Ahmed Khan Niazi was on Saturday sworn in as the 22nd prime minister of
Pakistan in a simple ceremony hosted at the Aiwan-i-Sadr.
Minister Imran Khan: PTI Chairman Sworn In As 22nd Premier of Pakistan
Couple Denied Swiss Citizenship over Handshake Refusal with Opposite Sex
Saudi Cleric Taken Away For ‘Secret Trial’
Kills Three Palestinians, Injures 240 and Empty ‘Al Aqsa’ Of Worshippers
Sanctions Myanmar Military Commanders Over Rohingya Abuses
Arrest of 2 Youths for ‘IS Links’ another Case of Demonisation Of Muslims:
Clerics In Pakistan Honour Late Cardinal Tauran
PM agrees to work with Imran Khan's govt to root out money laundering
says Pakistan not supporting Afghan militancy
Singh Sidhu arrives for Imran’s oath-taking
Protest Dutch MP's Plan to Publish Cartoons of Prophet
deputation from Pakistan attends Vajpayee’s funeral
clean bowls Shahbaz to become PM
set to become opposition leader in National Assembly
demands parliamentary commission to probe polls ‘rigging’
Anning and Bob Katter's Anti-Muslim Cry Is About Comfort, Not Survival
mosque denies 'military jihad' support
Finalizing Details of Long-Term Hamas-Israel Truce
Says Its Air Force Hit Islamic State Militants inside Syria, Killing 28
Al-Fayad Of ‘Popular Mobilization’ Potential Candidate To Succeed Abadi
committed to expel Iran and its allied militias out of Syria
Arabia shoots down ballistic missile fired by Houthi terrorists
to discuss Iran, Syria in talks with Russian counterpart
to close Rafah border crossing during Eid Al-Adha
Coptic Orthodox Church calls on 'unrecognised monasteries' to submit to church
State strikes the Druze
Houthis Killed In Clashes in Al-Jawf, 5 Military Vehicles Destroyed
gunfire kills 2 Gaza border protesters
air defence intercepts Houthi missile targeting Najran
airstrikes target Houthi bases in Yemen’s West coast
condemn ongoing war led by Saudi Arabia
settlers chop down 200 Palestinian olive trees in West Bank village
civilians trapped as Saudi ramps up attacks on Hudaydah
chief proposes options to protect Palestinians
will respond if US imposes more sanctions: Minister
Creates 'Iran Action Group' To Up Pressure on Tehran
says will respond if US imposes more sanctions
ready to hit Turkey with more sanction if pastor not released: Mnuchin
Arrest of 2 Youths for ‘IS Links’ another Case Of Demonisation Of Muslims: Katju
Detained For Holding Friday Prayer sans Permit
killed in grenade attack by terrorists in J&K
dailies laud Vajpayee’s contribution to peace process
Muslim Ola driver found dead, row over his cremation
Chief Invites US to Talks to ‘Reach Understanding’ To End the Ongoing War
Bangladesh Agree To Remove 'National' Tag from Rohingya ID Cards
terrorist group growing in International level
Asian Islamists gain ground in Philadelphia
orders in-depth review of conspiracies surrounding the attack on Ghazni
Taliban attend peace talks in Indonesia
model Gigi Hadid pays visit to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, shares pictures
Indonesian Officials Hold Talks On Afghan Peace
Backs Banning Books That Insult, Ridicule Islam
Ali, ex-Umno man forms Putra to champion Bumi rights
look to sting Indonesian 'jellyfish' sect
Urges Government to Employ Muslim Teachers
releases a damning report revealing how terrorist activities are funded across
sponsoring hate speech campaigns against us – Shi’ites
refused to pay Boko Haram to release Leah Sharibu – Fani-Kayode
soldiers demand break from Boko Haram
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Minister Imran Khan: PTI chairman sworn in as 22nd premier of Pakistan
Imran Khan has taken oath as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan at a ceremony
being held at the President House.
who outvoted opposition and PML-N candidate Shahbaz Sharif in the PM's election
on Friday, was administered his oath by President Mamnoon Hussain.
taking the oath as premier, Khan and his wife stepped down the stage to greet
oath-taking ceremony, which was scheduled to begin at 9:30am, started a little
in a black sherwani, the prime minister-elect arrived at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (the
President House) in Islamabad from his Banigala residence. His wife Bushra
Imran had already arrived for the ceremony.
ceremony commenced with the national anthem, followed by recitation of verses
from the Holy Quran.
guests including caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, National Assembly
Speaker Asad Qaiser, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Air Chief Marshal
Mujahid Anwar Khan and Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi are present at
notable guests present at the Aiwan-e-Sadr include senior PTI leaders, former
Indian cricket star Navjot Singh Sidhu, cricketer-turned-commentator Rameez
Raja, legendary paceman Wasim Akram, newly elected Punjab Assembly Speaker
Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, singers Salman Ahmed and Abrarul Haq, actor Javaid
Sheikh and former National Assembly speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza.
invited guests, which include politicians, cricketers and celebrities, were
told to be at the venue at 9:15am. The event was scheduled to begin at 9:30am.
who famously captained the national cricket team to World Cup glory in 1992,
has also invited some of his former teammates to witness his formal ascension
to the top ministerial job in the country.
to the programme outlined on the invitation cards, the ceremony will begin with
the national anthem, following which the cabinet secretary will seek permission
from the president to commence the ceremony.
up will be recitation (tilawat) of the Holy Quran, after which the oath will be
administered and documents signed.
guest have been asked to carry their NIC or accreditation cards but not to
bring with them any handbags, purses, mobiles phones or any other electronic
the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the biggest parliamentary party
in the wake of the July 25 polls, all 120 of the party's parliamentary
committee members rubber-stamped Khan's candidacy for the post of the prime
party formed enough alliances and recruited enough independents to gain the
numbers required to get Khan elected as the PM in Friday's parliamentary vote.
and his party campaigned on promises to end widespread graft while building an
“Islamic welfare state”.
of all, we will start strict accountability. I promise to my God that everyone
who looted this country will be made accountable,” he said in his speech as
PM-elect on Friday.
candidates were also voted speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly
this week, putting Khan in a strong position to carry forward his legislative
will face myriad challenges including militant extremism, water shortages, and
a booming population negating growth in the country, among others.
pressing is a looming economic crisis, with speculation that Pakistan will have
to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
will also have to contend with the same issue as many predecessors: how to
maintain a power balance in civil-military relations.
couple denied Swiss citizenship over handshake refusal with opposite sex
Swiss city of Lausanne has blocked a Muslim couple’s bid to become Swiss
nationals over their refusal to shake hands with members of the opposite sex.
municipality said it refused to grant the couple’s citizenship application over
their lack of respect for gender equality, Lausanne mayor Gregoire Junod told
said a municipal commission had questioned the couple several months ago to
determine if they met the criteria for citizenship, but had determined in the
ruling made public Friday that they missed the mark on integration.
refused to divulge the couple’s nationalities or other identifying details, but
said they “did not shake hands with people of the opposite sex.”
also “showed great difficulty in answering questions asked by people of the
opposite sex,” he said.
devout Muslims argue that Islam does not permit physical contact with a person
of the opposite sex, with the exception of certain immediate family members.
pointed out that freedom of belief and religion is enshrined in the laws of the
Canton of Vaud, which encompasses Lausanne.
“religious practice does not fall outside the law,” he stressed.
vice-mayor, Pierre-Antoine Hildbrand, who was on the three-member commission
that questioned the couple told AFP he was “very satisfied with the decision”
to deny the couple’s application.
constitution and equality between men and women prevails over bigotry,” he
couple has 30 days to appeal the decision, Junod said.
is not the first time refused handshakes have stirred tensions in Switzerland.
2016, there was national uproar over revelations that a middle school in the
north of the country had allowed two Syrian brothers not to shake their
teachers’ hands after they complained that doing so was counter to their
religious beliefs if the teacher was a woman.
ran counter to a deeply entrenched Swiss tradition of students shaking their
teacher’s hands as a sign of respect, and amid the outcry regional authorities
quickly overruled the school’s decision.
Saudi cleric taken away for ‘secret trial’
hugely-popular Saudi Sunni cleric, who has been imprisoned since last year for
critiquing the kingdom’s policies, is reportedly taken away to attend a “secret
al-Odah’s son announced the development on Twitter on Wednesday, saying his
father had told him about being transferred “suddenly” from Zehban Prison in
the port city of Jeddah to al-Ha’er Prison in capital Riyadh.
Odah also cited a prison official as telling him that his father had been
referred to the trial, adding, “In such a trial, no one is allowed to attend
and there does not seem to be any real due process.”
do not trust secret and sudden trials, held without any disclosure of
information, and without the presence of lawyers or independent organizations,
without clear charges. We hold the government fully responsible for my father’s
safety," Abdullah tweeted.
also said he had tried to enquire about his father from prosecuting
authorities, but they had told him that the matter was out of their hands and
within the jurisdiction of the “security apparatus.”
61-year-old scholar, who has many millions of followers on Twitter, has been in
jail since last September after he expressed hope for the resolution of the
diplomatic crisis between the kingdom and Qatar. Four months earlier, the
kingdom had led three of its allied states in breaking off their ties with the
family have told the Middle East Eye news portal that “the scholar was held in
solitary confinement in his Jeddah prison and was denied medical care and
family visits for months,” the MEE reported.
detention came as part of an arrest spree ordered by Crown Prince Mohammad bin
Salman of members of the royal family, heavy-weight businessmen, scholars, and
purge has been widely criticized by human rights groups as a means of
solidifying Salman’s grip on power in the run-up to his ascendancy to the
a Twitter account reporting on Saudi “prisoners of conscience” reported the
detention of Dr. Ahmad al-Amari, the former head of Medina Qur’an Academy. The
activists said Amari had been nabbed for his close ties to Sheikh Safar
al-Hawali, another outspoken Saudi scholar, who has likewise been imprisoned.
kills three Palestinians, injures 240 and empty ‘Al Aqsa’ of worshippers
the latest flare-up of tension between Israel and the Palestinians, three
Palestinians were killed and 240 injured by Israeli fire on the 21st Friday of
protests near the Gaza border, as part of the ‘Return March’ to break the siege
of Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
to medical sources, Karim Abu Fattair (30) was killed after being shot by the
Israelis east of al-Bureij, while another was reported dead and 240 others were
injured in Gaza.
the meantime, Al Arabiya news channel reported that a Palestinian was shot dead
in occupied Jerusalem, on the pretext of trying to carry out a stabbing attack.
forces reinforced troops in the area of the claimed attack and said they were
searching for other suspects there, and removed all worshipers from the Al-Aqsa
compound is a frequent flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian tensions., which
have surged in the past few months.
least 170 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli fire in
weekly border demonstrations. Israel says Hamas, the militant group that rules
Gaza, is using the protests as cover for cross-border attacks. Hamas denies
talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014 and a bid by the US
administration to restart them has so far shown little sign of progress.
want to establish a state in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem,
territories that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
pulled out of Gaza in 2005, annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized
internationally and maintains control over more than half the West Bank, where
the Palestinians have limited self-rule.
Egypt is finalizing details of a long-term truce deal between Israel and Hamas
in the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian security source said on Thursday, amid easing
tensions on the border of the enclave where some two million Palestinians live.
has brokered an interim truce that has allowed commercial goods into Gaza ahead
of the Eid al-Adha feast which starts next week. Read more
sanctions Myanmar military commanders over Rohingya abuses
- The US government on Friday hit four Myanmar military commanders and two
military units with punitive sanctions, accusing them of “serious human rights
abuses” and “ethnic cleansing” in violently expelling minority Rohingya from
and border guard commanders Aung Kyaw Zaw, Khin Maung Soe, Khin Hlaing, and
Thura San Lwin were accused of leading violent campaigns against the Muslim
Rohingya in Rakhine state as well as minorities in Kachin and Shan states.
security forces have engaged in violent campaigns against ethnic minority communities
across Burma, including ethnic cleansing, massacres, sexual assault,
extrajudicial killings, and other serious human rights abuses,” said Sigal
Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the US
Treasury, which announced the sanctions. The US Treasury said the sanctions on
individuals were meant as a warning to security forces to cease abuses of
ethnic and religious minorities and to respect their rights.
sanctions, which seek to lock those named out of global financial and
commercial networks and freeze any overseas assets they have, were brought
under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, a US law originally
targeting Russia but now expanded to punish rights abusers worldwide.
Kyaw Zaw was singled out for having presided over the operations that drove
some 700,000 Rohingya from their homes in Rakhine state, in southwest Myanmar,
and into neighboring Bangladesh since 2016.
campaign has been marked by numerous extrajudicial killings, rape and burning
of villages by security forces.
Maung Soe was in charge of a command which participated in a massacre of
Rohingya on August 27, 2017 in Maung Nu, where soldiers “reportedly beat,
sexually assaulted and summarily executed or otherwise killed dozens of
Rohingya villagers,” the Treasury said.
San Lwin was the leader of the Border Guard Police, allegedly responsible for
extrajudicial killings, sexual violence and assault against various minorities.
Khin Hlaing was singled out for abuse of Kachin, Shan and Chinese minorities
who in November 2016 were forced to serve as human shields for his military
unit in battles with militias.
two military units also sanctioned for involvement in those abuses were the
33rd Light Infantry Division, which participated in Rohingya abuses, and the
99th Light Infantry Division, which was led by Khin Hlaing.
must be justice for the victims and those who work to uncover these atrocities,
with those responsible held to account for these abhorrent crimes,” said
will continue to systematically expose and bring accountability to human rights
abusers in this region and many others and greatly appreciate the efforts of
civil society who are doing the same.”
Delhi: Justice Markandey Katju is the former Chairman, Press Council of India.
Prior to his appointment as Chairman, Press Council of India, he served as a
Judge at the Supreme Court of India. Before being elevated as a judge to the
Supreme Court, he had earlier served as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court,
Madras High Court and as acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court.
said that “Muslims have been demonised as terrorists and fanatics, they are
often falsely implicated in incidents of terrorism. When a bomb blast or such
other incident takes place, the police is often unable to apprehend the real
posted a lengthy note on his official Facebook account on 15t August, the
wrote “In Hyderabad, the NIA ( National Investigation Agency ) has arrested two
Muslim youth, Mohammed Abdullah Basith ( 24 ) and Mohammed Abdul Qadeer ( 19 )
for ” allegedly conspiring to further the IS ( Islamic State ) ideology to
carry out terrorist activities in India “. It is alleged that they were in
touch with one Adnan Hassan who is facing trial in the 2016 ISIS module case.
what I could make out, this is just another instance of the doctrine ‘guilty by
association ‘which has been rejected and held invalid by the Supreme Court of
India in Sri Indra Das vs State of Assam following its earlier decision in
State of Kerala vs Raneef ( 2011) and several decisions of the U.S. Supreme
Court e.g. Elfbrandt vs Russell ( 1966 ). In Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee
Committee vs McGrath ( 1951 ) Mr.Justice William Douglas of the U.S. Supreme
Court observed ” in days of great tension when feelings run high it is a
temptation to take shortcuts by borrowing from the totalitarian techniques of
our opponents, but when we do so we set in motion a subversive influence that
destroys us from within.
these youth will be released after spending 20 years in jail, during which they
will have to undergo terrible tortures, until they are ultimately found
innocent by the Court, as happened to Nisaruddin Ahmed (who spent 23 years in
jail before the Supreme Court found him innocent), Amir (who spent 14 years in
jail before his acquittal) and several others.”
in 2013, he lashed out at media for running a media trial right after any bomb
blast. He said “Whenever a bomb blast or such incidents take place, within an
hour or so, many TV channels start showing that an email or SMS claiming
responsibility has come from the Indian Mujahideen or JeM or
Harkatuljihad-e-Islam or some Muslim name. An email or SMS can be sent by any
mischievous person. But when your start screening this on TV and next day in
print, the certain message you (media) are sending is that all Muslims are
terrorists and they had nothing to do except to throw bombs. You are demonising
the entire Muslim community and promoting communalism.
clerics in Pakistan's Punjab province paid glowing tributes to late French
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran at a special mourning service held in Lahore on Aug.
