photo of the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
One School More Dangerous Than 100 Churches, Says Boko Haram
Mercy, Consideration Are the Most Influential Features Of Islamic Jurisprudence
For the Azan, Indonesian Mosques Are Now Asked Not To Broadcast Sounds
Forces Need To Be More Vocal On Divisive Politics: Amartya Sen
Cut in Aid Amounts to ‘Cheap Blackmail’, Say Palestinian Officials
MPs Seek Scrapping Peace Deal With Israel
replies Kukah, says Muslims face more discrimination
Haram: Nigerian Army warns soldiers
Syria: Ankara-Backed Militants Looting Afrin Dam Equipment
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Commander: Iraqi Pilots Trained by Iran to Fight against ISIL
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
terrorist group, Boko Haram, has said the building of one school is more dangerous
to Muslims than the building of 100 churches and described democracy as
was stated in the new book written by a faction of the extremist sect, the
Islamic State West Africa Province.
the book titled, ‘The Islamic State West Africa Province vs. Abu Bakr Shekau:
Cutting out the tumour from the Khawarij of Shekau by the allegiance pledge of
the people of nobility,’ the group expressed its disapproval of democracy and
other ideals of western culture and chronicled the struggles of Boko Haram’s
founder, Muhammed Yusuf.
said: “Yusuf said on another occasion in the lecture: ‘This is what we decide
and proceed on: that building 100 churches is lighter and less dangerous than
the building of one school on this Western form. We have no doubt about that.
This is our creed and this is what we have understood from God’s religion.”
124-page book said to have been published by the leader of ISWAP, Abu Musab
al-Barnawi, stated further: “Consider a clear example: if 100 churches were
built, would you see the sons of the Muslims in them?
would you see the sons of the imam of the mosque in them? No, but rather they
alone (professed Christians) would be worshipping in them. So, what we lack
towards these churches is their destruction because they ascribe a son to God.
for the ‘Boko’ schools: you find in them the sons of imams and the sons of
sheikhs claiming affiliation with ‘Ilm (knowledge), and the sons of so-and-so
and so-and-so from those claiming affiliation with the Sunna, and what is taught
in these schools is a greater danger than what is taught in the churches, so
this is the main point.”
is for this reason, according to the publication that Boko Haram, under the
leadership of Yusuf and later Abubakar Shekau launched onslaughts against the
federal government and communities in the North-east.
group waged war on innovations in all their types, and in particular the
innovation that had become predominant over West Africa, such as visiting the
graves and performing tawaf around them, the Prophet’s birthday and other acts
of innovation and prattles of the Tijanis and their acts of idolatry.”
the stance against Western education, the book noted: “But the greatest
condemned act the sheikh incited against was the idolatry of democracy and the
foreign colonialist schools: i.e. what has been called Boko…. They faced no
resistance in West Africa generally and there was proclamation in truth in no
uncertain terms and there was no flattery besides it.
the intensity of the war of him and his students against them and encountering
the ‘ulama of evil and their supporters and challenging them to mubahala over
it, he and his students were called by the name of “Boko Haram”- i.e. Western
ideas are forbidden.”
insurgents vowed that they would continue to follow in the footstep of their
leader to attack anything Western, particularly schools.
we will expend our efforts to wage war on the idols that have spread in our
time: the Western schools and democracy and working under the kafir system. So,
we do not establish a lecture about prayer without also adding to it: avoid the
idolatry of democracy, and working under it is forbidden, and not to be
Participants in a Muslim World League (MWL) conference in Mina thanked the
Saudi king and crown prince for the provision of outstanding services to
pilgrims, which enabled them to perform their Hajj rituals in safety and peace.
conference, titled “The Concept of Mercy and Consideration in Islam,” was
attended by more than 500 scholars and intellectuals from 76 countries across
the Muslim world.
stressed the need to develop mechanisms and methods of moderate religious
discourse while preserving the fundamentals of Islamic identity.
conference, which was inaugurated by MWL Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul
Karim Al-Issa, called for the introduction of the subject of Islamic values and
human rights as an academic requirement for all disciplines in Arab and Islamic
universities. Participants stressed the need to encourage, highlight and disseminate
research and studies that instill the principle of mercy and consideration in
also noted that mercy and consideration are the most influential features of
conference underscored that the disorder and chaos being witnessed in some
Muslim countries, leading to cruelty and extremism, do not reflect the heritage
and deep cultural history of these countries.
urged the media to produce and broadcast programs aimed at highlighting the
value of mercy in Islam.
conference began with a speech by Saudi Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, who
said Islam “echoes the meanings of goodness, benevolence, mercy and
added: “When God made this religion, it made it valid for all times and places,
and for different environments and countries.”
is a religion of mercy, consideration and compassion, casting off extremism,
insolence and intransigence, he said, adding that it “sends a message of
mercy and consideration of Islam are manifested through the good treatment of
non-Muslims who reside in Muslim countries, Al-Asheikh said.
live in these countries in safety, security and tranquility, enjoying their
full rights and practicing their everyday life, because Islam has safeguarded
their blood, money and dignity,” he added.
Arabia “is a good model for… the adoption of the concept of Wassatiyah (a
middle way), where all Muslims and even non-Muslims can live and work safely
and tranquilly,” he said.
Ahmed Saeed Salman, director of the University of the Holy Qur’an in Sudan,
said: “We have seen the impact of the MWL’s work in every corner of the world.”
lauded its “sincerity of faith,” its “dedication of work,” its “clear vision,”
its adoption of a “scientific approach to planning,” its trust in God, and the
“great enthusiasm” of its leaders.
called for the spreading of the value of mercy in society, and the provision of
aid and assistance to those in need.
for the azan, Indonesian mosques are now asked not to broadcast sounds
for the azan (Islamic prayers), mosques in Indonesia have been asked not to
broadcast sounds when most people are likely to be sleeping, resting, and
have also been asked not to raise sound levels while conducting a prayer.
Ministry of Religious Affairs has issued a circular on azan or the Islamic call
to prayer, with guidelines on when and how it ought to be broadcast by mosques
across the country, amid an outcry over the jailing of a woman who had griped
about azan volumes to a neighbour.
"The use of loudspeakers in Mosques, Langgar, and Musholla", the
circular released on Friday (Aug 24) urges religious institutions to follow the
instructions of the director-general of Muslim guidance, Tempo news portal
reported on Saturday (Aug 25). Langgar and Musholla are terms used in Indonesia
for Muslim prayer houses.
woman, named Meliana, complained to her neighbour in 2016 about the volume of
azan being broadcast by a mosque near her home in northern Sumatra.
the neighbour told others about it and soon rumour had it that Meliana was
trying to ban azan.
resulting outrage led to a rampage by Muslims on several Buddhist temples in
what is believed to be the worst bout of anti-Chinese violence in the country
Meliana was sentenced on Tuesday (Aug 28), civil society groups and lawyers
denounced the verdict as excessive and silly.
two biggest Muslim organisations in the country, Nahdlatul Ulama and
Muhammadiyah, also questioned the use of the blasphemy charge against the
religious affairs ministry's instructions on azan runs over six points
according to Tempo:
Loudspeakers in mosques should be handled by experienced personnel to avoid
droning sounds, humming, and other noises that would potentially arouse
antipathy towards mosques.
Those issuing the azan must possess a melodious and good voice.
Do not raise sound levels while conducting a prayer.
for the azan, do not broadcast sounds when most people are likely to be
sleeping, resting, and praying.
Azan must fulfil basic requirements including being melodious and easy on the
Azan should be broadcast at appropriate times like during the subuh prayer at
dawn. Activities such as Quran reciting should utilise only indoor speakers. -
Straits Times / Asia News Network
Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen on Saturday said the minorities and the
liberal forces in India, who oppose the divisive politics of the present day,
need to be more vocal and assertive.
the present scenario in India, Mr Sen said those ruling the country do not
constitute a majority, but they are in power by virtue of their ability to
skilfully use the tools of the political system.
think in modern days, the majority and minority cannot be decided based on who
is a Hindu or who is a Muslim, as it is not really clear who is a Hindu.
Definitely, the number of Dalits and other minorities is very less. But the
fact is that those who are ruling the nation they are not the majority in terms
of number, but the reason of their power is that they are aptly using the tools
of our political system," Mr Sen said at a discussion on where the Indian
democracy is heading.
to Amartya Sen, if the census is considered then the number of Hindu population
is quite high.
result of 2014 only reflects that the victorious party was successful in that
particular system," said Mr Sen.
a question regarding the fear factor among Muslims residing in India, he said:
"This very state of mind that if we are minority we will be deprived and
will have to suffer, is very weakening in itself."
result will not depend on numbers, but on the reach of electoral procedure and
the political system. The important fact for victory would be the ability to
strongly raise the issues that need immediate attention and deserve thorough
discussion," Mr Sen said.
social activist, Urba Choudhury raised the question of the relevance of leftist
ideologies in the current scenario.
about the presence of the Leftist forces in India, Mr Sen said: "I
consider myself a Leftist but one must remember all political questions don't
centre around Left and Right-wing ideologies. We have issues like Minority
treatment and Secularism, fulfilling the needs of all different religions, but
it is not just an issue addressed by leftists."
have many reasons to join hands with other people who are not really leftists.
This is a striking question even before the 2019 election. But one thing must
be made clear that joining hands doesn't mean that two parties forming an
alliance must give consent to all views of each other. One needs to fight
against the divisive politics and the minority treatment," he added.
insisted that all people who have liberal thinking must raise their voice
together so that it can be loud enough to stand against the ruling majority.
Sen also expressed his concern about the prevalent gender discrimination after
a panellist pointed out that as per the report of the Thomson Reuters
Foundation, India is the world's most dangerous country for women.
is very sad and shameful that little girls are kidnapped and treated as trade
materials for which India holds a very bad record internationally. On one hand,
we have to do away with the discrimination between girls and boys, on the other
the rich-poor divide," said the Nobel laureate.
cut in aid amounts to ‘cheap blackmail’, say Palestinian officials
President Donald Trump’s administration is resorting to “cheap blackmail”
against the Palestinians with its decision to cut more than $200 million in aid
for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a senior Palestinian official said on
State Department official said Friday that the decision, made “at the direction
of the president,” came after a review of aid programs to the Palestinian
funding would “now address high-priority projects elsewhere”.
Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) executive
committee, hit back, saying: “The US administration is demonstrating the use of
cheap blackmail as a political tool.
