living in China’s western region of Xinjiang are being forced to put up
Communist Party officials in their homes,
PM Denigrates Jesus, Wants World Convention to Prevent Insult to Islam
Sends State Spies To Live In Uighur Muslim Homes and Attend Private Family
Weddings and Funerals
of Afghan Man Sues CIA to Find Body of Post-9/11 Detainee
Notice to Gujarat Govt Trying To Identify Only Muslim Students
Commentator Sacked For Giving Pro-Palestine Speech at UN
Minister Lauds Ulema, Mashaikh Role in Spreading Islamic Teachings
Detention of TLP Cleric Draws Mixed Reactions
lauds Pakistan’s gesture of opening Kartarpur corridor
considering renegotiating LNG deal with Qatar: minister
reviews Sialkot Corps formation during winter training exercise
and EU to jointly combat terrorism
Officials: Some Muslim Rebel Groups in South Still Use Child Fighters
Links Slain Journalist Khashoggi to 1MDB Conspirators
Launches ‘Snitch’ App Targeting Religious Minorities
of 212 Movement Facing Legal Woes
of Taliban Militants Killed, Wounded In Herat Infighting
Police Rescue 10 Rohingya Bound for Malaysia
displays weapons it says Iran provided to Taliban and other militants
airstrike leaves 12 militants dead in Geru district
release preliminary regarding civilian casualties in Helmand airstrike
has long record of institutionalized targeting of civilians in Afghanistan'
along Pakistan Border Changing': BSF Flags Concerns
Terrorists Get 40-Year Jail For Terror Bid
stay with India, Pakistan must become secular state: Army chief
Police Take down Terror Alert Posters After ‘Operatives’ Identified as Pak
professor calls Bhagat Singh ‘terrorist’, varsity institutes inquiry
Modi at BRICS informal meet: Terrorism, financial crimes pose biggest threats
Army Kills 40 Houthi Militants in Clashes in Al-Baydah
police arrest Jordanian suspected in Eilat attack
four-point plan on Yemen still only viable option: FM Zarif
forces shoot, injure 28 Palestinian protesters in Gaza
vow to liberate southern Yemen on anniversary
injured in Houthi missile attack in southwestern Saudi Arabia
Syrian Fighters Say They Hold ISIS Leader’s Assistant
Civilians Killed As US-Led Coalition Warplanes Strike Eastern Syria
Again Urges Israel to Withdraw from Entirety of Syria’s Golan Heights
protesters show support for detained senior Shia clergyman
protesters rally to denounce Saudi-led aggression on crisis-hit Yemen
injured in Houthi missile attack in south-western Saudi Arabia
of Islamic Cooperation attends Islamic conference in Bahrain
rearmed Hezbollah in Lebanon is top concern for Israel
Muslims, Christians Can Flourish Together - Buhari
How 'Foreign' Are Foreign Terrorist Fighters In Africa?
strike kills 11 suspected Qaeda militants in Libya, says sources
arrests 12 suspected Daesh members, dismantles cells: ministry
Haram: Again, Nigerian Army issues warning over false report on attacks
Service Chiefs making money from war against Boko Haram – Ohanaeze
White Supremacist Who Amassed a Bomb Factory Avoids Terror Charges
Mosques Should Forgo Foreign Funding, Says German Interior Minister
Prime Minister Discusses Khashoggi Killing with Saudi Crown Prince
court acquits Srebrenica's Muslim defender at retrial
court rules in favour of Iranian bank
says not to wait forever for Europe’s special payment mechanism
Trump, Saudi Crown Prince Exchange greetings at G20
Military Action on the Table against Iran
hate crimes surge in Canada: Report
airstrike in Helmand killed 23 civilians, UN says
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for an international convention banning
speech deemed insulting to Muslims and claimed there does not exist any
historical “mention” of Jesus.
a former cricketer with a reputation as a playboy, whose first wife has Jewish
roots, has worked to portray himself as a devout Muslim in recent years since
becoming one of Pakistan’s most prominent political figures.
growing popularity and selection as premier in the July elections — marred by
accusations of military interference and vote-rigging — have come amid a
backdrop of a growing movement in Muslim-majority Pakistan against alleged
a speech on November 20 marking the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, Khan
denigrated prophets from Judaism and Christianity who are also revered in
Islam, claiming that — unlike Muhammad — there was “no mention of them” in
were prophets of Allah other [than Muhammad], but there is no mention of them
in human history. There is negligible mention of them. Moses is mentioned, but
there is no mention of Jesus in history,” he said, according to a translation
posted Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
the entire life of Muhammad, who was Allah’s last prophet, is part of history,”
to periodic outbursts of anger over the publication of cartoons and other
satirical portrayals of Muhammad, Khan said the often violent reactions were
being used to tarnish Islam.
few years, in some Western country, our dear Prophet is blasphemed against and
dishonoured. What is the consequence of this? Muslims become angry. We take to
the streets in protest, [protesters] break things in our country… It enables
the enemies of Muslims to tell people in the West: ‘See, Islam is a big
religion that spreads violence,'” he said.
get an opportunity to spread propaganda against Islam.”
credited the intervention of his foreign minister with the cancellation earlier
this year of a Mohammad cartoon competition in the Netherlands planned by a
also said Pakistan’s lobbying on the issue to the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation and the United Nations was leading to less tolerance for alleged
blasphemy in the West.
happened that had never happened before. The European Union’s Human Rights
Court said for the first time that you cannot hurt somebody’s religion under
the pretext of freedom of speech, and especially it said that you cannot
blaspheme against Muhammad’s honour,” he said.
was referring to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights last month that
an Austrian court’s conviction of a woman for comparing Muhammad’s marriage to
an underage girl to paedophilia was not a violation of her right to freedom of
Pakistani prime minister called for countries around the globe to adopt an
“International Convention on Preventing the Defamation of Religions,” which he
said would ensure that “freedom of speech cannot be used as a pretext to hurt
the world’s 1.25 billion Muslims.”
vowed Pakistan would play a leading role in this effort and “Allah willing… for
the first time in the world get this convention signed.”
speech came amid unrest in Pakistan following the acquittal last month of a
Christian woman who had previously been sentenced to death for blasphemy.
Bibi’s case has inflamed radical Islamists, some of whom are calling for her
Tehreek-e-Labbaik party launched nationwide protests demanding Bibi’s public
execution and the party’s founder, Mohammad Afzal Qadri, called for the death
of the three Supreme Court judges who ruled to acquit her. Qadri also called
for the overthrow of the Pakistan government. Protests ended after the
government agreed to a Supreme Court review. Khan has gone on national
television saying that the Supreme Court’s decision will be final and upheld.
sends state spies to live in Uighur Muslim homes and attend private family
weddings and funerals
living in China’s western region of Xinjiang are being forced to put up
Communist Party officials in their homes, effectively extending state
surveillance into the last place they had felt safe from intrusion.
early 2017, the Uighur people have been subjected to an increasingly strict
security regime, including armed checkpoints and streets lined with facial
and human rights groups believe around a million mostly male Uighurs are being
held in secretive internment camps across the province. After initially denying
the camps’ existence, the Chinese government has begun referring to them as
voluntary “vocational training centres”.
in interviews with the Associated Press, Uighurs living in exile have described
how a state “cultural exchange” programme has thrust government spies into the
only private space most Muslims in Xinjiang had left.
to the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, 1.1 million local
government officials have been deployed to spend about a week every two months
living in the home of an Uighur host family.
government calls it the “Pair Up and Become Family” campaign, with social media
posts by the Uighurs involved referring to the officials as their new
I have a Han Chinese mother now!” reads the caption of one picture posted
online by the 39-year-old sister of Halmurat Idris, an Uighur Muslim living in
Istanbul. Han Chinese make up about 90 per cent of the country’s ethnic mix,
with Uighurs numbering between 1 and 3 per cent.
government describes the programme as voluntary, but China’s Muslims are well
aware that refusing any state initiative can lead to being branded a potential
extremist. Social media images show the new “relatives” attending Uighur
weddings, funerals and other occasions once considered intimate and private.
Idris said that seeing the picture of his sister alongside an elderly woman he
did not know, her face fixed with a mirthless smile, made him feel sick.
wanted to throw up,” the 49-year-old said. “The moment I saw the old woman, I
thought, ‘Ugh, this person is our enemy.’ If your enemy became your mother,
think about it – how would you feel?”
said it had interviewed four other Uighurs living abroad who had been in
contact with relatives back home in Xinjiang, and who described their loved
ones as constantly on edge in their own homes, knowing that any misstep – a
misplaced Quran, a careless word – could lead to detention or worse.
the presence of their faux relatives, the interviewees’ family members could
not pray or wear religious clothing, and the government officials were privy to
their every move.
a new analysis of satellite images by experts and Reuters has revealed the
growing extent of 39 detention camps for Uighurs across Xinjiang province.
the facilities have almost tripled in size in the 17 months between April 2017
and August 2018, while the most recent imagery suggested construction work was
still going on at many of them.
covering an area roughly the size of 140 football pitches, the camps represent
just a portion of the total number of detention facilities that are believed to
exist in the state. Access for journalists to the province is tightly
controlled, making it almost impossible to verify the precise number and nature
of the camps.
refers to its broader crackdown on Xinjiang as the “people’s war on terror”,
which started in 2014 after a series of violent attacks that authorities blamed
on extremists. Beijing said in August that “those deceived by religious
extremism... shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education”.
admission came after the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination said it was “alarmed” by reports from the province, criticising
the “broad definition of terrorism and vague references to extremism and
unclear definition of separatism in Chinese legislation”.
of the committee said there were credible reports that the Chinese government
had “turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a
massive internment camp”.
has strongly refuted any suggestion that it is mistreating the Uighur minority.
Journalists from state media outlets have been given tours of the internment
camps and described surprisingly light security measures, as well as activities
like basketball and arts projects. Last year a senior official in Xinjiang went
as far as to refer to the Uighurs as “the happiest Muslims in the world”.
of Afghan man sues CIA to find body of post-9/11 detainee
family of an Afghan man detained and allegedly tortured to death by the Central
Intelligence Agency in the wake of the 9/11 attacks sued Friday to find out
what happened to his body.
lawsuit says that Gul Rahman and his family were living in a refugee camp in
Peshawar when he was kidnapped by the US spy agency on suspicion of being a
militant on November 5, 2002 and transferred to a CIA prison for interrogation.
the next two weeks, CIA personnel subjected Mr. Rahman to extensive and
systematic torture and abuse,” the lawsuit said, until he died of hypothermia
on November 20, the lawsuit said. His death was not reported until 2010 and not
officially confirmed until 2014.
date, the CIA has not officially informed Mr Rahman’s family of his death, nor
returned his body to his family,” the lawsuit said. The suit, brought in the
federal district court in Washington, demands the release of records regarding
his death and his body under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
came after the agency failed to respond to formal requests under FOIA for the
information. Rahman’s family had already shared part of a settlement in a case
filed together with two men who were also tortured in CIA prisons in
Afghanistan against two CIA contract psychiatrists who advised on
interrogations and torture techniques.
the family was never told what happened to his body. “I have faith that people
in America will know the right thing for their government to do is to tell me
and my family what happened to my father’s body,” Hajira Hematyara, Rahman’s
daughter, said in a statement. “Only then will we be able to do right by my
father and give him a proper funeral.”
American Civil Liberties Union, which helped Rahman’s family file the lawsuit,
lodged a second complaint against the CIA with the court, saying agency
director Gina Haspel was preventing the release of information to protect the
agency’s reputation and because it “related to her personal role in prisoner
torture and abuse.”
country still needs to continue to reckon with the consequences of torture,”
said ACLU staff attorney Dror Ladin.
notice to Gujarat govt trying to identify only Muslim students
The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to the state
government seeking an explanation for using an online examination form for the
Class X and XII board examinations, taken by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher
Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB), to collect data and segregate students of
notice was issued following a PIL filed by K.R. Koshty, who alleged that the
BJP-ruled Gujarat government was resorting to religious-profiling of students
from Muslim community apearing for the board exams.
PIL stated, “The action of the authorities for making compulsory the online
application form for final examination of Standard 10 & 12 students of the
GSSHEB, the instructions therein asking for Aadhaar data and also the religious
profiling of the students, is illegal.”
classification of students of Muslim community among other minority communities
is unconstitutional, illegal, unreasonable, contrary to law and the same is in
violation of Article 14, 15, 19, 25, 27, 28 and 30 of The Constitution of
India,” states PIL as reported by Ahmedabad Mirror.
also challenged Gujarat government’s mandatory online forms for the board
exams, arguing that Internet connectivity in many parts of the state was poor.
According to the PIL, the forms also seek Aadhaar details which is against the
Supreme Court’s recent judgement.
