Offers Muslim Brotherhood ‘Radicalisation App’
Town Bans Muslims from Buying, Renting Property
a Fringe Muslim Cleric from Australia Became a Hero to America’s Far Right
Urges Palestinians to Take the “Opportunity of the Century”
At Risk If World Cannot Agree Definition on Terrorism, Says Expert
Attempted Attack in Paris, Half a Ton of Explosives Found - Report
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Masjid’s Khateeb Removed, Maulana Aziz’s Entry Banned For Three Months
of Kirkuk: ISIS Orphans, an Emergency That Weighs On the Future Of Iraq
Coalition: Saudi Special Forces capture emir of ISIS in Yemen
bin Salman: Capture of ISIS leader shows commitment to eradicate terror
cabinet says Houthis targeting civilians a violation of international law
Special Forces kill 14 IS militants in country's north
says militants kill six policemen in north Sinai
Salih: US won’t be allowed to use Iraqi soil to attack Iran
things to know about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi
China tariffs to increase cost of Bible, upsets religious groups
underestimate the political power of Canada’s Muslim community
signs executive order delivering 'hard-hitting' sanctions against Iran
Pentagon chief hopes to win NATO allies’ support on Iran
US waiting for Iran at negotiating table despite new sanctions
lawmakers unveil bill to block funds for war on Iran
Strategy in London Not Good Enough, Says Mayor
calls on Russia to destroy new missile and warns of response
stealth fighter jets join fight against Islamic State
Macron speaks to Iran’s Rouhani to try to ease Mideast tension
FM Hunt says cannot envisage joining US-led war with Iran
shot down US spy drone inside its airspace: Putin aide
pledge $110 million for UN Palestinian agency
‘never seeks war’ with US, Rouhani tells French President Macron
foreign minister accuses US’ Bolton of plotting for war
forces target Saudi airports in Jizan, Asir with combat drones
the Palestinian economy urgently needs a stimulus
Bares Rift in Valley Terror: Al-Qaeda Cell Lashes Out At Pakistan
Pak Clash over Nizam of Hyderabad Funds in UK
terrorists killed in Jammu & Kashmir in last 3 years: MoS Home Reddy
Burdwan blast accused, Habibur Rahman, arrested by NIA in Bengaluru
in focus at Waqf Board meet
militant killed in J-K’s Pulwama, body recovered
police arrest 11 for torturing Muslim man to death
Imran Khan’s Serious Efforts for Islamic Ummah’s Unity
reservations about jury, Pakistan to implement FATF reforms: envoy
proposes 6-point plan at UN to counter racism, religious hatred
EU sign new strategic engagement plan
Bajwa, British NSA discuss Afghan peace
army chief trolled for watching cricket at Lord’s
minister for probe into previous governments' failure in securing FATF
country has sought NRO for Nawaz: Prime Minister Imran
to launch anti-govt drive soon: Baloch
action' to be taken against PTI leader who 'beat up' journalist: PM's assistant
tensions a threat to regional peace, says Qureshi
envoy lauds recent round of US, Taliban talks
Taliban Aim to Firm up Date for Foreign Force Exit from Afghanistan
Lanka Police Overturn Local Council Ban On Muslims
uprising militiaman defects to Taliban after killing his 6 comrades
police kill three suspected Rohingya traffickers; rescue 15 refugees
hoping for Afghan peace pact before Sept 1’
minorities call on govt to deliver election promises
Special Forces kill Taliban attack coordinator in Bagram
Air Force conducted 20 airstrikes in past 24 hours: MoD
Ghani and Abdullah met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Kabul
Police Chief Warns Of Suicide Attacks If ISIS Members Are Back
Calls for 'Justice' And Citizenship For Rohingya Muslims
silence on Uighur debate 'complicated': IPAC report
Protesters Dispute Generals’ Take on Transition Plans
Liberal Alliance Proposes Ceasefire In Tripoli
waning as Kenya takes fight to their home bases
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Depressed Soldiers Drugged in Fight against Boko Haram
rescue 95 Boko Haram captives, recover four terrorist flags
terror cell dismantled in Morroco
by New Age Islam News Bureau
offers Muslim Brotherhood ‘radicalisation app’
App Store is hosting an app linked to the Muslim Brotherhood despite experts’
concerns that it is a tool for radicalisation.
Euro Fatwa app was created by the European Council for Fatwa and Research, an
organisation founded by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is regarded as the unofficial
chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood.
92, has been banned from Britain, France and the US due to his extremist views,
which have included expressing support for suicide bombers in Israel and
regarding the Holocaust as “divine punishment” on the Jews.
deliberations of his Dublin-based European council have included a reference to
the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious antisemitic forgery.
to The Media Line, a news agency, the introduction to the…
town bans Muslims from buying, renting property
The case of Hadat, a once-Christian Lebanese town that bars Muslims from buying
or renting property, has sparked a national outcry.
reflects the country’s rapidly changing demographic make-up against the
backdrop of deep-rooted sectarian divisions that once erupted into a 15-year
civil war that left more than 100,000 people dead.
Christian communities feel under siege as Muslims leave overcrowded areas for
once predominantly Christian neighborhoods.
Awwad and his fiancee, both Muslims, recently found an affordable apartment for
rent online in Hadat, southeast of Beirut, but were stunned when they found
that Muslims are not allowed to settle in the town.
is the only area where such a ban is publicly announced. Elsewhere, it’s
imposed in more discreet ways.
a Fringe Muslim Cleric From Australia Became a Hero to America’s Far Right
ISLAMOPHOBES, Mohamad Tawhidi is something very close to a godsend. A Shia
Muslim cleric, raised in Australia and educated in Iran, Tawhidi presents
himself as an Islamic reformer who embraces and amplifies far-right warnings
that immigration by his fellow Muslims poses an existential threat to Western
a hero,” the former New York Assembly Member Dov Hikind said last month,
introducing Tawhidi to an audience of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. “He is a
super-special individual that God has introduced to this world.”
immediately repaid the favor by suggesting that Muslims, at least those from
the majority Sunni sect, are mistaken to consider Jerusalem a sacred site.
“Muslims who are fighting for Palestine are absolutely confused,” he said.
“Palestine is Jewish land.” Tawhidi went on to call political Islam “a
disease,” and accused America’s first two Muslim women in Congress, Ilhan Omar
and Rashida Tlaib, of “bringing a Hamas agenda to the U.S. Congress.”
who is leading a campaign to force Omar from the House Foreign Affairs
Committee over her comments about Israel, was delighted by Tawhidi’s baseless
claim that the two Democrats are secret agents of the Palestinian Islamist
remarks in Brooklyn echoed Tawhidi’s near-obsessive criticism of the two Muslim
congresswomen on social media, a stance that has earned him a loyal following
among their detractors in the United States.
cleric’s American fans apparently include Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who
seized on one of Tawhidi’s tweets in April as evidence that Omar was
insufficiently critical of the terrorists who attacked the United States on
September 11, 2001.
virulently anti-Muslim founder of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson,
misinformed fans of his YouTube channel last year that “Imam Tawhidi is one of
the world’s leading imams and a highly regarded scholar of the Koran and
Islamic history.” Neither claim has any basis in reality, but Robinson prefaced
an interview with Tawhidi by adding that the man who gave himself the nickname
“Imam of Peace” is “known for his outspoken and honest discussion of the
culture and ideological problems within the religion.”
skyrocketing status in far-right circles in America and Britain comes two years
after he was largely discredited in Australia. As a deep dive into his
background by Bronwyn Adcock, a reporter for the Australian public broadcaster
ABC, revealed, Tawhidi is a fringe cleric with no academic credentials, no
mosque, and less than a handful of followers in the real world. His public
profile stems not from any work within his faith community, but from his
willingness to play a concerned Muslim reformer on TV, on social media, and in
a series of high-profile interviews with far-right YouTube personalities.
a cursory review of his Twitter feed undercuts the idea that he is focused on
the reform of Islam or the pursuit of peace, since it is devoted mainly to reinforcing
the prejudices of right-wing trolls and nativist politicians, echoing their
racist, sexist, and xenophobic rhetoric. To take a recent example, Tawhidi
mockingly shared a sixth grade yearbook photo from Minnesota, in which a white
boy is surrounded by the children of black Muslim immigrants, which had
surfaced on a racist 4chan board.
has also recently shared video of himself telling conservative activist Candace
Owens that the Muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is corrupted by a “Pakistani
mentality,” mocked the Muslim feminist Linda Sarsour for an act of civil
disobedience against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, saluted the
anti-Muslim blogger Robert Spencer, called for the restoration of the monarchy
in Iran, and penned an ode to Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.
Tawhidi was first cited as an authority on Islam by Australian tabloids, he was
dismissed by fellow Muslims in Australia and then the United States as
something of a joke — and a symptom of how easily duped the right-wing media
can be. Imraan Siddiqi, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic
Relations in Arizona, even compared him to a creation of the satirist Sacha
the sectarian cast of Tawhidi’s harsh criticism of Sunni Muslim beliefs and
practices has increasingly alarmed not just Sunnis, but also members of
Tawhidi’s Shia sect. Again and again in interviews with non-Muslims, he has
made incendiary comments about articles of faith to the majority Sunni sect,
calling for one of their most holy books to be banned, and insulting a revered
wife of the Prophet Muhammad.
rock-star status in far-right social media circles matters because it has
recently been weaponized by mainstream politicians. In Australia, Tawhidi has
been used as a character witness by the anti-immigrant politician Pauline
Hanson. In India, he won applause at a gathering of Hindu nationalists by
deriding Pakistani Muslims and asserting that “Kashmir is Hindu land.” He has
recently been photographed with figures like Doug Ford, the far-right premier
of Ontario; Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and
Reza Pahlavi, son of the last shah of Iran.
in April, his tweet falsely accusing Omar of downplaying the 9/11 attacks set
off a firestorm when Crenshaw, the U.S. representative, somehow came across it.
tweet, which went viral after Crenshaw shared it, included edited video from
the Daily Caller of Omar referring to the attacks during a CAIR fundraiser.
Omar’s remarks had previously garnered little attention, but the cleric’s
inaccurate caption for the video — “Omar mentions 9/11 and does not consider it
a terrorist attack” — propelled it into the mainstream news media.
false claim about what Omar said, along with another lie — that she sought “to
justify the establishment of a terrorist organization (CAIR) on US soil” — then
formed the basis for a segment broadcast into the White House during the
Wednesday morning edition of the president’s daily briefing, aka “Fox and
fact, CAIR is a civil rights group for American Muslims and does not support
terrorism, but Tawhidi frequently cites, uncritically, the fact that the
repressive monarchy that rules the United Arab Emirates added the American
group — and Muslim civil rights groups in seven European countries — to a list
of terrorist organizations in 2014. Those designations, which were backed by no
evidence and were not adopted by the U.S., were widely seen as the monarchy’s
attempt to discredit civil society groups that were perceived as threats to its
rule by associating them with genuine extremists. The UAE list included
community groups that the monarchy previously funded — as well as the Serbian
student group that organized the peaceful protests that forced Slobodan Milosevic
from power — but excluded the armed Islamist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, which
have carried out terror attacks.
PUBLIC CAREER began, as he recently told “intellectual dark web” star Dave
Rubin, when he “was discovered” by a producer for a tabloid news show on
Australia’s Channel 7. “I got a call from Channel 7,” Tawhidi told Rubin, “and
apparently they Googled ‘imam,’ ‘Adelaide,’ ‘Muslim,’ just to get a comment.”
they came in wanting a three-minute comment on a certain issue and I gave them
a 30-minute talk about the Muslim community,” Tawhidi continued, “and the
director gets in touch with me and [said], ‘We can do a lot with what you’re
interview with Tawhidi was the centerpiece of an alarmist episode of the
Channel 7 tabloid news show “Today Tonight,” which claimed that Muslim
immigrants were secretly plotting to establish “a caliphate” in Australia.
my religion, in the current situation, is an absolute mess,” Tawhidi told
Channel 7. “I come from a lineage of Islamic leadership. When I am worried
about what’s happening and what I see from my community and religion, trust me
that there is something going on.”
in the program, Tawhidi claimed that “extreme Muslims” planned to set up a
state within a state and impose sharia. “I believe that there needs to be a new
government body that investigates everything regarding the Muslim religion in
this country, starting off with the leaders of the communities,” Tawhidi said.
that appearance, reporters derailed Tawhidi’s media career in Australia; they
found that he was the leader only of an Islamic association in Adelaide that he
had set up himself and had lied about his academic credentials and training in
Qom, the center of Shia Muslim study in Iran.
the wake of those revelations, Tawhidi was subjected to a dose of public
mockery on Australian television that temporarily halted his momentum in the
mainstream press — although he has remained a go-to source for tabloid
that debunking in Australia’s mainstream media, Tawhidi’s appeal to far-right
Islamophobes soon spread through far-right social media to the United States.
Tawhidi “just started showing up on my Twitter timeline two years ago, saying
things that are counterintuitive to any Muslim that’s out there,” Siddiqi of
CAIR told The Intercept.
though “he’s so cartoonish,” Siddiqi notes, “he’s getting called on to these
mainstream talk shows, like Dave Rubin.” Through his appearances on popular
talk shows of the “intellectual dark web,” Siddiqi observed, Tawhidi could now
be “influencing a completely different audience than let’s say, a Fox News.”
really is sort of the unknown frontier of Islamophobia: Who is being
indoctrinated by this sort of misinformation?” Siddiqi asked. “He’s being
brought from the far right to these folks as some sort of credible source, a
peaceful imam who denounces terrorism, but he’s coming from a completely absurd
or not, Siddiqi is chilled by the thought that Tawhidi is reaching millions of
followers of the popular Islamophobe video bloggers and activists who interview
and promote him.
just the past year, Tawhidi has had friendly interviews with Candace Owens, who
was the communications director of Turning Point USA until she offered an
off-the-cuff defense of Adolf Hitler’s nationalism; Jack Posobiec, an anchor at
the Trump-endorsed One America News who helped promote the PizzaGate hoax;
Brittany Pettibone, anti-Islam vlogger, white supremacist, and Pizzagate
truther; Dave Rubin, YouTube talk-show host and “intellectual dark web” star;
James Delingpole, Breitbart London’s editor; Pauline Hanson, an Australian
nativist politician who said in 2016 that Australia was “in danger of being
swamped by Muslims” and needed to ban all immigration by followers of that
“so-called religion”; and Tommy Robinson, who got Tawhidi to trash the Prophet
Muhammad’s wife Aisha and agree with him that Muslims immigrants to Britain who
have many children are engaged in “population jihad.”
