Fifteen dead in another Iraqi suicide attacks
Saudi Arabia bans blogging without permit
Tunisia blaze triggers suicides in Arab Africa
Two torch themselves in Egypt, taking cases to 10
Egyptian dies of burns after self-immolation
Pak pursuing terror as instrument of state policy: Indian Foreign Secretary
New Deoband chief lauds Modi's Gujarat
American security guards for Zardari's security
Al-Qaeda suffered major setbacks, says ex-militant
Why can’t a girl contest university elections
Open all the locked mosques in Delhi
Reforms in the Hajj Committee need of the hour
J&K police constable arrested for links with Hizbul Mujahideen
Britain all set to ban jihadi outfit under terror law
500 detained in Karachi to check political violence
Nizam-e-Adl Regulation: Top sharia court set up in Swat
Malegaon Muslim accused finally hope for freedom
No role of SIMI men in Samjhauta?
Police’s twist to blast botch-up
SWAMI Asimanand wants to donate his vital organs
Modi steps in for Asimanand and holds a mega tribal fair
US seeks end to discriminatory applications for blasphemy
Pak-American TV executive stabbed wife 40 times: US court told
Ulema should interpret true meaning of Islam: Gilani
Palestinians hoist flag in Washington for first time
Zardari seeks UN role in promoting religious harmony
BJP should reconsider its Ekta Yatra programme: Interlocutors
Bell's criticism of mosque opponents shows ignorance
The Pope Is The Enemy Of Muslim Law And Order
Yemen: Reporter sentenced to 5 years in prison
Man arrested for murdering wife, daughter for honour
2,802 incidents of violence against women reported in Punjab
Four people killed in explosions in Quetta
4 girls assaulted with acid in Egypt’s delta region
Pakistani teenager gang-raped, paraded naked in streets
Nobel winner Yunus in court for defamation suit, gets bail
Ex-prez wife's 'greed' drove revolution in Tunisia
`Taseer`s murder exposed fault line in society`
Afghan journalist attacked with acid: officials
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani rules out talks with militants
Tricolour hoisting: Hope BJP won't precipitate situation in J&K, says Omar
Blast kills 2 in northwest Pakistan
Bangkok Sikhs Help Taliban Victim’s Kin
India to pay the US twice more than Pak for Harpoons
Butterfly effect lights up white launch party
Iran: Sanctions won’t stop nuclear drive
Dhaka lodges protest against killing of girl
Afghan students leave `unsafe' Cuttack varsity
J-K scandal: Another witness turns hostile
4-yr-old Indian raped by Dubai school driver, conductor
Tunisia PM quits party after protests
More Latin American countries to recognize Palestinian state
Teen detained in Kuwait sues US over no-fly list
One dead, 17 injured in Peshawar blast
Arab leaders meet on economy, poverty
Taliban chief Mullah Omar treated in Pakistan: report
Three soldiers killed in NW rocket attack
US strike kills 5 in NW: officials
Attacker of Danish Mohammed cartoonist goes on trial
Pakistan to provide qualified nurses to Portugal
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Suicide is against Islam: Al-Azhar
Jan 19, 2011
CAIRO — Egypt's Al-Azhar, the most prestigious centre of religious learning in the Sunni Muslim world, said on Tuesday that Islam bans suicide for any reason.
"Sharia law states that Islam categorically forbids suicide for any reason and does not accept the separation of souls from bodies as an expression of stress, anger or protest," said Al-Azhar's spokesman Mohammed Rifa al-Tahtawi in a statement on state news agency MENA.
"Al-Azhar cannot comment on the cases of people who had burned themselves, as these may be suffering from a mental or psychological condition that forced them to do so," he said.
"We cannot judge them. We commend them to God and pray for them."
He added that "Islam forbids suicide as a general rule."
The self-immolation of a young Tunisian merchant in early January, the symbolic trigger of popular revolts that toppled Tunisia's government, has already inspired nine copy cat acts across the region.
A lawyer in his forties tried to end his days by setting himself on fire in front of Cairo's government headquarters on Tuesday. In Alexandria a 25-year-old, pronounced mentally unstable by the authorities, died in a hospital from self-inflicted burns.
Five men in Algeria and one in Mauritania set themselves on fire on Tuesday but failed to end their lives.
BAQUBA: A suicide bomber rammed an ambulance packed with explosives into a security headquarters on Wednesday, killing 13 people in the second major attack against Iraqi forces in as many days.
A second suicide attack in a nearby town killed two others and wounded a top provincial official, shattering a relative calm in Iraq following the formation of a new government by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last month.
“We have so far received 13 bodies, and are treating 64 wounded,” said Firaz al-Dulaimi, a doctor at Baquba hospital, referring to the first attack on Wednesday morning in the Diyala provincial capital.
The 10:00 am (0700 GMT) bomb in the middle of Baquba, a restive ethnically mixed city north of Baghdad, targeted an office of the Force Protection Service (FPS), the agency responsible for securing government buildings.
The explosion also damaged nearby buildings, including the al-Batool women and children’s hospital, and AFP journalist said.
Three young children and their teacher were wounded at a nursery school, an official at Diyala Operations Command said.
Local officials imposed a vehicle curfew on Baquba, not allowing any cars in or out, and security forces cordoned off the scene of the blast.
The operations command official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the FPS office had received a call from an individual purporting to work for the provincial health department, notifying them that an ambulance would be arriving, helping the attacker get close to his target.
About 90 minutes later in the nearby town of Ghalbiyah, a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-filled car in the midst of a crowd of Shia pilgrims, killing two and wounding 16 other people, an official in the provincial security command said.
Among the wounded were Diyala deputy governor Sadiq al-Husseini and three of his bodyguards, and two media employees of local satellite channel Diyala TV.
Husseini was visiting with worshippers as they gathered ahead of commemorations for Arbaeen, which marks 40 days since the anniversary of the death of the revered seventh century Shiite Imam Hussein.
The attack also triggered a fire at a nearby petrol station.
Diyala was an Al-Qaeda stronghold as recently as 2008. While violence has dropped off dramatically both in Diyala and nationwide since then, the province remains one of Iraq’s least secure.
The attacks came a day after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed vest in the middle of a crowd of police recruits in the central city of Tikrit, killing 50 people and wounding up to 150.
It was the deadliest attack to hit Iraq in more than two months, and the first major strike since Maliki named a new cabinet on December 21, ending nine months of stalemate after March elections.
Tikrit’s police chief Colonel Ibrahim al-Juburi and the head of the city’s emergency response squad Brigadier General Mohammed Majeed were fired in the aftermath of the blast.