17.5 lakh students sit for the GSHSEB every year. The state government has been
collecting data for the last five years of Muslim students appearing for the
board exams, the state Education Minister had said on Tuesday.
division bench of acting Chief Justice Anant Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav
sought replies from the state government, Gujarat Secondary and Higher
Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) and the Unique Identification Authority of
India (UIDAI) by December 6.
commentator sacked for giving pro-Palestine speech at UN
has sacked political commentator Marc Lamont Hill after he gave a
pro-Palestinian speech at the UN, where he called for justice for Palestinians
and said there needs to be “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
CNN spokesperson told Mediaite that “Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under
contract with CNN.” The media outlet did not give a reason for the ouster, nor
did it explicitly confirm Hill’s exit was a result of what he said at the UN.
at the pro-Palestine meeting at the UN on Wednesday, Hill urged the
international community to boycott Israel, and called for a “free Palestine
from the river to the sea.”
comments sparked an immediate backlash from those who believed “from the river
to the sea” is a phrase used by Hamas and other anti-Israel groups, and implies
the replacement of Israel by a Palestine stretching from the Jordan River to
the Mediterranean Sea.
have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to
political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action
that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the
river to the sea,” Hill said at the UN.
lobby groups in the US accused the commentator of advocating for the
destruction of Israel, but Hill wrote on Thursday his “reference to ‘river to
the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for
justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.”
we are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must recognize
the right of an occupied people to defend itself," he said in his
must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot
endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for
resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic
also lashed out at the Israeli regime for denying “citizenship rights and due
process to Palestinians just because they are not Jewish.”
further expressed his support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
movement, a global campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel
until it meets its obligations under international law.
delivered the speech for the UN's International Day of Solidarity with the
Palestinian People, which has been annually marked on Nov. 29 since it was
established in UN General Assembly Resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977.
at a Wednesday meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable
Rights of the Palestinian People, UN chief Antonio Guterres said the UN had
created the day of solidarity 40 years ago to remind people of the unfinished
task of resolving the Palestinian issue.
took a jab at the Israeli regime and said “demolitions, illegal continued
settlement expansion and construction, forced evictions and collective punitive
measures will not bring peace.”
also urged Israel to lift its restrictions on the flow of goods and people into
the Gaza Strip and act with restraint along the Gaza fence.
UN chief further called on Hamas to prevent violent actions and provocations,
but at the same time noted “Palestinians in Gaza have legitimate grievances and
the right to demonstrate peacefully.”
Information and Broadcasting Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Friday lauded
ulema and Mashaikhs role in spread of Islamic teachings in the society.
was talking to Sajjada Nashin of Eidgah Sharif in Rawalpindi Pir Naqeebur
Rehman. Sahibzada Haseebur Rehman was also present on the occasion. Fawad said
he was proud of being a member of the cabinet of a Prime Minister, who had the
resolve to develop Pakistan on the pattern of State of Madina.
minister contended that it was for the first time in Pakistan’s history that a
government had talked on the issue of blasphemy of the Holy Prophet Peace Be
Upon Him directly with the countries concerned.
have had mixed reactions to the government's decision to detain Khadim Rizvi, a
radical Islamic cleric and founder of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a
religious-turned-political party with extreme views on the country's blasphemy
took Rizvi into custody in Lahore last week as part of a larger government
crackdown on the group's leaders and members across the country, particularly
in Punjab province, where the group has large followers.
of others associated with TLP have also been detained.
one who halts the country, incites hatred and issues Islamic decrees to kill
others should be spared. It is against the law and the constitution,"
Salman Abid, a Pakistan-based political expert, told VOA.
said Rizvi's detention is a reminder for all who would create a state within a
state and play with people’s religious sentiments.
has repeatedly used derogatory comments for government institutions, the
Supreme Court, judges and politicians. They were using politics as a tool for
their own agenda. They were using media to promote their extreme ideology. The
government has done the right thing," Abid added.
most who support the blasphemy law are keeping silent because of the
government's crackdown on TLP supporters, analysts say.
staunchly supports implementation of the law and has used the issue as a
platform to add followers, contest elections and launch widespread, often
violent protests in the country.
its emergence in 2017, TLP has arranged numerous protests, some of which have
turned violent and paralyzed major cities across the country for weeks.
is from the Attock region in Punjab province. Prior to establishing
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, the cleric worked in a mosque in Lahore and
delivered Friday sermons to the local community.
has also worked as a government employee in Punjab's religious affairs
department. He lost his job after he continued to encourage violence in support
of the blasphemy law.
has openly and repeatedly justified violence against those in the government
who attempt to alter the blasphemy law.
was arrested after refusing a government's demand to withdraw a call for
arranging a large gathering in the capital, Islamabad.
Chaudhry, Pakistan's information minister, confirmed in a tweet last week that
Rizvi had been taken into "protective custody and shifted to a guest
house" to preserve public order.
action was prompted by TLP's refusal to withdraw its call for protest on Nov.
25. It's to safeguard public life, property and order, and has to do nothing
with [the] Asia Bibi case," Chaudhry said.
arrest came weeks after TLP held violent rallies in Pakistan to oppose last
month's acquittal of Bibi by Pakistan's Supreme Court.
a Christian woman accused of committing blasphemy, had served eight years in
prison and was sentenced to death over accusations of insulting Islam's Prophet
her acquittal, TLP arranged large protests that paralyzed several cities across
the country for three days. During the protests, TLP's leadership had openly
incited its followers to kill the judges who ordered the release of Bibi.
ended the protests after the government agreed that Bibi would not leave
Pakistan until a petition against her acquittal was reviewed.
Amir, a Pakistan-based journalist, said Rizvi had "become a danger for
Pakistan's safety, and his arrest was necessary to avoid any fresh series of
violent clashes and protests."
had called [on TLP] followers to gather in Islamabad, which meant the closure
of the capital, and the government wanted to avoid it at any cost. We have seen
what happened after Bibi's acquittal. So, the government had taken a
precautionary measure to avoid any violence, and rightly so," Amir added.
government has not yet said how long the TLP leaders and followers will be
held, but legal experts in Pakistan said they could be legally be detained from
30 to 80 days.
members did not return multiple calls for comment. Before the crackdown,
however, the group's spokesperson told VOA that they would not back down.
'is not permitted'
is a religious matter. The Christian lady has committed blasphemy and admitted
of using derogatory language against Prophet Muhammad," Ejaz Ahmad, the
TLP spokesperson, told VOA.
to Islamic law, it is not permitted to pardon her. We cannot allow this to
happen. We will raise our voice and launch protests throughout the
country," he added.
analysts also saw Rizvi's detention as a rare sign of strengthening
civilian-military relations and cooperation.
the Pakistan-based analyst, said, "There is no division" between the
civilian and military sectors, and that is "adding to the strength of
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who makes tough calls without hesitation."
Malik, a retired Pakistani brigadier and security analyst, told VOA,
"TLP's behavior is not justified. Look what they did after Asia Bibi's
acquittal and how brutally everyone in the country criticized the government
for not being able to stop them."
added that the government and the military could work together to deal with
extremist elements like TLP.
by Taseer's killer
Pakistan was created in 2017 and is registered with Pakistan's Election
Commission. The party was able to secure 2 million votes in the general
elections held earlier this year.
has been inspired by the actions of Mumtaz Qadri, a security guard who in 2011
killed Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer because of his demands for reforms to the
States on Friday hailed Pakistan’s decision of opening Kartarpur corridor,
terming it a big step towards confidence building between India and Pakistan.
a statement, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said
Pakistan’s efforts to increase contact between the people of the two countries
said normalisation of relations between Pakistan and India is vital to both
countries and the region.
on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan performed a groundbreaking gesture for
Sikhs in India by opening up the Kartarpur Corridor and enabling the Sikhs to
visit the shrine of their religion’s founder in eastern Pakistan.
must bury the past,” PM Imran Khan told Indian and Pakistani officials as well
as several thousands of Sikhs.
our countries have atomic weapons. There cannot be war; what alternative is
there but friendship?”
project inaugurated will see a secure corridor and bridge built between the two
countries, leading directly to the grave of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak, just
four kilometres from the Indian border.
Building on its continuous criticism of liquefied natural gas import and
processing terminals, the government on Friday said it was considering
renegotiating the 15-year LNG import contract with Qatar.
ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has been criticising the contracts signed
by the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government for import of
LNG from Qatar at a price equivalent to 13.39 per cent of international
benchmark crude oil price and two terminals set up by the private sector for
re-gasifying imported LNG.
price of LNG imported from Qatar is the most expensive,” said Petroleum
Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan at a news conference, adding that even the prices
under proposed gas pipelines from Turkmenistan and Iran were cheaper.
said that his objection to the LNG agreement with Qatar was that why it was
signed for 15 years when the mandate was only for five years. On top of that,
he added, it also contained a clause putting a bar on non-disclosure of the
agreement even three years after the expiry of the 15-year term.
Khan said the government was looking into the agreement from both aspects
[being expensive and non-disclosure]. Responding to a question, he said he
would not speak about its specific terms because the issue could land in the
International Court of Arbitration (ICA). “I am bound under the contract to
keep its specifics secret,” otherwise they would involve the ICA, he said,
adding that “an in-camera briefing will be given to Prime Minister Imran Khan
in a few days” for a decision.
minister said the petroleum division also had some reservations over the
agreements on terminals and some of them were in courts and, therefore, he
would opt not to prejudice the issue.
said the Supreme Court, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal
Investigation Agency (FIA) were looking into the contracts relating to import
of LNG from Qatar and two LNG terminals in Karachi and those found responsible
for signing the expensive deals would be held accountable.
petroleum minister had last month announced sending three LNG contracts to NAB
for investigation and renegotiating the contract with terminal operations to
bring down processing charges.
terminal operators said the agreement could not be reopened. NAB had been
probing the LNG deals even when the PML-N was in power and comprehensively
grilled various officials involved but never took it to the next level of
filing a reference in a court.
prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has always defended the LNG import and
processing terminal contracts as transparent and in best national interest and
has been challenging the PTI ministers for an open debate.
petroleum minister also announced at the news conference that all politically
motivated board of directors of oil and gas companies would be reconstituted in
the next 100 days to ensure transparency in the appointment of heads of these
companies, adding that the government had already reconstituted boards of
directors of six companies. He said the boards would also elect their own
professional chairmen while chief executive officers would be appointed after
clearance from NAB and the FIA.
Khan claimed that the previous government had not auctioned a single block for
oil and gas exploration during its five-year tenure, whereas the PTI government
selected 40 blocks and auctioned 10 of them to exploration companies.
said the federal government had written letters to the provinces, asking them
to give the names of their representatives for boards of directors of oil and
minister said ExxonMobil would start offshore drilling 230 kilometres from
Karachi in January next year for which a rig was on its way. OGDCL, PPL, ENI
and ExxonMobil have 25pc shares each in this offshore block.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the formation of
Sialkot Corps during its winter collective training exercise and witnessed the
final phase of the operational exercise by an Infantry Division.
appreciated the battle procedures and operational proficiency of the
participants. Speaking at the occasion, he said, “We cannot afford to ignore
our preparations and readiness for a conventional response despite our
commitments in ongoing Operation Raddul Fasaad. Our experience of
sub-conventional operations is an addition to our combat worthiness.”
said that a professional army which is well-trained, equipped and practised
deters war. COAS said that he takes pride in leading an army which, by the
grace of God, has served the nation by successfully combating terrorism and is
prepared to respond to any conventional threat on borders for the defence of
and European Union (EU), while reaffirming that terrorism continued to pose a
threat to states and societies across the globe, reiterated their resolve to
jointly combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
countries held seventh round of Pakistan-EU Political Counter-Terrorism
dialogue in Brussels, according to the Foreign Office (FO). The EU side of the
dialogue was chaired by Pawel Herczynski, director for Security Policy (EEAS)
while director general of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Ahmad Farooq
represented Pakistan during the talks.
parties held in-depth discussions and exchanged perspectives on a wide range of
counter terrorism issues in a cordial and constructive manner, according to the
Foreign Office’s statement. “Both sides reaffirmed their solidarity with the
victims of terrorist attacks across the world,” read the FO statement.
the meeting, the EU side appreciated Pakistan’s increasing efforts in fighting
terrorism and emphasised on the need for increased engagement in preventing and
countering radicalization. The parties agreed on the need for a comprehensive
approach to terrorism, based on the rule of law and protection of human rights.
The parties also agreed to enhance cooperation in dealing with violent
extremism in all its forms. The meeting further decided that there was a need
to prevent and counter radicalization and addressing its root cause. The
meeting also reiterated its joint commitment to regional peace and stability.
Both sides also emphasised on the importance of interfaith dialogue and harmony
as a key to promote tolerance and social cohesion in the society.
the commitments of all states for the implementation of UN General Assembly and
Security Council resolutions relating to international terrorism, both sides
reaffirmed their support for the implementation of the United Nations Global
Counter-Terrorism Strategy in a balanced and integrated manner.
parties also reiterated their determination to work together in promoting
international cooperation through for a such as the Financial Action Task Force
(FATF) and the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF). They discussed the
ongoing EU-Pakistan cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism, and agreed to
explore further avenues of bilateral collaboration including exchange of best
practices and potential co-operation projects in mutually agreed areas.
inside a Moro Islamic Liberation Front jungle encampment in the southern
Philippines, veteran fighter Abdul Campong leads a patrol against possible
attacks by saboteurs opposed to a peace deal that his group signed with Manila
four years ago.
joined the MILF rebels when he was 14 years old, one of many child fighters who
left their homes at the time to enlist in the battle for a Muslim homeland in
the majority Catholic country’s southern third.
his early years as a guerrilla, Campong said he was hand-picked to lead a group
of young fighters in protecting the camp that housed Hashim Salamat, the ailing
MILF leader who died of natural causes in 2003.
am thankful I survived despite several encounters I experienced against
government soldiers,” Campong recently told BenarNews. “I was mostly a medic
tending to injured fighters during the battles.”
phenomenon of “child soldiers” remains rampant in the south, where many armed
groups use them, said Col. Gerry Besana, a spokesman for the Philippine
military’s Western Mindanao Command.
has become easy for groups to recruit children from remote areas where poverty
persists and they have access to loose firearms, he said.
for the MILF, there are still many child soldiers under Abu Sayyaf and BIFF
[the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters] in Mindanao. However, with the
implementation of Bangsamoro Organic Law, we are confident it will be
lessened,” Besana said.
are programs that will address the cases of child soldiers among these groups,”
in his late 30s and working on the security detail of another commander,
Campong is frequently deployed in Camp Darapanan, MILF’s main headquarters in
Maguindanao province that has been converted into a peace zone.
no longer plans assaults against government soldiers, but joins them in hunting
down radical fighters who broke away from MILF in protest of a 2014 peace
accord with the Philippine government. Some of those militants allied with the
extremist group known as Islamic State (IS).
of us joined the organization when were still young. My vision before was to
take revenge over the deaths of family members. But now I am looking forward to
the law that will change the lives of my three children and their generation,”
the Bangsamoro Organic Law, 4 million Muslim Filipinos would be allowed to form
an elected parliament and administration in Islamic-majority areas of southern
Mindanao Island and nearby isles, where five decades of insurgencies have left
more than 100,000 people dead.
tale is not unique. Many children are drawn into joining militant groups in the
region, Ramon Beleno III, a political scientist at Ateneo de Davao University,
he said, was among the factors that drove children to join the armed movements
– they were taught that fighting in a holy war (jihad) was the way to religious
the same time, it also has something to do with social injustice,” Beleno said.
