Human Rights Shape Race in Eastern Indonesia
Mirwaiz to Appear Before Probe Agency in Terror Funding Case
Zealand Attack Probes Explore Links with Europe’s Anti-Muslim Anger
Military Pulls Out Of Libyan Capital as Rival Militias Battle
Pledges to Annex West Bank Settlements after Vote
S Arabia Portraying True Image of Islam: Pak Minister
Brunei's anti-LGBT Sharia Law Spread Across Southeast Asia?
M: Students learning only rituals, not values in Islamic studies
label unfair as BN shielded country from extremism, says Tok Mat
President Celebrates Victory in Parliamentary Election
fervour marks Prabowo's largest open rally
Booking Call Gave NIA Leads to Nab Lashkar-e-Taiba Funding Head
up war hysteria’: India rejects Pak’s charge of planning attack
security forces exchange brief fire in J&K's Pulwama
Recognition of Golan Annexation Violates UN Charter: Russia's Lavrov
Book Reveals How Qatar Funded Muslim Brotherhood Mosques In Europe
to jail anyone returning from Middle East militancy engagements
in nuclear talks with Saudi angers US lawmakers
Pompeo urges 'immediate halt' to Tripoli operations
Warns Reciprocal Action against US Forces If Labelled ‘Terrorist’
in Ramallah demonstrate in support of prisoners
Coalition intercepts drone launched by Houthis toward Asir region
Saudi airstrikes kill 13 civilians, including schoolchildren, in Yemen
demands international criminal investigation into Israeli settlements
tries to find solutions to problems of Sindh’s minorities
police team investigating Altaf Hussain’s speech to interview witnesses
ready to promote social, cultural activities, says minister
to deepen political dialogue with Pakistan: envoy
releases first batch of 360 Indian fishermen
Libya Gov't Jets Strike Haftar’s Airbase
Fighting Flares On Tripoli Outskirts, 21 Dead
Libya conflict alarms world, US pulls some troops out
Three killed in twin suicide bomb attack in Maiduguri
security forces try to break up sit-in protest outside defence ministry
Sudanese killed as protests swell, say sources
Convinces Taliban to Meet Afghan Govt Representatives
airstrike kills Taliban leader Mullah Amin Gul and his 3 comrades in Logar
strike leaves 5 ISIS-K militants dead in Kunar province
600 extremists from 15 districts to surrender Tuesday
deploys border guards to island near Myanmar
15 Reported Killed As Syrian Government, Rebels Exchange Fire
Terrorists Killed In An Attack On A Checkpoint In Eastern Saudi Arabia
govt. troops attack terrorists’ positions in Idlib, Hama
attack kills 5, including medics, in Syria’s Hama
forum delivers lesson in fight against terror
court clears indigenous Nubians of protest charges
dead as gunmen attack Egypt police vehicle
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Brunei's anti-LGBT Sharia law spread across Southeast Asia?
new law punishing homosexual sex with death by stoning has sent a wave of fear
across the LGBT population in neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia.
April 3, the small oil-rich kingdom of Brunei introduced a strict Islamic legal
code mandating death for adultery and sex between men, as well as lashes for
lesbian sex and amputation for crimes like theft.
has sparked a tide of condemnation from Western nations and celebrities alike.
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on April 1 described the
laws as "draconian" and a setback for human rights.
across Brunei's border in Indonesia and Malaysia, both Muslim-majority
countries, there has been official silence.
lack of response from the prominent Southeast Asian leaders is likely to fuel
concerns about the rise of conservative Islam in the region and the
consequences for sexual and religious minorities.
recent years, conservative Muslim groups have become a powerful force in the
region, pushing for closer adherence to the more rigid of Islamic values and
intimidating national governments.
one Indonesian province, gay people have been publicly shamed and caned. A
Christian governor of Jakarta was thrown in jail on blasphemy charges. And in
March, Malaysia's tourism minister claimed there were no gay people in his
LGBT rights campaigner Thilaga Sulathireh said the immediate reaction among the
gay community was concern the crackdown could spread.
these things are creating a lot of fear for people and a lot of
uncertainty," she said. "What's going to happen to our lives and our
reached out to both the Indonesian and Malaysian governments for comment.
of conservative Islam
is the first country in Southeast Asia to impose capital punishment for crimes
such as LGBT sex or adultery, but neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia have been
experimenting with strict Islamic laws for years.
already enforces a mixed secular and religious legal system, with some regions
mandating Sharia laws punishing what the penal code calls "unnatural"
acts such as homosexual sex with caning and fines, while Indonesia's
conservative northwestern province of Aceh has a history of enacting Sharia
Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono said Brunei public prosecutors even
visited Aceh in 2014, ahead of the introduction of Sharia law in their own
country, to learn about its implementation.
politicians in Indonesia and Malaysia voiced their support for the Brunei laws
this month. One member of Parliament from the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party
congratulated Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on his "bravery."
to Brunei for their bravery and political will in implementing Sharia criminal
law ... upholding the Sharia is an obligation in ensuring Allah's rights to
maintain peace for humans," Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali wrote on his
official Facebook page.
Indonesia, one of the leaders of the legislative Ulama Council in Aceh told
local news media that Brunei's laws were just "religious freedom."
said he was concerned that already vocal conservative Muslims in Malaysia and
Indonesia would use Brunei's example to strengthen calls for stricter Islamic
policies and laws.
there are more than 60 local regencies and three provinces with mandatory hijab
regulations in Indonesia. More than 20 local areas have regulations
criminalizing LGBT people," he said.
of Friday, there had been no official comment on the laws from either
Indonesian President Joko Widodo or Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
said he did not expect Widodo, who is running for reelection, to speak until he
knew how prominent Indonesian Islamic organizations would respond. "If the
NU is opposed to hand amputation, Jokowi will speak up indeed," he said,
referring to the Nahdlatul Ulama mass religious movement.
they don't, Jokowi will not risk his election on making such a statement."
Indonesia nor Malaysia has national laws similar to Brunei's. In Malaysia,
homosexual sex is illegal but punished by prison sentences. In Indonesia, it is
still legal but culturally taboo.
both countries in recent years have seen a steady rise in powerful conservative
Islamic groups, who have pressed for tougher legislation in line with religious
impossible now for any politician to take a stance on religious matters without
consulting their Muslim advisers and supporters," Harsono said.
of the April 17 Indonesian election, Widodo controversially picked conservative
Islamic scholar Ma'ruf Amin as his candidate for vice-president.
2017, local media quoted Ma'ruf as saying he regretted the Constitutional
Court's decision to reject a petition criminalizing gay sex.
want a stern prohibition of LGBT activities and other deviant sexual activities
and legislation that categorizes them as crime," he told reporters in
minister for religious affairs met with the Brunei ambassador just days after
the news of Brunei's law broke, but publicly only mentioned halal certification
and religious education. There was no mention of the Sharia law.
Islamic groups helped rally popular support for the imprisonment in 2017 of
Widodo's former ally, Jakarta mayor and Christian Basuki "Ahok"
Tjahaja Purnama, on what some saw as trumped-up blasphemy charges.
said the rise of conservative Islamic groups had been marked by growing
homophobia in both countries, and an increase in official action against LGBT
September 2018 two women were publicly caned in the Malaysian state of
Terengganu for the first time for attempting to have sex in a parked car. One
month earlier, one of Kuala Lumpur's only gay clubs was raided.
LGBT rights campaigner Sulathireh said when some rainbow flags appeared at an
International Women's Day march earlier this year, there was a pronounced
backlash against attendees.
resulted in people at the rally being questioned by their family members, their
employers, their schools, about why they were there," she said.
idea that Indonesia or Malaysia might move to impose stricter Islamic laws
isn't just theoretical. There have already been clear attempts by anti-LGBT
early 2018, a large coalition of conservative Muslim groups presented a case to
the Indonesian Constitutional Court to introduce a new penal code criminalizing
move was eventually abandoned, but the groups that supported it are still a
powerful force in the country.
was this law that actor George Clooney alluded to in an opinion piece for
"Deadline," in which he warned about the potential fallout from
Brunei's decision and called for a boycott of major hotels owned by the
most dangerous issue is Brunei's neighbors. Indonesia has plenty of human
rights issues, but they haven't stoned anyone yet," the actor wrote.
there was a law on the books, and if Brunei isn't met with loud, forceful
resistance that shakes their business establishments, then anything is
human rights shape race in eastern Indonesia
the presidential candidates mostly concentrating on the much more populous
islands of Java and Sumatra, not much change is expected in the more remote
eastern parts of Indonesia.The eastern provinces of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB),
East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), North Maluku, Maluku, West Papua, and Papua are home
to 13.4 million registered voters, making up about 7 percent of the electorate.
Majority Muslim NTB and North Maluku were among the 10 provinces that Gerindra
Party chairman Prabowo Subianto won in the 2014 election, while Maluku was a
close-run race in which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo garnered 50.5 percent of
the votes compared to Prabowo’s 49.5.In predominantly Christian NTT, West Papua
and Papua, Jokowi won landslide victories, garnering well over 60 percent of the
vote in the provinces. In NTB, with the support of popular former governor
Zainul Majdi, also known as T...
DELHI: Separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will appear before the National
Investigation Agency today for questioning in connection with the Jammu and
Kashmir terror funding case. The centre had indicated that it will adopt a zero
tolerance policy for all separatists amid a major crackdown on separatists
since the Pulwama terror attack. He reached Delhi this morning.
Umar Farooq is likely to be questioned about a letter seized during the raids
in February, which stated that Rs. 5,000 was paid to a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
operative. An aide of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shahid Ul Islam, was arrested by the
probe agency in 2017. He had had allegedly given the money to the LeT operative
on Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's orders.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) agency had summoned him for questioning
twice in the past but he had not complied with the orders. The government, in
February, scrapped security for separatists, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in
Jammu and Kashmir. Through his lawyer, he had communicated to the NIA that he
is ready to cooperate with the investigation agency, but he should be examined
Umar Farooq had earlier expressed apprehensions over his security outside the
the past, many related to the terror funding case were questioned by the NIA at
Humhama in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district.
February, the NIA had carried out searches at seven locations in Srinagar in
connection with the terror funding case. Premises belonging to top separatists
- JKLK chairman Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Ashraf
Khan, Masarat Alam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat and Naseem Geelani, son of Sayeed Ali
Shah Geelani - had been raided.
the searches, documents including property papers, financial transactions
receipts and bank account details were found.
devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication
system and DVRs were also seized during the searches. Significantly, letter
heads of different terrorist organisations as well as documents relating to
recommendations for visa for admission in Pakistan educational institutions
high-tech internet communication set up too recovered from the home of Mirwaiz Umar
centre has been trying to choke funds reaching terror groups in the valley.
