Can’t Be Built On Encroached Land, Notes Pakistan SC Judge
Jamaat e Islami Maintains Close Ties With ISI, Pakistan
Pradesh Muslim BJP Leader Claims Lord Hanuman Was Muslim
to Project Positive Image of Islam Urged: OIC Secretary-General
Flees Uzbekistan after Muslim Headscarf Row, Due To Pressure from Security
Slams Reports of Forced Labour in Muslim Detention Camps
Christians Face an Uneasy Christmas in the Wake of Asia Bibi’s Release
Pakistanis executed in Saudi Arabia over drug trafficking in the last five
renewed for Afghan peace deal as Kabul ‘frees 9 Haqqani militants’
KSA to sign accord on crown prince’s upcoming visit: Fawad
land swap with India out of question: FO
being praised for role in US-Taliban talks: Qureshi
meeting can’t be ruled out: Khursheed
only option to resolve Indo-Pak dispute: Qureshi
Islamists in the Backseat, Not In Front
launches new 'clearance operations' against Rohingya
year of unresolved terror in Bangladesh
Jamaat plan to kill police officers ahead of polls: PM
plans to withdraw more than 5,000 troops from Afghanistan
met Afghan leaders after his meetings with Taliban in Abu Dhabi
Shah On Bulandshahr Violence: Cow’s Death More Significant Than Death Of Police
to Meet TRS MPs Over Triple Talaq Bill
Families of ‘Innocent’ Muslim Held Wrongly Struggling To Survive
Sabha to take up triple Talaq Bill next week
House India's property, Pakistan has no claim on it: MEA
should mind its own business: India on Imran Khan's comment on Pulwama deaths
Syria, US Plans For Over 5,000 Troops to Be Withdrawn From Afghanistan
Says It Thwarted Attacks on Copts
To End Air War against ISIS in Syria Following Troops Withdrawal
Bin Salman: We Will Continue To Work with Allies to Reach Afghanistan Peace
US pullout of Syria will aid Daesh
to Free Thousands of ISIL Terrorists after US Withdrawal from Syria
Official: US Forced to Withdraw from Syria after Failure in Plots
Kurds "Stabbed in Back" by US Withdrawal from Syria
Commander Killed in Clashes with Civilians in Eastern Syria
says suspects in hikers' murder pledged allegiance to IS
to maintain participation in Syria, UK says ISIS remains a threat
Ex-envoy criticizes new definition of Islamophobia
Campaign to Criminalise Islamophobia Condemned As Dangerous
Muslim Leaders Slam Maszlee over ‘Dakwah’ Remark
Student Aces Islamic Classes
says won’t revise minimum marriage age for Muslims
Muslim group urges UN action on Uighur abuse
martial law end ISIS-inspired groups in the Philippines?
Syria's future should be determined by Syrians
Says Syrian Kurdish Militants Will Be Buried In Ditches
monitor en route as Hodeidah truce hangs on knife edge
Israel to escalate fight against Iran in Syria after US exit
rally in Hasakah to protest Turkey ‘threats’ of military offensive
begins destruction of Hezbollah tunnels
Intelligence Ministry rejects Israeli PM’s ‘delusional’ claims
troops kill Palestinian man in West Bank
cars vandalized amidst hate crime in occupied East Jerusalem
Army Demands UN Investigation into 'Two Weapons Shipments from Turkey'
governments should recognise religion’s role in governance
Trump: US Won't Spend Lives and Dollars as Middle East Policeman
defence chief Mattis resigns after disagreement with Trump over Syria
pullout of US troops from Syria worries Western allies
gets 90-day Iran sanctions waiver from Washington
says 'all' US troops departing Syria
Trump's administration to withdraw 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, say US
by New Age Islam News Bureau
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday sought record of the private land where a
mosque and seminary had been allegedly built on an encroached piece.
three-judge bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, issued this directive while
hearing a civil application filed by a private company, International Brands
(Private) Limited, against alleged attempts to encroach upon some portion of a
piece of commercial land by the prayer leader of a mosque.
counsel of the company, Arshad Mohsin Tayebaley, told the court that his client
had purchased Plot number F/2 X in Trans Lyari Quarters, Site, from the
Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited, which executed a deed of assignment in
respect of the land in favour of the applicant in 1996.
to the lawyer, in 1965 the PTC had constructed a mosque named Mubarak Masjid
with a Hujra on 7,015 square feet for the religious benefit and use of the
workers and appointed Maulana Noor Muhammad Qureshi as its Pesh Imam (prayer
the cleric started unauthorised construction for an accommodation for his
family adjacent to the mosque, but it was demolished by the district magistrate
concerned after an inquiry.
counsel contended that the cleric still claimed the portion of the demolished
structure and later involved religious organisations in this matter.
the Sindh High Court in Nov 2011 decreed a lawsuit instituted by the applicant
in its favour, ordering the cleric to vacate the premises and refrain from
interfering with the property.
high court also restrained the applicant company from demolishing or disturbing
the mosque or the seminary and told it to continue to use it for offering
prayers and religious purposes.
the counsel submitted that in addition to the existence of the mosque and
seminary now attempts were being made by the respondent to encroach upon the
adjacent portion of the land for a graveyard.
Thursday’s proceedings, a bench member, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, asked how
prayers could be offered in a mosque allegedly built on an encroached piece of
land. Justice Ahmed observed that whether the illegal occupation could be
legitimised even after the passage of a century.
the respondent’s counsel, the judge asked whether they had forgotten the
example of the Masjid-i-Nabvi and asked him to cite a single example where the
Khulfa-i-Rashideen had built a mosque on encroached land.
judge further observed that if anyone wanted to build a mosque, it must be done
in a legal way as building a mosque on encroached land amounted to defaming the
bench members noted that Allah had not permitted building of a mosque on
government land or on the property of private persons.
counsel said that the applicant company was ready to offer the portion of the
land where the mosque and the seminary had been built, but requested the court
to restrain the respondents from unlawfully occupying the rest of the land for
judges told the counsel for the parties to submit the original documents
relating to the land in question by the next hearing and adjourned the matter.
leaders carry out political and organizational activities following Pakistan’s
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency directives, according to
investigations conducted in light of the agency’s recently amped up activities
and involvement in Bangladesh politics
is always ahead of its major political ally BNP, when it comes to greater
kinship and closer ties to Pakistan’s military intelligence, according to
findings of a counterintelligence
leaders carry out political and organizational activities following Pakistan’s
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency directives, according to
investigations conducted in light of the agency’s recently amped up activities
and involvement in Bangladesh politics.
to the Bangladesh intelligence community, the top brass of BNP and Jamaat in a
bid to sway the polls results in their favour, have been in close contact with
ISI regularly ahead of the 11th general election.
after losing its registration as a political party in Bangladesh in 2013,
Jamaat is fielding at least 25 candidates in the December 30 polls with BNP’s
after a recently leaked telephone conversation between senior BNP leader
Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and ISI agent Shahid Mehmood Md Sharif,
investigations have found that Mehmood and other ISI agents met with Jamaat
Secretary General Dr Shafiqur Rahman and other party leaders in Jeddah, Saudi
Arabia, on May 25 and 26.
the meeting, Shafiqur discussed Bangladesh’s political situation and future
strategies for the upcoming election, promised to maintain regular contact with
ISI, and to meet again to discuss their financial needs after talking to his
assured ISI that Jamaat will maintain its alliance with BNP at any cost, and
hoped the Pakistani agency’s help in ensuring the sharing of seats with BNP
during the polls will continue.
Jamaat leader had also urged Pakistan to play a role in rallying international
pressure, including from China, on the Awami League government as well.
Secretary General Shafiqur was unavailable for comments regarding their ties to
ISI found by Bangladesh’s counter intelligence agencies.
party’s Nayeb-e-Ameer, Mia Golam Parwar, brushed off the accusations, saying
Shafiqur had gone to Saudi Arabia in May to perform Umrah.
do not rely on any foreign intelligence agency to be in the political arena. We
are not in contact with anybody,” he said.
Weeks after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath kicked up a storm by
branding Lord Hanuman as a Dalit; another BJP leader has come up with a
different theory on the Hindu god's identity. Bukkal Nawab, a councillor with
the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, has said that Hanuman was actually a Muslim.
belonged to the entire world. He was loved by people of every religion, every
sect, every community. But, as far as my beliefs go, he was a Muslim,"
news agency ANI quoted Mr Nawab as saying.
politician's reason for arriving at this conclusion was equally curious.
"I say Hanuman was a Muslim because the names of people in our religion,
such as Rehman, Ramzan, Farman, Zishan and Qurban, rhyme with the god's,"
he said, before rattling off a few more Islamic names -- Imran, Furqan, Sultan
and Sulaimaan -- to further buttress his claim.
is not the first time the Uttar Pradesh politician has courted a controversy
with his remarks. In 2017, while he was still a member of the opposition
Samajwadi Party, the councillor spurred protests by saying that he will donate
Rs. 15 crore for constructing the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister was campaigning for the BJP in the run-up to the
Rajasthan assembly elections in Alwar last month when he allegedly claimed that
Hanuman was a "deprived Dalit" who lived in the mountains. Even as
protests broke out, with cabinet colleague Om Prakash Rajbhar saying that it is
"wrong to divide gods on the basis of caste" and a right-wing group
coming up with a legal notice, Mr Adityanath attempted damage control by
claiming that he had been misquoted by the media.
controversy, however, refused to die down. A few weeks later, former BJP
parliamentarian Savitri Bai Phule adopted a similar line on the issue.
"Lord Hanuman was a Dalit and a slave of the manuwadi people. He was a
Dalit and a human. When he gave his all for Lord Ram, then why he was given a
tail and his face blackened? Why was he made a monkey?" she questioned,
asserting that Dalits should also be considered human.
Strengthening and encouraging regional cinema production is vital for boosting
mutual understanding among member states of the Organization of Islamic
Al-Othaimeen, OIC secretary-general, made the statement during a meeting
convened by a panel of experts to establish an OIC award for production
companies that excel ahead of the Pan-African Film & Television Festival,
which will be held in Burkina Faso.
OIC seeks to play a more effective role in promoting cultural exchange in an
attempt to fight negative stereotypes associated with Islam,” he said.
recent summit held in Jeddah and the meeting convened by the OIC in Dhaka,
Bangladesh in May both served as a catalyst to the recent measures. We also
want to introduce an OIC film festival of our own.”
delivered the speech on behalf Hesham Youssef, OIC assistant secretary-general
for humanitarian, social and cultural affairs.
current panel will discuss mechanisms to establish the award and devise the
criteria for determining top production companies among member states during
the upcoming festival, which is slated for February next year.
An Uzbek imam who ran into trouble for urging President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to
lift a school headscarf ban said he has left the mainly Muslim nation due to
pressure from security services.
Parpiyev, former cleric at one of the capital Tashkent's mosques, was the first
dissident to leave Uzbekistan under Mirziyoyev who has largely sought to
liberalise the former Soviet republic and encouraged emigres to return.
32-year-old iman wrote on Facebook this week that he had been summoned by state
prosecutors and no longer felt safe in Uzbekistan. He did not disclose his and
his family's location, but said it was thousands of kilometres away.
a case showing the limits of Uzbekistan's newly-proclaimed tolerance, Parpiyev
was sacked after a Facebook video saying that despite recent reforms, Muslims
were still being oppressed over religious symbols like hijabs and beards.
services detained several other bloggers who had criticised the school uniform
his Facebook post on Thursday (Dec 20), Parpiyev said despite his flight, he
still supported Mirziyoyev and policies such as cracking down on corruption.
wanted to contribute to his reforms," he said. "I followed his call
for criticism. I still have confidence in him."
spokeswoman for the prosecutor general's office said it had summoned Parpiyev
for a 20-minute conversation to warn him that one of his posts could breach
laws against ethnic hate speech. She said the conversation involved no
psychological intimidation and there was no criminal investigation.
slams reports of forced labour in Muslim detention camps
has hit back at US media reports that Muslim detainees in its northwestern
autonomous region of Xinjiang are being subjected to forced labour.
a scheduled press briefing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua
Chunying branded the claims "a malicious attack that severely distorts the
insisted that China’s re-education through labour programmes, a prominent form
of punishment during the Cultural Revolution, had long been abolished, adding
that she could understand why U.S. President Donald Trump complains so much
about the media.
Tuesday, the AP reported that Muslims held in internment camps in the troubled
region were being forced to work in food and garment factories.
tracking one factory shipment, reporters found clothing had been sent to Badger
Sportswear, an American brand supplying jerseys and training shirts to
university sports teams in the US.
response to the claims, Badger CEO John Anton said the company would source
clothing elsewhere while the matter is investigated.
many as a million Uighur and other ethnic Muslims are held in Xinjiang camps,
according to the estimates of a UN panel.
camps, along with other security measures such as GPS checkpoints and
facial-recognition scanners, were introduced to the region around two years ago
in a bid to quell what Beijing says is a growth in religious extremism.
Xinjiang region, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, has seen violent
attacks in recent decades, with Uighur militants seeking greater autonomy or
even independence from China killing hundreds.
the detainees are said to be dozens of Pakistani women who have crossed over
from its neighboring Gilgit-Baltistan region to marry Muslim men.
Nee, from Amnesty International said: “The allegations of forced labour in
Xinjiang appear to be highly credible – especially since China’s own state
television has shown many people in such facilities engaging in work.
on Amnesty International’s extensive research and media reports, there is no
evidence to suggest that people who have been placed in “re-education centres”
have been sent there as a result of a court ruling, and thus this form of
labour is certainly qualifies as “forced labour” under international law. The
Chinese authorities must move to quickly abolish this system”.
has invested tens of billions of dollars into development in Pakistan but
remains concerned that Muslim extremists linked to al-Qaeda could ghost into
Thursday, Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, said foreign media accounts of the situation have been exaggerated.
section of foreign media are trying to sensationalise the matter by spreading
false information,” he said at a briefing in Islamabad.
calls the camps “vocational education centres”, insisting those interned are
being trained in marketable skills on a voluntary basis in order to eliminate
poverty and bring minorities into a “modern civilized” world.
Robertson, Deputy Asia Director, Human Rights Watch said: "China really is
not convincing anyone with these hysterical denials of serious allegations of
forced labor in the Uighur detention camps.
Because China has a long history of using the forced labor of political
prisoners and persons out of favor with the government for its own purposes.
Beijing wants to people to believe their narrative, they should throw open the
doors of these camps and let in UN and other international investigators conduct
an independent and impartial investigation."
Christians face an uneasy Christmas in the wake of Asia Bibi’s release
Pakistan (RNS) – For the first time in nine years, Asia Bibi will be with her
husband on Christmas.
many of her fellow Christians in Pakistan are afraid of a backlash this holiday
season in the wake of Bibi’s October exoneration by the nation’s Supreme Court
on blasphemy charges.
cases of abductions, allegations of blasphemy and hate crimes against
Christians, who make up 2 percent of the South Asian country’s population, have
led churches to beef up security as parishioners sing carols around bonfires
and watch Nativity dramas.
is the best time for us. We plan the Christmas play throughout the year and
arrange several programs in the festive season,” said a 17-year-old college
student in Lahore. “But it is a tense situation in the country. We hope that
the government will facilitate us in marking our religious season.”
mother of five, including three stepchildren, Bibi was arrested on blasphemy
charges in 2010 after she allegedly insulted the Prophet Muhammed during an
argument over whether she should have drunk from the same water bucket used by
her Muslim co-workers on a farm.
