Poison Called Zakir Naik and His Role in Radicalising Kerala Detailed By an
Murder Recording May Implicate Saudi Prince
Flee Camps Fearing Forcible Return to Myanmar
World League Chief Calls for ‘Good Faith’ With Other Cultures, Religions
Speech Is Wrong, Even Against ‘Deviant’ Shias, Says Mujahid
ASI’s Ban Order, Local Muslims to Offer Namaz at Taj Mahal Today
Recruits Of IS Using Iran Deportation Camps for Afghan War'
dispute: 2 Muslim petitioners support out of court settlement
Militants Plundering Artifacts, People's Assets in Northern Syria
Coalition: Houthi Militias Continue To Use Civilians as Human Shields
of Civilians, Turkey-Backed Militants Killed, Wounded in Bomb Blast in Northern
Sisi to visit Italy for Libya conference
in Turkish-controlled Syrian town kills 1, wounds 24
sentences four to death for police killing
Condemns Kabul Bombing That Left At Least 26 Dead, Wounded
Least Six Killed In Kabul Suicide Attack: Officials
Election Day pushed back to Dec 30
revealed their real faces in Moscow summit: Afghan Senate
sends more forces to Hazara-populated areas amid Taliban violence
Village of 250 People Converts To Islam in Philippines
Oktoberfest celebration may have overlooked religious sensitivities, says DAP
safe for Indonesia’s top exiled extremist
Musharraf Challenges Court Order to Form Commission to Record His Statement In
Directs Authorities To Develop Policy On Collection Of Donations At Mosques,
Poetry Brought Renaissance among Muslims of the Region: Pak Senate Chairman
JUI-S leader’s secretary ‘missing’ since the last few days
reaping what it sowed, Opp senators say on TLP protests
is in Pakistan, won’t leave till end of legal process: minister
urges solidarity among Muslim nations to face challenges
dismisses treason plea against TLP’s Khadim Rizvi
in talks with Pakistan over possible asylum for Aasia Bibi
pulls several Pakistan embassy staff over threats: FM
dismisses plea seeking treason cases against Fazl, Rizvi
releases two more Afghan Taliban leaders to facilitate peace
Quran a prerequisite to set up an ideal, tolerant society: speakers
Riyadh, British FM Urges End to Yemen War, Justice for Khashoggi
Denies Receiving Khashoggi Tapes from Turkey and Accuses Erdogan of Playing
had 'credible information' about Saudi plot to assassinate top Iranian
to press Saudi rulers on Yemen war, Khashoggi murder in visit to Riyadh
presses Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi murderers
remarks on Khashoggi case 'unacceptable': Turkey
receives recordings on Khashoggi from Turkey
Tells Bin Salman Khashoggi Killers Will Be Held Accountable
expresses concern over Saudi oil output decrease
will exonerate Saudis for their atrocities over financial interests: Expert
Turkey shared Khashoggi recordings with Canada
Threatens To Target ‘Millions’ Of Israelis as Its TV Station HQ in Gaza
Warplanes Strike Gaza in Most Intense Exchange of Fire since 2014 War
reported as Israeli air strikes target Gaza after rocket fire
mortar fire destroys Israeli bus, wounds at least one
battles intensify as more Houthi commanders defect from militias
predict further Houthi losses as more ministers defect from Sanaa
rejects French accusation of Khashoggi game-playing as ‘impudent’
forces intercept, shoot down Saudi-led bloc reconnaissance drone in Jizan
responsible for ending human catastrophe in Yemen: Iran
Haftar Arrives in Palermo for Conference to Kick-start Political Process
envoy wants Libya election by June after Libyans decide format
admits to receiving interest payments of UN-frozen funds in Belgium
bombing kills 3 civilians in Mali
flee after Boko Haram raid in northeast Nigeria
appoints new commander against Boko Haram
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Delhi, Nov 12: The heat is back on Dr. Zakir Naik, the controversial Islamic
preacher, who is hiding in Malaysia. His name has emerged right on the top of
the investigations being conducted by the National Investigation Agency, which
is probing the case of the missing persons from Kerala, who have joined the
Islamic State in Afghanistan.
Hamzafar, the 26 year old management student from Kerala's Wayanad was in
September arrested by the NIA after he became one of the first ISIS recruits to
be deported from Afghanistan.
his interrogation, he details the role played by Islamic preachers such as Naik
and what sort of an influence they had on him, which ultimately prompted him to
join the ISIS.
says that he was not attracted to the ISIS ideology for long. I found them to
be too brutal and the outfit only scared me, he says. My ambition was to pursue
my education and find a good job in Dubai.
lot changed when one of his friends, Shihas sent him an audio clip regarding
the Islamic State. My perception towards the outfit changed. Then I began
listening to audios of Zakir Naik, Noman Alikhan among others. Their speeches
inspired me and my approach towards life changed.
began telling my family members to become stringent followers of Islam. I told
them not to watch television or even lend money for interest. These were
anti-Islam, I would tell them, Hamzafar told the NIA.
by his statements, it becomes clear that the likes of Zakir Naik through his
Islamic Research Foundation and the Kerala based Peace Educational Foundation
have played a huge role in the radicalisation of youth in Kerala.
said that in May 2017, he had left for Bahrain for a job. He however maintained
contact with Shihas and others who had joined the ISIS in Afghanistan. Shihas
who was working in the media department for the ISIS advised me to reach Iran
after I expressed interest in Hijra. I came back to Kerala and then left for
Oman in October 2017. From there I reached Tehran. From there I left for
Isfahan, where I was picked up by a man and left off at a safe house.
poison called Naik:
a Mumbai court had framed charges against Arshi Qureshi. The case relates to
the indoctrination of Ashfak Majid and his associates into extreme jihadi
ideology by a group of like-minded youths from Kasaragod district of Kerala. It
was also stated that some members of the Zakir Naik run NGO, Islamic Research
Foundation too were involved in the radicalisation process.
was further alleged that these persons had motivated the youth to join the Islamic
also revealed that Qureshi was involved in unlawful activities and also spread
hatred against India.
National Investigation Agency had recently said that members of the Popular
Front of India had conspired to kill Sasi Kumar, a spokesperson of the Hindu
Munani. The murder of the leader from Coimbatore was carried out to create
terror among the people, the NIA has also said in its supplementary
investigation, NIA conducted searches at the houses of 4 accused persons on
March 18 and recovered PFI donation receipts, PFI literature, PFI Unity March
CDs, mobile phones, Compact Disks and pen drives, DVD of Zakir Naik of Islamic
Research Foundation and other incriminating documents relating to PFI.
murder recording may implicate Saudi prince
telephone call between an alleged killer of Jamal Khashoggi and his superior
may implicate Saudi crown prince in the murder of the journalist, the New York
Times reported Monday.
member of the kill team instructed a superior over the phone to 'tell your
boss,' believed to be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, that the operatives had
carried out their mission," said the newspaper.
quoted three people familiar with a recording of Khashoggi’s murder collected
by Turkish intelligence, which "is seen by intelligence officials as some
of the strongest evidence" linking bin Salman to Khashoggi’s killing.
the prince was not mentioned by name, American intelligence officials believe
'your boss' was a reference to Prince Mohammed," it said.
Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of 15 Saudis in the hit squad sent to Istanbul to
confront Khashoggi, made the telephone call and spoke in Arabic, according to
newspaper said Turkish intelligence told American officials it believes Mutreb
was speaking to one of the prince’s aides.
translations of the Arabic may differ, those briefed on the call said Mr.
Mutreb also said to the aide words to the effect of 'the deed was done',"
said the Times.
report also quoted Turkish officials as saying the audio does not
"conclusively implicate Prince Mohammed."
intelligence and other government officials have cautioned that however
compelling the recording may be, it is still not irrefutable evidence of his
involvement in the death of Mr. Khashoggi," it said.
a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed Oct. 2 inside
the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted Khashoggi had been killed at
the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of a
plot to murder him.
far, 18 people, including security officers, have been arrested in Saudi Arabia
in connection with the murder.
flee camps fearing forcible return to Myanmar
(Bangladesh), Nov 12 (AFP) Rohingya Muslims were fleeing Bangladeshi refugee
camps to avoid being repatriated to Myanmar later this week, community leaders
plan to begin returning Rohingya refugees, who have fled what the UN has called
ethnic cleansing, to the Buddhist majority country from Thursday.
the prospect has created panic in the camps, prompting some families who were
due to be among the first to be repatriated to flee, according to community
authorities repeatedly tried to motivate the ones on the returning refugee list
to go back. But instead, they were intimidated and fled to other camps,” said
Nur Islam, from Jamtoli refugee camp.
than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s western Rakhine state in a
military crackdown from August last year, bringing with them stories of
murders, rapes and torture.
2,260 Rohingya Muslims had been scheduled to leave the Bangladesh border post
in the southeastern Cox’s Bazar district in the first repatriations from
Thursday under the voluntary scheme.
Nur Islam said the plan has created “massive confusion and fear” among the
Rohingya and many were unwilling to return to Rakhine unless they were
guaranteed citizenship and other rights.
AFP correspondent was able to speak to three families who said they were due to
leave this week.
are truly disturbed by the entire issue. As the day is coming closer, our
tension is rising,” Mohammad Khaleque, a Rohingya refugee told AFP.
said he his family were fleeing their camp for another makeshift Rohingya
settlement in Cox’s Bazar, in an effort to avoid being forcibly repatriated.
don’t see a future for my family if we’re forcibly sent back home right now
without confirming that we would get full Myanmar citizenship. That’s why I
took my family out of the camp and to another one to live with my relatives. We
don’t want to go back like this,” he said.
UN refugee agency, UNHCR, who received a list from the Bangladesh government on
Monday to assess whether the refugees wanted to go back to Myanmar voluntarily,
said the start date of November 15 was an “ambitious plan”.
senior spokesman Chris Melzer said “logistical problems” needed to be solved
is the matter of the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Although we still
think that the conditions are not conducive now for the refugees to return in
Myanmar,” he told AFP.
UN assessment may take at least two more days, according to both UN and
Bangladesh officials, which may delay repatriation.
refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said the country was ready to start
returning the refugees to two centres at the border.
AFP team visited both the centres. One appeared complete while the construction
of the second was “over 80 percent” finished, according to builders.
Bangladeshi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that the
Rohingya refugees were not “mentally ready” for returning.
often say to us they would rather die here in the (Bangladeshi) camps than to
go back and embrace the harrowing pain they have already experienced,” he said.
World League chief calls for ‘good faith’ with other cultures, religions
Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin
Abdul-Karim al-Issa, has called for the attention regarding Islamic discourse
and the need to commit to good faith when talking with the different cultures
statement came during his acceptance of the Moderation Prize given to him in
Jeddah by Mecca Governor Prince Khaled Alfaisal in appreciation of his
international efforts in disseminating moderation.
all have the honor to be in the fold of moderation in the state that values
justice and principles, and within the broad horizon that brings together
everyone in accordance with the guidance of our wise Sharia. This includes the
rational pace which represents the balance between what is in excess or
negligent,” he said at the ceremony held at King Abdulaziz University.
speech is wrong, even against ‘deviant’ Shias, says Mujahid
JAYA: Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, agrees
that no one should be persecuted for their beliefs, including Muslims who
follow Shia teachings, which Islamic authorities in Malaysia label as
Amanah leader said the debate on Shia Muslims in Malaysia was made complicated
by those who put forward a narrative that borders on hate speech.
said the line must be drawn when it came to hate speech against Shias, despite
a 1996 fatwa banning Muslims from practicing the second biggest denomination in
can call on people to accept Sunni Islam but it doesn’t mean if a person is a
Shia, I have the license to belittle them or utter hate speech,” he told FMT,
when asked to respond to a claim by a Muslim activist that the Pakatan Harapan
government is no different from Barisan Nasional when it comes to persecution
of religious minorities including Shia Muslims.
said although he was the federal minister in charge of Islam, it was not within
his powers to instruct religious authorities on the issue, as it comes under
said there was a narrative that Shias are deviants who kill Sunnis, and warned
that it would only expose Malaysia to sectarian violence.
is happening in the Middle East, we don’t want to see here. That is why there’s
a need to address this carefully,” said Mujahid, adding that he was giving a
personal opinion on the matter.
vocal Muslim activist Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa spoke out against what he said was
the continued demonisation of religious minorities, especially those from the
Shia school of thought, even after the change of government on May 9.
who heads the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), said Shia Muslims were demonised
through the weekly Friday sermons as well as raids on their gatherings.
to Mujahid, the issue of Shia Islam was a sensitive one for Muslims in
said, on one hand, Article 11 of the Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of
religion, with only Clause 4 of the article restricting the promotion of other
religions to Muslims.
spirit of this article is that you can be a believer and not be punished unless
you promote other faiths to Muslims.”
