After Jamiat Ulema -i- Hind, Jamaat -e- Islami Hind Seeks
Dialogue with Hindus to Build Brotherhood among Communities; JIH Called to
Bring On Board Other Voices That Represent Both Communities
Invite Hindus to Mosques in Nagpur to Counter Rift between the Communities Being
Created On Social Media
Get Together - RSS-Jamiat Meet Shows Strength of Our Political System
Police Book All India Radio Producer For Hateful Anti-Muslim Post On NRC In
Militant Calls for Pakistan Military Intervention In Disputed Region
Out Of Our Business,’ Trump Slams London Mayor Sadiq Khan
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Says Syria's Idlib Slowly Disappearing
Attacked, Trespassed, Razed Babri, Now Seek Ayodhya Land: Muslim Parties To SC
protests get ugly again in London, Indian High Commission targeted
J&K, questions over whether Urdu will remain official language
taken in Kashmir to ensure peace efforts are not scuttled from across the
delegation thwarts Pak attempt to raise Kashmir issue at UNICEF meet in Lanka
High Commission in London vandalised as protests over Kashmir turn violent
boys from Kashmir: How a Kerala institute offers peace, and hope, to children
from the Valley
Pakistan to hold third round of talks on Kartarpur corridor
hands over list of proposals on Kartarpur corridor to Pakistan
corridor: Third round of talks begin, Pakistan hopes to finalise draft
agreement with India
PM Netanyahu cancels planned day-long visit to India on Sep 9
government launches advertisement blitzkrieg on ‘benefits’ of abrogation of
girl issue resolved, says Pakistan Punjab governor
rules out change in its nuclear policy
to prove 'Kashmir genocide' claim: Pakistan's ICJ lawyer
to issue multiple, on-arrival visas to Sikh pilgrims: Imran Khan
UAE ministers arriving today to discuss regional situation
issue to be single point agenda in talks with Arab ministers, says Qureshi
places madrassas under education ministry’s control
reaffirms support for Kashmir cause
future linked with democracy: COAS
seeks visa-free entry for 5000 Sikh pilgrims as Kartarpur talks resume
Trump and Mark Esper to discuss US-Taliban draft deal
Treasury Sanctions 4 People for Funding Hamas
person sentenced in plot to bomb US Muslim community
urges all parties to show restraint on Kashmir issue
using Afghanistan as spring pad for activities against China: Analyst
peace deal: what has been agreed so far?
the British Empire Abandoned Its Most Vocal Muslim Supporter
watershed moment for the Muslim #MeToo movement
supremacist behind ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ jailed for 12 years
executioner who conned thousands of pounds in UK housing benefits is captured
warship fights off 115 ‘intimidating’ confrontations from Iranian attack craft
Dangles $15 Billion Bailout for Iran in Effort to Save Nuclear Deal
pushes $15 bln credit line plan for Iran, if US allows it
Foreign Minister: Yemen peace talks must be inclusive
Minister to Meet Terengganu Exco Over Shariah-Compliant Rule For Women
for Lake Toba As Halal Tourist Destination Sparks Controversy
claims attack in Bangladesh that injured 2 police
Maldives journalist killed by al-Qaeda affiliate
accuses PAS of dancing with extremism in backing call for non-Muslim boycott
president Wan Asshima apologises to Khalid Samad to settle defamation suit
Saudi Visa Scheme To Be Announced 27 September, 50 Nationalities Expected To
Summons Turkish Ambassador After President Raised Ottoman Era Atrocities
graduates set to become global ambassadors for Saudi Arabia
war: US missile strike on 'al-Qaeda leaders' in Idlib
militias kill eight Islamic State militants in central Iraq
flare-up with Israel over but a 'new phase' has started
Does Hezbollah Systematically Infiltrate Lebanon?
to Set Up Spying Center in Djibouti
Blasts US Lack of Assistance to Iraq in Controlling Borders
of children in northwest Syria to miss school: NGO
troops, Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters launch anti-Daesh offensive in western Iraq
Cabinet appreciates UN condemnation of Houthi attacks
Iran Will Give EU Countries Two-Month Deadline To Save Nuclear Deal
US new sanctions target Iranian
proved capability to hit targets deep inside Israel, Israeli TV admits
Imposes Sanctions on Wandering Iranian Oil Tanker
US-led patrols in Persian Gulf raise stakes with Iran
Charges Dropped Against Pro-Kurdish Leader
army says it uncovers Lebanon’s Hezbollah missile site
imposes sanctions on Iran’s space agencies
says Iran’s answer to US talks will ‘always be negative’
Indian Army General to Head UN Mission in Yemen’s Hodeidah: Sources
Coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Khamis Mushait
Bombing, Afghans Demand That Foreigners Leave Their Neighborhood
Taliban militants killed, wounded in Afghan and U.S. forces operations in 4
Forcing Rohingya to Accept ‘Foreigner’ Label
says 16 dead, 119 hurt in Taliban attack in Kabul
City Survives Third Taliban Assault, but Loses a Top Defender
Taliban near Afghanistan deal, fighting intensifies in north
US-Taliban Negotiations: A Deadly Qatari Trap
forces kill Taliban’s Qari Wakil and his comrades in Faryab province
forces kill 2 suicide bombers before they storm a wedding ceremony in Kandahar
SG reaffirms support to Afghan forces while endorsing peace efforts
reaffirms stance as U.S. and Taliban close in on a peace deal
Leah Sharibu Alive, Govt Negotiating With Boko Haram to Free Her - Presidency
says kills 9 al-Shabab militants
PM chooses 14 members of first cabinet since al-Bashir's fall
closes Tripoli’s only functional airport after attack
for urgent action to end violence in Nigeria
Kills Two Suspected Boko Haram Terrorists, Recovers Weapons In Borno
Residents Flee As Boko Haram Attacks Chibok Again
by New Age Islam News Bureau
DELHI: Just days after the meeting between RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Jamiat
Ulama -i- Hind (JUH) president Maulana Arshad Madani where they deliberated on
working on communal harmony, another minority organisation Jamaat -e- Islami
Hind (JIH) has reinforced the need for a dialogue with representatives from the
Hindu community to build brotherhood.
feel that both Muslim and Hindu communities need to work together to prevent
people with vested interests from spreading hatred.
however, cautioned that neither can RSS be considered as the lone
representative of Hindus nor JUH the representative voice of all Muslims. They
called for bringing on board the many voices that represent both communities.
asked how they sought to build on the spirit of harmony, JIH vice-president S
Ameenul Hasan cited the “Sadbhavna Manch” programme launched in Karnataka last
year by JIH. Around 200 such platforms drawing upon people of different
religions have been created to have a dialogue with people and resolve
differences amicably. The JIH cites this as an attempt to create a harmonious
community level partnership. “We now plan to expand this to the entire country
by setting up the about 2,000 such platforms across the states in one year,”
a press conference on concerns like the NRC process in Assam, the JIH’s top
brass raised concerns over the fact that over 19 lakh people have been excluded
from the final list. “We feel a lot of genuine cases have been left out and
hence the government should ensure proper verification to ensure no genuine
case is left out. Also grounds of rejection must be provided to those facing
rejection,” JIH secretary, Malik Moatasim Khan said.
in its press statement said that “those excluded from the list must appeal and
re-apply by submitting the required documents. They have 120 days to appeal
before the foreigner’s tribunal and can further go to the Guwahati high court
and even the Supreme Court if they are not satisfied with the verdict of the
Invite Hindus to Mosques in Nagpur to Counter Rift between the Communities
Being Created On Social Media
over a social media post alleging that after Article 370 was scrapped large
quantities of arms were recovered from several mosques in the Kashmir Valley,
the Muslim community here has invited Hindus to visit mosques in a bid to counter
messages trying to create a rift between the communities.
message was posted by a city-based lawyer in a WhatsApp group. Upset, Farhat
Baig, a member of the group, decided to invite the Hindu community to the
city’s Chhoti Masjid on September 5. “I was sad to see this post from a young
lawyer, who is otherwise a very nice person. I asked him why he was trying to
create misgivings about the Muslim community by posting such messages. I then
met the city’s prominent religious leaders and we decided to invite all
non-Muslims to Chhoti Masjid to see how the mosque functions,” Baig told The
lawyer, who posted it, called me to say sorry. I told him it was alright but he
should come to the mosque and see things for himself. He said he would
definitely come,” Baig said.
who is a founder-member of the local Muslim Educational, Social and Cultural
Organisation, spoke to prominent members of the Muslim community, including the
Imam of Choti Masjid Mufti Waliulallah and Jama Masjid president Mirza Salim
Baig. He urged them to open mosques to non-Muslims for them to see how they
function. “The two leaders were more than happy to do that. So, we have fixed
the programme at 4 pm on September 5. They will be free to participate in Namaz
too. We will offer them tea and snacks,” Baig said.
since Baig announced the idea at a press conference recently, his phone hasn’t
stopped ringing. “Several people are calling to congratulate me. They are
saying they will definitely attend the programme,” he said.
next mosque visit will be held at the Jama Masjid next month. Mirza Baig said,
“There are a lot of misconceptions about Islam among non-Muslims. But I wish to
tell them it’s as much a religion of brotherhood as theirs. God is one for all,
only the ways to reach Him are different. We should always be focused on
reaching Him. That’s our manzil (goal)…”
Get Together - RSS-Jamiat Meet Shows Strength Of Our Political System
first recorded contact between members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JuH) was from 1975 to 1977, during the Emergency years.
Members of both the outfits were incarcerated at the Bhondsi Jail in Haryana
and the best way of passing time for the political prisoners was to play
cricket. The time spent in prison got members of the two sides together,
personally, for the first time. While that generation of leadership is gone,
happily, the relationship has endured, even if the two have been on the
opposite sides of the political divide. Last week, the RSS and the JuH agreed
to work jointly to promote harmony and accord in the country.
Indian political system is flexible enough to accommodate two vastly disparate
elements. RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat met the chief of JuH, Maulana Syed
Arshad Madani, in the capital and the two agreed to formalise a plan to create
amity between their respective communities. While there was no formal
announcement, media reports suggest that RSS leader Ram Lal has been given the
mandate to plan how the two organisations will share a platform.
the meeting that lasted over an hour, Bhagwat reportedly assured Madani that
Muslims in India have nothing to fear and that Sangh’s ideology does not
perceive them as different from Hindus. The good thing about such an
interaction is that it was upfront and candid. Madani underlined three issues that
Muslims are worried about: mob lynching, names being left out of the national
register of citizens (NRC) in Assam and a general atmosphere of fear.
always a moderating and sober influence, assuaged the fears of the JuH chief.
Two potentially contentious issues were left out — Ram Janmabhoomi and Kashmir
— which is just as well. Any dialogue can prosper only if common points are on
the discussion table and contentious ones set aside for the moment. In this
case, it was the JuH work in the field of education and social welfare, which
has impressed RSS leaders. The meeting was planned over a year-and-a-half ago,
but could not be scheduled on account of the general elections. Importantly,
this comes ahead of the Sangh’s upcoming coordination meeting in Rajasthan’s
Pushkar next week, which will be attended by 150 functionaries. To be sure,
this is not for the first time that Muslim leaders have engaged with the Sangh.
Some former RSS leaders like K Sudarshan have held periodic interactions with
the Muslim community. When Sudarshan was the sarsanghchalak, he held meetings
with several leaders from Muslim and Christian communities. In 2009, Sudarshan
also met Shia cleric Hamidul Hasan, when a controversy erupted over chanting of
Vande Mataram. A few years later, he also met Kalbe Sadiq, the then
vice-president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). There is little
doubt that such meetings will go a long way in understanding each other’s
in Kerala’s Kodungallur have booked KR Indira, an author and programme director
with All India Radio, for a hateful post on Facebook regarding the National
Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Assam.
for being openly anti-Muslim, Indira in her latest post said that Muslim women
give birth to children as pigs do. “After all they have to conquer the world by
increasing their numbers. Birth control medicine may need to mixed in tap water
to save the earth from you people,” read her post.
police booked Indira on Tuesday under 153 A (promoting enmity between different
groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc and
doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 120 0 of the Kerala
Police Act (whoever by means of any communication device or computer resource
cheats by personating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either
description for a term which may extend
three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to Rs 1 lakh).
153 A is a non-bailable offence.
police told TNM that Indira was booked on a complaint filed by a person named
Dalit activist Rekha Raj also filed a complaint with the police cyber cell on
Monday about Indira’s Facebook post on the NRC in Assam.
AIR programme director has consistently put up posts spewing hate against
Muslims and receives plenty of comments outraging against her posts.
latest post came after she got strongly worded objections and abuses on her
earlier post which said that those who were excluded from the NRC list could be
accommodated in camps for illegal migrants.
Kerala some people are worried about where the non-citizens would go. They can
be housed at the illegal migrants camps with minimum facilities, without ration
card or Aadhar card. They can even be sterilised so they do not give birth to
children,” Indira’s previous post on NRC read.
is humiliating Muslim women. With her posts she tries to create communal hatred
and division between Hindus and Muslims. This is a serious offense. I am not
sure what will be the outcome of the complaint. I have nothing personal against
her, but I wanted to make her and those who clap for her realise the
seriousness of what they do,” Rekha told TNM.
is the only place that raises its voice, though limited, against Hindu fascism.
There has been a deliberate and concrete attempt to dilute serious issues, and
the anti-Muslim tone in this shouldn’t be overlooked, it should be nipped in
the bud. We had seen in the Sabarimala issue how precarious it can be. I don’t
think the police, who had even booked an activist who urged people to donate
inner-wear for women living in flood relief camps, would take suo motu action
against people like this,” Rekha added.
cities are rapidly getting hyper Hindu in nature and the essential character of
that is Islamophobia, which could create insecurity among the Muslims. They
should be allowed to live without fear, with dignity and pride,” Rekha said.
absurd move, Kerala activist arrested for saying women at relief camp need
pointed out that Indira’s posts are also misogynistic. “They tell women, like
the government or men do, how their uterus should work, how many children they
should give birth to,” she said.
Tuesday evening, a group of writers, activists and cultural figures came out
with a joint statement on the need to check people like Indira. Writers CS
Chandrika, S Saradakutty, activists Maya Krishnan and Rekha Raj, among others,
have signed the petition.
militant calls for Pakistan military intervention in disputed region
Pakistan (Reuters) - A Kashmiri militant commander said on Sunday that Pakistan
should send troops to protect the people of India-controlled Kashmir if the
United Nations does not send peacekeepers, after New Delhi revoked its autonomy
binding upon the armed forces of Pakistan, the first Islamic nuclear power, to
enter India-occupied Kashmir to militarily help the people of the territory,”
Syed Salahuddin, who heads an alliance of over a dozen groups fighting Indian
rule in Kashmir, said.
comments underline growing domestic pressure on Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran
Kahn to take robust action after India stripped Kashmir of its special status
on Aug. 5. Khan has so far focused on a global diplomatic campaign condemning
these testing times... mere diplomatic and political support is not going to
work,” Salahuddin told a gathering of hundreds in Muzaffarabad, the capital of
the Pakistani zone of Kashmir.
stripping Indian-controlled Kashmir of its special status, New Delhi blocked
the region’s right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy
property there. The government said the reform would facilitate Kashmir’s
development, to the benefit of all.
the move angered many residents of the region, which has been under a security
clampdown ever since with telephone lines, internet and television networks
blocked and restrictions on movement and assembly.
and Pakistan both rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full.
this year announced it was cracking down on militant groups amidst global
pressure to do so after a group launched a deadly attack on paramilitary police
in India-controlled Kashmir in February.
said that “harsh steps” taken by the government of Pakistan had hindered his
group’s ability to take action.
steps have restrained us from launching armed resistance against India in a
move that is unfair,” he said.
in Pakistan say the government is working to show it is behaving responsibly
and have rejected suggestions there could be a temptation to use militants as
proxies against India.
who is originally from Badgam town in Indian-administered Kashmir, was placed
on a list of global terrorists by Washington in 2017, a move Pakistan’s
government at the time called unjustified.
Donald Trump has hit back at London Mayor Sadiq Khan after the British
politician chastised the American head of state for his handling of Hurricane
the mayor’s first and last names, Trump warned “incompetent” Khan in a couple
of tweets on Tuesday to “stay out” of the US’s business after Khan berated him
for playing golf as Hurricane Dorian bore down on the southeastern coast of the
defended his time spent golfing, saying it was not different from politicians
who spend time exercising or traveling.
incompetent Mayor of London, Sadique Kahn, was bothered that I played a very
fast round of golf yesterday,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Many Pols exercise for
hours, or travel for weeks. Me, I run through one of my courses (very
inexpensive). President Obama would fly to Hawaii.”
incompetent Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was bothered that I played a very fast
round of golf yesterday. Many Pols exercise for hours, or travel for weeks. Me,
I run through one of my courses (very inexpensive). President Obama would fly
to Hawaii. Kahn should focus on....
PM - Sep 3, 2019
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people are talking about this
continued, “Khan should focus on ‘knife crime,’ which is totally out of control
in London. People are afraid to even walk the streets. He is a terrible mayor
who should stay out of our business!”
tweets came after Khan panned the US president for his golf habit, saying,
“He’s clearly busy dealing with a hurricane out on the golf course.”
Dorian left a path of destruction through the Bahamas on Monday and is now on
track to hit parts of the East Coast throughout the week.
American president was away visiting his Trump National Golf Club in Virginia
amid the heavy storms and flash flooding caused by the deadly hurricane.
has declared a state of emergency for the US state of Georgia as Hurricane
Dorian was on its course towards Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina
after battering Bahamas.
American head of state and the London mayor have butted heads numerous times
over the past few years, with Trump branding Khan a "stone cold
loser" and the Labour politician objecting to Trump’s campaign pledge to
ban Muslims from traveling to the US.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Syria's Idlib slowly disappearing
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that a so-called de-escalation zone in
Syria's Idlib region is slowly disappearing because of military attacks by
Erdogan also said he would make all necessary contacts with parties in the
region to find a solution to the Idlib situation, adding that a Syria safe zone
which he has proposed to host Syrians fleeing the war is now nothing more than
is slowly disappearing. Idlib is in a situation that it started to disappear
and become torn down in a way Aleppo is. It is not possible to stay silent
against this," Mr Erdogan told a news conference in Ankara.
in Syria's northwest corner, is the only big chunk of the country still in
rebel hands after over eight years of war.
Russia and Iran agreed in 2017 to the Idlib zone to reduce fighting, although
the terms were never made public and the deal did not include extremist
truce in early August collapsed three days in, after which the Russian-backed
Syrian army pressed an offensive and gained ground against rebel forces, some
of whom are backed by Turkey.
fragile ceasefire has held in the Idlib region since Saturday, following four
months of air strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians and caused mass
estimated three million people are living in Idlib almost half of whom have
been displaced from other parts of Syria in the country's eight-year war.
make up nearly half of the region's total population, the United Nations says,
and are at particular risk, with thousands missing out on their education.
heavy bombardment has damaged or impacted 87 educational facilities, according
to Britain-based NGO Save the Children.
of children due to start the school year in northwest Syria may not have access
to education" after the latest violence, the charity said.
are set to start at the end of September, but just over half of the region's
1,193 schools can still operate, it said.
the new school year starts, the remaining functional schools can only
accommodate up to 300,000 of the 650,000 school-age children," it said.
further 200 schools are being used as shelters for those displaced by the
fighting, it added.
since April has killed more than 960 civilians, according to the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights, and displaced more than 400,000 people, the UN
bombardment damaging schools or forcing them to close, many parents are scared
to send their children to those still open, Save the Children said.
are telling us that parents are pleading with them to shut schools for fear of
them being attacked," the group's Syria country director Sonia Khush said.
children are dealing with losing their homes, loss and grief. They should not
have to fear losing their lives whilst they try to learn," she added.
has since January been ruled by Hayat Tahrir Al Sham, an alliance led by
Syria's former Al Qaeda affiliate.
conflict has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced more than half of
the country's pre-war population since starting in 2011 with the brutal
repression of anti-government protests.
Saturday, the US Central Command, part of the Department of Defence, said US
forces struck an Al Qaeda facility in Idlib in an attack aimed at the
Erdogan said that Idlib would be the most important issue during his meeting
with US President Donald Trump as part of the United Nations General Assembly
later in September.
proposed safe area in northern Syria to host displaced Syrians is not supported
by some allies, Mr Erdogan said.
zone is nothing more than a name right now. Some assaults, threats are made in
the southern part but we are taking all the necessary steps," Mr Erdogan
attacked, trespassed, razed Babri, now seek Ayodhya land: Muslim parties to SC
Babri mosque was attacked in 1934 by Hindus who then trespassed in 1949 and
demolished it in 1992 and are now saying that their rights over the disputed
Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land must be protected, Muslim parties said in the
Supreme Court on Monday.
5-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which
commenced hearing arguments from the Muslim side on 17th day of the crucial
proceedings, was told by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan that the historical
assertions and facts cannot be relied upon completely in deciding the lawsuits.
1934, you (Hindus) break the masjid and in 1949, you commit trespass and
finally, in 1992, you demolish the mosque...and after all the destructions, you
say that the Britishers collaborated against Hindus and now say that our right
must be protected," said Dhavan, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board and one of
the original litigants, M Siddiq.
bench, however, told him: "Please do not go into all this. Your arguments
should be relevant to issues."
said all these issues have been raised by the other side and he should be
allowed to respond as this hearing was related to "future of this
advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for the deity, also got up and said that
Dhavan should deal with the case of plaintiff (Muslim parties).
is free to place his case, the way he wants to," the CJI said.
told the bench, which also comprised justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok
Bhushan and S A Nazeer, that Justice S U Khan, one of the three judges of
Allahabad HC, had noted down that historical fact cannot be the ground enough
to decide the title.
far as title suit of civil nature is concerned, there is no room of historical
facts and sometimes, they will lead to erroneous conclusions," Dhavan
said, quoting the HC verdict.
the outset, Dhavan referred to the issues which he would address and said that
it had been argued by the Hindu parties that when Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi,
the nature of regime change was 'Darul Islam' and in this form, the king does
not automatically become the owner of the entire state.
he said that it has been argued that only Hindu law will apply in deciding the
dispute and moreover the concept of 'Swayambhu' (on its own) has been used to
say that as Lord Ram appeared on his own at the land which becomes the deity.
question of 'Swayambhu' does not arise, because it was raised first time in
1989 when the suit was filed on behalf of 'Ram Lalla Virajman' through a next
friend," he said.
the issue as to which law, Hindu or Muslim or both, would apply, Dhavan said
the "law of justice, equity and good conscience should be applied as this
is the law of the land".
Vedic period, there were neither temples nor monasteries and there was no
concept of idol worship, he said, adding that he "does not want to raise
another controversy by pointing out whether Aryans brought such practices in
the issue of 'parikrama' of the birth place of Lord Ram, which Hindus contended
that it was going on since time immemorial, Dhavan said it was one of the forms
of worship and not a piece of evidence.
law on 'Wakf' would apply and once any property is dedicated to the almighty,
'Allah' becomes the owner.
said historiography tells about the way the history should be read and such
facts cannot be the sufficient ground to decide title claims in a lawsuit by
cuts both ways, Hindus and Muslims cannot say that their version of history be
believed to decide, he said, adding, "I cannot dig up
evidence...difficulties are there (in appreciating historical facts)."
high court had used the principle of "informed guess" and
"preponderance of probability" in holding that it cannot be said with
certainty as to whether a temple existed at the disputed place before the
mosque came up.
are firmly of the view that the place was not a temple just because there were
pictures of peacock and lotus," Dhavan said, adding the high court took
note of the views of ASI and other experts and said no "definite
opinion" can be made about the nature of the structure.
said he 'Ramayana', written by Tulsidas, was 'kavya' (poetry) and cannot said
to be the part of history.
this, the bench said: "Tulsidas was a contemporary and 'Kavya' may also
may be taken by poet, Dhavan said.
then referred to the statement of 'Nirmohi Akahara' saying it will not question
maintainability of the lawsuit of deity 'Ram Lalla' if its (Akhara's) 'shebait'
(devotee) rights are not challenged by the deity.
then referred to the different stands of the deity and 'Akahara' with regard to
legality of the lawsuits and said that the court will have to 'interpret'
concession made by the 'Akahara' in favour of the deity.
Janm Bhoomi Nyas' is also a party and it said that it will construct a
magnificant temple and now the question was whether 'Akhara' would get the same
'shebait' right, he said. Dhavan would resume arguments on Tuesday.
Allahabad High Court, in its judgment of 2010 on four civil lawsuits, had
partitioned the 2.77-acre disputed land equally among the three parties Sunni
Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court against the verdict.
