(stall offering cold drinks and water) along the route of the Muharram
Too Long Ago, Sunnis Joined Shias in Mourning Imam Hussain’s Martyrdom
Shiite Community Brace for Attacks Ahead Of Ashura Holy Day
Muslims Are Unwanted, Then There Is No Hindutva: RSS Chief
Deplorable Move to Criminalise Islam
Exports Religious Take On Family Planning
Graffiti Should Trigger Hate-Crime Probe, Muslim Group Says
Suggests Turning Council of Islamic Ideology into Fatwa Authority
for Human Rights Concerned Over Seizing of Muslims’ Religious Freedom by EU
suspension of aid not a ‘life or death situation’ for Pakistan, says navy chief
reaches Saudi Arabia amid reports Pakistan may seek aid
govt to target terror financing
home secy expresses will for coordination with Pakistan in various sectors
Directed To Issue 27,825 Pending Cnics To Bengalis, Afghans
Arrests over Two Dozen Daesh Terrorists Ahead Of Ashura
army used 'unfathomable levels of violence' against Rohingya
Rohingyas Went Abroad With Bangladeshi Passports
to Move Rohingya to Island from Next Month: Officials
opens preliminary probe into Myanmar crimes against Rohingya
report confirms Rohingya suffered genocide
Hasina jointly inaugurate oil pipeline, rail projects
Ekta Manch Is Fanning Communal Tensions Giving Impetus to Right-Wing Groups
Religious Minorities Struggle To Attain Scholarships
107, Muslim Wrestler Had Started Vadodara's First Public Ganesh Fest
outfit offers man who killed Muslim LS poll ticket
accuses Navjot Singh Sidhu of speaking like Pakistan agent
more held in Hojai for Hizbul Mujahideen links
Ghani arrives in India leading a delegation of high level officials
To Announce Support for Victims of Sexual Violence in Myanmar
says Turkey-Russia deal on Syria's Idlib must protect civilians
sabotage akin to ‘terrorism’: Australia PM
Inaction on Child Brides a Green Light to Paedophiles, Says Lawyers for Liberty
of tradition often trumps religion in Indonesia
keen to boost bilateral relationship with Pakistan, says Totok Prianamto
fallacy of ‘academic freedom’ in Malaysia
alliance could be anything but PAS-Umno cooperation, says analyst
backs Zahid over PAS courtship, but cautions against tie-up
Creates Biodefence Committee To Protect US From Bio-Terrorism
bombs killing Yemeni kids: CNN
Rebel Official Says Idlib Deal ‘Ends Assad’s Dream of Total Control’
Names Beirut Street after Rafiq Hariri Assassin
Militants Continue Plundering People's Assets in Northern Syria
Al-Sham Captures Rival Terrorists' Positions in Northern Syria
aerial operations in violation of Syria’s sovereignty, Putin says
Arabia greatly concerned by Rohingya plight, says KSA envoy to UN
Battles over Past 10 Days in Yemen Result in Death of 1,300 Houthis
Refuse UN Envoy Efforts to Start Peace Talks in Geneva
decries Houthi prosecution of Bahais in Yemen
envoy to Yemen reports ‘constructive meetings’ in Sanaa
cabinet calls for joint efforts to ‘counter Iranian terrorism’
airstrike leaves 18 Yemeni fishermen dead off Khokha coast
youth succumbs to wounds sustained in Israeli assault
Boko Haram Leader Reportedly Killed by Allies
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Haram: Troops kill 5 insurgents in Borno
by New Age Islam News Bureau
too long ago, Sunnis joined Shias in mourning Imam Hussain’s martyrdom
year, an elderly man from a Sunni family sets up a sabeel (stall offering cold
drinks and water) along the route of the first Muharram procession in
predominantly Shia neighbourhood of Kocha Sardar in Peshawar’s walled city.
Khan, 55, offers glasses full of water to mourners at the sabeel in a corner of
the street as he explains, “This has been a tradition in our family. My father
and uncles used to do it, and now it’s my turn.”
says he remembers a time when his family would also set up first aid camps
along the route of the procession.
his childhood days in the 1970s, Khan says, “People from Sunni and Shia
families used to participate in Muharram processions and attend majalis at imam
he hopes to pass the tradition on to the younger generation, he is worried
about the gradual decline in the practice, since his is now the only sabeel in
the city arranged by a Sunni Muslim.
was a time when there used to between 25 and 30 sabeels set up by Sunni
families of Peshawar.
a different city now,” he recalls, saying that relations between the two
communities started straining as a result of violent attacks on Shia
imambargahs and subsequent targeted killings and suicide blasts during Muharram
to a nearby security check post, which is among dozens set up along the route
of the Muharram procession in the city, Khan says, “I don’t remember coming
across any security check posts in the city. It is different now. The city
looks like a fortress during Muharram.”
Hussain, who hails from a Shia Muslim family of Peshawar, also has similar
stories of interfaith harmony and solidarity from his childhood days in the
recalls a tradition where the Sunni families of his neighbourhood used to
decorate all streets and look after sanitation needs during at least one of the
days during Muharram.
believes that back then sectarian identities had not hardened to the extent
they have these days. He says things started changing for the worse during
General Zia’s rule. “Hate preachers were facilitated by the regime,” he says,
adding that the regime’s policies set the stage for the violence that took
place in the 1990s.
tradition of Sunnis setting up sabeels and participating in Muharram
processions isn’t specific to Pakhtun populated areas. Similar stories of
interfaith harmony and cooperation are narrated by Naeem Gujjar, a longtime
resident of Rawalpindi Cantonment.
belongs to Sunni family that still sets up a sabeel along the route of
procession on 9th and 10th Muharram. “We start preparing for it several days in
advance. I see it as a holy practice.”
who identifies himself as middle-class, regrets that many other Sunni families
have given up on the practice. “I don’t earn alot of money but I regularly save
some of my earnings to be able to set up the sabeel.
conscience is clear since I’m helping out my brothers in following their faith.
It’s a pity that people here have so much money and time to invest in
activities that promote hate, and none to spare for small acts of kindness and
Peshawar, Rawalpindi Cantonment area has also seen a decline in the number of
sabeels, from 27 during Gujjar’s childhood days to a mere five now.
Javed, another resident, recalls that there used to be more than 24 tazias
(Muharram processions) arranged in the area by Sunni families, ‘but now you
will not find a single such tazia.
says Shias and Sunnis used to mourn Hazrat Imam Hussain’s martyrdom together,
regretting that the Sunnis got distanced from the practice due to the acts of a
minorities of extremists.
Shiite community brace for attacks ahead of Ashura holy day
A series of devastating suicide attacks on Afghanistan's minority Shiite
community has fuelled fears of more violence ahead of Ashura, one of the Muslim
sect's holiest days, and prompted calls for civilians to arm themselves.
religious holiday, which falls on Thursday, has become a major target for the
Islamic State group since it emerged in the region in 2014 and began assaulting
Shiites in overwhelmingly Sunni Afghanistan.
extremists, like IS, consider Shiites apostates, and have carried out deadly
attacks on the sect across the region, massacring hundreds.
violence has escalated in recent weeks, with more than 60 people killed in
suicide bombings at a wrestling club and an education centre in a heavily
Shiite-populated neighbourhood of Kabul.
suicide bombers also struck a Shiite mosque in the eastern city of Gardez last
month, killing at least 35 people.
claimed responsibility for those attacks.
are in constant fear, day and night," Ahmad Zia Ahmadi told AFP on Sunday
as he oversaw repairs at the Maiwand wrestling club, which was badly damaged in
the September 5 double bombing.
the government does not provide security for us, we will have to arm
Afghan government is frequently criticised for failing to protect Shiites, who
number around three million in Afghanistan, and there are growing fears of
of civilians were recruited last year to protect Shiite religious sites in
Kabul and other cities ahead of Ashura, reinforced by police officers.
move helped to reduce the number of attacks, a senior Shiite leader told AFP
recently, but no such plan has been announced for this Ashura.
hundreds of weapons distributed in 2017 were still being used to protect
mosques, it was not enough, he said.
year "they only gave us 1,250 guns that we distributed to 14 provinces
with Shiite populations", he said on the condition of anonymity.
mosques "are still unarmed".
ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP that the government had a security
plan for Ashura and the Islamic month of Muharram, but would not provide
will do everything to provide security for our people in Kabul," Danish
said on September 10, a day before the start of Muharram.
-- the most important Shiite observance -- falls on the 10th day of Muharram,
which is the mourning period for the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein,
the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
faithful gather to beat their chests and lash their backs with chains until
they bleed in commemoration of Hussein's death.
know they will attack
faith in the government, many Shiites echo Ahmadi's fears that IS could strike
anywhere, and that they can only rely on themselves for protection.
have been attacked in our mosques, schools, streets and gyms," Ghulam Reza
told AFP at the wrestling club.
are thinking about arming ourselves."
Facebook, users have been sharing the rumoured locations of planned attacks in
is safe for us anymore," one user named Hossien posted.
kids, religious scholars, wrestlers, and people from all walks of life are
killed every day. Let's... stand up against it."
Facebook user wrote: "Standing in front of a mosque to protect your people
is a way of fighting terrorism. When the government cannot provide security,
you protect your institutions and values."
intelligence agency announced Tuesday the arrest of 26 suspected IS militants
who were allegedly planning to carry out attacks during Muharram and on Ashura.
to divide Kabul into four security zones were announced by Afghan President
Ashraf Ghani on September 8.
also said heavier security, such as a "green zone" similar to the one
where many embassies and international organisations are located in Kabul, was
needed in the city's Shiite-dominated west.
"more deliberation and consultation" were required before the
proposals could be implemented, he said in a statement.
lack of action is no surprise to Ahmadi, who is collecting donations to repair
the wrestling club.
know the enemy will attack us," he said, as he studied bits of flesh stuck
to the ceiling.
"we don't expect the government to protect us. They can't".
the words of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental
College which became the Aligarh Muslim University, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
Tuesday nuanced the Sangh line of every Indian being a Hindu, saying “Hindu
Rashtra does not mean it has no place for Muslims. The day it is said that
Muslims are unwanted here, the concept of Hindutva will cease to exist”.
on the second day of a three-day RSS lecture series event in New Delhi, Bhagwat
said he will “respect” the sentiments of those who wish to be called
“Bharatiya” and not Hindu.
recalled Syed Ahmad Khan’s speech at a function organised by the Arya Samaj
community to felicitate him for becoming “the first Muslim barrister”. He said
Khan told the gathering “Mujhe bada dukh hua ki aapne humko apne me nahin
shumaar kiya… kya hum Bharat Mata ke putra nahin hain?… arre itihaas mein badal
gayi hamari puja ki padyati, aur kya badla hai? (I am very upset that you did
not consider me one of your own. Am I not a son of Mother India? Nothing has
changed except our ways of worship).”
said that this was the sentiment among people of undivided India until 1881
before it disappeared over time. “Usko wapas lana padega… usko aap, hum jaisa
kehte hain usko, Hindu mat kaho… aap usko Bharatiya kaho… hum aap ke kehne ka
samman karte hain (We need to return that. If you do not want to call that
Hindu, as we do, call it Bharatiya. We will respect what you say),” he said.
kehte hain ki hamara Hindu Rashtra hai. Hindu Rashtra hai iska matlab isme
Musalman nahin chahiye aisa bilkul nahin hai… jis din yeh kaha jayega ki yahan
Musalman nahin chahiye… uss din woh Hindutva nahi rahega. Woh toh vishwa-kutumb
ki baat karta hai (We say ours is a Hindu Rashtra. Hindu Rashtra does not mean
it has no place for Muslims. The day it is said that Muslims are unwanted here,
the concept of Hindutva will cease to exist. Hindutva believes that the world
is a family),” he said.
image of Bharat is that we accept and welcome diversity… global dharma was
nurtured here. Bharat is the trustee of all this knowledge, and has given it to
the world from time to time,” he said.
another remark directed at RSS critics who fear that the Sangh and its
affiliates are out to rewrite the Indian Constitution, Bhagwat said they
believe the “Indian Constitution is the consensus of the country” and the RSS
is committed to Constitutional provisions.
respect all symbols of freedom, and the Constitution is also one such symbol.”
He read out the Preamble to underline the RSS’s commitment to the Constitution
despite the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ being included later.
did, however, equate organising the society with organising Hindus. “Like an
examination in which we solve the easy questions first and then pick the hard
ones later… we will organise those first who admit they are Hindus… There might
be people who consider us enemy… our objective is not to finish them but to
take them along… that is Hindutva in the real sense,” he said.
that the Sangh keeps distance from politics — without naming the BJP, he said
the RSS does not dictate a party’s politics or the policies of its government —
Bhagwat said it pushes for what it believes are in the interest of the country.
He said the issue of illegal immigrants (ghuspaithiye) was one such matter
where the RSS will never hesitate to spell out its position.
ongoing and increasing effort to criminalise Islam throughout Europe, a
continent that prides itself on being a bastion of liberal and pluralistic
values, operates under many guises and covert methods, all of which have a
singular purpose: To make life as difficult for Muslims as lawfully possible.
parliaments are legalising Islamophobia at breakneck speeds, with European
citizens becoming increasingly fixated on what Muslims can and cannot wear in
that France became the first to ban the Islamic face veil in 2011, but since
then only six of the 28 EU countries haven't considered banning headscarves and
face veils, those six being Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Portugal and
that have passed general national laws that criminalise wearing the face veil
include France, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Austria, while Denmark and Spain have
enacted bans in specific public settings or sectors, according to a recent
report by Open Society Foundation.
of this is taking place as far-right political parties and movements spread
throughout Europe at rate alarmingly similar to the Nazi military in the late
1930s to early 1940s.
some European states are going even further than France, Belgium, Denmark and
others in their respective efforts to stifle and repress the rights of Muslim
minorities and expression of the Islamic faith.
for instance, recently passed a law that effectively outlaws Islam for the
foreseeable future and/or forever.
bill changed a pre-existing law that stated a religion must attain 20,000
followers (signatures) before it can be considered a state religion.
that legal status, a religion is deemed unlawful by the state, deeming it
ineligible for government tax subsidies, while, at the same time, forbidding
public houses of worship. The new law, however, doubled the threshold from
25,000 to 50,000 signatures.
