Threads of the Sri Lanka Attack Are Closely Connected to India
Lankan Muslims Visit Church and Temples To Show Solidarity
of Zakir Naik Nabbed For Insulting Hinduism
Sacked Military Officer Paying Monthly Allowance to ISIS Brides
to Accept IS Rape Survivors, Not Their Children
Has A Better Notion Of Financial Regulation’
Military and Opposition Agree in Principle on Joint Council
Peace Award An Acknowledgement Of Struggle By Ulema, Mashaikh
Vows to Tackle ‘Political Islam’ in ‘Act II’ of Presidency
Threads of the Sri Lank Attack Are Closely Connected to India
Raids 3 Kerala Houses, Looks for Links With Lanka Bombers
Well Discovered Near Gurdwara on Kartarpur Corridor
in Kerala Over ISIS Links, Three Suspects Questioned
JeM Terrorists Arrested For Attack on Police Post in Srinagar
Of Zakir Naik Nabbed For Insulting Hinduism
Muslim lawyers join stand against proposed extension of Legal Profession Act
contest ‘non-Muslim’ PD seat? Hadi asks Anwar
Sacked Military Officer Paying Monthly Allowance To ISIS Brides
Lanka Attacks: Hometown of Accused Mastermind Was Fertile Ground for Extremism
Taliban explosives facilitators killed in Parwan
militants killed, 6 others wounded in Ghor operations: Zafar Corps
Lanka Catholic cardinal fears attacks probe may ‘flop’
two brothers of Sri Lanka suicide bombings mastermind killed
of Ankara-Backed Terrorists Join ISIL in Northern Syria
SDF Swaps Syria's Oil with US-Israeli Arms
Gov't: S. Arabia, UAE's Military Assistance to Haftar Could Stop Crude Exports
Army Fends Off Terrorists' Attacks in Aleppo, Repels Attacks in Hama, Idlib
sentences blogger to jail for insulting Saudi Arabia
Destabilizing Middle East, Paying For US-Israeli Crimes: Hezbollah Official
warns could shut Strait of Hormuz if tensions grow
frees two Syrian prisoners after return of soldier’s remains
frees 2 Syrian prisoners after return of soldier’s remains
Military Rulers Condemn Attack on Islamist Party
appeals for evacuation of refugees in Libya camps
by forces of renegade Libyan general kill 4 in Tripoli
President Xi meets Imran Khan, calls for improvement of India-Pak relations
asks Imran to step down to avoid ‘people’s wrath’
China enter second stage of free trade
asks Chinese entrepreneurs to shift industries to CPEC special zones
European holidaymakers warned against Turkey travel as government blames
Kurdish militia for unrest
Cabbies' Ingenuity Build Airport Parking Lot Mosque
peace if Taliban do not adapt: US envoy
keeping Saudi Arabia close to serve Big Oil interests: Analyst
took me one call’: Trump brags how he made King Salman pay more for US military
by New Age Islam News Bureau
State has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Sri Lanka that claimed 250
lives last Sunday. A coordinated attack of this scale so close to India’s
shores has agencies worried. Given that the threads of the attack are closely
connected to India with one of the Lanka suicide bombers having stayed in India
for a considerable time before the attack, agencies are conducting searches in
South India for suspected IS recruits.
is the IS influence in India?
State came on the radar of Indian intelligence agencies way back in 2013 when
reports from Syria suggested that some Indians were fighting alongside the IS
there. It was still considered a problem of the Middle East by the agencies
until in 2014, IS kidnapped 39 Indians in Iraq and executed them. A closer look
at the outfits plans revealed that they have had India in their crosshairs
since the beginning. An IS map of the Khorasan Caliphate showed some of India’s
states as its part.
then multiple Indians have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside IS
and as many as 100 have been arrested by the agencies either on return from
Syria or while preparing to join them. Many have also been arrested for
preparing to carry out an attack in India after being inspired by the IS.
has been India’s response?
Indian security establishment has approached the issue of IS influence with
caution. Scores of IS recruits, who have been detected while surfing IS’s
online material or apprehended while trying to migrate to Syria have been
counselled, made to go through a deradicalisation programme and let off with a
approach is informed by the fact that despite a very large Muslim population,
India has sent very few recruits to the IS. The Indian security establishment
believes that some of the youth eager to join IS are merely swayed by the IS
online propaganda which has attracted a restive youth with video-game-like
macabre videos. That they may not be fully radicalised given their unblemished
background has led agencies to take the counselling approach.
such people have been arrested who agencies believed were in the process of
carrying out an attack or had made multiple attempts to go to Syria despite
counselling. This included Hyderabad youth Abdullah Basith who made three
attempts to go to Syria and was apprehended each time. He was finally put under
arrest under charges of terrorism. on his third attempt.
is the IS influence in South India?
though it is North India which regularly sees communal clashes, it is southern
states which have sent maximum recruits to IS. According to agencies, almost
90% of all recruits who have gone to Syria are from the southern States. A
majority of those arrested by agencies while preparing to launch an attack are
also from States such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka and
fact the first recruit from India to join Islamic State in 2013 was Cuddalore
(Tamil Nadu) -born Haja Fakhruddin. He joined the IS and migrated to Syria
while working in Singapore.
recruits from Kerala who joined the Islamic State were either working in the
Gulf or had come back from there with an already developed liking for IS’s
such as Jammu and Kashmir, MP and UP in North India have also seen some IS
influence on the youth.
kind of organisational support has IS provided to its recruits in India?
in fact, IS has largely focused on inspiring the youth to either migrate to
Syria and Iraq or carry out attacks in India with their own resources. Most of
the recruiters, such as former Indian Mujahideen operative Shafi Armar, too
have been Indians.
Indians haven’t even had a handler and they have merely come together on their
own to allegedly carry out attacks in the name of IS. They have formed various
groups such as Ummat E Mohammadiya, Harkat ul Harb-e-Islam, Ansar ul Tawheed fi
Bilad Al Hind and Junud Al Khilafa e Hind. None, however, have had any
influence beyond their close-knit group.
of these groups were made to arrange for explosives and arms on their own with
members contributing from their pockets. Locally available explosives such as
potassium chlorate scraped out of matchsticks and ammonium nitrate have been
found on them. They learn bomb-making through online tutorials.
Lankan Muslims Visit Church And Temples To Show Solidarity
JAYA: In the true spirit of solidarity, a Muslim group visited a church, a
Hindu temple and a Buddhist temple.
Global Unity Network NGO wanted to prove a point following the Easter Sunday
suicide bombings in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, which killed about 250
people and wounded scores more.
president Shah Kirit Kakulal Govindji said a team of 22 members visited the Sri
Maha Kaliamman Temple in Kg Kasipillay and then went to St Joseph’s Church in
Sentul before wrapping up at the Sri Jayanti Buddhist Temple there.
Christchurch, when Muslims were killed, non-Muslims showed their solidarity
if only one non-Muslim is killed, we must show concern. We must be fair to
everyone,” Shah Kirit said.
St Joseph’s Church, the team held a dialogue session with parish priest Rev
have a very good relationship with the church,” Shah Kirit said, adding that
this was his fourth visit to the church.
said the team, which comprised students and professionals, were served a halal
breakfast at the church and lunch at the Buddhist temple.
added that the NGO had been involved in interfaith work for close to 20 years
as a way to expose Muslims to other religions.
is a multi-racial and multi-religious country, so it is very important that we
understand one another well,” he said.
Kirit said many problems in the world today stemmed from prejudice,
presumptions and misconceptions about other religions and races.
best way to remove all these is to learn from one another.
is why we train Muslims to learn about other religions,” he added.
of Zakir Naik nabbed for insulting Hinduism
LUMPUR: A disciple of controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has been
arrested for allegedly mocking and belittling Hinduism during a religious
sermon in Kelantan.
convert Zamri Vinoth (pix), 35, was picked up by a task force from the Perlis
Criminal Investigations Department at 2am early this mornning and taken to the
Kangar police headquarters.
police chief SAC Datuk Noor Mushar Mohamad said the suspect would be handed
over to the federal police in Bukit Aman today for further investigations.
said that a video of the suspect delivering a religious talk at the As Siddiqin
mosque in Kampung Panchor, Kelantan on Dec 30 last year showed that he had made
two comments considered to be insulting towards Hinduism.
preacher was being investigated for allegedly causing disunity and disharmony
among the various races and religions under Section 298A of the Penal Code.
Mushar said the suspect was also being investigated for misusing the Internet
under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
video of the police arresting him also made the rounds on social media.
suspect, who renounced Hinduism to embrace Islam, was said to have provoked
anger among Hindus after the video of his sermon went viral on social media
over the past few days.
have received 82 reports lodged by individuals and groups across the nation who
want action taken against him.
of the reports was lodged by a Commercial Crimes Investigations Department
personnel last Friday after she spotted the video clip on YouTube.
people, including Muslims, have also recorded videos condemning the suspect’s
actions and some even issued death threats against him.
records show that he has been arrested on several occasions since 2010 for
alleged offences, including rape, assault and criminal breach of trust.
are more than two dozen videos of the suspect preaching, giving interviews and
making comments about Islam on YouTube.
a video posted last year the suspect, flanked by two burly men, demanded to
meet Minister of National Unity and Social Wellbeing P. Waythamoorthy for a
debate over matters related to Islam and Hinduism.
man is closely associated with 54-year-old fugitive Zakir Naik who is being
sought by the Indian government.
has been residing in Malaysia under permanent residency status and appears to
be rubbing shoulders with Malaysian officials, including current and former
ministers and deputy ministers.
incensed by the controversial preacher’s sermons have called for his
deportation to India but it has fallen on deaf ears.
online petition initiated last year calling for his deportation has garnered
7,755 signatures to date.
in a statement issued by Bukit Aman tonight, Deputy Inspector-General of Police
Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador said the preacher has been remanded for four days
to assist in investigations.
said police are also tracking down the Youtube.com account holder of Info
Sunnah Kelantan to assist in the probe.
Hamid said the account holder had uploaded the video of the preacher’s sermon
in its channel on the video-sharing website.
also advised the public to refrain from abusing the social media and other
communication channels by posting or sharing provocative content that may cause
racial tension among the multi-religious and multi-race masses in the country.
Hamid also said that police nationwide have received 790 police reports on the
sacked military officer paying monthly allowance to ISIS brides
majority of Britons as well as peace-loving people around the world are against
granting permission to Islamic Stats (ISIS) brides like Shamima Begum in
returning to their home countries, sitting in London, an ISIS funder and a
sacked military officer from Bangladesh, who along with the members of his
family are facing numerous charges of terror funding and money laundering, has
been regularly providing monthly allowance to those ISIS brides as well as
trying to provide legal support. While it is well known to all of us that the
United Kingdom has always been at the forefront of fighting terrorism and
radical Islamic jihad, most definitely the British policymakers and Britons now
need to answer the question as to why they have been allowing the British soil
to some individuals in continuing jihadist activities.
