Saudi Arabia silent as China cracks down on Uighur Muslims - Times of India
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
Saudi Arabia silent as China cracks down on Uighur Muslims
As calls grow in the US and Europe to pressure China to halt alleged
human-rights abuses against its Muslim minority, Beijing has so far escaped any
serious criticism from governments across the Islamic world.
three weeks after a United Nations official cited "credible reports" that
the country was holding as many as 1 million Turkic-speaking Uighurs in
"re-education" camps, governments in Muslim-majority countries have issued
no notable statements on the issue. The silence became more pronounced this
week after a bipartisan group of US lawmakers urged sanctions against senior
are hopeful that the State Department will seek addition opportunities to
condemn these abuses while also undertaking robust diplomatic engagement with
like-minded governments to further elevate this human rights crisis in
international forums and multilateral institutions," lawmakers led by
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey
wrote Wednesday in a letter to secretary of state Michael Pompeo and treasury
secretary Steven Mnuchin. They joined European Union officials who have previously
expressed concern about the camps in Xinjiang.
contrast, the leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan haven't released
public statements on the clampdown. Neither has Saudi Arabia. Even Turkey,
which has in the past offered favorable policies to Turkic-speaking groups and
hosts a small Uighur population of its own, remained silent as Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan grappled with an economic crisis.
split underscores how China's position as a key trading partner and aid
provider to many Muslim-majority nations — as well as its longstanding policy
to avoid commenting on the internal affairs of other countries — is now paying
off. The alleged abuses are also occurring in one of China's most remote and
heavily policed frontiers, making it hard to acquire first-hand evidence, such
as photos and videos, that might sway public opinion in the Islamic world.
generally has friendly relations with most Muslim countries, mostly around
trade," said Hassan Hassan, senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for
Middle East Policy, a Washington think tank. The Muslim world is largely
unaware of the situation in Xinjiang, he added. "It's not covered almost
at all in Arabic media, and even jihadis don't dwell on it as much as they do
about other conflicts."
officially denies problems in Xinjiang, a vast region the size of Alaska
bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan that's home to some 10 million Uighurs. On
Thursday, Beijing warned the US lawmakers not to interfere in its internal
policies and equal rights that Chinese minorities enjoy are far better than in
the US, which has lot issues with racism and human rights protection,"
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a briefing in Beijing.
The lawmakers should focus on issues at home "instead of interfering in
other countries' internal politics, playing judges on human rights and casting
blame, or even threatening to impose unreasonable sanctions," she said.
clampdown has been fueled by President Xi Jinping's orders to "strike
first" against Islamist extremism following deadly attacks in the region
involving Uighurs, and reports that some members of the minority were fighting
alongside terror groups in Syria. A Communist Party-run newspaper has rebuked
criticism of the crackdown, arguing that it had prevented Xinjiang from becoming
silence on Uighurs contrasts with outrage last year when some 700,000 Rohingya
Muslims fled clearance operations by the Myanmar military, which the UN has
since likened to genocide. One big difference between the two cases: Myanmar's economy
is 180 times smaller than that of China, which is the top trading partner of 20
of the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
accounts for about a tenth of Saudi Arabia's oil exports and roughly a third of
Iran's, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. It is Malaysia's
top source of foreign investment. And it has ensured the flow of more than $60
billion in loans for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor infrastructure projects.
nations "don't want to damage their relations with China, and consider
China a potential ally against the West and the US, and therefore they are
trying to stay silent," said Omer Kanat, chairman of the executive
committee at the World Uyghur Congress, an overseas Uigher advocacy group.
the years, these governments have vocally opposed US slights of Muslims,
including President Donald Trump's 2017 ban on travel from seven
Muslim-majority countries. Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif called it
"a great gift to extremists."
expert testifying before a United Nations human rights panel on Aug. 10 cited
reports that Beijing may be holding up to one million Uighurs in re-education
camps. Bloomberg reported in January on the government conducting experiments
with facial recognition technology in the region.
governments of Turkey, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Saudi
Arabia, and Egypt did not respond to requests to comment for this story.
Multiple phone calls to the OIC for comment were not answered.
be sure, maintaining trade ties isn't the only motivator. Some governments are
loathe to draw global attention to their own shabby human rights records. Beijing
has largely refrained from involving itself in conflicts in the Muslim world.
nations "don't particularly respect human rights themselves, so it's hard
to imagine that they would jump at an opportunity to criticize China,"
said David Brophy, Senior Lecturer in Modern Chinese History at the University
it could prove increasingly difficult to maintain their silence, as China's
policies in Xinjiang spill across its borders.
Kazakhstan — a neighboring economic partner key to Xi's signature Belt and Road
trade initiative — an undocumented, ethnic-Kazakh Chinese citizen recently
testified to being forced to teach in a camp before escaping. Kazakh
authorities, risking Beijing's anger, allowed her to remain.
incident shows that the crackdown is starting to seep into China's foreign
relations, said James Millward, a professor at Georgetown University and author
of "Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang."
we're seeing is the policy effects of a shift in philosophy with regard to
cultural diversity and ethnic diversity in China," he said.
are the detainees whose very existence China denies, as many as a million
Uighur and other Muslim people who human rights activists say are being held in
a vast web of detention camps in western China.
United Nations committee in Geneva examining China’s record on racial
discrimination rebuffed Beijing’s denials of the reeducation camps and called
on it to acknowledge the existence of the facilities and release those who are
being detained. In a report released Thursday, the committee dismissed China’s
justifications that it faced a terrorist problem in the Xinjiang region as
nothing more than “a pretext” for detaining the minority Muslims.
bipartisan group of 17 U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile, urged the Trump
administration to sanction Chinese officials and companies allegedly involved
in the detention centers.
hearings on China’s human rights record by the U.N. Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Gay McDougall, an American human rights
attorney and committee vice chairwoman, cited credible reports that more than 1
million Muslim people had been detained and said Xinjiang had been turned “into
something that resembles a massive internment camp that is shrouded in
U.N. committee report expressed alarm over “numerous reports of detention of
large numbers of ethnic Uighurs and other minority Muslims held incommunicado
and often for long periods, without being charged or tried, under the pretext
of countering terrorism and religious extremism.”
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying rejected the accusations, saying they
had “no factual basis.”
for certain counterterrorism and stability maintenance preventive measures, I
think that internationally this is in general use by lots of countries,” she
its submission to the U.N. committee earlier this month, China said that “there
are no such things as reeducation centers or counter-extremism training centers
in Xinjiang,” but it noted that the region faced a terrorism problem. It said
the claims that a million Uighurs were being held in reeducation centers were
response to the committee, delivered by Chinese representative Hu Lianhe, did
mention what it called vocational and employment training centers, where people
convicted of minor offenses were sent “to acquire employment skills and legal
knowledge with a view to assisting in their rehabilitation and reintegration.”
The officials offered no further details, including how many people were at
these centers or whether they were being held against their will.
said China has jailed convicted terrorists in Xinjiang.
U.N. committee called on China to provide detailed information on the number of
people detained in the last five years in the region and the duration and
grounds for their detention. It also sought information on what kind of
training people received at the vocational centers, including any political
should also eliminate travel restrictions affecting minority Muslims and hold
government officials accountable for racial profiling of those detained, the
17 U.S. lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Christopher H.
Smith (R-N.J.), urged the Trump administration to sanction companies and
individuals, including Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party secretary in Xinjiang
who previously gained attention implementing tough security policies in Tibet.
ethnic minorities are being subjected to arbitrary detention, torture,
egregious restrictions on religious practice and culture, and a digitized
surveillance system so pervasive that every aspect of daily life is monitored,”
the letter from the lawmakers said.
administration has shown a willingness to sanction officials using the Global
December, it slapped sanctions on Gao Yan, a Chinese police official in
Beijing, for denying medical care to Cao Shunli, a human rights activist who
died in custody. Another alleged human rights abuser hit with sanctions is
Myanmar Gen. Maung Maung Soe, who was accused of the ethnic cleansing of
the Magnitsky Act of 2012 was used to impose travel bans and freeze the assets
of Russian officials after Sergei Magnitsky, an attorney who exposed a Russian
fraud scheme, was jailed and died in prison. But use of the act began to widen
in 2016 to allow sanctions against human rights abusers.
the Chinese spokeswoman, said Thursday that China’s human rights record is far
better than the United States’.
China’s policies on ethnic minority groups and the equal rights enjoyed by them
are viewed without bias and prejudice, the conclusion will be drawn that
China’s policies and record in this regard are actually far better than the
U.S.,” she said.
U.S. lawmakers have no right to make these unwarranted accusations on ethnic
minority issues against China,” Hua added. “I would like to advise those U.S.
lawmakers, who are paid by taxpayers’ money, to focus on doing their job and
serving Americans, instead of poking their noses in other countries’ domestic
affairs, acting as some kind of ‘human rights judge’ to make groundless
accusations, or even threaten to impose unreasonable sanctions.”
struggles to digest global anger over Rohingya crisis
hurt or indignant, many inside Myanmar are struggling to digest a week of
opprobrium heaped on their country by the UN and even Facebook over the
treatment of the Rohingya, a stateless Muslim group whose plight elicits little
sympathy in the Buddhist-majority nation.
year's military crackdown ostensibly on Rohingya militants pushed out some
700,000 of the minority in violence that horrified the world.
in Myanmar, the army was widely cheered for its defence of the country from
"Bengali" interlopers as the Rohingya are falsely cast.
UN report on Monday pulled few punches in calling for the army chief's
prosecution for genocide against the Rohingya and singled out Myanmar's
democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to speak up for the group.
the public response has been muted on an issue warped by Islamophobic rhetoric
and the rehashed history peddled by the military.
were happy to fight the military for democracy but we don’t want to fight them
over Rakhine," shipowner Kyaw Kyaw, 47, told AFP, from a Yangon teashop.
have sympathy for the victims but defending our country from terrorism is more
important," he added, parroting the official line that the army
"clearance operations" were justified to root out Rohingya militants.
evolution from military rule to a quasi-democracy in 2011 brought with it
freedoms unknown for nearly half a century.
so, most people still rely for information on state media, Facebook or a
fledgeling independent media that mostly toes the government line when it comes
to the Rohingya.
are signs that politics is again becoming taboo, as patriotism and a deep mistrust
of a still-powerful army dull criticism.
the same time, a siege mentality is building in a country that felt the glow of
global support just a few years ago as its story of triumph over
authoritarianism captured the headlines.
feel sad the world is looking down upon Myanmar people," says traditional
doctor Than Sein, 50, from a neighbouring teashop table, remembering how
Buddhists and Muslims used to eat at each other's houses and lamenting they no
longer do so.
Kyi, still a heroine domestically, articulated the mood.
who are living through the transition in Myanmar view it differently from those
who observe it from the outside and who will remain untouched by its
outcome," she said this week in a speech in Singapore.
UN's call for prosecution of the military top brass was buttressed by
unprecedented action by Facebook, which pulled down the profile of army chief
Min Aung Hlaing, 17 other accounts of top generals and 52 pages followed by
almost 12 million people.
social media site, hugely influential in a country that only recently came
online, said the move was to prevent them from using the site to "further
inflame ethnic and religious tensions".
has come under fire for being slow to react to hate speech, which cascaded
across its platform last year as the Rohingya fled to Bangladesh.
to restore its image, Facebook has launched a PR campaign highlighting improved
technology and more staff to detect incendiary posts and misinformation.
ban seems to have elicited far more outcry than the prospect of military
leaders one day being hauled before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
jumped to the generals' defence, adopting the army chief's photo as their
profile picture, as reports surfaced that he and military supporters were
already migrating to Russian social media platform VK.
we, the people, and the army are together, who can destroy us?" one
Facebook post declared.
the civilian government spokesman rushed to address the issue before responding
to the damning UN report, reassuring blacklisted generals that the government
had not been in cahoots with the tech giant.
effect of this ban and the recent blacklisting of Islamophobic monks and groups
has been small but noticeable, says president of monitoring group "PEN
Myanmar" Ma Thida.
now know "they need to be careful if they don't want their accounts to be
deleted or deactivated", she says.
journalist Aung Naing Soe, a target of racial slurs and even death threats himself,
agrees there are fewer toxic posts being spread on the site.
think they’re staying low-profile," he says. "Nobody wants to lose
their Facebook account in this country."
others, the measures smell of the censorship of old.
down the Facebook pages of the military is the kind of stunt the junta used to
pull," doctor Zune Ei says. "They closed the eyes and mouths of the
people for decades."
the generals "should face the ICC and make it clear if they did not do
anything wrong," she adds.
