Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo and Ma'ruf Amin. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)
PM Mahathir's Approval Rating At 71% But Concern Over Race And Religion
Calls On Zardari to Bridge Differences between Opposition Parties
Bin Salman: We Won’t Allow Houthis To Become Another Hezbollah
Cleric Stops Children from Singing National Anthem, Held
Using Civilians as Human Shield for Terrorists in Idlib
Ankara-Backed Militants Killed, Wounded in Afrin
president, wife visit militant tunnel turned into art gallery
Minister Abdullatif Al-Sheikh: Muslim Brotherhood Harmed Islam
court releases satirical blogger Islam Refeai on bail
of Civilians Kidnapped by Turkish Army in Afrin
of Terrorists Killed, Wounded in Explosions, Infighting in Idlib
Arabia contributes $100 mln to Global Coalition fighting ISIS
terrorists killed in Iraqi air raids on Daesh positions in Syria
just 100 days, Pakatan government makes itself felt in the region
Rejects Charges Pakistanis Aided Taliban in Ghazni
unravels as PPP refuses to vote for Shahbaz
advises PTI to open its accounts to public scrutiny
foils terror bid, arrests four suspects in Balochistan
chief confirms death sentences to 15 terrorists
hails Pakistan for ‘extensive’ counter-terrorist operations
Defense Minister and Qatari Envoy Met Secretly To Discuss Gaza
forms ‘Iran Action Group’ for post-nuke deal policy
schools to open on time despite US freeze
massacre probe: Human rights advocates accuse Israeli military of whitewash
Stops Children from Singing National Anthem, Held
Mahasabha Sets Up 'First Hindu Court' After AIMPLB's Proposal To Open 'Shariat Courts'
In All Districts
to help India, Pakistan open talks, says Saudi envoy
Khan, Sheikh Hasina pay tribute to Vajpayee
France's Generous Financer of Mosques
Mosques Attacked With Catapults during Evening Prayers
Relationships and Sharing Christ in Predominantly Muslim Dearborn
says Syria base attacked by ‘sophisticated’ drones
Conservative party targets Muslim peer
Launch Attack on Intelligence Training Centre In Kabul
Detains Dozens in Student Protest Crackdown
suicide bombers arrested by the NDS operatives in Jalalabad city
militants suffer heavy casualties in US airstrikes in Helmand
leave Rohingya camps gripped by fear
Compromised Police to Blame for Al Shabaab Attacks, Says Mandera MP
Muslim teens learn computer skills at Catholic mission
heart of West Africa, Burkina Faso faces rising extremism
disputes UN’s claim of ransom payment to terrorists
militants blamed for wave of killings in Somalia
Congressman Appears On Anti-Muslim Radio Show
for Trump to join Arab states, apply pressure on Qatar
threatens more Turkey sanctions if pastor not freed
Taliban assaults likely in weeks ahead — US Defense chief Mattis
unveils action group to run policy on ‘malign’ Iran
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency reported on Thursday that the
safe corridor which was due to open in Abu Zohour region in Southeastern Idlib
for the civilians' passage from the terrorist-occupied regions remained closed
after Turkey showed a green light to the militants to attack it.
added that the Syrian army's decision was called off after the Turkish officers
held a meeting with commanders of the terrorist groups in Hama and Idlib near
the town of Murak in Northern Hama, forcing civilians to remain in their homes.
on the report, the Turkish army has also declared that it will block any
military operations in the province and protect the regions occupied by
al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board), the
ISIL, Horas al-Din and other terrorist groups.
a Syrian field source said that the decision was called off after intelligence
showed Turkey's green light for the ISIL and al-Nusra's suicide attacks against
the passageway, adding that Ankara is trying to prevent military operations in
the region by using civilians as human shield to protect the terrorists.
Russia-run Sputnik news agency reported on Wednesday that the Russian and
Syrian forces were making final coordination on a major offensive against
terrorists in Idlib.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted a military source as saying that the
Russian and Syrian armies have been coordinating to launch the long-waited
assault in Idlib, adding that a vast joint reconnaissance operation has been
underway by Russian and Syrian experts in the last few days as the zero hour is
arriving for the operation in Northwestern Syria.
Arabic Sputnik further said that monitoring movements and gatherings of
terrorists in the villages and towns in Southeastern Idlib has been among the
joint reconnaissance operation conducted by the Russian and Syrian forces.
the meantime, the Syrian army artillery units shelled heavily the positions of
Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in
the region, destroying their bases and positions, the website added.
Rights Watch Concerned About Jokowi's Running Mate Choice
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's choice of Ma'ruf Amin as running
mate in next year's election has been criticized by Human Rights Watch.
choice] raises questions about Jokowi's commitment to improve human rights
protection for all Indonesians," the New York-based organization said in a
statement issued on Friday (10/08).
organization said Ma'ruf has played a pivotal role in fueling discrimination
against religious and gender minorities in Indonesia.
75, is highly respected among traditional Muslims in Indonesia, and has been
chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) since 2015.
is the country's top Muslim clerical body, comprising of all registered Muslim
organizations, including Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah. The council
serves as a central authority, which issues fatwas and provides recommendations
on the issuance of halal certificates.
is also the supreme leader of NU, in 1971-1982 was a lawmaker with the United
Development Party (PPP), and in 1997-2004 with the National Awakening Party
to Human Rights Watch, Ma'ruf has helped draft and issue discriminatory fatwas against
religious minorities, including Ahmadis and Shias, and the LGBT community.
said Ma'ruf was chosen because of his religious authority.
think we complement each other, in terms of nationalism and religion," the
president said on Thursday.
was one of the key expert witnesses in a controversial blasphemy trial which
sent former Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to prison
last year. He also signed an MUI document stating that Ahok had committed
Amin has already shown he has no hesitation in putting vulnerable minorities at
risk," said Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch deputy director of Asia
his first presidential race in 2014, Jokowi promised to address pressing human
rights issues and resolve past rights violations.
will need to prove that he values his obligation to defend the rights and
dignity of all the Indonesian people above pandering to extreme intolerance for
short term political gain," Kine said.
calls on Zardari to bridge differences between opposition parties
Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called on Pakistan
People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari to bridge
differences between the opposition parties ahead of the election of prime
minister in National Assembly, media reports said.
meeting took place at Zardari House on Thursday where both leaders discussed
PPP’s decision of remaining politically inactive in the PM election. According
to reports, the PPP lawmakers will attend the NA session on Friday, but refrain
from taking part in the PM election process.
PPP lawmakers will vote neither for PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif nor PTI
Chairman Imran for the PM slot.
National Assembly will elect the country’s 22nd prime minister on Friday. Both
the nomination papers of Imran Khan and Shehbaz Sharif were accepted on
to reporters prior to the PPP meeting, Khursheed Shah said his party had
reservations over Shehbaz being the candidate for prime minister. Shah stressed
that if the PML-N does not change its PM candidate then the PPP will decide
have told PML-N of our reservations, we are working on [resolving it]. [But] if
they don’t change their candidate then we will [make our own] decision,” he
leader Khawaja Saad Rafique claimed that the PPP backtracked upon former
president Asif Ali Zardari’s orders.
said that earlier the PPP had agreed upon the PML-N candidate’s name. “We don’t
blame Zardari sb for anything and are aware of his troubles,” said the former
bin Salman: We won’t allow Houthis to become another Hezbollah
Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman said on Thursday that
the Kingdom won’t allow the Houthi militias to be another Hezbollah, in
reference to Lebanese pro-Iranian militia, stressing that this is what the
Islamic Republic of Iran is seeking.
Khalid said, in a series of tweets with videos showing evidence about Hezbollah
support for the Houthis, that the Iranian regime, in addition to providing the
Houthis with weapons and missiles, is also supporting them with experts from
Hezbollah to train them in order to continue their war against the Yemeni
Ambassador further added that “Their presence in Yemen confirms the Iranian
regime has subcontracted the Houthi militia to be another one of its proxies;
Hezbollah. It proves the regime’s proxies work in tandem to undermine regional
stability and prolong the suffering of the Yemeni people.”
Khalid added that a previous operation launched by a special unit in the Arab
coalition, revealed evidence that Hezbollah is operative in Yemen, advising the
Houthis to use deception tactics, such
as using water tanks to store weapons, and smuggling fighters through civilian
vehicles, endangering the lives of Yemeni civilians.
A Muslim cleric has been arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj for stopping
children in a madrassa from singing the National Anthem. The incident occurred
after flag hoisting at Arabia Ahle Sunnat Anware Taiba Girls’ College under
Koluhi police station on Independence Day.
teacher at the madrassa protested the cleric’s action, shot a video of the incident
and put it on social media. As the video went viral, a resident complained to
the police. Subsequently, a case was registered against cleric Mohammad Junaid
Ansari and two unidentified persons. Ansari was arrested and sent to jail. The
case against Ansari and the two unidentified persons was filed under sedition
charges, criminal law amendment Act, IT Act and for insult to national honour.
to the police, Ansari was an outsider at the madrassa. After flag hoisting by
principal Faizlurrehman, Ansari came up and stopped children from singing the
the video, he can be seen asking children to refrain from singing Jana Gana
Mana. He even tells them that singing it is not allowed in Islam. The principal
does not contest Ansari’s claims. Science teacher Sunil Mani Tripathi, who shot
the video, can be heard protesting against Ansari’s action.
ASP Ashutosh Tripathi said the case had been filed on the complaint of one
Umesh Yadav. While Ansari had been arrested, investigations into the role of
the other two were on, he added. District minority officer Prabhat Kumar, who
was asked by DM Amar Nath Upadhyay to investigate the case, said: “Ansari was
not associated with the madrassa. After the incident, the National Anthem was
Kurdish-language Hawar news website quoted the Kurdish units as saying on
Thursday that they had detonated two roadside bombs on the way of a convoy of
the Turkish army and Ferqat al-Hamzeh terrorist group in Trendeh road.
added that 10 Turkish army forces and affiliated militants were killed and over
20 others were injured in the operations.
the attack, the reconnaissance drones of the Turkish army flew over the region
for 6 hours.
is still the scene of clashes between the Kurdish forces and the Turkish army
despite being occupied for several months by Ankara.
week, Hawar news had reported that a number of Turkish soldiers and
Ankara-backed militants, including a senior commander, were killed in the
Kurdish militia attacks in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.
added that Abdul Razaq al-Bokour, a commander of Ankara-backed militants, was
killed in the Kurdish units' bomb attack on the Turkish troops and allied militants
in Mobata region in Afrin.
Kurdish militias' operation against the Turkish troops and allied militants has
been codenamed as Olive Rage," it said.
the meantime, a bomb-laden motorcycle went off on a road to Kafr Jinah in Shera
region that is usually patrolled by the Turkish forces and allied militants,
killing a Turkish soldier and injuring a militant.
President Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asma al-Assad, have made a surprise
visit to an underground tunnel in the liberated town of Jobar, which was
previously used by terrorists, but later turned into a small art gallery.
to a report on Thursday by the official SANA news agency, President Assad and
Syria's first lady toured "one of the tunnels of death" dug by the
Takfiri terrorists in Jobar, a town on the eastern suburbs of the capital,
Jobar's liberation by the Syrian army, a group of artists decorated one of
those tunnels with sculptures and carvings.
carvings depict the sacrifices of the national Syrian army in its
counterterrorism battles as well as the ancient and modern history of Syria.
the visit, Assad hailed the artists for their initiative, saying that
destruction, darkness and death are the culture of terrorists, while
construction, light, life and art are “our own, ” SANA said.
sculpture on these walls reminds us of the heroes of the Syrian Arab Army who
fought valiantly to liberate this holy soil, which is mixed with the blood of
our martyrs and wounded,” the Syrian leader added.
took 25 days for the artists to turn the tunnel, which had been dug under a
school at a depth of nine meters, into a museum by cleansing the place of the
remnants of terrorists.
minister Abdullatif Al-Sheikh: Muslim Brotherhood harmed Islam
minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz
al-Sheikh stressed that Muslim Brotherhood inflicted injustice and harmed Islam
and Muslims, as it is a proof of destruction and devastation in some of the
a press conference he held in Mina after a tour checking preparations for Hajj
performance, the minister said: “The Muslim Brotherhood tried to enter Saudi
Arabia to ignite sedition, but God protected us, as citizens could sense and
knew the evil advocates who mislead people. Our scholars united with the
leadership and the citizens, and we were able to move beyond that stage to
stability and maintain unity.”
added: “We have suffered in the past from some of the advocates of the call
“Dawah” who took the platforms in some places, and passed on extremist ideas,
as well as the radical proposal contrary to the Quran and Sunna, inciting
people and harming them.”
