Radicalisation during Ramzan: In Mumbai, a Police Outreach To Muslims
Minister in PMO: Govt Will Look Into Rights of Indian Muslims after Concerns of
King Highlights ‘Noble Role’ Of Imams, Preachers in Spreading True Message of
on Islam’s Message of Harmony at UN Iftar by Pakistani Staffers
World League Launches Global Forum for Moderate Islam
on Iran: ‘If they’d like to Talk, We’d like to Talk’
Trust Must For Peace’: PM-Elect Modi to Imran Khan
Imran Khan dials PM Narendra Modi with call to work together
Naik Got Dubious Donations from Unknown ‘Well Wishers’, Says ED Report
welcomes Imran Khan's call to PM Modi, says dialogue only way forward
spruces up election machinery for Sarawak elections
steamrolls bootleg alcohol during Ramadan
Jakarta Riots Revive Spectre of Religion-Fuelled Violence In Indonesia
Claim on Islamisation Incorrect – Islamic Scholar
main opposition group rejects general strike call
Haftar says to fight until Tripoli militias defeated
Nigerian soldiers killed in Boko Haram ambush
wreak havoc in Nigerian village, kill 25 soldiers
Guru Nanak Palace’ Partially Demolished By Locals in Narowal
army says lawmakers critical of military involved in attack on checkpoint
wants more administrative units, not Mohajir or Karachi province
plans to table motion in NA for probe into tape leaks
expanding to new sectors, says Chinese VP
people killed, 5 soldiers injured in exchange of fire at check post in North
phone service suspension, pillion riding ban for Youm-i-Ali in Lahore
Korean ambassador hosts Iftar dinner
martyred in North Waziristan check post attack
bombing kills 12 civilians in Syria’s northwest
Syria, Russia Reinforce to Confront Turkey's Possible Aggression
Opposition: Ankara Increasing Dispatch of Military Equipment for Battle with
Syrian Army in Idlib
Army Takes Back Control of Strategic Town in Hama
bombardment kills 12 civilians in northwest Syria
Unfreezes Assets of Mubarak-Era Interior Minister
Deputy FM discusses ‘regional development’ in Oman
bomb explosion kills five, injures eight in Iraq’s Nineveh
forces uncover militant tunnel in northwestern Syria
Iran stress security cooperation to prevent war in region
military in region is ‘weakest’ in history: Iran deputy Guards chief
drops hints of prolonged US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq
says stands by Iran against US sanctions
Warns Of ‘Danger of War’ As Iran’s FM Visits Baghdad
Welcomes Nasrallah's Invitation for Confrontation against 'Deal of Century'
official admits 2015 assassination of Kuntar after tip-off from Syria militants
figure jailed in Turkey calls for end to hunger strikes
has arrested 16,500 Palestinian minors since 2000’
Defence Units Shoot Down Saudi Spy Drone
protest moves to grant Netanyahu immunity, limit Supreme Court
Air Defence destroys Houthi drone targeting Jazan airport
struggles to form government amid talk of new election
Group Calls Probe into Mosque Fire in Germany
French ISIS members sentenced to death in Iraq: judiciary
in push to resurrect Afghan talks with Taliban
in push to resurrect talks with Taliban
Tory party donor charged for funding terrorism
Says Taliban Captives in Afghanistan Subjected To Abuse
Taliban militants killed in Paktika and Ghazni operations
pound Taliban positions amid Afghan Special Forces raid in Helmand
Taliban militants in central parts of Afghanistan
frees soldiers jailed for Rohingya killings after less than a year
officials: 10 wounded in Kabul minibus bombing
iftar at Bangladesh mosque shows true Ramadan spirit
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Radicalisation during Ramzan: In Mumbai, A Police Outreach To Muslims
Ramzan, senior police officers in Mumbai have been reaching out to the Muslim
community with one goal: Publicise the “negligible participation of Indian
Muslims in international terrorist theatres”.
IPS officers told The Indian Express that they have been meeting Muslim
community leaders at Iftar parties over the last two weeks. “We have been
reassuring community leaders of safety in spite of events in Sri Lanka and New
Zealand. The feedback we have received is that there will be no reactions, no
matter what happens elsewhere in the world,” said a senior Maharashtra police
police outreach comes against the backdrop of the killing of 51 people at two
mosques in Christchurch in March, and retaliatory attacks on local Muslims
following last month’s Easter bombings that left 258 people dead in Sri Lanka.
“After both incidents, we asked Maulana to make appeals to maintain peace
during Friday prayers,” said the officer.
move follows recommendations made at the annual conference of DIGs and IGs of
states, Union territories and Central Armed Police Forces last December for
utilising “mainstream forces to counter instances of radicalisation”.
far, I have been to two Iftar parties in South Mumbai to informally speak to
Muslim community leaders and local residents. We are reassuring Muslims that
nothing will happen to them here in spite of events in neighbouring countries,”
said a senior Mumbai Police officer.
these efforts are made all the time, said police, the holy month of Ramzan
provides more opportunities for interactions as Iftaar parties are organised at
each police station. There are also instructions to mosques and restaurants,
and food stalls serving worshippers and tourists till the early morning hours,
to keep a watch for suspicious persons, objects and vehicles, and ensure smooth
flow of traffic. Stress has also been laid on spreading “positive messages”
during this month, said police, adding that community leaders are roped in each
time an inflammatory post is noticed on social media to quash radical talk and
TOWN, May 26 — The government will ensure that the rights for the Indian Muslim
community will be taken care of and their voice will be heard at the federal
level, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy.
Moorthy said he was informed that the Indian Muslims Penang are concerned that
the community’s rights has been sidelined and their voice not represented,
especially at the federal level.
(Pakatan Harapan) were given the mandate last year and we must work for all the
people to ensure that the country is peaceful and harmonious.
here today because I am willing to listen to their issues and try to help them as I was given task to look
after the welfare of Indians and it also includes Indian Muslim,” he told
reporters before a closed-door dialogue session with various Indian Muslim
associations organised by the PELITA
Association here today.
said that as the minister in charge of National Unity and Social Wellbeing, he
will ensure that the country continues to enjoy peace and harmony in a
was told that Penang has over 200,000 Indian Muslims and I’m here to listen and
help on the issues faced this community. If the problem is related to other
ministries, I will try to arrange meetings with that particular ministry so
that the problem will be able to be resolved,” he said.
Muslims Sports Club president Munower Sadiq said among the issues faced by the
community in Penang was getting foreign workers in the food and beverage
(F&B) and jewellery sectors operated by Indian Muslims.
Munower, who is also the deputy president of Gabungan
Persatuan Indian Muslim Pulau Pinang,
said the government enforced a no foreign workers policy two years ago,
in order to offer and reserve more job opportunities for locals.
found out that not many locals are willing to work as a low rank workers in
these sectors and we are currently faced with shortage of workers to operate
of our businesses had to be closed due to a shortage of worker and we hope the
federal government will review their policy so that it would not affect
business,” he said.
also hoped that the government will provide other alternatives if the policy is
meant to stay. — Bernama
— His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday stressed the great responsibility of
imams and preachers in providing guidance and promoting the values of
solidarity, compassion and charity.
a meeting at Al Husseiniya Palace with a group of imams and preachers from
Auqaf directorates around Jordan — attended by HRH Prince Ghazi, His Majesty’s
chief adviser for religious and cultural affairs and personal envoy — King
Abdullah stressed the need to apply the teachings of Islam, which is based on
tolerance, mutual respect and love, according to a Royal Court statement.
Majesty highlighted the noble role and message of imams and preachers, in the
service of God, spreading the true message of Islam especially during Ramadan,
a blessed month that represents an opportunity to instil positive behaviour.
at the meeting, Awqaf Minister Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal highlighted the
ministry’s strategy to turn mosques into self-sufficient institutions that
support the community in education, healthcare and social services, in addition
to religious affairs, in coordination with various state institutions.
their part, the imams and preachers emphasised their role in guiding society
towards positive behaviour, as well as combating malicious rumours that weaken
society, the statement said.
also stressed the importance of promoting volunteerism to serve society.
imams and preachers said they also have a role in countering extremist ideology
and spreading the values of tolerance and moderation preached by Islam.
commended the King’s efforts to defend Islam and highlight its true image,
lauding His Majesty’s initiatives that call for good deeds, such as the
national campaign in solidarity with gharimat, indebted Jordanian women unable
to pay back loans they had taken to support their families.
imams and preachers stressed the importance of the Hashemite Custodianship of
holy sites in Jerusalem, noting that they stand with His Majesty’s leadership
in defending and safeguarding these holy sites, and expressing pride in the
King’s position in support of the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights
of the Palestinian people.
also spoke about some of the challenges facing imams and preachers around the
Kingdom, the statement added.
Majesty hosted an Iftar in honour of the imams and preachers, and joined them
in performing maghreb prayer.
Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi, Adviser to His Majesty for Communication
and Coordination Bisher Al Khasawneh, Adviser to His Majesty for Policies and
Media Kamal Al Nasser, Chief Islamic Justice Abdul Karim Khasawneh, Grand Mufti
Mohammad Khalaileh and Royal Hashemite Court Imam Ghaleb Rababah attended the
on Islam’s message of harmony at UN Iftar by Pakistani staffers
United Nations officials have called for promoting the values of religious
tolerance, peaceful co-existence and dialogue at a first-ever inter-faith Iftar
hosted by Pakistani nationals working in the UN system to celebrate the holy
month of Ramadan.
offers all of us – Muslim and otherwise – the chance to recognize our shared
values, to embrace our diversity, and to celebrate our common humanity,” the UN
General Assembly President, María Fernanda Espinosa, told a large gathering of
diplomats, UN officials and journalists on the lawns of UN Headquarters in New
UN officials pursuing the same theme at the event were UN Deputy
Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of
Genocide, Adana Dieng, who represented Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
extended to the gathering UN chief’s message of “best wishes” for a blessed
month of Ramadan.
the dignitaries and participants, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations,
Maleeha Lodhi focused on Islam’s core values of compassion, tolerance and
inter-faith harmony, saying that the world body was an expression of
gatherings are much needed today when the world is beset with tensions, gaps in
understanding and disharmony,” she said.
Lodhi praised Muhammad Irfan Soomro, a senior UN official and President of the
newly-formed UN staff Recreation Pakistan Club, for his initiative in forming
the club and in bringing together representatives of different faiths.
his part, Soomro said the aim of UN-Pakistan Club was to promote learning and
mutual understanding among the staff of all faiths to come together and partake
alongside Muslim brothers and sisters in celebrating inter-cultural exchange
during the holy month of Ramadan.
her remarks on the occasion, General Assembly President Espinosa said today’s
gathering represented a “graceful defiance” of rising Islamophobia and this
year’s horrific attacks against mosques, as well as churches and synagogues
around the world.
this difficult moment for the world, it can feel as though we, too, are in
graceful defiance of those who question the value of multilateralism, precisely
when we need it most,” she said.
Espinosa called for redoubling efforts to build a safer, fairer and more
sustainable future for all people, everywhere.
Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the best solutions to an international
problem emerge from thinking creatively, sharing burdens, working hand-in-hand.
said the spirit of compassion, tolerance and mutual respect was reflected in
the core values of all major religions as well as the United Nations.
is our mandate every day. To nurture dialogue. To promote social justice. To
build peace,” the deputy secretary-general said
thank you for being here to do just that. I wish you a blessed Ramadan.”
next, Special Adviser Dieng also stressed the core values of Ramadan, saying,
“At a time that we are seeing the widespread use of messages — in public
discourse and the media — to incite hatred and hostility against individuals
and communities, based on their identity; tonight’s Iftar demonstrates that we
then Ramadan be a moment to unite us in our common humanity, whatever religion
we profess. Let us stand with all those in need, those who suffer from
prejudice, discrimination and abuse often owing to their religious belief,” he
this holy month be a moment to strengthen our commitment to justice, equality
and compassion shared by all great faiths.”