Palestinian people and leadership will not be intimidated and will not succumb
to coercion. The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale,” Ashrawi
January, the United States had already made drastic cuts to its contribution to
the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA.
between the US administration and the Palestinian Authority took a nosedive
after Trump last December decided to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem
as Israel’s capital.
Palestinians have suspended contacts with Washington and consider that it can
no longer be an impartial mediator in the Middle East peace process.
the latest blow, Ashrawi insisted that the Palestinians, living under Israeli
occupation, would not be coerced into surrendering their rights.
is no glory in constantly bullying and punishing a people under occupation,”
she wrote in a statement.
US administration has already demonstrated meanness of spirit in its collusion
with the Israeli occupation and its theft of land and resources; now it is
exercising economic meanness by punishing the Palestinian victims of this
an initial reaction on Friday, the PLO’s representative in Washington, Husam
Zomlot, said the US administration was “dismantling decades of US vision and
engagement in Palestine”.
Jerusalem and UNRWA, this is another confirmation of abandoning the two-state
solution and fully embracing (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu’s
anti-peace agenda,” he said.
decision to cut Palestinian funding comes amid a humanitarian crisis in Gaza,
which has seen a surge of violence since Palestinian protests erupted in March.
least 172 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, the vast majority of
them during demonstrations near the border.
MPs seek scrapping peace deal with Israel
lawmakers say they are fiercely opposed to the appointment of a new ambassador
to Israel, demanding that the peace treaty with Tel Aviv should be scrapped.
Majali is expected to replace the incumbent Ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat,
who is set to conclude his tenure after more than five years.
say if Jordan decides to appoint an ambassador to Israel, it should change the
nature of its position.
new ambassador should defend Jordan's interest, and mainly halt the activity of
the occupation regime in al-Quds," MP Hazem Majali said.
occupied the West Bank from Jordan in 1967. It later signed a peace agreement
with Amman in 1994 making Jordan the second Arab country that has sealed a
peace agreement with Tel Aviv.
is the custodian of Jerusalem al-Quds’ Muslim holy sites, making Amman
sensitive to any changes of the status of the occupied city.
a decision by US President Donald Trump to relocate the US Embassy from Tel
Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, criticisms grew among Jordanians toward what they
saw as an effort that could undermine their role in the holy city.
is generally believed that the move by the Jordanian Parliament to scrap the
peace agreement with Israel is a result of the same criticisms.
fundamental stance is that the peace agreement with Israel should be
abrogated,” MP Majali was quoted as saying by Israeli website Ynetnews.
Israeli regime lays claim to the entire occupied holy city of Jerusalem al-Quds
which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
Aviv has been emboldened by US President Donald Trump's recognition of the holy
city as Israel’s "capital". On May 19, Tel Aviv adopted a
controversial bill, which affirmed the stance, while declaring Israel as “the
nation-state of the Jewish people." Jordan opposes Tel Aviv’s efforts to
stir up tensions by tampering with the city’s status quo.
Israeli embassy in Amman shut down last July after two Jordanians were gunned
down by an embassy guard, prompting the return to Israel of the Israeli
ambassador along with the guard involved in the shooting.
guard, who claimed that he shot the Jordanians in self-defense, received a
hero’s welcome on his return, further enraging the Jordanians.
in Nigeria suffer more discrimination than their Christian counterparts,
Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has said in response to
recent comments by Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew
Kukah while speaking at a book launch organised by PREMIUM TIMES Books on
Wednesday, August 16 said Christians are still denied places of worship in some
northern tertiary institutions
I’m talking here now, whether it is Bayero University, Usman Dan Fodio
University, most of the universities and tertiary institutions in northern
Nigeria, Christians don’t have a place to worship after over 40 years of the
existence of these universities and these are the areas where the
intellectuals, those who are going to govern Nigeria, this is where they are.
till today, as I’m talking to you, you can’t find a single governor in northern
Nigeria that will effortlessly sign a certificate of occupancy for the building
of a church. Nowhere,” Mr Kukah lamented.
to this in a statement by its Public Relation Officer, Aselemi Ibrahim, NSCIA
accused Mr Kukah of having a penchant for heating the polity and spreading
group likened ‘persecution’ Nigerian Muslims face to what obtains in colonial
strategy of Bishop Kukah’s, is to play the underdog in highlighting their
pathological hatred and undisguised intolerance for Muslims in this country.
Though objectivity is a core requirement of scholarship, Bishop Kukah is
passionately opposed to it. He recently ventilated such noxious thoughts of his
at an international forum where the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council
for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) stood to educate him that the issue is neither
one-sided nor as simple as portrayed. But he has chosen another platform to
play voodoo on the minds of the unwary and the undiscerning.
any fear of contradiction whatsoever, the irrefragable truth is that no
religious group faces the persecution that Muslims face in Nigeria. From the
usual hijab saga to religious witch-hunting in private and public
establishments, Muslims have always been subjected to the same treatment the
colonial masters made them to suffer. But rather than consider it what it is in
the hands of the Christian neo-colonialists, the patriotic zeal to keep Nigeria
together has often made Muslims elect to see the injustice against them as
aberration,” it said.
said the cleric had a penchant for spreading falsehood.
addition, we do not know why the respected Bishop has developed a proclivity
for negativity and falsehood, instead of the things that unites us. For
example, the Catholic secretariat is only a-three-minute drive from the
Sultan’s palace in Sokoto. Also, when the said Cathedral was being opened, the
state Governor – a Muslim, was present at the event. The Sultan who was out of
town at the time, sent a powerful delegation to represent him.”
group listed alleged cases of discrimination and marginalisation of Muslims in
and many more are glorious examples of the peaceful and tolerant disposition of
Muslims toward their Christian neighbours in the heart of Muslims’ lands.
Bishop Kukah uses every opportunity to throw tantrums at Muslims and talk of
marginalisation in the North, where he superintends over several churches worth
billions of Naira, he conveniently ignores the emasculation of Muslims in the
South to the extent that they don’t even have a voice as Christian Governors
and leaders ride roughshod on their rights.
is reduced to the status of an unwanted visitor as successive Governors in
cahoots with the intolerant religious leadership there ensure that no breathing
space is allowed Muslims. CAN leaders in the South openly sign statements in
support of one candidate or the other whereas if a Muslim does in the North,
heaven will be made to fall.
Governors in the South-east and South-south can conveniently spend millions of
Naira on covering live church activities on television from public funds
without a whimper from the rabble-rousers but if a Muslim Governor elsewhere
sponsors a pilgrim with a fraction, they are quick to mount the rooftops and shout
of Nigeria’s secularity.
other words, in the whole South-east and South-south geopolitical zones,
including some parts of the South-west, Muslims are treated like lepers. They
are denied and their ramshackle places of worship are routinely destroyed. Yet,
Muslims have not been using every available podium to castigate and demonise
their Christian tormentors even when they are aware that Kano alone has
thousands of churches operating without let or hindrance, just like many other
places in the North.
or two cases will aptly demonstrate Kukah’s hypocrisy and insincerity as he is
in position to be aware of the scenario. Rivers State University of Science and
Technology is a Nigerian public university, yet the institution illustrates and
symbolises the intolerance, bellicosity and colonial mentality of the Christian
establishment in the Southern part of Nigeria.
the authorities of the university granted more than six different places of
worship to six Christian sects or denominations on campus, they blatantly
refused to grant one to Muslim students. The makeshift mosque the students
erected to worship God was demolished and its materials have been confiscated
by the university since January 25, 2012.
than take the laws into their own hands as many students are wont to do when
confronted with such provocation, the Muslim students approached the courts
after exhausting all diplomatic channels to make the university authorities see
reason. The case, with SUIT No. FCH/PH/CS/150/2012 was brought before the
Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt and the students were granted the reliefs
sought by the court on February 19, 2013.
authorities of the universities did not toe the line of reason but rather chose
to appeal the judgement in order to prolong the persecution of Muslim students.
The appellate Court in SUIT No. CA/PH/614/2013 nullified the appeal on March
31, 2017 and upheld the right of the Muslims to be allocated a plot for worship
on the Campus. Yet, rather than put a stop to its illegality, the university
authorities still approached the Supreme Court where the case is pending
hearing. The tactic is to postpone doing the right and constitutional
imperative to punish the peace-loving Muslim students and deny them their
constitutionally-guaranteed rights as Nigerians.”
group said that Nigerian Christians are being wrongly made to believe they are
marginalised by their leaders.
statement also listed other cases of alleged marginalisation against Muslims.
took the intervention of the Muslim Ummah of South-west Nigeria (MUSWEN) to
point out the composition of the so-called Afenifere that parades itself as the
council of elders in Yorubaland. In the entire body, no single Muslim is found
old enough to be a member. A region boasting of nationally and internationally
acknowledged icons like Prince Bola Ajibola, Hon. Justice Bola Babalakin
(rtd.), Alhaji S.O. Babalola, Prof. Daud Noibi, Prof. T. G. O. Gbadamosi and a
host of other accomplished and elderly Muslims does not have a single Muslim in
its socio-cultural group because it must be an all-Christian affair.
is convenient for Kukah to pontificate as if he was in Mars when the late Bola
Ige was terrorising Muslim students in Oyo State just because of the clamour to
enjoy a semblance of religious rights granted Christians in public schools. It
is easy to forget the various infractions wrought upon Muslim students in
particular and Muslims in general in many parts of North Central Nigeria.
fact that no sponsored Islamic programme is tolerated on Channels Television
despite request from even Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, is no
issue to Kukah, but Late M.K.O Abiola’s policy of not allowing advertisement of
alcohol in his then Concord Newspapers was considered fanatical.
Abbah Dikko, Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole has warned that the
military will not condone any act of mutiny by soldiers fighting Boko Haram
gave the warning during a lunch at the Maiduguri Military Command Center on
condemned the act of mutiny under any guise, maintaining that the law and
ethics which the Nigerian Army is guided by would take its full course on
have decided to put your life on the line for the territorial integrity of
Nigeria,” Dikko said.
it is very important that we are reminded of our roles and responsibilities to
the nation and our responsibility to the society, most importantly our
responsibility to ourselves because we are not a conscript army.
who have volunteered to serve and that is the only time you will volunteer,
subsequently having offered your service, it is the responsibility of the
services to deploy you where they find you appropriate.
it is important that we continue to retain our professional comportment so that
we can serve diligently. It’s important that we uphold the values and ethics of
the system that we belong to.
is also important that we understand it is a service to our fatherland. It is
not a service to ourselves.