Saudi minister stressed that no one can politicize the Hajj and take it away from
its Sharia’a goals and Saudi Arabia won’t allow that.
added that every Muslim should defend this holy land and that what Saudi is
doing for the Two Holy Mosques and other holy sites is heartwarming.
said that the attack on Saudi Arabia is an attack on Islam and the correct
doctrine, explaining that those who deny the Kingdom’s efforts to serve the
guests of GOD, are either a hateful enemy or someone ignorant.
Cairo Criminal court upheld on Thursday the decision to release satirical
blogger Islam Refeai on bail pending investigation.
was released by the court on EGP 2000 bail on Wednesday but the prosecution
appealed the decision.
video editor known in the Egyptian social media as "Khorm or 7orm",
Refeai is popular for his (+18) satirical posts.
was arrested in November 2017 by security forces and charged with spreading
false news and joining the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted local sources in Afrin in Northern Aleppo as
saying on Thursday that the Turkish army and militants supported by Ankara have
kidnapped over 20 residents of Afrin, including women and the elderly, in Rajou
and Shara regions in the past two days.
added that the kidnapped people have been taken to unknown places, noting that
the terrorists receive huge amounts of money up to 15mln lira to free them.
sources said that the Ankara-backed militants still continue plundering
civilian properties, adding that they have so far stolen 300 bulldozers, 220
vehicles and thousands of motorcycles of Afrin residents.
report said the Turkish army forces and Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh terrorists have also
set fire to the farms in the village of Khalalka in Bolboleh region.
a relevant development in Afrin earlier today, Hawar news quoted the Kurdish
units as saying that they had detonated two roadside bombs on the way of a
convoy of the Turkish army and Ferqat al-Hamzeh terrorist group in Trendeh
sources in Northern Syria reported on Thursday that several massive explosions
occurred in Tahrir al-Sham's weapons and ammunition caches near al-Mohafez
Palace in Idlib city.
added that after the explosions, severe infighting also erupted among the
terrorist groups in the city, noting that tens of militants were killed and
wounded in the clashes.
cause of the huge explosions is still unidentified.
reports from Eastern Idlib said that two bombs were detonated by unknown
assailants in one of Tahrir al-Sham's checkpoints on Saraqib-Taftnaz road,
killing and wounding 8 terrorists.
a relevant development on Sunday, over 40 terrorists of Tahrir al-Sham as well
as a number of civilians were killed in a huge blast at the terrorist group's
arms depot in Idlib province.
huge explosion at a large depot of arms and ammunition of Tahrir a-Sham in the
town of Sarmada near Bab al-Hawa border-crossing with Turkey destroyed fully
two large six-story buildings in the region, killing 40 terrorists and an
unspecified number of civilians. Dozens more have also been wounded in the
sources said that the death toll will rise as a number of people are still
under the debris.
is yet no further report on the cause of the incident.
Arabia has contributed $100 million to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS,
more specifically supporting stabilization projects in areas liberated from the
terrorist group in northeast Syria.
is the largest contribution to the coalition to date for these areas in
specific, and it is an implementation of the pledge made by Saudi Foreign
Minister Adel Al Jubeir during the July 12, 2018 Global Coalition Ministerial
Conference in Brussels, which was hosted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
substantial contribution will play a critical role in the coalition’s efforts
to revitalize communities such as Raqqa, that have been devastated by ISIS
funds will focus on projects to restore livelihoods and essential services in
the areas of health, agriculture, electricity, water, education, transportation
(key roads and bridges), and rubble removal.
accordance with the Saudi Arabia’s contributions to date, this additional $100
million will help facilitate the return of displaced Syrians, and help ensure
that ISIS does not reemerge to threaten Syria, its neighbors, or plan attacks
against the international community.
contribution is a continuum of the Kingdom’s efforts in the coalition,
including, but not limited to, co-leading the Counter Finance Working Group and
serving as a key member of the Communications and Stabilization Working Groups,
as well as, flying the second highest number of missions in Syria after the
contribution represents the kingdom’s close partnership with the US and the
Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, which aims to promote a shared responsibility
among all coalition partners to face regional threats together.
Iraqi Air Force has attacked the "operations room" of Daesh in
neighboring Syria, killing several militants plotting to carry out a terrorist
operation in Iraq in coming days, the Iraqi Interior Ministry has announced.
to the Interior Ministry’s Security Media Center, the air raids completely
destroyed a Daesh task force working on a plan to launch a terrorist attack
inside the Iraqi territory and target civilians using suicide vests within the
next few days.
terrorists were killed in the “successful” airstrikes carried out by the Iraqi
F-16 fighter jets on Thursday, the ministry’s statement said.
airstrikes came a month after the Iraqi artillery fire killed a Daesh
ringleader and several other militants in an attack against the Takfiris'
positions in the Syrian border region of Sousa.
last year, the Iraqi military has been conducting air raids on Daesh positions
in Syria with the approval of the Syrian government.
has already announced it is working closely with the government of Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad to monitor and target terrorist positions.
in April, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that his country’s
security forces would chase down Daesh militants in the entire region, not just
Iraqi airstrikes are reportedly launched based on the intelligence retrieved
from the security coordination committee formed between Iraq, Syria, Iran, and
Russia years ago.
PM Mahathir's approval rating at 71% but concern over race and religion
LUMPUR: Malaysians have given Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad a 71 per cent
approval rating, but concern about ethnic and religious issues has risen since
his election in May, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday (Aug 15).
survey conducted in August by the independent pollster Merdeka Center is the
first since Mahathir won the election with promises of fighting corruption and
return from retirement - he had stepped down in 2003 after 22 years in power -
inspired many Malaysians to vote for change and end the decade-long rule of
Mahathir's former protege, Najib Razak.
Merdeka Center said 71 per cent of the 1,160 voters surveyed for the Aug 7-14
poll said they were satisfied with Mahathir's performance in his first 100 days
said 56 per cent were satisfied with the overall performance of the ruling
Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in fulfilling its election promises, and 55 per
cent said they believed the country was headed in the right direction.
numbers were down slightly from a survey taken shortly after the new government
was formed in May, indicating that post-election euphoria was dissipating,
the present positive numbers underpin the general satisfaction expressed by
voters on the performance of the new government on a number of issues since
taking power in May 2018," Merdeka said in a statement.
state of the economy remained a key issue, with only 48 per cent saying they
were satisfied with how the new government intended to promote economic growth.
55 per cent said they were dissatisfied with government measures to address the
rising cost of living.
survey also suggested Malaysians are more worried about ethnic issues and
religious rights. Some 21 per cent cited those issues as a concern in August,
up from 12 per cent in April.
and religion have always been sensitive issues in multi-ethnic Malaysia, where
most members of the ethnic Malay majority are Muslim, while the members of the
ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities are mainly Buddhist, Christian or Hindu.
groups representing Malays have said their rights are being eroded under the
new government, and criticised recent appointments of non-Muslims to key posts.
of people attended a rally in the capital Kuala Lumpur last month to call for
better protection of Malay rights.
44 to 45 per cent of Malays in the survey said they were dissatisfied with
government efforts to protect the position of Islam, the poll said.
LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) win in the May 9 polls came as a
surprise to the region, transforming Malaysia from a democracy pariah to a
reform darling almost overnight.
that previously played nice with Datuk Seri Najib Razak expecting his
incumbency to continue beyond the polls were left disappointed as he was
replaced by the man previously dubbed “recalcitrant”: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
nobody felt the change in government as much as our neighbours across the
Causeway, where the People’s Action Party (PAP) has enjoyed uninterrupted rule
for nearly six decades — just like Barisan Nasional did, before it was knocked
out in the polls.
the regime change galvanise Singapore’s Opposition to achieve a similar result
in its next general election, due by January 2021? Surely this question has
been on the minds of the status quo ever since news broke that PH got its
took only 10 days for Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to visit Prime
Minister Dr Mahathir in Putrajaya, although Lee later was quoted saying that it
was merely a “courtesy call” with no substantial issues discussed.
just as many had compared the current situation with Dr Mahathir and his then
nemesis, Lee Sr — Lee Kuan Yew — Putrajaya has managed to ruffle Singapore’s
feathers on more than one occasion in its first 100 days.
June, Dr Mahathir hinted that the decades-old water concession agreement
between the countries would be revisited as it was “lopsided”, only to downplay
the topic later as “not urgent” after Singapore swiftly responded by urging
Malaysia to fully comply with the 1962 deal.
then just earlier this week, he suggested again that he was considering raising
the price by more than 10 times to reflect the rising cost of living.
Mahathir had also cancelled the long-anticipated Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High
Speed Rail project, then said Putrajaya was merely deliberating the issue at
this point. Again, it was “not urgent”, he said.
May, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was “rethinking” its recent challenge to the
2008 Pedra Branca judgement, noting that Malaysia wanted to enlarge Middle
Rocks, which consisted of two clusters of rocks one kilometre south of Pedra
Branca, so as to “form a small island.”
“tremors” have yet to subside for Singapore.
Mahathir has also incurred ire from China-based companies for placing at least
US$20 billion-worth of projects on ice; including the East Coast Rail Link and
two gas pipeline projects.
yet, he has not written China off, as he heads there today with an impressive
entourage of influential ministers — seeking to walk his talk of appreciating
China’s One Belt One Road policy.
anything, Putrajaya seems to be hedging both China and United States in an
inconspicuous proxy war of influence, and the more obvious trade war. Dr
Mahathir has made clear his distaste for Donald Trump, calling him “mystifying”
is the cause of all tension, where you have people trying to be leaders of the
world. We should be equal partners,” he was quoted saying in June.
Putrajaya itself can also be mystifying.
until now, Putrajaya still does not plan on giving up controversial
televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, a fugitive in the administrative capital itself,
despite India wanting him for ties to terrorism.
was also absent from aiding close neighbour Thailand during the Tham Luang cave
rescue in June and July.
has now finalised its full Cabinet, with Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah an excellent
choice in heading the foreign affairs portfolio. His track record as deputy
minister, and passionate advocacy for human rights and a moderate strain of
Islam speak for themselves.
July, Saifuddin said Malaysia’s foreign policies would largely stay status quo,
but he also unashamedly pledged to push Putrajaya to ratify the remaining six
international human rights conventions — among others on racial discrimination,
political rights, migrant workers, and enforced disappearance.
far, Indonesia seems to be Malaysia’s “best friend” in the region. The two have
not only collaborated to return fugitive Datuk Jamal Md Yunos and Jho Low’s
superyacht Equanimity, but also mulled over an Asean car project.
Indonesia heads to its presidential election, Malaysia may well take away an
important lesson as part of its “bromance” with Indonesia. President Joko
Widodo was said to have been forced to choose Islamic scholar Ma’ruf Amin as his
running mate, after his former No. 2 Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama fell to
Islamic hardliners and went to prison.
rejects charges Pakistanis aided Taliban in Ghazni
The Foreign Office rejected on Thursday allegations that Pakistani citizens had
supported the Taliban attack on Afghanistan’s city of Ghazni recently.
have not received any evidence to back up these spurious accusations and reject
these baseless allegations,” FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said, rejecting
allegations made by Afghan officials and others.
Friday, some 1,000 Taliban fighters stormed the city of Ghazni and retreated
five days later.
defence minister Tariq Shah Bahrami had earlier this week said that Ghazni
attack had been carried out by Taliban with the support of external elements,
The New York Times had reported that Afghan officials had claimed the Taliban
were aided by foreign fighters, including Pakistanis and Chechens, and even
some Al Qaeda affiliates.
