‘Common Patrimony’ Of Three Religions: Pope
Of Migration Not Solved By Physical Barriers, Pope Says
of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) Does Not Support Militant Outfits
Let's Not Blaspheme Each Other
Syria's Al-Hol Camp, Ultra-Extremists Fuel Fear
Support Enabled Saudis to Brutalize Journalist Khashoggi: WP Columnist
Vice President Survives Taliban Attack
of 200 Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Muftis Declare Centre's Sukanya Sammridhi Yojna
"Unlawful In Islam"
tribunal to review ban on JKLF, Jamaat-e-Islami
have my doubts...’ Farooq Abdullah on Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans
herring? Pakistan wants details of Pulwama bomber's guns
Of Thousands Mass At Gaza Border To Mark Protest Anniversary
reopens Gaza crossings after week of hostilities
rockets fired at Israel from Gaza Strip, Israeli tanks respond
Palestinian killed in Israel border clashes: Gaza ministry
Turkey will solve Syria issue “on the field” after Sunday’s elections
World League Holds Moscow Conference On Religious Peace And Coexistence
In Morocco Stresses Need To Oppose ‘Fanaticism’
releases 11 detained after weapons suspicions prove unfounded
Conservative Party openly Islamophobic: Analyst
show solidarity with Palestine in London
welcomes Romania’s position on its EU ties
Looted Money, Pakistan PM Imran Khan Tells PML-N, PPP
Chief To Brief Lawmakers On LoC Situation at GHQ
courts cease to function today
makes Hindus in Sindh so vulnerable?
Can Islamic State Returnees Make It Back to Indonesia, Legally?
Defends Tough New Islamic Laws against Growing Backlash
Mother Was A Christian': Prabowo Denies Supporting Caliphate
hands 18 life jail terms for joining ISIS
men sentenced for Egyptian church attack plot
Forces Continue Spying on Hashd Al-Shaabi in Western Iraq
ISIL Terrorist in Syria Transferred to US Base in Heliborne Operations
Key ISIL Commander Killed in Iraq
Army Gives Crushing Response to Terrorists' Attacks from Demilitarized Zone in
Arabia Hacked Washington Post Owner’s Phone
sets mid-May as deadline for US to explain measures on Iran bans removal
officials say many troops will remain in Syria in reversal of total pullout
concerned over fate of Shebaa Farms after Trump’s Golan decision
Taliban militants killed in Special Forces operations, airstrikes
Taliban militants killed, 4 IED manufacturing facilities destroyed in Helmand
militants suffer heavy casualties during the latest counter-terrorism
dead, 2 wounded in Taliban attack on Afghan Vice President’s convoy in Balkh
ISIS Khurasan group member arrested in Jalalabad city
stops Rohingya making risky journey to Malaysia
Ruling Party Postpones Sudan Convention, Election Of New Leader
Holds Municipal Elections In First Vote Since Five Years
delays presidential elections by one week to Nov. 17
African migrants charged in Malta over oil tanker hijacking
by New Age Islam News Bureau
of 200 Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Muftis Declares Centre's Sukanya Sammridhi Yojna
"Unlawful In Islam"
DELHI: Led by Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, 200 muftis (Islamic scholars) from different
parts of the Country passed a fatwa here in Delhi declaring “unlawful in Islam”
all schemes like the Centre’s “Sukanya Samriddhi Account Yojna” for the girl
child that provides “interest” on the money deposited in the bank. They cite
the Sharia which they say holds any kind of interest based financial
transaction as unlawful in Islam to justify the resolution passed at the end of
a three day conference here in the Capital.
the muftis see no problem in financial transactions by different mobile
applications, cash back or reward points by Paytm or Easy Paisa etc. “Similarly
booking taxi etc. by mobile applications is also allowed in Sharia,” it is
stated in another resolution passed at the conference. They also passed a
resolution saying that use of ‘Google Adsense’ for advertising lawful goods is
allowed. However it cannot be used for the promotion of movies and illegal programs.
per a statement from JUH, about two hundred Islamic jurists from Darul Uloom
Deoband, Nadawatul Ulama, Lucknow, Jamia Qasmia Shahi, Muradabad and different
Islamic institutions participated in the conference.
resolution passed by the muftis states that “under ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana’ a
bank account is opened in the name of girl child of less than ten years of age
by her parents. The parents keep on depositing money in the account for certain
age of the child. The bank annually increases the amount by adding annual
interest up to nine percent etc. It is because that this scheme involves
interest; it is clearly un-Islamic.”
asked that would this not deny genuine beneficiaries from low income families
financial benefits, Niaz Ahmed Farooqui, secretary JUH said, “Irrespective of
how idealistic the vision behind a scheme providing interest is as per Islam it
is unlawful. It is for people to follow or not follow.”
Faruqui from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board explained, “Islam calls
for earning through business and participataory transaction. It does not
approve of living off interest generated out of Capital sitting in a bank,” he
the JUH resolution has evoked a sharp reaction from Firoz Bakht Ahmed,
Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, told TOI, “ By
bringing such resolutions in the name of religion such clerics are deterring
the extension of benefits of such schemes to beneficiaries. The fatwa diktat in
itself is a U-turn on the Islamic law that talks of educating and equating the
girl child to boys in all walks of life.”
Ahmed, associate professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, makes
some very critical assertions. “Firstly, everyday life of a Muslim is not
entirely determined by religion. Secondly, it is impossible to survive in
today’s economy if one rejects the interest on cash deposits. Thirdly, the
timing of this resolution is questionable. I see this as an attempt by these clerics
to find legitimacy in media discourse in election times by invoking religion.”
‘common patrimony’ of three religions: Pope
Pope Francis joined Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Saturday in declaring
Jerusalem the “common patrimony” of Christians, Jews and Muslims, on the first
day of a visit to the North African country.
spiritual leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics was invited by King
Mohammed VI for the sake of “interreligious dialogue”, according to Moroccan
a joint statement, the two leaders said Jerusalem was “common patrimony of
humanity and especially the followers of the three monotheistic religions,”
during the pontiff’s visit to Rabat.
specific multi-religious character, the spiritual dimension and the particular
cultural identity of Jerusalem... must be protected and promoted,” they said in
the declaration released by the Vatican.
statement came after US President Donald Trump’s landmark recognition of the
disputed city as capital of Israel, sparking anger across the Muslim world,
especially from Palestinians who see Jerusalem as the capital of their future
relations with other religions has been a priority for the Argentine pontiff,
whose papacy has been marred by a wave of child sex abuse allegations against
thousands of Moroccans who had braved the rain to attend the welcome ceremony,
Pope Francis said it was “essential to oppose fanaticism”.
stressed the need for “appropriate preparation of future religious guides”,
ahead of meeting trainee imams later on Saturday.
are a tiny minority in the country where 99 percent of the population is
Muslim. The king is revered across West Africa as “commander of the faithful”.
at the ceremony at the Tour (or tower) Hassan mosque and nearby mausoleum in
Rabat, Pope Francis defended “freedom of conscience” and “religious freedom”.
as brothers,” he told a crowd of around 25,000, after arriving from the airport
in his Popemobile, passing rows of Moroccan and Vatican City flags.
estimated 12,000 well-wishers packed the esplanade outside the partly-finished
12th century mosque, some in traditional dress, according to Moroccan
130,000 people across Rabat watched the first stage of the pope’s visit, which
was beamed onto giant screens, officials said.
Francis will also visit an institute where around 1,300 students are studying
to become imams and preachers, teaching “moderate Islam” and backed by the
a very significant event, the first time that a pope is welcomed to an
institute for the training of imams,” said Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti.
has stepped up security ahead of the first papal visit to the North African
country since John Paul II in 1985.
have been repainted, streets decorated and lawns manicured for the pope’s
month Pope Francis visited the United Arab Emirates, where he met with Sheikh
Ahmed al-Tayeb, the imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s prestigious seat of
two signed a document which called for “freedom of belief” and “full
citizenship” rights for minorities, a text which Gisotti said the pontiff will
give to heads of state.
of migration not solved by physical barriers, pope says
Pope Francis said on Saturday the plight of migrants was “a wound that cries
out to heaven” and could never be healed by physical barriers.
starting a two-day visit to Morocco, also backed Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s
efforts to spread a form of Islam that promotes inter-religious dialogue and
rejects violence in God’s name.
recent months, migration has again risen to the fore of national political
debates in a number of North African and European countries and the United
President Donald Trump has promised to fulfil his campaign pledge to build a
wall along the border with Mexico and on Friday threatened to close the border
next week if Mexico did not stop immigrants reaching the United States.
issue of migration will never be resolved by raising barriers, fomenting fear
of others or denying assistance to those who legitimately aspire to a better
life for themselves and their families,” Francis said at the welcoming
know too that the consolidation of true peace comes through the pursuit of
social justice, which is indispensable for correcting the economic imbalances
and political unrest that have always had a major role in generating conflicts
and threatening the whole of humanity,” he said.
has become a key departure point for African migrants trying to reach Europe
after crackdowns that closed or limited routes elsewhere. Italy’s
anti-immigrant interior minister has closed ports to rescue ships run by
who has made a defence of migrants and refugees a key part of his preaching,
said he was concerned about their “frequently grim fate” and receiving
countries must acknowledge that migrants were forced to leave their homes
because of poverty and political upheaval.
the airport to the city centre, Francis, 82, was driven in a white popemobile
on a drizzly day as the 55-year-old king rode beside him standing up in a
separate vehicle, a vintage black 1969 open-top Mercedes 600 Pullman.
the afternoon, the pope spoke again of migration during a visit to a Church-run
shelter. He called migration “a great and deep wound that continues to afflict
our world at the beginning of this 21st century. A wound that cries out to
said migrants and refugees had rights and dignity “independent of their legal
status” and that host community should reject “all forms of discrimination and
and the king visited an institute the monarch founded to train imams and male
and female preachers of Islam.
which is almost entirely Muslim, has promoted itself as an oasis of religious
tolerance in a region torn by militancy.
has offered training to Muslim preachers from Africa and Europe on what it
describes as moderate Islam.
making the first papal visit to Morocco in 34 years, praised the monarch for
providing “sound training to combat all forms of extremism, which so often lead
to violence and terrorism, and which, in any event, constitute an offence
against religion and against God himself”
Maulana Fazl ur Rehman, who is the Ameer of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) said
on Saturday that he does not support the presence of militant groups in the
during an interview, Fazl ur Rehman called for rounding up the non-state
militant groups in the country.
the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) leader said that if possible, such
organizations should be mainstreamed.
the politics of chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,
he said that he has asked former president Asif Ali Zardari to put Bilawal
under his mentorship.
