Bunker removal process starts in Srinagar
After Verdict, Hindus, Muslims Battle Within
Briton killed in Pakistan linked to failed NY bomber
Bangladesh: Forced marriage leads to minor girl’s suicide
Haqqani links drone strikes to Europe terror plot
Era of military coups is over: Musharraf
Turkey plans to launch 1st satellite in 2012
Children main victims: Nine killed in Kandahar bomb attacks
China: Prostitution fears spark riot in Muslim area
Killing of Germans signals US shifting war to 'rogue' Pak?
Secularism is back in Bangladesh, rules HC
Musharraf calls AQ Khan ‘characterless’
Clip shows Israeli soldier dancing around bound woman prisoner
Stuck in Afghanistan, powerful Pentagon leans before Pak Army
‘Won’t Allow Babri To Be Emotive Issue’
Ayodhya: VHP lays claim to entire 67-acre plot
Parties wrangle over Ayodhya verdict
Ram temple is my mind's desire: Advani
Basis of Ayodhya verdict disturbing, says CPI(M)
'HC verdict not last word on Ayodhya'
India puts Headley's targets on fresh alert
Musharraf was a close ally of US: Pentagon
US officials meet J&K separatist leaders
'Pakistan steps up construction of nuke reactor at Khushab'
France arrests 12 in counter-terrorism raids
Gay Saudi prince killed servant at London hotel: Court
Geelani calls for protests from tomorrow
Prosecutors failed to provide evidence on Lakhvi: lawyer
Two militants killed in encounter
US withdraws planes from relief work in flood-hit areas
Pakistan asks Nato to accept responsibility
Two troops killed in Waziristan bomb blast
4 Al Qaeda suspects held after encounter
Two militants shot dead, security man injured in Swat
Al Qaeda threatens Saudi royals
NATO tanker damaged in bomb blast near Torkham border
No change in US Af-Pak strategy
Asian activists aim to break Gaza blockade
Jeddah fire takes lives of 5 children
Riyadh ready to stretch a helping hand to the world
22 Palestinians arrested in West Bank
Taliban, Afghan govt in talks to end war
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad gets life sentence
Oct 6, 2010
NEW YORK: A defiant Pakistani-American terrorist Faisal Shahzad on Tuesday warned the US that the "war with the Muslims has just begun", as he was sentenced to life on 10 counts of terrorism charges in connection with the failed Times Square bombing plot here.
30-year-old son of a retired Pakistani Air Force Vice Marshal, Shahzad pleaded guilty 100 times to plotting the botched bombing on May 1 and was jailed for life by Manhattan federal court judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum.
"The defeat of the US is imminent and will happen in the near future," a defiant Shahzad told the court shortly before his sentence was announced.
"Brace yourselves because the war with the Muslims has just begun," he warned Americans.
When Judge Cedarbaum asked him, "Didn't you swear allegiance to this country?” Shahzad replied: "I sweared, but I didn't mean it."
The home-made bomb Shahzad had packed into the back of a vehicle sputtered, injuring no one at the iconic Times Square packed with tourists.
Tehreek- Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the failed attack and the indictment also said Shahzad was trained in Pakistan by affiliates of the terror group.
In a 40-minute Taliban video released by the US government, Shahzad, wearing traditional clothes and carrying an automatic rifle and a Quran, calls for war against the West to avenge what he refers to as downtrodden Muslims.
Making a statement in the court, the former budget analyst said: "We don't expect your freedom... we already have Sharia law and freedom."
"We Muslims don't abide by human made laws because they are corrupt," a relaxed Shahzad said and alleged that his family was threatened by FBI when he was being questioned.
Calling himself a Muslim solider, Shahzad, who also confessed to have got trained by terrorists in Pakistan's restive tribal region of north Waziristan, had in June pleaded guilty 100 times in June to 10 terrorism and weapons counts.
"I want to plead guilty, and I'm going to plead guilty 100 times over because until the hour the US pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and stops the drone strikes in Somalia, Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims, and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking US and I plead guilty to that," he had said in a statement in June.
Shahzad, the father of two, was apprehended at John F Kennedy airport while trying to escape to Pakistan via Dubai on May 3. He worked as a financial analyst in Connecticut where he lived with his wife.
If the Times Square bombing was successful, Shahzad also allegedly planned to attack four other targets -- Rockefeller Center, a Grand Central Terminal, the World Financial Center and the Connecticut headquarters of defence contractor Sikorsky, the prosecutors had claimed.
Shahzad also allegedly received money from a man in Pakistan who is believed to be working for Tehreek-e-Taliban, according to prosecutors.
The suspect then used this money to buy the Nissan Pathfinder and a 9-millimetre Kel-Tec rifle, which was found inside his car at the airport on the day of his arrest.
