Learnt Religion From Wrong People, Happy He’s Dead: Lanka Bomber’s Sister
Neighbours, Imam Tipped Off Police About IS Hideout In Sri Lanka
Figure: Al-Saud's So-Called Reforms Aimed at Deceiving, Plundering People
Media: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Attempting to Cross Syria into Iraq
Imam: Islam Must Rebel Against Christianophobia
Will Not Accept US 'Deal of Century' At All: Haniyeh
Driver Targeted Family Because They Looked Muslim, Police Say
Army Chief Tells Al Arabiya: Council Open to Dialogue with All Parties
Beacon of Enlightened Islam or Well-Paying Divinity School?
Reformist Jamaat-e-Islami Leaders Launch New Political Outfit, 'Jana Akankhyar
involved in Sri Lanka blasts visited India twice in 2017, shows Intel
Lanka bombings: Tamil medium teacher among 106 suspects held
leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar boycotts consultative peace Jirga
Taliban militants killed in various operations of Afghan Special Forces and
envoy for Afghan peace briefs President Ghani regarding his future programs
militants killed, 6 others wounded in Ghor operations: Zafar Corps
battle in Sri Lanka kills 15, US pulls citizens out
claims attack on east coast city of Sri Lanka
Lanka bans groups suspected to be behind attacks
Lanka raids terror hideout amid fears of new bombings
churches shut after bombs, Sri Lankans hear Mass on TV
Delivers Advanced Weapons to SDF in Eastern Euphrates
Tahrir Al-Sham Terrorists Killed in Popular Uprising in Idlib
People Killed in Deir Ezzur's Popular Protests against US-Backed SDF
Forces Killed, Injured in US-Led Airstrikes in Kirkuk
attacks kill 17 Syria pro-regime fighters, says Monitor
summons Iraqi diplomat over criticism from Muqtada al-Sadr
summons US, Bahrain envoys over 'interventionist, offensive' comments
not ripe for military offensive on militant-held Idlib: Russia
groups kill 17 Syrian government troops in Aleppo
Student Who Tried To Go To Syria Freed Early
US Navy SEAL facing war crimes charges for killings in Iraq
says ‘evil of anti-Semitism’ must be defeated
envoy, Ghani push ‘intra-Afghan’ peace talks
coalition killed over 1600 civilians in Syria's Raqqa: Rights groups
chief suggests readiness to deter unspecific Iran action
Military and Opposition Agree in Principle on Joint Council
Welcomes Nigerian Gov't Permission for Sheikh Zakzaki's Medical Treatment
leading opposition figure calls for the continuation of protests
raids on Libya’s capital, say sources
of outlawed Islamist party to be buried in Algeria
Haram terrorists overrun army base in NE Nigeria, steal weapons: Sources
air strike kills three ISIS militants in Somalia just weeks after group's
deputy head was killed
Muslim preacher Zamri Vinoth nabbed in Perlis for remarks against Hinduism
unity seed planted by me and Hadi, says Najib
Statute is not about LGBT or against Islam, forum told
with India 'Only Problem' For Peace in Region: Pak PM Imran Khan
abolish a system you yourself are a product of?' Miandad asks PM Imran
interior minister pick raises questions about ‘new’ Pakistan
likely to boycott govt briefing on NAP
Levies men martyred in Waziristan blast
likely to return to Pakistan from Dubai on May 1
to launch struggle for urban Sindh province
system will spell doom, says JI chief
blast kills 3 Pakistani soldiers near Afghan border
IS Suspects Had Links with Lanka Terror Handler’
martyr’s father held for terror hoax call
doesn’t share info on Pak’s use of F-16, says bilateral issue
mastermind of Sri Lanka attacks spent 'substantial time in India': The Hindu
Leaving Nuclear Treaty One of ‘Numerous Choices’ After US Sanctions
army kills dozens of Houthi militia
Central Command Chief says he has ‘resources necessary’ to deter Iran
Christians mark ‘Holy Fire’ Easter ceremony in Jerusalem
to free two Syrian prisoners in return for soldier’s remains
airstrikes leave seven more civilians dead in southern Yemen
pledges to confront opponents in own party after elections loss
‘Armenia genocide’ remembrance irks Erdogan
Erdogan vows to confront opponents inside party after vote loss
by New Age Islam News Bureau
by Mamata's alleged appeasement politics, BJP is gaining ground in West Bengal
members of the family, including seven children and Zahran’s parents, had gone
missing three days before the Easter Sunday blasts. Madhaniya told The Sunday
Express she knew nothing of the so-called Islamic State, which had allegedly
inspired her brother to kill so many people.
(Madhaniya and Zahran) stopped talking in 2017 after he started spitting venom
in his speeches. He had been a fiery orator on Islam and a crowdpuller at
streetcorner meetings from his teenage days. But I couldn’t take it any longer
after he started to preach against the government, the national flag, against
elections, and against other religions. He brought catastrophe upon our
family,” she told The Sunday Express.
is a Muslim-dominated town on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast. Madhaniya and Niyas’s
home is situated barely 100 metres from the National Thowheeth Jama’ath masjid,
a large two-storey structure with glass walls, the mosque where Zahran was
allegedly radicalised. Residents of the area said on Saturday evening that the
mosque has been under renovation for over two years.
brother, Madhaniya said, had started to claim that his own interpretation of
Islam was the only true faith. “He was offensive about other religions, as well
as moderate Muslims and Sufis. He would call Sufis drug addicts and smokers. My
husband kept away from him as we felt that he was moving in a dangerous
direction. The police were already monitoring him,” Madhaniya said.
though she had cut off connections with Zahran, she continued to send food to
her parents, who stayed with her sister and her family in a nearby street,
Madhaniya said. “But they disappeared suddenly on Thursday (April 18).
Neighbours told us on Friday that they were not at home. Their phones had been
switched off. Then the blasts happened, and we learnt the role Zahran had played,”
whole family, she said, might have “gone together”, leaving only her and Niyas
out because she was strongly opposed to “Zahran’s hatred towards the whole
to Madhaniya, Zahran dropped out of school in Class 6, but retained a strong
interest in Islamic studies. He completed a course in Arabic to memorise the
Quran, and showed an “unusual interest” in propagating his ideas on Islam. In
2006, he started an Islamic studies centre. “He lost God because he learnt the
Hadiths from the wrong people, and he learnt to kill people instead. I should
say that I am happy that he is no more,” Madhaniya said.
some unverified reports that Zahran visited Tamil Nadu, Madhaniya said that in
her knowledge, the only foreign trip he had made was to Japan a decade ago.
“Someone from Colombo took him to Japan for a month. His job was to give Tamil
Muslims there classes on the Quran. After 2017, I doubt he went abroad, because
his passport and identification numbers were already with the police by then,”
would listen to the Quran alone. He considered everything else a sin, and those
who listen to music too were sinners for him. He believed that his
interpretation of the religion was the best, and all others were bad. His idea
of Islam was not ours,” Madhaniya said.
March 2017, Zahran and his followers clashed with Sufi Muslims, and he made a
provocative speech about moderate Muslims. As the heat on him increased, he
was absconding since March 2017 because he was to be arrested. People in the
neighbourhood say that he would visit his parents discreetly, in a vehicle with
dark windows. He was the victim of the Wahhabi Islam that Sri Lankans who went
to Gulf in the 1980s brought back with themselves. Wahhabism has killed our
traditional values, and painted moderate Muslims like us as kafirs,” said H M
Ameer, secretary of the Sufi Badhariya Masjid, who had contested Zahran’s
challenged and threatened us publicly in meetings. He called us renegades. He
ridiculed traditional Islamic practices that we followed. Wahhabi Islam made
him a conservative, then an extremist, and finally a terrorist,” said Ameer,
who had sent several detailed complaints to the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry and
terrorist investigation cells against Zahran.
National Towheeth Jama’ath can claim that he was expelled after 2017, but his
brother headed it afterward. Now this brother is also missing or killed. He
(the brother) would speak about the war in Syria, and tell Muslims that they should
all live in the Islamic State,” Ameer said.
the largely deserted National Towheeth Jama’ath mosque on Saturday, The Sunday
Express found two young men who had come for prayers. “We heard of this (the
alleged involvement of the National Towheeth Jama’ath in the blasts). I have
seen Zahran here many times. We knew that there were problems, but this is a
masjid. What is there to fear about a masjid?” one of the two men said.
neighbours, imam tipped off police about IS hideout in Sri Lanka
neighbours and the imam of a local mosque had tipped off the security forces
about the existence of a safe house taken on rent by the followers of the
Islamic State in the Muslim-majority town of Sainthamarudu in Sri Lanka’s
Eastern Province, locals said.
a gun battle between the security forces and terrorists holed up in a van and
the safe house, and following three explosions triggered by the holed-up
terrorists on Friday night, 15 people, including six men, six women, and three
children, were killed. Two suspected terrorists, believed to be suicide
bombers, have decamped and a hunt is on for them, police said.
STATE SAFE HOUSE
safe house in question was taken on rent by the followers of a Tawheed Jamaat
led by Mohammed Zahran Hashim, who was influenced by the Islamic State.
was one of the suicide bombers who died in the Easter Sunday attacks on
churches and hotels in Colombo.
woman and a child who were injured in Friday’s incident have been hospitalised.
No injuries or casualties have been reported among the security forces.
bodies suspected to be that of the suicide bombers have been recovered at the
site of explosions and gun battles.
at another town, Nintavur, detected a brand new unregistered van, suspected to
be belonging to the National Tawheed Jamaat’s leader, Zahran’s brother-in-law,
detection of two ID cards, initial reports confirmed the said van had been
bought in Akkaraipattu on cash on Apr 19. .
during another search operation carried out on Friday evening in Sammanthurai
area, army troops recovered IS flags, literature and some other objects from a
place, said to be the terrorist organisation’s place for oath-taking.
to the Military Spokesman, Brigadier Sumith Atapattu, combined troops recovered
explosives, detonators, gelignite sticks, acid bottles, IS flags and backdrop,
suicide kits, and military uniforms from the safe house in Sammanthurai.
dead gunmen are yet to be identified and clearing operations are continuing.
curfew was imposed within Kalmunai, Chavalakadai and Sammanthurai police areas
on Friday night until further notice.
in Erakandy in Trincomalee district, police have arrested a person with 51
water gel explosive sticks and 215 detonators. In Colombo, ruling United
National Party Municipal Councillor Noordeen Mohamad Thajuddeen has been
arrested for possessing 46 swords.
PEOPLE TIPPED OFF POLICE
Ameer, head of the Abdul Jawad Ali Waliullah Trust, said that when the security
forces rounded up the Sainthamarudu safe house, gunmen in an un-registered van
opened fire on them and the security forces returned the fire.
Muslims here, including the local mosque head, had completely rejected the
extremist propaganda which Zahran’s group had been indulging in since 2017.
Local people, including their social leaders and clerics, had complained about
the Zahran group’s propaganda that non-Muslims have to be exterminated and that
those dying in fights against Kafirs, would go straight to heaven,” Ameer said.
who is a key personality among the Sufis of the nearby all-Muslim town of
Kathankudy, said: “People had participated in demonstrations against the
Zahran’s Tawheed Jamaat and its propaganda. I, along with 12 others, had filed
a case against Zahran seeking a ban on his activities in 2017. I had met
Ministry of Defence officials in Colombo with recordings of Zahran’s speeches
and the literature he had produced. But all to no avail.”
Ali, a freelance journalist now in Sammanthurai
said that local people are livid with Zahran’s men for taking a house on
rent and working against the interest of the landlord and the entire area.
of Sri Lanka consider Zahran and his ilk to be fit to be driven out of Sri
Lanka. If there was not such a feeling of discomfort with him, neighbours of
the safe house and the local mosque head would not have told the police about
the house and its occupants,” Ameer added.
Shoib, a political commentator and a media advisor to Commerce Minister Rishad
Bathiudeen, said that as recently as Jan 3 this year, the All Ceylon Jamiaythul
Ulema (ACJU) had complained to the defence ministry about the activities of
Zahran’s Tawheed Jamaat, through the good offices of the Governor of the
Western Province, Asad Sally. But again to no avail he regretted.
said 99 percent of Sri Lankan Muslims are “resolutely opposed to terrorism”.
can we support them when Islam condemns killing and suicide to be un-Islamic?
And here they have children with them,” he added.
whether the ugly incident in Samanthurai could have been prevented, people this
correspondent talked to said while stern action is called for under the
circumstances for the security of the people at large, government should see to
it that the security forces do not act with impunity.
Ahamad, of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) said that the security forces
had no option but to storm the safe house.
pointed out that the tip off was given by peace-loving Muslims.
the new laws should be exercised with caution so that they are not used to
harass people in peace time,” Ahmad said.
well-known human rights activist who is currently on a government committee on
missing people, said that while tough measures are needed now to track down the
conspirators involved in the Easter Sunday carnage, any law allowing disposal
of bodies without an inquest should be rejected.
could give rise to disappearances which have been a major problem in Sri Lanka
since the 1980s,” the activist who did not want to be named, said.
liberal think tank, Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) said in a statement
that it “fully appreciates the need for a robust and compelling response from
the government in the face of terrorism, so as to reassure and restore public
confidence in institutions and a swift return to political, economic, and
in moments like these, there is a danger of executive overreach, as
demonstrated by our own past experience of protracted conflict, and that of
other countries facing the threat of terrorism. While constitutional democracies
accommodate the need for expanded executive powers in order to cope with
emergencies, and accordingly the need for some regulated abridgement of
individual liberties and normal checks and balances, it is critical to ensure
that emergency powers are not allowed to completely extinguish the balance
between freedom and security.”
particular, in equipping the state with adequate powers to respond to the
threat of terrorism, we emphasise that the following points require serious
attention if this is to be done consistently with the democratic values
underpinning our Constitution:-
no ethnic or religious minority is alienated and marginalised through
indiscriminate association with any terror groups in conflict with the state,
and ensuring proactive measures to maintain communal harmony and safety;
the exercise of emergency powers does not exceed the limits of the law and the
Constitution, which limits have been expanded by the declaration of a state of
emergency powers lawfully exercised have the effect of restricting fundamental
rights only to the extent permitted by the Constitution and strictly necessary
in a democratic society;
administrative safeguards are in place to prevent or minimise arbitrary,
unreasonable, or disproportionate practices, and in particular safeguards
against the use of torture or other inhumane treatment;
attempts are not made to evade necessary judicial and parliamentary oversight
over the exercise of emergency powers; and
all emergency measures are consistent with Sri Lanka’s obligations under
international law, and in particular the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR).
against these constitutional standards, the emergency regulations passed by
parliament day give cause for concern.
the scope of offences and penalties, the extraordinary powers adversely
affecting personal liberty and property, the potential for the imposition of
undue and illegitimate restrictions on the freedoms of expression and assembly,
and in the absence of effective oversight mechanisms, the regulations can be
seen as pushing the boundaries of what is constitutionally permissible.
earnestly hope therefore that these powers are exercised with prudence and
restraint, and that the current state of emergency is terminated as soon as
is no second political system to the Saudi regime that would allow the West,
specially the US, to loot its wealth and seize its freedom, and (Crown Prince)
Mohammed bin Salman is just the natural product of the corrupt political system
in Saudi Arabia," Abdollah al-Salem was quoted by the Arabic-language
Khaleej Online as saying on Saturday.
said the House of Saud is no more capable of ruling the country, given the
chaos, corruption and repeated crises that the Saudi regime cannot manage or
said that al-Umat al-Islami party believes that the current ruling system will
collapse in the near future.
relevant remarks late last month, three leading Saudi dissident figures in a
statement described the policies adopted by bin Salman as destructive to the
country and the nation.
