Silk route: Chinese make an impact on Kashmiri minds
Tunisian leader flees amid protests; PM takes over
Pakistanis protest against pope’s appeal on blasphemy laws
Killers on the loose in Karachi, 19 killed
Violence Kills 29 in Pakistan
Zardari meets Obama to ask for more
Taliban kill policewoman, five of her family members in Pak
Man stoned to death in Shirani
Temple Tragedy: 102 Pilgrims Killed In Sabarimala Stampede
NYC Islamic center names new imam
Roadside bomb kills 7 in southern Afghanistan
11 terrorists killed in Kurram Agency
Forces stationed in J&K to be trimmed: Centre
Site near Al-Aqsa opened to Jews
Blasphemy cases after review: Pak Christians
Pakistan Set To Ask For Custody Of Swami
JEDDAH: Expats want to settle in the West
1,170 Pakistani men serving jail terms in UAE
300,000 visited Zayed grand mosque in Dec
Avoid frequent strike calls in J&K: Hizb chief
CBI to quiz 9 youths held in Malegaon case
Ignored in films, Kashmir now a novel favourite
Delhi Muslims pray at site of demolished mosque,
Faced with protests, Delhi CM pledges to rebuild mosque
Pak, Too, ‘Appreciates’ War Crimes Trial: Dhaka
We don't feel need to cut down forces in J&K: Gen V K Singh
Shirdi slated for a Rs 250cr makeover
Taliban ‘to allow girls education’: minister
250 years after defeat at Panipat, Marathas remember martyrs
Sikhs warned of added screening at US airports
Bangla men face UK trial over terror plot
US court yet to decide on accused Pak cab driver's release
The flip-side of war against terror: Polio cases up in Pak
Israeli Army to collect settler weapons: Report
Hariri returns to Beirut after Govt collapse
Police Probes Scribe Murder In Karachi
Yasin moves HC over firing deaths
Police arrests 35 suspects in Orangi search operation
Zardari, Obama focus on anti-terror efforts
MQM, ANP trade allegations after Karachi target killings
Journalists stage demonstrations against Babar’s killing
US should join bid for Kashmir solution: Pakistan
Pakistan must be part of solution in Afghanistan: Akram
Nato’s 20 fuel containers torched near DMJ
US condemns terrorist attacks in Bannu, Peshawar
Al-Qaeda men break out of Iraqi prison
African man’s body found in mosque
At least 13 southern activists arrested in Yemen
Sadr’s followers demand Biden stay away from Iraq
Anti-American cleric meets with Iraqi president
Indonesia bank chief signals policy change
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Saudi Scholar warns against Al-Qaeda’s recruitment of youth via Internet
By MD HUMAIDAN
Jan 15, 2011
JEDDAH: Muhammad Al-Nijaimi, a prominent Saudi scholar, has warned against Al-Qaeda’s new designs on recruiting youths through the Internet and asked parents, imams of mosques and schools to be vigilant.
Al-Nijaimi urged imams all over the Kingdom to dedicate their sermons once or twice a month to the potential danger posed by suspicious websites belonging to Al-Qaeda.
Al-Nijaimi is chairman of civil studies at King Fahd Security College, a lecturer at the Supreme Judicial Institute and member of the committee of scholars who advise former militants at the Prince Muhammad bin Naif Center for Religious Advice.
“The Internet has become a tool for recruiting youths to Al-Qaeda,” he said, citing a recent study by top security official Col. Faiz Al-Shihri claiming the militant group was now doing about 99 percent of its work online.
“Friday prayer sermons should remind people of the new Al-Qaeda trend and be used to spread awareness among parents to monitor what their children browse on the Internet.”
Al-Nijaimi also asked the Ministries of Education, Islamic Affairs and Interior to introduce an online program to foil Al-Qaeda plots. “We cannot stop the young from using the Internet. Even teaching is being done through the computer,” he said.
Al-Nijaimi asked parents to sit with their children and check what websites they usually visit. He also asked schools to organize awareness workshops for both parents and students.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Affairs denied recent press reports that Al-Qaeda has managed to successfully penetrate orphanages.
“Our orphan sons and daughters are safe and secure against deviant thoughts,” said ministry spokesman Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al-Awad. He said the ministry is implementing daily programs aimed at providing a proper upbringing for young orphans living in its shelter homes.
Randeep Singh Nandal
SRINAGAR: These lines of Iqbal appeared at the start of a recent editorial in a local newspaper. Suddenly, China, its clout and interest in the troubled Valley, has come to occupy a lot of Kashmiri mind space.
When Wen Jiabao came to India, he promised friendship and signed trade deals. But in Kashmir the most important aspect of his visit was the fact that China showed no sign of relenting on its stapled-visa policy for Indian citizens from Kashmir, indicating that it regarded the state as a disputed region.
It's this Chinese sassiness that has kindled enormous interest in it in Kashmir. What New Delhi thinks is Beijing's cussedness, many in Srinagar think is its fair-mindedness. Consequently, China is seen as a new saviour, now that Pakistan is wracked by its own contradictions and US is felt to have cozied up to New Delhi.
For some time now, in any conversation on the wretched Kashmir situation in drawing rooms or at chai stalls at the Friday congregation at Jama Masjid or on university campuses, China keeps cropping up. The arguments heard are interesting some say China as a superpower was in a position to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, others say that if only India solved Kashmir, it would be better placed to take on China both economically and militarily.
Its often mentioned that China is a stakeholder in Kashmir because it occupies 3,800 sq km of Aksai Chin in addition to 5,180 sq km of the Karakoram Range (ceded to it voluntarily by Pakistan in 1963). All this leads to a question that's mentioned in hushed tones — what if China were to start supporting the struggle in Kashmir more actively?
Would India be able to as combat China's clout?
Stapled Chinese visas don't mean inconvenience for Kashmiris. It signifies hope for some. Says local academic G N War: ''It told us that China has not bought the Indian line that Kashmir is part of India. It sent a message to Kashmiris that China recognizes their plight that it knows Kashmir is disputed territory.''
But the stapled Chinese visa is just the most prominent of many other developments in the past two years that have been noted and commented upon. The Chinese denial of a visa to Lt Gen Jaiswal, GOC Northern Command, in October 2010 was another. Yet another is the fact that Chinese maps given to tourists in Tibet show the region being bordered by Nepal, Myanmar, India and Kashmir. The presence of the Chinese army in the northern areas, growing investments in PoK, from tunnels, roads to hydroelectric projects, has added to the growing support.
