Lanka Muslims Brave Militant Threats for Friday Prayers
Official Newsletter Carries 'Special Report' On Sri Lanka Bombings
Crown Prince: Don’t Meddle With Islamic Religious Affairs, Which Are State
To Launch Sharia Economy Masterplan In May
Christians Join Forces to Fight Egyptian Church Fire
Promote Coordination between the Muslim World League and Russia
Protesters Hold Prayers outside Military Headquarters In Campaign For Civilian
France Had Role In Massacre Of Turks Century Ago
killed in Sri Lanka in shootout with suspected Islamist militants
kingpin’s radical tilt slipped Lankan radars
Loya Jirga to debate US efforts for deal with Taliban
mosques urged to denounce radicalism
patron releases two video messages against Bangladesh
forces kill 15 Taliban militants in Uruzgan province
Taliban blow themselves up in Zabul Province
had a wrong perception regarding U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan: Abdullah
Lanka on high alert as police hunt 140 Daesh members
approval rating plunges to 39%, Dr M’s down to 46%: Poll
academics who advised Rulers against Rome Statute reject invite to forum
Sudjana Summoned for Questioning by Police Over Call for 'People Power'
Syria constitution body could be agreed on soon
halts processing some Syrian asylum applications, says report
air strikes kill 10 civilians in Syria’s Idlib
More than 7,000 Syrians quit camp near Jordan border
troops kill Iraqi policeman, injure two others while ‘transferring’ Daesh
of Saudi Arabian Airlines crew killed in Sri Lanka attacks arrive in the
vote firms up El-Sisi rule as regional unrest flares
team allowed to check Zakzaky’s health in Nigeria
Condemns Israeli Trespassing At Al-Aqsa Mosque
of Algeria, hero of glorious defeats: Abbasi Madani
retaliate over Lower Shabelle loses
Leader Endorses Change UK Candidate Accused Of Islamophobia
Russian DMs discuss further cooperation in anti-terror fight
Russia, Turkey ‘determined’ to fight terror in Syria
Campaign to Get China Make Azhar U-Turn Gains Pace
Lanka Blasts: Coimbatore Man Denies Link with NTJ, Says NIA Trying To Frame Him
Dismisses Yasin Malik’s Plea Seeking Transfer Of Two Cases
States Put On Alert After Terror Attack Call To Police
Turkey on ‘same page’ as US threatens sanctions over Iran oil import
cop critically injured in Srinagar terror attack
Orders Detention of 210 Military Personnel over Links to Gulen
Forces Injure 60 Gazans, 15 of Them Children
Houthis begin radical reforms plan
voices concern for Baha’i facing death from Houthis
Palestinians hurt in Gaza border clashes
Imposes Sanction on Pakistan, May Deny Visas to Pakistanis
Lanka may seek Pakistan’s help to trace terrorists
Drive Suspended Across Country after Spike in Attacks
Warns Against Bid to Bring Presidential System
orders Channel-24 to air apology 'for propagating false news' about PM Imran's
necessary, will seek Pakistan's help to trace Easter Sunday terrorists, says
Sri Lankan PM
Rabbani sounds the alarm over unelected people getting access to sensitive data
lauds PM Imran’s statement on Afghan peace
praises Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan
agrees with Russia, China on pulling troops from Afghanistan
driver targeted family because they looked Muslim, says police
says al-Qaeda, Daesh, similar groups emerging in Latin America
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Lanka Muslims brave militant threats for Friday prayers
Sri Lanka (AP) — At 12:10 p.m. Friday, men and boys in a Muslim neighborhood in
Sri Lanka’s capital did something everyone had warned them not to do: They came
together to pray.
gathered at the Masjidus Salam Jumma mosque for their communal Friday prayers,
one of many mosques that conducted services despite warnings of retaliatory
while praying through tears to Allah to help their fellow countrymen, all
stressed one thing: the Islamic State-claimed Easter attacks targeting churches
and hotels that killed at least 250 people came from people who didn’t truly
believe the teachings of Islam.
are “not Muslims. This is not Islam. This is an animal,” said Akurana
Muhandramlage Jamaldeen Mohamed Jayfer, the chairman of the mosque. “We don’t
have a word (strong enough) to curse them.”
until the call to prayer echoed through Colombo’s Maligawatta neighborhood at
noon, it wasn’t certain the community would be able to pray. On Thursday, the
U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka issued a stark warning over Twitter that places of
worship could be targeted by militants through the weekend. Sri Lankan Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremesinghe also told The Associated Press he feared some of the
suspects “may go out for a suicide attack” and local authorities urged Muslims
to pray at home.
Friday prayers hold a special importance to Muslims as the Quran has its own chapter
on the worship called “Al-Jumah,” or Friday in Arabic.
the call is made for prayer on Friday, hurry toward the remembrance of Allah,
and leave all business,” the Quran commands.
Muslims, Friday prayers means dressing in their nicest clothes and communing
with others, often sharing a meal after listening to the imam and praying.
day carries the same significance for Muslims in Sri Lanka, where Arab traders
brought Islam in the 7th century. Today, nearly 10% of Sri Lanka’s 21 million
people are Muslim.
the hours before, community leaders decided that women should stay home for the
prayers because of the threat. It remained unclear if they would hold the
prayers, even as young men stopped in the mosque for a moment of quiet prayer,
their sweat dripping from their brows as they bowed down on the purple-and-gray
is nervous,” said Abdullah Mohammed, 48. “Not just the Muslims. Buddhists,
Christians, Hindus — everybody’s nervous.”
as the time drew closer, they decided to hold them. Sri Lankan police officers
armed with Kalashnikov rifles stood guard around the mosque, blocking the
street. Organizers posted young volunteers to watch surrounding streets above
the mosque, near a major cricket stadium.
the mosque, a young man worked on its internal security cameras, one hanging
above wooden carvings of Arabic calligraphy and copies of the Quran. Jayfer
said they had been installed two years earlier, but they needed repair “given
the electronic clock struck 12:10 p.m., a caller got on the loudspeaker, saying
“Allah akbar,” or God is great. Men and boys quickly filled two floors of the
mosque and part of a third as Imam Mohamed Imran stood before them on the
minbar, the pulpit from which he preached.
English and later Tamil, Imran reminded the congregation they remain a minority
in Sri Lanka, that they need to pray and ask for God’s help.
the sermon ended, he offered a prayer, growing emotional as he asked for God
for help. Several men in the congregation cried.
they bowed toward Mecca and its cube-shaped Kaaba, finishing their prayers and
walking safely out of the mosque into the street below. A new sign in Sinhala
hung by the mosque outside offered condolences, saying that just because the
attackers had Arab names didn’t make them Muslims.
is our country. We are Sri Lankans,” Jayfer said. All “Sri Lankans have a duty
to be calm and quiet. (There) has to be peace.”
official newsletter carries 'special report' on Sri Lanka bombings
DELHI: Days after claiming responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings, which
resulted in the death of at least 250 people and injured over 500, the Islamic
State has published a “special report” on the attacks in the latest issue of
its weekly newsletter, Al Naba.
official newsletter claims their targets were Christians and Coalition citizens.
"Every time the crusaders think they have imposed their influence and
stolen the abode of Islam, the conquerors appear in another region in a war
brought on by the sons of the caliphate and their leaders. To rival the enemy..
frustrate him in every part of the world and drain his energy and
capabilities...," the ‘editors’ of the magazine have written.
newsletter has also published another report on the foiled attack on Saudi
Arabia, which also took place simultaneously on April 21, saying that both
attacks hatched by the ISIS Central. The attack in Afghanistan, which happened
a day before on April 20, has also been detailed in the newsletter.
Sri Lanka report begins by saying that a group of Caliphate soldiers carried
out “seven martyrdom and inghemasi attacks
several churches of ‘christians at war’ and the citizens of the crusader states
in multiple cities of Sri Lanka during a “christian celebration of their ‘Kufr’
(non believer of Islam) occasions. ISIS claims that of the ‘350 people killed
and 650 wounded, 45 were from America, Spain, Britain, China, France, Holland
report, which is Arabic, says that Islamic States’ religious war against the
‘crusader military coalition’ was ‘ongoing and won’t stop”. Interestingly, it
also mentions that the IS did not need an attack on its citizens, like it
happened in New Zealand, to wage a war against the Kufr.
Sri Lanka report also contains an info graphic on the serial bombings and
elaborates in detail how they were executed.
Inghimasi (fighter) brothers headed to a number of the churches and hotels frequented
by citizens of the Crusader alliance, while all the martyrdom operatives
conducted their operations simultaneously.”
Abu Hamza al-Silani attacked the Antoni church in Colombo..He came into the
middle of Muharibeen Christians and detonated his explosive belt.. .Wile
brother Abu Muhammad al-Silani went towards the Zion church in Batticaloa and
blew himself up.. The brothers Abu Obeida al-Silani, Abu al-Barra al-Silani and
Abu al-Mukhtar al-Silani went towards gatherings of the Crusaders in the hotels
in Colombo and detonated a number of explosives on the Crusaders.”
crown prince: Don’t meddle with Islamic religious affairs, which are state
Anna Maria Romero
Bahru—In what may be an answer to Malaysian President Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s
call to uphold the 1957 federal constitution as the highest law of the land,
the Crown Prince of Johor on April 25, Thursday, emphasised that Johor is a
sovereign state and that it has its own constitution.
he asked that “those who have nothing to do with Johor, don’t meddle with
Islamic religious affairs, which are state matters.”
he said that creating problems among the Johor people must end.
added, “And don’t create problems among the people of Johor or confuse them,
including the Johor royalty. In fact, Johor is always ready to share knowledge
and work together to strengthen the community in the region.”
Tunku Ismail Ibrahim made these remarks at an event held in conjunction with
the official birthday of Johor Sultan Iskandar Ibrahim. The new menteri besar,
or chief minister, of Johor Dr Sahruddin Jamal, was also present, along with
Johor executive council member Tosrin Jarvanthi.
members of the royal family were present as well.
Tunku Ismail warned against activities that could put Muslims in a negative
light, such as smearing the image of mosques and prayer rooms. He encouraged
that appropriate matters should only be discussed during sermons and other
activities in Johor’s mosques and prayer rooms.
also pointed out that the speakers at mosques should not only be sensitive to
political issues but also be qualified and accredited by the Johor Islamic
added, “The same applies to speakers from political parties who, despite being
qualified in Islamic matters, could lace their talks with politics because of
their political leanings.
Crown Prince reminded his audience not to be a thorn in the flesh.
this matter, I would like to remind all, don’t be a thorn in the flesh. The
consequences will be damaging. If we cause confusion in these places by raising
matters not connected to Islam, the role of mosques and prayer rooms in
propagating Islamic teachings will become meaningless.”
verbal tussle between the Malaysian Prime Minister and the Royal Family of
Johor has been going on for some time now and has encompassed various issues
including the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal
Court, the Johor shipping hub project, and the appointment of Johor’s chief
this week, Dr Mahathir upheld the country’s 1957 federal constitution as the
highest law of the land in what many interpret to be a message to the royal
family of Johor, as he emphasized how it superseded state constitutions even if
they pre-date the federal one.
a 14-point blog post, which he also posted on his Facebook page, he wrote, “The
constitutions of Johor and Terengganu which were promulgated earlier were
nullified by the new constitution which was accepted by all the states of
Prime Minister’s post seemed particularly pointed in the wake of what many
perceived to be interference from the Sultan of Johor in the resignation of the
former Chief Minister (menteri besar) of Johor, Osman Sapian, and his
replacement with his successor, Sahruddin Jamal.
to the royals of Johor, the state constitution dictates that it is within the
jurisdiction of the royal family to choose the chief minister and exec members
Mahathir was reportedly displeased that Mr Sahruddin had reshuffled the former
state executive council, which the royals had asked for, instead of sticking to
a cabinet agreement to keep the state executive council in place.
Monday, April 22, Tosrin Jarvanthi and Mohd Solihan Badri from Bersatu and Tan
Chen Choon from DAP were sworn in before the sultan at Istana Bukit Serene in
Johor Baru as new members of the state executive council. Mr Sahruddin was also
awarded a datukship by the Sultan.
according to Dr Mahathir, the state executive council lineup was for the Johor
Pakatan Harapan to decide upon, and that “The Johor sultan has no influence,”
he said, on the state executive council./ TISG
to launch Sharia Economy Masterplan in May
government plans to launch the 2019-2024 Sharia Economy Masterplan on May 14,
as a road map for the development of the sharia economy to support national
economic development in the country that has the largest Muslim population on
masterplan draft highlights four main strategic recommendations to develop the
sharia economy in the country – strengthening halal products, sharia finance
and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as optimizing the
draft stresses the importance of optimizing the use of the digital economy in
the form of e-commerce, marketplaces and financial technology.
on the sharia finance, the Sharia Economy Masterplan is an improvement of the
existing Indonesia Sharia Finace Architectre Masterplan (MAKSI).
Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, who is also head of the
National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), said Indonesia, as a country
with the largest Muslim population, should not only be a market of halal
need to develop the sharia economy through the halal industry. We need to
optimize the local wisdom to benefit the global opportunity,” he said when
speaking at the Indonesia Islamic Economy Festival (IIEFest) as quoted in a
press statement on Friday. In the draft, the aim of sharia economy development
domestically was to expand the business scale and to improve independence and
people’s welfare, while on the international level, Indonesia wants to upgrade
its position on the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI). (bbn)
Christians join forces to fight Egyptian church fire
QURQAS, Egypt: Muslim and Christian worshippers in an Egyptian city turned
firefighters to tackle a blaze at the site of a recently demolished church.
residents, who spotted smoke billowing from a camp in the grounds of the Coptic
Orthodox church of Mar Girgis (St. George) in Abu Qurqas, Minya province, raced
to the scene and worked together to extinguish flames.
the time fire crews arrived the blaze had been put out. There were no
casualties and officials are investigating the cause.
a statement, the Coptic Orthodox Church said the fire broke out at 4 a.m. and
all the camp’s contents were destroyed.
its unique architectural value, the landmark church of Mar Girgis was
demolished a few months ago following a demolition order.
Dr. Monica Hanna said the church had contained valuable oil paintings and other
promote coordination between the Muslim World League and Russia
include the historical Islamic presence in Russia, and ways to increase
cooperation between Russia and the Islamic world, to tackle hate speech, hatred
and discrimination and to address calls for violence and terror.
extended his thanks and appreciation for the MWL’s organization of the “Islam,
a Message of Mercy and Peace” conference, the first of its kind, which was
opened in Moscow and concluded in the Chechen capital Grozny. It was held under
the patronage of the Russian government, including the Russian Presidency, the
Russian Council of the Federation (Senators) and Duma Council, and attracted
the presence of 43 states of different religions and nationalities.
said that a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere prevailed in his country, where
all places of worship were open, without any restrictions on the freedom of
belief and religious practice, as recognized by the constitution and protected
by the laws. “Today, Russia has become a common home for hundreds of peoples
and communities, and this positive coexistence is one of Russia’s most
also praised the Islamic presence in Russia, stressing that Russian Muslims are
a pride to the country, as they have participated in the Russian renaissance
and in building their country, occupying prominent positions as statesmen,
scientists, soldiers and professional workers in all fields.
his part, the MWL secretary-general stressed the need for continued efforts
toward promoting peace, harmony and positive coexistence around the world,
along with respecting the national umbrella of each state.
protesters hold prayers outside military headquarters in campaign for civilian
Thousands of Sudanese protesters performed the weekly Muslim prayers outside
army headquarters on Friday, a day after vast crowd of demonstrators flooded
Khartoum to demand the military rulers cede power.
have massed outside the army complex in central Khartoum since April 6,
initially to demand the overthrow of longtime leader Omar Al-Bashir.
since his ouster by the army on April 11, the protesters have kept up their
sit-in, demanding that the military council that took over hand power to a
international support for the protesters, the 10-member council has so far
resisted, although three of its members resigned on Wednesday under pressure
from the street.
resignations triggered jubilation among the protesters, who massed in their
tens of thousands on Thursday in response to a call from their leaders for a
the scorching heat, the protesters were back in numbers on Friday, an AFP
freedom,” they chanted as prayer leader Sheikh Matter Younis delivered the
will not retreat until we get our main demand of civilian rule,” said Younis,
an activist from Sudan’s war-torn western region of Darfur.
also called for the “symbols” of the old regime to be punished.
must face fair and transparent justice, they have to be held accountable,” he
said, as the protesters chanted “Blood for blood! We will not accept
Darfuri, Harun Adam, said his family lived in Kalma, one of the sprawling camps
that are still home to hundreds of thousands of people who were driven from
their homes by the Bashir government’s brutal response to the ethnic minority
rebellion which erupted in 2003.
here since April 6,” when the sit-in started, Adam told AFP.
ready to stay here for a year until we get our main demand, which is a civilian
government and that all those who committed crimes be held accountable.”
him crowds chanted “One, two, three, four, we are all Darfur!“
military council, led by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, says it has assumed
power for a two-year transitional period.
leaders have held several rounds of talks with the council and the two sides
have agreed to set up a joint committee to chart the way forward but there has
so far been no breakthrough.
has thrown its weight behind the protesters.
Department official Makila James said on Tuesday that Washington supports “the
legitimate demand of the people of Sudan for a civilian-led government” and
urged all parties to work together to that end.
at a summit hosted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday,
African leaders conceded that more time was needed for a transition to civilian
statement angered the protesters who held a rally outside the Egyptian embassy
African Union had taken a strong line setting an end of April deadline for the
military council to hand power to civilians or face suspension from the
Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday blamed France for its role in massacring
the Turks a century ago by arming Armenians.
French have a role in arming Armenians and massacring Turks a century
ago," Hami Aksoy said at a news conference in capital Ankara.
will not forget [French President Emmanuel] Macron’s declaring April 24 as a
day for commemoration [for the so-called Armenian genocide],” Aksoy said.
held its first national day of commemoration on Wednesday.
objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but
describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from
Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.
spokesman said archives of the Armenian side had not been revealed completely,
contrary to Armenian claims.
Armenians actually show the courage to reveal the archives, the truth will be
out. Unfortunately, they continue misleading the world and the young
generation," he said.
position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern
Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against
to recent remarks by French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe against Turkey
regarding the events, Aksoy said: “I would like to point out that this
attitude, which does not suit the head of an ally country, will not remain
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's remarks about Turkey on the sidelines of the
NATO summit in Washington earlier this month, Aksoy said: “We see that the U.S.
administration has restarted the use of threatening language but we’ve seen it
before it does not work.”
had said Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 defense systems could
potentially pose a risk to NATO.
must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful
military alliance in the history of the world, or does it want to risk the
security of that partnership?" Pence said.
said: “It is impossible to accept this expression regarding our country. The
U.S. should understand that it will not get any result through impositions.”
between the U.S. and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with
Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 Russian surface-to-air missile
system that Washington said will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter
jet program and which could trigger congressional sanctions.
are part of the F-35 program. We are making payments regularly. Our pilots are
being trained there. The delivery of the aircraft have started. We will not
take a step back," Aksoy said.
noted that the U.S. use of F-35s as an "element of threat" does not
suit relations with the ally country.
that the contacts with the U.S. continue to resolve the problems between the
two countries, the Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson said: “We expect
concrete steps from the U.S. in the main subjects regarding our country’s
security, particularly on PYD, YPG, and FETO [terror groups]."
The bodies of 15 people, including six children, were discovered at the site of
a fierce overnight gun battle on the east coast of Sri Lanka, a military
spokesman said on Saturday, six days after suicide bombers killed more than 250
shootout between troops and suspected Islamist militants erupted on Friday evening
in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara, to the south of the town of Batticaloa, site of
one of the Easter Sunday blasts at three churches and four luxury hotels.
police spokesman said that three suspected suicide bombers were among the 15
dead after the shoot out.
spokesman Sumith Atapattu said in a statement that as troops headed towards the
safe house three explosions were triggered and gunfire began.
retaliated and raided the safe house where a large cache of explosives had been
stored," he said in a statement.
said the militants were suspected members of the National Towheed Jama'at
(NTJ), which has been blamed for last Sunday's attacks.
government has said nine homegrown, well-educated suicide bombers carried out
the Easter Sunday attacks, eight of whom had been identified. One was a woman.
said on Friday they were trying to track down 140 people they believe have
links with Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the suicide
have detained at least 76 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt, in
their investigations so far.
State provided no evidence to back its claim that it was behind the attacks. If
true, it would be one of the worst attacks carried out by the group outside
Iraq and Syria.
extremist group released a video on Tuesday showing eight men, all but one with
their faces covered, standing under a black Islamic State flag and declaring
their loyalty to its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
On Easter Sunday, just hours after a series of bomb explosions tore through Sri
Lanka, a video showing a bearded man wearing a topi and spewing venom was
almost the entire world learnt that Zahran Hashim, somewhere in his 40s, could
well have masterminded the deadly attack that killed 253 people and injured
has now been disclosed, by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, that
Zahran, who was the ringleader, could well have been one of the eight suicide
bombers who set out on their chilling mission.
the video, Zahran, who was heading the fledgling National Thowheed Jamaath,
speaks in Tamil with a faint Lankan slant:
faith classifies men as three types — one is the Muslim, another who is in
agreement with the Muslim and the third one who has to be killed. Many people
are afraid to say this. When this is pointed out, some call it terrorism.
Anyone who is not in agreement with Islam has to be killed.”
in Kattankudi, a coastal Muslim town in Batticaloa district 300km from Colombo,
Maulvi Zahran Hashim’s growth was rapid as much as it was short-lived. A
home-grown radical leader, his fundamentalist leanings went almost unnoticed by
the Sr Lankan government. His fiery sermons and open support for the Islamic
State outfit on social media drew thousands of supporters, many of them youth.
But Lankan authorities paid scant regard to the radical, with tragic
consequences, say moderate Muslim leaders.
complained about Zahran’s hate speeches to the intelligence agencies as far
back as 2015 when we found his videos in circulation on social media,” Muslim
Council of Sri Lanka vice-president Hilmy Ahamed told TOI.
again raised the issue with Lankan authorities in December 2018 when Zahran
vandalised some Buddhist temples in Mawanaalla, about 110 km from Colombo. He
was accompanied by youth whom he had radicalised under the pretext of taking Quran
classes, said Ahamed.
was after the series of attacks on Buddhist temples in 2017 that the leader
grabbed the attention of the Lankan authorities.
he went underground and surfaced on April 21 with his suicide attacks. Videos
and photographs of him that surfaced on social media showed him posing with
seven masked men, declared as the suicide bombers by the Sri Lankan government.
Afghanistan on Monday will convene a rare “loya jirga” — a massive meeting for
delegates from across the country — to discuss the war and US efforts to forge
a peace deal with the Taliban.
than 2,000 people have been invited to gather amid tight security for four days
of debate under a large tent in Kabul.
jirga is being held three days after the inauguration of the newly elected
parliament on Friday.
loya jirga, literally “grand assembly” in Pashto, is traditionally comprised of
most recent jirga was held in 2013, when Afghan officials endorsed a security
agreement that allowed US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond their planned
withdrawal in 2014.
August 2007, the first joint Afghan-Pakistan jirga was held in Kabul after
relations between the neighbours deteriorated amid Afghan accusations that
Pakistan was harbouring Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.
2003, former president Sibghatullah Mojaddedi chaired a loya jirga that
approved Afghanistan’s new constitution for a post-Taliban era.
events usually comprise political figures, religious scholars, teachers,
activists and community leaders. Delegates typically break into smaller groups
to tackle various matters.
upcoming loya jirga is being held at a time when the US and Taliban militants
have held several rounds of talks.
two sides have discussed a possible troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in
exchange for a ceasefire and various pledges from the Taliban.
crucially, the talks have thus far cut out the government of President Ashraf
Ghani, whom the Taliban view as a US stooge.
Ghani’s government is jostling for influence in the peace talks and the jirga
aims to set out Kabul’s red lines for any deal, including the continuation of
the constitution and the protection of women’s rights, the media, and free
Ghani has invited the Taliban to participate, but the insurgents, having waged
an unrelenting guerrilla war since 2001, have refused.
the past, the Taliban have blasted rockets at the loya jirga tent, and much of
Kabul is being locked down under a massive security operation for this year’s
a statement, the Taliban vowed that any decisions or resolutions made at a loya
jirga were “never acceptable to the real and devout sons of this homeland”.
politicians including Ghani, former president Hamid Karzai, ex-foreign minister
Zalmay Rassoul, former warlord Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf and many other Afghan
officials are attending.
The Bangladesh government told mosques to denounce extremism, following deadly
attacks in Sri Lanka that killed hundreds of people.
Lanka has been shocked by the Easter Sunday bombings that targeted churches and
top hotels, with the attacks carried out by locals although Daesh claimed
mosque directive came from the prime minister’s office, telling clerics to
deliver a message in their Friday sermons that opposed terrorism and extremism.
has no place in Islam,” Sultan Muhiuddin, an imam of Dhaka’s Rahmatia Jame
Mosque, told Arab News.
disciples of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) we can’t indulge in any radical
activities. We preached upon the negative effects of radicalization and
reminded people of the dire consequences in the light of the Qur’an,” he said.
Sheikh Hasina said terrorism had become a global phenomenon and that every
country was threatened by this menace.
are very much alert on this issue and have already taken the necessary steps to
avoid any untoward situation,” she told reporters on Friday.
had a detailed meeting with all the intelligence agencies’ chiefs and asked
them to stay alert. Extremism has no religion, no country … It has become a global
issue and now the time has come to find out the patrons of these terrorists.”
Bangladesh police deny that Daesh exists or has a presence in the country.
Bangladesh there is no existence of Daesh (Daesh) or any of its branches,”
Mohammad Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told
there are some other extremist groups specially Ansar-Al-Islam and Neo JMB,
which have had almost no activity in recent days. Still, we are very vigilant.
If any militant group re-emerges with their activities, we are ready to curb
them at an early stage.”
one security analyst said the Sri Lanka attacks may inspire some militant
groups to carry out similar acts in Bangladesh.
need to remain alert regarding the people who joined Daesh,” retired Air
Commodore Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury told Arab News.
Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
in London, Islamic State funder and fugitive criminal Md. Shahid Uddin Khan
issued two statements in Bangla and English on the video sharing site copying
the video messages of Islamic State. In the messages, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan is
seen wearing black dress (a dress worn by ISIS members) and on purpose he has
used dark glasses to hide his eyes.
the video, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan once again has called upon the supporters of
Astha (faith) an ISIS-prototype outfit floated by him to unseat the
democratically elected government in Bangladesh with the ulterior agenda of
establishing Caliphate. Counter-militancy experts are seeing these videos
similar to those videos released by Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
Shahid Uddin Khan (Army No: BA002428, Course: 8-BMA, Commission Date:
10-06-1983) and his wife and daughter currently are continuing activities
sitting in United Kingdom. On January 17, 2019, Dhaka residence of Md. Shahid
Uddin Khan was raided by the members of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational
Crime (CTTC) unit of Bangladesh Police.
based on secret information, raided House No. 184, Road No. 2, Baridhara DOHS
in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 17, 2019. This house is owned by Md. Shahid
Uddin Khan and was allegedly used as a warehouse for arms, explosives and
propaganda materials of Islamic State (ISIS). During the raid, large volume of
weapons, detonator, counterfeit Bangladesh currency notes and jihadist
materials of ISIS were recovered by the CTTC unit.
this recovery, three separate cases against ISIS-funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan,
his wife Farjana Anjum, daughters and other accomplices were lodged. The cases
are: Cantonment PS, Case no 10, Section-6(2)/7/11/12 of Anti Terrorism Act 2009
(amendment 2013); Cantonment PS, Case no
11, Section-25-A, Special Power Act
1974; and Cantonment PS, Case no 12, Section-19-A of Arms Act 1878.
2009, he invested two million pounds in the United Kingdom in exchange of
obtaining immigrant status under Visa Tier 1, vide VAF No. 511702. Later the
family had laundered an unknown amount of money and brought that into the
since his identity as a patron and funder of ISIS had been exposed following
the raid at his Dhaka residence, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan has been consistently
conspiring against Bangladesh.
the video messages it was made clear that Md. Shahid Uddin Khan was already
having a plot of terrorist attacks during the first week of April. As part of
this conspiracy, Shahid Khan had funded the recent jihadist attacks in Sri Lanka.
Shahid Uddin Khan funded the Sri Lanka attacks:
to media reports, four months before the Sri Lanka attacks, ISIS funder Md.
Shahid Uddin Khan had sent large amount of money to his Colombo-based jihadist
contact via Dubai. Khan has been living in the United Kingdom for last few
years along with his family. Sitting in Britain, Khans are continuing various
forms of jihadist activities. Recently he has established an organization named
‘Astha’ which aims at unseating democratically elected governments in the world
and replace those with Caliphate. By now, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan already has
expanded his activities in Sweden and the United States through two of his
to documents available with various intelligence agencies in Bangladesh, Md.
Shahid Uddin Khan hails from a radical Muslim family while his wife Farjana
Anjum too hails from a similar family background. This couple’s daughters
though are living and being educated in Britain is notoriously radicalized and
is working as lone wolves. They have been targeting various individuals and
trying to convert them into Islam.
January this year, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan used illegal channel in transferring
an amount equivalent to ninety-two thousand dollars. This amount went from Dubai
to Colombo. It may be mentioned here that, last year this newspaper published
several reports exposing a secret conspiracy by a conglomerate of several
jihadist outfits of staging terrorist attacks in a number of South Asian
Lanka was alerted of the jihadist attacks:
least ten days before attacks, a Middle East based intelligence agency gave
security officials a detailed warning of a possible threat to churches by the
National Thowheeth Jama’ath. Similar alerts were also echoed by a Western
intelligence agency. But the matter was not conveyed even to Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremersinghe. Now authorities are investigating the reason behind such
dubious behavior of Sri Lankan intelligence agencies.
the allegation of failure, sources inside Sri Lankan intelligence agencies
claimed, on the basis of the security alert of the Middle East based
intelligence source, they already have brought the matter to the attention of
country’s Prime Minister. But it was Sri Lankan politicians who had on purpose
ignored the matter thus leading to the series of jihadist attacks on churches
and high-end hotels.
Sri Lankan law enforcing agencies, on Friday, April 26 raided the location
where they believe militants recorded a video pledge to Islamic State leader
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before carrying out deadly Easter Sunday attacks.
discovery in the town of Sammanthurai, around 210 km (130 miles) east of the
capital Colombo, came as security forces continued to search for extremists
responsible for the bombings.
people were reportedly arrested in the raid that was conducted by police and
found an ISIS flag which they said was used as a backdrop, as well as clothing
similar to that worn by the eight people in the video recorded before they
launched suicide bomb attacks against three luxury hotels and three churches
within 20 minutes of each other on Sunday. Two blasts at a guesthouse and a
house in came later in the day.
released the video via its Amaq propaganda agency two days after the attacks.
is around 40 km south of Batticaloa, where at least 25 people were killed in a
suicide bombing at the Zion church.
showed the clothing and the flag on national television along with around 150
sticks of gelignite, 100,000 ball bearings, and a quadcopter drone. Video
appeared to show a stack of 50 kg fertiliser sacks, around a dozen large drums
of liquid and a box of battery power units among other items seized.
Monday, police said they had found 87 detonators – 12 of them scattered on the
ground at the Bastian Mawatha Private bus stand in Colombo and another 75 in a
nearby garbage dump.
there were reports of explosions on Friday in Kalmunai, around 5 km from
and a small group of militants exchanged fire for over an hour, military
spokesperson Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said, adding that there were no
fatalities among troops, but the area was still not cleared.
gunmen were reportedly killed in the shootout, while one civilian died and
three were injured.
in Colombo, Navy personnel arrested three people and recovered one kilo of C-4
explosives near Wellawetta railway station.
kingpin Zahran Hashim killed?
Maithripala Sirisena said Zahran Hashim, the leader of a local jihadist group
named National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), was one of two attackers killed at one of
the Colombo hotels hit on Sunday.
intelligence agencies have told me is that Zahran was killed during the
Shangri-La attack,” he said.
was accompanied by a second bomber identified as Ilham Ibrahim in the attack,
the president said.
and his brother Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim attacked the Shangri-La and Cinnamon Grand
hotels and Inshaf Ibrahim’s wife Fatima was killed in an explosion the family
home on Sunday, Firstpost reported.
intelligence source told The Times that Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed is
believed to have targeted the Taj Samudra hotel – located between the
Shangri-La and the Cinnamon Grand – but his suicide vest failed to detonate. He
later detonated the device at a guesthouse near the zoo.
had been searching for Hashim after naming his little-known group, National
Thowheeth Jama’ath, as perpetrators of the attack.
tests are being carried out on a severed head to conclusively establish that it
is of Hashim’s, officials said, adding they believe the tests will prove
was the only person whose face was not covered in the video released by ISIS
site Amaq after it claimed the attacks.
Sirisena cashing the jihadist attacks?
the country on the defensive over ignored foreign warnings that attacks were
likely, police chief Pujith Jayasundara on Friday became the second major
resignation, after Sri Lanka’s top defence ministry official Hemasiri Fernando
stepped down late Thursday.
had called on both to leave their posts because of the recriminations over the
government’s failure to prevent the attacks despite the warnings from India
that NTJ suicide bombers were likely to hit “prominent churches.”
on Friday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe apologized.
take collective responsibility and apologise to our fellow citizens for our
failure to protect victims of these tragic events,” Wickremesinghe tweeted.
military poured troops onto the streets to bolster police in the search for
suspects using newly granted powers under a state of emergency.
least 74 people are in custody, including a man believed to be millionaire
spice-trader Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim, the father of two of the bombers.
now have info that there are about 140 people in Sri Lanka linked to the
Islamic State, we can and we will eradicate all of them very soon,” Sirisena
said, announcing that there would also be new legislation to ban extremist
Thursday, authorities reduced the death toll from 360 dead to 253, saying that
badly mutilated bodies had been double counted.
of President Maithripala Sirisena are saying, the controversial President is
trying to cash the jihadist attacks in ousting few of his foes within the
Defence Ministry, security agencies and police.
funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan plotting more attacks:
least 15 Taliban militants were killed during the operations of the Afghan
National Defense and Security Forces in southern Uruzgan province of
Afghanistan in last two days.
205th Corps spokesman confirmed 15 Taliban have been killed in the last two
days by a series of raids by the Afghan Special Forces along with the
airstrikes by the Afghan Air Force in Tarin Kot, Uruzgan.
officials are saying that this has been an on-going attempt to degrade Taliban
networks and future terrorist operations in the area which has been a
historically heavily contested area by the Taliban.
raids conducted in the area by the Afghan Special Forces were met with clashes
with the Taliban in Tarin Kot which were successfully defended by the security
205th Corps confirmed Taliban operating in the Safa District of Zabul Province
were attempting to move roadside bombs which accidentally detonated and blew up
three Taliban and wounded an additional three.
205th Corps also stated that their engineering team in Zabul found and destroyed
12 mines in the Safa district which were intended to be used against security
forces as they traveled through the area.
use of roadside bombs is a common practice used by the Taliban against Afghan
forces but unfortunately residents in the area are usually those who fall
victim to these tactics.
Chief Executive of the Unity Government Abdullah Abdullah has said the Taliban
group had a wrong perception regarding U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
made the remarks during a meeting with the members of the Fulbright Association
of Afghanistan on Thursday.
further added that the United States and the European Union have vowed to
maintain their cooperation with Afghanistan even after a peace deal was
that the excuses of Taliban should be eliminated in peace process, Abdullah
said the Taliban group has a weaker stance in ongoing negotiations as the
Afghan people do not want the return of Taliban regime.
Maithripala Sirisena says the country's police and security forces are looking
for more than 100 individuals with links to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
country remains on high alert in the aftermath of a string of bombings that
claimed the lives of more than 250 people on the Easter Sunday.
said Friday that police were looking for no less than 140 Daesh sympathizers,
adding some Sri Lankan youths had been involved with the terror group since
10,000 soldiers were being deployed across the Southeast Asian country to carry
out searches and provide security for religious centers, the military said on
Lanka and the world were shocked on Easter Sunday after eight apparently
coordinated blasts hit churches and luxury hotels in the capital, Colombo, and
the cities of Negombo and Batticaloa.
government, which has blamed a small group known as the Nations Thawahid Jaman
(NTJ) for the attacks, has so far detained at least 76 people.
NTJ has yet to claim responsibility for the bombings. Instead, Daesh has
released footage of eight men whom it said had carried out the attacks that
five days ago.
response of Sri Lanka’s security apparatus to the attacks was quickly
questioned after reports stated earlier this week that intelligence officials
had been alerted about potential bombings weeks before the attacks on Sunday.
Lanka’s own police chief had also warned of a security threat against churches
and the Indian high commission in Colombo 10 days before the attacks.
questionable performance has prompted Sirisena to ask the police chief and the
defense secretary to resign. On Tuesday, he pledged to "completely
restructure the police and security forces in the coming weeks."
Sri Lankan head of state said Friday that top defense and police chiefs had not
shared information with him about the attacks.
further accused Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government of weakening
the intelligence system by focusing on the prosecution of military officers
over alleged war crimes during a decade-long civil war between the so-called
Tamil Tigers and the government.
civil war ended in 2009 with an estimated 100,000 deaths.
prime minister, who said earlier that neither he nor his cabinet ministers were
informed about the warnings, blamed the attacks on a "breakdown of
to government sources, opposing factions aligned to the prime minister and the
president often refuse to communicate with each other and blame any setbacks on
major lapse in intelligence sharing has sparked a feud between the prime
minister and the president, who have been engaged in an intense animosity that
led to a constitutional crisis last year.
community urged to avoid Friday prayers
in the country, who form a tenth of the population, have been warned to pray at
home and avoid attending mosques or churches on Friday.
All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ullama, Sri Lanka's main Islamic religious body, issued
the warning on Friday after the State Intelligence Services warned of possible
car bomb attacks.
however, attended their prayers at mosques across the country.
least 700 refugees from a persecuted Islamic sect are in hiding after fleeing
their homes in the Sri Lankan port city of Negombo, British daily the Guardian
group of around 500 Muslims are being sheltered in one city, which the Guardian
is not naming," the paper said.
was a significant police presence outside their location and dozens of locals
were protesting, calling for the group to be removed from the area, it added.
Malcolm Ranjith also appealed to priests not to conduct mass at churches until
further notice, saying, "security is important.”
LUMPUR — Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s popularity rating has
dropped to 46 per cent from 71 per cent recorded last August, said pollster
Merdeka Centre based on its latest survey.
survey also showed only 39 per cent of Malaysian voters gave the Pakatan
Harapan federal government positive ratings, just weeks short of its first year
decline in public support for the administration can also be seen in the number
of voters who felt the country was headed in the wrong direction which
increased from 24 per cent in August to 46 per cent in March.
decline in ratings are likely to be attributable to three factors — condition
of the economy perceived by ordinary consumers, perceived performance of the
administration, and concerns over Malay rights and privileges as well as fair
treatment of the other races in Malaysia.
a result, public satisfaction in the government’s management of the economy has
fallen from 60 per cent in August to 40 per cent in March,” Merdeka Centre said
in a statement on April 26.
survey was carried out between March 5 and 11 to gauge voter perceptions
towards the economy, and current leadership and issues.
total of 1,204 registered voters comprising Malay (52 per cent), Chinese (29
per cent), Indian (7 per cent), Muslim Bumiputera (6 per cent), Non-Muslim
Bumiputera from Sabah and Sarawak (6 per cent) were interviewed.
poll was funded by the centre’s internally generated financial resources.
Centre reported the survey also indicated that only 34 per cent of voters
believed that the country was heading in the right direction, compared to 55
per cent last August.
sentiment was more acute among Malay voters where only 24 per cent felt the
country was headed in the right direction.”
40 per cent of voters expressed satisfaction in the way the government is
managing the economy now, down from 60 per cent last August while 46 per cent
of voters were satisfied with the prime minister compared to 71 per cent last
total of 67 per cent of those surveyed agreed the ruling pact needed more time
to fulfil its election pledges.