World League launches global forum for moderate Islam
The Muslim World League (MWL) on Monday will organize an international
conference for moderate Islam under the patronage of King Salman.
bin Abdul-Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the MWL, said that he appreciated
the “generous patronage which comes within the framework of the great support
for the joint Islamic action, deepening the harmony and cooperation among the
scholars of the Islamic Ummah to achieve the goals and aspirations represented
by Saudi Arabia.”
four-day international conference, titled “Moderation and Indications,” will be
attended by dignitaries, scholars, senior officials and leading thinkers from
the Muslim world.
said the second theme of the conference will be “the Prophetic Approach of
Moderation,” in addition to the topics of “Moral and Human Values Under the
Guidance of the Prophet” and “Dealing with Violations in the Light of the
conference will discuss topics including “Moderation in Islamic History and
Jurisprudence Heritage” and “Neutral Speeches and the Contemporary Age” under
the theme of “Moderation Between Authenticity and Modernity.
topics will include “Differences and the Culture of Moderation” and “Practical
Programs to Promote Moderation Among Youth.”
fifth session of the conference will focus on “Moderation and the Message of
Civilized Communication.” Participants will discuss religious pluralism and
cultural communication, and the common values in contemporary international
on Iran: ‘If they’d like to talk, we’d like to talk’
Donald Trump on Monday backed the Japanese prime minister’s interest in using
his country’s good relations with Iran to help broker a possible dialogue
between the US and its nemesis in the Middle East.
who has said he’s open to having a dialogue with Iran, has sought to downplay
fears of military conflict, but the Iranians have said they have no interest in
communicating with the White House.
commented during a day that opened with the high pageantry of his meeting with
Japan’s emperor but quickly gave way to deliberations over thorny global
issues, including North Korea, trade tensions with his Japanese host and the
escalating friction between the US and Iran.
know that the prime minister and Japan have a very good relationship with Iran
so we’ll see what happens,” he said while meeting with Abe in Tokyo.
prime minister’s already spoken to me about that and I do believe that Iran
would like to talk. And if they’d like to talk, we’d like to talk also. We’ll
see what happens ... nobody wants to see terrible things happen, especially
has imposed tough new sanctions on Iran, which are crippling its economy. Late
last week, he announced the deployment of 1,500 US troops to the region amid
escalating tensions. The US earlier deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52
bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of Iranian threats to
US interests in the region.
and Abe held discussions after the US president became the first world leader
to meet Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, who ascended to the throne May 1.
trust must for peace’: PM-elect Modi to Imran Khan
Minister-elect Narendra Modi told Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Sunday that peace
and progress in the region were linked to “trust and an environment free of
violence and terrorism”.
made the remarks when Khan telephoned him to congratulate him on the Bharatiya
Janata Party’s (BJP) victory in the general elections and spoke of his desire
for both countries to work together for the good of their people.
was the first contact between the top leadership of the two countries after
tensions sparked by the suicide attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama by Pakistan-based
Jaish-e-Mohammed that killed 40 Indian troopers on February 14. India
retaliated with an air strike on a JeM facility at Balakot in Pakistan and this
was followed by an aerial engagement along the Line of Control during which an Indian
combat jet was shot down and its pilot captured and briefly detained by
statement from Pakistan’s foreign office said Khan spoke to Modi and
congratulated him on the BJP’s electoral victory. Khan expressed his “desire
for both countries to work together for the betterment of their peoples”, the
reiterated “his vision for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia” and
said he looked forward to working with Modi to “advance these objectives”.
according to a statement from the external affairs ministry, “stressed that
creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential
for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in our region”.
also thanked Khan for his telephone call and greetings and recalled his
“initiatives in line with his government’s neighbourhood first policy”. Modi
also referred to his earlier suggestion to Khan to fight poverty jointly.
Indian official familiar with the developments, who didn’t want to be named,
said too much shouldn’t be read into the telephonic contact between the two
leaders as Pakistan still had not done enough to rein in cross-border
second official, who too didn’t want to be identified, noted the Pakistani
premier’s call came three days after the BJP’s win, reflecting the current lack
of warmth in bilateral relations.
and Pakistan have not had any structured dialogue for more than a decade
following the 2008 Mumbai attacks by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. Seven
men were arrested in connection with the attacks in Pakistan but none of them
have been prosecuted so far. India has linked any resumption of dialogue
between the two countries to Pakistan cracking down on cross-border terror.
and Khan are expected to come face to face at the Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek on June 13-14 but Indian officials have so
far ruled out the possibility of a bilateral meeting.
THEIR first conversation since the NDA government was re-elected for a second
term three days ago, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called up Prime
Minister Narendra Modi Sunday and said that he looked forward to advancing his
vision for “peace, progress and prosperity”.
response, Modi said that “creating trust and an environment free of violence
and terrorism were essential” for cooperation in fostering “peace, progress and
prosperity” in the region. The indication was that India would stick to its
redlines on dialogue with Pakistan, where it has maintained that talks and
terror cannot go together.
was also the first conversation between the two leaders after the Pulwama
terrorist attack in February this year, which was followed by the Balakot air
strikes and Pakistan’s retaliation.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted: “PM (Imran Khan) spoke
to PM Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in Lok
Sabha elections in India. PM expressed his desire for both countries to work
together for betterment of their peoples.”
Thursday, Khan had congratulated Modi on his electoral triumph. “I congratulate
Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to
working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” Khan had
tweeted in both English and Urdu.
Naik got dubious donations from unknown ‘well wishers’, says ED report
Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate
for money laundering, received crores of funds from unidentified “well-wishers”
from several Middle East countries over the years for his speeches that were
allegedly used to incite “terror activities”.
Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), Mumbai-based charity trust promoted and
controlled by Naik, “allegedly received funds in the form of donations and
zakat (a form of alms giving in Islam) from domestic as well as overseas donors
from countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait,
Oman and Malaysia among others,” PTI quoted the Enforcement Directorate as
the National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case against Naik in 2016,
the ED too filed a case of alleged money laundering. Naik, declared as a
proclaimed offender, is known to have sought refuge in Malaysia after the case
to the ED probe report, the IRF maintained various bank accounts in which funds
from the donors were deposited. “These bank accounts are held with Citi Bank,
DCB Bank Ltd and Union Bank of India,” it said.
agency said its probe found that the total quantum of funds received in the
bank accounts of IRF, from 2003-04 to 2016-17, is to the tune of Rs 64.86
donors remain unidentified as their names in the receipts are mentioned as
‘well-wishers’. As the donations are made by cash, only the names of the donors
are mentioned on the receipts without disclosing their contact details, which
raises suspicion of being bogus or sham entries,” the ED report said.
of these funds, a majority of the funds were utilised for organising ‘peace
conferences’, purchase of capital equipment, payment of salaries and other
miscellaneous expenses. An annual event ‘Peace Conference’ was held by the IRF
under the leadership of Naik,” the ED said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday welcomed
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's call to his Indian counterpart Narendra
Modi, saying dialogue is the only way forward to resolve issues between the two
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Khan had called up Modi to congratulate
him on his re-election.
step. For what it's worth, dialogue is the only way forward to resolve
longstanding issues between India & Pak," Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.
their first telephonic conversation after the Balakot air strike, Modi told
Khan that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism was
essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in the
region, the MEA said.
May 26 — Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is sprucing up its general election
machinery to face the 12th Sarawak state elections which is expected to be held
at the end of next year or early 2021.
president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian
would head the election machinery in the state assisted by party secretary
general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution and three vice-presidents Dr Xavier
Jayakumar, Tian Chua and Ali Biju.
will embark on their tasks as soon as possible drawing up strategies, holding
consultations with component parties and preparing a machinery which can give
an effective foundation of struggle to face the state elections,’’ he told a
media conference after chairing a PKR Central Leadership Council meeting here
the 11th state elections, Barisan Nasional won 72 of the 82 state seats
contested, DAP won seven and PKR won three (Batu Lintang, Krian and
said the meeting also discussed the position of Sungai Siput Member of Parliament,
Kesavan Subramaniam who allegedly sexually harassed a woman, who was his former
said PKR viewed the allegation seriously and urged the police to continue their
investigation on the case.
will wait for the outcome of the investigation and subsequently act if
necessary,’’ he said.
a woman lodged a police report claiming that she was a victim of sexual
harassment by Kesavan, but the latter also lodged a police report claiming that
the woman often disturbed him.
the protest against a breaking-the-fast programme of the Keadilan Youth
movement in Ampang yesterday, which was feted like a festival with songs and
fireworks, Anwar apologised and had urged the PKR wing to overcome the
have sternly warned them to respect the month of Ramadan and abstain from
carrying out events which deviated from Islam,’’ he said.
Anwar said PKR protested against the United States’ (US) provocative action
against Iran and urged international bodies especially the United Nations
Security Council to hold an emergency session to ease the tension which could
lead to war.
urges Malaysia to state its firm stand by rejecting provocation and threats of
war to all Islamic nations under the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
which will hold its summit in Mecca on May 31,’’he said.
was reported that the US would be sending 1,500 more soldiers to the Middle
East as a ‘‘protective measure’’ following the escalating tension with Iran,
said President Donald Trump on Friday. — Bernama
About 18,000 bottles of bootleg alcohol were crushed by a steamroller in
Muslim-majority Indonesia’s capital Monday as police warned tipplers off booze
during the Ramadan fasting month.
90 percent of Indonesia’s 260 million people are Muslims who are advised to
abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex between sunrise and sunset
laid out thousands of bottles collected in raids over the past few months in
the capital Jakarta and then drove a steamroller over them in a messy annual
governor Anies Baswedan called on residents to avoid circulating illegal
job of the community is to reduce demand,” he said at the booze-crushing event
near the city’s national monument.
no matter how much supply is reduced, it’s tough if there is still demand.”
authorities typically make a show out of seizing and destroying large
quantities of illegal alcohol to remind Muslims to abstain from boozing during
is typically forbidden for Muslims at any time of the year. But most Indonesians
practise a moderate form of Islam and alcohol is available at bars and
nightclubs in major cities and holiday destinations such as Bali.
Jakarta riots revive specter of religion-fueled violence in Indonesia
- Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, was eerily calm on Thursday morning after two
nights of deadly clashes between protesters and police that left seven dead and
unusually subdued mood in what is normally a frenetic and noisy urban sprawl of
more than 30 million people belies a polarization in the country that has been
building steam for years. The pressure boiled over on Tuesday night in a wave
of political violence that hasn’t been seen in the city in decades.
trigger was the re-election of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who defeated his
arch-rival Prabowo Subianto for a second time. Underlying the faceoff between
the two are tensions over religion, the military and the distribution of money
and power that have racked Indonesian politics for decades.
of thousands of police and soldiers remain on high alert three days after the
election commission declared Jokowi winner of last month’s election with 55.5
percent of the votes in a process observers say was free and fair.
wasn’t enough to stop Erny Prasatyawaty from traveling more than an hour from
the suburb of Depok to join thousands of others on the street in support of the
defeated opposition candidate.
is no justice and honesty,” said Prasatyawaty, 47, secretary general of Wanita
Militan Indonesia, a volunteer women’s group that supports Prabowo. “Massive
fraud occurs. We only demand that the system be run fairly, democratically.”
— a one-time army general and former son-in-law of former dictator Suharto —
won nearly 70 million votes, many from traditionally conservative Muslim areas.
He set the stage for discontent among supporters when he declared earlier this
month that the election was fraudulent. He’s expected to follow that up with an
official appeal to the Constitutional Court, something he tried unsuccessfully
after his 2014 loss.
has this audibility to turn the dial up, but not to dial it down,” said Aaron
Connelly, a research fellow at the International Institute for Strategic
Studies in Southeast Asian politics. “Prabowo’s coalition was broader than just
his onus. There are a lot of people in that crowd who really believe Prabowo
won the election.”
many set out to protest peacefully, photographs and video show others arrived
in droves deep into the night armed with rocks and bamboo sticks, escalating
clashes with police into a violent confrontation with tear gas and rubber
bullets that saw more than 250 protesters detained. National Police said on
Thursday there was evidence some rioters were supporters of Islamic State,
without giving details.
unrest far outstrips the relatively small protests by Prabowo supporters when
he lost in 2014. Then, Jokowi had earned widespread popularity locally for his
time as governor of Jakarta.
former furniture salesman, Jokowi’s hands-on approach and public engagement won
over Muslim and ethnic groups. But the president’s failure to deliver the 7
percent economic growth rate he promised and the rise of increasingly assertive
Islamic groups put a strain on the country’s motto, “unity in diversity.”
an election year and that alone could cause chaos in any country, but it is
unfortunately the case in Indonesia that it has used religious issues for
political pandering,” said Gayle Manchin, vice chair of the U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom.
issue came to a head in 2017 when Jokowi’s ally, Christian governor Basuki
Tjahaja Purnama, was found guilty of insulting Islam, drawing thousands of
hard-liners to the court. He was sentenced to two years in jail.
a country where 90 percent of the nearly 270 million population is Muslim,
Prabowo tapped discontent within the religious community during the election
campaign, cultivating his image as a pious Muslim and offering protection for
those with the extreme views. He attacked Jokowi for his pluralism.
has made an already polarized community exposed — there’s some elevation of
hostility between the two groups that has not been seen before,” said Achmad
Sukarsono, a senior analyst at Control Risks.
secular divide may force Jokowi to do more to placate Muslim interests as he
tries to sell a proposed $400 billion infrastructure package to boost the
economy. He picked Ma’ruf Amin, the country’s most senior Islamic cleric, as
his running mate in the election.
said further concessions could include greater restrictions on alcohol,
prioritizing projects that benefit Muslims, advancing Shariah finance and
enforcing Halal labeling on consumable products.
