Madrasas in India are getting a thumbs-up from community leader
Islamic Studies Revision Book Justifies Death Sentence on Apostates
Madrasa-Cum-Schools In UP Combine Quran with Computers
Are Ready For War, but Choose To Walk Path of Peace: Pakistan Army
Chief Baghdadi Masters Art of Disguise, But One Mistake May End His Luck
Martyred, 70 Wounded in Terrorist Attack in South-western Iran
May 'Recognize' Palestine If Talks Keep Failing
To Say Islam against Banning Child Marriage, Says Preacher
Enjoys Social Stability, Ethnic Harmony: Chinese Embassy Official
fit to be PM if Malay, Islamic agendas ignored - Anwar
Amin resigns as NU supreme leader
Aren’t Responding to Provocation, PM Modi’s Muslim Friend Says ‘Communal
Monster’ Will Come Back to Haunt BJP
Sanitation Workers of MCD Threaten To Convert To Islam
between Security Forces, Terrorists Underway in J&K's Pulwama
instructed J&K terrorists to kill SPOs, intercepted chats reveal
is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan, terrorists: Army chief
Muharram procession: Man injured after contact with live wire in Gorakhpur, mob
goes on rampage
Khan calls India’s statement cancelling talks ‘arrogant’, his minister makes
Tweet, Imran Closes All Diplomatic Doors, For Now
PPP hold govt responsible for diplomatic debacle with India
bid foiled in Bajaur; two killed
soldiers martyred in crossfire with militants in North Waziristan, says ISPR
Qureshi to stay in Washington for a day before UN General Assembly session
terrorists killed, seven troops martyred in NWA
of Pakistanis ‘imprisoned’ in Iran seek federal govt’s help
protest denial of passport free entry into Afghanistan at Torkham
Business In Saudi Arabia Will Be Billion-Dollar Industry By 2030
aircraft evacuate Daesh commanders from eastern Syria: Report
Al-Sham Sends Chemical Cargos to ISIL Terrorists in Northern Syria
Intensify between US-Backed Militia, Civilians in North-eastern Syria
Turkish Soldiers, Allied Militants Killed in Clashes with Kurds in Northern
drowns after boat carrying Syrian refugees sinks off Lebanon
completes withdrawal of troops from Yemen’s Mahrah province: Report
Syria rebels accept Idlib deal, albeit cautiously
State Claims Killing Of 29 at Iran Military Parade
Rouhani Warns of Crushing Response to Terrorist Attack in Ahwaz
summons European diplomats after deadly military parade attack
falsely claims responsibility for Ahwaz attack, Iranian opposition says
accuses Hamas of colluding with Israeli government
Coalition to open humanitarian corridors for civilians in Yemen’s Hodeidah
army clears 500 mines planted by Houthi militias in Saada
gives Bedouin villagers until end of month to leave
Year On, Far Right Has Transformed German Politics
slams act of terror during Iranian military parade, says ready to boost fight
rejects Israeli findings on downed plane
Saudi Arabia Marching Ahead With Shared Visions & Partnership
Members Detained With Petrol Bombs In Sirajganj
condemns deadly attack on military parade in Iran
ISIS militants arrested in Kabul city for planning attacks during Ashura Day
No Chinese debt-trap, India is oldest ally but
Maldives open for businesses, says President Yameen on the eve of polls
offer condolences to families of 70 victims of Afghanistan suicide blast
Western Media Silent on Ahvaz Terrorist Attack
Dispute with Muslim Organization Heats Up Amid DOJ Investigation
threatens Iran with action if US interests attacked
supports terrorists, yet Iran gets the blame
Military Accuses Journalists Of Working For Boko Haram
airstrike kills 18 Al-Shabab after US attacked in Somalia
urges ‘effective’ UN action to end Tripoli violence
outbreak in Nigeria claims nearly 100 lives
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Islamic Studies Revision Book Justifies Death Sentence On Apostates
LUMPUR, Sept 22 — An Islamic Studies revision book for secondary school students
reportedly rationalises executing apostates who leave Islam, according to Siti
activist highlighted a passage from “Focus SPM Pendidikan Islam Tingkatan 4 5”
published by local publisher Pelangi that allegedly cited reasons for the death
sentence on Muslims who leave the faith, like warning people that Islam cannot
be toyed with, preventing apostates from influencing other Muslims, and
preventing acts of degrading Islam.
the news about wife beating came out, a Form 5 Student inbox me and showed me
this.... Now, you tell me whether this is right or wrong?
Dr Maszlee Malik @maszlee, you really need to look into the Agama Islam
syllabus. This is horrendous!” Siti posted on Facebook today.
Islamic Studies revision book for Form Four and Form Five students is touted as
a Pelangi bestseller on its cover.
earlier highlighted a question in a September/ October 2018 model examination
paper for the Form Five Islamic Studies subject, issued by the Selangor
Education Department, on how to beat a “disobedient” wife.
were asked to write a third answer besides the provided answers of “Not too
much until it causes injury” and “Not on sensitive parts”.
this what our Malay children learning in school?? What is this Dr Maszlee Malik
@maszlee? Is this acceptable? What kind of trash are we teaching the kids in
school?” Siti posted on Facebook yesterday.
in his uniform — a blue-and-white striped shirt and blue trousers — Zunaid Khan
watches raptly as the laptop screen plays a movie about how pollution is
affecting the environment. The 10-year-old is a Class V student of Gulshane
Rizwan Madrasa, where little children are regularly shown educational movies
and videos of nursery rhymes so they pick up the right English pronunciation.
Located in UP’s Faridpur town in Bareilly district, the Madrasa is commonly
called ‘Oxford School’.
is one of the many Madrasas-cum-schools that have come up in UP in recent
years. Unlike the traditional Madrasa where kurta-pyjama-clad students sit on
the carpet and learn the Quran, Urdu and Persian as their main subjects, the
focus here is on English, science, math, social studies, computer science and
extra-circular activities. Oxford School’s owner Rahil Khan says it’s mostly
children from poor homes who come to Madrasas for free education. “We do not
want our students to be deprived of modern education, so we plan the schedule
in such a way that they have enough time for both forms of education,” Khan
are taught from NCERT books and texts of private publishers approved by CBSE
schools.” The unaided school, which came up a year ago, has 150 students
enrolled in primary classes. Tasleem Khan, a labourer whose children Khairoon
Nisa (9) and Mohd Saddam Khan (7) go to Oxford School, says all members of his
family have been labourers. “I want my children to get a proper education and
decent jobs. A cleric persuaded me to send them to this school. Now our
children even teach us,” says Khan, a resident of Savai Kalan village in
affiliated to the UP Board of Madrasa Education, these modern Madrasas follow
the CBSE curriculum. Jagmohan Singh, Bareilly district minority welfare
officer, says the UP government has made NCERT books compulsory in Madrasas
from the current session. Less than half of UP’s Madrasas are covered by the
Centre’s modernisation scheme — Scheme to Provide Quality Education in Madrasas
(SPQEM) — started eight years ago. Each institution is provided with books for
modern subjects and three teachers who are paid an honorarium.
Madrasas however, are bringing changes using their own resources. M Children
Academy, an unaided Madrasa in Bareilly’s Nakatia locality boasts qualified
teachers with BEd degrees, a library, a computer lab and CCTV cameras in each classroom.
Mohd Miraz, a Class X student, says, “I am confident that I will realise my
dream of becoming a doctor because I am getting a proper education.”
the 220 students at the academy, nearly 10% are non-Muslims. Its principal
Abdul Qadir says, “Since we charge a fee of only Rs 200 per month, we also
attract non-Muslim students as it is economical for parents who want to give
their children quality English-medium education.”
Khan, an alumnus of the academy, got admission into Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia
University in 2016, and is currently doing a three-year diploma in computer
engineering. “Having had the same education as other students, I didn’t have problems
adjusting to college life,” says Khan, who hopes to bag a job in a reputed
company once his course is over.
Gulshane Khursheed, which has 17 teachers and 650 students, lays stress on
physical education, with weight-lifting machines in place to help students get
fitter. Principal Farzand Ali says they have exercise and sports classes for
both girls and boys and are planning to start yoga classes as well.
sets apart Maulana Mohd Ali Jauhar Public School in Sambhal is the fact that
students here are taught Quran and Hadith in English. Its manager Feroz Khan
says, “We want our students to have knowledge of all languages and subjects. We
are modernising our teaching methods so our children are able to excel in any
field once they leave the Madrasa.”
Sun Flower Modern Urdu Arabic College in Chandauli, students have the option to
choose either Urdu or Sanskrit while Sunni/Shia theology is compulsory in
Classes IX and X. Of the 180 students here, 90 are non-Muslims. “As we teach
all subjects and conduct examinations regularly, students from all religions
come here,” says the manager, Abdul Hasib.
changing profile of the Madrasa is already making a difference in students’
lives. Zoya Sameen, a Class VII student at the Chandauli Madrasa, recalls that
till a few years ago, she had to go to a regular school in the morning and a
Madrasa in the evening. “Now I am taught both kinds of courses here, so I have
time to play in the evening.”
Madrasas are also getting a thumbs-up from community leaders. Maulana Shahbudin
Razvi, national general secretary, Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islam, an organisation of
Sunni Barelvi sect, says they do not have any issue with modern Madrasas if
they are giving proper classes on religious texts along with modern education.
“We want children in our community to have proficiency of computer and English.
The students should have an option of employment outside the religious sector,”
Mohd Salim Khan, a local cleric whose two children are enrolled in Oxford
School, notes, “Though we want our children to know about Islamic law, it is
also necessary for them to remain in the mainstream and compete with other kids
of their age. Modern Madrasas are bridging the gap between religious and modern
learning fast and I get to sit on a bench’
Armaan Beg’s parents, it is a matter of pride that their son goes to a Madrasa
where the medium of instruction is English.
10-year-old is the eldest among four siblings and studies in Faridpur town’s
Oxford School. His father, Yunus Beg, is a labourer and earns Rs 200 per day,
while his mother, Sona Begum, works as a zari artisan from home and makes Rs
150 in five days. Both his parents are illiterate.
says he used to go to a small Madrasa in the mosque of Dalpura village near the
town for an hour each in the morning and evening. “I was enrolled in a
government primary school where I studied till Class III. However, as my
teachers never paid any attention to me, I could not even write my name in
English. After my parents learnt about the modern Madrasa, they got me admitted
here. As I was weak in studies, I got admission in Class II instead of IV.” The
boy says the new school is different from his earlier ones. “The teaching
method is interesting for both Quran and other subjects and I am learning fast.
Also, I get to sit on benches.
are ready for war, but choose to walk path of peace: Pakistan Army
after Times of India reported inflammatory statements by Indian Army Chief
General Bipin Rawat on Saturday, the Pakistan Army spokesperson responded by
saying: "We [Pakistan Army] are ready for war but choose to walk the path
of peace in the interest of the people of Pakistan, the neighbours and the
remarks were made by Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)
Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor while talking to Dunya TV.
to TOI, the Indian army chief said India "needs to take stern action to
avenge the barbarism that the terrorists and Pakistan Army have been carrying
out". "Yes, it's time to give it back to them in the same coin, not
resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also
feel the same pain," the Indian army chief was quoted as saying.
Rawat's comments came shortly after Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter
earlier on Saturday to respond to India's cancellation of the meeting between
the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United
Nations General Assembly (UNGA), calling New Delhi's reaction "arrogant
and negative". "All my life I have come across small men occupying
big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture," added
to Gen Rawat's statements, Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan has a long-standing
record of fighting terrorism, adding "we know the price [that is paid] for
India cancels New York meeting with Pakistan, says PM Khan's 'true face
have struggled to achieve peace in the last two decades. We can never do
anything to disgrace any soldier," he asserted, strongly denying the
claims made by India that hold the Pakistan Army responsible for the killing of
a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier.
have in the past as well laid the blame on us for mutilating the body of a
fallen soldier. We are a professional army. We never engage in such acts.
far as the issuance of postal tickets is concerned, the UN released a human
rights violation report following which the then interim government issued
those tickets highlighting the plight of Kashmiris.
turn this into an excuse that the peace process has been tainted or that
Pakistan has somehow changed its stance, is inappropriate," the ISPR chief
Islamabad 'deeply disappointed' over New Delhi's cancellation of meeting
is a freedom struggle going on in the Indian occupied Kashmir, and Burhan Wani
onwards, it is completely a political movement,” Ghafoor said, adding that the
struggle for independence has become a part of the DNA of Kashmiris and this is
now the third generation which is willing to sacrifice their lives for the
[India] should come forward for a dialogue. Whenever attempts for dialogue have
failed, it is because India has run away from the table.
government of Pakistan’s offer still stands for India to come forward and hold
talks with us,” the ISPR chief said.
govt trying to divert public's attention'
for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry also promptly issued a
response, backing the DG ISPR's statement. "Pakistan and India are nuclear
powers; a war is out of question," he said.
information minister termed the Indian army chief's statement an attempt to
divert the attention of Indian public from the mega corruption scandal and the
subsequent calls for resignation faced by PM Modi-led BJP government.
said that the Indian army chief's statement was inappropriate and that the
general must refrain from using statements as a political tool.
Indian army chief needs to understand that he is not a BJP leader,"
Chaudhry remarked, adding that "the world stands witness to who wants war
and who wants peace".
a peace-loving nation, Pakistan desires peace [with India]," he stressed,
highlighting the fact that peace will be in the benefit of billions across both
said that Pakistan had reached out in hopes for peace and will continue its
efforts to that end.
chief Baghdadi masters art of disguise, but one mistake may end his luck
the launch of a major offensive on the last pocket of the ISIS extremist group
in eastern Syria, close to the Iraqi border,
the leader of the terrorist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi might succeed
once again in escaping, observers have warned.
the Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the US-led coalition launched on
September 10 the final phase of the attack on ISIS, targeting Hajin town and
its suburbs, where Baghdadi is believed to exist, many have speculated that he
might have already escaped.
Kurdish figure Rezdst Kubani who was present at a military position in the area
said that: “It is the last stronghold for ISIS fighters. All its foreign
leaders and warlords from outside Syria are gathered in the towns of al-Soussa,
Hajin and al-Shaafa and we will kill them there.”
masters the art of disguise
Hassan Hassan, a senior research fellow at the Program on Extremism at George
Washington University said that monitoring the location of Baghdadi may not be
told AFP news agency that Baghdadi “learned how to hide well,” adding that he
and his organization “had learned lessons from the mistakes which ended the
lives of their leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and their military commander Abu
Hamza al-Muhajir in 2010,” meaning that “only a small number of trusted people
know where is he.”
