AIMPLB has maintained a studied silence so far as the chorus to bring an
ordinance for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya has gained momentum
within the ruling BJP and right-wing Hindu outfits(HT File Photo)
Peace Treaty Signed By the Prophet of Islam Is A Shining Example on How to
Avoid Conflict and Clash, Mosques Have Been Relocated and Shifted In the Past
Says Nadwa Cleric
of Religious Thoughts in Islam’ A Monumental Achievement of Iqbal
Experts Equip Tahrir Al-Sham Missiles in Idlib with Chemical Warheads
Religion and Culture to Fight Terrorism – Lessons from the Philippine Military
Excuse for Myanmar’s Treatment of the Rohingya
Time for Jihad Has Come’: What 26/11 Attacker Ajmal Kasab Said In His Testimony
Word 'Muslim' From AMU to End Controversies, Says Olympian Zafar Iqbal
6 Terrorists Killed in Encounter between Militants and Security Forces in
clears corridor for Kartarpur up to Pakistan border
Governor justifies dissolving Assembly, says MLAs were getting terror threats
Asks India to Resume Dialogue for Peace
informs UN about initiative against defamation of religions
killed as bomb hits hideout of Haqqani militants in Pakistan
leaves two dead, 12 injured in S Waziristan
killed as gunmen attack Chinese consulate in Pakistan's Karachi, says police
officials barred from entering Gurdwaras in Pakistan
rejects India's allegation of its involvement in Amritsar blast
confident Malaysia trip will strengthen bilateral ties
of peace’ as India agrees to open Kartarpur crossing
Crown Prince Gets Warm Welcome in UAE amid Pressure over Khashoggi Murder
Army Intensifies Efforts to Cleanse ISIL from Badiyeh of Deir Ezzur
Hezbollah: US Attempting to Push ISIL from Syria to Iraq
says police killed 12 extremist militants in Sinai raid
removes blast walls around ‘Green Zone’ for partial reopening
schoolchildren killed in bomb blast near Iraq’s Mosul
I Want Justice for All, but I Love My Race and Religion
radio co-founder denied entry to Singapore for alleged Salafi links
does it matter to Indonesia if Australia moves its embassy to Jerusalem?
town hall meetings before ratifying ICERD, says activist
freedom at risk in one of five countries: Report
Militants Join Peace Process in Nangarhar Province
APC destroyed, 9 militants killed in AAF airstrike in Farah province
not serious about peace: Afghan chief executive
Muslim Groups Call For National Day of Action against Hate
Has Recording of MBS Phone Call to Silence Khashoggi: Report
not trustworthy for talks, Iran won’t renege on nuclear agreement: Zarif
supports Saudi Arabia, most regressive regime in the world: Analyst
US must lift sanctions on food, medicine as per ICJ ruling
Says US Bases and Aircraft Carriers within Missile Range
Sentenced To 10 Years for Anti-Semitic Bomb Threats
army soldiers, allies intercept, shoot down Saudi-led combat drone in Hudaydah
releases photos of Israel forces involved in botched Gaza raid
military vehicle runs over Palestinian man in occupied West Bank
Erdogan will not meet with bin Salman at G20 summit: Report
Details Emerge On US Ambassador’s Assassination in Benghazi
suspected of killing around 100 Nigerian soldiers’
king honours Saudi chief of staff
US airstrikes in Somalia kill six extremists
killed as gunmen attack French drilling camp in Niger
Haram kidnaps 50 loggers in Nigeria
Imposes Travel Ban on 18 Saudis Suspected In Khashoggi Murder
Italian diplomats discuss European payment mechanism in Rome
halts weapons exports to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi, Yemen bombing
security service ‘missed opportunities’ to prevent Manchester bombing
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Muslims, who had earlier held radical positions on the Ram temple issue, are
now showing signs of taking a softer line. From Nadwa cleric Maulana Salman
Husaini Nadwi to Azam Khan, the Muslim face of the Samajwadi Party, are now
seeking an early resolution of the issue.
while once again raising the demand for resolving of the Ayodhya dispute
through mutual negotiations, has slammed the All India Muslim Personal Law
Board (AIMPLB) for derailing his past efforts to broker a truce on the issue.
only way of resolving the problem was to shift the ‘masjid’ (mosque) from the
disputed site with an assurance and undertaking for the protection of all
mosques in the country. The peace treaty signed by the Prophet of Islam (known
as Hudaibiya Pact) is a shining example on how to avoid conflict and clash.
Mosques have been relocated and shifted in the past. We tried to reach for an
amicable settlement to the dispute through mediation with the help of Sri Sri
Ravi Shankar (founder of Art of Living NGO). It was a positive and historical
move, but some members of the Muslim Personal Law Board intervened and ruined
the efforts,” said the cleric, who was shown the door by AIMPLB in February
this year for his unilateral initiative.
Salman is the grandson of renowned Islamic scholar and former president of
AIMPLB and rector of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema late Maulana Abul Hasan Ali
Nadwi aka Ali Mian.
Uloom Nadwatul Ulema is a prominent Islamic seminary in Lucknow).
said the Board’s strategy was successful neither on the issue of instant triple
talaq (divorce), which was struck down by the Supreme Court, nor the way it is
handling the Ayodhya issue.
cleric, who has formed a Humanity Welfare Board to take forward his initiative
on the Ayodhya issue, has urged people to write and extend their support to him
for finding an amicable settlement of the dispute.
one of the Muslim petitioners in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, Haji
Mehboob a resident of Ayodhya, has also come out in support of an out-of-court
settlement and welcomed the efforts to amicably resolve the matter.
will be in the interest of the nation and good for everyone, if there is a
mutual agreement relating to the settlement of the case,” he said, adding that
people of Ayodhya, especially Muslims, were living in constant fear because of
AIMPLB has maintained a studied silence so far as the chorus to bring an
ordinance for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya has gained momentum
within the ruling BJP and right-wing Hindu outfits.
the main Babri litigant, Iqbal Ansari, has gone on record saying he has “no
problem” if the central government brings such a law, former UP minister Mohd
Azam Khan, known for his vitriolic outbursts, too seems to be making
conciliatory noises. “I don’t have any issue with the construction of a Ram
temple provided it is not built over Muslims’ blood. We will abide by the law
and accept whatever verdict the Supreme Court delivers,” the Rampur MLA told
Speakers at a seminar at the GC University Lahore have said that
“Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam” was a monumental achievement of
Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
of the East presented those courageous and audacious views at a time when such
topics were a taboo in a highly conservative and orthodox India. Allama Iqbal
tried to reconcile then scientific views with Islam and construe a new
theology, said eminent philosopher, thinker and academician Prof Dr Abdul
Khaliq while addressing the seminar held in connection with 150 years
celebrations of the university’s Department of Philosophy. GCU Vice-Chancellor
Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah chaired the seminar.
Abdul Khaliq stressed the need of taking the ideas of Iqbal forward in the
light of modern day knowledge. He emphasised that Islam was facing new
challenges in this age which are in the dire need to be addressed at the
philosophical level so as to reduce ideological controversies and differences
in the Muslim Ummah.
understanding of the Holy Quran in the face of existing challenges may bring us
out of the quagmire of extremism and bloodshed. Iqbal’s thoughts may be quite
helpful in any such endeavour,” he added.
Abdul Khaliq highlighted that Iqbal’s thoughts still had unexplored avenues
which may be, rather, must be elucidated by young scholars and researchers.
Speaking on the occasion, Philosophy Department Chairperson Dr Sobia Tahir
presented the concise history of the department from 1868 to 2018. GCU
Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah also expressed his views regarding the
importance of philosophy. He expressed with pride that GCU had the oldest
department of philosophy in the entire sub-continent.
seminar was attended by large number of students and faculty members besides
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Prof Dr Tahir Kamran, distinguished
Professor Mirza Athar Baig, Dr Kaiser Mahmood, Prof Jalil-ur-Rahman, Prof
Shahid Gul, Dr A Hassan Farooqi and Dr Javaid Iqbal Nadeem.
Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah, the Vice-Chancellor of Government College University
Lahore, has been elected as the Fellow of Pakistan Academy of Sciences. The
Fellowships of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences are tightly restricted to the
scientists and only scientists of the highest merit, who have made outstanding
contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge, are elected as the
Fellows of the Academy.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted informed sources close to
the terrorist commanders in Idlib province saying that the White Helmets
transferred a consignment of toxic chemicals from one of Tahrir al-Sham
warehouses in the town of Kafr Nobl in the Western parts of the town of Ma'arat
al-No'eman in Southern Idlib to an underground storage in Idlib city which has
recently been built near the Central Prison.
sources noted that the black French experts have arrived in the underground
storage recently, adding that the chemical cargos have been delivered to them
to arms the missile warheads.
to the report, a number of missiles along with missile-launchers have been
transferred to the region through borders.
al-Sham and the White Helmets have transferred several cargos of chlorine and
sarin gas to different fronts in demilitarized zone in North and Northwestern
Hama, Northeastern Idlib and Northeastern Lattakia since the Sochi agreement
was signed between Turkey and Russia to set up a weapons-free zone.
had also on Tuesday reported that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at had transferred a new
consignment of chemical materials to an unspecified location in Idlib province
amid attempts to stage a false-flag attack in the demilitarized zone, a Russian
outlet reported on Tuesday.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted well-informed sources as disclosing
that Tahrir al-Sham has transferred a new consignment of poisonous materials
from the town of al-Dana in Northern Idlib to an unknown destination in the
further said that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists took the consignment, including 5
chlorine gas cylinders, out from a warehouse near al-Dana under severe security
measure, adding that no Syrian militant has been involved in the operation.
news agency went on to say that Tahrir al-Sham, with the cooperation of the
pro-militant White Helmet Organization, has distributed a large volume of
chemical materials across the demilitarized zone in Northern and Northwestern
Syria to use them in a false-flag chemical attack and later raise allegation
against the Damascus army and pave the ground for Western powers to attack the
Syrian Army across the war-hit country.
quoted unnamed sources as disclosing earlier this month that Tahrir al-Sham and
Jeish al-Izzah terrorists arrested 29 of their own members and also 5 members
of the White Helmets, accusing them of involvement in disclosing information
about chemical weapons and poisonous gases, including their storage locations
and transfer of them to new locations.
al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzah set up a joint committee 3 days ago to investigate
and find those behind the leak of chemical information.
quoted another source as disclosing that Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzah
terrorists launched vast investigations to fine sources behind leaking
information about the transfer of the chemical material cargos to different
regions in Idlib province.
further said that Tahrir al-Sham's move came after terrorist groups held a meeting
in Khan Sheikhoun in Southwestern Idlib to set up an investigation committee.
Arabic Sputnik went on to say that the committee is responsible for questioning
the terrorists and members of the pro-militant White Helmets Organization over
the leaked information.
Arab media outlets have released reports about chemical activities of the
terrorist groups in Idlib in recent months.
the meantime, informed sources reported in late October that Jeish al-Izzah
transferred 2 cylinders of Sarin and Chlorine gases from al-Latamina to Qala
Maziq in Northwestern Hama to hand over them to allied militants of Ansar
Religion and Culture to Fight Terrorism – Lessons From the Philippine Military
Philippine government is recruiting Muslims into the military in an attempt to
counter terrorism through a mixture of religious and security approaches.
Philippines faces increasing security pressure since the rise of the Maute, a
terrorist group affiliated with IS (Islamic State), in Marawi city. The group
in May last year laid siege to Marawi, the capital of the Muslim majority Lanao
del Sur province on Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines. A five-month armed
conflict ensued, displacing thousands. More than 520 members of the terrorist
group and 122 Philippine soldiers were killed.
Philippine government has declared that the Maute leadership has disintegrated.
But it is still possible that their dormant cells will rally together.
study terrorism in Southeast Asia and have been looking into Philippine
government policy in countering terrorism. Recruitment of Muslims into the
military might be the strategy most likely to make Muslim communities accept a military
presence where most of the population sympathises with the militants.
Threat of IS in the Philippines and Southeast Asia
from the threat of IS-affiliated terrorist groups, the Philippines is also
still dealing with the local pirate group Abu Sayyaf. The group hijacks and
abducts the crews of foreign ships for exorbitant ransoms, which could be used
to fund their other terrorist activities.
far, the Catholic majority government has used a security approach, deploying
the Philippine military to fight the terrorist groups. But the military ranks
poorly compared to its ASEAN counterparts, according to data provided by the
website Global Firepower, which assesses military power. Even when compared
with 133 other countries, the Philippines still ranks at 52.
and Culture as Tools to Resist
effort to eradicate terrorism is a global agenda. Governments generally use a
military approach. In reality, this is not enough. Governments must employ
alternative approaches, such as using religion and culture, to confront violent
has implemented deradicalisation programs to tame terrorists. This method
involves the communities and families of former terrorist convicts who have
reach out to millennials, the Indonesian government has also recruited young
internet users with huge social media followings to spread the message of
Philippines, meanwhile, aims to form a special Muslim unit within the military
to be deployed to Muslim majority areas.
last year, the Philippine military has adopted a maximum 5% quota for Muslim
recruits. The military recruitment system is open to all citizens. However,
Muslims have been less interested in joining the military, thinking that they
have less chance to enter the force.
setting a quota, the military hopes to ensure more Muslims are recruited. The
military also set a 10% quota for female soldiers, and another 5% for
a special Muslim unit could have two positive impacts.
it could create more room for dialogue when compared with conventional military
manoeuvres. With Muslim members, this special unit can be more sensitive to
religious and cultural needs.
it could garner support from local communities. Having a Muslim unit operate in
a Muslim majority area will hopefully reduce suspicion in local communities
towards the Philippines’ military deployments.
the same time, this can be a counter-narrative to the local view that military
deployment by the government is a form of invasion.
the other hand, the formation of a special Muslim unit within the Philippine
military could also have negative consequences.
it could create factions or disparities within the military between the Muslim unit
and other units.
have been plenty of cases in various countries such as Turkey and Myanmar that
show how the military can be fragmented when different factions are hostile to
a spirit of nationalism isn’t properly planted, the special Muslim unit could
actually pose a new problem for the Philippines. Instead of making the process
for peace easier, it could actually act as new fuel for a conflict that has
long been there.
such an approach might actually create a stigma that Muslim terrorists must be
fought against by equally hardline Muslims soldiers.
days, Islam is often regarded as a religion or faith that is steeped in a
violence. If this newly established special Muslim unit is not managed
properly, the stigma could actually worsen.