Muslims represent only 0.4 percent of the population, Slovakia's anti-Islam law
represents a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, but Slovak politicians
haven't tried to conceal their motive behind this bill. In fact, they have
publicly stated it's intended to outlaw all aspects of Muslim life in the
starts with a kebab and it's already under way in Bratislava, let's realise
what we will face in five to 10 years," said Slovak National Party (SNP)
chairman Andrej Danko in an interview with Reuters. "We must do everything
we can so that no mosque is built in the future."
it stands, there are roughly 5,000 Muslims in Slovakia, but not a single
mosque. This law restricts the day-to-day life of Slovak Muslims in very
harmful and repressive ways. Not only are they denied basic rights regarding
freedom of speech and expression, but also they can't have religious leaders,
perform Islamic marriages, nor can they receive funding or assistance from the
government, unlike the members of 18 other registered religions in the country.
Muslims, we do really need to be recognised and to have a feeling that we are
well accepted and well integrated by the government, by the society. We as
Muslims, we are citizens. We have, beside our duties, also some rights,"
said Mohamad Safwan Hasna, chairman of Islamic Foundation Slovakia, in a recent
interview with TRT World.
failing to recognise Islam as a religion means schools are not allowed to teach
their students about the religious faith and/or the contributions Muslims have
made towards technology, medicine, philosophy and the natural sciences, which
also denies students being knowledgeable about the historical presence of
Muslims in Slovakia.
is no mention of the contribution of Arabic travel books to the reconstruction
of the history of Central and Eastern Europe in the early middle Ages,"
observes Jozef Lenc and Monika Zavis, Slovakian authors of a recent report into
Islamophobia in Slovakia.
Slovakia, we do not even teach anything about the Muslim communities of early
Hungary (for example, around Nitra) or the contributions of the Tatars, who
settled in the territory of today's Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, to the
Polish army and society."
according to Lenc and Zavis, is creating the intellectual space for
Islamophobia to thrive and proliferate, which also creates space for political
entrepreneurs, particularly on the right, to exploit and mobilise a political
instance, a prominent Member of Parliament, Stanislav Mizik, recently stated,
"Every normal European, Christian or atheist, has to fear this
satanic-paedophile creation of the devil, which is the religion of Islam."
course, like everywhere else, seemingly, Slovak media also helps perpetuate
negative stereotypes about Muslims and disinformation about Islam, and in
particular has further fueled ill feeling towards the country's tiny Muslim
more: Love, politics and patriarchy: British Muslim women are taking back their
often Islam is associated with terrorism - in fact all Slovak media use the
word 'jihad' as a synonym for 'terrorism,' and 'jihadists' as a synonym for
'terrorists.' This creates a societal image that all Muslims who act as
jihadists are terrorists, and that terrorism in the form of jihad is a part of
Islam," observe Lenc and Zavis.
climate of anti-Muslim animus is urging Slovak politicians to expand the 2017
bill by more than quadrupling the number of signatures required to attain
status as a legal religion, but even more concerning is the fact that hate
crimes against Muslims in Slovakia are on the rise, like pretty much everywhere
else across the continent.
the heart of these European anti-Muslim laws is the fear of terrorism, with
right-wing politicians foolishly and dangerously espousing the misguided notion
that being tough on Muslims will defeat "Islamic" terrorism, despite
the fact that counterterrorism academics and practitioners contend the exact
opposite - that social cohesion, pluralism, equality and inclusion are the
enemies of violent extremism.
unfortunately, is yet another example of a modern European state falling victim
to the worse impulses and imaginary of fears of a more virulent and threatening
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the National
Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN), is promoting Indonesia’s approach
of incorporating religious leaders in family planning campaigns abroad,
describing the approach as effective in increasing the use of contraception.
Sachs Robertson, a UNFPA Indonesia representative, said on Tuesday that Islamic
leaders in other countries often perceived family planning and the use of
contraception as unacceptable for Muslims, unlike many Indonesian religious
leaders who believe family planning is part of Islamic teaching.
said religious leaders in Indonesia have also taken part in promoting maternal
and infant health.
told Muslim adherents] to not have children if they are too young or too old
[to bear children],” she said. “And they also told people not to have children
to soon or too many.”
UNFPA, in collaboration with the BKKBN, has been inviting since 2013 religious
leaders from at least 20 African and Asian countries — particularly those with
a large Muslim population — to Indonesia to learn about family planning from
the countries are Afghanistan, Niger and Nigeria — of which the contraceptive
prevalence rates stood at 25, 16 and 21 percent respectively in 2017.
[of the 20] countries even requested our staff, BKKBN staff and some experts to
visit their countries and hold training sessions for their Muslim leaders,”
latest training session was set up in Mindanao, home to the majority of Muslims
in the Catholic-majority Philippines, earlier this year.
Indonesia program officer for advocacy Samidjo said Mindanao was “doing what
Indonesia does in carrying out a family planning program”.
example, Indonesia has a premarriage counseling program where engaged couples
receive education on health and reproduction, as well as the family planning
program, while Mindanao has a post-marriage counseling program.
post-marriage [counselling]? Because in Mindanao, it is prohibited for Muslim
couples to meet before they are officially married,” Samidjo said, adding that
the counseling program was organized by the countries’ religious bodies, with
the Indonesian body being the Religious Affairs Office.
Robertson and Samidjo were speaking to The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the
inter-ministerial conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC),
which is taking place in Bali from Tuesday to Thursday.
and the Philippines have collaborated on Mindanao’s family planning program
since 2013, leading to an increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR)
CPR in Mindanao increased to 40 percent in 2017 from 30 percent in 2013, yet it
is far below Indonesia’s 63.6 percent.
and the Philippines are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the
exchange of religious leaders to help promote the family planning program in
Mindanao on the last day of the SSTC meeting. The agreement will aim at
extending a similar five-year pact, which will expire soon.
BKKBN claimed success in increasing Indonesia’s CPR from 61.9 percent in 2012
to 63.6 percent in 2017.
to 2012, the country had made little progress, with rising conservatism
frequently blamed for undermining efforts to increase the CPR, which only
increased by 2 percent from 60 percent between 2002
SSTC meeting, attended by at least 250 officials from 45 member states, is
expected to address population and development challenges in developing
countries, grouped together as the Global South.
graffiti should trigger hate-crime probe, Muslim group says
civil liberties organization on Tuesday called for officials to conduct a
hate-crime investigation after Islamophobic graffiti was found in front of a
home in Homer Glen.
graffiti was spray-painted Monday on the sidewalk in front of the home of a
Muslim family who has lived in the southwest suburb for more than 20 years,
according to a statement from the Chicago office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
kinds of cowardly attacks are designed to do one thing: make people feel
unwelcome and unsafe, even in the sanctity of their own homes, for no other
reason than their personal choice of faith,” CAIR Executive Director Ahmed
Rehab said in a statement.
Will County sheriff’s office, which provides law enforcement services for the
village, has not released information about the incident. A spokeswoman for the
office was not immediately available for comment Tuesday evening.
graffiti contained crosses and a message that appeared to be an attempt to mock
the Islamic phrase “peace be upon him,” which Muslims say when they reference
the Prophet Muhammed, Rehab said. In addition, the person or people who left
the message also spayed black paint over the brake lights of the family’s car.
organization said the son of the couple who live at the home reported the
incident to law enforcement and the organization after it was discovered.
call on the sheriff’s department to investigate this incident with its full
resources and resolve, and to increase patrols in the area,” Rehab said.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri on Tuesday suggested
turning the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) – an advisory body for presenting
Islamic views on various policy issues – into a Federal Fatwa Centre.
move will help to discourage issuance of fatwa on every street and village of
the country,” Qadri said while addressing a book launching ceremony at the CII
headquarters. Sharing details of the idea, he said the fatwa centre will be
responsible for issuance of decree on national and international issues.
contacted, the CII chief Dr Qibla Ayaz said the federal minister has just given
aim behind this move will be to give the CII a mandate of issuing fatwas which
have national and international consequences and impact. It will help to bar
and discourage local muftis to give fatwa on issues which could bring
embarrassment for the country,” he said.
Ayaz said the CII will be given an additional responsibility for giving fatwas
on issue like religious extremism, religious intolerance, three talaqs and
child marriages among other things.
CII have members belonging to various schools of thought who are highly
qualified. Therefore it is believed that their mutual advice based on new
scientific research on any specific issue will help in issuing a relevant fatwa
and would be in line with teachings of all sects,” he said.
the local muftis, he added, will be allowed to give fatwas on small issues like
family disputes and inheritance issues.
in 2013, the former CII chairman Muhammad Khan Sherani issued a fatwa on behalf
of the council that said the DNA tests were unacceptable as primary evidence in
rape cases, but said they could be considered as supporting evidence.
– Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari expressed her concerns
over the violation of basic human rights by some European states and seizing
the religious freedom to practice their religion freely and in the form of
abuse of Islam by some European states against their Muslim citizens.
expressed these concerns during a meeting with a delegation of European Union
headed by Jean-François Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union in Pakistan
here Tuesday. The delegation was comprised of Political Councilor Frank-Olivier
Roux and Human Rights Counselor Javeria Kabani and others. High officials of
the Human Rights Ministry also attended the meeting.
urged the international community to take prompt action in this regard and to
play a decisive role not only in seeking an end to the violation but to restore
and protect their human rights in the pursuance of the Human Rights European
the delegation, Shireen Mazari said that Muslim community has been facing the
impediments to practice their religion freely adding that Muslims in some
European states had been deprived of their basic human rights. We do have the
serious issues in this regard and everyday Human Rights situation is becoming
worse, she added.
further showed her commitment to the effective implementation of the United
Nations Conventions in pursuance to the constitution of Pakistan and
international commitments. She also apprised the EU Ambassador about the steps
to ensure the protection of Human Rights particularly the rights of women,
children, and minorities.
minister said we are working on three further bills including Anti Torture and
Custodial Death, Rights of Persons with Disability and Prohibition of Corporal
Punishment Bill, the drafts of which have been forwarded to the Law Ministry
for vetting and further process to present before the Cabinet. Shireen Mazari
said besides the implementation of Hindu Marriage Act, the Ministry had drawn
up a new Christian divorce bill for the National Assembly.
Navy Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi on Monday said that India’s sea-based
nuclear weapon initiative had compelled Pakistan to take steps for maintaining
strategic balance in the region.
to media persons at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, Admiral Abbasi, who is
visiting US to attend an international sea-powers symposium, rejected the
“myth” that Pakistan was seeking strategic depth in Afghanistan.
navy chief said though the decision by US to suspend security assistance to
Pakistan was not a favourable one, it was not a "life or death
defended Pakistan’s decision to match India’s sea-based nuclear programme while
responding to several questions from the representatives of the US media.
nuclear weapons provide an assured second strike capability which disturbs the
equation, so unless we equate that, the imbalance might induce India to start a
conventional war,” he said. “We have legitimate concerns and our programme is
aimed at discouraging India from doing so.”
April this year, Pakistan conducted the second flight test of its Babur-III
nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM). The missile was
tested from a submerged platform off Pakistan’s coast in the Arabian Sea and
flew to strike a target at an undisclosed location.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced that the missile “incorporates
advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea
with high accuracy, at a range of 700 kilometres".
Abbasi admitted that Pakistan had tested the Babur-III missiles to meet the
Indian challenge, he dismissed a journalist's implication that Pakistan had
developed this missile with China’s assistance.
an all indigenous programme. I will leave at that,” he said.
explained that Pakistan has an elaborate programme for ensuring the security of
the assets it has developed to counter the Indian threat, “which provides all
the tools, procedures and settings under a central command that runs through
Strategic Plans Division".
admiral said that in 2016 Pakistan signed an agreement with China for procuring
eight submarines, which will be delivered by 2025. These are all conventional
submarines and are not nuclear capable.
not seeking strategic depth in Afghanistan
also rejected “the myth” that Pakistan was seeking “strategic depth” in
is a separate, sovereign country and we respect it as that. Whatever strategic
depth we have is our own,” he said.
naval chief said political changes in Pakistan will not affect its Afghan
policy and the country will continue to support peace and stability in
Afghanistan. Pakistan, he said, did not want large ungovernable territories in
Afghanistan because it had repercussions.
take refuge in Afghanistan and use its territory for launching attacks into
Pakistan. The most recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan were conceived, planned
and executed from Afghanistan. That’s why we are trying to fence our border,”
he said. “We are all for a political solution to the Afghan problem.”
to a question about US-Taliban talks in Qatar, he said: “We welcome these
talks. We hope that some sort of solution comes out of that.”
is a good beginning that the US is engaged with the Taliban.”
said the best hope for peace in Afghanistan were the quadrilateral talks that
Pakistan had arranged in Murree in 2016. However, those talks, he said, had
been sabotaged by leaking the news of Mullah Omar’s death.
Abbasi rejected the suggestion that Pakistan was financing the Afghan Taliban.
Taliban’s biggest source [of money] is the drug trade and we are trying to stop
that. About 30-40 per cent of this trade is carried through the maritime
route,” he said.
naval chief urged that the US should share intelligence gathering with Pakistan
to combat drug trafficking through sea routes.
is not North Korea'
navy chief disagreed with the suggestion that Pakistan was being isolated like
North Korea with Pakistan is not right. North Korea does not have a legitimate
threat from a neighbour, which is responsible for dismembering it,” he said.
explained that North Korea was cut-off from the rest of the world as opposed to
Pakistan, which works alongside international forces because Islamabad realises
that a country cannot live in isolation.
Pakistan navy chief said his country wanted a good relationship with the US,
based on mutual respect, not security or economic assistance.
assistance is not our primary consideration. We want good relations with or
without security assistance. We have enough resources in Pakistan. We can work
without US assistance,” he said.
