Militants bomb girls school in Pakistan
Wrong direction of anti-terror war worrying: World Assembly of Muslim Youth
UAE Central Bank plans Shariah-compliant CDs
Violent critic destroys Christ 'sex image'
3 of a family die at Ajmer dargah after 40-day fast on 'Khwaja orders'
Three killed, bomb defused in Peshawar
One dead in Nato Afghanistan helicopter blast
NATO may start Afghan handover next year
4 extremists killed in Mardan
Two Yemen bombings strike Aden
We don't need your advice, Indian clerics told
Rant against pro- verdict Muslim duo
Ayodhya case: Hindu Mahasabha files caveat in SC
Dwarka seer may mediate in Ayodhya
Rahul right in comparing SIMI, RSS: Digvijaya
Kingdom calls for a strong Arab League
Taliban now tap kidnapping as revenue source
US rescuers may have killed British aid worker in Afghanistan
Palestinians reject Israeli offer on settlement freeze
Israel court jails West Bank barrier protest leader
'German journalists' held in Iran over stoning case
Yemen Qaida chief announces formation of 'an army': Report
Gilani says no clash with judiciary or army
Cong banks on Muslim votes in Bihar
Pak accelerates pace of its nuclear weapons programme: watchdog
Muscat death: Govt lashes out at airline, airport authorities
India ranks below Pak, China on hunger index
Pakistan: Govt seeks World Bank help for monitoring foreign aid
Amit Shah moves High Court for bail
Curfew imposed across Kashmir Valley
Setback to Zardari in Supreme Court
Nawaz bluffed me over Lahore Declaration:Musharraf
10 militants held in Mardan operation
Netanyahu to Palestinians: recognise Israel as Jewish state
Iran plans to reveal US N-aid to Israel
Charge sheet against Musharraf
Democracy taking roots in Pakistan: PM
Syria accuses Israel of hindering peace process
Al-Qaeda renews attacks in Yemen
Palestinian dream city hits snag from Israel
Yemen Qaeda chief announces formation of ‘army’
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Two Indians killed in Afghan missile attack
Oct 12, 2010
TWO INDIANS were killed in a missile attack launched by the Taliban on an Indian NGO’s office situated near a US airbase in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, a media report said on Monday.
Qari Omar Haqqani — a spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban — told reporters from an undisclosed location that the outfit had attacked the office of the Indian NGO with missiles. Three people, including two Indian workers, were killed, Pakistani daily The News International reported.
The nationality of the third person who died in the attack is yet to be ascertained. The Taliban leader did not name the NGO. Haqqani said the Taliban also fired missiles at the nearby US airbase, injuring seven soldiers of the Afghan National Army. “ At least 10 missiles were fired at the two places”, he said.
Taliban militants had targeted Indian nationals on earlier occasions too.
The outfit carried out suicide attacks at two hotels in Kabul on February 26, killing at least nine Indians, including two Majors of the Indian Army. The hotels were rented out by the Indian embassy for its staffers and those linked with India’s developmental work in Afghanistan.
In October 2009, a Taliban suicide bomber blew up an explosives- laden car outside the Indian embassy in Kabul, killing 17 people and injuring over 80. The embassy staff, however, was unhurt.
In July 2008, a suicide attack on the embassy killed 41 people and injured over 140. The dead included two Indian diplomats — political counsellor V. Venkateswara Rao of the Indian Foreign Service and military attaché at the embassy, Brigadier Ravi Datt Mehta and Indo- Tibetan Border Police staffers Ajai Pathaniya and Roop Singh.
ISLAMABAD: Unidentified militants bombed a girls school on Tuesday morning in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal region bordering Afghanistan, a media report said.
The number of schools destroyed by militants in the region has risen to 57 so far, Xinhua reported.
Two girls schools and a boys school were destroyed in blasts Sunday morning.
Over 200 schools have been destroyed in the adjacent Malakand region during the past couple of years.
The Taliban believes that modern education, particularly education for girls, is not in line with Islamic scriptures. They have been trying to implement their own version of Shariah or Islamic law in the insurgency-plagued tribal areas.
By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR
JEDDAH: Muslim leaders who attended a recent international conference in the Indonesian capital Jakarta have expressed their anguish over the wrong direction of the ongoing war on terror, which they say is in reality against Islam and Muslims.
Nearly 700 prominent Islamic scholars and heads of Muslim organizations from around the globe assembled in Jakarta to attend the 11th conference of the Riyadh-based World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY).
“The leaders were worried about the wrong direction of the war on terrorism,” said Dr. Muhammad Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of WAMY, who attended the three-day conference, which opened in Jakarta on Oct. 2.
“Although Western countries are saying the war is not against Islam, in practice it's targeting Islam and Muslims, and some extremists in Europe and America want to make use of this umbrella to fight Islam and Muslims,” said Badahdah.