Indonesia can Learn
from the existing debate, a Philippine government strategy based on religion
and culture to counter extremists by forming a special Muslim military unit
must be appreciated. With limited military strength, the government is able to
devise an alternative strategy to ruin the foundation of extremism. At the same
time, the government is reducing the potential conflict with local communities
and building the Philippines’ military image within Southeast Asia.
threat of extremism in the Philippines to other Southeast Asian countries makes
the problem a regional issue.
country in the region has different strategic interests. For example,
Indonesia’s north directly shares a border with the Philippines.
can learn plenty of lessons from how the Philippines combats extremism, from
operational strategies and fieldwork technicalities, to how to comprehensively
handle perpetrators and the psychological impact of terrorism on society. These
lessons are especially relevant since it was recorded that quite a few
Indonesian citizens have obtained terrorist training in militant organisations
from the Philippines.
pros and cons, we still hope that this can contribute to a solution to the
issues of extremism, radicalism and terrorism that have haunted not just the
lives of Philippine society but also of the larger Southeast Asian
international law — and the precepts of basic human decency — the nearly one
million Rohingya people driven out of their homeland in Myanmar and crammed
into refugee camps in Bangladesh ought to be able to return home. But simply
pushing them back across the border, as Bangladesh and Myanmar tried to start
doing last week under pressure from China, was wisely suspended.
United Nations and dozens of rights groups dealing with the long-suffering
Rohingya objected to the plan because it lacked any assurances that the
returnees, members of a Muslim minority in Myanmar who had been the targets of
a murderous campaign of ethnic cleansing, would be treated any better than before
they fled. The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle
Bachelet, said that sending the refugees to Myanmar at this point “effectively
means throwing them back into the cycle of human rights violations that this
community has been suffering for decades.”
asked the Rohingya about the repatriation plan, and they understandably
panicked when Bangladesh troops entered their camp and told the first group of
2,200 to get ready to move. With one voice, young and old alike shouted, “We
won’t go!” Mercifully, Bangladesh — which has been lauded for providing refuge
to the Rohingya — relented.
15 months, more than 700,000 Rohingya fled a systematic campaign of killings,
rapes and torched villages that the United Nations said “undoubtedly amount to
the gravest crimes under international law.” Crowding into refugee camps in
Bangladesh, they joined more than 200,000 Rohingya who had fled earlier waves
hurried repatriation was agreed to by Bangladesh and Myanmar under pressure
from China, which has economic ties to both and ambitious plans for the region.
But according to Human Rights Watch, the military-dominated government of
Myanmar, which has denied the ethnic cleansing all along, has done nothing “to
create conditions for safe and dignified returns, or to address the root causes
of the crisis.”
organization said refugees feared that if they returned without any assurances,
they would be put in detention camps like those to which 124,000 other Rohingya
have been confined in Myanmar since they were displaced by violence in 2012.
The “reception centers” and “transit camps” Myanmar has set up, some on the
site of razed Rohingya villages, are surrounded by barbed wire and security
plight of the Rohingya ranks among the worst injustices in the world today. The
Myanmar government, including the once-respected Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has
denied any culpability, invoking ancient grievances and skewed history to
justify treating the Rohingya as Muslim interlopers in a predominantly Buddhist
Vice President Mike Pence told Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi on Nov. 14 at a regional
meeting in Singapore that the persecution of the Rohingya was “without excuse,”
she replied, “We understand our country better than any other country does,”
and so are “in a better position to explain to you what is happening.”
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the world does not need your “explanations,” nor
repatriation schemes that fail to address the mistreatment of the Rohingya and
give them assurances that they can rebuild their burned-out homes and live in
security and dignity. The imprisonment in September of two Reuters reporters
who were reporting on a massacre of Rohingya is further evidence that the
rulers of Myanmar have no interest in anything but justifying and covering up
long been clear that the only way to get proper action from Myanmar’s generals
and their civilian enablers is to compel it, through prosecutions of the
offenders by the International Criminal Court, through sanctions, travel bans
or a freeze on assets. China can play a more helpful role than it has to date
by exerting its influence on Myanmar and Bangladesh to come up with something
more than a superficial fix.
time for jihad has come’: What 26/11 attacker Ajmal Kasab said in his testimony
studied up to fourth standard at a Government Primary School. After leaving
school in 2000, I went to Lahore and stayed with my brother Afzal. I did menial
jobs at different places till 2005. During that period, I used to visit my
native place. In 2005, I had a quarrel with my father and left home.
went to a home in Lahore where run-away boys like me are housed. From there,
the boys are sent to different places for employment. One day, a person named
Shafiq came there and took me with him. He was in the catering business and I
started working with him for ₹120 per day. While I was working with Shafiq, I
came in contact with Muzaffar Lal Khan. We decided to carry out dacoities to
earn more money and so moved to Rawalpindi.
journey into jihad started soon after.
we were in search of firearms, we saw some Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) stalls at
Rawalpindi’s Raja Bazaar on Eid al-Adha. We thought, why not join them and
learn how to operate guns.
soon made our way to the Lashkar headquarters in Muridke, where it has its
first met the Lashkar’s Amir, Hafiz Saeed, at Muridke while I was undergoing
the 21-day Daura-e-Sufa (preliminary training) between December 2007 and
January 2008. A batch of 30 recruits was explained the meaning of jihad. The
batch was introduced to Hafiz Saeed and the operation commander, Zakiur Rahman
Lakhvi. Saeed addressed the batch, saying, “You mujahedeen have to fight to
liberate Kashmir,’’ and Lakhvi said, “Ab jihad ka waqt aa gaya hai (the time
for jihad has come). We now have to wage a war to get Kashmir. Are all of you
ready for this battle? We are planning to target big cities to weaken India.”
batch was then inducted for the Daura-e-Khas (advanced training) at a fortified
Lashkar camp in Muzaffarabad, where we were trained to use Kalashnikovs, rocket
launchers, pistols and grenades. We were also familiarised with the use of GPS
navigation devices and map-reading and were given survival training – how to
cope with hunger and how to climb mountains while carrying heavy backpacks.
During the course of this training, an unknown man was also present. At that
time, Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi came there and met and hugged the unknown man, who
was referred to from then on as ‘Major General’. The Major General supervised
the eight-week long training that made us into ‘pucca jihadis’.
Saeed chose the final 10 who were sent via sea to Mumbai. He also gave us new
names. I was named Abu Mujahid. We then came back to Muridke for Daura-e-Ribat
(intelligence training) in August 2008. The Major General visited the group
again to motivate us and asked me if I knew how to swim.
September 2008, we were taken to Karachi by train and kept at a house in
Ajizabad locality. After two days, we were taken out to sea in two boats and
then transferred onto a motorboat for three days during which we were trained
to use GPS devices. On our return, we were taken to the Beit-ul-Mujahideen camp
where Saeed and Lakhvi personally questioned us about our sea training. Lakhvi
said that Mumbai would be the target and that we would be going to Mumbai via
sea. The Major General came to this camp and after hugging Saeed and Lakhvi,
took them aside for a private chat. When the trio returned, Lakhvi said that
the Major General wanted to test our preparedness. The Major General told Hafiz
Saeed, “Saeed saab, aap target lagao.” Saeed told Kafa (the course commander)
to place 10 targets and said, “When I say fire, all of you should fire single
shots and when I say fire twice, open rapid fire.” As per cue, all 10 fired and
hit the target.
group was then introduced to Zarar Shah, the computer and media expert. Soon
after, Saeed broke the group of 10 up into five pairs and said, “We now have to
hijack an Indian boat to go from Karachi to Mumbai. A lot of foreign tourists
come there and they have to be targeted and killed to embarrass Hindustan.”
Lakhvi and Zarar Shah then took the group to a big hall which Shah called ‘the
media room’. Here, we were shown CDs of CST train station and Malabar Hill. The
CDs also contained detailed information of which roads and routes to take to
CST from Badhwar Park.
we were asked to shave our beards. Mobile phones with Indian SIM cards and
watches set to Indian time were given to us and we were also asked to tie a red
thread around our wrists, so as to pass off as Hindus. The group was ready to
set sail for Mumbai.
word 'Muslim' from AMU to end controversies, says Olympian Zafar Iqbal
Former Indian Hockey Captain and Olympian, Zafar Iqbal, who is an alumni of
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has said that all the political controversies
shrouding the varsity will seize if the work “Muslim” is removed from its name.
who will be the guest of honour at the closing ceremony of the ongoing North
Zone Inter-Varsity Hockey (men) Tournament 2018-19 in Aligarh on Friday, was
reacting to the statements of certain BJP leaders who have dubbed AMU as a
seminary of terrorists. Talking to TOI, Iqbal said its “absolutely” incorrect
for political leaders to make such comments as this university had not only
given some of the brightest minds of the country but has also produced a dozen
Olympians in the field of hockey.
like Masood Minhaj (Los Angeles Olympics 1932), Ahsan Mohammad Khan (Berlin
Olympics 1936), Lt. A Shakoor (London Olympics 1948), Madan Lal (London
Olympics 1948), Lateef-ur Rehman (Olympian, London 1948), Jogendra Singh (Olympian
Rome 1960, Asian Games 1962, Tokyo 1964 Gold Medalist), SM Ali Sayeed (Olympian
Tokyo (Japan) 1964 Gold Medalist), Inamur Rehman (Olympian Mexico 1968), B P
Govinda (Olympian Munich 1972), Aslam Sher Khan (Olympian Munich 1972), and
Akhtar Husain Hayat (Olympian London 1948 Gold Medalist), are all products of
this veryvarsity, said Iqbal, who won the Gold medal in Moscow Olympics in
legendary Iqbal said, “The country can only progress in a peaceful atmosphere,
but there is a lack of calmness and this is a reason of rift”. He said the word
Muslim in the University’s name has become a bone of contention so it will be
for the better if the work is dropped.
that politics had creeped into almost all spheres of life, Iqbal said sports in
the only field that remains unaffected by this virus so far. “Without unity,
teams cannot win,” said Iqbal, adding that everywhere people are being
isolated, but players still never think of their religion or caste but of the
his college days, when he was a civil engineering student in the 70s, Iqbal
said, “Riyaz Miya used to cook food for the players and everyone was just
eating instead of thinking that who cooked it”. He said that nothing has still
changed in the field of sport and that is the reason why we continue to win.
thinking is completely different from the common man and that is the reason,
majority of my friends are Brahmin and we have never thought of anything except
friendship,” he said adding that the country was still suffering from British
legacy of divide and rule.
have forgotten the very popular song- ‘Na Hindu banega, na musalman banega…
Insan ki aulad hai Insan banega”, he said adding that politicians are only
hiding their own failures by highlighting baseless issues and raking controversies.
He said instead of changing names of cities, the politicians should concentrate
on development and making hospitals, schools and roads.
said it’s unfortunate that despite the fact that AMU has produced renowned
personalities in every field, including arts, acting, writing, sports and
science, but the general impression is still there that “here we still study on
wooden and stone slates”.
6 Terrorists Killed in Encounter Between Militants And Security Forces in
Srinagar: Six terrorists were on Thursday killed in an
encounter which broke out between security forces and terrorists in Sekipora
area of Bijbehara in Anantnag district, news agency ANI reported. Further, arms
and ammunition have been recovered from the custody of terrorists.
the operation is underway. More details are awaited.
an earlier incident, an exchange of fire broke out between security forces and
terrorists in Kulgam’ s Khudwani area in Jammu and Kashmir, news agency ANI
reported. One civilian was killed. Further, all those injured were admitted to
a hospital. Meanwhile, security forces had to cordon the area to undertake
another incident on November 18, two terrorists were killed in an encounter
which broke out between terrorists and security forces at Rebban area of
Zainapora village in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. The encounter come
a day after the militants abducted and killed a 19-year-old teenager. (ALSO READ: Terrorists Abduct, Kill
19-year-old in Shopian Day After Executing School Boy)
DELHI: Two months after a bid by the new government in Pakistan to restart
talks with India failed, the two countries seem on the verge of a breakthrough
by agreeing on a Kartarpur corridor after the Modi government on Thursday
approved a road on its side of the border.
the Cabinet approving the development of a corridor to enable smooth passage of
pilgrims seeking to visit Guru Nanak’s final resting place at Kartarpur across
the border, India “approached and urged” Islamabad to develop the passage on
its side too so as to facilitate unrestricted flow of devotees.
corridor on the Indian side will begin from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur to the
international border with Pakistan. The Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is
located across the border on the banks of the Ravi. Pakistan foreign minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi responded to India’s announcement by tweeting that
Islamabad has already conveyed to India its decision to open the corridor for
Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary in 2019 and that PM Imran Khan would do
the groundbreaking for facilities at Kartarpur on November 28.
decision to build the corridor, announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley,
came on the eve of Gurpurab, or Guru Nanak Jayanti. It came a day after
Pakistan media reported that Pakistan was going to build a 2.5-km corridor
leading to Kartarpur Sahib in its territory and that Khan himself would lay the
foundation stone next week.
government sources said the Cabinet passed the resolution after many weeks of
consultations. The move to build a corridor will also serve to test the
commitment of the Pakistani side, which, despite suggestions that a corridor
was in the works, had not moved on the project.
plan not a response to Pakistan proposal’
Kartarpur corridor project, cleared by the Centre on Thursday, has political
hues too, with Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu announcing that the corridor
is being constructed after he visited Pakistan for the swearing in of Imran
Khan as PM. He had explained his hug of Pakistan army chief Qamar Bajwa saying
he was assured help for the corridor. The Centre’s announcement was immediately
hailed by all parties in Punjab, including Akali Dal, BJP, Congress and AAP.
explained the timing of the announcement, saying: “The Cabinet usually meets on
Wednesday but due to Milad-un Nabi holiday it met Thursday and approved the
resolution. The resolution is a comprehensive document that contains detailed information
on plans for the celebration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev,
not just on the corridor.”
officials said any suggestion that the corridor was planned as a response to a
Pakistani proposal was not only preposterous but also hurtful to the sentiments
of the Sikh community.
from Qureshi, another senior Pakistan minister, Fawad Chaudhry, described the
Indian Cabinet’s decision as a victory for the “peace lobby” in both countries.
