RSS and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Have Agreed To Work
Jointly To Promote Harmony and Accord in the Country
Ravidas Temple: Muslim Groups Support Dalit Community
Demand, Joint Protest on September 15
Any Process That Could Leave Large Numbers of People
without A Nationality Would Be An Enormous Blow To Global Efforts To Eradicate
Statelessness: UN Urges India Not To Render Anyone Stateless
Boycotting Non-Muslim Businesses Bad for Malaysian
Economy, Says Perlis Mufti
'Husband of Pak Sikh Girl Member of Saeed's JuD'
Hezbollah Chief Says ‘No More Red Lines’ Against
UN Official Blasts Nigeria’s Use Of ‘Lethal Force’ On
Arab Parliament Urges Honduras, Nauru to Reconsider
Jerusalem Al-Quds Decisions
US Reaches Agreement with Taliban: US Peace Negotiator
Don't Decide Ayodhya Case on Hindus' Belief: Muslim Parties
"Present Relevant Arguments": Top Court To
Muslim Parties In Ayodhya Case
Ayodhya: SC assures break to lawyer for Muslim parties
on Friday to prepare arguments
Counsel for Babri Mosque side: There was no massive
structure, Hindu motifs at site, SC told
Ayodhya case: Lawyer representing Sunni Waqf Board
receives threat letter, SC to hear his contempt plea tomorrow
90% of Kashmir free of daytime restrictions, says
J&K principal secretary
Some families meet Kashmir political prisoners, Omar
Abdullah gets visit from sister
Sitaram Yechury submits report on Kashmir visit in
Kartarpur corridor: India-Pak talks tomorrow
India braces for Pak attack on NRC at UN rights
Malé Declaration overlooks Pakistan claim on Kashmir
Pak officials by his side, Jadhav parrots Pak line
India backs peace deal which will not leave space for
terrorists in Afghanistan: Vijay Gokhale
No scope for dialogue, Pakistan openly practices
terrorism: MEA Jaishankar
Boris Johnson linked to biggest spike in UK
Islamophobia in 2018
Swedish foreign minister says she has ‘new ideas’ for
ICC prosecutor ordered to look again at charging
Israel over 2010 Gaza flotilla raid
Indian Muslim Preacher Zakir Naik Gets Go-Ahead To
Visit Malaysia Mosque, But Not To Give Speech
Stop Depending On Handouts, Start Being Industrious,
PM Tells Muslims
Minister: Trade groups yet to see signs of non-Muslim
Tok Mat: Nation needs new ‘Malaysia Narrative’, but
with Malay-Muslims as priority
Philippines’ new region turns to Middle East for
Missing Maldives journalist killed by Islamic radicals
Pakistan won't start war or use nukes first against
India, says Imran
Major embarrassment for police after custodial deaths
PML-N blasts govt over ‘record financial blunders’
Court orders not being followed in Zardari case:
Idols, artefacts found at Hindu temple in Karachi
Pakistan to ease visa regime for Sikh pilgrims, says
Indian efforts to suppress Kashmir issue failing at
every forum, says Qureshi
Jadhav’s statement endorses Pakistan’s stance, India
Israel's act of aggression against Lebanon threatens
global security: Iran
Hezbollah chief says all Israeli forces at risk in
case of new attack on Lebanon
Iran Warns EU of Reviewing Commitments To N-Deal
Rouhani says Iran’s answer to US talks will ‘always be
Erdogan’s AKP to expel ex-premier from party: Report
Israel lifts Gaza fuel restriction after calm returns
Arab Coalition: Saudi-UAE committee working to
de-escalate in Yemen
Iran, Syria to develop banking ties, set up joint
Israel plots to create rift among Palestinians:
ICC judges order prosecutor to reopen case of Israel
raid on Gaza flotilla
Top security official, three gunmen dead following
gunfire exchange in Tunisia
Presidential campaign opens in Tunisia after Essebsi
At least 3 killed, 4 injured in Somalia suicide
Security officer, 3 militants killed in Tunisia
Nigeria: Residents Flee As Boko Haram Attacks Chibok
Lebanon Rescue Talks Follow Lull in Fighting
Syrian MP Discloses Erdogan's Abundant Compromises on
Idlib in Russia Visit
Al-Jolani Collaborating with Washington to Prevent
Dissolution of Tahrir Al-Sham
UN criticizes transfer of 1,600 displaced Iraqis
Civilian deliberately targeted in Saudi ‘double-tap’
airstrikes in Yemen: Report
Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone headed towards
Damascus hails Hezbollah attack on Israel across the
Shiite Muslims Prepare to Mark Ashura in Iraq
Sanders Calls for Americans to Stand Together At Large
At first Muslim presidential forum, Sanders reaps
adoration of ISNA attendees
US envoy shows Afghan president draft Taliban deal
Bolton excluded from Afghanistan policy amid
disagreement with Trump
Trump hard-line support for Israel aimed at
evangelical base: Experts
US would withdraw 5,000 troops from Afghanistan and close
bases under peace plan
Bangladesh Bans Mobile Phone Access In Rohingya Camps
Karzai Met with Khalilzad In The Presence Of U.S.
Ambassador And Afghanistan’s Political Elites
Taliban’s Red Unit commander among 35 killed after
attacking Kunduz city: NDS
19 Taliban, ISIS militants killed in Nangarhar,
Baghlan and Wardak operations
11 Taliban militants killed in Special Forces raid,
airstrike in Uruzgan province
Afghan and U.S. forces kill 13 Taliban militants in
Paktiya and Ghazni
Toll Rises To 16 Dead, More Than 100 Wounded In Kabul
CTTC chief: Jamaat-Shibir men carrying out attack
Taliban claims massive VBIED explosion close to Green
Village in Kabul city
Large explosion hits Kabul, dozens mostly civilians killed
Compiled by New
Age Islam News Bureau
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Sep 03, 2019
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Jamiat
Ulema-e-Hind (JuH) have agreed to work jointly to promote harmony and accord in
the country, said functionaries of both organisations aware of the development.
On Friday, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat met the chief of
JuH, Maulana Syed Arshad Madani in the city, and the two agreed to formalise a
plan to create amity between their respective communities.
According to a person familiar with what transpired at
the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity, RSS leader Ram Lal, who was
recently made in-charge of the Samapark Vibhag, the outreach arm of the
organisation, and who earlier served as the general secretary ( organisation)
in the BJP, has been given the mandate to plan how the two organisations will
share a platform.
During the meeting that lasted over an hour, Bhagwat
is learnt to have assured Madani that Muslims in India have nothing to fear and
that the Sangh’s ideology does not perceive them as different from Hindus.
The person cited in the first instance added that
Madani underlined three issues that Muslims are worried about: mob lynching,
names being left out of the national register of citizens (NRC) in Assam; and
are generally afraid.
“Madani told Bhagwat that he did not agree to the
ideology of Veer Savarkar and MS Golwalkar (the second sarsangachalak of the
RSS) and the current atmosphere of fear and animosity is a cause of concern.
Bhagwat for his part said one must look ahead and Hindutva means both Hindus
and Muslims being together,” this person said. .
A second functionary familiar with the meeting said
the issue of Ram Janmabhoomi and the restructuring of Jammu and Kashmir was not
discussed at the meeting.
“The meeting was planned over a year and a half ago,
but could not be scheduled for among other reasons on account of the general elections.
Sunil Deshpande (RSS functionary) came across the work that JuH does in the
sectors of education and social welfare and reached out to us,” said an aide of
The meeting between Bhagwat and Madani comes ahead of
the Sangh’s upcoming Samanvay Baithak (coordination meeting) in Rajasthan’s
Pushkar next week, which will be attended by 150 functionaries and the top
brass of the RSS and the BJP.
Reacting to the meeting between Bhagwat and Madani, a
senior RSS functionary said this is not the first time that Muslim leaders have
engaged with the Sangh. “When K Sudarshan was the Sarsangachalak, he had
meetings with several leaders from Muslim and Christian communities. In 2009,
he met Shia cleric Hamidul Hasan when a controversy erupted over chanting Vande
Mataram; a few years later he also met Kalbe Sadiq the then vice-president of
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB),” the functionary said.
September 2, 2019
Representatives of several Muslim organizations on
Monday supported the Dalit community's demand for reconstructing a Ravidas
temple in Tuglakabad forest area and said they would organize a joint protest
in the national capital on September 15.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had demolished
the temple on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court.
On August 21, a massive protest in the national
capital on the issue turned violent, following which Dalit group Bhim Army
chief Chandrashekhar Azad and 95 others were arrested on the charge of rioting.
At a press conference here, Mulana Fazlul Manan Shahi,
the Imam of Teele Wali Masjid in Lucknow, said, "We feel the pain caused
by the temple's demolition as we have gone through a similar experience. We
share the grief of our Dalit brothers. We will be there to rebuild the
Mufti Aeyaaz Arshad Qasmi, a member of the All India
Muslim Personal Law Board, said, "If the government does not rebuild the
temple, we will hit the streets on September 15. We will do all that we can. We
will take legal recourse too."
Syed Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, the general secretary of
Anjuman-e-Haideri, alleged that the "government misled the apex court by
furnishing fake documents about the acquisition of the land where the temple
"According to law, land belonging to any
religious structure cannot be acquired. The government acquired the land in
question in 1986. There is enough evidence to prove that the temple existed
before 1986," he claimed.
"Muslims and Dalits communities stand together on
the issue. We demand the temple be built at its original place and Azad and his
supporters, who have been arrested on false charges, be released
immediately," Naqvi said, adding on September 15, the Muslim community
will take put a peaceful march to the site in Tughlakabad where the temple
The U.N. has called on India to not render anyone
stateless after the country's handling of citizenship rolls in the northeastern
state of Assam.
On Saturday, authorities in Assam published the final
list of the National Registration of Citizens (NRC), leaving out some 1.9
million people in the northeastern state of Assam.
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, in
a statement Sunday expressed his concern over the publication of NRC that may
put large numbers of people in Assam at risk of becoming stateless.
"Any process that could leave large numbers of
people without a nationality would be an enormous blow to global efforts to
eradicate statelessness," he added. "I appeal to India to ensure that
no one is rendered stateless by this action, including by ensuring adequate
access to information, legal aid, and legal recourse in accordance with the
highest standards of due process" stressed Grandi.
The Muslim community in Assam has been subjected to
multiple rights violations as they are considered foreigners by the Assamese
Citizenship and illegal migration are volatile issues
in the tea-growing, oil-rich Assam, home to more than 32 million people, about
one-third of whom are Muslims. In the Nellie massacre in 1983, around 2,000
Muslims were killed in a violent protest by a native Assamese group.
Hundreds of thousands of people fled to India from
Muslim-majority Bangladesh after it declared independence from Pakistan in
1971, setting off a nine-month civil war. Most of them settled in Assam and the
neighboring state of West Bengal where there are similar demands to send back
illegal Muslim immigrants.
Boycotting non-Muslim businesses bad for Malaysian
economy, says Perlis mufti
03 September 2019
BY THASHA JAYAMANOGARAN
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — While supportive of a campaign
to buy Muslim-made products first, Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin
has panned calls to boycott non-Muslim businesses.
The religious leader said the anti-Muslim campaign
does not help the Malaysian economy improve.
“Although there are significant anti-Muslim attitudes
especially among politicians, not all non-Muslims are like that.
“Some of them have good relations and have respect for
the Muslim community. Islam does not teach us to hate those who do not,” he
said in his Facebook page last night.
Asri said instead of such boycott, the campaign to
prioritise buying Muslim-made products is a better option as it helps the
“In other words, we put the effort in different ways
to strengthen the economy among ourselves,” he said.
He further pointed out that boycotts are going to be
tough as some key products required by Muslims are not produced by the Muslims
“Other parties should not see this campaign to buy
products from Muslims as a form of enmity. We are just merely trying to
strengthen our economy, just like how others are doing,” he said in his statement.
Calls for the boycott originated from the Islamic
Consumers Association of Malaysia’s suggestion to the Islamic Development
Department on August 23, when they said halal certificates should be issued in
the native language of the product’s manufacturers so that consumers can
identify if they are Muslim or otherwise.
Yesterday Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister
Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution said there has not been any reported effect of
the call to boycott halal products sold by non-Muslims.
He said none of the business associations he is in
contact with as minister had informed him of any noticeable impact from the
'Husband of Pak Sikh girl member of Saeed's JuD'
Sep 3, 2019
Jagjeet Kaur, the Pakistani Sikh girl who was
allegedly abducted, converted to Islam and married to a Muslim man, will
continue to stay at the Lahore-based Darul Uloom (an Islamic education centre
and shelter) for the next one week, even as her family and community
representatives are pressuring the Imran Khan government to send her home.
The girl couldn't be produced in court on Monday and
the court fixed September 9 for the next hearing of the case, Pakistan media
reports said. Jagjeet, who claims to be 19 years old, had married Muhammad
Hassan, reported to be a member of Mumbai terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led
Jamaat-ud-Dawa, on August 28. While her family has maintained that she was
kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam, the girl has said in court that she
embraced Islam and married Hassan on her own will. She also claimed that her
family had concocted the story of her abduction.
Sources said Sikh leaders were likely to hold a
meeting with Pakistan PM Imran Khan. "It's surprising Jagjeet was sent to
Darul Uloom, whose main objective is to spread education of the Quran, prepare
specialists in Islamic and modern studies, make students aware of Jamia Darul
Uloom Islamia, and prepare scholars to preach Islam," said the sources in
Hezbollah chief says ‘no more red lines’ against Israel
2 September 2019
Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader said on Monday that while a
flare-up with Israel at the border had ended, the episode had launched a “new
phase” in which the Iran-backed movement no longer has red lines.
In a televised speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said
the new focus, now in the hands of fighters in the field, would be on targeting
Israeli drones entering Lebanon’s skies.
“Yesterday, the resistance broke Israel’s biggest red
line in decades,” he said.
“In the past, when we were attacked, we responded in
the Shebaa Farms,” a disputed area along the Lebanon-Israel ceasefire line, he
“But yesterday, the response was across the frontier,”
within Israel’s internationally recognised borders, crossing what he said
Israel considers a red line.
Today, Nasrallah said, “there are no more red lines.”
The threat came after Hezbollah said Sunday its
fighters had “destroyed” a military vehicle on the road to the Avivim barracks
in northern Israel, killing or wounding those inside.
Israel’s army said it had responded with around 100
artillery shells after Hezbollah fired two or three anti-tank missiles at a
battalion headquarters and military ambulance, hitting both.
Israeli officials refuted claims of casualties.
Sunday’s exchange of fire over the Lebanese-Israeli
border came a week after Hezbollah accused Israel of carrying out a drone
attack on its southern Beirut stronghold.
On August 24, Israel also said it had carried out
strikes in Syria to avert an Iranian drone attack.
Hezbollah said those strikes killed two of its
On Monday, Nasrallah vowed to hit “deep inside
Israel,” and not just along the border, in case of a new Israeli attack.
“If you attack us, your borders, soldiers and
settlments -- including those on the border and those deep inside (Israel) --
will be threatened and targeted,” he said.
“If there is any aggression against Lebanon, there
will be no such thing as international borders.”
The Hezbollah leader said the “first phase” of the
response to last week’s Israeli attacks on Syria and Lebanon had ended.
But he said his group would target Israeli drones over
Lebanese air space.
UN official blasts Nigeria’s use of ‘lethal force’ on
Sep 3, 2019
A United Nations rapporteur strongly condemns Abuja’s
application of deadly violence against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on
extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, made the remarks in a report in
the country’s capital on Monday. She was presenting her findings after a
The official deplored the "arbitrary deprivation
of life" and the excessive use of lethal force in the case of processions
held by the IMN back in 2015, Reuters reported.
Nigeria’s military attacked the movement’s members
that year as they were holding religious processions, with Abuja alleging that
the Muslims had blocked a convoy of the country’s defense minister. The
movement has categorically rejected the allegation, and said the convoy had
intentionally crossed paths with the IMN’s members to whip up an excuse for
The military also raided the house of Sheikh Ibrahim
al-Zakzaki, the movement’s leader, at the time.
During the escalation, the 66-year-old was beaten and
lost his left eye. His wife sustained serious wounds, and three of his sons and
more than 300 of his followers were killed.
Callamard said a move by the government to ban the
group appeared be based on what the authorities thought the IMN could become
rather than its actions. She said she had not been presented with any evidence
to suggest the group was weaponized and posed a threat to the country.
On a general note, the official cautioned that
Nigeria's multiple security problems had come to create a crisis that required
urgent attention and could lead to instability in other African countries.
Callamard said the police and military had resorted to
an excessive use of deadly force across the West African country which,
combined with a lack of effective investigations and meaningful prosecution,
had caused a lack of accountability.
"The overall situation I have found is one of
extreme concern," she said, and finally warned that the country had turned
into a "pressure cooker of internal conflict."
Arab Parliament urges Honduras, Nauru to reconsider
Jerusalem al-Quds decisions
Sep 2, 2019
The Arab Parliament has called on Honduras and the
tiny Pacific Ocean island state of Nauru to reconsider their decisions on
recognizing occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel.
The speaker of the legislative body of the Arab
League, Mishaal bin Fahm al-Salami, on Monday, voiced “full rejection for
Honduras' decision to open a trade office with diplomatic status in al-Quds and
Nauru's recognition of the occupied city as the capital of Israel.”
“Such irresponsible decisions and measures blatantly
violate international law and are categorically rejected by the Arab peoples,”
Salami stressed in a statement.
The statement noted that any decision meant to change
the status quo of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds is “legally ineffective and
considered null and invalid.”
It called on the two countries to abide by the United
Nations resolutions concerning the historical and legal status of East
Honduras on Sunday opened a trade mission with
diplomatic status in Jerusalem al-Quds – a move the Latin American country’s
president said was a “first step” toward moving the embassy to the city.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez had said in
March that he would open a trade office in Jerusalem al-Quds, calling the city
“the capital of Israel.”
