women look for their names at a voting precinct in Maguindanao, on the southern
island of Mindanao. (AFP)
Darul Uloom Deoband, the Muslim Seminary, Has R-Day Tip for Students: Avoid
Saudi Cleric, a Former Dean of the Islamic University In Medina, Dies After
'Poisoning' in Saudi Arabia
Ulema League: Ban NGOs, INGOs Working To Curb Child Marriage
Wants People’s Personal Lives Private, Says Islamabad High Court
Behind Autonomy Vote in the Philippines’ Muslim Mindanao?
Congresswomen, Somali-American Ilhan Omar, Prompt Saudi Alarm
Air Force Chief Threatens To Make Israel ‘Vanish From Earth’
Judaism Leaders to Discuss Interfaith Ties with Pope Francis In Abu Dhabi
Darul Uloom Deoband, the Muslim Seminary, Has R-Day Tip for Students: Avoid Travelling
Properties of Radical Islamist Preacher Zakir Naik Worth 16.40 Crores
Rohingyas stranded on India-Bangladesh border from Myanmar, says BSF
pull out from Afghanistan can cost India dear: Report
agencies threaten Indian mission staff, Delhi lodges protest
funding case: NIA arrests man from Jaipur
IS terrorists tracked, brought back by security agencies
makes fourth arrest in FiF terror funding case; a native of Kuchaman arrested
after he arrived from Dubai
Grand Mufti Lauds Saudi Arabia’s Services To Muslims
Visit to Help Build Values of Tolerance’
SDF Killed, 2 US Soldiers Wounded in Suicide Blast in Hasaka
MP: Iraqi PM under US Pressure Not to Expel American Forces
Several Ankara-Backed Militants Killed in Kurdish Assault in Afrin
downed over 30 Israeli cruise missiles, bombs: Russia
arrests 24 in demolition protests near pyramids
rejects any connection with Ulama League
Air Force conduct night airstrikes in Uruzgan leaving 30 militants dead
Taliban militants killed, car bomb destroyed in separate coalition airstrikes
Presidential Official Jailed For Violating Ethnic, Religious Equality
attack on Afghan security base kills over 100
Muslim Group Fleeing India to Bangladesh Stuck On 'Zero Line'
terrorist networks busted in Kandahar province
hold talks with Khalilzad in Qatar, hours after attack on security base
Quietly Drops Efforts for Fatwa against Afghan Taliban
Police Book Scores of PTM Workers, Leaders Under Terrorism Charges
of US senator’s guard in PM meeting irks Senate panel
in Senate dismisses Sahiwal JIT as smokescreen
invites Indian delegation to finalise Kartarpur agreement
arrested, dozens booked for dogfight
Protection’ Bill Draws Criticism
chief Hadi Awang takes crack at Singapore in Malaysia by-election rally
shows Malaysians enjoy freedom of religion’
president orders review of planned release of radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir
Says Blacks' Rights Violated As US Arrests Muslim Journalist
Times writer blasts Israeli abuse in Palestine
Organized ISIL Network Active in Turkey
Espionage Operations against Hamas Commander Exposed
killed by Israeli soldiers in West Bank
Iran will face consequences for threatening Israel
African, European demining experts killed in Yemen
forces fatally shoot Palestinian over an alleged stabbing attempt
strikes aimed at prolonging crisis in Syria: Damascus
demands security role in Manbij
bans Iranian airline on suspicion of spying, terror
arms manufacturer may sue Berlin over halt in arms sales to Saudi Arabia
appoints intel official with migrant background
EU could be guilty of crimes against humanity for migrant deal with Libya
boy to sue Facebook for spreading fake news
Union treads fine line on Iran sanctions
turns into battleground between France and Italy
Group Speaks On ‘Plot to Bomb Christians’
demonstrate after Sudan protester’s death
criticizes Italy, EU’s Libya migrant policy
troops repel series of Boko Haram attacks
Haram: Food, shelter crises hit Borno IDPs camps amid fresh attacks
repels another suspected al Shabaab attack – police
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Darul Uloom Deoband seminary has appealed to its students to avoid travelling
on Republic Day if possible, citing the possibility of security checks creating
situations that lead to a sense of fear and insecurity.
Urdu advisory adds that if travel is unavoidable, the students should display restraint,
steer clear of “any kind of argument” and return to the seminary immediately
after completing their business.
advisory has been put up on the campus. Neither the seminary nor anyone
associated with it has sought to publicise the notice outside the campus.
Neither has it been used to stoke panic as at least one critic has alleged.
sole objective appeared to be to ensure that the students remain unharmed. In
fact, a senior official of the seminary said there was no need to blow it out
Telegraph is publishing this report because it offers an insight into fears
that prevent sections of Indians from leading normal lives even on a day as
reassuring and glorious as Republic Day.
advisory does not mention it but some instances reported in the past year
justify the display of caution.
Uloom’s students have been harassed by police and attacked by mobs in the past,
particularly on Republic Day and Independence Day, several past and present
members of the seminary said.
Muneer Uddin Usmani, a senior theology teacher who is in charge of the hostels
at the 162-year-old seminary, told reporters in Deoband, 600km northwest of
Lucknow that the advisory had been issued after several days of meetings.
Maulana Usmani had not convened a media conference but was responding to
questions from reporters who had heard about or seen screenshots of the notice.
and other authorities step up security checks during occasions of national
importance. Our students have been harassed in the past; even attacked by a
section of people. So they need to be extra careful if travelling is
unavoidable,” he said.
Asad Qasmi, a local cleric and former member of the seminary, said: “The police
had detained Darul Uloom students two years ago on Republic Day and told the
media they were terrorists. Although they were released the next day, the media
didn’t clarify they had aired incorrect information. Darul Uloom doesn’t want
it to recur.”
said the seminary’s students had been attacked on trains or railway platforms
last year, in Saharanpur and Baghpat, and also on Republic Day 2017 in
Saharanpur, but the accused weren’t identified in any of these three instances.
Usmani, a senior administrative official at Darul Uloom, told this newspaper
the advisory was a “routine exercise” and there was “no need to blow it out of
keep alerting our students during national festivals and other occasions. We
want their safety,” he said.
by reporters, a police officer in Saharanpur district, where Deoband is
located, expressed ignorance about any such advisory.
someone felt harassed in the past when the security agencies didn’t want to
take chances and detained students on suspicion. But we never harass someone because
they are from a particular institute,” he told local reporters on the condition
of anonymity. “The seminary management should have met the administration and
protested instead of issuing any such notice.”
Anwar, a local leader of the BJP minority cell, called the advisory “strange”.
“We have been travelling on Republic Day and Independence Day. Our women too go
out wearing veils during national occasions. The police or members of the
majority community never harass them. Darul Uloom shouldn’t try to create
panic,” Anwar said.
Saudi Cleric, a Former Dean Of The Islamic University In Medina, Dies After
'Poisoning' in Saudi Arabia
prominent Saudi cleric dies at a hospital in the port city of Jeddah, where he
had been transferred from detention after a reported poisoning that had
rendered him brain-dead.
members and London-based group Al Qst, which is critical of the Saudi regime's
human rights record, reported the death of Ahmed al-Amari, a former dean of the
Islamic University in Medina, late on Sunday, Reuters reported.
was arrested in August during a raid of his house, and was placed in solitary
son, Abdullah, said funeral prayers would be held on Monday afternoon.
of Conscience, another group promoting respect for human rights in the kingdom,
said in a tweet last Sunday that he had suffered brain hemorrhage after Saudi
officials injected him with poisonous substance during brutal torture in
and some others detained at the same time are believed to be close to
influential religious scholar Safar al-Hawali, who was arrested in July 2018
after publishing a book critical of the Saudi royal family.
activists also reported on Friday that Nayef Ahmed al-Omran, an activist from
the Shia-populated region of Qatif in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, had also
died after eight years in detention.
the past years, Riyadh has redefined its anti-terrorism laws, using the legal
basis to carry out sweeping raids against activists and outspoken clerics.
January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr Baqir
al-Nimr, who would openly critique Riyadh's policies.
kingdom, an absolute monarchy where public protests and political parties are
banned, however, says it does not have political prisoners and denies torture
allegations. Officials have said monitoring of activists is needed to ensure
most high-profile incident involving Riyadh over the past year has been the
murder of dissident journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi
last October. Khashoggi was killed and his body dismembered after he entered
the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Various reports have verified that some on a
team sent to carry out the murder had been drawn from among the personal
bodyguards of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, whom Khashoggi would
repeatedly criticize before his murder.
ruling party-affiliated Islamist organization has demanded a ban on the
operation of non-government organizations (NGOs) and international NGOs that
are working to curb child marriage in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Awami Ulama League, along with 13 other like-minded groups, made the
demand at a human chain formed in front of National Press Club in Dhaka on
at the human chain specifically mentioned INGOs – including Unicef, Save the
Children and Terre des homes – which have been working across the country to
prevent child marriage.
to repel the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017, Ulama League General Secretary
Abul Hasan Sheikh Shariatpuri even enunciated that these “anti-Muslim” and
“anti-Islam” organizations had been showing way too much interest on this issue
because the government as well as ordinary citizens of Bangladesh have not been
paying enough heed to this issue.
in favour of child marriage, Sheikh Shariatpuri said the legal ban on child
marriages imposed by the “kufri” Child Marriage Restraint Act had increased the
number of abortions in the country.
physical relationships between under-18 boys and girls have led to an
alarmingly high rate of abortions and single mothers,” he claimed.
even called for people involved with the NGOs to be hanged on charge of
demeaning Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
witnessed a decline in the overall child marriage rate in recent years, but
continues to have one of the highest rates in the world.
report by Child Rights Advocacy Coalition, published in 2018, says the rate of
child marriage under the age of 15 declined from 62.8% in 2015 to 10.7% in
2017, while the rate of child marriages under the age of 18 years has gone down
from 62.8% in 2015 to 59.7% in 2016.
League wants a ban on BPL too
Shariatpuri has also sought a ban on the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League
(BPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament, reports multiple news outlets.
BPL is turning the country into a breeding ground for gamblers. Ordinary people
are being drawn towards gambling during cricket tournaments like the BPL and
the IPL [Indian Premier League], which is completely unconstitutional,” he
Islamist group also criticized Bangladesh Football Federation for promoting
at Bangladesh Football Federation are placing restrictions on marriage to
encourage immoral activities such as live-together, for which they should be
arrested,” said Sheikh Shariatpuri.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed petition seeking
disqualification of Prime Minister Imran Khan and said fine would be imposed on
similar petition if receive in future.
bench of Islamabad High Court comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice
Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb resumed the hearing of the petition submitted by Hafiz
Ehtesham, spokesperson of the Lal Masjid's Shuhada Foundation.
petitioner Hafiz Ehtesham alleged that the prime minister did not reveal that
he had a daughter ‘Tyrian’ in his nomination papers. “He lied about his
daughter that’s why he is not Sadiq and Ameen.”
hearing Justice Athar Minallah questioned the petitioner that had he read the
Article 63 (H)?
Athar further remarked that if he had checked Article 63(h) which deals with
moral issues and said the first principle of Islam is to keep someone’s personal
life private. Therefore, private matters of any person should not be brought in
the court, the judge remarked.
this petitioner Ehtesham argued in court Imran Khan is public office holder and
therefore his personal matters could not be considered beyond scrutiny.
this Justice Minallah remarked Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution, under
which petitioner had sought PM Khan's disqualification. Article 63(1)(h)
stipulates that a person convicted of a crime of "moral turpitude"
and sentenced to jail for not less than two years can contest elections if five
years have lapsed since his release.
judge further remarked that in Islam, it has been said that one should attempt
to brush other’s private matters under the carpet. To this petitioner argued that
yes Islam has forbidden to discussed personal lives of other but it is also
written in Article 62 (1)(d) that character of member National Assembly should
be according to this.
this justice Athar Minallah remarked that it’s mean we should expunge Article
63 (h). He remarked, “Such petitions are only wastage of time.”
Minallah also warned the petitioner that if such requests were submitted in the
future, the petitioner would be fined. PM Imran Khan counsel Dr Babar Awan was
present in court. However he did not need to present his arguments, as the
court discarded the petition while hearing the petitioner.
Muslim areas of the mainly Catholic Philippines took part in a plebiscite on
Monday to decide whether power should be devolved to a locally elected
administration in one of Southeast Asia’s most conflict-torn regions.
referendum is the culmination of a tumultuous peace process between the
separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and successive governments,
aimed at ending conflict that has killed at least 120,000 people since the
2.8 million registered voters in two Muslim-majority areas of Mindanao, the
country’s southernmost region, have been asked if they support a law to create
a self-governing area called Bangsamoro, essentially an upgrade and expansion
of an existing autonomous setup largely seen as ineffective.
is self-rule so important?
Muslim parts of Mindanao are among Southeast Asia’s most unstable and
neglected, lacking in infrastructure, jobs and schools. It is hoped that by
managing its own affairs, the region will have more power, budget and political
will to address the shortfalls, employ more civil servants, and attract more
private investment, especially in agriculture and mining.
than half of the region’s families live in poverty, compared with a national
average of 21.6 percent, according to government data. In 2015-2016, the region
had the lowest secondary school enrolment and highest dropout rate, with just a
third of youth in school compared with 68 percent nationally.
groups say historical narratives of neglect and oppression, and a lack of
schooling and opportunity, make the region a fertile recruitment ground for
militants inspired by Islamic State, like Dawla Islamiya, the Bangsamoro
Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Abu Sayyaf, known for bombings,
beheading, kidnappings and piracy.
the Bangsamoro plan be approved and what happens after?
result is likely by Friday and an overwhelming “yes” is expected. A smaller
plebiscite will be held on Feb. 6 asking some other areas if they wish to join
the newly endorsed entity, once created.
central government will appoint a Bangsamoro Transition Authority, which will
govern until elections in 2022 for an 80-seat legislature, which will choose a
chief minister. The MILF enjoys broad support and is expected to dominate the
will have its own legislative, executive and fiscal powers, but defense,
security and foreign and monetary policy will remain under Manila’s control. A
“yes” outcome will see decommissioning of an estimated 40,000 weapons held by
MILF guerrillas and civilians.
would autonomy impact security?
hope is that autonomy would eventually address the roots of instability,
although it is not expected to be a panacea after years of separatist, Islamist
and Maoist rebellion, and lawlessness conflict between clans.
has been under martial law since an alliance of local and foreign militants
inspired by Islamic State attacked Marawi City in a bid to establish a
caliphate in May 2017. The military took five months to recapture it,
destroying half of it in the process. There are fears survivors of that battle,
and possibly fighters fleeing Iraq and Syria, could regroup and strike again.
bombings last year at a Cotabato City mall, a street festival in Sultan
Kudarat, and a prematurely detonated van bomb in Basilan, suggest there are
elements who might try to sabotage the political process.
if the vote is ‘no’?
status quo would prevail. Although a “no” vote is highly unlikely, it is
possible that some areas invited to join the proposed autonomous area might
reject the offer.
those is Cotabato City, which has a mix of Muslims and Christians and was,
according to some polls, not entirely behind the idea of joining. Cotabato
would most likely be the new Bangsamoro authority’s seat of government. It
might need to seek out another.
the region a government priority?
not, but with Rodrigo Duterte, the first Philippine president to come from
Mindanao, this could be its best chance for change.