Hisham al-Hashemi, the Iraqi expert in the extremist organization, said that:
“Baghdadi is hiding in the Syrian desert, an area between Iraq and Syria, and
he moves between the Baaj (northwest of Iraq) and Hajin in Syria.”
for a fatal mistake
senior Iraqi intelligence official said in early May that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
was in an area on the Iraqi-Syrian border and was traveling “in hiding, not in
a convoy, accompanied by four to five people, including his son and
on the incident, researcher Hassan Hassan, pointed out that these areas appear
limited on the map, but “on the ground they are large areas of mountains,
deserts, rivers and villages in Iraq and Syria, providing many hideouts.”
added that “With the strong technical support of the US-led coalition, the
Iraqis and the Syrians have the resources to monitor him, and he may be
arrested for an error committed by himself or his men,” he said.
error may be similar to the one that almost happened on November, 3, 2016, when
the Guardian newspaper reported in January, “when he spoke 45 seconds on the
radio with his men during the Iraqi forces’ offensive to restore Mosul, He was
bodyguards took him away immediately after they realized what he had done,”
said a senior Kurdish official who listened to the radio during the incident.
Baghdadi can escape this time, he may join secret cells of the organization in
another part of Iraq or Syria.
of Baghdadi escape to Afghanistan through Iran
Asharq al-Awssat newspaper quoted security sources and other extremist groups
in Pakistan as saying that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi arrived in the state of
Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan after crossing the Iranian territory.
relocation, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified, came
after the arrival of hundreds of ISIS members to the province after crossing
the Iranian territory, through the city of Zahedan in eastern Iran, where
sources said that the terrorist organization maintains a headquarter of the
hospitality of its fighters with the knowledge and coordination with the Iranian
one of the world’s most wanted, has survived over the years from several air
strikes and at least once been wounded, but experts still warn he is mastering
the art of disguise and may also escape this time.
people were martyred and 70 others were wounded during the terrorist attack on
the Armed Forces' parades in Ahwaz," Deputy Governor-General of Khouzestan
province Hossein Hosseinzadeh told FNA on Saturday.
Governor-General of Ahvaz Gholamreza Shariati had told the state-run news
agency IRNA that "the wounded have been transferred to Ahwaz
added that the terrorists attacked the bystanders watching the annual Armed
Forces' parades, marking the start of the Sacred Defense Week, commemorating
Iranians' sacrifices during the 8 years of the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in
1980s, in disguise of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij
(volunteer) forces, killing and wounding several people, including innocent
women and children.
said that none of the officials participating in the military parades in Ahvaz
city in Khouzestan province was injured in the attack.
also said that based on preliminary reports, 4 terrorists carried out the
Saturday attack in Ahwaz, adding that two of them were killed and two others
Spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier-General Abolfazl Shekarchi told
FNA that 4 terrorists carried out the attack during military parades in Ahwaz,
noting that three of them were killed and the last one was captured by security
added that none of the terrorists could escape, noting that other reports about
the details of the attack are not confirmed.
Head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Public Relations Department and
IRGC Spokesman General Ramezan Sharif told ISNA news agency that the terrorists
who attacked people during the Armed Forces' parades in Ahwaz were affiliated
to al-Ahwaziyeh stream which is nourished by Saudi Arabia.
added that the terrorists aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the Iranian Armed
Sharif said that people were also invited to watch the parades and the
terrorists both fired at people and the Armed Forces.
said that such attacks are precedent and al-Ahwaziyeh terrorist group had
earlier fired at the convoys of people who visited the Southern cities of Iran
which resisted against Iraq's aggression during the 8-year Iraqi-imposed war
against Iran in 1980s. http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970631000484
may 'recognize' Palestine if talks keep failing
Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
may recognize Palestine as a state if talks over a two-state solution with
Israel keep failing, the Irish foreign minister said Saturday.
Coveney made the remarks during a joint press conference in Dublin with
visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, who was accompanying
President Mahmoud Abbas.
have made a choice not to officially recognize the state of Palestine just
yet,” the Irish Times quoted Coveney as saying.
if this hopelessness continues in terms of the dialogue working we will be
forced to review that for obvious reasons, as I think a lot of other countries
in Europe will too,” he added.
said Ireland has already committed to recognizing a Palestinian state as part
of a peace process; however, if negotiations between Palestine and Israel
continue to prove fruitless, “we may have to forget the second part of
was in Dublin with Abbas, and the duo also met Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar
and President Michael D. Higgins during their stopover on their way to New York
to attend next week's UN General Assembly.
is expected to plea to the international community to salvage the two-state
solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or totally abandon it.
announced during the press conference that the Irish government is considering
hosting a meeting in Ireland between leaders of Arab and European countries and
Palestinian representatives to restart the stalled peace process, the Irish
the U.S. President Donald Trump administration's decision to pull $200 million
in funding from the UNRWA – UN agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East –
as “a mistake,” Coveney pledged to increase Irish funding for the agency from
€4.5 million ($5.3 million) to €7 million ($8.24 million).
last month, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington
would “no longer commit funding” to the refugee agency.
U.S. has long been the UNRWA's largest contributor, providing it with $350
million annually -- roughly a quarter of the agency's overall budget.
in 1949, the UNRWA provides critical aid to Palestinian refugees in the
blockaded Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and
welcomed the suggested meeting by the Irish government, as he said the
international community should "take up its own responsibility to seek
action when it comes to Palestinian-Israeli peace process.”
was asked if he believes Israel is moving towards imposing an apartheid-style
have an occupation of the Palestinian territories,” he responded.
while that occupation is taking place we are seeing an expansion of Israeli
settlements on to Palestinian lands. In our view that is illegal.”
speaking about the closing of Palestinian Liberation Organization office in
Washington by the U.S. administration, Coveney said “we need sustained dialogue
if we are to make a breakthrough in the Middle East peace process.”
believe that shutting down channels of communications is never a good idea,” he
to say Islam against banning child marriage, says preacher
Wan Ji Wan Hussin has spoken out against parties rejecting the government's
move to increase the minimum age of marriage to 18.
a statement posted on Facebook, the PKR Youth executive councillor in charge of
religion said Muslim scholars have differing opinions on the age of puberty and
age of maturit
are certain groups of Muslims in Malaysia who are against setting the minimum
age to marry at 18. They claim the move to set a minimum age has no basis in
fact is, their excuse of there being 'no such traditions in Islam' is
completely untrue," he said.
is because within discussions among Islamic scholars, there are (differing)
views on two issues, the age of puberty and age of maturity," he
pointed out that there are also differing views on the age at which Prophet
Muhammad’s wife Aisyah was wed to him, which is an oft-cited example to back
Ji said that a child's age of maturity had been addressed in the Quran through
a verse on how orphans are not allowed to manage their inheritance until they
reach the appropriate age.
this instance, the age of maturity is defined as the age at which one possesses
the mental capability to manage any inheritance.
by looking at the need to reach the age of maturity before being allowed to
manage wealth, the same consideration should be given for permission to marry.
there are way more complexities involved in managing a household than managing
wealth," he argued.
the role of Malaysian syariah courts in regulating child marriages, Wan Ji
claimed that not all of its decisions are in line with Islamic teachings.
an example, he pointed to the need for preachers to obtain a license from the
state Islamic religious departments.
Ji argued that the license requirement restricted a Muslim's freedom to preach
the word of God.
present, the Malaysian syariah courts have set 18 as the minimum age of
marriage for boys, and 16 for girls.
those who are below the minimum age can apply for permission to marry from the
syariah courts, as well as obtaining consent of their parents.
to raising minimum age
the New Straits Times today quoted Sabah mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar as saying
that people should be allowed to get married early.
had also claimed that syariah law states the age of marriage was set at 14 for
girls and 16 for boys.
(marriages) are valid as long as they follow proper procedures and obtain the
reason why they are allowed to get married early is because some of these
children can already be considered mature," he said in response to Deputy
Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who had announced the government’s
initiative to increase the minimum marriage age to 18.
who previously spoke against Putrajaya's plans to ban child marriages include
PAS vice-president Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.
Kelantan deputy menteri besar was responding to Minister in the Prime
Minister's Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who said that Putrajaya was
formulating a standard operating procedure (SOP) to tighten syariah court
provisions on child marriages, before imposing an outright ban.
Azizah, who is also minister of women, family and community development,
previously came under fire for her previous statement that the 15-year-old girl
made to marry a 44-year-old divorcee in Kelantan had "consented" to
had been the second such case to be reported out of Kelantan in recent months.
the first case, an 11-year-old Thai girl living in Gua Musang became the third
wife to a 41-year-old man after marrying the latter in June this year.
case drew similar criticism from rights activists, politicians and members of
this month, Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah decreed that the
marriageable age for Muslim males and females would be raised from 16 to 18
that, the Selangor state assembly on Sept 6 unanimously passed the Islamic
Family Enactment (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 (Amendment 2018) which,
among others, regulates the minimum age for a Muslim marriage in the state.
enjoys social stability, ethnic harmony: Chinese Embassy official
A spokesman of Chinese Embassy has said that Xinjiang Autonomous Region of
China enjoys social stability, sound economic development and harmonious
coexistence among ethnic groups.
to a recent meeting held between Ambassador Yao Jing Dr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri,
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony of Pakistan on Wednesday,
September 19, 2018, the spokesman said both the dignitaries had a good
discussion on China-Pakistan relations including the CPEC cooperation and some
specific projects in Pakistan.
Chinese ambassador appreciated the efforts by the Pakistani Government to
promote religious harmony, on which both the two sides had full consensus,”
said the spokesman.
spokesman added that the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) issued a news item
about the meeting on the same day and it has covered the meeting accurately.
some local and international media gave baseless and distorted reports about
the meeting and this embassy totally rejects them,” the spokesman said.
Chinese official added that the Embassy would like to avail of this opportunity
to reiterate that the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China enjoys social stability,
sound economic development and harmonious coexistence among ethnic groups.
PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pointed out that he is not fit to
become prime minister if he ignores the agenda for the Malays and Islamic
said the differences from the aspects of race and religious beliefs would not
be an obstacle to him at all in implementing justice for the other races in
will defend the Malay interest so that they will not be left out, poor and
without major business opportunities in the urban areas.
will also continue to look after the interests of those people who gave their
confidence and support to us including the Indians, Chinese and other races,”
was speaking at the “Amanat Perdana Malaysia Baharu” (New Malaysia Premier Message)
at the Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) Auditorium, here today.
said the PKR would also continue to absorb the Islamic concept in the party,
however it would never be made as an immunity and an advantage to step on party
members from the other races.
will not use Islam to pressure the other people or to use Islamic
interpretation merely to punish other people. Our Islamic ideology is for
missionary work, to give awareness on interpretation and the true syariah
understanding,” he said.
who is also the PKR candidate for the Port Dickson by-election said that his
stand and that of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the issues of
lesbianism, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) were in tandem.
are Malaysians who understand religion and we do not agree on marriages between
the same sex, only that the media try to pit us (by reporting that) the prime
minister did not agree with LGBT, Anwar said we review the law on sodomy,” he
said the law on sodomy was brought by the British to India during the colonial
era and then Malaysia took the law and brought it into the country.
me the law is not fair and should be reviewed, so it is to pit me against Tun
Mahathir . Everyday it is shown that what I say that can cause enmity between
Tun Mahathir and me,” he added.
said he and Tun Dr Mahathir were in agreement to save the country from being
robbed by previous leaders.
candidate Ma’ruf Amin has resigned from his position as Rais ‘Aam (supreme
leader), of the country’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).
deputy, Miftahul Achar, has been appointed to replace him.
as Rais ‘Aam is a noble mandate for all NU members, including myself. However,
there is a situation in which I, an NU member, cannot avoid. The nation has
called on me to give my best as a vice-presidential nominee,” Ma’ruf said in
his resignation letter dated Sept. 22.
choice is a new path of struggle for the greater benefit [of the Indonesian
people],” he said.
plenary meeting accepted Ma’ruf’s resignation, as it aligns with the organization’s
statutes that stipulate the Rais ‘Aam must resign if he or she is running for
plenary meeting also appointed Ma’ruf as a member of NU’s Mustasyar (advisory
board), for the period of 2015 to 2020.
Zafar Sareshwala says Muslims aren’t responding to provocation & will focus
Delhi: A prominent Muslim businessman and educationist known to be close to
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned that a section of the BJP is fanning
communal sentiments and “creating a monster” and this would come back to haunt
people see that lynching is acceptable, they will not stop at Muslims…they will
not see whether someone is a Hindu, old, a man or woman,” said Zafar
Sareshwala, former vice-chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University,
you, say, don’t want us to slaughter buffalo, we (Muslims) will stop doing
it…We won’t die of hunger if we don’t eat ghosht (meat),” he said. “But what
will happen to your own beef exports then? Six out of ten in the trade are
Hindus. What will happen to them?” he said in a telephone interview to ThePrint
if the BJP leadership, including the prime minister, emboldens communal
elements by making provocative statements during elections, the former
vice-chancellor said, “I don’t believe anything politicians say in election
rallies…If they say they love Muslims in an election rally, will we buy it?
Then why do we so readily buy the provocative statements?” he asked.
are elements in the BJP that want to provoke the Muslim community, he said,
adding that his only message to his community is that they will lose the plot
if they get provoked.
not responding to concerted efforts to provoke them’
who has been a rare outspoken Muslim supporter of the Prime Minister since
2003, when Modi was Gujarat chief minister, said Muslims are deliberately not
responding to the concerted attempts to provoke them.
is a silent churning within the community…We are like Arjuna in the
Mahabharata… You bring in uniform civil code, you build the Ram mandir, we
won’t get bogged down or react. Our only focus is education,” Sareshwala, a
Gujarati businessman, said.
tell people from my community, ‘don’t run after parties that don’t give you
tickets. Work hard and get selected in competitive exams like the UPSC
instead’…That is in our hands,” said Sareshwala, who argued that Muslims must
have a share in power. “We do this for 15-20 years, they (political parties)
will come running to offer us tickets.”