Late last month, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Expatriates said it would file a complaint at the United Nations
The ministry condemned the Honduran president’s
decision to inaugurate the diplomatic office in the disputed holy city as
“direct aggression against the Palestinian people and their rights, and a
flagrant violation of international law and resolutions.”
It said that it would ask Arab League member states to
condemn the move, and push for punitive measures against Honduras for disregard
of its obligations under Security Council resolutions, which condemn the
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital and slam the transfer of
embassies from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
The ministry noted that Palestinian officials would
also contact the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) General Secretariat
for the same purpose, and demand a trade boycott action against Honduras.
US President Donald Trump sparked controversy by
officially recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital in December
2017, before moving his country's embassy there from Tel Aviv in May 2018.
Guatemala and Paraguay later followed in Washington’s
footstep, before the latter reversed its decision after just four months.
Israel lays claim to the entire Jerusalem al-Quds, but
the international community views the city’s eastern sector as occupied
territory and Palestinians consider it the capital of their future state.
US reaches agreement with Taliban: US peace negotiator
Shadi Khan Saif
An agreement on paper has been reached in principle
with the Taliban, top U.S. peace negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Monday.
In an interview with Afghanistan's Tolo News, he said
the U.S. forces would vacate five military bases in Afghanistan in initial 135
days after signing of the deal.
He added the U.S. President Donald Trump will decide where
and at what level the deal will be signed between the officials from the two
sides i.e. Taliban and the U.S.
He added door has been opened for peace talks among
the Afghans after failure to win the war and intensified clashes.
Khalilzad said the return of the ''Emirate''
(Taliban's regime 1996 - 2001) is not acceptable to the U.S. and Washington
wants a government in Afghanistan formed through negotiations.
Over the weekend, the U.S. and Taliban announced to
have concluded the latest round of marathon peace talks in Doha, Qatar.
''We are at the threshold of an agreement [with the
Taliban]'', Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for
Afghanistan Reconciliation, said early Sunday morning as he left Doha for
''We are at the threshold of an agreement that will
reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an
honorable & sustainable peace and a unified, sovereign Afghanistan that
does not threaten the United States, its allies, or any other country'', the
Afghanistan-born seasoned U.S. diplomat tweeted on Sunday.
This comes days after the Taliban stormed Baghlan and
Kunduz provinces in the north killing over 200 people, mostly Taliban
militants, security forces and civilians in past two days, according to
Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in violence ahead of
this month’s presidential elections, which the Taliban insurgents oppose.
The U.S. envoy hinted the proposed intra-Afghan peace
talks might take place in Norway. Khalilzad said concerns remain surrounding
the elections, but the U.S. does not explicitly oppose holding the landmark
Don't decide Ayodhya case on Hindus' belief: Muslim
parties to SC
NEW DELHI: Contesting the claims of Hindu parties for
ownership of the 2.77 acre disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land in
Ayodhya, Muslim parties on Monday told the Supreme Court that the case could
not be decided on the basis of Hindus' belief and faith that Lord Ram was born
at the disputed site by glossing over recorded historical facts since 1934
about a 'living' mosque.
For the Muslim parties, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan
said the SC's decision in this case would have grave impact on the future of
India, its secularism and the secular character of the Constitution.
"What is to be determined and how in this case?
How will the court determine the exact location of Lord Ram's birthplace?"
he asked. Opening the arguments for Muslim parties on the 17th day of hearing
before a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y
Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, the senior advocate faulted an
observation from Justice Chandrachud that the court has to do a balancing act
while hearing this case.
Asserting that Muslims were rightful owners of the
disputed site, Dhavan said, "The entire secular structure of this country
will crumble if we do a balancing act in this case, as was said by Justice Chandrachud.
There are no Hindu motifs in Babri Masjid. Just because a peacock or a lotus
picture was found on some slab, does it mean it was a Hindu structure?
"In 1934, Hindus damaged the masjid. In 1949,
they trespassed into the masjid and placed idols inside it. In 1992, the Hindus
demolished it. Where do these facts stand for consideration before the Supreme
Court? Do we lose sight of contemporary historical facts and travel into faith
and belief to decide this case? And Hindus say their rights are to be
protected. Is it a Hindu Constitution that their rights would be protected
despite all these historical facts stacked against their claim?"
When the bench said there was no need to go into Hindu
Constitution as it was a secular Constitution, Dhavan said it was important to
discern certain things from the manner in which some Hindu parties had argued
their case. "It is important for the future of the country," he
He said the mosque was built on vacant land and
assailed the ASI report about evidence of a huge Hindu structure underneath the
demolished Babri Masjid. "The ASI dug 90 trenches and found some Hindu
structure dating back to several periods of history. This means these
structures belonged to several periods and which had become ruins. When the
mosque was built, it was over barren land. No definite conclusion about
pre-existence of Hindu structure at the site can be derived from the ASI
report," he added.
September 03, 2019
NEW DELHI: The Babri mosque was attacked in 1934 by
Hindus who then trespassed in 1949 and demolished it in 1992, Muslim parties
said in the Supreme Court on Monday. "Please do not go into all this. Your
arguments should be relevant to issues," the top court said in response to
A 5-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice
Ranjan Gogoi, which commenced hearing arguments from the Muslim side on 17th
day of the crucial proceedings, was told by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan that
the historical assertions and facts cannot be relied upon completely in
deciding the lawsuits.
"In 1934, you (Hindus) break the masjid and in
1949, you commit trespass and finally, in 1992, you demolish the mosque...and
after all the destructions, you say that the Britishers collaborated against
Hindus and now say that our right must be protected," said Mr Dhavan,
appearing for Sunni Waqf Board and one of the original litigants, M Siddiq.
Mr Dhavan said all these issues have been raised by
the other side and he should be allowed to respond as this hearing was related
to the "future of this country".
Senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for the
deity, also got up and said that Mr Dhavan should deal with the case of
plaintiff (Muslim parties).
"He is free to place his case, the way he wants
to," the CJI said.
Mr Dhavan told the bench, which also comprised
justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, that Justice SU
Khan, one of the three judges of Allahabad HC, had noted down that historical
fact cannot be the ground enough to decide the title.
"As far as title suit of civil nature is
concerned, there is no room of historical facts and sometimes, they will lead
to erroneous conclusions," Mr Dhavan said, quoting the HC verdict.
At the outset, Mr Dhavan referred to the issues which
he would address and said that it had been argued by the Hindu parties that
when Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the nature of regime change was ''Darul
Islam'' and in this form, the king does not automatically become the owner of
the entire state.
Then he said that it has been argued that only Hindu
law will apply in deciding the dispute and moreover the concept of
''Swayambhu'' (on its own) has been used to say that as Lord Ram appeared on
his own at the land.
"The question of ''Swayambhu'' does not arise,
because it was raised first time in 1989 when the suit was filed on behalf of
''Ram Lalla Virajman'' through a next friend," he said.
Full report at:
Sep 2, 2019
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court, which had decided to
conduct day-to-day hearing in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri
Masjid land dispute case, assured a counsel for Muslim parties on Monday that
it would grant him break on Friday to prepare arguments.
Senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Sunni Waqf
Board and one of the original litigants, M Siddiq, told a 5-judge Constitution
bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that he wanted to avail the mid-week
break, as promised, to prepare of the case.
"My lords had said that I could get a mid-week
break, can it be Wednesday," Dhavan said.
"Take it on Friday, it will be more
convenient," the bench, which commenced hearing arguments from the Muslim
side on 17th day of the crucial proceedings, told Dhavan.
At the outset, Dhavan expressed regrets for
"breaking decorum" of the court by objecting to the submissions of
some lawyers for the Hindu parties including senior advocate P N Mishra and
said that sometimes he has been "irritating".
On August 9, Dhavan had objected to the apex court's
decision to conduct day-to-day hearing in the case saying that it will be
"inhuman" and "practically impossible" for him to prepare
"We will continue day-to-day hearing as ordered
earlier," the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud,
Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, had said.
It had however assured Dhavan that it would consider
granting mid-week breaks to the senior lawyer if he needed them for preparing
September 3, 2019
Rejecting the Archeological Survey of India’s report
that there was a “massive structure” at the disputed site in Ayodhya and Hindu
motifs inside the Babri Masjid, the counsel for the mosque side on Monday told
the Supreme Court that there was no need to delve into distant history and what
was relevant was who had the title to the site when the sovereignty of the area
was passed on to the British.
“There was no massive structure at the site and no
Hindu motifs. Just because there is a peacock or lotus does not mean they are
Hindu,” Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the main appellant M
Siddiq, told a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India
Ranjan Gogoi. The bench also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud,
Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, is hearing appeals against the September 30, 2010
verdict of the Allahabad High court which ordered a three-way division of the
disputed 2.77 acres. The bench commenced hearing arguments from the mosque side
on the 17th day of the proceedings
Dhavan was referring to the arguments of the temple
side that the recovery of lotus and peacock motifs discounted the claim that it
was a mosque. “The Roman empire had every possible animal,” he said. Denying
that there was a massive structure at the site, the counsel pointed to flaws in
the methodology adopted by the ASI.
He also sought to contradict the claim that the
presence of a well at the site reinforced the temple’s case, saying “there were
no wells in the Vedic period”.
Disputing the argument that the presence of a
“parikrama route” around the structure could be considered as proof of a temple
in the middle, Dhavan said, “Parikrama (circumambulation) is not an Ashwamedha
sacrifice where a horse runs around and all that territory belongs to the king…
parikrama is only a form of worship, it is not a form of evidence”, and asked
“does a parikrama entitle you to actual title of the place?”
Dhavan said that it will create difficulties if
Hindu-Muslim issues were to be decided on the basis of such evidence given by
“The important question is with whom was the title of
the place when the sovereignty of this part of the country passed on to the
British,” the senior counsel said, adding there is proof that it was a mosque.
He contended that as far as a civil suit was concerned, there was no question
of relevance of historical facts, and if they were relied on, it would lead to
Dhavan argued that the judgment of Justice Sudhir
Agarwal of the Allahabad HC was based on “conjectures or preponderance of
probability”. “How do you do a preponderance of probability of historical
dates,” he asked, adding that “your Lordships (are) being urged to do guess
Referring to arguments that some foreign travellers
before the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had not mentioned the mosque in
their travelogues and that this was because it did not exist there at the time,
Dhavan said Marco Polo had not seen the Great Wall of China but this could not
be argued to contend that the wall did not exist.
Taking the court through the problems of relying on
what historians had said in support of the temple, Dhavan said, “Mughal
historians will have a different version” and asked “are we going to play
He said the court was being asked to draw a negative
reference from the fact that since one of the travellers had not seen the
mosque during Babar’s time, it must have been built during Aurangzeb’s reign.
At this, Justice Chandrachud pointed out that such an
argument not to rely on historical evidence would also affect his case, which
was built on the “positive case” that the Babri Masjid was built during Babar’s
time and the reference to inscriptions which were based on history.
Agreeing, Dhavan said there was no need to go into
such historical evidence and the only proof to be taken into account is from
1858. He claimed that Hindus followed ‘yuga’ and asked how that can help
The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear on Tuesday a
contempt plea filed by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who is representing
Muslim parties in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. He
claimed that he was threatened by a retired government officer for taking up the
Dhavan, who was represented by advocate Kapil Sibal in
court, was told by a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice
Ranjan Gogoi that his plea would be heard the next day.
“It will be listed for hearing tomorrow,” the bench,
which also includes justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A
Supreme Court lists for Tuesday a contempt plea by Sr
Adv Rajeev Dhavan alleging threats for representing the Muslim parties in the
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Dhavan, who represents lead petitioner M Siddiq and
the All India Sunni Waqf Board in the Ayodhya case, has said that he received a
letter on August 14, 2019, from N Shanmugam, a retired education officer,
threatening him for appearing for the Muslim parties.
He also alleged that he has been accosted both at home
and in the court premises by several people, news agency PTI reported.
Dhavan, in his plea, said that by sending the letter
the alleged contemnor has committed criminal contempt because “he is
intimidating a senior advocate who is appearing for a party/parties before the
apex court and discharging his duties as a senior advocate and he ought not to
have sent such a letter.”
SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir principal secretary Rohit
Kansal on Monday said that 90 per cent of the Valley was free of daytime
Addressing a press conference here, he said that on
the law and order front, out of 111 police stations in Kashmir, daytime
restrictions have been fully lifted from 92 police stations, up from 81 last
week, he said.
"This makes 90 per cent of the Valley free of
daytime restrictions of any kind," Kansal said.
"Jammu and Ladakh already continue to be free of
all such restrictions and in totality, we have 93 per cent of Jammu, Kashmir
and Ladakh free of any prohibitory orders today," the principal secretary
He said that over 26,000 landlines are functional in
SRINAGAR: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar
Abdullah's sister met him on Monday, the 29th day of his house arrest,
officials said, adding that some detained political leaders were now being
allowed visits by their families.
Safiya, whose father Farooq Abdullah is also under
house arrest, met her brother for the second time since August 5, when Jammu
and Kashmir's special status was revoked. Omar Abdullah's aunt Suraya Mattoo
has also met him, officials said.
As a host of political leaders continue to remain
under detention, Jammu and Kashmir's three former chief ministers Farooq and
Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti as well as others are now allowed brief visits
by their relatives in accordance with the jail manual, officials said.
Three-time chief minister Farooq Abdullah is under
house arrest at his Gupkar Road residence while his son Omar is confined to
Hari Niwas, a state guesthouse-turned into a jail, barely 500 metres away.
Mehbooba is in detention in a hut at Chashmeshahi near
the governor's residence Raj Bhavan.
On August 28, PDP chief Mehbooba's mother and sister
met her at Chashmeshahi where she has been in custody since the early hours of
August 5, when the Centre announced that Jammu and Kashmir's special status was
being abrogated and the state would be divided into two union territories.
Over the last week, the relatives of some of these
leaders have been allowed to meet them twice for roughly 15 minutes, officials
No details of the meetings were immediately available.
Mehbooba's daughter Iltija said she, too, has no news
of how the meetings went.
"My grandmother and aunt were allowed to visit my
mother only after I decided to speak to the media. What about the families of
those whose members have been jailed in Agra? Who will give them answers? Do
they not deserve to know?" she asked.
Since August 5, the government has shifted 140
persons, including rights activists, stone pelters and political activists in
various prisons in Uttar Pradesh.
For a month now, eight million people of her state
have been punished, Iltija told PTI over the phone. She refused to divulge her
The state has been cleaved and there is an
"unprecedented and oppressive clampdown", she said.
She said Kashmiris deserve answers from the government
about "when this siege will end instead of callous radio silence".
"If former chief ministers and elected
representatives are being treated in this manner, one shudders to think about
the plight of party workers who at the cost of their lives ensured democracy
germinated in the valley," Iltija said.
There is no official word about how many politicians
have been detained. But about 60 top-rung politicians belonging to all
political parties except the BJP are believed to be in detention in
guesthouses, their homes and hotels which have converted into jails and also in
prisons both within the state and outside. Another 400 political activists are
also said to be in preventive detention.
NEW DELHI: CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on
Monday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court giving details of his August 29
Kashmir visit during which he met his ailing colleague Yusuf Tarigami, party
The affidavit was submitted in the court in a sealed
The apex court had permitted Yechury to go meet
Tarigami, a four-time former MLA, after he filed a habeas corpus petition.
Sources said the affidavit gives details of Tarigami's
health condition and stresses on the need for him to visit AIIMS, where he was
being treated. It also talks about the situation in Kashmir which has been
under heavy security cover since August 5, when the government abrogated the
state's special status under Article 370.
Yechury had attempted to visit Tarigami twice earlier,
only to be forced to return from Srinagar airport.
AMRITSAR: The Indian and Pakistani delegations are
scheduled to hold the third round of discussions at Attari international border
on Wednesday to finalise the remaining modalities for the visit of pilgrims to
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Sahib, Pakistan from Dera Baba Nanak in
Gurdaspur district of India through the under-construction Kartarpur corridor.
The talks hold significance not just because they come
on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, but also as the tension
between two the countries is at its peak after the abrogation of the special
status given to Jammu & Kashmir by New Delhi.
Earlier on August 30, technical experts of both the
countries had held a meeting at Dera Baba Nanak. The meeting had concluded
hurriedly as the Pakistan delegation was to observe the 'Kashmir Hour' on its
Sources said various issues, including the process of
issuance of permits by Pakistan, final figure on the number of pilgrims who
could travel across the border, travel timing, pilgrimage on foot, security
issues and the amount of cash devotees could carry to Pakistan would be given
"We need to reassure that Pakistan will desist
from Khalistan propaganda and keep the anti-India and pro-Khalistan elements at
a bay and also not incite pilgrims with vitriolic attack against Kashmir and
Punjab," sources said.
NEW DELHI: As it prepares to take on Pakistan at the
UN Human Rights Council over its allegations of human rights violations in
J&K, India is also bracing itself for an imminent attack by Islamabad over
Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) .
India expects Pakistan to use the exclusion of 19 lakh
Assam residents from the NRC as fodder for its propaganda about Modi
government's "communal bias", and is prepared to rebut what it calls
Pakistani leaders, including its PM Imran Khan, have
already enlisted NRC as a prop for the bellicose rhetoric unleashed against
India in the wake of the decisions on J&K, and government sources here
reckon that the effort will move into top gear at the 42nd session of the HRC
slated for September 9-27.