claim on Islamisation incorrect – Islamic scholar
you agree with former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his claim that Boko Haram
and herdsmen are fighting for Islamisation and Fulanisation of Nigeria and
assertion is not correct. Muslims are peace-loving people. Muslims, as far as I
know, are not supporting Boko Haram to kill anybody because it is against the
injunction of Allah. Anybody that kills is not doing so for Islam because Islam
is against it. There is even punishment if one kills accidentally let alone
going after innocent people to kill them.
are neither killing nor destroying property to propagate Islam. Let it be known
that Muslims are not the ones sponsoring them to kill and to maim. Allah said it expressly in the Koran that
whoever kills intentionally will go to hell fire. So those killing are not
doing so to spread Islam and Islam frowns on such.
killing are doing so for either political reason or other reasons best known to
them but certainly not to propagate Islam. We should not make the mistake of
mixing politics with religion. In the South-West here, almost all the families
have a mixture of Christians and Muslims. So, how logical is that, that
somebody will go and target his people because he wants to convert them to
Islam. Allah has stated it in the Koran that he could have made the whole world
to be Muslims and to speak one language if he wished. So, whoever is killing or
destroying other’s properties does not belong to Allah and such is not a true
will you react to the claims of CAN that it is aware of the plans of the
Organisation of Islamic Countries to Islamise the entire Africa?
are things I do not go into because I don’t have interest in it. But before we
entered into this millennium, there was noise all over that certain things
would happen by the year 2000. How many of those things have happened now? Some
also said everybody would be for Christ by the year 2000 but year 2000 has come
and gone. This is 19 years after that. Has that happened? So, to answer your
question, this is not true. Nobody is attempting to Islamise Nigeria or Africa
because it is not possible. The only time I can agree that there will be
Islamisation of the country or Africa is if I open my Koran and I find it
written there that Allah has said the whole country will turn to Muslims. But
as long as it is not written there, I do not believe it and I am sure nobody is
making any attempt to Islamise Nigeria. If it is not from God, then it cannot
be. Even if anybody is planning that, it cannot happen. It cannot happen
because nobody can dictate to God. Prophets cannot even dictate to God; so, if
anybody is even thinking about that, it cannot work. It cannot work because not
even the prophets know the time they would die. Nobody has such power to covert
don’t you think the fears of the Christians are justified?
killing others are just creating fear in society but they do not have the
backing of genuine Muslims because Allah does not send anybody to kill. It is
against His will. These killings being perpetrated by these herdsmen they are
talking about, their activities are more political but certainly not religion.
If you go to a motor park, you will see those causing trouble, bearing
Christian and Muslim names. So, you cannot say those ones are Muslims or
Christians. There are persons bearing Christian names, who kill. Are we going
to call those ones Christians? It is the same things. Those who bear Muslim
names and are engaged in killings cannot be said to be Muslims. We need to
learn to live together in peace and erase this suspicion.
herdsmen are carrying out their own agenda but they are not doing that for
Islam. They have those sponsoring them and I think security agencies should go
after them. Whoever kills must be arrested and punished. Allah does not support
killing and nobody can say he is killing for Allah. What they are doing does
not have anything to do with Islam. We need to wake up and get out of whatever
is drawing us back as a nation. Nobody can fight for God. Anybody killing in
the name of God is not a child of God. Religious leaders or anybody
main opposition group and supporter of the protest movement on Sunday rejected
its call to stage a two-day general strike because of a deadlock in talks with
the ruling military.
reject the general strike announced by some opposition groups” in the umbrella
protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the National Umma Party
said in a statement.
opposition to the strike slated to start on Tuesday was a sign of division
between protest leaders at a time of deadlock in negotiations with army
generals over installing a civilian administration.
general strike is a weapon that should be used after it is agreed upon by
everybody,” Umma said. “We have to avoid such escalated measures that are not
National Umma Party led by former premier Sadiq Al-Mahdi said any such decision
should be taken by a council of leaders of the protest movement.
a council was still not in place and “will be composed in a meeting on Monday,”
was Mahdi’s elected government that Omar al-Bashir, who himself was deposed
last month, toppled in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.
a recent interview with AFP, Mahdi warned protesters not to “provoke” the
army’s rulers as they had been instrumental in ousting al-Bashir.
strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is leading a military offensive against the
government in Tripoli, said in an interview published Sunday he will continue
fighting until militias in the city laid down their arms.
had said he was fighting against “private militias and extremist groups” who he
said were gaining influence in the capital under Prime Minister Fayez
course a political solution is the objective,” Haftar told the Journal de Dimanche
newspaper in France. “But to return to politics, we need to finish with the
problem in Tripoli is a security one.”
offered an amnesty to fighters in Tripoli who laid down their arms, saying they
would be allowed to “return home safe and sound.”
also took aim at UN mediator Ghassan Salame, who has warned the country is
“committing suicide” due to a conflict that 6-10 foreign states are involved
is making irresponsible statements,” Haftar said. “He wasn’t like that before,
he has changed. From an impartial and honest mediator, he has become a biased
than 75,000 people have been driven from their homes in the latest fighting and
510 have been killed, according to the World Health Organization.
Nigerian soldiers have been killed and a number are missing after an ambush by
Boko Haram’s ISIS -backed faction, security sources said on Sunday.
from ISIS extremist group West Africa Province (ISWAP) on Friday opened fire on
a column of civilian vehicles under military escort in the northeastern Borno
State, according to the sources who requested anonymity.
troops were escorting residents from the village of Sabon Garin Kimba in dozens
of trucks to a camp in the town of Damboa about 50 km (30 miles) away,
according to a militia fighting against the extremists alongside the army.
were being evacuated from the village, which lies 130 km from the state capital
Maiduguri, ahead of a major military offensive against ISWAP, which has
recently increased its activities in the area.
lost five soldiers in the ambush, two were wounded and several are missing,
their fate still unknown,” said one military officer.
said the attackers seized two military trucks and tried to immobilize an
armored vehicle by destroying its tires but the driver managed to drive it to
they approached Bungiri village ISWAP laid an ambush on the convoy. The troops
engaged the terrorists in a gun battle and all civilians were able to escape
but five soldiers were killed,” a second military source said.
search and rescue operation was under way, the officer said.
month the extremists raided a nearby military base in Mararrabar Kimba, killing
five troops and stealing weapons, while some 30 troops are still listed as
has since July last year targeted dozens of military bases in attacks that have
killed scores of soldiers.
Monday, its fighters ransacked a base in the town of Gubio, 80 km from
Maiduguri, killing three soldiers, although the group claimed it killed 20
Haram’s decade-long campaign of violence has killed 27,000 people and displaced
around two million in Nigeria.
Daesh-linked militants have killed more than two dozen soldiers and a number of
civilians in an ambush in northeast Nigeria, in the second deadly attack on the
army this week.
militants, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist organization,
killed at least 25 soldiers and an unspecified number of civilians in the
ambush in Borno state on Saturday.
said the militants opened fire as the soldiers were escorting a group of
evacuees from a village in the state.
ambushed and surrounded the vehicles of both the soldiers and the civilians and
opened fire on them," one source told Reuters news agency.
exchanged fire for some minutes before the Boko Haram militants overpowered the
soldiers were reportedly evacuating villages in the region to carry out
operations against Boko Haram.
this week, Daesh terrorists stormed the town of Gajiganna, also in Borno state,
killing about a dozen soldiers.
group which calls itself the West Africa province (ISWAP) branch of Daesh has
launched repeated attacks in Nigeria in recent months after sustaining heavy
losses in its Iraq and Syria strongholds.
and Boko Haram made an alliance in 2015 before separating in 2016. However,
there are reports the two groups were making efforts to get back together.
month, Nigeria's army chief warned that the two groups aimed to carve out a
Takfiri enclave stretching from Nigeria’s northeast into the wider Lake Chad
Haram militants have been fighting government forces for about a decade.
2009, attacks by Boko Haram terrorists have left at least 27,000 dead and made
over 2.6 million others homeless.
Haram’s sphere of activities spreads as far as neighboring Niger, Chad and
Guru Nanak palace’ partially demolished by locals in Narowal
A group of locals partially demolished a four-storey centuries-old building
allegedly with the connivance of auqaf department officials and even sold its
precious windows, doors and ventilators.
building seems to have been constructed over four centuries ago in village
Bathanwala, 20 kilometres from here, on New Lahore Road.
construction comprised old bricks, sand, clay and limestone. There were 16
large rooms in the building all of which had at least three beautiful doors and
at least four ventilators.
rooms were constructed with large broad walls with cupboards in them that had
wooden doors with flowers carved on them.
the rooms were airy and their walls had small lamp enclosures in them. Diyar
wood beams of various sizes were used in the roofs; the wood costs thousands of
rupees per foot.
three-foot-wide and sturdy walls surrounding the building were made of small
old bricks in beautiful designs and intricately painted with pictures of Baba
Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism; as well as of various Hindu rulers and
princes. There were stairs on three of the four sides of the building going up
to the roof.
local resident, Muhammad Aslam, said: “This old building is called the Palace
of Baba Guru Nanak and we have named it Mahalan. A number of Sikhs from across
the world, including India, used to visit this building.”
further claimed that once a six-member delegation, including a woman carrying a
large book with information about the historical building, had come here from
Canada. The delegation was elated at visiting the site as if they had found a
local, Muhammad Ashraf, said: “The auqaf department was informed about the
demolition of the building by some influential persons, but no officer or
official took any action or even reached here.”
also claimed: “Three storeys of the building have already been demolished and
new houses constructed. The influentials have demolished the building with the
connivance of the auqaf department and sold its costly windows, doors,
ventilators and wood.”
an effort to determine the legal status of the building, locate its owners or
find out which government department maintained its record, this correspondent
reached out to various officials, but apparently everyone seemed clueless –
from the deputy commissioner, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) to the family
that lived in the building.
Anwar claimed to be the owner of the building who, along with some other family
members, was also behind its demolition. He claimed that after Partition his
forefathers started living in this building where his family continued to
reside. “I do not know whose property this building is as we have been living
here for generations. We demolished it because it was in a dangerous,
dilapidated condition,” he added.
Deputy Commissioner Waheed Asghar, who is in charge of the record of all
properties in the region, said: “There is no mention of this building in the
revenue record. As it seemed to be historical, we are checking the municipal
committee’s record.” He said he had stopped the demolition of the building.
Sialkot zone Rent Collector Rana Waheed said: “Our team is investigating the
Guru Nanak Mahal Bathanwala. If this palace was the property of Evacuee Trust
Property Board, legal action will be taken against those responsible.”
further said that any property of the ETPB, which was rented out, could not be
demolished or anything constructed on it without permission.
demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan take immediate notice of the destruction of
this ‘heritage site’ and take action against those who demolished it.
Pakistan's army on Sunday accused two lawmakers critical of the military of
playing a key role in a clash with troops at a security checkpost in which
three people were killed, setting up a potential confrontation with a vast rights
movement the two lawmakers helped to found.
Dawar and Ali Wazir, parliamentarians for the volatile Waziristan region
bordering Afghanistan, were among the founders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement
(PTM) civil rights group that has been a thorn in the side of the military with
frequent sit-ins and rallies denouncing alleged military abuses.
has been peaceful since its founding in early 2018 and has vowed not to respond
with violence to frequent arrests and what it calls "humiliation" of
its members, but some analysts have warned that some elements within PTM could
turn violent if the state continued with its tough approach.
support base is mostly among ethnic Pashtuns in the Khyber Pakhtunkwa region
that is still scarred by a devastating decade-long Islamist insurgency and was
led by the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani
army said Dawar and Wazir on Sunday led a group that "assaulted" a
security checkpost near the North Waziristan town of Boyya, about 10 miles (16
km) from the Afghanistan border.
wanted to exert pressure for release of suspected terrorists' facilitator
arrested the other day," the army said in a statement. "In exchange
of fire three individuals who attacked the post lost their lives and 10 got
military said five soldiers were also wounded in the attack, following which
Wazir and eight others were detained. "Mohsin Javed (Dawar) is at large
after inciting the crowd," the army said.
and Wazir could not be reached for comment.
in the so-called tribal regions bordering Afghanistan said phone and internet
networks in the region have been shut down and curfew imposed.
said Dawar and Wazir were planning to stage a sit-in along with PTM members to
protest against the alleged abusive treatment of a Pakistani woman by the
told Voice of America's (VOA) Pashto language radio service, Deewa, that about
30 people were wounded in the incident, including himself, and some were
said the security forces tried to stop protestors going through barricades and
initially shot in the air but "then opened straight fire at us. Many our
of people were injured," Dawar told Deewa.
which was founded to protest against the death of a Pashtun man killed by
police in the southern port of Karachi, regularly draws thousands of protesters
to its demonstrations against state violence.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said on
Sunday that his party never called for the creation of a ‘Mohajir or Karachi’
province as it wanted the creation of more provinces on administrative lines.
are not talking about a Mohajir or Karachi province...We are demanding more and
more administrative units in the country for its prosperity and progress,” he
told reporters at the annual charity programme of the Khidmat-i-Khalq
Foundation (KKF) here.
to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement that his party was not in
favour of the creation of a new province in Sindh, Dr Siddiqui said: “Give us
even one reason that more provinces can be carved out of Punjab and other
federating units and not in Sindh.”
claimed that the prime minister through his representatives conveyed to the
MQM-P that his viewpoint on new provinces was not presented correctly and the
stance of his coalition parties was presented in the media as that of him.
last week, the PM while presiding over a meeting with the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and other coalition partners
said: “The PTI is against the creation of another province in Sindh. After
introduction of the PTI’s new local bodies system there would be no need for
any kind of division in the province.”