Duterte’s 2016 election promises still largely unmet, a successful transition
to a Bangsamoro authority would be a feather in his cap. Although the peace
deal was agreed by his predecessor, it can expect Duterte’s strong support.
makes no secret of his determination to help Mindanao and often boasts about
having turned Davao City from lawlessness into a thriving commercial center. He
has encouraged donors to pour aid into Mindanao and despite security lapses that
led to the battle for Marawi, it appears Duterte’s popularity has not been
is on good terms with separatist leaders and though not a Muslim himself, he
often talks about his late grandmother being a native of the Bangsamoro area,
and even losing distant relatives to militant recruiters.
only three years left to deliver an ambitious policy agenda, Mindanao could be
his best legacy as president.
Arabia may learn to regret the political attacks launched from the kingdom on
two American Muslim women who won seats for the Democrats in Congress in the
U.S. midterm elections. One of them Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, has secured a
seat on a House panel that has the power to disrupt U.S. arms sales to Saudi
Ilhan Omar, who won a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week,
and her fellow congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, have attracted
disapproving Saudi attention with the oil-rich kingdom’s government-controlled
media outlets, as well as academics and commentators known to reflect the views
of the ruling royal family, dubbing them secret Islamists who are in league
with the Muslim Brotherhood.
securing a seat on the House foreign affairs panel Omar said she is determined
to “rein in arms sales to human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia.”
attacks on the two lawmakers, who dub themselves democratic socialists, have
not diminished since their mid-term wins when they became the first Muslim
women elected to the U.S. Congress. Both are among several politically
progressive congressional newcomers who have pledged to shake up the U.S.
Congress and their own Democratic party.
Saudi diplomat kicked off the rhetoric against the lawmakers with a tweet on
election night targeting Omar, saying “she will be hostile to the Gulf” and
accusing her of being an adherent of the kind of political Islam represented by
the Muslim Brotherhood.
Arabiya, a news network set up by relatives of the Saudi royal family, ran an
op-ed last month saying the two newly-elected congresswomen are part of an
anti-Saudi infiltration of American politics, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood,
which aims to undermine U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategic partnership
with Saudi Arabia. The criticism has been echoed in the United Arab Emirates,
Saudi’s Gulf neighbor and ally. The Muslim Brotherhood, a political movement,
is banned in both Gulf countries.
Democrats’ battle against Republican control of the U.S. Congress, led to an
alliance with political Islamist movements in order to restore their control on
government, pushing Muslim candidates and women activists of immigrant
minorities, onto the electoral scene,” the writer of the Al Arabiya article
in rhetorical attacks
of the two congresswomen describe the Saudi media campaign against the pair as
a vilification, saying there’s an irony in the rhetorical attacks as both
lawmakers share socially progressive views, including strong advocacy of LGBTQ
and women’s rights, which are diametrically at odds with political Islam. The
Saudi targeting of the two is in response, they say, to the women’s advocacy of
human rights and their criticism of the Saudi royals, and especially of the
kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
women have criticized Trump over his handling of Saudi Arabia in response to
the October killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Omar tweeted after the
killing of the journalist, “The Saudi government might have been strategic at
covering up the daily atrocities carried out against minorities, women,
activists and even the #YemenGenocide, but the murder of #JamalKhashoggi should
be the last evil act they are allowed to commit.”
has refrained from severely punishing Saudi Arabia for the killing of Khashoggi
in its consulate in Istanbul. The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on
17 Saudis accused of organizing the murder, but says the strategic relationship
with Riyadh is too important to do more.
ire is not only focused on Saudi Arabia, though. Both lawmakers, ironically
considering the Saudi criticism, are firm opponents of Israeli policy and are
supporters of a boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.
an interview Thursday with The Intercept, a left-leaning online investigative
news site, Rashida Tlaib, the first ever Palestinian-American woman elected to
Congress, says she won’t support U.S. military aid to Israel or “any country
that is not for equality or justice.”
Palestine, she said, “I have to tell you my grandmother lives there. By me
supporting any aid to a country that denies her human dignity, denies her
equality, the fact that she has to go and, you know, through checkpoints to get
to the hospital for health care, the fact that she is felt as if she’s less
than in her own country, that is something I will not be supporting.”
said military aid should be used as leverage to persuade countries to observe
we’re not doing that to Israel, Saudi Arabia and other countries, then we’re
not doing our job as a country,” she added.
air force chief threatens to make Israel ‘vanish from earth’
commander of Iran’s air force, Brigadier Aziz Nasirzadeh, said that Iran will
“eliminate Israel from the Earth” in a fiery statement to the Young Journalist
Club, a website supervised by state television.
comes after Israel’s military said on Monday it struck Iranian Quds targets
inside Syria and warned Syrian forces not to attack Israeli territory or
Israeli air strikes and ground-to-ground missiles killed at least 11 fighters
including two Syrians, a Britain-based war monitor said.
young people are impatient and fully ready to battle the Zionist regime and
make them vanish from the Earth,” Nasirzadeh said.
next generation with the knowledge necessary to learn their strengths are the
promised ones who will destroy Israel,” he added in the statement.
overnight strikes followed cross-border attacks on Sunday in which Syria said
it repelled an Israeli air attack. Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired at
the Golan Heights.
have a permanent policy, to strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and
hurt whoever tries to hurt us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said
Judaism leaders to discuss interfaith ties with Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi
Francis’ upcoming historic visit to Abu Dhabi, which will begin on February 5,
will bring together many prominent leaders from Islam, Christianity, and
Judaism from various parts of the region.
to local media reports, these leaders will discuss ways to improve interfaith
relations and promote dialogue. The meeting will be part of the series of
events planned on the sidelines of the Pope’s visit to the UAE, which would be
his first to the Gulf region.
Francis is also scheduled to hold a meeting with Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb of Sheikh
of al-Azhar, which organizes meetings of more than 600 spiritual leaders
representing different religions.
al-Mansouri, Director General of the National Media Council of the UAE, said
that the Pope’s historic visit “reflects the spirit of tolerance of the United
said that residents in the United Arab Emirates have embraced 76 churches and
temples belonging to different religious beliefs. Al-Mansouri said that the
Pope’s visit would attract great media attention, as this is the first visit of
its kind to the region.
to reports, the Pope will lead a mass in Abu Dhabi, which is likely to be
attended by 135,000 Catholics from the UAE and other parts of the region.
of the Council of Muslim Scholars, Dr. Sultan al-Rumaithi, said that the
meeting would include discussions on the principles of religions, what they
have in common, as well challenges and opportunities.
also highlighted the importance of tolerance, which he said, is an integral
part of Islam. Al-Rumaithi also said that there would be significant Saudi
participation in the meeting.
said that this is not a political meeting and would instead focus on interfaith
participation and the importance of tolerance that the UAE is trying to
attaches properties of radical Islamist preacher Zakir Naik worth 16.40 crores
a massive crackdown, the Enforcement Directorate has reportedly attached
properties worth Rs.16.40 crore in Mumbai and Pune, belonging to radical
Islamist preacher Zakir Naik, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
to reports, the ED investigations have revealed that funds of Rs around 49.20
crores were received in the non-resident external (NRE) bank accounts of
accused Zakir Naik in India from his Dubai accounts and the origin of these
deposits were unknown.
in October 2018, the NIA court had ordered the attachment of five properties
belonging to Naik in Mumbai’s Mazgaon area.
Naik reportedly used the funds to the tune of Rs 17.65 crore to buy properties
in projects like Fatima Heights and Aafiyah Heights in Mumbai, ENGRACIA in Pune
and also a venture at Bhandup, Mumbai. The builders involved include Salim
Kodia from M/s MK Enterprises, Munaf Vadgam from M/s Aafiyah Realtors, Sameer
Khan from M/s Pacific Orient Genesis Associates, and Musa Lakdawala, partner of
M/s Lakdawala & Yash Associates.
an attempt to disguise the origin of funds and the real ownership of
properties, the initial payment from Zakir Naik’s account was diverted to those
of his wife, son and niece to buy properties in the name of relatives, as
reported by the money trail established by ED. “The total attachment as
Proceeds of Crime, in this case, is Rs 50.49 crore including the present
attachment. Further investigation is in progress,” said a statement released by
investigation was initiated by ED on the basis of the charge sheet filed by
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 26 October 2017 before the court of
Special Judge, NIA, Mumbai, against Zakir Naik and others under the provisions
of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The criminal case against him
was registered in 2016.
to the charge sheet, Zakir Naik had deliberately and maliciously insulted the
religious beliefs of Hindus, Christians as well as Muslims who didn’t follow
the Wahhabi-Salafist ideology preached by him. Naik is accused of making
abusive remarks against Hindus, Christians, Shia, Sufi and Barelwis, with
intention of outraging their religious feelings.
such activities the accused was receiving funds from the Islamic Research
Foundation as well as other unknown sources, states the ED release, adding that
the Islamic Research Foundation and M/s. Harmony Media has been instrumental in
the maximum circulation of Zakir Naik’s incriminating speeches.
has been notorious in spreading hatred between religious groups and for
inciting Muslim youth to join in the jihad against non-believers of Islam. He
used to use his NGO ‘Islamic Research Foundation’ (IRF) and a TV channel (Peace
TV) to air his hate speeches in the country. The government of India had taken
the channel off the air and banned the NGO.
Rohingyas who are stranded on zero line between the India and Bangladesh
international border in Tripura for past 72 hours, are from Rakhine State in
Myanmar, said a Border Security Force (BSF) official.
their preliminary questioning to know their identities on Monday, the BSF said
most of them are from four districts of Rakhine State — Mandaw, Bhusidang,
Maungdaw and Manandaw.
began the questioning today. Many more things like their names, age and also
their route of journey are yet to be confirmed. So far, we came to know they
are from Myanmar. The questioning will continue tomorrow,” said DIG of BSF CL
BSF provided them food,water and blankets on humanitarian ground as they are
staying in the open. They are yet to receive instruction from Delhi on whether
to accept them or not.
31 Rohingyas, including 16 children, were detained by Border Guards Bangladesh
(BGB) on January 18 and alleged that the BSF has been pushing them back to
BSF, however,denied the blame, saying that there is no breach of fence on the
Indian side. In their counter reply, they accused the BGB to push them to the
Indian side of the international border.
matter remained unsolved even after two round of flag meetings. The expected
third meeting could not be held today as none of the BGB officials turned up.
US decision to drastically reduce troop levels in Afghanistan could draw
countries in the region, including India, into the 17-year-old conflict and
embolden Pakistan to increase its backing for the Taliban, a report by the Rand
Corporation has warned.
month, President Donald Trump reportedly directed US authorities to reduce by
half the American troop presence in Afghanistan.
coincided with his decision to order a complete withdrawal of US forces from
Syria, and Trump has said repeatedly that he wants to end the US deployment in
report, authored for the US-based think tank by James Dobbins, former president
George W Bush’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Laurel E Miller, former acting
special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and former defence
officials Jason H Campbell and Sean Mann, said US relations with Afghanistan’s
most-important neighbours such as Pakistan are “at their lowest point since
2001”. Key players in the region such as Russia, Iran, India and Uzbekistan
“have a history of support for Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara warlords” in
Afghanistan and could be drawn further into the conflict in the event of a
sudden US withdrawal, the report said. “These relationships will likely be
reinforced as the (Afghan) central government’s financial base collapses, its
writ weakens, and its cohesion erodes,” it said.
and Iran have “generally supported the Kabul government” since 2001, but “have
provided limited aid to the Taliban as a hedge” in recent years, it added.
“Pakistan has long tolerated and facilitated use of its territory by the
the event of a precipitous US withdrawal, Pakistan will likely become more open
in its backing,” the report said.
sudden drawdown of US troops, the report said, would have other consequences,
such as North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces also leaving, US and
international civilian presence sharply reducing, external economic and
security assistance diminishing, the government in Kabul losing influence and
legitimacy, and groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State gaining
additional scope to organise and carry out terror attacks against US regional
and homeland targets.
after a woman in Delhi lodged a police complaint against a Pakistan High
Commission staffer for allegedly touching her inappropriately at a market,
India has accused Pakistani intelligence agencies of threatening to lodge
retaliatory complaints against two of its diplomats.
Indian Express has learnt that the Indian High Commission in Islamabad has sent
a “note verbale”, an unsigned less-formal mode of diplomatic communication,
detailing the incident in Pakistan’s capital city.
January 15, at 10 am, while going from the High Commission to the World Mart
market in Diplomatic enclave, two of the staff members of this mission, were
intercepted by Pakistani agency personnel and questioned them about the alleged
incident with a Pakistan High Commission official in India on January and why
that happened. Further, they threatened mission officials that they would
reciprocate in the same way,” the note verbale sent to Pakistan Foreign
Ministry recently said.