Britain, until 2008, there had been at least 200 indigenous active terrorist
cells being monitored by the Security Service MI5 and MI6 with 4,000 British
Muslims considered as a threat to national security. But the bone-chilling
information had appeared in the Daily Mail in March this year. The newspaper
said, a secret government report has warned that more than 3,000 British
children are being taken to Pakistan each year and enrolled in extremist summer
schools. The Home Office study says courses at Koranic madrassas teach a
‘glorified version of jihad’. Officials fear some youngsters will be
radicalized and return to the United Kingdom with a warped ideology and pose a
to information, ninety-eight percent of the Muslims living in United Kingdom do
send their children to local madrassas, which are mostly run by the community
councils and mosques. A survey showed, over fifty percent of the males and
females of Bangladesh origin, who either live in Britain or had migrated from
some of the European nations have already been radicalized. These Muslims
though are using Britain as a great place of better earning, they consider non-Muslim
Britons, particularly Jews and Christians as their enemies. Some of the Muslim
men and women are even engaged into ‘love jihad’, who actually trap the other
sex through romantic pretention with the goal of getting them converted into
Shahid Uddin Khan (Army No: BA002428, Course: 8-BMA, Commission Date:
10-06-1983), who along with his wife Farjana Anjum and daughters had smuggled
out millions of dollars from Bangladesh and invested in various business
ventures in United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.
2009, he invested two million pounds in the United Kingdom in exchange of
obtaining immigrant status under Visa Tier 1, vide VAF No. 511702. Later the
family had laundered an unknown amount of money and brought that into the
Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Bangladesh Police, based on
secret information, raided House No. 184, Road No. 2, Baridhara DOHS in Dhaka,
Bangladesh on January 17, 2019. This house is owned by Md. Shahid Uddin Khan
and was allegedly used as a warehouse for arms, explosives and propaganda
materials of Islamic State (ISIS). During the raid, large volume of weapons,
detonator, counterfeit Bangladesh currency notes and jihadist materials of ISIS
were recovered by the CTTC unit.
this recovery, three separate cases against ISIS-funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan,
his wife Farjana Anjum, daughters and other accomplices were lodged. The cases
are: Cantonment PS, Case no 10, Section-6(2)/7/11/12 of Anti Terrorism Act 2009
(amendment 2013); Cantonment PS, Case no
11, Section-25-A, Special Power Act
1974; and Cantonment PS, Case no 12, Section-19-A of Arms Act 1878.
man who funded Sri Lanka attacks:
four months, large sum of money went to Sri Lanka from United Arab Emirates. It
was sent by Bangladeshi-born ISIS funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, who has been
living in the United Kingdom for last few years along with his family. Sitting
in Britain, Khans are continuing various forms of jihadist activities. Recently
he has established an organization named ‘Astha’ which aims at unseating
democratically elected governments in the world and replace those with
Caliphate. By now, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan already has expanded his activities in
Sweden and the United States through two of his recruits.
to documents available with various intelligence agencies in Bangladesh, Md.
Shahid Uddin Khan hails from a radical Muslim family while his wife Farjana
Anjum too hails from a similar family background. This couple’s daughters
though are living and being educated in Britain is notoriously radicalized and
is working as lone wolves. They have been targeting various individuals and
trying to convert them into Islam.
January this year, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan used illegal channel in transferring
an amount equivalent to ninety-two thousand dollars. This amount went from
Dubai to Colombo. It may be mentioned here that, last year this newspaper
published several reports exposing a secret conspiracy by a conglomerate of
several jihadist outfits of staging terrorist attacks in a number of South
to media reports, Islamic State (ISIS) funder Shahid Uddin Khan, his wife
Farjana Anjum and daughters are already under the radar of international media
for their direct involvement into jihadist activities.
sympathy towards ISIS brides:
to credible sources, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and his family are sending thousands
of dollars each month as “stipends’ to some of the ISIS brides including
Shamima Begum. They also are providing financial assistance to these notorious
women in bearing their legal expenses.
Shahid Uddin Khan and his family reportedly have told those ISIS brides of
granting ‘special asylum’ in Bangladesh once his organization Astha (faith)
established Caliphate in Bangladesh.
this family be deported?
Kingdom should immediately deport Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and his family and
confiscate their fortune worth millions of British pounds. Earlier it was
reported in the media that Khan was coordinating with various jihadist groups
with the nefarious agenda of launching series of jihadist attacks in
to accept IS rape survivors, not their children
Children born to Yazidi women as a result of rape by the militant Islamic State
group fighters will not be permitted to join the community in northern Iraq,
the faith’s Supreme Spiritual Council said.
Yazidi community once numbered around 500,000 members in the mountainous Sinjar
region of northwest Iraq, but it was ravaged by IS’s 2014 sweep into the area.
killed Yazidi men, forced boys to join their ranks as fighters and abducted and
imprisoned thousands of Yazidi women as sex slaves.
children born of those rapes have been the subject of fierce debate in the
insular community, which only recognises children as Yazidis if both their
parents hail from the sect.
week, the head of the Supreme Spiritual Council Hazem Tahsin Said issued what
appeared to be a landmark shift, publishing an order “accepting all survivors
(of IS crimes) and considering what they went through to have been against
decision was hailed as “historic” by Yazidi activists, who understood it to
mean that children born of rape would now be allowed to live among their Yazidi
late Saturday, the Council published a clarification that the decision “does
not include children born of rape, but refers to children born of two Yazidi
Yazidi community had long considered any women marrying outside the sect to no
longer be Yazidi, initially including those assaulted by IS in 2014.
Yazidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh issued a decision the following year
welcoming those women back home, without resolving the fate of their children.
Yazidi women who were kidnapped by IS have escaped in recent years, and dozens
more fled to safety in the last few months as IS’s “caliphate” crumbled in
who had children with IS fighters faced a difficult choice: either remain
ex-communicated from their Yazidi relatives, or leave the children behind.
who returned to the Yazidi heartland of Sinjar in northwest Iraq in recent
months chose the latter.
Iraq, children inherit the religious sect and nationality of their father, so
those born to Sunni Muslim men would have the same religion.
born to suspected IS fighters who are either missing or dead are at risk of remaining
stateless because of lack of proof of their father’s identity.
this month, Iraqi President Barham Saleh proposed a bill to parliament that
would provide reparations for Yazidi female survivors of IS crimes and
establish a court to clarify “civil status” issues.
has a better notion of financial regulation’
figures, like Ibn Khaldun, can be used for two different purposes, said an
academic on the sidelines of 5th International Ibn Khaldun Symposium in
to cement power of authority and second, to use historical thinkers to really
find some different ways to evaluate the present,” said Prasenjit Puara, who is
a Professor at Duke University, U.S.
Ibn Haldun University is hosting a two-day international conference on 14th
century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun's view on power, economics and morality which
kicked off on Saturday.
academic of Indian decent Puara said that someone like Ibn Khaldun “is very
important to understand the ways in which he understood society are actually
related to our ways but he had a different understanding of the society”.
from around the globe are attending the conference to discuss ideas of Ibn
Khaldun on the accumulation of wealth and conspicuous consumption in corrupting
the foundations of authority.
Khaldun is widely known for his scholarship on modern disciplines of historiography,
sociology, economics, and demography. His most famous work is Prolegomena
(Muqaddimah) which records the early view of universal history.
it is very important to recover those understandings,” Puara added.
said that people “without fully understanding Ibn Khaldun’s background and
knowledge and his goals have tended to isolate certain things that fit with
contemporary social sciences without understanding the cosmology and
cosmological ideas that are necessary to it”.
are some very important repetitive cultural tendencies to bring up resistance
and it is often based on transcendental idea which may not be the idea of
God…,” he said.
regulation of economy
Duke University professor confided that the Islamic society has a “better
notion of financial regulation and of recognition that there has to be stops
upon pure economics, to consume”.
idea of [Islamic] regulation [of economy] that there are social forces is an
important lesson for the modern capitalist world to absorb into its executive
and other areas,” he asserted.
the relevance of Ibn Khaldun in current times, Bruce Lawrence, who is a
professor at Ibn Haldun University, said that there is a need to understand
relation “between Deen [religion] and Duniya [world]”.
is not that they are opposites but they are both necessary because we are in
this world because we want Duniya. And Deen gives us meaning. Religion is also
orientation,” Lawrence said.
said that Ibn Khaldun’s perspective to solve contemporary economic challenges
would be “if you do not learn poverty, you do not learn the term”.
has to learn poverty because the problem is rich do not have any sense of time.
They think time is money but in fact time is really for benefit of your own
development,” he said.
professor said that values have to be “centre [of the society] not the
periphery”. “Then [comes] politics, [followed by] economics. Of course,
economics is important but it is end in itself, economics is always
Hammour, who teaches economics at the host university, said that the specific
propositions put forward by Ibn Khaldun, “conceptual and civilizational
understanding that he brought to the question of social science including
politics and economics which has lot to do with third element that is
Khaldun would potentially bring a perspective that is coming from pre-modern
history in his case of Islamic world and this comparative perspective is very
important,” Hammour said.
without comparison, we take a lot of things as given,” he added.
said that there was a need of comparison of “our modern world with other
worlds, including Ibn Khaldun’s world and his analysis of the social issues
allow us to understand our world today”.
more interesting thing if want to understand ourselves is to ask the question
‘why don’t we have what Ibn Khaldun was talking at his time’. His notion about
governance, criteria for the merchant,” Hammour added.
military and opposition agree in principle on joint council
military rulers and an opposition coalition have agreed in principle on the
formation of a joint transitional council, but not on the share of seats, two
sources said on Saturday.
two sides were holding their first formal discussions as opposition groups and
protesters push for a rapid handover to civilian rule following the ouster of
former President Omar al-Bashir earlier this month.
the joint committee representing Sudan’s military leadership and the Alliance
for Freedom and Change, which brings together grassroots organizers with
opposition and rebel groups, held its first meeting to discuss their demand for
protesters have kept up the pressure on the military, continuing their
round-the-clock sit-in outside army headquarters and mobilizing tens of
thousands last Thursday for a “million-strong” march for civilian rule.
and Mashaykh at a Press Conference here in Lahore said OIC Peace Award for
Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi is acknowledgment of struggle on part of
Ulemas and Mashaykh of Pakistan for eradication of terrorism, extremism and
sectarian violence from Pakistan and Muslim world.
of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should play an effective role to resolve
confronting challenges of Muslim Ummah by seeking an end to foreign
interference responsible for rising sectarian disputes within Muslim countries.
Addressing a Press Conference and reception for Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood
Ashrafi, Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council, Ulemas from different religious
schools of thought including Maulana Zialul Haq Naqshbandi, Prof. Zakirur
Rehman, Maulana Muhammad Khan Ludhyanvi, Maulana Zubair Ahmed Zaheer, Maulana
Aseedur Rehman, Qari Shamsul Haq, Maulana Mubashar Raheemi, Allama Sajjad
Naqvi, Allama Tahirul Hassan and Maulana Tahir Aqeel Awan stated that an
ideological alliance is being form to contain the menace of terrorism,
extremism and sectarian violence on ideological grounds.
conference also urged on leading Ulemas, Mashaykh and religious scholars of
Muslim world to come forward to contain the rising propaganda of terrorists and
extremists organizations. The Ulemas also pointed out campaigns being launched
in western world on account of ‘Islamphobia’ to defame Islam and Muslims. Islam
is a religion of Peace and harmony and Islam and Islamic teachings has nothing
to do with propaganda of extremists and terrorists organizations. The Ulemas
and clerics speaking at the Press Conference also hinted out that Pakistan
Ulema Council since its inception has been carrying out effective struggle at
every forum to highlight moderate message of Islam and condemning the menace of
terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence.