JUI-F chief said, “Zardari has learned a lot from me, he should bring Bilawal
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto crushed any concerns that he may
compromise Indonesia's national unity by being too cozy with radical Islamists
during Saturday evening's debate.
former Army general, in a heated tone, said he has been at the receiving end of
accusations that he supports the movement that seeks to establish an Islamic
state, or caliphate, in Indonesia.
is something very unreasonable. My mother is a Christian. I was born from a
Christian womb," Prabowo said, stating the fact in public for the first
time in years.
from the age of 18, risked my life to defend Pancasila. I put my life at stake
for this republic; why am I being accused of wanting to change Pancasila?"
he said about the official state ideology.
are really cruel acquisitions, but I believe Mr. Jokowi doesn't approve of
them," he added, referring to the incumbent, Joko Widodo, by his popular
has been rallying Islamist support for his presidential ticket, seeking to
replicate a strategy that proved successful two years ago in toppling Basuki
"Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, Jakarta's widely popular former governor, who
is a Christian.
chairman of the opposition Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) revamped
his Islamic credentials with a formal endorsement of his candidacy by the
ulema. The party also opposed a move by the Jokowi administration to disband
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, the local branch of a transnational movement that aims
to establish a global caliphate.
when asked to state his position on Pancasila, Prabowo reinvigorated his
commitment to the state ideology.
us, Pancasila is the final ideology," he said.
is the result of a major compromise, of the brilliance of our founding
generation. Pancasila succeeded in uniting hundreds of ethnic groups, major
religions, different cultures and different languages. This compromise resulted
in the Unitary
State of the Republic
therefore we are determined to maintain Pancasila to the last drop of
at the age of 18, signed an oath to defend the Unitary State of the Republic of
Indonesia, based on Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. If anyone wants to
change this, I will face them with all the strength I have."
had little to disagree with in Prabowo's statement.
believe Mr. Prabowo is a 'Pancasilaist.' I also believe Mr. Prabowo is a
nationalist," the president said.
he added that it is better for leaders to adhere to the values of Pancasila in
their daily lives and interactions.
not blaspheme each other; not insult each other; not underestimate each other;
not disparage each other, which we now see our politicians doing," Jokowi
said, adding that the country's leaders should behave in a way that sets a
healthy example for young people.
two candidates agreed that Pancasila should be introduced to Indonesian
children from an early age.
of our children should start, not from kindergarten, but from preschool,"
National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) has found many examples over the past
three years of extremist literature distributed at Islamic preschools in Indonesia
stating that it is halal, or lawful under Islamic law, to shed the blood of
must be told how to be tolerant, because we have 714 tribes. Children must also
be told how to be friends with their brothers and sisters of the same country,
which has more than 1,100 different regional languages," Jokowi said.
Syamsuddin, chairman of the advisory council of the Indonesian Ulema Council
(MUI), said the discourse between the idea of a caliphate – in its narrowest
sense an Islamic state – and Pancasila had been resolved by the Indonesian
ulema long ago.
said Indonesia can be considered Darul Ahdi wa Shahadah, or a state based on an
agreement between Muslims and their fellow countrymen, which Muslims are
obliged to uphold.
acknowledged the connotation recently attached to the idea of a caliphate,
which links it with the movement to dismantle Indonesia's current political
system and replace it with something based solely on Islamic law. But he warned
that using it in politics could cause irreparable damage to the nation.
something considered anti-Pancasila onto a particular group is a labeling and
generalization that are dangerous and which can create an atmosphere of
division in the fabric of the nation," Din said.
Syria's Al-Hol camp, ultra-extremists fuel fear
with guards, violent factional quarrels and a new strain of ultra-extremism --
the Islamic State group's territorial "caliphate" may be defeated,
but a camp in eastern Syria is emerging as a fresh jihadist powder keg.
in a final offensive by a Kurdish-led ground force and coalition air strikes,
thousands of wives and children of IS fighters have flooded in from a string of
Syrian villages south of the camp in recent months.
the hordes of Syrians and Iraqis, some 9,000 foreigners are held in a fenced
section of the encampment, under the watch of Kurdish forces.
they want to go to the camp's market or receive aid rations, these high-risk
prisoners are escorted by armed guards.
tensions are rife among the foreigners themselves.
don't have the same mentality -- they (the extremists) want to impose their
vision of Islam," said Vanessa, who came to Syria from her native Guyana
as a convert in 2013 with her husband and children.
say that we are infidels," the gangly 36-year-old said, singling out the
camp's Tunisians as especially "extreme".
semi-autonomous Kurdish administration that rules much of northeastern Syria is
urging countries of origin to take back their citizens.
women and children need to be "re-educated and reintegrated by their home
countries," said Kurdish official Abdel Karm Omar.
he warned, they will become "the terrorists of the future".
people scare me'
IS's so-called caliphate -- declared in 2014 over large swaths of Syria and
neighboring Iraq -- minors were systematically indoctrinated and even exposed
to public executions.
a gesture of continued loyalty to IS, some children at the camp -- a few
grinning, others staring coldly -- pointed their index finger to the sky in
front of AFP reporters.
woman threatened to hit a cameraman, but others -- anxious to return home and
declaring they regret joining IS -- were keen to talk.
of the Tunisians and Russians interned at Al-Hol have adopted "very
extreme beliefs", confided a Belgian woman who came to Syria in 2013.
people scare me," she said.
just "talking to the guards, or requesting to go to the market, can make
us infidels" in their eyes, she added.
someone is labelled a non-believer, these women decree it lawful to strip the
person of their belongings, the Belgian said.
can burn our tents and do whatever they want to us."
tensions are not limited to the foreigners' section.
few days ago, a confrontation escalated in the main area, populated by Iraqis
and Syrians. Kurdish police were forced to intervene.
of the residents "threw stones" at their fellow residents, a
policeman told AFP, without giving his name.
al-Hassan, who heads the camp's communications, insisted the "security
situation is under control".
he admitted, major logistical challenges give rise to "problems",
including tensions over access to tents and aid.
pregnant Lamia, 21, told AFP she is steadfast in her loyalty to the IS
remain with the [Islamic] State," said the former resident of Manbij, a
northern Syrian town that was occupied by the jihadists until the Kurdish-led
Syrian Democratic Forces prevailed.
wants to go back to her hometown and has been at the camp for a month; her
first husband was killed in combat, the second is in prison.
at the entrance to the foreigners' area, several women including Algerians and
Ukrainians gathered at the gate, insisting it was their turn to go to market.
children and those from central Asia mingled in the dust.
women returned from the market hauling trolleys full of eggs, potatoes,
nappies, and gas cylinders.
is meticulously searched by the guards, who are instructed to confiscate, log
and store unusually valuable items and mobile phones.
"security measures" are needed to stop residents stealing from each
other -- and from smuggling goods or cultivating contacts in the outside world
-- Hassan said.
through a black handbag, the guards retrieved a phone and small piece of paper
with a contact number scrawled on it.
not mine, it belongs to my friend," the Tunisian owner insisted.
little later, in another bag, the guards dug out a ring and a hefty gold chain,
carefully hidden in a tiny plastic bag.
dismayed owner gripped the sentinel's hands in an attempt to prise back the
items, to no avail.
not coming back inside. Take her to the cell," the guard said.
woman clung to the wire fence and wailed.
support enabled Saudis to brutalize journalist Khashoggi: WP columnist
senior journalist writing for the Washington Post has revealed more details
about the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic
mission in Turkey in October, saying those who carried out the assassination
had been trained in the United States.
Ignatius cited US and Saudi sources in his column published on Friday as saying
that some members of the Saudi Rapid Intervention Group that was sent to
Istanbul to deal with Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in the city had
received training in the US on special-operations capabilities.
