image of Ardern appeared on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. (Twitter)
Not Jihad but Jahalat’: Kashmiri Villagers to LeT Terrorists Holding Boy
Sheet Filed Against Pakistan-based Falah-i-Insaniyat over Terror Activities in
Is Central Issue’: Imran Khan’s Reply to PM Modi Message on Terror
Ruler Praises Jacinda Ardern and Lights up Burj Khalifa to Honour New Zealand
‘March for Love’ In New Zealand As Mosques Reopen
Khan welcomes PM Modi's greetings on Pakistan National Day
Very Good, Ready To Meet New Pakistani Leadership’: Donald Trump
Zealand Attacks ‘Will Not Stop Bangladesh Cricket Tours’
Pakistan Reaffirm Commitment to Work Closely On Islamic Issues
Nations Urge for Measures against Islamophobia
Not Jihad but Jahalat’: Kashmiri Villagers To LeT Terrorists Holding Boy
man detained outside Pakistan high commission: Cops
hostage killed by militants: J-K police
approaches EU for listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist: MEA
Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front banned under anti-terror law
militants including 2 from Jaish killed in Kashmir encounters in 24 hours
in Lebanon Warns of Hezbollah’s ‘Destabilizing Activities’
defeated in last Syria enclave, US-backed SDF says
US-led air strikes pound ISIS holdouts
Kurd autonomy under threat after Daesh 'caliphate' falls
Hate Crimes Soar in UK after Christchurch Shootings
Danish Politician Burns Muslim Holy Book
Form Human Shield For Muslims In Friday Prayer
Put Aside As Sikh Taxi Drivers Provide Free Rides, Help For Muslim Families
Rocked By Terror Attack
police arrest 11 to foil ‘Islamist attack plot’
Zealand calls for solidarity at Muslim summit in Istanbul
police: 2 held in Birmingham mosques vandalism probe
kin of Christchurch victims die after killings: officials
Abdul Aziz Dodges ICT Admin, Delivers Sermon at Lal Masjid
Taqi Usmani survives assassination attempt in Karachi
Day celebrations: Military parade begins in Islamabad
Held in Professor's Death, Claims Blasphemy
FM praises ‘timely’ OIC meeting in Turkey
Khan: ‘Our desire for peace should not be considered as our weakness’
Recognition of Golan Heights As Israeli Receives Global Condemnation
Visits NY Mosque, Urges Safety For Worshippers
Says ISIS Has Been ‘100 Percent’ Defeated In Syria
issues new Iran-related sanctions on 14 individuals, 17 entities
Dhabi Crown Prince proposed killing Taliban leaders in Qatar: report
Calls for Unity against Terrorism at OIC Meeting
condemns terrorist attack in emergency OIC meeting on New Zealand
American service members killed in Afghanistan
armed forces arrest Taliban bomb makers in Kapisa province
suffer heavy casualties amid ongoing operations in Kunduz: MoD
Offers Olive Branch to IS Returnees
gather in unity to declare peace and solidarity
Decades Of Enmity, PAS Now Washes Away All Umno’s Past Sins
Coalition launches raids on Yemen’s Houthis in Sanaa
will never attain 'ominous' goals: Iran
rights forum condemns Israeli use of force at deadly Gaza protests
envoy summoned over ‘intrusion’ at French cultural centre
orders detention of 144 over Gulen links
of Thousands Join Anti-Bouteflika Rally in Central Algiers
Boko Haram Kills 23 Soldiers in Dangdala Attack
Haram: Troops construct own water, bread factories to support soldiers
ministry in Mogadishu hit by al Shabaab car bomb attack
convicts ISIS, Al-Shabaab suspects
by New Age Islam News Bureau
not Jihad but Jahalat’: Kashmiri villagers to LeT terrorists holding boy
is not “jihad” (armed crusade) but “jahalat” (benighted), a village elder
pleaded to Pakistani terrorists in North Kashmir’s Hajin area while asking them
to release a 12-year-old boy who was held captive and subsequently killed on
of the village elder of Mir Mohalla of Hajin surfaced on social media, showing
him asking the two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, Ali alias Furkan and Hubaib, to
release Atif Mir.
incident took place 33 km north of Srinagar where the terrorists had taken
shelter in the boy’s house at gunpoint, police officials said on Friday.
terrorists wanted to sexually abuse his sister but the family had helped her
escape. This infuriated them and they started beating up the family members,
including Atif and his old uncle Hameed Mir, they said. Hearing their cries,
other people in the locality informed the police.
assessing the situation, the police started rescuing the family. They managed
to secure the release of the parents and other family members till they were
fired upon by the holed up terrorists.
knew that the boy and uncle were trapped inside and, so, we asked the villagers
to appeal to the terrorists to release them,” a senior official said.
in Kashmiri, the village head was the first to ask the terrorists to release
the innocent boy. “Do whatever you want, but this is not Jihad but Jahalat.
Please release the boy,” he said.
police also made an appeal through Aqeqa Begum, the wife of Hameed, who was
virtually breathless as she asked the terrorists to release her husband and
the police made a room intervention and brought Hameed out of the house. He
told them that he was assaulted by the terrorists who hit him with iron rods
and an AK rifle.
tried my best to get my nephew out of this. I begged them but they remained
unmoved,” Hameed told the police.
pressure mounted on the terrorists, they killed the helpless Atif, the police
said, adding that the security forces later mounted a heightened operation and
killed both the Pakistanis.
had been active in the area for long and was involved in the killing of a BSF
personnel and others, including death of a man whose throat was slit in front
of his son.
Sheet Filed Against Pakistan-based Falah-i-Insaniyat Over Terror Activities In
National Investigation Agency has filed a fresh charge sheet against Pakistan
based Falah-i-Insaniyat (FIF) for several terror activities in India, the
agency said on Friday.
FIF is terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)’s front organisation, which is
accused of creating sleeper cells in Haryana and Delhi. LeT founder Hafiz
Sayeed has also been named in the charge-sheet against FIF.
said the case will strengthen New Delhi’s hand in exposing Pakistan’s use of
terrorist groups for terrorism in India.
Mohammed Salam, 51, Mohammed Salim, 62, from Nagpur and Pakistani national
Mohammed Kamran have also been named in the charge-sheet.
has established that Chief of the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation – Hafiz Mohammed
Sayeed – along with the Deputy Chief Shahid Mahmood hatched a conspiracy from
2012 to create sleeper cells and logistic bases in New Delhi and Haryana,” the
is central issue’: Imran Khan’s reply to PM Modi message on terror
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday he had received a message from his
Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the eve of Pakistan Day that spoke of the
two sides working together for a peaceful region in an atmosphere “free of
a late night tweet, Khan said the message from Modi had said: “I extend my
greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of
Pakistan. It is time that ppl of Sub-continent work together for a democratic,
peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror
familiar with developments in New Delhi described Modi’s message as a customary
message sent to heads of government or state on national days and noted that
the focus was on a terror-free South Asia.
responded to Modi’s message by tweeting that the time has come to “to begin a
comprehensive dialogue with India to address & resolve all issues, esp the
central issue of Kashmir, & forge a new relationship based on peace &
prosperity for all our people”.
the Pakistan Day reception in New Delhi, Pakistani envoy Sohail Mahmood said
diplomacy and dialogue are essential for mutual understanding and resolving
issues such as Kashmir.
developments came against the backdrop of the tensions created by the Pulwama
terror attack claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed, and India’s retaliatory air
strike on a JeM facility within Pakistan.
noted the two sides had “passed through a very difficult time recently” but had
also taken “steps in a positive direction”, such as Khan’s decision to release
captured Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the return of the
two high commissioners to their respective missions and bilateral meetings to
develop modalities for Kartarpur Corridor.
is, however, still the need to reassure concerned citizens in both countries,
to consolidate the process of de-escalation, and to stabilise the ties against
further shocks,” he said, adding recent developments had shown that “lack of
engagement creates dangerous vacuum and serious risks for the relationship”.
we limp back from the brink, we must make sure that we act with wisdom to find
a way forward – for our countries, and for our peoples,” Mahmood said. Coercive
measures wouldn’t work and diplomacy and dialogue are “indispensible for
enhancing mutual understanding, addressing mutual concerns and resolving
long-standing disputes including Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
do hope the long winter in India-Pakistan relations would come to an early
end,” Mahmood said.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, thanked Jacinda
Ardern on Friday for her ‘sincere empathy’ following the attack on two New
Zealand mosques that killed 50 Muslims.
world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was illuminated in a gesture of
solidarity with New Zealand and its prime minister.
has received widespread praise from around the world and in particular from
Muslim countries and their leaders for the way she has handled the aftermath of
the terrorist attack carried out by a white supremacist.
Zealand today fell silent in honor of the mosque attacks' martyrs,” Sheikh
Mohammed tweeted. “Thank you PM Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand for your sincere
empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the
terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world.”
led thousands of people in a two minute vigil on Friday as the shocked nation
came together to remember those killed in the attack.
told those gathered in a park opposite the Al Noor mosque, where 42 people
died, that: "New Zealand mourns with you. We are one.”
prime minister’s response to the killings has been widely admired in helping
the country come to terms with the atrocity. In the hours after the shootings
she wore a black headscarf and visited members of the Muslim community.
moved to reassure those caught up in the attacks and hugged survivors at a
community center in Christchurch.
represent diversity, kindness, compassion,” Ms Ardern said on the day of the
attack. “A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.
And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.”
did not hesitate to describe the killings as a terrorist attack and said she
would refuse to say the name of the killer who carried it out.
she has also acted quickly with legislation. Her government banned on Thursday
the sales of semi-automatic weapons.
performance has been extraordinary - and I believe she will be strongly lauded
for it both domestically and internationally,” political commentator Bryce
Edwards of Victoria University in Wellington told Reuters.
media has been flooded with messages of admiration for Ardern, with many using
her as an example for their own politicians to follow.
‘march for love’ in New Zealand as mosques reopen
About 3,000 people walked through Christchurch in a ‘march for love’ early on
Saturday, honouring the 50 worshippers massacred in the New Zealand city a week
ago, as the mosques where the shooting took place reopened for prayers.
placards with signs such as, “He wanted to divide us, he only made us
stronger”, “Muslims welcome, racists not”, and “Kia Kaha” – Maori for ‘stay
strong’, people walked mostly in silence or softly sang a Maori hymn of peace.
feel like hate has brought a lot of darkness at times like this and love is the
strongest cure to light the city out of that darkness,” said Manaia Butler, 16,
one of the student organisers of the march.
armed police on site, the Al Noor mosque, where more than 40 of the victims
were killed by a suspected white supremacist, reopened on Saturday. Police said
they were reopening the nearby Linwood mosque as well.
is the place where we pray, where we meet, we’ll be back, yeah,” Ashif Shaikh
told reporters outside the Al Noor mosque. He said he was there on the day of
the shooting in which two of his housemates were killed.
victims of the country’s worst mass shooting were migrants or refugees from
countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia,
Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Saturday’s march security was heavy, with dozens of armed police officers and
buses parked sideways across city streets to close them off for the march.
Nair, a migrant from India who works for a migrant advocacy group called
Shakti, travelled from Auckland to take part in the march.
support gives us hope and optimism that migrant and refugee communities in this
country can have a level playing field,” she said.
appreciate the solidarity, but it must be carried on. It cannot be allowed to
fizzle out. This is how social change happens.”
Minister Jacinda Ardern, who swiftly denounced the shooting as terrorism and
has participated in many of the tributes and funerals for the victims, has
announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles, some of
the guns used by the shooter.
and New Zealand have been widely praised for the outpouring of empathy and
unity and the response to the attacks.
ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum thanked her on Twitter late on Friday.
you @jacindaardern and New Zealand for your sincere empathy and support that
has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that
shook the Muslim community around the world,” he said on Twitter.
account for just over 1% of New Zealand’s 4.8-million population, a 2013 census
showed, most of whom were born overseas.
Friday the Muslim call to prayer was broadcast nationwide on television and
radio and about 20,000 people attended a prayer service in the park opposite Al
Noor mosque in a show of solidarity.
women have also donned headscarves to show their support.
Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, a special prayer was held after the Friday sermon
for the victims of the attack, according to the Saudi news website Sabq.
of the dead were laid to rest at a mass burial in Christchurch on Friday when
26 victims were interred.
have been buried at private ceremonies or repatriated to their home countries
Hossain, whose brother Mojammel Haque was killed in the attack, told Reuters
that she would bring his body back to Bangladesh.
don’t know when our family will be able to come out of this grief,” she said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed his Indian counterpart Narendra
Modi's greetings on the eve of its National Day, saying time has come to begin
a "comprehensive dialogue" between the two countries to address and
resolve all issues, including the "central issue" of Kashmir.
to official sources in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi sent a letter to Khan, greeting
people of Pakistan on the eve of its National Day and highlighting the
importance of a terror-free South Asia.
in his message, said it was time for the people of the sub-continent to work
together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive and prosperous region, in an
atmosphere free of terror and violence, they said.
in a tweet, welcomed Modi's message and said the time has come to begin a
comprehensive dialogue between the two countries to address and resolve all
issues, including Kashmir.
welcome PM Modi's message to our people. As we celebrate Pakistan Day I believe
it is time to begin a comprehensive dialogue with India to address &
resolve all issues, esp the central issue of Kashmir, & forge a new
relationship based on peace & prosperity for all our people," Khan
tweeted on Friday.
has made it clear to Pakistan that cross-border terror attacks and talks cannot
go hand in hand.
last year called off a planned meeting of external affairs minister Sushma
Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of
the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York after blaming
Pakistanbased entities for killing of three special police officers in Kashmir.
Khan also tweeted Modi's message.
msg from PM Modi: 'I extend my greetings & best wishes to the people of
Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that ppl of Sub-continent
work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region,
in an atmosphere free of terror and violence'," Khan said.
message to Khan came in the midst of severe strain in ties between the two
nuclear-armed neighbours following the Pulwama attack and the subsequent air
strikes by India on a Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot.
India Friday boycotted a reception at the Pakistan high commission here to mark
Pakistan's National Day, objecting to invites extended to several separatist
leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for the event.
official sources in New Delhi said the prime minister sends a customary message
on National Days to other heads of state and government and added that his
message to Khan highlighted the importance of a terror-free South Asia.
between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based
terror group 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.
year on March 23, Pakistan celebrates its National Day commemorating the Lahore
Resolution passed on March 23, 1940 and the adoption of the first constitution
of Pakistan on March 23, 1956.
very good, ready to meet new Pakistani leadership’: Donald Trump
Donald Trump has indicated his readiness to meet Pakistan’s new leadership,
amidst the ongoing peace talks between the US and the Taliban facilitated by
Islamabad to end the brutal war in Afghanistan, America’s longest.
relations between Pakistan and the US nosedived after President Trump last year
accused Islamabad of giving nothing to Washington but “lies and deceit” and
providing “safe haven” to terrorists.
September, the Trump administration cancelled USD 300 million in military aid
to Islamabad for not doing enough against terror groups like the Haqqani
Network and Taliban active on its soil.
also criticised Pakistan in a Twitter post back in November, saying Islamabad
was not doing enough to stop terrorism.
Trump made this surprise announcement on the possibility of a meeting between
him and Prime Minister Imran Khan at the end of a White House media interaction
on Wednesday when a journalist asked him to comment on the current situation
between India and Pakistan.
— we’ll be meeting with Pakistan. I think our relationship right now is very
good with Pakistan,” Trump said before departing the White House for a visit in
envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is spearheading efforts to strike a peace deal with the
Taliban with the help of Pakistan.
the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, said that Pakistan
has an important role to play in Afghan peace talks and cannot be under
estimated, state-run Radio Pakistan quoted him as saying.
has been bargaining for the first meeting between President Trump and Prime
Minister Khan in return for Islamabad’s help in bringing the Taliban to the
negotiating table. The cricketer-turned-politician assumed charge as Pakistan
prime minister in August last year.
representatives of the Afghan Taliban, the US as well as officials from
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have been meeting in Doha, Qatar. The talks were
facilitated by Islamabad as Washington continues to seek an end to the nearly
18-year war in Afghanistan that has killed over 2,000 US soldiers.
US has 14,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan. Two US soldiers were killed in an
operation in Afghanistan on Friday, Fox News reported.
deaths were the first for US forces there since January. Last year, 13 American
troops died while deployed there.
Trump’s signal that he is ready for a meeting with the Pakistani leadership
also came hours after a senior administration official warned that the US
remained concerned about India-Pakistan tensions as their militaries were still
on alert nearly three weeks after their most dangerous confrontation in decades
following the Pulwama terror 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.
US official also warned that another terrorist attack in India could be
“extremely problematic” for Pakistan and it would cause a re-escalation in
need to see Pakistan taking concrete and sustained action to rein in the
terrorist groups, mainly the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba in order
to ensure that we don’t have re-escalation (of tensions) in the region”, the
there’s any additional terrorist attack without Pakistan having made a
sustained, sincere effort against these groups, it would be extremely
problematic for Pakistan and it would cause re-escalation of tensions, which is
dangerous for both countries,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.
Zealand attacks ‘will not stop Bangladesh cricket tours’
Bangladeshi cricketers will continue to tour New Zealand in the future, an
official from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) told Arab News on Friday.
comments follow the attack on two mosques in Christchurch last Friday, during
which a number of Bangladeshi cricketers narrowly escaped becoming involved in
gun attack by a white supremacist resulted in the deaths of 50 people, with
hundreds more injured. Five Bangladeshis were among the dead.
have a very good relationship with New Zealand, but from now on, security
issues will be taken care of more carefully for our cricketers during any
tour,” Habibul Bashar, a member of the BCB team selection committee, said.
every team now, security will be a big concern, and we can’t compromise with
this issue anymore. If we are not satisfied with the security preparations when
visiting a country, the BCB will have its own security team to travel with the
team is scheduled to travel to Ireland in May to compete in a tri-nation,
one-day series with the hosts and the West Indies. Bangladesh will then join
the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Cup competition, scheduled to
begin May 30 in England and Wales.
players had been scheduled to be at the mosque when the attack happened, but
were delayed en route after a press conference overran.
Iqbal, the Bangladeshi opening batsman, tweeted: “Entire team got saved from
active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”
a haunting and unprecedented experience for our players which has shaken our
team. We were saved only by a stroke of luck,” Raqibul Hasan, Bangladesh’s
former captain, told Arab news.
have talked with most of our players and they are now coming out of this
haunting experience slowly. I think this incident will not hamper their
performance in the upcoming Ireland tri-nation series.”
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Hasan added: “There is nothing
above the cause of humanity.”
Friday Ardern led a vigil of around 5,000 people in Hagely Park, in front of
Al-Noor Mosque in Christchurch, where most of the victims died.
express solidarity with the Muslim community in New Zealand, meanwhile, state
TV and radio stations also broadcast the call to prayer throughout the week.
Pakistan reaffirm commitment to work closely on Islamic issues
March 23 — Malaysia and Pakistan have reaffirmed their commitment to
collaborate more closely on issues affecting the Muslim world, including taking
joint efforts in underscoring Muslims’ sensitivities on holy personalities and
a joint statement in conjunction with the three-day official visit of Malaysian
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Pakistan since Thursday, as the
leaders of two peace-loving Islamic nations, Dr Mahathir and his Pakistan
counterpart Imran Khan agreed to increase their collaborative efforts to uphold
the true values of Islam in international fora while strengthening the
solidarity of the Muslim Ummah (community).
the statement, both leaders also stressed that terrorism cannot be associated
with any religion or belief.
Both leaders exchanged views on the situation in Palestine and in Rakhine
State, Myanmar involving Rohingya Muslims. On the Palestinian issue, both
countries agreed to contribute positively in other forums, especially in the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Committee of Six on Palestine, of
which Malaysia and Pakistan are members,” the statement said.
statement added that Malaysia took note of the massive counter-terrorism
efforts that Pakistan has successfully undertaken in an effort to eliminate
said Malaysia also invited Pakistan to participate in the upcoming Langkawi
International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) from March 26-30, 2019.
statement said the two leaders also took note that the 1st Bilateral
Consultations between the Foreign Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of Pakistan and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
Malaysia, as a mechanism to intensify the engagements between both sides, was
successfully held on Feb 25, 2019 here.
The 1st Bilateral Consultations between both countries had covered various
issues of mutual concerns such as debt management and anti-corruption, defence
cooperation, labour matters, consular matters, as well as, regional and
international dynamics,” it said.
Leaders also acknowledged the successful convening of the 13th Joint Committee
on Defence Cooperation (JCDC) which was held from Feb 26— 27, 2019 in Kuala
Mahathir undertook the official visit at the invitation of Imran, whereby Dr
Mahathir was the guest-of— honour at the Pakistan Day Parade on Saturday.
the visit, Dr Mahathir was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Prime
Minister’s House and both leaders held a restricted meeting as well as fruitful
and in-depth discussions, which took place in a warm and cordial atmosphere,
and covered a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of
(The) Malaysian Prime Minister expressed his sincere appreciation to the
President of Pakistan Arif Alwi for hosting a State Banquet and bestowing him
with the Nishan-e-Pakistan (Order of Pakistan), Pakistan’s highest civil award
,” it said. — Bernama
nations urge for measures against Islamophobia
Muslim nations on Friday called for tough international action to combat
Islamophobia following the terror attack on two New Zealand mosques. The
executive committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), meeting
in Istanbul, expressed its outrage at last week’s Christchurch massacre, and
deep concern over the resurgence of racist movements and terrorist activities
around the world.
ministers attending the emergency session, issued a raft of demands aimed at
tackling the scourge of hate-related violence toward Muslims and other minority
groups. They said raids on mosques and the killing of Muslims highlighted the
“brutal and inhumane consequences” of hatred of Islam.
called on all governments to review their legal frameworks regarding terrorism
and urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Council of
Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to establish an observatory to monitor
extremist acts against Muslims.
OIC committee also suggested that the UN and other regional and international
organizations should declare March 15 (the day of the Christchurch attack) an
international day of solidarity against Islamophobia.
said the UN should convene a session of its General Assembly to debate the
issue of racism and appoint a special representative on combating Islamophobia.
The UN was also requested to expand the scope of its existing sanctions on
terror groups to cover individuals and entities associated with extremist ethnic
worshippers died and many others were seriously injured during last Friday’s
shootings at the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in New Zealand’s South Island
OIC reiterated that terrorism had no religion or justification and was a crime
regardless of when, where or against who it was committed.
its final communique, the OIC committee said a recent global rise in terrorist
activities was hampering international efforts to promote peace and harmony
to international policies on safeguarding the rights, dignity, religious and
cultural identity of Muslim communities and minorities in non-member states was
key to tackling the issue, the ministers declared.
noted resolutions of previous Islamic summit conferences and meetings which
expressed concerns over attacks on mosques and other Muslim properties.
OIC foreign ministers thanked the government of New Zealand for its unequivocal
condemnation of the terrorist attacks and the firm stance of Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern and offered their full support to a comprehensive and
transparent investigation into the outrage.
committee also extended its sincere condolences to the families of the victims.
meeting stressed the need for the OIC to maintain close contacts with UN and EU
governments of countries with Muslim populations and minorities to identify
ways of promoting cultural harmony, understanding, respect, and tolerance.
with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to remove
and prohibit content inciting violence and hatred toward Muslims was also
important, the OIC ministers stated.
requested the OIC Contact Group on Peace and Dialogue to prioritize efforts to
combat religious discrimination, Islamophobia, intolerance, and hatred against
Muslims and to hold regular interfaith meetings. They added that all the
necessary human and financial resources should be given to the OIC’s work in
communicating with centers around the world concerned with Islamophobia.
Ridwaan Jadwat, Australia’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “Australians
share their deepest sympathies with those affected by the devastating terrorist
attack by a right-wing extremist in Christchurch and share the grief of New
Zealanders and Muslim communities the world over.
day after the attack, the prime minister and foreign minister reached out to
the Muslim community to convey deep condolences and show solidarity, visiting a
mosque and meeting Muslim leaders including the grand mufti and the Australian
National Imams Council.
will always protect and defend our Muslim community in Australia and our
people’s right to practice peacefully their religion without fear. Everyone has
a right to feel safe in their places of worship.”
envoy said his government was extending community safety grants to protect
religious schools, places of worship and assembly.
is the time for unity and inclusion. We must all work together against
extremism and take care to ensure our public debates about this horrific
incident do not encourage the very divisions between faiths and cultures that
extremists seek to create.” http://www.arabnews.com/node/1470751/middle-east
58-year-old man from Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district was detained on
Friday evening from outside the Pakistan High Commission in central Delhi,
said the man was picked up for questioning after they found his visit to the
High Commission suspicious. Delhi police said the man was previously convicted
in Jammu and Kashmir under the Official Secrets Act. He remained in jail
between 2005 and 2009 on espionage charges, said police.
commissioner of police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma confirmed that the man was
detained from outside the embassy. “We are questioning him to know his purpose
of visiting the High Commission,” Verma added.
have also informed central intelligence agencies about the man’s visit to the High
minor held hostage by two Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba militants was killed by his
captors in the Jammu and Kashmir town of Hajin, where security forces had
launched an operation, the police said. The militants were killed in the
army,Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the police had launched the joint
cordon-and-search operation in the Mimoh neighbourhood of the town on Thursday.