About 10,000 British Pakistanis descended on London on Tuesday in hundreds of
coaches from across the UK and proceeded to smash windows of the Indian High
Commission and cause chaos on the streets of the British capital for the second
time in weeks.
of the Indian diaspora did not hold a counter-protest. The 'Kashmir Freedom
March', organised by a plethora of British Kashmiri groups, went from
Parliament Square past Downing Street to the High Commission building led by
some UK Labour MPs. Protesters carried Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) and
Khalistan flags and placards saying, ‘Stop shelling in Kashmir’, ‘End the
siege’ ‘Time for UN to act on Kashmir’ ‘Stop war crimes in Kashmir’ and they
shouted “We want freedom” and “Azadi”.
can try and silence a Parliament but you cannot try and silence a people. We
will continue to protest on the streets of our cities and at the UN until we
have delivered justice for the people of Kashmir. This idea this is a bilateral
negotiation is now dead. It is time for a multilateral solution now,”
Birmingham Hodge Hill British Labour MP Liam Byrne, who led the march, said.
is gathering names on a petition he plans to hand into the House of Commons
calling on the UK Government to make urgent representations to the Indian
Government through the Commonwealth and through the UN “to seek restoration of
Kashmir’s special status; to ensure demilitarisation, restoration of
communications and to immediately allow full access to human rights observers.”
protesters, who were mainly British Pakistanis and British people with roots in
PoK, but who included pro-Khalistan Sikhs, said they were there to mark 30 days
since the lockdown in Kashmir that commenced following abrogation of Article
370. A PoK flag was placed into the hands of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at
Parliament Square, Westminster before the march started.
were erected preventing the group from reaching the mission building in
there were no people to target, the crowd hurled hundreds of eggs, tomatoes,
shoes, stones, smoke bombs and bottles at the building and smashed several of
its windows. The High Commission of India tweeted photos of several broken
windows. The tweet said: “Another violent protest outside the Indian High
Commission in London today, 3 September 2019. Damage caused to the premises.”
Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said there were two arrests, both were for
mayor, Pakistani-origin Sadiq Khan, tweeted: “I utterly condemn this
in the UK
violent protest outside the Indian High Commission in London today, 3 September
2019. Damage caused to the premises. @foreignoffice @UKinIndia @MEAIndia
@DominicRaab @DrSJaishankar @PMOIndia @tariqahmadbt
image on Twitter
utterly condemn this unacceptable behaviour and have raised this incident with
@metpoliceuk to take action.
PM - Sep 3, 2019
people are talking about this
is the second time in less than a month that the Indian mission in London has
been targeted by unruly protesters.
August 15, protesters carrying Khalistani and Kashmiri flags tried to push
forward across police lines and threw objects, targeting members of the Indian
diaspora who were peacefully celebrating Independence Day at the high
commission. Hundreds of thugs and hooligans were among the protesters, made up
predominantly of British Pakistanis, Pakistani Kashmiris and pro-Khalistan
threw eggs, glass bottles, shoes, plastic bottles and other objects at the
crowd who had gathered for the Independence Day event and at the mission
High Commission of India lodged a criminal complaint shortly afterwards with
the police over a broken window and damage to the walls.
the ground in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), one of the questions being raised
after the Centre’s decision to scrap the state’s special status and bifurcate
the state into two Union Territories, is whether Urdu will remain the official language.
47 of the J&K Reorganisation Act empowers the new Legislative Assembly of
the Union Territory of J&K to “adopt any one or more of the languages in
use in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir or Hindi as the official
language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes.”
business in the Assembly, the law states, shall be transacted in the “official
language or languages of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir or in Hindi or in
English.” Before August 5, Urdu was the official language of J&K state,
while official transactions and orders were also conducted and issued in
contacted, J&K Governor’s advisor Farooq Khan told The Indian Express: “All
special provisions have been thrown into the dustbin of history where they
always belonged. In the new set-up, everything will be done afresh. A child has
taken birth, so it will be nurtured with all the love and care by the
Government of India. The Centre’s welfare schemes, which used to be mutilated
in the previous set-up, are being pursued with full vigour.”
about the status of Urdu as J&K’s official language post-August 5, Khan
said: “The Reorganisation Act is very clear that the new official language or
languages will be chosen by the new Assembly. Hindi is the national language so
it would be an official language of the Union Territory of J&K. Urdu will
also be given its due place. English will also be used as it is being used
rulers recognised Urdu as a state and official language of J&K in 1889.
Before Urdu, Persian was the official language of Kashmir for around three
centuries. In J&K, Urdu is the language of land and revenue records, courts
(especially lower judiciary) and police (FIRs etc are all written in Urdu). It
is also the mode of instruction in government schools, especially in Kashmir
and the Muslim-majority districts of Jammu and Kargil.
different languages spoken in J&K — Kashmiri, Dogri, Gojri, Ladakhi, Pahari
and Balti — Urdu emerged as a link language during Dogra rule, especially
because it wasn’t the mother tongue of any substantial group.
entry of All India Services in J&K in 1962 led to a decline in the use of
this official language in the higher echelons of power because the officers —
majority of them non-locals — didn’t know Urdu and preferred English. Urdu,
however, continued to be the main language of the government.
India took “precautionary and preventative measures” in Kashmir to ensure that
the government's efforts to maintain peace in the Valley are not scuttled by
"vested interests" from across the border, the country's Ambassador
to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said.
made the comments in a podcast on Tuesday and spoke on changing the paradigm in
Jammu and Kashmir- from cross-border terrorism and radicalisation to jobs,
inclusive development and a hope for peace.
suspended Internet and mobile services in several areas in Jammu and Kashmir
and banned public gatherings in Srinagar district under Section 144,
apprehending trouble after the Indian government revoked the special status to
the state on August 5.
and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said internet and phone services have been
shut because these are more useful to terrorists and Pakistan for mobilisation
of people and indoctrination of youths.
said that the purpose of his podcast is to bring facts of the matter in front
the past few weeks we have seen a great deal of speculation, some pedalling of
half-truths, untruths, factually incorrect information that disseminated in the
media, primarily in the US,” he said.
said that there has been a lot of speculation on the “precautionary and
preventative measures” taken by the Indian government in Kashmir to ensure that
the law and order situation on the ground is secure.
said that the reason why these measures were taken was to "ensure that the
positive steps of the government should not be scuttled due to incitement and
vested interests from across the border."
downgraded its diplomatic relations and expelled the Indian high commissioner
following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of
Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the
Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has sought an end to the
rhetoric on Kashmir issue, saying that peaceful dialogue, respect for civil
rights and non-violence are the only way forward.
prayer for the children and people of India and Pakistan is a future of peace,”
Krishnamoorthi, the US Representative for Illinois' 8th Congressional district,
said in a statement.
delegation thwarts Pak attempt to raise Kashmir issue at Unicef meet in Lanka
DELHI/COLOMBO: A parliamentary delegation from India thwarted Pakistan's
attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at a Unicef event in Sri Lanka on Tuesday,
asserting that it was India's internal matter.
comes two days after India scuttled an attempt by Pakistan to raise the Kashmir
issue during the South Asian Speakers' Summit in the Maldives, saying Islamabad
should put an end to all state support to terrorism, which is the "biggest
threat" to humanity.
Tuesday, the Pakistani delegates tried to rake up rights issues in Kashmir at
the Unicef South Asian Parliamentarian Conference on Children Rights Convention
in Colombo, evoking a sharp reaction from the Indian side, with Congress MP
Gaurav Gogoi slamming the neighbouring country's record on rights issues of
reminded the Pakistani delegation of their country's internal situation related
to human rights, the plight of minorities and legislations such as the
and BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal, both part of the Indian delegation, asserted that
Kashmir was India's internal matter.
in a video statement, Gogoi said it was "highly unfortunate" that at
a child rights conference organised by the Unicef, the Pakistani delegation
tried to internationalise the matter of Jammu and Kashmir.
firmly reminded them that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and
India is the largest democracy in the world and as stakeholders in the Indian
democracy, an Indian voice will be heard, not that of a vested interest, not
that of a foreign country, and not certainly that of Pakistan," he said.
comes after the Indian and Pakistani delegations had a heated exchange on
Sunday during the summit held in the Maldivian Parliament, where
representatives of the South Asian countries had gathered.
deputy speaker of the national assembly Qasim Suri tried to raise the Kashmir
issue during the discussion on "Sustainable Development Goals".
immediately raised a point of order, after which the presiding officer asked
Suri to let the Indian representative, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh,
to speak, but he did not pay any heed, leading to a commotion.
a strong response, Harivansh hit out at Pakistan for raising an internal issue
of India and politicisation of the forum.
Indian High Commission (IHC) in London was vandalised Tuesday after a protest
over the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir turned violent. The
protesters damaged windows of the building.
violent protest outside the Indian High Commission in London today, 3 September
2019. Damage caused to the premises,” the commission wrote on Twitter, sharing
the picture of the broken window.
is the second time violent protests have taken place outside the IHC building
in London over the Kashmir issue. Earlier, clashes had taken place on the
Independence Day on August 15.
the violence, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called it “unacceptable.” “I utterly
condemn this unacceptable behaviour and have raised this incident with
@metpoliceuk to take action,” he tweeted in response to the IHC’s tweet.
August 15, the Independence Day celebrations by the Indian diaspora in London
were disrupted by protesters who hurled stones and eggs on the embassy building
and the Indians gathered outside.
Tory MP Shailesh Vara raised the issue of violent protests during the first
parliamentary session in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Highlighting that
members of the Indian diaspora were attacked by “another community,” Raab said,
“…Any violence is deplorable. It shouldn’t be conducted in this country, or
anywhere else for that matter, at any individual communities. What we now need
to do is try and reduce those tensions but also, on a positive side, build up
confidence-building measures to allow proper dialogue between the communities
in Kashmir and also between India and Pakistan.”
the summer of 2004, Abubakr Ahmad, a veteran Islamic scholar from Kerala and
founder-chancellor of the Jamia Markaz group of educational institutions, arrived
in the Kashmir Valley to lay the foundation stone for a number of projects and
take stock of existing facilities. During the visit, when he struck a
conversation with then-chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, the CM, while
congratulating Ahmad for starting schools in the Valley for underprivileged
kids, asked him if he could do something for destitute kids and those from poor
families in the Valley back in Kerala. “Your state is comparatively peaceful.
Couldn’t you take kids from conflict-prone areas here and educate them there?”
Sayeed is reported to have asked Ahmad.
began the journey of the Kashmiri Home, located inside the expansive
headquarters of the Jamia Markaz in Karanthur, 15 kilometres away from
Kozhikode city in Kerala. For the past 15 years, hundreds of schoolgoing
Kashmiri boys have left behind the Valley’s enduring cauldron of conflict and
strife to travel over 3,200 kms with the hope of studying in a harmonious
first batch of almost 300 boys between the ages of 10 and 14 was handpicked in
2004 by the then-government of J&K from impoverished families. In later
years, smaller batches of around 25 students each were picked through selection
tests by teachers and trainers of Markaz. While the building for the Kashmiri Home
was funded by the Red Crescent Society of UAE, all expenses including clothes,
books, school fees, food and accommodation for the students is taken care of by
the management at Markaz. The Markaz runs a wide array of institutes including
schools, colleges, research centres and orphanages across Kerala and the world.
students, upon arrival at the Kashmiri Home in Karanthur, are enrolled into
schools run by Markaz subscribed to both the Kerala state syllabus and CBSE. In
addition to the routine classes at school, they are also taught Islamic studies
and theology. While education up to the 12th grade is guaranteed for the kids
at Markaz, their future studies at the graduate and post-graduate level are
decided based on their interests. While many of them choose to stay on and
study in Kerala, others travel to Delhi and Kashmir for future education.
2004, close to 900 students from the Valley have passed out of Kashmiri Home,
working in different parts of the world. Especially over the last three years,
the academic performance of these students has been outstanding. They are
speaking fluently in Malayalam, singing Malayalam poems and have acclimated to
our education system in Kerala,” points out Shahzad Noorani, the academic
director of the Kashmiri Home.
a recent evening at the Kashmiri Home, greyish rain clouds began assembling in
the sky as a stream of Kashmiri boys, all in white kurta-pyjama or gowns that
stretched up to the ankles, washed their feet under a tap and trooped silently
into a rectangular hall. Picking up copies of the holy Quran from a cupboard,
they went down on their knees on mats and began reading aloud the verses from
is their prayer time. After they return from school, they wash up and sit down
for prayers lasting about 15-20 minutes. Then, they climb up to their dorms and
finish their school tasks. On weekends, they have Arabic classes along with
sessions on DTP and computer designing,” explains Mohibullah, one of the staff
members at Markaz.
Ahmad, a 12th-grade student-resident at the Kashmiri Home, had not heard much
about Kerala before he boarded the Navyug Express from Jammu Tawi station in
2011. In fact, growing up in a poor neighbourhood in the tiny village of
Surankote in Poonch district of J&K, he used to think Kerala was located
right next to Delhi. He admits that even though he studied in a madrassa till
fourth grade back in Poonch, he did not know how to write the alphabet or even
his own name in English.
home was located in an economically backward area where education wasn’t given
any importance. My father was poor and used to do daily-wage jobs on farms. He
didn’t earn enough to educate me and my brothers,” says Ahmad.
day, I saw a poster of Markaz stuck to a lamp-post in my village inviting
applications for students to study free-of-cost at their school in Kerala. I
desperately wanted to study so I borrowed some money from my uncle and came to
Kerala with an acquaintance,” he adds.
luck did not favour him initially. With his education at the madrassa in Poonch
barely cutting it, he failed in both the test and personal interview at Markaz.
But when he poured his heart out on the dire financial state at home and his
aspirations to study, the teachers at Markaz agreed to take him. In the first
couple of years, Ahmad says he had to toil hard to keep up with his peers at
didn’t know Malayalam and English. My teachers didn’t know Urdu. So both of us
could not understand each other. I later began conversing extensively with Malayali
kids to pick up on the local language,” says Ahmad.
19, today is the star of the current batch at Kashmiri Home. For the past five
years, he has been winning the first prize across different categories like
story and poetry recitation and Urdu speech at the state-level school arts
festival. He speaks fluent Malayalam, helps out the younger kids at Kashmiri
Home with their studies and is predicted to do very well in the 12th board
examinations next year.
him what he wants to do next and pat comes the reply: “I want to complete BA
and MA courses in Urdu. And then I want to do my PhD. I want to live in Kerala
and teach Urdu in colleges here,” he says.
ka mahaul, rahna sahna, education ka system sab acche hai. Hindu-Muslim mil
julke rehte hai aur sab ek dusre ko madad karta hai (Kerala’s environment, it’s
living condition and it’s education system are all good. Hindus and Muslims
live together in peace. They help each other).”
Mohd Furqan, a tall, skinny boy in the 10th grade who joined Markaz last year,
Kerala presents a picture of peace and calm that his childhood in Anantnag
seldom saw. He spoke of often waking up to the sound of AK-47s firing off near
his home, witnessing the deaths of people at close quarters and getting classes
at school suspended for weeks together due to militant strikes.
of the stinging memories he has of the conflict in Kashmir goes back two years
to the day when he stepped outside his home to recharge his cell-phone. “When I
was walking to the shop, I saw the body of a man being carried on someone’s
shoulder. He was clearly dead. When I looked back at his face, I realised it
was my neighbour. He got hit during stone-pelting with security forces and
died,” says Furqan.
in Kashmir today have adjusted to the way of life there. They are used to the
sound of gunfire.”
fact, the management at Markaz recognises that the bouts of militancy combined
with anti-India propaganda in the Valley can leave a detrimental effect on the
children there. Which is why, all students arriving at the Kashmiri Home are
taught positive values of patriotism and ‘Indianness’.
underlined, “At school, they are taught chapters on Indian history. They are
informed of the role of Muslims in the country’s freedom struggle. At every
Independence Day programme, we ensure they are right in the middle holding the
have always done everything possible to promote secular values and pro-India
sentiments among students. These are young minds and we take special care to
teach them the right things.”
(AMRITSAR): The third round of discussions between delegates of India and
Pakistan will be held here on Wednesday to discuss and finalise the draft
agreement for operationalistaion of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims.
The joint secretary-level meeting will be held at Attari in Amritsar, officials
will be the second such meeting after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's
special status leading to fresh tensions between the two neighbours.
the last joint secretary-level meeting held in July at Wagah in Pakistan, it
was agreed that 5,000 pilgrims per day will be allowed to visit Kartarpur Sahib
Gurdwara in Pakistan.
August 30, the meeting between technical experts of India and Pakistan had
corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak
shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of
Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur
Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.
corridor will be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since
is building the corridor from the Indian border to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the
final resting place of Guru Nanak, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up
to the border will be constructed by India.
a major initiative last November, both India and Pakistan had agreed to set up
the Kartarpur corridor to link the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib -- the final
resting place of Guru Nanak Dev -- to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur.
Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the Ravi River, about
four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
four-lane highway connecting the Zero Point of the Kartarpur Corridor up to
National Highway-354 is being constructed by the National Highways Authority of
corridor will be opened in November to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru
President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had on
November 26 last year laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in
DELHI: India has given a list of proposals to Pakistan with regard to Kartarpur
corridor project ahead of the third round of high-level talks between the two
countries on Wednesday.
to proposals, India has sought permission for the visit of 10,000 Indian
pilgrims to Kartarpur Gurdwara Sahib on special occasions.
to diplomatic sources, Pakistan has accepted to allow visa-free entry of 5,000
Sikh pilgrims in a day. Islamabad has also agreed to allow the pilgrims to come
in groups or individually to Kartarpur.
Indian side has also sought the permission from Pakistani authorities for Sikh
pilgrims to prepare and distribute free food during their stay in Kartarpur,
the second meeting, which took place on July 14, the two sides agreed to
complete the construction of the 4.19-km long four-lane highway connecting the
zero point of Kartarpur corridor to Gurdaspur-Amritsar highway by September 30,
while the Passenger Terminal Complex at Dera Baba Nanak will be completed by
October 31, Ministry of Home Affairs had said in a statement.
with a budget of Rs 500 crore on a 15-acre land, the Passenger Terminal Complex
will have all public amenities to enable smooth passage of approximately 5,000
pilgrims per day.
Das, Joint Secretary, Internal Security, Ministry of Home Affairs, who led the
Indian delegation during the second Joint Secretary-level talks with their
Pakistani counterparts at Wagah, had said: "Both sides have agreed to
maintain a channel of communication and work towards finalisation on the
agreement of modalities. If required, our delegations could meet in India to
formally concluding the agreement."
have been able to narrow down the differences since the first meeting held on
March 14, 2019. Our technical teams will meet further to ensure seamless
connectivity. Details will be further worked out," Das had added.
Kartarpur corridor along the India-Pakistan border is 3-km away from Gurdaspur
in Punjab, India. Once opened, this corridor will allow Sikh pilgrims direct
access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan, where
Guru Nanak Dev passed away in 1539.
week, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting
Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the opening of Kartarpur corridor will remain on
track irrespective of Pakistan's ties with India over the Kashmir crisis,
rejecting rumours that Pakistan had stalled the work on the corridor after the
country's relations with its neighbour strained in the aftermath of
the third round of talks between Pakistan and India on the Kartarpur corridor began
at Attari on Wednesday, Pakistan said it was hopeful that the meeting will
finalise the draft agreement of the project.
corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in
Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian
pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which
was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.
are hopeful to give a final shape to the draft agreement of Kartarpur corridor
in today’s talks with India. Some 90 per cent work on the project has been
completed and Pakistan is committed to opening the corridor in November,” said
Foreign Office spokesperson and Director General of South Asia and SAARC
Mohammad Faisal, who is leading the Pakistani delegation.
to reporters before crossing into India at Wagah border to take part in the
talks, Faisal said Pakistan is positive for the outcome of the third round of
talks on the corridor.
has decided to open the corridor on the wish of the Sikh community. Prime
Minister Imran Khan has taken the initiative for the minority community,” he
official told PTI that in the talks the names of the leaders from both sides
are likely to be finalised who will be part of the opening ceremony.
the meeting may also finalise how many Sikhs from India will come to Pakistan
on the opening ceremony of the corridor,” he said, adding that it is expected
that Pakistan and India reach a consensus on the issues that couldn’t be settled
in the July 14 meeting.
the second round of meeting between the two countries on July 14 at Wagah
border, Faisal had said: “There has been positive progress and we moved
forward. Both countries have agreed 80 per cent and beyond regarding the Kartarpur
corridor agreement. We may have another meeting to resolve the remaining 20 per
cent issues between us on this matter.”
August 30, technical experts from Pakistan and India held a meeting at the Zero
Point on Kartarpur corridor project.
meeting on Friday lasted for close to two hours and both the sides have said
“good progress” on the technical aspects of the proposed corridor.
countries have agreed that Pakistan would allow 5,000 Sikh visitors per day
into the country through the corridor, which will also be the first visa-free
corridor between the two neighbours since their independence in 1947.
is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in
Kartarpur while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur
district up to the border will be constructed by India.
is constructing a bridge at the zero point and has urged Pakistan to build a
similar bridge on its side that will provide safe and secure movement of
pilgrims and address concerns regarding flooding.
bridge is over a creek of which the majority part falls in Pakistan.
between India and Pakistan has escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and
Kashmir’s special status. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded
diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday cancelled a planned day-long visit to
India on September 9 to meet his counterpart Narendra Modi, citing scheduling
issues due to an unprecedented repeat polls in Israel.
statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said the two leaders spoke over
phone and they “agreed that due to scheduling constraints, the prime minister’s
visit will take place after the (September 17) elections.”
is the second time this year that the Israeli leader has cancelled a planned
visit to India, doing so earlier before the April elections.
planned visit was widely seen in Israel as an effort by him to project his
acceptance worldwide and prop up his campaign just days before the September 17
July, Netanyahu’s Likud Party put banners featuring his pictures with Modi, US
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to lure support by
presenting him in a “different league”.
campaign has focused on bringing out his close chemistry with the world leaders
and trying to project him as a leader of unmatched stature in Israeli politics
which is crucial for the country’s security.
who created history on July 20 by becoming the longest serving Israeli Prime
Minister, surpassing Israel’s first premier David Ben-Gurion, is facing a tough
political challenge as opinion polls show flagging fortunes for his ruling
Likud party. Israeli lawmakers in May voted 74-45 in favour of dissolving the
21st Knesset (Parliament) and hold an unprecedented re-elections on September
17 after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government after the April 9
shutdown continues in the Kashmir Valley, the government has launched an
advertisement blitzkrieg in major local newspapers to enlighten people about
the benefits of abrogation of Article 370 and 35A.
comes days after Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik had said that the
government was planning to launch an awareness campaign about benefits of abrogation
of the Article 370 and creation of 50,000 posts in the new union territory
including its recruitment mechanism.
page advertisements have been issued by the state government to vernacular
newspapers published from Srinagar with a tagline- ‘A single constitution for
the entire country. How will Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh benefit?’
message in different segments explains how the abrogation of the two laws by
the parliament not only removed disparity but also gives benefits which will
now onwards start reaching out to Scheduled Tribes, Schedule Castes and OBC’s.
It also mentions how these two articles helped separatists and their associates
and prevented the development of the state.
many women from the state have married and settled in other parts of country
and even abroad. These women will now retain full and legal rights on land and
other rights,’’ reads the message on gender discrimination.
message also touches the West Pakistani Refugees living in Jammu– ‘Over 20,000
West Pakistan Refugees (WPRS) were hitherto aliens in their own country. They
were denied all democratic rights as well as citizenship and property rights.
They will now enjoy all democratic and other rights as citizens of the
governor Satya Pal Malik had told mediapersons that they will be circulating
messages about two important things through all newspapers published in the
will be publicising two or three important things through newspapers. What are
the benefits of the abrogation of Article 370 both in Urdu, English in all
newspapers. We will also give the dates of posts which will be filled by
government in the coming days,’’ Malik had said.
the army had also distributed handbills and pamphlets in some parts of Kashmir
especially in south Kashmir describing benefits of abrogation of article 370
and 35 A.
communication blockade in the Valley continues despite the government claiming
to have made 76 out of 96 telephones in Kashmir functional. However, internet
services remain snapped, though postpaid mobile phones have been restored in
only one of the ten districts of Kashmir.
all prominent newspapers published from Srinagar have resumed their publication
even though they have reduced the size of the papers.
the meeting of Sikh representatives from across the world with Pakistani
politicians including PM Imran Khan, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab
province, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, claimed he had called upon the fathers of
the Sikh teen Jagjeet Kaur and the Muslim youth she married and brokered a
compromise announced by the father of the youth, Mohammad Hassan, was that he
has agreed not to stop Jagjeet if she wanted to return to her family. In a
video that has gone viral, Sarwar is seen flanked by the fathers of Kaur and
Hassan at the Governor House in Lahore, proclaiming that on his request, a
compromise has been brokered. He then asks the boy's father to make an
withdraw our claim on the girl. If she wishes to return to her parents, we will
have no objection," says Hassan's father, who is accompanied by a lawyer.
