of the Lynching Cases ‘Fabricated and Fake’: Union Minister Naqvi
Governor Malik to Terrorists: Why Kill Security Forces, Kill The Corrupt
Cleric Who Hid Christians during Attacks Honored In the US
Winner Ousted After Tweets on Muslims, Black People
Indonesian Islamic Websites 'Run By Extremists'
Blames Foreign Forces for Unrest in Xinjiang
Pakistan Is Being Created In Front Of Your Eyes,' PM Imran Tells Packed Crowd
Discloses US Plan to Deploy Tens of Thousands of Terrorists at Iraqi-Syrian
Neutralizes Militants but Fear Still Persists
Islamist Leader to Stand in Tunisia Polls
to Finalize Palestinian Economic Plan On Mideast Tour, Says US Official
after Clashes, Old Delhi Residents Uphold Traditional Communal Harmony
Youth Threatened To Chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ At Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Mahasabha offers to bear expenses of sending Azam Khan to Pakistan
Police to revamp village defence committees to curb terrorism
terror network shifts from east to west in UP, Yogi''s ATS swoops down on new
land dispute panel meets AIMPLB general secretary
Imran Khan to Explain Forced Conversions In Pakistan: US Congress Members To
Trump Ahead Of Meeting
Omar's Constituents 'Proud To Stand by Her' Over Trump's Racist Words
to press Pakistan PM on Afghan peace, terrorism crackdown
House’s Kushner to finalize Palestinian economic plan on Middle East tour
PM Khan gathers thousands in US capital
moves against Druze stalwart flirts with a return to Lebanon’s dark days
Latest Target for Criticism: A Muslim Congressional Newcomer
Umno Youth cry foul over DCM’s comment on 38-year-old mass Islamisation of
leads global crusade to stop persecution against all religions
Turning Blind Eye To Human Rights Abuses In Xinjiang
special treatment for Nawaz Sharif in Jail: Imran Khan in US
people have rejected PML-N, PPP: Firdous
condemn Dera terror attacks
issue tops agenda of Bajwa’s talks with US officials
asks parties to unite for Balochistan’s rights
killed in twin attacks in Pakistan’s northwest
Intensifies Attacks on Kurds in Aleppo, Sends Massive Military Equipment to
Borders with Syria
Media Emir Killed in Iraqi Force’s Operations in Diyali
Media: Hashd Al-Shaabi Base in Amerli Attacked by Israeli Fighter Jet
Hundreds of Terrorists Arrive in Key Region for Battle against Syrian Army
air defenses thwart hostile targets in city of Masyaf in Hama: State TV
expresses dismay to UK envoy over British Airways flight suspension
government bombing of rebel stronghold kills 11
air defenses thwart 'hostile' fire near Hama
Taliban, ISIS militants killed in Afghan Special Forces raids
kill 17 Taliban militants in Ghazni, Uruzgan and Logar provinces
vest goes off among Taliban in Ghazni killing several militants, suicide
sedition cases filed against Priya Saha
targets large Taliban gathering in Faryab province
Systems to provide contractor logistic support to Afghan armed forces: Pentagon
Movement In Nigeria Denies Allegation Of Violence
strike near Tripoli kills seven fighters loyal to Haftar
army downs Turkish drone over Tripoli
forces preparing for new push to capture Tripoli: Report
Tripoli-based gov't strikes hit Haftar forces
village on lockdown as security forces hunt for al Shabaab
IRGC Forces Martyred in Clashes with Terrorists in Southeastern Iran
begins demolitions of Palestinian homes near Jerusalem
MPs thank IRGC for seizing British-flagged tanker, call for Gulf tolls
Bolton failed to lure Trump into war, turning his ‘venom’ against UK
court upholds singer’s prison sentence for insulting Erdogan
says Iran's tanker seizure arguments more convincing than UK's
Mosque Desecrated As Anti-Muslim Attacks Continue To Spread Across Germany
leaves Turkey in lurch on migrant issue
terror cells could be used in UK attacks if situation worsens
defense minister: UK committed to military presence in Middle East
by New Age Islam News Bureau
DELHI: Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday called
most of the lynching cases ‘fabricated and fake’.
made the statement in response to Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan‘s statement on
Saturday saying that the growing cases of mob lynching against Muslims are a
punishment for not migrating to Pakistan after the partition in 1947.
‘fabricated and fake’
to Khan’s statement, Naqvi told a news channel that most cases of mob lynching
are “concocted and fake”. Khan had said: “If Muslims went to Pakistan, they
would not get this punishment. Why our ancestors did not go to Pakistan? They
regarded India as their own country. Now they will be punished and they will
have to endure.”
leader Randeep Singh Surjewala slammed Naqvi and told India Today, “I respect
Naqvi Ji but does he even know what is happening with a minority in this
doesn’t feel anything for the minorities. Everyone in the ruling party is
trying to shield the culprits”, Surjewala added.
of mobs lynching
mob lynching incidents from different parts of the country have constantly gone
mob lynching on the basis of rumors has become “the norm of the day” where the
fierce mob has started believing they can take law and order in their own hands
and dispense instant justice on basis of mere rumors.
Saturday (July 20th), a 58-year-old man was beaten to death by a mob in Madhya
Pradesh’s Neemuch district on suspicion of stealing peacocks.
Friday (July 19th), three men thrashed to death on the charge of cattle theft
in the Baniyapur area of Saran district.
portal The Quint reported as many as 98 deaths across India since 2015.
governor Malik to terrorists: Why kill security forces, kill the corrupt
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik said on Sunday that terrorists
instead of killing security force personnel should kill the “corrupt who have
robbed their state”.
remarks drew swift condemnation from former J&K CM and National Conference
leader Omar Abdullah who said on Twitter, “This man, ostensibly a responsible
man occupying a constitutional position, tells militants to kill politicians
perceived to be corrupt. Perhaps the man should find out about his own
reputation in Delhi these days before sanctioning unlawful killings &
man, ostensibly a responsible man occupying a constitutional position, tells
militants to kill politicians perceived to be corrupt. Perhaps the man should
find out about his own reputation in Delhi these days before sanctioning
unlawful killings & kangaroo courts.
J&K governor gives a shocking statement. @ShujaUH tells us more about this.
PM - Jul 21, 2019
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people are talking about this
governor’s remarks came while addressing local residents at a tourism promotion
function in Kargil. “They are killing them unnecessarily. Why are you killing
them, bhai,” the governor said.
youth with guns, they are killing PSOs and SPOs. Why are you killing them? You
should kill those who have looted Kashmir. Why are you killing the security
forces? Have you killed any of the corrupt who have looted your Kashmir,” the
(referring to mainstream politicians) are telling (sic) something else here and
something else in Delhi,” the governor said. Malik added that no one could make
the government bow before a gun.
said the situation in Kashmir had changed for the better.
boys (terrorists) have been indoctrinated by these mullahs that they will get
jannat (in the) hereafter, but I promise to them give two jannats — one here in
Kashmir and another (in the) hereafter,” the governor told the gathering.
cleric who hid Christians during attacks honored in the US
Nigeria (CNN)The US government is honoring an 83-year-old Muslim cleric who hid
262 Christians in his home and mosque during an attack in central Nigeria.
Abubakar Abdullahi, along with four religious leaders from Sudan, Iraq, Brazil
and Cyprus, were awarded the 2019 the International Religious Freedom Award,
which is given to advocates of religious freedom.
was recognized for providing shelter for hundreds of Christians fleeing attacks
from Muslim herdsmen who had launched coordinated attacks on Christian farmers
in 10 villages in the Barkin Ladi area of Plateau State on June 23, 2018, the
award organizers said in a statement.
cleric refused to give them up when their attackers asked about their
whereabouts, International Religious Freedom Ambassador Sam Brownback said at
the awards ceremony in Washington on Wednesday.
imam gave refuge to his Christian neighbors, sheltering 262 Christians in his
mosque and his home.... then stood outside the doors confronting the Muslim
attackers, pleading with them to spare the lives of the Christians inside, even
offering to exchange his own life for theirs," Brownback said.
actions bear witness to true courage, true selflessness, and true brotherly
love," he said.
than 80 people were killed in the attacks by suspected herders who also set
fire on many homes in the villages. Violence between the nomadic Fulani
herdsmen, who are mostly Muslims, and farmers, who are predominantly
Christians, in Nigeria's middle belt dates back to 2013.
State Department, organizers of the award, given to advocates of religious
freedom, said the Muslim cleric selflessly risked his own life to save members
of another religious community who without his intervention would have been
herders have unleashed mayhem on communities in central states to evict farmers
in a conflict said to be deadlier than the Boko Haram insurgency.
winner ousted after tweets on Muslims, black people
Miss World America organization has stripped its Michigan pageant winner of her
title, which she says was because of tweets she made about Muslims and black
Zhu was crowned the pageant's Michigan winner last week. She's a University of
Michigan conservative who's active with a group called Chinese Americans for
since-deleted tweets from the last two years, Zhu alluded to Muslim women
wearing hijabs as "being oppressed under Islam" and disparaged black
people for "blaming others" in regard to crime.
being stripped of her crown, she posted a letter online in which pageant
officials described her tweets as "offensive" and
"inappropriate." Zhu calls the decision discriminatory and defends
officials didn't respond to a Sunday message seeking comment. It's unclear
who'll represent Michigan in Miss World America's October competition in Las
World America is separate from the more widely-known Miss America contest.
Indonesian Islamic websites 'run by extremists'
of Indonesia’s Islamic website are in the hands of radical groups, raising the
risk of extremism spreading, according to one of the country’s leading Muslim
Umar, the grand imam of Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta — reputed to be Southeast
Asia’s largest mosque — says militant groups control virtually all the
country’s Islamic sites, leaving only a few being run by moderate groups.
on our research 80 percent of Islamic websites are controlled by radical
groups. Only 20 percent are run by moderates," Umar told ucanews.com on
did not give specific numbers but said his Nasaruddin Umar Office (UNO)
conducted the research.
also a professor at Jakarta Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University said
he established the UNO in January this year with the main goal to oppose
hard-line groups that from spreading radical ideology through the internet.
run by radical groups are active in teaching,” he said, which is dangerous as
they teach a misleading interpretation of Islam.
said he raises such issues with the authorities, who take action against them.
Communication and Information Ministry blocked 500 sites in 2018 including
those with the content on radicalism and terrorism, but many still exist, Umar
cleric, who is also the founder of the Indonesian interfaith organization,
Masyarakat Dialog antar Umat Beragama, says UNO is focused on empowering
Islamic sites run by moderate Islamic groups to counter teachings spread via
sites run by radical ones. “It’s actively pursuing the formation of more
professional mosque clerics and preachers, in order to provide limited space
for militant groups to spread radicalism,” he said.
citizens who love their country should also take up a more active role in
efforts to stop extremism, and not leave what is a complicated job to
UNO, he said, is a tool that can boost people’s participation in counter
radicalism. It was established out of a concern to accommodate and create a
peaceful, tolerant, and civilized society.
institution is promoting 17 programs that include fostering deradicalization,
counter-terrorism, while also promoting research, and interfaith dialogue.
Antonius Benny Susetyo, a member of a presidential task force that promotes
national unity, said extremism is a serious threat to national unity.
Umar’s concerns he said authorities need to up their game to ensure radical
sights are blocked as quickly as possible
the same time deradicalization efforts targeting schools and families must also
be maintained, he said.
blames foreign forces for unrest in Xinjiang
China blamed foreign forces on Sunday for causing unrest in its western region
of Xinjiang, which has a large population of Muslims and borders Pakistan. The
statement comes in the wake of international criticism about the Chinese
government allegedly running re-education camps for local Muslims.
has issued a white paper saying, among other things, that “hostile forces in
and outside China, especially separatists, religious extremists and terrorists,
have tried to split China and break it apart by distorting history and facts”.
white paper did not name any country as the sources of hostile forces. But
Xinjiang leaders have in the past blamed the Taliban, based in Pakistan and
Afghanistan, for providing support to the region’s separatists. Turkey’s role
has also been questioned by some Chinese scholars because the Uyghur Muslims
speak the Turkic language and have close connections with some Turkish people.
white paper also said that the Uyghur people did not choose Islam as their
religion and that it had been forced on them in the past. This is part of
China’s defence against allegations that it was mistreating the region’s
Uygur people adopted Islam not of their own volition … but had it forced upon
them by religious wars and the ruling class,” the whiter paper said. Uyghur
were forced to accept Islamic beliefs during the expansion of Arab states, the
document said while describing it as a historical fact.
white paper was released by the information office of the State Council,
China’s cabinet, soon after ambassadors of 22 countries signed a letter calling
for a halt to the mass detention of Uygurs in Xinjiang. This is the first such
joint move on the issue at the UN Human Rights Council. The signatories
included envoys from Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan and
Switzerland. The US did not sign the letter because it had quit the forum a
responded by getting a letter signed by the ambassadors of 37 countries,
including several Muslim-majority states like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan,
supporting Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang. It said that the show of support was
“a powerful response to the groundless accusations made against China by a
small number of Western countries”.
white paper also targeted the historical links between the Uyghur and Turkey.
“Historically, the Uyghurs’ ancestors were enslaved by the Turks,” the document
said. As evidence, the paper cited a history of conflicts between the two
groups dating back to the 8th century CE.
has borrowed from international experiences, combined them with local
realities, and taken resolute measures against terrorism and extremism,” the
media has been releasing videos to show that Xinjiang people kept in camps are
healthy and happy to counter allegations of harsh conditions and abuse
published in the Western media.
Pakistan is being created in front of your eyes,' PM Imran tells packed crowd
Minister Imran Khan, while addressing a large crowd at a community event at
Washington's Capital One Arena on Sunday, said that a 'Naya Pakistan' was being
created in front of people's eyes.
ask where is 'Naya Pakistan', it is being created in front of your eyes,"
the premier said.
the organiser of the event Dr Abdullah Riar had said that they were expecting
between 15,000 and 20,000 at the event.