Muslims suspect that Tawhidi is at heart a sectarian agitator, trying to
weaponize the hatred of Islamophobes as a way of attacking adherents of Islam’s
majority Sunni Muslim sect. But according to Siddiqi, the Australian’s bizarre
social media presence has baffled and appalled American Muslims of all sects.
Shias and Sunnis “are in full agreement” on at least one thing, Siddiqi told
me: “that this guy is just completely unhinged and not a part of any sort of
a close reading of Tawhidi’s most incendiary pronouncements on Islam does lend
credence to the theory that his mission might be less about reforming Islam
than promoting the Shia sect by tarnishing the image of the majority Sunni
is evidence for this theory in a bizarre section of Tawhidi’s interview with
Owens. When she asked him about the chances of reforming Islam, Tawhidi stated
flatly that Islam could “never, ever, ever be reformed.” As evidence, he cited
not any difficulties he or other supposed moderates have encountered recently,
but the fact that Sunnis had brutally murdered the man he identified as the
original reformer, the Shia saint Imam Hussein. Tawhidi gave a blood-curdling
account of the death of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad who was killed
in battle near Karbala, Iraq, in the year 680 — a defining event in the schism
of early Islam that divided Muslims into Shias and Sunnis.
also happens to be where Tawhidi got his first media training. In 2014, he
hosted programs on Imam Hussein TV, a satellite network controlled by followers
of the Grand Ayatollah Sayid Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi, the Shia Muslim cleric in
Iran who ordained Tawhidi. He also presented an English-language YouTube
series, “Islamic Answers,” which aimed to give guidance to young Muslims in the
West about how to navigate modern life in accordance with the teachings of Shia
year, an Iranian news agency reportedly accused the network of television
channels associated with the Shirazi movement of promoting sectarian conflict
and working to “ignite the fire of war between Sunni and Shia.”
brief video message broadcast recently on Shirazi’s official television channel
even suggested that Islamophobia in the West was entirely the fault of Sunni
terrorists, and the problem could only be solved when all Muslims embraced the
Shia interpretation of Islam.
we as Muslims should change the non-Muslim world’s negative view of Islam,” the
broadcast quoted Shirazi as saying. “And this is possible only through the introduction
of the genuine traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam and his pure family,” a
clear reference to the martyrs revered by Shias, Imam Hussein and his father
Imam Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad.
notion that Tawhidi might still be working with or for Shirazi stems from the
fact that he opened a short-lived Islamic association and Shia Muslim seminary
in Adelaide in 2016 with the backing of the ayatollah.
the time, the ayatollah’s Facebook and Twitter feeds boasted that the school,
which appeared to have less than two dozen students, would be run by Tawhidi
“based on the instructions laid out by his Eminence, the Respected Grand
Ayatollah Sayyid Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi.”
office also stated the Islamic Association of South Australia, set up by
Tawhidi at the same time, would “primarily focus on the instructions of his
eminence, the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Sadiq Shirazi.”
Muslims who were appalled by Tawhidi’s inflammatory comments in his initial
interview with Channel 7 noticed that a photograph of Shirazi could be seen in
the background of the cleric’s office.
support for Tawhidi’s projects in Australia reinforced suspicions among
Australian Sunni Muslims that he might still be serving his spiritual leader by
joining forces with far-right figures in the West to smear them as dangerous
fans in the West appear unconcerned or unaware that his project might be
sectarian in nature, but if it is, the cleric’s relationship to the Islamophobes
who promote him might have something of a hall of mirrors about it. While
Tawhidi’s far-right interlocutors think they are using him to smear Muslims, he
could be using them to inflame sectarian tensions between the two rival
branches of Islam.
urges Palestinians to take the “Opportunity of the Century”
White House adviser Jared Kushner on Tuesday urged the Palestinians to take the
“Opportunity of the Century” to have $50 billion pumped into the stagnant
economy of the West Bank and Gaza.
direct message to the Palestinian people is that despite what those who have
let you down in the past say, President Trump and America have not given up on
you,” said Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law, opening the “Peace to
Prosperity” conference in Bahrain.
repeated an earlier caveat that his economic plan would not go into operation
until there was a political solution to the Palestinian issue. “To be clear,
economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible
without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict — one that
guarantees Israel’s security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people,”
he surprised his audience of global business leaders, economists and
politicians by saying the Palestinians must accept the economic plan before a
political solution could be reached.
on an economic pathway forward is a necessary condition to resolving the
previously unsolvable political issues,” Kushner said.
dismissed mockery of the US peace plan as the “Deal of the Century,” and
offered an alternative. “This effort is better referred to as the Opportunity
of the Century, if the leadership has the courage to pursue it,” he said.
see tremendous potential. What we have developed is the most comprehensive
economic plan ever created specifically for the Palestinians, and the broader
Middle East. We can turn this region from a victim of past conflicts into a
model for commerce and advancement throughout the world.”
figures taking part in the two-day Bahrain conference include International
Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, World Bank president David Malpass and
former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
the business leaders in Manama for the conference was Mohamed Alabbar, chairman
of the UAE property and leisure group Emaar. He was optimistic. “If there is a
one percent chance we do something good here, we should get together and try,”
Arabia indicated support on Tuesday for “international efforts aimed at
improving prosperity, investment and economic growth in the region.”
Riyadh restated that any peace deal should be based on the Saudi-led Arab peace
initiative that has been the Arab consensus since 2002. It calls for a
Palestinian state in territory not occupied by Israel before 1967, with a
capital in East Jerusalem and refugees’ right of return.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa met with the US delegation
participating in the workshop at Al-Qudaibiya Palace.
delegation included senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and Treasury
Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Bahrain state news agency BNA said.
Hamad also received a letter from US President Donald Trump, BNA said.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa met with the US delegation
participating in the workshop.
The full details of the economic plan can be downloaded here.
briefly went through the main points and some of the figures, including the
four overarching aims. They are doubling GDP, creating 1 million jobs, reducing
unemployment and reducing poverty.
More from Kushner's speech earlier. When he moved on to outline the economic
plan that was published Saturday, he addressed the absence of Palestinian
business leaders at the Bahrain conference.
lot of the leading Palestinian business people who we speak to wanted to be
here tonight. They were told by the (Palestinian) authority not to come and
because they rely on them for their livelihood it’s not a free market where
they can make those distinctions."
Mohamed Alabbar, founder and chairman of the UAE’s Emaar Properties says the
Palestinian cause is one close to the heart of all Arabs.
Some more details from Jared Kushner's speech. He painted a picture of what
could be in Gaza and the West Bank:
a new reality in the Middle East. Imagine a bustling commercial and tourist
center in Gaza and the West Bank where international businesses come together
and thrive. Imagine the West Bank as a blossoming economy, full of
entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and business leaders. Imagine people and
goods flowing quickly and securely throughout the region as economics become
more integrated and people more prosperous.
isn’t a stretch, this is actually the historical legacy of the Middle East,
specifically of Gaza and the West Bank."
The first panel - The Time is Now: Building a Coalition for Middle East
Prosperity - gets underway, hosted by Nik Gowing.
Kushner says Palestinian self-sufficiency is the key to helping them reach
prosperity, and will be vital in helping create a better business environment
climate in the Middle East as a whole...
Kushner is now summarizing what the "Opportunity of the Century"
economic plan actually entails for the conference...
Kushner tells the conference that the US wants to see peace, security and
prosperity for Palestinians, Israelis and all people around the world and that
the US has not "given up" on the Palestinian people.
We are under way, and Jared Kushner is speaking...
We are still waiting for Jared Kushner's address, and we are being treated to
some dramatic music and this holding screen on the live stream...stay tuned, we
will have some action shortly...
Dignitaries for the conference are still arriving and registering and enjoying
a welcome reception, so let’s take a look at what we can expect on tonight and
Donald Trump senior advisor Jared Kushner will deliver the opening remarks,
with a panel discussion on what the US administration’s plans for “Middle East
prosperity” will entail. The panel will be moderated by Nik Gowing, a UK-based
professor, author & broadcaster and will include Mohamed Alabbar, founder
and chairman of the UAE’s Emaar Properties as well as Stephen Schwarzman,
chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone.
Everyone will then enjoy an opening night dinner.
Tomorrow, the highlights will be a panel entitled “Unleashing Economic
Potential” — looking at how trade and job creation can help Gaza, the West Bank
and the surrounding region — which will include Mohammed Al-Sheikh, Minister of
State, member of Council of Ministers and member of Council of Economic and
Development Affairs in Saudi Arabia.
Kushner will hold a conversation with former UK prime minister Tony Blair,
while just before lunch Arab News’ editor-in-chief Faisal Abbas moderates a
panel on how to empower the Palestinian people to reach their full potential.
at risk if world cannot agree definition on terrorism, says expert
and policy makers have called for global definitions of terrorism and extremism
to better fight radicalisation online and in the real world.
Krisztina Huszti-Orban, professor of law and research fellow at the Human
Rights Centre of the University of Minnesota, argued that because terrorism and
extremism cross state boundaries, global powers need to reach an agreement on
what they are under international law.
is no internationally accepted definition,” she told an audience of researchers
at the Terrorism and Social Media Conference in Swansea, UK
poses a very important problem, as the cornerstone of all counter-terrorism
policies should be an adequate, internationally-recognised definition.”
Institution Fellow and extremism expert J M Berger said “lives are at risk” if
international definitions of the terms are not agreed.
speaking at the conference, which brings policy makers and academics together
to share the latest research and ideas on fighting violent extremism and
terrorism, Mr Berger said terrorism and extremism must be separated from each
think in almost all cases with a few very rare exceptions the cause of
terrorism is extremism,” he said. "So terrorism is a tactic. It is not a
not all violent extremism is terrorism, and not all extremists are violent, Mr
the world over are failing to discuss a whole raft of harmful actions by
lumping in extremism with terrorism as a definition, he explained.
are missing out on a lot of things that happened as a result of extremism. For
instance, hate crime, discriminatory policies, internment camps and
concentration camps which we are seeing an unfortunate resurgence of.”
are also committing acts against their own people and others based on
demonising them as extremist, for example the actions of Myanmar against the
Rohingya people, or China against the Uighur population.
reasonable definition of extremism would deem the people carrying out the
atrocities as extremists,” not the persecuted population, said Mr Berger.
some of these actions are undertaken by UN member states against their own
people or people of other nations, an agreed definition of terrorism at the UN
will be hard to come by, Dr Huszti-Orban said.
UN currently has 19 international conventions and protocols on the prevention
and suppression of terrorism, which provide basic legal tools to combat
draft convention to agree a definition of terrorism has been stuck at committee
stage for a number of years, and is likely to stay there “until kingdom come”,
says Dr Huszti-Orban, for two reasons.
of them is whether a state and state armed forces can be perpetrators of
terrorist acts, and the other is whether terrorism can be permitted in response
to the right of self-determination,” she said. “These are issues that are unlikely
to be solved anytime soon.”
the academic and policy worlds are not in total agreement on the issue.
Alexander Carlisle, former independent reviewer of the UK’s terrorism
legislation for a decade in the early 2000’s, said attempting to define
terrorism is a “futile exercise”.
suggested modelling a definition on how anti-Semitism is treated, by providing
a set of examples of actions or uses of language which are considered to be
anti-Semitic. This, he said gives the flexibility needed to encompass such a
is much better to produce a list of examples as is in the definition of
anti-Semitism and just allow extremism and terrorism to be interpreted as they
evolve rather than a prescribed definition,” he said on Tuesday.
Attempted Attack In Paris, Half A Ton Of Explosives Found - Report
a ton of explosives was brought to Paris in a diplomatic suitcases in order to
carry out a terror attack, before being foiled by French authorities, it was
reported in the British media.
British newspaper "Independent in Arabic" quoted an intelligence source
as saying that in 2018 Iran had delivered half a ton of TATP explosives in
diplomatic packages to a civilian plane that was supposed to be transferred to
Paris to carry out an attack in the city.
to the report, the plane arrived from Tehran to Geneva in June 2018, following
an Iranian plan to carry out a terrorist attack during a meeting of the Iranian
opposition. According to a report based on intelligence sources, the attack was
supposed to be carried out by an Iranian intelligence official who worked at
the Iranian embassy in Austria since 2014, but French intelligence thwarted the
attack after the authorities arrested a Belgian couple of Iranian origin who
had the explosives in their car on their way to Paris.
Western intelligence source said the intelligence official visited Tehran on
July 20, 2018, where he received TATP explosives. On June 22, he transferred
explosives in a civilian plane from Tehran to Austria on flight OS872, when the
material was delivered in a diplomatic suitcase aboard the Airbus A320. The
plane had 240 passengers.
source added that the transfer of the explosives into a civilian plane
constitutes a clear and blatant blow to all international treaties related to
security in international aviation, for if it enters into strong pockets of
air, the plane would explode in the air. The source referred to the Russian
plane that exploded shortly after taking off from the Sharm el-Sheikh airport
in Egypt three years ago, and all 244 passengers aboard were killed by an explosive
charge weighing half a kilogram of TNT.
to the intelligence source, the material seized by the Belgian couple in Iran
and its transfer to a terrorist attack on a civilian plane is a dangerous
violation of international conventions. According to the source, Iran
frequently uses civilian aircraft and civilian airlines to transport
explosives, weapons and ballistic missiles, as well as funds to Hezbollah in
Lebanon and elsewhere in the world.
recruit 50,000 Yemen child soldiers in 3 months, minister says
gun, a comic magazine about jihad and qat to chew – for many kids in Yemen,
these are integral parts of their childhood. About 50,000 children have been
recruited in the past three months by the Houthi rebels to fight in the
country’s bloody civil war, with around 10% of them being girls, according to
Yemen’s Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani.
the difficult economic situation in the country when salaries are mainly being
paid only to those willing to fight, families have to find a way to survive.
of the kids go with the consent of their family, some are kidnapped … some are
brainwashed,” Al-Eryani said during a media roundtable this week in Washington,
the same time, many children have been recruited to the rebel cause from
orphanages, he claimed.
to the United Nations, the situation on the ground in Yemen is getting more
violent as the civil war continues into its fifth year.
total number of children currently fighting for the rebels is unknown,
according to Al-Eryani. He said the 50,000 figure was calculated based on “the
information received from Sana’a,” but that its source should remain
Defense Post was unable to independently verify the figures.
children at war
conflict is getting worse, not better. Fighting this year has displaced more
than 250,000 people,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council this
number of incidents killing or injuring children more than tripled between the
last quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of this year.”
are now more than 30 active front lines in Yemen, and fighting remains
consistent. When clashes quieted down in the port city of Hodeidah after the
Stockholm Agreement, fighters were redeployed to other areas, including Al
Dhale’e, Hajjah and Taiz.