Islamabad had earlier this week approved visas for 3,800 Sikh pilgrims who
wanted to visit religious shrines in Pakistan on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s
proposal to open the corridor has been a long standing demand for India for
more than 20 years, sources here said as they blamed Pakistan for not
acknowledging the request. Chaudhry had announced soon after the Khan
government took over that Pakistan would consider opening the corridor.
here said that India’s intention was that the corridor must be a “full-fledged
one that allows for maximum movement”. It should be open not just on special
occasions but throughout the year.
day after dissolving the J&K Legislative Assembly, Governor Satya Pal Malik
Thursday justified his decision by claiming that MLAs were receiving “terrorist
threats” and that money was being “offered on a large scale” in efforts to form
the PDP-National Conference (NC) efforts to stitch an alliance for government
formation as “unholy”, Malik said “this was a power hungry alliance for
self-preservation to avoid a split in their respective parties”. “There has
been a lot of dissatisfaction among both the parties,” he said.
had been receiving reports from various quarters, including intelligence
agencies, for the last one week or ten days that in efforts to form a
government, the atmosphere has been made vicious. Money was being offered on a
large scale. People are being threatened, some have received terrorist threats…
How could I have allowed this?” he asked. Malik was responding to allegations
raised by PDP and NC that his decision Wednesday to dissolve the Legislative
Assembly was a “murder of democracy”.
decision came shortly after PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a
government with the support of the NC and Congress, citing a collective
strength of 56 MLAs in the 87-member House. A separate claim to form a government
was made by Sajad Gani Lone of the two-member People’s Conference who claimed
support of the BJP and 18 MLAs from other parties. The Assembly was kept in
suspended animation since June when Governor’s Rule was imposed after the BJP
ended its alliance with the PDP to bring down the ruling coalition.
Thursday, Malik pointed out that he had made clear after taking charge in
August that he would not allow any party to form the government through
underhand means, defections or threats. Asked whether fresh elections would be
held along with Lok Sabha polls, he said that a decision will be taken by the
Election Commission. For the last couple of days, he said, reports of
horse-trading were pouring in. “Even Mehbooba Mufti herself rang me up a week
ago, complaining that her MLAs were being coerced under the threat of NIA
(National Investigation Agency),’’ he said. “Under the given situation, had I
given a chance to any side, there would have been horse-trading on a large
scale during the period given to prove a majority. This would have destroyed
the political value system, which I could not have afforded,’’ he said.
to the peaceful conduct of the urban local body polls recently and the ongoing
panchayat elections, Malik said his administration was carrying democracy to
the grassroot level, with people participating in large numbers. “At this
juncture, this attempt at government formation was made by those who did not
want elections and who had been boycotting the electoral process. It was possible
that they may have cancelled these elections, or not allowed them,” he said.
to the coordination between police and security forces, the Governor said they
have created a situation in which “hardly one or two new persons” had joined
the militancy during the last 50 days in the Valley. “Stone pelting has almost
come to an end and nearly 60 terrorists have been gunned down during the
period,” he said. “This situation would have altered in the event of formation
of an unstable government. What would have come out of it would have been an
opportunist government. There would have been differences between them…
spoiling many things. Whatsoever I did, I acted in the interest of the state
and not mine,” Malik said.
the charge levelled by PDP and NC that the Governor House did not receive
Mehbooba Mufti’s fax on Wednesday staking claim for government formation, he
said his office was closed on Eid. “There was no one in my office even to serve
me food,” he said, adding that they could have sent it to him a day earlier.
asks India to resume dialogue for peace
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has asked India to adopt the
course of dialogue for peace and progress in the region instead of resorting to
provocative statements and ceasefire violations.
to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Bajwa made the suggestion to
India’s civilian and military leadership during a visit to the restive Line of
Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday.
Bajwa pointed out that lately there had been a surge in ceasefire violations by
India and rhetoric of provocative statements by its military leadership.
are a professional and combat hardened army ready to defend our motherland … It
would be better if they [India] realise this and place their stock in peace and
progress through dialogue,” he said.
the general officer commanding of the area updated the army chief on the
situation prevailing along the Line of Control, including ceasefire violations
by Indian troops and Pakistan Army’s response to it.
Bajwa also interacted with the troops on the occasion and appreciated their
state of readiness and morale.
praised the resilience of the civilian Kashmiri population being deliberately
targeted by the Indian forces on both sides of the LoC.
was Gen Bajwa’s second visit to the heavily militarised dividing line in AJK’s
southernmost Bhimber district in less than a month, amid unrelenting ceasefire
violations by the Indian army in a serious breach of November 2003 truce
between the two countries.
ceasefire violations have been frequently causing civilian casualties.
Tuesday, two girls were injured in Haveli district in unprovoked firing by the
Indian army, raising the number of injured persons to 153 and those of the dead
to 27 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing year alone.
his last visit to Bhimber district on Oct 25, Gen Bajwa had made it clear that
Pakistan Army’s belief in peace and stability should not be misconstrued, as
troops were fully prepared and determined to defend the country.
from that, he has also been giving an unequivocal message to India that Kashmir
was the core issue and would have to be resolved between India and Pakistan in
accordance with the United Nation resolutions and the aspirations of the
Kashmiri people for a lasting peace in the region.
NATIONS: Pakistan has highlighted at the United Nations Prime Minister Imran
Khan’s initiative for an international campaign against defamation of
religions, aimed at developing, through dialogue, respect for each other’s
religious beliefs, symbols and personalities.
has always actively engaged in efforts to promote civilised dialogue in order
to build a more peaceful world,” Pakistan Ambassador to the UN Dr Maleeha Lodhi
told the Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), a body
mandated to promote harmony among nations.
than 1,000 scholars took part in the Global Forum to share knowledge and
explore innovative ways of promoting inclusive approaches to conflict
prevention as a pathway for sustaining peace.
Lodhi said that the Pakistani leader had outlined at a recent conference in
Islamabad his initiative for a campaign against defamation of religions to
counter incitement to hatred being witnessed in some parts of the world.
narratives are spreading in several parts of the world; Islamophobia is on the
rise and diversity is being seen not as a source of enrichment but as a threat,
and politics of fear seem to be replacing politics of hope,” she said.
the face of such troubling trends, the Pakistani envoy said the role of bridge
builders and peacemakers becomes even more pivotal.
also stressed the importance of countering violence and hatred that is being
witnessed in some parts of the western world by the negative depiction of
believe that all cultures and civilizations contribute to the common heritage
of mankind, and sincere and open dialogue helps to promote international
cooperation and with that, global peace and security.”
that the collective commitment to the ideals of peaceful coexistence was under
stress, Ambassador Lodhi said that the task of peace-building and sustaining
peace could only be accomplished by collectively building a common vision of a
peaceful world, and adopting an inclusive approach to promote better
values of peace, tolerance, egalitarianism and respect for our common humanity,
are shared by all religions and cultures,” the Pakistani envoy said.
common heritage and values should enable us to draw strength from our diversity
rather than allow it to be used as justification to accentuate differences.
this, it is necessary to stress genuine and constructive dialogue across
cultures and religions.”
Lodhi said that the Alliance of Civilisations has great potential to engage
faith leaders to join our collective endeavour to promote tolerance and
part of its commitment to promoting religious harmony, Ambassador Lodhi cited
the resolution that it sponsors with the Philippines in the UN General Assembly
each year that calls for interreligious and intercultural dialogue as well as
cooperation in the world.
for its part, will continue to support initiatives that promote and strengthen
inter-religious and inter-cultural understanding so that we can build a more
peaceful and just world,” she added.
his opening speech, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored the role
of UNAOC in building “more peaceful, just and resilient societies,” a key
objective of the 2030 UN Development Agenda.
recalled last month’s horrendous attack against Jewish worshippers in
Pittsburgh, a city in the US state of Pennsylvania, who were gunned down while
praying, stating: “It was an unspeakable act – yet I was struck by the voices
that emerged. The local Muslim community, for example, raised tens of thousands
of dollars to help the victims.”
her part, General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa flagged that the
world is facing a complex global juncture marked by multiple crises, including
poverty, inequality, climate change, forced migration, conflicts, terrorism and
intolerance, and called for a strong collective action and global agreements.
build those agreements, the dialogue is the most powerful means,” she
maintained on migration, reminding the Forum that in December, the Global
Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which is the first
international cooperation framework encompassing a comprehensive and balanced
vision, will be adopted.
Alliance’s High Representative, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser also spoke at the
opening ceremony of the two-day event, along with Alliance co-sponsors Deputy
Prime Minister of Spain Carmen Calvo and Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut
least three people have been killed after a bomb struck Haqqani network
militants in their hideout in Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan,
local officials and militant sources say.
Pakistani security official in the region said on Thursday that nearly a dozen
people were also wounded in the attack in Pakistan's South Waziristan region.
Haqqani source confirmed that casualties were caused after the bomb exploded at
a meeting place for militants operating across the region. One of those wounded
was regional commander Jamshed Khan.
individual or group has claimed responsibility for the blast.
Haqqani network operates on both the Pakistani and Afghan side of the border.
It has been behind some deadly attacks against civilians, security forces and
NATO forces in the Afghan capital over the past decade.
militants were blamed for a devastating truck bomb in the heart of Kabul in May
2017 that killed around 150 people, though the Haqqani network later denied any
network was formed 30 years ago to fend off the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan,
and still boasts a strong presence in eastern Afghanistan and in the tribal
districts of North Waziristan in Pakistan’s restive northwest along the Afghan
US and Afghanistan frequently accuse Pakistan of providing a safe haven to
senior Haqqani commanders and allowing the group to operate freely on Pakistan's
side of the porous frontier.
also accuses Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups which
attack Afghanistan from safe havens along the border between the two countries,
but Pakistan denies it.
US governments have criticized Pakistan for links with the Taliban and for
harboring former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
President Donald Trump, during a Fox News TV interview aired on Sunday,
defended canceling assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan
earlier this year because "they don't do anything for us, they don't do a
damn thing for us."
also suggested that Pakistani authorities knew bin Laden's location prior to
his killing allegedly in a raid inside Pakistan in 2011.
has been gripped by insecurity since the US and its allies invaded the country
as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the
country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.
forces have been bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush,
Barack Obama and now Trump. Militants are now launching attacks on both
Pakistani and Afghan soil.
which joined the US so-called war on terror in 2001, says it has paid the price
for the alliance.
people were killed and 12 others wounded on Thursday in a bomb blast in Angoor
Adda Bazaar of South Waziristan district, bordering Afghanistan.
to locals, the explosion took place near a shop in Angoor Adda Bazaar.
wounded were instantly rushed to Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan
tribal district, for medical attention.
of the blast couldn’t be determined but locals said the blast took place
because of a planted bomb. Five days ago, miscreants opened fire on security
forces patrolling in Wana area, leaving one security man martyred and two
others critically wounded. The deceased was identified as Bakhtiar and those
wounded included Haidar Zaman and Akmal Khan. Similarly, two security personnel
and two others suffered multiple injuries when militants opened fire on them in
Gurbaz area of Shawalregion in the adjacent North Waziristan tribal region.
Those died in the incident included Saeed Ahmad and Sarbulandand those suffered
injuries were identified as Hamza and Anwar Masood.
least two policemen were killed when unidentified gunmen stormed the Chinese
consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on Friday, officials said.
to four gunmen tried to enter the consulate but were intercepted by security
guards at a checkpoint, senior local police official Javaid Alam Odho told AFP.
exchange of fire resulted “killing two of our constables and critically
wounding another”, he said.
added that the attackers “ran away” but did not confirm if the attack was over,
saying the area had been cordoned off and security forces were conducting a
and Rangers have reached the site,” added senior police official Pir Muhammad
posted to social media purportedly of the attack showed smoke rising from the
Pakistan’s largest city and a financial hub, was for years rife with political,
sectarian and ethnic militancy.
crackdown in the city by security forces in recent years has brought a lull in
violence, but scattered attacks still take place.
officials barred from entering gurdwaras in Pakistan
Two officials of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan were stopped from
entering two gurdwaras by their administration, which was upset over the
screening of a film in India that they claim has hurt sentiments of the Sikh
officials -- Aranjeet Singh and Sunil Kumar -- were barred from entering the
Gurdwara Nankana Sahib on Wednesday night and Gurdwara Sachcha Sauda on
Thursday. Both the gurdwaras are in Punjab province of Pakistan.
were stopped from entering the gurdwaras by their administration, which said
that the Indian government has hurt the sentiments of Sikhs by allowing the
screening of the film 'Nanak Shah Fakir'.
Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) said that the Pakistan Gurdwara Pharbhndik
Committee (PGPC) officials have stopped the Indian officials. The visiting
officials were heard saying in a video that "No Sikh was stopped from entering
the house of the Guru. We are wondering as why you are stopping us."
PGPC officials however kept saying that they should better leave the premises.
had written to the Indian High Commission asking it not to send its officials
to any of the gurdwara since the release of the film," ETPB Secretary
Tariq Wazir told PTI.
said the Indian officials ignored their advice.
officials reported to have visited the Sachcha Sauda gurdwara to exchange
greetings with the visiting Indian Sikhs, who are here to take part in
festivities related to the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
request the officials of the Indian High Commission not to visit any gurdwara
without permission of the board as we have to security measures for them,"
Pakistan on Thursday rejected allegations of its involvement in the Amritsar
terror attack in which three people were killed amidst Punjab chief minister
Amarinder Singh's accusation that the grenade used was similar to the ones
being manufactured by the Pakistan army.
said that the grenade attack, in which three people were killed and over 20
injured, seemed to carry Pakistan's signature.
investigations indicated that the "grenade used was similar to the ones
being manufactured by the Pakistani Army Ordinance factory," he said.
foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal rejected Singh's allegations in his
weekly press briefing.
categorically rejects these allegations. India is a serial alleger and it has
become its second nature to blame Pakistan for any negative development without
blinking an eye," Faisal said.
purpose of "such severe and unfounded allegations" by the Indian
authorities was to cover up their won failures and drag Pakistan in India's
domestic political affairs during election season, he claimed.
said that India should hold talks with Pakistan if it was serious in solving
different issues including Kashmir.
have said time and again that our restraint should not be mistaken for
weakness," Faisal added.
persons including a preacher were killed and over 20 injured when two-bike
borne men threw grenade on a religious congregation in Amritsar on Sunday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday thanked his Malaysian counterpart,
Mahathir Mohamad, for his warm hospitality during his recent visit to Malaysia
and said that the trip would strengthen ties between the two countries.
a tweet, he said, “I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad for his warm hospitality and I want to thank his ministers and
the Malaysian business community for welcoming us in the spirit of friendship.
This trip will strengthen ties between our two countries.”
also thanked the Malaysian first lady for the “wonderful lunch she arranged for
Wednesday, while addressing a joint press conference with his Malaysian
counterpart in Kuala Lumpur, PM Khan said that Pakistan wants to replicate the
Malaysian model of good governance.
leaders stressed the importance of exchanges of visits at all levels, with a
view to further expand the depth of bilateral ties for commerce and business in
both countries, particularly in palm oil, agro products, food retail, halal
products, automotive parts, energy, science and technology, and
Khan said that Pakistan had huge untapped tourism resources, which it wanted to
develop on the pattern of Malaysia.
progressed greatly under Mahathir Mohammad’s leadership, who transformed the
country and raised the per capita income and Gross Development Product (GDP).
Both of us received votes because we stood against corruption,” he said.
will follow Malaysia’s model to bolster tourism and other sectors in Pakistan,”
Khan also invited his Malaysian counterpart to visit Pakistan to attend the
March 23 ceremony as the guest of honour. His invitation was accepted by the
Malaysian premier who said that he would visit Pakistan in March.
PM Mahathir said, “Pakistan and Malaysia face the same challenges. Imran Khan
is the first foreign leader whom I have welcomed.”
emphasised the need to continue mutual cooperation to benefit from the
experiences of one another. He said that it was decided to have a dialogue
partnership at the ASEAN group, besides enhancing mutual cooperation in the
defence sector. Malaysia further invited Pakistani companies to invest in the
country in both the manufacturing and services sectors where the companies are
able to leverage Malaysia’s strategic location in expanding their investments
into ASEAN and the Asia Pacific regions.
invited potential Malaysian companies to explore the possibility of investing
in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to take advantage of Pakistan’s strategic
location at the crossroads of Central, South and West Asia.
a joint statement issued later, the two leaders welcomed the establishment of
bilateral consultation between the senior officials of both foreign ministries
as a mechanism to intensify engagements between both sides. In this regard,
Malaysia and Pakistan will convene the first bilateral consultation in
Islamabad next year.
two leaders also agreed on the need to enhance educational ties between
Malaysia and Pakistan and agreed that close cooperation on education and
training are critical elements of the next phase of the relationship.
Pakistan on Thursday welcomed the Indian government’s decision to develop the
Kartarpur corridor that will enable Sikh pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara Darbar
Sahib, located in Kartarpur, Narowal district without a visa.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said his country will build and develop a corridor
from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to the International Border
to facilitate Sikh pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the
banks of the Ravi River in Pakistan.
decision was lauded by Pakistan’s information minister and foreign minister.
a statement shared on Twitter, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry endorsed the
decision, calling it a “victory of peace lobby in both countries”.
is a step towards right direction and we hope such steps will encourage voice
of reasons and tranquility on both sides of the border,” he said.
has conveyed to India its decision to open the Kartarpur corridor, the
ground-breaking of which will be performed by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Nov
28, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.
has already conveyed to India its decision to open Kartarparpur Corridor for
Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary,” Qureshi said in his tweet. The FM
said Pakistan welcomed the Sikh community for this auspicious occasion.
Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appreciated the decision to open
Kartarpur border corridor by Pakistani and Indian governments for Sikh
pilgrims, and welcomed the Sikh pilgrims who had travelled to Pakistan to visit
the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.
the decision as the fulfillment of the dream of former Prime Minister Shaheed
Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto after a quarter century, he recalled that Prime
Minister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had first proposed to grant a
visa-less free corridor to Kartarpur shrine from the Indian border. Since then
Sikh devotees had been impressing upon the Government of India to accept
Pakistan’s proposal and facilitate Sikh pilgrims visiting their holy shrine.
said that PPP always stood for people to people contact between the two
neighbouring countries and every government led by PPP had taken significant
steps to facilitate the Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims from India and the world
over, to visit their sacred places.
pledged that PPP would continue to initiate and support more facilities for
non-Muslim pilgrims to visit their holy places in Pakistan.
Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal told reporters at a weekly press
conference that the bid for opening of Kartarpura border-corridor between
Pakistan and India had made swift progress and good news in this regard was in
Kartarpura Corridor will soon see the light of day which will greatly
facilitate Sikh pilgrims, crossing two countries,” he said.
Kartarpura Corridor, on completion, will connect the Sikh holy shrines of Dera
Baba Nanak Sahib and Kartarpura Sahib shrine situated at the two Punjabs of
India and Pakistan respectively.
opening of the corridor was first conveyed by Army chief General Qamar Javed
Bajwa to the visiting former Indian cricketer Navjaot Singh Sidhu at the
swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan in August.
crown prince gets warm welcome in UAE amid pressure over Khashoggi murder
bin Salman has landed in the United Arab Emirates as part of his first trip
abroad since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
powerful Saudi crown prince left the Gulf kingdom on Thursday to start "a
tour of a number of brotherly Arab countries”, the state-run Saudi Press Agency
Salman, also known as MBS, was welcomed in the United Arab Emirates by his
close ally, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed.
proud of our deep-rooted ties. Close cooperation and a fruitful partnership
lies in store for our countries. The UAE will always be a loving and supportive
home for our brothers in Saudi Arabia," bin Zayed said on Twitter
two leaders discussed "regional and international" developments and
the "challenges and threats facing the Middle East region", AFP
reported, citing the UAE's state-run news outlet, WAM.
is also expected to visit Egypt and Bahrain on his tour abroad, a German news
agency reported earlier this week, while AFP said he will be in the Tunisian
capital, Tunis, on Tuesday.
Saudi crown prince will then participate in a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires at
the end of the month that will be attended by leaders from the United States,
Turkey and European countries, AFP reported.
meeting at G20 possible
crown prince's foreign tour comes amid ongoing pressure over the killing of
Khashoggi, a Saudi government critic who was murdered inside the country's
Istanbul consulate on 2 October.
officials maintain that the crown prince had no knowledge of Khashoggi's murder
or its subsequent cover up. However, the CIA said last Friday that it believes
bin Salman ordered the journalist's killing.
could have his first face-to-face meeting with Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan on
the sidelines of the G20 summit, the Turkish president's spokesman said on Thursday.
has been growing between Riyadh and Ankara over Khashoggi's murder, as Turkish
officials have gradually leaked information in relation to the case.
could be" a meeting, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.
"We're looking at the programme," Kalin said, according to state news
this week, Karen Attiah, Khashoggi's editor at the Washington Post, said MBS
should not be welcomed at the G20 summit, however.
leaders should not be gripping and grinning with tyrants who order the
dismemberment of writers and the torture of women’s rights campaigners,"
she tweeted, referring to a recent Amnesty International report on the alleged
torture of several Saudi human rights activists inside a Jeddah prison.
also described reports that Donald Trump intends to meet with MBS during the
summit as "disgraceful".
Trump pledges support for MBS
the US president has sought to cast doubt on the US intelligence agency's
conclusion that MBS was responsible for Khashoggi's murder and recently pledged
to maintain Washington's close ties to Riyadh.
a long-winded and widely criticised written statement released by the White
House on Tuesday, Trump said both MBS and his father, Saudi King Salman,
"deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder" of
intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very
well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did
and maybe he didn’t!" he said.
being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr
Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi
that hasn't stopped other world leaders from continuing to demand answers over
Thursday, the Qatari foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said
"whoever is responsible for Khashoggi's death needs to be held
European Union's foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, said on Thursday
that a transparent and credible investigation into Khashoggi's killing has not
yet been completed.
officials have arrested 21 people they say were involved in the murder and
recently said they would seek the death penalty for five suspects in the case.
at a joint news conference with EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Turkish
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Mogherini said she was against the
use of the death penalty, AFP reported.
this week, Cavusoglu also said whoever ordered Khashoggi's murder should be
held accountable and be brought to justice.
Wednesday, however, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the kingdom
would not tolerate any disparaging remarks against MBS, saying criticism of the
crown prince constitutes "a red line".
sources in Eastern Syria reported on Thursday that the Syrian army has sent
fresh forces and equipment to its positions near Albu Kamal in Eastern Deir
Ezzur and at the border with Iraq.
added that the Syrian army's convoys have been sent from different parts of the
country, including Homs and Hama, to Eastern Deir Ezzur in the past 2 weeks,
saying that the army is preparing for extensive military operations to cleanse
the ISIL terrorists from Badiyeh of Albu Kamal amid the latter's increased
offensives on army positions.
the Syrian air force launched airstrikes on ISIL positions and moves near
Awiraz dam, areas near the T3 station and the administrative borders of Deir
Ezzur with the Eastern Badiyeh of Homs, killing and wounding several terrorists
and destroying their military equipment.
Syrian army had also last Sunday forwarded more troops and military hardware to
the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur to reinvigorate its forces' combat and
army sent a convoy, including several vehicles, a large volume of military
hardware and tens of fresh forces to the small towns of Ma'adan Northwest of
Deir Ezzur city.
the meantime, the army forwarded its forces and military equipment from Hama
and Palmyra in Homs to Eastern Deir Ezzur.
army has dispatched more troops to al-Salehiyah region in Albu Kamal desert in
Southeastern Deir Ezzur in recent days.
made the remarks in an interview with the Arabic-language website of RT on
also referred to ISIL's recent moves at the borders with Iraq, saying that they
are aimed at keeping the fire of war in the region alive.
underlined deployment of Hezbollah Battalions at the borders with Syria along
with the Iraqi army forces, and said, "We condemn any control of foreign
forces over the Iraqi territories and consider presence of the US forces in
Iraq as occupation."
US has for years been accused by popular forces of the regional nations of
supporting the terrorist groups, specially the ISIL, in the region.
this month, the Iraqi military forces discovered several food and arms
consignments, dropped by the US military helicopters for the ISIL terrorists,
at border with Syria.
consignments included a large volume of weapons, military equipment, canned
food and bottles of water and were dropped for the ISIL at Iraq-Syria border
region almost a week ago.
authorities say police killed 12 extremist militants when security forces
stormed three deserted buildings used as militant hideouts in the northern part
of the Sinai Peninsula.
Interior Ministry statement on Thursday said that the militants were the first
to open fire on the policemen as they surrounded the buildings in the Mediterranean
coastal city of el-Arish.
statement said there were no casualties among the police.
has for years battled extremist militants in Sinai.
authorities began removing cement walls surrounding Baghdad’s Green Zone on
Thursday in preparation for a partial reopening of the high-security enclave,
an Iraqi official and AFP correspondents said.
Green Zone became home to Iraq’s parliament and other government offices,
United Nations agencies and western embassies after the US-led invasion of
area on the west bank of the Tigris River is ringed by blast walls topped with
barbed wire and guarded by Iraqi security forces, but inaccessible for most
Thursday, AFP reporters saw some walls had been removed.
is ongoing to lift the cement blocks, and a main road will be opened
provisionally on Saturday and officially on Sunday,” an Iraqi official told
official said three entrances into the 10-square km (3.8-square mile) zone
would be opened to allow access to a key thoroughfare and therefore relieve
traffic clogging other parts of Baghdad.
reopening of the road that cuts through the center of the Green Zone came after
directions from the prime minister,” the official added.