Sources said India, which has decided to augment its
presence at the HRC, plans to rebut Pakistan's likely effort to raise NRC
exclusions to accuse India of anti-Muslim bias by pointing out that the Supreme
Court, and not the government of the day, was the principal driver for the NRC
exercise. "This is not an executive-driven process. The process is being
monitored by the Supreme Court of India directly. It has set the deadlines for
all steps that have been taken so far," said a source familiar with
preparations for the looming showdown with Pakistan.
Officials also stressed that NRC flowed from the Assam
Accord signed in 1985 between the government of India, the state government of
Assam, the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and All Assam Gan Sangram Parishad
in response to the "anti-foreigner" upsurge. "The fact is that you
have more Hindu organisations protesting against NRC than Muslim bodies. But
since it is inconvenient for them, Pakistan will seek to shove it under the
carpet at the HRC session," a source said .
" At this stage, this implies that a total of
some 33 million cases have been considered, with a total of 1.90 million people
not having been included in the final list. From a preliminary assessment, it
seems that the ratio of excluded persons are as per the proportion of different
communities in the overall population," the source added .
Officials also said those who don't figure in the NRC
published on August 31 have not been rendered "stateless" or
"foreigner". The law empowers them to appeal their exclusions within
120 days before tribunals. Two hundred tribunals have been added to the
existing 100, and the Assam government plans to set up 200 more by December .
September 3, 2019
A day after India stalled Pakistan’s attempt to rake
up the Kashmir issue at the South Asian Speakers’ Summit in the Maldives, the
Male Declaration, adopted at the meeting on Monday, ignored all assertions made
by Islamabad on the matter.
“The South Asian Speakers’ Summit, while adopting the
Male Declaration, overlooked all assertions made by the Pakistani parliamentary
delegation,” sources in the Lok Sabha Secretariat said. The summit “unanimously”
felt Kashmir was India’s “internal matter”, they said.
Before finalising the declaration, speakers held a
roundtable on Monday on the concluding day. All efforts of the Pakistan
delegation to get even a passing reference to Kashmir issue finding a mention
in the declaration drew a nought, said sources. Besides Kashmir, Pakistan’s
reference to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) also could not find a
place in Male Declaration, sources said.
The meeting, held in the Maldivian Parliament, Majlis,
had witnessed a heated exchange between representatives of India and Pakistan.
Qasim Suri, Deputy Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly, tried to raise
the Kashmir issue during a discussion on Sustainable Development Goals. India
immediately raised a point of order and the presiding officer asked Suri to let
the Indian representative, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, speak.
However, Suri did not yield, leading to a commotion.
Harivansh then hit out at Pakistan for raising India’s
“internal matter” at the forum and criticised Islamabad for its “bid to
politicise the multi-lateral forum”. Sources said that India’s position was
prominently reflected in the declaration, which resolved to work collectively
for the promotion of equality at work, equal remuneration and creation of jobs
for youths. The declaration also accepted India’s views regarding food safety,
nutrition and maternal, child and adolescent health in the Asia Pacific region.
On the sidelines of the summit, Lok Sabha Speaker Om
Birla held bilateral talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Wangchuk Namgyel.
India’s Charge d’Affaires in Pakistan Gaurav Ahluwalia
met Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan on Monday after the
government accepted Islamabad’s consular access offer.
On the face of it though, the meeting proved to be of
little use with a visibly harried Jadhav, as MEA said in a statement, parroting
a false narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims.
This was Jadhav’s first meeting with any Indian
government official after his arrest in March 2016.
Like in his meeting with his mother and wife in 2017,
Jadhav’s remarks seemed tutored and meant to buttress Pakistan’s narrative that
he was a serving Indian navy officer out to carry out terrorist activities in
The meeting took place in the presence of Pakistani
officials and was also recorded. Both sides though seemed restrained in their
statements later, looking perhaps to avoid the ugly spat witnessed after
Jadhav’s meeting with his family.
India had earlier told Pakistan in a note verbale, as
reported by ToI on August 4, that it wanted Islamabad’s failure to provide
Jadhav consular access before his trial "remedied" in the form of
"private" access. India saw access only in private as fulfilling the
mandate of ICJ judgment which held Pakistan guilty of violating Vienna Convention
on Consular Relations by denying Jadhav consular access.
"While we await a comprehensive report, it was
clear that Shri Jadhav appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false
narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims. We will decide a further
course of action after receiving a detailed report from our Cd’A and
determining the extent of conformity to the ICJ directives," said MEA
spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Foreign minister S Jaishankar also spoken to Jadhav’s
the mother and briefed her about the developments on Monday.
The meeting happened at a sub jail on the outskirts of
Islamabad, starting 1200 hours, and lasted for close to 2 hours.
Pakistan foreign office said there was, on Indian
request, no restriction on the language used for communication. Pakistan had in
2017 prevented Jadhav’s wife from talking to him in Marathi. Pakistan also
claimed it had provided India "unimpeded and uninterrupted" consular
access to Jadhav.
The government said consular access was a part of the
binding obligations of Pakistan, as ordered by the ICJ, to ensure effective
review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence awarded to Jadhav
through a farcical process.
"The government remains committed to continue to
work towards ensuring that Shri Jadhav receives justice at the earliest and
returns safely to India," said Kumar.
When asked why India had accepted Pakistan’s
"offer" after having earlier rejected it because of conditions
imposed by Islamabad, sources here said the meeting was important also to gauge
the health and well-being of Jadhav. India clearly doesn’t see the meeting on
Monday as a one-off thing with officials suggesting India could again ask for
Pakistan claimed the meeting was recorded to ensure
``transparency’’ and that it was ``in line with standard operating
procedures’’. In its first consular access offer, which India had rejected,
Pakistan had cited jail manuals to deny India permission to speak to Jadhav in
private. India though had responded by saying that jail manuals only deal with
regular consular access and not remedial access which the ICJ judgement had
NEW DELHI: As the US and the Taliban close in on a
deal, India on Monday said it has always supported a peace settlement in
Afghanistan which will ensure stability and not leave ungoverned spaces for
terrorists or their proxies to take advantage of.
Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, while briefing the
media on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Russia this week, said that
both India and Russia believe that whatever the outcome of the discussions
between the US and the Taliban is, they hope to see a stable political
India and Russia want to see a situation in
Afghanistan where there is political order and where the peace agreement or the
post-agreement process will hold.
"By and large, we have been on the same page with
Russia on the issue. We are in touch with each other," he said.
On what sort of representatives India would send if
invited for talks on Afghanistan, Gokhale said he does not want to speculate on
Asked if India and Russia feel the US-Taliban talks
were legitimate considering the government was not part of negotiations,
Gokhale said: "We support all peace initiatives. We have been a part of
all of them and in some cases when we were not part of them initially we have
been supportive of them."
"Our issue has been what is the post-settlement
situation. In that regard, our situation has been clear, we support a system
which has constitutional legitimacy, which has a political mandate, which will
ensure stability and most importantly not leave ungoverned spaces for
terrorists or their proxies to take advantage of," he said.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy leading efforts to
forge a deal with the Taliban, has spent about a year meeting with the Taliban
in Doha in a series of talks aimed at ending America's 18-year-old war in
September 2, 2019
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that
Pakistan openly practices terrorism and there is no scope for negotiations
until Islamabad stops financing and recruitment of militant groups. Jaishankar,
in an interview with POLITICO, was responding to questions on an op-ed written
by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Khan in his New York Times column had said that it was
urgent to begin discussions while a “nuclear shadow” hovers over South Asia.
Responding to the call, Jaishankar said that the idea was a nonstarter while
Pakistan “openly practices terrorism”.
“Terrorism is not something that is being conducted in
dark corners of Pakistan. It’s done in broad daylight,” Jaishankar was quoted
as saying. The relations between the two countries have been at an all-time low
since the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed following which
India launched an airstrike deep inside Pakistan and attacked terror camps.
Responding to the situation in Kashmir, the minister
said the security restrictions across the Valley would be eased in the “coming
days”. He said the internet and telephone outages were needed to stop the
activation of “terrorist assets” and to prevent “people who are doing violence
to contact each other”.
“How do I cut off communications between the
terrorists and their masters on the one hand, but keep the internet open for
other people? I would be delighted to know,” Jaishankar said. “I would suggest
to you that in the coming days you will see an easing up progressively,” he
Pakistan has been trying to raise the issue at various
international fora, but India has maintained that it is an internal matter and has
asked Islamabad to accept the reality.
Meanwhile, talking about India’s relations with US
President Donald Trump, Jaishankar broached the challenges posed by a potential
tariff war, India’s interest in resuming purchases of Iranian oil and US
reservations about India’s acquisition of S-400 surface-to-air missiles.
Discussing Trump’s increasingly hard stance on Indian tariffs, the minister
said, “Like any relationship, there’s give and take…Our expectation is that our
trade ministers will sit down in the near future. I think many of these issues
are eminently [open] to resolution.”
UK prime minister Boris Johnson was behind the largest
spike in anti-Muslim hate crime in 2018 after he compared women wearing the
veil to “bank robbers”, according to new figures released on Monday.
Islamophobia monitoring group Tell Mama said
anti-Muslim incidents increased by 375 per cent in a week after Mr Johnson
likened women wearing burqas and niqabs to criminals and “letterboxes”.
The majority of the victims of the anti-Muslim abuse,
which increased from eight to 38 in a week, were women wearing headscarves, it
Mr Johnson’s comments sparked an internal party
investigation carried out by a panel of lawyers which cleared him of breaching
He had used the column to argue against the banning of
headscarves, a move taken in European countries including Denmark, France and
Belgium. Mr Johnson described the outcry at his comments as “confected
The spike in incidents reported to Tell Mama, a
respected monitoring group which also receives data from dozens of police
forces, was greater than the increased threats that accompanied a high-profile
Islamophobic campaign dubbed ‘Punish a Muslim Day’.
David Parnham, a white supremacist responsible for
hundreds of racist letters, sent out notes offering awards for attacks on
people and mosques and had urged a day of action in April last year. He was
arrested after the day passed without major incident and he pleaded guilty in
court to charges including soliciting murder.
Tell Mama said it had received nearly 3,000 verified
and police reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2018. Fewer than a third of
the threats it investigated were made online.
The total number of incidents were down from 2017 when
the UK was struck by five terrorist attacks, four by Muslim radicals and one by
a right-wing extremist, which left 36 people dead.
But the report said that its findings showed that a
more general intolerance and hatred of Muslims was growing in the UK.
“Islamophobia is becoming normalised,” said Iman Atta,
director of Tell Mama. “Role models should be careful for their words embolden
others to use their words believing they are not going to be caught.”
The group said that 24 cases of anti-Muslim hate crime
recorded in less than four weeks in August 2018 directly referenced Mr Johnson
or the words he used.
He had written: “If you say that it is weird and
bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree… I would go
further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to
go around looking like letter boxes.
He added: “If a constituent came to my MP’s surgery
with her face obscured, I should feel fully entitled… to ask her to remove it
so that I could talk to her properly. If a female student turned up at school
or at a university lecture looking like a bank robber then ditto.”
Mr Johnson’s column was published in The Daily
Telegraph newspaper a month after he quit as foreign secretary over the Brexit
strategy of Theresa May, who quit this year after failing to persuade MPs of
the deal she had struck with the European Union.
Mr Johnson succeeded her in July with a vow to leave
the EU by the end of October. Critics had pointed to his history of
controversial comments during the leadership campaign but he was carried to
power with the support of members of the right-of-centre Conservative Party.
His comments fuelled debate about Islamophobia within
the ruling party. The foremost contenders for the leadership had agreed in a
televised debate to set up an external inquiry into the issue if they became
The party has said since Mr Johnson took over that it
would hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia but only after the party
agreed a definition of what that meant.
A government statement did not address the spike in
activity linked to Mr Johnson by Tell Mama. Communities Secretary Robert
Jenrick said: “I am utterly appalled by hatred aimed at Muslims in Britain or
at those of any faith, and I am determined to tackle it.”
AMMAN: In an exclusive interview with Arab News, the
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom revealed that she has “new ideas” for
ways to solve the war in Yemen.
“I think we have come up with some new ideas. We have
shared some of our impressions and we have been talking to different actors,
and so I think we will be even tougher in stopping the war. We have to protect
children who are dying, and stop the immense suffering that is taking place,”
Wallstrom is on a tour of the UAE, Saudi Arabia,
Jordan and Oman, and hopes to speak to all actors in the Yemeni conflict. “We
have to make sure that there are discussions on what is happening, to continue
the implementation of agreements, and to work with all actors. We have to stop
this war. We have to ease the suffering of those that need humanitarian help.”
She also told Arab News that she hopes to talk to as
many countries as possible during the upcoming UN General Assembly to convince
them to support the UN Refugee Agency (UNRWA), which has a $150 million deficit
this year, due in part to the US’s decision to defund the agency providing
humanitarian aid to Palestinians.
“We have to raise the money. We will make every effort
to do that, especially at the UN General Assembly, and we will insist on
funding for the UNRWA.
“It is a constant problem — every year we do this and
we will continue to do it. We would like to see a long-term political solution
and to make sure that there is financing for refugees, because it is vital for
millions of Palestinians.”
She also reaffirmed her support for the rights of
Palestinians in the face of Israeli moves to annex further parts of the West
“Sweden recognized Palestine because we want to push
for the two-state solution, we want to give hope to the people in Palestine and
Palestinians everywhere. We want to make sure that we help Palestinians to
fulfill their role in the two-state solution.
“We hope that we can share our experience. It would be
helpful, too, if other countries would follow suit and recognize Palestine.”
Wallstrom played a role in drawing up the 2018
Stockholm agreement, the deal based around the port city of Hodeidah which, it
had been hoped, would secure a ceasefire between Arab coalition-backed Yemeni
forces and Houthi rebel militias in the area. That, though, has been
complicated by subsequent events, with the Houthis taking the capital city of
Aden in August.
“What has been happening in Aden has exasperated the
situation — it has shown us the need for a solution. I think we have to act on
several tracks right now. We have to make sure that there are discussions on what
happened to continue the implementation of pre-existing agreements, and it is
also important to work with all actors to achieve this.
The International Criminal Court has ordered its
prosecutor to reconsider laying charges against Israel for a 2010 raid on a
flotilla carrying aid to Gaza that killed 10 Turkish citizens.
"The prosecutor is directed to reconsider her
decision by December 2, 2019,” presiding appeals judge Solomy Balungi Bossa
told the court on Monday.
The Mavi Marmara was among eight ships trying to break
Israel's naval blockade of Gaza on May 31, 2010, when it was boarded by Israeli
marines in international waters.
They killed nine Turkish men and another died four
years later in hospital.
A 2010 UN Human Rights Council report found that the
Israelis used "an unacceptable level of brutality" and broke international
laws in the operation.
After the killings, relations between Turkey and
Israel fell apart but were mended in secret talks years later.
Israel offered an apology over the raid in 2013, gave
permission for Turkish aid to reach Gaza through Israeli ports and in 2016 paid
$20 million (Dh73.4m) to the families of those killed.
A legal team representing Comoros, where the Mavi
Marmara was registered, took legal action against the Israeli government to the
ICC in May 2013.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in 2014 that she would
not prosecute Israel over the incident because it was "not of sufficient
That meant the case could be determined as
inadmissible before the ICC.
Ms Bensouda reaffirmed the decision in 2017 after
judges said she must take another look at the case.
Although she has again been asked to reconsider, she
retains the ultimate decision as to whether or not to initiate an
But Ms Bensouda was not spared criticism by her ICC
colleagues, who said she incorrectly assumed that she could disagree with the
legal terms set out by pre-trial judges when making her decision.
"The unfortunate language used by the prosecutor
to express her disagreement demonstrates that she was entirely misinformed as
to what was required of her," appeals judges said on Monday.
Ms Bensouda, who is due to step down as ICC prosecutor
in 2021, has faced criticism in recent months after other cases collapsed.
Stoke White, the law firm representing Comoros, said
Ms Bensouda should "waste no further time in opening an official and full
investigation to get to the truth of Israel's actions".
"Victims have renewed hope that the ICC will
deliver justice and accountability," the company said.
Gulden Sonmez, acting on behalf of the Comoros, said
the ICC Appeals Chamber had made a strong decision, and he urged the public not
to forget the plight of blockaded Palestinians in Gaza.
“Mavi Marmara lawsuits are a necessary challenge in
the field of law,” Ms Sonmez wrote on Twitter.
“But let us not forget that the deadly blockade of
Gaza and the Palestinian occupation continues.”
Dr Christine Schwobel-Patel, associate professor at
Warwick Law School, said: "One of the main issues at play here is the
squabbling between the organs of the ICC, mediated through different parties.
"The office of the prosecutor and the judicial
divisions have been engaged in power struggles from day one.
"This squabbling does not only look bad for a
court losing legitimacy because of its alleged anti-African bias and inability
to see cases through the system in a timely and fair manner.
"More importantly, this is problematic for the
victims of the situations. Their hopes rise and fall with this back and forth
Dr Schwobel-Patel said that politics was also at play
in the flotilla dispute, seeing it as an invitation for the ICC to consider the
Palestine-Israel conflict "by using this incident as a springboard".
"However, those who are hopeful in this regard,
particularly pro-Palestinian activists, are knocking at the wrong door,"
"The ICC has shown very little appetite to oppose
Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik gets go-ahead to
visit Malaysia mosque, but not to give speech
Controversial preacher Zakir Naik will not be allowed
to give a ceramah during his visit to Masjid Cina in Krubong, Malaysia says the
state’s top cop.
Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Raja Shahrom Raja Abdullah said
Zakir was expected to attend the “A Night of Islamic Unity” event and that
police had no objection.
“Our officers will be present to monitor the situation
closely and safeguard public safety.
“We will ensure that the decision of Chief Minister
(Adly Zahari) to bar Zakir from giving any speech in the state is adhered to, ”
DCP Raja Shahrom said in order for Zakir to speak,
approval must first be obtained from the state Islamic Religious Department.