Maliki condemned the Tikrit attack, saying “terrorists” had once again targeted the innocent.
“Once again the terrorists returned to their usual tactics of killing the innocent and targeting the brave young people who wanted to serve their country and defend it,” he said in a statement Tuesday evening.
“We will follow the case closely until we find who is responsible, and the reasons that let this tragic catastrophe happen.” Violence across Iraq has declined substantially since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common.
By Manar Ammar
Saudi Arabia has banned blogging and online news websites without a government license. All bloggers must be Saudi nationals, over 20-years-old with a high school degree and are required to “include the call to the religion of Islam” and to strictly abide by Islamic Sharia law, the Saudi ministry of culture and information (MOCI) announced.
The new decree puts blogs under the rule of the Saudi Press and Publications Law.
MOCI will consider giving blogging and e-news licenses to “those who deserve it,” according to the new regulation.
The decision came into effect on January 1, 2011, and has been met with national and regional criticism.
“Obviously, MOCI wants to extend its control over everything. No surprise here; government bodies in general are well known for their obsession with control,” wrote blogger Ahmed Al Omran on his blog Saudi Jeans.
The decree also bans non Saudi nationals from writing about news, but are allowed to blog about non-news issues.
Chatroom users are also advised to register with the government prior to using the social services.
Among the goals that the new law serves is “protecting society from malpractices in electronic publishing,” the ministry said.
The new law gives the government the right to shut down any website or media outlet that violates any of the articles mentioned in the decree. Violators will also be fined.
News blogs, e-news websites, websites displaying audio and visual materials, electronic advertisements and broadcasting via mobile phones inside the Kingdom, will fall under the electronic newspapers. All license holders will now have to display their license information on their websites to prove legitimacy.
The new regulations require all news websites and blogs to provide detailed information on their web hosting company, which raises fears of forcing the hosting company to shut down the website all together.
Freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia is already facing major issues and bloggers and human rights activists are unhappy about the increase of government monitoring and control.
PROTESTERS have set themselves afire in Egypt, Mauritania and Algeria in apparent copycat self- immolation attempts inspired by the act that helped trigger a popular uprising in Tunisia.
The incidents on Monday, while isolated, reflect the growing despair among the public of many Arab regimes resisting reform. They are deeply symbolic means of protest in a region that has little or no tolerance for dissent.
It was the self- immolation of a 26- year- old man in Tunisia last month that sparked the wave of protests that toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last week.
Ben Ali ruled with an iron fist for 23 years, time spent in the company of similarly authoritarian rulers across much of the Arab world such as Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh The stunning collapse of the Tunisian leader drew a litany of calls for change elsewhere in the Arab world, but activists faced the reality of vast security forces heavily vested in the status quo and hardline regimes that crack down on dissent.
The men who have set themselves alight in recent days appeared to be inspired by the self- immolation of Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi, whose fruits and vegetables market stand was confiscated by the police.
“ It is clear that Tunisia and its events had an impact on Egypt as well as Algeria,” said Egyptian columnist Salama Ahmed Salama. The attempted self- Mohamed Bouazizi in a hospital, after he set himself on fire — triggering protests that brought down the Prez.
immolation in Cairo on Monday, he added, will be a “ worrying element to the government”. The 48- year- old owner of a small restaurant who set himself on fire in central Cairo was angry about a government policy preventing restaurant owners from buying cheap subsidised bread to resell to their patrons, security officials at the scene said. He escaped with only light burns after policemen and motorists put out the blaze.
Also on Monday, a Mauritanian man reportedly unhappy with the government, torched himself in Nouakchott. The 43- year- old man was rushed to the hospital.
In Algeria, officials said one man suffering from a chronic illness set himself on fire on Monday in Ghardaia in a dispute over medical costs and was hospitalised.
Passers- by in Mascara, meanwhile, stopped a fishmonger who tried to set himself alight. That raised to seven the number of reported cases in Algerian towns since Saturday.
Analysts said it was difficult to predict whether the practice could spread among the overwhelming Muslim majority inhabiting the Arab world.
CAIRO: Two men set themselves ablaze in Egypt on Tuesday, security officials said, bringing to 10 the number of such cases in the Arab world, including a Tunisian whose action sparked a revolution.
An Egyptian security official said a 25-year-old unemployed man suffering mental problems set himself ablaze in the northern city of Alexandria on Tuesday, suffering third degree burns.
Another man set himself alight outside Egypt's government headquarters in Cairo, an official reported earlier on Tuesday. He was only slightly injured and taken to hospital.
The incidents follow a similar one in Cairo on Monday in which a man poured fuel on himself and set himself on fire on a busy street in front of the People's Assembly.
Full report at:
CAIRO: 25-year-old Ahmed Hisham el-Sayed died at 3pm on Tuesday from burns he sustained after setting himself on fire in Alexandria on Tuesday morning, said a spokesman from Egypt’s Ministry of Health.
Sayed was the third Egyptian in two days to set himself on fire. According to his family, the unemployed man set himself on fire on his building’s rooftop. His family said he is suffering from psychological problems.
Sayed was taken to a hospital in Ras el-Teen where he died from his injuries.
Earlier Tuesday morning, 63-year-old lawyer Mohamed Farouk set himself ablaze outside the Egyptian parliament. Farouk was moved to the burn unit at Mounira General Hospital, according to a tweet by opposition figure Ayman Nour, who was barred from entering the hospital by security.
No statements have been made regarding Farouk’s condition.
Tuesday’s acts of self-immolation follow another instance on Monday, in which 49-year-old Abdou Abdel Moneim Gaafa set himself ablaze outside Egypt’s Parliament because he could not afford to buy bread. He was also taken to Mounira hospital, and no reports have been made regarding his condition.
Pak pursuing terror as instrument of state policy: Nirupama Rao
NEW DELHI: India has hit out at Pakistan for pursuing terrorism as an "instrument of state policy", saying such a strategy was "flawed and self-defeating".
Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, who is likely to meet her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in Thimphu on the margins of a SAARC committee meeting, said "Some countries presume that they can pursue terrorism as an instrument of state policy without risks to themselves or to their standing in the international community.
"This is a flawed and self-defeating presumption as the war on terrorism cannot be selective. We have always maintained that a stable and prosperous Pakistan is in India's interest. Pakistan must turn away from using terror-induced coercion as an instrument of policy against India."
SURAT: The new Darul Uloom vice-chancellor, Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, said "all communities" are prospering in Narendra Modi's Gujarat and there was "no discrimination against the minorities in the state as far as development was concerned." He was talking to TOI here on Tuesday.
