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Islamic World News (10 Jun 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)



PM Modi Says India Will Help in Conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque

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India

PM Modi Says India Will Help in Conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque

Jammu & Kashmir: Terrorist Hideout Busted, Ammunition Seized

Kathua Rape Verdict: Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah Welcome Judgment

Rahul Gandhi Won in Wayanad Due to 40 Pc Muslim Population: Owaisi

Sacking of J&K Bank head opens up a can of worms

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Pakistan

Action on LeT, Jaish-e-Mohd, Hizbul: Pakistan Shuts 13 Camps across LoC Ahead of Anti-Terror Body’s Plenary

Section 144 imposed in North Waziristan due to 'current law and order situation'

Zardari arrested by NAB team after IHC rejects bail plea; Bilawal appeals for calm

Pakistan faces FATF blacklist: Key goals unmet, call for action against Jaish, LeT

IHC rejects Zardari, Talpur's bail plea in fake accounts case

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South Asia

Sri Lankan Tamil Leader Says Muslims' Rights Being Abused in Aftermath of Easter Attacks, Seeks Probe

Don't Let Muslim Prabhakaran Be Born: Sri Lankan President Sirisena Calls For Unity

9 Taliban militants killed, 1 arrested in Kabul and Logar operations

43 Taliban militants killed in Afghan Special Forces raid in Nangarhar: sources

Khalilzad says he had good meeting with Ghani regarding peace process

Officials report 16.8 percent increase in onion harvest in Helmand

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Mideast

Iran Closes Hundreds of Restaurants for 'Illegal Music and Debauchery,' Other Violations of 'Islamic Principles'

Iran Unveils New Advanced Missile Defence System

Rouhani, Erdogan Highlight Importance of Ties

Lebanese Security Head Travels to Tehran to Discuss NazarZaka's Release

Iran's Human Rights Headquarters Condemns Canadian Gov't for Genocide against Indigenous Minority

Lebanese party: Gunmen kill official with Islamist group

Dubai Islamic Bank board recommends Noor takeover to shareholders

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Southeast Asia

Islamisation Agenda: Again, Islamic Group Attacks TY Danjuma, Christian Elders

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Arab World

Yemen Attacks Saudi Arabia's Jizan Airport with Drones

Turkey Accommodates Thousands of Tahrir Al-Sham Terrorists' Family Members in Aleppo

A museum struggling to help Iraqis connect with 5,000 years of art

Yemeni Defense Minister Enters Saudi Soil for First Time, Hails High Morale of Yemen's Armed Forces NearNajran

Hundreds of Terrorists Killed in Foiled Attacks to Regain Lost Regions in Hama

Syrian Kurds hand over French, Dutch Islamic State orphans

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Africa

Four Dead As Sudan Police Move To Quell Civil Disobedience

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Europe

Germany Backs Two-State Solution To Middle East Conflict

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North America

Newark Islamic Centre, on Appletongate, gains the backing of Newark Town Council’s planning committee

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Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/pm-modi-says-india-will-help-in-conservation-of-maldives--friday-mosque/d/118841

 

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PM Modi Says India Will Help in Conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque

The relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after the then President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 last year.

PTIUpdated:June 9, 2019

PM Modi Says India Will Help in Conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Male: India will contribute to the conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque, a unique place of worship made of coral stones, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced.

Modi made the announcement while addressing the Muslim-majority country's Parliament, The People's Majlis, on Saturday and noted that the relations between India and the Maldives were older than history.

He said India will contribute to the conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque also known as HukuruMiskiy.

"There is no such mosque elsewhere in the world like this historical mosque made up of coral," Modi said.

He said he was happy that the Maldives was working towards sustainable development and has become a part of the International Solar Alliance.

Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih thanked the Indian side for their offer to carry out restoration of the Friday mosque by the Archaeological Survey of India under an Indian grant, said a joint statement.

He also appreciated the recent visit of senior scientists of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and their ongoing cooperation with the Maldivian counterparts, it added.

Built in 1658, Friday Mosque is one of the oldest and most ornate mosques in the city of Male in Kaafu Atoll. The mosque was added to the tentative UNESCO World

Heritage cultural list in 2008 as unique examples of sea-culture architecture.

Modi arrived in the Maldives on Saturday on his first two-day foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

His visit demonstrates the priority that India attaches to the SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) doctrine.

The relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after the then President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 last year.

Some decisions by Yameen including imposition of restrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free Trade Agreement with Beijing also did not go down well with New Delhi. However, the ties were back on track under Solih's presidency.

China views the Maldives as key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean as it has already acquired Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

https://www.news18.com/news/india/pm-narendra-modi-says-india-will-help-in-conservation-of-maldives-friday-mosque-2178567.html

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Action on LeT, Jaish-e-Mohd, Hizbul: Pakistan shuts 13 camps across LoC ahead of anti-terror body’s plenary

Manu Pubby | ET Bureau | Updated: Jun 10, 2019

ET has learnt that in the last few weeks, 13 terror training camps of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed an...Read More

Pakistan has shut down key terror infrastructure, including over a dozen training camps across the line of control, according to sources, ahead of anti-terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) plenary meeting next week where it faces the possibility of being blacklisted for non-compliance.

After India cranked up diplomatic pressure by reaching out to FATF member countries after the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 soldiers dead, Pakistan which had been placed on the grey list in 2018, was expected to show that it has taken action on this front to avoid being blacklisted, which would have a devastating cascading effect on its already broken economy.

ET has learnt that in the last few weeks, 13 terror training camps of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and HizbulMujahideen in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been shut down. The shutdown seems to have had an early impact on cross-border terrorism with army sources saying that infiltration has ebbed.

The JeM, which claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack and saw most of its leadership in Kashmir being wiped out in operations since then, has lost its ShawaiNala camp in Muzaffarabad and the KalchSamhanj and GarhonJundla camps in Mirpur, according sources.

Similarly the LeT, which faced big reverses after a series of successful operations by counter insurgency forces last year, have lost the Dollai and Sher Kot 1 camps in Muzaffarbad and the Fagosh camp in Mirpur.

India’s outreach to crack down on terror seems to have had a throttling impact on Pakistan, which sources said has charged cadres and financiers of groups that were focused on India, including the Falah-e-Insaniat, and frozen their assets since February this year.

While in the past, especially after the 26/11 attack and the parliament attack in 2001, Pakistan had attempted to show action against terror only to go back to its old ways, this time round the crackdown is largescale as FATF member nations will demand verifiable proof to ease the pressure.

For the first time, almost all educational institutions, seminaries and even hospitals of terror organisations – believed to number over 800 - have been seized. While in the past such limited action was taken in the province of Punjab, this time institutions being run in PoK have also been seized – action that would have a direct impact on pushing terrorists into India.

Observers are also closely watching a possible rift within the Pakistani establishment with spy agency ISI wanting Kashmir-focused groups to survive the crackdown and the army and political leadership taking an opposing line, given the devastating financial future the country is facing.

The Pakistani army announced last week that it will be undertaking budget cuts – an unusual step given that tensions had gone up significantly with India post the Balakot air strikes – in view of the prevailing economic situation.

Pakistan needs to stay within the FATF grey list to save its economy, as a backlisting would bar foreign nations and institutions from making any investments. Last month, Pakistan secured a $6-billion bailout from the IMF which is to be disbursed over the next three years.

While China, its biggest backer in the international community, seems to have made it clear that it cannot continue supporting Pakistan if it inspires largescale terror attacks in India or continues its activities in Kashmir, there is a sense of urgency from the Indian side to ensure lasting action.

The FATF meeting this month in Orlando is critical as it will be the last plenary meet before China takes over as chair of the inter-governmental body. Till now, the US was leading the body and with Beijing taking the chair, India will need to keep on pressing hard to ensure that there is no rollback or breather for Pakistan.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/action-on-let-jaish-e-mohd-hizbul-pakistan-shuts-13-camps-across-loc-ahead-of-anti-terror-bodys-plenary/articleshow/69723328.cms

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Sri Lankan Tamil Leader Says Muslims' Rights Being Abused in Aftermath of Easter Attacks, Seeks Probe

June 10, 2019

Following the Easter bombings, a large number of Muslims have been arrested by the anti-terror agencies for questioning along with those having links to the banned National ThowheedJamaath.

Sri Lankan Tamil Leader Says Muslims' Rights Being Abused in Aftermath of Easter Attacks, Seeks Probe The majority Sinhala community mobs attacked Muslim-owned properties in towns north of Colombo, killing one Muslim man, after the Easter attacks. (AP)

Colombo: A top Tamil leader in Sri Lanka has called for an international investigation into the alleged injustice meted out to the minority Muslim community in the country in the aftermath of the massive Easter Sunday bombings.

The fundamental rights of the Muslims are being abused using an act of terror, CV Wigneswaran, former chief minister of the Tamil-dominated Northern Province, told reporters on Sunday, referring to the difficulties faced by the minority community, which constitutes nine per cent of the population, following the deadly April 21 suicide bombings.

Following the attacks that claimed 258 lives, some Muslim politicians representing the government came under criticism for their alleged support extended to the rising militancy. "Muslims are a part of the Sri Lankan community, they are being subjected to injustice in violation of the country's Constitution," Wigneswaran said in Jaffna, once the hotbed of the over three-decade long conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

A large number of Muslims have been arrested by the anti-terror agencies for questioning along with those having links to the banned National ThowheedJamaath (NTJ). Wigneswaran expressed solidarity with the Muslim ministers who resigned last week claiming that the government had failed to ensure the safety of the minority community in the country.

Nine Muslim ministers holding top positions in the Sri Lankan government resigned last week to allow authorities to investigate allegations against some of them on links to the NTJ. There are 19 Muslims among the 225-member Parliament and nine of them held Cabinet, state and deputy ministerial positions.

