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Islamic World News (20 Feb 2010 NewAgeIslam.Com)



The original trance music

Islamic extremism is a challenge for Maldives, says its vice-president

Dutch cabinet collapses in dispute over Afghanistan

Pakistan air strike 'kills 30' in South Waziristan

India-Pak: Search for a new route

ISLAM MEETS WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN MOROCCAN FAMILY LAW

Burqa ban debate draws strange reactions

Anti-Jihad Underground

No room for Basant in Pak-Punjab govt's heart?

Talking Jihad at CPAC

Protests in Gilgit and Diamer against killings

FATF blacklists Pakistan, seven others for money laundering

Mumbai blasts probe will figure in talks”

Fight against Corruption’ hike on Margalla Hills tomorrow

Terrorists attack police stations in Mansehra and Balakot

Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son killed in drone attack

Indian ministers support dialogue with Pakistan

‘US mediating between Pak, India to resolve water issue’

Islamabad gets ready to meet Delhi’s terror-focused talks challenge

Al-Asheikh calls for fighting terrorism

Iran wants peace, dignity for Islamic countries: Leader

26/11 will figure at talks: PC

Infiltration on the rise, but talks with Pak okay: Antony

Leading scholar bats for women’s rights

Riyadh International Book Fair to open on March 2

IAEA worried Iran may be working on arms

Pakistan arrests nine Taleban commanders

Iran: Atomic weapons against Islam

It’s Very Human To Disagree

Hamid for development of ethnic minority languages

First Malaysian women to be caned speak out

Tribal leaders name 5 dead

UK Urged to Probe Torture Complicity

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/the-original-trance-music/d/2487

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The original trance music

Amitava Sanyal

February 20, 2010

Legend has it that Amir Khusrau was once dancing with his arms stretched up to god, his ‘beloved’. Nizamuddin Auliya, his guru,  came up and asked him to lower his arms because he didn’t need to submit to anyone but his murshid, or teacher. “That’s how haal (out-of-body condition, trance), the dance of ecstasy, got its form,” says Irfan Habib, historian and professor emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University.

Habib, whose vast academic interests include Sufi philosophy, explains, “In Sufism, the love of god acquires a sexual tone... To dissolve oneself in god is the ultimate consummation. That’s why a pir’s death is called urs, or marriage. And that’s why the Sufis developed the ghazal, a form of love poetry.”

It’s the approach that, at once, turns Sufis into enemies of orthodox Islam and friends of music lovers. In the week ahead, it’s the latter who will rejoice. Coming up are two celebrations of the works of Khusrau, Bulleh Shah and Mirza Abdul Qadir ‘Bedil’.

Bedil who? Sohail Hashmi, a conservationist who is organising the Bedil show, sheds light on this unlit corner of Delhi’s history. “Mirza Ghalib had an ego the size of...,” he says and makes a space between his hands the width of a harmonium. “Such a person recognised the works of only two other poets — Mir and Bedil (1642–1720). But he’s rarely heard in Delhi... Today, anyone who can sing in Afghanistan sings Bedil.” And the connect is so strong in Tajikistan that the Indian government named after the poet, of all things, an IT institute it set up in capital Dushanbe.

To fill the gap at home, Akhlaque Ahmad, assistant professor of Persian at Jawaharlal Neru University, has translated some of the works from Farsi to English. The texts will be presented with the music at the show on Thursday.

One may not need such interlocution with the works of Khusrau or Shah, two nodal points in Delhi’s music circuit.

Muzaffar Ali, whose brainchild Jahan-e-Khusrau will showcase the masters’ works in the three-day show, promises a “Punjabi tinge” to it all. An aesthete who believes in “cracking the boundaries between artforms”, Ali has composed a ballet to Bulleh Shah’s ‘Tere ishq nachaya’  that will be performed by Astad Deboo and Malini Awasthi next Sunday.

Then there will be the unruly mane and intense growl of Abida Parveen, the only artist who has featured in all the eight editions of Jahan-e-Khusrau.

“When such a show is presented as between a dargah (place of worship) and a khanqah (place for Sufi gatherings), the grace of the fakir permeates the air,” says Ali.

It’s the air hundreds of Delhiwallas will breathe the coming week.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/music/The-original-trance-music/Article1-510685.aspx

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Islamic extremism is a challenge for Maldives, says its vice-president

February 20, 2010,

New Delhi, Feb.20 (ANI): The Vice President of the Republic of Maldives, Dr. Mohammed Waheed Hassan, today said there is a rising confusion in Islam over the extremism and this is one of challenges being faced by his country.

Dr. Hassan was speaking on the theme of "From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Transition in Justice" at Observer Research Foundation, an independent public policy think tank, headquartered here today.

On his first visit to India after taking charge as the Vice President of his country nearly a year ago, Dr. Hassan sought the help of India and other countries in his government's efforts for smooth transition to democracy which is irreversible now.

The ORF quoted Dr. Hassan , as saying that his country along with others countries in Asia are working hard to launch an 'Asian Initiative' to mitigate climate change without waiting for concrete steps from the world community in this regard.