Imran was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser to the
Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to Prime Minister on
Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, and Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis
the crowd in the American capital, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the
problem in Pakistan was that when political leaders were asked for answers,
they say that [political] revenge is being taken and when courts make decisions
they say 'kyun nikala'.
what is happening in Pakistan, is the formation of Naya Pakistan — these people
had never been asked for answers before."
said that in Pakistan, the leadership had never been asked for answers before
and this was the creation of a 'Naya Pakistan' taking place.
premier said that there were two mains reasons — a system of merit and leaders
being answerable — that democracy had gone forward in the world and left
a sports example, the PM said that the Australian cricket team had gone forward
as they had a system that brings up talent and relies on merit.
have played cricket all around the world. I have seen the most cricketing
talent in Pakistan. But [because] there is no system of merit, we can't bring
that talent up.
is why we are not dominating the world because there is no meritocracy."
Imran said that America had a system based on meritocracy, through which good
leaders replaced bad ones.
said that in Pakistan there was a "type of monarchy" and merit did
not come into play in the country.
society that doesn't have merit, doesn't go forward."
premier said that the second factor that took democracy forward was the leaders
is successful when the leadership is answerable."
Minister Imran said that cases against political leaders in Pakistan were not
the cases against them are old. We did not [start] any case [...] all we have
done is make institutions independent."
have seen Pakistan go down before our eyes," he said, adding that when he
was growing up in the country during the 1960s, Pakistan was considered to be
the fastest developing country in the subcontinent and Asia.
said the Pakistani bureaucracy was considered the top one in Asia and people
used to come from abroad to study in the country.
is the same Pakistan we saw go down."
Imran explained that the form of socialism in place during the 1970s had led to
industrial growth in the country stopping and then after 1985, bribery came
into politics when the "real damage" took place.
saw Pakistan go down before our eyes."
said two things — public office holders being held accountable and merit — were
required to lift the country up.
who is a public office holder should answer to the people."
referring to political leaders in the country, the premier said: "They
have one purpose, they want to hear three words from me NRO [National
said that now the powerful individuals in Pakistan were being held accountable,
which included the seizure of their benami properties.
this is the time that Pakistan will change, it is changing before you."
premier added that a merit-based system was required in the country.
system of merit will come when family-based politics end.
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is the first party where no relative or friend of Imran
Khan is in any post," he said, adding that new leaders, such as Minister
for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed and Federal Minister for
Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar, would emerge from the party.
country will rise before you. You will see we will fix the system and let the
lower segment come up."
did the money go?'
premier said that ten years ago, the country's debt was Rs6,000 billion.
ten years, these two raised it to Rs30,000 billion," referring to former
prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari.
did the money go? We need to take [back] this money from them. I want to tell
them again that you can do what you want.
comes together to save democracy, to save their money. Come together, if you
want to stage a 'dharna', I will give you containers.
what you want, you will have to return the money."
referring to Nawaz, PM Imran said that he would remove the former premier's TV
and air conditioner from jail.
know that Maryam [Nawaz] bibi will make a lot of noise, but Maryam bibi give
back the money, then he can go from jail."
Imran said that he had noticed that when former president Zardari went to jail,
he would spend all of his time in the hospital.
Zardari, [we] will also keep you in jail, there will no TV nor will there be an
is very easy to be released from jail: return the money, we will release you
today, the powerful in Pakistan were never questioned. This is the biggest
change and this is why our country will rise."
Imran said that the education system in Pakistan did not allow the less
privileged to come up.
is an education apartheid. Here [in America] people are given
premier said that for the first time in Pakistan, they were attempting to fix
the system of government schools in the country and attempting to introduce one
main syllabus so that people have the opportunity to rise up.
country has been left behind because of one reason: corruption," said the
said that he had met companies in the United States, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and
China for investment and they all said that they don't come to Pakistan because
there is corruption.
a clean government [and] by ending corruption, we will lift this country."
prime minister said that the current government's vision was to turn the
country into a welfare state on the pattern of Riyasat-i-Madina, Radio Pakistan
said that the principles of Riyasat-i-Madina were compassion, justice, rule of
law, and looking after women, children and elderly.
premier said that he would present the case of the Pakistani people before
President Donald Trump, who he is scheduled to meet on Monday (today).
will not let you be embarrassed in front of Donald Trump."
the event, a documentary of PM Imran's journey was also shown to the audience.
premier concluded his address by vowing that he would never let Pakistan bow
down before anyone.
Arabic-language al-Arabi al-Jadid news website quoted former commander of the
so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorist groups in Southern Syria Abu Ans
al-Hariri as saying that at present, members of Jeish al-Maqawir, Ahmed
al-Abdou and Aswad al-Sharqiyeh terrorist groups are being trained in al-Tanf
region in Syria, adding that most of the commanders of these groups are at
present in Jordan and are being supported and trained.
who had earlier been supported by the US Military Operations Command (MOC)
stated that Washington also intends to form another military power to prepare
for a possible confrontation against Syria and the resistance front.
said that the terrorists are the Arabian version of the Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF) but they lack a real central command or political formations and
cannot make decisions without orders from al-Tanf base.
present, the US has established ties with certain terrorist groups in Syria,
including Jeish al-Izza.
Arabic-language media outlets had also reported earlier this month that
Washington planned to bring back a more dangerous version of the ISIL terrorist
group to Iraq and Syria after its failure to achieve its mischievous goals in
Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted Hessam
Sho'aib, a Syrian military expert on terrorist organizations, as saying that a
recent report by the US-based Institute for Studies of War (ISW) on rebirth of
the ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria exposed this reality that the US Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) had created the ISIL and is preparing the grounds for
the return of the terrorist groups, specially the ISIL, to the region.
noted that the ISW's report on ISIL's dominance over several regions in Iraq
and Syria such as Mosul shows that the US is not looking for establishment of
peace in the region and ISIL's retreat from Raqqa has taken place on CIA's
order and not a defeat in war against the SDF.
reiterated that the SDF is also a part of the CIA's plot for Syria, and said,
"The US has come to know that it cannot conduct any kind of military
operation against Iran, and therefore it has resorted to reviving the terrorist
groups to carry out terrorist attacks as a much cheaper scenario for the region.
noted that Washington uses the terrorist groups in the region as a pressure
lever, and said that the purpose for reviving the terrorist organizations is
preoccupying the regional countries' armies, specially Iraq, Syria and Iran.
neutralizes militants but fear still persists
late 2015 through 2016, Barnabas Hembrom spent days and nights fearing that he
was going to be murdered by Islamic militants.
45, a pastor and regional head of the Bangladesh Baptist Church in northern
Rangpur division, received death threats three times via the post from a
shadowy Islamic militant outfit.
stopped going outside church premises to conduct my pastoral services and on my
request police were deployed in front of the church gate. I spent many fearful
days and sleepless nights. It was the most terrible experience in my 20 years
as a pastor,” Hembrom told ucanews.com.
things have improved greatly thanks to a government crackdown and ongoing
monitoring, but fears remain that extremism might re-emerge.”
received the first letter on Nov. 25, 2015, and the final one two months later.
priests, eat whatever food you want by Dec. 20 and do not forget to say goodbye
to your wives,” the letter read. “The commander of Syria IS has sent a letter
to us seeking your severed head. Soon we will send him your head as a gift.
time our plan is to kill one by one all those who are preaching Christianity in
Bangladesh. Our country will be run only under Islamic laws.”
first death threat came a week after the Nov. 18 shooting of Italian Catholic
missionary Father Pietro Parolari in northern Dinajpur district, for which
transnational terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility.
on Oct. 5, Luke Sarkar of the Protestant Faith Bible Church also narrowly
escaped death in northern Pabna district after alleged members of the banned
Islamic militant group Jamaatul Mujahedhin Bangladesh (JMB) tried to slit his
on June 5, 2016, alleged Islamic militants brutally hacked to death Sunil
Gomes, 72, a Catholic, at his grocery shop near Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic
Church in Bonpara, northern Natore district.
2015 and 2016, more than two dozen Catholic priests, Protestant ministers and
Christian aid workers received death threats similar to Hembrom’s through the
mail, text messages and phone calls.
attacks and deaths threats to Christian leaders, priests, pastors and aid
workers were unprecedented in Bangladesh, where Christians are a tiny minority
but highly regarded for their significant role in the education, healthcare and
social welfare sectors.
campaign of terror against Christians was a part of an ambitious strategic
mission of homegrown Islamic terror outfits to establish Islamic rule in a
Muslim-majority Bangladesh, long known for its secular culture and religious
since 2013 Bangladesh has seen a lethal rise in Islamic extremism.
extremists, pledging allegiance to global terror outfits IS and al-Qaeda, have
murdered about 50 people from various backgrounds: Christians, Buddhists,
atheist bloggers, writers and publishers, liberal academics, gay activists,
foreigners, religious and Shia Muslims.
the worst attack, five militants murdered 20 guests, most of them foreigners,
at a cafe in capital Dhaka on July 1, 2016.
response, the government launched a massive anti-militancy crackdown, leaving
some 50 militant leaders and operatives dead. Hundreds more were arrested and
put on trial.
neutralized, fears linger
is a success story in terms of overcoming the threat of extremism, but there is
no place for complacency, says Father Anthony Sen, convener of the Justice and
Peace Commission at Dinajpur Diocese, which covers Bangladesh’s northern
region. The area is known as a hotbed for Islamic extremism.
have never seen such savagery in the name of religion in this country and the
perpetrators were from this land. That is shocking both for the nation and the
government. However, militancy has been neutralized so far, thanks to the
government’s efforts,” Father Sen told ucanews.com.
government continues to prioritize anti-militancy efforts while police continue
to guard church premises, acknowledging that the threat has not totally
disappeared, the priest noted.
sign that fear persists it that all churches ask for police protection during
big festivals and also finish evening programs early, even on Christmas and
Easter, Father Sen pointed out.
government has broken down militant networks by force but it’s not enough,” he
said. “Militancy was born and raised with socioeconomic and ideological
patronage here in Bangladesh, and as long as these roots are not uprooted there
is always a risk for their re-emergence.”
retired brigadier and Dhaka-based security analyst, M. Shakhawat Hossain, has
threat of militancy appears to have dissipated, even if it is not uprooted,”
Hossain told ucanews.com. “But we need to keep in mind that militancy took a
long time to grow, so it will take some time to die out.
are in a much better situation today but everyone, including law enforcers and
people at large, need to stay alert.”
alliance of lawmen and people
is not only the authorities waging anti-militancy drives — Bangladeshi citizens
are also doing their best to eradicate the threat, said Monirul Islam, head of
the Bangladesh police force’s Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit.
won’t be able to establish strong roots in Bangladesh because people here
believe in non-communal culture and religious pluralism,” Islam told
ucanews.com. “Besides our regular anti-militancy activities we have also
engaged with citizens by spreading awareness and collecting information they
give to us. When lawmen and people work together any big threat can be tackled
recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh was also at
risk but vigilance from law enforcers averted such threats, he said.
believe our strong efforts dismantled the organizational structure of militants
in Bangladesh,” Islam added. “We are watchful for people who support extremist
ideologies and sympathize with extremists but we have the capacity to stop the
re-emergence of militancy locally, nationally and globally.”
Islamist leader to stand in Tunisia polls
Rashid Gannouchi, the influential leader of Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Al
Nahda party, will stand in the next parliamentary elections in October, a move
widely seen as an attempt to seek a leadership position in the country.
in London for about two decades during the time of former president Zine Al
Abidine Bin Ali, Gannouchi has been a major force since Tunisia’s 2011
revolution, but he has never run for any official position.
78-year-old remains a dominant figure who critics say effectively controls the
country in tandem with the secular-minded President Beji Qaid Al Sebsi, 92,
often dubbed the “two sheikhs” in reference to their age.
decision to present Gannouchi at the top of the party’s electoral list in
Tunis1, is to have leaders of parties play a more important role at this
crucial stage in the history of the democratic transition in Tunisia,” Al Nahda
party official Emad Khmiri told Reuters.
candidacy for a parliamentary seat reinforces expectations that he is seeking
to play a bigger role, possibly as prime minister or speaker of parliament, if
his party wins the election.
elections are expected to be held on October 6 with a presidential vote
following on November 17.
to finalize Palestinian economic plan on Mideast tour, says US official
House senior adviser Jared Kushner will lead a US delegation on a tour of the
Middle East to finalize details of his proposed $50 billion economic
development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, an
administration official said on Sunday.
Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, State Department official Brian Hook and
Kushner aide Avi Berkowitz are expected to make stops in Israel, Jordan, Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the official said.
leave late this month and return to Washington in early August.
official said the purpose of the trip is to “continue on the momentum that was
created at the workshop in Bahrain and finalize the economic portion of the
will also discuss the possibility of locating the development fund in Bahrain,
the official said.
US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and the plan’s main architect, sought to
build support for his ambitious economic proposals for the Palestinian
territories at an international meeting in Bahrain in June.
poured scorn on the Trump administration’s $50 billion investment plan to help
achieve Middle East peace, but US Gulf Arab allies said the economic initiative
had promise if a political settlement is reached.
and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week discussed creation of the fund
with World Bank President David Malpass, the official said. The World Bank has
a role in managing the fund.
delegation was not expected to discuss Trump’s long-awaited political plan for
the Middle East, and when it will be released remains unclear.
after clashes, Old Delhi residents uphold traditional communal harmony
and Muslims lived cheek by jowl here for generations until a minor quarrel over
parking led to a communal clash and newspaper headlines. But within weeks,
thanks to saner elements in both communities and a little nudging from Delhi
Police, social harmony has been restored in the Hauz Qazi area of the old city
and locals of both communities are resolute in upholding the long-cherished
spirit of amity and good neighbourliness.
in the area were shocked when religious clashes broke out over a mere parking
issue on June 30. After tension prevailed for over 10 days with the police
registering three FIRs, a peace procession on July 9 reinstalled the idols in
the vandalised Durga temple in the area. Chants of "Jai Shri Ram"
echoed through the streets, while music filled the air and hearts. For each
Muslim musician playing shehnai in the march, a Hindu counterpart matched it
with the beats of the dhol (drum).
musicians from both the communities depicted the unity among the
generations-old communities living in old Delhi", the Peace Committee that
comprises both Hindus and Muslims told IANS. The committee organised the
the procession, several communities and locals from both religions came forward
to provide a helping hand to renovate the temple and show respect and love for
the other faith. People from both the communities were also seen offering
support by serving food in the public feast.