Chairman of UP Shia Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi has been “excommunicated” for not
heeding to a fatwa issued by Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani
against handing over Waqf properties for the construction of a temple of
shrine, a top Shia cleric said on Friday.
“ouster” from the Shia community, following the controversy over his offer of
disputed land at Babri Masjid site for Ram Temple construction, was announced
by senior Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad in Lucknow during Friday prayers.
to News18, Maulana Jawwad said Shias all around the world were “embarrassed” by
Rizvi. “Shias all around the world are facing embarrassment because of the
statements made by Waseem Rizvi. People like Rizvi are working against Islam
either under pressure or just to please their masters. On my recent visit to
Iran, people were asking me questions and I am answerable to them on the kind
of things he is doing.”
Jawad also said that since Waseem Rizvi is “not a Shia anymore”, he must be
removed from the post of Shia Waqf Board Chairman.
a fatwa from Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, there is no chance of rejecting it.
Anyone who opposes his fatwa has no right to be called a Shia anymore. Hence, I
have asked the government to remove him from the post. We have already said
that whatever the court decides will be acceptable to us, but Waseem Rizvi
seems to be in a hurry. How can he donate land when he is not the owner? He is
just the caretaker. He is fooling the entire nation by saying that he is
donating the land. He can donate his own house if he wants, but he cannot
donate land which does not belong to him,” Maulana Jawad added.
the ‘excommunication, Rizvi said, “Maulana Jawad is a witness in the Babri
Masjid demolition case, which is why he is trying to put pressure on the Shia
Waqf Board. Nobody has the right to cast anyone out of Islam, no matter how big
the cleric is."
decision to offer disputed land at Babri Masjid site for the construction of
Ram Temple in Ayodhya had led Kanpur-based educationist Dr Mazhar Naqvi to pose
a query on its legality. Sistatni’s fatwa was in response to this query. Rizvi
has repeatedly argued that the Babri Masjid was constructed by a Shia ruler,
and hence, the Waqf property belongs to the community, free to be offered for the
rejecting the fatwa, Rizvi had said that the UP Shia Waq Board will follow the
Indian Constitution and not the fatwa. “There is an international pressure on
Shia Waqf Board to support the Babri Masjid litigants. This fatwa from Ayatollah
Sistani is a part of that tactic. Shia Waqf Board will work as per the norms
laid down by the Indian Constitution and not as per any pressure from
terrorists or according to any fatwa. We are not ready to abide by the cleric's
opinion. The advice was taken after misguiding him on the issue,” he had said.
Temple in Ayodhya is a question of faith for Hindus and Shia Waqf Board is
concerned about development of the society and the country. Hindus should get
their right and Muslims should refrain from taking away anyone’s right. Shia
Waqf Board will maintain its stand even if all the Muslims of the world stand
in our opposition,” Rizvi had said.
Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board had urged the Supreme Court to act as a mediator
in the Ayodhya case and has suggested that a Ram Temple be built at the
disputed site and a mosque in a nearby Muslim-dominated area as a way out of
the bitter court battle over the land.
UP Shia Waqf Board had cited historical references to Mir Baqi, the person who
built the Babri mosque, as being a Shia Muslim and hence the mutawali
(caretaker) of the mosque was also the Shia Waqf Board.
Pakistan Leader and Senator Sirajul Haq has appreciated the cancellation of the
profane caricature contest in Holland and called upon the Muslim rulers and the
Organisation of Islamic Council (OIC) to work out a joint line of action to
prevent such sacrilege for all the times.
a large Friday congregation at Mansoora Mosque, he impressed upon Prime
Minister Imran Khan to include this issue in his expected address to the United
Nations General Assembly and strive for the enactment of a law at international
level to safeguard the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and all the prophets
and messengers of Allah and to make sacrilege a cognisable offense.
urged the government to convene an urgent meeting of the OIC to adopt a solid
plan to protect the sanctity of the noble Prophet (PBUH) and for its strict
Chief Sirajul Haq said that some mischievous elements often hurt the sentiments
of one and a half billion Muslims in the world through these heinous acts. He
said this evil practice was intolerable for the believers as it was a matter of
said that the announcement of the caricatures contest had led to worldwide
protest and demonstrations by the Muslims.
said the United States and the western world should see reason and not endanger
world peace because of such satanic pursuits which might lead to a major war.
JI chief said that the western world especially the US was patronising mischief
makers who indulged in profanity of the holy Prophet (PBUH).
Nasreen of Bangladesh and Salman Rushdi were leading luxurious lives due to US
patronage. He further said that the sacrilege of the noble Prophet (PBUH) could
not be allowed in the name of democracy and freedom of expression and even the
weakest Muslim was ready to lay down his life for the sanctity of the holy
paper blames West for encouraging Xinjiang extremists
Turbulence in China's restive far western region of Xinjiang has been caused by
"external factors", a state-run newspaper said Saturday in an
editorial responding to calls by a group of US lawmakers for sanctions on
accusations of Xinjiang governance seriously misled the extremists, making them
believe they were launching religious Jihad and won sympathy and support from
Western and international society," said the editorial in the Global
Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily.
forces have slandered China's governing efforts" in Xinjiang, the editorial
said, accusing a "West-centered (value) system" of making "empty
statements about human rights regardless of the purpose and effect of Xinjiang
governance and the grim reality it targets."
empty talk inspires extremists, which meets the purposes of some Western
politicians trying to undermine the governance achievements in Xinjiang and
push the region into turmoil," the editorial said.
Xinjiang governance abuses human rights must be judged by whether its results
safeguard the interests of the majority in the region, it continued.
Wednesday, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers called for sanctions on Chinese
officials responsible for human rights abuses against minority Muslims in
China's Xinjiang region, saying it was being turned into a "high-tech
Thursday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press
briefing in Beijing that the United States did "not have the right"
to make "unwarranted criticism" of China's policies toward ethnic
United Nations human rights panel this month said it had received many credible
reports that 1 million ethnic Uighurs in China were held in what resembled a
"massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy."
has said that Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and
separatists who plot attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim
Uighur minority who call the region home and the ethnic Han Chinese majority.
have died in unrest there in recent years.
a bid to counter intolerance and radicalism that are reportedly on the rise at
universities lately, a group of University of Indonesia (UI) alumni formed the
Alliance for Tolerance which will, among other measures, monitor intolerant and
radical activities on campus.
chairman Donny Gahral Adian said on Thursday that a number of academics of the
university had shown signs of trying to insert radicalism and spread
intolerance at UI. The radicalism and hatred toward “others, usually
minorities,” were conveyed through a small discussion forum called mentoring.
the one-on-one discussion called mentoring, messages like ‘don’t choose a
leader who has different beliefs to yours’ were inserted by the mentor,” Donny
said, adding that mentors in the small forum were usually affiliated with
political parties or Muslim groups like Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
the HTI had been disbanded, Donny said, the HTI movement lived on at UI.
Alliance for Tolerance has set up a website at uitoleran.id, where cases of
intolerance or radicalization at UI could be reported.
said the reports would be followed up by a special team comprising of UI alumni
and the university’s rectorate. Those proven to sow or spread intolerant or
radical ideas would be sanctioned in line with the university’s rules.
alumni in the alliance include Saparinah Sadli, JB Sumarlin, Albertine
Minderop, Sulistyowati Irianto, Riris Sarumpaet, Ratih Ibrahim, Saras Dewi,
Prita Laura, Kasandra Putranto, Ade Armando and singer Once.
Labour MPs gives up whip amid row on anti-Semitism
pressure on the leadership of Britain's Labour Party has increased as a
long-serving Member of Parliament (MP) resigns his whip to protest what he sees
as surging anti-Semitic sentiments within the party.
Field, a Labour representative of Birkenhead in northwest England since 1979,
announced Thursday that he would now sit as an independent Labour MP as he
could no longer tolerate the increasing anti-Semitism in his party’s
76, announced his resignation in a letter to a Labour lawmaker responsible for
coordinating members’ vote with the party’s position.
veteran lawmaker accused the Labour leadership of “doing nothing substantive”
to address claims that the party had become anti-Semite.
saddens me to say that we are increasingly seen as a racist party,” said Field
in his letter to Labour’s chief whip.
move comes amid a deepening row within the Labour about the party’s refusal to
adopt a multi-national code of conduct on anti-Semitism.
have used almost every opportunity to accuse Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of
anti-Semitism, citing numerous evidences he has slammed the Israeli regime’s
actions against the Palestinians.
a fervent supporter of Palestine and its right to establish a state, has sought
to clarify his stances, saying being anti-Israel has nothing to do with dislike
of Jews and racism.
and the Labour have refused to change the party’s code of conduct, saying a
broader definition of anti-Semitism may violate the rights of Jews who are
critical of Israel.
says it will sharply boost its funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in a bid to partly compensate for US aid cuts.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced on Friday his country is currently
preparing to allocate a considerable amount of additional funds to the UNRWA,
but refused to give any figures.
decision by US President Donald Trump’s administration to significantly
decrease the country’s funding for the UN agency has left the UNRWA with a $217
million deficit, which is not going to be covered by Berlin’s additional
contribution, as announced by Maas.
a letter to EU foreign ministers, the German FM said his country has already
offered $94 million to the UN’s aid agency this year and will increase its
contribution in the future, but the additional amount won’t be enough to
compensate for the deficit. Therefore, he noted, the EU and other states need
to work out and find a “sustainable” source of finance for the UNRWA.
decision by the government of Angela Merkel is viewed as the last in a series
of assertive stances held by Berlin against the US’ policies on trade, climate
change, and military spending, among other issues
US, which roughly provided one-third of the UNRWA’s budget, suspended $65
million of the $125 million in aid it planned to contribute to the program back
decision forced the UNRWA’s secretary-general, Pierre Krähenbühl, to start a
fundraising appeal, to which Belgium was the first to respond, offering a
generous $23 million.
few months later, Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway,
Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France have also pledged $100 million in new
financing to the UNRWA after an emergency donor conference held in Rome back in
- A German man who used a homemade bomb to attack a mosque in the eastern city
of Dresden was Friday sentenced to nearly 10 years in jail for what prosecutors
called a xenophobic crime.
accused, Nino Koehler, had apologised during his trial to the imam and his
family. No one was hurt in the attack. The bomb damaged the door of the Fatih
mosque while the family were inside on September 26, 2016.
same evening, the accused planted another homemade pipe bomb that slightly
damaged a convention centre in the city, which was days away from hosting
festivities to mark 26 years since the reunification of east and west Germany.
attacks in Dresden, the capital of Saxony state and the birthplace of the
anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, shocked Germany. The city's district court found
Koehler guilty of attempted murder, setting off explosives and attempted
judge sentenced him to nine years and eight months in jail.
him during the trial of harbouring racist and Islamophobic motives, and media
reports said he had railed against "lazy Africans" and "criminal
foreigners" at a past PEGIDA rally.
who was arrested in December 2016, told the judge that he never meant to hurt
in Germany's ex-communist east, has become a hotspot for far-right protests and
hate crimes after more than a million asylum seekers arrived in Europe's
biggest economy since 2015.