Read more: Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad gets life sentence - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/worldarticlelist/articleshow/6692958.cms#ixzz11YBd7nrK
SRINAGAR: The CRPF on Wednesday started the process of removing bunkers from Srinagar as part of the Centre's eight-point formula to defuse tensions in Kashmir. The Valley has been on the boil since the killing of over 100 people, including women and children, in security forces firing since June 11.
The Centre announced the formula after an all-party delegation's visit to the Valley to defuse crisis last month.
CRPF DG (J&K zone) N K Tripathi said the paramilitary force removed nine bunkers out of 16 pickets identified for removal in the first phase. Srinagar has dozens of bunkers and are believed to be the main source of friction with the residents. The bunkers, mostly outside schools and hospitals, were identified at a unified command meeting of various security agencies convened as a follow up to the formula on September 29.
The residents welcomed the move. ''Though the removal of bunkers is symbolic, but it has come
as a great relief for the people. There is a need to remove rest of the pickets as well,'' said Srinagar-resident Manzoor Ahmad.
Another resident, Nazir Ahmad Bhat said, ''We can now move without identity cards in our locality at least.''
But many like businessman Ghulam Rasool Mir are sceptical. ''The authorities only removed bunkers with little utility. They haven't removed, for instance, a CRPF camp inside a residential house in Srinagar's Batamallo area,'' he said.
The state government has also constituted two panels of senior police and Army officers in Srinagar and Jammu to identify areas, where the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act can be revoked as part of the formula.
The Centre would also appoint a group of interlocutors to hold a sustained dialogue with various shades of opinion in the state.
Read more: Bunker removal process starts in Srinagar - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bunker-removal-process-starts-in-Srinagar/articleshow/6695067.cms#ixzz11YBJR5Ar
Oct 06th, 2010
The Hindu-Muslim amity remained intact during the recent Ayodhya verdict but it is the representatives of the two communities who are squabbling among themselves regarding the post-verdict activities.
While the Central Sunni Waqf Board has stated that it would file an appeal in the Supreme Court, challenging the high court verdict, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) maintains that any decision in this regard would be taken after the October 16 working committee meeting in Lucknow.
“I am working on the appeal and we will file it in the next one month,” Zafaryab Jilani, counsel for the Central Sunni Waqf Board told reporters. The AIMPLB spokesman refused to comment on this but said that the working committee meeting in Lucknow would decide on the future course of action.
Mohammad Hashim Ansari, a plaintiff in the title suit, on the other hand said on Tuesday that the Ayodhya issue would be resolved in Ayodhya itself. “There is no need for any outsider to meddle in the issue. We are capable of resolving it ourselves,’ he said. However, he added that he would forward his proposal for solution to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board for a decision too.
In Lucknow, the Forum for Peace and Unity, a body of Muslim intellectuals, urged Muslims to pave way for the amicable solution of the Ayodhya issue.
The forum said that the criminal case against those responsible for demolition of the disputed structure was already underway in Rae Bareli court.
Forum president Maulana Zahir Ahmed Siddiqui said the going to the Supreme Court would only prolong the issue and Muslims should now respect the verdict, as promised earlier.
Among the Hindus, it is the All India Hindu Mahasabha that has opposed the initiative for an amicable solution to the Ayodhya title suit and said that they will not accept the trifurcation of the disputed land.
The UP president of the Hindu Mahasabha, Kamlesh Tiwari, said that the Mahasabha, a party in the case, would soon challenge the high court verdict in the Supreme Court.
6 October 2010,
DERA ISMAIL KHAN - A British man killed by an air strike in Pakistan had ties with the would-be Times Square bomber, a Pakistani intelligence official said on Wednesday.
The official, who declined to be named, told Reuters the Briton, Abdul Jabbar, had also been in the process of setting up a branch for the Taliban in Britain.
“He had some links to Faisal Shahzad but the nature of the ties are not clear,” the official said, referring to the Pakistani-born US citizen who was sentenced to life in prison in the United States for trying to ste of a car bomb in New York’s busy Times Square.
6 October 2010
A 12-year-old girl committed suicide within three hours of being forced into marriage on Tuesday.
Aduri Begum, a Class V student of Udirpar Ananda School, took poison in the early hours of Tuesday.
Aduri Begum’s father Anwarul Islam arranged her marriage to Enamul Haque, son of Abdul Jabbar of village Nazirdah ignoring her resistance and other relatives’ opposition.
The wedding took place on Monday night and while the wedding feast was going on, Aduri consumed poison.
The Kaunia police officer-in-charge, Krishna Kumar, admitted the incident and said the body was sent to a hospital morgue for post-mortem examination.
October 06, 2010
LONDON: Increased US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas are linked to a terror plot targeting Europe, Pakistan's US envoy said Wednesday, amid mounting fears that Al-Qaeda is planning a wave of attacks.
Ambassador Hussein Haqqani told a British television channel that the increase in strikes in North Waziristan, a reputed militant hotbed, came after intelligence agencies uncovered a plot to "attack multiple targets in Europe."