“In other cases, it involves historical issues, like if they lost their loved ones
in the war. They want revenge”
agreed to end the practice of recruiting children to its ranks when it signed
the peace deal, he noted.
year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) removed MILF from its list of
armed groups recruiting and using children, after it facilitated a U.N.-MILF
Action Plan involving training programs and integration into communities.
plan resulted in the removal of 1,869 children from the MILF ranks, allowing
them access to appropriate health, education and protection support and
services from government and development partners.
year, Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf leader and the acknowledged head of IS in
the Philippines, led fighters including teenagers in taking over the southern
city of Marawi. The five-month siege ended in October 2017 with the deaths of
Hapilon and key militants from Asia and the Middle East.
Abu Sayyaf, or Bearers of the Sword, has been engaged in banditry, kidnapping
the military has estimated its ranks to number in the low hundreds, it is known
to recruit young Muslims by offering them an escape from grinding poverty. It
is a tradition in Muslim areas in the south that when a boy reaches the age of
13, he is considered an adult, officials and analysts have said.
2005 study by the Philippine Human Rights Center said that more than
three-quarters of children drawn into conflict were actual combatants, while
the rest were enrolled in support roles.
study has not been updated, but Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana acknowledged
last year that many militant factions had prolonged the practice of recruiting
children to carry out their war.
Sayyaf as well as the IS-linked Maute group, which fought in Marawi, had child
soldiers in their ranks, Lorenzana said.
fact, those who are beheading their victims are just teenagers,” Lorenzana has
July, his department facilitated the surrender of more than 100 Muslim rebels,
many of them younger than 18.
this month, Malaysia’s police chief reported that officers had arrested eight
suspects, including a man who allegedly recruited children in the Philippines
to join Abu Sayyaf.
Inspector-General Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the 35-year-old Filipino suspect,
whom he did not name, helped find children and train them to use weapons before
turning them into human shields in Abu Sayyaf battles with the Philippine Army.
links slain journalist Khashoggi to 1MDB conspirators
LUMPUR, Dec 1 — A report detailed today how murdered US-based journalist Jamal
Khashoggi had been involved with alleged conspirators of the 1MDB scandal who
arranged for him to interview Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2009.
to local financial weekly The Edge, fugitive financier Low Taek Jho (Jho Low)
and a shareholder of Petro Saudi International (PSI) that was implicated in the
1MDB scandal orchestrated the event in the year Najib became prime minister.
interview was arranged by Jho Low and Obaid three months after 1MDB poured US$1
billion into a joint venture with PSI,” The Edge wrote, referring to PSI
shareholder and Saudi businessman Tarek Obaid.
interview was meant to promote Malaysia, Najib, and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah
Mansor to the people of Saudi Arabia,” the financial weekly wrote.
interview with Najib was carried out before Najib’s official visit in January
2010 to Saudi Arabia when he met the late King Abdullah. Najib was also awarded
Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour there — the King Abdulaziz Order of
Edge published a series of emails; including a November 25, 2009 email by
Najib’s special officer Wan Ahmad Shihab Ismail to Khashoggi.
the email also copied to Low, Wan Ahmad informed the journalist that the tycoon
had given the latter’s email address to him to enable arrangements to be made
for the interview.
a December 2, 2009 email, Obaid instructed for US$100,000 (RM417,990) to be
transferred to Khashoggi.
had in a separate December 8, 2009 email to Jho Low greeted the latter with
“hey bro”, before listing out 16 questions that Khashoggi would ask Najib in
questions included those touching on the topics of Malaysia’s importance to the
Muslim world, the “centrality of Saudi Arabia and a new ‘beginning’ to a
Saudi-Malaysian ‘strategic’ relationship, global themes shared by the two
countries, Najib’s personal message to the Saudis ahead of his visit to Saudi
Arabia, according to the email published by The Edge.
Edge also showed a December 10, 2009 email by Obaid’s brother, Nawaf Obaid, to
Khashoggi with the proposed media plan for the latter’s interview with Najib.
published email showed Nawaf proposing a “major front-page interview” with
Najib on the message and ideas that he wanted to tell the Saudi leadership and
people and other matters to be addressed in line with “local Saudi domestic
sensitivities and requirements”.
also proposed “a smaller interview” with Rosmah “to highlight all her Islamic
charitable works for the poor in Malaysia and beyond”, which he said will be
very interesting for Saudi women involved in charitable works.
demonstrating that the wife of the Malaysian PM is so involved in Muslim causes
will only reinforce the bonds between our two respective countries,” he wrote,
also proposing Khashoggi write several editorial pieces.
interview with Najib took place on December 12, 2009, with the two posing for a
photo together after the interview, The Edge reported.
was prime minister of Malaysia from March 2009 to May 2018.
to The Edge, Obaid and the late Saudi ruler King Abdullah’s son Prince Turki
Abdullah were shareholders of PSI, with the latter’s standing taking a hit
after his father died in 2015.
was removed as Riyadh governor via a royal decree in January 2015.
Edge said 1MDB lost US$1.8 billion in its dealings with PSI, claiming that much
of this sum has allegedly been traced back to the bank accounts of Obaid and
Turki, as well as Low and PSI director Patrick Mahony.
your own religious beliefs shouldn’t be a crime, but in Indonesia, new
technologies are helping authorities identify and potentially prosecute
religious minorities who follow “deviant teachings.”
November 22, Bakor Pakem, a body charged with religious oversight in the
Indonesia Attorney General’s office, launched an app that allows mobile device
users to report individuals suspected of “religious heresy.”
app, Smart Pakem, available in the Google Play store, is an extension of an
official website and hotline service. They were all set up by Bakor Pakem
ostensibly to “protect” Indonesia's six officially recognized religions –
Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism – and
facilitate prosecutions under the blasphemy law.
app lists several religious groups, including the Ahmadiyah, Shia, and Gafatar,
names their leaders and Indonesian office addresses, and describes their
“deviant teachings.” It risks inflaming tensions and increasing the potential
for Islamists to abuse Indonesia’s increasingly besieged religious
Rights Watch has long documented the role of government officials and Islamist
militant groups in cases of intimidation, humiliation, violence, and arbitrary
detention of religious minorities.
Pakem was created in 1952 under Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and
moved to the Attorney General’s Office in 2004. Its main goal is to enforce the
1965 blasphemy law and it has branches in every province and regency under
public prosecutors’ offices.
the last five decades, Bakor Pakem has been instrumental in banning more than
30 religions, ranging from indigenous faiths like the Agama Djawa Sunda in 1964
to global religions like the Jehovah’s Witness in 1976. In 2016, the office was
instrumental in charging Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama with blasphemy
against Islam. Ahok lost his reelection and was sentenced to two years in
prison in May 2017.
It is nearly two years since thousands of protesters took to the streets of
Central Jakarta to demand the arrest of then-Governor Basuki "Ahok"
Tjahaja Purnama on blasphemy charges.
of the so-called 212 movement held a "reunion" of sorts at the
National Monument on Dec. 2 last year, attended by incumbent Governor Anies
Baswedan, to celebrate the anniversary of the 2016 rally.
are set to gather once again for another reunion this Sunday.
movement, which was formed under the pretext of defending Islam, succeeded in
its true objective when it managed to bring down Ahok, an ethnic Chinese
Christian, who was found guilty of having committed blasphemy by referring to a
Koranic verse during a campaign speech. The controversial trial ended in May
2017 with him sentenced to two years in prison.
several of the most vocal proponents of the movement are currently facing legal
woes of their own.
Jakarta District Court prosecutors sought two years' imprisonment for musician
Ahmad Dhani on Monday for alleged hate speech, BeritaSatu.com reported.
was named a suspect for posts he made on Twitter last year, which were seen as
provocation to attack Ahok supporters.
one of the tweets he made during the Jakarta gubernatorial election campaign,
he wrote that "anyone who supports the blasphemer is scum and deserves
being spat in the face."
prompted members of a network of Ahok supporters to report the tweet, which
appeared to be an indirect reference to the former governor, to the police, who
opened an investigation into the matter.
musician also faces separate charges for comments he made against President
Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in 2014.
Anzar Simanjuntak, former chairman of the youth wing of Muhammadiyah,
Indonesia's second-largest Islamic organization, was questioned as a witness
last week amid an ongoing police investigation.
are probing the alleged misappropriation of Rp 5 billion ($348,000) allocated
by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs to the youth wings of Muhammadiyah
and Nahdlatul Ulama, the country's largest Islamic organization, for a youth
has denied any involvement in the technical aspects of the program.
to the funds used for that program, I have mentioned from the very beginning
that I was not involved," he said, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.
and activist Ratna Sarumpaet, who was one of Ahok's most vocal critics in the
212 movement, is facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if found
guilty of having spread false and inflammatory information.
police declared her a suspect in an ongoing investigation into a political
hoax, allegedly masterminded by Ratna, who lied about an assault in Bandung,
West Java. This was subsequently used by the campaign team of presidential
hopeful Prabowo Subianto to attack his opponent, President Jokowi.
of Taliban militants killed, wounded in Herat infighting
of Taliban militants were killed or wounded during the clashes among the two
factions of the Taliban in western Herat province of Afghanistan.
governor’s spokesman Jilani Farhad confirmed the incident and said at least 28
militants have been killed during the latest clashes among the Taliban fighters
in Shindand district.
further added that the loyalists of Mullah Hebatullah and Mullah Rasool clashed
with each other, leaving at least 28 militants dead.
to Farhad, at least 17 militants belonging to Mullah Hebatullah group were
killed and at least 8 others sustained injuries during the clashes.
said at least 11 militants belonging to Mullah Rasool group were killed and at
least 9 others sustained injuries.
is among the relatively calm provinces in West of Afghanistan but the security
situation in some of its districts has deteriorated during the recent years.
police rescued 10 Rohingya refugees, including six women, and arrested a
suspected human trafficker who was about to take them by boat to Malaysia,
officials said Friday.
Mehedi Hasan, chief of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Cox’s Bazar
district, told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service, the rescue
operation occurred Thursday night in the southernmost border of Bangladesh
within Teknaf sub-district.
police operations took place days after authorities in southern Myanmar’s
Tanintharyi region returned 93 Rohingya Muslims to their displacement camps in
Rakhine state after allegedly paying traffickers 500,000 Myanmar kyats (U.S.
$312) each to take them by boat to Malaysia in hopes of a better life.
conducted an operation in the late hours of Thursday and rescued 10 Rohingya,”
Hasan told BenarNews, adding that a man has been arrested on suspicion of human
considers the Rohingya illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and systematically discriminates
against them, denying them citizenship although many of their families have
been in the country for generations. They also do not get access to basic
services, such as education and health care.
least 64 Malaysia-bound Rohingya Muslims, mostly women, were rescued during the
past two months and five suspected traffickers have been detained, officials
women who were rescued Thursday night were lured by the suspect who allegedly
promised them they could marry prosperous Malaysians, officials said.
Bay of Bengal is generally calm during winter and traffickers take that
opportunity to smuggle Rohingya to Southeast Asian countries where the refugees
could find employment.
trafficking became less frequent after Thai authorities in May 2015 discovered
mass graves containing the bodies of 32 Rohingya and Bangladeshi victims of
human trafficking in the jungle along Thailand’s southern border with Malaysia.
the discovery, Thai authorities launched a crackdown on illegal migration,
arresting a three-star army general, police and government officials who were
implicated as part of a transnational smuggling ring.
July 2017, former Army Lt. Gen. Manas Kongpaen was sentenced to 27 years in
prison, when he and 61 other defendants were convicted in Thailand’s largest
human trafficking case.
widespread media coverage generated by the sentencings spurred Bangladesh to
launch a crackdown on human smugglers in 2015.
weeks ago on Nov. 16, naval authorities rescued a group of 106 Rohingya who
paid traffickers to take them to Malaysia when their boat’s engine failed,
leaving them stranded in the Andaman Sea off Yangon region.
recent years, tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled or attempted to flee
persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar on boats organized by human
traffickers and bound for other Southeast Asian nations.
United States officials have displayed the weapons and military equipment
supplied by Iran to Taliban in Afghanistan and other militant groups in the
Fadjr missile was also put on display which was seized by the Afghan National
Army in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.
