and Muslim Comes Together,Muharram Sawari, Ganesh Idol Installed Under One Roof
in Maharashtra's Village.
and Muslims Unite Together, Muharram Sawari, Ganesh Idol Installed Under One
Roof in Maharashtra Village
Not Eligible As Zakat Receivers: Fatwa Committee of Malaysia
Agencies Using Violent Extremism as Weapon against Pakistan, says CII Member
Group JMB Planning Fidayeen Attacks During Bangladesh Elections: Intel Report
Training Session Organized For Amateur Filmmakers in Saudi Arabia
Gift by a Muslim Won’t Require Registration in Maharashtra
Need for Muslim Reservation: BJP MLA to Maharashtra Government
in India Suspended after Lynching of Muslim Man
kill soldier who was home for son's last rites
directs UP government to ensure treatment, award compensation to Nikah Halala
on Afghan in UN: India urges Ghani govt to take more action against Taliban
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
A non-descript village in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district, which earlier
witnessed communal unrest, has now set an example of brotherhood by installing
both the 'Muharram sawari' and Lord Ganesh's idol under one roof.
are being held uninterruptedly by both the Hindu and Muslim communities at the
same venue at Vidul village in Yavatmal's Umarkhed tehsil.
unifying initiative, taken by Yavatmal Superintendent of Police Megnathan
Rajkumar, is significant as the area had in the past witnessed several
incidents of communal disharmony during the Ganesh festival celebrated by
Hindus and the Ramzan Eid and Muharram of Muslims.
the Ganesh festival and Muharram are coinciding this year, Rajkumar instructed
the Umarkhed police station inspector, Hanumant Gaikwad, to call a peace
meeting of villagers on September 8 in the gram panchayat office.
conveyed the SP's suggestion to villagers that they should think of holding the
Ganesh and Muharram functions jointly.
villagers unanimously accepted the suggestion and set up a pandal at Nalsaheb
Devsthan temple in Vidul where both the religious functions are being held.
temple trust's chairman, Jayaram Dhage, said the Ganesh festival is being
celebrated in the religious premises for the last 134 years.
years, Ganpati and Muharram coincide. We have now decided that whenever these
two festivals coincide, we will celebrate them together with fervour and
enthusiasm," he said.
police have also prepared separate time schedules for the processions of Ganesh
idol immersion and Muharram sawari to avoid any confrontation between the two
persons were killed in a communal clash in Yavatmal in April 2008. The district
had also witnessed extensive rioting in November 2006 and curfew was then
clamped in several areas.
DR MUZAFFAR SYAH MALLOW
should be given to the poor and needy, regardless who they are. Smokers, though
eligible as Zakat receivers, should not get Zakat since they can afford to buy
they have money to buy cigarettes, they cannot be considered indigent. The rule
on smoking has been made clear in Islam.
Fatwa Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs of
Malaysia on March 23, 1995, had discussed the issue on “Smoking from the viewpoint
of Islam” and had ruled: “Smoking is forbidden in Islam because in it there is
was forbidden because one who smokes is considered to squander money that could
be used for gainful activities.
the fatwa is consistent with Surah al-Baqarah, verse 195,: “And do not throw
yourselves into destruction”.
Surah al-A’r af: 157, it is written: “And it is lawful to them the good things
and forbids them the bad things.”
Islam indicates the danger posed by smoking, there are Muslims who take the
fatwa lightly. What is worrying is that such this habit is adopted by students.
should send a strong signal by excluding smokers from the list of zakat
one of the five pillars of Islam, zakat, or giving of alms, is a religious obligation
for Muslims who meet the criteria of wealth.
is a mandatory charitable contribution, the right of the poor to find relief
from the rich, and is considered to be a tax, or obligatory alms.
are eight categories of people entitled to receive zakat assistance: the poor
(al-fuqara), meaning one who is of low-income or indigent; the needy
(almasakin), meaning someone who is in difficulty; zakat administrators (al-
amil); those whose hearts are to be reconciled, meaning new Muslims (Muallaf) and
friends of the Muslim community; those in bondage (slaves and captives);
physically or mentally (Al - Riqab); the debt-ridden (Al-Gharimin); those
fighting for a religious cause or a cause of God (Fil Sabilillah); and those
who are stranded or travelling (Ibn Al –Sabil).
religious authorities should observe this issue to protect the sanctity of
Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) member Shehzad Faisal Riaz Qasmi has said
that a network of hostile agencies working in Pakistan have caused the
martyrdom of over 70,000 innocent civilians and around 10,000 security
personnel in bomb blasts and suicide attacks.
expressed these views while addressing the audience at a conference titled
“Paigham-e-Pakistan: Ishq-e-Rasool (SAW) Conference” at Mirpur in Azad Jammu
and Kashmir. The event was organised by Anjuman Muhibban-e-Tareeqat
International Mohra Sharif.
at the conference on Sunday said that international forces were conspiring
against Pakistan in order to weaken it by fanning internal conflicts and
an organised international conspiracy, huge amounts are being spent to stoke
violent extremism, terrorism and sectarianism in Pakistan,” Qasmi said in his
of Pakistan’s defence and nuclear capabilities, the enemies had been using the
more dangerous weapon of violent extremism and sectarianism to divide and
weaken the nation on religious lines,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s armed
forces have fully exposed this international conspiracy hatched by the hostile
agencies before the world.
organised network of hostile agencies has been destroyed. Operation
Raddul-Fassad is very successfully going on against the terrorists as well as
their facilitators,” he said.
said to rid the country of terrorism and violent extremism once and for all,
over 5,000 religious scholars and clerics belonging to different schools of
thought have drafted a national narrative – Paigham-e-Pakistan – which portrays
a soft and positive image of Pakistan and highlights Islam as a religion of
peace, brotherhood, tolerance and harmony.
narrative is in fact a description and explanation of our religion through
which the nation has been advised to lead a peaceful life by adhering to
Islam’s principles of peace, brotherhood, tolerance, equity, equality and
forgiveness,” he said, adding that it is the religious, national and moral
responsibility of every citizen that the national narrative is followed and
contributes towards establishment of a peaceful society.
also urged religious clerics, scholars, ulema, mashaikh and notables of the
society to play their part in making Pakistan a citadel of peace, stability and
nations across the world have pinned high hopes on Pakistan. We have always
promoted international Muslim brotherhood by raising our voice against
atrocities being committed against Muslims across the globe, due to which other
oppressed nations also give high respect to Pakistan,” he said.
speakers stressed the need to promote inter-sect harmony and religious
tolerance in the society in order to ensure peace and tranquility. They
emphasised the need to follow a code of conduct to eradicate extremism from the
society and encourage peace, tolerance, unity and brotherhood, which will in
turn help thwart the nefarious designs of the enemies who are hell bent on
dividing the Muslim Ummah on religious, sectarian and ethnic lines in order to
make it weaker.
light on the ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ initiative of the government of Pakistan,
they termed it the best tool to deal with the growing extremism and intolerance
in society. They said the document was the best depiction of Quran, Sunnah and
social principles of the Islamic Shariah and by applying these golden
principles, “we can turn our country into a role model of peace and harmony.”
conference was attended by a large number of Ulema, scholars, Mashaikh, civil
society activists and people belonging to different segments of life.
group JMB planning fidayeen attacks during Bangladesh elections: Intel report
group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is planning to attack the elections
in Bangladesh due to be held later this year, intelligence report sent to the
Ministry of Home Affairs has revealed.
to the report, the group held a secret meeting last month and made plans to to
buy weapons and suicidal vests with the help of other terror groups operating
Intelligence report accessed by Zee News reveals JMB’s deadly plan to target
Bangladesh’s national elections. As per the report, during the meeting, JMB
decided to recruit 300 more cadres before the general election of Bangladesh.
JMB is also trying to conduct two-week weapons training in Chittagong district
and also has plans to establish 50 new training centre in various districts of
will hold the country's 11th national election in the third week of December this
year as the term of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Awami League (AL)
party will end in January, 2019.
is of serious concern to India, not only because of JMB’s cross-border presence
but also due to its linkage with other terrorist groups in Bangladesh. Recent
NIA report also suggests that JMB is trying to build a base in India,” a Home
Ministry official told Zee News on condition with anonymity.
JMB, meaning ‘Assembly of Holy Warriors’, is a Bangladesh-based terror outfit
formed in 1998 with an aim to establish an Islamic state based on Sharia in
group also has a significant presence in India, especially in border areas. The
NIA arrested a top leader of the JMB, Mohammad Jahidul Islam, from Bengaluru
last month who was wanted in the Burdwan Blast case in India and in several
terror cases in Bangladesh.
October 2, 2014, a blast had occurred in a house in West Bengal's Burdwan
district in which a man identified as Sakil Gazi died. The NIA in his
investigation revealed that the JMB members were planning an attack in
Bangladesh to overthrow the democratically elected government.
low-intensity blast was reported at a Bodh Gaya Temple on January 19, causing
panic among peoples who were gathered to hear the Dalai Lama.
terror camp has been set up by JMB and other terrorist groups along Bangladesh
and West Bengal border of India. This is really a cause of concern for us. There are also reports of
presence of Pakistani origin Lashker Terrorists in these camps,” a senior
security official said.
to security agencies, the JMB is using border area not only for hideout but
also for recruitment as well. Recruitment is done through madrasas, mosques and
their network is especially active in Murshidabad, Malda and Nadia districts of
West Bengal and parts of some border districts in Assam.
training session organized for amateur filmmakers in Saudi Arabia
The General Authority for Culture, represented by the Saudi Film Council, is
organizing an intensive filmmaking workshop and training session.
event will take place at the King Faisal Foundation in Riyadh, and comes within
the framework of empowering national talent and supporting the Saudi film
workshop will take place on Wednesday, and will target beginners and those
wishing to enter the world of filmmaking.
training session will take place on Thursday, during which a professor from the
London Film School will discuss all elements of filmmaking. Attendees will be
provided with devices to help translate his words into Arabic.
gift by a Muslim won’t require registration in Maharashtra
Sandeep A Ashar
gift of an immovable property by a Muslim will not need registration in
Maharashtra. It will be applicable to all gifts executed as per the Mohammedan
Law, including cases where the gifting has been carried out orally.
BJP government in Maharashtra has stated that a gift of an immovable property,
whether oral or written, under the Muslim law will be considered as a valid
one, even if the deed in this regard has not been registered. Confirming the
move, government sources said that the state’s revenue department will now
issue directives to tahsildar and district level revenue department officials
across Maharashtra, asking them to take even the valid but unregistered gift
deed under the Mohammedan Law on record while mutating property records.
officials from the stamps and registrations cell of the department would be
given directives, asking them not to insist on payment of stamp duty and
registration fees on such gifts.
as the Transfer of Property Act (1882) and the Maharashtra Stamp Act (1958)
mandate the registration of a gift, the Maharashtra government has cited a 2015
ruling of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court to rule that the condition
was not to be applied in the case of the Muslim donor. Citing provisions of the
Mohammedan Law, the court had earlier ruled the condition should not be applied
to a Muslim donor gifting his property under provisions of the Mohammedan Law.
“There is no provision in the TP Act (1882) for levying stamp duty on oral gift
made by any Mohammedan of sound mind, in favour of the donee,” the court had
earlier said, while hearing an individual petition where a donor had challenged
levying of the stamp duty by government officials.
the same court order, the government has also stated that “a gift under the
Mohammedan Law” need not be through a written instrument. It can be oral as
long as it is accompanied by a declaration of gift by the donor, acceptance of
the gift by the donee, and the delivery of possession of the property.
of a property under the Mohammedan Law is referred to as ‘Hiba’. While the
gifting instrument is called ‘Hibanama’.
the basis of the court’s ruling, the department had first sought the law
department’s opinion in this regard, which consented to the move. “The legal
position that emerges is that a gift under the Mohammedan Law can be oral and
need not be registered, a written instrument of the gift does not require
registration under all circumstances, and a gift to valid under the Mohammedan
Law must conform to three essentials. i.e. Declaration, Acceptance, and
Delivery of Possession,” the law department had advised. The government has
said that the decision will also apply to gifts executed in the past. Minister
of State (Revenue) Sanjay Rathod has confirmed the initiative.