Pakatan Harapan government is set to celebrate its first year in power on May 9
after its historic win in last year’s general election.
then, the government has come under fire for failing to keep its election
promises, and to reduce the cost of living. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
LUMPUR, April 26 — Two of the four academics who advised the Yang di-Pertuan
Agung to reject the Rome Statute have declined the invitation to attend a forum
organised by student activists on the treaty tomorrow.
two are law lecturers Abdul Aziz from International Islamic University Malaysia
(IIUM) and Fareed Mohd Hassan of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), said a
report in The Star.
forum is organised by nine students who had leaked the executive summary of a
briefing by the four academics to the Conference of Rulers, which then
ostensibly led to Putrajaya’s decision to withdraw the ratification of the
other two academics, Universiti Teknologi Mara’s deputy vice-chancellor and
dean of Faculty of Law Prof Datuk Rahmat Mohamad and USIM law lecturer Hisham
Hanapi, have yet to respond to the invitation.
paper presented by the four academicians was biased, factually wrong and had
purposely twisted sensitive issues to confuse the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” a
student representative Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi was quoted in The Star.
invited the academicians as panellists to the forum but unfortunately, two of
them have rejected the invite. We are still awaiting a response from Rahmat and
would urge them to attend the forum as panellists to have a healthy discussion,
answer questions from the public and also defend themselves.”
said the forum would be a platform for the four academics to shed light on what
transpired behind the closed-door meet with the Conference of Rulers and for
any confusion on the Rome Statute to be addressed.
urge them to be responsible and brave to defend their presentation to the Yang
di-Pertuan Agong,” said Asheeq.
is very important for academicians. Don’t run and hide behind politicians who
only want to confuse the rakyat on the issue.
forward and argue as a professional and experienced academician.”
Police summoned lawyer-turned-politician Eggi Sudjana for questioning on Friday
over his "people power" threats, which had gone viral on social media
and messaging platforms, related to the 2019 elections.
Police spokesman Senior Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono confirmed to
BeritaSatu.com that Eggi, a legislative candidate for the National Mandate
Party (PAN), would be questioned as a
witness at 2 p.m.
comes after Dewi Ambarwati Tanjung, a member of the ruling Indonesian
Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), reported him to police on Wednesday over a video in which
he allegedly calls for mass action, as he believes the elections had been
tainted by cheating.
allegations against the politician include hate speech and his purported
involvement in a planned a coup against the government.
video went viral on WhatsApp and YouTube on April 17, the day millions of
Indonesians went to the polls in simultaneous presidential and legislative
video drew widespread criticism from various groups and individuals. A mass
organization supporting Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his running mate
Ma'ruf Amin also filed a report to the police on April 19.
term "people power" has become a sensitive topic in Indonesia over
fears that this may result in chaos and sharpen divisions between the country's
people. The issue was championed by supporters of rival presidential and
vice-presidential candidates Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno, who have lost
the election, according to all quick-count results by registered pollsters.
Syrian government and armed opposition groups, together with both sides’
backers, could agree on the makeup of a constitutional committee in coming
months, Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev said on Friday.
a constitutional committee is key to political reforms and new elections meant
to unify Syria and end an eight-year war which has killed hundreds of thousands
and displaced about half of Syria’s pre-war population of 22 million.
sides have so far failed to agree the constitutional committee’s makeup, and a
fresh round of talks in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan, produced no apparent
breakthrough on Friday.
Lavrentyev said it was close.
from Russia, Iran and Turkey will meet with United Nations negotiators in
Geneva to discuss the issue again, he said, adding that the issue was “at the
timing has not been agreed yet, taking into account the upcoming month of
Ramadan, it is most likely to happen after that,” Lavrentyev told reporters.
I think by that time (UN mediator) Mr Pedersen will be able to announce” the
establishment of the committee.
starts on May 5 this year and ends on June 4.
a backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has taken a lead role in
diplomatic efforts in Kazakhstan that has largely sidelined UN diplomacy.
like Moscow, is an ally of Assad’s regime, while Ankara has aligned itself with
the rebels but has repeatedly threatened to attack Kurdish fighters on the
Syrian side of its southern border that it views as “terrorists.”
Thursday, a Western diplomat told AFP that Moscow will be aware of perceptions
that recent rounds of the so-called “Astana process” have made little progress
and may push to speed up the creation of a long-awaited constitutional
capital of Kazakhstan was called Astana until last month, when it was renamed
after the country’s outgoing president.
has stopped processing some applications for asylum by Syrian refugees, pending
a new assessment of the security situation in the war-torn country, according
to a report on Saturday.
media group Funke, quoting the interior ministry, said decisions on some asylum
applications from Syrians have been ‘postponed’ with changes expected to be
made to ministry guidelines.
from Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Kazakhstan on Thursday seeking an end to
the Syrian conflict.As a consequence of the Germany’s halting of some asylum
applications, refugee organizations fear Angela Merkel’s government will reject
more applications from Syria if there is no longer armed conflict there, say
to the Funke report, those affected are asylum seekers awarded “subsidiary
protection” - exposed to serious danger, acts of war, the death penalty or
torture in their home country.
to government figures, 17,411 Syrians were awarded the status in 2018.
has been deeply polarized by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to open
the country’s borders to those fleeing conflict and persecution at the height
of Europe’s migrant crisis.
then, the influx of over a million asylum seekers - mainly from Syria, Iraq and
Afghanistan - has fueled the rise of the far-right, anti-Islam AfD party.
strikes by regime ally Russia killed 10 civilians in the region of Idlib in
northwestern Syria Friday, a war monitor said.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said those killed
included two children.
raids took the lives of three civilians including a boy on the outskirts of the
town of Kafranbel, and seven including a girl in the town of Tal Hawash,
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
and rebel-backer Turkey in September inked a buffer zone deal to prevent a
massive regime offensive on the Idlib region, near the Turkish border.
the region of some three million people has come under increasing bombardment
since former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham took control of it in
latest air raids came as two days of talks on ending the war in Syria –
sponsored by Russia, fellow regime ally Iran, and rebel backer Turkey –
concluded in Kazakhstan.
a statement released by the three countries after the meeting, they expressed
concern about HTS extending its influence in Idlib.
stressed their “determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately
eliminate” HTS and ISIS, the statement said.
than 7,000 people have left a desperate desert camp for displaced Syrians near
the Jordanian border since March, a United Nations spokesperson said on Friday.
to the UN’s humanitarian coordination office OCHA, around 36,000 people
remained in the isolated Rukban camp near al-Tanf base used by the US-led
coalition fighting ISIS extremist group, after over 4,000 left between March
and April 21.
Syrian government and key backer Russia said in February they had opened
corridors out of the camp, calling on residents to leave.
March, over 7,300 people have left Rukban,” OCHA spokesman David Swanson told
AFP, including some 3,000 who left after April 21.
who have quit the camp have moved to collective shelters in the central city of
Homs or resettled in their areas of origin in the province of the same name,
OCHA said Thursday.
said Rukban residents were organizing their own transportation to the edge of a
de-escalation zone established around al-Tanf, from where they either continued
in their vehicles or were transferred by private or government-provided
vehicles to four collective shelters in Homs city.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says those returning to
government-held parts of Homs from Rukban had struck so-called “reconciliation
deals” with the Syrian government.
inside Rukban are dire, with many surviving on just one simple meal a day,
often bread and olive oil or yoghurt, according to one resident.
camp has been particularly difficult to reach due to its location on the
Jordanian border and the proximity of US forces and the rebels they support.
February, a humanitarian convoy of 133 trucks delivered food, clothes,
healthcare items and medical supplies to the camp’s residents.
February 6 delivery was just the second in three months.
troops have killed an Iraqi policeman and injured two others while allegedly
transferring a group of Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the country's northern
province of Kirkuk.
incident happened after American troops were deployed to the region by
helicopter in an attempt to airlift the terrorists to an undisclosed region,
Iraq's Alahad television network reported on Friday.
operation turned deadly after US forces opened fire on an Iraqi police unit
nearby. Iraqi forces had been monitoring the Daesh elements but were not informed
of the US operation.
Joint Operations Command (JOC) later issued a statement announcing the
formation of a committee investigating the incident.
an interview with the Alahad, Iraqi law expert Ali al-Tamimi claimed the
incident was a case of intentional murder that should be dealt with according
to Iraqi law.
stressed that based on mutual agreements, the military immunity of US forces
expired after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq.
Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq group, a main component of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units
(PMU), later issued a statement describing the incident as a violation of
statement said that despite Washington’s claims that US military presence in
the country is to provide military and logistical assistance to Iraqi forces,
American forces have operated in the country at will and without coordination
with Iraqi forces. While circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear,
this is not the first incident where US forces have 'airlifted' Daesh terrorists
to undisclosed locations. Many similar cases have also been reported in Syria.
overran large swaths of Syria and Iraq in offensives beginning in 2014. The
group was, however, militarily defeated by the governments of the two countries
in the course of some four years.
have been made about Washington's direct or indirect support for the terrorist
group in the past years.
The bodies of two Saudi Arabian Airlines cabin crew killed in the Sri Lanka
bombings have arrived back in the Kingdom.
manager Ahmed Zain Jaafari and steward
Hani Maged Othman, were in one of the hotels targeted by extremists. A crew
member injured in the attacks, Hajer Aziz, also arrived home.
colleagues greeted their return late Thursday night at the King Abdulaziz
International Airport in Jeddah.
showed Aziz arriving in a wheelchair before tearfully hugging two children.
was then taken from the airport in an ambulance.
string of suicide bombings on Easter Sunday targeted three churches and four
hotels, killing 253 people.
As mass protests rock other Arab countries, a snap referendum in Egypt has gone
against the grain and cemented President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s rule for years
three-day ballot saw constitutional changes sail through that allow the former
military chief to stay in power until 2030, boost his control over the
judiciary and give the army even greater influence in political life.
said more than 88 percent of ballots cast were for “yes.”
years of turmoil that saw the ouster of long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak and his
successor Mohammed Mursi, stability remains a priority for many Egyptians, said
Timothy Kaldas, a non-resident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East
some still support El-Sisi and believe that he has prevented Egypt from
suffering the fate of neighbors,” he said.
most Egyptians, they believe they’ve overthrown two presidents and seen their
quality of life get worse each time, so there’s little faith that a third
uprising will improve the situation.”
27 million votes were cast, with a turnout rate of 44.33 percent, at the
referendum after it was called and held within a matter of days.
amendments prolong El-Sisi’s current term to 2024 from 2022 and allow him to
then run for another six-year term.
country is on the right track and it’s stable... it’s logical that El-Sisi is
given his full chance to finish what he started,” said Mervat Abdel Fattah, a
housewife in her 50s.
the result state television broadcast images of El-Sisi supporters waving flags
and blaring national tunes in Tahrir Square — the site of angry protests that
toppled his two predecessors.
opposition’s lack of political power and the absence of “a unified stance on
the referendum” helped El-Sisi to an easy win, said Ziad Aqel, political
sociology expert at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.
when coupled with “mobilization” at the ballot box by state bodies, he added.
New York-based Soufan Center said before the vote that the amendments helped
“solidify El-Sisi’s grip” on Egyptian politics.
army chief of staff at the time, El-Sisi led the military’s overthrow of Mursi
in 2013 following mass protests against Mursi’s rule.
group of medical experts and consultants has completed its initial health
assessment of Nigeria’s top Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky and his
wife, who have been in detention since late 2015.
delegation led by UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) visited the
cleric and his wife, Mallima Zeenah, on Thursday and highlighted the need for
urgent investigations into their health which it hoped would be carried out in
the next couple of days.
IHRC, an NGO which campaigns for justice, said in a statement it “acknowledges
the authorities’ change of position in making this possible and hopes this
heralds a full and just resolution of the situation.”
the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, has been held in detention since
December 2015. He was charged in April 2018 with murder, culpable homicide,
unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace and other accusations.
2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered his unconditional release from jail
following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
top cleric, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in a raid carried
out by the Nigerian army on his residence in the northern town of Zaria in
the raid, Zakzaky’s wife sustained serious wounds too and more than 300 of his
followers and three of his sons were killed. Zakzaky, his wife, and a large
number of the cleric’s followers have since been in detention.
condemns Israeli trespassing at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Jordan issued a statement on Thursday condemning Israel’s lack of action
against Jewish extremists who regularly attempt to pray on the grounds of
Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding compound, Al-Haram Al-Sharif.
statement came after a week of tension in Jerusalem during the Jewish Passover
holiday. A significant number of Israelis were allowed to enter Al-Haram
Al-Sharif under police protection, and some paid an unscheduled visit to
Al-Aqsa Mosque, sparking a confrontation.
Amro, head of the Islamic Museum of Archaeology at Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Arab
News that the head of the Jerusalem police was among those who entered the
mosque without obtaining permission from the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf — the
religious trust that manages the Islamic sites in Al-Haram Al-Sharif.
claimed that when he confronted the group and asked if they had arranged their
visit with the Waqf, “the head of the police threatened me, saying that I would
never be able to enter the mosque again.”