Abbasi noted that the US recently cancelled the programme which enabled
Pakistani military officers to attend theUS defence institutions.
are still sending our officers to the US, funding the programme from our own
resources,” he maintained.
said all three services chiefs were out of the country, visiting the US, China
and Russia and the visits conveyed the message that “we want to stay engaged
with the international community, with both East and West".
said that Pakistan was looking for new and updated jet aircraft for surveillance
purposes as the P3C surveillance planes that were given by the US more than 10
years ago were now outdated.
are ready to acquire them from any source, including the US,” he said.
Chinese base in Gwadar
Abbasi dismissed the concern that China was setting up a base at the Gwadar
port, and insisting that “there’s absolutely no truth to that".
are no plans to hand over any base to foreign navies anywhere in Pakistan,” he
said, emphasising that Gwadar was purely a commercial harbour and only Pakistan
Navy would have a base there.
said so far no foreign warship had entered Gwadar, but whenever that happens it
would be open to all other navies including French, Royal and that of the US.
said that Pakistan had noticed that the US and India had recently signed
maritime agreements, but added that such deals were not “a zero-sum game".
US, he said, will also participate in multinational maritime exercises in
Pakistan in February next year, where some 50 navies from around the world —
including China — will take part. A similar exercise had been held in 2017 in
which 37 countries participated.
Prime Minister Imran Khan reached Saudi Arabia on his first foreign visit
after assuming office.
is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad
Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzak
arrival at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Prime
Minister Khan was received by Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor
of Madina and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Khan Hisham bin Siddique
along with other officials.
Madina, the prime minister and his delegation visited Masjid-i-Nabawi where the
doors of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) final resting place were opened
for them. The delegation offered Maghreb prayers at Riyadhul Jannah.
the delegation travelled to Jeddah where Prime Minister Khan is scheduled to
call on King Salman and hold a bilateral meeting with Crown Prince Mohammad bin
Salman bin Abdulaziz to discuss regional and international issues.
Saudi King will also host a state banquet for the prime minister at the Royal
Court, said an official statement.
General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Dr Yousef bin Ahmad
Al-Othaimeen will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan.
is a leading and active member of the organisation.
prime minister and his delegation will arrive in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday
Counter-Terrorism Financing Unit (CTFU) has been notified by the Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government to operate under the Counter Terrorism Department
(CTD), a local media outlet reported on Tuesday.
move comes on the heels of a raid by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to
seal a currency market in Peshawar linked with money laundering.
June, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had found ‘deficiencies’ in the
country’s ability to curb terror financing.
had presented a plan of action consisting of 26 points the country said it
would work on to avoid being placed on FATF’s blacklist.
United Kingdom (UK) Home Secretary of the Sajid Javed has said that his country
is keen to support and extend full cooperation to Pakistan in achieving
sustainable development goals, education and health sectors.
British home secretary expressed these views during a meeting with Punjab Chief
Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in Lahore on Tuesday.
of mutual interest, promotion of bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors were
discussed in the meeting.
Javed congratulated Sardar Usman Buzdar on becoming Chief Minister and extended
good wishes to him.
on this occasion, the Chief Minister Punjab said Pakistan and UK are strong
partners in the journey of progress and prosperity.
directed to issue 27,825 pending CNICs to Bengalis, Afghans
With the announcement of Prime Minister Imran Khan to issue identity cards to
Bengalis and Afghanis who were residing as illegal immigrants up till now, the
Ministry of Interior (MoI) has directed the National Database and Registration
Authority (NADRA) to issue at least 27,825 pending Computerised National
Identity Cards (CNICs) without verification of parents’ cards, Pakistan Today
learnt on Tuesday.
to sources, the total number of pending CNICs stands at 16,772 in Karachi,
Quetta 5,685, Peshawar 4,411, Sargodha 221, Islamabad 342, Lahore 243, Sukkur
144 and Multan 7.
this regard, the NADRA (Operations) Director Ali Javed has forwarded a letter
to all the Regional Head Offices (RHOs) to ensure compliance of the order and
CNICs may be issued without any hindrances.
of Interior vide para 2 (vii) of the letter under reference has decided and
directed NADRA that “where the national status of parents is cleared in NADRA
record, in such cases CNIC to children may be issued without any hindrance”.
Accordingly, all Regional Head Offices (RHOs) were directed to implement the
same in letter and spirit vide letter under the reference”, the letter said.
RHOs confirmed the dissemination and implementations of the directions.
However, during technical analysis of operational activities, it has been
observed that about 27,825 cases have been marked UV wherein parents (father
and mother) CNIC numbers are mentioned and their CNIC are either cleared or
have never been blocked in NADRA record”, the letter added.
arrests over two dozen Daesh terrorists ahead of Ashura
main intelligence agency says its officers have detained at least 26 Daesh
Takfiri terrorists who were planning attacks on mourning processions held by
Shia Muslims during the upcoming event of Ashura.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement on Tuesday that the
militants were arrested in separate operations across the capital Kabul over
the past 72 hours.
members of the terrorist group including one of their group leaders, Abdullah,
were detained in capital Kabul," the statement read.
spokesperson Tasal Khan confirmed that the terrorists were currently under
investigation for planning "attacks on Ashura ceremonies."
terrorists were detained over the past three days in Kabul."
across Afghanistan prepare to hold mourning processions to mark the day of
Ashura, which is the climax of mourning rituals during the lunar month of
Muharram. The event commemorates the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam
Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and third Shia Imam.
mourning rituals peak on the 10th day, traditionally known as Ashura, when the
Imam and 72 of his companions were martyred at the hands of the despot to whom
they had refused to pledge allegiance.
the last two years, the terrorist group has carried out dozens of attacks on
mosques, religious and political gatherings as well as sports clubs and
education centers of the Afghan Shia community, including an attack during
Ashura in 2016, in which nearly 20 people were killed.
September 5, at least 20 people were killed and nearly 70 others injured in
twin bombings inside a sports club in a mainly Shia Muslim area of western Kabul.
terror attacks against Shia Muslims have led the Afghan government to beef up
security in Kabul in recent days, especially in neighborhoods that are home to
the Hazara Shia community. The Hazara Shia community, the poorest of the
country’s ethnic groups, accounts for about 22 percent of Afghanistan’s
population. Its members have been targeted in several large-scale kidnappings
and killings across Afghanistan in the past, prompting demonstrations and
sit-ins in Kabul and elsewhere.
Rights Watch (HRW) said in a recent report that a certain group affiliated with
Daesh had targeted voter registration centers, public gatherings, and schools,
singling out Afghanistan’s Shia community for attack. At the same time, people
living in areas where these groups hold sway have experienced airstrikes by US
and Afghan government forces that killed and injured more than 350 civilians
between January and June.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said last year civilian casualties
in sectarian attacks across Afghanistan, primarily against Shia mosques, had
rise of Daesh in Afghanistan has triggered concerns in a country that has
already been torn apart by decades of Taliban-led militancy and the 2001
invasion of the United States and its allies.
which has been crushed in Iraq and Syria, has reportedly managed to take
recruits from Taliban defectors in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar,
which borders Pakistan.
Myanmar’s army has used unfathomable levels of violence against minority
Rohingya, UN investigators said on Tuesday, calling for the military to be
removed from politics and top generals to be prosecuted for genocide.
the most meticulous breakdown of the violence in Myanmar to date, a UN team of
investigators presented a 444-page report laying out in horrifying detail a
vast array of violations committed by the country's powerful military,
especially against the Rohingya Muslims.
is hard to fathom the level of brutality of Tatmadaw operations, its total
disregard for civilian life,” head of the UN fact-finding mission Marzuki
Darusman told the UN Human Rights Council, referring to the nation’s military.
ambassador to the UN, Kyaw Moe Tun, slammed Tuesday's report as “one-sided” and
brutal military crackdown last year forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee
over the border into Bangladesh amid accounts of arson, murder and rape at the
hands of soldiers and vigilante mobs in the mainly Buddhist country.
army has denied nearly all wrongdoing, insisting its campaign was justified to
root out Rohingya insurgents who staged deadly raids on border posts in August
UN team said the military’s tactics had been “consistently and grossly
disproportionate to actual security threats,” and said that estimates that some
10,000 people were killed in the crackdown was likely a conservative figure.
said there were reasonable grounds to believe that the atrocities were
committed with the intention of destroying the stateless Rohingya, warranting
the charges of “genocide.”
Arabia’s ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, told the
Human Rights Council that the Kingdom expressed regret over the “appalling
violations of international humanitarian law by the armed forces against the
suffering of the Rohingya people is one of the issues of greatest concern to
Saudi Arabia, Al-Wasil said.
shorter version of the mission’s report, published last month, had already
called for Myanmar’s army chief and five other top military commanders to be
prosecuted in an international court for genocide.
his presentation, Darusman provided excruciating details of massacres in
Rohingya villages, pointing out that “the men were systematically killed.
Children were shot, thrown into the river or onto a fire.”
and girls meanwhile were routinely gang-raped before being locked inside
those who survived, many had been severely bitten, in what appeared to be “akin
to a form of branding,” he said.
said the “scale, cruelty and systematic nature (of the sexual violence) reveal
beyond doubt that rape is used as a tactic of war.”
UN analysis decried the army’s hold on political life in Myanmar, which only
recently emerged from almost a half century of total military junta rule.
military holds a quarter of seats in parliament and controls three ministries,
making its grip on power firm despite reforms beginning in 2011.
San Suu Kyi’s democratically-elected government remains in a delicate power
balance with the generals, whose presence in parliament gives them an effective
veto on constitutional changes.
cannot be any democratic transition in Myanmar unless the Tatmadaw relinquishes
its control of the politics, of the economy and of the constitution,” UN
investigator Christopher Sidoti said.
have seen not the birth of democracy in Myanmar, regrettably, but the
UN mission said Myanmar's civilian government had also helped enable the
widespread rights violations in Myanmar by allowing hate speech against the
Rohingya to flourish and using civilian laws to crack down on media and others
speaking out against abuses.
investigators directed specific criticism at Suu Kyi, whose global reputation
has been shattered by her failure to speak up for the Rohingya against the
acknowledging that the civilian authorities have little influence over military
actions, the report said that their “acts and omissions” had “contributed to
the commission of atrocity crimes.”
to “deeply entrenched” impunity in Myanmar, the investigators said the only
chance to obtain accountability was through the international justice system.
also repeated suggestions that crimes against the Rohingya be referred to the
International Criminal Court, which concluded in August that it had
jurisdiction to investigate even though Myanmar is not a member of the treaty
underpinning the tribunal. Myanmar has dismissed the tribunal’s authority and
analysts have pointed to the court's lack of enforcement powers.
UN investigators also recommended an arms embargo and "targeted individual
sanctions against those who appear to be most responsible".
Rohingyas went abroad with Bangladeshi passports
large number of Rohingyas with Bangladeshi passports puts into focus the
administrative weaknesses that allowed the Myanmar nationals to illegally
obtain passports of another country
of Rohingyas have used illegally obtained Bangladeshi passports to travel
abroad for work.
the government holds no data on the exact number of false passports in
circulation, Expatriates Welfare Minister Nurul Islam said in April that about
250,000 Rohingyas had gone abroad with Bangladeshi passports.
minister said Bangladeshi workers are facing an “image crisis” as a result.
Rohingyas obtained passports by providing fake documents from local union
council chairmen and other local government authorities,” he said. “Many of
them are involved in criminal activities abroad.”
large number of Rohingyas with Bangladeshi passports puts into focus the
administrative weaknesses that allowed the Myanmar nationals to illegally
obtain passports of another country.
local broker at Cox’s Bazar passport office told the Dhaka Tribune that an
illegal passport costs between Tk60,000 and Tk100,000.
Mia* is one of the Rohingyas who managed to get one. He came from Myanmar’s
Rakhine State in 2001 and took shelter in Kurupalong registered camp.
landed a job at a local restaurant within a few months. Over the next decade,
he established contacts with locals and a number of government officials,
finally acquiring a Bangladeshi national identity card for himself at the end
later obtained a Bangladeshi passport and flew to Saudi Arabia.
wife, Khadiza*, fled to Bangladesh in 2002. Now, Khadiza and their two sons
also have Bangladeshi NID cards – both the boys were born in Bangladesh and now
go to a local school.
younger brother Shahidullah*, 23, has been studying at a Cox’s Bazar madrasa
since 2013. He said many from their village had come to Bangladesh for study.
return home while some others, like me, try to obtain Bangladeshi passports and
go abroad,” he said.
mother and two other younger brothers have been living in Balukhali Rohingya
camp after fleeing Myanmar last year. They have so far avoided biometric
registration at the camp.
we are biometrically registered, we will not be able to obtain Bangladeshi NID
cards or passports,” he said.
Sowdagar*, a 45-year-old Rohingya man from Kutupalong camp, came to Bangladesh
in 1991. He said getting a Bangladeshi passport was easier before 2000.
stayed in Saudi Arabia from 1998 to 2004,” he said. “I am trying to get visa
but it has become difficult now.”
Rohingya man, Selim*, who fled from Buthiadaung’s Kinisi area, told the Dhaka
Tribune that he had travelled to Malaysia on a Bangladeshi passport.
Malaysian government sent me back after finding out that I had fake documents,”
the 29-year-old said. “I managed to get a Bangladeshi passport as I had good
contacts with locals. I am now trying to go to another Muslim country.”
a passport is obtained illegally
Ahmed*, a local broker at Cox’s Bazar passport office, described how a passport
is obtained illegally.
first collect some genuine NID cards of local Bangladeshis who are of the same
age as our clients,” he said. “Then, we collect birth certificates from union
councils in remote areas with the NID cards. Later, we apply for passport with
the genuine NID card, the photo of the NID holder and birth certificate.”
said they have contacts at the passport office. “My clients go there for
biometric registration and taking photos for passports. Some passport officials
help us in exchange for money but sometimes when senior officials scrutinize
the documents, our clients are caught,” he said.
broker said they stay away from the passport office during the whole process.
broker, Sohel*, said before the introduction of Machine Readable Passports, it
was very easy to illegally obtain a passport. “It is now quite hard because of
the strict vigilance of the authorities,” he said.
