2017 German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Turkey's President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan as he arrives to attend the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany.
Groups Come Together To Seek Withdrawal of Triple Talaq Ordinance
Meets Afghan Officials in Saudi Arabia Ahead Of Election
Ahmadis Fearful as Leaders Bow to Extremists
Merkel Rejects Turkish Calls to Proscribe Gulen Movement
of Pak, Turkey on Chinese Repression of Uyghur Muslims Outrageous: US Lawmakers
Man Thrashed By VHP for ‘Love Jihad’ Was Part of Kanwar Camp This Year
Swaraj Snubs Qureshi, India to Attack Pakistan over Terrorism at UN
Temple Blast: Charges Pressed Against 3 Militants
SC Verdict: Untangling the Mandir-Masjid Imbroglio
Asks States to Take Biometric Details Of Rohingyas, Other Illegal Immigrants
alerts RPF over Rohingya’s exodus to Kerala
National among 48 Killed, Wounded In Kunduz Operations
are 'world's largest stateless population'
point finger at Myanmar for Rohingya 'genocide'
election campaigning kicks off amid violence, fraud claims
Clooney calls on Suu Kyi to pardon Reuters reporters
suffer heavy casualties in Afghan and U.S. forces operations
police officers killed in an insider attack in Afghanistan
Army Chief Confirms Death Sentences To 11 'Hardcore Terrorists'
with India Not an Option, Says Qureshi
Chaudhry in the line of fire in Senate after outburst
desires ‘positive, constructive’ relations with Pakistan
City Braces for Protests As Erdogan Opens Mega Mosque
terror suspects ‘had 100kg of fertilizer for car bomb’
Thousands of terrorists walk freely in Germany
police use neo-Nazi codename amid Erdogan visit
M: Recognise Palestine And Terrorism Will Stop
M: Malaysia Won't Repeal Sodomy Law, Goes Against Islam
PM Mahathir Mohamad Laments World’s ‘Pain’ In First Speech To UN In 15 Years
hopes Port Dickson voters will 'make wise decision', elect him as MP
Coalition Denies Issuing an Arrest Warrant for Al-Harizi
Warning To US, Saudi, UAE: Don't Cross Our Red Lines
from Ghouta, a Syrian rebel group starts over
evacuates consulate in southern Iraq city of Basra following attacks
foreign ministry condemns Israeli remarks on Hezbollah
allies in Yemen cut cooperation with UN mission
Syria summit plan offers new hope
experts says Egypt systematically targets rights activists
Convert from London Convicted After Bid to Join Al-Shabaab Terror Group
Air Forces Ready For Joint Military Exercises With Tunisia
and Italy pledge to cooperate more over migrants
reopens Nassib border crossing with Jordan
seeks UN ‘security’ support
Arabia Supports Donald Trump’s Strategy to Counter Iran, Says Jubeir
Files ICJ Complaint over US Embassy in Jerusalem
Iranian regime spreads extremism, terror in the world
calls for a ‘Middle East’ alliance to stop Iran’s malicious activity
Palestinians Killed, 500 Injured By Israeli Fire in Gaza Border Clashes
army 'neutralizes' 37 terrorists over past week
Houthi leaders killed in army operation in Hodeidah, al- Bayda
accuses US of breaking promises on Syria’s Manbij
Human Rights Council renews mandate of investigators on Yemen
leaders of Americas praise Turkey OIC presidency
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Groups Come Together To Seek Withdrawal Of Triple Talaq Ordinance
Various Muslim socio-religious and political organisations came together on a
common platform in Hyderabad on Friday to demand the withdrawal of the triple
groups representing various sects urged the government to ensure that the
religious and cultural rights and freedom guaranteed to Muslims by the
Constitution are implemented in letter and spirit and not tampered in any
resolution passed at the public meeting organised by the United Muslim Forum
(MUF), an umbrella group of different Muslim organisations, condemned the
ordinance issued last week, criminalizing triple talaq. It said the piece of
legislation was enacted through backdoor.
Muslimeen (MIM) president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, Jamaat-e-Islami's
president of Telangana and Odisha unit Hamid Mohammed Khan, MUF president
Raheemuddin Ansari and leaders of various organisations addressed the public
meeting at MIM headquarters Darussalam.
present government seems to be conspiring to take away the religious identity
of Muslims. When it failed to get the triple talaq bill passed in the Parliament,
the government has chosen to get an ordinance promulgated in an undemocratic
manner," the resolution said. A It hoped that better sense would prevail
and the government would reconsider its decision.
Owaisi, in his speech, demanded that Muslims should be allowed to practice
their religion since the constitution gave them the right. Referring to Supreme
Court judgements on Articles 377 and 497, the MP said Muslims also want to live
with freedom to practice their religion.
homosexuals have been given choice and married men and women also given freedom
to indulge in adultery without the fear of being punished by law, why are
Muslims being denied freedom to practice their religion", he asked.
Owaisi said the Supreme Court in its judgment set aside triple talaq but did
not term it unconstitutional. "When the Supreme Court made it clear that
if a husband gives triple talaq, marriage will not dissolve then for what crime
you are sending him to jail for three years under this ordinance," he asked.
Meets Afghan Officials In Saudi Arabia Ahead Of Election
Representatives from the Taliban met an Afghan government delegation in Saudi
Arabia this week to discuss security ahead of next month’s parliamentary
elections and a limited prisoner release, three Taliban officials said, Reuters
meeting comes less than a month before voters are due to go to the polls on
October 20 to elect a new Afghan parliament, a process which has been hampered
by fears of attacks on polling stations and campaign rallies.
the election passes off smoothly and without violence has been a top priority for
the Afghan government and its international partners.
requested us to help them conduct peaceful elections,” said one of the Taliban
Afghan delegation has agreed with us on the release of prisoners,” he said,
adding that some prisoners facing minor charges had already been released and
officials had divided up others into three categories, depending on their
importance, for future release.
President Ashraf Ghani’s office and the US State Department declined to
comment. No comment was available from Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main
Taliban, who regard the internationally recognised Afghan government as an
illegitimate regime imposed by foreign powers, have generally insisted on
negotiating only with the United States but there have been regular unofficial
this year, Washington dropped its refusal to talk with the Taliban, saying the
United States would be willing to participate in Afghan-led peace talks and US
and Taliban delegations met for talks in Doha, Qatar, in July.
meeting in Saudi Arabia came after plans for another meeting with American
officials broke down over US demands for a three-month ceasefire, the Taliban
representatives said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
of our senior people were not in the favor of holding talks with the Afghan
government as until now we were calling them puppets and refused to meet them,”
said one senior Taliban leader in Qatar.
our proposed meeting with the Americans failed to take place due to certain
reasons,” he said.
officials said US demands for a ceasefire was something the leadership could
not agree to. As a result, no formal meeting was held although there were
agreement for holding the meeting was only to discuss prisoner exchange and the
removal of our people from the UN black list so they can travel,” said one
senior Taliban leader from the movement’s political office in Qatar.
Ahmadis fearful as leaders bow to extremists
embattled Ahmadiyya minority enjoyed a brief moment of hope earlier this month
when one of its own, a U.S.-based Princeton economist, was appointed to an
economic advisory council.
the backlash from Islamic hard-liners, which led newly elected Prime Minister
Imran Khan to quickly rescind the appointment under political pressure, has
only underscored the Ahmadis’ fraught position in the conservative,
believe another Islamic prophet, Ahmad, appeared in the 19th century, a view at
odds with the fundamental Islamic principle that Muhammad was the final
messenger sent by God. Islamic hard-liners view them as heretics, and have
successfully pressured past governments to pass draconian laws against the
community. Ahmadis have also long been targeted by Islamic extremists, and are
shunned by many mainstream Muslims.
parties have never done well in Pakistan’s elections, and last July’s balloting
was no exception. But the ability of hard-line clerics to organize mass rallies
and incite violence against political opponents has often forced even liberal
governments to bow to their demands.
a cosmopolitan former cricket star who ran on a populist platform of combatting
corruption, is the latest leader to give in.
early September, he appointed Atif Mian, a respected Princeton professor of
economics, public policy and finance, to an economic advisory council. Just 72
hours later, Khan sought Mian’s resignation, which the economist announced on
Twitter, saying he was stepping down “for the sake of the stability of the
government was facing a lot of adverse pressure regarding my appointment from
the Mullahs (Muslim clerics) and their supporters,” Mian said.
religious parties took part in this year’s election, but as in previous voting,
they garnered less than 10 percent of the popular vote. However, they have
allies among all the major parties who rallied against the appointment, even
introducing a resolution in the upper house of parliament to condemn the move.
the charge was cleric Khadim Rizvi’s political party, which won three
provincial seats in southern Sindh province by campaigning on a single issue —
the finality of the Prophet Muhammad. They also support a harsh blasphemy law
that prescribes death for anyone found guilty of insulting Islam.
power was on display last November when he mobilized mass rallies over proposed
electoral reforms that neglected to mention Islam’s prophet. The two-week
demonstration paralyzed the capital, Islamabad, leading to the sacking of a
government minister and the legislation’s revision. It may have also
contributed to the ruling party’s defeat in July.
firebrand cleric had threatened to bring his supporters into the streets again
finality of the prophet and the blasphemy law is the most potent weapon because
the mullahs know that no one can dare touch it,” said Zahid Hussain, a defense
analyst and the author of two books on militancy in Pakistan.
had at least one defender. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry sought to stem
the controversy by pointing out that the position had nothing to do with religion
or lawmaking, and that the newly elected government wanted to be inclusive.
I stood up and defended the appointment of Mian, I looked behind me and no one
was there,” Chaudhry said in an interview this week. “The problem is that you
know the opposition will partner with the violence. You don’t get the kind of
support you need.”
their poor showing at the polls, the religious parties are “very effective,”
Chaudhry said. “They have the capacity to kill you. Extremism here is a
reality. We cannot say it isn’t,” he said.
Yusuf, a scholar at the Washington-based U. S. Institute of Peace, said
“Pakistani society has become deeply intolerant and many more than we think
sympathize with such views.” Mian’s resignation “shows the perceived power of
the Islamists and the reluctance of both state and society to stand up to them
given the costs they fear — including physical harm.”
abrupt resignation came as a major blow to the 500,000-strong Ahmadi community,
which already feels persecuted and afraid. Many Ahmadis worry they could now
lose their jobs, and say their children are often denied admission to certain
changed its constitution in 1974 to declare Ahmadis non-Muslims. Ten years
later, the government declared it a criminal offense for Ahmadis to “pose as
Muslims.” They are forbidden from calling their places of worship mosques and
cannot sound the call to prayer. Ahmadis have even been punished for using the
common Arabic greeting “assalamu aleikum,” which means “peace be upon you.”
Court Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui recently issued a more than 170-page judgment
that would force Ahmadis to take further steps to identify themselves publicly,
which would expose them to even greater discrimination and violence. It calls
for Ahmadis to take names that identify their religion, bans them from wearing
“Muslim clothing” — without specifying what that means — and bars them from
taking the name “Ahmad.” The judgment is being appealed.
is like Nazi Germany. They want to be able to identify us wherever we go,”
Usman Ahmad, a representative of the community, said. “The level of intolerance
in Pakistan has never been as great as it is today. Every Ahmadi hides his
does Pakistan want?” asked Salim Uddin, a spokesman for the community. “Do they
want to eradicate Ahmadis? Do they want Ahmadis to leave Pakistan?”
men insisted on meeting in a non-descript guesthouse, rather than the official
Ahmadi house of worship, a fortress-like building surrounded by high walls and
guarded around the clock.
is not a new story in Pakistan. It’s been happening for decades, including
under more liberal governments,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the
Asia program at the U.S.-based Wilson Center.
makes it all more alarming now is that with new parties now involved in
electoral politics, the hateful ideas and narratives that fuel discrimination
and violence against Ahmadis and other religious minorities will gain more
prominence,” he said.