Tauran, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious
Dialogue, died in the United States on July 5 at the age of 75 after spending
years battling Parkinson's disease.
visited the Islamic Republic eight years previously and made a strong impact
due to his efforts to promote inter-faith harmony.
is our loss. We are saddened by the death of the cardinal, who spent his life
among people like us," Allama Zubair Abid said at the service.
15 years ago such interfaith gatherings were impossible in Pakistan. We respect
anyone who promotes peace and reject extremism regardless of their faith,"
was one of about a dozen Muslims who joined the congregation at the city's
Sacred Heart Cathedral.
solemn ceremony started with a recitation from the Quran by Qari Khalid Mehmood
of the Punjab Assembly and ended with the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.
his trip to Pakistan in 2010, Cardinal Tauran met former president Asif Ali
Zardari in Islamabad. He urged him to pardon Christian mother Asia Bibi, who
had been sentenced to death under the nation's strict blasphemy laws.
years later, he voiced his support for Rimsha Masih, a Christian Pakistani girl
who suffered from Down syndrome and who was arrested for allegedly burning a
copy of the Quran.
Lahore, the prelate inaugurated the Dominican Peace Center at a ceremony
attended by leaders of the Catholic Church and the (Protestant) Church of
Pakistan as well senior Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Bahais.
later rubbed shoulders with Muslim and other clerics at a meeting organized by
Lahore Archdiocese's National Commission for Inter-religious and Ecumenism.
the wake of that trip, staff at the Peace Center regularly mailed greetings
translated into Urdu to Muslim leaders to mark Eid, an important Muslim
festival marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Tauran also offered six-month scholarships to three Muslim educators who
studied about Christianity at the Vatican.
Ahmad Raza, director of interfaith relations at Minhaj-ul-Quran International,
an NGO founded in 1980, shared some memories of that visit.
day I walked into a church wearing a cap. The congregation asked me to remove
it in honor of the Cardinal but he saw what was happening and allowed me to
keep wearing it," he told ucanews.com.
was a compassionate and humble person. We shall miss his message of love at
future Eid celebrations."
Archbishop Sebastian Shaw said the late cardinal was famous for never
forgetting people's names. He remembered all the Muslim visitors he received
from Pakistan even as he battled old age and poor health.
know he also felt much pain for the suffering of Rohingya Muslims [in Myanmar
and at the refugee camps in Bangladesh]," the archbishop said.
final trip to Saudi Arabia was focused on laying a strong foundation for closer
ties between the Holy See and Riyadh. We have lost a true champion of
after Imran Khan was elected the new prime minister of Pakistan, his British
counterpart Theresa May called him to congratulate and offer her best wishes.
British PM, during her telephonic conversation with Pakistan's PM-elect, said
that her government is ready to further improve Pak-British relations.
are ready to open new avenues of partnership with Pakistan," May told
Khan. "We will fully assist the new government."
after thanking May for her call, said that he hopes to work with the British
government to root out the menace of money laundering.
laundering is a severe problem for developing countries," he said.
"To stop this we want to work with foreign governments, especially
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday reiterated
that there was no support to any terrorist activity inside Afghanistan from
Pakistan, adding that claims regarding the return of injured and dead
terrorists from Ghazni to Pakistan were incorrect, Inter-Services Public
Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
concerns over the recent wave of violence in Afghanistan and loss of innocent
lives, the army chief said there were scores of Pakistanis working in
Afghanistan in connection with various businesses/ labour who periodically fell
victim to terrorism acts alongside their Afghan brothers inside Afghanistan.
such victims as terrorists is unfortunate,” said the statement, while further
adding that different factions of TTP, hiding in many sanctuaries inside
Afghanistan, under Afghan identities on becoming injured/ dead, were
transported into Pakistan for medical help.
Afghan refugees and their relatives also resort to similar practices.
stands by his commitment to Afghan president for ensuring all measures which
could facilitate peace in Afghanistan,” said the statement, adding, however,
COAS re-emphasised that Afghanistan needed to look inward as the problem
solution thus remains on making substantive progress on Afghan reconciliation
efforts as well as on the speedy implementation of Afghanistan Pakistan Action
Plan for Peace and Stability (APAPPS).”
Former Indian cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu arrived in
Pakistan on Friday to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister (PM)
Imran Khan on Saturday.
arrived in Lahore from Wagah border from where he left for Islamabad to meet
August 13, Sidhu was seen visiting Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. After
the visit, Sidhu had said that he had applied for permission from the Indian
government and that his travel to Pakistan depended on the permission by GoI.
leader Faisal Javed had announced on August 10 that cricket legends from India
Kapil Dev, Navjyot Singh Sidhu, and Sunil Gavaskar have been invited to attend
Dev had refused to attend the ceremony citing ‘personal reasons’. On August 12,
Gavaskar had conveyed to Khan that he would not be able to attend the event as
he had prior work commitments.
200,000 and 300,000 protesters in Pakistan's capital Islamabad threatened to
surround and pelt the Dutch embassy with stones for allowing a far-right member
of parliament to hold a cartoon contest depicting Islam's Prophet Mohammad.
protesters broke through several barriers put up by the police, though they
could not get close to the embassy, which is housed in a highly protected
diplomatic enclave along with most other embassies.
by local leaders from an Islamist party, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), the
demonstrators demanded that their government break their diplomatic relationship
with the Netherlands.
want the Dutch embassy to be closed, the ambassador to be sent back, and to
call the Pakistani ambassador back from the Netherlands," said Zaheer
Sultan, who had come from out of town for the protest. He said he was not called
by any political party.
do not belong to any party and no one asked me to come here," he said.
"I use Facebook where I saw a couple of videos and then contacted those
pages to find out about today's protest."
one point, protesters demanded their government write a letter to the United
Nations asking the organization to extract an apology from the Dutch
MP Geert Wilders announced in June he would hold a competition at his party's
parliamentary offices later this year. He said the country's counterterrorism
agency had approved his plans.
for his anti-Islam rhetoric, Wilders previously has called for the Quran to be
banned, and he declared Islam a totalitarian ideology.
Muslims consider visual depictions of their prophet blasphemous. Cartoons of
the prophet have caused violence in the past.
2015, Islamist gunmen attacked a French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, in
Paris for printing cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. Twelve people were killed.
year earlier, protests broke out around the world when Danish newspaper
Jyllands-Posten first published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. One of the
cartoons showed the prophet with a bomb in his turban.
party leading the protest, TLP, gained nationwide fame last year when it blocked
the capital for almost a month over an issue related to the prophet.
elections last month, the party fielded hundreds of candidates on national and
provincial assembly seats. While it only won two seats in the provincial
assembly of Sindh and none in the national assembly, the high number of votes
it received in many constituencies surprised pundits.
four-member delegation from Pakistan attended last rites of former Indian prime
minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi on Friday.
members of the delegation included caretaker law and information minister Ali
Zafar, foreign office delegates Dr Muhammad Faisal, Dr Fareeha Bugti and
director to Law Minister Daniyal Gilani.
foreign dignitaries, who paid their last respects to Vajpayee at Smriti Sthal
in Delhi, included Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, Sri Lanka acting Foreign
Minister Lakshman Kiriella, King of Bhutan and others.
who died aged 93, was cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal in
Delhi. The former premier had battled poor health for years but his condition
had deteriorated sharply in recent days, with doctors placing him on life
was being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi,
where he was admitted nine weeks ago.
who was born in 1924 in Gwalior, was among the founding members of the Bhartiya
Janata Party (BJP).
first became the prime minister of India for only 16 days – May 16-31, 1996 –
and was re-elected PM in March 1998, where he remained in office until May 13,
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was elected Pakistan's 22nd prime
minister on Friday, marking the pinnacle of his 22-year-long political career.
clinched victory with 176 seats while his opponent, PML-N President Shahbaz
Sharif, secured 96 votes in the polling that took place in the National
the newly elected speaker of the assembly, Asad Qaiser, announced the results,
the House erupted with chants of "na manzoor" [unacceptable] and
"Wazir-i-azam Nawaz Sharif" [PM Nawaz Sharif]. The protests by PML-N
leaders continued nearly all the way through the session despite the speaker's
attempts at restoring order in the House.
in the meantime, sat smiling in his seat, accepting congratulations from his
speaker had suspended the proceedings of the National Assembly for 15 minutes
after the crucial announcement due to the persistent sloganeering of PML-N
legislators. Announcing the suspension of proceedings, Assembly Speaker Qaiser
asked parliamentary leaders to come to his chamber.
the session resumed, the speaker asked the PM-elect to address the House as
protests — by PML-N — and cheering — by PTI — continued.
Jinnah struggled more than I did'
Minister-elect Imran Khan, in his first speech following his victory, promised
"the change that this nation is starving for".
have to have strict accountability in this country; the people who looted this
country, I promise that I will work against them," he asserted.
did not climb on any dictator's shoulders; I reached this place after
struggling for 22 years. Only one leader struggled more than me, and that was
my hero, Jinnah. Twice every month I will answer to the people during the
question-answer session in the assembly."
money that was laundered, I will bring it back — the money that should have
gone towards health, education, and water, went into people's pockets,"
said a charged Khan, moving on to address allegations of election rigging.
want to ask the people who are yelling here why they didn't investigate the
four constituencies that I asked for.
didn't they investigate then? Why didn't they hold people accountable? Why
didn't the [PML-N] government take action?"
I was asking for investigation, these people accused me of being a planted by
the establishment," Khan continued.
[government] will cooperate with you [PML-N] even if you want to take your
complaints to the Supreme Court. You can make as much noise as you want or even
hold a dharna — we will provide you the container and food for it."
oath-taking ceremony will take place tomorrow.
former cricketer was tipped as the 'PM-in-waiting' soon after the July 25 polls
in which PTI won more seats than other political parties.
will hold you accountable'
visibly disconcerted Shahbaz Sharif then took the microphone, focusing
primarily on the allegations of rigging in the July 25 polls.
the world, newspapers and outlets are raising accusations of rigging in the
general elections," he said.
is the worst election in history in terms of rigging; the authorities must act
against those responsible."
kind of election was this?" he questioned amidst loud chants echoing
across the hall.
Result Transmission System (RTS) [on the night of July 25] was forcefully shut
down. What kind of elections were these that the results were delayed for 48
that 1.6 million votes were rejected, he questioned the discovery of ballot
papers from gutters and streets across the country.
former Punjab chief minister urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to
"submit a report before this House" adding that "the clauses
that need amendment in the Election Act 2017 must be amended so no one can rob
the vote of its sanctity".
threatened that opposition parties would "take to the streets" if a
commission was not formed and justice not served.
the PM-elect of a promise he had made in his first address to the nation after
the July 25 polls, Sharif said: "Khan sahab, you had said that if rigging
in 2013 elections would be proven, Nawaz Sharif's government should resign. We
will not let you run from this. We will hold you accountable for stealing
the party's stance and objectives, he said: "We came here for the sake of
democracy and to protect the democratic system. There have been movements in
the past and we have always stood by this House."
matter what we do, we will not curse this parliament, we will not attack this
parliament," he added.
refused to conclude his speech "in protest" after being silenced by
the speaker so that Bilawal Bhutto could also address the House.
will have to go through us if he continues fanning flames of hate'
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, in his first address to the National Assembly,
delivered a measured and mature speech in English.
he said it was his "honour to become a part of this house", the
29-year-old criticised the "two biggest parties for creating a
ruckus" in the parliament.
remembered those who lost their lives in terror attacks in Peshawar and Quetta
in the run-up to the July 25 polls.
said that his party had its reservations over both the pre- and post-polling
procedures but still "decided to be a part of this house to support this
it weren't for us Mr Speaker, you wouldn't have your seat and the PM would not
have his," he added.
would have been facing a constitutional crisis and we must assess what it cost
for Khan sahab to get here. We mainstreamed extremism, we compromised on our
basic rights, we pitted one Pakistani against another," he continued.
prime minister-elect has promised a 100-day roadmap. I want to see how he
creates 10 million jobs, ends poverty."
would like to ask Khan sahab ─
who said that he would rather commit suicide than go to the IMF and beg for
what his plan will be to deal with the economic crisis."
is hurtful that Pakistan, which has sacrificed so much in the fight against
violent extremism, is seen as a part of the problem and not as part of the
solution," he went on.
am sure the new government will take the [necessary] steps. However Khan sahab
got here, Mr Speaker, he is now the prime minister of this worthy nation."
want to remind him that he is not one party's prime minister. He is the prime
minister of all Pakistanis ─
even those he called living corpses, the ones he called donkeys, the ones he
referred to as sheep and goats."
prime minister, I hope Imran Khan will drop the hateful rhetoric. If he
continues to fan the flames of hatred, he will have to go through us and he
will find us opposing him at every step of the way," he vowed.
the prime minister-elect makes constitutional supremacy and human development
his priorities, we will stand by his side," he added.
congratulate the prime minister-select," he concluded, with his use of the
word "select" possibly referring to allegations of poll engineering.
