new bill has become commonly known as the "muezzin law" after the lay
Muslim officials charged with calling the faithful to prayer, often through
powerful speakers mounted on minarets (AFP Photo/AHMAD GHARABLI)
Orientation Can Be Changed, Malaysia's Islamic Authority Says In New Video
Endorses Bill to Mute Mosques: Justice Ministry
Fuelling Terrorism: UN Chief
Challenge Mounts in Indonesia and Bangladesh
Violence, Embrace Peace If You Truly Believe In Islam" Cleric Challenges
Restrictions on Organ, Blood Donation between Muslims And Non-Muslims, FT Mufti
Have Embraced Islam, But I’m Still Chinese’: Race and Religion Are Two
Blasts Mufti for Questioning Pro-Hudud Camp
Non-Muslims in Malaysia Should Strengthen Harmonious Relationship
crowd directs anger toward media, journalists
Says Turkish Army Close To Taking IS-Held Town
hails US veto of Palestinian as Libya envoy
Arab MPs, Israeli parliament 'harder than ever'
UN chief seeks Yemen talks 'resurrection'
says Turkish operation in Syria will continue to Raqqa
man stabs, injures two Palestinian street cleaners
Center Unifying the Community
Gathers Stakeholders, Sans US or NATO, for Afghanistan Conference
Provides Core Fighting Group For IS: US General
airstrikes killed 18 Afghan civilians: UN
bomber kills 7 outside Afghan bank
to probe police over allegations of crimes against Rohingya
Considers Adding to List of Terrorist Groups
forces with US air support launch another offensive against ISIS
reacts at alleged civilian deaths in Helmand airstrike, Lashkargah bombing
Taliban leader Mawlavi Naqibullah, foreign militants killed in Badakshan
car bombing plot foiled in Kunduz city
Unity Govt Slams Creation of Rival 'National Guard'
Muslim Cleric Shot Dead at Embu Prison
Gambian soldier arrested in mosque as president prayed
approves UAE military base on its territory
Clerics from Iran and Sunni Clerics Appeal For Unity among Muslim Sections in
Hoardings Ask Rohingya, Bangladeshi Muslims to Leave
Will Host Palestinian President before PM Narendra Modi Heads for Israel
jawans martyred, four Hizbul terrorists killed in J&K's Kulgam
in Kashmir’s Kulgam encounter identified as Hizbul and LeT operatives
Islamist Group under Fire for Commemorating Iranian Revolution
Executes 5 Egyptians It Accuses Of Spying For Army
least five protesters killed in Saturday's demos in Baghdad: interior ministry
urges Lebanon plan for Syria refugee return
Terrorists Fail to Lift Syrian Army's Siege to Flee towards Quneitra
Army Intensifies Anti-ISIL Attacks to Liberate Ancient Palmyra
Russian Warplanes Preempt ISIL's Attack South of Deir Ezzur
Infighting Intensifies amongst Rival Terrorist Groups in Idlib
opposition forms new delegation, scraps Saudi-backed groups
Soldiers Deploy 1.5km from ISIL-Held Town of Al-Bab
Mention of Hafiz Saeed in NAP, Says Shujaat
Favours ‘Mainstreaming’ Of Fata, Says Bajwa
vows to move SC over ‘pre-census rigging’
tapped world capital market four times: Dar
sounds alarm over ‘nuclearisation’ of Indian Ocean
Swat children killed in hand grenade mishap
claims to have cut off supply line of terrorists
Mosque not a 'gift' by Saudi Arabia
chief flays govt for 'failed' foreign policy
Freezes Charitable Donations of Man Having 'Islam' As Surname
Lawmakers Threaten To Boycott US after Visa Denial
Real Faces of Muslim Youth in New York
manual for combating Trumpism in Canada: Siddiqui
River shows solidarity with Muslim community
director gives "anti-terror" medal to Saudi royal!
by New Age Islam News Bureau
LUMPUR — Malaysia's Islamic authority has suggested that sexual orientation can
be changed with extensive training, in a recent video explaining how Muslims
can approach the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
three-minute video, which is in Malay, has since received mixed reception from
some Malaysians, with several praising it as a softer strategy that does not
promote hate against the maligned minority; while others felt it still failed
to acknowledge the community.
is, there are those among Muslims that have non-heterosexual orientation but
remains steadfast on the path of Islam.
them, this is a test of Allah, and they choose to face the test appropriate
with what Islam demands,” said the video, which was shared by social activist
Syed Azmi Alhabshi in a public post on his Facebook profile on Sunday (Feb 12).
Mohd Izwan Yusof, an assistant senior director of the family, social and
community department at the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim),
corroborated in a separate post that his group was responsible for the video.
the video, Jakim had likened sexual orientation with horse-riding, claiming
that when someone realises that he has “different” orientation from others and
wishes to change that orientation, he should receive extensive training and
said to change one’s sexual orientation, one must intend to do so for God’s
sake instead of being forced and repent one’s homosexuality, in addition to
leaving activities that would lead to same-sex relations.
also urged a repentant homosexual to fulfill his sexual desires through
marriage, or subdue such desires by among others resorting to fasting.
video also advised Muslims to be patient, and to help their LGBT friends change
and return to the straight path.
therapy which consists of psychological treatment or spiritual counseling to
change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to
heterosexual, is widely seen by medical and scientific community as potentially
harmful and a form of pseudo-science.
practice is opposed and has been legally challenged, or even banned, in
countries such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Israel, Lebanon,
Malta, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
2014, several medical and gender experts questioned the “success” of Jakim’s
spiritual rehabilitation camp for transgenders, insisting they need medical
care to transition them into their affirmed gender identities rather than
rehabilitation to return them to what some may consider “normal”.
the time of writing, the video has been watched more than 10,000 times, and
received positive responses from Facebook users.
Jakim for producing a video with no elements of hatred towards the LGBT. I hope
Jakim’s missionary department can remind each state to not act rough towards
the LGBT,” posted Azira Aziz.
video’s soft approach on advising, respect for privacy and emphasis on free
will is definitely commendable. This is far better than saying they’re sinners,
they’re going to hell,” remarked Luq Harith.
video however received criticisms for suggesting that homosexuality can be
changed, such as by user Sheelabanu Sri Jaya who said: “This video is going to
make people believe that there is a way to ‘change’ homosexuals into
heterosexuals. No way you can do that.”
was not impressed by the video. And it’s very dangerous for them to encourage
heterosexual marriage as a way to ‘fix’ the LGBT person, for the person, the
spouse and the children they may bear,” commented Huda Mutalib.
for reparative therapy is not exactly good intentions, let alone genuine
respect that LGBT people should live their lives the way they want it to be,”
added Zulaikha Mohammad. MALAY MAIL ONLINE
endorses bill to mute mosques: Justice ministry
- Israeli ministers on Sunday endorsed a
contentious draft bill which Muslims say is meant to silence the traditional
call to prayer, information released by the justice ministry showed.
list of draft legislation put to the vote in the powerful ministerial committee
on legislation marked the "bill for prevention of noise from public
address systems in houses of prayer" as having "passed".
gave no further details. Approval by the committee, chaired by Justice Minister
Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party, means that the draft will now
go before parliament as a government bill.
its heading makes no mention of any specific religion, the bill has become
commonly known as the "muezzin law" after the lay Muslim officials
charged with calling the faithful to prayer, often through powerful speakers
mounted on minarets. An earlier draft was rejected because it might have
silenced the siren sounded in Jewish areas at sunset on Friday to mark the
start of the sabbath.
revised version bans amplified sound nightly, from 11:00 pm (2100 GMT) to 7:00
am, limiting its scope to the first of the five daily Muslim calls to prayer
just before dawn. "This law does not deal with noise nor with quality of
life, just with racist incitement against a national minority," Israeli
Arab MP Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint Arab List, said in a statement. "The
voice of the muezzin was heard here long before the racists of the (Prime
Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu government and will after them," he said.
President Reuven Rivlin has spoken against the bill, which has sparked outrage
around the Arab and wider Muslim world, saying that he believes existing noise
pollution regulations provide a solution. If passed into law the bill would
apply to mosques in annexed Arab east Jerusalem as well as Israel, but not to
the highly sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site,
according to an Israeli official.
bill's sponsor, Motti Yogev, also of the Jewish Home, says the legislation is
necessary to avoid daily disturbance to the lives of hundreds of thousands of
fuelling terrorism: UN chief
- "Islamophobia" in parts of
the world is fuelling terrorism, the head of the United Nations said on a visit
to Saudi Arabia Sunday, as anti-immigrant sentiment rises in some countries.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the comment to reporters after talks
with Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef,
and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
of the things that fuel terrorism is the expression in some parts of the world
of Islamophobic feelings and Islamophobic policies and Islamophobic hate
speeches," Guterres said at a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign
Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
is the best support that Daesh can have to make its own propaganda,"
Guterres said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group of Sunni
extremists in Syria and Iraq.
jihadist group has also claimed deadly attacks in Saudi Arabia and in Europe.
politicians including France's Marine Le Pen have seen their popularity rise
after an influx to Europe of migrants, many of them Muslims fleeing wars in
Syria and elsewhere.
President Donald Trump issued an order in late January that denied entry to all
refugees for 120 days. It also blocked travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya,
Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Refugees from Syria were blocked
the order has faced obstacles and on Thursday an appellate court decided
unanimously to maintain a block on Trump's order.
conflict has created 4.8 million refugees and killed more than 310,000 people
since it began with anti-government protests in March 2011.
said "we will never be successful in fighting terrorism in Syria if an
inclusive political solution is not found for the Syrian people."
new round of UN-sponsored peace talks is scheduled for February 20 in Geneva.
arrived in Saudi Arabia from Turkey and is to be in Dubai on Monday for the
World Government Summit during his regional tour.
challenge mounts in Indonesia and Bangladesh
ethnically Chinese and Christian governor of Indonesia's capital Jakarta,
Basuki Purnama, is facing a tight election contest on Feb. 15 in which race and
religious issues have been thrust forward by firebrand Islamists. Accused of
committing blasphemy, Purnama -- known as "Ahok" -- is up against an
intense wave of Islamist resurgence that dramatically manifested itself in mass
protests in Jakarta last November, ostensibly to defend the Quran.
estimated 200,000 people participated in those events, demanding prosecution of
Ahok -- a close political ally of Indonesian President President Joko Widodo --
and urging the implementation of Sharia rule across the nation.