Siddiqui, who is also the federal minister for information technology and
telecom, said the procedure of making new provinces was part of the country’s
Constitution and it was not treason to demand new administrative units.
said it was the stated position of the MQM-P that more administrative units be
made keeping in view the growing population of the country. “Not making new
provinces is a treasonous act,” he added.
pledged that the MQM-P would never take any step against the interest of Sindh
as it did not want any bitterness.
naming the Pakistan Peoples Party, he alleged that one party had divided Sindh
on a linguistic basis.
about the KKF, the charity wing of the MQM-P, he said it could not serve the
maximum deserving and underprivileged people because of unannounced
restrictions on its working. He said the KKF should not be punished for the
“mistakes of a single individual”.
said that despite problems, the KKF was giving handouts to over 10,000
leaders Kanwar Naveed Jameel, Nasreen Jalil, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and
others were also present.
disgruntled MQM-P leader Dr Farooq Sattar rejected the prime minister’s
statement on new province.
The main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) plans to move a motion
in the National Assembly seeking formation of a parliamentary committee to
probe the recent controversy over some leaked audio and video clips involving
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal when
the lower house of the Parliament will meet after a two-day recess here on
in the PML-N told Dawn that the party would take the other opposition parties,
including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), into confidence before start of the
session, as the matter could be decided through a vote after its expected
opposition by the ruling coalition headed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
to Dawn, PML-N’s information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb said that since the
National Assembly Secretariat had already issued the agenda for the sitting,
their members would first try to force the speaker to allow them to move a
motion seeking suspension of the rules to allow presentation of the motion for
formation of the parliamentary committee.
Aurangzeb said that newly-appointed parliamentary leader of the PML-N Khawaja
Mohammad Asif would move the motion, if allowed by Speaker Asad Qaiser. She
further said that Mr Asif would also write a formal letter to the speaker,
asking him to form the committee on the NAB chairman’s issue.
both the PPP and the PML-N are demanding a proper investigation into the
matter, there is a difference over the mode of investigations. The PML-N wants
a parliamentary committee for this purpose whereas the PPP believes that
parliamentary probe may not be fruitful as the issue will require the use of
“forensic” and other techniques to know the facts behind the release of the
controversial audio and video clips of the NAB chairman in which he had
allegedly been shown talking to a woman on some personal and objectionable
two parties also differ on the demand for resignation of the NAB chairman. The
PPP wants the NAB chairman to step down from his position, at least until
completion of an inquiry, whereas the PML-N has not officially made any such
contacted, PPP’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Syed Naveed
Qamar said that so far his party had not decided its strategy over the PML-N’s
planned move to seek formation of a parliamentary committee on the NAB chairman
controversy. He said the leaders of the two parties were expected to meet
before start of the sitting in which they would discuss the matter thoroughly.
response to a question, Mr Qamar said the PPP obviously could not support the
government in the house, if it opposed the PML-N’s motion. However, he said,
though they “conceptually” supported the PML-N’s idea, they had not yet devised
their own strategy.
will discuss it and decide,” he added.
Qamar said the PPP was “clear and sure” that the ruling PTI was behind the
release of the controversial audio and video tapes of the NAB chairman as it
wanted to pressurise him.
demand for formation of a parliamentary committee on the controversial audio
and video tapes had been made by PML-N’s vice-president and former prime
minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during a news conference in Islamabad on Friday.
his news conference, Mr Abbasi had announced that the party wanted the
parliamentary probe to uncover the truth behind accusations against Prime
Minister Imran Khan and to provide the NAB chairman a fair chance to defend
leaked tape, which went viral on social media and was broadcast by a private TV
channel last week before being refuted by the NAB office, intensified the
recent controversy over the NAB chairman’s recent interview in which he had
claimed he was under severe pressure from government circles.
Abbasi had stated that they wanted justice for all and considered the NAB
chairman innocent until proven guilty. “Therefore, instead of a media trial, he
should be given a chance to clarify his position at the highest forum of the
country, which is the parliament,” Mr Abbasi had stated.
had said that initially PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif had posted a tweet to
ignore the leaked audio calling it a personal matter of the NAB chairman. But
then “serious links” surfaced that indicated there could be threats to the NAB
chairman, he said, alleging that the audio and video footage was first
broadcast on a TV channel, owned by a close friend and one of the advisers to
defending the government, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr
Firdous Ashiq Awan in a quick response to the ex-PM’s demand for the
parliamentary body to probe the matter had called the audio and the video “fake
and concocted”. She had termed it the work of an “organised gang” of criminals.
the National Assembly Secretariat issued a five-point agenda for today’s
sitting which includes a motion authorising the speaker to nominate 15 members
of the house to include them in the Parliamentary Committee to Protect
Minorities from Forced Conversions.
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan opened his three-day visit to Islamabad on
Sunday by recalling the strength of the bilateral relationship and expressing
the resolve that Pakistan and China would continue to safeguard each other’s
the first day of the trip, VP Wang inaugurated a number of projects along with
Prime Minister Imran Khan and the two leaders witnessed signing of several
after his arrival at Chaklala airbase, VP Wang spoke at a meeting of “Friends
of Silk Road” hosted by the Pakistan-China Institute.
matter how the international landscape changes, China and Pakistan will always
stay iron brothers that trust and support each other,” he told the political
leaders, opinion makers and representatives of think tanks, who had come to
attend the forum which, organisers say, links communities, academia, media and
Pakistan’s support for China at “critical moments”, Mr Wang said Beijing too
had always supported Pakistan on its “core interests”.
said the world was passing through a time of “major development,
transformation, and adjustment”. The situation, he emphasised, had been further
complicated by traditional and non-traditional challenges and conflict between
opposing schools of thought and culture.
Wang said China and Pakistan were all-weather strategic partners which would
cooperate with each other for development and that their joint undertaking
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a manifestation of those
noted the political and public support for the CPEC in both Pakistan and China.
“CPEC is a consensus that transcends political parties, regions and communities
across Pakistan. It also enjoys the most extensive and strongest support in
China,” he maintained.
had hosted the first meeting of the Political Parties Forum on the CPEC, which
was participated by 10 major political parties from Pakistan. The meeting had
concluded with the Beijing Declaration, in which all the participating parties
reiterated their support for the CPEC, agreed to further enhance intra-party
exchanges, discussions and cooperation and rejected negative propaganda against
his assessment of the progress on the CPEC and the recently launched second
phase, the Chinese leader observed: “CPEC has come a long way over the past
five years… CPEC is rapidly extending to new priority areas including
industrial parks and livelihoods.
will produce new outcomes and lend new impetus to economic and social
development of Pakistan and economic integration of the region,” he added.
on the occasion, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani called for strengthening
people-to-people relations alongside the linkages and infrastructure the two
countries were developing.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan-China friendship was anchored in
mutual interests, goals, values, desire for peace and prosperity and shared
experiences. He hoped that the ties would become stronger with the passage of
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mushahid Hussain, who also heads the
Pakistan-China Institute, said the presence of political leaders from all
parties and provinces in this gathering was an affirmation of the consensus
enjoyed by the CPEC across the board since it was a guarantor of a better
tomorrow for Pakistan and its people.
Hussain also congratulated Vice President Wang on the 70th anniversary of the
founding of the People’s Republic of China. Recollecting Chinese achievements
over the past seven decades, he said 750 million people were taken out of
poverty, a model foreign policy of non- interference in internal affairs of
other countries was pursued and cultural connectivity was promoted.
said Pakistan rejected any notion of “clash of civilisations” or a return to a
Cold War mentality.
Wang later called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. The two leaders after their
talks witnessed the signing of a number of agreements.
agreements signed by the two sides, according to the PM Office, included the
framework agreement on agricultural cooperation, the memorandum on the
requirements of foot and mouth disease-free zone; the letter of exchange of
disaster relief goods, China-Pakistan economic agreement and the agreement
between the China Machinery Engineering Corporation and the Balochistan
government and Lasbela University on modern agriculture comprehensive
development in Lasbela.
the occasion, different projects were inaugurated, including 660KV transmission
line project from Matiari to Lahore, Rashakai Special Economic Zone Project,
Huawei Technical Support Centre and Confucius Institute at University of
in the talks, PM Khan reiterated Pakistan’s “unwavering commitment” to the CPEC
and stressed the importance of further deepening bilateral economic and
commercial interaction, industrial collaboration and China’s investment in
Pakistan’s special economic zones.
President Wang expressed satisfaction at the increasing momentum of bilateral
engagement between the two countries.
two sides also exchanged views on the regional situation, including recent
developments in South Asia.
Dr Arif Alvi conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civil award of the
country, on Vice President Wang to recognise his services in promoting
Pak-China ties, adds APP.
award was conferred at a special investiture ceremony held at the President
House and attended by the Senate chairman, services chiefs, members of the
federal cabinet, parliamentarians and diplomats.
on his arrival at Nur Khan Air Base, Vice President Wang was accorded red
carpet welcome and received by Foreign Minister Qureshi and Planning Minister
reports of violence during a protest in North Waziristan on Sunday, the
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released a statement in the afternoon
saying that a check post in the area was assaulted by a group and in an
exchange of fire, three people were killed while 15 were injured ─
including five soldiers.
to the statement by the Army's media wing, MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir ─
both of whom are leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) ─
were leading the group.
group led by Mohsin Javed [Dawar] and Ali Wazir assaulted Kharqamar check post,
Boyya, North Waziristan tribal district this morning. They wanted to exert
pressure for release of suspected terrorists’ facilitator arrested the other
day," added the statement, without specifying who the suspect was.
at the check post exercised maximum restraint in the face of provocation and
direct firing on the post. Due to firing of the group, five Army soldiers got
injured. In exchange of fire, three individuals who attacked the post lost
their lives and 10 got injured," it said.
injured have been shifted to Army Hospital for treatment, said the ISPR
statement, adding that Ali Wazir along with 8 individuals have been arrested
while Mohsin Javed [Dawar] is at large.
while speaking to VOA Deewa, denied that the group opened fire and accused the
Army of initiating violence.
Khan, a core committee member of PTM, said that the protesters were unarmed and
innocent. "How can they reach Waziristan with arms when there is a check
post at every kilometre?" Khan asked.
general of ISPR, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, in the evening addressed the "North
Waziristan tribal district incident", saying that "innocent PTM
supporters/workers need care".
few are inciting and using them against state institutions for vested agenda.
No one will be allowed to undo the gains of decades long national struggle
& sacrifices especially of brave Pakistani tribals," Maj Gen Ghafoor
said via Twitter.
in the morning, reports of violence during a sit-in had started making rounds.
PTM sources had told Dawn.com that at least 20 people were injured after
violence erupted during a sit-in being held in North Waziristan's Doga Macha
sit-in staged by residents of the area against the alleged assault on a local
woman began on Saturday and was joined by workers of the PTM today. Sources
within the PTM said the protest was calm until MNAs Dawar and Wazir reached the
area to participate in the sit-in.
their arrival, protesters began sloganeering and the situation turned tense.
Unidentified individuals opened fire on the crowd of protesters, PTM sources
told Dawn.com, after which Wazir was taken into custody and Dawar received a
minor hand injury.
local news outlets reported that a clash had taken place between law
enforcement agencies and the PTM protesters, unverified visuals of the protest
and ensuing violence started circulating on social media.
curfew was imposed in North Waziristan following the incident, and landline,
internet and cellphone services have all been suspended, PTM and local sources
is a rights-based alliance that, besides calling for the de-mining of the
former tribal areas and greater freedom of movement in the latter, has insisted
on an end to the practices of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances
and unlawful detentions, and for their practitioners to be held to account
within a truth and reconciliation framework.