He also said that a strike on Monday in the district which killed eight militants, including five Germans, was linked to the plot.
"I think that the activity we see in North Waziristan in terms of strikes... is connected to the terrorist warnings that we have heard about potential strikes in Europe," he told the British broadcaster.
But he urged people to stay calm and vowed intelligence agencies would foil any plot. US drone strikes in Pakistan have increased in recent weeks, with authorities there reporting 24 attacks since September 3 which have killed more than 140 people.
An Al-Qaeda plot planned in Pakistan is targeting Britain, France and Germany but planning for the attacks was at an early stage when intelligence agencies learned of them, according to reports.
Full report at:
06 Oct, 2010
BERLIN—Former President Pervez Musharraf has said that there is a risk to his life but that won’t stop him from going back as Pakistan is his Country.“Yes there is a risk, but it won’t stop me. I am happy here in London, I am earning good money, but Pakistan is my country” said Musharraf in an interview with magazine Der Spiegel published on Tuesday.
Asked that traditionally when Pakistani rulers lose power, they get imprisoned or murdered by their rivals, while he formed a political party and getting involved in politics, Musharraf said unfortunately there is a culture of vendetta and vindictiveness in Pakistan. However he said there is no case of corruption or fraud or anything against him at the moment.
“My political opponents, especially Nawaz Sharif, would love to create a case against me – that I am corrupt or have committed fraud or some such thing. They do their best to achieve that, but they haven’t succeeded. Even if they did, I would reply in court. He said risks need to be taken”. He refused to comment on the performance of the Government but said everybody can see what it is doing. Pakistan is experiencing a deep economic decline, law an order are in jeopardy, extremism is on the rise and there is political turmoil and the non performance of an elected government is the issue.
ISTANBUL: Turkey plans to launch its first intelligence gathering satellite into space in 2012, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
The satellite will ease Turkey’s reliance on US intelligence in its operations against the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which launches attacks on Turkish military targets from bases in northern Iraq.
“We will launch the Gokturk intelligence satellite in 2012,” Erdogan told members of his party in comments televised live.
Turkey has used Washington’s intelligence to boost the effectiveness of its operations against the PKK in mountainous Iraqi Kurdistan, targeting the PKK’s headquarters and training facilities in cross-border raids.
Some 40,000 people have died in the conflict since 1984, when the PKK took up arms to carve out an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. A current unilateral truce, initiated in August, by the PKK has recently eased violence.
The Gokturk satellite is being developed by Turkish defense contractor Aselsan and Finmeccanica’s unit Telespazio.
The satellite, expected to cost around 250 million euros ($344 million), will provide high resolution imagery to trace movement of objects less than one square meter.
The satellite will also be used to track down narcotics and human trafficking across Turkish territory.
KANDAHAR, Oct 5: Up to five bombs killed nine people, mostly children, exploding in quick succession as crowds gathered late on Tuesday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, officials said.
It was the second consecutive evening that explosions rocked the city, which the Taliban, masterminds of a nine-year insurgency against the Western-backed government, consider their stronghold.
Control of Kandahar is seen as crucial to the efforts by more than 152,000 US-led foreign troops to reverse the Taliban insurrection to an extent that would allow American forces to start withdrawing from Afghanistan next year.
“There were five explosions. When the first explosion happened, people and police went to the area. It was followed by a second, by a third and up to five explosions,” said Kandahar provincial government spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi.
“In total, nine people were killed, including one policeman. Eight are children and 26 other people are wounded, most of them civilians,” he said.
The spokesman said the explosions were caused by bombs planted on the roadside at a busy junction in the southern neighbourhood of Dura-e-Panjwayi, about five kilometres (three miles) from the city centre.
BEIJING: Thousands of Muslims of Hui ethnic minority in China's Gansu province raided and ransacked a newly-opened clubhouse near a mosque following rumours that it has become a prostitution den, according to a media report.
The residents stormed into the Linxia clubhouse, which also houses a karaoke lounge, bathhouse and nightclub after 10 pm on September 21, just a few hours after it was opened, and ransacked it, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy as saying.
The rioters smashed just about everything they could reach. About 10 people were injured in the clashes between the rioters and security guards of the clubhouse.
Up to 30 local Islamic leaders, some of them in their 70s were arrested more than a week after the clash for allegedly instigating the riots, the newspaper report said.
The clubhouse was large enough to accommodate up to 1,000 customers and was run by relatives of a leading figure in the Linxia prefectural administration who was believed to be from Hui community.
WASHINGTON: Several German jihadis of Muslim origin were reportedly dispatched to the drones club by CIA-operated Predator aircraft on Monday as the Obama administration decisively shifted the war on terror to Pakistan, a country some US analysts are now saying has "gone rogue."