Arabic-language al-Ahd news website reported that Sultan al-Ajami, Fares
al-Yami and Jaber al-Mori, three prominent Saudi dissident figures, in a
statement against bin Salman condemned his policy of harsh crackdown on
bin Salman was picked up as the crown prince, there were hopes of political
reforms, economic and legal development and campaign against corruption in the
judiciary, but none ever happened, they said.
situation is similar to a nation which has been entangled in the hands of a
stupid and reckless person who dreads no deed or action. The country and people
are moving towards destruction and they are joining the dissident forces
outside the country to get rid of bin Salman," the statement released by
Marzouq al-Atibi, a dissident Saudi journalist, said.
Arabic-language service of RT news channel quoted an Iraqi intelligence source
as saying that al-Baghdadi is at present hiding in Abu Rajmin mountain near
Syria's Palmyra region in Homs province.
added that the ISIL leader wants to cross the border into Iraq in the next few
weeks, noting that he has already made several unsuccessful attempts due to the
tight security measures at the border.
report said captured ISIL terrorists have leaked during interrogations that
al-Baghdadi has been left with a small number of Saudi, Tunisian and Iraqi
militants who are still loyal to him.
experts said al-Baghdadi is likely trying to join the ISIL terrorists who have
been transferred by the US from Syria to Iraq.
security experts have accused the US army of training hundreds of ISIL
terrorists in al-Anbar province after relocating them from Syria to Iraq to
prepare them for a new round of insecurity in the country.
700 to 1,000 ISIL militants are being trained by the US troops in al-Anbar
province," the Arabic-language al-Maloumeh news website quoted Manager of
Badr Organization in Al-Anbar Province Qusai al-Anbari as saying in March.
pointed to the special conditions considered for the ISIL militants, and said
that the US troops had specified redlines for third parties to avoid
approaching the region.
is while the Arabic-language Arabi Post recently disclosed that the US troops
had been intensively training the ISIL terrorists in two military bases of Ain
al-Assad and al-Habanieh in al-Anbar province under name of desert ghosts.
sources said the US army troops had equipped the ISIL terrorists with 200
military and non-military vehicles.
Imam: Islam must rebel against Christianophobia
in the world, especially Catholics, continue to suffer persecution, terrorist
attacks and massacres. In Syria, Iraq,
Egypt and elsewhere they pay the price for wars they never asked for.
terrorist massacre in Sri Lanka is very significant. In the world, hatred against Christians
continues to increase despite them defending peace, supporting the poor, caring
for the sick. Every year Catholics spend
billions to save lives and build schools for needy children. This has not prevented some from making
Christians pay the consequences of the policies of Western countries, which are
generally secular. Neither the Vatican
nor the Church has power over these secular countries. If the place of Christians is important in
the texts of Islam (including the Koran), it is time for the Muslim world to
ask questions about the rise of Christianophobia within the contemporary
Colombo massacre is not the first and unfortunately it will not be the last,
because the Muslim authorities do not want to face extremist terrorist thinking
in a courageous and firm manner. Today
the fearful are accomplices. The reform
of Islam will come from the brave. It is
not enough to repeat that Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims must act if they want to protect
Islam from this extremist Islamist minority that kills in the name of hatred.
silent majority will have no excuse because it will be accused of complicity if
it does not declare a holy war against extremism and the hatred that almost
dominates the discourse of the imams and Muslim preachers. Contemporary Islam is closer to hatred and
violence than to the notions of human love and brotherhood. This hateful interpretation produces human
bombs that kill everything that is different, including Muslims who don't think
like them. All my condolences to the
families of the victims and all my support to the Christians persecuted in all
over the world.
will not accept US 'deal of century' at all: Haniyeh
senior leader of the Hamas resistance movement says Palestinians will never
agree to US President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for peace between
the Israelis and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century.”
a national meeting of the leaders of Palestinian political factions in Gaza
City on Saturday, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau,
stressed that Hamas would make use of all its potential and capabilities to
confront the American scheme, calling for unity among Palestinian parties in
the face of the plot.
are able to achieve national unity and run our Palestinian homeland without
much effort if there is great will and genuine intention. Our nation is utterly
determined to protect the Palestinian cause. It is steadfast to deal with the
deal of the century, no matter what the challenges or sacrifices could be,”
Haniyeh pointed out.
added, “The Palestinian nation will remain in the occupied territories and
confront arrogance until we achieve freedom and independence.”
further warned that Washington was determined to liquidate the Palestinian
cause through the so-called deal of the century.
pointed out that the US attempted to completely destroy the Palestinian cause
through rejection of Palestinian refugees’ right of return, abolition of the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
(UNRWA), recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights,
giving green light to Israel’s official annexation of settlements in the
occupied West Bank, and fomenting political rift between the Palestinian
factions based in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Haniyeh underlined that the
political agenda of all Israeli parties was based on this ideology: “No to the
return of Palestinian refugees, no to the establishment of a Palestinian state
and no to al-Quds as the capital of Palestine.”
senior Palestinian official then said Hamas was ready to enter talks with other
Palestinian factions to form a national unity government.
reiterated that Palestinian land belonged only to Palestinians and that they
would not give an inch of it to the occupying regime of Israel.
Hamas official also called on all Palestinians across the world to stand
against Washington’s so-called deal of the century.
finally urged all Arab leaders to stop normalization of diplomatic ties with
so-called “peace plan” has been dismissed by Palestinian authorities ahead of
its unveiling at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and the formation
of the new Israeli cabinet, most likely in June.
in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on April 16, Palestinian Prime
Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh lashed out at Trump’s initiative, asserting that it
was “born dead.”
noted that negotiations with the US were useless in the wake of the country’s
relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, which
Palestinians consider the capital city of their future state.
driver targeted family because they looked Muslim, police say
man who deliberately drove into a crowd of pedestrians in California last week,
injuring eight, did so because he thought some of them were Muslims, police
driver was charged with eight counts of attempted murder but is now being
investigated for a hate crime after new evidence emerged that he was targeting
members of the crowd based on their appearance, according to police in
Sunnyvale, near San Francisco.
identified the driver as Isaiah Peoples, 34, a town resident who with the US
army in Iraq and was honourably discharged in 2006.
is new evidence that Peoples intentionally targeted victims based on their race
and belief that they were Muslim," Sunnyvale Public Security said.
Boyarsky, the Santa Clara County chief assistant district attorney, said the
the new evidence was "appalling and disturbing".
eight pedestrians injured on Tuesday ranged in age from 9 to 52 and included a
father and his son and daughter. The daughter, described as 13-year-old girl of
South Asian descent, remains in a coma with severe brain trauma. The
nationality and religion of the family have not been released.
lawyer for the driver said the incident "was clearly the result of a
mental disorder", and he would seek psychiatric treatment for his client –
who he described as a military veteran possibly suffering from post traumatic
Peoples did not enter a plea when he appeared in court on Friday. His next
court appearance will be on May 16.
army chief tells Al Arabiya: Council open to dialogue with all parties
head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council told Al Arabiya that there were
no disputes with the country’s opposition alliance and said the council was
open to “furthering dialogue with all other parties.”
long as there is a common will, a positive outcome will be found that will
satisfy everyone. There are no conflicts. There is only one goal among all
parties,” Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the Transitional Military
Council, told Al Arabiya during a televised interview.
in the military council are working transparently and we do not have a definite
opinion for now, but we are are keen to consult with all parties,” al-Burhan
opposition alliance and the ruling military council said after talks on
Saturday that they expected to agree on the formation of a new body to lead the
country’s transition from 30 years of autocratic rule by Omar al-Bashir.
Transitional Military Council ousted and arrested al-Bashir on April 11
following months of protests, saying it would rule for up to two years ahead of
said that the council recognized the Alliance for Freedom and Change had played
a major role during the recent mass protests, but stressed on the need to have
an open dialogue with all other political parties as well.
his interview with Al Arabiya, al-Burhan said that ousted former president
al-Bashir wanted to use force to crack down on protesters.
armed forces were prompted to take this step and intervene to put an end to the
suffering of citizens,” the military council leader said.
deposed president is now in prison and most of the former regime’s figures are
in Kobar Prison and are being dealt with according to the law,” he added.
Transitional Military Council has dismissed and arrested some former officials,
announced anti-corruption measures and promised to give executive authority to
a civilian government, but has previously signaled that ultimate authority will
remain in its hands.
Beacon of enlightened Islam or well-paying divinity school?
Prof Tajuddin Rasdi wrote an article on the issue of critical thinking and the
role of academia in society titled “Time to close down our 20 public
piece was precipitated by the decision of Jais to ban the book “Islam Without
Extremism”. It was partially directed in disappointment at International Islamic
University (IIUM) which was established to be “the beacon of an enlightened
Islam for nation building and co-existence” but which has maintained a
deafening silence on the issue and similar controversies. Thus, it was not a
spur of the moment commentary.
substance of the piece is consistent with Tajuddin’s prolific writings during
the past decade in which he – one of a very few Malaysian academics – has
probed into the quality of our higher education system, the failure of
academics to be agents of intellectual and social change, and a host of similar
related problem areas.
date, his commentaries and proposals for reform have failed to elicit much
response from his colleagues in academia.
time around, with its provocative title, it is not surprising that it has drawn
a quick response and flak from two academics holding prominent positions in
IIUM – the rector of the university and a deputy dean.
a column titled “Barking up the wrong tree”, Prof Dzulkifli Razak, who
professes admiration for “intellectual honesty”, does Tajuddin a disfavour by
beginning with the introductory line, “Last week, a ‘professor’ from a private
use of the single quote by Dzulkifli in referring to Tajuddin’s academic
position will be interpreted by readers as mocking or questioning the latter’s
hope this is not Dzulkifli’s intention.
avoid any misunderstanding and in keeping with professional etiquette, it is
incumbent on Dzulkifli to arrange for the removal of the single quote punctuation
from the online article as well to provide a statement in the print version
which corrects the error of fact and to express regret for it.
important, in refuting the substance of Tajuddin’s commentary, it is essential
that Dzulkifli does not brush aside the book ban subject by arguing that
“banning of books in Malaysia is not a particularly new phenomenon”.
“it has happened before and so what” attitude may be typical of the
bureaucratic and political authorities. However, the thinking public does not
expect it from the head of a divinity school currently ranked, according to its
website page, at number 33 in the world for the subject of theology, divinity
and religious studies.
his further response, Dzulkifli could also inform the public in what ways IIUM
has contributed to the enlightened discourse and scientific advancement on the
many issues that trouble the international community – climate change, the
impact of rising sea levels, religious conflict, food and water security,
besides the local religious controversies that are rife here.
concerns with IIUM not only relate to its value added in the field of learning
and higher education in Malaysia and the Muslim world.
of ringgit have been poured into IIUM especially from Malaysia since its
establishment 36 years ago.
the overall ranking of IIUM between 651 and 700 in the QS World University
Rankings 2019 – the QS system is based primarily on the criteria of academic
reputation, employer reputation and staff productivity and impact and is one of
the three most widely referred to university ranking systems in the world –
indicates a poor return on investment and a less than stellar quality of human
capital and scholarly output.
second article by Danial Yusof makes the point that IIUM “is not narrow-minded
or stuck in a Malay-Sunni-Shafi’i narrative. It works across disciplines with
the indigenous, local and foreign, Muslim and non-Muslim, putting our best
efforts into what is hopefully a new era of global and civilising Islam”.
reassuring to hear though it appears that these “civilising” efforts appear to
have come several decades too late. But better late than never.
to Yusof, IIUM projects are “covering themes of Islam, sustainability and
policy concerns over topics as wide-ranging as indigenous and traditional
knowledge, the River of Life and sustainable biosphere, integrated care for
older people and schoolchildren, sustainable endowment income, Islamic social
finance and the development of a mosque study curriculum, to name a few”.
sounding but mindset breaking subjects?
about concerns relating to Zakir Naik, dehijabbing, corruption in Muslim
countries, Islamic State, missing religious leaders and the other more
contentious issues plaguing our country and other Islamic nations?
months from now, members of the public will be interested to know about how
much money was spent on these flagship projects initiated by IIUM and the
outcome – academic and social.
of a detailed follow-up financial accounting and socio-economic analysis of
these projects can help policy-makers and other stakeholders determine if
Tajuddin’s concern that academia has isolated itself from the people by
pandering to self-interest research for promotion and titles as well as to
impress the current set of power holders is with or without foundation.
final point on Yusof’s rebuke that “someone writing from the outside … is
likely to have no proper knowledge of what takes place in the university”.
assertion is correct.
onus is on IIUM now to open up to the public on all aspects of the university
hitherto couched in mystery, and for its authorities and academic staff to be
fully transparent and accountable on all affairs of the university. This also
means that they should respond positively and respectfully – not negatively or
disdainfully – to criticism wherever this may stem from.
Reformist Jamaat-E-Islami Leaders Launch New Political Outfit, 'Jana Akankhyar
Chhatra Shibir chief Monju on Saturday announced the launch of newly-formed
'Jana Akankhyar Bangladesh' in a media briefing.
- a member of Jamaat's central Majlish-e-Shura prior to his expulsion - is
serving as the coordinator of the initiative.
said the initiative is not based on religion. The organisation will have
representatives from all communities in Bangladesh.
committees have been formed to oversee the organisation's 19-point programme,
said Monju, adding, "The committees have already started its
faction of the Jamaat-e-Islam had called for reforms to the party following the
war crimes trials against party leaders over their role in the Liberation War
year, the party's assistant secretary general Abdur Razzak issued an apology
for Jamaat's role in the Liberation War before resigning from the party, adding
impetus to the demands for change.
Monju, who had also sought reformation of the party before his expulsion, said
that Razzaq is not involved with the new outfit.
ruling Awami League also did not provide any assistance with the initiative, he
Islam, the lawyer for Jamaat leaders facing trial for war crimes, also attended
the media briefing.
his affiliation to the organisation, Tajul said he was not involved with Jamaat
before but had only defended its leaders in his capacity as a lawyer.
investigators have found that Mohammad Mubarak Azaan, one of nine suicide
attackers involved in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, visited India
twice in 2017, according to a top intelligence official who didn’t wish to be
is the second Sri Lankan attacker identified by security agencies who travelled
to India. The other was Zahran Hashim, leader of the National Thowheeth Jamaath
(NTJ) and the alleged head of the attackers.
is suspected Azaan blew himself up at one of three churches targeted on April
21. Sri Lankan authorities are yet to disclose the names of all the nine
bombers. Indian authorities declined to share details about the purpose of
Azaan’s visits to India, the people he was in touch with and the places he
travelled to during the two trips.
officials of both countries have said Hashim visited India in 2017 and remained
in the country for a few months, during which his activities attracted the
attention of security agencies.