Supreme Court acquitted her of the charges. That sparked unrest in Pakistan as
Islamic hard-liners called for her death. She and her husband are now in hiding
in a government safe house.
backlash has led many Christians to tone down their celebrations this year.
used to conduct carol singing in our neighborhood every Christmas,” said
Natasha Joseph, a 31-year-old housewife in Karachi. “This year we are scared to
use loudspeakers as some Muslims might complain.”
Christians will stay inside this Christmas.
Masih, a 47-year-old security guard in Lahore, usually takes his family to the
zoo and then joins other relatives for a picnic in the city’s botanical garden
after their Christmas festivities. Not this year.
has been our ritual for years,” he said. “There is a threat of attack in public
spaces for my family.”
year, Islamic State suicide bombers stormed Sunday services at Bethel Memorial
Methodist Church in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing nine people and
injuring several others.
survivors of that and other attacks feel unsafe participating in festivities.
have asked my family to just pray at home,” said Haroon Gill, 50, a
schoolteacher in Quetta who was in the church. “There is no need to risk their
lives. The children are upset. They won’t participate in the Christmas
programs. I don’t have much of a choice knowing how our church was attacked
last year and I was injured.”
not the first time Christians have felt targeted for openly expressing their
2016, on Easter Sunday, militants killed more than 90 people in a suicide
bombing at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore. An affiliate of the Pakistani
Taliban, Jamaatul-ul-Ahrar, took responsibility, saying that it targeted the
since the Easter attack, we fear going to crowded places,” said Iqbal Masih,
42, an electrician who lost family members in the bombing. He said the climate
has grown more fearful since the Bibi decision. “Muslims are angry at us. They
don’t want to see us celebrating.”
United States last week added Pakistan to its blacklist of countries that
violate religious freedom over the treatment of minorities in the country.
of State Mike Pompeo said he had designated Pakistan among “countries of
particular concern” in a congressionally mandated annual report.
far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment,
arrests or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their
beliefs,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The United States will not stand by as
spectators in the face of such oppression.”
to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, about 40 people in
Pakistan are currently jailed on blasphemy charges.
Malik, a 22-year-old Christian business student in Lahore, has experienced
religious discrimination firsthand.
decorated our house with a Christmas tree. Our landlord made it an excuse to
ask us to vacate the upper portion of the house,” said Malik. “Intolerance has
increased in Pakistan.”
rights activist Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association
criticized Pakistan’s government for not doing more to protect Christians. He
noted that Bibi and her husband, Ashiq Masih, would spend their holiday away
from her children, who are staying with a friend.
her joy at being free I cannot believe that Asia Bibi is feeling like much of a
winner today,” said Chowdhry.
A total of 62 Pakistanis had been executed in Saudi Arabia on charges of drug
smuggling in the last five years, the foreign ministry said in a written reply,
put up by Senator Mohsin Aziz.
ministry said 17 Pakistan had been executed in 2018; 13 Pakistanis were hanged
in Saudi Arabia on drug smuggling charges in 2017; followed by 5 Pakistanis in
2016; 14 in 2015 and 12 Pakistanis were executed in Saudi Arabia on drug
smuggling charges in 2014.
many as 1,764 Pakistanis have been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia on charges of
drug trafficking, which is 47 per cent of the total Pakistani prisoners in the
coordination office was working in the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad for formal
liaison with anti-narcotics authorities. Moreover, a memorandum of
understanding on controlling illicit drug trafficking and psychotropic
substances is also under consideration between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for
the control of drug trafficking.
Afghan government on Thursday reportedly freed nine members of the Haqqani
militant network, including the younger brother of the faction’s chief
Sirajuddin Haqqani, giving hope of a possible peace deal between the militants
and US and Afghan governments, according to a media report.
report claimed that the Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of
Security (NDS), has released the inmates, including Anas Haqqani, who was
arrested by the Afghan intelligence on October 14, 2014 from Afghanistan’s
Khost province and was handed the death sentence on Aug 29, 2016.
to the report, it is believed that the recent release is part of a prisoner
exchange deal agreed between the two sides during the recent parleys arranged
by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this week.
Today is making efforts to confirm this information independently.
Monday, representatives from the Afghan Taliban met officials from the US in
Abu Dhabi in another bid to find shared ground to end the 17-year war in
Afghanistan. The meeting also included representatives from Pakistan, Saudi
Arabia and UAE.
crucial Islamabad-brokered talks are said to have made progress despite the
insurgent group insistence that negotiations only focussed on withdrawal of the
US forces from Afghanistan.
was the first time that the Taliban’s both military and political leaders attended
a negotiation as previously the Taliban were only represented by their
political office in Qatar. The presence of the Taliban leaders like Mullah Amir
Mutaqi, Qari Yahya, Mullah Mohibullah Hamas and Mullah Abbas Akhund at the UAE
talks suggests seriousness of the insurgent group towards the latest round of
discussions facilitated by Pakistan.
productive meetings in the UAE with Afghan and international partners to
promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending the conflict in #Afghanistan,”
said, in a tweet, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation
Zalmay Khalilzad, who led the US side at the talks.
conclusion of the talks, Khalilzad flew to Islamabad and met Pakistan’s army
chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
met with #Pakistan leaders to update them on the state of play following our
meetings in the UAE. Looking forward to meeting Afghan leaders in Kabul,
#Afghanistan tonight,” the US special envoy said before departing for Kabul.
military’s media wing said that Khalilzad appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for
Afghan peace process while Gen Qamar reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is
important for Pakistan and assured continued efforts for bringing peace and
stability in the region.
a separate statement, the UAE government said it hosted the US-Taliban
reconciliation talks in Abu Dhabi, with the participation of Saudi Arabia and
Pakistan. “The two-day Afghan reconciliation conference fructified in tangible
results that are positive for all parties concerned,” the statement said.
to the statement, another round of talks would be held in Abu Dhabi to complete
the Afghanistan reconciliation process. “Saudi Arabia and the UAE extend their
thanks to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as well as the US, Pakistani and Taliban
delegations for their effective participation and support for ensuring the
success of the conference,” according to the UAE’s state-run news agency .
further details have been available as to what exactly transpired in the Abu
Taliban spokesperson, however, claimed that discussions focused on the complete
withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan. The spokesperson dismissed
reports that any proposal was under consideration regarding the setting up of
interim government in Afghanistan or a 6-month ceasefire.
observers believe that the Taliban statement may just be meant for its foot
soldiers and elements who are not in favour of striking a peace deal with the
US or Afghan government.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on
Thursday that the federal cabinet had directed the ministries to continue
austerity measures and cut expenditures by 10 per cent to help overcome fiscal
was briefing media persons about the decisions taken during the cabinet
meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
said a presentation was given to the prime minister on economic situation of
the country, and he advised the ministers to limit their foreign visits.
cabinet strongly condemned the ongoing genocide of Kashmiris by Indian
occupation forces as well as imposition of Presidential Rule in the occupied
state. The minister said that the prime minister would talk to the UN secretary
general by telephone about the worsening situation in Occupied Kashmir.
announced that Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Muhammad bin Salman and
Crown Prince of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan
Al-Nahyan would visit Pakistan in February and January, respectively. During
the Saudi crown prince’s visit, a historic agreement will be signed between the
two countries on an oil refinery project, he said adding that it will be the
single largest foreign investment in Pakistan’s history.
said that the cabinet had directed the interior ministry to remove the names of
three persons including two MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir from the Exit
said that the prime minister had expressed displeasure over no change in
culture at the airports as the expatriates and foreign investors continued to
face problems as in the past. The prime minister issued directive to the Civil
Aviation Authority and the interior ministry to rectify the situation, he said.
Fawad said that the cabinet had decided that separate inquiries underway on
escalation of the new Islamabad Airport’s cost estimate by the National
Accountability Bureau, the Federal Investigation Agency, and the Civil Aviation
Authority should be merged into a single probe. He said that the cabinet also
gave approval for issuance of licences and renewal of licences for airlines
including the Pakistan International Airlines. He said the prime minister
issued directives that not a single penny should be deducted from funds
allocated for the formerly Federally Administered Tribal Areas as per agreement
among all political parties that a three percent of the GDP was to be allocated
for the region. Fawad regretted that the Sindh government claimed to be
champions of the rights of small provinces but it was not cooperating on the
cabinet also discussed revision of the master plan of Islamabad, and decided
that master plans of major cities of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces
would also be prepared.
minister said that the government wanted to simplify the visa regime to attract
foreign tourists and investors. He said the Information Ministry had already
approached the foreign and interior ministries for provision of facilities to
minister said that Pakistan had spent a $1 billion on the development of
Afghanistan since 2002, and currently a 200-bed Jinnah Hospital in Kabul and
Nishtar Kidney Centre in Lugar Province were being built by Pakistani
assistance. That was part of the policy of compassion of the government along
the lines of the policies implemented by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the state
to questions, Fawad said Dr Ishrat Hussain’s committee was working on a
restructuring plan and it would finalise its recommendations in due course of
time, which would be implemented in phases.
a question about the PPP and PML-N announcement of joint strategy against the
arrest of leaders, he said that it was a strange approach to join hands and
demand pardon in corruption cases.
made it clear that the government had no plan for retrenchment from government
said that the prime minister’s statement about new elections was reported out
of context as he had only said that if a new province was created in south
Punjab, elections for provincial assembly could be held there.
Pakistan on Thursday rejected a resolution passed by the Indian Punjab Assembly
asking Islamabad to swap Kartarpur with India for another piece of land.
is absolutely no question of any land swap,” Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman
Dr Muhammad Faisal told a news briefing in Islamabad.
spokesman said Pakistan opened the corridor purely on humanitarian basis just
to facilitate the Sikh community. There cannot be any swapping of land, he
his attention was drawn to an Indian attempt of taking a Pakistani property –
Jinnah House – in Mumbai under its control, Dr Faisal said that any attempt by
India to take the House under its control would not be accepted. “India has
already accepted that it (Jinnah House) belongs to Pakistan,” he told
spokesman strongly condemned the ongoing killing spree by Indian occupation
forces in held Kashmir and called upon the international community to take
notice of the situation and press India to stop atrocities and bloodshed in the
occupied territory. He asked India to allow international human rights
organisations to visit Indian-held Kashmir to probe brutalities.
FO spokesman said India was intentionally violating ceasefire along the Line of
Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB) to divert the global attention from
its worst atrocities in IHK. “Keeping in view the military escalations by
Indian forces, India must allow the UN Military Observer Group on India and
Pakistan to monitor the situation along the LoC and WB,” the spokesman added.
reiterated Pakistan’s diplomatic and political support to the people of Kashmir
and their just right to self-determination.
said that Pakistan had also written letters to secretary generals of the United
Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) to take notice of
deteriorating situation in Kashmir.
asked to comment on the recent demolishing of two mosques in Allahabad, India,
the spokesperson called upon India to respect minorities’ rights.
the tripartite talks between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, the Foreign
Office spokesperson said that the three countries held positive discussions.
During the second round of Pakistan-Afghanistan-China trilateral dialogue in
Kabul, the countries signed a memorandum of understanding on anti-terrorism
three parties have echoed their determination to curb terrorism. Pakistan has
played its part in the Afghan peace process which is being hailed
internationally,” Dr Faisal said.
a recent dialogue between officials from the United States and Afghan Taliban
held in UAE, Dr Faisal said Pakistan supports the talks and is hopeful of a
peaceful result to the Afghan issue.
is playing its part for the establishment of peace in Afghanistan and wants to
find a solution to the issue with the Afghan leadership,” he asserted.
to a question regarding the plight of Pakistani prisoners in various countries,
Dr Faisal said that the Pakistani high commissioner in Sri Lanka had met the
prisoners and legal proceedings had been initiated to help the jailed Pakistanis.
Speaking about what he described as successes of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf
government in the country’s foreign affairs, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood
Qureshi told the Senate on Thursday that those lobbying against Pakistan had
failed and the country was being praised for its role in the recently held
talks between the United States and Taliban.
was responding to a calling-attention notice by Senator Raza Rabbani of the
Pakistan Peoples Party that the government was not taking parliament into
confidence regarding decisions taken by it during recent visits by the
country’s top leadership to Gulf countries, Malaysia and China.
foreign minister said Pakistan had been successful in maintaining its
neutrality and conveying its point of view even to those nations that were
currently not enjoying cordial relations with one another.
Qureshi considered it a success that while there was no change in Pakistan’s
neutral stance in the Yemen conflict, “Prime Minister Imran Khan has had a
state visit to Saudi Arabia in 30 years”.
said that the role of Pakistan in the recent Taliban-US talks had been
acknowledged by all.
the talks a major shift in the American policy, the foreign minister said it
had always been Pakistan’s stance that peace could only come through
his speech, Mr Rabbani criticised the government for what he called overplaying
the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, saying that the Indian government had
almost ridiculed Pakistan on the occasion and criticised it on other issues.
house has not even been informed about the details of the Taliban-US talks,” he
Rabbani said there were reports that Pakistan had decided to support Saudi
Arabia, wondering if it meant that the country was taking sides in the Yemen
conflict and not maintaining neutrality.
foreign minister began his speech in a calm tone by telling the house that he
had briefed the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Relations headed by
Senator Mushahid Hussain of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on all these
are working on our policy lines,” he said, adding that some decisions had been
made public and some were under discussion.
foreign minister said Pakistan had gained a big diplomatic success through the
opening of the Kartarpur corridor, adding that the event had improved the image
of Pakistan among Sikh people all over the world. “India had to conduct the
groundbreaking ceremony (of the Kartarpur corridor) a day earlier to remain in
foreign minister criticised the Indian leadership for its aggressive statements
the impression being given by some quarters that the two Indian ministers, who
attended the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, visited Pakistan in
their personal capacity, Mr Qureshi said that such an occurrence was not
possible in Pakistan-India context.
criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership for trying to use the event in
the party’s favour in the local elections in India. The foreign minister said
that because of the diplomacy of the PTI government, Pakistan’s relations with
the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar were improving.
about Pakistan’s relations with China, he said that some vested interests were
trying to spread misconceptions about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
(CPEC). The only change in the economic corridor project was that its focus was
shifting from infrastructure development to industrial and agricultural growth,
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah has said that a
meeting between former president Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif in the near future cannot be
ruled out and it can take place when both leaders are available in Islamabad.
to reporters after his meeting with PML-N president and Leader of the
Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif here on Thursday, Mr Shah
also did not rule out the possibility of launching a joint protest movement
against the government.
can’t a meeting take place?” Mr Shah said when asked if a meeting between Nawaz
Sharif and Asif Zardari was possible, adding that Mr Zardari was not present in
Islamabad and when he came here “the meeting will take place Insha Allah".
to a question about the chances of launching a joint movement if Nawaz Sharif
and Asif Zardari were arrested, the PPP leader said every party prepared its
own strategy. However, he said, “if political situation takes us to this
direction then everything is possible in politics”.
both Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif evaded the question about the meeting with Mr
Zardari when they faced TV reporters after attending a PML-N meeting.