Rohingya women who were caught trying to obtain Bangladeshi passports illegally
said a local school teacher contacted them and 10 other Rohingyas to offer them
Bangladeshi birth certificates in exchange for Tk10,000 to Tk20,000 each.
the same time, these Rohingyas also contacted another syndicate to obtain
passports for Tk40,000 each. They said that there are some syndicates in the
camp areas who made such offers.
Dhaka Tribune investigation revealed that the two Rohingya women used genuine
birth certificates and NID cards of two locals named Tayeba and Chenoara. They
are the daughters of Rohingya man Oli Ahmad, who came to Bangladesh in 1991.
The two imposters are Oli’s relatives.
Bazar police and the district administration have found that more than 300
Rohingyas have obtained NID cards illegally since last October. Two passport
offices in Chittagong have found over 250 cases where Rohingyas attempted to
get Bangladeshi passports with forged documents this year.
Rohingyas spread to other parts of the country when vigilance in the Chittagong
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Nikaruzzaman Chowdhury said they were conducting
thorough examinations before providing anyone with any citizenship documents as
the language, culture and approach of the Rohingyas are almost the same as that
of the locals.
to move Rohingya to island from next month: officials
Bangladesh will next month start moving 100,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote
island, officials said Tuesday, despite warnings the silty strip is prone to
Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled on October 3 to officially open newly-constructed
shelters for the displaced Muslims on Bhashan Char, a muddy islet that only
emerged from the Bay of Bengal in 2006.
controversial plan is already behind schedule. Officials previously said they
wanted to start moving refugees from overcrowded camps near the border with
Myanmar to the island in June, before the monsoon began.
navy has fast-tracked construction of shelters and evacuation centres for
100,000 refugees and nearly three-quarters of the project is complete, a senior
disaster management official told AFP.
50 to 60 Rohingya families will be relocated in the first phase beginning next
month," said the official, Habibul Kabir Chowdhury.
a low-lying riverine country vulnerable to rising sea levels, is prone to
tropical cyclones, especially in the Bay of Bengal between April and November.
of thousands have died from natural disasters in the last 50 years, mostly in
coastal areas near Bhashan Char.
island is one hour by boat from the nearest land but violent storms make the
journey by sea dangerous or sometimes impossible.
plan to relocate refugees there was revived after 700,000 Rohingya Muslims,
fleeing a violent crackdown in Myanmar in
last year, poured into southeast Bangladesh and overwhelmed existing refugee
groups have warned the silty strip is uninhabitable and prone to flooding and
other natural disasters, and urged Bangladesh to drop the idea.
the government pumped $280 million last November into transforming it into a
navy official told AFP a three-metre-high (nine feet) embankment had been
erected around the entire island to make it floodresistant.
ready to receive refugees," he said, asking for anonymity as he was not
authorised to speak to the press.
of the disaster ministry, Shah Kamal, said the refugees would be able to access
humanitarian relief on the island and receive training in skills such as
say refugees will not be forced to leave existing camps in Cox's Bazar
district, among the most crowded places on earth and prone to landslides,
disease and other dangers.
HAGUE - The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor opened a preliminary
probe on Tuesday into Myanmar’s alleged crimes against Rohingya Muslims,
including killings, sexual violence and forced deportations.
Fatou Bensouda will look at whether there is enough evidence to warrant a full
investigation into Myanmar’s military crackdown which has seen some 700,000
people flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.
move comes nearly two weeks after judges ruled that even though Myanmar has not
signed up to the Hague-basedICC, the court still has jurisdiction over crimes
against the Rohingya because Bangladesh is a member.
have decided to proceed to the next phase of the process and to carry out a
full-fledged preliminary examination of the situation at hand,” Bensouda said
in a statement.
said the initial probe “may take into account a number of alleged coercive acts
having resulted in the forced displacement of the Rohingya people, including
deprivation of fundamental rights, killing, sexual violence, enforced
disappearance, destruction and looting.”
said she would also consider whether other crimes would apply to the plight of
the Rohingya “such as the crimes of persecution and other inhumane acts.”
preliminary examination can lead to a formal investigation by the ICC - which
was set up in 2002 to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity - and
then possible indictments.
ICC announcement came on the same day as UN investigators said that Myanmar’s
army had used “hard to fathom” levels of violence against the Rohingya and
should be prosecuted for genocide. The UN fact-finding mission also repeated
suggestions that crimes against the Rohingya be referred to the ICC.
group Amnesty International said it was “great that the International Criminal
Court has opened this important avenue to justice for the Rohingya.
the momentum going - the UN Security Council needs to refer the situation in
Myanmar to the ICC to ensure it can investigate all crimes under international
law,” the group said on Twitter.
has also “resolutely” rejected the ICC’s assertion that it has jurisdiction
over the crime, saying that the decision was in “manifest bad faith” and was of
“dubious legal merit”.
Myanmar probe is a major advance for the ICC, which has so far largely focused
on investigations into African conflicts and lacks the support of key countries
including the United States, Russia, China and Israel.
ICC recently faced threats and criticism from US National Security Advisor John
Bolton over the possibility of a war crimes investigation into US actions in
said the court was “already dead to us” and its judges could face US sanctions.
United Nations Fact-Finding Mission found that the Myanmar military's
persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State amounted to genocide.
a 444-page report released on Sept.18, it found that the military committed
four of the five acts constituting genocide against the minority.
a U.N. Human Rights Council session on Sept.18, Marzuki Darusman, chairman of
the three-member mission, cited the massacre at Min Gyi village in western
Rakhine as evidence that Myanmar's military committed the gravest crimes under
international law during "clearance operations" last year.
Aug. 30, 2017, the military accompanied by armed ethnic Rakhine opened fire and
began burning houses using launchers from the village's outskirts. Soldiers
opened fire directly at the large number of people fleeing toward the shore,
according to the report.
who remained on the shore, who numbered in the hundreds, were then rounded up.
The soldiers separated women and children from the men. Soldiers then
systematically killed the men," Darusman said.
report added that soldiers then turned to the women and children, who were
forced to sit near the shore. Some children were shot, some thrown into the
river and others thrown onto a fire.
least 750 villagers were killed in Min Gyi, according to 875 interviews with
victims and witnesses for the report.
added that at least 10,000 people are thought to have been killed in an
operation that lasted more than two months and totally or partially destroyed
more than 40 percent of the villages in northern Rakhine.
killing was widespread, systematic and brutal," the report says.
told the council: "We have full confidence in our findings, which are
based on a solid body of credible information gathered over an intensive year
of work. What we found are crimes that shock the human conscience."
panel's report is one of the longest ever produced by the U.N.
U.N. has said that Myanmar military chief Min Aung Hlaing and five other senior
generals must be prosecuted for genocide and war crimes against Rohingya and
other ethnic minorities.
described the military's response to the attacks last August by the Arakan
Rohingya Salvation Army as brutal and premeditated.
referred to how Rohingya Muslims are denied citizenship in Myanmar and seen as
unwanted Bengali refugees despite having lived in the Buddhist-majority country
for many decades.
ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun responded to the U.N. report by describing it as
one-sided and lacking impartiality and objectivity. "The mission failed to
reflect and acknowledge the Myanmar government's efforts and undermines the
government's work," he said.
DELHI/DHAKA: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi
counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday jointly inaugurated the construction works
of a cross-border oil pipeline and two rail projects, with the former
describing the two countries as members of the same family.
and Modi joined the event in the evening via video-conferencing from Dhaka and
New Delhi respectively.
130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline connecting Siliguri in India with
Parbatipur in Bangladesh will transport petroleum products from Numaligarh
Refinery in Assam. Of the total length, 125 km will be constructed in
Bangladesh and 5 km in India.
we may be neighbours, but in our hearts we are members of the same
family," Modi said while addressing the programme.
have shown the world, what can be achieved when neighbours work together,"
he said, adding that there had been unprecedented progress in cooperation
between the two sides in the last few years.
the same event, the ground-breaking ceremony of two rail projects to improve
Dhaka's connectivity with Tongi and Joydebpur, two towns on the outskirts of
the capital city, was also held.
said 48.80 km of the two new dual gauge rail lines would be constructed on the
Dhaka-Tongi route while a 12.28 km new dual gauge railway double line on the
projects came a little over a week after both the Prime Ministers inaugurated
two railway projects and an electricity project connecting the two countries on
that the pipeline will further boost bilateral cooperation, Modi said that
energy was the cornerstone of any
pipeline will help in the development of the northern Bangladesh. Though it is
being done with grant-financing from India, the project will be dedicated to
the people and government of Bangladesh once completed," he said.
said the railway project will bring relief to road traffic in Bangladesh.
from Dhaka, Hasina said that ever since she formed her government in Bangladesh
in 2009, she has been working relentlessly to deepen ties with India.
thanked Modi for the new projects which she said will help in Bangladesh's
days after the sealing of a mosque in Sheetla Mata colony, a Muslim group on
Tuesday expressed reservations about the stand taken by the Muslim Ekta Manch.
of the Jamiat Ulama called on the commissioner and deputy commissioner of
police on Tuesday afternoon and sought their intervention in resolving the
Mohammed Salim Qasmi, president of the Gurugram unit of Jamiat Ulama said, “The
Muslim Ekta Manch is fanning communal tensions by playing up these issues. They
are politicising the matter and giving impetus to right-wing groups to become
a letter, the Jamiat Ulama alleged that Haji Shehzad Khan, the chairperson of
the group, was politicising the matter and fanning communal tensions.
letter also referred to the recent namaz row in Wazirabad, as well as the
incident of a Muslim boy having his beard cut in Khandsa. It said that these issues, too, had been
settled amicably but were politicised by the Muslim Ekta Manch. The Municipal
Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) had, on September
12, sealed 11 buildings, including a mosque, in Sheetla Mata colony, a week
after residents had protested against the installation of a loudspeaker on the
premises. Local Muslims had alleged that they were being targeted due to
pressure from right-wing groups, whereas the MCG maintained that the buildings
were sealed because they were located within the 300-metre radius of an Air
Force ammunition depot in Sector 14, in violation of a high court order.
However, Khan said, “The allegations in the letter are baseless and can be
of police KK Rao
and deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh were not available for comment.
he undertakes his third semester at an engineering college, Aadil Ahmad wants
to get a job soon after he finishes his course to help repay a bank loan taken
out by his father for his studies.
would have been impossible for Ahmad, the son of a mason from northern India,
to study engineering if his father had not mortgaged their house for the loan.
loan is risky and expensive in terms of interest, he said. In one year, he will
complete the course and look for a job. "If the loan is not paid back in
time, the bank will come for our house. My father has meager earnings of 800
rupees (US$11) a day and it isn't possible for him to repay the loan,"
Ahmad told ucanews.com.
like thousands of others, the Muslim student could not get a scholarship to
help deserving students from religious minorities.
scholarships, started by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2006, offer
financial grants from grade one to postgraduate and doctorate levels to
encourage poor parents from minority communities to educate their children.
grants are available to deserving families from Buddhist, Christian, Muslim,
Sikh, Jain and Parsi families. Most grants go to Muslim students as their
community is the largest and poorest minority.
minorities constitute only 18.4 percent of India's 1.2 billion people, but
Muslims account for 13.4 percent or some 160 million. Christians are the second
largest minority at 2.3 percent, making the other minorities negligible in
terms of numbers.
education grants are hard to come by. Bureaucratic hurdles are often too
difficult to negotiate.
experience is a case in point. "I was first asked to get my income details
and then documents pertaining to family income and background. For more than a
year, I was wandering the corridors of government buildings, but nothing
positive happened," he recalled.
Sister Anastasia Gill, a member of the Delhi Minorities Commission, told ucanews.com
that minority students have been facing "immense hardships" in
getting the government grants.
problem is that the government doesn't seem to be seriously pursuing it [the
policy] and also there is a lack of awareness among students from minority
communities about the procedure for getting a grant," Sister Gill said.
said her commission has been holding workshops in schools and colleges to make
students aware of the available scholarships.
government is not doing enough to ease the process. The rigorous process causes
much fatigue to the applicants — they opt out in the end," she added.
July, India's parliamentary panel stated that 4.2 million students from
minority communities were denied scholarships in the 2017-18 academic year.
the year 10,118,373 applications were considered but only 5,903,695
scholarships were granted. The government has not published religion-based data
about those who gained scholarships.
fact that huge number of students are denied "puts a big question mark on
the very objective of the ministry, namely to empower minority communities,
particularly Muslims," the panel said.
August, Muslim student Zakir Pasha, the son of a rickshaw driver in Hyderabad,
was denied a grant because he could not provide fingerprints for official
papers. He has no hands and uses his toes to operate his computer, but
officials made no exception for him.
Sharma, a social worker who runs an NGO for underprivileged minority children,
said the government deliberately keeps information about scholarships under the
carpet so that they do not reach the deserving.
107, Muslim wrestler had started Vadodara's first public Ganesh fest
Every year during Ganesh Chaturti, the city police are on their toes to thwart
communal clashes that erupt especially on the day of Visarjan. Sparks often fly
when processions pass through communally sensitive areas, resulting in bad
blood between the communities. This animosity may be a truth for some years
now, but the fact also remains that the pioneer of sarvajanik (public) Ganpati
festival in Sanskarinagari was none other than a Muslim man, that too when he
was 107 years old.
Dada, a famed wrestler in the erstwhile Baroda state, had initiated Ganesh
festival at his ‘akhada’ way back in 1901with an aim to foster the spirit of
national integration and patriotism.
Dada was inspired by freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak to start sarvajanik Ganesh
festival in the city. Tilak regularly visited Baroda to meet Maharaja Sayajirao
Gaekwad III. He learnt about Jumma Dada and his activities and decided to meet him,”
said Rajendra Harpale, managing trustee of Prof Manekrao’s Jumma Dada Vyayam
aimed to unite Baroda youths Jumma Dada had established the Vyayam Mandir in
mid-19th century and registered it in 1880. His akhaada was very popular among
boys and girls and therefore Tilak gave him the idea of organizing public
Ganesh festival at the Vyayam Mandir. The idea was to bring youngsters together
and instill a sense of patriotism among them along with celebrations.
