Khan-led party was secretive about the technology plan ahead of the July 25
polls, fearing rivals could copy it. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE
State Executes Dozens of Druze Hostages in Southern Syria
A Phone App and a Database Served up Imran Khan’s Poll Win
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Foreign Experts Partner in Plundering Historical Artefacts in Northwestern
video allegedly shows hostage from Syria’s Sweida before decapitation
regime bombs Islamic State jihadists in southern desert
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Fighters Ready to Join Anti-ISIL Operation in Sweida
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to Nominate Imran Khan as Prime Minister Today
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
State executes dozens of Druze hostages in southern Syria
– The Islamic State jihadist group has executed one of dozens of Druze hostages
abducted from Syria’s southern province of Sweida last week, a journalist in
the area and a monitor said Sunday.
killing prompted an offer from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
to exchange captured jihadis for the remaining Druze civilians.
went on a rampage in Sweida on July 25, killing more than 250 people — mostly
civilians — in the deadliest attack ever to target the mostly government-held
province and its Druze religious minority.
jihadis also kidnapped more than 30 people, most of them women and children,
from a village in the province, which had previously remained largely isolated
from Syria’s seven-year civil war.
Thursday, IS killed a 19-year-old male student who was among the hostages, the
head of the Sweida24 news website, Nour Radwan, told AFP.
relatives, Radwan, who was speaking from Sweida, said the young man was taken
from the village of Al-Shabki on July 25 along with his mother.
family received two videos, the first showing him being decapitated and the
second of him speaking before being killed as well as images of his body after
his death, Radwan said.
posted online part of a second video, seen by AFP, showing a bearded young man
who appeared to be sitting on the ground in a landscape of gray rocks.
is wearing a black T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, and his hands are tied behind
video could not be independently verified.
has not claimed the kidnappings and did not publish the video on its usual
jihadis have lost much of the territory they once controlled in Syria after
overrunning large swaths of it in 2014, but they retain a presence in the east
of the country and in the country’s vast Badiya desert.
regime has been fighting in recent weeks to expel IS fighters from a patch of
the neighboring province of Daraa.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the
young man’s execution was the first since the kidnappings.
execution came “after the failure of talks between IS and regime forces over
the transfer of IS fighters from the southwest of Daraa province to the Badiya”
desert, the Observatory said.
also follows the execution of 50 IS fighters and civilians in Daraa province
earlier in the week at the hands of rebels, according to the monitor, which
relies on a network of sources inside Syria.
in with an offer on Sunday, the SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters,
told AFP that it was “fully prepared” to exchange jihadis for the Sweida
assure our people in the town of Sweida and the families of the hostages that
we are fully prepared for any exchange with Daesh,” SDF spokesman Redur Khalil
told AFP, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
initiative does not replace Russia’s mediation,” he said.
Friday, a top Druze religious leader said Syrian regime ally Russia was in
talks with the jihadis over the release of those abducted in Sweida.
Druze, who made up 3 percent of Syria’s population before its war broke out in
2011, follow a secretive faith seen as an offshoot of Islam — but IS sees them
expert Khattar Abu Diab said that the kidnappings in Sweida marked a turning
point for the minority.
this ancestral community, the abduction of women oversteps all red lines,” he
reaction will depend on the outcome of negotiations but if all the hostages
were killed,” the Druze could directly intervene to expel IS from the desert,
forces have in recent weeks ousted IS from all of the towns and villages in the
Yarmouk Basin in the northwest of Daraa province.
state media have said regime troops are pursuing the last remaining jihadis who
fled to nearby valleys.
it has retaken from rebels and jihadis in recent years, the Russia-backed
regime has sometimes negotiated to take back control of land in exchange for
the transfer of fighters to other parts of Syria.
the July 25 attack in Sweida, the jihadis abducted 36 Druze women and children
from a village in Sweida’s east, the Observatory said at the time.
women had since escaped while two had died, leaving 14 women and 16 children in
IS captivity, according to the Observatory.
the time, another 17 men were unaccounted for, but it was unclear if they were
sources say the abductees’ families have been sent photos and videos of their
loved ones via WhatsApp.
Sweida killing is the first such execution of a kidnapped civilian by IS since
the jihadis overran the town of Al-Qaryatain in central Syria for several weeks
in October last year, the Observatory said.
A phone app and a database of more than 50 million voters were key weapons in
the successful campaign of cricket legend Imran Khan in last month’s general
election, though rivals allege Khan also received clandestine aid from
military.How Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party used the database and
the associated app represents a sea change in the antiquated way in which
Pakistan’s biggest parties conduct elections, from pre-poll targeting of voters
to on-the-day mobilization of supporters. PTI was secretive about the
technology plan ahead of the July 25 poll, fearing rivals could copy it, but
several party workers revealed how the app transformed their campaign and gave
them an edge.
phone app proved especially useful in getting supporters to the polls when the
government’s own telephone information service giving out polling place
locations suffered major problems on the election day, leaving other parties
partly explains why Khan’s party managed to win tight-margin races in the
nuclear-armed nation of 208 million people, though Khan’s rivals allege he also
benefited from the military’s support – an allegation he staunchly denies.
had a great impact,” said Amir Mughal, tasked with using the app and database,
known as the Constituency Management System (CMS), to elect Asad Umar, a
lawmaker who won his seat in Islamabad and will be Khan’s new finance minister.
small CMS unit led by Mughal, Umar’s personal secretary, was typical of how
Khan’s party set up teams in constituencies across Pakistan to mine the
database, identifying voters by household, zeroing-in on ‘confirmed’ PTI
voters, tagging them on the app, and ensuring they turned out on election day.
“Work that would take days of weeks is being completed in one to two hours,”
Mughal said in Umar’s office minutes after the polls shut.
PTI surpassed expectations to scoop about 115 seats out of 272 elected members
of parliament, while the party of ousted and jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif
trailed in second with 64 seats.
by a small tech team, the CMS was a key response to Khan’s bitter complaints
after the 2013 poll loss that his party failed to translate mass popularity
into votes because it did not know the ‘art of winning elections’.
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ran a more erratic campaign, hurt by divisions
within the party and the loss of key leaders who were either disqualified or in
case of Sharif and his daughter, jailed.
before the elections, Khan sent out a video via WhatsApp urging PTI candidates
to embrace CMS. “I have seen and experienced how it works and I’m using it in
all five constituencies I am contesting,” Khan said in the video message. “The
faster you apply this system, the easier your life will become,” Khan added.
by former US-based real estate businessman Tariq Din and Shahzad Gul, a tech
consultant, the early version of the system was not immediately embraced by
PTI. But Umar, the incoming finance minister, and wealthy politician Jahangir
Tareen Khan, a close Khan ally, were among the first to see its potential.
After the software helped deliver strong results in the 2015 local elections,
the party was won over, according to senior PTI officials who work on the CMS
the general election, PTI focused on 150 constituencies it felt it had the best
chance of winning. Party workers said they used scanning software to digitise
publicly-available electoral voter lists to create the database.
typing in a voter’s identity card number into the app, PTI workers could see
details such as family home address, who else lived in the same household, and
where they needed to vote.
became so crucial to the PTI campaign that when on election day the programme
went down for an hour, it triggered some panic in the party’s ranks.
senior CMS official that WhatsApp messages flooded in when the system ground to
a halt under the weight of database searches, which totalled 20 million on the
election day. “What the hell is going on?,” inquired one of Khan’s closest
allies. This politician then called the CMS team and made his feelings clear,
saying, “If the system doesn’t work, we will lose the elections and you guys
will be the villains.”
CMS came back up, Khan’s ally messaged again, “Thank God”.
architects say the system’s power was only partly utilised as there was not
enough time to train workers across the country and some politicians resisted
the run up to election day, PTI workers were also able to print out ‘parchis’,
or slips, that voters needed to enter the polling station. PML-N workers had to
help voters fill the paper slips with a pen.
a large nation where illiteracy hovers above 40 percent, that meant PML-N
workers had to write out millions of slips for the 12.9 million voters who
backed Sharif’s party, stopping those workers from canvassing or doing other
vital work. “It’s a paradigm shift,” said another senior CMS operator. “We
changed the party, turning social media popularity into reality.”
Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why he
categorically refuses to wear Muslim skull caps and the colour green.
at an event in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, Tharoor said, "Why does the
PM, who wears all sorts of headgears from across the world, refuse to wear a
Muslim skull cap? Why does he refuse to wear the colour green, which in his
view is a colour of Muslims and wearing the colour amounts to Muslim
was speaking during a seminar titled 'Standing up to hatred: Intolerance and
violence in contemporary India'.
his speech, Tharoor blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and right-wing
organisations for the rising cases of cow vigilantism and attacks on
the Prime Minister for his silence after such incidents, he said not once has
the PM spoken about the acts of cow vigilante groups.
once has the PM spoken immediately after these incidents (attacks on minorities
in the name of protecting cows) to assure people that he disapproves of this
violence. The perception that then goes out is that if the PM does not speak,
he does not mind these things. This emboldens the perpetrators," Tharoor
Would Be Attacked If He Was Alive Today
his address, Tharoor said he is convinced that if Swami Vivekananda was alive
today, he would be attacked by right-wing Goondas (thugs).
am convinced that if Swami Vivekanda were to come to today's India, he would be
the target of these Goondas. They will bring engine oil to throw at his face
and will also try to knock him down on the streets because Vivekanda would be
saying, respect people. He would say humanity is more important. We are Hindus
in the Vivekananda tradition, not in the Savarkar or Golwarker tradition,"
was said in reference to the attacks on social activist Swami Agnivesh by
right-wing activist in Jharkhand last month.
also criticised the BJP-led central government for its inability to stop the
increasing cases of cow vigilantism and attacks on minorities in the country.
a data from the Union Home Ministry, he said that the country has seen 2,920
incidents of communal violence in the last four years alone.
the BJP came to power, we have seen a widespread rise in the number of
incidents of communal violence," Tharoor said.
scholars urge Taliban, government to declare permanent ceasefire
Afghan Ulemas, religious scholars, have urged the Afghan government and the
Taliban militants group to declare a permanent ceasefire.
Afghanistan Ulemas Council Chief Mawlavi Qeyamuddin Kashar said the religious
scholars have an offer for the declaration of a permanent ceasefire.
Kashaf made the remarks during a gathering in capital Kabul on Saturday.
said the declaration of a permanent ceasefire by the government and the Taliban
group would result into the launch of direct talks for peace between the two
comes as a Presidential spokesperson, Haroon Chakhansuri had earlier said that
there are chances of another ceasefire announcement with the Taliban group
during Eid Al-Adha.
to reporters in Kabul nearly two weeks ago, Chakhansuri further added that
signs of interests are seen on all sides, the government and Taliban, to
declare another ceasefire during the upcoming.
said the ceasefire will only be declared based on the decision of the government
and demands of the people and religious scholars.
officials in the Chief Executive Office of the Unity Government had earlier
informed regarding the possible announcement of ceasefire with the Taliban
officials in the Chief Executive’s Office had said that the government
officials are mulling ceasefire with the Taliban during Eid Al-Adha to show a
sign of goodwill to end the ongoing violence in the country.
Tanzania mark bombings which introduced Al-Qaeda
- Kenya and Tanzania on Tuesday mark 20 years since the devastating US embassy
bombings that thrust Al-Qaeda onto the global stage and went on to shape how a
generation thinks about personal security.
was mid-morning on August 7, 1998, when the first massive blast hit the US
embassy in downtown Nairobi, followed minutes later by an explosion in Dar es
Salaam, killing a total of 224 people and injuring around 5,000 - almost all of
two monster bombs loaded onto the back of trucks and a trail of carnage in east
Africa, the world was introduced to Osama bin Laden three years before the
September 11 attacks in New York would make him a household name.
wasn’t the first time Al-Qaeda had carried out an attack, but in terms of the
spectacular, catastrophic nature of the incident, they really announced their
entry onto the world stage,” said Martin Kimani, head of Kenya’s National
Counter Terrorism Centre.
9/11 happened it was shocking and surprising, but a precedent had been set here
in east Africa.”
to “The Looming Tower”, a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on the rise of Al-Qaeda,
bin Laden gave various reasons for targeting the embassies, such as the
deployment of American troops to Somalia and a US plan to partition Sudan,
where he had lived for five years until being expelled in 1996.
author Lawrence Wright concluded that the main goal was to “lure the United
States into Afghanistan”.
aim was achieved, in the aftermath of the attacks, with the US launching
strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan that were “largely seen as ineffective”, said
Daniel Byman, a counterterrorism expert at the Brookings Institution.
strikes led the Taliban in Afghanistan to “embrace the group more closely”, he
said, and also boosted the image of a group seen as standing up to the United
States in the Muslim world.
said the attack was the first to show that Al-Qaeda “had tremendous reach and
it can do sophisticated operations”.
showed Al-Qaeda that international terrorism could generate tremendous
attention, and not just attention from its adversaries... it was a form of
advertising in a way.”
years since 9/11 have been shaped by the so-called “war on terror” and the
proliferation of American military operations - notably in Afghanistan, Iraq
the same time, Al-Qaeda went on to inspire affiliates around the globe,
carrying out attacks across the Middle East as well as from Bali to Madrid,
London and Paris. Islamist insurgencies have wreaked havoc in the Sahel,
Nigeria and Somalia, and - on several bloody occasions since the 1998 bombings
- Kenya. “Kenya itself was not primarily the target but of course we ended up
with the majority of fatalities and consequences of that attack,” said Kimani.