Need For Muslim Reservation: BJP MLA To Maharashtra Government
BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh has slammed the Maharashtra government for failing to
provide reservation to the Muslim community. Addressing a function recently at
Katol, a taluka in Nagpur district, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator
said that lack of reservations was depriving the community of good education.
is an urgent need for Muslim reservation. It will allow the community to
progress if they get reservation in jobs and education," Mr Deshmukh said.
previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government in the state had
issued an ordinance in October 2014 announcing 5 per cent quota in jobs and
education for Muslims and 16 per cent for Marathas.
the decision was challenged, the Bombay High Court scrapped the entire Maratha
reservation along with 5 per cent Muslim reservation in jobs. However, it
allowed the 5 per cent Muslim quota in education.
the Devendra Fadnavis government has not implemented 5 per cent reservations
for Muslims in education," Mr Deshmukh said, claiming that the community
would not get quota till it showed its strength.
said that intellectuals and prominent citizens from the community must come
together to press for reservation, adding that the community's condition was
worse than that of the Dalits.
Katol MLA claimed that Sachar Committee and the Rangnath Commission had
recommended quota for Muslims but political agendas had scuttled these
Indian policemen have been suspended after a video on social media showed them
failing to help the victim of a mob lynching.
say the officers were suspended on Sunday, three days after a mob beat a Muslim
business-school graduate to death near Imphal, the capital of Manipur in
northeastern India. The video shows police standing around the man as he lay in
police official Jogeshchandra Haobijam says five suspected attackers have been
in western India came under fire in July for failing to help a Muslim cattle
trader who had been severely beaten by a mob of Hindu villagers. The man later
Terrorists on Monday shot dead a Territorial Army soldier in Kulgam district of
Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
ultras barged into the house of Mukhtar Ahmad Malik at Churat in Kulgam and
shot at him from a close range, a police official said.
had gone home following his son's death, according to officials.
me if you want to, but don't ask me questions," were the last words of
Mukhtar Ahmad Malik.
Naik Malik's son died on September 15 after battling for life at an Army
hospital for four days following an accident.
details of the incident, officials said the family was preparing for
'Rasm-e-Chauram' (post-death ritual) when terrorists barged into the house of
43-year-old Malik at Churat village in the militancy-hit Kulgam district of
to eyewitnesses, the officials said, terrorists tracked the movement of his
friend and reached the residence and started looking for Malik, who belonged to
162 battalion of Territorial Army.
found him at the first floor of the house and started questioning him about the
deployment of the Army.
me if you want to, but don't ask me questions," those present at the scene
quoted Malik as having told the terrorists.
DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure
medical treatment and compensation to a Muslim woman petitioner in a case
concerning polygamy and 'Nikah Halala', who suffered an acid attack and has
apex court directed the Chief District Medical Officer of Bulandshahr town,
where she was attacked, to ensure proper treatment to Shabnam Rani and asked
the administration to consider granting her additional security.
was last week attacked with acid in Bulandshahr and it has been alleged that a
close relative and his friend were involved in the attack.
polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives, 'Nikah Halala' deals with the
process in which a Muslim woman can re-marry her husband after divorce, only
when she marries another person, consummates the second marriage and then gets
her plea against 'Nikah Halala' and polygamy, Rani had alleged that her husband
had divorced her through 'triple talaq' and forced her to perform 'Nikah
Halala' with her brother-in-law.
bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwikar and D Y
Chandrachud noted the submission of Additional Advocate General Aishwarya
Bhati, appearing for the state, that an FIR has been lodged and security has
been provided to the victim.
court said if there was a scheme for compensation and any application has been
submitted, then it may be dealt with in a span of two weeks.
also said if any further security was required, then she could submit a
representation to the Superintendent of Police who shall scrutinise it and do
apart, the applicant shall be given adequate treatment keeping in view the
injuries. The concerned Chief District Medical Officer of the district shall do
the needful in the matter when it is brought to his notice."
who have been mentioned hereinabove should be sensitive enough to carry out
their duties as far as such treatment is concerned, that is, in consonance with
the order of this Court and the policy of the State Government and, therefore,
there cannot be delay in such matter," the bench said.
regard to other Muslim women who have challenged 'Nikah Halala' and apprehend
similar attacks, the top court asked them to submit representations to the
concerned Superintendents of Police of the area who shall look into their
grievance regarding providing them security.
bench also directed that the pleadings in various petitions, challenging the constitutional
validity of the practice of 'Nikah Halala' and polygamy among Muslims, be
completed within one month.
Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre, said that reply to the
petitions would be filed within a month.
Tuesday, reaffirmed its commitment to battle the growing insurgency in
Afghanistan and said it aims to restore the “economic pillar of stability and
reliable connectivity for the people of Afghanistan.” Urging Afghan officials
to lead efforts, India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations Syed
Akbaruddin said, “The challenges posed by the deteriorating situation does not
mean we ought to also stoically accept the death tolls as commonplace. Afghans
should lead the efforts, not only between governments but with civil society
and business as stakeholders.” He was addressing a UN Security Council debate
on the situation in Afghanistan.
to Taliban’s rejection of the ceasefire called by the Afghan government,
Akbaruddin said, “These offensives are planned and launched by those who are
harboured in safe havens in the neighbourhood of Afghanistan. These sanctuaries
have, for years, provided safety for the dark agendas of ideologically and
operationally-fused terror networks like the Taliban, Haqqani network, Daesh,
the debate, Akbaruddin also said that terror organisations operating in the
area draw financial not only from extortion, forced levies and taxes but also
benefit significantly from criminal networks operating drug cartels and
stealing Afghanistan’s natural resources.
the Afghanistan government to cripple the Taliban’s drug trade, Akbaruddin
said, “The situation in Afghanistan, by any measure, now warrants that the
‘business as usual approach’, followed so far, needs to be reviewed. The UN
Security Council should also look beyond routine consideration to chart a more
innovative way forward so that the spiral of violence that is affecting the
lives of common Afghans is reversed.”
than two days after a US envoy said Pakistan had indicated it could consider
opening its routes for trade between Afghanistan and India, foreign minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi made it clear that no such proposal was on the table.
has not agreed to consider Afghanistan-India trade through our land,” Qureshi
was quoted as saying by the Foreign Office.
refusal to allow the transportation of Indian goods through its territory has
become a sticking point in the implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan
Transit Trade Agreement. Afghan trucks carrying goods to the border trade post
at Wagah would return empty as they barred from transporting Indian products.
has attempted to get around this problem through the development of Chabahar
port in Iran, through which it has shipped items such as wheat to Afghanistan.
India has also started directed cargo flights between several Afghan and Indian
US ambassador to Afghanistan, John Bass, told the Indian media last week that
Islamabad had indicated to Kabul its willingness to discuss trade between India
and Afghanistan through its land routes.
had happened after an increase in Afghan exports to India through cargo flights
and the growing economic ties between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, Bass said. A
couple of months ago, the Pakistan government expressed its willingness to
start talking with its Afghan counterpart on “parameters to enabling trade
between India and Afghanistan through Pakistan”, he added.
political settlement in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s long-term interest and
increased trade and connectivity through Afghanistan would be “missed
opportunities” if Islamabad remains focused on “perpetuating the status quo”,
Bass was quoted as saying.
currently on his first visit to Kabul after assuming office, said on Sunday
that Pakistan had waived regulatory duty on imports from Afghanistan. Afghan
exports to Pakistan recorded an increase of 118% in 2018 and Islamabad will
fast-track steps such as standardisation and automation of custom procedures,
more excuses, NGO tells Putrajaya on child marriages
JAYA: Muslim NGO Sisters in Islam (SIS) today accused Putrajaya of lacking the
political will to end child marriages in the wake of recent reports on two
teenage brides who had married much older men.
said the government must not hide behind the excuse that it was “powerless” to
take immediate action on the matter.
hour they continue to choose to do so, more girls fall between the cracks that
they refuse to repair,” it said in a statement.
Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also women, family and
community development minister, previously said Putrajaya was powerless to
nullify the marriage between a 41-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl in Gua
Kelantan’s Islamic laws, children under 16 are allowed to get married with the
permission of a Shariah Court judge.
today, the New Straits Times reported that a 15-year-old girl, also in
Kelantan, married a man nearly three decades her senior in July after the
Shariah Court gave the go-ahead for the union.
girl’s parents, who have 12 other children, said they gave permission for her
marriage to the 44-year-old man as they wanted her to have a better life.
Saturday, meanwhile, it was reported that a 15-year-old girl who had been married
for two months to a 30-year-old had gone missing.
said the ongoing trend of child marriages clearly showed that current standard
operating procedures lacked the necessary safeguards to protect the interests
and welfare of children.
that the girls in both cases were school dropouts, they also criticised the
system for failing to prioritise the children’s education and to empower their
families with the economic means to keep them in school.
is indeed disturbing to realise that even in the era of Malaysia Baru, families
are driven to economic desperation to the point that they would marry their
children off so that they can ‘have a better life’.
is even more worrying is that we have not matured as a society to be able to
tell them that keeping children in school is a more sustainable means of
breaking the poverty cycle.”
LUMPUR, Sept 18 — The federal government was unable to interfere in a recent
Terengganu case in which two Muslim women were caned for alleged attempted
lesbian acts, as the penalty was meted out under state Shariah laws, said the
Liew Vui Keong explained that this was due to the separation of the federal and
state governments’ jurisdictions, and distinction between federal laws and
state laws (which also covers Islamic matters).
this case, all Muslim-related laws are governed by the states’ respective
jurisdiction, because all states have either the sultans or Tuan Yang Terutama
and most of the laws are under them. And we are not able to interfere with the
laws that have been passed by the respective legislatures in the respective
states,” he said in an interview with radio station BFM today.
in this case, caning comes under Shariah laws in Terengganu, they already have
a set of law that has been approved by the house in the state, so they
exercised that function to punish those who have infringed that particular law.
is under their jurisdiction, we can’t do anything in that respect,” he said of
the Terengganu case.
the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality’s (JAG) insistence that the federal
government should be able to intervene when a state law is in conflict with
federal laws or the Federal Constitution, Liew said this was merely an opinion
and should be decided in court instead.
will decide if it has been in conflict or not? It will have to be brought to
the court of law and then the court of law will have to decide whether that is
so,” he said.
asked if anything is being done to make state laws more consistent with federal
laws and the Federal Constitution, Liew said: “Of course there is an effort
that can be made, we can look into it. But we have this separate jurisdiction
between Shariah laws and civil laws.”
said the Federal Constitution provides that Shariah laws are enforceable only on
Muslims, adding that Malays are constitutionally deemed Muslim upon birth.
he said the constitution also protects the religious freedom of non-Muslims.
for laws on criminal offences, Liew said this would apply equally to both
non-Muslims and Muslims.
JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has hit out at a report that donations
from the Saudi royal family were not signed by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz
Al-Saud, stating that all the letterheads and the signatures were the same.
who read this article without thinking deeper will conclude that I am trying to
deceive the people.
is important to note that all the letters received by the bank and I used the
letterhead of Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud and all the letters used the same
signature,” he wrote in a his Facebook post.
was referring to a newspaper article stating that Mohammad Abdullah Al Koman,
who claimed to be the representative of the Saudi prince, had told the
investigators that he was the person who prepared the letters and signed all of
them on behalf of the prince.
had revealed several documents recently to confirm that the money he received
was indeed a donation from the Saudi royal family.
said he was unable to confirm what the investigator had said about the
signatures, but “what I know in the business world, there are also employees
signing letters on behalf of their employers.”
is apparent is that the articles do not state that the bank’s official
documents indicated that the funds were transferred from the bank account of the
Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia and from the bank account of Prince Faisal
bin Turkey bin Al-Saud in Saudi Arabia.
fund transfers have also not been disputed by the recipient bank or BNM (Bank
Negara Malaysia),” he added.
said the article also did not state the fact that he had refunded RM2.6 billion
to Tanore Finance several months after receiving it as indicated by the bank
documents he had shared last week, adding that the return of the RM2.6 billion
was also acknowledged in the book “The Billion Dollar Whale”.
proves that I did not steal or store billions of ringgit for personal use and I
am not a thief as accused by various parties.
the bank documents and the WSJ book confirmed this, PH’s leaders and
investigators still do not want to mention this fact.”
who is being investigated by Malaysian authorities, said it was also important
to note that the first letter with the same letterhead and signature was dated
Feb 1, 2011, after King Abdullah promised to assist him with the funds and
introduced him to Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Faisal.
letter was sent before funds from Prince Faisal and Ministry of Finance of
Saudi Arabia were received.
in June 2011, both Prince Abdulaziz and Prince Faisal were present at my
daughter’s engagement ceremony at Seri Perdana where I also thanked them for
arranging the donations on behalf of King Abdullah,” he said.