Mujahid said a fatwa was gazetted in 1996, declaring Shia Muslims as deviant
because they do not subscribe to Sunni Islam.
this is a very grey area on whether a person can be punished just for being a
Shia, assuming they are not promoting their faith, because that may be
unconstitutional,” he said.
said action could be taken against Shia Muslims if they did not abide by the
is the practice, we are looking at it so as to not persecute someone just for
believing (Shia Islam),” he said.
said he preferred dialogue rather than legal means when it comes to living the
spirit of Article 11.
11 protects the rights of believers but I also can’t say that the enforcement
of the fatwa is unconstitutional,” he said.
to Mujahid, when an Islamic edict is gazetted, the relevant authorities are
allowed to take action against those who violate it.
In what could lead to law and order problem, members of Masjid Taj Mahal
Intezamia Committee has announced to offer the afternoon namaz inside the Taj
Mahal on Tuesday. The move comes days after the Archaeological Survey of
India’s decision to bar Muslims from offering namaz at the mosque in the
premises of the 17the century monument on all days except Fridays.
a rather controversial action, the ASI had locked the “vazu tank”, where
namazis clean themselves up before offering prayers, on November 3 and asked
the imam to show up only on Fridays. Imam Syed Sadiq Ali, whose family has been
leading prayers at the mosque for several decades, was caught unawares by the
the ASI officials had claimed they were implementing a July order of the
Supreme Court, the apex court had upheld a local administration’s order barring
non-residents from offering Friday prayers in the mosque on the grounds of
security of Taj Mahal.
the Taj Mahal is closed for public on Friday, local residents are allowed to
offer namaz between noon and 2 pm without paying any entry fee. However, on the
other days, any visitor, who had bought a ticket could visit the mosque and
offer namaz until now.
giving a memorandum to ASI’s superintending archeologist (Agra circle) Vasant
Swarankar, Syed Ibrahim Hussain Zaidi, president of Masjid Tajmahal Intezamia
Committee, said that he along with other members of the committee will offer
namaz at the mosque inside the Taj Mahal complex on Tuesday, whether the ASI
allows or not. He added that all the members will buy tickets for entering the
Taj premises and will offer namaz there.
have given the memorandum to the ASI official and requested them to allow the
namaz as has been the practice for well over 400 years,” Zaidi said.
department or law can stop us from offering prayers at the mosque as this is
everyone’s constitutional right,” he said.
on his part, said that he has informed the headquarters regarding the
memorandum given by the committee members. “Whatever decision is taken by the
higher authorities, will be conveyed to the committee members,” he added.
January 2018 order by the Agra additional district magistrate (city) barred
non-residents from offering Friday prayers in the mosque on the grounds of
security. The authorities started asking visitors to carry an ID to ensure that
only locals go inside the mosque to offer namaz. The administration’s move came
following complaints that “outsiders, including Bangladeshis and nonIndians,” enter
the Taj Mahal complex on Fridays on the pretext of offering namaz.
petition was filed in the Supreme Court against this order, but the apex court
refused to intervene into this in July, saying Taj’s preservation was
in July, two Muslim youths from Maharashtra were detained when they offered
prayers there on Friday. However, they clarified that they were not aware of
any order banning entry of outsiders in the mosque.
recruits of IS using Iran deportation camps for Afghan war'
DELHI:The journey to join ISIS in "Islamic" battlefields like Afghanistan
often begins with radicalisation by Tablighi teachers and indoctrination by
controversial religious outfits like Zakir Naik's IRF and leads to deportation
camps in Iran for a final cross over.
use of deportation camps in Iran by Indian recruits to ISIS has been disclosed
by Nashidul Hamzafar, the first Indian to be sent back from Afghanistan after
he was intercepted by the Afghan forces while on way to ISIS-controlled
territory in Nangarhar.
months of planning, Hamzafar's foray into jihad proved short-lived as he was
picked up not long after he reached Kabul. But the transformation of a somewhat
vapid youth into a radicalized individual who refused to heed his family's
warnings reveals radical networks operating in the guise of charities that link
local mosques to terror launch pads in Iran.
who was deported to India in September, told NIA that he had travelled on valid
documents to Tehran via Oman in October 2017. With the facilitation and
contacts arranged by his college-time friends from Kerala Shihas and Ashfaq,
both of who had gone to Afghanistan earlier, he managed to reach a deportation
camp in Isfahan, some 6 hours from Tehran.
he posed as an Afghan residing in Nooristan province of Afghanistan. The
address was given to him by an Iranian intermediary who took away his baggage
and passport in Isfahan, saying that these would be returned to him in
biometrics were collected but the camp possibly did not have the facility to
match them with the records at Tehran immigration which would have revealed his
however, failed to convince the camp authorities of his Afghan credentials and
was loaded onto a deportation vehicle for Pakistan. He managed to reach a
deportation camp meant for Afghans after he persuaded an officer that he was actually
from Afghanistan. He soon found himself at Nimruz province of Afghanistan.
‘hijra’ to ISIS-controlled territory was arranged by Shihas, Ashfaq and Firoz,
all accused in NIA case relating to flight of 21 Keralites to Afghanistan in
Shihas, Firoz and Hamzafar first turned to religion after a Tablighi member
nudged them towards classes at a Ahle Hadees mosque in Bengaluru, Hamzafar's
attraction for IS ideology grew after Shihas reached out to him via Telegram
and Whatsapp groups. The videos on "Khilafat" and audio clips of
Abdul Rashid who along with his wife Yasmin Zahid had recruited at least 15
Keralites into IS, had a big impact on him.
from the role of Tablighis -- members of an organization with missionary aims
but who's doctrinaire approach has put it under the lens of security agencies
-- controversial preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and
Kerala-based Peace Educational Foundation also pop up in the Hamzafar story.
and Peace Foundation have been accused of using contentious teaching material
at its schools and seem to be part of a chain that radicalizes and dispatches
recruits. The organizations played a role in the indoctrination of Shihas,
Bestin Vincent alias Yahiya, Firoz and Ashfaq. Hamzafar even claimed that
Bestin converted to Islam from Christianity after his interaction with IRF scholars.
himself was working with Peace Educational Foundation. Even Bestin had joined
Peace School. Abdul Rashid was a volunteer at a Profcon conference arranged by
Peace Foundation in Ernakulam in 2014.
Hamzafar showed an interest in traveling to ISIS territory, he was helped by
Shihas, who was in media department of IS, and Ashfaq from ‘hijra’ department.
Hamzafar went to Oman where his friend Habeeb joined him. Armed with 5,000
dirhams arranged by Ashfaq, both travelled to Iran on a valid visa. However
Habeeb changed his mind and returned to India from Iran via Dubai.
a major development in the Ayodhya dispute, two Muslim petitioners have signed
a letter supporting the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's initiative
for an out of court settlement.
representative of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Gautam Vij met Haji Mehboob and
Mohommad Omar, the two Sunni petitioners in Ayodhya dispute case on Monday, who
have signed a letter supporting the out of court settlement.
Imam of Kevda Masjid and Tedhi Bazaar Masjid in Ayodhya also signed the letter
in support of resolution of the dispute through talks.
to media, Haji Mehboob said, "The Art of Living founder is an educated
person and is pitching for peace between both the communities. The matter is
pending in Supreme Court but an amicable solution through talks will also send
a good message. "
Vij said, "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has full faith in the top court, but we
believe that out of court settlement will increase the communal harmony. This
is why we are reaching out to the people involved in the dispute. If required,
the Art of Living founder will come here again to reach out to the parties
involved in the dispute."
the All India Muslim Personal Law Board ( AIMPLB) has rejected the idea of out
of court settlement and has reiterated that the matter can only be resolved by
to India Today, AIMPLB member and convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee
Jafaryab Jilani said, "If any such letter is signed by Haji Mehboob, then
it doesn't hold any relevance. According to Shariat, we cannot gift or donate
land meant for mosque to anyone. The matter will only be settled by the top
Sri Ravi Shankar had earlier urged the Muslims to compromise the land meant for
mosque in Ayodhya which is not at all possible. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)
had also said that he has nothing to do with this case. Therefore, there is no
possible of any solution beyond court," added Jilani.
news reported that Ahrar al-Sharqiyah terrorists, affiliated to the Turkish
Army, have started excavation operation in Af Qayri cemetery in Mobata region
in Afrin to find gold and antiques, adding that the Ankara forces destroyed the
graveyard and looted historical artifacts.
further said that Turkish army men broke into residential units in the village
of Borj Abadlou in Shirawa, stealing public assets after killing one of the
news went on to say that the Ankara forces have arrested over 2,500 civilians
since March, adding that the fate of 850 is unknown.
media outlet reported in October that the militants were also putting children
under custody in Northwestern Aleppo to force their family to pay for their
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that Ankara-backed militias had started
excavation operations in Tal Haloubiyeh after looting historical artifacts in
Qala Nabi Houri in Afrin.
further said that Turkey-backed militants have conducted excavation operations
in Tal Andara, Tal Jandaris and other historical sites in Akbas square and
Albikaseh region in Rajou, adding that the under-excavation sites are on the
verge of complete destruction.
Coalition: Houthi militias continue to use civilians as human shields
Arab Coalition has said that Houthi militias are continuing to use civilians as
human shields in key cities as they continue to incur further losses on the
statement came during a press conference on Monday held by Arab coalition
spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki.
comes on the same day as a report revealed that Houthi militias have stolen and
occupied at least 235 homes belonging to Yemeni political, social and military
figures in the capital Sanaa since their takeover of the city in 2014.
bomb-laden vehicle went off in front of the base of the Free Army's Military
Police in Central Jarabulus that left a number of civilians and militants dead
and more than 25 wounded.
sources, meantime, pointed to several blasts in the town of al-Bab in Eastern
Aleppo in the last two days, and said that insecurity, murder, kidnapping and
rubbery have been intensified in the regions that are under Ankara forces'
control in Aleppo province.
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Sunday that
the Turkish troops and their allied militants targeted the strongholds of the
Kurdish militias in Manbij region in Northeastern Aleppo in violation of an
earlier agreement between Ankara and Washington.
reported that the Ankara-backed forces known as the Euphrates Shield opened
heavy machinegun fire at the village of al-Hamran Northwest of the town of Manbij.
further said that the Ankara forces targeted the positions of the Syrian
Democratic Forces and farms in the region.
the meantime, the US-led coalition fighter jets conducted round the clock
flights over Manbij.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will attend a Libya conference in Palermo, state
news agency MENA said, his first visit to Italy since the disappearance of
Italian postgraduate student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016.
departed Cairo, MENA said, to join a two-day conference in Sicily hosted by
Italy to find ways to stabilize Libya in turmoil since the toppling of Muammar
Gaddafi in 2011.
disappeared in Cairo on Jan. 25, 2016 the anniversary of the start of 2011
uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. His body was discovered on
Feb. 3 and Egyptian investigators found signs of extensive torture.
and security sources told Reuters in 2016 that police had arrested Regeni
outside a Cairo metro station on Jan. 25 of that year and then transferred him
to a compound run by Homeland Security.
officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Regeni’s death.
Turkey: Turkey’s state-run news agency says a car-bomb explosion in a
Turkish-controlled town in northern Syria has killed one person and wounded 24.
Anadolu Agency says the explosion occurred Monday in front of a school in the
town of Jarablus. Five of the wounded were in serious condition and were
evacuated to Turkey for treatment.
one immediately claimed the attack.
town is part of a swath of territory in northern Syria that has been under
Turkish control since 2016, when Syrian rebels backed by Turkey drove out Daesh
Bahrain’s top criminal court on Monday sentenced four Shiite Muslims to death
for a 2017 bombing that killed a policeman, a judicial official and the public
statement by the prosecutor’s office said the four were found guilty on charges
of premeditated murder and possession of unlicensed arms “with terrorist aims”
over a June 18, 2017 bombing.
police officer was killed in the blast in Diraz, a flashpoint village outside
the capital Manama.
a tiny Sunni-ruled kingdom located between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and
Iran, has been hit by waves of unrest since 2011, when security forces crushed
protests led by majority Shiites demanding an elected prime minister.
have since jailed hundreds of dissidents and stripped many of citizenship,
banning all opposition groups under court orders.
in particular has been rocked by protests, police raids, riots and sporadic
village is home to Sheikh Isa Qassim, Bahrain’s highest Shiite dignitary, who
was stripped of citizenship in 2016 and is under house arrest.
authorities accuse Shiite Iran of provoking unrest in the kingdom, which Iran
groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have labelled
many of the trials as politically motivated and said they fail to meet basic
standards of due process.
verdict comes ahead of controversial parliamentary elections that Bahrain’s
King Hamad has called for November 24.
opposition parties, including the Shiite Al-Wefaq and secular Al-Waad, do not
have the right to put forward their own candidates in the vote.
condemns Kabul bombing that left at least 26 dead, wounded
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani condemned the deadly suicide attack in capital Kabul
which left at least twenty six people dead or wounded.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the criminal
terrorists once again carried out a suicide attack close to Malik Asghar
Roundabout this afternoon, leaving a number of people dead or wounded.