While they appear to be under pressure, Jagjeet's father Bhagwan Singh and
brother Manmohan Singh remain quiet in the video. Later, Manmohan told TOI ,
"Now 80% of the issue has been resolved. My sister has been brainwashed by
the boy and his family. My mother will go to meet with her and talk to her on
Wednesday at the Darul Uloom. I hope she will listen to us." He also
confirmed that Jagjeet had not yet returned to the family.
to TOI over phone, Nankana Sahib-based human rights activist and advocate Mian
Sadi Abbas said, "The boy's father has no right to say that he won't stake
claim over the girl. She is not a commodity. Legally, she is married to his son
and is his daughter-in-law."
added that as Jagjeet had embraced Islam from a recognised Islamic institution
and was legally married to Hassan, in case she reverts to Sikhism she would be
called an apostate and could face fatwa of kufr (disbeliever), whose punishment
A day after Prime Minister Imran Khan unexpectedly announced that Pakistan will
not use nuclear weapons or initiate military action against India first,
Islamabad on Tuesday in a U-Turn said that there was no such change in its
nuclear policy. Addressing an event of Sikh
community in Lahore on Monday, Khan had said that both Pakistan and India were
nuclear-armed countries and if tension escalated between them, the whole world
could be in danger. “But there will be no first from our side ever,” Khan
Dr Muhammad Faisal, spokesperson of the foreign affairs ministry, in a tweet
said, “Prime Minister’s comments on Pakistan’s approach towards conflict
between two nuclear armed states are being taken out of context.” “While
conflict should not take place between two nuclear states, there’s no change in
Pakistan’s nuclear policy,” he added.
New Delhi nullified the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, Imran
Khan has been appealing to the world leaders asking them to play their part in
resolving the Kashmir issue to prevent a fatal war, a reference to the use of
nuclear weapons between Pakistan and India. Khan has repeatedly warning the
international community that Pakistan-India conflict will not be limited to
South Asia but will have global consequences.
In a major embarrassment to Pakistan, its lawyer at the International Court of
Justice (ICJ) Khawar Qureshi has said that it would be "extremely
difficult" for his country to prove the charge of genocide in Kashmir due
to lack of evidence.
statement comes at a time when Pakistan is blatantly threatening to approach
the ICJ+ against India over Kashmir after India abrogated Article 370, which
gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
lawyer said that Pakistan can approach the ICJ under the Genocide Convention of
1948 to which both the south Asian nations are signatories.
is the main court of the United Nations. There is a convention called the
Genocide Convention of 1948 to which Pakistan and India both are signatories.
The state that has committed genocide, about to commit genocide or and failing
to prevent genocide can be made the subject to the proceeding before the
ICJ," Khawar Qureshi said during a talk show on Pakistani news channel 92
in the absence of these pieces of evidence, it is extremely difficult for
Pakistan to take this case to the ICJ," he said.
decision has been hailed internationally with several countries calling the
move as India's internal matter even as Pakistan has been trying to
internationalise the issue.
has found itself completely isolated despite reaching out to several countries
over the issue.
has approached various world leaders, including Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, French
President Emmanuel Macron and the Jordanian King Abdullah II to seek their
intervention into the issue, but in vain.
Kartarpur is the "Madina" and Nankana Sahib is the "Makkah"
of the Sikh community, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said and assured
that his government will issue multiple and on-arrival visas to Sikh pilgrims
coming from India and other countries, according to media reports on Tuesday.
said the government will provide Sikh pilgrims maximum possible facilities during
their pilgrimage to the holy sites in Pakistan, the News International
the International Sikh Convention at the Governor House here on Monday, the
prime minister said, "I assure that you will be issued multiple
visas...This is our responsibility. We will give you visas at the
has decided to complete the process of issuance of visas to Sikh pilgrims by
September 30 to facilitate their participation at the 550th birth anniversary
of Guru Nanak Dev in Nankana Sahib on November 12. The visa process started on
September 1. The move is not a favour, it was Pakistan's obligation, the Saama
TV quoted Khan as saying.
is your Madina and Nankana Sahib is your Makkah. We (Muslims) can't even
imagine someone keeping us away from Makkah or Madina. This is a new visa
regime so there may some obstacles initially, but we will facilitate you
fully," he said.
convention was attended by Punjab governor Chaudhry Sarwar, federal and
provincial cabinet members, and Sikh pilgrims from the UK, the US, Canada,
Europe and other countries.
Delhi and Islamabad have agreed that Pakistan would allow 5,000 Sikh visitors
per day into the country through the proposed Kartarpur Corridor.
corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in
Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims,
who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was
established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.
will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since
their independence in 1947.
is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib,
the final resting place of Guru Nanak, while the other part from Dera Baba
Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.
Responding to Pakistan’s diplomatic outreach to various world capitals on the
latest developments in India-held Kashmir, the foreign ministers of the two
main Muslim countries — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — are
arriving in Islamabad on Wednesday (today) on a one-day official visit to hold
talks with the Pakistani civil and military leadership on the regional
was stated by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while talking to reporters
at the Parliament House before heading to the Foreign Office to preside over
the inaugural meeting of the special Kashmir Cell here on Tuesday.
two principal players of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) are
coming (to Islamabad) tomorrow (Wednesday). One chairs summit level (meetings)
and the other heads ministerial segment,” Mr Qureshi said while referring to
the upcoming visits of Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed
al-Jubeir and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the
UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.
contacted the two foreign ministers and they are coming,” he said, adding that
both Saudi Arabia and the UAE were important countries. He said that he would
present before them the viewpoint of Pakistan and of the people of Kashmir on
the latest Indian move of ending the special status of Kashmir through
revocation of Article 370 and the situation in the held valley due to continued
foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE are visiting Pakistan as a result
of direct telephone calls by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the crown princes of
the two countries in the past few days. Mr Qureshi said the prime minister had
had “good interaction” with the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) had reported that Prime Minister Imran Khan and
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman discussed the “latest developments in
the region” in a phone call. The SPA reported that the two leaders during the
telephone call, second one in less than a month, also “reviewed the relations
between the two countries”.
his media talk, Mr Qureshi ruled out any possibility of resumption of bilateral
talks between Pakistan and India in the prevailing situation. He said they had
categorically stated in the past that if India took one step towards peace,
Pakistan would take two steps. However, he regretted that India kept on
foreign minister expressed his concerns over the continuous curfew in
India-held Kashmir, saying that New Delhi had created a “human crisis”. He said
the people of Kashmir had been under curfew for 30 days without ration and
is a panic and chaotic situation in Kashmir,” Mr Qureshi said, adding that they
had been mobilising public opinion and putting pressure on India through
diplomatic efforts for lifting of curfew in Kashmir.
to a question about the response of the international community towards
Pakistan’s efforts to highlight Kashmir, Mr Qureshi said he did not have “an
electric switch” and that they had done what was “humanly possible” to mobilise
public opinion and internationalise the Kashmir situation.
successes on the diplomatic front, he said the OIC had already rejected Indian
stance and called for lifting of curfew in Kashmir. He said the United Nations
Security Council (UNSC) and the European Union (EU) had already discussed the
Kashmir issue and now they were approaching the Human Rights Council and had
been in contact with the OIC.
Qureshi stated that several US senators and Congressmen for the first time had
decided to take up the Kashmir issue in the Human Rights Committee. He said out
of 12 EU members, 11 had condemned India, adding that only one EU member of
Indian origin had supported the Indian actions in Kashmir.
said that thousands of Pakistanis, Kashmiris, human rights activists and the
democratic members of Labour and Conservative parties had staged a big
demonstration in London. He said international western media was criticising
Indian policy and now there were voices from within India over the situation.
said that he had talked to his counterparts in Iran and Bangladesh on Tuesday
and they had also expressed their concerns over the Kashmir situation. He said
though Bangladesh had a soft corner for India, its foreign minister had also
declared that “a continuous curfew is unacceptable”.
Qureshi said that he had also discussed with the Bangladeshi foreign minister
the Indian move of carrying out ethnic cleansing in Assam by making some two
million people stateless. He said India also intended to carry out ethnic
cleansing in Kashmir, but the people of Kashmir would resist such a move there.
to another question, the foreign minister said there had been no decision yet
on closing the air space for India.
are reviewing all pros and cons of this option and we will decide about it at
the time of our choosing,” he added.
to another question, Mr Qureshi said that they were weighing the option of
taking the matter to the International Court of Justice and Law Minister
Barrister Farogh Naseem was studying the case.
Qureshi, who is also the vice-chairman of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf
(PTI), criticised the opposition parties for not observing the “Kashmir Hour”
on the call of the prime minister last Friday. He, however, said that all the
political parties were on one page on the Kashmir issue.
the Foreign Office issued separate handouts regarding the telephonic
conversations of the foreign minister with his counterparts in Iran, Bangladesh
Qureshi called Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iran Javad Zarif and briefed him
on the illegal and unilateral actions of India to alter the disputed status of
Kashmir. He underlined that the steps taken by India in held Kashmir posed
threats to peace and stability in the region.
the worsening situation of human rights, the foreign minister informed his
Iranian counterpart that the complete lockdown in the Valley had entered fifth
week causing immense suffering to the Kashmiri people who were unable to access
hospitals, medicines and food supplies.
Zarif appreciated the detailed briefing and reiterated concern over the
deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in India-held Kashmir and
reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Kashmiri people.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that during the meeting with the
foreign ministers of UAE and Saudi Arabia only Kashmir issue will come under
discussion and it will be the single point agenda of these talks.
expressing these views on a local news channel, he further said that the visit
of Gulf ministers is a huge diplomatic success and it has only materialised
after tireless efforts of PM Imran.
ministers will be briefed about the situation of Kashmir and during this visit,
they’ll also meet PM Imran and Army chief,” he said.
enjoys a very friendly relationship with all Gulf countries and holds them all
in high esteem, he said.
In a major breakthrough, the federal government on Tuesday gave the approval to
place 30,000 madrassas (seminaries) under the administrative control of the
education ministry in a bid to bring them at par with modern educational institutes.
decision was taken in a cabinet meeting which discussed the proposal put forth
by the Ministry of Education.
government had been working to introduce reform for a year now, with Federal
Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood having held a number of meetings with
the leaders of clerics belonging to different sects.
the government is planning to spend Rs2 billion to bring these madrassas into
the mainstream, with annual spending of Rs1bn. At present, around 2.5 million
students are studying in these seminaries.
reforms were on the cards for a long time now. In the aftermath of the Sept 11,
the Musharraf regime had taken up the matter, but without any success, after
the move was resisted by the religious lobby.
coming to power, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the desire to mainstream
madrassas and bringing the students into the mainstream.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Tuesday reiterated Tehran’s concern over the
deteriorating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and reaffirmed support
for the Kashmiri people in a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister Shah
to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, FM Qureshi expressed his gratitude
to the Iranian people for extending support to the Kashmir cause.
briefed Zarif on the illegal and unilateral actions of India to alter the
disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir,” said the statement.
also underscored that regional security had been undermined by India’s
unilateral move to strip the occupied state of its autonomous status.
gravity of the situation in IOK demands a complete lifting of the curfew,
removal of restrictions on movement, peaceful assembly, provision of food and
medical supplies and release of political prisoners,” the communique read.
expressed concerns over the deteriorating situation in Kashmir and appreciated
Pakistan’s efforts in highlighting the issue while also reaffirming Iran’s
support for the Kashmiri people.
“appreciated the detailed briefing” and both ministers agreed to remain engaged
as the situation evolves, said the FO statement.
two foreign ministers agreed two remain in touch over the issue.
Qureshi also telephoned his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday and
apprised him about grave human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. He
thanked Turk President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for raising his voice in support of
armless and oppressed Kashmiris.
Foreign Ministers agreed to continue bilateral consultations. They agreed to
meet on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly’s and OIC meetings.
Qureshi also briefed his Bangladeshi counterpart Abdul Momen on the situation
in the occupied valley
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday said that
Pakistan’s future is linked with democracy
said this while addressing youth representatives from across Sindh.
Pakistan Army’s achievements, he said that “we have freed Karachi from
identified two reasons for the success of armed forces in wiping out
terrorists. “[Firstly], our mothers give birth to children who are prepared to
sacrifice their lives. They are willing to give their blood when asked for
sweat. And then there is a principle in the army that officers never ask
soldiers to ‘advance’; they ask them to follow,” he said.
army chief lauded the services rendered by jawans from Sindh and highlighted
the key role the province had played in the creation of Pakistan. “They are
immensely hardworking and extremely loyal,” he said.
the importance of youth, he said that Pakistan’s future lies in the hands of
youngsters and they are the ones who will set the direction of the Islamic
republic as its future leaders.
said that the youth of the country can take it forward with hard work. “If we
want to take Pakistan forward it would be possible only though merit. There is
no alternative to hard work,” he said.
India has given its list of proposals to Pakistan for the proposed Kartarpur
Corridor ahead of the third round of high-level talks between the two countries
part of its proposal, India has sought permission for the visit of 10,000
Indian pilgrims to Kartarpur on special occasions.
to diplomatic sources, Pakistan has accepted an Indian proposal for the arrival
of up to 5,000 Sikh pilgrims and their visa-free entry in a day. It has also
accepted another demand of arrival of the pilgrims in groups or individually
walking to Kartarpur.
Indian side has also sought permission from Pakistani authorities for Sikh
pilgrims to prepare and distribute free food during their stay in Kartarpur,
from both sides will meet at 10am on the Indian side of the Wagah-Attari border
where they are expected to finalise a draft agreement regarding opening of the
corridor that will allow visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims from India to
Gurdwara Kartarpur Darbar Sahib.
Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal will lead the Pakistani delegation.
is pertinent to mention here that the fourth phase of technical talks over
Kartarpur Corridor project between Pakistan and India had concluded at Dera
Baba Guru Nanak Zero Point on Aug 30. Reportedly, the two sides agreed over
most technical aspects of the project.
has almost completed work of the corridor project on its side, sources said,
adding, however, the work on the Indian side of the corridor yet to reach 50
percent of its completion.
corridor would be opened on the eve of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru
Nanak on November 11 in a ceremony, officials had earlier said.
President Donald Trump is to meet Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday to
discuss a draft deal with the Taliban that could lead to Washington’s
withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Trump is due to meet Mr Esper in the evening, and a US defence official told
The National Afghanistan would be part of the discussions.
Monday night, US envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalizad, who is in Kabul after
the ninth round of US-Taliban talks in Qatar, told Afghan news channel ToloNews
that an agreement had been made “in principle”.
Khalilzad said the deal would see the US withdraw 5,400 troops from five bases in
Afghanistan in 135 days. But he cautioned that nothing was final until Mr Trump
agreed to it.
Trump is keen to end the US’s longest-running war and fulfil a campaign promise
to withdraw the country’s 14,000 troops.
security concerns have slowed progress over the past two years, and his
insistence on the deal prompted James Mattis to resign as defence secretary
is unclear if Mr Esper is on board with the plan, but National Security Adviser
John Bolton has been sidelined from the meetings because of his opposition to
the approach, The Washington Post reported.
Mr Esper signalled support last week while standing alongside Gen Joseph
Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
I think about Afghanistan, I think about two things," Gen Dunford said.
one is we don't want Afghanistan to be a sanctuary from which the homeland can
be threatened, and the other is that we want peace and stability in Afghanistan
for the Afghan people."
he said the need for inter-Afghan dialogue was a critical part of any
Pervaiz, an analyst at the US intelligence company Stratfor, described
Washington’s strategy as “aiming for progress, not perfection” in seeking an
exit from the war.
details on yesterday's draft peace deal are scant, we can infer that the US
will embark on a phased drawdown from the conflict tied to the Taliban's
commitment to upholding its part of the agreement, including a ceasefire,” Mr
Pervaiz told The National.
are no risk-free options in terms of US troop withdrawal from
Pervaiz said the gradual, phased aspect of the plan would "give the US the
opportunity to assess if the Taliban are exploiting the security vacuum or not,
and whether a further drawdown is warranted".
he said that the agreement put Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government in a
he must project a posture of strength," Mr Pervaiz said. "But
privately, he is doubtless aware that the gradual withdrawal of US support
makes his security forces more vulnerable."
US invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that
were launched from the country, which was then ruled by the Taliban.
US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has
blacklisted four people for their affiliation with Iran.
facilitated the transfer of millions of dollars between Iran’s Revolutionary
Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Hamas’s operational arm, the Izz-Al-Din
Al-Qassam Brigades, to carry out terrorist attacks originating from the Gaza
Strip, it said.
designated Muhammad Sarur, Kamal Abdelrahman Aref Awad, Fawaz Mahmud Ali
Nasser, and Muhammad Kamal al-Ayy for providing financial, material,
technological support, financial or other services to, or in support of,
Hamas,” the Treasury announced.
pointed out that the financial facilitators are based in Lebanon and Gaza and
are critical intermediaries between the Iranian regime and the Izz-Al-Din
Al-Qassam Brigades and end users in the West Bank.
partnership with the Sultanate of Oman, the Treasury sanctioned the four
individuals under the virtue of a US executive order, which targets terrorists
and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
a Beirut, Lebanon-based Hamas and Hezbollah-linked financial operative, is in
charge of transferring tens of millions of dollars per year from the IRGC-Quds
Force (QF) to the Izz-Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, it said.
in the past four years, the IRGC-QF transferred over $200 million dollars to
the Izz-Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.”
for his part, provides financial, material, technological support, financial or
other services to or in support of Hamas, the Treasury noted.
early 2018, Awad, a Gaza-based Hamas financial associate, coordinated with the
same Gaza-based Hamas financial facilitator, leveraged by Sarur, to provide
hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits for Hamas.
of early 2016, Hamas senior official Salih al-Aruri relied on Awad for detailed
information regarding Hamas prisoners and payments to them, it said in a
Muhmud Ali Nasser (Nasser) and Ayy provide financial, material, technological
support, financial or other services to or in support of Hamas and the Islamic
Jihad,” the statement read.
continued violent campaign against innocent civilians and Israel is to the
great detriment of the people in Gaza,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury’s Under
Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Administration will not falter to hold Hamas and its Iranian leaders accountable
for their violence.”
Treasury will continue to disrupt terrorist networks by targeting those who
generate funds to carry out the Iranian regime’s violent agenda,” Mandelker
was designated by the Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
(FTO) in October 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in
New York (AP) — The last of four young men who US authorities say planned to
use homemade explosives against an upstate New York Muslim community has been
sentenced to seven years in prison.
Vincent Vetromile appeared Tuesday in Monroe County Court. He had pleaded
guilty in June to a weapons charge.
20-year-old Brian Colaneri, 19-year-old Andrew Crysel and a 16-year-old were
accused of planning an attack on Islamberg, a community of about 200 people in
and Crysel were sentenced last month to four to 12 years in prison after
pleading guilty to terrorism conspiracy. The youngest defendant, who’s now 17,
was sentenced to seven years.
said the Rochester-area residents had access to 23 rifles and shotguns and
three homemade explosives when they were arrested in January.
was a lunchroom comment by one of the students during school that launched the
looks like the next school shooter, doesn’t he?” the student allegedly said
while showing students a picture of another boy on his phone, according to
student who heard the comment “did what we teach kids to do and told somebody,”
the chief said.
security and Greece police interviewed both students and others and eventually
uncovered their plot. The timing of the attack was unknown.
rural community in Delaware County is operated by The Muslims of America, an
American Muslim organization based in the US, which runs 21 others in North
America. It was settled by followers of Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarik Gilani.
The mostly African-American settlers first came to the area in the 1980s to
escape crime and crowding in New York City.
Alarmed by the rising tensions in occupied Kashmir, the US State Department is
urging all parties to show restraint and tone down their rhetoric.
the Indian media reported on Tuesday that even a month-long curfew has failed
to subdue the people of Kashmir who continue to reject New Delhi’s Aug 5
revocation of their state’s semi-autonomous status.
sense of injustice over the government’s far-reaching decisions is aggravated
by the feeling of being silenced with the gun, as well as bitterness about the
government’s timing,” India’s The Wire news agency reported.
report in The Hindu newspaper noted that Kashmir was “seething in silent anger
over the state’s division into two Union Territories and the scrapping of
seven million of us are under arrest,” a Srinagar resident told the newspaper’s
correspondent while describing the current situation in held Kashmir.
in the US media also quoted a US State Department official as telling
journalists that Washington “continues to be very concerned by reports of
detentions and the continued restrictions on the residents of the region”.
urge respect for human rights, compliance with legal procedures, and inclusive
dialogue with those affected. We continue to call for calm and restraint,
including on rhetoric,” the official added.
official also urged restraint on the Line of Control (LoC) as media reports and
think tank experts warned that tensions in the disputed region could lead to a
war between South Asia’s two nucleararmed nations.
call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control
and to prevent cross-border terrorism. We continue to support direct dialogue
between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern,” the
a Washington think tank, the US Institute for Peace (USIP), a former US ambassador
to Pakistan, Richard Olson, emphasised the need for the United States to play
the role of a de facto crisis manager to de-escalate the tensions.
a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Jalil Abbas Jilani, warned
that if not defused, the tensions over Kashmir could lead to a war between
India and Pakistan.
two diplomats were sharing their views on the consequences of Kashmir’s
annexation at two recent panel discussions at the USIP.
United States is using Afghanistan as a spring pad to carry out disruptive
activities against China, a former American Senate foreign policy analyst says.
US special envoy to so-called peace talks with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad,
said on Monday Taliban militants and Washington have reached an agreement in
principle and that the US military would withdraw troops from five bases in
Afghanistan if conditions in the deal were addressed by the Taliban.
have agreed that if the conditions proceed according to the agreement, we will
leave within 135 days five bases in which we are present now," Khalilzad
told Tolo News on Monday.
course, it is not final until the US President (Donald Trump) agrees on it. So,
at the moment, we are at that stage,” he added.
United States and the Taliban are close to finalising a deal to end 18 years of
conflict that began after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.
negotiations have entered what is widely considered to be the final stages,
violence has continued across Afghanistan, with a wave of attacks hitting
Kabul, Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri in the last week alone.
what do we know about the US-Taliban deal so far?
deal, which is awaiting approval by US President Donald Trump before it can be
signed, would see 5,400 troops withdrawn in phases from five bases within five
would mean the US would be more than a third of the way to fulfilling Mr
Trump’s desire to bring the 14,000 US troops stationed to the country home.
the withdrawal of these troops is contingent on the Taliban agreeing by the
terms of the agreement. They are required to cut ties with Al Qaeda and to
commit to no longer allowing Afghanistan to be used by militant groups, which
include ISIS, as a base for attacks on the US and its allies.
deal also identifies the Taliban by their preferred name of the Islamic
Emirate, which could also mean they will be defined as a political party.
deal is exclusively between the US and the Taliban, however. Intra-Afghan talks
could be held in Norway to reach a broader political settlement between the
Taliban and the US-backed Afghan government to end the violence.
far, the Taliban has refused to deal directly with the government, which it
considers to be illegitimate.
agreement is the result of nine rounds of talks over 10 months in Qatar.
Afghanistan is to hold presidential elections on September 28, but there have
been calls to delay them as they may threaten the peace talks. The vote has
already been postponed twice.
independent electoral commission has also warned that about 2,000 polling
stations will be closed because of security issues
both at home and internationally have voiced concern that a US withdrawal could
see Afghanistan plunged into a new civil war that could herald a return of
Taliban rule. That would allow international militant groups like ISIS to find
also say the withdrawal betrays Afghan women, whose precious gains in terms of
personal freedoms, education, healthcare and travel may be lost once the US
the British Empire abandoned its most vocal Muslim supporter
Yusuf Ali wrote perhaps the most famous translation of the Quran but he also
supported the British against the Ottomans and died a lonely man.
a frigid December morning in 1953, a policeman found a half-conscious old man
slumped on a street bench in the Westminster area of London. He was in a
delirious state and died a day later on December 10.
man was Abdullah Yusuf Ali, the famous 20th-century translator of the Quran. He
died alone, homeless, and with no one by his side. When the news reached
Pakistan’s embassy in London, it dispatched someone to pay for his last rites.
pains me to think that so able and eminent a gentleman should have met with so
pathetic an end,” Mirza Abul Hassan Ispahani, Pakistan’s High Commissioner in
London, wrote in a letter to his prime minister two days later.
of Muslims in English-speaking countries have grown up reading Yusuf Ali’s interpretation
of the Quran. More than 200 editions of it have been published so far, making
it perhaps the most read commentary in any non-Arabic language.
any English-speaking Muslim what translation and commentary of the Quran they
originally studied, and the chances are that it was the one by Abdullah Yusuf
Ali,” writes a commentator.