Amid a growing disquiet and suspicion in Washington DC about Islamabad's bona fides in the war on terror , US drones continued their barrage of attack against terrorist targets inside Pakistan with another strike on Monday that is said to have killed five to eight jihadis. Some reports said five of dead were Germans of Turkish origin and three were local militants.
It was not immediately clear if they were the same jihadis who were reported to have been training in Pakistan's North Wazirstan region for a Mumbai-style terror strike in Europe, American intelligence reports about which had resulted in a massive security alert over the weekend.
German authorities had spoken about up to a dozen radical Muslim youth from Hamburg having gone to Pakistans lawless Waziristan region to train for a terror strike. The plot was uncovered after authorities in Afghanistan apprehended one of the trainees named Ahmed Siddiqi and he spilled the beans during interrogation.
Ruling that Bangladesh is now a secular state, the country’s High Court has said that the Constitution of 1972 has automatically been restored by a landmark judgement of the apex court that nullified a controversial amendment earlier this year.
“Bangladesh is now a secular state as the Appellate Division (of the Supreme Court) verdict scrapped the Fifth Amendment to the constitution... In this secular state, everybody has religious freedom, and therefore no man, woman or child can be forced to wear religious attires like burqa, cap and dhoti,” a high court bench said late on Monday.
The court comprising judges AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Sheikh Mohammad Zakir Hossain, however, made it clear that no citizen can be prohibited from wearing religious attires either, if he or she wished to don them.
The judgement came in response to a petition two months after the same bench issued an order asking the government to explain why compelling women to wear religious attires should not be declared illegal.
Lalit K Jha | Washington
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has dubbed disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan as ‘characterless’ and rejected his claims that Pakistani army had monitored and organised clandestine atomic deals with countries like Iran and North Korea.
‘Mr (A Q) Khan is a characterless man,’ Musharraf told German magazine Der Spiegel when asked about the Pakistani nuclear scientist whom he had put under house arrest on charges of proliferation of nuclear technologies to ‘rogue’ countries like North Korea and Iran.
On Khan’s claims that the Pakistani army monitored and organised such nuclear deals, he said “that is wrong, absolutely wrong.”
“I would be a traitor if I had ever given our nuclear weapons to the United States.
This capability is our pride and it will never be compromised,” he said.
Khan, considered a pioneer of the Pakistani nuclear programme, had also claimed that he was forced to confess his role in nuclear proliferation by the then military regime.
Musharraf, who is living in London on self-imposed exile, said the days of the army rule in Pakistan are over.
Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/288035/Mush-calls-AQ-Khan-%E2%80%98characterless%E2%80%99.html
Harinder Mishra | Jerusalem
In yet another embarrassment for Israeli army, a new video that surfaced on YouTube shows one of its soldiers dancing around a blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian woman, close on the heels of global outrage over a trooper posting on Facebook photos of her smiling next to bound Palestinian prisoners.
Israel’s Channel 10 television caught hold of the clip on the internet in which the handcuffed and blindfolded woman is leaning on a wall, while a soldier wearing glasses performs belly dancing moves around her with his comrades cheering him on and videotaping the “show.”
The Israeli Defence Force’s (IDF’s) internal probe department has ordered an immediate probe into the matter.
“The IDF condemns this kind of activity, as shown in the video clips, and has worked and is working to eradicate it via briefings to soldiers, instructions to commanders, military orders and punishment where necessary. The clips do not depict the norm, but rather, are anomalies,” the army said.
A number of Israeli soldiers have over the last year faced investigation and penalty for documenting themselves performing questionable acts in front of Palestinian prisoners.
A former woman soldier, Eden Abergil, raised eyebrows worldwide in August by posting pictures of herself beside a bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner on her Facebook page.
Oct 06 2010
Washington: The powerful Pentagon has been crawling before the Pakistan Army in its effort to reopen a crucial supply route, considered to be the lifeline of its thousands of troops in Afghanistan, which Islamabad had blocked last week following deaths of its three soldiers.
The top Pentagon leadership have either tendered an apology or regretted over the incident following which Pakistan closed the Torkham gate.
In fact it is one of the rare instances of such apology and regret coming from a series of top US officials.
This is because a large part of US supply for its thousands of troops in land locked Afghanistan is routed through Pakistan.
The Pentagon says 50 per cent of its supply to Afghanistan goes through Pakistan and the rest through the alternative routes in the North that it has developed over the past few years.
Since Thursday, Pakistan had blocked the land route for NATO convoys carrying supplies to Afghanistan after officials blamed a cross-border NATO helicopter attack for the deaths of three Pakistani soldiers.
Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/693334/
Wary of its alliance partner BJP possibly using the Allahabad high court’s verdict to drum up support for it in the upcoming Assembly elections, the JD(U) on Tuesday said that it would not allow the emotive issue to become a part of the campaign in the state. It also said that those, who are not satisfied with the high court’s verdict, could go for an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Speaking to reporters here at his residence, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav said, “It is possible that it (the verdict) is justice to many or it is not. I say that there is an option to go for appeal in court further.”