CIA has cautioned other government agencies that some of this
special-operations training might have been conducted by Tier 1 Group, an
Arkansas-based company, under a State Department license,” said Ignatius while
citing the sources.
columnist said the training program had been going on long before Khashoggi’s
murder as part of an ongoing liaison with the Saudis although it was suspended
after the murder like many other joint programs.
a former Washington Post contributor who used to write columns under Post
Global Opinions, was in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to receive documents
for his forthcoming marriage when he was murdered. A sound recording obtained
by Turkish intelligence has revealed that the group of 15 Saudi agents had been
sent to Turkey to kidnap Khashoggi and bring him back to Saudi Arabia for
detention and interrogation. However, the same tape reveals the journalist was
choked to death and his body was dismembered.
after the gruesome assassination, US President Donald Trump has yet to endorse
numerous reports suggesting it had been directly ordered by Saudi Arabia’s
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
has also evaded accepting direct responsibility for the murder, saying agents
who were out of control carried out the operation.
vice president survives Taliban attack
fighters on Saturday attacked a convoy carrying Afghanistan’s vice president
Abdul Rashid Dostum, in an assault that left the former warlord unscathed but
killed one of his bodyguards, an official told AFP.
Babur, Dostum’s former chief of staff, said the hour-long attack also left
several others in the convoy wounded.
attack occurred in the northern province of Balkh, where Dostum had held a
rally earlier in the day. On Twitter, a Taliban spokesman said the insurgent
group had carried out the attack and claimed four of Dostum’s bodyguards had
a powerful ethnic Uzbek leader, is notorious in Afghanistan for extreme
barbarities and for repeatedly switching loyalties over 40 years of conflict.
a catalogue of war crimes attached to his name and accusations of organising
the rape and torture of a political rival, Dostum became Afghanistan’s first vice
president in 2014.
the rally in Balkh, Dostum had claimed he could clear northern Afghanistan of
the Taliban within six months — if only the government would let him.
delayed elections now slated for September, President Ashraf Ghani has chosen to
run with Amrullah Saleh, an ethnic Tajik, instead of Dostum.
has survived several other attempts on his life, including one claimed by the
Islamic State group last July in Kabul that killed 23 people including AFP
driver Mohammad Akhtar.
week after it banned, Yasin Malik’s Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)
as an unlawful association, the Centre on Friday set up a tribunal that will
adjudicate whether sufficient grounds exist for such a move against the
militant group and the J&K chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI). The
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal will comprise justice Chander Shekhar
of the Delhi high court.
official notification said the tribunal had been formed “for the purpose of
adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause of declaring the
Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), Jammu and Kashmir, and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation
Front (Mohd. Yasin Malik faction) (JKLF-Y), as unlawful association.”
J&K unit was banned on February 28 in a crackdown following the February 14
suicide car bombing in Pulwama that left at least 40 Central Reserve Police
Force (CRPF) troopers dead. The ban on JKLF followed on March 22.
a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS),the highest
decision-making body on security issues, Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba said
the JKLF had been banned for “funneling funds” into militancy and “fomenting
Jammu and Kashmir police and other enforcement agencies have named the JKLF in
as many as 37 first information reports, the Centre said.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah appeared to head right into a row
for his statement that he had “doubts” about the February 14 Pulwama suicide
bombing that killed 40 CRPF soldiers. He did not clarify the nature of his
at a party conference in Srinagar, the National Conference chief said, “Did PM
Modi ever pay homage to the numerous jawans who were killed in action? Did he
ever go meet their families? Did he ever meet the families of those who were
killed in Jammu and Kashmir. But those 40 CRPF jawans who were killed, I have
my doubts about that as well.”
Pulwama suicide bombing that took place on February 14 had resulted in the
deaths of 40 CRPF jawans. The Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for
the attack. The attack had led to tensions escalating between India and
February 15, a day after the suicide bombing, leaders from various political
parties including Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid homage to the deceased
jawans at the Indira Gandhi airport where their bodies were kept in state
before being sent to their respective homes.
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also went on to question the death of six air force jawans in a helicopter
crash in Jammu and Kashmir on February 28.
DELHI: In what is being read by India as lack of any serious intent in probing
the Pakistan link to the Pulwama attack, Islamabad has set out a list of, as
sources here put it, trivial demands that include seeking the gun type,
manufacturer and "identification numbers" of the weapon brandished by
suicide bomber Adil Dar in his confession video.
has also sought a copy of the FIR registered by India in the February 14
Pulwama bombing which killed 40 CRPF troopers and asked for statements of
witnesses in its reply to India's February 27 dossier.
authorities see these demands, especially the one for details of Dar's guns, as
delaying tactics, if not a red herring. The weapons in question were not used
for the attack and their identification, or lack of it, is unlikely to have any
bearing on the Pulwama investigations.
was seen armed with several weapons in the pre-suicide video in which he
admitted he was a member of Jaish-eMuhammed and that he had been tasked with
carrying out the attack. The attack was swiftly owned and evidence given to Pakistan
included coordinates of a WhatsApp number used by a JeM member to claim
government sees Pakistan's response to several important issues raised in
India's dossier as disappointing. "There were specific and actionable
inputs about JeM's involvement but it doesn't seem Pakistan has acted on those
in a serious and focused manner," said a source on condition of anonymity.
from inputs on JeM complicity in the attack, India had also provided
information about its terror camps and its leaders. In its response, which TOI
has accessed, Pakistan has accused India of not sharing initial investigation
details like the FIR and witness statements.
accusing Pakistan of following the 26/11 and Pathankotattack script even in
Pulwama investigations, India said last week it was examining the
"paper" handed over by Pakistan.
has sought details about how and where the vehicle-borne improvised explosive
device used for the attack was prepared and also the source and quantity of the
while India called for action in the dossier against 90 individuals closely
linked with JeM, Islamabad has demanded information on how each of these
individuals was linked to the Pulwama attack. India reads this as another sign
of Pakistan's reluctance to take serious and credible action against JeM
terrorists on its soil.
JeM owning up responsibility for the attack is seen as very significant and the
government had asked Pakistan to help identify one Mohammed Hassan who was said
to have made the claim of Jaish's role in WhatsApp messages. Pakistan though has
asked for more information about his identity even though it is unlikely that
India would have withheld such information which needs to be pursued in
has demanded call detail records of Hassan's number besides information about
the identity of the subscriber of the number contacted by the person. India had
also mentioned WhatsApp and Telegram groups in which views had been shared by
suspects on the terror attack. Pakistan in its response has sought GSM numbers
used by the administrators of the group.
also wants to know the IP address which was used to upload Dar's video and
details of those held by India for the attack.
of thousands mass at Gaza border to mark protest anniversary
CITY: Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied in heavy rain at the
Israel-Gaza border on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of a new wave of
protests, facing off against Israeli tanks and troops massed on the fortified
‘Great March of Return’ protests have been marked by sometimes deadly violence
and Gaza medical officials said two Palestinians had been killed on Saturday.
man died near the border before dawn, hours before the main afternoon rally,
they said, while a 17-year-old boy was killed by Israeli fire at a protest site
east of Gaza City.
protesters threw rocks, grenades and burning tyres toward soldiers across the
border fence, the Israeli military said.
protesters are calling for the lifting of a security blockade imposed by Israel
and Egypt, and for Palestinians to have the right to return to land from which
their families fled or were forced to flee during Israel’s founding in 1948.
rejects any such return, saying this would eliminate its Jewish majority.
Israeli military said 40,000 people had gathered in the frontier area but that
most of them were keeping away from the border.
the bad weather, an Israeli security official said the turnout was larger than
for the usual weekly protests and that it also appeared organisers were trying
to keep violence from erupting.
Palestinian Health Ministry said 17 people had been wounded by Israeli gunfire
and scores more by tear gas and shrapnel.
200 Gazans have been killed by Israeli troops since the protests began on March
30 last year, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures, and an Israeli
soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.
mounted ahead of the anniversary. A Gaza rocket attack wounded seven Israelis
north of Tel Aviv on Monday and, in response, Israel launched a wave of air
strikes and ramped up its forces at the border.
12 months of bloodshed, Egyptian mediators are working to avoid further
confrontation, and to ease tensions by persuading Israel to lift restrictions
on the movement of goods and people into and out of the Gaza Strip.
blockade is cited by humanitarian agencies as a key reason for impoverishment
in the narrow coastal enclave into which two million Palestinians are packed.
authorities have reopened the two crossings with the Gaza Strip after days of
hostilities in a sign that cease-fire talks may be advancing.
and Hamas officials confirmed Sunday that the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings
were opened for the first time since Monday. The officials spoke on condition
reopening comes hours after Palestinian militants launched rockets into Israel
overnight and the military responded with tank fire.
Palestinians, including three teens, had died a day earlier from Israeli fire
as tens of thousands took part in mass protests along the Israel-Gaza perimeter
rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel early Sunday while Israeli
tanks targeted Hamas military posts in response, the Israeli military
announced, following a day of mass protests that saw Israeli troops kill four
Palestinians near the territory's border.
casualties were reported and no Palestinian group claimed responsibility for
the rockets, though they appeared to be in retaliation for the deaths of the
of thousands of Palestinians rallied in the Gaza Strip on Saturday to mark the
anniversary of their mass protests along the Israeli border.
demonstrators kept their distance from the border, though small crowds of
activists approached the perimeter fence. The forces responded with tear gas
and opened fire, killing four Palestinians and wounding 64.
officials say that Israel is offering a package of economic incentives in
exchange for calm along the volatile border.
fourth Palestinian died from Israeli fire in clashes sparked by mass
demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border on Saturday, the health ministry in
the enclave said.
al-Najjar, 17, was shot by Israeli forces east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza,
it said in a statement.
others aged 17 and a 20-year-old man were killed, according to ministry
statements, as tens of thousands gathered to mark the first anniversary of
weekly protests along the frontier.
will solve the Syria issue “on the field” after Sunday’s local elections,
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, as he sought to drum up
support for his AK Party in the vote.
has carried out two cross-border operations against Kurdish militants in
northern Syria and has warned that it will launch further incursions if the
threats along its borders are not eliminated.
thing after the elections, we will solve the Syria issue on the field if
possible, not at the table,” Erdogan told supporters in the first of his six
rallies in Istanbul.
his election campaigns, Erdogan has taken serious measures to defend the lira –
after blaming international powers for the drop – including withholding the
currency, and opening up government-run vegetable stalls selling vegetables at
half the price of regular markets to limit inflations.