Sharif only spoke about the party’s reorganisational matters whereas Shahbaz
Sharif criticised the present government’s economic policies.
PPP leader said they wanted this government to complete its term, but the
rulers were themselves creating “uncertainties” through controversial
statements and actions and by talking about mid-term elections.
there a civil martial law or a jungle law is prevailing in the country?” he
asked while responding to a question regarding the ongoing investigations
against Mr Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the fake bank accounts case.
reply to a question about the reports that Sanam Bhutto, the sister of Benazir
Bhutto, is being launched in politics, he said that she was the daughter of
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and “her name cannot be separated from politics”.
Sharif and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif jointly presided over another
consultative meeting of the senior party members at the Parliament House to
discuss a host of issues, including reorganisation of the party.
said the PML-N leadership had set March 23 deadline for completion of the
party’s reorganisation down to the district level. The sources said that the
vacant posts in the executive body of the party would be filled in the next few
days through nominations.
the two Sharifs had presided over a similar meeting on Tuesday in which the head
of the party’s Central Organising Committee Ahsan Iqbal had made a detailed
presentation about the party’s reorganisation matters.
to reporters, Nawaz Sharif said the PML-N governments had always worked hard to
improve the quality of life of Pakistanis but the PTI government put life
beyond the means of hardworking people with skyrocketing inflation.
said that major decisions regarding party organisations had been made in the
decisions made in the meeting will lead to effective organisation of the PML-N
and will have progressive and productive long -term effects on Pakistani
politics,” said Mr Sharif.
also highlighted the achievements of his government, saying they eliminated
terrorism and loadshedding from the country besides launching the
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
said even the international community acknowledged Pakistan as an emerging
state during the time of the PML-N government.
former prime minister said the PML-N had always looked out for national interest
and the welfare of people and it would continue to do that. However, the
current government had burdened the hard-working people of this country with
unbearable inflation and exaggerated taxation, he added.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has stated that dialogue is the only
option to resolve all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan.
to a call attention notice in Senate, the minister said the premier immediately
after assuming power offered India to come to dialogue table in order to remove
illiteracy and poverty from the region. He said Pakistan needs peace at both
eastern and western fronts.
to the canceled meeting between foreign ministers of both counties on the
sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York earlier this year, he said
India had initially agreed on the meeting but later backtracked due to domestic
political compulsions. He said India’s political leadership was hesitant due to
the upcoming general elections next year.
foreign minister said the Pakistani response was very measured and mature in
which it was said that Pakistan is willing to engage in the dialogue. Regarding
the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, he said the gesture by Pakistan was made for
peace and completing the longstanding demand of the Sikh community to visit one
of their holy sites.
said the Indian cabinet held a meeting and decided to reciprocate this gesture
and did the groundbreaking a day earlier than Pakistan. They also sent two of
their ministers to attend the ceremony in Pakistan. A group of 50 Indian
journalists also attended the Kartarpur Corridor ceremony in Pakistan, he
FM said a stable and peaceful neighborhood is Pakistan’s requirement in order
to improve the socio-economic conditions. He said India must realise the high
price Pakistan paid in fighting the war against terror. He said no other nation
has sacrificed 75,000 people in this war, besides suffering losses of billions
of rupees. He said all credit goes to people and armed forces of Pakistan who
have exhibited their resilience.
house was informed that the government of Pakistan is regularly in touch with
the Afghan government for access to information regarding Pakistani prisoners
in Afghanistan and their repatriation to Pakistan.
Minister Qureshi in a written response during the question hour session said
the government has raised this issue as one of the agenda points of all
bilateral engagements with Afghanistan.
said during the inaugural session of Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace
held in Kabul in July this year, the issue was discussed during talks with
Afghan deputy foreign minister.
embassy in Kabul has arranged repatriation of 17 Pakistani prisoners released
from Afghan jails from 20th February to 30th August this year. From the period
August 20th to this month, four Pakistani prisoners were released and
repatriated to Pakistan, he told the house.
like Hefazat and Jamaat are slowly starting to lose significance in politics
this month, as the coalitions for the upcoming battle on December 30 took more
solid shapes, a curious feature became apparent. There are about 70 Islamist
political parties in Bangladesh, 63 of them are now with the Awami League-led
coalition, while only five are part of BNP-led alliance.
massive irony of religious parties flocking under the wings of the “protector”
of secularism in Bangladesh, could not escape even the most obtuse. However, as
the popular saying goes, it’s not how many Islamist parties you have got, it’s
about which Islamists you have.
again there is the gnashing of teeth, rending of garments from the usual
suspects about the fact that BNP has given nominations to leaders of Jamaat.
Once again, BNP acted as the last shelter of evils that stand between
Bangladesh and all that is good.
the massive gathering of Islamic parties under the ruling regime generated
furious alarms in the sincerer quarters also. They are regarding this as a
definite sign of the inexorable Islamization of politics and society.
mullahs are not just coming, they’re here.
think that political developments in recent years in Bangladesh, and also in
the Muslim world, are showing that political Islam is not a rising tide but may
be an ebbing flood past its peak. Shafi Huzur and Hefazat accepting the
patronship of the ruling party and joining the coalition show that ambition of
madrassa-based organizations has remained at the bread and butter level.
do not aspire to take charge of the large and complex polity, of whose gears
and levers they have little understanding. Jamaat, the Islamic organization
that has ambition of achieving reigning power one day near or distant, is now a
shell of its former self.
braggadocious Jamaat of the 90s and early 00s, when it claimed that the
dedication and professionalism of its members made Jamaat sui generis of
political organizations in Bangladesh, is no more.
pantheon of top leadership has been annihilated, the vaunted member-base
couldn’t do anything to stop it despite suffering grievously in all-out
efforts. Jamaat rank and file are confused, shell-shocked still. Obtaining
state power, always a long-term ambition, has been postponed indefinitely into
could display the inherent disarray of Islamic forces within Bangladesh more
starkly than the chaotic-but-deadly clash of Tablig factions that occurred on
the first of December.
which was mostly known for its detachment in this world in preparation for the
next, showed that it can be as scrappy as any other organization when fighting
over worldly possessions. All these recent incidents only underscore the fact
that nobody in Bangladesh regards political Islam ready for taking up
governance any time soon.
this age, one cannot separate the domestic from the international, especially
for movements with global pretentions like political Islam. Internationally, we
are also witnessing an ebbing of Islam’s march on political power.
Egypt, brutal state repression has broken and scattered the Muslim Brotherhood
(MB), the global organization with which Jamaat have a long-standing affinity.
not that MB is going away in Egypt or in other Arab countries, it is still the
main non-government political organization in most of these countries. It is
that MB supporters throughout the middle east and the world are introspecting
why the suppression of the organization was so successful.
they couldn’t raise a groundswell of popular support for them and against the
traditional rulers. In Tunisia, the main Islamist party, Ennahda, has
compromised so much on secular governance that it is hardly distinguishable
from a mainstream conservative party, rather than a political Islam project.
Turkey, the Erdogan regime is increasingly transforming into strongman populism
rather than embarking on political Islam.
common theme behind the evolution and current state of MB and all affiliated
organizations in various countries is that, while they invested decades in
developing organizational and theological support, they did not invest in
developing any form of “governance thinking.”
honesty, more justice, more welfare, these platitudes do not make coherent
political and economic thoughts capable of dealing with the modern world.
capitalism, liberalism, East-Asian authoritarianism, or even populist
nationalism, political Islam has not yet been able to present successful
governance systems. No rational leader or thinker in the Muslim world try to
inspire fellow countrymen.
is no denying that religion is becoming more important and influential in
Muslim societies all over the world.
political organizations are discovering that support for religious principles
and identities do not automatically translate in to support for religious
politics, policies, and organizations. Most Muslims, in the modern world, also
generally render unto Caesar things that are Caesar’s, and unto Church the
things that are Church’s.
article has so far been full of gross generalizations. After Fukuyama’s
debacle, no one should be unaware of how tenuous it is to extrapolate current
trends into long-term projections.
it is not shaky to argue that institutionalizing Islamic organizations into
regular politics, particularly when they are weak and small, is a better way
for the development of Muslim polity than excluding them or confining them into
organizations don’t just dabble in politics -- politics also make them. The
crucial thing is the way of doing politics.
forces are conducting new "clearance operations" in northern Rakhine
state where thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been languishing in internal
commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing's office said Thursday security forces have
been carrying out "area clearance operations along Pyu Ma Creek" in
operations, he claimed, was sparked after two ethnic Rakhine Buddhist men were
found on the creek bank with their throats slit on December 17.
the same day, Min said, two members of another ethnic Buddhist minority were
attacked while fishing along the creek by six men "speaking Bengali
refers to Rohingya as Bengali to falsely imply they are newly-arrived
immigrants from Bangladesh.
latest violence occurred in the same area where troops waged a bloody crackdown
against the Rohingya last year.
of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by
Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August
2017. More than 720,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh following the crackdown.
week, a group advocating the cause of the persecuted Rohingya said a generation
of the Muslims may be lost due to a lack of education for children and the
youth at camps for the displaced in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
investigators want Myanmar's top brass prosecuted for genocide for alleged
abuses carried out during the expulsion.
campaign against the Rohingya, which the UN has described as a textbook example
of ethnic cleansing, has seen mass killings, torture, and gang-rape of Muslims
as well as arson attacks against their homes and farms in Rakhine.
of thousands of Rohingya have been languishing in internal displacement camps
since a previous wave of violence in 2012.
to Bangladesh’s internal security continue to emanate from groups affiliated
with al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State (IS). The key groups operating in
Bangladesh are the Jamma’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Ansar al-Islam.
An IS-centric offshoot of JMB, often referred to as the Neo-JMB, is also
active. Despite sustained counter-terrorism operations, these groups continue
to adapt to the evolving security environment and form new alliances.
the IS-inspired attack in 2016, Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies have
scaled up their operations across the country — 906 people have been arrested
for their alleged involvement in Neo-JMB and around 100 militants were killed
during these operations. This has created leadership disarray within Neo-JMB
and drastically reduced its capacity to raise funds and carry out attacks.
the year draws to a close, Neo-JMB appears weakened but not yet contained. The
group has a new leader reviving the group. Recruitment continues and the group
is allegedly planning terror attacks. There is also the possibility of
lone-wolf or single actor attacks, as pro-IS propaganda materials are still
available online and circulated through social media.
year has also seen the re-emergence of JMB, which is gradually rebuilding its
networks after the arrest of hundreds of JMB leaders and activists in 2005.
According to Bangladeshi authorities, JMB and Ansar al-Islam (the Bangladeshi
wing of al-Qaeda) are possibly working together, or at least have similar
targets. The July 2018 killing of Shahjahan Bachchu — a writer, publisher and
former left-wing politician — is a case in point. Bachchu came under the radar
of both terrorist groups thanks to his secular blogs. The groups then worked in
tandem to kill him: Ansar al-Islam conducted the reconnaissance while JMB
mid-2018, JMB opened a new wing in India: Jama’atul Mujahedeen India (JMI). The
group believes in using Qital (armed struggle) to ‘uproot polytheism and to
establish Islam’ and that the Indian subcontinent is a future battlefield for
establishing the caliphate.
revival of JMB highlights the possibility of a new wave of terrorist activities
in Bangladesh, especially as the country prepares for elections at the end of 2018.
The group vehemently opposes and may try to target polling centres.
and India have carried out around 100 joint operations to dismantle JMB. But
the success of this campaign will be limited unless a long-term strategy is
formed to check Islamist militancy.
the Bangladesh government’s response to terrorism in 2018 was largely
operational, they have put in place a range of strategic initiatives.
Authorities are focussing on the threat of cyber-radicalisation and
mobilisation by militant groups. They are also engaging Muslim clerics to
create greater awareness of extremism and terrorism and working to regulate
authorities continue to organise community engagement programs and inter-faith
dialogues. Some agencies are currently working with academics to promote an
in-depth understanding of preventing and countering violent extremism. Law
enforcement agencies are also using mobile-apps to collect human intelligence
and feedback from the community.
key challenge at this juncture is to build a well-structured counter-terrorism
strategy and action plan. This should include cyber platforms for encouraging
moderation and a policy for rehabilitating extremists.
Bangledesh’s efforts is the limited coordination between counter-terrorism
agencies and the prison system. Quite often, terrorist detainees and inmates
bribe prison officers to be transferred to prisons of their choice. This makes
positive development has been the establishment of an Anti-Terrorism Tribunal
(ATT) — under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Act — to more efficiently trial terrorist
suspects. The ATT will be in charge of the Dhaka cafe attack trial. The second
tribunal will be set up in Chittagong.
the decline in attacks, the terrorist threat in Bangladesh remains real and the
fight against it is likely to continue. Despite the sustained operational
response, terrorist groups have been able to survive, re-organise and expand.
Bangladesh’s response must be recalibrated. While police and other law
enforcement agencies are doing their part in the operational realm, there is a
need to ensure continuity and to rethink strategic options. As a new
administration takes over in 2019, it remains to be seen how Bangladesh will
work to reduce the threat.
Dec 20 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said BNP and Jamaat
have worked out two plans ahead of the election -- killing police officers and
woo them through bribes.
chalked out these two plans. There’s a criminal in London who sends plans,” she
said while addressing retired senior police officers at a function at her
official residence Ganobhaban in the city.
total of 88 police officers from IGP (Inspector General of Police) rank to ASP
(Additional Superintendent of Police) at the function extended their support to
Awami League for the 11th national election slated for December 30.
the retired police officers, 15 are ex-IGPs, one officer of Police Services of
Pakistan (PSP), 19 additional IGPs, 24 DIGs, 3 additional DIGs, 11 AIGs and SPs
and 15 additional SPs.
at BNP and Jamaat, Sheikh Hasina, also the President of Awami League, said now
they have a target to kill some senior police officials ahead of the election.
the violence and arson attacks unleashed by BNP-Jamaat during the last national
election, she said the killers and arson attackers burnt and beat up police
members to death mercilessly. “It can’t be thought how much dangerous deeds
they can commit.”
Hasina hoped that people will cast votes for ‘Boat’ and her party will win the
election again as it is now getting huge response from the voters. “So, we want
a peaceful situation to prevail in the country and no chaos is created.”
mentioning the names of Dr Kamal Hossain and other Oikyafront leaders, she
criticized them for joining hands with the anti-liberation force.
painful that they have now joined hands with the anti-liberation force and war
criminals. It’s very shameful,” Hasina said.
to power through the 2008 election victory, her government started developing
the socioeconomic status of people giving it utmost priority.
the economic improvement, she said her government put the war criminals on
trial and executed their sentence, though many could not imagine that it was
the beginning of the function PSP officer Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, Bir Bikram and
four ex-IGPs, including AKM Shahidul Haque, on behalf of retired police
officers, greeted the Prime Minister presenting her a bouquet.