Ulema council will reinforce its coordination with OIC to spread the moderate
message of Islam in Muslim world. The Ulemas addressing the conference also
demanded of leadership of Muslim world to streamline legislation in their
respective Muslim countries for issuance of religious decrees in accordance of
the teachings of Quran-o-Sunnah. Pakistan Ulema Council taking lead in Muslim
world has established “Dar-ul-Afta” in Lahore for issuance of religious decree
in accordance of Quran-o-Sunnah for public guidance and to keep check on
issuance of decrees contrary to Islamic Jurisprudence.
also pointed out that prevailing series of terrorists attacks in New Zealand,
Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka left peace loving forces of the world with
no other option to get united against evil forces. The Ulemas also added that
UNO and other western forces has no right to make interference in affairs of
Muslim countries on account of sectarianism. Saudi Arabia is center of Muslim’s
unity and stability and any bid to make instability in Harmain Al-Sharifain on
any pretext will not be tolerated.
conference also condemned killings of Hazara community and other innocent in
Balochistan stating that every bid of extremists and terrorists will be foiled
to make instability and anarchy in Pakistan.
of Pakistan Ulema Council also announced on this occasion that special
congregations will be held during the month of Ramadhan to promote moderate
message of Islam and “Ashra-e-Harmain Al-Sharifain, Al-Aqsa” will also be held
in last 10 days of Ramadhan, in which special conferences and conferences will
be held to public message of peace, stability and harmony of Harmain
President Emmanuel Macron has declared his intention to tackle “political
Islam” in what he is labelling “Act II” of his term as French leader.
Macron said that the first “Act” of his presidency, which began in May 2017,
was over and that he would be looking to focus on different issues between 2019
and 2021 when he is set to try for re-election. Among the topics will be the
fight against a political Islam Macron described as forming parallel societies
and attempting to “secede” from French society, Le Point reports.
are above all the children of the Enlightenment,” Macron said and added that he
wanted to see France rediscover “the art of being French” in a country that has
become increasingly divided in recent years.
of the main pillars of Macron’s vision for France is the French brand of
secularism, known in French as ‘Laïcité,’ with the French president saying,
“Secularism is the possibility of believing in God or not believing in Him… of
never imposing on society a religion or detracting from rules of the Republic
to do this.”
we talk about secularism, we do not really speak of secularism, we talk about
the communitarianism that has settled in some quarters, of a political Islam
that wants to secede from our Republic,” he added.
singled out foreign religious funding, especially from Turkey, saying that it also
contributed towards the problems with political Islam in France and vowed
tighter controls on foreign funds coming into the country.
year, the French president had made overtures at reforming Islam in France that
would see an increased French influence on the training of imams as well as an
overhaul of the organisation structure of Muslim groups.
study that was conducted as a part of a project advising Macron discovered that
the radical form of Islam known as Salafism had an almost monopoly on the
intellectual currents of Islam across the country.
Islam expert Hakim el Karoui of the Montaigne Institute, who authored the
report, recommended tackling foreign funding of imams to counter the
raids 3 Kerala houses, looks for links with Lanka bombers
DELHI/KOZHIKODE: In developments that come in the wake of the Sri Lanka
bombings, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday carried out
searches at the houses of three suspects linked to an Islamic State-inspired
module comprising over a dozen people from Kasargod in Kerala who had left
India in 2016 to join IS in Nangarhar, Afghanistan.
to sources, the NIA team conducted raids at the houses of Ahamed Arafat and
Aboobacker Siddique under the Vidyanagar police station limits in Kasargod. The
house of a third person in Kollankode in Palakkad district was also searched.
NIA is questioning the suspects not only because they were in touch with Abdul
Rashid Abdulla, the absconding leader of the IS Kasargod module, and other
accused, but also to establish any possible link between the module and the
bombers behind Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka. The cross-straits connections
of the National Thowheed Jamaat, which has been named in the Sri Lanka
bombings, are being probed.
agencies have been tracking IS-motivated individuals and groups and the Wahhabi
links of some Tamil Nadu-based organisations and the NTJ has been a matter of
discussion in security circles. The IS claimed authorship of the Easter attacks
carried out through local recruits who swore allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr
last year, the NIA, while carrying out searches at the premises of six accused
in the IS Coimbatore module case allegedly involving a plot to target Hindu
leaders in south India, seized computer devices with jihadi videos of NTJ
leader Zahran Hashim.
NIA alerted Indian intelligence agencies which developed information on terror
attacks being plotted in Sri Lanka. The intelligence was shared with Sri Lankan
authorities on three different occasions, including hours before the bombings.
searches at the residence of the three suspects on Sunday, mobile phones, SIM
cards, memory cards, pen drives, diaries with handwritten notes in Arabic and
Malayalam, DVDs of Salafi preacher Zakir Naik besides untitled DVDs, CDs with religious
speeches, books of Zakir Naik and Syed Kutheb were seized. Digital devices will
be forensically examined and analysed, the NIA said. Naik has surfaced as a
motivator for terror cells and IS modules in the past few years. He remains abroad.
per NIA’s chargesheet in the IS Kasargod module case, Abdulla and his wife
Ayisha had travelled to Sri Lanka in February 2016 to attend classes in Islamic
studies at Al-Quma Arabic College in Colombo. In fact, two other couples from
India, Bestin Vincent and his wife Mariyam and Ashfaq Majeed and Shamsiya, were
also there with Abdulla attending the same course.
when the teacher found out that Abdulla, Bestin and Ashfaq were propagating IS
ideology and views of jihad among other students, they were expelled from the
college and returned to India on April 14, 2016.
was after Abdulla returned from Sri Lanka that he began arranging resources for
travel of 15 of his radicalised followers. All of them, except Yasmeen Zahid
from Patna, managed to exit the country between May 31 and July 5, 2016, and
are believed to have reached Nangarhar via Oman and Iran. Yasmeen, who was
intercepted at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport while trying to
leave India in July 2016, now stands convicted in the case.
are questioning the three suspects, whom we had been tracking for some time as
they were in touch with Abdulla and other members of the Kasargod module based
in Afghanistan. We want to know if similar videos of Hashim were shared with them
and if there is any direct link between IS modules from India and the Sri Lanka
bombers,” an NIA officer said.
speeches in Tamil were popular with extreme Salafi groups in Kerala. He had
been exhorting Muslims to shun ideas such as nationalism, democracy and
pluralism as they had no place in Islam.
wanted Muslims to keep a distance from “non-believers” and not have any
emotional bonding with them.
had elucidated the concept of Al Wala Wal Bara (bonding and exclusion) in his
speeches that was the favourite theme of extreme Salafis in Kerala. Police had
registered a case against a Salafi preacher in Kerala for speaking on Al Wala
Wal Bara after it was alleged that such hate speeches had contributed to the
growth of the IS in Kerala.
well discovered near gurdwara on Kartarpur corridor
500-year-old well, believed to have been built during the lifetime of the first
Sikh master Guru Nanak, has been discovered near a gurdwara on the Kartarpur
corridor which will facilitate easy passage of Sikh pilgrims to the historic
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.
well was discovered while digging the enclosure of Gurdwara Dera Sahib,
Kartarpur, some 125 kilometres from Lahore, said the shrine’s caretaker Sardar
20-ft well, made of small red bricks and believed to have been built during the
lifetime of Guru Nanak, will be opened to the visitors after restoration, he
well (Khu sahib) is a boon for the Sikh pilgrims who would flock to the place
on Baisakhi and other occasions and take away its sweet water. The water of the
well had healing quality,” Singh said.
will also be a great attraction for the Indian Sikhs due here on the 550th birth
anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak,” he said.
November, both India and Pakistan agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor to
link the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib - the final resting place of Guru Nanak
- in Pakistani town of Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur
Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about
four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
has committed to open the corridor in November this year on the occasion of the
550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
in Kerala over ISIS links, three suspects questioned
National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at three places in Kerala
on Sunday in connection with its probe on an Islamic State module.
searches were conducted at the houses of three suspects—two in Kasargod and one
in Palakkad. The three suspects are being questioned by the probe agency.
persons are suspected to have links with some of the accused in the ISIS
Kasaragod module who had exited India to join ISIS,” an NIA statement said.
phones, SIM cards, pen drives, DVDs and CDs with religious speeches were
recovered during the raids. “Handwritten notes in Arabic and Malayalam, DVDs of
Zakir Naik and Syed Kutheb have been seized. The digital devices will be
forensically examined and analysed,” the statement added.
NIA is probing cases of disappearance of at least 21 people who had left Kerala
under mysterious circumstances over a period of time and are suspected to have
JeM terrorists arrested for attack on police post in Srinagar
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants and an over-ground worker of the militant
outfit have been arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police in connection with
Friday’s attack on a police post in Srinagar’s Chanapora area.
a press conference on Sunday, SSP, Srinagar, Haseeb Mughal said that the three
men were identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, Junaid Ahmad Dar and Lateef Ahmed.
A policeman was grievously injured in the attack carried out by them on Friday.
J&K police spokesperson said in a statement that militants Mushtaq and
Junaid were residents of Wathoora area of Chadoora in Budgam district.
man, identified as Lateef Ahmed of Wathoora, assisted the terrorists by
transporting them on his motorbike for executing the terror attack,” read the
police said that a commander of JeM, Sameer Ahmed of Pulwama district, is also
a “part of this conspiracy and on his directions the terror attack has been
details on how the attack was carried out, the SSP said: “Three people came on
a motorcycle. Junaid went inside the police post with an excuse to know the
passport verification status. He came outside and told the others that the
sentry has no backup and can be targeted.”
Mushtaq went inside wearing a pheran and a helmet. When he was asked to remove
the pheran for frisking, he fired at the sentry. The sentry pushed him… since
the policeman’s gun was attached to a belt and tied with a chain, the militants
couldn’t take it and fled from the area,” the SSP said.
to the police, Mushtaq is a post graduate from Kashmir university, Junaid was
involved in a number of stone pelting cases and Lateef is an over-ground worker
of the militants.
how many militants were active in Srinagar, the SSP said that 8-10 militants
were believed to be present in Srinagar and after Friday’s attack the police
have been extra vigilant.
KINABALU: The Association of Muslim Lawyers Sabah (Amal) opposes the proposed
extension of the Legal Profession Act 2019 (LPA 2019) to Sabah and Sarawak,
supporting the stand taken by the Sabah Law Society (SLS) and Advocates
Association of Sarawak (AAS).
president Ansari Abdullah added that they opposed the proposal to repeal the
Sabah Advocates Ordinance 1953 as well.
drafters of the proposed LPA Bill are clearly ignorant of the arrangements agreed
upon under the Inter-Governmental Committee Report 1962 (IGC62) and the
Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which were crystallised into Article 161B of
the Federal Constitution.
association will oppose any erosion of the special rights and privileges
accorded to Sabah under the IGC62 and MA63," he said in a statement on
Sunday (April 27).
a recent joint statement, SLS president Brenndon Keith Soh and AAS president
Ranbir Singh Sangha said SLS and AAS are not in favour of the LPA Act being
extended to either Sabah or Sarawak.
we recognise that the existing LPA Act 1976 contains identical extension and
repeal provisions, such should not be included in this current LPA Bill or any
future or similar legislation," they said.
