Photo: Turkish intelligence has shared "all the
evidence" over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with the CIA
chief during a visit, pro-government media reported on Wednesday.
Crown Prince: No rift with Turkey in the presence of King Salman, Erdogan
genocide' against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims: UN
Why the indigenous secular tradition is the best bet against Islamist militancy
intelligence shares "all the evidence" with CIA chief over Khashoggi
Khashoggi murder would have been impossible without US support
Khamenei calls for opinions to promote Islamic-Iranian model of progress
Commander Warns of Foreign-Backed Terrorists' Attempts to Darken Iran-Pakistan
Netanyahu vows to maintain military force in West Bank
Joint patrols with the US in Syria’s Manbij to start soon
troops kill young Palestinian stone-thrower in West Bank clash
newly appointed PM tours storm damaged al-Mahra
step up security fearing coup ministers will flee Sanaa
bent on killing chances of Mideast peace: Palestine
fighter jets bomb areas across Gaza Strip
airstrike on Hudaydah kills 20 Yemeni civilians
Militia Release over A Hundred ISIL Terrorists in Northeastern Syria
forum to set up ‘alliance of virtues’ on Islam
Army Repels ISIL's Heavy Offensives in Homs, Deir Ezzur Provinces
Intensify Attacks on Syrian Army Positions in Demilitarized Zone in North
of Civilians Leave Idlib for Syrian Army Positions via Humanitarian Corridor
arrests two nationals for taking money from Qatar to influence elections
probes claims 14 civilians killed in raid on IS
investigator: Genocide still taking place in Myanmar
crisis: Australia imposes sanctions on top Myanmar military generals
refugees in Malaysia fear persecution if repatriated
Raziq’s assassination plan hatched in Pakistan: Ghani
Sherin hatched assassination of Gen. Raziq, claims ex-NDS Chief
Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Baradar is free, says Taliban
litigant Iqbal Ansari in Ayodhya title suit threatened
and Kashmir: MPhil student among two militants killed
files chargesheet against Pakistan terrorist who infiltrated from J&K LoC
head teacher suspended for attacking Christian student
children in capital out of school, minister informed
children injured in Quetta school firing
to unite Muslim world: Imran
involved in D.I. Khan jailbreak killed
releases Taliban leaders to help facilitate Afghan reconciliation process
warns Pakistan against ‘harbouring’ terrorists
calls Nawaz, urges him to personally attend APC
asked to disclose conditions linked to Saudi bailout package
strings attached to Saudi bailout: Qureshi
PM Mahathir pledges to help end violence in Thai south
reeducation camps for Muslims are begining to look like concentration camps
Sarawak has most requests for child marriages, Muslim and non-Muslim
Muslim tribe customs in the Philippines through the Council of Elders
and guilt trips: Jakim’s rehab tools against LGBT in e-book
Muslims find comfort in nuns' home for elderly
ex-PM, ex-treasury, spy chiefs charged with graft
Africa mosque attack suspects linked to Daesh
security officials: Ex-counterterrorism chief’s assassinator arrested
Movement in Nigeria holds rally for Zakzaki release
cites ISIS in Durban trial – but experts urge extreme care
Sudan urge diplomatic solution to Khashoggi case
Eastern counties grapple with al Shabaab attacks
sent to Obama and Clinton houses 'act of terror'
wants to expand religious symbol ban, blocking Muslim garments in civil service
Muslims look forward to new mosque on site of Pump Roadhouse
US sanctions on Iran aim to deflect attention from Khashoggi’s murder, Saudi
crimes in Yemen
counter-terror chief warns against far-right threat
seeks to bring home children of ISIS members
Angawi and Idris Khan help reframe the British Museum’s Islamic art collection
May says Saudi account of Khashoggi death lacks credibility
will take no ‘hasty decision’ on relations with Saudi Arabia
suspects in Khashoggi death to be barred from entering UK: PM May
Islamophobe slammed after dining in Parliament
British firm complicit in Israeli war crimes
deal on Syria's Idlib ‘was Iran's idea’
to back intl. sanctions against those behind Khashoggi’s murder: Macron
arms trade with Saudi Arabia comes under scrutiny
by New Age Islam News Bureau
intelligence has shared "all the evidence" over the murder of Saudi
journalist Jamal Khashoggi with the CIA chief during a visit, pro-government
media reported on Wednesday.
Director Gina Haspel visited the Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday for talks
with officials about the killing of Washington Post contributor Khashoggi
inside Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate.
images and audio tapes, as well as evidence gathered from the consulate and the
consul's residence, were shared with Haspel during the briefing at the Turkish
Intelligence Organisation (MIT), Sabah newspaper reported.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stopped short of pointing the blame at the
Saudi leadership for the death of the Saudi insider-turned-critic.
he said in a keynote speech on Tuesday that the murder was meticulously
planned, demanding that all those involved brought to justice.
59, vanished on October 2 after entering the Saudi mission to obtain documents
for his wedding.
at a ceremony in Ankara, Erdogan on Wednesday vowed that Turkey would not allow
the culprits to get away with their "savage murder".
are determined not to allow any cover-up of this murder and for all those
responsible from those who gave the command to those who executed it — not to
escape justice," he said.
are not implicating anyone," he added, saying that Ankara would be
transparent as it gathers more evidence that shed light on the "dark sides"
of the murder.
is not over yet," he said. "We are unravelling, dismantling (the
case) and the world is closely following."
whereabouts of Khashoggi's corpse still remain unknown.
said on Tuesday that a 15-person team came from Riyadh to kill Khashoggi,
including by carrying out reconnaissance outside Istanbul and deactivating
security cameras at the consulate.
police searched the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, and the consul general's
residence as well as hunting for evidence in an Istanbul forest.
Tuesday, the police searched an abandoned car belonging to the Saudi consulate
in an underground car park in the Sultangazi district of Istanbul.
Saudi leadership has denied involvement in the murder and instead blamed the
chain of command.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman "strongly said that he had nothing to do with
this, this was at a lower level," US President Donald Trump said on
Tuesday, adding he had spoken on Monday to the prince and his father King
pro-government media has claimed that Ankara has audio tapes of the killing.
week, the Turkish government denied giving "any kind of audio tape"
from the investigation to any US official.
Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said there would be no rift with
Turkey in the presence of King Salman, his crown prince and President Recep
added that cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Turkey is ongoing, and that
there are many of those attempting to exploit the situation.
rift will not occur between Turkey and Saudi Arabia as long as there are King
Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan,” he told the audience at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.
Saudi Crown Prince was talking about the incident involving the late Jamal
Khashoggi, describing the incident as painful for all Saudis, the world
described the killing as a “heinous crime”.
Saudi Crown Prince shared a special plenary session with Lebanese Prime
Minister Saad al-Hariri and Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad at the Future
Investment Initiative conference that was also attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
genocide against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims is still continuing, UN
investigators said Wednesday as they presented a report to the Security
Council, calling for the issue to be referred to an international tribunal.
Darusman, chairman of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, said that beyond
mass killings, the conflict included the ostracization of the population, prevention
of births, and widespread displacement in camps.
is an ongoing genocide," he told a press conference.
consider the genocide intent can be reasonably inferred," he said as he
presented the team's report to a United Nations Security Council meeting.
444-page report, first made public last month, called on the council to refer
the issue to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, or to create an ad
hoc tribunal, as was done with the former Yugoslavia.
explosive report said that Myanmar's top generals, including Commander-in-Chief
Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in Rakhine
has rejected accusations that its military committed atrocities in the
crackdown last year that forced 720,000 Rohingya to flee over the border to
'Grossly disproportionate' -
conflict has also seen about 390 villages destroyed and 10,000 Rohingya killed,
conditions are not in place for a safe, dignified and sustainable return of the
Rohingyas in Bangladesh" to Myanmar, he warned, adding any attempt would
just risk more deaths.
the end of an October 10-20 visit to the country, the UN's Special Envoy to
Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said that accountability and
"inclusive dialogue" were the two important pillars for national
fact-finding is the first step towards accountability," she said.
Myanmar government rejected the UN mission's findings, questioning its
independence and pointing out that it had itself established an independent
investigative commission made up of Asian diplomats.
said however that Myanmar's internal inquiries have "proven to be
ineffective failures" so far.
Security Council meeting was called by Western powers but opposed by China and
Russia, allies who have friendly ties with Myanmar's military and have
regularly shielded the nation from criticism.
maintains that the violence in Rakhine was triggered by Rohingya extremists who
attacked border posts in August 2017.
military has denied almost all accusations of genocide levelled against it,
insisting that "clearance operations" were necessary to fight
the UN fact-finding mission said there were reasonable grounds to believe that
the atrocities were committed with the intention of destroying the Rohingya.
found that the military's tactics had been "consistently and grossly
disproportionate to actual security threats", and that estimates that some
10,000 people were killed in the crackdown was likely a conservative figure.
de facto leader Suu Kyi -- once lionised by the international community as a
democracy icon -- has seen a sharp fall from grace following her refusal to
speak out against the military.
UN mission has pointed out that her government's attempts to whitewash facts
had worsened the situation for the embattled Rohingya.
tragedy with Kashmir is that conflict has become central to its existence. Not
just the several thousand lives lost - and there is dispute over the exact
number on this as well – but the macrocosm that contains every aspect of its
society and culture, leave alone politics. The tussle for rights, the
convoluted chronicle of a controversial accession, the trickery of the colonial
British masters and impinging stake by neighbouring Pakistan; all make for a
pain of the constant deconstruct, the blood-bathed stories of ordinary
families, student stone-pelters on the streets, the economics of keeping
militancy alive and the under-reported strain on our military. That is Kashmir
for you today.
is easy enough to go back in history and point to Pandit Nehru’s Himalayan
mistake of stopping the troops before recovering the Pakistani occupied
territory or the monumental mistake made in the 1980s of rigged elections; the
antecedent doesn’t really matter today except for providing the context to a
possible solution. Decades of psychological damage need to be mended; healing
memories of its own composite past could provide a ray of hope.
like in all themes concerning Kashmir, the great misfortune is that even the
concept of Kashmiriyat has been put on trial. Isn’t the term too new, perhaps
coined in the 1970s, one is asked. But the more pertinent argument about the
syncretic culture that the term represents is lost. Whether or not the term
Kashmiriyat is a modern denomination is again irrelevant, what we must clasp
with all our might is the import is holds.
that can truly be the only edifice to lasting peace in the Valley. Political will
and an agenda for economic revival can be blueprinted in New Delhi but the will
for armistice must blossom in the hearts of Kashmiri people only.
we speak of Kashmiri people, the modern narrative is mistakenly read as that of
Islamist militancy. That is the genesis of the misprint. The battle being
fought in the five disturbed districts of the Kashmir Valley is not a
Hindu-versus-Muslim issue. Such a story is scripted only in Islamabad which is
imposing a Wahabi colour and a Sunni outlook on a populace that has
historically been extremely plural and prided its synthesis. To understand
Kashmiriyat, we must study the manuscript of the land for thousands of years
which is an amalgam of the rich traditions of the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and
Muslims who lived peacefully together for centuries there.
legends of Kashmir, some going back to Nilamata Purana indicate that the Valley
was a lake called ‘Satisara’ i.e. the lake of Parvati, the consort of Lord
Shiva – years before it became habitable. It is for this reason that the
followers of Shakti spoke about ‘Haer Parbat’, which is used to describe the
Sharika Hill deduced from Parvati again. Sharika is Haer in Kashmiri.
region since ancient times became the seat of ‘Shakt and Tantric’ forms of
worship for the entire sub-continent and some of the most credible
understanding of Sri Yantra and Shri Chakra can be credited to the region.
cult of Tantra Shaivism was established and espoused mainly by one of Kashmir’s
tallest spiritualists Abhinavagupta. Many others like Vasugupta, Somananda,
Bhatta Kallata and Utpal Dev also propounded non-dualism through Kashmiri Shaiv
Kaw in his book ‘Kashmir and its People’ also talks about two other important
epic contributions - Yoga Vasishtha and Bharata Muni’s Natyashastra. And one the finest examples of Kashmiri
architecture was the Martanda temple built by King Lalitaditya.
per Kaw’s research, in the first century, Kushan emperor Kanishka chose Kashmir
as the venue of the first Buddhist Council comprising over 500 monks and
scholars. Undocumented portions of Buddha’s discourses and theoretical portions
of the canon were codified following the summit.
famous Kashmiri Buddhist logicians like Dinnaga, Dharmakirti, Vinitadeva and Dharmottara
made a mark and they spread Buddhism across Central Asia. It is noteworthy that the southern Silk Route
passed through Kun Lun and Karakoram mountains in Gilgit and Indus connecting
China, Central Asia and West Asia.
also had a flourishing tradition in painting during the period and some of best
sites to see Kashmiri painting style are the five temples comprising Dhama
Mandala at Alchi in Ladakh. The discovery of Gilgit manuscript paintings show
how the Gandharan and Gupta Indian conventions are mixed with local Kashmiri
entered Kashmir and became dominant in the 14th century, but soon the
conventional religion blended with the existing mores and gave birth to Sufism.
The most outstanding name that comes to fore is that of Lalded, who is claimed
by both Hindus (who also call her Lalleswari) and Muslims. She was an ascetic in the 14th century and
spread the lessons of love, tolerance and harmony. Her sayings are quoted by
both Muslims and Hindus as part of popular ethnic culture.
Hindus who belonged to the tradition were Nunda Rishi, Roop Bhawani and Krishna
Kar. And they are revered as much as Sufi saints like Shams Faqir, whose poetry
is full of mysticism and spiritualism. Among popular names are Swachhi Kral,
Nyama Saab, Shah Gafur and Asad Paray. The composite beliefs come across as
deeply in poems of another Sufi Ahmed Batawari. He freely used instances from
Hindu mythology to put across universal messages. An example is his saying: “Saalkas blakas
Shiva Naranas tsonven ikavata…..A seeker, a child, Shiva, Narayana – all these
four are remembered through the vital breath.”
the end of the era of rule of Afghans, the Sikh empire under Maharaja Ranjit
Singh was established. It was then that
many Sikhs made Kashmir their residence and continued to run successful
businesses there till recently.
post-Independence, till the 1980s, Kashmiris continued to coexist peacefully.
Former RAW chief AS Dulat who followed Kashmir closely describes how young
girls and boys from Hindu and Muslim communities mingled freely, had
get-togethers till wee hours in the morning and enjoyed tonga rides near the
Dal lake. For Kashmiri Pandits, Shivratri remains the most important festival.
Muslims friends and neighbours would help with chores and celebrate Shivratri
with Hindus; the people of both communities would visit shrines together and
have a common culture of a fairly empowered place for women in society.
and Hindu women enjoyed reasonable freedom despite a patriarchal society; both
men and women indulged in water sports during Shravani Utsav and peasant women
accompanied men into field for ceremonial ploughing.
today Kashmiri Pandits, who have been forced to migrate to other parts of the
country, remain more closely bound to Muslims in Kashmir through common
language, food habits, clothing, artisanship and convictions.
the mass exodus of Pandits has meant that the new generation of Kashmiri
Muslims has been deprived of co-existing with people of different religion
though following their own culture.
denial and consequent depletion of what has come to be called Kashmiriyat may
actually pose a bigger risk to normalcy than any other. And it for this reason
that the formula espoused by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament in 2003 of
'Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat', (humanity, peace, and composite culture
of Kashmir) may be the only prospect to resurrect peace in a land that has seen
more than a fair share of bloodshed and turmoil.
President Hassan Rouhani has condemned the murder of dissident Saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi, saying perpetrating such a “heinous” crime would have been
impossible without the support of the United States, a close Riyadh ally.
one would imagine that in today’s world and in this century, we would witness
such an organized murder, with an apparatus organizing such a heinous killing,”
Rouhani told a cabinet meeting, referring to the findings in the case of
Khashoggi, who entered the Saudi consulate on October 2, but never emerged.
Turkish investigation has found that Khashoggi was murdered inside the
a belated acknowledgement, which followed repeated denials, the Saudi regime
finally admitted that Khashoggi, a supporter-turned-critic of Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman, had been killed. Members of bin Salman’s inner circle have
been blamed for the Washington Post columnist’s death.
is now working to find out the details of the death, including who ordered the
murder and how exactly it was perpetrated.
further said, “I do not think that a country would dare commit such a crime
without the support of the US,” which currently stands accused of seeking to
cover up Khashoggi’s murder and protect its allies in Riyadh.