Kumar Pandey, the priest of Durga Mandir, tags the residents as "brothers
and sisters" who respect each other.
Qazi's residents, many members of the working class community, not just live
together but also work alongside in nearby markets.
several days after the incident, the area was on high alert and labelled as
sensitive. Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were
deployed to ensure peace in the area. There was a huge loss of business as well
which was never seen in the area for ages especially due to such communal
clashes. Life has come back to its normal pace," Agrim Mishra, a local
shopkeeper, told IANS.
daily-wages workers who faced financial difficulties due to paucity of work in
the area, known for its maze of shops and commercial establishments alongside
centuries-old homes, since the incident are now happy to have found work again.
have been working here from the past eight years as a rickshaw puller but have
never seen anything of this sort. I had to live empty stomach for a couple of
days. We hardly make Rs 200-250 per day. In that we have to eat, pay the rent
and look after our other needs as well. Now, we have work again. I can go home
peacefully and sleep after working the entire day," Wasim Tahseen, a
rickshaw puller, said.
in the area believe that the area is a paragon of communal harmony as both the
communities have traditionally lived here as "brothers and sisters"
and blame outsiders for stoking the trouble.
Hussain, a resident of Hauz Qazi, said that the area believes in social unity
and not divisions on the basis of religion or caste. "The area is very
peaceful and some outsiders try to harm its peace," Hussain told IANS.
generations have lived here for years and years. Even when the Babri Masjid
case happened, there was no clash, only police officials were deployed as a
preventive measure but there was no violence," said Mohammad Waqaar, a
resident of Hauz Qazi.
are on to avoid future clashes in the area. As per members of the Peace
Committee, senior citizens of the area and members themselves, are holding
regular meetings in order to ensure that no such incidents happen again to
spoil the social peace and the reputation of the neighbourhood.
(Maharashtra) : Two Muslim youth alleged that they were forced to chant “Jai
Shri Ram” here on Sunday night.
Aamer, one the victims told reporters here that the incident took place at Azad
Chowk when he with his friend was out for work. He claimed that the duo was
waylaid by a few miscreants who came in a car.
asked us to chant Jai Shri Ram, which we refused. They did not thrash us. They
threatened us and fled away,” Aamer told ANI.
incident has been caught in the CCTV camera installed at the spot. Heavy police
deployment has been made in the area to maintain law and order.
The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha on Sunday announced that it will bear all the
travel expenses of Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan and his associates if they wish
to go and settle in Pakistan.
to Azam Khan’s statement that Muslims in India are being punished for their
decision to not to migrate to Pakistan after the partition in 1947, Hindu
Mahasabha spokesperson, Ashok Pandey, said that there is no difference between
the MP and ISI terrorists.
living in India and holding a public office, Khan’s love for the neighbouring
country seems to be overwhelming, said Ashok, adding that the MP should go to
Pakistan and settle there.
we who are being punished due to his presence in India rather than they being
punished for living here. He wants Pakistan kind of environment across the
nation”, said Ashok.
they are stopped for doing gundagardi then they feel they are being punished,”
he said, adding that if Khan had done such kinds of things in Pakistan, he
would have been hanged.
an MP from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, claimed that Muslims have not been able to
live a dignified life in the country. “We have been living a very disgusting
life since the partition of the country and we are very ashamed of it,” said
Khan, adding that Maulana Azad, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, and even
Bapu had appealed Muslims not to migrate to Pakistan, when asked about his
views on growing incidents of mob lynching.
Nearly 500 elderly Village Defence Committee (VDC) members and Special Police
Officers (SPO) in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir will be replaced soon,
a senior police officer said on Sunday.
step is part of a strategy to counter terror activities in the hilly district
which was rattled by the killing of BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his
brother Ajeet Parihar on November 1 last year, followed by the assassination of
senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a health
centre on April 9.
decision was taken despite reservations expressed by former chief minister
Mehbooba Mufti over arming of civilians in Chenab valley.
in view the present security scenario in Kishtwar town and the overstaying of
SPOs in the district (Kishtwar), an overhauling is being done. A process to
replace 352 VDC members and 117 VDC SPOs who are above the age of 60 years has
been set into motion," the officer said.
SPOs, who have overstayed at a particular place have also been replaced.
Besides this, 9 VDC SPOs have been disengaged from the VDC rolls for non
compliance of orders, the officer said.
response to the recently held SPOs recruitment, he said a list of around 85
meritorious candidates was sent to police headquarters for final approval.
VDCs were setup in the mid-1990s with an aim to strengthen the security of
Hindus living in remote and mountainous areas of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramba,
Rajouri, Reasi, Kathua and Poonch districts of the region.
members of these committees not only guard the identified villages along the
border, but also the infrastructural installations in and around them.
along with several other districts of Jammu province were declared terrorism
free over a decade ago but after the recent killings, the authorities have
taken various steps to counter attempts by terrorists to gain a foothold in the
Chenab valley. Inspector General of Police, Jammu, M K Sinha recently said at
least 10 local militants — eight belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen and two
affiliated to Lashker-e-Toiba were active in the district.
the reported plans of the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to
arm civilians in the sensitive Chenab valley as "alarming", Mufti,
who is also Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, had warned that the move
would have "dangerous consequences".
said similar experiments of arming civilians under the anti-militancy grid in
the 1990s had led to complete chaos and the wounds inflicted upon the general
masses were still fresh.
about the administration trying to arm civilians under the garb of creating VDC
in Chenab valley are disturbing and alarming especially at the time when the
government has to be inclusive to avoid further alienation of youth across the
state," Mufti had said in a statement on Saturday.
Friday, police registered a case against former PDP MLC Firdous Tak and some
other party leaders after they staged a demonstration against the state
administration for strengthening VDCs in the district.
dubbed the FIR "false and frivolous" and demanded its immediate
party leaders have represented the sentiments and aspirations of the people but
it seems that the local administration are working under pressure from a
particular political organisation. The registration of the case only speaks
about the sorry state of affairs in Chenab valley," she said.
July 17, a three-member delegation of senior BJP leaders led by former deputy
chief minister Nirmal Singh met governor Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhavan in
Srinagar and demanded the strengthening of the security apparatus including
VDCs and provision of mobile bunkers in Chenab valley region.
July 22 Once a breeding ground for homegrown terror, resulting in the creation
of dreaded militant outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM), eastern Uttar Pradesh''s
Azamgarh town is now focusing on Kaushal Vikas -- the Centre''s skill
development scheme for the unemployed youths. Although IM that bombed several
cities across the country a decade back, has been eliminated, the terror
networks seem to be shifting from east to western borders of the state.
spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) continues to exploit
communally sensitive pockets, particularly in Muslim dominated towns of Amroha,
Sambhal, Kairana, Nagina, Dhampur, Deoband and Bijnore in the west Uttar
Pradesh, reveals a report of State Intelligence Department. ISI, according to
report, has been trying to recruit its agent who in turn provide funds to
sleeping terror modules.
revival of sleeping modules, fostered by the ISI, the Yogi government
instructed its Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) to activate its radar in communally
ATS, with the help of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Operations Cell
of Intelligence Bureau, not only identified the troubled areas but busted a new
terror module, Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam in Amroha in December last.
July 10, we seized weapons from a madarasa in Bijnore. Several persons, with
shady background were arrested. We now have a zero tolerance policy on
syndicate and terror crimes. Such raids (like the one in the madarasa) were not
possible in earlier regimes. Police was not allowed to raid certain localities,
despite credible inputs on criminal activities," said an Inspector General
rank police official.
fact, the previous Akhilesh Yadav government in 2012, had contemplated to drop
charges of terror crimes against 15 undertrials accused of killing 43 person in
Uttar Pradesh. The charge against the 15 accused mainly related to serial
blasts in Lucknow, Faizabad (now Ayodhya), Varanasi in 2007, and a bomb
explosion in Gorakhpur in the same year.
the Allahabad High Court later intervened in the matter saying that most of the
terror accused were booked in Central Acts and such heinous cases of terror
crimes cannot be withdrawn without the consent of the Union government.
2017, after the arrival of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister, the ATS was
re-activated. One of the main task given to ATS was to ensure that Kumbh Mela
in Allahabad, (a mass Hindu pilgrimage at the banks of River Ganga) passes
peacefully. Coordinating with various state and central agencies, the ATS went
out of the way to bust terror and espionage modules located as far as Gujarat.
the Kumbh, the ATS, at present is on strict vigil to oversee the Kanwar Yatra,
where several lakh Hindu devotees march on foot from various parts of the state
Uttar Pradesh, the porous Nepal border too poses different types of security
threat. The over 1,700-km-long border has been a source of gun running,
smuggling of fake currency and infiltration of suspected terrorists.
state police with a better team work along with the Central para-military
Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB), enhanced human intelligence and patrolling at border,
resulting in a major drop in fake Indian currency smuggling and gun running.
is high alert on the Nepal border. The fake currency racket has also come down.
The ATS coordinates with district police in a more effective manner, especially
with the ones sharing its border with Nepal. Recently a maoist rebel leader,
having terror links across the border, was apprehended from Bareilly,"
said Rajesh Pandey, a founder member of ATS now serving as DIG Bareilly range.
mediation panel set up to resolve the politically sensitive Ram
Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute met the general secretary of All India
Muslim Personal Law Board here.
mediation panel met me yesterday night at VVIP Guest House, Lucknow," said
AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani on Sunday.
Supreme Court judge F M I Kallifulla, who heads the panel, met Rehmani along
with the committee's another member, senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
member of the panel spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar was not present in the meeting.
Imran Khan to explain forced conversions in Pakistan: US Congress members to
Trump ahead of meeting
of Pakistan PM Imran Khan's scheduled meeting with US President Donald Trump, a
group of 10 US Congress members wrote to the President asking him to raise the
issue of human rights violations in the country, especially Sindh Province.
a letter addressed to Trump on July 19, the group of Congresspersons said that
while the US has given over $30 million in aid to Pakistan, there are no major
improvements in the social and economic conditions of the people.
Khan arrived in the US on his maiden trip during which he will hold talks with
Donald Trump and reboot bilateral ties that were hit after the US president
publicly criticised Islamabad, cancelled military aid and asked it to do more
to fight terrorism.
will be meeting Trump at the White House on Monday.
is the first time that ten members of Congress have written a letter to the
President of US on the Sindh issues.
is that failure more evident than in Sindh Province, which has continued to
suffer from numerous economic and social injustices, often at the hands of the
Pakistani government," read the letter written by 10 members of the US
House of Representatives.
statement also goes on to point the cases of forced conversions of young Hindu
and Christian girls who are first kidnapped and then forced to convert to
Islam. "Often, they are married to men decades their senior. According to
an independent watchdog group, there were around one-thousand cases of forced
conversions in Sindh Province in 2018 alone. The actual number is certainly
higher," the Congresspersons said in the letter.
group has also directly targeted the Imran Khan government for terrorising the
entire Sindh Province with "enforced disappearances".
members Brad Sherman, Ann Wagner, Adam B Schiff, Jan Schakosky, Eleanor H
Norton, Carolyn B Maloney, David E Price, Juan Vargas, David Schweikert and Dan
Crenshaw signed the letter asking Trump to bring up these and other issues in
his talks with Imran Khan.
group has also pointed at the severe water crisis, terrorism and the recent HIV
outbreak in Sindh.
Omar's constituents 'proud to stand by her' over Trump's racist words
Donald Trump began targeting Ilhan Omar and other progressive congresswomen of
color with racist attacks, demanding they leave the country, Erica Mauter knew
she had to counter his dangerous message.
[Trump] was going to let that message be the one that resounds and resonates
from him, then if she was indeed coming back home to Minnesota, we’re going to
welcome her,” said Mauter, who lives in the state’s fifth district, which Omar
represents. “We wanted to affirm that we miss her and want her to keep doing
what she’s doing.”
was one of about 150 supporters who greeted Omar, one of the first two Muslim
women to serve in Congress, when she arrived home from Washington on Thursday,
a day after the president lashed out at her at a rally in North Carolina that
culminated with his supporters chanting: “Send her back! Send her back!”
racist rallying cry – from which Trump later attempted to distance himself –
was the culmination of close to a week of bigoted broadsides, beginning with
tweets calling on Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida
Tlaib to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places
from which they came”.
is an American citizen born in Somalia. The other three lawmakers were born in
the US. All four have been sharp critics of Trump, particularly on immigration.
comments and his supporters’ racist chanting drew widespread criticism and a
formal rebuke from the Democrat-held House. But Republicans offered silence,
mild criticism or even outright defence.
all know that [the lawmakers] are a bunch of communists,” said Senator Lindsey
Graham, one of the president’s key supporters on Capitol Hill. “They hate their
Trump and his allies attacking Omar and the rest of the so-called “Squad” as
anti-American, Mauter and others went to the Minneapolis airport to show
solidarity – and to send a message that Omar’s constituents have her back.
district is totally behind her,” Mauter told the Guardian.
37, came to the US as a refugee from Somalia in 1992 and became an American
citizen in 2000. She was elected in 2018 to serve the most diverse district in
Minnesota, covering Minneapolis and some of its suburbs, and has been one of
the most progressive Democrats in Washington.
she has also faced criticism, including for her language in messages meant to
scrutinize US policy on Israel. Omar has apologized for using phrases like “all
about the Benjamins”, which was slammed as antisemitic. Much criticism has been
in bad faith. Trump has spread several lies, including a far-right conspiracy
theory that she was once married to her brother and the claim she is a
statements by President Trump against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and her
colleagues are racist,” Minneapolis city council member Abdi Warsame, who is
also Somali-American, told the Guardian by email.
citizen of the United States uttering those words brings shame to our country.