SLS and AAS were not consulted on the LPA Bill and our position is to
collectively and unreservedly oppose the extension and repeal provisions and to
demand that they be deleted from the bill," they added.
to them, law practitioners in Sabah and Sarawak are capable of handling legal
matters in their own states without interference from "outsiders".
a separate matter, Ansari appealed to the Sabah Immigration director to check
and ensure that lawyers from outside Sabah who appear in the state's Syariah
Courts are in possession of valid work permits.
have received complaints that some of them may be appearing in our Syariah
Courts while on social visit passes," he said.
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
LUMPUR, April 28 — PAS questioned Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today on why the PKR
leader decided to contest in a predominantly non-Muslim constituency like Port
president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in a statement posted on his Facebook
page argued that the Port Dickson parliament seat — whose electorate comprises
Malays at 43 per cent, Chinese (33 per cent), Indian (22 per cent), and other
races (2 per cent) — does not reflect the country’s racial composition,
therefore Anwar’s win was no real measure of his popularity among ethnic
saw that he picked the Port Dickson seat, a constituency dominated heavily by
non-Muslims,” Hadi said.
didn’t he pick a Muslim-majority seat? This (Port Dickson seat) is not balanced
and does not reflect the country’s demographic which is Muslim-majority.”
added that only by contesting in a Muslim-dominated seat can Anwar measure his
should contest in a Muslim constituency to put yourself to the test,” the PAS
had previously hinted that Anwar was behind an alleged coup to topple Prime
Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
also MP for Marang, suggested today that Anwar cannot take over the post
because he does not enjoy popular support. PAS leaders had said this was among
the reasons why the PKR chief had supposedly wanted to unseat Dr Mahathir.
can see that in the last general election Pakatan Harapan won because they made
Tun M the leader, who won even when his new party received the least number of
seats,” Hadi said.
is something we cannot take lightly because they (PH) have tried to promote
(Datuk Seri) Azmin Ali before but were unsuccessful. The same with Anwar
Ibrahim but he failed too.”
led the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) when the coalition lost to Barisan Nasional in the
13th general election. PR, the political opposition bloc that predated PH,
comprised PKR, PAS and the DAP.
he was jailed for a second sodomy charge shortly after the elections, PAS quit
the coalition. PR, effectively disbanded by then, struggled to find Anwar’s
replacement and looked to Azmin as the primary candidate, but observers said
the move failed to convince voters.
was only after Dr Mahathir left Umno, formed Bersatu and joined PH that the
bloc began to enjoy popular support. Even then, it received less than 20 per
cent of the Malay votes when it won the 14th general election.
had recently declared its support for Dr Mahathir’s prime ministership, saying
it backed the Bersatu chief to helm the government for the entire term, a move
meant to show its disapproval of the transition plan to put Anwar into office.
reiterated the party’s stance today.
our opinion, a prime minister must be picked by the people, not by certain
individuals,” the PAS chief wrote, referring to Dr Mahathir as the rightful
prime minister because he led PH to victory.
Sri Lanka — When the Wahhabis came, with their austere ideology and abundant
coffers, the town of Kattankudy yielded fertile ground.
this part of Sri Lanka, faith was often the sole sustaining force during the
civil war that raged for nearly three decades. Wahhabism — a hard-line strain
of Islam blamed for breeding militancy — proposed a direct path to God, albeit
one that aimed to return the religion to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
was here in Kattankudy’s warren of homes decorated with delicate swirls of
Arabic calligraphy that Zaharan Hashim, the man accused of masterminding the
Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, grew up. And it was here that he preached
his ideology, calling for the killing of nonbelievers in Islam and even other
be taken over by radicalism, this is not what we want for Kattankudy,” said
Mohamed Ibraheem Mohamed Jaseem, the vice chairman of the town’s urban council.
“We are living in Sri Lanka, not a caliphate.”
intersection in Kattankudy, where delicate swirls of Arabic calligraphy are
Sri Lankan police say that at least two of the suicide bombers involved in the
attacks, which killed at least 250 people, were from Kattankudy. The Islamic
State claimed responsibility.
on Friday evening, just down the coast from the town, a raid on a house linked
to the Easter bombings turned violent, leaving 15 dead and wounding the wife
and child of Mr. Zaharan. Some of the dead, thought to include Mr. Zaharan’s
brother and other immediate family, blew themselves up as security forces
closed in. The Islamic State also claimed a connection to this shootout.
was in the 1980s that Kattankudy, one of the few almost exclusively Muslim
towns in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, began blossoming into a center of Islamic
life. The town was enriched by Saudi money for mosques and madrasas,
work-abroad contracts and university scholarships.
the advent of Wahhabism, with its isolating dogma, has also shaken this
multifaith island where minority Muslims have traditionally practiced a more
inclusive faith. Birthed in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism’s stern intolerance
denigrates not only those who don’t believe in Islam but other Muslim sects as
Saudi Arabia insists the faith does not call for violence, critics have long
blamed the kingdom’s mass export of its austere creed for fueling extremism and
terrorism abroad. Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, and most of the hijackers
in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were from Saudi Arabia, and the Islamic State
used Saudi religious textbooks inside its self-styled caliphate in Syria and
are more than 60 mosques in Kattankudy for a population of 45,000.
in Kattankudy, stately date palms line the main street, as if this
lagoon-filled landscape were a desert oasis. Cafes offer tiny cups of syrupy
Middle Eastern coffee along with Sri Lanka’s famous tea.
are more than 60 mosques in Kattankudy for a population of 45,000, and most now
subscribe to conservative strains of Islam, including Wahhabism. At the New
Kattankudy Grand Jumma Mosque, designed as a replica of Al Aqsa Mosque in
Jerusalem, one of Islam’s holiest sites, construction workers are laying
intricate blue mosaics as part of the town’s mosque-building boom.
the age of 7, everyone must pray five times a day, so we always need more
mosques,” said M.I.M. Irfan, the mosque’s secretary.
an appeal to the Muslim community that supported his government, Mahinda
Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s former president and an unabashed Buddhist nationalist,
came to lay the cornerstone of the Kattankudy Grand Jumma Mosque. Saudi
diplomats visited, too.
Saudis and others from the gulf also supported a plan by M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, a
Kattankudy native who is now governor of Eastern Province, to open an
Islamic-inspired university campus in his hometown. But a dearth of land in its
densely populated neighborhoods meant that the university, a vast edifice of
domes and mosaics that is one of the biggest buildings in the province, is
being built farther north.
Hizbullah is against reversing regulations that allow Sri Lankan Muslim men to
marry children and have multiple wives. Last week, the authorities brought him
in for questioning in connection with a radical group founded by Mr. Zaharan.
group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, said it severed ties with Mr. Zaharan two
group’s prayer space in Kattankudy is modern and under renovation, a
glass-sheathed building with expensive speakers waiting to be installed. Less
than a block away stands a disused bus from Yeshua Ministries, an evangelical
mingles in Sri Lanka but it also can combust.
in 2004, Wahhabi-influenced youth from Kattankudy began attacking Sufis, who
practice a mystical form of Islam. Grenades were thrown and swords thrust.
Hundreds of Sufis were forced from their homes.
Zaharan charged with the anti-Sufi brigade.
Kattankudy’s Islamic organizations are horrified by Mr. Zaharan’s militancy and
have eschewed violence, most have campaigned for years against Sufis.
people, it is not Islam,” said M.L.M. Nassar, a member of the Federation of
Kattankudy Mosques and Muslim Institutions. “It’s a deviation.”
is one of the few almost exclusively Muslim towns in Buddhist-majority Sri
Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which pitted minority Tamils against the Sinhalese
majority, Muslims were sometimes caught in the middle. (Accounting for about 10
percent of the population, Muslims are considered a distinct ethnic group in
Tamils, who are mostly Hindus or Christians, considered Muslims to be
government collaborators. Some Sinhalese, who tend to be Buddhist, distrusted
the fact that Muslims in Sri Lanka speak Tamil and populate some areas where
Tamils are clustered.
Buddhist chauvinism popularized by powerful politicians has poisoned relations
1990, at the height of the terror between insurgents from the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam and a Sri Lankan military accused of slaughtering civilians,
worshipers gathered in the evening for prayer at the Meera Grand Jumma Mosque
was dark, just another poor town on Sri Lanka’s Tamil and Muslim-dominated east
coast bereft of electricity.
gunmen emerged from among the faithful, lobbing grenades and spraying bullets
in the sacred space. That night, more than 100 people, many of them children,
were killed in attacks on two Kattankudy mosques. The perpetrators were
believed to have been Tamil Tigers.
courtyard of a Sufi mosque in Kattankudy. Beginning in 2004, Wahhabi-influenced
youth began attacking Sufis, who practice a mystical form of Islam.
the walls of the Meera Grand Jumma Mosque are still pockmarked with bullet
scars, a memory of hatred preserved for each generation to ponder.
Shamsudeen’s 13-year-old son was killed in the attack, along with 16 other
relatives. He is now a security guard at the mosque where his family was
massacred, keeping vigil amid fears after the Easter killings that mosques
might be targeted in retribution.
on the mosque’s veranda, his eyes filled with tears for his son. He welled up
again when he thought of what a hometown boy, Mr. Zaharan, appears to have
unleashed at one church in the nearby city of Batticaloa and at two others in
or near the capital, Colombo.
talk of jihad emanating from some of Kattankudy’s hard-line clerics appalled
him, he said. Peace finally came to Sri Lanka in 2009. Like so many in the
country, Mr. Shamsudeen is done with war.
had no weapons to fight back then,” he said of the attack that killed his son
and other family members. “But even if we did, is revenge the best way?”
Shamsudeen did not answer his own question. He shook his head. Just outside the
mosque with its bullet-blemished walls, a soldier paced, his rifle alert, a
finger poised on the trigger.
Taliban Improvised Explosive Device planners were killed during an Afghan
Security Forces (ASSF) raid in Bagram district, Parwan province, April 26,
military sources said Sunday that “The nefarious coordinators, who went by the
name Luftullah, Baran, Awal Gul, Farid, and Sayed Lala were directly
responsible for planning and assisting militants in carrying out high-profile
attacks against Afghan National Defense Security Forces and Afghan civilians in
sources further added that these coordinators specialized in Vehicle Improvised
Explosive Device creation.
least eight militants were killed and six others were wounded in joint air and
ground operations which were conducted in North-western Ghor province.