Quranic verses supposedly prohibiting Muslims from being ruled by non-Muslims,
Islamist protesters succeeded in pushing the Indonesian authorities into a
corner and stretching the boundaries of fair treatment of minorities. By
displaying their street power through the country's largest public
demonstration since the ousting of authoritarian ruler Suharto in the late
1990s, the Islamists have risen in reckoning as a major force that will
determine the future of Indonesia.
similarly deadly poison is percolating through another populous Muslim country:
Bangladesh. Islamist fundamentalist groups are growing more vocal and
influential in this South Asian nation, which, like Indonesia, is a secular
republic and is under duress from arch conservatives.
developments in both countries are endangering the notion that there can be
progressive Islamic societies that limit literalist and hardline
interpretations of religion to preserve interdependence, tolerance and
coexistence. This should be a matter of global concern and attention.
the vanguard of the fundamentalist wave in Indonesia is the Front Pembela Islam
(Islamic Defenders Front). It originally emerged as a proxy creation of the
Indonesian military's "deep state" for use as a pawn against
mainstream secular democratic political parties in the late 1990s. An adherent
of the conservative Wahhabi and Salafi schools of Islam, the FPI has enjoyed
tacit support from anti-democratic elements of the old Indonesian elites. It
has thrived despite involvement in numerous hate crimes against Christians,
moderate Muslims and followers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, whom it labels
"polytheists" or "apostates."
of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as "Ahok," and running mate
Djarot Saiful Hidayat meet supporters after a televised Feb. 10 candidate
debate in Jakarta. (Photo by Simon Roughneen)
FPI is not an outright jihadist group that indulges in large-scale terrorist
violence, it creates fertile ground in which Islamic State, Al Qaeda and other
terrorist groups find willing adherents. The line between a self-described
advocacy and "pressure group" like FPI and hardcore jihadists is a
thin one that many young Indonesian men can be lured to cross. Fundamentalist
Islamists and jihadists share the view that Islam's "rightful place"
in Indonesian public institutions and state structures must be enforced.
ecosystem for this virulent ideology is being bankrolled by Saudi-funded
charities and educational institutions. For example, the LIPIA College in
Jakarta, financed by Riyadh, produces thousands of graduates annually to fill
the ranks of Islamist movements that preach contempt for Shias, Christians and
secular Muslims, strict gender segregation and belief in Sharia as superior to
modern legal systems.
some regions of Indonesia, fanatical Islamists have infiltrated the government
machinery and succeeded in issuing school textbooks with Salafi teachings. For
instance, one textbook in West Java that was officially approved by the
Ministry of Education and Culture called for "Islamic fighters to rise
up" and brazenly stated that "those who worship other than Allah are
infidels and must be killed."
must find a strategy to outflank groups advocating intolerance
almost identical trend is developing in Bangladesh, where the relentless
lobbying and muscle-flexing of an ascendant consortium of teachers in Islamic
schools, or madrassas, and students known as Hefazat-e-Islam (Protectors of
Islam) has reached such heights that the secular regime of Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina has had to bow to their campaigns for redacting and tampering
with school curriculums.
Bengali language, history and music being taught by erasing the writings,
thoughts and compositions of artists such as the novelist Sarat Chandra
Chattopadhyay, the devotional songster Gyandas, the poet and dramatist Michael
Madhusudan Dutt and the poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay, on the grounds
that these figures were not Muslims. Suppose one had to learn Bengali poetry by
deleting the essential readings of the great Sufi-style poet Lalon Fakir and
the Hindu epic Ramayana.
secular Bangladeshi government has done just that in a bid to placate Hefazat,
whose ideological platform is to halt the infiltration of all "alien
cultures," including so-called "shamelessness" among women, to
create a monolithic Islamic culture. Regular non-madrassa secular school
education is sliding towards exclusionary, "madrassa-lite" teaching
that seeks to cleanse the mind of non-Wahhabi concepts. It is a process of
sowing saplings which will grow into jihadist monsters and unleash enduring
hostility toward neighboring Hindu-majority India.
to the prominent Bangladeshi journalist Anis Ahmed, Hasina is appeasing Hefazat
to pry the group away from her main political rivals, which include the violent
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, so as "to reduce the impact of any future
protests" on her government. Weakened by a controversial re-election in
2014, her Machiavellian game is to marginalize Jamaat through a series of war
crimes trials while pleasing Hefazat.
Widodo in Indonesia, who seems politically incapable of firmly tackling the
FPI, the Bangladeshi leader has concluded that she cannot afford to antagonize
Hefazat in a majority Muslim society where passions could be inflamed if she
cracks down on those who position themselves as religious revivalists while
carefully avoiding direct complicity in jihadist terrorism. Hefazat is dragging
Bangladesh deeper into the zone of intolerance -- and is getting away with it
because of the state's own machinations and calculations.
movements like the FPI in Indonesia and Hefazat in Bangladesh cannot be simply
wished away. They are an intrinsic part of the body politic as a result of
accumulated acts of state connivance, inducements from foreign donors, and
popular frustration over governance failures.
it is essential for those who stand for decency and human dignity in these two
bellwether countries to counter-mobilize and check the power of the rabid
Islamists. Small counter-protests by liberals, including pluralistic Islamic
institutions, have been staged since the enormous rallies organized by the FPI and
Hefazat. These kind of moderate movements must be encouraged by domestic and
international stakeholders, who would be big losers in any radical Islamist
opposition to the Islamists of Indonesia and Bangladesh could perhaps encourage
a degree of moderation, along the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Notwithstanding broad-brushing by Egypt's military rulers, who are persecuting
the Brotherhood as a "terrorist organization," the group represents a
relatively benign variety of Islamism that has over time renounced violence,
adjusted to parliamentary democracy and sobered its attitudes toward religious
the Brotherhood is the sole organized social movement in Egypt, struggling for
a style of democracy against entrenched secular military tyranny. Authoritarian
Arab regimes in Egypt and the Gulf monarchies are lobbying the administration
of U.S. President Donald Trump to designate the Brotherhood as a "foreign
terrorist organization" because it poses the most potent challenge to
their dictatorial rule. But banning the Brotherhood would be counterproductive
as a way of combating terrorism in the Middle East, because it is a shock
absorber that reduces the firepower of Islamists wedded to terrorist methods.
worst-case scenario for Indonesia and Bangladesh is to turn into another
Pakistan, where Islamisation has become entrenched as a result of unchecked
collusion between Saudi-backed Wahhabis and the military. The result is a
fully-fledged terrorist war spearheaded by the radical group Tehreek-e-Taliban
and allied Sunni Muslim jihadists. The "jihad culture" of Pakistan is
resilient and unstoppable because it is protected by a soft layer of
non-violent Islamist movements such as Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam, which provide social services and brainwash many into
sympathizing with the hard layer of brutal terrorists.
are here to stay in Muslim countries. They cannot be wiped out. The choice is
between extremist and undemocratic groups like those that have destabilized
Pakistan, and comparatively responsible movements such as the Brotherhood in
Egypt. Indonesia and Bangladesh must coordinate closely with their
international partners and execute a clear strategy to ensure the latter
variant wins the battle for the soul of Islam.
Chaulia is a professor and dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs
in Sonipat, India. His latest book is "Modi Doctrine: The Foreign Policy
of India's Prime Minister"
violence, embrace peace if you truly believe in Islam" Cleric challenges
Islamic scholar, Malam Abdullahi Abubakar, on Sunday, advised Boko Haram members
to end the violence and embrace peace if they truly believe in Islam.
gave the advice at a workshop on Deradicalisation, Counter-Terrorism and
Migration in Maiduguri.
also a lecturer at Bayero University Kano (BUK), said killing of innocent souls
and destruction of property was contrary to Islamic teachings.
condemned the Boko Haram ideology of trying to establish a wholly Islamic
State, adding that “the Boko Haram group should re-consider its thought and
revisit its methodology by following the right teachings of Islam.
is based on four foundamentals; they are justice, mercy, wellbeing and wisdom
and anything contrary to these is against Islamic Shariah.
Haram members claim that Muslims who do not join their group are non Muslims,
which is contrary to the concept of justice in Islam because in Islam, there is
no compulsion to any religion.”
then urged individuals having interest in the group to have a rethink as Boko
Haram was evil.
said “they slaughter people and rape women all in the name of religion, this is
certainly not part of Islam.
must seek knowledge to be able to perform the religion in accordance with the
teachings of the Holy Prophet.”
scholar explained that the workshop was packaged by the Centre for Democratic
Development (CDD) to sensitise participants on the true teachings of Islam.
Ikponmwosa Omoigiade, the CDD Project Coordinator, said the event was aimed at
strengthening the capacity of communities and religious leaders in counter
narratives to extremist views and perspectives toward the prevention and
countering of radical views capable of breeding terrorism.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 80 participants comprising clerics,
youths and women took part in the workshop, supported by the UN Development
Programme (UNDP) and the Japanese Government.
restrictions on organ, blood donation between Muslims and non-Muslims, FT Mufti
LUMPUR, Feb 13 — There are no restrictions for organ donation and
transplantation between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, said Federal Territories
mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri.
said this was because human organs were not Islamic or non-Islamic in nature
but tools to support human life.
an organ of a non-Muslim is transplanted into the body of a Muslim, the organ
will become a part of the Muslim person’s body.
the organ is used for its purpose as ordered by Allah,” he said in his Facebook
said Islam decreed that the body of non-Muslim, which includes its organs and
blood, always glorified and praised Allah and obeyed His commands.
blood donation from a non-Muslim who may have eaten non-halal food such as
pork, Zulkifli said it was allowed in Islam because it was only the blood being
transfused not the essence of the pork.
also shared the findings of the National Fatwa Council meeting on April 13 and
14, 1982 on blood donation and transfusion between a non-Muslim and a Muslim.
said it had been ruled that blood donation was ‘harus’ (permissible) and there
was no need to separate the blood of a non-Muslim and a Muslim. — Bernama
LUMPUR: Nurul Nadhirah Liew had to fend off a lot of negative perceptions about
Islam when she converted 20 years ago.
up in a Taoist household with very little interaction with the Malay-Muslim
community, it was only natural that her family knew very little about Islam.
Nurul converted, her mother feared she had “lost” a daughter and that Nurul
would abandon her Chinese roots.
blasts mufti for questioning pro-hudud camp
JAYA: PAS said Perlis mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin was “confusing Muslims” when
he questioned those in favour of shariah and hudud laws in Malaysia.
stand with the liberals who try to stop efforts to uphold God’s religion,” said
the PAS Ulama wing’s information chief Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.
said Asri should not use his position as the state mufti to bring “deviant views”.
Asri said he was concerned with the argument that implementing hudud would show
the “beauty of Islam”.
also cited some Muslim countries that have failed in the implementation of
worried that one who steals a car will have their hands cut off, but one who
steals billions of ringgit will escape,” he told the forum organised by a group
aligned to Gua Musang MP, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
warned of those in the pro-hudud camp who had a political agenda.
in his response argued that the issues raised by Asri were a procedural matter
and involved laws of evidences before any punishment can be meted out.
statement shows that he is confused and he is now trying to confuse Muslims,”
said the first-term Kuala Nerus MP.
Non-Muslims In Malaysia Should Strengthen Harmonious Relationship
The Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail has called on
Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia to further strengthen their harmonious
relationship towards building a sustainable nation.
that context, he advised all communities to continue to learn about and
appreciate each other's culture and customs.
is a religion of mercy for all humanity. The dignity and glory of man lies in
his obedience to Allah.
Chinese community may feel Islam is not close with them," said Tuanku Syed
said, however, that Islam did not forbid any cultures or customs as long as it
did not go against the principles of Islam such as those with elements of
idolatry, superstition and those which destroyed morals.
was addressing the Chinese Mulsim community at a state-level Chinese New Year
celebration organised by the Perlis Islamic Religious and Malay Customs council
here, last night.
initially proceeding peacefully, the massive street protest on Saturday
organized by Muslim groups demanding the imprisonment of incumbent Jakarta
Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama ended in violence directed against
members of the media.
protesters, many of whom were from cities outside of Jakarta, started to gather
on Friday night at the grounds of Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta.
protesters formed the core part of the rally and braved the rainfall and
inundation in some areas around the mosque to stage the protest.
size of the crowd swelled after candidates running in the Jakarta gubernatorial
election, including Anies Baswedan and his running mate Sandiaga Uno, nominated
by the Gerindra Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), and Agus
Harimurti Yudhoyono, nominated by the Democratic Party, joined the protesters
for the Fajr early morning prayer.
candidates left the mosque at around 8 a.m. to spend their last day on the
the departure of the candidates, the protesters began to move away from
Istiqlal and occupy the streets around the mosque. Leaders of Muslim
organizations, including the leader of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), Rizieq
Shihab, started to deliver their speeches.
warnings from the Jakarta Police and the General Elections Commission that
members of the public should refrain from participating in rallies that carried
election-related messages, many speakers urged the protesters in the rally and
Muslims in general to deliver a defeat to incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki
Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama.
of the leaders from the FPI, the Muslim People’s Forum and the National Movement
to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council’s Fatwa (GNPF-MUI), called on the
protesters not to vote for Ahok on election day because Ahok was not a Muslim.
of the speakers also called on the rally’s participants to wage a “war” on
social media, while another cleric demanded that protesters swear by the name
of God that they would not vote for Ahok.
the harsh rhetoric, some of the participants in the rally showed civility,
especially when a Christian couple, intending to take their wedding vows at
Jakarta Cathedral, which is located directly across from Istiqlal Mosque, had
some difficulty making their way into the cathedral.
in the crowd voluntarily stepped aside and gave way for the couple’s entourage.