Dada then installed an idol of Ganesh in the Vyayam Mandir in 1901. “The idol
was made of clay and we have continued with the same looks and size till date,”
pamphlets produced by Harpale show how several programmes, including sword
fights, wrestling, mal-khamb and physical exercises were organized during the
Ganesh festival in the akhada.
and art curator Chandrashekhar Patil said some temples and mandals in the city
organized Ganesha festival. “But the one initiated by Jumma Dada was the first
public Ganesha festival that engaged people on a mass scale to bring about
unity and make them patriotic,” Patil said.
JAIPUR/ LUCKNOW: Shambhu Lal Regar, the man who hacked a Muslim labourer to
death in Rajsamand, Rajasthan and streamed the murder on social media, is
likely to contest Lok Sabha elections from Agra. Regar, who is currently in
jail in Jodhpur and on trial for the December 2017 murder, has been offered a
ticket from Agra (reserved constituency) by Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena.
murdering Mohd Afrazul, the labourer from Bengal, Regar had claimed he had committed
the crime to save a Hindu girl from love jihad.
Yogi Adityanath became CM, there was no vocal Hindutva leader in Parliament.
Regar will fill this void. He is not being supported by other parties because
he is accused of murdering a Muslim. His method might have been wrong, but his intentions
behind that act were pure. Many MPs are facing serious charges. If Shahabuddin
can contest elections, Regar is innocent till proven guilty,” said Amit Jani,
the organisation founder.
himself was arrested in 2017 for posting a picture of Taj Mahal with seven
saffron flags at its pinnacle and minarets. He had also announced plans to
confront stone-pelters in Kashmir, and called for ousting Kashmiris from
western UP. In 2016, he had been arrested for making death threats on social
media to former JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar. In 2012, Jani had
been arrested for vandalising statues of Mayawati in Lucknow.
BJP Tuesday accused Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu of demeaning India and
speaking as an agent of Pakistan by attempting to “justify” hugging Pakistani
Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and claiming that Pakistan is willing to allow
Sikh pilgrims access to a gurudwara on its territory.
a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also demanded a response from
Congress president Rahul Gandhi over the issue, saying Sidhu has been speaking
on the matter with his permission as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has
already condemned him over his conduct in Pakistan during the swearing-in
ceremony of Imran Khan recently.
also accused Sidhu of meeting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
deceptively as she had given appointment to former Union minister M S Gill with
whom, Patra alleged Sidhu tagged along. The BJP spokesperson said Swaraj
reprimand Sidhu in their meeting on Monday for his conduct in Pakistan.
Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tuesday that Sidhu’s gesture of hugging
Pakistan’s army chief impacted soldiers back home and asserted that the Punjab
minister could have “avoided it”.
had courted controversy by hugging Bajwa during his visit to Pakistan for the
swearing-in of Imran Khan as Prime Minister. He had claimed that he did so as
Bajwa told him that the Pakistan government was working for opening of the
Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims from Indian state of Punjab. Sidhu Monday
met Swaraj and urged her to help initiate dialogue with Pakistan on the opening
up of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.
In its ongoing operation to pick out every person connected with Kashmir-based
Islamist terror group Hizbul Mujahideen, Assam Police on Tuesday arrested three
more persons from Hojai district. This has taken the number of persons arrested
since Friday to seven.
(Hojai) Ankur Jain said, "We are now trying to dig out the root of Hizbul Mujahideen
in Assam. So far, we have arrested seven persons and each one of them is being
interrogated by our SIT. We have the information and all we have to do is to
join the dots."
spate of arrests took place after UP Police and NIA alerted the state about
Assam's connection with the Hizbul Mjahideen following the arrest of a trained
cadre, Qamar-uz Zaman, in Kanpur last Thursday. Qamar-uz hails from Jamunamukh
in Hojai district. Among the seven arrested persons is Qamar-uz's elder brother
Saiful Islam. Police have also found cash worth Rs 1.6 lakh from his house and
are trying to establish if this money was part of the terror funds and if the
money trail originated in Kashmir or outside. The three arrested on Tuesday are
Riyazuddin Bhuyan, Baharul Islam and Joynal Ahmed, all connected to Qamar-uz - the
man Hizbul Mujahideen had sent to Assam last month to find new recruits.
Alam, Shahnawaz Alam and Omar Farooq were arrested last Saturday.
SP said, "Shahnwaz Alam so far has turned out to be one of the who's who
of Hizbul Mujahideen."
had left home in 2012 to work at a garment shop owned by his relative in
Kashmir. In 2017, he went missing and his family lodged missing reports in
Kashmir and Hojai. Sources said Sahidul was the first to be indoctrinated by
Hizbul. He went on to recruit Qamar-uz and sent him for training to Kishtwar
district in Jammu & Kashmir.
state has seen the growth of a large number of radical Islamic groups over the
years - both home-grown and from Bangladesh or Pakistan. In 1999, Assam Police
arrested four ISI operatives - the first such instance in the country. Over the
past few years, the state has witnessed the emergence of home-grown outfits
like Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam, Muslim Liberation Tigers of
Assam, Islamic Liberation Army of Assam and People's United Liberation Front,
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani arrived in New Delhi the capital city of India for the
bilateral talks with the Indian officials.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani is
leading a delegation of high level
officials during his visit to India.
statement further added that President Ghani would meet with the Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the country.
would also participate in ceremony to be organized by the Indian Foundation and
would deliver a speech, the statement added.
has played a major role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan since the fall of
the Taliban regime and has invested over $2 billion in various reconstruction
and infrastructure projects.
construction of the major Salma Dam, the new Afghan parliament building,
Zaranj-Delaram highway, and some other projects are among the key investments
India has done so far in the country.
to announce support for victims of sexual violence in Myanmar
foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt arrived in Myanmar on Wednesday for a two-day
visit and announced UK funding for victims of sexual violence in the country –
including Rohingyas expelled from the country during the recent campaign by the
military in the Rakhine province.
Hunt will hold talks with state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi during his visit –
Ms Suu Kyi was previously feted across the globe for her commitment to human
rights causes but has been criticised for her lack of action on the plight of
foreign secretary Hunt will visit the Association for the Assistance of
Political Prisoners to talk to human rights defenders and visit northern
Rakhine, the region that has seen tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingyas flee to
camps in Bangladesh such as that at Cox’s Bazar.
Hunt will say: “The United Nations fact-finding mission exposed terrible
suffering in Burma, and in the face of such serious allegations, no country
that considers itself humane can stand back and do nothing. We are determined
to do all we can to provide security, dignity and justice to the victims. It
will be a long journey, but it starts with their conditions right now.
have already provided counselling and psychological support to more than 10,000
women and deployed mid-wives to help provide care to over 53,000 women.
Together with our international partners, we will increase our support for
those who have been victim of these heinous acts.
leaving for Myanmar, the foreign secretary met with representatives of the
Rohingya community who have settled in Bradford in the north of the UK where he
was told about the suffering that the community had faced in Rakhine.
foreign secretary will say that British efforts will “include additional
deployment of the PSVI Team of Experts by the end of 2018, development of a
code of conduct for gathering such evidence, support for an enhanced
coordination mechanism, and more capacity building. We are also exploring
options to increase psychosocial support.”
A deal struck between Turkey and Russia to avoid an assault on Syria's last
major rebel stronghold in Idlib province must protect civilians and ensure
humanitarian access, the European Union said on Tuesday.
expect that the agreement which was according to reports reached on Monday by
the Russian and Turkish presidents will guarantee the protection of civilian
lives and infrastructure as well as guarantee unhindered and sustainable
humanitarian access," spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.
president Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who
are on opposite sides in the deadly seven-year conflict in Syria - reached the
agreement on the fate of Idlib, home to three million people, in talks on
two leaders agreed to create a 15 to 20 kilometre-wide demilitarised zone along
the line of contact between rebels and regime troops by October 15, to be
secured with the help of Turkish and Russian forces.
said the agreement meant that no military action would be taken against Idlib,
Russian news agencies reported.
which like Russia backs Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the conflict,
hailed the accord as an example of "responsible diplomacy".
The tainting of supermarket strawberries with sewing needles is comparable to
“terrorism,” Australia’s prime minister said Wednesday, as he demanded tougher
sentencing in response to a nationwide scare.
Australians to make a strawberry pavlova this weekend to help struggling
farmers, Scott Morrison demanded a change in the law to put the perpetrators
behind bars for 15 years.
not mucking about” said Morrison, after at least 20 pieces of fruit were found
to be contaminated with needles or pins. “This is not on, this is just not on
in this country,” he said.
the perpetrator a “coward and a grub,” Morrison called on parliament to quickly
raise the maximum sentence for such deliberate food contamination from ten to
15 years behind bars.
he said, would put the crime on par with “things like possessing child
pornography and financing terrorism. That’s how seriously I take this.”
scare has prompted a slew of supermarket recalls, and some stores in New
Zealand have temporarily banned the sale of Australian strawberries.
have been forced to pulp fruit and layoff pickers because of slower sales and
lower wholesale prices.
go back to buying strawberries like you used to, and take the precautions that
you should,” Morrison told Australians in a televised address.
a pav this weekend and put strawberries on it,” he suggested.
have suggested strawberries be cut up before they are eaten.
police on Tuesday said they still did not know the motive behind the attacks
and were still looking for suspects.
inaction on child brides a green light to paedophiles, says Lawyers for Liberty
JAYA, Sept 18 — The authority’s failure to act against the Kelantanese man who
took an 11-year-old child bride in July has become an ‘advertisement’ to other
paedophiles that they can get away with abusing minors in Malaysia, Lawyers for
Liberty said today.
another controversy erupted today over a 15-year-old girl who was taken as a
second wife, Latheefa Koya, the executive director of the rights group, said
paedophiles were taking advantage of the lack of decisive action in the first
took Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her Women,
Family and Community Development Ministry to task, claiming that “paedophiles
are now clearly using ‘marriage’ as a shield to prevent prosecution for rape or
puts the children of this country, particularly Muslim children, in constant
danger from perverts and paedophiles,” she said in a statement.
DPM must ensure that there is an immediate police investigation into whether
sexual grooming contrary to the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017
(SOAC) has taken place,” she said.
said there is strong basis for a police probe as reports state that the
15-year-old child had known the 44 year-old man for ‘several months’ before
fact that this man later contracted a marriage under the Shariah law, does not
absolve him from the crime of grooming,” she said, urging police to immediately
investigate the case.
morning, another child marriage case was reported in Kelantan involving a
15-year-old girl and a man almost 30 years her senior.
was said that the Muslim solemnisation of vows — between the man who is a
member of the People’s Volunteer Corp (Rela) and the 15-year-old who is a
secondary school dropout — was done in July at the Masjid Kampung Laut in
Shariah court approved the marriage between the girl, who is the youngest
daughter of an impoverished couple with 13 children, and the 44-year-old man,
who already has two children.
Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia's Disaster Management Agency, is usually
one of the country's most popular people.
typically secretive bureaucrats, he goes out of his way to make sure the media
is closely informed about the country's multitude of natural disasters.
appropriate, he spices the serious information with occasional wisecracks, and
a recent revelation that he is being treated for cancer brought a wave of
hasn't kept everyone happy. He recently upset the Dayak tribes of West
Kalimantan, blaming them for a pall of haze over the province. They summoned
him to a traditional council to tell him they took offense, in a reminder that
traditions — adat — often outweigh formal religion and even the law in modern
Encyclopedia Britannica defines adat as "the unwritten, traditional code
governing all aspects of personal conduct from birth to death."
may vary from place to place, depending on influences over the course of
centuries that have impacted one defined area but not one nearby. Often, adat
rules will overrule religion, requiring often athletic contortions on the part
of religious authorities.
took his telling off like a man, turning up for the Dayak council meeting. The
Dayak leaders explained that the gawai he'd blamed for the haze was an annual
celebration for the harvest season. And, they noted, they'd been managing
forests by controlled burning for thousands of years in a pattern of shifting
cultivation that recognized the stages of regeneration after fires that allowed
them to nurture a sequence of crops to sustain their communities.
concept of a harvest festival is very familiar and may be a universal concept.
The vagaries of the weather are such that in many areas of the world,
communities feel it sensible to express their thanks to the elements.
some degree, such traditions have become part and parcel of established
traditional Dayak method of working with the forests is now under pressure from
the law in Indonesia, with the government insisting that any lighting of fires
the moment the law appears to be winning, not least because most Dayak
communities no longer practice shifting agriculture in the manner they used to,
with their traditional lands now squeezed between plantations and forestry
they cling to their adat ways as a means of maintaining their culture. In a
national environment in which they are a small minority, association with
allies is vitally important. Many are Christians, seeing the church as a natural
ally, and peak Dayak groups are active in national-level adat councils.
there is superstition. Many residents of developed countries retain some old
superstitious beliefs, even if they may joke about them.
under ladders remains difficult for many, and in Asia, the Chinese abhorrence
for the number four — a symbol of death — means that most high-rise buildings
have neither a fourth nor a thirteenth floor.
superstitions are rife in Southeast Asia. In Bali, a young student's accident on
her motorbike, costing her two teeth and a number of stitches to her face, sees
her father rushing to perform a ceremony — upacara — at the accident location
to reduce the risk of a similar misfortune befalling anyone else.
suggests an assumption that an evil 'spirit' was responsible for the accident —
a belief that would predate religious beliefs and which is not substantiated by
any Vedic scriptures that form the basis of the Hindu religion, whether in
India or Bali.
in the mystic penetrate virtually every level of society in Indonesia and other
parts of Southeast Asia. Outside of the cities, many communities boast a
resident wise man or woman, or dukun, who can provide advice. Usually benign,
they can also be malevolent.
her close circle, Megawati Sukarnoputri, former president of Indonesia and the
daughter of founding president Sukarno, makes no secret of her belief that she
continues to talk to her father, who has been dead for close to 50 years. At
times of political stress, she will often go off by herself to talk with him
and listen to his advice on the best direction to take.
is the level of belief in the supernatural that some take advantage of the
gullible. Fraudsters regularly trap the unsuspecting by promising to multiply
their money, conveniently disappearing with the cash they promised to conduct
spiritual exercises over to make it worth many times its value.
schemes involve large amounts of cash and put your life at risk: in one case at
the end of 2017, a self-proclaimed shaman was arrested for allegedly murdering
two people in Grising district, Batang regency, Central Java.
suspect, who claimed to possess the supernatural ability to multiply money,
allegedly admitted murdering the people, who had been pestering him for the
money he had promised them.
fraudsters often cloak their deceptions in religious garb. In August 2017,
Dimas Kanjeng Taat Pribadi, a spiritual leader from Probolinggo in East Java
was sentenced to two years in prison for his role in money multiplication
scams, after he was previously sentenced to 18 years for masterminding two
murders of followers who had apparently lost faith in him. He is believed to
have defrauded hundreds of people out of a total of some Rp25 billion — around
the same time belief in adat and in mystic superstitions continues to be rife,
Islam's austere Salafi movement is attempting to sterilize Indonesian culture
from such 'primitive' influences.
