kindergarten principle said the costumes were chosen as a way to increase the
children’s “faith and devotion to God”. Photo by Twitter user rasjogja.
It Really A Surprise That Radicals Might Have Infiltrated Indonesian
Clerics in Pakistan Honour Late Cardinal Tauran
Receive 10 Tonnes of Letters Israel Withheld For 8 Years
Cheng's Son Calls For End to Political 'Scapegoating' Of Muslims
10% of Eid Budget for Kerala Flood Victims: Farangi to Muslims
Journey to Hajj That Changed Islam in America
Azizah: LGBT Fine As Long As Kept In Private, Not ‘Glamourised’
education adviser wards off attacks over old comment on Muslim prayers
Minister Khan Asks Nation to Have Compassion for Poor, Adopt Austerity
‘unilateral’ nomination further divides opposition
to hold talks with Imran next month
summons Shahbaz today in three corruption cases
welcomes Afghanistan’s ceasefire announcement on Eid-ul-Azha
injured in ball bomb attack
Receive 10 Tonnes Of Letters Israel Withheld For 8 Years
Closes People Crossing With Gaza despite Egypt, UN Truce Attempts
gunshots fired at US embassy in Turkish capital
army gains control of district in Hodeidah, kills Houthi leaders in Saada
Qatar central banks ink currency swap agreement
Accused Of Hijacking Plane Extradited From Cyprus
must 'pay price' to save nuclear deal: Iran FM
parliament attack suspect charged with attempted murder
reports Turkish-Dutch youngsters trained by radical Islamist Nureddin Yıldız in
Man, Who Converted to Hinduism, Moves SC for Wife’s Custody
Engineer Suspected To Be ISIS Sympathiser Deported From UAE
Singh Sidhu May Have Overreacted By Hugging Pakistan Army Chief, but Not All
Controversies Were His Own Making
Activists’ Encounter: Supreme Court Disposes Of Plea for Further Inquiry
blast accused Farooq Takla got Indian passport in 2011 with fake identity: CBI
Agrees with Putin on Iran’s Pullout from Syria
Martin bomb reportedly used on school bus in Yemen
repeats anti-Iran threats in Israel visit
forces to stay in Iraq 'as long as needed': Coalition
Than Two Million Muslims Performing Waqoof-e-Arafat Today
Army, Allied Militants Set up New Bases in Northern Syria
Terrorist Commander Killed in Huge Blast in Northwestern Syria
Fails to Remove Syrian Army Siege in Sweida Deserts
Army Sends More Troops to Northwest for Idlib Operation
Army Repels ISIL's Heavy Offensive in Homs Deserts
Army Accuses US of Planning ISIL Attacks from Al-Tanf Zone
monks sent to trial over killing of bishop
accusations against Lebanon’s Hezbollah of running secret Beirut prisons
landmine kills 5 civilians in Syria's Sweida province
sentences 14 to death over Daesh Camp Speicher massacre
warns Americans not travel to Iraq due to ‘terrorism,’ general insecurity
Announces Muslim Eid Holiday Ceasefire with Taliban
Is Business': Rohingya Crisis Presents Economic Opportunity
announce conditional ceasefire with Taliban during Eid Al-Adha
militants seize district in northern Faryab province
commander reaffirms support to Afghanistan after deadly Kabul attack
Dead In Boko Haram Raid on Nigerian Village: Locals
threatens to send migrants ‘back to Libya’
of mast destroyed by al Shabaab in Ijara almost complete
Haram jihadists kill four farmers in NE Nigeria
by New Age Islam News Bureau
it really a surprise that radicals might have infiltrated Indonesian kindergartens?
17 August, Indonesia was shocked by an unusual – and deeply troubling –
celebration of Indonesian Independence Day. A video circulated widely on
Facebook (link is external) showing kindergarten students from Probolinggo,
East Java, participating in an Independence Day parade wearing black robes
typically associated with conservative Islamist groups and carrying fake
shocking to many Indonesians was the fact that the children were from a Kartika
Kindergarten, managed by the Army Wives Association (Persit) and supposedly
under the supervision of the local district military command (Kodim) – which
one would assume would be wary of any displays of radicalism.
a press conference following the uproar, the kindergarten principal said the
kindergarten had chosen to “highlight Muhammad’s struggle” as a way to increase
their student’s “faith and devotion to God”. (link is external) The head of the
local military command reportedly also gave permission for the costumes to be
used, believing it would “promote Islamic values”. (link is external)
than easing tensions, the responses of the head of the kindergarten and the
military commander raised further questions. Many claimed their responses –
interpreting jihad as involving fighting non-believers with weapons – were
evidence of the infiltration of Salafi teachings into the school system and the
military. Others suggested it was further evidence of the influence of funds
from Saudi Arabia on local understandings of Islam. Some were more forgiving,
dismissing the debacle as the actions of a naïve teacher with little
understanding of the political implications of such a display.
the choice of costume was deeply disturbing, the fact that something like this
could happen in an Indonesian kindergarten was not a surprise to me. I was more
surprised that so few members of the public were aware of the poor supervision
over the Indonesian early childhood education system.
2014, I conducted research on early childhood education in Aceh with Ary
Hasriadi, a researcher from Ininnawa Makassar. We found that compared to other
levels of education, early childhood education received the lowest level of
supervision from the national government. Kindergartens were basically free to
teach whatever they wanted, with limited direction or control by the Ministry
of Education and Culture. In Aceh Timur District, for example, the local
government issued a policy preventing girls from dancing, even at kindergarten
level, apparently as a means of “implementing shari’a” and protecting girls
from “bad behaviour”. In a school in another district, female students were
prevented from singing the national anthem, because the school principle
believed it could “weaken their faith”.
Indonesian law, early childhood education can be implemented both through the
formal education system and through informal community-based organisations.
Formal early childhood education institutions include kindergartens (Taman
Kanak-Kanak, TK) and Islamic kindergartens (Raudatul Athfal, RA). Informal
early childhood education includes playgroups and childcare centres, managed by
the community. The law provides for government oversight of kindergartens and
early childhood education but in practice, supervision is minimal, and focuses
on the fulfilment of administrative requirements, such as suitable facilities,
availability of teachers, play equipment and teacher-student ratios. The
curriculum is subject to very little oversight.
to data from the Ministry of Education and Culture, in 2016-2017, there were
more than 88,000 kindergartens and more than 105,000 playgroups, childcare
centres and other early childhood education institutions across Indonesia. In
Jakarta alone, there were more than 2,400 kindergartens and more than 2,000
playgroups, childcare centres and other early childhood education institutions.
In East Java, home of the Probolinggo kindergarten, there were more than 14,000
kindergartens and more than 19,000 playgroups, childcare centres and other
early childhood education institutions.
a small number of these kindergartens are directly managed by the Ministry of
Education and Culture. Some 96.4 per cent of kindergartens across Indonesia are
managed by private community groups or religious organisations – including the
Probolinggo kindergarten. Meanwhile, of the total 105,000 informal early
childhood education centres, 95.4 per cent had yet to pass government
in early childhood education facilities in Indonesia has been driven in part by
parents’ desires to ensure their children have basic skills in reading, writing
and arithmetic before they enter primary school. This has occurred because many
primary schools are now using competency in reading, writing and arithmetic as
selection criteria for new students, on the basis that schools are overcrowded.
most Indonesians are Muslim, kindergartens and other early childhood education
institutions are filled predominantly with students from Muslim communities.
And as one would expect, early childhood education institutions also provide
religious instruction, as many parents demand. Consequently, Indonesia has seen
a blossoming of integrated Islamic kindergartens (Taman Kanak-Kanak Islam
Terpadu, or TKIT), which aim to provide Islamic education at the kindergarten
level and then channel students into the Islamic education system.
quality of education in these TKIT can be highly variable. The growth in TKIT
occurred at around the same time as the growth in the Tarbiyah movement, the
conservative educational movement associated with the Prosperous Justice Party
(PKS). But TKIT are not only associated with the Tarbiyah movement. There are
many “moderate” TKIT, just as there are several are affiliated with Salafi or extremist
groups. I visited an Islamic school in Bogor, for example, which offered
education from kindergarten to high school level and received its funding from
Salafis from Kuwait.
so many kindergartens are run by private groups and religious organisations, it
is difficult to find any that do not have a religious affiliation.
Non-denominational kindergartens are usually only found in large cities, and
are usually only those kindergartens that are bilingual or follow an
internationally recognised curriculum, like Montessori schools.
community or privately-run religious kindergartens, children are often pushed
to memorise religious material. At a time when they should be developing and
refining their fine motor skills through activities like drawing and painting,
children are asked to sit still and recite religious texts. The focus on
memorising religious texts is in many cases not just the result of school
policy, many parents also demand it. It is a great source of pride for many
mothers when their children are able to recite Islamic texts before entering
lack of control over teaching in kindergartens is also influenced by the
educators. In several kindergartens they require their teachers to hold
qualifications to teach at the kindergarten level, however, in many places,
teachers have no formal training in early childhood education, let alone a
particular educational philosophy. But with salaries sometimes as low as Rp
200,000 (about A$20) per month, what quality can one expect from these
these vast challenges, is it really surprising that there was a kindergarten
that thought it was appropriate to encourage its students to wear long robes
and carry weapons as a form of following the example of the prophet Muhammad?
equal concern is that so many parents and the parade organisers allowed the
kindergarten children to dress as violent jihadists and did not see anything
worrying about it. If the children were wearing bikinis or revealing costumes
would members of the school community or parade organisers have stopped them
should not blame only the kindergartens, we must blame ourselves for allowing
our kindergartens to become places where this kind of thing can happen.
clerics in Pakistan's Punjab province paid glowing tributes to late French
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran at a special mourning service held in Lahore on Aug.
Tauran, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious
Dialogue, died in the United States on July 5 at the age of 75 after spending
years battling Parkinson's disease.
visited the Islamic Republic eight years previously and made a strong impact
due to his efforts to promote inter-faith harmony.
is our loss. We are saddened by the death of the cardinal, who spent his life
among people like us," Allama Zubair Abid said at the service.
15 years ago such interfaith gatherings were impossible in Pakistan. We respect
anyone who promotes peace and reject extremism regardless of their faith,"
was one of about a dozen Muslims who joined the congregation at the city's
Sacred Heart Cathedral.
solemn ceremony started with a recitation from the Quran by Qari Khalid Mehmood
of the Punjab Assembly and ended with the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.
his trip to Pakistan in 2010, Cardinal Tauran met former president Asif Ali
Zardari in Islamabad. He urged him to pardon Christian mother Asia Bibi, who
had been sentenced to death under the nation's strict blasphemy laws.
years later, he voiced his support for Rimsha Masih, a Christian Pakistani girl
who suffered from Down syndrome and who was arrested for allegedly burning a
copy of the Quran.
Lahore, the prelate inaugurated the Dominican Peace Center at a ceremony
attended by leaders of the Catholic Church and the (Protestant) Church of
Pakistan as well senior Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Bahais.
later rubbed shoulders with Muslim and other clerics at a meeting organized by
Lahore Archdiocese's National Commission for Inter-religious and Ecumenism.
the wake of that trip, staff at the Peace Center regularly mailed greetings
translated into Urdu to Muslim leaders to mark Eid, an important Muslim
festival marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Tauran also offered six-month scholarships to three Muslim educators who
studied about Christianity at the Vatican.
Ahmad Raza, director of interfaith relations at Minhaj-ul-Quran International,
an NGO founded in 1980, shared some memories of that visit.
day I walked into a church wearing a cap. The congregation asked me to remove
it in honor of the Cardinal but he saw what was happening and allowed me to
keep wearing it," he told ucanews.com.
was a compassionate and humble person. We shall miss his message of love at
future Eid celebrations."
Archbishop Sebastian Shaw said the late cardinal was famous for never
forgetting people's names. He remembered all the Muslim visitors he received
from Pakistan even as he battled old age and poor health.
know he also felt much pain for the suffering of Rohingya Muslims [in Myanmar
and at the refugee camps in Bangladesh]," the archbishop said.
final trip to Saudi Arabia was focused on laying a strong foundation for closer
ties between the Holy See and Riyadh. We have lost a true champion of
receive 10 tonnes of letters Israel withheld for 8 years
people living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank are set to receive a special
delivery of some 10.5 tonnes of letters and postal packages that the Tel Aviv
regime had kept for up to eight years.
received tons of Palestinian mail because of the intolerance of the occupation
authorities who refused to bring it through Jordan and as it is stamped for the
Palestinian postal destination," Hussein Sawafta, the director general of
the Palestinian post service, told reporters Sunday.
workers in the West Bank city of Jericho sorted through scores of mail sacks
that Israeli authorities had finally allowed to enter the city through the
border with Jordan.