FO spokesman said that Pakistan was fencing the border with Afghanistan with
the objective of restricting cross-border movement of both “men and material”
as part of its counterterrorism efforts.
expressed the hope that the border fencing would help achieve long-term
regional stability and improve relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Faisal disclosed that Pakistan and Afghanistan, under a new framework for
bilateral relations, were negotiating “a time bound” repatriation plan for
Afghan delegation from the Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation will visit
Islamabad shortly for consultations,” he added.
inquiry in Kashmir
spokesman urged India to allow the UN Commission of Inquiry to probe human
rights violations by Occupation troops in India-held Kashmir.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had recommended a Commission
of Inquiry – the highest level UN probe to ascertain facts about massive
atrocities being committed by Indian troops against Kashmiris demanding freedom
from Indian occupation.
The opposition alliance has fallen apart before even taking off after the Pakistan
Peoples Party (PPP) decided to “abstain” from today’s vote in the National
Assembly for the office of prime minister due to refusal of the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) to replace its candidate, making the contest a one-sided
the PPP, the one-man Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) — which had contested the July 25
elections from the platform of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) with four other
religious parties — has also decided to stay away from the election for PM
office on Friday (today). This is despite the fact that the Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) — the main component of the MMA — is insisting that they
should vote for PML-N nominee Shahbaz Sharif in line with the decision taken at
the multi-party conference held in Islamabad earlier this month.
Unity with a dash of disunity: the hallmark of the Grand Opposition Alliance
told Dawn that using backdoor channels, the PML-N contacted the PPP leadership
many times throughout the day on Thursday, asking it to review its decision in
the larger interest of the opposition’s unity, but the PPP refused to reverse
PPP spokesman, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, said the party after a meeting
had decided that its members would vote for neither Shahbaz Sharif nor Imran
the PML-N has paid no heed to our request to reconsider its position, it is our
final decision that we will abstain (from the vote)”, Mr Khokhar said.
PPP meeting was presided over by its chief Asif Zardari and attended by Syed
Khursheed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sherry Rehman, Chaudhry Manzoor, Faisal
Karim Kundi and Mr Khokhar, besides others.
PPP leader and office-bearer said the party members would participate in the
assembly proceedings, but would not use their right of vote.
disclosed that there “is a division within the party over the issue, but the
leaders from Punjab have forced the leadership to stick to its earlier stance
of not giving vote to former chief minister of the province Shahbaz Sharif
because of his ‘insulting remarks’ in public meetings about Mr Zardari.
PPP leader said his party had told the PML-N that the former was ready to vote
for the latter’s nominee other than Shahbaz Sharif, but the N-League was
insisting on Mr Sharif’s candidature. “Therefore, the PPP has been left with no
option but to stay away from the voting.”
said the PML-N should appreciate the fact that the PPP had not fielded its own
candidate against Shahbaz Sharif.
senior leader of the PPP, who remained involved in the talks with the PML-N,
said most of the PPP members believed that Shahbaz Sharif should at least have
shown the courtesy of coming to Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during
the inaugural session of the NA or the election of the speaker and deputy
speaker to shake hands with them as a goodwill gesture. He said both Shahbaz
Sharif and Imran Khan in the past had used objectionable language against the
PPP leadership, but the PTI chief at least took the initiative and greeted both
Mr Zardari and Mr Bhutto-Zardari.
PPP leader was of the view that Shahbaz Sharif was set to become leader of
opposition in the lower house, and he should know that he was required to take
all opposition parties along.
in the PPP said the PML-N leaders had offered that Shahbaz Sharif would come to
Mr Zardari in the house for a handshake, but they wanted a “guarantee” that Mr
Zardari would not cause any embarrassment for Mr Sharif by turning his back to
him. The sources said the PPP leaders told the PML-N men that Mr Zardari was
not a “discourteous man”.
another development, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called on Asif Zardari
apparently in an attempt to pursue the PPP to reconsider its decision of
abstaining from prime minister’s election.
a time when some PML-N leaders were trying to mend ways with the PPP, Rana
Sanaullah aggravated the situation when he made a statement that Asif Zardari
was doing all this due to some “compulsions.”
to a TV channel, MNA Sanaullah said Mr Zardari was facing the present situation
due to his “own weaknesses.”
contacted, the PML-N’s Mushahid Hussain Sayed claimed that in the MPC all the
parties had agreed on a formula that the PPP would field the candidate for the
office of the speaker and the MMA for the deputy speaker while the PML-N had
been authorised to nominate anyone as the candidate for the office of the prime
minister against Imran Khan.
was a party-specific decision and not person-specific,” Mr Sayed said, adding
if the PPP would not fulfil its commitment, definitely the trust deficit
between them would increase.
said the PML-N had fulfilled its commitment by voting for Khursheed Shah and
Asad Mehmood in the elections for the offices of the speaker and the deputy
they want to take a U-turn, it’s up to them but breaking up of the opposition’s
alliance will be a disappointment for the nation,” the PML-N leader added.
said the grand opposition alliance was formed to ensure fair and free elections
in the country, but if the PPP stuck to its stance, the alliance would
PML-N was earlier irked by the PPP’s decision to abstain from taking part in
the protest staged by the former during the election of the NA speaker and
to Dawn, the JI’s Liaquat Baloch said their Shura had also decided to abstain
from PM’s elections. He said the JI, which had only one MNA out of the 15 MMA
members, had informed the Alliance leadership about its decision.
to a question, he blamed both the PPP and the PML-N for betraying the
opposition alliance and not fulfilling their commitment. He said that a meeting
of the parliamentary committee of the MMA would be held on Friday.
the PTI seems to be in a comfortable position and Imran Khan is likely to get
more than the required 172 votes in the 342-member lower house of the
PTI’s nominees for the offices of the speaker and deputy speaker had secured
176 and 183 votes, respectively.
parties which have either already announced their support to the PTI or are
expected to vote for its nominees are the MQM with seven seats; PML-Q and BAP
with five seats each; BNP (four seats); GDA (three); and Awami Muslim League
and Jamhoori Watan Party (with one seat each). Besides them, nine independents
have joined the PTI. Four independents who have decided to maintain their
independent status are also expected to vote for the PTI. So Imran Khan could
even get 180 votes.
The Islamabad High Court on Thursday advised the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)
not to shy away from accountability and open its accounts to public scrutiny.
IHC division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan
Aurangzeb, which had taken up an appeal filed by the PTI against the order of
the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the party’s foreign funding case,
observed: “Political parties should be open and transparent.”
Minallah said the affairs of all political parties should be clean and
transparent, wondering why the PTI was afraid of accountability if its affairs
were transparent in connection with the foreign funding issue.
is it prejudicial to any political party if any citizen seeks scrutiny of
funds? If prejudice is caused then it is fine but otherwise it should be
welcomed,” the judge said, adding that the PTI trusted the ECP in other
matters, except for the decision in the foreign funding case.
chairman Imran Khan, through his counsel Anwar Mansoor Khan Kamal, had
challenged the ECP decision to constitute a committee for the scrutiny of PTI’s
accounts in the foreign funding case. He argued that the ECP was neither a court
nor a tribunal, but a constitutional and supervisory body.
Khan said his party was ready to go for scrutiny, but the ECP was listening to
only one petitioner — Akber S. Babar, a founding member of the PTI — and not
allowing the party to say anything in the scrutiny process.
counsel said the committee was not calling the PTI at all and allegedly doing
scrutiny with Mr Babar. He argued that the ECP could not declare Mr Babar a
member of the party and that was why he was present before the IHC. In addition,
he said, information might be obtained but “harassment” could not be allowed.
is it harassment if a person points out something?” Justice Minallah asked. He
said things could either be correct or incorrect and added that the ECP being a
regulator took decisions and political parties should be open to such
Minallah remarked that by removing one person [Babar] from the process, “we
would be setting a very bad example”. Also, he said, “I fail to understand why
a political party is resisting. If he is declared not a member of a political
party yet he is a citizen. It [scrutiny] should be encouraged. That’s
said the PTI could always challenge the committee’s report.
the court issued notices to Mr Babar and the ECP and adjourned the hearing for
a date to be fixed by the registrar office.
its petition, the PTI had referred to an IHC order issued on Sept 7 last year
and said the court had ruled that “Election Commission of Pakistan shall not
share the details of source of foreign funding of PTI with any other
individuals, including respondent No 2 [Akbar] till final decision of this
addition, it said, Mr Akbar did not come with clean hand because he approached
the ECP after his expulsion from the party and “[Akbar] is not free from
malice, ill will and just aimed to harass the petitioner”.
petitioner argued that the impugned order was based on mala fide intension and
was not passed in a transparent manner. It said Mr Khan had in compliance with
the IHC order submitted all documents to the ECP.
Frontier Corps (FC) foiled a terror bid by seizing ammunition under
Radd-ul-Fasaad Operation in Kuhlu and Sanjavi area of Balochistan on Thursday.
to the FC spokesman, acting on a tip-off, FC personnel carried search
operations at respective areas and apprehended four suspects along with their
including 12.7 mm shells, RPG7, two LMGs, three Kalashnikovs, fuses of IED,
detonators, explosive devices, communication devices, and thousands of rounds
of bullets was recovered from their hideouts during the operation.
FC spokesman further said that the recovered ammunition would be utilised for
foiling other such activities in the province. Further investigation is
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday approved death
sentences awarded to 15 terrorists involved in attacking the country’s law
enforcement agencies and civilians, said a press release issued by the media
cell of Pakistan Army.
Public Relations (ISPR) said these terrorists when tried by special military
courts were found involved in the killings of 45 people including four
civilians, 41 armed forces/Frontier Constabulary/ Police Officials and injuring
and explosives were also recovered from their possession. Six other convicts
have also been awarded life imprisonment, the ISPR added.
list issued by the ISPR is as follows:
Muhammad S/O Babo Rahman. The convict was a member of a proscribed
organization. He was involved in attacking Armed Forces of Pakistan, which
resulted in the death of Captain Bilal Kamran, Havildar Yousaf Khan along with
4 soldiers and injuries to 39 others. The convict confessed his offence before
the Judicial Magistrate and the trial court. He was awarded death sentence.
Ullah S/O Sher Nawab Khan. The convict was a member of a proscribed
organization. He was involved in attacking Armed Forces/ Law Enforcement
Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of Havildar Ghulam Yasin,
Havildar Syed Ali Ahmed Shah, Havildar Muhammad Ali along with 14 soldiers and
injuries to 39 others. The convict confessed his offence before the Judicial
Magistrate and the trial court. He was awarded death sentence.
S/O Bakhat Buland, Jan Bacha S/O Bacha Rawan, Sharafat Ali S/O Muhammad Amin
and Habibullah S/O Ghulam Ahad. All the convicts were members of a proscribed
organization. They were involved in killing of innocent civilians, destruction
of an educational institution and attacking Armed Forces/ Law Enforcement
Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in death of civilian Siraj Ud Din, civilian
Shah Nazar, Naib Subedar Muhammad Hanif, Havildar Muhammad Ilyas, Havildar
Muhammad Naseer, Havildar Muhammad Qayyum along with 5 soldiers and injuries to
12 others. They were also found in possession of firearms and explosives. These
convicts admitted their offences before the Magistrate and the trial court.
They were awarded death sentence.
Ullah S/O Awal Jan, Zar Muhammad S/O Sakhi Mar Jan and Alif Khan S/O Sardar
Khan. All the convicts were members of a proscribed organization. They were
involved in attacking Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in
the death of Naib Subedar Gul Tayaz along with a soldier and injuries to 2
others. They were also found in possession of firearms and explosives. These
convicts admitted their offences before the Magistrate and the trial court.
They were awarded death sentence.
S/O Yar Wali. The convict was a member of a proscribed organization. He was
involved in the destruction of Government Boys and Girls Primary Schools,
Sheikhmal Khel (Khyber Agency). He was also involved in causing the death of a
soldier and injuries to 2 others. The convict confessed his offences before the
Judicial Magistrate and the trial court. He was awarded death sentence.