“We only gave the green light for Zakir to join the
prayers, ” he said.
Zakir is scheduled to attend the event at Masjid Cina
on Sept 7 under the invitation from Melaka Industry, Trade and Investment
Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen, who is also the mosque
Mohd Rafiq said Zakir would be attending the prayers,
but there would be no ceramah.
Last month, Adly said they would not allow Zakir to
speak in the state.
The invitation had ruffled feathers among several
state executive councillors.
State Communications, Multimedia, Youth and Sports
Development Committee chairman Kerk Chee Yee said the invitation was tantamount
to dishonouring Adly’s earlier decision to bar the controversial speaker in
Kerk said Zakir was a controversial figure to many
Malaysians and that the state government’s decision to uphold unity should be
respected.State Agriculture, Agro-based Industries, Entrepreneur Development
and Cooperatives Committee chairman Norhizam Hassan Baktee said the decision
was to protect the sanctity of Islam and prevent politicians from making use of
Zakir to gain popularity.
Stop depending on handouts, start being industrious,
PM tells Muslims
02 September 2019
PHNOM PENH, Sept 2 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today
urged Muslims to do away with the mentality of depending on others for aid and
The Malaysian prime minister said Muslims must
constantly strive to be industrious, honest and efficient to enhance their
“It is very sad when we find Muslims everywhere mired
in poverty and dependant on aid from others. Why? That is because they do not
make enough effort.
“We know that when we own a trade or have a job, we do
not have to rely on others.
“However, what we are seeing is the opposite we have
the intelligence and the skills but we are not taking advantage of them. That
is why we have to return to the foundations of Islam,” the premier said.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir received a courtesy call from
Cambodian Muslim leader cum Senior Minister-in-charge of Islamic Affairs, Datuk
The prime minister, accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr
Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, arrived in Phnom Penh today for a three-day official
visit to Cambodia after 25 years at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart
At the same event, Dr Mahathir was honoured with the
Muslim Exemplary Leadership award by the Cambodian Muslim Community in
recognition of Malaysia’s role in assisting the Muslims in the country.
BY JERRY CHOONG
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Domestic Trade and Consumer
Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution said there has not been any
reported effect of the call to boycott halal products sold by non-Muslims.
He said none of the business associations he is
contact with as minister has informed him of any noticeable impact from the
“So far they have not indicated that the boycott is
affecting them,” Saifuddin said after officiating the closing ceremony of the
i-Keep Sales Carnival in Pantai Dalam.
He expressed his disapproval of the boycott, saying
harmony was vital to Malaysia as a multiracial, multicultural, and
“This is especially when it comes to economic
dealings, and over matters of national prosperity.
“We should understand, respect and support one
another. So if there are campaigns such as this, it becomes more difficult to
uphold these values,” Saifuddin said.
He added social interdependency meant the best
solutions were those that benefited all.
BY EMMANUEL SANTA MARIA CHIN
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Umno deputy president Datuk
Seri Mohamad Hasan today said the nation is in need of a new ‘Malaysia
Narrative’, but stressed that it should prioritise and recognise Malay-Muslims
as the majority race in the country.
Mohamad, fondly known as Tok Mat, also suggested a
step towards reinforcing and reimplementing the National Culture Policy of 1971
which listed Bumiputera culture and Islam as the main driving force for the
“First, we cannot deny that there should be a
construction of a new ‘Malaysia Narrative’. But it must not forgo the fact that
the Malay-Muslims, as the majority race in the country should be given
“This is done, as mentioned earlier, not to segregate
and degrade other citizens to a lower class or strata. But to ensure stability
and peace for all in Malaysia’s plural society,” he said in a statement posted
on his Facebook page.
He pointed out three main principles within the
National Culture Policy that should be understood and adhered to when forming
this national culture, starting with the need for it to be based on the
indigenous cultures of this region.
The policy also deems elements from other cultures to
be accepted as part of the national culture if suitable, and for Islam to be
maintained and recognised as an important component in the formulation of this
“Therefore, politicians and civil societies alike
should take the National Culture Policy as the basis for advocating the ideals
of a nation that are well received by all Malaysians.
“The rise of extreme racial and religious tones in
Malaysia’s political sphere has shown that any construction or deconstruction
of the ‘Malaysia Narrative’ must be in tandem with the aspirations of the
Malay-Muslim population in Malaysia.
“This Merdeka is not meaningless. This Merdeka is for
us to acknowledge the fact that the politics of race and religion have always
played a huge and significant part in Malaysia’s political discourse, and that
they are critical in carrying forward the interests of different ethnicities,”
he said in his post.
The statement by Mohamad was partially in response to
a recent article by academic Professor Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi, whose piece “A
meaningless Merdeka” accused the Malay-Muslim community of potentially driving
the nation into the ground and towards the path of irrelevancy.
The strongly-worded article by the professor had made
veiled references that condemned the marriage between Umno and PAS.
He also pointed out the importance of politicians
recognising their duty to make sure extreme narratives and rhetoric never
supersede the interests of Malaysia.
Mohamad also suggested a three-pronged approach to
addressing the nation’s current issues.
“First, is the active involvement of true and
knowledgeable scholars and not pseudo-intellectuals (who think that their
opinions alone matter) in nation-building and reform.
“Second, is the awareness of politicians from all
political backgrounds to put forward principles of integrity and accountability
above everything else, in their everyday conduct, both in the personal and
public spheres of life.
“This is to ensure that they are trusted based on
merit as well as good morals, and not by political rhetoric and personal
MANILA: The interim chief minister of the Bangsamoro
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Murad Ibrahim, told Arab News on
Monday that he was encouraging the international business community to consider
investing in the newly established region
The BARMM is the new regional and political entity
established under a peace agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) and the Philippines government early this year.
It is designed to provide enhanced self-governance to
the Muslim-majority provinces. “It is very important for investors to come, in
order to create job opportunities and also for the international community to
see that something is happening on the ground,” Murad said.
In an interview conducted at his office in Cotabato
City, Murad told Arab News that plans were afoot to hold an investors’ forum.
“We are just finalizing our development plan.”
When questioned on how they would lure foreign
businesses to invest in the region, Murad said that there is now relative peace
in the region. “In fact, gradually many investors are now coming here to visit.
So, I think it’s because of the situation, we now have relative peace in the
area and they’ve also seen the conduct and turn out of the plebiscite (last
January). There was overwhelming support from the people,” he said.
Murad also cited the decommissioning of an estimated
40,000 former Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) combatants, the military
wing of the MILF, which he also chaired. The process will allow the smooth
transition of BIAF members to civilian life.
“All of this sends the signal that the situation here
is improving,” he stressed, adding that a recent meeting with an official from
a Saudi delegation to the region had given him great encouragement.
“He gave his commitment that he will help convince the
business community in Saudi Arabia to try to invest in the BARRM. He even asked
for our development plan so he can present it to them,” Murad said.
“I could see they are really interested, especially
given Saudi shortages of animal feeds. They need suppliers and they’re looking
at us as a possible source. We have the potential to produce halal food, too so
we can supply halal products as well.”
Last month, Murad led officials at a meeting with
Malaysian representatives to discuss the possibility of strengthening
development ventures between Malaysia and the BARMM.
Lawyer Wencelito Andanar, Malacañang’s special envoy
to Malaysia, accompanied the Malaysian delegation comprising the Malaysian Embassy’s
Charge D’Affaires Rizany Irwan Muhammad and Assistant Trade Councilor Irvin
Francis, as well as officials of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
headed by its president, Edward Ling in the two-day visit to Cotabato City.
Murad cited the importance of the meeting, which he
said could “elevate the strategic partnership between BARMM and Malaysia from
being peace partners to being development partners.”
MALE: A local extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda was
responsible for the murder of three prominent Maldivians, including a
journalist missing for more than five years, an independent commission in the Indian
Ocean island republic has found.
The Presidential Commission on Investigation of
Murders and Enforced Disappearances said Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, a reporter with
the independent Minivan News website, was abducted on Aug 8, 2014 and murdered
Husnu Al-Suood, the president of the commission, which
was recently established by the Maldives government, told reporters in the
capital Male late Sunday that the reporter popularly known as Rilwan received
death threats from the group operating under the name Bilad-al-Sham on
Al-Suood said the group was also responsible for the
assassination of a moderate legislator in 2012 and liberal blogger Yameen
Rasheed in 2017, and the attempted murder of another liberal blogger in 2012.
Rilwan’s disappearance sparked international concern,
with the UN and rights organisations pressing then strongman president Abdulla
Yameen to look into his case and ensure the safety of independent journalists.
The commission said Yameen’s government covered up his
murder in the otherwise peaceful Indian Ocean archipelago known for its luxury
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on
Monday said his country would neither use nuclear weapons first nor initiate
any military action against India in the wake of New Delhi's scrapping of special
status to Jammu & Kashmir.
"We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these
tensions increase, the world could be in danger," Khan said while
addressing the first International Sikh convention, arranged at Governor House
in Lahore. "There will be no first from our side ever," he added.
Denouncing the idea of war, Khan said: "I do not
believe that war can solve any problem. Whoever thinks that it can is not
sensible. He has not read world history. If you solve one problem by waging
war, you create four more." "Everyone who has tried to solve problems
by waging war has lost, even in victory. It takes years for a country to
recover from the losses inflicted by war," he added.
Khan, however, said that he will continue to raise his
voice for the residents of J&K. "No one who has any humanity left (in
them) can tolerate the current situation in Kashmir. We can never accept that
you place eight million people under lockdown for 27 days and cut off all
communication. I would have raised my voice even if they (Kashmiris) were
non-Muslims," he told the members of the Sikh community.
Khan reiterated that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was
following a "totalitarian and racist ideology" that was against the
teachings of any religion. "The direction in which RSS is taking India has
no place for any minority. Whatever is happening with Muslims right now in
India will not stop here. If they (the BJP government) are not stopped, they
will come after the Dalits; they will one day come after the Sikhs," he
LAHORE: The recent incidents of deaths in police
custody have brought about embarrassment for the police high-ups when a suspect
died in Rahim Yar Khan and another in Lahore.
The incidents occurred despite the fact that Inspector
General of Punjab retired Capt Arif Nawaz Khan had issued clear instructions to
all the field officers that “no officer will be spared if such crime was
reported in any part of the province”.
For the purpose, he had paid surprise visits to some
police stations of Punjab.
Earlier, he had also given his policy guideline in
this respect to all the regional police officers (RPOs), district police
officers (DPOs), city police officers (CPOs) and the Lahore capital city police
officer (CCPO). However, despite all efforts, the incidents of torture of
suspects in police custody continued to surface, bringing bad name to the
According to a handout issued on Monday, the IGP
Punjab expressed his displeasure over the incident of custodial death of
Salahuddin Ayubi in Rahim Yar Khan. He had got viral for his video recorded in
an ATM machine before his arrest.
While addressing a video link conference at Central
Police Office, Mr Khan directed the Bahawalpur RPO to conduct a detailed
inquiry into the death of the suspect, ensuring strict departmental and legal
action against the persons responsible. He said that in case of custodial death
or torture, the circle officer would also be held accountable.
In Lahore, a middle-aged man, Amjad Ali, had breathed
his last late on Sunday at a local hospital of Lahore due to alleged torture by
the Gujjarpura police in an illegal torture cell unearthed some days back.
The torture cell was detected in a building of the
forest department where nine suspects, including Amjad, were illegally kept by
the police for ‘interrogation’. Most of them were brought there on the basis of
allegations and the station house officer of Gujjarpura Police Station and his
three other subordinates used to allegedly torture them. The footages later
went viral on social media showing Amjad lying on a charpoy in critical
condition after the police officials used third-degree torture which led to
fracture of his backbone.
As per the video clips, Amjad revealed he couldn’t
even move due to fracture he had suffered during the brutal torture by the
police who had picked up him from his home. He also alleged that the raiding
policemen had misbehaved with his family, took away cash and valuables from his
home and locked him in the building of the forest department.
As the video reached the police high-ups, they ordered
an inquiry which was carried out initially by a superintendent of police and
then another senior police officer.
In both the inquiries, the SHO and other policemen
were found guilty of charges leveled by all the nine people locked in the
private torture cell. They later suspended from service. However, the issue
again came to the limelight on Sunday night when Amjad died during his
treatment at hospital.
The Lahore police high-ups claimed that he had died of
a cardiac arrest. However, a murder case was lodged over the incident
nominating three policemen for torture of Amjad that led to his death.
During the video link conference, IGP Khan said
lock-up should be used for safe custody of the suspects and accused and it was
the responsibility of police to provide them with good and timely medical care
and in case of any laxity in this regard action would be taken against those
During the conference, Mr Arif Nawaz directed the
senior police officers to specially inspect the lock-ups, record videos during
their surprise visits to the police stations and in case of any violation of
the SOP, take strict action without any delay.
He also issued instructions about the security
arrangements regarding Muharram, saying that the DPOs should personally monitor
the security arrangements of A category processions in sensitive districts of
He said the snipers should also be deployed on the
rooftops on the buildings in the vicinity of sensitive Majalis. He directed the
officials to utilise the drone cameras for security of A category processions
and their routes for 9th and 10th Muharram.
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
has asked the rulers to resign in the national interest, alleging that the
government’s “record financial blunders” have pushed the country’s economy into
the red zone, one step away from irreversible bankruptcy, which will result in
total surrender of Pakistan’s sovereignty and its strategic assets.
Speaking at a news conference at the National Press
Club here on Monday, PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal, information secretary
Marriyum Aurangzeb and former Sindh governor Mohammad Zubair alleged that
instead of addressing this alarming disaster in waiting, the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was busy victimising political opponents through false
corruption cases only to divert public attention.
Mr Iqbal pointed out that growth rate, fiscal deficit
and inflation were key areas and the PTI had not only failed to sustains
previous numbers but also caused record degradation in all three areas. He said
it was unprecedented that any country’s growth rate plummeted over three per
cent in a single year.
The PML-N leader said inflation had shot through the
roof from 3pc to over 13pc which was catastrophic when coupled with low growth
and fiscal deficit. He asked the PTI regime to either share a practicable
rescue plan in parliament or step down to save the country.
Mr Zubair said he did not believe that the government
had any economic plan at all, and, therefore, there was no point giving them
any more time. He said that even after registering record fiscal deficit in a
quarter, the prime minister and his cabinet members were celebrating which
proved that they had no idea of how the economy worked.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the “incompetence, ineptness
and cluelessness of the selected prime minister and his imposed regime” had
brought the country to hell’s gates.
She regretted that despite “record borrowing, record
development cuts, record inflation, record tax hikes and record rupee
devaluation”, the regime could not achieve its own set targets which should be
enough for a “shameful administration” to resign.
“The poor people of this country are buried under
200pc gas price hike, 35pc electricity tariff hike, rendering 1.5 million
jobless and pushing 4.5m below the poverty line and yet the rich got Rs300
billion in tax and fines write-offs,” she said.
RAWALPINDI: Sardar Latif Khosa, former Punjab governor
and counsel for PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, on Monday regretted that despite
court orders, the former president was not being provided facilities of air
conditioner, fridge and personal attendant in jail.
Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari, Sardar Khosa, Shahbaz Khosa and
Shazia Khosa met the former president in Adiala iail on Monday.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Sardar
Khosa warned the government that if anything happened to Mr Zardari in prison,
then the PPP would take action against the PTI government and punish it like
Media Coordinator Nazir Dhoki accompanied him during
the press conference.
Mr Khosa said that the life of Mr Zardari was in
danger because he needed medical facilities but the government was denying him
“The government is not providing him an air
conditioner, fridge and personal attendant despite the court order. This kind
of treatment is not meted out even in dictatorship,” he said. He added that the
situation was so grave that the assistant commissioners were saying that they
were helpless and could not arrange a meeting of lawyers with the former
“Everyday the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)
delivers a ‘love letter’ to the former president and asks for answers to a few
questions but does not provide basic facilities which a patient requires and
the court has clear orders in this regard,” Mr Khosa added. He said that Mr
Zardari had been kept in NAB’s custody for 68 days and after that he was
shifted to prison.
He said that Mr Zardari was a former president and a
sitting Member of the National Assembly and had the right to have a fridge in
his room for keeping medicine and a 24-hour attendant.
He said that a heart specialist had on record said
that it might be dangerous if an AC was not provided to Mr Zardari and that a
medical board of five doctors had advised to keep him in hospital for treatment
but he was only brought in for a day.
Mr Khosa categorically denied media reports that Mr
Zardari had agreed to return any money.
“That was a false and concocted news story. We do not
have any ill-gotten money so the question does not arise,” said Mr Khosa. He
added that political victimisation was apparent because there was no case
KARACHI: Recent construction work at the historic Shri
Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir in Soldier Bazaar has resulted in unearthing of
several idols and other artefacts that may help in determining the origin of
the temple said to be over 1,500 years old, it emerged on Monday.
The temple holds special significance for Hindus many
of whom believe that Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir is the only shrine in the
world with a naturally-created statue of the part human and part monkey Hindu
god Hanuman. The legend associated with the place is that the Hindu Lord Ram
had visited this temple while in exile. And sometime later a blue-and-white,
eight-foot-tall statue of Hanuman was excavated from here. Following this the
temple was built at the spot by devotees.
Devotees also hold the strong belief that if someone
walked around the idol for 11 or 21 times his or her wishes come true as they
say that such naturally-formed statues of deities possess exceptional blessing
Unfortunately, the recent past has seen squatters
taking over most of Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir and its surroundings. “The
squatters were both Hindu and Muslim, but after much hardship the gaddi nasheen
or trustee of the temple has managed to take back possession,” Ravi Dawani,
secretary general of the All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat, told Dawn.