“We continue to be on the frontlines of this struggle.”
years after Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia to fight the
Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab - which had been carrying out attacks on its soil -
the group killed 67 people in an attack on the Westgate shopping centre in
Nairobi in 2013.
in 2015, a Shabaab attack on the Garissa University in eastern Kenya left 148
Kimani said counterterrorism efforts by Kenya had proved successful, confining
Shabaab attacks to remote areas in recent years as a result of new anti-terror
legislation and improved co-ordination between different security forces. He
said efforts to build trust with communities where jihadists hide out, and
understanding how recruitment happens to nip it in the bud has also been key.
threat is still there, believe me, but 20 years later we have become much
better at dealing with terrorism than we used to be,” he said.
terrorism has left a deep, deep social imprint. It has changed the way people
think about security. Here in Kenya there are guards at malls and hotels and
that is replicated in many parts of the world.”
said governments need to focus on improving livelihoods and providing basic
services to erase the “pockets of desperation” that prove so fruitful for
recent years, attention has swung away from Al-Qaeda to its rival Islamic State
(IS) group which formed in 2013, captured swathes of territory and inspired
numerous so-called “lone wolf” attacks from afar.
experts warn that while IS has since lost its territory and reach, Al-Qaeda has
been quietly rebuilding.
ideological ability to be grafted onto local grievances continues to make them
a threat,” said Kimani.
eye-witness accounts said that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists deployed in Jabal
Turkmen region in Western Idlib arrested and executed a sum of 12 militants who
tried to surrender to the army to apply for a government amnesty.
witnesses went on to say that a large number of Idlib residents intend to
accept the Damascus peace offer but Tahrir al-Sham is capturing and executing
them to deter any such move.
the meantime, people in Khan Sheikhoun in Southwestern Idlib staged a
demonstration against Tahrir al-Sham, calling for their expulsion from their
region, they further said.
other sources said that people have tried to prevent Tahrir al-Sham from
setting up checkpoints in Khan Sheikhoun, "but the terrorists opened fire
at protesters and dispersed them".
sources said on Saturday that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists embarked on
intensifying security measures in Idlib, arresting those people who tried to
persuade militants to join the peace agreement with the army to hand over the
province to the government forces.
sources further said that Tahrir al-Sham arrested almost 17 pro-peace people in
the town of Khan Sheikhoun and in the village of Madya in Idlib.
sources went on to say that Tahrir al-Sham has also threatened peace activists
in Aleppo province.
said that militants in a large number of regions in Idlib and Aleppo intend to
accept the army's peace plan before the government forces start their
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted local sources as reporting that
Tahrir al-Sham along with almost twenty foreign experts embarked on carrying
out excavations in Sheikh Mansour region near the town of Saraqib in Idlib
province, adding that the terrorists have set up a security belt around the
excavation site, preventing residents from approaching the site.
further said that the terrorists have stolen hundreds of historical artifacts
from Idlib in recent days, adding that excavation operations have increased
after the establishment of the de-escalation zone since the beginning of the
report said that the town of Sarmada near the border with Turkey has been
turned into the main bazaar for trading historical artifacts and weapons.
went on to say that the looted artifacts have been transferred to Turkey by
Tahrir al-Sham and have been sold to the country's traders.
province comprises of almost 400 historical sites some of them dating back to
the fourth millennium BC.
sources said on Tuesday that Tahrir al-Sham members had done excavations at the
ancient Girls Palace North of the village of al-Dana, plundering its valuable
has executed one of dozens of Druze hostages abducted from Syria's southern
province of Sweida last month, a Syrian news outlet and a monitor said Sunday.
terrorist group killed the 19-year-old male student on Thursday after
kidnapping more than 30 people, mostly women and children, from a village in
Sweida during a deadly rampage on July 25, the head of the Sweida24 news
website Nour Radwan said.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said it was
the first execution since the kidnappings.
relatives, Radwan said the young man was taken from the village of Al-Shabki on
July 25 along with his mother.
of the execution
posted online part of a second video, which was seen by AFP, showing a young
man who appeared to be sitting on the ground in a rocky landscape.
is wearing a black T-shirt and his hands are tied behind his back.
July 25, ISIS carried out a series of attacks in Sweida's provincial capital
and several villages that killed more than 250 people, mostly civilians.
was the deadliest attack ever to target the mostly government-held province and
the secretive Druze religious minority that populates it.
the attack the jihadists abducted 36 Druze women and children from a village in
Sweida's east, the Observatory said at the time.
women had since escaped while two had died, leaving 14 women and 16 children in
ISIS captivity, according to the Observatory.
the time, another 17 men were unaccounted for but it was unclear if they were
Friday, a top Druze religious leader said regime ally Russia was in talks with
the jihadists over their release.
had until last week largely remained isolated from Syria's seven-year conflict.
Syrian regime bombs Islamic State jihadists in southern desert
Syrian regime forces bombed on late Sunday a desert area under the control of
the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group near the province of Sweida in southern
Syria, a war monitor said.
bombing and fighting between the regime forces and IS have intensified during
the evening and are continuing," said Rami Abdel Rahmane, head of the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
regime is advancing to the north and northeast of Sweida", adjacent to the
desert zone of the southern province, he told AFP.
military operation would be "the start of a regime offensive to dislodge
IS from this pocket" in the Badiya desert of Sweida, he said, adding that
"a major military reinforcement (of regime troops) is massing" in the
fighting comes as Russia failed in its negotiations to free some 30 civilian
hostages of the Druze religious minority taken by IS last month. The
kidnappings followed a series of coordinated attacks against Sweida province
which left more than 250 people dead.
Sunday, the Observatory and news website Sweida24 announced that IS had
decapitated one of the hostages, a 19-year-old male student.
execution, the first since the abductions, came "after the failure of the
negotiations with the regime forces", according to the Observatory.
Syrian Democratic Forces, an Arab-Kurd alliance which fought against IS with
the support of the United States, indicated Sunday that it was ready to
exchange with IS captured jihadists for the remaining Druze civilian hostages.
IS, which has not claimed responsibility for the execution or the kidnappings,
has been pounded by multiple offensives in Syria and today controls less than
three per cent of the territory.
it continues to launch attacks like the bloody strike and kidnappings in
of two groups, both affiliated to the Turkish troops, exchanged heavy fire in
Tadif region near al-Bab in Northeastern Aleppo, leaving a number of casualties
on both warring sides.
the meantime, the Turkish soldiers and allied militants attacked the village of
Karzilah in Shirava region in Afrin, looting villagers' assets and transferring
them to an unknown destination.
a militant was killed after the Ankara-backed militants fought with the members
of a family in al-Ashrafiyeh district in the town of Afrin.
Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) claimed on Saturday that their
forces killed 54 Turkish Army soldiers and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in
to the YPG’s statement, their forces killed 23 Turkish Army soldiers, including
2 captains and a lieutenant, and 31 Free Syrian Army militants in the Afrin
region in Northwestern Aleppo.
YPG’s report added that they lost eight fighters during their field operations
inside the Afrin region.
losing the Afrin region in March 2018, the YPG has been continuously conducting
hit-and-run attacks against the Free Syrian Army and Turkish military.
SDF's military police arrested a number of youths in the town of Tal Abdaydh in
Northern Raqqa under their forced recruitment plan.
the meantime, the Kurdish militias seized lands of some of the residents in the
village of Huweija Abdi South of Tal Abyadh without mentioning any reason.
sources, meanwhile, said that the SDF arrested almost 10 civilians after
clashes between the Raqqa city's residents with the SDF.
measures have angered the local people and attacks by unknown assailants on the
SDF bases have increased.
Wednesday, a number of civilians engaged in heavy fighting with the SDF in Baq
al-Rashid district in Raqqa city, leaving a number of people and gunmen injured.
SDF has put its militants on alert following the clashes.
Arabia said on Monday it was expelling the Canadian ambassador and had recalled
its envoy while freezing all new trade, in protest at Ottawa's vigorous calls
for the release of jailed activists.
kingdom gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country, in an
abrupt rupture of relations over what it slammed as “interference” in its
move, which underscores a newly aggressive foreign policy led by Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman, comes after Canada demanded the immediate release of human
rights campaigners swept up in a new crackdown.
Canadian position is an overt and blatant interference in the internal affairs
of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted.
kingdom announces that it is recalling its ambassador to Canada for
consultation. We consider the Canadian ambassador to the kingdom persona non
grata and order him to leave within the next 24 hours.”
ministry also announced “the freezing of all new trade and investment
transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action”.
last week said it was “gravely concerned” over a new wave of arrests of women
and human rights campaigners in the kingdom, including award-winning gender
rights activist Samar Badawi.
urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful
#humanrights activists,” the foreign ministry tweeted on Friday.
was arrested along with fellow campaigner Nassima al-Sadah last week, the
latest victims of what Human Rights Watch called an “unprecedented government
crackdown on the women's rights movement”.
is a vocal campaigner for blogger Raif Badawi, her brother who was arrested in
2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for “insulting Islam”
in a case that sparked an international outcry.
latest arrests come weeks after more than a dozen women's rights campaigners
were detained and accused of undermining national security and collaborating
with enemies of the state. Some have since been released.
Saudi foreign ministry slammed the Canadian statement, signalling its growing
irritation over Western criticism of the kingdom's poor human rights record.
the phrase 'immediately release' in the Canadian statement is very unfortunate,
reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states,” the ministry
Mohammed, heir to the region's most powerful throne, has introduced a string of
reforms such as lifting a decades-long ban on women drivers in a bid to overhaul
the kingdom's austere image as it prepares for a post-oil era.
the 32-year-old has simultaneously pursued a hawkish foreign policy — including
leading a blockade of neighbouring Qatar and a bombing campaign against Huthi
rebels in Yemen — while cracking down on dissent at home.
rupture in Saudi diplomatic relations with Canada reinforces how the 'new'
Saudi Arabia that Mohammed bin Salman is putting together is in no mood to
tolerate any form of criticism of its handling of domestic affairs,” said
Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute in the United
April, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his “serious concern”
over the continued jailing of Badawi to Saudi King Salman.
wife Ensaf Haidar has been granted asylum by Canada, where she is raising their
three children now aged 14, 13 and 10 as a single mother.
expulsion of the Canadian ambassador was meant to send a strong message to
other critical Western governments, observers say.
is easier to cut ties with than the rest,” Bessma Momani, a professor at
Canada's University of Waterloo, told AFP.
Chief Commander Siban Hamou said in an interview with Asharaq al-Awsat daily
that his forces are ready to take part in the liberation operation of Sweida.
the meantime, local sources reported that the Syrian Army has dispatched a
large number of forces to Northeastern Sweida.
further said that the army men have been deployed in the villages on the rims
of Sweida's Badiyeh (desert) that is under ISIL's control, adding that the army
seems to soon kick off anti-terrorism operation in the region.
kicked off heavy attacks on residential areas in Sweida in late July, killing
265 civilians and wounding tens more, including women and children.
Saturday, the army dispatched a long convoy, including a large number of
soldiers and heavy military hardware, to Northeastern Sweida to defeat the
remaining pockets of the ISIL terrorists in Eastern Badiyeh.
the meantime, the army aircraft pounded the positions and movements of the
terrorists in Sweida's Badiyeh, inflicting major losses on them.
Sudan defense ministry announced last night the launch of joint military talks
between Sudan and Egypt, which are in their fifth round.
statement issued by the ministry did not mention the duration of these talks or
the end date.
chief of staff, General Mohamed Farid, is expected to arrive in the Sudanese
capital of Khartoum on Monday.
to nominate Imran Khan as prime minister today
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) parliamentary committee meets here on Monday
(today) to nominate party chairman Imran Khan as prime minister.
parliamentary committee is also expected to decide the names of federal cabinet
members in the meeting to be chaired by Mr Khan. The PTI chief had earlier
decided to keep his federal cabinet small with an initial strength of 15 to 20
meeting will endorse the nomination of Imran Khan as next prime minister of the
country,” PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry confirmed to Dawn when contacted on
if the names of cabinet members would also be announced on Monday, the
spokesman said the committee was likely to finalise the names of the cabinet
sources said the party was also considering one federal ministry for the
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) after the party with its six
MNAs-elect inked an agreement with the PTI to support its government at the
it was learnt that the PTI leadership was considering the names of Aleem Khan,
Fawad Chaudhry, Dr Yasmin Rashid and Sibtain Khan for the slot of Punjab chief
the office of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, former CM Pervez Khattak and
another PTI leader Atif Khan are said to be strong candidates.