Merkel rejects Turkish calls to proscribe Gulen movement
Angela Merkel said Germany needed more evidence if it was to class the movement
of US-based cleric Fetullah Gulen as terrorist organisation.
at a Berlin news conference alongside Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, she
said that Germany needed more material if they were to proscribe the group that
Ankara blames for a failed coup attempt in 2016.
take very seriously the evidence Turkey provided but we need more material if
we are to classify it in the same way we have classified the (Kurdish)
PKK," she told reporters.
issue is one of the key areas of contention between the two countries as Mr
Erdogan began his three-day visit on Thursday. During the press conference, Mr
Erdogan called on Berlin to extradite what he said were the hundreds of
supporters of the cleric living in Germany.
also said that Turkey had the right to request the extradition from Germany of
Can Dundar, former editor of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, describing him as
an agent who had been convicted of espionage.
Dundar and a colleague were sentenced in 2016 to five years in prison for
publishing a video purporting to show Turkey's intelligence agency trucking
weapons into Syria. They were released pending appeal and Dundar left the
two leaders also agreed to aim for a four-way meeting with themselves and the
presidents of France and Russia in October to discuss the situation of the
rebel-held Syrian region of Idlib.
an editorial in the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily, Mr Erdogan said he wanted to
"turn the page" on a long period of tensions, sparked by Berlin's
criticism of his crackdown on opponents after the failed coup, highlighting the
economic importance of his trip to Turkey.
Erdogan is eager to improve ties with Europe's biggest economy and secure
investments to shore up a struggling economy at home. The meeting came a day
after Germany beat Turkey to become the Euro 2024 host nation, following a
tight race that took on political significance when Mr Erdogan fanned
accusations of German discrimination in football.
state visit to Germany, complete with military honours, is Erdogan's first
there since becoming president in 2014 and comes as he is sparring with US
President Donald Trump and the Turkish economy is in rapid decline.
critics, including rights campaigners and German politicians, are angered by
the red carpet treatment for a leader who has built an increasingly
authoritarian reputation and just 18 months ago accused Berlin of "Nazi
Merkel herself has repeatedly stressed the importance of good relations with
Ankara, a partner she relies on to help stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
the hostility towards the visit comes at an awkward time for the veteran
chancellor, who can ill afford any missteps after being weakened by a slew of
crises that have rocked her fragile coalition.
de facto leader last week was forced to backtrack on a decision to promote a
domestic spy chief who was under fire for his alleged far-right links,
prompting Ms Merkel to admit she had misread the public mood.
Erdogan critics have vowed to take to the streets across Germany to protest
everything from Turkey's record on human rights and press freedom to its
offensive against Kurdish militia in Syria.
are also planning to protest in Cologne on Saturday where President Erdogan
will open one of Europe's largest mosques, commissioned by the
Turkish-controlled Ditib organisation.
wants a fresh start with Germany. This is an opportunity," the
Sueddeutsche Zeitung said, urging Ms Merkel to push Ankara to end its
repressive tactics and free the five remaining German-Turkish nationals
considered political prisoners by Berlin. "But we can't just forget
everything that happened. It could take years to rebuild trust," it added.
between the two NATO countries plummeted after Turkish authorities arrested
tens of thousands of people in a mass purge over the attempted putsch against
a gradual rapprochement began after German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel was
freed earlier this year. He still faces terror-related charges in Turkey however.
is home to a three-million strong Turkish community and observers said Ms
Merkel now faced the delicate balancing act of accepting Mr Erdogan's
outstretched hand - without glossing over their disagreements.
Erdogan for his part said he would use his trip to urge Germany to show
"the necessary support" in fighting the fight against "terrorist
groups" like the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the movement of Muslim
cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for the coup.
terms of economic cooperation, Der Spiegel weekly reported that German
conglomerate Siemens was in talks to lead a potentially $40-billion deal to
modernise Turkey's rail infrastructure.
a sign of the contentious nature of the visit, several opposition politicians
have vowed to boycott Friday's state dinner in Mr Erdogan's honour. Chancellor
Merkel too will be absent, although her office insists it's not out of the
ordinary for her to skip such events.
Merkel and Mr Erdogan are scheduled to hold a second round of talks on
of Pak, Turkey on Chinese repression of Uyghur Muslims outrageous: US lawmakers
is outrageous that countries such as Pakistan, Turkey and Gulf states, who have
led global efforts in support of the Rohingya refugees, have turned their back
on the repression of Uyghur Muslims in China, American lawmakers have said.
ought to especially call out the Muslim countries that are saying
nothing," Congressman Brad Sherman said during a Congressional hearing
that be Turkey, Pakistan, the Gulf states, it is simply outrageous that they do
so little to help the Rohingya and turn their back completely on Uyghurs,"
- a Muslim minority group inside China - have been reportedly subject to
increasing repression by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang autonomous region in
the country's northwest. Human Rights Watch says China is holding at least a
million Uyghurs in "re-education camps" with the crackdown against
the minority group growing since 2016.
alleged that China is repressing its Uyghur population on a massive scale.
"The Chinese government has, as noted in a recent UN meeting, turned
Xinjiang into something resembling a massive internment camp shrouded in
secrecy, a sort of no rights zone."
before a Congressional committee, Nury Turkel, chairman of the board of Uyghur
Human Rights Project, said Pakistan has had a horrible history collaborating
said Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim is the only Muslim leader to have recently
expressed concern on the human rights violations of Uyghurs.
has been very supportive of Chinese effort to silence the Pakistani-Uyghur
citizens even," Turkel alleged.
Gulf states, particularly the UAE, Egypt has a horrible track record of
deporting Uyghur students, which has been also reported by various media
outlets. Malaysia, in a previous administration, has also deported some
Uyghurs," he said.
Ted Yoho alleged that the Chinese army brought Xinjiang into modern-day China
in 1949 by invasion.
the [Communist] Party is seeking to eliminate Xinjiang's uniqueness using
methods ripped straight from fiction. Authorities have turned the region into a
high-tech-militarised police state using cutting-edge technology to subject
normal people to pervasive surveillance, including A.I. facial and voice
recognition and forced genetic sampling," he alleged.
said there are accounts of Uyghurs being sent back by Middle East countries in
violation of international obligations.
out in support of Uyghurs, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher alleged that the
Chinese government was also behind the "slaughter of the Muslims"
down in Myanmar.
care about Muslim people in China. We care about them in Burma," he said.
He was accused of ‘love jihad’, dragged out of his house and thrashed by VHP
activists even as policemen looked on.
nursing student and his female friend from college, who was assaulted by cops
for “choosing a Muslim partner”, were taken to police station and kept in
detention for several hours. However, the 21-year-old’s pictures from earlier
this year — in which he is seen serving food to kanwar yatris and treating them
at a camp — tell a completely different story which most people are not aware
only did he serve kanwariyas, the nursing student also made monetary
contribution to set up the kanwar camp. Officials at his college said that in
the past, he has also taken part in Janmashtmi processions and has been always
enthusiastic about holding religious demonstrations.
Dinesh Rana, UP state nodal officer (nursing), said, “He is one of the most
well-behaved students in the batch of 50 at the college. This Shivratri, he was
a part of the kanwar camp where food as well as medicines was provided to
devotees. Why would anybody who is against other religions do such a thing?”
has accessed a few pictures of the man. In these pictures, he can be seen
serving food to kanwariyas and attending to them at the medical camp. “Whenever
the college took out Janmashtmi processions, he used to contribute monetarily,
as he did for the kanwar camp. He had even visited the leprosy home in Meerut
to give food and medicines to patients. What happened with him is just not
acceptable to us and the entire college feels sad for him,” said Rana.
was beaten up by VHP men for practicing ‘love jihad’. It hurts me even now to
think that they have so much hatred for me only because of my name and
religion,” the nursing student told TOI.
Swaraj snubs Qureshi, India to attack Pakistan over terrorism at UN
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will deliver her address at the United Nations
General Assembly on Saturday where India will once again apprise the world body
of the security threats that it has to deal with on a continued basis.
told India Today TV that the minister will make a strong pitch to stand united
against "terrorism" and those who "support" and provide
"havens" to terrorist networks.
has been battling terrorism emanating from Pakistan, so without naming the
country, Swaraj will launch a strong attack on Pakistan by mentioning
Today TV has also learnt that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi,
who is also to speak at the UN after India, will be raking up the issue of
Jammu and Kashmir and alleged human rights violations.
speech would be wide-ranging, focussing on India's global role and contribution
to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through several flagship initiatives
carried out by the Modi administration, particularly to do with empowerment of
women and girl child. Swaraj will also focus on the issue of UN reforms and
representation at the UNSC that is reflective of the new world order. India's
contribution to the peacekeeping forces shall also be highlighted.
diplomatic spat between India and Pakistan had begun much before the two sides
even reached the world body. With the cancellation of meeting between the two
foreign ministers following the killing and brutality against Indian soldiers
and cops in Kashmir, the tone and tenor was already set.
meeting of the foreign ministers' of SAARC countries (South Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation) in New York, was the first opportunity for both the
leaders to be in the same room.
sent out clear signals that she was not interested even in an informal chat.
Sources confirmed that there was no "interface" between Swaraj and
Qureshi. She left the hotel soon after delivering her speech without waiting to
hear Qureshi's statement.
Afghan foreign minister was the first one to leave. Pakistan did make a push
for SAARC Summit to be held at the earliest, calling India an
"impediment" to the process of regional cooperation.
an indirect reference to Pakistan, Swaraj said, "Terrorism remains the
single largest threat to peace and stability in our region. It is necessary
that we eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any
discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support."
the SAARC meet, Swaraj said: "The world is moving ahead to become more
integrated and connected where movement of goods and people is becoming easier
with each passing day. SAARC needs to deliver on its commitments or risk being
Temple Blast: Charges pressed against 3 militants
National Investigation Agency filed a charge sheet in a court on Thursday
against three suspected militants in connection with bomb attacks at a Bihar
Buddhist temple in January.
act was done in order to show solidarity with Rohingyas, the charge sheet said.
charge sheet was filed in a special NIA court in Patna, capital city of Bihar,
in connection with the recovery and explosion of improvised explosive devices
(IED) at Bodhgaya temple complex.
IEDs were planted when Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was visiting the
temple on January 19, the NIA said.
charge sheet was filed under the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act against Paigambar Sheikh alias
Abdul Aziz, Ahmad Ali alias Kalu and Nur Alam Momin.
are residents of Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
said its probe revealed the involvement of Jahidul Islam alias Kausar of
Bangladesh's Jamalpur, Mustafizur Rahman alias Shaheen of West Bengal's
Birbhum, Adil Sheikh alias Dilwar Hossain and Abdul Karim of West Bengal's
Murshidabad and Arif Hussain alias Anas of Assam's Barpeta.
of them were arrested in August. Only Arif Hussain remains absconding.
Islam is a member of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh and Mustafizur Rahman is
his close confidante.
Sheikh, Ahmad Ali, Nur Alam, Adil Sheikh alias Dilwar Hossain, Abdul Karim and
Arif Hussain are members of a militant outfit, it said.
Islam and Mustafizur Rahman entered into a conspiracy with their other
associates to carry out terror incidents in India by way of planting IEDs and
carrying out explosions at symbols of Buddhist faith in order to show
solidarity with the Rohingya Muslims fighting with Myanmar government...,”
according to NIA.
accused had taken shelter in Bihar, carried out reconnaissance of the targets
at Bodhgaya and procured explosives and other materials for the IEDs, it said.
SC verdict: Untangling the mandir-masjid imbroglio
Ram! Can’t we stop fighting over the Mandir-Masjid? This is the thought with
which I got up this morning. Perhaps, the Supreme Court’s closure on September
27 of the 1994 land title case will help. It will pave the way for hearings
directly related to the disputed site, and hopefully, to a speedier solution.
Though the three-member bench was not unanimous, with Justice S. Abdul Nazeer
dissenting, what the court ruled was that the issue of whether mosques were
necessary to the practice of Islam did not need resolution before disposing off
the present matter.
consider for a moment if a mosque is really essential to the practice of Islam.