This adds to the long list of things President Trump has done that tarnish the
legitimacy of our highest office both domestically and abroad.”
got the bold ideas’
Omar under attack, supporters within her district, which she won with a
stunning 78% of the vote in 2018, are rallying behind her.
happening right now is so horrifying that standing with her in solidarity is so
important,” said Rita Farmer, a fifth-district resident from north-east
Minneapolis. “Not only to send a message to her that we support her, but to the
rest of the world that we stand by her.
support isn’t going away. If anything, these recent attacks on her just
grew up in Minneapolis, which has a large Somalian and East African community.
Her district includes Little Mogadishu, the base of the Somali community in
Minneapolis, and previously elected Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in
Congress who is now state attorney general.
Farmer, “appalling” attacks from Trump need to be called out. But the fact that
Omar has continued to focus on her agenda, including support for Medicare for
all, which she touted in a town hall on Thursday evening in Minneapolis, has
made Farmer “that much prouder to stand by her”.
aren’t just standing by her for symbolic reasons,” Farmer said. “She’s got the
policy proposals. She’s got the bold ideas to back it up. That’s what really
excites people and keeps them coming back.”
Mauter was heartened that the community rallied round. But the president’s
attacks chilled her, raising concerns about the congresswoman’s safety – and
put a target on her back,” Mauter said. “I’m a black woman – that can be me.”
Friday, Trump abandoned his attempt to distance himself from the racist chant,
praising the North Carolina crowd as “incredible people” and “incredible
analysts suggest he has at least in part been seeking to exploit divisions
among Democrats. But the party has stood together.
Glubka, a politically active fifth-district resident, told the Guardian she
showed up to the airport on Thursday because she and other constituents felt
compelled to “defend” their representative.
felt really good,” she said of witnessing “love and enthusiasm” for Omar.
who is trans, said the congresswoman has been strong on LGBTQ issues,
fulfilling promises made to constituents. Trump’s attacks have only appeared
strengthened her support.
President Donald Trump is likely to press Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
for help on ending the war in Afghanistan and fighting militants when the two
leaders meet at the White House on Monday amid their countries’ strained
year, Trump cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance to
Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of offering “nothing but lies and deceit” while
giving safe haven to terrorists, a charge angrily rejected by Islamabad.
who arrived in Washington on Saturday, is expected to try to mend fences and
attract much-needed US investment, hoping the arrest last week of a militant
leader with a $10 million US bounty on his head will lead to a warmer
purpose of the visit is to press for concrete cooperation from Pakistan to
advance the Afghanistan peace process and to encourage Pakistan to deepen and
sustain its recent effort to crackdown on militants and terrorists within its
territory,” a senior US administration official said.
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States wants to
make clear to Pakistan that it is open to repairing relations if Pakistan
changes how it handles “terrorists and militants.”
Afghanistan, the official said, the peace process is at a critical point and
Washington wants Pakistan “to pressure the Taliban into a permanent ceasefire
and participation in inter-Afghan negotiations that would include the Afghan
wants to end US military involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s cooperation
will be essential to any deal to end the war and ensure the country does not
become a base for militant groups like ISIS.
visit follows the arrest on Wednesday of Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of
a four-day militant attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, news that
Trump welcomed on Twitter.
Pakistan has yet to release Shakil Afridi, the jailed doctor believed to have
helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11,
2001, attacks on the United States.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will lead a US delegation on a tour of
the Middle East to finalize details of his proposed $50 billion economic
development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, an
administration official said on Sunday.
Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, State Department official Brian Hook and
Kushner aide Avi Berkowitz are expected to make make stops in Israel, Jordan,
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the official said.
than 30,000 Pakistanis gathered in the U.S. capital on Sunday to attend a
speech by Prime Minister Imran Khan, astonishing even the Pakistani-Americans
who have never seen such a crowd for any other Pakistani leader before on
Khan began his three-day maiden visit to the U.S. on Sunday by addressing the
Pakistani diaspora at a landmark rally at the Capital One Arena stadium in
Washington D.C., which was scheduled days in advance.
emphasized that Pakistan would not be seeking any U.S. aid and assured the
jubilant crowd that his country won't bow to anyone.
is set to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday.
two leaders are expected to discuss the Afghan peace process, measures to
improve worsening relations between Pakistan and the U.S. as well as the Indian
efforts to put Pakistan into the black list of Financial Action Task Force
FATF has put Pakistan on the “grey list” and could put it on the “black list”
in October if it fails to show major progress in combating terrorism, according
to media reports.
a first, the country’s top military leadership, including the powerful army
chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, and newly-appointed head of the spy agency,
Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Gen. Faiz Hameed, are also accompanying Khan
in his talks with the Trump administration on a variety of issues ranging from
terrorism to Afghanistan.
political crisis in Beirut following a deadly shooting last month has revived
memories of one of the most controversial chapters in Lebanon’s post-war
history, when a court imprisoned a prominent opponent of the Syrian regime.
Hezbollah-backed political foes of Druze leader Walid Joumblatt suggested he
was somehow involved in a firefight last month that killed two bodyguards of a
pro-Hezbollah Druze minister and alleged it to be an assassination attempt,
observers recalled the 1994 war crimes trial of Christian leader Samir Geagea.
Geagea became the only figure from Lebanon’s civil war to be tried for his role
in the conflict. He received multiple death sentences, later commuted to life
and ended up spending 11 years in prison. He was only released when Syrian
President Bashar Al Assad was forced to withdraw his forces from the country in
the face of international pressure and mass protests in 2005.
trial was hugely influenced by the Damascus government, at a time when it had
35,000 troops in Lebanon. Today, the Syrian regime is once again emboldened, as
Iranian and Russian support helps turn the tide of the country’s
eight-year-long civil war.
the border, Lebanon’s Justice Ministry fell to Christian allies of Shiite
militia-cum-political party Hezbollah, a friend of Damascus, after a new
cabinet was formed in January, intensifying a clampdown on critics of the
Syrian regime and Hezbollah. The crackdown forced Fidaa Itani, a prominent
Lebanese investigative journalist to flee to London to escape what turned out
to be a four-month jail sentence.
more could be at stake for Mr Joumblatt, who has survived at least one
assassination attempt and is used to navigating the tough school of Lebanese
politics. Except that, this time, Hezbollah has been buoyed by a deeper reach
into the country’s security apparatus and state organisations.
to one of his confidants, who asked not to be named, Mr Joumblatt is preparing
to counter a similar campaign to the one that once silenced Mr Geagea. Bringing
down Mr Joumblatt would increase the influence of Hezbollah, and by extension
Damascus and Tehran.
to Fadi Ahmar, assistant professor at Lebanon’s Holy Spirit University of
Kaslik, “Behind every move against Joumblatt we have seen lately, Hezbollah
looms. The Syrian regime is not far either.”
crisis is the latest pitting Hezbollah, the only non-state group in Lebanon
allowed to bear arms after the 15-year civil war that ended in 1990, against
weakened political opponents who have renounced violence but are trying to
stave off what they regard as renewed vassalage to the Syrian regime.
a small country, the direction of Lebanon’s internal politics usually reflects
the wider regional, and even international, balance of power.
the outbreak of a civil war in 1975, Lebanon became “the chessboard on which
each outside power tried to checkmate the other,” said Lebanese banker Joe
one point, the Syrian regime, the United States, France and Israel, all had
troops in the country during the civil war. Saddam Hussein supported Michel
Aoun, the current president who is now friendly to Damascus. Not to be outdone,
Iran, as well as Damascus, was instrumental in founding Hezbollah in the 1980s.
Among the foreign militias were the Palestine Liberation Organisation factions
and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the group outlawed in Turkey. Emerging
relatively unscathed in what became a swap for foreign powers was late Syrian
dictator Hafez Al Assad, supported militias from all sects, even ones that were
fighting each other.
are friends to all in Lebanon,” the late Assad once said.
shadow of this international battleground remains on Lebanon. Hezbollah acts as
a regional spearhead in support of Iran. France, meanwhile, is leading aid
efforts to rescue the struggling economy.
players on this chessboard, Mr Geagea and Mr Joumblatt, were instrumental in
shaping Lebanon’s history of bloodshed and relative peace since the end of the
civil war in 1990.
not as powerful as they once were, they remain politically significant, partly
because of their opposition to Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, at a time when
many see Lebanon as under threat of renewed subjugation to Damascus.
Syrian troops withdrew from Lebanon in 2005, Damascus is seeking to increase
its influence in the country through its ally Hezbollah. Today, critics such as
Messrs Joumblatt and Geagea fear a return to an era where all opposition to
Assad family influence is silenced.
figures like them remain vulnerable. Lebanon’s post-war era has been marked by
political assassinations of those who opposed Damascus or Hezbollah.
today as the most prominent survivor is the enigmatic Joumblatt, whose acute
political radar-guided shifting alliances, which have preserved the interests
of the Druze, allowing the small religious minority political relevance larger
than the community’s size may suggest. While no census has been conducted in
Lebanon since the 1930s because of sectarian sensitivities, the Druze, one of
18 recognised communities, account for around 5 per cent of a population
estimated at 6 million.
Joumblatt, 69, is one of few politicians in Lebanon whose positions cut across
sectarian lines, from his attempts to protect what is left of Lebanon’s
environment – which earned him the loathing of businessmen linked to Hezbollah
and to President Assad’s associates – to criticising widespread bigotry towards
he and Mr Geagea, also in his 60s, hail from the mountains. Mr Joumblatt is the
son of the monumental Lebanese politician Kamal Joumblatt, from Al Moukhtara in
the Chouf mountains south of Beirut, a hereditary seat of Druze leadership. Mr
Geagea is from Bsharri in northern Lebanon, hometown of the famed writer Gibran
studied at the American University of Beirut. Mr Joumblatt read politics, and
Mr Geagea medicine. Mr Joumblatt carries the title of Beik, which harks to
Ottoman feudal times, while Mr Geagea is known as Al Hakeem, which means
Mr Joumblatt and Mr Geagea are a world apart politically, with Mr Geagea’s
current anti-refugee rhetoric contributing to a violent backlash against ordinary
the lessons of the Geagea trial, mainly the propensity of Lebanon’s judicial
system to perform a show trial under political pressure, are difficult to
ignore for a seasoned politician such as Mr Joumblatt. Like a quarter of a
century ago, the geopolitics have turned once again in favour of the Syrian
regime and its Lebanese allies, with current events exposing Lebanon’s thinly
concealed fault lines and revealing how easily Lebanon could slide back into
Hezbollah is perhaps more powerful than at any time since its founding in the
1980s. Its patron, Iran, is ascendant regionally and neighbouring ally Mr Assad
looks set to survive the civil war. As in the past, Hezbollah had few
reservations about the means it uses to solidify its power.
recent incident involving Mr Joumblatt is illustrative of how the group
attempts to pull strings in Lebanon, without direct involvement in events.
late June, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, a Hezbollah ally and son-in-law of
President Michel Aoun, planned to visit an area in the Chouf. The move was
apparently to strengthen his standing among Christian co-religionists, many of
whom Mr Joumblatt drove out from the Chouf during the civil war and only
returned in recent years.
trip was a challenge to Druze communities fiercely opposed to Hezbollah and Mr
Assad, and Mr Bassil backed down. Instead a junior Druze minister, Saleh Al
Gharib – who is a rival to Mr Joumblatt and backed by Hezbollah – went to the
area. What happened next is disputed, but shooting began and two of Mr Al
Gharib’s bodyguards were killed. Mr Joumblatt later organised the handover of
two suspects to authorities and demanded the other side do likewise.
became known as the Al Basateen incident followed an earlier killing of a
Joumblatt supporter by a pro-Hezbollah Druze gunman last year. In that case,
the suspect fled to Syria. Mr Joumblatt has called on the Lebanese judiciary to
prosecute both incidents.
Lebanon’s Justice Ministry, a post once held by Mr Joumblatt's ally Prime
Minister Saad Hariri's Future Movement, is now headed by an ally of Mr Aoun and
Mr Joumblatt’s supporters fear the Druze leader could be framed for the
leader Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview last week that after his group’s
intervention in Syria helped prop up the Damascus regime, the Shiite
organisation now sees its main critic, Mr Joumblatt, as a target, claiming the
Druze leader has slighted Hezbollah since 2005.
particular ire is Mr Joumblatt’s repeated criticism of Hezbollah’s
self-declared right to bear arms, which gives the group power no other Lebanese
is the one who wronged us when he talked about the weapons of treachery,” Mr
Nasrallah told Hezbollah’s Al Manar television, referring to Mr Joumblatt’s
2005 description of Hezbollah’s arms.
backing for Mr Al Gharib is part of a strategy to split Mr Joumblatt’s support
base, Mr Ahmar of the Holy Spirit University told The National. “Hezbollah is
aiming hard at Joumblatt’s core this time,” he said.
and its allies in government want a special state body they have large sway
over to prosecute suspects in the Basateen incident, which Hezbollah’s allies
claim was an assassination attempt against Mr Al Gharib.
body, called the Judicial Council, has a history of politically charged
proceedings, in 1994 it was the one responsible for Mr Geagea’s imprisonment
over civil war crimes.
Hezbollah is trying to capitalise on an ally holding the Justice Ministry to
call for the case to be passed to the Judicial Council for review. While Mr
Bassil also wants this, his (until now) good working relations with Mr Hariri
could complicate such a move.
amid a brutal civil war, Mr Geagea was renowned as ruthless as he rose within
Maronite Christian factions implicated in mass killings of Palestinians. They
also turned their guns against each other in an internecine war that hastened
Syrian regime dominance.
the start of the war in 1975, there were clashes between Maronite factions and
Palestinian guerrillas who had moved to Lebanon after taking part five years
earlier in a shorter civil war in Jordan, although part of Lebanon’s societal
and political problems date back to before the arrival of the Palestinians.
on, the late Hafez Al Assad showed an interest in shaping the outcome of the
older Al Assad, who died in 2000, sent forces to Lebanon in 1976 in support of
the Maronites, partly to undermine PLO leader Yasser Arafat and seize control
over his organisation.
then Assad later turned on the Maronites, who welcomed an Israeli invasion of
Lebanon in 1982 although it failed to impose a government friendly to Israel.