Bilawal's speech PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi also addressed the
newly formed parliament.
accused the PML-N of breaking the agreement that the opposition and the ruling
parties had made to allow Khan to deliver his full speech.
party stood by its word except the PML-N," Qureshi said. "Of course
why would they? The session was being broadcast live so there was a photo
Khan wanted to say that 'I will present myself in front of the nation'. He
wanted to invite everyone to sit together but sadly you did not have the
courage to listen to him."
then struck a conciliatory tone and asked the opposition to "play the role
of a constructive opposition.
change our behaviour towards each other. We will try to incorporate your
criticism in our policies. We must also have the courage to listen to
are aware of the challenges that the country is facing. We will solve them
arrive, session begins after delay
session kicked off around 4:30pm ─
an hour later than expected ─
with all lawmakers seated under the chairmanship of the assembly speaker. The
delay was attributed to overcrowding in the press gallery, according to media
arrived at parliament well ahead of the scheduled polling time. By 3:30pm,
Sharif had also arrived at the venue, but did not make an appearance in the
assembly until after 4:14pm.
flanked by other PML-N MNAs, walked into the House with a black band around his
upper arm in protest against alleged rigging in the election.
the PPP's boycott of today's vote, chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was also in
shook hands with both Imran and Bilawal on his way to the benches.
the session opened, PML-N's Murtaza Javed Abbasi took strong issue with the
manner in which "the sanctity of the House was violated".
voting for PM has not even started yet and the sanctity of House is already
being violated, we register protest," he said, adding: "The
government that was installed by khalai makhlooq has not even taken power
Speaker Asad Qaiser attempted to restore order in the House as PML-N leaders
voiced their objections to what they alleged was "engineering" in the
July 25 polls.
disturbance rippled through the House, Qaiser warned lawmakers that he would
expel anyone who disrupted the session.
and sloganeering continued as the speaker read out the procedure for election
of the prime minister and then the names of the two nominees. He directed those
voting for Khan to the lobby on his right, and those voting for Sharif to the
lobby on his left.
to DawnNewsTV, PML-N leader and former assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq had made a
last-minute attempt to convince PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari ─ whose party earlier announced it would
abstain from voting ─
to support Shahbaz Sharif as voting was underway.
the newly elected MNAs finished casting their votes for the two contenders, a
count took place and Khan was announced as the victor.
the PTI emerged as the biggest parliamentary party in the wake of the July 25
polls, all 120 of the party's parliamentary committee members rubber-stamped
Khan's candidacy for the post of the prime minister.
PTI had, on its own, bagged 116 NA seats in the election before recruiting nine
additional independents, which took its tally to 125.
party was subsequently allotted 33 reserved seats by the Election Commission of
Pakistan last week, which sent its tally to 158.
that tally was trimmed as Khan, a winner on five NA seats, kept only his
Mianwali seat and vacated the other four. Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Tahir Sadiq
also had to leave one of the two NA seats they had bagged each, cutting PTI's
lead by six.
Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry had earlier claimed that his party, with the help
of its allies, had garnered the support of 180 plus NA members — at least eight
more than required for a simple majority and enough to get Khan elected PM in
the first poll. However, PML-Q, a key PTI ally, has also seen its quartet of NA
seats reduced by half as their party leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi — a
candidate for the Speaker of Punjab Assembly — also vacated both his seats in
the lower House of the parliament.
PTI's perceived struggle in establishing its dominance had offered a glimmer of
hope to Shahbaz Sharif — the opposition's joint candidate for the PM's gig.
decision to nominate him was made as part of an agreement between the three
main opposition parties — the PML-N, PPP and the MMA-P — during an All Parties
less than 24 hours before the election, PPP decided to “abstain” from today’s
vote due to refusal of the PML-N to replace its candidate, making the contest a
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shahbaz Sharif is set to become the leader
of the opposition in the country’s 15th National Assembly as 111 MNAs have
nominated him for the slot.
Asad Qaiser told the house on Friday that he had received Mr Sharif’s
nomination as the opposition leader signed by 111 members from the opposition
leader of the opposition will be notified on Monday.
the Pakistan Peoples Party had abstained from voting for Shahbaz Sharif for the
office of prime minister, it appeared that some PPP lawmakers had also
recommended Mr Sharif as the opposition leader.
PPP has a total of 43 MNAs.
total strength of the PML-N in the house is 82 followed by the Mutahidda
Majlis-i-Amal (15) and the Awami National Party (one).
Soon after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was elected 22nd
prime minister of the country on Friday, the opposition demanded formation of a
parliamentary commission to investigate alleged rigging in the July 25 general
opposition parties said they had come to parliament despite rejecting the
election results just for the sake of supremacy of democracy and parliament,
but warned the newly elected prime minister that they would continue their
agitation inside and outside parliament if their demand was not met.
the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) announced that it would support Imran Khan if
he worked for the betterment of the people and the country.
Muslim League (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif, who is believed to be the
leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, delivered his speech amid uproar
by the ruling PTI and focused on allegations of rigging in last month’s polls.
received a similar response from the PTI legislators as his party’s members
earlier staged a protest and did not allow Imran Khan to smoothly address the
house for the first time after becoming prime minister.
the world, newspapers and outlets are raising accusations of rigging in the
general elections,” Mr Sharif said, adding that this was the worst election in
the country’s history in terms of rigging and the authorities must act against
those responsible. “What kind of election was this?” he asked amidst loud
chants echoing across the assembly hall.
alleged that the Result Transmission System (RTS) had been forcefully shut down
[on the night of July 25] so that presiding officers could not transfer the
results of their polling stations promptly to the Election Commission of
Pakistan (ECP). “What kind of elections were these that the results were
delayed for 48 hours?”
that 1.6 million votes were rejected, he questioned the discovery of ballot
papers from gutters and streets across the country. Mr Sharif asked the ECP to
submit a report before the house and said the clauses in the Elections Act 2017
that needed amendment must be amended so that no one could rob the sanctity of
vote. He warned that the opposition parties would take to the streets if the
parliamentary commission was not formed and justice was not done.
Imran Khan one of his promises he had made in his first address to the nation
after the July 25 polls, Mr Sharif said: “Khan Sahib, you had said that if
rigging in 2013 elections would be proven, Nawaz Sharif’s government should
resign. We will not let you run from this. We will hold you accountable for
his party’s stance, he said: “We came here for the sake of democracy and to
protect the democratic system. There had been movements in the past and we have
always stood by this house. No matter what we do, we will not curse this
parliament; we will not attack this parliament.”
PML-N chief refused to conclude his speech in protest after his mike was
switched off by the speaker so that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari could
also address the house.
the PPP chairman mesmerised the house with his maiden speech on the floor of
the house and urged Imran Khan to be the prime minister of the whole country
and not a single political party. “Now you are the prime minister of those you
have called donkeys, goats, sheep and corpses.”
his measured and mature speech in English, Bhutto-Zardari said his party would
support the new prime minister if he worked for the betterment of the people
and the country. Although he said it was his honour to become a part of this
house, the 29-year-old politician criticised the two biggest parties for
creating a ruckus in parliament. He was the only speaker who remembered those
who had lost their lives in terror attacks in Peshawar and Quetta in the run-up
to the July 25 polls.
said the PPP had its reservations over both the pre- and post-poll procedures,
but still decided to be a part of the house to support the fragile democracy.
“We would have been facing a constitutional crisis and we must assess what it
cost for Khan Sahib to get here. We mainstreamed extremism, we compromised on
our basic rights, we pitted one Pakistani against another,” he added.
Mr Khan his 100-day manifesto, the PPP chairman said: “Our prime minister-elect
has promised a 100-day roadmap. I want to see how he creates 10 million jobs and
ends poverty. I would like to ask Khan Sahib who said that he would rather
commit suicide than go to the IMF and beg for alms what his plan will be to
deal with the economic crisis.”
about the country’s foreign policy, he said: “It is hurtful that Pakistan,
which has sacrificed so much in the fight against violent extremism, is seen as
a part of the problem and not as part of the solution.”
urged Imran Khan to “end” the politics of criticism and blaming each other and
said: “As prime minister, I hope Imran Khan will drop the hateful rhetoric. If
he continues to fan the flames of hatred, he will have to go through us and he
will find us opposing him at every step of the way. If the prime minister-elect
makes constitutional supremacy and human development his priorities, we will
stand by his side.”
Anning and Bob Katter's anti-Muslim cry is about comfort, not survival
my family thinks about its place in Australia, again I wonder if Fraser Anning
imagines himself as brave. He regarded his speech as loosening the gag of
political correctness and cultural Marxism. And, yet gagless, he only retold
the most repeated cliché about Australia being under risk from Muslims.
did not bring to the surface an uncomfortable or new truth. His maiden speech
in parliament was mostly a testimony to a far-right fragility. For, his
Australia’s feigned vulnerability before Muslims (who make up 2% of the
population) comes from a deep-seated sense of entitlement.
folly about the loss of this country’s culture, despite its obsessive control
and militarisation of its borders, masks a true absurdity. Some straight white
Christian conservative men feel marginalised. It takes a while for me to
understand how. But, the slightest of disturbances in their universe has now
led them to consider a “final solution”. Such first-world fragility is beyond
belief for most of humanity who survive in wretched conditions. But that a faux
vulnerability turns apocalyptic at the slightest encounter with cultural change
can hardly imagine how such frail characters would endure if they tried leading
the life of a Muslim immigrant fleeing Syria.
a Muslim who grew up with the images of war on terror, I constantly have two
recurring daydreams. I see the drone image produced by RT, a television network
funded by the Russian government. It shows a fly over a destroyed Damascus
suburb, and the grey ghost-like area of the capital full of ruined buildings
with only their frames remaining. It fills me with guilt. There is also another
image that returns, of a three-year-old lifeless Alan Kurdi’s body washed up on
a Turkish beach. It fills me with pain. Before these horrors, I cannot
understand how some in this vast and overprotective country, which has had a
forced hand in the real destruction of life in Afghanistan and Iraq, can see
Muslims only through the lens of their own western civilisation’s supposed
loss. Why is it repeatedly about the Muslim as a fictional threat and not the
concrete reversal? I doubt if the likes of Anning ever ask themselves whether
white men in suits standing in parliament with speeches about “solutions” are a
proven threat to so many of us people of colour?
have to ignore plenty of recent Australian history, if not all, to explain the
delusion of Anning’s absurd worries. Despite his and Bob Katter’s posture of
holding up to an imaginary cultural Marxism, which he misreads as a Gramscian
call to take over culture, the truth is their far-right brethren name for
leftists best characterises the pair’s politics. Its built on snowflakes.
slenderest burden of social stress – such as violence by a minor percentage of
immigrants – becomes unbearable. It brings about Katter’s meltdown as well as
demands from him to win back the country’s non-existent ideal past. I do not
doubt that in their mind their concerns are real. But Australia is not experiencing
a crisis about its racial identity. Such absurdity should be ignored. Their
stress simply results from an interruption to what is racially familiar to
their call to reinstate a white racial serenity to an already dominant white
society. Their cry is about comfort, not survival. In the dominant position for
so long, this brand of Australian conservative white male was essentially
always racially comfortable. History has spoilt them. Now they grumble at how
there are too many kebab shops and have developed unchallenged expectations to
remain “pure”. They have not had to build tolerance for racial discomfort. They
did not have to learn to survive like Indigenous Australians had to. They need
not value tolerance like Muslims in Australia who must tolerate their ritual
the issue is that these men who fear a loss of their country to immigrants
enjoyed an unconscious right to a true belonging to Australia. The country
instilled this racial belonging through a whiteness embedded in its culture.
Everywhere they looked, they saw their racial image as the country’s image.
Their heroes and their teachers and their sporting characters reflected their
race. They saw themselves throughout history as winners, not colonisers. They
even saw themselves as a blue-eyed god.
is rare for the Anning type of conservative white Christian man to experience a
sense of not belonging. Hence, their entitlement becomes naturalised and taken
for granted. Any interruption to this is destabilising and frightening to them.
They respond as if something is wrong in the universe and look for grand
external narratives that triggered their discomfort. It leads to an outrageous
retaliation made up of no facts and plenty of agitation.
dislike the slightest sense of feeling disorientated. Their insistence on
comfort (often at the expense of saving immigrant lives) proves one thing at
least. Their concerns trivialise the tale of inhumanity towards people of
colour. It falsifies the accuracy about what cultural genocide means. And, it
is not like they have to go far to know what it means.
is because they cannot think through racism and its history with accuracy. It
is because they never have to ask themselves what true safety might mean for an
African-Australian looking for a restaurant in Melbourne at night.
do not know how many times we have to hear the white boy cry Muslim wolf.
do not know how this country’s politicians and commentators can keep degrading
and beating up on Muslim immigrants and asylum seekers, and maintain their
posture of humanity.
I believe the moral compass in us all would much prefer a country built on the
character of brave souls who sacrifice all to make a new life. Who would not
favour that courage and will to survive, to be the backbone of any country,
rather than the self-assumed bravery of men in suits who hide behind
parliamentary privileges to play the victim in a factless rant? Who would
prefer a country of spoiled whingers who confuse comfort with safety and who
confuse a negligible loss of white straight male Christian privilege as a fight
for their entire nation’s survival?
mosque where the Manchester Arena bomber worshipped denies encouraging people
to "fight in any military struggle" following a BBC report.
sermon by Imam Mustafa Graf at Didsbury Mosque in 2016 called for the support
of fighters in Syria, according to two Muslim scholars.
was delivered six months before Salman Abedi killed 22 people after an Ariana
Graf declined to be interviewed but denied preaching Islamic extremism.
Mosque said it had "launched an investigation into the sermon to identify
any issues raised by the BBC report" as part of its regulations.
sermon was held in December 2016 when the Syrian city of Aleppo had been caught
in a brutal four-year deadlock.
were said for the mujahideen - a term often used to describe Islamist fighters.
Graf is heard saying: "We ask Allah to grant them mujahideen - our
brothers and sisters right now in Aleppo and Syria and Iraq - to grant them
he says: "Lots of brothers stayed behind unfortunately. They love Islam
and Muslims but they do nothing for the support of their brothers and
also remarks: "Jihad for the sake of Allah is the source of pride and
dignity for this nation."
point Mr Graf is heard saying: "The whole world, including Europe, America
- what is the so-called civilised world - is watching what is happening in
Aleppo and Syria.
know that Iran, Russia and the militias are killing humans in Syria and they do
in fact they helped the Russians and the Iranians and others, the militias, to
kill Muslims over there."
does jihad mean?
word "jihad" is widely used, though often inaccurately
Arabic, the word means "effort" or "struggle"
Islam, it could be an individual's internal struggle against baser instincts,
the struggle to build a good Muslim society, or a war for the faith against
unbelievers or oppressors
mujahideen is a term usually used for someone who engages in the latter form of
jurists agree there are conditions for armed jihad, says Dr Emman El-Badawy, a
counter-extremism expert, including that it can only be declared by a Muslim
leader, not an individual, and only enemy combatants are legitimate targets,
not innocent civilians
and his family regularly attended Didsbury Mosque and his father sometimes led
the call to prayer.
recording the BBC obtained is of Friday prayers six months before the attack,
although the family's whereabouts on the day of the sermon are unknown.
BBC has been told Abedi bought a ticket for the concert he bombed 10 days after
the sermon took place.
a Facebook post, Didsbury Mosque said it believed the BBC investigation was
"a misleading report, out of context, which appears to create an
association between the criminal act of Salman Abedi and a dated sermon at the
Friday sermon in question took place shortly after chemical weapons were used
by the Syrian regime against innocent men, women and children of Aleppo."
said the sermon was encouraging people "to pray to God to help those
victims of oppression".
Rehan Ahmed Raza, who is a Muslim scholar, said there were "no ifs and no
buts" that Mr Graf was referring to "being on the battlefield".
Hasan, head of Islamic studies at the Quilliam think tank that focuses on
counter-extremism, said the sermon was "clearly referring to military
jihad, to armed jihad".