Ankara forces have stolen the electrical cables of the control system of
Maydanaki Dam North of Afrin, the sources said, adding that the move has
damaged electrical control system of the Dam.
sources further said that the Ankara-backed militants had already stolen four
of the six pumps of the dam that was supplying drinking water to the town of
the meantime, a former expert of Maydanaki Dam said that the Dam is on the
verge of collapse after terrorists looted its electrical cables.
troops and their allied militants continue plundering public and private assets
in Afrin several months after its occupation.
this month, dozens of civilians were abducted by the Turkish army and its
affiliated militants in Afrin as Ankara continued occupation of the region.
Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted local sources in Afrin in Northern Aleppo as
saying on Thursday that the Turkish army and militants supported by Ankara
kidnapped over 20 residents of Afrin, including women and the elderly, in Rajou
and Shara regions.
added that the kidnapped people were taken to unknown places, noting that the
terrorists receive huge amounts of money up to 15mln lira to free them.
sources said that the Ankara-backed militants still continue plundering
civilian properties, adding that they stole 300 bulldozers, 220 vehicles and
thousands of motorcycles of Afrin residents.
report said the Turkish army forces and Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh terrorists set fire
to the farms in the village of Khalalka in Bolboleh region.
least 27 people are being held by ISIS in southern Syria, Human Rights Watch
said Saturday as it deplored the hostage-taking as a "war crime".
group of mostly women and children were abducted by ISIS during a massive July
25 assault on the Druze community in Sweida, in which the extremists killed
more than 250 people.
are being held by ISIS to use as leverage in negotiations with the Syrian
government and its ally Russia, according to HRW.
is a war crime," the rights group said.
lives should not be used as bargaining chips," said its deputy Middle East
director Lama Fakih.
more than 30 people taken hostage in the July offensive, at least two have
19-year-old male student was beheaded and a video circulated of the killing,
which was not released on the militants' usual channels.
in August a 65-year-old woman died, with ISIS reporting she had been unwell.
two women were able to escape after being abducted from their home, a family
member told HRW.
provided the names of at least 27 people who remain in ISIS captivity, with
children as young as seven among them, according to activists in Sweida
province is the heartland of Syria's Druze minority, followers of an offshoot
of Shiite Islam who are are despised as heretics by the extremists of ISIS.
is seeking the release of militants captured by the government in the
neighboring province of Daraa, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights said earlier this month.
extremists currently hold less than three percent of Syria, after losing
swathes of territory to government forces backed by Russian firepower.
ISIS has proven it is still able to launch deadly attacks, with eight
pro-government fighters killed and more than 60 wounded in an overnight raid in
attack brought to 54 the number of pro-government fighters killed in the past
month, while 147 extremists have been killed, the Observatory said.
ISIL presence in Iraq and its rapid occupation of Iraqi cities made the Iraqi
government demand for Iran's assistance to confront the terrorists,"
Brigadier General Pilot Shamseddin Farzadipour said on Saturday.
added that Iran supplied Iraq with its Sukhoi 25 fighter jets and trained its
pilots for 10 days to be prepared for anti-ISIL operations four years ago.
Iraqi pilots started air operations in the outskirts of Baghdad two days after
the planes were transferred to Iraq and combat operations were conducted with
the support of the Iraqi ground forces and Hashd al-Shaabi (popular
forces)," Farzadipour said.
and Iraq have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi
dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.
relevant remarks in April, Iraqi President Fouad Massoum underlined that his
country would always remember Iran's valuable assistance to Iraq in the fight
against terrorism, specially the ISIL terrorist group.
will never forget the Iranian assistance and will also back Iran’s supportive
stances regarding our country," President Massoum said in a meeting with
Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi.
Iraqi president described Tehran-Baghdad relations as historic with deep
cultural roots, and said, "The bilateral ties are currently at excellent
sources in Northeastern Aleppo reported on Saturday that the SDF forces
detained over 30 people in the village of Seidaliyeh in Southeastern Manbij.
added that the detention was done after the residents of the village attacked a
patrolling vehicle of the SDF commanders, seized their weapons and ammunition
and forced them to leave the region.
clashes between the residents of the village of al-Sayadah near Manbij and the
SDF forces late last month had injured a number of people from both sides.
a relevant development earlier this month, two more attacks on the SDF by
unidentified raiders were reported in the town of Manbij in Northeastern
number of the SDF members, including a commander, were injured after a bomb
planted in their vehicle of Manbij Military Council went off near al-Jazeera
square in the town of Manbij.
further said that another bomb went off on the way of the SDF militias near the
Power Company in Manbij, injuring several gunmen.
of Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh opened fire at each other in the town of Afrin that
inflicted several casualties on both warring sides.
al-Qamed, a field commander of Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh, was injured in the clash.
sources said that the terrorists had already fought over distribution of assets
they looted from civilians in Afrin.
the meantime, a bomb planted in the vehicle of Fazel Lahmouni, one of the
commanders of al-Shamal Asefah Brigade affiliated to Ankara-backed Free Army,
went off near the town of Sheran Northeast of the town of Afrin.
is yet no report on the number of possible casualties of the blast.
sources said earlier today that the Ankara forces have stolen the electrical
cables of the control system of Maydanaki Dam North of Afrin, adding that the
move has damaged electrical control system of the Dam.
police forces have killed four suspected terrorists who had tried to carry out
an attack on a police checkpoint in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, a report
MENA state news agency, citing an unnamed informed source, said that a group of
suspects, armed with heavy weapons, attempted to conduct an ambush on a
security checkpoint on the coastal highway of North Sinai's el-Arish on
added that police forces confronted the militants, killing four of them while
the rest fled the area, noting that some of them were armed with explosive
belts and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher.
report further said the attackers left behind four automatic weapons, 30
magazines, a number of RPGs, three explosive belts, a camera, a communication
device, some hand grenades and 10 explosive charges that they had planned to use
in the ambush.
this month, Egyptian police forces killed 12 suspected members of the Velayat
Sinai Takfiri terror outfit affiliated to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group
during an intense gunfight near el-Arish.
terror group, previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, pledged allegiance to
Daesh in 2014, and has mainly attacked security forces in the restive region of
Sinai Peninsula since its inception in 2013. The terrorists have so far killed
hundreds of members of security forces.
Sinai 2018, which involves security forces mobilized from the air force, navy,
army and police, aims to tighten control on border districts and clean up areas
where there are terrorist hotbeds. The Sinai Peninsula has been under a state
of emergency since October 2014.
to figures provided by the military, more than 260 suspected terrorists and at
least 35 soldiers have so far been killed in the Sinai 2018 anti-terror
LUMPUR, Aug 25 — A Muslim activist apologised to Federal Territories Minister
Khalid Samad today after he previously said he would sue her for claiming he
approved a “gay festival”, but provided what she said was “evidence” of its
Asshima Kamaruddin, president of Muslim women coalition Gerakan Muslimah Islam
Malaysia (GMIM), insisted she never meant to embarrass Khalid in her
since-removed video containing the initial allegation.
the video was misinterpreted as accusing him and government departments, I
hereby apologise as I had no intention of embarrassing and challenging his
position as federal territories minister.
truly hope that they will be more focused on the issue of saving youths who are
increasingly deviating far from the true path of Islam and crack down on
gambling, drugs and so on; not play with emotions or get personal by suing me,”
she told reporters here opposite the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.
Asshima claimed her video was meant to alert Khalid to the purported gay
festival and urged him to use his powers to block the events and all activities
of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
that she meant no offence, she claimed such “gay festivals” took place even
when Barisan Nasional (BN) was still in power.
the new government, do work and stop this before it becomes cancerous, because
we see the majority — 70 per cent — who attend are our Malay-Muslim community,”
she said, further claiming that she believed that no ethnic groups would
support such an event.
asked if she was specifically apologising over her words in the video, she said
her remarks then were harsh and acknowledged she was outspoken, before
apologising for her manner.
Tuesday, Khalid said he would sue Wan Asshima for reportedly accusing him and
another minister, Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa, in an August 17 video of allegedly
approving the purported gay fest, pointing out that she did not substantiate
separate police reports have since been lodged by the special officers of the
pressed if she had so accused the two ministers in the video, Wan Asshima
sidestepped the question by claiming she knew no government would approve such
she argued that such events generally needed local council approval and
expressed suspicion that this may have been given already.
Asshima confirmed to Malay Mail today that she has not received any legal
letters demanding an apology.
told reporters she personally contacted Mujahid through WhatsApp to convey her
apology, and asked Khalid’s lawyer to arrange a meeting for her to personally
apologise to him and find a solution.
activist added that she lodged a police report on August 21 over the event and
for her own protection.
“evidence” of the alleged gay fest turned out to be a poster of a three-day
dance event featuring 14 DJs from August 30 to September 1, which she showed to
said the tickets to the event have been on sale since June and were still
confirmed she provided the same “evidence” to the police, adding that she had
tried to obtain tickets but was unsuccessful.
activist did not explain what specifically about the event made it a “gay fest”
as the poster appeared to be for a typical electronic dance music (EDM)
did question why she was singled out for response, insisting that other Muslim
groups such as Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) Youth and the Federal
Territories PAS Youth also issued statements over the matter.
Asshima told Malay Mail that GMIM was formed two months ago and comprises over
30 Malay and Muslim NGOs, including Alif Bata Srikandi, which she also heads.
Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia’s (MJMM) Abdul Rani Kulup Abdullah, who
gained fame previously for lodging multiple police reports, was also present to
The Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI, has allowed the country's Muslims to receive
a government-sponsored vaccine for measles and rubella, despite its containing
decision should end long controversies and help the government's effort to
establish herd immunity to the diseases. It was explained by MUI as necessary
it's an emergency situation. Second, there is no other halal [religiously
permissible] MR vaccine available. Third, we received explanation from
competent and trusted experts regarding the dangers of skipping
immunization," MUI's Fatwa Commission Asrorun Ni'am Sholeh said on Monday
government wants to reach at least 95 percent of Indonesians to establish herd
immunity against measles and rubella and eradicate the diseases by next year.
Ministry of Health recorded 6,890 cases of measles in 2016, five of them fatal.
vaccination program was launched last year, compelling more than 66.9 million
children between 9 months to 15 years of age to get MR shots.
ministry sourced the vaccine from Serum Institute of India and appointed
state-controlled firm Bio Farma for its procurement and distribution.
Immunization sessions were scheduled for August and September in 2017 and 2018.
early this month the MUI Riau branch raised concerns over the vaccine, as it
has not been labelled as halal by the council. This created a national
backlash, with many parents refusing to have their children vaccinated.
ministry then decided to downscale the vaccination program, only giving shots
to children whose parents do not oppose it, while waiting for the council to
certify the vaccine.
long discussions, which began on Friday, MUI decided to allow MR vaccines, but
also expressed hope that the government would "make a maximum effort"
to create or find its halal equivalent.