Consul General in Karachi Totok Prianamto on Tuesday paid an official visit to
the Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI).
he stated that Indonesia aimed to nurture and strengthen ties with Pakistan,
particularly in the fields of economic, trade, investments and people-to-people
contacts, for benefiting both countries.
is very significant place for Indonesia in terms of trade, economy and
investment, and Hyderabad, as the second largest city in the province, is
strategically located on the embankments of the Indus River and situated on mid
of trade route from Karachi to other cities as well,” he said.
revealed that trade between the two countries has been increasing steadily over
2017, trade of US $2.63 billion was recorded between Indonesia and Pakistan, an
increase of 21.31 percent as compared to 2016. During the same period,
Pakistan’s export to Indonesia was recorded as an increase of 53.32 percent.
further informed that in the first semester of this year, the trade between the
two countries has further increased by 19.37 percent, whereas Pakistani export
has been recorded as an enormous rise of 148.21 percent.
encouraging figures of course cannot be separated from the development in
Sindh, notably in the security sector.
commended the rigorous works of the Pakistani Government and law enforcement
agencies to ensure security measures in the province.
is highly important when it comes to bettering the business climate as better
security implies that people will achieve more economic opportunities.
also invited HCCI members to the 33rd Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) to be held on
October 24-28, 2018.
year, the TEI is expected to attract more than 28,000 visitors. Earlier, HCCI
President Muhammad Shahid, in his welcome address, said that HCCI was highly
thankful to the Indonesian Consulate in Karachi for a remarkable effort for
promoting trade between the two brotherly countries.
HCCI extended further support and cooperation in this regard and to achieve an
outstanding bilateral trade of US $9 billion by the year 2019 as mentioned by
His Excellency Iwan Suyhdhive Amri Ambassador of Indonesia.
aims to export mango, rice and cotton to Indonesia.
are two fallacies of academic freedom currently held by activists and academics
in Malaysia. The first is that there is no intellectual or academic freedom in
the country. The second is that academics must be allowed “total freedom” to
say what they wish in the name of the academia.
essay is to clarify issues such as claims that the education ministry under
Maszlee Malik is not living up to the expectation of non-political interference
in public universities, as political interference would jeopardise the “sacred”
idea of “academic freedom”.
differ on both fallacies and will explain why. I will also argue that there has
always been academic freedom in Malaysian public universities. We have
incompetent and opportunistic university leadership and a professorship that
likes titles, cars and travelling. But we do have academic freedom.
the second fallacy, excuse me, but academics cannot say anything they want
under the sun. There are frameworks, socio-political contexts and timing to
take into consideration when making important and impactful academic statements
that will change society.
may come as a surprise to many, but throughout my 27 years as an academic at a
public university, there has always been academic freedom. Despite the silly
Akta Universiti hanging around the neck of every academic, I have always felt
free to write on most issues, from the architectural criticism of mosques,
administrative buildings and campus designs to that of the Prime Minister’s
began my media writing in 1999, discussing architecture and national identity
as well as issues of crime and safety in housing. I worked with media outlets
such as the New Straits Times, The Star and Utusan Malaysia. I was offered a
column by Utusan for a year, during which I wrote purely about architecture and
criticism of mosques and national monuments, arguing on why mosques are not
examples of Islamic architecture and why national monuments are more
Malay-centric than Malaysian.
The Star offered me a column, I was excited. I began a different kind of
writing, discussing social, religious and political issues as well as their
implications on architecture and city planning. The column was a perfect excuse
for me to write about politics and society under the guise of architectural
I thought it was “safe”, I began writing in Malaysiakini on social and
religious issues, specifically the deaths of 20 PLKN children and the cow head
and Bible burning issues. I also wrote about my thoughts on education in the
also wrote on many non-architectural issues in The Malaysian Insider, The
Malaysian Insight and now Free Malaysia Today. Since the mainstream media was
either a shameful propaganda machine like Utusan or a closet propaganda machine
like The Star, I chose the rising rebellious attitude in the online world. I
have had over 200 media articles and interviews over the span of 18 years.
15 of those years, I waited for a show-cause letter for disciplinary action,
but none came. In August 2014, I wrote an article in an online news portal
titled “Raising a family of true Malaysians” where I mentioned that some
Chinese students had complained to me that their Malay lecturers of the Titas
subject kept belittling and condemning religions other than Islam.
was summoned to the dean’s office three days later where I had a polite and
cordial conversation with the dean, who explained that the university leadership
did not like me smearing the university’s good name. I explained that I never
meant to smear the university’s name. I said the best Chinese students with
first-class distinctions had told me of this bigotry among our academic staff.
So instead of reprimanding me, why wasn’t the university launching an
the dean was insistent that I stop writing, and I was insistent that I would
not, I asked for an optional retirement so that we could part ways.
Surprisingly, I was granted immediate approval for something I had been asking
about for three years.
year after my retirement, the Titas issue that I had written about exploded in
the face of that university. I could have been vindictive and added fuel to the
public’s rage, but I remained silent and watched as the expert leadership
managed the issue through the “damage control” action of isolating a single
culprit rather than an entire faculty.
moral of the story is that there was, and still is, academic freedom. The price
is that you will not be promoted to leadership positions, and you will not be
in the senate or any important university committee. For me, that was a small
price to pay. The vice-chancellors of public universities could appoint Lim Kit
Siang to a professorship of political science, if they wanted to. They would
probably get a letter of thanks from the higher education ministry. These
vice-chancellors would then become ordinary professors, teaching and
supervising their students and continuing with their research.
pensioner professors who practise “academic freedom” may find their
post-pension contracts terminated. To me, if one is an excellent academic,
contracts and not becoming vice-chancellor are mere peanuts as one can always
find appointments elsewhere.
exists in our public university are professors with no vision for social
development, who are fully dependent on university administration, and who love
titles and travelling from their research grants. Public universities have
always had “academic freedom”, just lousy professors and vice-chancellors who
major in academic bodekisme. Neither of these so-called academics care one whit
how our society develops as long as their titles, bank accounts and racial egos
are safe and sound.
I left the public university, I left as a disgraced academic in the eyes of the
administration, but I was awarded a full pension, and I was thankful for that.
That I left the university silently and without fanfare after 27 years of a
successful career was a small price to pay. Now, after so many articles
criticising Malay-Muslim institutions and academia, I have hardly any Malay
friends left. Another small price to pay. I once joked that when I die, there
will not be enough Malay Muslims to fill even one row for my jenazah prayer!
I wish to briefly explain my position on the second fallacy that an academic
should be allowed to say and write anything under the sun. Not so fast. There
are three aspects that a good and concerned academic must take into
the academic must frame the criticism of policies or socio-religious norms in
society within a certain theoretical or academic construct. Tajuddin Abdul
Rahman can say anything about Malay history or Ketuanan Melayu, but an academic
must frame his or her statement within the clear confines of an academic
construct. I can say that the Taj Mahal is the worst example of Islamic
infrastructure in history as long as I explain my academic framework of Prophet
Muhammad’s sunnah and the functionalist theory of Frank Llyod Wright or Louis
the academic must take into consideration the cultural and religious
sensitivities of the time. This does not mean that he or she should not write
or speak. However, the writing must be framed in a clear manner, with words and
sentences phrased within the confines of academic decorum.
confronted with the issue of non-Muslim flood victims taking shelter in a surau
in Penang, I would cite the Prophet Muhammad’s meeting of 60 Najran Christians
in his mosque as well as the valour of the devout Christian King Najashi in
protecting Muslim refugees in the early days of Islam. An academic must also
know how to play to the gallery in making potentially “devastating truths”,
especially to the know-all attitudes of our Islamic clerics.
an academic funded by public money must ensure the relevance of the research
and inquiry and that it will result in returns on the investment of a
democratic society. Millions of ringgit have gone into so-called exotic scientific
research that sees no light of day in resolving basic and fundamental issues of
health, prosperity and national harmony.
I wish to add my opinion on the so-called political interference of the
education ministry in public universities. What Malaysians do not know is that
changing public universities into institutions of enlightened academia which
will lead our nation to great awareness and critical thinking is… 20 years
away! The rot is not just in leadership or professorial appointments. There is
complete indifference to social development.
many Tajuddins, Maszlees, Azmi Sharoms, Aziz Baris and Terence Gomezs are there
at Malaysian public universities? Within the 1,000-strong professorial
community at public universities, I count no more than 20.
public universities will require nothing short of a total cultural revolution,
not just an exercise in academic appointments.
have read the blueprint of higher education in Malaysia produced by the
previous administration. It is a blueprint to produce efficient slaves to many
outmoded industrial practices. So there had better be political interference by
the Pakatan Harapan government for the next two years at least to instil an
academic culture and management attitude to initiate change. Changing a
university and society is not like downloading an app. It takes longer and
requires much will and patience.
conclusion, the citizens of the new Malaysia must understand that academic
freedom has always been there amid the threat of the Akta Universiti and an
incompetent and unprofessional academic leadership. It has always been about
the lack of a real and effective academic culture of visionary thought, open
discourse and critical observations of society.
JAYA: It is unlikely that PAS and Umno will forge an alliance, says a political
observer, saying both parties are still struggling to survive politically and
said despite speculation that both parties are set to officially join forces,
buoyed by the presence of Umno leaders at the recent PAS muktamar in Kuala
Terengganu, Umno is also eyeing other opportunities in its bid to rise from the
ashes following its shock defeat in the May polls.
those who attended the muktamar were Umno deputy president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi,
Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Annuar Musa and Mahdzir Khalid.
is also looking at opportunities for cooperation with Pakatan Harapan, notably
with its component party PKR, through his good relations with Anwar Ibrahim,”
said Universiti Malaya’s Awang Azman Awang Pawi.
had been aligned to Anwar when the latter was the number two man in Umno,
before his dismissal in 1998.
Azman said the same is true with PAS, which has made no secret of its attempts
at wooing PH partners.
is open to cooperation not just with Umno, but also with PH component parties,
or with other parties,” he added.
said both parties, considered the largest Malay political parties in the
country but which were defeated at the federal level, were aware of the current
just need another party to lean on in the current political scene. It is about
political survival and staying relevant,” he told FMT.
president Abdul Hadi Awang recently said the party was prepared to form
political cooperations with all quarters.
said such cooperations could also include PH parties. The PAS leader had also
not mentioned Umno specifically during his policy speech at the recent
reportedly confirmed that Umno MPs had signed statutory declarations allowing
him to negotiate with political parties outside of Barisan Nasional (BN).
vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin has also proposed a new pact called
“Pakatan Malaysia”, comprising PAS, MCA, MIC, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Gabungan
Bersatu Sabah and PKR.
Azman said Umno appeared desperate to form a new alliance because it had never
before lost the way it did in the May 9 general election, which ended its six
decades in power.
is why, they need a political pact that will truly have an impact, power and
major influence. They want to become relevant again,” he said.
added that in any negotiation to form a coalition, Umno would hold the upper
hand, due to their lion’s share of the opposition seats as well as their
experience in governance.
Azman said the proposal by Khaled showed Umno’s strategy to woo anyone that
could restore the party’s power.
is because of the belief that Pakatan Malaysia would be stronger than the pact
within BN. It is fresh, energised, combined with existing experience to face a
new political atmosphere,” he said.
LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak offered his support to Umno president
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is trying to seal an alliance with PAS
against the wishes of some party members.
predecessor to Zahid said there was no issue working with PAS, noting that both
DAP and PKR had been former allies to the Islamists.
said Zahid should be given the time and space to shape the party’s strategy and
in my opinion, the Malay-Muslim struggle is incomplete without the inclusion of
all Malaysians regardless of colour and creed,” he wrote on Facebook today.
senior party leader, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, resigned yesterday, believed
to be over Zahid’s move to haul the upper echelon of Umno to pay homage to PAS
at the latter party’s Muktamar last week.
creates biodefence committee to protect US from bio-terrorism
- US President Donald Trump’s new National Biodefence Strategy creates a
cabinet-level steering committee that will act to protect Americans against
biological weapons and other potential bio-threats, the White House said in a
press release on Monday.
biodefence National Security Presidential Memorandum names the Secretary of
Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, as the Federal lead for biodefence and
establishes a Cabinet-level Biodefence Steering Committee,” the release said.
Not Agree to Missile Defence Limits in New Treaties With Russia
Trump administration is determined not to agree to any restrictions on its
missile defence programs in any strategic agreement it seeks to negotiate or
update with Russia, two senior US officials told the US Senate Foreign
Relations Committee on Tuesday.
senator,” Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
Andrea Thompson said when she was asked by a member of the Foreign Relations
Committee if she would refuse to agree to limiting US missile defence programs
in any negotiations with Russia.
Under Secretary of Defence for Policy David Trachtenberg immediately confirmed
Thompson’s expressed position.
would agree with that statement, senator,” Trachtenberg told the Foreign
also confirmed that the Department of Defence did not have any weapons system
capable of defending against the Russian strategic nuclear arsenal and
continued to rely instead on its deterrence capabilities.