LUMPUR, Sept 17 — PAS’ acceptance of scandal-ridden Umno shows that the
Islamist party is not committed towards combatting corruption, Parti Amanah
Negara vice-president Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said today.
Parit Buntar MP, who was previously in PAS, pointed out that the move to
cooperate with its former rival was against the Islamic ideals of the Islamist
this cooperation has provided an indication that although Umno has been
spoilt-rotten with corruption scandals, with some currently in the judicial
process, PAS is willing to forget it as though corruption and abuse of power is
not an issue in Islam.
has no commitment to combat corruption, and is willing to cooperate with the
party which has been tainted by the worst corruption in the country’s political
history,” Mujahid said in a statement.
is a bit confusing because as the most so-called Islamist party, they close
their eyes to the corruption of their partner,” he added.
minister also said that the now public collusion between PAS and Umno came as
no surprise, as the two parties already had what he called an “intimate affair”
in championing pro-Malay and Islam issues.
to this, after PAS had divorced Pakatan Rakyat, the Islamic party acknowledged
that it was single and Umno was quick to seek its opportunity to ‘merisik’.
in the Sungai Kandis and Seri Setia by-elections, PAS and Umno were seen as
‘engaged’, and were only awaiting the date for a wedding ceremony,” Mujahid
refers to a Malay custom where a representative of a man would visit the
prospective bride’s family to “enquire” of her availability, and ask for her
hand in marriage on behalf of the groom-to-be.
and Umno had unofficially joined forces during the Sungai Kandis by-election,
before formalising it in the Seri Setia by-election.
Imran Khan to give some Afghans, Bengalis citizenship
new premier Imran Khan has vowed to give citizenship to some Afghan refugees
and Bengali immigrants, officials confirmed Monday, granting rights to many who
have lived in the country for decades.
one of the world’s largest refugee-hosting nations, is home to roughly 1.4
million registered Afghan refugees, some of whom have lived in the country
since fleeing the Soviet invasion of 1979.
are also roughly a quarter of a million Bengalis, many of whom arrived during
Pakistan’s civil war in 1971, when East Pakistan broke away to declare
independence and become Bangladesh.
who visited Karachi on Sunday, told a fundraising dinner that his government
would take steps to grant nationality to those who had been there longest.
first thing I will do going back (to Islamabad), God willing, is that we will
get those people from Bangladesh, who are perhaps living here for more than 40
years and their children have grown older, issued passports and national
identity cards,” he said, according to footage of the dinner seen by AFP.
those Afghans whose children have grown older here, who were born in Pakistan,
they would also be issued the passports and ID cards,” he continued.
you are born in America, you get the American passport. It is the practice in
every country in the world, so why not here? How cruel it is for them.”
he also noted that Bengali immigrants and Afghan refugees have created an
“underclass” in Karachi that has helped fuel street crime in the megacity of
more than 20 million people.
confirmed Khan’s comments Monday and said a draft policy would have to be
prepared for cabinet before legislation could be written and debated in
concern surround chatter of Kartarpur corridor opening for Sikh yatrees
A glorious white structure stands tall in the middle of lush green rice fields
2.5 kilometres off Shakargarh Road in Kartarpur. The uneven path leading to it
passes through fields on both sides, schoolchildren hopping back home, farmers
herding cattle. There are no signs of settlements except those of a few gypsy
magnificent structure is Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Shakargarh tehsil of
Narowal district, around 120km from Lahore. It is just 4km from the Indian
border with Dera Baba Nanak on the other side.
gurdwara recently made headlines following the swearing-in ceremony of Prime
Minister Imran Khan where Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa assured visiting dignitary
cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu that Pakistan planned to open
the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh yatrees on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba
Guru Nanak next year. Later, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry reiterated
Pakistan’s desire to do so.
this isn’t the first time opening the corridor for Sikh pilgrims has been in
the news. On the Pakistani side, various proposals have been discussed and
announcements made since the Musharraf era, but lack of interest by the Indian
side has kept the proposals confined to cold storage.
Indian lawmakers have taken up the issue with their governments since the late
1990s. Last year, an Indian parliamentary standing committee, headed by Shashi
Tharoor, ruled out the construction of a corridor citing security concerns.
Last month, India’s Punjab Assembly adopted a resolution asking the central
government to take up with Pakistan the opening of the corridor.
one enters the gurdwara, on the right side is a small courtyard where lies Guru
Nanak’s shrine. On the left side is a courtyard for distributing langar and
living quarters. Inside the carpeted hallway is a small samadhi. Upstairs is
the main prayer hall where the Guru Granth Sahib is placed, but I was told the
hall was ‘closed’ at that time. I was offered the langar that consisted of rice
with a channe ki daal.
Sikhs, Muslims, everyone considered Guru Nanak their saint, so when he died on
Sept 22, 1539 here, Muslims and Guru Nanak Naam Lewa Sangat got into a feud
over who would get his remains. When the sheet covering Guru Nanak’s body was
lifted, his body wasn’t there, but only fresh flowers. Both sides divided the
sheet and flowers between themselves and Muslims made a shrine for him and
Sikhs made a samadhi,” explained Gobind Singh, caretaker of the gurdwara.
Gobind has been appointed here by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and
belongs to Nankana Sahib.
gurdwara was reconstructed from 1920 and 1929 by the then maharaja of Patiala,
Bhupinder Singh Bahadur, for Rs135,600, and since then has been maintained by
the ETPB. During my visit, it was being decorated with artificial flowers for
next week’s death anniversary of Guru Nanak. Outside the gurdwara, in a bigger
courtyard, is a well that is said to have been used by Guru Nanak to irrigate
his fields, and preserved in a glass case is a piece of a bomb; a plaque next
to it says was dropped by the Indian Air Force in the 1971 war, but
miraculously landed into the well and saved the gurdwara.
says that Sikhs from all over the world visit the gurdwara, though it remained
shut from 1947 to 2000. “Pakistan has several times offered to India that it
will construct a road to Kartarpur,” says Singh. “The proposals were even
approved and during the Musharraf era a tender was floated with 50 per cent of
road construction being carried out. But India never responded.”
caretaker gets slightly emotional when talking about any opening of the
corridor. “This has been the biggest demand of the Sikh community,” he muses.
Meanwhile, “around 250 Muslims come here daily. Since there aren’t any Hindus
or Sikhs living nearby, those from Sindh come every other week. There are no
Sikhs, but a lot of Hindus in the district, not anywhere close to the gurdwara
owners of a couple of makeshift shops selling pakoras and other snacks also see
chances of themselves gaining something.
will be able to come here freely and in return the area and its people may also
benefit in terms of business,” says Asif. “The price of land here will
increase, more shops will open.” Even so, “if the border opens, there will be a
lot of strictness as the army will be deployed. Right now, people come from and
go to their fields easily.”
shopkeeper, Haji Sarwar, says he too has heard about the border opening, and is
excited. “It should open. They’ve been saying this for years, but I think it
will open this time; it will take time though. Besides Sikhs, local farmers
will also benefit. It might eventually be open to other citizens too,” he explains.
The Counter Terrorism Department, Punjab, claimed to have neutralised a network
of Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Hizbul Ahrar (HuA) which had carried out
terror attacks in various provinces of the country.
law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) saved Rawalpindi from a tragedy by arresting
the suspected terrorists who were set to launch a suicide attack on the bus of
an intelligence agency.
CTD has been chasing the network for the last four months or so, after they
carried out two dreadful attacks in two provinces on the LEAs and civilians, an
official privy to the information told Dawn.
was the longest Intelligence Based Operation (IBO) in the history of the CTD
Punjab which culminated in success,” the official said.
CTD’s Rawalpindi teams arrested five terrorists, including a young would-be
suicide bomber, Rizwanullah, besides eliminating their countrywide network.
said CTD had started tracking the network on May 3 this year after a suicide
attack on a bus in Attock carrying engineers of the NDC (National Defence
Complex), killing four people and injuring many others.
CTD immediately started working on the case and collected vital pieces of
evidence from the crime scene [Attock].
the evidence proved crucial in tracing the trail of the network, another
suicide attack was carried out on FC (Frontier Corps) convoy in Nowshera (KP)
on May 17,” he said.
innocent people were martyred and injured in this blast, he lamented.
evidence from Nowshera blast site confirmed that the same network was involved
in both the blasts.
CTD kept working on the trail spreading across Punjab, KP and Afghanistan.
suspects were travelling in a truck towards Rawalpindi to attack the bus of the
intelligence agency in Rawalpindi carrying staff from office to drop them at
said the terrorists were carrying two suicide jackets, four hand grenades,
explosives, detonators, wires, safety fuses, four pistols, and several live
said intelligence gathered revealed that they belonged to a new terror outfit
group was formed by Mukarram Shah Mohmand of Mohmand Agency after a dispute
with the Jamaatul Ahrar chief Abdul Wali alias Omar Khalid Khurasani,” he said.
Khurasani alias Tahir, a resident of Mohmand Agency of Fata, became another
important leader of HuA and a lieutenant of Mukarram Shah.
an operational commander of HuA, currently based in Afghanistan, made the plan
to launch attacks in Pakistan and was designated as in-charge of the operations
in the country.
selected terrorist namely Sher Hassan, a resident of Mohmand Agency, presently
settled in Darul Islam Colony (Attock) to carry out attack in the same city.
Sher Hassan was temporarily living in Attock, he saw it easy to spot the bus of
made the video of the bus and sent it to Imran Khurasani in Afghanistan who
sent him two suicide jackets through their accomplice Mohammad (code name) on a
jackets were dispatched from Afghanistan and were delivered in Attock on April
14 by truck driver/owner Maalik Jan and his brother Kamil.
received the jackets as his accomplice Mohammad also reached there. They kept
the jackets in another terrorist Sanaullah’s house first and later shifted them
to accomplice Adnan’s house next day.
three days before the [planned] blast, Mohammad brought suicide bomber Khalid
alias Saddam Shinvari to Attock.
suicide bomber was sent from Afghanistan and he came through Torkham border.
Terrorist Mohammad and Saddam stayed at the outhouse of Adnan.
May 2, they did recce of the bus and next day Sher Hassan and Mohammad helped
Saddam wear the suicide vest.
they gave him a hand grenade and a pistol. They wrote words “Muhammad bin Qasim
on the suicide jacket”. Then made pictures of the suicide bomber and took him
to the place of incident.
the coach slowed down at the place of incident, Saddam first fired shots at the
driver and then exploded himself, killing the driver and three others,” the
and Sher Hassan, who were watching the terror act at a distance, left the place.
Imran Khurasani then told Sher Hassan to make recce of security personnel in
three days before the blast, Mohammad came to him with a new suicide bomber
namely Saida Jaan alias Qari Usman who arrived from Afghanistan through Torkham
Hassan provided him with the suicide jacket which he had kept with him since
April 14 this year.
couple of days before blast, they drove the suicide bomber to Nowshera and kept
him in a mosque room.
May 17, Sher and Mohammad took him to Nowshera Cantt. Qari Usman went to the
place of incident.
the FC convoy came out of the gate and reached the railway crossing, Qari Usman
went near the front troop carrier and exploded himself. He martyred and injured
several military personnel, the official said.
the CTD personnel arrested them when they were planning another attack on the
bus of the intelligence officers.
investigation revealed that Rizwanullah had come from Afghanistan.
stayed in suburbs of Peshawar before coming to Rawalpindi to carry out the
Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) supremo Tahirul Qadri will arrive here on
Wednesday morning to “seek support of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government
(in bringing culprits of Model Town incident to justice), which the party had
been promising when it was in opposition.”
to PAT spokesman Noorullaha Siddiqui, the party chief will have an extended
stay this time as he has to sort out things with the government regarding Model
Town case, decide certain organisational matters of the party and strengthen
legal team for the case.