April 21 attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels killed more than 250
people, including 11 Indian nationals, and injured 500. Fifteen people,
including three suicide bombers, died during a raid by Sri Lankan security
forces on Friday night and nearly 100 people have been detained in the island
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombings and released a video that
showed Hashim and seven other men pledging allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi. An Indian official, who didn’t want to be named, said Hashim was
also associated with the Tamil Nadu Towheed Jamaat (TNTJ). The TNTJ has not
been found to be involved in any terror activities.
a second official said, broke away from TNTJ to form the NTJ and started
preaching a violent form of Islam in Sri Lanka. Investigators suspect this is
when he might have come in contact with IS leaders.
second official said Sri Lanka has traced the movement of at least three senior
IS members who entered the island from West Asian countries in 2018.
investigators have found Hashim visited Malappuram in Kerala and Coimbatore,
Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Vellore and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. He is
also suspected to have been involved in a smuggling racket between
Ramanathapuram on India’s eastern coast and Kalpitiya on the north-western
coast of Sri Lanka. “The probe is at an initial stage but we have found the
travel records of Azaan and Hashim which confirm they travelled from Sri Lanka
to India,” said an officer. Agencies are in touch with Sri Lanka to get more
details on Azaan.
first reported by HT, Hashim was instrumental in radicalising seven alleged IS
activists in a Coimbatore module, according to the findings of a probe by the
NIA. The agency found several videos featuring Hashim in the electronic devices
of the suspects in Coimbatore, who were arrested last September. An analysis of
these video led investigators to believe Hashim was planning “something big” in
Sri Lanka. On the basis of this information from NIA, Indian authorities
alerted their Sri Lankan counterparts about possible attacks on April 4.
said several Sri Lanka IS operatives were also in touch with Indian suspects in
Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
total of 106 suspects, including a Tamil medium teacher and a school principal,
have been arrested in Sri Lanka in connection with the Easter Sunday blasts,
police said Sunday, even as the Islamic State claimed the three militants who
blew themselves up during a raid in the Eastern province were its members.
leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has boycotted the upcoming
consultative peace Jirga (assembly of leaders) as a various prominent political
leaders have already boycotted the gathering, citing it as a move by the
government to lobby for the upcoming presidential elections rather raising
voices for reconciliation.
close to Hekmatyar have confirmed that the leader of Hezb-e-Islami will not
participate in the gathering.
the meantime, reports indicate that that Mohammad Karim Khalili has also
boycotted the consultative peace Jirga.
least thirty Taliban militants were killed in various operations of the Afghan
Special Forces and airstrikes which were conducted in different provinces over
the past 24 hours.
military sources announced Saturday that the Afghan Special Forces conducted an
operation in Tarin Kot district of Uruzgan province killing 11 Taliban fighters
and arresting 5 others while 2 other militants were killed during the
airstrikes in the same province.
sources further added that the Afghan Special Forces conducted an operation in
Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand and destroyed over 30 pounds of homemade
explosives along with 1 Kg of opium.
Afghan Special Forces conducted an operation in Khanwar district of Logar
province killing 1 Taliban fighter, the sources said, adding that the Afghan
Special forces conducted a similar operation in Tamek wa Jaldak district of
Zabul province along Highway 1 and destroyed 1 roadside bomb, preventing an
attack against innocent civilians.
to the sources, the Afghan Special Forces conducted another operation in Andar
district of Ghazni province killing 3 Taliban fighters while another Taliban
militant was killed in a similar operation in HIsarak district of Nangarhar
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad has briefed President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani regarding his future
trips and programs for Afghan reconciliation process.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said Ambassador Khalilzad
met with President Ghani on Saturday evening.
statement further added that the two sides once again emphasized on revival of
intra-Afghan dialogue, calling it an important step for the launch of direct
Afghan-led talks between Taliban and government.
least eight militants were killed and six others were wounded in joint air and
ground operations which were conducted in North-western Ghor province.
207th Zafar Corps in a statement said the Afghan National Defense and Security
Forces conducted operations with the close air support of coalition forces in
Dolaina district of Ghor province.
statement further added that eight militants were killed and six others were
wounded during the operations and a vehicle and together with six motorcycles
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operations so far.
bodies of 15 people, including six children, were discovered at the site of a
fierce overnight gun battle on the east coast of Sri Lanka, a military
spokesman said on Saturday, six days after suicide bombers killed more than 250
people on the island.
shootout between troops and suspected Islamist militants erupted on Friday
evening in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara district, to the south of the town of
Batticaloa, site of one of the Easter Sunday blasts at three churches and four
police spokesman said that three suspected suicide bombers were among the 15
dead after the shootout.
State claimed responsibility for last Sunday's attacks, all but one of which
were in the capital, Colombo. The government has said they were carried out by
nine well-educated Sri Lankans, eight of whom have been identified.
have warned there could be more attacks targeting religious centres following
the bombings, which shattered the relative calm that Buddhist-majority Sri
Lanka had enjoyed since a civil war against mostly-Hindu ethnic Tamil
separatists ended a decade ago.
US State Department, warning that terrorist groups were continuing to plot
attacks, urged citizens to reconsider travel to Sri Lanka.
ordered the departure from the country of all school-age family members of US
government employees and also authorised non-emergency employees to leave, it
said in a statement.
has also warned its nationals to avoid travelling to Sri Lanka unless
STATE BANNERS AND UNIFORMS
east coast battle broke out when troops heading towards a suspected militant
safe house were repulsed by three explosions and gunfire, military spokesman
Sumith Atapattu said.
retaliated and raided the safe house where a large cache of explosives had been
stored," he said in a statement.
said the militants were suspected members of the domestic Islamist group
National Towheed Jama'at (NTJ), which has been blamed for last Sunday's
materials, dozens of gelignite sticks and thousands of ball bearings were found
in a search of a separate house in the same area along with Islamic State
banners and uniforms, the military said.
said on Friday they were trying to track down 140 people they believe have
links with Islamic State.
Lanka's president said on Friday some Sri Lankan youths had been involved with
Islamic State since 2013 and that there were links between drug trafficking and
is a close relationship between religious extremism and illegal drug trade. Our
efforts to eradicate the drugs menace from the country could have advanced the
ISIS attack," said President Maithripala Sirisena.
10,000 soldiers have been deployed across the Indian Ocean island state to
carry out searches and provide security for religious centres, the military
have so far focused their investigations on international links to two domestic
groups they believe carried out the attacks, NTJ and Jammiyathul Millathu
have detained at least 76 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt, in
their investigations so far. Twenty were arrested in the past 24 hours alone,
a separate raid on a mosque in Colombo, a suspect was arrested and a haul of 40
swords and kris knives were seized from under the bed of the chief cleric,
State provided no evidence to back its claim that it was behind last Sunday's
blasts. If true, it would be one of the worst attacks carried out by the group
outside Iraq and Syria.
extremist group released a video on Tuesday showing eight men, all but one with
their faces covered, standing under a black Islamic State flag and declaring
their loyalty to its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
were urged to pray at home on Friday after the State Intelligence Services
warned of possible car bomb attacks, amid fears of retaliatory violence. Many
have fled their homes amid bomb scares, lockdowns and security sweeps.
of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith told reporters he had seen an internal
security document warning of further attacks on churches and said there would
be no Catholic masses this Sunday anywhere on the island.
have acknowledged a major lapse in not widely sharing intelligence warnings
from India of possible attacks.
Sirisena said on Friday that top defence and police chiefs had not shared
information with him about the impending attacks.
blamed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government for weakening the
intelligence system by focusing on prosecution of military officers over
alleged war crimes during a decades-long civil war with Tamil separatists that
ended in 2009.
fired Wickremesinghe in October over political differences, only to reinstate
him weeks later under pressure from the Supreme Court. But a rift remains
between factions aligned to the prime minister and president, sources say.
Lanka's 22 million people include minority Christians, Muslims and Hindus.
Until now, Christians had largely managed to avoid the worst of the island's
conflict and communal tensions.
of the victims of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings were Sri Lankans, although
authorities said at least 40 foreigners were also killed, many of them tourists
sitting down to breakfast at top-end hotels when the bombers struck.
ISIS extremist group claimed on Saturday that three of its members clashed with
Sri Lankan police for several hours before detonating their explosive vests on
them in the east coast city of Kalmunai late on Friday, the militant group’s
news agency Amaq said.
group said 17 policemen were killed or injured in the attack.
group did not give evidence for its claim.
on Saturday, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said in a statement that at
least 15 people, including six children, were killed when suicide bombers blew
themselves up when cornered by security forces in eastern Sri Lanka.
Lanka’s president on Saturday outlawed two groups suspected to be behind the
suicide bombings on churches and hotels while the wife and child of the
suspected ringleader were wounded during a military raid in a safe house, his
family and police said.
National Thawheedh Jamaath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim were banned
under his emergency powers, President Maithripala Sirisena said in a statement,
nearly a week after the Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 250 people.
could not act earlier to ban the two little known groups because the law
required them to show firm evidence against them, officials said.
believe the suspected mastermind of the bombings, Mohamed Hashim Mohamed
Zahran, led either the NTJ or a splinter group. Less is known about Jamathei
Millathu Ibrahim, whose members are also believed to have played a role in the
claimed responsibility for the attacks.
10,000 soldiers have been deployed across the island to carry out searches and
boost security since the bombings in three churches and four hotels, most of
which were in the capital Colombo.
forces have detained 100 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt,
gun battle erupted on Friday evening during a raid on a safe house in
Sainthamaruthu in Ampara district on the island’s east coast, killing at least
15 people including three people with suicide vests and six children, a
military spokesman said.
wounded included the wife and a daughter of Zahran, his family said.
the wife and daughter were injured in the attack,” said Mohamed Hashim
Mathaniya, sister of Zahran. “I was asked to come to identify them but I am not
sure I can go,” she told Reuters from the town of Kattankudy in the east where
Zahran was originally based.
people, including six children, have been killed during a gun battle between
Sri Lanka police and suspected militants, nearly a week after at least 250
people lost their lives in a string of bombings.
new deaths came as police, backed by military forces, raided a house in the
town of Sainthamaruthu in eastern Sri Lanka on Friday night, sparking an
hour-long gun battle.
authorities said Saturday three men blew themselves up during the raid, killing
three women and six children who were caught in the crossfire.
other men, also believed to be suicide bombers, were found dead outside the
house," police said.
were investigating the victims' possible relationship to the gunmen.
clashes came hours after police raided a nearby location where they believed
militants recorded a video pledge of allegiance to Daesh leader Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi before carrying out the Easter Sunday bombings.
terrorist group had released footage of eight men whom it said had carried out
the attacks last week. Sri Lankan officials said they were investigating the
said they seized a large cache of explosives, 100,000 ball bearings and
uniforms and flags similar to those worn by the men in the video.
raid was part of a large-scale operation that has been launched in the
aftermath of eight apparently coordinated blasts that hit churches and luxury
hotels in the capital, Colombo, and the cities of Negombo and Batticaloa and
left the country and the world in a great shock on Easter Sunday.
government blames a small group, known as National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ), for
the Sunday bombings but the group has not claimed responsibility.
eastern cities of Kalmunai, Chavalakade and Sammanthurai remain under extended
curfew until further notice, police said.
Maithripala Sirisena announced a "major search operation" in the
country on Friday, saying, "Every household in the country will be
lists of permanent residents of every house will be established to ensure no
unknown persons could live anywhere,” he said at a news conference.
heightened tensions have put the South Asian country on edge as the leaders are
under scrutiny over accusations that they failed to prevent the carnage despite
security warnings that they had received several days ahead of the attacks.
president blames the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for
weakening the security.
prime minister, who had earlier charged that he did not receive the warnings,
blamed the attacks on a "breakdown of communication."
to government sources, opposing factions aligned to the prime minister and the
president often refuse to communicate with each other and blame any setbacks on
prime minister took to Twitter on Friday and apologized for the failure.
take collective responsibility and apologies to our fellow citizens for our
failure to protect victims of these tragic events," he wrote.
archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, however, said he felt
"betrayed" by the government's failure to act on the warnings.
Lanka has a population of about 22 million people, 70 percent of whom are
Buddhist, 13 percent Hindu, 10 percent Muslim, and seven percent Christian,
according to the country’s 2012 census.
of more violence have caused many people, including in Muslim communities, to
leave their homes as intelligence services warned of more possible attacks.
forces were deployed around mosques on Friday as the community leaders called
on Muslims to avoid going to mosques.
least 700 refugees from a persecuted Islamic sect are in hiding after fleeing
their homes in the Sri Lankan port city of Negombo, British daily the Guardian
group of around 500 Muslims are being sheltered in one city, which the Guardian
is not naming," the paper said.
Sri Lanka's Catholics on Sunday awoke to celebrate Mass in their homes by a
televised broadcast as churches across the island nation shut over fears of
militant attacks, a week after the Islamic State-claimed Easter suicide
bombings killed over 250 people.
Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, delivered a homily before members
of the clergy gathered in a small chapel at his Colombo residence — an
extraordinary measure underlining the fear still gripping this nation of 21
US Embassy in Colombo has warned against attending any service at a place of
worship this weekend.
the eastern district of Ampara on Sunday, where a gunfight and explosions left
15 people dead the previous day, soldiers guarded St. Mary Magdalen's Church,
where a sign on the gate said the church and the school would be closed until
May 6. A nearby mosque also had soldiers stationed outside.
the YMCA, a group of young girls held Sunday school near a portrait of Christ.
Sajith Liyanage, a 51-year-old Catholic, said he remained worried and would
watch Mass on TV.
can't understand what the situation is right now," Liyanage said.
Ampara's weekly Sunday market, police officers walked explosive-sniffing dogs
past ripe-yellow bananas, pineapples and coconuts. Officers also searched
women's bags and pushed aside brown fallen leaves, checking the grounds for any
Saman Bandarah, a pineapple seller, stood back as the police dog passed. He
said he was glad to see the officers but said everyone remained nervous.
are no people coming to buy," he said.
Islamic State group, meanwhile, claimed three of the militants who blew
themselves up during a bloody police raid in Ampara linked to the Easter
a statement carried by the extremists' Aamaq news agency, IS identified the
bombers by their noms du guerre as Abu Hammad, Abu Sufyan and Abu al-Qa'qa. It
said they opened fire with automatic weapons and "after exhausting their ammunition,
detonated ... their explosive belts."