2015, Sareshwala started a countrywide campaign, Taleem ki Taqat (Power of
Education), among university-going sections of the Muslim community. “The idea
was that our community should understand that education is key; everything else
will follow,” he said.
top leadership not communal’
engaging with the BJP, Sareshwala said that the party’s top leadership was not
communal but added that he was “worried” about the communal disharmony in the
country. “I meet several of the ministers and they are all worried about what
is important to keep the engagement on… Look at what the RSS is saying about
Muslims today,” he said, explaining that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s message of
inclusiveness is the result of engagement and not provocation.
read: Deoras to Bhagwat: The evolution of RSS view on Muslims over the last 70
you cannot expect the RSS to start abusing Hegdewar and Golwalkar, but they are
saying what they are saying now,” he said, referring to Bhagwat’s speeches at a
three-day conclave in the national capital last week.
the event, Bhagwat said, “Hindu Rashtra does not mean it has no place for
Muslims. The day it is said that Muslims are unwanted here, the concept of
Hindutva will cease to exist”.
sanitation workers of MCD threaten to convert to Islam
Delhi: Agitating sanitation workers of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)
threaten to convert to Islam if their demands are not met. They said they will
change the religion on October 5 by reaching Jama Masjid. However, some union
leaders have opposed it saying the matter will not resolve this way.
the demonstration at East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), founder of MCD
Swachata Karamchari Union R B Utwal and sanitation workers union president of
Delhi Municipal Corporation J Bhagwan Charan announced that if their demands
are not met they will be forced to change the religion. They said they will
reach Jama Masjid in thousands of numbers and will accept Islam.
Between Security Forces, Terrorists Underway in J&K's Pulwama
An encounter broke out between security forces and terrorists in Pulwama
district of Jammu and Kashmir during wee hours on Sunday. The firing is
underway in Mir Mohalla area. The incident comes two days after three Jammu and
Kashmir policemen were abducted and brutally killed by terrorists in Shopian
about the matter, a police official said that a cordon and search operation was
launched in Dar Ganie Gund village in Tral’s Aribal area in the south Kashmir
following specific intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in the
encounter broke out after the militants fired upon the forces who retaliated,
DELHI: The government’s decision to call off proposed talks between external
affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood
Qureshi on the sidelines of UNGA within 24 hours of announcing the same was
prompted by interception of messages from ISI handlers based in Pakistan
directing their foot-soldiers in Kashmir to abduct and kill special police
officers of Jammu & Kashmir police.
in the Indian intelligence agencies told TOI the reason behind the dramatic
reversal were intercepted messages from Pakistan giving specific and pinpointed
instructions to terrorists based in J&K to kill the SPOs immediately after
they had been abducted. The messages were chillingly specific, identifying the
victims by name. The terrorists on the ground were even directed to spare a
civilian they had taken hold of, while killing the three special police
unfolded swiftly as per the instructions of Pakistan-based handlers, giving
Indian agencies little chance to intervene and thwart the killers. While the
bodies of three abducted SPOs — identified as Nisar Ahmad, Firdous Ahmad &
Kulwant Singh — were recovered from an orchard, the brother of an SPO, Fayaz
Ahmad Bhat, was freed.
Modi government, taking serious note of the evidence of Pakistan-based elements’
role in abduction and killing of SPOs — with a clear design to disrupt local
body polls in J&K — promptly decided to call off the proposed talks with
Pakistan foreign minister.
said the government had, in any case, accepted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran
Khan’s talks offer warily. An official said there were doubts if talks between
Swaraj and Qureshi would have gone beyond exchange of diplomatic courtesies.
purpose behind targeting the SPOs was to derail the local body polls being held
in J&K after a long gap. Sources in the central intelligence agencies had
on Friday confirmed to TOI the abduction and killing of three SPOs of J&K
police was aimed at creating a fear psychosis ahead of local body polls and
also “scaring” the police personnel into stepping back and becoming “inactive”
as terrorists pulled out all stops to vitiate the democratic process.
DELHI: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said that “it is time” that
the barbarism being propagated by the Pakistan army and the terrorists in Jammu
and Kashmir is given a befitting reply, reported news agency ANI.
need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists and the
Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it's time to give it back to them in
the same coin ... not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the
other side must also feel the same pain," General Rawat said while
addressing the media.
need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists
the Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Ye… https://t.co/enITkw4QVN
ANI (@ANI) 1537617358000
questions of talks with Pakistan, the Army chief reiterated the government's
stand that talks and terrorism cannot go “I think our government's policy has
been quite clear and concise. We've made no bones about the fact that talks and
terrorism can't go hand in hand. Pakistan needs to curb the menace of
terrorism,” General Rawat added.
media briefing came shortly after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in a tweet
said that he was disappointed at India's " arrogant and negative+ "
response to his offer of talks.
had rescinded Pakistan PM's offer+ of a dialogue citing the brutal murder of
security personnel in J&K by the terrorists.
himself from the controversy surrounding the Rafale defence deal, the Army
chief said that the modern weapons are a primary requirement of every defence
continuously need modern weapons. There is a limit till which we can use a
particular weapon, and as new technologies come, we also want them to be
included in our forces. So buying of weapons continue," the Army chief
I don't agree that it reduces our spirit. It's not that we don't have some
other option. I don't want to talk specifically about Rafale, but modern
weapons are the need of every force. The delay in the composition is not good
for the force," he added.
Army chief also dismissed allegations that the armed forces are not being given
a free hand to tackle the terrorists.
district saw violence on Friday evening after a man was injured when he came in
contact with a high tension wire during a Muharram procession in Gulhariya
Bazar. Seventeen people have been arrested.
man, 24-year-old Khursheed, was part of a tazia procession. A mob attacked the
police and torched a police outpost and vehicle. They were dispersed after more
forces were called in.
FIR lodged in the incident named 24 people, including Khursheed, and around 200
unidentified people. Police said Khursheed instigated the mob.
was standing on a tractor-trolley when he came in contact with the high tension
wire at Amwa village,” said Gulhariya Bazar police SHO Jaideep Kumar Verma.
“While he was being taken to the hospital, the mob attacked Bhathat police
outpost, damaged furniture and set documents on fire. They also assaulted
sub-inspector Dileep Kumar Chowdhary and homeguard Om Prakash Singh.”
Officer (Chauri Chaura) Y K Narayan said, “Khursheed was named in the FIR by
the police as he was found to be the person instigating the mob to attack the
police outpost and thrash the policemen.”
was admitted to a private hospital from where he disappeared and is absconding,
said police, adding that his injuries were minor. Assistant Superintendent of
Police (North) Rohit Singh said the FIR was filed under various charges,
including rioting and attempt to murder.
Moradabad, 38 people were injured following a power generator explosion in
Machhaula police station area. While 17 were discharged from the hospital, others
were undergoing treatment.
police SHO Vikas Saxena said, “The incident occurred when an electric bulb on a
tazia came in contact with a high tension wire at Jayantipur village.”
Amroha, 16 people were injured when a tazia on a tractor-trolley came in
contact with a high tension wire in Didauli police station area. They are in
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was disappointed at India’s response to his
peace overtures, termed it “arrogant” and “negative”, and said “all my life I
have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to
see the larger picture”, a comment that is certain to raise hackles across the
response on Twitter came even as Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry
said on Saturday that despite the “unfortunate cancellation” of the planned
meeting of foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General
Assembly in New York, Pakistan is ready to open the border for Indian pilgrims
to access Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.
will have to decide on the future course of engagement with Pakistan but
Islamabad is ready to discuss all outstanding issues as it believes wars and
hostility provide no solution, Chaudhry said in a phone interview a day after
India called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries
over terror-related concerns.
“real issue” between the two sides remains Kashmir, he said, adding that
Pakistan is “ready to discuss everything”.
are several ways we can handle things. One way is we could go to war, both
countries have atomic weapons and those who survive can handle the outstanding
issues. But it is foolish to think we can go to war,” said the minister, who is
considered to be close to Khan.
other way is the approach advocated by (Indian national security adviser Ajit)
Doval of ‘defensive offence’ where both sides use measures to internally weaken
each other. Or we can sit and discuss all issues between us and find a
added: “We are ready to discuss everything. We have fought three wars over the
past seven decades and we can’t change our neighbours. It is for India to
then elections are coming up in India and maybe anti-Pakistan slogans sell in
India. Anti-India slogans don’t sell in Pakistan.”
claims are interesting because New Delhi thinks that even if the civilian
government of Pakistan wants peace, Rawalpindi General Headquarters (GHQ), its
army command, calls the shots, especially where the country’s relationship with
India is concerned.
(retired) C Uday Bhaskar, director of Society for Policy Studies, said terror
had once again disrupted tentative attempts at engagement between the two
sides. “The reality is that India-Pakistan relations have been hostage to
terrorism for almost 20 years and both sides have been unable to surmount this
challenge,” he said. But Bhaskar said it was “unlikely Imran Khan would have
been able to make a gesture (for peace with India) without keeping the army in
on Friday called off the planned meeting between foreign minister Sushma Swaraj
and her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, citing the killing of
security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the release of 20 Pakistani
stamps glorifying slain Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
said Pakistan too had concerns about terrorism purportedly backed by India in
Balochistan. “Our intelligence agencies believe India is sponsoring the
movements in Balochistan and then there is the case of (Kulbhushan) Jadhav…
This issue of cross-border terrorism goes both ways,” he said.
added that the “real issue between the two countries is Kashmir” and “lakhs of
Pakistanis” back the “struggle” in Jammu and Kashmir. “Blaming everything on
Pakistan is not right, India too should correct its mistakes. Blaming us for
the administrative, financial and other problems in Kashmir is ridiculous,” he
also said it would not be possible for both countries to guarantee that there
wouldn’t be terror attacks whenever efforts are made for peace talks.
understanding is that the abrupt cancellation of the meeting reflects the
confusion within the government in Delhi and the divisions on this issue. You
can’t accept (a proposal for a meeting) and reject it within a day,” he added.
said peace efforts had suffered a “big hit” because of the meeting being called
off. “Pakistan and India should have moved forward,” he said.
said India should take advantage of the current consensus between Pakistan’s
civilian and military leadership on foreign policy issues. “The government and
military are very close and there have been few occasions when their relations
have been as exemplary as now,” he said.
Minister Imran Khan’s policies are linked to the economy and not security,
Chaudhry said. “He (Khan) wants to bring crores of people above the poverty
line and the latest developments have jeopardised peace efforts in the whole
region,” he said.
the latest developments, Pakistan is prepared to open the border at Kartarpur
to allow Indian pilgrims to access Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, believed to have been
built at the site where Guru Nanak died. “We have completed all the
arrangements. This is an issue of the ordinary people, Sikhs and other Indian
pilgrims, and an issue of faith. They shouldn’t suffer and we want to formalise
the informal proposal the Pakistan Army chief made to (Punjab state minister
Navjot) Sidhu,” Chaudhry said.
one tweet, Imran closes all diplomatic doors, for now
DELHI: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday reacted in “Trumpesque”
fashion on Twitter, lashing out at India’s cancellation of a meeting between
Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers, describing the decision as “arrogant”
and insinuating that PM Narendra Modi lacked vision.
the Indian foreign office refused to respond to Khan’s tweet on Modi, the
Pakistan PM’s sharp reaction is only likely to further reduce any prospect of a
formal exchange in the immediate future. As it is, the Modi government and BJP
view the cancellation of the meeting on the sidelines of UNGA in New York as
politically fortuitous, regarding the event as liability that might have only
allowed Islamabad to gain some PR points With Khan’s mandate to deal with India
seen to be largely dictated by the Pakistan army, the Indian government also
seems keen to signal that the ground situation will be the evidence it will
called off the meeting, saying violence in Jammu & Kashmir where policemen
have been targeted and killed by Pakistan backed terrorist groups was not
conducive for any exchange. India also pointed to the recent release of a
series of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying terrorists killed in India.
Rising incidents of violence ahead of panchayat polls in J&K only strengthened
fears that the new government’s overtures and appeals to support the “peace
constituency” are not matched by Pakistan Army’s actions.
had been unusually sharp while calling off the meeting, with MEA spokesperson
Raveesh Kumar saying it is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks
its evil agenda stood exposed and the true face of the new Prime Minister Imran
Khan has been revealed to the world.
response to India’s cancellation, Islamabad pointed out the “alleged” killing
and mutilation of a Border Security Force personnel took place two days prior
to the Indian announcement of its agreement to hold the bilateral meeting.
Pakistan also raised the point that the postage stamps were issued before the
July 25 elections, following which Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed office.
The country’s two major opposition parties have held the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government responsible for the latest diplomatic debacle
following New Delhi’s refusal to hold a meeting between the two foreign
ministers in New York and questioned the “haste being shown by Prime Minister
Imran Khan in making efforts to mend fences with India”.
leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP) allege that the government has not done its homework and assessed
the situation before approaching India for a meeting, terming the talks offer
through a letter written by Prime Minister Imran Khan to his Indian counterpart
President and Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif has called on the international
community to take notice of the jingoistic statement of the Indian army chief,
while stating that “Pakistan is more than capable of defending and responding
to any aggression by New Delhi”.
a tweet, Mr Sharif wrote, “The bellicose & irresponsible statement by the
Indian army chief exposes the Indian designs to the world that should
immediately take note of New Delhi’s threatening posture. Pakistan extending an
olive branch to India should never be misconstrued as weakness.”
unwavering patriotic soldiers stand steadfast to defend with might and fury
against unprovoked aggression from any threat. While the nation stands united
with their intrepid military and against the cowardly threats,” he added.
to Dawn here on Saturday, former foreign minister and PML-N MNA from Sialkot
Khawaja Mohammad Asif said it seemed the government was “not prepared” from day
one, adding that “too much keenness being shown by the prime minister” showed
“weakness on our part”.
them (India) too much reflects haste on our part to mend fences with India,” he
said, adding that he was not against normalisation of relations between the two
neighbouring nuclear states, but “dignity must be maintained”.
Asif regretted that Prime Minister Imran Khan had written the letter in which
he “talked about terrorism” without realising that the US and India had
recently issued a joint statement after the visit of Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo to New Delhi and Islamabad which was “dead against” Pakistan.