Adel Abdel Mahdi was appointed premier last month, he called on parliament to
open up the area to all as a way to break down barriers between Iraq’s
Mahdi also moved his government’s headquarters outside the Green Zone, in a
first since 2003.
prime minister Haidar al-Abadi had also ordered the zone reopened during his
reign, but it was sealed off again after only a few days.
least four schoolchildren have lost their lives and six others sustained
injuries when a bomb explosion ripped through their vehicle in Iraq’s northern
province of Nineveh.
Lieutenant Thiab al-Jabouri said the incident took place in the town of
al-Shura, located roughly 45 kilometers south of provincial capital city of
Mosul, on Thursday afternoon when a roadside bomb went off near a bus.
group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but it bears the hallmark
of attacks carried out by members of the Daesh Takfiri terror group.
to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), a total of 69 Iraqi civilians
lost their lives last month, and 105 others were injured as a result of acts of
terrorism and violence across the country.
numbers were the lowest monthly casualty figures since UNAMI began publishing
them in November 2012.
large number of the fatalities were recorded in Nineveh, where 29 civilians were
killed and 36 others wounded.
capital province of Baghdad saw 29 people killed and another 35 injured. Five
people were also killed and 19 others injured in the western province of Anbar.
security forces uncover another Izadi mass grave
Iraqi security officials have found a mass grave in Nineveh, which contained
the bodies of more than a dozen members of the Izadi minority, who are believed
to have been executed by Daesh terrorists when they were in control of the
security source, requesting anonymity, told the Arabic-language al-Ghad Press
news agency that the mass grave contained the bodies of 17 people.
added that Iraqi forces made the latest discovery in the village of Kasar
recent report has disclosed that foreign militants, including many of European
origins, were responsible for atrocities and acts of brutality carried out by
Daesh against members of the Izadi minority.
Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights said in a report on
October 25 that the extremist group's actions amounted to genocide and crimes
Murad, an Iraqi Izadi human rights activist and one of the 2018 Nobel Peace
Prize laureates, confirmed the findings of the report.
was kidnapped from her hometown of Kojo in Nineveh in 2014, and held by Daesh
terrorists for three months.
in August, an official at the Endowments and Religious Affairs Ministry of the
semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government said more than 3,000 members of
the Izadi minority remained unaccounted for ever since Daesh militants overran
their hometowns in northern Iraq in 2014.
fate of 3,102 Izadis remain unknown since Daesh terrorists attacked our towns
and cities in mid-2014,” Khairi Bozarni said at a conference devoted to the
“Izadi Genocide” in the Kurdish capital city of Erbil on August 15.
I want justice for all, but I love my race and religion
LUMPUR — The “New Malaysia” under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will not
abandon Malays and Islam, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim
said on Friday (Nov 23).
said liberals have accused him of being “Malay and Islam” underneath his
veneer, which he did not deny.
love this country. I want justice for all people in this country. But this
cannot diminish my love for my race and culture and my confidence in the
principles of Islam,” Mr Anwar said in a lecture at Universiti Malaya that was
broadcast on Facebook.
believe that this foundation is not rejected by the current government.”
Prime Minister designate also said the previous Barisan Nasional (BN)
administration was the one who first raised the issue of ratifying the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (Icerd) in 2010.
signatories commit to ending all forms of racial discrimination in their
countries, but some Muslim hardliners including opposition Parti Islam
Se-Malaysia (PAS) and United Malays National Organisation (Umno) take to mean a
dismantling of pro-Bumiputera affirmative action and privileges in Malaysia.
Federal Constitution contains provisions that expressly touch on Bumiputera
privileges, fuelling debate on whether or not these must be amended upon the
ratification of Icerd.
Anwar said that currently, Malaysia could not start by immediately rejecting
international treaties like Icerd, saying it would be discussed first.
we are anti-discrimination,” he said. “In our country, citizens have the same
rights. So we oppose racial and religious oppression. We must be clear.”
he expressed uncertainty if the ratification of Icerd would affect
constitutional provisions on Malay rights, the royalty, the national language,
and Islam as the religion of the federation.
believe they are not affected. I myself am unsure because legal interpretations
in Malaysia may not necessarily be the same as those overseas. Therefore, our
suggestion is to postpone it and allow for public discussions,” he said.
Anwar stressed that he was against discrimination and racial ideologies.
want all Malaysians — Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sabahans and Sarawakians — to
feel that they have the right to develop our country together. But I also
stress that Islam must be appreciated as the religion of the federation.” MALAY
co-founder of Batam-based radio station Hang FM, Zein Alatas, has been denied
entry to Singapore because of his alleged affiliations with the Salafi group,
an ultra-conservative movement within Sunni Islam.
had to undergo questioning for six hours at the Immigration Checkpoint
Authority (ICA) at HarbourFront Port, Singapore on Tuesday before immigration officers denied him entry and deported
him back to Batam. His wife and six radio staff members who had joined him for
the trip left the country voluntarily.
told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that he went to Singapore to attend the
wedding of his best friend. He arrived at HarbourFront at 10 a.m. local time.
wife and my colleagues were able to pass the immigration check. However, when
my turn came, the officer asked me to enter the interrogation room and
interrogated me for six hours before denying my entry and sending me back to
Batam,” he said.
to Zein, the immigration officers questioned him about his radio station, such
as its activities and its affiliation with Radio Rodja, Indonesia’s leading
was really disappointed by this kind of treatment. Why do they conduct the
interrogation in the interrogation room? And the officers did not even ask me
about the purpose of my trip to Singapore. This is very disappointing,” Zein
in 2017, the station was scrutinized by Singaporean authorities after two of
its listeners, Rosli Hamzah and Mohamed Omar Mahadi, were detained under the
Internal Security Act for planning to travel to the Middle East and fight for
the Islamic State (IS) movement in Iraq and Syria.
and Hamzah, both residents of Singapore, were avid listeners of Radio Hang FM.
Singaporean authorities deemed the station to be a religious station that
preaches extreme views. However, an investigation conducted by the Indonesian
Broadcasting Commission (KPI) concluded that the station no longer promotes
radical teachings in its broadcasts.
and Australia were supposed to sign their long-awaited bilateral free-trade
agreement last week at the East Asia Summit in Singapore. But the deal has
apparently been put on hold.
Minister Simon Birmingham said translation issues were partly to blame for the
delay. But it’s hard to deny that Australia’s plan to relocate its embassy to
Jerusalem loomed large.
Australian officials and politicians believe the embassy proposal is foolhardy,
while others say that Indonesia shouldn’t ‘dictate’ Australian foreign policy.
The issue, of course, isn’t about who dictates what. It’s simply that, as
Newton’s third law says, ‘For every action, there’s an equal and opposite
reaction’—even in foreign policy.
Jakarta unravel a trade deal that has taken years of painstaking negotiation
over what some might argue is a ‘symbolic’, if not ‘emotional’, issue?
Israeli–Palestinian conflict may not be Jakarta’s bread-and-butter national
interest. But it touches on one of the key foundations of Indonesia’s foreign
policy: the promise of independence and freedom from the debt of
President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo said that Indonesia’s support for Palestine
stems from President Sukarno’s pledge in 1962: as long as Palestine is not
independent, Indonesia will always stand opposed to Israel. That promise can be
traced back to before Indonesia’s independence in 1945. Palestinian
nationalists then supported Jakarta’s quest and even helped persuade Egypt to
better or worse, Palestine was part of the formative period of Indonesia’s
‘independent and active’ foreign policy. But the support for Palestine doesn’t
mean that Indonesia’s foreign policy is strongly ‘Islamic’.
the current Indonesian ambassador to the UK, Rizal Sukma, has written, Islam
has never been the defining framework for Indonesia’s foreign policy. When the
‘Islamic factor’ comes into play, it is always driven by domestic political
brings us to the second reason for Indonesia’s opposition to the embassy
proposal: in an election year, a weak stance in the Israeli–Palestinian
conflict could become a rallying cry to upset Jokowi’s re-election chances.
since Jokowi named Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate, the opposing Prabowo
Subianto/Sandiaga Uno camp has found it difficult to exploit religious
sentiments as they did when they brought down Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahja
Purmana last year.
opposition has tried to scrape any potentially damaging issue, like the burning
of Hizbut Tahrir’s flag by members of the Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest
Muslim organisation and a critical Jokowi supporter. So far, we have yet to see
any serious snowball effect that might ruin Jokowi’s re-election chances. But
if Australia relocates its embassy, the opposition might finally have
opposition has often painted Jokowi as a ‘neo-liberal’ who is ‘selling out the
country’, as evident in Prabowo’s campaign speeches. The embassy move could
inflame those attacks by adding a religious component.
official with the National Mandate Party (PAN), a member of Prabowo’s
coalition, noted that the proposal could affect Indonesians ‘at grassroots’
level and ‘some of them might be the radicals’. Civil society groups have also
warned that if Australia follows through on the proposal, moderate and radical
groups will see it as a ‘green light’ to ‘punish Australia’.
the economic benefits of a free-trade deal are significant, it is politically risky
to be liberalising trade in an election year—or ‘opening up the country to
foreigners’, as the opposition might say—especially with a country that might
be seen as hurting the Palestinian cause.
combination of religious identity politics and anti-liberalisation rhetoric
might be enough to give the Prabowo camp some momentum heading into the
the embassy move reignites a dormant but significant perception in Jakarta:
that Australia always follows America’s lead, even it upsets its neighbours.
Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, who served as ambassador to Australia from 2012 to 2017,
even suggested that the Australian government should ‘distance yourselves a
bit’ from the United States.
highlights a more structural challenge in Indonesia–Australia relations:
Jakarta’s perception that Australia is never fully part of the region because
it can’t say no to Washington.
that didn’t stop Jakarta and Canberra from signing a comprehensive strategic
partnership in August—which elevated Australia’s position in Indonesia’s
foreign policy calculus to the same level as America’s and China’s. And the
Australia–US alliance also hasn’t prevented Canberra from boosting its
Indo-Pacific credentials or supporting ASEAN’s centrality in regional
LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The government should discuss with more stakeholders before
ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination (ICERD) before making any decision on the matter,
activist Hishamuddin Rais said.
said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration should not decide the ratification
of the United Nations treaty without engaging the public sufficiently, amid
protests by Malay-Muslim groups.
should first conduct town hall meetings and engage with the public before
implementing or trying to implement any policies.
must discuss it first before you implement it. Such is the process of
democracy,’’ he said at the “Apakah perlunya ICERD untuk Malaysia?” forum
hosted by Forum Telawi at the International Islamic University Malaysia yesterday.
government’s plan to ratify ICERD has received massive pushback from many
groups, including Umno and PAS who claim that the ratification of the
international convention goes against Article 153 of the Federal Constitution
which safeguards Malays’ special position.
said concerns from the Malay community on ICERD could stem from the
manifestation of the “unresolved national question”, referring to the social
contract of the nation.
further stated that he was not confident the Malays have fully accepted other
races as their countrymen.
Pemuda secretary general Amir Abd Hadi said the government's failure to
properly explain ICERD to the masses have allowed the conversation to turn
“chaotic and scary.’’
government has failed to explain what ICERD is and engage with those who have a
vested interest in the conversation such as the Malay Rulers.
failure to do so has opened the way for those who survive on racial and
religious lines to remain relevant in the political landscape of the country,’’
panellist, Muhammad Faiz Fadzil, said he agreed with the ratification of ICERD,
but urged the government to ensure that the convention must not be in conflict
with the Federal Constitution.
who is the Amanah assemblyman for Permatang Pasir, said there was no need for
the majority Malay-Muslim community to be afraid of the ratification of ICERD.
is there a need to fear ICERD, as it is only a political ploy by certain
parties which preys on racial and religious lines?
status of Islam and Malay has been enshrined in the Constitution, so there is
no need to be afraid of ICERD,’’ he said.
freedom is under threat in one of every five nations around the globe, in part
because of an increase in "aggressive ultranationalism", a Catholic
NGO said in a report Thursday.
to the Church in Need found incidents of religious persecution in 21 countries
in the two years to June 2018, including Niger, Myanmar, India and China.
of discrimination were reported in 17 other countries such as Algeria, Turkey and
Russia, it said.
was the 14th edition of the aid group's report covering all religions in 196
countries, carried out every two years with the assistance of independent
observed a trivialisation of attacks on religious freedom," said Marc
Fromager, head of the NGO's French chapter, at a press conference in Paris.
the 38 countries where freedom is threatened, he said the situation has
worsened in 18 of them, "in particular in two of the most populous
countries in the world, China and India."
hostility toward minorities has worsened to the point that we can qualify this
as aggressive ultranationalism," he said.
China, for example, Fromager said churches have been destroyed and Uighur
Muslims have been forbidden from observing the holy month of Ramadan, while
Tibetan Buddhists continue to face persecution.
report noted an easing of tensions in Syria and Iraq following the weakening of
the Islamic State group, which has allowed some Christians to return to their
while persecution was not seen as a problem in Europe, Fromager noted "a
worrying increase in extremist attacks motivated in particular by religious
French government announced earlier this month that anti-Semitic acts surged by
69 percent to 385 in the first nine months of 2018.