Amro left the mosque on Wednesday, he was arrested by Israeli police and
accused of interfering with the work of the police in Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which
Israelis call the Temple Mount. Amro claims he was threatened and harassed
during his interrogation. He was later barred from visiting the mosque for 15
was told that if I came to Al-Aqsa Mosque, I would have to pay a fine of 10,000
shekels ($3,400). I replied that I am an employee of the Jordanian government.”
a statement on Thursday, a spokesperson for Jordan’s Foreign Ministry, Sufian
Qudah, said, “Such irresponsible acts provoke millions of Muslims around the
added that the government had sent a letter of objection to Israel through
diplomatic channels regarding ongoing violations in Jerusalem.
went on to say that Israel’s “denounced and rejected” measures in Jerusalem are
an attempt to change the status quo in the city, and reiterated that the
Jerusalem Islamic Waqf is the sole caretaker of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the only
organization with the authority to grant entry to the complex.
emphasized that Israel, as an occupying power, must honor its obligations under
international law, which considers East Jerusalem an occupied territory.
Algerian opposition leader Abbassi Madani passed away in Qatar on Wednesday at
the age of 88.
was born on Feb. 28, 1931 in Sidi Aqba, near Algeria’s southeastern city of
earned doctorate in education in London and went on to lecture at the
University of Algiers.
activist career started when he was arrested by the French occupation
authorities on bogus charges in 1954. He stayed in jail until 1962, when
Algeria gained its independence from France.
he soon found himself at odds with the ruling National Liberation Front (NLF)
demand that the government replace French with the Arabic language cost him
another jail term in 1982.
after serving a brief sentence, Madani entered politics.
1988, Madani and Ali Ben Hadj co-founded the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and
grew the movement through preaching in mosques. The FIS, which was associated
with small armed militias, skirmished with the regime.
1989, the secular regime had to legalize the FIS after mass riots the previous
especially by Algeria’s disenfranchised and urban youth, the FIS saw itself as
an alternative to the regime and the establishment, which were closely
associated with France and the West.
FIS, which opposed Western dominance in Algeria, evolved into being the only
threat to the regime by winning local elections in 1990.
the parliamentary elections of December 1991, the FIS won even more decisively
in the first round of the elections, securing 188 of 231 seats.
prevent an FIS landslide in the second round of elections scheduled for a month
later, Gen. Khaled Nezzar, the France-backed defense minister, staged a
to a book by history professor Philip Naylor, Ali Hussein Kafi, an Algerian
politician who became chairman of High Council of the State and acting
president from 1992 to 1994, criticized Nezzar's former service in the French
military and his late engagement with the Algerian revolution against France.
even accused Nezzar of infiltrating the ruling National Liberation Front on
behalf of France.
Nezzar-appointed junta reimposed martial law and tortured, murdered, and killed
disappearances and other acts constituting grave violations of international
human rights law were everyday occurrences. These crimes were mostly committed
against FIS supporters.
upheld laws that forced men to shave off their beards in a bid to humiliate
practicing Muslims in an overwhelmingly Muslim country.
iron-fist rule was little different than 132 years of French colonialism and
the War of Independence against France that left 1.5 million Algerians dead.
the coup, the FIS was outlawed by the army, which then rounded up and
imprisoned its leaders, triggering a devastating decade-long civil war.
is estimated that eventually nearly 100,000 people died, 20,000 disappeared,
and 1.5 million were forcefully displaced.
1997, after years in prison, the Algerian authorities released Madani, along
with prominent FIS leader Abdelkader Hachani (who would be assassinated two
2000, Madani and his deputy, Ali Ben Hadj, were banned from engaging in
years later, Madani was allowed to leave the country to get medical treatment
in Qatar, where he lived until his death.
vital role in shaping Algerian politics for decades and his unwavering faith in
the nation’s bright future is likely to be remembered for many years to come.
a 1990 video, Madani summarized the revolutionary struggle of Algeria.
Algeria remains the Algeria of the French, or it becomes the Algeria of the
Muslims. As soon as the people wake up and choose Islam, it will be just a
matter of time."
ended his words in the video by underlining France's double standards in its
approach to democracy.
Al-Shabaab has had a heavy engagement with Somali troops in Afgoye District’s
outposts in Lower Shabelle last night.
two sides have used heavy artilleries in the confrontation that was reported in
attacked Somali troop’s base that was established after they took over
locations from the militants. The militants had lost those locations in Afgoye
district within Lower Shabelle in the past.
have reported the fighting that took a course between Al-Shabaab and Somali
troops. They claimed that the two sides exchanged fire for too long before the
claimed that they took over one base that belonged to Somali troops in Sabib
District and killed a soldier in last night’s attack.
the other hand, the Somali government has not given reports on the attack.
leader endorses Change UK candidate accused of Islamophobia
leader Gerard Batten has thrown his support behind a candidate from rival party
Change UK who was criticised by Muslim community groups for her views about
Mulready’s selection for the European Parliament elections was condemned as a
“joke” by racism reporting service Tell MAMA and criticised by the Muslim
Council of Britain.
the remain-supporting centrist party has found an unlikely ally in
arch-Brexiteer Mr Batten – who himself has been criticised for an alleged
“fixation” with Islam.
Ukip leader expressed hope that the presence of views like Ms Mulready’s in a
remain-supporting party would make his own politics more acceptable in the
UK MEP candidate is apparently someone ‘with the guts to say things as they
are’. That can get you called names these says,” Mr Batten said, sharing a link
to an article about the row.
added: “Maybe ‘saying things as they are’ will become more acceptable if
Remainers do it. It could even catch on.”
UK has stood by their candidate and claims she is subject to a “smear
campaign”. The party has already seen two candidates resign over
racially-charged tweets since its European elections launch on Tuesday. One had
suggested he would support Brexit if it stopped "Romaining
pickpockets", while the other had made a series of historic offensive
tweets, including one referring to a "crazy black wh***".
Mulready was accused by the Muslim Council of Britain of being “all too ready
in othering people, in this case, conflating Islam with terrorism”.
had emerged in which she appeared to conflate Islam with terrorism, questioned
Pakistani immigration, and suggested the concerns of far-right leader Tommy
Robinson should be acknowledged.
leader Mr Batten himself faced a backlash last year after he appointed Mr
Robinson, former face of the English Defence League, as an advisor.
row resulted in Nigel Farage quitting the party, with the former leader
accusing the MEP of an “obsession” with Robinson and a “fixation” with Islam.
believe he is entirely unsuitable to be involved in any political party,"
Mr Farage wrote of Robinson. “The fact is that his entourage includes violent
criminals and ex-BNP members.”
in The Independent, Ms Mulready defended her record: “Ever since the
announcement yesterday of my candidacy as a London MEP for Change UK – The
Independent Group, I have been subjected to an online campaign of false
allegations of racism, including an accusation by the Muslim Council of Britain
(MCB) that I am Islamophobic,” she said in a comment piece.
have never – not once – expressed anti-Muslim hatred or bigotry. I have always
been clear that any criticisms I may make are about Islamism, and conservative
Islamic cultures or beliefs; never Muslims.
am horrified, appalled and deeply upset to have been targeted by what appears
to be an active campaign of smears and lies from hard-left activists and the
and Russian defense ministers have held talks on enhancement of mutual
cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces in a bid to strengthen
regional and global stability and security and in the fight against terrorism.
Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and his Russian counterpart
Sergei Shoigu held the meeting on Friday in Moscow on the sidelines of the
Moscow Conference of International Security (MCIS).
highlighted the growing trend of defense and security interactions between the
two countries in light of the determination of Iranian and Russian political
he added, the two states have numerous capacities for promotion of their
interaction, and need to develop their military and defense cooperation in both
quantity and quality.
Iranian defense chief also underlined that enhanced military ties between the
two sides can further reinforce stability and security in the region and the
in turn, said Tehran and Moscow have already managed to promote their military
and defense cooperation to a great level, but the two sides need to maintain
their military interactions in training, technical, and security fields.
also pointed to the two countries’ cooperation within the framework of Astana
Process, stressing the key role of joint efforts by Iran and Russia in the
fight against terrorism and establishment of ceasefire in Syria.
in the Astana format plays a significant role in establishing ceasefire regime
and stabilizing situation in the Syrian Arab Republic," the Russian
defense minister noted.
Astana Process refers to an initiative by Iran, Russia, and Turkey which
mediate peace negotiations between representatives from the Damascus government
and opposition groups in a series of rounds held in the Kazakh capital Astana -
recently renamed as Nur-Sultan - and other places since January 2017.
talks, which are collectively referred to as the Astana peace process, have so
far helped significantly reduce violence gripping the Arab country by
establishing four de-escalation zones there. They have also paved the way for
the formation of a Constitutional Committee.
is while the parallel UN-backed peace process in Geneva has failed to deliver
from Iran, Russia and Turkey arrived in Nur-Sultan on Thursday, seeking an end
to the eight-year conflict in Syria. The UN envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, is
also participating in the talks.
top Russian negotiator said after the first day of the talks that the three
guarantor states of the ceasefire regime in Syria are “clearly determined” to
continue their fight against terrorism in the Arab country.
the past few years, the Syrian military, with advisory military help from Iran
and Russia — and a Russian aerial bombardment campaign — has retaken control of
much of the country, and the conflict is generally believed to be winding down.
Russia, and Turkey - the three guarantor states of a ceasefire regime in Syria
- are “clearly determined” to continue their fight against terrorism in the
Arab country, says the Russian negotiator.
Russian president’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev made the
remarks in a press statement at the end of the first day of the 12th round of
Astana talks on Thursday.
talks dealt with the situation in Syria in general, and in the northwestern
region of Idlib in particular where the terrorist organization of Jabhat
al-Nusra controls the majority of the area,” he noted.
situation on the ground in Idlib, which is under the control of al-Qaeda
affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, was also discussed, Lavrentiev said.
said there would be no ceasefire with Jabhat al-Nusra but that minimizing harm
to "peaceful citizens" was a priority in the fight against the
Friday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called for progress in stalled talks
on a so-called buffer zone around Idlib province in a meeting with Lavrentiev
Syrian president also stressed his government’s determination to eliminate
terrorist groups which are holed up in Idlib and attack civilians in
Assad called for the removal of any "obstacles" blocking the full
implementation of the deal.
and Russia brokered a deal in September 2018 to create a demilitarized zone in
Idlib that would be evacuated of all heavy weapons and militants.
talks on Idlib come as the situation in the militant-held province is being
described as “dangerous”.
situation in the Syrian province [of Idlib] is very dangerous, and the Nusra
Front terrorist group – which is not part of a de-escalation zone – is
controlling a majority of the province’s regions,” Iranian Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif warned last month.
impeding formation of constitutional committee
to Lavrentiev, the Thursday talks also concentrated on forming a committee on
discussing the country’s new Constitution, the return of the displaced Syrians,
and the means to help Syria reconstruct the country
talks were held within a practical atmosphere,” he said. However, "several
unclear issues" were slowing the formation of a constitutional committee
which the United Nations hopes will drive a political settlement for Syria.
said the talks over the committee were "complex" but "moving
are on a complex path towards forming the constitutional committee. There are
some unclear issues," he told reporters.
are) moving forward...I think tomorrow (Friday) at the plenary session we will
be able to put these issues to a general discussion," Lavrentiev said.
from Iran, Russia and Turkey arrived in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan seeking
an end to the eight-year conflict in Syria. The UN envoy for Syria, Geir
Pedersen, is also participating in the talks.
campaign to get China make Azhar U-turn gains pace
DELHI: The international process to put Masood Azhar on the terror list in the
UN Security Council is gathering steam.
Friday, British high commissioner, Dominic Asquith told journalists the UK was
“optimistic” that the process would be completed soon. “We're waiting to see
whether the country that has so far been resisting in agreeing to his listing
will lift that objection. … We have been strong supporters of the listing of
Masood Azhar for a decade.”
US official, Alice Wells, was in Delhi this week, and the Azhar listing was on
the agenda in the meetings with Indian officials. Sources familiar with
developments said the US is pushing China to lift its hold and get the
designation through in the coming days, in the “very near term”.
the UN in New York, officials have been fine-tuning the language of the
resolution that will finally name Azhar, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammed. While
there is no obvious “deadline”, the effort by the sponsors of the resolution —
US, UK, France — is to get China to change its stand without suffering loss of
face. Speaking to TOI, officials involved in the exercise said on condition of
anonymity that China doesn’t want to be seen as supporting a known terrorist.
“They want the monkey off their back too,” they said.
week, foreign secretary, Vijay Gokhale made a final pitch with the Chinese
leadership in Beijing. Giving a readout of the conversation, MEA spokesperson
said, “We have shared with China all evidences of terrorist activities of
Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar. It is now for the 1267 Sanctions
Committee and other authorized bodies of the U.N. to take a decision on the
listing of Masood Azhar. India will continue to pursue all available avenues to
ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our
citizens are brought to justice.”
has resisted and has relied on China’s veto support to keep Azhar off the list.
There have been reports that China is afraid that a listing of Azhar might
unleash retaliatory attacks against Chinese personnel working on the CPEC.
However, Indian security officials have dismissed it, since security on CPEC is
guaranteed by the Pakistan army.
Lanka blasts: Coimbatore man denies link with NTJ, says NIA trying to frame him
R Ashiq of Marakkadai in Coimbatore, who is accused of plotting to murder
Hindutva leaders, on Friday said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is
trying to frame him and others by linking them with the National Thowheed
Jama'at (NTJ), a terror group suspected to be involved in the serial blasts in
don't have any connection with the serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka.
NIA is trying to frame us by stating that we were in touch with Moulavi Zahran
Bin Hashim of the National Thowheed Jama'at. The NIA is working against innocent
Muslims and is trying to present Muslims as terrorists in the international
arena", he said.