"Charges against the Muslim politicians have not been proved. The government must take responsibility for their resignations," Wigneswaran said. Following the attacks on three Catholic churches and three luxury hotels by the NTJ with possible links to the Islamic State terror group, there were widespread attacks on the Muslim community.

The majority Sinhala community mobs attacked Muslim-owned properties in towns north of Colombo, killing one Muslim man and leaving hundreds of homes, shops and mosques vandalised

https://www.news18.com/news/world/sri-lankan-tamil-leader-says-muslims-rights-being-abused-in-aftermath-of-easter-attacks-seeks-probe-2179927.html

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Iran closes hundreds of restaurants for 'illegal music and debauchery,' other violations of 'Islamic principles'

By Talia Kaplan

10 hours ago

Iranian police shut down more than 500 restaurants and cafes in Tehran for not observing “Islamic principles” including modesty, the capital city's police chief announced Saturday.

“The owners of restaurants and cafes in which Islamic principles were not observed were confronted, and during this operation 547 businesses were closed and 11 offenders arrested,” Hossein Rahimi said in statement Saturday, as AFP reported.

The violations included “unconventional advertising in cyberspace, playing illegal music and debauchery,” according to the Fars news agency, which added that the operation was carried out over the past ten days inside the secretive nation.

Women in Iran are required to dress modestly and under the Islamic dress code they can show only their faces, hands and feet in public and cannot wear bold colors. Alcohol is also banned in Iran.

U.S. WARNS COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS NEAR PERSIAN GULF COULD BE 'MISIDENTIFIED,' AMID TENSIONS WITH IRAN

The police chief reportedly said observing Islamic principles was “one of the police’s main missions and responsibilities."

Tehran citizens were encouraged on Saturday to report cases of “immoral behavior” by texting a specific phone number set up to respond to these crimes. The head of Tehran’s guidance court, which deals with “cultural crimes and social and moral corruption,” made the request for people to report the violations.

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“We decided to accelerate dealing with instances of public immoral acts,” Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi reportedly told the judiciary’s Mizan Online.

He added that people could report instances of those removing their “hijab in cars,” “hosting mixed dance parties” and posting “immoral content on Instagram.”

https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-closes-tehran-restaurants-breaking-islamic-principles-illegal-music-debauchery

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Islamisation Agenda: Again, Islamic group attacks TY Danjuma, Christian elders

Posted By: IkokwuIkembaon: June 10, 2019

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the reaction of the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) to its statement as a distortion of facts and the handiwork of agent provocateur and confusionists.

Its Director, Professor IshaqAkintola, in a statement Sunday night said NCEF attacked MURIC for defending President Muhammadu Buhari’s attendance of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit last week.

NCEF under the leadership of former Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. T.Y Danjuma (retd); ex-Military Governor of Rivers State, General ZamaniLekwot (retd); and Chief Solomon Asemota, SAN, had dragged Buhari to the United Kingdom Parliament, over alleged move to Islamise Nigeria.

MURIC in its latest statement said: “We supplied facts and figures about OIC and its origin in our own statement. We said General Gowon (rtd) took Nigeria to OIC. NCEF could not contradict this. We mentioned the gains brought back home from OIC summit by the president. NCEF has no response for that.

“How can NCEF be complaining about Nigeria’s membership of OIC when many West African countries are there: Ivory Coast, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, etc? Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique are all there. Guyana from South America is a member. Russia and Thailand are members in observer status.

“Both the United Nations and the African Union are observer nations of OIC. How many of these countries have been Islamised since 1969 when OIC was founded? In fact, can anyone embark on any Islamisation exercise under the watch of the UN? We are not surprised that NCEF was forced to put its car in the reverse gear after realizing all these facts.

“But instead of admitting defeat, NCEF begins to beat about the bush. It is grandstanding. Modesty and humility are not in NCEF’s vocabulary. It is blaming Shariah in the 1999 Constitution. How does that relate to Buhari in 2019? Was Buhari in power in 1999? How did Shariah in the constitution become Buhari’s baby?

“Why should he be reported to a foreign parliament for what he knew nothing about? Is it the federal government that is practicing Shariah? Is Buhari practicing Shariah? When did Shariah start and when did Buhari become president? We can see clearly that senility and amnesia are close neighbours.

“By the way, was Shariah part of NCEF’s original statement which MURIC reacted to on Friday? The issue was OIC. How can you jump from one subject to another without thrashing the original subject matter? It is escapist. It is an attempt to confuse Nigerians.

“We are shocked that NCEF now claims to be seeking ‘a peaceful and lasting solution to current national crisis’. ‘Peaceful and lasting solution’ indeed. We have no doubt that even NCEF does not believe itself making such a claim. Can anyone seek peaceful solution by setting fire to the roof? Is it by inciting Christians against Muslims that you can seek ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’? Is it by uttering hate speeches that you can seek ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’? Or is it by always crying wolf where there is none?

“We remind NCEF that its impertinence led the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to disown it. We urge NCEF to first reconcile with CAN and stop seeking undue relevance. NCEF should also examine the audio and video clips of its preachers which are full of incitement before claiming to be seeking ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’. Interestingly enough, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel whose inciteful video clips proliferate cyberspace is the secretary of NCEF. Need we say more?

https://www.thebreakingtimes.com/islamisation-agenda-again-islamic-group-attacks-ty-danjuma-christian-elders/

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India

PM Modi Says India Will Help in Conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque

The relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after the then President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 last year.

PTIUpdated:June 9, 2019

PM Modi Says India Will Help in Conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Male: India will contribute to the conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque, a unique place of worship made of coral stones, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced.

Modi made the announcement while addressing the Muslim-majority country's Parliament, The People's Majlis, on Saturday and noted that the relations between India and the Maldives were older than history.

He said India will contribute to the conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque also known as HukuruMiskiy.

"There is no such mosque elsewhere in the world like this historical mosque made up of coral," Modi said.

He said he was happy that the Maldives was working towards sustainable development and has become a part of the International Solar Alliance.

Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih thanked the Indian side for their offer to carry out restoration of the Friday mosque by the Archaeological Survey of India under an Indian grant, said a joint statement.

He also appreciated the recent visit of senior scientists of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and their ongoing cooperation with the Maldivian counterparts, it added.

Built in 1658, Friday Mosque is one of the oldest and most ornate mosques in the city of Male in Kaafu Atoll. The mosque was added to the tentative UNESCO World

Heritage cultural list in 2008 as unique examples of sea-culture architecture.

Modi arrived in the Maldives on Saturday on his first two-day foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

His visit demonstrates the priority that India attaches to the SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) doctrine.

The relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after the then President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 last year.

Some decisions by Yameen including imposition of restrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free Trade Agreement with Beijing also did not go down well with New Delhi. However, the ties were back on track under Solih's presidency.

China views the Maldives as key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean as it has already acquired Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

https://www.news18.com/news/india/pm-narendra-modi-says-india-will-help-in-conservation-of-maldives-friday-mosque-2178567.html

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Jammu & Kashmir: Terrorist hideout busted, ammunition seized

ANI | Updated: Jun 9, 2019

KISHTWAR (Jammu and Kashmir): Security forces on Sunday busted a terrorist hideout in Panthna forests of Keshwan belt of the district.

The hideout was revealed after a joint search and cordon operation was launched by the Army along with the Special Operation Group (SoG).

Ammunition and other support items were recovered from the spot.

Earlier on Friday, four suspected Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terrorists were killed in an encounter in Panjran's Litter area in Pulwama district of the state.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/jammu-kashmir-terrorist-hideout-busted-ammunition-seized/articleshow/69716346.cms

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Kathua Rape Verdict: Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah Welcome Judgment

June 10, 2019

Minutes after the Pathankot Court convicted six people in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua in January last year, former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah welcomed the court’s judgment.

PDP chief Mufti tweeted, “Welcome the judgement. High time we stop playing politics over a heinous crime where an 8 year old child was drugged, raped repeatedly & then bludgeoned to death. Hope loopholes in our judicial system are not exploited & culprits get exemplary punishment.”

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wrote that the guilty deserved the “most severe punishment.”

“Amen to that. The guilty deserve the most severe punishment possible under law. And to those politicians who defended the accused, vilified the victim & threatened the legal system no words of condemnation are enough,” he tweeted.

Former Jammu and Kashmir IAS officer Shah Faesal congratulated the state police for “getting the rapists convicted even though politicians tried their best to sabotage the movement for justice to Asifa.”

Union Minister Gen VK Singh, on Twitter, said that the need of the hour is to educate boys on how to treat and respect women.

“Guilty from #Kathua rape-murder case are convicted-it gives me hope that such brutalities will not go unpunished. But it also makes me think of our collective consciousness as a society-why should Kathua or Aligarh happen? Need to educate our boys on how to treat & respect women,” he tweeted.

Faesal tweeted, “Congratulations to @JmuKmrPolice for getting Rasana Kathua rapists convicted. Politicians tried their best to sabotage the movement for justice to A. But the Honble Court and the law enforcement agencies stood their ground. Also, not to forget the role of activists and media.”

The eight-year-old nomadic girl in Jammu and Kashmir was kidnapped on January 10, 2018, and was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district after having been kept sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death.

The main accused, Sanji Ram, the village head, was alleged to have hatched the conspiracy along with the other accused.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kathua-rape-murder-case-verdict-mehbooba-mufti-omar-abdullah-shah-faesal-jammu-kashmir-police-5772999/

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Rahul Gandhi won in Wayanad due to 40 pc Muslim population: Owaisi

Published Jun 10, 2019

Gandhi, who netted 7,05,034 votes in Wayanad, won by 4,31,063 votes against his nearest rival PP Suneer of LDF in the constituency.

Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-IttehadulMuslimeen (AIMIM) president AsaduddinOwaisi has claimed that Congress President Rahul Gandhi won in Wayanad due to 40 per cent population being Muslims.

The Hyderabad MP said that he is still hopeful of getting Muslim's place in the country as the community does not want to survive on anyone's alms.