Taliban militants join peace process in Nangarhar province
least 45 Taliban militants including four of their commanders renounced
violence and joined peace process, the local officials said Thursday.
governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said the militants joined peace process
after they were persuaded the provincial intelligence, National Directorate of
Security, to renounce violence.
further added that the militants were conducting insurgency in Momandara,
Khogyani, Sherzad, Ghani Khel, Achin, and Nazian districts.
said the militants renounced violence after reaching to a conclusion regarding
the situation of the country as well as losing fighting the capabilities.
to Khogyani, the militants also handed over five heavy weapons and 45 light
weapons to the National Directorate of Security.
on behalf of the reconciled militants, Nabiullah and Islam said they have
conducted insurgency and destructive activities for the past six years on
instructions of the neighboring intelligence circles.
also added that they were encouraged to join peace process after hearing to the
Fatwas of the Ulemas as well as losing fighting capabilities.
provincial government media office in a statement said nearly 300 militants
have joined peace process due to the efforts of the National Directorate of
Security during the recent months.
Humvee Armored Personnel Carrier was destroyed and at least nine militants were
killed in airstrike of the Afghan Air Force in western Farah province of
207th Zafar Corps of the Afghan Military in the West said the Afghan Air Force
A-29s carried out airstrike in Posht Rod district, destroying a Humvee APC and
leaving nine militants dead.
to a statement released by 207th Corps, the Humvee APC was captured by
militants a while ago.
statement further added that nine weapons, two communication radio sets, and
five motorcycles were also destroyed during the same airstrike.
was among the relatively calm provinces in West of Afghanistan but the security
situation of the province has deteriorated during the recent years.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah says the Taliban militant group is not
serious in peace talks aimed at ending hostilities in the war-inflicted
on Wednesday questioned the militant group’s sincerity and said the Taliban had
so far shown no intention to seriously engage in the negotiations despite US
efforts to push a fresh peace process.
there are renewed efforts in terms of the international community and
especially the US,” Abdullah said in an interview with AFP in Paris. “We are
not judging it too prematurely, but I would say that our experience as of now
has been that they (the Taliban) have not shown any intention to get seriously
engaged in the peace negotiations.”
is while Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had said earlier this month that it was
“not a question of if, but when” an agreement would be reached with the
US’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, also raised the
possibility of a breakthrough before April 20, 2019, the date set for
presidential elections in Afghanistan.
Taliban leaders said on Monday that they had failed to reach any agreement with
the US after three days of talks at their political headquarters in Qatar,
citing dissatisfaction with a deadline set by Washington’s Afghanistan envoy to
end the war.
group’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an
end following the 2001 US-led invasion of the country; but 17 years on,
Washington — having failed to end Taliban’s militancy — is now seeking a truce.
Taliban have generally insisted on negotiating only with the US, and not the
militants have overtaken several districts in a spate of brazen attacks in
recent months, including Ghazni, which was briefly overtaken by the militants
last month, jolting the government in Kabul because the central city is close
to the capital.
Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh has also established a foothold in the
country. The group has reportedly managed to recruit some of Taliban’s members.
Muslim groups call for national day of action against hate
than 100 community groups across Canada have called on Justin Trudeau's
government to designate January 29 a National Day of Action against Hate and
Intolerance, in memory of the victims of a deadly attack on a Canadian mosque
on that date last year. The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), which
spearheaded an open letter sent to the Canadian government on Thursday, said
the move would allow all Canadians "to join together in the fight against
Islamophobia and hate of all kinds".
Muslim men were shot and killed after a gunman opened fire at the Islamic
Cultural Centre in Quebec City on 29 January 2017.
we approach the second anniversary of the attack, we pause to recognise that
the racism and hatred that underpinned this attack do not exist in
isolation," reads the open letter.
to Canada's minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism, it was signed
by dozens of Muslim, interfaith and other community groups across the country.
attacks against religious, racial and other minorities in Canada have
demonstrated beyond any doubt that no one community can combat this hate alone.
Rather, as Canadians, we must come together and unite, not only against
Islamophobia but against all forms of hate."
gunman, Alexandre Bissonnette, pleaded guilty earlier this year to six counts
of murder and six counts of attempted murder in the attack. He has yet to be
sentenced, but faces life in prison.
NCCM previously asked the Canadian government to designate 29 January a
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
demand was met with opposition from some political parties in Quebec, while the
federal government in Ottawa was non-committal, saying only that it had
received the proposal.
mosque attack was "the most horrific large-scale expression of the kind of
Islamophobia that too many Canadian Muslims face daily", Thursday's letter
has recording of MBS phone call to silence Khashoggi: Report
US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is in possession of a tape that proves
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave instructions to
"silence" dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a new report has
newspaper Hurriyet reported Thursday that CIA Director Gina Haspel had signaled
the existence of the recording to Turkish officials last month.
is under growing pressure to come clean about Khashoggi’s murder inside the
Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul about six weeks ago.
Riyadh has repeatedly denied the young prince’s involvement, there have been
reports of several audio recordings that confirm bin Salman ordered a hit job
on longtime friend Khashoggi, after he turned on him and started to criticize
is talk of another recording," Hurriyet columnist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote,
claiming that the alleged call took place between MBS and his brother Khaled,
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US.
is being said the crown prince gave orders to 'silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon
as possible'," in a call which was monitored by the CIA, he claimed.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Khashoggi’s murder was ordered by
the highest level of Saudi leadership.
first claimed that the ill-fated journalist had left the consulate on October
2, the same day he entered the building for some paperwork.
offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh finally admitted last week
that Khashoggi was killed when he refused to return to Saudi Arabia.
refers questions to CIA, defends MBS
President Donald Trump refused to say whether the tape was real and referred
reporters to the CIA for answers.
don’t want to talk about it. You’ll have to ask them,” he said during a
teleconference with military members from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
about bin Salman’s possible involvement he said the Saudi prince “regretted the
death more than I do.”
he did or whether he didn’t, he denies it vehemently. His father denies, the
king, vehemently. The CIA doesn’t say they did it. They do point out certain
things, and in pointing out those things, you can conclude that maybe he did or
maybe he didn’t," Trump added.
American president said he would stand by Saudi Arabia’s leadership on the
issue because he needed Riyadh’s help to drive down oil prices.
want low oil prices and Saudi Arabia has really done a good job in that
respect,” Trump said.
hate the crime. I hate what's done. I hate the cover up. And I tell you what:
the crown print hates it more than I do," Trump said, without providing
Khashoggi, a US green card holder, first went missing, Trump’s argument to not
give Riyadh a hard time was because “it’s in Turkey, and it’s not a citizen.”
as he was saying that and kept siding with MBS, an American citizen was left
behind bars in the bowels of the Saudi prison system.
Fitaihi, a Harvard-trained doctor, hospital owner, television host and
motivational speaker, has been detained without trial for more than a year now,
according to The New York Times.
dual citizen, Fitaihi is one of many businessmen, princes, clerics, scholars
and activists that Saudi security forces have arrested as part of Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman’s push to consolidate his power.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says negotiations with the US to save the 2015
nuclear deal are pointless because US President Donald Trump is not
at the 4th edition of Mediterranean Dialogues (MED 2018) forum in the Italian
capital of Rome, the Iranian top diplomat said Thursday that Tehran would not
renege on any deal made.
pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May, branding
the landmark agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the US,
the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – a "disaster."
American head of state pledged back then that he would bring back sanctions
that were removed under the deal and impose tougher ones until the Islamic
Republic agrees to renegotiate a deal that would further limit its nuclear
program, ban developing certain ballistic missiles and roll back Tehran’s
influence in the region.
has made it clear that it continues to stick to the current terms of the deal
and work with the European signatories to overcome the sanctions.
stressed that the US could not be trusted for any further talks without the
required guarantees, something he said was too much to expect from the Trump
we are to make an agreement with the United States, what is the guarantee that
the agreement will last after the flight? You remember Canada?" he said,
taking a jab at Trump for his last minute refusal to sign a G7 summit closing
statement in June, after his plane left host Canada.
are we to be confident that the signature stays on the paper?" Zarif
deal’s future became even more unclear earlier this month, after sweeping new
American sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports came into effect.
granting waivers to Iran’s main oil buyers for the time being, Washington has
warned that it would punish European companies that engage in business deals
has threatened to pull out of the JCPOA if it no longer received the economic
benefits of it.
said while he was certain that Europe would be able to guarantee the deal’s
future, Iran was not going to wait long.
I said we rely on our people and that is where the red line is,” he said. “If
our people believe that the deal is not conducive to their economic interests
then we will have to respond to the will of our people.”
agreement, reached after extensive talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna,
envisaged the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran in exchange for
limits on certain parts of the country’s nuclear energy program.
spent two-and-a-half years, this is not a two-page document, this is not a
picture opportunity. This is a 150-page document," Zarif said of the
JCPOA, suggesting that Trump's objection to deal was mainly because of his
“hatred” for the things his predecessor, Barack Obama, had accomplished.
should we resume another talk just because somebody doesn't like it, just
because somebody hates his predecessor? That's not the reason you engage in diplomacy,
diplomacy is a serious game and we are ready for a serious game," the FM
pointed out that the deal was not between Iran and the Obama administration
because it also involved the P5+1 and the European Union (EU) while also being
enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
remaining five signatories to the JCPOA have planned to support an EU push to
establish a special payment system – called the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) –
to continue trade and business ties with Iran.
Arabia’s government is one of the greatest enemies of democracy and most
violent regimes in the world but the administration of US President Donald
Trump continues to support Riyadh, a US writer and academic says.
Saudis are one the most reactionary governments, most bellicose governments, most
supporters of terrorism and the most regressive [regime],” said James Petras, a
retired professor who has published on political issues with particular focus
on Latin America, the Middle East and imperialism.
realizes; in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and North America that Saudis
are an enemy of Democratic people and is an enemy of anyone that believes in
free speech and free discussion,” Petras told Press TV on Wednesday.
few people, including Trump’s own party, endorse his actions and have great
respect for the Saudis,” he added.
praised Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for keeping oil prices low -- one strand of his
argument against punishing Riyadh even though the CIA reportedly found strong
evidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto Saudi
leader, was involved in the grisly killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
a US resident who wrote for The Washington Post and had been critical of Prince
Mohammed, was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, killed and
lengthy denials, Saudi authorities admitted responsibility and said 21 people
had been taken into custody. However, a CIA analysis leaked to the US media
went further, reportedly pointing the finger at the crown prince.
Trump, on holiday at his Florida Mar-a-Lago Club on Wednesday, doubled down on
a statement from Tuesday that he was essentially ignoring the killing of
Khashoggi because of what he said were more important US strategic and
says the US must lift its cruel sanctions on exports of humanitarian goods,
including food and medicine, to Iran based on an October ruling by the
International Court of Justice (ICJ).
ruling requires Washington to allow supply of medicine and medical devices,
food and agricultural goods and airplane parts, which directly deal with human
lives, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi, said Thursday.
the bullying policies it pursues across the world, the US wants to ignore all
international bodies, and does not pay any heed to them,” Qassemi told state
Hague-based court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations,
ordered the US on October 3 to halt its unilateral sanctions on
"humanitarian" supplies to Iran.
lawsuit, lodged in July, argued that the sanctions violate the terms of the
1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the US.
rulings are legally binding and cannot be appealed, but the US ignored the
court's verdict about Iran and imposed even harsher sanctions on the country in
praised the ICJ, saying the Islamic Republic must take advantage of the
tribunal's capacity to offset the negative impact of US sanctions.
court "may not be able to provide the means for exerting maximum pressure
on the US in the short-term, but it … can buy some time for medicine, food, and
plane parts manufacturing companies to have more cooperation with Iran,” he
US claims it has formally exempted humanitarian supplies, but banks and
financial institutions refuse to process Iran-related transactions for fear of
provoking US sanctions.
sides with Iran on US bans
another victory for Iran, the Council of the International Maritime
Organization (IMO) on Thursday asked the US to refrain from taking any measure
that might endanger Iran's maritime security and freedom of navigation.
had filed a lawsuit against the US on Nov. 8, which the IMO took up at its
121st meeting in London, state news agency IRNA reported.
its complaint, Tehran argued that US sanctions on its shipping sector violated
the Convention on the International Maritime Organization, which urges member
states to avoid discriminatory measures against shipping activities of other
had asked the IMO to order its members not to behave in a way that would
deprive one member state of its legal rights, Mohammad Rastad, the head of the
Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran, told reporters on Thursday following
the IMO meeting.
Iran’s complaint was legally and logically convincing and was supported by
influential member states, he said, adding that IMO members finally sided with
Iran on the case and urged the organization to recognize the Islamic Republic’s
right in this regard.
IMO "strongly urged the US and other member states to refrain from taking
any measure that might endanger international maritime safety and security and
the freedom of navigation,” Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad
a specialized agency of the United Nations, the IMO which has 174 member states
is tasked with regulating international shipping.
organization works to promote "safe, secure, environmentally sound,
efficient and sustainable shipping through cooperation," as its mission
says US bases and aircraft carriers within missile range
Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Wednesday that US bases in
Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were
within range of Iranian missiles, as tensions rise between Tehran and
are within our reach and we can hit them if they (Americans) make a move,” Amirali
Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, was quoted as
saying by Tasnim news agency.
said the Guards had improved the precision of their missiles, and specifically
said they could hit the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, Al Dhafra base in the
United Arab Emirates and Kandahar base in Afghanistan that host US forces.
President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s
nuclear programme in May and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran. He said the deal
was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic
missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
Islamic Republic’s government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over
its military capabilities, particularly its missile program run by the Guards.
which says its missile program is purely defensive, has threatened to disrupt
oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if the United States
tries to strangle Iranian oil exports.
October, the Revolutionary Guards fired missiles at ISIS militants in Syria
after the extremist group took responsibility for an attack at a military
parade in Iran that killed 25 people, nearly half of them members of the
sentenced to 10 years for anti-semitic bomb threats
Israeli-American Jewish Michael Kadar convicted for making more than 2,000 of
anti-Semitic threats against US Jewish institutions, airlines, police stations
and even a professional basketball team’s plane, was sentenced to 10 years in
prison Thursday by an Israeli court.