25 of Thirumal Street at Marakkadai is working in a butcher shop at Kottaimedu
in the city. He is one among the six men who have been accused of plotting to
murder Indu Makkal Katchi (IMK) leader Arjun Sampath.
NIA was investigating the case. The NIA had taken him into custody thrice.
However, it failed to file a chargesheet within 180 days against Ashiq and
others, and they got bail from the NIA special court at Poonamallee in Chennai
two months ago.
NIA claimed that it had alerted Sri Lanka through Indian intelligence agency
about the conversation that had happened between the NTJ leader and the six
told TOI that he did not have any connection with the serial bomb blasts in Sri
NIA registered a fake case against innocent Muslims and tried to create a story
that Muslims are terrorists. But the NIA won't bother about the real culprits.
The case against us in connection with plotting to murder Hindutva leaders is
also a false one. We came out on bail because the NIA doesn’t have any valid
evidence against us," he said .
alleged that he had been beaten up by the Coimbatore city police and made him
to put his signature on a document accepting that he was also one of the
accused in the murder plot case.
added that he knew four of the accused people through Facebook . “They came to
Coimbatore city to attend a marriage function and I went to the Coimbatore
railway junction to receive them. Meanwhile, the city police arrested all of us
and foisted fake cases,” he said.
added that he was not a sympathiser of terror group ISIS. The NIA created a
story against me saying that he was an ISIS sympathiser, he said.
I had not heard about ISIS earlier. I came to know about ISIS on after my
arrest. I have never contacted NTJ leader Zahran Bin Hashim. I haven’t chatted
with him. I gave my Facebook details to the NIA for investigation. But I don't
know about the others whether they were in touch with NTJ leader, " said
came to know about the NTJ leader on after the serial blasts in Sri Lanka.
Those who involved in the serial bomb blasts should be punished severely,"
dismisses Yasin Malik’s plea seeking transfer of two cases
Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday dismissed two petitions by separatist
leader Yasin Malik and others seeking transfer of cases related to the
kidnapping of Rubiya Sayeed, daughter of former chief minister Mufti Mohammed
Sayeed, and killing of Air Force personnel, from Jammu to Srinagar. The two cases
are nearly 30-year-old.
chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, is currently lodged in
Delhi’s Tihar Jail following his arrest in a terror funding case earlier this
month. Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta struck down a 2008 order that had transferred
their hearing to Srinagar.
a 27-page judgment, the judge also vacated an order by a single bench of the
high court which had stayed trial against Malik in 1995, besides observing that
the October 25, 2008 order of a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities
(Prevention) Act (TADA) court of Jammu allowing Malik’s petition for shifting
trial to Srinagar was not correct.
states put on alert after terror attack call to police
states, including all south Indian ones, were put on alert late on Thursday
after the Bengaluru police received a tip-off about a possible terror attack on
multiple cities and the gathering of a group of terrorists in Tamil Nadu’s
alert comes at a time when security and intelligence agencies are concerned
about the existence of sleeper cells on Indian soil that could be linked to the
group that carried out bombings in Sri Lanka, where 253 people were killed on
Sunday during Easter celebrations.
caller claiming to be a lorry driver said major cities in Tamil Nadu,
Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Maharashtra and Puducherry
would be hit by terror attacks… (which) will take place on trains, said the
letter issued by Karnataka director general of police to the states mentioned
in the tip.
also claimed that there are 19 terrorists present at Ramanathapuram, Tamil
Nadu,” the letter added.
Karnataka police official, who asked not to be named, said the letter had been
sent out after analysing the tip-off, which was received around 5:30pm. “Inputs
with the police suggest that over a dozen terrorists could have sneaked through
Ramanathapuram,” the officer added.
is few kilometres west of Rameswaran on the east coast, which is a short
nautical distance from Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu too issued alerts to district and
coastal security officials. A Maharashtra police officer said “... places that
attract crowds… have all been put under extra surveillance”. The Andhra Pradesh
police also confirmed it was on alert.
and Turkey have discussed how they can work together to counter terrorism and
common challenges such as the US decision to end exemptions to sanctions on
Iranian oil imports, Ibrahim Kalin, senior advisor to the Turkish president,
said on Friday.
who held talks with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and foreign secretary
Vijay Gokhale, said Turkey and India find themselves on the “same page” on
several pressing issues, including US sanctions on Iranian oil imports and
Russian military equipment, and the American plan to end the Generalised System
of Preferences (GSP) for preferential duty-free imports.
India, Turkey has been threatened with US sanctions under the Countering
America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act for procuring the S-400 air defence
system from Russia. Kalin told an event at Observer Research Foundation Turkey
opted for the Russian system only after trying unsuccessfully to buy the
Patriot missile system from the US for 10 years.
said US sanctions “don’t work and hurt everybody”, and Turkey is on the same
page with European nations on the issue of US ending exemptions to sanctions on
Iranian oil imports, which are set to take effect from May 2. Despite the
threat of sanctions, he said Turkey had no plans to cut oil imports to zero or
to stop trade with Iran “for the time being”.
are talking to the Europeans (to see) how we can find ways and mechanisms by
which we continue to trade with Iran without affecting our economy and without
violating the sanctions and having another confrontation with the US over this
issue,” he said. He added he hadn’t heard anything officially about India
joining such a mechanism
unilateralism and trade wars will cost everyone, and the raising of tariffs and
taxes in the name of protecting the American economy will “certainly backfire”,
Kalin said. “If the idea is to change Iranian behaviour on certain regional
issues in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, that will not happen through sanctions. You
have to have further engagement and dialogue with Iran rather than this kind of
antagonistic sanction-based policy,” he said.
said in Turkey’s view, there is no difference between the attack on mosques in
New Zealand and the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka claimed by Islamic State.
Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of blasts targeting churches and
luxury hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, killing 253 people. On March 15, a
white supremacist killed 50 people and injured many others in two mosques, the
deadliest mass shootings in New Zealand.
A constable of Jammu and Kashmir Police was critically injured after terrorists
attacked a police party near Chanapora police post in Srinagar on Friday
evening. Kashmiri terror outfit Al-Umar Mujahideen has claimed responsibility
for the strike.
7.45pm, some bike-borne terrorists opened four-five rounds of fire at the cops
on duty at the Chanapora checkpoint.
Feroz Ahmad, who sustained grievous injuries in the attack, was rushed to the
92 Base military hospital. SDPO Sadder Shabir Khan confirmed the strike.
police party effectively retaliated to the attack, but the terrorists managed
to escape towards Baghi Mehtab area in south Kashmir. Soon after the attack,
security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation to trace the assailants.
orders detention of 210 military personnel over links to Gulen
prosecutors ordered the detention of 210 military personnel over suspected
links to the network blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed 2016 military
coup, the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said on Friday.
said the suspects from the air, marine and land forces, as well as the
gendarmerie and coast guard, included five colonels, seven lieutenant colonels,
14 majors, and 33 captains.
were suspected of being supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen,
who is accused by Turkish authorities of masterminding the failed putsch three
has denied any role.
than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial since the coup and widespread
arrests are still routine. Authorities have suspended or sacked 150,000 civil
servants and military personnel.
prosecutor’s office said it believed the number of Gulen supporters who remained
unidentified within the military was greater than those who took part in the
coup attempt, and the network still posed the greatest threat to Turkey’s
says Gulen’s network had infiltrated its military, judiciary and state
Western allies have criticized the crackdown, with Erdogan’s critics accusing
him of using the putsch as a pretext to quash dissent.
authorities say the measures are necessary to combat threats to national
military personnel being sought on Friday were identified by listening to
recordings of conversations held on pay phones across Turkey, the prosecutor
250 people were killed in the failed putsch. Gulen, a former ally of President
Tayyip Erdogan, has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
state-owned Anadolu agency reported that the Ankara chief prosecutor ordered
the detention of 41 people believed to be members of the network.
were suspected of obtaining the questions to a police school exam in 2009, to
help their members join the force.
forces injure 60 Gazans, 15 of them children
forces have attacked Palestinians protesting in the Gaza Strip near the fence
between the besieged Palestinian enclave and the Israeli-occupied territories,
leaving at least 60 people injured.
al-Qedra, the spokesman for the Gazan Health Ministry, said that Israeli forces
injured 60 Palestinians, including four women and 15 children, during the
protests in Gaza on Friday.
paramedic and a journalist were also among those injured during the latest
March 30 last year, the Palestinians in Gaza have been holding weekly rallies
to demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland by Israeli
aggression and an end to the siege on the enclave. More than 270 Palestinians
have been killed since then, and over 16,000 have been injured.
United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission found earlier that Israeli forces
committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian
protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.
Houthi Ansarullah movement’s new “National Vision” lays out Sana'a's road map
towards building a “modern, stable and democratic state,” which seeks peace and
equal cooperation with the international community.
Ansarullah’s incumbent President of the Supreme Political Council in the Yemeni
capital, Sana'a, Mahdi al-Mashat, announced the implementation of the
movement's manifesto this week.
TV was among the first to receive the English translation of the document,
which contains 175 strategic aims on how to rebuild the badly damaged nation.
reforms plan, known as the National Vision, aims to protect the Yemeni people
and rebuild the war-torn country, while at the same time, “strengthen state
institutions,” which have been rendered inadequate due to the war.
al-Mashat, who is also a senior member of the Ansarullah political party,
acknowledged that Yemen is at a difficult stage in its history.
at the inauguration event attended by members of the Council, Mashat called for
the nation to sharpen its resolve and move towards rebuilding the country.
Mashat admitted that “while we are confronting the (Saudi-led) aggression, we
are at the same time facing the challenge of the state-building.”
Ansarullah-led government, known as the National Salvation Government of the
Republic of Yemen, has officially adopted this new vision.
has been dealing with ongoing conflict, which includes a nationwide blockade,
enforced by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of regional allies that launched a
devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015.
Saudi coalition’s offensive was aimed at bringing the government of former
President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power by crushing Ansarullah and their
National Salvation Government in Sana'a.
to Press TV, the chairman of the International Solidarity Committee with Yemen,
Rune Agerhus, explained why this new vision is so important.
document is truly historic. First of all, it completely shreds the narrative of
supposed ‘violent rebels’ holding the capital, but rather shows a competent
government institution showing a willingness to alleviate the suffering of the
Yemeni people, it re-establishes the Yemeni democracy and seeks to make Yemen a
also a sign of Yemen opening its arms to the international community. They want
to re-establish good and equal relations with the countries of the world, as
well as open up for foreign investments.”
idea of a new National Vision was initially proclaimed by the former Yemeni
President Saleh al-Sammad. Samad was killed during a coalition airstrike last
famous quote by the former president, "one hand protects, the other hand
builds," has been used as the slogan for the Sana'a government’s new
of the many critical areas of focus for the government include raising the
average life expectancy and improving electricity and water supplies, while
also reducing the illiteracy rate and tackling corruption.
al-Shami, the media announcer for Yemen’s state news broadcaster al-Masirah,
told Press TV that the Vision was a “good and practical” step.
vision was made from the reality of the need of Yemeni citizen’s and has many
steps that will help in building Yemen and raise living standards.”
The United States urged Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia to end the
mistreatment of members of the Baha’i faith, as Houthi court sentenced believer
to death on “absurd” allegations.
Baha’i community said that Hamed bin Haydara, who has been detained since 2013,
will face an appeal hearing on Tuesday in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa.
US State Department said it was “deeply concerned” that the Houthis have
targeted dozens of Baha’is and voiced alarm over accounts that Haydara has
endured “physical and psychological torture.”
persistent pattern of vilification, oppression and mistreatment by the Houthis
of Baha’is in Yemen must end,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said
in a statement.
Baha’i community on Thursday released what it said was the response to
Haydara’s appeal, with the prosecutor accusing the faith of being founded on
said that Haydara has also been accused of seeking to create a separate Baha’i
homeland on the Yemeni island of Socotra.
prosecutor’s arguments do not address the merits of Mr. Haydara’s appeal and
instead make absurd, wide-ranging accusations that are not based in law or in
fact,” said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i
International Community to the United Nations.
charged that the prosecutor was following the tactics of Iran’s clerical
regime, which allows freedom of religion to several minorities but targets the
Bahai’s, whose founder the Baha’u’llah was Iranian born in 1817.
least 60 Palestinians were injured during clashes on Friday along Gaza’s
border, including 36 shot and wounded by Israeli fire, the health ministry in
the coastal enclave said.
people were injured by (Israeli) occupation forces” and of these 36 were shot
by live fire, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP.
Israeli army spokeswoman said approximately 7,000 “rioters and demonstrators”
had gathered in multiple spots along the heavily-fortified border.
“hurled rocks and a number of explosive devices” towards troops, she said, with
forces responding in “accordance with standard procedures.”
in Gaza have taken part in often violent demonstrations along the Israeli
border fence for more than a year, calling on the Jewish state to end its
blockade of the territory.
imposes sanction on Pakistan, may deny visas to Pakistanis
The US has imposed sanctions on Pakistan after Islamabad refused to take back
its citizen deportees and visa over-stayers from America, warning that it may
withhold visas of Pakistanis beginning from its senior officials.
state department on Friday said that consular operations in Pakistan remain
"unchanged" as of now but as a result of such a sanction mentioned in
a Federal Register notification dated April 22, the US may withhold visas of
Pakistanis beginning with its senior officials.
is the latest to join the list of 10 nations that have been imposed with
sanctions under a US law according to which countries refusing to take back
deportees and visa over-stayers will be denied American visas.
eight of these countries have been slapped with such visa sanctions under the
Trump administration. Two of them Ghana and Pakistan have been included in the
list this year.
other countries include Guyana in 2001, the Gambia in 2016, Cambodia, Eritrea,
Guinea, and Sierra Leone in 2017, Burma and Laos in 2018.