Ministry is requested to kindly investigate this incident and instruct the
relevant agency to ensure that such incidents do not recur,” it said, while
requesting that “the esteemed ministry may kindly share the results of the
investigation with the High Commission”.
note also pointed out that such incidents of harassment of family members of
diplomats are in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of
January 13, a staffer of the Pakistan High Commission was taken to Sarojini
Nagar police station after a woman alleged that he touched her inappropriately
at a popular market in the south Delhi locality. The issue was resolved and the
staffer allowed to leave after “he later apologised”, a senior police officer
said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has also expressed concern, in
another note verbale, over reports of a speech delivered on January 14 in
Lahore by a “so-called Amir of Ansar-ul-Ummah” — Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a
UN-designated terrorist entity — advocating terror and violence against India.
ministry registers its strong protest at the use of Pakistan-controlled
territory by extremist and terrorist elements to freely promote violence and
terror against India,” the note sent by the MEA to Pakistan High Commission
said New Delhi called upon the Pakistan government to fulfill its international
obligations and abide by its bilateral commitments to not allow any territory
under its control to be used for terrorism against India, in any manner.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested a 43-year-old man from
Jaipur for allegedly being involved in a terror funding case.
man, identified as Mohammad Hussain Molani alias Babloo, was sent back from the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is an accused in a terror funding case,
involving Lashkar-e-Taiba’s front called Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).
October 15, The Indian Express had reported on how the FIF funded the
construction of a mosque in Haryana’s Palwal district through a man from
man from Delhi, identified as Mohammed Salman, was arrested by the NIA along
with Mohammed Salim and Sajjad Abdul Wani on September 26 for allegedly
receiving funding for terror activities from Lahore-based FIF, an NGO set up by
Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is the LeT’s parent organisation.
NIA suspected that the funding was an attempt by the LeT to build a base that
could be used later for the outfit’s activities in India. The agency’s probe
had found that Salman had received Rs 70 Lakh from a man named Kamran in Dubai.
Kamran is alleged to be a Pakistani national who handles FIF operations in
Dubai and is in touch with FIF’s second-in-command.
is alleged to be the conduit between Kamran and Salman.
used to tell Molani to send money to Salman. Molani would then get in touch
with hawala operators in India to facilitate the transfer of funds,” an NIA
Today TV has exclusive access to a list of Islamic State (IS) recruits who fled
the county to join the terror group but were tracked down and brought back to
India. Most of them were in West Asia.
IS sympathisers, many of them headhunters sitting outside India were on the
prowl to recruit vulnerable misguided Muslim youth. These recruiters were
brought back to the country in the past four years as intelligence agencies
zeroed in on them.
of them were key to tracking down hundreds of others within the country who
wanted to go Syria.
said many of these were handlers in touch with Indian youth, arranging finances
and logistics to travel to Syria and there were others who were being
brainwashed to carry out terror strikes in the country in the name of IS.
Today TV has accessed a list with 101 names including terror operatives
associated with IS, Dawood Ibrahim's D Company, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Khalistani
groups that were tracked down in countries like UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi
Arabia, France, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
was the IS operatives who topped the list and were traced mostly in West Asian
countries and brought back to India since 2014.
many were arrested and are facing terror charges, there were some who helped
agencies with vital information to crack the IS outreach within the country.
In connection to the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation(FiF) terror funding case, the
national investigative agency on Monday arrested a 43-year-old native of
Kuchaman city of Nagaur district. He was detained by the sleuths on Sunday
evening on landing in Jaipur from Dubai.
sources of NIA, while talking to TOI on Monday, confirmed that they had lodged
a case to probe terror funding module in the months of July and September and
then, arrested three persons including a native of Kuchaman.
investigating the case it was found that one Mohammad Husain Molani alias
Babloo was also involved in getting funds through FiF module. FiF is a
Lahore-based organisation established by Jamat-ud-Dawa and was founded by Hafiz
Mohammad Saeed, who is designated as global terrorist by the USA. He was
absconding. We got a specific input that he was coming to Jaipur from Dubai by
flight on Sunday. Our team reached and detained him on Sunday. He was arrested
on Monday," said a senior officer of NIA on the condition of anonymity.
further stated that the accused was evading arrest by hiding in Dubai,
following which a look out circular (LOC) was issued by NIA. "He was
detained on his arrival at Jaipur International Airport. This is our fourth
arrest in this case since September last year which is related to receiving of
terror funds being sent by FIF operatives to their associates through Hawala
operators for furthering their nefarious activities to create unrest in India.
The arrested accused was in close contact with foreign based financers of
FIF," the officer added.
was produced before the special NIA court at Patiala house court, New Delhi
where NIA was granted 9 days police custody.
will interrogate him to unearth the larger conspiracy, to collect evidence and
to arrest other accused persons," the officer added.
has busted a terror funding module in Delhi led by Pakistan-based terrorist
Hafiz Saeed's Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), on September, 27, 2018. An
FIR to probe the terror funding module was registered by the agency in July
grand mufti lauds Saudi Arabia’s services to Muslims
Dr. Shawki Allam, the grand mufti of Egypt, received the Saudi minister of
Islamic affairs, Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh.
hailed the Kingdom’s participation in the 29th International Conference of the
Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, which was organized by the Egyptian
Ministry of Awqaf (religious endowments) and ended on Sunday.
praised the Kingdom, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman, for serving Muslims around the world. He said that Egypt and Saudi
Arabia would continue to work together to maintain stability in the Middle
also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s supervision of the Hajj and said the country’s
organization of the pilgrimage was “getting better and better” every year.
said he was delighted to meet Allam. The Saudi minister highlighted the strong
relations between the two countries. He said that the Kingdom was steadily
moving forward through its program of reforms.
meeting was also attended by deputy minister of Islamic affairs, Dr. Yousef bin
Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz bin Saeed; Undersecretary of the Ministry of Islamic
Affairs, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Samil; the director of religious
affiliations at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulwahid
Al-Arifi; adviser to the grand mufti of Egypt, Dr. Magdy Ashour; the fatwa
secretary of Dar al-Ifta, Dr. Ahmed Mamdouh; and Dr. Mustafa Thabet, who is in
charge of blasphemy refutation.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s first festival will start on Feb. 5
in Cairo and allow Muslims around the world to become closer, the body’s
secretary-general said on Monday.
Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said the aim of the festival was to bring people
from member and non-member states together so they could engage with each other
intellectually, politically and socially, as well as share stories about their
traditions. The festival aims to promote solidarity on the basis of a shared
religion, he said, and position the OIC as the world’s second-biggest
international humanitarian organization after the UN.
regular event would also highlight the economic opportunities, humanitarian
work, and political development successes in member states, in addition to
reviewing the situation of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries. The Cairo
festival will feature crafts, traditional costume, fine arts, seminars, poetry
sessions, guided tours and even a marathon. It ends Feb. 9.
visit to help build values of tolerance’
Dhabi: The UAE will be welcoming Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church,
from February 3 to 5, on his first visit to the Gulf region, to participate in
the Global Interfaith Conference on Human Fraternity, officials said on Monday.
Pope’s visit coincides with the visit of the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Dr Ahmad Al
Tayeb, where the two prominent religious figures will hold a historic meeting
to launch a global humanitarian message to consolidate the values of tolerance
and brotherhood, coexistence and rejection of extremism, Mansour Al Mansouri,
director-general of the National Media Council, told a press conference held at
the Emirates Palace.
Mansouri said the Pope’s historic visit to the Catholic Church in the UAE will
make the country a capital of human tolerance, an opportunity to cement the
ties of friendship and cooperation that characterised the UAE’s relationship
with the Vatican for the benefit of humanity and the service of world peace.
the Year of Tolerance, the UAE will bring together the two great religious
symbols to highlight the role of the country as the capital of human tolerance
and highlight the role of the UAE in promoting the values of tolerance, love,
coexistence between different religions and sects and rejecting hatred,
extremism and racism.
Mansour Al Mansouri, director-general of the National Media Council
Roman Catholic Bishop has been seated in the UAE since 1974.
Joseph’s Cathedral is the seat of the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia,
Bishop Paul Hinder. St. Joseph’s was established nine years earlier, six years
before the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan united the UAE as a nation in
one million Christians (about one-ninth of the current UAE population) live and
work in the country. While many different Christian faiths worship in churches
throughout the UAE, most of the Christian population is Roman Catholic.
the Year of Tolerance, the UAE will bring together the two great religious
symbols to highlight the role of the country as the capital of human tolerance
and highlight the role of the UAE in promoting the values of tolerance, love,
coexistence between different religions and sects and rejecting hatred,
extremism and racism,” Al Mansouri said.
Sultan Al Rumaithi, secretary-general of the Council of Muslim Elders, said the
programme will include the inauguration of the region’s first historic mass to
be marked by Pope Francis in the presence of 135,000 followers of the Catholic
the visit of His Holiness the Pope, the Council of Muslim Elders will organise
a conference of human fraternity with the participation of 76 churches and
temples from various religions, sects and faiths in the country.”
Rumaithi added the Pope will attend the conference, which will bring together
more than 700 prominent religious, political and social figures from across the
event will highlight the state’s efforts to promote the values of human
tolerance and the commitment of the UAE to contribute to the creation of
communities living in a spirit of tolerance.
estimated 135,000 Catholics from the UAE and abroad are expected to attend the
mass to be marked by Pope Francis which will be held at Zayed Sports City and
the roads leading to it.
has always been and remains the land of tolerance and coexistence. The first
monastery and church found in the Sir Bani Yas Island dates back to the 7th
there are 76 churches and places of worship in the UAE for people of different
UAE has had a Roman Catholic bishop since 1974. St. Joseph’s Cathedral is the
seat of the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, Bishop Paul Hinder.
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Monday that
a bomb-laden vehicle was detonated as a US convoy was moving on Hasaka-Raqqa
road along with the SDF militants near al-Shadadi region in Southern Hasaka.
added that a suicide bomber was also inside the vehicle, noting that at least 5
SDF fighters were killed and 2 US forces were wounded in the attack.
blast came 5 days after several American soldiers were killed in a similar
suicide attack in Manbij in Northeastern Syria.
huge explosion at the center of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo killed and
wounded over 30 people, including several US soldiers on Wednesday.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that the explosion occurred in Kasr
al-Umara restaurant at Sondos street, killing at least 10 people, including
members of Manbij military council.
US is pressuring the Iraqi government through sanctions against Iran and
forcing Iraq to comply with these sanctions so that Abdul Mahdi does not even
speak about the quantity and quality of the US military deployment in
Iraq," Karim al-Aliwi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website
also referred to the US pressures on Baghdad to dissolve 67 groups of Hashd
al-Shaabi (popular forces), and said that Washington is also using the Iraqi
government's weakness to implement its plans to continue military deployment on
relevant remarks last Thursday, Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai
al-Youm newspaper, underlined that Washington's hostile stance towards Hashd
al-Shaabi and its quest for dismantling popular groups in the Arab state derived
from their opposition to the US forces' occupation of Iraq.
US administration in an unprecedented demand called on the Iraqi government on
Tuesday to dissolve 67 groups operating in the framework of the Iraqi popular
forces, while all these groups were welcomed by Washington when they were
fighting against the ISIL alongside the US forces. Then what has changed
now," Atwan wrote.
that Iraq's security and national identity is gradually reviving, he said that
Hashd al-Shaabi forces or their leaders have demanded withdrawal of all the
5,500 US military troops from Iraq and are opposed to the US use of military
bases in Iraq for possible attacks against Syria and Iran.
added that Hashd al-Shaabi was also hostile to Israel and is in clear solidarity
with Syria, which is another reason for the US enmity.
Kurdish fighters during their military operations against the Turkish Army and
its affiliated militants in Afrin region pounded the Turkey-backed militants'
positions and movements in the village of Khaleteh in Afrin region in
Northwestern Aleppo, killing at least eight militants of Sultan Murat and
Jbahat al-Shamia as well as wounding three others, the Kurdish media Hawar News
noted that the Kurdish fighters' raid on the military positions of Farqa
al-Hamza in the village of Kimar in Shirawa region killed four terrorists,
including a terrorist commander and wounded three others.
Kurdish militants also exploded a bomb in the command center of Faylaq
al-Rahman terrorist group and the military police affiliated to Ankara in
Marimin village in Shara region, killing four terrorists and wounding two
other Ankara-backed terrorists were also killed and wounded during the Kurdish
fighters' military operations in Shara region.
a relevant development on Saturday, the Kurdish fighters during their military
operations against the Turkish Army and its affiliated militants in Afrin
pounded a military position of Ahrar al-Sham terrorists and Turkish army troops
in Jandariseh region of Afrin, severely wounding two Turkish Army soldiers and
five Ankara-backed militants, Hawar News reported.
noted that five members of Farqa al-Hamza and Jbahat al-Shamia were killed and
three others were wounded in three consecutive military operations by the
Kurdish forces against the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants in the
Center of Afrin as well as Shirawa and Shara regions in recent days.
battlefield sources in Northern Aleppo reported that during the Syrian
Democratic Forces' missile attack on a military position of the Free Syrian
Army (FSA) in Kimar village in Afrin region, a terrorist was killed and five
others were wounded.
the Turkish Army and its affiliated militants launched mortar and tank attacks
on Soqankeh village from Kimar village.
a relevant development on Tuesday, the Turkish Army and Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in close
cooperation dispatched over 10,000 terrorists to Northern Aleppo from Idlib and
its surrounding areas to prepare for an upcoming battle with the Kurdish
fighters in Eastern Syria.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the Ankara-backed
National Liberation Front (NFL) as saying that Hayat al-Tahrir al-Sham and
Ankara are running close security cooperation.
sources also reiterated that the recent attack by Tahrir al-Sham at NFL
militants in Idlib and its surrounding areas have taken place in coordination
with Turkey and with the aim to push them towards Afrin region in Northwestern
Aleppo and other areas under the control of the Euphrates Shield militants in a
bid to engage in a battle against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters
in Eastern Euphrates.
NFL sources pointed to the forced exit of over 2,000 terrorists from Idlib
towards regions dubbed 'Euphrates Shied' and 'Olive Branch', and said that
about 500 Jeish al-Ahrar terrorists are slated to leave their positions in
Northern Idlib and Lattakia for Northern and Northeastern Aleppo.
sources reiterated that the number of militants stationed in Idlib, Hama
suburbs, Lattakia and Aleppo who are due to join the Syrian National Army
affiliated to the Turkish Army in the upcoming battle against the Kurdish
forces in Eastern Euphrates has exceeded 10,000 militants.
a relevant development on Monday, Commander of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at Abu
Mohamed al-Jolani underlined support for the imminent military operations by
the Turkish army against the Kurdish population in Eastern Syria.