Earlier, it cracked down the under-invoicing of goods passing through the
border trading points between Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Jammu and
Kashmir. At the same time, it has banned organisations like the
Jamaat-e-Islamai (J&K) and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
Zealand attack probes explore links with Europe’s anti-Muslim anger
— European investigators are digging deeper into possible links between
far-right ideologues and the suspected New Zealand mosque attacker, who sent at
least two donations to an anti-Muslim group with branches around Europe.
probes currently concentrate on any money trails leading back to the suspect,
28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, who was charged Friday in New Zealand with 50
counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder in the March 15 bloodshed at
two mosques in Christchurch.
it also reflects wider examinations into a new crop of far-right groups whose
rise has paralleled the increasing use of anti-immigrant fears to buoy
right-wing political parties in the West.
the groups most adept at stitching together the various strands of nativist
anger and suspicion is the French-rooted Identitarian Movement, which promotes
an alarmist message that Muslim migrants will one day overrun Western culture.
Identitarian Movement apparently echoed Tarrant's anger toward Muslim migrants,
and is now at the centre of international investigations as authorities try to
piece together the elements that shaped Tarrant's views.
spokesperson for the French wing of the Identitarian Movement told The
Washington Post on Thursday that the suspect, Tarrant, had sent an unsolicited
donation of about $1,200 in September 2017.
is the second European group to acknowledge receiving money from the suspected
attacker. Last month, Austrian authorities raided the home of an
Identitarian-linked leader, Martin Sellner, who was given a donation of nearly
$1,700 by Tarrant more than a year ago.
Germany, meanwhile, officials said they were pursuing their own probes into
other possible ties between Tarrant and German extremists.
New Zealand, police are looking into possible ties between Tarrant and a
Ukrainian-born man, Troy Dubovskiy, 54, who apparently killed himself March 27
during a standoff with authorities. Police say a search of Dubovskiy's home
near Christchurch uncovered firearms, ammunition and "violent extremist
remains unclear, however, if Dubovskiy and Tarrant had any direct contact.
Tarrant's world increasingly appears informed by Identitarian influence.
Germany, Austria and France, the group's reach has so far been amplified by
links to members of right-wing parties, established academic associations and
Identitarian followers are careful to not publicly condone the use of violence.
Its views, though, are all about a looming clash of cultures and religion —
with only one winner possible.
of the dangers of this ideology is that it creates an imminent threat from the
outside: a coming war if we don't do anything about it," said Austrian right-wing
extremism researcher Julia Ebner, with the London-based Institute for Strategic
Dialogue. "A violent escalation is part of their ideology."
arriving in Austria at the end of November from Central Europe, Tarrant
travelled about 1,200 miles in a rental car on a weeklong road trip. A key
question — whether he used his travels to make contact with anti-Muslim
extremists in Europe — remains unknown.
direct link may not have been necessary to influence Tarrant's thinking.
movement members such as Sellner have aimed to win a battle for minds. They
give frequent interviews, upload professionally produced videos to YouTube and
have friends in powerful positions.
European security officials said that Sellner's network has links to the
far-right Freedom Party in Austria and its German equivalent, the Alternative
for Germany (AfD). One of the movement's German leading figures, for instance,
works for an AfD member of parliament.
Austria, the Freedom Party — which controls the Interior Ministry — has
publicly vowed to confront extremist ideologies. But the Interior Ministry's
past decisions raise concerns about such promises.
Feb. 28, 2018, Austrian police raided the country's domestic intelligence
agency, the BVT. Two European security officials — who spoke on the condition
of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to journalists — say that
highly classified documents seized during the raid included details on
Sellner's direct or indirect links to members of the Freedom Party.
previously unreported detail comes at a time as the party has gone on a public
campaign to deny any links to Sellner's group.
spokesperson for the office of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz did not
respond to questions about the February 2018 raid.
acknowledged that the group's ideas may shape policies of Austrian far-right
politicians, but he denied direct ties to any political party. "We don't
have any connections to them," he said.
experts believe overlap is inevitable by the way the group recruits: mainly
targeting young academics and other politically active figures instead of
violent extremists. One recruitment priority for the Identitarian Movement was
the German military university, even though the Military Counterintelligence
Service stopped those efforts.
2017, Sellner was among a group of far-right activists who chartered a ship to
"defend Europe" from an influx of migrants across the Mediterranean
who has acknowledged that he participated in neo-Nazi activities when he was
younger, said his goal now is to stop what he fears is an
"Islamization" in Europe.
uses scaremongering phrases such as "mass immigration" and
"population replacement" — a reference to the title of a 2012 book by
right-wing French polemicist Renaud Camus, "The Great Replacement."
In his book, Camus writes that Europe's white majority may eventually be
replaced by immigrants from North Africa and elsewhere.
Tarrant's manifesto written before the attacks, the 28-year-old repeatedly cites
the Great Replacement theory.
many years I had been hearing and reading of the invasion of France by
nonwhites, many of these rumors and stories I believed to be
exaggerations," Tarrant wrote.
once I arrived in France, I found the stories not only to be true, but
profoundly understated," he continued.
Jean-Yves Camus, a French scholar researching the European far right, it was
important not to draw too many specific conclusions from Tarrant's European
came to Europe, he perceived that Europe was in a state of advanced
decadence," said Camus, who is not related to the author of "The
Great Replacement." "He was inspired by what he saw, but that doesn't
mean he was inspired directly by those he met."
Identitarian Movement in its present form originated in France nearly 15 years
ago, said Romain Espino, a spokesperson for Generation Identitaire, the name of
the French branch.
terms of the way we work, each country is independent," he said.
the French movement, he acknowledged, has significant contacts with others in
Italy, Germany and especially Austria, the home of Sellner.
noted that he had seen Sellner on a number of occasions, including during a
protest in Vienna and at the 2018 "summer university" hosted by Generation
Identitaire. These events — which bring together movement members from across
Europe — have occurred annually for the past 15 years, Espino said.
acknowledged that the United States was distinct from Europe, but he praised
Trump for his "clear border control policy" and "antiglobalist
agenda of national identity," as well as his "national economic
countries where Christian identity is part of mainstream politics, such as
Germany and Austria, the group has doubled down on its emphasis on a conflict
of cultures and religions. In more multicultural places, such as Britain, the
messaging has been very different.
they stayed away from anything that emphasizes race and ethnicity. Instead,
they built their messaging around Muslim grooming gangs, for instance. They
know where the grievances lie," said Ebner, the researcher.
gain access to right-wing extremist circles online and offline, Ebner has
adopted false identities a number of times.
October 2017, she attended an Identitarian Movement launch meetup in South
London, with Martin Sellner and his American then-girlfriend and now-fiancee,
Brittany Pettibone, among about two dozen attendees. Other members had
travelled from France and Denmark, Ebner recalled.
clear from their training camps and militarized language that they prepare for
a potentially violent scenario, even though they would never publicly condone
violence," she said.
Ebner went public with her 2017 experience and other related research, she
started receiving death threats, she said.
military pulls out of Libyan capital as rival militias battle
US military evacuated its small contingent of troops from the Libyan capital
Sunday as rival militias raced to stop the forces of an aspiring strongman,
Gen. Khalifa Hifter, from taking control of the city.
under the command of Hifter made a surprise advance on the outskirts of the
capital, Tripoli, on Thursday, setting up a battle with a coalition of armed
factions from the region around the city — the prize in an eight-year fight for
control after the ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Sunday morning, both sides had begun attacking from the air, but the targets
and extent of the damage could not be immediately determined.
US State Department, which previously joined a call by several countries for
restraint from both sides, shifted Sunday to urging Hifter to pull back.
oppose the military offensive” by his forces “and urge the immediate halt to
these military operations against the Libyan capital,” Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo said in a statement Sunday night. “Forces should return to the status quo
75, has loose control over most of eastern Libya, as well as important parts of
the southern desert. His forces’ advance on Tripoli last week has put him in
striking distance of fulfilling a vow to reunite Libya.
analysts, however, say he has extended his supply lines so far that without a
quick victory, he could be forced into a retreat.
forces appeared to have maintained control of the defunct international airport
since Friday, putting them within 17 miles of Tripoli’s central square.
residents said the two sides had spent the days mobilizing and deploying their
forces, with a more pitched battle expected Sunday. By afternoon, residents
reported that the coalition of Tripoli-area militias was fighting to drive
Hifter’s forces out of the town of Aziziya, about 20 miles southwest of
military personnel had left by boat Sunday morning, according to a resident who
provided photographs of the ship as it departed.
US military’s Africa Command said its mission in Libya had included providing
support to diplomatic efforts, as well as “counterterrorism activities.”
security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and
unpredictable,” Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser of the Marine Corps, the head of US
Africa Command. “Even with an adjustment of the force, we will continue to
remain agile in support of existing US strategy.”
pledges to annex West Bank settlements after vote
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Saturday to annex settlements in the
occupied West Bank if he wins the upcoming general election.
comments come just days before the closely-fought April 9 poll and could be
seen as an appeal to rightwing voters, who do not believe in the feasibility of
a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
will apply (Israeli) sovereignty, but I don’t distinguish between settlement
blocs and isolated settlements,” he said in an interview to Channel 12
built on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War are deemed illegal by
the international community and their ongoing construction is seen as a major
barrier to peace.
could prove to be the death knell for the two-state solution.
an interview broadcast Friday, Netanyahu said he told US President Donald Trump
he would not remove settlements or people as part of a future American peace
said there shouldn’t be the removal of even one settlement” from the occupied
West Bank, Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 13 television.
than 400,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements as part of its military
occupation of the territory, where more than 2.5 million Palestinians live.
further 200,000 Israelis live in settlements in occupied east Jerusalem, over
which Israel has already implemented full sovereignty.
is expected to unveil proposals for Israeli-Palestinian peace sometime after
Tuesday’s Israeli election in which Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term.
Israeli prime minister was asked if he was familiar with the details of the US
plan, replying he knew “what should be in it.”
with settlements, “our ongoing control of all the territory west of the Jordan”
River was a further condition set by the Israeli premier for any US-led peace
said he informed Trump not “even one person” would be evicted from a
US president on Saturday was cautious about the outcome of the Israeli election
on Tuesday, which he called a close race between “two good people”.
is the race going by the way? How is it, who’s going to win the race? Tell me,
I don’t know,” Trump asked the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.
it’s going to be close -- I think it’s going to be close. Two good people,” he
said, referring to incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz.
latest polls place Netanyahu and ex-military chief Gantz neck and neck, but
give the former the advantage.