Palestinian ministry of telecommunications posted photos of the letters on its
Facebook page, showing large piles of letter bags in a room as employees worked
Ghazawy, a Palestinian postal official, said even after many years of delay,
the Israeli side had done a poor job of classifying the mail.
eight years it didn't come categorized as it is supposed to be, with lists and
categorized. We got it all mixed."
toys to wheelchairs
photographs and personal letters as well as medicine were among the delayed
packages. Other shipments also included children’s toys to wheelchairs for the
letters were kept in Jordan since 2010 because Israel refused to let any sort
of direct transfer to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Palestinian
letter or package that is addressed for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, undergoes
Israeli security inspection first.
authorities claimed that this was not going to happen in future as moves were
under way to implement a 2016 agreement that allows direct international mail
flow to the West Bank.
Palestinian telecommunications minister Allam Mousa said Israel was delaying
the agreement’s implementation and still blocked mail directly through Jordan,
and therefore violating international resolutions.
team was formed from across the city (Jericho) to deliver (the mail) to the
people as soon as possible," said Sawafta.
said delivering the mails was going to be difficult and even impossible in some
cases due to the damage the boxes and the envelopes had sustained over these
years, while the addresses on others had worn off.
are toys for kids. Maybe they were one year old when those gifts were sent. Now
they are eight," Ghazawy said.
Cheng's son calls for end to political 'scapegoating' of Muslims
son of murdered New South Wale police accountant Curtis Cheng has called for an
end to political “scapegoating” of Muslims in Australia following last week’s
speech by senator Fraser Anning calling for a ban on Muslim immigration.
Cheng’s father was shot in cold blood by a 15-year-old Muslim boy, Farhard
Jabar, outside the NSW police headquarters in Parramatta in 2015. Two others
were jailed for planning the attack and supplying the weapon.
he said that was no reason to victimise a community.
am tired of needing to explain to adults that the actions of these individuals
cannot be attributed to an entire group of people. If I, of all people, can
think this way, then sure as hell our ‘elected’ representatives can think this
way too,” Cheng wrote in an opinion piece in Fairfax Media.
said if anyone were to believe that all terrorists are Muslim, then “that
person could, and should, be me”.
would be frighteningly easy – and I choose those words deliberately – to keep
indulging this train of thought. It is not that hard, really.
Muslim killed my father. His parents were Muslims. He was manipulated by other
Muslims. They are related to Muslims. They probably came from a Muslim country.
It is all their fault, kick them out, keep them out,” he wrote.
he said this was the narrative “those who wish to divide us” were trying to
push to “victimise and persecute an entire group because of their
who seek to see the best in what Australians stand for must believe otherwise,”
best friend is of a Muslim background. I have met inspirational students,
teachers, activists and politicians, who just happen to be of a Muslim background.
a Muslim doesn’t make them a good friend or person. In the same vein, being a
Muslim doesn’t make you a terrorist.”
said he was tired of continually explaining his thoughts, but despite his
family’s loss he would not stop “seeking out the beauty, friendships, and
empathy of those who make Australia worth standing up for in the first place”.
futures are shared. Let us not forget that.”
10% of Eid budget for Kerala flood victims: Farangi to Muslims
Islamic Centre of India has appealed to Muslims to at least donate 10 per cent
of their Eid-ul-Adha budget for flood-ravaged Kerala.
of the Islamic Centre of India and senior member of All India Muslim Personal
Law Board Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi said the amount should be deposited in
the Kerala chief minister's relief fund.
is a festival which symbolises sacrifice in the real sense. This time, it is
the flood-affected people of Kerala who need our support," he said.
also said Eid will be celebrated on August 22 in Uttar Pradesh.
Journey to Hajj That Changed Islam In America
Malcolm X was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his
admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who
indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black
Americans. But his detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence.
has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in
history. Malcolm was a member of the Nation of Islam; an African American
politico-religious movement founded by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in the
1930s.Their goals were to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic
conditions of African Americans in the US. Critics have described the
organization as black supremacist.
formally left the organization and made a Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah, where he
was profoundly affected by the lack of racial discord among orthodox Muslims.
He returned to America as Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and founded the Organization
of Afro-American Unity, which advocated black identity and held that racism,
not the white race, was the greatest foe of the African American. Malcolm’s new
movement steadily gained followers, and his more moderate philosophy became
increasingly influential in the civil rights movement, especially among the
leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. This organization
was founded after Malcolm’s awakening from his pilgrimage to Makkah.
have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true
brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colours and races here in this
ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Mohammad and all the other Prophets of
the Holy Scriptures,” Malcolm X wrote in his letter from Makkah, a letter that
he spent the night duplicating while staying there. He sent a copy to his wife
and his older sister Ella. He also asked for a copy to be sent to the press in
also wrote: “During the past 11 days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten
from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept on the same rug —
while praying to the same God — with fellow Muslims.” He ends his letter:
“Never have I been so highly honored. Never have I been made to feel more
humble and unworthy.”
signed his name with his new title Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. “Al-Hajj” is a
title given to those who performed the pilgrimage.
Malcolm first arrived at Jeddah Airport, he noticed that the people there were
pilgrims from Ghana, Indonesia, Japan and Russia. He then explained in his
biography: “I don’t believe that motion picture cameras ever have filmed a
human spectacle more colorful than my eyes took in.” He concluded “Chinese,
Indonesians, Afghans. Many, not yet changed into the Ihram garb, still wore
their international dresses. It was like pages out of the National Geographic
Feb. 21, 1965, one week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot dead
by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New
Azizah: LGBT fine as long as kept in private, not ‘glamourised’
LUMPUR, Aug 20 — The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community
have a right to exist in Malaysia if they keep their “practice” behind closed
doors, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
she advised the minority group against seeking to “glamourise” their private
lives, telling them to understand that in Malaysia is a country where the
“official religion” is Islam.
have the right to practise whatever [it is] they do in private,” she told Malay
Mail in an exclusive interview.
is the official religion [of Malaysia], whereby you have certain practices and
it is there in black and white.
a Muslim, I have my preferences as to their rights it is the same [rights] as
the people who do not believe in Islam,” Dr Wan Azizah explained.
3(1) of the Federal Constitution states that “Islam is the religion of the
Federation, but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony”.
addition, the Pandan MP pointed out that existing laws prohibit
“homosexuality”, and referenced Section 377A of the Penal Code that
criminalises “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” as proof.
there are laws [against it],” she said.
Wan Azizah’s own husband, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, had been charged and
sentenced for sodomy under the abovementioned Section, twice. He has maintained
his innocence, claiming political persecution.
was asked to comment on the recent debate surrounding minister in charge of
Islamic affairs Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s meeting with transgender advocate
minister in the Prime Minister’s Department has insisted that comments he made
to the press after the meeting were not orders or directives, but his personal
views on matters such as the use of gender-specific washrooms by transgenders,
also asked detractors to stop manipulating his remarks or drawing conclusions
from these, saying he was not bending over backwards to accommodate the LGBT
courted controversy when he ordered organisers at the George Town Festival 2018
to remove the portraits of LGBT activists Pang Khee Teik and Nisha last week.
met with Nisha in an attempt to defuse the situation, but the meeting only
served to renew the controversy.
on the treatment of the LGBTs was heightened following a recent mass assault
against a transgender in Seremban, Negri Sembilan that left the victim in a
hospital with multiple injuries.
Wan Azizah’s deputy, DAP’s Hannah Yeoh, issued a statement jointly with Lim Kit
Siang’s aide, civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan, to condemn provocative
remarks that the two said may have fuelled the violence against transgenders.
LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim has defended herself against
fierce criticism online over a previous remark on mandatory Muslim prayers in
schools now used to question her appointment to the National Education Advisory
chairman of the education lobby Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia
(PAGE) said critics were mistaken in their belief that her organisation was
opposed to Muslims’ congregational prayers (solat berjemaah) in schools.
Azimah, whose appointment was announced by the education minister on August 16,
noted that PAGE’s position was that simply such prayers should not be
wish to reiterate that PAGE is in full support of congregational prayer (solat
what was reported in the media, we did not object to the proposal for
congregational prayer (solat berjemaah) to be conducted in schools,” she said
in a brief statement today.
stressed that her group only wanted this to be optional due to practical
Azimah argued that such events placed undue demands on parents’ time and
resources, adding that the prayers could either be done individually or in
believe that there was an element of sensationalisation of our statement by
certain media which was subsequently misunderstood by our critics,” she added.
statement came after Facebook users left over 390 mostly negative comments on
an August 17 post on Education Minister Maszlee Malik’s official Facebook page.
The post announced Noor Azimah’s appointment to the advisory council.
critical users focused solely on her alleged objection or obstruction to having
Islamic prayers in schools, but mostly without providing basis for their claim
dissatisfaction may have been based on Noor Azimah’s comments as reported on
December 2, 2017, in response to a Kuantan district education officer’s
reported instruction for all schools in the district to hold a mass prayer
within the school compound before students leave for home.
December 2 news report carried Noor Azimah’s views that prayers were good but
can be done in private, but said Islamic practices were never meant to be
imposed on others and that principals should ensure non-Malays in the
multiracial national schools do not feel alienated.
had also on December 6, 2017 already clarified Noor Azimah’s comments.
of those who left Facebook comments in the past few days also protested her
appointment by claiming that she was a “liberal”, while a few questioned her
to the announcement, however, Noor Azimah who was once selected as one of
business weekly The Edge’s Ten Inspiring Malaysians in 2013 has been invited on
multiple occasions to provide her views in programmes with the education
ministry and ministry of science, technology and innovation.
Azimah is also listed as a member of the education committee in government
think-tank Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
Minister Khan asks nation to have compassion for poor, adopt austerity
Minister Imran Khan's first address to the nation since being elected the
country's new premier was broadcast at 9.30pm on Sunday, August 19, 2018, by
address — essentially a road map to the 'Naya Pakistan' PM Khan has promised
his supporters — began following a recitation from Holy Quran and the playing
of the national anthem.
new premier promised wide ranging reforms with a focus on safeguarding
Pakistan's resources and their redistribution from the rich to the
began by thanking those who had stood by him in his political struggle.
want to thank all my supporters who have been with me on this journey for the
last 22 years," he started. "I salute all those who stood by me in my
most difficult times; those who bore ridicule to support me ... I could not
have been here without you." Clarifying that he had stepped into politics
not to pursue it as a career or profession, PM Khan said his only motivation
was to help set Pakistan "on the path envisioned by [Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali] Jinnah and [Allama Mohammad] Iqbal."
prime minister then moved on to identifying Pakistan's economic challenges and
later spoke about how he would go about fixing them.
on his mind were Pakistan's debt liabilities.
in Pakistan’s history have we faced such difficult economic
circumstances," he said. "Our debt burden is now at Rs28 trillion. We
haven’t been as indebted in our entire history as we have become in the last
ten years," he regretted.
interest that we have to pay on our debt obligations too has reached levels
where we have to take on more debt just to settle it," he said.