The minor who died was identified as Atif Mir, a 12-year-old boy who studied in
class VI at Army Goodwill School, the police and residents said.
cordon covered the six houses of the Mir clan located close to one another on
the main link road. At the time, two militants and six members were inside the
three-storey house of Mohammad Shafi Mir, including his brother, son and other
family members. “I was at my shop when the search operation began in our
locality. My minor son and my brother were inside the house and militants
didn’t allow them to leave, while others family members managed to escape from
the house. In the afternoon yesterday, my brother also managed to escape,’’
said Shafi Mir, who lost his only son.
operation began in the morning and the forces could have ended it within a few
hours, but the police and army officials present on the encounter site made
every attempt to rescue my son. My son wasn’t allowed to leave the house
despite several pleas... ’’
save the life of the boy, the police and army officers appealed to the
militants through local village elders, asking the captors to release the boy.
The appeals were made every few hours. “The police and army tried to save the
boy, but I don’t know why the militants held him hostage. For this family it is
going to be a lifelong pain,’’ Nazir Ahmad, an uncle of the boy, said. “This
type of incident has never taken place here.’’
mother, who was being consoled by relatives and neighbours, said: “My
brother-in-law, who was also held hostage along with my son, told me that he
had pleaded with the militants to release his nephew but they refused. And when
the militants got injured, my brother-in-law escaped from the house...’’
operation ended on Friday morning and police the took bodies of the two
militants and the minor boy with them. The body of the minor was handed over to
family members in the afternoon.
grave of the boy was being dug by his relatives some 500 to 600 metres away
from his school. “He (Aatif) was such a wonderful boy who didn’t deserve to die
this way. The security forces could have aborted the operation to save the boy.
They would have killed the militants anytime after,” said one of his
superintendent of police, Bandipora, Rahul Malik said the security forces had
done everything possible to get the militants to release the boy and his uncle.
The uncle eventually managed to escape.
magistrate, too, had appealed that the boy be allowed to go “but finally fire
from that side intensified and we also retaliated and in process two militants,
Ali and Hubaib, were eliminated,’’ Malik said.
has approached the European Union to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood
Azhar as a global terrorist and the 28-member grouping is expected to take a
decision on the issue based on the principle of consensus, the external affairs
ministry said Friday.
has taken up the matter with the EU. We understand that the EU will take its
decision once their process of designating a terrorist is complete,” external
affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “It has to be a unanimous
decision,” he said. The EU functions under the principle of consensus.
move by France, a member of the EU, came days after China blocked a bid at the
United Nations to ban Azhar.
proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the
UNSC was moved by France, the UK and the US, in the wake of the Pulwama terror
attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. JeM had claimed responsibility
for the Pulwama attack.
out of the 15 members of the UN Security Council supported the proposal, but
China was the only country which did not go with the move. Diplomatic sources
said Germany is also in touch with several member-nations of the European Union
to list Azhar as a terrorist by the grouping.
the process by the EU is complete, they will make an announcement,” said Kumar.
listing by the bloc will result in his travel ban as well as freezing of his
assets in all 28 countries of the EU.
March 15, France imposed financial sanctions on Azhar and said it will work
with its European partners to put the JeM chief’s name on the EU list of persons
and entities involved in terrorist acts.
Yasin Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was banned by the Centre
under anti-terror law on Friday.
Secretary Rajiv Gauba said JKLF (Yasin faction) is declared an unlawful
organization and said the ban is in continuation with the government’s move of
zero tolerance against secessionist groups “JKLF has spearheaded the
secessionist ideology in Jammu and Kashmir and poses a threat to the
sovereignty of the country,” he said.
has been banned under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act. Its chief Yasin Malik is under arrest and at present lodged
in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.
Gauba said the JKLF is actively involved in funding and actively supporting
terrorism. “It continues to be involved in activities prejudicial to the
country,” he added.
least five militants, including two of the Jaish-e-Mohammed group, have been
killed in the last 24 hours by security forces in three districts of the
Kashmir valley, Indian Army and police officials said on Friday.
of the militants were killed in Baramulla’s Kalantara Payeen in north Kashmir,
another two in Hajin in north Bandipora and one in Shopian in south Kashmir,
encounter between security forces and militants in Mir Mohalla area of Hajjin
started around 10am on Thursday. Security forces comprising of units of the
army’s 13 Rashtriya Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF’s) 45
Battalion and Jammu and Kashmir police’s special operations group took part in
gun battle also took place in Shopian’s Imam Sahib after security forces
cordoned off the area following the information about the presence of
militants. One of them was killed in the encounter.
police spokesperson said on Friday one of the two militants killed in Kalantara
Payeen in Baramulla has been identified as Aamir Rasool of Sopore and that the
other was a Pakistani national. Both the bodies have been recovered and a
search operation is in progress after the encounter started on Thursday, the
to the police records, both the killed terrorists were affiliated with
proscribed terror outfit JeM and were wanted by law for their complicity in a
series of terror crimes including an attack on security establishments and
civilian atrocities. They were involved in conspiring and executing many terror
attacks in the area. Several terror crime cases were registered against both
the terrorists,” the spokesperson said.
spokesperson said arms and ammunition, including AK 47 assault rifles, were
recovered from the site of encounter. “All these materials have been taken in
the case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in
other terror cases,” the officer said.
are once again requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an
area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested
to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of
all the explosives materials if any,” he said.
gunfight was also underway in Sopore between militants and security forces,
police said. The firing exchanges took place in Warpora area of Sopore, the
same site of an encounter where two policemen were injured on Thursday, and the
area has been cordoned off they said.
in Lebanon warns of Hezbollah’s ‘destabilizing activities’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Friday of militant group Hezbollah’s
“destabilizing activities” as he visited Lebanon on a regional tour to build a
united front against Iran.
flew in from Israel a day after he became the first high-ranking American
official to visit the Western Wall in annexed east Jerusalem with an Israeli
visit also came just hours after US President Donald Trump said Washington
should recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, breaking with the
policy of successive administrations as well as UN Security Council
a meeting with parliament speaker Nabih Berri, Pompeo warned of the
“destabilizing activities” in the region of Hezbollah, an Iran-backed group
that is targeted by US sanctions but holds three cabinet posts in Lebanon.
highlighted US concerns about Hezbollah’s destabilizing activities in Lebanon
and the region and the risks posed to Lebanon’s security, stability and
prosperity,” US deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said.
militants have backed government forces in neighboring Syria in the civil war
that broke out in 2011.
and Berri also discussed “the need to maintain calm along the boundary between
Lebanon and Israel”, Palladino said.
and its southern neighbor Israel are still technically at war, even after
Israeli troops withdrew from the south of the country in 2000.
and Hezbollah fought a devastating month-long war in 2006, and skirmishes still
erupt along a UN-patrolled demarcation line.
secretary of state also met Prime Minister Saad Hariri to discuss “the
importance of the US-Lebanese security partnership and the need for continued
support for Lebanon’s legitimate state security institutions, particularly the
Lebanese Armed Forces,” Palladino said.
“commended the Lebanese people for hosting more than one million Syrian
secretary of state, who is expected to leave Lebanon on Saturday, later held
talks with President Michel Aoun.
a meeting earlier with Interior Minister Raya al-Hassan, Pompeo “discussed
regional and internal security challenges facing Lebanon and how the United
States can help support the interior ministry’s efforts”.
became the first woman interior minister in Lebanon and the Middle East in a
cabinet line-up unveiled in late January following an eight-month delay.
United States has branded Hezbollah, the only group in Lebanon that has not
disarmed since its 1975-1990 civil war, a “terrorist” organization and targeted
it with tough sanctions.
Sheikh Ali Damush on Friday questioned the timing and purpose of Pompeo’s
are the Lebanese expecting from America and its foreign minister after these
two announcements that are totally biased in favor of Israel, except for
inciting (Hezbollah) and turning Lebanese against each other?” he asked in his
has been defeated at its final shred of territory of Baghouz in Syria, the
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Saturday, declaring the end of
its self-declared “caliphate” that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria.
SDF declared the “total elimination of (the) so-called caliphate,” Mustafa
Bali, head of the SDF media office, wrote on Twitter.
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has been liberated. The military victory against Daesh has been accomplished,”
SDF has been battling to capture Baghouz at the Iraqi border for weeks.
is an Arabic acronym for ISIS. “We renew our pledge to continue the war and to
pursue their remnants until their complete elimination,” he wrote.
warplanes bombed the north bank of the Euphrates River in eastern Syria early
Friday to flush out holdout militants from the last sliver of their crumbling
bombardment ended two days of relative calm on the front line in the village of
Baghouz near the Iraqi border. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces had
paused its advance while it combed a makeshift militant encampment it overran
SDF official who asked not to be named said that warplanes of the US-led
coalition resumed airstrikes on suspected militant positions in the early hours
of the morning.
SDF commander Jia Furat said his forces were engaging with the militants on
several fronts while the coalition warplanes provided air support. The US-led
coalition said the “operation to complete the liberation of Baghouz is
remains a hard fight, and ISIS is showing that they intend to keep fighting for
as long as possible,” it said. The SDF launched an assault against the
militants’ last redoubt in the village of Baghouz on February 9.
Tuesday, they cornered diehard fighters into a few acres of farmland by the
Euphrates River, after forcing them out of the encampment where they had been hold
six-month-old operation to wipe out the last vestige of ISIS is close to
reaching its inevitable outcome. But the SDF said on Thursday that a
declaration of victory would be made only after mopping up operations had been
Now the Daesh group's "caliphate" has fallen, the hard-won limited
autonomy of Syria's Kurds will be left in peril if their key US ally goes ahead
with its announced pullout.
Saturday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces announced the end of the
proto-state that the Sunni Arab extremist group declared across large parts of
Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014.
Kurds have largely stayed out of Syria's eight-year civil war, instead building
their own institutions in a third of the country under their control.
a planned US military pullout has left them exposed to an attack by Turkey and
in need of protection from Damascus, in a massive blow to their dreams of
Kurds have been caught between a Syrian rock and a Turkish hard place,"
Syria expert Fabrice Balanche said.
fighters have spearheaded the fight against Daesh since late 2014, but
neighboring Turkey views them as "terrorists".
presence of American troops in areas held by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF) had acted as a shield against any Turkish offensive.
US President Donald Trump in December shocked Washington's allies by announcing
a full withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops from Syria as Daesh had been
Kurds are facing an uncertain future. The most urgent threat appears to be from
Turkey," analyst Mutlu Civiroglu said.
his announcement, Trump attempted to ease tensions by speaking of a
30-kilometre "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country would establish the
"security zone" itself if it took too long to implement.
Kurds have rejected any Turkish implementation, especially since any such
buffer would include their major cities.
are demanding instead the deployment of an international observer force.
Tal Abyad, Darbasiya, Qamishli, Dehik, Derbassiye -- most of the Kurdish cities
are on the border line," Civiroglu said.
and its Syrian rebel proxies have led two previous offensives inside Syria,
most recently seizing the northwestern enclave of Afrin from the Kurds last
civil war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it
started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
has since spiraled into a complex conflict, with rebel backer Turkey and regime
ally Russia emerging as key powerbrokers.
American approval, Civiroglu said Turkey would likely need a green light from
Russia before any Turkish offensive in Syria.
position is going to be very important, because Russia has a strong power over
Turkey," he said.
Bashar al-Assad's regime now controls two-thirds of Syria thanks to Russian
military backing since 2015, and its seems determined to also return to
oil-rich northeastern Syria.
protect themselves, the Kurds have dispatched delegations to Washington and
in ongoing talks, they have scrambled to mend ties with Damascus.
decades of marginalization, the Kurds have developed their own political system
in northeast Syria -- holding elections, collecting taxes and running schools
teaching the Kurdish language.
a war-torn country, the Kurdish system is working fine," Civiroglu said.
Kurds want this to be recognized."
want "Kurdish education to be offered officially", he said, after
decades of an effective ban on their mother tongue.
talks so far have failed to bear fruit, and Balanche warns the Kurds are in a
regime is demanding an unconditional surrender. Damascus does not want to let
them retain any autonomy," he said.
Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub said Monday that the government would
recapture all areas held by the SDF "in one of two ways: a reconciliation
agreement or... by force".
the end of the Daesh "caliphate" has been declared, Daesh is still
present in eastern Syria's vast Badia desert.