French call for further negotiations with Iran over its nuclear accord is
“bullying and excessive,” its foreign ministry said Friday, according to the
Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that, following the US
pullout from the agreement, Tehran should be ready to negotiate on its future
nuclear plans, its ballistic missile arsenal and its role in wars in Syria and
is no reason, need, reliability or trust for negotiations on issues that are
non-negotiable,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi also said, according
the Syrian armed forces are preparing to launch a full-scale offensive to
retake the northern province of Idlib, Russia says the Syrian troops have the
full right to go after and hunt the terrorists out of the last stronghold of
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday the Syrian army has every right
“to protect its sovereignty and to drive out, liquidate the terrorist threat on
also noted that talks were underway to set up humanitarian corridors in the
this area, in this de-escalation zone, there must be a separation of the armed
opposition, ready for dialogue with the government, from terrorists of Jabhat
al-Nusra [now known as Tahrir al-Sham] and other organizations recognized as
terrorist by the UN Security Council. Terrorists oppose such separation,"
Wednesday, Lavrov had described the Idlib-based militants as a “festering
abscess” which must be liquidated, RIA news agency reported.
Syrian army’s large-scale operation will be aimed at retaking a province of
three million population.
Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said Thursday the UN estimates put
the number of terrorists remaining in Idlib province at 10,000, stressing that
they must be defeated.
Mistura admitted that the terrorists in Idlib may use chemical weapons during
the Syrian army’s operation, echoing a concern earlier raised by Russia, which
warned the terrorists may launch the chemical attack to frame the Syrian
government, giving Western powers a pretext to launch a new raid on Syria.
the Syrian army is getting prepared for the operation, Idlib-based militants
reportedly blew up two key bridges in an attempt to slow down the government’s
attack, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.
bridges over the Orontes River linked Idlib to areas of neighboring Hama
province, which is controlled by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
were the two main bridges in the area, but there are others," Observatory
head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
has rejected the French foreign minister’s call for talks on Tehran’s missile
program and regional policies, saying the West has left no trust for Iran to
sit for talks on non-nuclear issues.
a statement on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the
remarks by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Iran’s missile program
and regional policies were “undue concerns” founded on a misunderstanding or
lack of knowledge about Iran.
Drian told a Thursday gathering of EU foreign ministers in Vienna that Iran
must respect the fundamentals of the 2015 nuclear deal and should be prepared
to negotiate on its future nuclear plans, ballistic missile arsenal and alleged
meddling in conflicts across the Middle East.
"cannot avoid discussions, negotiations on three other major subjects that
worry us — the future of Iran’s nuclear commitments after 2025, the ballistic
question and the fact that there is a sort of ballistic proliferation on the
part of Iran… and the role Iran plays to stabilize the whole region," he
said Iran had always proved that it was not afraid of talks and that it
strongly believed in dialogue.
nuclear talks revealed Iran’s good faith and commitment to the principle of
negotiation, and could in turn serve as a yardstick against which to measure
the West’s commitment to its pledges, he noted.
he added, the West failed to live up to its commitments after US President
Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal - the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - while other parties stood idle and
comprehensive efforts by Iran and other world powers were simply foiled by the
bullying and greedy behaviors of the US – an ally of France – and the
Europeans’ failure to stand against them, Qassemi went on to say.
current circumstances … there is no reason, need, reliability or trust for
holding fresh talks on any topic, let alone non-negotiable issues,” he said.
Iranian spokesman also noted that Le Drian is aware that the Europeans
currently have no other way but to fulfill their pledges under the deal.
and the Iranians also have no other option but to remain distrustful until the
pledges are met,” he added.
also said that the world and the French politicians well know the Islamic
Republic’s policies are aimed at establishing peace and security in the region
as well as fighting terrorism and extremism.
Dutch police were investigating Saturday a suspected terror attack at
Amsterdam’s Central Station, in which two people were stabbed before the
knifeman was shot by police.
assailant was identified as an 19-year-old Afghan man with a German residency
are seriously taking into account that there was a terrorist motive,” Amsterdam
police spokesman Frans Zuiderhoek told AFP.
witnesses described scenes of panic as gunshots rang out and thousands of
commuters and tourists were evacuated from the rail terminals shortly after
man in the west side tunnel of Amsterdam Central Station stabbed two other
people and directly after that he was shot by the police,” another police
spokesman Rob van der Veen said, adding terrorism was not being ruled out by
two people are very badly injured, and they were brought to the hospital,” he
are looking at all scenarios, also the worst scenario, which is terrorism.”
witness said he saw a young man “stumble” into his flower shop at the station
with a bleeding wound to his hand.
afterwards I heard some shots and I know something has gone badly wrong,”
Richard Snelders told the ANP news agency. A while later he saw another man lying
on the ground nearby, he said.
first thing that comes up in your mind is that it’s a terror attack. After all,
you are at Amsterdam Central Station. There was a lot of panic,” Snelders said.
quickly arrived at the scene with video images showing police ordering the
suspect in English to “stay down” after he had been shot.
posted on social media showed security guards ushering passengers toward exits
and paramedics arriving at the scene with stretchers.
spokesman Zuiderhoek said the knifeman’s condition was not life-threatening,
but that he had been shot in the lower body.
this moment he is under police custody in hospital. He is being questioned
about his motive,” Zuiderhoek added.
police were also in close contact with their German counterparts in regards to
the suspect’s background, he added.
platforms at the station — located in the Dutch capital’s historic canal-ringed
city center — had been evacuated and closed off to passengers, police said, and
were reopened for rail traffic two hours later.
special police department opened a routine probe into why police shot the man.
Netherlands has so far been spared from the slew of terror attacks which have
rocked its closest European neighbors in the past few years.
amid a number of scares and reports that people linked to some of those attacks
may have crossed briefly into the country, top Dutch security and intelligence
officials have stressed that the threat level is substantial.
declined to speculate on the reasons for Friday’s incident, but the Afghan
Taliban in a statement Thursday called for attacks on Dutch troops following
plans by Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders to stage a Prophet Muhammad
cartoon competition in the Dutch parliament.
who received several death threats has since canceled the competition which has
angered Muslims and sparked protests, saying he wanted to “avoid the risk of
making people victims of Islamist violence.”
A supporter of the Daesh group who plotted to kill British Prime Minister
Theresa May received a prison sentence of at least 30 years Friday from a judge
who called him “a very dangerous individual.”
Zakariyah Rahman was convicted last month in London of planning to bomb the
entry gates to the prime minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street. Prosecutors
said he intended to then kill the guards there and to attack May with a knife
21, was arrested in November after collecting a backpack he was led to think
contained explosives supplied by other Daesh adherents. The fellow sympathizers
with whom he had communicated were actually undercover intelligence agents.
to his arrest, Rahman was referred to a government de-radicalization program,
but nonetheless plotted his attack over the course of two years, according to
prosecutors. They said two of Rahman’s uncles had been jailed in Britain for
funding terrorism, while another was killed in a drone strike in Syria.
Charles Haddon-Cave sentenced Rahman to life in prison with no chance of parole
for 30 years.
said Rahman believed he had obtained a real bomb that was “capable of causing
casualties on a scale comparable to those caused at the Manchester Arena,”
where a suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert killed 22 people in 2017.
nations call for renewed push against terrorism
18-point Kathmandu Declaration was issued at the end of the two-day 4th Bay of
Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation summit
on Friday, which was attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina among others.
declaration is expected to enhance the effectiveness of BIMSTEC Secretariat by
engaging it in technical and economic activities in the region.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, the current chair of BIMSTEC, gave a closing
speech after handing over the chairmanship of the next BIMSTEC summit to Sri
Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.
18 commitments below:
Recall the principles enshrined in the 1997 Bangkok Declaration and reemphasise
that cooperation within BIMSTEC will be based on respect for the principles of
sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence,
non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit.
Agree to intensify our efforts to realise the objectives and purposes of
BIMSTEC as embodied in the 1997 Bangkok Declaration, and reiterate our pledge
to work collectively towards making BIMSTEC a stronger, more effective and
result-oriented organisation for achieving a peaceful, prosperous and
sustainable Bay of Bengal Region.
Resolve to achieve, leveraging on BIMSTEC’s unique position as a bridge linking
South and Southeast Asia, an enhanced level of economic and social development
in the region, and remain fully committed to consolidate and deepen cooperation
among Member States towards transforming our organisation into an effective
platform to promote peace, prosperity and sustainability.
Deplore terrorist attacks in all parts of the world including in BIMSTEC
countries and strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations
wherever and by whomsoever committed and stress that there can be no
justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. Affirm that the fight
against terrorism should target not only terrorists, terror organisations and
networks but also identify and hold accountable States and non-State entities
that encourage, support or finance terrorism, provide sanctuaries to terrorists
and terror groups and falsely extol their virtues. Reiterate our strong commitment
to combat terrorism and call upon all countries to devise a comprehensive
approach in this regard which should include preventing financing of terrorists
and terrorist actions from territories under their control, blocking
recruitment and cross-border movement of terrorists, countering radicalisation,
countering misuse of internet for purposes of terrorism and dismantling
terrorist safe havens.
Repose our faith unequivocally in the principles and purposes of the Charter of
the United Nations and strive to strengthen the multilateral system by
reforming its rules, institutions and instruments to make it relevant to
contemporary global challenges and agree to work together to present a
collective voice to safeguard our collective interests for a fair, just,
rule-based, equitable and transparent world order.
Decide to task the BIMSTEC Secretariat to prepare a preliminary draft of the
charter for the organisation, building on the 1997 Bangkok Declaration,
defining a long-term vision and priorities for cooperation, clearly delineating
roles and responsibilities of different layers of institutional structure and
decision-making processes, for consideration by the BIMSTEC Permanent Working
Committee (BPWC) and other higher bodies with a view to adopting it by the
Fifth Summit; and agree to task the BPWC to develop the Rules of Procedure
(RoP) for the BIMSTEC Mechanisms.
Decide to establish a BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee to deal with
administrative and financial matters of the Secretariat and the BIMSTEC Centres
and Entities, as well as to prepare schedule of meetings, prioritise and
rationalise the organisation’s activities.
Direct the relevant Ministries/national agencies of our respective governments
to explore the possibility of establishing a BIMSTEC Development Fund (BDF), at
an appropriate time, with voluntary contributions from the Member States, which
will be utilised for research and planning of BIMSTEC and financing of
projects, programmes and other activities of BIMSTEC Centres and Entities as
agreed upon by the Member States.
Agree to enhance the institutional capacity of the BIMSTEC Secretariat,
including through financial and human resources, in order to enable it to
coordinate, monitor and facilitate implementation of BIMSTEC activities and
programmes; and initiate project proposals as agreed by the Member States as
well as fulfil any other responsibility entrusted to it in an effective and
efficient manner and agree to raise the numbers of Directors to seven, one from
each Member State, in a staggered manner.
Acknowledge the importance of enhancing the visibility and stature of BIMSTEC
in international fora by, inter alia, forging common positions, as appropriate,
on issues of common interest and seeking group recognition in various
multilateral organisations, institutions and processes.
Emphasise the need to accelerate progress in the core areas of cooperation and
to review, restructure and rationalise the existing areas of BIMSTEC
cooperation and streamline the operational modalities for activities,
implementation of programmes and projects under BIMSTEC for bringing out
tangible results. Welcome Thailand’s concept paper on the Reprioritisation of
BIMSTEC Pillars of Cooperation proposing to streamline to five pillars which
will be subjected to further discussion in the BIMSTEC Permanent Working
Agree to take up on priority basis the legal documents and instruments that are
pending for internal approval process for finalisation and ratification.
Commend the role of Lead Countries for the progress made in the respective
sectors, as annexed to this declaration, and encourage them to accelerate their
efforts to make further progress.