Ali S/O Bawar Shah. The convict was a member of a proscribed organization. He
was involved in attacking Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted
in the death of Sub Inspector Umer Khayam along with 3 police officials and
injuries to 6 others. He was also found in possession of a firearm. The convict
confessed his offences before the Judicial Magistrate and the trial court. He
was awarded death sentence.
Ahmed S/O Taj Muhammad. The convict was a member of a proscribed organization.
He was involved in the killing of Police Constable Ijaz Ahmed, Mst Zarmina and
injuries to 2 other civilians. He was also found in possession of fire-arm. The
convict confessed his offences before the Judicial Magistrate and the trial
court. He was awarded death sentence.
Ullah S/O Hayat Ullah. The convict was a member of a proscribed organization.
He was involved in causing the death of civilian Jibraheel and attacking Armed
Forces of Pakistan, which resulted in injuries to a soldier. He was also found
in possession of firearm. The convict confessed his offences before the
Judicial Magistrate and the trial court. He was awarded death sentence.
Rehman S/O Sher Ramzan. The convict was a member of a proscribed organization.
He was involved in causing the death of Naik Ahmed Wafa by slaughtering him
with a knife. He also kidnapped 2 soldiers for ransom. The convict confessed
his offences before the Judicial Magistrate and the trial court. He was awarded
NATIONS: A United Nations report has praised Pakistan’s ‘extensive’
counterterrorist operations, saying they have led to reduction in the number of
terrorists and terrorist training facilities as well as in the quantity of
locally available explosive material in the formerly Federally Administered
Tribal Areas (FATA).
22nd report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, which was
submitted to the UN Security Council Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, also said
some of the terrorists were displaced across the border into Afghanistan.
sanctions monitoring team submits independent reports every six months to the
Security Council on the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and associated individuals,
groups, undertakings and entities.
said Al Qaeda, which still maintains a presence in South Asia, is closely
allied with the Taliban. It adapts to the local environment and is trying to
embed itself into local struggles and communities.
to one member state, although IS (Da’ish) poses an immediate threat, Al Qaeda
is the ‘intellectually stronger group’ and remains a longer-term threat. Some
members of the Al-Qaeda core, including Aiman al-Zawahiri and Hamza bin Laden,
are reported to be in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas,” the report said.
Other members of the Al Qaeda core may leave for more secure areas, it said.
report said that between 20,000 and 30,000 Islamic State fighters remain in
Iraq and Syria and among those there is still a significant component of the
many thousands of active foreign terrorist fighters.
Member State reported that some recent plots detected and prevented in Europe
had originated from IS in Afghanistan.
addition to establishing a presence across Afghanistan, ISIL also attempts to
have an impact on other countries in the region.
Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the terror group’s newest affiliate,
is ideologically inclined to carry out attacks inside India but its capability
is believed to be low and is relatively isolated owing to increased security
measures in the region,” the report said, adding that according to Member
States, the strength of AQIS in Afghanistan is estimated at several hundred
people located in Laghman, Paktika, Kandahar, Ghazni and Zabul provinces.
report said that AQIS is “relatively isolated owing to increased security
measures within the wider region, but the group continues to seek security gaps
for opportunistic attacks”.
Afghanistan, IS persistently tried to expand its presence, despite pressure
from the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, the US-led international
coalition and the Taliban,” it added.
currently has its main presence in the eastern provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar
and Nuristan, and is also active in Jowzjan, Faryab, Sari Pul and Badakhshan
provinces in the north. The group has the intention to expand into Ghazni,
Kunduz, Laghman, Logar and Uruzgan provinces.
Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad, IS already has sleeper cells and has committed
disruptive, high-profile attacks, including against both government and Taliban
targets during the Eidul Fitr ceasefire, it added.
report noted that ISIL has between 3,500 and 4,000 members in Afghanistan,
including between 600 and 1,000 in northern Afghanistan (with both numbers on
Israeli Defense Minister and Qatari envoy met secretly to discuss Gaza
Thursday, Israeli Channel 10 TV revealed that a secret meeting between Israeli
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Qatar’s envoy to Palestine Mohamad
al-Ammadi took place in Cyprus regarding Gaza.
Israeli channel said that the meeting between the Qatari envoy and Lieberman in
Cyprus, was held secretly on June 22, and discussed the arrangements for the
Gaza Strip and funding from Doha.
to the channel, Lieberman was on a
business trip to Cyprus during which al-Ammadi arrived on the island, and the
two held a quick meeting to discuss the cease-fire and a truce between Hamas
offered Lieberman several Qatari proposals to improve the humanitarian
situation in Gaza Strip.
two sides also discussed the issue of Israeli prisoners and missing Hamas
indicated that Israel rejected proposals for mediation with Hamas through
Qatar, preferring to rely on the Egyptian role and other parties.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is forming a dedicated group to coordinate and
run US policy toward Iran as the Trump administration moves ahead with efforts
to force changes in the Islamic Republic’s behavior after withdrawing from the
Iran nuclear deal.
State Department said Pompeo will announce the creation of the Iran Action
Group on Thursday.
said the group will be headed by Brian Hook, who is currently the State
Department’s director of policy planning. Hook led the Trump administration’s
ultimately unsuccessful attempt to negotiate changes to the nuclear deal with
European allies before the president decided in May to pull out of the accord.
withdrawing, the administration has re-imposed sanctions that were eased under
the deal and has steadily ramped up pressure on Iran to try to get it to stop
what it describes as “malign activities” in the region. In addition to its
nuclear and missile programs, the administration has repeatedly criticized Iran
for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, Shiite rebels in Yemen and
anti-Israel groups. It has also in recent weeks stepped up criticism of Iran’s
human rights record and is working with other nations to curb their imports of
administration is warning Iran’s oil customers that they will face US sanctions
in November unless they significantly reduce their imports with an eye on
eliminating them entirely. It has also told businesses and governments in
Europe that they may also be subject to penalties if they violate, ignore or
attempt to subvert the re-imposed US sanctions.
his new job, Hook is to oversee implementation of the administration’s entire
Iran policy, the officials said. Pompeo and other officials have denied that
the administration is seeking to foment regime change in Iran and maintain they
only want to see the government change course. Pompeo created a similar group
dedicated to working on North Korea policy while he was director of the CIA.
of UN-run schools for Palestinian refugees will open on time after fresh
funding temporarily staved off a financial crisis triggered by a US
contributions freeze, the United Nations said on Thursday.
UN agency for Palestinian refugees said all 711 schools it runs for 526,000
pupils in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria would open for
the coming school year.
had been warnings from UN chief Antonio Guterres and others that the schools
might not be able to open due to funding shortages provoked by US President
Donald Trump’s decision to withhold aid to the Palestinians.
UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) said it had mobilized
an additional $238 million since the start of the year, but added that it
currently only had enough cash to keep its services operating through
need a further $217 million to ensure that our schools not only open but can be
run until the end of the year,” the agency said in a statement.
schools are due to open over a staggered time period between August 29 and
has faced a $300 million freeze in funding from the United States as Trump
demands changes to the agency and seeks to pressure the Palestinians to return
to the negotiating table.
countries have since provided additional contributions but UNRWA says it is not
agency provides services to more than three million Palestinian refugees and
their descendants across the Middle East and employs more than 20,000 people,
the vast majority Palestinians.
month, UNRWA announced it was cutting more than 250 jobs in the Palestinian
territories due to the funding crisis.
was set up after the 1948 war that accompanied the creation of Israel, during
which more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes.
argues the agency is biased against it and perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian
The Israeli military said its investigation into one of the bloodiest incidents
of the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip found no criminal wrongdoing by Israeli
forces and there were no grounds to prosecute any troops.
announcement drew condemnations from Palestinians and human rights advocates,
who accused the military of a whitewash.
investigation focused on an Aug. 1, 2014, battle in the southern Gaza town of
Rafah that erupted after an Israeli military officer was feared abducted by
Palestinian militants during a cease-fire. Over 110 Palestinians were killed in
daylong fighting, and Palestinian witnesses had complained of heavy and
indiscriminate shelling by Israeli forces.
what it called a comprehensive investigation, the army said its military
advocate general (MAG) determined "a criminal investigation is not
warranted into the incidents that occurred during the fighting."
a soldier had fallen into enemy hands, Israel invoked its "Hannibal"
procedure — a protocol that allowed the heavy use of force to prevent the
capture of a comrade. Israeli forces attacked the area with artillery fire,
tanks shells and airstrikes. At the time, Palestinian residents described a
terrifying ordeal as they fled their homes and searched for cover amid heavy
shelling of their neighborhood, located on the outskirts of the city. Human
rights groups identified 121 people killed and accused Israel of committing war
crimes by allegedly using disproportionate or indiscriminate force and failing
to distinguish between civilians and combatants.
Israeli investigation identified over 110 dead — including 42 militants and up
to 72 civilians who were "unintentionally killed." In one instance,
it said 16 civilians were killed in an airstrike on a family home that was
targeted due to faulty intelligence.
it said all of its actions had "clear and legitimate military
purposes" and found no evidence that attacks were indiscriminate, aimed at
civilians or motivated by revenge.
MAG did not find that the actions of the IDF forces that were examined raised
grounds for a reasonable suspicion of criminal misconduct," it said.
MAG found that the IDF's policy with respect to the use of firepower during the
fighting — whether by tanks, by artillery and mortars, or from the air —
accorded with Israeli domestic law and international law requirements."
"Hannibal" directive was canceled by the military in 2016 following
heavy criticism. Last year, the military introduced a revised version.
rights groups have accused the Israeli military of ignoring or covering up
wrongdoing in its investigations over the years. B'Tselem, a leading Israeli
human rights group, condemned the latest findings.
military advocate general proves again that no matter how high the number of
Palestinians killed is, nor how arbitrary the circumstances of their killing by
the military was, the Israeli whitewash mechanism he heads will find a way to
bury the facts," it said.
Al-Namla, who lost three family members that day, said the army's findings were
"crazy." Al-Namla, as well as his toddler son, both lost legs in the
shelling as well.
were bombing us from the ground and air randomly. They did not just violate the
human rights, they forgot that there were humans in Rafah," he said.
want an independent international investigation that can guarantee my
2014 war was the third and most devastating round of fighting between Israel
and Gaza's Hamas rulers. Over 2,200 Palestinians were killed, including
hundreds of civilians, and widespread damage was inflicted on Gaza's
infrastructure. During the 50-day war, 73 people were killed on the Israeli
side and continued rocket fire on Israeli cities disrupted life throughout
large parts of the country.
Mahasabha sets up 'first Hindu court' after AIMPLB's proposal to open 'Shariat
courts' in all districts
The Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha on Thursday said it has established the
'first Hindu court' in reaction to a Muslim body's plan to open 'Shariat
courts' in all districts.
vice-president Ashok Sharma of the Mahasabha said the 'Hindu court' was
established on Wednesday on India's Independence Day with Aligarh resident
Pooja Shakun Pandey as its first judge.
said the 'Hindu courts' would resolve family and other civil disputes amongst
Hindus through amicable settlements.
said the 'court' has been established as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have continuously ignored the issue of
said the Mahasabha had earlier written to them demanding the closure of
'Shariat courts' as India can have only one Constitution and a single judicial
Mahasabha had asked the government to ban the 'Shariat courts', but as its
letters got no replies, it opened the 'first Hindu court' on 15 August, he
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the highest decision making body
on Muslim affairs, earlier on 8 July had said it planned to open 'Shariat
courts' in all districts to resolve issues in line with Islamic laws.
said the Mahasabha would set up five more 'Hindu courts' at Aligarh, Hathras,
Mathura, Firozabad and Shikohabad on 15 November, the day Mahatma Gandhi's
assassin Nathuram Godse was hanged.
said the organisation planned to establish altogether 15 'Hindu courts' in the
country at the earliest.