Ghani, quoted in the statement, said the terrorists will not only reach to
their goals by carrying out such criminal acts but will further increase the
hatrted of people towards them.m
individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.
Ministry of Interior says at least six people have been killed and at least
twenty others have sustained injuries in today’s attack.
incident took place amid ongoing protests against the Taliban attacks in Ghazni
and Uruzgan provinces.
of protesters marched towards Presidential Palace in Kabul late last night
demanding President Ghani’s immediate actions regarding the recent wave of
violence which struck two districts in Ghazni and another district in Uruzan
province, mainly inhabited by Hazaras of Afghanistan.
protesters had gathered near the road leading towards Presidential Palace and
demand President Ghani to issue a decree to suppress the Taliban militants.
least six killed in Kabul suicide attack: officials
Six people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Kabul on
Monday, close to where scores of Afghans had been protesting against Taliban
attacks on the minority Hazara ethnic group.
attack is the latest in a wave of violence across war-torn Afghanistan as the
Taliban intensify pressure on beleaguered government security forces, which are
suffering record high casualties.
ministry spokesman Najib Danish said 20 were wounded in the blast, which struck
in front of a high school in the downtown area of the Afghan capital.
reports indicated most of the victims were members of the security forces, but
Danish said civilians, including several women, had borne the brunt of the
photo shared on WhatsApp showed several bodies lying on the ground.
suicide attacker on foot wanted to target protesters, but he was stopped at a
security checkpoint some 200 metres (660 feet) from the site," interior
ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.
police officer at the scene said he saw 10 to 15 casualties on the ground, as
well as body parts.
centre of Kabul was blanketed with heavier-than-usual security for the protest,
which began on Sunday night and continued into Monday.
was a huge blast near Istiqlal high school, very close to where the
demonstrators were gathering," witness Qais Nawabi told AFP.
was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
including university students, had taken to the streets to demand the
deployment of military reinforcements to two Hazara-dominated districts in the
southeastern province of Ghazni which have been attacked by the Taliban.
other violence, a Taliban attack on Khak Safid district in the western province
of Farah overnight killed up to 40 local police and civilians, provincial
council member Dadullah Qaneh told AFP.
set the houses of local police members on fire, killed women and children and
local police," Qaneh said.
police spokesman Mohibullah Mohib confirmed the attack, but had no information
on the number of casualties.
Kabul explosion came as Afghan security forces step up ground and air
offensives in Jaghori and Malistan districts, where Hazara pro-government
fighters and Afghan troops are battling the militants.
in the area has been ongoing since Wednesday, fanning fears that the violence
could be rooted in ethnic or sectarian differences.
Hazaras belong to the Shiite branch of Islam.
Taliban, which are Sunni and largely ethnic Pashtuns, have been accused of
committing human rights violations against the group during their oppressive
have no news from our people living there," Asif Ashna, one of the
protesters, said in a Facebook live broadcast.
the government's duty is to protect the lives of the people then why have they
not taken any measures in the past week?"
Ishaq Anis told AFP that security forces should be permanently based in Jaghori
and Malistan to prevent "further attacks against Hazara people".
have long criticised the government for failing to protect them from attacks by
the Taliban and the Islamic State group, some even suggesting the blundering
escalation in violence comes as US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad returned to the
region as part of efforts to convince the Taliban to end the 17-year war.
met with President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday. The former US ambassador to Kabul
will also visit Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, where the Taliban
has a political office.
election day pushed back to Dec 30
Bangladesh poll authority on Monday deferred the date for next month's general
elections by a week to December 30, a day after the country's main opposition
alliance demanded to delay the polls by a month.
week, Bangladesh Election Commission said that the general election will be
held on December 23.
main opposition BNP, led by imprisoned ex-premier Khaleda Zia, on Sunday said
it would participate in the general election next month after it boycotted the
2014 polls that returned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League to power
due to fears of rigging.
11th general election will be held across Bangladesh on December 30,"
Chief Election Commissioner Nurul Huda announced responding to the newly formed
National Unity Front (NUF) with jailed former prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh
Nationalist Party (BNP) being its key partner.
said the five-member commission decided to reschedule the polls as the NUF
proposal "is reassuring to the commission" about their participation
in the polls, a dilemma that gripped the nation for months exposing the
country's political course to a state of uncertainty.
extreme adverse situation Jatiya Oikya Front (NUF) has decided to take part in
the election as part of our movement to restore democracy," convenor of
the platform and prominent lawyer Kamal Hossain announced on Sunday.
however, added that the Election Commission must defer the polls schedule by one
month and "we will announce our decision later unless the demand is
met" while BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the
decision was "part of our movement".
Minister Sheikh Hasina immediately welcomed the NUF's decision saying their
"decision will strengthen the democracy...we will jointly contest in the
poll to reflect the verdict of the people".
Awami League's general secretary Obaidul Quader earlier said they would have no
objection if the commission deferred the election date.
NUF came up with the announcement three days after the commission announced the
schedule setting December 23 for the voting amid an impasse between the
government and the main opposition alliance.
BNP, whose leader 73-year-old Zia is behind bars, abstained from the 2014 polls
over fears it would be rigged, allowing Hasina to walk into a second term
rallying supports of the NUF partners, some left-leaning and right-wing groups
and individuals, it still insists installation of a non-party caretaker
government to oversee the polls.
and political analysts said the opposition was demanding the deferment so the
tenure of the current parliament was expired to pave way for a polls-time
deferment of the polls, however, will not see the expiry of the Parliament
tenure but the NUF or the BNP were yet to come up with any reaction after the
fresh EC announcement.
earlier said installation of a non-elected government could create scopes for
"third party interventions", meaning a virtual military takeover like
2007 when an army-backed interim government was installed amid a political
vacuum and unrest.
BNP remained to be in a state of political disarray as Zia is now serving a
10-year prison term in two graft charges and her elder son and
"fugitive" acting chief Tarique Rahman's is staying in London while a
Dhaka court recently handed him down life term imprisonment for masterminding a
deadly attack on a political rally in 2004.
Afghan Senate, Meshrano Jirga, Senators slammed the Taliban group for
participating in Moscow summit under the shadow of Vladimir Putin and missing
the summits in Mecca and Jakarta, despite carrying high Islamic slogans.
senators also criticized the government’s absence in the summit and said the
Taliban group representatives managed to share their plans and demands in a
loud voice with the Afghan High Peace Council representatives failing to play a
constructive role in the summit.
the Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar Meshrano Jirga supports any summit
attended by the Afghan representatives and which do not compromise the
territorial integrity of the country.
expressed hopes that the summit would yield good results as the representatives
of the Taliban had participated in the summit.
said the Afghans should accept each other and the Taliban must refrain from
bloodshed and waging war, emphasizing that only in that condition such summits
would yield positive results.
Afghan government has sent additional forces to the Hazara-populated areas of
southeastern Ghazni Province, which has been under attack by the Taliban
militant group for several days.
troops, including special forces, were deployed on Monday to the Jaghori and
Malistan districts of Ghazni, where fighters with the local Shia Hazara
community are helping government forces in their battle against the Taliban
have sent more reinforcements to Jaghori and Malistan districts,” including 40
intelligence officers and 35 members of the security forces, said Afghan Army
chief of staff General Mohammad Sharif Yaftali.
part of a bigger plan, we are also sending more ground forces and will soon
start a big operation in Ghazni,” he added.
deployment took place after the Taliban inflicted heavy casualties on Afghan
forces during heavy clashes in Ghazni and the western regions of the country,
according to officials.
25 Afghan commandos were reportedly killed by the Taliban in Ghazni late on
Sunday, while 50 security forces lost their lives in similar clashes in Farah
confirmed to reporters that Afghan forces had suffered casualties, without
giving more details.
– which was briefly overrun by the Taliban in August – is strategically
important as it is located on a highway connecting the capital Kabul to the
major southern city of Kandahar. It is also a gateway into the mountainous
central province of Hazarajat, also home mainly to Shia Hazara people.
blast targets anti-violence rally in Kabul
stepped-up violence in Ghazni prompted protests in Kabul late Sunday and on
Monday morning, when hundreds of Shia Hazaras took to the streets demanding
better security in the troubled region.
have no news from our people living there,” Asif Ashna, one of the protesters,
said in a Facebook live broadcast. “If the government’s duty is to protect the
lives of the people then why have they not taken any measures in the past
the demonstration was underway on Monday, a bomb attack hit a security
checkpoint near the site of the rally in central Kabul, an area that also hosts
the finance and justice ministries and is close to the presidential palace.
people were killed in the explosion, said Najib Danish, an Interior Ministry
spokesman. Ten policemen and civilians, including women, were also wounded.
group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
US, along with a number of fellow-NATO members, invaded Afghanistan in 2001,
toppling a Taliban regime in control of most of the country at the time, but it
has failed to restore security and the country continues to be plagued by
militancy and terrorism.
Daesh terror group has also used the chaos to establish a foothold in
village of 250 people converts to Islam in Philippines
(Philippines): A team of Muslim volunteers cooperating with the UK-based
Islamic Education & Research Academy (iERA) on Sunday November 11, 2018
witnessed an entire village in the Philippines converting to Islam.
a Facebook post, which is also tagged with a video, iERA said its volunteers
were invited by a Muslim revert, Abu Bakr, to Madina Mosque in Bantayan Island
of the central Philippines province of Cebu.
iERA team then boarded the ferry to Bantayan Island and proceeded to hire
motorbikes for the outreach team and travelled as a convoy to the remote part
of the island to visit local villagers.
arrival at the village, a local symposium was organised to convey the Message
of Islam. The audience with around 250 attendees from a predominantly Christian
Background were mesmerised by a passionate talk by both Abu Bakr and Esa Khan.
They spoke about the similarities between Islam and Christianity and the true
message of Prophet Jesus AS which was to worship Almighty God Alone", iERA
said in the Facebook post.
a result of this and by the permission of Almighty God, the whole village
accepted Islam with 215 people declaring their Testimony of Faith with Esa Khan
and Abu Bakr", it added.
was an emotionally charged moment as the whole village accepted Islam together
as one united community", iERA said.
Bakr has built the Medina Masjid and established a local community of New
Muslims from all the Dawah Outreach work he had been involved in for over 20
has also built over 40 new Muslim communities with satellite masajids from all
his Dawah Outreach work in the surrounding villages across Cebu Island. Abu
Bakr also runs a local Islamic radio station that he uses to inform people
about the message of Islam.
KINABALU, Nov 12 — An Oktoberfest celebration on a street in Sandakan last
weekend may have overlooked some religious sensitivities, Sabah DAP chairman
Datuk Stephen Wong said today.
said that the area chosen for the beer drinking festival, which also saw the
attendance of a DAP assemblyman as the guest-of-honour and Muslim members of
Rela on duty, may not have been suitable.
a certain extent, I can see how the place may not be so suitable for such an
event. It is rather open and I understand there are some Muslim coffee shops
and businesses there.
it is normal to me to have such an international event, we live in a
multicultural country and have to be sensitive to other people’s cultures,” he
said when speaking to reporters at the state assembly building here.
the Sabah Amanah complained that the event hurt the sensitivities of Muslim
people in the area because of the event which celebrated alcohol consumption on
a massive scale and was held openly on the street.
chairman Haris Alimudin said that previously such events were held in more
confined areas. The area also already has
who is Sandakan MP said he was not consulted before the event but acknowledged
that the Sandakan Municipal Council had no objections to having the event on
the street in Bandar Indah.
was perhaps just an oversight on the organisers and the municipal’s council’s
part. We hope that this doesn’t become a heated issue. There’s some lessons to
be learnt and we can take for the future but we hope this does not create any
tension between races here,” he said.
said that Sabah was known for its racial and religious tolerance where people
of all backgrounds can sit in the same coffee shop and hoped that parties do
not seek to provoke the status quo.
should respect other cultures but we should also not think inclusively and seek
to create friction among the different cultures,” he said.
asked whether he thought Amanah was politicising the event for political
mileage, Wong declined to comment.
the Pakatan Harapan coalition in Semenanjung sees a close working relationship
between DAP and Amanah, the Sabah Warisan Government has left Amanah out of
Elopura assemblyman Calvin Chong Ket Kiun, who was the guest of honour at the
event said that it was extreme to claim that the party disrespected the Muslim
was there because the NGO, Rakan Elopura, invited me to witness them handing
over a donation to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre.
in his second year of self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia’s extremist
Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) founder, Rizieq Shihab, is finding he can’t
always do as he likes in his new safe haven, where he fled to escape
pornography and other criminal charges at home.
early November, Saudi authorities briefly detained the 53-year-old cleric for
allegedly hoisting a flag at his Mecca residence that resembled the black
standard of the Islamic State (ISIS), whose self-proclaimed caliphate is now on
the brink of collapse.
