wear masks as they attempt to identify the bodies of their relatives
Arabia Embraces Yoga in Pivot towards 'Moderation'
Scholars Should Study, Write on Hindus, Their Culture in Depth: Historians At
Least 832 Die After Quake, Tsunami Hits Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island
of Ummah Can Pull Muslim World Out Of Crises’: Jamaat-e-Islami
Urge Clerics Not to Attend 'Anti-Jihad' Meeting
Arabia, Allies Slam ‘Biased’ UN Resolution On Yemen
Terrorists Escape from Turkey-Backed Militants' Jail in Northern Syria
Iran threatens security in Straits of Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb
coalition doing everything but fight against terror, says Syrian FM
alliance with US at risk over Persian Gulf spat, says Qatar
rebel group begins withdrawal from demilitarized zone in Syria's Idlib
Scholars Should Study, Write on Hindus, Their Culture in Depth: Historians At NMML
Rejects Pakistan’s Charge That It Had A Role In 2014 Peshawar School Attack
killed in terrorist attack in Shopian
Swaraj at UN: No talks with Pakistan amid terror
issues demarche to Pakistan, wants withdrawal of Burhan Wani stamps
Least 832 Die After Quake, Tsunami Hits Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island Yemen
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
Arabia embraces yoga in pivot towards 'moderation'
a sparse, wood-floored studio, Saudi women squat, lunge and do headstands. Even
a year ago, teaching these yoga postures could have rendered them outlaws in
the conservative Islamic kingdom.
perceived as a Hindu spiritual practice, yoga was not officially permitted for decades
in Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam where all non-Muslim worship is banned.
with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman vowing an "open, moderate
Islam", the kingdom last November recognised yoga as a sport amid a new
liberalisation drive that has sidelined religious hardliners.
efforts to normalise yoga in the kingdom is Nouf Marwaai, a Saudi woman who has
battled insults and threats from extremists to challenge the notion that yoga
is incompatible with Islam.
have been harassed, (and) sent a lot of hate messages," said the
38-year-old head of the Arab Yoga Foundation, which has trained hundreds of
yoga instructors in the kingdom.
years ago, this (teaching yoga) would have been impossible," added
Marwaai, as she began training a cluster of women students at a private studio
in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Hanging
up their body-shrouding abayas and headscarves, the women stretched in unison
in an arching warrior pose known as "virabhadrasana".
outstretched, their bodies folded into a 180-degree backward bending posture
known as "chakrasana", or wheel pose.
a country where women have long been denied the right to exercise publicly, the
students -- some of whom regularly attend yoga retreats in India -- said the
exercise had transformed their lives.
Samman, a 32-year-old health educator, said yoga helped alleviate her lifelong
struggle with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder that often left her
also works as therapy, the women said, helping them vent bottled up emotions
and tackle a woefully common ailment --depression.
just opened me up like a water balloon," said Yasmin Machri, 32.
my first class... I started breaking down and crying."
Religious outreach - In just a few months since yoga's recognition, a new
industry of yoga studios and instructors has sprouted in various Saudi cities.
That includes Mecca and Medina, Islam's holiest cities, Marwaai said.
Mohammed, the de facto ruler, has sought to project a moderate image of the
kingdom, long associated with a fundamentalist strain of Wahhabi Islam, with a
new push for inter-religious exchange.
Arabia in recent months has hosted officials linked to the Vatican and the
prince also met a group of Roman Catholic and Jewish leaders in New York earlier
this year, in a rare inter-faith gesture.
prince's outreach to other religions is apparent in the interfaith gatherings
and the new enthusiasm for Saudi Arabia's pre-Islamic heritage," said
Kristin Diwan, of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.
decades, Saudi rulers derived much of their legitimacy from their alliance with
a clerical establishment that pushed a puritanical vision of Islam.
the prince appears to have upturned the system, seeking instead to tap support
from the kingdom's swelling youth base through a surge of nationalism and a
much-hyped modernisation drive.
columnists have openly called for abolishing the once-feared religious police
as the kingdom introduces entertainment, including mixed-gender concerts, and
re-opens cinemas after a decades-long ban.
hardline Salafist clerics with millions of followers on social media have been
jailed, with some on death row, as the crown prince clamps down on dissent.
religious networks which once led campaigns against more liberal ideas appear
cowed, but new practices like yoga are always subject to ad-hoc attacks,"
'Nothing to do with religion' - Yoga is still regarded as a deviant practice in
conservative circles, sometimes associated with witchcraft, and Marwaai's
students say they often confront accusations of betraying their religion.
receive messages through social media asking: 'Are you a Hindu? Did you turn
into a Hindu?'" said Budur al-Hamoud, a recruitment specialist.
has nothing to do with religion. It's a sport... It does not interfere with my
is seen at odds with several other faiths, but the recognition of the practice
in Saudi Arabia -- the epicentre of the Islamic world --appears to have given a
new impetus to Muslim yoga practitioners around the world.
is taking on conservatives not just in the kingdom but also India, the
birthplace of yoga where clerics last year slapped a fatwa, or religious edict,
against a female Muslim yoga teacher just days before the kingdom recognised
a shrill Indian television debate, Marwaai -- a lupus survivor and recently
awarded the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honours -- calmly
sought to reason with Muslim clerics who hurled insults at her.
clerics were particularly opposed to "Surya Namaskar", a yoga
sequence designed to greet Surya, the Hindu sun god, and the chanting of Hindu
is not the worshipping of the sun and the moon," Marwaai responded as
tempers frayed, denying they engaged in chanting.
a cleric said the set of physical movements in the Muslim prayer ritual offered
slow meditation does not increase the metabolic rate, Marwaai retorted.
"Prophet Mohammed used to race with his wife."
Scholars Should Study, Write On Hindus, Their Culture in Depth: Historians At
scholars should study and write on Hindus and their culture in depth,
historians opined at the 'All India History Summit' held at the Nehru Memorial
Museum and Library here Saturday.
Najaf Haider of JNU's Centre for Historical Studies emphasised that Muslims
have not studied Hindus or their culture in depth, according to a statement
from the event organisers.
on the topic 'Casting out Caste - Dalit Engagement with Power Politics', Prof
Kancha Ilaiah said caste is a reality and it needs to be addressed by the
is the only Muslim scholar who studied and wrote about the caste system, he
said, calling the Muslim scholars and students to write on dalits and caste
system, the statement said.
two-day event organised by the Centre for Educational Research and Training
(CERT) in collaboration with the Centre for Study and Research (CSR),
Hyderabad, and Student Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), will conclude on
least 832 die after quake, tsunami hits Indonesia’s Sulawesi island
This article contains graphic imagery. Reader discretion is therefore advised.
death toll from Indonesia's quake and tsunami jumped to 832, the disaster
agency said Saturday, as hospitals struggled to cope with hundreds of injured
and rescuers scrambled to reach the stricken region.
far, it said all the deaths were recorded in tsunami-struck Palu, a day after
waves 1.5 meters (five feet) high slammed into the city of 350,000 in central
aftershocks continued to rock the coastal city on Saturday morning after waves
up to three meters high swept through the scenic tourist town, triggered by a
7.5 magnitude earthquake on land.
bodies were found along the shoreline because of the tsunami, but the numbers
are still unknown," said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of Indonesia's
disaster mitigation agency BNPB said in news briefing in Jakarta.
footage shown by local TV stations, which could not immediately be
authenticated by Reuters, showed waters crashing into houses along Palu's shoreline,
scattering shipping containers and flooding into a mosque in the city.
described the damage as "extensive" with thousands of houses,
hospitals, shopping malls and hotels collapsed and a bridge washed away.
of victims trapped between the rubble of collapsing buildings were also found,
he said, adding that more than 350 people were injured.
of injured people were being treated in makeshift medical tents set up
outdoors, TV images showed.
meteorological and geophysics agency BMKG issued a tsunami warning after the
quake, but lifted it 34 minutes later. The agency was widely criticized for not
informing a tsunami had hit Palu on Saturday, though officials said waves had
come within the time the warning was issued.
quake and tsunami caused a major power outage that cut communications around
Palu and on Saturday authorities were still having difficulties coordinating
has not been able to get any information from the town of Donggala, closer to
the epicenter of the quake 27 km (16 miles) away. More than 600,000 people live
in Donggala and Palu.
security minister Wiranto told TVOne the military had started sending in cargo
planes from the capital Jakarta carrying relief aid.
city's airport remained closed after its runway and air traffic control tower
was damaged in the quake but officials said they were preparing to reopen to
allow aid to come in.
hope the airport can be reopened soon for flights carrying disaster relief and
aid," said Yohannes Sirait of AirNav, the air traffic management agency.
access to Palu from the east and the south are disconnected, making relief
efforts difficult, authorities said.
is no evacuation yet in the disaster area," Tezar Kodongan, a Palu resident,
told Metro TV.
Palu area was hit by a less powerful quake earlier on Friday, which destroyed
some houses, killed one person and injured at least 10 in the fishing town of
Donggala, closest to the epicentre, authorities said.
US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the second quake at a strong 7.5,
after first saying it was 7.7.
sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In
August, a series of major quakes killed over 500 people in the tourist island
of Lombok and destroyed dozens of villages along its northern coast.
was hit by tsunami in 1927 and 1968, according to BNPB.
Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaqat Baloch on Saturday said future of
country lay in the hands of youths and they should equip themselves with latest
knowledge of science and technology besides best morals.
was addressing at the inaugural session of International Youth Gathering. Youth
delegates from fifteen countries including Turkey and Syria attended the
said peace and tolerance were the greatest force of human beings while
violence, misunderstanding and extremism were the biggest enemies. He said
Islam was religion of peace and love. He said the unity of Muslim ummah and the
awakening of youth could pull Muslim world out of crises.
said the companions of Holy Prophet (SAW) were youth who brought about the
greatest revolution of human history. He said around 64 per cent of population
in Pakistan was below 30 years of age and they had deep love for Islam and the
youth representative Ali Kurd, Syrian representative Sardar Behram, Ehsanullah
Waqas and Mushtaq Mangat also addressed the moot.
Taliban have denounced Afghanistan and Pakistan for planning to convene a major
bilateral conference of religious scholars in a bid to declare the Afghan
insurgency as un-Islamic.
delegation composed of officials and clerics is visiting Islamabad and holding
talks with Pakistani counterparts to prepare ground and an agenda for the
proposed conference of "ulemas," or clerics. The deputy head of the
government-appointed High Peace Council (HPC), Atta-ur-Rehman Saleem, is
leading the Afghan delegation.
discussions began Friday and continued Saturday, but neither side has shared
details. "Both the sides agreed not to speak to media," a senior
official told VOA on condition of anonymity.