Swangin, chief of communication and advocacy at the Yemen division of the U.N.
Children’s Fund, told The Defense Post that from March 2015 to April 2019, the
U.N. was able to verify recruitment of 3,321 children in Yemen – 3,264 boys and
is only what the U.N. was able to verify. The actual numbers are likely to be
much, much higher,” Swangin said. “All parties to the conflict in Yemen are
recruiting and using children in the war in different capacities.”
to the 2017 Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict
released in May last year, the U.N. verified 842 cases of the recruitment and
use of boys as young as 11 years old in the Yemen conflict. Among those
reported cases, nearly two-thirds, or 534, were attributed to the Houthis, 142
cases to the Security Belt Forces, a paramilitary force based in Southern
Yemen, and 105 to the Yemeni Armed Forces.
Tuesday, Reuters reported that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had blocked
the inclusion of Saudi Arabia on an upcoming State Department list of countries
that use child soldiers, despite findings that the Saudi-led coalition fighting
the Houthis had enlisted Sudanese children to fight with militias in Yemen.
the roundtable on Tuesday, Al-Eryani showed journalists what he said were
photographs of children armed with guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers
deployed at checkpoints and participating in military drills.
often give child fighters qat (also spelled khat) – a commonly-used plant that
contains the stimulant alkaloid cathinone – to keep them awake at the
frontlines, the minister said, while a kids’ magazine about jihad helps with
also shared a picture of a letter that he said showed a Houthi commander’s
request that a school give a student top marks for his exams because he was
fighting, and said in some cases, families have been forced to celebrate their
child’s martyrdom after receiving the news of their death.
investigators said in August that they had “received substantial information
indicating that the Government of Yemen, the coalition-backed forces and the
Houthi-Saleh forces have all conscripted or enlisted children into armed forces
or groups and used them to participate actively in hostilities.”
most cases, the children were between 11 and 17 years old, but there have been
consistent reports of the recruitment or use of children as young as eight
years old,” the investigators added.
asked about the report, Al-Eryani said Yemeni law and institutions criminalize
and prohibit child recruitment.
the military police are doing some kind of inspection to make sure that there
are no kids recruited,” he said. “The government will not and cannot allow
at risk in Yemen
to a May 2018 special report by the Yemeni embassy in Washington, D.C., Yemen’s
children have experienced an “intense and deep trauma” at the hands of the
transformative change will be needed that is vital to imparting upon them a
raison d’être for wanting to live in peace with the world, and not wanting to
die in war or to commit crimes or terrorist acts against the United States or
other nationalities in the future,” the report said.
and in order to remedy this warped mindset, an immense campaign must be
instituted that is dedicated to instilling the rudimentary goodwill and
acceptance of others (irrespective of religion, race and nationality) in
educational curricula and for their existential development.”
the 2015 escalation of conflict in Yemen, nearly half a million children have
left school, according to UNICEF. The total number of out-of-school minors
reached 2 million in 2018.
entire generation of children in Yemen faces a bleak future because of limited
or no access to education,” UNICEF Representative in Yemen Meritxell Relaño
said last March. “Even those who remain in school are not getting the quality
education they need.”
the moment, about 24 million people in Yemen are in urgent need of protection
and assistance, with about 80% of the population being stuck in a “deadly loop”
of suffering, war and disease, according to Lowcock. The U.N. has called the
situation in Yemen “the world’s worst humanitarian tragedy.”
the dire conditions on the ground, full funding for humanitarian operations in
the country is far from being reached.
year we require $4.2 billion and have so far received $1.15 billion, or 27%. In
February, we heard very generous pledges in Geneva amounting to $2.6 billion,”
thank all our donors for their generosity and understand that this money comes
from voluntary contributions. But when pledges are made, they must be
fulfilled. It has now been four months since the Geneva conference.”
donate land for graveyard to Muslims in Ayodhya
In a gesture that could ease tension between Hindus and Muslim and, perhaps,
pave the way for a solution to the Ram temple dispute, Hindus in Uttar
Pradesh's Ayodhya district have donated land to Muslims for a burial ground.
The land has been donated in Belarikhan village under the Gosaiganj Assembly
land had been a bone of contention between the two communities for years until
now. Surya Kumar Jhinkan Maharaj, a local seer, and eight other shareholders,
signed the registered deed for 1.25 bissas of land on June 20 to bury the
other signatories to the land deed are Ram Prakash Bablu, Ram Singar Pandey,
Ram Shabad, Jiya Ram, Subhash Chandra, Rita Devi, Vindhyachal and Awadhesh
land belonged to Hindus as per records. It is by the side of a graveyard and
some Muslims have buried their dead on the land. There were disputes and
tension. But now, we have settled the matter," said Jhinkan Maharaj.
deed is now in favour of the Qabristan Committee, Gosainganj and it will soon
be entered in revenue records," said Vais Ansari, President of the
Qabristan Committee. Sub-registrar SB Singh confirmed the transfer of land to
the Muslims for the graveyard and said: "It's a gift from the Hindu
community through a proper deed and stamp duty."
Tiwari, the local BJP MLA who took the initiative, said: "The tradition of
Hindu-Muslim brotherhood here is not new. This was a small token of love from
Hindus to Muslims. I hope this amity will continue."
Masjid’s khateeb removed, Maulana Aziz’s entry banned for three months
The capital administration has removed the khateeb of Lal Masjid and imposed a
three-month ban on the entry of former khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz in the
decision was taken after a meeting between Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat
and Ulema, including Mufti Raees Ayubi from Azad Kashmir and Qazi Nisar from
administration of Jamia Hafsa, including Maulana Abdul Aziz’s wife Umme Hassam,
along with 80 students came to Lal Masjid after a plot allotted to the seminary
started living in eight rooms on the premises of the mosque adjacent to the
weekly bazaar and commenced educational activities, said officials. The DC
requested the Ulema at the meeting held on Monday to play their role in getting
the rooms vacated.
Ulema played the role of mediators between the capital administration and the
former administration of the mosque.
was decided that teachers and students of Jamia Hafsa would continue their
educational activities in Lal Masjid for three months. During this period, the
capital administration would resolve the issue of the cancellation of a plot
allotted to Jamia Hafsa so that they could be shifted there.
contacted, officers of the capital administration neither confirmed nor denied
the development saying so far no notification had been issued.
an official confirmed to Dawn that the khateeb of the mosque had been
transferred on his own request.
the development, the capital administration and police reopened the Masjid Road
which had been closed a few days ago.
Ahmed, a close associate of the former Lal Masjid administration, told Dawn
that Khateeb Amir Siddiqui had been suspended by the Auqaf department after
Monday’s meeting. Ulema from Kashmir and Gilgit played their role in getting
the issue resolved, he added.
10 Muftis from Lal Masjid’s Darul Ifta will be leading prayers till the
appointment of a new khateeb after three months,” he said.
the meeting, he added, it was also agreed that Maulana Aziz would not enter the
mosque for three months.
issue related to the cancellation of the plot allotted to Jamia Hafsa was also
discussed, Mr Ahmed said. It was decided that the students and teachers of the
madressah would continue their educational activities in Lal Masjid but no more
students would be enrolled there.
capital administration also agreed that it would make efforts to get a plot
arranged from the civic agency for the students.
Aziz remained khateeb of Lal Masjid from 1998 to 2004. He was arrested during
the Lal Masjid operation in 2007.
Maulana Abdul Ghaffar was appointed as the khateeb and Amir Siddiqui the naib
khateeb on temporary basis.
2009, Maulana Ghaffar left the mosque after the release of Maulana Aziz and the
latter started leading prayers in Lal Masjid till 2014 when a ban was imposed
Siddiqui then led prayers and three months ago was appointed the mosque’s
of Kirkuk: ISIS orphans, an emergency that weighs on the future of Iraq
(AsiaNews) - Daesh orphans "are a major emergency" calling for a
"global, not just local" response from the Baghdad government that is
likely to appear "insufficient," warns the Archbishop of Kirkuk Msgr.
Yousif Thoma Mirkis who recently attended a UNICEF seminar on children and
young people born or raised under the "Caliphate" of the Islamic
State (IS, formerly Isis) in Syria and Iraq.
is a question of primary importance that must be addressed
"economically" by the international community and requires
"other responses, such as education and schooling".
and humanitarian NGOs speak of more than 1500 minors "trapped" within
the Iraqi judicial system, because they are victims of brainwashing and today
imbued with jihadist ideology. The youngest are held in prison along with their
mothers; in recent months at least seven would have died due to poor detention
are on trial for crimes of various kinds, from illegal immigration to having
fought alongside ISIS militants. Official sources speak of 185 children and
young people between the ages of nine and 18 already sentenced to a few months
up to a maximum of 15 years and locked up in the juvenile prison in Baghdad.
Minors affiliated to ISIS are treated without regard, tortured or persecuted by
jailers and prisoners, without knowing their real degree of involvement in the
others by the thousands, although not incarcerated, live in precarious
conditions begging in the streets of Mosul in search of the minimum money for a
meal or by selling makeshift objects along the roadsides. With the risk,
certainly not remote, of being exploited by the underworld or ending up in the
local gangs that exploit them for money. According to the Iraqi sociologist
Fatima Khalaf, these street children "are not immune to [...]
exploitation" and "if they are abandoned, they could become
criminals", for which the compulsory education is even more urgent.
recently emphasized by the auxiliary of Baghdad, Msgr. Shemon Warduni is
necessary "to educate [...] especially children" who represent the
future of the country. "It is an open and dangerous question - the
archbishop of Kirkuk confirms to AsiaNews - 35,000 people live in a camp near
Kobane, the vast majority orphaned with their father killed and their mother,
who is still wearing the niqab (the full veil) ”. The truth, the prelate adds,
is that "these people are still tied to the time of Daesh [Arabic acronym
for Isis] and even the government is afraid to have anything to do with
order to understand the extent of the problem, Msgr. Yousif points to the fact
that up to eight million people lived under the "Caliphate" in Syria
and Iraq and many, like the origins of Islam, had three, four, even 10 wives.
According to some sources, three million people were born in this area between
the two countries and under the jihadist yoke and "very many children and
young people have been brainwashed" by the men of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
date, neither the government, nor the humanitarian institutions and NGOs
"although starting from different points of view" have succeeded in
"providing an answer" to the emergency. The executive "looks at
the issue from a political point of view", applying an anti-terrorism norm
which is "very harsh and foresees up to the death penalty. This norm has
caused many more widows and orphans. The government does not take care of them
and asks the humanitarian NGOs to take responsibility for them".
this rebound of responsibility, from which the international community cannot
be considered exempt, the question remains unresolved. "Many of these
children - explains the prelate - were born from fighters from France, Germany,
Belgium or Great Britain and belong to these countries. Their governments must
take responsibility for them, helping Iraq and Syria. This is a global problem,
hence the need for everyone to work together on an economic level, but above
all on a cultural level ".
Iraqi Church, at the instigation of the Chaldean patriarch and bishops, sought
to help these children by giving them "bread, water, milk and other basic
necessities. I myself - the archbishop continues - asked the faithful to help
some Daesh families locked up in a refugee camp near Kirkuk. However, our
resources are limited and it is very difficult to get in touch with these
children. The fact remains that we cannot abandon them, because they could
become the jihadists of tomorrow and it is the responsibility of the government
and the international community to take care of them ”.
the military level, the prelate concludes, perhaps Daesh "is defeated, but
the mentality remains. This is the tip of the iceberg, to which economic,
political and social problems are added ".
Arab Coalition said that Saudi Special Forces have captured Abu Osama
al-Muhajir, the emir of ISIS in Yemen.
statement on the Saudi Press Agency said al- Muhajir, as well as other members
of the extremist group, were captured on June 3.
ammunition, and telecommunication devices were also seized during the
Turki al-Maliki, the official spokesman of the Arab Coalition, said the joint
operation took place on June 3 at 9:20 am local time.
house kept under close surveillance proved the presence of the terror group’s leader,
and other elements, along with three women and three children,” al-Maliki said.
fully identifying and understanding their daily routines in the area through
monitoring and surveillance, the operation was successful in capturing the
terrorists, and ensuring the safety of the women and children inside the
house,” he added.
capture of ISIS’ leader, Abu Osama al-Muhajir, in Yemen is just the latest
example of our commitment to eradicating the scourge of terrorism, Saudi
Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman said in a tweet on
Arabia continues to play a leading role in the international community’s effort
to combat terrorism & counter extremism,” he said.
Arab Coalition earlier announced that Saudi Special Forces have captured Abu
Osama al-Muhajir, the emir of ISIS in Yemen. A statement on the Saudi Press
Agency said al-Muhajir, as well as other members of the extremist group, were
captured on June 3.
bin Salman خالد بن سلمان
capture of ISIS’ leader in Yemen is just the latest example of our commitment
to eradicating the scourge of terrorism. Saudi Arabia continues to play a
leading role in the international community’s effort to combat terrorism &
Kingdom’s military operations in Yemen are aimed at restoring the legitimate
government of Yemen and preventing terrorist groups like the Houthis, Al Qaeda
and ISIS from using the country to destabilize the region and to the threaten
the global economy.
PM - Jun 25, 2019
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Khalid bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia’s military operations in Yemen are
aimed at restoring the legitimate government of Yemen and preventing terrorist
groups from using the country to destabilize the region and to threaten the
Iran-backed Houthi militia is violating international humanitarian law by
firing ballistic missiles and drones to target civilians in the Kingdom, Saudi
Arabia’s Council of Ministers said in a meeting on Tuesday afternoon in Jeddah.
to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Cabinet discussed the escalating tension in
the region, the threat posed by Iran’s destabilizing activities in Yemen and in
the region as a whole, and the Houthi militia attacks on the Kingdom.
council said the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia by Houthi militia present a
real threat to regional and international security, adding that they have the
legitimate right to lead coalition forces to support the legitimacy in Yemen
and to take necessary measures to deal with these hostilities.
special forces kill 14 IS militants in country's north
special forces say they have conducted an operation near the northern city of
Kirkuk in which they killed 14 members of the Islamic State group.
statement from Iraqi Counterterrorism Forces on Monday says that during the
operation, Iraqi forces received support from warplanes of the U.S.-led
statement says the operation, just south of Kirkuk, lasted for two days and
included Iraqi special forces rappelling from helicopters.
attacked three police checkpoints in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula late
Tuesday, killing at least six policemen and wounding eight other officers,
security officials said.
officials said at least four militants were killed, including a suicide bomber
who set off his explosives at one of the checkpoints attacked in the coastal
city of al-Arish late Tuesday. The officials agreed to provide the details only
if not quoted by name because they were not authorized to brief the media.
group claimed responsibility for the attacks, although they bore the hallmarks
Barham Salih says Iraq will under no circumstances allow the US military to use
its bases in the Arab country for an act of aggression against neighboring
an interview with the CNN in London on Tuesday, Salih stressed that American
troops had been invited to Iraq solely for helping Baghdad fight the Takfiri
Daesh terrorist group.
about US President Donald Trump’s comments in February that he wanted to
maintain a US military presence in Iraq to “watch” Iran, Salih said that
Baghdad had already clarified its position.
that time, he noted, the government of Iraq said in a statement that “the
American troops, the coalition troops in Iraq are there again at the invitation
of the Iraqi government for the specific exclusive mission of fighting ISIS
do not want our territory to be a staging post for any hostile action against
any of our neighbors, including Iran,” the Iraqi president said. “This is
definitely not part of the agreement between the Iraqi government and the
about US-Iran tensions
in his interview, Salih said he was truly concerned about the recent escalation
of tensions between the US and Iran and its ramifications for Iraq.
also welcomed Trump’s recent reported decision to cancel a strike on Iran,
emphasizing that the region needs fundamental solutions rather than a war.
we are happy that a war has been averted. This part of the world has been going
through cycles of conflict for so many years. We don’t need another war and
there is no military solution to this problem. There are serious problems
afflicting regional order in the Middle East,” he said.
is easy to start a war, but very very difficult to end the war,” he added.