"On 15 August 1947, our elders thought that this will be a new India. That India will be of Azad, Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar and of crores of their followers. I am still hopeful of getting our place in the country. We don't want alms, we don't want to survive on your alms," Owaisi said while addressing a public gathering here on Sunday.

"You don't want to leave Congress and other secular parties. But remember they don't have strength, thinking, they don't work hard...Where did BJP lose? In Punjab. Who's there? Sikhs. Why did BJP lose anywhere else in India? Due to regional parties there and not Congress. The Congress leader himself lost in Amethi and received victory in Wayanad. Isn't the 40 per cent population of Wayanad Muslim?" he added.

Gandhi, who netted 7,05,034 votes in Wayanad, won by 4,31,063 votes against his nearest rival PP Suneer of Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the constituency.

Union Minister SmritiIrani wrested Gandhi's family bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. In Kerala, Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) bagged 19 out of the 20 seats.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/100619/rahul-gandhi-won-in-wayanad-due-to-40-pc-muslim-population-owaisi.html

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Sacking of J&K Bank head opens up a can of worms

Bharti Jain & M SaleemPandit | TNN | Updated: Jun 10, 2019

NEW DELHI: Sacked J&K Bank chairpersonParvez Ahmad Nengroo is alleged to have sanctioned loans worth hundreds of crores of rupees in brazen violation of guidelines and standard operating procedures to clients recommended by former minister in the PDP government Imran Aftab Ansari and People’s Conference chief Sajjad Lone, investigating agencies have found.

The irregularities the J&K anti-corruption bureau (ACB) is now probing include how ShamsuddinAndrabi, the Class 12 pass brother of ex-PDP minister Farooq Andrabi and former CM Mehbooba Mufti’s uncle, was appointed directly as manager. Andrabi is currently posted in the bank’s Bhaderwah branch. Mehbooba on Sunday said the manner in which Nengroo was sacked was “quite disconcerting” and “disgraceful”.

The ACB seized around 300 files pertaining to illegal/fraudulent appointments in the bank by Nengroo during PDP rule in the state during raids led by bureau director Anand Jain.

Among several allegations of nepotism, corruption and financial irregularities against Nengroo, who was removed on Saturday, which are now under the lens are appointment of several members of his extended family, some of whom came to occupy key positions in the bank. The ACB is probing how two J&K Bank branches — in Karin (Shopian) and Wuyan (Pulwama) — are operating from Nengroo’s personal premises and those of his in-laws. Both locations are highly unsuitable, sources in the agencies told TOI.

ACB sleuths are investigating how Nengroo, whose registered date of birth as per his service and school records is April 21, 1963, passed the matriculation exam at the age of 14 years in November 1977. With him at the helm, renovation of hundreds of bank branches were allotted to select individuals for Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore a branch. The actual cost was found to be only 30% of the money paid. Overdrafts of hefty amounts were allegedly released to defaulters who had run up debts with other banks. Many such accounts turned NPAs. Also, one-time settlements were done with select defaulters, allegedly against huge kickbacks.

Investigation sources claimed Rs 8 crore was spent under CSR on beautification of Royal Spring Golf Course, which is a rendezvous of the elite and has no utility for common people. There were purportedly huge variations in cost-income ratio as expenditure during Nengroo’s time spiralled. Paid advertisements worth Rs 10-30 lakh were released to Kashmir Life to highlight the state budget, which officials now allege nobody saw.

Sources said Nengroo’s rise was meteoric, from a chartered accountant to J&K Bank CMD in a span of 15 years. He got his nephew Muzaffar, considered his key pointman, posted in his office immediately after taking over as chairman. Nengroo’s daughter-in-law ShaziaAmbreen was appointed as a probationary officer and is currently heading the Hazratbal branch. J&K Bank’s personnel manager Aslam Ganai, believed to be close to Nengroo, allegedly had a role in transfers within the bank and the decisions were not necessarily in keeping with the bank’s interests, a source said. Two of Nengroo’s relatives — Asif Beg and M Fahim — are overseeing HR and Board affairs, including credit proposals, while two other kin — Faheem Nengroo and TaseenNengroo — are posted in the ex-chairman’s office.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sacking-of-jk-bank-head-opens-up-a-can-of-worms/articleshow/69718155.cms

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Pakistan

Action on LeT, Jaish-e-Mohd, Hizbul: Pakistan shuts 13 camps across LoC ahead of anti-terror body’s plenary

Manu Pubby | ET Bureau | Updated: Jun 10, 2019

ET has learnt that in the last few weeks, 13 terror training camps of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed an...Read More

Pakistan has shut down key terror infrastructure, including over a dozen training camps across the line of control, according to sources, ahead of anti-terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) plenary meeting next week where it faces the possibility of being blacklisted for non-compliance.

After India cranked up diplomatic pressure by reaching out to FATF member countries after the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 soldiers dead, Pakistan which had been placed on the grey list in 2018, was expected to show that it has taken action on this front to avoid being blacklisted, which would have a devastating cascading effect on its already broken economy.

ET has learnt that in the last few weeks, 13 terror training camps of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and HizbulMujahideen in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been shut down. The shutdown seems to have had an early impact on cross-border terrorism with army sources saying that infiltration has ebbed.

The JeM, which claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack and saw most of its leadership in Kashmir being wiped out in operations since then, has lost its ShawaiNala camp in Muzaffarabad and the KalchSamhanj and GarhonJundla camps in Mirpur, according sources.

Similarly the LeT, which faced big reverses after a series of successful operations by counter insurgency forces last year, have lost the Dollai and Sher Kot 1 camps in Muzaffarbad and the Fagosh camp in Mirpur.

India’s outreach to crack down on terror seems to have had a throttling impact on Pakistan, which sources said has charged cadres and financiers of groups that were focused on India, including the Falah-e-Insaniat, and frozen their assets since February this year.

While in the past, especially after the 26/11 attack and the parliament attack in 2001, Pakistan had attempted to show action against terror only to go back to its old ways, this time round the crackdown is largescale as FATF member nations will demand verifiable proof to ease the pressure.

For the first time, almost all educational institutions, seminaries and even hospitals of terror organisations – believed to number over 800 - have been seized. While in the past such limited action was taken in the province of Punjab, this time institutions being run in PoK have also been seized – action that would have a direct impact on pushing terrorists into India.

Observers are also closely watching a possible rift within the Pakistani establishment with spy agency ISI wanting Kashmir-focused groups to survive the crackdown and the army and political leadership taking an opposing line, given the devastating financial future the country is facing.

The Pakistani army announced last week that it will be undertaking budget cuts – an unusual step given that tensions had gone up significantly with India post the Balakot air strikes – in view of the prevailing economic situation.

Pakistan needs to stay within the FATF grey list to save its economy, as a backlisting would bar foreign nations and institutions from making any investments. Last month, Pakistan secured a $6-billion bailout from the IMF which is to be disbursed over the next three years.

While China, its biggest backer in the international community, seems to have made it clear that it cannot continue supporting Pakistan if it inspires largescale terror attacks in India or continues its activities in Kashmir, there is a sense of urgency from the Indian side to ensure lasting action.

The FATF meeting this month in Orlando is critical as it will be the last plenary meet before China takes over as chair of the inter-governmental body. Till now, the US was leading the body and with Beijing taking the chair, India will need to keep on pressing hard to ensure that there is no rollback or breather for Pakistan.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/action-on-let-jaish-e-mohd-hizbul-pakistan-shuts-13-camps-across-loc-ahead-of-anti-terror-bodys-plenary/articleshow/69723328.cms

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Section 144 imposed in North Waziristan due to 'current law and order situation'

Ali AkbarUpdated June 10, 2019

The district administration has imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure — the law regulating the maintenance of public order — in North Waziristan tribal district in view of the existing law and order situation in the area, it emerged on Monday.

An order imposing Section 144, issued by Abdul Nasir Khan, the deputy commissioner of North Waziristan, citing "public interest" and dated June 8 has taken effect for 30 days.

According to the order, the district police officer of North Waziristan reported that due to the "current law and order situation, threats of militancy and other sabotage activities are expected in the district in case of dharnas (sit-ins), protest rallies, jalsas (public meetings) and public gathering[s] of five or more persons".

In order to prevent any "untoward situation", it was imperative to impose a complete ban on dharnas, protest rallies, jalsas and public gatherings of five or more people, the order stated.

According to the DC, the order will be applicable to the entire district and anyone who fails to comply could be punished under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The order will not apply to congregational prayers in mosques and at funerals.

The imposition of Section 144 in North Waziristan comes in the wake of a series of attacks on security personnel in recent weeks that the military has blamed on terrorist elements.

On Friday (June 7), three officers and a soldier of the Pakistan Army were martyred in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in the Kharqamar area of the district.

The explosion took place less than a week after a Pakistan Army soldier was martyred in a gun-and-bomb attack on a security vehicle in North Waziristan. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had noted at the time that "terrorist activities in North Waziristan have increased lately."

The military's media wing had linked that attack with the Kharqamar check-post incident of May 26, when a clash had taken place between Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) workers and Pakistan Army troops.

Three people were killed and 15 ─ including five soldiers ─ were injured in an exchange of fire in North Waziristan's Boyya area, when the Kharqamar check-post was attacked during a protest in which PTM members were also participating.

A day after the clash, Section 144 was imposed in South Waziristan tribal district in view of public safety concerns and in order to maintain the law and order situation in the area.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1487295/section-144-imposed-in-north-waziristan-due-to-current-law-and-order-situation

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Zardari arrested by NAB team after IHC rejects bail plea; Bilawal appeals for calm

Nadir Guramani | Inamullah Khattak | Naveed Siddiqui

June 10, 2019

A 15-member team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), accompanied by police personnel, arrested PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari from his residence in Islamabad on Monday.

A number of party workers and Zardari's children Bilawal and Aseefa saw him off as the former president was driven away in a black Landcruiser.