Iranian president described the case as a “big test” for the entire Western
states, the so-called advocates of human rights.
the positions which the US, Europe and other world countries adopt on the issue
will reveal the degree of their sensitivity to [protecting] human rights and to
preserving human dignity,” he noted.
Iranian president further note that Khashoggi’s murder had been inspired by the
same ideology that created the Takfiri terror outfits, such as Daesh in the
such a crime shows how a wrong ideology could lead to deviation and this is the
same ideology that has created terrorist groups such as Daesh in the
region," he said.
also called on the Turkish government to conduct “precise and impartial"
investigations to shed light on all dimensions of the “unprecedented” crime.
further denounced the US backing for the Saudi-led military campaign on Yemen
and the world’s silence on the brutal war.
Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey will not allow those responsible
for the killing of to avoid justice, from those who ordered it to the ones who
carried it out.
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on Iranian
organizations, scientific centers and elites to study in depth and exchange
views on different aspects of an Islamic-Iranian model of progress to help
upgrade and complement it.
an order issued earlier this month, the Leader called for different opinions on
the document, which outlines the basics of progress and a prospective future for
Iran over the next five decades as well as effective measures to achieve it.
Khamenei also called on the Expediency Council to study the document, offer
proposals and review the general policies of the Islamic establishment to
verify their compliance with the document.
Leader also called on parliament, the government, the Supreme National Security
Council, universities and schools of religious sciences to review the document
and propose required strategies for promoting it.
Khamenei said the Islamic-Iranian model would deal with the four realms of
intellect, science, lifestyle and spirituality and should serve as an upper
hand document for any future visions or planning.
Leader had earlier called for applying all existing capacities in the country
in developing the model, saying the Islamic-Iranian model of progress should
set the objectives while its strategies should be subject to modifications in
the course of time, pointing to an element of flexibility within the texture of
the prospective model of progress.
terrorists are agents of the foreign spying agencies and enemies of the Iranian
nation and their goal is distorting relations between Pakistan and Iran,"
General Pakpour said after his one-day visit to Pakistan to pursue the fate of
the 12 Iranian border guards abducted by terrorists in Southeastern Iran
earlier this month.
added that it seems there are third parties which are after darkening the two
countries' ties, stressing the need for Tehran and Islamabad to keep more
Pakpour said that the Pakistani officials have promised him to use all their
capacities to free the abducted border guards.
are making all our efforts so that the Pakistani brothers prevent the
terrorists' infiltration, make their borders insecure for the terrorists and
establish security at their borders," he added.
IRGC Ground Force in a statement on October 16 blasted foreign enemies for the
abduction of the Iranian Basijis (volunteer forces) and border guards by a
terrorist group in Mirjaveh border in Southeastern Sistan-Balouchestan province
on October 15.
night (on night of October 15) a number of Basij forces and guards of the
border regiment who were stationed in the zero border point in Mirjaveh were
kidnapped by counterrevolutionary groups," the public relations of the
IRGC Ground Force's Qods Headquarters said in its statement.
IRGC pointed to the fortified positions of Iranian border regiment, and said,
"Members of a terrorist group that is supported by foreign intelligence
services after deceiving some traitors managed to abduct Iran's border guards
along the common border with Pakistan."
noted that the operations against the terrorists and the outlaws as well as the
needed measures to set free the abducted Basijis and border guards tops agenda
of the security forces stationed along the border regions, and said, "We
expect the Pakistani government to seriously deal with the outlaws and
terrorists who are stationed along the borders and are supported by some
reactionary countries of the region while expediting releasing the abducted
Basijis and handing them over to border guards."
to reports, the incident happened in Lulakdan village, near the border of
Pakistan, at around 4 a.m. local time.
Iranian forces were participating in a plan to boost the security of Mirjaveh
al-Adl terrorist group, whose base is in Pakistan, has claimed responsibility
for abduction of the Iranian border guards.
Iranian interior ministry announced on Monday that the country's abducted
border guards were sound and healthy.
abducted border guards are healthy and are now in the hands of the terrorist
group," the director-general of the interior ministry for border affairs
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Wednesday to maintain a permanent
Israeli military force in the West Bank, saying that if it weren’t for Israeli
troops stationed there, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would be
“overrun in two minutes” by Hamas militants.
told a conference of a major Jewish organisation that Israel did not have the
liberty to repeat its mistake in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas forces violently
seized control from Abbas forces after Israel withdrew.
about his vision for the West Bank, he said he preferred to avoid labels such
as “Palestinian state.” But he did make clear his view that Abbas, known by his
nickname Abu Mazen, and his Palestinian Authority owe their very existence to
should have all the powers to govern themselves but none of the powers to
threaten us,” Netanyahu said in conversation before the General Assembly of the
Jewish Federation of North America.
of the Jordan (River), Israel, and Israel alone, will be responsible for
security.” “Guess who benefits from that? It’s the PA. They’d be overrun in two
minutes. A couple of years ago we uncovered a plot of Hamas to overthrow Abu
Mazen. Overthrow? Kill him. Not kill him politically. Kill him. So, if we
weren’t there, they’d not be there, which is exactly what happened when we left
and the United States will begin joint patrols in the northern Syrian Manbij
area soon after training is completed within the next couple of days, Turkish
defense minister Hulusi Akar told state-owned Anadolu news agency on Wednesday.
agreed by the NATO allies in June, Turkish and US forces have been carrying out
patrols in Manbij independent of each other, but have been training in
preparation to carry out joint patrols.
Palestinian health ministry says Israeli troops have shot and killed a
Palestinian youth who threw stones at the soldiers during West Bank clashes.
ministry says 21-year-old Mohammed Bsharat was shot in the chest early on
Wednesday, during confrontations with Israeli soldiers in the village of Tamoun
in northern West Bank. It says five other rioters were wounded by live fire.
Israeli military says some 50 Palestinians instigated a riot during a routine
Israeli activity to locate illegal weapons, hurling rocks and fireworks at
troops responded with riot dispersal means and live fire. The military says its
searches resulted in confiscating two improvised weapons.
newly appointed Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed toured the
storm-damaged al-Mahra governorate on Wednesday assessing the damage caused by
tour is Abdulmalik Saeed’s first official mission as new premier replacing
Ahmed bin Dagher.
is expected to stay in al-Mahra for a few days in order to meet with the
residents, check the conditions of governmental institutions and have a clear
picture of the damage.
Yemeni Prime Minister is seeking to address the situation urgently, in addition
to providing relief assistance and to discuss possible solutions with the
Yemeni authorities to deal with the aftermath of the storm, while it is
expected that Abdulmalik Saeed will leave for Aden after the end of his
inspection visit, in order to begin work on the implementation of the plans
assigned by President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi, which - according to the
statements - to lift the Yemeni economy, improve the living conditions of
citizens, as well as stop the deterioration of the local currency.
Houthi coup militias tightened their security and monitoring measures against
officials and ministers in the coup government in Sanaa, fearing they might
break away and flee to areas under the control of the Yemeni legitimate
pro-Iranian militias staged a wide campaign of arrests involving officers of
the former Republican Guard.
to security sources, a number of its senior political officials, among them
Yahya al-Raii, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, who has been
assigned a security team and a driver of the Houthis, are under house arrest.
Houthi militias’ measures are nothing new, as ministers in their coup
government suffer from marginalization, mistreatment and strict control, after
the Minister of Tourism Nasser Baqzquz submitted his resignation and his
request to allow him to leave Sana’a as a result of threats from the Director
of the Office of the President of the so-called Supreme Political Council of
the coup militias.
Palestinian Authority (PA) has lashed out at Israel over its opposition to the
Palestinian statehood, saying the regime is resolved to kill the chances of
peace in the region.
spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh made the remarks on Wednesday in response to
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for a Palestinian
“state-minus, autonomy-plus” in the West Bank, with Tel Aviv preserving its
security control over the territory west of the Jordan River.
a statement carried by WAFA news agency, Abu Rudeineh reiterated the
Palestinians’ right to a sovereign state at the pre-1967 lines.
will be no peace or security without the establishment of an independent
Palestinian state with East Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital on the 1967
borders,” he said.
Palestinian official also censured Israel of “looking for excuses to evade the
obligations of the peace process and the international resolutions,” warning
that such a practice would lead to “more violence, tension, destruction and
further stressed that Netanyahu’s recent comments prove that Israel is
determined to destroy chances of peace.
are seeking to create an independent state in the territories of the West Bank,
the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem al-Quds, with the latter as its capital.
November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s
status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite
strong opposition from Israel.
September 2015, the Palestinian national flag was hoisted for the first time at
the UN headquarters in New York.
Palestinian efforts for statehood have been hampered due to Israel's illegal
settlement construction activities in the occupied lands and Washington's
the measures was US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as
the “capital” of Israel and relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to
the occupied city.
warplanes have carried out new airstrikes against the besieged Gaza Strip,
bombarding the west and south of the enclave.
media said the fighter jets hit eight targets belonging to the Hamas resistance
movement near the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, besides other targets, early
on Thursday morning. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Israeli military claimed the strikes were carried out in response to a rocket
fire from the besieged sliver. It said the projectile landed in an open field
after the regime's Iron Dome missile system failed to intercept it.
on Wednesday, Israel's air force also struck an area in Gaza it claimed was
used to launch "incendiary balloons" into the occupied territories.
Aviv bombards Gaza from time to time, claiming the assaults are in response to
rocket attacks of the resistance groups.
Gaza Strip has been witnessing tensions since March 30, which marked the start
of the “Great March of Return” protests demanding the right to return for the
Palestinians driven out of their homeland.
tensions saw a sharp rise on May 14, marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba
Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which this year coincided with the US embassy
relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
than 200 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded in
the renewed Gaza clashes, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza
Saudi airstrike has claimed the lives of at least 20 Yemeni civilians and 10
others sustained injuries in province of Hudaydah as the regime in Riyadh
continues its atrocious campaign against its crisis-hit southern neighbor.
to Yemen’s al-Masirah television network, the casualties were caused after
Saudi warplanes targeted a group of farmers in a vegetables market in Masoudi
area of Bayt al-Faqih district of the western province on Wednesday.
latest aerial assault came after Saudi fighter jets struck a car as it was
travelling along a road in Bani Hassan area of the Abs district in Hajjah
province on Sunday afternoon, leaving four people dead and another injured.
October 13, the Saudi planes targeted two buses that were carrying civilians
fleeing the port city of Hudaydah, killing at least 17 civilians and wounding
has become a flashpoint of the war being waged by Riyadh and its allies against
the Arab world's poorest nation.
offensive has raised the prospect that the nation could be tipped over the edge
of famine as the port city in the Mediterranean takes in the bulk of Yemen’s
Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief
Coordinator, Mark Lowcock has recently said
the war on Yemen has left as many as 8.4 million people in the Arab
world’s already poorest nation in need of urgent food aid.
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 Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power
and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Legal Center for Rights and Developments in Yemen, in a statement released on
October 15, announced that the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against the
impoverished and conflict-plagued Arab country
has resulted in the death of 15,185 civilians, including 3,527 children
and 2,277 women.
total of 23,822 civilians, among them 3,526 children and 2,587 women, have also
sustained injuries, and are currently suffering from the lack of medicine,
medical supplies and poor treatment due to the crippling Saudi siege.
center further noted that the Saudi military aggression has also caused the
death of nearly 2,200 Yemenis from cholera.
sources said that the SDF released a sum of 102 ISIL terrorists, including 10
Iraqi terrorists, from a jail in Hasaka.
added that the ISIL terrorists were freed after they ended their 2-year-period
militant-affiliated news website reported on Tuesday that the SDF entered talks
with ISIL in Eastern Deir Ezzur to release its captives in return for allowing
aid cargoes to the terrorist group.
news website reported that talks between ISIL and SDF were underway in Deir
Ezzur, adding that the talks were over releasing SDF's captives by the ISIL in
return for food convoys to ISIL-held regions by the SDF.
agreed, the US-backed militia should also establish a safe corridor in Eastern
Deir Ezzur for the ISIL, according to the report.
Dhabi: The 5th edition of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, to
be held in Abu Dhabi on December 5, will establish that Islam is a religion of
peace and justice, said Dr Mohammad Mattar Al Kaabi, secretary general of the
forum, an Abu Dhabi-based international organisation.
forum will bring together more than 800 of the world’s most influential Islamic
scholars and thinkers from 120 countries, including ministers of religious
affairs, muftis, representatives of the Muslim communities and delegates from
the United Nations and rights organisations across the world.
and intellectuals will discuss the methodology of setting up an alliance of
virtues to achieve a worldwide discourse of mutual friendship and cooperation
based upon common values and virtues, Dr Al Kaabi said.
idea came following the resounding success of the peace caravan, where an
intimate and diverse group of US Muslim, Christian and Jewish clerics convened
in Abu Dhabi last year to understand and appreciate theological differences
while focusing on the synergism of religious commonalities essential to
building healthy ad peaceful communities,” Dr Al Kaabi said.
endeavours culminated in an international conference in Washington D.C. in
February this year under the theme ‘An Alliance of Virtues for the Common
Good’. The event drew participation from hundreds of Christian pastors, Jewish
rabbis and Muslim imams, alongside academics and researchers concerned with the
culture of peace, as well as representatives of major international
organisations and the US civil society. This landmark event was the first time
the Abrahamic family of religions convened in all its diversity, to agree on
new foundations for a religious dialogue, one that transcends disputation and
proselytisation to achieve a discourse of mutual acquaintance and cooperation
based upon common values.”
forum will discuss the nature of the alliance of virtues, its core objectives,
the responsibilities of its stakeholders, strategies, and challenges that
army men engaged in fierce clashes with a group of ISIL terrorists South-East
of the town of al-Sukhnah, North-East of Palmyra (Tadmur) city in Eastern Homs
and managed to ward off their attack, inflicting major losses on them.
the meantime, the fighter jets pounded ISIL's movements near Aweiraz Dam and T2
Oil Pumping Station and near a border region between Deir Ezzur and Homs's
Eastern desert, inflicting heavy casualties on the terrorists.
units of the army engaged in a tough battle with ISIL near the town of Mou
Hassan on the Western Banks of the Euphrates River and repelled their
Monday, the Syrian Air Force carried out a fresh round of combat flights over
ISIL's positions and movements in Eastern Homs on Monday, inflicting major
losses on the terrorists.
fighter jets pounded ISIL's movements near Aweiraz Dam and also in a region
between Deir Ezzur and Homs border in the Eastern desert of Palmyra in Eastern
Homs, killing and wounding a large number of terrorists and destroying their
Arabic-language website of Sputnik reported that terrorists of Horas al-Deen,
deployed near Turkish monitoring posts in al-Sarman region in Eastern Idlib,
targeted the army's positions in the town of Ajaz.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units pounded terrorists' positons
of Horas al-Deen in al-Sarman.
Syria's al-Watan daily reported that the army has targeted terrorists'
positions in Hama, Aleppo and Lattakia provinces after the terrorists opened
fire at the government forces.
have been launching an increasing number of attacks on the army from the
demilitarized zone in recent days.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Sunday that Turkey
failed to convince terrorist groups to withdraw from the demilitarized zone
mentioned in the Sochi Agreements that covers parts of Lattakia, Idlib, Hama
and Aleppo provinces a week after the agreement's deadline of October 15.
the meantime, al-Watan pointed to the failure of Turkey in expelling terrorists
from the demilitarized zone, and said that the Syrian Army's artillery units
pounded the movements of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at terrorists that tried to prevail
over the army's positions in al-Latamina region in Northeastern Hama and in the
village of al-Zarzour in Southeastern Idlib.
number of Tahrir al-Sham terrorists were killed or wounded in the army's
Arabic-language website of Sputnik reported that the Syrian official in
cooperation with the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria have reopened Abu
al-Dhohour humanitarian corridor for those civilians that intended to leave
terrorist-held regions in Idlib.
further said that a sum of 300 civilians, mostly women and children, have been
evacuated to the army-controlled regions via Abu al-Dhohour.
report went on to say that the terrorists were preventing civilians from
said that the Syrian and Russian forces will possibly open new corridors in
Qala al-Madhiq and Morek in Northern Hama.
has arrested two nationals who raised and received money from a former Qatari
minister in their bid to influence the upcoming parliamentary elections.
news was confirmed by Advocate General Dr. Ahmed Al Hammadi who said the Public
Prosecution has now launched an investigation into a notification by the
Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) regarding the two Bahraini nationals.
has been found out that the two nationals received money from former Qatari minister
Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani through their bank accounts or by occasionally
going to Qatar to receive the money in cash. Investigations showed that one of
the two nationals received from the Qatari former minister sums of money to run
for the parliamentary elections set to be held this year and to support his
electoral campaign. Intensive investigation into the suspects' relation with
the Qatari official, the purpose of receiving money from him and the motive
behind funding the electoral campaign of one of the suspects revealed that the
aim was to undermine the national interests by interfering in the internal
affairs of the kingdom and influencing the work of the legislative institutions
to serve the Qatari antagonistic goals,” a statement on Bahrain News Agency
judicial permission was issued to control and record telephone calls between
the suspects which confirmed the investigations, the statement added.
two suspects were arrested at Bahrain International Airport upon their return
from Qatar with more than BD 12,000 and 500 Qatari Riyals in their possession
without claiming them at the Customs Department.
