left: Mahesh Malani, Hari Ram Kishwari Lal and Giyan Chand Essrani. - Photo:
Areas Elect 3 Hindu Candidates in Pakistan’s Sindh
Essential Part of Islam, Can’t Be Subjected to Judicial Scrutiny, SC Told by Dawoodi
Freezes Assets of Pakistanis Linked To Lashkar-e-Taiba
Govt Reiterates Commitment to Empower Islam According To Quran and Authentic
Cleric Abdelaziz Al-Fawzan Arrested Over 'War on Religion' Tweets
ISIS Leader Surrender to Afghan Forces with His 152 Fighters
Rise and Rise of Tehreek-e-Labbaik
yet to nominate CMs of Punjab, KP
Khan to move into Ministers’ Enclave
over poll results to continue, says MMA chief
parties clinch over 9pc share of votes in National Assembly
Iftikhar again receives threat of terrorist attack
groups seen as behind the fall of Nawaz Sharif’s party in Pakistan
denies ECP claims of free and transparent polls: Fazl
asks Imran to ‘open all constituencies’
telephones Imran, congratulates him on victory
Commission Agrees Uniform Civil Code Not Practical In India: Muslim Board
Sena Backs 5% Quota For Muslims In Education, AIMIM Hails ‘Positive’ Move
UP's Meerut, Dalits Threaten To Embrace Islam after Being Denied Entry into Local
Muslim Refugees’ Camp in Hyderabad: Faiz-e-Trust Supplies Tarpaulin
Asks Admn to Seize Properties of Those Who Issued Fatwa to Triple Talaq Victim
Assam Rifles sensitised to prevent entry of Rohingya Muslims: Rajnath Singh
Puts LeT's Abdul Rehman On List Of Specially Designated Global Terrorist
Predicts Iran Talks ‘Pretty Soon’
Incidents Spike after Muslims Are At Centre Of Large-Scale Violence — As
Perpetrators Or Victims
won’t accept terms of surrender for talks with US: Scholar
business leader blasts threats by Trump, Pence
warns against IMF bailout for Pakistan that aids China
Surveillance Expands to Muslims Making Mecca Pilgrimage
Join Charity Run To Build Churches in Indonesia
promoting flying of state flags at religious events
to apologise to Canadian preacher over terrorism claim
Bans Islamic State-Linked Terror Group Behind Child Suicide Bombings
problem’ with non-Muslims holding high political office in Indonesia: Agus
Continue Looting Historical Artefacts in Northwestern Syria
Militants Blackmailing Syrians by Asking for Ransom
released of Japanese, Italian captives in Syria
rights office urges Saudi Arabia to free activists
forces retake Golan Heights frontier with Israel
Faisal Center for Islamic studies signs agreement with Amazon Kindle
Security Forces kill five terrorists, arrest five more
Dead, 15 Wounded As Standoff Ends In Jalalabad City Of Afghanistan
Positive Signals' After US, Taliban Talks: Sources
refugees: Still searching for safety
Islami leaders met with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul
claim over Myanmar's new Rohingya abuse probe
roundly shamed over human rights inquiry panel
Says Trump Offer of Talks Is ‘Humiliation’, Without Value
Moscow, Ankara Urge Countering Plots to Partition Syria
army liberates strategic positions in Nahm province
says willing to meet with Iran leaders ‘any time’
ready to help Tajikistan probe terrorist attack: Foreign Ministry
Israel must explain seizure of Gaza-bound boat
Houthis unilaterally halt retaliatory attacks in Red Sea
Saudi airstrikes leave four civilians dead in western Yemen
Haram: Stop ‘Secret’ Burial of Fallen Soldiers, BBOG Tells Nigerian Govt
Shiite cleric supporters acquitted of protest charges
soldiers, four extremists killed in clash in Algeria
Haram attacks on military bases
'Not Doing Enough' On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Film Festival inspires dialogue between cultures
State claims attack on bicyclists that left 2 Americans, 2 Europeans dead
blames Daesh-claimed attack on opposition
by New Age Islam News Bureau
areas elect 3 Hindu candidates in Pakistan’s Sindh
Hindu candidates of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were elected from the
Muslim-majority areas in Pakistan’s Sindh province in the July 25 general
elections, a media report said today.
Malani won a National Assembly seat from Tharparkar (NA-222) , while Hari Ram
Kishwari Lal and Jamshoro’s Giyanoo Mal alias Giyan Chand Essrani were elected
from the provincial assembly seats PS-147 and PS-81, respectively, the Daily
Times reported today.
the three candidates won from the general seats for the first time ever in the
history of the country.
won his seat from Tharparkar district by bagging 106,630 votes against his
opponent, Arbab Zakaullah who secured only 87,261 votes. The Hindu population
makes up 49 per cent of the total population of Thar desert.
Lal, who is considered a close friend of former president and PPP co-chairman
Asif Ali Zardari, won his seat from Mirpurkhas district, which has total
population of around 15 lakh out of which 23 per cent are Hindus, the paper
secured 33,201 votes against his competitor from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s
Mujeeb-ul-Haque who got 23,506 votes.
belongs to Thano Bola Khan of Sindh’s Kohistan region in Jamshoro district,
which has a substantial Hindu population. He secured 34,927 votes against Malik
Changez Khan who got 26,975 votes.
organisations in Pakistan welcomed the election results of the Hindu candidates
on general seats.
Hindu Sabha Chairman Dr Govind Ram said that nomination of Hindu candidates on
general seats was a wonderful idea.
form the biggest minority community in Pakistan.
to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to
the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country. Majority of
Pakistan’s Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share
culture, traditions and language with their Muslim fellows.
Essential Part Of Islam, Can’t Be Subjected To Judicial Scrutiny, SC Told by
Dawoodi Bohra’s Advocate
Delhi: Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for Dawoodi Bohra
community, justified in the Supreme Court on Tuesday the female genital
mutilation (FGM) and called it an integral aspect of religious practice.
this submission before a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra
and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud hearing petitions from advocate
Sunita Tihar and others challenging the practice of FGM, Dr Singhvi contended
that it has the sanction of religious texts.
said, “It is an essential aspect of Islam and cannot be subjected to judicial
scrutiny. Quoting from religious texts, he demonstrated that this practice has
been followed for centuries.
or ‘khatna’ is a practice prevalent among the Dawoodi Bohra religious community
of Shia sect though it is a crime and punishable offence. This practice is an
age-old tradition in this community to mark the arrival of womanhood. The court
had already orally expressed its disapproval to this practice.
Centre had supported the petitioners stating that the FGM is a crime with a
punishment of seven years of imprisonment “under the existing laws” and that
the court can further clarify on the matter and issue guidelines. It also
pointed out that the United Nations has deprecated this practice and FGM has
been banned in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and 27 African countries and it
should not be allowed to continue.
petitioners have described the practice as “inhuman” and “violative” of girl’s
rights under the Constitution’s Article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 21
(Right to Life). They sought a direction to declare it illegal and
unconstitutional, non-compoundable and a non-bailable offence.
have also asked the court to frame guidelines to curb the practice and to issue
directions to the state police chiefs to take action against those who indulge
in such practice.
freezes assets of Pakistanis linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba
The United States on Tuesday froze the assets of three Pakistanis it has linked
to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
State Department added Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil to its list of “specially
designated global terrorists,” saying he was a senior commander of the group.
US Treasury targeted Hameedul Hassan and Abdul Jabbar, who it said were
responsible for funneling money to LeT and paying salaries to its members.
designations not only aim to expose and shut down Lashkar-e Taiba financial
network, but also to curtail its ability to raise funds to carry out violent
terrorist attacks,” Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury under secretary for terrorism
and financial intelligence, said in a statement, using an alternate spelling of
the group’s name.
designation means all property belonging to the men subject to US jurisdiction
are blocked and Americans are prohibited from engaging in transactions with
or Army of the Pure, is an anti-Indian militant group which has been accused of orchestrating numerous
attacks, including the 2008 assault in Mumbai that killed 166 people, six of
(July 31): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today reiterated the
Government’s commitment to empower Islam in Malaysia according to the teachings
in the Quran and authentic hadiths.
reiterated this during a special meeting with 37 ulama and Muslim intellectuals
at his office here, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr
Mujahid Yusuf Rawa at a press conference held after the two-hour event.
said during the meeting, Mahathir shared the Government’s aspirations to make
Malaysia a model of the best contemporary Muslim nation in the world.
world often connects Islam with violence, war and economic weaknesses.
this matter, Tun Mahathir wants the ulama and Muslim intellectuals to make use
of the openness of the Pakatan Harapan government to show a more compassionate
Islam,” he said.
those who were present at the meeting were Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri
Zainul Abidin, Islamic Centre lecturer in the Faculty of Theology, Oxford
University Datuk Dr Muhammad Afifi Al-Akiti, former president of the Ulama
Association of Malaysia (PUM) Ustaz Ahmad Awang and president of the Malaysian
Consultative Council for Islamic Organisation (Mapim) Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid.
the meeting, the Prime Minister discussed various matters including how to
empower Islamic institutions beyond religious rituals but to also include
science and economics.
said Mahathir also wanted more focus to be given to religious extremists,
especially in the issue of branding fellow Muslims as infidels, as well as on
the Government’s commitment to combat extremist ideologies.
said the Ministry will subsequently hold monthly follow-up meetings with
smaller groups which would be more focused on certain issues than the one the
Prime Minister had today.
cleric Abdelaziz al-Fawzan arrested over 'war on religion' tweets
Arabian authorities are reported to have arrested influential cleric Abdelaziz
al-Fawzan after he spoke out against the arrests of other religious leaders in
arrest was highlighted by Prisoners of Conscience, a Twitter account run by
activists campaigning against the wave of arrests targeting opponents of the
of Conscience said it had received confirmation that Fawzan, a professor of
comparative religious law at the Saudi Higher Institute of Justice, had been
arrested over a tweet in which he had “expressed his opinion against the
suppression of sheikhs and preachers”.
It was confirmed to us that that the Saudi authorities arrested Dr. Abdelaziz
Fawzan, professor of comparative religious law at the Higher Institute of
Justice, against the background of the tweet in which he expressed his opinion
against the suppression of sheikhs and preachers. He warned people against
has been banned from leaving Saudi territory and barred from using social media
networks, Al Jazeera Arabic reported.
cleric, who has more than two million followers on Twitter, criticised the
arrests of other imams and religious leaders in tweets posted on 15 and 16
July, in which he accused Saudi authorities of waging a “war on religion and
this heinous war on religion and values, you should not back the criminals, and
your love for money and status should not lead you to try to please them or
portray their wrongful actions positively, otherwise you would lose this life
and the afterlife," one of the tweets said.
prominent clerics were arrested as part of a wider purge instigated by Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman in September, which also targeted Saudi princes and
high-profile business tycoons.
detained include Salman al-Odah and Awad al-Qarni, two of the country’s most
prominent scholars, who were arrested in September in what was seen as a
crackdown on some of the country’s most influential religious figures.
who was arrested after offering to mediate in the dispute between Saudi Arabia
and Qatar, was reportedly taken to a hospital in January after spending five
months in solitary confinement.
this month, Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a veteran Salafi scholar and leading figure
in Saudi Arabia's Islamic Sahwa (Awakening) reformist movement, was also
Salman is currently overseeing a programme of economic and social reforms. But
he has been criticised by human rights groups for cracking down on opposition
activists, with Human Rights Watch reporting in April that “state repression
against human rights defenders and any form of dissent has only increased under
the crown prince”.
last month arrested a number of prominent women's rights campaigners, just days
before the kingdom ended a decades-long ban on women driving.
ISIS leader surrender to Afghan forces with his 152 fighters
senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) Mawlavi
Habib Ur Rehman surrendered to the Afghan forces together with his 152
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said the ISIS leader
and his fighters have surrendered in Jawzjan province.
statement by Shaheen Corps said the militants surrendered to Afghan forces late
on Tuesday night.
statement further added that Mawlavi Rehman and his militants also handed over
their weapons and some other military kits t the Afghan forces.
anti-government armed militant groups including ISIS loyalists have not
commented regarding the report so far.
has been among the relatively calm provinces in North of Afghanistan but the
security situation of the province has deteriorated during the recent years.
the Taliban and ISIS loyalists operate in some districts of the province and
often carry out terrorist related activities.
comes as sporadic clashes are underway between the Taliban and ISIS militants
in some parts of Jawzjan province.
rise and rise of Tehreek-e-Labbaik
A relatively new anti-blasphemy party whose leader has reportedly vowed to nuke
the Netherlands should he ever come to power did surprisingly well in
Pakistan’s elections last week, which were tainted by the rise of extremist
fundamentalist parties fielded more than 1,500 candidates in Pakistan’s
provincial and national elections that were won by cricket hero turned
politician Imran Khan.
were a major talking point going into the contest with politicians, including
Khan, accused of pandering to their vote-base by trumpeting hardline issues
such as blasphemy.
AFP looks at how the main extremist parties fared during Wednesday’s polls.
performance of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), led by radical preacher Khadim
Hussain Rizvi, will worry mainstream politicians and human rights activists the
group, founded in 2015, entered the national consciousness last year when it
blockaded the capital Islamabad for several weeks calling for stricter
enforcement of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws.
wants the automatic death penalty for anyone deemed to have insulted Islam or
the Prophet Muhammad.
reportedly told journalists recently that if he took power in the nuclear-armed
country he would “wipe Holland off the face of the earth”, over cartoons of the
Prophet Mohammed published there.
for the Netherlands, TLP failed to win any of the 272 seats up for grabs in
Pakistan’s National Assembly.
did, however, capture two seats in the provincial assembly of Sindh.
polled over 2.23 million votes in the national assembly elections, its first
general election, and more than 2.38 million provincial votes, election
commission website data shows.
overall number of votes is very surprising. It’s a really spectacularly rapid
rise,” political commentator Fasi Zaka told AFP.
strong showing is of particular concern to Pakistan’s Ahmadi community, which
has long been targeted by extremists. They consider themselves Muslims but
their beliefs are seen as blasphemous in most mainstream Islamic schools of
linked to Mumbai attacks:
Tehreek was backed by Hafiz Saeed, the man accused of masterminding the 2008
Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. Saeed has been designated a terrorist by
the United Nations and has a $10-million bounty on his head.