207th Zafar Corps in a statement said the Afghan National Defense and Security
Forces conducted operations with the close air support of coalition forces in
Dolaina district of Ghor province.
statement further added that eight militants were killed and six others were
wounded during the operations and a vehicle and together with six motorcycles
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operations so far.
head of Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholics Sunday expressed fears that an official
investigation into Easter bombings that killed 253 people will end up a “flop”,
casting doubt on the government’s ability to bring the attackers to justice.
to reporters at his first public appearance since last week’s attacks on
churches and hotels, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith slammed what he described as Sri
Lanka’s culture of impunity, saying many high-profile assassinations over the
past 30 years had remained largely unsolved.
is a certain amount of suspicion among our people that there will be no more
follow up, only words.... If they (the authorities) are sincere, they must have
a thorough investigation,” he said.
cardinal said he had heard that President Maithripala Sirisena had appointed a
commission of inquiry into the massacre.
we never heard if that commission had any sittings. Nothing at all, we were
never consulted. We are afraid that this commission might just end up being a
flop,” he said at a candlelight vigil organized by a state-owned newspaper
say they have arrested more than 150 people suspected to be involved with the
coordinated suicide bombings that devastated three luxury hotels and three
churches, two of which are Roman Catholic.
cardinal has repeatedly assailed the authorities for failing to share
intelligence reports that had warned of an impending jihadist attack against
Christians, saying he felt “betrayed” by the government.
father and two brothers of the suspected mastermind of Sri Lanka’s Easter
Sunday bombings were killed when security forces stormed their safe house two
days ago, police sources and a relative of the suicide bombers told Reuters on
Hashim, Rilwan Hashim and their father Mohamed Hashim, who were seen in a video
circulating on social media calling for all-out war against non-believers, were
among 15 killed in a fierce gun battle with the military on the east coast on
Friday, four police sources said.
Sharif, the brother-in-law of Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader of the
wave of Easter Sunday bombings that killed over 250 people in churches and
hotels across the island nation, told Reuters the video showed Zahran Hashim’s
two brothers and father.
of the 15 people killed were the same people who were seen in the undated video
on social media, in which they discuss martyrdom and urge their followers to
kill all non-believers, police sources said.
so-called 'Saraya Khalid bin al-Walid' terrorist group that operates in Idlib
province in a statement on Saturday stated allegiance to ISIL ringleader Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi and merged into the terrorist group.
the Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted an informed source in Idlib province as
saying that Saraya Khalid bin al-Walid terrorist group is supported by Turkey
and it consists of nearly 800 militants in different parts of Northern Aleppo
and Idlib, specially al-Nayrib, Jabal al-Zawiyeh, Saraqib, Ariha and Mosayebin
statement came as Russian media reports claimed on Saturday that al-Baghdadi
was in Syria's Badiyeh (desert) region, attempting to cross the border into
Arabic-language service of RT news channel quoted an Iraqi intelligence source
as saying that al-Baghdadi was hiding in Abu Rajmin mountain near Syria's
Palmyra region in Homs province.
added that the ISIL leader wants to cross the border into Iraq in the next few
weeks, noting that he had already made several unsuccessful attempts due to the
tight security measures at the border.
report said captured ISIL terrorists had leaked during interrogations that
al-Baghdadi had been left with a small number of Saudi, Tunisian and Iraqi
militants who were still loyal to him.
experts said al-Baghdadi was likely trying to join the ISIL terrorists who had
been transferred by the US from Syria to Iraq.
security experts have accused the US army of training hundreds of ISIL
terrorists in al-Anbar province after relocating them from Syria to Iraq to
prepare them for a new round of insecurity in the country.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a military convoy
comprising 70 trucks carrying military and logistic equipment (made in the US
and Israel) has been dispatched by the US-led coalition from Iraq to Syria.
the Arabic-language Rai al-Youm quoted local sources in Eastern Syria as saying
that the SDF has swapped Syria's oil and gas with US and Israeli weapons.
sources told the Kuwaiti paper that the SDF is currently engaged in
implementing the US occupation plots after the US declared the end of the ISIL
in Eastern Syria. The US-backed Kurdish fighters have adopted hostile policies
against people in the region.
people in the towns of al-Sovar, Moileh, al-Shahil and al-Hasan in Eastern and
Southeastern Deir Ezzur continued protests against the SDF and their measures
such as stealing oil in cooperation with some foreign energy firms, and blocked
Deir Ezzur-Haska Road to keep SDF militias outside their town.
a relevant development on Saturday, the US-backed Kurdish militants received
state-of-the-art weapons and military equipment, including Israeli arms in
Eastern Euphrates, the Arabic-language media reports said.
pro-militant Arabic-language Al-Khabor news agency quoted informed sources as
saying that the US-led coalition has delivered new military and logistical
supports through Simalka crossing to its allied Kurdish fighters in Eastern
noted that the said military shipment included advanced missiles, US air
defense systems, Israeli anti-Tank Spike missiles, shoulder-mounted
surface-to-air Stinger missiles and drones.
advanced weapons delivered to the Kurdish fighters were transferred to a
clandestine depot near Ramilan Airbase in Hasaka province which is guarded by
the US marine forces and Kurdish fighters.
a relevant development last week, the media reports said that the US dispatched
a large number of trucks packed with new military aids to the SDF in Eastern
and Northeastern Syria.
US military convoy comprising 30 trucks loaded with weapons, military and
logistic equipment has arrived in Ain al-Arab Airport in Northeastern Aleppo,
pro-militant al-Khabor news website reported.
meantime, said that the SDF has discharged four weapons depots in Tal Bidar,
Ramilan, al-Shadadi and al-Malekieh in Hasaka province and sent their weapons
to arms depots in Ra'as al-Ain in Northern Hasaka, Tal Abyaz in Northern Raqqa
and Ain al-Arab in Aleppo as well as al-Amar energy zone in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
noted that the Kurdish forces' move comes as part of their plan to confront an
imminent military offensive by the Turkish Army and its allied militants in
Turkish-language Anatoly news agency also reported that hundreds of trucks
carrying US-made military equipment have been sent for the SDF-controlled areas
in Deir Ezzur.
also noted that a large number of weapons and military equipment have been sent
to the US-controlled al-Omar oil zone which is now under the US control, adding
that a large number of vehicles and drilling machinery have also been sent to
UAE, with the help of Saudi Arabia, has equipped Haftar forces with 195 combat
vehicles and Belarus-made helicopters," Mishri was quoted by the
Arabic-language al-Sharq newspaper as saying on Sunday.
referred to the deployment of UAE fighter jets and military men in Kharoubah
base in Eastern Libya, and said, "Saudi Arabia has told the committee of
sanctions that it has transferred weapons from the UAE to Haftar forces on a
also warned that continued war against Tripoli could stop exports of oil from
remarks came as troops loyal to Libya's internationally-recognized government
are preparing to launch a counteroffensive on Haftar's Eastern-based forces
currently struggling to maintain their positions along the capital's Southern
outskirts, the Government of National Accord's interior minister announced.
are in preparation and within three days or so, there will be a full-scale
attack and we will switch from a defensive to attacking position,"
Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.
forces will be repelled from the entire Western region … There are other
surprises in other areas where Haftar's forces are based," he added.
announcement came as the United Nations expressed concern over reports of
indiscriminate shelling in populated areas.
figures by the International Organization for Migration, UN Spokesperson
Stephane Dujarric said 39,000 people were displaced by fighting along the
capital's southern districts.
Libyan National Army (LNA), which is allied to a rival government in Eastern
Libya, launched an offensive to seize the capital on April 4, but has so far
failed the breach the city's defenses.
assure you that this aggression on Tripoli has increased our strength and
battle readiness. The security situation has improved, thanks to the efforts of
security and police personnel," Bashagha stated.
Economy Minister Ali Abdulaziz Issawi told Reuters News Agency that the GNA was
budgeting up to $1.43bln to cover the cost of the war, which has entered its
fourth week now.
said the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj would spend the money on
medical treatment of the wounded, aid for displaced people and other
"emergency" war costs, insisting the amount would not be used to fund
the war efforts.
derives revenue largely from oil and natural gas production, interest-free
loans from local banks to the central bank, and a 183-percent surcharge on
foreign exchange transactions conducted at official rates.
with centralized tax collection greatly diminished, public debt has piled up to
68 billion dinars ($48bn) in the West, including unpaid state obligations, such
as social insurance.
analysts say Sarraj's government will be forced to raise a new debt if the war
for the control of Tripoli drags on.
much of Libya dominated by armed factions that also act as security forces, the
public wage bill for both the Western and Eastern administrations has soared as
fighters have been made public employees in efforts to buy their loyalty.
east sold bonds worth 35 billion dinars ($25bn) outside the official financial system
as the Tripoli central bank does not fund the parallel government apart from
its limited reach, the Tripoli government still runs an annual budget of around
46.8 billion dinars ($34bln), mainly for public salaries and fuel subsidies.
year, we cannot finance via debt ... We will not borrow [by agreement with the
central bank]," Issawi added.
to IMF data, Libya's central government's debt-to-GDP ratio is 143 percent,
making it one of the most indebted countries in the world.
declined to say what part of the budget would be trimmed to support the extra
outlay for war costs.
with some 70 percent of the budget allocated to public wages, fuel subsidies
and other welfare benefits, a portion devoted to infrastructure is most likely
to be axed.
terrorists, stationed in al-Ais town near Ankara-controlled observation post in
Southwestern Aleppo, fired rockets and mortar rounds at al-Hazer town in
Southwestern Aleppo, killing and wounding several civilians, the
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported.
noted in the meantime that the Syrian Army units also foiled heavy attacks by
the terrorists over the last month in Khalseh, al-Hawiz and Khan Touman at
military positions in al-Harisheh and Mohit al-Thanieh in Southwestern Aleppo,
inflicting heavy losses on them.
the Syrian Army's artillery units backed by the Russian and Syrian air forces
pounded the terrorists' military positions and movements in Kafar Zita, Horas
Abedin, al-Latamaneh, Lahaya, Hasraya, al-Mostariheh, al-Karkat in Jabal
Shahshabou, Kharbeh al-Naqous in North and Northwestern Hama, destroying
several positions, hideouts and military vehicles as well as killing and
injuring a number of them.
Southern Idlib, the Syrian Army's artillery units hit the military positions
and movements of the terrorists in the surrounding areas of Abedin town,
destroying a number of military vehicles of the terrorists.
a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army warded off heavy attacks by
terrorists from the demilitarized zone on military-controlled areas in Southern
Aleppo, Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.
Arabic-language service of Sputnik reported that the Syrian army units engaged
in fierce clashes with Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or
the Al-Nusra Front) and Horras al-Din terrorists who intended to infiltrate
into the military areas in Khan Touman in Southern Aleppo.
added that the army's artillery units also launched repeated attacks on
terrorists and their supply routes in Tal Mamo, Zamar, Khaseh, al-Muhandesin
and Awaram al-Kobra in Southern and Western Aleppo, repelling their offensive.
the Syrian army troops launched heavy artillery and missile attacks on Tahrir
al-Sham and Turkistani terrorists' positions and moves in the towns of
Shahrnaz, Sahab, al-Ankawi, al-Hawiz, al-Shariat, Qal'at al-Maziq, al-Hawijeh
and Tal Hawash in Northern and Northwestern Hama towards the Syrian army
positions, inflicting heavy losses on militants and destroying a number of
their strongholds and vehicles.
army troops in Southern Idlib targeted the movements and hideouts of Jeish
al-Izza terrorists near the towns of al-Latamineh and Kafr Zita with artillery
and missile fire, smashing their gathering centers and positions used to attack
the Syrian army.
a relevant development on Friday, the Syrian army launched massive attacks on
military convoys of Tahrir al-Sham in Southern Idlib in response to the
militants' continued attacks from the demilitarized zone in Northern Syria.