He said the so-called war on terror, which has already destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan, would worsen relations between Islam and the West, and warned that the growing polarization of Muslims, Christians and Jews would have dangerous consequences if quick steps are not taken to improve relations.
“Muslim leaders at the conference asked how long this war will continue, spending trillions of dollars of tax payers' money to kill innocent people. What are they going to gain from this war? They hoped America would stop the war in Afghanistan and try to establish good relationship with its people,” Badahdah said.
“Muslims constitute about one-third of the world’s population and they are a big market. Nobody can ignore Muslims. Islam is the fastest spreading religion in the world. It’s in America’s interest to establish better relations with Muslims,” he said.
Badahdah said history would never forgive the leaders and countries that have killed thousands in the name of fighting terror. “Actually, they are the terrorists as they kill innocent people using advanced weaponry. It's flagrant state terrorism. We don't need any certification for that. It’s strange that those who bomb innocent people to death are described as proponents of peace and human rights while those who defend their rights are condemned as terrorists. This is a ridiculous judgment,” he said.
He said the Jakarta meet was very successful. It discussed 50 research papers on “Youth and Social Responsibility,” he said, adding that all of the papers would be made available on WAMY’s website. He emphasized the need to make use of the youth's capabilities for social development. “We want to keep them busy so that they do not find time to engage in any destructive activities.”
The WAMY official thanked the Indonesian government for giving all-out support to make the conference a big success. Saudi Arabia was represented by a high-level delegation including Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh, former Social Affairs Minister Ali Al-Namlah, former Deputy Chairman of the Shoura Council Abdullah Omar Naseef and Royal Court adviser Sheikh Suleiman Al-Manie. Other dignitaries included former Sudanese President Abdul Rahman Swar Dahab, Sheikh Salman Al-Awdah, Amr Khaled, Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Dado of Mauritania and Essam Al-Bashir, former minister of Islamic affairs in Sudan.
Delegates from 70 countries including the Americas, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia attended the event, which decided to conduct workshops on applicable examples of social responsibility in different places. Essam Al-Bashir talked about how Muslims should contribute to civilization, and a symposium would be conducted to discuss this topic further.
Badahdah spoke about the election of new office bearers. Saleh Al-Asheikh and Saleh Al-Wohaibi have been re-elected as WAMY's president and secretary-general respectively. The organization's board members represented various continents and countries.
Badahdah disclosed plans to expand the organization's activities to new regions and strengthen the existing members by providing them with necessary guidance and financial assistance. He referred to WAMY's efforts to enhance its global reputation by conducting constructive activities in various parts of the world and signing agreements with leading international organizations.
12 October 2010
ABU DHABI — The UAE’s Central Bank, in a bid to widen investment options for Islamic lenders, will introduce Shariah-compliant certificates of deposit, or CDs, by year-end.
According to experts, the central bank initiative “will help banks manage liquidity.” Initially, the CDs will be available only to fully Islamic banks and then extended to the Islamic banking units of other commercial banks.
“Test transactions could take place as early in November,” Standard Chartered Saadiq Chief Executive Officer Afaq Khan said in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
The Shariah-compliant instrument, on the lines of Islamic Murabahah transaction will help soak up the excess liquidity in the Islamic money market, he told reporters on the sidelines of an International Islamic Finance Forum being held in the capital.
A banker welcoming the move told Khaleej Times that Islamic banks with this offering can invest their surplus liquidity in Shariah-compliant certificates of deposit which will also offer them financial gains.
Earlier, they could only buy the interest bearing certificates of deposit, which is against the principles of Islamic finance, he said.
He said that Islamic banks in the country will be able to effectively manage their short term liquidity positions, which has been a challenge.
Malaysia, the world’s biggest market for Islamic bonds, Bahrain and Indonesia sell bills to help soak up cash in the financial system and set benchmarks for short-term bond sales. A Murabahah transaction is a sale and deferred-payment agreement based on an asset in which the cost and profit margin are pre-agreed between a bank and its customer. Transactions in Islamic finance are based on the exchange of assets rather than interest to comply with Shariah principles.
Islamic finance accounts for 16 per cent of the UAE’s banking assets, compared to just five per cent for Pakistan which already has a local currency Islamic treasury in place, said Khan. Standard Chartered Saadiq is one of the banks on a liquidity management committee set up by the central bank this year. The group is also looking at an Islamic repurchase facility.
The global Islamic banking industry has been forecast to touch $2 trillion in the next five to seven years from the current $1 trillion. This growth can be achieved with a strong focus on ethical banking values, where Islamic banks can lead the way. These statements were echoed by industry experts at the International Islamic Finance Forum Abu Dhabi.
As the region’s Islamic banks increasingly demonstrate a renewed emphasis on the basic principle of good relations with clients driven by friendly and efficient customer service, this “ethics and values” themed-industry gathering is a timely opportunity for top tier Islamic financiers to get together to debate a range of critical industry issues.