This is arguably the most significant endorsement of Modi. Darul Uloom, based in Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, is a leading Islamic seminary in India and the fount of the Deobandi thought, which has adherants well beyond the country's borders, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Vastanvi, himself a Gujarati from Surat, is an MBA graduate and has been instrumental in introducing modern subjects in institutions run by Darul Uloom in Gujarat and Maharashtra, including medicine, engineering and allied subjects. His recent election as the Darul Uloom chief is seen as a possible change catalyst in this conservative seminary.
ISLAMABAD: In the wake of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer's assassination by his police guard, the Pakistan government is considering a proposal to bring in special security guards from the US for President Asif Ali Zardari, according to a media report today.
While Zardari's security has always been cause of "serious concern" for authorities, the government is also mulling a proposal to hire foreign security guards for several VVIPs, including the Prime Minister, provincial Governors and Chief Ministers and a few federal ministers, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted highly-placed sources as saying.
The proposal for the president's security envisages deploying US guards in Zardari's "inner-most security cordon", the report said.
The proposals are part of the government's decision to review security arrangements of key personalities following the January 4 assassination of Taseer, which validated "fears that religious extremism had penetrated the ranks of security forces in Pakistan", the report said.
JEDDAH: Al-Qaeda is at a loss because of a series of blows the group has received at the hands of Saudi security forces, said an ex-militant on Tuesday.
Speaking on Tuesday on the Homomna (Our Concerns) program on Saudi TV's Channel 1, former militant Hani Al-Mulla said Al-Qaeda has suffered major setbacks and that the militants are now resorting to desperate measures.
“The terrorists now wear women’s clothes to avoid security checks and also resort to illegal means to obtain money,” he said.
Al-Mulla said the organization is also "intellectually distorted" and that it has deviated from Jihad to liberate countries or spread the word of God to undermining renowned scholars and considering anyone who is not with them as kafirs (or disbelievers).
Full report at:
New Age Islam News Bureau
If Hadhrat Aisha (R.A.) can head a Muslim army, why can’t I be the president of the students’ union of the Aligarh Muslim University. This is Asma Jawed’s reply to those who disapprove of her contesting elections for the students’ union of the Aligarh Muslim University as she is a girl. Though the students of the AMU and the Old Boys are surprised that a girl has got the courage to contest elections for the post of the president of the students’ union in the University, this confident girl is not surprised that at the fact that she is breaking a convention in a very conventional institution. Asma is the first girl in the history of the university who is contesting an election for the post of the president of the students’ union.
Asma has challenged the conventions of the Aligarh Muslim University. No girl before her could muster courage to contest university elections. The reason was that previously the girls’ college of the AMU was separate. So, it’s union was also separate. But according to the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, the girls’ college was merged with the university. Therefore, the boys and the girls both got the opportunity to fight elections.
New Delhi: Various political and social personalities have condemned the highhandedness of the government officials on the Jangpura and Qanati mosques and have demanded that the government that all the locked mosques in the capital that are in possession of the Archaelogical Survey of India should be opened. The national secretary of the Lok Jan Shakti Party, Md Sabir Khan said that it was unfortunate that the government only finds mosques to take possession of. He further said that whether it be Qanati Masjid or Masjid Noor, if the government officials have bad intentions about them then it was not a good omen because the mosques were the abodes of God. He demanded that the Archaeological Survey of India should open the mosques locked by it so that the Muslims could offer prayers there. The Block Congress President Jawed Barqis said that they respected the court judgment but the court should also consider if the evidences on which it is giving its judgment are genuine or false. The Mustafabad Block Congress President Mahmood Hasan said that we should maintain peace and harmony and should not do anything that harms peace.
New Delhi: The system of the Hajj Committee of India should be computerised an transparent. Corruption is on the rise due to the lack of transparency in the Hajj Committee. Therefore there is a need to reform the Hajj Committee, said the member of the All India Congress Committee, Dr Meraj Ahmad. He said that the representative delegation of India that accompanied the Indian pilgrims have observed the inconveniences faced by them during the pilgrimage. He said, for example many people whose name did not come out in the lottery went to Hajj by paying money and those whose name were on the draw of lots could not perform Hajj as they could not pay extra money. Therefore in these circumstances, there was a need to reform the system, he said. He said that after his return from the pilgrimage, he wrote a detailed letter to the PM on the issue.
Jammu: A jawan of the J&K police was suspended and arrested on the charges of having links with the divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Jawed Qureshi who is active in the hilly district of Doda. A police spokesman said that Devendra Kumar alias DK s/o Swami Raj was arrested from Bhalla last evening. According to police sources, the jawan known as DK was absconding. He had been supplying arms and ammunition and other material to Qureshi. He was wanted in 9 criminal cases. Qureshi was arrested from Dehra Doon last month.
LONDON: Britain has moved to ban the Pakistani Taliban as a terrorist group, making it illegal to belong to or raise funds for the organisation in Britain, the government said on Tuesday. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is the group most influenced by al-Qaida and is the main militant alliance based in northwestern Pakistan, focusing on attacking the Pakistani state, which it considers illegitimate.
Home secretary Theresa May introduced the order, which needs legislative approval, in parliament on Monday and it will be debated later this week. The order would ban Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan under the British Terrorism Act. "Proscription is a tough but necessary power to tackle terrorism and is not a course of action we take lightly," said a statement from May.
"Proscription means that membership of Tehrik-e-Taliban will become a criminal offence, and the organisation will not be able to lawfully operate in the UK, including by raising funds." Last year, the group threatened attacks on the US and Europe.
KARACHI: Pakistani paramilitary troops today detained over 500 people for questioning in the wake of a surge in ethnic and political violence in the city that claimed nearly 30 lives as it carried out house-to-house search in densely populated areas of the city.
Karachi which is home to millions of immigrants from other parts of Pakistan and refugees and illegal aliens from Afghanistan and Bangladesh witnessed a fresh bout of target killings last week in which some 31 persons were killed.
As violence continued in the city, four people were reported killed and three others were injured in firing incidents in different parts of the city in the past 24 hours.
Officials said that the rangers had entered the Faqir colony in Orangi town early morning and conducted a door to door search operation which continued for five hours.
SWAT: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti on Tuesday inaugurated Darul Qaza (an appellate or revision court) in Swat as a step towards full implementation of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (Order of Justice System).
The Nizam-e-Adl Regulation, a controversial act approved by President Asif Ali Zardari after parliamentary approval on April 13, 2009, formally introduced sharia law in Malakand division.