U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook has has confirmed the capture
of the missile of the Afghan forces in Helmand province.
Hook has also added that the coalition forces have also captured an Iranian
made drone, Shaheed-123, in Afghanistan which was put on display for the media.
to Ambassador Hook, Iran also supplies similar weapons and missiles to the
militant groups including Houthis in Middle East.
comes as the Afghan officials have long been claiming that Iran supports the
Taliban group and supplies militants with weapons.
least twelve militants were killed in an airstrike carried out by the U.S.
forces in southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said
the airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of Geru district.
coalition forces carried out airstrike against the militants in Geru district
of Ghazni province, leaving at least 12 of them dead,” the statement said.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the airstrike so far.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in Southeastern parts of the country
where the Taliban militants are actively operating in some of its districts.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says the mission’s preliminary
findings indicate that as many as 23 civilians were killed and three injured
Tuesday in an airstrike in Garmser district of Helmand province during
operations conducted by pro-government forces against Taliban in the area.
in a statement said initial findings indicate that the vast majority of the
victims were women and children. “The Mission is actively working to verify
information indicating up to 10 children were killed along with eight women,
and three children were injured, including an eight-year-old boy.”
statement further added that the incident took place during an operation
involving Afghan and international military forces, when international military
forces conducted an airstrike following engagements between the forces on the
ground and Taliban.
to UNAMA, in addition, three days earlier, during fighting between Taliban and
pro-government forces, three civilian homes were struck by explosive ordnance
in Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand province, killing two civilians and injuring
at least 14 more, including 10 children, reportedly after Taliban initiated an
attack from the vicinity of civilian homes against an Afghan National Army
convoy returning to its base.
United States has “a long record of crimes” since the invasion of Afghanistan,
says an analyst, adding that Washington has absolutely no business being in the
anyone might think about the Taliban, the United States has absolutely no
business [being] in Afghanistan where it is really doing one thing and that is
violently propping up a corrupt puppet government. There is no other way to
look at it,” Barry Grossman told Press TV in an interview on Friday.
be clear about another thing. The United States has a long record of crimes in
Afghanistan during those 17 years whether you want to talk about abductions,
rape, murder, other abuses by military personnel or the institutionalized
targeting of civilian population, schools, mosques and such things … In my view
the United States has no business being there and it is very revealing,” he
is while at least 23 civilians, most of them women and children, have been
killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand.
United Nations said last month the number of civilians killed or injured by
airstrikes in Afghanistan in the first nine months of the year was already
higher than in any entire year since at least 2009.
increase comes as the US has stepped up its air operations in an attempt to
exert pressure on the Taliban militant group to force them to accept a
negotiated end to the 17-year war.
along Pakistan border changing': BSF flags concerns
DELHI: The Border Security Force (BSF) has flagged concerns over increasing
radicalisation of Muslim population in the border district of Jaisalmer in
Rajasthan with rising prevalence of "Arab customs" even as Hindus and
Muslims admit to a shrinkage in dialogue between the communities.
BSF study that examined demographic changes has found a departure from
traditional Rajasthani culture in terms of personal grooming such as hairstyles
and dress. The study also found a high 22-25 per cent growth rate in Muslim
population as compared to 8-10 per cent of other communities. There is a rise
in religiosity with higher attendance of children at mosques for more frequent
warning of radicalisation, the study says there is no evidence of any
"anti-national" activity and there is no discernible soft corner for
Pakistan among the minority population. Also, both communities have not had any
problems so far and they conduct business and are cordial to each other, the
study also talks about an increase in the membership of Hindu right-wing
organisations, which are opposed by Muslims.
activities of Hindu right-wing organisations have made Hindus in the village of
Mohangarh, Nachna and Pokaharan more concerned about their religion. The
membership in such organisations is increasing and they are extending their
horizons at different spheres of religious activities ranging from training,
monetary and communal support to education. However, no direct confrontation
with other community has been noticed", the report says.
"study of demographic pattern in the border areas of Rajasthan and its
security implications", notes that areas like Pokhran and Mohangarh of Jaisalmer
have seen frequent visits of Muslim clerics, especially from Deoband, Uttar
Pradesh. The clerics are reported to "preach fanaticism and (seek to)
unite Muslims as a separate identity with feeling of paramountcy of
is also an aggressive investment in land, which has now become a bone of
contention for the Hindu community, BSF asserts. The growing communal divide is
reflected in the "Hindu community believes that unbalanced rate of Muslim
population increase is disturbing the communal harmony of their village."
BSF study also names a personage of Jaisalmer (name withheld), who often
travels to Pakistan, has business interests there and has emerged as an
influential political influence. "(The) involvement of Muslim population
in anti-establishment activities and surfacing of anti-India sentiments on his
call can't be ruled out..."
has recommended a check on activities of clerics, a task force comprising
police, administration, intelligence and BSF, to assess any rise in the communal
about the report, BSF chief Rajnikant Mishra said that the force
"regularly prepares these reports based on demographic, social, economic
changes in border areas and shares it with sister agencies".
surveyed six villages — Mohangarh, Nachna, Bahla, Bharewala, Sam, Tanot and the
town of Pokhran — in the border region of Jaisalmer district.
Pak Terrorists Get 40-Year Jail for Terror Bid
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists from Pakistan were sentenced to 40 years’
rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 95,000 each by a local court on Friday for
infiltrating into India to carry out terror activities.
court observed that Jameel Ahmed alias Abu Chargam and Abdul Majid alias Abu
Tala — both from Pakistan’s Nawab Shah district in Sindh province — had
illegally entered India and were unable to furnish a reason for the same. Their
involvement with a terrorist organisation further proved that they were here to
carry out subversive activities.
that no leniency could be shown to the convicts, the court sentenced them under
relevant sections of the Ranbir Penal Code.
said the duo had travelled to India on the orders of the LeT commander in
Pakistan. They arrived in Mumbai from Karachi by sea, where they procured
forged identity cards and other documents. The two then reached Rajouri’s
Manjakote sector on March 3, 2007, but were arrested the same day. During
investigation, cops found that they had been sent to India in a bid to fuel
terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
days after the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, Army chief General Bipin
Rawat said Friday that Pakistan cannot stay together with India as long as it is
an “Islamic state” and that an opportunity may arise if Pakistan is “ready to
become a secular state”.
Rawat made the remarks on the sidelines of the Passing Out Parade of 135th
course of National Defence Academy in Pune at a time when Pakistan has made
renewed efforts to resume dialogue with India.
about Khan’s statement in Kartarpur Wednesday that if Germany and France who
fought several wars can live in peace, why not India and Pakistan, Gen Rawat
said: “For this idea of countries coming together, Pakistan will have to first
look at their own internal situation. Pakistan has made itself into an Islamic
state. If they have to stay together with India, they will have to become a
secular state. We are a secular state. How can we stay together when they say
they are an Islamic state and there is no role for anyone else? If they are
ready to become a secular like us, I think there can be an opportunity.”
to a question on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that if India
takes one step Pakistan will take two, Gen Rawat said, “India has taken the
first step several times. At least show us one step from your side. Terrorism
is growing in your country. At least show us movement from your side to control
terrorism and not let it spread to other countries…If you want to generate
trust, you can’t just keep making statements. One step from them should come in
a positive direction. Until then, our country has a very clear policy that
terror and talks can’t go together.”
Police Take Down Terror Alert Posters After ‘Operatives’ Identified As Pak
Police has taken down posters it had put up across the city on November 20,
which showed two men posing next to a milestone and carried an alert that they
were suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad operatives. This comes after a seminary in
Pakistan claimed on Monday that the two were its students and had “never
Cell sources said the inputs did not come from their agency, but they were
tipped off by other agencies and as per their standard operating procedure,
“they inform the public rather than risk an untoward event”.
are several alerts issued by various agencies. It takes a lot of time for the
source information to be verified and our priority is to ensure the public is
sensitised rather than risk an attack,” an official from Special Cell said.
pictures were released two days after a grenade attack on a religious gathering
in Amritsar, in which three people were killed and 20 were injured. The poster
shows the two men leaning on a milestone that read: “Firozpur 9 kilometres,
Delhi 360 kilometres”. Officials said they assumed the men were near Firzopur,
which is 133 km from Amritsar, following which the posters were circulated.
“The men were never declared terrorists in the posters,” the official added.
Pakistani newspaper, Dawn, reported that the two students never left Pakistan.
“The administrator of Jamia Imdadia, Mufti Zahid, said both students, Nadeem
and Tayyab, of his seminary were present in Faisalabad and they had never
visited India,” the report stated.
University on Friday instituted an inquiry into its senior professor Mohammad
Tajuddin after the political science teacher allegedly referred to
revolutionary Bhagat Singh as a “terrorist” while delivering a lecture.
inquiry committee headed by Dean (Academic Affairs) Keshav Sharma has been
constituted and has been asked to submit its report within seven days, Jammu
University Vice Chancellor Prof Manoj Dhar said. The V-C said that till the
report is submitted, Tajuddin shall remain disassociated from teaching.
students who made the complaint also submitted a CD which has been forwarded to
the inquiry panel, Dhar added.
of the students who made a written complaint to the vice chancellor included
Abhinav Pandotra and Saket Rathore of Law Department, besides Suyash Gupta of
School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM). However, none were present
in that class, and none were students of the political science department.
complaint is based on a 25 second video, in which the professor is purportedly
heard saying, “Terrorism yahan bhi hua, azadi ke daur mein. Bhagat Singh, hum
unko hero mantey hein, woh bhi terrorist they’ (Terrorism took place even in
India during freedom struggle. Bhagat Singh, whom we consider a hero, he was
also a terrorist)”.
however, admitted that he was yet to hear the full video of the lecture.
said he was explaining to his students that any kind of violence against a
state is terrorism and in this context, he had pointed out that during the
freedom struggle, the Britishers had charged Bhagat Singh with terror and had
hanged him. “Bhagat Singh was a patriot and a freedom fighter and I have no
doubt about it,’’ he said.
terrorism, radicalism and financial frauds as the major threats to the world,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged BRICS nations to join forces
against the menace of black money.
and radicalism are a threat to the world, those who commit financial crimes are
also a big threat. We have to work together against black money,” PM Modi was
quoted as saying by ANI. He was participating in the BRICS leaders’ informal
meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Argentina’s Buenos Aires.
prime minister also underlined that BRICS nations have to talk in one voice for
the interest of developing nations in the United Nations and other multilateral
organisations. “This is the reason we have come together for BRICS,” Modi told
his fellow BRICS nations.
also reaffirmed India’s commitment to globalisation and reformed
PM Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping on sidelines of G-20 summit in Buenos
Aires and said he had a productive discussion with the Chinese President.
in the day, Modi had met with the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres and
discussed India’s uniting role in addressing climate change globally, with
specific reference to the forthcoming COP24 meeting in Katowice, Poland.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the main topic of Prime Minister Modi’s discussion
with the UN chief was the forthcoming COP24 climate change meeting in Katowice,
Poland from December 3.
Secretary-General has said India plays a major role in climate change
negotiations. He acknowledged that Prime Minister had taken a number of
concrete steps towards addressing climate change,” Gokhale said. “He mentioned
the International Solar Alliance. The Secretary-General also said that when he
was in Delhi last month he had seen for himself the manner in which other
campaigns the prime minister had led including the Swachh Bharat campaign
having an impact on the environment,” he said.
army kills 40 Houthi militants in clashes in Al-Baydah
Yemen’s national army clashed with the Houthi militia in Al-Baydah province on
Friday leaving 40 militants dead and dozens wounded, Saudi state-news agency
sources quoted by the official Yemeni news agency said that clashes between the
army and militia in Malajim directorate left 30 militants killed.
said that aerial support from the Saudi-led Arab coalition destroyed Houthi
gathering sites and killed 10 militants on the Qanya Front.
Jordanian man has been arrested by Israeli police after allegedly attacking two
Israelis on Friday, in the port city of Eilat, which borders Jordan.
said that the two victims were hospitalized with serious injuries after the
Jordanian beat them with a hammer. The suspect was apprehended and police were investigating
the circumstances of the incident.
countries signed a peace treaty in 1994, but relations have been tumultuous due
to occasional violent incidents and political disagreements.
ties sank to historic lows last year after an Israeli embassy guard shot and
killed two Jordanians, contending that one tried to attack him and the second
was caught in the crossfire.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has once again assessed the viability of
putting an end to the ongoing Saudi-led crisis in Yemen only through the
Islamic Republic's four-point plan.
a post on his official Twitter account on Friday, Zarif said he has announced
Iran's four-point proposal on the Yemeni crisis in April 2015.
after untold human suffering & war crimes by the Saudi coalition & its
U.S. accomplices, & efforts to whitewash their crimes with absurd
allegations against Iran, our four-point plan still remains the only viable
option," the top Iranian diplomat said.
April 2015, the Iranian foreign minister submitted a four-point peace plan for
Yemen to the United Nations in an attempt to end the bloodshed in the Arab
is imperative for the international community to get more effectively involved
in ending the senseless aerial attacks and establishing a ceasefire,"
Zarif said in the letter, adding that Tehran is ready to cooperate with the UN
“to facilitate and encourage an immediate end to these senseless bombardments
and initiation of a genuine dialogue to find a political solution to this
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing
the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
a press briefing in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Thursday, UN Under-Secretary
General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock
appealed for a halt to fighting in Yemen.