Indonesian government was forced to deny allegations that the flag raising was
a black intelligence operation designed to embarrass the FPI leader, who
supports opposition candidate Prabowo Subianto in next April’s presidential race.
problems do not end there. On top of restrictions being imposed on his
activities in Saudi Arabia, Indonesian foreign ministry officials say he has
also over-stayed his visa, which expired on July 20.
foreign national seeking to extend their stay is required to leave the country
before they can do so, but Saudi authorities have complicated matters by
stopping him from flying to Malaysia on three separate occasions in July.
flag raising appeared to be related to Shihab’s call for all FPI branches to
fly flags bearing the shahadah, the Muslim declaration of faith, after members
of the mainstream Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) organization burned the standard of the
outlawed Hizbut Tahrir (HTI) in Garut, West Java, on October 22.
of a worldwide extremist organization whose flag is similar to those flown by
ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, HTI was officially banned in Indonesia under a
presidential decree issued in July 2017, which branded it as a threat to
was the first time the government has taken such a draconian measure since the
birth of democracy in the late 1990s. But critics have long complained that
ignoring the dangers of religiously-inspired incitement is the reason extremism
and intolerance has grown to dangerous levels.
Tahrir was deemed a threat because it supports the creation of an Islamic
caliphate stretching from Morocco to the southern Philippine island of Mindanao
that would usurp the power of sovereign governments. It is already banned in
most Arab countries.
the FPI would be far more difficult, despite the group’s long involvement in
attacks on minority groups and their places of worship and on so-called
“immoral” entertainment places over the past 15 years.
staunch critic of President Joko Widodo, Shihab has long supported Subianto,
who last month signed a so-called integrity pact with the National Fatwa Guards
Movement (GNPF), a conservative coalition which opposes Widodo’s re-election.
members of NU’s paramilitary youth wing were jailed for 10 days for carrying
out the October 25 flag burning in Garut, despite demonstrations by extremist
groups across the country calling for the men to be charged with blasphemy.
the failure of the protests to reach critical mass is an indication that the
wider Muslim community has little appetite for creating the same divisive furor
that brought down ethnic-Chinese Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama last
as controversial as it was, Widodo’s choice of hardline cleric Ma’ruf Amin as
his running mate appears to have removed religious populism as a major factor
in the campaign for next April’s presidential election.
Shihab at the forefront, a lot of the sting has gone out of the FPI and the
conservative coalition that dominated the political stage for much of the last
year and clearly worried Widodo far more than he was prepared to let on.
fled Indonesia in May last year after being accused of violating the 2008
Anti-Pornography Law by exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a woman
who was not his wife — a charge that had earlier earned local pop star Nazril
Irham a three-year jail term.
FPI leader claims the charge was politically motivated, but although police
dropped it last June, citing a lack of evidence, Shihab has refused to come
home, famously saying at one point that Indonesia’s democracy was “more
dangerous than pig’s meat.” That’s because he is still facing two other pending
cases, one involving his false claim that the design of the new Indonesian
rupiah notes contains hidden communist symbols, and another that he blasphemed
against Christianity in one of his sermons.
he has not been named a suspect in either of the two cases, they remain open to
potential indictment. Even the pornography case could be re-opened if
investigators are able to find the key witness who uploaded the offensive
material on the Internet.
Arab-Indonesian educated at Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University, Shihab founded
the FPI in August 1998, less than three months after the fall of President
Suharto, who had kept a tight rein on Muslim activism for much of his 32-year
has already served a total of two years in jail – in 2003 and again in 2008 —
for inciting his followers to carry out violent acts. In 2011, leaked US
diplomatic cables claimed the police had been funding the group and using it as
an “attack dog” to extort businesses.
cable said the sponsors had created an uncontrollable “monster,” adding:
“Although anyone with money can hire FPI for political purposes, no one outside
of the group can control Rizieq Shihab, who functions as his own boss.”
pressure began mounting on the FPI early last year with civil society activists
and the two biggest political parties urging the government to take stronger
action against mass organizations they said were threatening national unity.
untouchable until then, Shihab became a target after leading mass protests
against the otherwise popular Purnama, who subsequently failed in his bid for re-election
and was later jailed for three years on a charge of blasphemy.
Musharraf challenges court order to form commission to record his statement in
former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Monday challenged
an order of a special court to form a commission to record his statement in the
high treason case against him, according to a media report.
75-year-old former army chief, who currently stays in Dubai, was indicted in
the case in March 2014.
special court on October 15 ordered that Musharraf’s statement in the case
would be recorded through a commission.
former president challenged the order of the special court in the Islamabad
High Court. In his petition, Musharraf stated that the formation of the
commission by the special court to record the statement was alien to Pakistan’s
criminal procedure and unprecedented, Geo News reported.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case
against Musharraf over the imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in
March 18, 2016, Musharraf left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment.
few months later, the special court had declared him a proclaimed offender and
ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his no-show in the case.
on the orders of the Supreme Court, Musharraf’s passport and identity card were
also cancelled since he failed to return to the country despite a last chance.
directs authorities to develop policy on collection of donations at mosques,
Supreme Court on Sunday directed authorities to develop a policy over the
collection of donations for mosques and shrines across Punjab, a local media
Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that donations made by
people were being used by the Auqaf department to pay salaries to its
top judge observed that Rs850 million were being collected and spent to pay
salaries of departments officials.
over the matter was then adjourned till next week.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Friday said that Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s
poetry was a major source of a renaissance in the minds and hearts of the
Muslims of the Indian subcontinent.
his message on Iqbal Day, he said that poet of the east, Allama Iqbal, through
his astounding, penetrating and thought-provoking verses, turned the tide in
the subjugated Indian subcontinent, said a press release issued on Friday.
Muslims of South Asia who had accepted being ruled by foreign invaders for long
and had become docile in their lives, saw a reformation in their conduct
through his words and verses and by following his ideology of the two-nation
theory they were able to have for themselves a separate homeland which we now
call Pakistan,” he said.
this auspicious day, as we remember Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal on his 141st
birthday, I express my heartiest felicitation to not just the people of
Pakistan but the entire Muslim brethren who have benefitted from the philosophy
of the great poet in different times, places and forms,” he added.
observed that Iqbal should be remembered on all days of the year while this day
brings about new vigour to follow his principles of khudi (self-reliance,
self-respect, self-confidence, self-preservation and self-assertion), love of
God, leaving a mark in this world and a message for the Muslim Ummah to unite
under one flag.
at present need to follow the principles brought forward by Iqbal in the same
rigorous and passionate way as they were presented and followed back in the
early 20th century,” he maintained.
Late Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) leader Maulana Samiul Haq’s secretary
Syed Ahmed Shah has been missing from his house in Akora Khattak for the last
three or four days.
family claims he was picked up by the law enforcement agencies while the police
deny they have him in their custody.
Shah is said to have discovered Maulana Samiul Haq’s body. The late JUI-S
leader was stabbed in his bedroom in a Safari Villa in Bahria Town in Nov 2.
Doctors said the former senator had died an hour before he was brought to the
Ahmed Shah was also the first to inform Maulana Hamidul Haq Haqqani, the son of
Maulana Samiul Haq, of his father’s death.
Hamid told Dawn Mr Shah has been missing the last three or four days. He said
his family has been trying to call him on his mobile phone and that his phone
has been switched off.
said Mr Shah may have either gone into hiding himself or may have been taken by
the law enforcement or intelligence agencies in connection with the
investigation into the JUI-S leader’s murder.
has not been in contact with us the last couple of days,” Maulana Hamid said.
Hamid said it was the police’s job to find his father’s killers as the family
had been cooperating with the police. He said the police had only visited Akora
Khattak once but did not contact the family again with regards to the
investigation in the case.
said Syed Ahmed Shah was in Akora Khattak before he went missing and that he
had repeated his initial statement where he said he left Maulana Samiul Haq at
home and found him dead in his bed when he came back 15 or 20 minutes later. He
said he had locked the door from outside and had found it open when he
one has stopped the police from investigating Ahmed Shah or anyone else they
wanted. We had no enmity with anyone but people from the outside or inside
could be involved in the murder,” Maulana Hamid said.
is the police’s job to find the killers and bring them to justice,” he said.
added that a few days before he was killed, an Afghan delegation had come to
Maulana Samiul Haq, requesting him to initiate a peace process with the Taliban
but he had refused.
Hamid said his father had been facing threats to his life but never kept the
police or guards nearby as he did not have any personal enmity.
Rawalpindi police have denied they have Syed Ahmed Shah in their custody.
the police investigation teams have been working on different lines and have
questioned several individuals who were in contact with Maulana Samiul Haq on
to senior police officials, Ahmed Shah is a key figure in the murder
investigation as his statement could lead to the murderers and uncover the
motive behind it.
The opposition parties on Monday again put the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf
(PTI) government on the mat in the Senate over its handling of protests by
hardline parties against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who was
recently acquitted by the Supreme Court in Pakistan’s most high-profile
the floor of the House, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator
Mushahidullah Khan claimed that the ruling party was reaping what it had sowed
while it was in opposition.
alleged that the last time such protests had taken place, Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari had participated in
the sit-ins. Government leaders had also exploited the issue to gain votes, he
is divine justice that the fire the ruling party had started has now become
impossible for it to extinguish,” Mushahidullah said, adding that agreements
are now being signed with the people who issued statements against state
hindered a country that was speeding towards progress… but today you are unable
to even answer whether Aasia [Bibi] is present in the country or not,” the
PML-N leader said while addressing the treasury benches.
Khatm-e-Nabuwwat [protesters] that are your foes today were your friends
yesterday… is this not ‘divine justice’?”
an exchange of hot words with several government members over his criticism of
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who was not present in the House,
Mushahidullah resumed his jibes against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party.
say the three-day [TLP] sit-in resulted in a loss of Rs50 billion per day… why
don’t they multiply Rs50bn with 126 days?” he said, in a taunting reference to
the 126-day sit-in staged by the PTI in 2014.
didn’t you think then that this was causing loss of the country and people?”
also took a jibe at the government for what he called “begging” from other
countries, saying it was unprecedented for the government to term the economic
assistance it has received an “achievement”.
to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the senator said it was the first time that a
leader had gone to China and said “everyone in my country is corrupt” and later
sought financial aid.
People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar regretted the situation that
had arisen from the countrywide protests staged by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan
(TLP) and other outfits.
registered political party crossed the red line,” he said, referring to TLP.
“Are we going to continue tolerating a political party which talks about creating
anarchy in the country?” he asked, observing that the constitution calls for
the suspension of a party’s membership if it talks against the country’s
sovereignty. He wondered why the government had opted to “escape” from the
national consensus that emerged over the protests and proceeded to enter into a
deal with the agitators.
interior minister laid all the blame for this on the opposition, which was
standing next to you,” he said, addressing the treasury benches.
government’s inefficiency spread despair among the people,” he said.
the House on the financial assistance promised to Pakistan by Saudi Arabia and
China, State Minister for Revenue Hammad Azhar said that $3 billion will be
deposited in the State Bank as part of the economic package committed by Saudi
said matters of financial assistance are currently being discussed with China,
and the Senate “will be informed when they are finalised”.
balance-of-payments crisis has been stopped now due to government efforts,” the
minister claimed, adding that exports and foreign exchange reserves are rising
as the imports fall.
to Mushahidullah’s query about the action taken against Pakistanis who were
named in the Panama Papers leaks, Azhar said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)
has started taking steps in this regard.
have obtained data of 96,000 foreign accounts [held by Pakistanis] from 27
countries,” he said, adding that the FBR has recovered Rs7 billion through the
investigation into the Panama Papers leaks.