- Afghan officials launched an investigation Wednesday into claims at least 14
civilians were killed in a military ground operation targeting the Islamic
State group in their stronghold in eastern Afghanistan.
Tuesday night’s raid by Afghan special forces in Rodat district of Nangarhar
province, scores of protesters temporarily blocked a major highway linking
Afghanistan and Pakistan to demand action against those responsible for the
Mohammad, who was among the protesters, told AFP 14 people were killed in the
operation and four others were wounded.
elder Najibullah Amarkhil put the death toll slightly higher at 16, including
women and children.
forces raided several houses - they killed 14 people, including a six-month-old
baby,” Amarkhil told AFP, adding two more died from their wounds in hospital.
“We demand the government punish those responsible.”
broadcaster Tolo News said the death toll was “at least 17”.
posted on Tolo’s Twitter account purportedly showed dozens of men crowded
around the bodies of victims under a tent next to the highway connecting the
Nangarhar provincial capital of Jalalabad with Torkham, one of the major border
crossings into Pakistan.
governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani confirmed there had been casualties in
the operation and said an official probe was under way.
delegation has been sent to the area to investigate the incident and report
back to us,” Khogyani told AFP.
Afghans have borne the brunt of the 17-year war, which is on track to be
deadlier than Syria in 2018.
continue to face “extreme levels of harm”, a recent UN report said, with 8,050
people killed or wounded in the January to September period.
has intensified in the past year as US and Afghan forces step up ground and air
offensives against Taliban and IS insurgents.
a smaller but potent rival of the Taliban, emerged in the region in 2014 and
quickly established a heavy presence in Afghanistan’s east before expanding
NATIONS (AP) — Genocide is still taking place against Rohingya Muslims
remaining in Myanmar and the government is increasingly demonstrating it has no
interest in establishing a fully functioning democracy, U.N. investigators said
Darusman, chair of the U.N. fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said thousands of
Rohingya are still fleeing to Bangladesh, and the estimated 250,000 to 400,000
who have stayed following last year’s brutal military campaign in the
Buddhist-majority country “continue to suffer the most severe” restrictions and
is an ongoing genocide that is taking place at the moment,” he told a news
said the requirements for genocide, except perhaps for killings, “continue to
hold” for Rohingya still in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. These include
causing serious bodily harm, inflicting conditions designed to destroy the
Rohingya, and imposing measures to prevent births, he said.
U.N. ambassador, Hau Do Suan, called the fact-finding mission “flawed, biased
and politically motivated” and said the government “categorically rejects” its
inference of “genocidal intent.”
Lee, the U.N. special investigator on human rights in Myanmar, said she and
many others in the international community hoped the situation under Myanmar
leader Aung San Suu Kyi “would be vastly different from the past — but it is
really not that much different from the past.”
added later that she thinks Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former
political prisoner who now leads Myanmar’s civilian government, “is in total
denial” about accusations that the military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar raped,
murdered and tortured Rohingya and burned their villages, sending over 700,000
fleeing to Bangladesh since August 2017.
government is increasingly demonstrating that it has no interest and capacity
in establishing a fully functioning democracy where all its people equally
enjoy all their rights and freedoms,” Lee said. “It is not upholding justice
and rule of law” that Suu Kyi “repeatedly says is the standard to which all in
Myanmar are held.”
this were the case, she said, fair laws would be applied impartially to all
people, impunity would not rein, “and the law would not be wielded as a weapon
Kyi’s government has rejected independent international investigations into the
alleged abuses of Rohingya and has commissioned its own probe. The government
has also rejected the report by the fact-finding mission, which said some top
military leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity
and genocide against the Rohingya.
Myanmar government’s hardened positions are by far the greatest obstacle,” Darusman
continued denials, its attempts to shield itself under the cover of national
sovereignty and its dismissal of 444 pages of details about the facts and
circumstances of recent human rights violations that point to the most serious
crimes under international law” strengthens the need for international action
because “accountability cannot be expected from the national processes,” he
and Lee spoke ahead of a Security Council meeting that began with a vote on
whether Darusman should be allowed to brief members.
was given a green light with the minimum nine “yes” votes from the U.S.,
Britain, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru and Poland.
China, which is Myanmar’s neighbor and ally, Russia and Bolivia voted “no” and
Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained.
Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused supporters of the briefing of “torpedoing
consensus” in the council and forcing council members “to engage in
said the fact-finding mission didn’t go to Rakhine state, called its report
“too biased,” and said the international community should help Myanmar and
Bangladesh resolve the Rohingya refugee problem.
Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu later echoed Nebenzia, calling the report’s conclusions
“lopsided” and “not credible” and saying the international community should
work on returning the refugees.
stressed that their “repatriation is not possible now.”
will not encourage any repatriation,” the U.N. envoy said. “Conducive
conditions means they should not go back to … the oppressive laws, the
discrimination. The minimum they need is freedom of movement, access to basic
said “there’s been a lot of progress in terms of economic development and
infrastructure, but in the area of ‘democratic space’ and people’s right to
claim back their land … there is no progress.”
now, it’s like an apartheid situation where Rohingyas still living in Myanmar …
have no freedom of movement,” Lee said. “The camps, the shelters, the model
villages that are being built, it’s more of a cementing of total segregation or
separation from the Rakhine ethnic community.”
the council meeting, Darusman said the fact-finding mission concluded that last
year’s events were “a human rights catastrophe that was foreseeable and
planned,” and it conservatively estimates there were “10,000 Rohingya deaths.”
Rohingya in Rakhine state are at grave risk,” he said, and returning Rohingya
from Bangladesh would be “tantamount to condemning them to life as sub-humans
and further mass killing.”
said the Security Council should the situation in Myanmar to the International
Criminal Court or another international tribunal and also impose an arms
embargo on Myanmar, a ban on transactions with all military-related enterprises
and sanctions against those alleged to be most responsible for atrocities
against the Rohingya.
can be no ‘moving on’ from this crisis without addressing its root causes — all
of which continue to exist today, primarily the presence of an unaccountable
military that acts with complete impunity,” he said.
Netherlands’ deputy U.N. ambassador, Lise Gregoire Van Haaren, said her
government will push quickly for a Security Council resolution that would refer
Myanmar to the ICC.
council action appeared highly unlikely because of its deep divisions and
almost certain opposition from China and Russia, both veto-wielding council
very aware that there might be pushback, but having pushback is never a reason
not to try,” Van Haaren said. “So we are going to have a really ambitious aim
for the negotiations” on a possible resolution “and let’s see where we get.”
has imposed sanctions and travel bans on five Myanmar military generals accused
of leading last year's violent crackdown on the country's Rohingya.
Minister Marise Payne made the announcement in a statement today after
indicating last month that Australia was likely to take action.
comes after the United Nations fact-finding mission to Myanmar released a
report accusing the military of a systematic campaign targeting civilians that
included mass rapes and enforced disappearances.
report recommended that top military brass be investigated and prosecuted for
crimes against humanity and genocide.
has been much slower to impose sanctions than the European Union, UK and the US
in the wake of last year's Rohingya crisis that saw 700,000 members of the
Muslim minority flee to Bangladesh.
of the men targeted by Australia's sanctions are no longer members of Myanmar's
Maung Soe was fired from his post as commander of the Bureau of Special
Operations in June after the European Union imposed sanctions on him while Aung
Kyaw Zaw, the head of the Western Command, was allowed to resign in May.
three others — Aung Aung, Than Oo and Khin Maung Soe — remain with Tatmadaw, as
Myanmar's military is known.
Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing was not sanctioned by Australia in this
announcement, Facebook took down his verified page in August after the release
of the UN report.
Sayed, Amnesty International Australia crisis campaigner, welcomed Ms Payne's
announcement but called on the Government to withdraw financial support for the
Tatmadaw and consider expanding sanctions to several other individuals who have
allocated nearly $400,000 for training Myanmar's military in the last budget,
which Ms Sayed said put us "out of step with the rest of the world".
Payne said Australia would "continue to support the humanitarian needs of
those affected" and work with Myanmar to "encourage efforts towards a
long-term and durable solution to the crisis".
LUMPUR: Rohingyas in Malaysia fear that their lives are in danger if they are
repatriated from the country by next year.
Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told the press on Monday that his ministry
is working closely with foreign ministers from other ASEAN countries to discuss
in detail the best way possible for sending back 1 million Rohingya refugees to
ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Special Taskforce is led by Singapore’s Foreign
Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
taskforce will head to Myanmar at the end of this month to kick-start the
process of helping the Rohingya community to return to their homeland.
do not know how fast this process can be implemented, but it should be
initiated, for as long as it does not start the problem involving the Rohingya
refugees will persist,” said Saifuddin.
is important for us to help these people return to their home country, as
otherwise it would be condoning the ‘ethnic cleansing’ which is currently
happening,” he added.
Rohingya refugees who spoke to Arab News anonymously fear that their lives will
be at stake if the Malaysian Government decided to send them back to Myanmar.
(not his real name) told Arab News that he is bemused with the statement by the
Malaysian foreign minister as Malaysia has been very supportive of the Rohingya
and has criticized in many international conferences the atrocities by the
Myanmar military toward them.
am confused because Malaysia has played a significant role in helping the
Rohingya. They have set up hospitals at the Bangladesh refugee camp, providing
aid and food,” said Rahman.
the minister said that next year Rohingya will be repatriated. I don’t know how
it is possible they are going to do this.”
Malaysian Government has yet to reveal how it will send back Rohingya refugees
without putting their lives at risk.
is not a signatory country to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and thus does not
recognize refugees. However, during the recent Malaysian speech at the UN
General Assembly, the Southeast Asian nation vowed to ratify all the remaining
are more than 160,000 refugees in Malaysia, in which 77,130 Rohingya are
registered under the UNHCR Persons of Concern in Malaysia. However, with a
large amount of undocumented refugees, the number may be estimated at more than
is a primary destination for Rohingya because it is a Muslim country with a
long-standing Rohingya community. Many who arrived here would usually would
bring their families.
majority of the Rohingya refugees live in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur,
resorting to hard labor in the manufacturing and services industries as illegal
workers, as refugees are not permitted to work. As a result, they live in
deplorable conditions without proper health care, education or basic needs.
is no safe place in Myanmar now,” Rahman told Arab News. Recent reports by the
UN fact-finding mission affirmed the crimes against humanity amounting to
genocide that Myanmar has committed against the Rohingya community. The silence
of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s state counsellor, on the issue has further
dented the country’s reputation on human rights protection.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said the assassination plan of the former Police Chief of
Kandahar Gen. Abdul Raziq was hatched in Pakistan.
during a gathering with the tribal elders of Kandahar, President Ghani demanded
the extradition of the perpetrators involved in the assassination of Gen. Raziq
Ghani arrived in Kandahar province earlier today accompanying a delegation of
high level government officials to offer condolences to the people of the
province regarding the deadly incident that left Gen. Raziq and Kandahar
intelligence chief dead.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani hailed
the bravery and campaign of Gen. Abdul Raziq for the defense of the country and
ain the fight against international terrorism.
said if the enemies think that the assassination of Gen. Raziq would lead to
security gap in Kandahar then they should rethink as Kandahar has been home to
Ghani also conferred the title of hero of independence to Gen. Raziq and
changed the name of Kandahar Police training academy to his name, ARG Palace
said, adding that President Ghani also instructed the Kandahar and Kabul
Municipalities to name certain roads after Gen. Raziq’s name.
Abdul Raziq lost his life in an attack by a gunman in Kandahar governor’s
compound last Thursday.
provincial intelligence chief of the province Gen. Abdul Momin was also killed
in the attack while the provincial governor Zalmay Weesa sustained injuries.
former Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief
Rahmatullah Nabil claims that a key member of Taliban’s Quetta Council Mullah
Sherin had hatched and executed the assassination plan of Kandahar Police Chief
Gen. Abdul Raziq.
a statement posted online, Nabil said the attacker was trained in Al Hamza
training center where suicide bombers are being trained under the supervision
of Taj Mir who is also famous as Mawlavi Zabiullah.
further added that Taj Mir has close links with the Haqqani terrorist network
and the military intelligence of Pakistan.
he said Mullah Sherin hatched the assassination plan in close coordination with
ISI and cooperation of one of the security guards of Kandahar governor who had
helped in the appointment of the attacker as the security guard of the
to Nabil, the governor’s guard who helped in the execution of the plan has
managed to flee the Kandahar city.
also added that Mullah Sherin has close links with the Haqqani network’s
Sirajuddin Haqqani, currently operates as Taliban’s intelligence chief and is
based in Quetta city.
The Afghan Taliban confirmed on Wednesday that Pakistan had released their
senior leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was captured in a joint
operation by American and Pakistani intelligence officials in the port city of
Karachi in 2010.
officials told Arab News that Baradar, the former Taliban deputy chief, had
“rejoined his family” after he was freed in Islamabad. Another Taliban leader,
Abdul Samad, was also released along with Baradar, they said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal did not reply to a query posted on
his WhatsApp about the release of the Taliban leader.
Taliban officials did not comment on why Pakistan had freed the Taliban leaders
some Taliban sources told Arab News that the release of the Taliban was one of
the issues discussed in two meetings between the American officials and the
Taliban representatives in Qatar.
Islamic Emirate has always called for the release of prisoners, removal of the
names of our leaders from the UN Security Council’s sanctions list and the
opening of the office in Qatar before the beginning of the official
negotiations with the United States,” a Taliban official said. He didn't want
to be identified by name as he was not allowed to speak on the record.
release of Baradar, who still enjoys widespread respect among the Taliban
leaders because of his association with the mujahideen commander Mullah Omar,
will be a morale boost for the Afghan insurgents at a time when they have
stepped up attacks and opened direct talks with the US.
officials who have worked with Baradar say Mullah Omar had once told the
Taliban leaders that Baradar would replace him after his death. Omar had
appointed him as deputy chief.
freed about 40 Afghan Taliban leaders in 2013 and early 2014 on the request by
then Afghan President Hamid Karzai to encourage them join the peace process.
However, none of the freed Taliban had joined the reconciliation with the
Baradar was not released that time, apparently on the plea that he was detained
jointly by the Americans and Pakistanis and the US consent was also required.
Iqbal Ansari, a litigant from the Muslim side in Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid
title suit pending before the Supreme Court, has claimed to have received a
letter in which the writer has threatened him of dire consequences if he does
not pull out of the case.
is the son of one of the first litigants in the title suit.
said the letter has warned him to "leave the case, or else he would be thrown
out of India".
four-page letter was delivered through registered post on Wednesday and the
sender has identified himself as one Surya Prakash Singh, a resident of Dadra
village in Musafirkhana tehsil of Amethi district.
told TOI that he had got such threats in the past also and the government must
increase his security, otherwise it would be held responsible if something
untoward happened to him.