Berich, Chief Market Strategist at Monex Europe described the situation as a
“fairly desperate attempt by the Turkish authorities to support the lira in the
World League holds Moscow conference on religious peace and coexistence
Muslim World League launched an international conference on religious peace and
coexistence in the Russian capital of Moscow.
“Islam, a Message of Mercy and Peace,” the three-day conference included
participants from 43 countries, representing senior muftis, scholars,
intellects, and politicians, as well as leaders from different religions
attended the conference which included a session in the Chechen capital of
of the Muslim World League Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa also gave a Friday sermon at
the Grand Mosque in Grozny in the presence of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the
Thursday, Al-Issa met here with Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal
Assembly of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Volodin. During the meeting, they
discussed issues related to the promotion and support for dialogue among
religions and civilizations, as well as the activation of cultural
communication and exchange between the Islamic world and Russia.
conference’s six main sessions included “Russian Muslims and the Community of
Peace,” “Terrorism and Extremism,” and a panel session on the role of social
and religious organizations in advocating for moderation.
of the main sessions included a panel discussion by the Center for Arab-Russian
Studies on the role of social and religious organizations in spreading
moderation. Participants also discussed Saudi Arabia's efforts in the fight
against terrorism and the targeting of youth by terrorist groups through social
in Morocco stresses need to oppose ‘fanaticism’
Francis on Saturday said it was “essential to oppose fanaticism,” in a speech
delivered to thousands of Moroccans shortly after arriving in the capital
“appropriate preparation of future religious guides is necessary,” said the
pontiff, who has put interreligious dialogue at the center of his two-day visit
to the North African country.
Francis also defended “freedom of conscience” and “religious freedom” as
fundamental for human dignity, and called on the faithful to “live as
the arrival ceremony, Pope Francis and Moroccan King Mohammed VI visited an
institute the monarch founded in 2015 for the training of imams and male and
female preachers of Islam.
has marketed itself as an oasis of religious tolerance in a region torn by
militancy. It has offered training to Muslim preachers from Africa and Europe
on what it describes as moderate Islam.
Pope, making the first papal visit to Morocco in 34 years, praised the monarch
for providing “sound training to combat all forms of extremism, which so often
lead to violence and terrorism, and which, in any event, constitute an offense
against religion and against God himself.”
men who were detained overnight on suspicion of planning major attacks with
stockpiled weapons were released on Saturday after no evidence of a cache of
weapons or explosives was found, a prosecution spokesman said.
men, aged between 22 and 35, were held during raids conducted by police
commandos in western and southern Germany on suspicion that they were
supporters of ISIS extremist group planning a “serious, state-endangering
spokesman said the men, most of whom were Tajikistan nationals, were released
after investigators’ suspicions proved unfounded.
has been the scene of several extremist attacks in recent years, including a
2016 truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people.
across Europe are also on high alert for attacks from right-wing extremists
after last week’s New Zealand mosque attack that left 50 dead.
senior political analyst from London says prominent Islmophobes have dominated
Britain’s ruling Conservative Party as concerns grow over some of them nearing
the position of leadership in the party.
Conservative Party is very dominantly Islamophobic; it is very openly
Islamophobic, to the extent that even some Muslim-background individuals like
Sajid Javid who is Home Secretary, he has also behaved extremely discriminatory
towards Muslims,” Massoud Shadjareh said in an interview with Press TV on
on recent warnings about UK Environment Minister Michael Gove and his increased
chances of becoming the next prime minister, Shadjareh said the Conservative
lawmaker is quite known for his negative views on Muslims.
Gove is a sort of neocon in the Conservative Party, his views on Muslims are
very publicly known and not very positive ... he is in many ways a committed
Islamophobe,” said Shadjarah.
analyst reiterated, however, that the general mood in the Conservative Party
and its approach toward the Muslims was worrying.
think what is really worrying is not just individuals who are Islamophobic in
Conservative Party but the whole of the Conservative Party, the Conservative Party,
especially in recent years, have been dominated by neocons and those who see
Muslims as others.”
expert said taking on individuals like Gove or Javid as senior Islamophobes
would not resolve the problem of increasing hate crime against Muslims in the
UK and other countries.
of protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in central London in
solidarity with Palestinian people who are holding large "Great March of
Return" and "Palestinian Land Day" rallies across Gaza border
rally organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) saw speakers calling
for justice for Palestinian people and an end to 12-year-long blockade on Gaza
by Israeli state.
stand here today in solidarity with all those marching in Gaza, who will
continue to march until they get their fundamental rights,” the PSC Director
Ben Jamal said.
Resist! Return!” and “Freedom to Palestine” some placards read.
group of Jewish people also attended the rally to support the demonstration for
Palestinians while a separate small group holding Israeli flags were holding a
PSC also held demonstrations in many other cities across the U.K., including
Newcastle, Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham.
March of Return protests in Gaza
Palestinians were martyred and dozens injured by Israeli army fire during
protests marking the Land Day in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, according to the
a statement, the ministry said Nidal Saqr, 17, and Jihad Saad lost their lives
east of Gaza City, while another 138 demonstrators were injured -- including 24
by live ammunition.
ministry said eight of the injured protesters were in a serious condition.
Saturday, tens of thousands of Palestinians staged mass rallies near
Gaza-Israel buffer zone to mark the first anniversary of protests against the
decades-long Israeli occupation.
protests also commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Land Day when six people
were killed in 1976 during demonstrations against seizure of Arab land in
the run-up to Saturday’s rallies, the Israeli army has deployed numerous tanks
and armored vehicles along the buffer zone with the Gaza Strip.
270 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by Israeli army gunfire since
Palestinians began holding regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer
zone in March of last year.
demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical
Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of
vice president hailed Romania on Friday for supporting Ankara’s efforts to
establish “constructive” relations with the European Union.
welcome Romania’s principled stance and its efforts, which contribute toward a
constructive understanding in EU-Turkey relations," said Fuat Oktay,
speaking at a joint press conference in Bucharest with Romanian Prime Minister
hope Romania’s stance will set an example for other European countries,"
remarks came after bilateral and inter-delegation meetings with Dancila.
had a fruitful meeting with Prime Minister Dancila…We broadly exchanged views
on bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments.
the framework of the EU presidency of Romania, we’ve shared our approach and
expectations to advance the negotiation process of our country's accession to
the EU,” Oktay said, calling Romania a “close ally”.
holds the EU’s rotating presidency until June 30.
our meeting, we confirmed that we are on the same page on further developing
our cooperation in every field and on Turkey-EU relations,” he added.
applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005.
negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot
administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from
Germany and France.
the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 coup
attempt, Oktay said: “We place great importance on the continuation of mutual
cooperation in the fight against the structuring of this terror organization,
which also poses a threat to Romania’s security.”
and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July
15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the
state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the
military, police and judiciary.
voiced her support for Turkey’s EU membership, calling Turkey a “key partner”
of the EU.
also praised Turkey’s efforts to deter irregular migration by hosting over 3.5
that Turkey and Romania have very “strong” relations, Dancila said the
bilateral trade potential of the two countries was very high.
the press conference, Oktay met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on the
sidelines of the quadrilateral meeting of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.
looted money, Pakistan PM Imran Khan tells PML-N, PPP
said whenever accountability was launched, opposition parties started a
propaganda that democracy was under threat.
Minister Imran Khan on Saturday reiterated his government's resolve not to
forgive the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-N and Pakistan Peoples
Party unless they pay back the looted public money.
challenge you today. Do whatever you want to do, get united or anything else.
We will not leave you. This nation will not pardon you. You have only one way
out - pay back public money, then we will leave you," the prime minister
said while addressing a public gathering here in the industrial city of Sindh
a huge number of people, the event was attended by Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Grand Democratic Alliance leader,
including Zulfiqar Mirza and Arbab Ghulam Rahim, and MPA Ali Gohar Mahar.
to the train march by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto, the prime minister said the
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had staged a sit-in to demand fair elections, not to
conceal its corruption.