According to a number of media outlets, some of the protesters even gave their
umbrellas to the couple when the rain started.
protesters directed their anger toward the media, which they argued had given
positive coverage to Ahok.
says Turkish army close to taking IS-held town
- Turkish troops backed by Syrian rebel fighters have entered the centre of the
Islamic State group bastion of Al-Bab and will soon capture it, President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
town in Syria's Aleppo province is the last stronghold of the jihadist group in
the region, and has also been the target of an assault by Syrian government
forces. The Syrian opposition meanwhile announced the formation of a delegation
to attend a new round of UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva on February 20.
has come under pressure from simultaneous offensives in both Syria and Iraq,
where the group seized large swathes of territory in 2014 and proclaimed an
Islamic "caliphate". Erdogan, speaking in Istanbul, said Al-Bab
"is now besieged from all fronts".
forces entered the centre," he added, saying it was "only a matter of
time" before the alliance of Turkish forces and rebels took control of the
forces have begun leaving Al-Bab completely," he said, using an Arabic
acronym for IS.
forces and allied rebels entered Al-Bab for the first time on Saturday, from
the west, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Britain-based monitor reported heavy clashes inside western Al-Bab on Sunday,
as well as on the northern edge of the town, where Turkish forces and rebels
were advancing but had not yet entered the town.
Turkish soldier was killed and two soldiers wounded in clashes with IS
jihadists, the Turkish Dogan news agency reported. That raised to 67 the number
of Turkish soldiers killed since Ankara began its Operation Euphrates Shield in
August, targeting both IS and the Kurdish YPG militia. Al-Bab has been a key
target for both Operation Euphrates Shield, but also Syrian government forces,
and Ankara now finds itself effectively jointly besieging the town with
President Bashar al-Assad's forces despite opposing his government.
army has advanced towards Al-Bab from the south, and on Monday severed the last
road leading into the town, completing its encirclement.
added that Al-Bab was "not our final target," hinting that Ankara may
participate in the fight to recapture IS's de facto Syrian capital Raqa.
than 310,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March
2011 with anti-government protests, and successive rounds of peace talks have
failed to produce a political solution.
to new talks on February 20 in Geneva have been delayed while the opposition
forms its delegation. On Sunday, the leading components of the political
opposition announced a 21-member delegation, with a new delegation head and
chief negotiator. The delegation includes 10 rebel representatives, and will be
headed by Nasr al-Hariri, a member of the National Coalition, a leading
chief negotiator was named as lawyer Mohamed Sabra, who replaces Mohamed
Alloush of the Army of Islam rebel group.
Alloush nor other Army of Islam figures were listed as delegates, though it was
unclear if the faction was boycotting the talks or being represented by other
officials. No reason was given for the new delegation head and chief
negotiator. The umbrella High Negotiations Committee (HNC) which has
represented the opposition at previous rounds of talks described the delegation
as inclusive. It said it included for the first time representatives from two
additional opposition groupings, known informally as the Moscow group and the
representatives from both groups denied they were part of the delegation.
the past, the HNC has opposed the inclusion of the rival opposition groupings
in its delegation, accusing members of the coalitions of being too flexible
with regard to the Syrian government.
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday hailed the US veto of a
Palestinian to be named UN envoy to Libya, saying the world body failed to give
equal consideration to Israelis.
was informed of the possibility of the appointment of Salaam Fayyad to a UN
position," he said at Israel's weekly cabinet meeting.
said that the time has come for reciprocity in the UN's relations with Israel
and free gifts cannot be constantly given to the Palestinian side,"
Netanyahu said, welcoming the US veto.
time has come for positions and appointments to be made to the Israeli side as
well," he said, quoted in a statement issued by the prime minister's
to Israeli media reports, the Jewish state could accept the appointment of Fayyad,
a former Palestinian premier, if Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister of
Israel, were offered the post of a UN deputy secretary of state.
chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday defended his choice of Fayyad to be the UN
peace envoy to Libya, a day after the United States blocked the appointment.
choice "was solely based on Mr Fayyad's recognised personal qualities and
his competence for that position", said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Nations staff serve strictly in their personal capacity. They do not represent
any government or country."
had informed the Security Council on Wednesday of his intention to appoint
has never been easy being a lawmaker who identifies as Palestinian in the
Israeli parliament, but today it is harder than ever, Arab Israeli MPs say.
recent months they have seen their colleagues discuss banning the early morning
Muslim call to prayer and vote to legalise the seizure of hundreds of acres of
Palestinian land in the West Bank by Jewish settlers.
have faced criticism and threats from fellow members of Israel's parliament,
the Knesset, some of whom refuse to even speak to them.
Tibi, a veteran lawmaker in his fifth term, said the situation in parliament is
at its worst since he was first elected in 1999, with tensions whipped up by a
"right-wing extremist" government. "The Knesset is an extremist
place. It's not an easy place to work."
government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that came to power
following elections in 2015 is widely considered the most right-wing in the
strongly supports Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and east
Jerusalem, and some members favour annexing parts of the West Bank. The 2015
election also saw Arab Israeli parties form a common political front for the first
time since the creation of Israel in 1948.
founded the Joint Arab List, a coalition that ranges from Islamists to
communists and even a Jewish parliamentarian.
13 MPs out of 120, it is now the third-largest parliamentary block, but is
beset by internal divisions. Five more Arab Israeli parliamentarians belong to
up around 18 percent of Israel's population, Arab Israelis are descended from
Palestinians who remained on their land after Israel was established.
have full voting and legal rights but say the state systematically
discriminates against them.
said the atmosphere in parliament is increasingly hostile, with some members
even refusing to talk to others. He said tensions spiked during three wars with
Palestinians in Gaza since 2008.
there's a war on, the Knesset is on fire - it's full of racism and blatant
aggression," Tibi said. His Jewish colleagues "did not want to hear
the Arab point of view, or even to hear Arabic," he told AFP. In December,
the chairman of Netanyahu's Likud party, David Bitan, said he would prefer if
Arab Israelis did not vote, accusing them of "representing Palestinian
interests" rather than those of the state of which they are citizens. Tibi
said he has been the target of calls for violence. Right-wing defence minister
Avigdor Lieberman once said he should be put before a firing squad, he said.
day he tells us that we are terrorists and enemies of the state."
Arab MPs score points. Aida Touma, for example, broke a glass ceiling in 2015
when she became the first Arab to chair a standing committee in the Knesset.
means big challenges, as I belong to a parliamentary minority and a national
minority within the state," she said.
their colleague Basel Ghattas is now facing prosecution. Ghattas was accused of
illegally bringing mobile phones to prisoners in an Israeli jail. He partly
lost his parliamentary immunity and was indicted after Zeev Elkin, a minister
from Netanyahu's Likud party, gathered 72 parliamentary signatures demanding
Ghattas be thrown out. Israeli law says such a vote can be held if at least 70
members support it, but Ghattas is the first such case in Israel's history.
- A heartbroken United Nations chief on Sunday called for the
"resurrection" of peace talks between Yemen's warring sides to end
the suffering of civilians. Thousands of people have died in Yemen and millions
are struggling to feed themselves almost two years after a Saudi-led coalition
intervened to support Yemen's government and halt an advance by rebels.
ceasefires brokered between government and rebel forces by the United Nations
have failed, while UN-backed peace talks have repeatedly broken down. "You
know, I am a Catholic. And Catholics believe in resurrection," UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters during a visit to the Saudi
capital. "So if negotiations are dead they can always resurrect. And I do
believe that they need to for a very simple reason, the suffering of the Yemeni
world body has called repeatedly for a ceasefire to allow the delivery of relief
supplies. UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien warned last month that Yemen could face
famine this year if no immediate action is taken. Guterres, who visited Yemen
in his former post as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, praised the generosity
of Yemenis despite their poverty.
said that to see them "suffering so much is something that really breaks
my heart". He spoke at a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign
Minister Adel al-Jubeir after talks with King Salman, Crown Prince and Interior
Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the
peace envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed also attended the press briefing as he
continues to push a peace plan that would restore a ceasefire and lead to a
political transition in the country. A Saudi-led coalition of several Arab
states began air strikes over Yemen in March 2015 to support the
internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi
against the Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that the final goal of a Turkish military
incursion into Syria was not just to retake the city of al-Bab from ISIS, but
to cleanse a border region including Raqqa of the militants.
ultimate goal is to cleanse a 5,000-square-km area,” Erdogan told a news
conference before his departure on an official visit to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia
has long advocated a “safe zone” for civilians in northern Syria cleared of
ISIS militants and the Kurdish YPG militia, but says such an area would need to
be policed by a no-fly zone.
least two Palestinians have sustained injuries when a young Israeli man carried
out a stabbing attack in southern Israeli-occupied territories amid violent
attacks by Israeli military forces against Palestinian protesters.
police spokeswoman, Luba al-Samri, said in a written Arabic statement that the
assailant, thought to be in his twenties, was detained after committing the
attack in the city of Beersheba, located 115 kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv,
early on Sunday.
two injured men were transported to a hospital in the area.
identified the unnamed attacker as a local resident of Beersheba, adding that
initial investigations point to a “criminal” motive behind the incident.
Israeli settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque
more than two dozen Israeli settlers have once again stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque
compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 30 settlers, escorted by
several groups of Israeli troops and led by a number of guides and rabbis,
entered the site through the Bab al-Maghariba on Sunday morning.
photo provided by the Arabic-language Safa news agency shows Israeli settlers
at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds on February 12, 2017.
settlers reportedly staged lengthy stopovers in various parts of the al-Aqsa
Mosque courtyard during the incursion.
center unifying the community
Neb (KMTV) - People came together at the Islamic Center of Omaha to support the
Islamic community and learn about the culture.
nice to remember that we are just people, no matter where we come from, what we
believe in, or what we do."
James says she's here to gain a better understanding.
just think it's really important to learn about different cultures especially
at a time when things have become so divided."
is something Vice Chairperson Ajmal Syed says he wants to change.
are a lot of things going on.”
call it turbulence that's happening in the community because of some of the
try to educate community members to be patient, to understand the context to
why these things are going on.
says he wants to clarify any misconceptions someone may have about Muslims.
is no place for terrorism in Islam; there is no place for hurting humanity in
any religion, including Islam."
people say they gathered here for the learning experience, but to also connect
with people from different backgrounds.
because they have a different religion doesn't mean they aren't people
is hosting a conference in Moscow this week that will bring together
Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, India and Iran to discuss a possible solution of
the conflict in Afghanistan.
meeting is part of Russia's effort at playing a more pro-active role in
Afghanistan for the first time since its invasion of the country in 1979. Its
efforts, however, have encountered controversies at the very outset.
last conference Moscow hosted on Afghanistan in December included only China
and Pakistan, prompting a strong protest from the Afghan government.
one this week is more inclusive of the regional stakeholders, but excludes the
United States or NATO, leading to speculation that Russia is more interested in
undermining the Unites States than in solving the regional problems.
a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, chairman Senator John McCain
said Russia is propping up the Taliban to undermine the U.S.
how troubling the situation is in Afghanistan, any efforts by any outside
stakeholder to look for regional solutions to the war there should be
welcomed,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy Asia director at the Washington based
Wilson Center. The question he asked, however, was what is Russia trying to do.
it genuinely trying to rally the key players to come up with an actionable plan
to wind down the war? Or is it just trying to scale up its role in Afghanistan
to undercut U.S. influence?”
regional analysts, however, are looking at the development with more optimism.
framework does include all the regional players that have a major stake in
Afghanistan,” according to Amina Khan of the Institute for Strategic Studies
Islamabad, a Pakistani government run think tank.
is a global phenomena but I think regional countries need to play a more
pro-active role,” she added.
the last trilateral, Russia’s primary focus was on the presence of the Islamist
militant group Islamic State in Eastern Afghanistan. Moscow does not want its
influence to spread to the Muslim population in the Caucasus bordering Russia.