Islamic Emirate [the Taliban] calls on religious scholars in Afghanistan and
Pakistan not to attend the meeting and fall victim to America's plots and
desist from indirectly cooperating with American invaders," said a Taliban
statement issued Saturday.
alleged the United States is plotting Afghan clerics' meetings with
counterparts in other countries to try to build religious opposition to the
insurgent group's "ongoing jihad," or holy war, against foreign
"occupation" of the country.
Taliban asserted in their statement that the U.S. military mission had failed
to defeat the Taliban on the battlefield and that "the invaders" were
now resorting to such conferences and promoting "fake reports" about
peace talks with insurgents to "cover up their failures" and justify
their "occupation" of Afghanistan.
religious groups in Pakistan have long voiced support for the Taliban and
publicly defended the Afghan insurgency as Islamic jihad. Kabul believes
leaders of these groups could use their influence to help reduce violence and
promote an Afghan political reconciliation process.
Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal has underscored the importance of a joint
stance by religious scholars of the two countries against the insurgent
violence in his country.
needed. It's important and we [Afghans] are ready for it. We would want to, and
I hope Pakistani ulemas join hands with us," Zakhilwal said in an
interview that state-run Pakistani television aired Friday.
Arabia and Indonesia have already this year hosted, with Afghan officials,
international and trilateral ulema conferences. Participants at these meetings
denounced suicide bombings as "actions forbidden in Islam" and urged
the Taliban to engage in direct talks with Kabul to end the war.
the Islamist insurgency swiftly rejected those declarations and came up with
counteredicts from pro-Taliban clerics justifying the war as a religious
obligation to evict foreign forces from the country.
Pakistani scholars attended the trilateral ulema conference in Jakarta in May
with Afghan and Indonesian counterparts, they stayed away from the
international gathering in Saudi Arabia.
Taliban reportedly had sent letters to Pakistani scholars, urging them not to
attend the Saudi-hosted conference because it was an "American plot to
justify their military invasion of Afghanistan."
officials allege sanctuaries in Pakistan have enabled the Taliban to sustain
and expand their insurgent activities. Islamabad rejects these charges as
their part, Pakistani officials blame "ungoverned areas" in
Afghanistan for encouraging fugitive militants to shelter there and plot
cross-border terrorist attacks.
allegations and counterallegations are at the center of bilateral tensions
between the two countries, which share a nearly 2,600-kilometer border that is
maintains it has agreed to organize the joint ulema meeting to build mutual
confidence and underscore Islamabad's resolve to support the Afghan
government's efforts to promote peace in the country.
Arabia, allies slam ‘biased’ UN resolution on Yemen
Saudi Arabia and key allies have denounced as “biased” a resolution that
renewed a UN-backed investigation of alleged war crimes in Yemen.
condemnation was issued in a joint statement released by the Yemen government,
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. It comes after the UN Human Rights
Council voted to extend an international probe of alleged war crimes committed
in Yemen. “We are left with a resolution which is biased, and which clearly
contradicts the clear mandate laid out by the UN Security Council,” said the
joint statement. Rights council members voted in favor of the resolution in
Geneva on Friday by 21 to 8, with 18 abstentions. Saudi Arabia and its allies
bemoaned what they said was the council’s “failure to achieve consensus.” “In
particular, we are disappointed that certain member states failed to consider
the real and legitimate concerns of those states who are most affected by the
situation in Yemen,” their joint statement said.
resolution showed “disregard for Yemen’s sovereign right to give its consent to
cooperate with international resolutions that deal directly with the human
rights situation on its own territory,” it added. On the eve of the vote, the
Yemeni government had announced it was ending its cooperation with the UN human
rights mission, accusing it of bias in an August report on alleged war crimes.
The report accused both government forces and the Houthi militia of violations
of international law.
Arab Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki criticized the inaccuracy of the
information in the report.
report “failed to mention Iran’s role in Yemen, and the countless violations
perpetrated by the Houthis, both against the Yemeni people and against Saudi
Arabia,” Al-Maliki said.
Houthis have fired more than 200 missiles at Saudi Arabia since it intervened
in Yemen in March 2015.
coalition accuses Iran of smuggling the missiles through the rebel-held Red Sea
port of Hodeida, the entry point for UN aid for millions of civilians.
sum of ten ISIL terrorists and several defected members of the Ankara-led
Operation Euphrates Shield forces managed to escape a prison that was under the
control of the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army in the town of al-Bab.
sources said that the prison guards helped the inmate escape from the jail,
adding that the FSA and its allied Military Police have kept forces on alert
and have set up several checkpoints in the region.
sources in Western Aleppo reported on Thursday that Nouralddeen al-Zinki
commander Mohammad Ahmad al-Khatib was killed along with one of his aides by
unknown gunmen in the town of Kafr Nasih.
Turkey-backed Nouralddeen al-Zinki group affiliated to the National Liberation
Front terrorist group arrested three militants for affiliation to Tahrir
al-Sham in the town of Dar al-Izza in Western Aleppo.
the development, Tahrir al-Sham terrorists sent their military equipment to the
regions near Dar al-Izza, detaining a number of Nouralddeen al-Zinki militants
in the village of Tal Adah in Western Aleppo.
al-Sham militants also launched heavy attacks on the positions of Nouralddeen
al-Zinki in Dar al-Izzah with mortar fire.
is threatening security in the straits of Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb,” the
Bahraini foreign minister told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday,
adding that “the Iranian regime supports Yemen’s Houthi militias in threatening
Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa told the UN
that the regime in Iran is adopting a policy of sabotage and supporting
terrorism in the region and that achieving lasting security requires a
strategic alliance between the countries of the region.
a related context, the Bahraini foreign minister called on Iran “to stop
interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq” while stressing Bahrain’s support
for “the efforts to restore Syria to its entire territory and expel the Iranian
militias from them”, reiterating the need to reach a political solution to the
crisis in Syria.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem says the US-led coalition purportedly
fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has been doing everything it could
since the onset of its airstrikes but combat terrorism and militant outfits
wreaking havoc in the Arab country.
world leaders at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New
York on Saturday, Muallem described the military alliance as “illegitimate” and
censured the “hegemonic policies” pursued by certain countries against the
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
noted that thousands of displaced Syrians were returning home after government
forces reclaimed previously militant-held territories.
Damascus government will spare no effort to provide basic commodities to
refugees and ensure that their basic needs are met. Present conditions are conducive
to voluntary repatriation of refugees,” the top Syrian diplomat pointed out.
added that the Syrian government supported a political solution to the ongoing
foreign-sponsored conflict, emphasizing that Damascus was opposed to any
initiative which paves the way for foreign inference in Syria’s internal
welcomes reconstruction aid from counties not involved in the conflict. Those
states which offer conditional aid are neither invited nor willing to assist,”
Syrian minister went on to say that his country did not a pursue a chemical
weapons program, as all its chemical weapon stockpiles had been destroyed under
the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
also said the so-called White Helmets aid group was indeed affiliated to the
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front,
and was set up by Britain's secret intelligence service under a humanitarian
then leveled strong criticism at neighboring Turkey, stating that it had served
as a “terror hub and corridor” ever since the Syrian crisis began in March
also called on France, the US and Turkey to immediately withdraw their troops
from the Syrian soil.
foreign military presence in Syria without the government’s consent amounts to
flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter,” Muallem said.
also condemned Israel’s continued occupation of the strategic Golan Heights,
and the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Iran.
high-ranking Qatari official says a proposed NATO-like regional alliance, which
brings together Persian Gulf littoral states, Egypt, Jordan and the United
States, is at risk of credibility if a dispute between Doha and several of its
Arab neighbors is not resolved.
the alliance and the creation of the alliance, by ignoring the GCC ([Persian]
Gulf Cooperation Council) rift, we don’t think that, even if it’s initiated,
that it will be initiated effectively,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed
bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in New York.
is a serious challenge among the states and we need to address this challenge,
in order also to prove the credibility of this alliance. And we believe there’s
an opportunity over here,” he added.
Qatari foreign minister further noted that there had been “no progress” in
resolving the dispute with Saudi Arabia and its allies.
Thani, however, insisted that Doha remained “open to dialogue” with the Riyadh
regime and its partners.
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties
with Qatar on June 5 last year, after officially accusing Doha of “sponsoring
administration of the Saudi-backed and former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later
joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties with Doha. Jordan downgraded its
diplomatic relations as well.
Foreign Ministry later announced that the decision to cut diplomatic ties was
unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.
June 9, 2017, Qatar strongly dismissed allegations of supporting terrorism
after the Saudi regime and its allies blacklisted dozens of individuals and entities
purportedly associated with Doha.
that month, Saudi Arabia and its allies released a 13-point list of demands,
including the closure of Al Jazeera television network and downgrade of
relations with Iran, in return for the normalization of diplomatic relations
document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain
also asked Qatar to sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Lebanese
Hezbollah resistance movement.
has rejected the demands as "unreasonable."
ongoing Saudi-led diplomatic and trade boycott against Qatar comes as the US is
making efforts to speed up forging an Arab model of NATO.
White House has confirmed that it is working on a plan to create a NATO-like
security and political alliance between Arab countries to confront Iran despite
deep divisions among the Persian Gulf Arab states. The project is tentatively
known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA).
will serve as a bulwark against Iran," an unnamed spokesperson for the
White House’s National Security Council (NSC) said in late July.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that rebel group Failaq
al-Sham has started withdrawing its forces and heavy arms from a demilitarised
zone in northwest Syria.
group is the first to comply with a requirement to leave a demilitarised buffer
zone set up by Turkey and Russia to avert a Russian-backed Syrian army
offensive, Rami Abdulrahman, head of the UK-based war monitor told Reuters.
sources could not immediately be reached for comment.
group is withdrawing its forces and heavy arms in small batches from southern
Aleppo countryside, adjacent to Idlib province, which is part of the DMZ
towards the west," Abdulrahman said.
demilitarized zone will be 15 to 20 km (10 to 12 miles) deep, run along the
contact line between rebel and government fighters, and will be patrolled by
Turkish and Russian forces.
and Russia had agreed in mid-September to enforce a new demilitarized zone in
Idlib province from which rebels will be required to withdraw by the middle of
al-Sham is the third largest group among the rebel groups in Northwest Syria,
according to the monitor.
rejects Pakistan’s charge that it had a role in 2014 Peshawar school attack
NATIONS: India Sunday strongly hit back at Pakistan for the "preposterous
allegation" its foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made at the UN that
terrorists behind the 2014 attack on a Peshawar school were
"supported" by India, saying the "despicable insinuation" dishonours
the memory of the children killed in the assault.
diplomat from the country's Permanent Mission to the UN, Eenam Gambhir,
exercised India's Right of Reply and rejected Qureshi's baseless allegation
made during his General Assembly address last night.
the most outrageous was the preposterous allegation relating to the horrific
terror attack on a Peshawar school four years ago," Gambhir said.
reminded the new Pakistan government under the leadership of Prime Minister
Imran Khan, that there was an outpouring of sorrow and pain in India following
the massacre of children in 2014.
said both Houses of India's Parliament had expressed solidarity while paying
respects to those killed.
all over India had observed two minutes of silence in their memory. The
despicable insinuation made by the foreign minister of Pakistan dishonours the
memory of the innocent lives lost to terrorists that day," Gambhir said.
said the allegation was a "desperate attempt" to look away from the
monster of terror Pakistan has created in its quest to destabilise its
neighbours and covet their territory.
had said that Pakistan will never forget the mass murder of more than 150
children in the Peshawar school, the Mastung attack and many others that
"have links with terrorists supported by India."