So Far Failed to Raise Russia’s New Weapons in START Treaty Forum
United States has not yet raised the subject of Russia’s new strategic weapons
announced by President Vladimir Putin in any formal negotiations with Moscow or
requested further information on them, a senior US official said on Tuesday.
have not done so… The only way we’ve seen that has been in the open press,”
Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea
Thompson told a hearing of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “We have
not had the engagement on New START [New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty] with
my counterpart on the Russia side.
March 1, Putin announced a series of new Russian weapons systems as an
asymmetric response to US missile defences and the deployment of NATO forces on
Thompson said the US government was taking its own measures to independently
verify the new Russian weapons.
he [Putin] says is not necessarily ground truth… We still have some
intelligence to gather on that… We’ve taken action in our own community not
through the formal process… We’re working with our agencies and allies to
confirm [the new weapons],” Thompson said.
US government, Thompson acknowledged, had not raised the subject of the new
Russian weapons in any New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) discussions
or asked whether any of the new weapons systems were allegedly in violation of
looked at it internally. We haven’t taken it to our [Russian diplomatic]
counterparts,” Thompson said.
US decision on extending the New START Treaty would depend on whether it
covered Russia’s recently announced strategic nuclear weapons, Thompson added.
latest report has revealed that US-made bombs were frequently being used
against civilians in Yemen.
United States regional ally and major arms buyer, Saudi Arabia, was using its
US-made bombs in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
exclusive report published by CNN on Tuesday revealed US-made bombs were used
in numerous bombing attacks which led to civilian deaths in Yemen. The report
titled "Made in America" states that shrapnel found in the Saudi-led
attacks in Yemen "ties US bombs to a string of civilian deaths."
month, a CNN investigation found remnants of a US-made bomb at the scene of an
airstrike that left dozens of schoolboys dead.
independent Yemen-based reward-winning human rights group, Mwatana, has given
CNN exclusive access to a trove of documents that prove US-manufactured bombs
were at the scene of a string of other incidents since 2015, when the Saudi-led
war on Yemen began.
each of those bombings, civilians were either killed or faced the risk of
which reports violations committed by all sides of the Yemen conflict, used its network of trained
field researchers to gather evidence at the scene of attacks.
group then consulted its arms experts to identify the weapons used from serial
numbers found on the fragments.
was recognized last month with an award by the US-based group Human Rights
First for unveiling the fact that US giant arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin
had made the weapons used by Saudi-led forces in the deadly school bus attack
defended the massacre of children as a "legitimate" attack.
rebel official says Idlib deal ‘ends Assad’s dream of total control’
senior Syrian rebel official said on Tuesday a deal between Russia and Turkey
to create a buffer zone in Idlib had ended Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's
hopes of regaining full control of his country.
Idlib deal preserves lives of civilians and their direct targeting by the
regime. It buries Assad's dreams of imposing his full control over Syria,"
Mustafa Sejari, a prominent Free Syria Army (FSA) official told Reuters.
names Beirut street after Rafiq Hariri assassin
Pro-Hezbollah politicians in south Beirut were accused of provocation on
Tuesday for naming a street after the assassin who plotted the murder of former
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
rub salt in the wound, the street is adjacent to the city’s Rafiq Hariri
University Hospital. Hariri’s son, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, described the
decision by Ghobeiry municipality as “sedition.”
commander and bomb-maker Mustafa Badreddine was described last week by the
prosecution at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague as “the main
conspirer” in the assassination of Hariri, who died when his motorcade was
blown up in central Beirut in February 2005. Badreddine himself was murdered in
Damascus in 2016.
decision to name the street after him was “unconstitutional” and “an
unnecessary act of provocation,” a source at the Interior Ministry told Arab
is no precedent for resorting to these methods in naming streets, especially
when the name is the subject of political and sectarian dispute between the
people of Lebanon and may pose a threat to security and public order.”
militants stole the entire spare parts from a warehouse in the Old Neighborhood
of Afrin, and then smuggled them to an unknown place.
the meantime, members of Sultan Murad terrorist group cut power cables near
Nirouz Square in Central Afrin.
and looting people's assets by the Ankara forces and allied militants have
enraged civilians in the region.
sources said in August that the Ankara forces stole the electrical cables of
the control system of Maydanaki Dam North of Afrin, the sources said, adding
that the move damaged electrical control system of the Dam.
sources further said that the Ankara-backed militants had already stolen four
of the six pumps of the dam that was supplying drinking water to the town of
the meantime, a former expert of Maydanaki Dam said that the Dam was on the
verge of collapse after terrorists looted its electrical cables.
News reported that Tahrir al-Sham stormed the positions of Faylaq in the
village of Deir Balout in Jandaris region in Northwestern Aleppo.
a-Sham killed the entire members of Faylaq in the position after hours of heavy
the meantime, Tahrir al-Sham dispatched more gunmen and military equipment to
the region, it said, adding that Faylaq al-Sham and Nouralddeen al-Zinki
terrorists kept fighters on alert.
sources in al-Bab reported on Monday that heavy clashes erupted between Ahrar
al-Sharqiyeh and Ahrar al-Hasaka terrorists in al-Bab.
Ahrar al-Hasaka terrorist group has just separated from Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh.
added that the infighting killed and wounded a number of militants on both
heavy clashes erupted between the Ankara-backed al-Shaitat and a group of
civilians in Northern Syria.
President Vladimir Putin says the Israeli military’s aerial operations in the
Syrian airspace are in flagrant violation of the incumbent Damascus
government’s sovereignty as tensions are simmering between Moscow and Tel Aviv
over the downing of the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft in the
western Syrian province of Latakia.
pointed to the fact that the Israeli air force has been conducting operations
in breach of Syria’s sovereignty. In this case, Russian-Israeli agreements on
the prevention of dangerous incidents were not observed. As a result, a Russian
airplane came under fire from Syria’s anti-aircraft systems. The President of
Russia called for the Israeli side to avoid such situations from now on,” the
Kremlin press service quoted Putin as
telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Tuesday.
Israeli prime minister, in return, offered his condolences over the death of 15
Russian servicemen, who were onboard the downed military plane.
promised to provide detailed information on the activities of the Israeli air
force over the Syrian territory on that day for the purpose of a meticulous
investigation of the tragedy. The Israeli Air Force Commander (Aluf Amikam
Norkin) will bring it to Moscow shortly,” the Kremlin statement noted.
Defense Ministry has held Israel responsible for the downing of the Il-20
military aircraft by Syrian government anti-aircraft guns, stating that Israeli
jets were attacking targets in Syria at the time of the incident and such
provocations put the Russian plane in danger of being caught in cross-fire.
Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by
the Syrian air defense forces,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a
statement on Tuesday.
“We view the actions of the Israeli military
as hostile. As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military,
15 Russian service personnel perished,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor
Konashenkov told Russia’s state-run television network.
Israeli aggression on Syria meant to prop up terrorists’
Syria's Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari has censured the
latest Israeli aggression on his country, stating that the incident is in line
with the Tel Aviv regime’s aggressive policies and an attempt to boost the
morale of terror groups, which are taking heavy blows on the battlefield in the
calls on UN Security Council to take firm and immediate measures to hold Israel
accountable for its terrorism and crimes in violation of the Charter of the
United Nations,” Jaffari said at a Security Council session on the situation in
Syria on Tuesday.
are surprised that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and the UN
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief
Coordinator Mark Lowcock did not address the repeated Israeli attacks on
Syria,” the Syrian diplomat pointed out.
noted that the Syrian government is working towards a political solution to the
ongoing crisis through intra-Syrian dialogue and without external interference.
stressed that the fight against terrorism should be a priority in all the
stages of the political process.
welcomes any initiative that spares the lives of Syrians and contributes to the
restoration of security to any area plagued by terrorism. Syria will continue
its war against terrorism until the last inch of its territory is liberated
either through military operations or reconciliations,” Jaafari stated.
Saudi Arabia is following the plight of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities
in Myanmar with great concern, the Kingdom’s UN ambassador told the Human
Abdul Aziz Al-Wasil condemned violations of international humanitarian law by
Myanmar’s military against Rohingya civilians in Rakhine state, and against
other minorities elsewhere in the country.
International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar has documented the burning of
entire villages, indiscriminate killing, mass rape, child abuse, enforced
disappearance, and other forms of violence against minorities that amount to
genocide, he said.
Arabia recently provided $50 million to support rehabilitation programs for
Rohingya related to education and health, he added.
also reaffirmed Saudi support for the efforts of the International Commission
of Inquiry on Syria.
battles over past 10 days in Yemen result in death of 1,300 Houthis
army has advanced further into the mountains of Miran and reached the outskirts
of where the tomb of Hussein al-Houthi lays in Jemima following violent
confrontations with the Houthi militias.
the army has also made advances towards Jarf Salman which is considered a holy
area for the militias as well as their leader who lost more than 1,300 fighters
in battles in the al-Miran mountains in Haidan in the last 10 days.
commander of the third brigade in the Yemeni army, Brigadier Abdulkarim
al-Sudai, said that army forces have made progress towards the areas of Jarf
Salman, which is where the militias’ leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi is based.
a result of the increase in the number of militiamen’s deaths in Miran in the
past few days, a number of cemeteries have been built to address the shortage
of graves, while the militias remain concerned about the impending fall of
their strongholds, and the Saudi-led coalition forces play an important and
direct role in the battle,” Sudai said.
Salman, which is a village in the Maraan mountains in Saada, is the
headquarters of the Houthi leader, and was where Hussein al-Houthi was based
before being killed on September 10 2004 by the Yemeni armed forces.
refuse UN envoy efforts to start peace talks in Geneva
Houthis continue to refuse efforts by the United Nations envoy to Yemen Martin
Griffiths to persuade the Iran-backed militias to attend a new round of peace
talks, sources in Sanaa told pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
held talks with Houthi officials in Sanaa in an attempt to restart the peace
talks in Geneva after the Houthis failed to attend the last round, held on
sources said that the Houthis demanded that the national army halts their
operation in the Hodeidah and to reopen Sanaa airport.
also demanded that the UN allow dozens of wounded militants to travel outside
of Yemen, along with the delegation and that their aircraft to not be
An international rights group on Tuesday decried the prosecution of 24 Yemeni
Bahais, including women and a teenager, by a Houthi rebel court on espionage
Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of research, said the
group fears the Bahais could receive the death penalty amid “flagrantly unfair
trial opened on Saturday and has been adjourned until Sept. 29. A lawyer
following the case said the process was swift and most of the defendants were
tried in absentia because only five were in custody. He spoke on condition of
anonymity because of fear of retribution.
banned the Baha’i religion, which was founded in 1844 by a Persian nobleman.
Iranian-backed Houthis have occupied northern Yemen since 2014, after which the
legitimate government fled the country and sought military intervention by a
Saudi Arabian-led coalition. Houthis have waged an all-out campaign against all
political and religious opponents and held thousands in detention, where
torture is rampant.
Houthi group’s leader has targeted Bahais in public speeches describing them as
“satanic” and several Bahais have been detained, tortured and held
incommunicado, according to the community’s UN representative.
top figure was sentenced to death over charges of collaboration with Israel. In
2016, over 60 women, men and children participating in an educational gathering
organized by Bahais were arrested as part of a mass crackdown on the religious
Dugal, principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the
United Nations, expressed concern in a statement and said the charges were
“extremely alarming and mark a severe intensification of pressure.”
UN’s envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said that he carried out “constructive
meetings” with the Houthi militias’ leadership and the General People’s
Congress party in Sanaa.
tweeted on Tuesday saying that progress was made in terms of “resuming
consultations and confidence building measures.”
said that the talks included discussions about release of prisoners, the
economic situation and re-opening of Sanaa airport. Griffiths added that he was
heading to Riyadh on Wednesday.
comes amid a fuel and domestic gas crisis in Sanaa, which has led to a
near-stagnation of the market and the black market’s revival.
residents have reported that hundreds of cars are queuing in long lines in
front of empty gas stations waiting for the arrival of oil derivatives.
price of a gallon of oil of 20 liters is now being sold on the black market for
about 16 thousand riyals, meanwhile it was priced at 8500 royals only a few
days ago. Several residents are saying that the movement of cars and
transportation in Sanaa almost stopped, with the complete lack of fuel.
Arabia’s cabinet of ministers held a session on Tuesday chaired by King Salman
in which they called for joint efforts in countering Iranian’s terror
activities in the region.
the session, the cabinet recalled the recent resolutions passed during the
150th ordinary session of the Arab League's Council and discussed follow-up
points on the crisis with Iran and ways to address its interference in the
internal affairs of Arab countries.
Cabinet stressed that terrorism being practiced by Iran through its blatant
interference in Arab affairs and its support for terrorist militias is one of
the most appalling manifestations of terrorism, which needs unification and
cooperation to confront and deter its tools, reiterating that the Kingdom has
made efforts to combat terrorism and has not hesitated to provide all kinds of
support with cooperation of the international community to eradicate this
plague,” a statement on Saudi Press Agency (SPA) read.
than a dozen Yemeni fishermen have lost their lives when Saudi fighter jets
targeted their fishing boats off the coast of the western province of Hudaydah
as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its appalling military campaign against
its crisis-hit southern neighbor.
