gather to form a human image of the Al Noor mosque.PHOTO: AFP
of Pakistanis Form Human Chain In Image of Christchurch Mosque
Attack on Minority Hazaras in Quetta Leaves 20 Dead, 50 Injured
Imam Al-Sudais Highlights Importance of Education in Islam
Declare Start of Spring Offensive amid Talks with US
Imam Wears IRGC Uniform during Prayer, Threatens US, Israel
Senior Cleric: US Mother of Terrorism in World
Protesters Ask Army to Hand over Power Immediately
Election Fight Shows Indonesia's Islam Identity Crisis
Warns ICC against Prosecuting Americans, Israelis for War Crimes
Man Takes Care of Hindu Temple in Bengaluru, India, Setting An Example Of
launches guidelines to implement UNSC 1267 Sanctions in country
sought on action against banned outfits in Balochistan
police complete probe into Altaf’s 2016 speech
held for bank heists, murders’ claims he joined Jundullah to fight ethnic party
killed, 10 injured in Chaman IED blast
Tens of Children Die in Syria's Al-Hawl Refugee Camp
air defences intercept missiles near city of Hama
brides trapped between Daesh and its victors
Victims of Islamic State's Legacy of Terror
shadow governor for Helmand succumbs to injuries sustained in an airstrike
Taliban attack repulsed in Shirzad district of Nangarhar
spring offensive announcement has ‘propagandist aspect’: MoD
Jewish groups urge Trump to curb Israel's West Bank annexation
soldiers kill Gaza teenager during border protest
denies entry to Palestinian campaigner Omar Barghouti for Israel boycott
has no sovereignty over Golan, Lebanon's Auon tells US delegation
Military Council to Start Dialogue with Political Groups
defence minister steps down as head of transitional military council
Libyan warplanes hit Tripoli government positions
1,500 migrants trapped in Tripoli, lives at risk - UNHCR
fighting rages in Tripoli, WHO warns of disease outbreaks in Libya
gave Libya's Haftar millions of dollars: report
and Algeria show why Jamal Khashoggi was right
Pakatan anti-Malay rights? For Umno and PAS, this narrative will win BN Rantau
under Fire over His Remarks on Congresswoman
Omar drags George W. Bush into 9/11 controversy
judges reject Afghanistan probe; cite lack of cooperation
calls for Sudan’s military to step aside
orders non-emergency personnel out of Sudan
Al Bashir was not a friend of US but few viable options for Washington in
not in Afghanistan to rebuild the nation, says Pompeo
for Tripartite Dialogue To Resolve Kashmir
between security forces and terrorists underway in J-K’s Shopian
2,200 Sikhs From India Arrive In Pakistan To Celebrate Baisakhi
Majeed case: Court issues summons to nodal officers of 5 telecom firms for call
anti-terrorism law comes into force in the UK
minister, French lawmaker clash over Armenia ‘genocide’ day
hails Turkey's pivotal role in Middle East
opposition slams French move on events of 1915
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Thousands of people clad in white gathered in Punjab’s Jhang district on Friday
to make a human image of Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque, where 50 people were
killed by a white supremacist four weeks ago.
images showed worshippers standing in formation, their snow-white traditional
shalwar kameez and prayer caps in stark contrast to the emerald green of a
public field, as a second group formed the words “Islam is peace” nearby.
New Zealand and Pakistani flags were also displayed along with a giant banner
which read: “Solidarity with the martyrs of Christchurch from Pakistan.”
tribute was organised by the Muslim Institute, a non-government organisation
aimed at promoting peace and stability in the Muslim world, which also released
the drone footage.
Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian and self-avowed white supremacist, has been charged
with 50 counts of murder and 39 of attempted murder after opening fire at the
Linwood and Al Noor mosques on March 15.
of the victims were of Pakistani origin. One, Naeem Rashid, was posthumously
given an award for bravery by Pakistan after he apparently tried to tackle the
gunman before being shot.
organisers praised the New Zealand government after what had been a “very tough
time” for Muslims in the country — especially Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
response “not only soothed the wounds of Muslims but also assured them that
Muslims in their country are safe”, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali, a religious
scholar and one of the organisers, told AFP.
worked really hard to make this model,” one participant, Noor Hassan, told AFP
of the tribute. “It was so pleasant that we were ready to stand like this for
the whole day,” he added.
attack on minority Hazaras in Quetta leaves 20 dead, 50 injured
At least 20 people were killed and nearly 50 injured when a bomb aimed at
targeting the minority Shia community exploded at a vegetable market in
Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta on Friday.
explosion occurred as members of the Hazara community, Shia Muslims, were busy
buying vegetables and fruit in the morning in Quetta’s Hazarganji market, a
place that has witnessed similar attacks in the past.
Razzaq Cheema, Quetta’s police chief, said the blast was caused by an
improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a sack of potatoes. Later,
Balochistan home minister Mir Zia Ullah Langove said at a press conference that
it was a suicide bombing.
Hazara community travels from Hazara Town (the residential area of the
community), escorted by a convoy of police and paramilitary forces, to
Hazarganji market to buy vegetables. Their movement out of the residential area
is restricted due to threats to their lives. “Since they are constantly under
threat of attack, we provide them with a security escort,” Cheema said.
the dead, eight were Hazaras. At least one Frontier Corps (paramilitary force)
soldier deputed for their security was also killed in the attack. Others who
lost their lives included shopkeepers, businessmen and people working or
residing in the area,” Cheema said.
Nayil, a Hazara community leader, asked the government for better protection.
“Once again we were the target, and once again we will have to bury our dear
ones,” he said, demanding the government punish all those involved in the
isolated shootings of Hazaras often take place, a major bomb attack targeting
them happened at least after a year.
from the blast scene showed burnt human flesh, blood-soaked clothes, damaged
vehicles and scattered vegetables and fruits.
majority of over half a million Hazaras have settled in Quetta, the capital of
volatile Balochistan province, Pakistan’s mineral-rich and largest province by area,
since fleeing Afghanistan to escape violence in their homeland during the past
four decades. Islamist militants who operate in the province often target
members of the Hazara Shia community in the region.
separatist insurgency is also on in the restive province with separatist groups
of Baloch nationalists demanding autonomy and a greater share in the province’s
resources. They frequently target security forces and government installations.
National Commission for Human Rights had released a report last year stating
that 509 Hazaras were killed and 627 injured in various incidents of terrorism
in Quetta from January 2012 to December 2017.
to members of the community, they refrain from engaging in business or
education in other parts of the city because of the risks to their lives.
group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The far-right Ahle
Sunnat Wal Jammat and the associated Lashkare-Jhangvi militant group have been
involved in sectarian violence in Balochistan in the past.
Imam Al-Sudais highlights importance of education in Islam
Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, the general president for the affairs of the Two
Holy Mosques, has reminded students about “the importance of education in Islam
and the challenges faced by the youth.”
lecture at the Northern Borders University in Arar province was broadcast to
students in Rafha, Turaif and Al-Uwayqilah provinces.
stressed the importance of getting information from trusted and truthful
sources, and of not believing rumors and falsehoods that seek to distort the
image of Islam and the Kingdom. He urged students to “shield themselves against
extremism and misleading thoughts, thus protecting the religion, the homeland,
its security and its achievements from extremism.”
declare start of spring offensive amid talks with US
(AFGHANISTAN): The Taliban announced on Friday the start of their spring
offensive despite talking peace with the United States and ahead of a
significant gathering of Afghans meant to discuss resolutions to the protracted
war and an eventual withdrawal of American troops from the country.
insurgents released a lengthy missive in five languages, including English,
saying the fighting would continue while foreign forces remain in Afghanistan.
announcement is something the militant group does every year, even though
Taliban attacks never really ceased during the harsh winter months. The
insurgents carry out daily attacks targeting Afghan security forces and Nato
troops, and inflicting staggering casualties, including among civilians. Most
recently, a Taliban attack near the main US air base in Afghanistan killed
three Marines on Monday.
Taliban now hold sway over half the country after a relentless 17-year war,
announcement instructs the Taliban mujahedeen, or holy warriors, to
"launch jihadi operations with sincerity and pure intentions,"
strictly abiding by the Taliban command structure. It also urges fighters to
avoid civilian casualties.
UN's annual report earlier this year said civilian deaths hit a record high
last year, blaming the insurgents and other militants, such as the Islamic
State group, though it also noted an uptick in civilian casualties from US
bombing raids, most often in aid of Afghan troops on the ground.
preparations are underway for Afghan-to-Afghan talks starting next week in
Qatar, where the Taliban have a political office.
Kabul, the Afghan High Peace Council, a government body created years ago to
talk peace with anti-government forces, condemned the Taliban announcement,
saying it brought into question the insurgents sincerity in seeking a peaceful
end to the war.
Saleim, a council deputy, told The Associated Press over the phone that it
undermines the credibility of the Taliban.
are insisting on war," he said. "We can see this every day."
envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has escalated efforts to find a peaceful end to the
war since his appointment last year, has been urging the Taliban to accept a
cease-fire and hold talks directly with the Kabul government, something the
insurgents refuse to do. The Taliban, who see the Afghan government as a US
puppet, say they will talk to Kabul officials at the upcoming Qatar meeting
only as "ordinary Afghans" and not as government representatives.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the AP on Friday that the insurgents
banned the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health
Organization from operating in territory under their control. This is the second
time in the past year the insurgents have barred Red Cross workers.
Waubo, a Red Cross official in Kabul, said the organization was putting its
activities "on hold" until its representatives can meet with the
Taliban to resolve the issue.
are going to have a dialogue with them in order to try and begin our work
again," Waubo said, warning that thousands of displaced people will be
adversely affected by the Taliban decision.
is a big issue for us because we have to stop working," he said.
Imam wears IRGC uniform during prayer, threatens US, Israel
Imam of Tehran Friday prayers, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani
condemned on Friday the United States’ move of labelling the Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.
his Friday prayer the cleric wore the military uniform of the IRGC in support
of the Iranian force, condemning the US decision saying: “All the Iranian
people are members in the Revolutionary Guards,” the Iranian news agency ISNA
also threatened Israel, saying that the IRGC missiles are capable to level
Israel to the ground, adding that if Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei decides on that, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ missiles could
Imam and the former secretary-general of Combatant Clergy Association who is
also a member of the Assembly of Experts said US President Donald Trump “took
an aggressive and stupid stance” by designating the IRGC a terrorist group.
said the situation in the Middle East will be more complexed and it will pose a
threat to American troops in the region.
Monday, US President Donald Trump designated Iran’s Guards a foreign terrorist
organization – an unprecedented step that will raise tensions in the Middle
took retaliatory action by naming the United States Central Command (CENTCOM)
as a terrorist organization and the US government as a sponsor of terror.
a large and fervent congregation of the people in Tehran on Friday, Ayatollah
Movahedi Kermani said, "The US is a mother of terrorism."
reiterated that the action to designate a part of a country’s armed forces as a
terrorist organization is against all the international laws and regulations,
and described US President Donald Trump as a "fool" who does not know
what he is doing.