Lanka's military said the gunfight Friday night near the town of Sammanthurai
left 15 dead, including six children, when militants opened fire and set off
explosives in suicide bombings as security forces closed in on their safe
falsely claimed their militants killed 17 "disbelievers" in the
attack. The militants often exaggerate their claims.
IS report carried a photograph of two men before an IS flag, one carrying a
Chinese variant of the Kalashnikov rifle like the one found at the scene,
girl and a woman survived the explosion but were critically injured and being
treated at a hospital, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said.
taken by The Associated Press show the charred remains of one child and the
body of another wearing a green T-shirt with the words "good boy"
written on the back. The bodies of an adult woman and man were found after the
explosion with their clothes burned off.
military said security forces had recovered explosives, detonators,
"suicide kits," military uniforms and IS flags during the raids in
said officers acting on information from intelligence officials also found 150
sticks of blasting gelatin and 100,000 small metal balls, as well as a van and
clothing suspected of being used by those involved in the Easter attacks on
three churches and three luxury hotels that left more than 250 people dead and
hundreds injured — the bloodies assault linked to the IS in South Asia.
government on Saturday formally banned two extremist groups purportedly
connected to the attacks, allowing officials to confiscate their property,
presidential spokesman Dharmasri Ekanayake said.
government, crippled from a long political crisis between the president and
prime minister last year, promised swift action to capture militants still at
large. President Maithripala Sirisena said about 140 people had been identified
as having links to the IS.
"major search operation has been undertaken," Sirisena said.
"Every household in the country will be checked."
confirmed that the leader of the local militant group blamed for the attack,
Mohamed Zahran, died in the suicide bombing at the Shangri-La Hotel, one of six
hotels and churches attacked. Zahran appeared in an IS video claiming responsibility
for the coordinated assault, and authorities in both Sri Lanka and Australia
confirmed links between IS and the attack.
pro-militant Arabic-language Al-Khabor news agency quoted informed sources as
saying that the US-led coalition has delivered new military and logistical
supports through Simalka crossing to its allied Kurdish fighters in Eastern
noted that the said military shipment included advanced missiles, US air
defense systems, Israeli anti-Tank Spike missiles, shoulder-mounted
surface-to-air Stinger missiles and drones.
advanced weapons delivered to the Kurdish fighters were transferred to a
clandestine depot near Ramilan Airbase in Hasaka province which is guarded by
the US marine forces and Kurdish fighters.
a relevant development last week, the media reports said that the US dispatched
a large number of trucks packed with new military aids to the SDF in Eastern
and Northeastern Syria.
US military convoy comprising 30 trucks loaded with weapons, military and
logistic equipment has arrived in Ain al-Arab Airport in Northeastern Aleppo,
pro-militant al-Khabor news website reported.
meantime, said that the SDF has discharged four weapons depots in Tal Bidar,
Ramilan, al-Shadadi and al-Malekieh in Hasaka province and sent their weapons
to arms depots in Ra'as al-Ain in Northern Hasaka, Tal Abyaz in Northern Raqqa
and Ain al-Arab in Aleppo as well as al-Amar energy zone in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
noted that the Kurdish forces' move comes as part of their plan to confront an
imminent military offensive by the Turkish Army and its allied militants in
Turkish-language Anatoly news agency also reported that hundreds of trucks
carrying US-made military equipment have been sent for the SDF-controlled areas
in Deir Ezzur.
also noted that a large number of weapons and military equipment have been sent
to the US-controlled al-Omar oil zone which is now under the US control, adding
that a large number of vehicles and drilling machinery have also been sent to
a relevant development earlier this month, media reports revealed that
Washington has dispatched new military aid to the SDF in Eastern Euphrates
after declaring an end in the war on ISIL.
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Saturday
that the US-led coalition has sent new military convoys, including tens of
trucks carrying military aid and logistical equipment, from Iraqi Kurdistan
region to areas occupied by the SDF in Eastern Euphrates.
added that over 810 trucks, carrying military and logistic equipment of the
US-led coalition have arrived in Eastern Euphrates.
month, Washington-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria declared their final victory
over the ISIL terrorist group, ending bloody battle against the group that once
held territory spanning a third of Syria and Iraq.
US Defense Department also announced that the Islamic State no longer holds any
territory in Syria, according to former White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
December 2018, US President Donald Trump declared the ISIL terrorist group
defeated in Syria and announced American troop pullout from the country but
gave no timeline. The surprise announcement resulted in the resignation of
Secretary of Defense James Mattis, US anti-IS coalition envoy Brett McGurk and
Pentagon Chief of staff Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney who disapproved of the
American president's decision.
Trump confirmed that 400 US soldiers will remain in the war-torn country
the US troops have been operating in Syria as part of an international
coalition for about five years without the permission of Syrian authorities or
the UN Security Council. The United States has, in particular, supported the
Kurdish-led militia controlling the territories to the East of the Euphrates
and opposing the Syrian government.
Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted local sources in Idlib province as saying on
Saturday that clashes between residents of the village of Farwan in
Southeastern Idlib and Tahrir al-Sham killed 12 militants and destroyed their
added that the clashes erupted after Tahrir al-Sham terrorists attacked the
village to capture a number of residents but they faced people's resistance.
report said that Tahrir al-Sham sent more militants and military equipment to
the village after the death of its members.
a relevant development in the same province last Wednesday, a large number of
terrorists were killed and injured in a massive explosion at the headquarters
of Tahrir al-Sham West of Idlib.
bomb-laden vehicle was exploded in the city of Jisr al-Shoghour in Western
Idlib, killing and injuring at least 40 terrorists, pro-militant sources said.
sources said that at least 15 militants were killed and 27 others wounded,
including a number of terrorists.
of residents of al-Zaman town and the city of al-Basira in Eastern Deir Ezzur
continued their protests against the SDF for the third day in the row, the
Arabic-language media quoted battlefield sources as saying.
sources said that the civilians called for exit of SDF fighters by closing the
roads leading to these regions.
it was reported that at least three civilians were killed and several others
were wounded in SDF's shootout at protesters.
in Eastern Deir Ezzur have taken to the streets to protest at the US-backed
Syrian Democratic Forces, and forced SDF militants and commanders out of the
sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur reported on Thursday that masses of people in the
villages and towns of Mahimideh, al-Hisan, Safirah al-Tahtani, Safirah
al-Foqani, al-Wasiah, al-Mawilah, al-Hasin, Qaribah, al-Azabah and al-Basirah
in Eastern Deir Ezzur took part in anti-SDF rallies in the past two days.
added that the protest rallies were held after increased insecurity, murder,
detentions, kidnapping of civilians and hoarding oil by the SDF forces, noting
that the protestors closed the main roads of these regions, including Deir
Ezzur-Raqqa road in al-Jazeera region.
sources said that the residents also expelled from the region a number of SDF
commanders and forces who had come for talks.
in Deir Ezzur are widening protests against the Syrian Democratic Forces
deployment in the region after the US-backed militants arrested and killed tens
of civilians in their jails, media reports said on Monday.
in the town of Sweidan Jezira in Southeastern Deir Ezzur blocked the roads
leading to the region and asked for the expulsion of the SDF fighters.
sources also pointed to the anger of residents of Eastern Deir Ezzur after the
death of a civilian under SDF torture, and said that a large number of Syrians
have been shot dead or killed under SDF torture in prisons in recent months
while many others are in SDF's jails under different accusations.
the SDF forces have imposed curfew in several towns and villages, including
al-Sovar, Hajin, al-Basira, Zabiyan and Gharanij.
US warplanes struck the Iraqi troops, while they were conducting heliborne
operations in Idleb village in al-Riyadh region of Kirkuk, the Arabic-language
media outlets reported.
noted that at least one Iraqi soldier was killed and two others were injured in
the US airstrikes.
Iraq's Asaeb Ahl al-Haq movement condemned the US-led airstrikes on Iraqi
forces, and called for swift exit of the foreign forces from Iraq.
joint military operations command also said that a fact-finding committee has
been formed to review the US airstrikes against Iraqi troops.
a relevant development in early March, Iraq's popular resistance forces
condemned US sanctions on Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba and called for measures
to oust American troops from the country.
US designated Nujaba --- an Islamic movement whose crucial aid to the national
army resulted in the defeat of Daesh in Iraq in late 2017 --- a terrorist group
and imposed sanctions on it, presstv reported.
decision has drawn angry reactions from Iraqis. Popular anti-terror groups
Kata’ib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq issued statements, calling for
resistance against US presence in the region.
Hezbollah's statement said the ban was a response to numerous US defeats in the
region. It added that Washington is seeking to weaken the Iraqi resistance
against the occupation as it digs its heels in Iraq.
Ahl al-Haq highlighted what it described Washington's hypocrisy in sanctioning
the anti-terror group while allying itself with Saudi Arabia and Israel.
believe the American criteria for terrorism are not only usually wrong but are
actually quite the opposite," it noted.
by two extremist groups killed at least 17 Syrian government troops and
militiamen in the northern province of Aleppo early on Saturday, a war monitor said.
others were wounded in the assaults by Al-Qaeda's former Syria branch, Hayat
Tahrir al-Sham, and its ally Hurras al-Deen, which remains affiliated to the
global militant network, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Foreign Ministry summoned the deputy charge d’affaires of the embassy of Iraq
on Monday to denounce a recent statement made by Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
against the Kingdom.
statement issued by Muqtada al-Sadr represents an unacceptable offense against
the Kingdom of Bahrain and its leadership. It is a blatant interference in the
affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, a clear violation of the principles of
international law and constitutes an abuse of the nature of relations between
the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of Iraq,” a statement from the foreign
has summoned the envoys of Bahrain and the United States to protest their
insulting and meddlesome comments about the Arab state’s domestic affairs and
relations with neighboring Iran.
Ministry spokesman Ahmad al-Sahaf told Iraq’s al-Sumaria News TV channel on
Saturday night that Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim had issued the order
to summon the American chargé d’affaires as well as the Bahraini ambassador to
is angry over a tweet recently posted by Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin
Ahmed Al Khalifah, in which he insulted Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr,
whose Sairoon (Alliance Towards Reform) bloc holds the highest number of seats
in the parliament.
top Bahraini diplomat also lashed out at Sadr for blaming the political crisis
in the Persian Gulf kingdom on the Al Khalifah rulers, calling the Iraqi
politician a “fool” and a “dog” disguised as a man and claiming that Iran
a statement, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned the “offensive” remarks and
called for an official apology from the Manama regime.
comments “are totally unacceptable in diplomatic practice. They also harm Iraq,
its sovereignty and independence, especially when the Bahraini minister speaks
of Iraq being under the control of neighboring Iran,” read the statement.
must know their limits, abide by facts and have diplomatic qualifications.
Today, Iraq is recovering and strengthening, and will not accept any
interference in its affairs, nor will it accept any abuse of its national and
religious symbols,” it added.
must respect Iraq’s ties with neighbors’
on Saturday, Iraq called in the American chargé d’affaires after the US Embassy
in Baghdad posted messages on its Facebook page criticizing Iranian
Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the posts “represented a
violation of diplomatic norms and international rules governing the operation
of missions in host countries.”
also requested that the US diplomatic mission delete its posts and refrain from
releasing messages that run contrary to the Iraqi Constitution and its foreign
adopts a policy based on the basic principles that its territory is not a
corridor or a platform for harming neighboring countries or friendly countries
... whether by means of media, economy, commerce, military or security,” it
President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out a situation where Syrian forces,
backed by Russian air power, would launch a full-scale assault against
terrorists in Syria's northern province of Idlib.
to reporters in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on Saturday, Putin said time was
not ripe for such a military operation due to the presence of civilians in
parts of the militant-held province.
an operation, he said, “is not expedient now" and the security of
civilians needs to be taken into account.
don't rule it (a full-scale assault) out, but right now we and our Syrian
friends consider that to be inadvisable given this humanitarian element,"
said Moscow and Damascus would continue their fight against terrorism and that
any militants who tried to break out of Idlib, something he said happened from
time to time, were bombed.
located in northwestern Syria, remains the only large area in the hands of
anti-Damascus militants after government forces -- backed by Iran and Russia --
managed to undo militant gains across the country and bring back almost all of
Syrian soil under government control.
90,000 militants are estimated to be holed up in Idlib, which has a population
of some three million.
September, Russia and Turkey, a backer of a number of militant groups in Syria,
inked a buffer zone agreement in Idlib, which put on hold a massive government
liberation operation in the region, situated near the Turkish border.
a few months later, the so-called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a Takfiri
militant alliance dominated by al-Nusra Front terrorists, swept through towns
and villages in Idlib.
Turkey has been trying to avert a Syrian offensive against the city near its
Friday, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Ja’fari accused
Turkey’s intelligence services of supporting HTS t terrorist group, saying
Ankara’s move was “another form of terrorism”.
to Ja’fari, Turkey has provided terrorists in Idlib with dozens of shells
charged with toxic chemicals for use against the Syrian army and civilians.
is a great amount of chemical weapons in stock in Idlib. They will be put to
use if Syria and its allies try to regain control of Idlib by military means,”
say at least 17 Syrian government forces have been killed in attacks by
foreign-backed terrorists in northern Aleppo province.
attacks were launched shortly after midnight on Saturday by two al-Qaeda-linked
terror groups, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Hurras al-Deen, the Britain-based
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
other Syrian soldiers were injured. The attacks were repelled and several
terrorists killed after Russian aircraft pounded their positions in the area.
terrorist attacks were in violation of a previously agreed buffer zone, which
separated Syrian government troops from the Takfiri terrorists.
the agreement, which was signed between Russia and Turkey last year, Takfiri
groups had to withdraw from the area.
Turkey’s pledge to implement the deal, the Takfiri groups have never complied
with the agreement and periodically launched attacks against Syrian troops from
the buffer zone.
raids took place as Turkey has set up patrols and bases in the province on the
pretext of monitoring the agreement.
on Friday, Syria’s UN envoy Bashar al-Ja’afari slammed Ankara for failing to
implement the demilitarization zone agreement.
Sochi agreement clearly stipulated that Turkey’s side was committed to the
withdrawal of the terrorists groups to a behind a buffer of 20km,” he said.
Turkey’s delegation says is not applied on the ground,” Ja’afari added.
to fight terrorism
week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed his government’s determination
to ultimately eliminate terrorist groups in the country.
president called for the removal of any "obstacles" blocking the full
implementation of the demilitarization deal.
to further progress negotiations aimed at ending the conflict in the war-torn
country, delegates from Iran, Russia and Turkey held a two-day summit in
Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan on Thursday.
talks, which are collectively referred to as the Astana peace process, have so
far helped significantly reduce violence in the Arab country by establishing
the de-escalation zones agreement. They have also paved the way for the
formation of a Constitutional Committee.
the summit, Tehran and Moscow discussed further cooperation in countering
terrorist forces in the region.
significant progress in the fight against the foreign-backed terrorists, more
than 60 Syrian soldiers were killed in a number of attacks last week.