Netanyahu has a close relationship with the US president, Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas cut off relations with Washington after Trump declared the
disputed city of Jerusalem Israel’s capital in December 2017.
Palestinians say the US government’s pro-Israel bias meant it could no longer
lead peace negotiations between them and Israel, while US officials argue their
plan will be fair.
peace efforts have been at a standstill since 2014, when a drive for a deal by
Barack Obama’s administration collapsed.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are making joint efforts to portray the true soft
image of Islam before the world.
an interview with Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh, he said Saudi Arabia is playing an
important role for the integrity of Muslim Ummah safeguarding it from
said Saudi Arabia maintained strong defence and security ties with different
countries in the region and on world level which helps promote unity among the
Muslim Ummah. He said Islamabad enjoys warm cordial relations with Riyadh and
Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman played a vital role in reducing the tension
between Pakistan and India.
LUMPUR, April 8 — The current education system is in need of a revamp,
including Islamic studies as the curriculum is overly focused on rituals rather
than life values, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
Mahathir, who was education minister from 1974 to 77, said he has met with
Education Minister Maszlee Malik many times to discuss how to fix the education
system, adding that discussions are “evolving”.
is important about Islam, in particular, is the way of life,” the 93-year-old
told New Straits Times in an interview published today.
you say way of life, that means certain values. These values are not taught (in
schools). In fact, the teacher himself doesn’t know,” he added.
Mahathir said the schools were only focusing on certain parts of Islam, such as
is what they emphasise. If you don’t perform this ritual you go to hell,” he
was quoted saying.
Mahathir said the government has to find out the root of the problem in order
to fix it.
related that he completed reading the Quran in Arabic when he was a teenager,
but did not really understand its contents until he read its translations in
English and Malay.
need to go back and find out what are really the standards insisted by the
Quran for Muslims so as to lead the way of life of a Muslim,” he added.
April 8 — The attempt to compare the Umno-PAS alliance to the Taliban in
Afghanistan is absurd, Umno candidate for the upcoming by-election Datuk Seri
Mohamad Hasan argued.
said that under the BN government, Malaysia was widely recognised by the
international community as one of the most effective nations in the world when
it came to countering religious extremism.
caught Daesh agents, al-Qaeda agents. We of all people have never wanted nor
desired to see this country plunged into the throes of extremist teachings,”
said the acting party president known as Tok Mat at an event organised by BN
Youth in Felda Sendayan.
to PAS, he said in the five terms or over 25 years of ruling Kelantan,
non-Muslims there have led tranquil and undisturbed lives.
even has the biggest reclining statue of Gautama Buddha in South-East Asia.
This high religious tolerance means there is no such thing as us wanting to
convert Malaysia into a Taliban state where women are not even permitted to
study in schools. “In truth this claim by Pakatan Harapan, especially DAP, was
made because they are frightened by our cooperation. Our agenda is for the sake
of the Islamic Ummah,” Tok Mat said.
urged the other BN component parties of MCA and MIC as well as PAS to keep
their focus on reorganising their internal workings and strategies, in the
years leading up to the 15th general election.
our non-Malay and non-Muslim friends, do not worry about the unity agenda. The
likes of (Finance Minister) Lim Guan Eng claim the co-operation is tantamount
to declaring war against you, but who ever said anything about war?
when the Malays are united together the nation is at peace, something the
country’s history has proven since Independence. The non-Malays benefit from
this political stability,” Tok Mat said.
such stability, foreign investors are drawn to Malaysia and thereby
strengthening the national economy.
is the surest way to attract them, since stability is an indicator they can be
confident in Malaysia where their money and investment is safe,” he said.
Mat had made a surprise appearance at the event, which featured speakers
including Umno Youth leader Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, his MCA and MIC
counterparts Nicole Wong Siaw Ting and R. Thinalan respectively, as well as PAS
Youth leader Muhamad Khalil Abdul Hadi.
President Celebrates Victory In Parliamentary Election
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s party is leading in the vote count in the
parliamentary election and has already declared a landslide victory that could
give him a free hand in efforts to restore political freedoms and tackle
official results are expected late Sunday. Local reports say Solih’s Maldivian
Democratic Party is leading in 60 out of the 87 seats in Parliament.
could be the first time that a single party has won the majority in Parliament
since the Indian Ocean archipelago nation became a multiparty democracy in 2008
after decades of autocratic rule.
than 2,64,000 people were eligible to vote for 386 candidates running for the
87 seats. Voter turnout in Saturday’s election was over 78 per cent.
said the people should not forget “the immense challenges that lie ahead of us”
as his party began celebrating after the counting started Saturday night.
work to strengthen our democratic institutions, to deliver basic services for
citizens, to our promise of bringing corruption, past and present to book and
ending impunity starts now,” he said in a statement Sunday. “I look forward to
working with all of you to realize our promises to the people.”
party is seeking at least 44 seats in for a majority to pass legislation needed
to implement pledges from last year’s presidential campaign. His coalition
currently has 52, but one partner with 22 seats is aligned with former
strongman Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
defeated Yameen last year, giving new hope to the young democracy that has gone
through a tumultuous transition that threatened to drag the Maldives back to
its autocratic past. Yameen had curtailed freedom of speech and jailed his
political rivals. Solih was only a fallback choice as president for his party
because charismatic former President Mohamed Nasheed had been sentenced to
prison under Yameen and was ineligible to run.
promised reforms, an end to political influence over the courts, police and the
bureaucracy, and the recovery of money lost through corruption.
prayers, religious chanting and ubiquitous Islamic attire gave a religious tint
to the campaign rally held by the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno candidate pair
at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Sunday. It was the largest rally they have
held before election day on April 17. Tens of thousands of people in white
shouted Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest) repeatedly during the event that
also presented a number of Muslim figures, including a video call from Islam
Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab from Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The
political event started very early at 3 a.m., followed by a mass dawn prayer,
zikir (chanting), munajat (whispered prayer) and Quranic tilawah(recital). A
number of political bigwigs attended the rally, including National Mandate
Party (PAN) patron Amien Rais and chairman Zulkilfi Hasan, Prosperous Justice
flight booking call gave NIA leads to nab Lashkar-e-Taiba funding head
was a call to the Interactive Voice Response system of Emirates Airlines in
Dubai about a flight booking, but it provided the National Investigation Agency
with a crucial evidence to nail a Pakistani national, Dubai-based Mohammad
Kamran, as the head of the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s funding activities in India.
is perhaps the first time an enquiry with an airline’s automated system is being
used by the agency for such a purpose.
weeks ago, NIA filed a charge sheet naming Kamran, Delhi-based Mohammad Salman
and Rajasthan-based Mohammad Salim, for conspiring to create logistics bases
and sleeper cells for LeT’s financial arm, Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation. The
cells were sought to be created in Delhi and Haryana in the garb of religious
work. Salman, who was receiving instructions and funds from Dubai, and Salim
were arrested in September 2018.
has accessed the details of the charge sheet.
establish that Kamran (who is currently absconding), in association with LeT
chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks, and
FIF’s deputy chief Shahid Mehmood were sending terror funds to India, NIA
needed their voice samples to match with evidence collected during
investigations. With its intelligence revealing that Kamran recently made an
enquiry with Emirates Airlines in Dubai about a booking, NIA reached out to the
airline’s local office, which provided a recording of the call.
agency compared this with telephone intercepts of conversations featuring
Kamran that it recovered in the form of a CD from the residence of Arif
Ghulambashir Dharampuria, an associate of Kamran, in Valsad, Gujarat, in
January. The CD contained the voices of Kamran and Mehmood . Mehmood’s voice
sample was also taken from a video on YouTube, an interview with a TV channel
to NIA, forensic experts confirmed that Kamran’s voice on the CD and the
Emirates IVR recording matched. Similarly, Mehmood’s voice on the CD and
YouTube video also matched.
to a particular conversation between Kamran and Mehmood, the NIA charge sheet
says, “The voice samples prove that Kamran is having conversations with Shahid
Mehmood in respect of funds transfers and movement to an African country in
connection with some religious work as per the CD recovered from the house of
Dharampuria”. Dharampuria and Abdul Aziz Behlim are two Indians who work
closely with Kamran in Dubai.
to the agency’s charge sheet, Salman, a resident of Nizamuddin, received Rs
57.22 lakh from Kamran through hawala channels. He used these funds to
ostensibly construct a mosque – Khulafa-e-Rashideen — in Palwal’s Uttawar
village and for marriages of Muslim girls.
according to NIA, Salman was indoctrinated to carry out “some special work”
once the construction of the mosque was completed.
| Pakistan must realise that any action against JeM is in its own interest
registered as a charity in Pakistan, has been blacklisted by the United Nations
Security Council but it continues to raise funds for terror activities of LeT
through bank accounts opened using pseudonyms. Its funding comes from madrasas,
Pakistan government, its spy agency ISI, its army, businessmen and non-resident
presents itself as a relief and charitable organisation that collects funds for
natural disasters, but India and the international community have repeatedly
opposed its activities. It is used by LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawa for anti-India
Delhi on Sunday said Islamabad’s claim that India is planning another attack on
its soil later this month is “preposterous” and aimed at fanning war hysteria
in the region.
rejects the irresponsible and preposterous statement by the Foreign Minister of
Pakistan with a clear objective of whipping up war hysteria in the region. This
public gimmick appears to be a call to Pakistan-based terrorists to undertake a
terror attack in India,” said a statement from the Ministry of External
called upon Pakistan to not make “hysterical statement” and take the focus away
from the core issues that plague the two nations. It also asked Pakistan to
share any evidence it has for the claim it is making.
retaliatory measure after the Pulwama attack by JeM suicide bomber that killed
40 CRPF jawans, India had struck terror posts in Pakistan’s Balakot.
has been made clear to Pakistan that it cannot absolve itself of responsibility
of a cross border terrorist attack in India. No attempt at creating an alibi
for its complicity in such attacks will succeed. Pakistan needs to take
credible and irreversible steps against terrorism operating from all
territories under its control rather than making hysterical statements to
obfuscate the core issue that bedevils our region: cross- border terrorism.
has been advised to use established diplomatic and DGMO channels to share any
actionable and credible intelligence it has about imminent terror attacks.
India reserves the right to respond firmly and decisively to any cross border
terrorist attack,” the MEA statement
today, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Islamabad has
“reliable intelligence” that India is planning to attack again between April 16
a press conference in his home town of Multan, Qureshi said the government had
“reliable intelligence that India is devising a new plan”.
new mishap could be staged...And its purpose will be to justify their [India’s]
offensive against Pakistan and to increase diplomatic pressure against
Islamabad,” he alleged.