Arabic-language Enab Baladi news website, affiliated to the militants, quoted
Jolani as saying on Monday that "we support Turkey's action to take
control over the Eastern Euphrates region".
added that the Kurdish forces are considered as the enemy of what he called as
Tahrir al-Sham's "revolution", noting, "We believe that these
forces should be annihilated and this will happen for sure."
was the first reaction of Jolani after Tahrir al-Sham's occupation of Idlib
province that has forced other terrorist groups to leave the region.
has recently sent several military convoys to the borders with Syria to launch
military operations against Kurds in Eastern Euphrates.
has undertaken to disarm Tahrir al-Sham in a demilitarized zone that stretches
across several Northern provinces in Syria under an agreement signed with
Russia, known as the Sochi Agreement.
Tahrir al-Sham is expanding its territories in Northern Syria and launches
daily attacks on Syria army from its positions within the demilitarized zone.
sources close to the Ankara-backed militants said earlier today that the Turkish
army was rendering logistical support to Tahrir al-Sham.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the Ankara-backed
National Liberation Front militant group as disclosing that their backers are
sending military and logistical aid to Tahrir al-Sham in Northern Syria.
dismissed Ankara's official claims about their struggle against Tahrir al-Sham
in Northern Syria, and even said Turkey has called on the terrorist group to
continue occupying Idlib province.
says Syria’s air defenses shot down more than 30 cruise missiles and guided
bombs during Israel's aerial attacks in the early hours of Monday.
National Defense Control Center said Israeli airstrikes targeting an airport in
southeastern Damascus killed four Syrian soldiers and wounded six others, RIA
news agency said.
announcement came after the Israeli military claimed in a statement that it had
struck what it said were Iranian targets in response to alleged rocket fire it
blamed on Iran.
so-called Syria Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group sympathetic to
militants, had also claimed that the Israeli air raids killed at least 11
pro-government fighters including two Syrians.
reportedly launched an hour of air attacks over Damascus on a second
consecutive night of military action in what appeared to be a face-saving
attempt after Syrian air defenses thwarted an attack on Sunday.
Sunday attack, launched by four Israeli F-16 jets, did not damage its targets,
while Syrian air defenses shot down seven missiles fired at an airport near
Damascus, Russia's control center said.
state media, citing a military source, said the country had endured “intense
attack through consecutive waves of guided missiles” early Monday, but had
destroyed most “hostile targets.”
Israeli military claimed that Iranian forces operating in Syrian territory had
launched a surface-to-surface rocket from Syrian territory aimed at the
northern occupied Golan Heights.
response to the attack, during the night (Israeli military) fighter jets struck
Iranian Quds Forces military targets in Syria in addition to Syrian aerial
defense batteries," it said.
says it has military advisers in Syria on the request of the Syrian government
to help cleanse the country of foreign-backed terrorists.
week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Israeli forces had
carried out "hundreds” of attacks against Iranians in Syria and warned
them "to get out of there fast."
of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Muhammad Ali Jafari
dismissed Netanyahu’s threats as "a joke” and warned that the Zionist
regime "was playing with a lion’s tail.”
should be afraid of the day that our precision-guided missiles roar and fall on
your head,” he said. "Be sure, we do not take into account your ridiculous
threats,” the Iranian commander said.
know that if we have chosen to wait against your hostile measures, some
considerations lie behind it,” he added.
Jafari also said "the Islamic Republic of Iran will keep all its military
and revolutionary advisers and its weapons in Syria.”
launches airstrikes on Syria from time to time in what is widely viewed as an
attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeat at the
hands of Syrian government forces.
month, leading Israeli intelligence website DEBKAfile refuted Tel Aviv's claims
that a recent aerial raid in Syria had targeted Iranians and Hezbollah
fighters, saying the attack actually hit Syrian army positions.
has also warned Israel against carrying out airstrikes near the Damascus
London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper on Friday cited Russian sources as
saying that Moscow would not tolerate further airstrikes in the area as it was
seeking to renovate the airport.
September 2018, a Russian reconnaissance aircraft with 15 servicemen on board
was downed as Syria was responding to Israeli airstrikes.
held Israel responsible, saying the regime’s pilots had intentionally used the
Russian plane as cover to conduct air raids, effectively putting it in the
crosshairs of the Syrian air defenses.
Egyptian security officials say police have arrested 24 people who tried to
prevent authorities from demolishing illegal buildings near the Giza pyramids.
say police used tear gas to disperse residents and shopkeepers in the Nazlet
el-Samman village on Monday after they scuffled with police escorting the
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to
brief the media.
violence follows a recent announcement that a private Egyptian company will
take charge of running the historical site that includes the Great Pyramid and
the Sphinx, which are visited by millions every year.
Awami League on Monday denied any involvement with the Awami Ulama League, an
a signed statement sent to the media by Awami League Office Secretary Abdus
Sobhan Golap, it read that the party has observed some media reports of the
Awami Ulama League demanding a ban on the operations of NGOs, as well as the
BPL T20 cricket tournament.
want to clearly state that Awami League right now does not have any associated
body called Awami Ulama League or any committee at any level and there is no
relationship between the reports published and the Awami League,” it also read.
such activities in the name of Awami Ulama League is completely unethical and
illegal, the statement included.
ruling party has also demanded legal action against the people involved for
conducting activities against Awami League’s policy using the name of Awami
Bangladesh Awami Ulama League, along with 13 other like-minded groups, demanded
a ban on the operation of non-government organizations (NGOs) and international
NGOs that are working to curb child marriage in Bangladesh.
a human chain they formed in front of Jatiya Press Club on Monday, they also
demanded a ban on the BPL T20 tournament and has criticized Bangladesh Football
Federation for promoting women’s football.
at the human chain specifically mentioned INGOs – including Unicef, Save the
Children and Terre des hommes – which have been working across the country to
prevent child marriage.
to repel the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017, Ulama League General Secretary
Abul Hasan Sheikh Shariatpuri even enunciated that these “anti-Muslim” and
“anti-Islam” organizations had been showing way too much interest on this issue
because the government as well as ordinary citizens of Bangladesh have not been
paying enough heed to this problem.
Afghan Air Force has carried out a series of night airstrikes in southern
Uruzgan province leaving at least 30 Taliban militants dead.
to the informed military sources, the Afghan Air Force A29’s conducted night
air strikes last night killing 30 Taliban fighters in Khas Uruzgan district of
sources further added “The Afghan Air Force’s night strike capabilities greatly
minimize the Taliban’s abilities to move and operate at night.”
is among the relatively volatile provinces in South of Afghanistan where
Taliban are actively operating in some of its districts and often carry out
attacks against the government and security institutions.
least seven Taliban militants were killed, 3 others were wounded and a
vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was destroyed during separate
airstrikes conducted by the coalition forces.
to the informed military sources, three coalition air strikes in Nahr-e Saraj
district of Helmand killed 4 Taliban fighters and wounded 3 others.
coalition air strike in Lashkar Gah killed 1 Taliban fighter, the sources said
adding that the coalition forces also carried out air strike in Alah Say
district of Kapisa province killing 2 Taliban fighters.
the meantime, a coalition air strike in Musa Khel district of Khost province
destroyed a vehicle-borne IED, the officials said adding that “Taliban fighters
continue to use VBIEDs and innocent civilians are wounded and killed as a
presidential official jailed for violating ethnic, religious equality
senior presidential official Sawabuddin Makhkash has been jailed after he was found
guilty of violating the ethnic and religious equality by a court in Kabul.
a senior official in the administrative office of the president and a former
member of the electoral team of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, was convicted
for violating the ethnic and religious equality by the Appellate Court and was
awarded a two-year jail term.
Rasooli, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said they referred Mr.
Makhkash’s case to the court after completing the review of the case nearly a
said Makhkash was found not guilty by the preliminary court but since enough
documents and evidences were available against him, the case was referred to
the Appellate Court which convicted him of violating the ethnic and religious
equality and subsequently awarded him two years of jail term.
had prepared drafted a plan to hire officials in the government by preferring
individuals with a specific ethnic background. The plan leaked into the media
after he had shared it in a general group in Telegram.
leakage of the document sparked a public outcry forcing President Mohammad
Ashraf Ghani to instruct the Attorney General’s Office to review the case.
Taliban attack in central Afghanistan on Monday killed scores of security
personnel, officials said, with some estimates putting the death toll at more
than 100, amid government silence about one of the most deadly insurgent
attacks in months.
rammed a captured military Humvee packed with explosives into a training center
of the National Directorate for Security in Maidan Wardak province, west of the
capital Kabul. At least two gunmen followed up, spraying the compound with
gunfire before they were shot down.
have information that 126 people have been killed in the explosion inside the
military training center, eight special commandoes are among the dead,” said a
senior official in the defense ministry in Kabul, speaking on condition of
officials also said that scores of troops and NDS personnel were killed in the
attack but there was no official confirmation of the casualty toll, with
officials ordered not to talk to media for fear of damaging morale.
have been told not to make the death toll figures public. It is frustrating to
hide the facts,” said a senior interior ministry official in Kabul.
complex attack on a highly secured base underlined the heavy pressure facing
Afghan security forces as increasingly confident Taliban fighters have stepped
up operations, even as diplomatic efforts to agree a peaceful settlement to the
conflict have begun.
insurgents, fighting to drive out international forces from Afghanistan and
reintroduce their version of strict Islamic law, claimed responsibility for the
attack, which spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said killed 190 people.
attack, the most serious against Afghan forces in months, occurred on the same
day that Taliban representatives met Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for
peace in Afghanistan, in Qatar.
week, Taliban fighters set off a car bomb outside a highly fortified compound
killing at least five people and wounding more than 110 in the capital, Kabul
but casualties from Monday’s attack appear to have been far higher.
Hotak, a member of the provincial council in Maidan Wardak, said he saw the
bodies of 35 members of the Afghan forces in the hospital.
more were killed. Several bodies were transported to Kabul city and many
injured were transferred to hospitals in Kabul,” said Hotak, adding that “the
government was hiding the accurate casualty figures to prevent a further dip in
morale of the Afghan forces.
attack caused the biggest casualty total suffered by Afghan forces since August
2018, when the Taliban overran central Ghazni province. That confrontation
killed 150 Afghan security forces and 95 civilians dead, as well as hundreds of
Taliban fighters, said officials then.
Ashraf Ghani’s office said in a statement the “enemies of the country” had
carried out the attack and had killed and wounded “a number of our beloved and
recent years the Afghan government has stopped releasing detailed casualty
figures but US commanders have said repeatedly that the losses being suffered
by Afghan forces are “unsustainable”. Last year Ghani said 28,000 Afghan police
officers and soldiers had been killed since 2015.
Muslim group fleeing India to Bangladesh stuck on 'zero line'
(Reuters) - Bangladesh has denied entry to 31 Rohingya Muslims trying to enter
from India and they are stuck in no-man’s land on the border, Bangladesh
authorities said on Monday, as India cracks down on members of the community.
stranded Rohingya, including women and children, had been living in the Indian
state of Jammu and Kashmir, according to a Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB)
official who said he had seen some of their identity cards issued by the U.N.
refugee agency in India.
31 had been stuck on Bangladesh’s border with northeast India since Friday,
said the BGB commander in the area, Golam Kabir.
stopped them as they were crossing the border,” Kabir told Reuters by
been on the zero line since the 18th of this month,” he said, referring to the
border.Two rounds of talks on what to do with the 31, with India’s Border
Security Force on Sunday, had “ended without any conclusive decision”, Kabir
hundreds of thousands of members of mostly Buddhist Myanmar’s Rohingya
community have left their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine Sate over the decades,
most fleeing military crackdowns and discrimination.
have sought shelter in Bangladesh - where nearly 1 million live - but others
have ended up in India, Southeast Asia and beyond.
Indian border force officer in Tripura state told reporters on Sunday that they
were providing food and clothing to the Rohingya, 16 of whom were children.
force could not be reached for comment on Monday.
estimates that 40,000 Rohingya are living in scattered settlements in various
parts of the country.
its Hindu nationalist government regards them as illegal aliens and a security
threat, and has ordered that they be identified and repatriated.
U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, has issued about 16,500 Rohingya in India with
identity cards that it says can help “prevent harassment, arbitrary arrests,
detention and deportation”. India does not recognize the cards.
of Rohingya families have left India for Bangladesh since seven Rohingya men
were deported to Myanmar in October. This month, India sent a Rohingya family
of five to Myanmar.
United Nations says conditions are not conducive for Rohingya to return to
August, the United Nations accused the Myanmar military of mass killings and
rapes of Rohingya with “genocidal intent” in a 2017 military operation that
drove more than 700,000 of them into Bangladesh, according to U.N. agencies.
terrorist networks have been busted during the operations of the Afghan
Intelligence (National Directorate of Security) forces in southern Kandahar
provincial government media office in a statement said the terrorist networks
were busted during the operations which were conducted over the past one week.
statement further added that the terrorist networks comprised of 30 militants
who were all arrested by the intelligence operatives.
detained militants were involved in major destructive activities including
explosions, suicide bombings, and armed attacks, the provincial government
added in its statement.
to the governor’s office, the militants were conducting attacks in Kandahar
city and other districts of Kandahar province, mainly targeting security
compounds, security check posts, and logistics convoys.
Taliban have held talks with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar hours
after militants from the group killed scores of Afghan security forces in
central Maidan Wardak province.
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement on Monday that the Taliban
delegation was holding talks with the US representatives in the Qatari capital
between Taliban leaders and US officials have started today in Qatar," the
source close to the talks also confirmed members of the Taliban's political
office were meeting with Khalilzad in Doha, adding, "They will hopefully
finalize a timeline and mechanism of the withdrawal of foreign troops from
latest round of talks came hours after the Taliban killed scores of security
forces inside a military compound in Maidan Wardak.
rammed a captured military Humvee packed with explosives into a training center
of the National Directorate for Security in the province, west of Kabul. At
least two gunmen followed up, spraying the compound with gunfire before they
were shot down.
have information that 126 people have been killed in the explosion inside the
military training center, eight special commandos are among the dead,"
said a senior official in the Defense Ministry in Kabul, speaking on condition
developments come as Kabul has stepped up efforts to convince the Taliban to
end more than 17 years of militancy amid Washington’s failures on the
to negotiate a peace deal to end the US-led war in Afghanistan have been beset
by disagreement in recent weeks as leaders of the militant group reject the
Kabul government's offer for direct talks.