Mosque said: "The term jihad was used in its wider meaning; 'to strive and
struggle' and in this case aid to those being oppressed. There was no call for
any military Jihad (qital).
was there any comment which could in anyway be construed to suggest that
Britain or British people should be targeted or attacked. The focus was on the behaviour
of the Syrian regime and its victims.
Mosque does not encourage anyone to go and fight in any military
Graf denied he had called for armed jihad.
spokesman from the BBC press office said: "We stand by our
Manchester Police said: "We have been handed the material from the BBC
following their broadcast and will now review it to establish if any criminal
offences have been committed."
finalizing details of long-term Hamas-Israel truce
is finalizing details of a long-term truce deal between Israel and Hamas in the
Gaza Strip, an Egyptian security source said on Thursday, amid easing tensions
on the border of the enclave where some two million Palestinians live.
has brokered an interim truce that has allowed commercial goods into Gaza ahead
of the Muslim Eid al-Adha feast which starts next week.
are putting the final touches to the terms of the truce that will be signed by
all sides, and we expect to announce the terms next week if Fatah helps us to
do so,” the source said, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s
mainstream party which dominates the occupied West Bank.
from Fatah have not joined those of Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, and other
Palestinian factions for the talks in Cairo on the long-term truce.
Fatah’s backing is crucial for any deal as the party retains a large presence
in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and has overall control in areas under
Abbas’s Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank.
period of calm will be for one year, during which contacts will be held to
extend it for another four years,” the source told Reuters, speaking on
condition of anonymity.
long-term truce could pave the way for talks on other issues, including the
easing of a blockade that has crippled Gaza’s economy and allowing a possible
swap of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli
source said Egyptian intelligence chief, Abbas Kamel, was expected to meet
Abbas in Ramallah after similar talks in Israel, and a deal could be announced
by next week. An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed
Kamel had met with Netanyahu in Israel this week, but gave no details.
Palestinian source in Ramallah said Kamel has left without seeing Abbas, who
had been preoccupied with a Palestinian leadership conference. But the source
said Abbas had informed Egypt that Fatah representatives would join the Cairo
talks later this week or next week.
from the opening of its Kerem Shalom commercial crossing into Gaza, Israel also
expanded the enclave’s fishing zone, in waters under Israeli naval blockade,
from three to nine nautical miles off the southern coast and to six nautical
miles in the north, according to the head of Gaza’s fishermen’s union.
Egyptian security source said the extended truce would also include opening a
sea lane from Gaza to Cyprus under Israeli supervision.
Palestinian official in Gaza familiar with the talks said Palestinian factions
were demanding a “total lifting of the blockade on Gaza, opening all crossings
with Israel and Egypt and a water corridor”.
says its blockade is a self-defense measure against Hamas, a group that has
called for its destruction.
security cabinet, a forum of senior ministers headed by Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, discussed the Gaza situation on Wednesday and an Israeli “diplomatic
official” said Hamas would have to prove its commitment to the truce.
well as wanting calm along the border, Israel has said Hamas must return the
remains of two soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war and release two civilians
whose fate is unknown. It says they are being held by Hamas in Gaza.
the only way,” Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a member
of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, said on Thursday when asked if a broad
arrangement depended on the return of the soldiers’ bodies.
will be done to enable (Gaza’s) significant rehabilitation and the improvement
of infrastructure and ports and other such fantasies, unless they release the
bodies and the two Israeli captives,” he told Israel radio.
Egyptian security source said the long-term truce would also envisage Israel
freeing hundreds of detained Palestinians in a prisoner swap.
the Palestinian official denied any talks were taking place on a swap, saying
Hamas opposed mixing the issues.
has brokered a Palestinian reconciliation agreement that provides for Hamas to
cede control of Gaza to Abbas’s Palestinian Authority. A dispute over
power-sharing has hindered implementation of the deal, but the Egyptian source
said Cairo was still seeking progress on the issue.
says its air force hit Islamic State militants inside Syria, killing 28
security officials said their air force carried out two strikes targeting
Islamic State group inside Syria, killing at least 28 militants.
say one of the two airstrikes by F-16s targeted a meeting of would-be suicide
bombers who intended to strike in Iraq during next week’s Muslim Eid al-Adha
20 militants were killed in that airstrike, while eight died in the second one.
Both targets were inside Syria near the Iraqi border.
announced the strikes on Thursday but details on targets and casualties only
emerged on Friday. The statement said the targets were identified by the Eagles
Cell, Iraq’s top counterterrorism agency.
al-Fayad of ‘Popular Mobilization’ potential candidate to succeed Abadi
sources close to the process of forming the Iraqi government, revealed that the
name of Faleh al-Fayad, head of the National Security, who is also chairman of
Popular Mobilization Forces, as a candidate to lead the new Iraqi government.
who belongs to the Dawa party, has been the national security adviser since
2011, replacing Safaa al-Sheikh. Despite the legal ban, al-Fayad set up a
political movement to enter the parliamentary elections last May.
media leaks about al-Fayad’s candidacy coincide with the news of his dismissal
from the presidency of the national security apparatus, while maintaining his
position as chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces.
is noteworthy that the National Security apparatus despite its sensitivity was
subjected to a major infiltration by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki,
ahead of the 2010 elections, through appointments allocated to the clan of
al-Maliki and al-Fayad and Hadi al-Amiri (head of the Badr Organization), and
their respective party followers in the parties, during 2011 and 2012.
a celebration at the headquarter of the National Security last December to
announce Iraq’s victory over ISIS, expelling the extremists group from all
urban centers including second city Mosul in a vast military campaign, prime
minister Haidar al-Abadi expressed his resentment of turning the headquarter to
a tribal and sectarian directorate, and called to keep away any political or
sectarian or tribal influence out of the security services.
special sources pointed out that the differences between al-Abadi and al-Fayad
may lead to a political earthquake in
the al-Nasr alliance led by Haidar al-Abadi, who won 42 parliamentary seats in
the recent legislative elections.
sources indicated that al-Abadi will lose about 30 seats of his coalition, in
the event of a mass withdrawal led by Faleh al-Fayad, who heads the Ataa bloc
in the list of al-Nasr, as well as deputies belonging to al-Fadila party and
to the sources, the parliamentary members who willl withdraw will join efforts
led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to form the largest bloc.
US States department announced on Friday that it is committed to expel Iran and
its allied militias out of Syria.
US State Department official said there will be no global reconstruction
funding for Syria until a “credible and irreversible” political process led by
the United Nations is underway, l said on Friday as the United States moved to
redirect millions in stabilization funding.
State Department also announced that former US ambassador to Iraq Jim Jeffrey
will serve as a special adviser to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Syria
overseeing talks on a political transition in that country.
Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired by
Houthi militia toward the southern city of Najran.
attack is the latest in a series of missile launches targeting densely
populated residential areas of Saudi Arabia, including Jazan and Najran, close
to the border with Yemen.
Arab coalition’s spokesman, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said that Saudi aerial
defense forces intercepted a missile launched by the Iran-backed militia.
said that the missile targeted Najran and was aimed at civilian populated
areas, but the defense forces were able to intercept and destroy the projectile
without any casualties.
US President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton will discuss
arms control treaties and Iran’s role in Syria in talks with Russian
counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva next week, an administration official
meeting is a follow-up to Trump’s controversial summit with Russian President
Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July.
held a one-on-one meeting with Putin during that summit and drew criticism for
siding with Moscow over US intelligence findings that Russia meddled in the
2016 presidential election. He later corrected his assessment about Russia’s
White House has not released many details about Trump’s meeting with Putin. But
the official offered a list of items he said the two men discussed.
leading topic of their conversation was the war in Syria, he said, including
Iran’s role there and the humanitarian situation in the country.
two agreed in principle that the Iranians should exit Syria but Russia saw that
as a tough task, the official said.
and Putin discussed arms control, including the New START treaty and the Cold
War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which banned nuclear
and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of
500 to 5,500 km.
official said the leaders did not agree on a way forward on arms control,
is a critic of the New START treaty, agreed during Democratic President Barack
also raised the issue of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to
Germany, which he has criticized sharply, with Putin, the official said.
after his meeting with Putin, which lasted more than two hours, Trump briefed
Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Jon Huntsman, the US ambassador to
Russia, about their meeting for about 15 minutes, the official said.
topics they discussed were raised again in the larger group meeting that
followed, the official said.
is expected to be on the agenda when German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany on Saturday.
on Friday confirmed an announcement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
of plans for a summit with the leaders of Russia and France, but she said no
date had been set yet.
Syria peace talks should broadly be led by the UN and other established
groupings, Merkel said such a four-way summit “could make sense.”
must be well prepared, that’s why no date has been set yet,” she told a Berlin
joint press conference with Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.
we will arrange for advisers to hold a preparatory meeting and then decide
whether it makes sense to hold such a meeting together.”
will close its Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip for several days
during the Islamic Eid Al-Adha holiday.
to state agency MENA, the border will be closed on Friday and Saturday, and
will reopen on Sunday 19 August.
will then close on Monday 20 August, the day before the three-day Eid Al-Adha
festival, and reopen on Saturday 25 August.
Rafah border crossing is the main gateway to the outside world for 1.8 million
Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, and is the only crossing point not
controlled by Israel.
usually keeps the border crossing closed citing security concerns, opening it
periodically for short periods, often including major Islamic holidays.
Coptic Orthodox Church has said “unrecognised monasteries” must regularise
their status “spiritually, monastically and financially”, in the latest in a
series of decrees on monastic life that come in the wake of the murder of an
abbot inside a monastery last month.
an official statement on Thursday, the church’s monastic affairs committee said
that unrecognised monasteries that respond to the church's call will be
“rebuilt divinely and spiritually” within the legitimate method of monasticism.
statement said that unrecognised monasteries should first be registered under
the name of the Coptic Orthodox patriarch, and will then be subordinate to
whoever is sent by Pope Tawadros II for spiritual, financial, and managerial
supervision of the monastery.
will be a return to the rules of monasticism in establishing a new monastery,”
the statement stipulated.
church stressed that those who refused to answer their call demonstrate a
disobedience to the church and have intentions that do not relate to
monasticism, and risk being defrocked.
statement comes a few days after two monks were detained pending investigations
into their alleged involvement in the murder of Bishop Epiphanius, the abbot of
Abu Maqar monastery in Wadi El-Natroun.
of the monks, now defrocked, has been linked to an unrecognised monastery,
which several media reports attributed as one of the motives behind the alleged
Epiphanius was found dead inside the monastery on 29 July under what the church
described at the time as “suspicious circumstances.”
the death of the bishop, the Holy Synod issued new decrees prohibiting monks from
using social media, appearing on media outlets, and building non-sanctioned
places of worship.
being defeated in its strongholds in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State (IS)
group suddenly returned in force last month to strike one of the calmest
regions of Syria, throwing another spanner into the country’s seven-year
25 July, 250 Syrians, more than half of them civilians, were killed after
several suicide bombings targeted highly populated areas in the Sweidaa
province in the south of the country.
surprise attacks carried out by IS came weeks after Russia had signed
settlement agreements with armed opposition factions in Deraa after military
strikes by the Russian air force and pro-Iranian fighters.
the IS attacks, the regime led by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad also carried
out air strikes, but it did not use substantial weapons to change the course of
groups in the province tried to resist the IS attacks, but they suffered great
losses before returning to their bases.
majority of Sweidaa residents are Druze who have taken up a neutral stance
throughout the Syrian Revolution, most Druze clerics having good relations with
the regime while the local people generally support the opposition.
has allowed the province to avoid the horrors that have visited areas where the
opposition is present, though this neutrality has also raised many questions.
many Druze clerics have supported the regime, others have opposed it.
Independent Druze leader Sheikh Wahid Al-Balos was killed in a car bomb on 4
September 2015 along with 28 of his supporters, for example, perhaps targeted
because unlike traditional Druze leaders he was not appointed by the Al-Assad
was the leader of the “Men of Pride” group, and he opposed the military draft
for the Druze because the Druze communities are on the frontlines of the
was able to protect some 27,000 young Druze who fled the draft, causing the
regime to threaten to hand over the area to IS to the east.
assassination should have been a watershed in the relationship between the
Druze and the regime, but apart from a handful of demonstrations denouncing the
assassination calm was quickly restored in the province.
clerics warned against siding with the revolution or fighting on the side of
the opposition, and those calling for avenging Al-Balos were silenced. Druze
youth even began joining Al-Assad’s militias, which distanced them from the
opposition and the rest of the Druze.
Syrian Druze have chosen to remain neutral in order to avoid the wrath of the
regime, with some claiming that this neutrality has kept their provinces safe
so they can receive those who have been displaced or have fled from cities
destroyed by the regime.
Druze leaders have justified their neutrality out of distrust of the
opposition, which they accuse of being sectarian, even though there have been
no sectarian incidents in Sweidaa by the armed opposition in nearby Deraa, who
are Sunni Muslims.
quickly claimed responsibility for the Sweidaa attacks, but although IS fingerprints
are evident in terms of force, the scale of human losses, and the timing, there
have been suspicions that the regime was involved, along with its ally Iran and
possibly even Russia.
is due to the fact that in May the regime transported hundreds of IS combatants
from Damascus to the suburbs of Sweidaa. It allowed militia leader Khaled bin
Al-Walid, who has pledged loyalty to IS, to leave Deraa for Sweidaa and turned
a blind eye to actions on the ground, including IS massacres.
believe the regime is taking revenge on the Druze in Sweidaa because the
group’s elders have refused to allow its young people to volunteer in regime
40,000 Druze are believed to have defected from the army or avoided the draft,
and Sweidaa residents have also expelled regime representatives.
until now, however, the province was not a priority for the regime, and it was
left relatively calm compared to the rest of Syria. There were checkpoints at
the borders, and residents were blackmailed or terrorised, but few other
actions were taken.
is a suspect in the recent attacks because it failed in June to convince Druze
leaders in Sweidaa to return to the embrace of the regime, indicating that
force could be used to draft Druze young people into new military units
overseen by the Russians.
are also suspicions of Iranian involvement, since Iran has been trying to
integrate into local communities and convince them that irregular militias,
including Lebanese and Iraqi groups loyal to Iran, will protect them.
believed to be the perpetrator of the attacks, wants to send the message that
it is alive and well despite being defeated in most of Syria.
chose a relatively stable region for the attacks because it did not expect
resistance, and it also wants to spoil relations between the Druze and the
regime in the hope that the Druze will start to fight and further polarise the
argue that the Druze have been close to the regime during the revolution
because of the strong relationship between the two sides for decades when the
regime promoted itself as the protector of religious minorities against the
country’s Sunni majority.
the revolution began, the regime promoted the dangers facing the Druze as a
“targeted” minority, though it has not granted the Druze anything like what it
has given the Alawites.
regime has followed a strategy of divide and rule and of terrorising
minorities. It has convinced the Alawites that it is their protector against
Syria’s Sunnis, conjuring up historical fears.
has also launched campaigns in the direction of the Christian clergy, aiming to
convince their congregations that they are under threat and that Salafist
groups want to expel them from Syria.