Most acquainted with Islamic scripture and custom would disagree. A Muslim does
not require a mosque to pray. Indeed, we see Muslims praying at airports,
corridors of buildings, or even on streets. Why would they do that if a mosque
were essential for their prayers to be valid? Yes, a mosque may be preferable
for a variety of reasons, but is it indispensable? No.
suppose for a moment that it were essential as some clerics and mullas are
shouting on national TV. Aren’t there plenty of other mosques, right in
Ayodhya? Why fixate on the one built over what is considered Lord Rama’s
birthplace? Why not pray elsewhere? The only theological reason to insist that
location would be Hindu, not Muslim: That particular place is sacred because
there is something utterly unique there, not to be found or replicated
elsewhere. That, in fact, is the reason that Hindus want their temple to be
restored in the first place. Why, then, should Muslims offer “Hindu”
justifications to claim the destroyed mosque?
answer is obvious: The main purpose of these subsidiary or ancillary
litigations is purely dilatory. Former minister and legal luminary Kapil Sibal
proposed the postponement of the verdict till beyond the 2019 elections. Why?
that the ruling BJP cannot derive any mileage or advantage by building the
promised temple or even beginning its construction before the forthcoming
polls. The objections have nothing to do with respecting Muslims, their faith,
or places of worship. They have to do with keeping the BJP, an allegedly
pro-Hindu party, out of power or, since it is already in power, then to prevent
it from gaining politically from the resolution of the clash.
brings us to the heart of the matter. The root cause of the problem is not
theological, religious or even legal. It is essentially political. Babar, a
Muslim conqueror, ordered the destruction of one of the Hinduism’s most sacred
shrines. Worse, he also decreed the construction of a mosque on that very site.
This was only one of the thousands and
thousands of temples, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, or outside India,
Christian, that Muslim invaders and conquerors destroyed. Such destruction, desecration, and looting, we
have reason to believe, was very much a part of their State policy. It was
theologically sanctioned besides being very lucrative, but the driving force
decision was primarily political. It helped subdue, subjugate, and humiliate
the conquered people.
post-Independence “secular” rulers did not want to disturb the status quo of
these despoiled shrines. It would open up a Pandora’s Box, besides leading to a
Hindu upsurge, possibly consolidation, damaging to the Congress at the
hustings. No wonder they kept these testaments to vandalism under wraps, as
“protected” monuments controlled by the Archaeological Survey of India. The
Babri Masjid, one such legally protected monument, was destroyed by Hindu “kar
sevaks” on 6 December 1992. Clearly regrettable, but why turn the Babri Masjid
into some sort of “holy cow” symbol of our constitutional democracy, crying hoarse
over the end of Indian secularism or of India itself, as our great Left-Liberal
champions have been endlessly trying to? It is absolutely flabbergasting that
there are scores of books and thousands of articles on this destroyed building,
which had little architectural or aesthetic value.
asks states to take biometric details of Rohingyas, other illegal immigrants
Centre has asked all states to take biometric details of Rohingyas and other
illegal immigrants living in their jurisdiction as part of a country-wide
security exercise, Home ministry officials said.
move has been taken so that the illegal immigrants can be identified as they
move to different parts of the country. The state governments have been told to
instruct the local police to capture the biometric details of Rohingyas and
other illegal immigrants, a senior Home ministry official said.
14,000 Rohingyas living in the country are registered with the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees, while about 40,000 are said to be staying
minister Rajnath Singh had said in Parliament in July that some Rohingya Muslim
migrants in India have been found indulging in illegal activities and
maintained that security forces have been deployed to stop their infiltration
into the country.
official said capturing the biometrics details does not mean that they will be
given any valid identification document.
such as Aadhaar can be issued only to those non-citizens, who visit India
legally and are residents in India for minimum six months but the Rohingyas,
being illegal migrants, do not qualify for it, the official said.
Supreme Court Wednesday had also directed the government not to issue Aadhaar
card to illegal immigrants.
Acting on intelligence inputs from the Railway Board, the Southern Railway has
directed RPF units across all divisions to watch out for movement of huge
number of Rohingyas travelling from northeastern states to Kerala, and hand
them over to local police.
letter has been sent by the chief security commissioner of Southern Railways to
the divisional security commissioners of Chennai, Madurai, Salem, Trivandrum,
Palaghat, and Tiruchirapalli on Wednesday. A RPF officer said the alert spoke
exclusively about Rohingya movement from the northeast to Kerala. The letter
has given a list of 14 trains from states such as West Bengal and Assam with destinations
spread across Tamil Nadu and Kerala. “All Rohingyas are travelling in groups
along with their families,” the letter stated.
national among 48 killed, wounded in Kunduz operations
least 48 militants including a Tajikistani national were killed or wounded
during the operations of the Afghan Special Forces in northern Kunduz province
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North issued a statement
earlier today confirming that the militants were killed or wounded during the
operations conducted in the past 72 hours.
statement further added that the operations were conducted in the vicinity of
Chahar Dara district, leaving at least 31 militants dead, including a
to 209th Shaheen Corps, the shadow district chief of the Taliban for Aliabad
dsitrict Qari Nematullah was also among those killed.
least 17 militants were also wounded during the same operations, the 209th
Shaheen Corps said, adding that at least 48 improvised explosive device were
also discovered and defused during the same operations.
Afghan forces also confiscated 3 vehicles, and seized the control of 11
compounds, 3 improvised explosive devices manufacturing factories, 60 fuses of
mines, and some other military kits, the statement added.
Rohingya refugees are “the world’s largest stateless population”, said Ursula
Mueller, the UN's assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, as she
called on the international community to help their plight.
at a high-level event on the issue of Rohingya at the UN on Friday, Ms Mueller
said the Myanmar government “must take real steps forward, clearly
demonstrating a commitment to immediate change on the ground”.
has played host to the largest refugee camp in the world, last year more than
725,000 Rohingya fled to the country from neighbouring Myanmar following the
outbreak of violence in August 2017.
said the world is witnessing “newest chapter of what has been a long and tragic
history for the Rohingya people”.
humanitarians, and as members of a global humanity, we cannot turn away from
the reality that the Rohingya people have been subjected to extreme,
unthinkable violence in the context of decades of discrimination and
persecution,” she added.
Mueller, who visited Myanmar in April, was able to witness first hand the
plight of the Rohingya and looked to relay her experience meeting the affected
communities, humanitarian rights activists and political leaders to the world
men, women and children I visited in communities across Rakhine were clearly
deeply affected, scarred by a history of conflict, many trapped by authorities
in squalid camps and all scared and uncertain about their future,” said Ms
added that the concerns are present on both sides of the Myanmar-Bangladesh
border, with more than 600,000 Rohingya still in Rakhine State. She said they
still face “discrimination, marginalisation and hardship”.
Mueller said that the Myanmar government has placed ongoing restrictions on
freedom of movement and limited access to services, like healthcare and
remain in dire need of humanitarian assistance. We cannot leave them behind,”
northern Rakhine, the UN and other humanitarian aid partners still have very
limited access to more than 200,000 stateless, despite some small steps being
made to provide aid.
central Rakhine,128,000 remain in “deplorable conditions in camps” more than
six years after the 2012 outbreak of violence.
added that the conditions in Rakhine are not yet able to provide the voluntary
repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, and said that it is the
responsibility of the Myanmar government to provide that.
Bangladesh our focus must remain clearly on both of the inter-related
challenges before us. In Bangladesh we must support and adequately fund a
humanitarian response to a refugee crisis of enormous size and scope –
currently this response is only 38 per cent funded," Ms Mueller said.
Amal Clooney, who is part of the legal team representing the two Reuters
journalists imprisoned in Myanmar, called on the country's de facto leader Aung
San Suu Kyi to address these violations.
NATIONS: Bangladeshi President Sheikh Hasina on Thursday accused Myanmar of
failing to honor a verbal commitment to take back Rohingya Muslims who have
fled a crackdown she described as tantamount to genocide.
remarks at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations came as
the UN Human Rights Council agreed to set up a team to collect evidence of
alleged crimes that one day could be used to prosecute suspected perpetrators.
investigators have already said the reported atrocities could amount to genocide
and other war crimes. Myanmar, which barred the investigators from the country,
has rejected that reporting as "replete with unverified information.''
are appalled by what we have seen in UN reports about atrocities against the
Rohingya who have now taken shelter in Bangladesh, which are tantamount to
genocide and crimes against humanity,'' Hasina told the General Assembly.
appealed for more international support for the 1.1 million Rohingya refugees
now sheltering in Bangladesh, and urged an "early, peaceful solution'' to
the crisis. Most have arrived since August 2017 when attacks by Rohingya
militants on Myanmar security forces triggered a massive retaliation that
prompted a massive cross-border exodus of civilians.
their verbal commitment to take back the Rohingya, in reality the Myanmar
authorities are yet to accept them back,'' Hasina said.
pressure is mounting on Myanmar, which is to address the General Assembly on
Friday. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Thursday hosted a
ministerial-level meeting on the sidelines of the assembly to address the
plight of the Rohingya, following another hosted by Britain earlier in the
week. Both were conducted behind closed doors.
a US government investigation released Monday concluded that the Myanmar
military had targeted Rohingya civilians indiscriminately and often with
"extreme brutality'' in a coordinated campaign to drive the minority
Muslims out of the country.
report provided statistical analysis. It said most of those interviewed had
witnessed a killing, and half had witnessed sexual violence, and the military
was identified as the perpetrator in 84 percent of the killings or injuries
rights groups criticized the Trump administration for not describing the
crackdown as ``genocide.'' The US has characterized the gross abuses as
``ethnic cleansing,'' which is not a criminal definition.
Secretary of State John Sullivan told reporters Thursday that the
investigation, based on interviews with more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees, was
intended as a forensic description and not to make legal judgements.
- Campaigning for Afghanistan's long-delayed parliamentary elections kicks off
Friday, as a crescendo of deadly violence and claims of widespread fraud fuel
debate over whether the vote will go ahead.
than 2,500 candidates will contest the October 20 poll, which is seen as a test
run for next year's presidential vote and a key milestone ahead of a UN meeting
in Geneva where Afghanistan is under pressure to show progress on
"democratic processes". But preparations for the ballot, which is
more than three years late, have been in turmoil for months, despite UN-led
efforts to keep Afghan organisers on track.
inefficiency, allegations of industrial-scale fraud and now an eleventh-hour
pledge for biometric verification of voters threaten to derail the election and
any hope of a credible result. It will be "highly flawed", a Western
diplomat admitted to AFP this week, reflecting falling expectations across
Kabul's international community, which is providing most of the funding for the
elections. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has insisted voting will
go ahead, with or without the biometric machines that have been demanded by
opposition groups to prevent people from voting more than once.
4,400 out of the 22,000 German-made machines ordered have been delivered to
Afghanistan, officials said.
have promised (biometric verification) and they may do it, but will it be
successful in dispelling the concerns? I'm doubtful," Afghanistan Analysts
Network researcher Ali Yawar Adili told AFP. "It may create a bigger
list of candidates, which has been trimmed to 2,565 after 35 were expelled, are
competing for 249 seats in the lower house, whose members are widely derided as
corrupt and ineffective. Most MPs are seeking re-election. But hundreds of
political first-timers - including the offspring of former warlords,
entrepreneurs and journalists - are also contesting the vote.
is supposed to be the house of the people. Instead it has become a place for
mafia networks, corruption, and those who work for their own interests,"
said former TV journalist Maryam Sama, 26, who is running in Kabul province.
"If anyone can bring real change, it is the young people."