PPP paid Rs2,000 per head to the people to join the train march because it was
not meant for people's benefit rather to cover corruption, he added.
said whenever accountability was launched, opposition parties started a
propaganda that democracy was under threat. It was not democracy but their
corruption that was under threat, he added.
prime minister said in the past, both Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari used to
taunt each other as corrupt but now both had joined hands against his
government to save their corruption.
told the gathering that during the last 10 years the Sindh government received
Rs234 billion in gas royalty alone, but the living condition of the people in
Ghotki, which produced 70 per cent of gas, remained unchanged. He said the
money which was supposed to be spent on people, went into fake accounts.
money for your development should have come from the province, as the centre
had given them the funds," he said. "Everyone should ask how much of
the share of royalties was given to Ghotki." "This is
corruption," he said
said due to corruption, country's debt had swelled from Rs6,000 billion to
Rs30,000 billion within 10 years.
said Pakistan once had been the fastest growing economy in Asia and even South
Korea had adopted Pakistan's development model but now it (Pakistan) was under
record burden of debt. The country had to pay Rs6 billion a day as mark-up of
said Sindh should have been the most developed province as country's financial
capital Karachi is part of it, most of gas fields are situated here in addition
to having fertile agriculture lands. But, interior Sindh was the poorest area
in Pakistan due to endemic corruption, he added.
prime minister assured the gathering of visiting Sindh more often to ensure its
uplift on a par with other areas.
chief to brief lawmakers on LoC situation at GHQ
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa will brief the
parliamentarians next week on “hostile situation at Line of Control” in the
aftermath of recent tension between India and Pakistan.
briefing, to be held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi on April
4, will be attended by the members of standing committees of the National
Assembly and Senate on defence.
will be the second briefing by the COAS to the parliamentarians over one month.
Earlier, parliamentarians were briefed in an in-camera session held at
Parliament House on Feb 27, the day the Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian
fighter jets. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan did not attend the briefing.
briefing would be attended by a number of prominent leaders from the opposition
parties, including former ministers, as they are members of the two committees.
to a notification issued by the National Assembly Secretariat, chairman of the
NA committee Amjad Ali Khan would lead the MNAs’ delegation. Members of
committee include Tahir Sadiq, Chaudhry Farrukh Altaf, Syed Faizul Hassan,
Barjees Tahir, Ijaz Ahmad Shah, Riazul Haq, Mohammad Khan Daha, Aurangzeb
Khichi, Alam Dad Laleka, Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Ghous Bux Mahar, Khursheed Ahmed
Junejo, Aftab Shaban Mirani, Amer Ali Magsi, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Syed Aminul
Haque, Salahuddin Ayubi, Rubina Irfan and Ramesh Kumar Vankwani.
of Defence Pervez Khattak has also been invited as he is ex-officio member of
both standing committees.
MNAs have been told to assemble at Gate No 1 of Parliament House at 10am and
those who intend to proceed directly to GHQ have been asked to provide
registration numbers of their vehicles before the meeting.
notification issued by the Senate Secretariat says that Chairman of Senate
standing committee on defence Azam Swati will lead the members. The members who
will be attending the briefing include Rehman Malik, Sherry Rehman, Anwarul Haq
Kakar, Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, Khushbakht Shujaat, retired Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum,
Kabeer Ahmed Mohammad Shahi, Javed Abbasi, Talha Mahmood, Mushahid Hussain
Sayed, Mushtaq Ahmed and Sajjad Hussain Turi.
few days ago Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that the possibility of a
misadventure from India could not be ignored.
The military courts that had been set up under the National Action Plan (NAP)
in 2015 to try civilians on terrorism charges finally ceased to function today
(Sunday) as their second two-year constitutional term expired at midnight.
government, which has already decided in principle to give another extension to
the military courts for two more years, is still struggling to seek the
cooperation of the opposition parties over the issue as it does not have the
required two-thirds majority in any of the two houses of the Parliament to
carry out the constitutional amendment for the purpose.
government had earlier planned a meeting of the parliamentary leaders and heads
of political parties for a briefing on the issue of implementation of the NAP
on March 28, but it had to cancel it following the opposition parties’ decision
to boycott the event due to the prevailing tense political atmosphere in the
in the government told Dawn that the draft law to give second extension to the
military courts had been prepared and the two ministries concerned — law and
interior — had already initiated the process of reinstating the military courts
even before the expiry of their two-year term on March 30.
has been no official data available about the cases heard and tried by these
military courts. The National Assembly, however, had been informed in November
last year that the military authorities had to decide 185 terrorism-related
cases before expiry of their two-year term in March.
a written reply to a question raised by MNA Mohsin Dawar, Defence Minister
Pervez Khattak had informed the National Assembly that since the launch of the
military operation Zarb-i-Azb, the interior ministry had referred a total of
717 cases of terrorism to the military courts. Of the total cases, 185 were
still under process and they had to be decided by March 30 when the two-year
term of the courts would expire.
details of the cases decided by the military courts, the minister had said that
a total of 478 cases had been decided, which meant that the conviction rate of
the cases was more than 60 per cent.
said a total of 284 convicts had been awarded death sentences and 56 of them
had already been executed. Similarly, he said, 192 convicts had been awarded
rigorous imprisonment, two accused acquitted and 54 cases dropped due to
Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, when contacted, said the government
had already decided to engage the opposition to take it into confidence over
the issue as without their support the period of the military courts could not
said the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf believed that the military courts set
up through a political consensus under the NAP against terrorism in 2015 had
delivered and even the Supreme Court had upheld the establishment of these
Hindu sisters, Reena and Raveena, were reportedly abducted recently from their
home in Daharki and taken to Rahim Yar Khan. This is yet another in a series of
such abductions taking place in Sindh’s rural areas of Umerkot, Tharparkar and
Ghotki in which economically vulnerable Hindu girls or young women of
marriageable age are ‘abducted’ and then conveniently discovered with their
newfound identity as converts to Islam. The ensuing public hue and cry fizzles
out after a few days.
am a police officer serving in Balochistan’s southern district of Lasbela. In
my subdivision, eight per cent of the population is Hindu, and there is
enviable inter-communal harmony here. It has been so for centuries — people of
all religions living together in a spirit of acceptance and mutual respect. In
fact, many Muslims enthusiastically participated in the recent Holi
celebrations. Such sentiments are invariably reciprocated by the Hindus.
the context of the recent incident, three fundamental questions arise. Why are
Hindus in Balochistan not being subjected to forced conversions? Why is this
phenomenon so predominant in interior Sindh? And lastly, why is the modus
operandi — a Hindu female, either minor or of marriageable age, eloping with a
man and then converting to Islam — identical in all such incidents?
answer the first question, Hindus in Balochistan have always felt more secure
vis-à-vis religious persecution. The tribal chiefs consider Hindus, or for that
matter any other religious minority, as members of their own extended family
and afford them the freedom to live their lives according to their faith. They
never acquired any missionary zeal to convert them. The Jams of Lasbela and
Bugti tribal chiefs in Dera Bugti, for instance, have always been protective of
them. Owing to this, society overall has developed a culture of tolerance and
Hindu places of worship are proportionate to their population: within the
jurisdiction of two police stations (Uthal and Bela) in Lasbela, for example,
there are 18 temples for 5,000 Hindus living in the area. This is a powerful
indicator of religious freedom.
Hindus are economically well off: they are working as contractors, bank
employees and landowners. By virtue of their affluence, they enjoy a social
status that gives them adequate protection.
the other hand, the dynamics in interior Sindh are altogether different.
one, the social and economic disparities are stark. It is a particularly
inegalitarian society, where a few individuals enjoy a privileged status and
the impunity that goes with it while others have to struggle for even their
basic rights to be recognised. The Hindu community’s lack of financial
empowerment, and their total dependence on those who control the means of
production, makes them doubly vulnerable.
there is a very strong proselytising zeal among the local clergy to bring
non-Muslims into the fold of the dominant faith. To convert someone is
perceived as a pious deed that will bring rewards in the hereafter, no matter
the method employed to execute the conversion. Clerics like Mian Mitho from
Ghotki and Ayub Jan Sarhandi from Samaro, to name a few, have become veritable
symbols of conversion in Sindh.
for a poor Hindu girl, conversion is in a way a stepping stone to a better life
that offers her the prospect of an end to a miserable existence. Such
considerations have played a role in young girls being enticed by even elderly
Muslim men into marrying the latter.
elopement in the case of a Hindu girl is akin to defilement. After running away
from her family, she sees no way back because she will be shunned by her own
community. Thus even if she is remorseful and unhappy in her marriage, she will
accept her lot.
the backdrop of these recurring incidents, the police must expand their
outreach to the vulnerable Hindu community. They should meet often not only
with the notables of the community, but also local Hindus who do not have any
social media platform from where to voice their concerns.
most of Pakistan’s existence, there existed no legislation on a registration
mechanism for Hindu marriages. Then the Sindh Hindus Marriage Act, 2016 was
passed by the Sindh Assembly which, however, includes no provision for divorce.
Even as its dream of creating a caliphate lies in tatters, the Islamic State is
still causing major headaches for the Indonesian government. Many of its
citizens had joined IS at its heyday, but now most of them have been abandoned
and are on the brink of being stateless.
have been pressures on the government to welcome the IS returnees, but it also
has plenty of reasons to fear the spread of their extremist views if they are
allowed back into the country.
of IS sympathizers and fighters, including Indonesians, attempting to return to
their homelands have surfaced after the fall of the regime's last stronghold in
Baghouz, Syria, to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
is estimated that hundreds of Indonesians are still stranded in Syria, in
refugee camps or on the run with the last remaining IS fighters.
these Indonesian IS sympathizers are Mariam Abdullah, a mother of four from
Bandung, and her husband Saifuddin, and dozens of others seeking protection at
the Al-Hol refugee camp in eastern Syria, BBC reported.