PTI, when in opposition, has been the biggest supporter of the justice in Model
Town case,” Mr Siddiqui said talking to Dawn on Monday.
said though the case was in the court and the PTI could not influence the
outcome of the case, it could certainly meet the PAT demands of removing all
the accused bureaucrats and police officers from the active duty and save
investigation from any influence. These police officials had also been
harassing witnesses of the Model Town case and the PAT had been taking it up
with the government, he said. Qadri Sahib, he said, would also be reviewing the
legal position of the party in the Model Town case and ways to strengthen it by
inducting some more lawyers in its team.
The governments of Pakistan and the United Kingdom on Monday jointly launched a
partnership on repatriation of illicit finances, recovery of stolen assets and
putting a check on money laundering.
Minister Farogh Nasim and British Home Secretary Sajid Javid at a joint press
conference here at the PM Office announced that the declaration titled
‘UK-Pakistan Justice and Accountability Partnership’ would track corruption and
also restart the bilateral prisoner transfer that was on a halt for last
Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who is on a two-day official visit to Pakistan,
said the United Kingdom would ensure that no person could escape
accountability. He, however, clarified that the initiative would be broad-based
and was not meant to target only individual cases.
said the new partnership would be headed by a special envoy to expand
cooperation between the two sides in curbing corruption. The director of the
Economic Crime Unit would be representing the British side, he added.
British home secretary, who is the first from his government to visit Pakistan
after Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed the office, said the UK was committed
to strengthen ties with the new government and reaffirm their partnership. He
termed his talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan as constructive and said he
fully endorsed his vision of building a prosperous Pakistan.
a question, the home secretary rejected the impression that the UK was
reluctant on extradition related matters with Pakistan and said he was mindful
of respecting the domain of British law enforcement agencies. However, he
stressed that those responsible would be brought to justice whenever there was
some evidence. Asked about the quantum of money laundering, the British
secretary said both the sides reviewed their commitments on sharing evidence to
prosecute the criminals.
the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Sajid Javid said Pakistan was already
working on the matter and the UK would extend all support to it in that regard.
He said his country would deepen cooperation with Pakistan to counter illicit
finances and corruption. About the role and sacrifices of Pakistan against
counter-terrorism, he said Pakistan had suffered more than any other country on
said Pakistan and the United Kingdom had deep relations in many areas. Some 120
British companies were already working here, he said. Being a major trading
partner, the UK would like more companies to enter Pakistan as it was preparing
to leave the European Union, he added.
Minister Farogh Naseem said both the sides also deliberated on the formation of
a joint fund on civil recovery of stolen assets, and appointment of a
prosecution service at the British High Commission. He said it was also agreed
upon to ensure capacity building of Pakistani law enforcement officials with
the assistance of the United Kingdom.+When questioned on the issue of
confiscation of Avenfield apartments of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the
law minister said, “No individual cases or any specific matter was discussed.”
deliberations for the extradition of two sons of former prime minister Nawaz
Sharif, Farogh Naseem said he was unable to share more details. Special
Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said the matter was
already with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Individual cases would
not be commented upon, he added.
of State for Interior Shahryar Khan Afridi and British High Commissioner to
Pakistan Thomas Drew were also present on the occasion.
British Home Secretary Sajid Javid paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Imran
satisfaction on the current direction of bilateral relations between Pakistan
and the United Kingdom, the prime minister hoped that the two countries would
be able to upgrade those to a multi-faceted strategic partnership. He
acknowledged the United Kingdom’s development assistance that had positively
impacted Pakistan’s socio-economic sectors.
also discussed a wide range of issues of common interest, including
counter-terrorism, organized crime, human trafficking, money laundering and
British home secretary stated that his government was willing to support and
extend full cooperation to the government of Pakistan in these areas. He also
underscored the need to enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.
British home secretary also met Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi
at the Foreign Office. “The two sides discussed various areas of regional and
bilateral cooperation, in particular regional security, counter-terrorism,
organized crime, migration, human trafficking, money laundering and asset
recovery,” the Foreign Office said.
foreign minister stressed the need to expand Pak-UK cooperation and translate
the existing ties into a tangible and multi-faceted strategic partnership.
British home secretary conveyed his government’s desire to support and work
closely with the new government in all areas of mutual interest.
presiding over the Senate standing committee meeting of Interior on Monday,
Senator Rehman Malik said Afghanistan is supplying drugs to European markets
under the eyes of US forces.
volatile Afghanistan’s most of the territory is under the control of United
States (US) forces but still Afghanistan is a big market of drugs production
and it supplies to the market of European countries under the eyes of US
forces. United States is still silent over the issue but it is curbing Pakistan
in FATF grey list, which shows US’ ingenuity and makes its role in the region
even more controversial”, said Senator Rehman Malik.
standing committee on interior moved a unanimous resolution in the meeting
regarding the sacrifices of Pakistan in the war on terror, its economic and
human losses rendered by Pakistan and the dual role of US in the region
regarding the FATF announcement of putting Pakistan in the grey list.
resolution added that Pakistan was made a soft target by FATF through money
laundering allegations, whereas, Afghanistan continues to smuggle drugs to the
European markets under the surveillance of United States.
further added that US should stop the production and supply of drugs in Afghanistan
immediately and Pakistan’s name from FATF grey list should be excluded. The
committee demanded that steps taken by Pakistan against money laundering and
its sacrifices in the war on terror should be acknowledged.
committee also handed over an enquiry to the federal investigation agency (FIA)
on a public petition regarding an international company in Karachi Airport,
which has no legal documents or license to continue their business in Pakistan.
Chairman of the committee as well the senator inquired from DG civil aviation
authority that how was this company based in London was allowed to work in
Pakistan without following the legal procedure. The committee told that those
involved in this scam would face serious consequences if they found guilty.
wants peaceful ties with India, prez says but rakes up Kashmir issue in first
Pakistan wants peaceful relations with India on the basis of "mutual
co-existence", new President Arif Alvi said Monday but raked up the
Kashmir issue in his first address to the joint session of Parliament, saying
Kashmiris have a right to "self-determination".
pledged support for the people of Kashmir and said that Pakistan will make
efforts at every level to resolve the issue according to the UN resolutions.
the joint sitting of Parliament to mark the beginning of the new parliamentary
year, he reaffirmed Pakistan's "moral, political and diplomatic support to
the Kashmiri people".
stressed that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute is essential to have an
enduring relationship between Pakistan and India.
game brings no solution to any dispute," he said.
president said denying the Kashmiris the "right of
self-determination" is condemnable and urged the international community
to play its role.
also said it was important to resolve and improve ties between India and
Pakistan, and emphasised that Pakistan desired peaceful and good neighborly
relations with India on the basis of mutual co-existence.
India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking
place. The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks
in India by Pakistan-based groups in 2016.
wanted cordial relations with all countries particularly, the neighbors and
Muslim countries, Alvi said.
opposition parties led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz staged a walk out as the
president began his speech.
joint session was the first formal session of the National Assembly (NA), the
lower house of Parliament.
president has to address a joint session of Parliament at the beginning of the
first session of the NA to start the parliamentary year, according to the
minister for creating awareness against ‘lies’ of BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami
Minister AH Mahmood Ali has stressed creating awareness on the “contemporary
political propaganda by the BNP and its ally the Jamaat-e-Islami based on
highlighted the recent controversy that was created by BNP Secretary General
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in regards to his “invitation” by the UN high
was speaking at a workshop on “Highlighting Bangladesh in the International
Arena” organised by the International Affairs Sub-Committee of the Awami League
on Sunday at the Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies
of the Sub-committee Ambassador Muhammad Zamir, and International Affairs
Secretary Dr Shamim Ahmed spoke at the programme. Chairman of Suchinta
Foundation Mohammad A Arafat moderated the workshop.
Taliban militants launched deadly attacks on a number of security posts in
western Farah province of Afghanistan, leaving several security personnel dead.
governor’s spokesman Mohammad Nasir Mehri confirmed the incident and said the
militants launched attacks on security posts in Bala Bolik and Posht Rod
further added that the attacks were launched late on Sunday night and as a result
at least fifteen security personnel have lost their lives.
said at least five security forces were martyred after the Taliban militants
attacked their security posts in Posht Rod district.
to Mehri, the Taliban militants also attacked the security posts on Farah-Farah
Rod highway, leaving at least ten security personnel dead.
least five Taliban militants were also killed during the clashes with the
security forces, the provincial governor’s spokesman added.
the meantime, a member of the provincial council says at least 17 security
personnel have lost their lives during the clashes.
foreign forces have stormed the hideouts of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
Khurasan (ISIS-K) in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, leaving a number of
militants dead or wounded.
local officials in Kunar said the operations were conducted late on Sunday
night in the vicinity of Watapur district.
Security Chief Amir Mohammad Zaman confirmed the raid and said at least three
ISIS Khurasan militants were killed during the raid and two others were arrested.
said a commander of the terror group identified as Abuzar was among those
killed during the operations.
the meantime, the 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the
U.S. forces based in Afghanistan carried out airstrikes using unmanned aerial
vehicles, targeting the ISIS militants in Watapur district that left at least
anti-government armed militant groups including ISIS Khurasan loyalists have
not commented regarding the report so far.
on Monday provided relief supplies including over 1 million litres of kerosene
oil and 20,000 stoves to Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees who live in
makeshift camps in the country after fleeing violence in Myanmar.
which faced a big influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar, has called on the
international community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the
700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar's violence-hit Rakhine state to
neighbouring Bangladesh since August last year when the military intensified
crackdown against alleged militant outfits of Rohingya Muslims.
High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla handed over 1.1 million
litres of super kerosene oil and 20,000 kerosene multi wick stoves to Minister
of Disaster Management and Relief Mofazzel Hussain Chowdhury at Cox's Bazar.
kerosene oil and stoves will address the energy needs of the displaced persons
and contribute to environmental conservation in Bangladesh by reducing demand
for locally sourced firewood.
is as per the requirement of assistance expressed by Bangladesh, the High
Commission of India said in a statement.
relief supplies were then distributed to displaced persons at Kutupalong camp
in Cox's Bazar.
Doraiswami, Joint Secretary (Bangladesh, Myanmar) of the Ministry of External
Affairs was also present on the occasion.
is the third phase of humanitarian assistance by India to Bangladesh to assist
in its efforts to meet the requirements of displaced persons from the Rakhine
State of Myanmar.
September last year, India under the 'Operation Insaniyat', extended the first
phase of humanitarian assistance comprising 981 metric tonnes of relief
relief material included rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea,
ready-to-eat noodles, biscuits, mosquito nets among others to meet the immediate
requirements of the approximately 3,00,000 displaced persons at that time.
May, 373 metric tonnes of relief material containing 104 metric tonnes of milk
powder; 102 metric tonnes dried fish; 61 metric tonnes baby food; 50,000
raincoats; and 50,000 pairs of gum boots for the rainy season were handed over
has always responded readily and swiftly to any crisis in Bangladesh in keeping
with the close ties of friendship between the two countries, the statement
— Catching up with villagers from Min Gyi who had escaped the Myanmar Army’s
assault on their homes, the soldiers first killed all the men, shooting them
and then methodically slitting the throats of those who lingered. Then they
turned on the women and children.