Minister Nila F. Moeloek welcomed the decision and said the government will
continue its vaccination program.
Lapses Into A Gulag For Muslims
26 August 2018
against Muslims in Xinjiang are of great relevance for India not only because
India has a considerable Muslim minority, but because these crimes are the
expression of a new approach of China to global politics
a Han Chinese majority of more than 90 per cent, the People’s Republic of China
has been a multi-ethnic State, at least till recently. Mao Zedong recognised
this and demanded for all minority people in China the right to speak their
language, and practice their culture and religion. These rights are enshrined
in China’s Constitution, which recognises over 50 minorities.
since the first decade of this century, these rights have been systematically
eroded for Muslims, in particular for Uyghurs, an ethnic community of Turkic
descent, in a vast region in west China, officially called Xinjiang. But since
summer 2016, and particularly after the ensuing party conference where Xi
Jinping succeeded in establishing an unlimited personal rule, the situation for
Muslims has worsened.
in other regions, Muslims could send their children for religious education in
mosques till recently, in Xinjiang such practices were severely punished. Leave
alone ostentatious Islamic symbols like abaya, scarfs being prohibited in
schools and universities, even fasting and prayer in the province is banned.
Uyghur language teaching is now banned in schools. Moreover, in order to get a
decent government job, the common man has to renounce his/her religion
as Xi has cemented his grip on power, China’s policy has definitely moved
towards unashamed chauvinism and world hegemony. The new China seems to have
made up its mind to impose a final solution on its economically important and
ethically diverse western province by eliminating religion and culture.
Ironically, the world is silent — especially the Muslim world — because China,
in the meantime, has occupied a large part of the world economically and
blackmails it into silence.
after the UN accepted the recent report of United Nations Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Chinese delegation denied facts with
a ridiculous statement. After all, the crimes are so horrible that no
government would admit it. It is not important here to trace in detail the escalation
of measures against Muslims in Xinjiang, it just needs a brief survey of the
basic facts. Xinjiang is a large open-air concentration camp for the Uyghurs. A
dense system of security cameras with facial recognition and a tight checkpoint
system control the movement of people.
are denied to residents who want to marry a foreigner or go abroad for study.
Worst, existing passports have been confiscated (Muslims always have had
problems in getting passports, and even for non-Uyghur Muslims it is becoming
more cumbersome). People living abroad are called back in the fear that
defiance will mean persecution of their family. Women who had been married to
foreigners are forced to divorce for the same reason. Travel is severely
restricted and in order to pass a night at a hotel one needs special permit.
Mobile phones of foreign companies are banned and users are forced to use
Chinese phones installed with special spyware. The mobiles are checked in
streets or house searches. Posting of any religious text in a chat can lead to
detention. Possession of any religious items, in particular the Quran and
prayer mats, are forbidden.
in public places read: Respect modern civilisation, let your hair free!
Covertly they mean Islam is uncivilised, primitive and a kind of drug
order to enforce state orders, a system of terror has been imposed. Defiance
means detention or imprisonment, without any access to any legal assistance.
Many such cases have surfaced in Xinjiang. Victims’ families are often clueless
about the reasons for arrest. After long detention, they are informed about
sentences of five or seven years to their relatives; no regular trials are
held. The irony is that Xi addresses Arab leaders by salam alaikum but in
Xinjiang, this greeting is banned. Inshallah is reportedly replaced by “the
province is full of concentration camps with crowded, unhygienic living
conditions precisely resembling Nazi camps (I know people who know inmates of
these camps). Even people with Kazakh passports have been detained in China. I
personally know people from Xinjiang who depend on the goodwill of their host
countries. If sent to China they face prison, torture or death. Their relatives
are imprisoned or they cannot contact them. A close contact I had in Xinjiang
has disappeared as well, and there is no hope that I will ever find this
are now some photos of camps on the social media, partly their distribution is
now documented by well analysed satellite images. You may finish there simply
for not knowing enough Chinese or not being able to recite the national anthem
or for no reason at all. According to the UN, 10 million Uyghurs are detained
in prisons and such camps.
the camp, people are forced to eat pork, drink alcohol, mock Islam, criticise
themselves (i.e. Islam) and each other, praise the party or Xi Jinping. Inmates
have to sing and dance to texts mocking Islam and praising the party. This is
enforced by torture, including the cruelest methods, resembling those in
Guantanamo. Many people die or try to kill self. Corpses are put away in
secrecy (organ harvesting is suspected). In general, earth sepulchre is more
and more replaced by cremation. Kashgar, once one of the most precious historic
Muslim cities in the world, had long been destroyed by Chinese modern
architecture except for a small city centre, restored with bad taste, as a
70 per cent of mosques in Kashgar have been destroyed. The crescent has been
removed, the shahada too, as all Arabic script in Xinjiang mosques — and
according to a new party order all places as worship — carry Chinese flags
are being systematically recruited to spy on family and neighbours (a brilliant
idea of Xinjiang’s new leader. He did it in Tibet before). Thus one tends to
avoid speaking to family and friends.
the meantime, Uyghur families are even forced to host party officials in their
houses for some time to allow them monitor their lives. Biometric data and DNS
are systematically registered.
scale of desperation of widows and other orphaned women whose husbands are
detained is immense. In many cases, both parents are held in concentration
camps. Children are taken away and educated in poorly equipped, overcrowded
orphanages as Chinese party puppets. Young men are systematically detained (if
not killed for suspicion of terrorism). In some villages, almost all are in
concentration camps. Uyghur girls are forced into marriage with atheist Han
Chinese, a kind of state organised gangrape.
has a large surplus of men. It’s difficult for many to find a wife. Thus it’s
easy to imagine which men will be willing to marry in this manner, and who
knows the rampant chauvinism of Han Chinese people can easily imagine how these
men treat their Uyghur wives.
is an extremely cunning, pervert and efficient method of genocide. The
extinction of Uyghur culture and Islam in Xinjiang is imminent and the 10
million Hui Muslims will follow suit. They face mounting pressure already (my
statements are based on personal contacts in China).
seems Xi is determined to eliminate Islam from China and exercise absolute
control over its citizens. Muslims are leading an unbearable life in China.
and New China
that is not the whole story. The conversion of Xinjiang in a large
concentration camp is only the training ground for establishing China as the
perfect surveillance state.
the one hand, cultural diversity has to be replaced by Han-Chinese uniformity
and chauvinism; on the other hand, the Chinese public as a whole has to be
brainwashed into mere robots of party rule by the new system of social credits
in combination with turning whole China into a surveillance camp.
brutality and disrespect for the most basic human values is the hallmark of
Xi’s China and it is deployed in foreign policy too. China will try to bully
every country into total submission. India is one of the few great economic and
military powers. India need not descend into total submission to Chinese
barbarism. India is an economic colossus and it is a nuclear power. India can
rally other Asian countries around her and stop Chinese barbarism in Asia.
floods: Joint operation by RSS, NGO run by Muslims gives hope to flood-hit
walked for miles on slippery trails, crossing cascading streams and braving
landslides. Many were aged men and women, whose lives had gone awry in the wake
of the torrential rains that lashed Kodagu district in Karnataka, bordering
Kerala, claiming at least 17 lives and leaving a trail of destruction since
people were carried on shoulders to the relief camps, where they sat waiting
for their names to be called to receive food and other relief materials.
residents of Kodagu not only lost their homes due to the incessant rains and
floods, but were also cut off from the rest of the world due to frequent
August 16, the villagers living in and around Madikeri were rescued and taken
to the relief camps. The much-needed support was a result of a joint
relief-and-rescue operation undertaken by the RSS-affiliated Seva Bharati and
the Usmaniya Charitable Trust (Bhadravati), an NGO run by Muslims.
to PTI at a relief camp here, Anjali, a resident of Kodagu, said, “We feel so
relieved and confident about life…We had lost all hope…Just then, the Seva
Bharati and the Usmaniya Charitable Trust came to our rescue and provided
rescued and brought us here. Some of them carried the aged people. For some, it
was quite a challenge to wade through the muddied and slippery terrains and
cross the cascading streams coming down the slopes of the hills.
experience still haunts us, but hope fills us when we sit for meditation and
yoga in the morning. Even I chant ‘Om’, though I am a Christian,” she added.
of the flood-hit people have great challenges before them as their houses were
destroyed in the nature’s fury. One of them, Lakshmi, said, “My house has
collapsed. I hope the government will help people like me.” Around 1,000
families were provided relief materials by the Seva Bharati and the Usmaniya
Basha, general secretary, Usmaniya Charitable Trust said they spent Rs 5 lakh
for providing rice packets, water bottles, biscuits, free ambulance service,
first-aid kits etc. to the marooned people.
was a barrage of fake news and hatred being spread on Twitter, Facebook and
other social media platforms. Some mediapersons too, I am sorry to say, are
dividing the country into north and south.
this backdrop, the joint operation should serve as an inspiration to people to
bring unity in this hour of crisis,” he said. Basha and five others of the
trust visited the RSS camp at Madikeri and proposed the joint operation.
the organisations took part in the rescue-and-relief work from August 21 to 24,
before the members of the Usmaniya Charitable Trust returned to Bhadravati in
Shivamogga district. Expressing happiness over joining hands with the
RSS-affiliated NGO, Usmaniya Charitable Trust president JBT Babu said they
rescued 10 people.