Express our appreciation for former Secretary-General Sumith Nakandala’s
valuable contribution in advancing the work of BIMSTEC during his tenure and
welcome the appointment of M Shahidul Islam of Bangladesh as the Secretary
General of BIMSTEC.
Convey deep appreciation to Nepal for the able stewardship of BIMSTEC from
March 2014 and welcome Sri Lanka as the new Chair of BIMSTEC.
Reiterate the commitment to timely holding of Summit and other meetings of the
BIMSTEC mechanisms to intensify the process of regional cooperation.
Agree to make our directives, commitments and statements of our positions on
sectoral review expressed at the Annexure as part of this Declaration.
Express our sincere appreciation to the Government of Nepal for the warm
hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the Summit.
Chief Executive of the Government of National Unity Abdullah Abdullah met with
the Commander of the NATO Joint Force Command Brunssum General Riccardo Marchiò
Office of the Chief Executive in a statement said Mr. Abdullah and Gen. Marchiò
met in Sapidar Palace in Kabul on Thursday.
statement further added that Mr. Abdullah welcomed Gen. Marchiò to Kabul as he
thanked NATO for its active presence and contribution in Afghanistan to combat
terrorism and support the Afghan National Defense and Security Force.
his turn, Gen. Marchiò expressed satisfaction regarding the developments
achieved by the Afghan forces and reaffirmed NATO’s long term support to
also added that NATO remains committed to support, equip, and bolster the
capabilities of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces who are
fighting in frontline against terrorism.
least ten militants were killed or wounded during an airstrike conducted by the
U.S. forces in southeastern Paktia province of Afghanistan.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast said Thursday that
the latest airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of Syed Karam district.
to a statement released by the Thunder Corps, the coalition forces targeted the
militants in the vicinity of Kohsin area of the district.
statement further added that four militants were killed and six others were
wounded during the airstrike.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
has been among the relatively calm provinces but the security situation of the
province has started to deteriorate during the recent years as reports often
emerge of the militants activities including coordinated attacks on security
ISIS affiliate detonated a roadside bomb in eastern Nangarhar province killing
five border police and wounding four others, a statement issued Friday by the
insurgent group said.
vehicle carrying the officers struck the mine in Achin District on Thursday,
police officer Qais Saifi told The Associated Press.
before ISIS issued its statement claiming responsibility, Safi had suspected the
group, saying it regularly plants roadside bombs to target Afghan officials and
has a strong presence in Nangarhar, where Afghan and US support troops have
targeted their outposts.
as the ISIS in Khorasan province, an ancient name for large swaths of
Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia, the insurgent group has carried out a
number of blistering attacks in recent months in Afghanistan.
was an ISIS bomber who walked into the middle of a group of high school
students earlier this month while they took their university entrance exam in
the capital Kabul, killing 34. The dead were all under 20 years old and mostly
ISIS affiliate has warned Afghanistan’s minority Shiites that they are targets.
The radical ISIS views Shiites as apostates.
to the ISIS statement, an explosive device was detonated and a police Humvee
was destroyed. It said another explosive device was detonated among those
troops who came to the scene killing five of them, including a squadron leader,
and wounding five others.
officials reported only one explosion.
statement also said ISIS soldiers killed a pro-government militia leader in
in Afghanistan, a van hit a roadside mine in northeaster Kunar province, killing
three people and wounding 16 others Wednesday, said Abdul Ghani Musamim,
spokesman for the provincial governor.
army uses fake photos of 'Muslims killing Buddhists' in book on Rohingya crisis
by Myanmar’s army, a new book on the Rohingya crisis contains numerous
misrepresented photographs, including one image that incorrectly claims to be
members of the Muslim minority killing Buddhists.
177-page Myanmar Politics and the Tatmadaw: Part I features the army’s
narrative on the military crackdown which was recently described as genocide by
United Nations investigators.
of the book’s content is sourced from the military's “True News” information
unit, which since the beginning of the crisis has distributed the army’s
version of events, mostly in Facebook posts.
an investigation by the Reuters press agency found many of the photographs
contained within the publication had been completely removed from their
which depicts a man holding a farming tool standing over two bodies, is
captioned: “Bengalis killed local ethnics brutally,”.
the photograph was actually taken in Dhaka during Bangladesh's 1971
independence war, when hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis were killed by
book attempts to paint Rohingya, who regard themselves as native to western
Myanmar, as interlopers and illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, repeatedly
referring to them as “Bengalis”.
faded black-and-white image shows a crowd of people, who appear to be on a long
march with their backs bent over, apparently a depiction of Rohingya arriving
in Myanmar before 1948.
intruded into the country after the British Colonialism occupied the lower part
of Myanmar,” the caption reads.
the picture is instead a distorted version of a 1996 image of refugees fleeing
genocide in Rwanda.
grainy photo, captioned “Bengalis entered Myanmar via the watercourse,” is
actually a 2015 image of Rogingya leaving Myanmar by boat in their tens of
thousands for Thailand and Malaysia.
book is on sale at bookstores across Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon.
member of staff at Innwa, one of the biggest bookshops in the city, said the 50
copies the store ordered had sold out, but there was no plan to order more.
many people came looking for it,” added the bookseller, who declined to be
than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh and
other neighbouring countries amid persecution in recent years.
UN has said it found evidence of extrajudicial killings, gang rapes and arson
as the army lashed back at attacks by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army insurgents
in a “grossly disproportionate” reaction.
the introduction to the book the writer, listed as Lieutenant Colonel Kyaw Kyaw
Oo, says the text was compiled using “documentary photos” with the aim of
“revealing the history of Bengalis”.
More than 15 people from the North Coimbatore Ahlay Sunnath Jama-ath petitioned
senior police officers on Friday, seeking action against the National
Investigation Agency (NIA) officers, who allegedly disturbed 120 children, who
were learning Arabic in a madrasa at KK Pudur, where they conducted a raid on
the previous day.
had on Thursday raided the house belonging to S Mohammed Rafiqul Hassan, a
friend of Mubarak, the alleged mastermind behind the sensational murder of
Hindu Munnani spokesperson Sasikumar in 2016. An Arabic Madarasa functions at
the house now.
Rafiqul Hassan had settled in Oman in November 2016 along with his family. His
father Shajahan also settled there three months ago. The petitioners said that
Shajahan was co-operating with NIA. “He is abroad on vacation. NIA is trying to
damage his reputation,” the petition said.TNN
Hizbul Mujahideen militants on Friday released two policemen, one SPO and 11
relatives of Jammu & Kashmir police personnel taken in a rash of abductions
since Wednesday that were set off by the arrests of four relatives of
militants, including the father of Hizb commander Riyaz Naiko. The unofficial
prisoner swap is a rare quid pro quo in Kashmir’s violent past.
Hizb let the 14 captives go after the J&K police had released the militants’
arrested kin. Sources later said police had arrested other relatives of
militants as well and that they, too, had been released.
militants also disseminated on social media separate videos of all 14 persons
in which they are seen appealing to state DGP S P Vaid not to harass the
families of militants. “Otherwise provide security to us,” Irfan Gulzar, a
sub-Inspector, is heard saying in a video.
J&K CM and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti condemned the abductions. “Militants
and forces victimising each other’s families is highly condemnable and marks a
new low in our situation. Families shouldn’t become casualties and made to
suffer for something they have little control over,” she tweeted.
in the day, NC vice-president Omar Abdullah had termed the situation as
“worrying”. “11 abductions! This is a very worrying reflection of the situation
in the valley. What’s worse is the selective outrage — people/leaders who are
so vocal about alleged security force excesses are silent about these
abductions,” he tweeted.
arrested at least 4 relatives of militants The only statement from the police
was a Twitter statement confirming “some abductions” had taken place. “Some
incidents of abduction have come to the notice of Police in #South Kashmir,”
the Jammu & Kashmir police said in a tweet.
are ascertaining details and circumstances. In due course it shall be placed in
the public domain,” the tweet added.
police had arrested at least four relatives of militants, including Assadullah
Naiko, father of Hizb commander Riyaz Naiko, who had been taken into custody on
Wednesday night from his home at Beighpora in Awantipora, in south Kashmir’s
Naikoo, alias Mohammad bin Qasim, is Hizb chief of operations. Ghulam Hassan
and his two brothers, Zubair and Nadeem Ahmad, kin of active Hizb militant
Lateef Tiger, had been arrested from their residence in Dogripora Pulwama
during a Wednesday night raid.
said all four persons were released on Friday.
police personnel set free by the militants are sub-inspector Irfan Gulzar of
Rahomo Pulwama and constable Shabir Ahmad Zargar of Kangan Pulwama, and Javed
Ahmad Dar, special police officer at DPL, Pulwama.
After terrorists released the eleven relatives of policemen whom they had
abducted from various places in South Kashmir on Friday, security forces
released new list terrorists those of who were operating in the valley. The hit
list includes top terrorists from Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Hizbul Mujahideen
(HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Al Badr, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.
the terrorists have freed three out of the 11 kidnapped in the past 36 hours.
This came into effect after police released the father of Hizbul Mujahideen‘s
operational commander and one of the most-wanted terrorists Riyaz Naikoo.
Earlier, few sources reported that all the policemen’s kin abducted were freed
by the terrorists.
Mujahideen tops the list with 7 commanders named by the security forces in
their hit list, followed by LeT with 6 terrorists, Al Badr with 1, JeM with 2
and Ansar Gazwat Ul Hind with 1.
seven District Commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen are Riyaz Naikoo Alias Mohammad
Bin Qasim, Saifullah Alias Abu Musaib, Zeenat Ul Islam Alias Usmaan, Hilal
Alias Abu Maaz (replaced by Altaf Kachroo), Adil Bhat Alais Abu Umair Al Hizbi
and Manan Wani Alias Abu Hamza.
forces in Jammu and Kashmir have released a list of most-wanted terrorists
active in the state. Sources say this is part of a larger strategy of the
security forces to act against terror outfits. They say this is an extension of
the 'Operation All Out' under which a number of top terrorists, including
Burhan Wani, were killed in the past two years. The list comprise names of 17
terrorists from Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Al Badar, Jaish-e-Mohammad
and Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind.
list includes terrorists like Zakir Moosa (who is categorised as a A++
terrorist) and top Hizbul commander Riyaz Naikoo, who is believed to be active
in Pulwama region of South Kashmir.
Thursday, terrorists have abducted at least 10 family members of policemen in
Jammu and Kashmir. On Thursday morning, the National Investigation Agency
arrested Syed Shakeel Ahmad, son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, in
a terror funding case.
MOST WANTED TERRORISTS
Commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen
Riyaz Naikoo Alias Mohammad Bin Qasim
Saifullah Alias Abu Musaib
Zeenat Ul Islam Alias Usmaan
Hilal Alias Abu Maaz
Adil Bhat Alais Abu Umair Al Hizbi
Manan Wani Alias Abu Hamza
commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba
Firdous Alias Abu Hanzalla
Azad Malik Alias Abu Zaid
of Al Badar:
Arjumand Gulzar alias Faisal Bhai
a setback for the BJP government at the Centre, the Law Commission on Friday
said a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is neither necessary nor desirable at this
stage and rather recommended religion-wise amendments in Hindu, Muslim and
Christian personal laws to end discrimination against women within the
was one of the key promises of BJP ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Law Ministry
had in July 2016 asked the panel to study the scope and feasibility of
implementing UCC in India which was being demanded by Hindutva organizations
including the RSS.