Peshawar attack was carried out by heavily-armed 8-10 Taliban suicide bombers
who stormed the army-run school and took several hostages. The attackers
wearing paramilitary Frontier Corps uniforms had entered the school and started
also took a dig at Qureshi's emphasis on a "new Pakistan" under Khan,
saying while the Indian delegation had come to listen to Pakistan's
"new" foreign minister outline the vision of a new Pakistan,
"what we heard is a 'New Pakistan' cast in the mold of old."
tore into Pakistan's claim that it has turned the tide against terrorism,
saying a fact-check of this claim will give a different picture.
asked if Pakistan can deny the fact that it is the "host and patron"
of 132 of the UN-designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities listed under
the UN Security Council Sanctions regimes.
Pakistan deny that the UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed enjoys a free run
inside Pakistan and spews venom and sets up candidates for electoral
offices," she said.
Qureshi again raking up the Kashmir issue, Gambhir asserted that India is
making it clear to the "new government" of Pakistan that the entire
state of Jammu and Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India.
also ripped through efforts of the 'New Pakistan' to champion human rights.
is vintage verbal duplicity," Gambhir said, citing the example of
Princeton economic professor Atif Mian.
economist was appointed and removed by Khan's government from the Economic
Advisory Council on the grounds that he belongs to a minority. Mian is an Ahmadi,
a religious minority of Pakistan.
preaching to the world, championing of human rights should begin at home,"
said a report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on
Kashmir, which Qureshi mentioned and welcomed in his speech, is a publication
that no UN member-state had asked for or supported and on which no action was taken.
lambasted Pakistan's assertion that New Delhi had called off the proposed
foreign minister-level talks on flimsy grounds.
new foreign minister of Pakistan chose to term the gruesome killing of our
security personnel by Pakistani-sponsored terrorists as 'flimsy grounds',"
said Qureshi's speech was made up of "fake allegations and fake
facts" which can only make for a "fake vision."
had said Pakistan desires a relationship with India based on sovereign equality
and mutual respect and sought resolution of disputes through a serious and
comprehensive dialogue that covers all issues of concern.
said Pakistan was to meet on the sidelines of this UNGA Session to talk about
all issues with India but New Delhi called of the dialogue for the third time
on flimsy grounds.
preferred politics over peace," he had said.
had called off the meeting, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in
Jammu and Kashmir and after Islamabad released postage stamps glorifying
Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.
a new vision to materialise, Pakistan must demonstrate that it has moved beyond
a narrative of deception, deceit and distortion," Gambhir said.
its Right of Reply, Pakistan said the claims of religious superiority are
perpetrated through state patronage all across India.
Pakistani representative made a reference to Farook Ahmad Dar, saying he was
tied to an army vehicle and used as a human shield in the Valley. He said
members from India's minority communities are publicly lynched at the hands of
said Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally-recognised dispute and the UN has
called for holding of a impartial plebiscite to ascertain the wishes of the
said Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of India, adding, "India cannot hide
behind semantics anymore."
A policeman was killed in a militant attack on a police station in Jammu and
Kashmir's Shopian district on Sunday, police said.
in District Shopian fired indiscriminately on Police Station Shopian. The
attack was repulsed by alert jawans," a police spokesman said.
said in this incident, constable Saqib Mir sustained injuries and was evacuated
to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
#jammukashmir: Policeman who was injured in terror attack on a police station
in Shopian has succumbed to i… https://t.co/tdJpcQL1Ud
ANI (@ANI) 1538275269000
the injured jawan succumbed to injuries, the spokesman said.
terrorism as the second existential threat to humanity after climate change,
external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday launched one of the most
scathing attacks on Pakistan in recent times, saying it is an expert not just
in spawning grounds for terrorism but also in its attempts to “mask malevolence
with verbal duplicity”.
at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, Swaraj said it had become
something of a habit with Pakistan to throw the “dust of deceit and deception”
at India in order to provide a thin cover for its own guilt. The minister said
Pakistan’s commitment to terrorism as an instrument of official policy had not
abated one bit.
allegations of human rights violations in J&K by her counterpart Shah M
Qureshi, who was scheduled to speak later in the evening, Swaraj said there was
no greater transgressor of human rights than a terrorist.
her speech, Swaraj described Pakistan as a defender of inhuman behaviour, not
of human rights.
who take innocent human lives in pursuit of war by other means are defenders of
inhuman behaviour, not of human rights. Pakistan glorifies killers; it refuses
to see the blood of innocents,’’ she said.
United Nations has seen this before. Last year, Pakistan’s representative,
using her right to reply, displayed some photographs as ‘proof’ of ‘human
rights violations’ by India. The photographs turned out to be from another
country. Similar false accusations have become a part of its standard rhetoric,’’
also spoke in detail on the most recent dialogue initiative describing as a lie
Pakistan’s contention that India was responsible for the collapse of talks. She
said while India believed talks were the only rational means to resolve the
most complex of disputes, it was only because of Pakistan’s behaviour that
these had to be stopped.
explain to me how we could pursue talks in the midst of terrorist bloodshed?
Even now, after the new government came to power, Prime Minister of Pakistan
Imran Khan wrote to Prime Minister Modi suggesting a meeting between foreign ministers
in New York. We accepted the proposal. But, within hours of our acceptance,
news came that terrorists had killed three of our jawans. Does this indicate a
desire for dialogue?’’ said Swaraj.
minister said there had been many governments in India, by many different
parties, which had tried the peace option. She recalled how Prime Minister
Modi, by inviting the heads of SAARC nations to his swearing-in ceremony, began
his attempt for dialogue on his very first day in office.
9th December 2016, I personally went to Islamabad and offered a comprehensive
bilateral dialogue. But soon after, Paksponsored terrorists attacked our air
force base in Pathankot on 2nd January,’’ she said.
demon of terrorism now stalks the world, at a faster pace somewhere, a slower
pace elsewhere, but life-threatening everywhere. In our case, terrorism is bred
not in some faraway land, but across our border to the west,’’ said Swaraj.
most startling evidence of Pakistan’s duplicity, Swaraj said, was the fact that
Osama bin Laden, the architect and ideologue of 9/11 was given safe haven in
that country. She recalled how America had declared Osama bin Laden its most
dangerous enemy, and launched an exhaustive, worldwide search to bring him to
justice. “What America perhaps could not comprehend was that Osama would get
sanctuary in a country that claimed to be America’s friend and ally: Pakistan.
Eventually, America’s intelligence services discovered the truth of this
hypocrisy, and its special forces delivered justice. But Pakistan continued to behave
as if nothing had happened,’’ she said.
killers of 9/11 met their fate; but the mastermind of 26/11, Hafiz Saeed, still
roams the streets of Pakistan with impunity,” she added.
DELHI: After it called off talks between the foreign ministers, India last week
issued a demarche to Pakistan over the issue of commemorative postage stamps
glorifying Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani whose killing in 2016 had led to another
wave of unrest in the Valley.
sources said Pakistan was asked to immediately withdraw these stamps.
had mentioned it as one of the reasons for cancelling talks between foreign
minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart Shah M Qureshi on the sidelines of
the UNGA. While the stamps were first issued in July this year, Indian
authorities have said that the stamps were re-issued around the time India
confirmed the Swaraj-Qureshi meeting after receiving a proposal for the same
from Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
had said the release of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist
had confirmed that Pakistan was not going to mend its ways. India had also
blamed brutal killings of Indian security personnel by Pakistan based entities
in its statement announcing cancellation of the dialogue 24 hours after it was
had blamed Pakistan for the killing of a BSF soldier along the international
border but Pakistan continues to deny its role in the incident. While it had
earlier been reported that the jawan’s body was found mutilated, DG BSF K K
Sharma denied this on Friday saying that firing by Pakistan’s Border Action
Team had caused his death.
though has denied its involvement altogether citing before BSF what it calls
circumstantial evidence to claim that the jawan’s death was probably a case of
claims to have offered a meeting to BSF between senior officers to cooperate on
the issue and locate the exact spot where the incident might have taken place.
Accusing India of having rejected its offer, Pakistan has continued to maintain
before BSF that it wouldn’t have been possible for anyone to kill an Indian
soldier and mutilate his body at a place located just next to a manned Indian
incident though is significant for India because, as Sharma had said, this was
perhaps the first time that BAT action had taken place along the international
border and not LoC. According to Sharma, the jawan had three bullets in his
body and also had his throat slit. The rest, he said, was exaggerated.
to Indian authorities, Pakistani forces had become more aggressive along the
international border after Imran Khan became PM. The ugly spat witnessed after
the cancellation of the dialogue has ruled out the possibility of any
substantive talks between the two countries at least until the elections in
India next year.
engagement will be restricted to addressing humanitarian issues involving
fishermen and other prisoners.
pledges to fight on for Malays and Islam
new president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stuck to familiar themes of defending Malay
rights and protecting Islam yesterday evening at the party's first annual
assembly as an opposition party.
a two-hour-long speech, he said Malaysia's biggest party - with more than three
million members - will not open up to other races, and launched attacks on the
Pakatan Harapan (PH) government and those who left Umno after the shocking
electoral defeat in May.
twice praised his predecessor Najib Razak, who was given a standing ovation
from the 5,700 party delegates when his name was first announced in the
cavernous hall at the Umno headquarters. Najib, who was Malaysia's prime
minister, attended as an ordinary party member.