Emphasising that development in the state and the performance of the state government would be the main issue, Mr Yadav said, “We will be contesting the elections, while keeping the real issues on the front.” He also made it clear that there was “no question of discussing” the Ayodhya issue during the campaign.
When asked whether the court verdict on Ayodhya will have any impact in the Bihar elections, he replied in the negative.
He said that he was always of the view that the solution to the Ayodhya dispute was possible either through dialogue between the parties or by the court. “I believe that there is no necessity to explain that on whose favour is the Ayodhya verdict,” he added.
Mr Yadav said that he is not convinced if “political people” look at the issue from different angle. “We don’t go into the debate on which party is doing what on this,” he said.
NEW DELHI: While it initially hailed the Ayodhya verdict as a Hindu victory which had paved the way for a Ram temple, the VHP has now turned around by describing the same judgment as completely uncalled for as none of the parties involved had asked for a division of the disputed land.
Stating that the party will settle for nothing less than a grand temple, VHP leader Ashok Singhal on Tuesday told TOI that allotment of land also to Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board was wrong and the temple could come up only on the entire 67-acre plot of land.
"The court has allotted 3,500 square feet of land each to all the parties involved. This is not enough to accommodate even the garba griha of the grand temple which is proposed to be built at the site. We are confident that the High Court ruling will be set aside by the Supreme Court," Singhal said.
Despite fears being expressed in public that talk about a grand temple will only vitiate the atmosphere, Singhal maintained that Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas will not settle for a lesser structure.
Oct 5, 2010
NEW DELHI: Major political parties were engaged on Tuesday in a joust on the Ayodhya dispute with Congress and Left parties saying the Allahabad High Court verdict was in no way a justification of the "criminal act" of demolition of the Babri Masjid and the BJP dismissing the issue as having no link.
The non-BJP parties also accused "communal forces" of trying to exploit the verdict which they said would be detrimental to larger national interest and harm the desire for peace and harmony.
Meanwhile, the Sunni Central Wakf Board, a litigant in the case, has decided to challenge the Lucknow Bench's verdict in the Supreme Court.
"It is important to underline that the verdict in no way condones the demolition of the Babri Masjid on Dec 6, 1992 which was a shameful and criminal act for which the perpetrators must be brought to justice," said the Congress after a meeting of the party's Working Committee here.
In a balancing act, the party said it respected the judicial process with regard to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit and that the final decision of the Supreme Court has to be awaited whenever the appeal is filed.
JAIPUR: Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani on Tuesday said building a Ram temple at Ayodhya was his mind's desire. “Until a temple is built in Ayodhya, I would not be content,” he said while delivering a lecture on electoral reforms here.
Though Mr. Advani mostly confined his lecture to aspects pertaining to electoral reforms and the desirability of State funding of polls, the lone reference to the temple post-Allahabad High Court verdict came when he talked about the earlier date he was invited to deliver the lecture here.
“I was to come here on October 25, the day I started the Somnath Yatra which could not be completed. I do not go anywhere on that day or do any work. I only visit Somnath temple for a darshan,” Mr. Advani said.
Talking about the poll reforms, the BJP leader said his party preferred simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies, an idea first mooted by the late Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
Another poll “reform” by the BJP-ruled Gujarat — a Bill making it compulsory to vote in the panchayat elections — too came in for a favourable comment from Mr. Advani.
“The Bill passed by the Gujarat Assembly has been pending with the Governor for clearance for sometime. I hope it will be given a green signal,” he said.
NEW DELHI: The Left parties have described as “disturbing'' the basis of the judgment on the Ayodhya dispute delivered by the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on September 30.
The three-way division of the land is based on “faith and belief.'' This aspect of the set of judgements is disturbing as it accords primacy to religious belief and faith over facts and record of evidence, Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), told journalists here on Tuesday at the conclusion of the party's two-day Polit Bureau meeting.
NEW DELHI: While the Ayodhya title suit looks set to reach the country's highest court, the Congress stopped well short of passing a verdict on the HC order. But it stressed once again that the "final decision" on the issue had to come from the SC "when the appeal is filed".
The Congress Working Committee, which discussed the issue, welcomed the efforts of the disputants to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, but from a distance. The thrust of its statement was on underlining that the HC order did not mark the last legal word on the festering battle for who gets control of the Ayodhya site. The Congress also underlined that the Allahabad HC represented no post-facto validation for the demolition of Babri mosque on December 6, 1992.
ARATI R JERATH
NEW DELHI: In a signal that Kashmir is very much on US President Barack Obama's mind as he prepares for his India visit, a two-member team from the US embassy in New Delhi met separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik in Srinagar this week.