Daesh Takfiri terrorists assaulted government-held parts of central and eastern
Syria, where American military presence has prevented Syrian forces from
completely defeating the group.
Daesh terrorists have commonly used US presence in the region as a cover to
attack Syrian and allied forces.
forces are currently deployed in the Kurdish-controlled regions of Syria on the
pretext of protecting Kurdish forces in the region and fighting Daesh.
student who tried to go to Syria freed early
on Saturday released a former student convicted for trying to enter Syria in a
high profile 2016 case after she was granted parole this month.
Karaulova was freed from prison in Vologda, a city around 450 kilometers northeast
of Moscow, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
was released a year and 10 months early.
military court sentenced Karaulova to four-and-a-half years in prison in 2016
for trying to enter Syria after falling in love with an ISIS militant.
was detained a year earlier after she tried to cross into Syria from Turkey
while still a philosophy undergraduate at the renowned Moscow State University.
month a court ruled she posed no threat to society and should be released
case shocked Russia in 2016, as the then 21-year-old wept in court and said her
attempt to cross in Syria was “all a mistake.”
was also widely covered by state media.
was charged with preparing to participate in a terrorist organisation, but
pleaded not guilty, saying she was motivated by love for a Russian extremist
fighting in Syria.
met him online while still a teenager and they wrote to each other for three
years without meeting.
2014, he went to Syria and told her he was fighting for ISIS. Karaulova
converted to Islam and began wearing a hijab.
disappeared without warning in May 2015, prompting a frantic search by her
parents. They found that she had flown to Turkey and travelled to the border
with other women hoping to join men fighting for ISIS.
border guards detained the group and she was forced to fly back to Russia with
of people from the former USSR have travelled to Syria to fight with
extremists, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, since Moscow
intervened on the side of the Damascus regime in 2015.
case was particularly unusual in Russia since her family is not Muslim.
ANGELES: Stabbing a teenage prisoner to death, picking off a young girl and an
old man with a sniper rifle and firing a heavy machine gun into a residential
area: these are some of the charges facing an elite US Navy SEAL on trial for
war crimes while deployed in Iraq.
Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a decorated 39-year-old veteran of combat
missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, is still a hero in the eyes of many Americans
and the rightwing Fox News channel — and his case may even become a factor in
next year’s presidential elections.
40 Republican members of Congress have written an open letter demanding
Gallagher — who denies the charges against him — be set free until he stands
trial. One has even called on President Donald Trump to step in and have the
has weighed in on the case on Twitter, saying that he had intervened to ensure
that Gallagher — who was nominated for the Silver Star for his service — “will
soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in
said the move was made “in honor of his past service to our Country.”
a platoon commander of SEAL Team 7, will face a military tribunal at a Navy
base in San Diego on May 28. He was arrested last September and has been held
at the base ever since.
by his own men
was arrested after men under his command in the elite Navy unit were so horrified
by his actions that they complained to their superiors, but were warned that
their accusations could damage their careers, according to reports in The Navy
Times and The New York Times this week.
now faces charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder and obstruction of
justice. He could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.
crimes he stands accused of were committed in 2017 during a deployment in the
northern Iraqi city of Mosul. US special forces were fighting alongside Iraqi
troops to take back parts of the town from Daesh group fighters.
lawyer did not respond to an AFP request for comment.
to testimony at a preliminary hearing last November, members of Gallagher’s
Alpha platoon were so disturbed by his behavior that they tampered with his
sniper rifle to make it less accurate, and would fire warning shots to make
civilians flee before he could open fire on them.
said they spent more time protecting civilians than they did fighting Daesh,”
Special Agent Joe Warpinski of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service told
the military court.
chief allegedly boasted about the number of people he had killed, including
women, according to The New York Times.
May 2017, Iraqi troops captured a wounded teenage Daesh fighter who appeared to
be around 15 years old.
members of the SEAL team said that as a medic was treating the fighter’s
wounds, Gallagher stepped up without a word and stabbed the prisoner in the
neck and side several times.
then posed for a photo holding up the teenager’s head in one hand and the knife
in the other, the two SEALs said. He went on to stand over the youth’s body and
perform a re-enlistment ceremony while another member of the team held up a US
flag, they said.
to the charge sheet, soldiers from his unit tried on several occasions to alert
their superiors about the alleged war crimes, but without success. Seven of
them said they were told they could face retaliation if they went public with
the case, but finally managed to bring their concerns to a higher-ranking
commanding officer, Lt. Jacob Portier, reportedly posed in the photo with the
dead teenager and is himself facing charges for failing to report the crimes
and for destroying evidence.
prosecutor Chris Czaplak said Gallagher had “handed Daesh propaganda manna from
heaven” by deciding to “act like the monster the terrorists accuse us of
President Donald Trump on Saturday said the country stood in solidarity with
the Jewish community after a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in California,
killing one and injuring three as worshippers marked the final day of Passover.
America’s heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting in
California, just happened,” he told supporters at a rally in Wisconsin.
entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands in
solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn the evil of
anti-Semitism and hate which must be defeated.”
shooting in the town of Poway, north of San Diego, came exactly six months
after a white supremacist killed 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life
synagogue - the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history.
suspect was identified by police as 19-year-old John Earnest.
an open letter which was reviewed by AFP, Earnest spoke about his desire to
defend white lineage.
United States and Afghanistan stressed the need for “intra-Afghan dialogue”
when US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held talks on
Saturday, a palace statement said.
meeting came during a marathon multi-country tour by Khalilzad, who is to visit
Qatar – the usual venue for talks with the Taliban.
Khalilzad briefed the president and other government officials about his trips
and future plans for peace,” a palace statement said.
sides once again emphasized an intra-Afghan dialogue between the Afghan
government and the Taliban, led by the Afghan government.”
President Donald Trump is eager to reach a solution to end his country’s
longest-ever war, which dislodged the Taliban following the September 11, 2001
attacks on the United States.
Khalilzad embarked on his tour, the State Department said that in Doha, the
Qatari capital, he will “press forward on negotiations with the Taliban to
reach a consensus on core national security issues, and urge their
participation in an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue.”
several rounds of talks with Khalilzad, the Taliban have refused to negotiate
with Ghani’s internationally recognized government.
US-led military coalition to purportedly fight the Daesh (ISIL) terrorists in
Syria, has killed more than 1,600 civilians in the country’s northern city of
Raqqa during months of airstrikes that led to eviction of the foreign-backed
militants, two UK-based rights groups said, noting that the figure reflects
hundreds more than the number claimed by the mainly Western coalition.
International (AI) and Airwars declared in a joint statement on Thursday that
the new toll figure was obtained after the "most comprehensive
investigation into civilian deaths in a modern conflict," AP reported
is while the US-led military force claimed last month that only 1,257 civilians
were killed in their bombardments of Daesh targets over four years in both
Syria and Iraq.
continue to employ thorough and deliberate targeting and strike processes to
minimize the impact of our operations on civilian populations and
infrastructure," the coalition stated.
rival, US-backed Syrian terrorist group captured Raqqa in October 2017 after a
the United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 buildings, or 80 percent of
the city, were destroyed during the campaign.
forces razed Raqqa, but they cannot erase the truth. Amnesty International and
Airwars call upon the Coalition forces to end their denial about the shocking
scale of civilian deaths and destruction caused by their offensive in
Raqqa," the two groups said in their latest statement.
June of last year, another AI report estimated that hundreds of civilians were
killed in Raqqa, while the Airwars emphasized that it has evidence of 1,400 fatalities.
statement said AI’s innovative "Strike Trackers" project also
identified when each of the more than 11,000 destroyed buildings in Raqqa was
hit. More than 3,000 digital activists in 124 countries took part, analyzing a
total of more than 2 million satellite image frames, it added.
of US Central Command (CENTCOM) has reportedly implied his forces possess
essential resources to deter what he claimed as “dangerous” actions by Iran,
further insisting on “long-term presence” of US forces in Iraq.
believe we’ll have the resources necessary to deter Iran from taking actions
that will be dangerous,” said General Kenneth McKenzie on Saturday, as quoted
by Sky News Arabia, based in the Persian Gulf kingdom of United Arab Emirates
(UAE). “We will be able to respond effectively,” he added during a visit to the
Persian Gulf region without pointing to a specific threat.
gonna continue to reach out to our partners and friends in the region to ensure
that we make common cause against the threat of Iran,” McKenzie was further
quoted as saying by the local TV network, partly owned by the Saudi-allied Abu Dhabi Emirate ruling family.
development came amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran after the
hawkish administration of US President Donald Trump took the extraordinary step
earlier this month of labeling a key part of Iranian military forces – the
Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps (IRGC) -- as “a foreign terrorist
move sparked global outrage with many countries slamming it as unreasonable.
Critics within the US have also warned the Trump administration about potential
consequences of the move for American troops stationed throughout the Middle
Trump’s move to blacklist the IRGC, Iran reciprocated the bizarre measure by
designating the CENTCOM -- the portion of the US military responsible for
protecting American interests in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa -- as a
IRGC commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami reacted to Trump’s blacklisting
of the elite force by blasting the move as a “foolish” decision, insisting that
the US itself was a major sponsor of terrorism that has persistently supported
torture around the globe while making deceptive claims about safeguarding
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif further responded to the US move by
warning the United Nations that Washington and its "puppet regimes"
bear full responsibility for Trump’s “dangerous” decision.
warning was communicated in separate letters to UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres and the Security Council, insisting that the move violated all sorts
of international boundaries.
aims for 'long-term presence' in Iraq
the CENTCOM commander also expressed confidence that American military forces
are going to maintain “a long term presence in Iraq focused on the
counter-terror mission,” without elaborating.
remarks came despite heavy criticism recently expressed by high-level Iraqi
officials and community leaders against remarks by the US president and other
senior officials about plans to use Iraq’s territory to undermine rising
Iranian influence in the country and the region.
US troop withdrawal from Syria
further pointed to planned reduction of US forces in Syria, noting that it
would be done cautiously, according to the report by Sky News Arabia.
military and opposition agree in principle on joint council
military rulers and an opposition coalition have agreed in principle on the
formation of a joint transitional council, but not on the share of seats, two
sources said on Saturday.
two sides were holding their first formal discussions as opposition groups and
protesters push for a rapid handover to civilian rule following the ouster of
former President Omar al-Bashir earlier this month.
the joint committee representing Sudan’s military leadership and the Alliance
for Freedom and Change, which brings together grassroots organizers with
opposition and rebel groups, held its first meeting to discuss their demand for
protesters have kept up the pressure on the military, continuing their
round-the-clock sit-in outside army headquarters and mobilizing tens of
thousands last Thursday for a “million-strong” march for civilian rule.
delegation of expert doctors and consultants led by Islamic Human Rights
Commission (IHRC) conducted an initial study into the health conditions of the
leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Zakzaky, and his wife, Zinat,
earlier this week.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi welcomed the development, and expressed
the hope that after full treatment of Sheikh Zakzaki and his wife inside or
outside Nigeria, the trend of constructive interaction and talks between the
Islamic Movement and the Nigerian government would lead to the resolution of
problems and full freedom of the Shiite leader.
Zakzaki and his wife have been held in detention by the federal government
since 2015. They are standing trial over allegations of culpable homicide,
unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace, among others.
initial report by medical personnel reportedly highlighted the need for urgent
examinations into their health which the team hopes will be carried out in next
couple of days.
leading opposition figure and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi called on
Saturday for the continuation of the sit-in until all the people’s goals are
a press conference in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, al-Mahdi said: “We call
for the continuation of the sit-in until all the people’s goals are met.”
called on the protest leaders to deal with the Transitional Military Council
“with wisdom and not with anger.”
Sudan’s last democratically elected premier, also expressed appreciation for
the Transitional Military Council’s respect for the opposition’s role, saying:
“We seek to agree with the military council on the constitutional declaration.”
added that ousted president Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s National Congress Party
(NCP) and its allies must be stripped of the illegal privileges.
Sudan risks counter coup without deal on transition
Thursday, al-Mahdi warned that Sudan could face a counter coup if military
rulers and the opposition do not reach agreement on a handover of power to
said hardliners in the NCP and its allies in the army would try to exploit the
uncertainty to seize power.
them to attempt a counter coup is most probable. All the time they are
conspiring,” Mahdi, 83, said in an interview with Reuters at his sprawling
villa surrounded by gardens in the capital Khartoum.
whole group is well versed in conspiracy. The conspiratorial mind is ingrained in
prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, who studied at Britain’s Oxford University, was
himself overthrown in a bloodless coup by al-Bashir in 1989.
predicted that Sudan’s generals would relinquish power if the current stalemate
think their intentions are good,” he said of the senior army officers who
overthrew al-Bashir on April 11, three decades after he himself seized power,
and then formed the TMC.
are not interested in a military government,” he said, an outcome which the
African Union has said would be unacceptable.
spokesman for Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) said later on
Thursday it would retain “sovereign authority only” while civilians hold the
post of prime minister and head all government ministries.
generals have offered some concessions, sacking some officials, announcing the
arrest of others, including two of al-Bashir’s brothers, and ordering steps to
they have insisted that, while they are willing to accept a civilian
transitional government, ultimate authority will remain in their hands until
elections are held up to two years from now.
moderate Islamic Umma party is engaged in the negotiations. Asked if he was
interested in ruling Sudan now, al-Mahdi said: “I will not take part in
government until and unless we have elections.”
two bodyguards stood by, he reflected on the turbulent history of Sudan under
al-Bashir including multiple armed rebellions, economic crises and allegations
of war crimes in Darfur, al-Mahdi recalled what he said was the day that the
Islamist Bashir began leading Sudan to failure.
was praying at home. Dawn prayers. And they surrounded my house,” he said of
the 1989 coup which took him completely by surprise. “I think they wanted to
kill me. To capture me and pretend I had tried to escape or resisted,” he
al-Mahdi was initially jailed, he said he was taken to a what he described as a
ghost house. Three men confronted him.
can save yourself if you record here that democracy has failed,” he quoted them
added: “They wanted me to give legitimacy to their coup.”
refused. “They took me back to an execution cell.” For the next two years he
was jailed and put under house arrest.
said he had met with intelligence chief Salah Gosh and acting NCP chairman
Ahmed Haroun on April 10, the day before al-Bashir was ousted, after they asked
to see him.
two men threatened to use force to disperse a protester sit-in outside the
Defense Ministry, he said. Al-Mahdi said he told them he would join the sit-in
to help protect the protesters.
this point Haroun said, ‘You will not find them because they will be crushed,’”
could not independently verify this account. Gosh could not be reached for
comment, while Haroun was arrested and jailed after al-Bashir’s removal.
raids were carried out Saturday night on the Libyan capital Tripoli, according
to AFP journalists and residents who heard loud explosions.
exact locations of the strikes were not known, but the roar of airplanes over
the city was accompanied by heavy explosions between 11.00 pm and midnight.
are hearing sustained, uninterrupted fire” from machine guns and anti-aircraft
guns “and occasional air strikes, but we do not know where exactly,” a resident
of west Tripoli told AFP.