Ali's work and affiliations solidify his place as a giant of his time. He was
one of the most senior Muslim civil servants during the British Raj, rubbed
shoulders with the likes of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and the Aga Khan, inaugurated
the first mosque in Canada, represented India at the Paris Peace Talks in 1919,
was a trustee of London’s oldest mosque, and a known educationist. He was also
a prolific writer on Islam.
how did a prominent Muslim like him meet such a terrible end? Why was he
forgotten so quickly?
child of his time
1915, during World War I, the British faced a dilemma. Nearly half a million
soldiers were Muslims from the Indian Subcontinent — modern-day India, Pakistan
and Bangladesh — which was then under colonial rule. Some refused to fight the
Turkish Ottoman soldiers who had joined the war against the allied army.
mutiny broke out in November of that year in Singapore where Indian Muslim
soldiers turned their guns on officers and took control of the island. The
uprising was quickly crushed and 70 Muslim men were lined up against a wall and
events shook British officials. Many Muslims considered the Ottoman Sultan
Mehmed Reshad as their Caliph. Their personal affinity and strong connection
led to the Khilafat Movement in India that called for boycotting the British.
Yusuf Ali thought otherwise.
ye glorious soldiers, Gurkha, Sikh or Muslim, Rajput or Brahman!” he said in a
November 1914 speech at a London event in front of top British military
officials. “You have comrades in the British army whose fellowship and lead are
a priceless possession to you.”
his talks and articles throughout the war, he urged fellow Muslims to side with
the British, at times doing it so effusively that his rhetoric appeared
Ottoman Caliph announces Jihad against the British and what does Yusuf Ali do?
He goes around European countries asking Muslims to fight for the British,”
Humayun Ansari, a professor of Islam at the University of London, told TRT
was consistently loyal to the British and considered the British Empire to be a
blessing. In his understanding of Islam he was very liberal. He wanted a
reconciliation between the Muslim and Western philosophy.”
Ali was born in 1871 in Surat, western India, during a period of great
introspection for the Muslims of India as their rule over the region for
centuries came to an end and they were at the mercy of the English and a more
politically organised Hindu majority.
the Muslims there was a realisation that they would have to study English,
attain a modern education and learn British ways to get government jobs and
regain their lost social status.
Ali, who came from a middle-class family, proved to be an exceptional student
throughout his school years and after matriculating from a missionary school,
he won a scholarship to study at Cambridge University in London. The
scholarship was given to only nine Indian students each year.
have to look at him in the context of his times. That was a generation when the
British claimed superiority over the natives. And then you have somebody who
can emerge and beat them at their own game,” says Jamil Sherif, who wrote Yusuf
Ali’s biography titled Searching for Solace.
Ali’s approach was to show through his writing that Islam had made major
contributions through the ages. But I think his compromise was that he saw
religion mainly in spiritual terms and he saw socio-political dimensions of
Islam as not really relevant in the days of empire,” he told TRT World.
Cambridge, Yusuf Ali excelled in English composition, Arabic and other
subjects. He also cleared the intensely competitive exam for the elite Indian
Civil Service (ICS). In subsequent years, he rose to become perhaps the
highest-ranking Muslim civil servant in India when he worked under Cabinet’s
member of finance.
was a devout Muslim, making sure he offered daily prayers, attended religious
congregations and led prayers at the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking, a town near
the same time, he was against political Islam and insisted that Muslims could
do better under British rule and that they should focus on educating themselves
as opposed to agitating for independence.
the years, he remained affiliated with different institutions and also served
as the principal of Lahore’s Islamia College - he was invited to take the
position by the venerated poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
behind the veneer of his intellect, busy schedule and scholarly importance, he
was a man suffering from internal conflicts.
the east meets west
Ali was a troubled man. He married twice and both relationships ended bitterly.
1900, just a few years into his role as a civil servant, he married Teresa Mary
Shalders, in a ceremony at the St. Peter’s Church in England.
was a bold and uninhibited act by the young couple, who may have looked at the
dawn of the new century and thought everything possible - including the harmony
of races, religions, and continents,” Sherif, who uses M.A. Sherif as his pen
name, writes in his book.
any hope of making a statement with this marriage of two different cultures
faded in a few short years. They had four kids over the years but Yusuf Ali
spent most of this time in India as a government officer while Shalders, who
was in England, fell in love with another man.
divorce in 1911 was particularly painful for Yusuf Ali and he might have hinted
at that period in the preface of his Quranic commentary when he wrote: “A man’s
life is subject to inner storms...which nearly unseated my reason and made life
won custody of their children but became estranged from them over time.
children by their continued ill-will towards me have alienated my affection for
them, so much that I confer no benefit on them by this will,” Yusuf Ali later
wrote in his will.
an ICS officer, he rose swiftly from an assistant magistrate to more important
positions, and the British government increasingly relied on him as its key
Ali was not entirely oblivious to the systematic discrimination that Muslims
faced under British rule.
wrote about how Britain was using Indian revenue in the Great War. That’s a
very subtle way of criticism. He also made references to discrimination
suffered [by locals] on the basis of colour,” says Sherif.
the early 1920s, Yusuf Ali married Gertrude Anne Mawbey, who he liked to call
Masuma (innocent). That marriage didn’t work out either.
was during this personal crisis that Ali began the monumental work of writing
an English translation of the Quran, often working on solitary ocean liner
journeys which he took at the behest of the British government.
Ali’s bond with the Quran was forged in these times of anguish when searching
for solace,” writes Sherif.
scholars such as Marmaduke Picktall and others had already done a lot to
introduce the West to Islam’s holiest book but Yusuf Ali did it with humility
and open-mindedness which set his work apart.
interpretation is very balanced. It doesn’t force you to any particular corner,
it can be read by all the schools of thought. It’s a very broadminded,
compassionate approach to studying religion,” Sherif tells TRT World.
Ali was a Dawoodi Bohra, a strain of Shia Islam, but he garnered enough respect
across the spectrum to lead congregations at Sunni mosques.
his translation of the Quran, published between 1934 and 1937, Yusuf Ali
expounded the spiritual side of Islam more than its worldly view,” writes A R
Kidwai, a prominent researcher.
excellent command over the English language lends a poetic touch to the
thousands of footnotes and he didn’t shy away from using English poets such as
Longfellow and Milton to explain the word of God.
dealing with his matrimonial failures, he had a hard time coming to terms with
what happened to Arab Muslims after World War I.
many of his contemporaries, he did not criticise the League of Nations when it
dismembered the Ottoman empire,” says Sherif. “But what really shook him was
the proposal to partition Palestine.”
someone groomed to believe that the English people were true to their word, the
haphazard division of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of Israel was
unsettling for Yusuf Ali.
1937 he attended many meetings and conferences fighting the case of
Palestinians and warned Western powers about creation of a Jewish state on
way alone can bring thee peace:
ancient rights be not suppressed,
aliens from encroachments cease,
Quds be given its rightful rest,” he wrote in the poem Palestine published in
Palestine’s tragedy wasn’t enough to deter his loyalty to the British as he
travelled to India at the urging of England’s Ministry of Information to rally
Muslim support after it declared war on Germany in 1939.
Delhi, he met Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan and spoke to students about the need for
India’s support for the British. That was a time of turmoil in India as both
Muslims and Hindus had begun rallying for independence.
his return, he wrote articles and gave speeches, asking Indians to unite in
defence of the empire and drop their demand for political reforms. But his
appearance as an important player in international events quickly faded after
the war ended in 1944.
might never know what broke him in the end. But as the British pulled out of
the subcontinent in the days of its waning global status, so did Yusuf Ali
slowly recede from the newspapers, his powerful friends no longer found a use
Ali spent his last years living in the National Liberal Club on a monthly
pension that he received against his government job.
did the British treat him? There’s certainly a question mark there. They didn’t
recognise his contribution as much as he probably expected,” says Humayun
powerful friends in the Muslim community including Pakistan’s then ambassador
Ispahani had also lost track of Ali’s whereabouts, not bothering to check on
is an indictment of the Muslim society that we were not able to honour and care
for someone of his stature,” says Jamil Sherif.
Doe” was only 13 when her concerned mother sought counselling within the Muslim
community of Irving, Tex. For years, the girl developed a relationship of trust
with the imam, Zia ul-Haque Sheikh, at the Islamic Center of Irving (ICI). So
much so that she began to call him “baba” – an endearing term for “father.”
she turned 18, she asked the imam advice on marriage; she wanted to move on to
the next phase of life: settling down and having a family. The imam offered
himself as a marriage prospect – even though he already had two wives. Although
confused, she believes she had been groomed, step by step, to trust the imam.
In a lawsuit filed last July, Jane Doe alleged that the imam’s interactions
became more sexualized once she turned 18 – including lurid texts, phone calls
and video exchanges, culminating into an alleged coerced sexual encounter, after
which he cut off contact with her.
August, Mr. Sheikh was ordered by a Texas judge to pay US$2.55-million to Jane
Doe – a landmark judgment against a Muslim cleric in the United States. The
judgment covers legal fees, punitive damages and mental anguish.
importantly, it is a victory for the nascent Muslim #MeToo movement, and speaks
to the incredible courage of Jane Doe for breaking so many taboos. She refused
to be shamed from speaking about sensitive, private matters; she refused to bow
before the hierarchy of the mosque leadership; and she refused to give in to
the whisper campaigns against her.
journey also marked the founding of Facing Abuse in Community Environments
(FACE), a non-profit organization created in 2017 by Muslim lawyers and
activists to hold community leaders accountable for physical, spiritual, sexual
and financial abuse.
conducted an in-depth investigation into the 22-year employment history of Mr.
Sheikh, and found that he had been fired from two other mosques for inappropriate
behaviour toward female congregants whom he had counselled. At one mosque, he
engaged in a “secret” second marriage. In both cases, details of his firing
were never made public, leaving him free to seek employment elsewhere. His new
employers never checked with previous employers about the reasons for his
to the report by FACE, Jane Doe had brought forth her concerns to the ICI board
chair, Nouman Ali Khan, who advised her to get mental-health counselling. Jane
Doe said Mr. Khan discouraged her from speaking about the allegations since it
would harm the imam’s reputation. Jane Doe told FACE that she was made to feel
“like I was the one hurting people, rather than the person needing help.” But
she did not give up. Other board members, once informed, immediately launched
an investigation. While Mr. Sheikh denied the allegations, he eventually
resigned from the mosque. As he began to seek employment elsewhere, the mosque
took the unprecedented step of sending a letter to 2,000 mosques across the
United States, detailing the circumstances of his resignation.
after the letter’s release, Jane Doe reported the imam’s actions to the Grand
Prairie Police Department; the city declined to investigate. In July, 2018,
Jane Doe filed the lawsuit against Mr. Sheikh.
Sheikh was hired last August by the Grand Prairie mosque, shortly after leaving
ICI just 15 kilometres away. According to its attorney, the mosque ran a
thorough background check and was unaware of any misconduct allegations at the
time of hiring – even though ICI had issued its public letter eight months
before. The mosque board had also learned of Jane Doe’s allegations in her
lawsuit – yet decided on keeping Mr. Sheikh. While the mosque has severed ties
with Mr. Sheikh since the judgment was issued, its muted response over the
course of one year reflects a culture of silence that is all too prevalent in
many Muslim institutions.
judgment is a watershed moment for Muslims in North America. For too many
years, there has been scant accountability of leadership. Serious allegations,
if addressed, are hushed so that the reputation of the offenders, the
institution and the community are not harmed. There is very little recourse for
victims. But times are changing. FACE, which investigates abuse allegations in
the United States and Canada, reports an almost threefold increase in reported
incidents in 2019 over the same period in 2018.
white supremacist behind the “Punish a Muslim Day” campaign has been jailed for
12 and a half years.
Parnham, who called himself “Muslim Slayer” and sent packages containing fake
anthrax, is to serve his sentence in hospital until he is well enough to be
transferred to prison.
Old Bailey heard the 36-year-old had launched several waves of malicious
letters targeting mosques, the Queen and politicians including David Cameron
and Theresa May.
admitted offences including soliciting murder, encouraging crime, bomb and
noxious substance hoaxes and sending letters with intent to cause distress.
early 2018, a series of typed “Punish A Muslim Day” letters were sent out to
encourage violence on the date of an American white supremacist’s birthday.
letters claimed Europe and North America was being “overrun” by Muslims and
contained a makeshift scorecard for attacks ranging from pulling off women’s
headscarves to acid attacks, torture, bombing a mosque and “butchering” Muslims
with guns, knives and vehicles.
Anthony Leonard QC said Parnham had been suffering from an autistic spectrum
disorder but rejected the suggestion he was psychotic at the time of the
have yet to appreciate the seriousness of what you have done and seem to want
to return to the community at the earliest opportunity to live with your
parents,” he told the court on Tuesday.
failure to appreciate the harm he caused to the Muslim and wider community
meant the risk of reoffending was greater, the judge said.
court heard that although no violence was linked to the campaign, it sparked
widespread fear in Muslim communities across the UK after being received by
politicians including the then home secretary, Sajid Javid.
of St Andrew’s Close in Lincoln, was caught through DNA, handwriting and
fingerprints on the letters after an investigation by counterterror police.
by the Tell Mama monitoring group found that the “Punish a Muslim Day” campaign
sparked an increase in Islamophobic attacks in Britain.
annual report found that 37 offline incidents “directly referenced” Parnham’s
letters, which gave rise to national debates over Muslims and Islam.
Atta OBE, the director of Tell Mama, said: “His actions caused significant fear
and distress for many Muslims, particularly Muslim women who contacted Tell
Mama to find out whether they should stay at home on the date set.”
Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North
East, said: “This case has affected a substantial number of victims and its
impact has been felt across the country and overseas.
investigation showed that Parnham acted alone and lacked both the ability and
the means to carry out the threats he had made. Nevertheless, the abusive,
racist and threatening language used in the letters was deeply concerning and
created considerable distress which cannot be underestimated.”
started his campaign in July 2016, when he sent a hoax letters containing white
powder to targets including then prime minister Mr Cameron, saying “Allah is
11 letters were delivered, while seven were intercepted at a postal depot in
Sheffield and sparked a police investigation.
months later, Parnham posted more letters containing white powder to the Queen,
Theresa May, bishops and the Home Office.
Clowns R Coming 4 You,” they read, in an apparent reference to international
reports of “evil clowns” attacking people.
Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear response was launched over fears the
packages contained anthrax, causing some staff to be quarantined for hours as
the substance was tested.
December 2016, Parnham sent a fan letter to Dylann Roof, a white supremacist
terrorist who murdered nine black victims at a church in Charleston, South
told Roof: “I just wanted to thank you for opening my eyes. Ever since you
carried out what I’d call the ‘cleansing’ I’ve felt differently about what
you’d call ‘racial awareness’.”
wrote: “My main reason for disgust is Muslims. I hate these animals with a
passion. I sent letters with white powder to some mosques in London they had to
close down parliament because of it.”
date of “Punish a Muslim Day” corresponds with Roof’s birthday.
sent letters to mosques and Islamic centres around Britain in February 2017,
featuring an image of a beheading using a sword emblazoned with a Nazi
are going to be slaughtered very soon,” the author wrote, before signing off as
March 2017, letters were sent to homes around the University of Sheffield
campus calling for the extermination of people from minority groups including
Jews, Asians and Afro-Caribbean people.
included suggested methods and an offer to donate £100 to charity for each
August 2017 a mosque in Sheffield received a bomb hoax letter saying: “I have
left a little present for you. It will go off in a short period of time.“
Parnham was arrested in June 2018, he refused to answer any questions
later pleaded guilty to 15 offences relating to hundreds of letters penned
between June 2016 and June 2018.
psychiatrist told the court that Parnham did not regret what he had done and
did not consider it “particularly serious”.
Parnham was on the autistic spectrum, Dr Martin Lock said he was not psychotic
and expressed concern that the defendant had attempted to “mislead” medical
psychiatrist said Parnham was suffering a psychotic illness and had felt
“paranoia and suspiciousness”, particularly towards religious groups and
Hopkins, of the Crown Prosecution Service, described Parnham as a ”white
supremacist with a particular hatred for Muslims”.
Isil terrorists who conned the British government out of £10,000 in benefits to
fund terror attacks in Paris and Brussels has been captured in Syria.
Haddouchi, dubbed the “executioner of Raqqa” after beheading more than 100
people in the city, was arrested with his wife Julie Maes, 32, by Kudish
troops, it was reported yesterday.
couple was understood to have been seized after a battle for one of the last
remaining Islamic State strongholds in Baghouz, eastern Syria. Haddouchi is
being held in a prison run by the Syrian Democratic Forces.
35, was born in Belgium but moved to Birmingham in the West Midlands in 2009
where he and his wife, who is also Belgian, claimed thousands of pounds in
housing benefits despite having moved to Syria to fight for Islamic State.
to British court papers he left Birmingham for Syria in September 2014. Despite
his landlord telling Birmingham City Council he had left his property, neither
the local authority or Department of Work and Pensions halted payments.
pair were paid around £10,000 in state handouts, all of which was handed to
Abrini, the jihadist known as “the man in the hat” supsected of carrying out
the Paris and Brussels bomb and gun attacks, was said to have been handed
£3,000 of that cash by two men in Birmingham.
was understood to have travelled to Syria via Turkey following the death of his
Isil fighter brother.
there he met Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected of being one of the ring leaders of
the attacks across the French capital which resulted in 130 deaths.
claimed Abaaoud ordered him to travel to Birmingham to collect some of the
housing benefit cash. It was claimed he flew to Heathrow in July 2015 before
taking a bus to Birmingham.
three days in the city he was ordered to travel to the Small Heath area where
he met Zakaria Boufassil and Mohammed Ali Ahmed who handed over the money at a
secret meeting in a park.
a 27-year-old Belgian who had also lived in Birmingham, was jailed in 2016 at
Kingston Crown Court for three years for aiding terrorism. Ahmed pleading
guilty to the same offence.
March 2016, Abrini was captured on CCTV alongside two men who detonated bombs in
suitcases killing 12 people at Brussels airport.
has charged with alleged involvement in the 2015 Paris terror attacks that
killed 130 people. He is also facing charges in Belgium.
have alleged that Albrini was part of an Isil cell in Brussels which planned
both the suicide bombings in Brussels in 2016, when 32 people were killed,
along with the Paris attack.
Will King said the HMS Montrose had been involved in 115 separate
confrontations with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the Gulf since
the start of July. He said the Iranian military used fast attack craft and
drones to “intimidate” his ship as Tehran carried out a “continuous intent to
disrupt or interfere with UK interests in the area”.
Montrose, a Type 23 frigate, was sent to patrol the strategic waters after the
UK-flagged Stena Impero was seized by the Iranians six weeks ago.
IRGC responded by beefing up its coastal defence systems and aiming cruise
missiles in the direction of HMS Montrose.
has also emerged that the elite force was given clearance to use live rounds
against the British warship during the Stena Impero episode.
officer on HMS Montrose said: "We had reasons to believe they were ready
for a fight that night."
British vessel reached the territorial water boundary 45 minutes too late to
prevent the tanker’s capture and was unable to give chase.
King described the “soul-destroying” moment he arrived too late to help the UK
tanker and heard his Iranian counterpart gloating over the ship’s radio: “She’s
King said: “It was almost like some rather sick competition.”
IRGC navy sent seven fast attack craft and a helicopter to seize Stena Impero.
commandos abseiled from the helicopter and boarded the UK vessel, forcing it to
steer due north into Iranian waters.
Stena Impero is still being held in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas
King said Iran ramped up its aggression after the seizure.
Dean Bassett, the most senior Royal Navy officer in the Gulf, said Britain
would step up its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in
told The Times: “In the last couple of months we’ve seen a dramatic change to
the security in the area.
can confirm that the UK is actively considering bolstering the air surveillance
capabilities in theatre
could be a drone, it could be a maritime patrol aircraft, it could be a
helicopter on the back of the ship, it could be a ship.”
option is to divert Reaper drones to the Gulf from their current surveillance
missions on ISIS movement in Syria and Iraq
David E. Sanger, Steven Erlanger and Adam Nossiter
senior Iranian delegation arrived in Paris on Monday to work out the details of
a financial bailout package that France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, intends to
use to compensate Iran for oil sales lost to American sanctions. In return for
the money, Iran would agree to return to compliance with a 2015 nuclear accord.
press reports and a senior American official say that the core of the package
is a $15 billion letter of credit that would allow Iran to receive hard
currency, at a time when most of the cash it makes from selling oil is frozen
in banks around the world. That would account for about half the revenue Iran
normally would expect to earn from oil exports in a year.
Macron’s government has declined to provide any details of its negotiations
with the Iranians, though it was the subject of discussion between the French
president and President Trump at the Group of 7 summit last weekend.
Mr. Macron and Mr. Trump gave no hint of their differences in public comments,
administration officials say the French effort, which other European nations
appear to support, is undermining the administration’s effort to exert what Mr.
Trump calls “maximum pressure” on Tehran.
it is far from clear that Mr. Trump would go along with any bailout: His
national security adviser, John R. Bolton, has made it clear that he opposes
such an agreement. So does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who
opposed the 2015 deal and pressed Mr. Trump to make good on his campaign
promises to abandon it.
is precisely the wrong timing to hold talks with Iran,” Mr. Netanyahu said last
Trump administration support for the deal, it is not clear whether European
banks would risk American sanctions by extending credit to Tehran or whether
the credit might be extended by the European Central Bank, or France’s central
bank, which would be more difficult for Washington to sanction.
the talks, which French and Iranian officials began in Paris on Monday, are
successful, Iran would return to the restrictions negotiated with the Obama
administration four years ago. Mr. Trump abandoned that agreement in 2018, and
the Iranians have stepped up pressure on Europe by gradually discarding the
nuclear-production restrictions to which it had agreed.
was pretty much a technical discussion, and it went pretty well, on the whole,”
a spokeswoman for the French foreign ministry said on Monday. But she gave no
details and would not confirm that the centerpiece of the negotiation was the
$15 billion letter of credit.
has said that if the talks fail, it will escalate its nuclear activity starting
it has not said what actions it might take, Iranian officials have hinted they
are planning to raise their enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity — a
level that takes them significantly closer to bomb-grade fuel.
country may also install next-generation nuclear centrifuges that can produce
fuel far more quickly than the older models that were running when Iran agreed
in 2015 to sharply limit its production in return for a lifting of
international oil sanctions.
steps would clearly violate commitments Iran made in the 2015 agreement. But
after complying with the agreement for a year after Mr. Trump pulled out of the
accord and resumed sanctions, Iran has said it would no longer be bound by an
agreement that Washington is no longer respecting.
letter of credit proposed by President Macron is part of a broader effort by
the French, with help from Germany and other European powers, to save the 2015
agreement, even after Mr. Trump renounced it as “a disaster.” No issue has more
clearly illustrated the foreign policy chasm between the Trump administration
and its European allies.
the administration complains of European sanctions-busting, Mr. Macron is
trying to engineer a meeting at the United Nations later this month between Mr.
Trump and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.
Macron, American officials say, is betting that once Mr. Trump is engaged in a
negotiation of his own with Iran, he will sense a chance to reach an agreement
before the 2020 American elections — much as he has with North Korea.
similar effort to set up a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Rouhani, at the
United Nations in 2017, collapsed.
the dynamics now are different, and Trump administration officials have often
said they would meet the Iranians without preconditions.
Trump even seemed open to the idea of a financial bridge for the Iranians when
he told reporters at the Group of 7 meeting that Iran may need a “short-term
letter of credit or loan” that would “get them over a very rough patch.” His
aides later said the president was envisioning such a financial package only
after a new agreement was reached.
Iranians have said that the United States would first have to return to
compliance with the 2015 agreement before a new accord could be negotiated. But
some Iranian elites now think a negotiation with Mr. Trump is necessary.
deal Mr. Macron is exploring would provide Iran with the $15 billion line of
credit in return for full compliance with the 2015 agreement and a return to
normality in the Gulf, where Iran has been seizing oil tankers.