The American officials, first secretary Pushpinder Dhillon and political officer Kailash Jha, met Malik on Sunday and the Mirwaiz on Monday and got the same message from both. The separatists asked for US help to push India and Pakistan back to the dialogue table to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
The meetings are significant because of the timing. Obama is due next month and there have been reports from Washington that he is preparing to raise Kashmir in his talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
WASHINGTON: Pakistan is going ahead with the construction of its third heavy nuclear reactor at the Khushab site at a much faster pace, a Washington-based think tank has said.
"Construction of the third reactor has progressed more quickly than the second reactor. This is evident when comparing the two reactors at similar points in their construction," said Paul Brannan of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a private US group which is critical of nuclear weapons.
From the time of initial clearing and excavation for the second reactor, it took at least six years before its cooling towers appeared complete in commercial satellite imagery.
In contrast, it took Pakistan less than fives years from when initial excavation is visible in commercial satellite imagery until the third reactor's cooling towers appear finished, he said.
PARIS: Police in southern France arrested 12 suspects in sweeps against suspected Islamic militant networks on Tuesday, including three men linked to a network recruiting fighters for Afghanistan, officials said.
The roundups were part of two entirely different counterterrorism cases under investigation by French judges, and fell on the same day only by coincidence, one police official in Paris said.
Firearms were seized in one of the sweeps, another official said. The arrests come as France and many other European nations have stepped up terrorism alert vigilance amid what has been described as an abstract though heightened threat in recent weeks. The U.S. government warned Americans over the weekend to use caution when travelling in Europe.
In one of the cases, nine suspected Islamic militants were detained in southeastern Marseille and its suburbs, and authorities turned up at least one automatic rifle and a pump gun, the officials said.
LONDON: A gay Saudi prince strangled and beat his male servant to death during an apparent sex attack in a London hotel room, a British court heard today.
Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir al Saud, 34, a member of the Saudi royal family, denies murdering 32-year-old Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz on February 15 at the Landmark Hotel.
Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw told the Old Bailey in London, England's Central Criminal Court, that Saud had admitted killing his servant so the jury had to decide if he was guilty of murder or the less serious charge of manslaughter.
He said the dead man was found beaten and strangled in bed in the room that he was sharing with the prince.
SRINAGAR: Undeterred by the counteroffensive of the government to foil his programme, the hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Tuesday issued a fresh protest calendar.
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly began a discussion on the unrest in the valley. Many members said the Geelani factor could not be ignored, while others blamed both separatists and the Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) for the crisis. The PDP boycotted the Assembly.
A Hurriyat spokesman said that the conglomerate had appealed the people to observe complete strike on October 7.
“The day will be observed as solidarity with detained Kashmiri youth and pro-freedom leadership,” he said. On October 8, he said, there will be no strike.
Again there will be complete strike on October 9 and 10. “People are asked to observe complete strike on October 12 and 13,” he said. There will be no strike on October 14, while October 15 will see a complete shutdown. On October 16, people can resume work.
Oct 05 2010
Islamabad: Pakistani prosecutors have failed to provide "concrete evidence" linking LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi to the 2008 Mumbai attacks even after a lapse of nearly two years since the terrorist assault, one of the lawyers defending Lakhvi has said.
The Federal Investigation Agency, which probed the Mumbai attacks and arrested Lakhvi, has "failed to furnish concrete evidence against" him, lawyer Shahbaz Ahmed Janjua told the media in Rawalpindi on Monday.
Janjua claimed the anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of Lakhvi and six others accused of involvement in the Mumbai incident had rejected four applications filed by FIA and the FIA is "now wasting the court's precious time by submitting another application just to prolong the hearing".
Srinagar: Security forces tonight shot dead two Hizbul Mujahideen militants including a self-styled divisional commander of the outfit during an encounter in Mahore area of Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said here.
"Police and CRPF today eliminated two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen in an encounter in Mahore," a police spokesman said.
Police and 126 Bn of CRPF had launched a joint operation on a specific information in the Deedan Gali in Mahore. The militants were asked to surrender but they opened fire on security personnel who retaliated and an encounter ensued in which the two ultras were killed, he said.
"The slain Hizbul Mujahiden militants have been identified as Mustaq Ahmad alias Irfan and Shabir Ahmad alias Hamza," he said.
Mushtaq alias Irfan was active since 1999 and was functioning as Divisional commander of the outfit, the spokesman added.
US soldiers distribute bread to flood survivors in the aircraft evacuating them from the flooded area of Kallam valley. – Photo by AFP (File)
ISLAMABAD: The US military has withdrawn the support of C-17 or C-130 cargo aircraft as floodwaters have receded and access to flood-hit areas for delivery of aid is possible via ground transportation.
The decision was taken after the government informed the US that US military C-17 and C-130 aircraft and other international cargo plane airlift support was no longer required because the focus of aid delivery had shifted from air to ground transportation.