"our human development index ranking is also in the doldrums" he
observed. Quoting from a United Nations report, PM outlined deficiencies in
Pakistan's human development, noting that: "We are unfortunately among the
five countries where infant mortality is highest because they do not have
access to clean water."
also have the highest rates of mortality for pregnant women," he
also spoke passionately about Pakistan suffering from the highest incidences of
stunting in children. "I have been saying this for ages and nobody took me
seriously. We are talking about 45 per cent of this nation’s children. They are
not getting proper nutrition. They are not developing properly. They are
automatically left behind. What must their parents go through seeing their
children in such a state?" he asked.
then pointed to the difference in the lifestyles of Pakistan's rich and poor.
want to speak about how the rich and powerful live in this country," he
said. "The prime minister has 524 servants and 80 cars. The prime
minister, which is me, also has 33 bulletproof cars. The prime ministers all
have helicopters and aeroplanes to fly them. We have massive governor houses
and every conceivable luxury."
could it be, he asked, that: "On one hand we don’t have money to spend on
our people, and on the other we have people living like our colonial masters
used to live?"
the rich and the privileged to reassess their priorities, he urged: "We
need to be compassionate towards our compatriots: towards those who cannot
afford to eat twice a day. We need to ask what will happen to the 25 million
children out of school. We need to ask what happens to our population. We need
to ask how we are to grapple with climate change.
is the time that we decide to change our destiny."
prime minster then explained he will use the examples of governance set forth
by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) "to bring the nation out of its
did the Holy Prophet do to unite all the tribes living in the Arabian
peninsula?" he asked. "What did he do to mould them [the Arabs] into
one of the most powerful nations on earth? I want to speak on those principles
want to speak about how we are going to lift ourselves based on that
prime minster then proceeded to give a five-point agenda:
first thing is the supremacy of law," he said. "The law has to be the
same for everyone.
second thing is Zakat. What does Zakat mean? It means that I spend based on
what I have on those who do not have enough. This is called progressive
taxation. The rich pay more to subsidise the poor. This happens in Scandinavian
countries, where there is good healthcare, good education and justice for all.
The disabled, the orphans and widows have support.
third is compassion. In the west, they care for animals in ways that would put
us to shame. The have shelters for animals. Animals fare better there than
humans do here. We need to incorporate those lessons.
fourth is merit. Without merit you cannot do anything. The responsibilities of
the ruler entail that they are sadiq and ameen. They have to be truthful . They
can have no conflict of interest. The west has these laws. In our country, you
see people amassing untold riches during their tenure in power.
fifth is education. The Holy Prophet stressed education above everything else.
After the Battle of Badr, he made it incumbent on his people to attain an
education. Look at us today: we are nowhere because we have not followed his
realising that he was placing a tall order for his supporters, he said:
"You should not feel overwhelmed. We are in this together and we will find
a way out together."
then proceeded to explain what he himself was doing towards that goal.
to cut down on expenses
Khan detailed how he plans on cutting down his own as well the country's
expenditure, saying: "I will keep only two people with me out of the
[prime minister's staff of] 524. I will be staying in a three-bedroom house
that served as the military secretary's house.
will have to keep two of the cars because my intelligence agencies tell me my
life is under threat. I also wish I did not have to move out of Banigala, but I
have been forced to do so because it is not safe to stay there."
will be auctioning off all the other bullet proof cars," he promised.
"I invite businesses to come and buy them. We will put the proceeds of
that auction in the state treasury.
also wish that all the governor houses are kept as simple as possible," he
said. "I further wish that the PM House will be turned into a university.
It is in a great location to be one.
am forming a committee under Dr Ishrat Husain to figure out how to cut expenses
nationwide," he revealed.
also urged his supporters to adopt austerity measures.
want you to understand that the money we lavish on ourselves could be spent on
those who our state has left behind. Naya Pakistan also requires a 'nayi soch'.
We have to think about those who we have left behind."
reforms instead of loans
reforming the financial sector, PM Khan explained that instead of trying to
rebuild the economy via external loans, his government will try and fulfill its
needs from within.
country can succeed by taking on debt again and again," he said.
"Debts are taken for brief periods of time. We cannot go on the way we
have. And you need to realise that when these people give us money, they attach
conditions to it.
will be ashamed to go abroad and ask for money. If the leader of the nation has
to go and ask for debt, how will my nation feel?
also need to pay our taxes. I am going to fix the Federal Board of Revenue on a
priority basis. It has lost its credibility and that is why people don’t pay
taxes. I will promise my people that I will protect your tax money and spend it
will keep our end of the bargain, but I want you to pay your taxes too. That is
your responsibility. Pay your taxes so that we can lift our destitute out of
promise you, if I can assure you that your tax money will be spent on you, we
will not face these deficits in the future. God willing, this will not happen
are also creating a task force to repatriate wealth looted from this country.
We need to put an end to money laundering. It is our biggest problem right now.
need to boost our exports. How will that happen? We will need to help export
industries. We have made a business advisory council to help address their
we need to boost investment. We need to bring in money from abroad. There is
going to be an office in the prime minister’s secretariat dedicated to this
need to help our small and medium businesses. They are the backbone of our
economy. We need to reduce the cost and difficulties of doing business for
to overseas Pakistanis
Khan invited overseas Pakistanis to invest in the country and help rebuild the
economy. "We need to facilitate overseas Pakistanis," he said.
"Our embassies need to facilitate them in every way we can.
have a special message for overseas Pakistanis. We are trying our best to
create a good investment environment for you. We want that you bring your money
to Pakistan and park it in Pakistani banks as we are short of foreign exchange.
Send your money through official accounts. We need your help."
prime minister said that rooting out corruption will also be a high priority
for his government.
will meet the NAB chairman and facilitate him with whatever he needs," he
said. "We will also enact a law for whistleblowers like we did in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa. Whoever helps identify corruption will get a share of the money
that we recover. The SECP and the FIA will be fixed on a priority basis.
have kept the FIA and the interior ministry under me because I want to
personally oversee our efforts to eradicate corruption.
want you all to understand that the moment we start going after corrupt people,
they will start raising a hue and cry. They are everywhere. They will come out
on the streets. They will say that democracy is in danger. I want you all to
continue standing with me. We will save this country or these corrupt people
will save themselves."
Khan said that he will seek Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar's help to revamp the
next focus will be on revamping our judiciary," he said. "We have a
massive backlog of cases. We will sit with the chief justice and discuss how we
can ensure that cases can be wrapped up within a year. We have to do this for
want to make a special request to the chief justice. There are quite a few
widows who have approached me for help. They are embroiled in property
disputes. I want to request the chief justice: please, at least for widows,
resolve such cases at the earliest.
declare this as my resolve: the weak who are systematically discriminated
against in our country will always have my support."
police model to be implemented in Punjab
prime minister said he has asked former KP IG Nasir Khan Durrani to implement
the KP police model in Punjab.
also need to fix our police," Khan said. "The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
police is our biggest success. We won the election because of how good our
police had become. The former IG who oversaw those successes, Nasir Khan
Durrani, has been asked to help fix the Punjab police and he has agreed.
do not have the power to do so in Sindh, but we will work with the Sindh
government as well to do what we can."
prime minister said his focus will be to improve public sector education as
well as madressahs (seminaries).
also need to fix our education system," he said. "We need to focus on
government schools, which are in a shambles. I know that salaried individuals
are making huge sacrifices to make sure their children get a decent education.
They sometimes work two jobs to give their children the best they can.
therefore need to make sure our government schools are good enough that
everyone can send their children to them. This is an emergency."
also cannot leave madressah students behind. They too should become engineers
and doctors and generals. Why do we not give them the opportunity? We need to
Khan stressed the need to "fix the healthcare system. It is immensely
difficult to fix the pre-existing system. It takes a long time: the Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa health system did not start showing results till the fifth year.
But we still need to do it.
also need to introduce the health card all over Pakistan. We have given every
household in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs550,000 in case of a healthcare emergency. We
should give it all over Pakistan."
to be built to end water crisis
said that a "water crisis is brewing" which require dams to be built
to resolve it.
was a crisis brewing but we weren't prepared," he said. "We have an
emergency. Karachi doesn't have water due to the tanker mafia. Quetta and
ministry will work towards saving water. New methods will be taught to farmers.
Canals will be lined to save water, while the Bhasha Dam will be constructed at
all costs. It’s a commendable initiative started by the chief justice."
PM said that he will enforce meritocracy to restore civil service to its
formerly held high standards. "In the 1960s we were considered one of the
best in the world," he said. "It is unfortunate how we have fallen
behind. Dr Ishrat Hussain is forming a committee to bring merit back.
will not tolerate any political interference in anyone’s appointment. I just
want people ready to work for the nation.
an ordinary man, when he steps into any govt office, also has to be given
respect. This is his right, which he will be given. Bonuses will be given to
those who serve people in a timely manner. Otherwise, penalties will also be
stressed the need to transfer the power to the local government, saying:
"Power must be given to the bottom-most tier. Nazims will be directly
elected in districts, while checks and balances will be kept.
funds are given to MNAs and MPAs but the development takes place in baldiyaat."
for the youth
prime minister said that "jobs must be given to the country's youth. A big
project of housing will be started. It will be a one-window operation [create]
jobs and [to boost] industries. The youth will be given loans without interest
so they can become entrepreneurs.
grounds have been taken over and houses schemes made over them. We need to
build playgrounds and parks for them."
said he will replicate KP's billion tree in the entire country. "We
planted 1 billion trees in KP," he said. "We will bring our expertise
and plant trees all over the country. Karachi has a heatwave as it has nothing
but concrete. A large-scale initiative will be initiated to make Pakistan green
menace of pollution has to be addressed immediately as it leads to the spread
of innumerable diseases."
for the underprivileged
prime minister vowed that his government will have compassion for and take care
of the neglected and the underprivileged.
children are our children, and if we don't look after them who will?" said
Khan. "Widows and the handicapped ... we will take responsibility of all.
want us to develop compassion in our hearts. It's in the animal kingdom where
it is the survival of the fittest. In human beings, it [should be] different.
Khan said he "will follow Medina’s example" to rid Pakistan of its
did not borrow from Roman or Persian empires," he said. "They
strengthened the people and made them self-sufficient. They adopted simple
will show you that, I will lead a simple life. I will save every penny, I will
do no business as my doing so will only harm other businessmen."
ownership and help me help you: PM
prime minister, at the end of his maiden address, told the nation to play a
more proactive role in the rebuilding.
need your help," he said. "When you are being robbed you don't wait
for the police to come. You nab them and hand them over. [Similarly], you should
help me catch these robbers of the nation. This is the social media age. Keep
check on and report such people. We have to act as a team. Help me protect your
have to take ownership and serve the nation. My vision is: one day will come
when Pakistan will have no one taking Zakat. If we succeed in our nation
building we will offer aid to other countries.
is my idea for Pakistan. This is the Pakistan I want to see."
Cracks in the alliance of opposition parties have further widened following a
unilateral decision by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to nominate senior
party leader and legal wizard Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan as its candidate for the
post of president of the country.
to media reports that the PPP has decided to field Mr Ahsan in the Sept 4
presidential election against the nominee of the ruling Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Dr Arif Alvi, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) on
Sunday categorically stated that Mr Ahsan could not be considered a joint
opposition candidate because the PPP had not consulted any of the parties
sitting on the opposition benches before making the decision.
PML-N is also angry because the PPP refused to vote for its president Shahbaz
Sharif in the Aug 17 election for the office of prime minister only because of
his controversial statements against the PPP leadership in the past, whereas
the PPP has now nominated a person who had also made some nasty remarks about
the illness of Nawaz Sharif and his wife Kulsoom Nawaz in recent past.
can you expect us to vote for the nominee of Asif Ali Zardari after refusal of
the PPP to vote for our president (Shahbaz Sharif) in the National Assembly and
our candidate (Hamza Shahbaz for the office of chief minister) in the Punjab
Assembly,” said PML-N information secretary and Senator Mushahidullah Khan,
when contacted to seek his party’s viewpoint on the PPP’s move.
Khan alleged the PPP had nominated Mr Ahsan intentionally in order to provide a
walkover to the PTI in the presidential election. “The PPP has been hand in
glove with the PTI since earlier this year when first it managed to topple the
PML-N government in Balochistan and then got Sadiq Sanjrani elected as Senate
chairman.” The PML-N leader claimed that the PPP was doing all this “under
pressure” after the opening of the fake accounts case against Mr Zardari and
his sister Faryal Talpur. “You see, how he (Mr Zardari) has been granted a
protective bail in the case on a holiday,” he said in reference to the granting
of two weeks’ protective bail to the PPP co-chairman by the Islamabad High
Court on Saturday, only a day after a banking court had issued arrest warrants
Khan advised the PPP to better “formally” join the treasury benches with the
PTI, instead of “playing tricks” on the opposition parties. He termed the PPP’s
justification of not voting for Shahbaz Sharif “unrealistic and an excuse”.
PPP had refused to vote for Mr Sharif despite agreeing on a formula during an
opposition parties’ multi-party conference earlier this month that authorised
the PML-N to nominate any candidate for the PM office.