US Defense Department has warned that without sustained pressure on the
extremists, they could resurge in Syria within months.
the end, the future of the Kurds mainly depends on the United States, says
analyst Nicholas Heras of the Center for a New American Security.
other actor in Syria cannot make a move until there is greater clarity on what
the United States ultimately decides to do," he said.
after any troop pullout, the United States could still stay on with a
paramilitary force, he added.
best hope for the SDF is for the Americans and the coalition to stick it out in
Syria for the long haul."
hate crimes soar in UK after Christchurch shootings
number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported across Britain increased by 593% in
the week after a white supremacist killed worshippers at two New Zealand
mosques, an independent monitoring group has said.
charity Tell Mama said almost all of the increase comprised incidents linked to
the Christchurch attacks last Friday, and there had been more recorded hate
incidents in the last seven days than in the week after the 2017 Islamist
terrorist attack in Manchester.
to figures passed to the Guardian, 95 incidents were reported to the charity
between 15 March, the day of the New Zealand atrocity, and midnight on 21
March. Of those, 85 incidents – 89% of the total – contained direct references
to the New Zealand attacks and featured gestures such as mimicking firearms
being fired at Muslims.
news will alarm community groups who may have expected extremists to lie low
after the massacre of 50 Muslims in Christchurch, which drew widespread
condemnation around the world.
week-on-week rise in the number of hate crimes directed at Muslims was greater
than in the week after the 2016 vote for Britain to leave the EU, and the
second biggest weekly increase recorded since 2012 by Tell Mama, which works to
encourage reporting of anti-Muslim hate crimes and cooperates closely with the
the last seven days, Muslims in Oxford, Southampton and Colindale, north
London, have reported gun gestures or firearms noises being directed at them.
In Colindale on Thursday, a mother walking with her daughter reported four
youths making gun gestures. In Oxford earlier this week, a woman wearing a
hijab said a man made noises mimicking a gun.
abuse directed at Muslims in London in separate incidents is alleged to have
included shouts of “you need to be shot”, “you deserve it” and “Muslims must
were reported in Scotland, where a mosque was attacked; in Stanwell, Surrey,
where police declared the stabbing of a teenager to be a suspected far-right
terror attack; and in Lancashire. Meanwhile in Birmingham, police continue to
hunt for those behind sledgehammer attacks on five mosques.
Atta, the director of Tell Mama, said the figures showed a troubling rise. “This
shows that some people see Muslims as fair game for hate and it is now clear
that we have an ongoing and persistent ideology of hate that is generating a
focus on Muslims,” she said. “Muslims in New Zealand were killed and British
Muslims feel the anger of bigots. It is perverse.”
of the incidents recorded by Tell Mama were carried out in person rather than
online. Perpetrators either thought they would not be caught or were so
emboldened that they were not concerned about possible consequences, according
to the charity.
the 85 incidents linked directly to the New Zealand shooting, 40 were online
abuse and 45 were carried out in person.
real figures are likely to be higher. Only some hate crimes incidents are
reported, with victims often feeling there is no point complaining.
the figures count only abuse directed at Muslims who then report it to a
charity well known in Britain’s Muslim communities. Incidents directed at other
ethnic minorities have not been recorded or included in the figures.
Mama usually receives reports of about 30-35 incidents a week. In the seven
days before the Christchurch attacks, 16 incidents were reported – an unusually
week after the Manchester attack the charity recorded the highest week-on-week
increase in the number of hate incidents – a 700% rise. But more hate incidents
were reported to the charity last week.
rise in the number of hate crimes was also recorded by Tell Mama and police
immediately after the June 2016 Brexit vote.
January Britain’s leading counter-terrorism officer, Neil Basu, told the
Guardian he feared Brexit tensions could lead to a rise in hate crime and also
warned the issue could be exploited by rightwing extremists. “My concern is the
polarisation, and I fear the far-right politicking and rhetoric leads to a rise
in hate crime and a rise in disorder,” he said.
said extra police patrols were deployed on Britain’s streets on Friday,
especially around lunchtime which is the time of the main weekly prayers for
chief constable Mark Hamilton, the national hate crime lead for the National
Police Chiefs Council, said: “Experience tells us … that we should sadly expect
that a horrific attack such as the one in Christchurch will have an impact on
levels of hostility in the UK but it will also increase the fear of crime in
affected communities. Both of these factors are likely to increase reporting
one should ever have to suffer hate crime and I would encourage all victims to
report to the police by calling 101 (999 in an emergency) or reporting online
on our True Vision website at www.report-it.org.uk.”
added: “It will be some time before our definitive hate crime data is available
for this period.”
Danish politician burns Muslim holy book
wing extremist leader of a Danish party on Friday burnt a copy of Muslim holy book
to protest people performing weekly prayer in front of Danish parliament.
an attempt to provoke the Muslims’ Friday weekly prayer in front of the Danish
parliament -- which was organized after legal permissions acquired to protest
last week's deadly terror attacks in New Zealand --, a group of extreme right
wingers carried Israeli flag and disturbed the Muslim group with air horns
during their prayer.
Paludan, leader of the Stram Kurs -- anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic party --
tried to provoke people by burning a copy of Quran.
Copenhagen police took intensive security measures and six people were
form human shield for Muslims in Friday prayer
of Swedes have formed a human shield for Muslims on Friday in a bid to ensure
their security during weekly prayer.
part of the ongoing protests across the world decrying twin terror attacks by a
white supremacist in New Zealand that killed at least 50 and injured dozens,
Swedish people demonstrated yet another solidarity with the Muslims.
Culture and Democracy Minister Amanda Lind told Anadolu Agency that she is very
happy to see so many people gathered in Stockholm Mosque to offer a peaceful
Friday prayer for Muslims.
said that it is not only the terror attacks in New Zealand but the racism and
Islamophobia, as well, that brought them all together.
put aside as Sikh taxi drivers provide free rides, help for Muslim families
rocked by terror attack
and Muslims have had a long history of conflict in their homelands, but their
differences have been put aside in Christchurch, where Sikhs have been
providing food, accommodation and transport for Muslim families in need after
the mosques terror attack.
so many people flooding into Christchurch, taxi drivers have been in high
rather than profiting, a group of Sikh drivers has stepped up, offering free
rides to travellers in need of an act of kindness.
driver Manjinder Singh and his colleagues made a snap decision on Friday
afternoon to help those in need get home to their families.
were talking to each other and there was one thought whether we should finish
because the police, there was continuous warnings coming out," Mr Singh
told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.
decided that we will offer them the free rides, whosoever is in stress,
was just a natural an human reaction for us because we know the police guys
were working hard, the hospital emergency were working hard. And as we are in
the transport and service industry so we thought why not, we can
contribute," he said.
drivers wanted to push back against the gunman's hatred.
we have to encounter that negativity and hatred there is only one single
solution - spread the love, spread the
positivity. That's the only thing to counter that negativity and hatred,"
Mr Singh said.
thought we should be there helping them, we should be there as Kiwis, we should
be there as humans."
Sikhs are also raising money for plane tickets to get families of the victims
over to New Zealand.
the Kiwis, how we all together come with the flowers, with the messages, haka,
how we hug each other, 'We love you, you are with us, you are a part of
society'. That was a beautiful thing and you can see it's still spreading
out," Mr Singh said.
we carry on in the future we are going to be an example for the world."
police arrested 11 people on Friday accused of having planned an “Islamist
terrorist attack” using guns and a vehicle, prosecutors said.
suspects, whose nationalities were not specified, had plotted to “kill as many
'non-believers' as possible,” Frankfurt prosecutors said in a statement.
200 police commandos carried out raids in the states of Hesse and
chief suspects were two brothers aged 31 from the city of Wiesbaden and a
21-year-old from Offenbach.
with arms dealers
had allegedly made contact with various arms dealers, rented a large vehicle
and amassed cash to cover the expenses.
were investigating 10 of those detained for terror-financing and criminal
conspiracy. They were aged between 20 and 42 and lived in Frankfurt, Offenbach,
Wiesbaden and Mainz.
the raids, police confiscated several knives, more than 20,000 euros ($22,000)
in cash, small amounts of drugs and written and electronic documents.
is on the alert following several terrorist attacks in recent years.
Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters
said the gunman accused of killing 50 people in two mosques in the South
Pacific nation would spend the rest of his life in isolation in prison and
called for solidarity to eradicate “hate-filled ideologies.”
was speaking at an emergency session of the 57-member Organization of Islamic
Cooperation’s executive committee in Istanbul where he denounced last Friday’s
attacks as “an attack on all of us” in his country of “religious tolerance.”
Brenton Harrison Tarrant was arrested and charged with murder. Tarrant, 28,
livestreamed the attack and released a manifesto describing his white
supremacist views and how he planned the shootings.
said “no punishment can match the depravity of his crime but the families of
the fallen will have justice.” He screened photographs of New Zealanders
mourning the victims.
comment appeared to be in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
who during a speech earlier this week said: “If New Zealand fails to hold the
attacker accountable, one way or another we will hold him to account.”
the OIC meeting Friday, Erdogan thanked New Zealand for its “sensitivity and
determined stance.” He praised New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,
saying her “reaction, the empathy displayed and her solidarity with Muslims”
should serve as an example to all leaders.
slammed populist politicians who he said encouraged attacks on Muslims and
who pave themselves the road to power by alienating Muslims and creating
enemies out of refugees, must pull themselves together.” He argued Muslims
weren’t the only ones affected by “rising cultural racism.”
Erdogan himself has sparked outrage abroad by screening excerpts of Tarrant’s
video at campaign rallies to denounce Islamophobia but also to shore up Islamic
and nationalist sentiments before the March 31 local elections.
widespread criticism, Erdogan has continued showing the blurred out video with
clear audio of automatic gunfire to thousands of people at rallies and
broadcast live on Turkish televisions.
Zealand has been trying to prevent the use of the video and Peters is expected
to take up the issue.
said it removed 1.5 million videos of the shootings during the first 24 hours
after the massacre.
of people gathered in New Zealand for Friday prayers and to pay their respects
during a mass funeral.
said the government was working to ensure Muslims’ safety with an increased
police presence, measures on social media and new gun control laws that already
went into effect.
called for measures to combat and outlaw Islamophobia.
men were arrested in relation to Islamophobic attacks that targeted five
mosques in English city of Birmingham, local police said on Friday.
34-year-old Perry Barr man handed himself into a Birmingham police station and
was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage,” a police
West Midlands Police said a second man, 38, was also arrested in relation with
remain in custody this evening,” the statement said.
said the “investigation continues by West Midlands Police supported by West
Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.”
is a significant step forward in our enquiries however the investigation
continues into the motive for the incidents,” Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward
are working extremely closely with mosques and local communities around the
West Midlands and this will continue,” he said.
remains incredibly important that we unite together against those who seek to
create discord, uncertainty and fear."
Birmingham mosques had their windows smashed in the early hours of Thursday.
mosques targeted in the attacks were Witton Islamic Centre, Masjid Madrassa
Faizal Islam, Al Habib Trust, Jamia Mosque, and Ghousia Mosque, according to
A grief-stricken mother who had traveled to New Zealand after her son was
gunned down in the Christchurch mosque massacre passed away overnight,
officials said Saturday.
woman, whose name was not available, was one of two relatives of shooting
victims to die this week as the city’s close-knit Muslim community reels from
the killings of 50 people by an Australian white supremacist more than a week
Junaid, an imam from the city of Auckland in northern New Zealand, told AFP
that the mother of one of the victims came from Jordan following the tragedy.
said the woman was deeply distraught by her son’s loss.
night she went to bed and she did not wake up. She passed away,” Junaid said.
police spokesman confirmed to AFP that one relative died from “a medical
event,” and that another also had died, but offered no further details in
attack also left dozens wounded, some in critical condition, but the police
spokesman confirmed that the death toll from the attacks remained at 50.
Abdul Aziz dodges ICT admin, delivers sermon at Lal Masjid
Maulana Abdul Aziz on Friday dodged the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT)
Administration and was able to deliver a sermon at Lal Masjid.
Abdul Aziz lambasted all state institutions and said the judiciary was corrupt
because it was the remnant of British colonialism as was democracy.
is un-Islamic. I am ready to challenge any cleric who claims the democratic
system is allowed under Islam,” he said.
criticised the incumbent rulers, said Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari were
corrupt and without naming him, hit at Maulana Fazlur Rehman for bringing out a
million march for the implementation of Sharia in the country, only when he is
out of the game. “Why is it that he [is doing so now] and opposed us earlier,”
Maulana Aziz asked, adding that “things are getting closer and there will be a
change in the system soon”.
Aziz made a sudden decision on Thursday evening that he will lead Friday
prayers in Lal Masjid when the ICT administration, police and other law
enforcement agencies were busy preparing for the March 23 parade. He had also
planned to lay the foundation of Jamia Hafsa, a seminary for girls and women,
which was deferred till next week.
said Jamia Hafsa should be built on the plot adjacent to Lal Masjid, which used
to be a children’s library and was occupied by female students of the Jamia
Hafsa before the 2007 military operation. The Jamia Hafsa building and the
library were demolished by the government following the operation in 2007
against Lal Masjid.
move also caught police and Rangers posted outside Lal Masjid by surprise.