SEEKS RATIFICATION OF FOREIGN:
Raza Rabbani presented a bill that could make it binding upon the government to
place agreements and contracts with other countries, donors and international
monetary organisations before the parliament for ratification.
bill titled “Ratification of Foreign Agreements by Parliament Bill, 2018” had
been moved by Rabbani, the former Senate chairman, in August.
the bill, the PPP leader has called upon the government to place a foreign
agreement, contract or protocol to be signed with any country before both the
houses of the parliament to seek approval of its draft within 15 days of its
in the Upper House, Rabbani said it is a practice in some countries that all
agreements are ratified by the parliament.
explained that the bill would force the government to present in the
legislature agreements on which it has negotiated with foreign parties, but
before the agreement has been signed. The parliament will then send its
recommendations on the agreement to the relevant ministry, which will inform
the parliament about the approval of the suggestions within a specified time.
on the proposal, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said although he
principally had no objections against the bill, there is no uniform practice
around the world regarding ratification of agreements and treaties by the
countries do not get agreements ratified by the lawmakers,” he informed the
Senate. A situation of uncertainty can be created by frequent amendments to
international treaties, on which talks can last for several years, he added.
method of review should be devised that doesn’t become a hindrance in the
[signing of agreements],” he stressed.
Leader in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq supported the bill, saying matters like
foreign agreements should not stay confined to the executive and that the
parliament should have a say in them.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noorul Haq
Qadri said on Monday that Aasia Bibi, who was recently acquitted by the Supreme
Court in a blasphemy case, was still in Pakistan and would not leave the
country till the “finalisation of legal process”.
Bibi is very much in Pakistan as I address this august gathering,” the minister
said while addressing a Tahafuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat conference here.
dispelled the rumours of Aasia Bibi leaving the country as “mere propaganda”.
far as any alteration in the Section 295-C (blasphemy law) of the Pakistan
Penal Code (PPC) was concerned, he said it was very much part of the
Constitution and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government did not intend to
change it. He added the government would rather “defend” the blasphemy law “on
was Prime Minister Imran Khan who got the competition of blasphemous caricature
(to be held in the Netherlands) postponed through diplomacy. The Dutch
government was persuaded by the PTI to cancel the competition and avoid hurting
the Muslims’ feelings. Every Muslim is committed to the respect and finality of
the Holy Prophet (PBUH) because this is an essential part of the faith. That is
why the PTI government is this time observing Eid-i-Miladun Nabi at the
official level and (with) religious fervour,” he said.
said the courts were there to define and redefine every law in the country. Had
the entire case of Aasia Bibi been fought in the courts, the results might have
been different, he told his audience. Unfortunately, the case was taken to the
streets for no reason, he added.
review petition is with the Supreme Court and all of us should wait for the
final verdict instead of resorting to violence on the roads,” Mr Noor said.
said it was unfortunate that fatwas were issued against those who had “true
faith” and were performing their professional duties. Mercifully, he said, the
army did not react in spite of insult to its chief and the judiciary kept its
cool despite the anti-judges statements.
who issued these verdicts and statements said sorry and the state has forgiven
them. This forgiveness now necessitates that all should respect law of the land
and let it take its course.
are some people who want violence on the streets. They wanted the government to
call the army or the Rangers in to control violence and spill blood in the
process. But, the government did not want it to happen. As Prime Minister Imran
Khan underlined in his speech, the government wanted solution of all issues
through dialogues. That is precisely why the state only used persuasive power to
clear roads and end sit-ins. It is the time all should respect law and state,”
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday stressed the need for cooperative relations
among Muslim countries to deal with problems they faced.
to Qatar’s Chief of Staff of Armed Forces Lt Gen Ghanim Bin Shaheen Al Ghanim,
who called on him at the PM Office, Mr Khan “expressed his desire for amity,
friendship and good relations among Muslim countries and solidarity to confront
common challenges”, according to an official statement.
and Qatar have strong defence and intelligence relations and experts say the
two countries are working to further strengthen that relationship.
two sides have been working together for Afghan reconciliation and have
regularly coordinated on the issue. More recently, diplomatic observers say,
Doha and Islamabad were in touch with each other before the two latest publicly
known direct interactions between the US and Taliban. It is believed that
Taliban’s upcoming meeting with US Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation
Amb Zalmay Khalilzad was the major agenda item during Gen Ghanim’s Pakistan
has been hosting the Taliban’s political office since 2013. Both Amb Alice
Wells and Amb Khalilzad held their meetings with Taliban representatives in
statement, issued by the Prime Minister Office on Gen Ghanim’s meeting with PM
Khan, said the discussions centred around bilateral relations, particularly
trade and manpower export aspect.
Khan, the PM Office said, expressed satisfaction over the steady growth of
bilateral relations and underlined the commitment of his government to build
mutually beneficial relations with Qatar.
to 73 per cent increase in Pakistan’s exports to Qatar, following launching of
the Hamad Port and its linking with Karachi Port through a ferry service, he
(PM Khan) expressed confidence that the bilateral trade will further expand in
coming years,” the statement said.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday dismissed petitions seeking proceedings
of treason against Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi
and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
bench headed by Justice Atir Mehmood heard the petition and apprised the
petitioner that the government initiated a crackdown against those involved in
petitioner had sought proceedings of treason against the two leaders for
‘issuing anti-state remarks’.
crackdown came as the government released footage of the rioters torching
vehicles, blocking roads and vandalising public and private property following
apex court verdict on Aasia Bibi’s acquittal.
November 10, Shabbirullah, the petitioner, argued that the two political
leaders had issued anti-state statements against the judiciary and the armed
petitioner had prayed the court to direct the federal government to initiate
proceedings against the TLP and JUI-F leaders under the charges of high
treason. He pleaded that the country was held hostage for three days following
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that his government was holding
talks with Pakistan over potentially offering asylum to Aasia Bibi, a Christian
woman recently freed from prison after her blasphemy conviction was overturned.
are in discussions with the Pakistani government,” Trudeau said in an interview
with AFP in Paris, where he was attending a peace conference organised by
French President Emmanuel Macron.
is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don’t want to say
any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country,”
has been blocked from leaving Pakistan after the overturning of her conviction
prompted a wave of protests by religiopolitical groups.
has since been flown to a “safe place” in the country as several governments
have offered to grant her family asylum.
husband has appealed in particular to Britain, Canada and the United States,
claiming that Bibi’s life would be in danger as long as she lived in Pakistan.
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other religiopolitical parties had
launched countrywide protests after the Supreme Court acquitted Bibi, who had
been on death row for the past eight years on blasphemy charges.
days later, the government and the TLP had signed a deal to conclude the
latter’s protest. One of the major concessions the government agreed to was to
“initiate the legal process” to place Bibi’s name on the Exit Control List
government had also assured the party that it would not oppose a review
petition filed against the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Aasia Bibi
blasphemy case. The state further promised to take appropriate legal action to
redress any deaths that may have occurred during the protests against the Aasia
Bibi verdict and to release all people picked up in connection with the
protests starting October 30.
Hague: The Netherlands said Monday it has pulled several embassy staff members
from Pakistan over persistent threats, reportedly from religious groups angry
over anti-Islam tweets by the far-right politician Geert Wilders.
the Dutch embassy in Islamabad remains open and visa requests are still being
handled, "a whole number of people" have returned to the Netherlands,
Foreign Minister Stef Blok said.
Dutch citizens are being threatened, Dutch diplomats," Blok told a news
programme on the NPO public broadcaster´s Radio 1 channel.
is serious enough already" for the step to be taken, said Blok, adding
that he had spoken with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi about
did not specify how many embassy staff were affected by the move.
week, the Netherlands said its ambassador Ardi Stoios-Braken has faced
"threats" in Pakistan, apparently over "blasphemous
depictions" by Wilders on Twitter.
in August called off a planned cartoon competition that stirred anger in
Pakistan, but the MP has since posted several such images on the social
interior ministry last month wrote a secret memo on plans to "target"
the Dutch ambassador by the hardline Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party (TLP),
media from both countries reported.
TLP, founded in 2015, led protests in August calling for Pakistan to sever
diplomatic relations with the Netherlands over the Wilders cartoon contest.
TLP has denied making any threats.
week, the Pakistani lawyer who saved Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of
blasphemy, from death row fled to the Netherlands.
Dutch gave Saif-ul-Malook a temporary stay after he fled Islamabad when
violence erupted following the Pakistani Supreme Court's acquittal of Bibi on
Bibi's release, the TLP vowed to return to the streets if she was allowed to
leave the country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday his country was holding talks with
Pakistan over potentially offering Bibi asylum in Canada.
Justice Atir Mehmood of the Lahore High Court on Monday dismissed as not maintainable
a petition seeking directions to the federal government to initiate high
treason proceedings against Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leader Khadim Hussain
Rizvi for delivering speeches against judiciary and the armed forces.
court held that chief justice of Pakistan had already taken suo motu notice of
the issue, adding that it is prerogative of the federal government to initiate
high treason proceedings and that the petitioner should have approached the
appropriate forum instead of filing such a frivolous petition in the high
his petition, Shabbirullah submitted that both the political leaders had been
continuously spewing venom against the judiciary and the armed forces which was
tantamount to committing high treason. He said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman and
TLP central leadership including Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Pir Afzal Qadri and
Waheed Anwar had violated Article 6 of the constitution in the garb of protest.
He submitted that under Treason Act, 1973, only federal government was
empowered to initiate treason proceedings. He requested the court to direct the
federal government to initiate proceedings against the JUI and TLP leaders on
high treason charges.
Pakistan on Monday released two more senior Afghan Taliban leaders apparently
in the wake of meetings between political representatives of the Taliban and
the US officials in Qatar.
Taliban officials confirmed to Daily Times the release of Abdul Samad Sani, a
Taliban fundraiser, and Salahuddin, a military commander, weeks after Pakistan
set free former Taliban deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
was among a group of six Taliban and Haqqani Network leaders who the US had
designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) in January this
year for ‘providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.’
US Department of the Treasury had stated that Sani had served as the Taliban’s
deputy finance commissioner, and served as the governor for the Afghan central
bank during the Taliban regime. The department had issued a long list of
charges against him that included collecting funding to purchase supplies and
ammunition for Taliban commanders and fighters engaged in combat in
had arrested Sani in Balochistan in October 2016 along with Suleman Agha, the
Taliban governor for Daykund province.
Office Spokesman Dr Faisal said this month that Pakistan freed Baradar at the
US request in order to ‘move forward on the shared objective of pursuing a
political settlement in Afghanistan’. “The decision was taken following the
visit of US Special Envoy on Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Khalilzad to the
region and his meetings with Taliban representatives in Doha,” Faisal had said
during a weekly press briefing on November 8.
met Taliban political envoys in Qatar last month, in a second meeting by any US
officials with the Taliban as part of their direct contacts to explore ways for
a political solution to the conflict.
release of the Taliban leaders coincided with Khalilzad’s second visit to the
region, who held meetings with President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul at the weekend
and is currently involved in consultations with Afghan leaders to take them
into confidence about US talks with the Taliban.
State Department says Khalilzad will also travel to Pakistan, the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) and Qatar with an interagency delegation from November 8-20 ‘to
advance the goal of an intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations that include the
Taliban and lead to a sustainable peace’.
say the US envoy is likely to arrive in Islamabad at the end of this week,
however no dates have been decided yet.
of the prisoners is one of the issues on the agenda of the Taliban-US meetings.
Head of Taliban political office Sher Abbas Stanekzai demanded release of
Taliban detainees in his speech at the Moscow consultations on November
9.Stanekzai had claimed that the US and Kabul administration have detained
thousands of the Taliban in their ‘secret and open prisons and are ill treating
them in violation of all the laws’.
Following the teachings of Holy Quran is a prerequisite to achieve the
objective of establishing an ideal, tolerant and peaceful society and
countering the menaces of terrorism, extremism and sectarianism was the crux of
two days of discussions held here at the Lahore University of Management
Sciences (LUMS) and the University of Lahore (UoL).
discussions titled “Paigham-e-Pakistan Narrative and the Establishment of an
Ideal Society” were organised as part of a two-day “International Quran Conference”,
attended by international scholars, including professor of Comparative
Civilization, Department of Political Science and International Relations
Istanbul Sehir University Dr Abdullah al-Ahsan; Dr Khairi Mahyuddin of Faculty
of Leadership and Management, University Sains Islam Malaysia; reader in
Islamic Studies, University of Glasgow Dr Lloyd Ridgeon; Dr Martin Mahmud
Kellner of Institute for Islamic Theology, University Osnabruck Germany and UK
Academy of Islamic Sciences principal and director of Wiselife Academy
Manchester, UK Shaykh Ahmad Dabbagh.
the participants, the speakers said the Holy Quran as well as Holy Prophet
(Peace Be Upon Him) have advocated the creation of a socially inclusive society
that embodies a sense of inclusion, establishes a tradition of mutual respect,
encourages diversity of perspectives and commends broadmindedness without any
racial and religious prejudice.
is not the message of Islam. Islam is the religion of peace and humanity.