LOVELAND: For once, the quaint museum on Lincoln Avenue was all quiet. A sign inside was the only indication of the recent trouble. "This piece was destroyed by an act of violence and is no longer on exhibit," the sign read.
For weeks now, this bucolic northern Colorado city of just over 60,000, which has a vibrant arts community, has been bitterly divided over the controversial artwork that once sat in the empty display of the Loveland Museum Gallery where the sign now rests. Some here interpreted the small image, which was part of a lithographic print exhibition by the San Francisco artist Enrique Chagoya, as showing Jesus Christ engaged in a sex act with another man, and demanded its removal. Others argued that Chagoya, an art professor at Stanford, had the right to create what he pleased.
Last Wednesday, amid heated public debate over the exhibit and daily protests in front of the museum, a 56-year-old Montana truck driver named Kathleen Folden walked into the gallery. Wearing a T-shirt that read "My Savior Is Tougher Than Nails," Folden strode up to the exhibit, took out a crowbar and proceeded to smash the plexiglass casing. To the horror of visitors, she then ripped up the print, just as police officers arrived.
The print itself, part of a series by Chagoya called The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals, shows the head of Jesus Christ, eyes rolled back, atop a mostly clothed woman's body. A man's head, tongue out, is near the woman's legs. The Spanish word "orgasmo" is displayed. Chagoya intended the image to be viewed as a commentary on corruption in the Roman Catholic Church, not a sex act involving Christ.
AJMER: Three members of a family from Allahabad died of starvation while observing chilla kashi — a 40-day fast — to "ward off black magic" at 14th century saint Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti's mausoleum in Ajmer on Monday.
Sources identified the deceased as Mohammed Salam (14), Nausar (17) and Kaiser (28). The three were declared brought dead at a local hospital, while 10 others including two kids were admitted there in a critical condition.
The family had been fasting for 38 days, claiming that they were doing it "on the Khwaja's orders".
Head of the family, Mohammed Mustafa (59), said, "We were fasting to ward off black magic that my brother had performed on me and my family about four years back."
Mustafa, a retired merchant navy official, said they started fasting after he had a dream "ordering" him to do so during his visit to Ajmer dargah. "Everything was going wrong with my family ever since the witchcraft was performed," he said. He regretted that they were just two days short of finishing the 40-day fast on the Khwaja's "order".
Mustafa's son, Rizwan Sheikh, said the family used to spend most of its time at the shrine, where the family had been staying for over two years.
Read more: 3 of a family die at Ajmer dargah after 40-day fast on 'Khwaja orders' - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/3-of-a-family-die-at-Ajmer-dargah-after-40-day-fast-on-Khwaja-orders/articleshow/6732982.cms#ixzz127Edpz00
12 Oct, 2010
PESHAWAR, Oct 11: Three persons, including a woman, were killed in separate incidents in different areas of provincial metropolis while a bomb was defused in Chamkani on Monday.
An official of Badbher police station said that a married woman and a man, both Afghan nationals, were gunned down for ‘honour’ at Daur Bagh Badbher.
The official said that they were killed inside a house and their bodies were removed by police from the spot. He said that the father of the woman was nominated in the FIR but he managed to escape.
In another incident, an elderly man identified as Dad Gul of Shabqadar was run over by a speeding motorcar on the main Charsadda Road in the limits of Daudzai police station.
An official said that the driver, Mohammad Zamin, was arrested and his vehicle was also taken into custody.
Meanwhile, police claimed to have defused a powerful explosive device planted under a bridge in the limits of Chamkani police station.
A police official said that the explosive device was planted to blow up a bridge on Choha Gujar-Hazar Khwani Road but someone timely informed police and the bomb was defused.
An official of the bomb disposal unit said that the 12-kilogram heavy bomb was packed in a canister. He said that it was remote controlled bomb, which could destroy the bridge.
Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan Chinook helicopters are widely used across Afghanistan
At least one person has been killed and eight wounded in an explosion on board a Nato helicopter in eastern Afghanistan, coalition officials say.
They say that the Chinook helicopter was in the process of landing when the explosion happened, and that its cause was not immediately clear.
There were about 26 Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) troops on board at the time.
A Nato statement said the blast took place in Kunar province.
But it has said that the landing site has now been secured by troops.
"The helicopter was on the ground in Kunar province when an explosion of unknown origin occurred. The wounded service members were evacuated to an Isaf medical facility," the statement said.
Full report at:
BRUSSELS—NATO allies are expected to endorse a plan next month to start transferring security responsibility in Afghanistan to Afghan forces at the start of next year or by July at the latest, the head of NATO said on Monday.
Alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he expected the NATO summit in Lisbon would also endorse Afghan President Hamid Karzai's aim for Afghan forces to take responsibility for security all over the country by 2014.