Afghanistan's demographics should, in theory, favour younger candidates - the
country is ranked as one of the youngest and fastest growing in the world. But
they face a formidable challenge from the old guard, who have long dominated
the political landscape through tribal and ethnic connections and deep pockets.
attitudes are also stacked against the younger hopefuls in a country where
elders are respected and listened to.
politicians, ethnic and religious power brokers regard themselves as the
rightful and exclusive owners of politics and have the power and
resources," said Naeem Ayubzada, director of Transparent Election
Foundation of Afghanistan.
international community is pushing hard for the vote to happen before
November's ministerial meeting in Geneva, which the United Nations says is a
"crucial moment" for the Afghan government and its foreign partners
to demonstrate progress.
a wave of deadly violence across the country in recent months has raised
concerns that parliamentary elections could end up being a bloody rehearsal for
the presidential vote scheduled for April. Some 54,000 members of Afghanistan's
beleaguered security forces will be responsible for protecting more than 5,000
polling centres on election day. More than 2,000 polling centres that were
supposed to open will be closed for security reasons. It is a daunting task as
the Taliban and the Islamic State group, which have vowed to disrupt the
ballot, ramp up attacks across the country.
are not about NATO but about Afghan people," Cornelius Zimmermann, NATO's
senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, told a recent meeting of Afghan
of massive fraud in the voter registration process that saw nearly nine million
people sign up are also disrupting the process.
council elections, which also were scheduled to be held on October 20, have
been postponed and a parliamentary vote in Ghazni province, whose capital the
Taliban recently raided, has been cancelled.
families of two Reuters reporters imprisoned in Myanmar have asked for a
pardon, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney told a press freedom event at the
United Nations on Friday as she pressed the country’s civilian leader Aung San
Suu Kyi to agree.
is a member of the legal team representing Reuters journalists Wa Lone, 32, and
Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, who were convicted on September 3 under the colonial-era
Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years in prison.
said the reporters’ wives wrote “a really heartfelt letter” to the government
about a week ago pleading for a pardon, not because their husbands had done
anything wrong, but because it would allow them to be released from prison.
said Myanmar’s President Win Myint would make the decision to issue a pardon in
consultation with Suu Kyi.
a message to Suu Kyi, Clooney told Reuters: “You fought for so many years to be
freed from the same prison where they now sit and now you have the power to
actually remedy this injustice today if you wanted to.”
Myanmar mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request
for comment. Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay has said the court was
independent and followed due process in the case.
reporters pleaded not guilty and have been detained since December. Kyaw Soe Oo
has a three-year-old daughter. Last month, Wa Lone’s wife gave birth to their
first child, a girl, whom Clooney said Wa Lone has not yet met.
reporters had been working on a Reuters investigation into the killing of 10
Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and local Buddhists in western
Myanmar’s Rakhine state during an army crackdown that began in August last
year. The operation sent nearly 700,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh.
UN mandated fact-finding mission said Myanmar’s military carried out mass
killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent” and called
for top generals to be prosecuted. Myanmar rejected the findings.
Kyi said at a forum in Vietnam this month that the case had nothing to do with
freedom of expression. She said the reporters had been sentenced for handling
official secrets and “were not jailed because they were journalists.”
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this month called on the Myanmar
government to pardon and release the Reuters journalists as soon as possible.
case is about much more than two innocent men,” Clooney told Reuters after an
event hosted by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on the sidelines of
the annual UN General Assembly on Friday.
you care about press freedom you care about this case ... Without a free press
you cannot have democracy because you don’t know how to judge what your
government’s doing,” she said.
CPJ event also focused on the cases of imprisoned journalists in Egypt,
Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh. Representatives for the United States, Britain,
France, Germany, Australia, Lebanon and other countries attended.
militants were killed or wounded during the separate operations conducted by
the Afghan and U.S. forces in southeastern Paktika and Ghazni provinces.
201st Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast said at least 3
militants were killed and 7 others were wounded during the operations of the
Afghan armed forces in the main highway between Orgun and Gian districts of
statement further added that the Afghan forces also discovered and defused 7
various types of improvised explosive devices during the same operations.
the meantime, the U.S. forces carried out airstrikes in Moqor district of
Ghazni province, leaving at least 6 miliants dead and 9 others wounded, the
203rd Thunder Corps added.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
Afghanistan: An Afghan official says at least two police officers were gunned
down by a fellow officer in the country’s latest “insider” attack in southern
Ahmad Azizi, provincial governor’s spokesman, says three other police were
wounded in the attack late Friday night.
incident took place at a remote police outpost in Raghistan district. Azizi
says the attacker, who had joined police around a year ago, was able to flee
police investigation was begun to find out the motive behind this attack.
army chief confirms death sentences to 11 'hardcore terrorists'
Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday confirmed death
sentences to 11 "hardcore terrorists", nearly three weeks after he
approved the execution of 13 others.
Bajwa approved the capital punishment handed down to the terrorists by a
military court for committing "heinous offences" related to terrorism,
including killing of 20 security personnel.
military courts were set up in Pakistan after the deadly Taliban attack on an
army school in Peshawar in 2014 which killed more than 150 people, mostly
of Army Staff confirmed death sentences awarded to 11 hardcore terrorists, who
were involved in heinous offences related to terrorism," the army said in
said the terrorists were found guilty of attacking armed forces, law
enforcement agencies, destruction of an educational institution and killing of
the whole, they were involved in killing of 69 persons including 49 civilians,
20 Armed Forces/Police Officials and injuring 148 others," the Army said.
and explosives had also been recovered from their possession.
special military courts also awarded imprisonment to four other convicts for
their involvement in militancy-linked activities, the statement said.
date and venue of trial was not shared due to security reasons.
September 11, the military had announced that General Bajwa confirmed death
sentences to 13 "hardcore terrorists".
with India not an option, says Qureshi
War with India is not an option, says Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, as
a senior US official urges Pakistan to work for promoting peace in South Asia.
an interview to Al-Jazeera television, Mr Qureshi said the new government had
inherited strained relations with two key countries — India and the United
States — and was working to improve ties with both.
an interview to BBC Urdu, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and
Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells said that peace in South Asia was key to the
region’s prosperity and urged Pakistan to work for it.
to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s July 26 peace offer to India, Mr Qureshi said
that seeking a constructive dialogue with India was a key component of the new
government’s policies. “What we did…we thought made sense. Two neighbours with
outstanding issues, atomic powers. How do you fix things? War is no option.
There is no military solution: the only solution is a dialogue,” he emphasised.
Wells also stressed this point in her interview, saying: “We welcome PM Khan’s
statements about peace with neighbours and any steps Pakistan takes for this
US diplomat, however, focused more on the need for improvement in Pakistan’s
relations with Afghanistan, where the United States has been fighting a
resilient insurgency for the past 17 years. “Pakistan needs to support economic
stability in Afghanistan and allow transit trade between Afghanistan and
India,” she said.
that better economic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan would reduce
tensions on both eastern and western borders, Ms Wells said better “border
management” would also help improve ties.
Minister Qureshi rejected the suggestion that previous Pakistani governments
had aided the Taliban. “They were helping their own country (and were trying
to) overcome a situation which was not of their own making,” he said.
also referred to America’s links with Afghan freedom fighters during the 1980s,
when Washington backed a Mujahideen insurgency against the Soviet occupation
forces. “Who were these people? Who supported them? Who trained them? We forget
history and at times we overlook that friends change,” he complained.
that you supported, some of the people, were called extremists. Weren’t they
invited to the US? Weren’t they entertained in the White House? So, friends
change. Circumstances change. We were just defending and protecting ourselves,”
Wells also addressed Islamabad’s complaint that extremists were using the
Afghan territory for conducting attacks into Pakistan. “US disagrees with any
cross-border terrorism. We know that TTP [Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan] takes
advantage of the Afghan government’s lack of control in some areas,” she said,
adding: “We are working towards bilateral talks (to address this situation).”
Pakistan that the United States did not want Afghan territory to be used
against Pakistan, Ms Wells said: “We want to eliminate all Mullah Fazlullah
type terrorist groups.” She said that establishing peace in the region should
be a top priority for both Afghanistan and Pakistan as “both have witnessed a
wave of terrorism”.
added: “Afghanistan is working towards convincing Taliban for peace talks just
like Pakistan is working towards peace in the region.”
Qureshi said Pakistan wanted friendly relations with the US, while exercising
its option to cultivate relations with China and others. “We want the US to be
friends with Pakistan. We recognise that the US is an important global power,
and they will continue to be a military, technological and economic power in
the foreseeable future,” he said.
are looking at different options; they are looking at new friends in the
region. We do have friends who have been consistent and very valuable. China is
one of them.”
Qureshi said that some other nations also recognised Pakistan’s strategic
location and understood its importance, “so, we are not alone, everyone has
Wells acknowledged that Pakistan was “an important country in the region (and
has) an important part to play”. Asked what were her expectations from the new
Pakistani government, she said: “We have the same expectations that we have
from other governments in South Asia.”
The opposition moved on Friday a privileged motion in the Senate against
“derogatory” remarks made by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry against
motion was moved by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mushahidullah
Khan who said the information minister had also levelled allegations against
him for providing lucrative posts to his brothers in the Pakistan International
this occasion, Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz and Mr Khan
exchanged some harsh words.
opposition members demanded that the information minister be banned from
attending the parliament proceedings for at least one month.
information minister, in his speech in the National Assembly on Thursday,
called all opposition members “thieves” and “dacoits”.
Mushahidullah Khan said Fawad Chaudhry had called all opposition leaders
“thieves” but he had forgotten that his uncle and former Punjab governor
Chaudhry Altaf was also a leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) now
sitting on the opposition benches. “Mr Altaf was an educated man and served as
governor, but the information minister has called his own uncle thief and
dacoit,” he said.
Altaf was a respectable man but some eggs turn out to be rotten. This minister
has become a member of all political parties. Is Fawad Chaudhry a minister of
the state of Madina or of Rangila Shah?”
PML-N senator said he would teach the information minister a lesson and Prime
Minister Imran Khan would have to remove him (Fawad Chaudhry) from the cabinet.
He said the information minister had levelled baseless allegations against him
and now Mr Chaudhry had to prove them. “If the information minister fails to
prove his allegations, he would have to tender an apology before the house,” he
Faraz said he and the whole house stood by Senator Mushahidullah for being hurt
Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani informed the house that he had held a meeting with the
National Assembly speaker who said he had expunged the objectionable words from
the speech of the information minister. He said Mr Chaudhry had already
tendered apology. Mushahidullah Khan said he and his three brothers had served
in PIA well before he joined the PML-N. “The information minister called me a
loader of PIA, but he doesn’t know that I became a graduate even before the
birth of the minister,” he said.
Javed Abbasi said the language used by the information minister was not used
even in private gatherings and wondered if the attitude of ministers matched
their claims about running the country like the state of Madina.
Chaudhry Tanveer pointed out the quorum and the opposition members staged a
walkout. Later, the Senate session was adjourned till Monday.
of interest of federal cabinet members and members of the treasury benches in
legislative business of parliament was evident on Friday when the proceedings
of both the National Assembly and Senate were suspended due to lack of quorum
and non-availability of the ministers concerned.
the opposition has been pointing out poor attendance of treasury members in the
National Assembly since the start of current sessions of the two houses, it was
for the first time that the businesses of both houses were suspended the same
day due to lack of quorum.
Minister Imran Khan took serious notice of the issue and summoned NA Speaker
Qaiser and asked for the reasons for poor attendance of members of the treasury
quorum problem had also remained a headache for the last PML-N government
throughout its five-year term and the then opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf
used to criticise it for not giving due importance to the parliament.
the National Assembly, the quorum was pointed out twice. The first was pointed
out by PML-N’s Sheikh Fayyaz Uddin after which the opposition members staged a
walkout and the house remained suspended for 20 minutes. The second time quorum
was pointed out by another PML-N’s MNA, Tehseen Watto, and the session remained
suspended for few minutes to count members. However, the session resumed as the
quorum was found complete on this occasion.
former deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi accused incumbent deputy speaker
Qasim Suri of running the house “unconstitutionally” and said that despite pointing
out of quorum by an opposition member on Thursday, the latter continued
proceedings of the lower house. Mr Abbasi said the deputy speaker had shown
partiality and did not allow the opposition member, who had pointed out the
quorum, to speak.
during a debate on the budget, opposition members — Rana Tanvir Hussain, Naz
Baloch, Ajmal Khan and Abdul Akbar Chitrali — also complained about the absence
of ministers from the house.
opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah has been
complaining about the poor attendance of the treasury benchers for one week.