Seri Zahid, 65, said he supported the notion by enemy-turned-ally Parti Islam
SeMalaysia that "Islam should lead" the country.
short, while outsiders are keen to see whether Umno will move in a major new
direction to regain the trust of voters, Mr Zahid and his party leaders seem
unlikely to shift away from the race and religion card.
is not a racist party, or prejudiced, or a threat to other races. Malays have
never sidelined any other races," he told the delegates.
fact is that today it is the Malays who are most vulnerable to the bias and
prejudice by other races towards them. Malays are accused of being stupid and
said to be lazy, too dependent on subsidies and government aid," he said.
we are challenged with Malaysian Malaysia, we will rise to defend our rights as
stated in the Constitution," he said, referring to a slogan often linked
to the Chinese-led Democratic Action Party.
Zahid also spent a significant portion of his speech attacking five MPs and
several state lawmakers who had left the party to become independents or
switched to PH parties. "They no longer have the moral basis to remain as
elected representatives. The seats belong to Umno. The seats belong to Barisan
Nasional (BN) supporters," he said, to loud cheers from the crowd.
Zahid said the party had served writs of summons to these lawmakers.
demand them to return the money involving costs and they should also vacate the
seats that they won under the Umno and BN ticket," he said.
Malaysian electoral laws, lawmakers are allowed to become independents or join
other parties. Umno-led BN caused the Perak state government under the then
Pakatan Rakyat alliance to collapse in 2009 by luring away three lawmakers.
Zahid, in his speech, did make a small move forward, by proposing a limit of
two terms for Umno presidents. He wants members to deliberate on this.
he wants a "rebranded" BN, consisting of five core parties, by
allowing direct membership into the coalition.
main core parties will consist of Umno, MCA, MIC, MyPPP and Parti Bersatu
Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), followed by the parties of other coalitions that
understand the aspirations and ideals of struggling together," he said.
shrunk to just Umno, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian
Indian Congress (MIC) after the May polls defeat. Mr Zahid's speech indicated
that MyPPP (formerly the People's Progressive Party), which has no seats in
Parliament, and PBRS, which has one MP, have rejoined BN.
should lead, says Zahid in first policy speech at Umno congress
LUMPUR: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he supported PAS’ slogan that Islam should be
the supreme power in governing Malaysia, as Umno welcomed top PAS leaders to
its general assembly today, its first since losing federal power last May.
I support PAS’ slogan that Islam should lead,” Zahid said in his presidential
address at the Putra World Trade Centre tonight, his first policy speech after
taking over as party president last June.
said it did not mean Umno would embrace narrow nationalism and racism.
he said the party also rejected any call for equal treatment of all races as
espoused by the “Malaysian Malaysia” concept.
we are challenged with ‘Malaysian Malaysia’, we will rise to defend our rights
as stated in the constitution,” he said, referring to a slogan often linked to
reserved a good part of his speech to attack Umno MPs who resigned from the
party in the aftermath of the May 9 polls, and vowed to take legal action to
recover money spent for their election campaigns under the Barisan Nasional
no longer have the moral basis to remain as elected representatives. The seats
belong to Umno. The seats belong to Barisan Nasional supporters,” he said.
said the party had already served writs of summons to elected representatives
who switched sides or chose to become independents.
said that there was little the party could do to stop its elected
representatives from leaving the party.
demand them to return the money involving costs and they should also vacate the
seats that they won under the Umno and BN ticket,” he said.
he praised Umno MPs and assemblymen who remained with the party despite being
“seduced” to switch sides.
up, those of you MPs and assemblymen who are still with Umno. Let us stand up
and pay tribute to these heroes of Umno,” said Zahid to thunderous applause
opened his speech by paying tribute to his predecessor Najib Razak.
he said he was aware of the context of the Umno meeting this time.
am the first president of Umno to deliver the policy speech as an opposition
leader,” he said.
said although Umno was today like a damaged ship “sailing in the rough seas”, he
was confident of the party returning to power “in the very near future”.
after the 15th general election,” he quickly added.
welcomed senior PAS leaders who attended the Umno assembly, including PAS
deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and PAS Youth chief Muhammad Khalil
Abdul Hadi, who is also the son of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
said Umno had found an ally in PAS, and rejected suggestions that the party
open its membership to non-Malays.
does not need to open its membership to others to remain relevant,” he said.
LUMPUR: Umno supreme council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has shot down the
idea of forming a unity government with DAP, stating that the party’s
principles are not in line with Umno’s policies.
policies are not consistent with our policies. We cannot agree with their
need to throw their ‘kecinaan’ (ultra-Chinese principles). They are racist but
they accuse us of being racist,” he said at the sideliness of the Umno General
Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre.
also questioned DAP’s sincerity in recognising Islam as the official religion
have their own agenda that is in line with (former Singapore prime minister)
Lee Kuan Yew’s agenda,” he said, without elaborating further.
Tajuddin said Umno would keep their doors open to any political party keen on
forming a unity government, as long as its policies were consistent with
is not about) backdoor entry.
are talking about winning the election. We don’t want to close our doors. In
politics, anything is possible,” he said.
president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said Umno was open to working with any party,
but would not sacrifice its principles.
calls for end to hate campaigns against Islam
foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member
countries have adopted a strongly worded statement – sponsored by Pakistan and
Turkey – denouncing the increasing attacks on Islam as well as its revered
personalities and symbols, while calling for an immediate end to such
at the meeting held on the margins of the 73rd session of the UN General
Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed deep
concern over the misrepresentation of Islam as well as at the activities that
have hurt the feelings of Muslims all over the world, especially the disrespect
shown to the most revered personality of Islam.
the statement, which was approved by the ministerial meeting, serious concern
was expressed on the intensification of hate campaigns which were deliberately
targeting Muslims and the Islamic religious symbols. The joint statement
rejected provocative acts like the holding of the caricature contest to
ridicule Islam which was clearly aimed at inciting violence.
statement takes notes of the important resolutions adopted by the OIC, the UN
Human Rights Council and the UNGA condemning attacks on Islam, combating
intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation and discrimination, and
incitement to violence against persons based on religion and belief.
particular, the statement points to various steps proposed by the OIC to foster
an environment of peace, religious tolerance and respect as well as measures to
be taken by the states in their domestic sphere.
statement is said to be in line with Pakistan government’s commitment to play
its role in garnering support through OIC’s joint action, building solidarity
and unity among Muslim countries, standing united for the common cause of
upholding the values of Islam, and engaging with other countries to promote a
culture of peace and tolerance.
NATIONS: Pakistan has warned India of a strong response if New Delhi tries to
cross the Line of Control or acts upon its so-called ‘doctrine of limited war’
divert the world’s attention from its brutalities, India frequently violates
the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Despite numerous violations
Pakistan has acted with restraint,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said
while addressing the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday. “But if
India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of ‘limited’ war against
Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response.”
in Urdu, FM Qureshi presented Pakistan’s viewpoint on issues ranging from
terrorism, relations with India especially in the context of continuing rights
violations in India-held Kashmir, war in Afghanistan, Palestine crisis, climate
also raised the issue of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and informed the audience
that India was behind various acts of terrorism in Pakistan, including the 2014
Army Public School carnage in Peshawar.
to the change of government following the July 25 general elections in the
country, he said that Pakistan would not compromise on the interests of the
nation, the sovereignty of the state, or the security of its people.
government is keen to pursue a policy of partnership for peace, security and
prosperity in our immediate neighbourhood and beyond. We seek a peaceful
environment to promote our development agenda both at the national level and in
our region,” he said.
New Delhi’s decision to cancel talks between Pakistani and Indian foreign
ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Mr Qureshi said that the
Modi government called off the dialogue for a third time on flimsy grounds.
“They preferred politics over peace,” he said.
used the pretext of stamps issued months ago, of a Kashmiri activist and
depicting grave human rights violations including pellet gun victims, as an
excuse to back out from the talks.
unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute hinders the realisation of the goal of a
durable peace between our two countries. For over 70 years now, it has remained
on the agenda of the UN Security Council and a blot on the conscience of
seventy years the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir have struggled for their
right to self-determination in the face of overwhelming oppression and gross
violation of their fundamental human rights by the Indian occupation forces,”
he pointed out. The foreign minister warned that there could be no lasting peace
in South Asia without a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute based on the
UNSC resolutions and in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people.
Qureshi said that Pakistan welcomed the recently released report by the Office
of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
endorses the UN report and calls for early institution of a Commission of
Inquiry under the UN auspices to investigate and fix responsibility,” he said,
adding, “We will welcome the commission to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and hope
that India too, will do the same.”
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her speech said that the
biggest challenges the world currently faced were climate change and terrorism.
claimed that India, hours after agreeing to a meeting between Pakistani and
Indian foreign ministers in New York on a proposal of Prime Minister Imran
Khan, had cancelled the event because “news came that terrorists had killed
three of our jawans”.
As the fathers, brothers, uncles and friends of the 14 Pakistani fishermen
returning from Indian jails lined up on platform number eight of the Cantonment
Railway Station for the Night Coach Express to arrive on Saturday afternoon,
they took out fistfuls of red rose petals from plastic bags to shower on the
fishermen. A few rose petals also fell to the ground, which were quickly
collected by tiny hands. A toddler in brown shalwar kameez squatted on the
floor to gather the fallen petals.
was Rihal, son of Faiz Mohammad, one of the returning fishermen. Rihal had come
to the train station all the way from Sujawal district with his uncle Mumtaz
Ali. “He is only two-and-a-half. When his father was arrested at sea by the
Indian Coast Guard after unknowingly having crossed over to that side, he was
only one year old but fearing that he would not have any recollection of his
father, we have been showing him his father’s photographs,” said the uncle.
we were informed that Faiz’s name was also among the fishermen being released
from Indian jails this time we were overjoyed. Rihal watched his mother and
grandmother crying with joy and started crying too. I have told him that he
will meet his father today. He just can’t wait,” he said.
how the family had been coping financially with one earning member away, Mumtaz
said that Faiz was his elder brother and with him away the responsibility of
taking care of the entire family fell on his own shoulders. “Our parents don’t
keep well. We have younger siblings too, as well as our wives and children to
take care of. I had to feed some 20 to 25 mouths, so I took on the job of
driver besides fishing. Whenever there was a big fishing trawler leaving, I
would take leave from my job for a week to 10 days to accompany them to make
some extra money. Life has been very hectic,” he said.
the train finally chugged in, families and friends of the fishermen who had
come to receive them earnestly scanned the compartments passing them by.
Suddenly they heard loud cheers from inside one and started running alongside
the train until it stopped. Sons were united with fathers, brothers embraced
brothers but the most tearful reunion was between Faiz and his little boy.