20-year-old’s bomb threats against Jewish institutions in the United States
sparked fears of a rise in anti-Semitism in the country.
of the offences were committed when he was a minor, the ruling said.
was arrested when he was a minor.
army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have
intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led
military coalition, as it was flying in the skies over a mountainous region in
the country’s western coastal province of Hudaydah.
unnamed Yemeni military source told Arabic-language al-Masirah television
network that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down the combat
drone as it was on a mission over the mountainous Jabaliya area on Thursday
in the day, Yemeni soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees targeted and
destroyed a Saudi-led reconnaissance drone as it was flying in the skies west
of al-Majazah area in Saudi Arabia’s southern border region of Asir.
envoy, Ansarullah chief hold talks ahead of peace talks
the leader of the Houthi Ansarullah movement and United Nations Envoy to Yemen
Martin Griffiths met in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, and discussed logistics
ahead of peace talks in Sweden next month.
al-Houthi stressed the importance of credibility and the will of the Saudi-led
military alliance to push for a political solution to the Yemeni conflict away
from fallacies that it employed during the previous round of negotiations.
added that people from all strata of the Yemeni society were suffering from the
Saudi-led military aggression alongside the sea, land and air blockade on the
Ansarullah leader also praised positive initiatives and practical steps, which
seek to ensure a political solution to the Yemeni conflict.
then demanded an immediate end to the Saudi-led aggression, the removal of
economic sanctions, which have forced the Yemeni riyal to plunge drastically
against foreign currencies, and the ease of humanitarian aid deliveries.
this week, the administration of Saudi-backed former Yemeni president Abd
Rabbuh Mansur announced that it would take part in the proposed peace talks in
Sweden next month, hours after the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary
Committee of Yemen, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said Ansarullah fighters were
halting their retaliatory attacks as a goodwill measure to speed up “peace”
says that he has received “firm assurances” that the warring Yemeni parties
would attend talks in the Swedish city of Stockholm.
has presented a draft UN Security Council resolution on Yemen, and called on
parties involved in Yemen’s crisis to restart peace negotiations.
conflict in Yemen can only be resolved though an inclusive political process,”
the draft resolution said.
draft sets a two-week deadline for warring Yemeni parties to remove all
barriers to humanitarian aid, to halt attacks on civilian areas and allow
unhindered access to the strategic port city of Hudaydah.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has released photos of what it says are
the Israeli special forces involved in last week's botched commando raid
against Gaza, apparently promoting fears in the regime's military, which asked
people and media not to share them.
-- which governs Israeli-blockaded Gaza -- shared the eight photos on Thursday
along with an email address and two phone numbers belonging to its military
wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in order to allow public to share
information about the Israeli combat soldiers.
of the two cars used by the Israeli commandos were also published.
commando raid that took place on November 11 saw members of Israel's special
forces infiltrate into the Gaza city of Khan Younis in civilian cars for an
say the forces were with the elite Maglan unit known for slipping behind enemy
lines to gather intelligence or hit targets.
were, however, found out soon afterwards at a Palestinian security post, with
the raid spiraling into a severe exchange of gunfire between the Israelis and
the security forces in Gaza. Seven Palestinians lost their lives in the
intruders were forced to retreat under the cover of the Israeli military's air
raids. They were evacuated back into the occupied territories by helicopter.
Israeli lieutenant colonel was killed in Hamas' counter-raid -- which the
Qassam Brigades has dubbed "Operation Edge of the Sword."
its Thursday statement, the Qassam Brigades said they have been working to
decode the details of the abortive Israeli ground incursion, and that it is
currently "in the advanced phases of efforts to discover clues about the
special and dangerous operation staged by the Zionist enemy."
also assured the Palestinian nation that it will manage to find the lost pieces
of the puzzle, urging people to provide Hamas with any information they may
possess on those in the photographs.
Israeli military did not comment on the authenticity of the photos, but its
censor branch scrambled to issue what was described by Israeli media as "a
highly irregular statement," appealing to people and media not to re-share
is working now to interpret and understand the event that occurred within Gaza
on November 11, and every piece of information, even if it is considered by the
publisher as harmless, is liable to endanger human lives and damage" the
security of Israel, the censor said.
media only published a blurred version of the images released by Hamas.
botched Israeli mission triggered the worst flare-up of violence since the
regime's 2014 war on the blockaded coastal sliver.
raid was followed by a wave of deadly Israeli airstrikes throughout the Gaza
Strip, but the acts of aggression were met with a firm response from Hamas and
other Gaza-based Palestinian resistance factions.
400 rockets were fired from Gaza into the southern parts of the
Israeli-occupied territories, causing fatalities in the city of Ashkelon.
the confrontations, the resistance fighters also showed off their precision
strike skills when they hit and destroyed an Israeli military bus.
as the two sides were on the verge of another war, Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an Egypt-brokered truce with resistance fighters in
Gaza, setting off a political crisis that almost led to the collapse of his
minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, who was opposed to the truce,
stepped down from his post in a show of protest, leaving the prime minister
with a single-seat majority in the parliament and giving rise to calls for
early elections in Israel.
also rejected Education Minister Naftali Bennett's bid to replace Lieberman,
and took over as the minister for military affairs himself. Bennett had earlier
threatened that he would also resign from the cabinet if his bid was rejected,
but he later backed down and saved the embattled prime minister for now.
the stinging blows dealt to Israel by Palestinian resistance fighters as well as
the chaos in Netanyahu's cabinet prompted celebrations among people in Gaza.
Israeli army vehicle has run over a young Palestinian man in the occupied West
Bank, inflicting injuries on him, a report says.
to the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency, the incident occurred in the southern
district of al-Khalil (Hebron) on Thursday, when the 21-year-old Palestinian,
identified as Rashed Abu Aram by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS),
was attempting to cross a road.
PRCS said the young man had been transferred to a nearby hospital to receive
due medical treatment, confirming that he sustained moderate injuries.
in the day, Israeli forces, along with military vehicles, stormed al-Khalil and
roamed through the streets.
on Thursday, Israeli forces detained at least 23 Palestinians, including a
minor, across the occupied West Bank, including Bethlehem, Jerusalem al-Quds,
Jenin and Tulkarm.
to the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there are 5,580
Palestinian prisoners behind bars in Israeli prisons, of whom 285 are minors.
across the West Bank often stage demonstrations against Israel’s decades-long
occupation that frequently lead to clashes with Israeli troops.
2015, the occupied territories have been the scene of heightened tensions due
to Israeli measures viewed by the Palestinians as a bid to change the status of
the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds.
240 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation
protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 22,000 Palestinians
have also sustained injuries.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will not meet with Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman during an upcoming summit of the G20 in Argentina, a
Turkish media report says, nearly two months after dissident Saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Arab kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
to a report by A Haber, a nationwide television channel in Turkey, on Thursday,
the Turkish leader does not intend to meet with the Saudi crown prince and the
kingdom’s de facto ruler during the 13th meeting of Group of Twenty, which is
to be held in Buenos Aires from November 30 to December 1.
report came a few hours after the state-owned Anadolu news agency quoted
Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin as saying that the meeting between the two
59, a one-time royal insider who had been critical of the crown prince
recently, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
weeks of denial of any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, the Saudi
regime eventually acknowledged the “premeditated” murder, but has sought to
distance the heir to the Saudi throne from the assassination.
Saudi prosecutor later said Khashoggi’s body had been dismembered, removed from
the diplomatic mission and handed to an unidentified “local cooperator.”
a recent report by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said that the spy
agency had concluded that bin Salman had been behind the gruesome crime.
in a lengthy statement issued on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump, who had
not endorsed the CIA assessment, expressed his support for Saudi Arabia amid
international condemnations of the murder, which Ankara says has been ordered
by the highest ranks of authorities in the kingdom.
claimed there was “nothing definitive” linking the crown prince to the murder
despite the CIA assessment.
paper: CIA's Khashoggi recording incriminates bin Salman
Turkey's English-language Hurriyet Daily News newspaper quoted CIA Director
Gina Haspel that the agency had a recording of a phone call, in which the crown
prince gave instructions to his brother Khaled bin Salman to “silence Jamal
Khashoggi as soon as possible.”
brothers are reportedly heard talking about the “discomfort” caused by the
Washington Post columnist's criticism of the kingdom’s administration.
on Thursday, the European Union’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini said during a
joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara
that all those “really responsible” for the “terrible” murder of ill-fated
Khashoggi had to be held accountable, calling for a “completely transparent and
slaps sanctions on 18 Saudis over Khashoggi case
a relevant development, the French Foreign Ministry released a statement,
saying that Paris would impose sanctions against 18 Saudi citizens over the
killing of Khashoggi.
details emerge on US ambassador’s assassination in Benghazi
military prosecution in eastern Libya revealed new details about the killing of
US Ambassador Chris Stevens as well as three American diplomats in the eastern
city of Benghazi in 2012, but also disclosed the names of those involved in his
came as part of a press conference held on Wednesday evening by the Chief of
the Military Prosecution in Benghazi, Colonel Ali Madi, in which he confirmed
that "the terrorist leader imprisoned in the United States Ahmed
Abukhattala, senior official in the Al-Qaeda organization Mukhtar Belmokhtar,
and the leader of Ansar al-Sharia Muhammad al-Zahawi are the masterminds behind
the attack on the US Consulate in September 2012 in Benghazi ".
declared that: "Ahmed Abukhattala, commander of the Abu Ubaida Brigade, is
also behind the assassination of the American teacher Ronnie Smith in Benghazi
in December 2013.”
the details of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Madi stated that
"a meeting was held in one of the terrorists’ houses in the al-Sabri
region with Abukhtala, and Sufyan Ben Qamu, senior leader of the al-Qaeda
branch in Derna, being among the attendees”.
affirmed that "The meeting discussed the necessity to carry out an
operation against US interests, and the US diplomatic representatives in
Benghazi were chosen as the attack’s targets in conjunction with the events of
September 11", and exposed the investigations to have proven that
"the goal was originally to kidnap Ambassador “Chris Stevens” and not kill
him for the purpose of exchange him with the terrorist Khaled Ben Shiba who is
currently in Guantánamo.”
further asserted that this terrorist group "exploited the crisis of the
cartoons mocking the Prophet and mobilized a number of protesters in order to
demonstrate in front of the embassy, and then moved from different angles with
4 armed groups, the first group was composed by Ansar al-Sharia led by Muhammad
al-Zahawi, the second was under the command of Abu Ubaida brigade’s leader
Ahmed Abukhattala, and the third group was headed by Mukhtar Belmokhtar.
Chief of the Military Prosecution added that "During the protests in front
of the embassy, the terrorist groups clashed with the Embassy’s security forces
and when they withdrew, the embassy was stormed and bombarded with” RPG”
grenades. Once Stevens’s assassination was discovered, orders were given to
withdraw following the failure of the Ambassador's abduction plan ".
on these new facts, the military prosecutor in Benghazi asked the US
authorities "to communicate with them in order to cooperate in arresting
fugitive terrorists behind assassination."
September 11, 2012, an armed group led an attack on the US consulate in
Benghazi and the Libyan security forces charged with the protection the
building failed to repel the assault. Fire broke out on its grounds killing the
US Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was asphyxiated along three other consular
United States blamed the attack on Ahmed Abukhattala, who was arrested during a
raid by US Special Forces in Libya in June 2014 and brought to America to face
22 years in prison. The Special Forces also succeeded to capture during a
secret operation in Misrata, the senior leader in the Shura Council of Derna,
Mustafa al-Imam, for his alleged role in the attack on the American consulate
blamed on Daesh have killed around 100 soldiers in northeast Nigeria since
Sunday, five security sources said on Thursday, speaking on condition of
militants had already killed hundreds of soldiers in the region in recent
months, forcing a turnaround in the course of a war which President Muhammadu
Buhari's administration has frequently claimed to have won.
will seek a second term in February 2019.
on Thursday, the Nigerian senate suspended its session in honor of what it said
were 44 dead soldiers after an attack in Metele in the northeastern state of
Borno on Sunday.
presidency spokesman said the military would issue a statement. Military
spokesmen did not respond to repeated attempts to reach them for comment.
King Abdullah II of Jordan awarded the military chief of staff of Saudi Arabia,
Maj. Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, Jordan’s Order of Military Merit, First
Class in Amman on Thursday, in recognition of Al-Ruwaili’s efforts to
strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.
ceremony was attended by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Jordan,
Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Abdul Halim Freihat.
thanked the king, saying that strong military ties between Saudi Arabia and
Jordan are vital for regional security.
The US military on Thursday announced the latest of several deadly airstrikes
this week against Al-Shabab extremists in Somalia as it targets a region well
north of where the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists control large parts of the
US Africa Command statement said two new strikes killed six fighters and
destroyed a weapons cache on Wednesday near Harardere. That
Al-Shabab-controlled community last month was targeted by the deadliest US
airstrike in almost a year, with dozens of extremists killed.
US has now carried out 35 airstrikes this year against Al-Shabab, Africa’s
deadliest extremist group, which continues to stage deadly attacks in the
capital, Mogadishu, and other cities.
intelligence officials said the latest airstrikes targeted locations in the
rural villages of Jimo-Luqunyar and Adaley, 75 km northeast of Harardere.
said at least four missiles hit a base for over 30 extremists assigned to
collect livestock taxes from nomadic communities in the area. The officials
requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
US airstrikes on Monday killed 37 extremists and one on Tuesday killed seven.
week’s airstrikes have been carried out in Mudug region, well north of
Mogadishu and the south and central areas.
recently relocated to Harardere as a key training and planning base after the
US and allies increased pressure and surveillance further south. Somali
intelligence officials last month told The Associated Press that last month’s
US airstrike near Harardere largely destroyed a training camp where recruits
were preparing to graduate. The officials said more than 75 people were killed,
while the US said about 60 extremists were killed.