He also said that although it is believed that the
temple is very old, there is no hard evidence pointing towards this fact. “We
can’t surely say that it is 500 years old or 1,500 years old or even older than
that. But after the area had been cleared of squatters, the trust was busy in
some expansion and construction of the temple when the idols and artefacts were
discovered during digging,” he said.
“The freshly excavated artefacts can be tested for age
in order to determine the true age of the temple,” he added.
Meanwhile, the temple’s trustee Shri Ram Nath Maharaj
told Dawn that over the years, squatters had been building walls on temple land
while making the temple smaller and smaller.
“Getting back its possession some three months ago, we
had cleaned the place but with the weeklong Navaratri festival on our heads
around the end of September we thought of rebuilding our Mandir. We only
started the work on Saturday and so many idols have been unearthed,” he said.
“We found some on the first day of work, then a few more
on Sunday and then even more on Monday,” he said.
“What is most surprising is that we didn’t have to dig
too deep. We only dug two or three feet deep to find them,” he added.
LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that
Pakistan will facilitate Sikh pilgrims from all over the world by easing the
visa regime for them.
He said this while addressing International Sikh
Convention at Punjab Governor’s House which was attended by Sikh delegates from
the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.
PM Imran said that multiple visas will be granted to
Sikh visitors and measures can be considered to grant them visa on airports.
The prime minister said all minorities are enjoying
full basic rights in Pakistan and all possible facilities are being provided to
them, including Sikh community and pilgrims.
“This is not a favour, this was our duty,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran said that he realised that
Kartarpur and Nankana Sahib were as holy for Sikhs as Makkah and Madina were
for Muslims, and promised to make access for Sikh pilgrims as easy as possible.
He also addressed the ongoing tensions between India
and Pakistan while reiterating that the latter will not initiate military
action. He added, however, that he will continue to raise his voice for the
residents of Indian-occupied Kashmir, who have been under a restrictive lockdown
for the past 27 days.
The prime minister expressed his concerns over the
situation in occupied Kashmir, saying: “No one who has any humanity left (in
them) can tolerate the current situation in Kashmir. We can never accept that
you place eight million people under lockdown for 27 days and cut off all
communication. I would have raised my voice even if they [Kashmiris] were [non
Prime Minister Imran further said that the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — believed to be the parent organisation of the ruling
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — was following a “totalitarian and racist
ideology” that was not in accordance with the teachings of any religion.
“The direction in which RSS is taking India has no
place for any [minority]. What is happening with Muslims right now in India […]
it will not stop here. If they are not stopped, they will come after the
Dalits; they will one day come after the Sikhs.”
The premier recalled for the attendees of the
convention that his overtures for peace had been dismissed by the Indian
government, and the latter had continued to put forward conditions before it
“[They acted] like a superpower does when telling a
poor country to do this, do that. I was very surprised,” he said.
He denounced the idea of war, saying: “I do not
believe that war can solve any problem. Whoever thinks that is not sensible, he
has not read world history. If you solve one problem by waging war, four more
spring up because of it.
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on
Monday said that India, despite enormous efforts to suppress the occupied
Kashmir dispute, is facing defeat at every forum over its abusive actions in
the held valley.
Speaking to a private TV channel, Qureshi pointed out
how India failed to convince the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign
Affairs to leave out the occupied Kashmir crisis from the agenda.
The European Parliament is scheduled to discuss the
alarming situation in Kashmir today during a meeting of the Foreign Affairs
Committee. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider
Khan will represent Pakistan on the occasion.
India could also not keep the Organisation of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) silent on the Kashmir crisis, Qureshi said. “India failed to
convince the world that Kashmir is its internal matter. She is being defeated
at every forum,” he said.
Narendra Modi’s government is being likened to
Germany’s Nazi regime, Qureshi noted.
He reiterated his call to the international community
to play its role to stop the atrocities being perpetrated by Indian authorities
in occupied Kashmir.
Jadhav’s statement endorses Pakistan’s stance, India admits
ISLAMABAD: India on Monday admitted that convicted spy
Kulbhushan Jadhav’s statement to its senior diplomat during consular access
supported Pakistan’s stand on the case, but claimed that the convicted spy was
‘under extreme pressure’.
“[Jadhav] appeared to be under extreme pressure to
parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims,” the Indian
External Affairs Ministry said in a statement while referring to the convicted
spy’s two-hour-long meeting with Charge d’ Affaires at the Indian High
Commission Gaurav Ahluwalia in Islamabad on Monday.
The statement comes hours after Pakistan formally
granted the consular access to the convicted spy in line with Vienna Convention
on Consular Relations, ICJ verdict and the laws of Pakistan.
Ahluwalia met Jadhav at an undisclosed venue due to
sensitivity attached to the matter.
“While we await a comprehensive report, it was clear
that Shri Jadhav appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false
narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims,” said a statement issued by
India’s External Affairs Ministry. “We will decide a further course of action
after receiving a detailed report from our Cd’A and determining the extent of
conformity to the ICJ directives,” it added.
According to the statement, External Affairs Minister
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also spoke to Jadhav’s mother and briefed her of
Pakistan’s Foreign Office, on the other hand,
maintained that there was no restriction on the language of communication
during the meeting on India’s request. “In order to ensure transparency and in
line with standard operating procedures, and as conveyed to the Indian side in
advance, the access was recorded,” it added.
“As a responsible member of the international
community and in line with our international commitments, Pakistan has provided
unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to Commander Jadhav.”
Before meeting Jadhav, Ahluwalia told AFP that New
Delhi hoped “Pakistan will ensure right atmosphere so that the meeting is free,
fair, meaningful and effective in keeping with the letter and spirit of the ICJ
On Sunday, Pakistan said it would grant consular
access to Jadhav, weeks after the ICJ urged Pakistan to undertake “effective
review” of the case, adding that a “continued stay of execution” was needed for
that to happen.
“Consular access for Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan
Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer and RAW operative, is being provided on
Monday 2 September 2019,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a
tweet late Sunday.
“Commander Jadhav remains in Pakistan’s custody, for
espionage, terrorism, and sabotage,” he said in another tweet.
Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016, in a
counter-intelligence operation in Balochistan. A military court awarded him
death sentence on April 10, 2017, following his confession that he had mounted
operations for RAW to conduct terrorist activities on Pakistani soil.
In June 2017, the Indian spy filed a mercy petition
against death penalty, in which he again confessed to his involvement in
However, before Pakistani authorities could make a
final decision, the ICJ, after being approached by India, ordered a stay in his
execution through an interim order.
In its final verdict announced on July 17, the ICJ
asked Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav under the Vienna
However, the Hague-based ICJ had rejected India’s
request for acquittal, release and return of Commander Jadhav.
Following the verdict, the FO had announced that that
as a responsible state, Pakistan would grant consular access to Jadhav
according to the country’s laws, for which modalities were being worked out.
It said that pursuant to the ICJ judgement, Jadhav had
been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna
Convention on Consular Relations.
In its verdict that followed proceedings lasting about
two years, the UN’s top court did not accept India’s contention that Jadhav was
entitled to ‘restitutio in integrum’ (restoration to original position) and
turned down its request to annul the decision of the Pakistani military court.
Instead, it ruled that Pakistan by means of its own
choosing could undergo an effective review and reconsideration of the sentence
awarded to Jadhav.
The ICJ said that even though it had found Pakistan in
violation of Article 36 the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), “it
is not the conviction and sentence of Jadhav which are to be regarded as a
violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.”
The most the ICJ said it could do was to order
Pakistan to cease violation of Article 36 and review the case in light of how
that violation might have affected the case’s outcome.
“The court notes that Pakistan acknowledges that the
appropriate remedy in the present case would be effective review and
reconsideration of the conviction and sentence,” it observed.
To this end, Pakistan was directed to immediately
inform Jadhav of his rights under Article 36, grant India consular access, and
then review the case while considering, under the laws of Pakistan, how not
doing so earlier might have impacted the case’s outcome.
“The Court notes that the obligation to provide
effective review and reconsideration can be carried out in various ways. The choice
of means is left to Pakistan,” the ICJ added. However, it stressed that
“Pakistan shall take all measures to provide for effective review and
reconsideration, including, if necessary, by enacting appropriate legislation.”
Iran has strongly condemned the Israeli regime's
recent act of aggression against Lebanon, saying it constitutes a threat to
global peace and security.
"The Israeli regime's act of aggression against
Lebanon is a blatant violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of an
independent country, which is a member of the United Nations, and constitutes a
move against international peace and security," Iranian Foreign Ministry
Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.
Noting that Israel's aggression against Lebanon
violates the principles of international law, the Iranian official added,
"As a result of the international community’s meaningful silence and
lavish US support, the bankrupt Israeli regime is trying to undermine the
Lebanese people’s honorable resistance.”
The Iranian diplomat said now that Lebanon has a
powerful president, government and army and seeks to protect its territorial
integrity and independence in the face of Zionists' aggression, Israel is
trying to undermine the resistance of the Lebanese people.
Mousavi urged the international community,
particularly the United Nations, not to remain silent over the Tel Aviv
regime's acts of aggression, which have fueled instability and insecurity in
the region and the entire world.
Israeli artillery units struck the southern part of
Lebanon Sunday afternoon shortly after an Israeli drone violated the Lebanese
airspace, and dropped incendiary material that sparked a fire in a forest at
Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported that
Israeli forces launched several 155-millimeter shells on Jabal al-Rous area in
occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfarshouba Hills.
After Israel's aggression, the Hezbollah resistance
movement targeted an Israeli military vehicle near the border with the occupied
Palestinian territories, killing or injuring all forces on board.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council
(SNSC) Ali Shamkhani on Sunday defended Hezbollah’s action, saying protecting
the interests of the Lebanese people is the main approach followed by the
resistance movement, adding that the movement enjoys significant popular
support in the country.
"Protecting the Lebanese people's interests and
taking action based on those interests is the main approach followed by
Hezbollah in making political and defense decisions," Shamkhani said.
The leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement has
warned Israel against any future attacks on Lebanon saying that in case of such
attack all Israeli forces will be at risk.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a
televised speech on Monday, saying that Sunday’s operation by Hezbollah
fighters in which an armored Israeli vehicle was hit, was meant to send the
message to Israel that “if you attack, then all your border and forces will be
Hezbollah’s Sunday attack came in response to an
Israeli air raid last week that killed two of its fighters in Syria, as well as
an Israeli drone attack on southern Beirut, which saw the deployed aircraft
crashing into the movement’s media offices.
According to the Lebanese resistance movement, the
missiles launched from Lebanon destroyed an armored personnel carrier in
Avivim, killing or wounding those inside it. The Israeli military, however,
alleged the attack did not lead to any casualties while adding that it had
fired 100 shells into Lebanon in return.
“We thank god [for this victory],” he said, and also
expressed gratitude towards the group’s fighters and commanders, who spent
eight consecutive days carrying out the operation.
Nasrallah added that the through the latest operation
against the Israeli forces, the resistance group broke the "biggest red line"
by targeting forces across the border and inside the occupied territories.
Further explaining the difference between the Sunday
response and Hezbollah’s previous countermeasures against Israel, Nasrallah
said the movement would previously only target Israelis inside the Shebaa
Farms, which the regime has occupied from Lebanon since 1948.
The movement resorted to the reaction as it “does not
want to squander the triumph it achieved [against Israel] during the 33-Day
War,” Nasrallah said. He was pointing to a wholesale war the regime launched
against Lebanon in 2006, after which it was forced to withdraw under pressure
from Hezbollah’s surprising defensive maneuverability.
“[From now on,] mark September 1, 2019 (the date of
the retaliation) as it coincides with the onset of a new stage in [our] support
for Lebanon’s borders,” Nasrallah told Tel Aviv.
As a result of Hezbollah’s response, Israel has taken
all of its forces and military vehicles away from Lebanon’s border, and stopped
patrolling near the frontier. “The Zionists have deserted our frontlines,
meaning they have beaten a retreat,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, the Arabic-language al-Manar
satellite television station affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance
movement aired new footage of a recent attack on Israeli positions in the
The footage showed Hezbollah fighters firing two
missiles at the Israeli military vehicle, sending it up in flames and
apparently fully destroying it.
Nasrallah underlined that the operation came despite
ongoing Tel Aviv threats, asserting that the warnings scare neither the
movement, nor the Lebanese authorities.
“Israelis should know this that what happened was a
result of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s folly,” Nasrallah
Observers say the Israeli drone incursions into
Lebanon, which coincided with the regime’s similar acts of aggression against
Iraq and Syria, were a stunt ordered by Netanyahu to provoke retaliation from
the targeted countries, thus upping the Israeli premier’s chances of victory in
the upcoming elections by portraying Israel in a vulnerable light.
The Hezbollah chief also repeated his earlier warning
that the group would be targeting Israeli drones potentially transgressing into
the country’s airspace.
Iran warns EU of reviewing commitments to N-deal
DUBAI: Iran said on Monday it would further reduce its
commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal if European parties failed to shield
Tehran’s economy from sanctions reimposed by the United States after Washington
quit the accord last year.
“It is meaningless to continue unilateral commitments
to the deal if we don’t enjoy its benefits as promised by the deal’s European
parties,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a joint press
conference with his Russian counterpart in Moscow.
Iran has said it will breach the deal’s limits on its
nuclear activities one by one, ratcheting up pressure on the countries who
still hope to save it. Tehran has threatened to take further steps by Sept 6,
such as enriching uranium to 20 percent or restarting mothballed centrifuges,
machines that purify uranium for use as fuel in power plants or, if very highly
enriched, in weapons.
Tehran is prepared to take a “stronger step” in
reducing its commitments under the deal with world powers if European countries
don’t take action to save the pact, its foreign ministry’s spokesman said on
“The third step has been designed and will be stronger
than the first and second steps to create balance between Iran’s rights and
commitments to the JCPOA,” state news agency IRNA quoted the foreign ministry’s
spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying on Monday. However, Iran had earlier stressed
that these steps are “reversible” if the European signatories of the pact
fulfilled their obligations.
President Donald Trump last year exited the accord
between Iran and six world powers aimed at curbing Tehrans nuclear programme,
which the West suspected sought to make a nuclear weapon, in exchange for the
lifting of many international sanctions on Tehran. Washington has also
reimposed sanctions on exports of Iranian oil. Iran denies ever having sought a
Also, Iran’s government spokesman said on Monday that
Iran and France’s views on the deal have moved closer, mainly after phone calls
between President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
3 September 2019
Iran’s answer to bilateral talks with the US will
“always be negative,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, adding
that Iran may further cut nuclear commitments in days.
“No decision has ever been taken to hold talks with
the US and there has been a lot of offers for talks but our answer will always
be negative,” Rouhani told an open session of parliament carried live by state
Rouhani also said Iran was ready to further reduce its
commitments to a landmark 2015 nuclear deal "in the coming days" if
current negotiations yield no results by Thursday.
US President Donald Trump, although applying “maximum
pressure” on Iran, has offered to meet its leaders and hold bilateral talks
with no pre-conditions to end the confrontation between their countries.
Rouhani added that European nations are failing to
implement their commitments following the US pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal
with Tehran. He said that the Europeans “did not carry out their task.”
Last month, Rouhani said Iran would not talk to its
longtime foe until the United States lifted all of the sanctions it reimposed
after it exited a 2015 nuclear deal last year.
3 September 2019
The executive committee of President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan’s ruling party on Monday unanimously agreed to send former premier and
party member Ahmet Davutoglu to a disciplinary board for dismissal, local media
The decision came after a nearly five-hour meeting of
the central executive committee of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)
chaired by Erdogan, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website.
A leading AKP figure who served both as foreign
minister and prime minister, Davutoglu has recently accused the party of
deviating from its core principles.
His criticism included the party’s insistence on a
rerun of the Istanbul vote after the AKP lost the city to the opposition in
March local elections, as well as the removal of three mayors in eastern Turkey
on terror-related claims.
The party’s move to expel the ex-premier comes as
other former allies have fallen out with Erdogan including former president
Abdullah Gul and former deputy prime minister Ali Babacan - both founding AKP
2 September 2019
Israel has lifted a restriction on fuel delivered to
Gaza for electricity, a defense official said on Monday, a week after cutting
the flow by half over a series of violent incidents.
Israeli defense ministry unit COGAT announced on
August 26 it was halving the amount of fuel allowed into Gaza from its
territory, after three rockets were fired at the Jewish state the day before.
Israel responded with air strikes against the Gaza
Strip’s ruling Hamas movement.
A series of other violent incidents in August preceded
A further round occurred on August 27, when Gaza
militants fired a mortar round across the border and an Israeli aircraft struck
a Hamas post in northern Gaza in response.
There have not been projectile launches from Gaza
A defense official told AFP that the fuel restriction
had been removed on Sunday.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008 and
fears of a fourth remain.
The Saudi-UAE committee has worked to de-escalate the
situation in multiple Yemeni regions, the Arab Coalition’s spokesperson Turki
al-Maliki said on Monday.
In a press conference, al-Maliki added that Saudi forces have arrived in the Shabwah
governorate and are working with the Yemeni government to de-escalate the
situation. All Yemeni parties have responded to the call for de-escalation, he
He also showed videos of air strikes targeting Houthi
sites and presented statistics regarding the coalition's intercepting and
downing of Houthi drones.
Houthi militias have been transporting ballistic
missiles and drones to the city of Dhamar in south-western Yemen, said
al-Maliki. These drone depots were the targets of the recent Saudi air raids on
the city, which were carried out in accordance with international law, he
On Thursday, The UN Security Council condemned “in the
strongest terms” the escalation of Houthi attacks on civilian infrastructure in
Saudi Arabia and called on the militias “to cease such attacks immediately and
without preconditions.” Also on Thursday the Arab Coalition intercepted and
destroyed a Houthi drone launched from Yemen’s Saada toward Saudi Arabia,
according to al-Maliki.