Gen. John Nicholson, the man leading the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan,
told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee recently that Russia is trying to
“publicly legitimize the Taliban” with a “false narrative” that the Taliban is
fighting Islamic State, not the Afghan government.
provides core fighting group for IS: US general
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan provides the core fighting group for the
militant Islamic State (IS) group as TTP militants in Orakzai tribal agency en
masse joined the relatively new terrorist group, says a top US general.
John Nicholson Jr., the commander of US and international forces in
Afghanistan, also agreed with a lawmaker that Pakistan’s strong relationship
with China and its growing ties with Russia were a cause of concern for the
general, who commands over 13,000 international troops, 8,400 of them American,
appeared before the US Senate Armed Services Committee this week to brief
American lawmakers on the current situation in Afghanistan.
read: Pakistan urged to approach Russia, Iran over IS threat in Afghanistan
told the panel that the IS, which in Afghanistan was called the Islam State
Khorasan Province, comprised fighters mainly from existing militant groups in
Afghanistan and Pakistan.
their membership had come from the TTP, which was a Pakistan-based opponent of
the Pakistan regime, he said.
general said TTP militants in Orakzai tribal agency had, en masse, joined the
IS-K and formed the initial group of fighters who then moved into Afghanistan’s
Nangarhar province, spreading out to about 11 districts initially.
the majority of the fighters in the IS right now came from the TTP, the
Pakistani Taliban, and joined the banner of the IS,” he added.
Nicholson agreed with Senator Angus King, a Maine Democrat, that the
Pakistan-Afghan region was a fertile ground for terrorism.
conditions in this region also lend themselves to the growth of these
organisations. These 20 groups sit on top of a population, between Afghanistan
and Pakistan, of over 200 million people, 70 per cent of them are under the age
of 30. You know, employment is low, there’s radical form of Islam,” he said.
a look: US suggests working with Pakistan to beat terrorists
like a Petri dish... into which you drop the 20 strands of DNA of these
terrorist groups. And then what we see happening is convergence and growth in
connections develop these.”
Nicholson noted that of the 98 US-designated terrorist groups across the globe,
20 operated in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, along with three violent
is the highest concentration of terrorist groups anywhere in the world, which
underscores the importance of our counter-terrorism platform in the Central
Asia-South Asia region which protects our homeland,” he said.
Nicholson told the committee that the war in Afghanistan had come to a
“stalemate” but could be won by providing better training and equipment to
Afghan national forces. To do so, he asked for “a few thousands” more troops
and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for Afghan air force, which he said was a vital
component to breaking the stalemate between Afghan and Taliban forces.
US government is already considering a proposal to replace Afghanistan’s
current fleet of Russian Mi-17s with modified UH-60 Blackhawks, designed to
handle the region’s formidable mountainous terrain.
the hours-long hearing, Gen Nicholson, as well as some senators, insisted that
the war in Afghanistan could not be won without Pakistan’s support, but the
general emphasised the need to work with Pakistan to eliminate alleged militant
safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, instead of antagonising
it by cutting off US economic and military assistance.
John McCain, who chairs the committee, set the tone of the discussion in his
opening statement that “succeeding in Afghanistan will also require a candid
evaluation of America’s relationship with Pakistan”.
Nicholson said he was also concerned about the influence in Afghanistan of
certain external actors, particularly Pakistan, Russia and Iran, who “continue
to legitimise and support the Taliban”. These external actors were also
undermining the Afghan government’s efforts to create a stable Afghanistan, he
added. Yet, he warned against a knee-jerk reaction in this situation,
particularly against Pakistan. “Our complex relationship with Pakistan is best
assessed through a holistic review,” he said.
general noted that the Pakistani leadership had articulated its support for the
US objective of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, “but thus far we have not
seen this translate into any change in terms of behaviour”.
lack of support was also visible in the freedom of action given to Taliban or
the Haqqani Network to operate from sanctuaries in Pakistan, he said.
in Dawn February 13th, 2017
- At least 18 civilians were killed last week in airstrikes by international
forces in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, an initial United Nations inquiry has
military officials say their aircraft have conducted around 30 air strikes in
Helmand in the past week. A spokesman said they were looking into the inquiry.
are investigating the allegations and working diligently to determine whether
civilians were killed or injured as a result of US airstrikes,” said Brigadier
General Charles Cleveland.
NATO-led military mission has deployed hundreds of troops to Helmand in a bid
to help Afghan security forces in their war against Taliban insurgents.
aircraft and special forces have also provided combat support, with at least
one US soldier wounded in recent fighting.
Thursday and Friday airstrikes in Helmand’s Sangin district killed as many as
18 civilians, mostly women and children, according to a UN statement released
on Sunday. The UN said the strikes had been conducted by “international
military forces,” but only US aircraft have been involved in recent coalition
strikes, according to military officials.
members of victims at the regional hospital in Helmand’s capital, Lashkar Gah,
could women and children be Taliban?” Majnoon, a resident of Sangin, who said
11 people were killed in his brother’s house in a strike on Thursday, told Reuters.
Mullah Qasem, a local leader in Sangin, said the government wanted justice for
the families of the victims.
- A Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people and wounded 20 others outside a
bank in the capital city of Afghanistan's Helmand province on Saturday, the
governor's office said.
bomber detonated an explosives-packed car next to an Afghan army vehicle as
soldiers arrived at a bank in Lashkargah to collect their pay, the Helmand
governor's spokesman, Omar Zwak, said. Among the dead were four civilians and
three soldiers, he said.
Taliban bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into Afghan soldiers who had
queued outside the bank. Nearly two dozen others, including women and children,
were wounded in the explosion, many of them critically.
Taliban, who control vast swathes of the opium-ravaged province and have
repeatedly threatened to seize Lashkargah, claimed responsibility for the
bombing, calling it revenge for recent US air strikes in the volatile district
suicide car bomber killed several people, including five soldiers, and 21
others were wounded," Helmand police chief Agha Noor Kentoz told AFP.
Zhwak, the provincial governor's spokesman, confirmed the casualties from the
bombing, which upturned military vehicles and left the area strewn with charred
Italian-run Emergency hospital in Lashkargah said it had received at least 12
people, including a woman and a child.
Taliban ruled out civilian casualties in a statement on their website, claiming
that 21 Afghan army soldiers had been killed. The insurgents are known to exaggerate
attack comes after the US military this week stepped up air strikes in Sangin
as fierce fighting with the Taliban raised fears that the key district could
fall to the insurgents.
on Friday said it was looking into local media reports of nearly a dozen
civilian casualties from the strikes. "While supporting and defending
Afghan troops, the US conducted air strikes in Sangin district," the
coalition said in a statement.
aware of the allegations of civilian casualties, and take every allegation very
seriously. We'll work with our Afghan partners to review all related
years Helmand was the centrepiece of the Western military intervention in
Afghanistan only for it to slip deeper into a quagmire of instability.
Taliban effectively control or contest 10 of the 14 districts in Helmand, the
deadliest province for British and US troops over the past decade and blighted
by a huge opium harvest that helps fund the insurgency.
Myanmar is to investigate whether police have committed abuses against Rohingya
Muslims, the government has said, after officials promised that allegations of
atrocities against members of the Muslim minority would be looked into.
U.N. human rights office said in a report this month Myanmar's security forces
had committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims and burned their
villages since October in a campaign that "very likely" amounted to
crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.
has denied almost all allegations of human rights abuses in northern Rakhine
State, where many Rohingya live, and says a lawful counterinsurgency campaign
has been under way since nine policemen were killed in attacks on security
posts near the Bangladesh border on Oct. 9.
military said last week it was setting up a team to investigate alleged
atrocities by the security forces and the interior ministry followed that up on
the weekend with a promise to investigate police.
Home Ministry said in a statement a "departmental inquiry" would be
conducted "to find out whether the police forces have committed illegal
actions including violations of human rights during their area clearance
ministry, which is controlled by the military, said action would be taken
against personnel "who failed to follow instructions".
U.N. report provides many detailed accounts of what allegedly happened, and
that's why an investigation committee was set up to respond to the report with
evidence," Police Colonel Myo Thu Soe told Reuters on Monday.
U.N. report includes very serious human rights abuses allegations against
police in Myanmar including rape. But as we know, it did not happen," he
five policemen have been sentenced to two months detention after a video
appeared online showing them abusing Muslims during an operation aimed at
rooting out suspected militants in Rakhine State, Myo Thu Soe said.
addition, three senior police officers involved in the case have been demoted,
United States last added a group to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
on June 30, 2016.
that day, the Obama administration put al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinental on
the list. It said the group carried out attacks in Pakistan and murdered
writers and activists in Bangladesh.
Donald Trump is considering adding two more groups: the Muslim Brotherhood and
Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Cruz: It is time to call this enemy
Ted Cruz of Texas lost out to Trump for the Republican Party presidential
nomination. He and other Republicans in Congress last month proposed bills that
ask Trump to consider adding the Brotherhood and Iran's Revolutionary Guard to
the terrorist list.
is time to call this enemy by its name and speak with clarity and moral
authority,” Cruz said.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is Iran’s main security group. It also
controls large parts of Iran’s economy and is a major influence on its
of naming the Iranian Guard a terrorist organization worry the move could do
more harm than good. They say it likely would increase support for Iranian
hardliners, reducing the influence of moderate leaders.
Muslim Brotherhood wants countries to be governed by Islamic Law. The Muslim
Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was elected president of Egypt in 2012. But he was
removed by the military, led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, one year later.
taking over as the country’s president, el-Sisi has banned the Muslim
Brotherhood. And he has been calling on the U.S. to add the group to its
is also opposition to putting the Muslim Brotherhood on the terrorist list.
Council on American-Islamic Relations works to protect civil liberties of
American Muslims. Ibrahim Cooper speaks for the group, which also opposes
President Trump’s executive order blocking travel to the U.S. from seven
majority Muslim nations. A court has put the order on hold.
told VOA that those pushing for the terrorist declaration are trying to connect
American Muslims to the Muslim Brotherhood. Such a declaration, he said, would
be used “in a political campaign to attack” American Muslims.
important advisers to President Trump support the terrorist declaration for the
Brotherhood. Among them is his chief strategist Stephen Bannon, the former head
of Breitbart News. He has called the Brotherhood the “foundation of modern
Spicer is the press secretary for President Trump. He would not say if Trump is
ready to declare the Brotherhood and Iran's Revolutionary Guard terrorist
organizations. But he said the president’s main goal is to “attack” and
“destroy” Islamic terrorism.
Egyptian government recently ordered 1,500 people to appear in court on charges
of helping fund the Muslim Brotherhood.
Rights Watch said the action amounts to “indiscriminate use” of Egypt’s anti-terrorism
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) launched another major
offensive against the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
local government and Security officials informed regarding the launch of the
offensive during a press conference today.
governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said the offensive “Shaheen-28” was
launched after the approval of President Ghani was attained d following the
decisions of the provincial military council.
further added that the Afghan forces will also receive air support from the US
forces based in Afghanistan.
said the operations will further cover the areas in Haska Mina and Kot
districts where previously operations were conducted but security check posts
will be established in areas cleared during the Shaheen-25 this time.
former Afghan President Hamid Karzai reacted at the alleged civilian deaths in
Helmand airstrike conducted by the US forces.
in a Twitter post said “I condemn in strongest terms foreign airstrikes that
killed people in Sangin and terrorist attack that killed people in Lashkargah.”
former President further added that he shares the deep pain of suffering
NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) confirmed the US airstrike against the
militants in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.
supporting and defending Afghan troops, the U.S. conducted airstrikes in Sangin
District, Helmand over the last 24 hours,” the alliance said in a statement.