A brief exchange of firing took place between militants and security forces on
Sunday in the Tral area of Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir, Army
forces launched a cordon and search operation in the forest area of Tral in
Pulwama district in the morning following information about the presence of
militants in the area, they said.
officials said there was a brief exchange of firing between the two sides but
no casualties were reported in the incident.
recognition of Golan annexation violates UN Charter: Russia's Lavrov
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned US President Donald Trump’s
recognition of the Israeli regime’s "sovereignty" over the occupied
Golan Heights, stressing the need for a political solution to the conflict in
Syria in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
reject the US president’s decision on the occupied Syrian Golan, which
flagrantly violates the UN Charter,” Lavrov said at a joint press conference
with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in Amman on Sunday.
March 25, Trumped signed a proclamation, formally recognizing Israel's
sovereignty over Golan Heights. The announcement came as Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, called the US
decision a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of
liberation of the Golan by all available means and its return to the Syrian
motherland is an inalienable right,” according to the statement carried by
Syria’s official news agency SANA, which added, “The decision ... makes the
United States the main enemy of the Arabs.”
Arab League condemned the move, saying that "Trump's recognition does not
change the area's status."
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was impossible for Turkey to accept
the US decision on the Golan Heights.
in his Sunday remarks, Lavrov noted that any settlement of the conflict in
Syria must fall within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2254,
which endorses a road map for a peace process in Syria, and sets out the
outlines of a nationwide ceasefire.
noted that the fight against terrorism should be done without any double
must allow displaced Syrians to leave al-Rukban camp'
top Russian diplomat then pointed to the appalling situation at al-Rukban
refugee camp near Syria’s frontier with Jordan, stating that the United States
should allow displaced civilians stranded there to return to their homes.
conditions,” Lavrov said.
out that US statements on solving the problem of the camp are untrue as
Washington seeks to justify its illegal presence in the region.
Russian official also urged the United States to end its occupation of al-Tanf
region and allow displaced Syrians who are caught in al-Rukban camp to leave,
noting that the United Nations confirms that most of the civilians there would
like to return to their homes.
Golan decision violates international law'
Jordanian foreign minister, for his part, reiterated his country’s firm
position that the Golan Heights is an occupied Syrian territory in accordance
with international resolutions.
added that Trump’s declaration on the occupied Golan violates international
Jordanian foreign minister also emphasized the need for a political solution to
the crisis in Syria that would preserve the Arab country’s unity, independence
and restore its security, stability and important role in the Middle East
also pointed to the difficult situation in al-Rukban camp, clarifying that most
of its residents want to return to their homes according to UN surveys.
United Nations says about 45,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped
inside al-Rukban, where conditions are desperate. This is while Geneva-based
international aid agency, Doctors Without Borders, has put the number there at
October, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said people in
al-Rukban had been without access to food and humanitarian aid for several
months, highlighting that the tough situation was further complicated with a
closed border by Jordan.
book reveals how Qatar funded Muslim Brotherhood mosques in Europe
has funded dozens of mosques and Islamic center projects in Europe to the tune
of several millions of dollars, the majority through a network tied to the
Muslim Brotherhood, a new book reveals.
Qatar Papers – How the emirate finances Islam in France and Europe, the book
contains proofs of transfers from Qatar to fund more than 140 projects in
Europe, with 50 in Italy alone. It says that the network stretches across many
countries, mainly Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany.
book was authored by French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges
say they received the supporting documents on a USB stick from a whistleblower.
The dossier includes Qatar Charity’s bank records and its emails along with
Qatar Foundation’s data.
Charity is a controversial organization funded by the Qatari ruling family and
listed as a terrorist body by the Anti-Terrorist Quartet which includes the
UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt.
an interview with France Inter, Malbrunot said that the book is not anti-Islam
and that Qatar’s activities are “not against the law;” but that the situation
requires action by the EU countries.
to Qatar Papers, between 2011 and 2014 Qatar Charity funded five projects
related to Muslim organizations in Switzerland. They include the Museum of
Islamic Civilizations in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Muslim Cultural Complex of
Lausanne, and the Salah-Eddine mosque in Bienne.
Qatar’s network members in Switzerland, Mohamed Karamous and his wife Nadia
received €1.2 between 2011 and 2013 through seven bank transfers from Qatar
Charity, according to the book.
reveals that Nadia Karamous was directly recommended by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the
Qatar-based spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
2007, Mohamed Karamous, who served as treasurer of the European Institute for
Human Sciences – a university in central France affiliated with the Muslim
Brotherhood in Europe and funded by Qatar – was arrested by Swiss authorities
in a high-speed train while in possession of €50,000 in cash from Qatar.
who is of Tunisian origin, runs the Muslim Association of Switzerland and the
Swiss “Waqif” Society, which funds religious centers.
book also reveals that Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan is receiving €35,000 per
month from the Qatar Foundation as a “consultant.”
document from the French financial watchdog Tracfin says he also received
€19,000 from the Swiss Muslim League in early 2018 at the time of his arrest on
bank documents show that before his arrest he withdrew €590,000 from Qatari
bank accounts, according to the book. Ramadan and his wife bought two
apartments in Paris during the same period.
book also discussed projects worth €72 million around Europe, including the
Averroes de Lille high school, where many staff members are connected to
Qatar-backed Muslim communities.
funds were directed to leading Muslim Brotherhood figures in France and
Switzerland, including Mucivi, or Le Musée des civilisations de l’Islam, The
book also mentions an employee of the Qatari embassy in Paris, who has strong
ties with Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
intelligence warned of Qatari support for the L’Union des organisations
islamiques de France, the book says.
book says that intelligence also warned of Ghaith, a program within Qatar
Charity headed by Islamic scholar Ahmed al-Hammadi.
authors publish a note of the French intelligence services dating from 2008.
The note says that al-Hammadi is linked to radical groups. He was then,
according to the note, director of legal affairs at the Qatari embassy in Paris
with diplomatic status.
authors also point out that the Brotherhood is the only organization that has
open relations with the French authorities, especially mayors.
amounts were also directed to Italy, where the Al Houda Center in Rome received
€4 million and the Union delle Comunita Islamiche d’Italia is the main conduit
for Doha’s largesse. In total, no less than 50 entities are funded by Doha,
according to the book.
book revealed documents signed by al-Qaradawi, according to which
representatives of religious centers in Italy in early 2015 supported the
project to build a new center in Milan, as well as a mosque and schools.
parliamentarians called on Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to ban foreign
funding for Islamic institutions in the country.
aim was only to “create a counter-culture within the Muslim communities and to
enhance its separation from their states,” according George Malbrunot, a former
hostage in Iraq. It is pursuing “a political initiative in order to ensure
global hegemony of the Brotherhood project.”
authors write that Qatar’s activities in Germany have increased recently. The
book published a letter from the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Qatar
Charity asking to support a project in Offenbach.
Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Dusseldorf recently
warned of the “intensified activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany with
the aim of dividing the society.” The Brotherhood members in Germany are
supported by the Turkish community, including Millî Görüs.
the declarations of Qatari authorities that Qatar Charity is mainly financed by
individuals, the book reveals a list of important donors and their codes, an
extract of which is below:
253 the Diwan of the Emir
339 Sheikh Jassem bin Saoud bin Abderrahman Al-Thani
409 Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad bin Abdallah Al -Thani
444 Sheikh Saud Jassem Ahmed Al-Thani
170358 private office of the emir’s father
book says that after the boycott of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt,
it became much harder for European Muslim associations to get funding from
series of new laws introduced in the UK will allow authorities to lock up
anyone returning from fighting missions along the ranks of Daesh Takfiri group
in Syria and Iraq as well as other militant groups in the Middle east region.
Daily Express said in a Saturday report that under the new laws, introduced
this week, judges could order the arrest of anyone returning from militancy
missions in Syria and other countries in the Middle East as soon as they set a
foot in the UK.
new laws come amid a heated public debate in Britain about the return of
British nationals from Syria, who fought along the ranks of Daesh and other
foreign-backed terrorist groups since a war broke out in the country eight
topic gained more attention when London revoked the citizenship of Shamima
Begum, a British girl who tried to return to the UK last year after joining
Daesh in Syria.
a bid to please the frightened public, UK government authorities have revoked
the citizenship of scores of UK nationals for their assignments with Daesh and
other groups in Syria even though some of them have expressed regret about
their past actions.
new laws allow prosecutors to jail suspected terrorists without providing any
evidence against them. That comes as some 360 nationals who have returned from
Syria and Iraq over the past years are now at large in the UK and authorities
have nothing to prove they could be a threat to the society.
law, which came into effect at the start of April, will put behind bars people
for a maximum of 10 years for the so-called “designated area” offense, meaning
that sheer presence in a blacklisted region will be enough for them to be
tightening of restrictions on UK nationals returning from the Middle East comes
as UK authorities have repeatedly been accused of not doing enough to prevent
the nationals from traveling to war regions over the past years.
lawmakers are infuriated over the Trump administration’s secret talks with the
Saudi kingdom over a nuclear deal.
no solid prospects in sight, the administration has shown US companies the
green light for that would enable the monarchy to have nukes.
specifically want to know whether or not the approval was issued after
dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul, the Hill reported Sunday.
we want the information from [the Department of Energy], and we’re demanding
it. We should get it,” said New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, the
ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “And I think it’s
critical to know exactly how this happened, when it happened and particularly
were you doing this after Khashoggi?”
the wake of Khashoggi’s murder, the Congress has slowly engaged in a process
allegedly to end US support for the Saudi in the war on impoverished Yemen,
where a humanitarian crisis is underway.
Congress sent Trump a resolution for that purpose last week, although President
Donald Trump is expected to veto it.
Oversight and Reform Committee announced in February that it was launching a
probe to “determine whether the actions being pursued by the Trump administration
are in the national security interests of the United States or, rather, serve
those who stand to gain financially as a result of this potential change in
U.S. foreign policy.”
has thrown his support behind the monarchy and particularly Mohammed bin
Salman, who reportedly ordered the assassination of the former Washington Post
columnist at the Saudi consulate in Turkey last October.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for "immediate halt" to
military operations against the Libyan capital.
a statement, Pompeo said Washington is "deeply concerned" about
fighting near Tripoli, saying that there is no military solution to the Libya
remarks came days after Libyan National Army (LNA) headed by commander Khalifa
Haftar launched a military campaign to recapture Tripoli from the UN-backed
Government of National Accord (GNA).
have made clear that we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar's
forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the
Libyan capital," the U.S. top diplomat said.
said all involved parties have a responsibility to urgently de-escalate the
situation, adding that the "unilateral military campaign against Tripoli
is endangering civilians and undermining prospects for a better future for all
political solution is the only way to unify the country and provide a plan for
security, stability, and prosperity for all Libyans," he said.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising led to
the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.
chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) warns that the
elite force will put reciprocal action against the US forces on its agenda if
Washington labels it as a “terrorist organization.”
the Americans make such a silly move and endanger our national security, we
will implement and put reciprocal measures on our agenda based on the policies
of Iran's Islamic establishment," Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said
added that if the US designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization, the American
army and security forces would not experience peace and calm in the Middle East
administration of US President Donald Trump is expected to designate the IRGC
as a foreign terrorist organization as early as next week, according to a US official.
designation decision, formally under the State Department's purview, has been
made as part of the White House's increasingly aggressive strategy towards
US has already blacklisted dozens of entities and individuals affiliated with
the IRGC, but not the entire force.