UN official said the fighting has once again highlighted the ongoing
humanitarian tragedy in the war-ravaged Arab country and said, "I'd like
to see a cessation of hostilities, especially around the key infrastructure,
especially around Hudaydah."
number of Western countries, the US, France and Britain in particular, are also
accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh
regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and
President Donald Trump, who has touted the country’s lucrative purchase of arms
from the US, has threatened to veto a bill on ending the United States'
military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen if it arrives on his desk.
United States on Thursday displayed pieces of what it claimed were Iranian
weapons deployed to militants in Yemen and Afghanistan.
forces have once again opened fire on Palestinians taking part in protests near
the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied
territories, leaving at least 28 people wounded.
Gaza Health Ministry said the 28 people were hit with live ammunition in Gaza
on Friday. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesman for the ministry, said a journalist
was among the casualties.
have been running high near the fence, separating Gaza from the occupied
territories, since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests
called “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters demand the right to
return for those driven out of their homeland.
deadly 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
240 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded in the
renewed Gaza clashes, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza
Thursday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said around 1,000 Palestinians shot by
Israeli forces during the anti-occupation protests have infections that could
leave them permanently crippled.
international medical charity also warned that a "slow-motion healthcare
emergency is unfolding in Gaza” as hospitals, already under-equipped due to
Israeli siege, were being overwhelmed by the “huge numbers of patients with
complex and serious gunshot wounds”.
has been under the Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
senior Houthi official says Yemen will liberate the country's south from the
grip of separatists and aggressors led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
al-Mashat, the senior political leader of the popular resistance movement, made
the remarks in a statement on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the
country’s independence from Britain.
likened the situation in the area to the one that existed under the colonial
era, urging its liberation, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported on
in southern Yemen, backed by the United Arab Emirates, have called for secession
of the restive port city of Aden and other southern provinces, controlled by
officials of the country’s former Saudi Arabia-allied government.
separatists want to revive the former South Yemen republic, which merged with
the north in 1990. Aden, Yemen’s second largest city, used to be the capital of
the once independent South Yemen.
UAE has played a key role in a Saudi military campaign, which was launched in
March 2015 with the aim of reinstalling the government of former president Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
has no effective government for now, and the state affairs are now being run by
Ansarullah, which also defends the country against the aggressors.
to the Saudi aggression, Hadi resigned and fled to Riyadh. The Saudi regime and
its allies later managed to seize Aden from the Houthis and put it under the
control of the ex-president’s officials.
said the Yemeni republic did not have any envoys at the United Nations, saying
those alleging to be the country’s ambassadors at the UN were not representing
the Houthi movement respects all efforts to resolve the country’s crisis, he
official urged reconciliation based on mutual respect and demanded serious
endeavors towards finding a clear and logical solution aimed at bringing
different sides to the conflict back to the negotiating table.
UN peace envoy Martin Griffiths has been trying to help re-launch the talks in
Sweden. The negotiations have fallen apart on several occasions over the past
years due to Saudi Arabia's constant violation of provisional ceasefires.
Saudi war has killed thousands of people, while thousands others have died of
the malnutrition resulting from a concomitant crisis.
move against al-Masirah
Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm, a pan-Arab digital news
and opinion website, took to Twitter, condemning Nilesat’s move on Wednesday to
take al-Masirah TV off the air.
Egyptian satellite company stopped broadcasting al-Masirah, accusing the Yemeni
television channel of “sectarian programming,” according to Saudi state
television Al Arabiya.
empires, which spend billions of dollars, are afraid of a simple channel,”
al-Dailami, the director-general of the channel, told IRNA the company’s move
signaled that the invaders were prepared to perpetrate more atrocities against
the Yemeni nation.
and Arabsat, he reminded, had previously targeted the Iran's Arabic-language
channel Al Alam, Lebanese channels Al Mayadin and Al Manar, as well as such
Yemeni channels as Saba, Yemen, Al Iman, and Al Sahat.
2003, Nilesat jammed broadcast of Al Alam and pulled off the plug on Al Manar
enemies target independent and resistant media,” Dailami said, adding it was the
ninth time al-Masirah had been taken off the air. Al-Masirah Mubasher, which
broadcasts live, has also been pulled three times so far, he said.
President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has set
off an increasingly visible battle in the city’s eastern sector — with an
emboldened Israel seeking to cement its control over the contested area and
Palestinians pushing back to maintain their limited foothold.
recent weeks, Israel has arrested dozens of Palestinian activists for alleged
illegal political activity. It demolished Palestinian shops for failing to have
permits, a court has cleared the way for settlers to move in to an Arab
neighborhood and the city’s outgoing mayor is trying to close the east
Jerusalem operations of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, in turn, has boosted efforts to protect
its claim on Jerusalem, attempting to block east Jerusalem Palestinians from
selling properties to Jews — a major taboo that it is largely powerless to
change in the US position on Jerusalem under Trump’s administration has
unleashed the Israeli hands to increase and escalate its measures that aim to
change the features of the city from a Palestinian city to an Israeli one,”
said Walid Salem, a Palestinian analyst in Jerusalem. “The Palestinian
Authority feels the heat and is stepping up measures to resist this Israeli
conflicting claims to east Jerusalem lie at the heart of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel captured the area, home to the city’s most
sensitive religious sites, in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it, claiming
the entire city as its capital. But the annexation is not internationally
recognized, and the Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future
year ago, Trump upended decades of American policy and recognized Jerusalem as
finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Trump
said at the time.
months later, he moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thrilling
Israel and enraging the Palestinians.
at the embassy dedication ceremony in May, Netanyahu said: “We are in Jerusalem
and we are here to stay.”
Trump has said his decision would not determine the city’s final borders, it
has been seen by both Israel and the Palestinians as taking sides.
hawkish government has been energized by the backing of its American ally in
its quest to keep Jerusalem what it considers to be its eternal, undivided
Palestinians have for years accused Israel of taking steps to fortify its hold
on the city, primarily by encircling Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem with
Jewish settlements. These settlements, considered by Israel to be neighborhoods
of its capital, are now home to over 200,000 Israelis.
from previous US administrations has often held Israel back in the past. With
the reins removed, Israel has carried out a flurry of moves, often jostling
with Palestinians along the way.
300, 000 Palestinian live in east Jerusalem,” said Adnan Husseini, the
Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs. “They have always resisted the
Israeli occupation measures in the city and they always will.”
an unusual step, Israel arrested the top Palestinian official in Jerusalem this
week along with over 30 Palestinian Jerusalemites, accusing them of the rarely
enforced offense of serving in the Palestinian security forces in violation of
previous agreements with Israel. Most were released on bail, but the governor,
Adnan Ghaith, remains in custody.
arrests appear to have been prompted by the detention of a Palestinian resident
of east Jerusalem who allegedly sold property to Jews — a punishable offense
under Palestinian law.
detention was a bold move by the Palestinians because, also according to
previous accords, they cannot arrest Jerusalem residents.
Palestinians have also zeroed in on the Bedouin hamlet of Khan Al-Ahmar. Israel
says the West Bank encampment, just outside of Jerusalem, was illegally built
and is trying to uproot the village. A planned demolition was postponed
following heavy European pressure, but it could still happen at any time.
say the demolition is meant to make way for Israeli settlement homes, a step
the Palestinians fear could cut off the West Bank from their hoped-for capital
in east Jerusalem.
Khan Al-Ahmar residents avoided eviction for now, others haven’t. After a
lengthy legal battle, Israel’s Supreme Court this month rejected an appeal by
residents of the Silwan neighborhood in east Jerusalem who claimed their land
was illegally granted to a pro-settler group. The decision could lead to the
evictions of hundreds of longtime Palestinian residents.
huge mechanism of displacement has been set in motion, allowing settlers and
the government to work hand in hand,” said Yudith Oppenheimer, executive
director of Ir Amim, an Israeli advocacy group that promotes coexistence in the
police demolished 18 stores in east Jerusalem last week in what it called a
“large-scale” operation against illegal structures that it said was prompted by
Palestinian residents’ complaints.
in a move coordinated with the national government, Jerusalem’s municipality
plans to evict the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees and shift its
services — schools, sanitation and others — over to Israeli authorities.
outgoing mayor, Nir Barkat, said a decision by the Trump administration to cut
$300 million in funding to UNRWA prompted the move.
Israeli steps in east Jerusalem come ahead of the promised release of Trump’s
long-awaited peace plan. The Palestinians have already said they will oppose
it, accusing Trump of being unfairly biased in favor of Israel.
Reiter, a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, said
Israel may be trying to skew the American plan toward its vision for the city.
Syrian fighters say they hold ISIS leader’s assistant
fighters in Syria have captured a senior ISIS leader who served as an assistant
to the group’s self-declared “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, they said on
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led militia alliance that holds the
quarter of Syria east of the Euphrates, detained Osama al-Awaid last week, it
said in a statement.
fighters have been attempting to take the last ISIS Syrian pocket of territory
on the banks of the Euphrates near Iraq for weeks, in an offensive backed by
US-led air strikes.
captured Awaid in a special operation in a village in eastern Syria, the
statement said, adding that he had been a senior security official for ISIS in
than a year after the physical “caliphate” of ISIS collapsed in both Syria and
Iraq under military attack, Baghdadi’s whereabouts remains a mystery.
despite its loss of territory, the group has been able to launch guerrilla
attacks in areas controlled by both the Syrian and Iraqi governments.
civilians killed as US-led coalition warplanes strike eastern Syria
than two dozen civilians, mostly women and children, have lost their lives when
the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group
conducted an aerial assault on Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
sources told Syria’s official news agency, SANA, on Friday that the airstrike
targeted residential buildings in the town of al-Shaafah, leaving at least 30
sources added that the death toll is expected to rise as some people are still
trapped under the debris of destroyed buildings.
development came only a few days after US-led coalition fighter jets bombarded
the village of Abu Hassan, which lies close to the town of Hajin. Several
civilians, mostly women and children, were killed and injured as a result.
November 13, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned a
recent airstrike by the so-called US-led coalition against the eastern town of
al-Shaafah, which left more than 60 people dead and injured, arguing that the
massacre clearly pointed to the fact that members of the military alliance had
no respect for moral values, international rules and regulations besides the
lives of innocent civilians.
ministry, in two separate letters, addressed to United Nations Secretary
General Antonio Guterres and the rotating president of the UN Security Council
Ma Zhaoxu, called on the Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities and
stop US-led aerial assaults.
also asked the world body to propose an international, independent and
impartial mechanism to investigate the crimes being perpetrated by the
so-called US-led coalition.
letters noted that the coalition was deliberately targeting Syria civilians and
making use of internationally banned weapons, including white phosphorus bombs,
ministry stressed that the so-called US-led coalition airstrikes were meant to
kill as many Syrian people as possible, prolong the ongoing Syrian conflict,
destroy the country’s infrastructure and undermine its sovereignty and
territorial integrity in flagrant violation of all UN Security Council
resolutions on Syria.
once again urges Israel to withdraw from entirety of Syria’s Golan Heights
majority of the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution urging
the Israeli regime to withdraw from the entirety of the Syrian Golan Heights it
occupied some half a century ago.
resolution, titled The Syrian Golan, was adopted by a record vote of 99 in
favor, 10 against and 66 abstentions on a Friday session, declaring that the
Israeli controversial move to extend its laws, jurisdiction and administration
on the occupied mountainous plateau is null and void and calling on the Tel
Aviv regime to pull out from the strategically-important territory.
1967, the Israeli regime waged a full-scale war against Arab territories,
including those of Syria, and occupied a large swathe of Syria’s Golan Heights.
1973, another war, known as the Arab-Israeli War or the Yom Kippur War, broke
out between the Israeli regime and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and
Syria. A year later, a UN-brokered ceasefire came into force, according to
which the Israeli regime and the Syrian government agreed to separate their
troops, and create a buffer zone patrolled by the UN Disengagement and Observer
late 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law that extended the regime’s
“laws, jurisdiction and administration” to the Golan Heights, effectively
annexing the territory to Israel.
few days after the law’s passage in Israel’s Knesset, UN Security Council
Resolution 497 determined the law as “null and void and without international
assembly on Friday also denounced Israel’s non-compliance with the UNSC 1981
so-called Israeli law is not recognized by the international community.
continues to occupy a precious part of our land, and our people there continue
to suffer because of this occupation,” said Syria's permanent delegation at the
world body, Munzer Munzer, adding, “We are the legitimate owners.”
also stressed that Syria would not forfeit its right to its land and that its
share of Golan Heights are non-negotiable.
fact that most UN member states continue to support these resolutions shows
that they are committed to the goals and purposes of the UN Charter, and that
they reject foreign occupation and support Syria’s right to reclaim the
entirety of its Israeli-occupied lands, Munzer added.
of people have held a protest in Bahrain to voice their support for
distinguished Shia cleric Sheikh Khalid Fadhil al-Zaki, whom regime forces
recently arrested as the ruling Al Khalifah regime does not shy away from its
clampdown on pro-democracy campaigners in the kingdom.
protesters staged a rally in the northwestern village of Diraz, situated some
12 kilometers west of the capital Manama, following Friday prayers, carrying
images of the cleric, who is the head of the Sharia Commission at the Islamic
Scholars Council’s Central Committee – a leading Shia body dissolved in
security authorities detained Sheikh Zaki early on Friday after raiding his
requesting not to be named, said security forces ransacked Zaki's home for two
hours, before taking him to an unknown location.
urges Thailand not to deport refugee footballer back to Bahrain
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Thai government to recognize the
refugee status of Bahraini footballer Hakeem Ali al-Araib and allow him to
return to his place of residence in Australia.
was detained upon arriving in Thailand earlier this week, and now faces
deportation back to Bahrain where he is at risk of persecution and torture.