Khan recalled that when Shahbaz Sharif had stated that he would drag Asif
Zardari in the streets, the party’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif as well as the
PML-N had expressed their displeasure and asked the younger Sharif to withdraw
his statement. On the other hand, he said, Mr Zardari never withdrew the
offensive remarks he had uttered against Nawaz Sharif on a number of occasions.
asked if the PML-N would not vote for Mr Ahsan because of his controversial statements
about the illness of the ousted prime minister and his wife, Mr Khan said that
“this issue is irrelevant” as they knew that the PPP was actually a ‘B-team’ of
contacted, PPP’s Punjab secretary general Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed rejected the
PML-N’s allegation that the party or Mr Zardari had been doing all this under
pressure. “There is no pressure on us,” he said, adding that had there been any
deal, Anwar Majeed would not have been arrested in the fake accounts case.
PPP leader said that so far they had only proposed the name of Aitzaz Ahsan and
they would soon start contacts with other parties. He claimed that the party
was in touch with the PML-N at “certain level” and was awaiting a response.
to a question, Mr Ahmed said Shahbaz Sharif could not have won the election
even if the PPP had voted for him. “You could only raise objections if we had
voted for Imran Khan,” he added.
PPP leader said the party had tasked different members with contacting
political parties on its proposal to nominate Mr Ahsan for the post of
PPP information secretary Dr Nafeesa Shah said that Aitzaz Ahsan was the best
choice for the office of president as he had a long struggle for the cause of
democracy in his credit. She said the president should be a person like Aitzaz
Ahsan who should be acceptable to the federation.
the PML-N’s objections to Mr Ahsan’s unilateral nomination, she said that
“every party has its own strategy”.
PTI has already approved the nomination of Dr Arif Alvi as the party’s
candidate for the post of president.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is likely to visit Islamabad in the first
week of September for consultations with Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team
on issues of mutual interests, diplomatic and official sources told Dawn.
Pompeo, who is expected in Islamabad on Sept 5, will likely be the first
foreign dignitary to meet the newly elected prime minister, who took the oath
of his office on Saturday.
his talks with the Pakistani officials, Secretary Pompeo may focus on two
major issues: efforts to revive once close ties between the two states and
Pakistan’s support for a US-led move to jump-start the Afghan peace process,
the sources said.
is likely to seek the US support for its bid to obtain an expected $12 billion
financial package from the International Monetary Fund. Islamabad also hopes
that an improvement in relations will lead to the resumption of US security
assistance to the country and the restoration training facilities for their
Wells, who heads the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs at the State
Department, may also accompany Mr Pompeo, according to the sources.
Pompeo and his delegation may also visit India and Afghanistan during this
trip, which is part of the Trump administration’s efforts to conclude a peace
agreement in Afghanistan before the mid-term congressional elections in the
United States scheduled for November.
this week, US officials urged Pakistan to help end the Afghan war, adding that
recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan had not discouraged them from
negotiating peace with some Taliban factions. Ms Wells reminded Pakistan that
now was the time to peacefully end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan and
encouraged Islamabad to play a leading role in this process.
Washington believes that Pakistan still has enough influence over the Afghan
Taliban to persuade them to join the peace process, and wants Islamabad to help
establish a political set-up in Kabul that would allow a peaceful withdrawal of
American troops from Afghanistan.
Monday last week, Secretary Pompeo telephoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman and sought his support for arranging another ceasefire in Afghanistan.
first ceasefire on Eidul Fitr led to the first face-to-face talks between the
US and Taliban officials in Doha last month. Both sides are now trying to hold
the second round also in Doha in September.
recent statements, the US officials have also expressed the desire to restore
their once close ties with Pakistan.
Saturday, the US State Department said that it recognised and welcomed the new
Pakistani prime minister, dispelling the impression that Washington was not
happy with Imran Khan’s election.
an earlier statement, a senior US official had expressed the hope that the
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government would work with the US for translating
tough issues into mutual achievements.
her speech at the Pakistan Embassy earlier this week, Ms Wells not only
welcomed Mr Khan’s election but also expressed the desire to work with his
government for resolving difficult issues. “A negotiated political settlement
to the 17-year-long conflict in Afghanistan is a critical shared goal, and an
area where we all would hope to see progress in the coming months,” she said.
a similar message on Tuesday, Secretary Pompeo also stressed this point and
expressed the desire to work with Pakistan to “advance (the) shared goals of
security, stability, and prosperity in South Asia”.
on July 27, the State Department had expressed “concerns about flaws in the
pre-voting electoral process”, noting that “these included constraints placed
on freedoms of expression and association” during the campaign period. The
department pointed out that such practices were “at odds with Pakistani
authorities’ stated goal of a fully fair and transparent election”.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned on Monday former chief
minister and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif for his alleged involvement in
three corruption cases.
has been conducting inquiries against Mr Sharif in different corruption cases,
including Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme, Punjab Power Development Company
(PPDC) and the potable water project.
Sharif was directed to appear before the NAB investigating team at 11am in the
Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing scheme corruption case and at 2pm again in the PPDC
PML-N president has already appeared three times before the NAB investigating
team and recorded his statements.
the past, Mr Sharif had requested the NAB team to suspend its investigation
till the general election 2018.
NAB team has now resumed the investigation after the general election and
started summoning people in the cases.
the PPDC case, Mr Sharif was facing charges of illegal appointments.
NAB investigating team had rejected his reply to the questionnaire in the case
and termed it incomplete and unsatisfactory.
to a notification available with Dawn, NAB said: “You (Shahbaz Sharif) are
hereby called upon to appear on August 20 at 2pm at Investigation Wing-II, NAB
Thokar Niaz Baig before combined investigation team to record your statement
regarding nomination of Syed Farrukh Ali Shah as member NEPRA (Punjab) and his
appointment as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PPDCL.”
Sharif was also summoned in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme case over
disclosures of former principal secretary Fawad Hassan during investigation.
was arrested by NAB for alleged misuse of authority and awarding contracts
illegally in the housing scheme while serving as the secretary of
implementation to Mr Sharif in 2013.
clean water case pertains to alleged corruption in Punjab Saaf Pani Company.
Sharif had earlier appeared before NAB’s joint investigation team in the Saaf
Pani case and answered questions put to him by investigators.
company was established by the Punjab government to conceive, plan, design,
execute and manage projects for the provision of safe drinking water, in terms
of both access and quality, to communities living in rural areas of the
Pakistan has welcomed the Afghan government’s declaration of a ceasefire during
the upcoming religious festival of Eid -ul-Azha. Pakistan fully supports all
such efforts that contribute to achieving durable stability and lasting peace
with the Independence Day of Afghanistan, the announcement has an even greater
considers Eid-ul-Azha as an appropriate occasion for all parties to make a
commitment to a ceasefire along the lines of a much-appreciated ceasefire in
Afghanistan during Eid-ul-Fitr,” said a statement of the FO here Sunday.
people of Afghanistan deserve peace. We also call upon all parties that in
defence of the holy tradition of sacrifice during Eid ul Azha to implement a
ceasefire in hostilities – preferably for a more extended period of time. This
would allow the people of Afghanistan to celebrate the great Abrahamic
tradition in comfort and peace, during this holy month of Zil Hajj,” added the
A ball bomb attack on a house in Landhi Shah Latif Town injured at least two
ball was thrown by unidentified persons from outside the house. SSP Malir said
that the attack was a result of an old rivalry.
is the second attack on Ghulab Nabi Baloch, who is a vegetable vendor. The same
rivalry has led to a gun attack in the past.
enforcement agencies are confident that they will apprehend the attackers soon.
closes people crossing with Gaza despite Egypt, UN truce attempts
closed its only crossing for people with the Gaza Strip on Sunday except for
humanitarian cases over border incidents that saw protests and clashes at the
weekend, an Israeli official said.
spokesman for the Israeli defence ministry unit that oversees the crossing
confirmed it had been closed. Border protests and clashes on Friday left two
Palestinians dead by Israeli fire.
closure and border incidents came despite attempts by Egypt and UN officials to
reach a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that
runs the blockaded Gaza Strip.
gunshots were fired from a vehicle at the US embassy in the Turkish capital,
Ankara, on Monday, hitting a window in a security cabin but causing no
casualties, police and broadcaster CNN Turk reported.
attack coincided with a deepening row between Ankara and Washington over the
trial of a U.S. pastor in Turkey.
police officer told Reuters at the scene the drive-by shooting occurred around
5 a.m. (0200 GMT) and that nobody was hurt. The embassy was set to be closed
this week for a public holiday to mark the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival.
teams were searching for the assailants, who fled in a white car after the
attack, CNN Turk said. Four or five gunshots were heard, it said.
Haberturk showed police teams inspecting one of the entrances to the embassy
and apparent damage caused by a gunshot could be seen in one window. It said
empty cartridges were found at the scene.
Yemeni military source confirmed on Sunday that most of al-Durahmi district,
which is a key strategic point to enter Hodeidah port city, is under the
control of the Yemeni legitimate forces which combed large areas of the city
amid the surrender of dozens of Houthi militias.
military development comes on the heels of Yemeni army clashes with Houthi
militias, pushing them out of al-Durahmi city, while seizing control of the main road linking
between the governorates of Hajjah, Saada and Hodeidah.
another development, a military source said that the Yemeni national army
liberated positions in Jabal al-Gharra and its surrounding areas in Saada and
east of Baqim, after intense battles in which dozens of Houthi leaders were
killed, among them senior field leaders.
al-Jawf, the Yemeni national army launched a major offensive against Houthi
positions liberating strategic posts in the district of Khab ash-Shaaf.
and Turkey's central banks have entered a currency swap agreement aimed at
providing liquidity and support for financial stability.
central bank made the announcement on Sunday, several days after Doha promised
to give Turkey $15 billion in support.
deal, signed by both central banks' directors, will create a two-way currency
exchange line, which will in turn bolster Turkey's currency.
Turkish lira has lost about 30 percent of its value against the US dollar since
the beginning of August. The currency crash occurred in the wake of tensions with
the United States. The detention of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, in
Turkey has cast doubts over the future of Ankara's partnership with Washington.
Friday, UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash hit out at Qatar’s
pledge to direct investment in Turkey.
a post on his Twitter page, Gargash referred to a recent visit to Ankara by the
Qatari emir and his pledge to help Turkey overcome an ongoing currency crisis
and described it as an attempt to “buy sovereignty”.
sovereignty cannot be bought with money but is achieved by establishing sincere
and reliable relations with surrounding countries,” Gargash said in his tweet,
the daily Gulf News reported.
emir of Qatar arrived in Turkey on a “working” visit aimed at strengthening
a “private” meeting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Sheikh Tamim
discussed bilateral relations and ways to expand the existing strategic ties
between the two sides in various fields.
the meeting, Qatar pledged $15 billion in direct investments in "Turkey’s
financial markets and banks", Turkish officials said.
announcement helped the Turkish national currency lira recover from record lows
against the US dollar.
one day after Qatar pledged the investment, the lira strengthened some 4
percent against the greenback to around 5.75 per dollar.
outlets close to the UAE and Saudi Arabia quoted “analysts” as saying that
Qatar had been “forced” to make the investment pledge in exchange for keeping
the Turkish military base and Turkish soldiers on its soil.
August 10, US President Donald Trump announced that his administration was
doubling steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey. The move came as part of the US’
reaction to Turkey´s two-year-long detention of an American pastor over
accused of hijacking plane extradited from Cyprus
Egyptian man accused of hijacking a plane and diverting it to Cyprus has been
sent back from the Mediterranean island to his homeland after a two-year
extradition battle, officials said Sunday.
al-Din Mohamed Mostafa, 61, allegedly used a fake suicide belt to seize an
EgyptAir airliner from Alexandria to Cairo in March 2016.
authorities yesterday handed over to the Egyptian authorities, Egyptian
detainee Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa," a statement from Cyprus's justice
at Cairo airport confirmed his arrival amid tight security late Saturday.