1989 Taif agreement that helped end the Lebanese civil war tinkered with the
country’s quota system, under which representatives of numerous sects share
power. It reduced the Maronite influence in favour of more Muslim
representation. But it also indirectly contributed towards turning post-war
Lebanon into a satellite of the Syrian regime.
the war, Mr Joumblatt and Mr Geagea were foes. But afterwards, they co-operated
to back the small but growing supporters of an independent Lebanon that
culminated in the 2005 Cedar revolution. They then carried this into a successful
but relatively brief March 14 alliance (named after the biggest rally against
Syria in 2005 that estimates suggest well over 1 million people attended) with
others attempting to curtail the Syrian regime.
many in the alliance or with similar views of Lebanese independence paid a
heavy price for opposing the Syrian regime. In years leading up to and after
2005, a string of anti-Syrian journalists, writers, academics and politicians –
including the ex-prime minister Rafic Hariri whose murder on February 14, 2005,
sparked the mass protests – were assassinated.
earlier in 1977, Mr Joumblatt’s father, Kamal Joumblatt, was also assassinated.
Two Syrian agents suspected in the killing have never faced justice.
Geagea alone continued to vocally oppose Syrian involvement in Lebanon long
after others had acquiesced, making him a key target of Hafez Al Assad.
the behest of Damascus, Lebanon’s judiciary singled out Mr Geagea for
prosecution over political killings committed during the war, despite the 1991
General Amnesty law passed by parliament to prevent people being tried for
crimes committed during the conflict. The case became Lebanon’s trial of the
century, though the result was a foregone conclusion.
Geagea was sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment, for
ordering four assassinations. Among them was a 1987 helicopter bombing that
killed Sunni Prime Minister Rashid Karami and the 1990 killing of Dany Chamoun,
a Maronite figure from the Chouf who by the end of the civil war had reconciled
with Mr Joumblatt, and most of Chamoun’s family.
few had doubted Mr Geagea’s willingness during the war to use violence to
achieve his goals, Amnesty International said his trial was “seriously flawed”.
The evidence was thin and largely circumstantial.
by then, international powers had little incentive to challenge Hafez Al Assad,
being more interested in promoting negotiations between the late dictator and
Geagea was imprisoned for 11 years in a windowless cell three floors below
ground at the Defence Ministry in the Yarzeh hills overlooking Beirut. He was
only released as Syrian forces withdrew from Lebanon in 2005, under
international pressure that followed the assassination of Lebanese statesman
Rafic Hariri, father of current Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
was suspected of the killing but has refused to hand over four of its
operatives to an international tribunal in The Hague set up to pursue the case.
Joumblatt meanwhile manoeuvred the post-war environment with prudence, becoming
minister of the displaced following the Taif agreement. In 1991, as the amnesty
law was passed, he spoke out, arguing that every major political figure,
himself no exception, should be investigated for war crimes.
Joumblatt may no longer be able to maintain such candour, although he remains
well connected in European capitals and, to some degree, in Moscow. And, inside
Lebanon, President Al Assad does not have the same reach since withdrawing
forces in 2005. But the risks remain.
confidant of Mr Joumblatt, who asked to remain anonymous, said Mr Joumblatt is
mindful he could face a politically motivated prosecution such as that which
jailed Mr Geagea.
Ahmar of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik said Mr Joumblatt has met with
ambassadors in Beirut to seek support and has backing from Prime Minister
think the crisis has strengthened the bonds between Joumblatt and Hariri,” Mr
particular, he said Mr Hariri’s support while he remains prime minister makes
it difficult for Hezbollah’s ally to deploy the judiciary against Mr Joumblatt.
in a sign of the seriousness of the ongoing crisis, the Lebanese cabinet –
fragmented along pro- and anti-Hezbollah lines – has not held its weekly
meetings since the shooting on June 30.
Geagea's Lebanese Forces is represented by four ministers out of 30 and has
accused Hezbollah and its allies of withholding the quorum unless they get to
dictate the course of events in the aftermath of the shooting.
the divisions in cabinet run deeper than just this incident. For example, when
the Cabinet was formed on January 31 this year, Mr Geagea's Lebanese Forces had
appointed May Chidiac for the post of minister of state for administrative
development. Ms Chidiac was one of the country's most famous journalists and
repeatedly called on Syria to stop meddling in Lebanon. In September 2005, a
one-pound explosive device hidden in her car detonated as she got in. Although
she survived the assassination attempt, she lost a leg and it left her with
other lasting injuries. Now she now represents Mr Geagea in a cabinet alongside
Hezbollah and others who back Damascus.
Mr Joumblatt may be safe for now, history has shown the expendability of
non-violent politicians in Lebanon if they lose the support of powerful backers
or cross Hezbollah.
Hezbollah and its allies sharpen their knives for the Mr Joumblatt, Mr Geagea
has remained quiet, perhaps due to the memory of his own incarceration, and his
long and blood-soaked history shared with Mr Joumblatt.
President Donald Trump has found his latest target for public criticism — a
hijab-wearing Muslim newcomer to Congress named Ilhan Omar. She is a Somali
refugee but naturalized U.S. citizen whom Trump views as something less than a
patriotic red, white and blue American.
railed against the lawmaker Wednesday night at his 2020 re-election campaign
rally in North Carolina. He stoked the packed crowd at a college basketball
arena with his claims that she is proud of al-Qaida terrorists, blames the U.S.
for the political crisis in Venezuela and launches "vicious anti-Semitic
her back! Send her back!" the frenzied crowd of Trump supporters chanted
as he paused to listen for 13 seconds but without responding. It was
reminiscent of Trump's 2016 campaign, when supporters regularly shouted,
"Lock her up!" in a call to jail his opponent, Democrat Hillary
Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state.
in Washington on Thursday, the president disavowed the chant against Omar,
saying, "I was not happy with it. I disagree with it."
to Trump, Omar has in short order become a suitable proxy for opposition
Democrats trying to oust him next year after a single term in the White House.
He singled her out last weekend, along with three other Democratic lawmakers
who also are women of color, but unlike Omar, all U.S. citizens by birth. The
president said they ought to "go back" to their home countries to
"fix" things there before criticizing the U.S.
Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted to condemn Trump's remarks
as "racist," but Trump dismissed any contention he is a racist.
Instead, he praised the almost unanimous support he won from Republican
lawmakers who opposed the resolution, only four of whom voted with Democrats
left-wing ideologues see our nation as a force for evil," Trump said at
the rally, describing them as "hate-filled extremists who are constantly
trying to tear our country down."
don't love our country," he said. "I think, in some cases, they hate
our country. You know what? If they don't love it, tell them to leave it."
we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,"
Trump said. "A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of
radical socialism and the destruction of the American Dream — frankly, the
destruction of our country."
swiftly rebuffed Trump, saying, "We have said this president is racist. We
have condemned his racist remarks. I believe he is fascist."
in her late 30s, Omar told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that she, like many
refugees, does not have a birth certificate. She is the mother of two daughters
and a son, ranging in age from 7 to 15. Since January she has been a
congresswoman from Minneapolis, a large city in the U.S. heartland state of
Minnesota. Once divorced, she is married to Somali-born Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi,
the father of her three children and recently an aide to a Minneapolis City
has been a naturalized U.S. citizen for about two decades, after fleeing the
civil war in Somalia with her family in 1991 when she was a child. She lived in
a Kenyan refugee camp for four years before moving to the U.S. in the
mid-1990s. She held several politics-related jobs in Minneapolis in recent
years, before winning a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016,
becoming the first Somali-American Muslim legislator in U.S. history.
year, she won her congressional seat, overwhelming a Republican candidate to
fill the seat of a Democratic congressman — Keith Ellison, also a Muslim
American — who left it to win election as the state's attorney general.
Omar has become one of Trump's fiercest critics, regularly attacking his
immigrant detention policies at the southern U.S. border with Mexico as immoral
and assailing the country's long-standing support and alliance with Israel,
which she says comes at the expense of Palestinians living alongside the
broadly, she has attacked her adopted country, saying it has "failed to
live up to its founding ideals," a place that had disappointed her and so
many immigrants, refugees and minorities like her.
from drawing Trump's attention and his ire, the outspoken Omar has in six-plus
months in Congress often rankled her Democratic colleagues, a number of them
Jewish and more broadly, regardless of their religion, longtime supporters of
this year, the freshman lawmaker made a statement that played off tropes
questioning the influence of Jewish money in American politics. Later, she
said, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that
says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,"
both instances, the uproar and condemnation from her Democratic colleagues, and
many Republican lawmakers as well, was quick and unrelenting. She subsequently
apologized to Jewish groups for some of her comments.
times, within days, the House of Representatives approved resolutions to
indirectly rebuke Omar that condemned anti-Semitism. Neither statement named
her, even though some lawmakers wanted to.
back' to their countries
along with three other progressive congresswomen, argued with congressional
Democratic leaders over the treatment of migrants at the U.S.-Mexican border.
Omar, along with the three others Trump denigrated — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayana Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida
Tlaib of Michigan — wanted more compassionate control over government actions,
and they voted against most Democrats.
about their split with party leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed
dismissive, saying the group, collectively known as "the squad,"
amounted to only four lawmakers who had rallied no one else to their views
demanding more controls on the treatment of migrants.
after Trump vilified the four with his "go back" to their countries
demand, Pelosi led the fight to condemn Trump's language as racist.
comity with her Democratic colleagues, however, could be short-lived.
is proposing a resolution defending the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and
sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that
support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights [in
the U.S. Constitution] in regard to boycotting," Omar said.
a competing resolution condemning the BDS movement has wide support in the
House and is much more likely to win approval, if any resolution passes.
KINABALU, July 22 ― Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Madius Tangau’s recent
Facebook post on the mass conversion of villagers in Tambunan nearly 40 years
ago has the state’s Umno Youth seeing red.
Opposition party wing’s chief Abdul Aziz Julkarnain said Tangau’s remarks were
unbecoming of his position as a senior state Cabinet member and smacked of
is not supposed to say such things that could incite anger or hurt. There is no
evidence or basis for his statement, and it was over 38 years ago in 1981,”
Abdul Aziz told Malay Mail today.
a deputy chief minister, an MP, he is in a position of influence. Anything
coming out of his mouth can be misconstrued and dangerous, so he should be more
careful,” he added.
Aziz said that representatives from Sabah Umno youth wing, PAS youth, United
Sabah National Organisation (USNO) and other non-governmental organisations are
expected to lodge a police report at 2pm today.
want police to investigate and arrest him for making such comments that could
disrupt unity in our country,” he said.
Tangau posted on his official Facebook account that a Sabah government leader
had gone to Tambunan 38 years ago and held a mass Islamisation ceremony, forcing
many to convert by threats and dangling carrots of jobs and land titles.
comparison, today, the Muslim chief minister comes to Tambunan not to persuade
anyone to convert but to give an allocation of RM1 million to upgrade churches
here. We are grateful for and pray that his spirit of unity, respect and
tolerance continues on our beloved land,” he said.
Aziz said that Tangau had no evidence to support such claims of mass
years ago in 1981, Sabah was under Tan Sri Harris Salleh. I thought he may be
referring to Tun Mustapha Mohamad, but we don’t know. There is no evidence,
nothing at all, and that is very dangerous,” he said.
Mustapha Mohamad was Sabah’s first governor in 1963 to 1965 and also chief
minister from 1967 to 1975 and was known to have propagated Islam during his
tenure, believing that unity can be achieved through common language and
was reported that around 75,000 non-Muslim Sabahans had been converted to Islam
in 1974 and 20,000 more by 1975.
was chief minister after that from 1976 to 1985.
when contacted said that the group was welcome to make a police report and
everybody was entitled to an opinion.
I said this is a free country. Let there be greater awareness on this issue.
Let there be no more such incident now and in the future,” he said.
religion into diplomacy is not a novelty. Indonesia, which has the world’s
largest Muslim population, has been doing just that for the last 15 years,
promoting interfaith dialogues worldwide.
the United States is joining in, taking the lead in the global campaign for the
promotion of freedom of religion or belief.
week, the US State Department brought together more than 1,000 government
representatives, religious leaders and civil society organizations from more
than 130 countries to join in its campaign to stop the persecution of people
for their beliefs — all beliefs, not just one or two.
religious freedom is now a central part of US foreign policy, backed by
Republican President Donald Trump, who invited some survivors of religious
persecution to the White House last week, and by Democratic House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi, who spoke at t...
turning blind eye to human rights abuses in Xinjiang
While the United Nations has said that at least one million ethnic Uighurs and
other Muslims have been detained in China, experts believe that neighbouring
Pakistan has turned a blind eye to the human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
close ally, Pakistan, is a Muslim country and one of the most powerful members
of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). However, it has covered up
the massive human rights abuses against followers of Islam in Xinjiang.
see the main reason...as the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC). Obviously, raising the question of the Uighurs domestically as
well as internationally is perceived as provoking Beijing, which would have
potential negative ramifications for the CPEC implementation," said Dr
Siegfried O Wolf, the Director of Research at Brussels-based South Asia
Democratic Forum (SADF).
this context, we should also expect that the Pakistan leadership does not want
to raise the question in order to not stir further anti-Chinese sentiments in
the country which are already increasing. This would further deteriorate the
security situation of Chinese projects, workers, and companies," he added.
said that another factor is that Islamabad, especially its all-powerful
military, wants to appease Beijing by ignoring the mistreatment of the Muslim
communities in China. This helps in shielding the deepening Pakistan-China bilateral
ties in security and military-related matters, which find its most visible
expression in the delivery of Chinese weapons and military hardware.
nearly two dozen nations at the UN Human Rights Council wrote a letter, urging
China to halt its mass detention.
secretary of state, Michael Pompeo, also called China's treatment of Uighurs
the "stain of the century". The state department estimates that
between 8,00,000 to two million Turkic Muslims, including Uighurs, are being
held in internment camps that Beijing has called "re-education"
issue of Uighurs in Xinjiang is expected to be raised during Pakistan Prime
Minister Imran Khan's meeting with the US Secretary of State on Tuesday. Khan
will be in the US from July 21 to July 23 on an official visit, during which he
is also scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump.
believe that Pakistan is hand-in-glove with China to cover up the massive human
rights violations in Xinjiang.