“Our C-130 and C-17 air crews were honoured to partner with our Pakistani allies in their time of need and rapidly meet their requests for heavy-lift assistance in support of flood relief,” said Vice Admiral Mike LeFever, the US defence representative to Pakistan.
“We remain ready and prepared to support any further requests from the Government of Pakistan if needed again at some future time.”
However, the US military helicopter relief flights will continue to operate from the Ghazi aviation base, near Tarbela, and the Pano Aqil air base, near Sukkur, while the US Air Force’s contingency response at Chaklala airbase will continue to support the nationwide distribution of international aid for flood-affected people.
By Baqir Sajjad Syed
Pakistanis are adamant that Isaf should apologise for the incident, but the coalition forces are only ready to express regrets.—File photo
ISLAMABAD: A joint investigation team of the military and the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force has concluded an initial probe into recent aerial incursions by Isaf helicopters into Kurram Agency, but the communique could not come through on Tuesday because the two sides were haggling over the phraseology.
Sources in Isaf and Pakistan military told Dawn that a statement on the initial probe, which was slated to be released on Tuesday night, was now likely to be made public on Wednesday.
Three Pakistani troops were killed on Thursday when Isaf helicopters entered the country’s airspace and fired at a military outpost along the Afghan border.
The joint probe was agreed between Isaf and Pakistan Army to establish the facts on the basis of ‘operational reporting’ and a team of Pakistani military officials visited Afghanistan.
MIRAMSHAH, Oct 5: Two soldiers were killed and eight others injured when a roadside bomb exploded in North Waziristan on Tuesday.
A military convoy was going from Miramshah to Gherlamy when the bomb went off near one of the vehicles at the Boya checkpoint.
The injured soldiers were taken to a military hospital in Bannu.
A security official confirmed the casualties, saying that the blast destroyed one military vehicle.
Authorities have already imposed a curfew from Miramshah to Gherlamy in order to provide safe passage to the military convoy.
In Miramshah, a mentally-retarded man was injured when troops opened fire on him for violating curfew.
QUETTA, Oct 5: Security personnel arrested four Al Qaeda suspects, including an injured Arab national, after heavy exchange of fire in a village near Mastung on Tuesday.
Sources said that security forces raided a house in Ganja Dori area of Mastung on a tip-off that some Al Qaeda suspects were present there. The security personnel cordoned off the area, but instead of surrendering, the suspects started firing at the security men.
After an exchange of fire that lasted for an hour, security personnel arrested the four suspects,” the sources said, adding that an Arab national who was injured in the encounter was among those captured.
The other three suspects were Afghans who were handed over to the concerned authorities for interrogation. Officials refused to divulge names of the suspects.
MINGORA, Oct 5: Two militants were killed and one security man was injured in exchange of fire in Khwazakhela tehsil of Swat valley on Monday night.
Sources said that during a search operation in Babo area of tehsil Khwazakhela two militants identified as Salahuddin of Shagor and Shakirullah of Nawi Kallay were killed when they exchanged fire with security forces. The militants were trying to enter Khwazakhela in the darkness of night. A security man also sustained injuries during the gun battle.
Three hand grenades were recovered from the possession of killed militants.
They were allegedly involved in planting remote controlled bombs in various areas and killing of innocent people.
Their bodies were handed over to their relatives for burial through police.
KHAR: Unidentified persons bombed a government-run school at Nawy Kallay village in Bajaur Agency on Monday night, residents said.
They said that unidentified persons planted explosives in the building at the night which exploded with a big bang. A portion of the building, including veranda and washroom, was damaged.
DUBAI, Oct 5: Al Qaeda militants threatened to launch fresh attacks on Saudi royal family members in a video message posted on the Internet on Tuesday commemorating a 2009 bombing targeting the interior minister.
“We say to the tyrants that we can get you in your offices, we can get you in your bedrooms,” said Qassem al-Rimi, a commander of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the jihadist network’s Yemen and Saudi Arabia affiliate.
“I advise you to check before going to bed that there’s no suicide bomber or bomb in the room,” Rimi added.
LANDIKOTAL: A small bomb damaged a truck near the Torkham border on Tuesday that was carrying oil for NATO troops in Afghanistan – the latest attack on stalled supply convoys since Pakistan shut a key border crossing to international forces last week. The bomb that exploded on Tuesday was placed underneath the tanker while it was parked in a lot alongside more than 100 other trucks waiting to cross into Afghanistan, said Wajid Khan, a local administrator in the Khyber tribal region where the border crossing is located. The Torkham political authorities detained the conductor of the oil tanker, who was identified as Ameen Shah, son of Taj Muhammad Shah, a resident of Kadam Koki Khel a sub division of Jamrud. However, the driver of the tanker managed to escape. sudhir ahmad afridi
From Sandra Johnson
WASHINGTON—Asserting that the implementation of the current Afghanistan and Pakistan policy is “progressing on track”, President Barack Obama has told the United States Congress that there is no need to change the current policy of his administration on the two nations.