“We have witnessed the same situation during last PML-N government and now
N-Leaguers are sitting in the opposition. If the PTI leaders do not mend their
ways they would have a similar fate,” he added.
States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs
Alice Wells has said the US wants “positive and constructive” relations with
is an important country in the region [South Asia] with an important part to
play,” she said while talking to BBC Urdu.
to a question regarding the expectations from the new Pakistani government,
Wells said that the US has the same expectations from Pakistan that it has from
other countries in South Asia.
comply with South Asia’s policy of eradicating ‘non-state actors’ and want to
eliminate terrorism and terroist proxies in the region,” the American diplomat
Prime Minister Imran Khan and US State Secretary Mike Pompeo’s meeting, she
said that the two officials “discussed positive and constructive relations
between the two countries”. Wells further said, “We have told Pakistan before
that terrorists’ groups are still active in the country and they need to be
about Pakistan and its neighbours, the American envoy said, “We welcome the
statements from PM Imran about peace with neighbours and any steps taken by
Pakistan regarding this.”
needs to support economic stability in Afghanistan and give permission to
things being brought from Afghanistan to India,” she went on to say.
that the economic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are of the utmost
importance to the peace in the East and West, she said, “Border management
between Pakistan and Afghanistan is important.”
is not in favour of any cross-border terrorism. We know Tehreek-e-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP) takes advantage of the fact the government has no authority in
Afghanistan,” she said, adding that the US is working towards bilateral talks
between the two countries.
US wants to eliminate any more ‘Mullah Fazlullah type terrorist groups’ in the
country, she went on to say. “Establishing peace in the country is a top
priority. Both the countries have witnessed a wave of terrorism,” she said.
she said, “Afghanistan is working towards convincing Taliban for peace talks
just like Pakistan is working towards peace in the region.”
Alice Wells told Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua that the US looked
forward to working with the new government and Pakistan’s support was critical
for peace in Afghanistan as she appreciated the new government’s policy of
reaching out to the Afghan government.
a meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing UN summit, both dignitaries discussed
bilateral relations, the situation in Afghanistan and Indian-occupied Kashmir
the meeting, the foreign secretary said Pakistan desired a broad relationship
with the US that was based on mutual respect and shared interests.
she said, wanted to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Highlighting the
steps taken to engage with the Afghan government, she reaffirmed Pakistan’s
support for a comprehensive political reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
secretary further reiterated Pakistan’s concern over the presence of ungoverned
spaces in Afghanistan, which are exploited by militant groups for launching
terrorist attacks in the region.
also briefed Wells on the measures Pakistan was taking to secure the
city braces for protests as Erdogan opens mega mosque
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to open one of Europe’s largest
mosques in Cologne on Saturday as he wraps up a controversial visit to Germany,
with police deploying in force amid planned protests.
inauguration will be the closing event of Erdogan’s three-day state visit,
aimed at repairing frayed ties with Berlin after two years of tensions.
talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, both leaders signalled their
interest in a cautious rapprochement, but Merkel stressed that “deep
differences” remained on civil rights and other issues.
10,000 Erdogan critics are expected to take to the streets in Cologne,
protesting everything from Turkey’s record on human rights and press freedom to
its treatment of minority Kurds.
supporters meanwhile will gather at the Cologne Central Mosque, an imposing
dome-shaped building next to the shadowy, Turkish-controlled Ditib
police said they were bracing for one of their biggest ever deployments, and
that a maximum of 5,000 people would be allowed to attend the opening ceremony
for safety reasons.
its Facebook page, the Cologne branch of Ditib said it wanted the ceremony to
be a “beautiful” example of both communities coming together, and asked
attendees to refrain from bringing political banners or shouting slogans.
Cologne mayor Henriette Reker and the state’s premier Armin Laschet pulled out
of attending the opening as criticism of Erdogan’s visit grew.
snubs echo the lukewarm welcome the Turkish leader received the previous
evening at a state dinner hosted by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier,
which was boycotted by several opposition politicians.
also skipped the banquet.
between the two countries soured after Berlin criticised Turkey’s crackdown on
opponents following a failed 2016 coup, with tens of thousands arrested.
eased somewhat after several high-profile German-Turkish nationals were
released this year, but five remain behind bars.
whose country is home to more than three million ethnic Turks, stressed the
need for continued dialogue to overcome disagreements, particularly “in
questions about a democratic, open society”.
she also highlighted Germany’s interest in a “stable” Turkey, a country she
relies on to help stem the flow of migrants arriving on European shores.
seeking European allies as he spars with US President Donald Trump and the
Turkish economy is in turmoil, likewise struck a conciliatory tone.
he said Germany was doing too little to deal with thousands of Kurdish
militants on its soil.
he complained that Germany was refusing to extradite followers of Muslim cleric
Fethullah Gulen, whom he blames for the coup attempt.
a Berlin rally hours later, hundreds of mostly ethnic Kurdish demonstrators
marched with banners that showed likenesses of Erdogan shooting a journalist
and devouring a peace dove.
visit on Saturday takes him to North Rhine-Westphalia state, which is home to
significant numbers of ethnic Turks, many who moved to Germany as so-called
“guest workers” from the 1960s.
anti-Erdogan demos are planned in Cologne on Saturday, including one under the
banner “Erdogan Not Welcome”.
are expected to gather a few kilometres (miles) away from the neighbourhood of
giant Cologne Central Mosque opened its doors in 2017 after eight years of
construction and budget overruns. It can house more than a thousand
sheer size of the building, designed to resemble a flower bud opening, and its
two towering minarets has disgruntled some locals, triggering occasional
Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Ditib) that commissioned
the glass and cement structure is itself not without controversy.
group runs hundreds of mosques across Germany, and its imams are paid by the
for its close ties to Ankara, it has increasingly come under scrutiny with some
of its members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in Germany.
media recently reported that the domestic intelligence service was considering
putting Ditib under surveillance.
HAGUE: Dutch investigators said Friday they found a large quantity of
bomb-making materials including fertilizer likely to be used in a car bomb
following the arrest of seven terror suspects.
seven were seized Thursday in the cities of Arnhem and Weert by elite Dutch
anti-terror units and are suspected of wanting to carry out a “major” attack in
briefly appeared for the first time in the Rotterdam District court on Friday
on terror-related charges, where their case was remanded until next week.
men, who range from 21 to 34 years, were not named and will remain under
maximum security conditions — which means they are only allowed to talk to
Thursday’s search “police confiscated a substantial amount of raw materials to
make bombs at the suspects’ homes,” the Dutch public prosecution service said
also found “100 kilogrammes of fertilizer, possibly for use in a car bomb,” the
prosecutors added in a statement.
had previously placed a group of people under surveillance, including a
34-year-old Dutch man of Iraqi origin who was convicted in 2017 of attempting
to reach territory controlled by Daesh.
suspects came from Arnhem, the port city of Rotterdam and villages close to
those two cities. Two others in the group also had convictions related to
attempts to travel to Iraq or Syria.
men are suspected of wanting to attack civilians at a major event in the
Netherlands, the Dutch secret service (AIVD) said, but a possible target was
Netherlands has been largely spared the kind of terror attacks which have
rocked its closest European neighbors in the past few years, but there has been
a series of recent scares.
arrests came three months after two men were arrested in Rotterdam on suspicion
of preparing attacks in France and the Netherlands.
arrests also come a month after a 19-year-old Afghan with a German residence
permit stabbed and injured two American tourists at Amsterdam’s busy Central
Station before being shot and wounded.
Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Friday that thousands of terrorists
were walking freely in Germany.
at a dinner given in his, as well as his spouse's honor by German President
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Erdogan criticized Germany about the PKK terror group
and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
of members of PKK, which is recognized as a terror group by the EU, walk freely
in Germany", Erdogan stressed.
said PKK terrorists make demonstrations in major German streets and held
posters of the head of the jailed PKK terror leader Abdullah Ocalan.
said these activities were prohibited according to the German law and asked:
"Then why are these [events] allowed?"
president said a so-called journalist who was convicted to five years in prison
in Turkey had fled to Germany and was being treated with great respect in
was referring Can Dundar, the former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily, who
was convicted by a Turkish court for espionage.
May, 2016, the 14th High Criminal Court in Istanbul had convicted Dundar and
Erdem Gul, another journalist of the daily, following the publication of images
purporting to show arms being transported to Syria in trucks belonging to
Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, also known as the MIT.
person has not been extradited to Turkey although there exists an agreement on
the extradition of prisoners between both countries, Erdogan said.
FETO terror organization, unfortunately, hundreds, thousands of them are
walking freely in Germany," he stressed.
its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has been
responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and
Neo-nazi scandal has shaken German police on Friday during Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s state visit to Berlin.
forces officers, deployed in Berlin to protect the Turkish president, used the
codename of a prominent neo-Nazi figure “Uwe Bohnhardt” during their
assignment, the police confirmed on Friday.
Boehnhardt was one of the three members of Neo-nazi terorist organization
National Socialist Underground (NSU), which killed eight Turkish immigrants, a
Greek citizen and a German police officer between 2000 and 2007.
police deportment of the eastern federal state of Saxony said in a statement
that two officers from its special forces were immediately recalled and an
internal investigation was launched on the incident.
could be suspended according to the result of the investigation, it said.
two police officers were temporarily deployed in Berlin and were originally
from the special forces (SEK) unit of Saxony.
murders of the NSU and its dubious contacts with informants of the domestic
intelligence agency has long been a source of speculation in German media as
the murders had long remained unresolved.
existence of the neo-Nazi group was only revealed in 2011, when two members --
Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Bohnhardt -- died in an apparent murder-suicide after an
unsuccessful bank robbery and police found guns and propaganda in their
Zschaepe, the group’s last surviving member, denied any role in the NSU, and
provided no new information about the murders.
2011, Germany’s police and intelligence services ruled out any racial motive
for the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects.
scandal surrounding the neo-Nazi NSU has led to widespread criticism of police
and security agencies, and accusations of institutional racism.
M: Recognise Palestine and terrorism will stop
YORK, Sept 29 ― Global terrorism can end if Palestine is recognised and Israel
is stopped, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the United Nations
Mahathir said after Palestinian land was “seized” in 1948 to form the state of
Israel, Palestinians were massacred and evicted from their land.
tried to fight a conventional war with help from sympathetic neighbours. The
friends of Israel ensured this attempt failed. More Palestinian land was
and angry, unable to fight a conventional war, the Palestinians resort to what
we call terrorism,” Dr Mahathir said in his statement to the 73rd UN General
Assembly here yesterday.
pointed out that because of this, no one and no country was safe.
fight the ‘terrorists’ all kinds of security measures, all kinds of gadgets and
equipment are deployed. Big Brother is watching. But the acts of terror
pointed out that Malaysia fought bandits and terrorists during independence and
defeated them by using the military, but more importantly Malaysia had also won
their hearts and minds.
world does not care even when Israel breaks international laws, seizing ships
carrying medicine, food and building materials in international waters. The
Palestinians fired ineffective rockets which hurt no one.
retaliations were mounted by Israel, rocketing and bombing hospitals, schools
and other buildings, killing innocent civilians including school children and
of stopping Israel, Dr Mahathir said the world rewarded Israel, including by
deliberately “provoking Palestine by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of
is the anger and frustration of the Palestinians and their sympathisers that
cause them to resort to what we call terrorism. But it is important to
acknowledge that any act which terrify people also constitute terrorism. And
states dropping bombs or launching rockets which maim and kill innocent people
also terrify people. These are also acts of terrorism.”
hates terrorism. We will fight them. But we believe that the only way to fight
terrorism is to remove the cause. Let the Palestinians return to reclaim their
land. Let there be a state of Palestine. Let there be justice and the rule of
law. Warring against them will not stop terrorism. Nor will out-terrorising
also hit out at the Myanmar government and Aung San Suu Kyi for the massacre of
believe in non-interference in the internal affairs of nations. But does the
world watch massacres being carried out and do nothing? Nations are
does this mean they have a right to massacre their own people, because they are
independent?” he said.