In a state where both separatist and mainstream leaders talk about the poor reward J&K gets for the amount of hydel power it sends to the northern grid, China's activities in PoK are seen by some as an alternative. Says a college teacher who doesn't want to be identified: ''China is developing a mega hydel project in the Neelum Valley in Muzzafarbad. Tomorrow, if Kashmir were to be independent, China could finance projects here. An independent Kashmir could sustain itself by just selling power to India.
Such arguments offer a kind of solution to some people here to a problem that comes up repeatedly in conversations: How can a landlocked Kashmir survive? Local columnist Javed Iqbal recently wrote about the Chinese plan to link Gwadar, the Chinese-built mega-port in Balochistan to a highway to Karakoram. Many see this as a highway to prosperity. ''We will again be part of a new silk route,'' is an oft-repeated sentence.
The person who actually brought China centrestage of the political discourse here is Mirwaiz Umer Farooq. He called China a stakeholder in the Kashmir dispute at a sermon in December 2009. He was then invited to travel to China by an NGO from that country, a move that was deftly blocked by India when it declared that the Mirwaiz was free to go to China provided he was issued a proper visa and not a stapled one.
TUNIS: Tunisian President Zine El-Abedine Ben Ali was forced to leave the country on Friday after failing to quell the worst anti-government unrest in his two decades in power.
As the prime minister stepped in until promised elections can be held, Ben Ali's whereabouts were unclear. Al Jazeera television said he had left the country.
In a television address in Tunis, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi said he was taking over as president and would remain as caretaker leader until early elections.
"Since the president is temporarily unable to exercise his duties, it has been decided that the prime minister will exercise temporarily the duties," he said.
"I call on the sons and daughters of Tunisia, of all political and intellectual persuasions, to unite to allow our beloved country to overcome this difficult period and to return to stability."
Tunisians in the Gulf generally welcomed the veteran leader's departure.
The latest unrest was sparked when police prevented an unemployed graduate from selling fruit without a license and he set fire to himself, dying shortly afterward of his burns.
In power since 1987, Ben Ali had earlier Friday declared a state of emergency and said protesters would be shot in an increasingly violent confrontation. He had dismissed the government and called an early parliamentary election.
As the violence escalated, police fired tear gas to disperse crowds in central Tunis demanding his immediate resignation. They were not satisfied with his promise on Thursday to step down at the end of his current term in 2014.
Opposition leader Najib Chebbi, one of Ben Ali's most outspoken critics, described the events as a "regime change".
"This is a crucial moment. There is a change of regime under way. Now it's the succession," he told France's I-Tele TV. "It must lead to profound reforms, to reform the law and let the people choose."
The White House said Tunisians should have the right to choose their own leader. It was monitoring developments in Tunisia and called on authorities there to respect human rights.
"We condemn the ongoing violence against civilians in Tunisia, and call on the Tunisian authorities to fulfill the important commitments ... including respect for basic human rights and a process of much-needed political reform," White House spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement.
There were no reports of Saudis being caught up in the unrest, a statement by the Saudi Embassy in Tunis said. The embassy has opened an operations room to advise Saudi citizens in Tunisia and to ensure their safety. The operations room is operating around the clock under the supervision of Ambassador Abdullah Muammar, the Saudi Press Agency said.
Western countries urged their people to avoid travel to the popular tourist destination due to the instability. Holiday operator Thomas Cook said it is evacuating around 1,800 British and Irish tourists and 2,000 Germans from Tunisia.
"Although there have been no specific problems for our holidaymakers, their well-being is our primary concern so, as a precaution, we've taken the decision to bring them back to the UK as soon as we can, using our fleet of aircraft today," Thomas Cook said in a statement.
Thomas Cook said its next planned departures for Tunisia, which were due to take place Sunday, had been canceled following advice from the Foreign Office.
Medical sources and a witness said 12 people died in clashes on Thursday night in Tunis and the northeastern town of Ras Jebel. Before the latest casualties, the official death toll in almost a month of violence was 23. The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights said it had a list of at least 66 people killed.
Tunisia's ambassador to UNESCO resigned in protest at Ben Ali's bloody crackdown. He said he could no longer defend Tunisian state repression of demonstrators as an ambassador to the UN cultural body.
A Reuters photographer saw people looting two big supermarkets in the Tunis suburb of Enkhilet, about 10 km from the capital. He said they had set fire to the local police station. On almost every block in suburban Tunis, people were standing on the street with baseball bats to protect their cars and homes from damage by looters.
Tunisians in Saudi Arabia expressed happiness at Ben Ali's departure.
"Thank God he is finally out," said Yesmine Belhassen, a Jeddah-based public relations consultant. "Under Ben Ali, our country was only getting deeper and deeper into a political and social quagmire."
According to Belhassen, Tunisians had reached a point of no return. "My country-folk realized there was no way out but to force him out. Ben Ali was the problem. He created a mess of our beautiful country. He thought the security apparatus that he created around him would save him. Well, in the face of public wrath, nothing can stand," she said.
Riyadh-based Tunisian teacher Ibrahim Lotfi was also delighted. "This man abused his all-encompassing powers, wrecked our economy; unemployment has reached stratospheric levels. He had to go or else he would have met a fate far worse than that of Nicolae Ceausescu," he said, referring to the 1989 lynching of the Romanian dictator.
Lotfi said the real trouble for Ben Ali started the moment he divorced his first wife in 1987.
"He lost people's trust and respect. It was his first wife, a daughter of a prominent and respected Tunisian general, who pushed Ben Ali into politics and prominence. He divorced her just after he became the president and married a much younger woman after dating her," said Lotfi. "He would not have married her but she became pregnant during their dating and Ben Ali had no choice but to marry her."
Lotfi said Tunisian laws ban polygamy.
"So Ben Ali had to divorce the first wife and marry this scheming daughter of a hairdresser. Things never looked up after that fatal decision," he said. "The army did not like him. They respected him because of his marriage to the daughter of one of their most respected generals. The new wife took full advantage of the situation and created a mafia. They looted the exchequer and corruption became the order of the day."
For Ali Mohammed, a Manama-based Tunisian teacher, the developments in Tunisia were as fast as unexpected and the departure of the former president was not on the agenda of anyone.