Collective efforts for dissemination of the true message of Islam are
imperative and the Paigham-e-Pakistan narrative is a timely step to pursue this
goal. The message should be spread across the globe. We must portray a soft and
positive image of Islam and highlight Islam as a religion of peace,
brotherhood, tolerance and accommodation,” they said.
speakers especially highlighted the role of ulema, faculty members, civil
society and youth to achieve the goal of successfully building a
counter-narrative to violence, extremism and terrorism.
is the fundamental responsibility of Islamic scholars to protect the religion
from corruption, defend it from aggression and protect its sanctity and
purity,” they said.
sustaining the positive image of Islam should not be seen as a responsibility
of the clerics alone but a collective responsibility of all segments of a
society,” they said and called for devising a comprehensive strategy against
Islamophobia through close linkages between ulema and the educational institutions.
speakers said the terrorists and extremists were trying to propagate their
mindset among the youth through sectarianism, militancy, intolerance and
an ideology can endanger the sovereignty and harmony of a society. There is no
room for intolerance in a civilised society as it badly affects its social
fabric. If we want to correct our direction for the future, it is necessary
that the society is peaceful and stable because without it we cannot embark on
this journey,” they said.
speakers also lauded the efforts of Pakistan’s security intuitions and said
that the armed forces and the intelligence agencies had taken concrete steps in
eliminating safe heavens of terrorists from across the country.
Riyadh, British FM urges end to Yemen war, justice for Khashoggi
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called on Saudi Arabia to end its devastating
war against Yemen while pressing for the kingdom’s cooperation with an
investigation into the brutal killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
held talks with Saudi King Salman in the capital Riyadh on Monday, discussing
the "latest developments in the region" in a meeting also attended by
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Britain's ambassadors to Saudi Arabia
is also due to meet later with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a main proponent
of the Saudi-led military aggression against Yemen.
visit comes as the kingdom is already under fire over kicking off bloodshed in
the impoverished country more than three years ago with a declared bid to
remove the Houthi Ansarullah Movement from power and reinstate former president
Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
human cost of war in Yemen is incalculable: with millions displaced, famine and
disease rife and years of bloodshed, the only solution is now a political
decision to set aside arms and pursue peace," Hunt said in a statement
ahead of the trip.
today I am traveling to the [Persian] Gulf to demand that all sides commit to
this process," he added.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying
hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2
million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by
severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most
severe famine in more than 100 years.
number of Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, stand
accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh
regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and
Arabia is also facing global criticism and potential sanctions over Khashoggi's
killing inside the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on October
a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who wrote for the Washington Post’s
Global Opinions section, had lived in self-imposed exile in the US since
September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia over fears of the Riyadh regime’s
crackdown on critical voices.
60-year-old was seeking to secure documentation for his forthcoming marriage
when he entered the Saudi consulate, but never came out despite Riyadh’s
initial claim that he exited the mission less than an hour after completing his
Saudi kingdom, after denying the murder for several days, finally admitted that
Khashoggi had been killed in the consulate during an interrogation by rogue
operatives that had gone wrong after diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on
Riyadh to give an account on the mysterious fate of its national.
Saudi Arabia said that it did not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body,
which is widely believed to have been dismembered.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the assassination was ordered at the
"highest levels" of the Saudi government.
has called for a "credible" investigation into Khashoggi’s killing,
urging Saudi authorities to do more to provide accountability for his family.
international community remains united in horror and outrage at the brutal
murder of Jamal Khashoggi one month ago. It is clearly unacceptable that the
full circumstances behind his murder still remain unclear," Hunt said
before the Riyadh visit.
encourage the Saudi authorities to cooperate fully with the Turkish
investigation into his death, so that we deliver justice for his family and the
watching world," he added.
said on Saturday that Turkey had shared recordings related to the killing with
Saudi officials as well as intelligence services from four Western countries,
PM 'fully briefed' on Khashoggi recordings
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that his country’s intelligence had
listened to Turkish recordings of what had happened to the dissident Saudi
intelligence agencies have been working very closely on this issue with Turkish
intelligence and Canada has been fully briefed on what Turkey had to share and
I had a conversation with Erdogan a couple of weeks ago and here in Paris we
had brief exchanges and I thanked him for his strength in responding to the
Khashoggi situation," Trudeau said at a news conference in Paris.
stressed that Canadian agents had heard the Turkish recordings but he himself
continue to be engaged with our allies on the investigation into accountability
for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and we are in discussions with our
like-minded allies as to the next steps with regard Saudi Arabia," the
Canadian premier added.
denies receiving Khashoggi tapes from Turkey and accuses Erdogan of playing
France on Monday denied being in possession of recordings related to the
killing of Jamal Khashoggi and accused Turkey of playing political games with
Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that France, Germany and Britain had been
handed the tapes, but French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said this was
not the case, as far as he knew.
the Turkish president has information to give to us, he must give it to us,” Le
Drian told French TV. “That means he has a political game in this situation.”
a Saudi national living in the United States, was killed in the Kingdom’s
Istanbul consulate last month.
knew about Saudi Arabia’s plans to assassinate senior Iranian officials,
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed.
had credible information on this," Zarif said in an interview, which will
be published in full on Tuesday.
comments came after a Sunday report by The New York Times, revealing a March
2017 meeting in Riyadh to assassinate Iranian officials, namely Iran’s Major
General Qassem Soleimani.
meeting brought together businessmen that also “pitched a $2 billion plan to
use private intelligence operatives to sabotage the Iranian economy,” read the
Times report released.
the meeting came at a time that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was
consolidating his power in the kingdom, the report concluded that planning for
assassinations, like that of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul,
started “since the beginning of Prince Mohammed’s ascent.”
further exemplified other atrocities by the Saudi government, including support
for terrorism, attacking Yemen as well as blockading Qatar and kidnapping
Lebanese Prime minister Saad Hariri.
the world has opened its eyes to what Riyadh is doing such as blockading Qatar,
bombing Yemen, detaining the prime minister of Lebanon and the murder of
journalist Jamal Khashoggi," Zarif said.
is while the US has emerged as a passionate supporter of the monarchy ever
since President Donald Trump appeared in office.
has also withdrawn Washington from the internationally backed nuclear deal with
Tehran and re-imposed illegal sanctions on Tehran.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is due in Saudi Arabia later on Monday, will
question the kingdom’s rulers about the continuation of a deadly war against
the people of Yemen while urging them to come clean about the murder of
dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
would hold talks Saudi King Salman, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman once
he touches down in Riyadh, a spokesman confirmed to British media.
said Sunday that he will try to stop the ongoing Saudi-led military aggression
against Yemen during the trip, which also includes a stop in the United Arab
Emirates, one of Riyadh’s key allies in the war.
Arabia kicked off the bloodshed in Yemen over three years ago with the declared
goal of removing the Houthi Ansarullah Movement from power and reinstating
former fugitive President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
war has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians while destroying the impoverished
country’s critical infrastructure, putting millions on the verge of famine and
exposing them to deadly cholera outbreaks that have already consumed over 2,000
atrocities in Yemen have even prompted the US and the UK, who both provided
Saudis with weapons and intelligence during the war, to join an international
campaign to end the war by demanding a UN-brokered armistice.
the calls, however, Riyadh and its regional allies have stepped up their push
to capture the strategic Yemeni port city of Hudaydah to get the upper hand in
any future peace talks.
only solution is now a political decision to set aside arms and pursue peace.
Britain has a unique position, both as pen-holder [lead state for drafting
decisions] at the UN security council and as a key influencer in the region, so
today I am traveling to the Gulf to demand that all sides commit to this
process,” said Hunt.
are witnessing a man made humanitarian catastrophe on our watch: now is the
window to make a difference, and to get behind both the UN peace process and
current UK efforts in the security council,” he added.
in the UAE, Hunt will continue the ongoing case of Matthew Hedges, a 31-year-old
British student who was detained at Dubai Airport in May on charges of spying.
Saudi to come clean over Khashoggi's murder
trip is the first by a UK minister since Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul over a month ago,
Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh insisted for weeks the he had walked out of
the consulate but later on it changed its account to say the journalist died in
a brawl and was killed in a “rogue” operation.
said he will ask the Saudi intelligence community to step up cooperation with
Turkish officials and help them get to the bottom of the issue.
international community remain united in horror and outrage at the brutal
murder of Jamal Khashoggi one month ago. It is clearly unacceptable that the
full circumstances behind his murder still remain unclear,” Hunt said ahead of
encourage the Saudi authorities to co-operate fully with the Turkish
investigation into his death, so that we deliver justice for his family and the
Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
foreign made clear to Saudi Arabian officials that those responsible for Jamal
Khashoggi’s murder must be held accountable, Prime Minister Theresa May said
also reiterated the U.K.’s calls for a transparent investigation into the
we seek to protect and advance our common security, it is vital that we and our
partners in the international community demonstrate our common adherence to the
rule of law,” May said in an address to the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet. “We
have seen this most recently in the terrible murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
as the foreign secretary made clear again in his visit to Riyadh today, there
must be a transparent and credible investigation and those responsible must be
held to account.”
Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday visited Saudi Arabia and met with King Salman
bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Minister Adel
is “unacceptable” the full circumstances behind Jamal Khashoggi's murder still
remain unclear, Hunt said Sunday prior to his visit to Riyadh.
urged Saudi officials to fully cooperate with Turkey to enlighten what happened
is the first U.K. minister to have visited Saudi Arabia since the murder of the
Saudi journalist last month, a Foreign Office statement said.
senior Turkish spokesman on Monday hit back against French remarks critical of the
president’s handling of the Jamal Khashoggi case.
it wasn’t for Turkey's determined efforts on the Khashoggi killing, the case
would already have been covered up,” Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish Presidency’s
communications director, told French news agency AFP.
called French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's statements criticizing
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the case of Khashoggi, a Saudi
journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, “unacceptable.”
Erdogan’s accounts, Le Drian said on Monday that France didn't have recordings
related to the Khashoggi killing.
Drian claimed Erdogan was playing “a political game” over the case.
Saturday, Erdogan said Ankara had shared recordings related to the Khashoggi
killing with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K.
evidence about the Khashoggi killing with many friendly nations obviously shows
Turkey's intentions to bring the truth to light,” Altun told reporters.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed in a press release today that Turkey
gave them the evidence."
added that Turkey gave this evidence to French intelligence on Oct. 24,
including transcripts of the recordings.
there is lack of communication between France's state institutions, they will
be the one to solve this problem, not Turkey,” he added.
continues to work on this case so that all the details will be revealed."
a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after
entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
government has confirmed intelligence sharing between Turkey and Germany about
the recordings of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
about recent media reports over the weekend, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
spokesman confirmed that they have received information from Turkey.
can tell you that there has been an exchange of intelligence service
information on that,” Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference, but
declined to give any further details.
Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara shared the
recordings related to the murder of Khashoggi with Saudi Arabia, the U.S.,
Germany, France and the U.K.
a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 inside
the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted that Khashoggi had been
killed at the consulate but claimed that the Saudi royal family had no prior
knowledge of a plot to murder him.
tells bin Salman Khashoggi killers will be held accountable
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
that Washington will hold accountable all those involved in the killing of a
dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Secretary emphasized that the United States will hold all of those involved in
the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable, and that Saudi Arabia must do the
same,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on
top US diplomat has previously said Khashoggi’s murder “violates the norms of
international law,” and that the US was reviewing possible sanctions on
individuals identified as having been involved.
who was a US resident since 2017 and a columnist for The Washington Post, was
critical of Prince Mohammed and the country’s devastating war in Yemen, a
conflict which also came up during Pompeo’s call, Nauert said.
“reiterated the United States’ calls for a cessation of hostilities and for all
parties to come to the table to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict,”
killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and the Saudi
war against Yemen, which has pushed the impoverished country to the brink of
famine, are two of the main sources of strain in the decades-old alliance
between Washington and Riyadh.
Salman, also known as MBS, has played a direct role in overseeing the Saudi-led
coalition fighting against Yemen and has also been accused of orchestrating the
murder of Khashoggi on October 2.