IRGC, which has roughly 125,000 military personnel and enjoys growing public
support, is also actively cooperating in construction, infrastructure and
MPs vow to reciprocate any US action against IRGC
a related development on Sunday, the majority of Iranian lawmakers expressed
their full support for the country’s Armed Forces, particularly the IRGC,
pledging to respond in kind to any action taken by the US against the elite
a statement read out at the Iranian Parliament (Majlis), 255 lawmakers
emphasized that the security of Iran and its Armed Forces are major red lines
for the country’s parliamentarians.
case of any measure by the US president or any other institution against the IRGC,
we will start a double-urgency reciprocal measure, which will make the US
leaders, who have been behind the formation of terrorist groups in the region
and supported them, regret their stupid move," the Iranian lawmakers’
added that the IRGC is one of the greatest achievements of the Iranian people,
which has its roots in the Article 150 of the Iranian Constitution as a branch
of the country’s Armed Forces … and has helped regional governments and nations
a great deal in the fight against terrorism.
prepares double-urgency motion on Trump's IRGC decision
a senior Iranian lawmaker announced later on Sunday that the Iranian parliament
has prepared a double-urgency motion to counteract a possible measure by the
United States to put the IRGC on its blacklist of foreign terrorist
to reporters on the sidelines of an open session of the parliament, head of the
Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, Heshmatollah
Falahatpisheh, said, “We have prepared this double-urgency motion according to
which as soon as this step is taken by America, we will put its military
personnel on our blacklist of terrorist groups along with Daesh.”
MP added that all three major factions in the Iranian parliament support the
motion, adding, “The IRGC has played a pivotal role in countering terrorism and
by putting the IRGC on the list of terrorist groups, America has practically
provided a service to terrorists.”
IRGC decision will drag US into quagmire’
a related development, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said
that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's supporters seek to drag the
United States into a quagmire by pushing the Trump administration to designate
the IRGC as a terror group.
who have long agitated for FTO designation of the IRGC fully understand its
consequences for US forces in the region,” Zarif said in a post on his official
Twitter account on Sunday, adding, “In fact, they seek to drag US into a
quagmire on his behalf."
Trump against taking such a mistaken step on the IRGC, the top Iranian diplomat
said, Trump “should know better than to be conned into another US disaster.”
of Palestinians gather in Ramallah to show solidarity with Palestinian
prisoners in Israeli prisons.
Palestinians prisoners club announced that prisoners are planning to start a
hunger strike and that negotiations with Israeli authorities are still
Arab Coalition in Yemen intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by the
Iranian-aligned Houthi militias toward Asir city in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press
Agency said late on Sunday.
injuries or damage were reported, SPA added.
official spokesman of the coalition, Colonel Turki Al-Malki, stated that at
20:50 local time on Sunday (17:50 GMT), the Saudi Royal Air Defense Systems
detected an unidentified object headed toward civilian properties in Asir, and
dealt with the target “according to rules of engagement”.
added that the continuous attempts by the Iran-backed Houthi militias to target
civilians through UAVs and remote-controlled explosive speedboats “seeks to
provoke coalition forces into conducting military operations in Hodeidah”, SPA
Joint Forces Command would take all deterrent measures in accordance with
international humanitarian law and its customary rules,” he said.
reaffirmed the commitment of the coalition to supporting the political efforts
spearheaded by Martin Griffiths and the chair of the Redeployment Coordination
Committee to successfully implement the Stockholm Agreement.
than a dozen civilians, most of them schoolchildren, have been killed in the
latest round of airstrikes by Saudi warplanes on residential areas in Yemen's
west-central province of Sana'a and the southwestern province of Ta'izz.
al-Hazzari, a spokesman for the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health and
Population, said at least 13 people lost their lives and 92 others sustained
injuries after Saudi warplanes launched aerial assaults against an area in the
Sa'wan district of Sana'a on Sunday evening. He said most of the victims were
also condemned the incident as a war crime, saying, “On the World Health Day,
April 7, which carries the slogan 'Health for All', the Saudi-led coalition of
aggression marked the event in its well-known manner.”
called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility for the
crimes being committed by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies against Yemeni
Yemeni Health Minister Taha al-Mutawakel said the massacre points to the
Saudi-led coalition’s total disregard for international and humanitarian
treaties and laws.
reiterated that the failure of the international community to impose sanctions
on the perpetrators of such crimes has emboldened them to continue targeting
official called on international humanitarian organizations to condemn the
carnage, not to remain silent about the crimes being committed against the
Yemeni nation, and exert pressure aimed at stopping the Saudi-led aggression.
Yemeni health minister further stressed the importance of effective measures to
hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable at international courts.
in the day, a woman was killed and two others were injured when Saudi military
aircraft struck a house in the Dimnat Khadir district of Ta'izz.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi
to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a
nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed
the lives of about 56,000 Yemenis.
has demanded an immediate international criminal investigation into the Tel
Aviv regime’s policy of settlement expansion and expropriation of Palestinian
Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates announced in a
statement on Sunday that the ongoing settlement expansion at the expense of
Palestinian land erodes the credibility of the United Nations and its relevant
institutions, and points to the world body’s failure to implement Security
Council Resolution 2334.
statement added that this expansionist behavior is in sync with public
statements of Israeli officials and leaders concerning their refusal to go back
to the pre-1967 borders, and a demand to impose Israeli law on settlements in
the occupied West Bank, the latest of which was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu’s pledge to annex the settlements if re-elected.
ministry further noted that it will continue its contacts and discussions with
the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding Israel’s push to construct
more settler units in various parts of the West Bank, particularly the occupied
East Jerusalem al-Quds and its surrounding areas, to accommodate a large number
of Jews there and change the demographic makeup in the area.
statement then shed light on the ongoing linkage of Israeli settlement blocs to
each other, warning that such a practice would undermine any chance for a
viable and sovereign Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967.
Saturday, Israel's so-called Civil Administration's High Planning Committee
approved the construction of 770 new housing units at Beitar Illit settlement,
located 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds.
new units are planned to be built on privately owned land in the Palestinian
villages of Nahalin and Wadi Fukin in addition to Husan town, located nine
kilometers west of Bethlehem.
February, Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO opposing Tel Aviv’s settlement expansion
activities, published a new map that illustrated an “accelerated, intensifying
chain of new facts on the ground in the most historically contested and
politically sensitive part of Jerusalem [al-Quds]: the Old City and adjacent
ring of Palestinian neighborhoods,” which help reinforcement of settlement
NGO pointed to a number of Israeli-sponsored settlement campaigns inside Palestinian
neighborhoods, including “settler initiated evictions of Palestinians,
takeovers of their homes, and the expansion of settler compounds,” in addition
to the use of the so-called “touristic settlement sites” as “key points”
contributing to the campaigns.
Amim said the supposed tourism and archaeology projects “assume a central role
in Israeli settlement policy.”
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the
occupied territories in several resolutions.
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations
Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to
“immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied
Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
rise in forced conversions and underage marriages, the Pakistan Peoples Party
(PPP) shying away from resurrecting and passing the bill criminalising forced
conversions, and implementation of the decision to reserve five per cent of the
government jobs for religious minorities were some of the issues discussed in a
public gathering on Sunday.
discussion titled ‘Public Assembly on Minority Rights: Protect Underage
Marriages and Forced Conversions’ was organised by a group of civil society
activists at the Muhammad Siddique Memon Scout Auditorium of the Sindh Boy
Scouts Association. A large number of minority lawmakers and activists from
across the province attended the meeting.
Sheikh said that the main purpose of organising the assembly was to bring all
the stakeholders on board to discuss and find solutions to the problems that
minority communities in Sindh are facing.
meeting lamented that abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of
teenaged Hindu girls are on the rise across the province. Forced conversions
are too easily and too often disguised as voluntary conversions, leaving
especially minor girls vulnerable, they said.
said that forced conversions and marriages violate human rights as well as
Islamic principles. They called for passing the bill against forced conversions
and asked the PPP leadership not to deprive the religious minorities of their
rights simply to appease extremist groups.
of the participants suggested that the civil society should consult the
minority lawmakers elected on reserved seats on the ticket of religious
parties, such as the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and the Jamaat-e-Islami, and ask
them to persuade their leaders not to oppose the bill’s passage.
media campaigner Mukesh Meghwar asked lawmakers to study the bill and share it
with the civil society and minority rights activists before presenting it in
Kapil Dev said that Sindh is known for Sufi and liberal values but it is
unfortunate that Hindu girls are being kidnapped and forcibly converted and
married only in the province. “Even in the tribal areas, where a significant
number of minorities live, we have not heard reports of forced conversions.”
said that the provincial authorities are afraid to take action against two
spiritual figures — Mian Mithoo and Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi — over their alleged
involvement in forced conversions. Activist Zahid Farooq cited discriminatory
government advertisements and said that Christians in Pakistan have been
assigned jobs described as “degrading”. He demanded better implementation of
the five per cent job quota decision.
minority lawmakers who attended the meeting included Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
MNA Lal Chand Malhi, Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister Veerji Kohli,
PPP MPAs Anthony Naveed and Lal Chand, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan MPA
Mangla Sharma and PPP Punjab MNA Naveed Aamir Jeeva.
behalf of Muslim lawmakers, only Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of the Pakistan Muslim
League-Functional attended the meeting. Activists Peter Jacob, Nuzhat Shirin,
Anis Haroon and Mahnaz Rahman were also present. Besides Naghma, the key
organisers of the event were Ali Palh, Seema Maheshwari, Krishna Sharma and
The London Metropolitan Police team investigating a 2016 speech by Muttahida
Qaumi Movement leader Altaf Hussain has reached Islamabad to interview key
witnesses and collect evidence.
to sources, a team from the police’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) will
begin interviewing witnesses on Monday at Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)
headquarters in Islamabad. All six police officials have been directed to reach
the FIA’s Counter Terrorism Wing so witnesses may be briefed by the prosecutor.
said the Met has been investigating an Aug 11, 2016, speech by Mr Hussain that
led to a crowd dispersing and attacking media outlets in the vicinity. This
resulted in further violence, including assaults of police officers and the
burning of vehicles allegedly encouraged by Mr Hussain’s comments.
minister for interior at the time had sought assistance from British
authorities, and asked them to take action against Mr Hussain for “inciting
people of Pakistan to violence”.
team aims to retrieve evidence in the form of written testimony from key
witnesses to the events, which took place on August 22 that year. The evidence
collected will be used to present a case to the Crown Prosecution Service to
ascertain whether there is sufficient material to progress a prosecution in the
witnesses called to appear before the police include Abdul Ghaffar, a
sub-inspector at the Senior Superintendent of Police’s (SSP) East Karachi
office, Inspector Hameed Khan from the SSP Investigation Office South-I
Karachi, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Saddar Kanwar Asif, Saddar
Station House Officer Inspector Peer Shabbir Haider, Saddar police Constable
Rao Rashid and PS Artillery Maidan Constable Qamar Zaman.
the police officials have been directed to bring with them certified copies of
CCTV and video footage of the events of Aug 22, 2016, along with exhibiting
statements that attest to the origin and chain of custody and continuity of the
exhibits from those responsible for collecting.
have also been asked to bring copies of all scene photography and their
exhibits, and statements of witnesses who took those photographs.