Iraqi president further questioned the efficacy of the US’s policy of sanctions
against Iran and underlined the need for dialog.
is ] no doubt ... that sanctions are hurting. The escalation is hurting the
entire region not just Iran, to be fair,” he said.
Iran separation not practical
also referred to social, cultural and economic ties that have bound Iraq and
Iran for centuries, saying it is actually impractical to separate the two
than eight months since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, his
remains still haven't been found and individual responsibilities in the killing
remain "clouded in secrecy and lack of due process", according to a
long-awaited UN report.
Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, is presenting her
findings on Khashoggi's murder at the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, one
week after her report on the matter was released.
report concluded that Saudi Arabia was responsible for Khashoggi's murder and that
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) should be investigated for his
possible role in ordering the killing.
are five things you need to know about what has happened since Khashoggi
disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and what is
expected to happen next.
a contributing columnist for the Washington Post, was killed and dismembered at
the Saudi consulate on October 2 when he arrived to pick up documents he needed
for his planned marriage.
59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled and his body cut into
pieces by a team of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul specifically to carry out that
operation, according to Turkish officials.
media reports suggested his remains, which have never been found, were
dissolved in acid.
Arabia's narrative of what happened changed over time.
first maintained that Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after entering but,
as Turkish authorities continued to leak evidence of high-level involvement,
Riyadh eventually admitted its agents carried out the killing with a series of
October 20, Saudi Arabia said Khashoggi was killed in their consulate during a
fight that broke out between him and officials he was meeting with there.
Eighteen Saudi nationals were arrested.
Arabia's foreign minister said Riyadh did not know where Khashoggi's remains
were and blamed his death on "rogue" agents.
November the CIA concluded that MBS ordered Khashoggi's assassination,
according to US media reports. The finding contradicts Saudi government
assertions that MBS wasn't involved. US officials expressed high confidence in
the CIA assessment.
Ban on arms sales
murder sparked debate worldwide about banning arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which
emerged as the world's largest arms importer from 2014-2018, accounting for 12
percent of imports.
number of European states had already stopped exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia
- including Norway, Sweden, Austria, Greece, and the Belgian region of Wallonia
- in response to the kingdom's involvement in an aerial bombing campaign in
Yemen, which has become the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Khashoggi's murder, Germany announced it had suspended supplying arms to Saudi
Arabia. It extended its six-month arms embargo in April.
Finland and the Netherlands followed suit with the suspension of future
approvals of weapons, while Austria advocated for an EU-wide arms embargo.
Spain, Italy and Canada however, did not stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday the UK government said it will not grant any new licences for weapons
exports to Saudi Arabia or its coalition partners, which include the United
Arab Emirates (UAE).
US has continued with its "business as usual with Saudi Arabia"
approach. However, on Thursday the US Senate rejected - in a 53-45 vote - a
plan by US President Donald Trump to bypass Congress and complete $8bn in arms
sales to the kingdom.
No 'credible accountability'
January eleven suspects were indicted for Khashoggi's murder in Saudi Arabia,
which has insisted it will try the case and has refused the extradition of
suspects to Turkey.
the UN human rights office questioned the fairness of the Saudi trial, saying
that it was "not sufficient" and called for a probe "with
week, the long-awaited UN report revealed that the key suspect in Khashoggi's
murder, Saud al-Qahtani, former adviser to MBS, still hasn't been charged.
Saudi prosecutor in November 2018 identified Qahtani as one of the senior
officials directly involved in the murder. Yet, according to insider reports,
he continues to work with MBS.
other members of the hit squad have yet to appear before the court.
the trial held behind closed doors and the identities of those charged still
unreleased, the trial "will not deliver credible accountability," the
UN rapporteur wrote.
UN, human rights organisations and analysts have pointed out that Khashoggi's
murder is emblematic of a larger problem: the widespread Saudi crackdown on
year before Khashoggi was killed, MBS told an aide he would use a bullet on the
journalist if he did not return to Saudi Arabia and end his criticism of the government,
according to a New York Times report.
was also quoted in US media reports describing Khashoggi as a "dangerous
Islamist" in a phone call with US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and
senior adviser Jared Kushner and National Security Advisor John Bolton weeks
after Khashoggi's disappearance.
New York Times also reported in March that MBS had authorised a clandestine
campaign to silence Saudi dissenters more than a year before Khashoggi's
campaign included surveillance, kidnapping, detention and torture of Saudis,
the report said, citing US officials who read classified intelligence reports
about the effort.
of the victims of this group was a university lecturer who reported on the
situation of women in Saudi Arabia. She was tortured last year, prompting her
to attempt suicide.
UN report: "Saudi Arabia is responsible'
is "credible evidence" linking MBS to Khashoggi's murder and the
crown prince should be investigated, the UN rights expert concluded on June 19.
her report, UN extrajudicial executions investigator Callamard said Khashoggi's
death "constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible".
to Al Jazeera, Callamard said: "There is little doubt in my mind that the
killing was premeditated. It was planned."
with a minute-by-minute account of the journalist's grisly dismemberment based
on audio recordings, the report found "credible evidence" that Saudi
Arabia had destroyed proof by "thoroughly, even forensically"
cleaning the crime scene.
"the Saudi investigation was not conducted in good faith, and it may
amount to obstructing justice," the report stated.
after the release of Callamard's investigation, a spokesman for UN chief
Antonio Guterres said he could only launch an inquiry with a mandate from
"a competent intergovernmental body".
pursue a criminal investigation that would oblige all countries to cooperate
would require a UN Security Council resolution, he added.
Callamard said she believed the UN chief "should be able to establish a
follow-up criminal investigation without any trigger" by other UN bodies
or member states.
Bryza, a former US diplomat and senior fellow at the US-based Atlantic Council
think-tank, said Guterres was unlikely to initiate a criminal probe.
leaves the Security Council [to trigger an investigation], but I fear the US,
under President Donald Trump, will block any action in the Security Council or
in the UN General Assembly," Bryza said, underlining that a change in the
US approach would be needed to launch an investigation.
other relevant body is the UN Human Rights Council. But Saudi Arabia sits on
the body and may be able to stop other countries from launching an inquiry.
The trade war that Donald Trump has initiated with China by imposing massive
tariffs on the Chinese products has upset one of his core support bases, the
influential church community, that fears the US President's import duties would
increase the cost of the Bible in America.
US and China have been locked in a bruising trade war since Trump imposed heavy
tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March last year, a
move that sparked fears of a global trade war.
has already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and
China has retaliated with tariffs on US goods.
response, China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of
church community is up in arm against President Trump as his import duties on
Chinese products will increase in the United States the cost of the holy Bible,
which is significantly imported from China.
to Congressman Josh Harder, more than half of the Bibles produced in the world
originate from China.
recently proposed tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods,
including printed materials, could have significant negative effects on our
religious groups, churches, schools, ministries, and nonprofit
organisations," Harder said.
than half of the Bibles printed in the world originate in China due to the
unique paper and technologies required," he said.
the Bibles are excluded from the tariffs, churches, religious schools and other
organisations would be forced to pay more for the scripture, he said.
don't think the president planned to add an extra tax on Bibles, but that's the
practical effect these tariffs would have, and that would make connecting with
scripture more difficult for our Christian communities," Harder said.
need all of these trade wars to end, but in the meantime, we can't allow our
congregations to become collateral damage," he added, after he wrote a
letter to Trump.
Congressman urged the President to exempt the Bibles printed in China from
the letter dated June 25, the Congressman from California expressed his concern
regarding tariffs on printed books which would amount to a "Bible
printed books, including the Bibles, are not removed from the list of products
that could be impacted by tariffs, consumers and religious groups will be
forced to pay higher prices for their Bibles, Harder said.
I do not believe this was an intended policy aim, the outcome would be harmful
to our religious communities who rely on these sacred texts. I respectfully
request that you reconsider the proposed tariffs for books and Bibles,"
the Congressman said.
publishers and Bibles societies in the US depend on the capacity and expertise
of printers in China to help supply the 20 million Bibles bought each year by
Americans, said Stan Jantz, president of the Evangelical Christian Publishers
Bible tax would mean fewer Bibles at much higher prices would be available to
people who depend on the Bible for their daily spiritual nourishment,"
25 percent tariff imposed on Bibles would cause a hardship for many publishers,
will be significant damage to Bible accessibility if Bibles and books are not
excluded from the tariffs. Some believe such a tariff would place a practical
limitation on religious freedom. For sure we know that competitive options for
printing Bibles outside of China are limited, especially if the current average
price of a Bible is to be maintained," he said.
to Mark Schoenwald, president of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, the Trump
administration was unaware of the potential negative impact these proposed
tariffs would have on the publishing industry generally, and that it never
intended to impose a "Bible Tax" on consumers and religious
owns Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, two of the largest Bible producers in the
printed books, including the Bibles are not removed from the fourth list of
products from China to be subject to tariffs and the tariffs go into effect,
publishers will reduce investment in their businesses, consumers and religious
organisations will face higher prices, and churches, schools, ministries, and
nonprofit organisations will have fewer resources to educate others and connect
them with the Holy Bible," Schoenwald said in a statement.
of the most critical issues facing the book publishing industry is the strong
possibility that a tariff of up to 25 per cent will be placed on goods imported
from China, including books and the Bibles.
such Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has expressed its
concerns to the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
and the Bibles should be exempted from the Chinese tariff, he argued in a
testimony before the USTR this week.
and ECPA board member Paul Hendrickson, general manager of Hendrickson
Publishers also gave testimonies.
ECPA said a large number of Bibles — well over 50 per cent - were printed in
there are some domestic Bible options available, the US printers comparable to
China on price and quality do not have the capacity to meet the current demand.
The same can be said for four-colour books printed in China.
a star-studded guest list of 75 elected officials from all three levels of
government, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself, The
Canadian-Muslim Vote (TCMV) welcomed 1,000 people this past weekend at what is
likely the largest dinner party in Canadian politics. With all major federal
parties speaking publicly for the first time since Parliament closed for the
summer, the event had the tone of an unofficial campaign launch.
you haven’t heard of it yet, the TCMV annual Eid Dinner has become a
cornerstone event in Canadian politics. It’s a forum for the Canadian-Muslim
community to show their elected officials they are politically engaged, and for
politicians to show they care about our community.
does this dinner party matter? In the wake of Quebec’s Bill 21, it symbolizes
how political power in the Canadian-Muslim community has grown in four short
years ago, a small group of people met in the basement of a mosque to discuss
launching a new organization that would get out the vote in a traditionally
under-engaged community. Those early meetings in 2015, the year of the last
federal election, were the birthplace of TCMV, a non-partisan organization
dedicated to promoting civic engagement in the community.
years later, as the next federal election is upon us, TCMV has now become a
national best practice for tailored voter education and engagement campaigns.
What happened in between? Thousands of hours of grassroots political
organizing, door-knocking, empowering youth through political internships, and
educating the community about political issues in between elections.
years ago Canadian Muslims were known to have lower-than-average voter turnout,
and today the community is one of the most politically active demographics in
Canada. TCMV is an example of voter engagement that works and we have the
numbers to prove it.
Canadian-Muslim community is now a politically empowered electorate, boasting
voter turnout numbers above the national average, at 79 per cent in both the
2015 federal election and the 2018 Ontario provincial election, as compared to
67 per cent and 58 per cent respectively.
a community of approximately 1.5 million across Canada, there are 23 ridings
(many of which are swing ridings in the GTA) that have a Muslim population of
10 per cent or more. When looking at these swing ridings, 2019 election
projections by the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy
indicate that the outcome in many swing ridings could be decided by how the
Canadian-Muslim community votes this fall.
Canadian-Muslim community – now more politically active than ever before –
could tangibly impact on the election outcome.
Canadians head to the polls in October, I will be taking note of how political
rhetoric about our community changes. While the 2015 election campaign centered
on issues like the niqab ban and the infamous “barbaric cultural practices”
hotline, 2019 will be a whole different ballgame and party leaders will need to
be mindful of language, lest they lose votes from a key demographic.
Trump struck back Monday at Iran by issuing “hard-hitting” financial sanctions
against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates.
action follows a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent
weeks including shooting down a U.S. drone,” the president said in the Oval
Office, calling Khamenei “responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime.”
said the sanctions “will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader's
office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key
financial resources and support.” Speaking to reporters in the White House
briefing room Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions
“lock up literally billions of dollars more of assets.”
with that action today, we are also announcing specific actions targeting those
responsible for recent activities,” Mnuchin said, adding that the president has
instructed him to sanction Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “later this
Treasury Department, in a news release, said “any foreign financial institution
that knowingly facilitates a significant financial transaction for entities
designated under this Executive Order could be cut off from the U.S. financial
the newly announced sanctions, Fox News has confirmed that the U.S. military
also carried out a cyberattack against Iran last Thursday even as the president
nixed plans for airstrikes in response to the downing of an American drone.
said U.S. Cyber Command launched the cyberattack targeting the Iranian
intelligence and radar installations used to down the U.S. Navy drone last
News has learned Iran shut off some of its military radar sites around the time
the U.S. was poised to launch retaliatory strikes. It's not clear if those
radar sites were turned off by the cyberattack or if Iran shut them off
deliberately in anticipation of this.