There are usually two Rangers’ vehicles posted outside the mosque on Fridays
but there was only one on this day due to heavy engagement.
official prayer leader of Lal Masjid, Amir Siddique, was sidelined and he did
not even show up at the mosque at prayer time.
Aziz made a fiery speech in the sermon and said he will not lead the Friday
prayers as the ICT administration had stopped him from doing so. Therefore
Haroon Rashid, son of Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who was killed in the 2007 military
operation, led the prayers.
an ICT administration official told Dawn that Maulana Abdul Aziz tried to dodge
the system but he will not be allowed to enter Lal Masjid next week.
have already sealed Jamia Hafsa H-11 and nobody should underestimate the power
of the state,” the official said.Maulana Aziz had tried the same in May last
year during the interim government, but the attempt failed. He tried to regain
the post of khateeb of the mosque in Nov 2018 as well.
was removed from the post on the orders of the court in 2004 following a fatwa
he issued against the army and the operation against terrorists in Waziristan.
he was reinstated after his release from prison in 2009, but he stirred another
controversy in 2014 after he openly extended support to the perpetrators of the
Army Public School attack in Peshawar by calling it a reactionary move by the
several attempts to get hold of a microphone in Lal Masjid was foiled by the
government in 2017 as well.
Masjid is a state-owned mosque and Maulana Abdullah, father of Maulana Abdul
Aziz, was its first khateeb. After his assassination in the 1990s, Maulana
Abdul Aziz was appointed the khateeb by the ICT’s Auqaf Department.
is already over the age of 60 years and has retired as a govt employee, the ICT
official said, adding that Amir Siddique has succeeded him.
Khan | Imtiaz Ali
religious scholar, Mufti Taqi Usmani, on Friday survived an attempt on his life
while his police guard and a religious scholar were shot dead in a suspected
targeted attack near Karachi's Nipa flyover.
police saw the attack as a conspiracy to sabotage peace in the city and trigger
chaos in the country.
Usmani, belonging to the famous Darul Uloom Korangi seminary, was travelling
along with his family in a car while another car belonging to his close aide
was following behind.
they descended from the ramp while coming from Rashid Minhas Road towards
University Road, four gunmen riding two motorcycles opened indiscriminate
firing on his vehicle at NIPA (now NIM) roundabout.
Usmani survived the attempt on his life. However, his police guard, Mohammed
Farooq, was critically wounded.
suspects also attacked the other car, resulting in bullet injuries to the
driver, Sanober Khan, and a religious scholar, Maulana Amir Shahabuddin,
belonging to the same seminary.
incident occurred at around 12:30pm.
Umer Khattab of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) said that the attackers
engaged both vehicles at the same time, the initial probe had revealed.
gunmen attacked Mufti Usmani’s car from the right side and behind, resulting in
injuries to both his police guard and the driver. Mufti was sitting on the rear
seat along with his family members.
other gunmen opened fire on the car behind from the left side, resulting in
bullet injuries to its driver and the religious scholar. The vehicle hit a
vendor and stopped after hitting a Chhipa ambulance space at NIPA.
driver despite being injured managed to proceed to Liaquat National Hospital
where the police guard, Farooq, was pronounced as dead.
critically injured, Sanober Khan, 38, and Maulana Amir, 48, were transported to
the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where the doctors pronounced the former
as dead on arrival, said Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director of the hospital.
received five bullet wounds on his chest while Amir sustained multiple bullet
wounds on his chest and head and was put on a ventilator, added Dr. Jamali.
constable guard, Farooq, who was in a civilian dress and whose body was later
on brought to the JPMC to fulfil legal formalities, received six bullet injuries
on his chest and face, said Police Surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi.
investigators collected 14 spent bullet casings fired from 9mm pistols from the
crime scene, said Gulshan Superintendent of Police Tahir Noorani.
Inspector General (DIG) Amir Farooqi confirmed that a bystander had also
sustained injuries in the attack. He further confirmed that bullet shells of
9mm pistol have been collected from the crime scene, whereas closed-circuit TV
(CCTV) camera footage and other evidence are being analysed.
police chief Dr Amir Shaikh verified that Mufti Usmani and his wife were in one
of the cars targeted. He added that Mufti Usmani remained unhurt in the attack.
Minister Imran Khan issued a "strongly worded condemnation "of the incident
and expressed his anguish at the killings of Mufti Usmani's guards.
such as Mufti Usmani are assets to the country and the Islamic world," he
said in a statement released by the PM House. "Provincial government
should ensure the security of religious scholars."
prime minister labelled the attack on Mufti Usmani a "deep and disgusting
conspiracy" and ordered that "all possible measures be taken to
police chief, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh told Dawn
that as per their initial assessment, the motive appeared to be bigger than
sectarianism or terrorism.
Taqi Usmani is a "towering personality" who commands respect all over
the country, he said. He believed that the suspects’ real target was Mufti
motive appeared to have been to create chaos in Karachi and the country as
well,” said the city police chief.
pointed out that militants of certain sectarian outfits have become
"active" recently but they targeted "low-profile persons with a
Shaikh said that the city has recently suffered terror acts, which were
‘sponsored’ by foreign elements aimed at spoiling the relatively peaceful
atmosphere in the metropolis.
he said in today’s incident, they saw a ‘bigger conspiracy’ to trigger chaos in
the city and the country.
Shaikh pointed out that the Sindh home department had established a ‘threat
assessment committee’ on the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan,
comprising representatives of all law enforcement agencies and intelligence
believed that Mufti Usmani was attacked as he was a "soft target".
Usmani was provided only two police guards because he had not received any
contrast to Mufti Usmani, there were certain religious scholars in the city who
have been provided protection of up to five police vehicles owing to threats.
who withdrew security 'equally responsible'
Madaris Al Arabia, Pakistan, an organisation of all seminaries in the country,
in a statement said that the assassination attempt on Mufti Usmani was
regrettable and condemnable and the nation must be informed of the motive
behind the attack. It urgently called for the elements and network behind it to
be taken to task.
is a matter of concern that a non-controversial and highly educated personality
was attacked,” read the statement.
of Wifaqul Madaris namely Maulana Dr Abdul Razzak Askander, Maulana Anwarul
Haq, Mufti Mohammed Rafi Usmani (elder brother of Taqi Usmani) and Maulana
Mohammed Hanif Jalandhri held those persons as equally responsible for such an
attack who had withdrawn security from religious personalities and
urged the government to provide ‘reasonable security’ to important religious
personalities and religious institutions to save the country from anarchy and
Taqi Usmani, born in India in 1943, is the son of Mufti Azam Pakistan, Mohammed
Shafi Usmani, an active member of Pakistan movement.
Day 2019 is being celebrated with traditional zeal and fervour across the
day began with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad while provincial capitals marked
the day with 21-gun salutes. The change-of-guards ceremony was held at the
mausoleum of Dr Allama Iqbal in Lahore.
Air Force troops took over guard duty at the mausoleum of Iqbal where Air
Commodore Rizwan Malik was the chief guest.
Pakistan Day military parade is being held at Parade Ground near the
Shakarparian hills in Islamabad to mark the day. The parade is being attended
by the civil and military leadership as well as foreign dignitaries.
of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
Committee (JCSC) General Zubair, Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi,
Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Minister of Defence of the Republic of
Azerbaijan Colonel General Zakir Hasanov and Prime Minister Imran Khan all
arrived at the parade ground.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who arrived on a three-day visit to Pakistan
on Thursday, also attended the event as the guest of honour. Corps military
police's Captain Khudadad Mand escorted the Malaysian premier to the stage.
guest President Dr Arif Alvi was the last personality to join the assortment of
civil-military leaders and foreign dignitaries on stage. He was escorted by the
president's body guards: Lietenant Colonel Rab Nawaz Tiwana and Major Waqas
the guests had assembled on stage, a round of handshakes ensued, following
which the national anthem of Pakistan was played.
recitation of the Holy Quran, Brigadier Naseem Anwar formally requested
President Alvi to observe the parade from a jeep.
Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan led a fly-past as a salute to the president.
Following the Air Chief, a formation of four JF-17 Thunder fighter jets of the
Pakistan Air Force demonstrated its aerial prowess. They were followed by
similar formations of Mirage, F-7PG and other fighter aircraft.
the fly-past demonstrations, President Alvi addressed the ceremony. He
congratulated the nation on the National Day and said that "March 23 is
that milestone of our national history in which the Muslims of the subcontinent
aimed for their liberation through Pakistan Resolution."
president noted that Pakistan's sovereignty had been challenged in the past and
"wars were imposed on us" but lauded the nation for fighting off
said that "Pakistan respects all the countries' sovereignty and wishes
peace" but made it clear that the "desire for peace should not be
misconstrued as a sign of weakness".
president said that it would by myopic of the Indian leadership and a mistake
for them to view Pakistan in the pre-partition light. "Doing so would be
very dangerous for the region's stability," he said. "Instead of
wars, we should focus on education, health, hunger, employment and extremist
mindset. Our real war is against unemployment and poverty."
time to set Pakistan on the path towards prosperity and growth. That would be
the greatest tribute for the martyrs and ghazis of the country," he added.
president thanked the Malaysian prime minister, Azerbaijan's defence minister,
the chief of Bahrain's armed forces and other foreign dignitaries for gracing
the parade with their presence and participating in the Pakistan Day
the president's speech, troops from Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers, Northern
Light Infantry, and others took part in the parade. The parade also featured
troops from Azerbaijan, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain and Sri Lanka.
the soldiers, contingents of armoured and mechanised infantry held a
march-past. The Al-Khalid Main Battle Tank (MBT), Al Zarrar tanks, a variety of
Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) as well as howitzer guns were paraded in
front of the civil-military leadership. Radar systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
(UAV), cruise missiles and other modern weaponry equipped with latest military
technology were also rolled out.
the tail end of the parade, a Pakistan Rangers band played national songs on
bagpipes while riding camels in unison.
the parade showcased local cultures of the four provinces. Cultural delegates
and floats from Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit
Baltistan and Azad Kashmir were featured during the ceremony.
formations of a variety of combat helicopters belonging to the armed forces
demonstrated their capabilities before PAF fighter jets mesmerised the audience
with their mid-air maneuvers.
minister, president's National Day messages to the nation
Minister Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi, in separate messages on
Pakistan Day, stressed the "need to achieve the goal of true Islamic
welfare state as envisaged by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah", according
to Radio Pakistan
Minister Imran Khan said the government is determined to establish a society
where every person can contribute towards socio-economic development to the
best of his ability.
said that on the National Day, "we should not forget Kashmiri people who
have long been victims of Indian state terrorism and forced to lead a life of
Alvi said that Pakistan has overcome the challenges of extremism and terrorism
but acknowledged the country was yet to make efforts for excelling on social
and economic fronts.
Day commemorates the passing of the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940, when
the All-India Muslim League demanded a separate nation for the Muslims of the
British Indian Empire.
student in Pakistan stabbed his professor to death earlier this week after
accusing him of committing blasphemy and promoting un-Islamic culture at a
college in southern Punjab’s Bahawalpur city, according to law enforcement
student, Khateeb Hussain, attacked his English professor, Khalid Hameed, with a
knife Wednesday at Government Sadiq Egerton College.
attacker was apparently unhappy about plans for an upcoming farewell party the
professor was arranging that would include both male and female students of the
attacker allegedly viewed the party as vulgar and against the teachings of
a video recorded of the attacker after the incident, which went viral on the
internet in Pakistan, Hussain can be heard bragging about his crime and saying
he has no remorse whatsoever for his action.
(the professor) used to bark a lot against Islam. He would say a lot of things
against Islam every day. It is good that he is now dead. I’m content and thanks
to Allah that the professor is dead now,” Hussain says on the video.
enforcement officials say the student has been taken into custody and charged
with murder. Officials say their initial inquiries found no evidence that the
suspect has affiliation with any religious or militant group.
case has generated widespread condemnation across the South Asian country,
where growing radicalization among youth and intolerance toward people of other
religions has many concerned about the long-term consequences of the trend.
rights activists say that extremism among youth has become so prevalent that
many don’t hesitate to take matters into their own hands and to kill anyone
over unproven allegations of blasphemy or acts deemed anti-Islamic.
is about the mindset. How can a student gather the courage to come and stab a
teacher in the college premises and have no remorse of the act?” Mehdi Hassan,
a Lahore-based human rights activist, told VOA.
is not the first incident of this kind and yet another proof of educated
youths’ inclination towards extremism. The government must take strict actions
against such elements so that no one else would have the courage to do it ever
again,” Hassan added.
