al-Awdah has been held since September 7, according to Human Rights Watch
[File: Marwan Almuraisy/Wikimedia Commons]
'Seeks Death Penalty' For Muslim Scholar Salman Al-Awdah
Scholar, Ahmed, Restates Boko Haram Members Are Not Muslims
lists Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin as Terrorist Organization
Minorities' Rights Is the Responsibility of an Islamic Republic: Information
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Intelligence Forces Operating Behind Terrorists' Frontline in Idlib
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Warplanes Attack Syrian Army Positions in Hama, Tartus
protestor killed, 25 hurt as Iraq forces open fire during new clashes
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Steps Up Support of Jerusalemites
Chaos in Libya Is Turning Italy’s Fault Line into a Frontline
holds in Libya after clashes that killed dozens
suspected al-Shabaab accomplices arrested in Garissa
Boko Haram militants kidnap at least 10 people in northeast Nigeria
Haram: Nigeria to repatriate 56,000 IDPs from Niger – NEMA
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says the group has no links with last evening’s attack in Kabul city
of Haqqani Network members involved in destructive activities busted in Kabul
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set new conditions in Geneva talks, possibly hindering progress
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of protesters in Sa’ada condemn Saudi slaughter of Yemeni children
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follows generous policy for Syrians: Dutch min.
wants to improve ties with Turkey: FM Maas
says airstrikes hit terrorists not populated areas in Syria’s Idlib
Seeks US Help To Ease Tensions With India
Pak Stops Terrorism, We Will Also 'Be Like Neeraj Chopra': Army Chief
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
prosecutors in Saudi Arabia are seeking the death penalty against prominent
Muslim scholar Salman al-Awdah, local media, activists and his family members
who UN experts have described as a "reformist," was imprisoned a year
ago, shortly after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a crackdown on
dissent and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the kingdom's Gulf
who has 14 million followers on Twitter, posted a tweet on September 9, saying:
"May God harmonise between their hearts for the good of their people"
- an apparent call for reconciliation between the Gulf countries.
daily Okaz reported that the public prosecution, which represents the Saudi
government, had levelled 37 counts against Awdah and called for the death
to London-based Saudi rights group ALQST and other activists, some of the
charges included incitement against the ruler and spreading discord.
son, Abdullah, wrote on Twitter that the charges against his father included
critical tweets and establishing an organisation which worked to defend the
honour of the Prophet Muhammad.
at a court hearing for my father Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, the prosecution
requested the death penalty against him, and submitted 37 charges, one of which
was establishing the al-Nusra organisation in Kuwait to defend the Prophet
(PBUH), and being a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and
the International Union of Muslim scholars, with other charges related to his
tweets on Twitter."
International's Saudi Arabia campaigner Dana Ahmed called the reports "a
disturbing trend in the Kingdom [that] sends a horrifying message that peaceful
dissent and expression may be met with the death penalty".
ruling Al Saud family has long regarded Islamist groups as the biggest internal
threat to its rule.
the 1990s, the Muslim Brotherhood-inspired Sahwa (Awakening) movement demanded
political reforms that posed a challenge to the ruling family.
a Sahwa leader, was imprisoned from 1994-99 for agitating for political change,
an act which would earn him praise from Saudi-born late al-Qaeda leader Osama
2011, al-Awdah called for elections and separation of powers, demands
considered dangerous provocations in the kingdom.
Arabia, an absolute monarchy where public protests and political parties are
banned, has witnessed a massive crackdown on dissent, with dozens of religious
leaders, intellectuals and women's rights activists arrested in the past year.
those arrested were prominent Islamic preachers Awad al-Qarni, Farhan al-Malki,
Mostafa Hassan and Safar al-Hawali.
68, was detained after he published a 3,000-page book attacking bin Salman and
the ruling family over their ties to Israel, calling it a "betrayal".
this year, bin Salman softened the kingdom's stance on Israel, telling the
US-based Atlantic magazine that Israelis "have the right to their own
land" and "there are a lot of interests we [Saudi Arabia] share with
month, authorities recommended the death penalty for five human rights
activists from the kingdom's Eastern Province, including Israa al-Ghomgham, the
first woman to possibly face that punishment for rights-related work.
Islamic scholar, Prof. Adam Okene Ahmed, has said that Boko Haram group,
popularly known as Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Liddaawati Wal-jihad, does not
represent the orthodox and mainstream Muslim and the religion of Islam.
who spoke at the seventh professorial inaugural lecture series of Nigerian
Defence Academy (NDA) on Tuesday in Kaduna, also said that over 200 well-known
Islamic scholars had been killed by the insurgents between 2011 and 2015 when
their activities went to the climax.
the lecture titled: “Boko Haram Since 2009: A Study in Security History,” he
said: “There’s no doubt that Boko Haram and its activities can be traced to
Islam but only as heretical and vicious sect inside the fold.
Haram’s leadership has consistently been claiming this position and has tried
severally to justify their Islam-ness by relying on textual and scriptural
evidences that they often than not quote out of context and without the chains
and justifications of revelation.”
to him, some of these proofs include kidnapping of girls and forcing them to
change their religion while “Islam says let there be no compulsion in
D.C. [USA], Sep 5 (ANI): The United States (US) has designated Jama'at Nusrat
al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, under section
219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Department has also designated JNIM as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist
(SDGT) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.
designations seek to deny JNIM the resources to plan and carry out terrorist
attacks. Among other consequences, all of JNIM's property and interests in
property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are
generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with JNIM. It is a crime
to knowingly provide, or to attempt or conspire to provide, material support or
resources to JNIM.
has described itself as al-Qaida's official branch in Mali, and it has claimed
responsibility for numerous attacks and kidnappings since it was formed in
March 2017. JNIM carried out the June 2017 attack at a resort frequented by Westerners
outside of Bamako, Mali; several deadly attacks on Malian troops; and the
large-scale coordinated attacks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on March 2, 2018.
JNIM is led by Iyad ag Ghaly, a U.S.-designated SDGT.
Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, noted,
"Al-Qaida and its affiliates like JNIM remain deadly threats to the United
States and our allies. These designations are part of our continuing efforts to
squeeze al-Qaida's finances, denying it the resources it needs to carry out
designations expose and isolate entities and individuals, and deny them access
to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law
enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments. (ANI)
Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday asserted that it is the responsibility of
an Islamic republic to uphold the rights of its minorities.
statement comes a day after he defended the appointment of leading
international academic Atif Mian to the government's Economic Advisory Council
amidst a vicious online campaign that targeted the latter for his Ahmadiyya
had said that those who had objections to Mian's appointment "are
basically extremists, and we will not bow to extremists."
minorities is our responsibility. It is the religious duty of each Muslim, not
just the government, to protect minorities and respect those that they live
with," he had said.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government came under fire after Chaudhry's statement,
with many criticising the government for its dismissal of the backlash against
a press conference in Islamabad after a cabinet meeting today, Chaudhry
responded to a question saying: "Protection of minorities is an integral
part of Islam. When we speak about Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, we recognise that the
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last prophet. And along with that
we also recognise Islamic education."
was an integral part of the state of Madina that minorities would be protected
there. Minorities here will be given rights. Pakistan is an Islamic republic...
And why was Pakistan itself created? What was the issue when Hindustan was
united? That the Muslim minority faced a lot of cruelty. On the basis of that,
we separated from that country. Should we now disregard that basis [for the
creation of Pakistan]?" he asked.
it not said that if you take one life, it is like killing all of mankind?"
you think that we should drown all our minorities in the Arabian sea, or that
they have no rights here, they have no religious or economic freedom, or
freedom to live, then this must be your opinion only. Our interpretation of the
state of Madina is that Islam means security, peace and moving forward
together," he asserted.
is not just the responsibility of the government to protect minorities, it is
the responsibility of each Muslim," he reiterated.
of these things," Chaudhry said, referring to the persecution of
minorities, "The entire world makes fun of us."
prisoners on death row in Iran to get relief
said that approximately 3,000 Pakistani prisoners on death row in Iran will be
granted relief since Tehran amended its anti-narcotics laws.
Pakistan's point of view, it is a source of relief that in Iran they amended
their anti-narcotics laws, so the quantity and severity in cases has been
amended," he explained.
are hopeful that Pakistanis on death row in Iran will be given some
relief," he added.
Pakistani government spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in this
regard when he visited Islamabad in August, Chaudhry said, adding that the
Pakistani embassy was also in touch with the prosecutor general in Tehran with
respect to the matter. Recovery of money illegally taken abroad
cabinet today took several decisions for the recovery of money taken abroad
illegally or gained through corruption, Radio Pakistan reported.
Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, who was addressing
the press conference alongside Chaudhry, said a whistle-blower law would be
enforced immediately through an ordinance envisaging a reward worth 20 per cent
for those who would help recover such money, and that the names of informants
would remain confidential.
special assistant said another ordinance on mutual legal assistance would be
issued which would help remove bottlenecks in the way of seeking information
from foreign countries regarding illegal wealth.
said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the Foreign Ministry to
dispatch a high-powered delegation to Switzerland to expedite ratification of a
treaty on exchange of information on bank accounts. He said the treaty had been
signed in 2013 but was not ratified, Radio Pakistan reported.
said that the government would also hire firms that would detect and help
recover illegal money and in the case of recoveries, the firm would get an
agreed upon share of the recovered amount.
said PM Khan would also receive reports on the implementation of these measures
on a fortnightly basis.
also announced the return of Rs80 billion to the Finance Ministry and
parliament in the form of the prime minister's discretionary funds. He said
that the money had been saved through ending schemes such as the Prime
Minister's Laptop Scheme.
cabinet also made decisions on initiatives regarding education, health, water
and sanitation. "Although they fall under the provinces, we think they are
important and will be driven by the federal government," Chaudhry said.
them is the decision to set up a task force on education led by Minister for
Education Shafqat Mahmood. It will include prominent educationists,
representatives of seminaries and skill development personnel. Its first objective
is to include 250 million out of school children in the education network.
Widodo moves to silence Islamists with social media crackdown
Indonesian police crackdown on a social media movement calling for a change of
president, just weeks before the start of the official campaign period, has
sparked criticism that the government is trying to suppress freedom of speech.
have already banned several scheduled meetings in recent weeks of the
#2019gantipresiden (#2019changepresident) movement, referring to April’s
presidential elections in which Joko Widodo is seeking a second term in office,
citing the potential for violent clashes between pro and anti-Jokowi forces.
has reignited a debate in Indonesia over whether the government’s crackdown on
populist Islamist forces seeking to unseat the President is anti-democratic.
Post warned in an editorial this week that the government risked an own goal by
shutting down opposition movements; “Democracy, in the end, is a war of words.
Neither side really needs police protection or support.’’
National University Indonesia expert Marcus Mietzner told The Australian
yesterday the crackdown indicated “an increasingly authoritarian mindset,
previously in the opposition and the Islamist movement in particular, but now
in the Jokowi government as well”.
Mietzner has previously said the administration’s criminalisation of populist
movements, in the wake of the politically driven campaign to have former
Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama jailed for blasphemy was undermining
Indonesia’s young democracy.
the #2019Gantipresiden hashtag dates back to the anti-Ahok campaign that drew
up to half a million people on to the streets demanding the Christian, ethnic
Chinese former governor be jailed for blasphemy.
was convicted in May last year and is serving a two-year sentence widely seen
downfall — and Jokowi’s powerlessness to protect his political ally — spooked
the government by exposing the ease with which powerful political actors and
Islamists could use religion to manipulate public opinion.
response, banning several Islamist groups including the pro-sharia Hizbut
Tahrir and imposing multiple criminal charges against leading anti-Jokowi
campaigners, was seen as an attack on Islam that only fanned opposition flames.
#2019Gantipresiden hashtag has gained momentum in recent months with the
support of some firebrand Islamist activists, including one preacher who
publicly advised supporters to vote against Jokowi to prevent their children
turning in homosexuals.
has tried to head off an expected repeat of the sort of attacks he suffered
during the 2014 campaign in which he was accused of being a bad Muslim, and a
month, he chose as his election running mate Ma’ruf Amin, one of the country’s
most powerful Muslim clerics and the man who issued the blasphemy fatwa that
helped jail Ahok, in open acknowledgment of the electoral spoiling power of
political analyst Yohanes Sulaiman said suppressing opposition movements was an
over-reaction that only highlighted the government’s paranoia.
closing down the movement, it’s just acknowledging that it is powerful and that
the government is heavy-handed,” he said.
international organization of Muslim scholars headquartered in Qatar has
condemned Saudi Arabia for its attempts to execute a senior Muslim preacher as
a brutal crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against
intellectuals and political dissidents widens in the conservative oil-rich
is going on in Saudi Arabia is strange beyond belief” as the kingdom is
arresting and trying Muslim scholars, the pan-Arab al-Araby al-Jadeed media
outlet quoted Secretary General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars
(IUMS), Ali al-Qaradaghi.
added, “We are no longer surprised by any charges against Sheikh Salman Awdah,”
stressing that the IUMS censures the ongoing crackdown on Saudi clerics.
Arabic-language Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on Tuesday that Saudi public
prosecutors have leveled 37 counts against Awdah, and even demanded his
is the assistant secretary general of the IUMS, which the Riyadh regime has
listed as a terrorist organization.
authorities detained the prominent Muslim scholar on September 7 last year, and
have held him in solitary confinement without charge or trial ever since.
Officials have imposed travel bans on members of his family as well.
family member told Human Rights Watch that the distinguished cleric was being
held over his refusal to comply with an order by Saudi authorities to tweet a
specific text to support the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.
instead, posted a tweet, saying, “May God harmonize between their hearts for
the good of their people,” - an apparent call for reconciliation between the
Persian Gulf littoral states, the US-based rights group said in a statement.
has been prevented from communicating with the outside world since October.
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties
with Qatar on June 5 last year, after officially accusing it of “sponsoring
administration of the Saudi-backed and former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later
joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties with Doha. Jordan downgraded its
diplomatic relations as well.
Foreign Ministry later announced that the decision to cut diplomatic ties was
unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.
Arabia has lately stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and
conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.
officials have also intensified security measures in the Shia-populated and
oil-rich Eastern Province.
the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target
January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr Baqir
al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr
had been arrested in Qatif in 2012.