Rasmussen stressed, however, that the timing would depend on how the battle against Taliban insurgents was faring and the readiness of Afghan forces.
"I would expect an announcement at the summit in Lisbon that transition to lead Afghan responsibility is about to start at the beginning of 2011; at the latest by July 2011," he told a news conference.
October 12, 2010
MARDAN: At least four extremists were killed in a clash with the security forces in Mardan area of Katling amid continued search operation in the area, Geo News reported Tuesday.
According to the security sources, the security forces commenced search operation in the suburbs and Katling area of Mardan, which ensued in the exchange of fire with the extremists.
At least four extremists were killed in the scuffle.
According to the security sources, the search operation is still underway in the area.
Medical workers in the city of Aden in southern Yemen say two explosions there have killed at least one person and injured eight others.
The blasts - within minutes of each other - struck an area of the city near the grounds of a local football team.
It appears the second bomb aimed to strike the emergency services once they had arrived on the scene.
Continue reading the main story
Part of next month's the Gulf Football Championships is due to take place there.
Attacks aimed at the Yemeni security forces or Western targets are often blamed on an al-Qaeda offshoot in Yemen.
Oct 11, 2010
SRINAGAR: Separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have rejected suggestions from Indian clerics that the Kashmir dispute needs to be resolved within the ambit of the Indian constitution.
Even as they hailed Indian Muslim leaders for criticising the security forces for high-handedness and killings, the separatist leaders have asked the clerics not to get involved in Kashmir's 'freedom struggle'.
The remarks came a day after the Darul Uloom Deoband and the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) sought the axing of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir.
But they insisted that Jammu and Kashmir, India's only Muslim majority state, was an integral part of India and that the demands of the Kashmiris should be addressed within the framework of the Indian constitution.
The Darul Uloom Deoband is the spiritual headquarters of Sunni Islam while the Jamiat is its influential social front.
By Mail Today Bureau in New Delhi
STATEMENTS by Jamiat Ulema- i- Hind leader Maulana Mahmood Madani and former Delhi minority commission chairman Kamal Farooqui insisting that Muslims should accept the Ayodhya verdict has triggered a debate among Muslim leaders.
The effort of the two leaders to find supporters for the verdict has backfired and most Muslim organisations are now accusing the two of dancing to the tunes of the government and the Congress.
A meeting at Farooqui's residence on October 8 failed to evolve any consensus.
Many Muslim leaders, who had earlier spoken out against the verdict, opted out of the meeting. “ They are agents of the government,” shahi imam of the Delhi Jama masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari said. “ What they are arguing is against Sharia law. Muslims will not tolerate this,” he added.
Bukhari will visit Lucknow ahead of the working committee meeting on October 19 of the All India Muslim Personal law Board AIMPLB) on the Ayodhya verdict. He said that he would meet Muslim leaders and board members. “I hope the AIMPLB moves the apex court against the verdict.
Full report at: Mail Today
Oct 11 2010
New Delhi : Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to pre-empt any ex-parte order on the Ayodhya title dispute.
In the caveat, the Hindu Mahasabha has asked the court not to pass order on any appeal against the September 30 Allahabad High Court verdict without hearing it.
The organisation has filed the caveat through its national president Swami Chakrapani.
General Secretary of Hindu Mahasabha Indira Tiwari said a petition is also likely to be filed making it clear that it was not in favour of any compromise on the issue and wants a legal solution to the whole dispute.
"We want only legal solution. We are against any type of compromise as we are in favour of constructing a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya," she said.
She said the Hindu Mahasabha would like to achieve its objective through the cooperation of all those who were party to the suit in the High Court.
NEW DELHI: Adding a new element to the Ayodhya land dispute, a group of moderates has approached Dwarka Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati to mediate for a negotiated settlement of the issue.
According to sources, those from both communities favouring a dialogue are of the view that the stature of the Shankaracharya could lend weight to such an exercise and make it acceptable to both sides.
Some activists talked to the Swami and invited him to come to Delhi to hold talks with representatives of both Hindu and Muslim groups. Indications are that the Shankaracharya might visit the Capital shortly after the October 16 meeting of the Muslim Personal Law Board in Lucknow.
Swaroopanand is no stranger to the Ayodhya affairs as he held talks with moderate Muslim groups in the past. Another reason for his acceptability among the moderates is his distance from the Sangh Parivar. He is also held in high regard by some Congress leaders.
Oct 12 2010
Nagpur: Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh on Monday defended Rahul Gandhi for likening the RSS with SIMI.
“Activists of both SIMI and RSS have been found to be involved in terrorist activities. So what’s wrong for Rahul to have found both comparable,” Singh asked. “The comparison is absolutely fine.”