Syrian Army units pounded Tahrir al-Sham terrorists' movements from several
directions in al-Tamaeneh, Um Jalal, Um al-Khalakhil, Jorjnaz, Khan Sheikhoun,
Tahtayeh and Abu Hobeh in Southern and Southeastern Idlib towards the
government forces' military points.
a military source said that the terrorists sustained heavy casualties and
losses as their military convoys were destroyed.
officials have sentenced a blogger to five years in prison for insulting Saudi
Arabia on social media network.
criminal court in the oil-rich Persian Gulf kingdom handed down the sentence to
Abdullah al-Saleh on Sunday, after the defendant was found guilty of “spreading
false news,” the pro-government and Arabic-language al-Watan daily newspaper
October, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior announced that it had referred a
group of people to the Public Prosecution for insulting Saudi Arabia on social
media networks, particularly Twitter.
posts were described as “offensive” after they were published during Saudi
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit to Kuwait on September 30 last year.
March 18, 2015, Kuwait arrested an opposition activist on suspicion of
insulting Saudi Arabia on his Twitter account.
media activists, requesting not to be named, said Tariq al-Mutairi, head of the
liberal Civil Democratic Movement (CDM), was detained on his way home by men in
plain clothes, believed to be from the state security service.
state news agency KUNA, citing an interior ministry statement, said Mutairi was
arrested for “publishing a number of tweets insulting the sister Kingdom of
destabilizing Middle East, paying for US-Israeli crimes: Hezbollah official
deputy secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement has
described Saudi Arabia as the root cause of instability in the Middle East,
stating that the incumbent regime in Riyadh is sponsoring fiendish US and
Israeli crimes in the region. “Saudi officials are paying for American-Zionist
crimes from the pockets of poor and impoverished people among other walks of
society in the kingdom. Saudi rulers have turned the country into the kingdom
of evil. Saudi money rests behind all crises and problems in the region,
besides the agents that are on the American-Israeli side,” Arabic-language al-Ahed
news website quoted Sheikh Naim Qassim as saying at a ceremony in the southern
Lebanese town of Kfar Fila on Sunday evening.
added that the ruling Saudi family is a sheer example of an oppressive and
dictatorial regime, which practices all kinds of pressure and injustice under
American orders to legitimize Arabs’ normalization of diplomatic relations with
the Israeli regime, the so-called deal of the century that deprives
Palestinians of their motherland and their future, in addition to aggression
Arabia committed a massacre by executing a number of its citizens without a
fair trial and through false confessions. The individuals were charged only
because of expressing their views and speaking truth. This is only part of the
crimes the Al Saud regime, which has also killed (Shia cleric) Sheikh Nimr
Baqir al-Nimr and (renowned journalist) Jamal Khashoggi, and destroyed life in
Yemen for more than four years without being penalized,” the senior Hezbollah
official pointed out.
Al Saud is the one who destroyed Syria, introduced (the radical ideology of)
Wahhabism, dispatched al-Qaeda, Nusra and their terrorist allies to Iraq,
Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East region, and provoked sectarian
strife. They are the ones who are sabotaging Libya, Sudan and Algeria. This
regime is preventing stability in the region,” Qassim commented.
highlighted that Riyadh has the least respect for the standards of human rights
and grossly distorts Islamic teachings.
top general warned on Sunday that Tehran could close the strategic Strait of
Hormuz shipping route if it faces more “hostility,” news agency ISNA said, as
the US tightens up sanctions.
are not after closing the Strait of Hormuz but if the hostility of enemies
increase, we will be able to do so,” armed forces chief of staff Mohammad
Hossein Bagheri told semi-official ISNA.
if our oil does not go through the strait, other countries’ oil will certainly
not cross the strait, too,” he added.
statement came after Washington said on Monday it would start imposing
sanctions on countries such as India, China and Turkey that buy Iranian oil.
countries were initially given six-month reprieves after the United States
re-imposed sanctions on Iran in November, following President Donald Trump’s
decision to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear accord.
officials have repeatedly warned that the Islamic republic could shut down the
strait, a vital shipping lane for international oil supplies, should it find
its national interests or security threatened.
believe Iran will continue to sell its oil ... (and) use the Strait of Hormuz.
But if the United States takes the crazy measure of trying to prevent us from
doing that, then it should be prepared for the consequences,” foreign minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday.
has released two Syrian prisoners in what it says is a “goodwill gesture”
following the repatriation of the remains of an Israeli soldier who went
missing over 35 years ago.
insists Sunday’s release was not a quid pro quo for the return of Zachary
Baumel’s remains earlier this month.
state TV says the two prisoners, Zeidan Tawil and Khamis al-Ahmad, arrived on
the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing after being released.
went missing during the Sultan Yacoub battle between the Israeli army and
Syrian forces during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
mediators facilitated the return of his remains shortly before this month’s
has released two Syrian prisoners following the repatriation of the remains of
an Israeli soldier who had gone missing over three and a half decades ago.
two prisoners, Zeidan Tawil and Khamis al-Ahmad, arrived on the Syrian side of
the Quneitra crossing in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after being
released on Sunday, the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
also published a photograph of the two men, one of them flashing a victory sign
from inside a vehicle. It also posted a brief video of the men shortly after
they were handed over to Syrian authorities.
Israeli regime claimed that Khamis had been jailed in 2005 after trying to
infiltrate an Israeli army base, and Taweel in 2008 for drug smuggling.
agreed to release the prisoners after Russian mediators reportedly facilitated
the return of the remains of soldier Zachary Baumel earlier this month.
had gone missing during a battle between the Israeli army and Syrian forces
during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Syrian soldiers fought against Israel
in a battle on June 10-11 of that year in the Lebanese village of Sultan
Yacoub, near the Syrian border. Some 20 Israeli troops were killed. Baumel and
two other soldiers had since been listed as missing and presumed killed.
Israeli regime has waged three wars on Lebanon — in 1982, 2000, and 2006. It
has also carried out assassinations on Lebanese territory.
seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the closing stages of its 1967 Six-Day
War with Arab countries, which also saw the regime occupy the Palestinian
territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip.
military rulers condemn attack on Islamist party
protest leaders held talks with the ruling military council on Sunday after the
military condemned an attack on an Islamist party close to former president
Omar al-Bashir, who was removed from power and jailed earlier this month.
of protesters gathered Saturday outside a building where the Popular Congress
Party was holding a meeting, chanting: “No place for Islamists.”
state-run SUNA news agency quoted party leader Idriss Suliman as saying that at
least 64 party members were wounded in clashes with the protesters.
party was established in the late 1990s by Hassan al-Turabi, the Sudanese
Islamist who played a key role in the 1989 coup that brought al-Bashir to
military removed al-Bashir from office April 11 amid four months of mass
protests. A military council has said it will rule the country for up to two
years until elections can be organized.
Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, a coalition of opposition
groups led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, is pushing for a quicker
transition. They have called for a transitional council that would include
limited army representation. The protesters fear that the military will cling
to power or cut a deal with other parties to leave much of al-Bashir’s regime
military has said it is open to “proportional” civilian representation in its
council and the granting of executive powers to civilians. It has said it is
consulting with all political factions except for al-Bashir’s National Congress
Party on the way forward.
protesters suspended talks with the military a week ago but resumed the
negotiations on Wednesday as three officials seen as too close to al-Bashir
resigned from the military council.
Francis called on Sunday for the evacuation of refugees held in detention camps
in Libya, particularly women and children, as fighting there escalates.
make an appeal that especially the women, children and sick can be evacuated as
soon as possible through humanitarian corridors,” Francis said at the Sunday
prayer at the Vatican.
situation “which is already very serious, has become even more dangerous due to
the ongoing conflict,” he said.
group of around 140 refugees is expected to arrive in Rome from Libya on
groups and international organizations are alarmed at the situation of
thousands of migrants trapped in detention centers in Libya, as fighting rages
between forces loyal to the Tripoli-based government of national unity and
those loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar.
long a major transit route for migrants desperate to reach Europe, is home to
around 6,000 migrants who are held in official detention centers, according to
the International Organization for Migration.
more are held by armed groups elsewhere in the war-hit country.
UN and international aid groups have warned that thousands of migrants and
refugees who fled violence at home and are now trapped in Libyan detention
centers are facing enormous dangers and must be evacuated.
series of aerial raids by renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar’s so-called
Libyan National Army (LNA) has killed at least four people and wounded 20
others in Libya’s capital, Tripoli.
internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which is seated
in Tripoli, said on Sunday that the casualties had been caused by airstrikes
that targeted residential neighborhoods in Tripoli the night before.
residents said they heard the roar of airplanes and heavy explosions between
11:00 p.m. and midnight local time.
al-Hachemi, a spokesman for the GNA’s Healthy Ministry, warned that the death
toll could increase “in the coming hours.”
pro-GNA military source told AFP the victims were civilians. “Most of the
strikes hit areas in the [residential] district of Abou Slim... None hit
military targets,” the source said.
Younes, a GNA spokesman, accused Haftar of using foreign planes to carry out
the airstrikes. “This criminal conceals his failures and those of his soldiers
at the gates of Tripoli by resorting to foreign aviation to hit unarmed
civilians in the city,” Younes wrote on a Facebook page.
GNA, while internationally recognized, has been unable to exercise state powers
over the entire Libyan territory, where militia groups have been active since
an uprising against the then-dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Another major
power faction that lays a claim to power is based in the city of Tobruk, in
Libya’s east. It has its own quasi-army, led by the self-styled Haftar.
general is supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. He
launched a deadly campaign to invade and conquer Tripoli on April 4, in what
seems to be an attempt to unseat the GNA. Fierce fighting has been ongoing on
the southern edges of the capital since then, as armed forces and militia loyal
to the GNA have been fighting back.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recently said that
intensified fighting for control of Tripoli was turning the densely-populated
residential areas of Tripoli into “battlefields.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday
and expressed hope that Pakistan and India can meet each other halfway to
improve their strained relations following the Pulwama terror attack by a JeM
leaders also exchanged views on the situations in South Asia, an official
Chinese statement here said about the meeting between Xi and Khan.
India-Pakistan relations reportedly figured prominently in the meeting.
expressed hope that Pakistan and India can meet each other halfway and promote
the stabilisation and improvement of India-Pakistan relations, it said.
arrived in China on April 25 and attended China's 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF)
held on April 26-27.
BRF meeting was held to highlight the achievement of the trillion-dollar Belt
and Road Initiative (BRI) started by Xi in 2013 in which $60 billion
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important component.
skipped the meeting for the second time, protesting over the CPEC which is
being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Sunday's meeting between Xi and Khan was regarded significant as it was held in
the backdrop of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following the
February 14 Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based terror group
Jaish-eMuhammad (JeM) which killed 40 Indian CRPF soldiers.
had sent its vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou to visit Pakistan in March as
part of its efforts to ease the tensions.
meeting with Xi took place when China is under pressure at the United Nations
over its repeated attempts to block efforts to declare Pakistan-based JeM
leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
month, China put a technical hold on a resolution put forth by the US, the UK
and France at the UN's 1267 counter terrorism committee to declare Azhar as a
US later took the issue to the UN Security Council (UNSC) in a bid to pressure
China to take a public stance on Azhar's issue instead of just putting up
blocks at the 1267 committee.
had expressed its firm opposition to the issue being taken to the UNSC, saying
that the matter headed for settlement and blamed the US for scuttling it.
there is no word here whether the Azhar issue figured in Xi's talks with Khan,
officials say there is a sense of wariness on the part of Beijing to block
India, the US and other countries' efforts to blacklist him at the UN on behalf
hoped that the issue could be resolved in the coming weeks following Khan's
visit to China.
to his meeting with Xi, Khan called on Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during which
the two countries signed a number of agreements. Earlier, he met Chinese Vice
President Wang Qishan.