News first reported on the retaliatory cyber strike. It came as the White House
and Pentagon were also considering military strikes, but Trump revealed last
Friday that he called them off after learning up to 150 Iranians could be
stopped it, not ... proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” he
tweeted at the time.
drone shoot-down was only the latest flare-up in the region tied to Iran.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday he hoped to recruit support
from NATO allies this week for US efforts to deter conflict with Iran and “open
the door to diplomacy,” as he made his first trip as Pentagon chief.
with us the concern, outrage ... with regard to Iran’s activities in the
region. That would be a good first step,” Esper said when asked during his
flight to Brussels what he wanted to see from allies in the North Atlantic
National Security Advisor John Bolton says the United States is still looking
forward to talks with Iran, even after President Donald Trump authorized
sanctions against senior Iranian officials.
Monday, the White House introduced new sanctions that targeted Leader of the
Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top Iranian military commanders.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was also going to be targeted by new
sanctions, according to some reports.
Foreign Ministry said the latest sanctions amounted to a "permanent
closure of the path to diplomacy" with the Trump administration.
said during a visit to the Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday that the US remained
open to negotiations.
that Iran needs to do is to walk through that open door," he said.
claimed that Trump had more than once expressed readiness for direct
negotiations but Iran had yet to respond.
president has held the door open to real negotiations," Bolton said in a
statement on Tuesday. "In response, Iran's silence has been deafening.”
Bolton’s claims, Iran has time and again made it clear that it would not sit
down for talks with Washington as long as it continues its current hostile
policies against the Islamic Republic.
have been running high between the two countries since Trump’s decision in May
last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on
Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to
renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and
regional influence as well.
US has also sent warships, bombers and additional troops to the region in the
wake of suspicious tanker attacks in the Sea of Oman, which it has blamed on
Iran without providing evidence.
however, has remained steadfast on its position. The Islamic Revolution Guards
Corps shot down a US spy drone last week, prompting Trump to consider and
quickly back out of retaliatory strikes.
show US lying'
President Hassan Rouhani doubled down on Iran’s stance on Tuesday, saying
Washington's move in introducing more sanctions proved it was "lying"
bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a measure to stop federal
funds from being used for any military force against Tehran without Congress's
amendment, co-sponsored by congressmen Ro Khanna, Matt Gaetz and 17 others,
serves as an impediment to many in U.S. President Donald Trump's cabinet who
are pushing to attack Tehran.
Trump campaigned on ending costly wars overseas but given the advisors he chose
and his recent risky actions, he is not living up to that promise," said
Khanna in a statement.
bipartisan amendment is a vital safeguard against unilateral actions by this
president who selected the architect of the Iraq war to be his national
security advisor," Khanna added, referring to Trump's National Security
Advisor John Bolton.
also served in former President George W. Bush's administration.
unconstitutional, unending wars in the Middle East make America weaker, not
stronger," said Gaetz.
who is a Republican and has shown support for Trump's decisions against Iran,
still co-sponsored the amendment to ensure that "any military action is
carried out Constitutionally."
an interview with The Hill on Monday, Trump said that he does not need
Congressional approval to strike Iran.
do like keeping them abreast, but I don’t have to do it legally," he said,
referring to lawmakers.
legislation put forth is an amendment to the National Defense Authorization
Act, and specifically notes that neither an authorization for the use of
military force from 2001 or 2002 could be used as justification for military
force against Iran.
amendment also says that no federal funds can be used for such military force
without the authorization of Congress.
Trump administration has taken a hardline approach towards Iran, reversing some
of the steps taken by previous administrations.
May 2018, Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal
between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus
Germany and the EU.
part of its campaign against the country, the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on
exports of Iranian crude oil, which have nosedived the Iranian economy, and
designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist
strategy in London not good enough, says mayor
strategy to tackle violent extremism in London is inadequate and puts people’s
safety at risk, the capital’s mayor said on Tuesday.
Khan called for immediate improvements to identifying, reporting and countering
extremist activity as he published the findings of a review examining London’s
ability to prevent attacks.
Khan, who said he was investing £1 million into tackling the issue, said that
extremists sought to exploit inequality and poverty in the capital to recruit
review was prompted by four terrorist attacks in the capital in 2017 – one by a
far-right wing extremist - that left 14 people dead and dozens injured.
rise of violent extremism is a growing threat. Building strong, integrated
communities is the way to tackle it.
the most comprehensive listening exercise ever undertaken on this issue - today
we've published our new report & recommendations.
PM - Jun 25, 2019
Hall in the sun
Mayor has launched a new programme for 2018 to improve and renew efforts to
tackle violent extremism
people are talking about this
into attacks by four Islamist extremists outside parliament and at London
Bridge less than three months apart have heard evidence of security
shortcomings and missed opportunities that could have reduced the death toll.
All of the attackers were shot dead.
work in London has been evidenced but it is clear that our ability to tackle
violent extremism currently is simply not good enough, putting our safety and
security at risk,” Mr Khan wrote in the report. “Efforts to improve and renew
are needed urgently.”
Khan said the review also highlighted “failings and shortcomings” in the
government’s counter-radicalisation strategy, Prevent, that is designed to
identify potential terrorists and divert them from violence. Mr Khan said there
was both misunderstanding and “deep mistrust” of the strategy from some
sections of the community.
UK government in January announced plans for an independent review of Prevent
but said that it would take at least 18 months to report back.
his foreword to a review of a two-year supplementary programme run by his city
administration, Mr Khan aligned himself with critics of the government’s
oversight of Prevent, which has divided opinion over the best way to tackle the
spread of Islamist ideology.
the backdrop of the heightened scale and pace of the threat of violent
extremism, improvements simply cannot wait alone for a lengthy review process,”
said Mr Khan, a politician from the opposition Labour party.
report was set up to identify ways to strengthen minority communities and stop
the spread of extremist ideology.
is no single pathway into violent extremism and there is no absolute check list
as to who might be vulnerable to radicalisation,” the mayor said.
urged Russia on Tuesday to destroy a new missile before an August deadline and
save a treaty that keeps land-based nuclear warheads out of Europe or face a
more determined alliance response in the region.
defence ministers will discuss on Wednesday their next steps if Moscow keeps
the missile system that the United States says would allow short-notice nuclear
attacks on Europe and break the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty
call on Russia to take the responsible path, but we have seen no indication
that Russia intends to do so," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a
news conference. "We will need to respond."
declined to go into more details. But diplomats said defence ministers will
consider more flights over Europe by US warplanes capable of carrying nuclear
warheads, more military training and the repositioning US sea-based missiles.
United States and its Nato allies want Russia to destroy its 9M729/SSC-8
nuclear-capable cruise missile system, which Moscow has so far refused to do.
It denies any violations of the INF treaty, accusing Washington of seeking an
a deal, the United States has said it will withdraw from the INF treaty on
August 2, removing constraints on its own ability to develop nuclear-capable,
dispute has deepened a fissure in East-West ties that severely deteriorated
after Russia's seizure of Crimea and its involvement in Syria.
warned on Monday of a stand-off comparable to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis if
the United States were to deploy land-based missile systems near Russia's
borders, but Stoltenberg said there were no such plans.
Ambassador to Nato Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters that at present,
Washington was only considering conventional, not nuclear weapons, in any
options are on the table but we are looking at conventional systems, that's
important for our European allies to know," she said.
allies are also worried about the deployment of US nuclear missiles in Europe,
as happened in the 1980s, and being caught up in nuclear competition between
Moscow and Washington.
UK's new F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter jets have joined the fight against
the Islamic State group in their first operational missions.
jets, based in Cyprus, have carried out more than 14 armed reconnaissance
missions over Iraq and Syria, the Ministry of Defence says.
RAF said the F-35s had not carried out any attacks and that the operations had
gone "exceptionally well".
Secretary Penny Mordaunt called it "a really historic moment".
currently has 17 F-35Bs and has pledged to purchase 138 in total from US
aviation giant Lockheed Martin.
aircraft - which cost almost £100m - can land vertically, similar to the
Harrier Jump Jet, and combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic
of the jets have been deployed at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus since May for training
exercises, in an operation known as Exercise Lightning Dawn.
part of their training, the jets carried out 95 missions and flew in pairs for
225 hours, the MoD said.
have now joined the hunt for militants under Operation Shader, the UK's
contribution in the ongoing military action against IS.
from the Cypriot RAF base, Ms Mordaunt said she was "very proud that these
are now flying in defence".
added: "It obviously has some incredible capabilities which are really
putting us in the lead."
jets, jointly operated by the RAF and the Royal Navy, are expected to take off
from the decks of the new £3.1bn Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier in the
autumn for more testing.
F-35 jets' real test is still to come
BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale
first of Britain's most advanced and expensive fighter jets have now carried
out more than a dozen missions over Iraq and Syria.
IS having lost its territory and on the run there are now few obvious targets.
F-35s have not yet conducted any airstrikes. Instead they've been using their
sophisticated sensors to gather intelligence.
RAF describes the F-35 as the best "eyes and ears" on the
battlefield, even though the jet is still suffering from a host of technical
its other great asset is that it is hard to see. Britain's first
"stealth" jet can, in theory, avoid detection by enemy radar.
Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday
as part of a French initiative to prevent an escalation of tensions in the
Middle East, Macron's office said in a statement.
Elysee official declined to give further details on the conversation.
does not expect the United States to request that the United Kingdom joins a
war with Iran and London would be unlikely to agree to join such a conflict,
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday.
US is our closest ally, we talk to them the whole time, we consider any
requests that they say carefully, but I cannot envisage any situation where
they request or we agree to any moves to go to war,” Hunt told parliament.
message we are sending with our partners in the European Union particularly the
French and the Germans is that with respect to Iran’s nuclear program, this is
a crucial week.
President Vladimir Putin’s top security aide says Moscow has military
intelligence indicating that a US spy drone was intruding into Iranian airspace
when it was shot down by Iran’s air defenses, despite Washington’s claims to
have information from the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation that this
drone was in Iranian airspace,” Head of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai
Patrushev said at a briefing for journalists in Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday.
have been running high between Iran and the United States after Iran’s Islamic
Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) shot down on June 20 an intruding Global Hawk
surveillance drone, which had violated Iranian airspace on a spying mission
despite repeated warnings.
US claims that the drone was flying in international airspace when it was
targeted, without providing any evidence.
later, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran released a map with
detailed coordinates that clearly show the drone was flying over Iranian
territorial waters off the coast of the country’s southern Hormozgan Province.
Jun 20, 2019
US wages #EconomicTerrorism on Iran, has conducted covert action against us
& now encroaches on our territory.
don't seek war, but will zealously defend our skies, land & waters.
take this new aggression to #UN & show that the US is lying about
00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian
airspace. It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N
57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak.
retrieved sections of the US military drone in OUR territorial waters where it
was shot down.
PM - Jun 20, 2019
image on TwitterView image on Twitter
people are talking about this
addition, Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-e Ravanchi told reporters on
Monday that the UN Security Council had been provided with “undeniable
information” regarding the incident, which showed the aircraft’s exact course
and point of entry into Iranian skies.
Ravanchi was speaking on the sidelines of a closed-door Security Council
session, which had been called by the US in an attempt to persuade the world
body that Iran had unlawfully downed its drone, and that Tehran had been
involved in recent attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
attempt apparently went down the drain, with the Security Council issuing a
mere informal statement afterwards on behalf of the body, condemning the
attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, without mentioning Iran.
in his comments, Patrushev dismissed the charges leveled against Iran by the
United States and some of its allies accusing Tehran of being behind recent
attacks on two tanker ships in the Sea of Oman.
said evidence presented by the US on the issue was poor quality and
Japanese-owned and one Norwegian-owned tanker were struck by explosions near
the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Tokyo said both vessels were carrying
after the incidents, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the
US military also released a grainy video that it claims showed an Iranian navy
boat removing an unexploded mine attached to the hull of the Japanese-owned
video was, however, disputed by experts and many world countries, including
Russia and Washington’s own allies.
has dismissed all claims of its involvement, with Zarif saying the timing of
the attacks was “suspicious” as they coincided with a meeting in Tehran between
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Leader of the Islamic Revolution
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
had earlier blamed Tehran for similar sabotage operations targeting oil tankers
off the Emirati port city of Fujairah, an allegation categorically rejected by
defends Iran’s Syria role
was speaking following a trilateral meeting in the Israeli-occupied territories
with US National Security Advisor John Bolton and head of Israel’s national
security council Meir Ben-Shabbat.
senior Russian official also delivered a strong defense of Iran’s
anti-terrorism mission in Syria, amid Israeli calls for Moscow to force
Iranians out of the Arab state.
and Moscow have been helping the Syrian government in its counter-terrorism
operations at the Damascus government’s request.
further hailed Iran as a significant contributor to the fight against terrorism
and the settlement of the conflict in Syria.
the context of the statements made by our partners with regard to a major
regional power, namely Iran, I would like to say the following: Iran has always
been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently
developing relations both on bilateral basis and within multilateral formats,”
than $110 million was raised Tuesday at a pledging conference to support the UN
agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, which has been struggling since the
United States slashed funding.
chief Pierre Kraehenbuehl said the funding would allow the agency, which
provides education and health services to Palestinians, to cover costs for the
coming months and avoid a budget crisis.
35 countries took part in the conference, mostly European and Arab nations,
with the biggest contributions coming from the EU, Germany, and Britain.
conference was held on the same day as President Donald Trump’s administration
unveiled the economic component of a long-awaited Middle East peace plan, at a
workshop in Bahrain.