Karachi police officials have also been directed to bring with them other
relevant material collected in the course of the investigation conducted in
Pakistan, including witness statements, transcripts or recordings of police
interviews with accused individuals, medical notes and photographs of the
injured and original notes made by witnessing officers.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said that
since Pakistan has recovered from terrorism, the government has now devised a
plan to promote social and cultural activities across the country by arranging
cultural shows and events.
we do not get news of blasts on a daily basis and terrorists challenging the
writ of the state,” he said while talking to reporters at the conclusion of a
week-long Jashn-i-Jhelum here on Sunday.
Chaudhry said that the celebrations to mark the arrival of spring soon after
Nauroz and Holi festivals would be held every year in historic Rohtas Fort.
showcased a documentary, Dastan Darya-i-Jhelum (a tale of River Jhelum).
river originates from the Himalayas and after flowing all the way from Kashmir
merges into River Chenab in Punjab.
documentary also showcased a number of personalities belonging to Jhelum,
including Subedar Khudadad Khan, the first Victoria Cross of World War I,
freedom fighters and comrades of the Quaid-i-Azam. Apart from them, the
documentary also has a mention of Bollywood star Sunil Dutt and the two former
Indian prime ministers, I.K. Gujral and Manmohan Singh, who also hailed from
to the participants, the information minister said the origin of word “India”
was attributed to the region extending up to Taxila.
area is a centre also to major religions and it is time to highlight the true
picture of Pakistan to the world,” the minister said, while refusing to talk
about the national politics.
concluding ceremony was attended by a sizeable number of diplomats, local and
international media personnel and dignitaries of Jhelum.
minister said tourism could not be promoted without encouraging local social
will be seven such celebrations this year, followed by 12 next year,” Mr
Chaudhry said, adding: “In all, we have finalised 16 such social and cultural
events to show the real face of Pakistan to the world.”
said a Qawwali festival in Islamabad would also be held during the upcoming
country has rich history and diversified culture but we need to bring it
forward,” the minister added.
The Japanese government has decided to deepen political dialogue with Pakistan
after considering economic and social policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
an exclusive interview with Dawn, Japanese Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda said:
“We are now working on our plan to help the Pakistan government mainly in three
areas: building economic infrastructures, building social infrastructures like
schools and medical facilities and security and public safety.”
Matsuda said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would shortly visit
Tokyo, and officials of the two countries were working to finalise the trip.
The Japanese government was looking forward to the minister’s visit, he added.
said that “we are very much impressed the way Prime Minister Imran Khan
articulated his goals on economic and social policies, and many of these goals
incidentally fit in how we see the Pakistani challenges”.
the importance of education, the ambassador said that Pakistan’s population —
of which 60 per cent is under 30 years of age — was the strong point of the
country as compared to Japan which was suffering from decrease in population,
ageing society and decrease in workforce.
he said, was ready and willing to work with Pakistani partners to address the
issues such as education and vocational training and female empowerment. “Half
of the population is women and we all like to see all women coming into the
workforce,” he said.
by Pakistan government’s measures to promote tourism, the Japanese ambassador
said that these measures would make Pakistan a favourite international tourism
Matsuda underlined the need for more direct flights to and from Islamabad,
Karachi and Lahore. The announcement by British Airways and Lufthansa to start
flight operations to Pakistan was a very encouraging sign, he added.
Matsuda said that agriculture, textile and automobile were potential sectors
for future collaboration between Japan and Pakistan.
Japanese companies, he said, were interested in either investing in the
agriculture industry by funding and bringing technology or even creating market
for Pakistan’s agricultural products.
the textile sector, he said, Japan was willing to continue working with the
government and the private sector so that the sector grew to become the
to his recent visit to textile city Faisalabad, and said that he was highly
impressed with the quality of textile products.
major automobiles manufacturing units from Japan had well-established markets
in Pakistan, he said, adding that Japan was now interested in turning the
automobile industry in the country to another exporting industry.
bilateral trade relations, the ambassador said that exports from Japan to
Pakistan had been growing, while exports from Pakistan to Japan faced
stagnation and this imbalance was not sustainable. “We have to find way either
to increase exports from Pakistan like textile and agriculture or other areas
or the two countries could work together in creating new export market for
Pakistan,” he said.
view of the geographic location of Pakistan, he added, the best way was to
start working to explore new markets for Pakistani exporting companies in the
Gulf, Central Asian Republics and the Middle East and beyond Africa. The
Japanese companies might partner with Pakistani companies to create new
markets, he said.
said the official Japanese trade organisation, JETRO, was inviting Pakistani
companies to participate in exhibitions and trade fairs in Japan so that the
potential buyers in Japan could be given the opportunity to understand the
potential of Pakistani companies. “This area has a big potential for Pak-Japan trade
and we are already working on several matters,” he added.
an example, the ambassador said there was wide scope for exporting medical
equipment and sports goods to Japan. In the area of sports goods, the
ambassador was hopeful of great business opportunities for sports goods
manufactured in Sialkot, pointing out that Japan would host Olympics and
Paralympics in 2020.
envoy lauded the government’s efforts to create more investment-friendly
environment in Pakistan.
suggested that Pakistan should start working on disseminating the basic
information about the country as a business destination in view of its
strategic location. “The government can use the established network of
embassies, consulates and trade offices to the maximum,” he said.
officials say they will release the first batch of 360 Indian prisoners
detained for fishing illegally in the country’s territorial waters in the
official Munir Ahmed said Sunday that 100 prisoners will travel by train under
police guard to the eastern city of Lahore before being handed over to Indian
authorities at the Wahga border crossing Monday.
and Indian maritime agencies frequently arrest each other’s fishermen on
charges of illegal fishing.
detainees often languish in prison until such goodwill gestures are shown from
foreign ministry has said the remaining Indian prisoners will be released this
Libya gov't jets strike Haftar’s airbase
jets of UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) on Monday hit an airbase
under the control of east-Libya based commander Khalifa Haftar, according to
Libya's Al Ahrar TV.
an airbase 130 kilometers (80 miles) southeast of Tripoli, is the only airbase
that Haftar, who commands forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government, captured
near Libya’s capital.
forces used the airbase to launch airstrikes on rival Tripoli-based government
Libyan National Army (LNA) has yet to make a statement on the airstrikes.
Thursday, Haftar launched a military campaign to recapture Tripoli from the
UN-backed government. A day later, he announced the capture of the former
Tripoli International Airport on the outskirts of the capital.
move was part of an operation called “Flood of Dignity” and the Libyan National
Army (LNA) would not stop until the mission was over, spokesman Ahmed
Al-Mismari said at a press conference.
then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of
power: one in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and
another in Tripoli.
Fighting flares on Tripoli outskirts, 21 dead
clashes erupted Sunday between East Libya-based forces and government troops on
the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli.
was heard in southern and central Tripoli between forces led by commander
Khalifa Haftar -- who reportedly seeks to wrest control of the capital-- and
forces loyal to the UN-backed Government on National Accord (GNA), according to
an Anadolu Agency correspondent.
least 21 people were killed and 27 others were wounded in armed clashes in
Libya’s capital, according to the Health Ministry under GNA.
Ministry spokesperson Amin Al-Hashemi told Anadolu Agency that civilians were
among the casualties.
media outlets reported clashes as well in the vicinity of the old Tripoli
International Airport, which has been seized by Haftar forces.
Thursday, Haftar launched a military campaign to recapture Tripoli from the GNA
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising led to
the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.
Libya: The military conflict shaking Libya escalated on Sunday as forces of
strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an airstrike on a suburb of Tripoli and the
UN-backed government vowed a major counteroffensive.The UN called for an urgent
two-hour truce for the southern outskirts of the capital to allow evacuations
of civilians and the wounded.
between the two camps threaten to plunge the country into a full-blown civil
war after Haftar on Thursday launched an offensive on Tripoli.
has been riven by chaos since the NATO-backed uprising in 2011 that killed
Muammar Qaddafi, with rival administrations and armed groups vying for power.
attempts to find a peaceful solution have failed.
a pause overnight, fierce fighting flared anew on Sunday morning south of the
capital between Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and forces
backing the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
an upsurge of fighting in the North African country, the US military said it
had temporarily pulled some of its forces out.
to increased unrest in Libya, a contingent of US forces supporting US Africa
Command temporarily relocated from the country in response to security
conditions on the ground,” it said in a statement. It did not detail how many
military personnel had been withdrawn from Libya.
Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, said its mission in Libya
involves “military support to diplomatic missions, counter-terrorism
activities, enhancing partnerships and improving security across the region.”
said it would “continue to monitor conditions on the ground in Libya and assess
the feasibility for renewed US military presence as appropriate.”
security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and
unpredictable,” said US Marine Corps General Thomas Waldhauser, commander of US
with an adjustment of the force, we will continue to remain agile in support of
existing US strategy.”
clashes raged in the mainly farmland region of Wadi Raba and the disused
international airport south of the capital, a spokesman for pro-GNA forces said
a “counteroffensive” had been launched to push back Haftar’s forces.
Mohamed Gnounou told reporters that operation “Volcano of Anger” was aimed at
“purging all Libyan cities of aggressor and illegitimate forces,” in reference
to Haftar fighters.