5,000 people at a ‘Building Bridges’ multifaith event in Italy this week,
Muslim World League Secretary General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Alissa said that
extremism is an isolated condition, far from the principles of Islam.
values of Islam encourage extending bridges of dialogue, peace and harmony,”
Dr. Alissa said at the event, which was attended by more than a million people
over the course of the week-long event.
the event, Pope Francis spoke, as well as other high-level speakers such as
Italian President Sergio Mattarella and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Alissa stressed that the Muslim World League “has felt the importance of
clarifying the truth of Islam, which has loved, coexisted, engaged and
cooperated with all, after Islamically isolated evil, mad, and ignorant
extremism has tried to harm and hijack it.”
added: “One cannot imagine any religion which is incompatible with life can
survive for more than 1400 years; that is Islam’s age to this day. It is still
among the most widely distributed geographically and in growth, where Muslims
today number nearly one billion and eight hundred million people. All of them
appreciate and understand God’s design in multiple religions and ideas.
Arabic-language al-Moraseloun news website reported on Wednesday that a large
number of Syrian intelligence forces have been stationed in several cities and
towns held by Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the
Al-Nusra Front) and other terrorist groups in Idlib and other occupied areas in
added that several images and footages have been released by these forces which
show the terrorists' strongholds, checkpoints and security zones near Idlib,
noting that the intel wired to the Damascus army by these operatives could deal
a heavy blow to the terrorist front in the upcoming military operations in the
to the report, the terrorists have installed CCTVs in several regions,
including Saraqib, which separates the terrorist-held regions from the army
positions, and Idlib city to discover these intelligence officers.
the Syrian army's intelligence forces continue providing precise information
about the terrorists' positions, arms caches, their commanders' moves and other
logistic information, to facilitate military operations in Idlib.
Syrian Army dispatched on Tuesday more soldiers and military equipment to
Northwestern Syria on Tuesday for an imminent large-scale operation against
terrorists in Idlib, Hama, Lattakia and Aleppo provinces.
army sent twenty tanks and BMP vehicles, floating bridges and tens of personnel
carriers to the battlefields in Northwestern Syria.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units pounded the positions and
movements of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at in the village of al-Jabeiryeh and in the
town of al-Latamina in Northern Hama, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
Arabic website of RT news agency quoted the military expert who called for
anonymity as saying that the Syrian radars are able to track Israeli fighter
jets immediately after take off. And if they enter Jordan's airspace, it will
be clear that they intend to target certain centers in Iraq, he added.
said that Iraq can then be warned to evacuate the targets, adding that 10
minutes is needed for the Israeli fighter jets to reach the depth of Iraq which
provides the needed window of opportunity the adoption of the necessary
measures by Iraq.
second flight path for the Israeli warplanes' possible attack on Iraq goes
through the Turkish airspace, but for such operations more than one squadron of
fighters are needed to fly to Turkey and while some of them should return for
operational camouflage, others could fly towards Syria or Iraq after refueling,
the unnamed expert added.
remarks came after a report by Reuters over the weekend claimed that Iran had
transferred ballistic missiles to Iraq over the course of several months and
that it is developing the capacity to build more there. Iran denied the claims.
a senior Iraqi official said that the Reuters' claims that Iran had transferred
ballistic missiles to Iraq were imprecise as Hashd al-Shaabi (popular forces)
had produced the missiles themselves.
reports are not precise. There is a mistake in what has been said. The missiles
are produced by Hashd al-Shaabi and they were unveiled during ceremonies to
celebrate victory over the ISIL," an unnamed Iraqi official told the
Arabic-language al-Hayat newspaper on Saturday.
added that the range of the missiles is no more than 50km, stressing that they
are no threat to the neighbors.
warplanes targeted several military positions of the Syrian army in Hama and
Tartus after violating Lebanon's airspace, but they had to flee the area after
they faced the Syrian army's air defense and their rockets were intercepted by
the air defense system.
rockets fired by the Israel fighter jets were intercepted by Syria's air
defense systems in Wadi al-Ayoun region West of Hama province, the state-run
news agency said.
reported that one civilian was killed and 12 others were wounded in the Israeli
attack on Tartus and Hama provinces.
Arabic-language service of Sputnik news agency also reported that the Israeli
fighter jets also targeted Banias city in Tartous where the missile bases of
Syria's air defense units are located.
to the report, this is the first time since the October 1973 War that Israel
has attacked Banias city. There is yet no report confirming that the Israeli
air raid also targeted these missile bases and air defense units in the region.
the warehouses of the scientific research located in Hayr al-Abbas region
located between Masayef and Wadi al-Ayoun West of Hama were also targeted by
electronic warfare bases of the Syrian Army also diverted several Israeli
rockets and prevented them from hitting their targets.
July, Israel launched another strike against the Syrian territories to support
the terrorist groups stationed in the region.
Israeli drone launched missile strike against a Syrian army positions in the
Northern parts of Quneitra province.
protester was killed in the oil-rich southern Iraqi city of Basra, an official
said on Wednesday, after security forces fired live ammunition to stop the
latest in two months of demonstrations.
other demonstrators were wounded, some seriously”, said Mehdi al-Tamimi, head
of the government’s human rights council in Basra province, while medical
sources confirmed to AFP the death of a young man.
Iraqi security forces in the southern city of Basra opened fire as they clashed
with protesters a day after six people were killed in demonstrations over poor
AFP journalist reported gunshots and tear gas were fired by security personnel
as they faced off with several thousand demonstrators outside the regional
measures failed to disperse protesters, who responded by hurling Molotov
cocktails and letting off fireworks at the security forces.
block gate to Umm Qasr port
later blocked the entrance to Iraq’s Umm Qasr commodities port to demand better
services, said port employees and local government officials, raising the
stakes in some of the worst unrest in southern cities in months.
move came hours after protesters set fire to the main government building in
the oil hub of Basra.
and the surrounding province have been the focus of angry demonstrations over
government neglect that have rocked Iraq since early July.
are particularly angry over pollution of the local water supply, which has put
20,000 people in hospital.
Tuesday six demonstrators were killed and more than 20 wounded during the
bloodiest day of clashes with security officials, a local official and medics
authorities said that 30 security personnel were wounded in the violence.
United Nations envoy to Iraq has called for “calm” in Basra and urged the
authorities “to avoid using disproportionate, lethal force against the
his weekly press conference in Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi said he had ordered “no real bullets ... to be fired, in the direction
of protesters or in the air”.
leader Moqtada Sadr said in a tweet ahead of the latest clashes that “vandals
infiltrated” the protesters.
political bloc won the largest number of seats in national elections held in
May, and he is trying to form a new government with Abadi.
July, the government announced a multi-billion dollar (euro) emergency plan for
southern Iraq, to revive infrastructure and services.
Islamabad will not allow anyone to infringe on Saudi security and sovereignty,
or the sanctity of the Two Holy Mosques, said Pakistan’s information minister,
adding that any attack on the Kingdom is an attack on Pakistan.
Kingdom is an important partner to Pakistan, and bilateral relations are
strategic and will continue to strengthen and diversify, Fawad Chaudhry told
the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Kingdom is respected and enjoys an important position in the Islamic world and
internationally, he said.
Arabia and Pakistan reject terrorism and extremism, and support the values of
moderate Islam and tolerance, he added.
praised the Kingdom’s management of this year’s Hajj season, and its
preparations and efforts to enable pilgrims to perform their rituals easily.
steps up support of Jerusalemites
The Jordanian government has taken steps to ease the plight of Palestinians
living in the country and to bolster the civil defense guards at Al-Aqsa
Kilani, director of the Hashemite Fund for Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Arab News that
the actions come as part of a combined effort to support Jerusalemites.
instructions from His Majesty, we have endeavored to provide administrative
support to Jerusalemites by reducing passport fees by a third, and by
increasing the number of guards and administrators of the Jordanian waqf in
Al-Aqsa Mosque to 1,000,” Kilani said.
Shahwan, head of Jordan’s Passport Department, told Arab News that the Cabinet
has accepted recommendations to reduce passport fees and allow Jerusalem’s
Palestinians to renew their passports without the burden of travel to Amman.
a Palestinian in Jerusalem can go the nearest Jordanian waqf office to apply
and the approved passport will be delivered to his or her East Jerusalem home,”
confirmed that the passport fees have been reduced from 200 Jordanian dinars
($280) to JD50, the same fee paid by Jordanians.
agreement between the Jordanian Postal Service and the Wasel Package Delivery
Co. will ensure new and renewed passports are delivered to Palestinians in
their East Jerusalem homes, he told Arab News
another step to bring Jordanians and Palestinians closer, the Jordanian army’s
chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Freihat, launched a program funding and
coordinating the travel of about 24 Jordanian military officers and their
families to Christian holy places in Palestine.
Emad Haddad led a delegation of Christian army officers to Bethlehem, Nazareth
told Arab News that the three-day visit and was made in parallel with the
participation of Muslim officers in the annual Hajj pilgrimage to the Saudi
visit was unique and emotional. People were moved by this positive initiative
that showed equality in the Jordanian armed forces and contributed to
Palestinian-Jordanian brotherly relations,” he said.
said that a welcome by the delegation’s Palestinian counterparts in Bethlehem
was especially moving. “We received an excellent welcome as we visited the
Church of the Nativity and met with fellow Palestinians.”
Tahboub, professor at Jordan University’s Prince Hussein School of
International Studies, told Arab News that the Jordanian government’s efforts
will help relieve the burden on Palestinians in Jerusalem. “These actions
follow earlier actions by the late King Hussein and the continuous efforts of
King Abdullah to support Jerusalemites and boost their steadfastness.”
Jordanian moves to boost relations with Jerusalem and its residents come at a
time when the Trump administration is attempting to take Jerusalem “off the
interviewed by Arab News welcomed the moves, saying they would contribute to
the steadfastness of the people of the holy city.
Assali, editor of the Jerusalem-based website Akhbar El-Balad, told Arab News
that the actions of the Jordanian government will strengthen the morale of
so many placing Jerusalem’s Palestinians under siege, it is a scent of fresh
air coming from the East that gives people hope,” he said.
chaos in Libya is turning Italy’s fault line into a frontline
policies in Europe will face new challenges now that the state of emergency has
been declared in Libya. In this crisis Italy is on a fault line that is now
turning into a front line.
seems to be confused in its uncompromising approach to immigration, while
experts argue that there is only one immigration policy to apply now:
resettlement to third countries.
only possible immigration policy is to evacuate the people from Libya and
distribute them in other States: resettlement to a third country” said
Christopher Hein, founder and director of the Italian Council for Refugees, an
organization that in the last 27 years has given assistance to over 120,000
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) could manage the
process on the ground through a quota system approved by third States in
Europe, Africa, North America, and following migrants’ consensus. This is not
an immigration policy experiment. More than 65,000 individuals departed to
resettlement countries with UNHCR’s assistance in 2017.
I am pessimistic regarding the possibility that it will be implemented in
Libya” Hein added, explaining that more European countries are closing their
doors and Trump’s administration doesn’t seem to be welcoming foreigners,
despite the United States has been the world’s top resettlement country, along
with Canada and Australia according to UNHCR.
former Minister of Interior, Marco Minniti, Italy’s immigration strategy was to
cooperate at an international level, for example by getting the UNHCR involved
in Libya, and at a local level through mayors.
agreements concluded by the former Italian government led to a significant
reduction of illegal immigration, but now there is a different migration policy
with the new government, there are more dead in the Mediterranean Sea and the
situation in Libya is deteriorating”, Hein told Al Arabiya English.
to UNHCR 2018 report, the number of migrants arriving to Italy by sea, mainly
from Libya, declined by 74 percent in the same period between 2017 and 2018,
but the number of those that died while crossing the Mediterranean Sea
increased: in 2017 the mortality rate was of one victim every 29 persons, this
year the ratio is 1:14. Less migrants arriving to Italy, but more dead: this
doesn’t seem like a successful story.
the current Minister of Interior, Matteo Salvini, the first immigration policy
to be applied was to close Italian ports to boats carrying migrants. “Salvini
aims at eliminating asylum rights in Italy which are Constitutional rights”
said Hein, who is also Professor of Immigration Law and Policies at Luiss
University in Rome, Italy.
Hein is not the only one to consider Salvini’s measures against the law. For
keeping migrants on the Diciotti vessel and prohibiting their disembarkation
for several days, Salvini is risking to be sentenced to 30 years in jail.
Attorney General of Agrigento, Luigi Patronaggio, is ready to charge Salvini
with kidnapping, illegal arrest, abuse of power and other charges currently under
examination by the authorities in Palermo.
current political debate is amplifying the problem. According to Eurispes 2018
survey, the vast majority of Italians have a wrong perception of the number of
migrants in Italy.
70 percent of the people interviewed believe foreigners living in Italy are
between 16 percent and 24 percent of the total population in the country, with
over 25 percent convinced that one resident out of four is not Italian, while
the real incidence is only 8 percent.
Libyan authorities say more than a week of heavy fighting in the capital has
come to a halt after the UN announced a cease-fire between the warring
fighting between militias allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli and an
armed group from a nearby town killed at least 63 people, and underscored the
country’s lingering lawlessness more than seven years after the uprising that
toppled and killed Muammar Qaddafi.
Minister Abdelsalam Ashour said Wednesday that all parties on the ground have
welcomed the cease-fire, which was announced Tuesday, and that “new security
measures” will be taken.
agencies in Garissa have arrested two suspected al-Shabaab accomplices in Ijara
and Liboi towns.
Eastern commissioner Mohamed Birik said the two are a Kenyan from Gatundu,
Kiambu County and a foreigner of European origin.
European was arrested in Ijara town while inquiring on where to board public
vehicles to the border town of Hulugho, some 100 Kilometers away.
public became suspicious and called in the police who picked him up for further
interrogations. We have handed both of them to a multi-agency investigating
team,” he said.
said police recovered foreign currency valued at over 34,000 US dollars, night
visual cameras, GPS gadgets and other assorted high tech-communication
equipment from the European suspect.
to the suspect’s passport, he had been to Iran, Somalia and several European
the Kenyan suspect, Birik said that he was in possession of a Qoran and claimed
he was travelling to Kismayu on a business trip.
passport indicated that he was widely travelled and has been to Uganda between
2005 and 2006.
also travelled to Qatar in 2004.
speaks fluent Kiswahili, Kikuyu and English.
suspect left Kiambu on Thursday last week and spent the night at his cousin’s
place in Kahawa West, Githurai.
then travelled to Garissa the following day and where he spent two days at
paradise hotel in Garissa before proceeding to the border town of Liboi.
Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram militants have kidnapped between 10
and 20 people, a family member of one of those abducted, a senator and two
military sources said on Wednesday.
people were aboard a bus from Maiduguri, the city worst hit by Boko Haram,
traveling to the town of Gwoza around 100 km(60 miles) away in the east of
Borno state, near the border with Cameroon, late on Tuesday.
Haram “attacked commercial vehicles and abducted some civilians - over 10 men
and women were abducted”, said one of the military sources, who spoke on
condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
sources gave the number taken at around 20.
abduction calls into question government and military statements that stability
and security are returning to the northeast in the conflict with Islamist
insurgents Boko Haram, which dates back to 2009.
Muhammadu Buhari is now seeking a second term in February 2019 elections,
campaigning in part on his administration’s successes in the northeast.
police spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
Musa said his uncle was among those kidnapped.
was in the bus with some other passengers, men and women, about 20 of them,
when the incident occurred,” he said.
second military source said Boko Haram stopped three vehicles on the road.
of the vehicles is a commercial passenger bus with about 20 passengers,” they
said. “The terrorists fired shots and took away some of the passengers. Women
were among (them) and one of our soldiers was killed in the attack.”
senator from Borno sate, Ali Ndume, said that he had been contacted by the wife
of one of the victims about the kidnapping of about 10 people.
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said on Wednesday that it had
concluded plans to repatriate 56,000 Borno Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),
from Difa, Niger Republic.
Northeast Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Bashir Garga, disclosed this during a
humanitarian and development coordination forum organized by the agency in
Garga said that the IDPs were those who escaped Boko Haram onslaught in the
last seven years in Mobbar and Abadam Local Government Areas of Borno.
said that all arrangements had been made with the government of Niger to ensure
that they were brought back to Nigeria.
were serious concerns on insecurity in some of the liberated local government
is working with the security agencies toward ensuring that the liberated LGAs
are safe and habitable to the returnees.
much still needs to be done. So we are urging the humanitarian organisations to
give attention to developing the liberated communities.
is because some of the IDPs, after going back home, return to where they were
because their homes are not habitable.
need to encourage them and reassure them of their safety all the time,” he
his remarks, Ahmed Bello, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Borno Command, who
gave update on the security situation, said proactive measures had been adopted
to protect the IDPs.
Bello said that the force had deployed no fewer than 50 mobile police units in
communities liberated from Boko Haram to enhance law and order.
said that the force also trained some personnel on conflict resolution
techniques to curb issues of land grabbing, cattle rustling and other menace
arising in the liberated communities.
leaves door open to meeting Iran’s Rouhani at UN General Assembly
Donald Trump left the door open Wednesday to meeting with his Iranian
counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly -- even
as the United States ramps up the pressure on a regime it accuses of
destabilizing the Middle East.
possible, anything is possible,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office when
asked about the possibility of a face-to-face with Rouhani during the gathering
later this month.
see what happens with Iran. Whether they want to talk or not, that’s up to
them, not up to me,” said the US leader, who decided in May to pull out of the
2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.
is a much different place than when I took over the presidency,” Trump added,
describing the country as “in turmoil.”
I took office it was just a question of how long until they took over the
entire Middle East. Now they are just worrying about their own survival as a
is due to lead September 26 meeting of heads of state of the UN Security
Council, with the goal of ramping up pressure on Tehran over its alleged
violations of council resolutions.
assassinating Syria’s Assad
said he did not discuss assassinating Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, which
journalist Bob Woodward has reported in his forthcoming book about Trump’s
administration, according to
speaking to reporters during a visit with Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad
al-Jaber al-Sabah, also said that if there is a slaughter in the Idlib province
of Syria, the United States will be very angry. The Syrian military shelled
Idlib, the last stronghold of active rebellion against al-Assad, on Wednesday
as a war monitor said insurgents blew up a bridge in anticipation of a
Secretary Mattis to keep his job
said Defense Secretary James Mattis will remain in his job, a day after a
report, denied by Mattis, that he had made disparaging remarks about the
by reporters at the White House whether he was considering replacing Mattis,
Trump said: “He’ll stay right there. We’re very happy with him. We’re having a
lot of victories.”
to the book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” by the Watergate reporter Bob
Woodward,the Republican president told Mattis he wanted to have Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad assassinated after Assad launched a chemical attack
on civilians in April 2017.
told Trump he would “get right on it,” but instead developed a plan for a
limited air strike that did not threaten Assad personally, according to the
group claims college ruled their 9/11 ‘Never Forget’ posters biased against
conservative student group at a Wisconsin-based college claims they were told
their 9/11 “Never Forget” poster violates the school’s bias policy because it
exclusively targets Islamic terrorism, but the college says that's simply not
focusing “relentlessly on one religious organization, one religious group, one
religious identity,” Ripon College’s bias incident team allegedly told the
Young America’s Foundation that their posters remembering September 11th create
an environment where “students from a Muslim background would feel singled out
school’s claim that the posters may make Muslim students feel ‘harassed’ is
absurd,” YAF spokesman Spencer Brown told Fox News. “[It] ignores the fact that
innocent Muslims also died at the hands of radical Islamists on 9/11, and
continue to suffer under the same evil ideology around the world.”
College spokewoman, Melissa Anderson, told Fox News the posters were never
ruled against or told they violated any bias policy, which doesn't exist. She
added posters don't even need to be pre-approved on campus.
Bias Protocol Board doesn’t have any disciplinary authority at Ripon,"
Anderson said. "There would never have been a meeting last Tuesday if
local YAF had not requested it."
“9/11: Never Forget Project,” which started in 2003, is made up of 2,977
American flags, one for each of the victims who died that day, and “Never
Forget” posters, both of which have been desecrated and defaced at college
campuses across the nation. “Last year many posters were torn down and
destroyed,” Hannah Krueger, YAF Ripon chapter president, told The College Fix.
“The posters went before the student judiciary board and they found them to be
in compliance with the poster posting policy. It is only this bias protocol
team that finds them to be inappropriate and racist.”
said the bias team informed them that their posters were offensive at the end
of the spring semester, but she was unable to meet with them until last week,
giving them little notice before the 17th anniversary.
said the bias team “heavily implied the current posters could not be put up.”
said the university offered up its student marketing resources to create a new
was no ban," Anderson said of the 9/11 memorial, adding that the school
has received several threats after it was reported the private school was
blocking the posters. "The meeting did not result in any action."
foreign minister sharply criticized President Donald Trump Wednesday for
allegedly abusing the US presidency of the Security Council this month by
holding a meeting on Iran’s international activities during the annual
gathering of world leaders at the UN in late September.
Javad Zarif was responding in a tweet to US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s
announcement Tuesday that Trump will chair a meeting to address “violations of
international law and general instability Iran sows throughout the entire
Middle East region.”
accused Iran of supporting terrorism and destabilizing activities in Lebanon,
Yemen and Syria.
tweeted that Trump “plans to abuse presidency of SC to divert a session - item
devoted to Palestine for 70 yrs - to blame Iran for horrors US & clients
have unleashed across M.E. (Middle East).”
also accused Trump of violating a 2015 UN Security Council resolution, number
2231, that endorsed the Iran nuclear deal. The president withdrew the United
States from the nuclear accord between Iran and six major powers in May.
said “@realDonaldTrump is violating it & bullying others to do same.”
Security Council rules, Iran can speak at the Sept. 26 meeting that Trump will
chair, but Zarif and Iran’s UN Mission did not indicate whether it would
participate. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to attend the General
Assembly’s ministerial session, along with Zarif.
mission said in a press release that despite the fact that Iran is in
compliance with all its nuclear obligations under the 2015 deal according to
the International Atomic Energy Agency, “the US not only unilaterally and
unlawfully withdrew from the accord, but also now openly invites all UN member
states to either violate or ignore resolution 2231 or face punishment.”
called the Sept. 26 council meeting “a further attempt by the US to divert
attention away from Israeli brutalities and to remove the issue from the
council agenda; however, such actions are doomed to fail.”
US criticism of “the so-called destabilizing role of Iran in the region,” the
Iranian mission called the United States “a menace to Middle Eastern security
with its destabilizing, unilateralist policies and military interventions based
on false claims.”
mission noted that Iran was in “the forefront” of defeating the ISIS extremist
group which it claimed was created and supported by the US and its regional
evidence has been brought forward linking Iran to several militias in the
Middle East including the Houthi militias and Hezbollah.
had presented concrete evidence of Tehran supplying missiles to the Houthis in
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that Pakistan has
assured the United States of its full support for peace talks with Afghan
Taliban as this was in line with the policy of the government and best interest
assured them (the US) full support for peace talks with Taliban,” he said while
addressing a news conference here after having talks with the US delegation
that was led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Secretary of State arrived in Islamabad Wednesday on a day-long visit. He was
accompanied by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford. They held
formal talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his team at Foreign
Office; and later called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and military leadership
including chief of army staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Prime Minister
was the first high-level visit from Washington since the Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government assumed office in August this year.
we met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
to discuss our diplomatic and military to military relationship,” the Secretary
of State tweeted shortly after conclusion of his day-long trip.
foreign minister said that the US delegation expressed its desire that Pakistan
should help Washington for peace talks in Afghanistan.
is our neighboring country, our peace and our future is linked to it,” he said,
“we want that violence should come to an end there and people should lay down
their arms for their better future.”
said that the US has reviewed its policy with respect to Afghanistan and
reached a conclusion that “negotiated political settlement” is the solution of
the war-ravaged country.
was a convergence and alignment of Pakistan and America’s stance on the issue
(during the talks,” he said, “Imran Khan has been saying this for years that
there is no military solution of Afghanistan’s conflict.”
said that he got a hint during the talks that the United States has mentally
prepared to have direct talks with Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as
Washington does not intend to keep its footprint in Afghanistan for a long
obviously, this is linked to the situation there and ground reality … but this
is a big positive hint,” he said, adding that Afghanistan has been an
“impediment” in bilateral relations of the United States and Pakistan.
is a good start and impasse in the relations has broken,” he said, adding that
this shift in the US policy is a result of the State Department’s efforts and
will also be followed through with input from all other relevant institutions.
said the meeting with the US delegation has “reset an environment” to improve
the bilateral relationship. “History is evident to the fact that when we
(Pakistan and the US) worked together, it helped us both. And they (the US)
acknowledge this fact,” he said.
foreign minister said that he placed this before the US delegation that
Pakistan would need “ease and facilitation” from its eastern border – India –
to focus on the western border – Afghanistan.
should look towards this aspect too that how we can bring improvement,” he
said, “repeated violation of ceasefire on the Line of Control (by India) helps
no one but affects the innocent people (living near the border).”
foreign minister said the meeting helped understand concerns of the US and
present Pakistan’s viewpoint on important issues. “The future course of action
will be chalked out in a next meeting to be held in Washington,” he said,
adding that he has accepted invite of Secretary Pompeo to visit Washington and
would go there for a meeting during his upcoming visit to the United Nations
General Assembly’s session.
relations deteriorated to the lowest ebb since President Donald Trump announced
South Asia policy last year. The policy envisaged a greater involvement of
India – Pakistan’s archrival – in Afghanistan.
Pompeo’s visit came on the heels of US announcement of cancellation of $300
million in Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to Islamabad due to a lack of
“Pakistani decisive actions” in support of the US’ South Asia strategy.
foreign minister, however, said that he did not take up the issue of the CSF
during the talks as “sovereign nations think differently.”
believes in peaceful coexistence', PM Khan says in Defence Day message
the nation marks the 53rd anniversary of the 1965 Pakistan-India war on
Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan and outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain
issued their messages of solidarity in connection with Defence Day.
Minister Khan in his message said Pakistan believes in peaceful coexistence and
wants to promote mutual cooperation with other countries, including its
neighbours, on the basis of equality, Radio Pakistan reported.
said the people of Pakistan have the ability to brave all challenges while
following Quaid-i-Azam's principles of Unity, Faith, and Discipline.
people of Pakistan will leave no stone unturned in defending their motherland,
while standing side by side with [the] valiant armed forces of the
country," he was quoted as saying.
paying tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in defence of the
country, the premier assured their families that all possible steps will be
taken for their welfare.
Hussain said the spirit of sacrifices rendered by the armed forces and the
nation should inspire the people to forge unity among their ranks.
also emphasised the need to foster collective consciousness and wisdom, saying
these traits are imperative to defeat the evil designs and conspiracies of the
president and prime minister reiterated that the resolution of the Kashmir
issue in light of United Nations resolutions is imperative for peace in the
53rd Defence Day of Pakistan is being celebrated with traditional fervour and
solemnity across the country.
day began with special prayers for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan,
followed by change of guard ceremonies at the mausoleums of Allama Iqbal in
Lahore and Quaid-i-Azam in Karachi, and a ceremony at the Pakistan Navy
headquarters in Islamabad.
number of events are scheduled to be held in connection with Defence Day across
the country. The highlight of the day will be a function tonight at General
Headquarters in Rawalpindi to pay tribute to the martyrs.