The previous day the Arab Coalition confirmed that a
cruise missile launched by the Houthis landed at Saudi Arabia’s Abha
International Airport with no injuries reported.
Iran and Syria have vowed to expedite efforts for
establishing a joint bank that could help the two allied countries deepen their
trade and economic relations.
A report on the website of the Central Bank of Iran
(CBI) on Monday showed that the two countries were intent on removing last
hurdles to set up The Joint Iran-Syria Bank to accelerate financial
The report, which came out of a meeting between CBI
Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati and his Syrian counterpart Hazem Karfoul in
Tehran, said the two sides had agreed to execute banking agreements reached
between the two in the recent past.
“Iran-Syria economic relations have entered a new
phase and recent banking deals are an important message for companies and a
serious step for expansion of exchanges between trades and businesses of the
two countries,” said Hemmati during the meeting.
The CBI chief also demanded the Syrian government to
remove the last remaining obstacles in the way to set up the joint bank as
required by a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries.
The report said Iran and Syria had already agreed on
joint mechanisms that could bolster economic exchanges between the two,
including the use of local currencies in bilateral trade, injecting more credit
to schemes jointly run by banks of the two and launching a system that could enable
citizens of the two countries to use special payment cards during visits.
Hemmati said during the meeting that Iran was ready to
further help Syria banking sector develop after years of war in the country
that has affected its financial services and their relation with the rest of
He said Iran would specifically provide Syria with
services in banking technologies related to currency printing and electronic
The Syrian chief banker, for his part, said during the
meeting that Iran could be of great help to Syria in rebuilding its banking
system after the war.
A senior leader of the resistance movement Hamas has
warned that the Israeli regime plots to create rift and division among
Palestinian people and groups in the wake of recent blasts in the besieged Gaza
Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas Political Bureau,
made the remarks on Monday as he was commenting on bomb attacks that killed
three police officers in the coastal enclave last week.
Haniyeh accused Israel of being behind the blasts in
the besieged territory and said there was no room for extremism in Palestine.
He further noted that the Tel Aviv regime was seeking
rift among Palestinians and Palestinian resistance groups to distract them from
their main priorities.
The senior Palestinian official said Israel was after
gaining benefits from insecurity in Gaza in order to thrive in the upcoming
Palestinians have held weekly rallies along the Gaza
border to protest the siege on the enclave and demand the right for refugees to
return to their homes they were forced to leave during the 1948 creation of
More than 270 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli
forces ever since anti-occupation protest rallies began in Gaza on March 30,
2018. Over 16,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, 2018,
on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which
coincided with a US decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied
East Jerusalem al-Quds.
On June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly
adopted a resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, which condemned Israel
for Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza.
The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf
of Arab and Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the
193-member assembly, with eight votes against and 45 abstentions.
The resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the
safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under
Israeli occupation,” including “recommendations regarding an international
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has ordered its
chief prosecutor to reopen an official probe into a 2010 Israeli attack on a
Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists on board.
Appeals judges in The Hague-based tribunal ordered
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda for a second time on Monday to reconsider her refusal
to open a formal investigation into the deadly raid.
"The prosecutor is directed to reconsider her
decision by December 2, 2019," presiding appeals Judge Solomy Balungi
Bossa told the court, adding that a majority of judges had backed the move.
The Monday ruling by the ICC’s appeals chamber was the
latest step in a long legal battle to bring the case before the court.
Bensouda said in 2014 that she would not prosecute
Israel over the incident, claiming that the case was "not of sufficient
The chief prosecutor again affirmed the decision in
2017 after judges said she must take another look at the case.
Israel is not a member of the court but Israeli
individuals could face charges if Bensouda opens an investigation.
On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the
Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, killing nine
Turkish citizens, including a teenager with dual Turkish-US citizenship, on
board the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who
were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.
The flotilla was attempting to break the Israeli naval
blockade of the Gaza Strip, carrying aid to Palestinians in the enclave.
Israel’s military raid against the civilian flotilla
was met with global condemnation at the time, with the United Nations Security
Council calling for a prompt investigation into the incident and the United Nations
Human Rights Council describing the attack as “outrageous.”
A large number of human rights groups also slammed the
raid, while dozens of protests were held in support of the victims’ cause in
several countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Sweden.
In September 2010, Turkey suspended its military ties
with Israel and expelled the Israeli envoy from Ankara over Tel Aviv’s refusal
to apologize for the killing.
Back in 2014, a criminal court in Turkey issued arrest
warrants for four Israeli military officers, deemed by Ankara as the main
culprits in the case, and turned over the warrants to Interpol to arrest the
suspects, but to no avail.
The head of Tunisia’s National Guard Center and three
gunmen died following an exchange of gunfire in the Tunisian municipality of
Haidra, near the border with Algeria, local media reported on Monday.
Local media cited security sources as saying that
“Haidra is witnessing a gunfire exchange between united of the National Guard
and terrorist elements.”
The clash occurred on the first day of the country's
presidential campaign, authorities said.
National guard officers and army troops were tracking
a radical group in the Kef mountains near the Algerian border when shooting
broke out, killing the four, national guard spokesman Housameddine Jbabli told
The Associated Press.
The security operation is ongoing near the town of
Haidra in the Kasserine region, he said.
Tunisian security forces have stepped up land and air
operations against extremists hiding in the hard-to-reach mountainous region,
where dozens have been killed in clashes in recent years.
Monday's clash came on the day Tunisia's presidential
campaign is officially opening, after the country's first democratically
elected president died in office in July. A total of 26 candidates are running
to lead the country, which unleashed the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011.
Tunisia's post-revolution leaders have struggled to
contain extremism in recent years, notably along its borders with Algeria and
Campaigning for Tunisia's presidential election has
opened, with 26 candidates vying to replace late leader Beji Caid Essebsi.
Seven million Tunisians are expected to head to the
ballot box in the September 15 poll, which was brought forward from November
following Essebsi's death in July.
Essebsi,Tunisia's first democratically-elected president,
took office in the wake of the 2011 uprising that overthrew former dictator
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked revolts across the Arab world.
The North African country has faced economic woes and
repeated militant attacks -- including a gun battle in the northwest on Monday
that killed a national guard officer and three suspected militants.
"Terrorists are still around but Tunisia is
stronger," said Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, among those vying for the
The vote comes with Tunisia's political class divided
by internal conflicts, including a struggle between Chahed and Essebsi's son,
leading the premier to quit the ruling Nidaa Tounes party and form Tahia
The latter has since become the second largest party
in parliament, behind the extremist-inspired Ennahdha party.
Aged 43, Chahed is Tunisia's youngest prime minister,
but since he took office his popularity has been hit by instability, inflation
Other candidates include interim parliamentary speaker
Abdelfattah Mourou, of Ennahdha, and former defense minister Abdelkrim Zbidi.
Another powerful opponent could be media magnate Nabil
Karoui, who despite his arrest on August 23 for alleged money laundering is
still legally allowed to run.
That makes for a vote markedly different from the 2014
election which had just two frontrunners -- Essebsi and former president Moncef
"It is the first time that Tunisians have no idea
who will become their president," said the Tunis-based Joussour
think-tank. "Now everything is possible."
Chahed launched his overseas campaign Saturday in the
French city of Lyon, casting himself as a human rights defender.
Some 1.2 million Tunisians live overseas, mainly in
"We hope to speak with Tunisians to explain to
them... our vision for a stronger Tunisia, a more modern and developed Tunisia,
and a Tunisia that truly believes in the universal values of human
rights," he told AFP ahead of a campaign meeting.
He also denied accusations from Karoui backers that he
had masterminded the arrest of the controversial media magnate.
Karoui, who recently set up a political party, Heart
of Tunisia, has said he was targeted by "attempts to undermine his growing
In recent years, Karoui used his popular Nessma TV, which
is now banned from covering the election, to launch high-profile charity
Chahed's government tried to eliminate Karoui from the
race, passing an amended electoral code through parliament -- but it was not
ratified by Essebsi before his death.
Tunisia's electoral commission, which on Saturday
approved the final list of 26 hopefuls, has banned the publication of opinion
polls, making it difficult for pundits to evaluate each candidate's strength.
'Power cannot be shared'
Zbidi told AFP in an interview that if he were
elected, he was determined to "restart the social ladder" and make
public services "accessible" for all Tunisians.
The former defense minister, who presents himself as
an independent technocrat, said he would like constitutional changes to give
the head of state more powers.
"Power cannot be shared," he said.
But he called for a referendum to choose a
"parliamentary regime or a presidential one."
Ennahdha's candidate Mourou is a founding member of
the extremist party and the first presidential candidate it has ever fielded.
Political analyst Hamza Meddeb said he believed Mourou
would make it to the second round of voting expected to be held in the first
week of November.
"The big unknown is who will be his rival,"
Karoui, Chahed or Zbidi, he said.
A suicide car bomb blast targeted a security check
point in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu Monday, leaving at least three people
dead, four others wounded, officials said.
“The attack was a suicide bomb explosion which
targeted our security checkpoint in ex-control Afgoye in Mogadishu. At least
three people including police officials and one attacker were killed, and four
others wounded”, Adan Yare Hassan, a police officer in Mogadishu, told Anadolu
Agency via phone.
He added that the attackers attempted to overrun the
checkpoint but security officials opened fire, killing an attacker.
A Tunisian national guard chief and three militants
were killed in an exchange of fire near the Algerian border on Monday,
according to a local security source.
The shootout took place in a remote area near the town
of Hidra in the Kasserine province, the source said on condition of anonymity.
The source declined to give further details as the
operation against the militants was still ongoing.
Monday's violence came on the first day of campaigning
for Tunisia's presidential election slated for Sept. 15.
1 SEPTEMBER 2019
Residents of Yimirmigza village in Kautikari ward,
Chibok local government area of Borno, took to their heels after suspected Boko
Haram insurgents laid siege on their village.
A Chibok resident told TheCable on Saturday that they
started hearing strange gunshots around 6pm.
The villager said they fled when they noticed that the
gunshots were not the routine military gunshots.
"They came in this evening and started shooting
sporadically. Most of the villagers have run into the bush," the source
"We don't know if there are casualty yet because
right now the insurgents are still in charge of the village."
TheCable also gathered that security operatives from
the 117 Task Force Battalion of the Nigerian army have been mobilised to stop
Yimirmigza village is 19 kilometres away from Chibok
town which is the local government headquarters.
As at the time of filing this report, efforts to reach
Sagir Musa, acting director of the army's public relations, was abortive.
Chibok lies close to Boko Haram's Sambisa forest
enclave from where the jihadists launch attacks on nearby villages.
Boko Haram's nine-year conflict has killed an
estimated 35,000 people and displaced two million, creating a humanitarian
crisis and spilling into Nigeria's northern neighbours.
In recent years, Boko Haram militants have
increasingly attacked civilian targets in the region. Chibok, in particular,
has been under attacks since 2014.
In April 2014, for instance, the Chibok ambush was an
attack of Boko Haram insurgents against a Nigerian Army convoy in the night as
the latter was searching for schoolgirls who had been kidnapped by the Islamist
Lebanon rescue talks follow lull in fighting
BEIRUT: Top-level talks on an economic rescue plan for
Lebanon began Monday after the UN stepped in to help bring an end to military
clashes along the country’s border with Israel.
An uneasy calm returned to both sides of the border
following an exchange of fire between Hezbollah and Israeli military forces
near the town of Maroun Al-Ras in southern Lebanon.
Clashes between Israel and Hezbollah intensified along
the border after a week of rising tensions.
Israel’s military said it fired into southern Lebanon
on Sunday after anti-tank missiles launched by Hezbollah targeted its army base
and vehicles near the border. Hezbollah said that it was responding to an
earlier drone attack by Israel.
The head of the UN peacekeeping mission, Maj. Gen.
Stefano del Cole, said late on Sunday that he contacted both parties to call
for an end to the fighting.
“This resulted in a restoration of general calm in the
area of operations. Both parties assured me of their commitment to continue the
cessation of hostilities in accordance with UN Resolution 1701,” he said.
Political leaders joined banking, finance and business
chiefs at the top-level meeting on Lebanon’s economic future held at the
presidential palace and chaired by President Michel Aoun.
“All of us are aware of the sensitivity of the
economic and financial conditions we are experiencing. We are looking for
effective solutions that will promote stability in order to avoid the worst,”
the Lebanese leader said during the session.
“The circumstances require all of us to transcend our
political or personal differences, and not to turn differences of opinion into
conflict at the expense of the supreme interest of the nation. We must unite
our efforts to come up with effective solutions to the economic crisis that is
stifling the dreams and hopes of our people.”
Fixing the price of fuel, raising the tax on bank
interest to 11 percent and increasing value-added tax are among reforms being
Economist Louis Hobeika said that Lebanon’s 2019
budget had reduced the country’s fiscal deficit by 7.6 percent, but a greater
reduction is required in 2020, “which means dealing with and fighting
“I do not expect the meeting to make advanced
decisions, because those attending are not serious about reducing spending or
stopping mismanagement. I have warned against finding a way out by increasing
taxes on citizens. People do not mind the increase, but only in exchange for
serious reforms, not continuous corruption,” he said.
Hobeika said that the response of assembled officials
to pleas regarding corruption did little to encourage optimism.
“It would have been better to have a unified paper by
neutral economists adopted after discussion with politicians and even by public
opinion. What is happening does not inspire confidence,”
Sep 02, 2019
Safwan al-Qorbi, the representative of Idlib province
in the Syrian parliament, told the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper on Monday
that Erdogan is in a bottleneck politically on the situation of Idlib province.
He underlined Russia's role in harnessing Turkey's
uncontrollable performance in Idlib, and said the Turkish convoys were attacked
in the countryside of Idlib and the residents of these regions blame the
terrorist groups and Ankara for their dire conditions.
Al-Qorbi referred to Erdogan's recent visit to Moscow,
and said, "Certainly, the Turkish president has made big compromises and
it was a hasty meeting to decrease the fire of the Syrian army attacks. They
thought that taking back certain regions in Idlib needs one month in practice
but the Syrian army liberated it within days."
Hence, Turkey came to develop the panic that if it
doesn't make major compromises, Idlib would soon be captured altogether by the
Syrian army, he added.
Relevant reports said on Sunday that Ankara had
promised Moscow to dissolve Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation
Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorist group in Northern Syria to return to the
earlier-agreed Sochi agreement.
al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the
National Liberation Front and Tahrir al-Sham as saying that Erdogan has in a
recent meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin vowed to dissolve
Tahrir al-Sham and other affiliated terrorist groups, including Horras al-Din
and Ansar al-Touhid, within 8 days.
They said that the ceasefire declared by the Syrian
army on Saturday was also in line with the agreement, adding that one of the
conditions demanded by Syria was its army's control over a vast area of
Hama-Idlib international road.
The sources underlined possible opposition of Tahrir
al-Sham to Turkey's agreement with Russia, saying that based on the agreement,
in case of Ankara's inability to implement its promises, the Russian and Syrian
armies will resume their military operations towards the towns of Ma'arat
al-No'eman and Saraqib on Hama-Idlib international road.
The Syrian Army on Saturday agreed to ceasefire in the
demilitarized zone of Idlib after making massive advances in the Southern part
of the province.
The Arabic-language SANA news agency quoted a
battlefield source as saying that the Syrian Army has declared implementation
of truce in the demilitarized zone while reiterating that it will respond to
any violation of ceasefire by the terrorists.
After taking full control of al-Tamane’ah strategic
town, the Syrian Army continued its advances in Southern Idlib and regained
control of the towns of al-Khovein al-Kabir, al-Sakiat, Eastern and Western
Farms of al-Tamane’ah, Tal Turki, Tal Sayyed Jafar and strategic Sayyed Ali
Hilltop just one kilometer to the North of al-Tamane’ah that overlooks
The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources
affiliated to Tahrir al-Sham as saying on Monday that the recent US airstrikes
against the terrorists' command centers between the towns of Kafraya and
Ma'arat Misrin in Northern Idlib were carried out through the intel provided by
al-Jolani to the US.
They added that he has given the Americans a list of
the bases and weapons and equipment caches of Tahrir al-Sham and other
affiliated groups, including Ansar al-Touhid and Horras al-Din which had under
Turkey's pressure declared their defection from Tahrir al-Sham.
The sources said that Washington's military
intervention in Idlib after the ceasefire was declared and after the
Russian-Turkish meeting in Moscow is aimed at making ineffective Ankara's
efforts under the Sochi agreement.
Relevant reports said on Sunday that Ankara had
promised Moscow to dissolve Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at terrorist group in
Northern Syria to return to the earlier-agreed Sochi agreement.
al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the
National Liberation Front and Tahrir al-Sham as saying that Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has in a recent meeting with his Russian counterpart
Vladimir Putin vowed to dissolve Tahrir al-Sham and other affiliated terrorist
groups, including Horras al-Din and Ansar al-Touhid, within 8 days.
The United Nations on Monday criticized Iraqi
authorities for transferring around 1,600 people from camps to their areas of
origin, saying the returns could put them in danger.
The returnees, who fled violence during and after ISIS
group’s 2014 seizure of swathes of Iraq, had sought refuge at displacement
camps in the northern province of Nineweh.
Since August 23, Iraqi authorities have bussed about
300 families, an estimated 1,600 people, from the three camps to their
provinces of origin.
The transfers took place despite humanitarian groups’
concerns that the families had no homes or access to services and may be
targeted by their home communities for perceived links to ISIS, a terrorist
The UN said Monday returnees had “expressed fears that
they would be threatened upon their return, and had reportedly received
threatening phone calls from community members in their areas of origin warning
“Despite such concerns, security actors confiscated
the (displaced people’s) civil identification, informing the families that
their documents would only be returned once they boarded the convoy,” it said
in a statement.