He was talking to mediapersons here during his brief stopover on his way back to Delhi after visiting the Bamleshwari Devi shrine at Dongargarh in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
He, however, added, “I am not saying this about RSS as an organisation being involved, but it is only the fundamentalist ideology that gives rise to terrorism.”
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Monday emphasized the need to further strengthen the Arab League by promoting cooperation between Arab countries in order for the 23-member organization to play an effective role at regional and international levels.
The Council of Ministers, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, also called for strengthening the existing Arab League institutions.
“Every Arab country should comply with reforms and agreed upon resolutions and show a high degree of credibility and seriousness in implementing resolutions,” the Cabinet said after the weekly meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.
The Cabinet made this comment while reviewing the outcome of the emergency Arab League summit in Sirte, Libya, which made a number of resolutions for developing joint Arab work.
ISLAMABAD: Taliban in Pakistan's northwest have changed their strategy and adopted a new approach of target killings and kidnapping for ransom, with a psychiatrist teaching youngsters brainwashed by militants and a relative of a political leader among the victims of this campaign.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is searching for high-value targets and planning to kidnap VIPs to collect funds for terrorist activities.
Kidnapping for ransom is now a "main source of income" for the Taliban, security sources said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the recent killing of religious scholar and psychiatrist Farooq Khan, who was teaching over 150 youths freed from militants in the Swat valley.
KABUL: At first, NATO blamed a Taliban bomb for the death of a captive British aid worker during an American rescue attempt in eastern Afghanistan.
Two days later, the coalition changed its account, saying on Monday that US forces may have detonated a grenade that killed Linda Norgrove during the operation to free her.
British Prime Minister David Cameron defended on Friday's rescue mission, saying his government authorized it only after learning that Norgrove's life was in grave danger. The US military, which carried out the raid because the aid worker was being held in a region under American command, said it would investigate the incident with British cooperation.
In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasized that "whatever happened, I would like to stress that those who are responsible of course are the captors."
The US-led NATO force has historically been slow to acknowledge friendly fire deaths in Afghanistan. Drawn-out investigations mean findings can come weeks or months after an incident. But an increased focus on preventing civilian deaths has led NATO over the past year to push for quicker reporting on mistakes.
Construction work at the settlement of Har Gilo near Jerusalem (4 October 2010) All settlements on occupied territory are considered illegal under international law
Palestinian officials have rejected an offer by the Israeli government to halt settlement construction if they recognise Israel as a "Jewish state".
The Palestinians said they already recognised the state of Israel, and that the real issue threatening peace talks was illegal settlement activity.
Israel has been under international pressure to renew its partial freeze on construction in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinians have threatened to walk out of the talks over the issue.
Abdallah Abu Rahma in an Israeli military court - 11 October 2010 The prosecution of Abdallah Abu Rahma has been strongly criticised
An Israeli military court has sentenced a Palestinian protest leader to a year in prison for incitement and riot.
Abdallah Abu Rahma, 39, was one of the organisers of the weekly demonstrations against the barrier being built by Israel in the West Bank.
Protests are regularly attended by hundreds of Palestinians and foreign supporters.
They are largely non-violent, but are sometimes marred by Palestinian stone throwers.
Israeli forces fire stun grenades, tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and, sometimes, live rounds at the protesters. Several demonstrators have been killed and hundreds injured.
Abu Rahma was also fined US $1,200 (£760). He has already served 10 months in jail.
'Human rights defender'
Iran says it has arrested two "foreign nationals" who interviewed the family of a woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.
Iran's judiciary spokesman said the pair did not have the correct media accreditation to interview the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43.
At the same time, a German-based rights group said it feared Ms Ashtiani's son and lawyer had been arrested during an interview with two German journalists.
A reform website also carried the news.
Iran has temporarily suspended Ms Ashtiani's stoning verdict under international pressure, but says no definite decision has yet been made about her case.
Last month, reports surfaced that Iranian courts were instead considering hanging her for the murder of her husband.
Iranian public prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie told local media that someone who was present during the interview contacted the authorities after becoming "suspicious about the manner of questioning" of the two foreigners.
He did not identify them or their nationalities.
DUBAI: Al-Qaida's military chief in Yemen Qassim al-Rimi on Saturday announced the creation of an "Aden-Abyan Army" to free the country of "crusaders and their apostate agents," in an internet audio tape.
"We are preparing to implement the first steps of the Aden-Abyan Army to defend the nation and its religion... and free this land of crusaders and their apostate agents," the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader said.
"This army is in its early stages," he said, calling for help from jihadists and their supporters in the audio message whose authenticity could not be verified immediately.
"Snipers and explosives" had been used in the past months to target police and security forces in southern and eastern Yemen, Rimi said, adding the group was "encouraged" by the success of such attacks.
But he warned his group had "so far kept its main cards up its sleeve, and would only use them according to the changing circumstances."