Mumtaz quickly let his brother pull the boy into his arms as the little boy
came face to face with his father he had only known through his pictures until
now. Faiz kissed his little boy who was crying and promised him to never leave
him alone ever again. “I will work as a labourer if need be, but I won’t go to
fish in the sea anymore, I will be with you and see you grow big and strong,”
he said to him.
the returning fishermen were Hamid Ali, Laung Ali, Manzoor Ali, Dilbar, Imam
Ali, Yaseen, Rajab Ali, Sajjad Ali, Yousuf, Niaz Hussain, Siraj, Ali Asghar and
Faisal Ali. All hail from Sujawal district. All were arrested on the same night
at around 2am some 13 months ago. “There were three or four of us in five small
boats. The sea was rough and we didn’t realise when we had drifted over to the
other side,” said Faisal Ali, who also told Dawn that he had only been married
for a couple of months when the unfortunate incident took place.
his time in an Indian prison, he said they enjoyed beating him and the other
Pakistani prisoners with him. “We were made to work extra hard and given very
little food to eat. They referred to us as ‘Dushman’ [enemy],” he said. “But
there is one positive thing that came out of all this,” he said.
this I used to be a chain smoker. But when I requested the jail staff for a
biri [cigarette] I would only get a tight slap in return. I have not smoked in
13 months and now when someone offered me a cigarette after crossing the Wagah
Border, I didn’t feel like smoking. At least my bride would be happy,” he said.
Pakistani fishermen were handed over to Pakistani authorities at Wagah in Lahore
on Sept 26. After a day’s stay at the Edhi Home they were brought to Karachi
with the help of the Edhi Foundation. Among others, they were received at the
station by chairman of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Mohammad Ali Shah and his
volunteers with representatives of the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Limited.
September, renowned economist and member of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC)
Dr Atif Mian had resigned from his post following a request by the government
after mounting pressure from religio-political groups against the appointment
of a member of Ahmadiyya community.
a series of tweets, Atif Rehman Mian said that he resigned for the sake of
stability of the PTI-led government. However, he said he will always be ready
to serve Pakistan – the country where he was raised and which he loves.
Ahmadi Pakistanis have lashed out at the premier over the ruling party’s
inability to take a stand for Mian.
am an Ahmadi who donated to the Pakistani fund for dams. With my contribution,
will the Islamic water and electricity get contaminated?” a Twitter user asked.
would actually request all haters that until Halal Bhasha Dam is constructed
please stop using Haram waters of Mangla and Tarbela Dams as the planning,
financing and construction of these was spearheaded by an Ahmadi (MM Ahmad),”
The Sikh community living in Pakistan has voiced its concern over the reported
employment of a Hindu as the chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board
(ETPB) and wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan saying that they will
not accept a Hindu as ETPB chairman, Pakistan Today has learnt.
letter was sent to the prime minister on behalf of the entire Sikh community of
Pakistan after they learnt that a minority MNA from Hindu community, Dr Ramesh
Kumar Vankvani, was proposing his relative to be made the chairman of ETPB.
have requested the premier to halt the appointment; otherwise, the Sikh
community would boycott Pakistan, causing adverse economic effects for the
to the letter, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, the Sikh
community has still not forgiven the atrocities of Hindus which the Sikhs had
been facing since ages. It was mentioned that from the martyrdom of Guru Arjun
Dev Ji by a Hindu to the sacrifices made by Sikhs during the 1947 partition,
some Hindus have been playing a malicious role.
letter cited the brutal incident of Darbar Sahib Siri Amritsar Sahib in 1984
and the brutal episodes of where the Hindus deceived Sikhs and made them
migrate from Pakistan due to which the Sikhs are still living as a minority in
applicants informed the prime minister that the Sikh community respects the
land of Pakistan which is pious for them as most of their Gurus were either
born or cremated here and most of the Janam Asthans and Gurdawaras are here in
wrote that around 90 per cent of the income ETPB generates is because of the
Gurdawara land which belongs to the Sikhs. Moreover, they also generate income
through the Yatras and visits of the Sikhs to their holy sites in Pakistan.
letter mentioned that the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee is also
the representative of the Sikh community on the international level and makes
all the arrangements of Yatra with the assistance of ETPB.
Sikh community appreciated the role and efforts of ETPB for looking after the
Sikh holy sites and pilgrims, but also expressed distress over the proposal of
a Hindu being proposed as the chairman of the board.
to Pakistan Today, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee President Tara
Singh confirmed the development and said, “We have no issues with the Hindu
community but there are a large number of Sikh properties and holy sites here
in Pakistan, therefore, we want some representation for ourselves.”
Supreme Court has also ordered that the chairman of ETPB should be from the
minorities,” he added.
said that a bill is going to be presented in the National Assembly by Dr Ramesh
Kumar Vankvani proposing that only a Hindu should be appointed as chairman of
the board. “This is not acceptable to us,” he added.
the same context we have sent a letter to the incumbent ETPB chairman and PM
Khan to convey our message,” he said.
United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian
Affairs Alice Wells has said President Donald Trump was ‘disappointed’ after no
headway was made with Pakistan over negotiations with the Taliban.
US president had directed that we work together with Pakistan to bring Taliban
to the negotiating table, however he was disappointed after no headway was
made,” she told a private TV channel. “We have still not found a way to work
more closely with Pakistan to ensure Taliban come to the negotiation table,”
she said. “I can assure you through my own efforts that we are always looking
for opportunities to strengthen our relationships,” she said, but asserted,
“These set of issues will continue to be important.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s
scheduled meeting in Washington, Wells said, “They will discuss important
points regarding strong partnership. The most important issue between the two
countries is how to work on bilateral relations.” Wells said, “There are
investment opportunities in energy and other sectors in Pakistan and US is
looking forward to strengthening its trading ties.”
day earlier, in an interview with BBC Urdu, Wells had said that US wants
‘positive and constructive’ relations with Pakistan. “Pakistan is an important
country in the region [South Asia] with an important part to play,” she had
insurance industry struggles ... but terrorism claims are paid out
The insurance sector in Afghanistan, like many other sectors in the country, is
gasping for much-needed reforms.
there are insurance services available in the country, absence of proper
government policy, high insurance premiums, lack of awareness among people and
mistrust of the insurance companies have left this sector underdeveloped.
Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry identifies areas of health, motor,
cargo and mining as high potential areas for insurance companies but in a
country marred by decades of conflict, rife graft, poor economy, and sectarian
divide, the highest-risk factor is terrorism.
Afghan Global Insurance (AGI) offers a long list of insured items and, contrary
to many countries, it also pays its clients’ claims for acts of “terrorism”
that include bomb blasts, suicide attacks, and air strikes, which have become a
frequent occurrence in Afghanistan.
its establishment in 2010, the AGI has managed to absorb only a little over
40,000 clients — among them foreign firms, aid agencies and expatriates.
is re-insured by international firms to which it cedes major projects to reduce
the risk, Naweedullah Gulzad, chief operations officer at the firm, told Arab
News. These firms include Lloyd’s of London and the Indian-based General Insurance
government has withheld for years the draft legislation on insurance despite
running a national insurance firm of its own that mainly deals with covering
car accidents and arson.
said the absence of an insurance law was the main hurdle for promotion of the
industry in Afghanistan. “The other challenge has been lack of awareness among
people and the public distrust. Most people think insurance may actually rob
them,” he added.
of awareness, mistrust, political instability among other factors, have
prompted many companies registered in Afghanistan to buy insurance directly
from outside the country, which is a distraction for the Afghan economy and is
contrary to the law, he said.
recently, there has been good news for the AGI in the health sector as most
NGOs have expressed interest in health insurance for their employees. One
insurance sector that perhaps makes AGI more attractive to clients and is not
common in many other parts of the world is covering “terrorism and political
have an insurance policy by the name of terrorism and political violence ...
airstrikes, even passive war is covered under that … and if anything happens to
your car in a terrorist attack, insurance companies are paying that,” Gulzad
an example, he added, the AGI paid more than $900,000 to one of the Indian
companies in Ghazni province, where the power transmission line was damaged in
a Taliban attack.
infighting erupts among the Taliban in Badakhshan province
deadly infighting erupted among the Taliban militants in northeastern
Badakhshan province of Afghanistan, leaving several militants dead, including
one of their local commanders.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said Saturday that the
infighting erupted among the supporters of two local leaders of the Taliban
to a statement released by 209th Shaheen Corps, at least 17 militants were
killed during the infighting in Jurm district of Badakhshan earlier today.
statement further added that the supporters of Qari Matiullah and Qari Ashor
clashed among each other in Gharmi village.
local commander of the group identified as Qari Hezbullah was among those killed,
the 209th Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
clash broke out between the local residents of Khogyani district and the
Taliban militants in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, leaving a
number of Taliban militants dead or wounded.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said the
clash broke out on Saturday in Arghach area of the district.
statement further added that a Taliban militant was killed during the clash and
at least two others sustained injuries.
the meantime, a Taliban militant identified as Khanezullah surrendered to the
Border Police forces in Kelgho area of the district, the 201st Silab Corps
said, adding that the militant also handed over a Ak-47 rifle to the security
local leader of the Taliban group was arrested by the security forces shortly
after he attempted to murder a soldier of the Border Police Forces.
provincial government media office in a statement said the detained Taliban
leader has been identified as Qudratullah and was arrested from Marko Bazaar
area of Ghani Khel district.
statement further added that Qudratullah was arrested by the security forces
shortly after he opened fire on a soldier of the Border Police in Marko Bazaar.
district administrative chief Haji Ghalib Mujahid said the security forces have
also confiscated a gun which was used by Qudratullah in attempt to murder the
Border Police soldier.
statement by the provincial government also added that no one else was hurt
during the attack by Qudratullah and the security forces encounter which led to
Saudi Arabia is the most infamous supporter of terrorism in the world, and the
root cause and origin of terrorism which has entangled the entire world,
specially, the Middle-East, is nowhere but in Saudi Arabia and the extremist
thoughts that the regime promotes and supports financially," Foreign
Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.
lashed out at al-Jubeir for misusing the UN tribune to raise allegations of
terrorism against Iran, and said the remarks by Saudi foreign minister, whose
country has launched a catastrophic and destructive war against the Muslim
country of Yemen for 5 years and supports extremism, violence and warmongering,
are rooted in the thoughts promoted by him and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Arabia has been promoting Wahhabism in the world which is the root cause of
relevant remarks in June, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council
(SNSC) Ali Shamkhani blamed Wahhabism, mainly promoted by Saudi Arabia, for the
formation of Takfiri terrorist groups that have stirred crisis in the regional
was the ideological bed for Takfiri terrorism and the ISIL was created based on
Wahhabism, a plot hatched by certain world powers and the role played by a
number of ignorant and contending regional states," Shamkhani said in a
meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Viktor Makhmudov in Tehran.