Adams, the executive director of the Asian division of HRW, pointed to the
“grave dangers” that the 25-year-old footballer faces if he is returned to
urged Thai immigration authorities to “immediately release Araib, who is
recognized as a refugee in Australia, and ensure that he is not harmed in
violation of international law.”
him over to Bahrain would be a heartless act that blatantly violates Thailand’s
obligations to protect refugees and opens Bangkok up to a chorus of
international criticism,” Adams added.
is wanted in Bahrain over his alleged involvement in attacking a police station
for which he received a 10-year prison sentence in absentia.
footballer says the charges against him are fabricated and that he was in Qatar
at the time of the purported incident.
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14,
2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to
assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or
got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
of people have taken to the streets in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad to
express outrage over the Saudi-led aerial bombardment campaign against Yemen,
which has killed thousands of innocent civilians and reduced much of the Arab
country's critical infrastructure to rubble.
protesters, carrying Iraqi and Yemeni flags as well as banners in condemnation
of the Saudi-led aggression, converged in the al-Jadriya neighborhood following
chanted slogans and censured Saudi-led war crimes against the Yemeni nation
during the demonstration, which had been organized by religious scholars as
well as social media activists and dubbed as “We Stand With You.”
demonstrators condemned the continuation of the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen,
and deplored the international silence on the tragic humanitarian situation
al-Qabali, a representative of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, said the Saudi-led
military alliance has unleashed a relentless onslaught against Yemen aimed at
starving ordinary people to death and destroying the country.
added that more than two million Yemeni children are suffering from acute
malnutrition, warning that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Daesh
Takfiri terrorist group are acting freely in areas seized by the Saudi-led
al-Husseini, a spokesman for the Iraqi pro-government Kata'ib Hezbollah
voluntary forces, demanded the immediate intervention of international
organizations to end the Saudi-led military aggression on Yemen.
Two people were injured on Friday from a missile fired into southwestern Saudi
Arabia by Houthi militants in Yemen.
Yahya Abdullah Al-Qahtani, a Civil Defense spokesman in Jazan, said teams were
dispatched on Friday morning after a residential property was hit by a
projectile launched by the Iranian-backed group.
Yemeni woman and a Saudi national were injured when the residential area in
Samtah was hit.
attack comes as momentum builds owards peace between the internationally
recognized government and the Houthis in Sweden next month.
internationally recognized government insisted it was committed to peace on
Thursday as momentum built toward talks in Sweden next month.
Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Thursday insisted his government was committed to
peace and has already said his administration would attend the latest attempt
at a negotiated settlement to the conflict.
his statement to mark Yemen’s Independence Day was overshadowed on Thursday by
another attempt by the militia to fire a ballistic missile toward Saudi Arabia,
which is part of an Arab Coalition supporting the government.
coalition said it had destroyed a missile launch platform in Saada province
before the missile could be launched.
peace talks will take place after fierce fighting this month around Hodeidah,
which resulted in pro-government troops advancing deep into the port city.
Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday the international
body is “working hard to ensure the start of meaningful peace talks in Yemen”
before the end of the year.
talks have collapsed with little progress, and in September the Houthi
delegation did not even arrive for negotiations in Geneva.
Houthi militia on Thursday said they would attend talks in Sweden if guarantees
to ensure they can leave home and return back are maintained.
envoy Martin Griffiths has held talks separately in the past few days with
officials from both sides.
to UN figures, nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the coalition joined
the conflict in 2015 to bolster Hadi after the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr.
Yousuf bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, chaired the OIC delegation to the extraordinary
Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, which was held under the patronage of
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.
celebrated the Bahrain city of Muharraq as the capital of Islamic culture.
conference discussed the most important challenges facing the Arab and Islamic
cultural identity, calling for the humanitarian message of Islam to be conveyed
to the whole world with special attention to thought and culture.
THE ISRAEL BORDER: On a moonlit night, some two dozen Israeli soldiers in full
battle gear march near a Lebanese border village with a bomb-sniffing dog,
searching for explosives and infiltrators.
the force stops. Through night vision goggles, two suspicious men appear over
the ridge, holding what looks like binoculars. Could they be undercover Hezbollah
militants? Lebanese soldiers on a night patrol? Or perhaps UN peacekeepers?
men appear unarmed and since they are on the other side of the internationally
recognized “blue line” that separates the two countries, Israeli troops move
on, completing another routine foot patrol along a scenic frontier that has
remained quiet but tense since the bloody battles of a 2006 summer war.
with attention currently focused on Gaza militants along the southern front,
Israel’s main security concerns lie to the north, along the border with
officials have long warned the threat posed by Gaza’s Hamas rulers pales in
comparison to that of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group — a
heavily armed mini-army with an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach
nearly every part of Israel. It is along this northern front that Israeli
soldiers come face-to-face with Hezbollah militants and where any skirmish
could spark an all-out war.
rules of the game are very clear. They know I’m here and I know they’re there,”
said Lt. Col. Aviv, a regional battalion commander. “But if they break that
equation, they are going to get hit.”
his base along the border near the Israeli farming community of Avivim, he can
see the hilltop Lebanese village of Maroun Al-Ras, a UN observer outpost and a
new square house inside an agricultural field, assumed to be a Hezbollah
the UN-brokered cease-fire that ended the 2006 war, Hezbollah militants are
prohibited from approaching the border. But Israeli intelligence says Hezbollah
men operate freely, generally unarmed and in civilian clothes. Sometimes they
come within just a few meters of the Israeli troops, it says.
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu recently decided against a full-scale offensive in
Gaza, he cited the current “security-sensitive period” in what was widely
assumed to be a reference to the northern front.
has generally refrained from engaging in Syria’s civil war, where Hezbollah has
fought alongside Bashar Assad’s men, though it has carried out scores of
airstrikes against what Israel says were Iranian shipments of advanced weapons
bound for Hezbollah.
flew its jets through Syrian skies with impunity. But that was severely
restricted after a Russian plane was downed in September by Syrian forces
responding to an Israeli airstrike, a friendly fire incident that stoked
Russian anger toward Israel and hastened the delivery of sophisticated S-300
air defense systems to Syria.
Syria’s civil war winding down, an empowered Hezbollah is now free to
re-establish itself back home in Lebanon and refocus on Israel, said Eyal
Ben-Reuven, a lawmaker and retired general who commanded Israeli ground troops
in the 2006 war. Armed with more exact rockets and munitions, Hezbollah now
poses a far more dangerous threat, he said.
terror organization, unlike a country, doesn’t stockpile weapons for deterrence
but in order to use them one day,” he said. “I suspect they will now try to
goad Israel. ... The war the Israeli military has to prepare for is the one
side appears interested quite yet in another full-fledged confrontation like
the monthlong 2006 war, which ended in stalemate and in which more than 1,200
Lebanese and 160 Israelis were killed.
a lagging economy and a paralyzed government, Lebanon appears unlikely to have
the stomach for another war. Though emboldened politically from the Syria war
and having surged in power in Lebanese parliamentary elections earlier this
year, Hezbollah is going through a financial crunch. It also is recovering
after having hundreds of fighters killed or wounded in Syria.
Israel accuses it of ratchetting up tensions.
military says it recently uncovered militant surveillance outposts along the
border, set up under the guise of a tree-planting campaign by an environmental
advocacy group, “Green Without Borders.” The group acknowledges its affiliation
with Hezbollah but says its work is purely environmental.
also accused Hezbollah of setting up secret rocket launching sites near
Beirut’s international airport. The military says Hezbollah is establishing new
launching sites among civilians — a trap that could make it difficult for
Israel to respond forcefully.
the military says its major concern is Iranian-backed efforts to convert some
of Hezbollah’s unguided rockets into precision munitions that could wreak far
more devastation on Israeli targets.
declined to respond to the accusations. Its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said
recently the group is “more confident than ever” and ready for war at any time.
to the uneven terrain, Israel’s sophisticated northern fence does not run
precisely along the border, creating enclaves of Israeli territory that are
inside the blue line but beyond the fence.
is now stepping up its presence, fortifying fences and clearing away brush to
is also sending a signal that violations won’t be tolerated — even on a night
patrol, Israeli troops do not hide their presence.
Muhammadu Buhari has warned against politicising religion, saying Christians
and Muslims in Nigeria can flourish together.
Buhari said this in an opinion article published by the News Agency of Nigeria.
article earlier appeared on the UK-based Christian Times on Friday.
the article, the president referenced a Biblical verse and argued that Christians
and Muslims share the same root, although their believes differ.
the op-ed below:
1844, the Revd Samuel Ajayi Crowther returned home to Yoruba land (now part of
modern-day Nigeria). Twenty years earlier, he had been kidnapped and sold to European
slave traders who were bound for the Americas. He was freed by an abolitionist
naval patrol, and received by the Church Missionary Society. There, he found
made his voyage home to establish the first Anglican mission in Yoruba land. He
came with the first Bibles translated into Yoruba and Hausa languages. He
opened dialogue and discussion with those of other faiths. And his mission was
a success: Crowther later became the first African Anglican bishop in Africa.
Nigeria has the largest Christian population on the continent. The messages and
teachings of Christianity are part of the fabric of each person's life.
with the millions of Christians in Nigeria today, I believe in peace,
tolerance, and reconciliation; in the institution of the family, the sanctity
of marriage, and the honour of fidelity; in hope, compassion, and divine
Bishop Crowther, I am a descendant of Abraham; unlike him, I am a Muslim. I
believe our two great religions can not only peacefully coexist but also
flourish together. But Muslims and Christians must first turn to one another in
compassion. For, as it says in Amos 3.3: "Do two walk together, unless
they have agreed to meet?"
they are People of the Book, I believe that there is far more that unites
Muslims and Christians than divides them. In fact, I believe that the messages
of the Bible are universal: available for anyone to exercise, and instructive
must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities, because, if we do,
we can only look inwards. It is only when we mix that we can reach new and
religion or religious denomination they choose to follow, Nigerians are devout.
Anything that Nigerians believe will place impositions on their practice, and
belief is therefore sure to cause widespread alarm.
unfortunately, there are those who seek to divide Nigerians -- and our two
great religions -- and to do so for their own advantage.
stand accused -- paradoxically -- of trying to Islamise Nigeria while also
being accused by Boko Haram terrorists of being against Islam. My
Vice-President is a devout man, a Christian pastor. He, too, is accused of
selling out his religion, because of his support for me.
is not the first time that I -- nor, indeed, my Christian-Muslim evenly split
cabinet -- have been the subject of such nonsense. Fortunately, the facts speak
differently from the words of those who seek to divide us from one another.
my administration has been in power, Boko Haram has been significantly and
fatally degraded; I have befriended church leaders and church groups both
within and outside our country; my Vice-President has addressed and opened
dialogue with Muslims up and down our land.
all things, we seek that which all well-meaning Christians and well-meaning
Muslims must seek: to unite, respect, and never to divide. Does it not say
"There is no compulsion in religion" (Qur'an 2.256)? Does it not say
"Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us" (Luke
9.50)? This, surely, is the path that followers of both our two great religions
those who wish us all to walk apart have recently found another focus for their
efforts: the tragic clashes between nomadic herdsmen and settled farmers in the
central regions of Nigeria.
generations, herders have driven their cattle from the north to the centre of
our country; they tend to be predominantly Muslim, although not exclusively.
The farmers, in certain areas of central Nigeria, are predominantly Christian.
causes of this conflict are not religious or theological, but temporal. At the
heart of this discord is access to rural land, exacerbated both by climate
change and population growth.
there are some who seek to play fast and loose and so make others believe that
these are not the facts. When religion is claimed as the cause -- and by those
who know that it is not -- it only makes finding a resolution more difficult.
government has taken action to mediate, to bring the two groups together in
peace and unity. But we also need all parties to follow the teachings of the
scriptures, and encourage reconciliation rather than cause division. As it is
said: "Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?" (Mark
our constitution codifies, politicising religion has no place in Nigeria; for
it makes us turn away from one another; it makes us retreat into our
communities and walk different paths.
believe that there is a better way. To those who seek to divide, I still hold
my hand out in brotherhood and forgiveness. I ask only that they stop, and
instead encourage us to turn towards one another in love and compassion.
Nigeria belongs to all of us. This is what I believe.
How 'foreign' Are Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Africa?