Christians have drawn closer to the regime as a result, and in the case of the
Druze the regime has similarly played on fears about jihadists and armed
opposition groups in Syria.
opposition has not paid much attention to the country’s minorities, relying
instead on verbal reassurances without real political action plans.
the armed combat began in the wake of the revolution, this confirmed minority
fears, and the wedge planted by the regime grew wider.
Druze are not entirely integrated into Syrian society, and they have remained
closed in on themselves and protective of their region.
even if IS carried out the attacks on Sweidaa, this does not absolve the regime
of responsibility because of its allowing terrorists to infiltrate the area.
regime has long benefited from the existence of IS, either to justify its war
on the Sunni opposition, or to promote itself in the West as targeted by
Houthis killed in clashes in al-Jawf, 5 military vehicles destroyed
five Houthi militias’ members were killed in Al-Jawf governorate during intense
battles with the Yemeni national army, while Arab coalition fighter jets destroyed
five military vehicles belonging to the Iranian-backed militias.
comes while the Yemeni army backed by the coalition in al-Jawf governorate
seize control over several strategic mountains located in Wadi Salba.
official spokesman of the first brigade border guards, Lieutenant Colonel
Faisal al-Afraa, told Al Arabiya news channel that his forces carried out an
attack on the most important Houthi sites in Wadi, and managed to control the
mountains of Qishaan, Jala, Mifah and Machaqil.
said that the militias suffered heavy losses in lives and equipment, and dozens
of them fled, leaving behind a number of weapons.
CITY - Israel troops on Friday shot dead two Palestinians taking part in
protests along the Gaza border, the Palestinian health ministry in the enclave
ministry named the dead men as Karim Abu Fatayer, 30, shot near the central
Gaza Strip town of Bureij and Sadi Moamer, 26, killed near Rafah, in the south.
said that both men were shot in the head.
least 270 other Palestinians were wounded, 70 of them by gunfire, the ministry
said. The Israeli military did not know of any deaths but said that troops had
opened fire in border incidents.
least 171 Gazans have been killed by Israeli fire since late March, mostly
during border clashes and protests. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a
Palestinian sniper in July. Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, including
its Hamas rulers, have fought three wars since 2008 and tensions since late
March have led to fears of yet another full-blown conflict.
have been three intense flare-ups since July, the latest on Thursday, when
Israel responded to some 180 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza with
widespread air strikes.
Israeli official said on condition of anonymity Wednesday that truce talks
mediated by Egyptian and United Nations officials had reached an initial set of
“understandings” leading to calm on the border over the past few days.
Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya told AFP on Friday that a durable truce with
Israel was near. “In my opinion, yes, we are nearing an agreement,” he said.
Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted on Friday evening a Houthi ballistic
missile launched toward Najran, southwestern city in the Kingdom near the
border with Yemen.
Saturday too air defense forces had intercepted a ballistic missile launched by
Houthis toward the Kingdom’s southwestern Jizan region.
Houthis has stepped up missile attacks on the kingdom in recent weeks.
Yemeni legitimate forces have repeatedly stressed the continued involvement of
the Iranian regime in supporting the Houthi militias and supplying them with
rockets carrying qualitative capabilities, in clear defiance to United Nations
Resolutions 2216 and 2231 in order to threaten the security of Saudi Arabia and
destabilize regional and international security.
Coalition fighter jets launched violent airstrikes on Houthi military bases in
West coast battlefronts, while Yemeni armed forces captured a Houthi leader in
Hajjah on Friday.
field source confirmed that the airstrikes targeted several locations in Bait
al-Faqih district, south of the Hodeidah province, which resulted in the
destruction of a number of the Houthi military vehicles and machine guns.
armed forces announced the capturing of a Houthi leader in Hayran district in
the province of Hajjah.
leader’s name is Hamoud Ali Abdulla al-Hamzi, who said he joined Hayran’s front
a week ago to lift the spirits of the fighters who were escaping the fronts,
and to call on the leadership of the militias to not place children on the
front lines of the fighting.
Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said that
Hezbollah’s presence in Yemen “confirms the Iranian regime has subcontracted
the Houthi militias to be another one of its proxies. It proves the regime’s
proxies work in tandem to undermine regional stability and prolong the
suffering of the Yemeni people.”
people took to the streets of the capital Sana'a to condemn an ongoing war led
by Saudi Arabia and its allies against their country. The demonstrators also
expressed anger at the current economic crisis which the war has created in
their country. Press TV's corespondent in Yemen, Mohammed Al-Attab, reports.
group of Israeli settlers have attacked an orchard in the northern part of the
occupied West Bank, and chopped down hundreds of fruitful olive trees.
Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official in charge of monitoring Israel's
settlement expansion activities, said dozens of residents of Eli settlement
broke into Wadi Ali area of al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, located 20
kilometers south of Nablus, early on Friday and cut down 200 trees.
extremist settlers from Yitzhar settlement torched a Palestinian bulldozer as it
was traveling along a road linking Urif village to the town of Asira
on Thursday, Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian house, punctured and
damaged dozens of vehicles in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, located
approximately 49 kilometers (30 miles) north of Jerusalem al-Quds.
said Israeli settlers damaged some 40 Palestinian vehicles by throwing rocks
and empty glass bottles at them.
developments came only a few hours after an unidentified 60-year-old
Palestinian man ran over and killed an Israeli settler near Nablus.
driver turned himself in to Palestinian officials shortly after the accident,
saying that he had fled the site of the accident out of fear.
agriculture industry, olive cultivation in particular, provides livelihood for
some 80,000 Palestinian families living in the occupied West Bank.
mostly armed, regularly attack Palestinian villages and farms and set fire to
their mosques, olive groves and other properties in the West Bank under the so-called
“price tag” policy.
tag attacks are acts of vandalism and violence against Palestinians and their
property as well as Islamic holy sites by Israeli settlers.
has reportedly uprooted more than 800,000 olive trees in the occupied Palestinian
territories since 1967.
of civilians are trapped in Yemen’s Hudaydah as Saudi Arabia and allies step up
their attacks to capture the port city from the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
by air power from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, militia groups
loyal to Yemen’s ousted former president, Abd Rbbuh Mansour Hadi, have been
pushing to seize the Duraihami District, which lies adjacent to southern
Saudi-led front mounted a new offensive in Duraihami on Tuesday, two days after
laying a siege to the heavily-populated area.
reports said the area is being constantly targeted by Saudi-led airstrikes,
rocket attacks, artillery and an ongoing ground offensive.
Houthi fighters say the Saudi-led coalition has been indiscriminately targeting
aggressor’s mercenaries are attacking the city randomly and they have destroyed
houses and killed civilians inside them," a Houthi fighter in Hudaydah
told Middle East Eye news portal.
airstrikes killed dozens of civilians in Duraihami and they are still targeting
civilians, while Ansarallah [the Houthis] are fighting face-to-face on the
ground," he added.
authorities are trying to cope with a severe shortage of food and medicines due
to the Saudi siege, the attacks have also crippled internet coverage across the
region, making it almost impossible for residents to contact the outside world.
are some people that have bled to death [in the street] and no one dared to
help them because of the clashes. Some corpses have decayed in the streets,”
one resident said when reached by MEE.
health officials told MEE that airstrikes and rocket attacks on Duraihami had
killed “dozens” of civilians but the extent of casualties was unknown.
long record of attacks on Yemeni civilians
Rights Watch says the Saudi-led coalition has conducted scores of
“indiscriminate and disproportionate air strikes” hitting civilian objects that
have killed thousands of civilians “in violation of the laws of war”, with
munitions that the US, United Kingdom, and others still supply.
one of their most abhorrent attacks, Saudi warplanes targeted a school bus in
Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada last week, leaving 40 children and 11
to data from an independent monitoring group, the Yemen Data Project, this was
just one of 55 instances of attacks on Yemeni civilian vehicles this year.
group also suggests that Saudis are targeting civilians on purpose as an
extensive analysis of over 18,000 airstrikes from March 2015 to April 2016
shows that almost a third (31%) of the targets were non-military – civilians or
is while only 36 percent of the attacks targeted military sites. The rest of
the attacks were classified as having an unknown target.
under pressure to explain US role in war
the deadly attack on Yemeni children, Democratic members of the US Congress
have written three separate letters to Trump, asking him to justify
Washington’s continued support for Riyadh in the face of its many atrocities.
US, the UK and France have been the main providers of weapons and intelligence
support to the Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the war.
was reported in the days following the attack that an American bomb was used to
hit the bus. The US has refused to condemn the attack.
lawmakers have also urged US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo and National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats to brief them on
the attack, the Riyadh regime first defended the strike as
"legitimate" but later said it would investigate "collateral
said this week that it was reconsidering its arms sales to Saudi Arabia after
the attack. The country sold about $500 million worth of weapons and munitions
to Saudi last year, according to the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.
NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday presented four options
aimed at boosting the protection of Palestinians in Israeli-occupied
territories, from sending UN rights monitors and unarmed observers to deploying
a military or police force under UN mandate.
proposals were contained in a report requested by the General Assembly in
response to a surge of violence in Gaza, where 171 Palestinians have been
killed by Israeli fire since late March.
UN chief stressed that for each of the options, cooperation by Israel and the
Palestinians would be necessary. It remained unlikely however that Israel would
agree to the proposals.
the 14-page report, Guterres proposed:
Providing a “more robust UN presence on the ground” with rights monitors and
political officers to report on the situation.
Pouring in more UN humanitarian and development aid to “ensure the well-being
of the population.”
Creating a civilian observer mission that would be present in sensitive areas
such as checkpoints and near Israeli settlements, with a mandate to report on
Deploying an armed military or police force, under a UN mandate, to provide
physical protection to Palestinian civilians.
UN mandate for a protection force would require a decision from the Security
Council, where the United States could use its veto power to block a measure
opposed by Israel.
small European-staffed observer mission was deployed in the West Bank city of
Hebron in 1994, but Israel has since rejected calls for an international
presence in flashpoint areas.
the report, Guterres said the United Nations was already undertaking many
protection initiatives but that “these measures fall short” of the concerns
raised in a General Assembly resolution adopted in June.
that measure, the 193-nation assembly condemned Israel for Palestinian deaths
in Gaza and tasked Guterres with the drafting of proposals for “an
international protection mechanism” for the Palestinians.
argued that a political solution to the conflict was needed to address the
safety of Palestinians but that “until such a solution is achieved,
member-states may further explore all practical and feasible measures that will
significantly improve the protection of the Palestinian civilian population.”
measures would also improve the security of Israeli civilians.”
Friday, Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians taking part in protests along
the Gaza border and 270 other Palestinians were wounded.
has defended its use of live ammunition in Gaza by invoking its right to
self-defense. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in
targeting of civilians, particularly children, is unacceptable,” Guterres said
in the report, adding that “those responsible for violations of international
humanitarian law must be held accountable.”
efforts to ensure the well-being of Palestinians must strengthened, he added,
singling out the funding crisis at the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA as
being “of particular concern.”
is facing a major budget shortfall after President Donald Trump’s
administration decided to withhold its contribution to the agency.
report released to all UN member-states comes amid a vacuum in Middle East
peace efforts as European and other big powers await a peace plan from the
Trump administration that has been under discussion for months.
diplomats have recently begun questioning whether the US peace plan will ever
United Nations has warned that a new war could explode in Gaza.
on Friday threatened to respond if the United States levied further sanctions
over the detention of an American pastor, which has sparked a diplomatic
standoff and battered the Turkish currency.
already responded based on the World Trade Organisation rules and will continue
to do so," Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan was quoted as saying by the
state-run Anadolu news agency.
warned on Thursday that it would impose more sanctions unless pastor Andrew
Brunson, described by US President Donald Trump as a "hostage", was
detention since October 2016 on terror-related charges has soured relations
between the two NATO allies, sending the Turkish lira into a tailspin.
lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, was at
5.8 against the dollar and 6.7 against euro on Friday.
week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminium and steel
tariffs for Turkey, and in response Ankara sharply hiked tariffs on some US
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Thursday the next spiral of
tit-for-tat sanctions was coming soon, in a sign of a deepening spat.
prefaced Mnuchin's remarks by saying that Turkey had not been a very good
friend to America.
creates 'Iran Action Group' to up pressure on Tehran
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a new high-level team to focus US
and international efforts to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran.
The Iran Action Group will drive Washington's "maximum pressure"
strategy to change Tehran's behavior, including potentially sanctioning other
countries which trade with the country.
group will be headed by Brian Hook as the State Department's Special
Representative for Iran.
currently director of policy planning at the State Department, was in charge of
the failed effort to get support from US allies for Washington's decision in
May to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
nearly 40 years the regime in Tehran has been responsible for a torrent of
violence and destabilizing behavior against the United States, our allies, our
partners and indeed the Iranian people themselves," said Pompeo.
hope is that one day soon we can reach a new agreement with Iran. But we must
see major changes in the regime's behavior both inside and outside its
borders." The US has laid out a long list of activities it demands Tehran
changes, including halting support for the Syrian government and the Lebanese
Hezbollah movement, shutting down its nuclear development program, and freeing
detained Americans. "This team is committed to a strong global effort to
change the Iranian regime's behavior," Hook said. "We want to be closely
synchronized with our allies and partners around the world." Hook, who met
with officials from Britain, France and Germany on Iran policy in London on
Wednesday, held out the possibility of the US engaging directly with Iranian
leaders if they demonstrate a "commitment" to changing their
he was not specific on what would be the minimum required to make that
also said that Washington is stepping up its effort to get other countries to
fall in line with economic pressure on Tehran, including the crackdown on
Iran's oil trade, financial sector and shipping industry announced for early
goal is to reduce every country's import of Iranian oil to zero by November
are prepared to impose secondary sanctions on other governments that continue
this sort of trade with Iran."
week Trump warned the world about doing business with Iran, as European allies
continued to grumble about the US policy and China, India and Turkey appeared
poised to continue importing Iranian oil, providing the Iranian government
crucial foreign exchange.
the US sanctions appear to have had effect, tightening the country's supply of
dollars and sending its currency in a tailspin - with the result a jump in
inflation that has hurt Iranian consumers.
Monday Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's said there would be
neither war nor negotiations with the United States, and put the blame for
mounting domestic economic turmoil on the shoulder of President Hassan Rouhani.
officials have repeatedly said they only pressuring for a change in Iranian
behavior and not change in the regime itself.
whether the announcement of the Iran Action Group was purposely timed with 65th
anniversary of the CIA-engineered overthrow of ex-prime minister Mohammad
Mossadegh - which took place in mid-August 1953 - Hook labelled it "pure
- Turkey on Friday threatened to respond if the United States levied further
sanctions over the detention of an American pastor which has sparked a
diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency.
Turkey's government sought to reassure markets after the lira had been sent
into a tailspin by the deepening spat, Washington said the next raft of
sanctions could be on the way.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Thursday that the United States would
impose more sanctions unless pastor Andrew Brunson, described by US President
Donald Trump as a "hostage", was released.
Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan responded to the new threat on Friday.
already responded based on the World Trade Organisation rules and will continue
to do so," Pekcan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news
agency. Brunson's detention since October 2016 on terror-related charges has
soured relations between the two NATO allies and sent the lira tumbling.
lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, had
rebounded slightly over the last three days but on Friday it lost nearly five
percent of its value and was quoted at 6.1 against the dollar. Trump on
Thursday tweeted: "Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for
many years. They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now
ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage."
said: "We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are
cutting back on Turkey!"
Turkish court on Friday rejected another appeal to free US pastor Andrew
Brunson, whose detention has sparked a major crisis in Ankara's ties with
Washington, his lawyer said.
court ruled that Brunson would remain under house arrest, rejecting the third
such request, lawyer Cem Halavurt told AFP, saying he would appeal again in 15
who was detained in October 2016 on terror and espionage charges, faces 35
years in jail if convicted.
latest US announcement came after Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the
son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sought to soothe markets during
an unprecedented teleconference on Thursday with hundreds of foreign investors
from the United States, Europe to Asia.
said Turkey would emerge "stronger" from the currency crisis and
ruled out an IMF bailout.
Jackson, chief emerging markets economist at London-based Capital Economics
said in a note that Albayrak gave a "moderately convincing
performance" during the call.
he suggested that Turkish "policymakers only really seem to have done the
in his call with investors, Albayrak said the fall in the lira was out of line
with fundamentals, not acknowledging why confidence in Turkey evaporated,"
he seemed to downplay the risks in the corporate and banking sector posed by
large foreign currency debts. These could still crystallise over the coming
weeks and months, potentially making the crisis more acute."
say sharp hike in interest rates is needed to stop the declining value of lira,
but Erdogan's government is opposed to any rate hike in order to stimulate
week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminium and steel
tariffs for Turkey, which promoted Ankara to sharply hike tariffs on some US
US has warned that it is ready to impose more sanctions on Turkey if Ankara
refuses to release a jailed American pastor; a threat that is likely to draw
more harsh reactions from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
have put sanctions on several of their cabinet members," Treasury
Secretary Steven Mnuchin told President Trump in a cabinet meeting attended by
the press on Thursday. "We have more that we are planning to do if they
don't release him quickly."
threat of new sanctions made it clear that no immediate end was in sight to the
showdown between Ankara and Washington that has rattled financial markets and
strained decades of strong military and political alliance.
ties have spiraled into a full-blown crisis over the trial of Andrew Brunson, a
Christian pastor, who is accused of having links with perpetrators of a failed
military coup against Erdogan in 2016.
row has seen Ankara put around $500 million of tariffs on some US imports and
boycott American electronic products in retaliation for the Trump
administration’s sanctions on some Turkish officials.
US president announced on Twitter last week that he had authorized a doubling
of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, stating that relations between the two
NATO allies "are not good at this time!"
shot back on Friday, threatening to respond if the United States levied further
already responded based on the World Trade Organization rules and will continue
to do so," Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan was quoted as saying by the
state-run Anadolu news agency.
lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, was at
5.8 against the dollar and 6.7 against euro on Friday.
asks Turkey to free ‘great patriot’ priest
US present had harsh words for Turkish officials during the cabinet session,
saying, "They have not proven to be a good friend."
then called Brunson a “very innocent man” and said his arrest was “not fair,
not right." He went on Twitter to describe the priest as a “great patriot”
taken "hostage" by Turkey.
plunges amid crisis, Turkey says still in control
row has caused Turkish lira to crash to an all-time low against the US dollar,
prompting Turkish officials to take emergency measures.
a bid to soothe the markets, Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak went on
record on Thursday to reassure investors that Ankara was still in control.
will emerge stronger from these (currency) fluctuations," said Albayrak,
who is also Erdogan’s son-in-law.
lira sank to an unprecedented 7.24 to the dollar on Monday, drawing expert
warnings that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had to intervene before it
was too late.
however, is confident that an IMF bailout is not necessary because the
government has been able to turn the tide.
will turn this crisis into an opportunity," Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim
Kalin told reporters, noting that Ankara’s response had led to a "rapid
improvement process" over the last two days.
determined to fight back
many experts had predicted that Erdogan would back down to save ties with the
US, the Turkish president’s moves over the past days have indicated otherwise.
to his supporters on Tuesday, Erdogan slammed the US for using the economy as a
“weapon” and said the Turkey was facing an "economic attack" and a
"bigger, deeper operation."
day earlier, he said the US was seeking to stab Turkey “in the back” by sending
the lira into a tailspin.
act on one side as a strategic partner but on the other you fire bullets into
the foot of your strategic partner," Erdogan said. "We are together
in NATO and then you seek to stab your strategic partner in the back. Can such
a thing be accepted?"
to stand his ground, Erdogan has also hinted at leaving the Western military
alliance and “start looking for new friends and allies.”
an article for the New York Times, published last Friday, the Turkish leader
said Turkey “had rushed to America’s help whenever necessary” in various times,
from the Cold War to the more recent conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
of private land in Gurugram also detained; both later let off by police
Imam leading the offering of Namaz on private land in Gurugram’s Basai was
detained by the city police on Friday for allegedly holding the prayer without
prior permission from authorities. The landlord, Shri Krishan, was also
two were later let off after they gave in writing that they would not allow
offering of namaz on the land in question.
Abdul Wahid was leading the Friday prayers at Basai Chowk on Friday afternoon
when a police team reached the spot and asked whether he had permission to hold
namaz on the land.
Wahid told the police that the local Muslim committee had taken permission from
Mr. Krishan and had paid rent to use the land.
police, however, detained the Imam, as well as Mr. Krishan, and took them to
Sector 9A police station.
two were later released on intervention of Muslim Rashtriya Manch chief Hazi
the Muslim community members held a meeting at Mr. Khan’s residence to express
anger over the incident. The attendees said that the incident had led to a
sense of fear in the community. The group said it has decided to meet
Gurugram’s Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner on Saturday to seek
protection and permission to offer Namaz on the private land.
police spokesperson Subhash Boken said the police team had gone to the spot
after they received information that Namaz was being offered without permission
from the authorities.
said that Namaz could be held only at places designated by the local
administration. This decision was made after controversy over the offering of
namaz at public places earlier this year.
Boken said that prior permission was required for holding namaz in Gurugram
since adequate security arrangements were required to be made and duty
magistrates deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
said that the landlord and the Imam were let off after they agreed to not to
use the said land for offering of Friday prayers without permission. Mr. Boken
said that the Imam was detained only after the namaz was offered.
Khan alleged that the police misbehaved with the Imam and kept him in custody
for almost three hours.
One person was killed and three were injured on Friday in a grenade attack by
terrorists on a police installation in Awantipora area of Jammu and Kashmir's
Pulwama district, police said.
lobbed a grenade towards the main gate of the district police office which
missed the intended target and exploded by the road, a police official said.
civilians were injured in the grenade blast, the official said, adding that one
of the injured later succumbed to injuries at a hospital.
deceased was identified as Abdul Ahad Panchoo (60).
Death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (ABV) has resonated
across the border in Pakistan. Almost every newspaper— English and Urdu had
carried front-page reports on the demise of the founding member of BJP. The
reports highlighted Vajpayee's efforts in restoring peace with Pakistan,
acknowledging the existence of Pakistan and his government laying the foundation
of a strong relation for his successors to nurture.
leading English newspaper Dawn carried a single column report on the former
Indian prime minister with a headline ‘Vajpayee, partisan of peace with
Pakistan, dies.’ The article went on to say that his 1999 visit to Lahore had
become so popular in Pakistan that his host and the then Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif said that he (ABV) could win an election there. It also said, "It
was Vajpayee’s policy with Pakistan whose thread was picked up by his
successor, Dr Manmohan Singh".
Nation, another Pakistan-based English daily, began its piece by saying ‘While
most of the Indian leaders are opposed to Pakistan and publicly say they want
to break it up, Atal Behari Vajpayee was the one who had tried to improve
relations with the Islamic Republic.’ Reported by Ashraf Mumtaz who covered
Vajpayee’s trip to Pakistan in 1999 claimed that “Vajpayee had admitted that
many people had advised him not to visit the Minar-i-Pakistan as such a step
would amount to giving the stamp of approval to the creation of Pakistan. But
he said he rejected the advice.” Another English Daily, Express Tribune talked
that India’s three-time Prime Minister Vajpayee was one of the leaders to
express anguish over the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in 2002.
Anand Mohan J
August 9, Ola cab driver Mohammad Yusuf (40) left his house in north Delhi’s
Sadar Bazaar and never returned. His family searched for him, only to find that
he had died and his body cremated by the UP Police in Mathura’s Ol village —
200 km from his house.
the family has vented their ire at the police for “their callous attitude” for
cremating a Muslim, police said “the man could not be identified and was
cremated as per procedure”. As per norms, police wait 72 hours in cases
pertaining to unidentified bodies. When no contact with the family is made, the
body is disposed of.
was found murdered, with his hands tied behind his back and dumped in a canal
on August 10. He had left his house at 10.30 pm to drop a passenger the night
before. Ola informed his family that his last known location was at Jhurvai,
Mathura, following which the GPS went unresponsive at 12.19 am. The passenger
who took the cab could not be contacted by the company.
family went to Sadar Bazaar police station to file a missing persons complaint,
which was registered the following morning. “When they did his post-mortem,
they should have seen that he was circumcised… This is complete callousness on
their (UP Police) part. They should have at least waited for us,” said Atiya,
Yusuf’s elder sister.
Ol police chowki in-charge, who led the search for Yusuf in the bordering
villages, said that they could not ascertain his religious identity due to lack
of any documents. “If the man was a Hindu and we would have buried him, that
wouldn’t have been right either. He did not have any ID cards. We searched
around the bordering villages before cremating him,” said Bipin Kumar, the
Chief invites US to talks to ‘Reach Understanding’ to end the ongoing war
Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada has invited US to talks to
‘Reach Understanding’ for ending the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
made the remarks in his statement issued ahead of Eid Al-Adha.
said the Taliban group still emphasizes on the logic of understanding and
reasoning and invites the US to talks rather than using force.
further added that the only way to ensure a complete and total end to the
ongoing war is the end of the occupation of Afghanistan.
went to claim that the current conflict has links with the occupation of
Afghanistan by US and that the Taliban group has been emphasizing on direct
talks with the US to end the war.
comes as efforts are underway to start intra-Afghan and Afghan-led peace talks
among the Taliban and the Afghan government.
the Taliban group has repeatedly rejected to launch talks with the Afghan
government and emphasize on direct talks with the United States.
comes despite President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani offered the recognition of the
Taliban group as a political movement late in February this year in a bid to
pave the way for the revival of peace talks.
Bangladesh agree to remove 'national' tag from Rohingya ID Cards
and Bangladesh agreed to replace the term "Forcibly displaced Myanmar
nationals" to "Displaced persons from Rakhine State" on
registration cards issued to Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar. Myanmar made the
demand during a meeting last week, Bangladeshi officials have said. Almost 1
million Rohingya Muslims forced out of Myanmar now live in southern Bangladesh,
with 700,000 of them arriving after the latest crackdown on the stateless
minority started in August last year.
15-member Bangladeshi delegation led by Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali visited
Myanmar between Thursday and Saturday. It was the first state-sponsored visit
to Myanmar since the Rohingya fled to Bangladesh a year ago.
Rights Watch (HRW), however, said in a statement on Wednesday that Bangladesh
had "agreed" to the change.
changing a few words on a refugee's ID card may seem inconsequential, for the
700,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who fled ethnic cleansing in Myanmar a
year ago, it is essential," said Bill Frelick, director of Refugee Rights
Program of HRW, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
change signals that Myanmar doesn't intend to honor the citizenship rights of
Rohingyas, nor acknowledge the cause of their displacement-security force
operations that included murder, widespread rape, mass arson, and
pillage," HRW added at the statement.
of the Bangladesh Refugee Relief & Repatriation Commission (RRRC) Mohammad
Abul Kalam told AA on Thursday that Myanmar raised the ID card issue.
Foreign Ministry is the authority to take final decision to bring the change.
We have yet to get any formal decision or instruction on the matter," he
refugees have long expressed doubts about whether they would benefit from
rights as citizens if repatriation were to occur.
director of Transparency International Bangladesh, Iftekhar Zaman, on Thursday
told AA that identifying Rohingya refugees as Myanmar nationals was necessary
for them to acquire their rights as citizens. "The international community
has failed to pay due importance to the humanitarian crisis created by Myanmar
on Rohingya people which [puts] Bangladesh in a trap."
has been accused of the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Rakhine after it launched
operations in August last year, with security forces reportedly having engaged
in killings, torture, rape, and arson. The U.N. said that Rohingya remaining in
Rakhine are under local orders that severely restrict their freedom of
movement, preventing them from reaching jobs, school, and health care, and
called for these to be lifted.
is not John Bolton with unlimited resources. But he has been playing an
effective role not only in ensuring the ruling party is power against a series
of conspiracies from home and abroad. In some cases, he is not hesitating in
taking risks of his own life for the sake of proving his total loyalty to the
Prime Minister. And that has already turned him into a prime enemy of the
enemies of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister and the Pakistani espionage agency Inter-Service
Intelligence (ISI). During the last tale of 2013, when many of the top analysts
in the world were clearly predicting fall of the ruling party, this man was not
leaving any stone untouched to ensure, none of the conspiracies of the enemies
of Bangladesh works and he has very efficiently played the role of a true
captain in not only salvaging the ruling party Bangladesh Awami League from a
potential catastrophe but also has ensured a foolproof security throughout the
country when major opposition – Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its
political darling Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JIB) decided to go on the street
instead of participating in the polls. Many critics say January 5, 2014,
general election in Bangladesh was not free and fair as it was not participated
by the main opposition. But, they never say, it was a constitutional obligation
for the government to hold the election on time in order to avoid any
before this January-2014 general election, teachers and students of
Hefazat-e-Islami Bangladesh (HIB), an organization of the teachers and students
of the Qaomi madrassa [Koranic school] came on the street demanding
proclamation of Sharia rule in Bangladesh. They had secret backing from the
Pakistani espionage agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), while they also
were guided by several controversial individuals like Mahmudur Rahman [acting
editor of vernacular daily Amar Desh], Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and even some
of the top leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Mahmudur Rahman made the
blueprint of stating an Iran-type Islamist coup in Bangladesh thus
toppling-down the ruling party and push Bangladesh towards the fate of another
Iran – if not even worst. Rahman knew, in a country of 170 million people, it
was very easy to attain support from the masses by exhibiting Sharia rule a
much better choice than democracy. But the Western policymakers were either
ignorant or unaware of this plain fact. When Western nations were demanding the
continuation of democracy in Bangladesh through free, fair and participatory
election, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its political darling
Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh were thinking of transforming Bangladesh either into
a chaotic nation or a nation ruled by an odd conglomerate of the pro-Islamist
and antisemitic Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and
Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh. Mahmudur knew, secularism would not find a better
position in a country, where most of the 170 million population either are
heavy with the pro-Islamist mindset or to some extent preferring Sharia rule
over democracy. Should the conspirators become successful, by now, Bangladesh
would have definitely turned into one of the worst challenges to the West as
well as to the secularist nations including India.
since Bangladesh Awami League came to power in 2009 through a landslide
victory, Pakistani espionage agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) has tried
in multiple ways in somehow toppling down the government led by Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina. Because ISI top brasses never could feel comfortable either with
Sheikh Hasina or with her secularist, Bangladesh Awami League. For ISI, it was
a matter of challenge to topple-down the sitting government by hook or crook.