SSP Joginder Kumar said he was unaware of any such letter, but station house
officer of Ramjanmabhoomi police station PK Singh confirmed that Ansari had
received such a letter and the matter was being investigated.
after a PhD scholar from Aligarh Muslim University was killed in an encounter
in Jammu and Kashmir, an MPhil scholar was among two militants killed in a
gunfight Wednesday morning on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Ahmad Sofi (31) is the second scholar killed in the Valley this month after
Manan Wani, who quit a PhD programme from AMU, was killed on October 11 at
Handwara in north Kashmir.
killing of Sofi and another militant, Asif Ahmad, both from south Kashmir’s
Anantnag district, triggered clashes between protesters and police in Srinagar
and south Kashmir.
information about the presence of two militants on the outskirts of Srinagar
Tuesday night, a joint team of the J&K Police, Army and paramilitary forces
cordoned off the Suthoo Kothair village. As the joint team zeroed in on the
target house, a militant hiding in an abandoned house opened fire triggering a
the search operation, terrorists fired upon the search party, which was
retaliated leading to an encounter,” a police statement said. “In the ensuing
encounter, two terrorists were killed”.
resident of Naina village in south Kashmir’s Sangam, Sabzar had qualified NET
and JRF and was preparing for the UPSC examinations before joining militant
ranks in July 2016 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan
Wani. He completed his Masters in Botany from Barkatullah University, source
second slain militant Asif Ahmad, who had joined militant ranks recently, hails
from Sirhama village of south Kashmir.
of people, mostly youngsters, attended the funeral of Sabzar and Asif at their
native villages. At Sangam, thousands offered were present for Sabzar’s funeral
and at least six militants appeared at his funeral to offer a gun salute,
sources said. The militants included Zeenat-ul-Islam, one of the most wanted
commanders of the Hizbul Mujahideen in south Kashmir.
DELHI: The NIA on Wednesday said it has filed a chargesheet against a
Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist who was nabbed by security forces
earlier this year, a fortnight after his group infiltrated into India from
across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) has charged Zabiullah alias Hamza (20)
under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Arms Act and
agency said Zabiullah hailed from Multan in Pakistan and his group was
intercepted by security forces on the intervening night of March 20-12 in the
forests of Chak Fatah Khan in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district.
five terrorists of this LeT terrorists' group were killed in the encounter,
Zabiullah managed to escape.
was injured during the encounter, but managed to escape and was apprehended a
fortnight later from the same district, it said.
army personnel and two policemen were killed, while four other troops were
injured during this encounter.
investigation, the NIA said it was found that in the first week of March this
year, a group of six LeT terrorists infiltrated into India through the LoC
group of terrorists was heading towards Lolab area of Kupwara for establishing
their bases for carrying out subversive activities in furtherance of waging war
this terrorist group was passing through the forests of Chak Fatah Khan,
Halmatpora in Kupwara they were intercepted by security forces and a gun battle
took place," the agency said.
NIA, in the charge sheet, said the Pakistani terrorist infiltrated into India
from across the border in J-K."?Investigation carried out by the NIA has
proved that Zabiullah is a Pakistani national and belonged to the LeT. Evidence
collected from the scene of crime clearly linked the AK 47 recovered from
Zabiullah's possession with the empty cartridges recovered from the site of
authorities have suspended the head teacher of a government school for
assaulting a Christian student and abusing his mother.
Shaheen was suspended on Oct. 22 after a complaint of discrimination against
12-year-old Sharjeel Masih by his parents.
a fourth grader, was beaten and suspended for a week from the Government Boys
Primary School of District Attock, Punjab province. The district education
officer has launched an inquiry into the incident.
was just trying to turn off a running tap when the teacher grabbed me, called
me churha (low caste) and asked why I had touched the tap and made it filthy.
'This tap is not from the country of your mother,' she said before abusing me.
I had to sit outside the school for five hours," said Sharjeel, whose
father works in a military hospital as a sanitary worker.
mother Farzana Ejaz recounted the humiliation of the incident to ucanews.com.
accompanied him to school the next day to apologize for any mistake committed
by my son. She [Nusrat Shaheen] asked me to grab her feet for the mistake of my
son and threatened that her brother, a police officer, would sell my younger
daughter to a brothel," said the mother of three.
was punched in the belly and back. Ever since her appointment three years ago,
the headmistress has picked on him. We are now being threatened and approached
by the family of the principal as well as local politicians."
a notice dated Oct. 22, the education officer cited several charges against
Shaheen including "misconduct [physical/corporal punishment], using
abusive language and discrimination against a minority as well as misbehaving
with the mother of the student." Corporal punishment is strictly
prohibited in schools in Punjab province.
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted that the case involved
"horrific discrimination" against a child, adding that "even one
such case is one too many."
Nawab, administrator of Minorities Rights Watch, praised the timely action
against the head teacher.
state has to strengthen its policies against increasing intolerance and lack of
acceptance in society. This is the result of both discriminatory laws and a
biased education system. Effective teacher training can help in bringing
change," he said.
affected family are poor and in dire need of government support from powerful
people who are trying to force a compromise."
year, Christian girl Muqadas Sukhraj was shifted to evening classes at a school
in Attock after she opted to study ethics instead of Islamic studies. According
to her family, a Muslim teacher punished her for not learning Islam and ordered
Muslim students to avoid eating with her.
non-Muslim students can opt for ethics instead of Islamic studies in pre-high
school examinations, Catholic institutes prefer to teach Islam to allow
students to attain better scores and have competent teachers.
August 2017, ninth grader Sheron Masih was killed by Muslim classmates in a
state-run school in Burewala in Punjab province for allegedly drinking water
from a glass meant for Muslims.
researchers say school textbooks in the Muslim-majority country promote hatred
of other religions and nationalities. A delegation of the National Commission
for Justice and Peace, the Catholic Church's human rights body in Pakistan,
shared similar concerns with minister Mazari in Islamabad on Oct. 10.
The education minister was on Wednesday told there are 30,000 out-of-school children
in the capital.
for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood gave the Federal
Directorate of Education (FDE) directions to take measures to bring these
children into schools.
minister was visiting the FDE, which looks after the 423 educational
institutions of the capital, for the first time to get a briefing about
Islamabad’s education sector.
FDE was earlier under the control of the Ministry of Capital Administration and
Development Division which the PTI government abolished. FDE has now been
placed under the education ministry.
minister was briefed about the functioning and challenges of the directorate by
directors as the FDE does not have a permanent, or temporary, director general
(DG) and has been headless since Oct 10 when temporary DG Hasnat Qureshi
relinquished his charge.
Qureshi was the chairman of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory
Authority (Peira) and looked after FDE affairs as an acting DG for over a year
and a half.
minister said the government had a vision for bringing 25 million out of school
children into schools and that the 30,000 children in Islamabad should be
enrolled in schools on a priority basis.
quoted the minister as saying that the federal capital should be a model for
minister said adult education will also be focused on and that double shifts
should be started in areas which are short on schools.
said the education ministry will help FDE become paperless and start an online
minister was also briefed on the Prime Minister’s Education Reform Programme
which was started by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
minister said the buses procured under the programme should be distributed
fairly and that those schools which are facing a shortage of buses should be
sources said that the minister will be given another briefing on the reform
program by the officers who have been dealing with the project.
minister also assured us that a DG will soon be appointed,” an FDE official who
participated in the meeting said.
Mehmood also visited Peira, an organisation which deals with private sector
education in the capital city.
Member Imtiaz Qureshi briefed the minister about the functioning and issues being
faced by the authority.
was told about litigations between Peira and elite schools which had challenged
its rules which bars them from charging fees above the set limits.
minister was told that there are some 700 unregistered schools in the capital
and that of the total 1,242 schools of which the authority has data, 525 have
to sources, Peira Chairman Hasnat Qureshi was told hours before he was to brief
the minister that he had been repatriated to his parent department many days
ago by the ministry and that he should therefore not give the briefing.
said Mr Qureshi had concerns regarding the procedure adopted by the ministry
for repatriating him which is why he was reluctant to relinquish charge.
school children were injured on Wednesday in Killi Shabo area of Quetta when
unidentified motorcyclists opened fire at the gate of an educational institute,
DawnNewsTV reported citing police sources.
incident happened with unidentified gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on the
gate of Danish Kadah School — a private establishment located in the city
children received bullets on their legs as a result of firing. They were rushed
to the Civil Hospital, and are now in stable condition.
Home Minister Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa condemned the firing incident, adding:
"The elements involved in this incident will be apprehended soon.
- Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that assistance from Saudi Arabia will
help ease the financial pressure on Pakistan and also bring government in a
position not to burden people with more tough economic measures.
the nation yesterday, he shared the good news with his people saying, “We have
got an amazing package from Saudi Arabia... which has taken off the burden.”
criticised their political opponents who he said had mired the country into the
financial mess, and made it loud and clear that whatever the opposition parties
do they would not get any NRO from the PTI government.
premier also said Pakistan was trying to broker peace deal to end the war in
Yemen as the country wanted to work for unity of Muslim world.
more thing I want to share with you is that we are acting as mediator in the
ongoing crisis in Yemen. We are playing a positive role... so as to unite the
said they wanted to help resolve the issues between the Muslim countries
through negotiation and mediation. He said that he would share progress on this
front with nation from time to time.
his brief address to the nation which followed his successful visit to Saudi
Arabia, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan has successfully obtained a
financial package from Saudi Arabia to reduce the immediate burden of loan
instalments accumulated by previous governments.
country fellows, today I am here with good news for all of you. We were facing
really hard times. We were highly pressurised into paying heavy debts. But
thanks to Saudi Arab’s extension of assistance, we are out of the pressure,” he
said, “Had we gone to the IMF immediately, it would have hurt the nation as
fulfilling its tough conditions requires passing on the burden on the masses
who are already hard pressed.”
added, “If we had gone to IMF directly, we’d have to borrow more money and that
would have meant tougher conditions which would further burden salaried class
and poor segments of society. But now we are in a better position.”
prime minister asked the people not to worry as they would steer the country
out of the economic crisis as he hinted at securing similar economic assistance
from two more friendly countries for which negotiations were in progress. He
said, “I will get back to you with more good news soon.”
however admitted that next few months would be tough but he asked the people
not to worry as they would be redirecting the economy to bring it on track and
things would change for better.
the morale of the nation the premier said that together they would bring
country out of the prevailing crisis and transform Pakistan into a country
which instead of taking loans would come in a position to lend money to other
the opposition parties which are ganging up against his government, Imran Khan
said the government was actually clearing the economic mess created by his
predecessors in power and people of Pakistan were in difficulty due to the
wrong economic policies of the past governments.
PM made it loud and clear that these people would not get any NRO from him and
his government would show zero tolerance to corruption and plundering of
said these elements were raising hue and cry as they were afraid of accountability.
He said he would not be cowed down by these elements and would facilitate them
if they wanted to stage sit-in against his government.
prime minister said that the uproar of opposition was only to divert public
attention from their corruption and corrupt practices which they committed
during their tenures in government.
just want National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) from us,” he said. “I want to
give them a message loud and clear: “You can come out on the streets. We will
give you containers and give you food, but no one will get an NRO.”
added that “no corrupt man will go scot free” and warned that “they will all
land in jail”. The premier said the country has no future until and unless
corruption is rooted out.
Khan said the unearthing of accounts with huge sums in the names of poor people
gives the sense of foul play by some people.
said government is making efforts to stop the illegal outflow of money. He said
an investment friendly environment is being created with one-window operation
for investors. The government is also bringing a mechanism to facilitate
foreign remittances, he added.
PM said he himself is overseeing the mega project of five million houses. He
said a special package will be announced in the coming days for the
socio-economic uplift of people from lower income groups.
asked the nation to be patient in this difficult exercise as the future holds a
prosperous and developed Pakistan. He said Pakistan is endowed with immense
resources and potential and it will make progress at a rapid pace once
corruption is curtailed.
Khan also gave details of how the country’s loan swelled from Rs30 billion in
1971 to Rs6,000 billion in 2008 and then to Rs30,000 billion thereafter.
also referred to the blatant mal-governance which led to surge in the circular
debt from Rs480 billion in 2013, which was cleared by the then PML-N
government, again to Rs1,200 billion.
prime minister further cited that Rs57 billion worth Punjab government cheques
were bounced while the PML-N provincial government had also left behind a loan
of Rs40 billion.
ISMAIL KHAN: The most wanted terrorist involved in the Dera Ismail Khan
jailbreak was shot dead in a joint operation of CTD and police in Bagowi North
on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan on Wednesday.
Abid was wanted to the district police in the central jailbreak and an attack
on the police van at the Mission Mor near Babu filling station.
CTD and police personnel during the joint operation shot dead Abid while his
hand grenades, a pistol and ammunition were seized.
police took the action on a tip-off that five armed men had gathered in the
area and they were planning some terrorist activity.
suspects opened fire on seeing the raiding personnel, triggering an exchange of
fire which continued for 30 minutes and resulted in the death of Abid.
Pakistan has finally released Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar
alias Mullah Baradar and two other Taliban leaders to help facilitate the
Afghan peace process being supported by the United States (US) and other
Mohammad Rasul and Mullah Abdul Samad Sani are the other two key Taliban
figures who have been released by Pakistan.
was the deputy of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the founding leader of Taliban, whose
death was confirmed in October 2016. He was apprehended by Pakistani forces
from Karachi back in the year 2010.
Mohammad Rasul is the leader of the High Council of Afghanistan Islamic
Emirate, a Taliban group in Afghanistan and was a Taliban-appointed governor of
the Nimroz province. Rasul, who refused to pledge allegiance to Taliban’s new
leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, was detained by Pakistani security
personnel in 2016.
Abdul Samad Sani, on the other hand, was arrested in a Pakistani security
agency raid on a madrassa in Quetta in 2016.
release, which has also been confirmed by a Taliban spokesperson, comes after
back-to-back meetings of US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells and US Special Envoy for
Afghanistan Reconciliation Process Zalmay Khalilzad with the emissaries of
told Pakistan Today that Mullah Baradar and two other Taliban commanders had
been released two days back on a “special request” made by the US and Qatari
leadership to facilitate the Afghan peace process.
merits a mention here that a high-level Qatari delegation, led by Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani,
had visited Islamabad and met the Pakistani leadership.
Baradar is one of the four men who founded Taliban in Afghanistan back in the
year 1994. Baradar held several senior positions in the Taliban government
before its fall in 2001.
United States has made it clear to Pakistan that its South Asia policy has not
changed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
made the comment as he welcomed long-delayed legislative elections in
Afghanistan, saying the United States was ‘encouraged’ by voter turnout,
despite reports of widespread problems including poll centres that failed to
open or lacked voter rolls.
expectation is that Pakistan will not provide safe harbour to terrorists on
their western border,” Pompeo told reporters when asked about Islamabad’s role.
“We couldn´t have made that message any more clear,” he said, adding, “Pakistan
will be held to account if they don’t achieve that, if they’re not sincere in
that effort. “Noting that he met with Pakistani lead ers a few weeks ago,
Pompeo, while referring to all stakeholders, said, “Everyone wants
reconciliation in Afghanistan and to achieve that, you can’t have a safe
harbour for Taliban, for Haqqani and for others inside of Pakistan.” “Hope
Pakistan achieves [the] goal we have set for them,” he stated.
Donald Trump’s administration last month cut $300 million in military aid to
Pakistan, which says it has paid a heavy price internally for fighting
militants and that it can help bring the Taliban to the table.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday
conveyed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s message to
former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz
Sharif and urged him to personally attend the All Parties Conference (APC) to
be convened by JUI-F on October 31.
the phone call, Nawaz informed Fazl that he was still mourning the death of his
late wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, and was not participating in any political
activities. He also said that he had directed the party to send a high-level
delegation to attend the APC,” sources informed Pakistan Today.
added that Fazl urged Nawaz to attend the moot himself because if he did not,
the PPP also planned to downgrade its participation. “Maulana [Fazl] told him
[Nawaz] that if he did not attend the conference, both Asif Ali Zardari and PPP
chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would also skip it.”
also said that he was in Lahore and might not be available on October 31, to
which Fazl offered to reschedule the conference, sources added.
desperately needs the opposition’s support to save himself and his sister from
the ongoing money laundering probes. Nawaz understands Zardari’s situation but
when the former was facing court cases and wanted the PPP’s support… he did not
get any,” sources said.
[Nawaz] knows that Zardari cannot be trusted. Zardari has ditched the Sharifs
in the past and might do so again. Moreover, Mian Sahab does not want to strain
his relations with the judiciary and other state institutions as his cases and
those of Shehbaz Sharif are still pending.”