Pakistan currently has 140 to 150 nuclear warheads and the stockpile is
expected to increase to 220 to 250 by 2025 if the current trend continues,
according to a latest report by authors keeping a track of the country's nukes.
current estimate of 140 to 150 nuclear weapons exceeds the projection made by
the US Defense Intelligence Agency in 1999 that Pakistan would have 60 to 80
warheads by 2020.
estimate that the country's stockpile could more realistically grow to 220 to
250 warheads by 2025, if the current trend continues. If that happens, it would
make Pakistan the world's fifth-largest nuclear weapon state," Hans M
Kristensen, Robert S Norris and Julia Diamond said in the report 'Pakistani
nuclear forces 2018'.
the lead author, is the director of the Nuclear Information Project with the
Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington, DC.
the past decade, the US assessment of nuclear weapons security in Pakistan
appears to have changed considerably from confidence to concern, particularly
as a result of the introduction of tactical nuclear weapons, the report said.
several delivery systems in development, four plutonium production reactors,
and its uranium enrichment facilities expanding, however, Pakistan has a
stockpile that will likely increase further over the next 10 years," says
continues to expand its nuclear arsenal with more warheads, more delivery
systems and a growing fissile materials production industry, it said.
of a large number of commercial satellite images of Pakistani army garrisons
and air force bases shows what appear to be mobile launchers and underground
facilities that might be related to nuclear forces," said the report.
authors observe that the size of the increase will depend on many factors.
key factors will be how many nuclear-capable launchers Pakistan plans to
deploy, and how much the Indian nuclear arsenal grows.
that Pakistan may become the world's third-largest nuclear weapon state – with
a stockpile of some 350 warheads a decade from now – are, we believe,
exaggerated, not least because that would require a buildup two to three times
faster than the growth rate over the past two decades," the authors said.
to the report, Pakistan is modifying its nuclear posture with new short-range
nuclear-capable weapon systems to counter military threats below the strategic
efforts seek to create a full-spectrum deterrent that is designed not only to
respond to nuclear attacks, but also to counter an Indian conventional
incursion onto Pakistani territory," it said.
for Global Moderation (SGM) has expressed its concern regarding objections
raised by a section of parliament over appointment of a member of Economic
Advisory Council (EAC).
a group of senators submitted a Call Attention notice to Pakistan Senate,
raising objections to the appointment of a member in EAC on grounds that he was
EAC, headed by Finance Minister, Asad Umar has been tasked to lay guidelines
for future economic policies and priorities that government should adopt in
order to avert the country’s ongoing economic crisis.
SGM chairman Syed Jawaid Iqbal said, on Wednesday, that SGM stood firmly behind
policies of government so that interfaith harmony could be more actively
promoted in the country.
Jawaid Iqbal, commenting on statement of the parliamentarians, described it as’
completely uncalled for’. He said that the objections were irrational since
Pakistan was a tolerant society and rights of minorities were duly protected
under the constitution of Pakistan.
is a non-governmental body and has been reconstituted to include leading
Pakistani economists and financial experts who have been selected from all over
the world for their proven expertise and know-how in economics and finance,”
said Jawaid Iqbal before pointing out that many minority members were already
serving Pakistan’s public and private sector and some of them were also holding
key positions in organisations. He said that these included Hindus, Christians
Taking a step forward to fulfil its promise of retrieving ill-gotten wealth of
Pakistanis in foreign countries, the government has formed a high-powered task
force comprising officials of the Federal Investigation Agency, National
Accountability Bureau as well as intelligence agencies
this regard, the government has decided to enforce an anti-corruption rule
which offers informers 20 per cent of the looted wealth recovered through
information provided by them. The rule exists in accountability laws but has
seldom been enforced.
government also made another significant decision to introduce uniform
curriculum not only in public and private schools but also in religious
decisions were made in a federal cabinet meeting held at PM Office on Wednesday
with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.
meeting also decided to abolish discretionary funds of all ministries
estimating that with this move, over Rs 80 billion would become available to
the national kitty.
other decisions, the government will establish an orphanage in the federal
capital to offer shelter to homeless beggar women and children and provide
assistance to Pakistanis languishing in prisons of foreign countries so that
they could be reunited with their families.
we will target 100 big fish to retrieve their ill-gotten wealth stashed in
foreign countries,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability
Shahzad Akbar at a press conference held after the cabinet meeting. Information
Minister Fawad Chaudhry was also present.
Akbar said the whistle-blower law would be enforced immediately through an
ordinance offering a reward worth 20 per cent of the recovered amount to those
people who would help recover such money. The names of informants would be kept
special assistant said another ordinance on mutual legal assistance would be
promulgated which would help remove bottlenecks in the way of seeking
information regarding illegal wealth from foreign countries.
said Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the foreign ministry to send a
high-powered delegation to Switzerland to expedite ratification of a treaty on
exchange of information on bank accounts. “Unfortunately the treaty has been
dumped in files since 2012 intentionally by the previous rulers, instead of
being ratified. Now the prime minister has issued directives to immediately
ratify the treaty so that the government can get information regarding transfer
of corruption money into Swiss banks by the Swiss authorities,” he added.
to a question about the total amount of money laundered abroad, the special
assistant said it would be difficult to say what it was but the main thing was
that the government was committed to retrieving it.
Akbar said the prime minister was so concerned about the recovery of looted
money that he would himself monitor the progress of the task force and other
relevant departments in this regard.
Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the prime minister wanted uniform curriculum not
only in private and public sector schools but also in seminaries.
modes of education in different types of schools is the source of disparity in
our education system and divides our children in different categories,” he
minister said introducing uniform curriculum in the whole country was not an
easy task but the federal government was committed to doing that with the
cooperation of the provincial governments.
know that education, health, sanitation and provision of potable water are
provincial subjects but they will be driven from the Centre,” he added.
became a provincial subject after the 18th Amendment and the decision of
uniform curriculum is expected to spark a controversy in the country over the
‘centre’s interference’ into provincial affairs.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), which is ruling at the centre and in the
provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkwa, will have to convince the government
of two other provinces — Sindh and Balochistan — in this regard. “We believe
that no provincial government will oppose the idea that all children of the
country should have a similar opportunity of seeking education,” he hoped.
information minister said the cabinet had also decided to take concrete steps
to provide education to over 25 million children who were presently out of
Pakistani prisoners in different countries, he said there were more than 10,000
Pakistani nationals in jail abroad and the government wanted to help them so
that they could return to their families.
said approximately 3,000 Pakistani prisoners on death row in Iran would be
granted relief since Tehran had amended its anti-narcotics laws.
took up the matter with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during his recent
visited to Islamabad and the Pakistani embassy is also in touch with the
prosecutor general in Tehran for early release of the prisoners,” Mr Chaudhry
cabinet also made decisions on initiatives regarding health, water and
sanitation. “Although they fall under [the domain of] the provinces, we think
they are important (sectors) and will be driven by the federal government,” he
reiterated the government’s resolve to provide due rights to all minorities as
guaranteed in Islam.
information minister’s statement comes a day after he defended the appointment
of Atif Mian, a leading international academic, to the government’s Economic
Advisory Council amid criticism in the social media that the expert belongs to
the Ahmadi faith.
who have objections to Mian’s appointment are basically extremists, and we will
not bow to extremists,” the minister said. “Protecting minorities is our
responsibility. It is the religious duty of every Muslim, not just the
government, to protect minorities and respect those they live with.”
Pakistan and the United States have decided to give reset in ties another shot
after the positive initial engagement on Wednesday resulted in an understanding
between the Trump administration and the new Pakistani government on delivering
on each other’s expectations.
positivity shown by the two sides after their meeting deeply contrasted the
clouds of negativity under which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in
Pompeo, who was accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph
Dunford, stayed in Islamabad for nearly five hours during which he met Foreign
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa.
US delegation also held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan. FM Qureshi,
the army chief, ISI director general Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar and other senior
officials also attended the meeting.
the meeting, PM Khan said he was hopeful of finding a new way forward with
Washington. “A sportsman always is an optimist,” said the former cricketer, who
captained Pakistan to World Cup victory in 1992, according to a pool report.
“He steps on the field and he thinks he’s going to win.”
the inclusion of newly appointed US adviser on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad,
who has been hostile towards Pakistan and is also unacceptable to Taliban, in the
Secretary Pompeo-led delegation raises questions about US seriousness about
reaching a political settlement in Afghanistan.
visit came in the backdrop of the recent row over the readout of the phone
conversation between PM Khan and Secretary Pompeo and the US announcement
about the reprogramming of the remaining $300 million reimbursement under
Coalition Support Fund.
to journalists at the Foreign Office after Secretary Pompeo’s departure for New
Delhi, Foreign Minister Qureshi said: “Today’s meetings set the stage for a
reset. And the stalemate, which has been weighing down the relationship, has
said the meetings were “productive” for “understanding each other’s point of
view” and “chalking out the future course”. During the meeting, he said, the
Pakistani side “understood their wishes” and presented its “expectations and
concerns” in an amicable manner.
Qureshi and Mr Pompeo will now meet in Washington later this month when the
former travels to the US to attend the UN General Assembly session. Mr Pompeo
invited Mr Qureshi for the visit. The invitation notwithstanding, Secretary
Pompeo and Gen Dunford made no secret that military-to-military relationship
would provide the actual basis for forward movement.
to journalists at the Nur Khan Airbase before his departure, Secretary Pompeo
also gave a positive impression about his meetings. He said: “I’m hopeful that
the foundation that we laid today will set the conditions for continued success
as we start to move forward.
made clear to them that — and they agreed — it’s time for us to begin to
deliver on our joint commitments, right. So we’ve had lots of times where we’ve
talked and made agreements, but we haven’t been able to actually execute those.
And so there was broad agreement between myself and Foreign Minister Qureshi,
as well as with the prime minister, that we need to begin to do things that
will begin to actually, on the ground, deliver outcomes so that we can begin to
build confidence and trust between the two countries. That was the focus of the
Dunford said Secretary Pompeo visited Islamabad to “reset the relationship” and
after the meetings he could say that “the objectives were very consistent
between the Secretary and the prime minister, and General Bajwa”. He said
military relations would be leveraged “to support the Secretary and the prime
minister, and more importantly, President Trump’s South Asia strategy”.
Pompeo, too, concurred with Gen Dunford on military ties acting as a prop for
taking the planned rapprochement forward. He hoped that military-to-military
ties, which had withstood the challenges in the cyclic relationship, could be
used as “one of the foundational elements as well”.
all the positive optics, both sides were candid enough to admit that challenges
secretary’s five-hour-long visit may have set the stage for an effort to
resolve the differences, but it was too short a trip to achieve substantive
progress. The apparent cordiality was reminiscent of what was witnessed after
Vice President Mike Pence’s meeting with the then Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan
Abbasi on the sidelines of UNGA last year, weeks after President Trump had
announced South Asia policy, which rocked the ties. The two sides had on that
occasion agreed on an engagement plan, which was also executed, but then ended
at President Trump’s New Year tweet that accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit”.
to a question at his presser, Mr Qureshi said: “I’m not painting a rosy
picture. It would be wrong to say that we do not differ on many issues. But as
a matter of fact there is a better atmosphere now to move ahead.”
two sides have a divergence of opinion on the alleged existence of terrorist
sanctuaries on Pakistani side. “It would be wrong to say that the entire
problem lies on our side of the border,” Mr Qureshi countered.
issue of terrorist sanctuaries was taken by the US side during the meetings.
“Secretary Pompeo conveyed the need for Pakistan to take sustained and decisive
measures against terrorists and militants threatening regional peace and
stability,” US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
Pompeo, meanwhile, too conceded: “We’ve still got a long way to go, lots more
discussion to be had”.
hope about the two sides making progress in ties hinges on their cooperation
for peace in Afghanistan.
is optimistically looking at the realization in the US that the Afghanistan
strategy had not worked well and the resultant shift in its policy on dialogue
with the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan has long advocated a peaceful and a political
settlement of the Afghan conflict.
to the new US inclination towards dialogue with the Taliban, Mr Qureshi said: “In
it you can see an alignment and convergence of our positions. This is what
Imran Khan has been saying for long that there is no other solution, but
Nauert said Secretary Pompeo underscored the role Pakistan could play in
bringing about a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.
Qureshi said the US was asked to play its role for improvement in the
Pakistan-India relations, especially the situation on the Line of Control, so
that the focus on Western border with Afghanistan could be increased.
foreign minister disclosed that he did not take up the issue of reprogramming
of the remaining amount of CSF reimbursement, $300 million, out of
“self-respect”. He added that the CSF reimbursements were ended sometime back
and it was an “old issue”.
An antiterrorism court on Wednesday handed down a collective imprisonment of 29
years to a former student on charges of terrorism, possessing explosives and
Rehan Zaidi alias Ali Budha was found guilty of possessing explosives and an
illicit weapon, terrorism, encounter with law enforcers and attempting to
murder in the remit of Mochko police station on Oct 2, 2017.
ATC-X judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central
prison, pronounced his verdict after recording evidence and arguments from both
judge also ordered the convict to pay Rs150,000 fine or serve an additional
sentence of six months on default.
to the prosecution, a police party during routine patrolling saw a suspicious
man walking on the Hub River Road near Lucky Charhai adjacent to the Jamia
Faruqia on Oct 2, 2017.
signalled to stop by the police, he allegedly put up resistance, fired shots
with a pistol at the police party with an intention to kill and caused
deterrence in the discharge of official duties and functions, it added.
the police also returned fire and managed to arrest the suspect while he was
trying to escape, said the prosecution.
detained man later disclosed his name as Syed Rehan Zaidi and during search a
hand grenade and a 30-bore TT unlicensed pistol with a live bullet was
recovered from his possession.
was arrested and booked in three cases registered under Sections 353, 324 of
the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997
read with Section 4/5 of the Explosives Act and Section 23(I)-A of the Sindh
Arms Act, 2013.
the trial, the detained man denied the allegations and recorded his testimony
defence counsel Nazeer Hussain contended that his client was a student, who was
not involved in any of the offences, and was studying in the street to prepare
for his examinations, when the law enforcers arrested him.
also produced Zaidi’s registration and admit cards, and two witnesses — Syed
Qamar Abbas and Khaliq-ur-Rehman.
lawyer pleaded to acquit Zaidi of the charges.
the other hand, the prosecution examined four witnesses, all of them policemen.
Ghulam Mustafa Arain deposed that he was posted as in-charge of the Bomb
Disposal Unit (BDU) South Zone on Oct 3, 2017 when he was summoned to the
Mochko police station where duty officer sub-inspector Khadim Hussain handed
over a recovered hand grenade to him for inspection.
found hand grenade to be ‘ARGES-69, plastic body, green colour, made in
Pakistan, WAH Factory was written on it,” the bomb disposal expert deposed
before the court.
further said that he found no detonator, therefore, he sealed the grenade and
handed it over to the police.