Facebook, users are saying that you must leave your house if you live near a
barracks or a place where armed groups have taken position,” she added.
resident added: “But we are afraid to go out into the street so late at night.”
loyal to the UN-recognized government of national unity and fighters under
commander Khalifa Haftar, have been engaged in battle for three weeks.
forces launched an offensive on April 4 to seize the capital.
forces loyal to the Tripoli-based government of national unity launched a
counter-attack last weekend, the International Committee for the Red Cross
warned that residential areas of Tripoli were being turned into battlefields.
least 278 people have been killed and more than 1,300 wounded in the clashes,
according to the World Health Organization.
than 35,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, according to the
Madani, founder of Algeria’s banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), will be
buried in the capital Algiers on Saturday days after his death in Qatar where
he lived in exile, a security source said.
had called for armed struggle in 1992 after Algeria’s military scrapped the
country’s first multi-party parliamentary election which the FIS had won, and
pushed for the creation of an Islamic state in the North African nation.
Madani will be buried today Saturday in the El Alia cemetery,” in an eastern
suburb of the capital near the airport, a security source told AFP on condition
source close to the family said Madani’s body would arrive from Doha at around
1125 GMT and would be taken to his home in the central Belcourt neighborhood of
Algiers before the burial.
FIS figure El Hachemi Sahnouni said Madani could be buried either at the El
Alia cemetery or the Sidi Mohamed cemetery close to his home.
of the Takfiri Boko Haram terrorist group have attacked and overrun an outpost
belonging to the Nigerian government troops in the northeastern parts of the
African country, stealing weapons before fleeing, military sources say.
of the terror group launched their attack against the outpost at Mararrabar
Kimba in the volatile Borno state late on Friday, two unnamed military sources
told AFP on Saturday.
assailants were reportedly driving more than a dozen pickup trucks with heavy
machine guns mounted on their top. Terrorists were accompanied by three armored
personal carriers stolen from security forces.
terror convoy, flanked by a fleet of armed men firing from motorbikes, emerged
from the woods and sped straight towards the outpost.
was a serious gunfight,” one of the sources said, adding, “The troops put up a
good fight, but they were outgunned and overwhelmed... unfortunately, the base
fell to the terrorists, who took away weapons and fled.”
base lies some 135 kilometers from the state capital Maiduguri. It was not yet
clear whether there were casualties, especially as some troopers reportedly
scattered into the woods to escape the attack.
eyewitness had told the sources that some of stranded soldiers arrived at Biu,
a town around 45 kilometers away from the outpost, a number of them wounded.
forces in Africa have carried out an air strike against ISIS targets in
Somalia, marking what is believed to be the 32nd air operation of the year just
weeks after another raid killed the group’s second-in- command in the country.
operation killed three ISIS militants on Friday in the Golis Mountains in
northern Somalia, said the US Africa Command, Africom. No civilians were killed
or wounded, it added.
air strike eliminated ISIS-Somalia members staged in a remote location in
northern Somalia," said Major General Gregg Olson, Africom's director of
these extremists impacts ISIS-Somalia's ability to terrorise innocent Somalis
in the region and it creates confusion within the terrorist network."
has a relatively small presence in Somalia compared to the Al Qaeda-linked Al
ISIS has been particularly active in the northern Puntland region, where its
fighters have established training camps and depots for weapons coming mainly
from nearby Yemen.
Shebab, by far the largest radical Islamist group in Somalia, officially
integrated into Al Qaeda in 2012. But a small number of its members – about 200
– have defected to ISIS.
group, based in semi-autonomous Puntland, is led by Abdulqadir Mumin, who in
August 2016 was placed by the US State Department on a list of international
in Somalia has been the target of previous air strikes.
Command says its April 14 strike in Somalia killed the group’s
second-in-command there, Abdulhakim Dhuqub, who was in charge of the group's
attack planning and daily operations.
of late 2018, Africom put the number of ISIS fighters in Somalia at between 75
and 250 – a small number compared to the estimated 3,000 to 7,000 Al Shebab
US Bureau of Investigative Journalism has documented 32 American air strikes
reported by the media and military statements in Somalia in 2019. Official
figures report 110 air strikes against militants in the past two years.
month, the US admitted to civilian casualties for the first time, saying that a
woman and a child had been killed in a strike against Al Shabab targets last
April. Making the admission, Gen Thomas Waldhauser, head of Africom, said that
a "breakdown in reporting" had led commanders to make erroneous
statements on civilian deaths. Rights groups have said more civilians have been
killed but the US denies the claims.
LUMPUR, April 28 — Police today arrested controversial Muslim preacher Muhammad
Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu for investigation following complaints he made
statements deemed insulting to Hinduism during a religious lecturer.
police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Datuk Noor Mushar Mohamad confirmed
the 34-year-old’s arrest in Kangar, Perlis early this morning.
suspect is being investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code as well as
Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for disrupting
harmony and transmitting offensive communications,” he said when contacted.
Vinoth is believed to have been picked up by Perlis’ Criminal Investigations
Department serious crimes unit better known as D9 after police received
multiple reports against him.
total of 13 police reports were lodged against Zamri Vinoth yesterday by
members of several non-governmental organisations at various police stations
across Penang over the last four days.
Perai Tengah police chief Assistant Commissioner Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid
was earlier reported by The Star as saying that the case was being handled by
Wangsa Maju police.
brief video said to show Zamri Vinoth being taken into custody was posted on
Facebook this morning by Seberang Perai Municipal City Councillor David Marshel
in praise of the police and has since been shared on other social media
Vinoth has since restricted access to his Facebook page since his arrest but
his Twitter account remained accessible to the public.
Vinoth, who converted to Islam, is a known follower of controversial Muslim
preacher Dr Zakir Naik who is wanted in his native India on money laundering
and hate speech charges.
Zakir has been accused of denigrating other faiths and being a threat to
Malaysia’s multiethnic and multicultural harmony.
Putrajaya has said Dr Zakir who is a Malaysian permanent resident is free to
move about in the country as he has not broken any of its laws.
Umno president Najib Abdul Razak last night told PAS members that today's 'unification'
of the once political rivals had resulted from the seed planted by him and PAS
president Abdul Hadi Awang.
told a ceramah at a PAS premises in Kedah that the PAS-Umno cooperation started
with them having discussions about the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction)
Act 1965 (RUU355) and other matters pertaining to Islam in Malaysia.
happened during the time he was still Umno president and prime minister,
according to Najib.
are two 'hikmah' (blessings in disguise) from our loss (in the 14th general
the people can now compare how it is like to be under Pakatan Harapan rule and
the time the country was under Barisan Nasional.
second, the unity of the ummah through unification (gabungan) of PAS and
Umno," he said to thunderous applause from members of the audience.
I had all this while quietly initiated this with Tok Guru Hadi. He came to my
house during the night to discuss about RUU 355, as well as other matters
related to the interests of Muslims.
I am thankful to God that what had been started during my time, has become a
reality today," Najib added.
event called Ceramah Perdana Perpaduan Ummah was the first time that Umno
leaders shared the same stage with PAS at the latter's premises.
several other PAS and Umno leaders on the same stage, including PAS spiritual
leader Hashim Jasin and Umno supreme council member Mahdzir Khalid, besides
local leaders from both parties.
also said PAS and Umno could win the next general election if they maintain the
have done the calculation. Tak boleh lari, tak boleh lari (we won't miss).
LUMPUR, April 27 - The Rome Statute is not against Islam and it is unrelated to
the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, a public forum on
the international treaty was told today.
representative Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin noted that there has been attempts by
a member of the royalty to provoke the Malays into opposing the government’s
accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, by using the
“three Rs” of “race, religion, royalty”.
say it’s against the Agong, Islam and it’s against the Malays. But they have
not specified in what way acceding to the Rome Statute is against Islam, Malays
or the royalty,” the retired diplomat told a forum that was aired live by news
outlet Astro Awani.
when they use religion, are they saying that Islam condones heinous crimes like
genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression?
is a total misrepresentation and an insult to Islam which is a religion of
peace, compassion and mercy,” she asked when rebutting arguments used by
critics of the Rome Statute.
Farida pointed out that the Muslims’ holy book Al-Quran states that the killing
of a person is akin to killing the whole of humanity.
if you kill a whole ethnic group like what happens in genocide, are you saying
it’s something condoned by Islam?” she said.
Farida called for wider public dialogue on the matter of the Rome Statute, also
calling for the government to reverse its decision to withdraw from accepting
we need to encourage further public discussion and allay any fears or concerns
of the public, especially Malays, who are being duped by certain quarters,” she
when speaking to reporters, Noor Farida said the government needs to educate the
public before making any kind of decision on the Rome Statute, to prevent a
repeat of the demonstrations “provoked” by the current opposition parties in
response to an international treaty against racial discrimination ICERD.
need to explain to Malays in particular who are feeling so insecure that it
does not impact adversely on them, it does not impact adversely on the
royalty,” she added.
Malaya’s emeritus professor of law Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi, who was a
panellist at the same forum, rebutted the claim that Malaysia’s laws against
same-sex intercourse would put the country’s ruler at risk of prosecution in
the International Criminal Court if the Rome Statute is acceded to.
King has been advised that criminal prosecution of minorities like the LGBT
minorities are grounds for our King’s arrest and prosecution,” he said when
arguing this to be an unfounded concern.
days before the Malaysian government gave in to pressure to withdraw its
accession to the Rome Statute, a paper by four law lecturers was presented in
an informal briefing to the Malay rulers.
executive summary of the paper that was leaked saw the four academics
cautioning that the offence of homosexual sex in Malaysia could be categorised
as a persecution based on “sexual orientation or gender” under “crime against
humanity” in Article 7 of the Rome Statute.
four academics had in the paper also claimed that the International Criminal
Court could launch investigations on the issue and that the “government,
Parliament and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who approved and enacted this law can
be held responsible.’’ But Shad Saleem dismissed the idea, saying: “There’s
nothing in the Rome Statute about LGBT. The word LGBT, transgender, sexual
minority, sexual preferences are nowhere in the Rome Statute.”
that Malaysia’s Section 377A of the Penal Code criminalises intercourse between
homosexuals, Shad Saleem said: “But as far as I know, homosexuality is not a
crime against humanity.”
Saleem referred to Article 7 of the Rome Statute, where crimes against humanity
was defined to cover acts as part of a widespread or systematic attack on
civilians, including “persecution” against any group on grounds of “political,
racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender or “other grounds that
are universally recognized as impermissible under international law”.
the way, how does it define gender? It says very clearly that the term ‘gender’
is to refer to two sexes, ‘male and female’,” he said, alluding to paragraph 3
of Article 7 in the Rome Statute.
believed that the Rome Statute was drafted in such a way as they wanted to
“walk the middle path” when defining “gender” and also setting the requirement
of “universally recognised”.
there’s no chance of ICC prosecution of Yang di-Pertuan Agong because Malaysia
prosecuted some homosexuals,” he concluded.
other things, Shad Saleem had also in the forum said that criminalising
genocide or crimes against humanity would not in any way “threaten” Islam or
the Malays’ special position as provided for in the Federal Constitution.
of the Rome Statute had among other things claimed that the Yang di-Pertuan
Agong (YDPA) may be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) if
Malaysia engages in war crimes as he is the supreme commander of the country’s
with India 'only problem' for peace in region: Pak PM Imran Khan
Pakistan's relationship with India remains the "only problem" for peace
and stability in the region, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said and expressed
hope of establishing a "civilised relationship" with New Delhi after
the Lok Sabha elections are over.
there is peace and stability in region, economic prosperity is difficult for
Pakistan, and that is what right now the Pakistan government is working on,
Khan who is in China to take part in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum, (BRF) said
while addressing China International Cultural Communication Centre here on
said Pakistan hopes that the political solution in Afghanistan will succeed and
the war-ravaged country attains stability.
happens in Afghanistan affects the Pakistan's bordering areas. So we are
working for a peaceful region. We have decent relationship with Iran and we are
trying to strengthen them," he was quoted as saying by state-run APP news
only problem right now is our relationship with India. But we are hoping that
after the Indian elections, we will again hope to have a civilized relationship
with India too," he said.
his arrival here on April 25 to take part in the BRF meeting which concluded on
Saturday, the cricketer-turned-politician refrained from speaking on
India-Pakistan ties which in the last two months have experienced severe
strains following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack carried out by the
Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e Muhammed which killed 40 CRPF personnel.
emphasis during the visit appears to be firming up more projects for the $60
billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of
China's ambitious trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
BRI is Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature global infrastructure policy.
First announced in 2013, the project promises to build ports, roads and
railways to revive the ancient Silk Road and create new trade corridors linking
China to Asia, Africa and Europe.
BRF forum aims to showcase the progress of the BRI since it began in 2013. The
CPEC is opposed by India as it is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied
his address at the roundtable meeting of the BRF forum presided by Chinese
President Xi Jinping, Khan termed the CPEC as a transformational project which
would play an important role in boosting connectivity between the Gwadar Port
in Pakistan and Xinjiang region of China.
also underscored the importance of greater connectivity among the BRI
participating countries and proposed four specific areas for particular focus,
including digital connectivity, mobility of labour, cultural connectivity and
sharing best practices in knowledge and innovation.
advance these proposals, among other things, Khan also suggested setting up of
BRI Tourism Corridor to improve labour skills and mobility and creating
multi-lingual digital platforms.
also mooted cooperation among the BRI countries for poverty alleviation and
campaign against corruption. In his speech at the cultural centre, Khan said
the BRI had come as a blessing for Pakistan.
and Road Initiative has given us an opportunity to catch up with other nations.
CPEC has provided an opportunity for Pakistan to attract investment not just
from China, which is the fastest growing economy in the world now. So
obviously, China is a main home from where we hope to invite investors,"
also met Managing Director of International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde on
the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing and reportedly discussed
the bailout package.
is currently undergoing a severe balance of payment crisis, despite large
infusion of investments from China, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
meeting reviewed the relationship between Pakistan and the IMF.
identified the areas of reform and initiatives being undertaken by his
government to stabilise the economy, control inflation and achieve fiscal
balance, the APP report said.
two leaders agreed on the importance of the IMF programme and to work towards
an agreement for which a fund's delegation is coming to Islamabad.
two sides agreed on the need for a social safety net for the vulnerable groups
of the society.
day after lashing out at the government for "ruining sports in the
country", legendary cricketer Javed Miandad went on the offensive again
and asked Prime Minister Imran Khan why he was trying to abolish a system he
himself was the product of.
made those comments flanked by hockey great Islahuddin Siddiqui and squash
maestro Jahangir Khan at a press conference in Karachi on Saturday.