With this mission in mind, Pakistani espionage agency Inter-Service
Intelligence (ISI) was spending millions of dollars both in Bangladesh and
abroad. But, nothing worked, just because of extremely effective, dynamic and
timely strategies adopted by the Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, Major
General (Retired) Tarique Ahmed Siddique.
media catering misleading information:
December, Bangladesh is scheduled to hold the general election to elect a
government for another five years. Although the current coalition government
led by Sheikh Hasina has made the immense contribution in improving country’s
economic status from the Under Developed to Developed; the unfortunate and
bitterest truth is this government already has become extremely unpopular at home
and abroad. In the eyes of the international community, Sheikh Hasina
government is seen as the most repressive, ruthless and to some extent
illegitimate. Especially in the recent days, the government’s image has been
badly affected because of the ongoing repression on the students [who came on
the street demanding road safety]. International media are not seeing such
actions positively and gradually it is putting Bangladesh into isolation.
authorities are shown in a very negative manner to the international community.
During this crucial moment, Indian media are not showing any due courtesy
towards Bangladesh. Instead, they too are showing hostility by, for example,
portraying Sheikh Hasina as the ‘most unpopular’ leader in Bangladesh. Indian
Express newspaper even forecasted that Bangladesh may go under total
authoritarian rule should Sheikh Hasina succeed in winning a third consecutive
term. It means they aren’t too willing to see the further continuation of this
government. On the other hand, Indian policymakers also are not interested in
letting Sheikh Hasina a third consecutive term as this would actually be a
burden to them. Once Sheikh Hasina wins a third consecutive term, she will
become much stronger and would even further consolidate her position. She may
then put certain international pressure on India in getting several unsettled
issues resolved. Although the Western nations, especially the Trump
administration are not seeing Sheikh Hasina in a positive eyes [because of her
blind support towards Palestine and her foreign policy, which is in some cases
a ditto to that of Iran], it is very much anticipated that, Sheikh Hasina may
take several drastic measures in seeing a dramatic improvement in
to political analysts, any dramatic improvement of Dhaka-Washington relations
may be a ‘mission impossible’ but still, an effective move from the Bangladesh
side would definitely turn this ‘mission impossible’ into possible. For
attaining this, Dhaka will need to reshuffle its Middle East policy – make
warmer and deeper ties with Riyadh instead of Tehran. Moreover, under the
changed global scenario, Bangladesh needs to walk out from its policy towards
Israel and even take an effective step in lifting the travel ban. This
certainly will help Bangladesh is getting some reliable and effective allies in
we keep eyes on the international media, very unfortunately, there is tons of
negative propaganda or contents against the ruling party and Bangladesh, instead
of anything positive. Certainly, it is a total failure of the press sections of
Bangladesh missions in different countries as well as the Media Advisor to the
Prime Minister and the Information Ministry. Some ministers of the government
are equally responsible for giving birth to unwarranted controversies, which
against is tarnishing the image of the government and even the personal image
of the Prime Minister.
militancy group going international!
to Bangladesh’s largest vernacular daily the Prothom Alo, Bangladeshi militancy
group Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) has already formed an alliance with
Ansar Al Islamand are now looking for joining hands with Al Qaeda in Indian
Subcontinent (AQIS). Should this turn into a turned into a reality, JMB-AQIS
nexus will pose a grave threat to Bangladesh, India, the region and even the
a counterterrorism specialist, I know, during the past twelve years, JMB has
secretly gained strength – both financially and militarily. Since 2009, this
organization has been secretly recruiting convicted members of Bangladesh
Rifles (BDR), a paramilitary border guard. These BDR men were convicted for
taking part in a massacre in 2009 (February 25-26) inside the Pilkhana Head
Quarters of BDR, killing 57 bright officers of Bangladesh Armed Forces as well
as a physical and sexual assault on the female family members of the
unfortunate officer (even children were not spared). This massacre took place
just within the first 60 days of Sheikh Hasina’s government in power and there
were extreme risks of the government being ousted through a military coup. But,
then Defence Adviser to the Prime Minister, Major General (Retired) Tarique
Ahmed Siddique played a crucial and key role not only saving the country from
going under another military rule but also had saved the government from a
my days in the prison, (from November 8, 2012, to July 29, 2018); I have
personally witnessed as to how the members of BDR are very easily getting
radicalized and joining hands with JMB. Some of these BDR men even are donating
a huge sum of money by selling properties, while others are taking the secret
instruction from the JMB high command in spreading seeds of jihad throughout
the country. I can cite here the example of BDR soldier Abul Bashar (hailing
from Dhamrai area), who not only has become the top coordinator of JMB inside
the prison but also has been donating millions of Taka, collecting weapon and
getting under-trial or convicted prisoners radicalized. Bashar openly proclaims
himself as a fan of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. For the sake of holding
secret meetings with the JMB men inside the prison, Bashar is using the
influence of one Partha, deputy inspector general of prison in staying alone in
a room. This room, located at the Condemned Cell at Kashimpur Central Jail
(Part-1) is being used for showing videos on making of bombs as well as
jihadist activities. I have personally witnessed as to how just one Bashar has
succeeded in getting almost seventy percent of his inmates extremely
radicalized. They even are planning a jail escape from Kashimpur Central Jail
(Part 1, 2 and 4) latest by November 2018. JMB wants to begin maximum
offensives in Bangladesh from the last week of November with the ulterior
motive of putting the ruling party in extreme jeopardy. Security Adviser to the
Prime Minister and country’s intelligence agencies are in the total dark about
such dangerous preparations of JMB. For the sake of national security and for
the greater interest of the nation, individuals like Abul Bashar should be
immediately separated from JMB affiliation and he should even be put into
isolated prison. On the other hand, DIG prison, Parthha should be brought under
close scanner so that he cannot exert his influence in letting Abul Bashar
almost openly meeting JMB men and discuss jihadist plot on a regular basis. I
have seen, prison authorities are purchased by the Islamist militancy group in
exchange of a hefty sum of monthly payment thus paving the way of the spread of
radical Islamic militancy within the prisons in a faster pace than our
Tarique Ahmed Siddiquee succeed this time?
a few days after the annual 4th-of-July festival brought thousands of people to
celebrate American independence in the streets of Philadelphia, the city hosted
a different kind of gathering. The Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), an
organization with deep ties to the south Asian extremist group Jamaat e Islami
(JI), chose the City of Brotherly Love as the venue for its annual Islamist
convention. Over the weekend of July 7 and 8th, a number of fanatical speakers
addressed the MUNA conference in America’s birthplace. Worse still, this
conference took place with the endorsement of local politicians.
in New York in 1990, MUNA professes to be a benign non-profit group devoted to
“social service” and developing the “personal, moral and social quality of
human life.” Yet MUNA officials and the guests at its events including
prominent supporters of JI, a violent South Asian Islamist movement founded in India
by the Islamist theorist Abul Ala Maududi, whose ideas about Islamist conquest
helped shape the development of groups like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Although
JI is not itself a banned organization in America, in August 2017, the U.S.
government designated Hizbul Mujahideen – JI’s paramilitary wing in Pakistan
and Kashmir – as a terrorist organization.
JI maintains branches in dozens of countries across the globe, it is perhaps
best known for helping Pakistani forces commit dozens of war crimes against
Bangladeshis during the 1971 independence war. In the decades since, JI has
continued its practice of complicity in violence across the subcontinent.
officials are not shy about their support for JI. In 2010, MUNA organized a
picnic with Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, JI’s assistant secretary general, as the
guest of honor. A few years later, in 2013, a Bangladeshi War Crimes Tribunal
sentenced Kamaruzzaman to death for his role in the murder and torture of
unarmed civilians, including the massacre of 120 unarmed farmers, during the
Bangladesh Independence War.
vice national president Abul Faizullah, meanwhile, has praised Abdul Qader
Mollah, another senior JI official. Mollah was also sentenced to death for
crimes against humanity, which included assisting Pakistani troops with the
murder of 369 people.
JI’s violence, American politicians seemed happy to endorse MUNA and its
convention. New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Atlantic City (NJ) Mayor
Frank M. Gilliam, Jr. both penned letters of praise for MUNA, which were
published in the convention’s booklet. In his letter, Congressman Jeffries
applauded MUNA for “building bridges of understanding and cooperation,” while
Mayor Gilliam wished MUNA “all the best for [the] convention.”
Gilliam nor Jeffries seemed troubled by MUNA’s links to a genocidal Islamist
movement or the convention’s featured speakers, several of whom have long
histories of hateful speech. For instance, MUNA’s conference featured the
prominent cleric Suhaib Webb, who has made many extremist statements. Webb has
previously said that “the men who imitate a woman and the women who imitate the
men and their dress are cursed.” He has stated that he “understands” Muslims
may have “animosity” towards Jews. And he has declared that the punishment for
those who commit Zina [adultery or fornication] is to be stoned to death.
support for theocracy seems clear. He calls secularism a “radical, lunatic
ideology”, mourns the “loss of holy power in politics” and rule “by divine
authority,” and calls for governance by “the dynamic, pluralistic, empowering
Islam of the Prophet’s era.”
from overseas were just as extreme. Bengali cleric Abul Kalam Azad Bashar uses
his social media to express extremist and misogynist opinions. He describes
democracy as nothing but a stepping-stone to establish absolute Islamic rule.
He has described a country governed by man-made laws as a “totally sinful
idea,” and he praised Saudi Arabian laws that force women to be “fully covered,”
contrasting them with Bangladeshi women’s “immodest outfits on the street
[which] create a disgusting atmosphere.” Zahid Bukhari, a former president of
the Islamic Circle of North America (an organization also closely tied to JI),
was also present. Bukhari has openly promoted Jamaat-e-Islami on his Facebook
page, and has shared petitions in support of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, an
Islamist jailed for murdering a police officer in Georgia. Bukhari has also
enthusiastically eulogized Necmettin Erbakan, the late anti-Semitic Islamist
former prime minister of Turkey. Bukhari described Erbakan as “a visionary and
brilliant leader of Turkey’s Islamist movement who devoted his entire life to
creating a more peaceful and just world.”
these speakers, MUNA affirms its extremist ideals. Even if MUNA had not invited
such fanatic speakers to the convention, the organization has a clear history
of condoning and spreading extremism, and giving platforms to hate. Why would
our elected officials, whose primary responsibility is to protect and govern
American democracy, involve themselves with an Islamist movement and speakers
committed to replacing that democracy with violent theocracy?
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has instructed the relevant authorities and security
officials for an in-depth review of the conspiracies surrounding the attack on
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani issued
the latest instructions during a security meeting organized upon his to Ghazni
statement further added that the Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Defense Gen.
Sharif Yaftali shared information regarding the situation of Ghazni city and
the ongoing clearance operations.
said the clearance operations are being conducted normally and the security
situation in the city has returned to its normal condition and new security
belts have been established.
his turn, President Ghani hailed the bravery of the Afghan armed forces while
responding to the attack on Ghazni city and said those who have shown courage
and bravery will be hailed.
Ghani emphasized on further coordination among the security and defense
instructed the National Directorate of Security to review the conspiracies
surrounding the attack on the city and ascertain the weak points.
representatives of Afghan Taliban travelled to attend peace talks held in
Indonesia, confirmed on Friday by the Taliban’s political office.
Taliban Qatar office said that a delegation of political representatives led by
its office chief Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanekzai visited Indonesia from August 12
to August 15.
a statement received by Daily Times from political spokesman of Taliban Suhail
Shaheen, the delegation met Indonesian deputy president Muhammad Jusuf Kalla,
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and presidential special envoy for Afghanistan
and discussed ways to bring peace to Afghanistan and withdrawal of foreign
troops. Both sides also exchanged views on bilateral relations.
was also supposed to visit Indonesia in March this year when Indonesian Ulema
Council held a conference of religious scholars belonging from Pakistan,
Afghanistan and Indonesia.
conference was postponed after the Taliban dismissed it by calling it a “ploy
by the intelligence to justify the American invasion”. The conference was later
held in May when Indonesian government assured Taliban that no edict will be
issued against them.
political envoys have also stepped up the efforts to contact other countries,
after they met senior American diplomats in Doha last month in their first
also visited Uzbekistan earlier this month as a part of their diplomatic
efforts to take countries into confidence and to expedite the peace process
is equally ironic to see Taliban expediting the diplomatic process, when they
are also increasing their attacks against security forces. Over 200 security
personnel have been killed in these attacks over the past few days. They held a
siege in Ghazni for five days after the city was cleared by Afghan’s security
forces. The clash reportedly killed 100 soldiers and injured 95 civilians.
Taliban also killed at least 40 security forces on their raid on a military
base in northern Baghlan province on August 14th.
Ghani on Friday visited Ghazni where he again asked the Taliban to join the
peace process and said that Taliban want “more concessions in talks with their
fighting.” He claimed that injured Taliban “receive treatment in Pakistan.”
supermodel Gigi Hadid paid a visit to Bangladesh to meet the Rohingya Muslim
Refugees ahead of New York Fashion Week, which is scheduled for this September.
The 23-year-old model took her time off to collaborate with the United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF). She interacted with the women and children in
Bangladesh benefitting from the charity organisation’s programs.
pictures of her humanitarian trip on Instagram, Hadid revealed that she visited
the Jamtoli Refugee Camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
wrote, “Jamtoli Refugee Camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Population: 45,470 (as
of 21 Jun 2018). Across all the camps, 1.3 million people currently require
humanitarian assistance, more than half of them are children. From January-July
of 2018, UNICEF has enrolled 91,929 refugee children in emergency non-formal
education, trained 2,762 teachers to support improved learning for refugee
children, provided 146,670 refugee and host community children with
psychosocial activities and/or Gender-Based Violence services, & have
reached over 900 thousand people with oral cholera vaccines, primary healthcare
services in UNICEF-supported facilities, and with the Penta 3 vaccine,
protecting against life-threatening illnesses such as diphtheria and pertussis.
Link in my bio to learn more
are a Muslim minority ethnic group in Myanmar and are considered to be illegal
immigrants.Scores of Rohingya refugees are languishing in Indian refugee camps,
after fleeing a brutal Myanmar army campaign that launched in August last year.
They are residing in several parts of the country including Jammu, Hyderabad,
Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR, and Rajasthan.