Baksh Raees, an analyst and education activist, echoes Hassan’s concerns and
charges that strict enforcement of the law and engagement of youth in crucial
conversations about issues considered taboo in the country is an absolute
teaching methods, ignorance and lack of dialogue on the matter is promoting
radicalization among youth,” Raees told VOA.
nation needs to develop a system where the youth is allowed to ask questions in
mind regarding Islam. That might help these educated youth to stay away from
acts that are totally against the religion, such as murdering someone in the
name of religion,” he added.
remains a sensitive topic in predominantly Sunni Muslim Pakistan, where
insulting Islam’s prophet or the religion is punishable by death. Mere
accusations in the past have resulted in mob violence and lynchings of alleged
activists have long complained about the misuse of blasphemy laws in the
country, where many people have been murdered over unproven allegations of
committing blasphemy or anti-Islam acts in recent years.
year, a student shot and killed his college principal on campus after accusing
him of blasphemy in Charsadda city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The
principal had scolded the student for missing classes to attend a protest
organized by a right-wing Islamist group in Islamabad.
Friday’s emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference in
Istanbul “timely”, Pakistan’s top diplomat said it will “create an environment
of unity” within and beyond the Muslim world in the wake of New Zealand terror
attacks on mosques.
to Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview in Istanbul on the sidelines of the
OIC meeting, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi described the “tragic” twin
were shocked and horrified at what happened because there were innocent people
gathered in the mosque to pray, not hurting anyone, just worshiping,” Qureshi
were killed in cold blood,” he said, “The whole thing has been filmed live to
create a sensation to score a point.”
the same time, we are shocked that this rising Islamophobia is not being
addressed, in the way that it should have been addressed. Such incidents are
being repeated all over.
peaceful place like Christchurch, a peaceful country, very friendly country,
like New Zealand, if attacks hit, nothing is safe and no place is safe,"
Friday, at least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured when a terrorist --
identified as Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, -- entered the Al Noor and
Linwood mosques in Christchurch and shot worshippers in cold blood, including
four children younger than 18.
hosted an emergency OIC meeting at Turkey’s request Friday, which hosted New
Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters, as well.
of this meeting, in my view, is very timely and it will help and create an
environment first of unity within the Muslim world and then of awareness beyond
it to deal with such issues,” Qureshi said.
plays a positive role in the OIC in the wake of such attacks, he said.
“Turkey’s response was immediate, compassionate, human and Islamic. Islamic and
human responses, they go hand in hand.”
response was also immediate. Obviously, we lost nine people as well and one is
still in critical,” he added.
foreign minister also recalled that a courageous Pakistani man killed in the
New Zealand attacks.
Pakistani person in trying to save lives got murdered. He was unable to save
his own son, but protected many other innocent people. He is being awarded and
he will be given the highest civilian award by the government of
massacre was livestreamed on social media, and accompanied by the release of a
racist and Islamophobic manifesto that also attacked Turkey and its President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey and Erdogan being at the target of the terrorist, Qureshi said Erdogan
is a “person who minces no words and takes a very clear position” at tough
individual, who speaks openly with clarity and independently, is seen as a
threat to many,” he stated.
voiced his hope that some global measures can be taken to “deal with this
growing trend of Islamophobia”.
think media has to play a significant role in creating a better environment and
tackling this issue head-on.
media has to play a more responsible role and thinking people and caring people
in Western capitals have to be more vocal against Islamophobia,” he asserted.
the reaction by the Western countries in the wake of the twin terror attacks,
Pakistani foreign minister said: "Societies, people and the West are also
very compassionate and caring."
speaking of the rising extremism in the West, Qureshi said: "There is an
extreme-right element, which unfortunately is now gradually on the rise in the
West. They play sentiments like Islamophobia. They take on extremist positions
that give rights to extremism."
tension escalated between Pakistan and India recently after a suicide bombing
in disputed Jammu and Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary troops
called the recent tension between the two nuclear neighbors “unfortunate”.
never wanted tension,” he said. “Pakistan wanted to defuse the situation.”
went on saying: “Pakistan was attacked. There was an act of aggression against
Pakistan. Our airspace was violated, our sovereignty and our territorial
integrity were attacked. So, Pakistan had no choice but retaliated in
been telling the Indians we have issues but let’s try to resolve the issue
through consistent and uninterrupted dialogue.”
is perhaps not ready yet,” the Pakistani FM said, however, he voiced hope that
two countries will sit across the table and sort out issues after upcoming
elections in India in April and May.
Pakistan as “constructive, engaging and positive,” in terms of defusing the tension
with India, Qureshi said: “Despite being attacked, we immediately released
their pilot as a goodwill gesture and as a gesture of peace.”
and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan
in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by
they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in
1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
seeking membership in OIC
asked about India’s pursuing a member status in the OIC, Qureshi said, “India
is neither a member nor an observer of the OIC.“
example, Muslims were attacked and killed [in New Zealand] and they were
innocent. Why the Indian condemnation does not mention Muslims?
have they completely ignored; they said the places of worship; the mosques.
Those places of worship are mosques. What was the harm in using the word
‘mosque’?” he asked.
there thousands of mosques in India. You claimed that you have a huge Muslim
population in India. On this basis, you want to be a part of the OIC.”
is no mention of the mosque, no mention of Muslims. It is a double standard,”
he said adding: “OIC should see it for itself.”
regards to relations between Turkey and Pakistan, Qureshi said: “They have
always been good. Inshallah, they will always remain good. People of Pakistan
value this relationship.”
23 is an eminent day in our national history when the Muslims of the
subcontinent set their goal of an independent country, following the ideals of
this day, under the leadership of the Father of the Nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah,
the Muslims of India decided to throw away the chains of slavery and establish
a sovereign Muslim state to gain independence from the oppression of the Hindu
on Aug. 14, 1947, Pakistan emerged on the map of the world as an independent
Pakistan, people found their economic and social rights and religious freedom,
of which they were deprived in the United India, and prevented the attempts
being made to eliminate their cultural identity.
vision of the March 23 resolution was to create a country where all citizens
have equal rights and opportunities without any discrimination of caste and
creed, and where they can practice their own culture and traditions and play a
constructive role in the development of their country.
Pakistan is a new Pakistan. We are committed to making Pakistan a real Islamic
welfare state and to establish a society which is based on empathy and
compassion and where every citizen, without any discrimination, participates in
the development of the country.
look forward to having friendly and peaceful relations, based on equality, with
our neighbors and wish to work together with them to alleviate poverty in South
Asia and raise millions of people living in the region through development and
we also want to make it clear that our desire for peace should not be
considered as our weakness. Pakistan reserves the right to take every step for
to Allah, the defense of Pakistan has become impregnable. We are proud of our
brave armed forces.
to our courageous armed forces, the unmatched capabilities of national security
institutions and their extraordinary sacrifices, the enemies of Pakistan have
been defeated on every front.
practical demonstration was seen by the whole world during recent Indian
aggression, and we have emerged stronger than ever.
this auspicious day, we should not forget our Kashmiri brethren, who are facing
the state terrorism of India and are forced to live under aggression.
express solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir for their bravery and
sacrifices and reiterate our commitment of political, diplomatic and moral
support for the Kashmiri right of self-determination, at every forum in the
recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli receives global condemnation
countries condemned on Friday US President Donald Trump’s recognition of
Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Gulf Cooperation Council expressed its concern about the US president's stance,
while the European Union underlined that it does not recognize Israel’s
sovereignty over the Golan Heights on Friday after Trump's statement over the
territory viewed by European allies as occupied.
position of the EU has not changed,” an EU spokeswoman told Reuters.
European Union, in line with international law, does not recognize Israel’s
sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including
the Golan Heights and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory.”
German government spokeswoman rejected unilateral steps and said Israel’s
annexation of the Golan Heights is invalid under UN resolutions.
Foreign Ministry and the Syrian government also condemned Trump’s statement.
Russian Foreign Ministry said that a change in the status of the Golan Heights
would be a direct violation of UN decisions, RIA news agency said in a report
citing ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Syrian government said it was determined to recover the area “through all
state news agency reported that a Syrian foreign ministry source said Trump’s
statement showed “the blind bias of the United States” towards Israel. The
statements did not change “the reality that the Golan was and will remain
Syrian, Arab,” it read.
Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian
national land through all available means,” the report said.
said on Friday it considers the Golan Heights as occupied Syrian land, also
rejecting Trump’s statement.
a statement carried by state news agency MENA, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry
cited UN Security Council resolution 497 of 1981 which rejected Israel’s
annexation of the territory.
ministry “stressed the importance that everybody should respect the resolutions
of international legitimacy and the United Nations Charter in respect of the
inadmissibility of acquiring land by force,” the statement read.
Foreign Ministry also said that it does not recognize the Israeli annexation of
the Golan Heights and its recognition - as called for by US President Donald
Trump - is contrary to international law.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday also warned that Trump’s pledge to
recognize Israel’s disputed annexation of the Golan Heights would risk a “new
chief visits NY mosque, urges safety for worshippers
Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday visited Islamic Cultural Center's
mosque in New York, calling for efforts to ensure the global safety of
worshippers and the protection of religious sites.
visited the mosque before the Friday prayer service, offering "solidarity
with the Muslim community from New York to New Zealand and beyond."
and every day, we must stand united against anti-Muslim hatred and all forms of
bigotry," said the UN chief.
Friday, a terrorist open fired on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing
at least 50 victims.
the past week, many of the victims' names became known, thanks in part to many
on social media who have shared their stories, such as Mucad Ibrahim, a
three-year-old, the youngest of the Christchurch victims and Farid Ahmed, who
lost his wife after she jumped in front of him to protect him from the
called the attack appalling, yet "perhaps not utterly surprising".
the world, we have seen ever-rising anti-Muslim hatred, anti-Semitism, hate
speech and bigotry," Guterres said. "I have repeatedly warned about
requested the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel
Moratinos, to create an action plan for the whole UN body to be fully engaged
in support of safeguarding religious sites.
today, in the peace of this holy space, I am making a global call to reaffirm
the sanctity of all places of worship and the safety of all worshippers who
visit revered sites in a spirit of compassion and tolerance," Guterres
UN chief also warned that hateful rhetoric is being spread around like
political movements are either openly admitting their neo-Nazi affiliation, or
lip syncing their words, and cutting and pasting the symbols and images,"
of the fire's spread is due to the role the media has played in perpetuating
that Muslims are extremists, according to Guterres.
study published in January by Georgia State University and the University of
Alabama found that between the years 2006 and 2015, attacks in the U.S. by
those claiming to be Muslim received 357 percent more news coverage than
attacks carried out by others.
need to act against extremism in all its forms – whether it targets mosques,
synagogues, churches or anywhere else," Guterres said.
says ISIS has been ‘100 percent’ defeated in Syria
President Donald Trump said Friday that ISIS has been "100 percent"
defeated in Syria.
made the comment as he showed reporters maps of the region -- one showing the
large areas once held by the group and a second that showed the situation on
Friday with no presence.
ISIS on election day," he said, pointing to a swath of red area signifying
the group's previous territorial gains, and then to one without any red,
"Here's ISIS right now."
territorial caliphate has been eliminated in Syria," spokeswoman Sarah
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan briefed President Donald Trump as he
was travelling to Florida on Air Force One, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has yet to announce a final territorial defeat
of ISIS in its last enclave in Baghouz and said on Friday that though it has
captured most of the area, there are still pockets of jihadist fighters.
Reuters journalist at Baghouz heard air strikes there on Friday afternoon and
saw smoke rising.
SDF has been battling for weeks to defeat ISIS in Baghouz in southeastern Syria
at the Iraqi border, all that remained of the territory the militants ruled,
which once spanned a third of Syria and Iraq.
Bali, head of the SDF media office, told Reuters SDF fighters had captured most
of the Baghouz area and clashed overnight with ISIS militants in more than two
positions where they were refusing to surrender.
United States said on Friday it was imposing sanctions on 14 people and 17
entities connected to Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research
(SPND), a body it said had played a central role in Iran’s past nuclear weapons
those designated for sanctions was the Shahid Karimi group, which works on
missile and explosive-related projects for the SPND, and four associated
individuals, the US Treasury Department said in a Statement.
US government is taking decisive action against actors at all levels in
connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND)
who have supported the Iranian regime’s defense sector,” Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin said.