September 2018, five people acquitted of the July 2010 terror attacks in
Kampala, Uganda, were re-arrested by the Ugandan Police. Omar Awadh Omar and
four others were charged with possessing literature for the promotion of
terrorism. These charges were later dropped by the Director of Public
Prosecutions following deportation letters for three of the suspects to Kenya.
contested the orders by the Ugandan authorities to deport him to Kenya on the
grounds that although born to a Kenyan father, his nationality is Ugandan by
right of birth, as his mother is Ugandan.
the four other suspects and the eight convicts of the July 2010 bombing in Kampala
were trained al-Shabaab operatives and the group claimed responsibility for the
attacks. This is one of several situations that raise the question of the
applicability of the term 'foreign terrorist fighter'.
cases may not be unique to Africa and there are indeed Africans who have
travelled to other parts of the world to fight battles. However, within Africa
itself there is a need to reflect on a range of issues when considering foreign
affected by terror attacks sometimes find it difficult to seek asylum across
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) defines these fighters as 'individuals
who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for
the purpose of the perpetration ... or participation in terrorist acts'.
many African contexts where ethnic groups traverse state borders, the notion of
'foreignness' is difficult to define. Most borders on the continent have
complicated histories and the African context presents particular challenges
for understanding the concept of foreign terrorist fighters.
the Lake Chad Basin to the Horn of Africa, states affected by terrorism have
witnessed their citizens cross borders along battle lines. However, the borders
they cross are valid reminders of common ethno-religious and traditional roots
predating the colonial period.
the Lake Chad Basin where the Boko Haram crisis has raged for close to a
decade, the Kanuri ethnic group extends across borders that separate people in
present-day Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. This implies for example that
many communities in the Lake Chad Basin area have stronger connections to
communities just across the border in a neighbouring country than to
communities in Yaounde, N'Djamena, Niamey or Abuja.
while the existing state boundaries remain, effective policies on countering
violent extremism or counter-terrorism need to take into account the local and
historical contexts of issues. A similar situation can be observed in the Horn
of Africa where communities in the coastal parts of Kenya and the Ogaden region
of Ethiopia share ethnic ties with Somalia. This situation is also comparable
to the ethnic groups affected by the terror dynamics in the Sahel.
binds the fighter to that community, rendering the 'foreign' distinction
the concept of foreign terrorist fighters in parts of Africa becomes amorphous
when marriage occurs between those considered foreign terrorist fighters and
local women. Marriage binds the fighter to that community, rendering the
'foreign' distinction somewhat irrelevant.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar of the Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (Group for the
Support of Islam and Muslims), who migrated to northern Mali, is said to have
garnered local support and rooted himself in the community through marriages to
various women of Tuareg and Berabiche origin.
view of significant displacements and movements of people due to fighting,
apart from the issue of fighters, the people affected by terror attacks
sometimes find it difficult to seek asylum or join members of their families or
ethnic group across state borders. Counter-terrorism policies that concern
communities in this type of context would need to understand these nuances and
be adapted to the local realities.
the complexity of the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon in the African
context, the one-size-fits-all application of the term in Africa should be
avoided. Instead, the specific realities of the phenomenon in communities must
be recognised. UNSC resolutions 2178 and 2396 stress the importance of taking
effective measures that are comprehensive and in consultation with local
communities. These resolutions provide the backing required by state and
regional institutions to do what is necessary.
is a need for further research into the uniqueness of the African context
the case of former violent extremists, policy options should reflect a greater
recognition of the communal connections in rehabilitation and reintegration programmes.
As already witnessed, there are indeed former Boko Haram members from Chad
engaged in Nigeria's rehabilitation initiative known as Operation Safe
US military said on Friday it killed 11 suspected al Qaeda militants in an air
strike in Libya’s southwestern desert.
Africa Command (Africom) said Thursday’s attack was its third since March on
the militant group’s North African branch- al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
strike near the town of Al Uwaynat, close to the Algerian border, destroyed
three vehicles and “at this time, we assess no civilians were injured or killed,”
linked to al Qaeda and ISIS found a haven in Libya’s vast southern desert as
the country struggles to restore stability seven years after the uprising that
toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
Authorities have arrested 12 suspected members of Daesh and seized bomb making
materials since a suicide attack last month, the interior ministry said Friday.
have also “dismantled four takfiri (Sunni extremist) sleeper cells in several
parts of Tunisia,” the ministry said in a statement.
announcement follows an attack by 30-year-old female suicide bomber Mna Guebla
on October 29 that wounded 26 people on the capital’s busy upmarket Avenue
Habib Gourguiba, in the first militant attack in the capital since November
attack went unclaimed but the Tunisian authorities said the suicide bomber had
sworn allegiance to Daesh.
have arrested 12 people suspected of supporting Daesh, an interior ministry
spokesman told AFP, without specifying where and when the arrests were made,
nor the suspects’ links to the perpetrator of October’s attack in Tunis.
suicide bomber had contact with Daesh officials “inside and outside the
country, and liaised with them over the Internet,” the ministry said in its
Daesh officials had taught the bomber how to make explosive devices, and she
built the one used in the attack, the statement said.
laboratory producing explosives and electronic components has also been
uncovered in a Tunis suburb, the ministry said.
four dismantled cells are suspected of having been in contact “with terrorist
officials entrenched in the Tunisian mountains to organize a series of
attacks... aimed at sensitive targets with weapons, a car, poison or remote
explosives,” the statement said.
confiscated “a very large quantity of explosive and chemical products, along
with a drone equipped for remote bombings,” the statement added, without
specifying where the haul was found.
a separate statement late on Thursday, the interior ministry said a police
patrol had been targeted by an armed group in the middle of Kasserine, a
marginalized city in western Tunisia.
passerby was shot and wounded, the ministry said, adding that an investigation
was underway to determine whether the attack was linked to extremist groups
holed up in nearby mountains bordering Algeria.
of Tunisians have joined extremist groups fighting in Iraq, Syria and
November 2015, a suicide bombing killed 12 security agents on a bus used by the
presidential guard, in an attack claimed by Daesh.
Nigerian Army has again cautioned against what it called deliberate and
concerted efforts to mislead the public through inaccurate and false
publication of casualty figures on the unfortunate attacks on some of its
locations in the North East.
statement from Sani Usman, Brigadier General, the Director Army Public
Relations on Friday said the latest of this worrisome development was the
attack on troops’ location at Metele, Borno State.
said some persons and media outlets had continued to circulate various wrong
accounts and inaccurate casualty figures of troops without efforts to verify
from the military.
said, “This is coming at the heels of our release of 28th November 2018 in
which we gave accurate details of the attacks and casualty figures in a bid to
set the records straight and inform the public true account of things.
also promised to continuously carry the public along through accurate and
timely information dissemination on operations and other activities of the
Nigerian Army in the release.
it was observed that the trend continued unabated. Most of these inaccurate,
false reports and fake news were aimed at denigrating the leadership of the
the rate at which some mischievous persons ignorantly attack the Armed Forces
of Nigeria, especially the Nigerian Army is very alarming and unfortunate.
is deliberate attempt to demoralise the Nigerian Army which would have
devastating consequences on troops’ will to discharge their constitutional
duties especially in the fight against terrorism and insurgency, thus affecting
would like to warn all those mischief makers to keep the Nigerian Army out of
their politics and mischief.
and media platforms should be professional and accurate in their reportage.
achievements of the Nigerian Army within the last three years are glaringly
obvious, therefore, whatever recent temporary setbacks we experienced in the
course of the fight against terrorism and insurgency should not be the
yardstick for condemning these laudable three and half years’ accomplishments.
have however identified the few unpatriotic harbingers of the fake news on the
attack at Metele and would take appropriate legal actions against them.
is to ensure that the Nigerian Army is insulated from propaganda and ulterior
motives of destabilising the country.
Nigerian Army is quite aware that the perpetrators through these acts are
covertly supporting terrorists and their activities in Nigeria with a long term
objective. We are also aware that they want to use insecurity to scuttle and
subvert the democratic process in the country.
we would like to state unequivocally that no amount of mischief or pressure
would circumvent the journey to a peaceful, free and fair general elections in
therefore, need the continued support, encouragement and understanding of well
meaning Nigerians as we deal decisively with the remnants of the Boko Haram
terrorists hibernating at the fringes of our borders with contiguous countries
of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
are committed to the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria. We hasten
to state that we will continue to be professional in our assigned roles and
remain apolitical at all times.
apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has alleged that some
Service chiefs in the country were making money from the war against Boko Haram
group expressed dismay that despite the huge funds being earmarked for the
procurement of weapons to fight insurgency in the northeast,the government has
failed to protect lives and property of its citizenry.
however, expressed shock over the massacre of Nigerian soldiers at Metele in
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Igbo body, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, made this
known in an interview with newsmen on Friday, in Umuahia, the Abia state
capital, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to explain what has happened to
the security funds and why the soldiers complain of lack of weapons and
noted that,” The Boko Haram war is now a money-making venture for some
government officials and top army officers.
white supremacist who amassed a bomb factory avoids terror charges
far-right extremist who turned his Bristol home into a bomb factory has not
been charged with terrorism-related offences, despite waging a white
supremacist anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant social media campaign.
Glynn, 37, had filled a tennis ball with explosives to be thrown like a
grenade, a hand-held device covered in ball bearings and made a cylindrical
following a number of far-right groups and posting a series of anti-Muslim
posts on social media authorities discounted Glynn had a “terrorist motive”.
decision not to charge Glynn with terrorist offences will raise questions for
police and prosecutors about whether white supremacist suspects are being
treated differently from their Muslim counterparts.
charges that Glynn pleaded guilty to at Bristol Crown Court on October 31
include making explosives at his home in Horfield from a period that began in
bomb factory was considered so dangerous that his street in Horfield, Bristol,
was evacuated for four days while it was dismantled.
2015 until last year Glynn shared Islamophobic, white nationalist and
anti-immigrant Facebook posts. Among the groups he liked were Britain First,
which has since been banned from Facebook, and the Oath Keepers, an American
also shared an article by Knights Templar International, which has been
promoted by British far-right leaders including Nick Griffin, the former leader
of the British National Party.
liked anti-Muslim Facebook pages including World Against Islamism and Stop
Islamification Wake Up World.
August 2015 he shared a post that said, ‘Snow – the only thing that settles
here . . . and doesn’t claim f***ing benefits’. He also shared posts which
advocated banning school trips to mosques and that refugees were not welcome in
final open post was made in February 2017 when he shared a cartoon image of a
baby in a nappy carrying a sword, with the caption ‘English born English bred
100% English and proud’. It was produced by a far-right website.
and Somerset police would not comment on the case.
is understood that police noted much of the far-right material was two years
old and therefore not necessarily a reflection of Glynn’s current views. It is
understood that prosecutors felt a link between the views indicated on his
social media accounts and his bomb-making activity could not be proven, meaning
the threshold for more serious terror plot charges, such as possessing the
explosives with intent to endanger life, was not reached.
Terrorism Act 2000 defines terrorism as threats or action with the purpose of
“advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause”.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was “insufficient evidence” to
charge him with a terrorism offence but refused to comment further.
spokesperson for the CPS explained: “Glynn was charged with making an explosive
device, possession of a regulated substance and possession of a prohibited
weapon. There was insufficient evidence to charge any terrorism offences.”
terrorism threshold requires that a device was constructed for the “purpose of
advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause”.
spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said: “There have long been
concerns that when Muslims are involved, crimes are more likely to be deemed as
a form of terrorism. Such concerns are only amplified when individuals with a
history of Islamophobia and caught with explosives, are not charged with
terrorism offences. Justice needs to be done and be seen to be done. We will be
calling the next Independent Reviewer to look into parity of treatment and give
confidence that everyone is treated fairly.”
Judge Advocate General, Alan Large, remanded Glynn in custody pending a
probation report which will shed more light on his offences. He is due to be
sentenced on December 14.
mosques should forgo foreign funding, says German interior minister
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has demanded that the country's mosques be
more independent of foreign donors.
communities should "largely" organise and finance themselves and the
training of preachers, Seehofer said at the start of the fourth German Islam
Conference in Berlin on Wednesday.
course, Muslims have the same rights and the same responsibilities as everyone
here in Germany," Seehofer said. As to how the financing should
specifically be assured, Seehofer did not say. Existing support programmes for
integration projects within mosque communities would be expanded, he said.
a hardline conservative and acrimonious ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, was
criticised in March for rejecting Islam's role in Germany.
does not belong to Germany," he told the popular tabloid Bild at the time.
"Germany has been forged by Christianity."
Muslims who live here are naturally part of Germany," he told the paper.
"That does not of course mean that we therefore give up our
country-specific traditions and customs out of false consideration."
had made changes to this year's German Islam Conference, inviting liberal
theologians, activists and scientists in addition to Islamic associations in
Germany. Some of Seehofer's new invitees have harshly criticised the other
associations in the past for their conservative understanding of Islam.
participation is more colourful this time. I think that's good," said
Seyran Ates, the founder of the liberal Berlin Ibn Rushd Goethe Mosque.
conference brings together German Muslims and representatives of federal, state
and local governments. In recent years it has discussed issues such as
religious education and Islamic pastoral care.
and other politicians have criticised foreign influence in Germany's mosques
and Islamic communities, mostly from Turkey.
Turkish-Islamic Union for the Institution of Religion (DITIB), Germany's
largest Islamic organisation, is under the control of the Directorate of
Religious Affairs (Diyanet) in Ankara, which provides and pays for the imams at
some 900 mosques in Germany. DITIB has shifted from being a useful point of
contact for German politicians to being the object of harsh criticism for its
closeness to autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Central Council of Muslims in Germany called for more trust in mosque
congregations ahead of the conference.
can only warn against considering the mosque community as a problem; On the
contrary, it is part of the solution," central council Chairman Aiman
Mazyek told Germany's Redaktionsnetzwerk group of publications on Wednesday.
the same time, Mazyek acknowledged "considerable deficits" and errors
in Muslim religious communities.
Minister Jens Spahn, who is campaigning to replace Merkel as leader of the
Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has demanded binding rules for Muslims to
integrate in German society.
have religious freedom and there should also be mosques in Germany," Spahn
told Wednesday's Rheinische Post newspaper. "But integration only succeeds
if these mosque communities see themselves as German mosque communities and
not, for example, as Turkish."
should not be financed from abroad, he said. The imams have to be trained in
Germany and also speak German.
federal integration commissioner, Annette Widmann-Mauz, also demanded
"emancipation" from foreign influences for German mosques.
Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with British Prime
Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina.
pair discussed the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul last month.