The arrest comes hours after the Islamabad High Court rejected an application seeking extension in the pre-arrest bails of Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the fake accounts case.

Police personnel, including female officials, had entered the former president's house after the court decision. All roads leading to the residence were blocked by police.

A two-member bench that had earlier reserved its verdict on their application announced the verbal order.

Both Zardari and Talpur had left the court building before the verdict was announced.

The warrants for Zardari were apparently issued yesterday. No warrants have been issued for Talpur as yet, however.

The accountability watchdog had constituted two teams for the arrest of the former president, DawnNewsTV reported citing officials. One team was dispatched to Parliament House and another to Zardari House in Islamabad, officials said.

Zardari and Talpur have the option of appealing the IHC judgment in the Supreme Court.

The case pertains to suspicious transactions worth Rs4.4 billion allegedly carried out through a fictitious bank account. According to the prosecution, the account titled M/s A One International was fake and it received a sum of Rs4.4bn out of which Rs30m was paid to the Zardari Group at two different times.

Meanwhile, the PPP has called a consultative meeting to discuss the future legal options of Zardari and Talpur. According to sources, Zardari has called his legal team to the meeting to deliberate on whether to challenge the IHC judgement in the SC.

The spokesperson for PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, appealed to PPP supporters across the country to remain peaceful.

"We are waiting for IHC's written order," he said, adding that future strategy will be decided once the party receives the order.

Bail proceedings

Earlier, when Zardari arrived at the court for the hearing, he was accompanied by his daughter Aseefa. Security measures around the court were tightened prior to the former president's arrival.

Additional Prosecutor for National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Jahanzeb Bharwana assisted the two-member bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani

"Let a bail hearing remain just that, do not turn it into a trial hearing," Justice Farooq said while telling the NAB lawyer to only mention any details missed during arguments rather than recapping the whole case.

The NAB prosecutor argued that as per the standards set by the Supreme Court, bail cannot be granted in this case.

PPP workers gathered close to the court as prisoner vans were also brought to the site.

PPP workers in Punjab have already planned a protest in case Zardari is arrested. The party planned blockade of all major roads of the Punjab capital by arranging workers’ protests there in case of arrest of the party’s co-chairman.

A PPP worker, Azizur Rehman Chan, said that the protest would be “vigorous” as committees had been formed and duties assigned for each protest point.

Faisal Mir, another PPP leader, said that if Prime Minister Imran Khan managed to get Zardari arrested through the NAB, he would be laying the foundation for the removal of his government.

A NAB officer investigating the fake bank accounts case had informed an IHC division bench last month that the investigation team of the case had sought approval from the NAB chairman for the arrest of Zardari and his sister.

The fake accounts saga

In 2015, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had launched a probe into fake accounts and fictitious transactions conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL on the basis of a tip-off.

Initially, seven individuals, including Zardari and his Talpur, were said to be involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.

Later, the apex court took a suo motu notice on the delay in the FIA probe into the case. The SC also constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe into the matter.

The JIT during the course of investigation uncovered 33 more suspicious accounts linked to the case, while nearly 170 individuals linked to the case were put on the no-fly list.

According to a report submitted in the court, 210 companies were also found to have alleged links to the case. As many as 47 of these companies and 334 people were associated with the Omni Group — owned by a close aide of Zardari. At one stage, the top court had frozen all assets and accounts of the group.

The accountability watchdog and the FIA allege that an account titled M/s A One International was fake and it received a sum of Rs4.4 billion out of which Rs30 million were paid to the Zardari Group at two different times.

The FIA had filed the case before a banking court in Karachi which had issued an arrest warrant for Zardari. Subsequently, the PPP leader had obtained protective/transitory bail from the IHC on August 18, 2018. Later, the case was shifted from the accountability in Karachi to an accountability court in Islamabad as the investigators accused the PPP of influencing the case.

During the course of the investigation, on April 8, two accused in the case — Kiran Aman and Noreen Sultan — became approvers against Zardari and Talpur.

Several close friends of Zardari had been arrested in the case, while the PPP chief and his sister Faryal Talpur were on an interim bail which was extended multiple times before being rejected on Monday. Both Zardari and Talpur are on bail in at least seven other cases of corruption and malpractice.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1487308/zardari-arrested-by-nab-team-after-ihc-rejects-bail-plea-bilawal-appeals-for-calm

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Pakistan faces FATF blacklist: Key goals unmet, call for action against Jaish, LeT

by Sushant Singh

June 10, 2019

Pakistan was placed on FATF’s grey list for terror financing in June 2018, on a proposal moved by the US, UK, Germany and France. FATF is the global watchdog on anti-money laundering and combating financing terror.

The Joint Group of Asia Pacific Group (APG) has informed Pakistan that an assessment of its action plan against eight proscribed terror outfits, including Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jaish-e-Muhammad, after it was grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for terror financing has found that its compliance on 18 of 27 action plans was unsatisfactory.

In its assessment report, sources told The Indian Express, APG specifically demanded stringent actionable steps by Pakistan against Da’esh, Al Qaeda, Jamaat-udDawa, Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Haqqani Network, and persons affiliated with the Taliban, and that its law enforcement agencies show more concrete outcomes on fighting money laundering and terror-financing.

The report, sources said, essentially asks Pakistan to do more until September when the FATF Action Plan is concluded for a final assessment.

This assessment report, which was shared last week with Islamabad, is based on last month’s APG Joint Group meeting in Guangzhou where Pakistan presented its case and provided details of all the actions it had taken in compliance with FATF directions. India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Director General was a co-chair at the APG meeting despite Pakistan’s demand for India’s removal from the group while its case was being considered.

While Pakistan will submit its reply to the FATF, it leaves Pakistan with a real danger of being downgraded to the blacklist on terror financing in the upcoming FATF plenary meeting. FATF’s Plenary and Working Group meetings are scheduled to be held in Orlando from June 16 to 21, where such a proposal could be moved.

Pakistan requires votes of at least 15 of FATF’s 36 voting members to move out of the grey list, sources said, and a minimum of three votes to prevent itself from being blacklisted. The FATF plenary meeting at Orlando will decide Pakistan’s future listing even though a formal announcement will only be made at the next FATF plenary scheduled in Paris from October 18 to 23, sources said.

The assessment report assumes significance as FATF had issued a statement in February which stated: “Given the limited progress on action plan items due in January 2019, the FATF urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019.”

Besides the economic consequences of being placed on a blacklist, Pakistan has been negotiating a $6-billion loan from IMF to bail it out from low foreign exchange reserves which also seems to be under threat due to the IMF listing. An IMF press release had asked Pakistan to show commitment against money laundering and terror financing, meaning thereby that FATF clearance is mandatory to qualify for the loan programme.

Pakistan was placed on FATF’s grey list for terror financing in June 2018, on a proposal moved by the US, UK, Germany and France. FATF is the global watchdog on anti-money laundering and combating financing terror.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pakistan-faces-fatf-blacklist-key-goals-unmet-call-for-action-against-jaish-let-5772527/

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IHC rejects Zardari, Talpur's bail plea in fake accounts case

Nadir GuramaniUpdated June 10, 2019

The Islamabad High Court has rejected an application seeking extension in the pre-arrest bails of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister FaryalTalpur in the fake accounts case.

A two-member bench that had earlier reserved its verdict on their application announced the verbal order.

Both Zardari and his sibling had left the court building before the verdict was announced.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) can now act on its arrest warrants against Zardari and Talpur — which were apparently issued yesterday — after receiving the written order, which is expected to be issued soon.

The duo has the option of appealing the judgment in the Supreme Court.

The case relates to a transaction of Rs150 million to the PPP leaders' private company through alleged fake bank accounts.

Zardari's daughter Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari accompanied him to court today. Security measures around the court were tightened prior to the former president's arrival.

Additional Prosecutor for National Accountability Bureau (NAB) JahanzebBharwana assisted the two-member bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani

"Let a bail hearing remain just that, do not turn it into a trial hearing," Justice Farooq said while telling the NAB lawyer to only mention any details missed during arguments rather than recapping the whole case.

PPP workers gathered close to the court as prisoner vans were also brought to the site.

PPP workers in Punjab have already planned a protest in case Zardari is arrested. The party planned blockade of all major roads of the Punjab capital by arranging workers’ protests there in case of arrest of the party’s co-chairman.

A PPP worker, AzizurRehman Chan, said that the protest would be “vigorous” as committees had been formed and duties assigned for each protest point.

Faisal Mir, another PPP leader, said that if Prime Minister Imran Khan managed to get Zardari arrested through the NAB, he would be laying the foundation for the removal of his government.

A NAB officer investigating the fake bank accounts case had informed an IHC division bench last month that the investigation team of the fake accounts case had sought approval from the NAB chairman for the arrest of Zardari and his sister.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1487308/ihc-rejects-zardari-talpurs-bail-plea-in-fake-accounts-case

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South Asia

Sri Lankan Tamil Leader Says Muslims' Rights Being Abused in Aftermath of Easter Attacks, Seeks Probe

June 10, 2019

Following the Easter bombings, a large number of Muslims have been arrested by the anti-terror agencies for questioning along with those having links to the banned National ThowheedJamaath.

Sri Lankan Tamil Leader Says Muslims' Rights Being Abused in Aftermath of Easter Attacks, Seeks Probe The majority Sinhala community mobs attacked Muslim-owned properties in towns north of Colombo, killing one Muslim man, after the Easter attacks. (AP)

Colombo: A top Tamil leader in Sri Lanka has called for an international investigation into the alleged injustice meted out to the minority Muslim community in the country in the aftermath of the massive Easter Sunday bombings.

The fundamental rights of the Muslims are being abused using an act of terror, CV Wigneswaran, former chief minister of the Tamil-dominated Northern Province, told reporters on Sunday, referring to the difficulties faced by the minority community, which constitutes nine per cent of the population, following the deadly April 21 suicide bombings.