Movahedi Kermani underlined that many countries in the world have called into
question America's move as they think it can complicate the situation in the
Middle East, and said, "Even some US analysts have also described the US'
move as a dangerous act that would endanger American soldiers' lives."
reiterated that the Americans themselves know that this was a very stupid
whole world, especially the nations in the region now know that the US is the
mother of terrorism, as America itself and Trump have acknowledged that it was
the US which created Taliban and they themselves admit that they are the
founder of terrorism," he said.
senior cleric further said that the whole Iranian nation and political groups,
regardless of their political affections, support the IRGC against the US move,
warning the US president “not to twist the lion tail as the IRGC can reduce Tel
Aviv to rubble by its missiles if the Leader allows them to do so".
remarks came days after the United States designated the IRGC as a
"foreign terrorist organization", marking the first time Washington
has formally labelled another country's military a "terrorist group".
to Washington's Monday move, Iran immediately declared the US as "state
sponsor of terrorism" and American forces in the region "terrorist
top security body, the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), in a statement
issued on Monday evening declared the United States a “terrorist government”,
and blacklisted the "CENTCOM and all its affiliates a terrorist group”.
SNSC - that is headed by President Hassan Rouhani - condemned Washington's
move, calling it “an illegal and dangerous action” that poses a “major threat
to regional and international peace and security and grossly violates the rules
of international law".
statement further condemned the US decision as “unlawful and unreasonable
action” prompted by the Islamic Republic's regional influence and success in
fighting against terrorists, and blamed CENTCOM for harming Iran’s national
security as well as ruining the lives of “innocent Iranian and non-Iranian
individuals” to promote the US “aggressive policies” in West Asia (the
Islamic Republic of Iran regards this baseless move as a major threat to
regional and international peace and security and a blatant violation of the
compelling rules of international law and the United Nations Charter,"
Iran's top security body reiterated.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had asked Iranian President
Rouhani to designate the CENTCOM as a terrorist organization.
to the “clear support” US forces in Western Asia lend to terrorist groups, and
their own “involvement in terrorist activities”, the US military in the region
should be put on a list of terrorist groups in the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Zarif said in a letter to Rouhani and Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
in a tweet on Monday, the Iranian top diplomat slammed the decision by the US
administration on labeling the IRGC a "foreign terrorist organization",
seeing Trump's close ties with Netanyahu as a main contributor to the gravely
wrong move made by the US president ahead of the Tuesday election in Israel.
misguided election-eve gift to Netanyahu. A(nother) dangerous US misadventure
in the region," Zarif wrote on Twitter on Monday, referring to the IRGC
designation as yet another move by the US president in aid of the Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Trump's recent decision to recognize Israel's
annexation of the Syrian Golan Height.
US' Golan Heights decision, which is in obvious contravention of international
law, has been met with condemnation by the international community, with the UN
and even Washington's Persian Gulf and European allies blasting the move.
welcomed the US decision to label Iran’s IRGC a “terrorist organization”,
rushing to thank his “dear friend” Trump for answering “another important
request that serves the interests of our country and the region”.
will continue to act together in any way against the Iranian regime that
threatens the state of Israel, the United States and the peace of the world,”
the Israeli PM wrote on Twitter.
Israel’s election to take place on Tuesday, the Israeli primer is likely
grateful for the latest public show of Trump support for his government. The
right-wing Likud party, led by Netanyahu, and Blue and White political
alliance, led by former Israeli Defense Forces chief Benny Gantz, who threatens
to end Netanyahu’s decade-long tenure, are considered the main rivals in the
polls to elect members of Knesset (Israel's parliament).
Israeli regime’s traditionally close relationship with the US has grown
stronger under Trump. Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli
“capital” in December 2017 and moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the
ancient city in May 2018, sparking global condemnations.
to the US hostility towards the IRGC, General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces
declared in a statement on Tuesday that the forces under its command would
fight against the US Central Command known as CENTCOM "terrorist
US administration's move to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group is actually
a desperate attempt and retaliation to cap the US failures in the region and of
course, it lacks operational value and validity and is practically doomed to
failure," the statement said.
statement referred to the SNSC's reaction to Washington's decision and
designation of the CENTCOM as a terrorist group, and said the General Staff of
the Iranian Armed Forces would consider the US Army forces under the CENTCOM
command as terrorists and "will not spare any efforts to support the
IRGC's anti-terrorism measures in the fight against the CENTCOM terrorist
protesters ask army to hand over power immediately
Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military’s declaration that it has
no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of
30 years, Omar al-Bashir.
an online statement, the movement depicted the army’s assurances as a
“deception” and called for an immediate handover of power to a civilian
statement came shortly after a press conference on Friday in Khartoum by the
country’s new military rulers.
Sudanese Professionals Association, which has spearheaded the four months of
demonstrations against al-Bashir, denounced the military’s statements as a
also vowed to “resist” by peaceful means all the extraordinary measures the
military has imposed since Thursday’s ouster of al-Bashir, including the
nighttime curfew and state of emergency.
Friday, the head of the political committee of the transitional Military
Council that overthrew President Omar al-Bashir said that the solution to
Sudan’s crisis will come from protesters and not the military.
are the protectors of the demands of the people and that is by consensus from
the political entities,” said the political Committee’s head, Omar Zeinalabdin.
are not greedy for power.”
Widodo is one of Indonesia’s most devoted crusaders against fake news, and for
good reason: It’s personal.
Indonesian president known as Jokowi, who’s campaigning for a second five-year
term, has sought to keep voters focused on his track record of infrastructure
building, tax reform and lower food prices. But social media-driven rumors --
that he isn’t a pious Muslim, that he sympathizes with the banned Communist
party, that he’s of Chinese descent -- are proving difficult to shake in the
final days leading up to the April 17 poll.
Jokowi, Indonesia has grown into a trillion-dollar economy, inflation has more
than halved and he’s beaten the target to create 10 million jobs in the first
five-year term. But his double-digit lead has narrowed in recent weeks, and
religion remains a wild card in his bid to defeat former army commando Prabowo
Subianto to head the world’s most-populous Muslim-majority country.
of religious identity have become an increasing political issue in Indonesia,
which was founded on secular ideals to unite a diverse archipelago stretching
across three time zones. While no major policy shifts are expected if Jokowi
wins a second term, analysts see the possibility that Indonesia could take
steps such as outlawing same-sex relations. Nearby Brunei recently introduced
Islamic laws that punish gay sex and adultery by stoning offenders to death.
of this election, Jokowi sought to bolster his religious credentials by picking
Ma’ruf Amin, the country’s most senior Islamic cleric, as his running mate. The
move was seen as a reaction to the 2017 Jakarta governor election, when a
Chinese-Christian political ally of Jokowi lost amid claims he insulted Islam.
the poisonous atmosphere of 2017 has yet to materialize in the presidential
election, Jokowi’s opponents are raising questions about his faith in social
media and door-to-door campaigns, said Douglas Ramage, managing director of
Bower Group Asia in Indonesia.
social conservatism propelled by the majority community is here to stay
irrespective of who wins the election,” Ramage said. “If Jokowi wins, he will
have a senior cleric as his vice president and one could expect him to exert
some influence on policies that reflect the growing preference for conservatism
among Indonesian middle class.”
Islamic groups, who dislike Jokowi’s secular policies and his crackdown against
terrorist groups, have rallied behind his opponent Prabowo, as Subianto is popularly
known. The groups, who demand the adoption of Shariah rules in the secular
country, accuse Jokowi’s administration of unfairly detaining some Islamic
clerics for criticizing the government. Jokowi has dismissed the allegations as
baseless, but they threaten to stir tensions.
wanted to let the rumors die naturally, but since some people believe them, I
have to make a clarification,” Jokowi told residents of an Islamic boarding
school in Rembang in Central Java on Feb. 1. The president said his record
should not be in question: he holds regular meetings with clerics in his office
and has declared a national day in honor of Islamic students.
revisited the issue again on March 23, urging people to combat fake news: “I
need to clear the allegations because according to a survey as many as 9
million people believe them.”
the choice of Amin was seen as politically expedient in a country of 263
million people that’s roughly 90 percent Muslim, he has struggled to match up
the charisma of Prabowo’s pick for vice president, Sandiaga Uno, a former
private equity tycoon. Prabowo’s party was supported by powerful Islamic groups
in the 2017 Jakarta governor election.
disaffection with Jokowi stretches beyond questions over his beliefs.
sweeping into the office on his common-man image and proven administrative
skills as the former mayor of the Central Java city of Solo, he’s now facing
growing dissatisfaction among the middle-class for his failure to lift economic
growth to seven percent -- a key promise of his 2014 campaign.
he reached that target, it would have created “decent employment,” said Muhamad
Chatib Basri, a former finance minister. While the national unemployment rate
has fallen to a two-decade low, more and more educated youth are finding it
difficult to land well-paid jobs, he said.
priorities on foreign policy have yet to materialize.
have few indications as of yet as to how Jokowi’s foreign policy might change
in a second term," said Aaron Connelly, a research fellow on Southeast
Asian politics at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "I do
not think that Jokowi’s selection of Ma’ruf Amin will have any affect on
Indonesia’s relations with countries in the region."
Indonesians had become more conservative over issues such as standards of dress
over the last 20 years, Connelly said. But a recent survey shows "Muslims
have also quietly become more tolerant on socio-cultural questions, like
whether they are happy to have Christian neighbors or to have a church built in
has taken note of the urban disenchantment and has promised to focus more on
providing jobs that can meet the aspirations of the youth.
if he loses, it will likely be because a large number of Muslims opted to vote
against Jokowi because top religious figures have been targeted for criticizing
the government, said Rizal Ramli, a former minister in Jokowi’s cabinet and an
outspoken critic of the president’s economic policies.
supporters are relentless and very zealous in promoting Jokowi as a disaster
for religious voters while promoting Prabowo as a good Muslim who will promote
Islamic interests in Indonesia," said Alexander Arifianto, research fellow
with the Indonesia Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
in Singapore. "This election will be a nail biter. It will be very close
and either one could win."
warns ICC against prosecuting Americans, Israelis for war crimes
President Donald Trump has warned the International Criminal Court (ICC) of
"swift and vigorous response" if the Hague-based tribunal
investigates Americans and Israelis for war crimes.
issued the warning on Friday after ICC judges rejected a request by the court's
prosecutor to probe atrocities committed by US forces in Afghanistan.
hailed the unusual ruling as a "major international victory," claiming
that the Americans and Israelis should be immune from ICC prosecution.
the creation of the ICC, the United States has consistently declined to join
the court because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers; the threat
it poses to American national sovereignty; and other deficiencies that render
it illegitimate," he said in a statement.
attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will
be met with a swift and vigorous response," he added.
Amnesty International denounced the ICC's decision as a "shocking
abandonment of victims" that would "weaken the court's already
Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International, stressed that the ruling
would be seen as a "craven capitulation to Washington's bullying."
month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would withdraw
or revoke visas for ICC staff who prosecute American troops in Afghanistan as
well as their allied personnel, including Israelis.
also warned about potential economic sanctions "if the ICC does not change
National Security Adviser John Bolton had also threatened to revoke the visas
of ICC personnel if the court pursued charges against members of the US military
over crimes in Afghanistan.
this month, the US revoked ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's visa as part of a
crackdown on the ICC.
ICC has been examining abuses committed by all parties in the Afghan war for
more than a decade.
November 2017, Bensouda sought authorization to open an inquiry into war crimes
and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including in states where the CIA
ICC is also investigating Israeli atrocities in the West Bank and Gaza,
including the demolition of Palestinian property and eviction of the
Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
the US and Israel are not ICC members.