"As vulnerable countries to climate change, we feel we should take the initiative. You will soon hear about efforts from the Asian countries who will mobilize their own resources," the Vice President said.

He said the SAARC meeting in Bhutan in April will also focus on this important issue.

The Vice President said Maldives itself will move into a carbon-neutral country within a span 10 years as already announced by President Mr. Mohamed Nasheed.

The Vice President said as in Maldives where the 'new media' (media technology revolution) played a big role in dethroning the powerful dictator, the revolution in media technology will also help open up controlled countries like Iran and China. "Already there are lots of debates going on in the new age media like internet," he said.

Though the democratic government in Maldives has not had a single political prisoner so far in one year of its term, the Vice President said there is a strong demand from the people for retribution for the abuses they had to suffer under the dictatorship. "The government is in a dilemma. It is one of the challenge also" how to meet the justified demand for retribution, he said.

The Vice President said his Government is providing a pension of 2000 Rufiyaas (Maldives currency) per month to senior citizens which are helping in providing economic security to old-aged people. (ANI)

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/02/20/islamicextremism-is-a-challenge-for-maldives-says-itsvice.html

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Dutch cabinet collapses in dispute over Afghanistan

Feb 20, 2010

The Dutch government has collapsed over disagreements within the governing coalition on extending troop deployments in Afghanistan.

After marathon talks, Christian Democratic Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced that the Labour Party was quitting the government.

He offered his government's resignation to Queen Beatrix in a telephone call.

The premier had been considering a Nato request for Dutch forces to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2010.

But Labour, the second-largest coalition party, has opposed the move.

Just under 2,000 Dutch service personnel have been serving in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan since 2006, with 21 killed.

Their deployment has already been extended once.

The troops should have returned home in 2008, but they stayed on because no other Nato nation offered replacements.

The commitment is now due to end in August 2010.

The Dutch parliament voted in October 2009 that it must definitely stop by then, although the government has yet to endorse that vote.

Mr Balkenende's centre-right Christian Democrats wanted to agree to Nato's request to extend the Dutch presence in Afghanistan.

But this was bitterly opposed by the Dutch Labour Party.

The finance minister and leader of the Labour Party, Wouter Bos, demanded an immediate ruling from Mr Balkenende.

When they failed to reach a compromise, Labour said it was pulling out of the coalition.

Nato priority

Mr Balkenende said he would offer the cabinet's resignation to the Dutch Queen Beatrix later on Saturday following the collapse of the government.

It was announced after a 16-hour cabinet meeting which ran into the early hours of Saturday morning.

The prime minister said there was no common ground between the parties.

"Where there is no trust, it is difficult to work together. There is no good path to allow this cabinet to go further," he said.

The launch in 2001 of Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) for Afghanistan was the organisation's first and largest ground operation outside Europe.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said six months ago when he began his job that his priority was the war in Afghanistan.

As of October 2009, Isaf had more than 71,000 personnel from 42 different countries including the US, Canada, European countries, Australia, Jordan and New Zealand.

Mr Balkenende had been considering the Nato request

The US provides the bulk of foreign forces in Afghanistan, and President Barack Obama has announced an extra 30,000 American troops for Afghanistan.

The Pentagon has said the next 18 months could prove crucial for the international mission in Afghanistan, after more than eight years of efforts to stabilise the country.

Afghanistan remains a deadly place for foreign forces.

Suicide attacks on Afghan civilians and roadside bomb strikes on international troops are common, with the Taliban strongly resurgent in many areas of the country.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8525742.stm

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Pakistan air strike 'kills 30' in South Waziristan

Pakistan says the South Waziristan area is a haven for militants

At least 30 militants have been killed in Pakistani air strike near the Afghan border, the military says.

It says a militant "hideout" was hit in the Shawal mountains of South Waziristan, following a tip-off.

The army launched an offensive in South Waziristan last October to root out militants blamed for bombings.

The offensive was closely monitored by Pakistan's Nato allies in Afghanistan, who say the area is a haven for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Pakistan's government said the operation had been completed in December, but fighting in the area has continued.

"The hideout in Shawal was targeted after we were tipped off that terrorists were hiding in the mountains," said a military spokesman.

The strike came 10 days after Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's top Afghan military commander, was captured in Karachi.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8525769.stm

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India-Pak: Search for a new route

Barkha Dutt

February 19, 2010

If you were to believe the public positions of India and Pakistan’s officials, the impending talks between the two foreign secretaries are slated to be diplomacy’s version of a bad television debate — one defined by a dramatic dialectic of differences rather than the sober middle ground of genuine conversation. The apparent absence of a meeting point is hardly surprising given that New Delhi says it wants to focus on terrorism and Islamabad is keen to push ahead with Kashmir, maybe even Balochistan.