US, too, has been holding talks with the Taliban.
has been visiting some regional countries as part of a fresh push to end the
long-running Afghan war.
talks in Abu Dhabi in December, the US envoy said that he had held
"productive" meetings in the UAE capital with Afghan and
international partners "to promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending
also said in the Afghan capital on Wednesday that he hoped for fresh talks with
the Taliban "very soon" after meetings with them in Doha and Abu
has said the Taliban seek an agreement on the withdrawal of foreign forces,
while the US wants assurances from the militant group that its forces would not
talks in Qatar are the latest in a flurry of diplomatic efforts aimed at
putting an end to the war in Afghanistan, which began with the US-led invasion
comes as US President Donald Trump has ordered the start of withdrawing some
7,000 troops from Afghanistan, about half of the total number of American boots
on the ground in the war-torn country.
US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 after the September 11 attacks. US
forces have remained bogged down in the war-ravaged country through the
presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Trump.
quietly drops efforts for fatwa against Afghan Taliban
a possible backlash from the Taliban, Pakistan has quietly dropped efforts to
obtain a fatwa against carrying out suicide bombings and other acts of
terrorism in neighbouring Afghanistan.
being removed from power by US-led forces in 2001, the Taliban have waged an
armed insurgency against Kabul and international troops, one underpinned by a
strong religious ideology. The hardline teachings of the religious duty to
carry out a violent struggle against an occupying force have motivated many to
take up arms. Nearly 17 years after the invasion, as the US is looking to
negotiate a long-term settlement with its stubborn opponent, many looking to degrade
the powerful force see a religious decree from prominent Pakistani religious
figures as necessary for talks to be successful.
January last year, religious clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwa, or religious
ruling, condemning acts of terrorism in the country as un-Islamic. The decree
was endorsed by over 1,800 religious scholars from different schools of Islamic
jurisprudence and was hailed as an important step towards curbing extremism and
fatwa was notable for the number of clerics who had signed in the past, been
seen as supportive of the Afghan Taliban and were otherwise outspoken critics
of liberalism and the West. Among them was Hamid-ul-Haq, the son of a cleric
widely regarded as the father of the Afghan Taliban because of the number of
high profile militants – including Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar – who
graduated from his seminary in Pakistan’s Peshawar.
to discredit the Taliban, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani criticised the ruling
and said it should not have been limited to Pakistan.
they [Islamic principles] extend to all [of the world] of Islam, then it [the
Pakistani fatwa] should first and foremost be implemented in relation to
Afghanistan," Mr Ghani said.
Taliban, a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement, held power in the
country from 1996 to 2001 and enforced their strict interpretation of Islamic
group has long had roots that stretch over the border to Pakistan, with many
Taliban leaders graduating from religious schools in Pakistan during their rise
fighting the Soviet Union’s invasion of the land-locked country between 1979
as well as being among the first countries to recognise Taliban rule in 1996,
has strong military links through Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services
Intelligence. In December, Pakistan used its influence to pave the way for the
first direct talks between the US and the Taliban in Abu Dhabi since 2001.
a visit to Kabul in October 2017, as the details of the fatwa were being agreed
in the months before it was issued, Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed
Bajwa promised the Afghan government he would pursue a widened ruling. He said
they would look for a ruling that covered Afghanistan, according to Mohammad
Amir Rana, the director of an Islamabad-based think-tank Pak Institute for
believes the Taliban would lose significant influence if Pakistani scholars
issued a decree against their armed resistance,” Mr Rana said.
after discussions at a meeting in Karachi a month after Gen Bajwa’s visit to
Kabul, Pakistan’s religious clerics balked at the proposal.
unanimously decided not to intervene in internal affairs of Afghanistan,” said
Mufti Muhammad Naeem, chancellor of Jamia Binoria International, a Deobandi
seminary in Karachi.
Naeem said he was initially in favour of the proposed decree but later changed
his mind, fearing it could turn the Taliban against Pakistan.
did it for our country, but we can’t do it for Afghanistan,” he said of the
first decree approved in January 2018. “If Afghan imams are not willing to
issue a decree against jihad in their country, why should we do it? Also,
Pakistan enjoys considerable influence over Afghan Taliban, so we don’t want to
diminish it by issuing a decree against them.”
delegation of Afghan religious scholars then visited Pakistan in October last
year seeking to convince the clerics of a need to outlaw Pakistanis travelling
to Afghanistan for militancy but that effort proved futile.
scholars briefed us about their constitution which they claimed is Islamic in
nature, and sought our support to issue a decree against the jihad,” Tahir
Ashrafi, President of the All Pakistan Ulema Council, told The National.
the Pakistani clerics demurred. In the past, many of them had issued fatwas in
favour of the Afghan Taliban and their struggle against Nato forces. “It was
now difficult for them to recede from their positions,” said Mr Ashrafi.
key difference between the Pakistan and Afghan contexts in relation to the
proposed fatwa was the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan, which the
Taliban and many Afghans consider invaders, Mr Ashrafi said.
Taliban bases its claims to legitimacy on a narrative of a religiously
justified struggle against foreign occupation and would likely resist an
attempt by Pakistan to issue a fatwa against it, according to Mr Rana.
a loss of influence over the Taliban, by late last year the Pakistani
authorities had decided to quietly drop the issue.
foreign office declined to comment but reports indicate that at some point in
November last year, Islamabad quietly told their counterparts in Kabul that the
fatwa was off and it seems, at least for now, that whole idea has been shelved.
police book scores of PTM workers, leaders under terrorism charges
police on Monday registered a case against scores of Pashtoon Tahaffuz Movement
(PTM) leaders and workers under terrorism charges after the party held a rally
in Karachi's Sohrab Goth area on Sunday.
to the FIR of the incident, police accused speakers at the rally of using
"undesirable language against state institutions". The FIR (22/2019)
was registered on behalf of the State through Sohrab Goth Station House Officer
to the contents of the FIR, the workers of PTM, "under directions of
Manzoor Pashteen organized the rally at a ground behind Al-Asif Square on
complainant SHO, who was patrolling the area, after receiving information
rushed to the spot and asked the PTM president of the area, Naurazay Tareen, to
furnish permission of the meeting.
[the organiser of the rally] became jittery, created hindrance in official work
and chanted slogans against state institutions and police, while other people
also joined him on the stage in raising slogans,” as per the contents of the
police alleged that the organisers did not listen to the SHO and spread
provocation, "creating an atmosphere of serious fear and chaos.”
police invoked Sections 147, 149, 186, 153-A, 500 and 505 of the Pakistan Penal
Code and 7-ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act) against 250-300 persons, including 16
identified by name.
North Waziristan MNA Mohsin Dawar had taken to Twitter to highlight the arrest
and subsequent disappearance of Alamzeb Mehsud, described as an active member
of the PTM and a campaigner for missing persons.
lawmaker said that the young man's arrest was the latest in a series of
incidents involving Sindh police and security agencies harassing PTM workers
and activists following the party’s successful rally in Karachi on Sunday.
demanded the immediate release of Alamzaib and other PTM workers in his
senior official who wished not to be named said that Alamzeb Mehsud was
arrested for being an organiser of the said rally.
of what seemed to be mobile phone recordings of the arrest, which were circulated
on social media, showed law enforcement officials in uniform and plain clothes
brandishing weapons and forcing an unconfirmed number of young men out of their
one of the videos, a plainclothesman can be seen pointing a handgun directly at
the car's occupants.
regional chapter of Amnesty International also expressed concern over the
disappearance of the PTM activist.
are concerned about reports of the disappearance of PTM activist Alamzeb
Mehsud. His whereabouts must be disclosed immediately. Either produce him in
court or release him without delay,” read a statement issued by the human
A senate panel on Monday lamented the presence of a US senator’s guard during
his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, terming it disgrace to the country.
Standing Committee on Interior chairman and former interior minister Rehman
Malik said the members wanted to know why US Senator Lindsey Graham’s guard had
been allowed to remain present during the meeting with the prime minister and
directed the interior secretary to submit details on the matter.
committee during its meeting called for a judicial probe into the Sahiwal
tragedy in which four people, including three members of a family, were killed
in front of their children.
Malik was of the view that the police could not be given the licence to kill
and even if there was evidence against them, the Senate committee must be given
the reason for not arresting them instead. “It is an alarming situation that
how lawlessly unarmed civilians were killed in broad daylight by Punjab police
on the main highway in front of dozens of citizens,” he remarked.
committee sought a detailed report from the interior ministry about all such
encounters that took place over the past 10 years. Mr Malik said all questions
submitted to the ministry must be responded to in great detail. He directed
that a judicial commission be formed under a senior high court judge and its
terms and reference be made public.
committee chairman also stressed the need for clarity whether or not the
militant Islamic State group was present in Pakistan and sought a report from
the interior ministry on the matter.
said the Senate committee would like to see if those killed in Sahiwal had any
criminal record. He added that the judicial commission must look into the
evidence available with the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) against the
suspects as well as the reasons why killing of the children was attempted,
wondering whether this was an attempt to eliminate witnesses.
Malik ordered a thorough probe into the incident based on ground realities and
asked the interior ministry to submit a comprehensive report with answers from
the Punjab police chief and home secretary. The committee has sought details
and profile of the deceased, including their past criminal record or FIR, if
committee chairman said they wanted to know what made the police to follow the
family traveling in a small car and what the concrete evidence was to consider
the deceased as prime suspects.
committee wondered when the alleged suspects had stopped the car on the CTD
order, then why the police opened fire on them. It sought full police version
on the incident — at what level such action was ordered, was there any FIR
wherein these deceased were ever summoned or interrogated, and was there any
intelligence report on record against them?
committee also sought profile and service history of all the CTD personnel
involved in the shootout — whether any of them belonged to the local area or had
personal animosity towards the deceased or any other members of the victim
question raised by the committee was that if it was a police encounter, was it
being supervised by senior police officers as per laws?
The opposition in the Senate on Monday rejected the Joint Investigation Team
(JIT) over the Sahiwal tragedy as a mere smokescreen and called for swift
action to punish all those responsible for the killings.
on an adjournment motion, the Senators observed that even if the victims were
terrorists — as claimed by the Punjab government — they deserved the due
process of law.
pointed out that the Constitution guarantees the right to live and the state is
bound to protect lives, honour and property of its citizens.
voiced concern over the registration of an FIR against ‘unknown’ assailants and
U-turns taken by the Punjab government functionaries who have initially claimed
to have killed terrorists to recover ‘abducted children’.
said the announcement of compensation of Rs20 million was nothing short of
confession of brutal murders.
highlighted that the barbaric incident took place in broad daylight in the
presence of a large number of people, with many of them capturing the scenes on
their mobile phones that was sufficient to uncover the truth. Many Senators sought
a ruling from the chair over the matter.
part in the discussion, Pakistan Peoples Party parliamentary leader in the
Senate Sherry Rehman said that the JIT formed by the government appeared to be
an attempt at a cover-up.
criticised the Punjab government for continuously changing positions and was
shocked by the disclosure that all that happened was preplanned. She observed
that the extrajudicial killings would never stop if the Senate failed to act
Rehman said that the Punjab government had declared the victims terrorists. “If
they were terrorists, was there no option but to open fire on them. Now people
are asking whether we should go out of houses with children or not,” she said.
said the counterterrorism department should be held accountable and a reply
should come within 24 hours.
of the Jamaat-i-Islami Senator Sirajul Haq said the Sahiwal tragedy was a
serious matter. He regretted that the Punjab government kept on changing its
position. He said even wild beasts did not attack children like this.
said responsibility of the brutality should be fixed and it should be known
which intelligence agencies provided wrong information about the victims. He
argued that even terrorists could not be killed on the road.
all the courts be locked if the police are to decide who is terrorist and then
award the punishment themselves,” he remarked.
called for a complete audit of all the extrajudicial killings by the CTD.
Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s parliamentary leader Abdul Ghafoor Haidri said the Punjab
government had initially told the media that four terrorists had been killed to
recover three abducted children from their possession.
said a story had also been concocted to show that the victims belonged to the
militant Islamic State group, which the government claimed had no footprints in
Pakistan. He lamented that the Punjab government was still sticking to its
claim that those killed were terrorists.
said those responsible must be held accountable.
Kakar of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party said action should also be taken
against those who provided wrong information.
Jamaldini of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal said the horrific incident
had rocked the entire country.
should be less politics and more investigation over it, he said, adding that a
commission having representation from both houses of parliament should be
formed to expose the characters behind it.
months after Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the
Kartarpur Corridor, Pakistan has invited an Indian delegation to Islamabad to
finalise the agreement, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office
FO said that the draft agreement between the two countries has been shared with
New Delhi through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
was in line with Islamic principles that advocate respect for all religions and
Pakistan’s policy of promoting inter-faith harmony and religious tolerance and
also in line with Quaid’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood,” the FO said. The
statement added that FO spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal has been appointed as
the focal person and it requested New Delhi to do the same.
Kartarpur Corridor will connect two Sikh holy sites — Gurdwara Darbar Sahib
Kartarpur in Pakistan and Dera Baba Nanak in India. The corridor will
facilitate the Indian Sikh community in visiting the sacred place where their
spiritual leader Baba Guru Nanak lived for 18 years until his death in 1539.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor was attended by Indian
cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and Chief of Army Staff (COAS)
General Qamar Javed Bajwa among others.
The Mansehra police booked dozens of people and arrested five persons for
fighting dogs here on Monday.
cannot tolerate brutalities with dogs and those found involved in pitching
these wild creatures against each other might be taken to justice under strict
relevant laws,” Zaibullah Khan, the district police officer told reporters.
police captured the dogs along with fighters/owners and kept them at the police
station until they were freed by the local court.
dog fighters and spectators from across Hazara had assembled at Barbir area to
hold a dogfight. However, the police raided the area and arrested five dog
arrested included Mohammad Bashir, Gul Nawaz, Yasir Ali, Wali Hanif and Osama
said that a special team of police had been constituted to stop the dogfights.
have arrested five key players in organising the dogfight and a case has been
lodged against them. The rest would soon be arrested,” said the official. He
said that a case was registered.
tehsil nazim elected: Umar Farooq was elected Mansehra tehsil nazim on Monday.
differences that emerged among Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders over the
distribution of the party ticket led to the defeat as its contender for the
tehsil nazim, Zahid Aziz, withdrew from the race just before polling and
surprisingly voted for Umar Farooq.
newly elected nazim, who later took the oath of his office, secured 36 of 38
many as 16 members of the council almost all of PML-N abstained from the
election session chaired by the returning officer, Mohammad Moguis Sanaullah,
Mansehra assistant commissioner.