Prime Minister stressed the importance of ensuring that those responsible for
the appalling murder of Jamal Khashoggi are held to account, and that Saudi
Arabia takes action to build confidence that such a deplorable incident could
not happen again," Mrs May's office said in a readout of her meeting with
prime minister had told reporters on the flight to Buenos Aires that she would
speak to the crown prince about Mr Khashoggi's death and the situation in
officials said the meeting would cover a range of topics, including the
upcoming peace talks on Yemen to be held in Sweden next week.
May’s presence at the talks between world leaders is likely to be dominated by
the issue of Brexit and the UK’s future global trade as it prepares to leave the
European Union in March 2019.
exported more than £6 billion in goods and services to Saudi Arabia in 2017
including machinery, cars and aircraft.
is also the second-largest major arms supplier to Saudi Arabia, behind the
United States, according to the think tank the Stockholm International Peace
UK imports from Saudi Arabia amounted to some £3 billion with crude oil making
up about half of the total.
crown prince also met briefly with US President Donald Trump on Friday.
White House official confirmed the two exchanged pleasantries during a leaders’
Trump later said there was “no discussion” but did not rule out holding longer
talks with the crown prince during the two-day summit.
Mohammed spoke with other world leaders on the sidelines including Chinese
President Xi Jinping.
Arabia’s press agency posted an image of the pair together but gave no details
of what was discussed.
President Emmanuel Macron sought firm talks with the crown prince when they met
on Friday, according to a French official.
Mohammed was greeted warmly by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
documents showed the pair were due to hold bilateral talks on Saturday.
on Friday, Prince Mohammed met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and told him
about plans to scale up investments in India's tech, farm and energy sectors,
an Indian official and the Saudi news agency (SPA) said on Friday.
(Reuters) - An appeals chamber of Bosnia’s war crimes court acquitted on Friday
former Bosnian Muslim commander Naser Oric of human rights violations and the
killings of three Serb prisoners of war in and around Srebrenica in the
country’s 1992-95 conflict.
regarded as a hero by Bosnian Muslims, led the defense of Srebrenica, a besieged
town that eventually fell to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 who then killed more
than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.
second instance verdict was delivered after the court in June revoked its
previous ruling, clearing Oric and fellow soldier Sabahudin Muhic of guilt, and
ordered a new trial after the prosecutor complained of criminal procedures
appeals chamber found discrepancies in the statements of a key protected
witness and “could not find them credible and establish beyond a reasonable
doubt the responsibility” of Oric and Muhic for the alleged crimes, said judge
verdict is final and cannot be appealed.
Dukic, the head of an association of Bosnian Serb prisoners of war, said the
ruling was shameful. “All Serbs should leave the state judiciary in response,”
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) acquitted Oric
of war crimes against Serbs in 2008, but he was arrested again in June 2015 in
Switzerland on a warrant from Serbia accusing him of killing three Bosnian Serb
prisoners of war early in the conflict.
court in Germany has ordered Deutsche Telekom, a partly state-owned telecom
provider, to reactivate phone and internet service for the Hamburg branch of
Bank Melli Iran.
German telecoms company abruptly cut off phone and internet services for Bank
Melli Iran and two other Iranian banks earlier this month for what it called
doubts about their future solvency in the wake of the US sanctions on Iranian
a preliminary injunction, the Hamburg district court ordered Deutsche Telekom
to reactivate the services for Bank Melli, arguing that the justification was
not sufficient for a termination without notice, especially as the bank has so
far fulfilled its obligations and has sufficient resources, Der Spiegel
court spokesman later confirmed the Spiegel report, telling the Deutsche
Presse-Agentur (DPA) that the injunction had originally been issued on Tuesday.
Telekom’s move to discontinue its services for Bank Melli came after the bank
even offered to pay the bills for one year in advance.
Der Spiegel and the DPA questioned the company’s account, writing that the move
to disconnect the banks was apparently based on concerns that its T-Mobile
subsidiary could be penalized in the US for violating Washington's sanctions
Gottlieb, the director of the Hamburg-based Bank Melli, said it's interesting
that a state-owned company like Telekom is giving in to US President Donald
Trump’s pressures, especially when neither the German government nor the
European Union has issued its own sanctions against Iran.
addition to Bank Melli, around three dozen companies with roots in Iran are
said to be affected by Telekom’s move, including Bank Sepah in Frankfurt and
the European-Iranian Trade Bank in Hamburg. Both of them, however, obtained
injunctions against the termination of their telecom connections this week.
an editorial published last Friday, German business newspaper Handelsblatt
criticized the Deutsche Telekom’s move as "cynical." It also accused
the German government and central bank of "doing nothing" to ensure
that Bank Melli can make legal payments to German institutions.
is the help for German companies? Where is the defense of Germany's
sovereignty?" the German publication asked.
Trump administration launched the second wave of sanctions against Iran on
November 5, targeting Iran’s oil sales, its wider energy industry, shipping, banking,
insurance and so on.
the European Union is trying to create a mechanism to maintain banking channels
with Iran in the face of US sanctions.
has warned that it cannot wait forever for the establishment of a payment
mechanism the Europeans have promised to launch in order to maintain trade with
so far witnessed that the European countries have the political will [to
maintain business relations with Iran], and have not seen any sign that proves
otherwise,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Friday.
has promised to establish the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a mechanism which
is supposed to bypass US sanctions against Tehran.
said, "The Europeans have so far failed to introduce operational solutions
required for securing Iran’s benefits under the deal, and we are not going to
wait forever. We’ll take appropriate decisions in due time.”
are currently aware of the efforts being made [by Europe], and they regularly
brief us on these efforts; therefore, we believe we should give them more time
so that Europeans would be able to operationalize these solutions,” Araqchi
see that the US is exerting enormous pressures, and there are very serious
technical and legal barriers to the establishment of the mechanism, which
Europeans are trying to remove,” he told Iran’s official news agency IRNA
during his visit to Algeria. “But they should know the time is certainly not
unlimited,” he added.
also pointed to a report by the Wall Street Journal that Germany and France are
going to host the SPV to keep trade with Iran in defiance of US sanctions, and
said he cannot confirm it because of the “sensitivity of the issue”.
Americans are seeking to block all the paths, and have already started exerting
pressure on the countries that try to establish the payment mechanism,” Araqchi
and Austria, under the US pressure, refused to host the SPV, with Luxembourg
officials being warned that hosting the mechanism could damage the country’s
place as a major financial center hosting many international investment funds,
European diplomats said.
Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the European governments
participating in the payment channel will directly manage the clearing house in
order to prevent the US from putting direct sanctions on it.
to the diplomats, British officials are also mulling over joining France and
Germany in order to rescue the European attempt to circumvent the US sanctions
and salvage the Iran nuclear deal following the US’ withdrawal in May.
report said if France plays host to the SPV, Germany will take the helm, and
to the report, the mechanism is not finalized yet and finishing touches will be
discussed on the sidelines of the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit, scheduled to
begin on November 30.
has been taking a range of measures to meet the Iranian demand for practical
and the European side have been discussing ways to conduct non-dollar trade in
order to offset the US sanctions.
Trump, Saudi Crown Prince exchange greetings at G20
President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted each
other during the line up for the group
photo prior to the start of the G20 leaders’ session which convened on
Friday at Costa Salguero in the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires.
to the group photo gathering, Saudi Crown Prince chatted with President Trump
and his daughter Ivanka, ahead of the start of the two-day meeting of the
world's top economies, according to AFP.
white house source commented on the exchange of greetings between the two
leaders as saying: “as he (Trump) did with nearly every leader in attendance.”
source added that the US President hadn't yet any lengthy discussions with the
Saudi Crown Prince, but that he might, without elaborating more.
leaders welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday.
official: Military action on the table against Iran
Trump administration says military action against Iran could be possible should
US sanctions against the country fail to curb Tehran from threatening
threat by Brian Hook, the US State Department's director of policy planning and
head of Iran Action Group, on Thursday came a day after Tehran asserted that it
did not seek a war with any other nation.
have been very clear with the Iranian regime that we will not hesitate to use
military force when our interests are threatened," Hook said.
think right now, while we have the military option on the table, our preference
is to use all of the tools that are at our disposal diplomatically," he
was speaking at a press conference at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in
Washington, DC in response to a question on possible next steps the US could
take against Iran in its maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic
spoke at an event held to display pieces of what he claimed were Iranian
weapons and military equipment handed over to the US by Saudi Arabia.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a similar event in the
same location last November, displaying what she alleged scraps of a missile
given by Iran to Yemen's Houthis.
show drew ridicule from many observers who questioned the authenticity of the
claims made by a diplomat with no knowledge of military matters.
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter then that Iran would not print
the “Iranian Standard Institute logo” on its missiles as was the case
concerning the “evidence” displayed by the US.
fabricating 'evidence' again,” he said, pointing out that a destroyed missile
would not “land fully assembled.”
Thursday, US media questioned the timing of the event, saying it was an attempt
to shift the narrative away from Saudi Arabia, which has come under intense
scrutiny over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
came as the Senate on Wednesday advanced a resolution that would end US
military support for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen in a sharp rebuke to
President Donald Trump.
tried to dispel those questions, saying there "isn’t anything tied to
what’s happening in Saudi Arabia.”
also sought to press back on criticisms that the display was a political stunt
by the Trump administration that could increase tensions in the region.
is simply putting out in broad daylight Iran’s missiles and small arms and
rockets and UAVs and drones," he said.
Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
stressed that the Iranian Armed Forces have to develop their capabilities to
deter any potential aggressor. The Leader, however, said the Islamic Republic
is not after a war with any country.
crimes targeting Muslims have increased by over 200 percent in Canada's most
populous province of Ontario in the past year, according to the country's national
statistics agency Statistics Canada.
data, which has raised concern among Muslim and other advocacy groups, was
released on Thursday by Statistics Canada.
also saw a similar surge, with nearly three times more anti-Muslim hate crimes
reported in 2017 compared to the previous year.
report counted 2,073 overall police-reported hate-crimes in 2017 across the
country, an all time high surpassing the previous year by 664 more incidents.
data revealed that Muslims had been targeted in 349 incidents and had
experienced the highest increase of hate-related crimes compared to any other
specifically targeting Muslims increased nationally by 151 percent, while
Jewish and black minorities respectively witnessed a 60 and 50 percent increase
in hate crimes.
data, while very unsettling for our communities, unfortunately does not
surprise us; 2017 was an immensely difficult year for the Canadian Muslim
community," said executive director of the National Council of Canadian
Muslims (NCCM) Ihsaan Gardee.
year began with a tragic January shooting targeting a Mosque in Quebec City,
Quebec, killing six worshipers and wounding many more.
new data reveals Islamophobic hate crimes peaked in February 2017, signaling
that the shooting very much set the tone for the increase in hate crimes
against Muslims for the remainder of the year," said Gardee.
Muslim director further explained that "approximately two-thirds of hate
crimes are never even reported to police for a variety of reasons including
fear of retaliation, shame, and fear of not being believed by police."
worrying reports come amid increased domestic debate about Canada's relatively
open immigration policies.
debate related to minority communities, specifically Muslims, has also
consequently surged in the country.
an important development last week, more than a hundred community groups called
on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to launch an initiative for uniting
the country against hate crime.
newly elected Premier Francois Legault seeks to impose a controversial ban
preventing public servants who are "in position of authority" from
wearing religious symbols such as the hijab.
controversial law, which was denounced by numerous rights organizations, has
sparked public protests in the past two months.
least 23 civilians, most of them women and children, have been killed in a US
airstrike in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand, the UN says.
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) pointed to a sharp
increase in civilian casualties from the air operations in a Friday statement,
emphasizing that it was particularly concerned about the high number of
children impacted by the bombardment.
findings indicate that the vast majority of the victims were women and
children,” said the statement following its probe of the attack on suspected
Mission is actively working to verify information indicating up to 10 children
were killed along with eight women, and three children were injured, including
an eight-year-old boy,” added the UNAMA statement.
residents insist that at least 30 people were killed as the result of the air
strike, which was carried out amid a surge in US-led air operations as the US
military claims to have adopted a more aggressive approach in its bid to force
Taliban militants to “peace” talks.
is while the US military claims that it is also conducting its own
investigation of the airstrike on Tuesday in which a helicopter hit a compound
during a joint operation with American and Afghan forces in Garmsir district of
in Helmand, explosive ordnance struck residential units during clashes between
the Taliban militants and Afghan security forces days ago, killing two
civilians and injuring at least 14 others, including 10 children. According to
the UN, those clashes occurred in the Nad-e-Ali district.
clashes broke out after the Taliban militants reportedly entrenched in the
vicinity of civilian homes launched an attack on an Afghan National Army
to the two incidents, UNAMA expressed major concern regarding the number of
children that were disproportionately affected, comprising 55 percent of the
further underlined that aerial attacks in Afghanistan in the first nine months
of this year have caused nearly 650 civilian casualties, including 313 deaths.
The figure includes the highest number of civilian casualties from aerial
operations documented by the organization since 2009.
to UNAMA, the persisting war in Afghanistan caused more than 8,000 civilian
casualties -- including 2,738 deaths between January 1 and September 30 in the
current year alone.
the first nine months of the year, it maintains, US aircraft released 5,213
weapons, more than in any other year since 2011, when there were more than
100,000 American military forces in Afghanistan.
United States appointed Zalmay Khalilzad, its former ambassador to Iraq and
Afghanistan, in September to lead the reconciliation efforts with the Taliban.
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