Islahuddin, Jahangir [Khan] and Saleem Jafer, we are all the products of this
[departmental] culture," said Miandad, who has been campaigning against
Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) purported plans to scrap departmental cricket.
is the best system. When departmental cricket and sports were active, we were
champions in how many sports and how good were we? I can tell you that if it
wasn't for PIA, then it is possible the Jahangir Khan may not have been
addressed his former teammate and incumbent prime minister, Imran Khan, saying:
"You played in this system yourself. Did you not play county cricket in
England? Do they not pay for playing county cricket? Were we stupid that we
played there? We played because of money.
system was successful in Pakistan. Just ask yourself where was our cricket back
then? We had world champions like Jahangir and Jansher because they had the
who played under PM Imran in their triumphant 1992 campaign, said "I was
expecting from Imran Khan that he would support sports even more [after coming
into power]," adding that "there aren't any jobs anyway and then
you're also laying off those who have jobs."
problem is there if banks pay a million rupees to a player but then he brings
in Rs5 million worth of [advertisement benefits]?" he asked. "I am
not against regional cricket but it can't work here even if it does
advised the prime minister to listen to the people and reminded him of the many
favours he had given to him.
ask Imran Khan to ask his own voters who is right on this issue: you or
us," he said. "Politicians must be very wary of these things. If you
do not listen to the people in a democracy, it will not be good for you or your
party. I have never asked the prime minister of anything but I have done a lot
rued the state of sports in the country, saying: "The sports infrastructure
is in tatters. There are buildings everywhere. There is nothing for sportsmen.
new interior minister, appointed in a major cabinet reshuffle this month by
Prime Minister Imran Khan, is a former spy chief and close ally of the
country’s last military ruler who has long been accused of deep ties to
appointment of retired Brigadier Ijaz Shah has been heavily criticized by the
opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), whose slain former leader Benazir
Bhutto regarded him as a deadly enemy.
analysts said it suggested Pakistan’s powerful military continued to wield
heavy influence over the civilian administration - a persistent allegation
since Khan took office eight months ago that both his government and the
an interview with the BBC after his appointment, Shah said: “What power can I
give the military as interior minister? I left the army a long time ago, I am a
civilian and have participated in elections.”
prime minister’s office and the information ministry did not respond to
requests for comment.
was among four members of the civilian-military establishment named by Bhutto
in a letter written to then President Pervez Musharraf months before her
assassination as suspects who should be investigated if she was killed.
Pakistanis have long suspected that elements of the intelligence agencies
colluded with militants in Bhutto’s assassination in a gun and bomb attack in
the garrison city of Rawalpindi in December 2007. An investigation at the time
blamed an al-Qaeda-allied Pakistani Taliban leader.
you trying to send a message to the world that we have terrorists and the
abettors of terrorists in our cabinet?” Bhutto’s son and chairman of the PPP,
Bilawal Bhutto, told the country’s parliament this week, referring to Shah’s
added: “This cannot happen.”
office did not respond to a request for an interview or a list of questions
sent by Reuters, but earlier this month then Information Minister Fawad
Chaudhry told local newspaper Dawn that “he is a clean man” and had been
cleared of all allegations against him in a government inquiry.
sweeping cabinet reshuffle comes as Pakistan is trying to attract foreign
investment and present itself as a reformed country. But critics say the
inclusion of an “old school” figure such as Shah in the government shows little
Musharraf, who as army chief seized power in a 1999 coup and ruled until 2008,
Shah served as head of the military’s leading spy agency in the Punjab
province, and was later appointed the head of the civilian Intelligence Bureau.
oversaw the surrender of wanted militant Omar Saeed Shaikh, who masterminded
the kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl in
contributed to allegations he had been close to Islamist groups based along
lawless border with Afghanistan, where Pakistan’s security services have long
been accused of playing a double game.
biggest controversy is his links with the Afghan jihad and figures like Omar
Saeed Sheikh,” author and analyst Ayesha Siddiqa told Reuters, a longstanding
critic of Pakistan’s military.
added: “Looks very much like the army chief’s choice.”
military did not respond to a request for comment on this article, but in the
past has said it does not interfere in politics.
military has also repeatedly denied allegations levelled by the United States,
Afghanistan and others that is has covertly sheltered militants based along its
Khan’s government, Islamabad has been trying to convince the outside world that
it will not tolerate militants operating from inside Pakistan.
currently finds itself on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) “grey list”
for inadequately dealing with money laundering and terrorism financing, a designation
that makes it harder for the country to access international markets at a time
when its economy is stumbling.
the FATF that it is making sufficient efforts to crack down on militancy will
be harder with a controversial figure such as Shah in the cabinet, said PPP
Senator Mustafa Khokhar.
The opposition parties may stick to their previous decision of boycotting a
briefing on the National Action Plan (NAP) as the government announces its
fresh move to hold it on May 2.
to Dawn on Saturday, members of the major opposition parties said they had
boycotted the previous such meeting scheduled on March 28 taking a principled
position that such a briefing should be given on the floor of the house and
that they were unwilling to change their declared stance.
that so far the government has not formally contacted them on its fresh plan to
hold the briefing on May 2, the opposition members said it was unlikely that
they would change their stance.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is also the vice chairman of the ruling
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), had written letters to the parliamentary
leaders last month, inviting them to a briefing session on NAP on March 28.
However, the government had to cancel the meeting at the last moment when the
opposition members refused to participate in it.
of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, however, after
consulting other opposition parties had made it clear through a letter to Mr
Qureshi that a briefing was acceptable only if it was given by the prime
minister himself on the floor of the parliament.
Mr Sharif’s letter, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman
had already announced that his party would boycott the briefing as his party
had previously rejected NAP.
federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati, however, on Thursday
informed the Senate that the government would brief the parliamentary leaders
on the implementation of NAP on May 2.
contacted, Opposition Leader in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq said the minister
though had announced the new date for the briefing on the floor of the house,
no one from the government had so far contacted them on the issue.
parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the National
Assembly Syed Naveed Qamar, when contacted, said that he was not in the loop as
the announcement had come from the Senate.
Muslim League-Nawaz spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb told Dawn that the decision
to boycott the briefing had been unanimously taken jointly by all the parties.
She said the opposition still wanted the briefing inside the parliament and by
Prime Minister Imran Khan himself.
the announcement by Mr Swati about the government’s fresh move to hold the
briefing, PPP stalwart Raza Rabbani, who had previously rejected the idea of a
briefing on NAP as insufficient and an attempt to create an elite group within
the parliament, once again opposed the move and observed that a joint sitting
of parliament should be convened for a briefing on NAP. He noted that if
required, it could be an in-camera session.
stressed it was the constitutional right of every member of parliament to be
kept informed on matters of national security and contribute to the formation
parliamentary leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman had regretted that the prime
minister chose to outsource a briefing on NAP to his foreign minister.
his letter to Mr Qureshi, Shahbaz Sharif had stated that the collective
opposition believed in inclusive decision-making and promoting a sense of
collective ownership of all decisions taken in the national interest.
is, therefore, suggested that your proposed briefing be given to the National
Assembly so that the country can benefit from the collective wisdom of all
parliamentarians, instead of selected parliamentary leaders,” Mr Sharif had
written to Mr Qureshi while responding to the latter’s invitation letter to
Qureshi in his invitation letter had stated that the meeting of the
parliamentary leaders was being convened “to underscore our continued
commitment to speedy implementation of NAP, which is clearly in the long-term
interest of the people of Pakistan”. Although in the invitation letter there is
no mention of the issue of giving extension to military courts, which were set
up under NAP to hold trial of civilians charged with terrorism and which
completed their two-year term on March 30, a number of opposition members
believe that the main purpose of this activity is to seek their consent for
giving second extension to these courts.
opposition parties say they want the government to convene a joint sitting of
parliament for briefing on such an important issue. Military courts were
established in January 2015 and granted permission to try civilians charged
with terrorism after the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar
the previous month. The courts remained non-functional in 2017 from January to
March after expiry of the two-year constitutional cover.
Three personnel of the Levies force were martyred and another was injured when
an explosive device planted near their check-post went off in Shawa tehsil of
North Waziristan tribal district on Saturday.
said the incident occurred in the Malak Shahi area of Mirali subdivision when
the security personnel were going to the check-post for duty.
more: 'NAP to be implemented at all costs,' says Ali Zaidi
a result of the explosion, two personnel identified as Ameer Zaman and Abdul
Wali died instantly, while a third one, Nambot Khan, succumbed to injuries in
the hospital, they said.
after the incident, security forces reached the spot and shifted the dead and
the injured to the hospital.
president is scheduled to appear in a special court hearing on May 2.
former military dictator Pervez Musharraf, who is facing high treason case, is
likely to return to the country on May 1, his lawyer said on Saturday.
special court indicted General (retd) Musharraf, 75, for high treason in March
2014. He left for Dubai in 2016 to "seek medical treatment" and has
not returned since.
month, he was admitted to a hospital in Dubai after suffering a reaction from a
rare disease for which he is already under treatment.
his deteriorating medical condition, the former military ruler is determined to
appear before the court that had summoned him for the hearing scheduled for May
2," Musharraf's lawyer Salman Safdar told reporters.
approval of former president's personal physician had become of upmost
importance in the current circumstances, considering his fragile medical
condition," Safdar was quoted as saying by the Express News.
family sources have confirmed his arrival date, he added.
Pakistan's Supreme Court, while hearing a plea filed by a lawyer who pointed
out that proceedings of the treason case had come to a halt as former president
Musharraf had not returned since 2016, on April 1 directed the former military
ruler to appear before the special court on May 2.
three-member bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa
also warned him that if he fails to turn up then he will lose his right to
record a statement under Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedures.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case
against Musharraf over the president's imposition of extra-constitutional
emergency in November 2007.
special court declared Musharraf a proclaimed offender and ordered the
confiscation of his property owing to his no-show.
on orders of the Supreme Court, Musharraf's passport and national identity card
were also cancelled.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan on Saturday announced that it would
launch a struggle for getting an ‘Urban Sindh’ province to end ‘injustices’
meted out to the people of urban areas, particularly Mohajirs, in all spheres
demand was made at a public meeting held by the MQM-P here at the Bagh-i-Jinnah
near the Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum through a resolution read out by senior party
leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel.
party wanted to demonstrate its street power by holding a public meeting at the
sprawling venue where the then unified MQM led by its founder Altaf Hussain had
already made history by holding a women-only rally in 2012.
from the party’s past performance, Saturday’s show was a disappointment
although a good number of people, including women and children, came to the
venue from different parts of the city.
terms PPP’s govt in Sindh racist
on the occasion, MQM-P convener and federal minister Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui
strongly criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and said that its ‘racist
government’ had passed a resolution against the MQM in the Sindh Assembly
without considering the fact that the province was actually divided into two
parts in ’70s when it imposed an urban-rural quota system.
asked why not the PPP brought a resolution against those who introduced that
quota system in Sindh.
party leader Amir Khan said that the MQM-P was not against the provincial
autonomy but it was not going to accept provincial hegemony which only caused
destruction in Karachi and urban Sindh. “People of Karachi will not become
slaves of Larkana,” he declared.
said that the current Sindh government was an incompetent set-up. “People of
Sindh have to rid themselves of feudals and landlords,” he said.
said that the country was divided into four provinces with a dictatorial
decision of Gen Yahya Khan.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, Nasreen Jalil, Faisal Subzwari, Khwaja Izharul
Hasan and other MQM-P leaders also spoke.
of the public meeting replied in the affirmative when Kanwar Naveed Jameel
presented 11 resolutions.
of the resolutions said that the MQM-P believed that a struggle for creation of
an Urban Sindh province should be initiated to end injustices meted out to the
people of urban areas, particularly Mohajirs, in all spheres of life.
what it called the “biased, racist and anti-Karachi” PPP government of
providing jobs to non-deserving people on fake domiciles and permanent
residence certificates, the MQM-P demanded setting up of a judicial commission
that could investigate all recruitments made during the tenure of PPP
also demanded that the provincial government spend 50 per cent of the taxes
collected from Karachi on urban areas of the province.
party demanded that all the civic functions that had been snatched by the
PPP-led provincial government be given back to the Karachi Metropolitan
Corporation. It warned the K-Electric to stop loadshedding.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj ul Haq has said the country will face chaos if
the presidential form of government is imposed on it as in that case it would
not be possible to unite all the different nationalities and federating units.
presidential system broke the country. General Ayub Khan, Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez
Musharraf had complete authority yet the issues of the country were not
resolved. The public wants end to poverty, inflation and unemployment and not
the presidential system,” he said on Saturday.
Haq was addressing a press conference at the JI’s headquarters at Mansura along
with the JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch and central information secretary
the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government over its performance, he termed
the nine months of the government an accumulation of failures, disappointment
political parties gave the government the chance to play freely but the
government has failed to deliver. No one feels the need to protest against the
PTI government consisting of people from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Musharraf.”
said the current government is a new edition of the PPP and Musharraf
governments, which came into power, he said, owing to the failures and
incompetence of former governments.
government deserves accolades for proving in nine months that it is
incompetent. Not just one or two ministers in the government but the entire lot
is incompetent,” he added.
said Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier raised slogans against unemployment and
said he preferred suicide over approaching the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) for loans.
Khan is taking loans from the IMF after accepting their conditions. He has
implemented the IMF’s demands even before grant of package,” he said. Haq said
the government is presenting loans as good news for the nation, adding that
finance minister Asad Umar was removed on directives of the IMF and the World
JI chief rejected the proposed tax amnesty scheme saying this amnesty is being
given to convert black money into white money. He reminded that the government
had promised to bring back the looted wealth through accountability but has
failed to bring back even one dollar in 9 months.
Pakistan: A Pakistani security official says a bomb blast near the Afghan
border has killed three security personnel.
administration official Rehmat Khan says a paramilitary soldier was wounded in
Saturday's blast near a security checkpoint in North Waziristan, which was a
longtime stronghold for the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other militant groups. No one
claimed responsibility for the attack.
claims to have driven out the militants in a series of military operations in
recent years, but the region still sees occasional attacks.
IS suspects had links with Lanka terror handler’
as Sri Lanka uncovers the vast network of terror in the country, investigators
in Gujarat have established links between a terror handler in the island nation
and two IS suspects who were picked up from Bharuch and Surat in October 2017.
Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has detailed WhatsApp chats between the two IS
suspects, Ubed Mirza and Kasim Stimberwala, and their Lanka-based handler
Aadhil Ameez alias Aadhil AX, which took place in 2017.
conversation among the trio starts with a discussion on the Godhra riots.
According to the chargesheet submitted by NIA against Ubed and Kasim, Aadhil
claims to be a former soldier of Sri Lanka Special Forces who later trained
extensively in Pakistan.
the chats, the trio talked about an unidentified person, suspected to be an IS
operative based in Sri Lanka, ATS sources said.