United Nations Fact Finding Mission report on Tuesday cited the slaughter in
Min Gyi, in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, as evidence that the army
committed “the gravest crimes under international law” in clearance operations
a year ago targeting the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
Min Gyi, troops shot some of the children, snatched infants from their mothers,
throwing some into the river to drown and tossing others onto a fire. They then
led the women and girls back to their village to be robbed and raped. Many were
stabbed, others were mutilated or shot. Soldiers locked some women along with
old men and young children in houses that they set ablaze.
three-person United Nations panel named Myanmar’s army chief, Senior Gen. Min
Aung Hlaing, last month as one of six top commanders who should stand trial in
an international court for genocide and crimes against humanity.
panel’s 444-page report, released on Tuesday, is one of the longest ever
produced by a United Nations human rights inquiry. It chronicles in
excruciating detail the atrocities that drove more than 750,000 Rohingya
Muslims to flee into neighboring Bangladesh and on which it based the charge of
panel has called on the United Nations Security Council to refer Myanmar to the
International Criminal Court or set up an international tribunal to prosecute
those, including the army chief, identified as responsible for the violence. It
further urges the Security Council to impose an arms embargo and to establish targeted
individual sanctions such as travel bans and asset freezes.
for a human rights investigation, the report went further to call for an
overhaul of the military, known as the Tatmadaw, and constitutional reforms to
end its political dominance. The panel said that the Tatmadaw’s leaders should
be replaced, the military placed under civilian oversight, and the military’s
grip on Parliament by controlling a quota of seats abolished.
engagement in any form with the Tatmadaw, its current leadership and its
businesses is indefensible,” the panel said.
least 750 villagers were killed in Min Gyi village, the panel said, citing
credible testimony collected in the course of 875 interviews with victims and
witnesses. In all, at least 10,000 people are thought to have been killed in
clearance operations that started in August last year, lasted more than two
months and totally or partially destroyed more than 40 percent of the villages
in northern Rakhine, it said.
killing was widespread, systematic and brutal,” the panel said in its report,
which was presented Tuesday to the United Nations Human Rights Council in
has rejected allegations that the military, committed any atrocities. It said
troops were reacting to attacks by Rohingya militants on border security police
and several villages.
explanation is flawed,” the United Nations panel retorted, describing the
clearance operations as grossly disproportionate to any threat from militants
and noting that the security forces made no attempt to identify a military
target or distinguish between militants and civilians.
systematic buildup of military forces in the area before the militant attacks
and involvement of all levels of the military from the commander in chief down
pointed to “an organized plan of destruction, supporting an inference of
Tatmadaw’s use of consistent methods and tactics in operations carried out over
a wide area for many weeks, demonstrated “significant levels of forethought and
organization,” the panel said. And as in the authorities’ decades-old conflict
with other minorities in Myanmar, sexual violence featured prominently as a
tactic of war in Rakhine.
systematically raped women and girls and specifically targeted children for
killing. Moreover, “the brutality with which the underlying acts were carried
out provides further support for a conclusion that they were committed with
genocidal intent,” it said.
percent of rape incidents corroborated by the panel involved gang rape, often
accompanied by the killing of the victims’ children. “The Tatmadaw was
overwhelmingly the main perpetrator,” the panel found.
often inflicted further injury and humiliation by biting women’s faces, breasts
or thighs or mutilating reproductive organs in what the panel considered “an
act akin to branding.”
are going to kill you this way, by raping,” a woman who was assaulted with her
sister recalled a member of the Tatmadaw telling her. “We are going to kill
Rohingya. This is not your country.”
happened in Rakhine was “a disaster long in the making,” the mission concluded,
pointing to decades of official discrimination and waves of violence against
Rohingya Muslims, who were demonized by ultranationalists and religious
extremists as “Bengali” immigrants posing an existential threat to their
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said the ongoing war is an intelligence war and is
being waged against the people of Afghanistan.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, said President Ghani made the remarks
during a meeting with the delegation and officers of the Afghan Intelligence,
National Directorate of Security (NDS).
said Afghanistan wants an end to the crisis, not the continuation of the
crisis, emphasizing that the government and security institutions have
responsibilities for the national heritage and to provide a better living
condition for the people of country.
Ghani further added that the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia is a
policy which the Afghan people have been demanding for for the past 40 years.
to President Ghani, the feasibility to achieve peace is higher than any other
time, the nature of war has changed but the Afghan forces have proven their
capability to replace the foreign forces and their capabilities are growing
also added that certain circles in the region want to cut Afghanistan’s
international relations with the world but did not elaborate further in this
Afghanistan: An Afghan official says at least nine members of the local police
force were killed when another policeman opened fire and shot them at a
checkpoint in northern Balkh province, the latest in so-called “insider”
attacks in Afghanistan.
Khanjer, a police official in the district of Char Boldak, says one policeman
was wounded and three others were missing after the late Monday shooting.
says the attacker was a policeman from another checkpoint in the same district
who fled the scene, apparently to join the Taliban. He says the shooter also
seized all weapons from the checkpoint.
Taliban haven’t comment on the attack in Char Boldak but insurgents are active
in the district and often attack Afghan security forces.
has not acted against Houthi violations in Hodeidah - Arab Coalition
Arab Coalition Spokesperson Col Turki Al-Maliki said United Nations agencies
have not acted against the violations committed by the Houthi militia in the
strategic port city of Hodeidah.
during his weekly press conferernce in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Al-Maliki
assured all Yemeni relief outlets and ports are fully operational at the
operations in Yemen are proceeding according to international law,” Al-Maliki
also said that the Iranian-backed Houthi militia has launched 197 rockets
towards the Kingdom so far.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted informed sources as
saying on Monday that the Russian and American officials are negotiating the
withdrawal of the US forces from al-Tanf region in the bordering triangle of
added that the US and Russian officials are in talks over the final stages of
the agreement, noting that plan is to come into effect in the next few days.
sources underlined that closure of al-Rakban camp which hosts over 80,000
civilians and their return to their villages and towns in different parts of
Syria is also included in the agreement.
said that based on the agreement, thousands of terrorists, trained and
supported by the US, will also leave al-Tanf for Idlib, adding that most of
their commanders have earlier left the region.
to the report, members of Jeish Maghawir al-Thawra, Ahmed Abdou and Asoud
al-Sharqiyeh terrorist groups are stationed in al-Tanf region in addition to
the US, British and Norwegian forces.
Arab media outlet had reported last Tuesday that the US Army troops, including
a hundred marines that have just arrived in the region, are training terrorists
in the US-run al-Tanf base in Southern Homs.
Arabic-language Qatar 21 news website quoted commander of Maqawir al-Thowrah
terrorist group, affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), as disclosing that
the US marines are training his forces in al-Tanf base at border with Iraq.
Yeni Safak newspaper reported that a military convoy consisting of 50 vehicles,
including tanks and heavy artillery, arrived in Idlib's Southwestern town of
Jisr al-Shuqur with the aim of supporting the terrorists in the province.
al-Shuqur is one of the operational fronts of the Syrian army in West Idlib.
to the report, the Turkish army has also redeployed its howitzers at the
Kilis-Syria border and moved them to Southern Hatay province.
Syrian army is, meantime, sending troops and military equipment to the regions
near the terrorists' strongholds in Aleppo, Hama, Idlib and Lattakia in
preparation for a major operation, also referred to as the ultimate battle
sources informed earlier today that the Damascus army is standing order to
start its military operations in Idlib in coming days.
Syrian army troops are now prepared for launching an imminent military
operation in Idlib and Hama provinces as the army's heavy weapons are also
ready to be fired, a battlefield commander reported.
commander pointed to the recent visit of the Syrian Defense Minister General
Ali Abdullah Ayyoub to the Syrian army's positions in Hama, Idlib and Lattakia,
and said, "General Ayyoub's visit indicated that the Syrian army's ground
operations in Idlib province is imminent."
the Arabic-language al-Masdar news website quoted battlefield sources as saying
that the Syrian army will start is military operations in Northern Lattakia
within the next few days from three directions towards Jabal al-Akrad and Jabal
noted that the Syrian army is intending to take control of the city of Kabani
which overlooks the Northern parts of al-Ghab plains.
sources in Raqqa said that the SDF forces fired at the residents of the
district of al-Mashlab in Raqqa city, and wounded several people.
local sources disclosed that an SDF patrol was targeted by unknown assailants
near Monir Habib school in Ramibeh district, killing one SDF fighter, who was
also a former ISIL member, and injuring another one.
a relevant development last month, civilians in the Southeastern Deir Ezzur
raided the positions of the US-backed SDF, destroying their checkpoints.
SDF opened fire at the people in the village of al-Sajar in Southeastern Deir
Ezzur, injuring seven villagers.
villagers, later, set fire at the SDF-run al-Sijan oilfield near al-Sajar,
destroying the terrorists' checkpoints.
developments come as the Syrian army has dispatched tens of thousands of its
forces along with its military equipment and weapons to battlefields in Hama
and Idlib over the past few months.
a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian Army sent more troops and
equipment to the Northwestern parts of the country on Sunday to reinvigorate
its combat capabilities for an imminent major operation in Idlib province.
army forwarded a long convoy of military vehicles and tank-carrying trucks
along with a large number of fresh soldiers to Idlib and Northern Hama to end
terrorists' presence in Idlib, Aleppo, Lattakia, and Hama provinces.
the meantime, a field source reported that hundreds of fresh army men have been
deployed at contact lines with Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation
Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists and militants of the Operation Olive
Branch in Afrin in recent days.
sources further said that the army is planning to kick off a large-scale
operation in different flanks to liberate Idlib province.
explosions shook Syria’s coastal province of Latakia late Monday, sending
orange flames into the sky in what Syrian state media said was an Israeli
attack on a state company for technical industries that injured 10 people.
continued for nearly a half hour, said state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV, which aired
footage showing streaks of white light flashing across the sky. An unidentified
military official was quoted as saying Syrian air defenses intercepted some
missiles heading for the provincial capital of Latakia from the sea.
said all two of the injured were hospitalized and the rest were released after
treatment. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which
initially reported the explosions, also reported 10 wounded, saying all of them
were soldiers and some were in critical condition.
war monitoring group said the target appeared to be an ammunition depot that in
the compound of the state Institute for Technical Industries. The group it was
not clear if the depot was for Iranian or Syrian forces.
strikes followed a similar attack on Damascus International Airport late
Saturday, which Syrian state media also blamed on Israel. A military official
quoted then on state media said Syrian air defenses intercepted some missiles
coming from the sea.
attacks were reported on Sept. 4 that targeted sites in the coastal Tartus area
and in Hama province. The Observatory said at the time that the Sept. 4 attacks
were believed aimed at Iranian military posts.
is widely believed to have been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting
Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria that have joined the country’s war
fighting alongside the government.
rarely acknowledges attacks inside Syria, but has said it will use military
action to prevent weapons transfers to its enemies. Earlier this month, an
Israeli military official said the Jewish state has struck over 200 Iranian
targets in Syria over the past 18 months.
and Israeli officials have said that Iran and Hezbollah should end their armed
presence in Syria. Israel says it will not tolerate Iran’s growing presence in
of Syrian refugees in Lebanon return home following the liberation of their
villages and cities from terrorist groups by the Syrian army and its allies.
This is the first mass return from the capital Beirut. The fate of the Syrian
refugees in Lebanon, however, remains unresolved as some sides refuse to have
contact with the Syrian government. Hezbollah and its allies, however, are
trying to help those who want to leave voluntarily. Mariam Saleh reports from
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is reportedly beefing up its naval
presence in the eastern sector of the Mediterranean Sea amid indications that
the United States and its allies would use a staged chemical attack in Syria’s
northwestern province of Idlib to launch airstrikes on government forces.
Sputnik news agency, citing Western websites monitoring naval activity in the
region, reported that military vessels from the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2
(SNMG2) are inching closer to the Syrian coast.
reported added that the flotilla just off Syrian shores include Dutch HNLMS De
Ruyter frigate, Canadian Halifax-class HMCS Ville de Québec frigate as well as
Greek frigate Elli.
sources, seeking anonymity, also said Los Angeles-class submarine USS Newport
News has cruised into the Mediterranean Sea to join a US naval task force
submarine is said to be armed with long-range and subsonic Tomahawk cruise
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has censured the US threats to use
military force against Syria as part of Washington’s blackmail policy.
the United States, Britain and their allies, Russia provides particular facts
on a daily basis through its Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry as well
missions in New York, The Hague and Geneva. We particularly name geographical
points, where preparations are underway for certain terrorist groups backed by
the US and its allies to carry out provocations,” Ryabkov said on September 11.
top Russian official noted, “Our military has been assessing the military
situation on a round-the-clock basis, without any breaks. Constant information
exchange is going on with our colleagues in Turkey and Damascus. We have also
established secure channels with the US military in order to prevent the
repletion of such incidents. We cannot let Idlib remain a terrorist
Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network reported on August 30 that
terrorists had kidnapped 20 children over the past few weeks in a bid to use
them in the expected chemical farce.
sources noted that the attack would be carried out in Jisr al-Shughur,
emphasizing that toxic materials have recently been transferred to the
designated site through the al-Hassaniyah border crossing, which links the city
crossing is controlled by the Western-backed White Helmets aid group, which has
been repeatedly accused of cooperating with Takfiri terrorists and staging
false flag gas attacks.