It was the result of negotiations between the ANP-led government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the chief of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM). And critics saw it as a move towards ceding ground to the hardline Taliban.
Speaking at the inauguration, Hoti called it a day of rejoicing for the people of Malakand division who have long been calling for sharia law in the region for speedy dispensation of justice.
By Krishna Kumar
FOR the nine Muslims accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, Asimanand’s confession has come as a blessing.
In jail since that year, they can finally dream of freedom. Their lawyers have already moved a bail application in Mumbai’s MCOCA court, which will be heard on January 28. “We are hopeful they will get bail because we don’t think the CBI will oppose the plea in the wake of Asimanand's confession,” lawyer Jaleel Ahmed said.
For Ahmed, it will also be a personal victory because his brother Abrar is one of the accused. “I cannot describe what the accused have suffered in these last few years. The pain and suffering, arrest and torture for a crime that was not committed by them has hurt us a lot,” Ahmed added.
He wants the Maharashtra ATS officials who hounded his brother and the others arrested.
“We will file a PIL in the Bombay High Court once the accused are let off. Besides seeking compensation, we will ask for departmental and criminal proceedings against officers such as former ATS chief K.P. Raghuvanshi and some others. They framed the nine men when all evidence pointed to the contrary,” Ahmed said.
Full report at: Mail Today
By Vikas Kahol
PROBE agencies had initially suspected that the general secretary of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Safdar Nagori, had a hand in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blasts.
The Madhya Pradesh Police had arrested top SIMI commanders, including Nagori and Aamil Parvez, in March 2008. The police stated that Nagori — who underwent interrogation and narco-analysis — had revealed how the Samjhauta blasts and Mumbai train bombings were carried out.
Suitcase bombs had been planted on Samjhauta. It was claimed that Nagori had told a team of doctors at the Bangalore forensic lab that some persons from Pakistan had purchased suitcase covers at Kataria market in Indore. A SIMI affiliate had allegedly helped get the covers stitched.
By A. Srinivasa Rao
Muslims held in blast cases want apology & damages in the light of Asimanand confession
RED-FACED over the arrest of dozens of innocent Muslims youths for the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast after Swami Asimanand’s ‘confession’, the Andhra Pradesh Police have come out with a strange theory to cover up their faulty investigation into the case.
The director general of police, K. Aravind Rao, who was heading the state intelligence department at the time of Mecca Masjid blast, now argues that the police had picked up the Muslim youth for interrogation and they were subsequently chargesheeted in connection with various other cases and not for the mosque blast.
“I can say with full authority that they were arrested and prosecuted not for Mecca Masjid blast, but on other charges such as possessing jihadi literature and having links with terrorist organisations across the country. It was wrongly communicated to the media that they were implicated in the mosque blast case, though the police might have also questioned them about their possible role in it. It was a false propaganda launched by some self-styled organisations like the Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee,” Rao said.
SWAMI Asimanand wants to donate his vital organs, if he is allowed to do so, and distribute the money among the families of Muslims who were killed in the blast and also to those who were falsely implicated in the case.
“He was feeling so guilty of being involved in the blast that he wanted to donate his body parts to support Muslim families. He told me that he would dedicate his life to promoting harmony in the society,” Shaik Abdul Kaleem, whose story reportedly moved Asimanand to confess, said.
Kaleem said he had spent nearly 10-12 hours with “uncle”, as he calls Asimananda, in the Chanchalguda jail in November. “Initially, I did not know who he was. We were in different barracks, but in the same block.
SWAMI Asimanand’s arrest has left the Shabri Mahakumbh, scheduled for February 2012, hanging in the balance.
The Gujarat government, under chief minister Narendra Modi’s guidance, is going for the next- best thing: organise a mega tribal event itself this February.
About 25 lakh tribals from various states are expected to participate in the event.
The event, which is to be attended by the RSS as well as the VHP, will be held in Dang near Asimanand’s Ashram.
Asimanand had organised the previous Shabri Mahakumbh, in 2006, in Dang.
The RSS, the VHP and other Hindu organisations helped him to organise the event aimed at stopping the religious conversion of tribals.
Asimanand had maintained good relation with Modi and it was on his inspiration and support the swami organised the Kumbh.
WASHINGTON: The United States is not asking Pakistan to change or repeal the blasphemy law but is encouraging the government to prevent possible discriminations and potentials for abuse, says Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights Michael H. Posner.
“We are reluctant to prescribe changes and alternatives,” said Mr Posner when asked what changes he believed Pakistan needed to make to prevent discriminatory applications of this law. “But we do believe that people should be free to practice their religion.”
In an interview to Dawn, the US official said the blasphemy law would be one of the subjects he would discuss with Pakistani officials, opposition leaders and civil society activists during his visit to Pakistan this week.
“We are very mindful of playing a constructive role in eliminating applications that are discriminatory,” said Mr Posner when asked if he would urge Pakistani leaders to repeal the blasphemy law.
NEW YORK: A Pakistani-American TV executive stabbed his wife 40 times and then sawed off her head because she "dared to file for divorce", prosecutors told a New York jury in opening arguments.
Muzzammil Hassan (46), founder of a television network in US to counter negative perceptions about Muslims post 9/11 attacks, has been charged with second-degree murder for killing his estranged wife Aasiya Hassan on February 12, 2009.
Hassan used two hunting knives to kill Aasiya, whose body was found in a hallway of the TV office with severed head several feet away, Erie County District Attorney Paul Bonanno told jurors as reported by the Post Chronicle.
Aasiya was stabbed 40 times and her head was sawed off, Bonanno said, asserting that the 37-year-old woman was killed because she "had dared to file for divorce, dared to seek a better life for herself and her children."
The Pakistan-born victim was killed a week after she filed for divorce after being married for nine years.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday urged ulema and clerics to interpret Islam in the true sense and to propagate its teachings of tolerance and mutual respect for each other’s religions.
Addressing religious scholars at the “Ulema and Mashaikh Conference 2011” at the National Library, Gilani reiterated that the government had no plans to amend the blasphemy law, but stressed that no law should be misused.
“We are not amending the blasphemy law,” the PM said in response to points raised by clerics during the conference.
Gilani said a committee was set up by the Pakistan People’s Party at a party level to see whether any legislation that was moved by its members had its endorsement, adding that the government was not going to do anything against the spirit and teachings of Islam.
On the sanctity of the constitution and rule of law, the PM said the law of the land must be abided to.