Prosecutor General Ghulam Abbas Dalwani pleaded to punish the accused according
to the law.
sentenced over armed assault on police
same court, in the meantime, awarded a collective sentence of 34-years rigorous
imprisonment to three accused in cases pertaining to terrorism and an armed
assault on the police in 2017.
convicts — Farhan Danish, Zeeshan Khan and Kashif Jillani — were found guilty
of carrying out an attack on the police, engaging in encounter, attempting to
murder and committing terrorism in the remit of the New Karachi police station
on Dec 22, 2017. All of them were arrested and booked in three separate cases
under Sections 353, 324, 427 and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal
Code, read with Section 23(I)-A of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013, Sections 4/5 of
the Explosives Act and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
ATC-X judge, who conducted trial in the judicial complex inside the central
prison, pronounced his verdict after recording evidence and arguments from both
judge observed that the prosecution fully established its case beyond any
shadow of doubt.
judge found them guilty on three counts: armed assault on the law enforcers and
encounter, attempted murder and terrorism. Therefore, the court handed down a
collective sentence of 34 years of rigorous imprisonment each.
also imposed a fine of Rs200,000 each on the convicts.
the convict Farhan Danish was also found guilty of possessing an illicit weapon
and awarded sentences of five years rigorous jail term and Rs50,000 fine.
to the prosecution, a police party received information about presence of three
motorcyclists allegedly equipped with arms and ammunition on the service road
near a marriage lawn in Sector 11-J, New Karachi, with an intention to commit
seeing the police, the motorcyclists opened fire and lobbed a hand grenade that
did not explode, the prosecution claimed.
after an encounter, the police detained Farhan, Zeeshan and Kashif and
recovered one hand grenade each from their possession while they also seized an
unlicensed pistol from Danish.
accused persons were indicted, but they pleaded not guilty and opted to
defence counsel — Qamar Altaf and Shaikh Moinuddin Pasha — denied the
allegations and contended that the prosecution made up a concocted story and
requested the court to acquit them.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the observance of Defence Day of
Pakistan is, in fact, a reiteration of the message to the enemy forces that the
entire Pakistani nation along with its armed forces will spare no effort to
protect the motherland.
we all collectively will face our problems following the Quaid’s principles of
Faith, Unity and Discipline. Let’s play our role with diligence and devotion
for the progress of the country,” the prime minister said in his message on the
Defence Day of Pakistan being celebrated on Thursday (Sept 6).
said the Defence Day was the best reflection of national unity and solidarity.
“This year the Defence Day is quite unique because the Armed Forces of
Pakistan, keeping in view their magnificent traditions, have achieved standout
achievements in the war against terrorism which provided further stability and
continuity to the motherland,” he added.
said the topic of ‘Hame Pyar Hay Pakistan Say’ represented the spirit and
ambition of the entire nation. The Defence Day of Pakistan, he said, was not
limited to only 6th September but its real spirit remained alive throughout the
Minister Imran Khan said the whole world had witnessed the passion of Pakistani
people and its armed forces and especially there was no example of sacrifices
the Pakistani children, youth, women and elders had given in the war against
terrorism during the last 17 years.
present salute and devotion to our Shuhada and Ghazis who performed their duty
in defending the motherland.” The prime
minister, while appreciating the courage and professionalism of the armed
forces in eliminating militancy and terrorism, said no doubt their efforts for
national development, strengthening of democracy and world peace were laudable.
said Pakistan believed in peaceful coexistence and wanted to promote mutual
cooperation with all its neighbours and the entire world on an equal basis.
prime minister stressed upon the world powers to play their role to stop Indian
cruelty and aggression in the occupied Kashmir. The resolution of Kashmir issue
according to the United Nations resolutions was indispensable.
paid tributes to all the martyrs, Ghazis, their families and relatives, and
assured them that the government would leave no stone unturned in their
welfare. The government, he added, would continue absolute struggle in the war
against terrorism till its logical end.
is how Putrajaya can stop Shariah caning, say lawyers
LUMPUR, Sept 6 ― The federal government can amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal
Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to remove whipping as a sentence, lawyers said amid
outrage over the Shariah caning of two women in Terengganu.
civil and Shariah lawyer Nizam Bashir acknowledged that Islamic law was under
state jurisdiction, which ministers in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government have
cited as their reason for non-intervention in the case of PAS-led Terengganu.
this does not mean that the federal government's hands are therefore tied,”
Nizam told Malay Mail.
federal government can always amend Section 2 of the Shariah Courts (Criminal
Jurisdiction) Act 1965, and remove whipping as a sentence which the Shariah
Courts are entitled to mete out," he added.
2 limits punishments by Shariah courts to three years’ jail, six strokes of the
cane, and RM5,000 fines.
also disagreed with several civil societies which said that caning could only
be enforced upon prisoners. The young Muslim women who were whipped six strokes
of the cane last Monday for attempting to have lesbian sex had not been jailed.
pointed out that this was because one cannot equate legal provisions stipulated
under Shariah laws with those under civil laws and vice versa, or enforce the
latter against the former.
women’s rights groups had slammed the Terengganu Shariah High Court for
publicly caning the women, describing the punishment as “a travesty and a grave
miscarriage of justice”.
are some quarters who subscribe to the view that caning can only be done in
prisons pursuant to Rule 132 of the Prison Regulations 2000, and there is
potent force in their argument, as there are no Shariah prisons or Shariah
prison officers. Consequently, caning or whipping can only be done in a federal
aside, dealing with views of rights groups who say that caning also violates
the Procedure Code, I don't think they would be correct in their view as the
civil version of the CPC does not apply to Shariah criminal offences,"
lawyer Syahredzan Johan echoed Nizam's sentiment, saying provisions in the
Prisons Act, Prison Regulations, and the CPC do not apply to caning under
example, Regulations 131 and 132 on corporal punishment in the Prisons
Regulations 2000, often cited to say that caning can only be carried out in
prisons actually refers to corporal punishment for offences under the
Regulations themselves, and not all caning punishments.
for the CPC, Chapter 27, which contains provisions relating to whipping, refer
to whipping sentences carried out by the criminal courts, not the Shariah
courts. I am of the opinion that these laws cannot be relied on when discussing
the legality of the caning by the Terengganu Shariah courts," Syahredzan
said when contacted.
light of this, the senior lawyer said that the caning by the Terengganu Shariah
court did not appear to contravene any federal laws and, as such, the matter
was outside federal jurisdiction.
is one way. If the federal government amends the Shariah Court Act and takes
away the power of the Shariah court to mete out the sentence of caning.
caning cannot be done by any Shariah Court at all. But that is too drastic, and
I doubt anyone has the political will to do that," he said.
Shariah lawyer Datuk Akbardin Abdul Kader said if one is unhappy with the
Shariah law permitting caning, they can challenge it in the Federal Court.
then, Akbardin said the laws practised by the Shariah courts were good laws.
unfortunate that the two offenders in Terengganu failed to appeal on the
sentence to the higher court. Hence the decision is valid and correct as per
the Terengganu Criminal Enactment, and no one shall question it," he said,
adding that this is already stipulated under Article 121(1A) of the Federal
said constitutional article provides that the civil courts cannot interfere in
the Shariah courts.
must be remembered that like in the civil law, the objective of sentencing in
Islamic law is deterrence. So we are guided by the Quran and prophets
traditions and any international treaties, which are contrary to the two
sources, are to be disregarded and have no legal force. Unless such treaties
are in the form of edicts (fatwa) made by authoritative international Islamic
bodies or scholars," he added.
Monday, two women were punished by six strokes of the cane under Sections 30
and 59(1) of the Shariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Takzir) (Terengganu) 2001
after they pleaded guilty to lesbian sexual relations.
addition to being caned, the women aged 22 and 32 were also required to pay a
fine of RM3,300.
100 people witnessed the punishment in the courtroom, including public
onlookers, government agencies’ representatives, and NGO members.
the Terengganu caning, Pahang and Kelantan ― under Barisan Nasional and PAS
rule respectively ― are reportedly considering following suit.
to push for multi-billion dollar halal tourism
LUMPUR: Halal or Islamic tourism is a lucrative sector that is still largely
untapped, and Malaysia aims to continue being the leading destination for
tourists from this sector, says Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister
Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.
country managed to attract 5.3 million Muslim tourists out of a total 26
million tourist arrivals last year.
Bakhtiar said a report by Thomson Reuters and DinarStandard showed that halal
tourism represented 11.6% of global tourism expenditure and was estimated to be
worth US$238bil (RM984bil) by 2019.
is not the only country trying to tap into the lucrative market, as countries
such as Japan and South Korea were also ramping up their offerings for Muslim
tourists, said Muhammad Bakhtiar.
the country’s tourism policy, we try to provide facilities that will ease
Muslim tourists’ travels such as prayer rooms,” he said in a speech read out by
the ministry’s deputy secretary-general Datuk Haslina Abdul Hamid.
was done at the launch of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents’
(MATTA) B2B Islamic Halal Tour 2018 at the Seri Pacfic hotel here yesterday.
deputy president Mohd Akil Yusof said the one-day event, the first of its kind
held by the association, attracted more than 100 buyers and sellers of tourism
that the event was also focusing on Lombok, Indonesia, as a way for MATTA to
help the island recover after its recent earthquake hits.
feel their pain and this is one of the ways we can help Lombok.
hope that it can recover quickly (from the tragedy),” he added.
JAYA: An aide to Maszlee Malik has defended the education minister’s
appointment as the president of the International Islamic University (IIUM)
amid criticism that it amounted to government interference in the
administration of higher institutions of education.
told FMT that the university’s unique status, where its stakeholders are made
up of several Muslim governments, makes Maszlee’s role crucial especially in
ensuring funds for the university.
the president of IIUM functions as a “ceremonial head”, he said appointing
Maszlee would also save some RM500,000 in allowance annually, as no payment is
required to be made to a minister.
is the third education minister to hold the post since IIUM was established
together with several member-states of the then Organisation of Islamic
first president was Hussein Onn, followed by Anwar Ibrahim when he was the
education minister in the eighties. After Anwar’s ouster from the government in
1998, he was replaced by Najib Razak, then the education minister.
aide said the university’s glory days were when the education minister was its
fact that cannot be denied is that IIU became well known in the eighties and
nineties when its presidency was held by education ministers Anwar Ibrahim and
Najib Razak,” it said.
44, a former IIUM student and lecturer, replaces Rais Yatim, the former
cultural adviser to the previous government whose contract with the varsity
ended last June.
contacted, Rais questioned Maszlee’s appointment, saying it was not done
through proper procedures.
the education minister, he acts as the umbrella to all 21 public universities.
If he appointed himself to the post, the appointment could be questioned,” Rais
also questioned Maszlee’s recent appointment of new IIUM rector, Dzulkifli
Abdul Razak, when the minister was still not the varsity’s president, adding
this was a violation of the IIU constitution.
a DAP assemblyman said Maszlee helming IIUM was a conflict of interest and
against the minister’s pledge not to interfere in the management of tertiary
Tunku assemblyman from Selangor, Lim Yi Wei, also urged Maszlee not to accept
fail to do so would be failing the students who counted on us to restore
academic freedom. To fail to do so would be a slap on the face to the student
activists blacklisted, harassed or detained under the UUCA,” she said,
referring to the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 heavily criticised
by Pakatan Harapan.
the aide told FMT that IIUM is not governed by the UUCA, as it was an
incorporated body formed under the Companies Act.
status allows the university to use English and Arabic in its syllabus, he
said Maszlee was not a politician parachuted into the academic world.
is a grassroots educationist. A big part of his life was spent in the academic
field and for many years he was involved in discourses on education before he
IIUM in a statement said its constitutional head, Pahang’s Sultan Ahmad Shah,
has consented to Maszlee’s appointment.
said Maszlee would serve as president until 2021.
killed in twin bombings in Shia area of Afghan capital
least 20 people have been killed and nearly 70 others injured in twin bombings
inside a sports club in a mainly Shia Muslim area of western Kabul.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said on Wednesday that the first
attack was carried out by a bomber in Dasht-e-Barchi, an area where many of the
Hazara Muslims live and has frequently been targeted by bombers.
Stanikzai, Kabul police spokesman, confirmed the explosion and said the wounded
were "being evacuated" from the club.
on initial information (the blast) was caused by a bomber," Stanikzai
Hanif, a local resident who purportedly witnessed the deadly assault, said on
social media that the bomber killed the guards at the club before blowing
himself up inside.
later, a second explosion was reported at the same site, officials said but
gave no details.
was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest blasts. However,
previous attacks on Shia targets in the area have been claimed by the Daesh
mid-August, nearly 50 Shia Muslims were killed in a bomb attack in front of an
educational center in the same area.
December last year, a bombing attack on a Shia cultural center and the nearby
office of a media outlet in the Afghan capital left at least 40 people dead.
Hazara Shia community, the poorest of the country’s ethnic groups, accounts for
about 22 percent of Afghanistan’s population. Its members have been targeted in
several large-scale kidnappings and killings across Afghanistan in the past,
prompting demonstrations and sit-ins in Kabul and elsewhere.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said last year civilian casualties
in sectarian attacks across Afghanistan, primarily against Shia mosques, had
rise of Daesh in Afghanistan has triggered concerns in a country that has
already been torn apart by decades of Taliban-led militancy and the 2001
invasion of the United States and its allies.
which has been crushed in Iraq and Syria, has reportedly managed to take
recruits from Taliban defectors in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar,
which borders Pakistan.
protesters call for freedom for Reuters reporters in Myanmar
BAZAR, Bangladesh: About 50 Rohingya Muslim refugees gathered in a muddy sports
field in a camp in Bangladesh on Wednesday to protest against the conviction in
Myanmar of two Reuters reporters, who were arrested while covering the plight
of their community.
Myanmar judge on Monday found the two journalists guilty of breaching a law on
state secrets and jailed them for seven years, in a landmark case seen as a
test of progress towards democracy in the Southeast Asian country.
two reporters, Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were investigating the killing
by the Myanmar security forces of Rohingya villagers at the time of their
arrest in December.
pair had pleaded not guilty.
than 700,000 stateless Rohingya Muslims fled from the west of mostly Buddhist
Myanmar into Bangladesh from August last year when Rohingya insurgent attacks
on the Myanmar security forces triggered a sweeping military crackdown.