IGP AKM Shahidul Haque conducted the function while several ex-IGPs spoke on
the occasion expressing their solidarity with AL in the election.
15 former IGPs are AT Ahammedul Haque Chowdhury, Kutubur Rahman, Md Shamsher
Alam, AKM Enayet Ullah Dewan, Md Abdur Rouf, Md Awlad Hossain Mia, Kazi Bazlur
Rahman, Abul Kashem Hawlader, Md Abdul Hannan, Md Ruhul Amin, M Sanaul Haque,
Md Nurul Anwar and AKM Shahidul Haq, Md Mominullah Patwari (ex-police officer
and former secretary) and Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan (coordinator with status
19 former additional IGPs include Md Sarwar Hossain, Mohammad Abdus Sattar, Md
Abdur Rahim Khan, Md Nurul Alam, Md Ali Imam Chowdhury, Md Fazlul Haque, Md
Abdur Rahim, Khandakar Mozammel Haq, Golam Mostafa, Md Lutfor Rahman Mia, Md
Matiur Rahman, Md Abdul Mannan, Md Abdul Mabud, Amulya Bhushan Barua, Md Nazmul
Haque, Fatema Begum, Binoy Krinshna Bala, Nowsher Ali and Md Abu Hanif.
24 retired Deputy Inspectors General include Dewan Habibullah, Md Shafiq Ullah,
Khandakar Saheb Ali, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Md Mokhlesur Rahman, Shah Alam Sikder,
PR Barua, Md Tofazzal Hossain, Md Waliur Rahman, Nibaran Kumar Chanda, Mostafa
Zamal Uddin al Azad, Kazi Anwar Hossain, Md. Altaf Hossain Mollah, Chowdhury
Ahsanul Kabir, Md Sazzad Hossain, Mostaq Hossain Khan, Shafiqur Rahman, Moqbul
Hossain Bhuiyan, Md Obaidullah, Dr Muhammad Abdur Rahim, SM Mahfuzul Haq
Nuruzzamn and Moniruzzaman.
three former additional DIGs are Golam Kibria Bhuiyan, Syed Monirul Islam and
Sattya Ranjan Baroi, and the 11 ex-AIGs, while the ex-SPs are Syed Bazlul
Karim, Chowdhury AAG Kabir, Md Malik Khasru, Md Rahmat Jahan Sikder, Rafiqul
Islam, Imamul Hossain Firoz, Khan Akramuzzaman, Abdul Khaleq, Mia Lutfor Rahman
Chowdhury, Faruk Ahmed and Motiur Rahman.
KHAAMA PRESS - Fri Dec 21 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to withdraw more than 5,000 U.S.
soldiers from Afghanistan amid reports verbal orders have been given to start
work on withdrawal plans.
U.S. official speaking condition of anonymity has told Reuters that a decision
had been made and verbal orders had been given to start planning for the
official has further added that timelines were being discussed but it could
happen in weeks or months.
comes as the U.S. President Donald Trump had earlier ordered the withdrawal of
the U.S. forces from Syria.
regarding the withdrawal of more than 5,000 troops from Afghanistan emerge a
day after U.S. and Taliban talks ended in Abu Dhabi of United Arab Emirates.
Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had earlier said the three-day talks
mainly focused on withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan although other
reports had also emerged that other topics including a ceasefire and release of
prisoners were also discussed.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad met with the leaders of the Government of National Unity after
returning to Kabul from Abu Dhabi where he had met with the Taliban group
Khalilzad said Thursday that he met with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul on Wednesday night.
posted an online statement in his Twitter account and said the Abu Dhabi
meetings were discussed during the meeting with President Ghani and Chief
to Ambassador Khalilzad, next steps regarding an intra-Afghan dialogue were
also discussed during the meeting.
third round of direct talks between the United States and Taliban ended on
Wednesday in Abu Dhabi of United Arab Emirates.
Shah on Bulandshahr violence: Cow’s death more significant than death of police
to the Bulandshahr violence where a policeman lost his life to mob fury over
alleged cow slaughter earlier this month, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has
expressed concerns over how “the death of a cow has more significant than that
of a police officer” and how he doesn’t see “the situation improving anytime
soon”. “In many areas, we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more
significant than that of a police officer,” Shah said.
actor was speaking to Karwan-e-Mohabbat India when he also expressed concerns
over the “impunity provided for those who take the law into their hands”. “The
poison has already spread and it is difficult to put this jinn back into the
bottle. There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own
hands,” he said.
the two-minute-ten-second video, Shah also expressed fears over his children’s
response if they were asked about their religion. “I feel worried about my
children. They do not have a religion. I had received religious education as a
child. Ratna (his wife who is a Hindu) belongs to a liberal household, so she
had received none,” he said.
actor added, “I feel anxious for my children because tomorrow if a mob
surrounds them and asks “are you a Hindu or a Muslim”, they will have no
answer. It worries me because I don’t see the situation improving anytime
that the current situation “makes me angry”, he said, “I want every
right-thinking person to feel angry and not scared. This is our home. Who can
dare to evict us from here?” he said.
December 3, inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed in mob violence over
alleged cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr. Five people have been
arrested so far. However, the main accused is absconding.
to meet TRS MPs over triple talaq bill
the triple talaq bill being introduced in Parliament, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
(Telangana and Odisha) will meet Telangana Rashtra Samithi parliamentarians to
explain to them the nuances of divorce and also the stand of the organisation.
The Jamaat hopes that TRS MPs will oppose the bill.
triple talaq bill, known as The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage)
Bill, 2018, was introduced by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in
Parliament on Monday.
to sources, a delegation comprising Jamaat senior leadership, accompanied by
Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, will meet the parliamentarians on
to The Hindu on Thursday, Jamaat president Hamid Mohammed Khan said, “Before
the elections, senior TRS members wanted us to explain to them what is instant
triple talaq. Even Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao wanted some clarity on
the subject. I have sent a file containing some details to almost all TRS MPs.”
the Jamaat’s stand, Mr Khan said that the organisation considers the bill as a
violation of Muslim personal laws. He also said that the bill is an
infringement of Article 25, which provides for freedom of religion, and Article
14, which provides for equality before law and protection from discrimination
on grounds of religion, gender, race, caste and place of birth.
After mob violence broke out in Bulandshahr leading to two deaths including
that of an Inspector, the UP police arrested four Muslim men on charges of
four men Sajid, Sarfuddin, Asif and Nanhe have been in custody and since then
they were repeatedly pleaded that they were innocent.
almost after two weeks, the UP police on Wednesday claimed that all the four
are innocent and were falsely implicated following an FIR lodged by Yogesh Raj,
a senior Bajrang Dal leader and a key suspect in the mob violence and Inspector
Subodh Kumar Singh’s killing.
and three others were arrested 17 days ago and according to reports say their
families are also suffering. The family are financially in debt and struggling
to Sabir, Sajid’s father, more than a decade ago, his family had left Siyana
village of Bulandshahr. The Indian Express quoted Sabir as saying, “We kept on
saying that he (Sajid) wasn’t even present during the killings. The police did
not pay heed. I have spent more than Rs 50,000 in the last two weeks on food,
lodging and transport to visit the jail and police station multiple times. Even
today, my cousin had to borrow Rs 800 on my behalf to sponsor the visit. This
entire ordeal has set us back by six months. Our businesses have stopped.”
minors aged 11 and 12 were among seven Muslims named in the FIR. They were also
kept at the police station for a few hours before being released.
innocence of the four men was established after the SIT picked up three more
people Kala, Nadeem and Raees on Tuesday who was involved in alleged cow slaughter
in Mahaw village.
violence had broken out after alleged recovery of some animal carcasses dumped
by them resulting in the death of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and Sumit.
was attacked by the mob when he attempted to clear the traffic snarl caused by
the vigilantes carrying the carcasses on tractor trolleys blocking a busy road.
Delhi: A discussion on the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill
2018, or the Triple Talaq Bill, is expected to take place in Lok Sabha today
during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.
fresh bill, which prohibits divorce of Muslim couples by pronouncing ‘talaq’
(divorce) three times by their husbands, was first introduced in the Lok Sabha
on Monday to replace an ordinance issued in September. Under this proposed law,
Muslim men giving instant triple talaq will attract imprisonment of three
to the Lok Sabha’s revised business list, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will
introduce the bill in the lower house today. “Ravi Shankar Prasad to move that
the Bill to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce
by pronouncing talaq by their husbands and to provide for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto, be taken into consideration,” the document
ordinance was passed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet as
this bill could not be tabled on the last day of the Monsoon session held in
September, owing to a lack of consensus among political quarters.
central government gave nod to a number of crucial amendments to the Ordinance,
including a provision for bail to an accused before the commencement of trial.
The other amendment cleared by the Centre includes allowing only a woman or her
close kin to file a police case against her spouse for instant triple talaq.
per the Ordinance, the victim is also allowed to drop the case if her spouse
comes around later and they arrive at a compromise. It also mandates that the
magistrate can decide on releasing the husband on bail only after hearing the
accordance with the Ordinance, a Muslim woman against whom talaq has been
declared is entitled to get subsistence allowance from her spouse for herself
and for her dependent children. The amount of the allowance will be determined
by the Magistrate hearing the case.
current Ordinance also allows victims to seek custody of her minor children;
however, the manner of custody will be determined by the Magistrate. It also
makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be
void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal.
issue of triple talaq was taken up in the Parliament after in August last year,
a five-judge bench of the apex court ruled unconstitutional a law that allowed
Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering “talaq” three times in
DELHI: Even as Pakistan continued to claim ownership of Jinnah House in Mumbai,
the government declared on Thursday that Islamabad had no locus standi on the
issue as the property belonged to India.
has no locus standi as far as this property is concerned. It is a government of
India property and we are in the process of renovating it and using it the way
we use Hyderabad House in Delhi," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Pakistan is not in the picture. I think our stand is very clear, this is our property
and if there is somebody who contests, then I think this is something which we
will have to fight," he added. Pakistan has been demanding that the
property be handed over to it for housing its Mumbai consulate.
comments came on a day Pakistan asserted that Jinnah House belonged to it and any
attempt by India to take the building under its control would not be accepted.
have a claim over it (Jinnah House) and we do not accept that anyone tries to
take custody of it. They (Indians) have already accepted that it belongs to
Pakistan. We have record of it. They (Indians) have accepted that it belongs to
Pakistan," Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said.
minister Sushma Swaraj, in a letter to Mumbai BJP legislator Mangal Prabhat
Lodha, had said the government was in the process of renovating Jinnah House.
daughter Dina Wadia had approached the Bombay high court in August 2007
claiming that being the sole legal heir of Jinnah, she should get possession of
the house. After her death, her son Nusli Neville Wadia is carrying on the
DELHI: Reacting sharply to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's comments on the
death of seven civilians in Kashmir's Pulwama, India on Thursday said Islamabad
should mind its own affairs which are in a "mess" instead of interfering
in the affairs of its neighbors.
think it will be better if they mind their own business and look at the internal
affairs which are in a mess," external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh
Kumar said during a media briefing when asked about Khan's remarks.
said Pakistan has taken no action against terror groups operating from its soil
and statements coming from its side demonstrate its "insincerity and
Sunday, Khan condemned the death of seven civilians in Kashmir's Pulwama and threatened
to raise the issue at the UN.
civilians died on Saturday when security forces opened fire at an unruly mob
that had gathered at the site of an encounter in south Kashmir's Pulwama
said Pakistan must take action against terror groups operating from its soil
instead of commenting on India's internal affairs.
statements coming from that side demonstrate their insincerity and duplicity.
Syria, US plans for over 5,000 troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan
Donald Trump is planning to withdraw more than 5,000 of the 14,000 US troops in
Afghanistan, a US official said on Thursday, in the latest sign Trump’s
patience is thinning with America’s longest war and overseas military
Wednesday, Trump rebuffed top advisers and decided to pull all US troops out of
Syria, a decision that contributed to US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly
quitting on Thursday over significant policy differences with the president.
official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said a decision had been made
and verbal orders had been given to start planning for the drawdown. The
official said timelines were being discussed but it could happen in weeks or
is unclear how the United States with less than 9,000 forces in Afghanistan
will be able to fulfill the full set of missions now underway, including
training Afghan forces, advising them in the field, and waging an air campaign
against the Taliban and other militant groups.
the United States almost certainly would have to curtail its missions, something
that could provide an opportunity for a resurgent Taliban to expand their
offensives across Afghanistan.
had argued for maintaining a strong US military presence in Afghanistan to
bolster diplomatic peace efforts. He resigned shortly after US officials raised
the possibility that Trump would order the drawdown.
decision on Syria has bewildered US allies and triggered harsh reaction from
Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress. The Pentagon declined to comment on
Afghanistan. Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council,
said the White House would not comment “on future strategic developments.”
officials are currently engaged in talks with the Taliban, who now control a
significant amount of territory. The Taliban insurgency has strengthened its
grip over the past three years, with the government in Kabul controlling just
56 percent of Afghanistan, down from 72 percent in 2015, a US government report
privately has been grousing about US military involvement in Afghanistan,
telling an ally as recently as Wednesday words to the effect of, “What are we
doing there? We’ve been there all these years.”
source, who asked to remain unidentified, said it appeared the president “has
lost all patience” with the US military presence in Afghanistan.
than 2,400 US forces have died in the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan, and
Pentagon officials have repeatedly warned that a precipitous exit would allow
militants to develop new plots on America. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham,
often a vocal Trump ally, warned of possible danger to the United States if the
drawdown goes through.
conditions in Afghanistan - at the present moment - make American troop
withdrawals a high risk strategy. If we continue on our present course we are
setting in motion the loss of all our gains and paving the way toward a second
9/11,” Graham said in a statement.
last year approved an increase in US troops but acknowledged that he did so
reluctantly. Late last month, at least 22 Afghan police were killed in a
Taliban ambush in Afghanistan’s western province of Farah, adding to the
growing casualty toll on Afghan security forces.
this week, US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives held
talks in Abu Dhabi on a deal that would end the war. Officials from Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also took part.
Saudi ambassador to Washington, Khalid bin Salman, tweeted on Thursday that the
discussions had been productive and would bring “very positive results by the
beginning of next year.”
a former senior State Department official familiar with the issue said that the
Taliban representatives rejected a proposal by Khalilzad for a ceasefire and
demanded that the talks focus on a US withdrawal.
says it thwarted attacks on Copts
police have killed eight suspected Islamist militants in shootouts in and
around Cairo, the interior ministry said Thursday.
said those killed belonged to the Hasm group, believed to be a breakaway
faction of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, and added that four others were
arrested in a raid on hideout in the capital.
operations in Cairo and the capital's Giza district were based on intelligence
of planned attacks during celebrations for Coptic Christmas, which is marked on
January 7, the ministry said in a statement.
did not give dates for the operations.
group has claimed deadly attacks on security forces as well as assassination
attempts targeting a pro-government Muslim cleric and Egypt's deputy prosecutor
Egyptian Copt loses his life defending Muslim woman from thief
has launched a crackdown on Islamists following the 2013 ouster of president
Mohamed Morsi, who was a senior Brotherhood figure.