Nomenclature has also tripped up the talks. “Exploratory and limited” are India’s adjectives of choice for the talks — a description that has sent up dark clouds of anger in Pakistan. And then there’s Pune and the horrific sense of déjà vu it triggers in our collective subconscious. The thought of hapless young students in their twenties being blown up by some lunatic bomber yards away from a spot previously zeroed in on by 26/11 architect David Headley, creates an intuitive sense of panic and paranoia. And inflammatory, dare-you hate speeches by Hafiz Saeed and his ilk can blow out a peacenik’s Wagah candle.

Full Report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorial-views-on/viewsbarkhadutt/Search-for-a-new-route/Article1-510713.aspx

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ISLAM MEETS WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN MOROCCAN FAMILY LAW

February 19, 2010

(ANSAmed) - ROME - A family law ''in harmony with the founding principles and the spirit of Islam'', for which any 'Ijitihad' (interpretation of the Koran) was ''more than welcome''. And it the end it proved how ''Muslim identity and universal human rights can coexist''. It is the Moudawana which in 2004 replaced Morocco's old and patriarchal family law, in the words of Nouzha Guessous, a researcher and bioethics advisor who took part in the Royal advisory Commission charged with the task of drafting the new code law. During a recent meeting set up in Rome by Reset Dialogues on Civilizations and the Lelio e Lisli Basso Foundation, the researcher stated that ''There is no intrinsic contradiction between the principles of Islam and human and feminine rights. Morocco carried out a 'de facto' secularisation of family law, but held on to certain procedures and made partial use of traditional jurisprudence to solve current problems''. Consequently this was an internal rethink by Islam to also rediscover in its roots the origin of fundamental human rights now decreed by international law: an alternative path to that followed by other Countries such as Tunisia, whose family law is more advanced in some ways, but which has also been viewed as an act of secularisation imposed from the outside. Of course Morocco's law still allows polygamy, and its final elimination is one of the objectives of future reforms. ''It would have been equally easy to justify its elimination starting from the Koran itself'', added Nouzha Full Report at: http://www.ansamed.info/en/top/ME11.XAM20492.html

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Burqa ban debate draws strange reactions

By Dan Delmar

Canadian politicians are weighing in on a French proposal to ban the wearing of the burqa or niqab, a head-to-toe garment worn by women who subscribe to the most fundamentalist forms of Islam.

One of the first MPs to reject a burqa ban in Canada was Notre Dame de Grâce-Lachine’s Marlene Jennings, who told a Montreal radio talk-show host recently that such a prohibition would go against Canadian law.

“Here in Canada, we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and inside this Charter we guarantee the right to religious expression,” Jennings told Benoît Dutrizac on 98.5 FM. “I believe that all attempts to ban the wearing of the burqa in public spaces would be deemed unconstitutional, against the Charter.”

Jennings, a Liberal, had previously said that the garment made her “uncomfortable,” but the fact that it causes discomfort in some Canadians would not be reason enough to impose a ban on the small minority of Muslim women who wear it. In certain circumstances, like at a passport office, she said, women should be obliged to “unveil” themselves.

“I am a feminist. Does it bother me? Yes, it bothers me,” she said, adding later that cases of underage girls wearing burqas would have to be dealt with by youth protection officials — only if there is proof of abuse. “There is another practice which bothers me just as much, and that is polygamy, which is being practiced in Canada… this is against the criminal code.”

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff also rejected a ban, again citing a Canadian’s right to religious expression. Conservative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson didn’t leave the door open to a ban, but didn’t slam it shut either, saying the government had no intentions of studying the issue at this time.

Full Report at: http://www.thesuburbannews.ca/content/en/3293

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Anti-Jihad Underground

February 19, 2010

As the bulk of CPAC attendees filed into the Marriott Ballroom for speeches by Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), more than 400 people crowded into an adjacent room to join in the launch of the Freedom Defense Initiative: “Jihad, the Political Third Rail.” At the door, security guards checked IDs — they were trying to keep one specific, unnamed person out of the room.

“The only event on the CPAC schedule about terrorism was ‘Why real conservatives oppose the war on terror,’” said Pamela Gellar, who blogs at Atlas Shrugs and is a rock star among terrorism-focused conservatives. They’d invited a writer for the libertarian AntiWar.com to participate in that panel, said Gellar. “Why don’t they just have Cindy Sheehan?”

“She takes names,” marveled one student near the doors, right before Gellar called the Christmas Day terrorist the “balls bomber.”

“He’s got more balls than our political elites, right?” she said.

In the front of the room, images of Muslim riots played on a pull-down screen, stopping when the speaker line-up got started. In the back, signed copies of “Muslim Mafia” were on sale. The line-up of speakers included “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam” author Robert Spencer, former Pentagon analyst Steve Coughlin, and congressional candidate Lt. Col. (ret.) Allen West. And the first speaker was Wafa Sultan, a former Muslim who won fame in 2005 for her combative debates on Arab-language TV.

Full Report at: http://washingtonindependent.com/77062/anti-jihad-underground

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No room for Basant in Pak-Punjab govt's heart?