Shakur, the father of Rashid Ahmed, one of the 10 men whose deaths at the hands
of the Myanmar military were exposed by the Reuters reporters, was among the
crowd protesting in a refugee camp in southeast Bangladesh.
felt very upset as my sons and other families were innocent and the reporters
were innocent," Shakur told Reuters.
were they sentenced?"
crowd held signs bearing the reporters faces and chanted "Free!"
hope that if we all try for them then the government will release," Shakur
the two reporters were arrested, the military confirmed that the massacre they
were investigating, of 10 Rohingya in the village of Inn Din in Rakhine State,
had taken place and several soldiers were prosecuted and punished.
the Myanmar military acknowledged the killings at Inn Din, the government has
denied most allegations of atrocities against Rohingya by the security forces.
says it conducted a legitimate counterinsurgency operation against Muslim
militants who started the violence.
Khatun, the widow of another of the men killed in Inn Din, was also at the
family members have passed away, also these two Buddhists were jailed,"
she said, clutching a sign that read 'Release Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo'.
to the Asian News Network, an estimated 7,000 Bangladeshi workers have been
held since January
of undocumented Bangladeshi migrant workers in Malaysia are calling on Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina to intervene after they were conned out of money while
trying to legalize their immigration status in the country.
police have been raiding homes and workplaces and arresting illegal foreign
nationals since midnight on August 30, when the 3+1 amnesty program for illegal
the program, illegal immigrants were to pay a RM300 fine and RM100 for a
special pass that would allow them to return to their respective countries. It
followed a June 30 deadline for the rehiring and relocation of foreign workers.
director general of the Malaysian Immigration Department, Datuk Seri Mustafar
Ali, said 30,000 illegals had been detained up to Monday, although he did not
specify their nationalities.
detentions were the result of more than 10,000 operations carried out
nationwide with over 100,000 foreigners examined,” Mustafar was quoted as
saying by the Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times.
undocumented migrants are thought to be mostly from Bangladesh, Cambodia,
India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Philippines.
to the Asian News Network, an estimated 7,000 Bangladeshi workers have been
held since January.
undocumented Bangladeshi workers left their places soon after the Malaysian
authorities started the operation,” Jahangir Alam, a Bangladeshi national who
has been working in Kuala Lumpur for over five years, told the Dhaka Tribune.
had applied through the legalization process to stay in Malaysia, but they are
yet to be authorized due to getting cheated by agents and sub-agents (who were)
appointed by the previous Malaysian government.
of the sub-agents vanished after taking money from the workers, without
updating their documents. (Now) the Bangladeshi workers are passing days and
nights in hideaways fearing arrest.”
Hossain is another Bangladeshi worker who has been left fearing the worst.
are in deep trouble here in Malaysia,” he said. “Many of us have come to the
country after selling the last piece of asset we had. Our last hope is the
immediate intervention from our prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, to solve the
to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training in Bangladesh, since 1976
around one million Bangladeshi nationals have left the country to work in
Malaysia with the correct immigration clearance.
sources in Malaysia said the figure for Bangladeshis could be far higher as
many who arrived as students only became undocumented workers later.
more have travelled to the Southeast Asian country through illegal means, or
from being trafficked.
to an estimate from OvibashiKarmiUnnayan Program (OKUP), a community-based
migrant’s rights organization, as many as half a million Bangladeshis are in
Malaysia as undocumented workers.
Chairman Shakirul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune that in order to legalize them,
the previous Malaysian government appointed six outsourcing companies who later
engaged numerous sub-agents to carry out the job.
workers don’t have any fault in this matter,” he said. “Ninety-eight percent of
workers have been cheated by the sub-agents. (They) have submitted papers and
paid money but the sub-agents did not fulfil their duties.
Malay authorities were also responsible for a large number of undocumented
immigrant workers in the country despite their 3+1 volunteer program. The
(Bangladesh) government should address the issue with the Malaysian
Islam also sought the intervention of the prime minister.
the undocumented workers are forced to come back to the country, there will be
immense loss for them,” he warned. “They will have to go abroad for work again,
selling their assets to the benefit of the recruiting agencies.”
Namita Halder, secretary of the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas
Employment, said the Bangladesh government can take steps if the workers come
forward to seek assistance.
are the undocumented workers going to the agents instead of coming to the High
Commission (in Kuala Lumpur)? If they go to agents, the trouble will increase,”
Halder said the figure of undocumented workers in Malaysia is “very low”, as
most of them had already returned home.
claim to have arrested five members including two military wing leaders of
outlawed militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh in Bogra's Sherpur
upazila early yesterday.
arrestees are identified as Shahidullah alias Masum alias Gopal, 46, Bulbul
alias Sohag, 32, Masud Rana, 31, converted Muslim Atikur Rahman alias Saikat
and Mizanur Rahman Mizan alias Tailor alias Dorzi Mizan.
on information from the Lawful Interception Unit (LIC) of Police Headquarters,
detectives arrested the five in Mirzapur Ranirhat Bazar area around 1:30am,
said Superintendent of Police of Bogra Md Ali Ashraf Bhuiyan.
members of Detective Branch of police also recovered one 7.65 pistol, one 9mm
pistol, two magazines, 10 rounds of bullets, three sharp Burmese knives and one
police claim Shahidullah is the military and Isaba (operation wing) chief of
Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions and Bulbul is the Isaba chief of Rajshahi
division, reports our Bogra Correspondent.
name surfaced after four members of mainstream JMB had given confessional
statements before a Rajshahi court between March 24 and April 30.
that time, police claimed Bulbul led a group of 10 people, who were directly
involved in robbery to collect funds especially for fighting legal battles and
supporting the families of JMB men behind bars.
an intelligence report also mentioned Bulbul's name in May that said mainstream
JMB men were monitoring a top leader of a faction of Gonojagoron Mancha and
sending reports to Bulbul with an aim to kill the leader.
high official of Bogra police, who has been dealing with militancy, told The
Daily Star that Bulbul during primary interrogation admitted his involvement in
a robbery attempt in which two bKash staff members were shot in Rajshahi city's
Choddopai area on August 10, 2016.
Islam, one of the injured, died four days later, the official said requesting
case was filed yesterday against the five arrestees with Sherpur police, who
produced them before a Bogra court and sought 10 days remand for each of them.
After hearing, Senior Judicial Magistrate Abu Raihan granted three days'
the other arrestees, Atikur Rahman graduated from Rajshahi University in
journalism and mass communication in 2010, while Masud Rana completed master's
in Islamic studies from Rajshahi College in 2013.
police claim the firearms recovered from the arrestees were delivered by senior
leader of mainstream JMB Khorshed Alam alias Master Zia alias Uday (head of the
media wing of Bangladesh) in Gazipur.
law enforcers had intelligence that the alleged members of JMB were coming from
Gazipur after holding a secret meeting with Khorshed and his associates Hasan
alias Esha and Sadekul Islam alias Omayer about their next plans and activities
police chief Ali Ashraf further said primary interrogation revealed the JMB men
had collected the firearms to use those in their future operations.
on October 5 last year, a robbery case was filed against Bulbul, Atikur, Masud
and Mizanur with Matihar police in Rajshahi. The Detective Branch of Rajshahi
Metropolitan Police has been investigating the case.
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K), the offshoot of ISIL terror
group in Afghanistan, has claimed responsibility behind the deadly bombings in
Kabul that left scores of people dead or wounded.
group in a statement said the first attack was carried out by a suicide bomber
named Sabir al-Khurasani while the second attack was carried out using a
vehicle-borne improvised explosive device targeting the gathering of people,
including journalists. The group also claims that the attack has left more than
150 people dead or wounded.
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement had earlier said the group has no
links with the recent attack in Kabul city, claiming that Taliban strongly
condemns attack on ordinary civilians.
security officials and the Ministry of Public Health say the death toll from
the back to back explosions in Dasht Barchi area has reached to at least 21
first explosion took place at around 6pm local time after a suicide bomber
detonated his explosives inside a wrestling club.
second blast took place almost 40 minutes after people had gathered in the area
to help the victims.
Taliban militants group in Afghanistan has rejected involvement in last
evening’s coordinated attack in Kabul city that left scores of people dead or
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement said the group has no links with the
recent attack in Kabul city, claiming that Taliban strongly condemns attack on
security officials and the Ministry of Public Health say the death toll from the
back to back explosions in Dasht Barchi area has reached to at least 21 people.
officials are saying that the two back to back explosions have also left more
than 70 people wounded
gang of Haqqani Network members involved in destructive activities and killing
of the officials has been busted in capital Kabul.
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), in a statement
said a gang of Haqqani Network consisting of 11 militants was busted during
separate operations in Kabul.
statement further added that the militants were arrested during the operations
from the 5th and 12th districts, Paghman and Bagrami districts.
to the National Directorate of Security, the detained militants were involved
in some major terrorist related activities, including attacks on government and
security officials, tribal elders, and roadside bombings.
Afghan forces also confiscated a Ak-47 rifle, a pistol, three kgs of
explosives, and a motorycle during the operations, NDS added.
detained militants have been identified as Momin Khan, Azizullah, Sardar Wali,
Hamid, Mustafa, Mir Agha, Mohammad Rasool, Nawab, Lal Agha, Munir, and
The grief had barely subsided when many households, to comply with local
tradition, began to prepare elaborate feasts for those who had attended the
burial of their loved ones killed in a bomb attack in Kabul.
carnage — the third of its kind on an educational center and part of a spate of
terror attacks across the country in recent months — prompted some families to
stop sending their children to study, possibly for good.
50 young boys and girls died in a terrorist attack in Dashte Barchi when a
suicide bomber detonated explosives in a class packed with students whose
future dreams and those of their families were buried with them in a mass
attack was claimed by Daesh, leading owners of other educational institutions
to consider shutting down out of fear of being the terrorists’ next target,
according to residents of Dashte Barchi, which has taken the brunt of such
two families who lost their young daughters became a source of inspiration for
the community and for many more in Afghanistan.
Lali, father of Madina, and Assadullah Rafi, father of Rahila Monji, rejected
the tradition of extravagantly feeding “guests” or those who attended the
funeral, forming a vanguard to break the social taboo of lavish meals.
they announced that they would allocate the cash set aside to feed guests to
help underprivileged students and build a library.
is considered a dishonor in many Afghan households to fail to serve meals
comprising at least two types of dishes to immediate family members and
neighbors when a member of the family dies.
the number of “guests” reaches several hundred and the family of the deceased,
overcome with grief and preparing for the burial, also have to focus on
arranging an impressive feast.
tradition has been going on for generations in Afghanistan.
put aside more than $7,500 for a group of destitute students to study while
Rafi declared that he was allocating his money to establish a library named
after his daughter.
will rise like this from the midst of blood and ash … no one can stop us from
education and acquiring knowledge … if you kill one of us, we will at least
admit five more in the school … no one can erase us,” Lali said in a statement.
1,000 books have been contributed to the library, which is being set up on the
fourth floor of a mosque in Barchi, Hamidullah Rafi, Monji’s brother, told Arab
from raising money, more than 100 scholarships were pledged by various
universities for poor students who cannot study in private universities, Lali
told Arab News.
had a message ... to urge the people not to waste money by following
unnecessary traditions. Keep Rahila’s soul happy by establishing this library,
helping a poor family to learn, to help the next generation to acquire
education,” Rafi said.
message from us to those hostile to education and knowledge was that if you
kill Rahila, hundreds of other people will turn to education, you cannot stop
us from learning, people will get more inspired.”
news of the fathers’ decision spread, the head of one educational institution
planning to shut down, fearing a similar attack, told the family that he had
changed his decision after being inspired by them.
of Monji’s classmates who survived the carnage also changed their mind and
returned to class, defeating fear, Rafi said.
had become extremely frightened and the idea of opening the library and the
offer of scores of scholarship basically motivated them to resume their
classes,” Hamidullah said.
lament the rise of attacks in Barchi.
upon a time Barchi was known for immense poverty but now it is famous for
education and earning pride for Afghanistan,” Rahmatullah Nabil, Afghanistan’s
former intelligence chief, wrote recently.
warns of 'massacre' in Syria's Idlib
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that dropping bombs and missiles on
Syria's last rebel-held province of Idlib could cause a "massacre,"
in remarks published Wednesday.
forbid, a serious massacre could take place if there is a rain of missiles
there," Erdogan told journalists on his plane after an official visit to
the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan, Hurriyet daily reported.
comments come as Syrian troops mass near the northwestern region of Idlib for a
major assault that is raising fears of a humanitarian catastrophe on a scale
not yet seen in the seven-year-old conflict.
and its main backer Moscow have vowed to root out the jihadist groups that
dominate Idlib province.
an ally of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, on Tuesday resumed air strikes
on Idlib after a 22-day pause.
which backs some of the rebels, has held several rounds of talks with Russia
aimed at averting an assault on Idlib, as well as with Washington.
cooperation with Russia now is very important. The United States sends the ball
into the corner of Russia and Russia into the corner of the US," he said.
talked of a "very merciless process" unfolding in Idlib, warning of
the risk that heavy fighting would trigger an influx of refugees.
million people live there. God forbid, it is again Turkey where those people
will flee in case of a disaster," Erdogan said.
is one of the so-called "de-escalation" zones set up as a result of
talks by Russia, Turkey and Iran last year as Damascus regained control of more
of the country.
as well as the presidents of Iran and Russia will meet on Friday in Tehran for
a summit expected to focus on Idlib.
willing we will succeed in averting the extreme actions of the regime there by
getting a positive result from the Tehran summit," he said.
UN Security Council is also due to meet Friday to address the situation in
Idlib amid growing fears of an attack and the possible use of chemical weapons.
warned Tuesday that if Damascus were to use chemical weapons, it would respond.