Expressing disappointment over Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the
nation, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party
(PPP) on Wednesday asked the government to brief the nation about the terms and
conditions on which Saudi Arabia had agreed to provide a bailout package to the
leaders of the two opposition parties lashed out at Mr Khan for what they
called his threatening tone for the opposition and called upon the government
to take parliament into confidence regarding the proposed bailout package being
offered by Saudi Arabia.
to Dawn, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb criticised the prime minister
for not elaborating the terms on which Saudi Arabia had agreed to allow
Pakistan to play the role of a mediator in its conflict with Yemen. She said
this was a very serious and sensitive matter, but Mr Khan provided no details.
is the strategic value of the (bailout) package? What economic benefits and
relief will the people of Pakistan get from this (Saudi) loan?” she asked.
PML-N spokesperson, who had served as the information minister in the previous
government, said that instead of showing embarrassment over his failure to
deliver, Mr Khan was still asking the people to wait for “good news”. She asked
the prime minister to apologise to the nation for making false promises with
them during the past five years.
Aurangzeb also criticised the prime minister over his announcement that no
relaxation or deal would be offered to any politician, saying that Mr Khan
should tell the nation as to who had been asking for a deal. Instead, she said,
despite facing frivolous charges, the PML-N leaders were appearing before the
Supreme Court, high courts and accountability courts.
alleged that Mr Khan had been threatening the opposition as he wanted to
protect the “group of thieves” around him.
to Mr Khan’s assertion that the previous government had put the country in a
debt trap by obtaining huge loans, she said the PML-N government had fully
utilised the loans on the betterment of the people by launching a number of
development projects in the energy and transport sectors.
said being in the government Mr Khan now possessed all the records of the loans
and their utility and he could carry out audit of the projects launched by the
previous government. She said the PML-N government did obtain loans but it
effectively managed the economy and kept inflation at the historic low.
a statement, PPP senator Raza Rabbani asked the government to take parliament
into confidence regarding the proposed bailout package and the construction of
oil refinery in or near Gwadar “in total disregard to Article 172 of the
is demanded that the government should lay the terms and conditions of the
recently-concluded financial arrangements between the governments of Pakistan
and Saudi Arabia before the parliament as these agreements will have strategic
repercussions for Pakistan and the region,” he said, adding that if there was
anything sensitive, then the government could convene in camera sessions of
either both the houses separately or a joint session.
Rabbani regretted that during the short tenure of the present government, the
parliament was “deliberately being reduced to a barn house where
un-parliamentary language and insults are exchanged while the government
continues to take important and strategic decisions without a debate or
parliament being informed”.
parliament, he said, had not been taken into confidence on the visit of the US
secretary of state and the subsequent meeting of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood
Qureshi with him, nor had parliament been taken into confidence on the
conditions agreed to with the Financial Action Task Force.
PPP senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, who is also the spokesman for PPP chairman
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in his reaction over Mr Khan’s address said the person
who was claiming that he would neither beg nor ask for loan from anyone was now
not only roaming around the world with the begging bowl in his hand but also
going from one country to the other and one institution to the other asking for
loan and no one was ready to believe him.
said Imran Khan should come to parliament and tell whether he had sold national
asset of Reko Diq mines to get this loan or what else he had promised to the
Khan has also claimed that Pakistan will play a role of mediator in Yemen
conflict but has he read the resolution passed on the issue by the parliament?”
Khokhar demanded of Imran Khan to clarify the mediation role he has claimed to
Pakistan Wednesday brushed aside reports that after receiving $6 billion Saudi
assistance, Islamabad will be required to change its stance on the Yemen
are no strings attached to Saudi assistance … Pakistan’s principled position on
Yemen conflict will not change,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told journalists
at a background briefing here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
were made by past governments of PML-N and PPP to get financial assistance from
Saudi Arabia, however they could not succeed. It’s only the present government
which has secured a substantial assistance from Saudi Arabia, which will help
us balance the current fiscal deficit,” he said.
minister said Pak-Saudi relations remained tense in the past but have been
revived since the new government took charge. To a question, he said Iran has
no objection to Pakistan’s growing relations with Saudi Arabia, adding that
Pakistan will continue to play its role for peace and stability in the region.
said Pakistan had confirmed its presence at Riyadh summit much before the murder
of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, adding that Pakistan strongly condemned the
killing. He skipped a question about reported release of Afghan leader Mullah
Barader but supported the resumption of dialogue with Taliban for greater peace
and stability in the war-torn country. He claimed that his visit to the US was
successful wherein he adequately conveyed Pakistan’s viewpoint on the issues of
a question, the minister said the government was going to review the
appointments of ambassadors to various countries by the previous regime, but an
immediate termination of their contracts was not being considered. He said
directions have been issued to all the ambassadors abroad to improve their
performance and enhance connectivity with the Pakistani diaspora.
while addressing a ceremony to mark the 73rd United Nations Day here at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qureshi said Pakistan was implementing the UN
Charter to achieve the goals of peace, security and development. He said the day
was important to reaffirm commitment to the UN Charter and values.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad promised on Wednesday (Oct 24) to
help in "whatever way possible" to end the violence in Thailand's
mainly Muslim southern region bordering Malaysia has been in the grips of a
low-level but bloody insurgency for more than a decade, as insurgents battle
the Buddhist-majority state for greater autonomy.
7,000 people - mostly civilians - have been killed since 2004, although the
death toll in 2017 was the lowest in 13 years amid a tighter security
pledge to help in whatever way possible to end this violence in the
south," Mahathir said at a media conference after meeting Thai Prime
Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on his first visit to Thailand since his stunning
win in May's general elections.
is not just the case of talking or drawing up treaties, it is really a
cooperation between two friendly neighbours and we want to continue that
friendship," Mahathir said.
added that Malaysia is grateful for the help given by Thailand when it was
faced with terrorism, and wants to return that favour.
Malaysia was facing the problem of terrorism before, Thailand helped in many
ways to put an end to that kind of activity, and we are very grateful to the
Thai government and the Thai people," said Mahathir.
Malaysia has long acted as a facilitator for brokering peace talks between the
Thai government and Mara Patani, an umbrella group that claims to be the
political wing of a shadowy network of rebel fighters clashing with state
the talks have stalled in the past year, and both countries recently appointed
new representatives to lead the delicate negotiation process.
new representative, former Inspector-General of Police Abdul Rahim Noor, was
also present during the joint media conference.
the years-long conflict would be in the best interests for both countries, as
well as for the region, Prayut told reporters.
dialogue will resume immediately and Malaysia is the facilitator," Prayut
both agree that this is Thailand's domestic problem. Malaysia is willing to
help so that the problems will be solved faster," said Prayut.
party gave further details or a timeline for the process.
SCEPTICAL OF PEACE PROCESS
of the deep south conflict, however, remain sceptical of moves to jumpstart
fractious talks months before expected elections in February.
Patani said they are not going to come to the table until there is a democratically
elected government in Thailand," Don Pathan, a Thailand-based independent
analyst, told AFP.
importantly, the BRN, the group that controls virtually all the combatants on
the ground, are not part of the dialogue."
BRN, or Barisan Revolusi Nasional, is believed to oversee most fighters but has
long refused to talk barring international mediation - which the Thai
government has consistently rejected.
groups have accused both insurgents and security forces of widespread human
rights abuses in the region.
far talks go depends not on Malaysia, but on the Thai military which has
"dragged its feet" on the process, said Paul Chambers, an expert on
the conflict at Naresuan University.
fact that the talks have fallen off could mean that the junta has seen them
more as a public relations stunt than as a sincere endeavour."
on Wednesday, the prime ministers of Malaysia and Thailand held a bilateral
meeting where they discussed various issues of common interest, which includes
trade which has shown an increase of 17.9 per cent in 2018 can be further
increased when problems related to bureaucracy at the border crossings are
solved,” said Mahathir.
will meet with members of the Malaysian diaspora on Thursday, followed by a
public lecture at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University on the two countries'
Chinese government recently admitted that it’s forcing religious minorities
into “reeducation camps” as part of its crackdown on extremism — but new
details show that these centers have a lot more in common with concentration
of guards carrying spiked clubs, tear gas, and stun guns surveil the
government’s “students,” who are held in buildings ringed with razor wire and
infrared cameras, according to a report published Wednesday by the French news
service Agence France-Presse.
journalists who reviewed more than 1,500 publicly available government
documents also describe disturbing purchases made by government agencies that
oversee the so-called education centers: 2,768 police batons, 550 electric
cattle prods, 1,367 pairs of handcuffs, and 2,792 cans of pepper spray.
descriptions are a far cry from Chinese government propaganda that claims these
centers in Xinjiang, the autonomous region in northwestern China where most
Uighur Muslims live, provide “free” education and job training to counter the
spread of terrorism and religious extremism.
one of the government documents, officials argued that to build new, better
Chinese citizens, the reeducation centers must first “break their lineage,
break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins.”
new report supports what human rights groups and journalists have been saying
for a while now: China’s authoritarian government has grown increasingly
brutal, and its detention and torture of Uighur Muslims amounts to crimes
against humanity under international law.
recently legalized the “reeducation centers”
this month, the BBC reported that Chinese authorities in Xinjiang had revised a
law designed to promote the use of detention centers “to carry out the
educational transformation of those affected by extremism.”
Vox’s Jen Kirby notes, China has previously tried to deny or downplay the
existence of these centers. But human rights groups, witness testimony, and
media reports have shown Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region
being detained and tortured in mass numbers, and forced to undergo
psychological indoctrination — like studying communist propaganda and giving
thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
United Nations human rights panel estimates that Chinese authorities have
imprisoned as many as 1 million Uighurs. But a Hong-Kong based human rights
group puts the number even higher: between 2 million and 3 million.
of Congress have been pressuring the Trump administration to take action. The
bipartisan Congressional Executive Committee on China, led by Sen. Marco Rubio
(R-FL), released a report earlier this month outlining China’s serious human
rights abuses and its campaign of “state-sponsored repression.”
one of the most chilling paragraphs in the committee’s report:
particular concern is the mass, arbitrary, internment of as many as 1 million
or more Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in ‘‘political reeducation’’
camps in western China. Reports indicate that this may be the largest
incarceration of an ethnic minority population since World War II, and that it
may constitute crimes against humanity.
and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who oversee the committee, proposed a bill earlier
this month called the Xinjiang Uyghur Human Rights Act of 2018. The proposed
legislation would give the US State Department resources to work with the UN to
develop a response, leading to potential targeted sanctions on Chinese
officials and broader economic sanctions against China.
are detention camps, these are reeducation camps, where people are killed,
where they are tortured and they are brutalized in so many, many ways,” Smith
said during a press conference announcing the committee’s findings earlier this
State Department official told reporters back in April that the administration
was considering sanctions against China in response to the camps, but six
months has passed and the administration has done nothing.
Donald Trump hasn’t even publicly acknowledged the fact that the camps exist.
Chinese authorities are rounding up entire villages in Xinjiang, according to
interviews conducted this summer by Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a coalition
of Chinese and international human rights groups. Here is just one alarming
quote from a Chinese business executive, who is not an ethnic Uighur but who
has lived in the region for decades:
villages in Southern Xinjiang have been emptied of young and middle-aged people
— all rounded up into re-education classes,” he said. “Only the elderly and the
very docile are left in the villages.”
LUMPUR, Oct 25 — Malaysia’s largest state records the highest number of child
marriage applications that cuts across all races and religions, The Star
newspaper reported Sarawak recorded 2,064 Muslim child marriage applications
over 10 years, from 2005 to 2015, based on data from the state Shariah
Judiciary Department. It also cited data from think tank Penang Institute
showing non-Muslim child marriage applications to be the highest nationwide
over a period of 15 years from 2000 to 2014, at 1,750.
of the reasons for the high number of applications was to avoid the stigma of
having children born out of wedlock, the paper reported Sarawak Women for Women
Society president Margaret Bedus as saying.
so, this requires effective and age-appropriate reproductive health education
for our youths starting from an early age.
is still reluctance for schools and parents to address this. This needs to
change,” she was quoted as saying.
said it would be helpful if the state data also showed the breakdown in
applications between rural and urban areas.
rural areas, the tradition of early marriages — especially if the girl has
dropped out of school or is unable to find employment — is still apparent as
girls tend to see this as the next step in life to take,” she was quoted
recommended that schooling be made compulsory until Form Five, with adequate
financial provision, to encourage girls to have “wider aspirations”.
said financial assistance is necessary to subsidise the cost of travelling to
boarding schools in rural Sarawak as well as providing basic school materials
also said the data should include the age gap between the would-be child brides
marriage is a problem whatever the age gap, but marriage to an older man is
even more worrying.
awareness and empowerment can be done as we should move away from the myth that
child marriages get families out of poverty,” she said.
Western media influence and rapid urbanization in Southern Philippines, from
where Islam spread across the country, could adversely affect the preservation
of some traditional Muslim customs particularly among the youth.
there are at least five indigenous Muslim people still existing in the Southern
Philippines, particularly in the Zamboanga region. These are Sama Bangigi,
Badjao, Sama, Yakan and Kalibugan.
tribes have been in existence for more than 600 years and continue to practice
the traditional tribal customs. However, with industrialization reaching the
countryside, and pressures of modern living, some traditional Muslim practices
are no longer observed.
was introduced to the Philippines in 1380 through Arabian trader Sheik Makdum
Karim in the village called Tubig Indangan, in the municipality of Simunul in
Tawi-Tawi province. The first mosque built in the same village in the same year
remain a sacred site for the followers of the faith.
some of the indigenous Muslim people underwent and completed formal education
and are now working as professionals and entrepreneurs, some Muslim natives in
impoverished villages prefer to be unschooled and end up as beggars in the
mendicants continue to be a social problem of the government where young
indigenous people beg around the busy streets. Poverty is the reason why Muslim
children refuse to go to schools while for some prefer to help their fathers
catch fish in the ocean for a living.
member of the Indigenous People Council of Elders, Amilpasa Bandaying, told Al
Arabiya that the council was formed to support the government uplift the
quality of life of Indigenous people in the region and for preserving the
Muslim and tribal cultures of these people through the traditional songs,
sports and dance.
former regional director of the Office on Muslim Affairs, Bandaying, also
worked as Executive Assistant for Muslim Affairs at the City Mayor’s Office. He
was an adviser to the Mayor’s Office on Islamic customs and religious
Philippine’s population has reached 105 million and there are about 6 million
Muslims in the country. Among them, around five million reside in the Southern
Philippines popularly known as Mindanao.
preserve their customs, the Philippine government supported the creation of
Indigenous People Council of Elders in the City of Zamboanga. This was done to
try and protect the sanctity of customary laws and traditions as stipulated in
the national law called the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.
from the five Muslim tribes in the Zamboanga region, this law also covers a
sixth non-Muslim Indigenous People, called the Subanen. Some members of the
Subanen community prefer to stay in the hinterland to work as farmers while
some of the five Muslim tribes prefer to be fishermen and fish traders as their
source of living.
Zamboanga city, Mayor Isabelle Climaco-Salazar issued a law declaring August 9
of every year as the Indigenous Peoples Day. This is the occasion for public
agencies and non-government organizations to participate in IP-related
activities such as classroom events as a token of appreciation for the IP
United Nations General Assembly on December 23, 1994, passed Resolution 49/214
welcoming the recommendation of the working group on indigenous people for the
prevention of discrimination and protection of minorities.
modernization and industrialization is inevitable, Bandaying says they are
finding ways to preserve old customs even in the absence of financial support.
They continue to seek the help of the national government to support and fund
their activities but more often the government has little funds to sustain the
IP council of elders’ programs and projects.
traditional customs of IP remain to be a significant part not only of
Philippine history but also to the history of Southeast Asian countries.