February 20, 2010

* CM announces complete ban on kite-flying, all related activities

* Punjab govt sets up special cell to address complaints

* Citizens slam govt for depriving them of centuries-old tradition

LAHORE: No festival or sport can be permitted that may result in the loss of human lives, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif said on Friday as he announced a complete ban on kite flying and all related activities in the city. “The protection of the life and property of the people is the responsibility of the government, therefore, it was decided not to give permission for Basant,” the CM said. In addition, through a notification issued on Friday, the CM has ordered the local police and administration to launch a crackdown against kite-sellers as well as all those found flying kites. According to a spokesman for the Punjab government, kite flying and the sale of kites has been strictly prohibited and a special cell has been set up at the CM’s Secretariat to ensure compliance with the orders. He further said that parents and citizens could launch complaints against those flying or selling kites with local police officers. But citizens of Lahore have criticised the Punjab government for ordering a crackdown against kite flyers at a time when various other cities in Punjab including Faisalabad and Gujranwala have already celebrated Basant on Thursday and Friday. The citizens said it was total discrimination against them, as they are the pioneers of the festival and were famous for it all over the globe. Kite Flying Association General Secretary Sheikh Muhammad Saleem told Daily Times that citizens from different parts of the city were calling them to express their anger over the government’s decision. He said the association has extended the date of the festival until March 7, so that police and law enforcers do not violate the sanctity of people’s privacy by raiding their homes.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\20\story_20-2-2010_pg13_1

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Talking Jihad at CPAC

By Suzanne Venker

The greatest thing about conferences is the wealth of information to which you’re exposed. You’re in an environment in which some of the best minds/thinkers congregate in one place. It’s like reading ten books in one day. The size of CPAC (about 10,000 people) is a bit overwhelming for me; I prefer smaller conferences — like under 100 kind of small. With this many people you have to wait in long lines for food, which is time consuming. Right now I’m between seminars and am in the lobby/bar area where people are eating, chatting, and typing away on their laptops.

I just came out of a seminar titled “Jihad” — more on that later. For now I’ll plant this thought in your heads: How much do you know about the war on terror? Or, as this eloquent speaker said, the “war on ideology”? Chances are, whatever you know isn’t much, or isn’t correct anyway, because only a small percentage of folks — like the people I’ve heard from in two different conferences now — truly understand its significance.

For example, Pamela Geller is a force to be reckoned with. I watched her duke it out with Joy Behar last week. She’s a New York Jewish woman, which right away makes her a traitor in the eyes of the media. Then last year at a conference in CA I met Nonie Darwish — whom I had not heard of before. (Actually, I just saw her coming out of the bathroom a moment ago.) Her story is amazing; and like the others I heard from this morning — Wafa Sultan, Simon Deng, and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff – their explanation of Islam will change the way you think about it. It’s the kind of information you will never hear about in the media — which is why I said you may not know as much as you think. I don’t think anyone could know what they need to unless they specifically sought out these unknowns.

http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=5617

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Protests in Gilgit and Diamer against killings

By Farooq Ahmed

20 Feb, 2010

GILGIT: Protests were held in Gilgit and Diamer on Friday against the killing of two protesters in Chilas allegedly by law-enforcement personnel.

Life came to a standstill in Chilas, the headquarters of Diamer district, as markets, shops, restaurants and offices were closed as part of a three-day mourning announced by local leaders.

The two people were killed and four others injured on Thursday in firing allegedly by Frontier Constabulary personnel during protests against Diamer-Bhasha dam’s construction. The protesters were seeking acceptance of their demands before beginning of work on the dam.

Troops were deployed in the town on Friday. Protesters blocked the Karakoram Highway by placing huge boulders.

Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah suspended the deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, assistant commissioner and tehsildar of Diamer and ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.

Protest marches held after Friday prayers in Gilgit converged into a public meeting in the City Park.

Full Report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-protests-in-gilgit-and-diamer-against-killings-020-hh-06

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FATF blacklists Pakistan, seven others for money laundering

February 20, 2010

WASHINGTON: A key global anti-corruption body has blacklisted eight countries for alleged money laundering and terrorism financing and called for sanctions against Iran, the US government said Friday.

The Financial Action Task Force has “identified eight countries that have strategic... deficiencies in alleged money laundering and terrorism financing,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The FATF, an inter-governmental body aimed at countering illicit financial transactions that could be used to promote terrorism, has named Angola, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Sao Tome and Principe, and Turkmenistan for posing “a risk to the international financial system.”

Full Report at: http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27363

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Mumbai blasts probe will figure in talks”

Aarti Dhar

New Delhi: Issues relating to the probe into the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks will be taken up during the Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan scheduled for February 25, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said.

Without revealing any details, he said the “specific issues” to be taken up during the discussions were being finalised by the Indian side. The Ministry would like “pending issues” concerning the 26/11 case and investigation also to be part of it.

Asked if he favoured the talks despite the fact that Islamabad was yet to fulfil the demand for dismantling terror infrastructure, the Minister said it was the government’s decision of which he was a part.