Egypt's attorney general said that Mostafa was being handed over to prosecutors
in the country for further investigations.
fought his extradition on the grounds he will not receive a fair trial in Egypt,
but the Cypriot supreme court dismissed Mostafa's appeal against being sent
home last year.
request for asylum was refused as Cypriot authorities deemed him a
"perpetrator of serious crimes". During hearings, Mostafa described
himself as a liberal who wanted democracy for an Egyptian people subjected to
"abductions, disappearance, illegal detention and extrajudicial
said his motive for hijacking the domestic Egyptian flight was to seek asylum
in Italy and tell the world about the "repressive" Egyptian
justice ministry in Cyprus said Mostafa eventually "expressed the wish to
go back to his own country" and withdrew an appeal to the European Court
of Human Rights that stayed the extradition. "
authorities have given assurances that Mostafa will face legal procedures that
comply with international standards," the ministry said.
to Cypriot police, Mostafa gave a voluntary statement admitting to the
hijacking, which ended peacefully with his arrest. Most of the 55 passengers
were quickly released after the plane landed, but some escaped only minutes
before the six-hour standoff finished.
- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that Europe had not
yet shown it was willing to "pay the price" of defying Washington in
order to save the nuclear deal.
said European governments had put forward proposals to maintain oil and banking
ties with Iran after the second phase of US sanctions return in November.
he told Iran's Young Journalist Club website that these measures were more
"a statement of their position than practical measures".
they have moved forward, we believe that Europe is not yet ready to pay the
price (of truly defying the US)," Zarif said.
President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May, and began
reimposing sanctions earlier this month that block other countries from trading
second phase of sanctions targeting Iran's crucial oil industry and banking
relations will return on November 5.
has vowed to keep providing Iran with the economic benefits it received from
the nuclear deal, but many of its bigger companies have already pulled out of
the country for fear of US penalties.
can respond to Europe's political will when it is accompanied by practical
measures," said Zarif.
man accused of crashing his car into the security barriers surrounding Britain’s
Houses of Parliament was charged Saturday with attempted murder, police said.
Khater, 29, a Sudanese-born British national living in Birmingham, central
England, will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on
Monday, police said.
is charged with one count of attempting to murder members of the public and one
of attempting to murder police officers following the incident outside London’s
iconic Palace of Westminster on Tuesday.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), England’s state prosecutors, are treating the
case as terrorism, the police said.
charges follow an incident in which Khater drove his car into a stationary
group of members of the public then at police officers, before crashing into
the barriers outside the Houses of Parliament,” London’s Metropolitan Police
said in a statement.
to the methodology, iconic location and the alleged targeting of civilians and
police officers, the CPS are treating this case as terrorism.”
political Islamist National View (Milli Görüş) organization has taken dozens of
Turkish-Dutch youngsters to Turkey in recent years to have them taught by
radical imam Nureddin Yıldız, who supports jihad in Syria and legitimizes
violence against women, according to the NRC newspaper in the Netherlands.
reported that various trips have been organized to Yıldız’s education center,
according to flyers, photos, and reports published online since 2013. NRC also
wrote that Dutch parliamentarians expressed concern about a Turkish government
plan to establish weekend schools in the Netherlands focused on Turkish
language, history and religion.
Dutch parliament fears that Turkey is trying to keep ahold of Turkish-Dutch
people. But the opposite also happens, and Dutch Turks go to Turkey for education
in radical Islamic schools,” wrote NRC.
that Milli Görüş has 50 organizations and some 15,000 supporters in the
Netherlands, NRC said that “the movement is strongly anti-Western.” Stating
that a number of radical preachers are affiliated with Milli Görüs, including
Nureddin Yıldız, NRC wrote that Yıldız has his own Sosyal Doku Foundation, an
educational institute in İstanbul.
his statements, Yıldız said Abdullah Al-Muhaysini, a notorious al-Qaeda leader
in Syria, deserves support from Muslims. Yıldız has also ties with the armed
jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham,” according to NRC
Associations of Milli Görüs in the Netherlands, including in The Hague,
Schiedam, Rotterdam and Deventer, translate lectures given by Yildiz in order
to spread his ideology. Also ‘training camps’ are organized by his institute.”
to NRC, Yıldız long maintained a warm relationship with the Turkish
establishment. He was a regular speaker in a foundation led by Bilal Erdoğan, a
son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip
man, who converted to Hinduism, moves SC for wife’s custody
SUPREME Court has sought the Chhattisgarh government’s response to a petition
by a Muslim man who claimed to have converted to Hinduism to marry a Hindu
woman. The man has approached the apex court seeking the release of his wife
from her parents custody.
bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra also directed the
Superintendent of Police of Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district to produce the
woman before the court on August 27.
to the petition, Mohd Ibrahim Sidhiqui had converted to Hinduism in February
this year and taken the name of Aryan Arya to marry Anjali Jain, also a
resident of Dhamtari. It alleged that she was being deprived of her liberty by
her family members.
petitioner also said that earlier, when the Chhattisgarh High Court decided the
matter, it erroneously declined to direct his wife’s family to release her.
to the petitioner, he had been in a relationship with the woman for the past
couple of years. They got married on February 25. The woman then returned to
her parents’ home and did not immediately inform them about the marriage.
Subsequently, when she fled home, she was detained and shifted to a shelter
home for women, he claimed.
engineer suspected to be ISIS sympathiser deported from UAE
Kashmiri man, living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was deported to India
on August 14 on suspicion of being an ISIS sympathiser, news agency PTI
reported. Irfan Ahmad Zargar, a 36-year-old resident of Chattatabal area on the
outskirts of Srinagar, allegedly showed active support to ISIS activities in
Syria on social media platforms.
was interrogated by the NIA for two days before being handed over to Jammu and
Kashmir police, who were carrying out detailed investigations, PTI quoted
officials as saying.
an engineer, was picked up by the authorities in Dubai on April 28 this year
when he was entering into the Gulf country from Oman, officials told PTI.
Zargar, who used to work with a telecom company in Dubai, maintained that he
had travelled to Oman for setting up a handcrafts business.
of his kin had approached External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter
for help in the matter. The Indian Consulate General in Dubai had initiated the
process to reach out to the man after the Swaraj’s intervention. However, the
Dubai authorities had refused to entertain any plea until they had completed
their own investigation in the case.
Dubai authorities interrogated him on his social networking activities,
especially his appreciation for ISIS-related posts. They also carried out
searches at his apartment.
Singh Sidhu may have overreacted by hugging Pakistan army chief, but not all
controversies were his own making
Navjot Singh Sidhu loves to court controversies but the latest one, pertaining
to his Pakistan visit to attend Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony as the Prime
Minister of Pakistan, has more to do with actions beyond his control. Sidhu,
now a Cabinet minister of Punjab, had duly sought clearance from the Centre to
be present at the ceremony even though two other invitees, former cricket
captains Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, refrained from accepting the invitation.
For a government whose head, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid an impromptu
visit to Pakistan to greet his then counterpart Nawaz Sharif, it didn’t seem a
Sidhu landed himself directly in a controversy by hugging Pakistan army chief
General Qamar Javed Bajwa twice at the function. Later talking to the media the
Congress leader said that while General Bajwa had walked to greet and hug him,
he had reciprocated the gesture when he was informed by General Bajwa about a
sentimental gesture proposed for the Sikhs.
gesture was the proposal to provide free access to Sikh devotees to a historic
gurdwara just three kilometres inside Pakistan. The gurdwara called Gurdwara
Kartarpur Sahib near Gurdaspur, is one of the holiest of holy shrines for the
Sikhs as Guru Nanak Dev, their first guru, had spent his last days in that particular
Gurdwara. His 550th birth anniversary falls next year and Sikhs have been
demanding a free corridor to enable them to pay obeisance.
said he was not expecting the announcement of such a gesture and spontaneously
hugged General Bajwa for it. He told Pakistan media: “Imran Khan, my dear
friend, has said they will walk two steps if one step is taken by India. I will
make efforts to convince authorities in India to take that first step. Both the
Punjabs can earn great profit by opening borders,” he said.
BJP has, however, gone hammers and tongs after its former four-time Member of
Parliament. Party spokesman Sambit Patra, demanding Sidhu’s suspension from
Congress, said, :It is not an ordinary thing. Sidhu is not an ordinary man but
a minister in the Punjab government. Every Indian has taken this issue very
also asked whether Sidhu had taken permission from his party chief Rahul Gandhi
for the same.
Punjab chief, Shwet Malik described his visit and gestures as "anti-national"
and sought action against the Congress leader. Shiromani Akali Dal, which had
been having a running battle with Sidhu, said his conduct was "unbecoming
of a minister". In a statement, SAD spokesperson Dr Daljit Singh Cheema
said Sidhu’s "public gestures have not only hurt martyrs' families but
also countrymen in general".
the Congress has sought to disassociate itself from the visit saying it was a
personal visit by a friend of Imran Khan.
observers, however, point out that condemnation from the BJP is uncalled for
because Sidhu, as a legislator, was supposed to seek permission from the Union
government and that he was duly given that permission. In fact, the permission
is also seen as a gesture of willingness of the government to keep channels of
communications open with Pakistan and to build bridges. It's pointed out that
at the worst of crisis, like the Kargil War, the 2001 Indian Parliament Attack
and the surgical strikes, channels of communication were kept open.
given his history of being a child of controversies, perhaps over-reacted to
the gesture of General Bajwa, but not all the controversies relating to his
Pakistan visit were made of his own.
as the BJP reacted violently to Sidhu hugging the Pakistan Army chief, what
appears to be a deliberate slight to him and the country was to seat him next
to the ‘president’ of the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Masood Khan in the front
row for the swearing-in ceremony. It is well known that India does not regard
POK as a part of Pakistan and that it remains a disputed territory, the seating
arrangement (which is done meticulously keeping in mind protocol and other
considerations) does not appear above board. Critics have pointed out that
Sidhu could have been seated with foreign dignitaries or with Imran's other
activists’ encounter: Supreme Court disposes of plea for further inquiry
SUPREME Court has turned down a prayer for further inquiry into the death of
eight men of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in an
encounter with Madhya Pradesh police following a jailbreak in October 2016.
bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph disposed of the plea
after taking note of the findings of a judicial commission of inquiry. The
report by a retired High Court judge had concluded that “the use of force
resulting in (the) death of the escaped persons was quite inevitable and quite
reasonable under the prevailing circumstances”.
court which perused the report, said, “In view of the report of the Commission
of Inquiry constituted by a retired High Court judge, which has been brought on
record, we are not inclined to interfere. The Special Leave Petition is
accordingly disposed of.”
July 2017, the apex court had issued a notice on the plea filed by a relative
of one the dead men seeking an independent inquiry into the deaths.
petitioner alleged that it was a case of extra judicial killing. He said the
Madhya Pradesh High Court, while rejecting his prayer earlier, had not
considered his prayer that he and other relatives were not permitted to
participate in the proceedings of the inquiry committee.
Takla, the alleged “active conspirator” behind the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and
a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim, had managed to get an Indian passport under the
assumed identity of Mushtaq Mohammed Miyan in 2011, the CBI has said.
passport issued by the Indian consulate in Dubai was recovered from Takla when
he was brought from there on March 8, 2018 and arrested at the Indira Gandhi
International Airport here, the CBI has claimed in a chargesheet it filed
before a TADA court in Mumbai last week.
agency has alleged that Md Farooq Yasin Mansoor alias Farooq Takla had escaped
to Dubai after the serial blasts in March 1993, that killed 257 people, and was
living under an assumed identity of Mushtaq Mohammed Miyan.
passport recovered from Takla was issued by the Indian consulate in Dubai on
February 8, 2011, it said.
agency had taken over investigation in the bombings from the Bombay (now
Mumbai) Police on November 19, 1993. The police had filed a chargesheet on
November 4, 1993 in which Takla, accused number 196, was listed as one of the
taking over the case, the CBI got a Red Corner Notice issued against Takla in
1995, the officials said. After getting input that Takla was living in Dubai
under the cover of assumed identity of Mushtaq Mohammed Miyan, the agency got a
fresh non-bailable warrant issued in August last year, they said.
is alleged that Takla was a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim and Anees Ibrahim and
an active conspirator behind the 1993 mayhem at the nerve centres of Mumbai
which shook the entire country.
then a resident of Shaikh Burhan Kamruddin Street, managed air tickets,
accommodation, and briefing for five accused who had travelled to Pakistan via
Dubai for getting training in handling of arms, ammunition and explosives,
which were used in the blasts, the CBI has alleged in its chargesheet.
allegedly received Saleem Bismillah Khan alias Saleem Kurla (now dead) and four
others — Mohammed Haneef Mohammed Usman Sheikh, Sheikh Abraham Sheikh Hussain,
Usman Khan and Mohammed Sayeed Ishaq — in Dubai, the chargesheet alleged.
funded their travel and accommodation and briefed them about their steps to
visit Pakistan for the training and return to Mumbai, the CBI has alleged
agrees with Putin on Iran’s pullout from Syria
United States is facing a new turning point in its policy toward Syria, as it
announced the appointment of former US ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey will
serve as a special advisor to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Syria
overseeing talks on a political transition in that country.
administration also transferred former officer Joe Rayburn from the National
Security Council to the State Department as Special Envoy to Syria
Iran from Syria
announcement of the appointments, was preceded by a statement issued by the
State Department relating to the financial contributions of Saudi Arabia, the
UAE and other countries to the stability budget in Syria.
statement referred to the US commitment to strategic objectives in Syria,
pointing out that Trump announced his commitment to staying in Syria until the
eliminatation of ISIS and that the United States is working “to ensure the
withdrawal of Iranian forces and allies” from Syria.
official statement stems from a firm conviction by Trump that Iran should be
expelled from Arab countries and that American troops' immediate withdrawal
from Syria would be a bad step, and would allow Tehran to keep its forces and
loyal militias in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
United States wants to cut the road for Iran through the Syria’s Democratic
Forces (SDF) that have moved to the Syrian area of Bu Kamal to break the
Iranian-built pathway between Tehran and Beirut, through Baghdad, Deir al-Zour
and Damascus, according to Pierre Ghanim, Al Arabiya News Channel correspondent
Americans view with great caution the seriousness of Iran’s stabilization of
its forces and alliances in these countries.