LUMPUR, Oct 25 — Minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof
Rawa caused a stir on Tuesday after he told the Dewan Rakyat that the Islamic
Development Department Malaysia (Jakim) published an e-book aimed at aiding
homosexual Muslims to “return to the right path”.
book titled Penghijrahan Diri Menuju Jalan Yang Benar — Strategi Untuk
Mengatasi Masalah Homoseks (Malay for Self-Migration Towards the Right Path — A
Strategy to Overcome the Problem of Homosexuality) is available online for
free, and according to Mujahid, part and parcel of the government’s attempts to
“rehabilitate” the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
are some things Malay Mail discovered about how Malaysia’s federal Islamic
authority views sexual minorities, from the 146-paged e-book.
from a ‘former gay’ Muslim
first thing one realises after downloading the e-book is that it is neither a
new application nor publication. The book was published way back in 2011 during
the Barisan Nasional administration, while the app hosting it has been around
enough, the e-book was presented as if it was written by an anonymous
self-proclaimed ex-gay Muslim, which was then endorsed by Jakim.
app itself has questionable privacy settings, such as needing access to your location
in order to “optimise” its services.
features include audio downloads of religious sermons, contact details,
feedback column as well as a breakdown of all nine chapters -- with titles such
as “Start of the Journey”, “Realisation”, “Understanding the Challenges and
Tests”, and “Controlling Your Lust”.
e-book starts off with the unnamed author offering some introductory words of
wisdom like “as you continue in your efforts to leave homosexual relationships,
eventually it will leave you.”
the e-book offers no such cure for being gay. Instead, it presents merely
all-too familiar themes that religious authorities use in their daily
engagement to with sexual minorities: abstinence, faith, prayer, and guilt.
author blames human lust for homosexual acts, and claimed that he has learned
to control his urges one day at a time.
e-book also attempts to instill a degree of guilt in its would-be readers, by
asking questions like “what will you achieve with homosexuality?” and how being
gay will affect personal relationships with loved ones as well as a person’s
days of pleasure on this Earth more important than temporary sexual release?
can only treat this disease by treating the root cause; fixing your personal life
and controlling your urges,” read a particularly disparaging excerpt from one
of the chapters.
goes on to offer ways in which to “treat” the so-called “disease” via a
three-pronged process: adhering to a strict regimen of keeping busy and
fasting, spending more time with devout Muslims instead of gays, and spending
much of the day (and night) thinking about the consequences of being gay.
tortures await you in the grave? Are you ready to die? Can you meet your
Creator with the burden of the sins you have accumulated?” the author asked.
enough, the e-book suggests that same-sex attraction does not necessarily mean
sexual attraction, and that some men admire other men for their qualities but
instead confuse that feelings as sexual attraction.
a grip on masturbation
to the e-book, masturbation is an “addiction faced by majority of the male
populace of a certain age group”, before absurdly naming the sexual act as one
of the reasons why for men “turn gay”.
danger of masturbating is that it can be done anywhere, therefore there is a
risk for you to do it frequently,” another chapter on masturbation read.
author claims that men who excessively masturbate will end up becoming bored of
visualising naked women and will eventually turn to images and videos of men,
and that unchecked lust will end in unnatural “wild sex”.
not allow your sexual organs to be a tool to release forbidden sexual urges
which will lead to self-destruction. It should only be used when you are
married to find happiness and to love your wife and to procreate,” said the
also urges male readers to avoid touching their genitals “without valid
reason”, and that touching it should be confined for cleaning the organ, and
not to arouse oneself towards erection.
book warns that so-called ex-gays are in danger of walking away from the
straight and narrow path if they ever reminisce on their past sins and “feel
happy” about them, or if they even discuss them with those who had similarly
the end, abstinence is better than treatment,” according to another excerpt
from the e-book.
adamant on ‘fixing’ LGBT
2017, Malay Mail had reported another similar attempt by Jakim suggesting that
sexual orientation can be changed with extensive training, in a video
explaining how Muslims can approach the LGBT issue.
the video, Jakim had likened sexual orientation with horse-riding, claiming
that when someone realises that he has “different” orientation from others and
wishes to change that orientation, he should receive extensive training and
said to change one’s sexual orientation, one must intend to do so for God’s
sake instead of being forced and repent one’s homosexuality, in addition to
leaving activities that would lead to same-sex relations.
also urged a repentant homosexual to fulfill his sexual desires through
marriage, or subdue such desires by among others resorting to fasting.
therapy, which consists of psychological treatment or spiritual counseling to
change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to
heterosexual, is widely seen by medical and scientific community as potentially
harmful and a form of pseudoscience.
practice is opposed and has been legally challenged, or even banned, in
countries such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Israel, Lebanon,
Malta, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
was painful for Sardianto Muhammad, 69, when he realized that the children he
had raised no longer wanted him to live with them.
said they began to distance themselves after he was diagnosed with lung disease
several years ago, to the point where he no longer felt like their father but
more like hired help.
told me I should find a Muslim-run home for the elderly but I said no. I asked
them to bring me here," he said.
he lives in a caring facility managed by Catholic nuns in Surakarta, Central
Java, called Panti Wredha Dharma Bhakti Kasih Surakarta.
my wife was sick, she was treated in a Catholic hospital in Central Java before
she died. The service they provided was very good," he said.
Iskandar, one of Muhammad's relatives, said in the beginning the elderly man
was upset at being shunned by his children. But later he realized he had made
the right decision.
as a Muslim family, we believe this is the best place for our brother because
of the caring service and humane treatment they provide," Iskander said.
are many homes for the elderly in this town but we trust this one the most.
Many of our relatives are treated by the nuns here," he added.
Regina Soeyan Resiana of the Society of Rosa Mystica (SRM) manages the
facility, which was launched in 2001 and caters to Catholics, Muslims,
Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists and Confucians.
the early days they used an unoccupied building owned by the Kanisius
Foundation, a Catholic institution founded by the Jesuits, but demand soon
forced them to expand.
was just unbelievable. Even when the building was under construction, many
people wanted to stay. After it was renovated, they just kept on coming,"
the sister said.
initial plan was to dedicate the center for women. But since 2004 it was also
opened for men because the nuns found themselves unable to reject those in
home for the lost
are now 59 elderly people living at the center, mostly over the age of 65.
Sister Regina provides daily care but is assisted by staff and volunteers.
nun said many of her residents have been abandoned by their families.
sad that after they drop them here, the relatives just leave and we never hear
from them again. There is often no communication at all with the family,"
we don't chase after them. We concentrate on our service and our responsibility
to take care of those who have been abandoned."
have no surviving relatives and made their way to the home from the streets.
offer our service to anyone regardless of their ethnicity, religion or race.
Everyone is a child of God who deserves our loving care," she said.
hold prayers for Catholics every Wednesday to honor God's Divine Mercy. Muslims
and people of other religions are also given separate praying rooms so that
they can practice their respective faiths.
the number of tenants keeps growing, Sister Regina hopes the government will
start paying more attention to the center's needs.
don't expect much from the local government because they run many homes like
ours for the elderly," she said.
is a secular-run order for Catholic women whose members have made vows of
poverty, obedience, chastity and dedication to God, the church and other
people. It focuses mostly on charity, catechism, education, legal aid and
evangelism but also offers care for prison inmates.
organization was launched in 1982 by Jesuit Father Henricus Constant van Deinse
in Semarang, Central Java.
LUMPUR, Malaysia: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his
ex-treasury chief were jointly charged Thursday with criminal breach of trust
involving 6.64 billion ringgit ($1.6 billion), while his ex-spy agency head was
charged with misappropriating $12.1 million.
six new charges against Najib come on top of 32 earlier counts of corruption,
breach of trust and money laundering that he face linked to the
multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund.
new government has stepped up prosecution of Najib and other former officials
over the 1MDB scandal and other alleged graft cases since its stunning
electoral victory in May that led to the country’s first change of power since
independence from Britain in 1957.
Najib and former treasury secretary-general Mohamad Irwan Serigar Abdullah
pleaded not guilty to misappropriating government funds between December 2016
and December 2017. The charge sheets said part of the money involved a subsidy
for the poor and an airport management budget but gave no further details.
lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, slammed the charges as “foolish,” saying the fund was
merely being diverted for more urgent needs which were to meet payment
datelines mainly for 1MDB as well as for a Chinese-backed rail link and two gas
said the two men had made “executive decisions” to reallocate the funds to
avoid debt defaults that could cause dire financial consequences.
just a question of making priority, which one you pay first...this (has been)
done many, many, many times. It is being done even today,” he told reporters,
adding that he believed the charges were “very political” in nature.
new government has said it would cancel the Chinese-backed projects and is probing
why Najib’s administration paid an unusually large sum of money to Chinese
contractors despite little work done.
Hasanah Abdul Hami, the former chief of the foreign intelligence agency that is
now defunct, pleaded not guilty to misappropriating $12.1 million weeks before
the May 9 general election that ousted Najib’s coalition.
lawyer, Shaharuddin Ali, told reporters that her case is not related to the
1MDB scandal. He said the utilization of the money for intelligence purposes was
a state secret and mustn’t be made public in an open court.
three have been released on bail. Each of the charges against them carries a
jail term of up to 20 years and a fine.
Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is in Bangkok for a state visit, warned that
“many more” former officials could be hauled to court but reiterated that all
prosecution is done in accordance with the law.
we are seeing today, of course, are charges being made against several people,
but there are many more. We can’t bring everyone to court in one go. We have to
take (them) one by one, and the more serious one is the former prime minister,”
Mahathir was quoted as saying at a forum in Bangkok by The Star online.
1MDB fund, set up by Najib, is being investigated in the US and several other
countries. US investigators say Najib’s associates stole and laundered $4.5
billion from the fund from 2009 to 2014, some of which landed in Najib’s bank
men accused of attacking a Shia mosque and placing explosives in multiple
shopping malls in South Africa were inspired by the teachings of Daesh, a court
prosecutors told a family court in Verulam, in the outskirts of Durban city,
that they had found eight Daesh flags and newsletters in their residence during
a police raid, local media reported.
affidavit read out in court by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation
(DPCI), which investigates organized crime, alleged that the men had been found
with a manual on how to make bombs and carry out assassinations.
men arrested two weeks ago are accused of stabbing three people at a mosque in
KwaZulu-Natal province in May, killing one of them.
are also accused of placing explosives in June and August at major stores in
shopping malls with the aim of extorting money from the owners.
African Muslims, who account for roughly 3 percent of the country's total
population of 55 million, are largely moderate Muslims who condemn extremism.
in the past four years, there have been several unconfirmed reports that Muslim
youths in the country were reportedly joining Daesh.
late 2014, the former Iraqi ambassador to Pretoria, Husham al-Alawi, told
Anadolu Agency that South Africans were joining the terrorist group.
the past few months, we have received information that South African citizens
have been killed in Syria," the Iraqi diplomat told Anadolu Agency in an
interview at the time.
contacted, at the time, Muslim governing bodies in the country said they were
not aware of the claims.
mosques in the country have been warning youth not to join Daesh or any
authorities have announced arresting the assassinator of former
counterterrorism chief General Habis al-Hanini.
spokesperson of the Jordanian public security directorate said that Hanini was
shot just outside his house in the governorate of Madba on Tuesday evening by
an anonymous person.
added that the assassinator had fled the scene successfully, which drove the
security and intelligence forces to form an investigative team to follow up on
investigation team, within hours of the incident, was able to determine the
identity of the suspect through gathering information, chasing it, and
listening to eye witnesses, after which he was arrested,” he said.
of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have staged yet another peaceful
protest to renew their call for the immediate release of prominent Muslim
cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
TV correspondent Danjuma Abdullahi has more in this report from Abuja.
spectre of ISIS landed squarely on South African shores this week, when state
prosecutors told a Durban court that the 11 men accused of involvement in the
Verulam mosque attack and attempted bombings around Durban were linked to the
Islamic State (ISIS). This claim comes as no surprise to those who have been
warning that ISIS has known sympathisers in South Africa. But experts warn that
if the state’s case is not watertight, the results could be disastrous.
state gave a taste of its case against 11 suspects accused of terrorism this
week in a bail hearing at the Verulam Family Court, and it carried one
bombshell acronym at its centre: ISIS.
filed by the Hawks team investigating the May 2018 attack on a Shi’a mosque in
Verulam and a series of attempted bombings around Durban in July claimed that
the 11 men in the dock had links to ISIS.
court papers, the Hawks say that raids on the homes of the suspects unearthed
copies of the ISIS “magazine” Rumiyah – carrying information on how to wage
jihad – together with eight ISIS flags. The ISIS propaganda was found at a
property belonging to businessman Farhad Hoomer, who is accused number one in
allege that Hoomer was the ringleader of the gang and that his home was used as
a “training facility” for ISIS-inspired acts of violence. It was also from
Hoomer’s property that a kidnapped Tanzanian man was rescued after several
to the Hawks, CCTV footage places a number of the men at the scenes of the
Woolworths stores around Durban where incendiary devices were planted in July.
Some of the suspects were allegedly also identified by eye-witnesses leaving
the Shi’a mosque in Verulam where the fatal attack was carried out in May.
11 men face a long list of charges, but the aspect of the case which is now
certain to garner the most attention is the allegation that the suspects appear
to have links to ISIS.
court revelation follows months of official denials from authorities that there
could be an extremist element underpinning the crimes, together with virtual
consensus from experts that significant ISIS “signatures” were missing. Most
notably, the fact that ISIS had not publicly claimed responsibility for the
attacks was seen as a strong suggestion that the organisation could not be
behind them in a formal capacity.
others disagreed. The national leader of South Africa’s Shi’a community,
Moulana Aftab Haider, was adamant in his conviction immediately after the
mosque attack that ISIS had played some role.
is a terrorist crime. It is an attack on the sanctity of a place of worship
and‚ furthermore‚ it is the indiscriminate killing of innocent people purely
based upon their religious beliefs. This has all the hallmarks of the ISIS
style of operation in Iraq and Syria‚” Haider was quoted as saying.
Professor Abdulkader Tayob, meanwhile, told Daily Maverick in May that it was
not unprecedented for such attacks to be launched by groups like ISIS in order
to foment anti-Muslim sentiment in societies and create a fertile ground from
that for the recruitment of extremists.
slitting of the throat [in the Verulam mosque attack] is something we have seen
elsewhere by ISIS,” Tayob said.
the evidence presented to the Verulam Family Court thus far – in the form of
ISIS flags and propaganda – seems a relatively insubstantial basis on which to
make the case that the suspects were operating as an active ISIS cell in South
Daily Maverick put this to the Institute for Security Studies’ William Els on
Wednesday, however, Els expressed his conviction that further damning evidence
is to follow.
is still early days and what we have learned from the case so far will, I
believe, only be the ears of the hippo,” Els said.
will not make all their evidence known during the bail applications and will
just share enough to secure that the guys are denied bail.”
added that prosecutors had probably focused on items like ISIS flags and
handbooks at this stage to “catch the eye” of the court.
team that is investigating this case is very experienced and were also
investigating the Boeremag case that was one of the most successful
prosecutions of terror related incidents in our history. They will not go to
court with a case of this nature that they cannot win. There is just too much
fellow terrorism expert Jasmine Opperman, of the Terrorism Research &
Analysis Consortium (TRAC), takes a dimmer view.
concerning factor is that the Hawks and police are now stating that South
Africa has crossed a threshold prone to violent attacks by organised
international terror groups,” Opperman says.
is: Where is the evidence? The Thulsie case has already seen a state stumbling
along in putting evidence on the table.”
stresses that the presence of Islamic State sympathisers in South Africa is by
now beyond dispute.
she suggests that the evidence thus far produced by the state in the Verulam
Family Court “at best shows low-level influence [of ISIS] via propaganda
messages, and [suspects] cannot be assumed as committed Islamic State
says that the suspects may fall into a new category of ISIS sympathiser she
explains that Wannabes are “frustrated fighters” driven by a mixture of
personal problems, criminality and grievances, lured by a “quick solution to
individuals now need only a computer in order to be radicalised, “in which fake
news is CNN and BBC, and Telegram chat rooms are the battleground for facts and
describes herself as “really worried” about the handling of the Durban case.
are creating fear and stigmatisation playing right into the hands of international
terror groups,” she warns.
news of the ISIS development in the case hit social media this week, it was
inevitably accompanied by expressions of Islamophobia.