Mahathir was referring to the situation in the state of Rakhine in Myanmar,
where thousands of Muslims have been massacred and displaced by the
M: Malaysia won't repeal sodomy law, goes against Islam
LUMPUR, Sept 29 ― Malaysia will not abolish its laws against sodomy as it
cannot be tolerated here, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said.
an interview published by the Wall Street Journal, Dr Mahathir said that the
act of sodomy goes against Islam.
are a Muslim nation, and we do not tolerate sodomy. The rest of the world may
tolerate it, but we cannot. That is against our religion,” he was quoted
telling Tunku Varadarajan, an executive editor at Stanford University’s Hoover
Mahathir was also interviewed on the first imprisonment that his former deputy
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had to go through almost two decades ago.
was in 1999 and in 2000 sentenced to jail over corruption and sodomy although
the convictions were later overturned, and he served a five-year jail term over
sodomy since February 2015 until he received a royal pardon this May.
an interview aired last week by Al Jazeera English's UpFront programme, Anwar
had maintained his previous stand that Malaysia's laws against sodomy are
archaic, calling such laws “unjust” as anyone could be accused without proper
had said the laws must be amended to ensure that there was justice in the
process, and that it would not be about the sexual orientation of a person.
is punishable as a criminal offence in Malaysia through Section 377A of the
Penal Code, which criminalises “carnal intercourse against the order of
nature”; and is punishable with up to 20 years' jail and whipping.
Malaysia's brand of Islam and compassion
the same interview, Dr Mahathir disagreed with the Western world's definition
of Islamic fundamentalism, contrasting it with what was being practised in
Malaysia, we believe that what we practice is Islamic fundamentalism. If you go
according to the teachings of Islam, you will be able to set up a good society,
a good government. You will not be oppressive,” he was quoted saying to
Mahathir said the Western world's view of Islamic fundamentalism was actually
“not Islam at all” but represented a deviation from the teachings of Islam.
have some people [in Malaysia] who are attracted to these deviations, but we
have been able to argue against them. And by and large, the people support us,”
he said in the same interview.
Mahathir reportedly hinted at his own objection to Terengganu's Shariah court's
controversial decision to cane two Muslim women six times each for allegedly
attempting lesbian sex, arguing that his view represents the Islamic position
of showing compassion.
not a moderate position, it’s an Islamic position. I mean, in Islam there is
tolerance. We have to be merciful and compassionate. There are other forms of
punishment. It’s not necessary to cane these people, so we objected to that. It
gives a very bad impression of Islam,” he said of the Terengganu court’s
Mahathir said the two women should have been given counselling instead of being
PM Mahathir Mohamad laments world’s ‘pain’ in first speech to UN in 15 years
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has criticised growing political, economic and
social turmoil around the world, saying the situation has only worsened since
the start of the century.
93-year-old Mahathir told the UN General Assembly on Friday that when he last
spoke to the forum in 2003, soon before retiring, “I lamented how the world had
lost its way”.
returned to politics this year and said that “if at all, the world is far worse
than 15 years ago”.
cited the trade fight between China and the United States, saying that “the
rest of the world is feeling the pain”.
the political arena, he pointed to global problems related to the huge influx
of migrants around the world, wars that have been spurred on by terrorism, the
worsening plight of the Palestinians and alarming situation in Myanmar where he
said Muslim refugees have been forced to flee.
asked fellow leaders: “Nations are independent, but does this mean that they
have a right to massacre their own people?”
the new reality that he faces as a returning leader, Mahathir praised the
democratic achievement of his country that for the first time in 61 years
decided to change its government.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad addresses the UN. Photo: Xinhua
return to the world stage followed a remarkable election campaign this year to
unseat Najib Razak, a former Mahathir protégé.
discontent with Malaysia’s political status quo, intensified by spiralling
corruption scandals surrounding Razak, compelled his mentor to head up an
opposition coalition and bring down the ruling party he had dominated for
Friday, Malaysia’s nonagenarian leader stressed that the “new Malaysia” wants
to be a “friend to all and enemy of none” to remain neutral and non-aligned.
his political comeback, Mahathir has adopted a firmer stand in tackling a
decades-old territorial row in the South China Sea amid China’s aggressive
expansion in the disputed area.
said that Japan’s pacifist constitution stands out in the world for embodying
peace and should be emulated, but not revised.
is the only country that does not want to be involved in wars, aggressive
wars,” he said at a press conference after delivering his speech at the UN.
Japan revises its constitution and allows itself to go to war then I think we
are making a very regressive step. Instead of promoting peace, Japan will join
all the other countries in the world about using war to settle problems.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to achieve his long-term goal of revising the
Japanese pacifist constitution to legitimise Japan’s Self-Defence Force.
said he agreed with the ideal of rejecting wars and was considering following
the Japan model for his own country.
are thinking about following Japan’s current constitution which does not allow
Japan to go to war – we don’t want to go to war either,” he said.
LUMPUR: People's Justice Party (PKR) president-elect Anwar Ibrahim on Friday
(Sep 28) said he hoped that Port Dickson voters will make a wise decision and
elect him as their Member of Parliament in the upcoming by-election.
(God willing), the voters will make a wise decision,” he told reporters.
said he believed he could win the seat as he had an excellent track record of
having championed the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) personnel and veterans of
the garrison town which Port Dickson town is known as.
(former prime minister) Najib Razak proposed that the Sungai Besi Camp be privatised
to Jho Low and gang, I objected to it in Parliament and insisted on protecting
the rights of the (army) veterans.
(Parliament) record is very clear and I believe the voters can access it (in
the Parliament Hansard),” he said.
also said he would go down to the ground to meet the voters and offer his
services to them.
was speaking to reporters after the conclusion of proceedings in the defamation
suit he had filed against former Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for Permatang
Pauh, Mazlan Ismail, in the High Court.
asked about his thoughts regarding a Port Dickson voter who had filed a
judicial review seeking a court order to declare the resignation of Danyal
Balagopal Abdullah as its MP to be null and void, Anwar said that it would not
affect the election process.
is only a move by certain quarters to prevent me (from contesting). Certain
quarters have tried for 20 years to stop me continuously. But, I am confident,
InsyaAllah (God willing), that the voters will make a wise decision,” he said.
Balagopal, 68, vacated the seat on Sep 12 to enable Anwar to contest the
by-election and become an MP.
Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) has named armed forces veteran Mohd Nazari
Mokhtar, 57, as its candidate.
candidates who will challenge Anwar include former Negeri Sembilan head of the
state government Mohd Isa Abdul Samad and social media personality Stevie Chan
Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) has also indicated interest in fielding a candidate.
nomination for the by-election is Sep 28 and polling on Oct 13.
Coalition denies issuing an arrest warrant for Al-Harizi
Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Arab Coalition to Support Legitimacy in
Yemen, has denied media reports suggesting that a warrant has been issued for
the arrest of Ali Al-Harizi, the former deputy governor of Al-Mahra province.
said the coalition gave no such orders or instructions, and that official
organizations in Yemen representing local authorities and security forces
specialize in such matters.
added that operations “Restore Hope” and “Decisive Storm” are the current
priority for coalition forces.
warning to US, Saudi, UAE: Don't cross our red lines
senior IRGC commander says Saudi Arabia and the UAE must await the Iranian
nation’s crushing response if they keep crossing the Islamic Republic’s red
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General
Hossein Salami told Friday prayer worshipers in Tehran the two Arab countries
must either respect Iran’s red lines or face retaliation.
referred to the recent terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz,
southwest of Iran, where 24 people were killed and 68 others injured.
said those who hatched the blind plot were supported by regional elements
including the nasty triangle of the US, Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia.
hatching plots against others, you’re not invincible. You are sitting in your
glass palaces, and you can't withstand the blade of the Iranian nation’s
revenge," he said.
self-restraint is deeply rooted in our revolutionary nobility, but if you cross
our red lines, we will surely cross yours. You know the storm the Iranian
nation can create," he added, warning that the storm can sweep the whole
commander referred to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi as the main sources of security
tensions in certain parts of Iran, and warned that they would suffer a crushing
response if they try to spread regional insecurity to Iran.
Mohammad-Ali Movahed Kermani, the Friday prayers leader of Tehran, also told
worshipers US and Israeli bases in the Middle East would not be safe anymore if
they made the slightest mistake.
US and Israel would rue the day as their bases would not be safe anymore if they
make the slightest mistake,” the cleric warned.
on Monday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said
Iran will severely punish those “cowardly” elements who were behind the Ahvaz
to reports, this cowardly act has been perpetrated by the same people who are
saved by Americans whenever they face a difficult situation in Iraq and Syria”
and whose operations are being financed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the Leader
after the attack, Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political adviser to Emirati Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, said the Ahvaz incident was justified and that
"attacking a military target is not a terrorist act".
the battle deeper inside Iran is a declared option and will increase during the
next phase,” he added.
response to the “idiotic” remarks, Iran summoned the UAE charge d'affaires on
Sunday to convey Iran’s strong protest.
rebels forced from their towns when government forces retook eastern Ghouta
near Damascus are starting over in the far north, aiming to build hundreds of
homes for displaced fighters and civilians on opposition-held land near the
Al Islam, one of Syria's most prominent rebel groups, likens the project to a
new town for people from eastern Ghouta who have been living in camps since
President Bashar Al Assad recaptured their area in April.
project near the city of Al Bab points to preparations for a long stay in
northern Syria, though Jaish Al Islam insists that the people displaced from
eastern Ghouta will return. It is part of a wider effort by the group to
recover in the north.
Al Islam commander Issam Al Buwaydani told Reuters in an interview that his
group is reorganising and rearming. Since arriving in the north, it is
operating under the "National Army" umbrella - a Turkish-backed
effort to unify numerous factions.
civilian affairs are also a top priority: Mr Buwaydani said a mall, a school, a
mosque and a clinic would also be built at the construction site some 15 km
from Al Bab.
entire combat group is working today in construction," said Abu Jaafar Al
Khouli, 25, one of the fighters working at the construction site.
took part in many battles in Ghouta against the regime and the Nusra Front.
Now, I have returned to my original profession," added Mr Khouli, a
carpenter before Syria's civil war.
site, where the goal is to build 1,400 homes, is part of an arc of territory in
the northwest that forms the last major opposition-held area in Syria.
eastern Ghouta rebels defended their stronghold on the Damascus outskirts
through years of government siege until earlier this year, when Mr Al Assad
took back the area in a ferocious Russian-backed offensive.
it fell, thousands of people opted to take safe passage to the northwest rather
than live under government rule, a pattern seen elsewhere that has left the
northwest crammed with anti-Assad fighters and dissidents from all over Syria.
Al Islam headed to the area north of Aleppo rather than Idlib province because
of long-standing hostility towards the Nusra Front, also known as Tahrir Al
Sham, which has a strong presence in Idlib.
housing project is being built on land that officially belongs to the Syrian
state. Permission was granted by the opposition-run council in Al Bab,
is being provided by Ghouta merchants with no foreign funding, he said.
noted that some displaced Syrians had been living under canvass for three or
four years, adding: "Our view is that living in tents has a negative
impact on society."
first phase of the project will lay foundations for homes. These will then be
handed free of charge to Ghouta residents who will complete the construction
with financial support from relatives outside Syria, he said.
this does not signal any acceptance that they will not return to Ghouta.
"We will go back to our towns. We will liberate them and topple the
terrorist tyrant," Mr Buwaydani said, referring to President Al Assad.
Buwaydani says his fighters are getting financial aid from Turkey in the form
said the group is ready for new battles against the Syrian government or other
enemies, including the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia which controls much of
northern Syria. Turkey views the YPG as a national security threat, and its
intervention in northern Syria has been driven largely by this concern.