Geranmayeh, an Iran expert with the European Council on Foreign Relations,
noted in an interview that “If France indeed pushes forward with this proposal,
it’s likely to want not just a freeze on further enrichment from Iran but full
compliance with the nuclear deal, and the opening of talks on regional issues.”
Friday the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran has been
enriching uranium up to a purity of 4.35 percent, just above the 3.67 percent
allowed under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
enrichment level is still well within the ordinary limits for producing fuel
for nuclear power plants, rather than weapons. Iran’s stockpile of fuel now
also exceeds the 300 kilograms, or 661 pounds, allowed under the accord,
according to the energy agency.
has proposed offering Iran about $15 billion in credit lines until year-end if
Tehran comes fully back into compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal, a move that
hinges on Washington not blocking it, Western and Iranian sources said.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said talks on the credit arrangement, which
would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues, were continuing, but US approval
would be crucial.
idea is “to exchange a credit line guaranteed by oil in return for, one, a
return to the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) ...and two, security in the Gulf and
the opening of negotiations on regional security and a post-2025 (nuclear
program),” Le Drian told reporters. “All this (pre)supposes that President
Trump issues waivers.”
leaders have struggled to dampen brewing confrontation between Tehran and
Washington since US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, which
assures Iran access to world trade in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran last year and tightened them sharply
this year. Iran has responded by breaching some of the limits on nuclear
material in the deal, and has set a deadline for this week to take further
President Emmanuel Macron has spent the summer trying to create conditions that
would bring the sides back to the negotiating table. At a G7 meeting in France
last month, Trump appeared open to the idea of credit lines, though US
officials later ruled out lifting sanctions as a condition for new talks.
Iranian delegation was in Paris on Monday, including oil and finance officials,
for talks to fine-tune details of credit lines that would give Iran some
respite from sanctions that have crippled its economy and cut off its oil
question is to know whether we can reach this $15 billion level, secondly who
will finance it, and thirdly we need to get at the very least the tacit
approval of the United States. We still don’t know what the US position is,”
said a source aware of the negotiations.
senior Iranian official familiar with the negotiations said: “France has
offered the credit line of $15 billion but we are still discussing it. It
should be guaranteed that we will have access to this amount freely and also
Iran should be able to sell its oil and have access to its (own) money.”
second Iranian official said: “Although the EU and particularly France have
goodwill, they should convince the US to cooperate with them ... If not, Iran
is very serious about decreasing its nuclear commitments. There is no logic to
respect the (2015) deal, if it has no benefits for us.”
European diplomatic source confirmed the $15 billion figure. Le Drian did not
confirm the figure, saying it was an Iranian number.
Iranians have a real desire for $15 billion, but the ball is in their court.
When (Iranian President Hassan) Rouhani says I’ll never meet President Trump,
the only consequence of that is that Iran won’t get $15 billion,” said a French
diplomatic source, adding that further violations of the accord by Iran would
be the “wrong signal” to send.
Maire in Washington
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is in Washington on Tuesday to discuss the
credit mechanism and see what the United States may accept.
said Iran would never hold bilateral talks with the United States but said that
if all US curbs imposed on Iran were lifted, Washington could join multilateral
talks between Tehran and the other parties to the 2015 pact.
Trump administration says the nuclear deal is deficient as many of its terms
expire after a decade and it does not cover non-nuclear issues such as Iran’s
ballistic missile program and its support of proxy forces around the Middle
says it aims to keep the 2015 deal alive, but cannot abide by it indefinitely
unless the European countries that signed it ensure it receives the promised
has called on the Europeans to accelerate their efforts to alleviate the impact
of US sanctions. Rouhani stressed on Tuesday that Iran would take its next step
in scaling back its nuclear commitments by Thursday unless the Europeans keep
their promises to salvage the deal.
Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said
on Tuesday that Iran was capable of resuming enrichment of uranium to 20%
fissile purity within two days. Twenty percent purity is considered an
important intermediate stage on the road to producing the 90% pure fissile
uranium needed for an atomic bomb.
first source said talks for now did not go into how the credit lines would be
repaid, although it would require Iranian oil exports to resume eventually.
Some countries were discussing with France possible involvement in such a
mechanism. China, India and Japan were among the main purchasers of Iranian
the oil at some point is essential, but we need to have the agreement of the
Americans. We are trying to persuade them (the Iranians) not to do more
(reductions in commitment to the nuclear deal), but it’s not the end of the
story for the mechanism if they do,” the source said, adding that for now
Iranian backtracking was reversible.
has asked for $3 billion a month to extend the proposals beyond the end of this
year, the source said.
Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom is calling for inclusive talks in Yemen to
bring about a lasting political settlement.
an interview with The National during her visit to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Ms
Wallstrom said "there is no short cut or magic wand to wave" to bring
peace to Yemen.
she said that "political discussions must now include understanding the
reality in the south, which makes it more complex, but maybe it is also an
opportunity. Other groups must also feel that it is an inclusive process".
now, the UN-brokered peace talks led by UN special envoy Martin Griffiths have
not included representatives of Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council, who have
called for a separate state in the south of the country.
Wallstrom said: "It is for the Yemenis to decide what they want their
country to look like. Should it be one country or do they think there will be
another separation or a confederation? All of these things have to be put on
said that the issue of "inclusion is a weak point in many countries. If
you don’t do it, you will end up with enormous problems".
the political process, inclusion is important, especially inclusion of
women," she said. "There has to be a peace dividend for ordinary
hosted a round of talks on Yemen last year, leading to the Stockholm agreement,
which was put in place to secure Hodeidah and to avoid a major military
confrontation in the port city. Although an agreement was achieved, the
implementation of important clauses remain outstanding.
Wallstrom said that "we knew implementation was fragile, but there is a UN
presence. The level of violence has gone down … but there are also things that
have not been done, like the exchange of prisoners, which we thought would be
said at the heart of the delays is a "complete lack of trust in each
other. We have to figure out what steps to take to build trust and
said Sweden is committed to finding a peaceful resolution in Yemen and seemed
optimistic about the role her country can play because "we might have the
ear of many of the actors because they know we do not have a hidden agenda. We
are not a threat to anybody".
Wallstrom said the humanitarian situation is at the heart of her country’s
concerns about Yemen and that "we must think about what the future of
Yemen looks like".
foreign minister arrived in Abu Dhabi after extensive talks in Oman, Jordan and
message I have after all these meetings is that this war has to stop … and we
must prepare for the political process going forward.
must insist on implementation and to make it very concrete … prisoner exchange
is on the table and maybe we can start with something they can live up
Swedish minister said there were also some "very counterproductive
measures" that must be stopped, warning that "on the Houthi side, if
there is looting … there will be no more humanitarian assistance".
donors see that all the money disappears... this is so counterproductive and we
must make it stop. We also have to make sure the money we pledged to Yemen is
Swedish minister’s regional tour came after Ms Wallstrom met her Iranian
counterpart Javad Zarif last month in Stockholm.
is now much clearer about their link to the Houthis, so if that has not been
acknowledged openly before, I think it was clear this time. They also feel they
want to be recognised as having a role in all of this and this becomes a
bargaining chip in a bigger conflict, but at the same time their positioning
was not aggressive, so maybe it is something we can use," she said.
fate of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero, which is operated by a Swedish
company, was also on the agenda during those discussions.
Wallstrom said: "We are hoping they let the ship go and if they cannot do
that immediately, we want the crew to be released."
she said, there "is a bigger risk, about the Strait of Hormuz and the
issue in the mix is Syria, where she said there must be a credible political
have a very principled view," she said, "that as long as there is no
political settlement we will not pay for what others have destroyed".
a political settlement looks like in Syria remains unknown, but Ms Wallstrom
said: "Bashar Al Assad feels he has won this war and, of course, a lot of
people see him as a guarantor of security, but he is also seen by millions of
people as one who has bombed his own population... there has to be
accountability for these war crimes – on all sides."
month, Sweden announced it was ending a six-year policy of granting asylum to
all Syrians who reached its shores. Although the decision was made by an
independent migration authority, Ms Wallstrom said that "with Daesh now
defeated, it seems they have come to this decision".
she said her country will continue to provide protection for those who need it.
"Many Christians still suffer a lot, but this is also part of a bigger
debate within the European Union," she said.
Palestine, Ms Wallstrom repeated her country’s commitment to a two-state
has recognised Palestine and has urged others to do so.
if it is too late for a two-state solution, Ms Wallstrom responded: "No,
because what is the alternative? I have not seen a realistic alternative.
does seem more and more distant because what we see as the status quo is not a
status quo. It is a consistent deterioration of the situation on the ground –
more settlements, more demolitions and more tension."
the promise of a plan proposed by the United States, Ms Wallstrom said:
"The deal of the century has not been presented yet. Maybe it will come …
this is at a time when the world was waiting for an American plan, but so far
what they proposed is an economic proposal. If it is not linked to a political
proposal, how will it be done?
cannot imagine a solution without the Americans. What few things have come out
are counterproductive, not constructive."
Afghanistan, Ms Wallstrom said: "People in Afghanistan want to live in
peace. They are so tired of war and fighting. What we worry about is that if
the Americans and the international community withdraw, everything that was
gained will be lost. If the Taliban stop girls from going to school, then what
have we achieved? We cannot let that happen."
Swedish foreign minister repeated her country’s commitment to Afghanistan,
saying "our plans are to stay on for some time and make sure this moves in
the right direction".
Wallstrom is a known advocate for a "feminist foreign policy", with
an emphasis on the rights of women and for female representation at the
said it would be ideal if the UAE could lead efforts to have women negotiators
and mediators in the region. She said "women come with an important
perspective" and that "peace deals made with women around the table
last longer – that is a fact".
Minister To Meet Terengganu Exco Over Shariah-Compliant Rule For Women
LUMPUR, Sep 3 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman will meet
with Terengganu’s state executive councillor to discuss issues pertaining to
the state’s plans to introduce Shariah-compliant code of conduct on their
comes after reports that Terengganu state government is drafting such laws and
have withdrawn from several sport events, particularly gymnastics, because they
did not conform to Islamic rules.
will look into the matter and I would personally need to speak to the exco to
get the full story,” said Syed Saddiq.
today, Terengganu Youth Development, Sports and Non-Government Development
Committee chairman Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah said the state government was
forced to withdraw from rhythmic gymnastics and women’s gymnastics as they
required athletes to expose their bodies.
was quoted in several news reports saying: “There is no compromise for these
sports (rhythmic gymnastics and women’s gymnastics) as they display indecent
movements, and unless the audience comprise only women, then maybe we will
Saddiq however said he has spoken to Wan previously and was told that they will
not force the issue.
spoken to him before when there was news about this and he gave me his
commitment that he would ‘advise’ not ‘coerce/force.’
stance on this is clear. Athletes are our national heroes and heroines,
regardless of what they wear. They sacrifice so much for Malaysia,” Syed Saddiq
on his part has said the state will not rush into implementing any new laws and
for now since there are no Shariah regulations in place the athletes can
continue to wear normal sportswear.
years ago, national gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi courted similar controversy
after she won six medals for her performance at the Southeast Asia Games, two
of which were gold.
25-year-old sparked controversy for her revealing attire which failed to cover
her aurat and also because according to Muslim leaders, she shouldn’t have worn
the record, leotards, which the gymnasts wear, are regulation attire for
gymnastics and gymnasts have to wear such attire to enable them to perform
for Lake Toba as halal tourist destination sparks controversy
mount from residents arguing plan contravenes local customs
North Sumatra administration recently announced a plan to initiate halal
tourism around Lake Toba in Samosir regency in a bid to attract more Muslim
tourists from neighboring Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.
the plan has received a less-than-favorable reception as some members of the
public argue that such a concept would contravene local customs in the regency,
which is a predominantly Christian area.
Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi said last week that the administration would
soon promote halal tourism to lure an influx of Muslim visitors from
neighboring countries. The plan, he said, would also entail a policy regarding
food vendors that sold pork-based food.
Sumatra administration general assistant M. Fitriyus said the governor’s plan
was never intended as an atte...
Bangladesh — Two Bangladeshi policemen in the capital were injured in a crude
bomb attack that has been claimed by the Islamic State group.
Metropolitan Police chief Asaduzzaman Mia said the attack happened late
Saturday night when a car carrying a Cabinet minister was passing through
Dhaka’s busy Dhanmondi area. A policeman from his security team and a traffic
officer were both injured in the explosion.
Government and Rural Development Minister Tazul Islam escaped unhurt.
Islamic State group said in a statement posted late Saturday on an IS-affiliate
website that two traffic police officers were severely wounded when a “security
detachment from the soldiers of the Caliphate” detonated an explosive device in
a Dhaka street targeting the two officers.
policemen were being treated in a hospital and their injuries were not life
journalist who went missing in the Maldives five years ago was killed by a
local affiliate of al-Qaeda, an investigator has said, publicly acknowledging
for the first time the hardline group's existence and efforts to silence
liberal voices in the Indian Ocean island nation.
Rilwan Abdulla, whose disappearance in 2014 shook the Maldives, was forced into
a car at knifepoint outside his home on the island of Hulhumale and taken to a
boat out at sea where he was killed, said Husnu Suood, the head of a
presidential commission set up to investigate the case.
to reporters on Sunday, Suood said the commission's nine-month investigation
found that then-President Abdulla Yameen tried to "divert the focus"
of the police investigation, while his former deputy tried to obstruct justice
in the case.
findings addressed long-unanswered questions over the journalist's fate and
prompted an outpouring of grief. In a statement, Rilwan's family said it heard
the commission's conclusion with "deep sorrow" and called for
protection for witnesses in the case.
in the Maldives, a popular Indian Ocean holiday destination, have previously
denied the existence of hardline Islamic groups in the Sunni Muslim state,
despite a spate of attacks against people advocating the practise of moderate
Islam and freedom of belief.
attacks include the killing in 2017 of a prominent blogger, Yameen Rasheed, who
led a campaign to find Rilwan.
who organised and financed Ahmed Rilwan's abduction and Yameen Rasheed's murder
are the same," Suood, a former judge, told a news conference in the
Maldives' capital, Male.
have to root this group out. They are dangerous."
inquiry commission was set up by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who assumed
office last year vowing to fight corruption and free politicians jailed under
his predecessor Yameen, who presided over a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent
during his five-year rule.
also promised justice for Rasheed's killing and Rilwan's abduction.
worked for Minivan News, an English news website now named The Maldives
Independent, and was long known to the al-Qaeda-linked group because of his
blog posts about its presence in the Maldives and his participation in a 2011
protest calling for freedom of belief in the Maldives, said Suood.
demonstration was attacked, with counterprotesters hurling rocks and wounding
the confrontation, the Jihadi hardline group compiled a hit list of people they
believed were mocking religion and began issuing death threats," said
year later, in 2012, one writer who participated in the rally had his throat
slit while another fled the country fearing for her life. A legislator, a
well-known Islamic scholar, was also hacked to death in his house.
failed to investigate the first two cases, while an investigation into the
politician's death is ongoing.
disappearance two years later set off a wave of protests in Male, with his
family accusing officials in Yameen's government of complicity. Police cracked
down on the campaign, pepper-spraying his mother and detaining his brother at
Maldives Independent's office was also attacked, with a machete lodged on its
door. Several of Rilwan's family members and friends reported receiving death
before his abduction in August 2014, the 28-year-old journalist wrote a series
of reports on Maldivians joining armed groups in Syria's war, said Suood.
Rilwan contacted one of the Maldivian men fighting with al-Nusra Front in Syria
seeking comment for a report and was told: "Your days are short".
fighter, identified as Yameen Naeem, accused Rilwan of being an apostate and of
passing information to Maldivian police and others on the al-Nusra Front's
recruitment efforts in the Maldives, said Suood.
was killed in Syria in September 2014.
Front split from al-Qaeda in 2016 and is now known as Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham.
2014, scores of Maldivians have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the group
as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS). Officials
of Yameen's government said the cases were isolated, describing allegations of
al-Qaeda and ISIL recruitment in the Maldives as an effort by the
then-opposition to damage the country's lucrative tourism industry.
Suood said the leader of the group enlisting fighters for al-Nusra Front
travelled to Pakistan and met senior al-Qaeda leaders there.
said the local groups linked to al-Nusra Front and ISIL targeted disaffected
young men in the Maldives. Their recruitment effort was financed by a vast
network of businesses, including cafes, fishing boats and shops selling
textiles and vegetables.
people linked to Rilwan's disappearance have now fled to Syria, according to
Suood. That included two young men who were caught on camera following Rilwan
on the night he went missing.
pair were arrested over the case in September 2014 but released weeks later at
the intervention of the then-Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb, who was appointed
the Maldives' vice president a year later, the investigator said, citing text
messages obtained from the former official's phone.
on these facts, we are recommending charges of obstruction of justice against
Ahmed Adeeb," he said.
also have evidence that then-President Abdulla Yameen attempted to divert the
focus of [the] investigation," he said, alleging the former leader had the
police consult a sorcerer to find out Rilwan's whereabouts. But Suood said
there wasn't enough evidence to recommend charges against Yameen.
Al Jazeera investigation, Stealing Paradise, also found Yameen told his former
home minister not to worry about the journalist's disappearance.
need to be overwhelmed by Rilwan case," Yameen told the home minister Umar
Naseer in a text message obtained by Al Jazeera.
confirmed receiving the message after initially denying it.
Shah, a lawyer for Yameen, dismissed the allegations against the former
president, saying his client had "pressed for investigations into killings
during his time in office". Yameen is now on trial on charges of money
has previously denied involvement in Rilwan's case.
Sunday, Rilwan's family called for the prosecution of all those linked to his
killing, "including those who organised and financed" the murder, as
well as "senior government officials who obstructed the
TOWN, Sept 3 — A PAS ulama is playing a dangerous game bordering on extremism
by supporting a call to boycott buying goods from non-Muslims, Lim Guan Eng
DAP secretary-general was responding to former Selangor PAS deputy ulama chief
Ahmad Dusuki Abdul Rani’s term of adding pahala or “divine reward” in urging
Muslim Malaysians to back the boycott campaign.
the Opposition leader is willing to gamble with the country’s peace and harmony
by playing such a game,” he said in a statement.
who is also finance minister, said the campaign was initiated by a racist and
extremist non-governmental organisation that was senseless and expressed his
regret that neither PAS nor its new ally Umno were rejecting such calls.
boycott of non-Bumputera products is illogical and unreasonable as it will only
serve to destroy the unity of the people and consumers will stand to lose out
in terms of choice to get only the best prices and quality,” he said.
added that religions do not teach their respective followers to boycott or hate
each other and that Malaysians generally did not segregate themselves along
racial or religious lines.
does not teach us to be angry, to boycott each other and to hate each other due
to our different races and religions, it is only the Opposition encouraging
this,” he said.
LUMPUR, Sept 3 — The defamation suit filed by Federal Territories Minister
Khalid Abdul Samad against Gerakan Muslimah Islam Malaysia (GMIM) president Wan
Asshima Kamaruddin has been settled with an apology from the latter at the High
Court here today.
sued Wan Asshima for recording, uploading and/or publishing a video containing
words on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group in Malaysia,
which allegedly defamed him.
Asshima, 35, when reading out the text of her apology before Judge Datuk Nik
Hasmat Nik Mohamad, said she acknowledged the factual errors in the video,
which was published on her Facebook account on Aug 18 last year.
regretted that the false and baseless accusations in the video had caused the
Federal Territories Minister distress, humiliation and discomfort.
I want to unconditionally retract the false words and baseless allegations in
the video which claimed that YB Khalid Abdul Samad has approved and organised a
big gay party in Kuala Lumpur,” she said at the proceedings. Also present was
her lawyer Wan Rohimi Wan Daud.
also apologised for questioning and accusing Khalid and his family of adopting
the LGBT lifestyle, and for them to prove otherwise.
had failed to confirm the information and hastily uploaded the video without
considering the negative implications on YB Khalid Abdul Samad and as a result
of my action, had offended and embarrassed YB Khalid Abdul Samad or his family
members,” she said.
Asshima also thanked Khalid for agreeing to settle the suit out of court
without imposing any damages.
Hasmat then recorded the consent judgment and also advised Wan Asshima against
making statements without first checking on the source.
is a statement of apology made unconditionally, take this as a lesson and never
repeat it. This case is (about) a public figure. We all know who YB (Khalid
Abdul Samad) is and many have read this (gay party). Be responsible for any posting,
“said Nik Hasmat.
said he was was satisfied with the apology made by Wan Asshima.
lawyer, Ahmad Affendi Mohd Nasir, when met by reporters, said Wan Asshima was
also required to post her apology, in Malay and also English, on her Facebook account
62, filed the suit at the High Court here on September 13 last year through
Messrs Mohamed Hanipa & Associates, naming Wan Asshima as the sole
to his statement of claim, Khalid said the defendant had, on August 18,
purposely recorded, uploaded and/or published a video onto her Facebook page,
containing defamatory words against him, with his name and position
said the words used easily meant that he, as the Federal Territories Minister,
had recognised and acknowledged the status of the LGBT group in Malaysia, and
had uplifted and protected the rights of the group by approving the largest gay
party in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the Merdeka month.
claimed that the video also accused him, in his capacity as a minister, party
leader and individual, of having violated not only the human rights of Muslims,
but also the Islamic laws and teachings, while at the same time, insulted Islam
Saudi visa scheme to be announced 27 September, 50 nationalities expected to
Saudi Arabia is putting the final touches to a “game changer” initiative to
attract international tourists, with a visa scheme to open the Kingdom to
visitors from up to 50 countries, Okaz newspaper reported.
not officially confirmed by the government, industry sources told Arab New an
event to showcase Saudi tourist attractions would take place this month, with a
major global advertising campaign launched in the presence of leading
international travel and tourism experts.
tourism — in a market hitherto dominated by pilgrimage — is a vital part of the
Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy away from oil dependency. Travel
experts say tourism and leisure could account for 10 percent of gross domestic
product by 2030, adding more than $100 billion a year to the economy.
event on Sept. 27 will promote “the sights and sounds” of Saudi Arabia to a
regional and international audience. Progress on other tourism projects — such
as a nationwide digital events calendar and plans to expand the successful
“Saudi Seasons” concept — will also feature.
is already underway on a luxury resort on the Red Sea coast, visitor facilities
at the historic AlUla area and an entertainment city at Qiddiya outside Riyadh.
economic effects of new tourist visas will be significant. The World Travel and
Tourism Council said leisure and tourism accounted for 9 percent of the
Kingdom’s economy in 2018, and forecast it would rise to 10.4 percent by 2029,
calculated by direct and indirect economic impact.
property consultancy Colliers International estimated in a recent report that
tourism and travel would make up 9 percent of the total GDP by 2026.
Damrah, managing director of Colliers Saudi Arabia, told Arab News that foreign
tourism visas would have a significant impact. “It will be a game changer for
tourism, leisure and entertainment in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
will not just encourage more new people to come, but it will be easier for
people who have already decided to come.”
believes Saudi Arabia can hold its own in the global tourism business. “Let’s
get some perspective on this. If you come to Saudi Arabia, you can still go to
Florida, or Dubai, as well. Every destination has its own attraction,” he said.
summons Turkish ambassador after president raised Ottoman era atrocities
Lebanon summoned the Turkish ambassador on Tuesday over a war of words relating
to atrocities carried out during the Ottoman empire.
has been angered by a statement from the Turkish foreign ministry issued in
response to a speech by President Michel Aoun, which referred to violence and
killing during the Ottoman occupation of what became the state of Lebanon.
Cakil was ordered to attend the foreign ministry and asked for “clarifications
about the statement and for clear correction of the mistake made by the Turkish
side, to avoid misunderstanding and in preservation of the special bilateral
on Saturday to mark the centennial of the formation of Greater Lebanon, Aoun
referred to the “state terror practiced by the Ottomans against the Lebanese,
especially during World War I.”
said there had been “hundreds of thousands of victims between famine,
conscription and forced labor, without omitting the gallows through which they
wanted to annihilate the spirit of emancipation and rebellion.”
Sunday, the Turkish foreign ministry issued an angry response, accusing Aoun’s
speech of being “baseless and biased.” It also said “terror” had not taken
place under Ottoman rule.