Muslim Judicial Council told Daily Maverick that it would not comment on the
case until it was concluded.
and Egypt have both called for a “diplomatic and legal solution” to the ongoing
row over the Oct. 2 murder in Istanbul of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
a Wednesday meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers, Sudanese
Ambassador to Egypt Abdul Mahmoud Abdul Halim told reporters in Khartoum that
both sides were concerned that the Khashoggi case could give rise to
“conspiracies” against certain Arab and Muslim countries.
are calling on all parties to deal with the issue wisely, so as not to give any
opportunities to those who seek to conspire against Arab and Muslim nations,”
Abdul Halim said.
of Kenya’s northeastern counties have vowed to fight against al Shabaab, the
Somalia-based militant group that has terrorised the region for the past seven
troubling question hung over the meeting: How can that be done effectively?
five counties represented at the two-day meeting — Mandera, Garissa, Isiolo,
Wajir and Marsabit — all have seen their share of deadly al Shabaab attacks.
worst one took place in April 2015, when militant gunmen stormed Garissa
University College and killed 148 people, most of them students.
recently, al Shabaab claimed responsibility for attacks that killed eight
security officers in Wajir County in June and two teachers in Mandera County
Korane, the governor of Garissa County, said northeast Kenya is hugely
suffering as a result of such terror attacks.
our schools are not functional, our roads are impassable, doctors have
abandoned hospitals, and carrying out development projects is impossible, and
all these are the results of the regional insecurity posed by the terrorists,”
have to pull out all the stops to prevent” further attacks.
call for withdrawal
meeting in Mandera city was the first to bring together politicians, elders,
villagers and officials from Kenyan security agencies to discuss insecurity and
al-Shabaab attacks in northeastern Kenya.
County Deputy Gov. Mohamed Arai, whose county borders Somalia, called for the
withdrawal of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers from neighbouring Somalia.
began its attacks in Kenya after the KDF entered Somalia in 2011 to help
protect the perennially shaky Somali government.
knows where we were security-wise before Kenyan troops crossed the border into
Somalia in 2011 and where we are now,” Arai said.
we are people of Mandera, we have no interest in KDF presence in Somalia. They
should withdraw, come along our border and protect us.”
participants focused on taking community action to prevent further attacks.
idea was to require residents to compensate the families of non-local victims
militants tend to attack schools, the army and police, whose employees are
often not from northeastern Kenya.
knew they’d have to pay the families of terrorism victims, they might be more
willing to cooperate with police, according to proponents of this idea.
cooperation with police is essential, said Mandera East MP Omar Maalim Mohamed.
are not providing information and the much-needed goodwill. Let us do all we
can to face the threat that does not only affect the region but also the future
of our families,” Mohamed said.
intercepted pipe bomb packages sent to former president Barack Obama, Hillary
Clinton, CNN and several high-profile Democratic politicians in what New York
officials on Wednesday said was an act of terrorism.
one was injured and it was not immediately clear if the devices were rigged to
detonate or simply send a message.
the country already deeply polarised, details of the six packages triggered
fears of a politically motivated bombing campaign ahead of next month’s midterm
all arrived in padded manila envelopes, at least one bearing the return address
of a former Democratic office holder, according to police officers.
Trump, who has frequently been blamed for stoking anger at his opponents and
the media, condemned the attempted attacks.
these times, we have to unify, we have to come together, and send one very
clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence
of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” he said at the
de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, where one of the packages arrived at the
CNN offices, said: “This clearly is an act of terror attempting to undermine
our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence.”
the targets have been singled out by Mr Trump and his supporters.
first package was discovered on Monday at the home of George Soros, the
billionaire financier and philanthropist.
package addressed to Mrs Clinton in Westchester County, a suburban area of New
York state, was spotted late on Tuesday by a Secret Service employee charged
with checking her mail.
device sent to Mr Obama was intercepted on Wednesday morning.
packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures
as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such, said the
Secret Service in a statement.
protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving
emerged rapidly on Wednesday morning as a fourth suspicious package was
identified at CNN’s offices in New York, prompting the building to be evacuated
and the channel to switch hurriedly to a commercial break. The parcel was found
in the news organisation’s mail room.
Holder, who was US attorney general under Obama, and Democratic Representative
Maxine Waters – described as “low IQ” by Mr Trump - were also among those targeted.
devices were sent at a particularly febrile moment in America’s political
Donald Trump has frequently been accused of stoking tensions - and his
supporters of promoting hate speech - since he entered the political fray in
2015. He has used bombastic language in attacking media organisations that he
accused of spreading “fake news” and led supporters in chants of “CNN sucks”.
country is preparing for midterm elections in two weeks time, a vote widely
seen as a referendum on his record in power.
said no one had yet claimed responsibility.
Van Zandt, a former FBI officer who led the analytical team credited with
identifying the "Unabomber”, told MSNBC that the bombs were an extreme
symptom of a national malaise.
the selection of targets they are telling you the political leaning of the
individual who might have done this,” he said.
has discussed this for months, how polarised we have become. And how as
individuals... we have lost the ability to discuss... are you with me or
against me? And for some people if you are against me that gives me the right
to take up arms or in this case bombs against you.”
Soros’s wealth and activism have long made him the target of anti-Semitic
conspiracy theories. During the past week he has been cited in right-wing
claims that powerful liberals were funding a caravan of some 7000 people
walking across Mexico on its way to America’s southern border.
home is in a suburb north of New York City, not far from the Clinton’s upstate
enforcement officers said that device was made from a six-inch length of pipe,
filled with explosive powder, and hand-delivered to his home.
was spotted by a caretaker on Monday afternoon and investigators are examining
CCTV to see if they can spot who delivered it.
FBI photographed the device and then detonated it near Mr Soros' home.
Clinton was on the campaign trail in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday. However,
Bill Clinton was at the family's Chappaqua home at the time the package was
intercepted, according to a person familiar with his schedule. The device was
found at a screening facility away from the residence and never reached the
Clintons’ home, the source told the Associated Press.
this month, federal authorities said they had intercepted packages containing
the deadly poison ricin addressed to President Trump and the Pentagon.
new government is planning to block Muslim women who work in the civil service
from wearing the chador, a shawl-like piece of clothing that covers the head
and body, and the niqab, which also covers the face.
Avenir Québec Premier François Legault has already made clear his intention to
prohibit those who hold positions of authority including teachers from wearing
religious symbols, such as the hijab, a Muslim headscarf.
ban on the chador and niqab, however, would extend to all employees in the
public sector. A representative from the CAQ couldn't say how many people such
a ban would affect.
Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, the government's point person when it comes to
ensuring the secularism of the state, said Wednesday the government plans to
"move quickly" to introduce a law.
was always our position to prohibit the chador in the public service,"
said Jolin-Barrette, in response to questions following a report in the Journal
de Montréal about the government's stance.
is no mention of banning the garments in the CAQ's online platform, but the
party has played up its commitment to such a policy in the past.
2016, the CAQ said on Twitter that it would "defend Quebec values" by
banning the chador, unlike its rivals, the Liberals and the Parti Québécois.
said it was too early to provide details on exactly how and when the law would
on Wednesday, Legault said a law prohibiting religious symbols isn't "a
priority" for the CAQ, which created some confusion about the issue.
important value is equality between men and women, so we want to protect that.
Now, is this a priority? No," he said.
lawyer Shahad Salman, who wears a hijab, said she is discouraged the new
government — and the media — continues
to focus on identity issues "rather than talking about real issues."
so surreal that we're talking about this again, honestly," she said.
Salman said such debates are counterproductive if politicians want minorities
to become more integrated into Quebec society.
it stands, when it comes to minorities in Quebec's civil service, the
percentage doesn't reflect the overall population.
minorities made up 9.4 per cent of the province's public workforce in 2017,
although they constitute 13 per cent of the overall population, according to a
study by the Institut de recherche et d'informations socio-économiques,
CAQ's planned ban on religious symbols has been criticized by civil rights
advocates who contend the policy will further marginalize vulnerable
Taylor, author of a landmark 2008 report on the accommodation of religious
minorities in the province, called the proposal "either very ignorant or
very intellectually dishonest."
a recent interview, he pointed out that his report explicitly recommended
against including teachers in a ban on the wearing of religious garb.
meant it to apply only to people with functions that we called 'coercive
authority' — police and judges. Functions that can put you in jail,"
'coherent plan,' Liberals say
CAQ won a decisive majority in the Quebec election earlier this month, beating
out Philippe Couillard's Liberals.
Arcand, the interim leader for the Liberals, said the CAQ doesn't appear to
have a "coherent plan" when it comes to religious symbols.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the US’s fresh sanctions against
Iran aim to deflect global attention from the murder of Saudi dissident
journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Riyadh’s crimes in Yemen.
a post on his official Twitter account on Wednesday, Zarif hit out at the US
for imposing sanctions on Iran over allegedly supporting the Taliban, an
anti-Iran militant group with which Washington is seeking negotiations.
US Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions against eight individuals,
including two allegedly linked to the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution
Guards Corps (IRGC) and accused Iran of providing material and financial
support to the militants and supporting terrorism.
said the US sanctions meant to protect Saudi Arabia and divert attention from
Khashoggi’s murder and Yemen’s war.
deflect from headlines on Saudi brutality in Istanbul and across Yemen, US
Treasury—while in Saudi Arabia, no less—sanctions Iran for 'supporting'
anti-Iran Taliban. Conveniently omitting that US is negotiating with the very
same Taliban now& its clients have long backed it,” said the tweet.
world has reacted angrily to the murder of Khashoggi -- a Saudi writer, US
resident, and Washington Post columnist -- amid weeks of repeated denials from
Saudi authorities that the kingdom had nothing to do with his disappearance.
living in exile in the US, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2
to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife, but he did not
leave the building.
officials originally insisted that Khashoggi had left the diplomatic mission
after his paperwork was finished, but they finally admitted several days later
that he had in fact been killed inside the building during "an
countries, including European ones, Turkey and the US, a major ally of Riyadh, have
called for clarifications on the journalist’s murder.
mounting global pressure on the kingdom, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman on Wednesday broke his silence and said the case of the slain Saudi
journalist was "painful" and justice will prevail.
controversy over Khashoggi’s death comes as Riyadh continues to pound its
impoverished southern neighbor Yemen.
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 former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement. The war has left more than 15,000
killed and thousands injured.
denies accusations of aiding Taliban in Afghanistan
allegations of Iran’s support for the Taliban come as Tehran has on numerous
occasions denied training or backing the militant group.
most senior counter-terrorism police officer has warned that far-right and
Islamist radicals are driving a rising spiral of extremist violence in Britain.
two ideologies [far right and Islamist extremism] are both fuelling each
other," Neil Basu, of London's Metropolitan police told UK lawmakers.
such as the 2017 Westminster Bridge attack by a group of extremists using a van
and knives and the mowing down of a Muslim worshipper in north London had given
violent extremists greater belief that their plans could work and spawned other
attacks. “The success of one attack bred others,” he said.
added that recent years had seen “a significant rise in religious hate crime –
there is a tolerance issue”.
Basu noted the threat had risen in recent years, citing British police’s
disruption of some 13 terror plots in the four years prior to the Westminster
attack, compared to 13 in the eight months following it.
counter-terror officer noted the banning of two far right groups - Scottish
Dawn and NS131 - said something “very dangerous about the state of society.”
groups presented a particular “threat to individual politicians”, highlighting
the murder of British MP Jo Cox in 2016.
also spoke up in defence of Prevent, the UK’s controversial counter-extremism
strategy, labelling it comprehensive. “We need moderate, influential, community
voices to stand up and back prevent,” Mr Basu told the parliamentary Home
Affairs select committee. “We need to stop leaving this vacuum for people to
Basu’s comments come just days after two of the country’s most visible
extremist figures - from opposing sides of the spectrum - took centre stage in
the British debate over extremism.
right figurehead and founder of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson
remained on bail as his case of alleged contempt of court was referred to the
UK’s Attorney General yesterday, and Islamist Anjem Choudary was released from
prison last week.
Robinson was arrested after he broadcast footage of four defendants during a
number of sensitive rape-trials outside a court.
Robinson claims his arrest and subsequent charge is an attempt to restrict his freedom
of speech, and amounted to a cover up of the racial aspects of the trial he was
was further fuelled after Tuesday’s hearing and referral by Mr Robinson
attending lunch at the British parliament by invitation of UKIP leader Gerrard
the Islamist side of spectrum, radical preacher Anjem Choudary was released
from prison last Friday after serving five-and-a-half years of a sentence for
encouraging support for ISIS.
about Mr Choudary, Mr Basu urged the British authorities to maintain pressure
on his activities, calling Al Muhajiorun, the organisation he formerly led
the great work that went into breaking that organisation is maintained,"
said Mr Basu.
is seeking to repatriate some of the 150 children of French extremists
identified as being in Syria, as Western nations grapple with how to handle
citizens who left to join them.
French official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Paris would
repatriate the children "as much as is possible, on the condition that the
starting to look at how this might work," the source added.
authorities only have a precise location for some of the children, making these
the only viable cases for potential repatriation, the source said, declining to
cases of the 150 youngsters, some of whom are being held in camps in
Kurdish-held northern Syria after ISIS was driven from the area, were flagged
up by authorities there or by their families in France.
are under six years old and were born in Syria.
mothers of any repatriated children would be left in Syria, the source said.
other Western nations reluctant to bring extremists back onto their soil,
France has so far ruled out repatriating men who left to fight alongside ISIS,
or women who left to marry them.
who committed crimes in Iraq and Syria must be brought to justice in Iraq and
Syria," the foreign ministry said.
are the exception, and their situation will be examined on a case by case
basis. We have a duty to protect children's interests."
bringing the children to France will be highly complicated, not least because
Kurdish-held Syria is not a recognised state, and Paris has cut off diplomatic
ties with Damascus.
decision to leave French adults in the war zone has infuriated lawyers representing
their families at home in France, who say their clients are being held in
illegal detention in unsanitary conditions.
is scandalous and hypocritical on the part of the French government," said
Bruno Vinay, lawyer for the best-known French woman in Kurdish custody, Emilie
is leaving these women alone faced with the inhumane choice of separating from
their children," Mr Vinay said.
that this is all they have left, it is possible that only a minority will
accept to separate from them."
neighbouring Iraq, only three French families have been flagged to authorities.
of the mothers, Melina Boughedir, has agreed for her three children to be taken
to France after Iraqi authorities sentenced her to life in jail for being an
some 680 French extremists who travelled to Iraq or Syria to fight, more than
300 are believed dead while a small number of others have travelled to other
countries, including Afghanistan and in North Africa.
forces say they have more than 900 foreign ISIS fighters in custody coming from
44 countries, prompting a legal and ethical headache for the governments of
their home nations.
When the management of the British Museum decided to shift its collection of
Islamic art into a new gallery, they selected two artists — Ahmad Angawi from Saudi Arabia and Idris Khan
from the UK — to create site-specific
works. The pair were selected for their ability to assimilate their heritage in
a contemporary way — a blend that is
ideal for the new gallery space, which reframes the museum’s Islamic art
collection, presenting a fusion of cultures in the Islamic world through
ancient, medieval and modern times.
have used the physical space of the new Albukhary Foundation Gallery, which
opened October 18, to display their work in a dynamic way. Angawi has created
five Mangour screens to cover windows in the gallery, while 21 of Khan’s
paintings cover one of the walls.
screens complete the atmosphere of the gallery, bringing the spirit of the
Hijaz, the heartland of Islam, to the gallery,” said Venetia Porter, assistant
keeper, Department of the Middle East at the British Museum.
five screens are made from walnut wood, using traditional Hijazi craft with
modern manufacturing techniques. Samples for the windows were created by
craftsmen in Jeddah and finished by craftsmen in London.
of the five screens are placed on facing windows. “It feels like they almost
have a dialogue with one another, so the idea of the heart and mind in dialogue
came to my mind immediately,” Angawi explained. “When you do traditional craft
you connect your body, mind and soul into an object. I wanted (to convey) the
way that when you look at those screens, you also look with your mind and you
see the techniques with your heart and you see the passion and connection they
really wanted to work with craftsmen here in London,” he continued. “I don’t
like the idea of cutting something from my culture and pasting it in in London.
I wanted to make an integration of cultures between London and Makkah.”
Porter, this integration of tradition and modernity was crucial.
from the beginning, we were very clear about wanting to bring the contemporary
into it,” she said. “I feel really strongly that when you look at this region …
you need to be looking at it as a continuum. When you look at it all as
material culture, it’s actually very easy to incorporate contemporary in with
the ‘old’. We’ve done it throughout the gallery.”
was first able to articulate this philosophy during the museum’s “Hajj: Journey
to the Heart of Islam” exhibition in 2012, which drew an unprecedented number
of Muslim visitors to the museum.
exhibition ended with Khan’s “You and Only You,” in which the artist used words
to represent the footsteps of a pilgrim, in an attempt to capture the energy of
a mass of people circling the Kaaba.