referred to the US attempts to misuse terrorism to its own benefits as well as
regional concerns about the transfer of the ISIL terrorists to Afghanistan and
Central Asia, and said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to share
its bright and successful experiences in fighting terrorism with other regional
No difference between Daesh, PKK terrorists
Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
sees no difference between Daesh and PKK terrorist groups, the country’s
president said on Saturday in his final address of a three-day state visit to
consider identical the Daesh savagery, which killed civilians in Berlin
marketplace, and the PKK murderers, who martyred 11-month-old Bedirhan and his
mother two months ago," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the inauguration
ceremony of Cologne Central Mosque.
also called for a common stance against racism, stressing that Islamophobia,
xenophobia and racism are maladies that threaten both the present and future.
should act together against these trends, which corrode social peace and
undermine the culture of coexistence," he added.
that some people try to link all Muslims, by labelling them
"Islamist" or "Jihadist," with the terror groups that
harmed and killed mostly the Muslims, Erdogan said they expect from political
and media institutions of Europe to refrain from statements that will show
Muslims as a target.
say that this racism must end," Erdogan stressed.
said the youth are tried to be pulled into the trap of terrorism by groups such
as Daesh, PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), while the racist
groups, he also said, ignore the rights of Muslims.
not allow a handful of PKK and FETO sympathizer incompetents to disturb our
people and harm Turkish-German friendship," Erdogan added.
expect a more intense effort from our European friends against terror
groups," the president said.
said the streets and squares of the European capitals should not be
"polluted" anymore with the symbols of PKK.
and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July
15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a
terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible
for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children.- 'Extremely
fruitful and successful' visit
described his trip to Germany an “extremely fruitful and successful visit in a
critical period”, adding that it also strengthened the Turkish-German
president also stressed that the two countries need to focus on common
interests and put clash of ideas aside.
will strengthen our cooperation in every field ranging from fight against
terror groups to migrant crisis, conflict in Syria to trade wars," Erdogan
also called on Germany to enable dual Turkish-German citizenship for the Turks
living across Germany.
he thanked those who worked decisively to construct the mosque, despite many
threats coming from marginal circles.
hope that DITIB Cologne Central Mosque and Complex will be the center of peace
and security in the whole Europe," he added.
Cologne Central Mosque, built by Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs
(DITIB) after eight years of construction work, has a capacity of 1,200 people.
his official meetings in Berlin on Saturday, Turkish President Erdogan had
arrived the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has a large Turkish
a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population
in Western Europe after France.
Darvishi, one of the terrorists who riddled with bullets people who were
watching the last Saturday military parades in Ahwaz city in Khuzestan
province, was under treatment under the supervision of the Welfare Organization
of Khuzestan province.
was killed in exchange of fire with the security forces after he and four other
terrorists massacred over a dozen people.
the family members of Hassan Darvishi were summoned to the relevant
intelligence bodies for investigations, Darvishi's father said his son had
mental problems and was under treatment. He also presented the investigators
with relevant medical documents.
to the report, the documents showed that Hassan Darvishi was suffering from
chronic and acute psychological problems when he took part in the al-Ahwaziyeh
terrorist operation on Saturday.
further detail has been released on the specifics of Darvishi's psychological
people were killed and 69 others were wounded in an attack by al-Ahwaziya
terrorist group during the nationwide military parades in Ahwaz on September
terrorists attacked the bystanders watching the annual Armed Forces' parades,
marking the start of the Sacred Defense Week, commemorating Iranians'
sacrifices during the 8 years of the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s, in
disguise of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij (volunteer)
forces, killing and wounding several people, including innocent women and
of the officials participating in the military parades in Ahwaz city in
Khuzestan province was injured in the attack.
number of the terrorists who carried out the attack in Ahwaz had on September
22 been put at 4 by Spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier-General
Abolfazl Shekarchi. The general had explained that three of them were killed
and the last one was captured by security forces.
told FNA that none of the terrorists could escape, noting that other reports
about the details of the attack are not confirmed.
the intelligence ministry put the number of terrorists at five, naming them as
Ayad Mansouri, Foad Mansouri, Ahmad Mansouri, Javad Sari and Hassan Darvishi
who were killed on the scene of the clashes with the Iranian security forces
after riddling people with bullets.
Head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Public Relations Department and
IRGC Spokesman General Ramezan Sharif said that the terrorists who attacked
people during the Armed Forces' parades in Ahwaz were affiliated to al-Ahwaziya
stream which is nourished by Saudi Arabia.
added that the terrorists aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the Iranian
Armed Forces' parades.
Sharif said that people were also invited to watch the parades and the
terrorists both fired at people and the Armed Forces.
Information Minister Muammar al-Iryani criticized Lebanon’s Hezbollah on
Saturday, stating that it has turned its stronghold in Beirut into a platform
and a mouthpiece for the Houthi militias, and called on the Lebanese government
to abide by a policy of non-interference.
Lebanese Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government and did not just stop at
providing logistical support including intelligence and fighters to the Iranian
Houthi militias, but has turned the southern suburb to a platform to manage the
coup’s propaganda machine in Yemen and attack and tarnish the coalition that
supports legitimacy,” Iryani said on his official Twitter account.
called on the Lebanese government in a series of tweets to abide by a policy of
non-interference, and to stop these “subversive and inciting activities.”
call on the Lebanese government and the Lebanese minister of information to
abide by a non-interference policy that it had announce it would take towards
conflict in the region, and to intervene to stop the subversive and inciting
activities of the Iranian Houthi militias in Lebanon under the cover of
political, security and financial support from Hezbollah,” Iryani said.
Yemeni legitimate government announced on Saturday that it will “not cooperate”
with the United Nations team of experts after the UN Human Rights Council voted
Friday to extend the mandate of the investigative mission.
Yemeni government said in a statement that it would “not cooperate with the
group in terms of its right as a member state of the United Nations not to
interfere in its internal affairs.”
Friday, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain issued
a joint statement on the failure of the Human Rights Council to adopt a unified
draft resolution on the situation in Yemen, stressing its commitment to put its
measure under the tenth item of the agenda of the Human Rights Council.
new joint statement stressed the failure of the Human Rights Council to adopt a
unified draft resolution on the situation in Yemen despite the care and
cooperation shown by the delegation of the Yemeni legitimacy and the concerned
countries to reach a compromise formula that reflects the unity of the international
community towards the situation in the country. Read more
Arab allies also announced that it would invite the Office of the High
Commissioner to continue to provide technical assistance and capacity building
to the Yemeni government and the Yemeni National Committee for Investigation.
allies added that the division among member states was evident during the Human
Rights Council’s adoption of the resolution submitted by the Netherlands,
Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg and Ireland.
engineering teams of the Yemeni army were able to remove more than 400
landmines and improvised explosive devices planted by the Houthis in the
district of Baqam north of the Saada province.
Gen. Aziz al-Khattabi, the commander of the third brigade of the Yemeni army,
said that the engineering teams took the mines and IEDs planted by the Houthi
militias in a number of villages and farms in the Baqam district.
pointed out that the militias are laying mines in residential neighborhoods and
public roads without taking into account the presence of civilians and their
have held funeral processions for seven people who were killed by Israeli
troops during protests in the area that separates the besieged Gaza Strip from
the occupied territories.
of mourners, set off from different areas of the impoverished sliver, held
funerals for Iyad al-Shaer, 18, Muhammad Haniyeh, 23, Muhammad Shakhsa, 25,
Muhammad Anshahi, 18, Muhammad al-Awawdeh, 26, and the two children Muhammad
al-Hum, 14, and Nasser Musbeh, 12, on Saturday afternoon.
victims lost their lives by Israeli live fire during multiple protests held
across the Gaza Strip on Friday evening.
funerals commenced from different hospitals towards the homes of each of the
seven killed Palestinians before burial processions at local cemeteries.
506 protesters were also injured. A total of 210 demonstrators were admitted to
hospitals and medical centers across Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment.
Ninety people were struck with live bullets. Thirty-five children, four women,
four medics and two journalists were among the injured Palestinians.
Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007, which has
prevented some two million Palestinians from having free access to the
remainder of Palestine and the outside world. The blockade has also undermined
living conditions in the coastal enclave and fragmented its economic and social
Tel Aviv regime carries out regular attacks on its inhabitants under the
pretext of hitting positions belonging to the Hamas resistance movement, which
governs the territory.
coastal sliver has also witnessed a fresh wave of deadly tensions since March
30, which marked the start of a series of protests demanding the right to
return for the Palestinians driven out of their homeland.
security forces have arrested more than a dozen bankers on suspicion of
affiliation to a movement led by the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah
Gulen, whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016
coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
to a statement by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the 14 suspects
used encrypted messaging application ByLock, which the Turkish government
claims to be the top communication tool among members of the Gulen movement.
the 2016 botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has since accused Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure
is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the
government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army,
police and the judiciary.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated
slanders,” he said in a statement.
77-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his
followers, a move he says is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to
President Erdogan and his regime.”
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of.
which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in
suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in
the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
evacuates consulate in southern Iraq city of Basra following attacks
United States announced on Friday it will effectively close its consulate in
the southern Iraqi city of Basra and relocate diplomatic personnel assigned
there following increasing threats from Iran and Iran-backed militia, including
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered that all but emergency staff leave
Basra, with consular duties to be taken over by the embassy in Baghdad. Basra
is Iraq’s main port and one of its largest cities.
decision adds to mounting tension between the United States and Iran, which is
the target of increasing US economic sanctions.
as he explained the move, renewed a warning that the United States would hold
Iran directly responsible for attacks on Americans and US diplomatic
followed recent rocket attacks that Pompeo said were directed at the consulate
who has made rolling back Iranian influence in the region a top priority,
blamed militias linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for “indirect fire” --
which usually means rockets or artillery -- against the US consulate.
have advised the government of Iran that the United States will hold Iran
directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities
in Iraq or elsewhere and whether perpetrated by Iranian forces directly or by
associated proxy militias,” he said in a statement while in New York to attend
the UN General Assembly.
have made clear that Iran should understand that the United States will respond
promptly and appropriately to any such attacks,” he added.
did not explicitly say whether a US response was imminent, however, and other
US officials did not disclose potential response options.