More than 1.6 million people remain displaced in
camps, unfinished structures or rented apartments across Iraq, nearly two years
after the country declared victory over ISIS.
The government has stressed its policy is for all
those displaced to return home and for camps to be shut.
Last week, AFP journalists witnessed transfers from
the Hammam al-Alil camp in Nineweh province of hundreds of Iraqis originally
from Kirkuk, further south.
Women and children, some of them crying, were loaded
onto buses by security forces. Some said they did not know where they were
The transfers often happened “with little notice or
apparent planning,” the UN’s Iraq humanitarian coordinator, Marta Ruedas, said
“I am concerned about the lack of organization and
advanced communication with affected communities and humanitarian partners,”
In some cases, the UN said, security forces denied
families entry to camps in their home provinces, displacing them a second time.
In the worst case of violence against returnees so
far, three hand grenades were thrown into the Basateen camp in Iraq’s
Salahaddin governorate on Sunday, a day after the arrival of 150 displaced
families from Nineweh.
“The grenades caused no damage, injuries or casualties
(but) are a cause of great concern for the safety of the camp residents,” the
Other rights groups have already sounded the alarm,
including Amnesty International, which has called the returns “premature” and
urged Iraqi authorities to halt them immediately.
Saudi Arabia may have used “double-tap” airstrikes in
Yemen, a tactic that sharply increases the number of civilian casualties and
endangers rescuers who rush to help the victims of the first air raid, a new
report has warned, after Riyadh’s latest attack on a Yemeni prison claimed more
than 100 lives.
The report by Bellingcat, an investigative journalism
site, is to be released on Monday. The tactic sees missiles fired once, then
again when aid workers have rushed to the injured, the British daily The
Evidence gathered by Bellingcat researchers and seen
by the paper shows civilian targets, including a funeral hall, markets, a
restaurant, a mosque and a residential area, in Yemen were hit by double-tap
“The attacks on these locations appeared to kill and
injure far more civilians than was proportionate to any likely military
advantage. In some cases, such egregious civilian harm appears entirely
foreseeable, suggesting that members of the coalition have intentionally
conducted indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks,” said the report.
The report is based on an examination of open source
photographs and videos of Saudi aerial attacks.
“When the coalition hits a market twice, it shows that
there is a lack of will to minimize civilian casualties or collateral damage.
People are going to come after the first strike, so obviously you’re going to
hit first responders and civilians,” the lead of the Yemen team at Bellingcat,
Rawan Shaif, told The Independent.
“Even if there was a military target at these sites,
the evidence suggests they were targeting individuals, and not weapons depots
due to a lack of secondary explosions,” she added.
“Going in twice to make sure that an individual is
dead, and causing all the collateral damage, is recklessness,” Shaif said.
The report also said the coalition’s own
investigations into its military actions in Yemen, “appear to have been purely
token in nature and forthcoming only in response to overwhelming international
It comes as the British government prepares to appeal
a court ruling that forced it to suspend sales of UK arms to Saudi Arabia
because they are used by Riyadh against civilians in Yemen.
Bellingcat, a non-profit organization that specializes
in open-source investigations, said Saudi-led attacks that potentially breach
humanitarian law have not stopped, which indicates “a clear risk that weapons
sold by the UK may be used in breaches”.
Enjoying the support of the US and Britain, Saudi
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Yemen’s Houthi
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data
Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the
war has claimed more than 91,000 lives over the past four and a half years.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s
infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over
24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million
suffering from extreme levels of hunger.
‘Another crime against humanity’
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia carried out several air raids
on a college-turned-prison in Dhamar Province where prisoners of war were being
kept, leaving more than 100 people dead, according to health officials and the
International Committee of the Red Cross.
A spokesperson for Yemen’s health ministry told Middle
East Eye that 185 people were detained in three buildings belonging to Dhamar
Community College, which were hit by seven airstrikes on Sunday.
"The three buildings were hit and there were 185
prisoners inside them, and all of them were either killed or injured," a
source in the Dhamar health office told MEE, adding "When the Saudis hit a
building with an airstrike, it is certain that everyone inside it will become a
He further said that prison's guards were also killed
and wounded in the attack.
Noting that over 100 dead had so far been counted, the
source said "In the coming hours, the number of dead will exceed 150, as
most of the wounded people suffer from critical wounds and they cannot receive
proper healthcare in Dhamar or Sana’a."
"The destruction of the medical system is another
Saudi crime, as injured people cannot receive proper healthcare."
He stressed that the jail was known not to be a
The Saudi-led coalition claimed that the airstrikes
destroyed a site storing drones and missiles in Dhamar.
The Arab coalition destroyed a Houthi drone launched
from Yemen's Amran province towards Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA
reported on Tuesday.
Coalition forces intercepted the drone while it was
still in Yemen’s airspace.
Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the
militia’s continued attempted attacks would end in failure.
Al-Maliki says that the coalition uses the best
measures on operational matters to intercept Houthi attacks and protect
September 02, 2019
DAMASCUS: The Syrian government on Monday hailed
Hezbollah’s strike the previous day on an Israeli military vehicle.
Hezbollah said it had fired anti-tank missiles into
northern Israel on Sunday, destroying a military vehicle.
Israel’s army said it responded with around 100
artillery shells after Hezbollah fired two or three anti-tank missiles at a
battalion headquarters and military ambulance, hitting both.
On Monday, the Syrian government threw its support
behind Hezbollah, whose fighters have since 2013 been fighting on President
Bashar Assad’s side in Syria’s civil war.
“The Syrian Arab Republic expresses its pride at
the... operation that the Lebanese national resistance carried out against the
military patrol of the Zionist occupier,” a source at the ministry of foreign
affairs told state news agency SANA.
“Syria repeats that it stands fully by the Lebanese
national resistance and its legitimate right — side by side with the Lebanese
army — to work toward preserving the sovereignty of Lebanon,” the source said.
Sunday’s exchange of fire over the Lebanese-Israeli
border comes one week after Hezbollah accused Israel of carrying out a drone
attack on its southern Beirut stronghold.
On August 24, Israel also said it had carried out
strikes in Syria to avert an Iranian drone attack on the Jewish state.
Hezbollah said those strikes killed two of its members.
September 3rd, 2019
The day of Ashura is marked by Muslims as a whole, but
for Shia Muslims, it is a major religious commemoration of the martyrdom at
Karbala of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
In Sunni Islam, Ashura also marks the day that Moses
and the Israelites were saved from Pharaoh by God creating a path in the Sea,
and is the Islamic equivalent to Yom Kippur.
For Shia Muslims, Ashura is a solemn day of mourning
the martyrdom of Hussein in 680 AD at Karbala in modern-day Iraq.
It is marked with mourning rituals and passion plays
re-enacting the martyrdom. Shia men and women dressed in black also parade
through the streets slapping their chests and chanting.
People in Iraq are getting ready ahead of the Shiite
Muslim religious mourning period of Ashura. Mosul International Shopping
Festival in Iraq is a great opportunity to buy all the necessary stuff ahead of
the Shiite Muslim religious mourning period of Ashura. Women view black
t-shirts sold by a peddler to Shiite Muslim pilgrims amidst preparations, men
are looking for black t-shirts, emblazoned with the Shiite Muslim slogan
"O Abbas", as a sign of mourning referring to the Muslim Imam Abbas
ibn Ali, grandson of the prophet Mohamed.
Sanders Calls For Americans To Stand Together At Large
By Marcy Oster
Sen. Bernie Sanders got a standing ovation at the
Islamic Society of North America annual convention in Houston.
Sanders spoke on Saturday to the conventions some
6,000 attendees, the first presidential candidate, along with Julian Castro, to
address the gathering, the largest meeting of American Muslims.
“I am here today because I believe in the concept of
solidarity, and the need for all of us, no matter where we come from or what
our background is, to stand together in the struggle for justice and human
rights,” Sanders said.
“We must speak out at hate crimes and violence
targeted at the Muslim community and call it what it is: Domestic Terrorism,”
he also said.
He brought up his personal history, as the “proud son
of Jewish immigrants.”
“As some of you may know, the issue of hatred and
prejudice is very personal for me,” he said. He noted that those in his family
who remained in Poland after Hitler came to power were murdered by the Nazis.
“And the lesson I learned from that experience is how
important it is for all of us to speak out forcefully whenever we see prejudice
and discrimination,” he said.
He reminded his audience that “in the wake of Trump’s
Muslim ban, thousands of non-Muslims from all walks of life rushed to airports
all across this country to stand in solidarity with Muslims.”
Sanders was introduced by his campaign manager Faiz
Shakir, the first Muslim to manage a major presidential campaign.
At first Muslim presidential forum, Sanders reaps adoration
of ISNA attendees
September 1, 2019
(RNS) — The Islamic Society of North America attracted
some major names to its annual convention in Houston this year, including
comedian Trevor Noah, activist Linda Sarsour, Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad
and (by video) Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
But the figure attendees seemed most excited to hear
was Sen. Bernie Sanders, who on Saturday (Aug. 31) along with former U.S.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro became the first
presidential candidates to address the country’s biggest gathering of Muslims.
Both Castro and Sanders underscored the need to forge
progressive coalitions and build solidarity between communities if any
Democratic candidate hopes to defeat President Trump in 2020.
“I am here today because I believe in the concept of
solidarity, and the need for all of us, no matter where we come from or what
our background is, to stand together in the struggle for justice and human
rights,” Sanders told the approximately 6,000 attendees at the forum.
While Sanders repeatedly mentioned his father, a
Jewish refugee who fled anti-Semitism and poverty in Poland, Castro avoided
invoking his Catholic faith and instead leaned on his status as a
second-generation Latino immigrant.
Held in the George R. Brown Convention Center, just
miles from where the next Democratic debates will take place on Sept. 12, the
forum was organized by ISNA, the Muslim activist group Emgage USA and the
Muslim Public Affairs Council. Outside, attendees were greeted by armed
The forum began with the Arabic word “bismillah” — an
invocation of God’s name — as well as a recitation of a verse from Surah
Ar-R’ad, the 13th chapter of the Quran, that serves as a central theme for the
conference: “Indeed Allah will not change the condition of a people until they
change what is in themselves.”
Noting the deadly mass shooting that happened just
minutes before elsewhere in Texas, organizers also urged attendees to engage in
heartfelt prayer for the improvement of America’s condition.
Sanders’ remarks, carefully tailored for his audience
to include discussions of health care and hate crimes, mass shootings and
Middle East interventions, received a standing ovation, thunderous applause and
chants of “Bernie!”
Sanders reminded his audience of the thousands of
non-Muslims who rushed to airports to protest the travel ban and “stand in
solidarity with Muslims,” and to how Americans have responded to the Trump
administration by voting Muslims into Congress and state governments across the
“What that tells me is that the American people
understand that that country is at our best when we stand together, regardless
of our religious or spiritual beliefs,” he said. “The truth is that if we are
going to be successful in senseless violence, we must come together and not
demonize one another.”
The Vermont senator issued strong condemnations of
Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian areas, China’s mass internment and “abuse”
of Uighur Muslims, and U.S. involvement in a “horrific” civil war in Yemen,
where he said a Saudi-Iranian conflict has produced the “worst humanitarian
catastrophe in the world today.”
Sanders also issued a fiery condemnation of India’s
“unacceptable” crackdown on Kashmiri autonomy, noting the clampdown’s effects
on denying Kashmiri people vital medical care.
While both candidates said they do not support the
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel, they condemned laws
restricting other Americans’ right to support the movement.
Both candidates affirmed that they would pursue a
two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis, end the travel ban that
the Trump administration has ordered against Muslim-majority countries, rebuild
the United States’ gutted refugee resettlement program and reinvest in programs
to prevent domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence.
Castro told the audience: “You are full partners in
American progress. Too often in our country’s history the message to the Muslim
American community has been that somehow you’re the enemy, or you’re the
That same spirit of “respect and humility” must carry
over to foreign policy, he added.
“When the history of the 21st century is written, I
hope historians will look back and say the United States worked with Muslim-majority
countries to create a global peace that everybody could be proud of,” Castro
But Sanders has done more than any current candidate
to win the hearts of the convention audience, even before he took the stage.
Of the 2020 candidates, Sanders has been the most
vocal critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. He also helped pass a bill
to end American involvement in Yemen’s deadly civil war and was quick to defend
Muslim congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar when fellow Democrats accused her of anti-Semitism.
The Sanders campaign is also run by Faiz Shakir, the
first Muslim to ever manage a major presidential campaign.
Shakir, who joined Sanders at the forum, told Religion
News Service in an interview that the candidate’s outreach to Muslims is “consistent
with his larger ecumenical approach.” He pointed to Sanders’ meeting with the
rabbi of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue as well as his visits to various
“He goes to share his vision of community that he
thinks we need to build in America,” said Shakir. “An overarching premise of
his domestic policy agenda is to say, ‘I should think about your family as if
they are my own and you should think about my family as if they are your own.’”
Earlier this summer, the senator sent a video of his remarks
to the Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy conference, billed as the
first national gathering of Muslim Americans in politics. In April, he became
the highest-ranking U.S. official and first presidential candidate to visit a
mosque after the New Zealand mosque shooting. He also participated in an
interfaith roundtable event at Washington, D.C.’s historic Masjid Muhammad back
in 2015. And during his previous presidential run, he specifically reached out
to Muslim and Arab American voters.
Attendees’ reaction to Castro, who has not been
involved in any other major Muslim-focused campaigning, was more muted. Much of
the audience had dispersed by the time his Q&A session began.
This president has built his career on scapegoating
certain communities—including the Muslim American community and Latinos.
Now, more than ever, we need to form a powerful
coalition to push back against his hate and bigotry. #ISNACON
6:02 AM - Sep 1, 2019
382 people are talking about this
“American Muslims play a critical role in shaping our
nation’s culture, economy and political process,” Castro’s deputy press
secretary Liza Acevedo told RNS. “At a time when our president continually
scapegoats and vilifies the Islamic faith for political gain, candidates should
show up and speak directly to these communities about their plans to support
them in the years ahead.”
Muslims who attended the forum said they were struck
by the breadth of issues both candidates addressed, weaving between Middle East
policy and Medicare.
“Muslims in the U.S. are not a one-issue bloc,” said
Kalia Abiade, of the Pillars Fund, a Muslim community foundation. “From health
care to climate change to student debt and foreign policy, it was encouraging
to hear presidential candidates at tonight’s forum raise critical issues that
matter to so many of us.”
“Politicians in the United States often speak about
Muslims, rather than to them,” said Sajida Jalalzai, who teaches religion at
Trinity University in San Antonio. “To have Sanders and Castro attend a
national conference hosted by Muslims and for Muslims, and to speak openly and
sincerely about issues that matter to Muslims … signifies that the candidates
view Muslims as a legitimate part of this country, that they take seriously our
For some attendees, however, the fact that just two of
the 10 candidates invited chose to attend was a greater comment on how Democratic
politicians regard ISNA’s constituency.
The Black Church PAC’s presidential candidate forum,
hosted last month, drew five candidates. At the Native American forum a few
days later, 11 candidates spoke to attendees.
“Our community is paying attention to how politicians
engage with us, and is differentiating between those who say that they stand
for religious freedom, and those who back it up with actions,” said Emgage CEO
and Obama State Department official Wa’el Alzayat, who moderated the ISNA
forum. “Attending this event and speaking directly to our community in these
critical times is a perfect example of the latter.”
According to analyses by Muslim political advocacy
group Jetpac, registered Muslim voters go to the polls at a higher than average
rate. And in many battleground states, concentrations of registered Muslim
voters can swing congressional seats, said Shaun Kennedy, Jetpac’s campaigns
“It’s an error to ignore the community, especially
when there is relative consensus on a number of important policy issues and
huge intersectional overlaps with other demographics,” Kennedy said.
For some, candidates’ dismissal of the forum echoed
the Democratic Party’s historic snubs of Muslim voters. Hillary Clinton
returned campaign donations from Muslim civic organizations during her 2000
Senate race, and during Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, his staffers pulled two
hijab-wearing women from behind a podium as he spoke so they would not be
visible to cameras.
This year, given “Trump’s blatant Islamophobia,”
Kennedy said, candidates may find that engaging with Muslim communities will
draw support from voters on the left.
At the forum, organizers also announced the launch of
a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau to encourage Muslim participation in
the 2020 national census. Census officials emphasized that data collection is
important for allocating the government’s resources and that none of the
information collected will be shared with law enforcement.
KABUL: The US ambassador leading efforts to forge a
deal with the Taliban met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on Monday and
showed him the draft of a proposed agreement with the insurgents.
Zalmay Khalilzad has spent about a year meeting the
Taliban in Doha in a series of talks aimed at ending America’s 18-year-old war
The prospective deal centres on a US troop reduction
in return for several security guarantees from the Taliban, as well as broader
peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government and an eventual
Mr Khalilzad — a former US ambassador to Afghanistan
and Iraq — arrived in the Afghan capital on Sunday evening following a ninth
round of talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital.
He met Mr Ghani then and on Monday he showed the
Afghan leader a draft of the US-Taliban agreement, officials said.
The discussions are significant because the Afghan
government has until now been largely sidelined from talks, though any eventual
deal would require the Taliban to talk to Mr Ghani, whom they view as a US
“The efforts of the US and other partners will yield
results when the Taliban enter direct negotiations with the Afghan government,”
Mr Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told reporters. “We hope these efforts will
lead to an end to the conflict.”
When asked to describe the deal, Mr Sediqqi demurred,
saying “the most important thing is that the Taliban’s violence stops”. “We are
hopeful that any agreement to be signed between the United States and the
Taliban results in peace and ceasefire,” he said.
Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said
in a statement he too had been briefed and assured of “a thorough and
sustainable peace in Afghanistan”.