Full Report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/20/stories/2010022063181200.htm

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Fight against Corruption’ hike on Margalla Hills tomorrow

February 20, 2010

Muhammad Qasim

The Pakistan Green Task Force, in collaboration with the Hiking Club of Rawalpindi Medical College, is organising a hike titled ‘Fight against Corruption’ on Sunday.

The health professionals serving at the three allied hospitals, faculty of Rawalpindi Medical College along with doctors in administrative cadre at the allied hospitals would participate in the hike to be started on Track III of Margalla Hills at 8:30 a.m. Sunday and would finish at Gokina. Students from first year to fifth year at the RMC would also participate in the hike.

“Provincial Health Secretary Fawad Ahmed Fawad and President College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan Professor Zafarullah Chaudhry have also been invited to participate in the 19th annual hike,” said Pakistan Green Task Force Chairman and Professor of Medicine at RMC Dr Shoaib Shafi while talking to ‘The News’ here on Friday. Professor Shoaib Shafi along with GTF President Dr Jamal Nasir would lead the hike. The title of the hike has significantly been chosen because of reports of a number of incidents of corruption reported in the health sector within past few months.

It is important that the RMC and allied hospitals’ authorities have been in news for more than last six months because of various incidences of corruption. “Through the title of the hike, we want to convey message to the higher authorities that proper work should be done to eliminate corruption from all walks of life. Also we want that funds allocated to the healthcare facilities including teaching hospitals should be used properly and proper monitoring of the funds’ utilisation be ensured,” said Dr Shoaib while responding to a query.

He admitted that the funds in a number of development projects in health sector might not be used honestly. “Through the hike, we would like to educate young doctors to be honest and should not bring bad name to the profession.” The organisers would host a lunch for the participants of the hike with the funds provided by the GTF and as well arranged refreshments for them during the hike with the self-generated funds by doctors.

GTF President Dr Jamal Nasir is of the view that it is social responsibility of all educated members of the society to sensitise general public on issues like corruption that has caused a great loss not the government but also to the fabric of society in Pakistan.

Dr Shoaib said that the organisers have arranged a race mainly for young doctors during the hike and prizes would be distributed among winners of the hike at Gokina.

http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=225153

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Terrorists attack police stations in Mansehra and Balakot

20 Feb, 2010

PESHAWAR: Two militants stormed two police stations located in Mansehra and Balakot in the North West Frontier Province within a span of 15 minutes on Saturday.

Police officials have confirmed that SHO Khalil Khan of the Balakot police station was killed during the twin terror attacks. Militants stormed two police stations in Balakot and Mansehra.

Two constables, including a female officer from the Mansehra police station were injured and are said to be in critical condition.

The first attack took place at around 9:30 am as militants lobbed grenades and opened fire on both police stations.

One of the terrorists who conducted the attack on the Mansehra police station has also been killed.

Some officials believe that the attacks may be in retaliation to the killing of two militants by the Balakot police.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-terrorists-attack-police-station-in-mansehra-ss-01

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Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son killed in drone attack

20 Feb, 2010

MIRAMSHAH: A son of veteran Afghan militant commander Jalaluddin Haqqani was killed in Thursday’s US drone attack on a village in North Waziristan.

Official sources said here on Friday that Mohammad Haqqani, 22, was killed along with three other militants in the missile strike on a house and a vehicle in Derga Mendai, five kilometres west of Miramshah.

They said that Mohammad Haqqani was actively taking part in the Taliban fight against US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan and that he was in the area to attend a funeral when the US drone fired two missiles at his vehicle, killing him and his three associates.

His elder brother Siraj Haqqani is on the US list of most wanted militants.

Jalaluddin Haqqani, believed to be in his 60s or older, is said to be too ill to do much now, and his son Siraj is running the network. The group is alleged to make its money through kidnappings, extortion and other crime in at least three eastern Afghan provinces.

US forces in Afghanistan describe Siraj as one of their biggest enemies and the US has posted a bounty of up to $5 million for him. It was not immediately known if Siraj was in the area at the time of the attack, and if he was, whether he was hit in the attack, security officials said.

A local commander of Pakistani Taliban in Mirali -- a town in North Waziristan -- confirmed that Mohammed Haqqani died in the missile attack with three of his associates on Thursday. A man from Haqqani’s family said his funeral was held near Miramshah.

The strike at the heart of the Haqqani network comes close on the heels of a series of arrests that together are being seen as the most significant blows in years to insurgents.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-brother-of-haqqani-killed-in-us-missile-attack-ss-07

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Indian ministers support dialogue with Pakistan

February 20, 2010

* Home Minister Chidambaram says probes into Mumbai attacks will be raised at Feb 25 talks

* AK Antony says talks with Pakistan should continue despite issues, provocations

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: Two senior Indian ministers, who had reportedly opposed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s move to resume dialogue with Pakistan at the last Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting, openly supported the talks on Friday.

Home Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister AK Antony separately told reporters that talks should be held despite provocations.