Tehreek was formed after Pakistan banned the Milli Muslim League — the
political party of hardline militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is headed by
Saeed — from the election.
of the party’s candidates won seats but they did register more than 435,000
national and regional votes.
said he had expected work done in Punjab by LeT’s long-established charitable
arm — Jamaat-ud-Dawa — to have translated into more votes.
have been in the business of service delivery where the state has not fulfilled
its remit … I think they have underperformed,” he said.
Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) is a radical Sunni group that frequently spouts hatred
against Pakistan’s Shiite minority community, considering them heretics.
we get power in the evening and if a single Shia is alive by the morning in
Pakistan then change my name,” leader Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi told an election
is considered to be the political face of sectarian militant group
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has been behind numerous bloody attacks on
Shiite Muslims in Pakistan.
candidates ran as independents and were known to have won at least one seat, in
the Punjab assembly.
the analyst, said that while votes for extremist parties did not translate into
many seats in a first-past-the-post system, their sizable vote banks will give
them clout in an increasingly competitive political landscape.
interesting thing about this election is not what it says about Pakistan now
but what kind of space it creates for a Pakistan five years down the line,” he
While the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is claiming that it is in a position
to form a coalition government not only in Islamabad but also in three provinces
of the country, the party seems to be in a fix, so far, over the selection of
its nominees for top slots in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
victory in July 25 general elections, the PTI has so far failed to nominate its
chief ministers in KP and Punjab. Intra-party consultations are under way to
nominate suitable candidates for the slot of chief minister in the two
Balochistan, the party has shown its cards by supporting the candidature of
Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) president Jam Kamal Khan Alyani after the two
parties agreed to become allies in the coming provincial coalition.
PTI announced on Tuesday that its chairman Imran Khan will soon decide who will
be next chief ministers of KP and Punjab.
decision regarding chief ministers of KP and Punjab will be taken by PTI
chairman Imran Khan and it will be acceptable to the entire party,” said
Jahangir Tarin, a senior leader of the PTI who has been disqualified by the
Supreme Court in the assets concealment case and barred from holding any public
and party office.
this occasion former KP chief minister Pervez Khattak laid to rest all
speculation that he was eager to become CM for a second time and said he would
accept whatever decision Mr Khan took. “We will accept even if Khan Sahib
brings someone from America for the slot,” he said in a lighter vein.
the inclusion of the BAP’s four MNAs-elect in the PTI camp, the position of
Imran Khan’s party has further strengthened at the Centre as the party’s
spokesman Fawad Chaudhry on Monday claimed to have secured 168 seats of the
lower house of parliament.
the PTI has bagged 116 general seats of the National Assembly (NA). But the
party spokesman claimed on Tuesday that the number of MNAs-elect belonging to or
supporting the PTI had reached 170 with the support of nine independents and
allied parties, while 172 members were required for a simple majority in the
the party has to give up its six NA seats as three of its leaders have contested
elections from more than one seat. Imran Khan contested the polls from five
constituencies and he has to vacate his four seats. Ghulam Sarwar Khan of
Taxila and retired Maj Tahir Sadiq have won two seats and have to vacate one
Khattak has won one each seat of NA and KP Assembly and now the party has to
decide whether he will vacate his national or provincial assembly seat.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), an ally of the PTI, has four NA seats but
two of them have been won by its president Pervez Elahi, who has to vacate one
of the seats.
breakup of the seats in hand, the spokesman said the PTI itself had 145 seats,
including 13 independent candidates who had decided to join or support the
party. Among the allied parties, the BAP has four seats, the Balochistan
National Party-Mengal three, Grand Democratic Alliance two, Muttahida Qaumi
Movement six, PML-Q four and Awami Muslim League one seat in the lower house of
parliament. It is expected that the allies of the PTI will also get three to
four seats reserved for women and minorities.
Tarin, who is mustering support of other parties and independent candidates,
claimed on Tuesday that six MQM MNAs-elect were with the PTI.
Mehmood Qureshi said an independent candidate, Shaukat Laloka, had joined the
PTI on Tuesday.
greets Imran on phone
Imran Khan continued to receive felicitations from the international community
as Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned him on Tuesday to
congratulate him on his party’s success in the elections.
The authorities concerned plan to declare a house in the Ministers’ Enclave as
the official residence of the prime minister-in-waiting, Imran Khan, officials
his victory speech, Imran Khan had announced that he would not use the Prime
Minister’s House as his residence and that his party would later decide the
fate of the building.
after Imran Khan’s victory in the recently-held general elections, the capital
police and the district administration started extending VVIP protocol and
security to the PTI chief, police officials said.
was mounted around Mr Khan and at his Banigala residence, they said.
police officers, including Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Waqar Ahmed
Chohan, visited Mr Khan’s Banigala residence soon after PTI’s victory in the
police team assessed the residence and the area around it, including the hills.
police officials said there was no standard operating procedure for the prime
minister in-waiting, but since Imran Khan is likely to be the next prime minister,
necessary measures have been taken for his security.
police officials, personnel of Islamabad traffic police were also deployed
around his Banigala residence and the road leading to it.
Rangers were also detailed on the nearby mountains.
Chief Commissioner Joudat Ayaz, Inspector General of Police Islamabad Jan
Mohammad along with a couple of other senior officers also visited Banigala
recently and discussed security issues with PTI leader Naeemul Haq as well as
the chief security officer of the residence.
regarding the official residence of the prime minister-in-waiting also came
officials briefed them about the standard operating procedure (SOP) with
regards to security and protocol of the prime minister.
senior officers also met Imran Khan and briefed him about security and
the meeting, the district administration officials told him that his residence
could not be provided foolproof security as the area was open and vulnerable to
there was an option to declare Banigala residence as Imran Khan’s official
Khan then agreed not to use Banigala as his official residence, the officials
few more options were also given to him, including using an accommodation at
the Ministers’ Enclave, which he accepted.
he asked for a lowest category house at the enclave.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) and Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), on Tuesday asked his supporters to continue their
protests against ‘rigged’ election results and announced that a call would soon
be given for the launch of massive protests across the country.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has emerged as a major party in this election only
through rigging,” the Maulana said, adding that the PTI should rather accept
the open involvement of the ‘establishment’ in the election.
a meeting of the MMA held here at the residence of Jamaat-i-Islami deputy chief
Mian Aslam, Maulana Fazl in his press talk several times used the term
‘establishment’ to decry the election results that he said had been concocted.
said all the parties had expressed doubts about the transparency of the
their move to boycott the National Assembly, Maulana Fazl said the MMA
leadership was united, but all the decisions would be made through consensus.
accused the PTI of buying MNAs and said: “The PTI is involved in the country’s
worst horse trading.” There was no reason that the PTI should be making a
cabinet — it should refrain from doing so, he added.
Despite the participation of 12 religious parties in the electoral battle this
year, the far-right groups managed to secure only 5,203,285 (9.58 per cent) of
the total 54,319,922 votes polled across the country as most of them saw a
decline in their vote bank when compared to the 2013 general election.
highest votes in favour of religious parties were cast in Punjab (2,704,856
votes) but that contributed to only 7.98pc of the province’s overall vote bank
— the lowest among all provinces — as per the preliminary results released by
the Election Commission of Pakistan. As compared to Punjab, their performance
was better in Sindh where the religious parties received 1,116,644 votes
(10.57pc of the total votes polled). However, religiously-motivated groups
dominated the electoral space in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where nine parties
collectively secured 18.84pc of the votes polled, followed by Balochistan
recently revived Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) — an alliance of various
religious parties headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s JUI-F and the
Jamaat-i-Islami — managed to secure 12 seats with 2.5 million votes for the
National Assembly. Earlier in 2002, the MMA had emerged as the country’s third
largest party with 3.1 million votes and 59 of its candidates had won. The
alliance disintegrated when the JI boycotted the 2008 general elections. The
JUI-F, however, took part in them. The JUI-F secured 760,000 votes in 2008 and
1.4 million votes in the 2013 general elections, while the JI had secured
960,000 votes in 2013.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Nazryati-Pakistan managed to bag 34,170 votes as compared
to 1,030,98 votes in 2013. Another religious party that did not leave an impact
on the electoral battleground was Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (Noorani) that
received 22,918 votes in contrast to 67,966 votes in 2013.
Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen — which received 41,520 votes last time — managed to
only get 19,597 votes this time. The Sunni Ittehad Council also witnessed a
significant drop in its popularity as it received 5,939 votes only as compared
to 37,732 votes in 2013.
old religious groups failed to make their presence felt this time, new splinter
groups p roved otherwise.
an unexpected front, the newly formed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) — led by
clerics of the Barelvi sect — emerged as the top fifth party which received
2,234,138 votes for the National Assembly, outranking major parties like the
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Awami National Party among others.
the TLP did not secure a seat in the lower house of parliament, its 178 NA and
over 500 provincial assembly candidates contesting elections across the country
contributed significantly to its vote bank. The party bagged the most votes in
Punjab (1,887,419) where it was the only party that had fielded over 100
candidates from the 117 constituencies of the province. The TLP also managed to
govern Punjab’s religious poll bank as its votes make up 69pc of the total
votes given to religious parties (2,704,856) in the region. In Sindh, the party
candidates gave prominent leaders like Dr Farooq Sattar of MQM-P and PPP’s
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari a run for their money.
NA-246 (Karachi South-1), TLP’s candidate Ahmed secured over 3,000 more votes
than the PPP chairman whereas in NA-247 (Karachi South-2), the party’s
candidate secured second position and beat Dr Sattar by a margin of over 500
TLP notched up two seats in the provincial assembly — one from Lyari’s PS-107
and the other from PS-115 (Baldia Town). It also beat the five-party alliance
MMA in Karachi, hijacking the Barelvi vote bank further.
Tehreek-i-Labbaik (Islam) — the political wing of TLP’s Jalali group — also
influenced religious vote bank as it managed to secure over 55,000 votes for
the National Assembly.
the TLP, the Hafiz Saeed-led Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT) was among the top
faring religious parties this election. The AAT is another name for the Milli
Muslim League which had been denied registration by the ECP over links with the
banned Jamaatud Dawa.
AAT had fielded 265 candidates — including 13 women — countrywide. Apart from
Hafiz Waleed, the other prominent AAT candidate was Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha
Saeed who was in the run for a National Assembly seat from Sargodha. The party
did not win any seat.
the AAT — which received 171,356 votes for the National Assembly — emerged in
the top eighth position (seventh largest party) in Punjab with 236, 386 votes,
according to the figures uploaded by the ECP.
Senior politician and ANP general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain has once
again received a ‘suicide attack’ threat and he says this time it is ‘serious’.
has received the warning about attempt on his life at a time when he himself
and his party leaders and workers have announced to take to streets to protest
alleged rigging in the elections and demand fair re-elections.
am concerned as this time there was no mention of my name in any recent Nacta
briefings, just like late Haroon Bilour, yet I have received this serious
threat alert from all the civil and military authorities concerned. This is
what worries me,” Mr Hussain told Dawn.
has been learnt that militant commander Asif alias Kamran Haji, based in Kunar
province of Afghanistan, has planned to target ANP leader Mian Iftikhar
Hussain. It has been further learnt that a suicide bomber probably a woman/child
has been arranged for the said purpose,” says the threat alert. The alert
cautions to take extreme vigilance and suggests heightened security measures to
avoid any untoward incident.
feel as if this time I am not mentioned in any lists shared by the government.
I think this time I am being presented as an easy target,” said the ANP leader,
who seemed helpless with situation as his party that opposed militancy and
approved a military operation against militants in the past, lost the elections
badly. He alleged that it was done through rigging in which Election Commission
of Pakistan, army and caretaker government were in collusion.
Hussain had been information minister in the ANP government in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa during a sensitive time when not only tribal areas but militancy
infested Swat, Malakand and other parts of the province.
blasts ravaged the streets, markets and political meetings between 2008 and
2013 and he being information minister was the first one to reach the scene of
occurrence and console the victims’ families and threaten the terrorists of
consequences and express the government’s resolve to eliminate them.
Bilour, the ANP candidate for PK-78, was killed in a suicide attack on a corner
meeting of the party on July 10. Mr Hussain despite such threats continued to
take part in election campaign in his hometown Pabbi in Nowshera but lost the
polls. He said that he submitted an application for recounting of votes in the
constituency but it was not accepted so far.
remained staunch and strong in the face of such threats even when he lost his
only son Mian Rashid Hussain in his hometown in a terrorist attack in July
2010. During the last eight years or so, he whether in government or having
lost elections in 2013 lived life amid such threats. Issuance of such terror
alerts has become almost a tradition as before each religious festive occasion
like Eid he would get a warning by local authorities to remain vigilant for his
threats, Mr Hussian said, he decided like his party to openly go out and
campaign as such threats kept them out of the election in 2013.
said that he was worried in the present situation as he along with other ANP
leadership was made to lose the elections. He said that they were being silenced
through such threats.
hardline Islamist groups failed to bag enough seats in the recent elections to
hold any power, but they certainly managed to dent the voter base of the
traditional parties, making the ride easier for Imran Khan’s Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Khan’s party emerged as the single largest party after
Islamist parties got legitimacy as bona fide political entities, fielding
candidates in 90% of the country’s constituencies. Moreover, a careful analysis
of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s data reveals that the Islamist parties
fared quite well as debutants.