"Nobody in December ever thought that a heated argument between a man selling vegetables and fruits off his cart and a woman working for the local municipality in Sidi Bouzid would develop into angry street demonstrations and eventually clashes with the police," he said.
"However, people were obviously very upset and wanted to express their anger and convey their frustrations. It is unfortunate that many people died in the clashes and many people lost their businesses because of the arson attacks, but thank God, their number was limited," said the teacher who has been away from his home country for four years, but regularly spent his summer holidays there with his family.
Ali is hopeful that the new situation will now usher in a period of stability and better relations between the authorities and the people.
— With input from Siraj Wahab and agencies
By ASHRAF KHAN
KARACHI: Hundreds of people rallied in support of the confessed killer of a Pakistani governor on Friday and protested Pope Benedict XVI for urging the scrapping of blasphemy laws.
Muslim groups have rallied their base against any move to dilute the laws after the sentencing of a woman to death for blasphemy attracted local and international condemnation. Prominent among the critics was Gov. Salman Taseer, who was gunned down by a guard last week who later told media he was motivated by Taseer’s stance on the laws.
Around 1,000 protesters gathered near the house of the confessed killer, Mumtaz Qadri, in Rawalpindi city close to the capital, Islamabad, carrying banners that saluted him.
Elsewhere, protesters took to the streets in Karachi and two other cities in support of the laws and against the remarks by the pope last week.
“Pope Benedict’s statement is an attack on the hearts of Muslims,” read one placard carried by the protesters.
Last week, some 40,000 people protested in Karachi in support of Qadari, shocking many Pakistanis and raising concern about growing extremism in the country.
The government, which is struggling against Al-Qaeda and Taleban militants, has since stated it has no plan to amend the blasphemy laws. Analysts say the government is too weak to pick a fight with Islamists, who are able to rally thousands of people on the streets even though their political parties only have a few seats in Parliament.
Benedict spoke out against the blasphemy laws Monday, saying they should be repealed because they were allegedly being used as a pretext for violence against non-Muslims.
Also in Karachi, police said 10 people had been killed over the last 24 hours in what appears to be a fresh round of ethnic and political violence. Police officer Rafiq Gul said the slayings were “target killings,” the phrase used by authorities to describe political or ethnically motivated murders.
Meanwhile, gunmen stormed the house of a female police officer, killing her and four relatives, in an unusual attack in northwest Pakistan, police said Friday. The attack happened Thursday night in Hangu, a district just outside the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.
Militants and criminals are active in the area, and they frequently attack male security officials. But women rarely hold such positions in the region and it appeared to be the first time one was directly targeted.
The motive, however, was unclear, police officer Umar Draz Khan said.
The 50-year-old female officer, Shamshad Begum, had been in the force for several years. Her latest assignment was searching women at checkpoints. Her two sons, daughter and a daughter-in-law were also killed, Khan said.
Also Friday, Afghan officials denied Pakistani claims that Afghan troops carried out a cross-border mortar attack that killed eight people in a Pakistani tribal region. NATO said its initial reports indicated foreign troops played no role in Thursday’s attack, either.
By Imran Ayub
KARACHI: The fresh wave of targeted killings and armed attacks in the city left at least 11 people dead and six injured on Friday, taking the toll to 19 in two days.
A retired officer of the army’s aviation wing, who was working as a pilot of the chief minister’s helicopter, was among the dead.
“Major (retd) Mudassir Iqbal Kashmiri, in his mid 50s, was targeted near Rabia City when he was returning home in Gulistan-i-Jauhar in his car from the airport,” said an official at the Sharae Faisal police station.
“Armed motorcyclists fired multiple shots at the moving vehicle, killing Mr Kashmiri on the spot. He received three bullets on his head and chest.”
An hour later, three armed men on two motorcycles attacked people coming out of a mosque after Friday prayers in Bukhari Colony of Orangi Town, killing 60-year-old Mohammad Yousuf and injuring 15-year-old Naveed.
Unidentified gunmen also opened fire on a 35-year-old fruit vendor, Saleem, and a passerby, Barkat Ali, only half a kilometre away from the mosque. They were taken to the Abbassi Shaheed Hospital, where Saleem died of wounds, said an official at the Pirabad police station.
Full report at:
Violence Kills 29 In Pak
At least 29 people were killed in Pakistani in terrorism and anti-terrorism actions on Friday, officials said. A security official said suspected militants armed with rockets and rifles raided the house of a female police constable in Hangu early on Friday, killing her and five relatives.
Constable Shamshad Begum, targeted in the pre-dawn attack in Tootkas town, in the district of Hangu, had been receiving Taliban death threats for some time, senior administration official Khalid Khan said. The area borders the deeply conservative tribal region of Kurram, he said.
He said about a dozen militants armed with rockets, hand grenades and assault rifles raided the house at 3.30 am, first launching a rocket before barging into the house and opening fire.
“Begum Shamshad was killed along with her two sons and one daughter, and two sisters-in-law. Two other sons and one daughter were wounded in the attack,” he added.
Also on Friday, the Frontier Constabulary gunned down three militants and injured four others while repulsing an attack by militants on a check post in the tribal Mohmand Agency.
WASHINGTON: There was no ceremonial welcome, no state banquet, and no joint presser, not even an opening statement. Pakistan's beleaguered President Asif Ali Zardari arrived at the White House sans fanfare on Friday to meet US President Obama at a time the two countries are battling an enormous trust deficit despite public protestations of cooperation in combating terrorism.
No one is really quite sure why Zardari is meeting the US President or what he hopes to accomplish, since for all practical purposes, legislative power ostensibly rests with his Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, while real power lies with the country's military chief Ashfaq Kayani. In fact, Zardari's US trip is already being pilloried in Pakistan: He is here to attend the memorial service for deceased AfPak envoy Richard Holbrooke after having skipped service for slain Punjab governor and party stalwart Salman Taseer, purportedly because of security considerations.
But the Obama administration appears to be hearing him for form's sake, since its public position is that it recognizes and encourages Pakistan's civilian government. The White House schedule listed a no-frills Obama-Zardari meeting at the Oval Office for 11.15 am even as the media was alerted to a briefing at 1 pm by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon -- to preview the state visit of China's President Hu Jintao.
Jan 15 2011
Peshawar: After blowing up a number of girl schools, Taliban militants today turned their fury on policewomen, killing a head constable and five of her family members, including three children, in an attack on her home in northwest Pakistan.