Elahi, vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, was being considered for
the position of Punjab Assembly speaker after the PML-Q decided to become PTI’s
ally both at the Centre and in Punjab.
PTI spokesman on Sunday claimed that the number of the party’s members in the
National Assembly had reached 174 and 186 in the Punjab Assembly.
174 seats at the Centre and 186 in Punjab, the PTI was in a comfortable
position to form its federal and provincial governments, he said.
added that four seats of Balochistan National Party (BNP) had not been included
in the 174 seats so far. “I have not included BNP seats in the figure of 174,
because our negotiations with the party are still in progress. So far the BNP
has not officially announced its support to the PTI,” he added.
PTI spokesman claimed that the party would easily form its government at the
Centre and two provinces, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
to a question about PTI’s decision to go into an appeal against the Lahore High
Court (LHC) decision for recounting of votes in the Lahore (NA-131)
constituency, the spokesman said the court has no right to order for the
recount, as it was the responsibility of the ECP. The court had stopped the ECP
from issuing notification of Imran’s victory against PML-N’s Khawaja Saad
Rafique’s and ordered recounting of votes.
PTI spokesman said vote recount was under way in 48 constituencies, which was
the highest number of constituencies where the ECP had started recounting votes
in the electoral history of Pakistan.
spokesman said the PTI wanted finality of the election results. It was for this
reason that the decision was made to challenge the high court’s decision of recounting,
he said. In this constituency, he added, Mr Khan had defeated Mr Rafique by a
few hundred votes.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi met the
PTI chief at his Banigala residence on Sunday and congratulated him on his
party’s performance in the recent elections.
ambassador, the British envoy and other foreign dignitaries had also visited
the PTI chief in recent days. The envoys of China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE had
called on the PTI chairman since his party emerged as the winner of the July 25
polls. Besides Afghan president, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also
telephoned Imran Khan to congratulate him over his party’s victory.
After its defeat in the elections in the Rawalpindi district, local PML-N
leaders and workers have started efforts to end differences between the party
leadership and former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
senior leader of the PML-N told Dawn that the local leaders and workers wanted
to unite the party as due to the internal differences it lost many seats in the
said efforts were being made to arrange a meeting between the PML-N supreme
leader Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar at Adiala Jail. “But before arranging
the meeting, it is necessary to get permission from Mr Sharif.” He said the
party workers and local leaders were of the view that there was a need to bring
back Chaudhry Nisar to the party because his leadership qualities always helped
the local leaders to handle complicated issues in the Potohar region.
local leaders were headless in the 2018 elections and failed to launch an
effective campaign and all the candidates worked separately in their
constituencies. Chaudhry Tanveer Khan is senior among the local leaders but he
is not capable of handling many issues,” he said.
results of the two constituencies in the 2018 elections showed that had the
votes bagged by Chaudhry Nisar as an independent and the PML-N candidates were
combined, the party would not have lost the elections.”
said the PML-N wanted to end its internal differences before the by-elections
in NA-60 and NA-59 Rawalpindi.
party has two options for NA-59: to get Chaudhry Nisar agree to contest the
by-polls on the PML-N ticket and to field Raja Qamarul Islam for the seat
he said, people were mostly of the view that Qamarul Islam should not be
fielded in the by-election.
said discussions had started on the issue at the higher level of the party.
said the workers and local leaders did not accept former prime minister Shahid
Khaqan Abbasi or PML-N Punjab General Secretary Raja Ashfaq Sarwar to lead the
party in the district or at the division level.
Union Council chairmen in the district are still loyal to the former interior
minister and want him (Chaudhry Nisar) to play his role in the PML-N,” he said,
adding they (UC chairmen) had conveyed this to the party leadership,” he said.
contacted, former PML-N MNA Malik Shakil Awan said the party was united under
the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif and the local leaders would
work as per their directives.
he admitted that most of the PML-N workers wanted to end the differences
between the party leadership and Chaudhry Nisar as soon as possible.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman has vacated his official residence in the Ministers’
Enclave after staying there for more than one-and-a-half decades.
in the Pakistan Public Works Department (Pak-PWD), which maintains Bungalow No.
29 where the Maulana stayed, told Dawn that the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief
left the house on July 31.
said that before leaving the official residence, Maulana Fazl paid all dues of
Fazl was chairman of the Kashmir Committee, who enjoys the status of a federal
has been learnt that the Maulana has shifted to a farm house of his party’s
Senator Talha Mehmood in Chak Shahzad.
the Capital Development Authority has started renovation of the National
Assembly speaker’s residence in the Ministers’ Enclave where PTI chairman Imran
Khan will stay after taking the oath as prime minister.
Bacha | Imtiaz Ali Taj
prime suspect believed responsible for the torching of 14 girls' schools over a
period of two days in Gilgit-Baltistan's (GB) Diamer district was killed during
a search operation in the Tanger area on Sunday, Diamer Police Spokesperson
Muhammad Wakeel told Dawn.
who has no known association with any organised militant or terrorist outfits,
but is referred to as a "militant" and "militant commander"
by police officials ─
was one of the suspects behind the brazen arson attacks targeting girls' schools in the Chilas, Darel and
Tanger tehsils of Diamer district.
began conducted raids in various parts of Diamer last night to track down those
responsible for the arson attacks. GB Spokesperson Faizullah Faraq said that
10-12 police parties were involved in the operations.
police constable was killed and another wounded in a gun battle with armed
suspects during a late night raid on Saturday in Tanger. Faraq on Sunday said
that 30 people had been arrested during search operations so far.
sources said that locals were also taking part in the search operations, and
that most 'militants' in the area are locals.
Wakeel said that the "militants" in Tanger had been attempting to
flee the area but locals had surrounded them, after which Shafiq was killed.
sources added that a civilian was injured in an exchange of fire between police
and the 'militants'. At least three to four others were also injured during the
Spokesman Faizullah Faraq said that miscreants had occupied a road in Tanger
and were firing at passing cars.
car of Sessions Judge Malik Inayat Rehman, who was going from Shatial to attend
the funeral of the slain police constable (his cousin) in Tanger, was also
fired at as it travelled along the road, his father, former GB Legislative
Assembly speaker Muhammad Miskeen told DawnNewsTV.
the car was badly damaged, the judge escaped unharmed, Miskeen said, adding
that the judge had not been alerted to the security threat by police.
in the area sought the assistant commissioner's permission to fight the
miscreants, but were not given the go ahead to do so.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Gohar Nafees said that a suicide jacket,
grenades and an array of arms were recovered from a suspected terrorist's house
Nafees said a heavy contingent of security forces had been deployed in Darel,
and that the search operation would continue in Diamer until "terrorism
Information Minister Shams Mir said that a team of forensic experts from
Islamabad had arrived in GB to investigate the arson attacks. Mir said that the
experts are part of a joint investigation team constituted to probe the
incidents and track down those responsible.
reports links attacks to past incidents
a meeting on Saturday of GB ministers from Diamer, the home secretary, IG
Police, government spokesman, district administration, intelligence and law
enforcement agencies officials and elders of the district in Chilas, it was
decided that the search operation would be extended, and that locals had
assured the administration of their cooperation with police.
privy to the meeting had said that the names of 20 suspects had been given to
the local jirga with the demand for their immediate surrender.
police later submitted to the chief minister an initial report linking the
latest episodes of school torchings with past attacks on girls’ schools in the
report stated the incident was the continuation of the past incidents in which
girls’ schools had been attacked with an objective to bar them from getting
2004, half a dozen girls’ schools had been torched in one go. Girls’ schools
were also targeted by extremist forces in 2011 and 2015.
traditions and extremism are main reasons for local resistance to female
education in the district, which has the lowest literacy rate in
to Alif Ailaan’s Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017, GB received a score
of 63.18, getting fourth position in the list of eight Pakistan territories
with respect to quality of education.
Diamer is the lowest-ranking district in terms of quality of education, with a
score of 36.37, and among the 10 lowest-ranking districts in Pakistan.
are 244 government schools in the district, about 83 per cent of which are
primary level, 10.6pc middle schools and 6pc high schools. There are no higher
secondary schools in the district. Of the government schools, 156 are for boys
and 88 are for girls, according to Alif Ailaan.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Karachi President Firdaus Shamim Naqvi on Sunday
said that the alliance with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) was made
due to certain necessities.
a press conference, Naqvi said that he stands by on his accusations levelled
against the MQM-P and the party went into alliance with them because they had
not enough party votes to elect Imran Khan as leader of the house in the
lost because of Mayor Waseem Akhtar,” Naqvi said. “They (MQM) didn’t fulfil
promises made to the nation.”
PTI leader said that members of Pak Sarzameen Party, All Pakistan Muslim League
and MQM are joining the party fold, but added that he is ensuring that the new
entrants don’t hold criminal background.
can’t afford to include criminal elements in the party,” Naqvi added.
Sabzwari, a central of MQM-P, in his reaction to Naqvi’s statement said that
the working relationship between the two parties will be affected by such
statements. “We will put forward the statements before PTI leadership and will
ask them about the compulsions,” he said.
MQM leader Farooq Sattar chose to reserve his answer when he was asked about
his absence in the meeting of party leaders with Imran Khan at Bani Gala.
question should be asked from Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. I believe that MQM
members should not take ministries,” he said.
MAYOR SAYS HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO SUPPORT PTI:
in the same day, MQM-P leader and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said that his
party had no other choice but to join hands with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
(PTI) as the other parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), had already been tested by the people.
Akhtar said, “The problems of the city are no more a political issue, rather it
has now become a human issue.” “The country is heading to a disaster,
therefore, all political parties and organisations must think about Karachi’s
problems,” he added.
MQM-P leader claimed, “I am playing the role of a bridge between the provincial
and the federal government.”
Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Leader Syed Khursheed Shah on Sunday contacted
Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) Chief Akhtar Mengal, seeking support
for the election of National Assembly (NA) speaker.
replied that he is coming to Islamabad next week and will give a response after
consulting with the party leaders.
on August 3, BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal along with key party members
met with Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman in
said that matters of mutual interest, election-2018, the current political
situation and formation of governments in Balochistan and centre were discussed
in the meeting. Maulana Fazlur Rehman
briefed Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal about the decision made in the all parties
the BNP-M chief while questioning the transparency of the July 25 polls had
said that the public’s mandate and election results differ in the province.
Gilgit-Baltistan police claimed on Sunday that Chilas school attackers were
trained in Afghanistan.
far 31 suspects have been arrested over involvement in attacks on schools in
the area. Raids are underway in different areas to arrest the rest of the
suspects,” IG Gilgit-Baltistan Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi
began conducted raids in various parts of Diamer district Saturday night to
track down those responsible for the arson attacks. A police constable was
killed and another wounded in a gun battle with armed suspects during a late
night raid in Tanger area.
prime suspect believed responsible for the torching of 14 girls schools over a
period of two days in Diamer district was also killed during the search
operation in the Tanger area, Diamer Police spokespers on Muhammad Wakeel said.
Shafiq ? who has no known association with any organised militant or terrorist
outfits but is referred to as a ‘militant’ and ‘militant commander’ by police
officials ? was one of the suspects behind the brazen arson attacks targeting
schools in Chilas, Darel and Tanger tehsils of Diamer district.
said that the ‘militants’ in Tanger had been attempting to flee the area but
locals surrounded them, after which Shafiq was killed.
suicide jacket, hand grenade and arms and ammunition were also seized from
Shafiq’s house,” DIG Diamer Division Gohar Nafees said. “Search operations in
the area will continue till the elimination of terrorists,” he asserted.
sources said that locals were also taking part in the search operations, and
that most of the ‘militants’ in the area were locals.
local government spokesman Faizullah Faraq said that miscreants had occupied a
road in Tanger and were firing at the passing cars. The car of Sessions Judge
Malik Inayat Rehman, who was going from Shatial to attend the funeral of the
slain police constable (his cousin) in Tanger, was also fired at as it
travelled along the road, his father, former GB Legislative Assembly speaker
Muhammad Miskeen, said.Although the car was badly damaged, the judge escaped
unharmed, he said, adding that the judge had not been alerted to the security
threat by police.
Information Minister Shams Mir said that a team of forensic experts from
Islamabad had arrived in the region to investigate the arson attacks. He said
the experts are part of a joint investigation team constituted to probe the
incidents and track down those responsible.
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has also taken notice of attack on schools and
directed the interior secretary and the secretary for Kashmir Affairs and GB
governments to submit reports within the next two days.
chief minister has ordered the chief secretary to ensure the schools destroyed
in the incident are restored to working condition in the next 15 days.
According to local government spokesperson Faizullah Faraq, the restoration work
will begin soon and the schools will re-open in the last week of August.