Pakistan, a far-right Sunni Barelvi sectarian group, polled 4% of the total
votes, or 1.94 million of the 49 million cast in Wednesday’s election. The
party propounds the enforcement of sharia laws and encourages protection of the
controversial blasphemy-related clauses of the constitution.
headed by the firebrand leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, caused the Pakistan Muslim
League (Nawaz), the party of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, to lose more
than 30 seats in the National Assembly. However, it only won two seats in the
Sindh Provincial Assembly and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
were supposed to be spoilers, not winners. Remember that gentleman with the
pencil symbol in 1990 [in] NA1 [constituency], something like that,” Mohammad
Taqi, a renowned columnist, doctor and analyst tweeted about the Islamist
Tehreek, a party backed by the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Hafiz
Saeed, showed a dismal performance, as none of its candidates won. The party
got 164,000 votes and helped Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan in some crucial
constituencies in Punjab province to rout the heavyweights of Nawaz Sharif’s party.
extremist parties were enlisted to cut to size the electoral strength of
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and [this] was part of a greater game of
pre-poll rigging which started right from the Panama leaks,” Pervaiz Rashid, a
PML-N senator and former federal information minister in the Sharif cabinet,
told Asia Times.
alleged that a sustained and systematic campaign was launched before the
elections against Sharif’s party. Its candidates were arrested, harassed and
forced to change loyalties in a bid to provide a walkover to other parties and
weaken PML-N’s position. “These measures serve no purpose except to subvert the
democracy and tarnish the image of the country abroad,” he stated.
close look at the Election Commission’s constituency details points to a
masterly executed plan to undermine PML-N’s winnability by misuse of the vote
rejection rule. In some constituencies, the margin of victory was less than the
Free and Fair Election Network – a non-governmental organization committed to
an open parliament, good governance and fair elections in Pakistan – identified
35 such odd instances in its report on the election released on Friday. The
Election Commission’s data show that polling staff rejected thousands of votes
in each constituency, which is an uncommon trend.
groups spoiling votes
details of individual constituencies on the Election Commission’s website
reveal that the extremist outfits, which are registered as political parties
under the Pakistani deep state’s de-radicalization drive, wreaked havoc on
Nawaz Sharif’s party’s ability to win seats.
the National Assembly constituency NA-66, PTI candidate Farrukh Altaf got
112,354 votes and was declared the winner. The runner-up Chaudhry Nadeem
Khadim, a PML-N candidate, bagged 92,912 votes, while Tehreek-i-Labbaik
Pakistan secured 29,556 votes. If the Election Commission had not allowed
Tehreek-i-Labbaik to contest the election, a good chunk of these votes would
have gone to Sharif’s party and could have changed the result altogether.
in NA-67 constituency, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry polled 93,102 votes against
the 82,475 votes garnered by his rival candidate Raja Matloob Mehdi of PML-N.
Tehreek-i-Labbaik bagged 16,286 and deprived Sharif’s party of a seat.
in the Punjab constituency NA-87, PTI’s Chaudhry Shoukat Ali Bhatti won with
165,618 votes against PML-N candidate Saira Tarar’s 157,453 votes.
Tehreek-i-Labbaik and Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek’s combined votes in this
constituency were only 46,246. There are more than 30 constituencies in Punjab,
including NA-102, NA-105, and NA-108, where these two Islamist parties spoiled
the votes for PML-N but failed to win seats.
some disagree with this approach.
Islamist groups get 7-10% [of the] votes in the elections, and this has
happened since 1970; it’s not a new phenomenon,” Dr Farrukh Saleem said. “In
the context of recent elections, both Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf believed in right-wing populism and both tried to attract
conservative votes; how could we conclude that the TLP [Tehreek-i-Labbaik
Pakistan] and AAT [Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek] votes would have gone to PML-N if the
former were not in the running?”
an Islamabad-based columnist, economist and political scientist, claimed that
people had bought the PTI narrative and voted for the party irrespective of the
credentials of the candidates.
Saleem agrees with allegations of election rigging. “There are three types of
rigging, namely pre-poll, poll-day and post-poll, and there has always been an
element of pre-poll rigging in every election held in the country,” he said,
adding that conspiracy theories apart, both the political and military
establishments played a role in pre-poll rigging this time.
away from allegations and counter-allegations, Rashid pointed out, “These
sectarian and banned groups are not like the mainstream religio-political
parties we had been working with since independence. They are extremist,
radical and sectarian outfit having no faith in the constitution, rule of law
and democratic dispensation.” Instead, they believe in violence, intimidation,
and coercion and issue apostasy decrees against faithful Muslims and even kill
them every now and then, he added.
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Chief Fazlur Rehman said on Tuesday that the coalition
of religio-political parties vehemently denies the Election Commission of
Pakistan’s claims that the elections were free and transparent.
JUI-F chief was addressing media after a session of the MMA today. Fazl said
that the coalition will continue to protest over rigging in some of the
said that the ECP should not continue to argue over the subject. “The nation
will not accept a government formed as a result of horse trading,” said the MMA
said that Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Siraj-ul-Haq’s suggestion to take oath in the
National Assembly will be put forth in the All Parties Conference.
Monday, the major parties in the opposition held a meeting and decided to form
a grand opposition for formulating a strategy on alleged rigging in the July 25
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA)
President Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday demanded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
(PTI) Chairman Imran Khan “open all constituencies” as per the promise made
during his victory speech.
a press conference after winning the July 25 election, Imran had said that he
would cooperate with those who have reservations over the elections.
a meeting between leaders of MMA, Fazlur Rehman demanded that every
constituency be opened and that the government should not be formed on the
basis of current results. He also demanded thumb verification of all votes.
alleged that the PTI had emerged as the largest political party only as a
result of rigging and should refrain from forming a cabinet before the prime
minister is elected as it does not have a majority.
PTI does not have the majority, other parties have the right to attempt to form
the government,” Rahman said, alleging that the party was engaging in the
“worst horse trading in history”.
flexibility over his previous stance of not taking oath in the new National
Assembly, he said that the Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) suggestion that elected MMA
members should sit in the NA will be taken to the All Parties Conference (APC).
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday telephoned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
(PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to congratulate him on his party’s successful
performance in the recently-held general elections, the PTI media cell said.
the telephonic exchange, the two leaders exchanged the hope for the beginning
of a positive chapter in the bilateral relations.
to the PTI statement, Erdogan extended his “good wishes for Imran Khan and his
future government”, at which the PTI chief thanked the Turkish president.
on Monday, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had telephoned Imran Khan,
congratulating him over his party’s victory in the general elections and
conveying best wishes for Pakistan.
are ready to enter a new era of relations with Pakistan,” Modi was quoted as
saying by the PTI press release.
to the statement, Modi said both the countries should adopt a joint strategy
for progress in bilateral ties.
a statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs from New Delhi
said Modi had spoken to Imran Khan and “congratulated him for his party
emerging as the largest political party in the National Assembly of Pakistan in
the recently conducted general elections.”
Minister [Modi] expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in
Pakistan,” the statement quoted Modi as saying.
also reiterated his “vision of peace and development in the entire
neighbourhood” during his conversation with Imran Khan.
to the PTI statement, the party chief thanked the Indian prime minister for his
good wishes. “The solution to conflicts should be found through dialogue,” he
was quoted as telling Modi.
DELHI: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Tuesday claimed that
the Law Commission in principle agrees that a uniform civil code (UCC) is not
practicable in India given the country's vast diversity and complexities.
Law Commission has been examining the issue of implementing a common civil law
for all communities in India and had invited the AIMPLB on Tuesday to discuss
the Muslim personal law and the desired changes in it.
and foremost we made it clear that Muslim personal law is as per the divine
decree and nobody is authorised to change it. The Commission was very receptive
of our views and the meeting happened in a very cordial atmosphere," said
Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, who led the AIMPLB delegation.
Law Commission Chairman admitted that a uniform civil code is not a practical
idea for India and that the government should not even think of implementing it
for at least 10 years. We told him that not just 10 years, the idea should be
dropped for good," Mr Umari said.
Qasim Rasool Ilyas, a member of the delegation, said the Commission discussed
as to what good things from the Muslim personal law can be made part of the
Hindu civil code and vice versa.
are clear that we cannot tweak our personal law at will. It is based on Quranic
injunctions and the Hadith," he said.
Niaz Farooqi said that when the delegation requested the Commission that before
making any law about Muslims, it should at least consult the community, they
were shocked to hear the reply.
Chairman said that the government was not even consulting the Law Commission on
such matters, let alone others. This clearly shows that the Narendra Modi
government is more interested in doing politics on Muslim issues than actual
reform," Mr Farooqi said.
spokesman Kamal Farooqui said: "Today we have submitted a detailed note on
the questions raised by the Law Commission. The issues pertained to
inheritance, adoption, custody of children, making a will, difference in
interpretation of Islamic laws among various sects and model nikahnama."
response to a question, Mr Farooqi said that nikah halala had no backing in the
can tell you with full authority that there is no concept of nikah halala in
the Shariah. The debate around it is more a media creation," Mr Farooqui
Sena backs 5% quota for Muslims in education, AIMIM hails ‘positive’ move
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Tuesday welcomed the Shiv
Sena’s support to reservation for Muslims in education. The party criticised
the Devendra Fadnavis-led government, which, it said, was defying the Bombay
High Court’s order by not implementing the 5 per cent quota for Muslims.
a press conference on Monday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said: “Apart
from the Marathas, reservation demands of Dhangars, Muslims and other
communities should also be taken into account.” Thackeray added that his party
would support the state and the Union government on the issue.
reservation for Muslims, Uddhav said if there were reasonable demands from the
Muslim community, they should also be considered.
the Sena’s stand, AIMIM MLA Imtiaz Jaleel said: “It is a positive development.
The BJP should take a cue… Some BJP leaders, through their acts and utterances,
are targeting Muslims,” he said.
said 5 per cent reservation demand for the Muslim community has received the
Bombay High Court’s support. “While rejecting the demands of the Maratha
community for OBC status, the high court had allowed 5 per cent reservation for
Muslims. In case of the Maratha community, the court had rejected the move and
called for setting up of a Backward Classes Commission. In Muslims’ case, the
court has supported the quota in education based on circumstantial evidence.
However, it is highly regrettable that the state government is yet to implement
the HC directive,” he said.
said the Bombay High Court’s move meant a lot for Muslim youths. “The court
order is significant as it aims at removing the educational backwardness of the
community. A large number of youths, because of lack of proper education, have
to take up menial jobs. It is time Muslim youths get higher education, which
will result in better jobs and improvement in their living standards. Every
effort should be made to remove educational backwardness of the community,” he
said his party was planning to launch an agitation to demand a job quota for
Muslims. “An announcement to this effect will be made soon,” he said.
BJP leader said the Congress-NCP government had in 2014 issued an ordinance
giving 5 per cent reservation in jobs for Muslims. “The ordinance, however,
lapsed on December 23, 2014, after which the government scrapped the
resolution,” said a BJP leader.
UP's Meerut, Dalits threaten to embrace Islam after being denied entry into
after Hamirpur temple purification incident, a large number of Dalits in Uttar
Pradesh’s Meerut district have threatened to embrace Islam after being denied
entry into a Hindu temple to offer prayers.
incident was reported from Panchgaon Patti village in Meerut. A few Dalit
women, belonging to Valmiki Samaj, had gone to a 50-year-old temple to offer
prayers on Sunday but they were denied entry by the priest on the ground that
Dalits were not allowed to pray in the temple.
were told that they are Dalits not Hindus and will not be allowed to offer
prayers at a Hindu temple. They may go to their own Valmiki temples,” alleged
villager Satish Valmiki said that the order to deny entry to Dalits in the
temple was enforced when a new priest joined a few months ago. “We were going
to the temple earlier but now the new priest does not allow us to offer prayers
there,” alleged Valmiki.
a Dalits in the village tried to reason out with the priest, he abused and
threatened them with dire consequences if anyone of them tried to come near the
temple. The priest also lodged a fake complaint at the Bhawanpur Police Station
against few dalits of the village, having a population of over 100 dait
Valmiki Samaj members met the SSP Meerut Rajesh Kumar Pandey and threatened to
embrace Islam if they were not allowed to offer prayers in the temple. The SSP
assured dalits to initiate action against the priest or anyone who tried to
stop them entering temple.
probe has been ordered and the police will initiate action against anyone who
tried to stop them offering prayers in the temple. A few police men have been
posted at the temple to ensure that everyone is allowed entry into the temple,”
said the SSP.
Darapuri, a retired IPS officer and a dalit human right activist said that it
was violation of basic fundamental rights of dalits and showed how they were
being discriminated under the BJP government, led by Yogi Adityanath.
Muslim Refugees’ Camp in Hyderabad: Faiz-e-Trust supplies tarpaulin
Faiz-e-Trust under the stewardship of Mr. Iftekhar Husain, Secretary and under
the guidance of Mr. Zahid Ali Khan, Editor of Siasat Urdu Daily has been
helping the needy persons right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
trust has been helping Rohingya Muslims also since 2017 who are accommodated in
Balapur, Hyderabad. It established tailoring center at Shaheen Nagar. It also
arranged education in Arabic, English and Urdu for the children of Rohingya
Muslims. Treatment of patients was arranged.
order to earn their livelihood, Siasat Millat Fund and Faiz-e-Aam Trust spent
Rs. 4,12,925 and provided Thelabandis. From 2013 to 16, similar arrangements
were made with an expenditure of Rs 2, 77,312.
Iftekhar Husain, Secretary informed that last year, the trust had spent Rs. 60
thousand for providing tarpaulin sheets at camp I to protect them from rain.
This year, the trust distributed tarpaulin sheets worth Rs. 65, 000 in camp
number 2 , 5 and 10 so that they could be spread on 49 huts and also on a Deeni
may be mentioned that more than 250 Rohingya Muslims have been accommodated in
on this occasion were Dr. Shaukat Ali Mirza, Dr. Makhdoom Mohiudduin, Justice
Ismail, Mr. Haider Ali, Mr. Khaja Kamaluddin (Chicago) and Mr. Karrar Ahmed.
on this occasion, Mr. Iftekhar Husain told that necessary steps would be taken
by the trust to educate, the children of Rohingya Muslims. It will also help
plant the trees and disposal of garbage.
Asks Admn to Seize Properties Of Those Who Issued Fatwa To Triple Talaq Victim
Jul 31 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Minority Commission chairman Tanveer Haidar Usmani
asked today the Bareilly district magistrate and SSP to seize properties of people
who issued 'fatwa' against Nida Khan if they are not arrested.
July 16, a cleric in Bareilly had issued a fatwa against Nida Khan, who had
allegedly taken up issues like triple talaq and Nikah Halala.
a press conference, Shahar Imam Mufti Khurshid Alam had said a fatwa has been
issued against Nida Khan for speaking against Islam and its practices.
here said, "I have asked the DM and SSP (of Bareilly) to make seize the
property of guilty persons in case their arrests could not be made. Officials
have been instructed to submit the detailed report before the commission."
also said, "The country runs in accordance with the Constitution and not
by the dictatorship of the clerics and so called 'thekedar'."
was married to Sheeran Raza Khan of Ala Hazrat family in 2015 but was given
talaq in 2016. Since then, she has been fighting for rights of Muslim women.
July 20, the Bareilly district administration decided to step up her security
who had come out in support of a nikah halala victim in the district.
Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday said that the Border Security Force (BSF) and
Assam Rifles have been sensitised to ensure that members of the Rohingya Muslim
minority do not enter the country, and that states have been asked to enumerate
and confine those who have immigrated illegally.
Minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that his
ministry had issued an advisory to the states in February concerning the
Rohingya. "The BSF and Assam Rifles have been fully sensitised to ensure
that Rohingyas are not able to enter," Rajnath replied to a query posed by
a Shiv Sena member. He said Rohingyas have, however, entered the country in
should not happen that the Rohingyas spread out and stay wherever they
want," he said, adding that the states have been advised to prepare their
"biography" (profiles) and take biometrics. "The advisory also
says that their movement should also be monitored and the states should be
said the state governments have the right to deportation under the Foreigners
Act. "We have requested the state governments that after identification
and enumeration of the Rohingyas, they should send the information to the
central government. Once we get this information, we will share it with the
Ministry of External Affairs. The ministry will talk to authorities in Myanmar
and try to deport them," the minister said.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said Rohingyas were illegal migrants,
and there was no question of the government giving them any facilities.
"We will first take care of Indian citizens, take care of their rights. We
are not here to take care of illegal migrants," he said.
another query, Rijiju said Jammu and Kashmir has the largest number of
Rohingyas followed by Hyderabad. They also lived in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan
and some other places. "We have taken firm steps that they do not become a
threat to the country's security and become a burden in the future," he
to the issue of ration cards, he said the government has not allowed the move
and "if registration has taken place in a fake manner, action will be
taken". He said every state and Union Territory should ensure that
Rohingyas do not get a legal document.
border fencing, Rijiju said: "There is no fencing with Myanmar, Nepal,
Bhutan, China. We have a different agreement with every country." The
minister said that about 10 lakh Rohingyas in Bangladesh have not been able to
enter India due to steps taken by the government.
Congress member Sugata Bose said he was saddened by the reply of the home
minister and noted that India has 40,000 Rohingya refugees, while there were
over nine lakh in Bangladesh. Noting that the government was carrying out
"Operation Insaniyat" (Operation Humanity) in Bangladesh, he asked
whether the Centre will give shelter to all persecuted people, specially
puts LeT's Abdul Rehman on list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist
DELHI: Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil, the operational leader for Lashkar-iToiba in
India between 1997 and 2001, has been designated as a Specially Designated
Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the US Department of State.
long-time member of the US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO),
Dakhil was captured in Iraq by UK forces in 2004.
was lodged in Iraq and Afghanistan under the custody of the US. In 2014, he was
transferred to Pakistan. Following his release, Dakhil returned to work for the
years later, he was appointed as the divisional commander for the Jammu region.
As per the latest report, Dakhil is a senior commander in LeT as of early 2018.
new designation will impose sanctions on foreign persons who have committed or
pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the
security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy
of the United States.
the designation, Dakhil will not be able to plan and carry out terrorist
attacks, all of his property and interests subject to US jurisdiction are
blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any
transactions with him.
action notifies the US public and the international community that Abdul Rehman
al-Dakhil has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of
terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations
and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system," the
State Department said.
predicts Iran talks ‘pretty soon’
President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that talks with arch foe Iran were
imminent, despite silence from the Islamic republic’s leaders to his offer for
was rife in Iran over possible talks, with one lawmaker saying negotiations
would be a “humiliation.”
country’s top leaders did not give an immediate response to Trump’s statement a
day earlier that he would meet them “any time” without preconditions.
have a feeling they’ll be talking to us pretty soon,” Trump told a rally in
Tampa, Florida, before adding: “And maybe not, and that’s OK too.”
also used the occasion to again blast the “horrible, one-sided” 2015 nuclear
deal between Iran and world powers from which the American president withdrew.
a horror show,” Trump said.
hope it works out well with Iran. They are having a lot of difficulty right
US is set to start reimposing full sanctions on Iran from August 6 — a move
that has already contributed to a major currency crisis with the rial losing
two thirds of its value in six months.
Iranian public figures said it was impossible to imagine negotiations with
Washington after it tore up the nuclear deal in May.
the contemptuous statements (Trump) addressed to Iran, the idea of negotiating
is inconceivable. It would be a humiliation,” said Ali Motahari, deputy speaker
of parliament, according to the conservative Fars News.
Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said: “America is not trustworthy. After it
arrogantly and unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement, how can it be
last week, Trump fired off an all-caps tirade at his counterpart Hassan Rouhani
on Twitter, warning of untold “suffering” if Iran continued to threaten the
in Iran are therefore suspicious of his latest volte-face.
cannot negotiate with someone who violates international commitments, threatens
to destroy countries, and constantly changes his position,” said analyst
Mohammad Marandi, of the University of Tehran, who was part of the nuclear
officials remained more receptive.
with the United States must not be a taboo,” said Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head
of parliament’s foreign affairs commission, in an interview with the
semi-official ISNA news agency.
understands that he does not have the capacity to wage war with Iran, but due
to historic mistrust, diplomatic ties have been destroyed,” said Falahatpisheh,
adding that this left no choice but to work towards reducing tensions.
added that hardliners, who have long opposed any rapprochement with the US,
share the blame for the collapse of the nuclear deal.
the whole Iranian system had worked to implement this agreement, today we would
be witnessing the presence of European companies in Iran and their investments,
and even Trump would not be able to withdraw so easily from the deal,” he said.
from the start one part of the system did not want the agreement to work.”
‘Maybe an opportunity’ –
the streets of Tehran, meanwhile, the focus remained resolutely on Iran’s
domestic economic difficulties.
of us believe that Trump is the enemy of Iran and Iranian people. But now maybe
Trump wants to give the Iranian people an opportunity and, God willing, it
could be a way to get past our disastrous situation,” added Hushiar, an office
manager in her 50s.
Iranians find it hard to believe that the man who is trying to destroy their
economy, and has banned them from flying to the US, can be trusted.
they are honest in their words that they want to have negotiations with us
without any preconditions, at least they should stay in the JCPOA (nuclear
deal) or they should let us get the benefits of European trade,” said Morteza
Mehdian, a software engineer in his 20s.
the reality is this man is a liar and we cannot trust his word.”
now, this is also the official line, with Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei saying earlier this month that talking to Trump would be “useless.”
ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi on Monday said “there is no possibility for
talks,” ahead of Trump’s statement.
reveals its untrustworthy nature day by day,” Ghasemi said, according to the
conservative-aligned Mehr news agency.
incidents spike after Muslims are at centre of large-scale violence — as
perpetrators or victims
than 24 hours after Faisal Hussain opened fire in Toronto’s Greektown, a
middle-aged white man approached a visibly Muslim family at the city’s ferry
docks, pushed two men and screamed: “Where the f— are you from?”
video of the racially charged incident appears to begin in the middle of the
confrontation as the white man continuously advances toward one of the three
men in the Muslim family until they’re forehead-to-forehead. “You don’t ask me
a f—ing question in my province,” the man says, shoving one of the Muslim men
into a child.
confrontation escalates until the white man begins to scream at the Muslim man,
who repeatedly told him that he was born in Ontario: “I’ll f—ing kill you…
Welcome to Ontario, a–hole.”
Friday, Lombray Ball, 50, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault
and threatening death.
the wake of the Danforth shooting, there’s been a spike in hate-related
incidents targeting Muslims across Canada, according to the National Council of
Canadian Muslims. Although the average number of recorded incidents between
April and June was 1.5, the Muslim council says there have been five in the
past week alone.
Muslims are at the centre of large-scale violent incidents such as the Danforth
and Parliament Hill shootings as perpetrators, the council’s statistics show
that hate incidents — anything from verbal and physical attacks to vandalism —
spike. The same occurs, the statistics show, when Muslims have been the
way, we can’t win sometimes,” said Leila Nasr, a council spokewoman. “Every
time things like this happen, the Muslim community has to go into damage
control to somehow defend itself from people who wish to lump everyone into the
hours before the confrontation involving Ball, a 17-year-old Halifax woman was
walking to a bus stop from Dalhousie University when she was approached by a
white man who yelled “F— you, f— all Muslims,” before telling her to go back to
Friday, a white man stood in front of a memorial dedicated to the Danforth
shooting, holding a sign that read “C.B.C. presents: Little Mosque on the
Praire (sic). Two girls dead in Greektown.” That same day, a video was posted
to YouTube showing a white man spitting at a Muslim man and telling him “you
look like that guy that shot everyone on the Danforth.”
days later, Peel Regional Police near Toronto arrested Sandra Alexander, 35,
for allegedly trying to rip the hijab off the head of an 18-year-old woman
while “flicking a lighter.” She was charged with assault with a weapon, assault
and uttering threats.
such an increase in Islamophobic incidents has led Nasr to suggest that the
tension in the aftermath of the Danforth shooting is causing some to “act out
on their fears or their prejudices.” It wouldn’t be the first time.
council has collected data on anti-Muslim hate incidents since 2013. It keeps
track of the incident reports that members of the Muslim community file with
them along with those that are publicly reported.
the week following the Parliament Hill shooting in 2014, the council recorded
four anti-Muslim hate incidents that were publicly reported. The average per
week in 2014 was 0.4. Nine incidents were also reported directly to the
council. In the wake of the Quebec mosque
shooting on Jan. 29, 1017, when Alexandre Bissonnette shot and killed six
Muslim worshippers, the number of reported hate incidents jumped from four in
January 2017 to 11 one month later. In March, there were another 10.
these numbers aren’t completely accurate, Nasr acknowledges. They can’t be when
two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported, according to a 2014 Statistics Canada
survey. When contacted by the National Post, Toronto police spokesman Mark
Pugash said the information available to him shows no spike in hate crimes in
just the tip of the iceberg,” Imam Ibrahim Hindy said.
an imam at the Dar Al-Tawheed mosque just outside Toronto, said that members of
his community often tell him about hate incidents they experience and he
“practically begs” them to report it but there’s an “unwillingness.” His wife
experienced the same behaviour, Hindy said, when years ago, a man approached
her in a parking lot and told her to go back to her country. Like most, she
didn’t report the incident.
a feeling that nothing is going to come out of it… that they’ll just become
another number,” Hindy said.
the Danforth shooting, Hindy asked the volunteers in charge of security at Dar
Al-Tawheed to spend more time at the mosque. Peel police also offered to send a
cruiser to the mosque during prayer time. In conversations with his
congregants, Hindy has warned them to be more vigilant.
such discussions is a new experience for Hasan Ahmed. Ahmed was visiting
Toronto from Saskatoon with his wife and young children when he witnessed the
scene at the Toronto ferry terminal.
Muslim himself, Ahmed said he tried to tell the middle-aged white man that he
didn’t have the right to push anyone around.
kids were very scared and my wife was very scared too,” he said. “We never had
this kind of incident before.”
who has lived in Canada for eight years, explained to his children that “most
Canadians are great” and that the man’s behaviour wasn’t reflective of society.
the abuse he and his family endured, Ahmed was sad to hear that the man had
will never accept the terms of surrender and sacrifice its sovereignty in order
to sit at the table for inconsequential discussions with the US leadership,
American writer and retired professor James Petras has said.
who has several books on Middle Eastern political issues, made the remarks in
an interview on Tuesday with Press TV while commenting on the contradictory
statements of US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
on Monday said he was ready to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “any time
they want to.”
said that he would “certainly meet” with Iranians with “no preconditions.”
later, Pompeo appeared on CNBC and set some conditions for the possible Iran-US
said this before," said the former CIA chief. “If the Iranians demonstrate
a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people,
reduce their malign behavior, can agree that it's worthwhile to enter into a
nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the president said
he's prepared to sit down and have the conversation with them.”
Petras said the United States “is working from the position that if it applies
the stick in practice through the sanctions, it can offer a carrot which is to
restart the negotiations over the disarmament of Iran, that goes far beyond any
agreement of the past.”
other words, Washington is saying we will impose sanctions, we will extend
sanctions, and we will talk to you how you can make concessions to us including
abandoning your allies in the Middle East, supporting the US alliance with
Saudi Arabia and Israel, sacrifice any support you provide to the Houthis in
Yemen and then we will talk about some kind of agreement,” he said.
top Turkish business leader on Tuesday blasted recent threats against Turkey
made by the U.S. administration.
businesspeople disapprove of the remarks of U.S. President Donald Trump and
Vice President Mike Pence, said Erol Bilecik, chair of the Turkish Industry and
Business Association (TUSIAD), while visiting Parliament Speaker Binali
can never approve of the remarks of Pence and Trump, especially over social
media," Bilecik told reporters.
added that the remarks were "not part of a solution but the issue."
called on the two countries to make statements "with high diplomacy and
aim for a solution."
between the countries soured after Trump and Pence threatened on Twitter to
impose sanctions on Turkey over American pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who faces
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Monday that any potential
International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout for Pakistan’s new government should
not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders.
an interview with CNBC television, Pompeo said the United States looked forward
to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s expected new prime minister,
Imran Khan, but said there was “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off
Chinese loans to Pakistan.
no mistake. We will be watching what the IMF does,” Pompeo said. “There’s no
rationale for IMF tax dollars, and associated with that American dollars that
are part of the IMF funding, for those to go to bail out Chinese bondholders or
China itself,” Pompeo said.
Financial Times reported on Sunday that senior Pakistani finance officials were
drawing up options for Khan to seek an IMF bailout of up to $12 billion.
IMF spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we have so far not received a
request for a Fund arrangement from Pakistan and that we have not had
discussions with the authorities about any possible intentions.”
in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the IMF had its
own standards and operating rules when cooperating with relevant countries.
believe they will handle it appropriately,” he told reporters, without
is struggling to avert a currency crisis that has presented the new government
with its biggest challenge. Many analysts and business leaders expect that
another IMF bailout, the second in five years, will be needed to plug an
external financing gap.
which already has around $5 billion in loans from China and its banks to fund
major infrastructure projects, had sought another $1 billion in loans to
stabilise its plummeting foreign currency reserves.
in the Trump administration, including US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,
have criticised China’s infrastructure lending to developing countries, arguing
that this has saddled them with unsustainable debt.