LNA meanwhile announced it had carried out its first air raid on a Tripoli
suburb, despite calls by the international community to halt hostilities.
head Fayez Al-Sarraj warned on Saturday of a “war without a winner” and said
that reinforcements were pouring into Tripoli from several regions.
armed groups from the western city of Misrata and fighters from Zentan and
Zawiya — all battle-hardened militiamen who took part in the 2011 uprising that
toppled Qaddafi — have joined the battle.
least one armed group from Misrata known as Brigade 166 arrived Saturday in
eastern Tripoli with dozens of vehicles, some mounted with anti-aircraft guns,
to join the counter-offensive, an AFP photographer said.
are waiting for orders to repel any advance by the enemy toward Tripoli,” said
the group’s spokesman Khaled Abu Jazia.
fighters ousted the Daesh group from Libya’s coastal city of Sirte, Qaddafi’s
hometown, in 2016 after months of bitter fighting.
LNA air raid came a day after forces backing the GNA launched airstrikes on
their rivals for the first time since the offensive began, with at least one
targeting an LNA position south of Tripoli.
spokesman Ahmed Mesmari had vowed the force would retaliate. On Saturday he
said pro-Haftar fighters were “progressing on several fronts... as planned” and
that Tripoli would soon be captured.
say Haftar has been buoyed by a series of successful military operations that
have brought all of the east and much of the south of Libya under his control.
field marshal who served under Qaddafi, Haftar was counting on a swift battle
to capture Tripoli.
date, Haftar’s operation has mostly failed to go according to plan, and it has
now galvanized western Libyan forces against him,” said analyst Wolfram Lacher.
now faces the prospect of a protracted war south of Tripoli, or of a decisive
defeat,” said Lacher, a researcher with the German Institute for International
and Security Affairs (SWP).
the tension mounted, Tripoli residents were seen Saturday queueing outside
petrol stations and supermarkets.
offensive came as UN chief Antonio Guterres visited Libya Thursday days ahead
of a planned UN-backed conference aimed at uniting Libya’s rivals and paving
the way for elections.
UN Security Council has called on Haftar’s forces to halt their advance,
warning it was putting Libya’s shaky stability at further risk.
UN envoy Ghassan Salame insisted on Saturday the April 14-16 conference would
are determined” to hold the talks, he said.
said the conference was meant to pave the way for a “stable” government and
accused Haftar of “betraying” an agreement reached during a meeting in February
to push for elections and a new unity government before year’s end.
is “motivated by personal interests and his own delusions” and is trying to
“plunge the country into a cycle of violence,” said Sarraj.
people were killed and more than 30 were injured in a twin suicide bomb attack
in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, militia sources and residents
told AFP on Sunday.
female bombers on Saturday, April 7 detonated their explosives among a crowd in
Muna Dalti on the outskirts of Borno state capital Maiduguri, the birthplace of
the Boko Haram jihadist group.
came around 8:00 pm and detonated their suicide vests,” Umar Ari, a local
militia leader, said.
killed three people and seriously injured 33 others,” said Ari, who was
involved in the evacuation of victims.
members of the Civilian Joint Task Force militia and a civilian were killed,
according to Bello Dambatta, the Head of the Rapid Response Team of the Borno
State Emergency Management Agency, Channels TV reported.
gathered Sunday morning for the funeral of the three victims.
scene of the bombings, a popular night time venue for residents, has been
repeatedly targeted by Boko Haram suicide attacks, said resident Gremah Umar.
area houses a sprawling camp for thousands of people displaced by violence.
attacks there were largely blamed on the Boko Haram faction loyal to Abubakar
Shekau, infamous for suicide attacks on civilian targets including schools and
February 15, Boko Haram insurgents believed to be loyal to Shekau killed at
least eight people in a suicide bomb and gun attack in Maiduguri.
months earlier, five people were injured when a female suicide bomber detonated
her vest at a checkpoint in Maiduguri on December 2. The bomber and an
accomplice were killed
jihadist group known as Boko Haram split into two factions in mid-2016. One led
by long-time leader Shekau is notorious for suicide bombings and indiscriminate
killings of civilians. Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr
Al-Baghdadi in March 2015, but ISIS central only gives formal backing to the
other faction, which it calls Islamic State West Africa province.
ISWA faction, which largely focuses on attacking military and government
targets, was led by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, but last month, audio recordings
revealed that ISIS appointed Abu Abdullah Idris bin Umar, also known as Ibn
Umar al-Barnawi, as leader. ISIS has not yet made a public statement confirming
Sudanese soldiers stepped in to protect demonstrators and stopped security
forces from attempting to break up protest, protesters and witnesses said.
security forces on Monday attempted to break up a protest by thousands of
anti-government demonstrators camped outside the defense ministry in central
Khartoum, witnesses said.
said security forces on pickup trucks fired tear gas as they charged toward the
sit-in. No further details were immediately available.
demonstrators have camped for two nights outside the compound, part of an
attempt to increase pressure on President Omar Al-Bashir to step down after
nearly 30 years in office.
attempts by security forces failed to disperse the protesters.
anger against bread and cash shortages exploded into demonstrations in December
but quickly turned against Bashir’s administration.
security forces killed at least five protesters over the weekend during what
organizers said were some of the largest demonstrations in a nearly four-month
campaign to drive President Omar al-Bashir from power.
protests, which began in December, have swelled since last week’s resignation
of Algeria’s long-serving president in the face of similar rallies, giving new
hope to Sudanese protesters aiming to end al-Bashir’s nearly 30-year reign.
forces have responded with a fierce crackdown, killing at least 60 people since
the protests began, according to Physicians for Human Rights, a New York-based
figure does not include the latest deaths.
government has said that 32 people have been killed, including police, but
hasn’t updated its tally in weeks.
the Electricity Ministry said there was a nationwide power outage on Sunday,
without providing an explanation. It said technicians were working on restoring
rallies are being led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella
group of independent professional unions.
Abdel-Jaleel, a spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA)
told The Associated Press that four people were killed in the capital city of
Khartoum and another protester was killed in the neighboring city of Omdurman
on Saturday and Sunday.
SPA says tens of thousands of people have taken part in protests outside the
military headquarters and a presidential residence in Khartoum since Saturday.
Footage circulated online showed the protesters chanting “The people want the
fall of the regime,” one of the main slogans from the Arab Spring uprisings that
swept Middle East and North Africa in 2011.
footage showed protesters setting up tents in front of the military
headquarters, which also houses the Defense Ministry, on Sunday following a
call for a sit-in.
organizers say protesters hurled stones and security forces used batons, tear
gas and live fire to try to disperse the crowds.
Sudan Doctors Committee, a SPA affiliate, said dozens have been wounded in
rallies across the country, many by live ammunition.
state-run SUNA news agency on Saturday quoted police spokesman General Hashim
Abdel-Rahim as saying that one person was killed “during disturbances in
called the protests “illegal gatherings.”
convinces Taliban to meet Afghan govt representatives
has secured assurances from the Taliban political envoys to sit face-to-face
with representatives of the Afghan government in Doha, diplomatic sources have
said. President Ashraf Ghani’s nominees will join Afghan political leaders who
are scheduled to meet with Taliban in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on April
will be the second meeting between Taliban and the political leaders, including
former president Hamid Karzai and presidential candidate Haneef Atmar, with the
Taliban in less than three months. They last met in Moscow in early February.
Ghani had refused to send members of the peace council to the Moscow meeting
despite invitation by the organisers.
senior Qatari anti-terrorism official, who is the main character behind Qatar’s
involvement in the Afghan political negotiations, informed the Afghan president
about the Taliban’s ‘willingness’ during his recent visit to Kabul, a
diplomatic source privy to the development told Daily Times.
Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, special envoy of minister of foreign affairs of
Qatar for counter-terrorism and mediation of conflict resolution, regularly
takes part in the Taliban-US talks in Doha. In Kabul, officials said a list of
government representatives will be finalised in a couple of days, according to
the Afghan media. President Ghani discussed invited senior Afghan leaders for consultations
on the peace process and formation of delegation for talks with the Taliban,
the presidential palace said. The president told the leaders that they can
nominate negotiation team but insisted that those people should not be part of
the team who have been speaking against the system. Taliban said late on Sunday
that no one will partake in the conference as a representative of the Kabul
administration. “Just like the previous Moscow conference, any individual who
is part of Kabul administration and is listed as a participant will only
participate in his personal capacity and share personal views,” Taliban
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement. “The meeting is a conference
in which the participants will only be clarifying their views and policies and
sharing their stance with others,” he said, adding that the conference is not a
negotiation summit or meeting. This will be the first time Taliban will meet
the Afghan government leaders for the first time after talks in Murree in 2015.
Pakistani officials believe the Murree process was ‘scuttled’ when the Afghan
intelligence revealed death of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar. Pakistan
favours intra-Afghan dialogue and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a
meeting with US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad described the intra-Afghan
dialogue as a ‘vital component of the reconciliation process’.
official told Daily Times Pakistan will do anything to keep the peace process
on track. “However, we expect that our honest and sincere approach is genuinely
recognized by everyone, the US, Afghan government, Taliban and the regional and
international community,” he added.
coalition airstrike in central Logar province has killed a Taliban group leader
and his comrades in central Logar province.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in Southeast said the airstrike was
carried out in the outskirts of the provincial capital of Logar.
to a statement released by 203rd Thunder Corps, at least 4 Taliban militants
including Mullah Amin Gul were killed in the airstrike.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrike so far.
least five ISIS Khurasan militants were killed in an airstrike in eastern Kunar
province of Afghanistan, the Afghan military said Sunday.
to a statement released by 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the
East, the airstrike was carried out in Ocha Naw area located in Degal Vally of
Chapra Dara district.
statement further added that the airstrike was carried out amid ongoing
operations by Afghan armed forces who were also suppoted by artillery units.