(US and India) raised all kinds of allegations against Pakistan and you are
talking about terrorism (in the letter). This is a sign of weakness (on our
part),” Mr Asif said, while criticising Mr Khan for stating in the letter that
“Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism”.
he said, Mr Khan had offered “olive branch” to India at a time, when it was
committing serious human rights violations in India-held Kashmir.
senior PML-N leader also criticised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
alleging that “he is playing to the gallery” as part of election campaign in
his country. He said the PML-N government had always found India’s attitude
“unrealistic and obstructive”.
PPP Vice-President and the country’s former ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman
said the government should have done its homework before approaching India for
a meeting, especially after the initial response.
now, however the Indian Govt and Army chief response is both immature and irresponsible.
What are they threatening Pakistan about?” she questioned. “They have crossed
all diplomatic norms and protocols to emerge as a belligerent nuclear power
that is only looking to externalise its own extremisms,” writes Ms Rehman on
her official social media page on Twitter.
Security forces on Saturday claimed to have foiled a terrorism bid in Bajaur
tribal district by killing two terrorists, including one would-be suicide
bomber, during an intelligence-based operation in Mamond tehsil.
sources said that both terrorists, including a deputy operational ‘commander’
of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Bajaur chapter, were killed during a special
operation conducted in the hilly Gat Agra area
sources stated that the operation was conducted following the information that
the terrorists were attempting to carry out terrorism activities in the region.
Soon after receiving the information, a contingent of security forces was
dispatched to the area which killed the terrorists before they carried out
claimed that the deceased deputy operational commander of the TTP Bajaur, who
was wearing a suicide jacket, was among the most wanted militants in the
district. He said the militant commander had been involved in many terrorist
activities in the region, including bomb blasts.
sources pointed out that the dead militant commander was also involved in
collection of extortion from locals on behalf of the TTP Bajaur.
number of materials, including three 9 mm pistols, 30 rounds of 9 mm pistol,
one torch and one mobile set, were recovered from the bodies of terrorists.
military’s media wing reported on Saturday that seven soldiers including a
captain embraced martyrdom in an exchange of fire with militants during an
intelligence-based operation in North Waziristan.
statement issued by the Inter-Services Public relations said that a group of
“terrorists was reported to have infiltrated from across and was hiding in a
compound” in Gharlamai area of North Waziristan.
who embraced martyrdom include Captain Junaid, Havaldar Amir, Havaldar Atif,
Havaldar Nasir, Havaldar Abdul Razzaq, Sepoy Sammi, and Sepoy Anwar.
the operation by security forces nine terrorists were also killed, whose bodies
have been held, read the ISPR statement.
Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, reached Washington DC on Saturday night
for a day-long stay before leaving for the United Nations General Assembly
(UNGA) session at its New York headquarters.
will stay in DC for 24 hours and is scheduled to visit Pakistan’s Embassy in
Washington where he would be meeting members of the business community as well
as the journalists.
read Shah Mehmood Qureshi expresses disappointment over India’s decision
that, the minister will leave for New York to attend the UN General Assembly’s
73rd session, which opened on September 18 on Monday. Qureshi is heading the
Pakistani delegation for the session.
during his official visit to the US, Qureshi is also expected to visit his
American counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is also a part of the Pakistani delegation who
is on in a week-long visit to the United Nations’ headquarter in New York.
Qureshi is expected to present Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue at the UN
General Assembly session.
terrorists were killed and seven security personnel martyred in an intense
exchange of fire during an operation in North Waziristan Agency on Saturday,
the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
security forces launched an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in North
Waziristan’s Gharlamai and Spera Kunar Algad areas, the statement said. “A
group of terrorists was reported to have infiltrated from across and had been
hiding in a compound. Nine terrorists were killed with their bodies held during
the operation,” it said. “During intense exchange of fire with terrorists,
seven Pakistan Army soldiers including an officer embraced martyrdom,” the
statement further said.
who embraced martyrdom are Captain Junaid, Havaldar Amir, Havaldar Atif,
Havaldar Nasir, Havaldar Abdul Razzaq, Sepoy Sammi and Sepoy Anwar.
children of a tribesman, who is being held in the central prison of Zahedan in
Iran since 2007 on the charges of smuggling drugs, on Saturday appealed to the
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri and Prime Minister
Imran Khan for “assistance” in his release.
16-year-old Takbirullah, 17-year-old Zarkatullah and 13-year-old Dayanat spoke
to the media during a press conference in Landi Kotal.
revealed that their father Barkatullah, a resident of Khuga Khel town, along
with his colleagues was arrested by police in suspicion of smuggling drugs into
said that he was promoting his merchandise business in Iran.
then, we have been undergoing financial crisis, and were forced to quit
studies,” they said.
and local traders on Saturday held a demonstration in Torkham against the
National Logistics Cell (NLC) and the Frontier Corps (FC) for making it
mandatory for everyone to carry passport for verification at the border before
crossing into Afghanistan.
a large number of truckers, local businessmen and auto-parts dealers gathered
near Torkham border and chanted full-throat slogans against the NLC and the FC
for what they termed as ‘anti-tribesmen’ policies being implemented in the
senior customs clearing agent, Haji Nazeem Gul Shinwari, while leading the
demonstration, said that such policies by the NLC and the FC have forced many
small-time traders and businessmen to abandon their trading activities at the
said that they were never asked about their passports nor had the Afghan border
authorities ever objected to their frequent cross-border movement in connection
with their business.
the officials posted at the main crossing point demanded of a group of local
traders on Saturday to have their passports prior to crossing the border. They
were returned as none of them had it.
expressed concerns over authority of the NLC and asserted that it was a private
organisation to facilitate imports and exports, and had no right to inspect
business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030
The big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be a billion-dollar industry by
2030, according to experts, as regional and global movie operators queue up for
a ticket into the Kingdom’s hugely profitable movie market.
Arabia is expected to amass the largest share of the cinema business in the
Arabian Gulf region by 2030, with hundred of cinemas and thousands of screens
set to open across the Kingdom over the next 12 years.
months of Saudi Arabia formally ending a 35-year-long ban on cinemas, three
cinema operation licenses were awarded to operate in the Kingdom, the first was
to AMC Theaters, an American chain owned and operated by Wanda Group. It opened
the Kingdom’s first modern cinema on April 18 and plans to open around 40
cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and between 50
to 100 cinemas in about 25 cities by 2030.
after, the second license was awarded to VOX Cinemas, now one of Saudi Arabia’s
biggest movie operators. It plans to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia in the
next five years, the same number of screens as the company’s regional footprint
July, it was announced the the third license had been awarded to the Al-Rashed
United Group — Empire Cinema — which plans to build 30 theaters in the country
over the next three years. And last month, a fourth license was awarded to Lux
Entertainment Co., which plans to open 300 cinemas across the Kingdom within
which plans to open 80 new screens over the next 12 months, says the Kingdom
will form half of its overall revenues in the Middle East over the next five
has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office
market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion),” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid
Al-Futtaim Cinemas, of which VOX Cinemas is a subsidiary.
said the Kingdom’s box-office market is expected to become “one of the largest”
in the world, with a majority of its 32-million population under the age of 30.
“The market is massive and full of opportunities as the population is young and
enthusiastic about cinema.”
Saudi Arabia ever host the world premiere of a Hollywood movie? No one’s saying
right now, but with such a covetable box-office market, it may only be a matter
US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has
airlifted to a safe sanctuary several commanders of the foreign-sponsored
terror outfit from a region in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, where
government forces and fighters from popular defense groups are tightening the
noose around the extremists.
sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that two
US-led military aircraft conducted the operation on the outskirts of
al-Marashida village, and transported the Takfiris to an unknown location.
citing information received from local residents, reported on December 29 last
year that American helicopters had evacuated Daesh commanders from several
districts of Dayr al-Zawr province two days earlier.
that month, the Syrian government had sent a message to the United Nations,
accusing the US-led coalition of reaching deals with Daesh and coordinating its
actions with the terror group’s commanders.
September 10, 2017, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said the US-led
coalition was trying to destroy the Arab country and prolong the armed conflict
said that Damascus would demand the dissolution of the military contingent,
stressing that thousands of Syrian women and children had been killed by
coalition airstrikes in Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr provinces.
top Syrian diplomat further noted that the Pentagon was using the coalition to
cover up its destruction campaign in Syria.
added that the US-backed militiamen from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF) were fighting Syrian army forces to gain control over the oil-rich areas
of the country.
would not allow any external force to violate its sovereignty, Muallem pointed
August, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that US-led
choppers had transported four Daesh members and a civilian from a house used as
an arms depot in Beqres, a suburban area east of Dayr al-Zawr, to a safe area.
to the report, the five people included a European bomb expert, three Egyptian
Daesh members and a local resident of Beqres.
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, quoted the
source as reporting that Tahrir al-Sham has dispatched six cargoes of Sarin and
chlorine gas to the ISIL and Ansar al-Towhid terrorists that have recently been
deployed in Northern Hama and Northeastern Lattakia.
further said that most of the regions, where the ISIL has deployed forces in
Hama and Lattakia, are among regions where militants should be disarmed based
on the Sochi agreement.
Arabic Sputnik went on to say that the fate of three other chemical cargoes is
unknown after a number of members of the pro-militant White Helmets
Organization were killed and could not hand over the chemicals to the recipient
group in an area between Northeastern Idlib and Aleppo province.
news sources recently said that ISIL's Asian members have merged in Tahrir
al-Sham and deployed forces in regions that are under the control of
al-Turkistani Islamic Party in western and Southwestern Idlib.
Arab media outlet reported earlier this month that the pro-militant White
Helmets Organization, directed by its foreign supporters, were planning to
transfer poisonous materials to new locations in Hama province as terrorist
groups were trying to stage a false-flag chemical attack.
Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV channel quoted a well-informed source in Jisr
al-Shughour as disclosing that the White Helmets were planning to transfer a
large volume of poisonous materials to Qala al-Maziq and Kafr Naboudeh in
Northern Hama as requested by their foreign backers.
Intensify between US-Backed Militia, Civilians in Northeastern Syria
SDF opened fire at people in the village of al-Khalediyah near the town of Tal
Abyadh in Northern Raqqa, killing a villager.
clashes in al-Khalediyah came after the SDF arrested young men under a forced
the meantime, the SDF arrested several young men in the town of Tabaqa in
Western Raqqa to force them to join the militias.
number of people in al-Savameh square in Raqqa city were arrested by the SDF
for an alleged attack on the militias' base.
a gunmen of the SDF was killed in a bomb blast in the small town of al-Karamah
in Eastern Raqqa, field sources said, adding that the body of an SDF militia
has also been discovered in Raqqa city amid intensified attacks by unknown
raiders on the group.
sources said on Tuesday that the SDF arrested almost two hundred young people
in different regions in Raqqa under its forced recruitment plan that has been
in practice for the last several months.
sources further said that the SDF attested over 110 teachers in the town of
Ra'as al-Ein and its outskirts, al-Shadadi, al-Ariyeh and al-Houl regions and
sent them to their bases.
news reported that the Kurdish units targeted a vehicle of the Turkish troops
along a road betweent the villages of Khaletah and Koblah in Shera region in
Afrin, killing two Turkish soldiers and injuring several more.
the meantime, three gunmen of the Ankara-backed Sultan Murad militant group
were killed after their vehicle came under the Kurdish militia attack along a
road connecting Rajou to Mobata in Afrin, Hawar news said, adding that the
Kurds seized the militants' arms and ammunition.
Tuesday, the Ankara-backed militants looted a warehouse of a privately-owned
Auto spare parts company in the Old Neighborhood in the town of Afrin.
militants stole the entire spare parts from a warehouse in the Old Neighborhood
of Afrin, and then smuggled them to an unknown place.
the meantime, members of Sultan Murad terrorist group cut power cables near
Nirouz Square in Central Afrin.
boat with around three dozen Syrian refugees on board sank off the coast of
Lebanon on Saturday and most were rescued by the Lebanese army but at least one
child drowned, security sources said.
boat was ferrying the refugees illegally to Cyprus, some 180 km away, when it
foundered off the coast of northern Lebanon, the sources said. Three more of
the people on boat were in a serious condition in hospital.
is hosting around 1 million registered refugees from Syria's civil war,
according to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR. The Lebanese government puts the
figure at around 1.5 million.
last batch of Emirati troops, who had served in a Saudi-led military coalition
in Yemen’s eastern province of Mahrah, have arrived home after the Abu Dhabi
regime ordered them to withdraw.
sources, requesting anonymity, told Arabic-language Yemen Shabab television
network on Saturday that the United Arab Emirates withdrew its forces the
previous day, and handed over buildings used by its troops to local
sources added that mercenaries and military advisers from African countries
would most likely replace Emirati soldiers.
UAE is Saudi Arabia’s key ally in its deadly war against Yemen.
Saturday, Yemeni army soldiers, supported by allied fighters from Popular
Committees, targeted the positions of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to
Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi at the al-Alab border crossing
of the kingdom’s southern region of Asir.
were no immediate reports about possible casualties or the extent of damage
an elderly woman sustained injuries when Saudi rockets and mortar shells rained
down on residential areas in the Razih district of Yemen’s northwestern
mountainous province of Sa’ada.
two civilians lost their lives and another two suffered serious injuries when a
Saudi airstrike hit a cold storage at Kilo 16 area of al-Hali district in the
strategic western Yemeni province of Hudaydah.
Saudi airstrike against a car rental company in the July 7 area of the same
Yemeni province also injured two civilians and left a number of cars burnt out.
Saudi-backed commander slain in northern Yemen
a senior commander of Saudi mercenaries has been killed during clashes with
Houthi Ansarullah fighters in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah.
General Ali Hazza al-Sayadi, the commander of the Special Forces Brigade in
Harad, was reportedly targeted in the Harad district of the province on
ballistic missile targets Saudi Jizan Airport
Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, fired
a domestically-designed and -developed ballistic missile at a strategic
economic target in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Jizan in
retaliation for the Riyadh regime’s devastating military aggression against
their impoverished country.
Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the
short-range Badr-1 missile struck Jizan Airport, also known as King Abdullah
bin Abdulaziz Airport, with great precision, Arabic-language al-Masirah
television network reported.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
Pro-Turkey rebels have cautiously accepted a Moscow-Ankara deal to prevent a
Russia-backed regime attack on Syria’s last major opposition bastion of Idlib,
while a small militant group has rejected it.
dominant force in the northwestern region bordering Turkey, the Hayat Tahrir
Al-Sham (HTS) alliance led by militants of Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate,
had on Sunday however still not responded.