27-year-old Muslim man in India's Bengaluru is being praised for setting an
example of communal harmony. The man has been taking care of a temple in Rajaji
Nagar for the past three years, ahead of the festival of Ram Navami.
Hussain, the temple's caretaker, cleans up the premises and said that he finds
peace of mind while working in the temple. "I am a Muslim by birth and
have been working in the temple from last three years. I feel good and it gives
peace of mind. I take care of complete cleaning. No one has ever objected to
it," said Hussain.
to reports in Times Now, as part of the festival, the temple chariot is taken
out for a rally across Rajaji Nagar every year and Hussein is responsible for
keeping it serviced and maintained.
has been working with me at my shop for over 18 years. After I was elected as
an office bearer of the temple committee, I gave him the responsibility of
cleaning the temple. He comes every year before Ram Navami and cleans the
temple," Venkatesh Babu, an office-bearer in the temple said.
has been appreciated by thousands of devotees who throng the temple.
are no issues between Hindus and Muslims in this region. We all live in
complete harmony. This all is a political issue but common man lives
cordially," added Venkatesh.
Amidst intense global pressure to rein in terror outfits, Pakistan on Friday
launched guidelines for implementing the UNSC 1267 Sanctions targeting
UN-proscribed individuals and entities in the country.
guidelines will help meet international obligations against people and groups
targeted by the UN, the Foreign Office (FO) said.
Secretary Tehmina Janjua said Pakistan had to be mindful of fulfilling its
international legal obligations, including the implementation of the United
Nations Security Council Sanctions.
expressed hope that the guidelines would assist all stakeholders in better
discharging their responsibilities for the effective implementation of the UN
guidelines were prepared by the National Committee for overseeing
implementation of Sanctions against individuals and entities designated by the
UN Security Council 1267 Al Qaida/Da'esh Sanctions regime and Security Council 1988
(Taliban Sanctions regime), the FO said.
guidelines have been formulated in consultation with stakeholders and in
compliance with international standards especially the requirements of the UNSC
1267 Sanctions Committee and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
is under intense global pressure to rein in terrorist outfits operating from
its soil after the Pulwama attack.
between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based
terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and
Kashmir's Pulwama district in February 14.
launched a counter-terror operation in Balakot. The next day, Pakistan Air
Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its
pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.
A Senate panel on Friday sought a report from the interior ministry on the
action taken so far against terrorists and banned outfits involved in Hazara
Senate Standing Committee on Interior met with Senator Rehman Malik in the
chair, where members voiced serious concern over the Quetta blast and continued
killings of members of the Hazara community.
was decided that the next meeting would be held in Quetta, specifically on the
agenda of the Hazara killings.
interior ministry was directed to submit a comprehensive report on the Quetta
blast and also apprise the committee of the action so far taken against the
terrorists and banned outfits involved in Hazara killings. The panel also
sought a report about the release of activists of banned outfits in the near
past in Balochistan.
Malik said the involvement of the hostile neighbour and other external forces
in terrorist activities in Balochistan could not be ruled out as such blasts
appeared to be a conspiracy to incite sectarian clashes and destabilise
said that the Shia Hazara community of Balochistan had been targeted for a long
time and it was time to bring an end to their killings by taking fierce action
against terrorists and banned outfits. He said that he had already called a
special meeting for briefing on implementation of the National Action Plan
(NAP). However, at the request of the interior ministry, some more time was
given to them for the briefing.
meeting was attended among others by Senators Azam Khan Swati, Dr Shahzad
Wasim, Kalsoom Parveen, Mohammad Javed Abbasi, Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Kauda
Babar and Sardar Shafique Tareen.
additional interior secretary, chairman and DG of Nadra, Sindh police DIG, DPO
of Haripur and senior officials from the law and justice ministry also attended
of the committee, while strongly condemning the Quetta blast, urged the
interior ministry to implement NAP in letter and spirit. Senator Sardar Shafiq
Tareen said that it was not for the first time that the Hazara community had
been targeted, but noted that they were under continuous attacks by the
terrorists. “It is shocking that the people of the Hazara community are being
escorted by police and FC to the markets and other place. Till when it will go
like this,” he asked.
committee also considered and discussed in detail the matter of opening Nadra
offices in Mali, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. Senator Rehman Malik directed
the interior ministry to order opening of Nadra offices in these countries so
that overseas Pakistanis could be facilitated to the maximum. He said that he
had received dozens of complaints from Pakistanis residing in Mali, Zimbabwe,
Zambia and Mozambique that they were facing unavoidable problems in getting
CNIC and registering their children. He said Pakistanis living there had to
travel to other adjacent countries for getting their documents.
Nadra chairman briefed the committee on the feasibility of opening the offices
in these countries.
committee chairman ordered deputing an employee each in embassies to facilitate
Pakistani nationals there.
Nadra chairman assured the committee that the online system would be made
easier so that applicants could apply online.
committee sought opening of more Nadra and passport offices in Balochistan.
A 12-member British Metropolitan Police team completed on Friday its
investigation into the 2016 controversial speech case of MQM-London leader
British police team came to Pakistan on Sunday to collect evidence and
interview the witnesses of the case.
six-member team of Sindh police officials appeared before the British police’s
Counter Terrorism Command (S015) as witness and recorded their statements.
Sindh police officials were called to Islamabad by the Federal Investigation
Agency’s counterterrorism wing.
police witnesses who appeared before the British investigators include Abdul
Ghaffar, a sub-inspector at the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP East),
Karachi office; Inspector Hameed Khan from the SSP Investigation Officer,
South-I Karachi; Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Saddar, Kanwar Asif;
Saddar Station House Officer Inspector Peer Shabbir Haider; Saddar police
constable Rao Rashid and Constable Qamar Zaman of Artillery Maidan Police
Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW) Director Dr Mazhar ul Haq Kakakhail coordinated
with the British police team in completion of their investigation into the
Sindh police officials interviewed by the British police experts were posted in
Sadar Circle, Karachi at the time when the MQM leader had made his
anti-Pakistan speech in August 2016.
the MQM leader’s speech, the MQM supporters allegedly attacked media outlets
near the Karachi Press Club, triggering more violence, including burning of
sources said the aim of the British CTC team was to collect evidence in the
form of a written testimony from key witnesses to the events which took place
on August 22, 2016.
A suspected militant linked with banned Jundullah claimed that he had joined
the militant outfit because of the workers of an “ethnic” party, who collected
protection money from area shopkeepers and had beaten him up several times, it
emerged on Friday.
suspect, Mohammad Ishaq alias Gul, was arrested at the Cantonment Railway
Station a day before by the Counter-Terrorism Department.
official Raja Umar Khattab said that the suspect also had religious tendencies
as he was one of the neighbours of Atta Rehman alias Naeem Bukhari, the chief
of banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.
was arrested for his alleged involvement in bank robberies, kidnapping for
ransom and killings of policemen.
to the contents of an initial probe reviewed by Dawn on Friday, the suspect was
born in Paposh Nagar in 1986 and got education up to fourth standard. Later, he
started working at a mechanic shop owned by his brother at age 10 and worked
there for 12-14 years.
militant told the investigators that at that time workers of an ethnic party
allegedly extracted extortion and they used to beat ordinary people and
shopkeepers in Paposh Nagar.
had also beaten him up three or four times. He said he asked a friend that he
could fight against the ethnic activists if he got support from any other
said his friend arranged a meeting between him and Jundullah militant Qasim
Toori in 2006. Toori initially hired him as a driver and subsequently sent him
to Waziristan for militant training.
told the interrogators he abandoned the work at the shop. He was married at his
native village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and started driving a school van there.
along with three other citizens of Karachi and others mostly hailing from
Punjab got training of operating light machine-gun, Kalashnikov, pistol, use of
hand grenade for around 20-25 days. Later, Toori brought him back to Karachi.
militant told the investigators that he along with other members of the outfit
were in 2006 arrested by police in Dera Ismail Khan for a scuffle during
snap-checking of their vehicle and he had to spend a month in prison. He was
released after the policemen with whom he fought with “pardoned” him.
said as soon as he got out of prison he saw his brother waiting there. He
started slapping him and forcibly brought him to Karachi, he added.
Qaeda man behind Jundullah
Khattab believed that Al Qaeda leader Hamza Jofi had formed Jundullah in 2003-4
to carry out terrorist attacks in Karachi alone.
they carried out a deadly attack on the Gulistan-i-Jauhar police station where
they killed policemen to take their weapons.
was the first militant outfit which used mobile phones to detonate bombs,” he
said. This outfit had also carried out twin blasts in the city outside a hotel
and a culture centre. They had also prepared a vehicle and planted in it 500
litres of a chemical to attack the US consulate general, but it malfunctioned.
CTD official said that after the attack on the then Karachi corps commander,
several members of the outfit were arrested. Subsequently, a new team of
Jundullah was established which started carrying out bank robberies and
kidnappings for ransom to generate funds.
one such incident, 12 militants travelling in three cars had looted banks in
Saudabad where they gunned down a policeman and a passer-by.
CTD official pointed out that in 2010 several members of the outfit were
arrested for their involvement in the Ashura blast, a bomb attack on the
Chehlum procession at the Nursery flyover and a blast outside the Jinnah
Postgraduate Medical Centre. However, other Jundullah militants got some of
their accomplices released from the City Courts after an encounter.
believed that after the killing of Hamza Jofi in a drone attack in 2012, the
decline of Jundullah had begun and after military courts sentenced Atta Rehman
and Qasim Toori to death, the outfit had almost become defunct in Karachi.
least two people were killed and 10 others wounded after a blast in Chaman on
Friday, police said.
reports suggested that a powerful explosion took place at Palestine Chowk of
Mall Road in Chaman.
militants had planted an improvised explosive device (IED) on a motorcycle
parked on the road. The blast reportedly occurred when Frontier Corps (FC)
troops were passing through.
injured were rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital, where an emergency
was imposed. Some of the injured were admitted in a critical condition,
according to rescue sources.
sources said several shops and motorcycles parked in the area were damaged in
the explosion. Mall Road and Trench Road were closed for all traffic following
the incident. Police and FC cordoned off the whole area. A fire brigade unit
successfully doused the fire erupted following the explosion.
least 82 children have died in al-Hawl refugee camp over the past 20 days due
to the worsening of hygienic and healthcare conditions as well as shortage of
medicine and foodstuff, the Arabic-language media sources reported.
sources said that over 240 children have died in al-Hawl Camp since the
beginning of 2019.
the London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) reported that over
73,000 people are living in critical conditions.
a relevant development earlier this week, Head of the Russian reconciliation
center in Syria, Major General Viktor Kupchishin said that between 10 and 20
people, many of them children, die each day in al-Hawl refugee camp.
to a female refugee, who managed to flee the Al-Hawl camp on the territory
controlled by the US-led coalition, the humanitarian situation in the camp is
catastrophic. Between 10 and 20 people die each day, including children,"
the past week, due to the lack of medicines, food and unbearable living
conditions, seven children died in the camp. The overall number of children,
who died in the Al Hawl camp, has risen to 235," he added.
urged international organizations to take measures and alleviate the suffering
of people in the camp, one of the biggest in Syrian regions East of the
pointed out that in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, the Syrian
government had provided security guarantees to refugees leaving the
US-controlled Tanf zone and set up the Jleb mobile checkpoint. Bus convoys have
been sent there to take refugees to their places of permanent residence.