Section 243 (d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary of State
is required to discontinue granting immigration or non-immigrant visas to a
nation upon receiving notice from the Homeland Security Secretary that the
country has denied or is unreasonably delaying accepting a citizen, subject,
national or resident of that country.
state department tried to downplay the impact of the sanctions on Pakistan.
operations in Pakistan remain unchanged," a state department spokesperson
said when asked about the federal register notification.
is a bilateral issue of ongoing discussion between the US and Pakistani
governments and we are not going to get into the specifics at this time,"
the spokesperson added.
Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, feels that this will make
things difficult for Pakistanis.
measure will create hardship for Pakistanis who want or need to travel to the
US and could have been avoided if Pakistani authorities had not ignored American
requests to respect their legal requirements for deportation," Haqqani
said, days after the federal register notification.
said that Pakistan's refusal to accept it's citizen deported from the US is not
refusal to accept every Pakistani citizen deported from the US is not new. It
seems that the US is no longer willing to overlook a wide range of official
Pakistani behaviour. Bonhomie has been replaced by sanctions and restrictions
based on Islamabad's policy decisions," Haqqani said.
the law in this regard has been under existence since 1996, it is only in last
several years that there had been increasing demand from lawmakers towards its
enforcement against countries that had refused to accept deportees and visa
the last few years, India has been taking such deportees on special planes at
Trump administration after coming to power had said that it will strictly
enforce such provisions by denying visas to people from those countries that
refuse it accepting deportees and visa over-stayers.
section 243 (d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act was used only twice
before 2017, the Trump Administration has been effective in using this
provision on many countries, including Pakistan.
the state department federal register notification indicates that the number of
visa denial under this sanction is far
the law was modified to cover non-immigrant visas in 1996, 318 visa applicants
have been affected, the notification said.
this same time period, tens of millions of aliens have received non-immigrant
visas including, collectively, millions of applicants from the 10 countries
affected," the notification said.
Federal Register notification said that there is no set formula, though,
notably state has never issued a blanket refusal for visas from the country in
some countries, sanctions begin by targeting officials who work in the
ministries responsible for accepting the return of that country's nationals
with escalation scenarios that target family members of those officials and
potentially officials of other inistries and then other categories of
applicants if initial sanctions do not prove effective at encouraging greater
cooperation on removals by the targeted government," the notification
Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that his government will,
if necessary, seek Pakistan’s help to trace the terrorists involved in the
recent Easter Sunday bombings.
an exclusive interview with an international newspaper published on Friday,
Wickremesinghe pointed out that Pakistan had in the past ‘fully supported Sri
Lanka’s war on terror’. “If necessary, we will seek their help to trace the
terrorists and eliminate them. I see this tragic event as further strengthening
the trust that exists between our countries and increasing cooperation,” he
Minister Wickremesinghe said that although Sri Lanka is investigating the
possibility of foreign links in the attack, there is no evidence yet to suggest
that any particular country has backed the terrorists involved in the string of
bombings that left approximately 250 people dead. “All the countries in our
region are faced with the same threats […] Even the best of defences can
sometimes be breached by ruthless terrorists, as we have seen time and again,
all over the world. Our intelligence has worked with their counterparts
[foreign intelligence agencies] abroad. But this is the first time that global
terrorism has struck Sri Lanka. This is a new experience for us and we will
work with our international allies to apprehend all the perpetrators,” he said.
asked about anti-Muslim sentiment in the country, the Sri Lankan prime minister
said there had been a marked improvement since 2012-2014, when the minority
community was ‘under pressure’. He noted that since 2015, anti-Muslim sentiment
has not been not allowed to raise its head. “There was only one unfortunate
incident in Kandy, which was brought under control. They have been patient in
the face of these provocations, and I must commend their political leaders for
maintaining inter-religious harmony,” he said. “But again, the wave of
anti-Muslim sentiment spreading across the liberal world and our region, has
had some impact on Sri Lanka as well. We must provide constitutional guarantees
to every community to coexist within one Sri Lanka,” he asserted. The militant
Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. It released a
video that showed eight men, all but one with their faces covered, standing
under a black Islamic State flag and declaring their loyalty to its leader, Abu
Bakr Al-Baghdadi. The government said there were nine suicide bombers, eight of
whom had been identified. One was a woman.
have focused their investigations on international links to two domestic
Islamist groups – National Thawheed Jama’ut and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim –
they believe carried out the attacks.
picture has emerged of a group of nine well-educated, home-grown suicide
bombers. Two were brothers, sons of a wealthy spice trader, a source close to
the family said. At least 76 people, including several foreigners, have been
rounded up since Sunday.
drive suspended across country after spike in attacks
Amid serious security threats and increasing attacks on polio workers in
different parts of the country, the federal government has suspended the anti-polio
campaign “for an indefinite period”.
for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the government has also
suspended the post-campaign evaluation — Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS).
National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio, Islamabad, issued a red
alert to all the provinces on Friday, directing them to stop the anti-polio
campaign all over the country to protect 270,000 polio field staff from
nationwide campaign was launched in all districts of the country on April 22
and Friday was the last catch-up day.
the Peshawar incident, the uncertain and threatening situation for the
frontline polio workers has emerged and we need to save the programme from a
further major damage,” reads the alert issued by the EOC.
says that it has been unanimously decided by the national technical team and
Global Polio Eradication Initiative (SPEI) partners to call off the catch-up
activities of April National Immunisation Day campaign across the country with
no further vaccination or catch-up activity will be conducted in any area for
this campaign,” said the EOC in the letter.
official said that the World Health Organisation had been using the LQAS as new
sampling methodology under the GPEI to document status of anti-polio coverage
and areas of weak coverage with statistical reliability.
said the national anti-polio programme had suffered a major setback due to
frequent attacks on polio teams in different parts of the country, prompting
the federal government to suspend LQAS activities as well.
said the action was taken in the wake of the Peshawar incident in which a
violent mob torched a government health facility and the murder of a woman
polio worker in Chaman, besides attacks on staff in Sindh, Balochistan and
Punjab in recent days.
EOC in a separate official letter addressed to all the provinces conveyed
apprehension about increasing attacks on polio workers, directing them to
suspend LQAS activities.
letter reads, “It has been decided by the National EOC that no post campaign
evaluation (LQAS) will be conducted anywhere in the country.”
official said the EOC had acted due to fear of pathetic vaccination coverage of
40 million targeted children across the country because of security threats and
attacks on polio workers.
Punjab alone, he said, it was for the first time that 700,000 children were
either missed or their families refused to get their children vaccinated,
putting lives of too many children at risk of contracting the crippling
disease, during the last four days of the drive which started on April 22.
warns against bid to bring presidential system
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday warned
against any attempt to bring presidential form of government in the country,
saying it would not be in the interest of democracy by any means. He said there
was no ‘third umpire’ — only people — in a democracy.
Pakistan, not the desire of third umpire but the will of people prevails. This
is what democracy warrants,” the PPP chief said during a press talk along with
some opposition leaders after attending a conference organised by the Asma
Jahangir Legal Aid Cell in collaboration with the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).
conference was attended, among others, by Senators Mushaidullah Khan, Sherry
Rehman, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Usman Kakar, MNAs Mohsin Dawar, Shaista
Pervaiz, Nafeesa Shah and Chaudhry Manzoor, PPP leader Farhatullah Babar, PBC
vice chairman Syed Amjad Shah, PBC Executive Committee chairman Hafiz Mohammad
Idris, Human Rights Committee chairman Abid Saqi, Afrasiab Khattak, Nida Aly
and Munizae Jahangir.
Bhutto-Zardari, who is also chairperson of the National Assembly’s Human Rights
Committee, said that as far as the attempt to roll back the 18th Constitution
Amendment and enforce the presidential system was concerned, it could be the
desire of some elements hatching conspiracies. “Presidential system is neither
in the interest of the country nor the federation and all democratic forces
will resist any such move,” he said, adding that the presidential form of government
had failed wherever it had been enforced. “There is no provision in our laws
for conducting referendum.”
PPP chairman termed the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance 1999 a ‘black
law’ and said the opposition could sit with the government to amend it. “This
black law was made by Gen Pervez Musharraf. There must be a same law for
accountability of all,” he said.
about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he expressed the hope that
Prime Minister Imran Khan would give due importance to the corridor project and
would not make any compromise on it. “The present government has diverted CPEC
funds and provided them to the ruling party’s MNAs. The government should not
make the CPEC a controversial project by doing this,” he added.
about the conference, he said all stakeholders held a threadbare debate on the
18th Amendment and human rights. “But the problem is that the government is not
serious on any issue,” he regretted.
government representatives were also invited to the event, but none of them
purpose of the consultation was to engage parliamentarians and the legal
fraternity for a way forward on the recommendations emerged from the
conference. A consensus was reached during the dialogue that challenges to the
18th Amendment and the desire to roll back the provincial autonomy and National
Finance Commission Award must be resisted and the 19th Amendment related to
Article 175-A (appointment of judges in the superior judiciary) must be
conference called for revival of the role of the parliamentary committee on
resolution adopted at the conference said that military courts, a parallel
justice system, impede access to justice and did not meet standards of fair
trial. They should not be extended as they were given jurisdiction over
civilians and used against them. The criminal justice system should be
conference emphasised that the state must fulfil its responsibility to protect
fundamental rights of citizens, stop the harassment of human rights defenders
and immediately lift the ban on international and national non-governmental
demanded that Pakistan must implement legislation to criminalise enforced
disappearances and the government must prevent torture by adopting the 2014
bill passed by the Senate. “The Commission of Missing Persons must prosecute
the 153 identified officials responsible for enforced disappearances,” it
conference desired that there should be an effective implementation of merger
and reforms in western districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly Fata) as
approved by parliament. The participants of the conference demanded that women
of western districts of KP should be given representation in the NCSW (National
Commission for the Status of Women) and included in the reform process.
said the state’s appeasement of religious fundamentalism must end and all
minorities must be protected in the face of new threats, especially the Hazara
community in Balochistan. The National Action Plan should be expanded and
implemented in letter and spirit.
conference called for effective legislation and enforcement of such laws
against enforced conversions. It demanded that legal age that defines a child
should be uniform and legal marriage age for girls should be made 18 years in
all the provinces (Sindh is the only province where the legal age for marriage
resolution said freedom of expression must not be curtailed by the state and
unannounced censorship in print and electronic media must be lifted. Parliament
must approve a new bill for the independence of the Pakistan Electronic Media
Regulatory Authority (Pemra) according to the recommendation of the media
commission report. Parliament must approve a journalist safety bill which was
moved in the previous parliament.
cyber laws, the conference resolved there should be training of judges, lawyers
and the cybercrime wing on the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act. Parliament
should review the laws to remove draconian provisions of the cybercrime law.
participants of the even observed that the law on sexual harassment against
women in the workplace was not being implemented and parliament and provincial
assemblies have not constituted committees on sexual harassment as mandated by
the law. “The federation and the provinces must collectively ensure that the
curriculum is devoid of hate material and derogatory material with respect to
minorities,” another resolution said.
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Friday issued orders
to Channel-24 to air an apology within seven days through its show Najam Sethi
ke saath as penance for what the regulator described as propagation of false
news about the prime minister.
authority stated that the decision was taken following a complaint lodged by
Prime Minister Imran Khan at Pemra's Council of Complaints.
decision was taken under the terms outlined in Clause 18 of the Electronic
Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct 2015, Pemra stated in its
the notification steered clear of expressly mentioning the nature of the
"false news" in question, it appears that the Pemra orders pertain to
certain remarks made by Sethi on the premier's marital life.
episode in question was aired on March 30. During the show, Sethi claimed that
"a little bird" had told him that the prime minister had
"developed differences" with the first lady.
days later, Sethi wrote an op-ed in The Friday Times, revealing that the
premier had "formally applied to Pemra" to act against the channel
"for airing a statement that allegedly defames him".
public figure, least of all a prime minister, can claim that his or her
'private affairs' are out of the scope of public scrutiny especially if they
impinge on matters covered by Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of
Pakistan," Sethi tweeted, quoting an excerpt from his article.
his piece, he also mentioned that the channel has been asked "to
immediately appear before its Complaints Committee and defend itself".
however, upon receiving Pemra's directives, Sethi took to Twitter to question
the orders, saying that the authority "did not give us (Channel-24) an
opportunity to defend this statement".
directives to Channel-24
channel has been directed by Pemra to air an apology during the same show
"besides running text scrolls to the same effect for propagating false
news about [the] Prime Minister of Pakistan".
apology, including that in audio visual and text scroll form, should clearly
refer to in its subjective context without repeating the afore-noted news
item," states Pemra's notification.
channel has also been ordered to a pay a sum of Rs1 million as fine to the
case of failure by the channel to comply either partially or wholly with
Pemra's orders, the show concerned "shall remain prohibited for a period
of thirty days", according to the notification.
Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that his government will,
if necessary, seek Pakistan's help to trace the terrorists involved in the
recent Easter Sunday bombings and eliminate them.
an exclusive interview with the Hindustan Times published on Friday,
Wickremesinghe pointed out that Pakistan had, in the past, "fully
supported Sri Lanka's war on terror".
added: "If necessary, we will seek their help to trace the terrorists and
eliminate them. I see this tragic event as further strengthening the trust that
exists between our countries and increasing cooperation."