Using heavy weaponry like rockets and assault rifles, about 12 Taliban militants stormed the home of head constable Shamshad Begum in the restive Hangu district of Khyber-Pakthunkhwa province, officials said.
They first bombed her home by a rocket and then launched a frontal assault, firing indiscriminately, killing Shamshad Begum, her two sons and a daughter, and two sisters-in-law.
Shamshad Begum's two other sons and another daughter were injured in the attack.
She had received several death threats from the Taliban, who are opposed to girls' education and working women.
January 13, 2011
QUETTA: A man was stoned to death in Zarozai Kibzai area of Shirani, Wednesday.
According to Levis Force official, unknown men killed one Mado Kibzai after an exchange of harsh words and fled the scene. Levis after the legal medico-formalities handed over dead body to the heirs.
Levis has registered a case against unknown assailants and lunched search for their arrest.
The death toll from Friday night's Sabarimala temple stampede has climbed to 102, with over 50 injured, reports have claimed.
The tragedy occured after an accident triggered a stampede among pilgrims at Pulmedu in the deep forests of Kerala’s Idduki district. Most of the victims hailed from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Pulmedu, 8 km from Sabarimala, is located between Vandiperiyar and Kumili in Idukki district and is a favourite alternative spot for viewing the Makara Jyothi. This year, about 1 lakh devotees had gathered at the tiny habitation.
Some reports said the stampede occurred after a van ploughed into a crowd of pilgrims waiting for a glimpse of the jyothi.
Another version said that a bus that was being push-started fell into a roadside ditch. A third version said that many pilgrims had clambered atop a parked jeep to get a better view of the jyothi, and the vehicle overturned.
By DAVID B. CARUSO
NEW YORK: The organization planning to build an Islamic community center near the World Trade Center said the imam who has been the public face of the project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, will be playing a reduced role in the facility.
The nonprofit group Park51 announced Friday that it had named a new imam to help lead religious programming so that Rauf could focus on other initiatives.
Rauf announced late last year that he would be starting a global movement that would fight extremism and promote better relations between people of different faiths and cultures. He is set to start a national speaking tour Saturday in Detroit.
Rauf will remain on the Islamic center’s board, Park51 said in a statement, but the group needed someone who could be more focused on the day-to-day business of building a local congregation.
14 January 2011
KABUL, Afghanistan - Insurgents detonated a roadside bomb that killed seven civilians they had released only moments earlier following a brief detention on a highway in southern Afghanistan Friday, a local official said.
The seven, all taxi drivers, had been traveling on a road between the districts of Daichopan and Arghandab in the troubled province of Zabul when they were stopped by a group of insurgents, said Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar, spokesman for the provincial governor.
After being briefly detained, the men managed to negotiate their release. But as they drove away, the militants detonated a roadside bomb by remote control, killing all seven, Rasoolyar said.
The spokesman said that none of the seven worked for the authorities. The Taliban often target Afghan civilians who work for the government or with foreign military or civilian organizations.
However, Rasoolyar said he believed they were killed to intimidate civilians and show area residents not to use that road, which he said the Taliban use to plant roadside bombs against NATO forces and the Afghan army.
The volatile province of Zabul lies just north of Kandahar, a traditional Taliban stronghold which along with neighboring Helmand has been the focus of much of the fighting in recent months.
PARACHINAR: Security forces killed 11 terrorists, including foreigners in central Kurram Agency, near Afghan border on Friday, official said. The forces bombarded the terrorists’ camp in Chinarak area, killing 11 of them and injuring scores of others. The dead also included local and foreign terrorists. The action was taken in the light of reports of heavy influx of the terrorists in Kurram Agency from Orakzai Agency. app
January 15, 2011
The Government is considering reducing the strength of security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir by 25 per cent as a confidence building measure.
Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai also said that India was planning to unilaterally issue six-month multiple entry permits for people of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) wanting to visit Jammu and Kashmir through the Line of Control (LoC).
"As a confidence building measure in Jammu and Kashmir, the strength of the security forces would come down by 25 per cent. We would like to reduce it as soon as possible depending on the ground situation," he said addressing a seminar at Jamia Milia Islamia University here.
Pillai said in Nagaland a few years ago there were two divisions of the Army but now hardly there was any presence of security forces in the state. In the same way there were 60 companies (6,000 personnel) of the paramilitary forces in Nagaland and now there are just two companies there.
By MOHAMMED MAR’I
RAMALLAH, West Bank: Israel has opened a historical site to Jewish prayer in the heart of the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.
The sources said that the Jerusalem Development Authority removed scaffolding from under an arch supporting Palestinian homes in the Al-Buraq Wall plaza.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that the place that was opened to Jewish prayer is known by Muslims as Ribat Al-Kurd and not the Little Western Wall. The foundation said that courtyard serves 17 Palestinian families living on the site.
It said that the move was carried out by the Israeli authority to make more room in the plaza for Jewish prayer and other events.
The foundation added that the wall of Ribat Al-Kurd is another part of the western wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque, just as the famous Al-Buraq Wall. It is located at the Iron Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In the face of pressure from Islamic hardliners opposed to changes in the blasphemy law, Pakistan’s minority Christian community has asked authorities to ensure that complaints in such cases are registered only after review by a panel comprising leaders of all religions.
Leaders of the Christian community have asked the Council of Islamic Ideology — a constitutional body that advises the legislature whether a law is repugnant to Islam — to send a recommendation to Parliament regarding the registration of blasphemy cases only after a review by committee of religious leaders. MM Waqas, Alexander Raja Robert and Akram John of the Pakistan Maseeha Millat Party on Friday said that the Council of Islamic Ideology should recommend that an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police should be empowered to decide about registering blasphemy cases in the light of opinions given by a committee of religious leaders.
Pakistan is set to seek from India the custody of Swami Aseemanand and his accomplices, who are alleged to be involved in the Samjhauta Express bombing that killed at least 68 Pakistanis, official sources said.
“This is seriously being considered and we can see Pakistan asking for their custody very soon,” a senior government official told this newspaper. “This demand could come up in the talks between the Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries in Bhutan,” he added.
On Monday, the Pakistan foreign office summoned the acting Indian high commissioner in Islamabad, Mr G.V. Srinivas, seeking details of investigations into the Samjhauta Express bombing.
By IBRAHIM NAFFEE
JEDDAH: Many expatriates in the Kingdom dream to emigrate to Canada or Europe as they believe doing so would give their children better prospects.