PML-N being the single largest party having a total of 29 councillors in a
house of 54 councillors suffered a defeat because of revolt by its members. A
meeting of PTI, which was held last night with Member Provincial Assembly Babar
Saleem Swati in the chair, had decided to field Umar Farooq, a leader of PML-N
dissidents as its contender for the office of tehsil nazim.
three councillors, including two of the Pakistan People’s Party and one of
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl also supported Umar Farooq in the elections and two
female councillors of PML-N, who were present in council, voted against him.
have no words to thank those councillors who voted for me and I assure you that
I would work for the uplift of people in accordance with your wishes,” Umar
Farooq told the council after taking oath of office.
protection’ bill draws criticism
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has promised to pass a bill to protect Muslim
clerics, religious figures and religious symbols as part of its bid to retain
seats in the House of Representatives after the 2019 general elections.
the sake of maintaining the honor and nobility of ulema, religious leaders and
religious symbols, and in order to maintain the integrity and harmony of
interreligious life, the PKS promises to fight for the protection bill in the
upcoming 2019-2024 period,” PKS chairman Sohibul Iman told a press conference
cited what he claimed to was an increase in “persecution against ulema” as one
of the reasons behind their plan.
was strangely singled out by PAS chief Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (above) as
he urged non-Muslim voters to back a Muslim Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in
the Cameron Highlands by-election.
party Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and its electoral base is in Malaysia’s
rural and conservative north. The party has governed the east coast state of
Kelantan twice (1959–1977 and 1990–present) and has also, in the past, formed
governments in Terengganu (1959–1962, 1999–2004 and 2018–present) and Kedah
(2008–2013). It currently holds 18 of the 222 seats in the federal House of
Representatives and has elected parliamentarians or state assembly members in
eight of the country’s 13 states.
have gotten our independence for more than half a century and we have given all
the right for non-Muslims,” he says. “The rights we given to non-Muslims here
is not given to non-Muslim in other countries.”
Singapore, rather awkwardly, for not encouraging vernacular schools, he lets
fly: “In Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, they don’t have vernacular schools
despite the fact that they have Chinese and Indians residents. But in Malaysia,
we given them the right to have these vernacular schools.”
Awang claims Islam teaches Muslims to accord non-Muslims rights and urges
voters to come out and fulfil their responsibility by voting in the
was campaigning for the BN candidate Ramli Mohd Noor in the Cameron Highlands
parliamentary by-election on January 26. Ramli will be facing Pakatan Harapan’s
M. Manogaran and two independent candidates Sallehudin Ab Talib, a senior
lecturer in Institut Aminuddin Baki Genting Highland, and Wong Seng Yee, who is
a local farmer and activist.
also slammed the Democratic Action Party (DAP) saying that it has no concept of
sin and heavenly reward. He fell back to his typical form by claiming that it
was the religious duty of Muslims to vote for someone of the same faith, a line
commonly adopted by Umno and PAS against the multi-racial Pakatan Harapan
your trust to a Muslim representative to represent you, as Islam teaches
spiritual aspects, such as sin and heavenly reward in leadership. The problem
is (the concept) of sin and heavenly reward does not exist within DAP. It does
not exist in non-Islamic parties.
and the Orang Asli who are Muslims are required (wajib) to choose a
representative who can bring the Islamic voice.”
LUMPUR: The peaceful Thaipusam celebration this year affirms the fact that
Malaysians are able to enjoy freedom of religion, says National Unity and
Social Well-being Minister P. Waytha Moorthy.
said that while Malaysia has a majority Muslim population, those from other
faiths have always been allowed to practise their faiths.
is the unique aspect of this nation which thrives on religious diversity.
religions are given space to perform their religious duty to God without any
hatred,” he said in his speech during the Thaipusam celebration at Batu Caves
Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari, who was present as well, said that Malaysians
stayed united despite certain quarters trying to play up religious and racial
- President Joko Widodo has ordered a more in-depth evaluation of the planned
release of radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, Indonesia's Coordinating Political
Legal and Security Minister Wiranto said on Monday (Jan 21).
announcement, made at a hastily-called press conference, followed Mr Joko's
statement on Friday that the government will this week release the firebrand
cleric and spiritual leader of South-east Asia terrorist group, Jemaah
Islamiah, on humanitarian grounds because of his deteriorating health. The
decision has drawn strong criticism both domestically and internationally.
80, was the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people.
Wiranto told reporters that the president has asked him to review all aspects
of the planned release.
family has requested his early release since 2017 because of his poor health.
has instructed related officials to immediately conduct a more thorough and
comprehensive assessment of the request," said Mr Wiranto.
announcement has now cast doubt over Bashir's release.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Saturday he had been in contact with the
Indonesian government over the issue. Australia lost 88 people in the Bali
bombings. "Australia's position on this matter has not changed. We've
always expressed the deepest of reservations," he told Reuters.
of bombing victims also expressed their disappointment that Bashir might be
Muhammad Mahendradatta, one of Bashir's lawyers, underlined that his client was
eligible for parole, having served two thirds of his sentence by Dec 13 last
has been in jail since his arrest in 2009 although he was only sentenced in
2011 for his support of a terrorist training camp in Indonesia's westernmost
province of Aceh.
prevailing laws, a convict is eligible for a conditional release after serving
two thirds of his prison sentence. But Bashir has not been freed, as he has
refused to fulfil certain requirements, including signing papers to declare his
loyalty to the Indonesian state and the founding principles of Pancasila.
terrorism expert Sidney Jones described the legal grounds of Mr Joko's decision
is clearly not a pardon, because Bashir never requested a pardon," she
wrote in her analysis published by Australian think-tank Lowy Institute.
is not an amnesty. It would seem to violate Regulation 99 of 2012 from the
Ministry of Law and Human Rights, which makes early release for certain categories
of offenders, including convicted terrorists, contingent on their willingness
to sign a written loyalty oath to the Indonesian government," wrote Ms
Jones, who is also the director of Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis
have emerged over the political motive behind the plan to release Bashir.
Joko, who is seeking re-election on April 17 , has attempted to boost his
Muslim credentials, including picking as his running mate conservative cleric
Ma'ruf Amin, formerly the chairman of the Indonesia Ulema Council and former
supreme leader of Indonesia's biggest Islamic organisation Nahdlatul Ulama.
says blacks' rights violated as US arrests Muslim journalist
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Monday accused the United States of violating
the civil rights of black people over its arrest of a journalist working for
Iranian state television.
Hashemi, a US-born black Muslim convert, was detained on arrival at St Louis
Lambert International Airport on January 13, according to family and friends
cited by her employer, Press TV.
US govt needs to explain how Marzieh Hasehmi -- a journalist and grandmother --
is such a flight risk that she must be incarcerated until she finished her
testimony to a grand jury," Zarif wrote on Twitter.
added that "50 years after MLK assassination, the US still violates the
civil rights of black men and women," in reference to the murder in the
United States of black civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
US court said on Friday that Hashemi's testimony was required over an
unspecified case but that she was not accused of any crimes.
said Hashemi had been detained on "a material arrest warrant" and
would be freed after she gave testimony to a grand jury investigating
unspecified "violations of US criminal law".
who changed her name from Melanie Franklin after converting to Islam, had
reportedly been visiting her ill brother and other family members in the United
had previously described Hashemi's arrest as a "political" move by
the US that "tramples on freedom of speech."
also said Hashemi was considered an Iranian national through marriage.
New York Times article penned by Michelle Alexander and published on Sunday has
slammed Israeli policies against Palestine.
the article "Time to break the silence on Palestine," civil rights
lawyer and advocate Alexander urges the international community to speak
courageously against the "grave injustice of our time," just like
Martin Luther King Jr. did so against the war in Vietnam.
if we are to honor King's message and not merely the man, we must condemn
Israel's actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued
occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and
land confiscations," writes Alexander.
must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches
of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited
access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them
Kurdish-language Hawar News quoted a Pakistani ISIL terrorist, namely Fazl
al-Rahman Abdol Majid, nom de guerre Abu Ana'am al-Muhajir, as revealing on Monday
that organized networks of the ISIL are highly active in Turkey.
added that he was stationed in one of the ISIL centers in the town of Azneh
before entering Syria in 2015, noting that the ISIL militants trafficked in
Turkey very easily as if they were members of the Turkish army.
also revealed the Turkish government's cooperation with the ISIL, and said that
he, along with 50 other ISIL militants, was transferred to al-Ra'ei region in
Northern Aleppo easily and without being questioned by the Turkish officials.
relevant remarks last September, a former foreign terrorist commander disclosed
that Turkey had armed the ISIL terrorist group in Northern Syria.
Bukana nom de guerre Abu Abdullah al-Mohajer, a former commander of the ISIL with
Moroccan origin and Italian nationality, who was responsible for transferring
weapons from Turkey to Syria for the ISIL, told the Kurdish-language Hawar News
that the foreign terrorists entered Northern Syria with the help of Turkey's
who was arrested by the Kurdish forces as he was running away to Turkey, added
that he entered Jabal al-Akrad region in Syria's Lattakia province along with a
group of foreign ISIL terrorists after residing in a camp belonging to the
Turkish intelligence agency in Antakya.
said that the ISIL terrorists in Northern Syria received orders from Turkey,
and added that they withdrew to the Turkish lands after fighting against the
Syrian army forces in Lattakia for a while upon Ankara's order and then were
dispatched to Northern Aleppo to fight against the Kurds after receiving
weapons and military equipment.
who was also ISIL's man in charge of recruiting foreign forces from the
European states to fight Syria, said Turkey provided security for the
terrorists and, for instance, denied to extradite an Australian terrorist to
Canberra in one of such cases.
Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper quoted informed security sources affiliated
to the Palestinian resistance as saying that the system was due to eavesdrop on
Mrwan Issa, a senior commander of al-Qassam Brigades, but the resistance forces
could find and dismantle it.
sources said that the system received sound waves from Issa's house and sent it
to the receivers inside the occupied territories, adding that it is considered
as a new method used by the Israelis to spy on Palestinians.
to the paper, the resistance forces also could find and arrest the
"mercenary who had planted the system in the region.
military wing of Hamas said earlier this month that the botched undercover
Israeli operation in the Palestinian enclave in November was aimed to plant
spying devices in their communications network.
November 11 special forces operation, which Israel said was an
intelligence-gathering mission, turned deadly when the undercover soldiers were
spotted near Khan Yunis in the Southern Gaza Strip.
ensuing firefight claimed the lives of an Israeli army officer and seven
Palestinians, including a local Hamas military commander.
spokesman for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said that 15 members of an elite
Israeli military unit had infiltrated Gaza via the border fence and travelled
in the enclave using cars disguised as vehicles belonging to a local charity.
Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Monday night south of Nablus
in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Palestinian was killed after the (Israeli) occupation forces opened fire on
him,” the ministry said, without elaborating on the details.
statement came shortly after the Israeli army said its soldiers had
“neutralized” a knife-wielding assailant in the same area.
Israeli army said the first results of an investigation showed the assailant had
arrived in a car from Nablus and tried to stab a soldier who was manning a
soldier responded by firing at the terrorist and neutralizing him,” it said in
a statement, adding that no soldiers were injured in the attack.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s air strikes on Syria on Monday had
mainly targeted military positions set up by Iran, which he warned would face
consequences for threatening to destroy Israel.
are operating both against Iran and against the Syrian forces that are abetting
the Iranian aggression,” Netanyahu said in a speech. “We will strike at anyone
who tried to harm us. Whoever threatens to eliminate us, bears full
responsibility,” he said.
the commander of Iran’s air force, Brigadier Aziz Nasirzadeh, said that Iran
will “eliminate Israel from the Earth” in a fiery statement to the Young
Journalist Club, a website supervised by state television, Al Arabiya reported.
comes after Israel’s military said on Monday it struck Iranian Quds targets
inside Syria and warned Syrian forces not to attack Israeli territory or
forces. The Israeli air strikes and ground-to-ground missiles killed at least
11 fighters including two Syrians, a Britain-based war monitor said.
demining experts killed in a weekend explosion in Yemen were from South Africa
and several European countries, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre
(KSRelief) in charge of the project said on Monday.
KSRelief said two South Africans, a Croatian, a Bosnian and a Kosovan were
killed on Sunday when a vehicle carrying mines to be destroyed exploded in the
central province of Marib.
British national was injured in the explosion, KSRelief said without naming the
Houthi militias have been accused of the widespread and indiscriminate use of
forces have fatally shot a Palestinian man at an Israeli checkpoint in Nablus,
in the northern region of the occupied West Bank.
36-year-old victim, Muhammad Fouzi Adwi, succumbed to his wounds shortly after
being shot, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Monday.
Israeli military later claimed in a statement that the man was shot following
an alleged stabbing attack. No Israeli soldiers were, however, injured in the
Israeli military regularly opens fatal fire on Palestinians, accusing them of
believe Israeli forces continue to adopt a shoot-to-kill policy against
Palestinians knowing that Tel Aviv has offered impunity to kill Palestinians
based on mere suspicions.
rights groups have repeatedly criticized the Tel Aviv regime for its policy as
a significant number of the killed Palestinians are known to have not posed any
Israeli regime has also been enforcing the draconian policy of demolishing
homes of Palestinians who are deemed to be behind fatal attacks against Israelis
in the West Bank.
has once again written protest letters to the United Nations, urging the world
body to take a decisive step and put an end to Israel's acts of aggression
against its territory as Tel Aviv's hostile strikes are aimed at “prolonging”
the crisis in the Arab country.
to SANA official news agency, the development came after Syria’s air defenses
shot down more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during Israel's aerial
attacks in the early hours of Monday.
two identical letters to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the head
of UN Security Council (UNSC), the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Expatriates said the Israeli aerial aggression was an attempt to raise the
“morale” of the remaining terrorist hotbeds that are “subservient” to Tel Aviv.
Syrian government also noted that the Israeli strikes were carried out by the
occupying regime in an attempt to escape its “growing internal problems and for
reasons precisely known to the international community.”
the United States for its unbridled support for Israel, the letters said,
“Syria affirms that Israel’s persistence in its dangerous aggressive behavior
wouldn’t be possible without the unlimited support of the US administration and
the immunity provided to it by the US and other Security Council member
Syrian government also called on the UN Security Council to shoulder its
responsibilities as per the UN Charter and take immediate and decisive steps to
prevent Israeli attacks from reoccurring, force Israel to respect the Security
Council’s resolutions on disengagement, and hold Tel Aviv accountable for its
crimes against the Syrians and Palestinians.