Saturday, the National Liberation Front (NLF) rebel alliance in a statement
accepted the deal reached on Monday for Idlib, but said they remained on their
announced “our full cooperation with our Turkish ally in helping to make a
success their efforts to spare civilians from the afflictions of war.”
we will stay alert to any betrayal by the Russians, the regime or the
Iranians,” the NLF warned, fearing the agreement to be “temporary.”
will not abandon our weapons, our land or our revolution” against the Russia-
and Iran-backed forces of President Bashar Assad, the rebels said.
on Saturday, in a statement circulated on social media, the Al-Qaeda-linked
Hurras Al-Deen rejected the agreement reached in the Russian resort of Sochi.
at the Hurras Al-Deen organization again announce our rejection of these
conspiracies,” it said.
agreement provides for a U-shaped buffer zone 15 to 20 kilometers (9 to 12
miles) wide to be set up around Idlib.
the deal, all factions in the planned demilitarized zone must hand over their
heavy weapons by October 10, and radical groups must withdraw by October 15.
the extremist Hurras Al-Deen and NLF rebels are present inside this planned
buffer area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.
the dominant HTS alliance is also widely present, according to the
militant-led group — which controls more than half of the Idlib region — has
not officially responded to the agreement.
its propaganda agency Ebaa has cast doubt on Turkey’s motivations.
State claims killing of 29 at Iran military parade
Militants shot dead at least 29 people including women and children in an
attack on Saturday on an Iranian military parade claimed by the Islamic State
group, as Tehran accused a US ally in the region of the assault.
attack in the southwestern city of Ahvaz came as the country marked the
anniversary of the start of its 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and
prompted President Hassan Rouhani to warn of a "crushing response".
response of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the smallest threat will be
crushing", Rouhani said on his official website. "Those who give
intelligence and propaganda support to these terrorists must answer for
it." Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that the attack
near the Iraqi border was carried out by "terrorists recruited, trained,
armed & paid by a foreign regime".
holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such
attacks," he wrote.
jihadists said via their propaganda mouthpiece Amaq that "Islamic State
fighters attacked a gathering of Iranian forces" in Ahvaz.
city lies in Khuzestan, a province bordering Iraq that has a large ethnic Arab
community and has seen separatist violence in the past that Iran has blamed on
its regional rivals.
television gave a casualty toll of 29 dead and 57 wounded, while official news
agency IRNA said those killed included women and children among spectators at
the rally. Many of the wounded were in critical condition.
forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said the dead included a
young girl and a former serviceman in a wheelchair.
the four terrorists, three were sent to hell at the scene, while the fourth who
had been wounded and arrested went to hell moments ago due to his severe
wounds," Shekarchi told state television.
deputy governor Ali-Hossein Hosseinzadeh told the semi-official ISNA news
agency that "eight to nine" troops were among those killed, as well
as a journalist.
did not specify which regional government he held responsible for the shooting,
but Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said the attackers were funded by Sunni
arch-rival Saudi Arabia.
who opened fire on civilians and the armed forces have links to the Ahvazi
movement," Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif told ISNA.
are funded by Saudi Arabia and attempted to cast a shadow over the Iranian
armed forces." Zarif vowed Iran would "respond swiftly and decisively
in defence of Iranian lives".
a message of condolence to Russia's close regional ally, President Vladimir
Putin said he was "appalled by this bloody crime".
event once again reminds us about the necessity of an uncompromising battle
against terrorism in all of its manifestations." Khuzestan was a major
battleground of the 1980s war with Iraq and the attack on the anniversary
parade in Ahvaz had significant symbolic value.
province saw unrest in 2005 and 2011 but has since seen been largely quiet.
Attacks by Kurdish rebels on military patrols along the border further north
are relatively common. But attacks on regime targets inside major cities are
June 7, 2017, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks
in Tehran on the parliament building and on the tomb of revolutionary leader
Ruhollah Khomeini -- the first inside Iran claimed by the Sunni Muslim
extremists of the Islamic State group. In April, 26 alleged IS jihadists went
on trial on charges connected with that twin attack.
attack in Ahvaz came as President Rouhani was among dignitaries at the main
anniversary parade in Tehran.
a keynote speech, Rouhani vowed to boost Iran's ballistic missile capabilities
despite Western concerns that were cited by his US counterpart Donald Trump in
May when he abandoned a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran.
will never decrease our defensive capabilities... we will increase them day by
day," Rouhani said at a military parade. "The fact that the missiles
anger you shows they are our most effective weapons," he said, referring
to the West.
has ballistic missiles with a range of up to 3,500 kilometres, enough to reach
both Israel and US bases in the Middle East.
United States reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran last month, and a new round
of even harsher sanctions targeting Iran's vital oil sector is set to go back
into effect on November 5.
has said it is ready to open talks on a new agreement to replace the July 2015
accord, but Tehran has said repeatedly it cannot negotiate under the pressure
of the sanctions.
and Rouhani will both be in New York next week for the United Nations General
Assembly. But Iran has repeatedly ruled out any meeting.
Islamic Republic of Iran's response to the slightest threat will be crushing
but those who support these terrorists with their propaganda and intelligence
should account," President Rouhani said in separate phone conversations
with Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and Governor-General of
Khouzestan province Gholamreza Shariati on Saturday.
extended his condolences to the bereaved families of the victims, and ordered
all relevant bodies to adopt all necessary measures to treat the wounded
also ordered the intelligence ministry to mobilize all possibilities and
security and military bodies to identify and punish the terrorists and their
people were killed and 70 were injured in the Saturday morning attack by
al-Ahwaziyeh terrorist group during the nationwide military parades in Iran's
Southwestern city of Ahwaz.
added that the terrorists aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the Iranian
Armed Forces' parades.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday the United States wants to create
insecurity in the Islamic Republic, a day after an attack on a military parade
that killed 29 people, including 12 members of the country’s elite
attack, which also injured 60 people, was one of the worst ever against the
answer (to this attack) is forthcoming within the framework of law and our
national interests,” said Rouhani, adding that the United States will regret
summoned diplomats from Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain over the attack on
the army parade, state-run media said on Sunday.
Dutch and Danish ambassadors and the British charge d’affaires were “informed
of Iran’s strong protests over their respective countries’ hosting of some
members of the terrorist group” which carried out the attack, official news
agency IRNA said.
Ahwazi political group refuted claims that ISIS carried out the deadly attack
on the military parade.
spokesman of the “Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz” Yaquob
Hurr al-Tisteri said in an interview with Al Arabiya News Channel that “ISIS
claims of the attack are not true”.
then said that the attack was executed by national resistance individuals
without specifying whether his group had any specific knowledge on which group
carried out the attack.
spokesman told Al Arabiya that civilians were killed due to random shooting by
the Iranian security forces and that sources on the ground said individuals
“responded in retaliation”.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the security forces to use their
powers to identify the perpetrators of the attack.
his part, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country would
respond “quickly and decisively” to the attack, charging agents of a “foreign
regime” with responsibility.
Ahwazi political group has refuted claims that ISIS carried out the deadly
attack on a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahwaz on
Saturday, killing at least 29 people, including 12 Iranian Revolutionary
Guards, and injuring 60 others. The spokesman of the "Arab Struggle
Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz" Yaquob Hurr al-Tisteri said in an
interview with Al Arabiya News Channel that “ISIS claims of the attack are not
spokesman told Al Arabiya that civilians were killed due to random shooting by
the Iranian security forces and that sources on the ground said individuals
"responded in retaliation".
Palestinian Fatah faction has accused the Hamas leadership of colluding with
the Israeli government and abandoning the "right of return"
a statement released on Friday, Fatah said that the Hamas movement is sending
messages to the American administration and to the Israeli government,
asserting its acceptance of a deal on the basis of a state in Gaza under its
control with a long term truce, at the expense of an independent Palestinian
state to be established within the June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as
its capital and the Right of Return of the Palestinian People.
movement pointed out that the Palestinian president rejected the US-Israeli
proposal on what was described as the “deal of the century” in the name of the
Palestinian people, but Hamas leaders are working to send signals of
willingness to accept.
also pointed out that Hamas is carrying out its plan, “exploiting the public’s
preoccupation with the battles of steadfastness on the ground in Jerusalem and
Khan al-Ahmar, and in all the sites of confronting the settlement and the
about Qatari communications and Hamas’ approval
TV channel 10 previously revealed that Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
tried to contact by telephone, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to
convince Israel of Doha's plan to conclude a truce agreement with the
Palestinian factions in Gaza, led by Hamas, through written messages and
confidential communications in order to communicate with Netanyahu and convince
TV channel further revealed that Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin
Abdulrahman Al-Thani, sent a letter last May aimed at delivering a plan.
Arab Coalition announced on Saturday that it would soon open safe corridors for
Yemeni civilians and relief and humanitarian convoys in the province of
coalition, which is fighting against Yemen’s Houthi militia, confirmed that the
opening of the corridors comes in agreement with the United Nations following
intensive meetings focusing on the humanitarian situation.
has recently witnessed a massive exodus of Houthi militias following Arab
Coalition and Yemeni government attacks.
militia had been shelling of homes in several areas including Durahemi,
al-Tahta, Hays, Taif, al-Manar and Zubaid.
also planted mines and explosive devices on farms and roads amid daily shelling
using mortars and Katyusha rockets.
the militia took over Hodeidah, the militias have displaced thousands of
engineering teams of the Yemeni army supported by the coalition were able to
extract 500 mines and improvised explosive devices planted by the Houthi
militias in a number of areas of the Kataf district of Saada.
source on one of the engineering teams in Saada confirmed that they were
continuing demining operations from the liberated areas to secure them before
the citizens are able return to their homes.
source pointed out that the Houthis have disguised hundreds of mines within
said that the amount that has been extracted so far distributed between 200
mines and armored vehicles, and 300 explosive devices weighing between 3-80 kg.
Israeli authorities issued a notice to residents of a Bedouin village in a
strategic spot in the occupied West Bank on Sunday informing them they have
until the end of the month to leave.
fate of Khan Al-Ahmar has drawn international concern, with European countries
calling on Israel not to move ahead with plans to demolish it.
supreme court on September 5 rejected appeals against demolition, allowing
authorities to move ahead.
says the village was built without the proper permits, though it is extremely
difficult for Palestinians to receive such permission in that part of the West
notice given to the some 200 residents of Khan Al-Ahmar on Sunday says they
have until the end of the month to demolish the village themselves.
to a supreme court ruling, residents of Khan Al-Ahmar received a notice today
requiring them to demolish all the structures on the site by October 1st,
2018,” a statement from the Israeli defense ministry unit that oversees
civilian affairs in the West Bank said.
did not say what will happen if they refuse to do so. Village residents vowed
not to leave despite the notice.
one will leave. We will have to be expelled by force,” said village spokesman
Eid Abu Khamis, adding that a residents’ meeting would be held later on the
the Israeli army comes to demolish, it will only be by force.”
village is located in a strategic spot east of Jerusalem, near Israeli
settlements and along a road leading to the Dead Sea.
have been warnings that continued settlement building in the area would
eventually divide the West Bank in two, dealing a death blow to any remaining
hopes of a two-state solution.
year on, far right has transformed German politics
year after surging into parliament, lawmakers from the far-right AfD party have
upended the normally staid world of German politics, with provocations and
insults now the order of the day in the venerable Bundestag.
up 92 seats in the lower house of parliament, the country's largest opposition
party uses every chance it gets to rail against immigration, Islam and
especially Chancellor Angela Merkel.
combative rhetoric, some of it unthinkable until a few years ago, has at times
stunned seasoned lawmakers. But the tactic appears to be paying off.
surveys suggest the AfD would garner 18 percent of votes if elections were held
now, second only to Merkel's centre-right CDU, itself weakened by the rise of
the far right.
parliamentary culture is now more confrontational," said Paul Nolte, a
history professor at the Free University of Berlin.
AfD is not considered a normal party, and in the Bundestag it doesn't act like
a normal party," he told AFP.
what the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily called "a historic turning
point", the AfD took 12.6 percent of votes in last year's September 24
elections to win its first seats in the national parliament.
bad for a party that started out as an anti-euro outfit just four years
earlier, before capitalising on anger over Merkel's 2015 decision to open the
borders at the height of Europe's migrant crisis.
AfD's success caused a political earthquake in Germany, where no far-right
party had had a large-scale presence in the Bundestag since the end of World
the tone in the first parliamentary session, AfD parliamentary group chief
Bernd Baumann said "a new era begins now", and promptly sparked a row
with an erroneous historical remark about notorious Nazi Hermann Goering.
then, the once consensus-driven mood in the glass-domed Bundestag has given way
to fierce debates peppered with taunts and calls to order.
have changed the daily discourse, including in the Bundestag, with words like
'knife migrants', 'asylum flood' and 'asylum tourism'," Greens MP Renate
Kuenast told the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
growing public acceptance of such language and the far-right taboos that are
being smashed are "a bigger and more fundamental change than the changes
brought by Germany's reunification", she added.
provocations are certainly one of our characteristics," AfD MP Rene
Springer told AFP.
June, an AfD lawmaker caused outrage by using his allocated debate time to call
for a minute's silence for 14-year-old Susanna Feldmann who was raped and
murdered, allegedly by a failed Iraqi asylum seeker in a case that fuelled
anti-migrant sentiment in Germany.
MPs accused the AfD of shamelessly politicising the death, while Bundestag
president Wolfgang Schaeuble rebuked the lawmaker for not following procedure.
on its critics, AfD MP Gottfried Curio recently described the party as the
victim of "hatred and being hunted" by other parties.
words deliberately echoed Merkel's condemnation of last month's far-right
protests in Chemnitz, where she said foreigners were "hunted down"
during protests triggered by the fatal stabbing of a German man, allegedly by
Social Democratic MP Johannes Kahrs called the presence of right-wing radicals
in the Bundestag "unappetising", the AfD's entire parliamentary
faction walked out in protest.
SPD's Martin Schulz, a former European Parliament chief, dialled up the heat
even more in a scathing takedown of the AfD this month in which he told the
far-right party's co-leader Alexander Gauland he belonged "on the dungheap
remark referenced Gauland's controversial description of the Nazi period as a
mere "speck of bird poop" in 1,000 years of German history.