Intelligence: No knowledge of Trump ordering Assad killed
intelligence minister said on Wednesday he had no knowledge of close ally US
President Donald Trump ever ordering the killing of Syria’s President Bashar
new book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, “Fear: Trump in the White House”,
says Trump told his defense secretary that he wanted to have Assad assassinated
in response to a chemical attack on Syrian civilians in April 2017.
book said James Mattis, the defense secretary, told Trump he would “get right
on it” but instead developed a plan for a limited air strike that did not
threaten Assad personally.
tweeted that quotes attributed to Mattis were “made up frauds, a con on the
public”. Mattis dismissed the book as “a uniquely Washington brand of
do not know of any such instruction. He (Trump) is also denying it, by the
way,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told Tel Aviv radio station.
any event, what can be said is that in the framework of the coordination
between the United States and Israel ... the subject of the Syrian regime is
certainly part of the discussions. Israel did not take a decision to topple
formally neutral on the 7-year civil war in neighboring Syria, Israel has
carried out scores of air strikes against suspected attempts by Assad’s Iranian
and Lebanese Hezbollah allies to set up permanent posts or advanced arms.
decades of Assad family rule, Syria has maintained a Cold War-style hostility
toward Israel. Katz said Israel did not see a better alternative to Assad among
Syrian rebel groups.
course his (Assad’s) actions are terrible actions, and something that we abhor
and condemn. Those opposing him, ISIS and others, are not a side that we think
are better. We took care to preserve our interests,” Katz said.
gained national fame for his reporting on the Watergate scandal in the 1970s,
and has since written a number of books that provide behind-the-scenes glimpses
of presidential administrations and other Washington institutions.
the meeting, the Russian army's top field commander in Syria presented a report
of the latest developments in the war on the terrorists in the country.
Hatami, for his part, said that victories in Syria are not yet complete, and
noted, "The operations should continue in full coordination and the
achievements gained in the military field should be well maintained in other
added that the experience gained through cooperation and coordination in Syria
should be used as a role model to establish peace and stability in the region
and other scenes, saying, "The Astana meeting is one of the successful
experiences at the political level to resolve this crisis and we emphasize
continuation and strengthening of this process."
relevant remarks on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed
that "there is no place for terrorists in Syria, and the Syrian government
has every right to seek their liquidation on its territory".
are now taking the most active effort, together with our Turkish colleagues,
together with the Syrian government, and with the Iranians as participants in
the Astana format, to split the armed normal opposition forces from the
terrorists 'on the ground'," Lavrov said during his speech at the Moscow
State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
sources told Al Arabiya English on Wednesday that the Houthi delegation in the
Yemen peace talks, being held in Geneva this week, have set new conditions that
may possibly hinder negotiations.
was also reported that it was unlikely the Houthi delegation would arrive on
time for talks to begin.
Information Minister Muammar al-Eryani earlier said Yemeni President Abdrabbuh
Mansour Hadi has directed a delegation at the upcoming Geneva peace talks to
prioritize the issue of releasing the body of former president Ali Abdullah
prioritized will be the release of Saleh's sons from detention, along with the
General People’s Congress officials, journalists, activists and other
said on Twitter that Hadi’s directions are an important message that everyone
including the General People’s Congress must understand as a message which
conveys the importance of honest work and efforts to turn the page of the past
and head towards the future to restore the state and end the people’s
supreme court has upheld an order to destroy a Palestinian Bedouin village in
the Israeli-occupied West Bank, despite strong international appeal against the
upholding the order on Wednesday, the court also rejected a petition filed by
residents of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.
reject the petitions” against the directive to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, the
Supreme Court panel said in its ruling, adding that a temporary order
preventing the razing of the village during court hearings “will be canceled
within seven days from today,” AFP reported.
around nine years, various tribunals had been hearing various cases against the
destruction of the village.
were forced to build Khan al-Ahmar out of sticks and stones in the face of
Israel’s refusal to issue building permits across much of the occupied
territory. The Israeli officials call the constructions “illegal.”
July, the European Union and the United Nations each demanded that Tel Aviv
refrain from going ahead with the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar.
minister for military affairs Avigdor Liberman hailed the court’s decision,
calling it a move in the face of “the coordinated hypocrisy attack by Abu Mazen
(Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas), the left, and European states.”
closes Gaza crossing
separate news, the Israeli military said it was closing the Erez Crossing,
which is the Gaza Strip’s sole crossing meant for people to travel to and from
the blockaded enclave, just 10 days after it had reopened it.
claimed “a violent riot” at the site had prompted the decision to close it.
riots, it was referring to a protest by a group of Palestinians who had
gathered at the site to condemn an earlier US decision to cut all of its
funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
Houthi Ansarullah movement says the Saudi regime, which imposes restrictions on
Yemen’s airspace, has banned its delegation from flying to attend peace talks
brokered by the United Nations in Geneva.
to Yemen’s al-Masirah television network, the UN could not "secure
authorization" from the Saudi-led coalition.
office of the UN special envoy for Yemen did not respond to media request for
from Yemen’s running government, which is allied to the popular Houthi
movement, and the country’s former regime, backed by Saudi Arabia, are to
participate in the talks in the Swiss city on Thursday.
Griffiths, the UN special envoy, will be supervising the talks and is likely to
shuttle between the two sides as face-to-face meetings between them are
at a press conference Wednesday on the eve of the talks, Griffiths said the
upcoming "consultations" between the conflicting parties in Geneva
offered a "flickering signal of hope."
people of Yemen ... are desperately in need of a signal of hope. We would like
to think that the work we will do together in these next days will begin to
send a flickering signal of hope to them.”
UN official also said the talks would begin by trying to build trust between
the two parties and substance will come later.
former Yemeni government resigned in 2015 as the country was experiencing
head of that government, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, fled to Riyadh after
resignation. There, he encouraged Saudi plans to launch attacks on Yemen, where
the Houthi movement had taken over state matters in the absence of a
Saudi-backed coalition soon invaded Yemen in an attempt to reinstall the former
Riyadh-friendly officials to power despite their resignation.
have been killed in the Saudi-led invasion, and the country has been pushed
close to the edge of famine. A cholera outbreak, resulting from the devastation
of Yemen’s health infrastructure, has also claimed more than 2,000 lives.
injure 8 protesters in Hadi-held areas in southern Yemen
a separate development, police on Wednesday shot and injured eight people who
took part in protests in southern Yemen, which is largely controlled by
pro-Hadi militants, against the rising cost of living, according to
eyewitnesses and a security official.
of people were protested in Mukalla, the provincial capital of Hadramawt,
tearing down pictures of officials in the Saudi-led coalition, eyewitnesses
reportedly erupted between the demonstrators and the security forces.
security official in Hadramawt said eight people were injured by police.
of Yemenis poured into the streets of Sa’ada in the country’s northwest to
censure the Saudi-led coalition’s August attack on a bus carrying Yemeni
students, calling on the international community to prosecute the Riyadh regime
for its deadly campaign against the impoverished country.
Wednesday, demonstrators held huge pictures of some of the children killed in
the airstrike that claimed the lives of 51 Yemenis, mostly children.
Salam al-Seliehy, a Houthi Ansarullah official, told the huge crowd of
protesters that the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice
must “prove their humanity” by prosecuting those behind the deadly attack.
also called for legal action against those selling arms to the coalition, which
has waged a devastating war on Yemen since March 2015 in a bid to restore power
to the former Yemeni president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close ally of Saudi
the countries exporting weapons to the coalition are “directly involved in the
bloodshed against children and women" in Yemen, said the Ansarullah
official, adding that those countries “will be haunted by the shame of this
crime and will not escape a legal action.”
the past few weeks, the Al Saud regime has been globally criticized, even by
its closest allies, for its airstrike on the school bus.
the most recent reaction, the Spanish Defense Ministry cancelled a €9.2-million
deal to sell Saudis 400 precision bombs amid fears that they could be used
against targets similar to the August tragedy.
protest rallies in Sa’ada were held a day before the beginning of a fresh round
of UN-brokered peace talks due to be held in the Swiss city of Geneva. The
talks will be aimed at getting the former government of Yemen and the Houthi
Ansarullah movement to “work toward halting the fighting, removing foreign
forces, and establishing a unity government.”
the UN’s efforts are being hampered by the Saudi regime as it has banned the
Houthis, a key side of the conflict, from attending the meeting.
Al-Masirah television network reported on Wednesday that the UN has so far
failed to "secure authorization" from the Saudi-led coalition, which
imposes restrictions on Yemen’s airspace.
The coalition supporting Yemen's
legitimate government said Wednesday that it has passed on for
assessment its review suggesting possible civilian casualties in an Aug. 23
strike targeting terrorists in Hodeidah.
might have been collateral damage and civilian casualties” in the Aug. 23
incident, which was targeting members of the terrorist Iranian-Houthi militia
in Durayhimi directorate, coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki said in a
statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
documents relating to this incident have been handed over to Joint Incidents
Assessment Team (JIAT) pending assessment and announcement of results,”
official spokesman reaffirmed the commitment of the coalition in applying the
highest standards of targeting, the SPA report said.
the JIAT called for a review of the rules of engagement by the coalition as it
concluded that dozens of civilians, some of them children, were killed in an
anti-Houthi strike on a bus in Saada, Yemen on Aug. 9
Ahmed Al-Mansour, JIAT legal adviser, said the strike had been based on
intelligence indicating that the bus was carrying Houthi leaders, a legitimate
military target, but the mission went awry due to delays in execution of the
strike and failure to receive a no-strike order.
report by the International Committee for the Red Cross on the Aug. 9 incident
said at least 29 children were killed and dozens more injured when the bus was
hit in Dahyan area in Saada province.
coalition apologized for the failed strike, promised to review its rules of
engagement, hold those at fault accountable and compensate the victims.
Yemen’s government will demand the release of the body of former President Ali
Abdullah Saleh, killed by Houthi militias last year, at upcoming peace talks in
Geneva, Yemen’s Information Minister Moammer Al-Eryan said on Wednesday.
for decades the most powerful politician in troubled Yemen, was killed by
Iran-backed Houthis in December.
Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi will demand the militias release Saleh’s body via a
government delegation at the UN-sponsored talks in Geneva, which open Thursday,
said Al-Eryan. “This is an important message that all within (Saleh’s) General
People’s Congress should take into consideration to turn the page of the past
and move forward toward the future to restore the state,” he tweeted.
said the government will also demand the release of Saleh’s sons, believed to
be detained by the Houthis.
to one of his relatives, Saleh was buried in his village outside of Sanaa in a
funeral attended by 20 people under the strict watch of the Houthis.
the UN envoy for Yemen said Wednesday that “consultations” in Geneva between
the warring parties offered a “flickering signal of hope” after years of
people of Yemen ... are desperately in need of a signal of hope. We would like
to think that the work we will do together in these next days will begin to
send a flickering signal of hope to them,” UN envoy Martin Griffiths said.
meeting is expected to take place in a Geneva hotel, as are any other meetings
that might happen on Thursday.
we are not going to waste time, and we are looking forward to getting our
friends from Sanaa here and participating fully in the consultations.”
emphasized that the Geneva talks were “not formal negotiations,” but said they
aimed to pave the way towards bringing the parties back to the negotiating
talks also seek to put in place a range of so-called confidence-building
measures, which could prisoner swaps and the vaccination of children, he said.
groups condemn UK Labour Party's anti-Semitism vote
groups across the United Kingdom have expressed concern and outrage over the
opposition Labour Party’s decision to fully adopt a Zionist-backed definition
groups say the decision could outlaw free speech on Israel and Palestine, as
well as lead to the expulsion of hundreds of pro-Palestine activists from
Tuesday, Labour’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), held a
debate on the definition which says calling Israel “racist” could be
anti-Semitic. Hundreds of pro-Palestine Labour members came out to protest
against the move to adopt the multi-national definition, known as IHRA code,
urging the NEC not to accept it.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign released a statement following the NEC
meeting, elaborating on the racist nature of the Israeli regime due to its
crimes against the Palestinians.
is the fruit of violent conquest by European colonists who, like the British
and Spaniards before them, believed they had a God-given right to pillage,
displace or dominate all militarily weaker peoples” read the statement.
has been months of bitter infighting within the Labour Party on this issue
which has pitted pro-Palestinian factions which claim Zionism is a racist
ideology against pro-Israel forces who claim critics of Israel are anti-Semites
Muslim Public Affairs Committee also condemned Labour’s decision, saying the
adoption of the anti-Semitism definition was a short victory for opponents of
party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
our assessment, despite the fact this is a big setback for the Palestinian
movement, it will be a short-lived victory for the Zionist lobby and their
Blairite allies, who are willing to do anything to dislodge Corbyn,” said the
Islamic Human Rights Commission said it “deplores” NE’s decision to adopt the
multi-national code on anti-Semitism with all its 11 examples, saying it came
because of pressure from Zionist groups.
definition deliberately conflates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and is
nothing but a back-door attempt to shield the Israeli state from criticism and
prevent the Palestinians and their supporters from realizing their legitimate
goals,” it said.
its Tuesday meeting, Labour’s NEC also emphasized the need for free expression
on Israel and the rights of Palestinians.
Jewish Voice for Labour group, which organized the protest outside Labour’s
London headquarters, said it will continue to challenge Israeli actions against
thing that is clear is that the struggle is not over,” said the pro-Palestine
urges Russia to avert regime attack on Idlib
called on Russia on Wednesday to use its influence on the Syrian regime to
avert a large-scale military offensive on Idlib, the last opposition
expect from Russia to deter a military escalation by the Syrian regime and in
doing so prevent a humanitarian catastrophe," the government’s deputy
spokeswoman told a news conference in Berlin.
Demmer said Berlin was closely following the talks between Turkey, Russia and
is important to reach an understanding between Russia and Turkey, therefore we
hope that the meeting between Russia, Turkey and Iran on Friday, as part of the
Astana process, would contribute to a peaceful solution," she said.
also underlined that an unhindered humanitarian access to the civilian
populated areas of Idlib should be ensured.
near the Turkish border, Idlib province is home to more than 3 million Syrians,
many of whom fled from other cities following attacks by regime forces.
Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive
to the area, which is controlled by various armed opposition groups.