Pompeo and US President Donald Trump have both emphasized America’s important commercial,
strategic and national security relationships with the world's largest oil
exporter and second largest arms importer.
increased pressure on Riyadh on Saturday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan said his country had shared recordings related to Khashoggi’s killing
with Riyadh, Washington and other capitals, adding that the operation had been
ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.
has been demanding, to date without success, the extradition of those involved
in the killing.
and Erdogan discussed how to respond to the killing, a White House official
said on Sunday. The conversation took place on the sidelines of ceremonies in
Paris marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War l.
initially denying the murder, Saudi Arabia finally admitted the 59-year-old
journalist had been murdered at its diplomatic mission in what it termed a
latest remarks come just days after the announcement of the end of a controversial
refueling arrangement between the US and the Saudi-led coalition carrying out
strikes in Yemen.
Pentagon had provided refueling capabilities for about 20 percent of coalition
planes flying sorties over Yemen,
end of the arrangement comes amid ongoing international outcry over Saudi
actions in Yemen, particularly after a string of Saudi-led strikes that have
killed scores of civilians, many of them children.
President Donald Trump has expressed concern over the Saudi decision to
decrease its oil output in December, requesting oil prices to remain low.
Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be
much lower based on supply!" tweeted Trump on Monday.
president made the comment a day after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih
announced the oil-rich kingdom's decision to reduce exports by about 500000
barrels a day next month. The minister further suggested that members of OPEC
may also reduce supply next year "to balance the market".
consensus among all members is that we need to do whatever it takes to balance
the market," said Al Falih, adding that "if that means trimming
supply by a million [barrels per day], we will do it."
the world's second top oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, welcomed the decision.
Russian oil minister Alexander Novak expressed his country's willingness to
reduce sales if the matter was decided by a coalition of oil-producers.
announced reduction, however, imperils Trump administration's domestic and
international policies. Facing newly empowered Democrats after the midterm
elections, Trump further seeks to ensure low oil prices in order to push for
added economic growth. Moreover, having granted oil waivers to many of Iran's
top buyers, a reduced Saudi oil output may also further weaken newly imposed
oil sanctions, increasing oil prices and making up for Iran's decreased oil
Trump’s financial interests with Saudi Arabia will compel the US president to
exonerate Riyadh for its atrocities in Yemen and the murder of Saudi dissident
journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an investigative journalist in Washington says.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
that Washington will hold accountable all those involved in the killing of
secretary emphasized that the United States will hold all of those involved in
the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable, and that Saudi Arabia must do the
same,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on
the remarks, Pompeo and Trump have both emphasized America’s important
commercial, strategic and national security relationships with the world's
largest oil exporter and second largest arms importer.
one should really believe Secretary of State Pompeo when he says he’s going to
hold the Saudis accountable,” said Wayne Madsen, an author and columnist
specializing in intelligence and international affairs.
know Donald Trump has financial relations with the Saudis,” Madsen said during
a phone interview with Press TV on Monday.
problem is that Saudis have a huge lobbying operation in Washington; they have
senators and members of the House in their pockets, as well as people in the
[Trump] administration,” he added.
is under immense international pressure to explain why Khashoggi was murdered
inside the Saudi consulate. The regime first denied that it had anything to do
with the journalist’s disappearance but eventually admitted his murder and
promised to punish the perpetrators.
is among the countries Turkey has shared recordings with about last month’s
killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Canadian premier said Monday.
intelligence agencies have been working very closely on this issue with Turkish
intelligence and Canada has been fully briefed on what Turkey had to share,”
Justin Trudeau told reporters at Canada’s Embassy in Paris, where Trudeau
attended weekend Armistice Day ceremonies.
said he had not personally listened to the recordings but Canada’s intelligence
Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had shared
recordings about the Oct. 2 Khashoggi killing at the Saudi Consulate in
Istanbul with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, France, and the U.K.
added that he had discussed the slain journalist's case with Erdogan in a
recent phone call, as well as in a ceremony on Sunday marking the centenary of
the end of World War I.
that Oct. 26 phone call, both leaders agreed “all aspects of the murder” must
be made public so that the killers can be held accountable, according to
Turkish presidential sources.
also told reporters that he had thanked Erdogan for his “strength in
responding” to the case.
a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing Oct. 2
after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the
Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office.
threatens to target ‘millions’ of Israelis as its TV station HQ in Gaza
headquarters of Al-Aqsa TV station run by the Palestinian resistance movement
Hamas was razed to the ground on Monday in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza amid a
fresh round of violence in the besieged enclave, which the world blames on the
building of Al-Aqsa TV station located in an-Nasr district, west of Gaza, was
totally destroyed by the Israeli raids, footage of the attack shows.
local residents had reportedly fled after calls to evacuate, witnesses said.
The TV station said it would resume broadcasts soon.
raid was part of the fresh airstrikes and rocket attacks by Israeli warplanes
and artillery which are targeting areas “throughout” the Gaza Strip and have so
far killed several people, including a Hamas commander.
Palestinian Ministry of Health puts the number at 10, within around 24 hours,
according to media reports.
retaliation, the Palestinian resistance has so far fired over 400 rockets,
mortar bombs, and at least one anti-tank missile from Gaza into the occupied
territories, including military positions, Israeli and Palestinian media
spokesman of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said
the Joint Operations room for Palestinian Resistance has vowed to expand the
range of military strikes deeper into the occupied territories.
is just the beginning as a million Zionist colonists may enter the range of our
rockets, Abu Obaydah said in his tweet.
Qassam Brigades also said two Israelis were killed and 19 others were wounded
in its counter-attacks against Ashkelon early Tuesday.
one of the rocket attacks, an Israeli bus in the northeast of Gaza was directly
hit and exploded by a Kornet ATGM.
Israeli military claimed in a statement that the aerial aggression was in
response to the rockets and mortar shells fired against the southern parts of
the occupied territories, wounding over 40 Israeli settlers, one in critical
the international community blames the Israeli regime for the renewed violence
in the impoverished enclave.
epitome of state terror in region: Iran
a statement on Monday night, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi
condemned the Israeli attacks, saying such crimes prove that the Israeli regime
is the embodiment of state terrorism in the Middle East.
usurper regime of Israel is going ahead with its crimes and aggression against
the Palestinian nation with the support and encouragement of the US government
amid the silence of certain regional countries, he added.
also called on international bodies to immediately intervene and stop the
Israeli regime’s war machine.
Jordan and an Egyptian delegation all declared Monday that Israel is
responsible for the violence in Gaza.
Russian condemnation came after an Egyptian delegation to Gaza, set up with the
purpose of creating a ceasefire, placed the blame on Israel for starting the
European Union and the United Nations also urged the immediate end of rising
tensions surrounding the Gaza Strip.
a written statement, Maja Kocijancic, the spokeswoman for EU foreign policy
chief Federica Mogherini, said that "the escalation of violence in and
around Gaza during the last hours is very alarming".
EU urges both parties to step back from the brink and avoid any further actions
that would contribute to the escalation, put civilians’ lives at risk, and
jeopardize recent efforts towards reducing tensions," she said.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the situation in Gaza "an
extremely worrying situation," stating that "the suffering of the
people of Gaza is unimaginable". The UN chief said that the tensions in
Gaza should be defused as soon as possible, warning that otherwise it could
turn into a "massive tragedy".
(Guterres) urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint. The United Nations
Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, is working closely with Egypt and all
concerned parties to restore calm," Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for
Guterres, said in a statement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency security meeting with his
minister of military forces and other senior Israeli military officials in Tel
Aviv on Monday, a day after the Israeli raid on Gaza ignited new tensions in
flare-up came just a day after Israeli special forces infiltrated the Gaza
Strip, assassinating a top Hamas commander, while subsequent Israeli airstrikes
killed six others, including another commander with the Palestinian resistance
movement. Reports also said that an Israeli officer was also killed during the
have been running high near the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the
start of a series of protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” The
Palestinian protesters have been demanding the right to return for those driven
out of their homeland by Israeli wars and other acts of aggression since 1948.
warplanes strike Gaza in most intense exchange of fire since 2014 war
was seen billowing in the distance after an Israeli strike on a Hamas camp in
Beit Hanoun early on Tuesday.
bombarded Israel with dozens of rockets and mortar shells on Monday, while
Israeli warplanes struck targets throughout the Gaza Strip in what appeared to
be the most intense exchange of fire since a 2014 war.
man was pulled dead from the ruins of a building in southern Israel hit by one
of dozens of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, an emergency service said
was the first confirmed death caused by the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza
since Monday afternoon in a flare-up following a deadly Israeli special forces
operation in the enclave.
woman also recovered from the building in Ashkelon was in a critical state,
said the emergency services organization United Hatzalah. The man killed was
around 40 years old, according to media reports.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged all sides to exercise
three Palestinians were killed and five others wounded as Israeli warplanes
struck targets across Gaza on Monday, the strip's health ministry said in a
military said it was carrying out air strikes “throughout the Gaza Strip” on Monday
after a barrage of rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave towards its
TV station bombed
warplanes bombed the studios of Hamas’s television station in the Gaza Strip on
Monday during a surge in cross-border fighting, Palestinian officials and
was no immediate word of casualties in the air strike on Al-Aqsa Television,
which destroyed the premises in Gaza City and damaged nearby buildings.
local residents had fled after Israel phoned in calls to evacuate and launched
at least five non-exploding missiles nearby as warnings, witnesses said.
Television - named after a major mosque Jerusalem - said it would resume
reported some 80 “launches” from the Gaza Strip towards its territory --
reportedly rockets and mortars -- with a number intercepted by missile
also said an Israeli bus was hit by fire from the Gaza Strip. It was not clear
yet if there were injuries.
flare-up follows a clash that erupted during an Israeli special forces
operation in the Gaza Strip late Sunday that killed eight people. Hamas, the
Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, had vowed revenge.
renewed violence was threatening to derail weeks of efforts to end unrest along
the Gaza-Israel border.
is happening puts into the jeopardy the Egyptian efforts to help with calm
between both sides, whether Hamas’ attack today was intentional in order to
escalate the situation,” Dr. Ghassan al-Khatib, a professor at Birzeit
University, told Al Arabiya.
dead from the incident late Sunday included an Israeli army officer and a local
commander for Hamas’s armed wing. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a
trip to Paris and rushed home as tensions rose.
and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008 and recent
unrest has raised fears of a fourth.
tells Israel it needs to de-escalate Gaza violence
told Israel on Monday it needed to stop an escalation of violence in the Gaza
strip, state TV quoted sources as saying.
number of rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on Monday,
AFP journalists said, while Israel's army said an Israeli bus was hit by fire
from the Palestinian enclave.
was not clear if there were any injuries. Palestinian security sources also
reported that a Hamas observation point was hit by tank fire in the Gaza Strip.
flare-up follows a clash that erupted during an Israeli special forces
operation in the Gaza Strip late Sunday that killed eight people. Hamas had
fighting in the Yemeni city of Hodeidah intensified as the battles between the
national army, aided by the Arab Coalition, and the Houthi militias increased
as more Houthi leaders continue to defect from the militias.
officials said Coalition warplanes and Apache attack helicopters targeted
neighborhoods where Houthis are positioned, adding that violent clashes erupted
around a university south of the city, near Al-Thawra Hospital and May 22
several top Houthi commanders have been defecting following the severe losses
that the militias are suffering. There are expectations that more figures will
defect as the Houthis suffer more losses and as the grip is tightened around
their major strongholds in Saada and in their last naval port in Hodeidah.
to sources close to the Houthi commanders, the latter are under pressure due to
all the defections in their ranks. The sources said that despite the
restrictions and despite imposing what resembles house arrest on figures loyal
to the Houthis, many were still defecting “to jump off the ship that’s about to
number of defected figures in the Houthi coup government in Sanaa, is on the
rise and from senior leaders amid expectations of more of them to take this
step, coinciding with the huge military loses among the pro-Iranian militias
fighting the Yemeni national army backed by the Arab coalition.