(Seva Bharati) were very kind and treated our volunteers with the respect they
deserved. We are moved and hope such concerted efforts will inspire other NGOs
run by different faiths or communities to come together to serve the needy at
times of crisis,” he said.
district RSS pracharak Avinash said the two organisations working together to
reach out to the stranded people showed the way to solidarity and social
harmony in a divided world. More than 5,000 people have been rendered homeless
in Kodagu district, where rescue-and-relief operations are underway in full
Four over-ground workers (OGWs) of terrorist outfits were arrested and three
hideouts of the ultras busted in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, a
spokesman said on Saturday.
police, along with security forces, busted a hideout in Rajpora Litter area and
arrested an over-ground worker, he said.
material along with improvised explosive device (IED) material was recovered
from the hideout, the spokesman said.
from J&K- #JammuAndKashmir Police busted three hideouts of terrorists and
recovered incriminating material…
ANI (@ANI) 1535199421000
another incident, two hideouts were busted in Khallen and Tahab villages of
magazine of an AK rifle, an INSAS magazine and one UBGL were seized, the spokesman
people, who were allegedly working for Hizbul Mujahideen, were arrested, the
police break up landmark Turkish mothers’ protest
police on Saturday broke up a regular demonstration by Turkish mothers
remembering the disappearance of relatives in the 1980s and 1990s, detaining
over 20 people as participants marked the 700th such weekly protest.
mothers, known as the Saturday Mothers (Cumatesi Anneleri in Turkish), have met
on Saturdays since May 27, 1995 in the heart of Istanbul, remembering relatives
who disappeared allegedly at the hands of the state in one of modern Turkey’s
most turbulent periods.
used water cannon and fired tear gas canisters to disperse the protest, an AFP
media reports said that at least 23 people were detained, with protesters seen
grabbed by the police and roughly taken away into waiting vans.
those detained was veteran Saturday Mothers protest leader Emine Ocak, who
reports said is aged 82.
crackdown by the police followed an announcement by the authorities of the
central Beyoglu district where the rally is held that Saturday’s demonstration
would be banned.
said that calls for the rally to take place had been made on social media
accounts linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and no
application for permission to hold it had been made.
disappearances happened at the peak of the PKK insurgency demanding self-rule
in the Kurdish-dominated southeast. Tens of thousands have lost their lives in
the conflict that began in 1984 and continues to this day.
country was also wracked by political instability and violence following the
1980 military coup, with many detained for political activism.
say the state has never properly investigated the fate of those who disappeared
after being detained by the authorities.
Saturday Mothers group was unable to hold their protests for a decade from 1999
to 2009 due to repeated police interventions but they then resumed. Police have
since maintained a watchful presence at the protests but this was the first
time in recent years the protest has been broken up.
forceful dispersion of the rally comes two months after President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan won a new mandate with enhanced powers which activists fear will be
used to squeeze freedom of expression in Turkey.
human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh announces hunger strike in prison
Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh began a hunger strike in prison on
Saturday, she announced in a note posted on her husband’s Facebook page.
said she was launching her protest over the recent arrest of a prominent civil
rights activist and the harassment of his, and her own, family by security
served about half of a six-year jail sentence imposed in 2010 for spreading
propaganda and conspiring to harm state security - charges she denied - before
being freed in 2013.
was arrested again in June and her husband, Reza Khandan, told Iranian media
she is facing security charges.
none of my correspondence with the authorities has produced a result, I have no
choice but to start a hunger strike as of [August 25, 2018] in protest against
the judicial arrests and pressure against my family, relatives and friends,”
Sotoudeh wrote on Khandan’s Facebook page.
added the words: “With the hope of the establishment of law and justice in our
dear country Iran.”
who has represented Iranian opposition activists, embarked on an earlier 50-day
hunger strike in 2012 against a travel ban on her daughter.
case then caused an international outcry in which the United States and the
human rights group Amnesty International criticized the Islamic Republic and
she was freed in September 2013 ahead of a visit to the United Nations by
President Hassan Rouhani, soon after he was swept into office in part on
promises of liberal reforms.
news agency Saba reported on Friday that many children were killed and others
were injured when the Houthi militia fired a missile on al-Durahmi district,
which is a key strategic point to enter Hodeidah port city.
local source said that the missile targeted children playing outdoors in a
newly liberated village of Ghalifka, from the pro-Iranian militias.
residents of the village- which witnessed a massacre by the Houthis against its
people- have recently returned to it after years of displacement.
the other hand and in al-Bayda governorate, Yemeni sources said that Houthi
militias’ checkpoints practice arbitrary against hundreds of families passing
through in the city of Rada’a.
said the militias in Rada’a detained hundreds of families at these
checkpoints, mostly women, children and
elderly, and prevented them from continuing in their buses to Sanaa or
Hadramout, Shabwa, and Marib and other governorates for Eid holiday.
witnesses said the civilians were detained for several hours, making commuting
from Sanaa to other governorates risky as they might be subjected to arrest,
abduction and confiscation of money or any valuable belongings.
police forces have arrested five people on suspicion of affiliation to a
movement led by the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Ankara
government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the quintet, including a
former court clerk, a former teacher and a former police officer, were detained
in Turkey's western province of Edirne as they were trying to cross illegally
the 2016 botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has since accused Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure
is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the
government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army,
police and the judiciary.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated
slanders,” he said in a statement.
77-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his
followers, a move he says is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to
President Erdogan and his regime.”
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of.
which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in
suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in
the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
Nations officials have condemned two recent Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in
Yemen that killed at least 26 children, renewing calls for “an impartial,
independent and prompt investigation” into attacks targeting civilians in the
crisis-hit Arab country.
Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief
Coordinator Mark Lowcock said at least 22 children and four women lost their
lives on Thursday, when Saudi-led military aircraft struck them as they were
fleeing violence in the embattled al-Durayhimi district of Yemen’s western
coastal province of Hudaydah. He said an additional airstrike in the area
killed four more children.
is the second time in two weeks that an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition
has resulted in dozens of civilian casualties,” he added in a statement.
August 9, a Saudi-led aerial attack hit a bus carrying a group of young
schoolchildren attending summer classes of the Holy Qur’an from a camp at a
busy market area in the Dhahyan district of Sa’ada province, UN spokesman,
Farhan Haq, said in a statement.
to Yemeni medical sources, over 50 people, including 40 children, were killed
and 77 injured in the strike.
noted that “those with influence” over the warring sides in Yemen must ensure
that civilians are protected.
Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Henrietta Fore also
said, “I had hoped that the outrage that followed the Sa’ada attack in Yemen
two weeks ago would be a turning point in the conflict. Yesterday's reported
attacks in al-Durayhimi, killing 26 children, indicate that it was not.”
then asked the parties involved in the Yemen conflict and the Security Council
to “take action and end this conflict once and for all.”
Saudi-led coalition announced that it was opening an investigation into deadly
airstrikes in Yemen, but rights groups and advocates insist that any probe
should be impartial.
Rights Watch has stressed that the Riyadh-led military alliance has failed to
properly investigate war crimes emanating from airstrikes against civilian
Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director at the international
non-governmental organization, said the Saudi-led coalition's investigators
“were doing little more than covering up war crimes.”
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
will no longer accept Palestinian refugees' right to return to occupied
is set to announce that it will no longer recognize millions of Palestinian
refugees' "right of return" to the Israel occupied territories,
Israeli media reports.
to Israel's Hadashot News on Saturday, the administration of US President
Donald Trump will make the announcement over the next few days, in which it
will claim that only around one million Palestinians are eligible for refugee
claim will contradict UN statistics which classify over five million
Palestinians as refugees.
this month, the American magazine Foreign Policy obtained emails written by
Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, to senior US officials in
which he pressured Jordan to remove the refugee status of millions of
Palestinians in a bid to disrupt UNRWA's work.
has on multiple occasions voiced opposition over treating the descendants of
Palestinian refugees as refugees themselves.
January, the US government announced that it would withhold $65 million of a
$125 million aid installment to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
Friday, the United States also canceled over $200 million in funds for the
on Friday, the UNRWA head suggested that the US had slashed the agency's budget
to punish the Palestinians for their criticism of Washington's recognition of
Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s "capital."
can say with a great degree of confidence that the decision was not related to
UNRWA’s performance because in November I had received very constructive and
openly positive feedback on those issues,” Pierre Kraehenbuehl told the
few weeks later, tensions increased around the question of Jerusalem
[al-Quds],” he added. “It appears that the humanitarian funding to UNRWA got
caught up in the deep polarization around that question.”
ties deteriorated last December, when Trump declared Jerusalem al-Quds as the
“capital” of Israel and announced plans to transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv
to the occupied city.
Hill rally demands attacks on Rohingya Muslims be declared genocide
a brilliant summer day, the horrifying accounts of Rohingyan refugees fleeing
massacres in Myanmar rang out across the lawn on Parliament Hill.
voices of mothers who had children torn from their arms, of men beaten while
their villages burned, blared from loudspeakers set up Saturday on the hill —
inviting everyone who walked beneath the Peace Tower to stop and reflect.
Ottawa demonstration was part of a countrywide dayof remembrance, organized by
human rights activists lobbying the Canadian government to declare Myanmar's
actions against its Muslim minority population an act of genocide.
meets all the criteria'
has been one year since stories emerged of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyans
fleeing Myanmar, following coordinated attacks by the army and local militias.
United Nations has called those attacks a "textbook example of ethnic
a genocide because it meets all the criteria of genocide," said Fareed
Khan of the Rohingya Human Rights Network.
said the Canadian government needs to invoke the United Nations Convention on
the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against Myanmar to seek
justice for the victims — and to begin the process of solving the root
the convention] means actions can be taken through the UN and other forums to
bring to justice the actual perpetrators of genocide, and to start dealing with
the on-the-ground problems that are the source of the crisis in Myanmar and in
Bangladesh," said Khan.
of thousands of people fleeing the violence have ended up in refugee camps in
other country has invoked the convention, but Khan said Canada should lead the
can't do anything about other countries, but we can ask our own government to
take action on that front," he said. "Especially if we're going
around the world declaring our commitment to human rights."
has already condemned the violence and has pledged more than $45 million to
help the 700,000 Rohingyans who are living in the Bangladesh refugee camps — but that's not enough for Raiss Tinmaung.
is Rohingyan-Canadian. His parents were born in Myanmar and immigrated to
Canada decades ago, but he still has relatives in the southeast Asian country.
said he's particularly concerned about his cousin's family, who are living in
fear in Maungdaw Township in western Myanmar.
last conversation we had, he said he wasn't allowed to go out after 6 p.m. It
only applies to Muslims. His kids aren't allowed to study and they're not
allowed to go to school." Tinmaung said.
tension and notion of fear is all over the place."
past winter, Tinmaung travelled to Bangladesh and spent one month interviewing
Rohingyan refugees for the Shoah Foundation out of the University of Southern
Ottawa resident said he spoke to more than 100 Rohingyans who told him stories
of being terrorized, of mutilations and of rapes.
concerned that if Canada doesn't take stronger action, the violence in Myanmar
attended the largest annual Muslim convention in Western Canada Saturday.
was welcome at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at convention in Calgary this weekend,
featuring Indigenous leaders in prayer and the international Pathway to Peace
of all backgrounds gathered at the Genesis Centre to pray, listen to
presentations and take part in workshops to get to know each other.
an opportunity for Ahmadiyya Muslims to gather and to rejuvenate their faith
and understand the purpose for which we are here: to live in harmony with one
another and how we can better our lives,” said Akbar Ali, spokesperson for the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
is one of many similar events happening around the globe — a chance to spread
knowledge and break down negative connotations that people often associate with
herald the slogan ‘love for all, hatred for none’ and believe we can get rid of
those misconceptions that are resulting in these types of hate crimes.”