2004 also, half a dozen girls’ schools had been torched in one go. Girls’
schools were also targeted by extremist forces in 2011 and 2015. Some
traditions and extremism are main reasons for local resistance to female
education in the district, which has the lowest literacy rate in
in Maharashtra plan silent marches from Pune in September
a leaf out from the Maratha Kranti Morchas, which launched the agitation
seeking quotas for the dominant Maratha community in 2016, the Muslims in
Maharashtra are planning similar silent marches beginning from Pune in
September. These 'Muslim Maha Mook Morchas' will press for quotas in education,
a law against mob lynching and against the Centre's legislation against triple
the Maratha Kranti Morchas, these silent marches will be led by women and will
be leaderless with a core committee deciding on the course of action.
morcha for Pune city is likely to be organised on September 9. It will press
for quotas for Muslims in jobs and education, a law against mob lynchings,
against interference in the Shariat through legislative tools like the
anti-triple talaq bill and easing permissions for constructing masjids,"
said a Morcha core committee member.
government is not serious on curbing mob lynchings and union ministers are garlanding
those accused of the crime. Despite the Bombay High Court upholding quotas for
Muslims in education, the state government is not willing to grant this. We
also need speedy permissions to construct masjids as our namaz on the streets
is being opposed," he explained.
core committee member said the silent marches would be shorn of any political
leadership. However, politicians could participate in them only as common
are creating an atmosphere for more protests to be held across Maharashtra.
There are indications that the community may follow suit elsewhere," he
core committee member said they were planning a turnout of 4 lakh in Pune.
"We are deliberately holding the march in September as the state is in a
flux due to the Maratha protests. We hope things will cool down by then,"
Shabbir Ahmed Ansari of the powerful All India Muslim OBC Organisation pointed
out that religion-based quotas were unconstitutional and said these demands
were political in nature. He added backward Muslims were already covered under
categories like OBC, VJNT and ST and stressed their quota needed to be
strengthened through easier grant of caste and caste validity certificates sans
comprise over 10.6% of Maharashtra's population, the fourth-largest after Uttar
Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar, with substantial numbers in regions like
Mumbai, Marathwada, Vidarbha and North Maharashtra.
2014, the erstwhile Congress- NCP government had extended 16% quotas in jobs
and education to the dominant Maratha community and also the Muslims (5%).
Later, the Bombay high court (HC) had stayed the 16% quotas for Marathas and
reservations in jobs for Muslims. However, it did not stay the decision to
reserve 5% seats for Muslims in education. The BJP- Shiv government approved a
bill for Maratha quotas, but did not cover Muslim
will host India’s first skills varsity for Muslims
is all set to get the country’s first National Skills and Vocational University
for Muslims on 100 acres of land with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore pledged
by the state government.
by Aurangabad Central MLA Imtiaz Jaleel belonging to the All India
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), and four team members from Pune, this
will be the first national university of its kind in the country.
a letter dated July 19, state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar directed
Aurangabad district collector Uday Choudhari to identify 100 acres of land for
this project. The minister also made an announcement in the state assembly on
July 10 about the project approval.
MLA Jaleel said, “The state government has cancelled the Haj subsidy which
resulted in savings of Rs 700 crore for the government. We requested the
government that the amount saved must be utilised for the empowerment and
development of Muslims through the setting up of the skills university. Three
land parcels on the outskirts of Aurangabad will be considered and a final
decision on one of the lands will be taken at the earliest,” Jaleel told
Mulla, Maharashtra Wakf Liberation and Protection Task Force president, who is
a team member of the Skills University Project said the project was initially
planned for Pune. “However, due to litigation-related issues of wakf lands, it
was decided to shift it to Aurangabad. The local administration in Aurangabad
appears keen to set up the proposed university,” he said.
said the idea of a skills training university for minorities has been a
long-standing demand and the matter was pursued relentlessly under the guidance
of Jaleel and former chief commissioner of Income Tax, Akaramul Jabbar Khan.
This led to principle approval for the university. This project will help
empower the Muslim youth with much-needed skills for employment, he said.
chief commissioner of Income Tax Khan said the university is expected to
enhance the employability and employment-generation potential of the muslim
Force plan for Skills University
programmes for about 30,000 students admitted to external, virtual and distance
The task force has chalked out 20 faculties, which will include environmental
sciences, social sciences, management studies, interfaith studies, engineering
and technology, oriental medicine, paramedical studies, law, education, media
studies, music, fine arts, fashion technology and cosmetology, among others.
arrests two Bengal residents in Kerala in Bodh Gaya blast case
National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested two West Bengal residents in
Kerala for allegedly planting three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the
Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya this January, when the Dalai Lama was visiting
the Buddhist shrine, officials familiar with the development said.
officials said the initial interrogation of the two suggested that they
belonged to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a terrorist outfit active in
the border areas of India and Bangladesh. Investigators said the IEDs had been
planted as revenge for alleged atrocities committed against Rohingyas in
role of few Bangladeshi nationals is also suspected in the case and the agency
is looking for them, the NIA officials added.
have arrested Murshidabad resident Abdul Karim and Birbhum native Mustafizur
Rehman on charges of placing the IEDs in Bodh Gaya on January 19 this year.
They were picked up from one of the Bengali colonies in Malappuram in Kerala.
Both the accused are being brought to Patna for a court appearance. We will
seek their remand further interrogation,” said a senior NIA official.
two people arrested were part of the group of around half-a-dozen JMB men who
planted the IEDs. Their associates were involved in the Burdwan incident of
2014, when an accidental blast revealed the presence of a huge JMB network in
the border region of Bengal. We have reason to believe that a wanted accused in
the Burdwan case is the mastermind of the January Bodh Gaya incident,” said the
official, who added that NIA had earlier arrested three other people in the
Mahabodhi temple is one of the holiest places of pilgrimage for Buddhists. It
was declared a UNESCO world heritage site. The incident in January was not the first
time that militants targeted the temple. In July 2013, more than a dozen IEDs
were planted in and around the Mahabodhi temple — 10 went off, causing injuries
to five people.
January 19, three powerful IEDs with 5-10 kg of explosives were planted in the
temple — one of them where food was being cooked. The arrested accused have
told us that this area was deliberately chosen because there were gas cylinders
there. If the IED had gone off, the cylinders too would have exploded.The
second IED was placed at one of the entry gates again to target to those who
would have tried to leave the temple after the first blast,” said another NIA
the first IED, kept near the cooking area, caught fire due to a malfunction and
was detected. The police was called, and during searches of the temple complex,
two more unexploded IEDs were recovered.
Jamiat Ulama-e Hind Urges State Govt To Take Steps For Peaceful Eid al-Adha
(Tripura) [India], Aug 6 (ANI): Tripura's Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, one of the
oldest bodies of the minority Muslim population of the state, appealed to the
new ruling BJP-IPFT government to take necessary appropriate measures so that
the Muslim population can celebrate the upcoming Eid al-Adha, also called the
'Festival of Sacrifice', without any fear.
Tayebur Rahaman, president of the Tripura State Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, speaking
to reporters in the central mosque Gedu Mia Masjid apprehended that this time
during the Eid al-Adha, they may not be able to follow their age-old ritual of
slaughtering animals like a cow.
alleged that after the new BJP-IPFT government came to power in Tripura, the
Muslim population is being targeted for their food habit of consuming beef.
further said, "A large section of people in Tripura are connected with the
business of selling cow, buffalo and goat, but of late it has come to notice
that if any vehicle is carrying a cow, it is stopped and checked. Due to all
these, they are facing a loss in their business. We are demanding to the
government so that necessary steps are taken to stop all these."
to the Muslim leader, the government has to take advance measures so that
sacrifices can be done during Eid al-Adha in a peaceful manner.
viewed that food habit is the fundamental right of the Muslim people, but a
section is also interfering and it should be stopped.
also informed, "I along with other members immediately after the new
government came to power met the Chief Minister in his official residence,
informing him about these issues. The CM assured to look into them."
Pradesh govt wants to bring Madrasas in mainstream education: MoS Mohsin Raza
Uttar Pradesh government wants to bring Madrasas into the mainstream education
system, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi said
today. The Uttar Pradesh minister also favoured introducing a “new dress code”
for students at Madrasas (Islamic schools) across the country and added that he
will take up the issue with the Centre.
Raza did not elaborate on what should be the new dress code in these
institutes, where students currently wear white kurta-pyjama. He rued that no
leader from his community has till date thought about standardising the
government in Uttar Pradesh wants to bring Madrasas in the mainstream education
system. And why only in UP, I think all these religious institutions across the
country should be brought into mainstream,” he told PTI. Raza said he intends
to discuss the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
would meet Modiji in this regard and seek his advise on how we can have a
formal education system in Madrasas in the country. Regrettably, so far, no
Muslim leader has ever thought about standardisation and formalisation of the
madrassa education system,” he said.
month, Raza had said that the Uttar Pradesh government might “soon propose a
new dress code” for madrassa students. However, Cabinet Minister for Minority
Welfare, Muslim Waqf and Haj Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary had contradicted Raza,
saying that “the government has not formed any new policy” in this regard.
was in the city to take part in the ‘Kajari’ festival organised by an NGO run
by Mumbai BJP leader Amarjeet Mishra. The minister said the Yogi Adityanath
government is sincerely implementing the vision of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’
(support of all, development of all) and has made “never before provisions” to uplift
minorities in the country’s most populous state.
Rs 4,000 crore was allocated for minority welfare in this year’s budget. This
kind of allocation has not been done before. Besides, we have restarted
disbursing education loans to minority students, a practice shunned by previous
plan to modernise Madrasas and have introduced the NCERT curriculum for them.
We want to see a computer in one hand and the Koran in the other hand of
madrassa students as envisioned by our prime minister,” he said.
a member of the Legislative Council, said under Modi’s leadership, the country
has embarked on the path of progress. To a query, he sought to downplay talks
about a likely alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party
in Uttar Pradesh for the next Lok Sabha polls.
an alliance will have no impact on the BJP’s electoral prospects, the minister
said. “All opposition parties are zero. But as you know addition of only zeroes
will never add up to a countable number. Modiji’s model of governance was
discussed even in Pakistan. This proved Modiji is a world leader,” Raza said.
rejected the opposition’s claim of saffronisation of institutions in the state
under the BJP rule. “Even the Sun begins the day with saffron colour and ends
with the same colour. This energising colour should not be confined with a
particular religion,” the minister said.
A terrorist was arrested and eight grenades recovered from him in Jammu as
police foiled a major terror plot to trigger blasts in the winter capital, days
ahead of the Independence Day.
on intelligence inputs, police intercepted a bus in Gandhi Nagar area here late
last night and arrested a youth from Kashmir who was carrying eight hand
grenades, a police officer said.
militant was identified as Arfan Wani, a resident of Awantipora in Pulwama
district of south Kashmir. Eight live hand grenades and Rs 60,000 in cash were
recovered from his possession, the officer said.
and other security agencies are alert in the wake of intelligence inputs that
the Kashmiri terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and
Hizbul Mujahideen plan to carry out terror strikes in Jammu and New Delhi on
the occasion of Independence Day on August 15.
to seek details from Pakistan about Jaish terrorist citing 32-year-old
plans to invoke a 32-year-old Commonwealth pact to seek details from Pakistan
about the 2018 Sunjawan Army camp terror attack mastermind Mufti Waqas, a
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant who was killed by security forces in March this
year, according to officials.
move is also expected to help India in making a fresh appeal to the United
Nations to get the JeM and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar banned under the
Security Council resolution 1267. China has blocked previous moves by India
seeking a ban on JeM and Azhar.
to officials in the Union Home and external affairs ministries, the relevant
papers were being readied to send a request to Pakistan under the Commonwealth
pact for international cooperation in criminal matters, under which
commonwealth nations are bound to provide mutual legal assistance on such issues,
agreement was originally adopted by Commonwealth law ministers at their meeting
at Harare in Zimbabwe in 1986. Citing this pact, India will seek details from
Pakistan about Mufti Waqas, who was killed in an encounter in March this year
with security forces at Awantipura in South Kashmir, the officials said.
details include phone numbers dialled by Waqas before and after the terror
attack on the Sunjawan Army camp on February 10 in which six soldiers, one
civilian and three terrorists were killed.
amendments made to the Harare agreement during the meeting of law ministers in
2011 at Sydney in Australia, India will, if necessary, also seek details of the
recording of statements of possible witnesses through video calls, they said.