US plan dangles the prospect of $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian
territories and neighboring Arab countries over 10 years.
year, the Trump administration cut all funding to UNRWA, arguing that it was
flawed as Washington pressed ahead with work on proposals for an
Middle East advisor Jason Greenblatt in May told the Security Council that the
agency should be dismantled and its services handed over to countries hosting
the Palestinian refugees and NGOs.
welcomed the pledge of $110 million, saying it was an “important amount” but
said UNRWA would be seeking more funding to cover its annual budget of $1.2
billion in September.
hope this allows us to bridge a lot of the needs that we have in the next three
to four months,” he told reporters.
were no announcements of new contributions from Gulf countries, but the UNRWA
chief stressed there were strong expressions of support for the agency’s work.
year, UNRWA relied on extra money from member states and internal savings to
cover a $446 million budgetary hole. This year it unveiled a budget of $1.2
billion, unchanged from 2018.
in 1949, UNRWA runs schools and provides health care for some five million
Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza
“never seeks war with the United States,” President Hassan Rouhani said
Wednesday amid a spike in tensions between the two countries.
has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with
any country, including (the) US,” the president said during a phone
conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, quoted by state news
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused US National Security Adviser John
Bolton of plotting for war against Iran in a tweet on Tuesday.
know why those with proven record of detesting diplomacy are suddenly
interested in talks? Just read @AmbJohnBolton’s 2017 recipe for destroying the
#JCPOA,” Zarif wrote, adding a link to a 2017 article written by Bolton in the
National Review. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, is the
landmark 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers.
never left the negotiation table. #B_Team dragged the US out, while plotting
for war,” Zarif added.
army forces and fighters from allied Popular Committees have launched a string
of airstrikes at Saudi military positions in the kingdom’s southern regions in
retaliation for the Riyadh regime's deadly military campaign against their
spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree said, said
Yemeni army forces, said on Tuesday evening that Yemeni troops and their allies
had carried out aerial assaults against designated targets at Jizan Airport and
Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern province of Asir,
using a squadron of domestically-manufactured Qasef-2K (Striker-2K) combat
further noted that the attacks led to the suspension of flights at the
attacks on Abha and Jizan airports are in response to the crimes of Saudi-led
aggressors and the ongoing siege on Yemen, which has now entered its fifth
year,” the top Yemeni military official pointed out.
then called on civilians and businesses to stay away from Saudi airports and
military sites, stating that they are legitimate targets as long as the
Saudi-led military aggression and the blockade of Yemen continue.
is not the first attack on Abha International Airport. It was also struck by
Yemeni forces on Monday, with one person killed and 8 others injured in the
June 19, Yemeni army forces, backed by fighters from Popular Committees,
launched a series of airstrikes against unmanned aerial vehicles and military
targets at Jizan Airport with a squadron of Qasef-2K drones.
stated that air traffic at the airport was severely disrupted as a result.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed
the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
The experts are unanimous: The battered Palestinian economy is in urgent need
of stimulus and investment to lift it out of a cycle of chronic depression.
there is no clear consensus that the proposals put forward by Jared Kushner, US
President Donald Trump’s senior adviser on the Middle East, are the appropriate
means of doing so.
is unveiling a $50 billion economic stimulus package at the Peace to Prosperity
workshop being held in Bahrain’s capital Manama.
any economic indicator, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are well down the global
league. Gross domestic product (GDP) of around $15 billion puts them near Malta
and Albania in the world growth tables compiled by the International Monetary
to the World Bank, unemployment averaging around 31 percent for the two parts
of Palestine, and hitting a dramatic 51 percent in Gaza, is among the highest
rates in the world.
is dependent on foreign aid and grants, and Israel’s forbearance, to come
anywhere near balancing its national budget, but most of the time it runs a
any normal standards, Palestine is an economic basket case. If it were a
corporation, it would have filed for bankruptcy long ago.
financed from our own income and supplemented by trust funds contributed by
donors, fund the Palestinian Authority’s projects in water and sanitation,
municipal, education and social protection sectors,” the World Bank said
is little doubt as to the cause of the Palestinian malaise: The Israeli
occupation, and the more or less permanent state of hostility it creates,
preventing Palestinians from living a normal economic life.
lack of progress toward peace and reconciliation creates an unsustainable
economic situation,” the World Bank said.
Palestinian internal polity is sharply divided between Gaza and the West Bank.
Due to a steep deterioration in Gaza and a slowdown in the West Bank, the
Palestinian economy witnessed no real growth in 2018.”
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was equally certain of the
cause of the chronic economic slump.
“Occupation has hollowed out the agricultural and industrial sectors and
weakened the ability of the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory to
compete at home and abroad,” it said.
fact that, today, real GDP per capita in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is
at the same level as in 1999 is a clear indication of the human cost and lost
economic potential resulting from occupation,” it added.
growth in all sectors is constrained by the loss of land and resources to
Israeli settlements and the annexation of land in the West Bank.”
highlighted the problem of youth unemployment in Palestine. “This
marginalization of young people discourages investment in education, lowers the
accumulation of human capital and deprives the economy of potential
entrepreneurs and creative thinkers,” it said.
Middle East economist Nasser Saidi told Arab News: “The distortions of the
Israeli occupation — the barriers and obstacles — have led to a lack of
infrastructure and increasing the cost of doing business.” He added: “A lot of
these were put there in the name of security, but many of them are unnecessary.
If you want to address the economic issues, you need to remove these barriers.”
believes that Kushner’s proposals will have only a “very limited” impact.
“These aren’t really investments, they’re more like long-term loans to the
Palestinians, and you have to question their ability to service the loans,”
Saidi said. “What’s really needed is a Marshall Plan for Palestine, but this
isn’t it. It barely addresses the issues in Gaza, for example, which is
essentially a large number of people in what is effectively a concentration
camp. How can they hope to be productive in an economic sense?”
Middle East experts shared this skepticism, and pointed to the problem of
corruption in Palestine.
Kushner peace plan faces extraordinarily long odds, and not just because the
problem has persisted for a century,” Ellen Wald, an American consultant and
author of the recent book “Saudi, Inc.,” told Arab News.
bares rift in Valley terror: Al-Qaeda cell lashes out at Pakistan
second part of the conversation, purportedly between Abu Dujana, a former
Lashkar commander who became an Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind terrorist, and the
group's founder Zakir Musa, gives details on how pro-Pakistan terrorists were
hounding those who abandoned Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the region. One of
these operatives is Abu Dujana, who switched from Lashkar to Ansar after an
ideological rift with the group.
the terror commanders give details to how they were harassed by
Pakistan-sponsored terrorists on leaving their group and following a
the conversation, they also blame Hizb-ul-Mujahideen for harassing families of
some terrorists who defected from Hizb to Ansar.
stone-pelters who shout pro-Pakistan slogans, he is heard telling Musa that
they are being misled and they don't die as 'martyrs'.
had succeeded Abu Qasim as Lashkar-e-Toiba divisional commander in 2015 after
he was killed in an encounter with the security forces.
and Zakir discuss the flow of weapons in Kashmir from Pakistan. Dujana says
groups like Hizb, LeT and JeM collect donations in the name of Islam in
Pakistan, then buy weapons which are dispatched to Kashmir for 'Jihad'.
the conversation, they question terror outfits that "snatch" weapons
bought with money collected through donations in the name of 'Jihad'.
is a fight for land for Pakistan. If they are so sincere, why don't they save
Muslims in China?" Musa tells Dujana.
has once again brought the cleft between the terror groups operating in Kashmir
out in open.
a harsh critique of separatist politics, had once threatened to behead
separatists in Srinagar. He had called on terror groups to enforce Shariah,
seeking an Islamic struggle. Dujana, from Gilgit Baltistan, had snuck into the
Valley around 2011 and was the most wanted terrorist there.
An Eye Out
the Indian security establishment believes there is no immediate threat from
pan-Islamist group by Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, it is keeping a close eye on the
Pak clash over Nizam of Hyderabad funds in UK
A battle is underway in the UK high court between the grandson of the 7th and
last Nizam of Hyderabad, the government of India and the government of Pakistan
over £35 million (about Rs 308 crore) stashed away in a British bank account
70-year dispute centres on £1 million that on around September 16, 1948 was
transferred by the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad — who ruled the princely state between
1911 and 1948 — to a bank account in London held by Pakistan’s then high
commissioner to the UK, Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola. The £1 million has since
grown to £35 million and remains in a NatWest bank account.
the grandson of the 7th Nizam, Mukarram Jah, who claims the title of 8th Nizam
of Hyderabad and resides in Turkey, and his younger brother, Muffakham Jah,
claim they are the beneficial owners as the fund was gifted to them in a trust
by their grandfather set up on April 24, 1963, the Pakistan government says it
was a payment made by the state of Hyderabad to Pakistan for arming Hyderabad
when it was about to be invaded by India.
Partition, the 7th Nizam chose for Hyderabad to remain independent. But
Hyderabad was annexed to India as a result of Operation Polo between September
13 and 18, 1948.
a two-week trial in the Business List of the high court, which concluded on
Friday, Eason Rajah QC, representing Mukarram Jah, claimed the £1 million was
passed to Rahimtoola on “trust for safe-keeping”.
Pakistan’s argument is that the £1 million was a payment to Pakistan for arming
Hyderabad against India in September 1948 and Pakistan being a sovereign state
cannot be subjected to scrutiny by the English courts.
Hewitt, a partner at Withers LLP, the solicitors representing the Mukarram Jah,
told TOI: “His Exalted Highness Nizam VIII and his younger brother have waited
decades to receive what their grandfather gifted them. Pakistan has blocked
access for 70 years and we hope the recent trial will mean a final resolution
Jah’s skeleton arguments, which TOI has a copy of, state that on September 15,
1948 Nawab Moin Nawaz Jung, the 7th Nizam’s finance minister, wrote to
Rahimtoola asking whether in view of the situation developing in Hyderabad, in
order to safeguard the interests of the state, could he transfer £1 million to
his account. “This amount may kindly be kept by you in trust,” he wrote. “Moin
took these steps to safeguard the fund in view of the invasion of Hyderabad by
India,” Mukarram Jah’s arguments plead. But the transfer was not authorised by
the 7th Nizam.
however, pleads: “The monies cannot sensibly or realistically have been
transferred to Pakistan on the basis that Pakistan would hold them as agent or
trustee for the Nizam, so that upon conquest of Hyderabad, India could compel
the Nizam to transfer the monies to India. The transfer to the Rahimtoola
account was a transaction between states, Hyderabad and Pakistan, entered into
in highly political circumstances when Hyderabad was facing or subject to an
unlawful invasion by India.”
Qureshi QC, representing Pakistan, states in his skeleton arguments that:
“Hyderabad transferred the monies to the Rahimtoola account in order to
compensate/reimburse/indemnify Pakistan in connection with the assistance she
had provided the 7th Nizam and keep the monies out of the hands of India.
Pakistan assisted the 7th Nizam by procuring the supply and/or transportation
of weapons via Pakistan to Hyderabad, in support of Hyderabad’s attempts at
self-defence against Indian aggression.”
two-week trial ended on Friday and Justice Marcus Smith is expected to hand
down judgment in a few months’ time as to both whether English courts have
jurisdiction over the matter and who should get their hands on the money.
one point the Indian government had a claim over the money too, but India and
the two princes have reached a confidential agreement over this.
July 8, 1954, once things had settled down, the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad together
with the state of Hyderabad issued a writ before the UK high court against the
government of Pakistan and Rahimtoola asking for the £1 million back. On July
19, 1955, Rahimtoola got the writ set aside on the basis the English courts
were interfering with Pakistan’s sovereign immunity. The money has stayed
frozen in the bank account ever since.
DELHI: As many as 733 terrorists have been neutralised in Jammu & Kashmir
in the past three-and-a-half years, including 113 until June 16 this year.
written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, minister of state for home G
Kishan Reddy said while killings of terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir have
steadily gone up from 150 in 2016 to 213 in 2017 and 257 in 2018, civilians
killed in terror-related incidents rose from 15 in 2015 to 40 in 2017, and
stayed constant at 39 in 2018. Until June 16 this year, 18 civilian killings
were reported from the Valley.
policy to engage terrorists in intelligence-based encounters in the Valley is
expected to continue under home minister Amit Shah. Shah will be paying his
first visit to the state starting Wednesday. During his two-day stay, he will
hold talks with governor Satya Pal Malik, attend the Unified Headquarters
meeting and also review security arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra that begins
on July 1.
visit comes in the backdrop of Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq indicating
willingness for talks and Malik terming it as an "encouraging sign".
in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Reddy, while responding to a question, informed
that violent incidents in Jammu & Kashmir had peaked at 614 in 2018, an 80
per cent rise over 342 incidents reported in 2017. Civilians killed stood at 40
in 2018, up from 39 in 2017, while fatalities among security personnel totalled
91 last year, up from 80 in 2017. In comparison, there were 222 incidents in
Jammu & Kashmir in 2014, which killed 28 civilians and 47 security
personnel. While the figures fell in 2015, they rose prominently in 2016 on
account of cycle of violence triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen
terrorist Burhan Wani in July 2016.
comparison, the situation in Left-wing extremism-hit states has shown
considerable improvement over the last five years.
the period 2009-2013, when UPA was in power, and 2014-2018 under NDA regime,
incidents of Naxalite violence fell by 43.4 per cent, civilian deaths by 59.1
per cent and security personnel fatalities by 63.6 per cent. The killing of
Maoists however went up 10.5 per cent over the corresponding period.
Left-wing extremism-related violence was reported from only 60 districts across
8 states - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana - last year, even though Centre had
classified 90 districts as Naxal-affected and offering them financial support.
Two-thirds of violent incidents in 2018 were reported from 10 districts.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested Habibur Rahman, one of
the prime accused in Burdwan blast case. Rahman was arrested in Bengaluru and
will be brought to Kolkata on transit remand. The NIA had announced a reward of
Rs 10 lakh for providing information related to the whereabouts of Rahman, who
is the closest aided of Burdwan blast mastermind Kausar.
blast took place on October 2, 2014 and the investigation of this blast helped
the security forces in uncovering the sleeper cells of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen
Bangladesh operating in West Bengal. Two JMB operatives had died in the blast
while making bombs while a third one was seriously injured. The initial
investigation in this case was started by West Bengal Police but the probe was
later handed over to NIA. The police had seized a huge cache of explosives,
including IEDs and RDX from the blast site.
on Tuesday, the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police arrested four
neo-Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) or the Islamic State (IS) operatives
in the city. Two operatives identified as Md. Jiaur Rahman and Mamonur Rashid -
both Bangladeshi nationals, were arrested from the vicinity of Sealdah Railway
Station's parking lot. The police have seized a mobile phone containing photos,
videos, jihadi text and literature from them.
other operatives identified as Md. Sahin Alam and Robiul Islam were arrested
from Howrah Station. The STF sid that Alam is a Bangladeshi national, while
Islam is an Indian and belongs to Birbhum district in West Bengal.
Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) held a meeting on Tuesday to
discuss issues including those related to the progress in the ongoing
negotiations with the Supreme Court-appointed Ayodhya mediation panel.
board chairman Zufar Ahmed Farooqui apprised the members about his discussion
and meetings with mediation panel and everyone expressed satisfaction over the
developments,” said a UPSCWB member, who attended the meeting, on condition of
members were of the view that the issue had been dragging on for far too long
and if there was any possibility of a “just and honourable settlement”, it
should be discussed, he added.
meeting assumes significance in view of Babri-Masjid Action Committee’s recent
statement saying it was better to wait for a court verdict in the matter
instead of exploring the possibility of a negotiated settlement.