A second group of graduates are set to become ambassadors for Saudi Arabia
around the world after completing a special training program.
who completed the latest round of the Salam Program for Cultural Communication
will represent the Kingdom at international forums as part of an initiative to
raise the country’s global profile.
scheme aims to develop the personal skills of trainees so that they can
confidently speak on behalf of their country at conferences, seminars and
meetings throughout the world.
a series of courses and workshops, the students are provided with the necessary
knowledge and information to carry out the objectives of the project on an
Al-Qarni joined the program in order to be able to represent the Kingdom at
international forums, and said it had developed her capabilities in a number of
fields. These included how to deal with controversial media campaigns against
the Kingdom, learning the rules of etiquette and international protocol, and
public speaking techniques for the effective and clear delivery of messages.
student of the program, Fahd Al-Abdul Aziz, said that he hoped to use his new
skills to promote the true image of the Kingdom and spread the spirit of
global, cultural, and inter-religious communication.
added that the program had been particularly helpful in giving him the
opportunity to interact with officials and experts in the fields of
communication, public relations, international protocol, and intercultural
that any young person wishing to serve their country should join similar
programs to enhance their personal skills and capabilities to influence others.
Al-Awni said it had been a “great honor” to take part in the training
initiative which she said had given her a range of new personal skills to
represent the Kingdom. In addition, she had benefitted from the expertise of
lecturers, and from a wide variety of visits organized as part of the program.
Al-Shammari said he joined the program to develop his personal skills, noting
that the workshops and courses had helped to achieve his aims.
US says it has carried out an attack on leaders of a group it calls al-Qaeda in
Syria, in the country's rebel-held Idlib province.
Central Command said the operation had targeted those "responsible for
attacks threatening US citizens, our partners and innocent civilians".
details were given but other reports say some 40 people died in a missile
strike on a jihadist training camp.
was hit just after Syrian government forces began a truce in Idlib.
reports indicated that calm had settled on the front lines after the
Russian-backed unilateral ceasefire, which started at 06:00 (03:00 GMT).
a separate development, Turkey warned it would launch an operation to set up a
"safe zone" in north-eastern Syria if talks with the US on the issue
a few weeks if our soldiers do not start to actually control this area, there
will be no other option left but to implement our own operation plans,"
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
and Washington are at odds over the future of the region where the US-backed
Kurdish YPG militia has been fighting so-called Islamic State.
considers the YPG a terrorist group.
this month, the Kurdish-led authorities in north-eastern Syria reportedly began
withdrawing from territory along the border with Turkey.
is happening in Idlib?
loyal to the government launched an aerial offensive aimed at re-taking the
area late in April and ground forces have also been making advances in recent
have retaken key strategic locations, such as the town of Khan Sheikhoun -
which had been held by rebels for five years.
UN has issued repeated warnings that the offensive is causing a humanitarian
disaster - within a civil war that has already taken hundreds of thousands of
lives and displaced millions.
war in Syria: five questions answered
did the war start?
country descended into war after President Bashar al-Assad's government used
deadly force to crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, who took to the streets
in March 2011 demanding political freedom.
complicated: President Assad's regime is fighting rebel groups ranging from
pro-democracy groups to jihadist extremists, while a number of foreign powers
are providing support to various sides.
many people have died?
is not known exactly, as death tolls vary according to the source, but it is
estimated to stand at more than 500,000 dead or missing.
many refugees are there?
than 5.6 million people have fled Syria since 2011, with another 6.6 million
internally displaced, according to the UN.
has happened to President Assad?
Williams, Ellen Francis
(Reuters) - Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader said on Monday that while a flare-up
with Israel at the border was over, the episode had launched a “new phase” in
which the Iran-backed group no longer has red lines.
a televised speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the new focus would be on
targeting Israeli drones that enter Lebanon’s airspace, and this would be
handled by fighters in the field.
and the Israeli army exchanged cross-border fire on Sunday after a drone attack
last week in a Hezbollah-controlled Beirut suburb. Hezbollah blamed that
incident on Israel, raising fears of a wider regional conflict.
his speech, Nasrallah said Sunday’s missiles sent Israel “a clear message that
if you attack, then all your border, your forces and your settlements at the
border and (deep inside)” will be at risk.
comments struck a defiant tone, although perceptions in the region are that the
longtime enemies privately want to avoid all-out war at a time of soaring
Sunday’s flare-up, Israel faked soldier injuries to dampen any inclination of
Hezbollah to escalate hostilities.
media photographed an army helicopter performing what appeared to be the
evacuation of two wounded soldiers to hospital after Hezbollah launched
anti-tank missiles at an army base and vehicles. Israel said there were no
a person briefed on the evacuation, and who spoke to Reuters on condition of
anonymity, said the soldiers were in fact unharmed and bandaged with fake blood
in what he called “a psy-ops stunt”.
said it had destroyed an Israeli armored vehicle, killing and wounding those
inside, and it broadcast what it said was footage of two missiles hitting a moving
said Sunday had marked the first such Hezbollah operation in a long time
targeting Israel in positions across the border, not in the Israeli-occupied
is no longer a red line,” the Hezbollah chief said. “I tell the Israelis, we no
longer have red lines because you changed the rules of engagement.”
whose forces have fought in support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s
war, also said two of its men were killed in an Israeli strike in Syria last
week. Israel said its attack thwarted an Iranian-led drone strike against it.
after the Hezbollah missile volley on Sunday, scores were apparently settled
and the two sides, who fought a deadly month-long war in 2006, returned to
business as usual on Monday, with the border reverting to calm.
had raised the stakes last week by accusing Iran of stepping up efforts to
provide Hezbollah with precision-guided missile production facilities.
Hezbollah denied this.
Israel has increasingly put the blame on Lebanon as a whole for letting
Hezbollah, which is part of Lebanon’s coalition government, grow in military
and political power.
a video statement in Twitter on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held
out the prospect of future military action to prevent Hezbollah getting
missiles that could be fired with increased accuracy at targets in Israel.
will continue to do whatever is necessary to defend Israel at sea, on land and
in the air. We will continue to act against the threat of the precision-guided
rockets,” he said.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he had asked Germany to tell Lebanon that if
it does not stem Hezbollah’s activity against Israel, “Lebanon in its entirely
will be struck and badly damaged.”
OF NEW WAR
neither side can afford a return to 2006 when the war was triggered after a
Hezbollah cross-border raid. Nearly 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, were
killed in July 2006 and 158 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
is constraining them is that neither side wants a war. Each wants to use it as
part of their own internal propaganda machine, but neither side genuinely wants
a war,” said Maha Yahya, director of the Carnegie Middle East Centre in Beirut.
head of the right-wing Likud party, has been projecting strength during a
re-election campaign ahead of a vote less than three weeks away, but a border
war could complicate his efforts.
allied to Hezbollah had made it clear any response to the Israeli drones would
new eruption in Lebanon could strain an already struggling economy, as
authorities seek to implement long-overdue economic reforms to ward off a
crisis. Fitch downgraded Lebanon’s credit rating to CCC last month on
senior Israeli security source said that shortly after the Hezbollah attack and
Israel’s military response on Sunday, messages from Nasrallah and Hariri were
conveyed to Israel by three countries, which the source did not name, that “as
far as Hezbollah is concerned, the incident is over”.
Yonah Jeremy Bob
as an arm of Iran, uses women’s groups, sports, education, health programs and
a cult surrounding Iran’s supreme leader to infiltrate and maintain a hold on
the Lebanese state, according to a series of reports by an intelligence center.
Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center issued a report at the
end of last week discussing the latest strategies of Hezbollah in constructing
a “mini-state” among the Shi’ite community in Lebanon.
massive financial and strategic support from Iran, Hezbollah continues to
enlarge an entire virtually autonomous civilian system that “operates alongside
its military infrastructure.”
to the Meir Amit center, the social institutions that were established by
Hezbollah “provide Shi’ite residents with a wide variety of services of the
sort which is usually provided by the state, while taking advantage of the
weakness of the Lebanese central government and the long-time neglect of the
reports have said that Hezbollah’s extensive civilian activity “is designed to
create among the Shi’ites in Lebanon a ‘resistance society’ that believes in
the ideology of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and is committed to supporting
Hezbollah in its struggle against Israel.”
week’s report especially emphasized Hezbollah’s Women’s Organizations Unit,
which is designed “to inculcate Shi’ite Islam and the Iranian worldview in the
women and strengthen…the support of Hezbollah and its hegemony in Shi’ite
attaches special importance in the role of women in raising a younger
generation imbued with Hezbollah’s ideology and supporting their husbands who
enlist in Hezbollah,” said the report.
order to best accomplish these goals, the women’s indoctrination has actual
workshops: how to raise children on Hezbollah’s ideology; how it is possible to
function as a shahid’s (martyred person) mother or wife; and how to fulfill the
role of both mother and father if the husband dies.
report said that these workshops are designed “to provide Hezbollah’s fighters,
who are considered as potential shahids, with peace of mind knowing that if
they are killed in battle, their families will continue to function properly.”
to religious beliefs, the report said that Hezbollah has so far refrained from
recruiting women for terrorist actions, something that is not true for other
recent report by the Meir Amit center focused on Hezbollah’s use of sports to
draft recruits, placing the emphasis on soccer games due to their tremendous
addition, Hezbollah’s sports mobilization program promotes sports branches
improving the skills of the youth that will join the ranks of Hezbollah in
martial arts, running and shooting.
half of the sports competitions, according to the report, are held on dates of
symbolic significance for Hezbollah, such as the anniversary of the IDF’s
withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Shahid Day.
the report said that sports competitions are used for the glorification of
Hezbollah’s shahids, and teams and sports facilities are named after them.
this regard, Sports Mobilization head Hajj Jihad Atiya has said that Hezbollah
perceives sports as a means of inculcating the youth with its values and
attracting it to its ranks, based on the connection between sports and the
jihadi-military mindset, the report noted.
yet another report, the intelligence center highlighted Hezbollah’s Education
Mobilization initiative, which assists Shi’ite students in the various
assistance finds its expression in aid with tuition, textbooks, remedial
lessons, courses in advance of the matriculation exams and university entrance
exams, workshops and trips,” said the report.
Education Mobilization activity is in addition to Hezbollah’s indoctrination
that it already imbues through its networks of private schools – the Al-Mahdi
and the Al-Mustafa school networks – and through the youth movement, the Imam
al-Mahdi Scouts Association.
another report noted Hezbollah’s focus on establishing a cult dedicated to Iran
supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and before him the Islamic Revolution
founder, Imam Ruhollah Khomeini.
only does Hezbollah publicly signal its loyalty to Iran and Khamenei, but
senior Iranian leaders have repeatedly stressed Hezbollah’s complete loyalty to
Iran and its commitment to the Iranian leadership.
Khamenei’s personality cult is evidence that Hezbollah regards Iran and its leader
as the highest source of authority for its strategy, including its military
moves against Israel,” said the report.
the opening ceremony of Hezbollah’s summer activity in southern Lebanon,
attended by operatives of Hezbollah’s military and civilian infrastructures,
the participants sang the “Song of Pledge of Allegiance” to the ruling Islamic
jurist Imam Ali Khamenei.
to the report, the song is also called “We Love Loyalty,” which first and
foremost express commitment and loyalty to Khamenei – “We love loyalty, loudly
do we pray for Ali Khamenei.”
motif in the song is solidarity between Hezbollah and other countries where
Iran handles proxies among the Shi’ite communities. The report said that the
“common denominator between Hezbollah and the Shi’ite communities mentioned in
the song (Bahrain, Yemen, and Iraq) is loyalty” to Khamenei.
June 28 ceremony, entitled “Our Generations are the Message of Victory,” took
place in the hussainiya (a Shi’ite social/religious club of sorts) of the city
the attempt by some Western countries to differentiate between Hezbollah’s
operatives from its so-called “military wing” and its political institutions,
both categories of officials took part in the ceremony interchangeably.
background, especially Iran’s involvement, is a crucial point, since the rest
of Lebanon may disagree with Iran about whether and when it is appropriate to
fight with Israel.
such a disagreement would be expected to completely restrain Hezbollah from
report suggests that Iran has far more say even in critical war and peace
issues for Hezbollah and Lebanon than a foreign ally normally would.
which established Hezbollah during the First Lebanon War, attached major
importance to indoctrination activity and loyalty to Iranian leaders among
Shi’ite youth from Hezbollah’s inception, said the report.
Arabic-language al-Ahad al-Jadid reported on its twitter account that it has
gained access to secret documents which reveal a big deal between Saudi Arabia
deal includes setting up a center for monitoring and spying on the opposition
forces and conducting espionage and hacking operations against the neighboring
states, including Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, it added.
report said that the deal is worth $2bln.
report by a Canadian academic lab had found in October that the Saudi
government used Israeli-made Pegasus spyware to snoop on the phone of a
prominent Saudi dissident living in Canada.
is a spyware produced by the Herzliya-based NSO Group, an Israeli intelligence
firm. Pegasus turns phones into listening devices and works by infecting
"targets using Androids and iPhones by sending them specially crafted
exploit links", the University of Toronto-based Citizen Lab, which
produced the report, explained.
a phone is infected, the customer has full access to a victim's personal files,
such as chats, emails, and photos. They can even surreptitiously use the
phone's microphones and cameras to view and eavesdrop on their targets,"
have high confidence that the cellphone of Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi activist and
Canadian permanent resident, was targeted and infected with NSO Group's Pegasus
spyware," Citizen Lab wrote in the report, released.
has been outspoken on an ongoing diplomatic feud over human rights issues
between Canada and Saudi Arabia. The targeting occurred while Abdulaziz, who
received asylum in Canada, was attending university in Quebec," the report
Arabic-language Soumer News quoted al-Zamili as saying on Tuesday that the US
has not acted upon its agreement with Baghdad and did not help Iraq establish
security at the borders and battle against the ISIL.
added that the Americans for two years dragged their feet in giving a response
to Iraq's needs, noting that it was Iran which rushed to arm and support
has played a big role in Iraq's fight against the ISIL," al-Zamili said.
officials have always appreciated Tehran for its prompt assistance to Baghdad
in hard days when the country had just come under terrorists' attack.
a relevant development in March, two former prime ministers and the current National
Security Council advisor of Iraq went to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s
residence in Baghdad to voice their gratitude for all Tehran’s supports in the
Arab country’s war against terrorists.
Prime Ministers of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki and Haider al-Abadi along with the
country’s current National Security Council advisor Falih Alfayyadhof met with
President Rouhani in Baghdad.
the meetings, in the palace located in Dar Dhiafa in Baghdad, the Iraqi
officials appreciated Iran's support for Iraq's combat against the ISIL
of children risk missing out on their education in northwestern Syria after a
months-long regime assault on the extremist-run bastion that has closed dozens
of schools, a charity said.
of children due to start the school year in northwest Syria may not have access
to education” after the latest violence, Save the Children said.
are set to start at the end of September, but just over half of the region’s
1,193 schools can still operate, it said.
the new school year starts, the remaining functional schools can only
accommodate up to 300,000 of the 650,000 school-age children,” it said.
heavy bombardment since late April has damaged or impacted 87 educational
facilities, the Britain-based NGO said.
Idlib region is home to some three million people, almost half of whom have
been displaced from other parts of Syria in the country’s eight-year war.
make up nearly half of the region’s total population, the United Nations says.
violence since late April has killed more than 960 civilians, according to the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and displaced more than 400,000 people,
the UN says.
are telling us that parents are pleading with them to shut schools for fear of
them being attacked,” the group’s Syria country director Sonia Khush said.
children are dealing with losing their homes, loss and grief. They should not
have to fear losing their lives whilst they try to learn,” she added.
has since January been ruled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance led by
Syria’s former al-Qaeda affiliate.
army soldiers, backed by fighters from pro-government Popular Mobilization
Units, have launched a major operation to hunt down the remnants of the Daesh
Takfiri terrorist group in an area of the country’s western province of Anbar.
media bureau of the volunteer forces, better known by the Arabic word Hashd
al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement that government forces and their forces
mounted a multi-pronged offensive in Jazirah al-Baghdadi district, which lies
north of the provincial capital city of Ramadi and more than 110 kilometers
west of the capital Baghdad, on Tuesday.
statement added that the operation started on four fronts with the aim of
identifying and dismantling Daesh sleeper cells in Jazirah al-Baghdadi district
and the area leading to Lake Tharthar.
August 27, the Iraqi military announced the conclusion of the fourth phase of
the Will of Victory Operation in western Iraq.
statement by the media office of the Joint Operations Command said on August 5
that the Iraqi army, police and Hashd al-Sha’abi units, backed by the Iraqi Air
Force fighter jets, had launched the third phase of the major offensive in the
eastern Diyala province and Nineveh province in the north.
statement said the troops had begun search operations in rural areas near the
towns of Miqdadiyah, Jalawla and Khanaqin in Diyala province.
in Nineveh province, the troops commenced an operation to clear the rugged
areas of al-Atshanah and the mountain ranges of Badush and Sheikh Ibrahim in
west and northwest of the provincial capital city of Mosul.
second-in-command of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), Lieutenant General
Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah, said in a statement on July 20 that Iraqi military
forces had launched the second phase of the Will of Victory Operation to hunt
down Daesh remnants north of Baghdad and areas nearby.
statement noted that the offensive aims to “beef up security and stability in
areas north of Baghdad and surrounding areas in the provinces of Diyala,
Salahuddin and Anbar.”
said that units from the Baghdad Operations Command, command operations from
Diyala, Samarra and Anbar, the Federal Police Command, rapid response teams,
Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters and the special forces regiment of the Operations
Department of the Chief of Staff of the Army as well as the Special Task Force
of the Directorate of Military Intelligence were participating in the
Recent royal decrees reflect the Kingdom’s keenness to develop various sectors
in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, the Saudi Cabinet said on Tuesday at
a meeting chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. The creation of
the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, and of the National Center for
Artificial Intelligence, are among the most important of the decrees. The
Cabinet decided to include Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi on Saudi Aramco’s board
and Investment Minister Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi told the Saudi Press Agency that
the Cabinet appreciates the UN Security Council’s condemnation of the repeated
targeting of civilians in Saudi Arabia by Houthi militias in Yemen.
urgent relief campaign ordered by King Salman for Sudan stems from Saudi
concern for the Sudanese people, and is part of the Kingdom’s pivotal role in
providing assistance to people in need wherever they are, the Cabinet said.
added that the Saudi government provided $2 million in financial support to the
Islamic Food Security Organization to contribute to the implementation of its
programs, and to fulfil its commitments to member states.
Cabinet welcomed Umrah pilgrims to the Kingdom, who are expected to number 10
million this year.
authorized a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Saudi and Afghan
governments to combat drug trafficking.
Iran will give EU countries two-month deadline to save nuclear deal
will give another two-month deadline to EU countries to save its 2015 nuclear
deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, according to ISNA.
added that it is unlikely that the country would reach an agreement with the EU
to salvage the nuclear deal.
the EU countries fail to take effective measures by September 7, then Iran will
take the third step in scaling down its commitments to the nuclear deal,
Rouhani told a cabinet meeting according to Iran's semi-official Mehr news
third step is of an extremely important nature, and will considerably
accelerate the activities of the country’s nuclear energy organization,” Mehr
quoted Rouhani as saying.
the same day, a senior Iranian official confirmed that Tehran would return to
its nuclear deal commitment only if it gets $15 billion for oil sales over four
months, as stipulated in a draft French plan to salvage the accord, Iran’s Fars
news agency said.
the Iranian army confirmed it has recently conducted secret military missions
and will continue to do so.
new sanctions target Iranian Space Agency
United States has imposed new sanctions on Iran this time to target its space
administration of US President Donald Trump introduced the illegal sanctions
Tuesday as Washington continued its campaign of “maximum pressure” against
Tehran and, seeking rise in tensions in the region.
country’s space program and two of its research institutes have been
sanctioned, according to hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to
advance its ballistic missile programs. Iran’s August 29 attempt to launch a
space launch vehicle underscores the urgency of the threat,” claimed the former
further alleged that "these designations should serve as a warning to the
international scientific community that collaborating with Iran’s space program
could contribute to Tehran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon delivery
Israeli television network admits that the recent attack carried out by
Hezbollah fighters against Israeli army positions proved the Lebanese
resistance movement has the capability to strike targets “considered safe”
inside the occupied territories.
proved capable of firing at roads that were considered safe in northern
Israel,” Lebanese Naharnet online media, citing Israel’s Channel 12 – also
known as Keshet 12, reported on Tuesday.
(Israeli) soldiers did not properly plan the route and estimated that they are
not exposed to the enemy behind the border,” the report added.
Sunday, Hezbollah fired a number of anti-tank missiles at an Israeli army base
and vehicles near the border in response to an Israeli air raid last week that
killed two of its fighters in Syria, as well as an Israeli drone attack on
to the Lebanese resistance movement, the missiles launched from Lebanon
destroyed an armored personnel carrier in Avivim in northern Israel, killing or
wounding those inside it. The Israeli military, however, alleged the attack did
not lead to any casualties. The Israeli army said it fired 100 shells inside
Lebanon in return.
denied that the Hezbollah operation had caused casualties, but photos of
Israeli soldiers transporting injured people later spread on social media.
Arabic-language al-Manar satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah
later aired footage of the attack, documenting its operation.
Monday evening, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned the
Israeli regime against any future attacks on Lebanon, stressing that all
Israeli forces will be at risk in such a case.
Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday’s operation by Hezbollah fighters in which an
armored Israeli vehicle was hit and completely destroyed, was meant to send the
message to Israel that “if you attack, then all your border and forces will be
thank God [for this victory],” he said, and also expressed gratitude towards
the group’s fighters and commanders, who spent eight consecutive days carrying
out the operation.
Alan Rappeport and Daniel Victor
— The Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on an Iranian oil tanker
at the center of a power struggle between the United States and Iran, a move
that threatened to further escalate tensions between the two countries.
tanker — once known as the Grace 1, and renamed the Adrian Darya-1 — had been
detained in Gibraltar for weeks on suspicion of violating European Union
sanctions by trying to transport oil to Syria. It was released two weeks ago,
despite a last-ditch effort by American officials to have the tanker turned
over to them.
tanker is believed to be transporting more than two million barrels of Iranian
crude oil, testing American sanctions intended to limit the country’s ability
to sell oil.
ship’s reported destination changed repeatedly throughout Friday. First, it was
said to be bound for Turkey, then for Lebanon, only for Lebanese officials to
say they did not believe it was coming there.
Lebanese energy minister, Nada Boustani, said on Twitter her country had not
received a request for the vessel to dock. By day’s end, it was still unclear
where the tanker would ultimately go.
announcing the sanctions, the United States appeared to be issuing a warning to
potential destination countries. “Anyone providing support to the Adrian
Darya-1 risks being sanctioned,” said Sigal Mandelker, the under secretary for
terrorism and financial intelligence, in a statement.
Mandelker said vessels like the Adrian Darya-1 were used to mask illicit sales
that fund Iran’s “malign activities and propagate terrorism.” The tanker’s
captain, Akhilesh Kumar, was also sanctioned.
over the tanker began on July 4, when the vessel was seized by British marines
and port officials in Gibraltar, a semiautonomous British territory. Iran
denied allegations that the tanker was transporting oil to Syria, accused
British officials of concocting the story at Washington’s behest and threatened
to seize a British ship in retaliation.
two weeks later, Iran seized a 30,000-ton British tanker in the Strait of
Hormuz, a narrow passage to the Persian Gulf through which about 20 percent of
the world’s crude oil travels. Iranian officials said the tanker had “violated
three international naval regulations,” including turning off its GPS locator
and polluting the water by dumping crude oil residue.
British tanker is still being held.
government of Gibraltar said on Thursday that it had assurances the Iranian
tanker would not go to Syria once released.
had earlier ruled out the possibility of a ship swap, saying a trade would
legitimize the Iranian seizure. Dominic Raab, Britain’s new foreign secretary,
told Sky News earlier this month that Britain was “not going to barter a ship
that was detained legally with a ship that was detained illegally.”
standoff has its roots in the American withdrawal from the 2015 agreement that
eased economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for a suspension of much of Iran’s
nuclear program. After the Trump administration abruptly pulled the United
States out of the deal, it reinstated sanctions to limit Iranian oil sales.
Iran has since taken steps to restart parts of its nuclear program.
officials have blamed Iran for what they called “unprovoked attacks” on tankers
in the Gulf of Oman in May and June. Iran has denied responsibility for those
Trump has been exerting intense pressure on Iran in recent months in an effort
to cripple its economy and bring it back to the bargaining table to renegotiate
the agreement over its nuclear program. The United States has ratcheted up
sanctions and warned countries such as China to stop buying Iranian oil.
United Arab Emirates (AP) — As the U.S. tries a new way to protect shipping
across the Persian Gulf amid tensions with Iran, it finds itself sailing into
decades, the U.S. has considered the waters of the Persian Gulf as critical to
its national security. Through the gulf's narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz,
20% of all crude oil sold passes onto the world market. Any disruption there
likely will see energy prices spike.