ISIS leader al-Baghdadi appears to call for attacks on Canada in new audio
leader of the Islamic State group has called for attacks on Canada and other
Western countries in a new audio recording, the first attributed to him in nearly
Bakr al-Baghdadi urged the group’s followers to respond to recent defeats by
carrying out bombings, stabbings and vehicular attacks in his purported
55-minute speech titled “Give Glad Tidings to the Steadfast,” which was
published by the group’s media wing on Wednesday.
the Mujahideen (holy warriors) the scale of victory or defeat is not dependent
on a city or town being stolen or subject to that who has aerial superiority,
intercontinental missiles or smart bombs,” al-Baghdadi said in the Arabic
Islamic State, which until last year controlled large swathes of Syria and
Iraq, has since been driven into the desert by successive defeats in offensives
by international allies in both countries.
al-Baghdadi called on fighters to “trust in God’s promise and His victory,”
stating that “with hardship comes relief and a way out.”
also suggested that the group was behind recent attacks in Canada and Europe,
and congratulated who he described as the “striking lions” who carried them
previously claimed responsibility for the July 22 shooting on Toronto’s
Danforth Avenue, which left two dead and 13 wounded. Canadian police said they
haven’t found any evidence to suggest a terror link in the mass shooting.
group first called for terrorist attacks in Canada in September 2014, in a
statement by spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani.
following month, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was killed in a shooting on Parliament
Hill in Ottawa, while warrant officer Patrice Vincent died from injuries
sustained in a vehicle ramming attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richeliu, Que.
the Wednesday recording, al-Baghdadi urged Islamic State supporters to “carry
out the kind of strikes that terrorize the hearts and send the brains flying,”
encouraging them to use guns, knives and bombs while reminding them to “not
ignore running over people on the roads,” according to a translation by the
Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
also instructed Islamic State fighters around the world — from Somalia, Libya
and Yemen to Kashmir and the Caucasus — to focus on their battles rather than
quarrel over leadership.
in his crosshairs were the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan,
with al-Baghdadi calling on the citizens of those countries to rise up and
overthrow their rulers.
also used the recording to congratulate Muslims on the occasion of the Islamic
holiday of Eid-al-Adha, and mentioned recent events including U.S. tariffs on
Turkey and the row between Istanbul and Washington over the release of
imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson.
also addressed Russia, North Korea and Iran pushing back against U.S.
sanctions, which he said was “an intended expression of disrespect based on
what they observe as [American] weakness,” according to the MEMRI translation.
timing of those events means that reports of al-Baghdadi’s death would be
disproven if the voice on the recording is confirmed to be his.
reclusive cleric has frequently been reported killed since 2014, when he
declared himself the leader of all Muslims after the Islamic State’s capture of
the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
May last year, the Russian military said it was looking into whether he was
killed in an airstrike targeting a meeting of top Islamic State figures near
Raqqa, the Syrian city that the Islamic State claimed as its capital.
Russia admitted it was unable to confirm al-Baghdadi’s death.
Iraq-born extremist leader hasn’t been seen in public since a 2014 speech in
Mosul, but is believed to be hiding in the Iraqi-Syrian border region after
losing all the cities and towns of his self-proclaimed caliphate.
son was killed by Russian airstrikes in Syria in July according to the Islamic
State’s news channel.
recording was al-Baghdadi’s first since Sept. 28, 2017.
The United States imposed sanctions on Friday (24/08) on three men from
Southeast Asia who it says were recruiters for the Islamic State and appeared
in a beheading video for the militant group.
action freezes their access to the US financial system.
US move against Mohammed Karim Yusop Faiz (an Indonesian), Mohamad Rafi Udin (a
Malaysian) and Mohammad Reza Lahaman Kiram (a citizen of the Philippines), come
one day after the United Nations also imposed sanctions on the men, subjecting
them to an asset freeze and travel ban.
Treasury Undersecretary Sigal Mandelker said in a statement the sanctions were
"part of a coordinated effort to counter ISIS's [Islamic State] global
networks that enable the group to recruit foreign fighters to conduct
international terrorist attacks."
of the men were involved in militant groups before joining the Islamic State
and traveling to Syria. The third, Faiz, had been imprisoned in the Philippines
for nine years on charges of illegal possession of explosives and weapons, the
Treasury Department said.
demand Myanmar recognize their ethnic identity
want to go back,” said 12-year-old Hujjatul Islam as he gazed across a narrow
muddy field surrounded by numerous makeshift shacks at Kutpalang-Balukhali
was a class three student at a Rohingya-run school in Rakhine state. But here
[in Bangladesh], I have no educational opportunities,” he said.
who is from Rakhine’s Chindiprang village, does not know when, or if, he will
be able to return home. “First, Myanmar must recognize us as citizens,” he
does not accept us as Rohingyas. I fled to Bangladesh with my family members
during last year's Eid ul-Azha when the army attacked. Now we will not go back
until our demand is fulfilled,” he said.
of the Rohingyas have demanded Myanmar recognize their ethnic identity as a
condition for repatriation. Buddhist-majority Myanmar does not recognize the
mainly-Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority.
the years, hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas have fled persecution in Rakhine
State and sought shelter in Bangladesh. More than 700,000 Rohingyas have come
to Bangladesh following a brutal crackdown by Myanmar’s security forces on the
minority in August last year.
joined more than 400,000 others who were already living squalid, cramped camps
in Cox’s Bazar.
the repatriation process in limbo, Rohingya leaders and youths have been
arranging secret meetings in the refugee camps to rally support for their
Khatun, a resident of Jamtoli camp, told the Dhaka Tribune: “I will not go back
to Rakhine. There are no facilities there for us. Here, Bangladesh and
different agencies treat us very well. Am I such a fool as to leave this place
and go back to hell?”
sentiment is strong among the refugees but the Hindu Rohingyas say they are
ready to go back without conditions.
leader Jafor Alam said their people hope to return home with dignity and
security. He urged recognition of their ethnic identity and repatriation under
the supervision of the UN.
Majed, who lives in Barmapara camp, said they will return only if Myanmar
acknowledges their Rohingya identity. “We don't feel good about living in
another country like beggars,” he said.
Rohingyas are referred to as ‘Bangalis’ by Myanmar—a term used to imply that
they are illegal Bangladeshi migrants. State-sponsored discrimination against
the minority stretches back decades.
would rather die a Muslim in Bangladesh than going back to Rakhine without my
Rohingya identity,” said Rohingya youth Khaleq, who comes from Maungdaw’s
signed a repatriation deal with Myanmar on November 23 last year. A joint
working group is working on implementing the process.
Abdur Rashid said he fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine State four times.
want to go back to my birthplace,” he said. “But I do not want to run again to
save my life. I fled Myanmar in: 1991,
2000, 2012, and 2017. We are tired of running back and forth between the two
Rohingyas are unwilling to return home without recognition of their ethnic
identity, they have become bored of their camp life. They say they always miss
displaced Myanmar nationals say they are not sure how long it will take for
Myanmar to accept their demands and complete repatriation. Some of the
refugees, who are frustrated with the slow pace of repatriation, said Myanmar
is toying with them.
expressed gratitude to Bangladesh and its people for hosting them.
Leader Abu Hares, who lives in Kutupalong camp, said: “Bangladeshis are
sacrificing a lot for us. We will never forget it.”
the camp, we can see the hills near our villages and the paddy fields. Our
hearts always cry for our homes. We want to go back but cannot because we fear
for our lives,” said Honufa Begum, who comes from Rakhine’s Hatipara village.
currently living in Moynarghona camp, said she shows the hills in the distance
to her three little children and tells them stories about Rakhine.
Mohammad, 55, who has been living in the no man’s land along the
Bangladesh-Myanmar border since August 25 last year, said he lost his homestead
at Maungdaw during last year’s violence.
never imagined that we would have to abandon everything and leave our homeland.
The Myanmar army destroyed our properties in just one night,” he told the Dhaka
Rahim, who arrived in Bangladesh at the age of 17, in 1991, said: “I have heard
many stories from my parents about Myanmar. My roots are in Rakhine State, and
I want to go and settle there someday. Here, we are seen as refugees, but I
cannot accept this identity.”
Al-Amin, who owned land and a house in Muangdaw’s Panipara village, this is his
first was in 1978, when he was still a child and had to spend a year at a
refugee camp in Bangladesh after escaping persecution. Then, in 1992, he was
forced to flee for a second time and ended up living as a refugee for eight
the third was last year, on August 27, when he and his family fled a Myanmar
army crackdown in Rakhine state; one which the UN said amounted to ethnic
we first arrived, we thought we would be able to go back home after a few days.
One year has passed, and no solution is in sight. The UN and international
communities have failed to solve this problem,” he said.
political coalition announces the launch of ‘civil disobedience’
Grand National Coalition of Afghanistan has announced the launch of ‘civil
disobedience’ in reaction to the silence of the government and the Independent
Election Commission regarding their demands for the upcoming parliamentary
coalition issued a statement earlier today and said the two-week deadline
announced regarding the demands of the political parties and movements has
statement further added that the government, the Independent Election
Commission, and the international community remained reckless regarding the
demands of the political parties, movements, and the people of Afghanistan
regarding the upcoming elections.
coalition also added that rigged and corruption elections and the lack of
observance by the political parties could drag the country towards a major
crisis, emphasizing that the coalition would take necessary steps, including
civil disobedience to prevent fraud in the elections.
political leaders demand the launch of biometric registration of the voters for
the upcoming elections under the supervision of the technical teams and to be
guaranteed by the relevant authorities.
also demand a change in the electoral system as per the demands of the
political parties, movements, and leaders.
Afghan Air Force carried out airstrikes as part of the ongoing ‘Nejat
Operations’ in southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, leaving at least 18
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast said the operations
are being conducted under the leadership of Thunder Corps commander Gen. Dadan
to a statement released by the Thunder Corps, at least 18 militants were killed
after coming under airstrikes in Moqor district during the ongoing operations.
statement further added that a Humvee armored personnel carrier captured by the
Taliban was also destroyed along with some weapons and munitions.
to Thunder Corps, two commanders of the Nusrat Group of the Taliban were also
among those killed.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in southeastern parts of the country
where the Taliban militants and terrorist belonging to the other groups are
actively operating in some of its districts.