United States announced on Friday it will effectively close its consulate in
the southern Iraqi city of Basra and relocate diplomatic personnel assigned
there following increasing threats from Iran and Iran-backed militia, including
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered that all but emergency staff leave
Basra, with consular duties to be taken over by the embassy in Baghdad. Basra
is Iraq’s main port and one of its largest cities.
decision adds to mounting tension between the United States and Iran, which is
the target of increasing US economic sanctions.
as he explained the move, renewed a warning that the United States would hold
Iran directly responsible for attacks on Americans and US diplomatic
followed recent rocket attacks that Pompeo said were directed at the consulate
who has made rolling back Iranian influence in the region a top priority,
blamed militias linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for “indirect fire” --
which usually means rockets or artillery -- against the US consulate.
have advised the government of Iran that the United States will hold Iran
directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities
in Iraq or elsewhere and whether perpetrated by Iranian forces directly or by
associated proxy militias,” he said in a statement while in New York to attend
the UN General Assembly.
have made clear that Iran should understand that the United States will respond
promptly and appropriately to any such attacks,” he added.
did not explicitly say whether a US response was imminent, however, and other
US officials did not disclose potential response options.
Pompeo said the threats against US personnel and facilities in Iraq were
“increasing and specific” and added that Washington was working with Iraqi
forces and US allies to address them.
look to all international parties interested in peace and stability in Iraq and
the region to reinforce our message to Iran regarding the unacceptability of
their behavior,” he said.
this month three mortar rounds also hit the fortified Green Zone area in
Baghdad, home to the US embassy, without causing injuries and with the
security is a key priority for the United States and Pompeo, who as a
congressman went on the offensive against former secretary of state Hillary
Clinton over a deadly attack on the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of
death and destruction'
a statement, the US State Department said the consulate was placed on “ordered
departure,” which technically involves a drawdown in staff. Although some
personnel could remain on the diplomatic compound, the move is believed to
effectively close the consulate, at least temporarily.
decision came days after US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani exchanged taunts at the United Nations General Assembly, with Trump
vowing more sanctions and accusing Iran's leaders of sowing “chaos, death and
national security adviser, John Bolton, speaking at a nearby event in New York
on Tuesday, warned “there will indeed be hell to pay” if Iran crosses the
United States, its allies or harms US citizens.
May, Trump withdrew the United States from an international deal to put curbs
on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.
has already been rocked by violent protests seen by experts as a rejection of
the Iraqi political establishment that has held on to power.
in Basra ransacked and torched Iraqi government buildings this month and the
Iranian consulate was set alight by demonstrators shouting condemnation of what
many see as Iran's sway over Iraq's affairs.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Gebran Bassil condemned on Friday the statement
made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he said that Israel
would “fight” Iran in Lebanon, in reference to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
who is in New York attending the meetings of the United Nations General
Assembly, said that Isarel is re-inventing pretexts to justify the aggression,
and from "the platform of international legitimacy" (the UN) is
preparing to violate the sovereignty of states, forgetting that Lebanon once
defeated its aggression, he said.
Aviv hinted at targeting Hezbollah positions in Beirut, with the announcement
of the Israeli army that it detected Hezbollah factories in the heart of the
Lebanese capital, manufacturing precision guided missiles. Full story
Arabia and its allies in Yemen have strongly criticized a UN human rights
mission as its mandate comes up for renewal over what they called a biased
report on “war crimes” in the country.
said on Friday any extension should be a matter for former president Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi whose side already announced Thursday that it was ending cooperation
with the UN investigation.
kingdom again took strong issue with an August 28 report, by the panel, which
said that Saudi airstrikes had caused "most of the documented civilian
casualties" and voiced "serious concerns about the targeting
Saudi Information Ministry criticized the "inaccuracy of the information
in the report, which was derived from non-governmental organizations and the
testimonies of some persons whose circumstances are unknown."
statement carried by Yemen's Saba news agency on Friday said Hadi's side
"refuses to extend the mission’s mandate because its findings, outlined in
the report, did not meet the standards of professionalism and impartiality or
the basic principles of the United Nations.”
Arabia launched the war on Yemen with the aim of bringing the Hadi government
back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands others injured since the onset of
the Saudi aggression.
than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the
United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
estimated five million Yemeni children may not see their next birthday in a war
the UN children’s fund has described as a “living hell” for minors, with 18
million of its 29 million population food insecure.
World Food Program (WFP) warned on Thursday that there “very well could be”
famine in remote areas of the country, where the UN’s food agency does not have
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced
on Friday that the leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France planned
to hold a summit next month on the situation in war-ravaged Syria.
are in favor of a four-way meeting with the presidents of Turkey, Russia and
France and myself because the situation (in Syria) is still fragile,” Merkel
told reporters after talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “We aim
to do this in October.”
said the talks were particularly urgent in light of the fraught situation in
Syria’s opposition-controlled province of Idlib.
think the Syrian file is stuck in the same region and must be dealt with
quickly,” said Bahia Mardini, a human rights campaigner and the founder of
Syrian House, an organization dedicated to helping Syrians in the UK. Speaking
to Arab News, she said the Syrians wanted a political solution soon.
no longer attach much hope to the conferences and meetings and summits. We want
international consensus and a speedy resolution of the Syrian file that
guarantees the return of all Syrians and ensures their safety and property,”
a joint statement by the foreign ministers of Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan,
Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US, stressed the need for the urgent convening of
a constitutional committee to advance the UN’s efforts to achieve a political
solution to the conflict on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
Syrian conflict has dragged on for more than seven years at the expense of
hundreds of thousands of lives lost and millions forcibly displaced by violence
both within Syria and beyond its borders. There is an urgent need for concerted
diplomacy and international political will to end the conflict. There is no
military solution to the war and no alternative to a political solution,” said
added: “We affirm in the strongest terms that those who seek a military
solution will only succeed in increasing the risk of a dangerous escalation and
wider conflagration of the crisis to the region and beyond.”
a senior American official has said that the US would stay in Syria as long as
Iran maintains its presence, but the US role will not necessarily involve
Jeffrey, the US special representative on Syria, was clarifying recent comments
by senior officials who appeared to suggest that troops would stay indefinitely
to counter Iran.
if President Donald Trump was making US withdrawal contingent on the removal of
Iranian forces, Jeffrey told reporters on the sidelines of the UN: “The
president wants us in Syria until that and the other conditions are met. But he
added: “’Us’ is not necessarily American boots on the ground.”
“Boots on the ground have the current mission
of the enduring defeat of Daesh.”
Seventeen UN human rights experts criticized Egypt on Friday for its use of
anti-terrorism laws to detain activists fighting for women’s rights and against
graft, torture and extra-judicial killings. The experts’ joint statement,
unusual for attracting such a large number of signatories, named activists who
had been detained for months, highlighting the case of women’s rights
campaigner Amal Fathy.
verdict will be announced on Saturday, on charges of “incitement to overthrow
the regime, terrorism, and publishing fake news in relation to her efforts to
promote women’s rights,” the UN statement said.
are gravely concerned at the human rights defenders’ prolonged periods of
detention, reportedly arising from their peaceful and legitimate defense of
human rights,” they said.
17 independent experts all investigate rights for the UN Human Rights Council,
which wrapped up a three-week session on Friday without any scrutiny of Egypt.
systematic targeting of human rights defenders is yet another indication that
the Egyptian Government is operating a zero-tolerance approach to dissent,
which is often suppressed under the pretext of countering terrorism,” they
officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on their
this month Amnesty International, a human rights charity, said Egypt had become
an “open-air prison” under President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
convert from London convicted after bid to join Al-Shabaab terror group
suspect: Trevor Mulindwa, 21, tried to travel to Somalia Metropolitan Police
Muslim convert who became radicalised while living in London has been convicted
of attempting to join the Al-Shabaab terror group in Somalia.
Mulindwa, 21, was found with six terrorist and propaganda films after being
arrested at Heathrow on his way to Mogadishu in September 2014 - including one
about a UK jihadi who went to fight in Syria.
had converted to Islam in August the previous year, and became 'particularly
interested' in the Al-Shabaab group, an Al Qaeda offshoot responsible for
atrocities across east Africa.
had been discharged from hospital as a prisoner on licence just two weeks
before he was intercepted at Heathrow.
was today convicted at Kingston Crown Court under Section 5 of the Terrorism
Act of preparing to go to Somalia with the intent of joining Al-Shabaab, a
Richard Walton, of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command appealed to London's
Muslim community to contact Scotland Yard if they become aware of anyone who is
planning to travel abroad to fight alongside terror groups.
said: "Al-Shabaab have been engaged over the past years in a range of
terrorist atrocities in Somalia and Kenya and have also in the past planned
attacks against the UK.
are now faced with the challenge of radicalised British nationals attempting to
join many different terrorist groups in a variety of different countries.
will continue to do all we can to stop their travel to prevent them becoming
trained terrorists and potentially returning back to the UK as a greater threat
with the intention of carrying out attacks here.'
of Mitcham, is due to be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Thursday,
Air Forces ready for joint military exercises with Tunisia
The commander of the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF), Maj. Gen. Turki bin Bandar
bin Abdul Aziz, has announced that Saudi forces are ready to begin joint
military exercises in Tunisia next week.
for the joint exercises have been completed,” added Saudi commander Mohammed
bin Saeed Al-Shahrani, highlighting the readiness of all air, technical and
administrative crews under the supervision of the air force commander.
said the exercises are part of the annual Ministry of Defense training plans
for the armed forces, and that they help to strengthen relations and
cooperation between the Royal Saudi Air Force and the Tunisian Air Force,
refine the skills of air crews, offer a chance to exchange experiences in the
fields of technical supply and support, improve combat skills to enhance joint
performance, and train air crews to carry out operations in different
also pointed out that the maneuvers aim to highlight the capabilities,
professionalism and readiness of the Saudi air forces.
Tunisia: Tunisia and Italy have agreed to step up efforts to send Tunisian
migrants identified as illegally staying in Italy back to their home country
and to improve the cooperation between their governments.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, speaking during an official visit to Tunisia,
said the “the priority is to improve the conditions of return of these
said both countries agreed to fight “against the trafficking of human beings
... and to limit the number of deaths” of those crossing the Mediterranean Sea
from North Africa to Europe. The International Organization for Migration says
over 1,600 people have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year.
also pledged to work on additional Italian investments to create jobs
especially in southern Tunisia, where most Tunisian migrants come from.
wants to become Tunisia’s No. 1 economic, commercial, cultural and tourist
partner, Salvini said.
counterpart, Hichem Fourati, said Tunisian authorities were ready to accept
returns of confirmed Tunisian citizens. He referred to a 2011 agreement between
Tunis and Rome that allows authorities to send back 45 people to Tunisia per
stressed that “more than 500 people accused of human smuggling” have been
arrested this year.
Syria's official news agency says the Nasseeb border crossing on the
Syrian-Jordanian border has opened and the movement of trucks and transit
across the border has begun.
quoting the Syrian Transport Ministry, says the crossing was reopened Saturday.
troops captured the crossing in July after rebels reached an agreement with
Russian mediators to end the violence in the southern province of Daraa and
surrender the crossing.
crossing is of particular importance as it constitutes an important economic
artery for the neighboring countries. It is the only outlet that links them
with foreign markets for their agricultural products.
NATIONS, United States: After a month of militia clashes that left more than
100 people dead, Libya’s UN-backed foreign minister on Friday called for the
country’s UN political mission to transform into a “security and stability”
Siala, foreign minister of the UN-backed Libyan unity government, did not
specify if he had in mind a UN peacekeeping mission.
must be given to security, to stability,” he told the United Nations General
call for conversion of UNSMIL, which is a special political mission, into a
mission of support for Libya’s security and stability,” he said without
providing further detail.
