning Islamic State in
Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals and
said: “The predominance in the region of the cash economy, without controls, is
conducive to terrorist groups funded by extortion, charitable donations,
smuggling, remittances and kidnapping.
Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February
2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom
report was signed by Edmund Fitton-Brown, Coordinator, Analytical Support and
Sanctions Monitoring Team, who said the report was “comprehensive and
independent”, and Kairat Umarov, Chair, Security Council Committee.
UN Security Council committee on al Qaeda sanctions had blacklisted and imposed
sanctions on the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in 2014 after the
insurgents kidnapped more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls.
a Presidential Statement, the 15-member body regretted that Central African
countries were beset by ongoing terrorist activity, instability and the effects
of climate change, and asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to review the
work of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), and recommend areas
read: “The Security Council strongly condemns all terrorist attacks carried out
in the region, including those perpetrated by Boko Haram and the Islamic State
in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Daesh).
attacks have caused large-scale and devastating losses, have had a devastating
humanitarian impact including through the displacement of a large number of
civilians in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad, and represent a threat to the
stability and peace of West and Central Africa.
Council notes with particular concern the continuing use by Boko Haram of women
and girls as suicide bombers, which has created an atmosphere of suspicion
towards them and made them targets of harassment and stigmatisation in affected
communities, and of arbitrary arrests by security forces.
Council emphasises the need for affected States to counter-terrorism in all its
forms and manifestations, including by addressing the conditions conducive to
the spread of terrorism, in accordance with obligations under international
law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law
and international humanitarian law”.
marriages hardly a Muslim issue only
JAYA: An NGO is urging the country to stop viewing child marriages as a Muslim
issue, saying there were more cases involving non-Muslims.
Women’s Aid Organisation said in 2017 alone there were 968 applications for
marriages of non-Muslim children.
were only 877 applications for Muslim children two years ago.
statistics from the home affairs ministry should help clear the
misunderstanding and misconceptions surrounding child marriages.
marriages is not just a Muslim issue — it is a Malaysian issue. It’s a
community issue,” said Meera Samanther, vice-president of the Women’s Aid
said young boys were also at risk when it came to child marriages.
are too young to know better. They experiment with their sexuality and are
persuaded to get married so that they do not bring shame to their families.”
spoke after the “Walk the Talk to End Child Marriage” event, jointly organised
by The Body Shop Malaysia, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Sisters in Islam
(SIS), and the Association of Women Lawyers (AWL).
marked the launch of a petition campaign to urge the government to raise the
minimum age of marriage to 18.
a 41-year-old rubber tapper took an 11-year-old Thai girl as his third wife in Kelantan,
leading to a debate on child marriages.
event was also attended by social activist Marina Mahathir, Housing and
Government Minister Zuraida Kamarrudin and Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto.
Shop Malaysia managing director Mina Cheah-Foong said her company hoped the
government will raise the minimum age of marriage to 18, regardless of racial
or religious backgrounds.
of Women’s Lawyers’ member Sheena Gurbakshah said the campaign organisers aimed
to collect 80,000 signatures to show solidarity among Malaysians on the matter.
18,000 Malaysians have signed the petition. We aim to have 80,000 by the end of
September to provide the government with concrete proof that we need to protect
the rights of our children.”
In Islam chief executive Rozana Isa said Malaysians can show their support
through social media by using the #EndChildMarriage tag.
LUMPUR, Aug 19 — The legal fraternity must push for a royal commission of
inquiry (RCI) on the judiciary following a judge’s claim of being ostracised
over a dissenting judgment in a high-profile interfaith custody battle, said a
Arun Kasi noted Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer’s recent
allegations of being reprimanded by a top judge and subsequently not being
assigned to hear public interest or constitutional cases due to the judgment,
saying that this was shocking.
revelation has shocked the public and shaken their confidence in the
judiciary,” Arun said in a statement today.
August 16, Hamid Sultan spoke at the International Malaysia Law Conference
about his experience over his dissenting judgment, which had among other things
said the civil courts have jurisdiction to hear court challenges involving the
administrative decisions of Islamic bodies.
also asserted that the civil court is where a dispute involving both a Muslim
and non-Muslim should be heard, as well as mooting a special court with Syariah
and civil court judges to hear such hybrid cases.
Sultan’s judgment differed from that of his two colleagues on the three-man panel
at the Court of Appeal, who had on December 30, 2015 overturned a High Court
ruling quashing Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi’s Muslim convert ex-husband’s
unilateral conversion of their three children to Islam and said Islamic matters
should be decided by the Shariah courts.
that the country is currently going through various legal challenges following
matters linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), including the
seizure of the yacht Equanimity, Arun said any result will be questionable if
the judiciary’s independence and integrity are not beyond reproach.
claimed that the interfaith custody case of Gandhi was not the only one from
which a negative perception about the judiciary arose, saying that there were
others that have caused this as well.
also claimed that changes in the judiciary have been cosmetic and minimal so
view of the above, I today urged the Bar Council to call for an EGM to resolve
in favour of Royal Commission, to show that the Malaysian Bar is serious about
it and that it wants an independent, intelligent and integrity judiciary,” he
said, when asking for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) for a resolution
to push for an RCI.
Malaysian Bar is the professional body for lawyers in peninsular Malaysia, with
the Bar Council as its governing body.
also said the Malaysian Bar must ask for Federal Court judges to be assigned
using drawn lots, at least for cases of public interest, to ensure that there
can be no attempts to stack the panels in these.
added that non-Muslim judges must be included in court disputes over religious
religious matters, the quorum must be a mixed one with at least one non-Muslim
judge in a corum of three judges, and at least two non-Muslim judges in a corum
of five judges, so that justice will not only be done but also be plainly seen
to be done.
we have this privilege which England may not have,” he said.
July 12, newly-appointed Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Richard Malanjum
announced various reforms, including a proposal for the empanelling or
selection of judges for Federal Court panels to be done via balloting.
LUMPUR, Aug 18 — Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she has spoken to
Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas on the need to expedite the case of an
11-year-old Thai girl who was married off to a 41-year-old Kelantan Muslim man.
an exclusive interview with Malay Mail, the deputy prime minister denied that
the government has not taken any action on the matter, clarifying that the AG
is currently occupied with other pressing matters.
have spoken to the AG and discussed the case specifically.
has been given the papers and has to study it, but at the moment his attention
is on 1MDB, and the yacht,” she said. “He is trying very hard.”
Wan Azizah was referring to the super yacht Equanimity seized by the government
recently, claiming that the vessel had been purchased using stolen funds from
state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
200 people, including Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin,
rallied in Petaling Jaya here today against child marriage.
Wan Azizah insisted that the government had the “political will” to raise the
legal age of marriage for girls to 18 years old, but claimed there were a lot
of factors which needed to be addressed first.
are federal and state laws which have to be ironed out, the issue of customary
marriage in Sarawak as well.
want it done as soon as possible. It is important for the future of girls to
have this in place, but it is not easy,” the Pandan MP said.
Wan Azizah is under criticism from civil society over her handling of the
Kelantan child bride case as no other action has been taken against the groom
so far, apart from a RM1,800 fine for committing polygamy and marrying without
on July 31, Dr Wan Azizah said a more thorough investigation was required for
the case, as the Attorney-General’s Chambers wanted more evidence to be
gathered and to enable a “watertight” case.
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