Commission has dealt with laws that are discriminatory rather than providing a
uniform civil code which is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage. Most
countries are now moving towards recognition of difference, and the mere
existence of difference does not imply discrimination, but is indicative of a
robust democracy", said a consultation paper on reforms in family law
submitted by Law Commission Chairman Justice B S Chauhan to the Law Ministry.
essentially means unifying personal laws to bring one set of secular laws for
all citizens of India. Presently, Constitution allows most religions- including
Hindus, Muslims and Christians to regulate matters such as marriage, divorce
and inheritance through their own civil code.
government felt it is ending up in discrimination, especially of women in
various religious communities. The report was based on public opinion the panel
elicited through a questionnaire which received nearly a lakh responses.
many thought UCC would coexist with personal law, others thought that it was to
replace personal law. There were yet others who believed that a uniform civil
code would deny freedom of religion, it said.
report assumes significance against the backdrop of bodies like the All India
Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) refusing to even debate UCC. They had even
rejected the panel's questionnaire, terming it an "affront" on their
personal laws and even accused the law panel of behaving like an agent of the
Modi government Muslim community can draw relief from the fact that the report
said since issues such as polygamy, nikah halala are sub judice before SC, any
comprehensive changes on them have not been suggested at this stage.
the report however noted that recent SC judgment outlawing the practice of
triple talaq has taken a first step towards ending personal law practices that
are discriminatory towards women but largely on the premise that triple talaq
is also not an essential practice of Islam suggesting that bad in theology
cannot be good in law.
DELHI: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board welcomed the Law Commission’s
assertion that a Uniform Civil Code is ‘neither necessary nor desirable’ at
this stage, but made it clear that it was not open to changes and reforms in
the personal laws as suggested by the panel, saying it will happen only through
the social instruments.
organisations, on the other hand, supported the Commission’s suggestions for
codification of family laws and the emphasis on equal rights for women in
accordance with the Constitution. “The suggestion for reform and changes in
personal law are a progressive step. We have been demanding for long
codification of the family laws and the consultation paper also says so,” Zakia
Soman from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan said.
Raja from National Federation of Indian Women said it is significant that the
law panel has made the point that UCC is not necessary at this stage. “It is
good that the Commission had highlighted the lacunae in different personal laws
that need to be addressed. Having said that I would like to say that just the
suggestion for reform in personal laws is not enough. The Law Commission must
initiate the process for dialogue to make equality and equal rights for women a
reality,” Raja added.
Delhi court on Friday sent the second son of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed
Salahuddin to National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody till September 10.
District Judge Poonam A Bamba allowed the plea of the probe agency for the
custody of 48-year-old Syed Ahmed Shakeel till September 10.
second son of the globally-wanted terrorist, Salahuddin, was arrested yesterday
by the NIA in connection with a 2011 terror funding case for allegedly
receiving money from his father.
with a non-bailable warrant from a Delhi court, the NIA officials, accompanied
by the state police and CRPF, placed 48-year-old Syed Ahmed Shakeel under
arrest at Rambagh locality in Srinagar yesterday when he was on his way to
Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science, where he works as a senior
was then brought to the national capital and produced before a duty magistrate
last evening, which sent to a day’s NIA custody with a direction to produce him
before the concerned judge today.
is the second son of Salahuddin who has been arrested by the NIA in connection
with the case. Earlier this year, his other son, Shahid, who was working in the
agricultural department of the Jammu and Kashmir government, was also arrested
in the same case.
probe agency had claimed that during investigation, the involvement of Shakeel
had surfaced in raising, receiving, collecting funds from terrorist
organisation through its active cadres from Saudi Arabia.
had also claimed that Shakeel had received money through Western Union several
times which were sent by absconding chargesheeted accused Aijaz Ahmad Bhat
alias Aijaz Maqbool Bhat.
probe showed that Shakeel, the eldest son of Syed Salahuddin, self-styled chief
of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terror group, had received funds from various countries
from the operatives of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
case, registered by the NIA in April 2011, relates to transfer of money from
Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir through hawala channels via Delhi, which the
agency believed was used in funding terrorism and secessionist activities.
NIA has so far filed two charge sheets against six people including G M Bhat, a
close aide of pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Siddiq
Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga. All four are in judicial
others — Mohammed Maqbool Pandit and Bhat — were also charge sheeted by the NIA
but they are absconding and an Interpol Red Corner notice has been issued
this case, so far, three accused persons Mohammad Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani
Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga have been convicted after they pleaded guilty.
father Mohammed Yusuf Shah — better known as Syed Salahuddin — was declared a
Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of State. Besides
heading terror outfit Hizb-ul Mujahideen, he is the chairman of the United
Jehad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of terrorist outfits operating in the
NIA had also registered two others cases related to terror funding — one in
November 2011 and the other in May this year. It had filed a charge sheet
against 10 people including Syed Salahuddin in the April 2011 case.
wants to give PM Imran a chance to improve Pak-India relations: Pentagon
United States (US) Pentagon official said that the Trump administration wants
to give Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s government a chance to improve
Department of Defence (DOD) Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Assistant
Defence Secretary Randall Schriver said, “We want to give him [PM Khan] space
to find the opportunities to improve things with India.”
cut in the financial assistance provided to Pakistan is also expected to
continue,” he added.
emphasised, “What I said about giving him space was really in the context of
the India-Pakistan relationship.”
would certainly like to give him space to make the right decisions on a variety
of things,” he remarked.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said his government would review all
international agreements it inherited from the last Pakistan Muslim League
(PML-N) government and asked critics to bear with him for three months for
stated this during a meeting with a select group of anchorpersons at the Prime
Minister House. The issues that came under discussion were the accountability
of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders, use of official helicopters
by the family of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, a verbal clash between
Khawar Maneka, ex-husband of the first lady, and Pakpattan District Police
Office (DPO) Rizwan Gondal, remarks by Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul
Hassan Chohan against a film star, alleged misuse of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
government’s official chopper by PM Khan, etc.
no official statement on the meeting was issued, its details were shared by the
prime minister was quoted as saying: “Give our government three months before
criticising its performance.” He claimed that in three months, there would be a
marked difference in the way the country was currently run.
if his government would wrap up all alleged controversial international
agreements inked by the last government, the prime minister said he would
review all such accords made by his predecessors.
Minister Fawad Chaudhry later told Dawn that Imran Khan had not said that he
would abolish the international agreements but review all of them.
prime minister informed the media persons about his eight-hour meeting with the
military top brass at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and said Chief of
the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and the entire military establishment had
assured him of their full support for the PTI-led government at the Centre.
Khan also briefed the anchorpersons on his recent meeting with National
Accountability Bureau chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal and said the
government wanted across-the-board accountability. Mr Khan, who is also facing
a NAB case relating to misuse of the KP government’s helicopter, said he had
asked the NAB chief to continue the indiscriminate accountability process in
the country. About the cases of other PTI leaders, the premier said he was not
responsible for the past of his party’s leaders and ministers and promised that
he would not spare anyone of them if they were found involved in corruption.
to a question about the use of official chopper for travelling from the PM
House to his residence at Banigala, Mr Khan said he used the helicopter to
avoid causing traffic jams because of official and security protocol of the
defended the appointment of Usman Buzdar as Punjab chief minister and said:
“Those who are criticising him [Buzdar] today will appreciate him after three
reiterated that he would turn the palatial PM House into an educational
institution, saying the government’s austerity campaign was under way.
the transfer of the Pakpattan DPO after the altercation with Khawar Maneka, the
prime minister backed his wife’s former husband and said: “The police officers
trained guns at Khawar Maneka and his family.” He said he was satisfied with
the Supreme Court’s notice taken on the incident.
subservient to government
Chaudhry told media persons at a separate event that the army chief had assured
the prime minister that like all other institutions the army was also
subservient to the government and bound to implement all decisions to be taken
by the government. The government and the army were on the same page, he added.
to him, Imran Khan said during the meeting at the GHQ that the government alone
could not meet the gigantic challenges and needed a joint strategy and efforts
of all institutions to cope up with these.
the prime minister in the NAB case of misuse of KP government’s official
helicopter, Fawad Chaudhry said Mr Khan had not misused the official chopper,
but former chief minister Pervez Khattak. “Not Imran Khan but Mr Khattak was
accused of misusing the official chopper. However, Mr Khattak was of the view
that he used the helicopter for inspecting provincial government’s projects,”
said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children had also misused PM
House’s two aircraft and Punjab government’s helicopters for which a notice
would soon be served on them. “Hassan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz used official
helicopter of the Punjab government that caused a loss of around Rs24 million.
We will serve them a notice to recover the money,” he maintained.
information minister said the family of former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz
Sharif had also used official helicopters for personal visits and the expenses
borne by the state on these trips were higher than the losses caused by the
defended Imran Khan for using the official chopper to travel between the PM
House and his residence at Banigala and said it cost Rs55 per nautical mile. He
opened Google in his mobile phone and showed reporters the estimates regarding
the traveling cost by helicopter. “However, these expenses exclude pilot’s fee
and maintenance cost of the chopper,” he said.
with MQM delegation
Minister Imran Khan held separate meetings with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and
a delegation of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and discussed with them
issues facing the province and Karachi.
prime minister reiterated his commitment to ridding the citizens of Karachi of
multiple problems such as water scarcity and prolonged loadshedding and poor
MQM delegation included federal ministers Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Farogh
Naseem and Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar.
As Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday vowed to further strengthen
Pakistan-Iran ties, the government expressed unequivocal support for Iran’s
position on its troubled nuclear deal with the West that has been abandoned by
the United States and urged the other parties to the agreement to remain
committed to it.
to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who is the first foreign leader to
visit Pakistan after the assumption of office by the PTI-led coalition
government, PM Khan recalled the “inseparable bonds” connecting Pakistan and
Iran together and said that during his government he would make all efforts “to
cement these relations in various areas to the benefit of both countries”.
the importance of Pakistan and Iran in the region, PM Khan said the two
countries “remained the key to growth and prosperity in the region through
enhancing connectivity and promoting people to people linkages”.
made a special outreach to the new government in a bid to reset the ties that
have suffered deep mistrust over the past decades. Iran’s President Hassan
Rouhani soon after Mr Khan’s inauguration sent in a felicitations message.
Zarif delivered an invitation to PM Khan for the upcoming Asian Cooperation
Dialogue (ACD) summit in Iran, which is scheduled to be held in October 2018.
Khan thanked the Iranian supreme leader’s support for Kashmiris’ struggle for
their right to self-determination as well as for the manner in which Pakistan’s
Independence Day was celebrated in Iran, the PM’s Office said in a statement.
this year celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day in an unprecedented manner displaying
large greetings hoardings along major highways in Iranian cities and electronic
screens in their public transport system.
stage for better ties was set last year when Pakistan and Iran started
cooperating on border security. The improved border security situation was
mentioned during Mr Zarif’s meeting with his counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
expressing satisfaction over cooperation with regard to the Pakistan-Iran
border, it was agreed to continue close consultations through various forums in
this regard,” the Foreign Office said.
Qureshi in his meeting with his Iranian counterpart expressed strong support
for Iranian position on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as
Iranian nuclear deal from which the US has exited.
regards JCPOA, while supporting Iran’s principled stance, Mr Qureshi expressed
the hope that remaining parties to the agreement would uphold their commitments
in letter and spirit. This was important given IAEA’s repeated verification
that Iran has strictly adhered to the terms of agreement,” the FO said.
has been a consistent supporter of Iranian position on its nuclear row with the
West. Islamabad believes that all countries should have access to nuclear
technology for peaceful purposes. The statement was, therefore, in line with
Pakistan’s longstanding position on the matter.
foreign ministers agreed to hold the next rounds of Bilateral Political
Consultations and the Joint Economic Commission at early dates. “Useful
exchange of views on strengthening cooperation in economic, trade and
connectivity sectors, cultural and people to people links, took place,” the FO
Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Nakane and Foreign
Minister Qureshi in their meeting agreed to increasing bilateral contacts to
revitalise the relationship between the two countries.