Vejinovic, a Senior Research Analyst at the European Foundation for South Asian
Studies (EFSAS) said, "The same way that China appears to maintain double
standards on combating terrorism, manifested through the years-long
postponement of the designation of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, while
simultaneously detaining 'preventatively' Muslims on alleged suspicions of
Islamist radicalisation and terrorism, Pakistan follows the model of its
patron, by playing a double standard in dealing with issues related to
will sell its proxy war in Jammu & Kashmir as Jihad for their Muslim
brothers, but totally deny any knowledge of the treatment of Uighurs by
China," he added.
also said that Pakistan will attempt to continue its old tactic of playing a
double game during Khan's visit to Washington.
now Pakistan was known for supporting the 'US war against terror' but at the
same time, it also supported the Taliban and other insurgent groups in
Afghanistan which were fighting against the US troops, their allies and the
Afghan government. However, this version of the double game reduces
significance among Pakistan security mindset with the reduction of the US
troops in the country, the growing strength of the Taliban and the deepening of
relations wherein China is substituting US financial aid," Wolf added.
Pakistan's military knows very well that Chinese military hardware is not a
match until now for US technology and capabilities in the areas of defence
production. Furthermore, the top brass of the Pakistani army is also well aware
that Chinese support is strictly limited when it comes to an armed
confrontation with its arch-rival India. As such, the military looks for a
diversification of its supplies for military equipment," he further said.
believes that Islamabad's stand on Iran, as well as the trilateral relations
shared by Iran-Pakistan-China, could be used as a bargaining chip in talks with
the US. However, it is unlikely that the Uighurs will play any significant,
severe role in the latest and upcoming conversations between Imran Khan and the
US administration, besides some "lip service".
Claiming that Nawaz Sharif eats home-made food in his air-conditioned jail with
television in it, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Sunday said that
he will ensure the "criminal" does not receive such treatment.
Sharif wants food from home in jail, he wants air conditioning in jail. But in
a country where half the population has no air conditioning or TV, what kind of
punishment would this be?" said Khan in a 50-minute speech televised by
am going to go back and make sure there is no air conditioning or no tv for
Nawaz Sharif who is a criminal. I know (PML-N leader) Maryam Bibi will make
some noise, but I say to her, return the money. It's as simple as that,"
69-year-old former Prime Minister was convicted in the Al Azizia Steel Mills
case and sentenced to seven years in jail. He is currently serving the sentence
in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail.
made these remarks while addressing the Pakistani diaspora during 'Jalsa' in
Capital One Arena stadium, which was attended by 30,000 Pakistanis, despite the
stadium capacity of 20,000.
his attack against Sharif, Khan alleged that the PML-N leader was "propped
up" by a military dictator.
Sharif was propped up by military dictator. Shahbaz Sharif was propped up
because he was his brother. Asif Zardari and Bilawal became leaders on the
basis of some piece of paper that left the party behind to them. Similar
stories with other parties," said Khan.
the other politicians, Khan said that the government has started seizing their
undeclared properties. He claimed that these leaders have looted the country
when they were in power.
have started seizing their undeclared properties; the billions they have taken
overseas, we are in talks with other governments to bring that looted wealth
back to Pakistan," he said.
ones who have been sitting in power and looting the country; but let me say it
again, that despite the messages even from the outside that you are having sent
to me, we will not let accountability go. On the other side, we have secular
Bilawal Bhutto who has joined them. And then PML-N who have no idea what they
themselves are have also joined them. They just want to hear three letters,"
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr
Firdous Ashiq Awan has claimed that the people of tribal areas have rejected
both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party and their
at a press conference here on Sunday evening, she said democracy and democratic
process had won after the peaceful, free, fair, impartial and transparent
elections held in tribal districts, adding that this was the first time that
Pakistan won in that region.
Awan said there was no doubt that the people of tribal areas were also loyal
and patriotic Pakistanis, adding that they defeated terrorism, militancy,
insurgency and poverty by rendering sacrifices. Early establishment of durable
peace in tribal areas was a top priority of the government that had
“successfully” brought tribal people into mainstream after holding elections
Awan said the opposition’s no-confidence move against Senate Chairman Sadiq
Sanjrani would be knocked out and it would face a big defeat in the house over
this issue. The ruthless accountability of all those who looted national wealth
would continue unabated, she added. She said the politically mature people had
strongly rejected the immature politics of the PML-N and PPP. “Now, they are
crying to gather sympathies of the people in a bid to cover their massive
corruption,” she added.
special assistant said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the United States
would boost relations between the two countries. She said PM Khan had converted
his visit into a people-to-people interaction from government-to-government
contact, which was a great success for Pakistan. The premier’s address to a
gathering of overseas Pakistanis would help promote the country’s soft image
globally, she added.
Awan said: “Prime Minister Khan is appearing before the world with the most
credible face of Pakistan. He is a hero of Pakistan and the Pakistani nation,
as he is representing the sentiments of the nation most effectively. PM Khan
will also urge the overseas Pakistanis to come forward and play their pivotal
role in economical stability of Pakistan by bringing maximum investment here.”
claimed that Mr Khan had set an example of simplicity and saving by travelling
to the US through a commercial flight, and the world was appreciating this act.
Everyone should replicate this example of simplicity and saving, she added.
Leaders of various political parties on Sunday condemned the armed attack at a
police post and a suicide bomb blast in a hospital in Dera Ismail Khan, and
expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the terror incidents.
Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Pakistan Muslim League-N
provincial president Amir Muqam, and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F chief Maulana
Fazlur Rehman, in their separate statements here described the incidents
failure of the government to ensure complete eradication of the anti-state
leaders stressed the need that the government should take preemptive steps to
ensure protection to the lives and properties of the citizens. Besides, they
also urged the government to provide appropriate medical facilities to the
wounded people and proper compensation to the families of the people who lost
JUI-F chief said that the brutal attacks proved negligence on part of the
government to take decisive action against the anti-state elements. He said
such incidents were frequently taking place in Dera Ismail Khan but the
government had failed to take effective steps to curb them.
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa will interact with top US
military leadership at the Pentagon during a three-day visit to Washington, the
military’s media chief said.
journalists at the Pakistan Embassy, Washington, on Saturday afternoon,
Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor
urged the media not to link the army chief’s visit with that of Prime Minister
he did say that the army chief would attend the prime minister’s meeting with
US President Donald Trump on Monday. This marks the first time that the
country’s top generals are accompanying the prime minister to a White House
meeting with the US president.
sources told Dawn that Gen Bajwa is expected to meet US defence secretary, the
current and the newly nominated chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other
senior military officials during his visit to the Pentagon.
military and security officials accompanying the prime minister will also have
separate meetings with their counterparts. The US sources say that those
meetings will focus on Pakistan’s support for the Afghan peace process and the
security situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
the United States declared a Baloch separatist group — the Balochsitan
Liberation Army — a global terrorist outfit, making it a crime for all US
citizens to have any dealings with this group. Pakistan has appreciated the US
week, Pakistan also fulfilled a long-standing US demand by arresting
Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed. The US blames him for masterminding the 2008
Mumbai terrorist attacks, which also killed American citizens, and wants him
prosecuted and punished. At the briefing, the ISPR DG underlined the need for
Washington to revise its travel advisories, which portray Pakistan as an
Gen Ghafoor said the situation in Pakistan was “far better now” as the
“sacrifices of [the] Pakistani nation and security forces have started yielding
results”. Pakistan, he said, was so far the only state that had defeated
terrorism on its soil, which was a universally acclaimed achievement.
ISPR chief also defended the decision to fence the Pak-Afghan border, as it had
improved border control and continued to reduce terrorism-related incidents.
Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) president Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal
has appealed to leaders of all political parties of the province to unite on
one platform and launch a joint struggle for taking back rights of the province
from the federation.
to journalists at the wedding ceremony of the son of the party’s vice president
Wali Kakar in Kuchalak on Sunday, Mr Mengal said his party was trying its best
to protect rights of all people of Balochistan.
claimed that his party had rendered great sacrifices for the rights of the
people and for protecting resources of the province.
the prevailing situation, the BNP-M leader said, it was the need of the hour
that people of all communities and nationalities living in the province unite
and stand up for waging a struggle for the rights of the people which have been
denied to them by the federation for a long time.
to criticism by his party’s opponents, Mr Mengal said that his party had been
highlighting main issues the province and its people were facing for a long
time and one of the major issues of the province was missing persons.
could have compromised on missing persons’ issue by taking some ministries but
we preferred to raise the issue of these oppressed and neglected people instead
of taking some ministries or some other government perks.”
least eight people have been killed and dozens of others wounded in twin
attacks in northwestern Pakistan, officials say.
officials said gunmen on motorcycles first struck a security post on the
outskirts of the northwestern city of Dera Ismail Khan early on Sunday, killing
at least two policemen. The attackers fled the scene.
a female assailant detonated her explosives at a government hospital where the
bodies of the policemen from the first attack had been transferred to.
addition to those killed in the [firing], two policemen and four civilians were
killed in the hospital explosion,” district police chief Saleem Riaz said.
“About seven kilograms of explosives were used.”
least 30 people were wounded from the force of the explosion at the District
Headquarters hospital, the official said.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attacks in a
statement sent to local media.
has been battling the TTP and affiliated outfits since the group was formed in
frequent offensives by the Pakistani army, acts of terror by militant cells
continue to target security forces as well as civilians.
Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that the Turkish Army and the
Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) pounded the city of Tal Ra’afat and its
surrounding areas in Northern Aleppo with rockets.
noted that the Turkish Army and FSA, meantime, hit the towns of Malekieh,
Shavareqeh and Maranaz near the city of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo with tens
of rockets and canon shells.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, meantime, pointed to the attacks by the
Turkish Army and its allied militants on Ein Daqaneh, Mang, outskirts of Tal
Ra’afat and Tal Maziq in Northern Aleppo, and said that the Kurdish militia
heavily pounded the Turkish Army’s military positions in Northern Aleppo.
SOHR also pointed to the deployment of massive military equipment by Ankara
along border regions adjacent to Manbij in Northern Aleppo and Tal Abyaz in
Northern Raqqa, and said that the Turkish Army and its allied militants are
planning to conduct massive military operation against the Kurds in Manbij
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Turkish Army’s fresh military convoys
comprising elite forces had arrived along the border with Syria as Ankara and
its allied militants continued their attacks on the Kurdish militias’ military
positions in Northern Aleppo.
Ankara-backed militants of the Euphrates Shield launched mortar attacks on
Al-Bab Military Council’s positions in the town of Kurhovik town in Eastern
al-Bab in Northeastern Aleppo from their positions in Jeb al-Dam town, the
Kurdish-language Hawar News said.
battlefield sources reported that a new military convoy comprising the Turkish
Army’s Special commando forces together with armored military vehicles and
equipment was sent to the city of Kelis in Southern Syria and near the border
sources also reiterated that the Ankara-backed terrorists known as the National
Army have reinforced their military positions in al-Daghalbash and Ableh
regions near the Kurdish-controlled areas in al-Bab city in Northeastern Aleppo
and deployed heavy military equipment in the region.
Arabic-language al-Maloumeh news website quoted a security source in Diyali
province as saying that the Iraqi security forces continued their anti-ISIL
military operations in Sabiayat and al-Miteh regions in Diyali province and
near al-Azim area in Salahuddin province.
media emir Abu Eshaq Araqi was killed in the Iraqi security forces’ military
operations in Diyali province, the news website said.
the Iraqi forces declared the start of the third phase of their mop-up
operations against the ISIL in Northern parts of Baghdad and in the surrounding
areas of Diyali, Salahuddin and al-Anbar provinces.
Iraqi al-Hashd al-Sha’abi also reported that the Iraqi Air Force also pounded
and fully destroyed ISIL’s biggest military base which was used as a medical
center near Sensoul lake in Southwestern Mosul.
a relevant development earlier this month, at least 25 military positions and
command centers of the ISIL terrorist group were destroyed in the Iraqi Army's
cleansing operation in different parts of Western Iraq.
the Iraqi Army's military operation known as Eradeh al-Nasr (Will of victory)
in desert areas stretching from al-Anbar province to Salahuddin and Nineveh
provinces in Western Iraq, more than a dozen hideouts of the terrorists were
destroyed and all terrorists inside them were killed, Commander of Iraq's Hashd
al-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Forces) in al-Anbar Province Qatar al-Abidi
a security source in Iraqi Diyali province said that the Iraqi Army and
security forces managed to fully cleanse Imam Veis region and its outskirts
after destroying several of their military positions and hideouts.
Arabic-language al-Ahd news website quoted informed security sources as saying
on Sunday that Hashd al-Shaabi positions were targeted by three Israeli Harop
missiles, 'Loitering Munition', which weight 23kg, are mounted on a flying
object and explode when hitting the target.
added that these warheads can be controlled remotely and their range is
Israel is in possession of this type of weapons in the Middle-East,"
security sources told al-Ahd that the Israeli F-16 fighter jets infiltrated
into Southeastern al-Ratbah in al-Anbar province over the Baghdad-Amman and
Baghdad-Damascus international road and fired the warheads.
reports said that an unmanned drone had on Friday bombed a base operating by
Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq with sources saying two people were wounded.