WASHINGTON: In a symbolic gesture, the Palestinians on Tuesday raised their flag for the first time over the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington, as they continue a push for international recognition that is complicating the Obama administration’s efforts to restart stalled Middle East peace talks.
At a brief ceremony, the Palestinian’s chief envoy to the United States, Maen Areikat, hoisted the red, green, white and black banner outside the PLO General Delegation office.
He expressed hope it would help in the Palestinian quest to win support for independence with or without a peace deal with Israel.
ABU DHABI: President Asif Ali Zardari made an impassioned plea on Tuesday to the United Nations to work out special plans for promoting cultural and religious harmony.
In a meeting with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, on the sidelines of the fourth Energy Summit in UAE, Zardari warned that religious harmony was fast eroding across the globe, saying these tendencies also “crossed national boundaries and religious divides”.
Calling upon the UN to give special attention for promoting religious and cultural harmony in the world, Zardari said, “Extremism is being manifested in various forms including violence, intolerance.” “Not only there is disharmony between different cultures, but it is on the increase.”
Zardari said it was disturbing that in the wake of the war on terrorism “people were generally receding from the universal values of tolerance and harmony advocated by the UN.” “We are concerned over this trend which seems to corroborate the ominous theory of a clash of civilisations,” he added.
JAMMU: In the backdrop of the Bhartiya Janata Party's 'Ekta Rally' followed by a flag hosting at Lal Chowk on Republic Day, a team of interlocutors on Wednesday said that we are living in a democratic setup and every citizen of India had the right to hoist a national flag anywhere across the country but one should keep in mind the peace and tranquility of the nation.
Dilip Padgaonkar, chief interlocutor, flanked by Ms Radha Kumar and M M Ansari told reporters at a press conference here that the exercise of flag hoisting must take place keeping in view the ongoing dialogue process, which should not be disturbed.
"This is what we have conveyed to BJP", Padgaonkar said, adding, "We don't dispute anyones right, but at the same time we hope that the exercise will facilitate the return of normalcy".
Freedom is not free for Eric Allen Bell, the Muslims or Rutherford County citizens.
Bell's constant criticism and harassment of citizens that express our disapproval of the 52,900-square-foot mosque hasn't helped either.
He should educate himself to the fact that Rutherford County citizens, as well as other Tennesseans, have always fought hard for their freedom and will never live under the Sharia law.
Eric Bell seems to be a friend and supporter of the Muslims in our community rather than doing a documentary. He could probably be of help in defusing local controversy by asking the imams of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro to honestly answer the following four questions with a simple yes or no: 1. Should Christians in Muslim Countries have the same rights as Muslims expect in the U.S? 2. Will Muslims publicly renounce any desire to live under Sharia law? 3. Will the imams publicly renounce terrorism by any Muslim or Muslim group? 4. Does Israel have a right to exist and live in peace?
Once again, that intolerant and officious guy in Rome has severely offended those billions of moderate Muslims who very reasonably think that killing people who give "offense" to Islam is their right and obligation. When will this monster learn to keep his nose out of the affairs of the religion of peace?
Most recently, the liberal Pakistani governor of a Pakistani province was murdered for agreeing with Pope Benedict that the blasphemy laws that order the death of those "insulting" Islam should be rescinded. Muslim groups throughout the Middle East and Asia have demonstrated violently against the Pope's words which came largely as the result of the sentencing to death of a Christian woman for blasphemy. Gov. Salman Taseeri was gunned down by one of his own guards for saying the Pope was right.
Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns the sentence of five years in prison followed by two years of house arrest that a Sanaa court specializing in terrorism cases passed today on Ilah Haydar Shae, a reporter employed by the Saba news agency, for allegedly collaborating with Al-Qaeda.
“The Yemeni authorities have used the pretext of combating terrorism to convict a journalist who is an expert on issues related to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and whose reporting tended to question the government’s security policies,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“We condemn the mistreatment to which he has been subjected since arrest, which can be regarded as a case of forced disappearance, and we demand his immediate release,” the press freedom organisation added.
LAHORE: Ghaziabad police arrested a person who was accused of murdering his wife and daughter in the name of honour on Tuesday.
According to the police, after killing his wife, a mother of seven, the accused had hid her body in a cattle shed. Police recovered the body, and arrested him. The murder weapons, a hammer and a meat cleaver were also recovered. The accused confessed that he had killed his wife on suspicion of having illicit relations with some other man. He also confessed that he had killed his daughter three months back.
Ghaziabad police SHO, Atif Zulfiqar said that after receiving information of a murder of a woman, he deputed three policemen to probe the matter and to arrest the accused. During the initial investigation, he said, the accused confessed that he had killed his daughter Surayya, 17, three months back because of the same suspicion. Zulfiqar said Surayya’s body was also recovered from the cattle shed. On the complaint of Khushi Muhammad, the father-in-law of the accused, the police registered an FIR of a double murder against the accused.
LAHORE: Some 2,802 incidents of violence against women were reported in Punjab alone during July-December 2010, reveals a bi-annual report released by the Aurat Foundation, a women’s rights organisation.
The foundation’s Lahore Resident Director, Nasreen Zahra, Regional Coordinator Nabeela Shaheen and programme officer Abid Ali at a press conference held Tuesday said that the ratio of incidents involving abduction of women, killing for honour, murder, sexual assault and domestic violence had witnessed an upward pattern in the province, especially in urban areas.
According to the report, 2,802 incidents of violence were reported in the province during the last six months of the year 2010. In these incidents, a total of 3,227 individuals were victimised, of which 3,037 were women and 190 men. Amongst them, the report states, about 1,704 victims were unmarried, 1,156 married, 38 divorced, 60 widows while 269 victims’ marital status could not be ascertained.
QUETTA: Four people were killed in two separate incidents of explosions near Chamalang coalfield area of Loralai district and Mand, an area bordering Iran on Tuesday, official sources said.
According to officials, a truck loaded with sand was on its way near Kacha Road Chamalang when it hit a landmine planted on the roadside. As a result, a labourer Sheen Gul, died while the driver, Ziauddin, and the helper received multiple splinter wounds.
Police and rescue workers rushed to the spot soon after the blast and took the body and the injured to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Loralai, where one of the injured, Jalaludin, succumbed to his injuries.
Ziauddin was stated to be in a critical condition. The truck was completely destroyed in the attack. Chamalang police are investigating the blast.
The Baloch Liberation Army spokesman, Sarbaz Baloch, made a telephone call at the Quetta Press Club from an undisclosed area and claimed the responsibility for the attack.