Foreign Minister acknowledged the position of Japan as an important development
partner. While recognising the economic assistance provided by Japan, he
invited Japanese investment in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and assured
facilitation to Japanese investors in all the sectors. The Foreign Minister
emphasised the need to correct the balance of trade, which is currently heavily
tilted in favour of Japan,” the FO said about their meeting.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke over the
phone on Friday, but after a drama over the scheduling of the call.
prime minister was in a meeting with a group of journalists when President
Macron first called. On being told by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua about
it, the prime minister asked her to get the pre-scheduled call rescheduled.
calls between the heads of states and governments are usually scheduled well in
advance. It seldom happens that the staff of a head of government or state get
an unexpected call from another leader, requesting a conversation. The request
for conversation is initiated by the embassy of the country whose leader wishes
to speak, while explaining the proposed agenda and reasons for the call. If the
receiving leader agrees then the two sides work it into their busy schedules,
according to diplomatic protocols for high-level conversations.
to a diplomatic source, the call was pre-scheduled. Foreign Office spokesman Dr
Muhammad Faisal did not respond when he was asked by Dawn about the veracity of
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi later told a journalist that “we had sought time
adjustment because the prime minister was in a meeting”.
two leaders later spoke, according to a source. Details of the conversation
were not shared with the media.
and the Netherlands, meanwhile, agreed to continue to work together against
Islamophobia and activities that promote religious hatred.
agreement was reached during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister
Qureshi and his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok.
Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi noted that the timely efforts made by
the two governments helped in achieving the desired result. He stressed on the
need to work together to raise awareness and limiting the disturbing trend of
Islamophobia, incitement to racial and religious hatred, and building bridges
among civilisations,” the FO said.
anti-Islam Dutch legislator Geert Wilders, who was organising a sketch contest
hurtful to Muslims, cancelled the event amid mass protests in Pakistan.
Minister Qureshi had also lodged strong protest with Mr Blok a few days back,
urging him to disallow the planned activity on the premises of Dutch
parliament. PM Khan also issued a video statement condemning the planned
Wilders said he had cancelled the contest out of security concerns.
envoy Nawaf reiterates commitment to play role in further strengthening ties
Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan, Nawaf Saeed Bin Al Malkiy on Friday
reiterated the commitment to play role in further strengthening the fraternal ties
between the two brotherly countries.
his visit to Pakistan Embassy, Riyadh, he also discussed with Pakistan
Ambassador Khan Hasham Bin Saddique matters of mutual interest, a message
received here from Riyadh said.
Ambassadors walked into the newly constructed Consular Hall of the Embassy.
Ambassador Nawaf was briefed regarding details of available consular services
Ambassador appreciated the standard of the services and the ambience of the
present in the Consular Hall, especially Pakistani expatriates, were jubilant
to see the Saudi Ambassador among themselves. They gathered around the
Ambassador Nawaf and expressed their gratitude for Royal family and people of
Saudi Arabia. The Pakistani community also shared with the Ambassadors some of
the problems being faced by them, most importantly high family visa fee charged
by Saudi Embassy in Pakistan.
an environment of already strained Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations,
Pakistan on Friday decided to shut down closed its Jalalabad consulate in the
Afghan province of Nangarhar, citing repeated interventions committed by
Nagarhar Governor Hayatullah Hayat, Pakistan embassy in Kabul confirmed.
officials maintained that the intrusions are a violation of international law,
particularly the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.
to that, Pakistan embassy in Kabul has also recorded its protest over the
meddling with Afghan Foreign Office.
reiterated its demand to provide adequate security to the consulate and
demanded an end to the interruptions in diplomatic affairs committed at the
on August 28, Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini in Senate had said that the
government has issued a statement Pakistan wishes to start the sharing of
information with Afghanistan which will include knowledge about the future
impact on water flow from Afghanistan but no response from the government of
Afghanistan was received.
August 17, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had that Pakistan gave medical
treatment to Taliban insurgents who were injured in recent fighting with Afghan
forces in the southeastern Ghazni city.
had accused that militants came from the Pakistani side of the border to
participate in the fighting.
had stated that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had
assured him cross-border insurgent activity would not be allowed.
In view of the upcoming month of Moharram, the security of the entire district
was put on red alert to provide complete protection to the mourning and
flagellation processions. The district administration formulated a
comprehensive security plan for the maintenance of peace and ensurance of
inter-faith harmony during the month of Moharram. This was stated by the Deputy
Commissioner (DC) Multan, Mudassir Riyaz Malik while addressing the District
Peace Committee at the Circuit House. The City Police Officer (CPO) Muneer
Masood, Additional Deputy Commissioner General Kareem Bakhsh, religious
scholars of various sects and members of Hindu and Christian communities
participated in the meeting.
addressing the meeting, the DC urged the religious scholars and members of
different sects to help the district government in maintaining peace and
harmony through the platform of peace committee. He said that a complete ban
would be imposed on the hate-speech, wall chalking and distribution of hateful
material and no one would be allowed to disrupt the peace process. He also
urged the Shia and Sunni scholars to avoid provocative speeches that might
spark violence and hatred among the various sects.
DC told the participants that all the arrangements were made for fixing
streetlights and removal of encroachments. All the matters related to the
cleanliness and sewerage would be resolved on priority basis, he added.
religious scholars from various sects who attended the meeting included Syed
Mohammad Ali Gardezi, Farooq Khan Saeedi, Qari Abdul Ghaffar Naqshbandi, Bilal
Attari and Maulana Abdul Haq. They assured cooperation to the district
government for the promotion of peace, harmony and brotherhood from the pulpits
of mosques and Imambargahs through their sermons. The district government also
directed the citizens to cooperate with police and security personnel during
the Moharran processions.
members of Hindu and Sikh communities would also cooperate with the district
government for maintenance of peace and taking care of the mourners. The
Chairman All Pakistan Minority Movement (APMM), Bishop Ashir Kamran, said that
the Christian brethren would set up stalls of water and juices (Sabeel) and
other edibles along the procession routes and outside Imambargahs to quench the
thirst of the mourners. He said that Moharram was the most appropriate occasion
for the display of inter-religious harmony.
blacklists Syria’s Tahrir al-Sham as Idlib operation looms
has designated the insurgent group Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization,
according to a presidential decision published on Friday, as Damascus prepares
for a military assault in northwest Syria where the group holds sway.
notice in the Official Gazette matches a decision by the United Nations in June
to add Tahrir al-Sham to the list of people and organizations whose assets are
to be frozen because of links to militant groups al Qaeda and ISIS.
comes before an expected attack by the Syrian army, backed by Russia, on the
northwestern Syrian region of Idlib which is home to nearly 3 million people on
the border with Turkey.
al-Sham, which includes the al Qaeda-linked group formerly known as Nusra
Front, is the most powerful militant alliance in Idlib, the last stronghold
outside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s control.
said on Friday the Syrian government had every right to chase terrorists out of
Idlib, adding that talks were underway to set up humanitarian corridors there.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last week it would be disastrous to seek
a military solution in Idlib, even though there were militants there.
which has a small military presence in Idlib, has warned an assault could
unleash a fresh wave of refugees.
is important for all of us to neutralize these radical groups,” he said. “But
we have to distinguish the civilians from the terrorist groups.”
Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday there was a high concentration
of foreign fighters in Idlib, including an estimated 10,000 who he said
belonged to Nusra Front and al Qaeda.
he said there should be no rush to military action and called for more time for
Russia, Turkey and Iran to discuss the situation in Idlib. Full story
decision to add Tahrir al-Sham to the list of designated groups was taken by
President Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara had already listed Nusra Front as a terrorist
is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani at a three-way summit in Iran on September, 7.
Forces Attack Palestinian Protesters in Gaza, Injure 240
least 240 Palestinians have been injured in attacks by Israeli forces on a
protest held in the Gaza Strip near the fence between the besieged enclave and
the occupied Palestinian territories.
al-Qedra, the spokesman of Gaza Health Ministry, reported that Israeli forces
attacked Palestinians on Friday. The wounded include three medics and a
spokesman added that 82 of the injured were transferred to hospital.
10-year-old boy and a female medic, Shorouk Abu Mesameh, were in critical
have been running high near the fence since March 30, which marked the start of
a series of protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters
demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with
Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem
fire has taken the lives of more than 170 Palestinians since March 30.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
number of the Houthi militia commanders were killed during intense fighting
with the Yemeni National Army in the past two days in the frontier of
al-Malajim district in al-Bayda.
Yemeni army military source said that four of the Houthi commanders were killed
during the battles during the past two days, in al-Malajim.
source revealed that those who were killed are a supervisor of the special
operations of the militias in the Wahhabiya and al-Malajim, Ahmed Abdel Wahab
Hadi Hussein Hataba known as Abu Yasser Hataba, from the directorate of Saqin
in Saada province and Ali Ahmed Yahya Saleh Naji, known by the name Abu Fatah,
who is from Amran province.
also confirmed the death of Adham Hassan Abdullah Durjan and Adel Mohammed Naji
Hamoud Durjan, commanders of the reinforcements squad, which moved to al- Bayda
after being defeated in the area of Fadha.
Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has killed four
members of a terrorist group during clashes in the country’s southeastern
border with Pakistan.
a statement on Friday, the IRGC's Quds Force said the clashes with terrorists
occurred near the Iranian city of Saravan in Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province.
added that the terrorist team, affiliated to the global arrogance, sought to
enter the country from borders of a neighboring country with the intent of
carrying out "destructive and anti-security measures."
to the statement, three terrorists were also wounded in the clashes.
the past years, Iranian security forces and border guards have engaged in
clashes with terror groups, many of whom cross the country's borders with
Pakistan and Iraq to carry out attacks inside the country.
Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Monday the country's security
forces have disbanded two terrorist teams in the western parts of Iran.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Pakistan is an "important"
neighboring country to Iran, stressing that no third country can negatively
affect relations between the two countries.
a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi in
Islamabad on Friday, Zarif said Tehran sets no limitation to the expansion of
ties with Islamabad.
stressed the importance of improving mutual relations at regional and
international levels, saying the two countries must further strengthen
cooperation in the sectors of border security and banking as well as
cooperation between Iranian and Pakistani ports of Chabahar and Gwadar.
to a statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the government of Pakistan,
the newly-appointed Pakistani foreign minister, for his part, said Tehran and
Islamabad have potential for strengthening the already strong bilateral
relationship, adding that the two sides have stood by each other in difficult
added that both sides held detailed discussions about regional and global
issues, including the situation in Afghanistan and US decision to unilaterally
withdraw from the historic nuclear deal Iran signed with the P5+1 group of
countries in 2015.
of the United States Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May from the landmark
Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
Action (JCPOA), and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for
the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
statement also noted that the top Iranian and Pakistani diplomats agreed to
host the next rounds of bilateral political consultations and the joint
economic commission at early dates.
said the two sides exchanged useful views on ways to strengthen cooperation in
economic, cultural, trade and connectivity sectors and agreed to continue close
consultations on border security through various forums.
supported Iran's principled stance on the JCPOA and expressed hope that the
remaining parties to the agreement would uphold their commitments in letter and
emphasized that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly verified
that Iran had strictly adhered to the terms of the JCPOA and said Pakistan
stands with Iran in this hour of need.
Thursday, the IAEA once again reaffirmed Iran's full compliance with its
commitments under the Iran nuclear deal in the second such report after the US
stopped fulfilling its side of the bargain and left the multilateral agreement
in violation of international law.
and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access facilitates
implementation of the Additional Protocol and enhances confidence," it
Imran Khan urge enhanced ties
a meeting between the Iranian foreign minister and Pakistan's Prime Minister
Imran Khan, the two sides stressed the importance of developing cooperation in
and Imran Khan said Muslim countries should strengthen close cooperation to
solve issues related to the Muslim world and the region.
also called for enhanced efforts to establish peace and stability in all
regional countries and fight against terrorism and extremism.