Houthi militias’ senior leaders are living in a state of pressure and fear,
according to close sources observing the situation, due to the defections,
despite the stifling control of what some describe as kind of “house arrest” on
pro-leaders, but that did not succeed in stopping a number of figures to defect
and break away.
sources expected that the imposition of house arrest on the remaining officials
in the areas of control of the Houthis will become public and more stringent
procedures, after the departure of many officials, the latest split of the
Minister of Information in their unrecognized government, Abdulsalam Jaber, a
few days after the resignation of the Minister of Tourism, Nasser Bazqzouz, and
the split of Deputy Minister of Education, Abdullah al-Hamdi, in addition to
unconfirmed reports of the escape of Foreign Minister, Hisham Sharaf.
officials who were part of the Houthi coup and who turned against their ally
Ali Abdullah Saleh, and killed him at his home in Sanaa, saw this as an
indication that there was no room for partnership with sectarian militias that
would destroy all its allies.
their part, officials in the Yemeni legitimate government are expecting further
splits in the Houthi leadership in the coming days.
agree that an increase in splits from the Houthi leadership is expected,
stressing that the legitimate government should exploit the military progress
and field victories to connect with the civil, tribal and military leaders, who
are still in the ranks of the militias to ensure they get out of their grip.
Turkish government has rejected as “very impudent” France's accusation that
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is playing a “political game” over the brutal
killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s
diplomatic mission in Istanbul, raising speculations that France is trying to
cover up the crime despite global resolve to hold perpetrators of the act to
reaction came on Monday after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
questioned Erdogan’s remarks at the weekend that Ankara had given tapes
pertaining to Khashoggi's murder to Saudi Arabia as well as four Western
countries – the United States, Germany, Britain and France.
Drian said France was not to his knowledge in possession of the recordings and
accused Erdogan of lying and not cooperating in the investigation process.
the Turkish president has information to give to us, he must give it to us,” Le
Drian told France 2 television. “That means he has a political game to play in
Drian's comments were met with a furious response from Ankara which insisted
that it had shared evidence related to Khashoggi’s case with Paris and rejected
the French foreign minister’s remarks as unacceptable.
intelligence shared information with them on October 24, including the voice
recordings," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. "It is
very impudent for them to accuse our president of playing political
wouldn't be surprised if soon France chooses to deny this murder, even though
Saudi Arabia already confessed," Cavusoglu added. "What's behind the
remarks of the French foreign minister? I wonder if they are trying to cover up
dispute comes as British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt paid an official visit
to Saudi Arabia and called for the kingdom’s cooperation with a “credible”
investigation into the killing of the dissident journalist.
Arabia is facing global criticism and potential sanctions over Khashoggi's
killing inside the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on October
Turkish president says the assassination was ordered at the "highest
levels" of the Saudi government.
media have pointed the finger at the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
with analysts saying the Turkish government is keen to have the ambitious heir
sidelined from the nexus of power in the Arab kingdom.
army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have
intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle, belonging to the Saudi-led
military coalition, as it was flying in the skies over a mountainous region in
the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Jizan.
unnamed Yemeni military source said Yemeni air defense forces and their allies
shot down the drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission over the mountainous
Jabal al-Doud district in Jizan, situated 966 kilometers south of the capital
Riyadh, on Monday evening, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network
in the day, Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees
fired a domestically-developed Zelzal-1 (Earthquake-1) ballistic missile at a
position of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the country’s northwestern province of Hajjah.
missile slammed into an area in the Hayran district, leaving scores of Saudi
mercenaries dead and injured.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
has expressed deep concern over the deterioration of the humanitarian situation
in Yemen, saying all nations in the world are responsible for putting an end to
the ongoing human catastrophe in the impoverished country.
Islamic Republic of Iran is deeply concerned about the terrible humanitarian
situation in Yemen and the developments in the port city of Hudaydah during the
recent days," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on
believes that the "disregard of aggressors for the warnings and concerns
of the international community" has led to "such a dire and inhumane situation"
in Yemen, the Iranian spokesman added.
expressed the Islamic Republic's readiness to cooperate with the international
community to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen and said, "The
Islamic Republic of Iran strongly believes that efforts to put an end to the
humanitarian catastrophe in the country are a historical responsibility for the
militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, on Friday
launched a “vast offensive” to take full control of the strategic western port
city of Hudaydah as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its atrocious
bombardment campaign against its southern neighbor.
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have deployed about 10,000 new troops to
Hudaydah after repeated campaigns to seize the coast were thwarted by Houthis
and their allies in the Yemeni army.
11 days of clashes, Saudi-backed militants say they have now reached
residential neighborhoods in Hudaydah's east, sparking fears of street fights
that would further endanger civilians trapped in the city.
and military sources were quoted as saying Monday that nearly 150 people had
been killed in 24 hours of clashes, including several civilians.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson further said since the beginning of the
crisis in Yemen, Iran has always called for an end to the suffering of
civilians and urged the international community to pay heed to "bitter
realities" in the war-ravaged country.
said given the ongoing circumstances in Yemen, all countries, the international
community as well as global organizations and institutions have moral
responsibility in addition to their political and legal responsibilities to
show their firm determination and carry out practical measures to end the
aggression in the country.
added that the Saudi-led coalition has always created obstacles in efforts by
the international community to help intra-Yemeni negotiations.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi
back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
number of Western countries, the US and Britain in particular, are also accused
of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime
with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and
intelligence assistance. A top UN official said earlier this month that Yemen
has turned into a "living hell" for all children with thousands dying
every year from malnutrition and easily preventable diseases.
military commander Khalifa Haftar arrived late on Monday in Palermo to attend
an Italy-brokered conference, the latest bid by major powers to kickstart a
long-stalled political process and stage elections in Libya.
was received by the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the guest
had announced on Sunday he would not join the Palermo Conference, citing
presence of Qatar and Al-Qaeda-linked groups.
the reception, Haftar refused to enter for a dinner hosted by the PM for all
the guest delegations, according to Libyan media.
fell into chaos following the NATO-backed 2011 uprising that toppled dictator
Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
rival administrations have since emerged- the Tripoli-based Government of
National Accord (GNA) and an eastern administration backed by Haftar.
agreed in May to hold national elections on December 10.
acknowledging the country’s chaotic political situation, the UN on Thursday
conceded elections will not be viable before at least the spring of 2019.
UN envoy for Libya hopes another attempt to hold an election will take place by
June after he scrapped a December plan, but said Libyans should first use a
national conference in early 2019 to decide on the poll’s format.
Special Envoy Ghassan Salame decided to abandon a plan to hold elections on
Dec. 10 after a spike in violence in Libya, which has been gripped by conflict
and paralysed by political deadlock since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in
was speaking to Reuters before the start of a conference in Palermo organised
by Rome with the aim of pushing forward a new UN plan. Salame said last week
this plan would include an election in the spring, without elaborating.
Monday’s interview, the envoy said this meant the vote would be held between
late March and late June, but that the format of the poll would depend on what
was decided at the national conference scheduled for early 2019.
want to ask at the national conference what type of election do you want,
parliamentary or presidential, and what kind of law,” Salame said.
envoy said the national conference should “preferably” take place on Libyan
soil. He said surveys had shown that 80 percent of Libyans want elections to
end the stalemate between Libya’s rival administrations, both of which are
backed by armed groups.
said he hoped the Palermo conference would put pressure on Libya’s
internationally recognised parliament, the House of Representatives (HOR),
which has refused to approve an election law.
HOR has been sterile, has produced no law ... I think we need wider
representation of the Libyans,” he said.
also called on the central bank to unify the exchange rate of the dinar to the
dollar to prevent armed groups with access to cheap dollars from selling them
on the black market at a premium.
had introduced a fee on hard currency transactions which had helped to lower
the spread between official and black market rate but a unified rate was
Libyan Investment Authority said on Sunday that it has received the interest
payments on the Libyan funds frozen in Belgian banks until the end of October
2017, but said it did not know who benefitted from this money, hinting that the
money was either misused in Libya or embezzled.
authority’s statement came in response to Belgium’s acknowledgment that
Euroclear Bank in Brussels transferred the interests of Libyan funds that are
frozen in four Belgian banks to bank accounts in Luxembourg, Bahrain and
to the authority, the accounts that received the funds are “special authority
accounts abroad.” It added that withdrawing the interests was based “on the
sanctions system imposed by the UN Security Council at the beginning of 2011
and which some countries, including Belgium, interpreted as lifting off the
freeze over interests and dividends of the frozen funds.”
authority however did not provide any information about where these funds ended
up and said it will launch an investigation to know the fate of the funds which
were transferred to its accounts in Euroclear Bank, noting that these funds
were transferred during a former administration’s term. It added that it will
submit a report on the matter to the UN and relevant authorities.
authority’s statement contradicts a previous statement it published earlier
this month as it had said that reports about withdrawing the interests of
UN-frozen Libyan funds were “mere allegations” and there was “no evidence at
all stipulating that the funds were used to fund armed groups.”
divisions in Libya have negatively impacted the Libyan Investment Authority
which manages billions of dollars abroad. Since 2011, the authority has had
four presidents and armed groups in control of Tripoli who interfered in the
authority’s work and imposed its presidents by force, a UN report on Libya said
of Parliament Ali Al-Tikbali told Al Arabiya English that the authority’s lack
of administrative stability and the interference of armed groups in its work
make it easy to reach the authority’s accounts and benefit from them,
especially amid the absence of an oversight mechanism.
authority’s “late” statement acknowledging that money was transferred to its
accounts in Luxembourg, Britain and Bahrain was not convincing as many Libyan
officials, such as the head of the Dialogue Committee of the House of
Representatives Abdel Salam Nasiya, demanded an investigation to know who benefitted
from the money.
car bomb attack has killed at least three Malian civilians and wounded two
others in northern Mali, the country’s security ministry says.
loaded 4x4 vehicle exploded in the vicinity of a residential complex” in the
city of Gao at around 8:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Monday, the ministry said in a
blast also damaged surrounding houses.
Western diplomatic source separately told AFP that four foreigners working for
a United Nations (UN)-contracted mine-clearing operation had been injured in
Cambodians, a South African, and a Zimbabwean working for an organization
subcontracted by UNMAS (the UN’s mine-clearing operation) were wounded on
Monday in a terrorist attack in Gao,” the source said.
attack was claimed by a group allied with al-Qaeda.
has been in turmoil since Tuareg rebels and loosely-allied militants — some of
them with links to al-Qaeda — took over the desert north in 2012. French forces
intervened the following year to allegedly fight back the militants.
the militants have since regrouped and now regularly launch attacks on
civilians, government soldiers, and international missions.
security ministry said Malian and international forces had been mobilized in
the wake of the Monday attack.
of villagers fled their homes in Nigeria's northeast late on Saturday after an
attack by militants from the Boko Haram group, militia officials and witnesses
casualties were reported but the raid highlighted fragile security in Nigeria's
northeast, where the army is still battling to end a conflict that erupted in
arrived in trucks in Jimmi, 5 km (3 miles) from Maiduguri city, and opened
fire, setting homes ablaze and also attacking an informal refugee camp.
Haram terrorists this evening attacked Jimmi village," militia leader in
Maiduguri Musa Ari said. “They burnt homes in Jimmi and tents in the
authorities scrambled reinforcements and fighter jets to repel the attack, said
militia leader Ibrahim Liman.
villagers from the area fled to nearby Maiduguri, capital of Borno state which
along with neighboring Yobe state has been at the center of the militant
left our village to escape Boko Haram who attacked our neighbors in
Jimmi," said Bale-Shuwa village resident Suleiman Balarabe.
said villagers saw military jets flying overhead towards Jimmi.
sounds of guns coming from Jimmi terrified us and made us leave our homes
because we were afraid they were going to attack our neighborhood," said
Sanda Gini, a resident of Jiddari-Polo area on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
April, scores of Boko Haram fighters launched a gun attack on Jiddari-Polo when
they advanced on Giwa barracks where hundreds of their militant comrades are
fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at troops before they
were repelled with aerial support.
government insistence Boko Haram militants are near defeat, in recent months
the militant group has carried out major attacks on military targets, killing
Nigerian Army has appointed a new commander to lead the fight against Boko
Haram jihadists in the country's restive northeast, where attacks on military
targets have spiked in recent months.
General Benson Akinroluyo has replaced Major General Abba Dikko as head of
Operation Lafiya Dole, according to an army statement released at the weekend.
becomes the fifth commander in two years to head the fight against the Islamist
insurgents, who have staged a series of attacks on military bases, killing
was only appointed in July. Since then there have been at least nine attacks on
military bases, most of them in the northern part of Borno state near the
shores of Lake Chad.
have been blamed on or claimed by the Islamic State West Africa Province
(ISWAP), an ISIS-backed faction of Boko Haram whose recent activities have
prompted speculation the group has been taken over by hardliners.
conflict has claimed more than 27 000 lives since 2009 and nearly two million
people still cannot return to their homes in the Lake Chad region.
government insistence that Boko Haram is near defeat, northeastern Nigeria is
still hit by regular attacks.
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