MP Springer however said Germany's lawmakers tend to cool it down away from the
cameras, when the "tone towards us becomes more sober".
aside from the high-profile spats, the AfD has yet to make much of a mark when
it comes to performing legislative duties.
of its lawmakers "appear bored" and show little interest for the
minutiae of daily parliamentary business, the pro-business FDP party's Marco
Buschmann told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
MPs are also routinely criticised for their lack of political experience and
thin grasp of policy issues.
a potential for more professionalism," one AfD lawmaker admitted.
said Nolte, "the AfD's parliamentary group has shown itself to be a bit
more stable, consistent and homogenous than some had predicted".
President Vladimir Putin has expressed his “deepest condolences” to Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani after a terrorist attack on an army parade in
southwestern Iran left multiple people killed and wounded, denouncing the
“bloody crime” and calling for an “uncompromising” joint combat against
terrorism in all of its forms and “manifestations.”
Russian leader made the comments in a message sent to his Iranian counterpart
on Saturday, a few hours after four gunmen, disguised in the Islamic Revolution
Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij uniforms, opened fire on people from behind a
viewing stand at Quds Boulevard in the city of Ahvaz during the parade held to
mark the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran in the 1980s.
Governor of Khuzestan Province Ali Hossein Hosseinzadeh told Iran's Mehr News
Agency that the death toll had risen to 25 from an initial figure of 10. He
added that at least 60 other people had sustained injury. A four-year-old boy
was also among those who had received fatal wounds.
of the terrorists were shot dead at the scene while a fourth was arrested and
later succumbed to his wounds, armed forces spokesman Brigadier General
Abolfazl Shekarchi said.
accept the deepest condolences regarding the tragic consequences of the raid by
terrorists in Ahvaz. We are appalled by this bloody crime,” said Putin in his
message, a copy of which was posted on the Kremlin website.
expect that everyone involved will face a deserved punishment. This event once
again reminds us about the necessity of an uncompromising battle against
terrorism in all of its manifestations. I would like to confirm our readiness
to continue building cooperation with Iranian partners in resisting this evil,”
the Russian leader added.
also extended his heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved and wished speedy recovery
to the wounded.
Saudi-backed al-Ahvaziya terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) only used the word
"attack" for the act of terror.
Reuters and others described the incident as an "attack" instead of a
terrorist one, whereas they have been quick to use "terrorist attack"
for similar incidents that have taken place in Europe over the past few years.
the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack but
provided no evidence for the claim.
denounces Ahvaz terror attack
the wake of the bloodshed in the Iranian city, the Syrian Foreign Ministry
issued a statement, vehemently condemning the act of terror and stressing that
terrorists and those supporting them in the region would not be able to achieve
their goals through such crimes.
unnamed official source from the ministry further told Syria's official SANA
news agency that Damascus had expressed its “full sympathy” to and “solidarity”
with Iran, reaffirming that those behind “such sordid crimes” were doomed to
official also offered the Syrian government’s “warmest condolences” to the
Iranian leadership, government and people as well as families of the victims,
wishing quick recovery to the wounded.
a condolence message to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad also condemned "in the strongest terms this cowardly and
criminal terrorist act."
Islamic Republic of Iran has stood against terrorism in Syria and denounced
terrorism in the international arena, all the way being honest in its
principled and determined stance against Takfri and criminal terrorism,” added
the Syrian president.
would like to affirm once more to you and to the friendly Iranian people that
we are with you with all the power we have against these terrorist acts, and we
hope that the backers, financers and supporters of terrorism will understand
that this danger threatens mankind as a whole, urging them to reconsider their
positions in backing terrorism in various parts of the world,” Assad said,
according to the Syria's official news agency SANA.
Ahvaz attack in reaction to resistance front victories
Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement also condemned the attack in a
statement, saying it was aimed at undermining the security and stability of the
Islamic Republic of Iran.
crime is a direct response to the major victories achieved by the resistance
front in the region," the movement said, adding that the attack was a
continuation of other forms of war waged by the US and its allies, including
unjust economic sanctions.
however, said that such attacks would never affect Iran’s strength or its
constant support for the Palestinians’ resistance and other freedom-seeking
nations in the world.
Ansarullah slams “cowardly” terror attack
Houthi Ansarullah movement, in a brief statement, condemned the terrorist
attack in Ahvaz, saying that some staunch allies of the United States in the
region were behind the “appalling “crime.”
added that those who orchestrated the act of terror would only achieve more
against any terrorism
a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office, Islamabad also slammed the
deadly terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with Tehran and the families
of those killed and wounded in the brutal shooting.
in the statement, cited by the Daily Pakistan, the ministry said the Pakistani
government was against any kind of terrorism.
slams “heinous” terror attack
Turkish Foreign Ministry also “strongly condemned” the terrorist attack in a
statement carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the
wounded. We convey our condolences to the people and Government of Iran,” the
strongly slams the terror attack
a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman denounced
the Ahvaz terror attack, adding that Muscat condemned all forms of terrorism
and violence regardless of the reasons.
also extended condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and the
“friendly” Iranian people, wishing the wounded speedy recovery.
denounces “inhuman acts” of terrorists in Iran
Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, in a condolence letter to Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani, also expressed his sympathy to the Iranian people,
particularly families of the victims.
inhuman acts once again reaffirm our conviction that it’s necessary to join all
the efforts in fight against that evil,” he said, adding, “Strictly condemning
what happened, I wish steadfastness and spiritual strength to the relatives of
the victims and speedy recovery to the injured.”
condemns “treacherous” terror attack
Republic’s Defense Minister Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, in a message,
denounced the terrorist incident in Ahvaz and offered his condolences to his
Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Amir Hatami and Chief of Staff of Armed
Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri.
has rejected the findings of an Israeli investigation into the deadly crash of
a Russian military aircraft in the Syrian province of Latakia, and called on
Tel Aviv to launch a new probe into the matter.
Israeli Haaretz newspaper said on Friday that the Russians had not accepted
Israel's findings, which considered Russia and Syria responsible for the
downing of a Russian Ilyushin 20 reconnaissance aircraft some 35 kilometers off
the coast of Latakia
as it was returning to a nearby Russian base earlier in the week. 15 Russian servicemen were
killed in the incident.
report came after an Israeli delegation led by Amikam Norkin, the regime’s air
force commander, visited Moscow to brief Russian officials on Tel Aviv’s
initial investigation of the incident.
paper said the visit failed to defuse the crisis and the Kremlin rejected the
Israeli conclusion that Syrian forces were to blame for the incident.
their meetings in Moscow, Norkin’s delegation claimed that the Syrian military
had fired more than 20 missiles – including the missile that hit the Russian
plane – “in an unprofessional manner.”
on condition of anonymity, an Israeli military official said the Israeli
warplanes were “nowhere near the Russian plane when it was shot down,” adding
that the aircraft had been fired upon at a point when Israel’s aircraft were
already landing in Israel.
delegation claimed that the Russians did have sufficient advance notice, but
failed to divert the plane from harm’s way after it had completed its
the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv had censured Israel for its “irresponsible and
unfriendly actions,” and pinned the blame on Israel’s Air Force, which was
conducting aerial assaults against Syrian army positions when the incident
views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force, which
exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and led to the deaths of 15
servicemen,” it said in a tweet, adding that Russia would “take all necessary
measures to eliminate the threat to life and security of our military fighting against
Israel regime has over the past years carried out numerous strikes against the
Syrian army positions in what is widely viewed as an attempt to help the
terrorists survive in the face of successful Syrian army operations. It has
defied criticisms of its unlawful military actions against Syrian soil.
Saudi Arabia marching ahead with shared visions & partnership
the outset, we would like to convey our heartfelt congratulations and deep
gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince
Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, and people of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on this very auspicious occasion of the National Day of
has been enjoying excellent relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for many
years, with advancement of new partnerships in mutually interested areas such
as trade, investment, education, ICT, manpower etc. The government of Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina and people of Bangladesh consider Custodian of the Two
Holy Mosques King Salman and the government of Saudi Arabia as a true, trusted
and tested friend always and regard them as the leader of Muslim Ummah.
deeply appreciate the visionary and dynamic role of the Crown Prince Muhammad
Bin Salman in his relentless efforts in uplifting the Saudi economy, society
and people through pragmatic reform measures with advancement of the Kingdom’s
Vision 2030, under the wise and dynamic leadership of King Salman.
are happy and proud to inform the readers that this year in March the United
Nations declared that Bangladesh has met the graduation criteria from the LDC
(Lower Developing Country) category to Developing Country. This could be
achieved due to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as
under her able leadership, for nearly a decade, Bangladesh has followed
pragmatic development strategies, which resulted in inclusive economic growth,
structural transformation and remarkable social progress.
is pertinent to note that Bangladesh met all three criteria for graduation from
LDC, its per capita GNI (Gross National Income) is $1,610 whereas UN threshold
was $1,230, the HAI (Human Asset Index) is 72.9 whereas threshold was 66 and
EVI (Economic Vulnerability Index) is 24.8 whereas threshold was 32. Given this
backdrop, Bangladesh is now emerging an important country where there are plenty
of opportunities in trade and investment.
is marching ahead with a significant growth rate of 7.86 this year, being the
highest ever in Bangladesh, with business-friendly environment and competitive
cost structure that can give best returns. It is an ideal destination for Saudi
entrepreneurs as it has a very dynamic young talented Muslim population (almost
90% population is Muslim) with attractive incentives. Potential investors may
explore enormous potentialities in investment opportunities in different
sectors, such as tourism industry, IT, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, etc. in
all were possible due to visionary statesmanship of Bangladesh Prime Minister
with her special 10 initiatives — one house one farm and rural savings bank,
sheltering project, digital Bangladesh, education assistance program, women
empowerment, electricity to every household, community clinic and mental
health, social safety net program, investment expansion, and environment
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina undertook three official visits recently to the
Kingdom, first one in June 2016 for bilateral meeting, second one in May 2017
to attend Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh and the recent one in April
this year to attend Gulf Shield-1 Military exercise. All these visits created a
new dimension of our bilateral relations. Saudi leadership lauded the role of
Bangladesh in maintaining peace and stability through UN peacekeeping
operations. Bangladesh always stands ready to support the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia as a member of ‘Islamic Alliance’ to fight against terrorism and violent
extremism. The Bangladesh Prime Minister reiterated firm commitment towards
‘zero tolerance’ to this menace.
the countries increasingly recognize the mutually beneficial potential to
expand bilateral economic cooperation across a range of areas. Trade between
the two nations has increased significantly in the recent years though at a
modest level as yet. By July 2018, Bangladesh exports to KSA are around $350
million whereas Bangladesh import from KSA stands at around $750 million.
During the visit of Prime Minister Hasina, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (JCCI) organized a business session where leading Saudi businessmen
took part as well as ten leading Bangladesh businessmen, who were accompanying
the Prime Minister, were present.
the Business session Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for more investment
and exploring business opportunities in Bangladesh. She also offered a special
economic zone out of 100 special economic zones to Saudi investors. At the call
of the Prime Minister, Economic Adviser of the Royal court expressed keen
interest to invest in Bangladesh through their Public Investment Fund (PIF) in
‘commercially viable projects’.
a follow up to the invitation of Bangladesh Prime Minister, a 21-member
high-powered Saudi business delegation visited Bangladesh from Dec. 4-7 2017,
when they had very fruitful interactive sessions with their Bangladeshi
counterparts as well as meetings with Finance Minister and Commerce Minister of
Bangladesh. In the coming days, we are expecting a number of interactions
between two business communities for expanding ties in trade and investment to
realize the Visions of both nations in achieving the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Prime Minister inaugurated the 45th session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers
in Dhaka on May 2018. Bangladesh, as chair of OIC CFM, expects to actively
engage in activities for welfare of the Muslim world through the revitalized
several decades, Bangladesh has been meeting the need of workers in several
work streams in the Saudi labor market. The Bangladeshi migrant community has
established their credentials in a longer term; and working with considerable
appreciation of the Saudi peoples. In the process, they are also a part of
contemporary Saudi economic growth.
of date, more than one and a half million Bangladeshi professionals and workers
are living in KSA, spread across the Kingdom. Many of them have also moved
along as entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. In recent meetings between Bangladesh
and Saudi officials it was agreed to stress upon on the institutions,
curricula, related facilities, etc. in Bangladesh vis-à-vis academic and
professional qualifications while proceeding on future recruitment of
Bangladeshi workers including professionals. It is a timely initiative by both
the governments to have a transparent and robust recruitment mechanism for
lowering migration cost.
the government of Saudi Arabia has opened up investment opportunities for
Bangladeshi entrepreneurs who can either invest solely or with Saudi
partnership as Joint Venture projects in different areas such as aquaculture
and fisheries, construction, human resources training, tourism and many more
areas. Recently the Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
(SAGIA) — the Saudi Invest expressed his willingness to support Bangladeshi
investors coming to the Kingdom. SAGIA offers advice and services to support
interested parties from the initial planning stage through to after care.
this backdrop of enhancement of bilateral engagements, the government of
Bangladesh under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has
taken pragmatic measures to build its own Chancery Complex of the Embassy of
Bangladesh in Riyadh (at Diplomatic Quarters), and it is expected that by
October 2018, the Embassy would be commence its services there.
Arabia is vigorously pursuing the Saudi Vision 2030 which offers Bangladesh to
look at new areas of engagements in all areas such as manpower, trade,
investment, education, agriculture etc. Similarly, Bangladesh’s Vision 2021 to
become a Middle Income Country and the Vision 2041 to attain the status of a
developed country warrants Bangladesh to work closely with the Kingdom towards
fast-growing cooperation in all areas, particularly in trade and investment.
geo-strategic location in the global market with USA, EU duty free access and
some of the key global value chains, provides a significant demand for quality
infrastructure where Saudi Arabia may consider investing. Both countries should
opt for transformation of respective economies for the bright future of the
peoples. Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia are actively pursuing to have
collaboration and cooperation in different areas with shared visions and
partnership in achieving SDGs by 2030.
is the Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & Islam is
Deputy Chief of Mission, Bangladesh Embassy Riyadh
Shibir members detained with petrol bombs in Sirajganj
received a tip-off, police detained the suspects having found them in front of
the Chhongachha Madhyapara Sarkarbari Jame Masjid in the Sadar upazila on
people suspected of planning acts of sabotage have been taken into custody in
Sirajganj. Six petrol bombs were found
in their possession.
received a tip-off, police detained the suspects having found them in front of
the Chhongachha Madhyapara Sarkarbari Jame Masjid in the Sadar upazila on
Friday afternoon, confirmed Sadar police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Md
also said the group underwent primary interrogation on Friday night, where they
confessed to planning acts of vandalism and sabotage. They were sent to the
court on Saturday afternoon.
five suspects are Hafizul Islam, 22, Nasir Uddin, 19, Obaidul Haque Naim, 16,
Shobuj Islam, 19, and Mehedi Hasan, 19.