The provincial capital of Jalalabad, a vital hub for cross-border trade with
Pakistan, was once considered relatively safe. That reputation is now under
threat as Daesh steps up its battle for political and military control of
militant group recently turned Jalalabad into a battleground — making it one of
the most dangerous places in Afghanistan — in response to recent US missile
attacks aimed at Daesh-controlled areas. The attacks have been responsible for
killing civilians rather than militants, many believe.
with the current situation is beyond the capacity of local and central
governments. The president needs to talk to the Americans and ask them what the
bilateral security agreement (signed in September 2014) is for,” Dr. Mohammed
Nasir Kamawal, a provincial councilor, told Arab News.
expanded its operations in Afghanistan after the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud,
leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in late 2014. Many in the TTP
refused to recognize his successor, Mullah Fazlullah, as leader of the umbrella
early 2015, tensions in Achin, a district in the south of Nangarhar, escalated
after the Taliban tried to prevent a spate of kidnappings by militants allied with
Daesh in the neighboring district of Bati Kot. This resulted in violent clashes
between the two groups, and some of the Taliban in Achin decided to switch
sides in the wake of the conflict. Achin eventually fell to Daesh later that
Jan. 26, 2015, a spokesman for Daesh, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, released an audio
statement in which he accepted the earlier pledge of allegiance from Taliban
fighters and announced the expansion of Daesh’s “caliphate” with the creation
of “Khurasan Province.” Hafiz Khan Saeed was appointed as local governor and
Daesh began recruiting Taliban defectors.
July 2018, the UN reported that the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan
had reached record levels in the first half of the year, up by 1 percent on the
same period in 2017. It claimed that Daesh was responsible for 52 percent of
situation is bleak,” said Khalid Khan, 38, a Jalalabad resident. “Schools and
universities are closed and even the hospital is empty. Only desperate and
urgent cases are being treated. The city wears a deserted look.”
Daesh competes for territory with the Taliban in various districts and attempts
a show of power inside the city, Jalalabad has become a fiefdom of several
are two reasons security has become bad. One is Daesh, the other the warlords
and strongmen who deal with government and act out of law,” said Obidullah
Mujahid, a local businessman.
warlords who built their reputations in the anti-Soviet resistance of the 1980s
include Speaker of the Senate Fazel Hadi Muslimyar, and Members of Parliament
Hajji Zahir Qadir and Hazrat Ali.
Daesh alone is not enough,” said Gen. Amrullah Aman, a former army general and
Afghan government has appointed the Afghan Ambassador to the United States
Hamdullah Mohib as the new National Security Adviser shortly after Mohammad
Hanif Atmar announced his resignation.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the National Security
Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar has presented his resignation to President
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani today.
statement further added that President Ghai approved the resignation of Hanif
Atmar and appointed the Afghan Ambassador to United States as the National
security Adviser of Afghanistan.
announced his resignation earlier this evening, describing the existing
political issues as the main motive behind his decision to step down.
his resignation to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Atmar has said he is
stepping down from his position due to the existing differences he has with the
government leadership on political level as well the government’s approach in
maintain peace and stability in the country.
has previously served as the minister of interior, minister of education, and
minister of rural rehabilitation and development.
US forces based in Afghanistan have carried out a series of airstrikes
targeting the hideouts of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in
eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the latest airstrikes
were carried out in Manogi and Narang district.
source further added that five militants of the terror group were killed after
their hideouts were targeting by the unmanned aerial vehicles.
security situation in eastern Kunar province has started to deteriorate sharply
during the recent months amid growing insurgency activities by the Taliban and
US forces also carried out similar airstrikes in Titak area of Noor Gul
district in eastern Kunar province last week targeting the hideouts of ISIS
airstrikes left a member of the ISIS group dead who has been identified as
Aminullah, Silab Corps added in its statement.
Russian government has renewed claims regarding the delivery of arms and
munitions to the ISIS militants by unidentified helicopters in northern parts
again draw attention to flights by ‘unidentified’ helicopter in northern
Afghanistan to deliver arms and munitions to the local ISIS militants and the
Taliban cooperation with this terrorist group. Superficially, Afghan media and
local residents claim that these flights have been recorded in the Sar-e-Pol
province,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said in a statement.
statement further added “We note that this is happening in the direct vicinity
of Central Asia states’ borders and many ISIS militants in Afghanistan hail
from these countries. There is no reaction to these events either from Afghan
security defense and law-enforcement agencies or the command of the US/NATO
contingent deployed there.”
comes as the Afghan officials had earlier rejected reports regarding the
unidentified helicopters arming ISIS militants in Afghanistan.
latest claims by Russia follow amid ongoing operations against the ISIS and
other militant groups in several parts of the country, including key Northern
least three people have been killed in a bomb blast in the eastern Afghan
province of Nangarhar.
blast occurred Saturday morning as dozens of people were rallying in support of
a candidate disqualified from parliamentary elections in October, local
officials and press reports said.
least eight other were reportedly injured. No group has yet claimed
forewarned of potential attack
attack occurred while backers of the disqualified candidate were attempting to
close down the office of the election commission, according to Nangarhar
provincial governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, who insisted that the
protesters had been forewarned of a potential terror act.
had requested the protesters to stop their demonstrations because they could be
targeted by militants but they rejected our security message," said Khogyani.
supporters of other candidates disqualified by the election commission waged
sit-in protest outside several other branches of the electoral body in the
country over the past two weeks.
to local news outlets, Afghan security forces attempted to disperse the
protesters on Saturday.
latest terror attack came after another deadly bomb blast outside an Afghan
election office in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul earlier this month when
demonstrators rallied to challenge the commission's decision to disqualify 35
candidates from contesting the seats in upcoming parliamentary elections.
of Afghan politicians and legislators barred from running for parliament due to
their alleged ties to armed groups have threatened to hold protest rallies to
interrupt the general elections that face a growing risk of deteriorating
security in the war-wracked country.
warn voters against participation
Taliban have warned the Afghan people against taking part in the elections. So
far, dozens of people have been killed in the militant attacks on voter
Taliban rejected earlier this week an Afghan government’s offer for a
three-month ceasefire, saying they would continue with attacks to take over the
country’s strategic regions.
on condition of anonymity, two senior Taliban commanders said their leader had
rejected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's offer of a 90-day ceasefire beginning
with Wednesday’s Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha or the feast of sacrifice.
representatives of the terrorist group have also engaged in negotiations with
US authorities recently in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
ready to back PPP nominee other than Aitzaz
Almost all the parties in the recently-formed grand opposition alliance
rejected Pakistan Peoples Party’s nominee Aitzaz Ahsan as their joint candidate
for the office of president but agreed to support another person from the
party, sources said.
the multi-party conference hosted by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
president Shahbaz Sharif at the family’s majestic residence in the picturesque
Murree on Saturday, all the opposition parties protested over the unilateral
nomination of Mr Ahsan by the PPP and refused to support him in the next month
presidential election from the platform of the joint opposition, the sources
said the PPP team, headed by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, made
all-out efforts to woo other opposition parties to agree on Mr Ahsan’s
nomination but their efforts bore no fruit.
four-hour-long talks, the opposition leaders came out only to tell the media
that they had agreed to field a joint candidate from the platform of Pakistan
Alliance for Free and Fair Elections for the Sept 4 presidential election, but
the candidate’s name would be announced by Leader of the Opposition in the
National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday (today).
in the PML-N told Dawn that all the parties, except the PPP, had authorised
Shahbaz Sharif to negotiate with the PPP and nominate any person as the
presidential candidate. The sources said the PML-N had also suggested a few
names, including that of former minister Abdul Qadir Baloch, from the party.
matter is between Shahbaz Sharif and the PPP now,” said a senior PML-N leader
who attended the multi-party conference. He said the PML-N and other opposition
parties were ready to support the PPP nominee other than Aitzaz Ahsan, but it
did not mean that the candidate would be from the PPP only.
PML-N leader said since leaders of all the parties also had separate meetings
with Mr Sharif during the multi-party conference, therefore, it was not clear
if they had discussed the name of any other candidate. He said even Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in a lighter vein had offered
his own candidature for the post.
the parties have agreed to bring a joint presidential candidate. Many viable
suggestions have been made. The PPP [delegation] has sought some more time for
a discussion with its leadership,” said PML-N’s acting secretary general Ahsan
Iqbal while terming the development a “breakthrough”.
these parties are required to be on one platform for the sake of the country.
and see, and avoid speculations,” Mr Iqbal, who was accompanied by members of
other opposition parties, advised the reporters when they insisted he disclose
the names which had come under discussion.
reply to another question, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira came forward and said
Mr Ahsan was still the party’s nominee for the president’s office.
sources said that participants in the multi-party conference had asked the PPP
to suggest three names, including that of Mr Ahsan, as a face-saving move,
giving them the choice to choose one name.
to the sources, the PPP leaders also sought a clarification over a recent
statement of PML-N Senator Pervez Rashid. Mr Rashid had asked Mr Ahsan to
apologise to the PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif over his ‘controversial’ statement.
The PML-N leaders, however, told the PPP delegation that it was Mr Rashid’s
‘personal’ statement and the party had nothing to do with it.
to the Election Commission of Pakistan move to go for electronic polling
process in the upcoming by-elections, Mr Iqbal said the opposition parties
supported the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis but the ECP was trying to
implement the system “in haste”. The ECP’s online system had already failed
during the general elections, he said. He explained that information technology
experts had already warned that the system could be hacked.
PML-N leader also expressed concern over the “threats” being received by
leaders of opposition parties.
is the duty of the government to provide security to opposition leaders, and
the incumbent government should take notice of the threatening calls being made
to certain leaders of opposition parties,” he added.
Iqbal criticised the PTI-led coalition government for putting the names of
ousted premier and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on the Exit Control List. The
decision was taken by the federal cabinet in its first meeting, he said while
terming the move “vindictive”.
during the day, former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, former
information minister Marriyam Aurangzeb and former minister Dr Tariq Fazal
Chaudhry received leaders of the opposition parties on behalf of the PML-N
before the start of the multi-party conference.
waiting for them, the PML-N leaders earlier during an informal talk with
reporters expressed their off-the-record views about the country’s political
situation, the future of the PTI-led coalition governments at the Centre and in
Punjab and about their possible strategies in the parliament.
reporters were served food and refreshments at the adjacent lawn of the room
while the opposition leaders discussed their strategy for the presidential
several occasions, the PPP and the PML-N leaders were seen separately coming to
the terrace to hold consultations, prompting the reporters to draw their own
president Shahbaz Sharif and former minister Khawaja Asif were seen on the
terrace discussing some important matters for nearly 20 minutes and then former
premiers Yusuf Raza Gillani and Raja Pervez Ashraf were seen holding
consultations with Senator Sherry Rehman and former minister Syed Naveed Qamar.
who attended the meeting included Syed Khursheed Shah and Qamar Zaman Kaira
(PPP); Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Akram Durrani
(JUI-F); Liaquat Baloch of the Jamaat-i-Islami; Hasil Bizenjo of the National
Party; Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Mian Iftikhar Hussain of the Awami National
Party and Usman Kakar of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.
to the ECP, the presidential election will be held on Sept 4 — five days before
the expiry of the five-year term of the incumbent, President Mamnoon Hussain.