Al-Shuhada base of the Hashed al-Shaabi in the Amerli region was hit at dawn…
by an unidentified drone, wounding two people,” the Iraqi military said in a
statement on Friday.
a spokesman for Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi forces dismissed media claims that the
Iranian military advisors had been killed in a recent drone attack against Amerli
base, located in the Tuz Khurmatu district of Northern Iraq’s Salahuddin
to what the biased media said, no advisors or IRGC (Islamic Revolution Guards
Corps) forces have been killed," Ali al-Hosseini was quoted by the
Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website as saying on Saturday.
the Arabic-language al-Etejah news channel quoted special sources in Nineveh
province as saying that before the Friday attack against the Hashd al-Shaabi
base in Amerli, a US spy plane conducted reconnaissance operations against the
Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi army forces in the region.
source said that the spy plane carried out reconnaissance operations over
Sanjar mountain and the Southern areas of the region.
pro-militant Arabic-language Anab Baladi news website reported that about 500
Tahrir al-Sham terrorists and other terrorists of al-Fath al-Mobin Operations
Room have been sen t to Sahl al-Ghab region in Northwestern Hama.
the Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists who had
attacked the government forces’ military positions in the town of al-Qasabieh
in Northern Hama and fended off their attacks after destroying their military
and armored vehicles as well as killing a large number of terrorists.
the Syrian Army troops also targeted terrorists' positions in Northern part of
Mahradeh City in Northern Hama and cleansed the region.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper also reported that the Syrian Air Force
heavily pounded the military positions of Jeish al-Izzeh and Turkistani Party
terrorists in Western Hama, inflicting heavy losses on them.
four civilians were killed and injured in terrorists’ rocket attacks on New
Aleppo district in the city of Aleppo.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Arabic-language media outlets reported
that the terrorist groups destroyed a crucial bridge in Sahl al-Ghab region in
Northwestern Hama to prevent the Syrian Army troops from making further
Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted local sources
in Northern Hama as saying that the terrorist groups stationed in Sahl al-Ghab
annihilated Jasr Beit al-Ra’as Bridge which is linked to the areas under the
Syrian Army’s control.
sources noted that Jasr Beit al-Ra’as was the last bridge which was connected
to areas controlled by the Syrian Army in Sahl al-Ghab, and said that this
measure of the terrorists was due to their fear from the Syrian Army’s advances
in areas under their control in Sahl al-Ghab.
the Syrian Army’s artillery and missile units attacked the military positions
of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front)
and Islamic Turkistani Party in several regions of Northern Hama and Southern
Syrian Army destroyed a number of military positions and centers of the
terrorists in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib, inflicting heavy losses on
air defenses on Sunday thwarted hostile targets in the northwestern city of
Masyaf in Hama Governorate, state TV reported.
said explosions heard in Masyaf were a result of shells launched by rebel
groups in the western countryside of Hama.
aviation minister on Sunday expressed his dismay over British Airways’ decision
to suspend flights to the Egyptian capital to the UK’s ambassador to Cairo.
Airlines Group’s British Airways suspended flights to Cairo on Saturday for
seven days “as a security precaution” as it reviews security at the city’s
on Saturday, Germany’s Lufthansa said it had canceled services from Munich and
Frankfurt to Cairo but it resumed flights on Sunday.
France, Emirates and Etihad Airways continued to operate flights to Cairo.
Al-Masry “expressed his displeasure at British Airways taking a decision
unilaterally concerning the security of Egyptian airports without referring to
the competent Egyptian authorities,” the aviation ministry said in a statement
released after a meeting between the Egyptian aviation minister and British
Ambassador Geoffrey Adams.
statement went on to say that Adams had apologized for not informing Egyptian
authorities before the decision was made and cited him as saying the flight
suspension was not related to the security measures at Egyptian airports.
British embassy in Cairo could not immediately be reached for comment.
spokesman for Air France, in a statement sent to Reuters, said the airline had
decided to maintain its service to Cairo after liaising with French and
Emirates spokeswoman said its flights were operating to schedule.
are closely assessing the situation and are in contact with the relevant
aviation authorities with regards to our flight operations to Egypt,” the
first responders and activists say government bombing of the last rebel
stronghold in the country has killed at least 11 civilians, as the nearly
four-month offensive shows no sign of abating.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says six people were killed,
including a child, in the government bombing of the village of Urum al-Joz in
southern Idlib province. The opposition-operated Shaam news agency says those
killed had been displaced from the southern tip of the rebel stronghold.
workers, known as Syria's Civil Defense or White Helmets, say three children
and a woman were killed in Kfaruma, south of Urum al-Joz.
White Helmet volunteer was killed in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the group
air defenses have thwarted what the state TV called "hostile" fires
in the northwestern city of Masyaf in the Arab country's Hama governorate.
to government-affiliated sources, explosions heard in Masyaf were a result of
shells launched by anti-Assad militants in the western countryside of Hama.
city of Masyaf is known to be one of the places where the Russian air defense
system S-300 is deployed.
explosions came a few hours after a cargo train carrying phosphate through
central Syria was targeted and derailed by a "terrorist" attack, the
Syrian transport ministry announced.
train's crew suffered "various injuries" when it came off the tracks
in Homs province, spilling the loads from two cars and starting a fire, it
bomb placed by "unknown people" on a stretch of track east of Palmyra
had exploded as the train passed, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human
train was put "entirely out of service" as a result of the incident,
the war monitor added.
the Syrian army's airstrikes against militants' positions in Idlib region
killed at least 18 people in the northwestern region, the Observatory said.
is a final flash point and the last bastion for foreign-backed militants.
Syrian army warned civilians to leave Idlib before the campaign began to flush
terrorists out of the region.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
Afghan Special Forces have killed 22 Taliban and ISIS militants during the
operations conducted in past 24 hours.
informed military sources said Sunday that the Afghan Special Forces conducted
an operation in Tagab district of Kapisa, killed 6 Taliban fighters and destroyed
a small weapons cache.
sources further added that the Special Forces conducted a similar raid in
Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand. The Special Forces killed 4 Taliban militants
and destroyed an IED.
the military sources said the Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in Farah
district of Farah and killed 2 Taliban fighters.
Afghan Special Forces also conducted an operation in Qara Bagh district of
Ghazni and killed 8 Taliban fighters. The Special Forces detained 3 Taliban
militants during the same raid.
the military sources said the Afghan Special Forces detained 4 Taliban
militants during an operation in Pul-e Alam district of Logar and destroying a
small weapons cache.
Afghan Special Forces killed 2 ISIS militants in an operation in Surkh Rod
district of Nangarhar province. They also detained 4 others and destroying a
small weapons cache during the same operation.
security forces carried out a series of airstrikes in three provinces in the
past 24 killed at least 17 Taliban militants.
military officials said Sunday that airstrikes killed 4 Taliban militants in
Qarabagh district of Ghazni province.
officials further added that similar airstrikes killed 11 Taliban militants in
Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province.
the officials said an airstrike killed 2 Taliban militants in Baraki Barak
district of Logar province.
suicide vest accidentally went off among Taliban militants in Ghazni province,
killing several militants and suicide bombers.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said a suicide vest strapped in the
body of a Taliban militant went off prematurely, killing 3 suicide bombers and
statement further added that the incident took place in Musa Kalim area of Nawa
district on Saturday.
the interior ministry said the militants were looking to launch an attack on an
organization in Ghazni province.
militant groups including Taliban have not commented regarding the incident so
security situation in Ghazni province has deteriorated during the recent
militants are active in some districts of the province and often conduct
terrorist related activities.
press release issued by the Foreign Ministry on Saturday strongly condemned
Sanaul Islam Tipu; Md Serajul Islam, Sylhet; Kamal Mridha, Natore; Tauhid
Zaman, Jessore; SM Rezaul Karim, Jhalakathi; SM Hedait Hossain, Khulna; Ujjal
sedition cases have been filed against Priya Saha, an organizing secretary of
the Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad afterher video clip that
went viral on social media.
video showed Priya, one of the organizing secretaries of the Bangladesh
Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, pleading with US President Trump, to
save 18 million people of minority groups in Bangladesh from persecution.
said 37 million Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians, have disappeared from the
country, persecuted at the hands of fundamentalist Muslims groups, who enjoyed
Dhaka, Advocate Md Ibrahim Khalil, executive committee member of the Dhaka Bar
Association, filed a complainant suit with Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Abu
Sufiyan Md Noman. Barrister Syed Sayedul Haque Suman, Supreme Court lawyer and
International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) prosecutor, also filed a sedition case
against Priya Saha with the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Ziaur
Rahman yesterday morning.
Sylhet, Sylhet Jubo League Leader Rimad Ahmed Rubel filed a sedition case
against Priya Saha, accusing her of giving false information about Bangladesh
to US President Donald Trump. Rubel filed the sedition case with Sylhet
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mostayen Billah’s court on Sunday
Chhatra League leader, Advocate Sarwar Ahmed, has filed yet another sedition
case against Saha as well.
Natore, journalist Nasimuddin Nasim also filed a sedition case against Priya
Saha with the Natore Sadar Cognizance Court of Magistrate Mamunur Rashid.
metropolitan Chhatra League Vice-President of Jessore, Golam Mostofa Kamal too,
filed a sedition case against Priya Saha. And in Jhalkhathi, the Joint Convener
of the city Jubo League, Md Chabir Hossain, filed a complainant case against
Khulna, the organizing secretary of the district Awami League, Md. Kamruzzaman
Jamal, and Madan Kumar Saha of the city's Station Road area, filed a complaint
against Priya Saha. In Branhamanbaria, a maulana by the name of Md Asad Ullah
filed a sedition case against Saha too.
two courts in Dhaka dismissed separate pleas seeking to bring sedition charges
against Priya Saha as they lacked legal grounds.
airstrike targeted a large gathering of Taliban militants in Faryab province of
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the security forces conducted the
airstrike at around 5 pm local time on Saturday.
statement further added that the security forces carried out the airstrike in
the 209th Shaheen Corps said the airstrike killed at least 28 Taliban
U.S. Department of Defense has announced that the Virginia-based PAE Systems
will provide contractor logistic support to the Afghan armed forces.
Department of Defense in a statement said it has awarded a contract to PAE
Government Systems Inc. to provide contractor logistic support to Afghan
National Defense and Security Forces.
statement further added that the value of the contract is $22,578,864.
statement also added that the company will perform the work in Kabul,
Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 30, 2022.
Movement in Nigeria denies allegation of violence
Islamic Movement in Nigeria says it holds Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
responsible for the 2015 Zaria massacre. It also says the government has failed
to respect a court’s verdict to release the movement’s leader Sheikh Ibrahim
Zakzaky. Press TV correspondent Danjuma Abdullahi has more from Abuja, the
At least seven fighters loyal to Libyan National Army (LNA) forces commanded by
Khalifa Haftar were killed overnight in a drone strike in southern Tripoli, a
military source said.
LNA had downed a drone on Sunday in Tripoli’s southern suburb of Ain Zara, it
said without elaborating.
the latest turmoil since the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, Haftar’s LNA
has been unable to take Tripoli from the internationally recognized government
despite fighting that has caused havoc in the capital’s southern suburbs and
displaced tens of thousands of civilians.
Libyan National Army (LNA) said it downed a Turkish drone over Tripoli on
UN-recognized government says forces loyal to strongman General Khalifa Haftar
appear to be preparing for a new offensive to capture the capital city Tripoli.
initial offensive launched on April 4 to take the city from the Government of
National Accord (GNA) failed to break through Tripoli's defenses.
forces are currently bogged down on the capital's southern outskirts, but the
renegade general has defied a truce call by the United Nations and ordered his
troops not to relent in their offensive..
GNA said on its Facebook page Saturday that it is "concerned over reports,
confirmed by the UN and the media, on preparations for a new military
circulated on social media in recent days show columns of military vehicles
belonging to Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), trucking towards
the south of the capital.
a post published on one of its official Facebook pages on Friday, LNA urged
young people in Tripoli to join Haftar's forces to eliminate all militias
allied with the Tripoli-based government.
Militia Declares 'Zero Hour' for Capturing #Tripoli / #Haftar
Bruno Surdel (@BrunoSurdel) July 20, 2019
offensive has upended efforts to stabilize Libya and threatened to plunge the
country into a full-blown civil war.
has left nearly 1,093 people dead, and over 5,750 wounded, according to the
UN's World Health Organization. The fighting has also forced more than 100,000
people to flee their homes.
his offensive, Haftar is supported by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and
President Donald Trump has also "recognized Field Marshal Haftar's
significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil
resources," according to the White House.
countries, including Italy and France, have taken a strong interest in Libya,
both because of its natural resources and its status as a leading departure
point for refugees attempting to enter Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.
GNA has said France has been blocking resolutions at the UN Security Council,
the European Union, and other international organizations opposing Haftar’s
push to capture Tripoli.
a tweet on Saturday, the United Nations mission in Libya said it was
"doing its utmost with all local and foreign actors to avoid military
escalation and to ensure protection of civilians".
has been plunged into chaos since 2011 when NATO's intervention in the
country's popular uprising led to the ouster of long-time dictator Muammar
Gaddafi and his execution by unruly fighters.
then, the North African country has been divided between two rival governments
— one located in the east and the other in the west of the country and each backed
by an array of rival militias.
GNA is recognized by the UN as the official government of Libya, while the
other government based in the eastern city of Tobruk has the support of forces
loyal to Haftar.
of Libya’s Tripoli-seated Government of National Accord (GNA) Sunday struck
forces led by the commander Khalifa Haftar in south of the capital Tripoli, a
military official said.
airstrikes targeted positions around the Valley of Spring and the old airport,
Mustafa Al-Majai, a spokesman of the GNA's military operation against Haftar,
told Anadolu Agency.
said the airstrikes destroyed scores of military vehicles.
April 4, Haftar announced the launch of a campaign to capture Tripoli, which
faced a counter-operation by the GNA forces.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a NATO-backed uprising led to the
ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four
decades in power.
village on lockdown as security pursue al Shabaab
of Ras Kamboni village on the Lamu-Somalia border were on Saturday held
temporarily under a curfew as security units led by the Kenya Defense Forces
combed the area in search of suspected al Shabaab militants.
the security agencies had received intelligence that the terrorists had arrived
in the area and were planning attacks.
villagers’ movements were limited after they were instructed not to wander far
from home lest they get hurt during the operation.
massive crackdown is believed to have been largely precipitated by the recent
IED terror attacks in the border area of Kiunga, Ishakani and other hotspots.
areas fall under those mapped for the Linda Boni security operation launched in
2015 to flush out al Shabaab militants believed to be holed up inside Boni
said they were locked in their houses for the better part of Saturday, with
many reporting hearing gunshots and explosions around their village indicative
of a fierce exchange of fire.
were also barred from using the Ishakani-Ras Kamboni route.
stayed indoors for almost the entire day. They didn’t force us but made us
understand that it was a security crackdown on suspected al Shabaab militants.