Islamabad : Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said his government was not in clash with either the judiciary or the army and insisted that the days of military coups and of the president dissolving an elected parliament were effectively over.
There are no problems between the Pakistan People's Party-led government and the military while cases against the government in the Supreme Court were sub-judice and would be decided by the independent judiciary, Gilani told a group of Pakistani and foreign journalists.
Gilani was speaking after a dinner he hosted at the Prime Minister's House for the diplomatic corps.
He said the government would overcome all problems facing it and that it has a lot of respect for the judiciary and there is no clash between the two institutions.
The country's superior judiciary wants to see democracy moving forward and succeeding, he said.
By Giridhar Jha in Patna
ASPIRING to retain its lost glory in Bihar, the Congress appears to be following in the footsteps of RJD boss Lalu Prasad by adopting the Muslim- Yadav ( MY) formula in the upcoming state assembly elections.
Out of its 225 candidates announced so far, the party has fielded 44 Muslims and 18 Yadavs.
In a party believed to be dominated by the upper castes, the number of Yadav candidates exceeds even the Brahmins, who have 17 candidates.
The party, contesting all 243 seats, is apparently eyeing the MY vote bank that helped Lalu stay in power for 15 years.
The Muslims and the Yadavs account for 16.40 per cent and 11 per cent respectively of Bihar’s population.
However, Congress spokesman Premchandra Mishra said that it believed in giving equal representation to all sections.
It had fielded 35 women and 118 candidates were below 40, he said.
The Congress think- tank apparently believes that most of Muslims voted for it in the Lok Sabha polls when it decided to go it alone. Now, the party wants a bigger pie of the vote bank.
Pakistan has been secretly accelerating pace of its nuclear weapons programme and it has assembled 70 to 90 nuclear warheads as against India's 60 to 80, a Washington-based nuclear watchdog has claimed.
The Institute for Science and International Security has obtained satellite images showing that a row of cooling towers at Pakistan's secret Khushab-III reactor has been completed, The Daily Telegraph reported.
This suggests the plant could begin operation within months, allowing Pakistan to increase substantially its stockpiles of weapons-grade plutonium, it said.
Work at Khushab-III has forged ahead even as Pakistan struggles to cope with floods that have inflicted damage estimated at 27 billion pounds - and amid mounting concerns over the long-term security of the country's nuclear arsenal, the report said.
Pakistan argues that its nuclear programme is necessary to counter the superior conventional forces of India, the report said.
A report, published by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, estimated it had assembled 70-90 nuclear warheads to India's 60-80, and had produced, enough fissile material to make a further 90.
According to the report, the US is also disturbed by Chinese plans to build two new nuclear reactors in Pakistan, bypassing rules that bar sales of nuclear equipment to states that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
NEW DELHI: The Indian government has blamed the airline and local airport authorities for negligence that could have led to the death of a housemaid of Indian origin, Beebi Lumada, in Muscat. She died after being stranded at the airport in Muscat for four days.
Overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi said, "The airport and airline authorities should have been more responsible. Valid papers are necessary but not more than a person's life." Sources said that delay by the emigration authorities at Muscat to provide Lumada's details had left her stranded and could have led to her ill-health.
The MOIA had asked for a report from the Indian ambassador in Oman. Sources said the ambassador had already sent his report to the government.
According to sources, Lumada was flying to Thiruvananthapuram on Qatar Airways via Doha, where officials turned her back to Muscat on October 4 after she lost her passport.
She was detained at Muscat airport's transit area, where she was provided with food while the Indian Embassy officials got in touch with her. The Indian Embassy was ready to give her an `emergency certificate' based on the passport details that the Qatar Airways had. "The airlines kept the embassy officials waiting for the information despite the Indian Embassy offering to provide a temporary passport in the form of an emergency certificate and other facilities like food," an official said.
Sources added that this delay went on till October 8, and the following day Lumada suddenly collapsed. "On Friday, her health deteriorated, and she was sent to the Ibn Sina Hospital," but she died en route there in an ambulance, the official said without elaborating on the possible cause of her death. Her body is being brought back to India.
NEW DELHI: India may be the second fastest growing economy in the world, but it fares far worse than lesser economies when it comes to taking care of its malnourished children. India ranks 67 on the Global Hunger Index 2010, conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) among 88 nations.
Faring worse than lesser developed countries such as Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the neighbourhood and underdeveloped nations like Sudan, Lesotho, Uzbekistan and Rwanda elsewhere, India is home to 42% of the underweight children under the age of five in the world.
The policymakers in India, who are still fighting about the need to have an expansive National Food Security Act, should look at the following data more closely: in 2005-06, about 44% of Indian children -- below five years --were underweight, and nearly half -- 48% -- were stunted.
The food insecurity is so rampant across the country that India is clubbed with minor economies like Bangladesh, Timor-Leste and Yemen, recording the highest prevalence of underweight in children under five.