Pakistani premier said his country welcomes any opportunity to improve all-out
relations with Iran, particularly in trade and economic sectors.
also emphasized that the two neighboring countries of Iran and Pakistan should
boost cooperation to counter any plot aimed at spreading Islamophobia.
ready for anti-terror cooperation with Pakistan: Zarif
a meeting with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the
Iranian foreign minister said the two countries must improve cooperation to
boost security in border areas and expressed Tehran's readiness to cooperate
with Islamabad in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
is a regional and global phenomenon and Iran is ready to cooperate with
Pakistan in this regard," Zarif said.
two sides also discussed ways to develop military and security cooperation and
expressed hope that Tehran and Islamabad would further increase relations given
their common goals, interests and border concerns.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will procure Russia's S-400 air
defense missile system "in the shortest time," paying no heed to
warnings issued by the US, a NATO partner.
needs S-400s and its deal has been done," Erdogan said at a graduation
ceremony for military officers in the western city of Balikesir on Friday.
willing, we will buy them in the shortest time," he stressed.
April 3, Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said in the Turkish
capital Ankara that they had agreed to expedite the delivery of S-400 missile
systems. The delivery had previously been scheduled for late 2019 and early
S-400 system, whose full name is the Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft
Missile System (AAMS), is an advanced Russian missile system designed to
detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers
away. It has previously been sold only to China and India.
and NATO officials strive to prevent the sophisticated Russian-built
anti-aircraft weapon system from collecting information about the US-made
all-weather stealth multirole warplanes, technically known as the Lockheed
Martin F-35 fighters, just as they are gaining a foothold in Europe.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis on August 28 said his country is concerned
about Turkey’s intent to purchase the S-400s, adding that Washington does “not
warned that any such acquisition would inevitably affect the prospects for
Turkish military-industrial cooperation with the US.
Erdogan on Friday said that Ankara "needed cooperation with other
countries as much as that with Europe and America."
purchase of the Russian missile system comes amid rising tensions between
Ankara and the US over the detention of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, in
Turkey over terror-related charges.
was indicted by a Turkish court on charges of having links with the Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group and the movement of the US-based opposition
cleric Fethullah Gulen. Ankara accuses Gulen of having masterminded the July
2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
spat has hit trade ties between the US and Turkey hard and affected the Turkish
economy. The lira has already lost about 30 percent of its value against the US
dollar since the beginning of August.
Yemen’s army, backed by the Arab Coalition, took full control of Al-Zaher
directorate, north-west of Saada province, after a large-scale military
operation, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.
military source told the Yemeni Ministry of Defense’s official website, September
26, that the army fully liberated Al-Zaher following clashes with the Houthi
to the source, dozens of Houthis were killed, including high ranking field
Democratic congressional candidate has drawn an analogy between US President
Donald Trump and former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, saying the two have
"a tremendous amount in common."
Casten, who is running for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, made the
comparison during the primary in February but the audio was published on the
Washington Free Beacon’s website on Thursday.
is said to have drawn the analogy when he was asked to address the gun violence
epidemic in the country and discuss the measures he would take to fight it if
he were elected.
don’t mean to sound overly hyperbolic in this. Trump and Osama bin Laden have a
tremendous amount in common,” Casten can be heard saying in the audio clip.
Democratic congressional hopeful then goes on to elaborate on what exactly he
believed those similarities to be between Trump and Bin Laden, who was the
al-Qaeda founder and the man allegedly responsible for the terrorist attacks
that claimed thousands of lives in the US on September 11, 2001.
they have both figured out how to use the bully pulpit to activate marginalized
young men. It's the same pool. Every demagogue has done this — find a group of
angry people and give them something to be angry at," the politician
has not come out with a comment on the leaked audio so far but his analogy has
faced criticism on behalf of Republican Party members in the state of Illinois.
September 11 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes
in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion in
property and infrastructure damage.
officials assert that the attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda terrorists but
many experts have raised questions about the official account, saying it was a
false-flag operation and that Bin Laden was just a bogeyman for the US
believe that rogue elements within the US government orchestrated or at least
encouraged the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and
advance the Zionist agenda.
comments come as Trump has already been compared with terrorist groups since
taking office at the White House.
February, American actress Whoopi Goldberg compared the Trump administration's
values to those of the Taliban, when criticizing the US president's
questionable record on his mistreatment of women.
in January, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is an outspoken critic of Trump, said
the US president’s language about Muslims was "very similar to the
rhetoric used by the so-called ISIS/Daesh."
Town Considers Blocking Muslim Cemetery Construction, Now The Feds Are
in May 2015, word spread like locusts that an Islamic cemetery was going to be
plotted on an unincorporated swath of acreage on the fringe of a small Texas
city called Farmersville.
were raw—just 30 miles away in Garland, Texas, police officers thwarted an
alleged attack by killing two Muslim Americans who traveled from Arizona to
open fire outside an exhibition titled “First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and
Contest” at the Curtis Culwell Center where images of the Prophet Muhammad were
locals ate away at the agendas of various city council meetings and a town hall
that year to air grievances, according to the minutes reviewed by Newsweek.
was ugly. But the bottom line is everybody got to have their say,” Farmersville
Police Chief Mike Sullivan told Newsweek of a meeting on August 4, 2015. “Some
people found out about [the cemetery] and the next thing you know it’s not a
cemetery but an Islamic training center, then it’s a mosque—the rumors
surrounding this whole thing was just insane.”
Islamic Association of Collin County (IACC) based in Plano, Texas, which
according to its website "offers worship, provides a variety of Islamic
education and offers various services to congregants and the local
community" purchased around 34 acres along U.S. Interstate 380 in 2015 and
twice went through submitting the requisite plans with Farmersville’s Planning
and Zoning (P & Z) Commission to develop a cemetery.
first attempt on May 28, 2015, initially was approved.
a month later, based on unspecified revisions that local engineers cited, the
cemetery was “disapproved,” records show and independently confirmed to
Newsweek by IACC’s legal counsel.
second attempt to gain approval was submitted back in June of last year, citing
drainage issues. The cemetery plans were put on ice a month later, according to
between the city and IACC convened, but no deal was hashed out.
September, the Department of Justice weighed in on whether Farmersville was
biased against the Muslim landowners, citing the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act, which seeks to "protect individuals, houses
of worship, and other religious institutions from discrimination in zoning and
landmarking laws," according to the Department of Justice's (DOJ) website.
City of Farmersville has been cooperating with the United States Department of
Justice (DOJ) in its investigation as to whether the City violated the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) by its
disapproval of the preliminary plat submitted for a cemetery by the Islamic
Association of Collin County (IACC)...” an August 21 statement from the city reads.
the threat of a federal lawsuit in play, the city restarted its commitment to
reconsider approval of the cemetery.
federal government’s intervention is welcome news for Chief Mike Sullivan.
certainly appears it's going to move the ball forward,” Sullivan said. “I
believe the council and the city are encouraged by this and we’re ready to be
done with this.”
this gets everybody off of center and they can make a decision to move forward
or if not seek litigation.”
up to the tumultuous August 4 Town Hall, in a July 28 City Council meeting the
opposition to the cemetery reached a fever pitch.
Ken Roose claimed his “Great-Great-Great-Grandfather was accredited for naming
Farmersville” and that there was no reason for a Muslim cemetery to exist in
town because he believed it “will be disconnected from our town and no one
buried there will have ties to Farmersville.”
Baptist Church Pastor David Meeks claimed he has studied Islam “for a number of
years” and impressed upon the attendees to not be duped by Muslims.
said they “come before the public stating they are a religion of peace when in
fact they are a religion of hate and destruction,” according to the minutes
from the meeting.
then went on to criticize the religion and implored local leaders to derail the
burial ground. “Many cities will applaud Farmersville if they are resisted and
then our city will benefit,” he said.
kind of brand of fear was on display when local Farmersville resident James
Moss criticized the Islamic faith as “a mindset to genocide.” He said they are
not like the longtime residents because they "do not believe as they do.”
of coming to America to start a new life, look at the current events,” he said
to the crowd. “What makes the Muslims want to come to Farmersville?”
critic of the plan was Patricia Monroe, who didn’t live in town but said she
attended a local church.
Monroe, the cemetery would bring the issue of questionable burial practices;
specifically, the “embalming” methods that would be practiced were questionable
and warranted oversight. She submitted there was no reason for the city to
“change our ways to allow Muslim ways.”
Sullivan said he’s been opening constant mailed letters “from around the
country” by concerned citizens who want Farmersville to become a watershed by
not allowing the cemetery to go forward.
write ‘You shouldn’t allow this to happen!’ or ‘They’ll take over your
Sullivan refuses to be swayed by hysteria.
found in 'extremist Muslim' compound to remain in foster care despite parents'
children rescued from the “extremist Muslim” compound in New Mexico will remain
in foster care even though three of the parents arrested in the case had
charges of child neglect dismissed on Wednesday.
Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj were released Wednesday after
prosecutors missed a case deadline and a judge dismissed all of the charges
Judge Emilio Chavez on Wednesday ruled that authorities violated the state’s
“10-day rule” that limits the days for an evidentiary hearing to establish
despite the three defendants being released from custody, their five children
will remain in foster care while health and trauma assessments are carried out,
a spokesman for the State Children, Youth and Families Department said
was unclear whether the released parents have visitation rights.
judge also dismissed the child abuse charges against Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Jany
Leveille, however, charges in connection to the death of a missing 3-year-old
boy whose remains were discovered at the compound remained. The couple pleaded
not guilty Wednesday.
six children also remain in foster care.
the charges were dismissed Wednesday state politicians expressed alarm.
Allegations of anti-government plotting, jihad and martyrdom at the compound
stocked with guns — drawn in part from FBI interviews with children — has done
little to persuade judges of any immediate threat to public safety.
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Democratic candidate for governor, called the
dismissal of neglect charges "inexcusable" and said she was
"appalled at the failure to hold these defendants accountable."
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Steve Pearce called for the resignation of
local district attorney, who is a Democrat.
arrests five New Mexico compound suspects days after multiple charges were
FBI announced Friday that it had arrested all five New Mexico compound
suspects, days after multiple charges were dropped. The suspects were now being
charged with violating federal firearms and conspiracy laws.
announcement comes after local prosecutors dropped charges in the death of a
3-year-old boy at the compound site. Taos County District Attorney Donald
Gallegos said Friday his office would now seek grand jury indictments involving
the death. Gallegos said seeking indictments would allow more time to gather
defendants, Jany Leveille, 35, a Haitian national illegally present in the
United States, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35,
and Lucas Morton, 40, are charged in a criminal complaint that was filed
earlier today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico,"
the bureau said in a statement.
criminal complaint charges Jany Leveille with being an alien unlawfully in
possession of firearms and ammunition in the District of New Mexico from Nov.
2017 through Aug. 2018," the bureau said. "The criminal complaint
charges the other four defendants with aiding and abetting Leveille in
committing the offense, and with conspiring with Leveille to commit the
Wednesday, three of the suspects were released from custody, just hours after a
judge dismissed all of the charges against them.
Judge Emilio Chavez on Wednesday dismissed charges against Lucas Morton,
Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj, ruling that authorities violated the
state’s “10-day rule.”
abuse charges against them were dropped because prosecutors missed the 10-day
limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause.
a separate hearing Wednesday, Judge Jeff McElroy dismissed the same charges
against fellow defendants, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Jany Leveille.
five suspects were arrested by authorities after an Aug. 3 raid following a
monthslong inquiry into the disappearance of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, 3. The boy,
who had severe medical issues, disappeared from Georgia in December. The
occupants of the compound were "most likely heavily armed and considered
extremist of the Muslim belief," an official said at the time.
County Sheriff's deputies discovered 11 children at the compound, who were
taken into the custody of state child welfare workers. On Aug. 6, a child’s
remains were found on the property.