United Nations Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL), led by Ghassan Salame, was
set up in 2011 to assist the country’s new authorities after the NATO-backed
revolution which ousted Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
has focused on fostering political dialogue to help the North African country’s
transition to democracy.
a UN-brokered agreement, the unity government was set up in Tripoli but it is
not recognized by a rival administration supported by military strongman
Khalifa Haftar in Libya’s east.
itself has been at the center of a battle for influence between armed groups
with shifting allegiances. A month of clashes left more than 100 dead south of
the city before the unity government on Wednesday announced a cease-fire deal
between rival militias.
welcomed the efforts of UNSMIL which he said enabled the conclusion of the
Arabia supports Donald Trump’s strategy to counter Iran, says Jubeir
foreign minister Adel Al Jubeir addressed the United Nations late on Friday,
declaring Riyadh’s support to the Trump administration's new strategy to
Arabia “supports the new US strategy to counter Iran including its seriousness
to address the nuclear issue and ballistic missile program and support for
terrorism,” Mr Jubeir told the gathering.
Jubeir opened his speech, however, with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,
saying “the Palestinian cause was and remains the central and core issue for my
country and the Islamic world.” He emphasised Saudi’s longstanding position
“believing in the Palestinian right for establishing a Palestinian independent
state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital and based on UN
resolutions and the Arab peace initiative.”
Jubeir committed to a political solution in Yemen based on the GCC initiative,
the Yemeni dialogue and UN resolution 2216. But he lambasted “the terrorist
Houthi militias affiliated with Iran” and “their launching of
Iranian-Manufactured and originated ballistic missiles.” He also renewed
Saudi’s commitment to continue humanitarian efforts.
broadly on Iran, Mr Jubeir said Saudi Arabia “supports the new US strategy to
counter Iran” and argued that achieving peace and stability in the Middle East
requires deterring Iran whom he accused of “establishing terrorist armed
militias, supplying them with ballistic missiles, assassinating diplomats, and
attacking diplomatic missions in addition to inciting sectarianism and
interfering in regional states’ affairs.”
the Qatar crisis, Mr Jubeir it is “not acceptable for Qatar to continue on a
path” that “supports terrorism and harbours extremism and not committing to
Riyadh agreement pledges from 2013 and its supplement in 2014.”
was no other choice but to boycott it,” he told the UN General Assembly.
Saudi chief diplomat reiterated his commitment to UN resolution 2254 on Syria,
and a political solution based on Geneva agreement. He said Riyadh has worked
to unify the opposition and supports a unified, secure and stable Syria
rejecting foreign intervention or attempts to divide the country.
Libya, Mr Jubeir said his country supports the Sukheirat agreement and UN
efforts led by envoy Ghassan Salame.
Jubeir highlighted Saudi’s success story with Ethiopia and Eritrea. “Saudi is
committed to peaceful resolution to conflicts” references brokering peace
treaty between those two countries signed this month in Jeddah.
files ICJ complaint over US Embassy in Jerusalem
International Court of Justice on Friday said it has received a complaint from
the "State of Palestine" against the United States, arguing that the
US government's placement of its Israeli embassy in Jerusalem violates an
international treaty and it should be removed.
ICJ, known as the World Court, said in a statement Palestine argues the 1961
Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations requires a country to locate its
embassy on the territory of a host state. While Israel controls Jerusalem
militarily, its ownership is disputed.
December, US President Donald Trump ordered the American embassy in Israel
relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the new embassy opened in May.
Palestinian suit requests the court “to order the United States of America to
withdraw (its) diplomatic mission from the Holy City of Jerusalem."
Iranian regime is spreading extremism and terror in the region and the world,
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Friday.
a press conference in Washington, Nauert pointed out that the Iranian people
need the help and support of the international community to counter the regime
Iranian regime is restricting religious freedoms in the country,” said the
spokeswoman for the State Department.
further said: “The Iranian regime continues to arrest its opponents and
practises torture and persecution of prisoners.”
expressed displeasure with the Iranian regime’s restriction of religious
freedoms in the country.
a meeting with his counterparts in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, and
Jordan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for an end to Iran’s malicious
activity in the region, stressing the importance of defeating ISIS and other
terrorist organizations and achieving peace and stability in Syria and Yemen.
Department spokeswoman Heather Neuert said on Friday that the meeting discussed
the establishment of a "Middle East strategic alliance” to promote
security and stability in the region.
US State Department said Pompeo stressed the need to defeat ISIS and other
terrorist organizations, end the conflicts in Syria and Yemen and secure Iraq
and “stop the malicious Iranian activity in the region.”
the participants agreed on the need to confront threats from Iran to the region
and the United States,” the ministry said in a statement.
Palestinians killed, 500 injured by Israeli fire in Gaza border clashes
Palestinians, including a 14-year-old, were killed and more than 500 injured by
Israeli fire in new clashes along the Gaza border Friday, according to Al
the other hand, the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled strip said that
Mohammed al-Houm, 14, and Iyad Al-Shaar, 18, were shot in separate incidents
“by live ammunition from the (Israeli) occupation forces”.
spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP that two more Palestinians had been shot
dead, without immediately identifying them.
Israeli army said some 20,000 “rioters” had gathered at multiple sites along
said the protestors hurled “grenades and explosive devices in several different
said troops were firing “in accordance with standard operating procedures” but
did not go into specific cases.
have been protesting at least weekly along the Gaza border since March.
least 191 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in that time, the
majority during border protests.
numbers have been hit by airstrikes or tank fire.
protests are demanding the right of Palestinian refugees to be allowed to
return to their homes, now in Israel.
says any such mass return would mean the end of it as a Jewish state and
accuses Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas of orchestrating the protests.
Turkish army “neutralized” 37 PKK terrorists on Turkish soil and in northern
Iraq over the past week, the military said on Friday.
authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to
imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or
a weekly statement, the Turkish General Staff said the army conducted
anti-terror operations in Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak, Siirt, Diyarbakir,
Mardin and Agri provinces, as well as in regions of northern Iraq between Sept.
statement noted that 20 terrorists were neutralized on Turkish soil, while 17
others were neutralized in northern Iraq.
Yemeni National Army carried out several operations against Houthi militias in
the al-Bayda and al-Hodeidah provinces, resulting in deaths of dozens including
four of its leaders in al-Bayda.
sources said that those killed included Houthi leaders Jamal Yahya al-Dailami,
Mohammed al-Ansi, Mattar Mohsen Muqaddam, one of the leaders from al-Jouf
province, and Abdul Karim Ali al-‘Azzi, the supply and distribution officer.
the western coast, the forces carried out an operation in coordination with the
Arab Coalition targeting the barracks and sites of the Houthi militias in the
villages of al-Balakma and Mahwah east of the Directorate of Tahita in Hodeidah
operation resulted in the death and wounding of dozens of militias and the
destruction of a weapons store and Houthi ammunition in the villages of Malajm
and Mahwah. Coalition aircraft have launched several raids on militia positions
and locations throughout the east and north of Hodeidah.
sources confirmed that the raids resulted in the destruction of weapons and
reinforcement for the militias located in one of the western suburbs of Halaka
market, which was used by the Houthis as a supply center for its units around
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has censured the United States over its
non-compliance with a deal reached in June on the withdrawal of
Washington-backed Kurdish militants from Syria’s northern city of Manbij.
June, Turkey and the US agreed on a plan for the withdrawal of the so-called
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-dominated and anti-Damascus militant
group that has the support of Washington, from Manbij.
considers the SDF as largely composed of militants from the People's Protection
Units (YPG), viewed by the Turkish government as a terror group and the Syrian
branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The latter has been
fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.
to the deal, the Turkish and American troops are now carrying out patrols in
Manbij to clear the area of the militants.
the Hurriyet newspaper on Friday quoted Erdogan as saying that the YPG
militants remain in the city, adding that the US has not kept up with the
roadmap agreed back in June.
United States certainly did not comply with the agreed calendar of the Manbij
roadmap; YPG did not exit the area. The real owners of the region are not
settled in yet," Erdogan told reporters following his recent visit to New
York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
United States did not keep their promise here," he added.
June agreement ended months of tensions between the two NATO allies over
Washington’s support for Kurdish militants.
US angered Turkey by announcing a plan for the formation of a Kurdish militant
force in Syria near the Turkish border, prompting Ankara in January to launch a
cross-border military operation inside Syria, code-named Operation Olive
Branch, with the declared aim of eliminating the YPG militants from northern
Syria, particularly the Afrin region. Turkish troops captured Afrin in March,
claiming that they had killed scores of YPG militants until then.
this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had threatened to push its
Afrin offensive against the YPG militants eastward to Manbij, where US forces
are stationed, risking confrontation between the NATO allies.
Washington agreed to withdraw the US-backed Kurdish militia from Manbij,
arguably paving the way for Turkish troops to capture the volatile town,
according to the recent US-Turkey deal.
UN Human Rights Council has extended the mandate of Yemen war crimes
investigators, despite attempts by Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies to
bully their way out of accountability for abuses in an atrocious military
campaign against the impoverished Arab country.
Friday, the United Nations' top human rights body voted by 21 votes to eight,
with 18 abstentions, in favor of prolonging a resolution that renewed an
inquiry into human rights in Yemen.
of the resolution, including Canada and the European Union, had argued that an
expert group mandated by the Council last year still had work to do, but
opponents alleged it would exacerbate the Yemeni crisis and increase regional
week, Human Rights Watch criticized the Riyadh regime's “campaign to discredit
and undermine a UN investigation into abuses by all Yemen's warring parties,”
calling it “yet another blatant attempt to avoid scrutiny of the coalition's
own actions in Yemen.”
investigators said in a report last month that air strikes by the Saudi-led
coalition in the war on Yemen had caused heavy civilian casualties and some may
amount to war crimes. Saudi Arabia rejected their findings.
a salvo of Saudi missiles and artillery rounds rained down on residential areas
in the Monabbih district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada on Friday,
with no immediate reports of casualties and the extent of damage caused.
of private properties were also badly damaged when Saudi forces targeted areas
in the Shada'a district of the same Yemeni province.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Yemen's
former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
turn as president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has shown a
commitment to peace and justice worldwide, including for oppressed Palestinians
and Rohingya and for UN reform, Muslim leaders from the Americas told Anadolu
Agency, marking the OIC’s 49th anniversary.
Israel quadrupled its territory in occupied Palestine over the last 25 years,
Turkey quadrupled its aid to the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
This is very remarkable message to those who forsake the Palestinian people in
their justified struggle for rights and freedom," said Yahya Pedro, head
of the Cuban Islamic League.
said the international community started to take responsibility after Turkey's
initiatives as OIC term president.
assumed the OIC term presidency in 2016 and is due to hold it through next
year’s OIC summit in the West African nation of Gambia.
voice of the Muslim world’
Jamal Badawi, a founding member of the Muslim American Society (MAS), said the
OIC was established in 1969 as “the collective voice of the Muslim world.”
said being an organization of states may have certain advantages but it also
represents a challenge, as its delegates represent the collective voice of
official governments shaped by their own political stances.
keen interest in the well-being of the Muslim world and its hosting the special
summit on Palestine in Istanbul this May could help improve the conditions for
providing an atmosphere of peace, he added.
is bigger than 5’
Suquillo, director of the Islamic Center of Ecuador, underlined the OIC's
importance as the largest intergovernmental structure with countries from Asia,
the Far East, Africa, and the Middle East working for unity and solidarity for
the goals of justice and peace worldwide.
the April 2016 OIC summit, said Suquillo, the bloc’s chair, Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on all members “to unite in fighting armed groups
as well as to restructure the UN Security Council to include a majority-Muslim
country” as Muslims currently make up one-fourth of the world's population.
has summed up his drive to reform the Security Council, to expand it beyond the
current five permanent members, with the slogan, “The world is bigger than
added: “Mr. Erdogan’s phrase ‘The world is bigger than five’ is not only
echoing in the arena of international politics but sets up a landmark of firm
progress in sensitive issues such as the Rohingya Muslim cleansing, terrorism,
Islamophobia, and the political situation following President Trump’s wrong
decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem."
also stressed the importance of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development’s
Executive Bureau as an integral part of the OIC.
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