Pompeo said the threats against US personnel and facilities in Iraq were
“increasing and specific” and added that Washington was working with Iraqi
forces and US allies to address them.
look to all international parties interested in peace and stability in Iraq and
the region to reinforce our message to Iran regarding the unacceptability of
their behavior,” he said.
this month three mortar rounds also hit the fortified Green Zone area in
Baghdad, home to the US embassy, without causing injuries and with the
security is a key priority for the United States and Pompeo, who as a
congressman went on the offensive against former secretary of state Hillary
Clinton over a deadly attack on the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of
death and destruction'
a statement, the US State Department said the consulate was placed on “ordered
departure,” which technically involves a drawdown in staff. Although some
personnel could remain on the diplomatic compound, the move is believed to
effectively close the consulate, at least temporarily.
decision came days after US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani exchanged taunts at the United Nations General Assembly, with Trump
vowing more sanctions and accusing Iran's leaders of sowing “chaos, death and
national security adviser, John Bolton, speaking at a nearby event in New York
on Tuesday, warned “there will indeed be hell to pay” if Iran crosses the
United States, its allies or harms US citizens.
May, Trump withdrew the United States from an international deal to put curbs
on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.
has already been rocked by violent protests seen by experts as a rejection of
the Iraqi political establishment that has held on to power.
in Basra ransacked and torched Iraqi government buildings this month and the
Iranian consulate was set alight by demonstrators shouting condemnation of what
many see as Iran's sway over Iraq's affairs.
the first time in several years, mortar shells also landed this month inside
Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses parliament, government
buildings and many foreign embassies.
calls Saudi King Salman to discuss oil market, Mid-East, strategic ties
President Donald Trump has called ruler of oil-rich Saudi Arabia to discuss
“stability of the oil market” as well as “developments in the Middle East
region and the world,” Saudi state media reported days after Trump’s harsh
condemnation of OPEC over high oil prices.
to a Saturday report by Riyadh-based official daily Arab News and other state
media outlets, Trump and King Salman bin Abdulaziz also discussed mutual ties
and “means of developing” their strategic partnership, efforts to “maintain the
supply and stability of the oil market” and “ensuring the growth of the global
reports, however, did not elaborate on details of the discussions between
leaders of the US and the leading member of the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the world’s top oil exporter.
is while the White House only stated that Trump and the Saudi despot discussed
“issues of regional concern” without providing details, according to US press
development came days after the American president used his speech in the
opening day of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly to
reiterate that he was not happy with OPEC, Middle East countries and oil
prices, blaming the region’s oil exporting nations for rising fuel prices while
enjoying protection from the US military.
and OPEC nations, are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don’t
like it; nobody should like it,” Trump emphasized in a harsh and undiplomatic
criticism of the organization on Wednesday, insisting, “We want them to stop raising
prices. We want them to start lowering prices and they must contribute
substantially to military protection from now on.”
further boasted, "The United States stands ready to export our abundant
affordable supply of oil, clean coal, and natural gas."
remarks at the world body came after OPEC oil ministers ignored his demand to
bring down oil prices as well as increasing the output to make up for expected
shortage due to the upcoming US effort to force an international boycott of
Iranian oil exports.
its latest meeting, the group – as well as leading non-OPEC producer, Russia --
snubbed Trump's call to reduce crude prices last week, ruling out any
additional rise in oil output.
demand for suppressing oil prices followed his unilateral decision to leave an
international nuclear deal with Iran and re-impose sanctions on the country,
leading to surging international crude prices to levels not seen since 2014.
protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long
without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We
will remember," Trump tweeted last week.
demand came after benchmark Brent oil reached $80 a barrel this month, despite
his earlier assurances that US efforts to impose global sanctions on Iran's oil
exports would not affect the market since Saudi Arabia would make up for the
shortage and avert fuel price hikes ahead of the US midterm polls on November
US president aims to unleash his second wave of sanctions against the Islamic
Republic on November 4, targeting the country’s oil and gas exports and vowing
to bring Tehran’s oil exports to zero.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani insisted last week that Tehran can withstand
further US economic sanctions and dismissed Washington's threats to choke off
Iranian oil exports as an "empty promise."
United States is not capable of bringing our oil exports to zero," he told
NBC News in New York on Monday.
a threat that is empty of credibility. Perhaps on this path, we will sustain
certain pressures but certainly the United States will not reach its
objective," he added.
is while US hedge funds are reportedly watching Trump’s persisting dialogue
with the Saudi kingdom for any signs that Washington might take action against
its key Arab ally or other US-sponsored OPEC members in the Persian Gulf. He
has repeatedly suggested that the oil-rich kingdoms cannot survive without US
Arab kingdoms spend billions annually on purchase and maintenance of vast
amounts of US-built weaponry.
Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, surged to a new 4-year high of
more than $83 a barrel on Friday as the market braces for the potential impact
of Washington’s upcoming energy sanctions against Iran.
US State Department has endorsed the proposed sale of more than 800 tactical
missiles to Bahrain amid the Al Khalifah regime’s heavy-handed crackdown on
pro-democracy campaigners and political dissidents in the tiny Persian Gulf
approval includes Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary Rocket
Pods and Army Tactical Missiles System (ATACMS) Unitary missiles for an
estimated cost of $300 million, the Arabic-language al-Khaleej al-Jadeed news
report added that the Manama regime has requested to buy 120 Guided Multiple
Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M31 Unitary Rocket Pods (six rockets per pod for a
total of 720), and 110 Army Tactical Missiles System (ATACMS) M57 T2K Unitary
training, software development, contractor engineering, technical and logistics
support services in addition to other related elements of logistical and
program support are also among the items included in the deal.
M31 GMLRS is a low-cost guided rocket for use on the M270 multiple launch
rocket artillery systems.
can hit targets accurately with less chance of collateral damage as it utilizes
global positioning system (GPS) technology for accuracy.
ATACMS T2K is an all-weather, long-range unitary surface-to-surface guided
missile. It is reported to have a range of up to about 300 kilometers.
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14,
2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to
assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or
got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
artists across Calgary are using their platforms to create safe spaces for the
next generation — a task that’s not for the faint-hearted.
safe space means the opportunity to speak, to exist, to create without having
to defend our humanity,” said spoken word poet Uma Samari.
Samari, platforms that prop up the collective Muslim experience “allow us to be
without restrictions. They allow for us to exist.”
poet belongs to an underground community of creatives breathing life into
social justice activism by paving paths for new artists.
helps organize art shows tailored to Muslim artists in the city through the
non-profit organization Western Muslim Initiative. In November, the group will
be hosting its sixth Muslim Art Movement event.
Muslim (artists), our struggles, the things that we feel and the perspective we
have on the world might be a little more tailored to our experiences as a
collective,” Samari said.
spaces allow us to be without restrictions. They allow for us to exist, allow
for us to share.”
working to build safe spaces takes a toll on many Indigenous artists and
artists of colour, who say they spend as much time supporting new talent as
they do perfecting their work.
Mel Vee, a spoken word poet and visual artist, is passionate about her advocacy
work, she said it can be “exhausting.”
much of advocacy work is free ... That is difficult to sustain and it’s not
sustainable to expect advocates and activists to keep burning the candle on
both ends and continue to do that indefinitely without rest,” Mel Vee said.
addition to speaking openly about the consequences of racism, Mel Vee seeks out
and creates grants for racialized artists with the art collective Uproot YYC,
hosts shows highlighting talented people of colour, and organizes socials for “artists
of colour to connect and talk about topics like social justice and art labour.”
making sure we can develop ourselves professionally in a way where we are not
pressured to censor ourselves,” she said.
to Mel Vee, the work never ends — but unless people of colour do it, no one
not reasonable, but that is what happens to us because we see the need and we
know we need to fight for it. But it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting work and
it’s taxing on her emotionally to be creating these spaces and it takes away
from the time she spends on her art, she believes if she were to stop, there
wouldn’t be many more pushing for these spaces.
won’t necessarily be a lot of other folks willing to do that work. There’s a
lot of financial gain to censoring your work, to going along and creating a
body of work that’s more mainstream,” Mel Vee said.
that, I stick to my values and create work that makes sense to me. It’s also
how I understand the world. I’m going to create my art regardless. It’s knowing
that, in a sense, I’m paving a way that helps us move forward.”
artistic director of the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society, Justin Many Fingers,
called the push to create safe spaces for other artists a “battle.”
the ones who take the hits, we’re the ones who have to educate, we’re the ones
who have to take that ignorance and turn it into an educational opportunity,”
Many Fingers said.
31, Many Fingers is the youngest artistic director Making Treaty 7 has
been looking at power and power struggle and I’ve been looking at how people
abuse it,” Many Fingers said. “So, for me, how do I use all of those years of
connections and pay it forward for other artists? That’s what I’m thinking about.”
said he plans to use the power associated with his platform and experience “to
to Many Fingers, the end goal is to have Indigenous artists recognized as
artists — not just “Indigenous artists.”
Fingers organized Making Treaty 7’s first visual art show on the main floor of
cSPACE, which wraps up Saturday, in an effort to shine a light on Indigenous
to Many Fingers, the work is far from over, but critical.
can talk about how we’re changing the arts scene … but once I walk out of
(cSPACE), I will be followed, I will be racialized, I will be looked at as a
city Indian,” he said.
brunt of this work is carried on the shoulders of racialized artists, Mel Vee
said, and there needs to be more collaboration with the mainstream community to
support the work racialized people do.
of the work I’m seeing at the provincial level on anti-racism and having those
conversations is encouraging,” Mel Vee said.
me, white folks need to talk to each other and do some of this work, as well.
It can’t simply be left up to racialized artists.”
said despite the challenges that come with finding time and resources, the work
she does for her community cultivating these spaces, is “humbling.”
always been super excited to partake in this art show ... I find it
exhilarating,” Samari said.
top military official has said that the recent US defense department decision
to withdraw two anti-air Patriot missile systems from the Persian Gulf kingdom
was a “routine procedure” amid Pentagon’s refusal to discuss the move.
army's General Chief of staff Lt. Gen. Mohammad Al-Khuder was cited in a
Saturday report by the Saudi-based Arab News English-language daily as saying
that the pullout of the missile battery by the US military reflected “an
interior routine procedure” in coordination with the Kuwaiti army.
Patriot missile system, independently, protects and covers all its geographical
borders," he added in a statement quoted in the report.
missile systems are designed to intercept ballistic and cruise missiles and
other airborne threats such as war planes.
media reported last week that the US military was pulling some of its
anti-aircraft and missile batteries out of the Middle East, marking a shift
that focuses away from long-lasting conflicts in the region to tensions with
China, Russia and Iran.
reports further cited American military officials as saying on Wednesday that
US forces will pull out four Patriot missile systems from Jordan, Kuwait and
Bahrain next month.