Following the attacks that claimed 258 lives, some Muslim politicians representing the government came under criticism for their alleged support extended to the rising militancy. "Muslims are a part of the Sri Lankan community, they are being subjected to injustice in violation of the country's Constitution," Wigneswaran said in Jaffna, once the hotbed of the over three-decade long conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

A large number of Muslims have been arrested by the anti-terror agencies for questioning along with those having links to the banned National ThowheedJamaath (NTJ). Wigneswaran expressed solidarity with the Muslim ministers who resigned last week claiming that the government had failed to ensure the safety of the minority community in the country.

Nine Muslim ministers holding top positions in the Sri Lankan government resigned last week to allow authorities to investigate allegations against some of them on links to the NTJ. There are 19 Muslims among the 225-member Parliament and nine of them held Cabinet, state and deputy ministerial positions.

"Charges against the Muslim politicians have not been proved. The government must take responsibility for their resignations," Wigneswaran said. Following the attacks on three Catholic churches and three luxury hotels by the NTJ with possible links to the Islamic State terror group, there were widespread attacks on the Muslim community.

The majority Sinhala community mobs attacked Muslim-owned properties in towns north of Colombo, killing one Muslim man and leaving hundreds of homes, shops and mosques vandalised

https://www.news18.com/news/world/sri-lankan-tamil-leader-says-muslims-rights-being-abused-in-aftermath-of-easter-attacks-seeks-probe-2179927.html

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Don't let Muslim Prabhakaran be born: Sri Lankan President Sirisena calls for unity

Acknowledging that the country has now been divided, Sirisena, who spoke in Mullaitivu, a former bastion of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said that religious leaders and politicians in the country were divided today.

June 9, 2019

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena lamented that most politicians are focused on the elections later this year and not the country.

Warning against the emergence of a "Muslim Prabhakaran", Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has called for unity among all communities in the country which saw the worst terror attack on Easter Sunday.

Acknowledging that the country has now been divided, Sirisena, who spoke in Mullaitivu, a former bastion of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said on Saturday that religious leaders and politicians in the country were divided today.

The President urged the public "not to leave room for a Muslim Prabhakaran to be born," Colombo Gazette reported .

VelupillaiPrabhakaran was the founder and leader of the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers, a militant organisation that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The civil war in Sri Lanka that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people ended with the killing of Prabhakaran by Sri Lankan army in 2009.

"If we divide and fall apart the whole country will stand to lose. Another war will break out," he warned.

Following the Easter Sunday terror attacks on three Catholic churches and three luxury hotels by a local Islamist outfit with possible links to the Islamic State terror group, there were widespread attacks on the Muslim community.

Sirisena lamented that most politicians are focused on the elections later this year and not the country.

He said that the division is preventing the country from moving forward.

The President said that he understands the issues faced by the Tamils and will address some of them, the report said.

However, he said the past must be set aside and the country must unite to take the country forward.

He said that there should not be room for extremism to prosper.

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/don-t-let-muslim-prabhakaran-be-born-sri-lankan-president-sirisena-calls-for-unity-1545450-2019-06-09

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9 Taliban militants killed, 1 arrested in Kabul and Logar operations

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 10 Jun 2019

The Afghan Special Forces arrested a suspected Taliban militant during an operation in Kabul.

The military officials said Monday that the Special Forces also confiscated some weapons during the same operation.

Furthermore, the Special Forces killed 9 Taliban fighters during an operation in Logar province.

According to military officials, the Special Forces conducted the operation in Charkh district of Logar.

The anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding the operations so far.

https://www.khaama.com/9-taliban-militants-killed-1-arrested-in-kabul-and-logar-operations-03578/

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43 Taliban militants killed in Afghan Special Forces raid in Nangarhar: sources

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 10 Jun 2019

The Afghan Special Forces have killed 43 Taliban militants during an operation in eastern Nangarhar province.

The informed military sources said Monday that the Afghan Special Forces have killed 43 Taliban militants in Sherzad district.

The sources further added that the Special Forces conducted the raid to disrupt Taliban movements in the district.

The military sources also added that the Special Forces also destroyed a large amount of weapons during the raid.

The 201st Silab Corps had earlier announced that the U.S. forces have also conducted airstrikes in Sherzad district.

According to a statement released by 201st Silab Corps, the airstrikes killed 9 Red Unit fighters of Taliban including two of their commanders.

The statement further added that the U.S. conducted the airstrikes in Sherzad district of Nangarhar.

https://www.khaama.com/43-taliban-militants-killed-in-afghan-special-forces-raid-in-nangarhar-sources-03577/

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Khalilzad says he had good meeting with Ghani regarding peace process

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 10 Jun 2019

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador ZalmayKhalilzad has said that he had a good meeting with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani regarding peace process.

In a statement posted online following his meeting with President Ghani, Ambassador Khalilzad said he discussed the issue of building further international consensus for peace.

Ambassador Khalilzad also added that regional requirements and implications for peace were also discussed during the meeting.

Hailing recent positive movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan relations, Ambassador Khalilzad said he also discussed the opportunities peace will provide for regional connectivity and development.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Khalilzad said “As Afghan peace talks continue to progress, we agreed preparation for intra-Afghan negotiations now is essential.”

Ambassador Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Sunday for consultations with leaders of the National Unity Government.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said Ambassador Khalilzad will also meet with political leaders, civil society, and women to discuss progress in U.S. efforts to facilitate an inclusive peace process.

He had earlier visited Islamabad, Berlin and Brussels.

https://www.khaama.com/khalilzad-says-he-had-good-meeting-with-ghani-regarding-peace-process-03576/

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Officials report 16.8 percent increase in onion harvest in Helmand

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 10 Jun 2019

Local officials in southern Helmand province have reported a 16.8 percent increase in onion harvest in this province.

ZalmayAlko, the director of Helmand Agriculture said the onion harvest has increased by 16.8 percent as compared to last year.

The Provincial Agriculture Directorate data shows that the farmers have cultivated around 1,260 hectares of land with various types of onions.

In the meantime, Mr. Alko said that the onion harvest per hectare of land reaches to almost 40 tons which shows an increase of almost 17 percent as compared to last year.

Mr. Alko further added that the farmers are exporting around 35 tons of onions to other provinces every week.

The Helmand Agriculture Directorate has stepped up efforts to support the local farmers in a bid to promote the cultivation of vegetables and other legal agricultural crops.

https://www.khaama.com/officials-report-16-8-percent-increase-in-onion-harvest-in-helmand-03579/

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Mideast

 

Iran closes hundreds of restaurants for 'illegal music and debauchery,' other violations of 'Islamic principles'

By Talia Kaplan

10 hours ago

Iranian police shut down more than 500 restaurants and cafes in Tehran for not observing “Islamic principles” including modesty, the capital city's police chief announced Saturday.

“The owners of restaurants and cafes in which Islamic principles were not observed were confronted, and during this operation 547 businesses were closed and 11 offenders arrested,” Hossein Rahimi said in statement Saturday, as AFP reported.

The violations included “unconventional advertising in cyberspace, playing illegal music and debauchery,” according to the Fars news agency, which added that the operation was carried out over the past ten days inside the secretive nation.

Women in Iran are required to dress modestly and under the Islamic dress code they can show only their faces, hands and feet in public and cannot wear bold colors. Alcohol is also banned in Iran.

U.S. WARNS COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS NEAR PERSIAN GULF COULD BE 'MISIDENTIFIED,' AMID TENSIONS WITH IRAN

The police chief reportedly said observing Islamic principles was “one of the police’s main missions and responsibilities."

Tehran citizens were encouraged on Saturday to report cases of “immoral behavior” by texting a specific phone number set up to respond to these crimes. The head of Tehran’s guidance court, which deals with “cultural crimes and social and moral corruption,” made the request for people to report the violations.

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“We decided to accelerate dealing with instances of public immoral acts,” Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi reportedly told the judiciary’s Mizan Online.

He added that people could report instances of those removing their “hijab in cars,” “hosting mixed dance parties” and posting “immoral content on Instagram.”

https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-closes-tehran-restaurants-breaking-islamic-principles-illegal-music-debauchery

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Iran Unveils New Advanced Missile Defence System

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran on Sunday unveiled a new home-made state-of-the-art missile defense system named 'Khordad 15' which is equipped with passive phased array radar system for detecting fighter jets, stealth targets and cruise missiles.

The missile defense system was unveiled in a ceremony participated by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and Commander of the Iranian Army's Khatam ol-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General AlirezaSabahiFard in Tehran today.

Elaborating on the features and capabilities of the defense shield, General Hatami said that it can trace targets, including fighter jets and enemy drones, 150km away and intercept them at a range of 120km.

"It can also trace stealth targets in areas 85km in distance, and destroy them at a distance of 45km," he added.

General Hatami said that the missile defense system can trace, engage, and destroy 6 targets simultaneously, enjoys high mobility and can be prepared for operation in less than 5 minutes.

"The system is equipped with (passive) phased-array radar system with a multiple-target-engagement capability. It also has separate launch pads, and operates with Sayyad 3 missiles," he underlined.

The Iranian military officials have in several occasions said that the country's advances in building different military equipment are merely aimed at defending the country against any possible aggression.

In relevant remarks last month, General SabahiFard underscored high power of the country's radar and missile systems, warning of a crushing response to possible threats.

He stressed that the country enjoyed integrated missile and radar systems, saying the Army constantly monitored threats on land, air and sea so that if the enemy wanted to take any action, it would face a firm and crushing response.

He said that the Iranian Armed Forces were using all capacities, including good training, to promote their power against all possible challenges.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980319000401

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Rouhani, Erdogan highlight importance of ties

June 9, 2019

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan also emphasized the need to develop economic cooperation and using national currencies in trade ties.

The two presidents also expressed congratulations to each other’s nation over Eid al-Fitr.