US has warned it would respond to a chemical weapons attack by Syrian
government forces with retaliatory strikes, stressing that the attacks would be
stronger than those conducted by American, British and French forces back in
April 14, the US, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against
Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack against the city of Douma,
located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus.
regime forces have arrested two more Shia Muslim clerics as the ruling Al
Khalifah dynasty presses ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown and persecution
of the members of the religious community in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.
troopers arrested Sheikh Hani al-Banna and Sheikh Yassin al-Jamri on Sunday,
and took them to the police station in the coastal town of al-Budaiya for an
hours-long investigation, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
report added that the pair would appear before Bahrain’s Public Prosecution
later this week.
bahraini source, requesting not to be named, said regime forces have summoned
at least six Shia clergymen within the past few days over the content of their
sermons in the run-up to Ashura that marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam
Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad
Manama regime has ramped up its repressive measures during the first month of
the Islamic lunar calendar of Muharram, the tenth day of which is known as
regime forces have removed stalls set up to provide food and drinks to the
mourners, and removed Ashura signs across the country.
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14,
2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to
assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or
got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
of Israeli settlers raid al-Aqsa Mosque in latest provocation
of Israeli settlers have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the
Israeli-occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds amid frequent acts of
violence committed by Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian
al-Dibs, spokesperson of the Islamic Waqf (Endowment) organization, which
manages the compound's affairs, told the Palestinian Ma'an news agency on
Monday that the settlers had forced their way into the holy site through the
Bab al-Magharibah under tight protection of several groups of Israeli soldiers
and special police forces.
in successive groups, the settlers performed acts deemed provocative by the
Palestinians in the mosque’s courtyard in commemoration of the upcoming Jewish
holidays of Yom Kippur, also known as Day of Atonement, according to the
move is considered to be an incursion under a 1967 deal between Israel and
Jordan that is the custodian of the mosque. According to the agreement,
non-Muslim worshipers can visit the place but are prohibited from praying
Aviv, however, often allows settlers to enter the site and carry out religious
rituals in defiance of the accord.
occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US
President Donald Trump announced his decision in December last year to
recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in
Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis the city triggered
demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt,
Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.
December 21, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in
favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”
an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals
against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at
the UN Security Council.
however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his
decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.
May 14, the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, in a
largely solitary but consequential move that further complicated Palestinian
aspirations for statehood.
US embassy relocation took place on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba
Day (Day of Catastrophe), sparking clashes in Gaza.
has shown a violent reaction to peaceful protests by the Palestinians in the
Gaza Strip, killing more than 180 and injuring thousands over the past weeks.
Saudi airstrikes kill 11 civilians in Yemen's Hudaydah, Bayda provinces
least eleven civilians have been killed when Saudi warplanes conducted a series
of aerial attacks against residential areas across Yemen as the Riyadh regime
continues with its atrocious bombardment campaign against its impoverished
Yemeni media reports said on Monday that at least four people were killed after
Saudi warplanes launched an aerial assault against the kilometer 10 area of the
western coastal province of Hudaydah.
seven people, including women and children, lost their lives and several others
were injured when Saudi fighter jets bombed a residential building in the Huran
district of central Bayda province.
Arabia and some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, launched a
brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in
an attempt to reinstall the so-called government of former president Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah movement, which plays a significant role
in aiding the Yemeni army in defending the impoverished country against the
movement has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective
administration since the onset of the imposed war.
imposed war initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled
with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country's infrastructure,
destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has said
that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4
million threatened by severe hunger.
medics said on Tuesday two Palestinians were killed by an Israeli missile
strike near the enclave's boundary with Israel after the Israeli military said
it attacked a group suspected of tampering with the border fence.
was no immediate word on the identities of those killed in the overnight
missile strike east of Qarara village.
Israeli military spokesman said in a statement late on Monday an aircraft fired
at "terrorists (who) suspiciously approached the security fence in the
southern Gaza Strip and placed an object adjacent to the fence".
border area has seen weekly and sometimes violent Palestinian
mass-demonstrations since March 30.
Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s calls for a ceasefire in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib
region were bearing fruit after days of relative calm but more work needed to
be done, Hurriyet newspaper reported on Monday.
was due to hold talks in Russia later on Monday with President Vladimir Putin,
whose military support for the Syrian government has helped reverse years of
rebel gains and who publicly rebuffed Turkey’s ceasefire call 10 days ago.
situation in Idlib has been calm for three days. It looks like we obtained a
result with the efforts which were made,” the newspaper quoted Erdogan as
telling reporters on a flight back from Azerbaijan at the weekend.
we are still not satisfied,” he said. Turkey, with 3.5 million Syrian refugees,
has already borne the “political and human burden” of Syria’s seven-year-old
conflict and any new refugee flow would head for Turkey, Erdogan said.
which supports rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been
holding talks with his allies Russia and Iran over the fate of Idlib and
surrounding districts, which Assad has vowed to recapture.
has established a dozen military observation posts around Idlib, which it has
reinforced with troops and equipment in recent weeks according to Turkish and
Syrian rebel sources.
are trying to protect the pure, clean, innocent people there with these
observation posts,” Erdogan said. “But currently everybody can see the regime’s
mercilessness and the terror which they are spreading there. There is a terror
Idlib region is home to around 3 million people. Parts of it are held by
Turkey-backed rebels but many of the towns are controlled by jihadist fighters
such as Tahrir al-Sham, which includes insurgents from the former al Qaeda
branch in Syria.
has called for measures to target hardline militants in Idlib while protecting
civilians and avoiding an indiscriminate assault, likely backed by Russian air
power, which it says would cause a humanitarian catastrophe.
Arab Coalition’s spokesperson has said that United Nations agencies have not
yet moved yet against Houthi militias violations in the Yemeni city of
coalition’s spokesman, Col. Turki al-Maliki, made the statement during his
weekly press conference and added that all Yemeni relief outlets and ports were
fully operational at the current time.
operations in Yemen are proceeding according to international law,” al-Maliki
to the latest statistics, al-Maliki said that Houthi militias have fired at least
197 missiles toward Saudi territories so far.
UN’s envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Sanaa on Sunday in an attempt
to revive peace talks, after the Houthi militias refused to attend the
much-anticipated Geneva peace that the envoy had brokered between them and the
Houthis’ conditions, however, do not hint that there will be any political
solutions reached soon as prior to meeting with Griffiths, they have demanded
cashing the wages of all state employees in all provinces, and reopening the Sanaa
International Airport for commercial and international flights.
will meet with a number of Houthi officials and officials from the General
People’s Congress during his visit to Sanaa.
Houthi delegation rejected an offer to be transported by an Omani plane to
Geneva last week after the aircraft was searched by the coalition backing the
Yemeni legitimate government, according to Western sources.
- Moscow said Monday there would be no assault on Syria's Idlib as the leaders
of Russia and Turkey agreed to create a demilitarised zone around the Syrian
President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who
are on opposite sides in the deadly seven-year conflict in Syria - met for over
four hours in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi to decide the fate of Idlib,
home to three million people. "We will prevent a humanitarian tragedy
which could happen as a result of military action," Erdogan said after the
said the two leaders agreed to create a 15-20 kilometre-wide demilitarised zone
along the line of contact between rebels and regime troops by October 15.
would entail a "withdrawal of all radical fighters" from Idlib
including the Al-Nusra Front, he added. Putin and Erdogan also agreed on the
withdrawal of "heavy weaponry from this zone," including tanks,
multiple launch rocket systems, and rocket launchers belonging to all armed
groups, the Russian leader added. The demilitarised zone will be secured with
the help of "mobile patrol groups of Turkish contingents and contingents
of Russian military police," Putin said.
the end of the year, transportation routes between the key port of Latakia and
Aleppo as well as Latakia and the major city of Hama must be restored, he
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the agreement between Putin and
Erdogan meant that no military action would be taken against Idlib, Russian
news agencies reported. Russia-backed forces of the Syrian regime have massed
around Idlib province in recent weeks, sparking fears of an imminent air and
ground attack to retake the last major opposition bastion.
United Nations and non-governmental organisations have repeatedly warned that
such an offensive would unleash a "bloodbath" and "humanitarian catastrophe"
in Idlib. Turkey has repeatedly called for a ceasefire to avert a possible
attack. Erdogan and Putin met previously on September 7 in Tehran for a
three-way summit with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
that summit the Russian and Turkish leaders openly disagreed over how to deal
with the rebel stronghold, which borders Turkey. Turkey's military has
reportedly sent reinforcements to Idlib in recent weeks. Tanks and other
hardware, with a convoy of 50 military vehicles, were sent over the border
Sunday, according to the Hurriyet daily. Russia and Iran are key allies of
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Turkey however backs opposition
fighters seeking the ouster of the Syrian leader.
has said a large-scale offensive against the rebels could trigger a mass exodus
towards its border. Russian and Syrian air strikes, artillery fire and barrel
bomb attacks have killed more than 30 civilians across the province in the past
month, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
bombardment has slowed over the past week, however, and Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that the Syrian regime is not preparing a
major offensive against Idlib, adding that Moscow will do everything to protect
is being presented at the moment as the beginning of a Russian-backed offensive
by Syrian forces is not a faithful representation of the facts," Lavrov
are doing everything to ensure that the civilian population would not
suffer," he said.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday said Turkey was ready to cooperate
with anyone in the fight against terror groups in Syria.
he criticised the Damascus regime for using the presence of jihadists to
legitimise a possible operation in Idlib.
is reportedly looking into a plan to establish a join bank with Iran to help
both countries trade in local currencies as US pressures to restrict their
access to the dollar are already mounting.
Kiler, the Turkish Representative Chairman of Iran-Turkey Business Council,
wrote in a recent article in the Turkish newspaper Dünya that the plan would be
put on the agenda of the Iranian and Turkish governments in the near future,
stressing that the move would be crucial in promoting economic bonds between
Tehran and Ankara.
is under unilateral US sanctions, which have complicated transactions in
dollars because they have to be processed through the American financial
is not under any specific sanctions but its rising tensions with the US and the
Europeans over their support for Kurdish militants in Syria and other issues
have made traders jittery and affected the country’s economy.
trade between Iran and Turkey currently stands at $11 billion, and the two
countries have set a target of $30 billion for bilateral trade, according to reports
by Iranian media.
a joint bank through which the two sides could conduct bilateral trade and
businesses without the need for US dollar would be the final step for
developing economic relations,” Kiler wrote in his article.
wrote in his article that the idea of establishing a joint bank between Iran
and Turkey should be taken seriously, and that such a decision would help
prevent US sanctions on Iran from harming Turkey’s foreign trade.
described US sanctions on Iran as "unfair and unlawful”, saying Iran was
an important country for Turkey.
Turkish businessman further emphasized that a Turkish delegation would soon
travel to Iran to discuss a plan to enable businesses on either side of the
border to settle financial dues in local currencies.
Kiler said, would be in line with a recent proposal by Abdul-Nasser Hemmati,
the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), raised on the sidelines of the
trilateral meeting among Iran, Turkey and Russia in Tehran.
this line, an economic delegation comprising Turkish businessmen and managers
of different economic sectors will travel to Iran in the next month to explore
new ways of trade between the two countries and develop a roadmap for trade in
the new post-sanctions era,” he further added in his article.
April, Iran said it had opened the first letter of credit for business
transactions in national currencies with Turkey in an effort which was seen in
line with a joint policy by Tehran and Ankara to ditch the US dollar and the
euro in their bilateral trade.
central bank said the move came after months of anticipation, which followed an
agreement signed between the two countries last year to use local currencies in
trade instead of the mainstream foreign currencies.
authorities have announced that they plan to expand a settlement in the
southern occupied West Bank as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its land
expropriation policies in the occupied territories irrespective of great
so-called Civil Administration announced the plan on Monday, saying it will
expand the settlement of Tina Omarim in the town of Dahriyeh, in the southern
occupied West Bank district of al-Khalil (Hebron).
Palestine’s Land Research Center, which obtained a copy of the detailed plan,
said the plan would change the classification of the Palestinian-owned land
from agricultural into urban, in an attempt to justify expanding the Israeli
report further said that the plan would lead to the seizure of 64 acres of
Palestinian-owned land in the al-Thahriyeh town. It also noted that the plan
would include the building of some 150 housing units, the establishment of
public institutions, public parks, streets and parking lots.
show that Israel started the construction of 794 new settlement housing units
in the second quarter of 2018, compared to 279 united it built in the first
quarter of the same year. Furthermore, Tel Aviv launched the construction of
1,073 housing units in the first half of this year, compared to 818 ones in the
second half of last year.
occupying regime’s policy of expanding settlements and outposts has been
escalating recently particularly due to US President Donald Trump approving
three times more the amount of settlement units than that which were approved in
the year and a half before his inauguration.