Apart from the prospect of a prosperous future, many people look to emigrate to the West on account of difficulties in renewing their work contracts and decreasing employment opportunities for their children in the Kingdom.
However, migrating to the West is not easy. There are countless obstacles that migrants need to overcome before they can obtain visas in a Western country.
“I have been planning to emigrate to Sweden through France. I saved the required amount for the journey and fulfilled other conditions for obtaining a visa. But I was shocked when my visa application was rejected because of reasons beyond my understanding,” said Omar Moussa, a Sudanese national currently working in the Kingdom.
15 January 2011
DUBAI - Pakistani Ambassador to the UAE Jamil Ahmed Khan has promised to request his country to organise workshops on the criminal and civil laws of the emirates with stress on financial laws for those planning to come here for work before their arrival. This would help them understand the situation here and live accordingly.
He was speaking after his recent visit to the General Department of Punitive and Corrective Department of the Dubai Police.
During his visit, the Ambassador met Pakistani prisoners serving jail terms for various charges. He acknowledged that the prison system and the services provided are among the best and comparable to international levels. They reflect human values which provide care to people and will help rehabilitate prisoners so that they can positively integrate into society when released.
He added that this was his first visit to the jail and that he had done so as per the Pakistan government’s instructions. He was looking forward to meeting other Pakistani prisoners in the UAE, he said.
ABU DHABI - A total of 300,000 people visited Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque last month with Friday, the last day in 2010, witnessing the highest number of visitors — at 27,000.
Over 25,000 visited the mosque on the country’s 39th National Day on December 2.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque centre is keen on identifying visitors and briefing them on the features of the structure which portray the aesthetics of the Islamic art and the peculiarities in Abu Dhabi, through continuous tours from 9am until 8pm every day.
A number of guides brief visitors on its architectural significance and its foundation in 1996 by an initiative of the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
SRINAGAR: Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has said frequent strikes and shutdowns diluted the summer agitation in Kashmir. The HM chief, who's based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), was now preparing a new plan to create trouble in J&K.
Talking to a local news agency on telephone, Salahuddin said the 'summer movement' was based on wrong strategy and emotions. "I gave good advice to my friends but they did not listen to me. They now regret it. No nation can remain dependent on constant strikes. So we have to sit and carve out a result-oriented programme," he said.
As a first step, he asked the separatist leaders to join hands and put forth a common agenda before the people of Kashmir.
"The separatist leaders should unite on the basis of 1993 constitution of Hurriyat Conference," Hizb chief said.
MUMBAI: CBI's Special Investigation Team (SIT) will question nine youths arrested in connection with the 2006 Malegaon mosque blast. The questioning will be based on Samjhauta blast suspect Swami Aseemanand's statement.
The CBI, however, has not taken cognizance of an affidavit filed by one of the nine Muslim youth about the conspiracy.
On Thursday, an MCOCA court in Mumbai had allowed CBI to ''reopen and reinvestigate the case following ''fresh disclosures'' made by Aseemanand in his confession.
CBI's probe findings and Aseemanand's confession contradict each other. Earlier, Maharashtra ATS and CBI had said the bombs were manufactured by two Pakistani nationals. One of them was identified as Muzammil.
The police had claimed the RDX bombs were planted by suspects — Mohammed Zahid, Noor-ul-Huda, Abrar Ahmed and Raees Ahmed. They were arrested in the case.
Aseemanand, however, said in his confession that the bombs were made and planted by slain RSS pracharak, Sunil Joshi.
According to the chargesheet, the Malegaon boys hatched the conspiracy for the blasts in July 2006. Aseemanand though said they plotted the blast in Gujarat in June 2006.
NEW DELHI: Once Kashmir was Bollywood's favoured location where heroes and heroines cavorted in snow. Then militancy began and the strife-torn valley ceased to be the preferred destination for feelgood filmmakers. Of late, though, Kashmir is the centre-point of literary imagination with a number of authors penning their narratives around themes of terror, death, exile and angst.
Siddhartha Gigoo's novel, " Garden of Solitude", which released earlier this month, is about the ache of migrant Kashmiri pandits. Mirza Waheed's "The Collaborator", tells the poignant story of a teenaged boy caught in the crossfire between the militants and the army. Last year Jaspreet Singh, who lives in Canadian Rockies, wrote "Chef" whose Sikh protagonist Kirpal Singh cooks for the Army in the Valley. And graphic novelist Sajad Malik is in talks to publish his latest graphic novel — " The Kashmir Intifada".
Delhi Muslims pray at site of demolished mosque
Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, and others offer prayers at the site where a mosque was demolished in New Delhi.
NEW DELHI: Led by the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, a large number of people offered Friday prayers at Jangpura B-Block in South Delhi, where a mosque was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on Wednesday in pursuance of a court order.
Though paramilitary and police personnel were deployed in and around Nizamuddin and Jangpura, the day passed off peacefully with the police allowing the protesters to enter the demolition site after initially refusing them entry.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit met the Shahi Imam and conveyed to him that the government would allow prayers to be conducted at the site. She also appealed to the Shahi Imam to ensure that the prayers passed off without any incident.
At noon, a large crowd gathered on Mathura Road outside the Nizamuddin police station and offered namaz. They then marched down Mathura Road past three police barricades to Jangpura B-Block, where the police allowed the protesters to enter, after the Shahi Imam promised that they would peacefully enter the site in batches of fifty.
Faced with protests, CM pledges to rebuild mosque
NEW DELHI: A wavering government buckled under the pressure of a belligerent Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid and waves of angry namazis rustled up by him to concede on Friday that the mosque in Jangpura, declared illegal by the Delhi High Court and pulled down on Wednesday, would be rebuilt.
Chief minister Sheila Dikshit blamed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for acting in "an unfair way" by demolishing the mosque without letting the Delhi Wakf Board present its case before the court. "I have sent a note to the Prime Minister apprising him about the situation," she told TOI.
The DDA had, however, acted at the court`s behest which was prodding it to give a compliance report of its demolition order. In fact, when the Wakf Board filed an application before the High Court on Friday seeking a review of its order, the court rebuked it and threatened to impose a hefty fine on it. The board hurriedly withdrew its application.
Bangladesh on Friday said it has received international support for the landmark trail of “war criminals” accused of committing “crimes against humanity” during the country’s 1971 “Liberation War”.