Arabia hopes India and Pakistan will resume peace talks and will be happy to
help the process but only if it is asked to do so, Saudi ambassador Saud bin
Mohammed al-Sati said on Thursday.
said he had noted the “reference that the Prime Minister-elect of Pakistan,
Imran Khan, made regarding India — that if India takes one step, we will take
two”. It was encouraging, he said, that this was followed by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s phone call to Khan to congratulate him on his electoral
were very positive. Pakistan is a strong partner of Saudi Arabia and India is
our strategic partner and we hope that dialogue will be resumed between the two
countries,” he said. “If we can and if we are asked to help, we will be very
happy to help,” he added.
an interview, al-Sati spoke on a wide range of issues, including bilateral
security cooperation and Iran’s alleged meddling in Afghanistan.
to the arrest of a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operative at the New Delhi airport
after his deportation from Saudi Arabia on August 5, the envoy said there is
“excellent” cooperation between the two sides to counter extremism and terror
financing. “There is no outstanding issue in terms of security
cooperation…there is zero terror financing (from Saudi Arabia) and we don’t
allow any (illegal) money transfers to any organizations worldwide and
particularly to India,” he said.
what action Saudi Arabia will take if controversial preacher Zakir Naik, whose
extradition has been sought from Malaysia, returned to the kingdom, al-Sati
said he would not go into hypothetical matters.
I can say is Zakir Naik is an Indian national who visited Saudi Arabia like any
other Indian national and left... he is not in the kingdom anymore. We don’t
intervene in other countries’ matters,” he said.
backing efforts to reconcile with Taliban elements that give up violence in
Afghanistan, al-Sati said his country hosted a conference of ‘ulema’ that
encouraged national reconciliation to end instability and war.
national reconciliation is very important for the political process to succeed.
The main principle here is denouncing terrorism and putting aside weapons to
come to the political process and working with other Afghan groups to
reconcile,” he said.
the envoy criticised Iran’s intervention in Afghanistan, including the
recruitment of Afghan Shias and “training them and sending them to areas of
conflict” such as Syria. He said there were also reports of Iran recruiting
from among Afghan refugees and sending them to countries such as Syria, Iraq
DELHI: As former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on Thursday,
leaders from across the world joined in to express their sorrow over his
PM-designate and PTI chief Imran Khan called Vajpayee a "tall political
personality" of the subcontinent. Condoling the former PM's death, Khan
said, "Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a tall political personality of the
subcontinent. His attempts for the betterment of India-Pakistan relationship
will always be remembered. Mr Vajpayee, even as a foreign minister, took
responsibility of improving India-Pakistan ties."
him the "most famous son of India", Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina said that Vajpayee will be remembered for contributing towards good
governance and highlighting issues of people.
shocked at sad demise of former PM of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of the
most famous sons of India. He'll be remembered for contributing towards good
governance and highlighting issues affecting common people of India as well as regional
peace and prosperity," she said.
the former PM as Bangladesh's friend, she said, "He was our friend and
highly respected in Bangladesh. As a token of recognition for his invaluable
contribution to our Liberation War in 1971, Bangladesh government conferred on
him Bangladesh Liberation War Honour. Today is a day of great sadness for all
of us in Bangladesh.
behalf of government and people of Bangladesh and on my own behalf, I express
our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the government and the mourning
people of India, and to the members of the bereaved family. We pray for the
eternal peace of his soul," the Bangladesh PM said.
93-year-old former PM was admitted AIIMS on June 11 with kidney tract
infection, chest congestion and his urine output being on the lower side and
passed away at 5:05 pm on Thursday.
activism in France should greatly worry those who care about the stability of
European democracies. For years, Qatar has been the focus of many claims about
its Islamic fundamentalism and its alleged support for the Muslim Brotherhood,
Iran, ISIS, elements of al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Taliban and other Islamic
emir, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, recently provided solid proof that France is a
privileged field of projection for his country, which, for more than a year,
has had a severe boycott imposed on it by its Gulf neighbors. A July meeting in
Paris between the Emir of Qatar and French President Emmanuel Macron was the
third held in just a few months. Contracts worth more than 12 billion euros have
already been signed, making Qatar the third largest French customer in the Gulf
after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar, however, casts its
shadow not only over the French economy.
from Qatar finances many of the "mega-mosques" in France. These are
large structures with minarets -- not the improvised mosques that have sprung
up in garages, storefronts and cultural centers. The Great Mosque of Poitiers,
for instance, sits in the vicinity of the site of the Battle of Tours (also
known as the Battle of Poitiers), where Charles Martel, ruler of the Franks,
stopped the advancing Muslim army of Abdul al-Rahman in the year 732.
imam of Poitiers today, Boubaker El-Hadj Amor, announced that the mosque, with
a prayer hall for 700 faithful and a minaret of 22 meters, was made possible
thanks to money from the organization "Qatar Charity." In a video,
the imam of Poitiers admits to having benefited from Qatari funds to continue
the mosque's construction, interrupted for several years due to lack of funding
from local believers. "What we have built is thanks to Allah and with the
help of the 'Qatar Charity' organization", the imam said.
to the newspaper Libération:
are currently witnessing a relative muzzling of the historical partners of
Islam in France, Morocco and Algeria. Although they remain opulent donors,
maintain close links with the first generations of immigrants and have locked
up key positions within the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), these
two countries see their influence diminishing among the youngest
Qatar operates an insidious, but consensual, entryism, within the Union of
Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF), France's representative of the [Muslim]
the UOIF, Qatar's idea was to take control of Islam in France", says
Georges Malbrounot, a reporter at Le Figaro and co-author of the book "Nos
très chers émirs" ("Our dear Emirs") about the relations between
France and Qatar.
mosque largely financed by Qatari money is the Assalam Mosque in Nantes.
its 17-meter-high minaret, large dome rising 14 meters and exterior
illumination at night, the Assalam mosque "illuminates the city of
Nantes." The mosque apparently answers a real need for the Muslims of the
city. The faithful used to pray in the Arrahma Mosque and the El Forqane Mosque
(formerly the Saint-Christophe Christian chapel, before it was transformed into
an Islamic prayer hall), but Muslim community leaders say they were too small
for the community's needs.
money is also flowing into Mulhouse, an Alsatian city, where Qatar Charity
helped to build the An Nour Center, which includes a large mosque -- "one
of the most impressive in Europe". The Qatari media described the project:
centre is strategically located in the border region of France, Germany and
Switzerland, where Muslims constitute more than 20 percent of the total
population of the city of 256,000 people. More than 150,000 people from the
three countries will benefit from the project".
Marseille, Qatari money is also financing the future Great Mosque of Marseille
that will accommodate between 10,000 and 14,000 worshipers -- in a city that
already hosts "about 70 mosques and official prayer rooms," according
to the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith. The government of Qatar, in
addition, has given millions of euros to the Grand Mosque in Paris.
the Persian Gulf states, Qatar now seems to be preeminent in creating Islamic
history in France. Bernard Godard, who for years served as a consultant on
Islam for the Ministry of the Interior, said: "It cannot be said that
Islam in France is financed mainly by Saudi Arabia. It contributes a little but
much less than countries such as Qatar or Kuwait". The French scholar, Bérengère
Bonte, last year wrote a book entitled, The French Republic of Qatar ("La
République française du Qatar").
has also reportedly helped finance the Saint-Denis campus of the European
Institute of Human Sciences (IESH). This private "Muslim University"
offers Arabic language and theology courses to post-graduate Muslim students.
In fifteen years, its enrollment has grown from 180 students to almost 1,500.
is, as well, behind France's first state-funded Muslim faith school, the
Lycée-Collège Averroès. The school was at the center of a dust-up a few years
ago when one of its teachers resigned after writing that the school was "a
hotbed of anti-Semitism and was 'promoting Islamism' to pupils". The
school is financed by government funding, tuition fees, and donations from the
Muslim community. But when it became necessary to buy a new building and
renovate it, for 2.5 million euros, the Saudi Arabia Development Bank agreed to
pay 250,000 euros, and the NGO Qatar Charity 800,000. According to the newspaper
when it became necessary to buy a new building and renovate it, for 2.5 million
euros, the Saudi Arabia Development Bank agreed to pay 250,000 euros, and the
NGO Qatar Charity 800,000."
there is what is known as "the Great Mosque of Saint-Denis," located
in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, which has a high concentration of Muslim
immigrants. Ahmed Jamaleddine, treasurer of the Amal association, which is
behind the construction of the mosque, says: "We have funds from abroad...
Everything is transparent: it comes from the faithful of Saudi Arabia and
also happens to be home to a famous Cathedral, the Basilica of Saint-Denis --
which contains the royal necropolis where many of France's kings are buried,
including Charles Martel, noted earlier, who stopped the advance of the Muslim
army in 732.
Emir of Qatar appears to have a far greater grasp of French history than many
French do. Qatar is a country of which democracies would do well to be wary.
mosques attacked with catapults during evening prayers
groups in the UK have condemned catapult attacks on two mosques in the city of
Birmingham, which smashed several windows during evening prayers.
Masjid Qamarul Islam mosque and the nearby Al-Hijrah mosque were hit with large
ball bearings fired from a heavy-duty catapult on Wednesday.
police officers were "deployed as a precaution", local police said on
Thursday, police said they had opened an investigation into the attacks, which
are being treated as hate crimes, adding that extra officers would be deployed
in the area.
we don't fully know the motives yet, these ball bearings are the size of marbles
- [and have the] potential to kill," said the Birmingham-based Bahu Trust,
which runs several British mosques.
crime monitor Tell MAMA UK said it "strongly condemns the catapult
attacks" on the mosques.
attacks came after a 29-year-old man from Birmingham was arrested on suspicion
of terrorism after crashing his car into security barriers at the British
parliament in London on Tuesday.
Sadiq, who prays at Al-Hijrah mosque, told Sky News broadcaster he felt the
attacks were probably "connected" to what happened in London.
month, Tell MAMA said that there appeared to be a pattern of a spike in
Islamophobic incidents following attacks in Britain and abroad.
Michigan – The city of Dearborn, Michigan, recently made headlines after one of
its residents was captured in Syria, accused of working for ISIS for three
has a large Muslim population, but this recent news doesn't reflect the good
that's happening there.
News spoke with one Christian pastor in the heart of Dearborn who says the call
of God has his congregation right where it's supposed to be.
is known for being home of the Ford Motor Company; it's also home to one of the
largest Muslim populations in the country. Drive around town, and it's like
you're transported to the Middle East.
fact, nearly half of Dearborn's population is Muslim. Out of the 90,000
residents, approximately 40,000 practice Islam. Eighty percent are Shia
Muslims, mainly from Lebanon and Iraq; 20 percent are Sunnis, mainly from
makes this area the largest concentration of Arab Shia Muslims in the United
States, and that mosque behind us is actually a Shia mosque," said John
Koski, a pastor, and a man who views himself as a Christian missionary to
Muslims in the area. "It's definitely the largest Shia mosque in the
mosque he's referring to is known as the Islamic Center of America.
is the associate pastor at Springwells Church, an Assembly of God congregation
led by Pastor Trey Hancock and his wife, Becky.
church sits less than 10 minutes away from the Islamic Center of America, in
the heart of a neighborhood that's 97 percent Muslim.
said, 'I want you here.' So we're here," Hancock said. "And what
better place in the whole wide world to find people that don't know Jesus, that
need him and need what Jesus has to offer."
here; we're not making it hard for them to come to the Lord," he
church began meeting in the Hancocks' home in 2000, more than a decade after
the pastor and his family first arrived in Dearborn to minister to Muslims.
Hancock says he heard the call of God while in Dearborn receiving cultural
just walking and just praying, got down to about right here, right here at this
very spot, and the Lord spoke to me and said, 'If you're going to learn about
these people, you've got to live with them,'" he explained to CBN News
while standing in a neighborhood on the city's south side.
I thought, 'Whoa! That didn't come from me,'" he said. "I knew who
that was; it was really clear; it was really distinct, and it was a prompting
from the Holy Spirit. And I said, 'Okay, Lord.'"
step of faith has led to a thriving ministry. In addition to Sunday services,
church outreach includes drama presentations, a wrestling club and English as a
second language classes which include learning Bible verses in Arabic and
think it's very effective because we're really building relationships,"
Koski said. "We're ministering to their felt needs, and one of the biggest
needs is to learn English as a second language."
and others, like Paul Schindlbeck, also take their ministry door-to-door.
said this speaks of the truth of Jesus?" one curious neighbor asked
Schindlbeck about a book he carried.
it speaks about who Jesus was," Schindlbeck replied.