Christians, who account for around 10 percent of Egypt's 96-million population,
have been a key target of ISIS group.
to end air war against ISIS in Syria following troops withdrawal
President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw US troops from Syria also signifies
an end to the US air campaign against ISIS there, US officials told Reuters on
Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
US-led air war has been critical to rolling back ISIS and keeping pressure on
the militant group in Iraq and Syria, with more than 100,000 bombs and missiles
fired at targets in the two countries since 2015, according to Air Force data.
President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that ISIS has been defeated in
Syria, adding that this was the sole reason of American military presence in
have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump
presidency,” Trump tweeted.
bin Salman: We will continue to work with allies to reach Afghanistan peace
Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said that Saudi Arabia
and the UAE will continue to work with the US to find an end to the conflict in
Afghanistan, in a tweet on Thursday.
a previous tweet, the prince had said that the peace talks held in the UAE will
help with dialogue and reconciliation between the Afghani warring parties.
Khalid bin Salman خالد بن
سلمان (@kbsalsaud) December 20, 2018
also said that the talks were “productive and will help promote intra-Afghan
dialogue towards ending the conflict.
UAE had hosted, early this week, the US-Taliban reconciliation talks in Abu
Dhabi, with the participation of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
two-day Afghan reconciliation conference fructified in tangible results that
are positive for all parties concerned.
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria could result
in a deadly resurgence of the terror group Daesh, allies fear.
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Trump’s announcement, saying a US
military presence there was no longer needed.
claim to have defeated Daesh on Thursday prompted an angry response from the
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the main US ally in the Syria
a strongly worded statement, the SDF said a premature US pullout would have
dangerous repercussions, including a resurgence of Daesh and a destabilizing
effect on the entire region.
war against terrorism has not ended and (Daesh) has not been defeated,” the
statement said. It added that the fight against Daesh was at a “decisive” stage
that required even more support from the US-led coalition.
decision has rattled Washington’s Kurdish allies, who are its most reliable
partner in Syria and among the most effective ground forces battling Daesh.
US air support, the Kurds drove Daesh from much of northern and eastern Syria
in a costly four-year campaign.
decision to pull out under these circumstances will lead to a state of
instability and create a political and military void in the region and leave
its people between the claws of enemy forces,” the SDF statement said.
responses reportedly being looked into by Kurdish officials and commanders is
the release of thousands of Daesh militants and their families being detained
in SDF-run prisons and camps.
Sheikhmos, a Kurdish journalist and commentator, told AP: “We have every right
to be afraid.” He predicted that a US military withdrawal would result in
massacres and millions of refugees.
US announcement came at a particularly tense moment in northern Syria. Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to launch a new
offensive against the Kurds, but in recent days he has stepped up the rhetoric,
saying an assault could begin “at any moment.”
US pullout is expected to be completed within 60 to 100 days. But Nicholas
Danforth, a senior policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National
Security Project, expressed caution about tying the decision too closely to
recent developments in US-Turkish relations.
inability to develop and follow a coherent long-term plan in Syria has denied
it the potential benefits of both leaving sooner and staying longer,” he told
US military said any claims of a change in American policy in Syria were
“false” and “designed to sow confusion and chaos.”
Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently said the US is
planning to train thousands of Syrian local fighters to maintain stability in
areas captured from Daesh.
Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat who chairs the Istanbul-based Center for
Economics and Foreign Policy, described Trump’s decision as unexpected but not
say it will have consequences for regional dynamics too, with Syrian President
Bashar Assad gaining more territory and Russia increasing its regional clout by
filling the vacuum. It may also trigger a Turkish offensive in northern Syria
against Kurdish forces.
will force the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the main Kurdish party in Syria,
to accelerate its dialogue with Damascus and possibly allow Damascus to
re-establish territorial control over the Kurdish-held region,” Ulgen said.
seemed to welcome Trump’s decision, but remains cautious about its
repercussions on the ground.
decision weakens the PYD, so Ankara can now control the timing of its
diplomatic and military activities,” said Ulgen.
military operation can now be done with more ease and less risk given that
there won’t be an issue of getting into confrontation with US troops. But
Ankara may also decide to allow the regime to establish its control over this
way, Ulgen said, Ankara would have a formal counterpart that would undertake
commitments to ensure that the region does not present a security threat to
would require a scenario where Turkey would decide to establish formal
relations with Assad and his regime, as declared recently by Foreign Minister
(Mevlut) Cavusoglu,” Ulgen added.
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Thursday
that the SDF political and military commanders in Eastern Euphrates held a long
meeting recently to study freedom of 3,200 ISIL members and their family
members with Arab, Asian, western, US and Latin American nationalities.
added that the Kurds have made a serious decision to retreat from the fight
against the ISIL terrorists and transfer all their forces to the combat fronts
against Turkey at Northern borders.
number of military experts believe that this decision was made in reaction to
the US betrayal of the SDF and withdrawal of American forces from Syria
following an agreement with Turkey.
President Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that he will withdraw the American
forces from Syria after what he called victory against the ISIL and inflicting
heavy defeat on the terrorist group.
the US claims, the ISIL still occupies some regions in Eastern Euphrates,
including the towns of al-Souseh, al-Sha'afeh and al-Baqouz as well as the
villages of al-Shajleh, al-Safafiyeh, al-Budran, Albu Khater, Abu Hassan and
al-Morashedeh in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that the operations in
Northern Syria are imminent and they would continue until the last of the
terrorists cleared, adding that Trump had given a positive response to Ankara's
operation East of the Euphrates.
would launch a military operation East of the Euphrates River "any moment
now", Erdogan stated at the mass opening ceremony at Mevlana Square in
central Konya province on Monday, Middle East News reported.
said the army completed preparations for the planned operation, adding that
Turkey will do "what is necessary" regarding terror corridors East of
the Euphrates River.
talked to [US President Donald] Trump. These terrorists have to leave areas
East of the Euphrates. If they do not leave, we will dispatch them. Because
they are disturbing us," he stressed.
announced that Trump gave a positive response to Turkey's operation.
Turkish daily reported on Tuesday that the US forces had pulled back from
observation posts at Syria-Turkey border and handed over them to the
Washington-backed Kurdish militias on the brink of Turkish Forces' operation on
the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
Safak paper reported that the US forces, deployed in Tal Abyadh region in
Northern Raqqa near the border with Turkey, have hand over their observation
posts to the Kurdish gunmen after Ankara declared an imminent assault on the
Eastern bank of the Euphrates River against the Kurds.
was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language service of Sputnik news agency on
Thursday that the US decision to retreat from Syria was the result of its major
defeat in the region, specially in plots against Damascus.
added that Syria is the key to regional stability, noting that the US has lost
all instruments used against Damascus.
said that Washington had no other option but to declare withdrawal from Syria
after loosing all its keys and tools to attain goals.
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that all US troops were to be pulled
out of the country as they near what he called as the end of their campaign to
retake territory once held by the ISIL.
who previously stated that he wanted to bring troops home as soon as possible,
claimed in a tweet on Wednesday that "we have defeated ISIS (ISIL) in
Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency".
Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior officials had previously backed the idea
of staying in Syria.
Trump's remarks, UK Defense Minister Tobias Ellwood stated that the US
president is wrong to claim Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) group has been
"defeated" in Syria.
official of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) blasted the US decision to
withdraw its military forces from Northeastern Syria, terming it betrayal and
stab in the back.
Jeihan Ahmed, the SDF spokesman, stressed that the Kurds will continue
resistance against Turkey without reliance on any sides, warning that they
would enter a deadly war with Ankara.
Syria's Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted local sources in Hasaka as
saying that the US and French military convoys along with several military
vehicles have retreated from the bordering town of Ra'as al-Ein in Hasaka
towards the village of al-Aliyeh on the international road of Hasaka-Aleppo in
the Southern parts of the town of Tal Tamar.
to the report, the US forces have also left some regions in Manbij in
Northeastern Aleppo and Ain Issa and the town of Salouk in Northern Raqqa.
the Turkish army sent a large number of its forces to the bordering points with
Eastern Euphrates to launch military operations against the Kurds in Syria.
week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that the operations in
Northern Syria are imminent and they would continue until the last of the
terrorists cleared, adding that US President Donald Trump had given a positive
response to Ankara's operation East of the Euphrates.
talked to (US President Donald) Trump. These terrorists have to leave areas
East of the Euphrates. If they do not leave, we will dispatch them. Because
they are disturbing us," he stressed.
paper further said that the Turkish army is planning to target the observation
posts at the first phase of its major operation against the Kurds in Northern
daily went on to say that the US army has also handed over the most modern
military hardware and advanced radars to the Kurds.
activists in Eastern Syria reported that a large number of residents of the
towns of Sweidan Jazirah, al-Hawayej, Doranj and Zayban in Southeastern Deir
Ezzur held rallies against the SDF on Thursday.
added that the popular uprising started after the SDF refrained from supplying
the people with heating fuel and detained a number of them, noting that the
Kurdish forces fired at the civilians, killing 2 of them and wounding at least
residents of these regions engaged in heavy clashes with the SDF forces,
killing one of their commanders namely Thamer al-Makhlaf in the town of Doranj.
the SDF dispatched a large military convoy from al-Tanak oilfield to the two villages
of Doranj and Sweidan.
said 5 Kurdish forces were also killed after unknown assailants fired at their
patrolling vehicle in the town of Zayaban.
in Eastern Deir Ezzur controlled by the SDF are suffering from drinking water,
electric power and fuel shortages.
a relevant development on Wednesday, tribal people in Eastern Deir Ezzur staged
a vast demonstration against the US-backed SDF, protesting against their
brutalities, including hording fuel.
of people in the small town of al-Shoheil in Eastern Deir Ezzur took to the
main street and protested against the SDF's fuel plundering in the region.
protestors closed off the streets and engaged in armed clash with the SDF,
killing two of them and wounding several more.
protestors further moved towards al-Umar oilfield, but, the SDF blocked their
access to the oilfield, cordoning off the area.
Moroccan authorities said on Thursday (Dec 20) four suspects arrested following
the murder of two young Scandinavian hikers in southern Morocco had pledged
allegiance to the Islamic State (IS)
of the four suspects were arrested on Thursday over the grisly killing of the
two hikers, as investigators probed a link to Islamic extremism.
video showing the arrested individuals ... pledging allegiance to Daesh was
recorded last week before the execution of the criminal acts we are
investigating," the Rabat prosecutor said in a statement using the using
alternative name for IS and confirming the authenticity of the video.
spokesman Mustapha Khalfi described the killings as a "criminal and
terrorist act", while Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani called them a
"stab in the back of Morocco and Moroccans".
was in reference to the likely negative impact the murders will have on the
North African country's vital tourism sector - which accounts for 10 per cent
of national income.
arrests in the city of Marrakesh follow a first arrest on Monday of a man
suspected of belonging to an Islamic extremist group, hours after the discovery
of the two women's bodies in the High Atlas mountains of southern Morocco.
suspects have been arrested" and investigators were in the process of
"verifying the terrorist motive, which is supported by the evidence and
the findings of inquiries," said the central judicial investigations
bodies of Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and 28-year-old Maren
Ueland from Norway were found on Monday, after the two friends had pitched
their tent at an isolated mountain site two hours' walk from the tourist
village of Imlil.
have focused on the terrorism line of inquiry since arresting the first suspect
in a poor neighbourhood of the region's main city of Marrakesh, which is a
magnet for foreign tourists.
radical Islamist line has not been removed, because of the profile of the
(first) suspect arrested and the three" others, who have links to radical
Islamic circles, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Wednesday.
released pictures of three of those arrested, who were identified as Rachid
Afatti, Ouaziad Younes and Ejjoud Abdessamad.
one of the black and white photos circulated by the authorities, a suspect
wears white robes and a white skullcap, and has a long beard.
second suspect also has a long beard, while the third has a thin face and a
in another picture released by police after they were detained, the three are
freshly shaven and wearing plain clothes.
three hail from Marrakesh, and one of them had "a court record linked to
terrorist acts", police spokesman Boubker Sabik said.
Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen denounced what he called a "beastly
reporters, Rasmussen said "like the whole world, we react with
consternation, disgust and a profound sadness."
Prime Minister Erna Solberg condemned what she called a "brutal and
meaningless attack on innocents".
Rabat, the government spokesman highlighted the efforts of the security
services in the fight against terrorism by hailing the arrest in "record
time" of the alleged suspects in the double murder.
authorities were still working to determine the authenticity of a video posted
on social media networks allegedly showing the murder of one of the tourists, a
prosecutor said in a statement.
killings have sparked fears of a hit to Morocco's crucial tourist sector as the
kingdom's relative security has always been a major selling point.
most of us had feared - that is to say a terrorist angle to the double crime in
the region of Imlil, has been confirmed," said leading news website Medias
sadness and revulsion are perceptible in Morocco," it added.
by the murders, residents of Imlil are deeply fearful for their livelihoods,
and have helped investigators in identifying suspects, a tourism sector source
has been spared militant attacks since 2011, when a bomb attack on a cafe in
Marrakesh's famed Jamaa El Fna Square killed 17 people, most of them European
attack in the North African state's financial capital Casablanca killed 33
people in 2003.
has insisted “much remains to be done” in fighting the ISIS group in Syria,
amid reports Thursday it was not given prior warning of President Donald
Trump's decision to pull out US ground troops.
global coalition against ISIS has made huge progress,” said a government
statement issued late Wednesday.
military operations began, the coalition and its partners in Syria and Iraq
have recaptured the vast majority of ISIS territory and important advances have
been made in recent days in the last area of eastern Syria which ISIS has
much remains to be done and we must not lose sight of the threat they pose.
Even without territory, ISIS will remain a threat.” Junior defense minister
Tobias Ellwood was more blunt, retweeting a message from Trump that the
militants had been defeated in Syria with the words: “I strongly disagree.
has morphed into other forms of extremism and the threat is very much alive.”
Trump declared on Wednesday that ISIS had been “beaten” in Syria and announced
the pullout of American ground forces from the war-ravaged nation.
to maintain participation
will maintain its participation in the coalition fighting ISIS in Syria,
government officials said Thursday after President Donald Trump surprised
Washington’s allies by ordering US troops home.
now of course we remain in Syria,” France’s European Affairs Minister Nathalie
Loiseau said on CNews television, adding "the fight against terrorism is
true that the coalition has made significant progress in Syria, but this fight
continues, and we will continue it,” she said. France has stationed fighter
jets in Jordan and artillery along the Syrian border in Iraq as part of the
US-led coalition, as well as an undisclosed number of special forces on the
Defense Minister Florence Parly said on Twitter Thursday that the group “has
not been wiped of the map, nor have its roots.” “We must definitively defeat
the last pockets of this terrorist organization,” she said.