Muslims have always made it clear that they are willing to cooperate but then
something tangible and worthwhile should be there to consider for both the
parties,” the member quoted above said.
added that a final decision would be taken only after consulting all parties to
the dispute and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
panel has also invited the UPSWB for talks even as it is not a litigant in the
case. The UPSWB has expressed its willingness to give up the disputed land in
Ayodhya in exchange for an alternative site for building a mosque.
round of talks with the mediation panel was scheduled to take place in the
first week of July in New Delhi.
least one militant was killed after a gunfight with security forces in Tral in
south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday, ahead of Union home minister
Amit Shah’s two-day visit to the state.
police official said the body of the militant was retrieved from the site of
encounter. The identity and affiliation of the killed militant is being
ascertained, the official said. Incriminating material, including arms and
ammunition, has been recovered from the site of encounter, he added.
operation began in the morning when the Indian Army and state police launched
an operation in Branpathri forests in Tral following information about the
presence of a group of militants there.
militants opened fire at the security forces after the cordon around them was
tightened. Intermittent firing exchanges are now going on between the security
forces and the militants hiding in the area,” police sources said, according to
news agency IANS.
and home secretary Rajiv Gauba will fly to Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon and
return a day later. Soon after his arrival, Shah will review the security
situation in Valley at a high-level meeting.
will also chair a meeting of the Unified Command – which comprises officers of
the Indian Army, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force
(CRPF) and the state police – to review steps taken for a peaceful and
terror-free Amarnath Yatra and discuss ongoing and future counterterror
DELHI: Indian police arrested 11 people Tuesday over the killing of a Muslim
man who was tortured and forced to chant Hindu slogans in the latest mob
violence to shock the nation.
police officers have also been suspended over the handling of the lynching of
Tabrez Ansari, captured on a video that went viral on Indian social media.
24-year-old is seen in the video crying and pleading as a mob in Jharkhand
state forces him to chant “Jai Sri Ram” — hail Lord Ram — a slogan widely used
by Hindu hard-liners.
had been accused by villagers of carrying out a burglary. He was tied to a pole
and beaten for up to 12 hours before police first detained him in Seraikela,
and then took him to hospital — where he died Saturday.
have arrested 11 people. Two police have also been suspended because they
failed to inform seniors about the case and tried to manage it at their level,”
Seraikela police chief Karthik S. told AFP.
reports said Ansari’s wife has accused police of deliberately taking him to
jail first — instead of a hospital — despite the critical injuries he suffered.
of the death emerged as the Indian government rejected a US State Department
report that said religious violence against minorities has spiked under the
right-wing Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
US religious freedom report said there had been growing numbers of attacks by
groups claiming to protect cows — considered sacred by Hindus — on Muslims and
low-caste Dalits since 2014 when Modi came to power.
in India have also accused the government of not doing enough to stop
Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi condemned the killing however, and said
the government would not let a “destructive agenda” dominate India’s
who are involved in such incidents have only one motive — to spoil the positive
atmosphere created by the government,” he said.
opposition Congress party accused Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) of failing to protect Muslims and other minorities.
former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a strong spokesman of the World
of Islam and the leader of the Third World. He was the founder of Pakistan’s
nuclear program. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had announced that he would call Third
World summit in his second tenure. Bhutto wanted to liberate the Third World
and the Muslim World from neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism.
a result, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto that if Pakistan continued with its nuclear program-“the Prime Minister
would have to pay a heavy price. We will make an example of you”. The
neo-colonialists made a horrible example of Bhutto and assassinated him for his
anti-imperialistic stance and his efforts to unite the Islamic World.
fact, from the very beginning, American CIA kept eye on the nuclear program of
Pakistan and practical steps, taken by the then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto to unity the Islamic Ummah.
Bhutto’s government was toppled in 1977 by a CIA-backed coup of Chief of Army
Staff Gen. Zia-ul-Haq who hanged him through the court, which is considered a
judicial murder in Pakistan.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, another leader-Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has
emerged on the scene, who speaks convincingly and clearly and feels the pain of
the Islamic Ummah currently passing through a difficult phase.
Imran Khan became prime minister of Pakistan, he has been making serious
efforts to create unity of the Islamic Ummah.
this regard, during the 14th session of the Islamic Summit, leaders from across
the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on
June 1, this year, which follows two emergency Arab meetings the night before
some rulers of Arab countries criticized Iran and its influence in relation to
Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, which further showed disunity among the Muslim World.
the other leaders who addressed the OIC summit, in his speech, while expressing
views on bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest and
the issues being faced by the Islamic world, Prime Minister Imran Khan insisted
on practical unity of the Islamic Ummah.
Khan who has been persistent in calling for a global fight against rising
anti-Muslim bigotry along the same lines as anti-Semitism after the Holocaust,
started his maiden speech by raising the issue of Islamophobia, saying; “When
someone from the West blasphemed our Holy Prophet (PBUH), I always felt the
response from the Muslim Ummah and OIC was lacking…it is a failure of the OIC
that we have not been able to explain to the other countries the love and
affection we feel for our Holy Prophet…Some western countries are suffering
from Islamophobia. The West should differentiate between moderate Muslims and
extremist Muslims…The international community has to respect the feelings of
more than 1 billion Muslims…I also want to bring up the point that the Muslim
World must pay more attention to science and technology…We must pay more
attention to quality education and universities; an area in which the Muslim
world lags. I fear the Muslim world may be left behind again and this is the
best forum to raise this concern in.”
Minister Khan also specifically talked about the plight of both Palestinian and
Kashmiri people, calling for resolution of these issues in accordance with the
wishes and aspirations of the people of both the territories. He further stated
that he also “plays his role to promote unity in the Muslim World which in fact
is the need of the hour to wage a joint struggle against the oppressed Muslims
living under the tyranny of occupying forces.”
other leaders, Imran Khan strongly condemned the inhumane situation of Rohingya
Muslims, urging a halt to violence and stressed: “Myanmar’s government has the
responsibility to protect its citizens.”
also slammed the US decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize
the disputed city as Israel’s capital and urged all members to “boycott”
countries that have opened diplomatic missions in the city. The body also
refused to accept any decision to change the legal and demographic status of
Syria’s Golan Heights, especially the US decision to recognize Israeli
sovereignty over the territory.
day before the Summit, Prime Minister Khan performed Umrah (pilgrimage) and
prayed for the unity of the Muslim community all over the world.
analysts have appreciated the speech of Pakistan’s premier and opined: “Muslim
Ummah is confronting a number of challenges in recent times and both Saudi
Arabia and Pakistan could play a vital role in the unity of Muslim world.
Anti-Islam forces were very active in hatching conspiracies against Muslims
throughout history and enemies of Islam are still active. Muslim Ummah can foil
their nefarious designs through unity and steadfastness. Muslim Ummah should solve
its internal ideological differences in a peaceful way; it is what Khan’s
is notable that his first address to the nation on October 24, 2018, Prime
Minister Imran Khan also announced that Pakistan is trying “to play the role of
a mediator in the Yemen war involving Saudi Arabia…Pakistan will try to play to
its role in ending conflicts in the region and bring all Muslim countries
is mentionable that in 2015, Riyadh emphasized upon Islamabad to send its
forces to join the US-backed NATO-like Saudi-led coalition to conduct aerial
strikes on Yemen. But, Pakistan refused to join this alliance which was
anti-Iran and also refused to participate in the Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen.
Prime Minister Khan continued this policy firmly.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with Ambassador of Yemen Mohammed
Motahar Alashabi in Islamabad on November 7, last year assured the envoy of
Pakistan’s “unwavering support in the early resolution of the conflict” in
Yemen. He reciprocated the sentiments of the Yemeni leadership and wished for
an early end of hostilities for lasting peace in Yemen. While emphasizing the
need for dialogue, the prime minister stated that the conflict in Yemen affects
regional peace and stability and that it does not have a military solution. He
also called for more concerted and coordinated efforts at a global level to
alleviate the sufferings of the Yemeni people and to ensure their safe return
to their homes.
his first trip to Saudi Arabia to attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII)
conference on October 23, 2018, Prime Minister Khan had also insisted upon the
unity of the Islamic Ummah.
Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Iran on April 21, this year. During his
two-day trip, he met Iran’s Supreme Leader Seyyed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He also stated that Islamabad will mediate
between Saudi Arabia and Iran as part of creating unity of the Islamic Ummah.
during his trip to Saudi Arabia on September 20, 2018, P.M. Khan met with Saudi
King Salman bin Abdul Aziz. In the meeting, the two leaders discussed the
bilateral relationship, the regional and global political situation and the
issues confronting the Muslim Ummah. Again, Khan insisted on the unity of the
P.M. Imran Khan’s serious efforts for Islamic Ummah’s Unity are being
appreciated by Muslims all over the world.
Shaukat writes on international affairs and is an author of the book: US vs
Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International
Despite its reservations about the fairness of the jury which is to determine
Pakistan’s performance against terror financing, the government is committed to
implementing its action plan for dealing with this issue, says Islamabad’s
Washington envoy Asad Majeed Khan.
a conversation with a prominent US scholar George Perkovich, recorded at the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington on Monday afternoon,
Ambassador Khan said the actions that Pakistan had taken so far to eliminate
terror financing were “reflective of the political will”.
feel that we have done a lot. We are also clear and determined to do more,”
said the envoy while responding to a question about a meeting of the Financial
Action Task Force (FATF) held in Orlando last week, which asked Pakistan to
implement its own action plan for eliminating terror financing by October.
Failing to do so could put Pakistan on a blacklist of violators and bring
strict economic sanctions too.
we would not want the jury to be rigged. And there are already predetermined
positions. Be it the statements issued by the Indian minister for finance or by
their other senior leaders, publicly calling for the blacklisting of Pakistan,”
said the ambassador while explaining why Islamabad thought the jury that was
hearing its case was not fair.
India is also the co-chair of (FATF’s) Asia Pacific Group, So you put yourself
in our position and ask us what would our confidence level be in terms of the
fairness of that jury which is sitting in judgement on our performance,” Mr
ambassador, however, assured the international community that its concerns
about the fairness of the jury would not prevent Pakistan from implementing the
action plan, as agreed with the FATF. “We are still taking it very, very
seriously and we are still taking it to the logical conclusion,” he said.
the FATF countries who met in Orlando, three — China, Turkey and Malaysia —
opposed putting Pakistan on the blacklist, thwarting an Indian move to use the
forum for browbeating Islamabad.
Khan recalled that Pakistan had “willingly and voluntarily” signed on to the
FATF process and had already implemented some key measures of the 20-point
action plan. The measures include strict actions against extremist groups,
non-state actors and anyone who was likely to abuse Pakistan’s space,
facilities or territory against anyone, he added.
is a tough set of conditions with a rather short timeline. But the actions that
we are taking, that’s one part. I can say that we have covered a lot of
ground,” the ambassador said.
the last few months, we have actually seized assets of around 700 entities. We
have taken over the facilities run by some of those proscribed entities. We
have proscribed 11 new entities. The terrorist financing cases have gone up by
almost 95 per cent. There’s 175pc increase in arrests linked to that. There is
also almost 82pc rise in conviction rates.”
Khan said Pakistan was also putting in place the infrastructure and legal
frameworks required to deal with this problem and it also had a clear
“determination to see it through in terms of vigorously implementing” these
said through this forum, he would like to share a broad message with the
international community: “There is a clear recognition (in Pakistan) that
without a peace within and peace without, the government will not be able to
implement and execute its development agenda.”
measures that Pakistan was taking in collaboration with FATF were part of a
wider effort for bringing economic prosperity and stability to the country.
are not making it because we are obligated to do it under FATF. We are doing it
because it is part of our national action plan,” he said.
has proposed a six-point plan at the United Nations to counter increasing
racism and faith-based hatred, particularly Islamophobia, around the world,
Radio Pakistan reported on Tuesday.
plan was proposed by Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha
Lodhi at an event “Countering terrorism and other acts of violence based on
religion or belie" that was arranged by Pakistan along with the UN, Turkey
and the Holy See at the headquarters of the world body.
her speech, Lodhi said: "A particularly alarming development is the rise
of Islamophobia, which represents the recent manifestation of the age-old
hatred that spawned anti-Semitism, racism, apartheid and many other forms of
six-point plan at a glance:
by countries to address racism and faith-based hatred
social media platforms to prevent hate speech and negative stereotyping
"focused strategy" to counter Islamophobia
investment in research to identify root causes of religious hatred
engagement of women and youth
investment in education
highlighted the need for governments to "adopt legislation" to
address the issues. She also stressed that tech companies "must prevent
digital technologies and social media platforms from becoming channels for
inflammatory content, incitement and negative stereotyping".
Pakistani ambassador to the UN said that Islamophobia must be countered through
a "focused strategy as social tensions engendered by it posed a risk to
vulnerable Muslim migrants and refugees in the West, besides potentially
threatening the social cohesion of host communities".
further said that there was a "need to boost investment in enhanced
research" to analyse root causes of religious hatred and the reasons
behind the violence sparked by it.
Pakistan and the European Union on Tuesday inked their Strategic Engagement
Plan (SEP), which is expected to provide the framework for greater cooperation
and stronger ties between the two sides.
SEP was signed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and EU High
Representative Federica Mogherini at a ceremony in Brussels.
new strategic engagement plan for steering their bilateral relationship was
agreed upon after protracted negotiations at the fourth round of Pakistan-EU
strategic dialogue held in Islamabad in March.
the EU’s Political and Security Committee, Mr Qureshi shared Pakistan’s
perspective on regional security and hailed the new engagement, saying it would
bring about qualitative change in ties.
SEP will usher in a qualitatively new phase in our relationship, and further
deepen this partnership through an all-encompassing framework of cooperation,”
the minister said.
Qureshi added: “Collaboration in the sphere of peace and security, through a
structured security dialogue, is an essential pillar of this plan.”
new security dialogue under SEP has replaced the earlier series of annual
counterterrorism and non-proliferation and disarmament dialogues.
that Pakistan and EU were maintaining high-level military-to-military contacts,
the foreign minister said the new format would build upon previous engagements
and help the two sides engage in a more comprehensive manner.
Staff Talks provide the framework for this engagement; and enable both sides to
understand respective threat perceptions, challenges and regional security
dimensions,” he added.
third round of Pakistan-EU Staff talks also started in Brussels on Tuesday.