Chidambaram said India would raise issues regarding investigations into the 2008 Mumbai attacks during the secretary-level talks scheduled for February 25. “The Home Ministry would like, among other issues, for pending issues of investigation of the 26/11 terror attacks to be part of the foreign secretary-level talks,” he said. The government was still preparing a list of issues to be raised at the meeting, he added.

Chidambaram also indicated that he would be attending the SAARC home ministers’ meeting in Islamabad. “If and when it is held, the present position of the government is that we are attending,” he said.

The meeting, scheduled to be held this month, was postponed at Nepal’s request.

Asked if he favoured the talks between India and Pakistan despite Islamabad yet to fulfil the demand of dismantling the ‘terror infrastructure’ on its soil, Chidambaram said it was the government’s decision and he was a part of it.

“The government has decided that foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet on February 25 and I’m a part of the government... All of us have decided that the secretaries will meet,” he said.

Full Report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\20\story_20-2-2010_pg1_4

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‘US mediating between Pak, India to resolve water issue’

February 20, 2010

LAHORE: The American administration is talking to India to resolve the water issue with Pakistan, US Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said in an interview to a private TV channel on Friday.

Holbrooke said Pakistan’s water crisis was the second most dangerous crisis after its economic turmoil. He lauded Pakistan’s role in the fight against terrorism, adding the arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was a key success in this regard. He said Mullah Ghani was not in US custody and Pakistani forces were interrogating him. He confirmed that Baitullah Mehsud and Hakeemullah Mehsud had been killed.

Holbrooke said he was working to strengthen Pakistan-US bilateral relationship, adding that trust deficit existed between the two allies. He said Pakistan is a sovereign country with its own independent history and interests.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\20\story_20-2-2010_pg7_5

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Islamabad gets ready to meet Delhi’s terror-focused talks challenge

February 20, 2010

—Pakistan likely to ask Delhi to take similar actions against Colonel Purohit, Bal Thackeray, Babloo Srivastava etc that Delhi wants Pakistan to take against Hafiz Saeed etc —Islamabad is also set to demand handing over of the mastermind of Samjhota Express terror attack —Handing over of Colonel Purohit would be asked under the pretext that the accused was proved guilty of terror against Pakistan by India’s own investigators —Bal Thackeray is wanted by Pakistan for masterminding different terror attacks across Pakistan, funding suicide bombing attacks, sending suicide bombers of Shiv Sena’s suicide squad to Pakistan and training TTP men at Sarojini Nagar Camp —Babloo Srivastava wanted by Pakistani security forces for infiltrating terrorists into Pakistan, providing, arms, explosives and funds to TTP members in tribal belts —Islamabad may also present the list of 32 most wanted terrorists, seeking action against them by India —Shiv Sena’s terror training camps and the Hindu militants’ Sarojini Nagar training facility also to figure in talks on terror

By Makhdoom Babar

While New Delhi has suddenly taken a twist regarding self initiated Foreign Secretaries level talks with Pakistan and has now started saying that the said talks, scheduled to be held on 25th of this month at New Delhi would only be focusing on the issues related to terrorism, Pakistan government has also decided to make India taste its own medicine and the authorities have finalize their side’s agenda for the ‘terror-focusing’ talks with Indians, asking them to take actions against the mastermind of Samjhota Express terror episode, Colonel Srikant Purohit of the Indian army, top Hindu Extremists’ organization Shiv Sena’s Chief Bal Thackeray and RAW’s SOD wing official Babloo Srivastava etc, similar to the actions that Delhi wants Islamabad to take against Hafis Saeed and others who India alleges for being responsible for terrorism in India, reveal the investigations of The Daily Mail.

Full Report at:  http://dailymailnews.com/0210/19/FrontPage/FrontPage1.htm

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Al-Asheikh calls for fighting terrorism

Feb 20, 2010

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s top religious authority on Friday denounced terrorism as un-Islamic and condemned the killing of civilians, saying such attacks have nothing to do with Islam.

“Terrorism is criminal and spills the blood of innocents,” said Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Asheikh, chairman of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars.

“It attacks security, spreads terror among people and creates problems for society ... Such acts are forbidden by Islamic law,” he said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Full Report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article19612.ece

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Iran wants peace, dignity for Islamic countries: Leader

February 20, 2010

TEHRAN - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that Iran will not allow certain arrogant governments to hold the fate of the world in their hands, and Iran wants peace, brotherhood, and dignity for regional and Islamic countries.

“We say it openly (to them) that we are opposed to arrogance… and certain countries’ domination of the world and will fight them,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in Tehran on Wednesday during a meeting with people from the Azarbaijan region of Iran.

The Supreme Leader stated that arrogant governments dominated by Zionists are at odds with the Islamic Republic because Iran is calling for justice to be served in the world.

These arrogant governments claim that the international community is opposed to the Islamic Republic, but the international community includes all nations and governments, many of which disapprove of these arrogant governments but do not have any problem with Full Report at: http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=214371

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26/11 will figure at talks: PC

Feb 20, 2010,

NEW DELHI: Days before foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan -- scheduled for February 25 -- home minister P Chidambaram said all pending issues related to the Mumbai terror attacks investigation would be raised by India.