Ibn Wahhaj was allegedly training children to commit school shootings,
according to prosecutors, who later alleged that the juveniles were taught how
to use firearms, as well as tactical techniques, in order to kill teachers, law
enforcement and other institutions they found corrupt.
officials confirmed earlier this month that the discovered remains were
positively identified as the 3-year-old's.
FBI said they arrested all five suspects without incident on Friday afternoon
faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment and deportation
upon completion of her sentence if convicted, according to the bureau.
convicted of aiding and abetting Leveille, Leveille’s co-defendants could each
face a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment. If convicted on
the conspiracy charge, meanwhile, the five could each face a statutory penalty
of five years' imprisonment.
Tahrir Al-Sham: Syria regime’s toughest foe in Idlib
The Syrian regime and its Russian ally are threatening an offensive to retake
the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria’s last rebel bastion, where extremist
group Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham holds sway.
extremist alliance, the core of which is formed by the former Al-Qaeda branch
in Syria, is likely to be the regime’s toughest foe.
is some background.
first appeared in Syria in January 2012 as the Al-Nusra Front, and Syrian President
Bashar Assad and his Russian ally still refer to the extremist group by that
as a “terrorist” group by the United States, the European Union and the United
Nations, it arrived in Syria as an extension of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
group’s current leader, a Syrian who uses the nom de guerre Abu Mohammad
Al-Jolani, is a veteran of fighting in Iraq.
2013, the group swore allegiance to Al-Qaeda before splitting with the global
extremist syndicate in July 2016 and renaming itself the Fatah Al-Sham Front.
2017, it dissolved that group to form the backbone of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham.
group mainly consists of Syrian extremists, estimated at about 30,000 fighters,
according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
extremists are “well organized and battle-hardened,” said Syria expert Fabrice
definitely retains a sizeable foreign fighter component, perhaps comprising at
least 20 percent of its total fighting force,” said Charles Lister, an analyst
at the Middle East Institute.
fighters are mostly from the Middle East, “but also from Russian-speaking
areas, Europe and south Asia,” he added.
now controls nearly 60 percent of Idlib province.
has set up a civil administration that collects customs duties at the border
with Turkey and imposes taxes on traders.
group “derives so much of its power from being the authority over how trade
flows into and out of Idlib, which helps fund the group and gives it power
beyond its size,” said Nicholas Heras, a researcher at the Center for New
HTS had a presence in many of the country’s rebel-held areas, especially near
Damascus and in the south. But it has lost that territory as its fighters were
evacuated to Idlib in surrender deals.
has consistently been excluded from cease-fires negotiated by the United
Nations or Russia.
extremist alliance has been the target of air raids from both Moscow and the
US-led anti-extremist coalition, which have killed several of its senior
associated with influential Islamist rebel groups like Ahrar Al-Sham and
Nureddine Al-Zinki, HTS underwent a bloody period of power struggles in 2017
that included battles with former allies, creating resentment that persists
early 2018, Ahrar Al-Sham and Nureddine Al-Zinki announced their Turkey-backed
merger to counter the growing power of HTS.
joined four other rebel factions in early August to form a new coalition — the
National Liberation Front.
HTS has increased raids in recent weeks against “sleeper cells” linked to the
Daesh, which has claimed responsibility for assassinations and bombings
targeting HTS’s leaders and fighters.
two extremist heavyweights have also clashed in Syria’s northern city of Raqqa
and in eastern Deir Ezzor province.
July 2014, Nusra’s chief said the group’s goal was to set up an “Islamic
emirate,” akin to the “caliphate” proclaimed by Daesh shortly beforehand.
August 22 the reclusive Jolani broke a long silence to reiterate that the group
was determined to repel any offensive by Damascus.
thinking about surrendering to the enemy and handing over weapons is an act of
treason,” he said.
has called for the dissolution of HTS, but neighboring Turkey is trying to
negotiate a solution with the extremists to avoid a large scale offensive that
would destabilize the border area, the Britain-based Observatory said.
to Heras, the extremist alliance’s “dissolution on the command of Turkey would
rob it of much of its power, which would replace HTS rule with Turkish rule.”
Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel quoted informed sources as saying on
Friday that 64 members of White Helmets, including 11 women, have been moves
from Jisr al-Shughour to Idlib city.
to the report, the White Helmets changed their plan for staging false-flag
chemical attack in Jisr al-Shughour after al-Mayadeen disclosed their plot.
new place for the false-flag operations will be Idlib city or Ma'arat
al-No'eman, al-Mayadeen reported.
Russian media outlet said on Wednesday that a large cargo of poisonous
materials, smuggled by the pro-militant White Helmets into Syria, had been
transferred to a warehouse of Ahrar al-Sham terrorists in Idlib province for a
false-flag chemical attack.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted Head of Russian Reconciliation Center
for Syria Alexi Siganokov as reporting that a number of the White Helmets
Organization members had transferred a large cargo of poisonous materials to a
warehouse in the town of Saraqib that is under Ahrar al-Sham's control.
further said that the consignment was transferred on two large trucks from the
village of Afas to Saraqib.
told the Arabic Sputnik that a part of the consignment was transferred to
Southern Idlib in plastic barrels, adding the barrels of poisons will be used
by terrorists to stage a fake chemical attack against civilians to further
accuse the gov't forces of the gas assault.
this week, al-Mayadeen had quoted well-informed sources as disclosing that more
than 250 members of the pro-militants White Helmets were preparing to take part
in a fake rescue operation after a false-flag chemical attack by terrorists in
went on to say that the White Helmets transferred poisonous materials from
Turkey to Syria via al-Hassani'yeh passageway, storing a portion of the
materials in the village of Halouz near Jisr al-Shughour in Western Idlib.
further said that vast presence of the White Helmets aid workers were detected
in Jisr al-Shughour prison, where poisonous materials have been stored.
London-based pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported
on Friday that the US-led coalition has dispatched a large military convoy to
the SDF-occupied regions in Hasaka province.
added that the convoy which included over 150 vehicles, carrying military and
logistic equipment, moved towards the town of al-Shadadi and its military
airport which has been set up by the Americans in Southern Hasaka.
report also said that over 1,450 vehicles carrying US-made military equipment
were sent to the SDF-occupied regions in Syria in August.
leading Russian newspaper had reported earlier this week that the US military
forces are likely to launch missile attacks on Syrian army positions from an
occupied airbase in Hasaka in a last ditch effort to delay the Damascus
government's conquer over terrorist groups in Idlib in its impending operation.
Gazeta daily reported on Tuesday that the new US airbase in Hasaka province in
Northeastern Syria will likely be used to launch missile attacks against the
added that the US engineering units are equipping the military airport in the
town of al-Shadadi in Hasaka for the deployment of heavy aircraft, cautioning
that the air base is larger even than Russia's Humeimem military base in
to Yoruk Isik of the Bosphorus Observer, the Russian chartered Ro-Ro Sparta III
was seen transiting the Bosphorus Strait en route for the Syrian port city of
the Russian ship was seen carrying military cargo that is likely to be
transported to the Syrian Arab Army and their allies in Northwestern Syria.
ship was spotted leaving Russia recently; it was transporting military hardware
to Syria, including BMPs, tanks, and technical vehicles.
the Ro-Ro Sparta III heading to Syria, the Russian Navy now has more than 15
vessels in the Mediterranean, which is the largest naval buildup of this war.
foreign minister said the Syrian government had every right to chase
“terrorists” out of the militants-held Syrian enclave of Idlib.
added that talks were ongoing to set up humanitarian corridors there, RIA and
Interfax news agencies reported.
Lavrov said communication between Russia and the United States on Syria was
happening in real time, and Russia had no plans to hide its actions there.
Thursday and during his official visit to Moscow, Syrian’s foreign minister
said that government forces will “go all the way” in the northern region of
Idlib and that Damascus’s main targets were al-Nusra militants.
Walid al-Moualem, speaking after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergie
Lavrov in Moscow, also said Syria would not use chemical weapons in any
offensive and that it did not have such weapons. Syria would try to avoid
civilian deaths, he added. Read more
his part, the UN’s Syria peace envoy offered on Thursday to travel to Idlib to
help ensure civilians can leave through a humanitarian corridor amid fears of
an imminent government offensive to retake the last major region controlled by
rebels. Full story
A suicide bomber has killed two Iraqi policemen near a former bastion of Daesh,
days after Deash claimed a similar attack near Syria’s border, a security
official said Friday.
Thursday morning a “suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest drove a
booby-trapped car into a federal police checkpoint” near Hawija, north of
Baghdad, one official said.
policemen were killed and a third one wounded,” in the attack, the official
is one of the last Daesh holdouts retaken by government troops a year ago and
has long been a bastion of radical groups.
Wednesday an Daesh suicide bomber blew a vehicle at a checkpoint on the
outskirts of the Iraq border town of Al-Qaim, near the Syrian frontier, another
of the last towns in Iraq to be recaptured from Daesh.
on Thursday, three members of Iraq’s Hashed Al-Shaabi paramilitary force, which
played a key role in fighting Daesh, were wounded in a blast near Hawija,
another security official said.
was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s attacks but Daesh said
it was behind Wednesday’s suicide bombing.
a purported new audio message released last week, Daesh leader Abu Bakr
Al-Baghdadi called on his followers to “not give up against their enemy.”
to Hisham Al-Hashemi, an expert on radical extremist groups, about 2,000
militants Daesh are still active in Iraq, which declared victory over the
extremists in December last year.
hundreds of Iraqi protesters stoned and tried to break into the provincial
government headquarters in the southern oil hub of Basra on Friday to press
demands for better public services and an end to pervasive corruption.
protesters also set fire to tires outside the building and there were minor
clashes with riot police who fired tear gas to try to quell the protest. No
serious injuries were reported.
have swept cities in the long neglected south over widespread electricity
outages during the blistering hot Iraqi summer, a lack of jobs and proper
government services, and entrenched graft.
Minister Haider Al-Abadi suspended the electricity minister last month and said
earlier this week that his government had begun punishing those responsible for
poor services in Basra, Iraq’s second biggest city.
anger is rising at a time when politicians are struggling to form a new
government after an inconclusive parliamentary election in May. Iraq’s top
Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani has expressed support for the
protests were particularly concerned with the high level of salt in Basra’s
drinking water that residents say makes it undrinkable.
city’s infrastructure is crumbling from years of neglect and under-investment,
generating widespread bitterness as locals contrast their impoverishment with
the oil wealth the province provides for federal government coffers.
of Iraqi protesters stoned and tried to break into the provincial government
headquarters in the southern oil hub of Basra on Friday to press demands for
better public services and an end to pervasive corruption.
3 Govt Soldiers Killed in Afgoye Alshabaab Attack
least three government soldiers were killed in an overnight Alshabaab attack on
Afgoye town some 30km from the Somali capital Mogadishu, Radio Dalsan reports.
official confirmed to Radio Dalsan that the militants executed a heavy attacked
on government soldiers base in the town past midnight.
goverrnment soldiers managed to repulse the attack.
least 7 soldiers were injured in the fighting and several military vehicles destroyed.
Nigerian Army said it had killed several Boko Haram insurgents and recovered
weapons in an encounter that ensued at Zari village in Guzamala Local
Government Area of Borno on Friday.
Onyeama Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Public Relations, Theatre Command Operation
Lafiya Dole, disclosed this in a statement in Maiduguri.
said the insurgents were repelled by the troops of 2 Division Task Force
Battalion deployed in the area.
said that the insurgents were on rampage, looting the community and extorting
money from the people but met with a fierce resistance by the Land troops of
Operation Lafiya Dole who were closely supported from the air by troops of the
Air Task Force.
said that during the fire fight, overwhelming volume of fire was unleashed on
the insurgents from both the air and ground troops, neutralising several of
them and their weapons.
Spokesman said that the village and the surrounding communities had been
stabilised and normalcy restored.
also said that the land troops had been reinforced to conduct more robust
fighting patrol in the general area.
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