United States will continue applying maximum pressure to the Iranian regime,
using all economic tools to prevent Iran from developing weapons of mass
destruction. Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in
general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial
said the steps targeted current SPND subordinate groups, supporters, front
companies, and associated officials. The move freezes any US assets of those
targeted and bans US dealings with them.
action serves as a warning to individuals and entities considering dealing with
the Iranian regime’s defense sector in general, and SPND in particular: by
engaging in sanctionable activity with designated Iranian persons, you risk
professional, personal, and financial isolation,” the Treasury statement said.
existing disagreements between the U.S. and Taliban representatives over the
progress of peace talks, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhbai had proposed the a
program to assassinate the leaders of Taliban in Qatar, it has been reported.
bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, made the offer to Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting in mid-January this year, Al Jazeera
reported, citing a report published in Middle East Eye (MEE) news website.
to the informed sources quoted in the report, Al Nahyan had told Pompeo that Washington risked allowing
Afghanistan to fall back into the hands of the “backward, bearded bad guys” and
proposed hiring mercenaries to kill Taliban leaders to weaken the group’s
sources further added that Pompeo was visibly taken aback by the offer, but
comes as UAE had supported US efforts to broker a peace deal with the Taliban,
and hosted a first round of negotiations between the two sides late last year
in Abu Dhabi.
the latest report suggests that Al Nahyan is believed to have been frustrated
that subsequent rounds of negotiations were moved to Qatar’s capital, Doha, at
the insistence of the Taliban, which has maintained a political office there
calls for unity against terrorism at OIC meeting
has urged everyone to stand against terrorism across all platforms to dispel
Islamophobia and promote interfaith harmony in a comprehensive manner.
Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury made the call on Friday at an emergency OIC
executive committee meeting in Istanbul on the terrorist attacks on Muslims in
Christchurch, New Zealand, reports UNB.
also underlined enhancing OIC collaboration within the umbrella of the UN,
according to Bangladesh Embassy in Ankara.
emergency session of Foreign Ministers ended with the adoption of a Communique
calling for taking pragmatic measures by OIC to tackle terrorism, Islamophobia
and hatred against Muslims around the world.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, the current Chair of OIC Summit, convened
and chaired the meeting. OIC Secretary-General Dr Yousuf Al Othaimeen attended
Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters attended the session at the invitation
of Turkey as a guest of honour.
also delivered a statement emphasising interfaith harmony as well as giving a
brief description of actions taken by his government to express and extend
support and respect to the Muslim community in New Zealand.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a statement before the meeting
highlighting the importance of collective efforts by OIC to tackle terrorism,
Islamophobia and hatred against Muslims in non-Muslim countries.
Minister Chowdhury told the meeting that Bangladesh is following a policy of
zero-tolerance towards terrorism and violent extremism in its all forms and
manifestations under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
appreciated the government and the people of New Zealand for their prompt
support and respect towards the Muslim community there.
session was preceded by senior officials meeting in the evening of March 21
where the communique was finalised.
foreign ministry said Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury represented
Bangladesh during Friday’s meeting which was called following the Mar 15 attacks
in Christchurch in which 50 Muslims including five Bangladeshis were killed.
condemned the terrorist attacks and expressed solidarity with Muslim community
in New Zealand.
emphasised the need to stand up together against this menace across all social,
cultural, education and legal platforms to dispel Islamophobia and promote
interfaith harmony in a comprehensive manner.
minister also underlined enhanced OIC collaboration within the umbrella of the
UN, the foreign ministry said.
meeting was convened and chaired by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu,
the current Chair of OIC Summit.
Secretary General Yousuf Al Othaimeen attended the session.
Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters also attended the session at the invitation
of Turkey as a guest of honour.
delivered a statement with emphasis on interfaith harmony and gave a brief
description of actions taken by his government to express and extend support
and respect to the Muslims in New Zealand.
his statement a brief video was presented showing the outpouring of sympathy by
New Zealanders and recitation of verses from holy Quran at the opening session
of New Zealand parliament a couple of days ago.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a statement before the meeting
highlighting the importance of collective efforts by OIC to tackle this menace
of terrorism and Islamophobia and hatred against Muslims in non-Muslim
Bangladesh minister reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ‘zero tolerance’
policy for terrorism and violent extremism.
also highlighted the issue of persecution of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine
state in Myanmar who have taken refuge in Bangladesh.
emergency meeting ended with adoption of a communique calling for taking
pragmatic measures by OIC to tackle this menace of terrorism, Islamophobia and
hatred against Muslim around the world.
American service members lost their lives during an operation in Afghanistan
early on Friday, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission said.
to a statement released by Resolute Support Mission, the two U.S. service
members lost their lives while conducting an operation.
further details have been regarding the exact location where the two service
members lost their lives.
than 14 thousand U.S. troops are stationed in Afghanistan with most of them
operating within the framework of Resolute Support Mission to train, advice,
and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
Afghan armed forces have arrested two Taliban militants who were expert in the
making of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Kapisa province.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said the two Taliban
militants were arrested in Tagab district.
statement further added that the Afghan armed forces arrested the two suspects
as they were attempting to carry out terrorist attacks during the Afghan new
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the report so far.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the incident so far.
Ministry of Defense has announced that joint operations of the Afghan army and
the Afghan intelligence operatives are underway in the vicinity of the 6th
police district of Kunduz city and Gul Tapa area of the province since last
to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, the operations were
launched based on repeated requests of the residents of the 6th police district
of Kunduz city and Gul Tapa area regarding the activities of Taliban militants,
mainly involving extortions.
statement further added that the coalition forces are providing air support
during the ongoing operations and at least 58 militants have been killed in
Qomandan Dawood and Talwaka villages and Gul Tapa area so far.
of the key commanders of Taliban identified as Qari Qeyamuddin, Qari Yahya,
Qari Amir, the shadow district chief of Taliban Gultapa, Zainullah, Obaid,
Ehsanullah and Haroon are among those killed, the Ministry said, adding that 15
fighters of the Red Unit of Taliban are also among those killed and the dead
bodies of some militants are still left in the area while others have been
buried local residents in Talwaka and Tabra Kosh Villages and the injured
militants are being treated in Doctors Without Borders clinic.
Ministry of Defense also added that the compounds of militants are currently
under the siege of Afghan armed forces and clashes continue in the mentioned
area and some foreign militants including Pakistani and Tajikistani nationals
have also been killed during the clashes.
offers olive branch to IS returnees
who joined terror groups abroad are not barred from returning home as long as
they submit to rehabilitation, a top police official says.
everyone will be detained, but all returnees will be interrogated,” said Ayob
Khan Mydin Pitchay, principal assistant director of the federal police's
returnees will be scrutinized by the security agencies, clerics and
psychologists “to evaluate their ideology and psychological make-up,” the
senior policeman said.
comments come as governments around the world confront the difficulty of dealing
with citizens who joined the so-called Islamic State group in Syria.
of foreign Islamic State jihadists and sympathizers detained in camps across
Syria and Iraq found themselves disowned and threatened with prosecution by
their home governments.
will compare intelligence we received from friendly foreign services. If there
is evidence that a returnee was involved in Islamic State's militant
activities, he or she would be charged in court,” Ayob said.
far 11 Malaysians have returned to the country. Eight men were charged in court
and convicted. The remaining three were a woman and two children aged 3 and 5
woman underwent a government-ordered rehabilitation program before being
allowed to return home. She continues to be monitored, the local media quoted
Ayob as saying. In an interview with Al Jazeera, the father of a 29-year-old
Malaysian woman identified only as Lidia, said she left Malaysia with her
husband and then infant son in 2014 to travel to Syria and she is now seeking
his help to return home.
told the broadcaster that she had sent him a text message two weeks ago from an
area taken over by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) asking for his help to
facilitate her return.
confirmed Lidia, now at a Kurdish-controlled camp in Hasakah, Syria, with her
two sons aged two and four, is one of 13 Malaysians in Syria seeking to return
home, but said facilitating their return was "difficult" as it
involved many parties from different countries.
former medical lab technician from the southern Malaysian state of Johor
bordering Singapore has been widowed twice. She lost her first husband in the
fighting in Syria as well as the man she married following his death.
to her father, Lidia had been at the camp for about a year and had found life
difficult and “uncomfortable.”
the terror group is on the verge of a rout in Iraq and Syria, authorities
believe there remain Malaysians willing to fight for it. Police believe there
are still 51 Malaysian nationals in Syria, including 17 children.
records reveal 102 Malaysians left the country to join IS and say 40 were
killed fighting in Syria and Iraq, including nine who ended their lives as
are now fears that Malaysian Muslim radicals who cannot go to Syria are now
setting their sights on Mindanao in the southern Philippines where militant
groups have links to IS.
move by Malaysia, a Muslim majority multiracial country, to agree to allow back
jihadist sympathizers is a departure from that of several foreign countries.
of the wives and children of IS fighters being held in detention centers
scattered across the two war-torn Middle East countries have found themselves
IS’ rise to power, the group relied heavily on the tactic of recruiting tens of
thousands of radical Islamist fighters from the Middle East, Europe and beyond.
Many young men eager to join from the Southeast Asian Muslim-majority countries
of Malaysia and Indonesia took their wives and children with them.
of the families of IS jihadists are in a legal limbo because the local
authorities in Syria want to send them to their home countries, who are
unwilling to take them back.
recently revoked the citizenships of three women who joined IS in Syria,
including that of London teenager Shamima Begum whose case was widely
authorities are also insisting that its citizen, Hoda Muthana, who left home in
2014 to marry an IS fighter, will not be allowed back into the country.
LUMPUR, March 23 — The Peace, Solidarity Rally held at Dataran Merdeka today
brings with it a message that the people of Malaysia want peace and will reject
any form of violence.
rally, following the tragic shooting incidents at two mosques in Christchurch,
New Zealand on Friday, March 15, will also be participated by the aunt of the
late Mohd Haziq Mohd Tarmizi, 17, who was among the 50 killed in the incident.
of all races, religions and political ideologies expected to be in white attire
and will march from the Sogo shopping complex here at 7.45am before arriving at
Dataran Merdeka at 8.15am.
the symbol of a white dove with a hibiscus backdrop, the rally is expected to
be attended by the religious bodies of Sikhism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity,
Hinduism and Islam as well as more than 50 non-governmental organisations
Merdeka, the representatives of each religion is scheduled to give a speech on
solidarity bearing messages of peace, in addition to a speech by the
representative of the late Mohd Haziq’s family.
in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa will also give
a speech at the rally before symbolically launching the Peace, Solidarity
highlight of the rally will be the reading of the 2019 KL Peace Declaration,
which declares opposition of Malaysians to any form of hate and violence.
rally, scheduled to last until 11am, is organised by the Prime Minister’s
Department (Islamic Religious Affairs Division) and Committee to Promote Inter
Religious Understanding and Harmony (JKMPKA), with cooperation of the Civil
Society Organisation (CSO)
Facebook will carry a live telecast of the rally from 7.30am, apart from having
live crossovers on Bernama News Channel at 10am, 11am, 11.55am and 1pm.
decades of enmity, PAS now washes away all Umno’s past sins
LUMPUR, March 7 — PAS said it has forgiven all wrongdoings it previously
accused Umno of committing, purportedly for the sake of the Islamic struggle
and Muslim unity.
spiritual leader Datuk Hashim Jasin likened this to when the Prophet Muhammad
led his Muslim brethren to spread Islam while faced with various threats from
the enemies of Islam, according to Berita Harian.
the threats, Muhammad continued the struggle for the sake of the faith and
the Rasulullah can forgive people (Umar Al-Khattab) who once attempted to
murder him, in later days they fought together to uplift Islam.
are all of the same religion and only differed in terms of political ideology,
so the cooperation between PAS and Umno is for the sake of Islam and Malay
rights in the country,” he was quoted saying in Perlis.
Hashim said PAS would not forget all the “sins” committed by Umno, claiming he
had also been a victim of such transgressions.
know and never forget what they (Umno) did to PAS back then, I was once
transferred to another place within 24 hours just because I had difference in
political ideology while employed as a civil servant.
looking at the state of Islam in Malaysia now, that cooperation is necessary,”
March 5, Umno acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan announced a formalised
alliance between his party and PAS, likening it to a “marriage”.
said the two parties will not contest under the same banner, but will
collaborate in an unconditional political cooperation especially for
by-elections ostensibly in the interest of uniting Muslims and Malays.
further, Hashim said his party’s cooperation with other parties was nothing
unusual as it had worked together with DAP.
Arab Coalition in Yemen launched raids on Houthi camps in the capital Sanaa,
including the Al-Dulaimi air base.
US ambassador to Yemen blamed the Iran-aligned Houthi movement on Thursday for
the hold-up to a UN-led peace deal in the main port of Hodeidah and said Houthi
weapons pose a threat to other countries in the region.
comes hours after the Houthis announced the downing of a coalition aircraft on
the outskirts of Sanaa, according to the militias' media outlets.
has condemned several explosions claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group
in the Afghan capital of Kabul during celebrations to mark Nowruz, the start of
the Persian New Year, expressing confidence that the terrorists will never
achieve their "ominous" goals.
and its culture are a "unifying factor" in the region among the
nations, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Friday.