Bro...that guy from Sri Lanka..What could he do?” Ubed asks Aadhil, who
replies, “He is ready for anything.”
then inquires if the Sri Lankan person could speak Hindi? Sources said the
conversations are attached in the chargesheet filed in April 2018 against Ubed,
who was a practising lawyer in Surat, and Kasim, an electrocardiogram (ECG) technician
in a Bharuch hospital.
and Kasim were highly radicalised in the group of IS sympathizers who were in
touch through social media and handled by Aadhil. The duo was planning to carry
out lone wolf attack on a synagogue in Ahmedabad’s Khadia area before they were
Taliban was not fighting the US, they would have wiped off India's name from
the global map,” Aadhil says in one of the conversation with the duo.
in intelligence agencies said the conversation about the Sri Lanka IS operative
was shared with the central agencies in 2018.
A 65-year-old ex-Army truck driver, who is the father of a Kargil war martyr,
was arrested on Saturday on charges of making a hoax call to police control
room on Friday, claiming major cities in south India, Goa and Maharashtra would
be hit by terror attacks.
accused is Sundar Murthy, a resident of Munivenkateshwara Layout in Avalahalli
near Hoskote, Bengaluru Rural. His eldest son, Saravana Perumal, was an Armyman
who lost his life during the Kargil war.
hoax call was made around 5.30pm to police control room, Namma Control.
Speaking in Tamil and broken Hindi, the caller had said, “Terror attacks will
take place on trains. At least 19 terrorists are holed up in Ramanathapuram,
Tamil Nadu.” The call was brought to the notice of DG&IGP Neelamani M Raju,
who had alerted her counterparts in other states. In his statement, Murthysaid
he was worried about the security in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
United States (US) government has declined to share any information with India
after New Delhi informed American officials of the use of F-16 fighter jets by
the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in its attempted air strike on Indian military
installations on February 27.
after we were informed by the Indian side about Pakistan using F-16 aircraft on
February 27, we informed the Indians that we will not be sharing any
information on the subject as it is a bilateral matter between the US and
Pakistan,” a US official told The Sunday Express on condition of anonymity.
official said there is an underlying logic to this position which the Indian
side appreciates: “If a third country tomorrow wants information about the C130
or C17 or Apaches that the IAF uses, our answer would be the same. It is a
bilateral matter between India and the US.”
to the US official, while India shared inputs which suggested the use of F-16
fighter jets by Pakistan, it has neither presented any evidence nor asked for
any inputs about the shooting down of an F-16 by the IAF on February 27. He
said the only evidence he has seen was “what was presented in the Indian
show that Pakistan used the American F-16s, Delhi shared evidence such as call
signs associated with PAF F-16s, and specific details of the AIM-120 Advanced
Medium Range Air To Air Missile (AMRAAM) used by the intruding fighting
falcons. But no AWACS pictures or radar images were shared with the US, for
reasons of IAF’s operational security.
statement was made after reports that the US sold F-16 fighters to Pakistan on
the condition that they would be used only in a defensive role, and the PAF had
used them for an air strike targeting Indian military installations.
regards how to use F-16, in what context (they) were used or not — because at
that point of time our entire Air Force was airborne — it remains between
Pakistan and the US to see how the MoUs (memorandums of understanding)
regarding the use of F-16 have been adhered to or otherwise,” Pakistan DG ISPR
Major General Asif Ghafoor was quoted as having said.
Zahran Hashim — the suspected mastermind of the Sri Lankan Easter bombings —
spent a "substantial amount of time in south India", The Hindu
reported on Friday citing a top source within the Sri Lankan military.
are looking into the IS angle. We also suspect that some of those radical youth
(suspected bombers) were indoctrinated and trained in India, possibly Tamil
Nadu,” revealed the senior military official, who wished to remain anonymous.
Indian officials did not state that Hashim had travelled to India, they did
point out that he had maintained virtual links with youth believed to be of
Indian origin, said The Hindu.
ties with south India were also confirmed by Hilmy Ahamed, vice-president of
the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka.
had shifted base to southern India," he told AFP, adding that "all
his videos have been uploaded from India. He uses boats of smugglers to travel
back and forth from southern India."
militant Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the terror attacks
that left more than 250 dead, and also released a picture showing eight
suspected bombers. Among them, the only man seen with his face uncovered is
believed to be Hashim.
was identified by investigators as the leader of the National Thowheed Jamaath,
the group believed to have executed the highly coordinated series of explosions
last Sunday that saw over 250 people killed. However, it later appeared that he
may have broken off from the NTJ and founded another extremist outfit that
assisted with the attacks.
more than a hundred of Hashim's Facebook followers are being scrutinised, said
an official on condition of anonymity.
notion that Hashim made use of "doctrinal videos" in order to likely
radicalise youth, first emerged when Indian authorities questioned seven
individuals of a group whose leader was found to be a follower of Hashim.
men were IS sympathisers and arrested in September 2018 in Coimbatore, on
suspicion that they were plotting the assassination of certain political and
religious leaders in India," The Hindu said, quoting the official.
carried out Shangri-La bombing
Sri Lankan authorities have yet to officially name any of the nine suicide
bombers or suspects, officials confirmed on Friday that Hashim was one of two
bombers who executed the blasts at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo.
led the radical group in (the town of) Kattankudy, in Batticaloa district of
Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, and was known for espousing extremist religious
ideas, often to the discomfort of many within the community," The Hindu
Leaving nuclear treaty one of ‘numerous choices’ after US sanctions
a treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons is one of Iran’s
“numerous choices” after the United States tightened sanctions on Tehran,
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying on Sunday by
has decided not to renew exemptions from US sanctions to buyers of Iranian oil,
in an effort to cut Iran’s vital oil exports to zero.
Islamic Republic’s choices are numerous, and the country’s authorities are
considering them,... and leaving NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) is one
of them,” state broadcaster IRIB’s website quoted Zarif as saying.
Iran’s state television reported on Sunday that Zarif is planning to visit
North Korea, without giving the date of the visit.
date of this trip will be set and announced soon,” the television quoted Zarif
as saying. It gave no further details.
Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, whose country faces international and US
sanctions, visited Iran last August as the United States reintroduced sanctions
against the Islamic Republic.
The Yemeni army killed at least 70 Houthi militia in Al-Dhale province south of
the country, Saudi state agency SPA reported on Friday.
clashes in Morais district killed a field commander and injured other
senior diplomats from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Britain and the US met in London to
discuss the situation in Yemen.
Yemen Quartet “agreed on the need for the withdrawal of Houthi militias from
the ports and the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement,” Saudi Minister of
State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir.
Central Command Chief General Kenneth McKenzie said on Saturday that the United
States would deploy the necessary resources to counter any dangerous actions by
Iran, Sky News Arabia reported.
gonna continue to reach out to our partners and friends in the region to ensure
that we make common cause against the threat of Iran,” McKenzie, on an official
visit to the Gulf region, was quoted as saying by Sky News Arabia.
believe we’ll have the resources necessary to deter Iran from taking actions
that will be dangerous,” he said, according to a transcript released by the Abu
said: “We will be able to respond effectively.”
between Tehran and Washington have risen since the Trump administration last
year withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Iran and began ratcheting
this month, the United States blacklisted Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
on Monday demanded buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May or face
sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest
buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.
President Hassan Rouhani and some senior military commanders have threatened to
disrupt oil shipments from Gulf countries if Washington tries to strangle
Tehran oil exports.
also said a reduction of US troops in Syria would be done cautiously.
the long term, we’re gonna reduce our forces in Syria, we recognize that,
that’s the guidance in which we are operating.”
will be something that we will look at very carefully as we go forward,” the
Donald Trump had ordered the withdrawal of US troops Syria in December after he
said they had defeated ISIS extremist group in Syria.
February, a senior administration official said the United States will leave
about 400 US troops split between two different regions of Syria.
crowds of pilgrims on Saturday marked the “Holy Fire” ceremony at
Christianity’s holiest site in Jerusalem’s Old City on the eve of Orthodox
10,000 believers holding candles squeezed into the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
more crammed the square outside and surrounding streets to receive the flame,
representing the resurrection of Christ, which passed from candle to candle and
will be taken back to Orthodox churches worldwide.
ceremony at the church is the holiest event for Orthodox Christianity.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the rest of the Old City lies in east
Jerusalem, occupied and later annexed by Israel following the Six-Day War of
Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic denominations share custody of the
will release two prisoners in return for the remains of an Israeli soldier
missing since 1982 which were recovered by Russian special forces in Syria, an
Israeli official said.
this month handed over the remains and personal effects of Zachary Baumel, who
was 21 when he was declared missing in action along with two other soldiers in
the Battle of Sultan Yacoub during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.
has decided to release two prisoners as a goodwill gesture,” the Israeli
official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday, according to
official did not reveal the identities or nationalities of the prisoners.
Russia, which secured the return of Baumel’s remains from Syria, said they were
went missing during the Sultan Yacoub battle between the Israeli army and
Syrian forces during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
on Saturday, the Arabic service of Israel’s Kan radio identified the two
prisoners as Nashit Ahmed, 35, and Zidan Tawil, 57, the Associated Press
first was arrested 14 years ago when he was trying to infiltrate an Israeli
army base, and the second is a resident of a Golan Heights village who was
arrested on drug charges, the radio said, citing security sources.
Friday, the Russian envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev said the return of Baumel’s
body was not a “unilateral” step.
least seven civilians have been killed when Saudi military aircraft carried out
airstrikes in Yemen’s southern province of Dhale as the Riyadh regime presses
ahead with its atrocious bombardment campaign against its southern neighbor.
fighter jets conducted aerial assaults against two civilian cars as they were
traveling along a road in the al-‘Awd district of the province on Saturday
afternoon, an unnamed local source told Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah
source added that there were women and children among the fatalities.
in the day, Saudi military aircraft launched airstrikes against residential
buildings in the southwestern Yemeni city of Dhamar. There were no immediate
reports about possible casualties or the extent of damage caused.
Yemeni army soldiers and allied fighters from Popular Committees targeted
Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur
Hadi at al-Hammad base in Saudi Arabia’s southern border region of Najran,
leaving a large number of them dead or injured in the process.
development came a day after nearly a dozen people were killed as armed clashes
erupted between rival Saudi-paid militiamen in Yemen’s southwestern province of
A security official, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said at least 10 people had been killed and dozens of others injured
from both sides in the exchange of gunfire.
official added that many families were forced to evacuate their homes near the
site of the fighting amid panic over their lives and safety of their property.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi
back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project
(ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has
claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose ruling Justice and Development Party
(AKP) suffered shock election defeats in the capital Ankara and commercial hub
Istanbul last month, has vowed to confront opponents inside his own party.
we're fighting outside, I have to say, we had people doing us wrong from the
inside too," said Erdogan, while addressing a gathering of the AKP in the
capital Ankara on Saturday.
March 31 elections saw Turks voting to elect mayors, municipal councils, and
other local officials. Erdogan’s AKP secured an overall victory with some 51
percent of the votes.
ruling party, however, suffered major defeats in the elections, which handed a
victory to the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in the political
power base, Ankara and the third-largest city of Izmir.
city of Istanbul seems to have come out from under the AKP's 25-year rule as
the results showed the CHP had narrowly won control of the country's economic,
cultural and historic center.
is going on in which province, in which district, all that information come to
us. We know it all ... For the future of this organization, we will call them
to account. We're not going to carry them on our backs," Erdogan said.
Turkish president said his party would keep up its legal campaign challenging
the results and calling for recount.
the last moment, we will continue our legal struggle. It is certain that there
is a scam here. We have to get the case resolved, so that we can find
peace," he said.
we have won the districts, we will question why we lost the big cities,"
he said, adding, "We need to focus on what to do and how to evaluate this
process, especially in the metropolitan cities".
mayoral election questionable’
further raised doubts about the credibility of the elections in Istanbul,
saying documents show a very serious organized set-up in the polls.
said that his ruling party had succeeded in local elections held last month.
election is an exam, struggle and an opportunity for assessment. We
substantially succeeded in the March 31 local elections," said Erdogan.
in his remarks, the Turkish leader said Ankara was determined to continue its
fight against terrorist groups in Syria.
which has been assisting several militant groups fighting to topple the
government of President Bashar al-Assad, has moderated its initial hostility
toward Damascus and been working with Iran and Russia to restore peace to Syria
within the Astana talks.
also said that Turkey would take measures to acquire the Russian-made S-400
missile defense system despite US pressures from the United States.
will continue taking steps to clear terror swamps in Syria and procure S-400
and similar security entrenchments," he said.
and Ankara finalized an agreement on the delivery of the S-400 missile systems
in December 2017. In April 2018, Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin
announced an agreement on expediting the delivery of the missile systems. At
the time it was said that the delivery could be made between late 2019 and
deal has drawn concerns among some of Turkey’s NATO allies, particularly the
US, who claim the missile batteries are not compatible with those of the
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upped his war of words on Saturday with
French counterpart Emmanuel Macron for creating a day of remembrance for the
1915 Armenian “genocide.”
decided in February to formally to mark the mass killings and forced
deportations of Armenians by troops from the Ottoman Empire — which preceded
modern-day Turkey and sided with German and Austro-Hungary in World War I.
on Wednesday held its first “national day of commemoration of the Armenian
was the first major European country to recognize the massacres as genocide in
2001 and Macron has said his decision on a commemoration is designed to show
Paris “knows how to look history in the face.”
Erdogan, who has urged “political novice” Macron to “focus on massacres
committed by French troops during the colonial era” on Saturday again denounced
a message to 700,000 Armenians who live in France will not save you, Monsieur
Macron,” Erdogan told a gathering of his ruling party in Kizilcahamam, north of
first to be honest in politics — if you are not you cannot win,” said Erdogan,
adding he had told Macron his views several times face to face.
officials have indicated France should look first at its own record, notably in
Algeria and its role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
current government accuses Paris of being complicit in the atrocities committed
by the majority Hutu community on minority Tutsis.
has always denied the allegations and Macron announced the creation of a panel
of historians and researchers earlier in April which will be tasked with
investigating France’s role.
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Saturday to confront opponents
inside his own party weeks after he suffered shock election defeats in the
capital Ankara and commercial hub Istanbul.
and his supporters have up to now blamed the losses on electoral fraud by
unspecified groups and launched a string of legal challenges against the
we’re fighting outside, I have to say, we had people doing us wrong from the
inside too,” Erdogan said during a speech at an AK Party retreat, without
naming any individuals.
is going on in which province, in which district, all that information come to
us. We know it all ... For the future of this organization, we will call them
to account. We’re not going to carry them on our backs.”
president did not spell out what actions he would take. Authorities have
suspended or sacked 150,000 civil servants and military personnel in recent
years, accusing many of them of being involved in a failed 2016 military coup.
than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial and widespread arrests still
results of the March 31 local election showed the main opposition Republican
People’s Party (CHP) won the mayoralty of Ankara and control of Istanbul —
which AKP and its Islamist predecessors have dominate for 25 years.
said the party would keep up its legal campaign challenging the results and
calling for recounts.
the last moment, we will continue our legal struggle. It is certain that there
is a scam here. We have to get the case resolved, so that we can find peace,”
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