April, Prime Minister Imran had addressed a public gathering in Orakzai in
which he endorsed the grievances of Pashtuns, but said that agitation would not
yield any benefits.
rightly speaks about the hardships faced by the tribal areas and the Pashtun
people, but the manner in which they are making such demands is not good for
our country," the premier had said.
than two weeks later, the Army read out a charge sheet against PTM, accusing
the Pashtun ethnic rights movement of receiving funds from foreign intelligence
agencies and hinted at a possible action against it.
playing in others’ hands, their time is up. Their time is up,” Maj Gen Asif
Ghafoor had warned at the time. This was one of the most hard-hitting
statements against the PTM by the military to date, though in the past there
had been warnings to the group against crossing the proverbial ‘red line’.
Dawar, speaking on the floor of the house, had rejected the allegations
levelled by the military spokesman against the PTM and said his party was ready
for accountability before the parliament only.
to Dawar, the PTM was being targeted for making the Army accountable on the
issues of "missing persons in tribal areas, extrajudicial killings and
few days after the DG ISPR's press conference, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar
Javed Bajwa had said that while the PTM itself was "not an issue",
certain individuals "playing in foreign hands" were exploiting the
sentiments of people who have suffered hardships because of terrorism.
army chief had stressed that both the government and the security forces were
working to address the genuine issues of the residents of tribal areas
"regardless of where they come from".
to journalists in Larkana, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said:
"I'm sorry, what? How can Mohsin Dawar attack a checkpost? I don't think
an elected representative can conduct such an attack. And, if violence has
taken place, we surely condemn it. But, violence should also not take place
against peaceful citizens and political workers, whose right it is to hold a
peaceful protest. I will find out the facts.
have been saying since day one that you may disagree with them [PTM], you can
diagree with their point of view 100 per cent, you can argue with them. But, if
you will not engage with the young politicians who come from a place such as
Fata, if you will not attempt to reduce their grievances or justify their
misperceptions, then we have all seen what used to happen during the Musharraf
era in Balochistan. We have all seen what happened with Bangladesh, with East
Pakistan, following Ayub Khan's dictatorship. And now, if we will label our own
citizens, our own children, our own politicians traitors when they talk about
rights, democracy, civil rule of law, then we will set ourselves on a very
dangerous path," warned Bilawal.
Maryam Nawaz, a vice-president of the PML-N, in a series of tweets expressed
sorrow over the loss of lives and injury to multiple people.
Pakistani citizen's life is precious and his blood sacred. If blood is spilled,
the facts must be revealed to the nation. Love, peace, and understanding are
far more powerful than weapons. Have we not already paid a very heavy price for
crushing protests and stifling voices? May God have mercy on Pakistan,"
she wrote in the first of three tweets.
cannot remain tolerant of internal tensions. If on both sides there are sons of
Pakistan, then political and journalistic circles along with state institutions
will have to play a responsible role or else Pakistan may incur irreparable
damage," she added in a subsequent tweet.
Allah grant patience to the heirs of the deceased and health to all those
injured," she concluded in the last tweet.
Mengal, the president of the Balochistan National Party faction of his own name
(BNP-Mengal), also came forward on Twitter to condemn the attack on protesters.
condemn the attack on #PTM workers today. Attacking a peaceful demonstration is
in no way acceptable. Violence should not be used to scare those who use
peaceful ways to protest," he wrote.
Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, too, in a statement
released by his spokesperson expressed sympathy with the deceased and injured
in the attack.
the democratic world, people have the right to protest," he said, adding
that "stopping them from this [conducting a protest] is tantamount to
giving birth to incitement and extremism".
Pillion riding has been banned and the mobile phone service will also be
suspended in the provincial capital on Monday to ensure law and order on the
occasion of the martyrdom day of Hazrat Ali (AS) and the arrival of the Chinese
Vice-President Wang Qishan.
the provincial government had banned pillion riding in Lahore for two days on
Saturday because of security concerns on the occasion.
main procession to mark Youm-i-Ali (AS) will be taken out from Mochi Gate to
Karbala Gamey Shah outside the Bhatti Gate. It will pass through different
localities of the Walled City.
on Sunday said the arrival of the Chinese vice-president warranted additional
security measures. And, therefore, mobile telephone service would also remain
suspended in the city, especially in the downtown on Monday.
Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) retired Capt Arif Nawaz Khan on Sunday
issued a notification to all regional, city and district police officers for
making more effective security arrangements for Youm-i-Ali processions in the
province. He said all DPOs should be in field to improve security arrangements
and patrolling of sensitive worship places and important buildings.
ordered checking and video recording of the bus passengers entering Punjab from
other provinces and maintaining an archive of their data.
directed senior police officers that the process of checking should be
tightened near exit and entrance points of the province and districts,
especially at check posts on rivers.
IG ordered that it should be also ensured that no dubious person or vehicle
should be allowed to enter Punjab, whereas the DPOs of Bhakar, Mianwali and
Attock should monitor the process of video recording of passengers entering
directed all RPOs to ensure that all data of passengers entering their regions
should be made a part of the record.
said the record of the movement of passengers should be saved so that police
might trace wanted persons if needed.
IG said it was the responsibility of Lahore capital city police officer (CCPO)
to ensure video recording of passengers entering the city, designating spots
for the purpose so that traffic flow might not be disturbed.
Sung-Kyu, ambassador of the Republic of South Korea, hosted an Iftar dinner
Tourist Development Cooperation Chairman Zulfiqar Bukhar, who is also an
adviser to the prime minister, was invited to the dinner as chief guest.
event was attended by diplomats and guests from all walks of life, including
representatives from the tourism industry, higher education and cultural
Iftar dinner became special because various Korean food dishes were served,”
said a guest from the National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad.
student said he was interested in the K-Pop music competition and the Quiz on
Korea, both of which are supported by the embassy.
felt that tourism, education and cultural exchange were underlying themes of
the Iftar dinner,” said a Pakistani guest.
Following the attack on an army check post in North Waziristan a day earlier,
another military post was attacked in Makki Garh in North Waziristan’s Shawal
valley in the wee hours of Monday morning, resulting in the martyrdom of a
soldier, said an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release.
statement said that the terrorist attack was effectively repulsed while the
soldier embraced martyrdom during the exchange of fire.
military media wing further said that five dead bodies with bullet wounds have
been found from a nullah approximately 1.5 kilometers away from Khar Kamar post
where an army security post was attacked on Sunday.
identification of bodies is in process, the statement read.
one has claimed responsibility for the terror attack so far.
attack was carried out a day after at least three people were killed while
dozens, including five soldiers, were injured in a reported clash between army
personnel and activists of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) during a sit-in
in North Waziristan.
to a statement released by the ISPR, a check post in the area was allegedly
attacked by a group of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) members, and the
casualties and injuries were a result of the “exchange of fire between them and
statement added that Members of National Assembly (MNA) Mohsin Dawar and Ali
Wazir ─ both of whom are leaders of the PTM ─
were leading the protestors.
group led by Mohsin Javed [Dawar] and Ali Wazir assaulted Kharqamar check-post,
Boyya, North Waziristan tribal district this morning. They wanted to exert
pressure for the release of suspected terrorists’ facilitator arrested the
other day,” it read without disclosing the suspect’s identity.
AL-NUMAN/SYRIA: Regime airstrikes killed 12 civilians including four at a
market on Sunday in a militant bastion in northwest Syria, a war monitor said.
young girl was among those killed at the market in the town of Maaret Al-Numan
in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
other civilians were killed elsewhere by regime fire in Idlib, a stronghold of
Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, the Britain-based
is supposed to be protected from a massive government offensive by a September
buffer zone deal, but the opposition bastion has come under increasing
bombardment by the regime and its Russian ally since late April.
AFP reporter in Maaret Al-Numan saw a young man carry the arched body of what
appeared to be a young girl out over grey rubble after the airstrike.
man retrieved a distressed, dust-covered young girl, slung over his shoulder.
Witness Hamdu Mustafa said he was out shopping when the airstrike hit.
was “in the street selling and buying,” he told AFP.
planes targeted civilians who were buying food for their children,” he said.
Nearby, rescue workers known as the White Helmets directed a bulldozer to clear
the debris. Fighting has raged to the south of the bastion in recent days.
Sunday, regime forces took back control of the town of Kafr Nabuda in the north
of Hama province, the Observatory and state news agency SANA said.
and allied rebels overran part of the town in recent days, after the regime
first expelled them on May 8.
United Nations has warned that an all-out offensive on the Idlib region would
lead to a humanitarian catastrophe for its nearly three million residents.
Observatory says more than 230 civilians have been killed in the spike in
violence since the end of April.
than 200,000 civilians have already been displaced by this upsurge of violence,
the United Nations has said.
total of 20 health facilities have been hit by the escalation -- 19 of which
remain out of service, according to the UN.
Xber24 news website reported that the Russian troops have built four military
points in the city of Tal Rafat in Northern Syria to support the Syrian Army in
the war on terrorism.
pointed to the arrival of a large number of Russian Army forces together with
heavy weapons to the military points over the past two days and equipment of
these bases, and said that these forces have reinforced their military points
in the town of Kashta'ar in Northern Aleppo and some new commanders have also
been appointed to the mission.
it said that the Russian military reinforcements came as differences have
intensified between the Turkish and Russian sides after Ankara supported Tahrir
al-Sham in its attacks on the Syrian Army.
to a military source in Aleppo, the Syrian Army has also sent reinforcements
from the capital, Damascus, and Homs to the Southern countryside of the
province. The reinforcements have reportedly arrived at the key town of
source told Al-Masdar that the Syrian Army is preparing to launch an offensive
around the key town of Tal Al-‘Eis, which they briefly captured during their
late 2015 offensive.
a relevant development earlier today, a Russian newspaper in a report on
Ankara's attempt to arm terrorists in Northern Syria in flagrant violation of
the Sochi Agreement with Russia disclosed Turkey's support for militants'
attack on Humeimem Military Base in Lattakia Province.
declaring ceasefire by the Syrian Army in Idlib province on May 18, terrorists
launched rocket attacks on Russia's Humeimem military base which resulted in
emergency phone talks between the Russian and Turkish sides, the
Arabic-language service of Russia Today cited Russian daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta
added that a news website affiliated to Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) has released photos on the attack on
Humeimem military base as the rockets used in the attack bore Turkish-language
imprints. However, the pictures were taken off hours later.
report also noted that the attack on Humeimem military base had not been
possible without Ankara's support, and said that Turkey arms terrorists who are
fighting the Syrian government as Humeimem military base constantly comes under
attack by terrorists stationed in Idlib.
an expert of Russia's Strategic Research Center Vladimir Ivosif confirmed the
report, and said that terrorists' access to modern missile-launchers is only
possible from Turkey.
Middle East Online news website quoted two Syrian opposition leaders as saying
that Turkey has increased its military aid to terrorists in the last few days.
a senior militant commander said Turkey intends to maintain its influence in
Northwestern Syria, and said Ankara has reinforced its military presence in 12
military positions mentioned in the Sochi Agreement.
source also said that tens of armored vehicles, Grad missile launchers, guided
anti-tank missiles and TOW missiles have been sent to the militants for battle
against the Syrian Army in Kafar Naboudeh.
another militant also disclosed that the Turkish army has sent a military
convoy to a military base in Jbal al-Zawieh in Northern Hama.
a relevant development on Thursday, the Turkish army forces stationed in
truce-monitoring points in Shir al-Maqar in Jabal Shahshabou in Northwestern
Hama have cooperated with the terrorists in their recent attacks on the town of
Kafar Naboudeh, field sources in Northern Syria said.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted the sources as saying on Thursday
that Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra
Front) and Turkistani party were logistically supported from Shir al-Maqar
region in their move towards the Syrian army positions in Kafar Naboudeh,
adding that the Turkish soldiers participated in the terrorists' offensives by
artillery and missile fire on the Syrian army.
noted that the Turkish monitoring points in Northern Syria are used to monitor
the Syrian army moves and military and logistic assistance to the terrorists,
adding that a joint operation room consisting of Tahrir al-Sham, National
Liberation Front, Turkistani Party, Jeish al-Izza, Jeish al-Ahrar and other
terrorist groups has been formed.
the Arabic-language service of Sputnik quoted a field source as saying that the
Syrian army forces withdrew from Kafar Naboudeh on Wednesday after the
terrorists' repeated attacks.
added that all terrorists' moves are within the range of the Syrian army's
fire, noting that the army has strengthened its positions in Tal Hawash and
other fronts in Northern and Northwestern Hama to retake the region.
Syrian Army won control over Kafar Naboudeh only a few days after it made
strategic withdrawal from the key town.
Damascus Army's artillery and missile units launched heavy attacks on Tahrir
al-Sham's military positions and movements in Kafar Naboudeh in Northwestern
Hama and took control of the town, the Arabic-language website of Sputnik news
a military source also announced that the army troops also managed to kill at
least 30 terrorists and also destroy their military vehicles.
source also said that the Syrian Army has started strengthening its point in
the town and cleanse the region from remaining terrorists.