Noting that "specific issues" to be taken up during the discussions were being finalised by the Indian side, he said the ministry would like pending issues concerning the 26/11 case and investigation to be part of it.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/26/11-will-figure-at-talks-PC/articleshow/5593808.cms

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Infiltration on the rise, but talks with Pak okay: Antony

Feb 2010, 20

NEW DELHI: Defence minister AK Antony on Friday said infiltration attempts from across the border had gone up this year, but expressed support

for the prime minister’s view for holding talks with Pakistan. Mr Antony conceded that there was nothing wrong in holding foreign secretary-level talks even if infiltration bids were on the rise and all the 32 terror camps in Pakistan along the border were active.

"It is a considered decision of the government to have foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan. There is nothing wrong in that. Everything will now depend on the outcome of the talks," Mr Antony said responding to questions on the decision to talk to Pakistan in spite of the spike in infiltration attempts. He also revealed that all terror camps along the border in Pakistan were still operating.

Full Report at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Infiltration-on-the-rise-but-talks-with-Pak-okay-Antony/articleshow/5594667.cms

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Leading scholar bats for women’s rights

Feb 20, 2010

JEDDAH: A leading Shariah scholar in the Kingdom has demanded the formation of a special commission to look after women’s rights, according to Shams daily.

“I call for a special commission for women’s rights and other matters that concern the people,” said Saud Al-Fonaisan, former dean of the Shariah faculty at the Imam Muhammad bin Saud University in Riyadh.

Sheikh Al-Fonaisan is the latest to call for an improvement in women’s rights in the Kingdom.

There have been a number of high profile cases recently where women such as Fatima Azzaz who had to fight for the right to live with her legal husband and father of her children after her family tried to force the couple to divorce. Eventually the Saudi Human Rights Commission and Supreme Judicial Council had to intervene.

The discussion of women’s issues is a sensitive matter in the Kingdom. Women are not permitted to drive even though there is no clear law prohibiting them.

They are also seen as not having the same number of rights women in other parts of the world currently have.

Full Report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article19648.ece

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Riyadh International Book Fair to open on March 2

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Feb 20, 2010

JEDDAH: More than 1,000 Saudi and foreign publishing houses and companies are expected to take part in the Riyadh International Book Fair which opens on March 2.

“We want to make this annual exhibition a Saudi cultural festival,” said Abdullah Al-Jasser, deputy minister of culture and information for media affairs and supervisor of the exhibition.

Senegal is being honored at the event, he said, adding that the African country will hold a variety of cultural programs including seminars, literary events and folklore presentations, highlighting its contributions to Arab and Islamic civilization. A number of Senegalese books in Arabic will also be displayed in its pavilion.

Full Report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article19660.ece

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IAEA worried Iran may be working on arms

By GEORGE JAHN

Published: Feb 19, 2010

VIENNA: The UN nuclear agency says it's worried Iran may currently be working on making a nuclear warhead, suggesting for the first time that Tehran had either resumed such work or never stopped at the time US intelligence thought it did.

Thursday's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) appeared to put the UN nuclear monitor on the side of Germany, France, Britain and Israel. These nations and other US allies have disputed the conclusions of a US intelligence assessment published three years ago that said Tehran appeared to have suspended such work in 2003.

The US assessment itself may be revised and is being looked at again by American intelligence agencies. While US officials continue to say the 2007 conclusion was valid at the time, they have not ruled out the possibility that Tehran resumed such work some time after that.

Full Report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article19407.ece

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Pakistan arrests nine Taleban commanders

February 20, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities said Thursday they have apprehended more militant chiefs following the capture of the Afghan Taleban's No. 2 figure — arrests that together represent the biggest blow to the militant organization since the US-led invasion in 2001.

The roundups, which could still be under way, occurred as a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt killed 29 people including some militants Thursday and US special envoy Richard Holbrooke met with Pakistani leaders here.

The latest arrests took place late Wednesday and early Thursday when nine militants linked to Al-Qaeda were nabbed near Karachi, where the Taleban's deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was picked up several days ago.

Full Report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article19155.ece

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Iran: Atomic weapons against Islam

February 20, 2010

Iran's supreme leader has claimed it was not trying to build nuclear weapons after a damning report by atomic watchdogs said it was actively working on a warhead.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Khamenei said Islam forbids weapons of mass destruction. Iran maintains its nuclear work is only for peaceful purposes such as energy generation.

"We've said time and again that our religious principles and beliefs consider such weapons to be a symbol of destruction that is forbidden. Because of this reason, we don't have any belief in the atomic bomb and don't pursue it," he said.

His remarks came the day after the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had either resumed work on nuclear weapons, or had never even stopped despite assurances.

Khamenei, wearing clerical robes and a turban and walking with a cane, spoke after being given a tour of the country's latest destroyer launched at a Gulf port.