By Khaleeq Kiani
ISLAMABAD: The government has asked the World Bank to help Pakistan establish a mechanism for a more effective monitoring of flood-related international aid flows to address the issues of accountability and transparency.
Sources told Dawn that Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who is in the United States to attend annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), has sought enhanced engagement of the World Bank in the monitoring to facilitate larger and quicker aid disbursements.
The government, said the sources, expected the World Bank expertise in providing assistance to the flood-affected people, particularly to the poor and vulnerable groups.
The sources said Mr Shaikh was also touching the base with the IMF authorities and key finance ministers enjoying voting rights and influence in the IMF for future programme financing that Pakistan might require after the second half of the current financial year and to see whether a new programme could be discussed with the IMF and what could be the fresh terms and conditions.
They said the economic situation had become critical because of problems with the IMF programme that had practically been jeopardised after slippages on the key performance criteria.
AHMEDABAD: The former Minister, Amit Shah, on Monday moved the Gujarat High Court for regular bail, challenging the order of the special CBI court that rejected his bail application.
Mr. Shah's bail plea is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday.
Special CBI judge's objections
Special CBI judge G. K. Upadhyaya on Friday refused to grant bail to Mr. Shah on grounds that he might tamper with evidence and pressure witnesses by using political power, and that granting him bail would dent the image of the judiciary.
In his petition, Mr. Shah sought the quashing and setting aside of this order.
Mr. Shah was arrested by the CBI on July 25 in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Kausar Bi murder case.
SRINAGAR: Authorities tonight imposed curfew across Kashmir Valley to foil the proposed march to Hyderpora called by hard line faction of Hurriyat Conference tomorrow, officials said here.
"Curfew has been imposed across Srinagar district," District Magistrate Srinagar Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo said.
Police vehicles, fitted with public address system, announced imposition of curfew and asked people not to violate the restrictions.
Anyone violating the curfew will be dealt with strictly, the police warned.
A police spokesman said the authorities have decided to impose Valley-wide strict curfew restrictions tomorrow following 'Hyderpora Chalo' call given by separatists.
ISLAMABAD: The federal government's hopes of delaying the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict nullifying the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) were dashed on Monday as the apex court rejected its plea for deferring the next hearing beyond October 13.
On Saturday, the government moved the court for delaying the hearing of its review petition against the NRO verdict on the premise that it needed time to find a new counsel to replace Kamal Azfar who had been elevated to the position of adviser to the Prime Minister. This was the second time in less than a fortnight the government sought a postponement of the hearing. A three-judge bench — headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry — on Monday rejected the plea and observed the government did not seem serious about the matter and was making lame excuses. Further, it said the case would be taken up for hearing as scheduled on October 13.
Tuesday, 12 Oct, 2010
LONDON: Former president Gen (retd) Parvez Musharraf has said that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deserves ‘full marks’ for his ‘sincere’ efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue and have peace with Pakistan, but is held back from taking a bold step for fear of domestic political backlash.
He said it was Dr Singh, and not his predecessor Atal Behari Vajpayee, who deserved credit for a breakthrough in India-Pakistan relations.
“It was with Manmohan Singh that we moved forward towards an agreement, not with Mr Vajpayee,” he told NDTV in the second part of his widely-reported interview with Barkha Dutt.
“I give full marks to Manmohan Singh,” he said, but added that the Indian prime minister lacked ‘courage’ in giving any concession on Kashmir for fear of domestic pressures. “In any agreement, there is give and take... and it is the ‘give’ part that creates problems.”
MARDAN, Oct 11: Security forces claimed to have arrested 10 militants and recovered a large number of arms and ammunition from their possession during a pre-dawn operation in Katlang tehsil on Monday.
Sources said that the operation was launched after the assassination of Dr Mohammad Farooq Khan, attacks on the Ahmadi’s mosque and Christian church besides other growing incidents of terrorist activities by suspected militants in different parts of Mardan city.
The pre-dawn operation, which continued the whole day, was carried out in Sawaldair, Matha, Shamozai, Babozai, Kadao, Chora, Bashakhale, Jamal Gari, Speenkai, Jabbar and Guli Bagh areas of Katlang.
Sources said that curfew was imposed in those areas before the launch of the operation. Security forces said that they arrested several suspected militants and recovered a large number of arms, explosive materials and other ammunitions during the operation. Military helicopters also took part in the operation by providing air over to security forces.
JERUSALEM, Oct 11: Israel’s prime minister on Monday offered to extend a moratorium on Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, but only if the Palestinians meet his demand to recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
With the proposal, Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to deliver a creative way to end an impasse over settlement construction that has stalled Mideast peace talks just a month after they were launched at the White House. Netanyahu has been under heavy international pressure to renew a just-expired 10-month slowdown on West Bank settlement construction. The Palestinians say they will walk away from the talks if the curbs do not remain in place.