Two masked men threw acid on five female 11th graders after the girls left their school on Tuesday, in Bahareya Governate in the Nile Delta region.
The two unidentified men were on a motorcycle and fled the scene after throwing the acid towards the girls’ faces, causing severe burns on some of them.
Local press identified the girls as Nesreen Ragab, Mai Abdel Fatah, Heba Saied, Maha Mansour, Sabah Ismaleel. They were transferred immediately to a nearby hospital for treatment.
One report mentioned that preliminary investigations showed that one of the men might be the same man that one of the girls rejected an earlier marriage proposal.
Violence against women is on the rise in Egypt, reports suggests.
“Women’s right to lead a life free of violence is not widely internalized within Egyptian society, resulting in lack of reporting by victims of violence, lack of perpetrators’ awareness of the criminality of violence, lack of response from police and the legal system supposedly tasked with enforcing laws prohibiting violence, and perpetration of violence by authorities themselves against women in order to pressure their male relatives,” a report titled violence against women conducted by The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) said.
ISLAMABAD: A 17-year-old Pakistani girl was abducted, gang-raped and paraded naked around the streets of her village in Punjab province for spurning the advances of a landlord, according to a media report on Tuesday.
Local residents said the girl was alone in her home when five men - Ijaz Ahmed, Bilal, Shehbaz, Muazzam and Tahir - broke into her house and raped her.
Her brother told police that Ahmed had been stalking his sister for several months and she had spurned his advances.
"He began to threaten her and me," the brother told.
The parents of the girl died a few years ago and she and her brother live with their grandfather and an old uncle.
DHAKA: Nobel Laureate Muhamad Yunus appeared in a court in Bangladesh on Tuesday in connection with a defamation suit dating back to 2007, and was granted bail.
Judicial magistrate Rozina Khan of the Mymensingh court granted bail to Yunus on the defamation suit filed by a local politician as he appeared in person, court officials said. The bail was granted after microfinance pioneer Yunus appeared on the dock complying with an earlier court order.
An official said that the court also relieved Yunus from appearing in person for the next hearing which was set for February 20.The development came a week after the government ordered a "review" of transactions of Yunus' microfinance lender Grameen Bank.
TUNIS: The greed shown by former Tunisian president Ben Ali's wife, Leila, forced people to revolt against the ruling dispensation.
Dubbed as Imelda Marcos of the Arab world, Leila, a former hairdresser, was known for her love of wealth and its trappings. The woman, who came from a humble background,was branded "The Regent of Carthage' ' for her power behind the throne and her love of money, luxury cars and opulent homes.
This is why so much anger on the streets and the family known as "The Mafia''was a target of its attack directly. Looters , sick of the family's nepotism , filmed themselves on mobile phones destroying the expensive cars at one of their villas and riding motorbikes across the manicured laws.
KARACHI, Jan 18: Speakers at a memorial reference for the assassinated Punjab Governor Salman Taseer held on Tuesday urged progressives and civil society organisations to rise above party politics and forge unity to restore sanity to public discourse that extremists have spoiled by killing people for their liberal views and unleashing violence in society.
The memorial reference, which was originally planned to be held at the Arts Council of Pakistan, was finally organised by the Citizens For Democracy at the PMA House after what the organisers described as a sudden shift in the attitude of the Arts Council management that “withdrew” the permission given for the programme allegedly under pressure from right-wing forces.
The speakers appealed to all political parties to organise similar meetings for the slain governor in all major cities to send a clear message to extremists that they could not dictate their terms by force.
KABUL: A leading Afghan journalist is in hospital after having acid sprayed in his face as he left his home in Kabul, officials said Wednesday.
Razaq Mamoon is a former television anchorman who regularly appears on talk shows as a political analyst and is also an author.
His comments are sometimes seen as hostile to Afghanistan’s biggest ethnic group, the Pashtuns, which includes President Hamid Karzai and most Taliban leaders.
He was attacked leaving his apartment in the Afghan capital Tuesday, said Zemarai Bashary, a spokesman for the interior ministry which handles police matters.
Mamoon was rushed to hospital after suffering 10 per cent burns to his face and hands, health ministry spokesman Kargar Noorughli said.
On Wednesday, the journalist was moved to a military hospital for security reasons, Noorughli added.
Mamoon’s books include one accusing a Pashtun politician and ex-government official of masterminding the Taliban’s murder of former communist president Najibullah in 1996.
The Taliban tortured and executed Najibullah on the day they took Kabul before displaying his mutilated body in a city square.
ISLAMABAD: Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad on Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ruled out talks with militants and said the government will not make any compromises on Pakistan’s sovereignty.
He said talks will only be conducted with those militants who surrender to the government.
He further said that Pakistan was under threat from “terrorism and extremism” and that the security situation was taking a heavy toll on the country’s economy.
Prime Minister Gilani said the government enjoyed the support of a range of national and political leaders in its war against terrorism.
Responding to a question regarding the security situation in Karachi, Gilani said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) enjoys strong ties with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP).
Jan 19 2011
New Delhi : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today met Home Minister P Chidambaram to convey the state government's assessment of the situation in view of BJP's plan to hoist the tricolour in Srinagar's Lal Chowk area on Republic Day.
He hoped that the BJP would do nothing to precipitate the situation in the state through its proposed Ekta Yatra to Srinagar while making it clear that an appropriate decision would be taken on how to deal with it.
After the 40-minute meeting with Chidambaram, Omar said he had conveyed to the Home Minister the state government's assessment of the situation vis-a-vis the BJP's proposed yatra.
"I am not going into get into any specific as to what we are going to do. As I said time and again, we are hoping that nothing will be done to precipitate the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. As we come close to January 26, we will decide what we will do," he told reporters here.
Peshawar : Two persons were killed and nine others, including five school children, injured today when a bomb went off outside a school in this northwestern Pakistani city, police said.
The explosion occurred near the privately run school in Nauthia town, a congested neighbourhood within Peshawar cantonment.
The dead included a passer-by and the owner of a donkey cart.
The condition of at least one injured child was described by officials as critical.
The injured were taken to Lady Reading Hospital. No group claimed responsibility for the blast.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the terrorist attack and said such cowardly acts targeting innocent citizens, particularly children, "explain the ideology of the terrorists".
He asked the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to ensure the best medical treatment of the injured and directed security agencies to enhance vigil on the activities of extremist elements.
Chandigarh, Jan. 18: The Sikh community of Thailand has come to the rescue of four young children whose Sikh father was beheaded by Taliban terrorists on the border of the Khyber and Orakzai agencies last February.