Full Report at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gZuIEv3IivL8KqWB1QgEJUJwtQ

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It’s Very Human To Disagree

February 20, 2010

She feels the rip of Amnesty International’s barbs for speaking up                  

“What do you think I’m up against?” says Gita Sahgal tersely. “The entire human rights movement—and the Islamic right.” The human rights movement and the “Islamic right” might seem, on the surface, strange bedfellows. But they have come together in her story—the story of Gita Sahgal vs Amnesty International. And, according to this outspoken India-born human rights activist, not just in her story.

Since her suspension, earlier this month, from her job as the head of Amnesty International’s Gender Unit, the 53-year-old Sahgal has spent much of her time fielding calls from around the world that are jamming her phone line. The suspension, as anyone who has been reading the papers and watching TV knows, came after Sahgal spoke to the UK’s Sunday Times about her concerns over Amnesty’s relationship with Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, and Cageprisoners, a charity of which he is director.

A Spectator columnist dramatically said Sahgal had “blown the lid” on the relationship between Amnesty and Begg. She herself says she’d simply asked why the human rights organisation that employs her was happy to collaborate with a person and organisation whose views were, in her words, “abhorrent”.

Full Report at: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?264315

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Hamid for development of ethnic minority languages

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka

Jatiya Sangsad speaker Abdul Hamid on Friday stressed the need for development of the languages of ethnic minority communities living in the country along with the Bengali language.

   ‘According to article 33 of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Treaty signed in

   1997, the children of the ethnic minorities must be given primary education in their mother languages as it is their fundamental right,’ the speaker said while addressing a programme in the capital.

   SAARC Cultural Society organised the programme titled ‘Jatiya Matribhasa Utsab’ in the auditorium of Supreme Court Bar Association marking the Shaheed Dibash and International Mother Language Day.

   Language hero Abdul Matin inaugurated the function while lawmaker Mujibul Huq Chunnu, Haranath Jyotish Shastri and member of CHT Regional Council Ushatan Talukder, among others, spoke at the function chaired by former lawmaker Syed Abu Hossain Babla.

   The speaker said the struggle for the independence had started with the language movement in 1952 and Bangla language won international recognition when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave his speech in Bangla at the United Nations Assembly in 1974.

   Abdul Matin recalled different events of the language movements, struggles for the independence and restoration of democracy.

http://www.newagebd.com/2010/feb/20/nat.html

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First Malaysian women to be caned speak out

Kuala Lumpur

The first Malaysian women to be caned under Islamic law for having illicit sex have reportedly said they regretted their actions and welcomed the punishment.

   The three women, whose identities were not revealed, gave the first account of the caning which took place earlier this month, drawing condemnation from human rights activists and applause from some Muslim groups.

   ‘On the day I was caned, I was scared but, at the same time, I knew I deserved it and was willing to take the punishment,’ said one of the women, a 25-year-old who went by the name of ‘Ayu’.

   She told the New Straits Times that the punishment — administered while they were fully clothed and by a female prison officer wielding a thin rattan cane — did not hurt.

   ‘Those out there who are having sex before marriage should really consider the consequences and not only think about momentary pleasure,’ she told the daily.

Full Report at: http://www.newagebd.com/2010/feb/20/inat.html

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Tribal leaders name 5 dead

Feb 20th, 2010

, Local leaders say at least five tribal men were killed as army opened fire on indigenous people during clashes at Baghaichhari, Rangamati, on Saturday.

A senior local council leader named the five killed in the reported army gunfire, while a regional rights group also said the army had gunned down at least three tribals.

The army would not officially confirm or deny the reports.

A local army officer, wishing not to be named, confirmed the death of one person "in clashes", while an army spokesman in Dhaka said he had no knowledge of the incidents in the hill tracts.

"I know nothing about what's going on," Lt Col Kazi Mohammad Kabirul Islam, Inter Services PR director, told bdnews24.com Saturday evening.

"It wouldn't be right to comment without knowing. Let me first find out."

The director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, Suhas Chakma, could name two of the alleged victims in a statement released from New Delhi on Saturday.

Full Report at: http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=154130&cid=2

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UK Urged to Probe Torture Complicity

CAIRO – The British government is urged to launch an independent inquiry into complicity of intelligence service agencies in the torture of many Britons at foreign prisons.

“The Government must take the opportunity of an independent review to be as transparent with the public as possible,” Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), told The Times Saturday, February 20.

“Torture contravenes UK and international law and the values that Britain upholds.”

The rights watchdog sent a letter to Justice Secretary Jack Straw demanding an inquiry into collusion of intelligence agencies in torturing Britons abroad.

“(The letter) calls for an independent investigation to determine whether senior officials and ministers turned a blind eye to the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' by the US and the systematic use of torture by the Pakistani Intelligence Services, amongst others,” the EHRC said on its website.

The EHRC compiled a dossier of 25 people accusing British intelligence complicity in their torture.

Full Report at: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1265890540710&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/the-original-trance-music/d/2487





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