Thursday, field source in Northern Syria said that the Turkish army forces
stationed in truce-monitoring points in Shir al-Maqar in Jabal Shahshabou in
Northwestern Hama had cooperated with the terrorists in their recent attacks on
the town of Kafar Naboudeh.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted the sources as saying that Tahrir
al-Sham al-Hay'at and Turkistani party were logistically supported from Shir
al-Maqar region in their move towards the Syrian army positions in Kafar
Naboudeh, adding that the Turkish soldiers participated in the terrorists'
offensives by artillery and missile fire on the Syrian army.
air strikes killed 12 civilians including four at a market on Sunday in an
extremist bastion in northwest Syria, a war monitor said.
young girl was among those killed at the market in the town of Maaret al-Numan
in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
other civilians were killed elsewhere by government fire in Idlib, a stronghold
of Syria’s former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Britain-based
is supposed to be protected from a massive government offensive by a September
buffer zone deal, but the extremist bastion has come under increasing
bombardment by the regime and its Russian ally since late April.
AFP reporter in Maaret al-Numan saw a young man carry the arched body of what
appeared to be a young girl out over grey rubble after the air strike.
man retrieved a distressed, dust-covered young girl, slung over his shoulder.
Hamdu Mustafa said he was out shopping when the air strike hit.
planes targeted civilians who were buying food for their children,” he said.
rescue workers known as the White Helmets directed a bulldozer to clear the
has raged to the south of the bastion in recent days.
and allied armed groups overran part of the town in recent days, after the
regime first expelled them on May 8.
unfreezes assets of Mubarak-era interior minister
has unfrozen the assets of its Hosni Mubarak-era interior minister, who was
acquitted on all corruption-related charges earlier this month, a judicial
source confirmed Sunday.
Illicit Gains Authority decided last Thursday to lift freezes on Habib
al-Adly’s assets and those of aides who were key players in the graft that
dominated Egypt under long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
is free to walk, with no cases or charges against him at the moment,” the
judicial source told AFP.
behemoth security apparatus was accused of systematic torture and repression of
dissent, helping fuel the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak.
May, a court fined the former minister 500 Egyptian pounds (about $29) on
charges of abusing public funds.
was sentenced in April 2017 to seven years in prison along with 10 other former
officials, for embezzling about $122 million.
his case was thrown out, with the court citing procedural errors, and a retrial
was ordered last year.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi arrived on Sunday in Oman and discussed
“regional developments” with Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the sultanate’s
minister responsible for foreign affairs, the state-run Oman News Agency
visit comes as part of Araghchi’s tour which will also include Qatar and
Alawi said earlier this week that his country is trying “with other parties” to
calm tensions between the United States and Iran.
least five people have lost their lives and eight others sustained injuries
when a truck bomb ripped through a popular market in Iraq’s northern province
Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement that the attack took place
on Sunday afternoon, when a truck rigged with explosives was detonated at a
crowded marketplace in the village of al-Uwaynat near the town of Rabiaa.
forces immediately cordoned off the site of the attack, and ambulance workers
ferried the wounded to a nearby hospital.
were no immediate claims of responsibility for Sunday’s attack, but such
assaults bear the hallmark of those carried out by Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations
against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which
served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi
fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of
fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 that year.
forces have discovered a long tunnel once used by Takfiri terrorists during a
clean-up operation in the country’s western province of Hama.
official news agency SANA reported that army soldiers found the 20-meter deep
and 50-meter long tunnel on Sunday as they were combing Qalaat al-Madiq town of
hidden ordnance and remnants of terror groups.
tunnel incorporated a detention facility with several rooms, where extremists
apparently used to hold civilians in captivity and torment them. Command
centers for high-ranking militants were found inside the tunnel as well.
government forces could recover various kinds of munitions in addition to
improvised cannon from the site.
forces wrest control over Kafr Nabudah town in Hama
Syrian army troops have managed to establish full control over Kafr Nabudah
town in Hama province after eliminating the last remnants of the Jabhat Fateh
al-Sham terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, there.
reported that government forces scored the victory following intense clashes
with the Takfiris, which inflicted heavy losses upon the latter’s ranks.
govt. forces discover militant weapons cache in Kirkat village
Syrian government forces have discovered a considerable amount of munitions
left behind by Takfiri militants in Kirkat village of Hama province.
ammunition included mortars, BM-21 Grad rockets and artillery shells.
and Iran have stressed on cooperation between the two neighboring countries to
prevent a war that could jeopardize stability in the Middle East region.
common stance was reiterated during a Saturday meeting between Iraqi Prime
Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in
media office of the Iraqi premier said on its Facebook page that during the
meeting, the two officials discussed the recent regional developments,
especially with regards to an international nuclear agreement on Iran’s nuclear
two elaborated that the deal, technically known as the JCPOA and signed in 2015
between Iran and world powers, should be preserved in the face of the United
States' unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.
and Zarif reiterated that both Iran and Iraq have been affected by US sanctions
on Tehran, which began following the US government’s withdrawal from the JCPOA
last year, while stressing that a potential military conflict between the US
and Iran over the issue could have far-reaching consequences for the entire
Middle East region.
two said there was a need for increased security cooperation between Iran and
Iraq to defuse the current tensions and increase regional stability.
report said that parts of the meeting was dedicated to a review of efforts in
Iraq and Iran to follow up on the agreements signed during a recent trip of
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Iraq and a last year visit by Abdul-Mahdi
to the Iranian capital Tehran.
Iranian foreign minister also discussed regional developments and bilateral
relations during a meeting with Iraqi President Barham Salih.
between Iran and Iraq have expanded rapidly over the past few years despite a
continuous campaign of pressure on Baghdad by US government and allies in the
has also played a major role in restoring stability in Iraq by helping the Arab
country in its large-scale battle against terrorism since 2014.
US military presence in the Middle East is at its “weakest in history”, a
deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was on Sunday quoted by the
semi-official news agency Fars as saying.
President Donald Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, and his
administration says it has built up the US military presence in the region.
accuses Iran of threats to US troops and interests. Tehran has described US
moves as “psychological warfare” and a “political game”.
Americans have been present in the region since 1833 and they are now at their
weakest in history in West Asia,” said Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, a deputy Guards
commander, according to Fars.
Vice President Mike Pence has indicated that America’s might extend its ongoing
military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, telling young military graduates
that they should look forward to see combat in those two countries and other
parts of the world. Addressing a group of graduates at the US Military Academy
West Point in New York on Saturday, Pence said the young cadets should expect
to fight America’s wars abroad.
of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan
and Iraq,” he said, using a term coined by the administration of US President
Donald Trump for Daesh and other terror outfits fighting in the Middle East.
remarks came days after Washington unveiled plans to send another 1,500 troops
to the Middle East, where it’s already engaged in years-long battled that have
so far failed to yield meaningful results.
war in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 and has been churning on over the past
18 years, is the longest war in the US history.
attacked Afghanistan with the declared aim of ending the rule of the Taliban in
the country. Today, however, the militant group remains in control of large parts
of the country and is stepping up its attacks on foreign and Afghan security
forces by day.
importantly, Pence’s remarks ran in contrast with Trump’s announcement last
year that he was withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan now that Daesh
had been defeated.
under pressure at home, has retracted his stances ever since, saying he is open
to keeping some troops in Syria and delaying the Afghanistan withdrawal.
on Western Hemisphere
also suggested during his speech that the graduates could see combat on the
Western hemisphere as well.
is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some
point in your life,” Pence said. “You will lead soldiers in combat. It will
happen. Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere.”
the only possibility of a possible war involving the US on the Western
Hemisphere is in Venezuela and on America's own border with Mexico.
Trump administration has so far refused to rule out the possibility of military
action in Venezuela, where US-backed opposition leader and self-proclaimed
president Juan Guaido has been trying to bring down the legitimate government
of President Nicolas Maduro.
additions to sanctions against Maduro and his government, Washington officials
have left the door open on possible military intervention.
have even called on the Venezuelan military to take up arms and stage a coup.
United States will not tolerate hostile foreign military powers meddling with
the Western Hemisphere’s shared goals of democracy, security, and the rule of
law. The Venezuelan military must stand
with the people of Venezuela.
AM - Mar 26, 2019
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Venezuela, the US has als o faced the possibility of a military conflict on its
southern border with Mexico, where thousands of troops have been stationed over
the past few months as part of Trump’s policy to curb illegal immigration.
told the cadets that Trump was the “best friend” they had.
“As you accept the mantle of leadership I
promise you, your commander in chief will always have your back,” he said. “President
Donald Trump is the best friend the men and women of our armed forces will ever
vice president said Trump had proposed a $750 billion military budget for 2020
because under his leadership the US “is once again embracing our role as the
leader of the free world”.
ceremony was Pence’s second visit to West Point and his first as commencement
speaker. Trump has yet to visit the academy himself.
2002, then President George W. Bush used the graduation ceremony to outline his
doctrine of pre-emptive military intervention. A year later, he authorized the
US military to invade Iraq.
stands by Iran against U.S. sanctions, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Alhakim
held talks in Baghdad with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, who arrived in
the Iraqi capital on Saturday for discussions with Iraqi officials.
top Iraqi diplomat said bilateral relations between Baghdad and Tehran were the
focus of Zarif's visit to Iraq.
are against the U.S. sanctions against Iran," Alhakim said.
believe economic sanctions against Iran are not helpful," he said.
"Communications are underway with regional states to reach a satisfactory
solution to all parties."
for his part, described his talks with Iraqi officials as "very
said both Tehran and Baghdad have started to build a railway between the two
between Washington and Tehran have mounted steadily since U.S. President Donald
Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from a landmark nuclear agreement between
Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council
members plus Germany).
warns of ‘danger of war’ as Iran’s FM visits Baghdad
Iraqi leaders have warned of the risks of war during a visit by Iranian Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose country is locked in a tense standoff with
the United States.
visit to neighbouring Iraq — which is caught in the middle of its two allies, the
US and Iran — follows a decision by Washington to deploy 1,500 additional
troops to the Middle East.
are currently repelling all the efforts of war against Iran, whether economic
or military,” Zarif said at a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart
Mohammed Ali al-Hakim. “We will face them with strength and we will resist,” he
his part, Hakim said: “We stand by our neighbour Iran, and economic sanctions
are unnecessary and cause great suffering to the Iranian people.” Iraqi Prime Minister
Adel Abdel Mahdi warned of the “danger of a war” during a meeting with Zarif on
Saturday night, his office said.
Mahdi pleaded for the “stability of the region and the upholding of the nuclear
deal,” it said, referring to a 2015 agreement between Tehran and major powers.
President Barham Saleh discussed with Zarif “the need to prevent all war or
escalation,” his office said.
Saturday, Zarif called the deployment of extra US troops to the region “very
dangerous and a threat to international peace and security.” It follows a US
decision in early May to send an aircraft carrier strike force and B-52 bombers
in a show of force against what Washington’s leaders believed was an imminent
Iranian plan to attack US assets.
says the latest reinforcements are in response to a “campaign” of recent
attacks including a rocket launched into the Green Zone in Baghdad, explosive
devices that damaged four tankers near the entrance to the Gulf, and drone
strikes by Yemeni rebels on a key Saudi oil pipeline. Iran has denied any
May 15, the United States ordered the evacuation of non-emergency staff from
its Baghdad embassy and Arbil consulate, citing an “imminent” threat from
Iranian-linked armed groups in Iraq, two of which rejected the claim.
the three-year battle to oust the militant Islamic State group from Iraqi
cities, Iran-backed militias on the ground effectively fought on the same side
as US-led coalition warplanes in the skies.
since Iraq declared victory over the jihadists in December 2017, relations
between Washington and Tehran have deteriorated sharply.
May last year, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the landmark nuclear
deal with Iran and later re-instated tough sanctions. Zarif was due to meet representatives
of Iraq’s different political forces as well as religious dignitaries in
Karbala and Najaf in southern Iraq during his visit through Monday.
Marat, the head of Hamas overseas information office, welcomed Nasrallah's
invitation for Lebanese-Palestinian talks on standing against the Deal of
Century and defend the refugees' right of return.
invitation was raised at a proper time and the Lebanese-Palestinian talks is
the best and strongest way to confront the Deal of Century and its
outcomes," he added.
also warned of attempts to impose the forced accommodation of refugees and
ignoring their right of return by the Deal of Century plan.
remarks came after the secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance
movement said Israeli authorities had described his group as “a strategic
threat” to the Tel Aviv regime in an attempt to mobilize support and provoke
the international community against it.
his supporters via a televised speech broadcast live from the Lebanese capital
of Beirut on Saturday evening, Seyed Hassan Nasrallah stated that the United
States and the Zionist regime (of Israel) were conspiring against Hezbollah in
a bid to weaken popular support for the movement.
stressed that Hezbollah had stood firm in the face of US and Israeli hegemonic
schemes for the Middle East region.