Jaspal Singh and two relatives were kidnapped by the Taliban while travelling to visit family in the Khyber Agency. The terrorists cut off their hair and tortured them for 41 long days before publicly beheading 29-year-old Jaspal on February 20, 2010.
The sole breadwinner of his poor Peshawar-based family, Jaspal’s killing left his young widow an four children – three boys aged 13, 9 and 6, and a two-year-old daughter – in dire distress with no hope of any help from the Pakistan government or the local community terrorised by Taliban.
But generous donations from Bangkok’s Sikhs have helped the family buy a grocery shop and pay the cost of educating Jaspal Singh’s sons in a Peshawar school. The donations were routed through representatives of the international Sikh advocacy group, United Sikhs.
“Donations received from the Bangkok Sikh community helped Jaspal Singh’s family by purchasing goods and paying a deposit for a grocery store,” said Mr Herdyal Singh, United Sikhs aid coordinator in Pakistan.
By Pinaki Bhattacharya
THE DEFENCE ministry is set to procure 21 AGM- 84L Harpoon Block II missiles and its five training varieties of ATM 84L Harpoon Block II from the US government for a total of $ 200 million ( approximately ` 909 crore).
But this price is about 200 per cent more than what Pakistan paid four years ago for the same missiles, the Harpoon Block II. While the average unit cost of the missiles for India is a little less than $ 8 million ( approximately ` 36 crore), Islamabad paid only about $ 3 million ( approximately ` 13 crore) per unit.
Pakistan’s consignment of 130 units had cost $ 370 million ( approximately ` 1,682 crore).
While the defence ministry refused to comment on the deal in response to a written questionnaire, the US government’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency ( DSCA) has notified the US Congress about the impending deal under the foreign military sales ( FMS) programme.
The corporate beneficiary of the contract will be Boeing Inc, which was the original manufacturers of the missile.
By Insiya Amir
THE BRITISH Council was so white on Monday evening — the walls, chairs and stage — that Butterfly, Lahore’s flightiest socialite, would have been appalled.
White, indeed, was everywhere at the launch of Tender Hooks , Moni Mohsin’s second novel featuring Butterfly, who has graced her weekly column in The Friday Times of Pakistan for the last 20 years.
The launch party was a somewhat sombre affair because Salman Taseer, the slain governor of Pakistan’s Punjab, was on everyone’s mind. But the evening had its moments of levity, thanks to Seminar publisher and high priestess of the city’s literati Malvika Singh, who was in her element in conversation with Mohsin, who’s also a Mail Today columnist.
There was an entertaining laugh- out- loud reading by the ageing- very- gracefully author, and though dangerously bordering on what Butterfly would call “ dull and boring” ( quite like her husband), the long discussion on the state of Pakistan was engaging in parts.
Mohsin, who can and should teach a lesson or two to the Capital’s bleach- blonde butterflies, exuded the essence of Pakistani high life, which is always in vogue, no matter what the government in that country.
January 19, 2011
Iran’s President says not even 1,00,000 UN Security Council resolutions will stop his country’s nuclear ambitions. The semi-official Fars news agency says Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the remarks during a meeting with a group of journalists on Tuesday in Tehran.
Iran has hardened its position on its nuclear program ahead of Jan 21-22 talks with world powers in Istanbul, Turkey. Tehran says it will refuse to talk about its right to enrich uranium. Uranium enrichment lies at the heart of Iran’s dispute with the West, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or materials for a warhead. The US and some of its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability, a charge Iran denies.
DHAKA: Bangladesh has lodged a formal protest with India against the recent killing of a minor girl on the Fulbari border allegedly by the Border Security Force.
High Commissioner Rajeet Mitter was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here and a note verbale was handed over to him by the acting Foreign Secretary Mostafa Kamal. The government expressed strong feelings against the ‘brutal and senseless killing' of the 15-year-old girl.
Mr. Mitter, according to the Ministry, said he would convey Dhaka's concerns to the appropriate authorities in New Delhi. He also expressed the hope that the two countries would be able to work out ways to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
The BSF allegedly shot Felani even as she got entangled in the barbed-wire fence. An illegal immigrant in India, she was returning home from Delhi with her father to get married.
The killing got wide publicity in the media.
At least 59 Afghan students of Ravenshaw University here left for Delhi on Tuesday alleging they felt unsafe following a campus clash that left two of them seriously in jured. FIFTY-NINE Afghan students who had enrolled in Ravenshaw University in Cuttack in 2009, left for New Delhi on Tuesday amid allegations of unsafe and insecure atmosphere in the institution.
The Chief Minister's Office has sought a report from the Director, Higher Education, on the matter.
On January 13, two Afghan students were critically injured when they clashed with local students inside the campus over a trivial issue. Ismail (22), a student of Bachelor in Business Administration, and Hamid-UlSamsor, another undergraduate student, sustained injuries on head, nose and hands as they insisted on opening the main gates of the university that was locked by agitating students. Five local students also suffered minor injuries.
Full report at: Indian Express
IN yet another blow to the prosecution in the Jammu and Kashmir sex scandal, an alleged victim has turned hostile giving a clean chit to five accused. The 25-year-old had earlier levelled rape charges against former J&K minister Raman Mattoo; former DSP Mohammad Ashraf Mir; Iqbal Khandey, an IAS officer; DSP Counter Insurgency Mohammad Yousuf Mir; and former additional advocate general, J-K, Anil Sethi.
In her previous statement, the "victim" had alleged that she had intercourse with the five accused and was supplied through Sabeena, the alleged kingpin of the racket.
On Tuesday, she submitted that she had never made any such allegations and that she neither knew the five accused nor Sabeena.
On Monday, another witness, a 45-year-old who is a constable in the J-K Police, had turned hostile, giving a clean chit to Mattoo.
Initially she had alleged that Mattoo in 2004 had called her at his home and sexually assaulted her promising a job for her son. On Monday, she said at the time of the incident as alleged by the CBI Mattoo was in Bangalore and as such there was no question of her visiting his house.
IN A shocking case, a four-year-old Indian girl was allegedly gangraped by three men, including her school bus driver and conductor, here.
The child studying at the Modern High School was allegedly raped on November 11 when the institution celebrated the Children's Day, Gulf News reported, adding the parents notified police on January 9.
The bus driver was employed with the school and its transportation service provider for 14 years, it said.
The conductor of the bus, among the three suspects arrested, was with the school for seven years.