‘Trend of relation is positive and growing’

Rouhani described the trend of relations between Iran and Turkey in different fields as “positive” and “growing”, stressing the resolve of both sides to further deepen relations, the president.ir reported.

“Development of relations and cooperation between Iran and Turkey, as two powerful influential countries in the world of Islam, is important for stability and security of the region,” Rouhani remarked.

Rouhani went on to express regret over the continued bloodshed in countries such as Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan, saying, “Together, Iran and Turkey can cooperate with other friendly and brotherly countries to put an end to this regretful process and resolve the issues of the region and the world of Islam.”

‘Strong Iran-Turkey ties will benefit the region’

Erdogan also said, “As two brotherly and friendly countries, the cementing of relations between Iran and Turkey can be beneficial for both nations and the region”.

The Turkish president also stressed the importance of working harder to develop relations and cooperation between Tehran and Ankara in different fields, especially trade and economy.

Erdogan added, “Iran and Turkey can play a greater role in combatting terrorism and help establish regional stability and security by deepening their interaction and cooperation.”

The Turkish leader also deplored the unilateral and unjust U.S. sanctions against the Iranian nation, saying, “We will never accept these cruel sanctions, and we are looking for development of our friendship and cooperation with Iran.”

At a meeting on the sidelines of the general assembly of Asian parliaments on November 29, 218, the speakers of the parliaments of Iran and Turkey stressed the need to increase trade ties to $30 billion.

During that meeting, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani noted that the U.S. approach to using dollar as a cold weapon against regional countries has made them think about using their national currencies in their transactions.

By the end of 2017, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $10.8 billion. Turkish exports to Iran in that year amounted to $ 3.3 billion, imports - $ 7.5 billion. However, in January 2019, bilateral trade fell by 21 percent year on year to hit 2.866 million dollars.

Turkey mainly exports boilers, cars, tractors, bicycles, motorcycles, as well as synthetic and artificial staple fibers to Iran. Turkish imports from Iran mainly includes fuel, mineral oils, bituminous materials, mineral wax, plastic products, tin and products from it.

Turkey and Iran reached an agreement on switching to settlements in national currencies in 2018.

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/436764/Rouhani-Erdogan-highlight-importance-of-ties

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Lebanese Security Head Travels to Tehran to Discuss NazarZaka's Release

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of Lebanon’s General Security Maj Gen Abbas Ibrahim has flown to Tehran to secure the release of the Lebanese national and permanent US resident NazarZaka who was convicted of spying and served in jail for the past four years, the Lebanese media reported on Sunday.

General Security, one of the main Lebanese security bodies, announced that Maj Gen Ibrahim left Beirut for Tehran Sunday afternoon, the National reported on Sunday.

The report came a day after local newspaper The Daily Star quoted sources saying that Mr Zaka would return within 48 hours.

“Major General Abbas Ibrahim left Beirut this afternoon for Tehran to complete efforts to release Lebanese citizen NazarZaka,” General Security said in a tweet on Sunday.

Iran's judiciary announced on Sunday that it will soon make a final decision on releasing Lebanese-American citizen, NazarZaka, who was convicted for spying and served in jail for several years.

Iran's Judiciary Spokesman GholamhosseinEsmayeeli told FNA that Zaka and Lebanese political officials have appealed for his release, and the Judiciary is studying the request in a single, specific case.

He dismissed reports that Zaka has been one of the 691 inmatesparoned by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on the occassion of Eid al-Fitr - marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan - and said the decision on Zaka is to be made in a separate single case.

Asked if Zaka is to be swapped with anyone or if there is to be any prerequsites for his release, the spokesman said, "His freedom is under study as a special case, but there is yet no condition specified for his release."

Zaka was arrested in 2015 on espionage charges. Sources told the Iranian state TV at the time that he had  “deep ties” with the US military and intelligence services.

Zaka’s photographs showed him in military uniform at a US base in the Riverside county, California.

Reports said he had been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $4.2 million (Dh 15.4m) fine on charges of espionage.

The National said Lebanese officials have been mediating for his release.

Zakka is a prominent IT expert who specializes in Arab information and communications systems. He has worked for US IT and telecoms giants such as Cisco and Microsoft but has also done contracts with USAID, the American government development agency.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980319000981

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Dubai Islamic Bank board recommends Noor takeover to shareholders

The potential deal is the latest amid flurry of consolidation activity in the banking industry

The board of Dubai Islamic Bank, the biggest Sharia-compliant lender in the UAE, recommended its shareholders consider the takeover of its smaller rival Noor Bank.

“The acquisition of Noor Bank is in line with our disciplined yet flexible growth strategy which strikes the perfect balance between market dynamics and shareholder interest," said Adnan Chilwan, group chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank. "The economics of the deal will allow us the opportunity to capitalise on synergies, notably cost efficiencies, digitisation, product and business development and most importantly the customer experience."

The bank will complete all legal procedures related to the evaluation of the deal, it said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market where its shares are traded, without specifying a timeline for when shareholders will vote on the deal or when the evaluation process will be completed.

In April, the DIB board approved the appointment of financial advisers to conduct due diligence of Noor Bank and “provide fairness opinion on the valuation".

DIB has hired HSBC to advise on the possible acquisition deal. Noor Bank is working with Barclays on the transaction that would create an Islamic lender with Dh275 billion in assets.

“Islamic finance is increasingly acknowledged as a viable alternative to conventional banking and, through this acquisition," Mr Chilwan said, "We believe that we can geometrically accelerate the growth and popularity of Shari’a compliant finance across the region and beyond."

The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the biggest shareholder in DIB with a 28.37 per cent stake, according to the bank's website. ICD also owns 22.85 per cent of Noor Bank.

Common shareholdings in financial institutions is typically a main driver of mergers as stakeholders strive to create leaner and more efficient entities to face challenging market conditions in the wake of a slowing global economy.

Acquiring Noor Bank would be beneficial to DIB and help consolidate the UAE's overcrowded banking sector, according to Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes. There is room for more tie-ups among local lenders as the UAE is overbanked with 22 local and 38 foreign banks, most of which have "sub-optimal" market shares, it said in April.

Mergers of lenders across the region are gathering pace. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s consolidation with with Union National Bank and takeover of Al Hilal Bank was the latest deal to be concluded in the UAE, and created the third-biggest lender in the country. In Saudi Arabia, National Commercial Bank is pursuing a merger with Riyad Bank.

In May, DIB reported a 12 per cent rise in first quarter net profit, beating analysts’ estimates. Net income for the three months ending March 31 climbed to Dh1.34bn. DIB had assets of Dh227bn at the end of March compared with Noor Bank’s Dh51bn in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/banking/dubai-islamic-bank-board-recommends-noor-takeover-to-shareholders-1.872697

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SouthEast Asia

Islamisation Agenda: Again, Islamic group attacks TY Danjuma, Christian elders

Posted By: IkokwuIkembaon: June 10, 2019

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the reaction of the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) to its statement as a distortion of facts and the handiwork of agent provocateur and confusionists.

Its Director, Professor IshaqAkintola, in a statement Sunday night said NCEF attacked MURIC for defending President Muhammadu Buhari’s attendance of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit last week.

NCEF under the leadership of former Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. T.Y Danjuma (retd); ex-Military Governor of Rivers State, General ZamaniLekwot (retd); and Chief Solomon Asemota, SAN, had dragged Buhari to the United Kingdom Parliament, over alleged move to Islamise Nigeria.

MURIC in its latest statement said: “We supplied facts and figures about OIC and its origin in our own statement. We said General Gowon (rtd) took Nigeria to OIC. NCEF could not contradict this. We mentioned the gains brought back home from OIC summit by the president. NCEF has no response for that.

“How can NCEF be complaining about Nigeria’s membership of OIC when many West African countries are there: Ivory Coast, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, etc? Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique are all there. Guyana from South America is a member. Russia and Thailand are members in observer status.

“Both the United Nations and the African Union are observer nations of OIC. How many of these countries have been Islamised since 1969 when OIC was founded? In fact, can anyone embark on any Islamisation exercise under the watch of the UN? We are not surprised that NCEF was forced to put its car in the reverse gear after realizing all these facts.

“But instead of admitting defeat, NCEF begins to beat about the bush. It is grandstanding. Modesty and humility are not in NCEF’s vocabulary. It is blaming Shariah in the 1999 Constitution. How does that relate to Buhari in 2019? Was Buhari in power in 1999? How did Shariah in the constitution become Buhari’s baby?

“Why should he be reported to a foreign parliament for what he knew nothing about? Is it the federal government that is practicing Shariah? Is Buhari practicing Shariah? When did Shariah start and when did Buhari become president? We can see clearly that senility and amnesia are close neighbours.

“By the way, was Shariah part of NCEF’s original statement which MURIC reacted to on Friday? The issue was OIC. How can you jump from one subject to another without thrashing the original subject matter? It is escapist. It is an attempt to confuse Nigerians.

“We are shocked that NCEF now claims to be seeking ‘a peaceful and lasting solution to current national crisis’. ‘Peaceful and lasting solution’ indeed. We have no doubt that even NCEF does not believe itself making such a claim. Can anyone seek peaceful solution by setting fire to the roof? Is it by inciting Christians against Muslims that you can seek ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’? Is it by uttering hate speeches that you can seek ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’? Or is it by always crying wolf where there is none?

“We remind NCEF that its impertinence led the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to disown it. We urge NCEF to first reconcile with CAN and stop seeking undue relevance. NCEF should also examine the audio and video clips of its preachers which are full of incitement before claiming to be seeking ‘peaceful and lasting solutions’. Interestingly enough, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel whose inciteful video clips proliferate cyberspace is the secretary of NCEF. Need we say more?

https://www.thebreakingtimes.com/islamisation-agenda-again-islamic-group-attacks-ty-danjuma-christian-elders/

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Arab World

Yemen Attacks Saudi Arabia's Jizan Airport with Drones

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Yemen's Armed Forces launched fresh drone attacks on the airport in Saudi Arabia’s Southwestern Jizan region.