$57 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a series of port and rail improvements
associated with China’s One-Belt One-Road infrastructure push, has led to
massive imports of Chinese equipment and materials, swelling Pakistan’s current
close watch over its Islamic minority is being extended abroad, as Muslims from
some Chinese regions make the Hajj pilgrimage wearing state-issued tracking
state-run China Islamic Association published photos of Chinese Muslims at the
Beijing airport departing for Mecca in Saudi Arabia in recent days wearing
customized “smart cards” on blue lanyards around their necks. The devices,
which include a GPS tracker and personal data, are designed to ensure the
wearer’s safety, according to the association.
join charity run to build churches in Indonesia
3,500 people, mostly Catholics, joined a charity run organized by Indonesia's
Jakarta Archdiocese to raise money to build churches in various parts of the
has declared 2018 the "Year of Unity."
"Run4U" campaign on July 29, one of a number of Church-led
fund-raising runs in recent years, offered people the chance to test themselves
with a 2.5-kilometer walk or a more grueling 5k run in Tangerang, a city in
Banten province some 25km from Jakarta.
included priests, nuns, seminarians, elderly and young and people from other
main purpose is to raise money to help out with the construction of several
churches [that are in need of financial support]," Paskah Widarani, one of
the organizers, told ucanews.com.
named St. Leo the Great Parish Church in Jatiwaringin of East Jakarta, St.
Nicodemus Parish's pastoral building in Ciputat of South Tangerang — both in
Jakarta Archdiocese — and a chapel in St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish in Pamakayo,
East Nusa Tenggara province among the beneficiaries.
parishes were chosen as they really need our help right now," said
of the funds will be used to finance a youth formation run by Jakarta's
Catholic Charismatic Renewal Ministry, she added.
was reluctant to disclose the total sum of all the pledges but said each of the
participants had contributed at least 200,000 rupiah ($13) each.
all 13 priests involved were billing donors by the kilometer, she quipped.
Antonius Suhardi Antara from Mother Teresa Parish in Cikarang, West Java
province, who participated in the mini-marathon, said it was a creative way to
motivate people to donate to a good cause.
Vincensa of the Followers of Jesus joined the 2.5km charity walk with several
other sisters from her parish. She was impressed by how well organized the affair
was, especially the way it drew people together from different faiths.
was really outstanding, not just Catholics but non-Catholics, too. We can
really feel the spirit of 'unity in diversity'," she said.
Bambang Sukamto, a 75-year-old Catholic layman from St. Leo the Great Parish,
thanked the organizers for deciding to help support his parish church.
old but I still showed up because some of the donations will go to my
parish," he said.
parish was established in 1992 but construction on the church did not start
until 2016 when the local authority granted it a building permit. Parishioners
now have to make do with using a hall nearby for their Sunday Mass and other
services and activities.
Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta praised the charity campaign in a
video message, describing it as a tool to promote brotherhood among Indonesian
| Aug 1, 2018,
Officially recognized faith groups in China are promoting the flying of
national flags at religious events amid a push by the ruling Communist Party to
extend its ideological control over religious life.
statement viewed Wednesday on the website of the party's United Front Work
Department that oversees such groups says flying the flag would emphasize that
the fates of the party, nation and individual are "bound tightly
officially atheistic party has tightened its grip over the country's five officially
recognized religions this year, ordering that Christians, Muslims and others
work toward "sinosization.''
LUMPUR: Controversial preacher Zamihan Mat Zin today agreed to apologise to
popular Canadian preacher Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips whom he had labelled as “a
supporter of international terrorism” after Philips filed a RM1 million suit
against him for slander.
an officer with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), will
issue his apology on Facebook.
lawyer Meor Amir Meor Omar Baki said his client agreed to withdraw the lawsuit
if Zamihan issued an unreserved written apology within the next two days.
has to delete his post. He has also agreed to pay an undisclosed sum in
damages,” he told reporters when met outside the High Court here.
who filed the suit against Zamihan in September last year, said in his
statement of claim that Zamihan had displayed a photograph of him and a label
saying he was a supporter of international terrorism.
– who was once dubbed as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world –
said the words used to describe him were false, defamatory and baseless, as he
believed in promoting peace and rejected acts of terrorism carried out in the
name of Islam.
said Zamihan’s allegation implied he was engaged in terrorism and violence, and
that his lectures were designed to achieve that objective.
who was in court, said Zamihan had admitted to obtaining the wrong information
of his activities from the media. He went on to deny any involvement in
want to thank Zamihan for admitting he was wrong due to the wrong information
Ben Otto and Anita Rachman
Indonesia—Indonesia banned the militant group behind Islamic State’s first
attack in Southeast Asia and suicide bombings involving children, a move that
foreshadows the arrests of hundreds of the group’s members in the world’s
largest Muslim-majority nation.
decision by a Jakarta court Tuesday to outlaw Jemaah Ansharut Daulah follows a
crackdown on the group, which police say was responsible for a gun-and-bombs
assault at a Starbucks in the capital that left four bystanders dead, along
with four attackers, in...
INDONESIA: Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, a possible vice-presidential candidate in
the country’s 2019 general election, said that Indonesia’s leaders must be
chosen “based on capacity, on [their] integrity. Not because of religion,
ethnicity or race”.
Agus, the eldest son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, told the
programme Conversation With in a digital exclusive that there is “no problem”
with non-Muslims holding high political office in Indonesia.
Agus was a contender in the polarising 2017 race for the governorship of
Jakarta – an election campaign that exposed religious and ethnic divisions in
the capital of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.
candidate and then-Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, was
ultimately beaten in his re-election bid by Muslim academic Anies Baswedan,
after hardline Islamic-groups accused Mr Ahok of blasphemy against the Koran.
Agus, who came in third in the polls, cautioned: “We must prevent any kind of
efforts to politicise religion, ethnicity or race. We cannot use those issues
to attack political rivals.
more than 170 million Indonesians heading to the polls next April to elect
their president and lawmakers, speculation is rife about President Joko Widodo
and Opposition leader Prabowo Subianto’s possible vice-presidential running
March, Mr Agus’s name was floated as the President’s potential running mate,
when the former said the Democratic Party – of which Mr Agus is a member - was
open to backing Mr Widodo’s re-election.
a July 24 meeting between Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
and Mr Prabowo makes an alliance with the Gerindra Party appear more likely –
meaning that Mr Agus could be the vice-presidential candidate on the opposition
if the Democratic Party would form a coalition with Mr Widodo’s ruling bloc or
join the Opposition, Mr Agus demurred. “At the end of the day, we’re not part
of the coalition now,” the former army major said.
registration deadline for presidential candidate pairs is Aug 10.
sources said that Tahrir al-Sham members have done excavations at the ancient
Girls Palace North of the village of al-Dana, plundering its valuable
sources pointed to the vast destruction of the palace, adding that Tahrir
al-Sham has smuggled the stolen artifacts to Turkey to sell them there.
Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted Salahuddin Sino, a member of Afrin Artifact
Department, as saying last month that the Turkish army and Ankara-backed
militants were looting historical artifacts of Roza Site in the village of
Tarmisha in Shih region in Afrin.
further told Hawar news that the Ankara forces forced the villagers to leave
the region and did not allow anyone to return to the region.
said that the Turkish forces embarked on excavation operation in the entire
historical areas in Roza Site and stole valuable artifacts.
further pointed to the destruction of tens of historical sites in Afrin, adding
that the army destroyed has fifty percent of Tal Ayndara Temple, which is one
of the most important historical sites in Afrin listed in the UNESCO list, in
the early days of aggression against the Kurds in Northwestern Aleppo.
the meantime, local sources reported that Turkey-backed militants captured a
sum of ten civilians in the villages of Shirawa region in Afrin and asked their
families to pay $1,000 for their release.
sources said that the Ankara-backed militants have arrested almost 1,000
civilians in the town of Afrin and in the villages and districts near the town
to earn a large amount of money as their ransom.
sources went on to say that the Turkish troops and their allied militants have
been arresting civilians accusing them of connections to the Kurdish militias,
adding that the captured civilians have been tortured.
sources added that more than half of the captured civilians have been released
after their families paid a hefty amount of money to the Ankara-backed
militants as bribe.
Ankara-backed militants have forced Afrin residents to pay tax and set up
checkpoints along al-Bastouleh road to receive toll from vehicles.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Friday that members of Albu Banah tribe
and militants of the Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham clashed fiercely in
al-Ashrafiyeh neighborhood in Afrin, leaving at least three gunmen dead.
extremist group has released videos of a Japanese journalist and an Italian man
held captive in Syria in which they appeal for their release, US-based monitors
two men -- Japanese freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda and Italian national
Alessandro Sandrini -- appear in two separate videos that are nonetheless
similar in their staging and were released by the SITE group, which tracks
white supremacist and extremist organizations.
did not say which group was responsible for the videos.
men are shown kneeling in front of a wall wearing orange jumpsuits while armed
men dressed head-to-toe in black stand behind them.
is thought to have been abducted by the Al-Nusra Front, a former Al-Qaeda
affiliate, in northern Syria in 2015.
identifies himself as Korean in the video but speaks Japanese, giving the
recording date as July 25, stating that he is in a bad situation and asking for
gives a different date, July 19, and says that it is his last request to the
United Nations human rights office has called on Saudi Arabia to release all
peaceful activists as Riyadh continues its heavy-handed crackdown on dissent.
Shamdasani, spokeswoman of the UN rights office, during a press briefing in the
Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday demanded the immediate release of all rights
advocates, including women held for campaigning to lift a long-time ban on
urge the government of Saudi Arabia to unconditionally release all human rights
defenders and activists who have been detained for their peaceful human rights
work, including their decades-long campaigns for the lifting of the driving ban
for women," Shamdasani said.
criticism of the government is still not accepted in the country. That can
explain why many of these human rights defenders and activists have been
jailed. All of them have criticized government policies in one way or another,”
to the rights office, at least 15 government critics have been arrested since
mid-May, the whereabouts of some are unknown amid a serious lack of
transparency in the processing of their cases.
women's rights advocate Hatoon al-Fassi was one of the 15 people. She was
arrested in June as she was planning to take journalists in her car to
celebrate the removal of the ban on female drivers.
July, Saudi Arabia took into custody a prominent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Safar
al-Hawali, known for his opposition to some of the kingdom’s policies and the
presence of American troops on the Saudi soil.
human rights groups have long urged the kingdom to improve its treatment of
rights advocates. In early June, the European Parliament issued a resolution
calling for their unconditional release.
of the detainees are prominent figures who enjoy considerable respect among the
grass roots, including university professors.
The Syrian regime regained control of the frontier with the Israeli-occupied
Golan Heights for the first time in seven years on Monday, after Daesh-linked
militants gave up their last pocket of territory in the area.
breakthrough against the militants, reported by state media and an
opposition-linked war-monitoring group, capped a six-week-long campaign to
retake the southwest corner of the country.
captured the area along the Golan Heights after a popular uprising broke out
against Bashar Assad in 2011. A Daesh-linked outfit known as the Khaled bin
Al-Waleed Army later seized the area from the opposition fighters.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants
surrendered control of the Yarmouk Basin in southwestern Syria on Monday.
regime-affiliated Central Military Media outlet said Syria’s military secured
the length of the Golan Heights frontier.
seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed it in a move
not recognized internationally.
peacekeeping forces first deployed along the frontier in 1974 to separate
Syrian and Israeli forces.
has largely kept to the sidelines of the Syrian civil war, but has said it will
not allow Iran or the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to establish a
permanent military presence near the frontier. Both are allied with Assad and
have provided crucial military support to his forces.
regime forces pressed ahead with their offensive despite threats by Daesh to
kill civilians it recently captured in a nearby province.
extremists abducted around 18 people, mostly women, in a wave of attacks in the
nearby province of Sweida last Wednesday that killed more than 200 people.
Saturday, the group released a hostage video of a woman saying she was being
held along with other women from Sweida. The woman said she would be freed if
the regime halted its offensive against the militants and released Daesh
detainees. She said she was being threatened with death if the regime pressed
Sweida 24, an activist collective in Sweida, said Daesh sent the photos of 14
women they are holding to their relatives, saying they want to negotiate over
24 said Daesh is believed to be holding 30 people, including 20 women whose
ages range between 18 and 60. It said Daesh is also believed to be holding 16
young boys and girls.
activist group said the bodies of two women were found near the village of
Shabki, a focus of Wednesday’s attack. One had been shot in the head and the
other, an elderly woman, apparently died of exhaustion. Four other women were
found alive hiding in a cave, it said.
abducted are members of the minority Druze sect. Daesh has been driven from
virtually all the territory it once controlled in Syria and Iraq, but holds
scattered pockets in southern Syria and along the border.
The King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies has signed a
cooperation agreement with the Amazon Kindle
center has signed the agreement with the international e-commerce company to post
books and studies from the KFCRIS on Amazon Kindle e-reader website.
publications will be available on Kindle application on mobile devices such as
iPad, iPhone, Android devices and other application stores.
Secretary General Dr. Suood Al-Sarhan said that this step reflects the center’s
keenness to spread cultural, literary and scientific Islamic and Arab heritage
via this electronic platform, which began supporting Arabic books recently.
he said, will allow readers more access to Arabic books and publications across
Egyptian security forces killed five terrorists and arrested five more after
clashes erupted in Al-Qalyubia and Cairo provinces, the country’s interior
ministry announced on Wednesday, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya
terrorists were identified as being part of the “Hams” group, known for
plotting attacks across the country, the ministry’s statement read.
least eighteen people including three assailants were killed and at least
fifteen others sustained injuries as the standoff ended in Jalalabad city, the
provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the attack was launched
at around 12pm local time on the provincial Refugees directorate in the
vicinity of the third police district of the city.
statement further added that the attack was launched at a time when a meeting
was underway to explore ways to assist with the internally displaced families
and those who have repatriated to Afghanistan.
to the provincial government, a group of three militants launched the attack
with one of them initially detonating a vehicle-borne improvised explosive
device near the compound and two others resisting the security forces for at
least five hours.
least fifteen people including a policeman and woman lost their lives in the
attack, three assaialants were killed and at least fifteen others sustained
injuries, the provincial government added.
governor’s office in its statement also added that nine of the wounded
individuals were discharged after receiving first medical aid and information
the identities of thirteen others will be disclosed later.
positive signals' after US, Taliban talks: sources
meeting between a senior US diplomat and Taliban representatives in Doha last
week to discuss a possible ceasefire ended with “very positive signals” and a
decision to hold more meetings, people with knowledge of the talks said on
meeting between a delegation led by Alice Wells, deputy assistant secretary in
the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and Taliban
representatives was first reported in The Wall Street Journal but has not been
to one Taliban official, who said he was part of a four-member delegation,
there were “very positive signals” from the meeting, which he said was
conducted in a “friendly atmosphere” in a Doha hotel.
can’t call it peace talks,” he said. “These are a series of meetings for
initiating formal and purposeful talks. We agreed to meet again soon and
resolve the Afghan conflict through dialogue.”
said the talks had been held without the presence of Afghan government
officials at the insistence of the Taliban.
move comes as the Afghan government and the United States have stepped up
efforts to end the 17 year-war in Afghanistan following the unprecedented
three-day truce during last month’s Eid-ul-Fitr holiday.
truce, which saw unarmed Taliban fighters mingling with soldiers on the streets
of Kabul and other cities, offered the first concrete vision of a peace
settlement since an earlier attempt at peace talks broke down in 2015.
the Taliban refused an offer by President Ashraf Ghani to extend the Eid
ceasefire, behind-the-scenes contacts have continued and the government has
said it is considering another ceasefire during next month’s Eid-al Qurban
hopes of possible formal negotiations have risen, the United States has agreed
to participate directly in the talks, although it insists the process will remain
under Afghan leadership.