Syria troop pullout announced by the White House could allow the ISIS to
rebuild, the Kurdish-dominated force battling the militants on the ground
warned on Thursday.
will have a negative impact on the counterterrorism campaign,” the Syrian
Democratic Forces, the US-led coalition’s main military partner in the battle
against ISIS, said in a statement.
former diplomat has criticized the new working definition of Islamophobia
outlined by a parliamentary group on British Muslims last month.
a report by think tank Policy Exchange, titled ‘Defining Islamophobia’, Sir
John Jenkins is critical of the definition and questioned the nature of the
research carried out by the parliamentary group.
Nov. 27, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims published
a working definition on Islamophobia, concluding that ”Islamophobia is rooted
in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or
is no doubt that the MPs involved had – and have – the best of intentions.
Anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry is a problem that needs to be addressed both
politically, societally and individually. But the proposed definition of
Islamophobia is not only inadequate but divisive and potentially damaging to
social cohesion,” he said.
also warned that should the government adopt this definition, it would endanger
free speech, press freedoms and allow open attack on counter-extremism policy.
the former ambassador to Libya, Syria and Myanmar, also said “many questions
need to be asked about how the report was compiled; whether due diligence was
carried out on its authors and their sources; and what the definition of
Islamophobia could mean in practice.”
critical report also mentions how the new definition could be used by Islamist
groups to protect themselves from criticism and use the definition as a front
to further their cause.
campaign to criminalise Islamophobia condemned as dangerous
leading British think tank has warned of the dangers of adopting new laws that
would criminalise an offence of Islamophobia as racism.
Policy Exchange report on Thursday said the move would give a platform to
special interest groups that could exploit the existence of a race-based crime
to pursue their own agenda.
position paper was drawn up after a group of British MPs gave their backing to
calls for an official definition of Islamophobia that would threat any
instances as racist in nature.
has extensive hate crime laws that outlaw attacks such as Islamophobia or
anti-Semitism without making additional links to racism.
of the authors of the study, former diplomat Sir John Jenkins, said the process
that produced the findings appeared to be deeply flawed. “It should be beyond
question that anti-Muslim hatred must be tackled with the same determination as
any other form of prejudice, bigotry or racism in Britain,” he wrote. “The
question that matters, however, is whether this initiative will help or hinder
that broader effort. There are important questions about the report itself –
and how it was compiled – that need to be asked, especially by those in Government
who are being urged to adopt the definition it proposes.”
leading campaigner who headed Britain’s former chairman of the Equality and
Human Rights Commission, Sir Trevor Philips gave his backing to the warning, as
someone who had embraced the terms more than two decades earlier.
exactly is “Islamophobia”? In 1997, when I was chair of the Runnymede Trust, we
published the report that introduced the word into Britain’s political
lexicon,” he said. “It encompassed the overt, covert and sometimes unwittingly
unfavourable treatment of people from a Muslim background."
Islamophobic attacks as racism undermines the allegiances of many Muslims in
Britain who have no wish to make such a distinction, he said.
reduces the lives of British Muslims – the vast majority of whom feel strongly
attached to the UK – to the status of perpetual victims and pawns in some wider
battle,” he said. “British Muslims are so much more than this, and before the
Government or any institution adopts a definition that treats them in this way,
much deeper thought is required.
spectacular misreading of both Muslim needs and non-Muslim attitudes to which
the APPG’s report has fallen prey may well serve the interests of sectarians
and those hostile to integration between Britain’s communities, especially the
Far Right and Islamists; but it will do little to advance the prospects of
those who follow the faith.”
report itself questions the credentials of those who gave written or personal
evidence that was used to draw up the findings of the All-Party Parliamentary
Group (APPG) on British Muslims.
the APPG report does not confront is the possibility that the definition it
proposes and the processes for managing and applying it may be manipulated in
order to control the boundaries of public debate in the service of sectional
agendas,” it said. “One can already see this in the way that “Islamophobia” has
sometimes been deployed in Britain in the recent past.”
Soubry, a co-chair of the group, explained their findings last month.
“Overwhelmingly Islamophobia is rooted in racism and therefore is, racist,” she
said. “This definition recognises this truth and I hope it will now enable the
serious work that needs to be done to tackle Islamophobia.”
by broadening the scope of the laws there is a danger that new opportunities
would open up for activists to take advantage of controversies to further
political goals. “The charge of Islamophobia has been used to attack positions
that cannot be said to reach any threshold for a plausible definition of
anti-Muslim hatred,” it said. “Those who have exploited the use of this term in
this way include groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and Muslim
Association of Britain (MAB) – highly vocal supporters of the APPG
recommendation – but it is used far more widely than by these groups.”
Atkins, a British government minister, rejected the report findings when asked
for a response in the House of Commons. “We do not accept the need for a
definitive definition, but we know that Islamophobia is clearly recognised and
that we have very effective monitoring systems of all race-hate crimes,” she
of the pitfalls identified by the report is that groups like the MCB seek “yet
another expansion of a divisive form of identity”.
only creates new opportunities for self-appointed gatekeepers. The Muslim
Council of Britain, for example, which only a small minority of British Muslims
regards as representing them, have pursued this approach to gain influence over
the Government in the past.”
witnesses identified by the MPs are also linked to controversial campaign
groups, such as Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND). “Antonio Perra, an
academic based at King’s College London, was a senior policy analyst at MEND,”
it said. “Professor Salman Sayyid, the Leeds-based academic who suggested the
one-line definition adopted by the APPG has held at least three public events
with the IHRC (Islamic Human Rights Commission).
Muslim leaders slam Maszlee over ‘dakwah’ remark
KINABALU: Several Sarawak Muslim leaders have joined the chorus of criticism
against Education Minister Maszlee Malik for using the term “dakwah”, or
Islamic propagation, when urging religious teachers from the peninsula to
remain in Sabah and Sarawak.
to FMT today, former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri
said Maszlee’s statement was insensitive and offensive, especially to
the minister of education, he should be mindful of his policy and his
statements as these may cause fear among parents sending their children to
government schools. It’s time for the minister to introduce good values to
children as well as to teachers.
Sarawak, there are inter-marriages among families from different religions yet
they still live with their families of other faiths.
live happily, they know how to adjust themselves well. So, Maszlee ought to
learn the Sarawak way of living in order to be a true Malaysian.
not use teachers to propagate religion in Sarawak. It is clear that in the
Federal Constitution, although we recognise Islam as the religion of the
federation, we should also respect other religions practised in Malaysia,” she
said Maszlee’s statement proved that some ministers in the Pakatan Harapan (PH)
did not understand Sarawak.
to them, she said, Sarawak leaders had always been cautious in dealing with
people from other cultures and faiths and they had a higher tolerance level due
to the state’s culture which promotes mutual respect.
statement, she said also proved why Sarawak was right when the state
government, under the late chief minister Adenan Satem, presented a memorandum
to the then prime minister Najib Razak on power devolution.
that time, myself, together with Anifah Aman (former foreign minister), were
co-chairmen for a committee called Devolution of Power. Among the matters that
Sarawak raised with Najib were 13 administrative points.
included Sarawak’s request that 90% of teachers in the state must be
Sarawakians which the federal government agreed. The reason for this was
because only Sarawakians would understand Sarawak well,” she said.
today, Maszlee said his statement was actually misunderstood and the term
“dakwah” which he used should be seen in a wider context, saying it was not
just about Islamisation or converting non-Muslims into Islam.
is narrow thinking as ‘dakwah’ in Islam is universal in character; it does not
just revolve around converting anyone into the religion,” he said.
Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth Minister Karim Hamzah said he
personally felt that Maszlee’s statement was insensitive to the feelings of the
multi-religious communities in Sarawak.
Maszlee is just a youth leader, a wrong usage of words or statement is
excusable. But as a minister, he must be more careful in what he says as the
public is unlikely to be forgiving, especially if it relates to a religious
student aces Islamic classes
NERUS, Dec 20 — Por Hui Ling, 11, a student of SK Tok Jiring here scored all As
in this year’s Kafa Class Assessment Test (UPKK).
subjects were Ulum Syariah (Syariah Knowledge), Jawi (language), Khat
(calligraphy), Arabic Language, Islamic Lifestyle Appreciation, Adab (morals),
prayer practical, and Quran.
she comes from a Buddhist family, Hui Ling is not the first to take up the
class as her elder brother, Por Jie Hua, 14, earned 5As and 3Bs in the
examination three years ago.
Ling, when met by Bernama, said she started taking the Kafa classes during Year
Two after being encouraged by her parents to learn something new and to
strengthen her relationship with friends at school.
facing many difficulties in the early stages, through hard work, guidance and
the help of teachers and her other friends, Hui Ling was able to master reading
and writing Jawi well.
first I was reluctant to go to the Kafa classes but my parents and brothers
always encouraged me, as if a Malay student can learn Chinese well, why can’t
we (learn their language and customs well).
all, learning Kafa (for me) is to gain knowledge and it has nothing to do with
the beliefs and teachings of Buddhism that our family adheres to.
also teach my youngest brother, Por Jing Yi, 6, to write Jawi at home, and it
seems that she is also interested in joining the Kafa classes in another two
years’ time, as she is currently in pre-school,” Hui Ling, who can also read
Ling said her parents, Por Kim Sin, 62, and Yeap Bee Fai, 43, have never
considered religious differences as a barrier to learning something new.
they didn’t mind sending their children to Kafa classes in the afternoon after
school with their other Muslim friends to get to know the religion better.
initially did not expect to achieve excellent results in the UPKK examination,
but I am proud to be able to prove my ability to my family members who have
supported me,” she said.
said learning Arabic and Jawi was fun and she found them to be easier than
only seemed difficult at first, but after a year (of taking the classes) I was
able to write and read Jawi, as well as recite the Quran a little.
TERENGGANU, Dec 20 — The minimum age limit for Muslims in Terengganu to marry
remains at 18 years for men and 16 for women, as stipulated under Section 8 of
the Family Law (Terengganu) Enactment 2017.
Shariah Court Chief Judge Wan Mohd Zakri Wan Mohd, however, said the court will
not easily allow applications for underage marriages except for three factors,
namely if the woman had delivered a child, was pregnant, or the couple had sex
said between 2013 and 2018, the court had received only 444 applications for
underage marriages, and of these, 397 were approved.
will only be given based on these three factors because it has an effect on the
child in terms of inheritance, wali (person who can give away a bride in Muslim
marriages) and faraid (Islamic law on wealth distribution). Other than that, we
will not accept their reasons even if the wedding invitation cards have been
sent out,” he said.
Mohd Zakri was speaking to reporters after the second donation presentation
ceremony for this year held by the Terengganu Shariah Court Department launched
by the State Shariah Implementation, Education and Higher Studies Committee
deputy chairman Maliaman Kassim here today.
to the records of the Terengganu Shariah Court Department, the 444 applications
for underage marriages involved 522 children, of whom 155 were 17 years old, 40
(16 years), 277 (15 years), 40 (14 years) and 10 (13 years).
Mohd Zakri said among the reasons commonly given for these underage marriages
were mutual attraction, desire to get married, reducing the burden of the
families, and avoiding adultery.
the 444 applications, 405 involved one underage party (usually the woman),
while in 39 other cases, both parties were underaged.
leading Indonesian Muslim group has urged the UN and the Organization of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to hold an emergency meeting on Uighur Muslims and
take further steps in accordance with international regulations.
Turkic-speaking community lives in China's western region of Xinjiang and has
faced discrimination at the hands of Chinese authorities.
Nashir, chairman of non-governmental organization Muhammadiyah, said the UN and
OIC have a responsibility toward creating peace in all parts of the world.
urged the Indonesian government to take steps in this regard.
is ready to mobilize humanitarian and material support for peace in Xinjiang,
especially for the Uighur community," said Nashir.
Rights Watch has condemned the Chinese government for a “systematic campaign of
human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims in northwestern Xinjiang, an
autonomous region in the country.
to a 117-page report published in September, the Chinese government conducted
“mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment” of Uighur Turks in the
report is based on interviews with 58 former residents of Xinjiang, including
former detainees and relatives of detainees, it said.
the region, the Turkic Muslim population of 13 million is subjected to forced
political indoctrination, collective punishment, restrictions on movement and
communications, heightened religious restrictions and mass surveillance in
violation of international human rights law,” it added.
Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighurs where the world's most
extensive electronic surveillance program is in place, according to the Wall
are banned from growing beards and women from wearing veils.
proposal to extend martial law in southern Philippines until the end of 2019
has drawn mixed response from Philippine lawmakers.
Rodrigo Duterte and his political allies in the bicameral legislature justified
the marital law request after citing violent bomb attacks in Lamitan City,
Isulan Town and General Santos City in the Southern Philippine this year.
case for martial law
has sought the support of his political allies to extend martial law in Mindanao
to quell ISIS-inspired-terror groups who continue to perpetrate hostile
government has also cited intelligence reports that militants are regrouping
after the defeat of the Maute Terrorist Group in Marawi city last year.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo has said that martial law is a necessity
because government is at the cusp of ending rebellion in Mindanao.
not all lawmakers are convinced by the martial law request. Philippine
opposition lawmaker Edcel Lagman stressed that the call for extending martial
law manifests failure on part of the military and police to end the rebellion.
the martial law extension is an admission that they (military and police) have
failed to achieve the supposed objectives of martial law that was first
declared in 2017 to quell rising terrorism in the Southern Philippines,
particularly in Marawi city”, Lagman said.
group of lawmakers feared that the extension of martial could lead to human
rights violations in Mindanao. The legislators who opposed martial law were
Ariel Casilao, Carlos Zarate and Emmi De Jesus.
the Philippine government has allocated $3.4 billion for a military upgrade in
the 2019 military budget. According to the defense department this is the
biggest military budget in Philippine history. The said budget is 34 percent of
the government budget pie for 2019.
budget will go to defense operation programs that include border security,
illegal incursions, transnational crimes and raising salaries of military
personnel to attract young and talented recruits to the Armed Forces, police
and other security agencies of the Philippines.
step is in line with the government’s policy to make the country’s safety and
security an essential pillar for sustained economic growth. The military
hardware listed in the budget include multi-role fighter aircraft, airlifters,
maritime patrol aircraft, combat utility helicopters and heavy lift helicopters
for the Air Force.
the army, the weapons and hardware on the list cover artillery, light tanks and
multiple rocket launchers. The list of naval forces speaks of the acquisition
of two corvettes and multi-role offshore patrol vessels, while the Marine’s
list includes anti-submarine helicopters and amphibious assault vehicles.
acquisition of these weapons will most likely be used in the next year’s
campaign to end terrorism, with the aid of martial law provisions. In the
Philippines, martial law is a prerogative of the government that can be used against
martial law in effect, the government suspends the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus, such as in Mindanao. This means security forces can arrest
terror suspects even in the absence of a warrant issued by a court.
government measures are being taken even as sporadic violence continues in the
province of Sulu between Philippine security forces and the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Last week’s battle was among the deadliest this month when three Abu Sayyaf
militants and one foot soldier were killed in a surprise encounter.
encounter happened when 50 Abu Sayyaf militants fired at patrolling security
forces in the municipality of Patikul in Sulu. Two marine soldiers were also
reported wounded in the firefight while M-14 rifles believed to be of the Abu
Sayyaf were also recovered.
says the future of Syria should be independently decided by its people and the
sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the country respected.
to the joint efforts of the international community over a period of time,
terrorist and extremist organizations in Syria have been under serious
attacks," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday.
the Syrian issue is at a new and critical juncture, with a rising momentum of
political settlement," she said.
the past few months, Syrian troops have made sweeping gains against
foreign-sponsored Takfiri elements who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab
country since 2011.
her remarks, the Chinese spokeswoman underlined the importance of finding a political
solution to the ongoing crisis in the Arab country.
the current situations, we hope that all the relevant sides in Syria will join
hands to facilitate the inclusive Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process
as soon as possible, so as to promote the proper settlement of the Syrian issue
at an early date. It serves common interests of the international
earlier this year indicated its willingness to deploy troops to Syria to fight
against foreign-backed terrorists.
latest remarks by the Chinese spokeswoman come one day after the administration
of US President Donald Trump announced that it had started withdrawing troops
sudden announcement on Wednesday that US troops had defeated Daesh terrorists in
Syria and that he sought to pull some 2,000 US troops out of Syria took many
Americans by surprise.
to the development, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said the
US pullout creates good prospects for a political solution in Syria.
forces in Syria were becoming a dangerous obstacle to finding a peace
settlement, she said.
report in late October said Daesh members were being provided with advanced
weapons by the United States in Syria, revealing Washington’s support for terrorists
in the Arab country.