Sunday, SANA cited an unnamed military official as saying that the aerial
defense units of the Arab country managed to “thwart” a daylight missile attack
conducted by Israeli warplanes against some localities in and around the Syrian
later, SANA said in a separate report that the Israeli regime conducted another
aerial aggression in the early hours of Monday in which it conducted “land and
air strikes … through successive waves of guided missiles” against the Arab
report added that the Syrian defense system was promptly activated and shot
down “most” of the “hostile” projectiles before reaching their designated
After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told US President Donald Trump on
Sunday that Turkey was ready to take over security keeping in Manbij in
northern Syria without delay, eyes are turned toward the parameters and
feasibility of such a target.
Moscow tries to have primacy after the pullout of 2,000 American troops from
the country, its reaction toward Turkish maneuvers to assume the
security-provider role in the predominantly Arab town is still uncertain.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently expressed the Kremlin’s expectation
that the Assad government takes over the territory in eastern Syria after the
US withdrawal to establish its sovereignty.
Kurds are also gradually turning to the regime and the Kremlin for support.
Russia recently dispatched military police to the western part of Manbij, this
move was seen by experts as a counter-maneuver to remind regional partners of
Russian presence against any military advancement and to fill the political and
military vacuum in the area.
and Washington are also negotiating the possible creation of a 30-kilometer
safe zone along the Turkish frontier with northern Syria to push back Kurdish
militants from its border.
Macaron, a resident fellow at the Arab Center in Washington, thinks that while
Washington and Ankara remain locked in negotiating the post-US withdrawal,
their core interests in northern Syria are irreconcilable.
is difficult to see how the US can reach a deal with Turkey to stabilize Manbij
and east of Euphrates River without committing to stay in Syria in the short
term, at least to make sure there is no Turkish-Kurdish confrontation,” he told
Macaron, the stakes are high, as both the US and Turkey want a deal to prevent
the Russian-backed Syrian regime from filling the vacuum but this deal seems
improbable given their widely different views on the Kurdish role in Syria.
2016, the town of Manbij, being located 20 miles south of the Syrian-Turkish
border, was captured by US-backed alliance of Arab and Kurdish militia, known
as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, Ankara has since threatened to
launch a military offensive to oblige the Kurdish militia YPG that leads the
SDF to withdraw from Manbij, a predominantly Arab town, as Turkey considers the
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) a terror group.
early November, American and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols
around the city of Manbij for averting any clashes between Turkey and Kurdish
Syrian Arab tribes in Manbij recently called for Turkish intervention against
YPG especially following its call for compulsory enlistment and discrimination
against Arab locals.
recent Daesh-claimed suicide attack in Manbij, in which about 20 people,
including US service personnel, were killed, is also seen as a development that
may slow the US pullout.
Monday, a bomb attack against a YPG and US army convoy in Hasakah province in
northeastern Syria killed at least five.
the US and Turkey are negotiating cooperation in northeastern Syria based on
the Manbij model, one of the complications is that the Manbij model itself is
not successfully completed yet,” Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, Ankara office director
of German Marshall Fund of the US, told Arab News.
successful implementation of the Manbij road map would not only be an important
confidence-building measure as far as Turkey is concerned, but also a
prerequisite for US-Turkey cooperation in the east of the Euphrates.”
to Unluhisarcikli, it would also be a litmus test for Turkey’s capabilities
before it takes on bigger roles.
US cannot realistically withdraw its forces from Syria before the transition in
the east of Euphrates is completed, in one form or another, and the current
pace of the Manbij road map is not very promising for those who desire a quick
withdrawal,” he said.
Has, a Moscow-based Russia analyst, thinks that the Kremlin will certainly not
wish for and try to impede a new, large-scale military Turkish army incursion
into Syria, but may have to concede to Turkey’s demands for a ‘symbolic
military victory’ before the local elections in Turkey depending on what it
gets in return.
Turkey takes the control of Manbij, we may assume firstly that, Ankara and
Washington have reached a deal; secondly, YPG is withdrawing from the region
and Turkish army is not going to fight against YPG and thirdly, the withdrawal
of YPG from Manbij will result in favor of Turkey’s advancement in Syria,” Has
told Arab News.
to Has, Moscow can give a consent to the Turkish army for entering Manbij only
if Turkey transfers control of the city to regime forces in a short period of
this case, Turkey will play a ‘subcontractor role’ of saving the face of the US
in its relations with Russia and the regime on Syria and Kurds,” he said.
Russia, taking Manbij from Turkey, rather than the US, may seems a ‘smooth
transition’ of the city’s control to Damascus.”
in any case, Has noted, Turkey’s further advancement in Syria is already
becoming a risk for Moscow.
has revoked Iranian airline Mahan’s right to operate in Germany, a senior
government source told Reuters on Monday, giving both safety concerns and the
suspicion that the airline was being used for military purposes as reasons.
government suspects the airline, which has been on a United States sanctions
list since 2011, is used for military purposes by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards
as well as for terrorist activities.
European Union countries accuse Iran of carrying out spying operations or
planning attacks on the continent. The government source said that the flight
did not constitute general sanctions against Iran.
major German arms manufacturer has threatened legal action against the
government of Chancellor Angela Merkel over its decision to suspend all weapons
sales to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the assassination of a dissident
journalist in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
a letter to the Economy Ministry, German-language news website Spiegel Online
said Sunday that Rheinmetall AG — one of Germany’s largest military contractors
— plans to file a claim for compensation against Berlin if the suspension is
corporation wrote to the ministry that it considered itself eligible for
restitution as the government’s decision affected already approved exports
worth up to 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion).
company’s management was said to be concerned that its own shareholders could
sue Rheinmetall if the company failed to demand compensation for the loss of
Merkel announced back in October 2018 that Berlin would stop exporting weapons
to Riyadh “under current circumstances” surrounding the gruesome murder of dissident
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul earlier
called Khashoggi’s murder an “atrocity” that “had to be clarified,” calling on
fellow European governments to follow suit and suspend arms sales to Riyadh.
German Economy Ministry said last week that the government had still no plan to
approve arms sales to the kingdom.
other arms manufacturer has so far expressed discontent with the ban.
week, the CNN, citing figures from the German Economy Ministry, said Berlin saw
its arms exports fall by close to 23 percent in 2018 compared to the previous
year. The report quoted an official with the ministry as saying that Merkel’s
ban was a reason for the sharp decline.
the halt, Germany — one of the world’s five biggest arms exporters — had
approved arms exports worth 416.4 million euros ($475.7 million) to Saudi
Arabia in 2018 alone.
had happened despite calls from rights groups for Berlin to halt arms supplies
to the regime, which stands accused of committing war crimes in Yemen.
Germany, Norway and Spain also banned weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, whose
Crown Prince and defense chief Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have ordered
Selen, a senior counterterrorism expert with Turkish roots, has been officially
appointed as the vice president of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency BfV.
Minister Horst Seehofer announced Selen’s appointment at an official ceremony
at the headquarters of the BfV in Cologne on Monday.
47-year-old began his career in 2000 at the Federal Criminal Police Office
(BKA) and oversaw various investigations into foreign terrorist organizations
between 2011 and 2016. He has also served as the head of Counterterrorism Task
Force at the Interior Ministry.
appointment came after multiple scandals at the BfV in recent years, which have
sparked public criticism and led to accusations of operating sympathetically
with the far-right groups, and covering up the murders of the neo-Nazi group
shadowy NSU group killed eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant between 2000 and
2007, but the murders long remained unresolved.
recent revelations have shown that the BfV had informants who had contacts with
the NSU suspects, officials insisted that they had no prior information about
Union member states could be guilty of crimes against humanity for consciously
cooperating with Libyan authorities to intercept migrants leaving by sea and
taking them back to the war-torn country, according to a damning report
released by Human Rights Watch on Monday.
and asylum seekers detained in Libya, including children, are trapped in a
nightmare, and what EU governments are doing perpetuates detention instead of
getting people out of these abusive conditions,” said Judith Sunderland,
associate Europe director at Human Rights Watch.
report also quotes Nils Melzer, UN special rapporteur on torture, saying that
“if European countries are paying Libya to deliberately prevent migrants from
reaching the safety of European jurisdiction, we’re talking about complicity in
crimes against humanity because these people are knowingly being sent back to
camps governed by rape, torture and murder”.
report found that by pouring millions into the coffers of the Tripoli-based
Government of National Accord – the UN-backed interim government of Libya – the
EU is effectively exposing asylum seekers to the risk of torture, sexual abuse
and forced labour in contravention with international law and the principle of
in the EU and the current governments of France, Germany, the United Kingdom –
as well as Italy’s previous government – have all admitted they are aware of
abuses against migrants and asylum seekers in Libyan detention centres.
they continue to work with Libyan authorities to ensure that migrants are kept
within its borders.
26, from Sierra Leone, was being detained in Misrata when HRW interviewed him
on July 10, 2018. He described the place he found himself in as “hell”. “They
pretend to be nice people but then they flog [shock] you with electricity,” he
of four detention centres visited by HRW in early July 2018, the organization
found evidence of low quantity and poor-quality food and water in all of them.
No detention centre was equipped with healthcare professionals on staff and in
Misrata, Tajoura, and Zuwara, HRW heard disturbing accounts from both adults
and children of violence by guards, including beatings, whippings and use of
electric shocks. Detainees in all centres said that guards treated them roughly
and insulted them.
providing substantial funding to intercept migrants seeking to leave the Libya
by sea, the EU and some of its member states – above all Italy – are
facilitating the forced return of migrants to a country that grants no protection.
defended its support of the Libyan coast guard by saying it saves lives at sea
by making it more difficult for boats to attempt the journey. While the number
of arrivals on European shores have decreased, the rate of death per attempted
crossing significantly increased as a consequence of Italy’s crackdown on
rescue missions. UNHCR estimated that one in 18 people died or went missing in
the period January-July 2018 compared to one in every 42 people in the same
period in 2017.
a case that could set a precedent, Italy now stands accused by seventeen
Nigerian survivors of a 2017 migrant boat shipwreck of exercised effective
control over the Libyan Coast Guard and bearing therefore responsibility for
EU has allocated €266 million from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa for
migration-related programs in Libya, and an additional €20 million through
bilateral assistance. Financial aid is designed both to increase the capacity
of Libya’s border control and to address chronic and systemic problems in
Libya’s detention regime for migrants.
HRW found the situation in Libya to undermine the voluntary nature of the
a 21-year-old from Nigeria detained in the Zuwara DCIM centre, was quoted by
HRW in an interview as saying: “Here, the guards told me I can’t get out unless
I agree to go home. So, I’m left with no option.”
argued in the report that asylum seekers may be forced to return to their
countries of origins, where they may be at risk of persecution. A humanitarian
worker in Libya who wished to remain anonymous told HRW that IOM is essentially
deporting people on behalf of the Libyan authorities free of charge.
institutions do not directly fund Libya’s Directorate for Illegal Migration
(DCIM), but channel all funding to UN agencies and nongovernmental
organizations that work to improve conditions in the centres where the
detainees are being held.
Syrian refugee boy who was violently attacked in a shocking video that made the
rounds on social media is taking legal action against Facebook over claims he
attacked an English girl.
representing 16-year-old Jamal are preparing to sue the internet giant for
allowing far-right rabble-rouser Tommy Robinson to peddle false accusations
about the boy in order to make financial profit.
boy’s legal team says the social media company was “fully aware of the
recklessness and pernicious nature” of Mr Robinson’s published content but
allowed him to continue because of the traffic generated by his popular posts.
Robinson – whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon – is the
co-founder and former leader of the controversial English Defence League, a
pressure group known for its street demonstrations against Islamism that often
drift into racial slurs against the Muslim community.
the boy identified as Jamal was assaulted by a gang of classmates and allegedly
water boarded, Mr Robinson, 36, has taken to the internet to claim that the boy
was “not innocent” as he had previously terrorised other pupils.
a Facebook video, the far-right activist said Jamal and a group of Muslim
students had beaten up a British girl. “He beat the s*** out of an English
kid,” he said.
also purported that the case went to court, but later admitted he had been
told British media he felt scared to go to school in fear someone would attack
him in retaliation for the alleged act of violence. “I cannot go to my school
anymore and there are people who hang around outside my house and video me on
their phones. They call me “little rat” if I go outside,” he said. “One of my
neighbours threatened me outside my house just yesterday.”
Rasnime Akunjee, of Farooq Bajwa and Co Solicitors in London, will argue that
Facebook gave Mr Robinson special treatment that contravenes their own
regulations over defamatory content and that therefore the company should be
held responsible for any damage caused by Mr Robinson’s speech.
Facebook pages are deleted if they are found to have five or more pieces of
content that violate the site’s rules. But more popular pages, including those
of far-right activists, have been found to be immune to those rules.
public-service television broadcaster Channel 4 identified the process, called
“shielded review”, in a documentary series in which an undercover reporter took
a job as a content moderator in a Dublin-based Facebook contractor, Cpl.
Union officials confirmed plans to stay away from a US-organised regional
summit on Iran next month as foreign ministers sought agreement on Monday for a
new body to overcome US President Donald Trump’s sanctions on Iran.
meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday discussed the bloc’s plans
to help European businesses trade with Iran despite American sanctions on trade
and investment but officials said afterwards the talks did not reach a conclusion.
Monday's meeting came as European countries were preparing to impose their own
punishments on Tehran for its foreign and security policies.
banned an Iranian airline from its airspace over accusations it took weapons
and advisers to help support President Bashar Al Assad's forces in Syria's
senior German government source said Berlin revoked the landing rights of Mahan
Air because of suspicions it was being used for military purposes by Iran's
Revolutionary Guards, and also on safety grounds.
asset freezes and travel bans were confirmed for five Syrians linked to
strongman Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons programme. The EU also sanctioned
the Scientific Studies and Research Centre, an organisation accused of playing
a role in the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.
discussions also touched on EU representation to the coming Middle East summit
in Poland, led by the US, on February 13-14. Ministers from several EU states
have already said they would not attend.
Mogherini said she will not take part as her officials privately described the
event as an anti-Iran conference. Speaking on her way into the meeting, Ms
Mogherini said she would be attending an African Union gathering in Ethiopia during
the Warsaw meeting. She also revealed that there would be a joint meeting with
the Arab League at its February summit.
is also unlikely to send its foreign minister, according to European diplomats.