The last date for submission of the nominations papers is Aug 27 (tomorrow).
PTI has nominated MNA from Karachi Dr Arif Alvi as the candidate of the ruling
decision to hold the multi-party conference had been made by the PML-N leaders
after a PPP delegation comprising former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani and Syed
Khursheed Shah visited the former’s secretariat in Lahore on Aug 21 to seek
support for Mr Ahsan.
grand alliance, which was formed by 11 opposition parties soon after the July
25 elections, suffered a blow within weeks after its formation. The controversy
erupted following the PPP’s refusal to vote for PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif
as a joint opposition candidate for the PM office despite agreeing on a formula
during the previous multi-party conference that had authorised the PML-N to
nominate its candidate for PM’s election.
PML-N leaders, who claimed that they had come to know about Mr Ahsan’s
nomination through the media, stated in categorical terms that Mr Ahsan could
not be considered a joint opposition candidate for presidential election
because the PPP had not consulted any of the opposition parties before making
concerned over FO’s ‘misinterpretations’
Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani has expressed concern that the Foreign
Office got involved in two “serious questions of misinterpretation” pertaining
to India and the United States.
is a matter of grave concern that in a week since assuming office, the Foreign
Office of the new government has been involved in two serious questions of
misinterpretation of a letter and conversation with the Indian Prime Minister
and the US Secretary of State, respectively,” he said in a statement issued
here on Saturday.
is unfortunate that the Indian government had to issue a clarification to the
Foreign Office interpretation in terms of a dialogue with Pakistan,” said Mr
Rabbani, also a leader of Pakistan Peoples Party.
said that eagerness of the new government of entering into a dialogue with
India “does not auger well for the stated position of Pakistan that it is
willing and ready to enter into such negotiations on all issues including
Kashmir but cannot limit the agenda to terrorism alone”.
said the controversy generated through the conversation of the US secretary of
state was also uncalled for.
US assertion to do more continues despite Pakistan’s sacrifices of human lives,
economic and political instability. People and parliament have rejected this
Rabbani said the statement of the foreign minister as reported in the national
press on Saturday was also of concern, “wherein it is alleged that he has said,
‘We will have to understand their expectations and they would have to look at
our requirements. It is not a one-way relationship’”.
said the words “expectations” and “our requirements” smelt of a master and
servant or client state relationship with the US.
Pakistani Haj pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia
At least 42 Pakistani pilgrims have died of various causes during the ongoing
Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, officials from the Pakistani Ministry of
Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony said here.
42 victims, 30 were male and 12 female. Most of them died of suffocation or in
road accidents, Xinhua news agency quoted the officials as saying.
dead pilgrims were aged between early 40s and late 80s.
to the ministry officials, 184,210 Pakistani pilgrims have reached Saudi Arabia
under government and private programmes to perform Haj this year.
An accountability court has sought yet another extension to conclude two
pending references against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Mohammad Arshad Malik on Friday submitted a written request to the Supreme
Court seeking the fifth extension in the trial of Mr Sharif.
on July 6, accountability judge Mohammad Bashir convicted Mr Sharif, his
daughter Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar in the
Avenfield properties reference.
July 28 last year, the Supreme Court while accepting the petition filed by
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and other political rivals of the
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader had removed Mr Sharif from the office of
prime minister and directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file
three references against the Sharif family.
NAB in September that year filed three references — Avenfield properties,
Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment — against the ex-premier.
Judge Bashir is conducting trial in the Al-Azizia and Flagship references. The
Supreme Court has directed the accountability court to conclude the trial
within six months.
in March, the apex court extended the timeframe of the trial proceedings till
May then granted one month extension twice. After the conviction of Mr Sharif
and his children, the apex court set another deadline of Aug 25 for the
accountability court to conclude the pending references.
the meantime, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) transferred the case to Justice
Malik who has summoned star prosecution witness Wajid Zia on Aug 27 for
cross-examination in the Al-Azizia case after which the court has scheduled to
record his statement in the Flagship Investment reference.
accountability judge Justice Mohammad Bashir had discarded the money trail of
the Sharif family for Avenfield properties and held that these assets were
beyond known sources of income. The court awarded Mr Sharif 10 years’, Maryam
seven and Capt Safdar a year’s imprisonment. The same court, however, acquitted
the ex-premier of the charge related to acquiring these assets through corrupt
practices, illegal or dishonest means.
Sharif family has challenged the conviction before the IHC. The bench —
comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb — has
also heard the petitions seeking suspension of the sentence against Mr Sharif,
Maryam Nawaz and Capt Safdar.
bench after hearing the arguments from the defence counsel and the prosecution
team observed that at the moment they were not inclined to pass any order and
deferred the matter till hearing of appeal. However, the bench directed the
registrar office to fix these appeals soon after the end of the summer
A teenage student was killed and a passer-by wounded in crossfire between
police and drug peddlers in Afghan Camp, also known as Kochi Camp, near
Superhighway on Saturday morning, officials and witnesses said.
incident sparked a protest by area people who staged a sit-in on Superhighway,
now called M-9 Motorway, along with the coffin of the student for a considerable
period of time, causing a traffic mess on the busy highway that links the city
with the rest of the country.
police said that a heavy contingent of law enforcers raided Khilji Goth near
Kochi Camp, where Afghan refugees have been living since long, in an operation
to flush out drug peddlers.
seeing the police, the suspects resorted to firing and the law enforcers
an exchange of gunfire, a passer-by, identified as 19-year-old Bilal who was an
intermediate student, was killed and another passer-by, Shakeel, 20, was
wounded, said Karachi police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh.
senior official, DIG East Amir Farooqi said that a few suspects were taken into
custody and drugs and arms were seized from their custody.
said that the raid was conducted at around 10am as the police got reports that
the place was a hub of distribution of drugs for onward sale in the city.
body of Bilal was brought to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital to fulfil medico-legal
police surgeon Saleem Shaikh said that the teenager sustained three bullet
wounded Shakeel sustained a bullet wound in the abdomen and was admitted for
treatment, he added.
stage protest sit-in
the coffin of the deceased student, the area people staged a sit-in and blocked
both tracks of the M-9 for vehicular traffic at around 1.20pm.
police and local administration held talks with the protesters and managed to
get both the tracks vacated from them after 28 minutes of the protest, said an
official of the Motorway Police.
the protesters gathered again and blocked both the tracks. They ended their
protest at around 2.45pm after getting assurances from authorities, the
official said, adding that the sit-in caused a traffic jam on the Motorway,
causing immense inconveniencies to motorists and commuters.
police chief Shaikh told Dawn that he had set up a body led by DIG East Farooqi
and comprising SSP East and Sharea Faisal ASP to ascertain the circumstances
which led to the student’s death.
promised that the inquiry would be conducted on merit and if the police were
found involved in the killing they would be taken to task as per law.
said that after assuming office of the city police chief two weeks ago, he had
ordered a crackdown against street criminals and drug peddlers as there was a
strong link between them.
365 suspects involved in street crimes had been arrested and 50 per cent of
them were drug addicts who kill or injured their victim upon resistance.
said several areas such as Gadap, Malir, Shah Latif Town and Ibrahim Hyderi had
been identified as the spots where drugs were being sold.
police official, who wished not to be named, told Dawn that two drug peddlers
were involved in selling drugs off the Motorway and one of them had reportedly
Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani on Saturday said that recent posts
on social media ridiculing the humble educational qualification of Sindh’s
governor-designate Imran Ismail had nothing to do with the Constitution;
however, his appointment is against the very slogan of ‘change’ trumpeted by
the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
a press conference at the Pakistan Peoples Party’s media cell office, Mr Ghani
said the country’s Constitution did not prohibit Mr Ismail from being appointed
governor despite his humble educational qualification.
he said, the appointment of such persons to top posts should raise questions
for the PTI leadership which had been championing the mantra of change.
is beyond one’s comprehension when one sees Imran Khan’s slogan of change amid
appointment of such individuals (to top slots).”
Wahab, adviser to the Sindh chief minister, sitting beside the minister,
referred to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s past statements in which he had
promised appointing professional and non-political governors.
refrained from commenting on the credentials of the governor-designate saying
it was the prime minister’s prerogative to appoint governors of provinces,
which the PM had exercised.
federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry while speaking to reporters in
Islamabad said that if a matriculate could become the country’s president then
a person with humble educational qualification could also serve as a governor.
Ghani is a friend of mine. I would have appreciated had he made the same
observation about Asif Zardari as well. If a matriculate can serve as a
president, then there is no problem with (the appointment of a) governor,” said
Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has called Punjab
Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to Islamabad today (Sunday) for consultation
to finalise Punjab cabinet which is likely to take oath on August 28.
PM will consult with the CM Buzdar on the size and names of the provincial
cabinet for Punjab.
is expected that the names of the finalised cabinet members will be announced
a meeting held on Friday between Khan and Buzdar, both agreed to keep the
provincial cabinet short.
Khan is reportedly being considered for the post of Minister for Local
Government and Community Development, Yasmin Rashid is a candidate for the
position of health minister, Sibtain Khan is likely to be made the agriculture
minister and Samiullah Khan as chief whip.
Raja Yasir is under consideration for the post of Punjab Minister of Higher
Education, Hashim Khan is being considered for the position of education
minister, Aslam Iqbal as provincial information minister, Hasnain Dreshak for
provincial finance minister, Jahanzeb Kacchi for Punjab Minister of Livestock
and Raja Basharat as provincial minister for parliamentary affairs.
Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan nominated Shibli Faraz on Saturday for the slot
of Leader of the House in Senate.
Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has forwarded a request pertaining to this nomination.
to the reports, the Senate Secretariat has received PM Imran’s letter in this
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Raja Zafarul Haq had served as
Leader of House in Senate.
had again nominated Haq as its opposition leader in Senate this month.
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