Gen. Charles Cleveland quoted in the statement, said “We’re aware of the
allegations of civilian casualties, and take every allegation very seriously.”
said “We’ll work with our Afghan partners to review all related material.”
the provincial officials, said Saturday that the militants were targeted in
Sangin airstrikes as they were planning a large attack on the district
following their major defeat nearly two weeks ago.
top leader of the Taliban group was along with severa local and foreign
insurgents in northeastern Badakshan province of Afghanistan.
to the local security officials in Badakhshan, the militants were killed during
the counter-terrorism operations in Jurm district.
commander of the 20th Pamir Brigade, General Ghulam Hazrat Karimi, said Mawlavi
Naqibullah was among eleven insurgents killed during the operations.
Karimi further added that four foreign insurgents were among those killed.
said at least fourteen militants also sustained injuries during the operations
conducted Farghamero and Aab Raghak villages in the past 24 hours.
to Gen. Karimi, the Afghan security forces and local residents of the two
villages did not suffer any casualties during the operations.
anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not
commented regarding the report so far.
Afghan security forces have foiled a deadly car bombing plot in northern Kunduz
province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the Taliban insurgents were looking to detonate
a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in the 3rd police district
of the city.
to MoI, the attack plot was foiled by the Afghan police forces and the car bomb
was defused, extracting 220 kg of explosives from the vehicle.
further added that the Taliban insurgents were looking to carry out the attack
to cover the deadly casualties the group’s fighters suffered during the recent
is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where the
Taliban insurgents are actively operating in a number of its districts.
group launched numerous attack on Kudnuz city and managed to partially take
control of the strategic Kunduz city last year.
unity govt slams creation of rival 'national guard'
UN-backed unity government on Sunday slammed the creation by armed groups of a
national guard rival to its own presidential guard in the capital Tripoli.
Government of National Accord said it considered the creation of the
"Libyan National Guard" to be "an attempt to form a parallel
body to the Presidential Guard" it has formed.
groups and those supporting it are considered to be outlaws," the GNA said
in a statement.
they will be treated as such by the security and judiciary bodies."
GNA warned that the formation of a rival guard was an attempt "to lead the
capital into bloody armed conflict".
Thursday, armed groups mostly from the western city of Misrata, announced the
creation of the "Libyan National Guard" to continue the fight against
ISIL, as well as to secure state institutions and diplomatic missions.
they did not say whether or not it would support the GNA, which has struggled
to assert its authority across Libya since taking office in the capital last
sources have said militias in the "Libyan National Guard" include
backers of Khalifa Ghweil, leader of a self-proclaimed "Government of
National Salvation" which has refused to recognise the GNA.
militias, which control much of western Libya, led the battle to retake the
former ISIL bastion but say the GNA stopped backing them after Sirte fell in
Friday, the United States said it had noted with "serious concern reports
that numerous tactical vehicles from an organisation claiming to be the 'Libyan
National Guard' have entered Tripoli".
has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 toppling of dictator Moamer Kadhafi,
with rival militias and administrations vying for control of the oil-rich
rival authority based in the country's far east has also refused to recognise
the GNA since it started working in Tripoli in March last year.
— A muslim cleric has been shot dead at the Embu GK Prison.
cleric was attacked while heading for morning prayers within the prison where a
warder was also wounded.
say the assailant who shot them has been arrested after giving himself up at
the Itabua Police Station, shortly after the incident that occurred at dawn.
Gambian soldier and former member of ex-President Yahya Jammeh's guard has been
arrested for bringing a loaded gun into a mosque where President Adama Barrow
was praying, the west African force in the country said Sunday.
incident happened during Friday prayers at the King Fahd mosque in Banjul, the
military force sent by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
said in a statement.
a routine search by Senegalese police at the mosque "a 9mm calibre
'Helwan' automatic pistol was discovered" with a loaded magazine, the
arrested man has since been handed over to the Gambian authorities, who will
probe the incident.
defeated longstanding hardline ruler Jammeh at the polls in December.
then took refuge in neighbouring Senegal on January 15, fearing for his safety
after Jammeh reversed his acceptance of the election result and sought for
weeks to cling to power.
parliament of Somalia's breakaway northern region of Somaliland approved an
agreement between Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) allowing the
Emirati government to establish a military base in the port town of Berbera on
Sunday's vote, 144 Somaliland lawmakers voted in favor of the military base and
two voted against. Two others abstained. Nine lawmakers opposed to the base
shouted words against Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo and were taken
out of the chamber by Somaliland soldiers.
vote will allow the Somaliland administration to complete negotiations with the
UAE to build its first military base in Africa. The agreement was signed by
Somaliland and the UAE in 2015 and it is a 30 years deal.
at the parliament on Sunday, Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo said that the
military base would benefit the people of Somaliland and create jobs.
Shia and Sunni clerics on Sunday urged unity among all Muslim sects at a
conference held at Salarjung Museum.
conference, which was held on the topic of Itehaad Ummat Seerat Fatima Zahra Ki
Roshni, was attended by dignitaries from Iran, including Ayatollah Sheik Mohsin
Araki, the general secretary of World Forum For Proximity of Islam School of
Thoughts. At the meet, Shia religious scholar and the president of Taqreeb Bayn
Al-Mazahib, Araki said that ties between Shia and Sunnis in India must be
sects should come forward to work together.The work cannot be done individually
so we should be united. God has selected some people for this work and they do
their work assigned by him,'' said the Shia scholar. Sunni cleric Maulana Mufti
Abrar Ali Miraj hailed the Shia religious leader for bringing and promoting
unity among Shia and Sunni people. The religious clerics hailed the Islamic Republic
of Iran for efforts in enhancing unity among Shias and Sunnis, to ensure unity
among all the Muslim sects.
conference was organized by the Majlis-e-Ulemae-Hind and All India Sunni Ulemma
and Sufia Board.
the conference, other eminent scholars from India and Iran also stressed on the
importance of unity of the Muslim ummah.
Hoardings ask Rohingya, Bangladeshi Muslims to leave
HAVE come up in and around Jammu city, asking Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims
to leave the area, while urging local residents to unite so as to “save
history, culture and identity of Dogras”. Carrying photographs of Jammu and
Kashmir National Panthers Party leaders, including its chairman Harsh Dev Singh
and state president Balwant Singh Mankotia, these hoardings ask Jammu to “Wake
Up”. “It is the question of the very survival of Dogras who have already lost
their identity due to the settlement of people from other parts of the state on
the outskirts of Jammu city,’’ Harsh Dev said.
Supreme Court Judge Reacts To AIADMK Crisis, Says Tamil Nadu Governor Should
week, a division bench of the state High Court, comprising Chief Justice N Paul
Vasanthakumar and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, had issued “post admission
notices’’ asking the Chief Secretary, Commissioner-Secretary Home, DGP and the
IG for Jammu zone to file their response within two weeks to a PIL that sought
identification and deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis from the state.
The notices were accepted by Deputy Advocate General Raman Sharma.
PIL was filed by advocate Hunar Gupta, a member of the state BJP’s legal cell.
Arguing the case for Gupta, senior advocate Sunil Sethi, who also happens to be
chief spokesperson for the BJP in the state, said there had been an abrupt
increase in the number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Though according to the government, 13,400 Myanmar and Bangladeshi nationals
have been living in various parts of the state, their actual number is much
higher, he had pointed out.
are suspected to be involved in various anti-national activities like drug
trafficking, hawala transactions etc., at the behest of enemies of the
nation,’’ Sethi submitted, adding that their presence will lead to “increase in
pro-separatist as well as anti-India activities in the state”. BJP Nowshera MLA Ravinder Raina said: “There
are no records regarding them, and their settlement in a sensitive border state
is a great threat to national security as these people can be easily used by
will host Palestinian president before PM Narendra Modi heads for Israel
DELHI:India will host Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a diplomatic
balancing act before Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads for Israel towards the
middle of this year for the first visit by an Indian head of government to Tel
Aviv since establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations in 1992. Furthering
strategic ties with West Asia has been a priority for the BJP-led NDA
government. It has walked the extra mile to engage the Arab countries as well
as Iran, even as it has consolidated relations with Israel, with an aim to
create an antiterror narrative and secure its energy and human resources in the
region. While Abbas has visited India in the past this will be his maiden trip
to India since the Modi government assumed office in May 2014. During the
tenure of this government President Pranab Mukherjee visited Palestine along
with Israel in 2015 in keeping with India’s longstanding principle of a
twostate solution to end the protracted crisis in the region.
will be making a standalone trip to India, without including Pakistan, which he
visited separately recently. Strategic affairs analysts said that most leaders
from West Asia, Gulf and Egypt are increasingly undertaking standalone trips to
India. The de-hyphenation comes in the backdrop of India’s growing economic
profile and rising threats from terror groups that also have a presence in the
visit will be held in the backdrop of the first Indo-Palestinian Joint
Commission meeting last year and India’s participation in a conference on
Israel and Palestine organised by France in Paris. India is expected to extend
further assistance to Palestinian capacity-building during Abbas’ visit besides
exploring business ties, people familiar with the developments said.
DELHI: Two army jawans were martyred and four Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were
killed in a gunbattle between security forces and terrorists in Kulgam in south
Kashmir on Sunday.
on a tip-off by police about the presence of a large number of terrorists, army
cordoned off Frisal village in Kulgam , 60 km from Srinagar. An encounter is
currently underway. As per intelligence inputs, the terrorists were hiding
inside a house in the area.
a joint operation, the army, police and para-military forces performed a
thorough search of all the houses in the area. While searching the suspected
house, the personnel from One Rashtriya Rifles located a false ceiling where
the terrorists were hiding.
being spotted, the ultras opened fire on them, leading to a gunfight which
lasted several hours. Four terrorists of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen outfit
were killed in the ensuing exchange of fire, while three others managed to
escape into the nearby jungles. Hunt is on to nab them, sources said.
soldiers were also injured and two of them succumbed to their injuries before
they could be evacuated for treatment. Three jawans were airlifted to Army's 92
base hospital in Srinagar and their condition was stated to be stable.
General of Police S P Vaid said that security forces had achieved a major
success by gunning down four militants.
four militants killed in a gunfight with security forces on Kulgam in south
Kashmir on Sunday were locals, police said.
two belonged to Kashmiri separatist group Hizbul Mujahideen, the others were
associated with the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, they said.
people, including two civilians and an equal number of soldiers, were killed in
the gun battle and protests that followed. One of the civilians was a protester
while the other was caught in the crossfire.
separatists have called a strike on Monday to protest crackdown by the security
forces while the opposition National Conference has demanded a probe into the
forces had cordoned off a house in Kulgam’s Frisal village on Saturday night
after they were informed of militants’ presence. The gunfight started after militants
opened fire early on Sunday, police said, adding three of them managed to
two slain soldiers – Raghubeer Singh of Uttarakhand and Bhandoriya Gopal Singh
of Gujarat – belonged to 1st Rashtriya Rifles.
said thousands of people, chanting pro-freedom slogans, participated in the
funeral of the militants and the two civilians. Militants in Redwani Qaimoh
even offered gun salute to the four associates, local news portals quoted
eyewitnesses as saying.
least 21 protesters were injured when police used bullets, pellets and tear gas
shells to disperse demonstrators.