Taliban official said the talks took place with the approval of the leadership
council. The two sides had discussed proposals to allow the Taliban free
movement in two provinces where they would not be attacked, an idea that
President Ashraf Ghani has already rejected. They also discussed Taliban
participation in the Afghan government.
only demand they made was to allow their military bases in Afghanistan,” said
the Taliban official.
meeting in Doha, where the Taliban maintains a political office, followed two
earlier meetings between US officials and Taliban representatives in recent
months, the sources said.
have held three meetings with the US and we reached a conclusion to continue
talks for meaningful negotiations,” said a second Taliban official.
said they would first exchange prisoners and then discuss other issues that
could restore peace to Afghanistan.
our delegation made it clear to them that peace can only be restored to Afghanistan
when all foreign forces are withdrawn,” he said.
person with knowledge of the talks said the United States had pressed the
Taliban side to accept the ceasefire offer for Eid-ul Adha, often known in
Afghanistan as Eid-al Qurban, which this year starts on Aug 22.
a long-term ceasefire is expected on Eid-ul Adha,” the person said. “Both sides
agreed upon the continuation of the meetings and talks and another meeting is
expected before Eid, but the exact time and place is not clear yet.”
State Department confirmed that Wells had visited Doha but has said only that
she met Qatar government officials, including the deputy prime minister, to
talk about their contributions to the situation in Afghanistan.
about talks with the Taliban, a State Department spokesman referred to a July 9
comment from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that the United States would
“support, facilitate, and participate in these peace discussions, but peace
must be decided by the Afghans and settled among them.”
the scorching Bangladeshi sun, a group of Rohingya women trekked the steep slopes
of Cox’s Bazar district singing a plaintive song:
can happen to anyone.
am not happy for this rape.
is here to listen to me.
is not my fault.
young volunteers are part of an MSF outreach team for sexual and gender-based
violence (SGBV). They spend their days going door to door across the massive
Rohingya refugee settlements in southern Bangladesh, gathering small groups of
women to talk about sexual violence and the care available for survivors.
rape, come within three days for medicine,” sing the volunteers. “MSF offers
free treatment and is also confidential.” They tell women that when they come
to the clinic, they can point to a printed symbol or use code words for rape to
avoid stigma or unwanted attention.
Rohingya are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority who have lived in Myanmar
for hundreds of years and have endured persistent discrimination and abuse.
Following a massive campaign of targeted violence against the community that
began on August 25, 2017, more than 693,000 Rohingya refugees fled across the
border to Bangladesh. They joined thousands of other Rohingya refugees already
living in Bangladesh in squalid makeshift settlements after earlier cycles of
violence and mass displacement.
surveys conducted by MSF teams in Balukhali and Kutupalong makeshift
settlements—the two largest settlements in Cox’s Bazar—indicate that at least
6,700 people, 730 of whom were under the age of five, were killed within the
first month of “clearance operations” launched by Myanmar security forces. Our
patients have described widespread violence, including sexual violence.
challenge with treating these particular women and girls was how brutal their
experiences had been.
challenge with treating these particular women and girls was how brutal their
experiences had been,” said Aerlyn Pfeil, a midwife and MSF-USA board member
who helped expand the program in Cox’s Bazar to treat survivors of sexual
violence last October. “A lot of gang rape, a lot of public rape, some girls
who were taken for days and assaulted, often [repeatedly].”
a 25-year old Rohingya woman, cried as she recalled the day her village was
attacked by soldiers. “They made us stand all night, until dawn,” she said.
Rashida tried to escape along with a group of women, but they were recaptured
by the soldiers. “They killed my beloved son right in front of me. Then they
closed the door and dishonored me…. [They] started slashing our bodies with
knives.” Rashida survived by laying still among the bodies.
before the latest crisis, Rohingya women and girls were frequent targets of
sexual violence in Myanmar. During the 2016 military campaign that forced tens
of thousands to flee, many women sought care for sexual violence in MSF’s
Kutupalong clinic in Bangladesh.
number of them had been raped several months prior to seeking care. “[Even]
before this, the military would often come and take women. Many women
disappeared,” said a woman from Buthidaung township. “They raped them in the
mountains or in the jungle, or took the women to their camp . . .We were always
of the women I speak with in the community don’t understand that violence
requires medical attention,” said Zulia, a volunteer working with MSF pictured
here. Once they reached the refugee settlements in Bangladesh, many Rohingya
women delayed seeking care for a variety of reasons, including lack of
knowledge about the medical consequences of sexual violence, cultural stigma,
and all the pressures of daily survival.
is a historical reality for a lot of Rohingya women,” said Siobhan O’Malley,
MSF midwife. “People don’t necessarily think that sexual violence is something
you would seek care for unless there is a physical injury—or months afterward,
when they discover they are pregnant.”
medical care for survivors of sexual violence covers testing for and preventive
treatment against sexually transmitted infections, menstrual regulation, and
psychosocial care, as well as vaccinations for tetanus and hepatitis B. However,
some medicines, such as emergency contraception and post-exposure prophylaxis
for the prevention of HIV, must be given in the first 72 hours to be effective.
A PLACE OF PEACE
to the latest emergency, MSF psychologist Cynthia Scott was working in
Kutupalong camp counseling the Rohingya and in the capital, Dhaka, working with
Bangladeshi survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. Following the
August influx, she stayed in Kutupalong full-time to help respond to the
the beginning, Rohingya women were not coming for sexual violence,” she said.
“People were just focused on finding food, water, and shelter.”
the early days of the emergency, Scott and her team at the Kutupalong hospital
would only see the most vulnerable Rohingya women brought in—those with
disabilities; those found in ditches or on the side of the road.
woman didn’t know who she was,” said Scott. “We could tell she had been beaten,
so we just sat with her for a few days until she could speak.”
patients would come in ostensibly seeking care for physical ailments such as
body pains and headaches.
one of the benefits of integrating mental health programs in medical settings,”
she said. “We can do psychosocial education in the waiting room.” MSF
counselors, all of whom are Bangladeshi, hand out water and biscuits in the
waiting room and explain common trauma symptoms. One day, two women at the
clinic suddenly started crying. A counselor sat next to them and asked if they
wanted to talk; both women were survivors of sexual violence.
call the center ‘shanti khana,’ which translates to a place of peace,” said
Scott. If they notice anyone in distress, the MSF triage nurses will ask the
patient if they would like to go to the place of peace, a name that helps
reassure women and avoid stigma.
SGBV outreach team often starts the group sessions with a story about sexual
abuse or assault that then leads into a conversation about the health care
provided by MSF, including the safe termination of pregnancy.
Rohingya women pregnancy outside of marriage is not just frowned upon, it is
impossible,” said Liza Ramlow, midwife supervisor at MSF’s hospital in
Balukhali settlement. “It is a tremendous violence that happens to women and
can have serious consequences.”
Myanmar, the Rohingya were often denied access to public health care, so women
and girls typically fend for themselves. They seek advice from traditional
healers or buy medicines from the camp themselves to end an unwanted pregnancy.
“We see a lot of incomplete, septic abortions,” said O’Malley, the midwife
supervisor. Patients come into the clinic hemorrhaging, extremely sick, and for
MSF’s midwives it’s a race against time to save their lives. “Girls take
matters into their own hands because they feel that is their only option.”
leaders of Jamiat Islami met with the Chief Executive of the Government of
National Unity in Kabul to hold talks regarding some key national issues.
Chief Executive of Jamiat Islami Ata Mohammad Noor in a statement said the
members of the leadership council of the party hosted a meeting in Kabul last
night and was attended by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah as well.
said the meeting focused on the situation of the country as well as the
upcoming parliamentary, districts councils, and presidential elections.
to Noor, the participants of the meeting also held talks regarding the possible
vote rigging during the upcoming elections, the Grand National Coalition and
its objectives and future plans as well as the merger of other coalitions with
the National Grand Coalition.
comes as less than three months are left for the parliamentary and districts
the other hand, sources close to the Independent Election Commission said
Tuesday that the date for the presidential elections has also been set by the
groups say Myanmar's new commission to probe abuses against the Rohingya in
Rakhine State is the start of a cover-up and designed to muddy the waters
rather than hold perpetrators accountable for crimes.
Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said Myanmar is still
playing games and trying to divert attention from the forthcoming fact-finding
mission mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council report that will be
presented in September in Geneva.
all looks like a new phase in Myanmar's efforts to obstruct international
justice for Tatmadaw [military] and police commanders and troops who committed
ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya in northern
Rakhine," Robertson told ucanews.com.
has established a commission with two international and two local members to be
led by Rosario Manalo, a former deputy foreign minister of the Philippines and
a representative of the Philippines to the U.N. Convention on the Elimination
of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Oshima, a former permanent representative to the U.N. for Japan, is another
member of the commission. The two locals are Mya Thein, a former chair of
Myanmar's Constitutional Tribunal, and Aung Tun Thet, a former senior official
has established an independent commission of inquiry as part of its national
initiative to address reconciliation, peace, stability and development in
Rakhine," said the president's office announcement on July 30.
said Manolo has played the "go along to get along" game in ASEAN for
years, especially on the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights,
where he claimed she was more interested in playing politics than protecting
was the primary mover behind an ill-advised campaign for ASEAN to draft its own
human rights conventions, which would have undermined international human
rights standards in a fundamental way, he said.
said Aung Tun Thet has proved to be clearly biased and is entirely
inappropriate for this role. He served on the 2016 national investigation that
refuted the U.N. Human Rights Council's report in February 2016. He has
frequently spoken out to deny that any ethnic cleansing or crimes have taken
place in Rakhine State, according to Robertson.
than 700,000 Rohingya were forced to flee their homes in northern Rakhine after
Myanmar's military crackdown followed attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation
Army on police posts last August.
Lwin, a Muslim leader and a member of the Kofi Annan-led Rakhine Advisory
Commission, said the commission is a positive step in tackling rights abuses in
problems occur, we need commissions to solve them. But it is early to evaluate
the performance of this commission," Aye Lwin told ucanews.com.
said Annan's commission had given suggestions and the government is
implementing some of its recommendations, especially for road and development
many things need to be implemented, especially [to change] attitudes and
distrust between the two communities and tackling hate speech and fake
news," Aye Lwin said.
June, the Myanmar government's proposal to establish a commission with
international members drew strong criticism from military lawmakers, the military-linked
Union Solidarity and Development Party and Rakhine politicians who claimed it
would affect Myanmar's sovereignty.
Than, a Lower-House MP for the Arakan National Party in Rakhine, said the
government was attempting to reduce pressure from the international community.
human rights activists and observers have roundly denounced Myanmar’s decision
to appoint a commission of inquiry into widespread human rights abuses
perpetrated with the state’s own backing and with the military’s direct
participation against the Rohingya Muslim community.
Myanmarese government said on Monday that it had established a new
“independent” commission to investigate the “allegations” of human rights
abuses in Rakhine State — where the Rohingya had been primarily located —
despite the mountain of evidence indicating “systematic ethnic cleansing”
against the minority Muslims.
first came under a military crackdown in late 2016, when the government laid
siege to the state and blocked media access. Nevertheless, reports slowly began
to emerge of horrific violence committed against the Muslim community. Accounts
of killings, beheadings, arson attacks, and rapes by Myanmarese government
soldiers and Buddhist mobs leaked out as many Rohingya Muslims began to flee in
August last year.
of thousands of the Muslims are now living in crowded, squalid camps in
neighboring Bangladesh, where international medics have verified that wounds on
the bodies of the Muslim survivors of the violence correspond with their
accounts of brutal violence, including, in some cases, rape with sharp objects.
Myanmarese government and military have denied almost all allegations of
government has previously established other inquiries — only to conclude that
no violations had taken place.
new body includes, among others, senior adviser to Myanmar’s president, Aung
Tun Thet; the former chair of Myanmar’s constitutional tribunal U Mya Thein;
former Philippine deputy foreign minister Rosario Manalo; and Japan’s former UN
representative Kenzo Oshima.
government did not provide further information, including about the
commission’s powers or the time frame it has been given to complete a potential
rude gesture’ - ‘a distraction’ - ‘emboldening perpetrators’
Bain, a legal adviser to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), has
criticized the appointments.
commissions, he wrote on Twitter, “tend to be ad hoc, rarely if ever lead to
prosecution & fail to provide redress. Impunity results, undermining
justice & emboldening perpetrators.”
analyst David Mathieson also condemned the move, calling it a “political
the weight of evidence collected by Amnesty International, the UN and the
media, this CoI (Commission of Inquiry) is tantamount to a rude gesture, not a
genuine inquiry,” he said, adding that the move could only “collide with a
military covering up ethnic cleansing.”