Minister Wickremesinghe said that although Sri Lanka is investigating the
possibility of foreign links in the attack, there is no evidence yet to suggest
that any particular country has backed the terrorists involved in the string of
bombings that left approximately 250 people dead.
the countries in our region are faced with the same threats [...] Even the best
of defences can sometimes be breached by ruthless terrorists, as we have seen
time and again, all over the world. Our intelligence has worked with their
counterparts [foreign intelligence agencies] abroad. But this is the first time
that global terrorism has struck Sri Lanka. This is a new experience for us and
we will work with our international allies to apprehend all the
perpetrators," he vowed.
Sri Lankan premier, when asked about anti-Muslim sentiment in the country, said
there had been a marked improvement since 2012-2014, when the minority
community was "under pressure". He noted that since 2015,
"anti-Muslim sentiment was not allowed to raise its head".
was only one unfortunate incident in Kandy, which was brought under control.
They have been patient in the face of these provocations, and I must commend
their political leaders for maintaining inter-religious harmony," he said.
again, the wave of anti-Muslim sentiment spreading across the liberal world and
our region, has had some impact on Sri Lanka as well. We must provide
constitutional guarantees to every community to coexist within one Sri Lanka,"
Lankan officials revised the death toll from the Easter Sunday bombings down by
about 100 on Thursday, blaming the difficulty in identifying body parts at bomb
scenes for the earlier inaccurate number. The new official figure was 253, down
from an earlier 359, Deputy Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said, blaming
inaccurate data provided by morgues for the discrepancy.
officials have acknowledged a major lapse in the sharing of intelligence
information. Lakshman Kiriella, the leader of parliament, said senior officials
had deliberately withheld the intelligence about possible attacks. The defence
secretary, Hemasiri Fernando, resigned over the failure to prevent the attacks
yesterday, although he insisted that the authorities had been acting in
response to intelligence tips from India warning of imminent attacks. He said
he had resigned to take responsibility for institutions he ran, but said there
had been no failure on his part.
militant Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. It
released a video that showed eight men, all but one with their faces covered,
standing under a black Islamic State flag and declaring their loyalty to its
leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. The government said there were nine suicide
bombers, eight of whom had been identified. One was a woman.
have focused their investigations on international links to two domestic
Islamist groups — National Thawheed Jama'ut and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim —
they believe carried out the attacks.
picture has emerged of a group of nine well-educated, home-grown suicide
bombers. Two were brothers, sons of a wealthy spice trader, a source close to
the family said.
least 76 people, including several foreigners, have been rounded up since
Sunday, but police on Thursday for the first time identified seven people they
were looking for and appealed to the public for help in finding them.
apparently casual snapshots, posted with a wanted notice showed young bearded
men, one with a Muslim cap, and three young women, all with headscarves.
fears are growing of a surge of communal tension. Out of Sri Lanka's total
population of around 22 million, 70pc are Buddhist, 12.6pc Hindu, 9.7pc Muslim,
and 7.6pc Christian, according to the country's 2012 census.
Former Senate chairman and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart Raza Rabbani
on Friday raised questions over unelected people attending cabinet meetings and
having access to sensitive information.
in the Senate, Mr Rabbani conceded that it was prime minister’s prerogative to
change his cabinet but at the same time the appointments must not affect
functioning of the government and parliament.
out that there are currently five advisers and 17 special assistants to the
prime minister, the former Senate chairman said that none of them was under the
constitutional oath not to disclose any information that was brought to their
knowledge by virtue of their official position.
can they become privy to classified and sensitive information when they are not
members of the cabinet? How can you share defence budget with [adviser on
finance] Abdul Hafeez Shaikh? Are we in safe hands?” Mr Rabbani asked.
all important ministries, including finance, petroleum, commerce, power,
information and overseas Pakistanis, were currently under the control of
unelected people, he said, adding that this gave credence to reports that
Pakistan was being pushed towards a presidential system.
was no mention of special assistants in the Constitution, except in Article 260
that was about definitions, yet they attended cabinet meetings as in charge of
the ministries assigned to them, Mr Rabbani said.
the rules, the prime minister is in charge of those ministries and divisions,
which are not assigned to anybody. “That means the prime minister is in charge
of 22 ministries and divisions at this particular time,” he remarked.
PPP senator explained that any legislation to be carried out by a ministry
ought to be signed by the relevant minister as statements of objects and
reasons of bills also carried signatures of that minister. “Is it fair that 17
ministries are with the special assistants who cannot come to the house? Isn’t
it a joke with the parliament?” he asked.
it a serious issue, Mr Rabbani observed that there seemed to be an attempt to
introduce a so-called technocrat set-up and replicate Ayub Khan’s authoritarian
model. The president during the days of Gen Ayub Khan was empowered to veto a
bill passed by parliament, he recalled.
of the House in the Senate Syed Shibli Faraz, after the PPP senator’s remarks,
sought a verbatim report on the proceedings so that the law ministry could
examine and address the constitutional issues raised in the house. He said
parliamentary affairs minister used to respond to questions of all the
ministries, but the opposition wanted each question asked and issue raised to
be responded by the minister concerned himself. “In ideal circumstances, it
should be like that,” Senator Faraz agreed in principle. However, he added,
around six ministers were accompanying the prime minister during his tour to
speaking on a calling-attention notice on reallocation of Rs24 billion out of
Rs27bn under the head of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) special
initiatives towards different programmes, Mr Rabbani said there appeared to be
a tilt in government’s foreign policy towards the United States.
former Senate chairman recalled the US secretary of state’s statement made last
year opposing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package for
Pakistan and another statement proposing to block aid to allies of China. In
October 2018, he said, the IMF chief economist had also cautioned that
excessive loaning from China would not be good, and China’s involvement would
be a risk to the economy, he added. He said pressure was being built on
Pakistan for gradual withdrawal from the CPEC and scaling down the strategic
relationship with the two neighbouring country. He also referred to New Delhi’s
allegation that the bailout package would be used for terrorism.
PPP senator alleged that the government had provided CPEC-related sensitive
information to the IMF and demanded that the IMF conditions must be disclosed
and discussed in parliament.
regretted that Rs24bn funds for the CPEC had been diverted to the discretionary
programme for parliamentarians, reducing the total funds for special
initiatives under the CPEC to Rs3bn. Almost 200 CPEC schemes had been scrapped,
to the calling-attention notice, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati
ruled out the reversal of CPEC and said no one would be allowed even to cast an
evil eye on it. He said the original allocation for CPEC projects was Rs167bn
out of which 70 per cent had already been released. He said the Rs24bn diverted
to other works had nothing to do with the original CPEC allocation.
a point of public importance, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator retired Lt
Gen Abdul Qayyum raised the issue of construction of a firing range in
Diplomatic Enclave by the US Embassy. For this, he said, an advertisement had
recently been placed by the embassy on its website.
matter was referred by the chair to the Senate Standing Committee on Interior.
Special Representative of US for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad
has praised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on Afghanistan.
appreciate @ImranKhanPTI’s statement yesterday on #Afghanistan. His appeal for
reduction of violence and policy against promoting internal conflict in other
nations has the potential to positively transform the region and give #Pakistan
a leading role,” Khalilzad tweeted on Friday.
Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad
appreciate @ImranKhanPTI’s statement yesterday on #Afghanistan. His appeal for
reduction of violence and policy against promoting internal conflict in other
nations has potential to positively transform the region and give #Pakistan a
leading role. http://pid.gov.pk/site/press_detail/10853 …
- 26 Apr 2019
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people are talking about this
his statement, Prime Minister Imran said Pakistan would not be a party to any
internal conflict in Afghanistan anymore. The prime minister added that Pakistan
was fully supporting the Afghan peace process including the intra-Afghan
has committed all diplomatic and security capital to the success of peace
process,” Imran said in the statement.
month, Afghanistan recalled its ambassador from Islamabad after Prime Minister
Imran Khan was quoted in the local media suggesting the formation of an interim
Afghan government that would smooth peace talks between US and Taliban
officials. The premier was quoted as saying to Pakistani journalists that the
Afghan Taliban wanted to meet him but the government in Kabul protested so he
did not meet them.
at a rally, Prime Minister Khan explained his comments as “brotherly advice” to
the people and government of Afghanistan and should not be considered
Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stated that the prime minister’s comments were
reported out of context. Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said
the prime minister had referred to Pakistan’s model, where elections are held
under an interim government and said his comments should not be misinterpreted
to imply interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has praised
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on Afghanistan.
appreciate @ImranKhanPTI’s statement on #Afghanistan. His appeal for reduction
of violence and policy against promoting internal conflict in other nations has
potential to positively transform the region and give #Pakistan a leading
role,” Khalilzad tweeted on Friday.
the Afghan peace process a ‘historic opportunity’ for peace in the region,
Prime Minister Imran Khan had on Thursday said that Pakistan was fully
supporting the process and would not be a party to any internal conflict in
Afghanistan anymore. “Afghanistan conflict has brought great suffering for both
Afghanistan and Pakistan over the last 40 years. Now, after a long wait, the
Afghan peace process presents a historic opportunity for peace in the region
and Pakistan is fully supporting the process including the next logical step of
Intra-Afghan Dialogue wherein Afghans will themselves decide upon the future of
their country,” he had said in a statement issued by the PM Office.
Kabul has been extremely indignant at what it sees as Islamabad’s
‘interference’ in Afghanistan’s affairs, having recalled its ambassador twice
over a statement from Prime Minister Khan regarding a possible interim setup in
Afghanistan while a peace is brokered.
United States on Friday found backing from rivals Russia and China on the key
formula of a peace deal it is negotiating in Afghanistan - withdrawing troops
in return for Taliban pledges not to welcome foreign extremists.
Khalilzad, the US envoy who is set shortly to hold his latest round of talks
with the Taliban, called the consensus a “milestone” in efforts to end the war
after he met Russian and Chinese representatives in Moscow.
joint statement by the three countries called for an “inclusive Afghan-led”
peace process and outlined points expected to feature in an eventual agreement.
three sides call for an orderly and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops
from Afghanistan as part of the overall peace process,” said the statement
issued by the US State Department.
also said that the Taliban have made a “commitment” to fight the extremist ISIS
group and sever ties to Al-Qaeda.
Taliban have promised to “ensure the areas they control will not be used to
threaten any other country,” the statement said, calling on them to prevent any
“terrorist recruiting, training and fund-raising.”
said that the statement, along with his talks earlier in the week in London
with European envoys, “means we have an emerging international consensus on US
approach to end the war AND assurances terrorism never again emanates from
agreement w/ China & Russia yesterday along w/ previous one w/ Europeans
means we have emerging intl consensus on US approach to end the war AND
assurances terrorism never again emanates from #Afghanistan. More to do but
important milestone. #Momentum
AM - Apr 27, 2019
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Statement on Trilateral Meeting on Afghan Peace Process
people are talking about this
to do but important milestone,” he tweeted.
Donald Trump is eager to end America’s longest-ever war, which was launched in
response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, when the then Taliban regime gave
shelter to Al-Qaeda.
and China both have strong interests in Afghanistan. Some 14,000 Soviet
soldiers were killed in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 in a conflict with
has been stepping up its involvement in Afghanistan both militarily and
economically as it voices worries that militants could sneak into its restive
Muslim-majority Xinjiang region.
will also hold separate talks during his latest trip with Pakistan and India,
which have strongly different views on Afghanistan.
major sticking point is the Taliban’s refusal to negotiate with the government
of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which has wide-ranging international support.
United States, Russia and China called on the Taliban to speak as soon as
possible with a “broad, representative Afghan delegation that includes the
country that has criticized the US approach is Iran, whose foreign minister,
Mohammad Javad Zarif, recently said that the United States had alienated
Afghans by turning the Taliban into king-makers.
California man who deliberately drove into a crowd of people, injuring eight,
did so because he thought they were Muslim, police said on Friday.
driver, 34-year-old Isaiah Peoples, reportedly targeted the family solely on
their appearance, according to police in Sunnyvale, near San Francisco, who are
now treating the case as a “hate crime”.
is new evidence that Peoples intentionally targeted victims based on their race
and belief that they were Muslim,” said Sunnyvale Public Security in a
to local media, three members of the same family are among the eight
pedestrians injured on Tuesday -- a father and his son and daughter.
nationality and religion of the family have not been released.
military intelligence chief says such terrorist groups as al-Qaeda and Daesh
are establishing a foothold in Latin America to recruit members for their
activities in the Middle East and North Africa, where they have been mainly
Kostyukov, the head of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU, said on
Thursday that terrorist “training camps and harbors” were “new risk factors”
emerging in Latin America, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.
was speaking at the 8th Moscow Conference on International Security, an
international defense forum gathering defense ministers and experts from
said the terrorist groups were seeking to infiltrate the six million Muslims
living in Latin America.
terrorist groups “are recruiting militants to fill their ranks in the Middle
East and North Africa,” and “gathering the funds needed for that,” he said.
activity has been rare in Latin America so far. In a singular case last year,
Brazilian prosecutors announced charges against 11 people for promoting Daesh
through social media and recruiting militants to send to Syria.
overran large swaths of Syria and Iraq in offensives beginning in 2014. The
group was, however, militarily defeated by the governments of the two Middle
Eastern countries in the course of some four years.
of its members, including recruits from all across the world, were killed in
the anti-terror operations, which were assisted by regional countries.
group has largely shrunk as a result of that defeat, but it has sought to
regroup in other regions, including Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
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