Syrian government offers security guarantees to temporarily displaced persons
and a simplified procedure to restore their identity documents. Temporary
shelters have been prepared," he said.
planes targeted a military position near the province of Hama in Syria on
Saturday, but Syrian air defenses intercepted and downed some of the rockets,
Syrian state television said on Saturday.
military sources, SANA news agency and Syrian state television said that
Israeli aircraft had targeted “one of our military positions towards the city
enemy missiles were dealt with and some of them were shot down before reaching
their target, resulting in the damage of a few buildings and the injury of
three fighters,” SANA added.
CAMP/SYRIA: Rawan Aboud tried to escape Daesh after the death of her abusive
first husband, a militant killed fighting for the group. She was jailed and
forced to marry another fighter. When he died, she finally fled.
she is interned with fanatic supporters of the violent militant group she has
sought refuge from since the age of 13.
married age 12,” said the Syrian girl, now 18. “My husband then brought me to
Raqqa. He beat me and said I was an apostate for trying to leave.”
of women, especially foreigners who flocked from Europe and North African
countries, willingly joined Daesh.
remain ardent supporters of its ideology and live in camps they fled to in
eastern Syria which are under the control of the US-backed forces that drove
Daesh from its final piece of territory last month.
many like Aboud, married off by conservative Muslim families in Syria, Iraq and
Lebanon, had no choice.
several Syrians and a Lebanese woman also wed as a child to a man who joined
Daesh are now detained alongside its die-hard adherents in a guarded section of
as suspect by Kurdish-led forces that helped defeat the militants and
persecuted by women they are locked up with, they fear they will rot in
detention or face death at the hands of their extreme fellow detainees.
has spent three months at Al-Hol along with more than 60,000 people who fled
the battle for Baghouz, the final shred of populated territory that Daesh had
held until its defeat there last month.
an interview with Reuters this month, she wore a green coat, fingerless gloves
and eye make-up behind her veil, which she only wears to avoid drawing the
attention of Daesh supporters.
said her husbands were dead, not martyred, as slain militants are usually
described by supporters.
first husband was killed fighting three years ago, thank God.”
tried to flee Daesh territory and was jailed in its Raqqa stronghold. When the
US coalition began bombing the city, her nine-month-old daughter was killed.
moved her and other women from town to town as they retreated, and married her
to another fighter who also killed several months ago. She then escaped with
her other daughter, now four. They face an uncertain future.
want to go to my family in Idlib. But right now I’d settle for just another
part of the camp, away from the foreigners. Somewhere I can use a phone,” she
security forces that guard Al-Hol have denied her requests to move, she said.
“They keep saying tomorrow and asking, why did you marry” a Daesh fighter.
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that run the camp did not
immediately respond to a request for comment on her detention.
I fled and how I dress, the other women call me an infidel. They throw stones
at me. When I queue for water, they say this isn’t a line for Syrians.”
Susi, the Lebanese woman in the same section of the camp, complained of similar
treatment and feared never returning home.
20-year-old surrendered herself and her two children in 2017 to the SDF after
her husband was killed in Raqqa. Months later she was returned to Daesh
territory in a prisoner swap, she said. “It was back to zero,” she said.
husband took her as a teenager to Syria to live in Daesh’s self-declared rule.
is also waiting to be transferred to another section of the camp.
SDF is struggling to cope with the number of suspected militants and supporters
languishing in detention centers and camps while some Western countries refuse
to allow their citizens to return.
2014, when Badeeah Hassan "Baazi" Ahmed was kidnapped by Islamic
State terrorists from the village of Kocho in Iraq's Sinjar province and taken
to Aleppo, Syria, she pretended her baby nephew was her son.
Yazidi teenager's status as a "married woman" may have initially
protected her in IS's sex slave market.
called us by name in the evening. They would tell the girls to be prepared.
Someone would come in the morning and take them. They took all of them, but
left my nephew and me," Ahmed said.
she was eventually taken by an American named Abu Abdullah al-Ameriki, she was
initially expected to cook and clean.
Yazidis — a Kurdish-speaking minority with its own non-Muslim faith — play an
outsized role in IS's legacy of terror. Ahmed's village suffered greatly.
suggests that hundreds of villagers from Kojo [Kocho] — men, adolescent boys
and women perceived to be past childbearing age — were murdered by ISIL
fighters in August 2014, while more than 700 women and children were
abducted," according to the United Nations.
with the U.N., the Iraqi government began exhuming the first mass grave in
Kocho on March 15. Sixty-nine mass graves have been discovered in Sinjar
province, where 600,000 Yazidis lived before IS swept through.
the numbers don't really tell the horrific story the way Ahmed and other Kocho
survivors can. Their devastating personal histories are contained in the VOA
documentary Hell and Hope.
are among the relatively few villagers who escaped from IS, and are part of an
even smaller group that was taken to Germany in a program called Air Bridge
home ministry of the German state of Baden Wurttemberg brought more than 1,100
Iraqi survivors to Germany, hoping to give them, including some Yazidis, a
took only those that couldn't be helped there. If they were in good condition
or if their family structure was intact, then of course we said, 'Stay there.'
We only took the most severe cases," Dr. Michael Blume, the state's
Minorities Division director, told documentary maker Amish Srivastava.
four brothers were killed by IS on the day she was kidnapped, including the
father of her nephew, Evin. Her mother placed Evin in Ahmed's care just before
being taken away by IS. Her fate is unknown.
learned from al-Ameriki that he had been a teacher in the United States. Though
he claimed not to have a family, one day she caught him talking to his American
wife via Skype.
family did not stop him from announcing he was going to marry Ahmed.
cried and refused. I told him I had a son, and I was married, and this should
not happen," Ahmed said. "He told me all the girls would get married,
except for the pregnant ones."
Ahmed claimed to be pregnant, al-Ameriki took her to a doctor.
a few days, he told me that I lied. He took me to his room by force and raped
first escape attempt failed when Ahmed and Evin inadvertently sought help at an
IS headquarters. They were returned to al-Ameriki, who beat them and separated
them for a week. But then, another opportunity arose.
evening, he came and asked if we needed anything because he was going to fight
a war in Kobani. Later, we broke the door with a hammer and waited until
morning, when we went out," Ahmed said.
in black, they found a pay phone and called Ahmed's relatives, who sent someone
to get them.
years later in Turbingen, Germany, Ahmed has only recently stopped seeing a
psychiatrist every week.
will not forget'
and Hope features several stories as heart-rending as Ahmed's.
Khalaf struggled with suicide:
came from time to time to buy some of the girls. Every time they came, we knew
that some of our sisters or friends would be taken. ... We held each other's
hands, but they separated our hands by hitting us with wood sticks and pulling
Haji Bashar was forcibly separated from her sister, Lamiya:
man who chose Lamiya refused to take me. They left me there. I cried and ran
after her, but it did not help. They took her. Lamiya was doing the same,
saying, 'I am not leaving without [my] sister.' But they dragged her by her
hair [and] closed the door."
Ismail was 12 when she was kidnapped:
sheikh took me to his family for about a week. Whenever he wanted, he came and
did what he wanted to do with me in front of his family."
she added, "What he took from me, I am sure I will not get it back."
for these girls, a good life is still possible. They are finding their way in
Taliban shadow governor for southern Helmand province Sharafuddin Taqi has
succumbed to injuries which he had sustained in an airstrike conducted in Musqa
Qala district few days back.
provincial government media office in a statement said credible intelligence
information confirm that Sharafuddin Taqi has succumbed to his injuries.
statement further added Taqi was wounded in an airstrike which was conducted on
1st of April close to Musa Qala market.
least five militants including the media in charge of the group Hafiz Rashid
were killed during the same airstrike, the statement said, adding that
Taliban’s shadow governor for Kandahar Mohammadzai is currently leading the
activities of the group as shadow governor for Helmand.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the death of the group’s shadow governor for Helmand so far.
major Taliban attack in Shirzad district of Nangarhar province was repulsed
late on Friday night leaving at least 27 militants dead, the provincial
government announced Saturday.
to a statement released by media office of Nangarhar, at least 32 militants
were also wounded during the clash.
statement further added that two security personnel also lost their lives in
the attack and eight others sustained injuries.
Ministry of Defense announced late on Friday that heavy clashes are underway
between security forces and anti-government armed militants close to Shirzad
district administrative compound.
to a statement released by Ministry of Defense, Taliban militants launched
sporadic attacks close to Shirzad district compound at around 7pm local time.
statement further added that both security forces and Taliban militants have
suffered casualties during the clashes.
Ministry of Defense also added that the armed forces have launched artillery
strikes to repulse the attack and clashes between the two sides are still
received from the area suggest that Taliban militants have detonated two
Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Devices close to Shirzad district compound.
Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan has said the announcement of spring offensive
by Taliban group has ‘propagandist aspect’ emphasizing that the group is
attempting to boost the morale of its fighters in a false way after suffering
heavy losses and casualties during the recent clashes.
to a statement released by Ministry of Defense, the Taliban group is relying on
propagandas in a bid to boost the morale of its fighters after facing defeats
in Arghanjkhwa of Badakhshan, Sancharak of Sar-e-Pul, Moqor of Ghazni, Aab
Kamari and Bala Murghab districts of Badghis.
statement further added that the Afghan armed forces have better fighting
capabilities, the Afghan Air Force has been equipped and strengthened in an
unprecedented way and have capabilities to execute targeted operations, the
size of Afghan police special forces, Afghan intelligence, and Afghan commandos
have been doubled and are equipped with developed and sophisticated
technologies, and coordination among armed forces has increased in
unprecedented way which have resulted into superiority of the Afghan armed forces
against the enemies in the battlefield.
comes as the Taliban militants group announced the launch of Al-Fath spring
offensive earlier today.
group issued a statement claiming that the new spring offensive has been
launched considering the political and military presence of foreigners in
statement further added that the offensive has been launched in response to
Khalid spring offensive which was announced by Taliban at the start of the new
announcement by Taliban was made amid ongoing efforts to find a political
settlement to the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
Jewish groups have urged US President Donald Trump to curb the annexation by
the Tel Aviv regime of the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian territory sought
by his close ally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
an unprecedented letter written to Trump, the Jewish groups, which included
five associated with the Reform and Conservative movements, said, “We
respectfully request that you affirm long-standing bipartisan consensus that
the two-state solution is the essential path to an Israel existing alongside a
future state of Palestine in peace and security.”
also urged Trump to “declare that the United States will not support any
Israeli proposals to annex the West Bank, in whole or in part.”
few days before Israel’s April 9 election, Netanyahu said he would not shy away
from expanding Israel’s illegal annexations to cover the West Bank, a land
currently accommodated by settlers which Israeli regime occupied in the 1967
Middle East war.
has already recognized Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights.