All the while, we could hear loud gunshots and explosions. They were very close
to our village,” said Ahmed Islam.
reported hearing of an IED attack at a location between Ras Kamboni and
Ishakani at dawn on Saturday which left two civilians dead.
believe it’s the attack that prompted them to put a curfew on our village and
conduct the operation. Its only until around 6pm in the evening that we were
allowed to even go to the shops,” said Omar Mohamed.
officers refused to comment on the curfew or give details about the alleged IED
attack that killed two people.
senior security officer denied Ras Kamboni village had been on lockdown and
said the gunshots and explosions reported by the villagers were from a routine
drill at a nearby camp.
week, three al Shabaab militants were felled by security officers from Rapid
Border Patrol Unit along the Ishakani-Ras Kamboni road in Kiunga, Lamu East
shortly after an IED planted by the militants went off.
officers were killed.
Quds base's public relations office announced in a statement that the two IRGC
forces were martyred in Keshtegan region of Safavan by terrorists and two
others were also wounded.
IRGC is actively engaged in security operations against anti-Iran terrorist
groups and accordingly is attacked by entities and terrorist groups which hold
grudge against Tehran.
incident came days after the IRGC servicemen from Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada base
disbanded a team of terrorists in West Azerbaijan province.
IRGC announced in a statement that the terrorists were ambushed as they were
trying to infiltrate the country from the province’s Chaldoran County. Two
terrorists were killed in the clashes and several others were wounded.
IRGC servicemen lost their lives during the operation as well, the statement
to the statement, a considerable amount of weapons, ammunition, and
communication equipment were also seized.
month, the IRGC dismantled a 4-member terrorist gang in the same province near
the border with Turkey.
IRGC forces managed to kill one, injure two and arrest one members of a
terrorist group active in Chaldoran region, in an ambush attack, the IRGC's
Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada Base said in a statement.
security forces were hunting for the 4-strong sabotage gang in the past two
IRGC forces seized a number of weapons and some ammunition from the terrorists
in the operation.
forces began demolishing buildings near a military barrier on the outskirts of
Jerusalem on Monday, in the face of Palestinian protests and international
accompanied by hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police moved in to Sur Baher, a
Palestinian village on the edge of East Jerusalem in an area that Israel
captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East War.
fear that the razing of homes and buildings near the fence will set a precedent
for other towns along the route of the barrier, which runs for hundreds of
kilometers around and through the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
demolition is the latest round of protracted wrangling over the future of
Jerusalem, home to more than 500,000 Israelis and 300,000 Palestinians, and
sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
forces cut through a wire section of the barrier in Sur Baher under cover of
darkness early on Monday, and began clearing residents from the area.
lit up the area as dozens of vehicles brought helmeted security forces into the
first light, mechanical diggers began destroying a two-story house as soldiers
moved through several floors of a partly constructed multi-storey building
2 a.m. they have been evacuating people from their homes by force and they have
started planting explosives in the homes they want to destroy,” said Hamada
Hamada, a community leader in Sur Baher.
work was filmed and photographed by Palestinian, Israeli and international
activists who had mobilized to try and stop the demolition.
Supreme Court ruled in June that the structures violated a construction ban.
The deadline for residents to remove the affected buildings, or parts of them,
expired on Friday.
group of Iranian MPs thanked the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
(IRGC) for seizing a British-flagged oil tanker on Saturday, the semi-official
Tasnim news agency reported.
MPs thanked the IRGC for their “decisive move” in a statement which so far has
been signed by 160 MPs, according to Tasnim.
today, Iran’s Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani said that “[Britain] committed
maritime piracy, so [the IRGC] gave them a response for it,” in response to an
MP who criticized him for not issuing a statement in support of the IRGC’s
seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero on Saturday.
the end of the statement, the MPs asked President Hassan Rouhani to attend to
the topic of charging tolls on ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, a
motion which was proposed in the Iranian parliament earlier this month.
Qazizadeh Hashemi, a member of the presiding board of the parliament, said on
July 7 that the tolls would compensate Iran for the expense of “providing security”
for foreign ships, the semi-official Tasnim news agency had reported.
foreign ships pass through the Strait of Hormuz, they enter Iranian waters and
therefore Iran should collect tolls from them, he said, according to Tasnim.
strait, which is only about 20 miles wide at its narrowest point, is split
between the territorial waters of Iran and Oman.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that US National Security
Adviser John Bolton is “turning his venom against the UK” after failing to
“lure Trump into [the] War of the Century].”
his official Twitter account, he added that only “prudence and foresight” could
alleviate tensions between his country and Britain after Tehran's seizure of a
British-flagged oil tanker.
prudence and foresight can thwart such ploys.”
failed to lure @realDonaldTrump into War of the Century, and fearing collapse
of his #B_Team, @AmbJohnBolton is turning his venom against the UK in hopes of
dragging it into a quagmire.
prudence and foresight can thwart such ploys.
PM - Jul 21, 2019
people are talking about this
has called Iran's capture of the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday
a “hostile act.” Tehran for weeks has vowed to retaliate for the seizure of its
Grace 1 oil tanker by British forces for violating European Union sanctions on
Turkish court upheld the 11-month and 20-day sentence delivered to singer and
actress Zuhal Olcay in December 2017 for insulting President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, the BBC reported.
received a complaint that Olcay had changed the lyrics of one of her songs and
made hand gestures to insult the president during a 2016 concert in Istanbul.
to footage of the concert, she modified a line in her song “Bos Vermisim
Dunyani” (I Let Go of the World) to: “Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it’s all empty,
it’s all a lie. Life will end one day and you’ll say ‘I had a dream.’”
denied having “any ulterior or insulting motive” but instead had intended to
improve the rhyme.
had asked for Olcay to be sentenced to four years in prison. However, the court
upheld the longer sentence after suspending it last year.
says Iran's arguments for its recent seizure of a UK-flagged oil tanker in the
Strait of Hormuz were more convincing than those of London.
cited by the Iranian side to explain its actions are much more convincing than
vague references to the European Union’s sanction law that were used by the
Gibraltar authorities with the United Kingdom’s backing at the moment of the
arrest of a Panama-flagged tanker carrying Iranian oil," said Russian
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
arguments are much more right than those of Gibraltar and London who are
indulging in piracy," he went on to say. "Iran is taking care of the
ecology in the Strait of Hormuz."
July 19, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy captured British oil
tanker Stena Impero for violating international maritime laws when crossing the
high-traffic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
officials says the vessel had switched off its GPS locator, in contravention of
international regulations, and was sailing into the strategic waterway in a
wrong traffic pattern.
taker was transferred to the port of Iran’s southern city of Bandar Abbas for
maritime casualty investigation.
seizure of the UK tanker came almost one month after London seized an Iranian
supertanker for allegedly violating unilateral European Union sanctions on
Prime Minister Theresa May is to hold a meeting of Britain's emergencies
committee on Monday to discuss Iran's seizure of Stena Impero in the Persian
one of her final important acts as prime minister before resigning on
Wednesday, May will chair a meeting of Britain's COBR emergencies committee at
around 10:30 am (0930 GMT), a Downing Street office said.
spokeswoman said in a brief statement that "as well as receiving the
latest updates from ministers and officials, the COBR meeting will discuss the
maintenance of the security of shipping in the Persian Gulf."
will be the third emergency committee meeting held in the UK since Iran seized
the Stena Impero tanker on Friday.
NPT signatories can enrich uranium
on Sunday also took Iran's side against the US' claim that Tehran should not be
allowed to enrich uranium at any level.
Ulyanov, the permanent representative of Russia
to International Organisations in Vienna, said all signatories of the
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as NPT, are
allowed to enrich uranium.
is their inalienable right, and no one can deny them of that right, Ulyanov
said, dismissing earlier allegations raised by the US president's national
security adviser, John Bolton.
had claimed in a tweet on Friday that “one of the worst mistakes of the Iran
deal, now on full display, was allowing Iran to maintain enrichment
capabilities. There should be no enrichment for Iran."
May, Iran began initiating a set of measures to respond to the US’s departure
from the JCPOA and the European partners’ refusal to guarantee Tehran’s
business interests under the deal.
assailants desecrated a mosque in the town of Minden in the very northeast of
Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia state late Tuesday.
assailants tore pages of a copy of Quran, the Islamic holy book, at the
Barbaros Mosque, managed by the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs
representative Sebahattin Çiğdem said on Wednesday an investigation into last
night's attack was launched after they saw a copy of Quran ripped up inside the
mosque and called the police Wednesday morning.
recalled, "our mosque had also been attacked on January 22, 2018. PKK
terrorist organization supporters sprayed political messages on the doors and
windows of the mosque.''
mosque in the German city of Cologne was attacked on Tuesday by three
unidentified people, who caused considerable damage to the service building of
Chorweiler Mosque, also run by the DITIB, was targeted by three perpetrators
who caused serious physical damage and broke the donation boxes. Security
cameras recorded that the attackers damaged the administration room and service
building, broke the donation boxes and ran away.
investigation has been launched into the attack. Germany's Turkish-Muslim
community last Wednesday had called on authorities to take stronger action
against far-right extremists, amid a growing number of threats and attacks
targeting mosques and community centers.
Chairman Kazım Türkmen said despite an increase in anti-Muslim crimes in recent
years, perpetrators often go unpunished.
bomb threat that was sent to the DITIB last Tuesday forced an evacuation of
Germany's largest mosque in Cologne, which is run by the group.
searching the complex with bomb-sniffing dogs, the police found no bomb and the
area was deemed safe.
DITIB has a total of 857 mosques in Germany, where almost a 1,000 imams work.
Most of the imams are appointed by Turkey and after working for four years in
Germany, return back to Turkey. The salaries of these DITIB imams are paid by
DITIB is one of the largest Islamic organizations in Germany. It was founded in
1984 as a branch of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Turkey's top
a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population
in Western Europe after France. Among the country's nearly 4.7 million Muslims,
3 million are of Turkish origin. Many Germans of Turkish descent are second and
third-generation descendants of Turkish immigrants, who moved to the country
during the 1960s.
the Federation against Injustice and Racism (FAIR) came up with an initiative
against the rising numbers of mosque attacks, named #brandeilig (brighted). The
initiative says that between the years 2014 and 2018, they have registered 420
mosque attacks. They underlined, however, that they are yet to determine all
the attacks. They added that many attacks went unreported. According to FAIR,
on average, there has been an attack on a mosque every week and states that
they want to change the habit of overlooking of these attacks and bring
attention to the issue.
organization also expresses that the attacks make the Muslim community in
Germany feel unsettled and the attacks are not only a threat to Muslims but to
the whole society. Coming up with a timeline on the issue on the website of the
initiative, FAIR shows the frequency and the number of attacks every month of each
year. According to the timeline, the number of attacks on the mosques was at
its highest in March 2018. There is also a map for the locations of the attacks
as well as a data library.
has witnessed growing anti-Muslim sentiments and hatred of migrants in recent
years triggered by far-right parties, which have exploited fears over the
refugee crisis and terrorism.
recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year. At least 54 Muslims were
injured in those attacks carried out mostly by far-right extremists. The
attacks come as anti-Muslim groups gain more political ground and power in
Europe, as well as deadly assaults on mosques in Western countries, including
the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand this March which took 51 lives and
caused serious injuries.
interior minister late Saturday said that Europe has deserted Turkey on the
issue of irregular migrants.
Turkey does not bear this issue [of irregular migrants] with determination, no
government in Europe will be able to withstand this wave for more than six months,"
Suleyman Soylu said.
said those who want to turn Turkey into a center for irregular migrants will
eventually pay a price for this indifference.
is not enough to pat Turkey's back. They will criticize Turkey from their seats
in the European Parliament and behave like leftists from 300 years back,"
has been the main route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe,
especially since 2011, the start of the Syrian civil war which has seen more
than 10 million people displaced, according to UN figures.
has accused the EU of failing to fulfill its obligations under a 2016 deal
aiming to discourage irregular migration to Europe via the Aegean Sea.
terrorist cells could be used to launch attacks in the UK if the crisis between
the two countries worsens, intelligence sources warn.
and MI6 officials consider Iran to be the third greatest threat to Britain’s
believe Tehran has organised and funded sleeper cells across Europe, including
the UK, and could have them attack in response to conflict in the Middle East.
cells are linked to Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, intelligence
sources told The Telegraph.
has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry out a terrorist attack in the
event of a conflict," the newspaper reported. "That is the nature of
the domestic threat Iran poses to the UK."
has been publicly blamed for several cyber attacks in the UK, including one on
members of parliament in 2017 and another on emails of post office, local
government and private sector last year.
has risen between the two countries after oil tankers were seized by both the
UK and Iran.
Friday, the Steno Impero vessel was seized in Omani waters before it was
re-routed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard's special forces to be detained in
described the incident, a response to the seizure of Iranian vessel Grace I by
the British navy in Gibraltar, as illegal.
tensions are extremely concerning and our priority is to de-escalate," the
government said to the UN Security Council. "We do not seek confrontation
it is unacceptable and highly escalatory to threaten shipping going about its
legitimate business through internationally recognised transit corridors."
audio recording was released on Sunday, in which a personnel on the British
ship is heard warning an Iranian patrol boat on radio against interfering with
the oil tanker before it was seized.
UK defense minister Tobias Ellwood said on Sunday that Britain is sending “assets”
to the region, and is committed to providing a military presence in the Middle
East to keep the Strait of Hormuz open.
first and most important responsibility is to make sure that we get a solution
to the issue to do with the current ship, make sure other British-flagged ships
are safe to operate in these waters and then look at the wider picture,” he
told Sky News.
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