“We are continuing to implement the policy as described in December and do not believe further adjustments are required at this time,” Mr. Obama said in a letter to the House and Senate leadership along with his six-monthly report to the Congress on Afghanistan and Pakistan as mandated by it.
At the end of an exhaustive policy review in December, Obama announced plans to surge 30,000 troops into Afghanistan to seize the momentum in the long-running war but warned some soldiers would begin to withdraw by July 2011. The president is expected to mount a fresh review of strategy on Afghanistan by the end of the year, but again, no major adjustments are expected.
The NATO-led strategy is designed to push Taliban insurgents out of major towns in the south and east while building up Afghan government security forces so that American troops can start withdrawing by July 2011.
ANKARA/ BEIT FAJJAR, Palestinian Territories: Some 500 activists mostly from Asia will take part in an aid convoy to Gaza in a bid to run Israel’s embargo on the enclave, a Turkish charity that led an ill-fated campaign four months ago said Tuesday.
The convoy will leave New Delhi in India by land on December 2 and plans to reach Gaza on December 27, on the 2nd anniversary of the start of Israel’s deadly genocidal offensive against the territory controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement, the Foundation of Humanitarian Relief (IHH) said in a statement.
It will pass through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Syria, from where it will try to reach the enclave by sea.
The convoy will include activists from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Lebanon, the IHH said.
The IHH, an Istanbul-based Islamist charity that operates in several conflict zones around the world, will host the Turkish leg of the trip.
The IHH was one of the main organisers behind a flotilla of six ships that tried to break the Israeli embargo on Gaza in May and deliver tonnes of aid to the region.
By MD HUMAIDAN
JEDDAH: Five Saudi children died in a fire that gutted two old houses in south Jeddah on Tuesday, said spokesman for the Civil Defense Maj. Abdullah Al-Amri, adding that firefighters from the Civil Defense reached the home after the fire was put out because of misinformation.
“We received a call informing about the fire and then we received another call, saying the fire had been put out. This was the reason for the delay,” the spokesman told Arab News. The Civil Defense got the information about the death of the children, who included two girls, from the Red Crescent. The spokesman did not rule out the possibility of a criminal motive, adding that an investigation team would present its report within a few hours.
By MD RASOOLDEEN
RIYADH: The Kingdom, under the leadership of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, is ready to stretch a helping hand to the needy and deserving in all parts of the world, said Bandar bin Mohammed Hajjar, vice president of the Shoura Council.
Hajjar made the comments while speaking to members of the 123rd General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) that was held in Geneva on Tuesday.
“The king wishes to serve humanity living in all parts of the world where people need support and assistance,” said Hajjar, while addressing IPU members at an emergency session in which the flood relief project in Pakistan was discussed.
“The Kingdom is keen to carry out its humanitarian responsibilities to help people when they are in distress,” he said.
Hajjar added that during the past three decades, an estimated $1 billion in non-refundable aid and soft loans have been given to deserving people benefiting some 95 countries.
On the instructions of King Abdullah, the Kingdom has built an air bridge to support Pakistanis who have been affected by the floods.
By MOHAMMED MAR'I
RAMALLAH: Israeli forces operating in West Bank cities arrested 22 Palestinians on Tuesday, sources said.
The Palestinian sources said that 13 Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank town of Al-Dahriyeh, to the south of Hebron, three in Sa'ir, to the north of Hebron, four in Ni'lin, to the west of Ramallah, one in Jenin and another in Tammoun.
The sources added that 15 of them were arrested after the Israeli security forces carried a thorough search in their houses.
Israeli security sources told the Army Radio that the detainees were "wanted" by the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet. The Israeli sources added that the 22 were taken to unknown locations for questioning.
Israeli defense establishment said the arrest campaigns in Palestinian cities are part of its war against Palestinian groups.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) said that the daily Israeli raids hinder its security forces to tighten their grip on the Palestinian territories.
High-level representatives of the Taliban and Afghan government have started secret talks aimed at forging a negotiated end to the lengthy war in Afghanistan.
The sources, who were not named by the Washington Post , were quoted as saying they believe the Taliban representatives are authorised to speak for the Quetta Shura, the Afghan Taliban organisation based in Pakistan, and its leader, Mohammad Omar.
The sources quoted by the Post stressed that the current discussions are in the preliminary stages. The newspaper said that the talks follow inconclusive meetings hosted by Saudi Arabia that wrapped up more than a year ago.
Afghanistan has been beset by war for decades. US forces led an invasion in 2001 to topple the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan who harbored the Al Qaeda network responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States that year.
Fighting has dragged on for nine years.
'They are very, very serious about finding a way out,' one source close to the talks said of the Taliban, according to the Post.