"Qasif-K2 combat drones targeted drone bunkers and stations at the Jizan airport after collecting intelligence on the sites," Yemen’s al-Masirah TV channel reported.

Al-Masirah quoted a military source as saying that Saudi Arabia had converted the Jizan airport into a military base.

The Yemeni Army and popular forces have carried out several drone attacks on Jizan and Najran airports over past few weeks to retaliate for the war that Saudi Arabia has been leading on Yemen since March 2015.

A Yemeni drone targeted a major oil pumping station deep inside Saudi Arabia last month, forcing state crude giant Aramco to temporarily shut down pumping operations at the site.

In relevant remarks last week, Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser al-Atifi said that his country had made great strides in its defense sector and would surprise Saudi Arabia and its allies that Riyadh is leading in the war against Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed more than 20,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children. Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in need and is seeing a spike in needs, fueled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing economy and diminished social services and livelihoods. The blockade on Yemen has smothered humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the import-dependent state.

The UN has repeatedly criticized the Saudi-UAE-led military coalition's bombing campaign and placed it on a blacklist of child rights violators last year.

A UN panel has also compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the Saudi military and its allies during their war against Yemen, saying the Riyadh-led coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on civilian targets.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980319000296

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Turkey Accommodates Thousands of Tahrir Al-Sham Terrorists' Family Members in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Thousands of family members of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists have been sheltered in areas occupied by the Turkish army in Aleppo to replace the local population.

The Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted a special source as saying on Sunday that Ankara has transferred nearly 190,000 family members of Tahrir al-Sham terrorists from Idlib city to regions stretching from Afrin and E'zaz to the towns of al-Bab, Jarabulus and al-Ra'ei in Northern Aleppo.

It added that Ankara is attempting to expel the local population in Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo seize and their lands and properties, noting that the Turkish army has so far sheltered over 64,000 family members of the terrorists in this region's towns and villages.

Turkey has been aiding the terrorist groups militarily and supporting their family members.

Relevant reports said earlier this week that Russia had warned Turkey that it would provide military support for the Kurdish militias in Northern Aleppo in case Ankara continued supplying weapons and equipment to the terrorists against the Syrian army in Idlib province.

Al-Rai al-Youm news website quoted an informed source as saying on Friday that Ankara had received a clear warning from Moscow after it extended military support for Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist groups in attacks against the Syrian army in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

It added that Moscow had cautioned Ankara that in case of continued supply of weapons and equipment to the terrorists in Idlib, it would provide the Kurdish forces in Tal Rafa'at with military support.

Based on the report, the Ankara-backed Faylaq al-Sham terrorist group receives weapons, military equipment and ammunition from Turkey and supplies them among the terrorist groups in different fronts across Northern Syria.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980319000932

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A museum struggling to help Iraqis connect with 5,000 years of art

June 9, 2019

(Written by Alissa J Rubin)

If people remember anything about the Iraq Museum, it is most likely the televised images of it being looted in 2003 as US troops watched from their tanks.

Statues too heavy to move were knocked from their pedestals, their 3,000- and 4,000-year-old shoulders bashed to powder. Some lost their eyes or one side of their face. Glass cases were shattered, their contents gone or thrown on the floor.

One of the museum’s most treasured artworks was the Warka vase, with carvings dating back five millennia showing that even then the ancient Mesopotamians grew wheat and fruits, wove cloth and made pottery. When someone walked off with it, a bit of human history was lost.

The same was true of the Golden Lyre of Ur, a 4,500-year-old musical instrument inlaid with gold, silver and carnelian.

I was there in 2003 on the second morning of looting and was stopped about 150 feet from the museum entrance by crowds of Iraqis rushing by clutching clay objects I could not identify. They also carried more prosaic items — file cabinets, chairs and spools of electrical wire.

This spring, 16 years later, I was back at the museum. It had reopened in 2015 after conservationists had repaired some of the damage and European countries, among others, had helped restore several galleries. Still, I expected to see bare rooms and empty niches.

Instead, I found that despite the loss of 15,000 works of art, the museum was filled with an extraordinary collection.

In a well-lit gallery, I stared up at two majestic alabaster creatures at least 12 feet tall but looking even taller because they were set on plinths.

They had the bearded faces of men, four or five legs, the wide wings of eagles, and the bodies and tails of bulls. Known as lamassu in the ancient Sumerian language, they were thought to be spirit guardians, so they were set at city gates, palace entrances and the thresholds of throne rooms.

Here, they watched over two long rooms of friezes that showed ancient Mesopotamians carrying tribute or walking beside their horses, which were finely carved with muscled flanks and elaborate reins.

The lamassus and friezes survived the looters because they were too heavy to haul away.

Art historians and archaeologists know how exceptional the collection is. But despite Baghdad’s relative safety today, neither the city nor the museum has yet to become a major destination for Iraqis, much less foreign tourists.

“There are things there that are nowhere else in the world, especially from early Mesopotamian history,” said Christopher Woods, director of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, who recently visited Baghdad.

“It’s a textbook collection,” he said.

In addition to trying to get back the pieces that were looted (some 4,300 have been recovered), the challenge now is to make the museum accessible to as many Iraqis as possible, said Abdulameer al-Hamdani, the recently appointed Iraqi culture minister.

“I’ve ordered the museum to be open every day, and I’ve asked to let graduate students and university students come for free,” said al-Hamdani, an archaeologist by training who has a doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Still, it is hard to get visitors, especially younger Iraqis, to feel that the museum’s art is relevant to their lives, he said.

While many more school classes come now than in the past, there is little to guide them — no docents or audio-guides, and scant audiovisual aids. The children rush through, stopping to touch a lamassu or another statue and then dash on.

Some days the museum is almost empty as it was when I visited, except for a few teenagers and three men from Diyala province, who had come on their day off. They were eager for information but barely read the sometimes technical labels.

Three of the teenagers, who had come on their own when their classes finished for the day, glanced up briefly at the lamassus’ benign faces, but seemed not to know what to make of them.

“I liked the other room with the statues better,” said Amina Atiyeh, 14, as her companions nodded in assent.

The museum’s collection is so comprehensive that art historians say it is daunting to try to talk about it in its entirety.

“What is so striking about the Iraq Museum is the chronological span that it covers,” said Paolo Brusasco, an archaeologist and art historian at the University of Genoa, who has worked extensively in northern Iraq.

“From the Assyrian period all the way to the Ottoman,” he said.

The museum’s earliest pieces date to almost 4000 B.C. That is more than three millennia before the ships described by Homer plied the Aegean Sea or the Old Testament was written.

The collection has painted pottery in the shape of strange creatures whose mouths double as spouts; tiny sculptures of animals thought to have been toys; fragile boats made of a light wood found in ancient graves. Historians conjecture that the boats were intended to carry souls to the next world.

There are statues of men and women with large, incredulous eyes as well as fragments of beautifully carved parts of mosques that are a mere few hundred years old.

While there are superb examples of Sumerian art outside Iraq — most notably at the Louvre, the British Museum, the state museums in Berlin and the Metropolitan Museum, as well as the Oriental Institute in Chicago — the Iraq Museum has it all, Brusasco said.

The museum’s origins date to the early 1920s when Gertrude Bell, the British administrator and explorer who helped to establish modern Iraq, worked with King Faisal to create a museum of Iraqi art by stopping Western archaeologists from walking off with all of the country’s treasures.

They pushed through legislation requiring that foreign excavators donate at least half their finds to the museum.

Today, Iraqi law stipulates that anything found in Iraq, stays in Iraq. That means the museum’s collection will continue to grow since there are some 13,000 archaeological sites in Iraq and a number of continuing excavations, al-Hamdani said.

But al-Hamdani sees his main challenge as figuring out how to create a culture of learning around the museum.

“We have to give visitors a context,” he said.

“Putting artifacts in a box is like a death,” he added, referring to the glass cases that house the collection’s smaller pieces. “In a box, art has no soul.”

Great works like the 3-foot-tall Warkavase, which was recovered, are arresting sights but much more so when their history is explained.

The Warka vase, for example, was found in Uruk, in present day Muthanna province, which archaeologists believe was the world’s largest city at its height, and where the earliest examples of writing were found — in cuneiform on clay tablets.

The vase is a rare example of the most ancient narrative art, telling its story in four tiers.

The vase shows that farmers “approached the king for the new year festival bringing grain, sheep, gold and barley,” said Brusasco, the University of Genoa archaeologist.

Mesopotamians were among the earliest beer brewers, using barley as a critical ingredient. Tablets describe 30 to 40 different kinds of beer and specify different qualities, he said.

There is no end to the past in Iraq, said Ali al-Nashmi, professor of archaeology and history at Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.

“In Iraq, cities are built on top of cities,” he said.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/iraq-national-museum-baghdad-warka-vase-golden-lyre-of-ur-5772303/

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Yemeni Defense Minister Enters Saudi Soil for First Time, Hails High Morale of Yemen's Armed Forces NearNajran

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Yemeni Defense Minister Major-General Mohammad Nasser al-Atifi visited his country's armed forces in Southern Saudi Arabia's Najran region for the first time, a move believed by experts to be a humiliation of Riyadh.

While visiting the Saudi forces, Major-General al-Atifi congratulated the Yemeni Army and popular forces on their high morale to face the Saudi aggressors.

The Yemeni defense minister underlined that the Yemeni Army and popular forces are very close to the city of Najran in Southern Saudi Arabia, and said that more victories are imminent.

"The Yemeni forces are just few kilometers away from Najran city and its airport," al-Atifi said.

The Yemeni defense minister reiterated the Yemeni Army and popular forces will never abandon defending their homeland as they were very close to victory over the Saudi aggressors.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Yemeni Army spokesman Brigadier General YahyaSare'e said that the armed forces had captured 20 military positions belonging to Riyadh and its mercenaries in Najran since last week.