Jewish groups warned that the “electoral pledge” will lead to “greater conflict
between Israelis and Palestinians, severely undermine, if not entirely
eradicate, the successful security coordination” between the Israeli regime and
the Palestinian Authority.
letter, in which mainstream Jewish groups are asking a US president to take
steps to restrain an Israeli prime minister, is reportedly unusual, if not
document, which was released early Friday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency,
also warned that the pledge will “galvanize efforts such as the Boycott,
Divestment, and Sanctions movement that are intended to isolate and
Jewish groups noted that Netanyahu’s decision would “create intense divisions”
in the US and would undermine support for Israel.
warning, which comes from the leadership of the two largest religious streams
in the US, with a combined membership that would constitute an overwhelming
majority of synagogue-going Jewish Americans, is seen as so important.
spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Netanyahu’s comments,
which many believe have been made to change the tide in his favor in the
election that he won, would not affect the illegal nature of the Israeli
settlements in the West Bank. Some 400,000 settlers currently live there.
measures and any announcements will not change the facts. Settlements are
illegal and they will be removed,” said Nabil Abu Rdainah.
troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager taking part in protests along the Gaza
border on Friday, Palestinian health officials said, the first fatality since
Gazans marked the one-year anniversary of the weekly demonstrations in March.
Israeli military said about 7,400 Palestinians massed along the frontier, some
throwing rocks, and that there were several attempts to approach the fence into
Palestinian Health Ministry said a 15-year-old boy died after being shot by
Israeli gunfire. An Israeli army spokesman said the troops were responding with
riot dispersal means.
rose after a rocket fired from Gaza wounded seven Israelis north of Tel Aviv on
March 25. Israel mounted a wave of air strikes following that attack on targets
it said belonged to Hamas, the Islamist group which rules the coastal enclave.
cross-border violence immediately played into Israel's election campaign, which
concluded earlier this week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heading
toward a record fifth term in office.
Egyptian mediators intervened to avoid further escalation by persuading Israel
to lift restrictions on the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza and
expand the breadth of Mediterranean waters where Gazans can fish.
protesters are demanding an end to a blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel and
Egypt, and want Palestinians to have the right to return to land from which
their families fled or were forced to flee during Israel's founding in 1948.
rejects any such return, saying it would eliminate its Jewish majority.
than 200 Gazans have been killed by Israeli troops since the ‘Great March of
Return’ started on March 30 last year, according to Gaza health officials. An
Israeli soldier was also killed by a Palestinian sniper.
United States has denied entry to a prominent Palestinian activist who urges
boycotting Israel, as a US official on Thursday equated his pressure campaign
Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, was
not allowed to board a plane Wednesday for a speaking tour that was to include
Harvard University, New York University and a left-leaning synagogue in
is not merely continuing its decades-old system of military occupation,
apartheid, and ethnic cleansing,” Barghouti said in a statement. “It is increasingly
outsourcing its outrageous, McCarthyite repression to the US and to xenophobic,
far-right cohorts across the world,” he said.
added he had also planned during the trip to attend his US-based daughter’s
wedding, saying: “I am hurt, but I am not deterred.”
Arab American Institute said that Barghouti had a US visa valid through January
2021 but was informed by airline staff at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport that US
authorities had issued instructions denying him the right to travel.
Department spokesman Robert Palladino said that the United States does not
explain individual visa decisions.
without explaining why Barghouti was rejected, Palladino said: “US law does not
authorize the refusal of visas based solely on political statements or views if
those statements or views would be legal in the United States.”
BDS movement has infuriated Israel by calling for economic, cultural and
academic boycotts of the Jewish state, including not buying products from
Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as a way to press Israel to address the
plight of Palestinians under occupation.
Carr, the new US envoy to combat anti-Semitism, also said he could not discuss
Barghouti’s case but branded the BDS movement anti-Semitic.
individual has a right to buy or not buy what they please. However, if there is
an organized movement to economically strangle the state of Israel, that is
anti-Semitic,” he told reporters.
agreeing that criticism of any nation’s policies was “entirely proper” in a
democracy, Carr said: “If Israel is criticized in a way that no other country
in a similar circumstance is criticized, yes, that is anti-Semitism.”
Donald Trump has strongly backed Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
has accused his Democratic rivals of anti-Semitism for distancing themselves
from the right-wing leader.
President Michel Aoun says his country does not recognize Israeli
"sovereignty" over the occupied Golan Heights.
a meeting with a US congressional delegation at the Presidential Palace in
Baabda on Friday, Aoun said Beirut's stance regarding the status of Golan is
absolute rejection of Israeli "sovereignty" over the territory,
especially as part of it includes the Shebaa Farms and Kafrshuba hills.
the Lebanese president had condemned US President Donald Trump's recognition of
Syria's Golan Heights as "sovereign Israeli territory," saying the
measure was in blatant violation of international law.
threatens not only the sovereignty of a brotherly country and brotherly nation,
but also the sovereignty of the Lebanese state, which possesses land gradually
annexed by Israel, particularly in the Shebaa Farms, Kafrshuba hills and the
northern section of Ghajar [village],” Aoun said at a joint press conference
with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev in Beirut on April 9.
March 25, Trumped signed a proclamation, formally recognizing Israel's
"sovereignty" over Golan. The announcement came as Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.
Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, called the
US decision a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of
liberation of the Golan by all available means and its return to the Syrian
motherland is an inalienable right,” according to the statement carried by
Syria’s official news agency SANA, which added, “The decision ... makes the
United States the main enemy of the Arabs.”
Arab League condemned the move, saying that "Trump's recognition does not
change the area's status."
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was impossible for Turkey to accept
the US decision.
Military Council to start dialogue with political groups
solution to Sudan’s crisis will come from protesters and not the military, the
head of the political committee of the transitional Military Council that
overthrew President Omar al-Bashir said on Friday.
a press conference, Lieutenant General Omar Zeinalabdin, the head of the
political committee of the transitional Military Council said: ‘‘We are the
protectors of the demands of the people and that is by consensus from the
added: ‘‘We are not greedy for power.’’
said the Military Council plans to hold a dialogue with the protesters who have
been camped out outside the ministry of defense.
said that those who killed Sudanese protesters will be put on trial.
also said that the council ‘‘won’t force anything on the people,’’ and that it
wants to create an atmosphere for dialogue.
added that the council welcomes dialogue with armed groups to put an end to the
Military Council expects a transition period it announced on Thursday to be two
years at most, and said it can be as short as one month if it is managed
‘‘without chaos,’’ said Zeinalabdin.
said that the former ruling National Congress Party of Sudan’s ousted President
Omar al-Bashir will be allowed to compete in planned elections.
he said that the Military Council will not extradite al-Bashir, but he could be
tried in Sudan.
as a Military Council in our term, will not hand the president over abroad. We
may try him, but we will not hand him over,” said Omar Zeinalabdin.
International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir for
alleged war crimes.
head of the transitional Military Council, Defense Minister Mohammed Ahmed Awad
Ibn Auf, said on Thursday when announcing the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir that
the council would lead a two-year transition before holding elections.
Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf said on Friday that he is stepping down as head
of the Country’s transitional military council, a day after former president
Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a coup.
General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan will be the new head of the
transitional military council, Ibn Auf said in a speech broadcast on state
television on Friday.
Auf said: “I, the head of the military council, announce I am giving up the
post,” he said, adding he took the decision to preserve the unity of the armed
also said Chief of Staff Kamal Abdelmarouf al-Mahi was relieved of his position
as deputy head of the transitional military council.
of thousands of Sudanese protesters have been rallying in front of the military
headquarters in Khartoum, against the military takeover of power after ousting
longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir on Thursday.
Sudanese group spearheading a nationwide protest movement described a decision
by the head of a newly formed military council to step down on Friday as a
“victory” for the people.
stepping down of General Awad Ibn Ouf is a victory of the people’s will,” the
Sudanese Professionals Association said.
erupted across the capital in response to the resignation.
Auf was sworn in as de facto ruler late Thursday after leading the ouster of
al-Bashir following months of protests.
Auf had been defense minister since 2015 before al-Bashir promoted him to first
vice president in February as protests against him intensified.
dead in Khartoum from 'live fire' in 2 days: Sudan police
people have been killed by “live ammunition” in Khartoum during ongoing
protests over the past two days, Sudan's police said on Friday.
people died and 20 were wounded by live ammunition” as the capital saw massive
gatherings during the past two days, police spokesman General Hashim Abdelrahim
told AFP in a text message.
for financial aid
Sudan’s military council appealed on Friday for financial aid from regional
peers to tackle a worsening economic crisis, a day after the ouster of
Libyan forces bogged down in street battles in a push to seize the capital
Tripoli deployed warplanes on Friday to hit several government positions, as
more civilians fled fighting.
than 1,000 people gathered in central Tripoli to demand that Khalifa Haftar
stop the advance of his Libyan National Army (LNA) on the coastal city of about
1.2 million people.
launched the campaign a week ago, in the latest conflict in a cycle of anarchy
since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
forces loyal to Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj's internationally recognized
government have so far kept them at bay, with fierce fighting round a disused
former airport about 11 km from the center.
Friday, an LNA warplane bombed the camp of a force allied to Serraj in Zuwara,
west of Tripoli towards the Tunisian border, an LNA military source and
is near the Mellitah oil and gas plant, jointly operated by Italy's ENI and
state oil firm NOC, which supplies Italy with gas through the Greenstream
LNA warplane also attacked the only partly-functioning airport in Tripoli,
Mitiga, where anti-aircraft opened fire in response, witnesses said. The extent
of damage and possible casualties in both places was not clear.
week of battles has killed 75 people - mainly fighters but also 17 civilians -
and wounded another 323, according to latest UN tallies. Some 9,500 people have
also been forced out of their homes.
the sound of fighting echoed round their city, residents sought to maintain
some normality on Friday.
families were eating in cafes next to the fish market where people were
stocking up for the weekend.
have got used to wars. I fear only in God," said Yamim Ahmed, 20, who
works in a fast food restaurant.
than 1,000 people staged a protest in Martyrs Square in central Tripoli to
demand an end to the offensive, witnesses said. The turnout was bigger than
1,500 refugees and migrants are trapped in detention centers by the Libyan
conflict and the risks to their lives are growing by the hour, the head of the
UN refugee agency said on Friday.
are people in the most vulnerable and dangerous of circumstances,” UN High
Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement, calling for them
to be evacuated.
must be urgently brought to safety. Simply put, this is a matter of life or
World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that it feared outbreaks of
infectious diseases due to dirty water and people fleeing fighting nearing
Tripoli, where it has about two weeks of emergency supplies for hospitals and health
a week of fighting, 75 people have been killed and 323 wounded, including seven
civilians killed and 10 wounded, Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO representative in
Libya, told a Geneva news briefing by telephone from Tripoli.
WHO has delivered trauma kits and medicines to hospitals, he said. Hussain
added: “These supplies will last for two weeks, the acute phase.”
9,500 people have fled the fighting but WHO has contingency plans in case
“thousands if not hundreds of thousands” are displaced in the acute phase of
and blasts echoed through Libya’s capital on Friday, as eastern forces fought
troops of the internationally recognized government in southern Tripoli
suburbs, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes.
Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar advanced on the coastal city a
week ago in the latest conflict of a cycle of anarchy since the 2011 overthrow
of leader Muammar Gaddafi.
days prior to Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar's offensive to seize
Tripoli, Saudi Arabia pledged to give tens of millions of dollars for the
operation, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
offer came during a visit by Haftar to Saudi Arabia, one of many that the
general had with foreign dignitaries in the run up to his military campaign on
April 4, according to the newspaper.
his visit, Haftar met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi's
intelligence chief and interior minister.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising
led to the ouster and death of Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.
then, Libya's stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power:
a UN-backed government in Tripoli and a rival government based in the east, in
the cities of Bayda and Tobruk, with Haftar in charge.
powers have cemented the role of the military commander in the future of Libya,
despite the U.S. and European Union calling for Haftar to avoid military conflict.
would not be a player today without the foreign support he has received,"
Wolfram Lacher, a Libya expert at the German Institute for International and
Security Affairs told the Journal. "The last few months, pretty much
everyone jumped on the Haftar train."
newspaper noted while the U.S. and EU have tried to convince Haftar to avoid
conflict, other governments have supported him through supplying weapons and
funds, to advance his goal to consolidate power in the country.
contacts -- even to encourage peace -- have secured the status of the Libyan
warlord," the Journal said.
accepted the funds from Riyadh, the Journal said citing Saudi officials, with
one telling the newspaper, "we were quite generous."
Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited Haftar the day after he launched the
assault on Tripoli, in the hopes of convincing the commander to abandon
operations and help revive a UN-led peace process.
turns out that the ideas behind the Arab Spring still have some life left in
them. As you look at the latest pictures of triumphant popular protests in
Algeria and Sudan, spare a thought for the late Jamal Khashoggi. Before his
brutal death at the hands of a Saudi hit squad six months ago, the exiled
regime critic (and Post Global Opinions columnist) wrote eloquently about the
Arab world’s longing for democracy.
his last column for The Post, he bemoaned how the lack of freedom in most of
the region’s countries left their citizens “either uninformed or misinformed.
They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that
affect the region and their day-to-day lives. A state-run narrative dominates
the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the
population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is
unlikely to change.”
Khashoggi were around now, I’m sure he would be happy to admit that he appears
to have been wrong about that last part. The euphoria of the demonstrators in
Khartoum and Algiers shows that he was right on the larger issue. Many citizens
in North Africa and the Middle East are sick of tyranny and long to participate
in the shaping of their own societies — contrary to what Khashoggi rightly
called the “old racist statement” that “Arabs are not ready for democracy
[because they are Arabs].” And it turns out that the popular uprisings of
2010-2011 were not the dead end some have portrayed them to be.
activists know very well that the toughest part comes next. That’s partly
because they’re building on the hard-won experience of their revolutionary
predecessors around the region. In both Sudan and Algeria, the military has
played a key role in deposing hated dictators. Now the pro-democracy forces
there face the tough job of ensuring that the generals don’t follow the example
of Egypt, where the army at first helped the demonstrators to overthrow Hosni
Mubarak — only to later topple a democratically elected government dominated by
Islamists and institute a new military dictatorship even harsher than the old
too, Khashoggi offered some vital insights. In his youth, he was a fervent
Islamist. In his later years, having witnessed the horrors committed by
extremists, he tempered his sympathy for religious activism with an awareness
of the need to ensure fundamental human rights (including equality for women),
freedom of expression and religious tolerance. He knew that many in the Arab
world would choose Islamists when given the chance to do so in free elections,
and that such a choice ought be honored and respected — yet he also criticized
radical Islamists who showed only contempt for democratic values.
why he sang the praises of Tunisia, where the Arab Spring revolts began and
where democracy has so far managed to survive, not least because the Ennahda
Party, the Tunisian Islamists, opted for pragmatism and moderation (including
power-sharing with their secular rivals in the first post-revolutionary
realized that a liberal Arab future might well depend on bridging the gap
between Islamists and secular democrats. “He was trying to begin a new way to
bring different activists together,” Ahmed Mefreh, an Egyptian lawyer and
dissident, told me recently. “He talked to [members of the Muslim Brotherhood]
about their problems after the Arab Spring. He gave advice to liberals about how
to connect with Islamists.”
who runs the Committee for Justice, a Geneva-based group aimed at defending
human rights activists in the Middle East, explained that the Saudi royal
family saw this approach as especially threatening. Those like Khashoggi, who
can bring together the religious activists and the liberals, “are very
dangerous to the dictatorships. Why? Because this is exactly what they’re
afraid of,” he said. “The future belongs to people who can do that. If we can
manage that in Egypt, we can change the regime.”
was not the only one to see this as a crucial task, Mefreh told me; he was
merely one of the best-known. Mefreh cited former Egyptian presidential
candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh as another example of someone working
toward the same end. Aboul Fotouh, an alumnus of the Muslim Brotherhood,
generated considerable respect among Egyptian voters for his efforts. Under
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, however, he has spent two stints in
jail and has been included on a government terrorism list. There is little
evidence that Aboul Fotouh has anything to do with terrorism, but it is clear
that this is a man the regime clearly does not take lightly.
April 13 ― Riding high on the euphoria of their twin wins in Semenyih and
Cameron Highlands, Umno and PAS are working hard to achieve a “hat trick” in
Rantau by focusing on the issue of Malay rights, the special status of Islam
and the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers.
the start of the campaign in Rantau, Umno and PAS have maintained a narrative
that all three rights as enshrined under the Federal Constitution are being
threatened now that Pakatan Harapan (PH) has taken over the federal government.
accusations worked during the Semenyih by-election when Barisan Nasional's
Zakaria Hanafi won the seat after garnering 19,780 votes with a 1,914 vote
majority against PH’s Muhammad Aiman Zainali (17,866).
hopeful Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has intimated that he wants to keep the
momentum going by repeatedly emphasising the importance of unity among the
Malay community during his daily ceramahs over the past week.
is no complex or vague manifestos, just a simple three-point plan to defend the
Malay community, to defend Islam and to defend the Malay Sultans and the Yang
has become the mission of Umno and PAS now and the message is clear and simple
for people to see. For those who understand their responsibility towards this
obligation, they will know who to vote this Saturday,” said a Kampung Bembam
resident who only wished to be known as Salleh.
and Umno’s top leaders also made constant visits to the semi-urban seat and had
played up the recent attempt and subsequent failure of the PH administration to
ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
many voters admitted they were clueless as to the finer details of these two
treaties, many Malays here believe they infringed on the special rights of the
Malays, Islam and sovereignty of the Malay Rulers.
Malay Mail’s own observation, PH has been unable to counter this narrative, or
convince the majority of the Malay Muslim constituents here that the coalition
is not against the Malays or the community’s rights.
in Rantau make up 55.51 per cent or
11,615 of the 20,926 registered voters.
rest of the breakdown consists of Chinese (18.46 per cent/3,863 voters),
Indians (26 per cent/5,441 voters) and others (0.03 per cent/seven).
support helps Tok Mat
PH leaders have accused Mohamad of financial impropriety with regards to his
alleged transfer of RM10 million to purchase a property in London in 2007, it
has had little effect among Malay voters here.
local resident Ahmad Shamshul Baharom, 45, an attack on Mohamad’s credibility
is overshadowed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's support for the
acting Umno president.
coming to show support can only mean good news for Tok Mat. Now that there is
some news about his wealth, the people may not trust him as much but with Hadi
around some could be swayed depending on what he has to say,” he said.
Thursday night, the mega ceramah which saw Mohamad and Hadi share a stage was
attended by nearly 3,000 people.
Tarmizi Taufik believes that the support of PAS only adds to Mohamad’s popularity as a household name in the state.
much difference if Hadi's here. Tok Mat has plenty of influence and pull here.
Been here so long, how to simply forget?
Streram has a tall order to win. Hadi coming down brings the staunch Muslim
supporters out and if they can vote here they may vote Tok Mat's way,” he said,
referring to PH candidate Dr S. Streram.
the alliance with Umno and PAS is not without its own challenges as both
parties have been at odds with each other since the latter's departure from BN
this week, Dewan Ulama PAS member Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed had even urged
grassroot members of both parties to set their egos aside and work together.
claimed with the current composition of seats in parliament and the number of
state governments in the country being under “DAP control”, both Umno and PAS
must unite for the betterment of Islam and the Malay community.
issue of unity, however, still needs time to be properly cemented, said Mat
Sapar Mat, a 62-year-old lorry driver from Pendang, Kedah.
Sapar, who is part of the PAS election machinery, came to Rantau along with
many other volunteers to help BN’s campaign.
are still issues as many grassroots members find it excruciatingly painful to
vote the ‘dacing’ symbol,'' he said, referring to the symbol of BN.
members had even tried to distance themselves from the alliance by stating that
they are members of Nik Aziz's PAS and not Hadi's,” he said, clarifying further
that dissenting members prefer to align themselves with PAS's late spiritual leader
Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who had been a staunch critic of Umno and BN.
thank god, PAS members understood that they have an obligation to defend Islam
and that we cannot afford to stand alone or else be rolled over. For these
members, all we need is time,” he said.
respect and obey our leaders, however, we do not put personalities over our
obligation to Islam.
want people across the political divide and our new partners in Umno to
understand that,” he added.
under fire over his remarks on Congresswoman
President Donald Trump is under fire from veteran Democrats in the Senate for
his "disgusting" and "shameful" remarks on Democrat
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, two Democrat presidential runners, slammed Trump
on Saturday, Trump tweeted a video and retweeted another person's tweet which
targeted the Minnesota representative.
Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won't back down to Trump's
racism and hate, and neither will we. The disgusting and dangerous attacks
against her must end," Sanders said.
President is inciting violence against a sitting Congresswoman—and an entire
group of Americans based on their religion. It's disgusting. It's shameful. And
any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for it,"
criticized the Muslim lawmaker after comments surfaced of her talking about the
Islamophobia Muslims faced in the post-Sept. 11 era.
has been facing attacks for comments she made last week about the Sept. 11,
2001 terrorist attacks.
too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class
citizen," Omar said at an event for the Council on American-Islamic
frankly, I’m tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be
tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some
people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our
Ilhan Omar on Friday refused to let the controversy die over remarks she made
that critics said trivialized 9/11, tweeting out a partial comment that
President George W. Bush made after the attacks — and bizarrely asking whether
he was a Muslim.
people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us
soon!’ President George W. Bush. Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack?
What if he was a Muslim,” the Minnesota Democrat tweeted, apparently comparing
her words to his and facetiously questioning his faith.
latest tone-deaf 9/11-related comment accompanied an article from the
Washington Post that attempted to put her original remarks, made at a Council
on American-Islamic Relations banquet in California on March 23, into context.
the truth. For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a
second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in
this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they
recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to
lose access to our civil liberties,” she told the crowd of nearly 500 people.
was actually founded in 1994; Omar’s rep said she misspoke about the date.
she only partially quoted Bush’s famous statement, when he grabbed a megaphone
from a firefighter amid the rubble of Ground Zero to address the crowd after
some said they couldn’t hear his unamplified voice.Enlarge ImageThe April 11
cover of the New York Post
can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people who knocked these
buildings down will hear all of us soon!” Bush said, in what many called his
finest hour in office.
from the White House to the streets howled in protest over the Somali-American
Muslim lawmaker’s clueless description of the worst domestic terror attack on
US soil as “some people did something.”
Omar and her backers, fellow freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New
York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, accused her critics of taking her words out
there has been only crickets from most New York lawmakers, with the exception
of Staten Island Democratic Rep. Max Rose, also an Afghan war vet, who rebuked
the article points out that elsewhere in her speech — delivered as hundreds of
protesters outside chanted “Burn the Koran,” “Ilhan Omar go to hell” and “Shame
on you terrorists” — she defended herself against charges that she was too
tough on Muslim nations over human rights abuses.
doesn’t matter if that country is being run by my father, my brother, my
sister,” she said. “I will still criticize that country because I know every
country is capable of living up to its best.”
she concluded her speech — which she gave about a week after the March 15
shootings by a white-nationalist gunman at two New Zealand mosques that left 50
people dead — by praising American ideals.
know as an American, as an American member of Congress, I have to make sure I
am living up to the ideals of fighting for liberty and justice. Those are very
much rooted in the reason why my family came here.”
the GOP’s attacks on her continued, with Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw, an Afghan
war vet, leading the way and other backers of President Trump joining in.