Sunday's meeting, Xi expressed China's firm support to Pakistan to further the
bilateral ties between the all-weather allies.
is China's all-weather strategic cooperative partner. China and Pakistan are
'iron friends' and have always firmly supported each other on issues concerning
each other's core interests." Xi said.
takes Pakistan as a priority in its diplomacy, he said.
matter how international and regional situations change, China firmly supports
Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty and national dignity, choosing its own
development path suited to its national conditions, combating terrorist and
extremist forces, striving for a sound external security environment, and playing
a constructive role in international and regional affairs," Xi said.
said major progress had been made in bilateral cooperation in the construction
of the CPEC, especially in areas such as finance, trade and other aspects, the
the next stage, China and Pakistan should make more efforts to advance the
all-weather strategic cooperation," Xi said.
called on both sides to deepen high-level contacts and mutual support,
strengthen strategic communication and promote high-quality cooperation in
production capacity, infrastructure construction, people's livelihood and trade
within the framework
said the CPEC had played an important role in Pakistan's economic development
and the improvement of people's lives.
said he believed more and more countries will support and participate in the
cooperation under the BRI.
is willing to consolidate its traditional friendship with China, deepen
pragmatic cooperation and enhance communication and coordination with China in
multilateral affairs, Khan was quoted as saying in the statement.
his meeting, Khan spoke a few times about India-Pakistan relations and the
prospects of peace between the two countries.
Pakistan and China Investment Forum in Beijing on Sunday, he expressed hope
that the relations between the two neighbours will improve after the Indian
want to build a civilized relationship with our Eastern neighbour and there is
a possibility that if we can resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue, things
can improve," he was quoted by state-run Radio Pakistan as saying,
Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman has
asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down before the JUI-F brings the
federal capital to a standstill.
will launch the second phase of our agitation after Ramazan and will go to
Islamabad in the first week of September, but I ask the ‘incapable prime
minister’ to step down to avoid people’s wrath,” said the JUI-I chief while
speaking at a ‘million march’ organised by his party on Chinar Road here on
Fazl, who also denounced the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz for giving more time to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government,
asked the establishment to stop backing the ‘fake prime minister’.
says the opposition is not united to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan and to some
extent it is true, but I want to make it clear that I am uniting people against
the government,” he said.
JUI-F chief announced the second phase of his agitation to oust the prime
minister from his office amid loud cheers from the crowd.
will hold a series of ‘million marches’ after Eidul Fitr and such ‘referendum
of Mansehra’ against the government would be held in Quetta on July 15, in
Peshawar on July 21 and dates for staging ‘million marches’ in Punjab will be
announced later,” said Maulana Fazl.
said that none of the governments since the inception of Pakistan was serious
to decide who would rule the country.
the institutions nor industrialists, landlords and bureaucracy are sincere to
decide who would rule the country for the past seven decades which caused an
irreparable loss to the nation,” said Maulana Fazl.
said Prime Minister Imran Khan was electioneering for Narendra Modi.
prime minister says if Narendra Modi’s party wins the elections in India the
latter will address the Kashmir issue, just to please Zionists,” said Maulana
warned the federal government that the JUI-F would never allow anybody to
recognise Israel, which he said would be betrayal with the Palestinians.
minister should plead the case of Kashmiris at international forums, instead of
recognising Israel and we will never allow him to use our soil for this dirty
act,” the Maulana said.
said there was huge corruption in the billion-tree tsunami project of the
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the prime minister was the biggest ‘liar and
corrupt’ who had been deceiving the nation in the name of a crackdown on his
country has been facing worst-ever inflation in its history and that is why
people expect us to lock down the federal capital to get rid of such a fascist
government,” he said.
Pakistan and China on Sunday embarked on the new phase of the China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor by signing memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on the first
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and socio-economic development and a new agreement
on free trade.
MoUs and the second stage Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were signed towards the
conclusion of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s second trip to China in six months.
prime minister’s latest visit to Beijing was for attending the second Belt and
Road Forum and talks with the Chinese leadership on the expanded CPEC. The
earlier visit was more about the future course of the CPEC after the change of
government in Pakistan and soliciting Beijing’s help for dealing with the
balance of payments crisis.
Khan in his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping assured him of Pakistan’s
“unflinching commitment” to the CPEC and hailed its next phase, which includes
newer areas like agriculture, industrial development and socio-economic uplift
with livelihood projects.
contours of the second phase of the CPEC have been finalised in view of
priorities of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government related to socio-economic
projects, greater involvement of the private sector and jobs creation.
Xi appreciated Pakistan government’s agenda for socio-economic development and
people-centred progress, the PM Office said.
new phase of the CPEC would be characterised by industrialisation. The first
Special Economic Zone comprising 20 factories is being set up in Rashakai,
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The Rashakai SEZ Joint Venture and Licence Agreement was
signed between the KP Economic Zones Development and Management Company and the
China Road and Bridge Corporation.
progress on SEZs would depend on how the Rashakai project progresses. In the
next stage, Chinese are planning to cooperate with Pakistan for setting up of a
heavy industry SEZ in Dhabeji (Sindh) and a hi-tech SEZ in Islamabad. Chinese
investors are, meanwhile, also signing up joint ventures in a local SEZ in
his meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Imran Khan hoped that
Chinese investment in the SEZs would expand Pakistan’s industrial base and
diversify its export basket.
second most important MoU, signed by the two sides, was between the China
International Development Cooperation Agency and Pakistan’s Ministry of
Planning, Development and Reforms for implementation of the projects under
Joint Working Group of the CPEC on socio-economic development. The projects in
education, health, human resource development, poverty alleviation,
agriculture, and water and irrigation sectors are being sponsored by the
Chinese government for which Beijing would spend $1 billion. Twenty seven
projects have been identified by the two governments. The PTI government had
placed a special emphasis on this element of cooperation.
view of trade being an important element of the CPEC, the two sides concluded
the second stage the Free Trade Agreement. The new FTA, which was signed after
negotiations spanning over seven years, is aimed at strengthening trade ties.
Under the new FTA, China would open up 90 per cent of its market for Pakistani
goods whereas Pakistan would share 65pc of its market with Chinese exports.
This would also help in redressing, to a certain extent, the yawning trade
imbalance between the two countries, which stood at $9.7 billion last year.
Li hoped that the conclusion of the second phase of China-Pakistan FTA would
give further boost to trade and economic relations between the two countries.
two sides also signed an agreement on a technical package for upgradation of
Pakistan’s main railway line ML-1.
completion of ML-1, the Pakistan Railways will benefit in terms of increase in
speed from 65km per hour to105km per hour to 120km/h to 160 km/h, increase in
line capacity from 34 to 171 trains each way per day, increase in freight
volumes from six to 35 million tons per year by 2025, increase in passenger
trains from 20 to 40 each way per day and increase in railway share of freight
transport volume from the current less than 4pc to 20pc.
the next phase of the agreement, the ministry of railways and the National
Railway Administration of China will jointly start the construction work on the
project. Prior to start of work, the final cost of the project would be worked
out and agreement of financing would be finalised after considering the
available options for financing, a spokesperson of the ministry of railways
signing of the ‘Declaration for Preliminary Design’ for completion of the first
phase of Pakistan Railways’ existing mainline (ML-1) has laid the foundation of
cooperation between Pakistan and China in the railways sector.
agreements signed during PM Khan’s visit were on setting up of a dry port at
Havelian, economic and technical cooperation and cooperation in the field of
Xi, during his meeting with Mr Khan, reiterated China’s unwavering support to
Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
expressed China’s appreciation for Pakistan’s sustained and successful efforts
in the fight against terrorism and creating a peaceful neighbourhood.
sides expressed satisfaction over the close cooperation between the two
countries at multilateral fora and resolved to further deepen communication and
coordination at all levels,” the PMO said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday invited Chinese entrepreneurs to take
benefits of investment-friendly policies of his government and relocate their
industries to the special economic zones being built under the China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Pakistan government wanted Chinese entrepreneurs to relocate their industries
to special economic zones being constructed in the country just like they
repositioned their industries in Vietnam and other countries, he said while
addressing participants of the Pakistan-China Trade and Investment Forum organised
by the Ministry of Commerce here.
than 370 Chinese companies and businessmen and 70 entrepreneurs from Pakistan
participated in the forum.
prime minister also expressed his government’s resolve to remove impediments in
the way of investment and make doing business easy for the Chinese business in
said the government had offered incentives and concessions in tax and asked
them to use Pakistan as the base for exporting their products to other
the CPEC, he said, it was started with building infrastructure and couple of
roads, but it had now blossomed to different areas of cooperation and gone into
cooperation in agriculture which is the lifeline of Pakistan.
expressed the confidence the economic growth would improve after an increase in
agriculture production with the cooperation of China.
the security situation in the country, he said it had been greatly improved
with sacrifices rendered by Pakistan’s armed forces and other security
organisations. They have overcome a difficult security situation.
relations with neighbouring countries, he said, Pakistan is helping a peace
process in Afghanistan and added, for the first time, there were prospects of
peace and a political settlement of Afghan issue.
relations with India, he said that elections were being held in India and hoped
that Pakistan and India would resume dialogue once the new government took
charge after the elections.
remarked that the Kashmir was a core issue between the two countries which
should be resolved through negotiations.
prime minister said that Pakistan’s strategic location was important as it had
China, world biggest market on one side, India, the second biggest market on
the other side while it had countries full of energy resources on the western
sought support from China to set up a university of science and technology for
education in different fields, particularly artificial intelligence,
information technology and other related subjects for the young population, he
expressed the confidence that more countries would join the Belt and Road
Initiative as it was meant for the connectivity and shared prosperity.
to the PM on Commerce and Textile Abdul Razzaq Dawood said after the signing of
the second phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and China the
bilateral trade and wide-ranging mutual business cooperation would increase
between the two all-weather friends.
he said, would have greater market access to the Chinese market, and begin the
export of wide-ranging goods to China and enhance cooperation in agriculture
and livelihood areas.
said the Chinese agro firms were also very keen to enter into the Pakistani
market and collaborate with Pakistani counterparts due to the rapidly
increasing demand of the import of food products from Pakistan.
Business Council vice chairman Saqib Shirazi spoke on business opportunities
between China and Pakistan and pointed out that the present government had offered
a number of incentives to attract foreign investment in the country.
British tourists are being told to be vigilant if traveling to Turkey after
security officials warned of “terror nests” in bordering countries posing a
significant threat to holidaymakers, Anadolu News Agency reported on Sunday,
Anadolu statement said that cells in Afrin “pose a threat to Turkey.”
warning comes as more Europeans — especially tourists from the UK — travel to
Turkey for their summer holidays. UK nationals made up 2.3 million of annual
visits to the country in 2018.