Jesus was?" the neighbor asked.
yeah," Schindlbeck answered.
going to read it...," the neighbor decided.
Berry serves through a Christian Tae Kwon Do ministry known as Full Force
Ministries. The former Muslim says Springwells is making a difference.
God. It's all God," she said. "It has to be and the supernatural
protection as well, you think about it. And we're welcomed here by most because
it's a serving church."
Accepting Jesus Christ
is overjoyed when Muslims accept Jesus.
lights my fire, man," he said. "When they say yes to Jesus, it's an
amazing thing. It's an amazing thing, especially after they get baptized
because that's when they're saying to the world, 'I belong to Jesus.'"
rewarding, ministering in Dearborn takes a lot of work. Koski says it takes 30
Gospel presentations for the average Muslim to accept Christ. And that's not
the only tough part.
ministering in this area, spiritual warfare is definitely involved. For
example, Hancock says in the last decade, more than a dozen churches in the
Dearborn area have been sold to Muslims and turned into mosques.
one former church now known as the American Muslim Center, the cross has been
removed from the steeple. On another, an Islamic House of Wisdom sign has
actually been placed over the cross on the steeple.
Hancock knows the Muslims who purchase the churches are not the enemy.
not fighting 'them', 'cause I want them to come to Jesus," he explained.
pastor looks forward to the day he learns many Muslims have responded to the
Gospel message through his ministry.
hope when I stand in front of the Lord that there are thousands standing behind
me that I had no idea that were listening," Hancock shared.
believes there are more former Muslims in Dearborn who "believe in Jesus
than can say so because they're afraid of each other."
to the secret believer, Hancock has a message:
says drones used to attack its Hmeimim airbase in Syria are too sophisticated
to have been assembled by terrorists and that experts believe terrorists use
foreign help to launch the raids which have increased.
Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor
Konashenkov said Thursday that drones downed by Hmeimim air defense assets
appeared primitive but had a range of 100 kilometers and used advanced
drones, equipped with explosive devices, navigation gadgets and control
systems, could not have been assembled by militants "without any outside
help", he said.
who have analyzed the downed UAVs have reached the conclusion that the
assembling work is based on “a clear instruction developed by specialists”,
he said, have also launched the attacks based on a clear line of expert
to Konashenkov, Russian air defense assets have over the past month
successfully downed 45 drones during attacks on the Hmeimim airbase located in
attacks were launched by Idlib-based militants and the number of such attacks
has recently increased.
Hmeimim airbase is the hub of Russian operations in the Arab country and the
largest base in Syria run by foreign troops.
UK: Conservative party targets Muslim peer
Mohamed Sheikh said Thursday calls for him to be expelled from the Conservative
party over an attendance at a Palestinian rights conference are motivated by
Islamophobia and his criticism of Boris Johnson.
Sheikh, a senior Conservative member of the House of Lords, has come under
criticism from Tory MPs for attending the same event that Jeremy Corbyn
attended in Tunisia in 2014.
complaint, headed by Tory MPs Zac Goldsmith and Robert Halfon, said that Sheikh
was in breach of the party’s code of conduct, with Goldsmith saying in a
statement on Twitter that Sheikh should be "immediately expelled".
to the BBC’s Today program, Sheikh said: "I think the complaints against
me are politically motivated, I think the complaint against me is totally
trivial and I think these people, whoever are trying to complain against me,
are perhaps doing this because I have talked about what Boris Johnson has said
senior Muslim peer has been a vocal critic of former Foreign Secretary Boris
Johnson and his Islamophobic remarks concerning the niqab and the burka and has
repeatedly called for his suspension and a full disciplinary investigation into
the derogatory remarks.
on the other hand, is an ardent supporter of Johnson and has defended the
remarks the former foreign secretary made in the Daily Telegraph in which he
compared Muslim women who wear the niqab and the burka to
"letterboxes" and "bank robbers".
also pointed out to the Islamophobic mayoral campaign Goldsmith ran against the
current mayor, Sadiq Khan, in 2016 in which he linked Khan to religious
extremists and exploited anti-Muslim sentiment to gain support. The campaign
backfired against Goldsmith and he received widespread condemnation from within
his party and throughout the country.
was very surprised about the fact that Zac Goldsmith has made the complaint.
When Zac Goldsmith was standing for mayor at the election, he made some
unsavory remarks about Sadiq Khan and that campaign backfired and I feel Zac
Goldsmith should have learnt following his failure to be elected mayor of
London,” Sheikh said.
said that he had been invited by the Tunisian government to attend the
Palestinian rights conference in 2014 where he spoke on the Arab Spring and
illegal settlements in Palestine, rejecting claims he had met with members of
did not meet any members of Hamas," he said, adding: "I was not aware
that there were people there who had extreme views. I am totally against
extremism, I am totally against any form of terrorism."
Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, has also been criticized for
attending a wreath-laying ceremony for Palestinians killed in an Israeli
airstrike in Tunisia in 1985.
in the government and the media have portrayed Corbyn laying a wreath on the
graves of members of the Black September terrorist group. Labour and Corbyn
have repeatedly rejected this claim and said that he was attending a ceremony
that commemorated Palestinians killed in the airstrike.
has officially filed a complaint to the U.K. press regulator, Ipso, about the
false and misleading coverage by several British newspapers on the event that
took place in 2014.
has denied being an antisemitic and argued that he was being targeted simply
because he is a Muslim and that he is standing up to Islamophobia and bigotry
from within his party.
Muslim peer is a member of the all party parliamentary group on anti-semitism
and has worked to promote cohesion among Britain’s multicultural communities.
launch attack on intelligence training centre in Kabul
attacked an intelligence training centre in Kabul on Thursday, officials said,
as families buried loved ones killed by a suicide bomber a day earlier in the
war-weary Afghan capital.
attack on the training facility was the latest incident in a blood-soaked week
that saw militants deliver crippling blows to government forces across
are ongoing and the area is cordoned off by the Afghan security forces,” said
Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai.
firefight erupted near a training centre overseen by the National Security
Directorate — Afghanistan's intelligence agency — with the gunmen holed up in a
construction site near residential buildings, an official at the scene said.
television footage showed humvees patrolling the empty streets while gunfire
echoed and a helicopter circling above.
were also deployed to the scene to help contain the fighting, according to
another security official.
was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident.
attack comes just hours after a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside an
education centre in a predominantly Shia area of western Kabul, where students
were studying for college entrance exams, killing at least 37 people.
attack was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group on Thursday via their Amaq
propaganda service, as families of the dead held a mass funeral where mourners
wept and clutched the wooden coffins.
industrial-sized digger helped soften the arid ground for the fresh graves as
men removed rocks from the soil with pickaxes.
decried the unrelenting bloodshed, while others dismissed murmurings of
possible ceasefires and peace negotiations between the government and the
Taliban, even though the attack was claimed by IS.
to your ceasefire and death to your ghost peace talks,” cried one of the
funeral attendees. “They are killing our educated people and everyday they are
surge in violence comes just weeks after Afghans marked an unprecedented
country-wide ceasefire between the Taliban and government forces in June,
giving some temporary relief to civilians.
brief respite sparked hopes the truce could clear the way for talks to end the
nearly 17-year-old conflict.
the devastating attacks across the country in recent days have led many to
question how such negotiations could move ahead.
we are witnessing deadly attacks in Kabul and other major cities. So, I believe
the Taliban do not believe in peace talks,” said shopkeeper Shahenshah Shahin
have suggested the Taliban may be trying to shore up its position before any
potential negotiations by proving they can hit government installations at
Taliban will try to have an upper hand during talks, so we can't rule out more
attacks until a ceasefire,” said Taliban expert Rahimullah Yusufzai.
the fighting season and the Taliban will want to rack up victories before
it has been months since The Taliban have claimed a major attack in Kabul, the
group has been conducting blistering attacks on security forces across
Afghanistan, including a massive, days-long onslaught on the eastern city of Ghazni
during the past week.
forces appeared to have finally pushed Taliban fighters from the strategic
provincial capital, as the UN warned that reports suggested up to 150 civilians
might have been killed in the fighting.
attacks and suicide bombings were the leading causes of civilian deaths in the
first half of 2018, a recent UN report showed.
pockets of Ghazni began opening up to humanitarian aid on Thursday, while
partial mobile service returned after telecommunications infrastructure and
government buildings were destroyed during the onslaught.
B’desh detains dozens in student protest crackdown
- Bangladesh police said Thursday they have arrested nearly 100 people as they
step up a crackdown after student protests that paralysed the capital.
and other cities were brought to a standstill for more than a week by tens of
thousands of students demanding better safety measures after two teenagers were
killed by a speeding bus. Police in Dhaka said they have detained 97 people
"for violence and incitement in the social media" during the
demonstrations that began on July 29.
moves have sparked fear among activists, protest leader Bin Yamin Mollah told
AFP "Everyone is in a panic," he said. "Almost all the students
who have led the protests have gone into hiding."
students who posted about the protests have either changed their Facebook
accounts or removed their posts. Even yesterday two students were arrested for
their Facebook posts.
are being harassed for supporting the protests," he said.
detentions include acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam and actress Quazi
Nawshaba Ahmed, who were held over comments made on Facebook during the
Pinaki Bhattacharya, a high-profile critic of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has
not been seen since intelligence officers asked him to report to their
headquarters on August 5, his father told AFP.
Wednesday police arrested a 22-year-old student leader Lutfun Nahar Luma at a
police's cyber crime chief said Monday that officers have investigated about
1,000 Facebook accounts they say spread rumours during the unrest.
groups have criticised the crackdown and the violence used to end the protests.
About 1,000 people were injured in police action and attacks by pro-government
groups on students and journalists.
Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said the arrests have created "an atmosphere
of fear, putting a serious chill on free speech".
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), operatives have
arrested a group of seven suicide bombers during an operation in Nangarhar
governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani confirmed that the suicide bombers were
arrested from the vicinity of Jalalabd city.
did not disclose further information in this regard with the anti-government
armed militants yet to comment regarding the report.
the meantime, the provincial government media office, in a statement said the
Afghan forces have discovered and destroyed a vehicle-borne improvised
explosive device in Surkh Rod district.
statement further added that the car bomb was discovered late on Wednesday
night Kakarak area of the district.
to the provincial government, the militants were looking to detonate the car
bomb in the vicinity of Jalalabad city, either to target the Independence Day
or Eid celebrations.
has been among the relatively calm provinces since the fall of the Taliban
regime in 2001 but the anti-government armed militants have been attempting to
expand their foothold in this province during the recent years.
Taliban militants have suffered heavy casualties during the airstrikes
conducted by the US forces in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the US forces carried
out airstrikes targeting Taliban militants in Nad Ali district.
statement further added that the airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of
Chah Anjir area of the district, leaving at least 13 militants dead.
to another report, the US forces carried out an airstrike targeting the
militants in Tarikh Nawar area as they were attempting to carry out attacks on
Afghan security posts, the provincial government said.
least 14 militants were killed and 7 others were wounded during the same
airstrikes, the provincial government added in its statement.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in South of Afghanistan where the
anti-government armed militants are actively operating in some of its districts
and often carry out terrorist related activities.
BAZAR, Bangladesh: A spate of bloody killings is fueling unease in the Rohingya
camps on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, where overstretched police are
struggling to protect nearly a million traumatized refugees from violent gangs.