“We have drawn full support of the international community... After the initial reservation, Pakistan too now appreciates our initiative,” law minister Shafique Ahmed said.
The minister’s comments came a day after Stephen J. Rapp, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, said that America will provide help to ensure an international standard trial of crimes against humanity.
On March 25, 2010, the ruling Awami League government had set up a special tribunal for the trial of “war criminals” accused of genocide and those who sided with the Pakistani military during the Liberation War.
LONDON: Taliban are to drop their opposition to the education of girls in Afghanistan, the country’s education minister has told British media. Farooq Wardak said in an interview with the Times Education Supplement (TES) that a “cultural change” meant the Taliban were no longer opposed to girls going to school. He said an agreement had been worked out in discussions with the Taliban. Afghan women were banned from working or getting education under the Taliban regime which was overthrown in the 2001 US-led invasion of the country. Wardak told the TES, “It is an attitudinal change, it is behavioural change, it is a cultural change.” He added: “I hope, Inshallah, soon there will be a peaceful negotiation, a meaningful negotiation with our own opposition and that will not compromise at all the basic human rights and basic principles which have been guiding us to provide quality and balanced education to our people.” afp
PANIPAT: There is an adage that the Marathas use in the event of a rout, usually after an election debacle: "Iska to Panipat ho gaya (He's been defeated)." The phrase, said in half-jest, has its origin in the Maratha's terrible defeat at the hands of the Afghan marauder, Ahmad Shah Abdali, at Panipat in 1761.
It's another matter that despite losing that battle — and in the process, losing all possibility of becoming masters of Delhi and India — the Marathas never lost their pride. It was this unsinkable spirit that was visible on Friday when Marathas from across India gathered here, 250 years later, to remember their heroes.
The fact that the Marathas still use this adage to signify defeat can only mean that the defeat at the hands of Abdali still rankles them. So on Friday, the Marathas who gathered here pledged to take the defeat in their stride and remember instead the battle for the valour of their ancestors.
WASHINGTON: Already peeved by security pat downs, Sikhs in the US have been warned that they could now face 100% screening of their turbans at American airports as the new imaging technology cannot see through their 'pugris'.
In a mass email alert to the community members, Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group, told them that they should be ready for additional screening at all the airports.
"Sikhs should now expect to be secondarily screened 100% of the time at American airports, even after passing through so-called Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines," it said.
Although the Transport and Security Administration (TSA) publicly asserts on its website that its newest machines can see through "layers of clothing," the TSA has made clear in both word and practice that such machines are not powerful enough to see through Sikh turbans. "This means that, for Sikhs, the new machines will lead to more — not less — screening of turbans," Sikh Coalition said, adding that its assessment is based on feedback from the community and interaction with officials of the TSA and Department of Homeland Security.
The Sikh Coalition rejects TSA's policy as "unfair and unsafe," and is working with key lawmakers to change it, the group said. "Still, in the meantime, we believe Sikh travellers should at least know what to expect at American airports," it said in its the alert.
LONDON: Nine men accused of plotting terror attacks on major London targets in the run up to Christmas appeared by prison video-link before a judge on Friday at Old Bailey, Britain's famous, 338-year-old central criminal court. Aged between 19 and 28, they were remanded in custody until the next hearing on February 25.
Of the nine, the real identity of one calling himself Gurukanth Desai (after a Bollywood film character) remained a mystery, though it was confirmed that he is a brother of another of the accused, Abdul Miah. Both are believed to be of Bangladeshi origin as are the rest of the gang.
Right-wing' anti-immigrant activists' known as the English Defence League, packed the gallery in the courtroom. Outside the court, the EDL aggressively shouted slogans saying they objected to UK's Islamification. Extra police were deployed both inside and outside the court to ward off trouble.
The nine are charged with conspiring between November 6 and December 21 last year to cause explosions likely to endanger life or damage property. A further charge accuses them of preparing for acts of terrorism between the same dates.
The prosecution maintained that the accused had agreed potential targets' carried out recce work, attended a series of meetings, ignited and tested incendiary material and researched and discussed material and methods. The alleged potential targets included the UK's House of Parliament and London Stock Exchange, the US embassy and political and religious figures.
CHICAGO: A US court remained undecided on the release of Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Pakistani American cab driver accused of aiding a top al-Qaida commander.
" US District Court Judge James Zagel has not ruled yet on whether he will release him or not," Khan's attorney Thomas Durkin told PTI.
Khan appeared in a local court yesterday, flanked by chains around his ankles, during a hearing, a part of which was closed for the public.
He had appealed for his release in earlier hearings last year since his attorney required his help in translating voluminous audio recordings in preparing for his trial.
Durkin said that Khan was being kept under segregated conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is locked up and facilities there were poor.
PESHAWAR: Tiny Shamsa is a victim of the war against Islamist militants in northwest Pakistan, but it wasn't bullets or bombs that paralyzed her right leg. The 18-month-old contracted polio after fighting blocked vaccination teams from reaching her village.
In a country with no shortage of alarming statistics, here is another: Pakistan was the only country in 2010 to record an increase in cases of the crippling disease - 138, up from 89 in the previous year, according to World Health Organization figures. That made it the nation with the highest incidence of polio in the world.
Most cases were in the northwest close to the Afghan border, where battles between the US-supported Pakistani army and Taliban fighters make many areas too dangerous to visit. The army bans travel to parts of the region, citing the security situation, and territory under militant control is highly dangerous for outsiders, even Pakistani aid workers.
The Israeli Army is to begin collecting weapons from Jewish settlers as a result of the calm in the West Bank and over fears they may be used against Palestinians, a newspaper reported on Friday.
The move would affect hundreds of weapons handed out to settlers by the army at the start of the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, which erupted in September 2000, the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily reported.
The Israeli army could not immediately confirm the report, which said the military directive
had already been passed on to security officers in settlements in and around the southern city of Hebron.
Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister returned home on Friday, two days after a Hezbollah-led coalition toppled his Western-backed Government. Saad Hariri has been trying to rally international support in the US, France and Turkey since Ministers allied to the Shiite militant group resigned on Wednesday, bringing down his Government. Hariri was meeting with President Barack Obama on Wednesday when his Government fell.
The crisis was the climax of long-simmering tensions over the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The tribunal is widely expected to indict members of Hezbollah soon, which many fear could rekindle violence in the tiny nation plagued for decades by war and civil strife. Hezbollah denounces the Netherlands-based tribunal as a conspiracy by the US and Israel. It had demanded Hariri reject the tribunal’s findings even before they came out, but Hariri has refused to break cooperation with the court and its investigations.