Luxembourg’s foreign minister said he would miss the event because of a prior
arrangement. The UK and Germany have not yet taken any official position but
are unlikely to show up.
big decision facing the EU remains over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as it seeks
to create a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle to handle economic ties with
Tehran despite the renewed American sanctions.
SPV is expected to launch later this month but officials warn it will not be
operational until later in the year. It will be registered in France, run by
Germany and is likely to include Britain as a shareholder.
a feeling of frustration among Britain, France and Germany, and others, after
the first phase of diplomacy with Iran," a senior EU diplomat said.
"We thought we could get some effort from the Iranians in several
has warned Europe may not be able to safeguard the nuclear deal and accused EU
officials of dragging their feet.
adopted earlier this month marked an unexpected shift in European diplomacy
since the end of last year. Smaller, more dovish EU countries have joined
France and Britain in a harder stance on Tehran, including considering new
could include asset freezes and travel bans on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and
Iranians developing the country's ballistic missile programme.
Brussels meeting also confirmed the two most senior officers in Russian
military intelligence would face sanctions and formally identified the two
agents accused by Britain of carrying out a chemical attack.
EU accused the Russians -- two agents and the head and the deputy head of the
GRU -- of orchestrating the "possession, transport and use" of the
nerve agent used in Salisbury, England last March, in a failed attempt to
assassinate a defector.
newspapers have talked about the fierce political and security rivalry between
France and Italy over Libya, amid a hindered political process due to the
contradicted US project, which aims to establish an Arab military alliance to
counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.
French-language and Geneva-based newspaper Tribune de Genève shed light on the
frantic rivalry between France and Italy in Libya, citing deep reasons for
Libya’s political hindrance, seven and a half years after the overthrow of
interviews with some citizens and personalities, the newspaper reached some
conclusions, including the existence of a “real war for influence between
France and Italy,” according to Swissinfo website.
Hafiz Ghoga, a human rights activist and former Vice Chairman of the National
Transitional Council of Libya during the 2011 revolution, said that “There will
be no peace and stability in Libya unless the international community reaches
newspaper pointed out some recent historical reasons (the decision of former
French President Sarkozy to use force to stop the advance of Gaddafi’s forces
towards Benghazi to crush the rebels), and other old historical reasons (Omar
Mukhtar, leader of the resistance against Italian colonization, who is
originally from Cyrenaica) for the popularity France has enjoyed in Benghazi,
in contrast to the hostility toward Italy.
return, the newspaper pointed out that the French military aid is what helped
Major General Khalifa Haftar to resolve the battle during which he faced armed
groups of different affiliations between 2014 and 2017, to resolve the conflict
in his favour, and thus take over the city of Benghazi.
newspaper quoted Haftar’s army spokesman Ahmed Al-Mesmari as saying: “We had a
common interest which is combating terrorism. France wanted to pursue terrorist
groups in our neighbouring countries from the south, such as Chad, Mali and
Niger, where these groups are heavily spread.”
statement confirms what a former adviser to the French Ministry of Defence
admitted when he said, “Volcano Operation (a military deployment France had
carried out in the Sahel years ago to combat terrorist groups) costs us very
much. Therefore, the only way to put an end to this operation is to achieve the
restoration of stability in Libya. For this reason, the executive authority
(the French government) has chosen Haftar,” as he put it.
the contrary, Italy has chosen the opposite camp (the internationally
recognised government in Tripoli) with priority given to ending the flow of
migrants. After Rome reopened its embassy in Tripoli (unlike France, which
closed it in 2014), it decided to directly negotiate with the militias
responsible for the operations of the leading of migrants’ boats to reduce
the political level, Libyan parties in the eastern regions of the country
accuse Italy of supporting and backing those described as “supporters of
political Islam.” The newspaper quoted Abdel Qadir Qadoura, a former member of
the Constituent Assembly of Libya and professor of constitutional law at the
University of Benghazi, as saying: “The Italians want the Muslim Brotherhood to
take power. They know that the elections that are being currently held will not
serve their interests, and that’s why they are doing their utmost to delay it.”
his side, researcher Jalel Harchaoui, interested in Libyan affairs and living
in Paris, points out that France’s allies “have restrained the elections.”
added: “The United States’ presence at the summit that was held on May 29, 2018,
in Paris (following which it was decided to organise a general election on
December 10) has raised France’s concerns again.” The United Kingdom and Italy,
which were opposed to holding elections so quickly, called France to demand a
this seems to have happened. The reshuffling of cards has been reinforced by
the appointment of US diplomat Stephanie Williams as assistant to Ghassan
Salamé, the UN envoy to Libya. The newspaper considered that “The return of
this list with previous works at the US embassy in Tripoli is evidence of the
return of the US Department of State – at least behind the scenes – to take
care of Libyan affairs.”
group speaks on ‘plot to bomb Christians’
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned a circulating alert warning
Christians not to attend a crusade tagged ‘We Are One’ because Muslims purportedly
planned the crusade with the intention of bombing the venue in order to kill
a press statement issued on Monday, MURIC described the message as fake news
and advised Nigerian Christians to ignore it.
statement was signed by the director and founder of the organization, Professor
Ishaq Akintola, who said; “This is a blatant, wicked and diabolical lie. We
assure Christians in Nigeria that there is no such plan. It exists only in the
figment of imagination of the devilish authors. It is the handiwork of enemies
cannot rule out disgruntled politicians, particularly looters who are afraid of
being exposed. They are looking for all means of causing pandemonium so that
the authorities will be too preoccupied with searching for peace to have time
for bringing them to book.
the same vein, we urge Nigerians to ignore another rumour concerning the hijab.
Fake news mongers claim that Muslims in the South West are advocating for the
use of hijab by their women and female school children because Muslims plan to
launch terrorist attacks.
said the hijab would serve as special identity for Muslims so that the
attackers would not attack them.
is atrocious. It is far from the truth. It is also illogical, false, baseless and
unfounded. Nigerians should not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by rumour
mongers. How is this possible? If the hijab is to serve the purpose of
identifying Muslim women in the event of a terrorist attack, what of the Muslim
the attack is to happen in schools, what of the male Muslim students? How will
the terrorists identify Muslim male students so as not to attack them? It is
sheer bunkum, balderdash and poppycock twaddle.
urge both Christians and Muslims in the country to go about their businesses
without any fear. This is the time to come together putting our heads under the
same thinking cap for the sake of our country. Election period is a sensitive
time and we should do everything we can to avoid anything capable of
undermining the security of the nation.
should ignore baseless information particularly those that have security
implication around this time. Any information which cannot be verified should
be ignored. Adherents of the two major religions should follow the teachings of
their faith regarding fake news.
Qur’an commands Muslims to investigate information before taking any action so
that innocent people will not be hurt (Qur’an 49:6). The Bible also urges
Christians to ‘Investigate all matters and hold on to the truth’ (II
Corinthians 5:19 -20).
share the same destiny in this country and we should stick together in the
interest of peace and progress. Where are the peddlers of hate and animosity
today? Where are those who said we should not vote for Muslims? Where are those
who said we should not vote for Fulanis?
should hide their faces in shame. The last time we checked, the candidates of
the two major parties (APC and PDP) are still Muslims. Fulani blood also flows
in their veins.”
of people demonstrated in the Sudanese city of Omdurman on Monday after a
protester died of wounds suffered at an anti-government rally last week,
protests have rocked Sudan for more than a month after the government decided
to raise the price of bread.
protests, which quickly turned into nationwide demonstrations calling for an
end to President Omar al-Bashir’s three decades of rule, have left 26 people
dead so far, according to officials.
group Amnesty International has put the death toll at more than 40.
told AFP that late on Monday hundreds of people gathered in Omdurman, the twin
city of the capital Khartoum across the Nile, as the body of a protester was
brought from the hospital where he died.
are chanting freedom, freedom and overthrow, overthrow as they gathered for the
funeral of the protester,” said a witness.
doctors’ committee linked to the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) that
is leading the nationwide demonstration confirmed the protester had died.
was wounded on Thursday, but today he died in hospital,” the committee said in
of the victim said he was attending the funeral along with hundreds of other
attending the funeral of my friend who was an engineer,” he told AFP on
condition of anonymity.
added that the dead protester was wounded in the east Khartoum neighbourhood of
Burri, which saw clashes between security forces and protesters on Thursday.
have confirmed that two other people died during the Burri clashes on Thursday.
of the victims was a doctor, whose death was also reported by the doctors’
150 doctors held a silent sit-in on Monday to protest the doctor’s killing.
placards that read “killing a doctor means killing a nation,” they stood in
silence outside the Khartoum hospital where the doctor used to work, witnesses
Jackson, Amnesty’s deputy director for East Africa, said it was an “outrage
that Sudanese security forces continue to use lethal force on protesters and
key service providers like doctors”.
Bashir rejected the accusations, saying at a rally on Sunday that the doctor
was “killed by someone from among the demonstrators”.
the protests began last month against the cutting of a vital bread subsidy,
they come at as Sudan suffers from an economic crisis driven by an acute
shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation that has more than doubled
the price of food and medicine.
SPA has called for nighttime demonstrations on Tuesday in Khartoum and
Human Rights Watch is urging Italy and the EU to condition their support to
Libya on tangible improvements in detention conditions for migrants, refugees
and asylum seekers.
New York-based rights group says in a report Monday that unquestioning foreign
support for Libya’s coast guard leads to migrants being held in “arbitrary,
condemned such efforts to stem migration to Europe as contributing “to a cycle
of extreme abuse” against people fleeing war and poverty.
report documents “severe overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, malnutrition, and
lack of adequate health care” in detention centers, including at least four
instances of violent abuse by guards.
says children have also been seen to be held in poor conditions.
of migrants have applied for asylum in Europe, but some countries have
toughened their asylum laws and tried to deport more people than they did
Sunday, a private rescue boat carrying dozens of migrants said that for a
second day several nations had not given permission for it to enter a safe
port, while another vessel filled with panicky migrants and described as taking
on water in the southern Mediterranean was helped by a cargo ship.
Dutch-flagged boat Sea-Watch 3, run by a German non-governmental group, said it
had contacted Italy, Malta, Libya and the Netherlands asking where it could
land the 47 migrants it had taken aboard. Sea-Watch tweeted that Libyan
officials hung up when it asked for a port assignment.
soldiers have fought off Boko Haram jihadists in separate attacks, the army and
military sources said Monday, as clashes persist while elections approach.
army said troops "successfully defeated Boko Haram terrorists" who
tried to attack a military base in Buni Yadi in Yobe state, northeast Nigeria,
Saturday, soldiers "inflicted devastating man and equipment
casualties" on the group in the Baga area of Borno state, on the shores of
Lake Chad, killing five.
Islamist fighters were also killed in operations in the Mafa district of Borno,
it added in a series of statements.
government's record on tackling Boko Haram is under increased scrutiny as the
country heads to the polls to elect a new president and parliament on February
Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, was elected in 2015 on a pledge to
defeat the group, whose insurgency has killed more than 27,000 since 2009.
has said Boko Haram is "technically defeated" but attacks have not
stopped, and a faction backed by the Islamic State group has increased its
strikes on military positions.
week, six soldiers were killed when Boko Haram gunmen attacked Kamuya village
near the native home of Nigeria's army chief, Lieutenant-General Tukur Yusuf
military sources said the IS-allied faction -- Islamic State West Africa
Province (ISWAP) -- was behind the weekend attacks in Baga, Kareto and Buni
sources both said four soldiers were killed as they repelled the attack in Buni
Yadi during "intense" fighting that involved air strikes.
troops returned to Baga on January 9 after a wave of ISWAP attacks against two
military bases in late December that forced more than 30,000 civilians to flee.
10,000 other people displaced by the conflict were also forced to flee after
another attack in the remote town of Rann last week.
massive influx of about 30,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) into
Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, amid latest Boko Haram attacks have
brought about an increase in the population density of four IDPs camps.
development has sparked food and shelter crises.
the wake of the resurgence in terrorists’ activities by ISWAP members, which
have claimed several lives, more displaced persons are expected at the camps in
the coming day and weeks.
to PRNigeria, Gubio camp with 23,687 IDPs, recently admitted 4,291 persons; the
Teacher Village camp with 28,644 IDPs is increasing on a daily basis; the
Stadium camp too is getting overcrowded, while the Madinatu camp got 1,922 new
persons in the last few days.
as part of helping to cushion the hardship faced by the IDPs, the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is set to give basic provision items and cash
support of N20,000 to each family head, drawn from about 13,000 households.
more than 3,000 households will receive food items that will cover them for 90
days, until more humanitarian and donor agencies take over the job of providing
Red Cross is equally planning to provide emergency shelters to about 10,000
households in one of the camps, just as it will build over 200 latrines at the
Stadium IDPs camp.
ICRC, in collaboration with the Borno State government, has built a gigantic
water plant to supply water to about 200,000 people in Maiduguri.
gathered that ICRC spent more than $3.5 million on the water plant one of the
biggest in the world.
repels another suspected al Shabaab attack - police
Kenyan police have thwarted an attack by suspected Somali militants al Shabaab
on a Chinese-owned construction company in an eastern region, an official said
on Monday, days after the Islamist group killed 21 people in Nairobi.
assailants wounded one person while they attempted to hit the site in Garissa
county, not far from the Kenyan-Somali border, owned by a Chinese road
construction company that is building the Garissa-Modogashe highway.
attackers were repulsed since the security officers were very alert. There was
exchange of fire before the attackers escaped," county police commander
David Kerina told Reuters by phone, adding that the injured person was a
believe the attackers, who were armed, might be Somali militants. They fled,
but we have intensified security operations. So far no arrest has been
give no more details about the attack or the site. Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based
al Qaeda affiliate fighting to impose its interpretation of Islamic law,
claimed responsibility for Tuesday's assault on the upscale dusitD2 hotel and
office compound that has rocked Kenya.
group has often targeted Kenya in revenge for sending troops to Somalia, but
said the dusitDt attack was due to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to
recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
have arrested nine people over the hotel attack, including one listed as a
Sunday, Kenya police circulated by Twitter pictures and names of another eight
people it said they were seeking for involvement in the assault or planning
Shabaab also killed 67 people in a 2013 assault on a shopping mall in the same
upscale neighbourhood as last week's attack in Nairobi, which is a hub for
expatriate businessmen, diplomats and aid workers.
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