2011, Commonwealth law ministers adopted amendments to the Harare pact
envisaging cooperation in some new provisions that related to the interception
of telecommunications and postal items, covert electronic surveillance, use of
live video links in the course of investigations and judicial procedures and
a Pakistani national who had infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley in 2017, was
the operational commander of JeM. Besides being the mastermind of the Sunjawan
Army camp attack, Waqas was also behind the suicide attack on a CRPF camp in
South Kashmir’s Lethpora on the intervening night of December 30 and December
31 last year.
to officials, he was functioning as the operational commander of the terror
outfit and had even despatched fidayeens or suicide bombers from Tral in South
Kashmir to Jammu. It was then that the fidayeens had carried out their strike
on the Army camp in Sunjawan.
couple helps Rohingya Muslims, raising global awareness
years, Rohingya Muslims have been the target of communal violence in mainly
Buddhist Myanmar, which has denied citizenship to the Muslims since 1982. The
Rohingya trace their presence in Rakhine back centuries, but most people in
majority-Buddhist Myanmar consider them to be unwanted Muslim immigrants from
mass killings of Rohingya Muslims escalated in recent years, and they've fled
for their lives, seeking refuge in Bangladesh. However, Rohingya Muslims are
not only running for their lives: According to reports, Rohingya women are
raped even in front of their children. And the most tragic part is that six out
of every 10 refugees are children according to UNICEF.
the U.N. has described the systematic violence by Myanmar against Rohingya
Muslims as possible genocide and ethnic cleansing and calls on the
international community to take measures against the "visible
genocide" facing Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, not many states have taken
action to protect Rohingya refugees except for a handful of states spearheaded
hand to the Rohingya from Canada
the darkest hour for Rohingya Muslims, a couple from Canada rolled up their
sleeves to do whatever they can for these helpless people whom the world has
turned its back on. They try to raise awareness of the Rohingya issue as much
as they can with interviews they give to news agencies from around the world.
and Tahir Alvi are Muslims living in Canada who traveled all the way to
Bangladesh to volunteer for Rohingya Muslims living in the refugee camp. The
couple spent two weeks among Rohingya Muslims, which was long enough for the
Rohingya issue to take a place in their hearts.
a family doctor, Fozia Alvi, who was born and raised in Pakistan and lived in
the U.S. and Canada, went to Bangladesh to tend to pregnant Rohingya women.
what I saw there really shocked and horrified me," said Fozia during her
trip to Turkey with her husband.
conditions that they are living in were unbelievable."
it was not the conditions of Rohingya refugees that shook Fozia to the core: It
was the great number of Rohingya children.
more than 50 percent of the refugees in Bangladesh camps are children under the
age of 16. Some of them witnessed their parents' throats cut. Lots of teenagers
were pregnant as they were raped in Myanmar before being able to flee. And now,
they were struggling with how to take care of themselves and their
babies," said Fozia, describing the difficulties Rohingya refugees face in
there are vital problems that Rohingya Muslims have to face in refugee camps.
It has been reported that due to malnutrition and lack of clean water, children
and even adults in refugee camps have fallen ill, and it is feared that an
epidemic might break out.
camps for the Rohingya refugees
Fozia tended to the sick, Tahir, her husband, helped build accommodations for
refugees in camps.
Alvi is an engineer who has been living in Canada for the last 20 years. He is
currently the president of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), based in
Canada, which offers assistance to Muslims in North America as well as relief
to Muslims around the world who are in need of help.
a member of ICNA's relief team, Tahir travels the world to bring a helping hand
to those who have been hit by a disaster of nature or men.
traveling to Bangladesh, Tahir and the relief team helped to build
accommodations for refugees.
that time it was almost 200,000 people there in the camp," said Tahir, but
it is clear in his eyes that he is worried about the people he helped. "I
do not know how many are alive now. They don't have any medical facility there
or proper food, etc. The Myanmar government is waiting for them to die."
always there for the Rohingya
asked about Turkey's efforts for Rohingya Muslims, Fozia and Tahir agreed on
one thing: No other country helped these people who are massacred in front of
the world than Turkey.
Muslims are the most persecuted community in the world right now, and they have
suffered oppression for more than 40 years", said Fozia, continuing:
"And now, their citizenships were stripped away, and they have fled
Myanmar after three years of horror. It's a systematic massacre that these
people are facing, and nobody is offering to help and actually do something."
what Turkey has done and continue to do for Rohingya Muslims is inspiring for
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a long time is an icon not only to me but to all
Muslim ummah. When the whole world turned their back on the Rohingya issue, it
was President Erdoğan, the Turkish government and the people of Turkey who
stood up for them. Erdoğan with First Lady Emine Erdoğan, the only first lady
that visited the refugee camps, working hard to raise awareness for the
Rohingya cause," said Fozia.
fact, that is why they came to Turkey. Since the Rohingya cause is close to her
heart, Fozia wanted to come to Turkey. For Fozia, other Muslim countries are
not doing enough to raise awareness and actually do something to stop the
systematic genocide that the Rohingya are facing.
the whole Muslim ummah, including my home country Pakistan, does half of what
President Erdoğan spearheaded for Rohingya, this issue will be solved within
minutes," Fozia added.
in question in Myanmar
thinks if Muslim countries could unite and stand as one in the international
arena, things would have gone in a different way.
right now, Turkey is our only hope to solve the Rohingya issue. If President
Erdoğan raises enough awareness among other Muslim countries, I believe the
Muslim ummah will follow him to solve the problems of the Rohingya," said
strongly emphasizes that what the Myanmar government is doing to the Rohingya
people is nothing but genocide. In fact, the report published by the U.N.
supports his idea.
is not only for books. It is here so that we can learn from the mistakes of the
past," said Tahir. Back in the day, when the German Nazis were
discriminating and putting Jews in concentration camps, it was happening in
front of the eyes of the world, and it did not trigger other European countries
to take action until the Nazis occupied Poland.
massacre is happening in front of our eyes, and we cannot stop it. When time
passes, we will compare these refugee camps where Rohingya people are living,
as they have no choice with Auschwitz and the massacre that the Rohingya had to
live with to the Holocaust. But it will be too late."
speaking, Tahir put his finger on an important point: The Rohingya people are
not only the issue of Islam, but the entire world.
is an issue for humanity. This is clear genocide," said Tahir helplessly.
key commander of the Taliban group and his six comrades were killed during the
operations in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said the Taliban
commander Mullah Ajmal and his comrades were killed in Baharak district.
to a statement released by Shaheen Corps, the operations were conducted in the
vicinity of Anbar Koh area of the district.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
comes as Shaheen Corps said Saturday that three Taliban militants were killed
and five others sustained injuries during the clashes wiht the Afghan forces in
has been among the relatively calm provinces in northeastern parts of
Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime.
- The motorcade carrying the US Ambassador to Bangladesh was attacked by a
group of armed men in the country's capital Dhaka on Sunday as protests by
young students took a violent turn.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged students to go home as police fired tear gas
at teenage protesters during an eighth day of unprecedented demonstrations over
road safety which have paralysed parts of Dhaka.
in their tens of thousands have brought parts of the capital to a standstill
since two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.
unrest quickly spread beyond the capital. Authorities have shut down mobile
internet services across swathes of the country, officials and local media
Saturday the protests took a violent turn in Dhaka's Jigatala neighbourhood,
with more than 100 people injured as police fired rubber bullets at
demonstrators. On Saturday, US ambassador Bernicat's vehicle was set upon by a
mob. "As she was leaving about 11pm and getting into her car, a group
attacked her car," said rights activist Badiul Alam Majumder, who was
hosting the ambassador for dinner.
US embassy confirmed an official vehicle "was attacked by a group of armed
adult men" but the envoy and her team departed unharmed.
violence continued Sunday with police firing tear gas into a large crowd
marching toward an office of the ruling Awami League party, an AFP
correspondent said. Dozens of protesters were attacked by people alleged to be
ruling party activists, some armed with machetes, in Dhaka's Dhanmondi
were treated at Dhaka Medical Colleague Hospital, police inspector Bacchu Mia
photographer for an international news organisation was among those beaten.
warned Sunday that a "third party" could sabotage the protests and
put the safety of demonstrators at risk. "That's why I request all
guardians and parents to keep their children at home. Whatever they have done
is enough," the prime minister said from her office. Hasina's warning came
as protesters marched towards the scene of Saturday's clashes chanting "We
denied they fired rubber bullets or tear gas at the protesters Saturday.
However hospital staff said dozens of people had been injured, some seriously,
and injuries were consistent with rubber bullets. The Awami League has denied
that its officials beat up students.
country's biggest-circulation newspaper Prothom Alo said 3G and 4G internet
services have been shut down for 24 hours since late Saturday, shortly after
the violence broke out.
media has been filled with comments from Bangladeshis unable to access the
internet via their phones, although wireless and wired networks appear to be
Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission said it would comment later
Sunday. A senior telecoms official who asked for anonymity said: "The BTRC
has slowed down the internet at the order of the government."
move may be an attempt to limit the ability of students to mobilise or express
growing online anger at how the government has handled the protests, hours
after police and unidentified men wielding sticks and stones clashed with
and photos of the attacks on students allegedly by ruling party activists have
flooded social media, prompting renewed anger.
transport sector is widely seen as corrupt, unregulated and dangerous. As news
of the teenagers' deaths spread rapidly on social media they became a catalyst
for an outpouring of anger against the government.
government has ruled Bangladesh since 2009, but in recent months it has been
shaken by separate mass protests demanding an end to a decades-old system of
discriminatory civil service recruitment.
Several powerful ministers have pleaded with students to return to their
classes, amid fears the unprecedented teen anger could spark widespread
anti-government protests before a general election due later this year. But
their pleas have had little effect.
insensitive comment by Shajahan Khan, a government minister with ties to
powerful transport unions, fuelled the flames last week. Khan questioned why
there was such an uproar over the two Dhaka children but no reaction when 33
people were killed in an Indian bus crash the day before. There have been
widespread social media demands for the minister's resignation despite his
schools were shut on Thursday as officials promised students their demands for
road safety reforms would be considered.
A suicide bombing claimed by the Taliban killed three Czech soldiers on patrol
in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, the deadliest assault on NATO troops for many
Resolute Support service members were killed by a suicide bomber during a
combined, dismounted patrol with Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan," NATO´s
Resolute Support mission said in a statement.
Prague, the military said the dead soldiers were Czech.
US member of the patrol and two Afghan soldiers were wounded, NATO added.
attack by a lone bomber on foot happened at 6am in the city of Charikar in
Parwan province 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of Kabul, said provincial
governor´s spokesman Wahida Shahkar.
Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility, saying they killed or wounded
eight American soldiers in a "tactical explosion".
Czech army said in a statement that three of its soldiers, a staff sergeant and
two corporals, were killed in the explosion.
tragic death of our three soldiers has struck me deeply, and I wish to express
my deepest condolences to their families," said Defence Minister Lubomir
Czech soldiers have now been killed in Afghanistan.
NATO force largely ended its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014 and pulled
out the bulk of its troops. A 16,000-strong residual force remains for training
and counter-terrorism operations.
these, the US accounts for 13,000 soldiers, about 2,000 of whom are assigned to
anti-terror combat missions.
month a US soldier was killed and two others wounded in an "apparent
insider attack" in southern Afghanistan.
among the NATO forces have fallen dramatically since most were withdrawn from
combat. But the Taliban and the Daesh group have recently stepped up their
attacks against government and civilian targets.
Friday two suicide bombers dressed as women struck a mosque in Gardez, the
capital of Paktia province, while it was crowded with worshippers for weekly
prayers. Thirty-five were killed and more than 90 wounded.
burqa-clad attackers shot at the mosque´s security guards before opening fire
on worshippers and then detonating their explosives.
Julfikar Ali Manik and Maria Abi-Habib
Bangladesh — Thousands of students paralyzed parts of Bangladesh’s capital on
Sunday to protest the country’s abysmal road safety conditions. Teenagers
dressed in school uniforms erected checkpoints across the city, forcing the
police and government ministers to observe traffic laws that are otherwise
protests in Dhaka, the capital, have entered their second week with no signs of
abating, with demonstrators demanding justice after two students were killed
and 12 others wounded when a bus plowed into a bus stop on July 29.
driver had lost control of his vehicle while racing another bus to pick up
passengers, a common occurrence in Bangladesh, where dozens of poorly regulated
private transportation companies vie for customers. Nearly 7,400 people died in
traffic accidents across Bangladesh last year, with 16,100 others injured.
protests intensified on Sunday when university students joined the middle and
high school students who have led the movement so far. The newcomers joined in
solidarity after a pro-government student union joined the police’s ranks and
clashed with protesters on Saturday, wounding dozens.
violence continued on Sunday, when the student union returned to the streets to
support the police, who used tear gas and batons to subdue protesters. Armed
with scraps of metal and thick, gnarled tree branches, pro-government student
protesters attacked and wounded five photojournalists, including a photographer
from The Associated Press. At least 200 people have been wounded in the
demonstrations have been leaderless so far, with students gathering at their
schools or universities in the morning before funneling out onto the street to
block roads and erect makeshift checkpoints around their respective
institutions. Bus operators across the country shut down long-distance routes
this week in response.
some days the protests have attracted up to 15,000 students, with parents
leaving work to join their children and restaurants offering free food to
students’ ability to organize and to enforce poorly obeyed laws has embarrassed
the governing party, the Awami League, as it heads into elections in December.
responsible for checkpoints have forced the police and government officials to
provide driver’s licenses and car registration. They have also helped ease
street congestion by forcing Dhaka’s drivers — notorious for driving on the
wrong side of the road or skipping traffic lines — to obey laws.
children like us can establish discipline in traffic management, why can’t the
traffic police do it?” said Tameem Dari Khan, who recently graduated from high
school and is waiting to attend university. “It’s because they get bribes. They
are not interested to check properly, so they can get some illegal benefit.”