In a decision decried as “deeply flawed” and a “devastating blow for victims,”
International Criminal Court judges on Friday rejected a request by the court’s
prosecutor to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity
in Afghanistan and alleged crimes by US forces linked to the conflict.
a lengthy written ruling, judges said an investigation “would not serve the
interests of justice” because an investigation and prosecution were unlikely to
be successful, as those targeted, including the United States, Afghan
authorities and the Taliban, are not expected to cooperate, the court said in a
Rights Watch slammed the ruling, calling it “a devastating blow for victims who
have suffered grave crimes without redress.”
a statement released by the White House, the Trump administration hailed the
decision not to investigate US personnel as “a major international victory, not
only for these patriots, but for the rule of law.”
ICC decision does acknowledge that the November 2017 request from Prosecutor
Fatou Bensouda to open a probe “establishes a reasonable basis to consider that
crimes within the ICC jurisdiction have been committed in Afghanistan and that
potential cases would be admissible before the Court.”
a written reaction, the court’s prosecution office said it “will further
analyze the decision and its implications, and consider all available legal
decision comes a month after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington
would revoke or deny visas to ICC staff seeking to investigate alleged war
crimes and other abuses committed by US forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere.
US visa already has been revoked.
a written statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out that the
rejection followed those measures: “I am glad the Court reconsidered its
groups were not.
Baudouin, president of the International Federation for Human Rights, called
the rejection a “dark day for justice” and a “shocking decision, which is based
on a deeply flawed reasoning.”
request to open an investigation said there is information that members of the
US military and intelligence agencies “committed acts of torture, cruel
treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and sexual violence against
conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan and other locations, principally in
the 2003-2004 period.”
also said that the Taliban and other insurgent groups have killed more than
17,000 civilians since 2009, including some 7,000 targeted killings.
alleged that Afghan security forces have tortured prisoners at government
Samar, the chair of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission who
lobbied strongly for the investigation, said the decision was a disappointment
a phone interview from Kabul, she told The Associated Press that it risks
emboldening the perpetrators of crimes in Afghanistan, who were “at least a
little fearful” of facing justice.
this decision, people will lose hope of getting justice and they might take
revenge, fueling conflict in the country,” she said.
court said in a statement that the shifting Afghan political scene since then,
the lack of cooperation that prosecutors have received so far and the likelihood
that cooperation would diminish further if a full-blown investigation is opened
combine to hamper the chances of a successful investigation and prosecutions.
said the court needs to “use its resources prioritizing activities that would
have better chances to succeed,” according to an ICC press release.
Rights Watch said the ruling establishes a dangerous precedent.
added its voice Friday to countries calling for the Sudanese military to step
aside and allow a transition to a civilian-run government.
echo the statement of the African Union Commission that a military council goes
against the principles of the African Union Charter,” Global Affairs Canada,
the country’s foreign ministry, said in a statement.
transition to a civilian government is essential.”
Minister Awad Ibn Auf, the head of Sudan’s transitional military council, announced
Friday that following the coup he led to depose leader Omar al-Bashir, he would
he also picked Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan as his successor, as
the Sudanese constitution was suspended. Large demonstrations were held in the
streets because people feared the military leaders were too close to Bashir,
who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war
army has said it would stay in power for two years and then allow elections to
determine Sudan’s future.
Canada and others said the Sudanese people deserve to have their will served
commends the people of Sudan for their determination to make their voices heard
since the beginning of peaceful demonstrations in December 2018,” the statement
were held against Bashir due to rising prices.
call on Sudanese authorities to reverse the suspension of the constitution,
lift the state of emergency and to release anyone detained in connection with
State Department on Thursday ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S.
government employees in Sudan following the ouster of longtime President Omar
an updated travel advisory, the department said "violent crime such as
kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion and carjacking is common" and
warned citizens not to travel to Sudan.
groups in Sudan may harm Westerners and Western interests through suicide
operations, bombings, shootings and kidnappings," said the department.
Sudanese military earlier Thursday announced the removal of al-Bashir, who had
ruled Sudan since 1989, and the imposition of a two-year "transitional
phase" following mass demonstrations calling for the president to step
Minister Awad ibn Auf also announced in a televised statement the imposition of
a one-month curfew -- to take effect Thursday evening -- along with a
three-month nationwide state of emergency.
emergency "gives security forces greater arrest and incarceration
powers" and authority "to detain and arrest anybody they deem to be
undermining public order, including protestors or those suspected of supporting
the protests," said the department.
government employees must obtain special authorization from the Sudanese
government to travel outside of Khartoum," it added.
Auf further announced the suspension of Sudan’s 2005 Constitution and the
dissolution of the Sudanese presidency, parliament and council of ministers.
was sworn in Thursday as chairman of the new Military Transitional Council
established to run the country’s affairs during the post-Bashir interim phase.
Abdul-Marouf Al-Mahi, chairman of the Joint Staff Command, was sworn in as
opposition parties and professional associations voiced "total
rejection" of what they described as a "military coup".
the moment he came to power through a military coup in 1989 until his ouster by
another coup in Sudan on Thursday, Omar Al Bashir was not a friend of
Washington and has at critical moments undermined its interests.
despite tense relations, the US government faces a new set of challenges as it
tries to navigate its way through the tumult in Khartoum after his ousting.
Experts argue that a post-Bashir transition that would guarantee “continuity
and stability” may be Washington’s best bet despite the Trump administration’s
lavish talk about “democratic elections" and "respect of human
rights” in Sudan.
dilemma in Sudan is now in seeking a civilian transition while at the same time
acknowledging its limited leverage and not alienating the military leadership,
the most powerful and known stakeholder in the country.
its statement issued on Thursday, the US State Department refrained from the
using the word “coup” in describing the military overthrow of Mr Bashir.
Instead, it highlighted an “opportunity [for Sudan] to set itself on a new path
- one that must include legitimate democratic elections, respect for human
rights, and a civilian-led government.”
Bruton, Deputy Director of the Africa Centre at the Atlantic Council, is not in
the least surprised that Washington has avoided the word “coup” in describing
Thursday’s events. “Omar Al Bashir was never recognised as a constitutional
leader by Washington. He came to power via a coup in 1989, which makes what
happened a coup against a coup,” Ms Bruton told The National. For the US, she
said, “it’s a technical issue”, and one that relates to not recognising Mr
Bashir’s power grab in the first place in 1989.
reason for the US official language could relate to congressional laws that prohibit
funding to countries "whose duly elected leader of government is deposed
by decree or military coup.” That was behind former President Barack Obama’s
decision in 2013 not to call the deposing of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt a coup
Sudan, Ms Bruton argued that the US will try to balance its interests “in a way
that would guarantee continuity and stability.” Despite Washington's tense
relations with Mr Bashir, and designating Sudan as state sponsor of terror in
1993 under his leadership, “there was a semi-viable strategy in engaging with
the regime to get reforms in the last four years,” the expert said. “This
strategy may be upended now.”
Obama’s quiet engagement with Khartoum started in 2015 by loosening some
sanctions. In 2017, the Trump administration lifted a 20-year old trade embargo
on Sudan, and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) opened an office in the
African country. But now, the engagement process is now put to a halt. The US
statement said “we have suspended further Joint Review Committee discussions on
Phase II” that was scheduled to start in two weeks from now. The process was
designed “to expand bilateral ties with Sudan in six key areas”, which define
US interests in Sudan. They are: severing ties with North Korea, expanding
counter-terrorism cooperation, resolving internal conflicts, expanding
humanitarian access, protecting human rights, and addressing outstanding legal
claims related to victims of terrorism.
rise of General Awad Ibn Auf as the new interim leader of Sudan was also
undesirable news to Washington. Mr Auf was sanctioned by the Treasury
department in 2007 for his role in human rights violations. “He is a war
criminal and he is no better than Bashir, but the US is lacking other options,”
Ms Bruton said.
on Friday, it was announced that Mr Auf has resigned his position and appointed
Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan Abdel-Rahman as his replacement. The
resignation came less than 24 hours after Mr Auf took oath.
lack of alternatives for the US sums up its challenge in Khartoum. “The old
regime remains unpalatable but there is no alternative right now, and the
military is a known entity,” said Ms Bruton. Continuity, stability, and seeing
an interim council that has reformers in it, may be the way forward for
Bruton saw very little likelihood that western powers would intervene on behalf
of the protesters, and added “there are questions about the Sudan Professional
Association (opposition group), as to who is behind them, and whether it is the
concern with the Trump administration is it “may be lacking the capacity to
address Sudan,” Ms Bruton said. The US has no ambassador representation in
Sudan, and she fears Washington is punching above its weight when it comes to
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made it clear that the United States is not
in Afghanistan to rebuild the nation or teach Afghans how to deal with their
secretary's remarks came during two days of congressional hearings this week on
the US State Department’s budget proposals.
the Afghans will ultimately decide,” said the top US diplomat when Senator
Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, urged him to ensure that the
agreement between the US and the Taliban protects the rights of the Afghan
hope they (Afghan women) will make their voices heard … I hope the women of
Afghanistan will demand that of their leadership,” he said.
want every woman's voice to be heard [...] I hope they'll all do that."
the two-day discussions, Secretary Pompeo explained the purpose behind talks
with the Afghan Taliban. The US is talking to the Afghan Taliban because they
control "significant resources" in Afghanistan, he said.
senior lawmakers explained why Washington must leave the war-ravaged country
now. Even those who criticised the administration’s Afghan policy said they too
wanted a withdrawal but in a more orderly fashion.
the chief American diplomat that the US has been at war in Afghanistan for 18
years, Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said: “I think even you have
admitted there's no military solution to Afghanistan. It's a mess. It's
nation-building at its worst. The president, like myself, complains endlessly
about the $50 billion we are wasting there every year.”
Shaheen questioned the wisdom behind the Trump administration’s decision to
hold direct talks with the Taliban, pointing out that despite the talks, the
insurgents had continued their attacks on both US and Afghan government forces
and were also refusing to hold direct talks with Kabul.
talks: As hopes rise of a deal, what comes next?
US has already held six rounds of talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, and is
preparing for the next round later this month, which may also include
representatives of the Afghan government as members of a larger Afghan
respect to why we are talking to the Taliban, they control a significant amount
of resources. And to get the reconciliation we need, to take down the violence
level, the Taliban are going to have a say,” Secretary Pompeo said.
have extensive daily conversations,” the secretary said when the senator asked
why the Afghan government was kept out of the talks.
they are not on the table,” Senator Shaheen interjected.
the extent that the negotiations are taking place, they are as much part of the
table as anybody else. We are talking with the National Unity Government and
speaking with the Taliban,” Pompeo responded.
are working to get the two of them in the room together. We think we are closer
than we have been anytime in the last decade in achieving that. This will
ultimately be a resolution that the Afghan people will have to achieve.”