Afghan government strongly condemned the deadly attack by gunmen on a military
parade in Ahwav city of Iran that left scores of people dead or wounded.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the Afghan government
and nation have been the victims of terrorism for many years and the brave
Afghan forces are still in the frontline of the fight against terrorism.
statement further added that the menace of terrorism in the regional and
international level, is a clear issue, emphasizing that the nations must
jointly fight the menace terrorism without any distinction.
Palace in its statement also added that the Afghan government believes that
terrorism recognizes no borders and is the enemy of the whole humanity.
to ARG Palace, the terrorists are targeting the residents of all countries in
all places and the time has come that a consensus should be established to
honestly fight the menace of terrorism.
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), says a group of at
least 26 ISIS militants have been arrested for planning attacks mourners during
the Ashura Day.
source privy of the development has said the militants have been arrested
during separate operations in Kabul city.
source further added that the leader of the group identified as Abdullah son of
Sultan Shah has also been arrested by the NDS forces.
anti-government armed militant and terrorist groups including loyalists of the
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group have not commented in
this regard so far.
comes as ISIS militants have carried out numerous attacks in capital Kabul
during the recent months, particularly targeting the civilian targets in West
of Kabul city.
least 26 people were killed and more than 90 others were wounded in a
coordinated suicide attack and car bomb explosion near a wrestling club in
Dasht Barchi area of Kabul city nearly two weeks ago.
Chinese debt-trap, India is oldest ally but Maldives open for businesses, says
President Yameen on the eve of polls
himself as a nationalist with a focus on economic development and listing out a
number of big ticket infrastructure projects mostly funded by China, Maldives
President Abdulla Yameen is seeking a second term as Maldives will vote for the
next president on Sunday. Opposition counters his claims of development with
serious charges of his ‘authoritarian regime’ that imprisoned or forced to flee
almost all the top opposition leaders and even Supreme Court judges in the last
his first ever interview with an international media, Yameen spoke to The
Indian Express about the charges against his regime, Chinese debt trap and the
‘India First’ policy.
have been in power for five years and the Maldives have been witness to
significant changes. Yet these five years have also seen political turmoil.
What message or assurance do you have for the people of the Maldives, and the
transformational changes that the Maldives has witnessed in the past five years
far outweighs any political turmoil. True, the past five years has been
challenging but we are capable of resolving our domestic affairs among
ourselves. International partners must respect our right to self-determination,
a founding principle of the charter of the UN.
administration is committed to having free, fair and transparent elections, as
has been the tradition since the 2008 Constitution came to force. If elected,
my administration is further committed to fulfilling our vision of an
independent and progressive Maldives.
do you think are the significant measures your government ushered in? And what
do you think remains to be done?
have made significant investments in order to ensure sustained socio-economic
growth. The bridge linking Velana International Airport (VIA) and Hulhulmalé to
Malé will introduce much needed synergy for the Greater Malé area to prosper.
The development of VIA to cater to upwards of 5 million visitors a year,
complimented with the development of regional airports and seaplane hubs, is
going to bring transformational growth, and allow all corners of the Maldives
equitable access, to tourism and related businesses – the integrated tourism
project mere minutes away from the airport and additional resorts and
guesthouses will further ensure the industry is ready to cater to the huge influx
and such projects also increase jobs and opportunity for our young women and
men; our driven youth population.
the nation we have delivered clean water to more than half of the population,
we have delivered sewerage services to over three fourths of the population and
we have built over two dozen airports – over the past administrations we have
been lagging behind but these are the expectations, and the developments, that
my administration has delivered within these last five years. We have spent MVR
90 billion across the country towards this achievement; towards improving the
lives of Maldivians and towards building national infrastructure whereby
delivering lasting, meaningful and sustainable change.
government has cracked down on political rivals, even detained judges. This has
led to criticism in different parts of the world. How do you counter the charge
is blind and my administration upholds this principle. There is no one charged,
detained or sentence outside of the procedures outlined in our Constitution,
Laws and Regulations. Legal and judicial procedures have been followed in every
case and the rights guaranteed in our laws have been upheld. Despite criticism,
my administration will not falter in upholding the rule of law, regardless of
who, why or when.
the 2013 elections which brought you to power, your political rivals,
especially former President Nasheed, complained that the polls were not fair.
What assurances can you provide on the transparency of the election process?
election since the 2008 Constitution has been observed and monitored by local
and international partners, who have declared those elections as free, fair and
transparent. In 2013, I believe the former President did in fact concede defeat
and all legal remedies available were exhausted. The world accepted the
election as free and fair.
have no reason to believe that this election will be any exception.
have had two elections after the Presidential elections of 2013. During the
Parliamentary elections seats were fairly well distributed between all parties
but in the Council elections the opposition came out in quite a favorable
am confident in our state institutions, their independence and capacity to
ensure credible elections.
is your response to critics and political rivals who claim that the country is
staring at a debt-trap?
Maldives is a small state but some observers take that also to mean that we do
not have the capacity to evaluate or decide. The Maldives is home to one of the
most well educated and literate populations in the region, if not globally.
I am saying is that we have done our homework. We have exceptional minds who
have excelled at their academic endeavors in the best western and regional
educational institutions who also have the added insight and advantage of “on
the ground” observation – they are well aware of global best practices and
local trends and needs. I myself am fortunate enough to have had the same, if
not similar, academic and practical exposure.
know our position.
are not staring at a debt-trap – even the most modest estimates based on
arrival growth alone should make this abundantly clear and the positive ratings
by two independent global agencies speak to this. Add to this the rising
profits, and increased performance potential, of our companies due to a vibrant
economy and new, and incoming, investments; we have full confidence that we
will be able to leverage our debt to bring even more progress and prosperity to
are the economic challenges you intend to address on priority if you were to
return to power?
illustrated in my party’s Manifesto, housing is a priority. I have pledged to
ensure that all youth will have adequate housing by 2030. Housing is at the
core of many socio-economic issues and I believe that adequate housing is the
important first step towards economic stability.
Maldives are a popular tourist destination and tourism is key to its economy.
The political upheavals have prompted some countries to issue travel advisories
cautioning their citizens. Has that impacted the Maldives? What would be your
message to them?
political developments in the country does have an impact on our tourism.
However, the experience has always been that political unrest is localized to
the Capital or other major cities across the nation. Tourist resorts are
largely unaffected and life goes on as normal. It must be noted that even the
state of emergency that was precipitated by a constitutional crisis, went on
peacefully. Apart from the travel advisories that are automatically triggered
as a result of a state of emergency in effect, our schools, roads and beaches
were open. Life went on, as usual.
is concern in India that ties with the Maldives are under strain. Many suspect
that this has to do with you government’s growing ties with China, thereby
threatening Indian geopolitical, security interests. How do you address this
worry in India?
is historically, our oldest ally. The Maldives has always had an India first
policy. That being said, Maldives is open for business, especially during this
time of unprecedented economic growth.
do you intend to expand ties with India? And China?
Maldives is now at a place where we have to surge forward towards development
and economic growth and as such we are ready to foster economic, and bi-lateral
ties with all nations willing to be our partners in progress.
is concern in several quarters over what they believe has been the rise of
Muslim hardliners in the Maldives in recent years. How do you respond to this?
rise of religious fanaticism is an issue that plagues all nations. I am
confident that social inclusiveness and economic stability is the key to
addressing this issue. These are priorities of my administration. In the
meantime, we are constantly working with our international partners, through
resource and information sharing, to curb radicalization and extremist thought.
and building a strong local network of professionals and skilled workers,
strengthening health tourism and providing shelter were among your priorities.
How much of a headway has your government made?
government funded 25 storey multi specialist Dharumavantha Hospital will come
online later this year and long with that we will begin internships for fresh
medical graduates laying the foundations of the first medial university program
locally. While already we have several specialist facilities for kidney
diseases, heart diseases, respiratory diseases, and more.
approach towards encouraging investments and our policies within the health
sector has also seen the development of the first multi-specialist private
hospital in our smart city Hulhumalé which is currently in operation and they
have been ramping up services throughout the year.
the Maldives made progress on gender equality? Where do women professionals,
leaders and workers stand?
of the pledges of my administration was to ensure that 20% of all government
boards and state companies, are held by women. This has been achieved. I have
further pledged to increase this number to 50% in the next 5 years.
have also ratified the Gender Equality Act which have steps towards prevention
of discrimination based on gender.
as health professionals, teachers and lawyers, women currently contribute more
and outnumber men in these key service sectors – this is true even in the civil
terms of access to education girls have the same opportunity as boys and
consistently outperform them – I am proud to say the Maldives maintains a 99%
literacy rate. Our Police has the highest percentage of women on the force when
compared to the entire region.
wellbeing of, and opportunity for, women and children are one of my highest
priorities and we plan to introduce a specialized hospital for them. Already we
have facilitated for mothers to work from home.
world leader/s do you count as your role model? Tell us about your love for
football, interaction with youth, and the books you read.
Kuan Yew has been across the board, for me personally, the most inspirational
world leader. His vision of what a small state could achieve is what grounds me
in my reality that the Maldives can far exceed expectations others may have of
on Saturday organised a memorial gathering in the honour of 70 Shinwari
tribesmen who had lost their lives during a demonstration when a suicide bomber
exploded himself on Sept 11 near Daka village of Momandara district of
Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.
a large number of political workers, clerics, Shinwari tribesmen of Landi Kotal
subdivision and members of civil society gathered at the house of Gulab Hujra,
a tribe elder, and extended their condolences and solidarity to the families of
they urged the Afghanistan’s government to adopt effective measures for
countering terrorism and ensure security of citizens on its soil.
prayers were offered for the peace of the departed souls.
Why Western media silent on Ahvaz terrorist attack
mainstream Western media have been mostly silent about the deadly US-sponsored
terrorist attack in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, according to US scholar and
political analyst Kevin Barrett.
people being killed by terrorists is front page news in the West; but, in the case
of terrorism against Iran, suddenly, everything changes and the media tends to
ignore and downplay it," Barrett told Press TV in an interview on
sees the attack as another terrorist operation launched by the United States
and its regional allies.
have been close to 20,000 people killed in these kinds of terrorist attacks by
extremist groups in Iran over the years to almost the complete silence of the
western media and that is because it is the western governments led by the United
States and its Israeli master who are in fact organizing, funding, arming,
equipping, and unleashing these terrorists against Iran and they have been ever
since the Islamic Revolution of 1979," Barrett said.
noted that US President Donald Trump and top officials in his administration
like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security adviser John Bolton
were behind such state-sponsored terrorist attacks on innocent people.
we have in power in the United States the Trump administration whose two main
Iran advisers -- Bolton and Pompeo --are fanatical anti-Iran haters,” Barrett
said the pair had received huge bribes from the Iranian terrorist opposition
group Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), known to most other countries by
another acronym, MEK.
guys bribes are usually called ‘speaking fees’, and Bolton and Pompeo and
others will go in front of these terrorist organized events – propaganda
exercises – for huge sums of money, to basically paper over MEK’s terrorist
past,” Barrett said.
return, Barrett assumed, the pair helps the terrorists receive funds to launch
anti-Iran operations. “We can assume that the pair is helping their friends by
upping the level of US support for them,” he said.
said direct support of terrorists groups like the MEK and state-sponsored
terrorism was doing the US no good.
concluded that US-sponsored terrorist attacks were going to be
counterproductive in the long run because “terrorism doesn’t work ... Iranian
people are not going to stand it. People like Bolton and Pompeo may have failed
to learn that lesson and they will be learning it in the future. “
dispute with Muslim organization heats up amid DOJ investigation
County's longstanding relationship with the All Muslim Association of America
predictably soured after county leaders effectively blocked the organization's
Muslim nonprofit lobbed accusations of religious discrimination, leading to a
U.S. Department of Justice investigation that could turn into a lawsuit against
the county. But Stafford once enjoyed a good relationship with the AMAA—maybe
too good, according to Supervisor Wendy Maurer.
a public meeting Tuesday, Maurer said she thinks the AMAA benefited from
political favoritism when the county bought a large swath of land from the
nonprofit for more than $600,000 in 2017. That 76-acre property on Brooke Road
abuts the organization's existing cemetery—which the county approved in
1995—but Planning Director Jeff Harvey said the AMAA determined it would be
“cost prohibitive” to expand the cemetery there because of slopes and wetlands.
county bought the land and an adjacent tract owned by someone else with the
stated goals of saving forests and wetlands near Crow's Nest Natural Area
Preserve and providing a buffer for a nearby 70-acre heron rookery.
whose Rock Hill District includes the proposed cemetery on Garrisonville Road
that caused the dispute, said in an interview that she highlighted the purchase
to show that Stafford's history with the organization is not one of
moment you don’t get your way, now all of sudden we're discriminatory,"
she said, calling the accusation disingenuous. "Honestly, I took great
offense to it.”
county's past dealings with the AMAA will likely have no bearing on the DOJ's
investigation of a nearly 2-year-old ordinance that critics say was designed
solely to block the proposed Muslim cemetery on 1508 Garrisonville Road. In
fact, supervisors' divided vote Tuesday to maintain the ordinance rather than
relax it could add fuel to the fire.
Maurer's explosive remarks offered a different perspective on the county's
dealings with the AMAA.
took particular aim at former Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Milde,
suggesting that he orchestrated the sale of AMAA's land as a political favor to
the nonprofit's members who donated to or supported his campaign. The
organization unsuccessfully tried to market the property to private buyers,
who voluntarily stepped down at the end of 2017, strongly denied the
allegation, writing in an email that Maurer’s “lame attempt to smear me is
intended to distract from her pursuit of a discriminatory policy that is
placing the county in legal peril.”