Islamist group under fire for commemorating Iranian revolution
party Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya has come under fire after participating in
Thursday’s ceremony commemorating the Iranian revolution at the Iranian embassy
group was criticized because it has attended the event although it had voiced
its support for the Syrian revolution.
a statement issued Friday, the party said its participation was just based on
“protocol” and does not have any political dimensions.
participation does not at all reflect any change in al-Jamaa’s stances towards
Iranian policy and its intervention in Lebanon or any change to their position
that completely rejects Hezbollah’s participation in the Syrian war,” it said.
visit to the embassy comes within the context of social and diplomatic
relations and courtesies and it comes in response to the Iranian envoy’s visit
to al-Jamaa’s centers and after he congratulated us for electing the new
command,” it added.
the statement was met by further criticism particularly on social media.
social media user slammed the visit and said: “There must not be any social
relations and courtesies between the oppressed and the oppressor.”
others criticized the group’s participation considering the “rivers of blood”
being shed in Syria due to the participation of Iranian militias in the Syrian
to al-Jamaa’s statement, the group attended this same event last year and the
Nafaa, the group’s political official in North Lebanon, apologized on Saturday
“to all the people who have suffered from Iranian occupation and its
executes 5 Egyptians it accuses of spying for army
- The Islamic State group in Egypt claims to have executed five men it accuses
of spying for the army, which is battling the jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula.
a series of photos published Friday on the secure messaging app Telegram, five
men presented as "spies" are seen lying face down on the ground
before a militant shoots them in the back of their heads with an assault rifle.
have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the military overthrow of
Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 unleashed a bloody crackdown on his
crackdown decimated the Islamist movement and killed hundreds of his followers,
and set off a jihadist insurgency that has killed hundreds of security
of the attacks have taken place in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel
and the Gaza Strip, but attacks have also been carried out in other areas
Egyptian army announced on Friday that it had killed "500 terrorists"
since it launched a wide-ranging security operation in the Sinai in September
least five protesters loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr were killed, and
174 others wounded, in clashes that happened Saturday with Iraqi security
forces in downtown Baghdad, according to an updated toll by the interior
ministry on Sunday.
The head of Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement on Sunday urged the
government to coordinate with Damascus to help refugees to return now that
"large areas" of Syria are "safe". In a televised address,
Hassan Nasrallah said Syrian refugees should not be coerced into going home,
but added that a string of "victories" by President Bashar al-Assad's
forces meant it would be safe for many to return. "Military victories in
Syria, the most recent of them the victory in Aleppo... have turned large areas
into safe and quiet spaces," Nasrallah said.–AFP
urged "cooperation to return the majority of these refugees to their towns
and villages and homes, so they will no longer be refugees sitting in tents or
in the streets".
hosts around a million registered Syrian refugees and has struggled with the
consequences of the war in neighbouring Syria since it began in March 2011.
Hezbollah is a key ally of Assad's government, and its fighters battle
alongside his troops against opposition forces, including during the December
recapture of second city Aleppo.
said the process of returning Syrian refugees should be "one of
persuasion, not of coercion".
is the duty of all Lebanese to deal with this issue in a humanitarian fashion,
setting aside political considerations or fears," he added. He also urged
the government in Beirut to engage with its Syrian counterpart on the issue,
despite the deep antipathy between Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and
accused Damascus of involvement in the 2005 assassination of his father, former
premier Rafiq al-Hariri, and backed the uprising against Assad.
the Lebanese government must end its obstinacy... and talk to the Syrian
government: is this issue not pressing?" Nasrallah asked.
called on the government to work with Damascus "and develop a single plan,
because this cannot be addressed by Lebanon alone, and begging will not solve
has struggled to deal with the massive influx of refugees, who have added to
the pressure on its already stretched infrastructure and economy.
has regularly called for more international assistance, and President Michel
Aoun earlier this month urged the international community to facilitate the
safe return of refugees.
of terrorists trapped in the circle of the army soldiers in Southwestern
Damascus used the Marwan height and a
region near the town of Beit Jin and stormed the army positions in the village
of al-Maqrouseh to push back the army men and lift their siege to open a way
and move towards Quneitra province.
army troops inflicted heavy losses on the militants while artillery units
shelled terrorists' supply lines on the road from Beit Jin to Moqr al-Mir,
repelling militants' attack.
groups lost 30 members in the failed attack and pulled back the remaining
pockets of their forces from the battlefield to evade more casualties.
Wednesday, the terrorist groups once again targeted the al-Wafedeen Refugee
camp in Eastern Ghouta with a barrage of missile and rockets, preventing exit
of civilians and militants via a safe corridor set up by the Syrian Army.
groups' missile units shelled the humanitarian corridor in al-Wafedeen refugee
camp for the fifth day in a row, preventing evacuation of civilians and those
militants that intend to join peace with the Syrian government.
civilian managed to leave Eastern Ghouta via the corridor in al-Wafedeen, field
Feb 12, 2017
army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists and managed to
tack control over three positions in al-Bayarat al-Qarbi region in West of
Palmyra, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.
army men also drove ISIL out of a hill West of Abarat Jahar and meantime
advanced against terrorists in the surrounding areas of the town of Jahar.
fighter jets targeted ISIL's positions in al-Shareh al-Ariz region in Eastern
Homs, killing a number of terrorists and destroying an oil tanker and two
warplanes also carried out several combat flights over ISIL's positions and
movements along the defense lines in Badiyeh (desert) al-Qarbi of Tadmur and in
the villages of al-Shandakhiyeh, Jebaj Hamd and Tal al-Awamid, destroying
terrorists' entire positions and inflicting heavy casualties on them.
warplanes pounded ISIL's positions in al-Makbat region Southwest of Panorama
and foiled ISIL's attack on government forces' defense lines, killing most of
the terrorists and destroying two military and two bomb-laden suicide vehicles.
the meantime, Syrian Army troops targeted two groups of ISIL terrorists that
had planned to use al-Huweiqa passage and nearby regions of the faculty of
agriculture in al-Hosseiniyeh, killing and wounding most of militants.
army units also hit hard ISIL's concentration centers in the regions of
al-Shouleh and al-Mayadeen in Deir Ezzur, killing a large number of terrorists
and destroying their bomb-laden vehicles.
the rmy troops and aircraft targeted a main ISIL camp near Deir Ezzur city,
leaving tens of terrorists dead or wounded and their hardware destroyed on
sources said that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at has declared war against Liwa al-Aqsa,
a branch of Jund al-Aqsa in Hama province.
added that one of Abu Abdul Malek al-Shami, a commander of Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at, has underlined his forces' firm will to annihilate Liwa al-Aqsa.
sources said that combatants of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at have driven Liwa al-Aqsa
forces out of the town of al-Tamanna in Southern Idlib.
Hay'at's decision to open war on Jund al-Aqsa came after the Liwa al-Aqsa took
control of the town of Kafr Sajneh in Southern Idlib.
Jund al-Aqsa terrorists continued their advances in the region and seized
control over the town of Khan Sheikhoun and al-Tamanna.
a group of terrorists affiliated to the newly-formed Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the
Levant Liberation Board) entered a government hospital in the town of Ma'arat
al-Nu'aman in Idlib province on Wednesday, using force, and took several guards
of the medical center that were members of Ahrar al-Sham hostages.
sources affiliated to terrorist groups said that fighters of Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at arrested Ahrar's guards of the hospital on charges of assassinating the
al-Nusra Front (recently renamed to Fatah al-Sham Front) and Faylaq al-Sham
agreed to exclude the hospital in Ma'arat al-Nu'aman from their differences and
set up their military centers far away from the medical center, allowing Nusra
forces to guard the hospital.
armed opposition groups have announced their new delegation for an upcoming
round of peace talks brokered by the United Nations and set to be held in the
Swiss city of Geneva, scrapping Saudi-backed terrorist groups.
so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC), a coalition of foreign-backed
Syrian opposition groups, made the announcement in a statement on Sunday,
saying that the final composition of the delegation included 10 representatives
of militant groups and 11 opposition politicians, mostly affiliated with the
armed groups within the coalition.
Saudi-backed Ahrar al-Sham militant group and Jaysh al-Islam do not have any
representatives in the delegation, which could be perceived as a sign that the
armed opposition groups are trying to distance themselves from Riyadh's
warmongering policies in Syria.
statement, which was issued amid a conference held by the umbrella HNC group in
the Saudi capital, Riyadh, further said that the delegation would be headed by
Nasr al-Hariri, a senior member of the so-called National Coalition for Syrian
Revolution and Opposition Forces, in the fresh round of the peace negotiations,
scheduled to be held on February 20.
Sabra was also selected as the chief negotiator of the delegation. He replaced
Mohamad Alloush, a member of the Saudi-backed Jaysh al-Islam terrorist group.
Alloush served as the chief negotiator for the so-called opposition groups
during three previous rounds of peace talks in Geneva, the last of which was
held on April 13-27 last year and ended with no result.
children look at a train traveling through devastated eastern districts in the
northwestern city of Aleppo for the first time in more than four years, January
25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Geneva talks were originally planned to take place on February 8, but UN
Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said he had rescheduled them to take
further advantage of the fruits of Astana discussions.
army men engaged in intense battle with ISIL and managed to take control over
the farms in Northern, Northwestern and Northeastern directions of the town of
Tadif, reaching territories 1.5km from the terrorist-held town of al-Bab.
army men also drove ISIL out of more positions and reached the region of Mefraq
(crossroad) al-Tadif South of the town of Tadif.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units pounded ISIL's positions
Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that the Syrian army supported by
Russian aviation destroyed a ISIL stronghold near the city of al-Bab.
Syrian army killed over 650 terrorists and terrorists' hardware in their
operation to free the town of Tadif near al-Bab, Sputnik reported.
the fighting near the Tadif populated area, the (Syrian) government forces
killed more than 650 terrorists, destroyed two tanks, four armored personnel
carriers, 18 off-road vehicles equipped with heavy weapons, seven mortars and
six 'jihad-mobiles'," the Defense Ministry said.
to the Russian ministry, Tadif which is located in Aleppo province's North-East
was "one of the most fortified strongholds of terrorists near
mention of Hafiz Saeed in NAP, says Shujaat
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President and former Prime Minister Ch
Shujaat Hussain, commenting on the statement of Adviser on Foreign Affairs
Sartaj Aziz, said that he declared the detention of Hafiz Saeed as part of
National Action Plan (NAP).
National Action Plan was formulated, he along with Mushahid Hussain Sayed, had
represented their party in which there was no mention anywhere of Hafiz Saeed,”
he said. Talking to media men on Sunday after meeting with Kashmiri Hurriyat
leader Mishal Yasin Malik at his residence in Lahore, he said, “Kashmiris’
struggle will surely bear fruit and be successful.” He said, “Sartaj Aziz says
that relations with Afghanistan are complicated whereas we have been saying for
years together that without talking to Afghanistan there can be no peace in the
region but present government of Pakistan has taken no step in this regard.”
was tension during the previous governments also but process of mutual visits
and exchange of delegations continued but now this work has come to a
standstill,” he added. Ch Shujat Hussain further said that, “Iran, India and
Afghanistan are three big countries of which the government accepts relations
are bad but we are not saying relations with third country are so better.” He
said, “relations with Afghanistan and Iran should be improved.”
his meeting with Mishal Malik, wife of Kashmiri Hurriyet leader Yasin Malik, Ch
Shujat Hussain said, “The world community should take notice of oppression and
atrocities of occupying Indian army in held Kashmir.” “People of Pakistan are
with Kashmiris, without giving right of self-determination to people of
occupied Kashmir, the agenda of partition of Indian sub-continent is
incomplete,” he said.
Yasin Malik expressed heartfelt gratitude to Ch Shujat Hussain and said,
“Pakistan Muslim League has always extended full support for the struggle of
Kashmiris and raised voice against atrocities in occupied Kashmir.”
favours ‘mainstreaming’ of Fata, says Bajwa
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that the military will
support the government’s efforts to “mainstream” the Federally Administered
Tribal Areas (Fata).
said this while talking to field commanders and soldiers during a visit to
South Waziristan on Sunday, according to a press release issued by the Inter
Services Public Relations. He visited predominantly Mehsud tribe areas, where
repatriation of displaced families is under way.
army chief was briefed about security and stability in South Waziristan,
including border management and rehabilitation of temporarily dislocated
Bajwa said the army would support efforts for mainstreaming of Fata by the
government as per aspiration of the tribes.
expressed satisfaction on operational gains, development works and measures for
improving border security. He directed the officials concerned to continue
focusing on stability operations and socioeconomic development.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Dr Farooq Sattar has said
that his party will be moving the apex court on the issues of powers for local
governments, non-implementation of the 20 per cent job quota for cities and
was talking to reporters at Kohinoor Chowk and a reception camp at Hali Road
during his visit to the city on Sunday.
has taken place even before the holding of census. New census blocks have
descended from skies in the rural areas of Sindh. The motive seems to be to
raise the rural and reduce the urban population so that the rule of waderas can
be protected,” he claimed.