"More than 200 Saudi mercenaries were killed or wounded during the retaliatory operation, and many others were captured along with large quantities of military equipment," he added.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed more than 20,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children. Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in need and is seeing a spike in needs, fueled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing economy and diminished social services and livelihoods. The blockade on Yemen has smothered humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the import-dependent state.

The UN has repeatedly criticized the Saudi-UAE-led military coalition's bombing campaign and placed it on a blacklist of child rights violators last year.

A UN panel has also compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the Saudi military and its allies during their war against Yemen, saying the Riyadh-led coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on civilian targets.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980319000559

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Hundreds of Terrorists Killed in Foiled Attacks to Regain Lost Regions in Hama

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Damascus Army backed by the Syrian and Russian air force warded off several attacks launched by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in several regions to regain the regions they have already lost in Northern Hama, killing over 140 terrorists.

"The Syrian Army in a coordinated military operation from the towns of al-Jobin, al-Hamamiat and Karnaz in Northern and Northwestern Hama launched counterattacks after fending off terrorists' offensives, and killed tens of militants after fully cleansing the towns of KafarHoud and Tal al-Melh," the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted a military source as saying.

Meantime, the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army's operations in provinces across Syria.

Hama

The Army backed by Syrian and Russian air force warded off several attacks launched by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at in several regions to regain the regions they have already lost in Northern Hama, killing over 140 terrorists.

The Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted a military source as saying that the Syrian Army in a coordinated military operation from the towns of al-Jobin, al-Hamamiat and Karnaz in Northern and Northwestern Hama launched counterattacks after fending off terrorists' offensives, and killed tens of militants after fully cleansing the towns of KafarHoud and Tal al-Melh.

It pointed to the Syrian Army's continued military operations to clean up the remnants of terrorists, and said after purging terrorists from the farms located between Tal Melh and al-Jobin town in Northern Hama, the Syrian Army liberated all the positions that it had temporarily withdrawn from.

The Syrian Army also held captive several terrorists in an ambush operation in Karnaz and Tal Melh in Northern Hama.

The Syrian and Russian fighter jets also heavily pounded the terrorists' lines of movement in different axes, including al-Zuka, al-Arbaeen, al-Latamneh and Kafar Zita, the surroundings of Mourek, Khan Sheikhoun and the town of al-Sayyad in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib. The Syrian and Russian air forces managed to cut the terrorists' movements from Idlib to Northern and Northwestern Hama.

Aleppo

At least 14 officers of the Turkish army and Ankara-backed elite militants were killed in recent attacks by the Kurdish fighters in Afrin and Izaz in Northern Aleppo, Kurdish sources said.

The Kurdish-language Afrin news website reported that the Afrin Liberation Forces pounded the Turkish Army's military position in Jalbareh town in Afrin's Shirawa region in Northwestern Aleppo, killing two Turkish Army forces and injuring another one.

Meantime, at least five Turkish Army military men and Ankara-backed militants were killed and wounded in Kurdish military operations against them in Marsa town in Afrin and near KafarKhasher region of Izaz in Northern Aleppo.

The Kurdish fighters also launched an offensive against the so-called Military Police backed by Turkey in Jandaris region in Afrin, destroying their military vehicle as well as killing three of them and wounding three others.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980319000214

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Syrian Kurds hand over French, Dutch Islamic State orphans

JUNE 10, 2019

A Syrian Kurdish official says authorities in northeastern Syria have handed 12 French and two Dutch orphans whose fathers were killed fighting for the Islamic State group back to their countries.

Abdulkarim Omar, a senior official in the Kurdish self-rule administration, tweeted on Monday that the children were handed over to French and Dutch officials the day before.

Thousands of IS members and their families are in camps and detention centers in northern Syria, including around 74,000 people who are being sheltered at al-Hol camp in Hasakeh province.

Last week, Kurdish authorities handed over to a Norwegian envoy five orphans of IS members who were killed in Syria. Last month, Iraq handed over to Turkey 188 Turkish children of suspected IS members.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article231378168.html

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Africa

Four dead as Sudan police move to quell civil disobedience

AFPUpdated June 10, 2019 Facebook Count

KHARTOUM: Four people were killed in Sudan on Sunday as protesters launched a civil disobedience campaign against the military after a bloody crackdown on a sit-in demonstration calling for civilian rule.

The campaign got underway nearly a week after the assault on demonstrators at the sit-in outside army headquarters in central Khartoum, which followed talks breaking down between protest leaders and military rulers over who should lead a new governing body — a civilian or soldier.

Following the call for the campaign of civil disobedience, protesters set about building roadblocks in Khartoum while markets and shops were closed in several other towns and cities.

A doctors committee linked to the demonstrators said two people were killed on Sunday in unrest that rocked Khartoum and two others in its twin city of Omdurman.

The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors blamed forces of the ruling military council and paramilitary “militias” for the four deaths, which it said took the overall toll to 118 since the June 3 crackdown to disperse the sit-in.

The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide in Monday’s crackdown, 49 of them by “live ammunition” in Khartoum.

In the capital’s northern Bahari district, people gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks as the campaign began on Sunday.

But riot police swiftly moved in, firing gunshots in the air and tear gas at demonstrators before clearing the makeshift barriers, a witness said.

The Sudanese Profes­sionals Association, which first launched protests against longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in December, said the campaign of civil disobedience would continue until the military rulers transfer power to a civilian government.

Empty streets

Several protesters said they faced difficulties but were still backing the campaign. “The roadblocks prevented me from reaching the market to buy vegetables,” said Hassan Abdelrahim, a vegetable vendor. “This will impact my income, but when I look at these youngsters who are on the streets since six months, I’m not angry even if I lose my income.”

Khartoum residents have mostly remained indoors since Monday, when men in military fatigues raided the protest camp. Several airlines have scrapped their Sudan flights since the deadly raid and passengers were left waiting outside Khartoum airport’s departures terminal on Sunday.

The downtown business district was largely shut and buses were not running in several areas, but private vehicles were ferrying passengers in some locations.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1487265/four-dead-as-sudan-police-move-to-quell-civil-disobedience

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Europe

Germany backs two-state solution to Middle East conflict

June 10th, 2019

AMMAN: Germany’s top diplomat on Sunday reaffirmed his country’s support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ahead of a long-awaited US peace plan.

“We are still in agreement that reaching a two-state solution through negotiations is the only solution,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said during a press conference in Amman with his Jordanian counterpart.

Washington is gearing up to roll out economic aspects of its plan at a conference in Bahrain later this month, but it is not yet clear when its political details will be unveiled.

Palestinians have already rejected the US peace deal

The Palestinians have already rejected the deal, citing a string of moves by US President Donald Trump they say show his administration is irredeemably biased.

“We and Germany agree that the two-state solution is the only way to end the conflict,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said.

Mass and Safadi met a day after US ambassador to Israel David Friedman was quoted by the New York Times as saying Israel had the “right” to annex at least parts of the occupied West Bank.

Read: US envoy says Israel has ‘right’ to annex West Bank land

Palestinian leaders said the US envoy’s comments showed “extremists” were involved in White House policy on the issue.

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and its construction of settlements there is viewed as a major stumbling block to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

Friedman has in the past been a supporter of Israeli settlements as has the family of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser leading efforts to put together the peace deal.

Kushner has hinted that it will not endorse international calls for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Several UN resolutions have enshrined the two-state solution, which envisages separate homelands for Jews and Palestinians, as the path to a peace settlement.

Both ministers also stressed the importance of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, just weeks after the US called for it to be dismantled after cutting its roughly $300 million annual donation.

Jordan is home to nearly 2.2 million Palestinian refugees, who make up almost half of the kingdom’s population.

Separately, Mass said Germany would give Jordan a $100 million loan to help cope with economic difficulties in the kingdom where IMF-backed fiscal reforms sparked mass protests last year.

Jordan, whose stability is seen as vital for the volatile Middle East, also hosts some 1.3 million refugees from neighbouring war-torn Syria.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1487264/germany-backs-two-state-solution-to-middle-east-conflict

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North America

Newark Islamic Centre, on Appletongate, gains the backing of Newark Town Council’s planning committee

By Connor Thompson - c.thompson@newarkadvertiser.co.uk

10 June 2019

Councillors say Newark’s newest place of worship is a welcome addition to the town.

Newark Islamic Centre, on Appletongate, gained the backing of Newark Town Council’s planning committee, and should the district council grant planning permission, it would be a first mosque for the town.

Speaking at a meeting of the town council’s planning committee, where there was unanimous support for the proposed change of use, member Mrs Jane Olson offered her wholehearted supported.

Newark Islamic Centre (11856904)Newark Islamic Centre (11856904)

She said: “At the minute, there’s nowhere for Muslim’s to meet and I wholeheartedly support it.”

Mrs Gill Dawn said there had been no backlash or negative comments surrounding the mosque.

“This place has already been operating for some time and there has been no hint of any trouble or any disruption,” said Mrs Dawn.

“Everyone has a right to worship whoever they want to and I wish them all the best of luck.”

The applicants say the centre aims to be an integral part of Newark and want it to be be a hub of the community, not just for Muslims but for the town as a whole.

Mr Laurence Goff said: “Newark should be inclusive for everybody and its good for the town. We should all welcome the idea.”

The Islamic Centre recently became a registered charity and in the future, hopes to buy premises to use as a permanent base.

The alterations at 83-85 Appletongate would see a change from mixed-use retail to a community centre, place of worship, café and shop.

The shop on the ground floor would be converted into a community centre, providing space for community events; meetings for clubs and groups, after-school activities and charitable support for the local homeless.

https://www.newarkadvertiser.co.uk/news/mosque-bid-welcomed-by-councillors-9072636/

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/pm-modi-says-india-will-help-in-conservation-of-maldives--friday-mosque/d/118841




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