— and her patrons group, who support
acquisitions of material at the museum — were keen to involve Khan in the new
site-specific gallery work.
talked about a number of artists and the one we decided upon immediately was
Idris, because of that past relationship, because the work that he does is so
interesting, and because of the way that he thinks about his Muslim heritage,”
resulting commission is Khan’s “21 Stones,” —
a collection of 21 stamp paintings.
turn poems, or passages of writing, into rubber stamps and they become wood
blocks basically. Then I paint with them with oil, usually on either an
aluminum surface or a paper surface,” Khan explained.
began his stamp paintings in 2010, a turning point in his work. He had trained
as a photographer, but felt that his photographs always looked like paintings.
it was quite a tricky year for my wife and myself,” he said. “My mother died —
and she was young, 59 — and my wife lost the baby very late in pregnancy and it
was really sort of a tough year in terms of grief.
was at that point that I (decided) to create drawings with words and stamping.
In the studio, I’d get a piece of paper set up and I’d come in, write these
sentences, make them into rubber stamps and then start stamping the paper. It
was ridding myself of the grief that I was going through at the time in a very
cathartic way,” he continued.
I started (this process), the words were important. But then they became less
important — an abstraction of those
words. As they become artworks, they lose that content and become something
else, something you can’t quite… It’s intangible.”
“21 Stones,” Khan tried to convey the moment of release for a Hajj pilgrim
performing the stoning of the Jamarat at Mina (when pilgrims throw 21 stones at
idea itself is a very beautiful thing,” he said. ”One takes a stone, stands in
front of a wall representing the devil and wishes away any bad feelings or
thoughts or future or past — whatever the pilgrim wants to think about — and
that emotional release of a stone hitting the wall and becoming words was such
a beautiful thing in my mind. So I wanted to try and see if I could make an
artwork that had that kind of impact.”
Prime Minister Theresa May told Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday that
his country’s explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey
lacked credibility, her office said.
Prime Minister said the current explanation lacks credibility so there remains
an urgent need to establish exactly what happened,” a Downing Street
spokesperson said in a readout of a call between May and King Salman.
strongly urged Saudi Arabia to cooperate with the Turkish investigation and to
be transparent about the results. It is important that the full facts are
will not take any “hasty decision” on the future of its strategic relationship
with Saudi Arabia until the facts around the death of journalist Jamal
Khashoggi are clear, a source in President Emmanuel Macron’s Elysee office said
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,” the source said.
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the Saudi Arabian men suspected of
murdering Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi will not be allowed to
Home Secretary is taking action against all suspects to prevent them entering
the UK. If these individuals currently have visas, those visas will be revoked
today,” May said while addressing lawmakers at a Parliament session on
also revealed that she was due to speak to King Salman of Saudi Arabia later in
the day to discuss the killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul
on October 2.
foreign secretary and the foreign ministers and our ambassador have been making
our position very clear to the Saudi Arabians,” she said.
officials in the team allegedly sent from Riyadh to assassinate Khashoggi are
close aides to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
also directly dismissed Saudi claims that Khashoggi died after getting involved
in a brawl during a failed attempt to kidnap him back to the kingdom.
claim that has been made that Khashoggi died in a fight does not amount to a
credible explanation, so there does remain an urgent need to establish exactly
what has happened,” May told Parliament at Prime Minister’s Questions.
media have begun reporting that Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, the man named by
Turkish media as the leader of the assassination operation against Khashoggi,
used to work at the Saudi embassy in London.
support for brutal regime
response to her comments on Saudi and Khashoggi, the leader of the Scottish
National Party, Ian Blackford, challenged the prime minister on her
government’s relationship to the “brutal regime” of Saudi Arabia.
demanded that the Government ban all arms sales to the kingdom, which he
stressed was “responsible for multiple human rights violations.”
face death by crucifixion, teenagers tortured, women imprisoned for campaigning
for their human rights, the brutal bombardment of Yemen, pushing that country
to the brink of famine, and now the state-sponsored murder of Jamal Khashoggi,”
more evidence of criminality does the Prime Minister need before she fully
commits to ending the sale of arms to the brutal regime of Saudi Arabia?” he
stressed that the UK was concerned about the humanitarian situation in Yemen
and Khashoggi’s murder but emphasized that the Government continues to support
the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
might remind the right honorable gentleman that yes, we do support the
Saudi-led coalition’s military intervention in Yemen that was recognized,” she
UK Parliament speaker has condemned a move by a member of the House of Lords
for inviting a far right Islamophobe figure in Britain for a sumptuous meal in
House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, said Wednesday hat although inviting
people to the House of Lords was outside of his remit, but insisted that
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, known as Tommy Robinson, was a “a loathsome, obnoxious,
repellent individual” who should have never been invited to the upper chamber.
convicted several times for offences including assault, mortgage fraud and
travelling on a fake passport, has been known for his fierce campaign against
Muslims and immigrants in the UK.
founder of the far-right group English Defence League is currently being tried
for two contempt of the court charges which could see him in prison for around
was invited by Lord Pearson, a peer of the United Kingdom Independence Party
(UKIP), to a lunch in the upper house of the British Parliament on Tuesday,
hours after a court referred the legal case against extremist figure to the
attorney general. During Wednesday's Parliament session, Bercow endorsed the view
by Stewart Malcolm McDonald, a Scottish National Party lawmaker, who called
Robinson a “violent racist thug and fraudster”.
share his assessment of the individual concerned – a loathsome, obnoxious,
repellent individual, and I make no bones about my view being the same as his
on that front,” said Bercow, urging McDonald to write to the Lord Speaker, Lord
Fowler, for advice. Many believe Robinson’s activity has helped encourage
indiscriminate attacks on Muslims and caused a surge in hate crimes in the UK
over the past years.
rights groups have demanded the British authorities to open up an investigation
into the use of UK firm J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited's (JCB) equipment in
Israel's crimes against Palestinians.
month, the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank is
due to be demolished by Israeli forces, in an action classed as a war crime
under the statute of the International Criminal Court.
rights groups have condemned JCB for its role in the destruction of Palestinian
villages including Khan al-Ahmar, which is set to be razed in the coming days.
Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights immediately wrote to UK Foreign Office
minister Alistair Burt urging the government to intervene and charging that
JCB’s involvement in the pending demolition of Khan al-Ahmar “may amount to
aiding and abetting a war crime.”
Party lawmaker Paula Sherriff raised the issue in Parliament, and Burt assured
her that an investigation into the use of JCB machinery in the demolition of
Khan al-Ahmar would be carried out.
years ago, the British campaign group War on Want published a report detailing
Israel’s use of JCB machines to destroy Palestinian homes, mosques and olive
trees and to build settlements in the West Bank, all of which are illegal under
then, the use of JCB machines has been documented repeatedly during Israel’s
violations of Palestinian rights.
July, BBC correspondent Tom Bateman tweeted a photo of Israeli forces using a
JCB excavator to clear the way for the forcible evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar.
European governments have a history of prioritizing trade with Israel over
respect for international law and often fail to impose any form of sanctioning
on Israel or on the companies that assist in apparent violations of
August, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights also wrote to JCB asserting that
“involvement in the demolition process of Khan al-Ahmar may amount to aiding
and abetting the war crime of forcible transfer.”
has not responded to an invitation from the Business and Human Rights Resource
Centre, a corporate accountability watchdog, to answer the allegations in the
British-based company is famed for its yellow bulldozers. It dominates the
Israeli market with a 65 percent market share of all excavators and a 90
percent market share of commonly used loading vehicles.
the past, its vehicles have been used by the Israeli regime to build illegal
Israeli settlements and by Israeli forces to destroy Palestinian homes, mosques
and agricultural areas.
UN Human Rights Council has repeatedly stated that companies must terminate all
business involvement in Israel’s illegal settlement activity”, says Ryvka
Barnard, a senior campaigner on militarism and security at War on Want.
such as JCB are “directly supporting the destruction of Palestinian homes and
schools" and are "profiting from illegal activity – and in this case,
response, Palestine solidarity activists have initiated a campaign in the UK to
hold JCB accountable.
deal reached between Russia and Turkey last month to attempt to peacefully
resolve the issue of Syria’s Idlib Province, the last major stronghold of
anti-government militants in the Arab country, was based in its entirety on an
Iranian proposal, says Iran’s chief negotiator on Syria.
Jaberi Ansari, Iran’s point man on the Middle East and North Africa, told Press
TV’s website in an exclusive interview on October 10, that the deal, reached in
Sochi in mid-September, was based on Iran’s idea to have Russia and Turkey —
which support opposing sides in the Syrian conflict — meet each other halfway.
erupted in Syria back in 2011, when a small group of opposition forces took up
arms against Damascus. Soon, however, a mix of international terrorists and
paid mercenaries mingled with and then largely sidestepped the armed Syrian opposition
groups, effectively turning the Arab country into a battlefield for foreign
governments opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
the Syrian military, with advisory military help from Iran and Russia — and a
Russian aerial bombardment campaign — has retaken control of much of the
country, and the conflict is generally believed to be winding down.
remains the last major piece of Syrian land still not in control of the Syrian
the past couple of years, armed groups that have been defeated in battles with
the Syrian military have been bused into Idlib under agreements with Damascus.
While those groups have mostly had to leave their heavy weaponry behind under
those deals, they have been allowed to take their small arms with them.
parts of his remarks published previously, Jaberi Ansari said that Moscow and
Ankara did not see eye to eye on how to resolve Idlib. He said Russia was more
inclined to resolve the matter more quickly while Turkey sought to indefinitely
delay any resolution of the issue.
abrupt war, nor abrupt peace’
said Iran had its own ideas — and offered a third path.
came up with a proposal to resolve the matter in a phased and incremental
manner, “neither through abrupt [...] war, nor through abrupt peace,” Jaberi
proposal faced “initial resistance” from Russia and Turkey but was later taken
up by the two countries.
the end of a summit in Sochi on September 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin
and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on, among other things,
establishing a demilitarized zone in Idlib that would cover an expanse of 15-20
kilometers of land. Militants would have to entirely clear that area by October
Putin and Erdogan had earlier, in a trilateral summit in Tehran, differed on
how to resolve Idlib.
the concept and the design’
Ansari said the Sochi “framework and all of its major concepts were Iran’s
explained that both the Sochi deal’s “concept” — i.e. resolving matters in a
phased and composite manner — and the specific articles envisaged in it were
based on Iranian ideas.
the specific articles of the deal are carried out according to plan, progress
will have occurred “without firing a single bullet,” he said.
art of designing military and political plans is to make such things happen
without extensive cost,” Jaberi Ansari said.
the initial resistance by our two other partners [in the Astana peace process
for Syria], ultimately, that same framework and that same proposal was adopted
as the basis of the Sochi deal,” he said.
his official capacity as senior assistant to the Iranian foreign minister on
special political affairs, Jaberi Ansari has been working with Russia and
Turkey in a peace process for Syria known as the Astana process.
player behind the scenes
about why Iran did not participate in the Sochi meeting, Jaberi Ansari said
Iran was “both present and absent.”
said the fact that the deal was entirely based on Iran’s idea is proof of that
he said Iran does not insist on being present in photo ops and signing
than seeking to show off itself, Iran has been and is after finding solutions,”
Jaberi Ansari said.
President Emmanuel Macron says Paris is prepared to back imposing international
sanctions on those involved in the death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal
Khashoggi, who is said to have been murdered on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
made the comments in a phone conversation with Saudi King Salman on Wednesday,
according to a statement by the Elysee Palace.
French president informed the Saudi king of his “profound indignation” at the
crime, and said France, in coordination with its partners, could take action
against those responsible for the murder, the statement added.
told the king that France's main priority was "defending freedom of
expression, freedom of the press and of the public.” He also urged the king to
fully disclose the circumstances around Khashoggi’s death, the Elysee Palace
was Macron’s first public comments since the dissident journalist’s apparent
assassination sparked global condemnation.
in the day, French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Paris “would
draw the necessary conclusions and impose appropriate sanctions” once the
French intelligence services conclude “Saudi Arabia’s responsibility has been
steps would not just involve sanctions on arms sales, he said without giving
Khashoggi’s disappearance on October 2, Paris tried to show a relatively
guarded reaction in a bid to protect its commercial ties with the kingdom,
particularly its energy investments and a huge arms deal, which has been urged
to be terminated by German leaders and rights groups like Amnesty
on Tuesday refused to take questions about halting arms sales to Saudi Arabia
despite Germany's calls on its European partners to follow its example and stop
arms exports to the kingdom.
asked the French president whether Paris would follow Berlin halting weapons
sales to Riyadh after it admitted to the death of Khashoggi in its consulate.
has nothing to do with what we're talking about. Nothing. So I won't answer that
question. I'm sorry but as long as I'll be in office this is how it will be,
whether people like it or not," he told reporters during a visit to a
naval defense show, visibly irritated.
senior French diplomat was quoted by Reuters as saying on Wednesday that the
French president “was treading a thin line in pursuing his long-stated policy
of avoiding taking sides” between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
have an important partnership, but while we never considered Saudi to be the
cradle of human rights, this is serious. It can’t be ignored. There will be
consequences, but we need to be prudent,” the diplomat said.
over two weeks of near silence, Saudi Arabia on Saturday admitted that the
journalist was killed in its consulate in Istanbul, saying it was an
unauthorized operation -- a claim other countries, even the Western allies of
Riyadh, have rejected.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday the crown prince may be behind
Khashoggi’s death. German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the murder as a
“monstrosity” and vowed to halt German arms exports.
Prime Minister Theresa May also announced the Saudi Arabian men suspected of
murdering Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi will not be allowed to
EU countries’ demand for the suspension of arms deals with Saudi Arabia has
increased, following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for the Washington Post, was last
seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
weeks of denying involvement in his disappearance, Saudi Arabia on Saturday
announced that he died in a fight inside the consulate.
leaders have called on the Saudi government to provide more concrete answers on
his killing amid a global outcry.
High Representative Federica Mogherini said: “European Union, like its
partners, insists on the need for continued thorough, credible and transparent
investigation, shedding proper clarity on the circumstances of the killing and
ensuring full accountability of all those responsible for it.”
Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Germany would stop arms
exports to Saudi Arabia amid doubts over Riyadh’s explanation on the killing of
demanded urgent clarification on Khashoggi’s killing, saying: “As far as arms
exports are concerned, those can’t take place in the current conditions.”
Merkel’s remarks, the country’s Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said they are not
going to take a positive step towards the exports unless the details about the
journalist’s death are revealed.
Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy and Energy
Minister Peter Altmaier also backed the government decision to halt the arms
arms export to Riyadh was also on the agenda of France. But the President
Emmanuel Macron defended that Saudi Arabia was an important customer in arms
call from British opposition
the U.K., -- the country that topped the list of the EU countries in terms of
exporting arms to Saudi Arabia -- the opposition called on the government to
suspend arms sales to the kingdom.
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was pleased because the prime minister had
condemned the “horrific murder” of Khashoggi, urging a suspension of arms sales
to the kingdom.
Party’s shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry called the killing a
“disgraceful murder” and said the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman “takes
his allies for fools,” mentioning some of the alleged crimes attributed to him.
government must wake up to the reality of who the crown prince really is,”
Thornberry said, criticizing Prime Minister Theresa May for “rolling out the
red carpet” for the prince.
on the U.K. government to use the Magnitsky powers for anyone involved in the
murder, including those who ordered it, she asked for financial penalties on
those responsible and the suspension of U.K.'s sales of arms to Saudi Arabia.
National Party leader in Westminster Ian Blackford also called on May to take
action against Saudi Arabia.
arms sales to Saudi Arabia and do it today,” he said.
far-left Unidos Podemos party also called on the country and EU members to stop
should take Germany as an example and stop the selling of weapons to Saudi
Arabia, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said.
arm export decision was taken by the regional parliaments, therefore, they
don’t have authority other than to advise. We shouldn’t hide behind the EU. We
should take Germany as an example and stop the arms sales to Saudi Arabia,” De
trade with Riyadh
Arabia is the U.S.’s main weapon buyer. According to Stockholm International
Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the data shows Riyadh made up 18 percent of
total U.S. arms sales during 2013-2017 period.
the European countries also exported arms to the country in the same period.
to 2013-2017 figures of SIPRI, U.K., as an EU member, makes 48.8 percent of its
total arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
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