Sattar observed that such an attempt was being made once again but the urban
population of Sindh would not accept such a census and would protest over it.
said that the MQM-P believed in a working relationship with every political
force and did not have enmity with anyone.
to his handshake with Pak Sarzameen Party leader Syed Mustafa Kamal at a
programme in Karachi on Saturday, Dr Sattar said one should not raise question
over handshake because responding in such way he demonstrated ethics and high
values. He rejected comments and satiric remarks by some MQM-London people and
his critics over the handshake as “unfair”.
Sattar said that MQM-P’s Feb 17 public gathering in the Pucca Qila ground would
be historic. “We will remind those who have forgotten old days of their past,”
against MQM-P leader Dr Farooq Sattar emerged in different parts of Hyderabad
and Latifabad on Sunday, ahead of the Feb 17 public meeting of the party in the
Pucca Qila ground.
- Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar
said on Sunday that Pakistan had successfully tapped international capital
market four times since 2014 and each time received overwhelming response.
was addressing the closing ceremony of "Colours of Indus 2017
Programme" here at the Governor's House. Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafique
Rajwana and Ali Jamil from Young Presidents' Organisation (YPO) also addressed
the ceremony, while YPO delegates were also present on the occasion.
minister termed the event an excellent way of showcasing rich cultural
diversity and abundant opportunities, a growing and developing Pakistan offered
to young entrepreneurs. Business leaders and entrepreneurs should take
advantage of attractive business opportunities and investment climate in
Pakistan, he added.
mentioned that when the Pakistan Muslim League-N government came to power in
2013, the country was facing challenges of unstable macro-economic situation,
GDP growth at only 3 percent, foreign reserves of below $8 billion, spiraling
circular debt, crippling energy shortages and fiscal deficit of 8.8 percent.
the government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif set
priorities right by focusing on 4 Es including Energy, Economy, Elimination of
extremism, and Education, he added.
said that the country was now back on the road to macro-economic stability to
achieve higher, sustainable and inclusive growth. He said that for the first
time, Pakistan successfully completed all 12 reform steps of EFF (Extended Fund
Facility) Programme of the IMF, asserting that growth momentum continued to
remain above 4 percent for the third year in a row, and the GDP growth was registered
4.71 percent in FY 2016, highest in eight years.
for the GDP growth in FY 2017 is around 5.5 percent and 7 percent during FY
2018-19, he added. He said international organisations had also recognised
Pakistan's economic turnaround, citing that the IMF had raised its GDP growth
forecast for Pakistan for FY 2017 from 4.7 to 5 percent, and projected GDP
growth of 5.5 percent, Asian Development Bank (ADB) raised its GDP forecast for
2017 from 4.8 to 5.2 percent, and the World Bank projected 5.2 percent GDP
growth in FY 2017 and 5.4 percent in FY 2018. He said the Economist also
recently ranked Pakistan as the 5th fastest growing global economy as well as
the fastest growing Muslim economy. The minister asserted that inflation was
brought down to less than 3 percent in FY 2016, the lowest in decades, and
fiscal deficit reduced from 8.2 to 4.6 percent in FY 2016, while on the revenue
side, tax collection increased by 60 percent over last three years and forex
reserves were sufficient for over five months of import cover.
segments of society had been main beneficiaries of recent economic progress, he
said and cited that the BISP allocation had been nearly tripled from Rs43
billion in FY 2013 to Rs115 billion in FY 2017, and Pakistan had made
significant progress in poverty reduction.
PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme) had increased from Rs348 billion in
FY 2013 to Rs800 billion in FY 2017, he added. Dar said that recent PwC Report
projected Pakistan's economy to be the 20th largest by 2030 and the 16th
largest economy by 2050, above Italy and Canada.
Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said on Saturday that Pakistan would go all
out to counter growing threats to peace in the Indian Ocean, chiefly from its
‘nuclearisation’ started by India.
at a conference, he listed the challenges to peace in the ocean as its
militarisation, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, increased missile
capabilities and power projection by foreign militaries, in addition to piracy,
illegal fishing, human, drugs and arms smuggling, maritime pollution and
trend is likely to intensify in the coming years,” he warned at the
‘International maritime conference on strategic outlook in Indian Ocean region,
2030 and beyond — evolving challenges and strategies’.
un-demarcated Sir Creek borders cast a shadow on maritime security
are aware of our national interests and every effort will be made to strengthen
our capacity to ensure that we remain ready to meet the emerging maritime
security challenges. For us, to remain oblivious of the developments taking
place in the Indian Ocean region is not an option.”
last month successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise
missile, Babur-III. The move towards a sea-based deterrent, military
strategists say, was necessitated by India’s ‘unrestrained behaviour’. India
had last year tested the nuclear-capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic
missile from its nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant.
Aziz said nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean had further destabilised the
said it was in Pakistan’s vested interest that the region remained peaceful
because 95 per cent of its trade took place through sea and it had a coastline
over 1,000km long, an Exclusive Economic Zone of around 300,000 square
kilometres, the Karachi port and the newly built deep sea port of Gwadar.
un-demarcated borders in the Sir Creek have the potential to cast a shadow on
maritime security,” he said.
have to maintain significant naval presence to keep our sea lanes open and
defend our interests whether on land or on the sea.”
said the Indian navy’s substantial expansion was a cause for concern for
Pakistan. “Pakistan has a strategic stake in the peaceful navigation and
security of the Indian Ocean region.”
said: “We realise the economic potential of the region. As the third-largest
ocean providing coastline to more than 30 countries, the Indian Ocean provides
connectivity not only to important regions in Asia, particularly South Asia and
the Middle East, and Africa, it also connects Australia with Europe. Regular
dialogue between stakeholders on security and safety has never been so
recalled that an estimated 55pc of oil reserves of the world and 40pc of gas
were located in the region. “Today some 40pc of the global trade passes through
the Indian Ocean. With the rise of Asia as the global powerhouse, the region
indeed offers the unique platform for today’s globalised world as an attractive
trade route. At present ports in the Indian Ocean handle about 30pc global
trade and half the world’s container traffic. But the establishment of a new
system of routes and ports will further increase the economic importance of
this ocean,” he said.
in his keynote address at the three-day seventh international maritime
conference at the Bahria University, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan said the
Jammu and Kashmir dispute would cast its shadow in the strategic and commercial
balance in the region. “If the dispute is not settled peacefully according to
the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, it would remain a trigger for
volatility in the region along with being a potent driver of conflict. The
bilateral talks despite the sincere and persistent efforts of Pakistan have
proved to be unproductive because of India’s intransigence,” he said.
said the Indian Ocean region was not all about war. “It is a catalyst for peace
and prosperity, cooperation, collaboration, connectivity and stability and
children were killed and another critically wounded in an accidental grenade
explosion near Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Swat Valley on Sunday, officials said.
children of a shepherd family were playing in a mountainous village in Buner
district when they found the hand grenade and accidentally set it off, local
government official Zariful Maani told AFP.
two brothers, aged nine and 10, died, while their seven-year-old female cousin
is in critical condition, Maani said.
local government official, Aizaz Ahmad, confirmed the details.
children remain caught up in the years-long conflict between security forces
and militants in the region following a Taliban insurgency in the area since
the beginning of 2007, Taliban militants led by Maulana Fazlullah, now central
chief of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) took control of the Swat district
and waged a campaign of attacking schools, killing policemen, and beheading
Chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Fazlur Rehman on Sunday said
his party has disconnected the supply line of the terrorists.
added the rulers and bureaucracy are not interested in legislation. Addressing
a lawyers' convention, the cleric said Pakistan is not a secular but an Islamic
country and according to its constitution all laws should be made in accordance
with Quran and Sunnah. He said that developmental work in Federally
Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) was equal to zero, adding that fundament
facilities should be provided to the tribal people. He said that the system of
the country would be democratic and not parliamentary. He said that merger of
FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was an opinion and separate province and identity
for the tribal people was another opinion. He said that the government had
formed a committee for FATA reforms.
Sometimes, frequent repetition of a false narration with high confidence
becomes a reference of important historical facts, events and developments.
same is happening in the case of Faisal Mosque, where masses are forced to
believe that the said iconic mosque of the federal capital was fully funded by
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as people write and speak this false narration
repeatedly without any reference or research.
American founding father and the second president of the United States
(1797-1801) John Adams said: "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may
be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot
alter the state of facts and evidence."
it may be somebody's wish to spread the falsehood that Faisal Mosque was fully
funded by the Saudi government, but the official documents of the project
clearly negate this false myth as only partial funding was made by the Saudi
government on the directions of its King, late Shah Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al
Saud. In response the mosque was named after
to a written question asked by Daily Times, the Public Relations Directorate of
the Capital Development Authority (CDA) also endorsed the aforementioned historical
fact and informed that the project was completed in $45 million in which only
$28 million was contributed by the government of Saudi Arabia while $17 million
was provided by the Pakistani government in addition to the allocation of 33
acres of land for the mosque.
project to build a mosque was conceived in 1966, when King Faisal bin Abdul
Aziz visited Islamabad. An international competition for the selection of the
mosque design was held in 1969 and the design of a Turkish architect Mr. Vedat
Dalokay was selected by a jury appointed by the International Union of
foundation stone was laid by King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz in 1976, but the
project was started in 1978 and completed in 1988 in a period of 10 years.
structural engineers of Faisal Mosque were R.L Lac Qurix from Paris and S.
Erdolan from Turkey. The Project Manager was Muhammad Rafique Ahmed while the
project was executed by contractor M/S National Construction Limited.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq chief has said that the country is being
pushed towards isolation because of 'failed' foreign policy of the government.
blind following of the United States (US) dictation for the last several years,
Washington today stands with New Delhi on Kashmir issue," he said while
addressing the participants of the JI central workshop at Mansoora on Sunday.
said that all rulers, including former dictator Pervez Musharraf, had been
protecting US interest against national interest.
the rulers give up corruption and announce to deposit the plundered wealth in
the public exchequer, most of the country's problems will be solved," he
said, adding that mills and factories of the rulers were minting profit whereas
national institutions such as the Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan
Steel Miss were facing huge losses. "This was only because the intentions
of the rulers were not good as they simply prefer their personal interest to
the national interest."
he said, had abundant resources both of men and material, but these resources
were not being properly used and thousands of educated youth were running from
pillar to post to find jobs.
freezes charitable donations of man having 'Islam' as surname
(Daily Dunya) – U.S. Department of the Treasury has frozen the charitable
donations of a British Muslim citizen Mamoon-ul-Islam for having ‘Islam’ in his
who works for a charitable organization in Bedford raised £400 for a UK food
bank and Eventbrite, a US website which facilitates fundraising.
the donations came from Britain and were in sterling.
his name “M Islam” featured on a list created by the US Office for Foreign
Assets and Control.
is an accountant by profession and says that he has been subject to
is beyond discrimination. I honestly don’t know how to explain in words. Just
because of my name I am treated differently,” he told The Independent.
was blackmail. They kept the money and they kept asking me to provide
additional information even though they had my details.
was the eighth event with this organisation and I have never had a problem.