Thursday, students asked a police sergeant on a motorcycle to show his license,
which he refused to do. When the sergeant slapped a young boy, the students
attacked him and set fire to his motorcycle.
that episode, most interactions at student-run checkpoints have been peaceful.
A government minister traveling in his motorcade was stopped at a checkpoint
last week, and was then forced to ride with his security detail after his
chauffeur failed to produce a driver’s license. Students have turned over
unlicensed drivers to the police.
the government was reluctant to use violence at the start of the protests, the
police’s violent turn this weekend may encourage more students to come out,
observers said. The governing party has also blamed the opposition for stoking
Sunday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan praised the patience displayed by the
police, but added that law enforcement officers would not continue to “sit idle
will go for tough action if the limit is crossed,” he said.
many, the protests are about much more than the country’s hazardous road
conditions. They also symbolize the poor governance and corruption across
student movement has demanded that the death penalty be imposed on the driver
who careered into the bus stop at full speed on July 29, and that the
government enforce more rigorous traffic laws.
Minister Shajahan Khan mocked the protesters during a news conference last
week. Pointing out that a recent bus crash in neighboring India had killed 30
passengers, he said that “they don’t complain about it as we do.”
Khan is also the head of Bangladesh’s powerful transportation lobby, which
activists say is a conflict of interest.
transportation sector has long operated above the law, with powerful officials
either owning private bus companies or relying on its workers for political
support. By bribing officials, transportation companies obtain driver’s
licenses for employees, who are often first-time drivers. They also bribe the
police to get out of deadly accidents or allow their decrepit buses to continue
along commuter routes.
transportation sector is absolutely corrupt,” said Iftekharuzzaman, who goes by
one name and is the executive director of Transparency International,
speeds for mobile phones were also lowered over the weekend, preventing
protesters from uploading pictures and video of their demonstrations to social
media or the messaging service WhatsApp.
student protesters accused the government of blocking free speech. But the
telecommunication minister, Mustafa Jabbar, said in an interview that a
technical issue had prevented mobile providers from offering faster
officials said the mobile internet speeds had been purposefully slowed after
rumors that the Awami League party detained, killed and raped several
demonstrators at one of their offices in Dhaka.
rumors quickly spread on social media and escalated violence across the capital
on Saturday afternoon, culminating when several thousand students marched on
the Awami League office. But they found no evidence that protesters had been
unlawfully detained there and publicly denounced the rumors as false, tamping
down protesters’ rage.
think mobile operators’ problems have come as blessings for all of us —
otherwise we would get more rumors by now,” said Mr. Jabbar, the
the government is behind the move to slow the country’s internet, Bangladesh
would be the third South Asian country in recent months that has tried to
harness the power of social media to prevent violent protests from escalating.
suicide attack rocked Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of eastern
Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said an Afghan army soldier,
Mohammad Omar, identified and grabbed a suicide bomber during a search which
resulted into an explosion.
statement further added that the brave act of the Afghan army soldier resulted
into prevention of further casualties to the people in the area.
the provincial government said at least five people including four army
soldiers sustained injuries in the explosion.
reports indicated that the incident has
taken place close to an army outpost close to Puli Behsud area and as a result
at least one person has been killed and three others have sustained injuries.
in the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan confirmed the deployment of the
Special Forces of the US Military in western Farah province of Afghanistan.
spokesman Gen. Mohammad Radmanish said the US Special Forces have been deployed
in support of the Afghan National Defense and Security forces to assist with
the training of the Afghan armed forces.
did not disclose further information in this regard and it is yet not clear how
many soldiers have been deployed in Farah province.
the meantime, Gen. Radmanish said the US Special Forces will train the Afghan
armed forces on how to use the new weapons.
also added that the US Special Forces have been deployed as part of the train,
advise, and assist mission and will not participate in combat operations.
regarding the deployment of US Special Forces in Farah province emerge amid
growing insurgency activities by the Taliban militants in this province.
Taliban militants suffered heavy casualties after attacking the outposts of the
Afghan security forces in southeastern Paktia province of Afghanistan.
to the local officials, at least 23 Taliban militants were killed and four
security personnel lost their lives during the heavy clashes.
provincial government media office in a statement confirmed that the incident
took place in Laja Mangal district the province.
statement further added that 23 militants were killed and at least eight others
were wounded during the clashes while the dead bodies of a number of militants
are left in the area.
to the provincial government, the clashes erupted after a number of Taliban
militants launched coordinated attacks on security outposts late on Saturday
attack was repulsed after additional forces of the Special Forces Kandak,
border forces, and police forces were deployed in the area.
to the officials, at least four security personnel also lost their lives during
the clashes with the Taliban militants.
Taliban militants have fled from the area and the security situation of the
district is normal now, the provincial government added.
least 17 killed in al-Shabaab car bombings in Somalia
car bomb exploded along the main street of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on
Sunday, killing at least five people and wounding several others, authorities
said a car bomb parked in front of a restaurant at the busy street of Maka al
Mukaram had exploded.
front of the restaurant had been destroyed, blood stained the floor and chairs
had been strewn around by the blast.
car bomb exploded at a parking in front (of) a restaurant," Major
Abdullahi Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.
group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on a website sympathetic
to their cause.
was the second fatal attack al-Shabaab claimed on Sunday, bringing the day's
death toll to 17, excluding their own fighters.
at least 12 people were killed in a suicide car bombing southwest of Mogadishu.
The attack hit the Afgoye district, claiming the lives of seven civilians and
five police offers, police officer Ali Hassan told dpa. At least 14 others were
blast sent thick and dark smoke into the sky from the site of the explosion, a
security checkpoint inside Afgoye," eyewitness Nuradiin Jama said.
is an agricultural town located 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of
a separate incident, security forces killed two militants in Mogadishu's Hodan
district. Al-Shabaab said the two militants were members of their group.
has stepped up attacks on high-profile targets in southern Somalia in recent
has been convulsed by violence since 1991. Al-Shabaab is fighting to dislodge a
Western-backed government protected by African Union-mandated peacekeepers.
has repatriated at least 9,438 of its nationals trapped in Libya while efforts
are ongoing to bring back everyone willing to return to their country,
according to an official involved in the repatriation process.
far, about 9,438 migrants have been repatriated from Libya in collaboration and
support of the International Migration Organization (IOM),” Abike Dabiri-Erewa,
a presidential aide on foreign relations and diaspora, said in a statement late
that were brought back are being profiled and enrolled in various technical and
vocational training centers with relevant agencies and nongovernmental
organizations,” she added.
official said the repatriation, ordered by the president, began shortly after
footages emerged on the Internet of some of the migrants narrating their
ordeals in the war-torn North African country and urging the Nigerian
government to bring them home. Dabiri-Erewa said the Nigerian mission in
Tripoli has traced another 116 of its nationals to a detention center in Zawiya
and has now processed their repatriation to the country.
she said 24 of them have refused to come back insisting they must get to
Europe,” she said, appealing once again to “Nigerian youths to avail themselves
the opportunities abound in the country as against risking their lives to
search for a non-existing and deadly greener pastures abroad.”
were fleeing from a neighbouring village - a mainly Christian community.
say they came under attack from about 300 well-armed men who started shooting
sporadically and burning down their homes.
of those who managed to escape ran towards the mainly Muslim neighbourhood
nearby where the imam lived, arriving over the next hour.
cleric immediately came to their aid, hiding in total 262 men, women and
children in his home and mosque.
first took the women to my personal house to hide them. Then I took the men to
the mosque," the imam said.
have blurred the faces of the imam and the villages, for their own safety.
was the latest wave of violence to hit Nigeria's central region where farming
communities and nomadic cattle herders often clash - usually over access to
land and grazing rights.
children pose real 'threat' to Germany, spy chief warns
from Islamist households in Germany represent a "not insignificant
potential threat," the head of the Office for the Protection of the
Constitution (BfV), Germany's domestic intelligence service, Hans-Georg Maassen
a new report cited by the Funke media group, the BfV said there were signs the
"radicalization of minors and young adults" was becoming more likely
and happening faster and earlier.
BfV document estimated that some 300 children in Germany were affected.
Children in some of these families are "educated from birth with an
extremist world view that legitimizes violence against others and degrades
those who aren't part of their group," the report said.
concerns about families who had traveled to war zones in the Middle East, as
well as those who had remained in Germany.
warned that what he described as the ongoing jihadist socialization of children
was "alarming" and would pose a significant challenge to authorities
in the coming years.
BfV findings have led to calls from politicians in Chancellor Angela Merkel's
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to drop the age limit for surveillance
candidates to under 14.
is not about criminalizing people under the age of 14, but about warding off
significant threats to our country, like Islamic terrorism, which also targets
children," CDU politician Patrick Sensburg told the Funke media group.
Mayer, the interior affairs spokesman for the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the
Christian Social Union (CSU), said such a measure would also be for the
protection of the children affected, adding that some of the individuals who
traveled to crisis regions in Syria and Iraq to join jihad were very young.
Reul, the CDU Interior Minister of the western state of North-Rhine Westphalia,
said authorities needed appropriate "instruments to be able to deal with
traumatized and violent returnees under the age of 14."
dreams of higher education, the Arab world looks to Europe
Graduating from high school in Syria in 2010, Mohammed Chaikh set his sights on
Europe to pursue the “independence and opportunities” afforded by an overseas
education. “I wanted a new experience, a new life,” said the 26-year old
mechanical engineering student, who is now in his fourth year at RWTH Aachen
University in Germany.
the time, few of his friends applied to international institutions - “most
wanted to stay in Syria,” he said. But within a year, war had broken out and
since then “almost everyone has changed their mind.”
conflict in Syria has forced vast numbers out of education and encouraged those
who can afford it to apply overseas but students from the war-torn country are
part of a long tradition of Arab youth pursuing higher learning in the West.
Despite efforts by Middle East governments to enhance the education landscape
at home, many young people still see completing their studies in the US or
Europe as a necessary stepping stone to a successful career.
from European and other Western countries tend to be more valued,” said
21-year-old Seif Farid, who is doing an engineering degree at the University of
Surrey in the UK. Studying abroad is seen as “something prestigious” in his
native Egypt and employers look favourably on those with a Western education,
the past, Middle East governments have facilitated overseas study opportunities
via grants and funds, such as the $6 billion King Abdullah Scholarship Program
(KASP), which has supported hundreds of thousands of Saudi students through
degree courses in over 30 countries around the world and the Kuwait Excellence
Scholarships for Arab Students in France.
idea is to enhance the social and economic development of Arab countries,” said
professor Ishaq Al-Qutub, president of Arab Student Aid International, which
has branches in the USA, Palestine and Dubai and provides loans for up to 200
high-achieving students a year, most of them from low-income countries across
the Arab world, including Iraq, Palestine, Morocco and Sudan.
is given to those studying applied sciences as subjects where the skills
shortage is considered to be most acute in MENA countries.
must repay the loan within five years of completing their studies and sign a
statement saying they will return to their home country. “They take the
knowledge, the experience, the know-how and return back with the wealth of this
knowledge,” Al-Qutub said.
way we can bridge the gap between the Arab countries and other industrialised
and advanced nations,” he added.
recently, a push to promote education in the region has attempted to stem the
brain drain by improving the education landscape locally and encouraging the
brightest minds to pursue higher learning at home.
university franchises offering up a Sorbonne or NYU education in Abu Dhabi and
a degree from the Middlesex or Heriot Watt University branch campuses in Dubai,
have helped build the reputation of emerging higher education hubs in the UAE,
attracting students from across the region and further afield to study in the
for many MENA students, the tradition of travelling abroad to complete their
education in the West remains a rite of passage, personally as well as
Chaikh’s brother and father studied in Germany, a family tradition he was keen
to continue, even though it meant loading containers and working at a paint
factory between lectures to support his studies.
remembers the excitement he felt on his first day. “It was the first time I’d
ever been abroad from Syria,” he said.
culture in Germany was far removed from the experiences described by his
friends back in Syria, even before the war made completing their courses
impossible for many.
life there is really different,” said Chaikh who initially struggled to learn
German and form friendships with other students but soon adapted. “Now I don’t
really need to make (social) plans, I just go for a walk along the street and
bump into so many people I know.”
along with the UK and France, are among the most popular choices for Middle
East students in Europe.