Affairs Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir, however, said Indonesia may not be
so quick to extend a diplomatic hand to help these IS rejects.
have not received all the information. Many people speak Indonesian [at the
camp] and there are many Mariams there. We can't determine yet if someone is an
Indonesian citizen or not. There's a long procedure to make that
decision," he said.
all of its territory in Syria does not mean that the IS caliphate dream has now
come to an end, experts say. Its manpower, ideology and financial resources
remain a looming threat.
this month, an Indonesian woman with affiliations to the Islamic State blew
herself up and two of her children in Sibolga, North Sumatra, after the
National Police uncovered a terror attack plot involving her husband and his
network of underground terrorists.
May last year, a family of six who had come back from Syria, where they sought
to live under IS, carried out suicide bomb attacks on two churches in Surabaya.
some of the IS returnees have also shared harrowing experiences of living under
IS with the Indonesian public, and even joined government efforts to stem its
Indonesian government has already taken steps to prevent IS returnees from
spreading their newfound ideology in their homeland.
who went to Syria to join IS must go through a citizenship verification process
before they are allowed to return to Indonesia. The lengthy process involves
collaborations between the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the National Police, the
National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) and the State Intelligence Agency
citizenship must be verified first, and then they will be interviewed again to
find out if they have to go through a deradicalization process. There are many
stages [they have to go through], both in Syria and in Indonesia. From there,
we will determine whether or not they will be allowed to return [to
Indonesia]," Armanatha said.
said some Indonesian IS sympathizers had entered Syria illegally without
official documents, making it hard to find out the exact number of Indonesian
citizens in Syria.
Indonesia has no reason to deny them citizenship. The country has already
thrown its support behind United Nations' efforts to reduce statelessness. Its
2018 Law on Acts of Terrorism only bars issuing passports to terror convicts
for a limited period.
if the IS sympathizers denounced their Indonesian citizenship and swore loyalty
to IS, they are still considered Indonesian citizens under the country's 2006
Law on Citizenship, simply because IS is not a sovereign country recognized by
are those who say these people can be regarded as foreign terrorist fighters
and that for that reason their passports can be revoked. But we cannot [deny
them citizenship] because our law does not recognize statelessness," Law
and Human Rights Minister Yasona Laoly said earlier this week.
defends tough new Islamic laws against growing backlash
LUMPUR: Brunei has defended its right to implement Islamic laws that would
allow death by stoning for adultery and homosexuality against growing global
a Muslim-majority former British protectorate with a population of around
400,000, will implement the Sharia laws from April 3, punishing sodomy,
adultery and rape with the death penalty, including by stoning, and theft with
laws, elements of which were first adopted in 2014 and which have been rolled
out in phases since then, will be fully implemented from next week, the prime
minister’s office said in a statement on Saturday.
(Sharia) Law, apart from criminalising and deterring acts that are against the
teachings of Islam, also aims to educate, respect and protect the legitimate
rights of all individuals, society or nationality of any faiths and race,” the
statement said. Some aspects of the laws will apply to non-Muslims.
Hassanal Bolkiah, 72, is the world’s second-longest reigning monarch and is
prime minister of the oil-rich country. He ranks as one of the world’s
which neighbours two Malaysian states on Borneo island, already enforces
Islamic teachings more strictly than Malaysia and Indonesia, the other majority
Muslim countries in southeast Asia. The sale of alcohol is banned and
evangelism by other religions is forbidden.
country does not hold elections, but any discontent is assuaged with generous
government polices including zero taxes, subsidised housing, and free
healthcare and education.
expected implementation of the strict Islamic laws has drawn widespread
criticism. Politicians in Europe and the United States have attacked the plans
and raised concerns with Brunei.
people to death for homosexuality or adultery is appalling and immoral,” former
U.S. vice president Joe Biden said in a Twitter post on Friday. “There is no
excuse - not culture, not tradition - for this kind of hate and inhumanity.”
mother was a Christian': Prabowo denies supporting caliphate
candidate Prabowo Subianto clarified during the fourth presidential candidate
debate on Saturday that he was not in any position to support the establishment
of a caliphate in Indonesia, an accusation recently thrown at him.
who was born from a Christian mother, said the accusation was “cruel” and did
not “make any sense”.
am sure Pak Jokowi is a Pancasilaist, patriot and nationalist. But I wonder if
you realize, that some of your supporters have accused me of supporting the
creation of a caliphate?” Prabowo asked incumbent candidate Joko “Jokowi”
Widodo during an ideology-themed session.
mother was a Christian. I was born from the womb of a Christian,” he added.
retired army general reiterated his stance by saying that altering Pancasila,
the state ideology, had never crossed
I was 16 year old, I [have been] defending Pancasila. I risked my life, how
could I be accused of [trying] to change Pancasila? That’s cruel,” he
support among conservative Muslims, including former sympathizers of the
now-banned Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), had led to rumors that he planned to
turn Indonesia into an Islam-based state if elected.
response, Jokowi said he believed his rival was a Pancasilaist, nationalist and
patriot. However, he mentioned that false accusations had been thrown at him as
Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced 18 people to life in prison for joining
ISIS and plotting to bomb a church, a judicial source said.
state security criminal court in Cairo heard that some of the defendants had
undergone “militant training” in Libya and Syria.
prosecution in their investigation accused the defendants of planning a
“suicide bombing” in July 2017 at a church in the Mediterranean city of
Alexandria, the source said.
were also convicted for plotting to bomb a liquor store the same year in the
town of Damietta, 200 kilometers northeast of the capital.
claimed responsibility for twin church bombings on Palm Sunday in April 2017
that killed 45 people. One of the churches targeted was a Coptic cathedral in
sentence saw 30 defendants in total. Eight were given 15 years in prison and
four others were handed 10-year jail sentences.
were convicted for joining a “terrorist group”, planning terror acts as well as
possession of explosives, firearms, and ammunition, the source said.
has been locked for the past year in deadly battles with insurgents affiliated
with ISIS in its eastern Sinai Peninsula.
600 suspected militants and 40 soldiers have been killed in an army offensive
launched in February 2018, according to official figures.
men were sentenced to between 10 years to life imprisonment on Saturday for
planning a suicide bombing on a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria and
other charges, court official said.
said at the time of their arrest that the defendants had embraced the ideas of
ISIS extremist group and received training abroad and in Egypt.
of the defendants who appeared in court, dressed in white prison garb, did not
react to the sentences, and there was no immediate comment from lawyers
representing them. The other 10 are still on the run and were sentenced in
attack on the church did not take place. But minority Christians have faced a
series of assaults in Alexandria and other parts of Egypt in recent years.
claimed responsibility for suicide bombings on churches in Alexandria and Tanta
in April 2017 that left 45 people dead.
defendants were also accused of planning to bomb a liquor store in the
Mediterranean city of Damietta, joining an illegal group and possessing weapons
of them received life terms, which are 25 years long in Egypt, eight got 15
years in prison and four were sentenced to 10 years, the head of the Alexandria
Criminal Court, convened in Cairo, said.
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted a high-ranking source in
al-Anbar as saying on Friday that the US forces stationed in the region have
restarted espionage operations to collect intelligence from a number of Hashd
al-Shaabi commanders in al-Anbar and their bases in the region.
added that the US military men have forced a number of Iraqi tribal leaders who
had earlier joined the ISIL either to surrender to the security forces or work
for the Americans as secret spies.
commander of Hashd al-Shaabi in al-Anbar province had in December revealed that
the US military forces are spying on them at bordering areas with Syria,
warning that the popular forces would take action if they trace any threat to
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted Qassem Moslih, the Iraqi
popular forces' commander in Western al-Anbar, as saying that the US forces
flew different types of planes over the Iraq-Syria bordering areas, spying on
added that 20,000 Hashd al-Shaabi forces were deployed near the border with
Syria from al-Qa'em to Southern Iraq near Jordan, stressing that they were
prepared to confront any threats against the country.
Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website quoted a security source as saying
on Saturday that the US forces have launched heliborne operations in Syria near
the border with Iraq to transfer a key ISIL terrorist to their bases in the
an Iraqi source earlier said that the US forces have informed the Syrian
Democratic Forces after the SDF's control over the town of Baqouz that ISIL
ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still in Syria.
sources said earlier this month that more ISIL terrorists had been evacuated
from Eastern Deir Ezzur by the US forces.
sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur reported that the US-led coalition forces staged
heliborne operations near Badiyeh al-Tonak region, rescuing the ISIL militants
on 3 helicopters.
Arabic-language Shafaq news website quoted a source in Saraya al-Salam group
affiliated to the Sadr Movement as saying on Friday that a high-profile
commander of the ISIL namely Mohammed Intikhab was killed in Samara city in
Saladdin province along with 4 of his aides.
added that Intikhab was one of the most notorious ISIL commanders who recruited
and prepared children for suicide attacks and was a liaison between Saladdin
province and Northern Baghdad.
source noted that he had also committed different crimes, including murder, creating
panic and horror in al-Mo'etasam and al-Sa'awiyeh regions, participation in
several terrorist operations in al-Ishaqi region and attacks against the Iraqi
army centers, the last of which occurred in February.
Iraqi officials have blamed the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf
Arab states for the presence of ISIL terrorists in their country.
Syrian army units pounded the terrorists' moves and hideouts in the towns of
Kafr Zita, al-Shariah, Jisr Beit al-Ra'as, Tal al-Sakhar and al-Jabisat in
Northern Hama with artillery and missile fire on Saturday.
a field source reported that during the attacks several positions and military
equipment of the terrorists were smashed and a large number of militants were
killed and wounded.
the Syrian army forces targeted the gathering centers of Turkistani terrorists
in Jisr Beit al-Ra'as in Northwestern Hama who intended to infiltrate the
army-controlled areas, fully destroying their positions and military equipment
and inflicting heavy tolls on them.
on Friday, the Syrian army attacked the positions and moves of Tahrir al-Sham
terrorist group in response to their continued offensives from the
demilitarized zone in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.