U.S. has been willing to use its firepower to ensure that doesn't happen. It
escorted ships here in the so-called 1980s "Tanker War. " America
fought its last major naval battle in these waters in 1988 against Iran.
the U.S. Navy is trying to put together a new coalition of nations to counter
what it sees as a renewed maritime threat from Iran.
Tehran finds itself backed into a corner and ready for a possible conflict it
had 30 years for which to prepare. It stands poised this week to further break
the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, over a year after
President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord and
imposed crippling sanctions on the country.
is plausible to imagine a scenario where these forces stumble into some type of
accidental escalation," said Becca Wasser, a senior policy analyst at the
RAND Corp. who studies the region.
U.S.-led Sentinel Program's strategy aims to secure the greater Persian Gulf
region in a multipart strategy. It includes surveillance of the Strait of
Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb, another narrow strait that connects the Red Sea
and the Gulf of Aden off Yemen and East Africa. Smaller patrol boats and other
craft will be available for rapid response.
plan also allows for nations to escort their own ships through the region, said
Cmdr. Joshua Frey, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which oversees
the region. For now, the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet is not escorting U.S.-flagged
ships through waters, though that remains a possibility, he said.
far, only Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom have said they'll join the
U.S. program. India has begun escorting its own ships independently of the U.S.
coalition, while China has suggested it could get involved as well.
of what the U.S. plan calls for already falls under the routine operations of
the 5th Fleet, which has been in the region since 1995.
Navy ships coming in and out of the Persian Gulf often find themselves shadowed
by Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels. Some incidents have seen the U.S. fire
warning shots or Iranian forces test-fire missiles nearby.
the new forces, as well as Iran facing growing financial pressure from U.S.
sanctions, have raised the stakes for conflict, said Michael Stephens, a senior
research fellow who focuses on the Mideast at London's Royal United Services
Institute for Defense and Security Studies.
you change the chessboard, you are effectively permanently changing the
conditions under which you're operating," Stephens said. "How you
cannot make that look like an escalation is anyone's guess because it is an
itself hasn't sat still. The Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pilot speedboats through the Strait of
Hormuz and run drills practicing swarming larger warships. It possesses
shore-to-ship missiles. It also, according to U.S. officials, has special
forces capable of sneaking up on unsuspecting ships to plant explosive mines.
of the immediate dangers is in the response to Iran itself. During the Somali
piracy crisis of the 2000s, the rush of navies to the region saw fishermen
wrongly targeted for attack in at least one incident, said Salvatore R.
Mercogliano, a former merchant mariner and associate professor of history at
North Carolina's Campbell University.
the Strait of Hormuz is just 33-kilometers (21-miles) wide at its narrowest
point, there is a lot of surrounding area to cover for such a force. Trying to
run convoys of ships through the areas also would slow down traffic and delay
shipments. Meanwhile, the small fast boats of Iran's Guard easily can be missed
among the fishermen and traditional dhow ships moving through the busy waters.
very easy to get lured one way or another and miss something," Mercogliano
U.S. authorities warn that ships in the region have reported "spoofed
bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be
U.S. or coalition warships." Ships also have reported interference with
their GPS systems, according to the U.S. Transportation Department's Maritime
Administration. That could see ships accidentally enter Iranian territorial
waters and offer a pretense for its forces to board.
mariners in the region, the Strait of Hormuz has been declared a temporary extended
risk zone, qualifying them for a bonus and higher death and disability
coverage. And while the mariners may be on Western-owned or -flagged vessels,
many come from poorer countries in Eastern Europe or Asia.
court in Turkey has dropped terror charges against a prominent pro-Kurdish
politician who has been jailed for more than two years, but authorities are
still pursuing a separate case against him, which could keep him imprisoned.
Demirtas, a former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP),
was accused of leading a terrorist organization, carrying out terrorist
propaganda, and other terror-related crimes for which he was faced with up to
142 years in prison.
to Anadolu Agency, a state-run news agency, Demirtas was accused of being a
leader of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as PKK, which is designated
by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU as a terrorist organization.
was also accused of having links to the violence that erupted in 2014 after
protesters took to the streets to criticize the government's policies in
neighboring Syria. At least 30 people were reportedly killed.
court ruling cleared Demirtas of the terror charges from the main case against
him. However, he could still serve time in prison for another case in which he
has been charged with supporting a terrorist organization during a speech he
gave in 2013.
lawyers were not present during Monday's court hearing as they are preparing
for another key hearing in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)'s Grand
Chamber scheduled for later this month.
prosecutor was trying to convince the judge to find him guilty on the original
terror charges. However, the court decided otherwise and ordered his release on
must be released. He previously was convicted for propagandizing [terror
organization]. The court of appeal has had similar rulings so that he can be
released under probation," Emin Aktar, one of Demirtas' lawyers, told VOA.
participated in Monday's court hearing in Ankara via a teleconference from
Edirne prison where he is detained. He denied the prosecutor's charges.
am in prison for now since I was convicted [of another case]. Let's hope for
the best for a fair trial," Demirtas said.
is currently serving time for allegedly supporting pro-Kurdish rebels during a
speech he gave in 2013. Turkish authorities pursued that case against him
following mounting pressure from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR),
which criticized Turkey for keeping him in pre-trial detention for longer than
is legally justified.
experts say the speech-related charges were to ensure that Demirtas stays
behind bars should the court acquit him of additional charges pertaining to the
is absolutely crystal clear that conviction by different courts was due to the
fact that this case was fast-tracked [speech-related case]. And the decision
was issued after the ECHR and after the president of Turkey's statement on the
case made the political nature of the judgment very clear," Andrew Gardner,
a Turkey expert at Amnesty International, told VOA in December.
November, Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled that Demirtas' pre-trial detention had
gone on longer than is legally justified and demanded that Turkish authorities
responded that it was not obligated to adhere to ECHR's ruling.
decisions are not binding for us. There are also so many things we can do
against ECHR's decision. We will make a countermove and finish it off,"
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the time.
is one of 47 members of the ECHR and is legally obligated to adhere to the
court's rulings. However, Turkey has not adhered to the court's rulings on
is scheduled to have another hearing this month at the request of Turkey and
Demirtas himself, in which the court would discuss the legality of his
forthcoming hearing of the ECHR concerns the arrest and pre-trial detention of
Selahattin Demirtas, who at the time of the events was one of the co-chairs of
the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), a left-wing pro-Kurdish political
party," ECHR said in a statement recently.
Altiparmak, deputy chair of Turkey's Human Rights Association, said Monday that
Turkey would defend its position in the upcoming hearing by maintaining that
Demirtas' continued detention is justified.
would make a case in front of ECHR that the applicant [Demirtas] is in prison
not because he was convicted in this [main] case, but in another case,"
has run for the Turkish presidency twice. In June 2015, during the country's
parliamentary elections, his pro-Kurdish party secured more than 10% of the
general vote, forcing Erdogan's Justice and Development Party to build a
coalition for the first time since the party was established, instead of
forming a majority government in the country.
played a significant role in mobilizing opposition voters at the time.
May 2016, Turkey's parliament passed a law removing parliamentary immunity for
those with pending courts cases, which led to Demirtas' detention on terrorism
charges that year.
Israeli army said on Tuesday it had exposed a Hezbollah site dedicated to the
manufacture of “precision-guided” missiles in Lebanon, just days after a
cross-border flare-up between the arch-foes.
IDF is exposing a facility belonging to Hezbollah... designed to convert and
manufacture precision-guided missiles,” the Israeli army said in a statement.
released what it said was an aerial photograph of the site in Lebanon’s Bekaa
Valley, near the town of Nabi Chit.
statement comes after the Iran-backed Shiite movement said Sunday its fighters
had fired anti-tank missiles into Israel, destroying a military vehicle and
killing or wounding those inside.
army said it had responded with around 100 artillery shells after Hezbollah
targeted a battalion headquarters and military ambulance, hitting both.
officials refuted claims of casualties.
army said last week that Iran was collaborating with Hezbollah to convert
“stupid rockets into precision-guided missiles,” through a plan to smuggle the
required components into Lebanon.
facility near Nabi Chit was established a few years ago by the Lebanese Shiite
movement and its ally Tehran, the Israeli army said on Tuesday.
various activities to facilitate the manufacture and conversion of
precision-guided missiles at the facility have been identified,” it added.
activities included “the establishment of a dedicated assembly line for precision
weapons and the transfer of sensitive and dedicated equipment.”
facility hosted machines designed to manufacture the motors and warheads of
missiles “with an accuracy of less than 10 meters,” with Iran supplying special
machines and instruction for manufacturing crews, the Israeli army said.
further alleged that Hezbollah had “in fear of strikes, evacuated precious and
unique equipment from the compound to civilian locations in Beirut.”
chief Hassan Nasrallah on Monday said his organization would respond to any
further Israeli attacks with strikes “deep inside Israel” and not just along
his part, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a cabinet
meeting that he was determined to guarantee Israel’s security.
United States imposed sanctions on the three Iranian space agencies on Tuesday,
the Treasury Department said, as Washington ramps up pressure over Tehran's
targeted the Iran Space Agency, Iran Space Research Center and the Astronautics
Research Institute, according to a statement on its website.
United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to
advance its ballistic missile programs,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in
said Iran’s Aug. 29 attempt to test a space launch vehicle underscored “the
urgency of the threat.”
Iranian rocket exploded on its launch pad at Imam Khomeini Space Center in
northern Iran before its scheduled launch last Thursday. The explosion followed
Iran’s failed attempt to launch a satellite in January.
sanctions, part of a years-long US pressure campaign to keep Iran from
developing nuclear weapons, are the first imposed on Iran’s space agencies,
according to the State Department.
United States fears long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into
orbit could also be used to launch nuclear warheads.
Iran Space Agency develops satellites and launch vehicle technology, and works
with the Iran Space Research Center on day-to-day tasks as well as research and
development, according to the State Department.
two have also worked with a sanctioned liquid propellant ballistic missile
organization, Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the State Department said.
Astronautics Research Institute has managed the space vehicle launch project,
according to the department.
denies its space activity is a cover for developing weapon launches.
Friday, US President Donald Trump posted on Twitter a photo of what appeared to
be the site of the failed Iranian satellite launch.
designations should serve as a warning to the international scientific
community that collaborating with Iran’s space program could contribute to
Tehran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon delivery system,” Pompeo said.
answer to bilateral talks with the US will “always be negative,” Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, adding that Iran may further cut
nuclear commitments in days.
decision has ever been taken to hold talks with the US and there has been a lot
of offers for talks but our answer will always be negative,” Rouhani told an
open session of parliament carried live by state radio.
also said Iran was ready to further reduce its commitments to a landmark 2015
nuclear deal "in the coming days" if current negotiations yield no
results by Thursday.
President Donald Trump, although applying “maximum pressure” on Iran, has
offered to meet its leaders and hold bilateral talks with no pre-conditions to
end the confrontation between their countries.
added that European nations are failing to implement their commitments
following the US pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. He said that
the Europeans “did not carry out their task.”
month, Rouhani said Iran would not talk to its longtime foe until the United
States lifted all of the sanctions it reimposed after it exited a 2015 nuclear
deal last year.
Indian army general to head UN mission in Yemen’s Hodeidah: Sources
United Nations is set to appoint Abhijit Guha, a retired Indian Army Lieutenant
General, to lead the UN mission deployed in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah
in Yemen, sources confirmed to Al Arabiya.
to sources who spoke to Al Arabiya’s Bureau Chief Talal Alhaj, Guha is set to
replace the outgoing head of the mission, Danish Lieutenant General Michael
chief Antonio Guterres has decided to appoint Guha but has yet to formally
inform the legitimate Yemeni government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
UN’s Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), currently led by Lollesgaard,
drew up the redeployment plans under a pact agreed last December in Stockholm,
Sweden, the first major breakthrough in peace efforts.
Arab Coalition has intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone launched from
Yemen’s Amran province toward the southwestern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait.
spokesman for the Arab Coalition Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that the attempts
of the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia to launch drones are “doomed to
coalition is taking all operational procedures and the best means to deal with
these aircraft to protect civilians and civilian objects,” he said in a
David Zucchino and Fatima Faizi
Afghanistan — Samsor Dawlatzai, a part-time laborer, settled in after dinner
Monday night to watch a television interview with the American peace envoy,
envoy had just mentioned reaching a peace agreement “in principle” with the
Taliban when Mr. Dawlatzai’s house collapsed on top of him, his family and his
guests. A suicide truck bombing nearby left eight people in the house bloodied
and battered, among them a 1-year-old boy, five women and a guest lacerated by
flying glass as he prayed.
peace are you talking about?” Mr. Dawlatzai asked Tuesday, referring to Mr.
Dawlatzai, 23, had the misfortune of living near Green Village, a fortified
compound of foreign nationals that had been rocked by bombings in the past. The
latest attack, on Monday night, destroyed or badly damaged dozens of nearby
shops and homes, killing up to 30 people and wounding at least 100, security
officials said. There was no immediate word on any casualties among residents
of the compound.
was the third time Mr. Dawlatzai’s home has been torn apart by a bombing aimed
at Green Village, he said. He and his neighbors had had enough.
Tuesday morning, hundreds of enraged residents surged through the streets,
demanding that the foreigners in their midst vacate their neighborhood. Some
protesters scaled a wall surrounding Green Village, setting fire to a guard
tower and torching rows of armored SUVs in the compound’s parking area.
flames shot up and plumes of black smoke twisted skyward. Some protesters
burned tires, tossed flaming bottles of gasoline or threw rocks into the
Taliban claimed responsibility for Monday’s bombing, while also reaping the
propaganda benefits of irate Afghans cursing and condemning foreigners. Even as
the prospects for a peace deal improve, the Taliban have launched repeated
attacks that kill and maim civilians — and underscore the Afghan government’s
inability to protect its citizens.
statement from the Taliban on Tuesday said the bombing was retaliation for
attacks by American-backed government forces. It depicted the Taliban as
protectors of Afghan civilians in the face of government and American “attacks
on peoples’ villages and homes.”
who criticize us for attacking Green Village must understand that there is a
reaction to any action,” the statement said.
latest attack on Green Village, which houses private security companies and
contractors for nongovernmental organizations, left residents soured on a peace
process some have never fully embraced. Many blamed the government.
complained time and again to get this damn camp out of here because in each
attack we suffer the most,” said Atiqullah, 30, whose forehead bore 20 stitches
from lacerations inflicted when his home caved in.
Atiqullah, who goes by one name, said he dug out his wife and two daughters
from mounds of debris. His brother’s legs were broken and his father was
injured as he bent over his prayer mat.
Atiqullah and other residents said government officials had rebuffed their
requests for compensation to rebuild their homes after previous bombings.
least five people were shot and wounded by the police in Tuesday’s protest,
including his cousin, Mr. Atiqullah said. Officials declined to provide
casualty figures from the protest. The Interior Ministry would confirm only
that 16 people had been killed in the bombing, though officials said the number
officials said the truck bomb ignited a gasoline station and a fuel tanker,
spraying nearby homes and shops with burning fuel.
Village houses security companies like G4S and Hart, both British, as well as
private aid contractors and the small Romanian embassy. In January, the Taliban
claimed responsibility for a truck bomb explosion near the compound that killed
five people and wounded more than 100.
Naiem, 40, a tractor driver, said he could not remember how many times he had
tried to scrape the streets clean after bombings near Green Village. He was at
it again Tuesday, his tractor blade scooping up dust-covered debris and scraps
of human flesh.
attacks drive me crazy,” Mr. Naiem said. “This is not the first time — and it
won’t be the last.”
Rahman, 52, a municipal cleaner, was removing debris near Green Village on a
roadway streaked with blood.
every explosion, I can’t sleep for a month,” he said. “Right now, I feel numb
police officer watched the spectacle. “If the Taliban want to sign this peace
deal, why do they keep killing people — they don’t believe in peace at all,” he
said, but declined to provide his name.
Faramarz, a police spokesman in Kabul, acknowledged residents’ rage and
frustration. “I can’t hide the fact that people are angry,” he said.
Rahimi, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said 400 foreign nationals had been
evacuated from Green Village by security forces. A resident of the compound,
reached by text message, refuted that, saying they had stayed in bunkers all night
as police officers battled insurgent attackers until 4 a.m. and residents
remained in the compound Tuesday morning.
Rahimi said security forces had killed five armed attackers.
Khalilzad, the envoy, was in Kabul to brief the Afghan government on the
potential peace agreement.
told an Afghan news channel late Monday that final approval for a peace deal
between the United States and the Taliban would come from President Trump. The
agreement would initiate the end of the United States military presence in
Afghanistan, starting with the exit of 5,400 American troops within 135 days of
signing an agreement.
part of the proposed deal, the Taliban would agree not to let Afghanistan be
used by terrorists to stage international attacks. Signing an agreement would
be followed by negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan leaders on the
political future of the country.
those prospects seemed remote and almost incidental to Mr. Dawlatzai as he
surveyed the ruins of his home and worried about relatives and guests still
recovering in a Kabul hospital.
was talking about the peace when the explosion took place,” he said. “But do
you think he is loyal to us and he is going to bring peace? I don’t think so.”
Sukhanyar, Mujib Mashal and Jim Huylebroek contributed reporting.
Afghan and U.S. forces killed or wounded at least 60 Taliban militants in four
provinces in the central and south-eastern parts of the country.
203rd Thunder Corps said in a statement that a coalition airstrike killed 16
Taliban militants and destroyed a vehicle and 4 motorcycles in Qarabagh and
Andar districts of Ghazni.
statement further added that the Afghan forces killed 7 Taliban militants and
wounded 15 others during the operations in the outskirts of Ghazni city.
the 203rd Thunder Corps said another coalition airstrike killed 4 Taliban
militants and destroyed a vehicle in Sayyidabad district of Wardak province.
coalition forces also conducted an airstrike in Spin Jumat area of Azra
district in Logar which killed 15 Taliban militants.
the Afghan forces stormed the houses of Mawlavi Enamullah alias Salahuddin, the
shadow district chief of Taliban in Mohammad Agha district of Logar.
forcing Rohingya to accept ‘foreigner’ label
human rights organization says Myanmarese authorities are forcing members of
the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority to accept identity cards that strip
them of the chance to become citizens.
a report published on Tuesday, Fortify Rights said that the National
Verification Card (NVC) scheme targeting Rohingya Muslims was part of a
systematic campaign by Myanmarese authorities to erase their identity.
government has coerced Rohingya to accept the NVCs, “which effectively identify
Rohingya as ‘foreigners,’” the group said.
report, titled “Tools of Genocide,” also said Myanmarese authorities used
torture and abuse to force Rohingya into accepting the verification cards.
findings demonstrate that the NVC process has not been a response to the crisis
in Rakhine State, as the government suggests, but rather a fundamental part of
the crisis,” it added, referring to the state where the Rohingya had been concentrated
before hundreds of thousands of them fled state-sponsored violence to
group also says “citizenship scrutiny” processes have progressively limited
their rights, including freedom of movement, access to education, and freedom
Smith, the group’s chief executive officer, also said, “The Myanmar government
is trying to destroy the Rohingya people through an administrative process that
effectively strips them of basic rights.”
United Nations Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar also found an
increase in pressure on the Rohingya to accept the NVC in the months leading up
to August 2017.
than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine to neighboring Bangladesh following
a military-led crackdown in 2016 that the UN has said was perpetrated with
of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by
Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August
latest development comes days after a second failed attempt to repatriate the
refugees from Bangladesh.
is at the heart of Rohingya demands for a return to Myanmar.
The death toll from a late-night Taliban suicide attack in the Afghan capital
rose to 16 civilians on Tuesday, with 119 people wounded, an official said.
Angry Kabul residents climbed over the wall into the international compound,
which has been targeted frequently, and set part of it on fire.
smoke rose from the Green Village, home to several international organizations
and guesthouses and often a target of attacks — a peril to nearby local
residents as well.
were screaming and saying, ‘My children are trapped in the rubble,’” one
witness, Faiz Ahmad, said Tuesday. Nearby homes were shredded and the concrete
blast wall, on the western side of the compound, had buckled. A large crater
was left in the street.
Taliban continue such attacks even as a US envoy says the militant group has
reached a deal “in principle” with the US on ending America’s longest war,
including a troop withdrawal that the Taliban already portray as their victory.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told The Associated Press that “we understand that
peace talks are going on ... but they must also understand that we are not weak
and if we enter into talks ... we enter from a strong position.”
said the attack was a response to raids by US and Afghan forces on civilians in
other parts of the country. While he acknowledged there should be less harm to
civilians, he said they shouldn’t be living near such an important foreign
Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said some 400 foreigners had been rescued
after the suicide bomber targeted the compound late on Monday. Five attackers
were shot and killed by security forces after the bomber detonated a tractor
packed with explosives, he said.
attack occurred just hours after the US envoy briefed the Afghan government on
an agreement “in principle” with the Taliban that would see 5,000 US troops
withdraw from five bases in the country within 135 days of a final deal.
Between 14,000 and 13,000 troops are currently in the country.
Green Village also was hit by a suicide car bomber in January, again as the US
envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, was visiting the capital to brief the Afghan
government on his negotiations with the Taliban on ending nearly 18 years of
before Monday’s attack, Khalilzad showed a draft deal to the Afghan president
after declaring that they are “at the threshold of an agreement” following the
end of the ninth round of US-Taliban talks in Qatar. The agreement still needs
President Donald Trump’s approval.
was no immediate comment from Khalilzad after the blast that was strongly
condemned by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Kabul residents question whether any agreement with the Taliban can be trusted,
especially as foreign troops withdraw.
Taliban carry out such attacks even as the militant group appears to be getting
what it wants in a deal with the US — a troop withdrawal. The group wants all
of the some 20,000 US and NATO troops out of Afghanistan immediately, while the
US seeks a withdrawal in phases that would depend on the Taliban meeting
certain conditions such as a reduction in violence.
have surged in recent months, including Taliban assaults on two provincial
capitals over the weekend, as the group seeks to strengthen its negotiating
position not only with the US but with the Afghan government in the even more
challenging intra-Afghan talks that are meant to follow a US-Taliban deal on Afghanistan’s
future. The Taliban have rejected talking with the government so far,
dismissing it as a US puppet.
analysts also have warned that some factions of the Taliban might be expressing
displeasure with the US deal, though Taliban political leaders at the talks in
Qatar have insisted that their tens of thousands of fighters would respect
whatever agreement is reached.
militant group is at its strongest since the US-led invasion to topple its
government after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the US The Taliban now control
or hold sway over roughly half of Afghanistan.
United Nations and others say civilians are suffering, often caught in the
cross-fire as government forces, backed by the US, pursue the militants with
airstrikes and raids. Afghanistan was the world’s deadliest conflict in 2018.
Taliban spokesman, Mujahid, said that whenever there is a reduction of violence
in Afghan cities, the government asserts that the militant group is no longer
able to carry out attacks because of stronger Afghan security forces.
Najim Rahim and Mujib Mashal
Afghanistan — The first two times the Taliban overran the city of Kunduz, Col.
Sayed Sarwar Hussaini survived the carnage, just as he had many attacks and
suicide bombings before.
the spokesman for the local police, his job was essential: The long Afghan war
is increasingly fought as much on social media pages and television screens as
it is on the battlefield. Colonel Hussaini, 36, would spar with the Taliban,
telling a radio station that all was fine, promising a television channel that
Afghan forces had repelled an assault.
Saturday, the Taliban came for the northern city for the third time in four
years, launching a pre-dawn offensive even as they continued peace talks with
American diplomats. Their advances were largely stemmed by the end of the day,
as Afghan commandos flooded Kunduz and airstrikes hit Taliban positions.
as night fell over the battered city, Colonel Hussaini was not so lucky. He was
among the roughly 30 dead on the government side, most of them security forces.
At least 36 Taliban fighters were also killed, Afghan officials said.
Hussaini’s death was emblematic of both the sacrifices made by an Afghan force
that has lost 50,000 people in the past five years alone and of the political
calculation with which the Taliban have waged their violence.
like the assaults on the city in 2015 and 2016, Saturday’s attack began in
darkness. By dawn, residents reported heavy fighting in several neighborhoods.
The streets were largely deserted.
Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, said hundreds of
Taliban had attacked Kunduz from three directions.
forces are moving with caution in their operations,” he said, “so they don’t
cause civilian casualties.”
residents, surprised by the attacks, rushed to stock food and essentials.
each rocket, our windows would shake,” said Rahmatullah Rahimi, 52, who sells
firewood. “Neither I nor our neighbors have slept all night. How can you sleep
with the sound of fighting? We are trying to see whether we should flee or
officials acknowledged that the Taliban had overrun several outposts. But it
quickly became clear that the fight would be as much for the headlines, with
both sides trying to flood the media with images in a bid to gain leverage in
the peace talks.