Netanyahu, who leads a pro-settler coalition of religious and nationalist parties, has so far resisted the calls, but has signalled he is open to a compromise. US mediators have been offering a series of vague assurances on the security and diplomatic fronts to mollify Israel, but so far a deal has been elusive.
TEHRAN, Oct 11: Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said on Monday that Tehran is to reveal proof of how nuclear material enriched by United States was delivered to the Islamic republic’s arch-foe Israel.
“We will soon publish documents on how American enriched nuclear material was provided and transported to the Zionist regime,” Jalili said, quoted on state television’s website.
Jalili said the key question in the Muslim world was “how the Zionist regime acquired these (nuclear) weapons?” “The Zionist regime and those who gave these weapons to the regime should answer for this.” Israel, widely believed to be the sole but undeclared nuclear weapons power in the Middle East, has not ruled out a military strike against Iran’s atomic facilities in a bid to stop Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme.—AFP
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has issued a 16-point charge sheet against former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, demanding that the former president be brought back through Interpol and tried under Article 6 of the constitution, a private TV channel reported on Monday.
According to the channel, the 10-page document also made seven demands from the government asking it to take action against Musharraf. The party had alleged that Musharraf had toppled the elected government on October 12, 1999 and held him responsible for killing 800 soldiers in the Kargil operation.
ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s friendship with the US has been transformed into a comprehensive partnership as democracy has taken roots in the country, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Monday.
Gilani made the remarks while addressing a select gathering at a farewell lunch he hosted in honour of outgoing US Ambassador Anne Patterson at the Prime Minister’s House.
Patterson recalled the transition that marked the return of democracy in Pakistan and described it as significant for the country. She appreciated Gilani’s reconciliatory role in parliament to resolve major national issues.
The US envoy said she was pleased to see the transformation of bilateral relations into a long-term strategic partnership that is beneficial for both countries.
DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar Assad accused Israel on Monday of working against peace between their countries, despite Western efforts to help negotiations resume.
“There are ideas being put forward by some countries. They are preliminary and we do not know if they will push the process forward for not ... the atmosphere is not positive,” Assad told reporters after meeting Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in the Syrian capital.
“The Arab side really wants the peace process and the Israeli side is working in the opposite direction,” he added.
Assad was referring to US and French moves to relaunch Syrian-Israeli talks which broke off in 2008 without a deal.
Damascus has stuck to its demand for a total Israeli pullout from the Golan, a strategic plateau that Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East War.
By SAEED AL-BATATI
SANAA: A security official who featured on an Al-Qaeda hit list of policemen to be killed was gunned down by two attackers on a motorbike in a south Yemen town, an official said on Monday.
One of the attackers drove the motorbike while the other shot the criminal investigations officer, Ghazi Al-Samawi, the official said.
The attack took place Sunday night in the town of Zinjibar in Abyan province.
Witnesses said the attackers yelled “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) as they carried out the killing and then sped off.
Samawi featured on an Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) list of 55 policemen to be targeted for killing. AQAP on Saturday claimed responsibility for the September ambush of a bus carrying Yemeni intelligence agents, saying it killed 14 people.
By BEN HUBBARD
ATARA, West Bank: It is billed as a symbol of the future Palestine: a modern, middle-class city of orderly streets, parks and shopping plazas rising in the hills of the West Bank, ready for independence, affluence and peace.
But the $800-million project has hit a snag: Palestinians say construction of the city of Rawabi depends on getting an access road, which can’t go ahead without Israeli permission.
At a time when the latest US-brokered peace effort is in crisis, the tussle over road-building is a test of Israel’s willingness to give up much of the West Bank and allow Palestinian statehood to move forward.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he supports Rawabi’s construction, but Jewish settlers and their supporters in the Israeli government, who oppose the very idea of Palestinian statehood, want the whole project scrapped.
Rawabi, some 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Jerusalem, is one of many West Bank projects such as job-creating industrial zones and improved water supply that have similarly been held up. But perhaps none has the symbolic value of Rawabi, where builders envision 40,000 Palestinians enjoying the comforts of an American suburb, instead of crowded and disorganized towns and villages with poor infrastructure.
11 October 2010
DUBAI — Al Qaeda’s military chief in Yemen Qassim Al Rimi on Monday announced the creation of an ‘Aden-Abyan Army’ to free the country of ‘crusaders and their apostate agents,’ in an Internet audio tape.
‘We are preparing to implement the first steps of the Aden-Abyan Army to defend the nation and its religion... and free this land of crusaders and their apostate agents,’ the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader said.
‘This army is in its early stages,’ he said, calling for help from jihadists and their supporters in the audio message whose authenticity could not be verified immediately.
‘Snipers and explosives’ had been used in the past months to target police and security forces in southern and eastern Yemen, Rimi said, adding the group was ‘encouraged’ by the success of such attacks.