Hariri’s office had no immediate comment on the outcome of his meetings abroad.
Turkish leaders were expected to propose holding an international conference to address the crisis and advise Hariri to try to seek a consensus with Hezbollah, private NTV television said on Friday.
The police are probing Pakistani television reporter Wali Khan Babar’s murder late on Thursday in Karachi. It was the latest in a wave of targeted killings that have left 22 people dead in the southern port city in recent days.
Babar, who worked for private television channel Geo News, had been reporting on a police operation against suspected Mafia drugs barons in Karachi’s Pehalwan Goth, a Pushtun slum, shortly before he was shot dead in the city’s Liaquatabad area.
Babar’s killers appear to have tailed his car all the way from his office to Liaquatabat, before spraying the vehicle with a hail of bullets. He was the first reporter to die in Pakistan in 2011. “This is the second case of its kind when a reporter finished his live coverage and he was chased and killed,” the former secretary general of Pakistan’s Federal Union of Journalists, Mr Mazhar Abbas, said.
By Naseer Ganai in Srinagar
SEPARATIST leader Mohammad Yasin Malik filed a PIL in the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir on Friday, seeking the registration of FIRs in all the 117 deaths that took place during disturbances in the Valley in 2010. This is the first time in the 20- year period of armed insurgency in the state that a secessionist has taken legal recourse against the police and paramilitary forces.
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front ( JKLF) chairman Malik’s counsel filed the PIL claiming that though laws were in place, they were not being implemented.
“ It is a virtual jungle raj perpetrated by the armed personnel on the people of the state,” the petition read.
Local legal experts said the filing of the petition by the separatist leader indicated that the high court had been approached for justice. Senior counsel Z. A Shah argued that at a time when Amnesty International was not allowed to visit Kashmir, the separatists tapped the existing system so that the killers would not go unpunished.
“ The question is whether the existing legal system will come up to their expectations and deliver,” Shah said.
Police claimed recovering a huge quantity of arms and ammunition from the suspects. — Photo by Online
KARACHI: In the wake of incidents of targeted killings and armed attacks across Karachi, police arrested 35 suspects during a search operation in the city’s Orangi Town area, DawnNews reported.
The operation was conducted in Orangi Town’s Bukhari Colony, DawnNews quoted the police as saying.
Superintendent Police (SP) Orangi Town Khurram Waris Shah said 35 suspects were arrested during the operation.
Police also claimed recovering a huge quantity of arms and ammunition from the suspects.
Police said the search operation was conducted to establish peace in the area.
Earlier on Friday, three armed men on two motorcycles attacked people coming out of a mosque after prayers in Bukhari Colony, killing 60-year-old Mohammad Yousuf and injuring 15-year-old Naveed.
In another incident in Orangi Town, Mohammad Noor, a 26-year-old paan (betel leaf) shop owner, was found shot dead near a hotel.
By Anwar Iqbal
President Zardari speaks at a meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. Looking on are Pakistan's Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani (L) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. – AFP
WASHINGTON: Discussions between Presidents Barack Obama and Asif Ali Zardari focused on shared efforts to fight terrorism and to promote regional stability, the White House said on Friday.
A brief White House statement issued after the Obama-Zardari meeting earlier Friday said that President Obama also underscored the importance of the US-Pakistan relationship and America’s continued support for Pakistan.
“The discussion focused on our shared efforts to fight terrorism and promote regional stability, specifically on the importance of cooperating toward a peaceful and stable outcome in Afghanistan,” the White House said.
The White House also said that President Obama was looking forward to visiting Pakistan later this year.
While talking to the Pakistani media after the meeting, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee said the Obama-Zardari meeting was “very significant” and indicated the importance the United States attached to this key ally in the war against terror.
By Latif Baloch & Azfar-ul-Ashfaque
KARACHI: The leadership of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Awami National Party on Friday once again became engaged in a war of words over the ongoing wave of targeted killings in Karachi, with both sides holding each other responsible for the violence that claimed the lives of about two dozen people, including a television reporter.
While both parties strongly condemned the cold-blooded murder of journalist Wali Khan Babar and others, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain accused the MQM of its involvement in the targeted killings on ethnic grounds citing that the incidents were taking place in MQM`s strongholds.
Also at a press conference on Friday, Sindh ANP chief Shahi Syed pointed the finger of suspicion at the MQM and said “the extortion mafia” was behind the recent spate of killings.
The allegations prompted the MQM to hold an emergency press conference and accuse the ANP of “playing a part in a nefarious plan to engineer ethnic riots in the city”.
Earlier, the Sindh chapter chief of the ANP speaking at the press conference demanded an army operation to purge the city of all kinds of weapons whether licensed or not.
He said that eight ANP workers had been killed during the last 10 days and it was the responsibility of the law-enforcement agencies to expose the killers who were wrecking the city`s peace. He added that peace could not be restored to the metropolis till “the elimination of the extortion mafia”.
Hundred of journalists gathered outside Peshawar Press Club to condemn the vicious killing of Wali Khan Babar, while performing his professional duty in Karachi on Thursday evening.
The journalist community expressed deep resentment and observed black day against targeting of another colleague. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist (PFUJ), a national organization of the journalists’ community had also strongly denounced the incident. To condemn the killing of Wali Khan Babar, protest rallies and demonstration were held across the country, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Led by President, Peshawar Press Club (PPC), Saiful-Islam Saif, the protesting journalists were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the killing of their colleague.
The students of different political parties also joined the protest demonstration to show solidarity with journalists’ community.
The students protest demons were spearheaded by Secretary Information, Awami Natiional Party, Arbab Tahir, and Convener PPP-Shaheed Benazir Group, Arbab Khizar Hayat, along with dozens of studentso?= activists of Pukhtuns Students Federation.
The protesters demanded of the probe into incident through via independent judicial commission.