Tuesday, the UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned that such an offensive
would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st
east London worship centre for Shia Muslims failed to properly consult members
about plans to sell its premises in order to move into a new building four
miles away, the Charity Commission has found.
case report published by the regulator today says the commission was contacted
by people concerned about Imamia Mission London’s proposal to sell its building
in Newham, where it has been since 1985, and relocate to Ilford.
protested outside the commission’s London office and handed in a petition
against the move, but trustees argued there were safety concerns about the
Newham building and it was too small for current use, according to the
report says protesters alleged that there had been financial irregularity in
the sale of the property, which could be worth more than £1.3m, and the
trustees would be making a personal gain. It adds that concerns were also
raised about how the charity runs its elections and restrictions on membership.
commission found no evidence of financial irregularity or that the trustees
would benefit from the sale. The report says it did not have any concerns about
it says the charity had not adequately taken members' views into account.
trustees had clearly failed to properly communicate and consult with members of
the charity or beneficiaries about the relocation," the report says.
to inform the community, such as notices after Friday prayers, were
insufficient, thereby exposing the charity to the possibility of reputational
report says the commission would have expected the trustees to consider the
impact of the move on members, but there had been "a concerning lack of
evidence of proper planning" and trustees had failed to produce a proper
business plan for the proposed move.
regulator says it did not find anything that would prevent the charity from
selling the building, but trustees should make sure that any beneficiaries who
will struggle to travel to the new mosque are catered for, for example by
says it agreed with trustees that any surplus proceeds from the sale should be
used to redevelop the new property.
will be closely monitoring compliance with the advice and guidance given,"
the report says. "Any further disputes that arise due to a failure to
comply with trustee duties may result in more serious regulatory action."
spokesman for the charity told Third Sector: "We do not accept that
members were not sufficiently informed.
and other visitors to the charity were fully aware of the proposal of
relocation for many years and were invited to give ideas and recommendations of
any suitable premises."
said that Stephen Timms, the Labour MP for East Ham, and a Newham Council
planning officer had addressed a large crowd of members and guests at the
premises to explain its unsuitability and the need to relocate.
is unfair to suggest the committee did not consider the beneficiaries as a
factor," he said. The committee decision was based solely on their
benefit, in particular the disabled and elderly, women and children, who had
next to no facilities in the old premises," he said.
Secretary of the United Kingdom, the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP has said
that his country would remain absolutely committed to building an Afghanistan
that was strong security partner for the decade to come.
stated this while meeting the UK troops at the New Kabul Compound the other
UK government statement issued here said that 100 Welsh Guards (UK troops)
arrived in Kabul last week. They travelled with the Defence Secretary Gavin
Williamson who was in Afghanistan for a three-day visit.
100 troops are the first group of the additional 440 troops, the Prime Minister
committed to NATO’s capacity building mission in Afghanistan at the NATO Summit
UK plays a leading role in NATO, and this troop uplift will make the UK the
third largest contributor to Afghanistan with around 1,100 personnel”, the
Defence Secretary said “We remain absolutely committed to building an
Afghanistan that is a strong security partner for decades to come. A secure and
stable Afghanistan helps keep the streets of the UK safe”.
said, “The uplift of UK personnel not only underlines our commitment to
Afghanistan and regional security but also to the Alliance that has been the
cornerstone of our defence for 70 years.”
of our personnel stand shoulder-to-shoulder with NATO allies around the world.
Those here in Afghanistan are just one example of Global Britain in action”.
additional troops would bolster the UK’s existing contribution to the UK-led
Kabul Security Force (KSF), which plays a critical role in enabling NATO
advisors in the city to undertake the engagement with the Afghan Government.
will also continue to mentor the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces
who are responsible for security in the capital”, he remarked.
UK Defence Secretary also travelled to Mazar-e-Sharif where, alongside the
German Armed Forces, UK personnel were supporting the expansion of the Afghan
force has recently illustrated its increased capability in responding to the Inter-Continental
Hotel and Kabul Military Academy attacks. He also met around 40 UK advisors who
have been based in the north of the country since January 2018.
Netherlands’ foreign trade and development cooperation minister on Wednesday
hailed Turkey’s “generous policy” in protection of Syrians.
carries out a generous policy in protection of Syrians in the country,” Sigrid
Kaag said in a written statement.
added that Turkey contributed largely in reduction of the number of irregular
migrants, as well as the drowning cases in the sea.
made her remarks upon a parliamentary question by Dutch lawmakers on the deal
between Turkey and the EU in March 2016, which aims to stem the irregular
migration flow through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human
traffickers and improving conditions for over 3 million Syrians in Turkey.
said the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRIT) provided many Syrian
children with education, and ensured livelihood of Syrian families in Turkey.
Syrians consciously choose to stay in Turkey instead of the EU proves that the
condition in Turkey is good for Syrians,” she stated.
to UNCHR figures, the number of Syrians residing in Turkey has risen to 3.5
million in August, which stood at 3.4 million at the beginning of the year,
from this, Turkey takes other migrant groups and vulnerable people under
protection, as well,” she said, adding that the number was 2.7 million in 2015
and it rose to 3.7 million in 2018.
to these figures, we need to continue supporting Turkey through FRIT,” she
wants to improve relations with Turkey and enhance cooperation on issues of
common interest, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said ahead of his talks in
has a strategic interest in reshaping our relations with Turkey in a
constructive way. Turkey is not only a big neighbor of us but also an important
partner of Germany," he said in a statement.
is scheduled to meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and other senior
officials on Wednesday in the capital Ankara.
the past two years, political relations between Ankara and Berlin have suffered
setbacks, but in recent months both sides have taken steps towards improving
top diplomat said, during his talks in Ankara, he would also raise the issue of
several German citizens, who were arrested in Turkey as part of
government has repeatedly ruled out any political influence on the judiciary
and also advised German politicians to wait for the decisions of the courts.
senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said all those concerned
were German citizens with Turkish migrant background and they were arrested on
charges of providing support to a terrorist organization, in most of the cases
to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Wednesday, Maas is also expected to be received by President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan and Parliament Speaker Binali Yildirim in Ankara.
his high-level talks in the capital, Maas is scheduled to visit Istanbul on
Thursday, where he will attend a celebration together with Cavusoglu to mark
the 150th anniversary of the German School of Istanbul.
two-day trip to Turkey comes ahead of Erdogan’s key visit to Berlin on Sept.
heavyweight Germany remains Turkey’s main economic and trade partner, despite
political disagreements between the two governments on a number of issues.
reluctance to take serious measures against terrorist groups such as the PKK
and FETO has long been a source of tension between the two countries.
Russian Defense Ministry says its fighter jets have bombed the positions of
foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists in Syria’s militant-held northwestern
province of Idlib, as Syrian government troops and allied fighters are
preparing for a ground operation to liberate the territory.
ministry, in a statement released on Wednesday, announced that the aerial
attack had only pounded members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist
group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, dismissing allegations that it had
struck populated areas. The statement further noted that the planes involved in
the airstrikes had taken off from the Russian-run Hmeimim air base in Syria’s
western coastal province of Latakia.
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Tuesday that Russian
military aircraft had battered Idlib for the first time in three weeks.
warplanes resumed bombing Idlib province after a 22-day pause,” Rami Abdel
Rahman, who heads the Britain-based monitor group, said.
added that the aerial attacks came a day after militants in Idlib hit Syrian
army positions in neighboring Latakia province, which killed three
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
army troopers, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have
recently made major territorial gains in battles against Daesh and other
foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups, almost capturing the entire
southern part of the country after securing the capital Damascus and other key
major militant stronghold remains in Idlib province, where government forces
are preparing to launch a full-scale military offensive.
militants are also in control of some areas of the western-central province of
Hama, and are holding some desert regions near the border with Turkey.
seeks US help to ease tensions with India
Pakistan on Wednesday sought US help to ease tensions with India, saying it
wanted peace on the eastern border in order to concentrate on the Western
border with Afghanistan.
want ease on the eastern border if we have to look towards the western
side," foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters while briefing
them on the outcome of his talks with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo.
that people suffer due to ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, he
said, it was "important that we should look at it and see how we can
improve that who can help us to bring the improvement (on eastern border)."
reiterated that Pakistan wanted peace with all its neighbours and had never
shied away from negotiations, but "we need two hands to clap."
neighbours, including India and Afghanistan, often accuse Islamabad of
providing safe havens to militants to conduct cross border attacks.
said the LoC ceasefire was a very good confidence building measure but when it
gets violated, people suffer.
India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking
place. The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks
by Pakistan-based groups in 2016.
has made it clear to Pakistan that terror and talks cannot go together.
said that the visiting US delegation indicated to have direct talks with the
Afghan Taliban and Pakistan offered its full support for a negotiated solution
of the Afghan issue.
said the State Department will lead the peace effort in Afghanistan. The
impression we get is that there is space for (US) direct talks with the
Taliban," he said.
said Pompeo assured that the US did not want to keep its foot print for
unlimited period in Afghanistan, though there was no timeline for America to
pullout from the strife-torn country.
wants that Pakistan should help to move forward the talks. And we will do and
we have offered full support as it is according to our policy. We want peace
(in Afghanistan)," he said.
Pak stops terrorism, we will also 'be like Neeraj Chopra': Army Chief
DELHI: If Pakistan stops terrorism, the Army would also "be like Neeraj
Chopra", Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said Wednesday, referring to the
Asian Games javelin gold medallist's gesture of reaching out to his Pakistani
while speaking at an event to felicitate Asian Games medallists from the Army,
also said the situation in Kashmir improved in 2017 as
to the year before and in 2018, it was improving further.
if there was any "sportsmanship" on display at the Indo-Pak border, Rawat
said, "They should make the first move, they should stop terrorism.
they stop terrorism, we will also be like Neeraj Chopra."
was quite a moment at the Asian Games when Chopra stood flanked by a Chinese
and a Pakistani on the podium.
picture of Chopra shaking hands with Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem, who won bronze,
on the podium went viral on social media.
said that contrary to the figures that keep coming up in the media that
terrorism was rising, local youngsters getting radicalised and taking up arms
were getting killed by the security forces or arrested or surrendering in 1-2
action (by the security forces) will continue, but I can say with confidence
that among youngsters and their families there is a belief that this is not the
with the commitment to New Delhi, the visiting US Secretary of State Michael R
Pompeo on Wednesday conveyed to Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership
that they need to take “sustained and decisive measures against terrorists and
militants threatening regional peace and stability”. This has set the stage for
the 2+2 dialogue between Indian and US Foreign and Defence ministers on
Thursday, where counter-terrorism is going to be one of the major issues for
reported by The Indian Express on Wednesday, ahead of the first India-US 2+2
dialogue, Washington had conveyed to Delhi that it is going to “call out
Pakistan” for not doing enough against terrorist groups operating out of its
soil, and press it for doing more against terrorist groups.
on Wednesday met Pakistan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan, Army chief
General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. US State
Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, “In all of his meetings, Secretary
Pompeo emphasised the important role Pakistan could play in bringing about a
negotiated peace in Afghanistan, and conveyed the need for Pakistan to take
sustained and decisive measures against terrorists and militants threatening
regional peace and stability.”
to questions in Islamabad, before heading to Delhi, on whether the US warned of
increased sanctions against certain Pakistani individuals, Pompeo told
reporters, “We made clear to them that — and they agreed. It’s time for us to
begin to deliver on our joint commitments, right.”
his meeting with General Qamar Bajwa, Pompeo “welcomed the smooth transition of
power to a new civilian government, stressing the importance of strong
Enforcement Directorate Wednesday moved a Delhi court seeking permission to
question a UAE-based businessman, arrested by the NIA and currently in judicial
custody here in a terror-funding case also involving Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
chief and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
an application filed before District Judge Poonam A Bamba, the ED said that
United Arab Emirates businessmen Naval Kishore Kapoor was required for
interrogation and recording of his statement in a money laundering case, being
probed by the ED in relation to the present matter.
NIA had arrested Kapoor on July 26 and he is presently lodged in Tihar central
jail. The court has put up the application, filed by ED’s special public
prosecutor Nitesh Rana, for hearing tomorrow.
ED had earlier interrogated a Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, a co-accused
in the case, in an investigation in the present matter under the provisions of
the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against him for allegedly receiving
funds from abroad.
Wednesday’s application moved through advocate A R Aditya, the ED told the
court that “Watali had mobilised huge amount of funds in the guise of foreign
remittance from unknown sources in India through/in association with one of his
old associates Kapoor.”
is crucial to record the statement of the accused as the money laundering case
is being investigated,” it said.
to the NIA, Kapoor entered in an agreement with Trison Farms and Constructions
through its Managing Director Watali to take land in Budgam on lease.
remitted a total amount of Rs 5.579 crore in 22 instalments between 2013 and
2016 to Watali, it had said.
to the NIA, the said land did not exist in the name of the company and the
agreement lacks legal sanctity. The agency alleged that it was a ‘cover’
created by Watali to bring foreign remittance from unknown sources to India.
Saeed, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and others have been accused by
the NIA of “conspiring to wage war against the government” and fomenting
trouble in the Kashmir Valley.
its charge sheet, the NIA has alleged that officials of the Pakistan High
Commission here were passing on money to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir
through Watali. The separatist leaders have been accused of taking a cut of the
has been accused of using Watali’s services for passing on the money to the
separatists and some individuals, who were actively indulging in stone-pelting
in the Valley.
NIA has charged Pakistan-based terrorists Saeed and Salahuddin, besides 10
others, with criminal conspiracy, sedition and provisions of the UAPA.
Saeed, Salahuddin and Watali, the agency has named hardline separatist leader
Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh and Bashir
Ahmad Bhat in the charge sheet.
Conference leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate,
Mohammad Akbar Khanday and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal have also been charged by
the agency in the terror-funding case.
of the accused are currently in the judicial custody.
of the accused — freelance photo-journalist Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmad Bhat —
both accused of stone-pelting, were earlier granted bail by the court.
on Wednesday summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner to protest the
“unprovoked ceasefire violations” across the Line of Control by the Indian
forces that resulted in the death of a Pakistani villager.
General (South Asia and SAARC) Mohammad Faisal, who is also the foreign
ministry spokesman, summoned the Indian diplomat and “condemned the unprovoked
ceasefire violations by the Indian forces along the Line of Control on
September 4,” the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.
firing in the Kotkotera Sector along the LoC resulted in the death of the
civilian on Tuesday, it said.
FO alleged that the Indian forces have carried out more than 2,000 ceasefire
violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the
death of 32 innocent civilians, while injuring 122 others.
unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from
year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 ceasefire violations,” it
deliberate targeting of civilian population areas is indeed deplorable and
contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws.
The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security
and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” the statement said.
urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement; investigate
this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; respect the ceasefire and
maintain peace on the LoC.
urged the Indian side to allow the UN Military Observer Group in India and
Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council
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