Supervisors unanimously voted in favor of the ordinance in December
2016, but Milde said he was unaware of its effect on the cemetery at the time.
Clark Leming, who represents the AMAA, said county employees, not Milde,
approached the organization about buying the land. AMAA could have expanded its
cemetery on a portion of that land had the county not made the offer, he said.
organization bought its proposed cemetery site on Garrisonville Road for
$800,000 in 2015, about 18 months before the county passed its disputed
ordinance prohibiting new cemeteries within 900 feet of private wells,
reservoirs and streams that drain into reservoirs. The Virginia Department of
Health's more relaxed standards say new wells should not be within 100 feet of
cemeteries, though the state does require a distance of 900 feet between
cemeteries and public water supplies.
show that concerns the Muslim cemetery would contaminate nearby wells
influenced the setback, but that issue never came up during public meetings at
discussions occurred around the same time the county negotiated the purchase of
the AMAA's land.
voted unanimously in October 2016 to buy the site for $650,000, about $41,800
more than its assessed value. In the
same vote, they also agreed to pay $175,000 to another landowner for a 46-acre
tract near Crow's Nest with a taxable value of $377,000.
county spokesman said the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, which owns the
nearby heron rookery, took an interest in the property first and negotiated the
sale prices before the county got involved. Milde also said the NVCT pitched
the idea to the county and that he was not initially part of the discussions.
county received a $433,000 grant toward the land purchases from the Virginia
Land Conservation Foundation, an organization Milde belonged to. A $400,000
donation to Stafford's conservation program also helped cover the cost. A
stipulation of that donation, made by a developer in exchange for the county's
approval of a 75-home subdivision, was that the money be used to preserve land
in the Aquia District. A county report said Stafford employees worked with
Milde, who represented the Aquia District, to "identify viable properties
for land conservation."
who has been a proponent of protecting Crow's Nest for years, said at a meeting
two years ago that the purchases "didn't cost us anything, really, on a
did end up paying half of the $11,259 cost to clean up a dump site on the
Muslim nonprofit's property, subtracting the balance from the purchase price.
Maurer said the county is supposed to cite landowners for dump sites, not pay
to clear them, under an ordinance. And she noted that municipal employees
typically avoid working on private property for liability reasons.
we didn’t cite them; we didn’t discriminate against them religiously,” Maurer
said at the meeting. “Actually, they were given special consideration because
we didn’t apply our Stafford County ordinance.”
implied that Milde played a role in the cleanup, which was coordinated by
employees of the Rappahannock Regional Landfill. Milde was a member last year
of the Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board, but he said in an
email that neither he nor his colleagues on the R-Board authorized or discussed
the trash cleanup.
also claimed that AMAA reps offered to raise money for her campaign in a
meeting last year to discuss the proposed cemetery. She said the organization
did not explicitly make the offer in exchange for her support of its cemetery,
but that the inference concerned her.
addition, she alleged that AMAA officials told her "Milde got Stafford
County to buy our land.” That statement, Maurer said, caused her to look into
what she now considers a questionable deal. She said she voted in favor of the
purchase because "I was under the assumption that all was well and good—that
this wasn’t a special deal."
a May 2017 email before Maurer's meetup with the Muslim group, Milde offered to
join her and described AMAA board member Rafi Ahmed—who requested the
meeting—as a "good citizen and supporter of mine." Online records show no donations from Ahmed
to Milde, though Ahmed has attended an annual fundraiser put on by the former
supervisor. Ahmed did not immediately
respond to a call from The Free Lance–Star for comment.
did receive a $1,000 donation in 2012 from a Mossadaq Chughtai, who listed his
employer as the Pakistani American Leadership Center. He is also the AMAA's
president, according to the organization's website. He got another $250
donation that year from Muhammad Tarar, who listed the AMAA as his employer.
who will seek the Republican nomination next year for the 28th District House
of Delegates seat, said in an email that he's never received a donation from an
organization called the AMAA and that he does not ask his donors about their
religious affiliations. He called Maurer's claims "false and
the sake of Stafford taxpayers, she needs to reacquaint herself with the U.S.
Constitution and current protections for religious institutions in federal
law," Milde wrote in an email.
AMAA made a conflict-of-interest complaint of its own last year against
Planning Commissioner Crystal Vanuch, who lives across the street from the
organization's proposed cemetery. Commonwealth's Attorney Eric Olsen found that
Vanuch did not have a conflict under state law, though she did recuse herself
from the Planning Commission's vote several months ago to recommend keeping the
took an active role in proposing the changes and even made a presentation on
the topic to the Board of Supervisors nearly two years ago. During that presentation, she did not mention
the proposed Muslim cemetery as being one of the reasons for the new ordinance.
Jack Cavalier, who voted Tuesday against retaining the ordinance, said Vanuch's
briefing was "totally out of normal order."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened to take action against Iran in
case of any attack on American interests in the Middle East.
an interview with the CNN on Friday,
Pompano warned that Washington would hold Tehran responsible for any attack on
its interests in the region.
have told the Islamic Republic of Iran that using a proxy force to attack an
American interest will not prevent us from responding against the prime
actor," he said. "We will not let Iran get away with using a proxy
force to attack an American interest; Iran will be held accountable for those
if the US response included a military action, Pompeo said, "They're going
to be held accountable. If they’re responsible for the arming and training of
these militias, we’re gonna go to the source.”
the US embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Basra came under attack earlier
this month amid a fresh wave of violence in Iraq.
Iranian consulate and the provincial office of Iraq's Hashd al-Sha’abi were
also gutted in the rampage.
the time, the White House blamed Iran for the “life-threatening attacks”
against its diplomatic missions in Iraq and warned that Washington would hold
Tehran responsible if there are future assaults.
drew a reaction from Iran's Foreign Ministry which rejected what it described
as “astonishing, provocative and irresponsible accusations," stressing
that Washington could not cover up its involvement in fomenting tensions in
Iraq through blaming others.
several Iraqi officials confirmed that the US had instigated the chaos in Iraq
in a bid to sow discord among political parties.
in his interview, Pompeo claimed that Iran had been "confronting the
world" by "arming" Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement and
Yemen's Ansarullah Houthi fighters.
US administration, under President Donald Trump, has stepped up its hostile
rhetoric against Iran.
in May, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran deal,
officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite
objections from the other signatories to the accord.
also introduced the first wave of anti-Iran sanctions in August and threatened
that the second wave would “ratchet up to yet another level” in November.
endangers int'l security'
on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lambasted the Trump
administration for being a “real threat” to the Middle East and global “peace
and security,” saying the White House is destabilizing the world.
US State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2017 is out. The
report has been strongly denounced by critics as highly politicized and
annual report says terrorist attacks declined in 2017 largely because the Daesh
terrorist group suffered major defeats in many countries like Iraq and Syria.
the US government report ironically describes Iran as the leading state sponsor
no secret that Iran helped roll back Daesh advances in Iraq and Syria by
supporting anti-terror efforts in those countries. It was for the same success that Syria and
Iraq openly thanked Iran for its efforts to root out terrorism.
of the US foreign policy say the state Department’s annual survey lacks
credibility since it is not based on facts and falls in line with America’s
Jonkers, a journalist at al-Masdar news agency told Press TV that it was
hypocritical of the US to accuse Iran of sponsoring terrorism.
US speaks with a very hypocritical attitude. It should not very surprising that
there’s a major hypocrisy when the United States has the audacity to accuse
Iran of being main sponsor of terrorism in the world.”
report comes as the administration of U.S. president Donald Trump is trying to
pile pressure on Iranians.
US speaks with a very hypocritical attitude. It should not be very surprising
that there’s a major hypocrisy when the United States has the audacity to
accuse Iran of being the main sponsor of terrorism in the world.”
report comes as the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to
pile pressure on Iranians.
US which withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May wants to force the country
to come to the negotiating table again but Tehran says it cannot trust the
US State Department’s latest survey makes no mention of notorious names that
come to mind whenever the issue of global terrorism is raised.
Arabia is perhaps the most prominent case in point. The kingdom’s support for
extremist groups in the region and beyond is an open secret.
instance, there are numerous reports that show the Saudis have cut deals with
terror groups in Yemen in a bid to defeat Yemeni fighters.
Arabia and some of its regional allies are widely believed to have been the
main sponsors of terror groups over the course of war in Syria.
they never even get a slap on the wrist. The United States itself has long used
extremist factions in many countries to advance its interests.
military accuses journalists of working for Boko Haram
Nigerian military has accused “some journalists” of working for the terror
group, Boko Haram, after reports showed security forces had suffered heavy
losses in recent months.
an apparent targeting of the media, the military said it was “known that some
journalists work for Boko Haram and fraternise with terrorist commanders”. The
military provided no evidence backing its claim.
statement on Thursday came amid reports showing the army has lately faced a
string of heavy losses, with over a hundred soldiers killed by Boko Haram.
July, PREMIUM TIMES reported that no fewer than 23 Nigerian soldiers went
missing after insurgents ambushed a military convoy at Boboshe village in Bama
local government area of Borno State. Five officers, 18 soldiers and eight
trucks were missing after the attack.
attacks have occured since then with at least 31 soldiers killed in a September
onslaught, military sources told PREMIUM TIMES.
also reported this week the deaths of soldiers. It appears the military
statement was in response to the report.
Agim, the military spokesperson, said the statement that the “campaign” was
spearheaded by a “particular foreign news agency”.
Agim denied soldiers had been killed. He said the report “was calculated to
dampen the spirit of the troops at the theatres of operation and to demean the
successes recorded so far in the war against terrorism”.
is more worrisome when such an ill-informed report is coming from a supposed
credible news agency expected to be a partner in progress. It agitates the mind
whether the reporter is working in isolation or speaking the mind of its
sponsors,” the statement said.
is a well-known fact that terrorism thrives on publicity and propaganda. It is
also known that some journalists work for Boko Haram and fraternise with
terrorist commanders against the standing forces to whip up sentiment,” he
military said at the peak of Boko Haram insurgency, “the armed forces with
limited weapons chased Boko Haram out of Abuja and other cities into Sambisa
much more now that the military is well equipped with determined troops to take
on any terrorist group, be it Boko Haram or Islamic State In West Africa,” he
quipped. “If this is still seen as ‘struggling’ by the purveyors of the false
reports, then the word may have assumed a new meaning,” he said.
said the strategy of drawing out the enemy had been a great success as hundreds
of terrorists had been killed in their desperate attempts to recapture some
cities in the North-east.
US airstrike kills 18 Al-Shabab after US attacked in Somalia
A US military airstrike has killed 18 Al-Shabab extremists after US and local
forces on the ground came under attack in southern Somalia, the US Africa
Command said Saturday.
US or Somali forces were killed or injured in the attack, an AFRICOM spokesman,
Nate Herring, told The Associated Press. The airstrike was carried out Friday
in self-defense after extremists were “observed maneuvering on a combined
patrol,” while the US also responded with “indirect fire,” the spokesman said.
confrontation occurred about 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of the port
city of Kismayo, the US Africa Command statement said. Two other Al-Shabab
extremists were killed by Somali forces “with small arms fire during the
engagement,” it said.
operation was Somali-led, the AFRICOM spokesman said. There was no immediate
comment from Somali authorities.
US has carried out more than 20 airstrikes this year against the
Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in sub-Saharan
military involvement in Somalia has grown since President Donald Trump early in
his term approved expanded operations against Al-Shabab. Dozens of drone
strikes followed. Late last year the military also carried out its first
airstrike against a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State in
the expanded operations, two US military personnel have been killed in Somalia.
service member was killed in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles (64
kilometers) west of Mogadishu. And in June, one US special operations soldier
was killed and four US service members wounded in an “enemy attack” as troops
with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire in
US currently has about 500 military personnel in the Horn of Africa nation.
which seeks to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, was pushed out of
Mogadishu in recent years but continues to control rural areas in the south and
central regions. Its fighters continue to attack the bases of a multinational
African Union force that remains largely responsible for security as Somalia’s
fragile central government tries to recover from decades of chaos.
internationally recognized government has called on the UN to take “concrete
and effective” action to protect civilians and halt fighting near the capital
that has killed more than 100 people since late August.
a statement late Friday, the Government of National Accord (GNA) called on the
UN mission to “present the Security Council with the reality of the bloody
events in Libya so that it can... protect the lives and property of civilians”.
slowed Saturday morning a day after clashes left 15 dead and dozens more
wounded, according to health ministry spokeswoman Wedad Abu al-Niran.
latest casualties brought the death toll to more than 100 since clashes erupted
on the capital’s southern outskirts on August 26, according to the GNA body
that deals with the wounded.
Libyan capital has been at the center of a battle for influence between armed
groups since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed
uprising in 2011.
a ceasefire deal reached on September 4, renewed fighting erupted this week,
especially in the Salaheddin neighbourhood and on the road to Tripoli’s disused
international airport, which was destroyed in 2014.
feuding militias come mostly from Libya’s third city Misrata and the town of
Tarhouna southeast of the capital.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres was “alarmed by the increasing number of
violations of the ceasefire agreement”, his spokesman said on Friday.
called on the militias to respect the truce and to “refrain from any actions
that would increase the suffering of the civilian population”.
A cholera outbreak in north-eastern Nigeria has claimed nearly 100 lives over
the past two weeks, the United Nations said Saturday.
than 3,000 cholera cases have been recorded in the states of Yobe and Borno in
a region that is also grappling with a Boko Haram insurgency, it said.
cumulative number of recorded cases in both states currently stands at 3,126
including 97 deaths," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) said.
outbreak was declared two weeks ago in restive Borno, where hundreds of
thousands of displaced people live in camps.
Haram has intensified attacks, especially against military targets in recent
Wednesday, the UN reported that more than 500 people had died from cholera in
the Lake Chad region since the start of the year, representing the worst
outbreak to hit the area in four years.
said more than six million people could be affected by the outbreak without
urgent action to control it.
floods and heavy rains were "an ideal environment for the outbreak to
spread", OCHA warned.
Lake Chad region straddles parts of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, which
are also having to deal with an extremist insurgency.
said Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, was the worst-hit with 24,000
cases overall, and said immediate action was needed to stem the disease.
is caused by a bacterium transmitted through contaminated food or drinking
water. It causes acute diarrhoea, with children particularly at risk.
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