Shaheen interrupted him and asked: “Why do we believe the Taliban would be
honest with us anymore today than they have been in the last 17 years?”
but verify. It will be about actions on the ground,” said the secretary while
explaining the Trump administration’s approach to the talks.
acknowledged that “distrust” was a major problem in the Afghan peace process —
the distrust between the US and Taliban and in dealings with other actors.
understand that there's not only a deep level of distrust with the Taliban,
[but] there is a deep level of distrust with many of the actors in the Afghan
area. It's a nation that has a sad history with respect to truth-telling and
corruption. We have our eyes wide open.”
US, he said, was looking for an agreement that leads to reconciliation and
takes down the violence level. The negotiations will get a framework but
actions on the ground will ultimately deliver the confidence needed to end this
conflict, he added.
for tripartite dialogue to resolve Kashmir
issue is a “legacy of history” and it has to be resolved politically, the
Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Friday.
a public gathering at historic Jamia Masjid a day after he returned to Srinagar
after facing three-day questioning at the National Investigation Agency
headquarters in New Delhi, the Mirwaiz said that he told the probe agency’s
sleuths that Kashmir issue is a “harsh political reality and it has to be
told the NIA team that it’s our policy and stand that Kashmir issue has to be
resolved by India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz, who is also
Kashmir’s chief cleric, said.
said he is not among those “who speak in different tunes in Delhi, Srinagar and
intimidations and coercion can’t force us to change our stand on Kashmir. We
represent aspirations, feelings and emotions of the people of Kashmir,” he
said. “Whether elections are held in India, Pakistan or Kashmir, the basic
nature of the Kashmir dispute will remain the same till this issue is not
Hurriyat chairman alleged that many ploys were adopted to “build pressure on
the leadership and force them into submission”.
house was raided and then I was sent notices one after the other,” he said.
said a “collective decision was taken and all of us (Hurriyat leaders) decided
to fly to Delhi to face the NIA”.
misinformation campaign was launched by Delhi media that I wasn’t cooperating
with the probe agency,” Mirwaiz said.
the NIA questioning”, Mirwaiz said, “I was asked about various organisations
which I head, including AnjumanAuqafJamia, AnjumanNusrat-ul-Islam, DarulKhair,
Hurriyat (M) and Awami Action Committee, details of which they had seized
during the raid, as well recommendations for Kashmiris for visas to Pakistan
and recommendations to medical colleges in Pakistan, about which I apprised
said his life and the Hurriyat’s stand are “an open book and there is nothing
said that every citizen of India must realise that there is no military
solution to the Kashmir issue, “which is purely political and needs a political
stand is not something new. It has been same which MirwaizMoulana Muhammad
Yousuf Shah (RA) advocated for Kashmir in 1947 and what my late father
MirwaizMoulana Muhammad Farooq floated in a public rally in Srinagar—tripartite
dialogue,” he said.
said the pulpit of Jamia Masjid will continue to highlight people’s aspirations
and issues in the same manner as it has been doing since 1947.
strength is the people of Kashmir. The Kashmir movement is a people’s movement
and it’s not about any organisation, individual or group. I represent people’s
aspirations,” he said. “Kashmir issue is a legacy of history and its historical
perspective cannot be ignored”.
is unfortunate that not only the people of Kashmir, but armed forces of both
India and Pakistan are getting consumed in this conflict,” he said.
it the Hurriyat that not only strongly advocated a dialogue between India and
Pakistan but also engaged itself in talks with both the countries,” Mirwaiz
said, recalling that the Hurriyat had even “suggested some confidence building
measures (CBMs) to the government of
India, but there was no forward movement”.
also strongly condemned the killing of a class 7 student at Handwara due to
pellets on Thursday, stating that “lethal pellets continue to kill Kashmiri
unfortunate it is that despite a United Nations report and the European Union
strongly condemning use of pellet guns in Kashmir, forces continue to use
pellets to kill Kashmiris,” he said. “We haven’t forgotten the scars of 2016 in
which many people were killed by pellet guns and hundreds rendered blind”.
Hurriyat chairman also termed the national highway closure for two days a week
“an autocratic move”, stating that ban on civilian vehicles has caused “huge
inconvenience to people who have already been pushed to the wall”.
encounter broke out Saturday between terrorists and security forces in Shopian
district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
on specific information about the presence of terrorists in Gahand area of
Shopian in south Kashmir, security forces launched a cordon and search
operation there this morning, a police official said.
said as the forces were conducting searches, the terrorists fired upon them.
forces retaliated, ensuing an encounter, the official said, adding the exchange
of firing was going on and further details were awaited.
2,200 Sikhs from India arrive in Pakistan to celebrate Baisakhi
2,200 Sikh pilgrims from India arrived here on Friday to celebrate Baisakhi
festival at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasan Abdal city of Pakistan’s Punjab
province. The pilgrims, who arrived at Wagah railway station by two special
trains, were received by Secretary of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB)
Tariq Khan and Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Sardar Tara
ETPB looks after the holy places of the minority community in the country.
Panja Sahib has a handprint of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, on a
boulder of the shrine.
total 2,206 Sikh pilgrims have arrived here from India on two special trains.
After immigration they left for Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hasan Abdal in Attock
district, about 40 km from Rawalpindi,” ETPB spokesman Amir Hashmi told PTI.
is celebrated to mark the beginning of a new harvest season. Under the
framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of
1974. Every year, a large number of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to
observe various religious festivals and occasions. He said special security
arrangements have been made for them and elite force and rangers are deployed
along with them for their security.
said the pilgrims will also visit other gurdwaras in Punjab province, including
Gurdawa Janamasthan Nankana Sahib, during their 10-day stay here.
will leave for India on April 21, he added.
to reporters, leader of the Indian delegation Sardar Varmindar Singh Khalsa
expressed the hope that the government will issue visas to a large number of
Indian Sikh pilgrims on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak
Dev. “We are anxiously awaiting that occasion and hope the government will
issue maximum number of visas to the pilgrims,” he said, stressing that
people-to-people contact between the two countries would help in improving ties
between the neighbours.
special court on Thursday issued summons to nodal officers of five telecom
companies following a Bombay High Court order last month directing production
of call data records exchanged between officers of the National Investigation
Agency and Areeb Majeed’s father.
is facing trial for allegedly travelling to Syria to join terrorist
organisation, Islamic State.
January this year, the special court had rejected Majeed’s plea seeking the
call records, following which he had filed an appeal before the HC.
its March 27 order, the HC had set aside the special court’s order, directing
that summons should be issued to nodal officers of the telecom companies for
call records of three NIA officers and an alternate number of Majeed’s father,
had claimed that the records are part of his defence to demonstrate that the
entire arrangement of his arrival from Turkey was done by the NIA and he was
arrested after his return on November 28, 2014.
prosecution claims that Majeed had sneaked into the country with an ulterior motive.
had submitted to the court that he wanted to show that his return was
facilitated by the Indian authorities and that officers of the NIA had
coordinated with his father between November 20 and November 29, 2014.
citizens travelling to terrorism hotspots will face up to 10 years in prison
under a controversial new law that came into force on Friday.
Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 creates a criminal offence of
entering a “designated area” overseas, in an effort to boost the authorities’
ability to tackle the threat from returning fighters.
individual found to have entered or remained in a designated area could face up
to 10 years in prison if convicted. The legislation overturns previous laws
that required proof of wrong doing – in this case joining or fighting alongside
an extremist group – for a conviction to take place.
Secretary Sajid Javid said the new laws give the police “the powers they need
to disrupt terrorist plots earlier and ensure that those who seek to do us harm
face just punishment.”
we saw in the deadly attacks in London and Manchester in 2017, the threat from
terrorism continues to evolve and so must our response, which is why these
vital new measures have been introduced,” he said.
was hit by five attacks in 2017, and 18 plots were foiled in the last two
bill proposes broader powers for border guards to stop and search individuals
on the basis of suspicion and criminalises the viewing of terrorist-linked
material online. Exemptions have been made for media professionals and
researchers who access this content for professional purposes or for those
attending a relative's funeral.
for press freedom and human rights watchdogs have raised serious concerns about
the broadening of the authorities’ ability to intervene on the grounds of
tackling “hostile state” activity.
organisations, including Reporters Without Borders and Index on Censorship,
have released a joint statement warning that this “vaguely defined” crime will
give border guards wide-ranging powers to stop, search and detain suspects,
would be an offence for a journalist not to answer questions or hand over
materials, with no protection for confidential sources.
about 10 per cent of returnees have been prosecuted over “direct action” in
Syria, according to official figures. The government says a significant
proportion of those who have come back are no longer of national security
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu clashed on Friday with a French lawmaker over
the commemoration of the “Armenian genocide” in a heated exchange that prompted
the French delegation to walk out.
and Armenia are at odds over how to describe treatment of Armenians during the
Ottoman era in WWI, with Turkey denying massacres and forced deportations
amounted to a genocide.
President Emmanuel Macron in February announced France would hold a national
day on April 24 to commemorate the “Armenian genocide”, drawing criticism from
a meeting of the NATO parliamentary assembly in Antalya in southern Turkey on
Friday, Turkish parliament chief Mustafa Sentop lashed out at France’s decree
to establish the commemorative day, accusing Paris of “manipulating history.”
also referenced massacres committed in Algeria when it was still a French
colony and in Rwanda whose government accuses Paris of being complicit in the
1994 slaughter there.
the meeting, French lawmaker Sonia Krimi, from Macron’s LREM party, criticized
Turkish comments saying she was shocked. But that provoked a sharp response
terms of genocide and history, France is the last country to be giving lectures
to Turkey, and we have not forgotten what happened in Rwanda and Algeria,” the
can keep trying to look down on us, but we will keep putting you in your
and the French delegation left the room in protest over Cavusoglu’s remarks.
the arrogant @MevlutCavusolgu gives you lessons on arrogance and politeness,
arrogantly and without any respect,” she wrote on Twitter referring to the
presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin hit back posting on Twitter a story from
state news agency Anadolu about “dark stains in French history.”
their colonial past nor their self-centred present guarantees their moral
superiority,” he wrote.
top NATO official on Friday praised Turkey’s hospitality towards refugees and
hard work in the Middle East.
pay tribute particularly to the Turkish role in providing refuge of millions of
people who have been displaced by the terror conflict in Syria,” Madeleine
Moon, head of the NATO Parliament Assembly, told a meeting in the Mediterranean
Antalya province. Moon said Turkey "sees itself as a bridge between Europe
and Middle East" which gives it a "leading role in promoting security
and stability" in the Mideast and North Africa region.
stressed there would be “an international refugee crisis without the remarkable
generosity and hospitality which Turkey has shown to the Syrian people.”
also said Turkey is often “at the forefront” of the challenges emerging in the
Mideast, adding that NATO shows solidarity with Turkey by providing critical
support and assistance.
want to take the opportunity to thank the Turkish government and parliament for
their contributions to NATO and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly,” she added.
Askin Bak, the head of the Turkish delegation to the assembly, said Turkey is
the third-biggest country in the region supporting NATO with its personnel
numbering nearly 2,000.
main opposition on Friday criticized France's declaration of April 24 as a day
commemorating the 1915 events between Turkey and Armenia.
April 24 a memorial day is not helpful or acceptable, said Kemal Kilicdaroglu,
leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP).
the problems between Armenia and Turkey is possible through dialogue between
them, not through the intervention of a third country crossing the line,"
he said on Twitter.
position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern
Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against
Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous
objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but
describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
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