1,000 police officers guard the labyrinthine shanties that make up the giant
camps and authorities want to more than double the force in the wake of the
respected community leaders are among those slain in what police suspect is a
power struggle between Rohingya gangs in the refugee slums in camps around
Arifullah, was stabbed 25 times on a busy road in June and left in a pool of
blood. The other two were killed in their shacks just days apart by masked
in the crime-ridden Cox’s Bazar district are investigating 21 refugee murders,
many in recent months, which they blame on score-settling and turf wars.
in Kutupalong, the world’s biggest refugee camp, and others nearby, say the
unchecked violence leaves Rohingya families at the mercy of criminals.
the gangs come into the camps, people call the police. But they only arrive
after the criminals are gone,” said 16-year-old Runa Akter, whose father
disappeared in July with a relative who was later found dead.
only filed a case after her uncle’s body was found, she said.
are scared. We are especially worried about my brother, because there have been
threats to kidnap and kill him,” the anxious teenager said. “I don’t want to
lose anyone else in my family.”
police investigator, SM Atiq Ullah, said no suspects had been identified so
have long preyed on the Rohingya camps however.
say refugees with ties to Bangladeshi drug and human trafficking networks have
sold Rohingya girls into sex and recruited mules to courier methamphetamine.
scourge has intensified since an army crackdown in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar
drove nearly 700,000 of the stateless Muslim minority into Bangladesh last
of Rohingya refugees have been arrested since the August influx for rape, drug
offenses, human trafficking and weapons possession, among other crimes.
Haque Tutul, a senior police officer who until mid-August was deputy chief of
Cox’s Bazar, said gangs cashing in on the human misery were extorting “huge
money” from new refugees desperate for land, shelter and food.
feuds over territory quickly turn deadly.
the bodies was Arifullah, one of the “mahjis” or community leaders tasked with
overseeing day-to-day camp affairs.
an English speaker, he met with dignitaries and liaised closely with police — a
position of power Tutul says could have irked rivals.
wife blamed Rohingya militants for the death of her husband who was surrounded
and stabbed by a group of men.
said that Arifullah was a “big critic” of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army
(ARSA), the shadowy group whose attacks in Myanmar sparked the military
denies the militants have a foothold in the camps and the group distanced
itself from crime in a rare January statement issued after two mahjis were
is very challenging, and sometimes threatening, being a mahji,” said
Arifullah’s right-hand man, Abdur Rahim, who took over four days after his
a day earlier, a mahji in a neighboring camp was savagely beaten by a mob but
there were not enough police to deter violence, he said in his bamboo office in
said patrols had been increased but forces were spread thin. Some 1,500 additional
officers had been requested from Dhaka, he added.
it’s a huge task. We are trying our best to control the area,” he said.
the body count climbed, Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper in July printed an
editorial declaring it “amateurish to hope that less than 3,000 police would be
enough” to guard one million desperate people.
murders and other unexplained crimes have eroded trust in law enforcement and
underscored gaps in policing.
one recent visit, AFP reporters saw a police unit armed with shotguns and
sticks patrol a camp near where two men were found dead in July.
a community leader, who requested anonymity, said: “There are no police after
midnight. Even during the day, during their shifts, they often stay in their
officers speak the Rohingya language, further hampering inquiries. Fear has
kept mouths shut.
is why Rohingyas do not come forward. They are scared. In your town, if
criminals or terrorists or robbers were there, definitely you will be scared,”
groups are installing floodlights to improve safety, especially for women, and
police checkposts are planned for vulnerable areas of the dense slums.
South MP Adan Kullow has accused police officers of taking bribes and
permitting terrorists to carry out attacks in Kenya.
Shabaab terrorists have staged many attacks in Mandera and other counties where
they target both police and civilians.
use explosives, that are planted in roads, and guns with which they kill or
injure their victims. They also destroy communications masts.
alleged on Wednesday that security personnel along the Kenya-Somalia border are
compromised and that this has also resulted in radicalisation through teachings
an attack early this week, that left three dead and two others critically
injured, Kullow said KDF soldiers took more than 12 hours to respond. In that
incident, a vehicle ran over a landmine believed to have been planted by al
laxity along the Kenya-Somalia border. Security officers take bribes ... they
have been compromised," the MP told reporters after visiting the victims.
He did not give evidence.
apparatus around here are enough but officers are not doing enough. They should
team up [and assist each other] when such disasters happen," he added.
on Wednesday, Linda Boni Operation director Joseph Kanyiri accused residents of
terror hotspots in Lamu, Tana River and Garissa of "hiding"
said the locals alert al Shabaab militants on the movement of security officers
whereas others hide terrorists when officers embark on searches.
cited recent terror attacks in the region and blamed them on information leaked
to the militants.
in Mandera's Elwak town, acting deputy county commissioner Paul Kemei asked
residents to alert security agents about any kind of danger.
noted this will enable police to prevent attacks and arrest criminals before
offences are committed.
South sub-county sits on the part of the border where the government is
constructing a wall to separate the two countries.
2013, the government deployed the military to Mandera to disarm people who
armed themselves, fearing police would not end the insecurity menace.
county is under a 6 am to 6 pm curfew that came to force last year.
Central African Republic - As an IT specialist, Djamaladine Mahamat Salet is
used to providing solutions to complex problems.
he discovered there were no high-school classes for the displaced children in
his community, he decided to start teaching them basic computer skills.
big challenge was that he would have to do so without electricity, an internet
connection, and no laptops.
children are stuck here due to this conflict," said 38-year-old Salet.
"I am trying to prepare these students so that when they can finally go on
to university, they will thrive."
deal with the lack of power, Salet, who is also a displaced person, rigged a
car battery to solar panels to generate a steady supply for the students.
African Republic (CAR), an impoverished nation of around 4.6 million, has been
mired in conflict since 2013, when the Seleka - a predominantly Muslim
coalition of rebels - overthrew the government of Francois Bozize.
group called the Anti-balaka, which is made up mostly of Christian fighters,
formed to counter the Seleka and during the ongoing fighting both sides have
is one of around 1,600 displaced Muslims who have been sheltering at the
Catholic mission in Bangassou since May 2017, when Anti-balaka fighters waged a
campaign of violence against the local Muslim community.
than 100 Muslims, including Salet's 63-year-old father, were killed before
Portuguese troops from MINUSCA, the United Nations' peacekeeping force in CAR,
were able to intervene and escort the survivors to safety.
years of conflict have taken a heavy toll on the country's education system.
2017, the United Nations has documented more than 85 cases - with 24 incidents
so far in 2018 - of attacks, looting, or occupation of schools by armed groups.
than 350 schools have been closed due to the surge in violence.
to UNICEF, a third of children in CAR are unable to attend school, and fewer
than 50 percent complete their primary education.
those who do, only about half go on to continue their studies after the primary
level. The latest figures indicate there are around 272,000 internally displaced
children in CAR and that nearly 116,000 of them are not in school.
a result of persisting violence, children and youth are exposed to all sorts of
abuse and exploitation [such as] enrolment in armed groups, criminal and
banditry acts, sexual exploitation and abuse, child marriage and early
pregnancies," explained Christine Muhigana, UNICEF's country
representative in the CAR.
are very concerned about the lasting impact this crisis is having on children.
We have a whole generation growing up traumatised, without proper education,
without healthcare and constantly exposed to the most horrific violence,"
Petit Seminaire Saint Louis, the settlement for internally displaced persons
(IDPs) in Bangassou, Salet saw how the conflict affected children.
was particularly low among the 108 high-school-age students.
the gunfire affects children, it unsettles them," said Salet. "That's
one reason I decided to open this [computer lab]. To help take their minds off
the conflict and put them more at ease."
says he approached several aid agencies to ask for support, but none agreed to
take part. In the end, he turned to his community for help.
late 2017, Salet managed to borrow four laptops from displaced families and
construct a small computer lab from leftover wood, tarpaulins and mesh wire and
powers them with the solar panels he rigged to the car batteries.
December 2017, classes began with Salet teaching four two-hour sessions each
day, Monday to Friday, with 10 students in each class. The lab is even open
Saturdays for children who want extra learning time.
Oussna Abdraman has been studying with Salet for almost three months, during
which she has learned Microsoft Word, Excel, Windows, general computer
functions and how to use the internet.
going to a regular school, we feel like we are losing out on the opportunity to
learn. We feel like we have only a low level of education."
computer classes, she said, have helped to lift their spirits.
would eventually like to work at a bank.
(God willing), I will be able to go on and study at university. I would like to
continue studying computers and get a degree in economics," she said.
"Knowing computer skills … it will help me with research and help me in
everyday subjects like biology or history," she added.
other teenagers at the settlement, Abdraman longs to resume something
resembling a normal life. "We feel very bad having to stay here, because
there is no freedom of movement. There is also a lack of food, and we have to
sleep on the ground. It's not comfortable," she said.
remains unclear when Bangassou's Muslims will be able to return to their homes
and rebuild. Most houses and businesses owned by Muslims were destroyed and
looted during the events of last year.
Juan Jose Aguirre Munos, who oversees Bangassou's Catholic mission, said there
is still "a climate of mistrust" between the religious communities,
but that both sides are gradually beginning to accept each other.
activities paralysed because of this crisis have resumed, for example, the
central market is open every day. All political, civil, military and religious
leaders are working for the return of peace and social cohesion, living together
and returning displaced people to their homes," the bishop said.
Idriss, chief of Muslim IDPs at Petit Seminaire Saint Louis, said that safety
remains a concern and that rebuilding their lives and businesses will prove
difficult without outside support.
have nothing. We all lost our houses. People have taken over the land in some
places and built new homes," he said. "We want to go home. We have
the will to do so, but the situation is still very difficult. There is no
Walaka, spokesman for the local so-called "self-defence group", which
is made up of former Anti-balaka fighters, tried to paint a different picture
of the situation.
said that the Muslims sheltering on the church grounds can return to their land
when they hand over any firearms in their possession to MINUSCA, as he claims
the former Anti-balaka fighters have done.
don't see us carrying guns. You don't hear anyone shooting in the air. We want
peace," he claimed.
at the IDP settlement, Salet says that a divided population must find common
ground in order to live in harmony.
Burkina Faso (AP) — The extremists approached the shepherd and made their
intentions clear: They were seizing only the cattle owned by the deputy mayor
of Burkina Faso's rural commune of Deou and leaving the others alone.
they had a message, deputy mayor Moustapha Sawadogo said: "All officials
should leave the Sahel or face death."
extremism has penetrated this West African nation, with its arid north becoming
a sanctuary for fighters from Mali and Niger. Local young men who are
frustrated by poverty and alleged abuses by soldiers during counterterror
efforts are becoming radicalized.
live with us and know our movements," said Sawadogo, who has lived in
Burkina Faso's Sahel region for more than two decades. "For the moment,
the area belongs to them. They have seized it."
once-peaceful Burkina Faso, in the heart of West Africa, is finding itself
uncomfortably at the center of a battle between extremists and regional
counterterror effort for which it is relatively unprepared. Larger neighbors
Mali and Niger for years have fought extremist groups pledging allegiance to
al-Qaida and the Islamic State organization.
with the extremist threat spilling across the borders to Burkina Faso, the
country has signed up with a new regional counterterror force, the G5 Sahel.
Military spending jumped 24 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The fight has strained
security forces and frightened tens of thousands of students out of schools.
the first extremist attacks hit Burkina Faso's west in 2015 they bore the
signature of the Al-Mourabitoun movement, a branch of Mali-based extremists
that Burkina Faso authorities said had received support from Burkinabes. Then a
homegrown jihadist group began to form and attacks became more brazen.
capital, Ouagadougou, was hit for the first time in January 2016, with
extremists targeting a cafe popular with foreigners, killing at least 30
people. Then in August 2017, 18 people were killed in an attack on a Turkish
restaurant in the capital. And an attack in March targeted the military's
headquarters and the French Embassy, killing eight soldiers.
well-known local preacher emerged as a key threat in 2015 when his men killed
12 soldiers in their barracks in the rural commune of Baraboule. Ibrahim Malam
Dicko "became so radical that he and his men started condemning the way we
practice weddings, baby baptisms or namings," said the Emir of Djibo,
Aboubacar Dicko, the highest religious and community leader in Soum province in
the Sahel region.
followers went from village to village banning such ceremonies, calling them
"anti-Islam." They would kill those who refused to follow them or who
were suspected of providing information to the security forces, deputy mayor
followers also reached out to young unemployed men who felt abandoned by the
are not jihadis, religiously speaking, but frustration leads them to seek
weapons and now they hope to find their lost self-esteem," Sawadogo said.