University in Germany, which currently has around 260 students from the MENA
region, said that medicine is a particularly popular choice for overseas Arab
students applying to the institution, which is one of the world’s oldest
with arts scenes being given a broader platform to flourish across the region,
more Middle East students are now applying to Western institutions for social
sciences and creative courses.
Zumot, a 32-year old Jordanian actress, was recently awarded a prestigious
Chevening scholarship to do a masters in Performance Making at Goldsmiths,
University of London.
who has previously performed at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in Scotland and
worked as associate director on a successful UK production called Queens of
Syria, which featured performances by 13 refugee women, chose the UK over New
York to pursue the next phase of her theatrical studies.
always been my dream to study in London; it’s where the good theatre is,” she
the US has witnessed a decline in its student intake from the Middle East, with
a notable decrease in UAE and Saudi nationals - due partly to President Trump’s
controversial travel ban against seven Muslim-majority countries - the UK has
reported a notable rise in students from the region.
from Saudi Arabia increased by 10 percent in 2018, marking an increase for the
first time in several years, according to Ucas, the body that processes
applications to UK universities.
showed that the trend is mirrored across the region, with applicants from
Jordan up 16 percent from 2017, Oman and Kuwait, both up 7 percent and Lebanon
and Morocco increasing by 25 percent each.
spokesperson for the British Council in London said that the UK’s multicultural
environment and “established international communities from all over the world”
allows students from all background to feel at home.
UK is also a more affordable study destination than both the US and Australia,
she said, thanks partly to the short, flexible courses on offer.
weaker pound in the wake of Brexit negotiations has also had a bearing on
reducing the costs of a British education for foreign nationals.
Farid, it would have taken up to five years to complete an engineering degree
in Cairo, compared to three years in the UK, but he’s since discovered other
advantages to studying abroad. “The high number of different nationalities
present at UK universities is something I didn’t expect and I like this because
it gives you the opportunity to learn about new cultures from around the
Javid has been accused of trying to “buy the silence” of the Windrush
generation by imposing non-disclosure agreements on citizens in return for
fast-track compensation payments.
claimed the home secretary had broken his promise to “do right” by those
migrants from across the Commonwealth who were caught up in the scandal because
they had problems proving their status.
Guardian revealed last month that several Windrush citizens had been paid some
compensation by the Home Office, but then asked to sign an NDA, to the concern
of others still waiting for assistance.
the weekend the Independent reported others had been put in similar positions
in return for speedy payments.
home secretary told MPs last month that a new compensation scheme for
Windrush-era migrants would not involve gagging clauses. “No one will be asked
to sign any kind of non-disclosure agreement or anything like that,” he said.
just days earlier, on 13 July, he had written to the home affairs select
committee (HASC) to say that payments had already been made through other
routes in some cases and an NDA could have been used.
we consider that the department has erred, we will seek to reduce any further
distress for the claimant by making an offer of compensation, rather than
continue through a lengthy legal challenge,” he said.
can confirm that Windrush generation cases are sometimes addressed through this
route … Whilst there is no requirement, settlement offers are sometimes
accompanied by confidentiality clauses, depending on individual circumstances.”
Abbott said the NDAs showed that the Windrush generation continued to be failed
by the government. “The home secretary promised to ‘do right’ by our fellow
citizens from the Windrush generation, yet it appears he has gone back on his
Home Office must not attempt to buy the silence of citizens who have been so
shockingly wronged and had their rights so gravely infringed in return for
compensation that they are entitled to,” the shadow home secretary said.
is totally unacceptable for the Home Office to impose non-disclosure agreements
and gag those who have suffered at the hands of the hostile environment in
order to cover up the true scale of the Windrush scandal.
Home Office must compensate all those who have suffered without further delay
and without any form of non-disclosure agreement.”
committed to providing financial redress for those caught up in the scandal by
appointing a lawyer and son of Windrush parents to oversee the design of the
those affected are people forced out of work, in some cases for years, and
unable to claim welfare support, as well as individuals wrongfully detained and
in some cases deported.
could have their compensation capped under government proposals announced last month
to ensure no individual receives a “disproportionately” high payment from the
use of NDAs was described as “totally unacceptable” by Labour MP David Lammy,
who has campaigned on behalf of Windrush victims, while the chair of the select
committee, Yvette Cooper, called on Javid to explain why he appeared to have
gone back on his word.
home secretary has assured us that the Home Office will be transparent over
Windrush – but using NDAs to hide things that have gone wrong cannot be
justified. We will continue to pursue this,” she said.
spokesman for the Home Office said: “The case referred to in the letter to the
HASC predated the Windrush compensation scheme.
expert says massive hypocrisy in dealing with the Daesh terrorist group and a huge failure to involve young people in
the UK society is to blame for a surge in terrorist motives among the youth in
an interview with the Press TV on Sunday, Rodney Shakespeare, a political
commentator from London, said that Britain’s dual policy of cracking down on
Daehs recruits in the country while supporting governments that helped the
terrorist group to emerge was a main reason why it was facing more plots for
terrorist attacks over the past years.
... firstly a huge amount of hypocrisy in respect of Daesh internationally
because there you see we support the philosophical source of Daesh which Saudi
Arabia and the financial source of Daesh which is Saudi Arabia,” said
Shakespeare, adding that the British government not only supporting those who
created Daesh but also helped the destruction of Iraq and Libya which created
the circumstances for creation of Daesh.
expert said a second reason for the radicalization of youth in Britain was the
failure of the British society to involve them in a genuine way so that they
could feel loyalty to the place they live in.
is a sad story manifesting the British hypocrisy pointing to a huge failure in
respect of our ability to generally involve young people in society in such a
away as that they feel loyalty to it and don’t want to go destroying absolutely
any place when they can get entry carrying some sort of device or explosive
weapon,” said Shakespeare.
Friday, UK authorities handed down a life sentence to a teenager over links to
the Daesh terrorist group and alleged plots to carry out attacks in the capital
bin Laden has married daughter of lead 9/11 hijacker, say family
bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader, has married the daughter of
Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks, according to his
union was confirmed by Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers . Ahmad and Hassan
al-Attas said they believed Hamza had taken a senior position within al-Qaida
and was aiming to avenge the death of his father, shot dead during a US
military raid in Pakistan . Hamza bin Laden is the son of one of Osama bin
Laden’s three surviving wives, Khairiah Sabar, who was living with her husband
in a compound in Abbottabad, near a large Pakistani military base, when he was
killed. He has since made public statements urging followers to wage war on
Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv and is seen as a deputy to the terrorist
group’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
have heard he has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta,” said Ahmad al-Attas.
“We’re not sure where he is, but it could be Afghanistan.”
intelligence agencies have been increasingly focusing on the whereabouts of
Hamza bin Laden over the past two years, seeing him as more likely than anyone
else to galvanise followers. His marriage to the daughter of Atta, an Egyptian
national, appears to confirm that the 9/11 alumni remains a central hub of al-Qaida
and that the organisation itself continues to be organised around Osama bin
of Bin Laden’s sons, Khalid, was killed in the US raid in Abbottabad. A third,
Saad, was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan in 2009. Letters purportedly
written by Osama bin Laden and seized from the compound suggested he was
grooming Hamza to replace him, partly to avenge the death of Saad.
Laden’s wives and surviving children have returned to Saudi Arabia, where they
were given refuge by the former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef. The women and
children remain in close contact with Bin Laden’s mother, Alia Ghanem, who told
the Guardian in an interview that she remained in regular touch with surviving
we thought everyone was over this, next thing I knew was Hamza saying I am
going to avenge my father,” said Hassan al-Attas. “I don’t want to go through
Hamza was in front of me now, I would tell him: God guide you. Think twice
about what you are doing. Don’t retake the steps of your father. You are
entering really negative and horrible parts of your soul.”
family claimed they did not have any contact with Osama bin Laden from 1999
until his death in 2011. They said they had not heard from Hamza bin Laden nor received
any messages from him.
recognition of his apparent status within al-Qaida, the US government labelled
him a specially designated global terrorist in January 2017, meaning his assets
could be blocked and anyone who dealt with him faced arrest.
Revolutionary Guards confirmed on Sunday it had held war games in the Gulf over
the past several days, saying they were aimed at “confronting possible threats”
by enemies, the state news state news agency IRNA reported.
officials told Reuters on Thursday that the United States believed Iran had started
carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of
annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington.
exercise was conducted with the aim of controlling and safeguarding the safety
of the international waterway and within the framework of the program of the
Guards’ annual military exercises,” Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif said,
according to IRNA.
US military’s Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen increased
Iranian naval activity. The activity extended to the Strait of Hormuz, a
strategic waterway for oil shipments the Revolutionary Guards have threatened
commander Mohammad Ali Jafari “expressed satisfaction over the successful
conduct of the Guards naval exercise, emphasizing the need to maintain and
enhance defense readiness and the security of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz
and to confront threats and potential adventurous acts of enemies,” IRNA quoted
Sharif as saying.
US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said possibly more than 100
vessels were involved in the drills, including small boats.
officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the drills
appeared designed to send a message to Washington, which is intensifying its
economic and diplomatic pressure on Tehran but so far stopping short of using
the US military to more aggressively counter Iran and its proxies.
has been furious over US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of an
international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and re-impose sanctions on
Tehran. Senior Iranian officials have warned the country would not easily yield
to a renewed US campaign to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.
Iran did not appear interested in drawing attention to the drills. Iranian authorities
had not commented on them earlier and several officials contacted by Reuters
this week had declined to comment.
month, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backed President Hassan
Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed Sunday that the United States would
"enforce the sanctions" it is reimposing after President Donald Trump
pulled out of the 2015 nuclear pact.
of 0401 GMT Tuesday, the Iran government can no longer buy US banknotes and
broad sanctions will be slapped on Iranian industries, including its rug
told journalists that heaping pressure on Tehran was meant to "push back
against Iranian malign activity," saying Iranians "are unhappy with
the failure of their own leadership to deliver the economic promises that their
leadership promised them."
told reporters on his way home from a three-nation trip to South East Asia that
the Trump administration is open to looking beyond sanctions but adds that
would "require enormous change" from Tehran.
said President Donald Trump is intent on getting Iran to "behave like a
sanctions had been eased by the Obama administration under the terms of the
landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Trump decided in May to withdraw from the
ANGELES: Police say 11 children ages one to 15 were rescued in the US state of
New Mexico after officers raided a makeshift compound occupied by armed
men were arrested after police found them and the children in what one officer
called “the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen,” as part of the
operation connected to a months-long search for an abducted three-year-old,
according to New Mexico’s Taos County sheriff’s office.
investigation kicked off late last year on the opposite side of the country in
Jonesboro, Georgia, where 39-year-old Siraj WahHajj of the state’s Clayton
County was accused of kidnapping his toddler — who was ultimately not found.
boy’s mother told police her child, who she said suffered from seizures along
with development and cognitive delays, went to the park with his father WahHajj
last December and never returned.
August 2, Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe of Taos County in New Mexico issued a search
warrant describing “a makeshift compound surrounded by tires and an earthen
berm” in a subdivision, where WahHajj along with adult Lucas Morten were
thought to be.
FBI had provided information and surveillance on the spot but “didn’t feel
there was enough probable cause to get on the property,” Hogrefe said.
all changed for me when a message was forwarded to us from a Georgia Detective
that we reasonably believed came from someone at the compound — the message
sent to a third party simply said in part ‘we are starving and need food and
water,’” the sheriff said in a statement.
absolutely knew that we couldn’t wait on another agency to step up and we had
to go check this out as soon as possible.”
sheriff described planning “a tactical approach for our own safety because we
had learned the occupants were most likely heavily armed and considered
extremist of the Muslim belief.”
the morning of August 3, a dozen officers kicked off the “all day” operation,
discovering the two men with an AR-15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines and
four loaded pistols, including one in WahHajj’s pocket.
men at first refused to follow verbal direction, police said, who added the
raid went without major incident or injuries.
was charged with harboring a fugitive and WahHajj was booked without bond on
his Georgia warrant for child abduction.
Muslim group wants senator to push minority rights
LUMPUR, Aug 5 — A group comprising mostly Indian Muslims urged the government
today to appoint a senator to champion minority rights.
Malaysia Muslim People Coalition (Irimm) headed by Amir Amsaa Alla Pitchay, who
used to be president of the pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) Malaysian Indian Muslim
Congress (Kimma), also declared their support for the Pakatan Harapan (PH)
(Irimm) do not have any senatorship to highlight or voice our grievances from
the grassroots through to the ministry level,” said Irimm president Amir Amsaa
kind of things is where PH has to engage and appoint a person in every state to
help the community,” he added.
with just over 5,000 members nationwide, was formed in 2012 to champion the
cause and help Muslim-minority communities in the country.
Amsaa said he hopes that with the support of the PH government, more large
scale events and welfare programmes can be organised and executed by Irimm.
added the coalition was in the process of reaching out to Prime Minister Tun Dr
Mahathir Mohamad and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
to arrange a meeting to officiate their support towards PH.
hope to have large scale events with the government’s support, as we are also
looking to have the support of the ministers to help the causes we are
championing,” he said.