Patriot missile systems will be redeployed from Kuwait, and one each from
Jordan and Bahrain, the reports further noted.
also cited a US military official as saying on Wednesday that Washington’s
redeployment of the missile systems was part of a shift in focus away from the
battle against “extremist militants” in efforts “to address tensions with China
and Russia” without elaborating.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declined to comment on the matter when approached
by Pentagon reporters on Friday.
Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Rebecca Rebarich also refused to elaborate on
the move, saying that due to operational security, "we're not going to
discuss the movement of specific capabilities into and out of the US Central
Command area of responsibility."
development comes amid increasing hostile rhetoric against Iran by US President
Donald Trump and his hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton as well as
the Israeli regime and US client states of Saudi Arabia and United Arab
is while the US is reportedly planning a high-level meeting with Arab leaders
in January to speed up forging an alliance mostly aimed at confronting Iran.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Persian Gulf Affairs Tim Lenderking has
been touring the region over the past weeks in a bid to muster enough support
to form the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a concept similar to an Arab
Haram kills commander over plan to free 300 victims
commander in Mamman Nur, a Boko Haram faction, Ali Garga, has been assassinated
for acts of treachery.
to a source, Garga planned to lead 300 captives into freedom before his plan
was subsequently arrested and killed by other commanders still loyal to the
Mamman Nur faction of the terrorist group.
source said Garga also planned to surrender to the military.
source told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday that Garga was killed on Thursday by other
commanders loyal to Mamman Nur’s faction who got wind of the plan.
a Fulani man from Taraba State, was forced to join Mamman Nur three years ago
after his cows were seized by Boko Haram on the fringes of the Lake Chad.
source added, “The terrorist group trained Garga on how to fight and engage in
also possessed an extraordinary ability to know the terrain because he was a
herdsman. This made him reach the level of a commanding officer at the Mamman
was not interested in holding captives for ransom like others. What was
paramount to him was getting his livestock back and continuing the life of a
herdsman and being allowed to reunite with his family.”
source said before Garga was killed, he was in touch with a foreign influencer
who planned to rescue him and others.
Somalia - Al-Shabaab militants seized small towns in the south of the country
early on Saturday after they were abandoned by Somali national army [SNA] and
AU troops, Garowe Online reports.
Hussein, a local resident confirmed to Garowe Online that heavily armed
fighters with a dozen battle wagons have wrested control of Yaqle, Dhagahow and
Kooreebe areas without encountering resistance.
and Somali military forces had pulled out of the towns and retreated in
disarray to nearby Balad district in Middle Shabelle region, approximately 30
kilometers [18 miles] north of Mogadishu.
same minute of the allied troops' sudden withdrawal, al Shabaab entered to
control the villages... The situation is now calm and al Shabaab fighters are
in every part of the town," said Hussein.
was not immediately clear why the military and AMISOM had withdrawn from the
key areas. The move comes amid rising in Al Shabaab attacks in the region.
Shabaab is fighting to topple Somalia's Western-backed Federal Government based
in Mogadishu which is protected by 22,000 African Union soldiers from Uganda,
Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
group was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been chased from most of
its other strongholds across the country.
it remains a formidable threat, with its fighters frequently carrying out
bombings against both civilian and military targets in Mogadishu and other
towns in Somalia.
people, including two soldiers, died in an overnight Boko Haram attacks near
Lake Chad, security and army sources said on Saturday, saying Chadian troops
had killed 17 assailants in a counter-offensive.
forestry officials and a customs officer and two soldiers were killed in
attacks on Moussarom and Ngueleya located in the Lake Chad region, south of
Baga Sola, a security source told AFP.
attackers were later repelled,” the source said.
army spokesman Colonel Azam said “17 Boko Haram members have been killed”
although he put the civilian death toll at three instead of four.
last Boko Haram attack on the Chadian side of the lake happened on July 22 in
which 18 people were killed in a village south of Daboua near the border with
Haram’s Islamist insurgency has devastated the region since it took up arms in
2009 in Nigeria, leaving at least 20,000 people dead, displacing more than two
million others and triggering a humanitarian crisis.
terror suspects 'had 100 kg of fertiliser for car bomb'
investigators said Friday they found a large quantity of bomb-making materials
including fertiliser likely to be used in a car bomb following the arrest of
seven terror suspects.
seven were seized Thursday in the cities of Arnhem and Weert by elite Dutch
anti-terror units and are suspected of wanting to carry out a "major"
attack in the country.
suspects briefly appeared for the first time in the Rotterdam District court on
Friday on terror-related charges, where their case was remanded until next
men, who range from 21 to 34 years, were not named and will remain under
maximum security conditions – which means they are only allowed to talk to
Thursday's search "police confiscated a substantial amount of raw
materials to make bombs at the suspects' homes," the Dutch public
prosecution service said Friday.
also found "100 kilograms of fertiliser, possibly for use in a car
bomb," the prosecutors added in a statement.
had previously placed a group of people under surveillance, including a
34-year-old Dutch man of Iraqi origin who was convicted in 2017 of attempting
to reach territory then controlled by ISIS.
suspects came from Arnhem, the port city of Rotterdam and villages close to
those two cities. Two others in the group also had convictions related to
attempts to travel to Iraq or Syria.
men are suspected of wanting to attack civilians at a major event in the
Netherlands, the Dutch secret service (AIVD) said, but a possible target was
Prime Minister Mark Rutte during his weekly press conference told journalists
"a drama has been prevented in our country".
arrests show how important it is to remain vigilant," Mr Rutte said,
adding it meant the chances of a terror attack in the Netherlands
"remained a reality".
Netherlands has been largely spared the kind of terror attacks which have
rocked its closest European neighbours in the past few years, but there has
been a series of recent scares.
arrests came three months after two men were arrested in Rotterdam on suspicion
of preparing attacks in France and the Netherlands.
arrests also come a month after a 19-year-old Afghan with a German residence
permit stabbed and injured two American tourists at Amsterdam's busy Central
Station before being shot and wounded.
likelihood of a terror attack in the Netherlands "remained
substantial", the Dutch anti-terror agency NCTV said last week, with
terror threat levels remaining at level four out of five.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that Russia has already begun
supplying the S-300 air-defense systems to Syria.
asked in a press conference at the United Nations about the possibility of a
swap system that would allow Iran to sell its oil after the resumption of US
financial sanctions in November, Lavrov replied that all ideas were on the
table for discussion. He added that “the measures we will take will be devoted
to ensure 100 percent safety and security of our men in Syria, and we will do
Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Moscow would
deliver S-300 air-defense-systems to the Syrian regime within two weeks,
following the downing of a Russian Il-20 military reconnaissance aircraft last
claimed that Israel was responsible for the downing of the Russian plane, as
quoted by Russian media.
delivery of the systems would seem to be a message to Tel Aviv, despite a visit
by an Israeli delegation to Moscow to resolve the problem.
says ‘misled’ by Israel in plane downing over Syria
Defense Minister said that: “All radars and communication devices for forces
that are striking the Syrian regime forces near the Syrian border on the
Mediterranean Sea will be stopped.”
explained that the delivery of these modern systems has not been made earlier
because of the Israeli reservations, noting that “these systems are able to
intercept any aircraft more than 250 kilometers away and can hit several
targets in the air at the same time.”
safe passage for militants
on Friday warned it will not allow jihadists in Syria to be sent to Afghanistan
or elsewhere under a deal reached with Turkey that averted a large-scale
military assault on rebel-held Idlib province.
the deal, Turkey agreed to separate opposition fighters from hardline jihadists
who belong to groups branded as terrorists by the United Nations, but the fate
of those extremists remains uncertain.
is talk that they will be sent off to other hotspots, for example
Afghanistan," Lavrov told a news conference at UN headquarters. "This
have to be eliminated or there has to be a judicial process," he said.
and Turkey reached the agreement after the United Nations and Western powers
warned that an all-out assault on Idlib would lead to a humanitarian
catastrophe in the province of three million people.
deal calls for the creation of a buffer zone to be established by October 15
from which all fighters must withdraw to allow joint Russian-Turkish patrols.
met with his counterparts from Iran and Turkey this week on the sidelines of
the UN General Assembly to discuss next steps in the agreement on Idlib.
and Russia provide vital military support for Syrian forces while Turkey
supports armed groups. The three countries last year set up the Astana group,
which has largely eclipsed UN efforts in Syria.
said Turkey faced "not a simple task" in Idlib, noting that the
United States had also promised to persuade moderate fighters to split from the
jihadist groups but failed to deliver.
diplomats say the agreement between Russia and Turkey to avert an offensive on
Idlib has created an opportunity to jumpstart political talks.
Thursday, seven countries including the United States, France, Saudi Arabia,
Jordan and Egypt urged UN envoy Staffan de Mistura to urgently set up a
committee on drafting a post-war constitution for Syria.
Lavrov said preparations for the committee should not be rushed.
know that pressure is being applied to Staffan de Mistura," said Lavrov,
adding that "it would be a grave mistake" to force the warring sides
to begin work without an agreement.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday Moscow had started delivering the
S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria and warned Western powers of
trying to undermine UN-led efforts to end the seven-year conflict.
Minister Sergei Shoigu had said on Monday the system would be delivered to
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's forces in two weeks despite strong Israeli
and United States objections. A week previously, Moscow had accused Israel of
indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet in Syria.
delivery started already and as President (Vladimir) Putin said, after that
incident ... the measures that we will take will be devoted to ensuring 100 per
cent safety and security of our men," Mr Lavrov told a news conference at
the United Nations.
along with Iran, has helped Mr Al Assad recover huge amounts of lost territory
in Syria without persuading him to agree to any political reforms. It has also
pushed its own talks with Iran and Turkey, known as the Astana process, as
UN-led peace negotiations have stalled.
diplomats have said the Israeli incident and a Turkish Russian deal to suspend
an offensive on the last rebel-held stronghold of Idlib could provide a window
to push for the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254 that
covers ending the conflict in Syria.
UN Security Council, which includes Russia and the US, has mandated UN envoy
Staffan de Mistura to get a deal on a new constitution, new elections and a
reform of Syria's governance.
de Mistura's first task is the formation of a constitutional committee to
decide whom to pick. He has said he will select about 50 people, including
supporters of the government, the opposition and independents to participate,
but so far the Syrian government has rejected the idea.
in New York on Thursday, foreign ministers from the United States, Egypt,
France, Germany, Jordan, Britain and Saudi Arabia called on Mr de Mistura to
convene the constitutional committee and report back on progress by the end of
Lavrov accused the group of trying to undermine the Astana efforts and putting
pressure on Mr de Mistura so that they could impose their own resolution of the
conflict, describing it as "a grave mistake."
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