US does not see Iran as having any intention of withdrawing from Syria, but it
considers that they have the potential to succeed in the mission, especially
since the Russian president is in agreement with Washington on that.
White House considers that Putin and Iran have different interests in Syria and
that Putin sees the dangers of Iran’s presence in Arab countries, including
Syria and Yemen, and that the Russian President informed the Americans of this
position before and during the Helsinki Summit.
to a White House official, Syria was the longest-running topic in the
discussions between Presidents Trump and Putin and their top advisors in
Helsinki. The talks started three weeks earlier, when Trump National Security
Advisor John Bolton met President Putin in Moscow to prepare for the summit,
according to a source close to those meetings.
Russian president said he also did not want an Iranian presence in Syria, but
he was not sure if Russia could take them out.
White House source said: “it was a correct comment”, adding that: “The
situation seems difficult for Iran to maintain a presence in Syria because of
the economic consequences of sanctions. The military threat they pose in Syria
is worrying everywhere in the region.”
the announcement of the new appointments at the State Department, the statement
said Joe Rayborn, who became deputy assistant secretary of state, would be
Syria’s special envoy and would coordinate the work on the ground and would be
charged with “confronting Hezbollah and building a strong government in
Lebanon” and coordinating work with Jordan.
appointment and mission seem to be another indication of the Americans’
interest in fighting the presence of Iran, its allies and militias in Syria and
Lebanon, and is now working more closely to coordinate its work and activities
to achieve this mission.
with the Russia
Americans are now looking at the next phase of reaching an understandings on
the steps needed to be taken with Russia and with European allies, who continue
to insist that defeating ISIS and the pull out of Iran and its militias will
only take place through progress towards a political solution to the conflict
in Syria on the basis of Resolution 2254.
Jeffrey will work to revive the political process in coordination with the
United Nations and its sponsorship as previously agreed upon.
Syria and Iran will be at the heart of the National Security Advisor John
Bolton’s talks during his visit to Israel and Geneva, where he is expected to
meet with his Russian counterpart in Switzerland and follow up on what
President Trump and Putin have begun in Helsinki, including the elimination of
ISIS, political process, Iran, the humanitarian situation and the non-use of
chemical weapons again.
school bus attack in Yemen, which left 51 people dead, was carried out using a
US manufactured bomb, according to an investigation.
arms giant Lockheed Martin actually made the laser-guided MK 82 bomb used in
the attack last week, CNN reported.
death toll involved 40 children while 56 of the 79 wounded were also kids.
attack was branded as a "legitimate military operation," by Saudi
Arabia, engaged in the US-backed war on its impoverished neighbor.
will tell you that we do help them plan what we call, kind of targeting,"
said Defense Secretary James Mattis. "We do not do dynamic targeting for
the beginning of this year alone, 55 airstrikes have been launched against
civilian vehicles and buses, according to the Yemen Data Project.
bombs have already led to hundreds of civilian casualties in the war-ravaged
people were killed in March 2016 by a US-supplied MK 84 bomb, which was
followed by the deaths of 155 people in a funeral hall attack.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen in March 2015.
National Security Adviser John Bolton has arrived in Israel to continue the
Trump administration’s anti-Iran campaign.
office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the hawkish
figure as “true friend of Israel and an enthusiastic supporter of the alliance
between America and Israel” in a statement Sunday.
welcomed Bolton, claiming that meetings with him would focus on “how to
continue to push back against Iranian aggression in the region, and to promise
that they will never have nuclear weapons.”
Israeli premier added that the visit was “of great importance in light of
President Trump’s decisions to move the embassy to Jerusalem (al-Quds) and to
leave the bad deal with Iran.”
President Donald Trump finally broke with decades of US policy in December by
announcing that the embassy in Israel would be relocated from Tel Aviv to the
city has been designated as “occupied” under international law since the 1967
Arab War, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
also withdrew Washington from the landmark Iran nuclear deal in May and decided
to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
since Trump appeared in office, the Israeli regime has become more outspoken in
its anti-Iran stance.
spokesman for the US-led coalition purportedly fighting Daesh says American
forces will stay in Iraq “as long as needed,” amid reports that the terrorist
organization is making a comeback in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
keep troops there as long as we think they’re needed ... The main reason, after
ISIS is defeated militarily is the stabilization efforts and we still need to
be there for that, so that’s one of the reasons we’ll maintain a presence,”
Colonel Sean Ryan told a news conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
recent months, US President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted his
administration’s success in defeating Daesh and destroying its so-called
caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
who ran for office pledging to end the US military engagements overseas, has
dispatched hundreds of additional troops to Iraq and put them closer to the
front lines with more freedom to bomb targets.
officials have talked about how the military campaign dislodged Daesh from
about 98 percent of the territory it once held in Syria and Iraq.
the Pentagon acknowledged Thursday that the terrorist organization appears to
be “well-positioned to rebuild and work on enabling its physical caliphate to
probably is still more capable than al-Qaeda in Iraq at its peak in 2006-2007,”
Pentagon spokesperson Cmdr. Sean Robertson told VOA News in a statement.
its latest intelligence estimates, the Pentagon put the number of Daesh
terrorists operating in Iraq and Syria between 28,000 and 32,000, close to
level the terror group boasted at the height of its power.
separate report from the United Nations painted a similar picture, estimating
that around 30,000 Daesh militants are still active in both Arab countries.
this year, Defense Secretary James Mattis made a formal request to NATO allies,
asking them to deploy more troops to Iraq. NATO responded positively, agreeing
to expand the alliance’s mission in Iraq with the aim of providing “training”
and “advice” to Iraqi armed forces.
(Dunya News) - More than two million Muslim pilgrims from across the world will
perform Waqoof-e-Arafat, the main ritual of Hajj in the holy land of Islam, on
is first time that special arrangements have been done to deliver hajj sermon
in Urdu language as well.
the annual ceremony to change Ghilaf-e-Kaaba was held at Masjid-e-Al-Haram.
least 150kg pure gold and silver whereas 670kg Resham have been used. Governor
Makkah, Saudi officials and other significant personalities attended the
covering cloth of the Kaaba, known as Kiswa, is changed on 9th Zilhaj every
year on the day of Arafat.
first phase of Hajj, the pilgrims spent a day and following night (Sunday) in
Mina, later moved towards mount Arafat where the main pillar of Hajj
pilgrimage, Waqoof-e-Arafat, will be observed.
will deliver his sermon to Hajj pilgrims in Arafat and the pilgrims would offer
Zohar and Asar prayers jointly at Arafat.
pilgrimages will offer Maghrib and Ishah in Muzdalifah jointly.
sunset, the pilgrims will leave for Muzdalifah located half-way between Arafat
and Mina, where they will stay for a night and offer prayers.
Tuesday, Muslims would perform Fajar prayer in Muzdalfa and then return to Mina
for following act of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S), Rami, stoning the big Satan.
Hajj pilgrims will shave off heads or trim hairs and then would get off the
Ahrams, Hajj cloths, at completion of Hajj rituals.
Eid-ul-Adha Muslims will sacrifice Halal animals to follow the
s largest annual gatherings in a country
than two million Muslims from around the globe started the hajj pilgrimage on
Sunday in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest annual gatherings in a
country undergoing unprecedented change.
ultra-conservative kingdom -- where religion remains a guiding force amid
dramatic social and economic reforms -- has mobilised vast resources for the
six-day journey, a pillar of Islam.
the dream of every Muslim to come here to Mecca," said Frenchman Soliman
the ultimate journey. What worries me is the return to my normal life. For the
moment, I am in a dream," the 53-year old told AFP.
Muslim is required to complete the hajj journey to Islam’s holiest sites at
least once in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the means to
of thousands of security personnel have been deployed for the pilgrimage, which
was struck by its worst ever disaster three years ago when around 2,300
worshippers were crushed to death in a stampede.
year, the Saudis have launched a "smart hajj" initiative, with apps
to help pilgrims with everything from travel plans to medical care.
interior ministry said on Saturday that the number of pilgrims arriving in
Mecca had already surpassed the two million mark, mostly from abroad including
large contingents from Egypt, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
the simple white garb of the pilgrim, most of the faithful began moving on
Sunday from Mecca to the nearby Mina valley.
will spend the night there in fire-resistant tents in the desert, where
temperatures top 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
of buses and vehicles carrying the pilgrims lined the eight kilometre
(five-mile) road from Mecca to Mina.
pilgrims made the journey walking under the scorching sun, some carrying white
or blue umbrellas.
the Muslim faithful, hajj retraces the last steps of the Prophet Mohammed and
also honours the prophets Abraham and Ishmael.
ends with the Eid al-Adha feast, which is marked by the slaughter of sheep, a
tribute to Abraham’s sacrifice of a lamb after God spared Ishmael, his son.
in Mecca pilgrims performed a ritual walk seven times around the Kaaba, a black
masonry cube wrapped in a silk cloth embroidered in gold with Koranic verses at
the centre of the Grand Mosque.
shrine is the point towards which Muslims around the world pray.
feel so fortunate to be here," said Nazia Nour, 36, who came to Saudi
Arabia from Auckland.
her father on a wheelchair, she added: "I can’t believe he (God) chose
Monday, pilgrims will climb Mount Arafat for the climax of the hajj, praying
and reading the Koran.
prophet Mohammed delivered his final sermon from the rocky hill to Muslims who
had accompanied him on his final hajj, according to Islam.
sunset, pilgrims head to Muzdalifah, halfway between Arafat and Mina, where
they stay at least until midnight.
gather pebbles to perform the symbolic stoning of the devil on the eve of the
Eid al-Adha feast.
the kingdom’s young de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has
spearheaded change in the kingdom, religion remains a key force in Saudi
oil-flush kingdom ended its ban on women driving in June and has boosted female
employment in a male-dominated society.
the reforms have been accompanied by a widening crackdown on dissent, with more
than a dozen women’s rights campaigners detained in recent weeks. Some have
hajj also comes more than a year into the worst political crisis to grip the
Gulf, pitting Saudi Arabia against Qatar.
Arabia -- the world’s largest exporter of oil -- and its allies accuse Qatar of
cosying up to both Sunni Islamist extremists and Shiite Iran, Riyadh’s main
have cut all ties with Qatar -- which denies the charges -- and banned all
flights to and from Doha.
said Sunday that its citizens were unable to take part in the hajj because of
the diplomatic dispute.
authorities have said Qatari pilgrims are still allowed into the kingdom for
Ankara forces established a number of bases in villages in a border region near
the town of Bolboleh in Northern Afrin.
the meantime, the Turkish troops and allied militants turned several trade
centers in Bolboleh into military bases.
Jeish al-Islam said on Saturday that they set up five military bases between
the towns of al-Bab and Afrin after withdrawal from Eastern Ghouta.