GENEVA: The United States could play a key role in allaying Pakistan’s fears about its neighbour India by getting involved in a solution to the Kashmir dispute, a senior Pakistani diplomat said on Friday. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Zamir Akram, said attempts by India and Pakistan to negotiate a settlement were derailed after 2006 by Hindu or Muslim “extremist” groups in each country. “Unfortunately the momentum has been lost,” he told journalists. When asked what single short-term gesture could help allay Pakistan’s concerns about the strategic intentions of its neighbour, Akram said: “Something that Obama promised when he was a candidate for president but abandoned when he became president, that is, facilitate the solution to the Kashmir dispute.” “That’s the gesture that the administration itself said it wanted to take and they should follow up on it,” he added. Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari was due to hold talks with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday, while Obama has promised to visit Pakistan this year. afp
GENEVA: A senior Pakistani diplomat said on Friday that Pakistan must be part of attempts to forge a political solution in Afghanistan rather than simply be urged to kill extremists on its territory.
His comments came about a month after US President Barack Obama said that Pakistan must step up its attempts to root out “terrorist safe havens” within its borders.
Obama will on Friday meet Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at the White House for talks. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Zamir Akram, rejected the reliance on military options. “What you are asking us to do is to pull your chestnuts out of the fire and be the bad guys. So we kill them while you talk to them,” he told journalists. Some western officials and military leaders have suggested a deal with moderate Taliban in Afghanistan while the military offensive there continues.
DERA MURAD JAMALI: Unidentified miscreants launched an armed attack at Nato’s fuel supply tankers and opened fire on them, setting at least 20 tankers on fire near Dear Murad Jamali in Naseerabad area in Balochistan, Geo News reported late Friday.
According to police sources, the ambush took place as the drivers took a break to take dinner at motels located at roadside when unknown armed militants came driving a car and opened indiscriminate fire on tankers.
At least 20 fuel containers caught fire due to gunshots while the fierce ablaze also gutted nearby shops and hotels, witnesses said. No law enforcement agency official could manage to arrive at crime scene.
Meanwhile, miscreants have continued firing on fuel tankers with little pauses in order to create trouble for fire brigade rescuers.
Also panic and fear have gripped nearby localities due to continuous firing in the area.
January 14, 2011
PESHAWAR: The United States Embassy in Pakistan strongly condemned Wednesday’s suicide attack at a police station and mosque during prayers in Bannu and a roadside bombing, which brutally targeted women and children in a school van in Peshawar.
According to spokesman of US Embassy, attack on innocent women, children and worshipers make these cruel acts even more reprehensible and is an affront to the people of Pakistan. We offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
In line with the deepening partnership between our two nations, the United States will continue to stand with the people and government of Pakistan in bringing greater peace, prosperity and justice for its people and the region.
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
Jan 15, 2011 00:56
BAGHDAD: A dozen terror suspects disguised in police uniforms broke out of an Iraqi jail Friday, prompting a manhunt across the nation's south for what officials called a dangerous group of top-ranking insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda.
At least two of the suspects had formerly been held at Camp Bucca, the sprawling prison on Iraq's southern border with Kuwait where the US military held tens of thousands of suspected insurgents — all of whom were transferred to Iraqi custody when the prison camp closed in September 2009.
The 12 suspects were awaiting trial when they obtained the police uniforms and walked out of the small, temporary detention center in one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces before dawn in the southern port city of Basra, said three Iraqi security officers.
Iraqi security forces immediately set up checkpoints on two major northbound highways to stop cars, asking all police to display their official ID cards as they urgently tried to track down the suspects. Basra is Iraq's second-largest city and is located 550 km southeast of Baghdad.
By MD AL-SULAMI
JEDDAH: Cleaners discovered a body in the cistern of a mosque in Waseita district in the city of Hail on Friday.
The workers inspected the huge cistern after worshippers in the mosque complained of a stench around the washing area since last week. The body appears to be of a middle-aged African man. Police suspected murder as the tank was securely locked from the outside.
Spokesman for Hail police Lt. Col. Abdul Aziz Al-Zenaidi said no identification papers were found with the body. Investigations are continuing.
ADEN, Yemen - At least 13 Southern Movement activists were arrested, including a regional chief, during a demonstration in the city of Mukallah on Friday, police and sources within the movement said.
A security official told AFP that Abdulmagid Saeed Wahdin, the secessionist movement’s chief for Hadramawt province of which Mukallah is the main city, was detained for “inciting trouble.”
At least another 12 activists were also arrested, said Faid Baoum, a Southern Movement official in charge of its youth wing.
Witnesses said the arrests were carried out as police dispersed a demonstration which followed the weekly Muslim prayers in the centre of Mukallah.
The gathering was called in protest at the death of a woman who was run over by a police vehicle in the city on Thursday during a demonstration to demand the release of militants.
South Yemen was independent from the 1967 British withdrawal from Aden until the region united with the north in 1990. The south seceded in 1994, sparking a short-lived civil war that ended with it being overrun by northern troops.
NAJAF, Iraq - Followers of Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr took to the streets on Friday after prayers to condemn a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and demand U.S. forces leave the country.
Around 2,000 supporters of the fiery anti-American cleric demonstrated in the town of Kufa, chanting anti-U.S. slogans a day after Biden paid his first visit to Iraq since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was reappointed.
“In our protest, we demand that visits like Biden’s to Iraq should not be repeated and that the occupier leaves,” said Mohammed Abbas, 25, a day labourer.
Sadr’s movement has won a powerful place in Maliki’s new government, with seven ministries.
Anti-American cleric Muqtada Al Sadr has met with Iraq’s president as part of Al Sadr’s recent push to gain credibility in the country’s political and religious circles since returning from voluntary exile.
The meeting between the radical cleric and President Jalal Talabani is significant because it highlights al-Sadr’s efforts to portray himself as a mature, disciplined statesman after four years in Iran.
It was not immediately clear what the two men discussed during their half-hour meeting Friday in the holy Shia city of Najaf. Aides declined comment.
Al-Sadr is a fierce opponent of the US His powerful militia has been blamed for some of the worst sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007 that drove Iraq to the brink of civil war.
Indonesian central bank governor Darmin Nasution said Friday the time was approaching when monetary policy would have to tighten to tackle rising inflation in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
‘Going forward, inflation will tend to be on the rise and sooner or later, so will the core inflation,’ he told reporters.
Bank Indonesia’s benchmark rate ‘will be in an upward trend as well,’ he said. ‘We’re looking for the best time.’
Rising food prices and their potential to spill over into core inflation have been blamed for selling on the local sharemarket in recent weeks.
The Jakarta Composite Index soared 46 per cent last year but lost almost 10 per cent over three days last week as foreign funds took profits ahead of a predicted interest rate rise.