Taliban posted a video of a small group of Afghan police officials surrendering
early in the day, a clear attempt to sow panic. In the video, the insurgents
call out to the officers, holed up in an outpost across the street, as gunshots
are heard in the background. The officers slowly emerge and hand over their
response, the Afghan government put out videos of the provincial police chief,
Col. Manzor Stanekzai, leading commando forces on the streets as heavy fighting
is heard in the background. Government Twitter and Facebook accounts promoted
Taliban casualties in back-to-back airstrikes. The operation was largely
Afghan, but the United States military provided support.
the two earlier instances in which the Taliban swept into Kunduz city, Afghan forces
relied heavily on airstrikes. During the first assault, in October 2015,
American planes struck a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, known by its
French initials, M.S.F., killing at least 42 people.
violence is intensifying at a critical time, as Taliban officials and American
negotiators continue marathon talks in Doha, the Qatari capital, on a
preliminary peace deal.
deal is expected to set a timeline for the withdrawal of the remaining American
and NATO forces in the country, and to open the path for direct negotiations
between the Taliban and the Afghan government over the country’s political
raised the Kunduz attack in talks today, telling the Taliban that violence like
this must stop,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the American special envoy leading the peace
efforts, said on Twitter.
in Doha, Mr. Khalilzad said he had wrapped up the latest round of talks with
the Taliban and the two sides were on “the threshold of an agreement.” What was
likely holding back an announcement of a final deal was for him to travel to
Kabul to brief the Afghan leaders.
in Kunduz, the Afghan ministers of interior and defense as well as the top
American commander, Gen. Austin S. Miller, arrived in the city in an effort to
are here to show that we will not let anyone overrun the city,” said Assadullah
Khaled, the Afghan defense minister.
much of the day, that work of projecting strength had fallen on Colonel
Hussaini. He had emerged from the previous two sieges of Kunduz with a
reputation for deft crisis communication. For a couple of years, he had served
in a different job farther north, only to return to Kunduz, his hometown, over
during the day, Colonel Hussaini gave televised updates from the city’s main
roundabout, assuring viewers that Afghan forces were in control. In the
previous assaults on the city, the roundabout had become the symbol of control
— the last point of resistance before the Taliban raised their flag.
after the visiting Afghan and American security leaders left the city, Colonel
Hussaini told a friend that the Taliban had spread a rumor that they had
captured the roundabout. He wanted to return to the spot to dispel such talk,
though it was decided that the message should come directly from the police
chief, Colonel Stanekzai.
two colonels and more than a dozen other officers — many of them part of the
local security leadership — made their way to roundabout. Colonel Stanekzai had
positioned himself in front of the cameras for his message of assurance when,
officials said, a suicide bomber on foot walked through a cordon and detonated
explosives. Bodies were scattered all around.
Hussaini, a father of four, was among at least a dozen killed in the explosion,
four Afghan officials confirmed. Whether Colonel Stanekzai was wounded or
killed was not immediately clear.
(Reuters) - U.S. and Taliban negotiators are close to a deal that would open
the way for peace in Afghanistan, a top U.S. official said on Sunday, as the
insurgents followed their weekend assault on the strategic center of Kunduz by
attacking a second northern city.
Khalilzad, the Afghan-born U.S. diplomat overseeing negotiations for
Washington, said he would travel to the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday
evening for consultations after wrapping up the ninth round of talks with
Taliban officials in Qatar.
are at the threshold of an agreement that will reduce violence and open the
door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an honorable and sustainable
peace and a unified, sovereign Afghanistan that does not threaten the United
States, its allies, or any other country,” he said in a Twitter post.
comment came as Taliban fighters attacked Pul-e Khumri, in the northern
province of Baghlan, just a day after a major show of strength by hundreds of
fighters who overran parts of Kunduz, a strategic city the insurgents have
twice come close to taking in recent years.
interior ministry said in a statement on Sunday that 20 Afghan security force
members and five civilians were killed, and at least 85 civilians were injured
in Kunduz city during clashes with the Taliban fighters.
Kunduz was calm after clearance operations that had driven out insurgents,
interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said, fighters had taken up positions
in two areas of Pul-e Khumri and were battling Afghan security forces.
forces killed five gunmen and arrested two militants during the clearance
operation in Pul-e-Khumri city, Rahimi said.
officials and residents said the city was locked down with Taliban fighters
occupying positions around one of the main entry points into the center and
cutting the main highway connecting Kabul with the north.
now, clashes are under way between the Taliban and security forces in the city,
close to the governor’s compound and police headquarters,” said Abdul Jamil, a
Pul-e Khumri resident reached by telephone.
city is closed and very little movement can be seen. People are terrified,” he
was also fighting in the central province of Ghazni and Laghman province, east
of Kabul, Taliban and government officials said. A blast at a football stadium
killed the mayor of the northern city of Faizabad while a road-side bomb killed
at least eight people, including women and children traveling in a car in
northern Balkh province.
second road-side bomb in western Farah province killed two women, four children
and two policemen, local police officials said.
officials in Faryab province, on the north west border said an air strike
killed at least 12 civilians, including eight children but the defense ministry
denied the report.
talks in Doha close to wrapping up, the latest fighting underlined the
Taliban’s apparent determination to go into any deal from a position of strength
on the battlefield.
gave no details of the deal, which is expected to see thousands of U.S. troops
withdrawn from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees by the Taliban not to
allow the country to be used as a base for militant attacks abroad.
Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, said both
sides were in discussions to finalize technical issues.
are on the verge of ending the invasion and reaching a peaceful solution for
Afghanistan,” Shaheen said on Twitter.
agreement would not on its own end the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan
security forces, but would allow the start of so-called “intra-Afghan” peace
talks, which are expected to be held in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.
it was not clear whether the Taliban would agree to talk directly with the
Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani, which they consider an
illegitimate foreign-imposed regime.
Taliban officials have said they would only agree to talk to Afghan officials
in a private capacity, not as representatives of the state, and they remain
opposed to presidential elections scheduled for Sept. 28.
was also unclear whether the agreement would cover the full withdrawal of all
14,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan or how long a pullout would take.
than 20,000 foreign troops are in the country, most serving as part of a
NATO-led mission to train and assist Afghan forces. Thousands of U.S. troops
are also engaged in a separate counter-terrorism mission fighting militant
groups such as Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
bombings and combat operations have continued throughout the talks and the
fighting in the north underlined the vulnerability of large parts of
Afghanistan, where the Taliban control more territory than at any time since
being overthrown by a U.S.-led campaign in 2001.
is happening in Afghanistan is already beyond grief. The United States is
negotiating with the Taliban, without the Taliban first agreeing to a
cease-fire as a precondition for talks, and although President Trump has
emphatically announced his determination to withdraw from the country, American
soldiers are still being killed (in the last ten days, three American
servicemen died) leaving their families in mourning. How did the Americans land
in a situation where their troops are constantly hounded by the Taliban,
instead of simply being allowed to peacefully return home?
can understand President Trump's wish to leave Afghanistan. Whether the US can
sustain its strategic and economic leadership in the context of an isolationist
policy, is a legitimate debate. But this is the president's and Congress's
purview. However, even if one opts for isolationism, there are ways to leave
without losing people, respect, allies and more. But the way Mr. Trump is doing
this is the worst possible way: instead of leaving unilaterally, while
reinforcing the democratically elected government in Kabul without boots on the
ground, he is empowering his Taliban enemy by protracted negotiations, where
America makes successive concessions and ultimately throws its Afghan allies
under the bus. Afghan officials are the first to sense that the sellout of
the Kabul government is impending, and are scurrying to defect to the Taliban,
(in July alone there were 800 defections).
negotiate with an enemy, who has no interest in anything but an American
withdrawal and will not pay anything for such a withdrawal, but on the
contrary, will exact payment for each day the Americans remain until they exit
with their tails between their legs. Apparently, the president and his
administration are oblivious to this basic and painful truth. Indeed, according
to leaks to the media, the Americans are trying to negotiate with the Taliban a
dialogue with the elected Kabul government. However the prospects that this
scenario will pan out, even if the Taliban sign on the dotted line is
equivalent to the wolf engaging in democratic dialogue with the sheep after the
shepherd has abandoned the scene. President Trump insists that the Taliban
promise not to attack the US following its departure. The Taliban can
definitely affix their empty signature because in the Middle East the forces of
evil employ proxies. Like the Iranians, the Taliban can be seemingly
uninvolved, but then 9/11 was hatched in Afghanistan by Muslim-Arab Al-Qaeda
blinded otherwise shrewd and goal-oriented people from Mr. Trump on down to
believe that they would gain anything other than casualties and humiliation
from these negotiations? Why do they prefer to overlook the public
announcements by the Taliban such as: " the reason behind war… in
Afghanistan is the presence of Americans forces and it will only find an end
when American forces leave Afghanistan." The answer (surprise) is again
Qatar, which talked the U.S. administration into this self-destructive process.
The administration bought into it on the assumption that a country that built
and hosts the CENTCOM base is perforce an ally with shared interests and
therefore its recommendations must be benevolent and bona fide. Little do they
understand – Qatar is an enemy in allied clothing – and its interests are
antithetical to America's.
this is the case, why would an enemy – Qatar – host the most important American
base in the region? As opposed to what many Americans think, Qatar did the US
no favors in building the base in the mid-1990s. It needed an American base for
its own self-protection and this dependence still persists. Without this base,
this Lilliputian energy Gulliver would be taken over by its neighbors (whether
Iranian or Saudi) within a day. The US military establishment ignores this
reality to its own detriment, and behaves as if America is in Qatar's debt
rather than the reverse.
protects itself not only by enlisting America but by supporting every major
terrorist organization: the Muslim Brotherhood (it hosts their chief inciter
for terror, Sheikh Yusef Al-Qaradhawi) and its offshoots such as Al-Qaeda and
now the Taliban in order to buy protection for the ruling Aal-Thani clan. It
also sustains Muslim governments antagonistic to America such as Erdogan's
Turkey. The Aal-Thani family-owned Al-Jazeera news network has for decades
served as an efficient weaponized media outlet targeting the US and its
interests in the region and beyond. According to Richard A. Clarke, National
Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism in the Clinton and Bush (43)
administrations, the previous Qatari Emir, father of the current one,
personally snatched from the Americans an arch-terrorist named Khalid Sheikh
Muhammad, (who plotted terror attacks against America) and spirited him away
from Qatar to foil his arrest by the Americans, thus enabling him to mastermind
the 9-11 attacks a few years later. Clarke concluded: "Had the Qataris
handed him over to us as requested in 1996, the world might have been a very
the Qataris won Trump's friendship the same way they purchase anything in the
West from think tanks to World Cup competitions. They insinuated themselves
into his good graces by promising a reported 85 billion dollars for
rehabilitating America's infrastructure. President Trump's eagerness for
American jobs and prosperity fed his enthusiasm for the Qatari emir:
"Tamim, you've been a friend of mine for a long time, before I did this
presidential thing, and we feel very comfortable with each other... Investments
that you make in the United States -- one of the largest in the world -- but
the investments that you make are very much appreciated. And I know the planes you're
buying and all of the other things you're investing in. And I view it
differently; I view it as jobs. Because for me, it's jobs. And today, we set a
new record for jobs. We're setting it almost on a daily basis."
more mind boggling is Qatar's ability to buy off the US military on the cheap
by expanding the Al-Udeid base on its dime to allow more comfortable housing
for the servicemen's families, and no American commander has arisen to
challenge the price in American blood and honor for Doha's largesse. Instead,
we get Brigadier General Daniel H. Tulley, the Al-Udeid base commander,
besotted with this manna from Doha, cluelessly saying: "It never ceases to
amaze Americans how gracious our hosts are here". Years ago, a senior
administration official explained to me why the US turns a blind eye to Qatar's
nefarious activities. "We have in the Al-Udeid base total freedom of
operations," he said. "The Al-Udeid base is like a USAFB in
Alabama." This too is no longer true; Qatar is already threatening to
limit potential operations against Iran from Al-Udeid, should they be
needed, and Qatar's Tamim told Rouhani that "only countries [placed]
along the coast [of the Persian Gulf] should keep security in the
region". One can imagine the Qatari ruling family laughing in the
safety of their US-protected palace inner sancta, and prizing their good
fortune in having such useful idiots as allies and protectors.
Yigal Carmon is the President and founder of MEMRI
Belatedly, only after the continuous killing of American soldiers by the
Taliban after all signs pointed to an imminent deal. Khalilzad awoke to tell
the Taliban "violence like this must stop." Washingtonpost.com,
September 1, 2019; Foreignpolicy.com, August 28, 2019. Has the chief US negotiator
forgotten that the Taliban has long demanded a complete withdrawal of foreign
troops in order to "end the occupation" of Afghanistan and that there
will be no ceasefire until a US troop withdrawal? Aljazeera.com, August 13,
In addition to agreeing to the conduct of negotiations under fire, the US: 1.
Agreed to exclude the elected Afghan government from the talks (this belies
Khalilzad's claim in footnote 3 that the US will not throw Kabul under the
bus). 2. Absolved the Taliban of being a terror organization and extended this
blanket absolution to any terror organization worldwide operating within a
specific territory. 3. Agreed in principle to release 10,000 Taliban terrorists
in exchange for 3,000 abducted Afghan officials, and 4. Totally ignored the
Taliban declaration that elections are un-Islamic thus rendering a possible
Taliban signature on a clause mandating democratic dialogue with the Afghan
government a dead letter.
AlemarahEnglish.com (Afghanistan), August 10, 2019. Indeed Zalmay Khalilzad,
the US negotiator with the Taliban has recently tweeted that "We will
defend Afghan forces now and after any agreement w/ the Talibs"
Twitter.com @US4AfghanPeace, August 26, 2019. The facts on the ground belie
such assurances. The US has acquiesced to a veritable Taliban embassy in Doha,
the ultimate brushoff to the Kabul government.
AlemarahEnglish.com (Afghanistan), August 26, 2019.
For a recapitulation of Qatar's double dealing featuring its weaponized
Al-Jazeera network see: MEMRI Daily Brief No. 146, Qatar The Emirate That Fools
Them All, And Its Enablers, January 18, 2018
We always knew Qatar was trouble, as the 1990s escape of terror mastermind
Khalid Sheikh Muhammad showed, Nydailynews.com, July 6, 2017.
Gulftimes.com, July 9, 2019.
Washingtonpost.com, August 25, 2019.
Mehrnews.com (Iran), August 12, 2019.
security forces killed the shadow district chief of Taliban for Gurziwan
district of Faryab province.
209th Shaheen Corps said in a statement that the security forces killed Qari
Wakil, the shadow district chief of Taliban for Gurziwan during a clash on
statement further added that the security forces also killed two comrades of
Qari Wakil during the clash and wounded 3 others.
the 209th Shaheen Corps said the security forces also conducted an airstrike on
a Taliban compound in Gurziwan district.
Afghan police forces killed two suicide bombers before they manage to storm a
wedding cermony in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
Kandahar Police Chief Gen. Tadin Khan Achakzai said the police forces killed the
two suicide bombers in Dand district on Monday night.
Tadin Khan further added that the suicide bombers were looking to harm innocent
civilians who had participated in the wedding ceremony.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed support to Afghan forces
while endorsing the ongoing efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan.
renewed the commitment of the alliance after meeting with the Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo.
said in a Twitter post that he had great discussion with the Secretary Pompeo
on current security issues.
Stoltenberg said “NATO fully supports efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan.
I condemn recent horrific attacks & NATO remains committed to supporting
comes as the U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad recently
shared with the Afghan leaders the draft U.S.-Taliban peace agreement.
on Monday reaffirmed its stance regarding the ongoing peace efforts in
Afghanistan, reiterating that New Delhi has always supported a peace settlement
in Afghanistan which will ensure stability in the country.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters that New Delhi also supports a
peace settlement that should not leave ungoverned spaces for terrorists or
their proxies to take advantage of.
support all peace initiatives. We have been a part of all of them and in some
cases when we were not part of them initially we have been supportive of them,”
he was quoted as saying by India’s NDTV.
Gokhale further added “Our issue has been what is the post-settlement
situation. In that regard, our situation has been clear, we support a system
which has constitutional legitimacy, which has a political mandate, which will
ensure stability and most importantly not leave ungoverned spaces for
terrorists or their proxies to take advantage of.”
comes as the U.S. and Taliban representatives recently concluded the 9th round
of peace talks in Qatari capital of Doha.
U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul after concluding
the Doha talks to share the draft U.S.-Taliban peace deal with the Afghan
Buhari administration is committed to freeing Leah Sharibu and is in
negotiation with the kidnappers to do so, a presidential aide said on Saturday.
Shehu said the Buhari administration will not give up on the safe return of
Sharibu is one of the 110 students of Government Girls Science and Technical
Secondary School, Dapchi, who were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in
four of the girls died during the kidnap while the terrorists released the other
105. They, however, held on to Miss Sharibu, reportedly for holding on to her
several rights activists and groups have demanded that the federal government
should secure the release of the teenager.
a statement issued on Saturday, Mr Shehu addressed a group of journalists
saying; "Instead of giving up, the government is carrying forward
processes that should hopefully yield her release by her captors."
spokesperson claimed to be responding to the "worrying cycle of speculations
on whether Leah Sharibu, the kidnapped Dapchi schoolgirl, had been harmed by
noted that the government is still in communication with the abductors to
negotiate her release.
of communications remain open with the kidnappers, ISWA, to secure the release
of Leah Sharibu.
spokesperson said Ms Sharibu "is alive - given assurances from our
security agencies-, and the government is committed to her safe return, as well
as all other hostages to their families."
Shehu then suggested that while the government was negotiating with the
terrorists, it was unwilling to pay a ransom, an act he said should be
demand sack of Buhari's minister busted for $550,000 theft
for ransom should never be encouraged. This means not capitulating to the
demands of terrorists: refrain from rewarding their heinous crimes with
the abduction of loved family and friends, the government understands how
difficult these time are for them, but government is pursuing many options to
ensure the safe return of Leah Sharibu.
must commit to law and communication, using the breadth of strategies at our
disposal: legal initiatives, stakeholder cooperation, involvement of all
relevant parties and the use of the latest hostage negotiation techniques.
for ransom is rising across the Sahel. We must - collectively - make sure we
implement best practice to prevent its exploitation," he said.
Shehu appealed to Nigerians to be patient. He assured that the administration
is fully conscious that any misstep on a delicate issue as this can be costly.
Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Somali military on Monday confirmed the killing of nine
al-Shabab militants in an offensive on Sunday in southern Somalia.
Abdullahi Araye, commander of Unit 35, section 7 of Somali forces, said the
offensive was launched after residents of Kaxarey, Busley and Baldof villages
informed the army that the militants had sneaked in and ordered locals to pay
forces fought off the militants and we defeated them, killing nine of them, and
the rest ran away," Araye said, noting that the forces also burnt vehicles
and motorbikes that the militants used to carry explosives.
reported witnessing fierce confrontations.
year like this month, al-Shabab forcibly collects Zakawat (tax) among the
residents," Yahye Alas, a resident, told Xinhua by phone. "But today
they were attacked by government forces."
was intense fight, but the militants finally withdrew from the villages,"
latest military offensive came barely two days after six militants were killed
and nine others injured in a joint offensive conducted by Somali army and
Jubaland state forces in Lower Juba region.
prime minister has approved 14 members of his cabinet, the first to be
appointed since the fall of long-term leader Omar al-Bashir in April, a source
said on Tuesday.
nominations include Sudan’s first female foreign minister, and a former World
Bank economist as its new finance minister who will a face an economic crisis
that has deepened in recent months.
Minister Abdalla Hamdok approved them along with 12 other new ministers, a member
of the main civilian group in the ruling Sovereign Council said.
Abdallah had been chosen as foreign minister, according to the member of the
Forces for Freedom and Change grouping, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Elbadawi would serve as finance minister, the source added.
Ibrahim was tapped to lead the Energy and Mining Ministry, the source said.
General Jamal Aldin Omar will lead the defense portfolio, he added.
government will lead a three-year transition to elections under a power-sharing
deal between the military and civilian opposition.
— Libya’s airport authorities say they have closed the only functional airport
in the capital, Tripoli, a day after it was hit by shelling amid clashes
between rival armed groups fighting for control of the city.
al-Din Shaab el-Ain, the head of Tripoli’s civil aviation authority, said
Monday that all flights at Mitiga airport have been suspended “until further
U.N. mission in Libya said four projectiles struck the civilian parts of the
airport Sunday, with one hitting an airplane carrying pilgrims coming back from
Tripoli-based Health Ministry said at least four people were wounded.
calls for urgent action to end violence in Nigeria
Nigeria - The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings
condemned rising violence across Nigeria and a "lack of
accountability" for perpetrators.
Callamard, speaking at a news conference on Monday in Nigeria's capital, said
the country needed urgent action to end the "pressure cooker" of
violence that has claimed thousands of lives.
is currently facing multiple conflicts, from attacks by the armed group Boko
Haram to fighting between nomadic herders and farmers.
overall situation that I encountered in Nigeria gives rise to extreme concern
... The warning signs are flashing bright red: increased numbers of attacks and
killings over the last five years with a few notable exceptions,"
Callamard said at a news conference.
ignored its ripple effect will spread throughout the sub-region given the
country's important role in the continent."
condemned police and military "brutality" across the country, and a
"generalised system of impunity".
time is now to prioritise the rule of law and to make it part and parcel of the
Nigerian system," especially for those living in extreme poverty, she
Nwanze, an analyst at SBM Intelligence, told Al Jazeera: "In almost two
decades of Boko Haram's existence, I can't recall any of the financial backers who
has ever been brought to trial ... We've not had a single high-level conviction
of a Boko Haram member."
United Nations estimates more than 27,000 people have been killed and an
estimated two million others displaced in Nigeria's northeast alone because of
has been in Nigeria since August 16 and investigated the scope of violence in
the country. She has also assessed measures adopted by the government to tackle
Nigeria's central states, clashes between farmers and nomadic herders over
dwindling arable land have killed thousands of people and displaced tens of
thousands of others.
is a pressure cooker of internal conflict. The absence of accountability is on
such a scale that pretending this is not a crisis will be a major
mistake," said Callamard.
increased number of people living in absolute poverty, climate change and
desertification, and the increased proliferation of weapons, altogether, these
are reinforcing a localised system of violence," she added.
UN special rapporteur also examined safeguards over the use of the death
penalty and laws applied by Islamic courts.
have also considered security repression against Shia Muslims, the indigenous
people of Biafra, and against Ogoni people," Callamard said.
Nigerian Army said it has killed two suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Borno
State, who were trying to plant improvised explosive devices on a troop supply
army in a statement posted on its Twitter handle on Saturday said, “Troops of
26 Task Force Brigade under the auspices of Operation HALAKA DODO, Theatre
Command Operation Lafiya Dole, successfully thwarted terrorists’ efforts to
plant improvised explosive device for commuters and troops' main supply route.
troops laid an effective night ambush for terrorists in the midst of heavy
downpour, encountered the terrorists IED party at Wala crossing point
attempting to emplace the lethal device.
of Yimirmigza village in Kautikari ward, Chibok local government area of Borno,
took to their heels after suspected Boko Haram insurgents laid siege on their
Chibok resident told TheCable on Saturday that they started hearing strange
gunshots around 6pm.
villager said they fled when they noticed that the gunshots were not the
routine military gunshots.
came in this evening and started shooting sporadically. Most of the villagers
have run into the bush," the source said.
don't know if there are casualty yet because right now the insurgents are still
in charge of the village."
also gathered that security operatives from the 117 Task Force Battalion of the
Nigerian army have been mobilised to stop the insurgents.
village is 19 kilometres away from Chibok town which is the local government
at the time of filing this report, efforts to reach Sagir Musa, acting director
of the army's public relations, was abortive.
lies close to Boko Haram's Sambisa forest enclave from where the jihadists
launch attacks on nearby villages.
Haram's nine-year conflict has killed an estimated 35,000 people and displaced two
million, creating a humanitarian crisis and spilling into Nigeria's northern
recent years, Boko Haram militants have increasingly attacked civilian targets
in the region. Chibok, in particular, has been under attacks since 2014.
April 2014, for instance, the Chibok ambush was an attack of Boko Haram
insurgents against a Nigerian Army convoy in the night as the latter was
searching for schoolgirls who had been kidnapped by the Islamist rebels.
though the Nigerian Army forces managed to extricate themselves from the
ambush, the attack seriously affected the morale of the involved soldiers who
felt that their leadership was carelessly sacrificing them in the war against
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