"My daughter is scared and can't sleep. She is scared at night and doesn't want to sleep. Our 4-year-old daughter never told us what had happened. The stains on her clothes made me suspicious," the mother of the girl said. "She only confided in us after we spoke to her based on medical reports that confirmed that she was raped by three men," the Indian homemaker, who hails from Delhi, said. The girl has not gone back to school since the alleged incident.
What is happening in Tunisia?
On January 14, the authoritarian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled Tunisia for 23 years, fled amid growing protests against his regime. His Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, on Monday, announced an unity government.
What triggered the protests?
In December 2010, a collegeeducated street vendor burned himself to death in protest of his dismal prospects amid Tunisia's poverty. Violent demonstrations spread to the capital Tunis. Many protesters were unemployed graduates who denounced the self-enrichment of ruling family. What has been the effect on N Africa?
Since an act of self-immolation triggered protests, several similar attempts have been made in Algeria, Egypt and Mauritania. The incidents are evidence of how Ben Ali's ouster has captivated nearby countries where citizens have few opportunities for expression or political participation. TUNISIAN national television said the country's interim President and Prime Minister have quit the political party of the longtime autocratic leader who was ousted last week.
RAMALLAH: A senior Fatah official on Tuesday said that some more Latin American countries would announce their recognition of an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders.
Nabil Sha’ath, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, told the Voice of Palestine radio Paraguay, Peru, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic are expected to follow in the footsteps of seven other South American countries and announce their support for Palestine.
Sha’ath, also member of negotiations team with Israel, was referring to the Latin American countries of Guyana, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.
The United States and Israel slammed the decision saying they are counterproductive and damaging.
He added that Sha’ath said that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev would affirm on Tuesday during a visit to West Bank city of Jericho the Soviet Union’s 1988 recognition of a Palestinian.
19 January 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — Attorneys for a Virginia teenager have filed a federal lawsuit, claiming he was detained and tortured in Kuwait after being arbitrarily placed on the United States’ no-fly list.
Lawyers for Gulet Mohamed, 19, argued in their lawsuit filed in US District Court in Alexandria that placing Mohamed on the no-fly list without due process violates his constitutional rights. A judge immediately scheduled a hearing on Mohamed’s case for Tuesday afternoon.
“The United States is depriving Mr. Mohamed of perhaps the most basic prerogative of American citizenship: the right to reside within the United States,” wrote Nadhira F. Al-Khalili and Gadeir Abbas with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is representing Mohamed and has complained on behalf of other Muslim Americans in similar circumstances.
PESHAWAR: A bomb planted in a horse cart exploded near a school in Peshawar’s Nothia area on Wednesday, killing one person and wounding 17 others, officials said.
“The bomb was planted in a horse cart, which went off near a school building,” senior police official Mohammad Ijaz told AFP.
At least five of the people injured in the attack were schoolchildren, and one of them was listed in critical condition, hospital official Sahib Gul said. The identity of the man killed in the attack was not immediately known.
“A passer-by was killed and 17 others were wounded in the blast,” he said.
Another police official, Shafiullah, and local hospital officials confirmed the casualties.
DawnNews reported that the school building had been damaged in the attack and security forces had cordoned off the area.
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and militants often target government forces and civilians in the area. They have also destroyed many schools, because they oppose the education of girls.
SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Arab leaders gather in Egypt on Wednesday to discuss trade and development as the region feels the aftershocks of a popular uprising in Tunisia that emboldened dissidents in the Arab world.
It is the first meeting of Arab heads of state since Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced out of the country on Friday after weeks of protests sparked by the self immolation of an unemployed man.
The death has sparked a rash of copycat attempted suicides in Algeria and Egypt, where two men set themselves on fire on Monday as foreign ministers met in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheik to prepare for the summit.
One of the Egyptians succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.
Addressing the meeting, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Mohammad al-Sabah reminded his counterparts of the challenges the region faces.
THE reclusive one-eyed chief of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Mohammed Omar was treated for a heart attack in Pakistan with the help of its intelligence service, the Washington Post says.
The spiritual leader of the Islamist insurgency, who went deep underground after the 2001 US-led invasion, suffered a heart attack on January 7 and was taken to a hospital near Karachi for several days, the Post said, citing a report by a private intelligence network run by former US security officials.
The network, operating as a private company known as "The Eclipse Group," said its source was an unnamed physician in the hospital.
"While I was not personally in the operating theatre... my evaluation based on what I have heard and seeing the patient in the hospital is that Mullah Omar had a cardiac catheter complication resulting in either bleeding or a small cerebral vascular incident, or both," the physician was quoted as saying.
The doctor added that Omar appeared to have suffered some brain damage and had slurred speech following the operation.
MIRAMSHAH: A rocket attack by Taliban militants Tuesday killed at least three Pakistani soldiers and wounded three others, security officials said.
The rocket attack took place at a security forces camp in the town of Razmak in North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan.
“At least three soldiers were martyred and three others were wounded in a rocket attack,” a senior security official told AFP. “This is the work of Taliban militants,” he added.
Another security official and intelligence officials in Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan, confirmed the incident and death toll.
MIRANSHAH: A US drone attacked a compound in North Waziristan on Tuesday, killing five terrorists, security officials said.
“A US drone fired two missiles at a militant compound in Dashgah village killing at least five terrorists,” a senior security official said.
“We are trying to ascertain the nationality of the terrorists killed in the attack,” he added. A security official and an intelligence official in Peshawar, confirmed the attack and the death toll.
AARHUS: A Somali man charged with trying to kill the cartoonist behind the most controversial of the Danish caricatures of Prophet Mohammed goes on trial Wednesday in the central town of Aarhus.
The 29-year-old man, who has only been identified as Abdi in Danish media, could face life in prison if found guilty on all counts: attempted terrorism, attempted murder, attacking a police officer and illegal arms possession.
“He came to my house in Aarhus on January 1 (2010), broke down the front door with an ax and destroyed the television set and computer in the living room, screaming in Danish that he was going to kill me because I had offended the Muslim prophet,” 78-year-old Kurt Westergaard told AFP on the eve of the trial.
ABU DHABI: The governments of Pakistan and Portugal decided on Tuesday to set up a joint task force to examine the possibility of exporting trained nurses to Portugal.
The decision was reached at a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates at the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit, 2011. An agreement on developing a partnership in the socio-economic sector was also reached during the two leaders’ meeting.
It was noted that Pakistan had the capability to produce trained nursing professionals for service in Portugal and other European and Middle Eastern countries.
“The cooperation to this effect can be beneficial for both sides,” Zardari said, adding that Pakistan could train and export qualified nurses to Portugal under a mutually agreed framework.