LUMPUR, Aug 6 — The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Nga Kor Ming, today chided
Opposition lawmakers for still resorting to race and religious politics during
the 14th Parliament sittings.
an interview with Malay daily Utusan Malaysia on his new role, Nga expressed
his disappointment, particularly with the Opposition lawmakers for employing
below the belt tactics when speaking during debates.
this aspect, it is disappointing, particularly concerning the opposition bench;
many are bringing up old issues while playing the race and religious card,
which to me is not healthy,” he was quoted saying.
Islam as the official religion according to the Federal Constitution, Nga added
the constitution also allowed for other religions to be freely practised.
is why I have advised the MPs and they must understand they elected and
supported by voters of several ethnic backgrounds, as not one of the 222
parliamentary seats are made up of 100 per cent of one race, they are all
multiracial,” Nga was quoted in the daily.
then advised the representatives, of which 90 are first time MPs, to debate
issues in the House from the perspective of a Malaysian, and not from a narrow
point of view.
must also understand and be aware if their arguments are based on facts,
statistics, or blank rhetoric,” he added, referring to the MPs.
must also keep to their promise and oath, and never forget the Parliament is a
place from the people, to serve the people, operated by the people,” he added.
LUMPUR: The Government is looking into upgrading the status of Kafa (religious)
teachers, including appointing them to permanent posts, says Deputy Minister in
the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh.
said a study on the matter was being conducted by the Islamic Development
Department of Malaysia (Jakim), which is the coordinator of the Kafa programme.
is conducting a study to upgrade the status of Kafa teachers, among others, to
be appointed as permanent staff in the service and we want to ensure the skills
of Kafa teachers are upgraded through appropriate courses,” she said at the
Dewan Rakyat sitting on Monday.
was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man
(PAS-Kubang Kerian) on the Government’s plan to upgrade the status of Kafa
contract teachers nationwide.
said the Pakatan Harapan Government was committed to maintaining a monthly
allowance of RM900 and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution of RM900
per month and EPF contribution of RM117 per month to Kafa teachers as
undertaken by the previous government.
she said the Government also welcomed the state government's matching grants in
efforts to raise the salary of the Kafa teachers.
states provide additional allowances such as Selangor which provides up to
RM700 monthly, bringing the total to RM1,717 monthly, while other states also
provide additional allowance,” she said.
to a supplementary question from Ahmad Hassan (Warisan-Papar) on Kafa teachers
in Sabah who received less than RM900 per month, Fuziah said the matter needed
to be reported and investigated as the allocation to the agency responsible in
implementing the programme was at the state level.
said Jakim was the coordinator of the Kafa programme but the operation was
conducted by state departments and Yayasan Islam at the state level.
A delegation from the Union of Teachers of Arabic Language in Indonesia visited
the Islamic University in Madinah on Friday to learn about the university’s
experience and knowledge of education for Muslim children from all over the
delegation met Dr. Mahmoud Qadah, the university’s vice president for
International Cooperation and Knowledge Exchange, who said many Indonesian
students graduated from the Islamic University, and some are now teaching in
different capacities all across the world.
than 200 Indonesian students enrolled this year to study at the varsity, which
is an unprecedented number from one country throughout the history of the
Madinah-based teaching institution.
is the world’s largest Muslim-majority state and the fourth most populous
country in the world. Indonesia is the largest economy in the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Houthi attack on Hodeidah hospital ‘a violation of international law’
Comprehensive Humanitarian Assistance Center in Yemen briefed the UN Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Yemen on the recent events
also reviewed the statement issued by Arab Coalition regarding the involvement
of the Houthi militia in a deadly attack on civilians on Thursday on a hospital
and fish market in Hodeidah.
Center “expressed its sympathy and deep sorrow for the deaths of innocent
civilians in Yemen, stressing the need to spare civilians in all Yemeni
governorates the effects of the conflict,” according to a Saudi Press Agency
statement on Sunday.
Center also called for “full compliance with the provisions of international
humanitarian law,” saying Houthis were in violation of this following the
attack which killed dozens of civilians.
Center also expressed its condolences to the families and families of the
victims, stressing its continued efforts and maximum cooperation to assist the
Yemeni people in coordination with the Yemeni government, coalition forces and
humanitarian and relief organizations operating in Yemen.
coalition launched a comprehensive humanitarian operations plan in Yemen on
January 22, through which Yemen's humanitarian response plan for 2018 was
funded with $1.25 billion from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and
plan included the establishment of the Comprehensive Humanitarian Assistance
Center in Yemen to coordinate humanitarian action in Yemen to communicate and
answer the questions and needs of humanitarian organizations working in Yemen
and provide support to relief workers.
plan also included a number of initiatives to improve the humanitarian
situation in Yemen and to promote delivery and distribution of aid to cities
and the Yemeni governorates, through a number of projects to improve roads and
United Arab Emirates, a partner in the Arab coalition for restoring legitimacy
in Yemen, said on Sunday that it backs the UN-brokered talks in Geneva between
the country’s warring sides.
United Nations envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, on Thursday told the Security
Council that “a political solution” to end the war in Yemen was “available” and
that the two sides would be invited to talks on September 6 in Geneva.
have always been in support of the special envoy, we are going to continue to
do so,” Emirati Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem al-Hashemi
told reporters in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.
negotiations on Yemen broke down in 2016.
told the Security Council that he was “still trying” to negotiate a deal to
avoid a full-blown battle for Hodeida, the Red Sea port city that is a key
entry point for humanitarian aid.
renewed in Tehran and several Iranian cities on Sunday evening, marking the sixth
consecutive day of protests against the regime’s policies while some violent
clashes erupted between protestors and security forces in some cities.
to videos published by activists, there were protests in the neighborhood of
Ekbatan, northwest of Tehran, in other areas like Daneshjoo Park in the center
of Tehran, and in the streets of Karagar and Amir Abad in South Tehran.
in Enghelab Street, in the center of Tehran, were chanting “Death to the
Dictator.” A video showed security forces attack protestors while some young
men burnt trash bins to obstruct the security forces’ advance.
clashes also erupted between protestors and riot police in the park of Tehran’s
theatre, and according to some reports, there were violent clashes between
protestors and riot police in Qom and Karaj.
said the government shut down cellular services and cut off the internet in
both cities, Qom and Karaj, to prevent citizens from publishing photos of
protests and clashes.
Arabia has agreed to issue visa to an Iranian diplomat to head the Islamic
Republic's interests section in the kingdom, in a rare move after the two
countries broke off relations two years ago.
informed diplomatic source told IRNA on Sunday that Saudi Arabia had agreed to
grant a visa to a diplomat introduced as the caretaker of Iran's interests
the approval by Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry, head of the Oman and Yemen
Department at Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Alibek, has been
appointed as the caretaker of the Islamic Republic's interests section in the
city of Jeddah, the official Iranian news agency further said.
see the move as a positive diplomatic step in Tehran-Riyadh relations, it
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday that Iran planned to
open an interests section in Saudi Arabia.
have been made in the past two weeks and I believe there are signs that the
interests section will open and become operational,” Qassemi added.
between Iran and Saudi Arabia first soured after a deadly human crush during
the Hajj rituals in September 2015, when hundreds of Iranian pilgrims among
others lost their lives.
further escalated a few months later following the kingdom's execution of
prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran in January 2016 following angry protests in
front of its diplomatic premises in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad against
since breaking its ties with Iran, the kingdom has ramped up its negative
rhetoric against the Islamic Republic over its role in the region.
in December, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic could
restore its relations with Saudi Arabia should the kingdom end its military
aggression on Yemen and cut its friendship with the Tel Aviv regime.
Tel Aviv regime may agree to a limited ceasefire with Palestinian resistance
groups in the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli officials have hinted.
unnamed Israeli official said Sunday that there might be talks focusing on a
proposal to ease the blockade of Gaza if the Palestinians calm their side of
the fence that separates the occupied territories from the blockaded coastal
complete ceasefire (by the Palestinians) will lead, on Israel’s part, to the reopening
of the Kerem Shalom crossing and renewal of the permits given in respect to the
fishing zones,” Reuters quoted the official as saying.
offer would be the focus of later deliberations, the official said, adding that
any eventual broader agreement over Gaza would require a guarantee for the
return of the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 Israeli war on
Gaza. Hamas and other resistance groups have linked their fate to Israel
freeing Palestinian security detainees.
Badran, one senior Hamas official, during a Sunday interview with Gaza radio
station said, “Hamas has conducted internal meetings that have not yet ended.”
suffering of our people, and the 12-year blockade imposed with no guilt on
their part, requires that all Palestinian leaders search for a real solution to
this suffering ... without giving concessions when it comes to the known and
outstanding positions and rights of our people,” the Hamas official said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier convened his cabinet to possibly
approve proposals made by the United Nations (UN) and Egypt for preventing
another war on Gaza. The UN and Egypt have not publicly detailed the proposals.
They have spoken generally of a need to improve humanitarian conditions in
has seen a surge in tensions since Palestinians launched weekly protests along
the fence. In response to the protests, Israel on July 9 tightened the blockade
by shuttering Gaza’s main commercial terminal and limiting a Palestinian
fishing zone off the enclave. It offered to reverse the measures on Sunday.
Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who holds sway in the
Israeli-occupied West Bank, earlier said any deal risked ending hopes of
achieving Palestinian statehood.
deal would bring about a) separation of Gaza from the rest of the homeland and
would create a mini-state which will be the graveyard of our national project,”
said Munir Al-Ghaghoub, a spokesman for Fatah.
after a meeting of the representatives of Palestinian factions, including
Fatah, Badran said, “There will be no state in Gaza and no state without Gaza.”
have been running high near the fence since March 30, which marked the start of
a series of protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters
demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with
Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem
Israeli military says its aircraft has conducted airstrikes on the northern
parts of the besieged Gaza Strip, claiming it hit targets over “arson
to a brief statement released by the occupying regime’s military on Sunday, the
aircraft “fired towards a vehicle that” allegedly served for “launching arson
balloons” inside the occupied territories.
added that the aircraft, a warplane according to some sources and a combat
drone according to others, also fired another rocket at a gathering of
Palestinians purportedly “launching arson balloons from the northern Gaza Strip
Gaza Health Ministry confirmed the airstrikes and said that at least four
Palestinians had sustained injuries in the aerial aggression.
kites and balloons have become a new mode of resistance since Palestinians
began their weekly protests near a fence separating the Gaza Strip from the
occupied territories on March 30.
protests peaked on May 14, when some 40,000 Gazans protested along the fence on
the same day that the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds in
a provocative move.
snipers and special troops have shot and killed more than 150 peaceful
Palestinian protesters, sparking international outcry over the disproportionate
use of force. Nearly 15,000 other Palestinians have sustained injuries, of whom
at least 360 are reportedly in critical condition.
dozen pro-Palestine activists, who were arrested by Israeli forces on board a
Gaza-bound ship on Saturday, remain in custody of the regime for the second
Saturday, Israeli forces seized the Swedish-flagged vessel "Freedom for
Gaza" and took it to the port of Ashdod.
Israeli army said in a statement that all the 12 activists on board the ship
had been taken for "further inquiry."
detained activists come from Sweden, Germany, Britain, Spain, France and
spokeswoman for the Israeli immigration authority said the activists were still
in custody and would be put on flights home.
seized vessel was one of the four ships on the "Freedom
Flotilla" which set sail from
Denmark in May to draw the world's attention to the suffering of Palestinians
under an inhumane Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. Two of the ships,
however, remained behind after a recent stop in the Italian port of Palermo.
Sunday, the Israeli navy seized a Norwegian-flagged boat called “Return” with
almost two dozen activists on board. It was also part of the Gaza "Freedom
Flotilla," which was taking medical supplies to the coastal enclave.
International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza announced on Wednesday
that the Israeli authorities had begun deporting several of the detained
Levrini, a Swedish human rights activist arrested on board the
"Return" boat, said that she had been "tortured" while in
her deportation to Sweden, she made an interview with the Palestinian Ma'an
news agency, demanding international action in the face of "genocide going
on by an apartheid regime."
fresh seizure of Gaza-bound ships follows a number of failed attempts by
activists to reach the coastal sliver of land in recent years.
2015, a flotilla of four boats bound for Gaza was forcibly redirected to Ashdod
by Israeli forces.
in May 2010, an Israeli raid on another Gaza-bound aid flotilla, called Mavi
Marmara, killed 10 Turkish activists in high seas and sent Ankara-Tel Aviv ties
into a tailspin.
two sides normalized relations in June 2016, but their ties sank to a fresh low
in May 2018 after the expelling of envoys amid growing tensions over the killing
of dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip at the hands of Israeli forces.
have been running high near the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the
start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding
the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
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