Mudug region, however, is a more difficult hideout for Al-Shabab as its
fighters prefer the shrubbier ground further south.
Seven employees of a French mineral and water drilling firm and a local
official were killed early Thursday when gunmen attacked their site in
southeastern Niger, the company said.
group of terrorists attacked the building where a team of Foraco drillers and
technicians were resting in the village of Toumour, in southeastern Niger,” the
company said in a statement.
assailants opened fire on the sleeping personnel and killed eight people,” it
said, adding that five others were wounded, two seriously.
victims, all Nigerien, were drilling two water wells to supply a camp for
displaced people at Toumour, near the borders with Chad and Nigeria.
based near the southern French city of Marseille, said the site had been chosen
in conjunction with the Niger armed forces escort protecting the workers.
company did not identify the attackers, but Toumour was the site of a fierce
firefight in September 2016 between the military and Boko Haram militants which
left 38 of the insurgents dead.
know that Boko Haram is active in the region but for now we’ve had no claim of
responsibility, neither official or unofficial,” Thierry Merle, Foraco’s vice
president in charge of Europe and the Middle East, told AFP.
been operating in Niger for 20 years, and at this site since a month ago,”
hadn’t received any threat in particular,” he added, and the company had not
previously suffered similar attacks.
Nigeria: Boko Haram militants abducted around 50 loggers in northeastern
Nigerian close to the border with Cameroon, civilian militia and residents told
AFP on Thursday (Nov 22).
hostages who were mostly from a camp for people displaced by militant violence
were on Saturday rounded up by fighters loyal to factional leader Abubakar
Shekau while collecting wood
men were rounded up and taken away by Boko Haram insurgents and nothing has
been heard from them," militia leader Umar Kachalla said.
of the loggers escaped and returned home and broke the news.
don't have a precise number of those taken but usually the loggers move in a
group of more than 50 men," Kachalla said.
abduction took place at Bulakesa village, 25 kilometres from the town of
Gamboru in Borno state.
Boko Haram Islamist uprising in the region has claimed thousands of lives and
displaced more than two million since 2009 in Nigeria alone.
2014, in a case that shocked the world, Boko Haram gunmen seized 276 girls aged
12 to 17 from a secondary school in the remote town of Chibok, also in Borno
loggers taken in the latest incident had been encouraged to venture deep into
the bush to collect firewood by a recent military operation that pushed the
militants out of the area, another militia Shehu Mada said.
month troops dislodged the militants from the nearby town of Wulgo and
surrounding areas following repeated attacks on loggers.
general assumption was that the insurgents had left the area only to suddenly
appear and encircle the loggers," Mada said.
believe the number of the those abducted exceeds 50," said Gamboru
resident Babagana Musa.
story was slow to emerge due to limited communications with Gamboru residents.
area has for several years been without telecom facilities following the
destruction of telecom masts in Boko Haram attacks, forcing residents to rely
on Cameroon mobile phone networks.
loggers have suffered repeated Boko Haram attacks and abductions especially
around Wulgo forest which was a known Boko Haram hideout.
April Boko Haram militants gunned down 18 loggers on the edge of the forest,
close to Gamboru.
Haram has increasingly targeted loggers and farmers, accusing them of spying
and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them.
Monday, the militants killed nine farmers and abducted 12 others when they
opened fire as they worked on their fields outside Mammanti village, near the
regional capital Maiduguri.
August 2014 the group seized Gamboru, a trading hub, along with the
neighbouring town of Ngala.
troops retook both towns in September 2015 with the help of Chadian forces
following offensives lasting months.
the recapture of the area which saw residents moving back, Boko Haram fighters
continue to launch sporadic attacks, ambushing troops and vehicles, as well as
attacking and abducting farmers.
of the latest attack near Gamboru came few days after a Boko Haram splinter
group killed at least 44 soldiers in attacks on three military bases in Metele,
a remote village near the border with Niger.
Thursday, seven employees of a French mineral and water drilling firm and a
local official were also killed when gunmen attacked their site in southeastern
Nigerian Senate said on Thursday it would visit government troops fighting the
insurgents in the volatile region.
imposes travel ban on 18 Saudis suspected in Khashoggi murder
announced on Thursday it had imposed sanctions, including travel bans, on 18
Saudi citizens linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warned
that more could follow depending on results of the current investigation.
murder of Mr Khashoggi is a crime of extreme gravity, which moreover goes
against freedom of the press and the most fundamental rights," the French
foreign ministry said in a statement.
asks that all light be shed on the manner in which such an act may have been
committed. It expects from the Saudi authorities a transparent, detailed and
was a prominent Saudi insider-turned-critic, who had been living in exile for a
year when he was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, in an
operation that Turkish authorities and the CIA have said was ordered by the
highest level of Saudi leadership, likely Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Arabia has maintained that its crown prince had no prior knowledge of
Khashoggi's killing or its botched cover-up.
Turkish media reported on Thursday that the CIA had a recording of MBS - as the
crown prince is often called - giving orders to “silence Jamal Khashoggi as
soon as possible”.
offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh said last week Khashoggi
had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to
return to Saudi Arabia failed - a new narrative that has failed to convince
Saudi public prosecution has charged 11 out of 18 citizens detained in relation
to Khashoggi’s murder, recommending the death penalty for five of them - a
practice that France reiterated its opposition to “in all circumstances”.
French decision comes days after fellow European Union state Germany similarly
announced it was imposing a travel ban on the 18 Saudis.
United States also sanctioned 17 Saudis last week, including suspected members
of the alleged hit squad thought to have carried out the assassination and
senior advisers to Mohammed bin Salman, including confidante Saoud al-Qahtani.
US President Donald Trump has maintained his support for Saudi Arabia, arguing
that its economic ties with the Gulf kingdom superseded the Khashoggi case.
mounting pressure against Saudi authorities, France has yet to decide whether
to halt its sales of weapons to the country.
decisions are to be taken in the future, they will be taken but based on facts
that have been clarified and responsibilities that have been clearly
established," a source in President Emmanuel Macron's Elysee office said
in October. "We won't take any hasty decision on the future of our
Arabia was the second-largest purchaser of French arms between 2008 and 2017,
with deals totalling more than $12.5bn.
on Thursday, Denmark announced that it had suspended future approvals of
weapons and military equipment exports to Saudi Arabia in response to
Khashoggi’s killing and the kingdom's role in the Yemeni conflict.
and Italy have discussed the Special Vehicle Purpose (SPV), a payment mechanism
being devised by Europe to facilitate trade with Iran in the face of US
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met his Italian counterpart Moavero Milanesi in
Rome Thursday to review measures taken by the Europeans to protect the 2015
nuclear deal after the US withdrawal.
US has violated not only the JCPOA, but also the UN Security Council Resolution
2231 and now it is urging others to do the same and threatens to punish the
countries that respect it,” Zarif said, referring to the nuclear deal and the
UN resolution which endorsed it.
is in the Italian capital on an official visit to attend the Mediterranean
Dialogues Conference (MED).
Italian foreign minister said the JCPOA helps promote international peace and
security, stressing that Rome will make all-out efforts to help protect it
along with other EU countries.
between Iran and the European side come a week after the US special envoy for
Iran threatened European banks and firms with fresh sanctions if they apply the
SPV is an alternative payment mechanism that can help companies trade with Iran
without facing US penalties.
Washington’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in
May and re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran in November, the Europeans have
reaffirmed their commitment to the JCPOA, as have Russia and China.
has not left the landmark nuclear deal yet, but stressed that the remaining
signatories to the agreement have to work to offset the negative impacts of the
US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran
to remain in it.
their Thursday meeting, Zarif and Milanesi also pointed to historic, broad and
growing ties between the two countries, highlighting their political will to
develop and deepen ties in various political, economic, cultural and
two sides also discussed efforts to promote economic and cultural cooperation,
particularly in the fields of tourism and science, among others.
issues, particularly the latest developments in Syria, the disastrous situation
of Yemen, and Libya developments were among other topics discussed in the
in the day, Zarif attended a meeting with dozens of Iranian expatriates living
the gathering, Zarif said the development of Iran is not possible without
having interaction with the world, but “we shouldn’t be dependent on others.”
has stopped selling weapons to Riyadh in response to the assassination of
prominent Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the regime’s bombing
campaign in Yemen.
the continued deterioration of the already terrible situation in Yemen and the
killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, we are now in a new situation,”
Denmark’s Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said in a statement on Thursday.
said the decision was taken following a series of meetings with EU counterparts
earlier this week.
already has a very restrictive policy in this area, but I hope that the Danish
decision will generate further momentum and induce more EU member states to
support a tougher sets of EU rules on this,” said Samuelsen.
suspension also includes some dual-use technologies, a reference to materials
that might have military applications.
European Parliament (EP) said last week that the European Union’s arms exports
to Saudi Arabia are stoking the deadly war on Yemen, calling for sanctions on
the countries that refuse to respect the EU’s rules on weapons sales.
for a suspension of arms sales to Riyadh and its allies have increased,
especially after the killing of Khashoggi in Turkey last month, which is blamed
on the highest levels of the kingdom.
Khashoggi’s murder, the EU parliament has passed two resolutions urging limits
on arms sales and strengthening checks. The calls are non-binding.
to the EU’s annual report on weapons exports, the bloc is the second largest
arms supplier in the world after the United States, exporting over a quarter of
all global arm.
to figures compiled by leading online news outlet Middle East Eye, European
countries have approved arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE worth more than
$86.7 billion since 2015.
governments have promised to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia, but only
Germany has suspended its sales until clear explanations are made about the
murder. The UK, France and Spain have all signaled that they will continue
business as usual.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday that Paris would decide very
soon to impose sanctions on individuals linked to the murder of Khashoggi at
the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.
Arabia launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015,
with the aim of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur
Hadi back to power.
aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled
with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi war has claimed the lives
of around 56,000 Yemenis so far.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.
than three and a half years into that war, Saudi Arabia has achieved neither of
its objectives. This is while it had declared at the start of the invasion that
the war would take no more than a couple of weeks.
only had the Manchester bomber, who killed 22 concertgoers in May 2017,
previously travelled to his father’s homeland to fight with Islamist factions
but it has now been revealed that the authorities failed to pick up that Salman
Abedi went through a rigorous application process to visit a known extremist in
a British prison.
cocktail of ingredients for a “wannabe” terror attacker was in place, a British
security official conceded in a parliamentary report published on Thursday when
questioned over the visit to a prisoner, named in media reports, as Abdal Raouf
Andallah, who was jailed for recruiting fighters to travel to Syria.
is reasonable to suppose… that the nature of the visit was a sort of junior
want-to-be extremist in the shape of [Abedi], visiting someone to whom he
looped up,” an MI5 officer said.
prisoner was was only identified in the Intelligence and Security Committee
(ISC) as Category A inmate but that means, it said, that Abedi would have been
subject to a degree of securityscrunity before being permitted to make such a
visit. Despite this and his travel record, Abedi was never recommended for the
country counter-extremism programme, Prevent, much less subjected to
surveillance as a potential security threat.
ISC called for answers on why, despite visiting the prisoner on more than one
occasion and thereby alerting himself to security services, “no follow-up
action” was taken by either MI5 or police to investigate Abedi’s intentions.
damning report published by the parliamentary committee investigated the five terror
attacks last year in Britain said MI5 had missed opportunities to prevent the
attack on an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena venue killing 22
from an audience predominantly made-up of young girls and parents.
was a 22-year-old Briton, who was born to Libyan parents, had been known to MI5
since 2014 and was briefly investigated by the agency.
no travel monitoring or restrictions were placed upon Abedi meaning he could
return undetected to Britain from Libya days before the bombing. It was in
Libya that he was believed to have been taught how to make a bomb.
were a number of failures in the handling of Salman Abedi's case and while it
is impossible to say whether these would have prevented the devastating attack,
we have concluded that, as a result of the failings, potential opportunities to
prevent it were missed,” said Dominic Grieve, ISC chair.
added: “The lessons from last year’s tragic events must now result in real
failed to “join the dots” about the danger posed by Westminster attacker Khalid
Masood, despite evidence that he had been in contact with known extremists on
report found that police had arrested the London Bridge Khuram Butt ringleader
eight months before the attack took place, despite finding terror material
which could have seen him prosecuted.
ISC committee also criticised the handling by British authorities of a teenager
who left a bomb on the London Underground in September 2017. The bomb, which
only partially detonated at Parsons Green, did not cause any fatalities.
Home Office failed to cooperate with an investigation into how Ahmed Hassan,
the Parsons Green bomber, went undetected, the report said.
refugee Hassan, who received a life sentence for the crime in March this year,
arrived in Britain illegally in 2015.
Secretary Sajid Javid said his department would review and formally respond to
the report in due course.
the attacks, the government, police and MI5 undertook a series of rigorous
reviews to ensure we are all doing everything we can to tackle the evolving
threat of terrorism," Mr Javid said.
head of Counter Terrorism Policing said they would be looking “in detail” at
the full report.
will be further scrutiny and examination into the circumstances of these
attacks, including coronial inquests and other potential criminal proceedings,
which may preclude us for the time being from commenting publicly to some
specific points raised,” said Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.
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