"inhumane" terrorist explosions in Kabul showed that Daesh has
targeted these unifying elements in the region, he added, emphasizing, "We
are confident that it [Daesh] will not achieve its sinister goals to create
division among regional countries."
Iranian spokesman expressed sympathy with the Afghan government and nation as
well as the bereaved.
least six people were killed and 23 others wounded in the explosions, which
reportedly rocked the vicinity of Kabul University and the Kart-e Sakhi shrine
claimed responsibility for the attack through its news agency AMAQ, which
provided no evidence of the claim.
year on the occasion of Nowruz, a bomb attack carried out by Daesh killed 33
people celebrating near the shrine.
United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel’s “apparent
intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force” against civilian
protesters in Gaza and called for perpetrators of all violations in the Strip
to face justice.
Geneva forum adopted a resolution on accountability, brought by Pakistan on
behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), by a vote of 23
states in favor, 8 against with 15 abstentions.
countries were divided. The United States does not participate, having quit the
body last year over perceived anti-Israel bias.
foreign ministry said Friday that it had summoned the Israeli government’s
representative in Paris over what it called an “intrusion” by Israeli forces at
its cultural center in Jerusalem.
a rare move, police entered the building Thursday to cancel an event with a
women’s group which Israel claims is sponsored or financed by the Palestinian
diplomatic source said France’s consul general had immediately protested the
police’s entry to the center in east Jerusalem, which Israel has annexed in a
move not recognized by the international community.
actions are a serious and unacceptable infringement to the functioning of our
cultural network in Jerusalem,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
said the Israeli charge d’affaires had been called to meet with French
officials for “necessary clarifications.”
intends to maintain and develop its deep and longstanding relations with
Palestinian civil society,” it added.
French consulate could not confirm Thursday if the women’s association was
indeed financed by the Palestinian Authority - Israel considers all PA
activities in Jerusalem illegal.
Palestinians who were to participate in the event said the allegation was
The Istanbul chief prosecutor said on Friday it had ordered the detention of
126 suspects employed in the judicial system with alleged links to the network
of Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who Turkey says orchestrated a July 2016 coup
250 people were killed in the failed putsch, in which Gulen, a former ally of
President Tayyip Erdogan, has denied involvement. Gulen has lived in
self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
says that along with its military and state institutions, its judiciary was
infiltrated by members of Gulen’s network. Since the coup, thousands of
prosecutors and judges have been dismissed.
prosecutor’s office said the suspects had lived in houses where the network
trained individuals for work in the judicial system. The network then sought to
place those who passed the exam in the judicial system as prosecutors or
judges, while the rest became part of the network’s lawyer organization.
the 126 suspects, 108 were lawyers on active duty, eight were judge or
prosecutor candidates who were previously removed from their positions and one
was a judge or prosecutor candidate on active duty, the prosecutor’s office
of 12 of the suspects could not be determined or records showed they had left
the country, it said, adding that operations spread over 37 provinces to detain
the remaining 114 people were continuing.
a separate operation on Friday, Ankara chief prosecutor’s office said it
ordered the detention of 18 suspects accused of links to Gulen who were working
as engineers for the defense industry company Havelsan.
than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial since the coup and widespread
arrests are still routine. Authorities have suspended or sacked 150,000 civil
servants and military personnel.
of thousands join anti-Bouteflika rally in central Algiers
of thousands of Algerians rallied on Friday to demand the immediate resignation
of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is fighting for his political survival
in the face of relentless protests and the desertion of long-time allies.
heavy rain, the protesters brandished Algerian flags and pamphlets as they
gathered in the same spot in the capital where a wave of demonstrations first
erupted a month ago against Bouteflika’s 20-year rule.
will not prevent us from continuing pressure,” said student Ahmed Khoudja, 23,
in a square in central Algiers.
protests were expected to swell further after Friday prayers, as has happened
on the four previous Fridays during this wave of demonstrations that kicked off
on Feb 22.
stay here until the whole system goes,” said Mahmoud Timar, a 37-year old
82, rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke five years ago, bowed to the
protesters last week by reversing plans to stand for a fifth term and promising
an inclusive politics in Algeria, a major oil and gas producer.
he stopped short of quitting and said he would stay on until a new constitution
is adopted, effectively extending his present term. The move further enraged
Algerians, and many of Bouteflika’s allies, from ruling party members to trade
union leaders to tycoons, turned against him.
are close to victory. The system is divided,” said restaurant owner Rachid
Zemmir, 55, at Friday’s rally.
ruling party back protests
the most significant development in a month of demonstrations, Chief of Staff
Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah on Wednesday threw the army’s weight behind
the protesters, saying they had expressed “noble aims”.
have stayed in their barracks through the unrest but the army has traditionally
deeply influenced politics.
generals have intervened in the past at momentous times, including cancelling
an election which Islamists were poised to win in 1992, triggering a civil war
in which an estimated 200,000 people were killed.
ruling National Liberation Front party, known by its French acronym FLN, has
also sided with the protesters.
the past, Bouteflika and his inner circle of fellow veterans of the 1954-1962
war of independence against France, FLN officials and the military skilfully
the “Arab Spring” revolts toppled autocrats in neighboring countries,
Bouteflika used oil revenues to secure loyalty -- offering better salaries for
state workers, housing and low-interest loans.
the price of crude oil has dropped over the years and the young are desperate
for jobs, an end to corruption and nepotism and a say in how the North African
country is run.
who credited Bouteflika with negotiating an end to the civil war in the 1990s
were eager for stability, even though they shared many of the frustrations
which triggered revolts elsewhere.
Bouteflika was adept at manipulating the opposition in the past, he now faces
Algerians of all social classes and ages staging the biggest protests in
if Bouteflika quits, it is not clear if the swelling protest movement can bring
down the deep state - a secretive network of ruling party leaders, business
tycoons and army generals long regarded as invincible.
figures, who long managed politics in behind-the-scenes negotiations, may be
happy to see Bouteflika go but are likely to resist any major political
changes, as they have done in the past.
Boko Haram kills 23 soldiers in Dangdala attack
soldiers were killed in a Boko Haram attack in southwestern Chad on Friday,
March 22, a military official told AFP.
Haram elements attacked the Chadian army position at around 1 a.m., killing 23
troops,” the official said.
attack, which took place in Dangdala, on the northeastern bank of Lake Chad,
appears to be the deadliest attack on the Chadian military by Boko Haram.
assailants crossed over from Niger before launching the raid and “made off with
military equipment,” the source said.
is unclear which faction of Boko Haram carried out the attack, but Islamic
State West Africa province is the dominant insurgent force in the Lake Chad
killed in Niger
the Diffa region of southeastern Niger, meanwhile, eight civilians were killed
late Thursday in a Boko Haram attack in Karidi, which is in Gueskerou district,
a local official told AFP Friday.
reported the attack occurred in the village of Dewa Kargueri, around 7 km
southwest of Gueskerou commune and began at around 9:30 p.m.
to the ActuNiger report, militants attempted to destroy a bridge in the Diffa
region on Wednesday.
in Niger and neighboring Borno state in Nigeria have seen a number of attacks
in recent weeks, as the Multinational Joint Task Force, which comprises troops
from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, conducts Operation Yancin Tafki against
Boko Haram around Lake Chad.
State has made a slew of claims of attacks on both sides of the Niger-Nigeria
border, but many have not been confirmed by official sources and the claims are
at times contradictory.
March 9, seven police and 38 militants were killed near Gueskerou, according to
a government toll. The MNJTF said in a statement that “27 terrorists” were
State claimed fighters from its West Africa province affiliate killed 30
soldiers in a March 9 attack on a military base in Toumour in the Diffa region.
Toumour is around 30 km (19 miles) northeast of Gueskerou, and it is unclear
whether the ISIS statement referred to the Gueskerou incident or to another
the border in Nigeria on March 12, aircraft from Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon
supported by MNJTF ground troops killed 33 ISWA militants around Tumbun Rego
and Arege, the regional force said.
claimed an ISWA militant carried out a suicide car bomb (SVBIED) attack in
Arege on March 13, although its al-Naba magazine later said that attack was
carried out on March 14.
claimed ISWA militants fired three Grad rockets at Diffa airport on March 14.
ActuNiger reported that ISIS claimed that an ISWA militant carried out a SVBIED
attack in Toumour the same day and that local and security sources confirmed
that it occurred. ISIS’s Al-Naba magazine put the Grad attack on March 15 and
the SVBIED attack on March 13. ISIS later published images of what it said were
the Grad launches.
claimed ISWA killed five soldiers attached to the MNJTF during clashes on
Thursday in Monguno, in Nigeria’s Borno state. Via its Amaq propaganda agency,
ISIS claimed three of the dead were Chadian and two Nigerian. It also claimed
that four “mortar shells” were fired at Nigerian army positions in the town on
Thursday, and six were fired at positions in Malam Fatori on Wednesday.
further claimed via Amaq that 10 soldiers were killed on the Monguno-Gajiram
road on Thursday.
Haram’s bloody insurgency began in northeastern Nigeria in 2009 but has since
spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military
response. Some 27,000 people have been killed and two million others displaced,
sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the region.
Haram split into two factions in mid-2016. One led by long-time leader Abubakar
Shekau is notorious for suicide bombings and indiscriminate killings of
civilians. Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in
March 2015, but ISIS central only gives formal backing to the other faction,
which is known as Islamic State West Africa province.
of 115 Task Force Battalion, Operation Lafiya Dole, Nigerian Army in
Askira-Uba, have constructed bread and sachet water factories to support
soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents in Borno.
Salisu, 115 Task Force Commander, disclosed this during Operational visit of
Bulama Biu, Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division of the army on
Salisu, who was represented by Godwin Ameh, said that the project was executed
under the Battalion Commander Humanitarian Initiative.
said that the initiative came as part of the modality toward protecting its
soldiers from consuming unwholesome and poisonous foods or water from Boko
Haram and their sympathisers.
explained that some of the bread sold daily in commercial places could contain
cancer-causing chemicals, including potassium bromate and potassium iodate,
which are banned substances in the country.
to him, the whole idea is to provide healthy food to our soldiers.
initiative was also designed to provide humanitarian support and services to
the less privileged in the hospitals, church, mosque and the entire host
communities with a view to strengthen civic relationship.
far we have provided bread for more than 2,000 patients in the hospitals in the
Friday and Sunday we take bread and distribute free of charge to Muslim and
Christian in the communities.
has already yielded positive result because we were able to minimise cost of
providing breakfast to our soldiers.
potable drinking water, which used to pose great challenge in the past had also
been addressed through our water factory,” he said.
our factories had been accessed and licensed by NAFDAC and they have certified
that the factories met best standard,” he said.
his remarks, Mr Biu, Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division of the
army, commended the troops for the initiative, noting that it would go a long
way in reducing risk, illness and improving the health and safety of the troops.
of the core strategies of winning any war in the world was threatening
civil-military relationship, I am happy that you are already done that here.
Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai is proud of you; we are all
proud of you and this type of laudable initiative of yours cannot be ignored,”
urged other brigades within the theatre to emulate the 155 battalion initiative
and ideas that would add meaningful value to the welfare of troops while
executing the counter terrorism campaign.
GOC also charged soldiers and officers in the battalion to be committed,
focused and decisive in their duties.
(Reuters) - Central Mogadishu was shaken on Saturday by a car bomb blast at a
government ministry building, with Islamist group al Shabaab claiming
responsibility for the attack in the Somali capital.
first blast took place at the Ministry of Labor ... there are also other
ministry buildings near the scene. It was a suicide car bomb followed by
gunfire,” police officer Major Mohamed Hussein said, adding there had been a
Shabaab, which is fighting to establish its own rule based on a strict
interpretation of Sharia law, said one of its fighter had rammed the ministry
building with a car bomb, allowing others to enter it.
are inside the building and (the) fighting goes on. We shall give details
later,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman told
Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s western backed central government,
was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its
judicial authorities on Friday sentenced 13 people to five years and two others
to ten years in jail after convicting them of belonging to extremist groups
including al Shabaab and Islamic State and providing them support.
high court in Rwanda’s southern Nyanza area acquitted 25 others after the
prosecution failed to prove their involvement in extremist acts.
in the central African country arrested the 40 in January 2016, less than a
week after they killed Muhammad Mugemangango, a preacher accused of encouraging
youths to join extremist groups.
personnel also seized jihadist materials such as books, CDs and social network
of those convicted, Salim Fundi, participated in “coordinating people in Rwanda
who wanted to join terrorist group of al Shabaab in Somalia,” said Judge Eugene
Ndagijimana while delivering the ruling.
convicted included three women, two of them arrested at the airport in Kigali
while en route to Syria and another convicted of helping them with $1,000 for
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