"They found in jihadism the way to easily get weapons, a motorbike and to
resemble what they used to be" when they had cattle, he said. Droughts in
recent years have caused many in northern Burkina Faso to lose cattle and
urgently need jobs but the government just comes with some cosmetic projects
... It is not enough," the Emir of Djibo said. The millions of dollars put
into the government's Sahel Emergency Program, launched a year ago to address
poverty in the drought-hit region, have yet to deliver results.
July, Burkina Faso's security minister for the first time released the names of
146 citizens wanted for aiding and participating in extremist activities, including
some well-known local councilmen and traders. So far, only three have been
groups worry that a heavy-handed approach in counterterror operations has
pushed some young men into joining the extremists. In May, Human Rights Watch
said security forces were implicated in at least 14 alleged summary executions
and four other men died of alleged severe mistreatment in custody.
extremists find a stronger local following they have increased attacks on
security forces and officials. In recent months, the prefect of Oursi and the
mayor of Koutougou, both rural communes in Soum province, have been killed.
Saturday, five gendarmes and one civilian were killed when their vehicle hit an
explosive device between the rural communes of Boungou and Ougarou in the far
on schools and abductions of teachers have forced the closure of more than 200
schools, mainly in Soum province, while more than 20,000 students could not
take final exams this year.
governor of the eastern region has warned that some young men who had left for
Mali are now back and seeking to launch a katiba, or brigade.
Nigerian government Thursday denied that it paid ransom to a Boko Haram
splinter group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) to secure the release
of the Dapchi schoolgirls.
girls were kidnapped from their school on February 18. One of the girls, Leah
Sharibu, is yet to be released for refusing to convert to Islam, other freed
Nigerian government said on March 21 that negotiations through a back-channel
led to the release of the girls and a boy. But a recent report published by the
United Nations said the government lied.
girls were released around 3:00 am through back-channel efforts and with the
help of some friends of the country,” said Nigeria’s Information minister Lai
Mohammed in March.
free the girls, Mohammed said the only demand made by the insurgents was a
United Nations, however, said in a recent report submitted to the Security
Council Committee that the Nigerian government paid “large ransom” to ISWAP.
Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February
2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom
payment,” the UN said in the report.
the Nigerian government said there was no basis for the world body to make such
a conclusion. Mohammed doubled down on his earlier position, saying the UN’s
claim was a “mere conjecture”.
is not enough to say that Nigeria paid a ransom, little or huge,” Mohammed said
in a statement on Thursday.
once again gripped Somalia after recent attacks perpetrated by Islamist
militant group al-Shabaab.
to the United Nations Human Rights Council, 44 individuals who took part in the
country’s last general elections were killed for their role in the formation of
the current Somali government
targeted include clan elders and electoral delegates who picked representatives
of the current 275-member parliament. Fifteen of them were targeted in the run
to the presidential poll in February last year, with 29 other targeted after
the election of the Somali president.
has been named as the main culprit in most killings – with the UN Human Rights
Council now calling on state and non-state actors to ensure the protection of
to that threat, an electoral college was constituted made up of 14,000
representatives picked by clan elders helped elect each of the 275 federal
parliamentarians who later voted for a president last year – in one of the most
competitive polls in Somalia history.
has waged war in the horn of African region for over a decade, killing tens of
thousands and displacing millions others.
displacements have created a refugee and humanitarian crisis in Somalia,
causing suffering to millions of Somalis. This was even made worse by a drought
that hit the country in 2016/17, causing famine and malnutrition across the
UN however hopes that regional and international efforts to pacify Somalia will
bear fruits before the next election, which will be conducted in three years.
congressman appears on anti-Muslim radio show
Florida congressman has made three appearances on a radio show hosted by two
people who regularly espouse fringe anti-Muslim comments.
Rep. Brian Mast appeared on the Right Side Patriots radio program on Tuesday,
an online show hosted by conservative commentators Diane Sori and Craig
Andresen who proudly describe themselves as anti-Muslim.
appearance was Mast's first as a sitting congressman after he previously
appeared in 2015 and 2016 as a congressional candidate, according to recaps of
the show. Audio of the previous shows is not online.
Mast, nor the hosts, made any anti-Muslim comments in Tuesday's interview,
which touched on his background and run for Congress. Sori and Mast mentioned
they sat at the same table at a dinner hosted by former Republican Rep. Allen
West of Florida. The segment following Mast's appearance accused
Muslim-American political candidates of committing "ballot box
also important for people to remember whether they like to hear it or
not," said Sori. "We are at war with Islam. Plain and simple. I
cannot say it enough. Islam is not a religion and we are at war with Islam --
not radical Islam, all Islam."
spokesman, Brian Stewart, defended the interview in a statement to CNN's KFile,
saying Mast talked to all reporters.
Mast talks to many reporters about the issues that are most important to his
constituents like clean water, support for veterans and community safety --
just as he did in this interview -- and just like every reporter doesn't agree
with his positions, he doesn't agree with every statement ever made by the
reporters that he talks to," Stewart wrote in an email.
and Andresen have separate websites for their radio program. The main page of
Sori's website prominently features a long article by her on her belief that
Islam is a cult and not a religion. Conspiratorial and anti-Muslim comments are
a main theme of her blog
also regularly writes anti-Muslim comments and conspiracies such as a theory
that former President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim whose real father was an
Obaid, commissioner for International Justice and Accountability, said that the
US has the leverage it needs to pressure Qatar to stop supporting terrorist
groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and weaken the state’s ties with
Iran, stressing on the bad consequences of the continuity of such Qatari
policies on the region and on the US itself, in an article published by Foreign
Policy, an American news publication, on Wednesday.
discusses the fluctuation in Donald Trump’s position on the diplomatic crisis
between Qatar and its neighbors.
its ties to that country (Iran), Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood is
at least as troubling, if not more so,” he writes.
discusses cases in which the MB have caused chaos in the region and
internationally, referring to the belief of their murder of Hisham Barakat and
their seemingly close relationship with al-Qaeda and ISIS.
social and political scene—its schools, media, financial endowments, and
especially foreign policy—are all aligned to varying degrees with the
Brotherhood’s ideology,” Obaid writes.
went further explaining the policies’ similarities between the state and the
group mentioning: Qatar’s pledging of $250 million to Hamas, Qatar sending
billions to the Egyptian government to secure and sustain the MB’s presidential
candidate, Mohamed Morsi, and Qatar’s funding of the Nusra Front and Ansar
al-Sharia in Syria and Libya respectively.
engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood goes beyond the Middle East. In recent
years, it has been accused of giving more than $175 million to
Brotherhood-linked groups in Denmark, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom,”
said Obaid, author of Bad Faith, a book on the failure of the Muslim
Brotherhood in the Arab World that is yet to be published.
the United States, too, such “revolutionary political activism” represents a
profound danger. If the Brotherhood’s long-term objective really were to build
a fundamentalist Islamic society free of Western influence, that would be
devastating to the United States’ strategic posture and standing in the Middle
East and the wider Muslim world.
Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday said that the United States would levy more
sanctions on the troubled Turkish economy if Ankara does not release an
have put sanctions on several of their cabinet members,” Mnuchin told President
Donald Trump in a cabinet meeting attended by the press. “We have more that we
are planning to do if they don’t release him quickly.”
prefaced Mnuchin’s remarks by saying that Turkey had not been a very good
to imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson, Trump said “they have a great Christian
pastor there, he’s a very innocent man.”
Turkish court on Wednesday rejected a new appeal to free US pastor Andrew
Brunson, whose detention has sparked a major row between Turkey and the United
States, local media reported.
Colombia: The Taliban is likely to keep up its recent surge of violence in
advance of scheduled parliamentary elections in October but Western-backed
Afghan defenses will not break, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday.
his most detailed comments on the Taliban’s assault on the eastern city of
Ghazni since it began Aug. 10, Mattis said the Taliban had six objectives in
and around the city and failed to seize any of them. He would not specify the
Ghazni, provincial police chief Farid Mashal said Thursday that roads were
being cleared of mines planted by Taliban who temporarily held entire
neighborhoods of the city that they had besieged. The fighting continued for
five days with more than 100 members of the Afghan National Security forces
killed and 20 civilians. Scores of Taliban were also killed, according to
said some Taliban fighters were still holed up in houses in the city “trying to
get resupplied.” He said businesses are reopening, and overall, “it’s much more
stable” in Ghazni, showing that the Taliban have fallen short.
have not endeared themselves, obviously, to the population of Ghazni,” Mattis
said. “They use terror. They use bombs because they can’t win with ballots.”
Taliban operation followed a familiar pattern, Mattis said in remarks to
reporters flying with him Thursday evening to Bogota, Colombia, where he was
winding up a weeklong tour of South America.
insurgents likely were trying to gain leverage in advance of an expected cease
fire offer by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, he said. And they likely were
hoping to sow fear in advance of the October elections, he added.
achieved a degree of disquiet,” he said, but nothing more.
we’ll continue to see this sort of thing,” he said, even though the Taliban lack
the strength to hold territory they seize for brief periods. “They will never
hold against the Afghan army.”
Afghan war has been stalemated for years. The Taliban lack the popular support
to prevail, although they benefit from sanctuary in Pakistan. Afghan government
forces, on the other hand, are too weak to decisively break the insurgents even
as they develop under US and NATO training and advising.
has said he believes the Afghan security forces are gaining momentum and can
wear down the Taliban to the point where the insurgents would choose to talk
peace. So far that approach has not produced a breakthrough.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has named Brian Hook as the new 'special
representative' for Iran, who will head up an 'Iran Action Group.'
declared he is forming the dedicated group to coordinate and run US policy
toward Iran as the Donald Trump administration moves ahead with efforts to
force changes in the country's behavior after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear
said the group will be headed by Brian Hook, who is currently the State
Department's director of policy planning. Hook led the Trump administration's
ultimately unsuccessful attempt to negotiate changes to the nuclear deal with
European allies before the president decided in May to pull out of the accord.
withdrawing, the administration has re-imposed sanctions that were eased under
the deal and has steadily ramped up pressure on Iran to try to get it to stop
what it describes as "malign activities" in the region.
addition to its nuclear and missile programs, the administration has repeatedly
criticized Iran for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, Shiite rebels in
Yemen and anti-Israel groups. It has also in recent weeks stepped up criticism
of Iran's human rights record and is working with other nations to curb their
imports of Iranian oil.
administration is warning Iran's oil customers that they will face US sanctions
in November unless they significantly reduce their imports with an eye on
eliminating them entirely.
has also told businesses and governments in Europe that they may also be
subject to penalties if they violate, ignore or attempt to subvert the
re-imposed US sanctions.
his new job, Hook is to oversee implementation of the administration's entire
Iran policy, the officials said. Pompeo and other officials have denied that
the administration is seeking to foment regime change in Iran and maintain they
only want to see the government change course. Pompeo created a similar group
dedicated to working on North Korea policy while he was director of the CIA.
is expected to be replaced as policy planning chief by Kiron Skinner, a foreign
policy academic and adviser to several Republican presidential candidates who
served on President Donald Trump's national security transition team and very
briefly at the State Department after Trump took office, according to the
officials who were not authorized to publicly discuss personnel matters and
spoke on condition of anonymity.
two leading German firms are the latest to pull out of projects in Iran as the
sanctions take a toll on foreign investment. Rail operator Deutsche Bahn and
Deutsche Telekom said they would end their involvement because firms investing
in Iran will be barred from doing business with the US. Oil firm Total, and
carmakers PSA, Renault and Daimler have said they will also withdraw.
scholar and Iranian-affairs expert Majid Rafizadeh said the regime in Tehran is
in deep trouble at home as the sanctions, which came into effect last week, are
companies and firms are halting their business deals with Iran,” he said.
“Foreign investors are also withdrawing. This is significant due to the fact
that many foreign investors have invested billions of dollars in Iran’s debt
market as Tehran’s economy is cash-strapped.
the surface, Iran’s leaders are brushing aside the sanctions as trivial, but
Tehran is significantly wary as the sanctions are affecting its economy
negatively. If the Iranian regime does not alter its destructive behavior, the
sanctions will cripple its economy.”
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