United States would have offered southern Lebanon to Israel if Hezbollah did
not exist. Lebanon is not in a position of weakness. We are standing up for our
rights concerning Sheba'a Farms, Kfarchouba village as well as the northern
section of Ghajar (village),” Nasrallah said.
can stop the Zionist regime (of Israel) from plundering its oil and gas
reserves,” the Hezbollah secretary-general added.
further highlighted that his movement fully supports the Palestinian cause and
the Palestinian right of return to their homes.
also called on people worldwide to turn out en masse for International Quds Day
on a forthcoming US-led conference in Bahrain next month in support of US
President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for “peace” between the Israeli
regime and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century”, Nasrallah emphasized
that the initiative is aimed at liquidation of the Palestinian cause.
Hezbollah chief also praised the position of Bahraini scholars, members of the
public as well as political factions in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom to have
expressed their strong objection to hosting the June 25-26 conference in
in his remarks, Nasrallah said the Lebanese nation rejects permanent settlement
of Palestinian refugees in the country, stressing that the latter must not give
up on the right to return to their homeland.
former Israeli army officer admits that Israel’s military, with the help of
militants in Syria, assassinated Samir Kuntar, a commander of Lebanese
Hezbollah resistance movement, during air raids in 2015.
to UK-based Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, the ex-army officer Marco Morno
said the operation was carried out with information from “one of the leaders of
the Syrian opposition factions.”
attack was conducted by two warplanes that bombed a building with four
long-range missiles in Jaramana, near Damascus, in late 2015.
was helping the Syrian government forces and Hezbollah fight back
foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists in the Arab country.
Kuntar, the longest serving Arab prisoner in Israeli jails, was killed in a
terrorist rocket attack targeting a building in the southern parts of Jaramana,
Damascus countryside,” the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported at
spent about 30 years in Israeli prisons and was released in 2008 as part of a
swap deal between Tel Aviv and Hezbollah in exchange for the bodies of two
Israeli soldiers killed during the 2006 war.
to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-militant monitoring
group, Kuntar had been the target of various failed Israeli assassination
attempts in Syria.
who was responsible for communicating with Syrian militants, revealed the
details of Kuntar’s assassination during an interview with an Israeli news site
on Thursday. The information he disclosed was allowed to be published under
has been effectively helping the Syrian government in its fight against
May 2016, Mustafa Badr al-Deen, a Hezbollah commander, was killed in an Israeli
air raid on the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Aviv frequently attacks military targets inside Syria in what is considered as
an attempt to prop up Takfiri terrorist outfits that have been suffering heavy
defeats against Syrian government forces.
reports have also emerged of the discovery of Israeli-made weapons and military
equipment during clean-up operations by the Syrian army.
occupying regime has been providing medical treatment to extremist elements wounded
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
is one of the main backers of anti-government militants in Syria.
Saturday, senior militant sources said Turkey has equipped an array of
terrorists it backs with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them try to repel a
major Syrian assault.
delivery of dozens of armored vehicles, Grad rocket launchers, anti-tank guided
missiles and so-called TOW missiles, helped roll back some army gains and
retake the strategically located town of Kfar Nabouda, one senior militant
separatist figure jailed in Turkey has called for an end to the hunger strikes
staged by a number of Kurdish legislators and prisoners in the country in
solidarity with him.
Ocalan, 71, said in a statement read out by one of his lawyers at a press
conference in Istanbul on Sunday morning that he expected those on strike to
end the protest action.
who have committed themselves to hunger strikes and death fasts, I expect you
to end your protest,” he said.
the co-founder of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been serving
a life sentence for treason in a prison on Imrali Island off Istanbul since his
capture in 1999.
along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a
terrorist group and banned it.
PKK, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984, accepted a
shaky ceasefire with Ankara, but the truce collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on
Turkish security forces have continued since then.
protest against Ocalan’s prison conditions and in an attempt to end his
detention, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Leyla Guven
went on a hunger strike in November last year. She was herself behind bars at
the time but was later released.
action reportedly grew to involve several lawmakers and some 3,000 Kurds held
in different prisons across Turkey.
call to end the mass strike came after he was allowed to see his legal
representatives for the first time in eight years — on May 2 and 22 — one of
the key demands of the strikers.
then told his lawyers that the hunger strikes “had achieved their goal” and
called for them to end.
commentators suggested that Ankara’s decision to allow lawyers to visit the PKK
leader could be an attempt to win over Kurdish constituencies by the ruling
Justice and Development Party (AKP).
has arrested some 16,500 Palestinian children since the outbreak of the Second
Intifada (uprising) in late-2000, a study says.
Farwana, a Palestinian ex-prisoner and researcher at the Detainees and
Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission, said in a 26-page study that during the last
decade (2000-2010), at least 700 cases of arrest had been documented annually,
the Palestinian Information Center reported on Sunday.
added that the number of cases made a sharp jump to 1,250 “in the last eight
second Intifada began on September 18, 2000 and was known as the al-Aqsa
Intifada. It was sparked by former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s visit
to the al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
further said that all facts and statistics confirmed that there was a
systematic arrest policy adopted by the Israeli regime in targeting Palestinian
children, and that the number of child detainees had increased steadily since
2000 and significantly since 2011.
also revealed that since 1967, Israeli forces had arrested some 50,000
Palestinian children, a policy adopted against Palestinian children with the
aim of destroying their life and future.
occupied the West Bank as well as East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War
in 1967. It later annexed the Palestinian city in a move not recognized by the
lays claim to the whole city, but the Palestinians view its eastern sector as
the capital of their future sovereign state.
President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli “capital” in
December 2017 and moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the ancient city
in May 2018, sparking global condemnations as well as protests by Palestinians.
in March, the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, said that around 40 children had
been killed and hundreds more wounded in one year of anti-occupation protest
rallies along the fence that separates the besieged Gaza Strip and the
official website of Ansarullah movement quoted a Yemeni military official as
saying that the reconnaissance drone of the Saudi-Emirati coalition was flying
over the Eastern areas of al-Doud in Saudi Arabia's Southwestern border region
of Jizan this morning, and was targeted by air defense units of the Yemeni Army
and Ansarulah Popular Forces.
on Sunday, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported that Yemeni
drones conducted an attack on Jizan military airbase in Southwestern Saudi
report added that the attack was carried out by a Qasef-2K combat drone.
drone hit the shelters and reinforced hangars of the Saudi jet fighters which
were used in airstrikes against Yemeni civilian areas.
last three drone attacks of the last week on Saudi airbases were conducted
against Najran airport.
airport was opened in 1981 but Saudi Arabia has been using it as an airbase to
conduct airstrikes against Yemen in the last 5 years. Riyadh is currently
constructing a three-storied civilian airport near the Red Sea in Jizan.
Thurday, Al-Masirah TV reported that Yemen's Ansarullah movement launched a
drone attack on a Patriot missile battery in the airport of the Saudi city of
Najran near the Yemeni border.
attack was carried out by Qasef-2K drones and was successful as it hit the
Saudi Arabia’s Patriot missile system inside Najran airport in Southern Saudi
Arabia on Thursday.
was the third strike by Ansarullah Movement in a week, the first one was on
Tuesday when the Najran base's ammunition depot was hit and the Saudi fighter
jets were hit in their hangar in Najran base on Wednesday.
resistance group has stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's
targets over the past ten days in a resurgence of tactics that had largely
subsided since late last year amid United Nations-led peace efforts.
Ansarullah movement has warned that its recent attack on a major Saudi oil
facility was the start of operations against 300 vital targets in Saudi Arabia
and the UAE.
Ansarullah said on Sunday its drone attack on pumping stations of the Saudi
state oil company Aramco was the start of operations against 300 vital targets.
group added that other planned targets include military headquarters and
facilities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of former
Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters,
Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
Weddings, funerals, schools and hospitals, as well as water and electricity
plants, have been targeted, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands.
to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project
(ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has
claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
the Children, a charity, has reported that more than 84,700 children under the
age of five may have starved to death in Yemen since the Saudi regime and a
coalition of its allies launched the brutal war on the already-impoverished
the United States, the United Kingdom and some other Western countries have
faced criticisms over arms sales to the Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose
aggression against Yemen has affected 28 million people and caused what the
United Nations calls “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world".
According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in
more than 100 years.
of Israelis protested on Saturday against legislative steps that could grant
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immunity from prosecution and limit the power
of the country’s Supreme Court.
demonstration in Tel Aviv was attended by nearly all opposition parties, a rare
show of unity for Israel’s splintered political system. Police did not say how
many people attended. A Reuters photographer estimated about 20,000 were
present, while organizers put the figure at 80,000.
office for the past decade, Netanyahu won a fifth term in April despite an
announcement by Israel’s attorney general in February that he intended to
charge him with fraud and bribery. The prime minister is a suspect in three
has denied wrongdoing, calling the allegations a political witch-hunt. The
right-wing leader has said that with a renewed public mandate to govern he has
no plans to resign, even if charged.
the prime minister is under no legal obligation to step down if charged,
Netanyahu loyalists in his Likud party have pledged to seek parliamentary
immunity from prosecution for him while he is in office.
legal challenges, they also have been advocating legislation that would annul
any Supreme Court ruling rescinding immunity.
the election, Netanyahu has not said whether he would seek immunity.
May 13, Netanyahu said on Twitter that his policy had always been to preserve a
strong and independent Supreme Court, but that changes were needed in order to
restore the balance between Israel’s executive, legislative and judiciary
opposition has described any attempt to shield Netanyahu or put limitations on
Israel’s highest court as threats to Israeli democracy.
Lapid, one of the leaders of the main opposition party, the centrist Blue and
White, said on Saturday at the demonstration that Netanyahu was trying to crush
the Supreme Court in order to keep out of prison. “He’s destroying the
country,” Lapid said. “We won’t let him.”
is trying to form a new coalition with right-wing, ultranationalist and
religious parties that would give him control of 65 of the 120 seats in
parliament, which has already been sworn in.
Saudi Air Defense has shot down a drone launched by the Houthis targeting the
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Airport in Jazan.
attack comes just days after the Arab Coalition’s spokesperson confirmed that
the Saudi Air Defense intercepted a drone carrying explosives that was launched
by Houthis in an attempt to target Najran airport.
Turki al-Maliki, the coalition’s spokesperson, has said that Houthis
deliberately target dignitaries, civilians, and civil facilities
systematically, warning the Iran-backed militia not to continue targeting,
otherwise, there will be a strong response.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on Sunday on what he termed
a “final effort” to break a deadlock on forming a governing coalition ahead of
a Wednesday deadline for a deal.
power for the past decade, Netanyahu has unexpectedly struggled to seal an
agreement with a clutch of right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish
parties that would align with his Likud party and ensure him a fifth term
following Israel’s April 9 election.
between former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s ultranationalist Yisrael
Beitenu party and United Torah Judaism over a military conscription bill
governing exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students have plunged
the coalition talks into stalemate.
has long said ultra-Orthodox men must share other Israeli Jews’ burden of
mandatory service. Ultra-Orthodox parties say seminary students should be
largely exempt from conscription as they have been since Israel was founded in
42-day deadline mandated by law to announce a new government expires on
Wednesday, and President Reuven Rivlin can then assign the task to another
legislator after consultations with the leaders of political parties.
could open the way for former military chief Benny Gantz, leader of the
centrist Blue and White party, to try. But he would need the backing of some of
Likud’s allies to persuade Rivlin he could put together a ruling majority in
and Blue and White each won 35 of the Knesset’s 120 seats seats in the April
ballot, but Netanyahu was seen as having clinched victory because of the
right-wing majority that emerged.
a video published on Twitter on Sunday, Netanyahu said he had invited all of
his negotiating partners to meet him in “a final attempt to form a right-wing
government” and avoid “an unnecessary election.”
Likud source said the sessions would be held later in the day and on Monday.
to the negotiations, Likud announced preparations for a possible national
ballot, with November already touted by political analysts as a likely date.
lawmaker Miki Zohar released a draft of a dissolution bill that he said he was
submitting to parliament, but no date for a vote in the legislature was
announced. Likud said its secretariat would meet on Tuesday “to prepare for an
political commentators saw those moves as an attempt to pressure Likud’s
negotiating partners into a deal, given the possibility of a voter backlash
against another national ballot so soon after the previous one and the
uncertainty of the election’s outcome in a country riven by divisions.
scheduling of an election — and Likud could face an uphill battle for the
necessary 61 votes in parliament to pass a dissolution resolution — would
pre-empt a coalition-building assignment from Rivlin and ensure Netanyahu
remains as interim prime minister until a new government is formed.
group calls probe into mosque fire in Germany
association IGMG has called for a complete and thorough investigation into
suspected arson attack on May 25 at a mosque in the western German city of Hagen.
urge the law enforcement authorities to conduct a swift and thorough
investigation, to trace the perpetrators and put them behind the bar,” IGMG's
President Kemal Ergun said in a statement.
group's mosque in Hagen has suffered serious damage after an unidentified
person set fire to garbage bins in front of the building.
camera footage released on Saturday showed a man with two dogs walking near the
garbage bins before the fire.
has witnessed growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants in recent years
triggered by the far-right parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee
crisis and terrorism.
recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year. At least 54 Muslims were
injured in the attacks, which were carried out mostly by far-right extremists.
a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population
in Western Europe after France. Among the country's nearly 4.7 million Muslims,
3 million are of Turkish origin.