201st Silab Corps said at least 5 five ISIS-K miliants were killed and some
weapons and munitions were destroyed during the same operations.
than 600 members of different extremist organizations in the country's 15
northern and southern districts—including Pabna—have decided to surrender to
the authorities in a bid to return to normal life.
will surrender themselves—and their firearms plus locally-made weapons—to the
authorities, in the presence of Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Javed Patwary. The event will take place at
Shaheed Advocate Aminuddin Stadium, in Pabna, on Tuesday.
the matter, Pabna Superintendent of Police (SP) Sheikh Rafiqul Islam said the
massive surrender is possible because the government has taken the initiative
to help these individuals return to a normal life.
to police sources, the listed and fugitive extremist members—from the Pabna,
Natore, Sirajganj, Bogra, Rangpur, Joypurhat, Naogaon, Tangail, Kushtia,
Rajbari, Khulna, Satkhira, Faridpur, Bagerhat and Jessore districts—will
surrender to law enforcement. Upon their surrender, the government will
rehabilitate them with financial incentives.
of Police (SP) Sheikh Rafiqul Islam told reporters: "Despite country-wide
drives by law enforcement agencies, various extremist organizations—including
Purba Banglar Communist Party, Purba Banglar Sarbahara Party, and Purba Banglar
Lal Pataka—are still active in different parts of Bangladesh."
who are willing to surrender will be brought to Pabna from their respective
districts amid tight security on April 8. Security will also be beefed-up in
Pabna for centering the surrender program. Around 500 members from different
law enforcement agencies, including RAB and the Police, will participate,"
Rafiq, who is also the coordinator of the surrender program, said: "The
mass surrender will reduce the crime rate significantly. Police will also
conduct special surveillance operations on whether these men get involved in
criminal activities again. However, the
trial of cases filed against the extremist members will continue."
the other hand, Md Shamsul Hoque Tuku MP, president of the parliamentary
standing committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs and also former state
minister for home affairs, also spoke about the surrender program at the Pabna
press club on Sunday at noon.
said: "The government will assist anyone who wants to come back from the
life of terrorism and militancy. However, no one will be spared if involved in
wrongdoing or criminal activities."
on Sunday deployed heavily-armed border guards to an island near its southern
border with Myanmar for the first time in 20 years, officials said.
Guard Bangladesh (BGB) distributed images showing dozens of troops carrying
assault rifles disembarking at Saint Martin's island, a small island in the Bay
of Bengal that has caused diplomatic tensions between the neighbours.
BGB said the troop deployment was part of "regular activities" to
ensure border protection and curb drug trafficking.
the force's lieutenant colonel, Sarker Mohammad Mustafizur Rahman, told AFP it
was the first time since 1997 their men had landed there.
more than 20 years we felt we should deploy," he said.
deployment comes just two months after Bangladesh's foreign ministry summoned
Myanmar's ambassador in Dhaka to protest the inclusion of Saint Martin inside
their territory in some maps printed inside the Southeast Asian country.
was also summoned in October last year, after a Myanmar government website
depicted the island as within Myanmar's territory.
between the neighbours have soured since the Myanmar military launched a
crackdown on the Rohingya minority in Rakhine, a troubled western state
brutal operation has forced some 740,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh since
August 2017, transforming parts near the border into the world's largest
least 15 reported killed as Syrian government, rebels exchange fire
least 15 people were reported killed on Sunday in shelling by government and
rebel forces in northwestern Syria, further straining a Russian-Turkish
ceasefire deal for the region.
northwest is the last major foothold of insurgents opposed to President Bashar
al-Assad, many of whom were forced to retreat there after military defeats at
the hands of Syrian government forces backed by Iran and Russia.
year, Damascus was poised to mount an offensive into the northwest, raising
fears of a humanitarian catastrophe. The assault was postponed after Moscow
struck a deal with Ankara that included the creation of a “demilitarized zone”.
the agreement has come under strain in recent weeks: the Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights said 45 people had been killed in the last five days alone, most
of them by government shelling of rebel-held areas.
Sunday, government shelling killed seven people in rebel-held Nerab, the
Observatory and the pro-opposition TV station Orient reported. Three more
people were killed in rebel-held Saraqeb, civil defense rescue workers said on
a Twitter feed.
state media said five people had been killed in rebel rocket fire that hit
foreign ministers of France, Germany, Britain, Canada, the United States,
Italy, and Japan on Saturday noted “with mounting concern the escalation in
Syrian military activity in the de-escalation zone in Idlib over recent weeks”,
according to a communique issued on Saturday after a Group of Seven meeting.
Syrian government has vowed to take back the northwestern region, comprising
Idlib and adjacent areas of Hama and Aleppo provinces.
week, Damascus said its ally Russia had started to feel that its patience was
running out over the northwest. However Moscow had told Damascus that Turkey
was still determined to implement the agreement reached in September.
has deployed forces into Idlib under an agreement with Russia and Iran.
Extremist insurgents of the Tahrir al-Sham group hold sway on the ground.
United Nations says Idlib and the adjacent areas are sheltering some three
million people, half of whom have been uprooted from other parts of Syria by
forces control a separate chunk of territory north of Aleppo where
Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army rebels are based.
terrorists killed in an attack on a checkpoint in eastern Saudi Arabia
security forces have carried out an operation in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province
which resulted in the death of two wanted suspects and the arrest of two
four attempted to evade a security checkpoint near Abu Hadriyah in al-Qatif on
their way from escaping outside the country, Al Arabiya’s correspondent
of the four men, three were on Saudi Arabia’s wanted list of terrorists.
Syrian government forces have carried out major operations against terrorists
in the north and west of the country in response to the militants’ breaches of
the de-escalation zone agreement
government forces targeted positions of Nusra Front and other terrorist groups
in Idlib and Hama, killing many of them.
terrorist leaders were reportedly among those killed, media reports said
five civilians had been killed and over a dozen others injured as terrorists
shelled a hospital in Hama.
attacks reportedly came after the terrorists violated a de-escalation zone
agreement reached following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the Black Sea resort
city of Sochi on September 17.
Syrian government had earlier warned that it will not “stand idly by” while
terrorist groups continue committing crimes against Syrian citizens and troops,
breaching the de-escalation zone deal.
the safe zone deal, all militants in a demilitarized zone that surrounds Idlib
and also parts of the adjacent provinces of Aleppo and Hama were supposed to
pull out heavy arms by October 17, and Takfiri groups had to withdraw by
Syrian government’s attacks on terrorists’ positions in Idlib and Hama come in
the wake of reports that members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist
group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, together with militants from the
Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria, are mounting chemical warheads on more than a
hundred missiles in cooperation with European experts in Idlib.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic service of
Russia’s Sputnik news agency that the
foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants had modified some 120 missiles with toxic
chemicals in a bid to strike residential targets as well as Syrian army
positions in the western province of Hama and Latakia.
sources noted that the terrorists, in cooperation with the so-called civil
defense group White Helmets, have transferred the missiles from one of the
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham’s arms depots to another cache in Sahl al-Rouj area west
of Idlib on board five ambulances.
went on to say that the White Helmets, which has been repeatedly accused of
cooperating with Takfiri terrorists and staging false-flag gas attacks, has
also moved special equipment from the town of Khan Shaykhun to the region.
during a press briefing in the Russian capital Moscow on March 15, Russia’s
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said there were reports that the
Takfiri terrorists, in coordination with the White Helmets, were establishing
arms caches in the northwestern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, the western
coastal province of Latakia as well as the western-central province of Hama.
least five people have been killed and more than a dozen others wounded in a
terrorist rocket attack on a hospital in Syria’s western-central province of
Hama, state media report.
official news agency SANA reported that rockets landed on the entrance of the
Masyaf National Hospital and on some surrounding residential buildings in
Masyaf City on Sunday morning.
the five people killed in the attack, two were nurses working at the hospital,
the report further said, adding that at least 15 other civilians — four of them
also hospital staff — sustained injuries, some of them critically.
was not the first time terrorist groups launch rockets at the hospital.
However, it was the most criminal attack yet,” SANA quoted the director of the
hospital, Dr. Maher Younis, as saying.
reports said terrorists from the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham launched the
added that Syrian government troops, supported by the Russian air cover,
launched a heavy retaliatory missile and artillery attack targeting the areas
where the rockets were believed to have been fired from.
is situated some 25 kilometers south of the demilitarized zone around
militant-held Idlib. Furthermore, several key roads, which link Syria’s
Mediterranean coast with the country’s central regions, pass by the city.
which has been assisting Syria in its fight against terrorist groups since
September 2015, maintains an air defense base in the vicinity of Masyaf, where
an S-400 air defense missile system is reportedly deployed.
Muslim countries’ use of education to combat terror and extremism will be
explored in a two-day conference organized by the Organization of Islamic
forum will begin on Tuesday under the theme “The Role of Education in Combating
Terrorism,” with the OIC represented by the Sawt Al-Hikmah (Voice of Wisdom)
Center and Naif Arab University for Security Sciences.
by several nations to counter extremism and terrorism by revamping education
will be reviewed at the conference.
specialists and academics will analyze steps to develop teaching systems that
encourage a culture of tolerance and coexistence, and discuss the role
educational institutions play in promoting ideas based on principles of peace,
fellowship, and confronting violence and extremism.
Yousef Al-Othaimeen, the OIC secretary-general, said that the conference takes
place at a time when violent extremism that has plagued the Muslim world is on
said it was essential to consider the ways in which education systems faced up
to this phenomenon, which is “categorically alien to our societies.”
An Egyptian court on Sunday cleared eight members of the indigenous Nubian
minority of charges related to a protest staged nearly two years ago, a
judicial official said.
case involving 32 defendants dates back to September 2017 when dozens of
Nubians held peaceful demonstrations in the southern city of Aswan demanding
their right to return to ancestral lands.
are an ethnic group indigenous to northern Sudan and southern Egypt who trace
their roots to an old civilization.
were evicted in the 1960s after their shoreline was flooded with water from
Lake Nasser following the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
eight acquitted on Sunday were cleared of charges including inciting protests,
blocking roads and disrupting public order, the judicial official told AFP.
other Nubians received conditional fines of 30,000-50,000 Egyptian pounds
($1,733-$2,890) which would only be enforced if the defendants commit future
have been calling for decades for their right to return to their historic
villages along the Nile.
ethnic minority’s incessant calls culminated in recognizing their right of
return to their original lands in Egypt’s 2014 constitution for the first time.
has effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military
ouster of former Islamist President Muhammad Mursi.
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who led Mursi’s ouster, came to power in 2014.
secured a second four-year term in March 2018 with over 97 percent of the vote.
Gunmen opened fire on a police vehicle in a Cairo suburb at dawn Sunday,
killing a police officer and the driver and wounding two others, the interior
was not immediately clear who was behind the latest attack on security forces
in Egypt, which has been battling an insurgency since President Abdel Fattah
El-Sisi came to power in 2014.
were on a routine patrol in New Nozha, a suburb east of Cairo, when their
minibus came under fire, the ministry said.
unknown assailants armed with automatic rifles opened fire at the police
vehicle, it said in a statement, before fleeing in a black car.
captain Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Razek and the driver of the minibus were killed,
the statement said, adding that two policemen who were riding with them were
wounded in the attack.
forces have deployed in the area to track down the perpetrators, the ministry
security forces have been targeted by extremist groups since the army, then led
by El-Sisi, overthrew Islamist president Muhammad Mursi in 2013 and cracked
down on his Muslim Brotherhood organization.
of soldiers and policemen have been killed in attacks.
February last year Egypt launched a military offensive against the Daesh group
in the Sinai Peninsula that has killed about 600 suspected jihadists and around
40 soldiers, according to official figures.
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