This is just another government restricting my economic freedom,” Islam said.
lawmakers threaten to boycott US after visa denial
Pakistani lawmakers have threatened to boycott their American counterparts and
the US itself after a Pakistani legislator was denied a visa+ to attend a
UN-sponsored International Parliamentary Union (IPU) being held in New York.
continually deteriorating ties between the two countries, mainly on account of
Pakistan's use of terrorism, the US Embassy in Islamabad reportedly nixed a
visa for Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, who belongs to the fundamentalist
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), well-known for its toxic anti-American
rants. Haideri was scheduled to travel to the US with Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz Senator, retired Lt-Gen Salahuddin Tirmizi on Sunday, but although
Tirmizi was given a visa, Haideri's application was put on hold.
rejection enraged the Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, who according to the Pakistani
media, has declared that "No delegation, member of Congress or diplomat of
the US will be welcomed by the Senate of Pakistan, Senate Standing Committees
and the senators in their official capacity till this issue is resolved."
Rabbani also called off the UN visit and ordered that no Senate delegation
would visit the US until its diplomatic mission explained the delay in issuance
of a visa to Haideri.
has come under increasing scrutiny for the terrorism it exports to the
sub-continent and beyond, including to the United States. It escaped being
placed in the list of seven Muslim-majority countries+ whose nationals were
banned from traveling to the US, even as administration officials and analysts
acknowledged that Pakistanis and Saudis, more than any of the seven proscribed
countries, undertook acts of terrorism on US soil, including in New York and
recent US think-tank report has also recommended that the Trump administration
consider denial of visas to Pakistani politicians and military officials+ known
to be involved in terrorism, unless the country gives up its patronage of
Real Faces of Muslim Youth In New York
a world where politicised images of American Muslims are continually being
depicted as a plagued foreign diaspora, photographer Mark Bennington took the
initiative to present Muslims in a more positive light.
a new photo series entitled ‘America 2.0’, Bennington sets out to tell the
stories of young Muslim adults in New York City. According to Bennington, these
young Muslims are imperative to the next generation whose stories needed to be
advocates slam Trump plans on Muslim immigrants, refugees
a photographer, and as someone whose signature style is emotive portraiture, I
decided to not only immerse myself in understanding “the other side” of Muslim
life in America but moreover capture the joy and harmony of it,” Bennington
said of his inspiration behind the series.
is no doubt that the election season played an important role in kick-starting
this project. Now more than ever, we, as the American public, are faced with
images and propaganda of “the other” – be it Muslims, Mexican immigrants, the
African-American community, the LGBTQ community, the list goes on,” he said.
basis for the project was to capture Muslim youth just being ‘themselves’. Without
maintaining all the focus on their Muslim identity or faith, Bennington thought
it vital to substantiate each photograph with a story or narrative of who each
subject was. “My focus was less on their Muslim identity or faith and more on
their experiences of being young adults in NYC,” he explained.
we look at 17 stories of young Muslims and their experiences in New York City.
have been beseeching Justin Trudeau to open up Canada’s borders to those
affected by Donald Trump’s ban on refugees as well as immigrants and visitors
from seven Muslim nations. Canadians also want the prime minister to stand up
to the president, whom he meets in Washington on Monday.
should be agitating just as vigorously against the dangerous levels of
anti-Muslim bigotry right here at home. And rather than have Trudeau pick a
fight with Trump over domestic American issues already being contested in the
courts there, we want the prime minister to stay focused on safeguarding our
economic lifeline to the U.S. and also ensure that Canadian citizens are not
targeted for bigoted harassment when travelling to the U.S.
Jan. 29 massacre in a Quebec City mosque did not happen in a vacuum. The
alleged killer, Alexandre Bissonnette, is a fan of Trump and also of Marine Le
Pen, leader of France’s extreme right, who brought her anti-Muslim message to
Quebec last year.
jolted by the tragedy have been demonstrating exemplary solidarity with
Muslims. Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard have struck the right
chords. But far too many politicians, especially Quebec nationalists and federal
Conservatives, are shedding crocodile tears, given their own record in recent
years of stigmatizing Muslims and stoking public fear of Muslims.
Kenney, Kellie Leitch and Chris Alexander may have been the spear-carriers for
Stephen Harper’s cultural war on Muslims. But Rona Ambrose, interim
Conservative leader, and many on her front bench in the House of Commons are
equally guilty of having introduced Trumpism in Canada long before Trump
mainstreamed it in the U.S.
the days after the Quebec City murders, Jean-François Lisée, leader of the
Parti Québécois, offered a half-hearted mea culpa for the excesses of its
Charter of Quebec Values. But by last week, he was back playing identity
politics in the National Assembly.
pull Canada back from such toxic polarization, here’s a to-do list.
should not let the Leitches and Lisées off the hook.
of “Barbaric Cultural Practices” fame, remains an unapologetic admirer of
Trump. So is Kevin O’Leary, another leadership candidate.
proposal to vet potential immigrants for anti-Canadian values is a dead ringer
for Trump’s “extreme vetting,” to ban those with “hostile attitudes toward” the
immigration minister, Alexander kept the door mostly shut on Syrian refugees,
while holding it open for Christians from that region, implementing religious
discrimination well ahead of Trump.
Trump, the Harperites conflated Muslim terrorists with all Muslims. They
falsely accused mosques of fomenting jihad and undermined legitimate mainstream
Muslim organizations by boycotting them or libelling them with unsubstantiated
charges of Islamic militancy.
some instances, the Harperites and the Quebec nationalists were worse than
Trump — for example, bullying Muslim women by associating their dress with
misogyny, barbarism and terrorism, and concocting absurdly discriminatory
policies against them.
must protect our trade with the U.S., but not at the expense of Canadian
Montreal woman was turned back from the Vermont border, while a Toronto woman
was grilled at a border crossing in Buffalo. Neither had faced such harassment
before, or had anything to do with the Muslim-majority countries listed in
Trump’s executive order. But both were wearing hijabs.
treatment puts a lie to Trump administration claim that it is not targeting
Muslims. Trudeau has a duty to ensure that all Canadians are treated fairly.
the remit of the intelligence and security services, as well as
anti-radicalization groups, to include the monitoring and ferreting out of
are about 100 white supremacist, anti-immigrant and virulently anti-Muslim
groups active across Canada, especially in Quebec. They need to be on the
mosques and Muslims.
of mosques have been vandalized, and Muslims physically assaulted or harassed
in public spaces, and discriminated against at work. Women have been
disproportionately targeted — perverse testimony to the falsehood of
Islamophobes’ ostensible concern about the status of Muslim women.
provincial and municipal governments should audit the many police
investigations into such incidents, to see what was done or mostly not done.
Police services have a duty to seriously investigate allegations of incitement
of hatred, prohibited under the Criminal Code.
should restore the hate speech provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
axed Section 13 in deference to those demanding unfettered freedom to malign
Muslims and Islam. The media joined them, citing free speech, without ever
answering whether they favour free speech for anti-Semites and homophobes, for
need to balance free speech with protecting vulnerable groups has long been a
cherished Canadian value. The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly upheld
hate speech prohibitions of both the Criminal Code and the Human Rights Act.
But Harper ignored the rulings, just as Trump does not want the American courts
to stay in the way of his diktats.
John Tory needs to stop obfuscating his close links with Nick Kouvalis, who
recently quit the Leitch campaign for using Trump-like tactics of name-calling
and telling the big lie to unsettle the opposition.
is a decent man but he’s known to compromise principles in trying to appease
was his chief strategist in the 2014 election. Tory must publicly rule out any
role for him in the 2018 mayoral election.
other friend, Andy Pringle, whom he installed as head of the Police Services
Board, raised funds for Leitch’s leadership bid. He stopped only after media
raised questions. The harm is already done. How can he possibly be assumed to
be impartial about issues involving the policing of minorities after his
financial and political support for someone peddling racist policies? He should
resign. Tory should ask him to.
Couillard must abandon his bill before the Quebec National Assembly banning
niqab-wearing Muslim women from giving or receiving government services, even
health care. He had introduced it to pacify anti-Muslim nationalists, who are
not easily pacified. Lisée and François Legault, leader of the third-party
Coalition Avenir Québec, announced Tuesday they will target both the niqab and
matters not whether Couillard — or you or I — dislike the niqab. At stake is a
secular principle — the state has no business telling women how to dress or to
how practise their faith, so long as that practice does not cause harm to
RIVER – On a bitterly cold winter afternoon, the residents of this town banded
together unifying as one voice to denounce the tragic massacre of six
Muslim-Canadians at a Quebec City mosque.
of religion, ethnicity or politics, more than 300 people ventured out in the
middle of a blustery snow storm to remember the victims who were gunned down on
Jan. 29 inside the Grande Mosquée de Québec in the suburb of Sainte-Foy and
show solidarity with the Muslim community not only across Canada but here in
as a symbolism of unanimity only a week-and-a-half ago, the Deep River Peace
Walk mustered an impressive body of folk from across the community to declare
that violence of this nature will never be tolerated nor will it deter
Canadians from fostering an inclusive and cohesive society.
signs that read “united we stand, divided we fall” “love for all,” marchers
proceeded from the town hall to Mcelligott Drive where they gathered in front
of the Ottawa Valley Islamic Centre. In the rally’s most poignant moment,
schoolchildren unveiled a Canadian flag while proudly holding up photos of the
six victims: Azzeddine Soufiane, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Mamadou
Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry and Aboubaker Thabti.
her brief address to the crowd, event organizer Alison Hopley McIvor said this
walk was a response to the “sickening terror attacks” on the Islamic Centre in
Quebec City as well as their collective disguest at the “hateful rhetoric
targetng Muslims in the U.S., a reference to the executive order signed by
President Donald Trump that halts all refugee admissions and temporarily barring
people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
wanted to give our community a chance to send a different message – a message
of peace and love – and your presence here is a testament to the powerful bond
we share with our Muslim brothers and sisters here in Deep River and the
surrounding community,” said McIvor.
of the Islamic community wholeheartedly welcomed this expression of common
cause. Mahmoud Karam said is was his hope that they can learn from each other
and lean on each other as Canadians who share the same values and dreams.
us reaffirm our commitment to live together in peace and abandon all those who
try to divide us through hatred and violence,” he said. “This really touches
our hearts as a muslim community.”
Marie remarked that she truly feels respected, accepted and safe noting that
the tragedy has brought out the best in Canadians.
is deeply upsetting that this happened in our beautiful multicultural country,”
said Marie. “This event shook me and the entire country.”
said she agreed with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s description of the mass
shooting as a terrorist attack adding the six victims had two things in common
– their choice as Islam as a religion and Canada as a home.
gather to celebrate the love and peace of our community and honour those who
chose Canada to be their home,” Marie said.
heir to Saudi Arabia's throne has been awarded a medal by the new director of
the US Central Intelligence Agency, who honoured his counter-terrorism work.
Pompeo, on his first overseas tour since being confirmed as spy agency chief in
late January, made the presentation to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef at a
weekend ceremony, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
respected in the West for his efforts to combat violent extremism, he oversaw a
crackdown on Al-Qaeda which killed security officers and foreigners in the
kingdom between 2003 and 2007.
2009 Prince Mohammed survived with only light injuries an assassination attempt
awarded him the George Tenet Medal in recognition of his "excellent
intelligence performance, in the domain of counter-terrorism and his unbound
contribution to realise world security and peace."
Tenet was the CIA's longest-serving director, from 1996 to 2004.
and Prince Mohammed also held talks on security issues, SPA said.
prince told SPA that "no attempt will succeed in driving a wedge between
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the US".
was the latest Saudi reaffirmation of ties between the absolute Islamic
monarchy and Washington since President Donald Trump took office on January 20.
Foreign Affairs Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters on Sunday that there was
nothing surprising or unusual about Pompeo's visit as the two sides address
issues of mutual concern.
US and Saudi Arabia... have extensive ties. We have extensive challenges that
we're working on in counter-terrorism, in security, maritime security, and the
whole gamut of issues," he said.
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