Iraqi court on Sunday sentenced three French citizens to death after they were
found guilty of joining ISIS, a court official said.
in Syria by a US-backed force fighting the extremists, they are the first
French ISIS members to receive death sentences in Iraq, where they were
transferred for trial.
as Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou, they have 30 days to appeal.
has taken custody of thousands of extremists repatriated in recent months from
neighboring Syria, where they were caught by the US-backed Syrian Democratic
Forces during the battle to destroy the ISIS “caliphate”.
courts have placed on trial hundreds of foreigners, condemning many to life in
prison and others to death, although no foreign ISIS members have yet been
sentenced on Sunday were among 12 French citizens who were caught in Syria and
transferred to Iraqi custody in February.
groups including Human Rights Watch have criticized Iraq's anti-terror trials,
which they say often rely on circumstantial evidence or confessions obtained
country remains in the top five “executioner” nations in the world, according
to an Amnesty International report in April.
a leading donor and member of the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan, has been
talking with the Taliban and the Afghan government in an effort to restart
peace talks to end 18 years of conflict, officials said.
the Taliban have been talking with US officials since October about a
withdrawal of international troops, they have so far refused formal talks with
the Western-backed government, which they dismiss as a “puppet” regime.
special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Markus Potzel, has visited
Kabul for talks with the Afghan government and met Taliban officials in Doha at
least twice this month.
current chance for a process towards a more peaceful Afghanistan should not be
missed. If the friends of Afghanistan - and Germany is one of them - together
can help in this effort, then we should do it,” Potzel said.
the end only the Afghans themselves, including the Taliban, can decide upon the
future of their country.”
chief US negotiator in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, in March said that a
draft agreement had been reached on a withdrawal of US forces in exchange for a
commitment by the Taliban to cut ties with militant groups such as Al Qaeda.
there has been no agreement yet on a ceasefire or a start to talks between the
Afghan government and the Taliban, both seen as key conditions for a
Afghan delegation had been due to meet Taliban officials in the Qatari capital
Doha last month to build the basis for possible negotiations, but the meeting
was cancelled at the last minute after a dispute over the number of
realise that US-Taliban talks will gain momentum only if the insurgent leaders
start engaging with the Afghan representatives,” a senior German official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, said that
Germany was one among several countries to have offered help to seek a peaceful
resolutions. The European Union and Indonesia are among those to have offered
help, another Taliban official said, declining to be named.
were held with Germany about an Afghan-Taliban meeting in Germany but no
decision has been made, Shaheen told Reuters.
moves come at a time when the Taliban controls or exercises influence over more
than half of Afghanistan.
least 3,804 civilians were killed in the war last year, according to a United
Nations report, plus thousands of soldiers, police and Taliban militants.
involvement of Germany, the second-largest donor and an influential member of
the 39-member NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan, follows concern among several
US allies at being excluded from the talks.
which last year spent 23 billion euros ($25.76 billion) in integrating hundreds
of thousands of refugees from countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria,
also has pressing domestic reasons for promoting peace. Next year, parliament
will have to approve the continued presence of 1,200 German troops in
BERLIN: Germany, a leading donor and member of the NATO-led coalition in
Afghanistan, has been talking with the Taliban and the Afghan government in an
effort to restart peace talks to end 18 years of conflict, officials said.
the Taliban have been talking with US officials since October about withdrawal
of international troops, they have so far refused formal talks with the
Western-backed government, which they dismiss as a “puppet” regime.
current chance for a process toward a more peaceful Afghanistan should not be
missed. If the friends of Afghanistan — and Germany is one of them — together
can help in this effort, then we should do it,” Potzel said.
the end, only the Afghans themselves, including the Taliban, can decide upon
the future of their country.”
chief US negotiator in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, in March said that a
draft agreement had been reached on a withdrawal of US forces in exchange for a
commitment by the Taliban to cut ties with militant groups such as Al-Qaeda.
there has been no agreement yet on a cease-fire or a start to talks between the
Afghan government and the Taliban, both seen as key conditions for a
Afghan delegation had been due to meet Taliban officials in the Qatari capital
Doha last month to build the basis for possible negotiations, but the meeting
was canceled at the last minute after a dispute over the number of
realize that US-Taliban talks will gain momentum only if the insurgent leaders
start engaging with the Afghan representatives,” a senior German official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, said that
Germany was one among several countries to have offered help to seek a peaceful
EU and Indonesia are among those to have offered help, another Taliban official
said, declining to be named.
subjected to abuse
captives held by the Taliban have been subjected to abuse, ill-treatment and
actions that may amount to torture, the UN said on Sunday.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said it interviewed 13 detainees from a
group of 53 recently rescued from the Taliban, mainly members of Afghan forces
but also civilians and government officials captured by the insurgents.
group was freed on April 25 when Afghan troops raided a Taliban-run detention
facility in the Khas Uruzgan district in southern Uruzgan province.
of the captives were held since 2018, with three since 2016, the UNAMA
statement said, adding they were kept in poor conditions and subjected to
forced labor. It cites the detainees as saying that the Taliban killed some of
am gravely concerned about these serious allegations of ill-treatment, torture
and unlawful killing of civilians and security personnel, as well as the
deplorable conditions of detention,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of
British Conservative Party donor has been charged with funding terrorist
organisations, illegal arms dealing, fraud and money-laundering in Bangladesh.
Shahid Uddin Khan, 55, of Wimbledon, south-west London, was a former colonel in
the Bangladeshi army.
is facing jail in his homeland after his Dhaka property was raided by
counter-terrorism police in January.
to British paper The Sunday Times, Mr Khan has donated £20,000 (Dh93,395) to
the Conservative party and has lived in the UK capital since 2009, when he
bought a multimillion-pound “golden visa” to ensure he and his family could
stay in the country.
police say they found detonators, weapons, radical literature linked to Al
Qaeda and fake Bangladeshi currency in Mr Khan’s home.
says Taliban captives in Afghanistan subjected to abuse
Afghanistan: The UN says Taliban captives in Afghanistan have been subjected to
abuse, ill-treatment and actions that may amount to torture.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says it interviewed 13 detainees from a
group of 53 recently rescued from the Taliban. They were mainly members of the
Afghan forces but also civilians and government officials captured by the
UNAMA statement, released on Sunday, says most of the captives were held since
2018, with three since 2016. It says they were kept in poor conditions and
subjected to forced labor. The statement cites the detainees as saying that the
Taliban killed some of their captives.
Afghan Special Forces carried out an operation in south-eastern Paktika
province of Afghanistan killing at least 15 Taliban militants.
Afghan special forces raid in Bermal district resulted in 15 Taliban fighters
killed and large amount of weapons and explosives destroyed,” the informed
military sources said Sunday.
the meantime, the security forces carried out an airstrike in south-eastern
Ghazni province killing at least four Taliban militants.
strike in Andar district of Ghazni killed 4 Taliban fighters and destroyed 1
vehicle,” the sources added.
series of airstrikes were carried out in southern Helmand province killing at
least 6 Taliban fighters.
informed military sources said Sunday that an airstrike in Musa Qala district
killed 4 Taliban fighters.
sources further added that the security forces carried out a similar airstrike
in Sangin district killing at least two Taliban fighters.
security forces carried out the airstrikes amid ongoing operations of the
Afghan Special Forces. “In an Afghan special forces raid in Nad ‘Ali district,
14 IEDs, 250kg of explosives, IED components and weapons were destroyed,” the
Afghan Special Forces conducted an operation in central Wardak province of
Afghanistan killing at least 4 Taliban fighters, the security officials said
Afghan special forces operation in Jalrayz district resulted in 3 Taliban
fighters killed and 9 detained,” the officials said.
security officials further added that “Afghan forces killed 12 Taliban fighters
during at attack on a checkpoint in Muhammad Agahah district of Logar
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operation and clash in Logar and Wardak provinces so far.
Logar and Wardak are among the relatively volatile provinces in South of
has granted early release to seven soldiers jailed for the killing of 10
Rohingya Muslim men and boys during a 2017 military crackdown in the western
state of Rakhine, two prison officials, two former fellow inmates and one of
the soldiers told Reuters.
soldiers were freed in November last year, the two inmates said, meaning they
served less than one year of their 10-year prison terms for the killings at Inn
also served less jail time than two Reuters reporters who uncovered the
killings. The journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, spent more than 16 months
behind bars on charges of obtaining state secrets. The two were released in an
amnesty on May 6.
Naing, the chief warden at Rakhine's Sittwe Prison, and a senior prison
official in the capital, Naypyitaw, confirmed that the convicted soldiers had
not been in prison for some months.
punishment was reduced by the military," said the senior Naypyitaw
official, who declined to be named.
prison officials declined to provide further details and said they did not know
the exact date of the release, which was not announced publicly.
seven soldiers were the only security personnel the military has said it has
punished over the 2017 operation in Rakhine, which drove more than 730,000
Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. UN investigators said the crackdown was
executed with "genocidal intent" and included mass killings, gang
rapes and widespread arson.
denies widespread wrongdoing and officials have pointed to the jailing of the
seven soldiers in the Inn Din case as evidence Myanmar security forces do not
would say that we took action against every case we could investigate,"
the military's commander in chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, told
officials from the UN Security Council in April last year, according to an account
posted on his personal website.
army chief cited the Inn Din case specifically. "The latest crime we
punished was a killing, and ten years’ imprisonment was given to seven
perpetrators," he said. "We will not forgive anyone if they commit
by phone on Thursday, a man named Zin Paing Soe confirmed that he was one of
the seven soldiers and that he was now free, but declined to comment further.
"We were told to shut up," he said.
Sept. 1, 2017, soldiers and some villagers detained a group of 10 Rohingya. The
military said the men were "terrorists"; their family members said
they were farmers, high school students and an Islamic teacher.
Afghan officials say 10 people were wounded when a sticky bomb attached to a
minibus carrying government workers detonated in the capital of Kabul.
spokesman Ferdus Faramarz says one of the wounded is in critical condition.
Haidari, from the religious affairs ministry, says all the wounded are
ministry’s employees who were on their way to work when the explosion took
place on Monday morning.
group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the Taliban
and Daesh militants regularly stage attacks in Kabul.
As the Asr prayer comes to an end, Andorkillah Shahi Mosque in Chattogram
develops a festive mood during Ramadan and the junior imams get busy preparing
iftar for more than 4,000 fasting Muslims.
mosque authorities have been distributing free iftar for the past 18 years.
Hundreds of Muslims, irrespective of social status or creed, sit in rows and
face-to-face to enjoy the iftar provided.
the call of the Maghrib prayer, hundreds of fasting Muslims sitting in a row break
their fast with the sip of lemon juice. To me it’s a feeling of heavenly life
soaked in a sense of fraternity,” said Sayed Anowar Hossain Jabiri Al-Madani,
the khateeb of the mosque.
have experienced this mass-iftar arrangement in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and
Madinah during my visit to Saudi Arabia, from where the idea crept into my
mind. I introduced this mass iftar offering at my mosque in 2001,” Hossain
costs about $100,000 for the mosque management to provide iftar to devotees during
Ramadan. On average, every day we have to spend around $3,000,” said Hossain,
who is the chief imam of the mosque.
local businessmen came forward to make Hossain’s dream true, but wanted to
remain anonymous as they consider it a small contribution to Muslim devotees.
The iftar provided by the mosque contains nine items including juice, dates,
piaju (mashed lentils fried with oil), rice, soup, jalebi (a sweetmeat) and
samosa (a triangular fried pastry filled with sliced meat or vegetables).
mosque authority prepares a large portion of the iftar items while some of the
items are outsourced. The mosque appoints 10 cooks to make iftar dishes during
Ramadan. Starting at 6 a.m., it takes a full day for the cooking team to
prepare the items. “To me it’s not only
a job, it is a passion,” Abdul Latif, a member of the cooking team, told Arab
News. Latif has been doing this job at the mosque for the past 11 years.
mass iftar initiative by the 500-year-old mosque creates a sense of amity and
brotherhood among the city’s residents.
“I come here every day to have iftar with the hundreds of devotees. It’s
an environment of true religious fervor which attracts me most specially at the
moment when everybody waits for the prayer call to end the day’s fasting,” said
Iqbal Mahmud, a businessman in the city’s new market area.
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