Syrian army forces launched heavy artillery strikes against the positions and
moves of Tahrir al-Sham in the towns of al-Sharia'h and Tal al-Sakhar in
response to the terrorists' attacks against military areas.
the attacks, the Syrian army smashed several hideouts, military vehicles,
weapons and equipment of the militants, leaving a bunch of the terrorists dead
Arabia hacked Washington Post owner’s phone
investigation into the leaking of Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff
Bezos’ private phone data has revealed that Saudi Arabia hacked his phone,
possibly because of the Post’s coverage of the state-sponsored murder of Saudi
journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
finding was announced by Gavin de Becker, a security consultant and long-time
associate of Bezos, who was recently commissioned by him to find out how his
text messages and photos had been obtained by American Media Inc (AMI), the
publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer.
investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the
Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information,” de Becker
wrote in an article for The Daily Beast website on Saturday.
its front page in January, the National Enquirer said Bezos had been “caught
cheating on his wife of 25 years with the spouse of a Hollywood mogul!”
month after the publication of that alleged affair, Bezos accused the AMI of
blackmail, saying it had threatened to publish his intimate photos unless he
said publicly that the tabloid’s reporting was not politically motivated.
also stressed in a blog post that The Washington Post’s “unrelenting coverage”
of the murder of Khashoggi was “undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles,” an
apparent reference to the Saudi court and political groups within America
allied to Riyadh.
— a late but vocal critic of Crown Prince Mohammed (MBS) — was killed and his
body was dismembered by a Saudi hit squad after being lured into the kingdom’s
consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018. His fate was unknown for
several days, until Saudi Arabia confirmed under rising international pressure
that he had been murdered at the consulate. Riyadh has not produced Khashoggi’s
body to this day.
the final years of his life, Khashoggi lived in the US and wrote a column for
The Washington Post.
administration of US President Donald Trump has sided with Riyadh in the
scandal, despite a conclusion by the CIA that Mohammed personally ordered the
murder — a development first reported by the Post.
considers Washington Post a major enemy’
his Saturday article, de Becker said his investigation had “studied the
well-documented and close relationship” between Mohammed —also known by his
initials MBS — and AMI Chairman David Pecker.
Americans will be surprised to learn that the Saudi government has been very
intent on harming Jeff Bezos since last October, when the Post began its
relentless coverage of Khashoggi’s murder,” he said. “It’s clear that MBS
considers the Washington Post to be a major enemy.”
security consultant said the AMI had previously demanded that he say his probe
had concluded that the publisher had not relied upon “any form of electronic
eavesdropping or hacking in their newsgathering process,” which he and Bezos
refused to do.
Becker also said he had turned over the findings of his inquiry to US federal
since Khashoggi disappeared at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, The Washington
Post has been producing near-constant coverage of the case. The reportage has
partially helped attract international attention to the scandal.
and pieces of reporting by various international media have depicted a picture
of Mohammed as a publicly innocuous but privately power-hungry figure who
resorts to cunning and aggressive means to reach his goals.
by The New York Times has revealed that Mohammed “authorized a secret campaign
to silence dissenters — which included the surveillance, kidnapping, detention
and torture of Saudi citizens — over a year before the killing of” Khashoggi.
Times has also reported how Saudi Arabia employed a troll farm to harass
Khashoggi online before his death. The Riyadh regime also used a Saudi employee
at Twitter as a spy.
was no immediate reaction to the revelation de Becker from the Trump White
House, which remains closely tied to Riyadh, including in the form of military
contracts worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
a sign of the magnitude of the latest scandal, de Becker wrote in his article,
“For 40 years, I’ve advised at-risk public figures and government agencies on
high-stakes security matters... I’ve seen a lot. And yet, I’ve recently seen
things that have surprised even me, such as the National Enquirer’s parent
company, AMI, being in league with a foreign nation that’s been actively trying
to harm American citizens and companies.”
says the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has set May 15 as the deadline
for the US to give detailed accounts of its measures to lift sanctions on
humanitarian supplies to the country.
ICJ has informed the US of the deadline in a letter, Iranian legal
representative at the ICJ Mohsen Mohebbi told IRNA on Saturday.
is required to report to the Court about measures it was supposed to carry out
regarding the ICJ’s orders with respect to the removal of Iran bans, Mohebbi
in October 2018, the ICJ ordered the United States to halt the unilateral
sanctions it had re-imposed on "humanitarian" supplies to Iran.
Hague-based court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations,
announced its ruling on October 3 regarding the July 2018 lawsuit brought by
Tehran against Washington's decision to re-impose unilateral sanctions
following the US exit from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
decisions of the ICJ – which rules on disputes between UN member states – are
ruling requires Washington to allow supply of medicine and medical devices,
food and agricultural goods and airplane parts, which directly deal with human
lives, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassem.
lawsuit argued that the sanctions violate the terms of the 1955 Treaty of Amity
between Iran and the US, which the latter canceled following the October
officials say the US has backpedaled on its plan for a total withdrawal from
Syria and will keep a large portion of its forces on the ground there.
officials told the New York Times on Friday that the Pentagon mulls cutting its
combat force in northeastern Syria roughly in half by early May - or to about
1,000 troops - and then pause the process.
US military, they added, will then assess conditions and reduce the number of
forces in Syria every six months or so, until it reaches 400.
President Donald Trump announced the plan to withdraw all 2,000 American forces
from Syria last December. Since then, however, American officials have provided
contradictory statements on the procedure.
abrupt move sparked concern among officials in Washington, prompting Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis to step down in protest. The pullout order also raised
worries among US-backed Kurdish militants operating in northern Syria and left
them feeling abandoned by Washington.
February, a senior administration official said that Trump had agreed to keep about
400 US troops in Syria, split between a safe zone in the country's northeast
and al-Tanf base in Homs Province.
the shift, Trump claimed at the time that he was not "reversing course” on
Syria and that the remaining troops would be “a very small, tiny fraction” of
American officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, told the New
York Times that under the latest Syria plan, the Pentagon may not have to reach
that lowest troop level until the fall of 2020.
military officials warned that the Syria withdrawal timetable remained fluid
and that final force levels could be changed given a range of factors.
continue to implement the president’s direction to draw down US forces to a
residual presence in a deliberate and coordinated manner,” said Colonel Patrick
Ryder, a spokesman for the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. “This work is
ongoing and, for operational security reasons, we will not discuss specific US
troop numbers or drawdown timelines.”
Trump’s pullout order, the American military started withdrawing equipment from
Syria while increasing the number of
troops to almost 3,000.
the current number of American personnel fell below 2,000.
forces are being withdrawn,” James F. Jeffrey, the American special envoy for
Syria, said earlier this week.“We had to reinforce initially to bring in more
combat power, and now we’re going back down toward what the final number will
US's controversial decision to recognize Israeli “sovereignty” over Syria’s
occupied Golan Heights has raised concerns among Lebanese officials about the
fate of Shebaa Farms which remain under occupation by the Tel Aviv regime.
occupied Shebaa Farms, a small strip of land at the intersection of the
Lebanese-Syrian border and the Golan Heights, during the 1967 war.
withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, but it kept control of Shebaa Farms
under the pretext that the region’s ownership was undecided between Lebanon and
Aviv considers Shebaa Farms part of the occupied Golan while both Damascus and
Beirut say the area is Lebanese.
this week, US President Donald Trump signed a decree recognizing Israeli
“sovereignty” over the occupied Golan at a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister
move sparked international condemnations, including from Lebanon.
President Michel Aoun said that the new US stance on Golan was a “black day for
the world” and an “arbitrary action” that goes against international law.
officials fear the US could also recognize Israel’s claim to Shebaa Farms.
Lebanese official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, told
London-based Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that Shebaa Farms were not
part of the Golan Heights.
one mentioned our land to declare its annexation to Israel. Therefore, the
official Lebanese positions were limited to criticizing the move because it
affects Syria and its lands. Our occupied territories were never part of
Golan," he said.
Riad Kahwaji, head of the Dubai-based INEGMA defense consultancy, claimed that
as long as Israel considers Shebaa Farms part of Golan, the US's recent
decision also covers the Lebanese region.
long as Shebaa Farms, the Kfar Shuba Hills and the village of Ghajar are for
Israel a territory belonging to Golan, most of which were occupied in 1967, the
American recognition of its sovereignty over Golan automatically means its
sovereignty over its territories including occupied Lebanese territories,"
he said. “What makes things worse is the absence of clear documents and maps
that determine where Golan begins and where it ends," he added.
speaking to a meeting of Arab ministers in Tunis on Friday, Tunisian Foreign
Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said that his country will coordinate with its
fellow Arab countries to “contain” any fallout from Trump’s provocative
decision to recognize Israeli "sovereignty" over Syria’s Golan
on Friday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani stressed that Tehran would resist
the US's Golan move.
decision is "trampling on international regulations about the Golan,"
he said, adding "Iranians too should resist and that way gain
victory" over the US and Israel.