September, the US-led coalition purportedly fighting Daesh airlifted to a safe
sanctuary several commanders of the terror outfit from a region in Syria’s
eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
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
foreign-backed militancy in Syria, which enjoys vigorous Western support, has
been plaguing the Arab country for the past seven years, killing hundreds of
thousands and displacing millions.
says Syrian Kurdish militants will be buried in ditches
Turkey said Kurdish militants east of the Euphrates in Syria “will be buried in
their ditches when the time comes,” after President Donald Trump began what
will be a total withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
decision to pull out completely was confirmed by US officials and is expected
in the coming months. The move stunned US lawmakers and allies and upends
American policy in the Middle East. For NATO ally Turkey, however, the news is
likely to be welcome.
two countries have long had their relations strained by differences over Syria,
where the United States has backed the Syrian Kurdish YPG in the fight against
Daesh. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group and an extension of the
outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
we have Manbij and the east of the Euphrates in front of us. We are working
intensively on this subject,” state-owned Anadolu news agency on Thursday
reported Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying during a visit to a
Qatari-Turkish joint military base in Doha.
now it is being said that some ditches, tunnels were dug in Manbij and to the
east of the Euphrates. They can dig tunnels or ditches if they want, they can
go underground if they want, when the time and place comes they will buried in
the ditches they dug. No one should doubt this.”
was not clear when Akar was speaking.
Tayyip Erdogan said this week that Turkey may start a new military operation in
Syria at any moment, touting support from Trump even though the Pentagon had
issued a stern warning to Ankara.
Pentagon had said that unilateral military action by any party in northeast
Syria, where US forces operate, would be unacceptable.
has already intervened to sweep YPG and Daesh fighters from territory west of
the Euphrates over the past two years. It has not gone east of the river,
partly to avoid direct confrontation with US forces.
Chief UN observer Patrick Cammaert arrives in Jordan on Friday en route to
Yemen to monitor a cease-fire in the Red Sea port of Hodeidah.
travels with the truce on a knife edge, after the Saudi-led coalition said the
peace deal was “a dead duck” unless the UN acted to curb violations by
Iran-backed Houthi militias.
a retired Dutch general and former military adviser to the UN
secretary-general, heads a Redeployment Coordination Committee set up as part
of a peace deal reached after talks last week in Sweden.
chaired the committee’s first meeting by videoconference from New York on
Wednesday “to discuss the general outlines of its work, including agreement of
a code of conduct,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
chief Antonio Guterres was “breathing down the neck” of officials to make sure
the UN observers were deployed as soon as possible, Dujarric said.
“departure to Yemen depends on logistics arrangements and flight availability,”
a UN official said.
Gen. Ahmed Al-Kokbani, a Yemeni government representative on the committee,
said the videoconference with Cammaert covered the bases of the committee’s
mission. “Cammaert asked members of the team to work diligently in calming the
situation and to reject any violations,” he said.
uneasy calm returned to Hodeidah on Thursday after further overnight
skirmishes. There has been intermittent fighting between Saudi-backed
government forces and Houthi militias since the cease-fire came into effect on
will escalate its fight against Iranian-aligned forces in Syria after the
withdrawal of US troops from the country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said on Thursday.
Israeli officials have said US President Donald Trump’s move, announced on
Wednesday, could help Iran by removing a US garrison that stems the movement of
Iranian forces and weaponry into Syria from Iraq.
also worries that its main ally's exit could reduce its diplomatic leverage
with Russia, the Syrian governments big-power backer.
will continue to act very aggressively against Iran’s efforts to entrench in
Syria,” Netanyahu said in televised remarks, referring to an Israeli air
campaign in Syria against Iranian deployments and arms transfers to Lebanese
Hezbollah guerrillas, carried out with Moscow often turning a blind eye.
do not intend to reduce our efforts. We will intensify them, and I know that we
do so with the full support and backing of the United States.”
cited what he described as victory over ISIS militants in Syria as warranting
the US withdrawal. Israel has long tried to persuade Washington that Iran pose
the greater threat.
has indeed been defeated in Syria, and this is greatly thanks to America,”
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of Netanyahu’s security
cabinet, said in a statement to Reuters. “But Iran are already moving in, and
they are a threat to the whole free world.”
have rallied in the northeastern province of al-Hasakah, protesting “threats”
posed to their country after Turkey announced another possible military
operation in the north of the Arab state.
demonstrations took place in the province’s capital of the same name and the
city of Qamishili on Thursday, the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)
protesters condemned the “aggressive statements [made by Turkey] regarding the
unity and territorial integrity of Syria and its people,” the agency added.
also voiced “their solidarity with the Syrian Arab Army which is confronting
terrorism and its supporters.”
Syrian demonstrators also “expressed rejection of the illegal presence of the
Turkish troops on Syrian soil,” echoing Damascus’ standpoint on the continued
illegal deployment of Turkish troops on the Arab country’s soil.
December 12, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would
launch “a new operation” against Syria-based US-backed Kurdish militants.
has already launched two operations in northern Syria. The first offensive
dubbed "Euphrates Shield" began in August 2016 to stop the advance of
Kurdish militia forces.
in January 2018, Turkish military forces launched another cross-border military
operation inside Syria, code-named “Operation Olive Branch,” with the declared
aim of eliminating militants of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG)
from northern Syria, particularly the Afrin region.
March, the operation was completed with the capture of Afrin city, with Turkey
threatening to take the battle to nearby Manbij, west of the Euphrates.
on Wednesday said a convoy of Turkish military trucks had passed by the town of
Islahiye in southeastern Turkey, heading in the direction of the Syrian border.
has been infuriated by US support for the YPG, which forms the backbone of the
so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of
predominantly Kurdish militants.
The Israeli military says it has begun destroying a network of cross-border
tunnels built by Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group.
this month announced the discovery of the tunnels, which it says were part of a
Hezbollah attack plot. So far, it has uncovered four tunnels in an open-ended
operation meant to destroy the entire network.
Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Thursday that forces have
begun destroying the tunnels in a new phase of the operation.
would not say how many tunnels were being targeted, but said forces were
working at more than one location.
says each tunnel will take many hours to destroy, and all activity is taking
place in Israeli territory.
Intelligence Ministry rejects the Israeli premier’s claim that Tel Aviv’s
agents routinely visit the country for spying on its nuclear program, saying
such “delusional remarks” are merely meant to ease the pressure on him over
recent revelations about the Islamic Republic’s successful infiltration of the
regime’s espionage services.
Netanyahu said Sunday that Israeli spies have been working “all over the world
in regards to Iran’s nuclear program,” claiming, “We also visit there
periodically… to ‘catch up,’” without providing details.
response, the director general for counter-espionage at the Iranian
Intelligence Ministry told the ISNA news agency that Netanyahu “has the right
to spin yards” of the regime’s spying operations.
the official added, “has come under the most intense internal and foreign
pressure due to leaks about an Israeli minister spying for Iran as well as the
large-scale infiltration of the Zionist regime’s intelligence services by those
of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
official was referring to the arrest in June of former Israeli energy minister
Gonen Segev on charges of spying for Iran, giving the Islamic Republic
information about the regime’s energy sector, security sites and the identity
of officials in the security and political establishments, among other things.
found that Segev had made contact with officials in the Iranian Embassy in
Nigeria in 2012 and visited Iran twice to meet intelligence officials.
Iranian official said that Netanyahu had recently ordered Israel’s so-called
Security Agency, better known by the acronym Shabak or the Shin Bet, to check
on all political, parliamentary and intelligence officials for possible
contacts with Iranian intelligence services.
order is indicative of the realities that do not need explanations,” the
hawkish Israeli premier, a staunch opponent of the 2015 Iran deal, has long
been lobbying against diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program.
deal placed Iran’s nuclear program under the oversight of the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has repeatedly confirmed the peaceful of
nature of Tehran’s nuclear work and praised Tehran for its full compliance with
the nuclear deal.
has on several occasions drawn ridicule globally by using his showman skills
and fabricating scenarios about the Mossad spy agency’s capabilities and what
the regime calls Iran’s “secret” nuclear activities.
late April, Netanyahu unveiled what he claimed to be “conclusive proof of the
secret” Iranian nuclear program during a televised address from Israel’s
ministry for military affairs.
another dramatic performance in early May, Netanyahu claimed Mossad agents had
managed to break into the warehouse in an overnight operation and bring back
“half a ton of the material” consisting of 55,000 pages and another 55,000
files on 183 CDs. Months later, Netanyahu went to the UN with more theatrics
and put on show pictures of an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons storage site.
in the US, Netanyahu's claims, however, have fallen on deaf ears.
IAEA said in October that it does not take intelligence presented to it by
Israel “at face value.”
agency sends inspectors to sites and locations only when needed. The agency
uses all safeguards relevant to information available to it but it does not
take any information at face value,” Director General Yukiya Amano said in a
statement in early October.
forces have shot dead a young Palestinian near a checkpoint at the northern
entrance of the occupied West Bank city of al-Bireh, local sources said on
stationed at the checkpoint reportedly opened gunfire at the unidentified man,
who was driving a private vehicle and reportedly attempting to pass through the
man was critically injured by live bullets, and later succumbed to his wounds,
the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
officials say the victim attempted to attack the checkpoint. They also claim
the man was on the run for a shooting incident in an Israeli settlement.
killing came a few days after Israeli troops shot dead another Palestinian man
in the industrial area of al-Bireh, alleging that he attempted to ram his car
into the regime’s forces.
to other reports, the 60-year-old man, who had owned an aluminum factory in the
neighborhood, was shot by Israeli soldiers on Dec. 13 when his vehicle deviated
from its path.
Ma’an news agency, citing a number of eyewitnesses, reported that the incident
had been merely a car accident, as the driver saw the unexpected presence of
the Israeli soldiers in his way and attempted to turn away from them before
they heavily opened fire at him.
the Israeli military said in a statement that the victim “attempted to run
over” soldiers, lightly injuring one.
has also refused to return the body of the slain businessman since last
Thursday, according to Israeli media.
Friday, a teenager was also shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in the
occupied West Bank.
on Saturday held a funeral procession for Mahmoud Nakhla, 18, who was killed
during clashes in Jalazone refugee camp in Ramallah.
have been running high in the occupied Palestinian territories as a result of
Israel's expansionist policies and its crackdown on peaceful protests.
of extremist Jewish settlers have vandalized private Palestinian vehicles in
Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, slashing the tires of more than two
dozen parked cars and spraying racist graffiti on a wall.
said Israeli settlers raided the al-Gharableh area of Beit Hanina neighborhood,
located eight kilometers north of central Jerusalem al-Quds, early on Thursday,
puncturing the tires of at least 27 Palestinian-owned vehicles and
spray-painting Hebrew slogans on an adjacent wall.
phrases “Death to Murderers” and “We Will Not Sleep While God’s Name Is Being
Desecrated” were found graffitied at the scene.
Din, an Israeli human rights group, released CCTV footage and photos showing
young men puncturing tires of parked Palestinian cars.
unnamed Israeli police spokesman said an investigation had been opened into the
incident, and that officers were searching for the perpetrators.
incident came only two days after nearly two dozen Palestinian cars had their
tires slashed, and the wall of a mosque was graffitied in the Palestinian
village of Yasuf.
Cannot Fall Asleep While Blood Is Being Spilled” was found sprayed on the wall
of the mosque, and a car was daubed with the Hebrew slogan “Jews, Wake Up!”
on October 12, Aisha Muhammad Talal al-Rabi, 47, a mother of eight children,
was killed and her husband suffered injuries after Israeli settlers hurled
rocks at their vehicle near the Zaatara checkpoint in Nablus.
on August 19, a Palestinian man and his three children suffered injuries when a
group of extremist settlers violently pelted their car with stones in the
northern part of the occupied West Bank.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Palestinian Information
Center that Munder Mousa, a resident of Tulkarm City, and his children were
traveling along a road south of Nablus, located approximately 49 kilometers
north of Jerusalem al-Quds, when settlers from Yitzhar settlement, who had laid
an ambush, started hurling stones at the car.
settlers also used a vehicle to block the road before carrying out their
finally managed to drive away with his children. He arrived in Madama village,
located 4.78 kilometers south of Nablus, and was given first aid before being
transported to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus.
tag attacks are acts of vandalism and violence against Palestinians and their
property as well as Islamic holy sites by Israeli settlers.
army demands UN investigation into 'two weapons shipments from Turkey'
Libyan National Army has called on the United Nations Security Council to
launch an immediate investigation into what it says are two shipments of
military hardware from Turkey to the North African country.
army, in a statement released late on Wednesday, voiced deep concern over the
arrival of shipments, carrying various types of rifles and munitions, at the
western Libyan port city of al-Khoms on Monday and Tuesday.
ammunition in those shipments included more than 4.2 million bullets, enough to
kill nearly 80 percent of the Libyan people, as well as pistols and rifles with
their accessories, including silencers used for assassinations. This is a proof
that the purpose (of those arms) is to be used for terrorist operations in the
Libyan territories,” the statement said.
added, “The general command of the army demands the UN Security Council, the
United Nations, and the United Nations Mission in Libya to condemn the Turkish
Republic and start an immediate investigation into it.”
authorities have not yet commented on the Libyan statement.
about Turkey’s role in the Libyan conflict began to emerge in January 2013,
when Turkish-language newspaper Hurriyet reported that Greek authorities had
found Turkish weapons on a ship heading to Libya, after it stopped in Greece
due to bad weather.