Yemeni security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saudi
warplanes struck fishing boats in waters off al-Khokha city, located 90
kilometers (56 miles) south of the provincial capital city of Hudaydah, on
Tuesday evening, killing 18 people, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement reported
on its website.
source added that only one fisherman survived the airstrike.
identified some the victims as Amr Yahya Radwan, Malik al-Jibla, Mansour Yahya
Radwan, Mohammad Khadem Zaid Harbi and Hussein Mohammed Ismail Manoubi, noting
that they hailed from the village of al-Kadhah.
a barrage of artillery rounds and mortar shells, launched by Saudi military
forces, rained down on the Razih district in Yemen’s mountainous northwestern
province of Sa’ada.
were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage
two civilians were killed and a bulldozer destroyed following a Saudi aerial
attack on the al-Durayhimi district of Hudaydah province.
in the day, Yemeni army soldiers, backed by fighters from allied Popular
Committees, fired a domestically-manufactured Badr-1 ballistic missile at the
al-Mostahaddeth base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Asir. No
reports of casualties were quickly available.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
young Palestinian man has succumbed to the wounds he suffered after dozens of
Israeli military forces stormed his family home during an overnight operation
in the central part of the occupied West Bank.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some 40 Israeli soldiers
raided the house in the village of Beit Rima, located nearly 30 kilometers
(18.6 miles) northwest of Ramallah, early on Tuesday, brutally assaulting
24-year-old Muhammad Zaghlul Rimawi al-Khatib.
brother, Bashir, said Israeli forces continued to viciously beat his brother
while unconscious. The troopers then dragged him outside the house and took him
to an unknown location.
said Palestinian officials later contacted the family and informed them that
Muhammad had died from his wounds.
are reports that Israeli authorities have transferred Muhammad's body to Abu
Kabir Forensic Center in Jaffa to conduct an autopsy and determine the cause of
occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald
Trump on December 6, 2017 announced Washington's recognition of Jerusalem
al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said the US would move its embassy to the
dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian
territories and elsewhere in the world.
status of Jerusalem al-Quds is the thorniest issue in the decades-long
Palestinians see East Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of their future state.
more than 185 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Nearly
20,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,”
including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
Nur, a senior figure in the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, reportedly has
been killed by some of his own colleagues.
men allegedly gunned him down Aug. 21 following an internal dispute, according
to Nigerian media sources and others. News reports of the killing have trickled
out in the last few days.
Abdalla, an Islamist scholar in the country’s northeast region where the group
is based, has served as a trusted negotiator between Boko Haram leaders, as
well as Nigerian government officials. He told VOA that Nur’s men believed the
Boko Haram figure was too lenient.
key point of dispute was Nur’s decision to release schoolgirls kidnapped from
the northeast Nigerian town of Dapchi, Abdalla said.
Haram abducted 109 female students from a secondary school in Dapchi in
February. Nearly all of the girls were returned safely to their homes about a
Haram also made headlines in April 2014 when it abducted 276 schoolgirls from a
secondary school in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok. According to
#BringBackOurGirls, the social media campaign and organization that formed
after the kidnapping, 112 girls are still missing.
led a faction of Boko Haram that broke away in 2014 from the militant group led
by Abubakar Shekau. Nur’s faction, which selected Abubakar al-Barnawi as its
emir, established its operational base around Lake Chad north of Nigeria’s
group pays allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Nur also has been much
more willing than other Boko Haram leaders to negotiate with the government
about issues such as releasing captives.
fluent Arabic speaker, Nur networked extensively with other Boko Haram factions
operating around Lake Chad, including in Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
suggested that Nur’s death could weaken the Boko Haram faction.
no apparent successor to Nur, it could splinter further, Abdalla said. That
would give an edge to the Nigerian government if it acted quickly to dislodge
the group, he added.
Ibrahim Damaturu, an Islamic studies lecturer at Yobe State University, told
VOA that Nur’s killing was unsurprising because the entire Boko Haram
organization was built on ignorance of Islam.
said some militants joined the group to advance personal objectives, and their
competing goals were bound to produce friction. He said even Muhammed Yusuf,
who founded the group in 2002, had conflicts with some of the followers.
Kontagora, a retired Nigerian army colonel now working as a security analyst in
the capital, Abuja, said he believes Nur’s assassination might lead to an
escalation of deadly attacks in the area, as militants try to demonstrate their
Haram, which promotes an extreme form of Islamist fundamentalism and opposes
Western-style education, is blamed for the deaths of more than 30,000 people
and for the dislocation of more than 2 million.
reported that Boko Haram, intent on destroying schools, had kidnapped more than
1,000 children in northeastern Nigeria as of April.
Haram violence spikes in Nigeria's northeast
August, a report came out that appeared aligned with the official Nigerian
narrative that says Boko Haram militants have been "technically
defeated" in most parts of Nigeria's northeast region.
a survey encompassing sites in the Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, 85 percent
of respondents reported witnessing a reduction in the level of violence in
their communities,” the prominent West African civic group Center for Democracy
and Development (CDD) said in the report.
90 percent said they believe the insurgency is subsiding or effectively
developments in the region in the past few weeks now appear to suggest
otherwise as reports emerged of militants ambushing government troops. Some
have alleged a few of those reports have been promoted by the opposition for
are the attacks last week in the towns of Gudumbali and Damasak, the bombing of
Alau Dam which supplies water to the Borno capital Maiduguri, as well as
repeated attacks in the neighboring Yobe State, or raids on different
communities on the fringe of Lake Chad.
21 civilians were also recently abducted in the Borno state, but were since
freed by Nigerian troops.
a daily basis, we get reports of Boko Haram killing one or two farmers
cultivating land less than 10 kilometers [a little over 6 miles] from Maiduguri
without any corresponding measures,” Baba Gana Imam, a community leader, told
attacks [...] show that they are very much resilient and bent on proving that
their forces have not been routed,” added Fred Onuoha, a security analyst and
professor at the political science department at the University of Nigeria in
from the seasonal rains that make the roads inaccessible to troops while
militants hit remote communities, Onuoha said there are other factors to
consider for the surge.
ransom the militants receive in exchange for releasing abductees enables them
to restock key supplies like drugs, food, weapons and recruits, according to
and as a corollary to the above, is access to sophisticated weapons likely
purchased from ransom money and routinely acquired from raiding of security
armory,” he added.
fatigue has also been fingered for the recent surge in Boko Haram attacks.
of the Special Operation forces (SOF), an elite unit of the military credited
with curtailing the militants between 2014 and 2015, have recently protested
the long deployment in the region, underscoring the low morale within their
is not unlikely that the insurgents may be taking advantage of this morale
deficit to launch attacks on mostly military targets,” Onuoha said.
the preeminent defense website in West Africa, agreed.
are continuing issues with provisioning and low morale, the latter stemming
from inordinately extended tours of duty. Also, the number of troops in the
region is clearly inadequate to hold territory and to go on the offensive in
tandem,” the website administrator, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu
may also be targeting military installations to access weapons and this could
mean that Daesh is planning a major attack and possible territorial raid on one
or two towns in rural Borno, Ryan Cummings, a pan-African security analyst
based in Johannesburg, told Anadolu Agency.
said the redeployment of Nigerian and regional military assets to other flash
points may also explain the surge.
Nigerian army has dismissed claims of a resurgence. Instead, its spokesman
Texas Chukwu said in a statement last week that troops have continued to clear
militants from their camps, resulting in massive casualties among
of Boko Haram overrunning communities persist nonetheless -- a possible
throwback to the events of 2013 and 2014 when militants effectively established
a caliphate covering a large area of land.
a number of major roads still not safe and the inkling that the two factions of
the insurgency may be papering over their differences to face a "common
enemy", analysts said nobody should rule out a surge.
this should involve identifying potential new strengths of the Boko Haram
factions in the area of funding streams, weapons upgrade and acquisition,
membership strength and recruitment drive, and operational and attack patterns.
called for heavy investments on air assets as veritable force multiplier for
sustained intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations, rapid
close air support for ground troops in situation of surprised attacks, and for
precision pursuit and neutralizing of Boko Haram camps and highly mobile
must be comprehensive revaluation of the psychological state of troops,
especially the SOFs, to ascertain readiness posture and addressing trauma or
fatigue. This would inform the kind of treatment needed and nature of measured
redeployment,” said security analyst Onuoha.
Of The 2019 General Election Christian, Muslim Leaders Sign Peace Accord In
of the 2019 general election, Christian and Muslim leaders have signed a peace
pact in Abuja.
event was witnessed by representatives of the United Nations (UN) and the
United States of America (USA).
Sun learnt that the peace agreement between the dominant religions in Nigeria
was to affirm that the country “shall remain committed to peace and harmony
among Christians and Muslims, from both
North and South, as the country approaches the 2019 general election.”
the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has condemned actions of
religious leaders, whom he alleged no longer promote religious values,
describing most of them as egocentric.
also called for a peaceful co-existence among Muslims and Christians for
stated this during the signing of the peace agreement.
further, the spiritual leader, who is the co-chair of the Nigeria Interfaith
Action Association (NIFAA) and leader of all Muslims in Nigeria, said everyone
must ensure democratic sustainability.
Sultan, who was represented by the Emir of Keffi, Dr. Shehu Usman Yamusa III,
said: “Let me seize this privilege to appreciate NIFAA for being resilient in
the course of peace building in Nigeria, as well as keeping faith with the
principles of the UN General Assembly on international day of peace, which
encourages countries of the world, with different religious faith to come
together as a people and as a nation.
unique declaration is very timely since it is noted that most religious leaders
no longer promote religious values but are being egocentric, and above all
me affirm that religious leaders must disseminate the language of peace under
their spiritual jurisdiction, but must also note the doctrine of Karmic law,
where all must account for their deeds, now or later. Of note, we must all
ensure democratic sustainability, especially as the 2019 general election
National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Supo
Ayokunle, who alleged that most Nigeria leaders no longer promote peace, added
that everyone must account for their deeds.
CAN president, who was represented by the Prelate of the Methodist Church, Dr.
Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche, said their anticipation for the 2019 general election
and the Osun governorship election is that both elections would be peaceful.
said as leaders, they desired peaceful elections for a stable Nigeria, where there
would be justice and the rule of law.
said: “We must recognise our diversity. Everyone must strive for love and must
be entitled to dignity within the ambit of the law.
need servant leaders, responsible and obedient follower-ship. Nobody should
pray for Nigeria’s disintegration.”
United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Syminton, who witnessed the signing
of the peace pact, said no one would be a Nigerian if there is no peace.
advised that when someone kills, he or she should be called a killer and not
the other way round.
US Assistant Secretary of State and now a UN chief, Tom Bull, said he would
take the peace declaration to the UN summit, adding that Nigerians are
determined to have peace election.
Boko Haram splinter group loyal to the Islamic State has killed one of the
health workers kidnapped from Kala-Balge, Borno State, Saifura Khorsa, a
midwife with the International Committee of Red Cross.
International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the "tragic
killing" of Khorsa in a statement released on Monday.
are devastated by the murder of our colleague Saifura," said Eloi Fillion,
the head of the ICRC delegation in Abuja.
terrorist group also threatened to kill Hauwa Liman and Alice Ngaddah who were
abducted alongside Khorsa in March 2018, as well as Leah Sharibu, the remaining
Dapchi schoolgirl in Boko Haram captivity.
who has been in captivity for over 200 days, is one of the 100 schoolgirls
kidnapped in Dapchi, Yobe State, by Boko Haram. But she was held back when
others were released because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
girls that returned said Leah said she will not deny Christ or turn to be a
Muslim," Leah's father, Nathan said in an Interview.
insurgents, however, claimed that they had contacted the government over the
captives but did not get any response.
contacted the government through writing and also sent audio messages but the
government has ignored us. So, here is a message of blood," said a
spokesman of the group who did not give his name.
may be connected to as the sect late August released a 35-second online audio
of Sharibu pleading for an urgent intervention by President Muhammadu Buhari to
facilitate her rescue.
am Leah Sharibu... I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to
intervene to get me out of my current situation".
recorded audio came months after the Nigerian government said negotiations for
the rescue of the lone Christian girl were still ongoing.
government admitted, however, that efforts to secure her release by the
insurgents had been tortuous and complicated.
other nurse and midwife will be executed in a similar manner in one month,
including Leah Sharibu," the sect threatened.
latest threat may be part of the indications, as predicted by Ahmad Salkida, a
journalist with the knowledge of Boko Haram insurgency and Lake Chad crisis,
that the sect may be on the verge of launching a large-scale attack in
insurgents are busy piling up arms by overrunning one military base, after
another, for something "big" and what could that be," he tweeted
rising regularity of Boko Haram attacks suggests that Salkida's warning should
be taken seriously.
attention was on #ISWAP attack on Guzamala yesterday, the group staged another
daring attack on a military facility in Baga, Kukawa, on the shores of the
#LakeChad," Salkida said in another tweet on Sunday.
warning is coming after Buhari in May said they have been "degraded"
instead of "defeated" in what seemed to be a tacit acknowledgement of
the difficulty of the task of curtailing the growth of the insurgents.
capacity of the insurgents has been degraded, leading to the re-establishment
of the authority of government and the release of captives including, happily,
106 Chibok and 104 Dapchi girls, and over 16,000 other persons held by the Boko
Haram," Buhari said in a Democracy Day speech on May 29, 2018.
attacks carried out by the two factions of Boko Haram indicate that the claim
of them being defeated or degraded may have come too soon.
while reacting to the murder and the threats the Nigerian Government pledged
its commitment to rescuing all captives.
government of Nigeria strongly condemns this reprehensible and inhuman act. No
religion permits the killing of the innocent," Garba Shehu, his senior
special assistant on media and publicity said on Monday.
of the 21 Special Armoured Brigade deployed in Operation LAFIYA DOLE, in a
joint trans-border operation with troops of the Cameroonian Defence Forces,
killed five Boko Haram terrorists in the border villages of Yabiri Kote and
Bula Dadobe of Bama Local Government Area Borno State.
joint operations, tagged: “Operation RAINBOW 15” which was conducted from
Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 September 2018, came on the heels of the discovery of
makeshift bases, established by the terrorists in Yabiri Kote and Bula Dadode
from where they launched attacks on villages in Cameroon and Nigeria.
statement by Bigadier General Texas Chukwu, Director Army Public Relations
said, during the joint trans- border operations, the gallant troops recovered
some items from the terrorists.
items include: 3 AK 47 rifles, Two Improvised Explosive Device ( IED) Shells,
One primed Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Belt, Two motorcycles, Eight
bicycles, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Vest, and One Boko Haram flag.
trans-border operations have successfully cleared the insurgents from the
general area of Kote Kura.
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