Aviv, emboldened by the American leader, has proceeded with constructing more
settlement units in the occupied territories in defiance of United Nations
Security Council Resolution 2334.
another development earlier this month, the Israeli High Court approved plans
for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar village and evacuation of its residents. It
could be razed within the coming days. Israeli officials allege that
Palestinian structures there have been built without the relevant building
permits and pose a threat to residents because of their proximity to a highway.
on the other hand, maintain that building permits are nearly impossible to
obtain for Palestinians in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank and the
demolition is meant to clear the way for new settlements.
controversial decision to demolish the village, which will leave more than 35
Palestinian families displaced, also drew condemnations from abroad.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built illegally since the 1967
occupation of the Palestinian lands.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday decided to allow 1,000 Ethiopians
to immigrate to Israel, his office announced, in a rare intake of the
Falashmuras claim to be descendants of Ethiopian Jews, and they have long
fought for the right to settle in Israel, even though the Jewish state does not
recognize them as such.
— which took in tens of thousands of Jews from the African nation in the 1980s
and 1990s — considers that process to be complete. It also applies a
restrictive immigration policy for non-Jews.
in 2015, the government established a nominative list of 9,000 Ethiopians who
were allowed to immigrate to Israel within five years on the basis of family
said that since that decision, 1,300 Falashmuras had immigrated to Israel.
am pleased to inform you that I have decided that approximately 1,000 community
members — whose children are already here — must be brought to Israel,”
Ethiopian community now numbers around 140,000 people, including more than
50,000 born in the Jewish state.
of them are descendants of communities cut off from the Jewish world for
centuries, and were belatedly recognized by Israeli religious authorities.
the Falashmuras, most of whom were forced to convert to Christianity in the
19th century but remained closely attached to the Jewish tradition, never
received such recognition.
Jews have staged a series of protests in recent years to denounce racism and
discrimination against them in Israel, and to demand that family members in
Ethiopia be allowed to join them.
Ethiopian Jews oppose new waves of immigration, arguing that Israel is facing
enough difficulties integrating the existing community and that those who are
still in Ethiopia are not Jewish.
are not prepared to accept racism against the Ethiopian Jewish community or
against any other (community) in Israel,” Netanyahu said.
non-governmental organization representing Ethiopians in Israel called on
Netanyahu to give the remaining Jews in the African nation permission to
demand that the PM commit to his promises and provide an immediate resolution
to bring to Israel all the 8,000 members of the remaining Jewish community of
Ethiopia,” said Alisa Bodner, spokeswoman for the Struggle for Ethiopian Aliyah
Muslims warm up to bait-ul-maal interest free credit
it received a cool reception among the Kenyan Muslims but that has since
changed dramatically as conservative Muslims have begun to flock to it. The
architects of the interest free credit (bait-ul-maal) says its penetration in
the Kenyan market is due to vigorous education to the Muslim community a factor
which they say has contributed to its acceptance and spread across the country.
Mohammed notes that though the structure of the institution is based strictly
on the Islamic rules of transactions (Fiqh-ul-Muamalat), many consumers require
a quick education on those very rules when the bank commences engagement with
engagement has been educational explaining how we work, how we are able to
offer interest-free credit and why we are an authentic alternative for those
Muslims who are genuine in their desire to obey Allah in respect of their
financial affairs. Once that is clear, the client immediately becomes our
customer," he says. "Growth like we are experiencing is as a result
of the fact that the consumer demographic can see that we are a real
alternative to banking and that they are able to achieve their financial goals
in an Islamically recorgnised way that does a lot more for them than just
banking. They feel that we offer a comprehensive financial solution," he
continues. As conservative Muslims have turned away from banking over the last
year in Kenya because of serious questions about whether it is permissible
Islamically, the Bait-ul-Ma'al has moved in to capture that niche in a manner
that could not have been imagined even six months ago. "the first
conversation is about fifteen minutes long and it is like you have opened the
clients mind to a whole new world thereafter it is smooth sailing but you will
still need to explain the product range and the options available in
depth," he explains. It is clear from observing the sales process that the
greatest impediment to the growth of the Bait-ul-Ma'al is a human resources
difficulty which he admits.
we had enough trained staff we would control the entire Muslim market in Kenyan
and then beyond but our weakness is that this is an area generally reserved for
scholars so there are few laymen out here who know this area or have training
in it and even the scholars are unable to work in a corporate environment with
targets and a sales cycle so what we have had to do is train graduates from
scratch which has proved painstaking with 50 per cent of those who enter
training not making the cut at the end of the process. This is a bottleneck
because a sales representative can only see a maximum of sixteen customers a
day and that is assuming that they don't go for lunch or the bathroom. We
literally have a waiting list of customers that we haven't dealt with and at the
end of the day the number grows by about 30 per cent per day never
reducing" he explained. I inquire how with this bottleneck the company has
been able to open a new office in Garissa. "Opening an office is easy,
staffing it and serving the huge number of customers in our case is the
problem. Our product range and what we do has reached all corners of Kenya, we
just have to find a way to service that demand" he concludes.
STATE, NIGERIA —
Nur, a senior figure in the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, reportedly has
been killed by some of his own colleagues.
men allegedly gunned him down Aug. 21 following an internal dispute, according
to Nigerian media sources and others. News reports of the killing have trickled
out in the last few days.
Abdalla, an Islamist scholar in the country's northeast region where the group
is based, has served as a trusted negotiator between Boko Haram leaders, as
well as Nigerian government officials. He told VOA that Nur's men believed the
Boko Haram figure was too lenient.
key point of dispute was Nur's decision to release schoolgirls kidnapped from
the northeast Nigerian town of Dapchi, Abdalla said.
Haram abducted 109 female students from a secondary school in Dapchi in
February. Nearly all of the girls were returned safely to their homes about a
Haram also made headlines in April 2014 when it abducted 276 schoolgirls from a
secondary school in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok. According to
#BringBackOurGirls, the social media campaign and organization that formed
after the kidnapping, 112 girls are still missing.
led a faction of Boko Haram that broke away in 2014 from the militant group led
by Abubakar Shekau. Nur's faction, which selected Abubakar al-Barnawi as its
emir, established its operational base around Lake Chad north of Nigeria's
group pays allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Nur also has been much
more willing than other Boko Haram leaders to negotiate with the government
about issues such as releasing captives.
fluent Arabic speaker, Nur networked extensively with other Boko Haram factions
operating around Lake Chad, including in Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
suggested that Nur's death could weaken the Boko Haram faction.
no apparent successor to Nur, it could splinter further, Abdalla said. That
would give an edge to the Nigerian government if it acted quickly to dislodge
the group, he added.
Ibrahim Damaturu, an Islamic studies lecturer at Yobe State University, told
VOA that Nur's killing was unsurprising because the entire Boko Haram
organization was built on ignorance of Islam.
said some militants joined the group to advance personal objectives, and their
competing goals were bound to produce friction. He said even Muhammed Yusuf,
who founded the group in 2002, had conflicts with some of the followers.
Kontagora, a retired Nigerian army colonel now working as a security analyst in
the capital, Abuja, said he believes Nur's assassination might lead to an
escalation of deadly attacks in the area, as militants try to demonstrate their
Haram, which promotes an extreme form of Islamist fundamentalism and opposes
Western-style education, is blamed for the deaths of more than 30,000 people
and for the dislocation of more than 2 million.
Libyan militia holding captive Hashem Abedi, the brother of a suicide bomber
who carried out the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017, is selling him for $1
comes amid a demand by the British authorities to hand over Abedi, the younger
brother of the man who killed 22 people, including seven children, and injured
hundreds of others after the government issued an arrest warrant for him for
murder, attempted murder and planning his brother’s suicide attack.
Sunday Express newspaper pointed out that the British government is afraid that
he would escape justice and be sold to terrorists group and therefore is
engaged in indirect negotiations through an unknown third party to extradite
newspaper said, quoting Libyan sources that ISIS is currently negotiating
through a third party "to pay for the release of" Hashem Abedi, aged
21 years old, who has been detained since last year at Mitiga International
Airport near the Libyan capital Tripoli.
authorities have been trying to reach Hashem Abedi since last November, seven
months after his brother's suicide bombing in Manchester. Investigators believe
he was involved in collecting the materials used to make the bomb used in the
newspaper quoted a source as saying: “We learned that Hashem Abedi is being
offered for sale for a million dollars by two groups of militias that are
newspaper sources said that Britain is concerned that he would be sold to ISIS
or other extremists and perhaps use him in promoting their agenda, and thus
depriving the authorities from holding him accountable or knowing the reality
of what happened and the nature of his role in the attack.
police source says at least 23 people were killed in a weekend of violence
targeting minorities in the ethnic Oromo heartland near Ethiopia's capital
unrest followed a mass rally on Saturday marking the return to Ethiopia of the
leadership of the exiled Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) group, which had fought
an insurgency for self-determination for Oromos, Ethiopia's largest ethnic
incidents are the latest in a spate of ethnic unrest -- including the
displacement of nearly 1 million people in another part of the country -- since
reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April, the first Oromo
ruler in the ethnically diverse Ethiopia's modern history.
residents said shops were looted and people attacked by Oromo youths who
stormed through streets targeting businesses and homes of ethnic minorities.
violence escalated on Saturday after two days of sporadic attacks in several
areas of the Oromiya region's Burayu district northwest of Addis Ababa,
of ethnic Oromo youth then marched here in Ashwa Meda and attacked our homes
and looted businesses chanting 'leave our land'," Hassan Ibrahim, a trader
in an ethnically diverse part of the district, told Reuters by telephone.
"By night time, there were several dead bodies along roads."
Ejigu, head of Oromiya region's police commission, said more than 70 people had
been arrested, and denied accusations that police were slow to respond.
Ethiopian Air Force Conducts Airstrike Against Al-Shabaab in Somalia
Air Force has carried out an airstrike against al-Shabaab in Somalia.
airstrike was carried out to foil plans of the militant group to attack
Ethiopian contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
70 al-Shabaab militants were killed and two vehicles packed with weapons were
destroyed in the air strike.
General Yilma Merdassa, Chief of Ethiopian Air Force, said the airstrike was
conducted after an extensive study and plans.
said "we achieved 100 percent of our plans."
is one of the troop contributing countries to AMISOM.
Haram terrorists have killed one of the health workers kidnapped from
Kala-Balge, Borno State.
Khorsa, a 25-year-old midwife with the International Committee of Red Cross was
kidnapped along with two other health workers in Rann, Kala-Balge Local
Government Area of Borno State in March this year.
a statement signed by the spokesman for the ICRC, Aleksandra Mosimann, on
Monday, the organisation described the action as sad and called for the
immediate release of the two others still in captivity.
statement read, “The International Committee of the Red Cross condemns in the
strongest terms the tragic killing of its abducted colleague Saifura Hussaini
is appealing to the armed group to immediately release a second ICRC midwife
and another health-care worker taken in North-Eastern Nigeria in March.”
statement quoted Eloi Fillion, the head of the ICRC delegation in Abuja,
describing the murder as devastating.
said, “Saifura moved to Rann to selflessly help those in need. Our thoughts are
with her family and other loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.
the time of their abduction, Saifura, as well as our colleague Hauwa Mohammed
Liman and Alice Loksha, a nurse working in a UNICEF-supported centre, were
providing essential antenatal care to communities in Rann, whose population has
more than doubled after an influx of people fleeing the violence.
urge those still holding our colleague Hauwa and Alice to release these women.
Like Saifura, they are not part of the fight. They are a midwife and a nurse.
They are daughters, a wife, and a mother – women with families that depend on
Fair polls key to peace, security in Afghanistan
UN’s top envoy in Afghanistan is calling on the nation’s political actors and
institutions to work to secure fair elections.
Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan,
briefed the UN Security Council on the situation in the war-torn country Monday,
saying the key to peace and security is through fair and secure polls.
urge all political actors and institutions to perform their duties and act
responsibly and to think of the Afghan people, bearing in mind the country's
bitter past," said Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission
in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on Oct. 20, but they have been
delayed twice in the past year.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan, which will be in charge
of the polls, is facing pressure from the international community to restore
trust among the Afghan people in the election process.
lawmakers are perceived as corrupt, and people fear the next parliament will be
no different. Meanwhile, although potential voters must visit registration
centers and get their identity cards stamped with special stickers, there have
been allegations of massive voter fraud where IDs have been faked and stickers
also criticized supporters of a political coalition in the country for blocking
provincial election commissions, saying additional safeguards needed to be in
place before elections can occur.
actions hinder the work of the IEC and jeopardize the holding of the elections on
time," Yamamoto said.
this critical juncture, the Independent Election Commission, as the lead
institution on elections, will be looked upon to discharge its function with
the highest degree of integrity, professionalism and with full accountability
to the Afghan people."
of Muslim charities probed in UK
have opened dozens of investigations into UK Muslim charities over the last
five years following weapons discoveries, the unmasking of extremists in
religious schools and allegations of terrorist financing, analysis of official
Charity Commission publicly announced some 125 new inquiries of charities in
England and Wales since the start of 2014, with more than 35 related to Muslim
groups and causes. Documents show some of the investigations are related to
allegations of extremist preaching at charity-run schools and suspicions that
money raised for Syrian relief efforts was being funnelled to terrorists.
new investigations were among those launched after two damning reports in 2013
and 2014 that criticised failures by the commission to regulate the sector and
crack down on abuse of the system. A report by UK lawmakers in 2014 found that
the commission was “too willing to accept what charities tell it, without
verifying or challenging the claims made”. The government’s auditor said last
year that it had “improved significantly” since 2013.
regulator – which says the abuse of charities for terrorist purposes was one of
its three priority areas - announced in March that it had launched an
investigation following the jailing of a school administrator who tried to
recruit a 300-strong children’s army from a school and mosque, both regulated
by the Charity Commission.
Haque, 25, showed beheading videos during Islamic studies classes he headed at
the mosque and a fee-paying private Islamic school. After Haque was jailed,
police revealed that 35 youngsters were undergoing long-term supervision by
authorities – but the regulator said nobody had raised any concerns about his
work at any charity.
public expect charities, particularly those working with children and young
people, to be safe places from abuse or harm,” the regulator said in a
statement announcing the inquiry launch. “This was not the case here.”
regulator in July launched an inquiry into a school in southeast London – once
dubbed the Muslim Eton – after £400,000 and bladed weapons were found at a flat
in the grounds of the boarding school. The headteacher of the Darul Uloom
school was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and the school reached an
agreement with the education authorities to prevent its immediate closure.
Muslim education group, the Fazal Ellahi Charitable Trust that ran a mosque and
religious classes, was targeted for a new investigation this year and its
account frozen because of concerns about terrorism.
was removed from the charity’s register in 2009 after it stopped filing
accounts but it later emerged it was still running a mosque after an imam was
convicted of six counts of encouraging terrorism and two of encouraging support
for a proscribed organisation during a series of classes to children. The
inquiry is ongoing.
Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on
Monday during a one-day visit to the country to discuss migration and the
situation in neighboring Libya.
official APS news agency reported the meeting happened in the presence Prime
Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and other government members.
discussions take on particular significance before April's presidential
election in Algeria. No candidate has yet emerged because everyone is waiting
to learn whether Bouteflika, 81, partially paralyzed from a stroke and rarely
seen in public, will seek a fifth term.
traveled to Switzerland earlier this month for medical check-ups.
television channels showed images of Merkel and Bouteflika talking together.
a joint news conference, Merkel and Ouyahia said they agreed on a process to
send about 700 Algerian migrants identified as illegally staying in Germany
back to their country.
suggested that German airline Lufthansa should help with their transfer in
addition to Air Algeria. Algerian authorities requested that no special flight
is chartered, he said.
will take back its children staying irregularly in Germany,'' he said.
said they also discussed the situation in neighboring Mali and Libya, without
the talks, Merkel visited the hilltop memorial to "martyrs'' who died in
Algeria's war of independence with France that ended in 1962.
was Algeria's fourth-largest commercial partner in 2017, with 200 German
companies working in various sectors in the North African country.
was Merkel's first visit to Algeria in a decade. Initially set for February
2017, it was postponed because Bouteflika was stricken with the flu.
countries also sought to deepen their economic cooperation.
Saidj, professor of political science in Algiers, told The Associated Press
that Merkel's meeting with Bouteflika provided the Algerian president an
occasion to "show his adversaries that he keeps assuming normally the
prerogatives of his office.''
Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
head of the populist UK Independence Party (UKIP) has been criticized by the
party’s former leader for joining an anti-Muslim rally last weekend in the
northern city of Sunderland.
after the Islamophobic rally, Nigel Farage warned that Gerard Batten needs
"to be careful what company he keeps".
the rally, organized by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) – an
anti-Muslim movement formed by far-right hooligans –Batten gave a speech in
which he targeted Muslims and Islam.
also insulted Prophet Mohammad in his speech, according to coverage of the
rally by Sky News.
people were arrested, including one protester who swung a British flag at a
police officer on horseback, the news organization said.
group’s members also clashed with protesters at an anti-racism rally held in
the city on the same day.
concern with all of these groups is that that argument spills into an argument
against an entire religion," Farage told Sky News.
Islamophobic Football Lads Alliance was formed in 2017 by former football
hooligan John Meighan to unite supporters from different clubs against Islam.
it was criticized for racist content, the group renamed itself the Democratic
Football Lads Alliance.
has become an attraction for British far-right groups since the Brexit vote in
recently invited Tommy Robinson, founder of the far-right racist organization
English Defence League (EDL) and anti-Islam organization Pegida UK, to join his
and the U.K. on Monday have signed a justice and accountability declaration to
curb money laundering.
declaration was signed by Pakistani Justice Minister Farogh Naseem and British
Home Secretary Sajid Javid in Islamabad.
a joint news conference, Naseem said the agreement had a broad scope and was
not aimed at an individual.
was referring to the former finance minister, Ishaq Dar, currently living in
London, who is the subject of an ongoing corruption case.
English daily Dawn quoted the special assistant to the prime minister on
accountability Shahzad Akbar who said the agreement would pave way to bring
back looted wealth.
U.K. home secretary also assured the Pakistani authorities that his government
would help Islamabad to get out of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray
June, the Pakistani foreign office confirmed that the country was on gray list
of the international terrorism financing watchdog, following its failure to
curb terror financing on its soil.
planning to stop Trump’s military support for Saudi war on Yemen
Democrats are introducing an initiative aimed at ending US President Donald
Trump’s military support for the Saudi aggression on Yemen.
House Democrats are using the War Powers Act to introduce a resolution that
would pull American forces from the bloody war on the Muslim world’s poorest
country, The Hill reported Monday.
Saudis deliberately bombed a bus full of children. There is only one moral
answer, and that is to end our support for their intervention in Yemen,”
California Democratic Representative Ro Khanna, who is leading the House
effort, said on Twitter this week. “If this executive will not do it, then
Congress must pass a War Powers Resolution.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that he had assured American
lawmakers that the Saudi aggressors are on path to end the war, citing their
efforts to “reduce the risk of harm to civilians.”
certified to Congress yesterday that the governments of Saudi Arabia and United
Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm
to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of
these governments,” said the former CIA chief.
month, a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was signed into law,
requiring the Trump administration to certify that Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates are taking steps to end the assault.
move has reportedly boosted the initiative by the Democrats.
Trump administration is “deliberately sidestepping congressional oversight,”
according to Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who co-sponsored the NDAA
provision requiring the certification alongside Republican Senator Todd Young.
March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its regional allies started the war
against the Muslim world’s poorest country.
by the US, the military campaign has devastated the country and left some
15,000 people dead.
founder Erik Prince believes he has an “audience of one” to persuade to back
his plan to turn the war effort in Afghanistan over to an army of private
contractors backed by its own air force in a move that would see US and Nato
forces largely withdrawn.
49-year old former US Navy Seal told a briefing in London that he could reduce
the cost of America’s policy in Afghanistan from $52 billion (Dh191bn) annually
to just over $10bn.
Prince is calling on President Donald Trump to scrap the Afghan plan that his
administration launched exactly a year ago on Tuesday. The centrepiece of the
Prince proposal is a reduction in the US troop presence in the country to just
2,000 from the 16,000 there today.
new strategy would see 6,000 contractors work on three-year contracts to
provide a skeletal support staff for the Afghan army. A fleet of 90 combat
aircraft would provide back-up for the deployments. He believes President Trump
is open to the idea.
sold Blackwater (a private security contractor now known as Academi), Mr Prince
runs the Frontier Service Group and has become identified with a radical
blueprint to rip up the whole approach to the 17-year conflict.
may disagree on the methods but I think there is one thing we would all like to
agree on - the end of war in Afghanistan,” he said. “We were almost there last
summer. The national security apparatus said [to President Trump] you can pull
out and Afghanistan will melt down like Iraq.”
Prince plan was opposed by the then US National Security Adviser HR McMaster
and Jim Mattis, who is still the US defence secretary. Weeks later they
released a strategy that increased the number of US troops and scrapped a
timeline for withdrawal left over from administration of Barack Obama.
president gave them more money and more troops and they promised results and
there’s no results,” Mr Prince said.
US officials reportedly meeting with the Taliban for exploratory peace talks,
Mr Prince is scornful of the prospect of a successful outcome
need to go back to tactical innovation and deviousness,” he said. “The Taliban
are not commuting to war, we are.
not going to be a Versailles moment, they’re not going to line up and surrender
or reconcile. The Taliban would be very willing to accept our surrender.”
years after Blackwater’s name forever became associated with the deaths of 17
civilians in an uncontrolled shooting spree in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, Mr
Prince remains adamant that his industry can be part of the solution to
long-running conflict. “The Blackwater name got so tarnished and so blown out
by one event in Iraq,” he said. “In the Iraq war, the anti-war left went after
proper mentoring from dedicated military veterans and basic support such as
medical evacuation for injured troops, Mr Prince also believes Afghanistan's
security forces could perform better.
will fight harder when they know someone will look after them,” he said.
duration of the war is Mr Prince’s main indictment of the US involvement. “I am
not ready for multi-generational war. I have two sons who will likely follow my
footsteps and join the service. The idea of them going to Afghanistan to get
blown up or dead — no way.”
he has not engaged with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on his idea — instead
he touts a video he made to sell his plan in the Dari language — Mr Prince
brushes off the idea that it is not politically feasible.
seen Mr McMaster replaced by John Bolton, a known sceptic of large overseas
deployments, there is one less brake on Mr Trump to follow his instincts when
shown the Prince plan.
United States welcomes any "sincere effort" to reduce violence in
Syria, a State Department official said Monday.
are encouraged that Turkey and Russia appear to have taken steps to avert a
military offensive by the Assad regime and its allies in Idlib and welcome any
sincere effort to reduce the violence in Syria. We hope de-escalation is made
permanent," the official told Anadolu Agency, speaking on condition of
official added that the U.S. was not involved in the negotiations between the
Turkish and Russian governments in the Russian city of Sochi over the future of
Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.
we have noted before, an offensive by the Assad regime and its allies against
the densely populated Idlib province would be a reckless escalation and would
have serious consequences for Syria and the surrounding region," the
official said Washington remains "concerned by the Assad regime’s pattern
of destabilizing actions in Idlib and elsewhere”, noting that the U.S. will
continue to watch the situation and the regime's actions closely.
reiterate something that both President [Donald] Trump and President [Vladimir]
Putin agreed to in Da Nang, Vietnam: There is no military solution to this
conflict," the official said, adding that all parties should
"redirect their energies to forging a durable political resolution in
the United Nations Security Council has long emphasized, ending the conflict
will require a political solution based on UNSCR 2254 and the Geneva
process," the official said.
United States supports any credible efforts that prevent a resurgence of
violence and protects civilians. Civilians must be allowed freedom of movement,
including the right to return home, and provided access to immediate
humanitarian assistance and medical care," the official added.
to Anadolu Agency, Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson also affirmed U.S.
support for the “de-escalation of violence in Syria, unhindered humanitarian
access, an enduring defeat of ISIS and other terrorists and progress toward a
credible political resolution”. He was referring to the Islamic State of Iraq
and Syria, another name for Daesh.
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