1967, Israel waged a full-scale war against Arab territories during which it
occupied a large swathe of Syria’s Golan and annexed it four years later, a
move never recognized by the international community.
least 25 Taliban militants were killed during the operations of the Afghan
Special Forces and airstrikes which were conducted in Paktika, Helmand,
Uruzgan, and Kandahar provinces.
military sources said Saturday that an airstrike in Bermal district of Paktika
province killed 2 Taliban fighters while 8 Taliban fighters were killed in
Afghan Special Forces operation in Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand in past 24
sources further added that an airstrike in Musa Qal’ah district of Helamdn
killed 1 Taliban fighter and wounded another.
security forces killed 3 Taliban fighters in Tarin Kot district of Uruzgan
during the same period, the sources said, adding that airstrikes were also
carried out in Musa Qal’ah district of Helmand which left 8 Taliban fighters
the meantime, the sources said an airstrike in Shah Wali Kot district of
Kandahar province killed 3 Taliban fighters.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operations and airstrikes so far.
least 19 Taliban militants were killed and four Improvised Explosive Device
manufacturing facilities were destroyed during the operations in southern
to informed military sources “A multi-day operation in Nahr-e Saraj district of
Helmand killed 19 Taliban fighters and wounded 2 others.”
source further added that the Afghan security forces destroyed 4 IED
manufacturing facilities and an large IED cache, which included 13 pressure
plate IEDs, multiple RPG rockets and an RPG launcher.
the operation a precision air strike was used to destroy a vehicle-borne IED,”
the sources said.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operations so far.
Taliban militants have suffered heavy casualties during the latest operations
of the Afghan Special Forces and airstrikes which were conducted in Ghazni,
Uruzgan, Kandahar, and Helmand provinces in past 24 hours.
to informed military sources, at least 3 Taliban militants including one of
their senior commanders were killed in Special Forces operations and airstrikes
which were conducted in Jaji and Qarabagha districts of Ghazni province.
operations were conducted in Tainkot city of Uruzgan province leaving at least
30 militants dead, 1 wounded. The soldiers also found and destroyed 13 IEDs and
IED making material.
Special Forces conducted a raid on a suspected Taliban IED-making facility in
Maywand district of Kandahar province killing 3 Taliban fighters, the sources
said, adding that Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in Sangin district of
Helmand province and arrested 4 Taliban fighters and leaders.
least one person was killed and two others were wounded in an attack by Taliban
militants against the convoy of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, the First Vice
President of Afghanistan.
spokesman for Junbish-e-Milli Party, Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, confirmed that the
Taliban militants had laid an ambush against the convoy of the First Vice
President in the vicinities of Alam Khel, Timorak, and Shisha Khana areas
located along Balkh-Jawzjan highway.
further added that the militants were forced to retreat after the security
forces responded to the attack.
to Tahyanj, the militants have probably suffered casualties during the clash
with the secuirty forces.
key member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) was
arrested during an operation of the Afghan security forces in Jalalabad city,
the provincial capital of Nangarhar province.
governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani confirmed that the ISIS-K group member
was arrested during the operation of Afghan Intelligence operatives.
further added that the detained individual has been identified as Sajid who is
originally a resident of Kama district of Nangarhar.
the meantime, the provincial government media office in a statement said Sajid
was a member of the urban network of ISIS-K and was invovled in recruiting
militants in ISIS ranks and spreading propaganda in favor of the group in
Bangladesh security forces stopped 29 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, from
being smuggled to Malaysia in rickety fishing boats, officials said Saturday,
the latest group prevented from leaving squalid refugee camps.Lieutenant
Commander Mahmud Hasan said Bangladesh Coast Guard forces found 16 women, seven
children and six men waiting for the boat along the coast of the southern Saint
Martin's Island early Saturday.
them 22 are Rohingya refugees from the Cox's Bazar camps and the rest are
Bangladeshis. We have also arrested three human traffickers with a boat,"
Hasan told reporters.
official said they have handed over the traffickers to the police and sent the
refugees back to Kutupalong, the largest refugee camp in the world.
740,000 of the Muslim minority fled Myanmar for Bangladesh, escaping a military
crackdown in the Buddhist-majority nation in August 2017, and joining some
300,000 Rohingya already living in the overcrowded camps.
operation marked the sixth time since November that Rohingya have been
intercepted attempting to get a boat to Malaysia, a more prosperous
security forces last month stopped more than 100 people -- mostly Rohingya
refugees -- from making the dangerous journey.
smugglers sent tens of thousands of Rohingya from the camps to Malaysia before
Bangladesh launched a crackdown in 2015 following the discovery of mass graves
of refugees by Thai authorities.
ruling party postpones Sudan convention, election of new leader
President Omar al-Bashir’s party decided Saturday to indefinitely postpone its
general convention, which was to elect a new head after the veteran leader
handed the party’s leadership to his deputy.
general convention of the National Congress Party (NCP), held once in four
years, was scheduled for next month but the exact dates had not been announced.
party’s shura council ... decided to indefinitely suspend the holding of the
general convention because of the current situation in the country,” Mohamed
el-Hassan el-Amien, an NCP leader, told reporters.
who normally attends meetings like the one held Saturday, was not present.
has been rocked by deadly protests since December, with demonstrators calling
for an end to Bashir’s rule of three decades.
has remained defiant, and on February 22 imposed a nationwide state of
emergency after an initial crackdown failed to quell the protests.
on March 1 he handed his powers as head of NCP to his deputy, Ahmed Harun,
making him acting chief until the general convention, where a new president of
NCP was to be elected.
is scheduled to hold its next presidential election in 2020, and according to
the charter of NCP, the leader of the party becomes its candidate in the
NCP was formed a few years after Bashir swept to power in an Islamist-backed
coup in 1989, and he had been the party's leader up until this month.
continue to stage regular demonstrations that first erupted on December 19
after a government decision to triple the price of bread.
protests swiftly turned into nationwide rallies against Bashir’s government,
accusing it of mismanaging the country’s economy.
say 31 people have died in protest-related violence, but Human Rights Watch has
put the death toll at 51.
holds municipal elections in first vote since five years
held rare municipal elections in nine communities on Saturday, although turnout
in the country’s first voting since five years reached only about 38 percent.
North African state, which has been mired in conflict and chaos since the 2011
toppling of Muammar Gaddafi, has not held any elections since 2014, when a
heavily contested national vote ended up splitting the country into rival
administrations and parliaments.
nine out of 69 municipal councils in southern and western Libya voted on
Saturday, officials said. No violence or sabotage was reported.
created 120 municipal councils in 2013 in a bid to end 42 years of
centralization and one man rule under Gaddafi. Some councils held elections in
municipal board of each council includes seven members, which then elects a
go on each Saturday until 33 councils hold their elections then we resume after
the holy month of Ramadan so all councils are elected,” Salem Bentahia, head of
the elections commission, told Reuters.
Muslim fasting month of Ramadan ends in early June.
Zuwara, a town west of Tripoli near the Tunisian border, there was a modest
turnout in the morning.
wish every success to this board and for it to achieve all the aspirations of
this city’s residents in all areas,” Abdulsalam Ramdan Abdulsalam said as he
cast his vote.
United Nations is holding a national conference in April in a bid to end the
political conflict between the internationally recognized government in Tripoli
in the west of Libya and a parallel administration version in the east.
army control dispute
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday that there are signs
that Libya’s two rival leaders may for the first time solve a key dispute over
control of the army.
United Nations has been trying to broker a power sharing agreement between
Khalifa Haftar, a commander controlling eastern Libya allied to a parallel
government, and the internationally-recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj,
based in Tripoli.
key obstacle has been whether Haftar can head a unified Libyan army under
civilian command, which would form part of a new national government.
see signs that the contradictions that you have noted could possibly be
overcome for the first time,” Guterres told reporters when asked whether the
two leaders could reach an agreement on the question of civilian army command.
spoke after a meeting with officials of the Arab League, European Union and
African Union ahead of an Arab leaders’ summit in Tunis on Sunday.
has delayed the first round of its presidential elections by one week to
November 17, a spokesman for the elections commission said on Friday.
initial date had been set for Nov. 10 but this conflicted with an Islamic
holiday, when many Tunisians are travelling.
parliamentary race is expected to be fought closely by the moderate Islamist
Ennahda party, the more secular Tahya Tounes party of Prime Minister Youssef
Chahed, and the Nidaa Tounes party led by Hafedh Caid Essebsi, the president’s
authorities charged three young African migrants on Saturday with committing an
act of terrorism for hijacking a vessel that rescued them off the coast of
two teenagers from Guinea and one from Ivory Coast, aged 15, 16 and 19, are
accused of forcing the Palau-flagged tanker Elhiblu I towards Malta after it
picked up 108 migrants, including women and children, on Wednesday and headed
towards its destination in Libya.
Maltese special operations unit boarded the ship a day later, arrested five men
suspected of leading the hijacking. They handed control back to the captain who
steered the ship to Valletta under a navy escort.
three migrants, who were charged at a Maltese court with seizing control of the
ship through the use or threat of force and intimidation, pleaded not guilty
and were placed in preventive detention pending trial.
face prison terms of between seven and 30 years if convicted.
ship’s captain told Maltese media the hijackers “were desperate and absolutely
did not want to return to Libya.”
and confusion erupted when the migrants understood that we were going back,” to
a country where migrants face trafficking, kidnap, torture and rape according
to the United Nations and aid groups.
Italy’s increasingly tough anti-migrant stance, vessels that pick up migrants
crossing the Mediterranean increasingly return them to Libya.
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