Daesh militants attacking foreigners and Turkish citizens in recent years, the
Turkish government has said Kurdish militia are to blame for the unrest.
tweeted: “There are currently 8,000-10,000 terrorists in the Afrin region near
Aleppo, near the Turkish-Syrian border, which has been besieged by the PYD/PKK.
are now hiding in shelters and pits in residential areas in Afrin after Turkey
pointed out the region was a nest for terrorists
US soldiers are currently in Afrin while around 100 Russian military police are
located in Tel Rifat, Tel Acar and Kefer Cenne areas.”
people were killed in a bomb blast in the capital Ankara in 2015, while a
further 45 were killed during an attack on Ataturk Airport a year later.
Meanwhile, in 2017, 39 revellers were killed in Istanbul as they welcomed the
UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as of April 28, is telling British
citizens to avoid all travel within 10 kilometers of the Syrian border, with a
warning that states: “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in
Turkey. Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh (formerly referred to
as ISIL) and far left organizations, continue to plan and carry out attacks.”
to the UK’s Daily Star last year, Michael McCabe, CEO of risk awareness experts
Intelligence Fusion, said the country faces a number of new crises, which could
put holidaymakers at risk.
Erdogan’s government faces a range of diverse internal and external threats,”
conflicts in Iraq and Syria on its border, separatist Kurdish groups, and
significant opposition to the government.”
(AP) — The words of the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, are identical
wherever it is sung, in every country where Muslims worship.
'alas salah" is sung around the globe five times a day, including outside
a construction trailer parked in a remote lot at Philadelphia International
Airport by a city taxi driver, Sylla Salif. "Hayya 'alas salah."
to prayer. Come to prayer."
Salif sang last week, men washed their hands in streams of water from spigots,
as is the Muslim custom to prepare for prayer. Some wore kufis on their heads,
and a few dressed in long robes, either brightly colored or white. They climbed
a few steps onto a wooden deck and put their shoes on shelves just outside the
doors. Then about 30 filed in and knelt.
an immigrant from Ivory Coast in West Africa, said he holds no particular
position of religious authority.
Muslim would know how to call for prayer," he said.
mosque on Island Avenue is a humble monument to the efforts of cab drivers, the
vast majority of them men, who sought to create a place of spiritual refuge
amid the most prosaic of surroundings, a crumbling slab of asphalt where they
park while waiting for fares from arriving flights.
mosque had been threatened by the airport's plans to displace taxis from that
parking lot, one of two reserved for them, on May 1. The airport planned to use
the lot for its own vehicles. About 300 of the city's cab drivers rely on the
airport almost exclusively for work, and losing those parking spots would have
made it harder to be on the scene when potential fares arrive.
drivers voted Tuesday to authorize a strike. Airport management relented the
next day. A spokesperson said the airport wouldn't move the cabs next month and
would seek to accommodate the mosque in whatever parking arrangements
eventually are made.
the airport's management was aware of the existence of the trailer used as a
mosque, it did not grant official permission for it to be there, or for drivers
to route water there from a nearby hydrant, a spokeswoman siaid.
does not require that daily prayers be conducted in a group, but there is
spiritual value in gathering, drivers said.
you pray with the group, you get more rewards than if you pray by
yourself," said Amadou Diallo, 52, who came to the United States almost 20
years ago from Guinea, also in West Africa. "When you get together, you're
going to love each other. If somebody needed help, you're going to help each
half of Philadelphia's 1,500 cab drivers practice Islam, said Ron Blount, a
leader of a taxi labor group in the city. For most of the 20 years taxis have
been parking on the Island Avenue lot, there has been some form of organized
worship there. Initially, drivers knelt together on the ground. Then they
brought in a tent, but in winter, weather and wind inevitably damaged it. It
took three years of collecting donations from drivers to raise the $10,000 to
buy the used trailer found in Allentown. The drivers carpeted it and have been
using it for about two years.
isn't important there, drivers said. Sunni and Shi'a alike are welcome. Uber
and Lyft drivers who practice Islam are welcome. There is no imam. Drivers take
turns leading the daily prayers.
Africa, American, European," said Alseny Diallo, an Uber driver who
emigrated from Liberia. "There's no country I don't see here. Everybody is
cab drivers had very different lives in the countries they came from. Among
their number are doctors and engineers, Amadou Diallo said. They focused their
talents on building a welcoming place. One driver with a knack for carpentry
volunteered his time to build the wooden deck alongside the trailer.
running water is another innovation by drivers. A garden hose linked to a fire
hydrant brings water into storage tanks, and a pump in a barrel channels the
water to the washing spigots. A small blue box inside the mosque holds
donations. It costs $1,000 to $2,000 a year to maintain and clean the space.
sense of pride in the structure, and the community it helps create, is evident
when drivers discuss the work that went into it. A complaint among drivers of
every denomination is that the lot's portable toilets don't include plumbing.
The Muslim drivers see their place of worship as a gift to every cabbie who
relies on the airport for income.
driver Kazi S. Ullah performs wudu, the ritual washing for purification before
prayer, as the dhuhr (midday) prayer time begins at the makeshift mosque in the
waiting lot for airport taxi drivers on Island Avenue in Philadelphia. Drivers
paid for and built the washing station themselves.
water is available for everybody, not just Muslims," Amadou Diallo said.
"This we did from our hearts to help our fellow drivers."
number of drivers were understanding about the threat of losing the mosque,
saying the land is the airport's and the it has the right to ask that it be
removed. Knowing it can stay, though, is a relief.
wonderful to have that," said Amadou Balde, also from Guinea. "It's
good to have a place to worship because we are commanded to do this, no matter
will be no enduring peace in Afghanistan unless the Taliban adapt to the
changes that have swept the country since they were ousted in 2001, a US
diplomat said on Sunday.
envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leading US efforts to forge a peace deal with
the Taliban, made the comments in a visit to Kabul as he continues a
months-long push for a settlement.
to Tolo News, Khalilzad said the Taliban recognise their government “made a lot
mistakes” when it was in power from 1996-2001, and “they have learned a lot”.
the Taliban insist on going back to the system they used to have, in my
personal opinion it means the continuation of war not peace,” said Afghan-born
Khalilzad, speaking in Dari.
has signaled progress in talks, which center on the Taliban guaranteeing
Afghanistan can never again be used as a springboard for foreign terror
attacks, in return for an eventual withdrawal of foreign forces.
the hard-line Islamists were in power, they barred girls from school, executed
women on flimsy allegations of adultery and banned a free press, music and many
other basic freedoms.
is expected to meet with the Taliban in Doha in the coming days, but critics
have lashed peace talks for so far failing to include members of the Afghan
government, which the Taliban view as a puppet regime.
special envoy said it was vital all parties communicate in an “intra-Afghan
dialogue”. Such a meeting was supposed to take place in Doha this month but it
collapsed amid squabbling about the size of the guest list.
have started discussion for the withdrawal of the (US) forces, but for the past
few weeks my struggles were focused on providing a ground for intra-Afghan
talks,” Khalilzad said.
is the first step for further discussion, but there has been no proper progress
added that Washington is “a bit impatient” to end the war, given its $45
billion annual cost to the US taxpayer and the continued toll it takes on US
President Donald Trump’s close ties with Saudi Arabia are aimed at serving Big
Oil by keeping the global petroleum market stable.
to Press TV on Sunday, Keith Preston, the Virginia-based director of
Attackthesystem.com, said Trump’s recent remarks that he made Saudi King Salman
pay more for Washington’s military services was just him being “candid.”
a large “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Trump
said on Saturday that he would like to keep Saudi Arabia as a close partner
because of the Riyadh regime’s extravagant purchases from American companies.
boasted to his supporters about a bizarre phone call with King Salman, where he
made the monarch pay more money in exchange for the military support that the
kingdom receives from Washington.
about 70 years, the United States along with a number of other Western
countries has propped up the House of Saud as the ruling family of Saudi Arabia
and the purpose for that is simply so that the Western petroleum firms are able
to engage in the development of Saudi oil,” Preston said.
controlling Saudi Arabia’s oil exports Washington is in fact trying to
stabilize the oil market while keeping America firms’ profit high, he added.
relationship is very important to the petroleum industry in the United States
which is a very very important sector of the American ruling class,” Preston
added, noting that the “big oil” has infiltrated both the Republican and
top example for this was Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first secretary of state who
first served as the CEO of the American energy giant ExxonMobil, the analyst
Trump is simply talking about the relationship that exists between the American
state and the petroleum industry Saudi Arabia,” he said.
argued that Trump’s extensive arms deals with Riyadh were no surprise either as
the gun lobby in the US were among Trump’s main sponsors and one of the
Republican’s party’s main constituencies.
influence was so strong that, according to Preston, the US was passing off the
weapons deals as aid to Saudi Arabia so it was the American taxpayers who paid
the price for the deals.
is unusually candid for an American president,” Preston noted. “There are timesthat
he goes off-script and doesn’t really try to camouflage what’s going on as much
as a lot of American politicians do.”
President Donald Trump has boasted to his supporters about a bizarre phone call
with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, where he made the monarch pay more money in
exchange for the military support that the kingdom receives from Washington.
[Saudis] have nothing but cash, right?" he told the exuberant crowd.
"They buy a lot from us, $450 billion they bought."
had people wanting to cut off Saudi Arabia... I don't want to lose them,"
he said, referring to bipartisan demands in Washington to punish Riyadh for the
murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October.
unclear where Trump drew the $450 billion figure, a reference that he had
to explain his decision to ignore Saudi’s conduct in Khashoggi’s murder, Trump
said in October that he didn’t want to lose “a million jobs” as well as a mega
deal that was “really $450 billion if you include other than military."
American head of state then described a recent phone conversation he had with
King Salman, in which he basically forced Saudi king to reach deeper in his
pockets in order to pay for military protection from the US.
lose $4.5 billion on a country to defend them, and they're rich," Trump
I called them. I said: listen, no good. They were in a state of shock because
they've never got a call like this in 25 years, right," he told a cheering
said we're losing $4.5 billion every year, we can't do this anymore. This is
crazy. He [Salman] got very upset, angry, said this is not fair. I said, of
course, this is fair. He said we'll give you $500 million more ... I said I
want more. We argued. So they paid us more than $500 million for one phone
call, it took me one call."
by the conversation, Salman asked Trump why he called him because "nobody
had made such a call," Trump further bragged.
because they were stupid!" the American head of state said of his
his presidency, Trump described Saudi Arabia as "a milk cow" which
would be slaughtered when its milk runs out.
September, Trump said he had told King Salman that Riyadh has "trillions
of dollars" and could pay its military bills.
love Saudi Arabia. They are great, King Salman, I spoke with him this morning.
I said, king, you have got trillions of dollars. Without us, who knows what’s
going to happen. .... With us they are totally safe. But we don’t get what we
should be getting," he said.
further threatened to end what he claimed to be subsidies for the Saudi
are subsidizing their military. I said let me ask you a question. Why are we
subsidizing the military — it’s one thing if a country is in deep trouble and
in danger," he noted. "I said 'Saudi Arabia, you are rich, you have
got to pay for your military. You have got to pay for your military,
President continued his berating remarks in October 2018, told a cheering crowd
of supporters at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi, that Saudi King Salman
would not last in power unless the US provided military support for the Arab
protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they're rich? And I love the King, King
Salman. But I said 'King — we’re protecting you — you might not be there for
two weeks without us — you have to pay for your military,'” Trump said.
an attempt to save face, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said back then
that Riyadh “will pay nothing” to the United States for the kingdom's
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