Rights Watch Myanmar researcher Rich Weir said the country would use the new
body as “distractions and shields from criticism and pressure,” as it did with
the previous such inquiries.
coordinator for the London-based Free Rohingya Coalition, Nay San Lwin, said
Myanmar had been forming inquiry, investigation, and advisory commissions since
2012, none of which “found any solution for the Rohingya, but mostly advocated
for the government and military.”
said the former Advisory Commission on Rakhine, led by former UN secretary
general Kofi Annan, “only advised.”
government did not even implement the recommendations made by that commission,
state-run commissions also claimed the military had not committed any crimes
against the Rohingya people, Lwin said.
of the members of the new commission, Aung Tun Thet, has already denied ethnic
cleansing charges. This is while the United Nations has effectively confirmed
such cleansing has occurred. The UN has said “acts of genocide” have also most
likely been perpetrated against the Rohingya people.
says Trump offer of talks is ‘humiliation’, without value
Iranian officials on Tuesday rejected US President Donald Trump’s offer of
talks without preconditions as worthless and “a humiliation” after he acted to re-impose
sanctions on Tehran following his withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Trump’s repudiation of the accord reached
in 2015 was “illegal” and Iran would not easily yield to Washington’s renewed campaign
to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.
May, Trump pulled the United States out of the multilateral deal concluded
before he took office, denouncing it as one-sided in Iran’s favor. On Monday,
he declared that he would be willing to meet Rouhani without preconditions to
discuss how to improve relations.
head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations said on Tuesday Tehran
saw no worth in Trump’s offer, made only a week after he warned Iran it risked
dire consequences few had ever suffered in history if it made threats against
on our bad experiences in negotiations with America and based on US officials’
violation of their commitments, it is natural that we see no value in his
proposal,” Kamal Kharrazi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news
should first make up for his withdrawal from the nuclear deal and show that he
respects his predecessors’ commitments and international law,” added Kharrazi,
a former foreign minister. The council was set up by Iranian Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to help formulate long-term policies for the Islamic
move to force Iran into fresh negotiations has for now reunited Iranian
hardliners who opposed the nuclear deal and moderates like Rouhani who
championed it to end the Islamic Republic’s economically crippling stand-off
with Western powers.
Motahari, the deputy speaker of Iran’s parliament who is seen as part of Iran’s
moderate camp, said that to negotiate with Trump now “would be a humiliation”.
“If Trump had not withdrawn from the nuclear deal and not imposed (new)
sanctions on Iran, there would be no problem with negotiations with America,”
he told state news agency IRNA.
interior minister chimed in that Tehran did not trust Washington as a
negotiating partner. “The United States is not trustworthy. How can we trust
this country when it withdraws unilaterally from the nuclear deal?” Abdolreza
Rahmani Fazli was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
senior aide to Rouhani said the only way back to talks was for Washington to
return to the nuclear agreement. “Respecting the Iranian nation’s rights,
reducing hostilities and returning to the nuclear deal are steps that can be
taken to pave the bumpy road of talks between Iran and America,” Hamid
Aboutalebi tweeted on Tuesday.
the 2015 deal, the fruit of Rouhani’s efforts to ease Iran’s international
isolation to help revive its economy, Iran curbed its shadowy nuclear program
and won relief from UN and Western sanctions in return.
pact in jeopardy
condemned the deal in part because it did not cover Iran’s ballistic missile
program and involvement in Middle East conflicts. He reactivated US sanctions,
the most all-encompassing measures against Iran, and warned countries to stop
importing Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or risk US penalties.
three major European signatories to the 2015 deal have been searching for ways
to salvage it but cautioned Tehran that they may not be able to persuade many
major investors not to bolt from business with Iran to avoid US punishment.
said during a meeting with Britain’s ambassador on Tuesday that after what he
called the “illegal” US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, “the ball is in
Europe’s court now”. He added, “The Islamic Republic has never sought tension
in the region and does not want any trouble in global waterways, but it will
not easily give up on its rights to export oil.”
and some senior military commanders have said Iran could disrupt oil shipments
from Gulf states through the Strait of Hormuz if Washington tries to choke off
Iranian oil exports. Reiterating Tehran’s official stance, Iranian Navy
Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi was quoted as saying by Tasnim news
agency on Tuesday that the strait would remain open “if Iran’s national
interests are preserved”.
Moscow, Ankara urge countering plots to partition Syria
Russia and Turkey, as guarantor states for a peace process in Syria, have
expressed their firm determination to counter any plot aimed at partitioning
the Arab country.
Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev made the remarks while reading a
joint statement issued by representatives of the three countries on Tuesday at
the end of the tenth round of the two-day International Meeting on Syria in the
Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey
confirmed their strong adherence to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and
territorial integrity of Syria," Lavrentiev said.
added that the sides reaffirmed their determination to continue the combat against
terrorism in Syria in order to completely eradicate terrorist groups, including
Daesh and al-Nusra Front, and other people, groups, companies and organizations
relating to al-Qaeda or Daesh and which the UN Security Council recognizes as
Russian diplomat said the parties would continue to make joint efforts to
promote a process of political settlement which is led and implemented by
Syrians themselves in order to establish conditions that facilitate the early
work of a constitutional committee in Geneva.
Turkey and Russia called on the international community, especially the UN and
its humanitarian agencies, to increase assistance to Syria, restore life
support facilities and social-economic infrastructure as well as preserve
historic heritage, Lavrentiev added.
noted that the three countries started discussions in coordination with the
international community, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and
other related international organizations in order to establish due conditions
for the early voluntary and safe return of internally displaced people and
refugees to their homes in Syria.
Russian envoy said Tehran, Moscow and Ankara would make joint efforts in order
to strengthen trust between conflicting sides in Syria, including in a
framework of the working group on the release of detainees/abductees and
handover of bodies, as well as the identification of missing persons with the
participation of UN experts and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
further added, "The parties have decided to hold the next international
high-level meeting on Syria in November 2018."
envoy plans talks with Iran, Russia, Turkey on new Syria constitution
UN peace envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, also said on Tuesday that he
plans to host Iran, Russia and Turkey for talks in September on finalizing a
committee to write a new Syrian constitution.
special envoy looks forward to holding formal consultations with the Islamic
Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey, very early
in September in Geneva, in order to begin to finalize the constitutional
committee," de Mistura's office said in a statement.
Iran and Russia are the guarantors of a countrywide ceasefire in Syria. The
three have been mediating a peace process since January 2016 among Syria’s
warring sides in Astana, Kazakhstan.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
Yemen’s army, backed by the Arab coalition, liberated strategic positions in
Nahm province on Wednesday, east of Sanaa, amid major clashes with the Houthi
militia, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
a statement issued by the Yemeni Armed Forces media center, a military source
revealed that the liberation took place in the early hours of Wednesday
morning, with 17 militants killed and a number of military equipment destroyed.
President Donald Trump said on Monday he would be willing to meet Iran’s leader
without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties after he pulled the United
States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying, “If they want to meet, we’ll
meet with anybody. I believe in meetings,” especially in cases where war is at
stake, Trump said at a White House news conference when asked whether he was
willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani.
response, Iran said the way back to talks was for the United States to return
to the nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers that Trump exited in May.
the Iranian nation’s rights, reducing hostilities and returning to the nuclear
deal are steps that can be taken to pave the bumpy road of talks between Iran
and America,” Hamid Aboutalebi, an adviser to Rouhani, tweeted on Tuesday.
aims to force Tehran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant
groups in the Middle East, where Iran is involved in proxy wars from Yemen to
and other signatories have been working to find a way to salvage the nuclear
agreement, even as the United States has begun reimposing some sanctions on
US president has met with an Iranian leader since the Washington cut diplomatic
relations with Tehran a year after the 1979 revolution that toppled the shah, a
US ally. President Barack Obama broke a three-decade freeze with a phone call
to Rowhani in 2013.
White House clarified that Trump’s potential willingness to meet with his
Iranian counterpart does not change his administration’s intent to ratchet up
sanctions and rhetoric against Tehran with the stated goal of “seeking changes
in the Iranian government’s behavior.”
Trump’s remarks did represent a marked softening of tone from a week ago, when
he lashed out at Rowhani in a tweet, saying “Never, ever threaten the United
States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout
history have ever suffered before.”
before that July 22 tweet, Rouhani had addressed Trump in a speech, saying that
hostile US policies could lead to “the mother of all wars”.
Monday, speaking at a news conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister
Giuseppe Conte, Trump said: “I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to
meet. I don’t know that they’re ready yet. I ended the Iran deal. It was a
ridiculous deal. I do believe that they will probably end up wanting to meet
and I’m ready to meet any time that they want to.”
said he had “no preconditions” for a meeting with the Iranians, adding: “If
they want to meet, I’ll meet.”
White House said that even though the president “is open to dialogue and
negotiation,” it did not mean the United States would lift sanctions or
re-establish diplomatic and commercial relations.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has slammed a terrorist attack in
Tajikistan that killed four Western tourists, expressing Tehran's readiness to
help Dushanbe investigate the incident.
condemn any act of terror in different parts of the world, including the recent
incident against foreign tourists in Tajikistan," Qassemi said on Tuesday.
also criticized accusations made in a statement by Tajikistan's interior ministry
Islamic Republic of Iran strongly denies any link with this incident and the
existence of any base inside its territory for training [terrorists to carry
out] acts of sabotage," the Iranian spokesperson said.
is also ready to cooperate with Tajik authorities to investigate all aspects of
the terrorist attack, he added.
Americans, a Dutch and a Swiss citizen were killed Sunday about 100 kilometers
(60 miles) from Dushanbe after being struck by a car and attacked on a popular cycling
route. The Daesh terrorist group on Monday claimed responsibility for the
attack. After the crash, the attackers also stabbed their victims.
security forces killed four suspected attackers on Monday and detained one. In
a statement on Tuesday, the interior ministry said it had detained four more
suspects and claimed that the attackers’ leader had been trained in Iran.
dismissed such baseless and unfounded allegations, saying that the claims are
detrimental to cordial relations between Iran and Tajikistan.
expressed hope that the two countries would strengthen relations and would not
allow enemies to damage ties by raising such issues.
Foreign Ministry calls on the regime in Israel to explain the legal grounds on
which it seized a Norwegian-flagged boat taking humanitarian aid supplies to the
Tel Aviv-blockaded Gaza Strip.
have asked the Israeli authorities to clarify the circumstances around the
seizure of the vessel and the legal basis for the intervention,” a ministry
spokesman said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Israeli navy intercepted the vessel al-Awda (Return) some 60 nautical miles off
the coast in international waters on Sunday.
captain was struck on the head by the forces, who had ordered him to sail to
the coastline of the Israeli-occupied territories instead, said Torstein Dahle,
the head of Ship to Gaza Norway, which had organized the trip.
ministry said that its diplomatic mission in Israel was trying to secure the
release of five Norwegians who were sailing on board the vessel among 22
others. Two Israelis on board were, however, quickly released.
spokesman for Israel’s ministry for foreign affairs declined to comment on the
said al-Awda was the first Norwegian aid vessel to try to break Israel’s siege
of the territory that has been in place since 2007.
is a peaceful boat; it’s impossible that it can threaten Israel’s security,” he
intercepted vessel is one of four ships that make up Freedom Flotilla, an
international coalition seeking to take aid to Gaza despite the siege.
Swedish-flagged boat from the flotilla is now reportedly on its way to the
May 2010, an Israeli raid on a similar flotilla, comprising six civilian ships,
killed 10 Turkish activists in the high seas. The incident outraged the
enforces the blockade claiming that it prevents arms smuggling to the
Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas.
Houthi Ansarullah movement has unilaterally suspended its retaliatory attacks
in the Red Sea, from where Saudi-led warships have been targeting the war-torn
state, especially its strategic port city of Hudaydah.
a statement released on Tuesday, the Houthi-run Supreme Revolutionary Committee
(SRC) said the two-week suspension was meant to support efforts aimed at
resolving the Yemeni conflict.
unilateral halt in naval military operations will be for a limited time period
and could be extended and include all fronts if this move is reciprocated by
the leadership of the [Saudi-led] coalition,” SRC head Mohammed Ali al-Houthi
announcement comes less than a week after Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended
all oil shipments through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the southern entrance to
the Red Sea.
move followed Yemeni retaliatory attacks on the Saudi Dammam frigate off the
western coast of Yemen and a coalition boat off the coast of el-Durayhmi in
southern Hudaydah, which the Saudi-led coalition and their allied militants
have been seeking to seize in a weeks-long military push.
Saudi Arabia claimed that Houthi fighters had attacked two oil tankers in the
Red Sea, and thus it had decided to halt oil shipments via Bab el-Mandeb until
the waterway was safe.
in his statement, Houthi complained that as a result of the Saudi-led
aggression and siege of Yemen, people are suffering from the worst humanitarian
crisis in the world.
halt to retaliatory attacks in the Red Sea is aimed at “preserving the Yemeni
bloods and in response to the regional and international moves and efforts
aiming to bring peace,” he noted.
on Tuesday, a Yemeni Defense Ministry official confirmed that the Houthis were
halting naval operations for two weeks, starting at midnight (2000 GMT) on
welcome any initiative to spare bloodshed and stop aggression against Yemen,”
the official said in a statement carried by Yemen’s official SABA news agency.
the past weeks, the UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has been
shuttling between the warring parties to help stop the Saudi-led offensive on
Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Hudaydah, which the world body says could lead to
a humanitarian catastrophe.
Arabia and its allies launched the war in March 2015 in support of Yemen’s
former Riyadh-friendly government and against the Houthis.
Western countries have been supplying Saudi Arabia with advanced weapons and
forces regularly target positions inside Saudi Arabia and fire rockets at the
coalition’s battleships in retaliatory attacks against the Riyadh-led military
operation on Yemen.
least four civilians have been killed when Saudi military aircraft carried out
airstrikes against an area in Yemen’s strategic western coastal province of
Hudaydah as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its atrocious bombardment
campaign against its southern neighbor.
fighter jets conducted aerial assaults against the Office of Agricultural
Extension in the al-Durayhimi district of the province on Tuesday afternoon,
leaving four people dead and two others injured, unnamed local sources told
Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network.
in the day, Saudi warplanes targeted a residential building in Bani Sa’ad area
of the al-Dhaher district in the mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada.
There were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of
damage caused. Separately, scores of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to resigned
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi were killed when a powerful bomb explosion
ripped through their military vehicle in Hudaydah province.
Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Yemeni army
soldiers, supported by fighters from allied Popular Committees, detonated a
roadside bomb as the vehicle was travelling along a road in the al-Faazeh area.
in Aden wounds politician, three others
Yemeni officials say a prominent politician, his son and two other people have
sustained injuries in roadside bombing in the southern port city of Aden.
officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the assassination attempt
targeted Aref Ahmed Ali of the Salafist Islah Party in Maala neighborhood of
the city, situated 346 kilometers (214 miles) south of the capital Sana’a.
added that the wounded have been taken to hospitals for treatment.
group has claimed the responsibility for the attack yet.
bomb came only two days after unknown gunmen fatally shot Colonel Nasser Makireh
al-Jaadani, an intelligence official at the Aden airport in front of Ba Janid
Mosque in the central Khor Mukasar district of Aden.
body was later transferred to the Republican Hospital.
assassination came as the city of Aden has been recently witnessing a growing
number of assassinations of security officials and Muslim preachers.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
Saudi-led war had left some 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March 2015.
United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid,
including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
high-ranking UN aid official has warned against the “catastrophic” living
conditions in Yemen, stating that there is a growing risk of famine and cholera
Haram: Stop ‘secret’ burial of fallen soldiers, BBOG tells Nigerian govt
pressure group, Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), has asked the federal government
to stop the secret burial of soldiers killed on the battlefield.
a statement signed by its leaders, Oby Ezekwesili, Aisha Yesufu and Florence
Ozor, the group made this call while reacting to photos of mass burial of some
fallen soldiers days after the Nigerian military denied its soldiers were
TIMES had reported how the Nigerian military denied that about 23 soldiers and
eight trucks went missing after the troops suffered an ambush attack by Boko
Haram gunmen in Bama local government area of Borno State on July 16.
attack which occurred three days earlier, was not made public by the military
until the media published it.
spokesperson for the Nigeria Army, Texas Chukwu, who confirmed the incident,
had said it was “blown out of proportion by the media”.
its statement, the BBOG, which has been championing the return of abducted
Chibok schoolgirls since 2014 described the military’s denial as unfortunate.
Nigerians not told that the military has won the war? What then is the reason
for the escalation of attacks by the terrorists and the heightened loss of life
of citizens and our soldiers?
#BringBackOurGirls Advocacy has been consistent in voicing the correlation
between the wellbeing of our troops, the rescue of our #ChibokGirls and the end
of the insurgency.
is therefore disheartening that several months after the federal government’s
announcement that Boko Haram has been technically defeated, we see pictures of
a mass burial for our troops, killed by Boko Haram,” part of the statement
movement also listed new demands:
Military Authority should immediately confirm the number of our soldiers that
have died within this month of July 2018. Their families and Nigerians should
have a brief on the circumstances of their deaths as a means to healing, to
have closure. Their names should be released for proper honour as obtains in
take exception to what is to all intent, a secret burial of our fallen heroes.
Those responsible for the safety of our troops should be sanctioned for this
failure and measures must be put in place to prevent further deaths and damage
to the morale of our troops. We question why the current status of our defence
budget is at variance with the safety and wellbeing of our troops in this fight
against Boko Haram.
still stand on the demand we have made previously, for the federal government
to institute a monthly Counter-Terrorism Status Report to the Nigerian Public.”
group demanded to know the federal government’s strategy to stop the killings
insurgency is more than eight years, when will Nigeria’s enemy be truly
defeated? When will our 112 #ChibokGirls be rescued? When will #LeahSharibu (an
abductee) come home?”
contacted, the army spokesperson, Jude Chukwu, declined comments but said: “the
case is in the past”.
don’t know. I don’t know please,” was all he added when prompted further.
Nigerian judge on Tuesday cleared over 80 Shiite supporters of a pro-Iranian
cleric of criminal charges linked to a violent protest in 2015, defence and
prosecution lawyers said.
David Shiri Wyom at the Kaduna State High Court ruled in favour of the
defence's no case submission, saying that the state did not present enough
evidence to go ahead with proceedings.
had said the supporters of pro-Iranian cleric Ibrahim Zakzaky had conspired to
attack the military convoy of army chief Tukur Buratai.
the court found was that there was no credible evidence," defence lawyer
Maxwell Kyon told AFP.
really a big victory," Kyon said, noting that the ruling could bolster
who is accused of orchestrating the attack, has been detained since 2015 despite
court orders that he should be freed. The court is set to hear his bail
application on Thursday.
(Zakzaky) is standing trial for having abetted the commission of the offences,
so if the court has now found that no such offences were committed, it becomes
difficult to convict someone for abetting the omission of these crimes,"
has been at loggerheads with Nigeria's secular authorities for years because of
his call for an Iranian-style Islamic revolution
Dari Bayero said that he is "in the process" of appealing Tuesday's
are totally dissatisfied with the ruling of the court," Bayero said.
estimated 100 more of Zakzaky's Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) supporters
are still in prison in connection with the 2015 clashes.
defense ministry said that seven soldiers and four extremists were killed in a
violent clash in the area of Skikda, some 420 kilometers east of the capital
skirmish occurred Monday in the locality of Bessi during a search and sweep
operation. The ministry confirmed Tuesday the “elimination” of four
“terrorists” during the operation in which the military recovered three machine
and military forces said the dead soldiers’ bodies were taken to the local
morgue and several other soldiers who were wounded were treated in the Skikda
to show that it has not lost its capacity to wreak havoc, Boko Haram has again
been bombarding the Nigerian military. To underscore their readiness to fight
to the death, the jihadists have launched horrendous attacks on Nigerian
soldiers in Borno and Yobe states. They first ambushed a military convoy before
attacking a military base, both within a space of 24 hours. Trying to contain
the damage, the military authorities have been coy about the extent of damage
to life and property. The upsurge bodes ill for the country.
attacks represent a dampener for the military’s confidence. In the initial
episode, the militants ambushed a military convoy in Bama, Borno State. In the
ensuing fighting, scores of soldiers from the 21 Brigade were displaced. Aside
from those missing in action, an AFP report said the corpses of 10 soldiers
were recovered after the skirmishes, in addition to the members of the Civilian
Joint Task Force that died. Although the military officials later confirmed the
incident, the casualty number is hazy. This weird, opaque method negates global
best practices in military circles. In the 14 years to 2015, the British
government stated that 456 members of its Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Marines
and Special Forces lost their lives in the fight against the Taliban in
Afghanistan. This is openness.
second attack, which occurred in nearby Yobe State, a day later, was just as
devastating for the military. This time, the jihadists used their huge number
to overwhelm the 81 Division Forward Brigade located at Jilli, Geidam. The base
also lost some of its equipment to the insurgents. The base reportedly has over
700 personnel, with most of them just deployed from Lagos in the theatre of
war. Initial reports said less than just 100 troops were accounted for after a
fierce encounter that lasted for over two hours.
is revealing. For Boko Haram to attack the base before the new arrivals had
settled down to business suggests strongly that it still has moles in the
security apparatus. Without a counter-operation to smoke out these infiltrators,
the military might continue to suffer heavy losses. This will unduly prolong
the insurgency, which manifested fully in 2009 when Boko Haram gained worldwide
notoriety by attacking security agents and soft targets in the North-East.
is also a reversal of the gains made by the military in the past few years. On
assuming office in May 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had rejuvenated the
anti-terror war. His infusion of fresh impetus into the war, which has claimed
over 100,000 lives since inception (according Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno
State), saw the military recapturing the territories confiscated by the
Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, the military made inroads into the
Sambisa Forest, the stronghold of the terrorists. Instructively, Boko Haram
operations are now largely restricted to the North-East. On July 18, the
Intelligence Response Team, a special team of police officers, finally arrested
22 top Boko Haram commanders. Some of them played major roles in the April 2014
abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls, suicide bombings and the ambush of
security operatives, said Damian Chukwu, the Borno State Commissioner of
the fresh attacks hint at the tenuous hold of the military on the reclaimed
territories, which should not be the case. In February, a Boko Haram breakaway
faction had kidnapped another set of 106 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State.
About two million persons, who have been displaced internally by the
insurgency, are yet to return home because they are susceptible to attacks. All
this underlines the tenacity of the Salafist ideology driving the Boko Haram
insurgency. Therefore, it is high time the country devised fresh winning
strategies to defeat the militants.
a military base is a fortress. As such, it ought to be impenetrable for Boko
Haram. Repelling attacks by insurgents is not good enough, the military have to
up the ante. They should be the first to go on the all-out offensive against
the jihadists. When the terrorists are on the defensive, they will be incapable
of mounting attacks on military formations.
there must be an end to this war soon, it will come by scaling up intelligence
gathering and infiltration of Boko Haram operations. In this wise, high
technology becomes relevant. The Buhari administration should equip the
military and the State Security Service with more technological tools, and
training of officers in counter-insurgency. Enlisting the assistance of Israel,
the United States, Britain and France, countries that have experienced a high
degree of Islamist terrorism before, can make a world of difference between
success and failure.
is an open fact that Boko Haram insurgents are a well-motivated bunch. Apart
from financial inducement, the false ideology of paradise and martyrdom fuels
their rabid rebellion against constituted authorities. To counter this, the
military should make the welfare of soldiers on the warfront paramount.
is no greater morale booster than success in the battlefield. This, the United
States understands perfectly well with the operation that eliminated al-Qaeda
leader, Osama bin Laden, in 2011. He was trailed doggedly and killed by US Navy
SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Thus, the military have to score big by
targeting Abubakar Shekau, who assumed the Boko Haram leadership when Mohammed
Yusuf died in 2009. Not him alone: also, to be taken out is Abu-Mus’ab
al-Barnawi, the factional Boko Haram leader, whose group specialises in
attacking the security forces. By eliminating the leaders, the sect would have
lost some grounds to the Nigerian military, which just reshuffled the pack in
the theatre of war.
'not doing enough' on Israeli-Palestinian conflict
UN Security Council is not doing enough to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian
issue, Sweden’s ambassador to the UN said Tuesday.
it should be a priority. Has it been a priority? I am afraid not,” said Olof
Skoog, speaking at the UN at the end of his country's Security Council
said recent events “have been moving us away from peace” in the region, citing
the U.S.’s decision to move its embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and Israel’s
Jewish nation-state law.
are very close to another Gaza war. Almost on a daily basis the tensions are
there that could escalate very quickly. So it is a very very dangerous
I do not think that the Security Council has done enough about it," Skoog
also said the council had failed to take a humanitarian approach in Gaza,
Palestine, adding he did not see any movement forward for resolving the
did not approve of the embassy decision announced by the U.S. in May, which was
met with discord among the international community, he recalled.
July 19, Israel’s parliament passed a law which declares the country to be “the
nation-state of the Jewish people”.
law does not promote Palestinian participation in political life in the country,
made sure that every member on the Security Council understands exactly what
life is in Gaza,” he added.
Kazan International Muslim Film Festival, scheduled for Sept. 5-11, has been
organized in the Republic of Tatarstan's capital city Kazan since 2005. The
first festival was initiated by the Russian Council of Muftis, the Federal
Agency for Culture and Cinematography of Russia and the Tatarstani Culture
Ministry with the support of the Tatarstani presidency.
motto of the festival is: "To the dialogue of cultures through the culture
of dialogue." Its aim is to provide workers in the culture and art fields
a chance to exchange experiences as well as recognize the creative achievements
of Muslim cinematographers and representatives of other religious affiliations
who make films popularizing cultural traditions, and spiritual and moral
values. It also aims to promote the positive aspects of Islam and Muslims to
the rest of the world, especially the Russian community.
members of the selective committee and the jury of the festival are comprised
of well-known professionals in the arts, such as filmmakers, cameramen and film
critics from all over the world.
numbers of participants and participating films has steadily increased every
year. Forty films from 12 countries were selected for the first festival, while
400 films from 67 countries were sent to this year's festival. Global
participation in the festival is also expanding with an ever-growing number of
participating countries. As a result, the international status of the festival
improves every year through the growing list of participating films and
esteemed guests from all over the world.
films reflect humanitarian, spiritual and moral values as well as cultural
traditions by supporting peacemaking, tolerance and humanity regardless of
nationality and religious affiliation. The selective committee members are
respected Russian and foreign film critics. They thoroughly analyze the films
sent to the festival and as a result, interesting, original, vivid films that
deserve the audience's attention and praise are selected for the competitive
(AP) — The Islamic State group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a
car-and-knife attack on Western tourists cycling in Tajikistan that killed two
Americans and two Europeans.
in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation didn't publicly address the IS claim and
instead blamed the Sunday attack on a banned local Islamist group. The young
men featured in an IS-linked video resembled the individuals that Tajik
authorities identified as attack suspects who were later killed by police.
Islamic State group said in a statement late Monday that several of its
soldiers attacked the "citizens of the Crusader coalition."
four tourists were killed when a car rammed into a group of foreigners on
bicycles south of the capital of Dushanbe, Tajik officials have said. The
driver and the passengers then got out and attacked the cyclists with knives.
of the victims were American, one was Swiss and the fourth was from the
Netherlands, foreign and Tajik officials said. The three people injured
included a woman from Switzerland.
video posted on an IS-linked website Tuesday shows five men sitting on a hill
against the backdrop of a black-and-white IS flag and declaring allegiance to
IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The men say they're from Tajikistan and pledge
to slaughter disbelievers in the name of Allah. A note accompanying the video
said the men took part in the weekend attack.
Interior Ministry posted photos Tuesday of what it said were the bodies of four
suspected attackers lying dead in a field. Three of the men resemble ones in
the IS video.
blamed the attack on the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, a local party
banned several years ago for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.
an impoverished, predominantly Muslim nation of some 8 million people, was
devastated by a 5-year civil war with Islamist-inspired rebel forces that ended
in Tajikistan have blamed an outlawed opposition party for a car-ramming attack
that killed four tourists and that has been claimed by the Takfiri Daesh
said in a statement on Tuesday that a detained man, identified as the
mastermind of the Sunday car-ramming attack — which killed two Americans, a
Swiss and a Dutch national — was an “active member” of the so-called Islamic
Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, which was outlawed by the country’s supreme
court in 2015.
statement identified the suspect as 33-year-old Hussein Abdusamadov.
Daesh terrorist group had on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack in
the assault was initially reported as a hit-and-run car accident, Interior
Minister Ramazon Hamro Rahimzoda said on Monday that the assailants “had knives
and firearms.” He added that one of the three tourists who survived the
car-ramming but was stabbed was being treated in hospital.
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