Saturday, the Turkish army dispatched a long convoy, including tanks, advances
weapons and military vehicles to Hatay province at the border with Syria's
newly-arrived convoy is planned to enter Syria soon to be further sent to two
monitoring points in Tal al-Eis in Idlib and Morek in Northern Hama.
the meantime, some military analysts pointed to the Turkish troops' backup for
the terrorist groups in Idlib, and said the newly-arrived convoy of arms and
ammunition might be transferred to regions that are under the control of Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front).
Rezwan al-Bakri nom de guerre Abu Talhah, an experienced field commander of the
National Liberation Front, was killed after a bomb planted in his vehicle went
off at the terrorist group's base in Jabal al-Arba'ein near the town of Ariha
in Southern Idlib.
entire terrorists in the base were killed or wounded and a large volume of arms
and ammunition was damaged in the blast that was the first bomb explosion in
the group's bases.
a relevant development on last week, over 40 terrorists of Tahrir al-Sham as
well as a number of civilians were killed in a huge blast at the terrorist
group's arms depot in Idlib province.
huge explosion at a large depot of arms and ammunition of Tahrir a-Sham in the
town of Sarmada near Bab al-Hawa border-crossing with Turkey destroyed fully
two large six-story buildings in the region, killing 40 terrorists and an
unspecified number of civilians. Dozens more have also been wounded in the
sources said that the death toll will rise as a number of people are still
under the debris.
is yet no further report on the cause of the incident.
group of ISIL terrorists who tried to prevail over the army positions in Arz
Amirah in Toloul al-Safa region came under an ambush operation by the
government forces and suffered several casualties.
five ISIL terrorists were captured too.
the meantime, other units of the army stormed ISIL from three flanks in Toloul
al-Safa and managed to advance one kilometer.
the army's artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at ISIL's movements
and positions in Toloul al-Safa and inflicted major losses on the terrorists.
News Agency reported on Saturday that the Russian Special Forces were behind
the scenes in Eastern Sweida, providing the Syrian army important covering fire
around Toloul al-Safa region.
News said the Russian Special Forces operating ATGMs and sniper nests, while
the Syrian army advanced across the Badiyeh al-Sham region of Eastern Sweida.
the start of their offensive in Eastern Sweida, the army has managed to liberate
a large chunk of the ISIL’s pocket.
Army dispatched a large number of soldiers and military hardware to Northern
Hama, Southern Idlib, Western Aleppo and mountains in Northern Lattakia,
preparing for a large-scale operation against terrorists.
the meantime, the artillery and missile units shelled heavily the strongholds
of Kata'eb al-Izzah in the villages and towns of Morek, Abu Obeidah and
Ma'arkabah in Northern Hama, inflicting major casualties on the militants.
artillery units opened heavy fire at Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) positions in Tal al-Sakhar and Kafr
Zita regions in Northern Hama, al-Tamanna in Southern Idlib and Jabal
al-Turkmen in Northern Lattakia, destroying their positions and killing or
wounding a number of gunmen.
failed attempts to evacuate people from regions near the positions of the
Syrian Army in Aleppo province pushed on Saturday the militants into deep
concern about implementation of a reconciliation plan in Northwestern Syria.
al-Sham Hay'at gave a two-day ultimatum to the residents of the villages of
Jazraya, al-Othmaniyeh, Howeir al-Eis, Zamar, Jadida Talafaj, Banes, Tal Bajer
and Barnah near the positions of the army forces to leave their region.
al-Sham has declared the villages near army positions as military zone to
prevent people from joining the peace agreement.
defied the call, stating to Tahrir al-Sham through their local councils that
they will never leave their home.
army forces engaged in a tough battle with ISIL Southeast of al-Bardeh region
in the Eastern Badiyeh of Homs.
the meantime, the army aircraft pounded ISIL's positions and movements in
al-Bardeh and also near the T2 Oil Pumping Station and Aweiraz Dam, damaging
the terrorists' bases and military equipment.
suffered heavy casualties and pulled back the remaining pockets of its
militants from the battlefield.
military source said earlier this month that the army men conducted a mop-up
operation in Houleh region in Northern Homs, discovering a large depot of
terrorists' arms and ammunition, adding that PKC machineguns, sniper rifles
made by the western states as well as Israeli grenades were among the seized
weapons and munitions.
to the Syrian Army statement, the US Coalition allowed free passage to ISIL
terrorists from the Tanf zone; they would then attack the government forces
after leaving this area, the AMN reported.
the Syrian Arab Army said that the US Coalition was providing the ISIL
intelligence about their positions in the Badiyeh Al-Sham region.
Syrian Army and government have accused the US Coalition of harboring ISIL
terrorists on several occasions this year, despite Washington’s denials.
ISIL often navigates through the vast desert region of Syria to carry out attacks
against the Syrian army in Sweida, Damascus, Homs and Deir Ezzur provinces.
Christian monks have been sent to trial over the killing of a bishop in an
Egyptian desert monastery last month, Alexandria’s public prosecutor said on
Saad and Ramon Rasmi Mansour, known by their monastic names Isaiah al-Makari
and Faltaous al-Makari, were referred to the Damanhour criminal court for
alleged involvement in killing Bishop Epiphanius, 64, the abbot of Saint
Macarius Monastery, some 110 km northwest of Cairo in Wadi Natroun.
was defrocked this month over what church officials called violations of
monastic life, and later detained. Judicial sources said he had confessed under
questioning to killing the bishop. There has been no indication of a motive.
second monk, Mansour, threw himself from atop the monastery in an apparent
suicide attempt this month. He has been treated in a Cairo hospital where he
has also been questioned as part of the same investigation, judicial sources
prosecutor’s statement said Saad had long had differences with his superiors,
who had on one occasion investigated him for breaking monastery traditions.
said Saad was accused of striking the bishop three times in the back of the
head with a 90-cm steel pipe while Mansour stood guard outside.
make up an estimated 10 percent of Egypt’s roughly 96 million population.
Mazloum, son of a founder of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, has accused the pro-Iranian
militia of running systematic operations of torture and kidnapping in Dahya,
its stronghold suburb in the capital Beirut.
accused the militia of building a number of secret detention centers, away from
the Lebanese government’s watch, saying that he was detained in one of these
centers for nine months.
also known as Hajj Wala, leaked pictures showing what he alleged were entrances
to the secret Hezbollah prisons, saying he was subjected to the "worst
forms of torture and humiliation" during his time there.
to Mazloum, the most prominent of Hezbollah’s secret detention centers is the
central prison in Haret Hreik behind the Bahman hospital (Iranian Hospital), as
well as the Bir al-Abd prison behind the Islamic Cooperation Center.
also runs another investigation center near Qaim compound.
to Mazloum's claims, the most frightening prison is the Mujtaba compound prison
behind Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV channel headquarters.
added that prisoners abducted by Hezbollah are held in a solitary confinement
cell of no wider than two meters, and are prevented from seeing the sun for the
duration of their detention period; subjected to various forms of physical and
said he will seek justice in front the Lebanese judiciary system against the
this case goes to court against Hezbollah, it will not be a precedent.
civilians have been killed by a Daesh landmine in the village of Tarba in
Syria's southern province of Sweida.
to Syria's official news agency SANA on Sunday, one person was also severely
wounded by the mine which was left behind by the Takfiri terrorists in the
village, located in the province's eastern countryside.
anti-tank mine exploded when a vehicle carrying six people drove over it.
in the province, Syrian government forces made gains in the al-Safa hills where
they have laid siege to the last stronghold for the Daesh terrorist group in
artillery, backed by the country's air force, launched accurate strikes against
the terrorists, killing a large number of them and destroying large amounts of
another attack, the army carried out a raid on a terrorist convoy in the Qabr
al-Sheikh Yassin area, destroying two heavily armed vehicles.
army also attacked another terrorist gathering near Ghanem hill, capturing five
terrorists and destroying a large amount of their equipment.
which is largely under the control of the Syrian government troops, is home to
the Druze minority, from which Daesh abducted some 30 women and children last
month following a brutal attack that killed more than 250 civilians.
province has been relatively insulated from Syria’s seven-year bloody war
launched by foreign-backed militants and terror group against Damascus.
month’s attacks were the bloodiest ever seen in the province, as well as some
of the deadliest launched by Daesh in the war-torn country.
troops defeated Daesh late last year and took back all the urban bastions once
the terror group had under its control, but the group's remnants have been
trying to regroup and have mounted a series of hit-and-run attacks.
Iraqi Judiciary has upheld death sentences against more than a dozen convicts
involved in a June 2014 massacre by Daesh Takfiri terrorists at an air force
camp in the country’s north-central province of Salahuddin.
of the Committee for the Commemoration of the carnage, Moin al-Kazemi, said in
a statement that Iraqi judicial officials passed the ruling on 14 convicts on
Sunday, urging the officials to carry out the sentences as soon as possible.
June 12, 2014, Daesh terrorists killed around 1,700 Iraqi air force cadets
after kidnapping them from Camp Speicher, a former US base. There were reportedly
around 4,000 unarmed cadets in the camp when it came under attack by Daesh
the abductions, the attackers took the victims to the complex of presidential
palaces and killed them. The terrorists also threw some of the bodies into a
massacre was filmed by Daesh and broadcast on social media.
investigation committee later revealed that 57 members of Saddam Hussein’s
Ba’ath Party aided Takfiri Daesh terrorists in the massacre.
August 21, 2016, Iraqi judiciary officials hanged 36 men convicted of
involvement in the carnage.
was recaptured from Daesh in March 2015. During clean-up operations in the
northern part of the city, Iraqi forces found the location of the 2014 carnage.
June 30, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the
commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged to hunt down Daesh militants across
Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist
will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill
them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi
declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on
December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over
Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban
stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of
fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
(Kurdistan 24) – The US State Department on Saturday warned its citizens not to
travel to Iraq, citing the threat of terrorist groups and abductions in the
country as a risk to Americans traveling in the region.
citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Numerous
terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both
Iraqi security forces and civilians,” a statement by the US State Department
sectarian militias may also threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies
throughout Iraq. Attacks by improvised
explosive devices (IEDs) occur frequently in many areas of the country,
Bureau of Consular Affairs also mentioned that the US government’s ability to
provide routine and emergency services to its citizens in Iraq is “extremely
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over the Islamic
State (IS) last December, the jihadist group continues to carry out insurgent
attacks, ambushes, and kidnapping in the country.
jihadist attacks have mostly concentrated in the provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala,
Salahuddin, and Baghdad.
the past few months, commanders of the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi
militia, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), have also repeatedly
threatened to target US troops in Iraq.
Affairs also warned US citizens not to travel through Iraq to Syria to engage
in armed conflict, “where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping,
injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion).”
announces Muslim Eid holiday ceasefire with Taliban
President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday announced a ceasefire with Taliban insurgents
from Monday to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, despite heavy fighting seen
over recent days in the central city of Ghazni.
conditional ceasefire will start tomorrow and it will continue as long as the
Taliban preserves and respects it," he said in an Afghan independence day
was not immediately clear whether the Taliban had accepted Ghani's call for a
truce during Eid, the annual Islamic feast of sacrifice which officially begins
is business': Rohingya crisis presents economic opportunity
Min Min, a Buddhist from Myanmar, looks on as a stream of Muslim Rohingya
labourers zig-zag up narrow gangplanks hauling sacks of ginger from his boat
onto Bangladeshi soil -- one of many seizing the economic opportunities
presented by a refugee crisis.
don't worry about conflict... everything is just business," the ethnic
Rakhine skipper says, offering whiskey, cigarettes and big betel nut-stained
smiles as he waits for his nine-tonne cargo to be unloaded.
Bangladeshi district of Cox's Bazar now hosts around one million Rohingya from
Myanmar, the vast majority of whom fled their country a year ago, driven out by
the army and mobs of ethnic Rakhine, who falsely brand the Muslim minority as
makeshift Rohingya camps have now congealed into tent cities spread out across
hills and farmland.
contain new and dynamic economies, pump-primed by donor money and driven by a
captive market of hundreds of thousands in need of food, shelter, work and --
for those who can afford it -- consumer goods.
generations trade has diluted ethnic and religious rivalries among the Rakhine,
Rohingya and Bangladeshis who flit between the two countries.
was barely interrupted as scores of Rohingya villages were torched in August
last year, sparking an exodus of around 700,000 people by land and sea into
skies were heavy with smoke, but Min Min says he carried on delivering his
'Made in Myanmar' cargo to Teknaf port -- rice, ginger, make-up, noodles and
the "ainshi" chestnuts ubiquitous at Rohingya snack stalls.
refugee influx has been good for business, adds his friend Thoin Line, an
ethnic Rakhine importer from the Bangladesh side of the border.