December 2013, Egyptian media outlets reported that the Egyptian Customs
Authority had monitored four containers full of arms coming from Turkey and
believed to be heading to Libyan militants.
August 2014, Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar ordered his forces to shell a ship
loaded with weapons coming from Turkey, and heading towards the Libyan port of
Libyan army official said in January 2015 that both Turkey and Qatar were
supplying the “Dawn of Libya” militant group with arms through Sudan, in
flagrant violation of the UN arms embargo imposed on Libya since 2011.
Turkey has been accused of harboring Takfiri terrorists in Libya.
January 2017, according to Libyan media, al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia
militant group said its leader Mohammed al-Zahawi had died at a Turkish
hospital, where he was receiving treatment for “an injury sustained in the
battles of Benghazi.” His body was sent back to the northwestern Libyan city of
Misrata for burial, the reports said.
need for governments at all levels to critically observe the role of religion
in governance has been stressed, with optimism that dealing with various
religious beliefs in fairness, equity and balance would engender peace and
stability in the polity.
Islamic Welfare Foundation (IWF) in a communique issued at the end of 2018
Conference on Islam in Nigeria (COIN) held at Crescent University, Abeokuta,
said Nigerians are a very religious people and they desire that their different
religions reflect in both the private and public lives, hence governments
should recognize the role of religion in governance.
stated: “While much of Christianity had been embedded in Nigeria’s legal and
social fabrics since the colonial era, it is not the same with Islam. This is
what causes agitation among Muslims who feel short-changed by the system.
Equity and fairness in the Nigerian nation as well as trust and mutual
understanding between the people, will be enhanced if a level playing field is
created for all religions in the affairs of the nation.
is the only way Nigeria would evolve as a truly multi-religious nation as
against her present status as a nation dominated by the religion of those who
colonised the country. Our national creed going forward should be, “equal
opportunity for all” it stated.
group however implored religious leaders to promote ethical values, urging them
to always seek balanced, transparent and patriotic intervention in national
issues as religiosity and patriotism are mutually reinforcing.
coneference which paraded speakers like Judge Abdul-Jabbar Bola Ajibola, Alhaji
Sarafa Ishola, the Baba Adini of Yoruba Land, Edo and Delta and Mallam Yusuf
Ali, Professor Ishaq Lakin Akintola and Reverend Clement Taiye Omidiora,
appraised of the current situation in Nigeria regarding Islamic theocracy and
was however observed that there is no contradiction between theocracy and modernism
as both share common values such as freedom, peace, progress, morality, good
conscience and good governance; the two major religions in Nigeria, Islam and
Christianity, support theocracy and both uphold its applicability in
contemporary Nigeria; and that Islamic Theocracy once governed some parts of
Nigeria to the admiration of both local and international observers.
Trump: US won't spend lives and dollars as Middle East policeman
United States will no longer play an active security role in the Middle East,
President Donald Trump suggested on Thursday, the day after he ordered the
immediate withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but
spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in
almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing?” the US president
tweeted, following criticism of his order to withdraw more than 2,000 US troops
decision on Wednesday upended US Middle East policy and appeared to surprise US
officials and alienate core allies, including the Kurdish-led forces that have
done most of the fighting against ISIS in Syria. But while Syrian Kurds and
other traditional allies rebuked the US president, Russian President Vladimir
Putin backed Mr Trump's move, saying he believed that a serious blow had been
struck against ISS.
is right, I agree with him,” the Russian president said at his year-end press
conference on Thursday.
the USA made that decision [to withdraw], then it’s the right one,” Mr Putin
said, arguing that the US military presence in Syria was illegal, as it was not
there under a United Nations mandate or Syrian invitation.
on Wednesday, Mr Trump’s claim that “we’ve won against ISIS” appeared to be
contradicted by the group itself, which carried out a counterattack on the town
of Hajin near the Iraqi border, which was captured by the SDF last week after
weeks of heavy fighting.
Trump’s decision followed a phone call to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip
Erdogan on Friday, and is likely to be welcomed by the Nato ally. Turkey views
the Syrian Kurdish YPG – which forms the core of the Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF) – as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK), and has bridled at the group carving out a statelet on
the Turkish border.
officials said the troops could be withdrawn within 60 to 100 days, and already
on Wednesday evening convoys of American vehicles were rolling eastwards
towards the Iraqi border, while SDF sources reported that American positions
around Manbij had been abandoned overnight. The withdrawal also signifies the
end of the US air campaign against ISIS there, US officials told Reuters.
week Mr Erdogan warned that he would soon send troops to fight Kurdish forces
east of the Euphrates and on Thursday, the Turkey's defence minister warned
they would be “buried in their ditches when the time comes”.
we have Manbij and the east of the Euphrates in front of us. We are working
intensively on this subject,” state-owned Anadolu news agency reported Defence
Minister Hulusi Akar as saying.
alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters leading the US-led coalition's fight
against ISIS in Syria warned Mr Trump on Thursday that the war was not
finished, and that the US withdrawal could lead to an ISIS resurgence. In a
statement, the SDF said it would “have a negative impact on the
will give terrorism ... the momentum to recover and conduct a terrorist
campaign in the region," the group said.
in the United Kingdom, France and Germany all expressed disagreement with Mr
Trump’s assessment that ISIS was defeated.
State has not been wiped from the map nor have its roots,” said Florence Parly,
the French defence minister. France intends to keep roughly 1,000 troops
deployed in Syria.
more than ever need the American commitment to a political solution in
Syria," said French ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre. "There is
no doubt about it.”
British junior defence minister said on Wednesday he strongly disagreed with Mr
Trump. ISIS "has morphed into other forms of extremism and the threat is
very much alive," Tobias Ellwood said in a tweet.
ISIS has been pushed back, “the threat is not yet over”, German Foreign
Minsiter Heiko Maas said on Thursday. "The abrupt change of course by the
American side comes as a surprise not only for us."
expressed concern about growing Iranian influence in Syria. Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would "intensify" its activity in
Syria to prevent Iranian entrenchment following the withdrawal of American
forces. “We will continue to act very aggressively against Iran's attempts to
establish itself in Syria,” he said on Thursday.
finance minister Moshe Kahlon was more direct. “The American decision is not
good,” he told reporters.
Trump defended his position on Thursday. “Getting out of Syria was no
surprise,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six
months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer.
Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing
that the US withdrawal might be followed by a Turkish military offensive, many
international NGOs operating in north-east Syria have moved foreign staff
towards the Iraqi border.
Kurds meanwhile have expressed feelings of betrayal. Demonstrators gathered
outside a US military base in Kobane on Thursday to call on Washington to
reconsider the withdrawal. “Our courageous fighters who got martyred against
ISIS can never be forgotten,” one banner read. “USA and coalition fighters must
respect their sacrifices.”
Defence Secretary Jim Mattis resigned on Thursday, stating in a letter to
President Donald Trump that he was stepping down because his world view was
different from that of the president.
US media reported that Secretary Mattis went to the White House on Thursday
afternoon to persuade Trump to keep American troops in Syria but when he was
rebuffed, he gave his resignation letter to the president.
views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both
malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over
four decades of immersion in these issues,” Secretary Mattis wrote.
must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most
conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in
this effort by the solidarity of our alliances,” he added.
you have the right to have a Secretary of Defence whose views are better
aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to
step down from my position.”
Mattis, however, said that he would stay till February 28 to allow sufficient
time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed.
wrote that he also wanted to ensure the change occurs well in advance of the
transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to
ensure stability within the Defence Department.
after Mattis left the White House, President Trump sent out two tweets,
confirming that the Pentagon chief will leave at the end of February.
US media outlets, however, reported that although Secretary Mattis differed
with the president on several major issue, Trump’s decision to withdraw 2,000
American troops from Syria convinced him that now was the time to leave.
reports claimed that Secretary Mattis and senior US generals were also upset
with Trump for using his Twitter account even to announce a decision of huge
Washington, Secretary Mattis’s experience and stability were widely seen as a
balance to an unpredictable president and his departure would add to the chaos
and unease that surrounds the Trump administration.
who is seen in Washington as an outsider, had included several four-star
generals in his cabinet and proudly called them “my generals.” By the time
Secretary Mattis’s resignation takes effect at the end of February, all of
Trump’s generals would be gone.
reported on Thursday evening that after President Trump’s Syria tweet, senior US
defence officials were also bracing themselves for another surprise
announcement: the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
withdrawal, if announced, would have even greater impact on global affairs than
the expected pullout from Syria.
sources told CNN that President Trump had not yet made a final decision on
Afghanistan, but officials “are concerned and convinced that he might do so,
US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, to train, advise and assist Afghan
Britain, Germany and France, three of the United States’ main allies in the war
against the militant Islamic State (IS) group, reacted with alarm on Thursday
to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria — a move
hailed by Russia.
and Britain pledged to keep their forces in the field, warning that, contrary
to Trump’s claim that IS had been “beaten badly”, the fight was far from over.
2,000 US personnel are in the country, most of them on a train-and-advise
mission to support local forces fighting IS. London and Paris have not
disclosed how many military personnel they have in the region.
remain committed to the global coalition and the campaign to deny Daesh
territory and ensure its enduring defeat, working alongside our critical
regional partners in Syria and beyond,” a spokesman for Britain’s Prime
Minister Theresa May said, using an alternative name for IS.
global coalition against Daesh has made huge progress, but much remains to be
done and we must not lose sight of the threat they pose,” he added.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the Kurdish-dominated force leading the fight
against the militants said the move could jeopardise the gains made against the
extremists, who still control small parts of eastern Syria.
withdrawal could also have wider geopolitical ramifications.
US lawmakers warned it could encourage Turkey to attack the Kurdish forces that
the US has been supporting in the fight against IS.
on Wednesday abruptly ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 US soldiers, mainly
special forces, deployed in north-eastern Syria, in a short video posted on
won against ISIS.... We’ve beaten them and we’ve beaten them badly. We’ve taken
back the land. And now it’s time for our troops to come back home,” he said.
announcement, which appeared to surprise both Republicans and Democrats in
Congress, left unanswered a number of questions, notably as to the timing of
the pullout and whether the US would continue to offer air support to its
allies in the region.
did not address the air campaign, in which the United States and partner
nations, including France and Britain, have spent years pounding IS targets
across the country.
spokeswoman Commander Rebecca Rebarich said the US would continue its air war
while American soldiers were in Syria — but would not say if the campaign would
United States has granted Iraq a 90-day extension to an exemption from
sanctions re-imposed on neighboring Iran to keep importing electricity and
natural gas and meet its energy needs.
officials close to negotiations, requesting anonymity, said on Thursday that a
delegation of Iraqi officials had managed to secure the wavier just as the
previous 45-day one expired.
temporary relief from the sanctions provides additional time for Iraq to
determine ways to pay Iran for the imports of natural gas and energy supplies
in denominations other than dollar without violating US sanctions.
December 11, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said the Baghdad government
would send a delegation to the US to explore avenues for a waiver over Iran
Abdul Ghani, head of state-run South Gas Co. (SGC), told reporters on December
6 that Iraq needed at least two years to boost the country’s gas production to
stop importing Iranian gas.
current production of gas is not enough to meet our power stations’ demand and
therefore we are still importing gas from Iran. We need at least 24 months to
operate new gas projects and start production,” he said.
US said last month that Iraq could continue to import natural gas and energy
supplies from Iran for a period of 45 days as long as it did not pay Iran in US
dollars. Sanctions on Iran’s oil sector took effect on November 5.
to the terms of an agreement struck between Tehran and Baghdad, Iran is to
supply 35 million cubic meters of natural gas on a daily basis to the Iraqi
capital city Baghdad gradually in three phases, while up to 25 million cubic
meters of gas per day is supposed to be exported to the southern city of Basra.
there are reports that Iran is currently exporting only 25 million cubic meters
of gas per day to Bagdad and only 5 million cubic meters to Basra.
between Iran and Iraq stands at $12 billion, but Baghdad is reportedly under
pressure from the US to stop business dealings with Tehran.
is currently Iraq's top trade partner, having sharply increased their trade
exchanges in recent months despite US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi said late last month that the two neighbors
planned to raise their trade to $20 billion a year.
of the U.S.'s roughly 2,000 troops in Syria will be leaving, President Donald
Trump said Wednesday in a major policy departure for Washington.
earlier in the day declared victory over the Daesh terrorist group, saying its
defeat was the sole reason for the U.S.'s presence in the country under his
time for our troops to come back home," Trump said in a pre-recorded video
message posted on Twitter. "Our boys, our young women, our men -- they're
all coming back, and they're coming back now."
U.S. began its air campaign in Syria in 2014, deploying troops to the country
to assist in the anti-Daesh fight alongside local partners the year after.
president's announcement had come as a shock to many after several top
administration officials, including National Security Advisor John Bolton,
insisted the U.S. would not be removing its forces until Iran exited Syria.
have suggested all State Department personnel would depart Syria within the
next 24 hours while U.S. forces will leave within 60 to 100 days.
is unclear from Trump's statement if "they're coming back now" means
all troops are being immediately extracted or if there is a gradual scale for
White House had earlier stressed that recent military victories against Daesh
"do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign".
have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next
steps of this campaign," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
"The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels
to defend American interests whenever necessary."
reassurances were met with skepticism from some of Trump's key Capitol Hill
allies, who warned Daesh is far from final defeat.
on the Senate floor, Sen. Lindsey Graham said the decision "is a disaster
on multiple fronts."
President, I too want our troops to come home. But I don't want to tell the
American people we are secure when I don't think we are," said Graham, a
close political ally of the president. "If we do follow through with this
withdrawal, Americans all over the world and here at home will be at
had earlier drawn parallels between Trump's decision and the withdrawal of U.S.
forces from Iraq under former President Barack Obama -- a development many
Republicans link to the rise of Daesh.
decision is a "grave error that is going to have incredible consequences
that potentially have not been fully thought through," said Republican
Senator Marco Rubio in a Facebook Live video, echoing Graham's sentiment.
withdrawal follows a military operation in northeastern Syria vowed by Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the YPG/PKK. Ankara has carried out two
separate military operations in northern Syria in the past.
Donald Trump has decided to pull a significant number of troops from
Afghanistan, US officials told US media, a day after he announced a withdrawal
decision has been made. There will be a significant withdrawal," one official
told AFP on condition of anonymity.
US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan working either with a NATO mission to
support Afghan forces or in separate counter-terrorism operations. The New York
Times and Wall Street Journal reported that around half that number will be
Trump made his decision on Tuesday, the same time he told the Pentagon he
wanted to pull all US forces out of Syria.
Secretary Jim Mattis quit earlier on Thursday, saying his views were no longer
reconcilable with Trump's.
president's twin foreign policy decisions on Syria and Afghanistan could
unleash a series of cascading and unpredictable events across the Middle East
Mattis and other top military advisers last year persuaded Trump to commit
thousands of new troops to Afghanistan, where the Taliban were slaughtering
local forces in the thousands and making major gains.
Trump at the time said his instinct was to get out of Afghanistan.
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