President Ghani has appointed a 15-member delegation
to meet the Taliban at “intra-Afghan” talks slated to take place in Norway in
the coming weeks.
On Sunday, Mr Khalilzad said the US and the Taliban
were at the “threshold” of a deal that would reduce violence and pave the way
for “sustainable” peace.
But even as negotiations have entered their apparent
final stage, violence has continued apace across Afghanistan.
On Saturday, the Taliban attempted to seize Kunduz in
the north, and on Sunday, they launched an operation in the city of
Pul-e-Khumri, the capital of neighbouring Baghlan province.
Afghan officials on Monday said Pul-e-Khumri had been
cleared of Taliban fighters and fighting restricted to the outskirts.
Afghan forces, backed by local and US air power, were
able to stop Kunduz falling and repel the Taliban, who briefly seized the city
Afghan officials claimed on Monday the city was back
to normal but in the afternoon a suicide bomber detonated himself near a
security-forces base on the outskirts of Kunduz, killing six troops and
wounding 15 other people.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, the US-led Nato mission in Afghanistan said
mechanical problems had caused a coalition drone to crash in Ghor province.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has previously said
he hoped a peace deal would be finalised before Sept 1, ahead of Afghan polls
set for Sept 28.
Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, said
on Saturday a deal was “near to [be] finalised” but did not specify what
All of the last-minute deal-making comes less than a
month before the presidential elections are due.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton has been
sidelined from sensitive discussions about an emerging peace deal aimed at
ending America’s 18-year war in Afghanistan, according to US officials.
Bolton, who has long advocated an expansive military
presence around the world, has become a staunch internal foe of ending
America’s longest war, the Washington Post reported, citing a half-dozen US
officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The officials said that Bolton’s opposition to the
diplomatic effort in Afghanistan has irritated President Donald Trump and led
White House aides to leave the hawkish national security adviser out of a
high-stakes meeting about the war in Afghanistan earlier this month.
The sidelining of Bolton has cast doubt about his
influence in the Trump administration’s policy towards nations like North Korea
and Iran. Bolton, US officials said, stands in opposition to reducing tensions
with Tehran and Pyongyang, but he does so increasingly from the periphery.
“I can’t think of another example where a national
security adviser was sidelined like this,” said Tom Wright, an international
security expert at the Brookings Institution. “One thing that makes this
different from normal bureaucratic infighting is that Bolton has pitted himself
against a policy the president clearly supports.”
Bolton’s isolation on Afghanistan became particularly
apparent this month when Trump’s top national security officials, including
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, met on Trump’s
golf resort in New Jersey to discuss the peace deal in Afghanistan.
Bolton was not originally invited out of concern that
his team would oppose the agenda and leak the details later, several officials
said. “His team has a reputation for losing and leaking,” said one senior
administration official with direct knowledge of the discussions.
Bolton rejected the allegation, saying in a statement,
“I categorically deny leaks by me or anyone authorized to speak to the press.
Those alleging such leaks should look in the mirror.”
Eventually, Bolton secured a spot at the meeting after
one of his aides appealed to White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney,
according to a US official. During the meeting, Bolton and the president
exchanged opposing views over policy options on Afghanistan, US officials said.
in a Fox News interview on Thursday, Trump said he
plans to reduce the number of American troops in Afghanistan from 14,000 to
8,600 and then will determine further drawdowns.
Trump has repeatedly advocated for bringing US troops
back from Afghanistan, putting him at odds with hawkish officials like Bolton.
US officials have held several rounds of direct
negotiations with the Taliban to pull out American forces in exchange for
concessions. The militant group says it does not recognize the government in
US President Donald Trump’s recent push to earn the
backing of Jewish voters is proving to be a difficult struggle, but his
hard-line support for Israel may be aimed at appealing to evangelical
Christians and boost his chances of re-election in 2020, experts and
Experts say that Trump’s goal of aligning himself
squarely behind the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and
attacking on those who oppose him, is to rally evangelical Christians, not
"It is about pandering to his base of voters. And
the base voters, the Trump voters who care about this issue are, the vast
majority, Republicans, Christians and in many cases fundamentalist
evangelicals," Logan Bayroff, spokesman for J Street, a left-wing
pro-Israel group in Washington, told the The Hill newspaper.
"Trump [is] expressing frustration that while the
evangelical community is on board with his far-right policies ... the vast
majority of Jewish voters are disgusted by it, broadly disgusted by Trump [and]
are going to vote against him and his party," he added.
Evangelical Christians, a loyal voter base for Trump,
believe only intense conflict in the Middle East and the gathering of Jews in
Israel is a prerequisite for the return of Jesus.
"It seems pretty obvious that everything the
president does is meant to cater to his base," said US Representative Ted
Deutch, a Democrat from Florida.
"Given that his base is 40 percent of the
American people or less, I guess we'll have to see if that's a good political
judgment," he added. "But clearly there was no thought about trying
to win over some of the three-quarters of the members of the Jewish community
who voted against him in the last election."
Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital
in December 2017 and signed a proclamation in March recognizing Israeli
sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, Syrian territory.
“He's clearly in tune with making these decisions and
making policies toward Israel and talking about Israel in a way that aligns
with the end times, rapture ideas of a portion of his base," Bayroff of J
US would withdraw 5,000 troops from Afghanistan and
close bases under peace plan
KABUL: The United States would withdraw almost 5,000
troops from Afghanistan and close five bases within 135 days under a draft
peace accord agreed with the Taliban, the chief US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad
said on Monday.
The deal, reached after months of negotiations with
representatives from the insurgent movement, must still be approved by US
President Donald Trump before it can be signed, Khalilzad said in an interview
with Tolo News television.
“In principle, we have got there,” he said. “The
document is closed.”
In exchange for the phased withdrawal, the Taliban
would commit not to allow Afghanistan to be used by militant groups such as
Al-Qaeda or Daesh to plot attacks on the United States and its allies.
However the distance that must still be covered before
peace is achieved was underlined by a large explosion that rocked the Afghan
capital Kabul even as Khalilzad’s interview was being aired, shaking buildings
several kilometers away.
Khalilzad, a veteran Afghan-American diplomat said the
aim of the deal was to end the war and he said it would lead to a reduction in
violence but there was no formal cease-fire agreement. It would be up to
negotiations among Afghans themselves to agree a settlement, he said.
He declined to say how long the remainder of the
roughly 14,000 US troops would remain in Afghanistan after the first stage of
the withdrawal although Taliban officials have previously insisted that all
foreign forces must leave.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been briefed on a
draft of the accord and will look at details of the deal before giving an
opinion, his spokesman said on Monday.
Khalilzad said so-called “intra-Afghan” talks, which
might be held in Norway, would aim to reach a broader political settlement and
end the fighting between the Taliban and the Western-backed government in
However details of any future negotiations remain
unclear, with the Taliban so far refusing to deal directly with the government,
which it considers an illegitimate “puppet” regime.
Ghani met Khalilzad and will “study and assess” details
of the draft, spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told reporters earlier on Monday. “But
for us, a meaningful peace or a path to a meaningful peace is the end of
violence and direct negotiation with the Taliban,” he said.
Presidential elections, scheduled for Sept. 28 in
which Ghani is seeking re-election to a second five-year term, were not covered
in the agreement, Khalilzad said.
Many Afghan government officials have resented the
exclusion of the government from the US-Taliban talks, an issue that was
underlined when Ghani was not allowed to keep a text of the draft agreement
after it was shown to him.
Khalilzad, who has completed nine rounds of talks with
Taliban representatives, is scheduled to hold meetings with a number of Afghan
leaders in Kabul this week to build a consensus before the deal is signed.
The peace talks have taken place against a backdrop of
relentless violence, even before Monday’s blast in Kabul, with the Taliban
mounting two large-scale attacks on the major northern cities of Kunduz and Pul-e
Khumri at the weekend.
Afghan security forces pushed back Taliban fighters
from both cities but a suicide bomber detonated his explosives on Monday in
Kunduz, killing at least six policemen and wounding 15, officials and the
Trump has made little secret of his desire to bring
the roughly 14,000 troops home from Afghanistan, where American troops have
been deployed since a US-led campaign overthrew the Taliban in 2001.
Bangladesh bans mobile phone access in Rohingya camps
Bangladesh on Monday ordered operators to shut down
mobile phone services to almost one million Rohingya refugees living in camps
in the country’s southeast, an official said.
The move follows an outbreak of violence in recent
weeks at the camps, most of whose residents fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar’s
Rakhine state two years ago following a military crackdown on the Muslim
It also comes after none of the refugees turned up in
late August to return across the border to conflict-scarred Rakhine, when a
fresh push to repatriate the refugees to Myanmar fell flat.
Telecommunications operators have seven days to submit
reports on the actions they have taken to shut down networks in the camps, said
the spokesman for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission
(BTRC), Zakir Hossain Khan.
“Many refugees are using mobile phones in the camps.
We’ve asked the operators to take action to stop it,” he told AFP, saying the
decision was made on “security grounds.”
The order stunned the Rohingya, one of their leaders
said on condition of anonymity.
He said the ban would hugely affect Rohingya life,
disrupting communications between different camps scattered across the border
district of Cox’s Bazar.
“We won’t be able to communicate with our relatives
living in Myanmar or other parts of the world,” the leader said. Many Rohingya,
he said, rely on remittances sent by their diaspora and usually receive phone
calls informing them of the money transfers.
Bangladesh has in the past tried to restrict mobile
phone access in the settlements. But the move was not enforced seriously,
spawning booming markets of mobile phone sets and SIM cards in the camps.
Police spokesman Ikbal Hossain welcomed the decision,
saying the refugees had been “abusing” mobile phone access to conduct criminal
activities such as trafficking of methamphetamine pills worth hundreds of
millions of dollars from Myanmar.
“It will definitely make a positive impact. I believe
criminal activities will surely come down,” he told AFP.
On Sunday police said a fourth Rohingya refugee was
shot dead in the fallout over the murder of local ruling party official Omar
Faruk by suspected Rohingya criminals.
Faruk’s murder led hundreds of furious locals to block
a highway leading to a refugee camp for hours on August 22, burning tyres and
vandalising shops visited by refugees.
Rohingya refugees have said the recent bloodshed has
created an atmosphere of fear in the camp, where security has been tightened.
Rights groups have previously accused Bangladesh
police of extrajudicial killings.
UN investigators have said the 2017 violence in
Myanmar warrants the prosecution of top Myanmar generals for “genocide”.
Karzai met with Khalilzad in the presence of U.S.
Ambassador and Afghanistan’s political elites
02 Sep 2019
The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with the
U.S. envoy for Afghan Peace Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad in Kabul.
The Office of the Former President said in a statement
that the meeting took place in the presence of the U.S. Ambassador to Kabul
The statement further added that some other political
elites, including Mohammad Younus Qanooni, Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq and Syed Hamid
Gilani were also present.
Furthermore, the Office of the former President said
the meeting focused on recent developments regarding the Afghan peace process where
the participants shared their specific concerns regarding the process.
The statement also added that the participants of the
meeting also emphasized on an halt to war and violence, timetable for coalition
forces withdrawal and other issues.
Ambassador Khalilzad had earlier met with the leaders
of the government of national unity in Kabul.
31 Aug 2019
The Afghan security forces killed at least 35 Taliban
militants including one of the commanders of the Red Unit of Taliban during the
clashes in Kunduz city.
The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of
Security (NDS) said in a statement the NDS forces together with the 905th Unity
of the National Directorate of Security launched joint efforts to repulse the
Taliban attack in Kunduz city.
The statement further added that the security forces
launched joint ground and air raids in Kala Gaw, Pul-e Shinwari, Qahwa Khana
and Ali Khel areas of the city.
Furthermore, the National Directorate of Security said
the security forces killed 35 Taliban militants including Kamil, one of the commanders
of the Red Unit of Taliban.
The security forces conducted counter-terrorism
operations in Nangarhar, Baghlan and Wardak provinces killing at least 19
The military officials said Monday that an airstrike
killed a militant of ISIS Khurasan group in Pachir Wa Agam district of
The officials further added that a similar airstrike
killed 11 Taliban militants in Pul-e Khumri city of Baghlan province.
Furthermore, the officials said the Special Forces
killed 7 Taliban militants during an operation in Sayyidabad district of
The security forces killed at least 11 Taliban
militants during separate operations in southern Uruzgan province.
The military officials said Monday that the Afghan
Special Forces killed 7 Taliban militants during a raid in Shahid-e Hasas
district of Uruzgan.
The officials further added that the Special Forces
also destroyed a small cache of weapons during the raid.
Furthermore, the officials said an airstrike also
killed 4 Taliban militants in the same district.
The security situation in Uruzgan province has
deteriorated during the recent months.
Taliban militants are active in some districts of the
province and often conduct terrorist related activities.
Meanwhile, the Afghan forces routinely conduct
counter-terrorism operations against the anti-government armed groups in this
The Afghan and U.S. forces conducted separate
operations in Paktiya and Ghazni provinces which killed at least 13 Taliban
The 203rd Thunder Corps said in a statement that the
Afghan forces killed 5 Taliban militants during an operation in Zurmat district
The statement further added that the Afghan Special
Forces and the U.S. Air Forces conducted operations in Gilan and Deh Yak
districts of Ghazni province.
Toll rises to 16 dead, more than 100 wounded in Kabul
KABUL: The toll from a massive blast claimed by the
Taliban in Kabul has risen to 16 dead -- all civilians -- with scores more
wounded, an official said Tuesday.
Monday night's attack took place in a residential area
near Green Village, a large compound that houses aid agencies and international
organisations. Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said the blast was
caused by a tractor packed with explosives that had been parked alongside a
wall by Green Village.
"Sixteen killed, 119 wounded in last night's
attack," Rahimi said, noting a search-and-rescue operation had lasted
through the night.
Green Village is separate from the nearby Green Zone,
a walled-off and heavily fortified part of Kabulthat is home to several
embassies including the US and British missions.
The Taliban claimed the attack, which came as US
special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul to discuss a proposed deal that
would see the US withdraw troops from Afghanistan in return for insurgent
Residents in the area around Green Village were
furious that their neighbourhood, which has been targeted before, had been hit
once again and blamed the international presence.
Locals set tyres on fire, sending plumes of thick,
acrid smoke into the morning sky, and closed off a main road alongside the
scene of the attack.
"We want these foreigners to move out of our
neighbourhood," local resident Abdul Jamil told AFP.
Leaders and activists or former ones of different
levels of Jamaat-Shibir have engaged with JMB, says Monirul
The activists of Jamaat-e-Islami, and its student
wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir are carrying out targeted attacks on police under
the name of “New-JMB”, a top counter terrorism official has claimed.
"The investigation has unearthed the mysteries of
all the terror attacks, except four or five of those, and charge sheets have
been filed in most of the cases. Some cases have been resolved in court, and
some are under trial. Because of it, they (Jamaat-Shibir activists who joined
New-JMB) do have anger on police," Monirul Islam, chief of Counter
Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police
(DMP) said on Monday.
In an informal briefing to a group of journalists at
his office, the CTTC chief said, most of the New-JMB leaders have been
arrested, and some have been killed in police raids, while some have committed
Responding to a query, he said JMB (Jamaatul
Mujahideen Bangladesh) is a terror organization created by some former leaders
and activists of Jamaat-Shibir.
"We have observed that leaders, and activists or
former ones of different levels of Jamaat-Shibir have engaged with JMB. But
those joining after 2016 are mostly online activists," he said.
After the Holey Artisan attack, some misguided youths
also joined with former Shibir leaders to strengthen its organizational
"Some of the online campaign languages, and some
trademark languages of Chhatra Shibir are still in use. Those detained or
arrested in different occasions, were also found to be involved with Shibir.
Also, some of them are Chhatra Shibir leaders with 15-16 cases against
them," said Monirul.
Some of these people have been identified, and efforts
are on to nab them, he added.
Regarding the two unexploded bombs kept near police
boxes in Dhaka, and the attack on cops at Science Laboratory in Dhaka, Monirul
said, police were the main target of the incidents.
Explaining the reasons behind it, the CTTC chief said
that there were violent political activities in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
"After the trial of war criminals, the
Ganajagaran Mancha was created, and since then killing of bloggers started with
expansion of militancy activities," he said.
They (militants) wanted to create a violent situation
centring the trial of war criminals, but found police as their opponent, he
“Police had implemented the laws for the sake of
security of people, property, and government properties which went against
their interest, and they do have anger on police for it," he said.
Earlier on Sunday, Awami League General Secretary
Obaidul Quader said, the bomb attack on police personnel in Dhaka's Science
Laboratory area might be a test attack for a bigger plot in the near future.
On Saturday night, two policemen, including an ASI who
was escorting LGRD Minister Tazul Islam at Science Laboratory, were injured
after a bomb was hurled at them.
On July 23, and July 24, bomb-like objects were found
near police boxes at Paltan intersection, and Khamarbari in the capital.
On May 26, two people, including a female police
officer, got injured after a bomb went off near a police pickup truck in
Dhaka's Malibagh intersection.
The Taliban group claimed responsibility for a massive
Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) explosion in Kabul city
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a
statement that one of the suicide bombers of the group detonated the VBIED
close to Green Village.
Mujahid went on to claim that many other assailants
stormed into the compound following the explosion.
However, the interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi
said the militants detonated the VBIED among the civilian houses.
Rahimi also rejected the Taliban claims that the
fighters of the group have intruded into Green Village compound.
Large explosion hits Kabul, dozens mostly civilians
killed or wounded
02 Sep 2019
The militants detonated a large Vehicle-borne
Improvised Explosive Device in Kabul city earlier tonight.
Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of
Interior confirmed that the explosion took place at around 9:45 pm local time
close to Green Village.
The Taliban group claimed responsibility for the
attack claiming that many fighters of the group intruded into Green Village
Compound after detonated a VBIED.
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