Qatar office said a delegation of the group has held talks with senior
Indonesian officials over Afghan peace process.
delegation of Taliban visited Indonesia on August 12-15 and held talks with
Indonesian sneior officials over the Afghan peace process and withdrawal of
foreign forces from Afghanistan, Taliban’s Qatar office confirmed in a
to the statement, Taliban’s delegation was led by head of Qatar Office Mullah
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai and they visited Indonesia this week from
Saturday to Wednesday.
Taliban delegation met with Indonesian First Vice President Muhammad Jusuf
Kalla, Indonesia Forieng Minister Retno Marsudi and Hamid Awaluddin,
Indonosia’s special representative for Afghanistan, read the statement.
Taliban delegation and Indonesian officials also held discussions on relations
between Taliban and Indonesia, read the statement.
delegation visited Indonesia after in May religious scholars from Afghanistan,
Indonesia and Pakistan issued a declaration on the Afghan war and peace process
Ulema (religious scholars) stated in the declaration that war and violence have
no place in Islam and that Islam is the religion of peace and true believers
should put into practice what this religion has said.
religious scholars said they support any peace offer, efforts and declarations
in hope of bringing peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.
declaration stated that the religious scholars of the three countries support
the peace offer made by the Afghan government to the Taliban aimed to end war
and violence in the country.
the Ulema, therefore appreciate and support the offer of the Government of
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as announced by President Ashraf Ghani during
the Kabul Peace Process, February 2018 for peace and reconciliation in
Afghanistan,” read the declaration.
declaration said the religious scholars also appreciate the regional countries,
Muslim nations and the international community's support to the Afghan peace
scholars also asked all war parties to lay down their weapons and start direct
take note of conducive environment for peace in Afghanistan and call upon all
sides to join direct peace talks,” read the declaration.
Ulema said terrorism and extremism in all its form including violence against
civilians and suicide attacks are against Islam and that name of no religion,
including Islam, should not be used for justification of terror activities.
reaffirm that violence and terrorism cannot and should not be associated with
any religion, nationality, civilization, or ethnic group, as violent extremism
and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including violence against
civilians and suicide attacks, are against the holy principles of Islam,” read
Muslims are brothers and they should stay united and preserve their
brotherhood, the declaration said.
religious scholars said in the declaration that the Ulema of Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Indonesia can play a crucial role in promoting peace and that they
support such efforts.
Afghanistan High Peace Council (HPC) says that from Afghanistan 20 religious
have attended the meeting and they hope it will have a constructive result for
Afghan peace process.
backs banning books that insult, ridicule Islam
JAYA, Aug 17 — PKR incoming president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he
detests the banning of books, but he would make an exception for publications
that insult Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
gave the example of The Satanic Verses, the seminal but controversial 1988
novel by British Indian author Salman Rushdie — who was forced to seek
protection and asylum in the UK due to the death threats and fatwa issued by
Muslims worldwide after its publication.
is only my personal view. I am not inclined to the issue on banning [books]
unless it is the Satanic Verses book. That is different.
and ridiculing Islam and the Prophet, that is not right,” he told the press.
was responding to a question on whether authors are now free to publish their
books under the new government
LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Self-declared defenders of Bumiputera rights, Datuk Ibrahim
Ali and former Umno veteran Tan Sri Khalid Yunus announced today their new
political party called Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia — Putra for short.
who is its pro tempore president, touted Putra as an alternative to Malay
Muslims who could not see eye-to-eye with the principles of the present Pakatan
Harapan (PH) government or that of other political parties.
have heard feedbacks from the people, including Umno members, who are in need
of a new party.
said they will not leave Umno for Pakatan as the coalition was the one who
killed their beloved party.
others are hesitant to join Pakatan because they disagree with their fights for
equal rights and liberalism,” he told a press conference at Kelab Sultan
also marks the ruling PH coalition’s 100th day in power.
acting as Ibrahim’s pro tempore deputy, added that Putra’s inception also
stemmed from PH’s alleged failure to uphold the Federal Constitution and the
rule of law.
are the two salient points that Ibrahim and I just can’t tolerate.
veterans, we cannot afford to keep mum and be bystanders when other parties are
acting like they are mute and refusing to provide the necessary check and
balance,” he said.
said an online application to register the party has been made on August 13 and
a physical copy was also submitted to the Registrar of Society yesterday.
said once registered, the party will strive to ensure that the economy “cake”
will be distributed fairly according to the race ratio in Malaysia.
we support the need-base policy, we want to ensure that the economy cake will
not be monopolised by the minorities,” he said.
has a chequered history with several Malay Muslim parties over the course of
his political career starting from the 1980s.
was previously Pasir Mas MP three times, in 1986 as a Barisan Nasional
candidate, in 1990 representing Parti Semangat Melayu 46 and in 2008 with the
support of PAS.
in Indonesia's Banten province have called on local authorities to ban a
"heretical and blasphemous" Muslim sect after it claimed the Prophet
Muhammad was a woman.
sect, called the Jellyfish Kingdom, is led by a woman named Aisyah and has
about a dozen members, according to media reports.
in provincial capital Serang, the sect has been propagating its beliefs during
"all-night activities" at a house over the last two months that have
prompted a slew of complaints.
Kingdom is heretical and can be regarded as blasphemous," Amas Tajudin,
secretary of the Serang chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), told
local news outlet bantennews.co.id on Aug. 13, after visiting the house with
police and local community leaders.
said the sect's leader believes that the "Prophet Muhammad was a woman and
born in Sumedang, West Java" and that she was Ratu Kidul, a mythical
figure and reputed queen of the Southern Sea, who was a follower of a local
indigenous faith called Sunda Wiwitan.
she acknowledges the Quran is the holy book and Allah as God, he said.
called on police to immediately ban the sect and prosecute the leader and its
members for blasphemy.
Tauhid Sa'adi, deputy chairman of the MUI's national council, told ucanews.com
on Aug. 17 that a team had been sent to Serang to investigate the matter.
haven't received a report [from the team], so we cannot decide on anything
yet," he said, adding that he backed the local chapter's handling of the
for the local community to stay calm, he praised police for preventing angry
Muslims from taking the law into their own hands.
the visit to the house, police arrested the 12 sect members and seized papers
containing the sect's beliefs.
Tigor Naipospos, deputy chairman of the Jakarta-based Setara Institute for
Democracy and Peace, said the group was just strange and not causing real harm.
their weird activities and beliefs upsetting some people, they should not be
criminalized or deemed blasphemous," he said.
Secretary General Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) Ramadhan Mugalu has
urged the Ministry of Education and Sports to recruit more Muslim teachers
during the upcoming mass recruitment exercise.
Education Ministry is expected to advertise about 3000 jobs in the education
sector in the near future.
said the excuse that Muslims have no qualifications is now out dated because
UMSC has an inventory of over 1000 Muslims who are qualified to occupy
different positions in the education sector.
challenge anyone who claims that Muslims are not qualified to look at our
database. We have more than enough,” he said.
was speaking at a consultative meeting of over 500 registered but jobless
Muslim teachers which was held at the UMSC headquarters old Kampala.
said UMSC, through its department of education has embarked on an advocacy
campaign aimed at breaking the tradition of sidelining Muslim professionals in
government jobs by having all qualified Muslim teachers registered and lobbied
however, urged the teachers to be organized and disciplined in whatever action
they take and encouraged them to harness the growing opportunities in the UMSC
United Nations (UN) has exposed the activities of terrorist organisations in
Nigeria and across Africa.
a special report released on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the UN revealed
various sources of funding for Boko Haram and other terrorist organisations
operating in Africa.
report was submitted to the UN Security Council Committee pursuant to
resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning the Islamic
State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated
report was signed by Edmund Fitton-Brown, Coordinator, Analytical Support and
Sanctions Monitoring Team, and Kairat Umarov, Chair, Security Council
Committee. Fitton-Brown said the report was “comprehensive and independent”.
are some of the revelations from the report:
report stated that Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) still has the
capacity to launch significant attacks within Libya and across the border,
reverting to asymmetric tactics and improvised explosive devices.
stated that the group maintain networks of mutual financial support and arms
to the report, the mountainous areas in the west of Tunisia continue to harbour
elements of ISIL and Al-Qaeda affected by the fluid situation in Libya.
Nations Member-States assessed that returning foreign terrorist fighters,
particularly those of North African origin, continue to pose a threat to the
states reported that terrorist groups in North Africa derived substantial
income from kidnapping for ransom, local extortion and the ‘taxing’ of
smuggling routes. During the reporting period, however, there was no evidence
that they were directly involved in trafficking in drugs or persons,” the
report stated that Jama‘at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) successfully
combined regional terrorist groups in an Al-Qaida-affiliated coalition, which
increased attacks and propaganda against French, United States of America and
other international interests during the reporting period.
report noted that the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) is active
mostly at the border between Mali and the Niger.
stated that its goal is to destabilise the Sahel and any normalisation of life
there, to maintain freedom of movement in the north and access to smuggling
United Nation said Member-States assessed that terrorists are taking advantage
of territorial control and ethnic conflicts to radicalise populations.
also revealed that the number of doctrinally based non-governmental
organisations sending funds to local terrorist groups is growing, and
Member-States are concerned that radicalisation is increasing the threat level
in the Sahel.
report revealed that the cash economy is predominant in the region without
controls. It further stated that terrorist groups are funded by extortion,
charitable donations, smuggling, remittances and kidnapping.
report cited the 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi kidnapped on 18 February
2018 and released by ISWAP on March 21, 2018, in exchange for a large ransom
affiliate Al-Shabaab remains the dominant terrorist group in the region,
according to the report.
noted that although ISIL in Somalia is fragile and operationally weak, it still
presents a threat because Somalia remains a focus for probable future ISIL
Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, has accused Kaduna State governor, Nasiru
Ahmed El-Rufai, of sponsoring hate speech campaign against the group.
movement in a statement issued by the president, Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa,
alleged that El Rufa’i sponsored hate speech campaigns against it at a recent
book presentation at Arewa House, Kaduna, during which Shias were called
infidels by the organisers of the event.
to Musa, “The Islamic Movement in Nigeria wishes to express its outright
disapproval of the current campaign of calumny against the Shia Islamic faith
in general and the Islamic Movement in particular as espoused in the gathering
of some Wahabi Islamic scholars during the book presentation on Sunday 11/08/18
at Arewa House, Kaduna, where Kaduna state Governor was the Chief Host.
the book presented was entitled “Fallacy of Shi’ites beliefs,” the scholars
were reported by some national dailies to have said that “Shiites, threat to
National Security.” We feel this news headline deserves our condemnation. How
about if we say: “Sunnis, threat to National Security,” will followers of Sunni
Islam in Nigeria not get offended?” according to the Press Statement.
are extremely concerned that this title is similar to some of the scary titles
you read about Muslims on the websites of Far Right movements who are busy
spreading Islamophobia in the West in particular and the world in general, only
that in this context the shiaphobia is the bogey for the so-called Wahabbi
drew the attention of the government to the freedom granted citizens by the
constitution, “We must emphasize that while these debates and arguments between
Sunnis and Shiites are as old as the history of Islam, the secular Nigeria has
nothing to do with it.
scholars know very well that the constitution of Nigeria gives freedom of
speech and religion as enshrined in section 38, which categorically states:
“Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,
including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone
or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and
propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and
statement denied that the Islamic Movement poses a national threat, “Why they
hate the Shiites has nothing to do with national security.
Nigerians should not be seen to support demonizing narratives sanctioned at a
state level simply because people choose different interpretations of some
issues within the religion of Islam. Therefore, as long as a group or
organisation conducts itself peacefully without legitimizing violence, the
state should stay away from meddling in inter-sectarian polemics.
almost 40 years history of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and its Leader
Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is enough a pointer to the fact that we are not a
threat to national security as those so called scholars that gathered in Kaduna
will want other Nigerians to believe. In fact it is the other way round,
because it is on record that in one of his books, the author of the book
launched, Prof. Umar Labdo of the Maitama Sule University, Kano, called on
Muslims of his like to kill, maim and burn the properties of Christians and
strongly believe that it’s such ‘scholars’ who identify with the ISIS ideology
that spread hate and animosity among citizens that are a threat to National security.”
Islamic Movement vowed to continue demanding for the release of its leader,
Sheikh Zakzaky, stressing that, “On a final note, we would like to state
categorically that, we will not relent on our effort to enlighten the world
about the atrocities committed by the trio of Federal government, Kaduna state
government and the Nigerian Army (all under the influence of the Wahibi
scholars like Prof. Labdo) against the members of the Islamic Movement in
Nigeria during the month of December, 2015.
the Kaduna book presentation is ostensibly held to justify the Zaria massacre
executed by the Army, we will like to assure those pseudo ulama that Zaria
massacre will continue to hunt the memories of its organizers, financiers and
Fani-Kayode, former Aviation Minister, on Friday reacted to a report by the
United Nations, UN, which claimed that the Nigerian Government paid Boko Haram
insurgents ransom for the release of schoolgirls abducted from Dapchi, Yobe
also maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari paid the terrorists for the
release of the girls.
said Buhari, however, refused to pay for the release of Leah Sharibu, the only
Christian girl still in Boko Haram captivity.
22nd report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the UN’s
Security Council stated that large ransom was paid to Boko Haram to secure the
release of the over 100 schoolgirls kidnapped from a secondary school in
Dapchi, Yobe State in February.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has dismissed the report,
saying no ransom was paid to Boko Haram terrorists.
to the report, Fani-Kayode, in a tweet wrote: “The UN has confirmed the fact
that Buhari paid a huge ransom to Boko Haram for the return of the Dapchi
girls. And what a scam it was!
— Disillusioned, exhausted Nigerian troops battling a surge in Boko Haram
attacks have reached breaking point and hundreds of soldiers protested at an
airport in Borno State.
protests, which took place less than six months before presidential elections,
were dismissed by Nigeria’s army as a “misunderstanding”.
Sunday the soldiers demonstrated at the airport of Maiduguri, for several
hours, shooting into the air and disrupting flights.
were furious about a planned redeployment to a battlefront in the Lake Chad
region after fighting Boko Haram for years without relief.
should not have been here for more than a year but this is our fourth year and
still they are asking us to move to Marte,” one of the soldiers told AFP on
condition of anonymity. “We need rest. We are war-weary and need to see our
protest comes after a wave of assaults on military bases in the northeast,
forcing the army to retreat and marking a Boko Haram comeback.
resurgence of violence has put pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari, who is
seeking a second term in office and maintains that the country is now in a
“post-conflict stabilisation phase”.
say Nigeria has not faced such a serious threat from Boko Haram since the peak
of the insurgency between 2013 and 2015, when it controlled swaths of territory
in the country’s northeast.
has been a military evolution akin to what we’ve seen in Syria and Iraq,” said
security analyst Yan St-Pierre.“Boko Haram’s quality of attack is higher, the
level of preparedness is higher.”
Nigerian military was overwhelmed by the “catastrophic security situation”, he
added. “They are relying on old tactics no longer applicable in the northeast.”
to stop the onslaught, Nigeria’s military chief, Tukur Yusuf Buratai, said in a
July 27 memo that “cowardly” soldiers would be punished by death.
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