Rohingya are tough... they work night and day," he says, adding, "and
their wages are not too high."
a line of drenched, wiry workers emerge from the hull of the boat, each shouldering
two 30-kilogramme (66-pound) sacks of ginger imported from Myanmar.
will earn between 300-500 taka ($3-6) a day for their back-breaking efforts --
a decent wage of sorts for labourers officially barred from working in
Bangladesh and thus compelled to pay a share of their earnings to camp leaders
who cherry-pick the workforce.
refugees are either jobless or stuck at the bottom of the labour ladder, a
place they have occupied since Myanmar first began expelling its Rohingya in
the Kutupalong megacamp Bangladeshi entrepreneur Kamal Hussein, 24, is praying
income comes from a row of nearly 50 mobile phone charging points secured by
is slow... it is sunny and most people have solar panels so they don't need our
shop," he says.
is better when it rains because then "the solar panels don't work",
goods like mobile phones are in hot demand as refugees settle in, spending
salaries and remittances from relatives overseas.
Kaiser Ahmed says before last August's crisis he sold five or six phones a week
at the existing camps.
it is around 300," he explains.
many other Bangladeshis, Kaiser's income has surged in step with the crisis.
to repair and pawn Rohingya jewellery, stalls selling gaudy saris and shops
charging refugees 30 US cents to watch live English Premier League football
matches on their TVs have sprung up around the camp fringes over the past year.
the non-profits which work in the camps are big buyers of local bamboo,
tarpaulins, concrete, pots, pans and blankets and employ thousands of
Bangladeshi and Rohingya staff.
Mohammad Jashan, 26, whose home is just outside Kutupalong, says he has climbed
up the value chain in each of the three jobs he has held in foreign
organisations in the last 12 months.
now earns $300 a month for a British charity -- several times higher than the
next salary will be higher as I have more skills," he says, beaming
pinch points are emerging.
Bangladeshis say the Rohingya influx has collapsed wages.
drugs and prostitution are rising, while the foreign NGO influx has warped
prices -- making owners of apartments, cars, hotels and restaurants richer, but
sharpening the poverty of the locals with nothing to offer them.
among the Rohingya resentments are emerging.
the new refugees came the NGOs put all the focus into them," says Setara
Begum, who was born in Kutupalong and is one of the roughly quarter million
refugees to have lived in Bangladesh for years.
only get basic rations now," the 18-year-old said.
June the World Bank moved to head off angst between the Rohingya and their
Bangladeshi hosts, offering nearly half a billion dollars in grants for refugee
health, education and sanitation.
aim is to help ease Dhaka's burden and establish services that will also be
used -- and staffed by -- Bangladeshis.
refugees unlikely to be repatriated any time soon, cash and jobs are the best
route to keeping the peace.
a beach outside the Shamlapur camp, Rohingya fisherman Mohammad Hossain says he
worked his way up over two decades from crew to become the co-owner of two of
the distinctive crescent-shaped boats that dot the coastline.
is a dangerous job in the high monsoon seas.
there is no shortage of willing crew so the number of boats braving the waves
has increased along with the catch, as money is spun from desperation.
Ghani announced a conditional ceasefire with the Taliban group during Eid
during a gathering to mark the 99th Independence Day of Afghanistan, President
Ghani said the government announces ceasefire with the Taliban, starting from
Monday until Eid Milad un Nabi (Birth of Prophet Mohammad), on the condition
that the Taliban group also announces a ceasefire.
said “As we approach Eid-ul-Adha, and to respect the wishes of different
segments of Afghan society including religious scholars, political parties,
politicians, women and civil society leaders, youth and members of high peace
council in all 34 provinces, and to respect the wishes of the religious
scholars of the Islamic world that were gathered in the holy mosques and to
respect the wishes of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the
custodians of the two-holy mosques, the King of Saudi Arabia, we announce a
ceasefire that would take effect from tomorrow, Monday, the day of Arafa, till
the day of the birth of the prophet (PBUH) i.e., Milad-un-Nabi, provided that
the Taliban reciprocate.
comes as President Ghani had earlier said tat consultative meetings are
underway regarding the announcement of a ceasefire during Eid Al-Adha and that
the government would announce its decision in the light of consultations and
recommendations being offered to the government.
made the remarks during a meeting with the members of the High Peace Council
and the Ulemas Council of Afghanistan on Saturday.
Ghani further added that peace is one of the main demands of the nation,
emphasizing that a national consensus exist regarding the peace process as he
was pointing towards the Fatwas of the religious scholars and consultative
meetings he had with different sects.
said it would not be acceptable that there would be ceasefire in part of the
country while that conflict would continue in its other parts.
Taliban militants have seized the control of Bulcharagh district in northern
Faryab province of Afghanistan after days of heavy clashes.
governor Naqibullah Fayeq said earlier today that the control of the district
fell into the hands of Taliban militants on Saturday night.
further added that the district was seized after additional forces were not
deployed from the center.
to Fayeq, the security forces were under siege of the Taliban militants for
several days as heavy clashes were underway before the fall of the district.
is not the first time the Taliban militants are taking control of Bulcharagh
district but similar attempts were also made in the past where the Taliban
militants briefly took over the district.
the meantime, reports indicate that at least 40 security personnel have been
taken hostage after the fall of the district.
commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and the US forces in
Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson reaffirmed the alliance’s support to
Afghanistan in eradicating terrorism after yesterday’s deadly attack in the
want to express our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the young
Afghan students martyred and wounded in the horrific attack today at the
educational center in Kabul,” Gen. Nicholson said in a statement.
said “This type of evil is incomprehensible. We will continue to serve
alongside the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to eradicate these
enemies as we strive for the peace and security that the Afghan people
death toll from last evening’s deadly suicide attack has climbed to at least 48
people, the Ministry of Public Health officials said.
officials further added at least 67 people who have sustained injuries in the
attack, have also been shifted to the hospitals for the treatment.
dead in Boko Haram raid on Nigerian village: Locals
least 19 people have been killed in a raid by Takfiri Boko Haram militants on a
village in northwestern Nigeria, locals say.
militants stormed the village of Mailari in the Guzamala region of Borno State
in trucks, firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
Umar, a local villager who survived the attack, said he had seen 19 dead
bodies, including that of his own brother.
locals had tipped off the Nigerian troops in the nearby town of Gudumbali about
the presence of terrorists around the village, but no action was taken, he
aid worker at a camp that received the survivors, and who declined to be
identified, put the death toll at 63. The aid worker said hundreds of people
from villages in the area had fled to the camp for the displaced in Monguno.
of this sort in the area are usually attributed to Boko Haram and other Daesh
affiliates operating in northeastern Nigeria.
latest attack is a blow to the government’s efforts to eliminate the
Daesh-inspired militancy in the country.
recent months, the military has suffered its heaviest defeats in years,
commanders have been repeatedly replaced, and soldiers belonging to special
forces have mutinied against their commanders over the dire conditions.
militancy has left at least 20,000 people dead and made over 2.6 million others
homeless since 2009.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a former general, came to power in 2015 on a
platform of stamping out Boko Haram. But despite losing swathes of territory,
the group continues to stage attacks targeting both civilians and military
- Italy’s far-right interior minister
threatened Sunday to send “back to Libya” nearly 180 people stranded for three
days on an Italian coastguard ship if the EU did not step in to resolve another
migrant row with Malta.
177 people have been sat off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa since
Thursday after being saved by the coastguard’s Diciotti vessel, and Italy is
battling with Malta over who should take them in. “Either Europe decides to
seriously offer Italy some concrete help, beginning with for example the 180
immigrants on board the Diciotti ship, or we will be forced to do what will
definitively end the human traffickers’ business. That means taking the people
saved in the sea back to Libya,” Salvini said in a statement.
human rights abuses have been reported in detention centres that hold migrants
hoping to make the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean and arrive in Europe.
Diciotti has been stood off Lampedusa while Italy’s populist government, in
power since June, demanded that Malta take in the passengers.
on Sunday the Maltese government, which on Wednesday allowed 141 migrants
aboard the Aquarius vessel to dock after an agreement to distribute them to a
number of European countries, underlined its refusal of Italy’s demands.
Minister Joseph Muscat said that the migrants’ boat was not in distress and
that they also refused help, while interior minister Michael Farrugia wrote on
Twitter that “the only solution” was for the people, saved in waters between
the countries, to be taken to Lampedusa or another Italian port.
added that the Diciotti picked up the migrants inside the Maltese search and
rescue area “without any coordination from the competent RCC (Rescue
Coordination Centre), just to stop them arriving in Italian waters”.
interception of a boat that exercises its right to free navigation in the high
seas is not considered a rescue operation,” said Farrugia.
refusal to take in the migrants has infuriated the Italian government, already
angered by an operation that Salvini says was carried out by the Italian
coastguard without the approval of Rome.
behaviour is once again unqualifiable and deserves sanction,” Italian Minister
of Transport Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter on Sunday.
EU needs to step forward and open its ports to solidarity, otherwise it has no
reason to exist.”
spat between Italy and Malta is the second in just over a month. It follows the
battle over 450 people rescued from a fishing ship and taken aboard two EU
border agency vessels who were eventually allowed to disembark in Italy after
five European countries agreed to take 50 each.
of the Safaricom mast destroyed by al Shabaab militants in Ijara town last
December is nearing completion.
militia also razed Ijara police station and made away with a vehicle and
have had to travel more than 100km to Masalani town to access services. The
militants are suspected to be hiding in Boni Forest.
deputy county commissioner Richard Siele
said residents will have access to the network in a month. He said the mast
will be under 24-hour security.
said a multi-agency team including Kenya Defence Forces, police, reservists and
the Rapid Deployment Unit have been traversing the area to weed out militants.
appealled to residents to volunteer information on suspicious activity and
commended area MP Sophia Abdi, who was among leaders who pushed for the
reinstallment of the mast.
to the Star on Saturday, Abdi commended the government for its efforts to
improve security in the border town, saying residents deserve government
all know what insecurity can do to an area. My constituency has been one of the
most affected as a result of constant attacks by the militants. It’s my hope
and prayer that we don’t hear of any other attack,” she said.
police reservist Yahya Osman was hijacked two nights ago by gunmen who took his
AK-47 rifle, masked him then left with him for Boni Forest.
wittiness who requested anonymity said
the incident happened past midnight on Wednesday
farmers were killed by Boko Haram jihadists outside a key northeast Nigerian
city, a militia leader and survivor told AFP on Saturday.
Friday, around a dozen Boko Haram Islamists riding on motorcycles stormed crop
fields near Ali Goshe village, 6km outside the city of Maiduguri, and slit the
throats of four farmers.
attack on civilians comes as the jihadists are launching a surge of assaults
against troops in Nigeria, putting the military on the back foot six months
before presidential polls.
far we have confirmed the death of four people in the attack which happened
around midday," said Ibrahim Liman, who is part of the militia taskforce
fighting Boko Haram in the region.
the Boko Haram terrorists came the farmers fled but the gunmen managed to grab
four and slaughter them."
Boka, who was among the farmers who escaped, said the jihadists did not shoot
in order to avoid attracting the attention of security forces.
were dozens of us tending our crops when they came on motorcycles and we all
fled in different directions," Boka said.
we returned much later after the gunmen were gone, we found four of our men
slaughtered," he said, adding that the jihadists had killed the
75-year-old head of the community.
Haram's nine-year quest to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria has killed
over 20,000 people and displaced some 2.6 million from their homes, triggering
a dire humanitarian crisis in the remote Lake Chad region.
majority of the displaced people used to be subsistence farmers, but because of
the ongoing violence they can no longer tend to their fields and rely on food
handouts from aid agencies to survive.
Without Borders (MSF) said Friday it was providing emergency help after 33 children
died of malnutrition, diarrhoea and malaria over the span of two weeks in Bama,
a camp housing people displaced by the insurgency.
in the region has been decimated by almost a decade of conflict, with locals
unable to sow or cultivate crops and jihadists raiding grain stores.
farmers have been forced to try to resume their work in areas where the
military has restored relative peace to help alleviate chronic food shortages.
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