Pakistan’s perspective on regional security, the foreign minister said the
country was pursuing the policy of cooperation with all neighbours including
India. In this regard, he reminded the EU committee of the initiatives
undertaken by Pakistan including work on the opening of the Kartarpur corridor
and expression of readiness to discuss Kashmir, terrorism and all other
matters. On Afghanistan, he said operationalisation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan
Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity reflected Pakistan’s foreign policy
move towards improvement in relations, he maintained, should be on the basis of
mutual respect, sovereign equality and mutual benefit.
apprised the committee about threats to strategic stability in South Asia due
to growing conventional asymmetry between Pakistan and India; supply of
advanced military hardware and sensitive technologies to India; and adoption of
offensive force postures and doctrines by India.
these destabilising circumstances, Pakistan has no option but to maintain a
minimum credible deterrence, while aspiring for a Strategic Restraint Regime in
South Asia,” he emphasised.
rejected the concept of India serving as a “Net Security Provider,” “Economic
Anchor” or “counter weight to China”, harboured by few in the West.
so offsets “the strategic balance in South Asia, undermining regional
stability. At the same time, enhanced strategic space for India in Afghanistan
seriously impacts Pakistan’s security,” Mr Qureshi cautioned.
dispute, he said, was the single biggest obstacle towards peace and stability
in South Asia.
expressed concerns over the escalating tensions in the Middle East between Iran
and the United States.
upon the efforts for a peaceful settlement of the Afghan dispute, he said
Pakistan was extending full support to the peace efforts in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan, through its limited role and influence, facilitated direct talks
between the US and the Taliban through authoritative representatives. We also
released Mullah Baradar and other Taliban prisoners to provide impetus to this
process,” he noted and added that Pakistan contributed to bringing synergy to
the peace process and overcoming deadlocks.
meets UK officials
his meetings with British officials, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar
Bajwa, who is on a visit to the United Kingdom, also spoke about the situation
spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted an update on Gen Bajwa’s visit. “COAS
interacted with Sir Mark Sedwill NSA & Cabinet Secretary at the Cabinet
Office and Mr Stephen Lovegrove Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Defense,” he
Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday called on the United
Kingdom’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Mark Sedwill and Ministry of
Defence’s Permanent Secretary Stephen Lovegrove to discuss the regional
security situation, particularly the Afghan peace process.
to a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan’s
contributions to help restore peace were also acknowledged during the meeting.
Gen Asif Ghafoor
interacted with Sir Mark Sedwill NSA & Cabinet Secy at the Cabinet Office
and Mr Stephen Lovegrove Permanent Secy MoD at MoD. Regional situation
including Afghan Peace Process was discussed. Both dignitaries acknowledged
Pakistan’s contributions towards regional peace.
- 25 Jun 2019
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The presence of the Pakistan army chief and his spokesperson at Lord’s Cricket
Ground in London to watch a key World Cup match between Pakistan and South
Africa on Sunday is doing the rounds on social media, with some Pakistani fans attributing
Pakistan’s defeat of South Africa to the presence of the chief of army staff,
General Qamar Bajwa, at the stadium.
jo karkardagi hai, iss ke peechay wardi hai (The uniform is responsible for the
Pakistan team’s good performance),” several spectators were shouting. One
person tweeted: “Koi puchay to kehna... Qamar Bajwa aya tha.” However, the
response of some Twitter users was not as friendly. Former Pakistan lawmaker
Bushra Gohar asked, “Priorities!!! Are the Pak COAS/Generals on a private visit
to UK to watch Pak-SA match? Who has authorised & paid for their visit?
Hope it isn’t charged to the poor taxpayers (sic).”
very humble request to Bushra Gohar is to please avoid tweeting while being in
front of mirror or using wrong glasses.
Pakistan's human rights minister on Tuesday demanded a probe into the failure
of past governments in getting the FATF membership, saying India has been
creating issues for long.
Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog placed Pakistan on grey list in June
2018 and asked it to implement an action plan to address the issue of money
laundering and terror-financing.
Mazari told Parliament that it was criminal negligence that previous governments
did not pursue the membership of the
Action Task Force (FATF) which was set up by the G-7 countries in 1989 to curb
became FATF member in 1998 and has been creating issues for Pakistan, she said.
should conduct an investigation against specific members of bureaucracy,
foreign ministers and institutional heads
previous governments) for not applying for the membership of the FATF,"
minister accused that previous rulers were corrupt and involved in money
laundering, so they avoided FATF membership.
was irked after reports that India was pushing to get Pakistan on the black
list of the FATF. She said Pakistan's membership of the FATF would have saved
it from current troubles.
also said that the consular access agreement signed between Pakistan and India
in 2008 was not registered in the UN.
said that two countries agreed not to give consular access to the spies and had
it been registered with the UN, the
Court of Justice (ICJ) would not have taken cognizance of the Indian plea
regarding consular access to
demanded that probe should be launched for failure to register the agreement
with the UN.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that no country had approached him to
strike any concessional deal with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to provide
him a safe exit.
prime minister passed these remarks while presiding over a meeting of the
parliamentary committee of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) at
of the participants expressed concern over some proposals in the federal budget
2019-20, saying the budget would bring more hardship to the middle classes.
country has approached me to ask for concessions for Nawaz Sharif,” a
participant of the meeting quoted the prime minister as saying.
said the prime minister reiterated his resolve that no National Reconciliation
Ordinance (NRO)-like concession deal would be made with Mr Sharif. “We will not
grant any NRO to Nawaz Sharif and national wealth looted by former rulers will
be recovered at any cost,” he added.
said the opposition was using “pressure tactics” to seek NRO for Mr Sharif and
evade accountability for corruption.
private TV channels reported that Prime Minister Khan said in the meeting that
the Saudi government had not asked him to give any NRO to Nawaz Sharif.
the PM said, he was expecting that Turkey would definitely ask him to give some
relaxation to the jailed leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) who
had been convicted by the accountability court of Islamabad in a corruption
to TV channels, the prime minister said he was expecting that Mr Recep Tayyip
Erdogan would talk to him about Nawaz Sharif, but the Turkish president did not
PTI leader told Dawn that some of the participants asked the prime minister to
provide some relief to the middle class people in the recently announced
prime minister was told that majority of ruling PTI voters belonged to the
middle class and the party could lose its support among the public if no relief
was given to the middle class.
Minister Khan agreed with the suggestion that the government must make the budget
beneficial to the middle class people, saying they were the backbone of the
meeting also discussed overall political situation in the country in the
backdrop of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Falur Rehman’s plan to
convene a multi-party conference in the federal capital on Wednesday (today).
this the prime minister was confident that the people would not take to the
streets on the opposition’s call because they had seen corruption of the
previous rulers, who were now in the opposition.
PTI legislators, the meeting was also attended by the allies of the ruling
party and discussed the strategy to get the budget passed from the National
Assembly amid the opposition’s protest and criticism.
participant said Prime Minister Khan asked the legislators to urged people in
their constituencies to take maximum benefit of the tax amnesty scheme by
declaring their hidden assets.
hoped that a large number of people would declare their assets in the last six
days of the scheme which would expire on June 30.
Minister Khan held separate meetings with some members of the National Assembly
at his Parliament House chamber, adds APP.
MNAs who called on the PM included Shaheen Saifullah, Talib Hussain Nakai,
Saleh Mohammad Khan, Aurangzeb Khichi, Niaz Ahmed Jhakar, Haji Imtiaz Ahmed,
Umer Aslam Khan, Nawab Sher Waseer, Khurram Shehzad, Farrukh Habib, Faizullah
and Raja Riaz Ahmed.
Assistant to the PM on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq was present at the
delegation of the Balochistan Awami Party also called on Prime Minister Imran
Khan. The delegation included federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida
Jalal and MNAs Mohammad Israr Tareen, Khalid Hussain Magsi, Ehsanullah Reki and
Robina Irfan, the PM office said in a press release.
President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Balochistan, retired Gen
Abdul Qadir Baloch has criticised the federal government for increasing gas and
electricity tariffs and resultant price-hike.
over a meeting of his party here on Tuesday, he said that Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan had deceived people by making fake
said since the PTI came to power the rate of inflation had hit its peak,
affecting the purchasing power of people who were facing skyrocketing prices
with the passage of every day.
Baloch said his party had decided to launch an anti-government campaign very
soon in Balochistan with the support of all opposition parties.
said the federal government could not survive in the current situation because
the poor masses were unable to feed their children twice a day due to its wrong
PML-N leader said it was the democratic right of people to make the prime
minister and his cabinet accountable.
about the government’s amnesty scheme, Mr Baloch accused the prime minister of
giving amnesty to his corrupt ministers, friends and close relatives. He said
when the PML-N government had announced the amnesty scheme, the PTI and its
leadership opposed it.
present government will prove to be a big disaster for the nation because our
enemies have been mocking on country’s dwindling economy while in the past 10
months the prime minister has not taken any action against corrupt mafia
sitting in his cabinet,” he said.
Bilal | Naeem Sahoutara
Karachi and Lahore press clubs have placed a temporary ban on the entry of
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders in their premises following the alleged
assault of a journalist at the hands of a local leader of the ruling party, it
emerged on Wednesday.
video had gone viral over the weekend of Masroor Ali Sial, a leader of PTI Sindh,
entering into an argument with Karachi Press Club (KPC) President Imtiaz Khan
Faran during the taping of a talk show at a private TV channel.
who was seated next to Faran, is then seen standing up and shoving the KPC
president off his seat and later hitting him. The scuffle is stopped with the
intervention of the channel's management.
Minister's Special Assistant on Political Affairs Naeemul Haque in an early
Wednesday tweet condemned the "violent reaction" of Sial, saying
"This kind of behaviour is unacceptable in PTI and is totally unworthy of
a PTI Leader." He announced that "strict disciplinary action"
will be taken against Masroor.
governing body of the KPC strongly condemned and expressed concern over the
incident at an emergency meeting held at the press club on Tuesday. Members of
the body wore black bands in protest against the alleged "violence"
carried out by the PTI leader.
meeting felt that the series of incidents of organised violence against
journalists and journalist bodies on part of the PTI proves that all of this is
being done according to a well thought out policy," a KPC press release
meeting decided to ban the entry of all PTI office-bearers in the KPC for three
days. According to the handout, if the ruling party during these three days
does not revoke the membership of Sial and fails to apologise to Faran, the KPC
will announce a strategy for protest against the PTI in consultation with other
KPC governing body urged press clubs across the country to bar the entry of PTI
leaders for three days in solidarity with the KPC president. The meeting also
temporarily banned the entry in KPC of the host of the talk show during which
the incident took place.
the KPC meeting, the Lahore Press Club (LPC) via a statement announced that its
governing body too was banning the entry of the PTI leadership at its premises
for three days on KPC's call. The office-bearers of the ruling party would not
be allowed at other press clubs of Punjab as well, the statement added.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday warned that escalation of
tensions between Iran and the United States is a serious threat to the regional
addressing the Political and Security Committee of the European Union in
Brussels, he said that Pakistan has concerns over the new developments and how
relations between both countries are becoming sour with the passage of each
US combat warship carrying fighter jets to the Persian Gulf pose a serious
threat to peace,” Qureshi said.
further said that an unstable Iran can derail the peace in this region and
Pakistan being the neighbour would suffer the most. This will also affect the
Afghan Peace Process, he added.
Pakistani ambassador to the US lauded efforts of the new round of peace talks
between the Taliban and the United States, on Monday, a day after both sides
resumed negotiations in Pakistan.
at an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank in
Washington DC, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan said: “If you had asked me this
question 6 months or 8 months ago, frankly, I could never have actually guessed
that there will be a day where the US and the Taliban will spend 16 days in a
room talking about peace.”
is making a serious and sincere effort to support the peace process in Afghanistan,”
highlighted the “shared responsibility” as peace talks resumed in Pakistan over
the weekend. “This is not just for us, it is a shared responsibility with other
countries in the region,” Khan said. “During the peace process, Pakistan will
not allow militants to use Pakistan’s territory to launch attacks or try to use
territory in Afghanistan against Pakistan. The country does not want to bring
the Afghan war into Pakistan,” he said.
comments come after Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for
Afghanistan reconciliation, announced Sunday, the seventh round of talks
between the Taliban and the US would take place on Saturday, June 29 in
Qatar.”I believe all sides want rapid progress,” Khalilzad tweeted. Also with
the arrival of dozens of Afghan negotiators and senior Pakistani officials over
the weekend in Bhurban, Pakistan, who gathered to negotiate how peace can be
achieved in the war-torn country.
October 2018, negotiators from the US and the Taliban have been striving to
reach a peace agreement to end the nearly 18-year-long Afghanistan conflict
-what has now become the longest war in US history.
it is only more recently that progress towards peace negotiations has been
made. A draft agreement was reached in March on the withdrawal of US and NATO
troops in exchange for the Taliban agreeing to relinquish ties with terrorist
organizations like al Qaeda.
have been turbulent since 2015, when Pakistan organised the first historic
round of direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. However,
the negotiations broke down after the Taliban announced the death of their
long-time leader Mullah Omar, which instigated a power struggle within the
following the death of Omar’s successor, Mullah Mansur, in a 2016 US drone
strike on Pakistan’s side near the Afghan border, any hopes of resuming the
impeded peace process slimmed further.
taking the US helm in September last year, Khalilzad has held around six rounds
of talks with the Taliban. But the Taliban have continued to resist talks for
the peace process – insisting their demands for a ceasefire in Afghanistan are
met. With Washington in recent months ramping up efforts, including direct
talks with the Taliban — in a push to bring an end to the conflict in
Afghanistan — despite harsh criticism from the Afghan government.
Taliban has thus far refused to negotiate with the Afghan government in Kabul,
calling President Ashraf Ghani’s administration a “puppet” of the US, with none
of its members attending a conference hosted by the Pakistan government on
Saturday that brought dozens of Afghan political leaders together.
Monday Khan urged both sides to come together.
Taliban aim to firm up date for foreign force exit from Afghanistan
(Reuters) - Upcoming peace talks between the United States and the Taliban will
focus on working out a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops from
Afghanistan and on a Taliban guarantee militants won’t plot attacks from Afghan
soil, sources said on Monday.
seventh round of talks between the warring sides begins on Saturday in Qatar’s
capital of Doha, where U.S. and Taliban negotiators have been trying to hammer
out a deal to end to the 18-year-long war since October.
the timetable for foreign force withdrawal is announced, then talks will
automatically enter the next stage,” said Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the
Taliban’s political office in Doha.
don’t need to wait for the completion of the withdrawal, both withdrawal and
talks can move forward simultaneously.”
focus of the talks has been a Taliban demand for the withdrawal of U.S. and
other foreign forces and a U.S. demand the Taliban guarantee that Afghanistan
will not be used as a base for militant attacks.
other main issues in the process are a ceasefire and talks between the rival
Afghan sides - the insurgents and the Western-backed government.
the Taliban have long refused to talk to the Afghan government, denouncing it
as foreign “puppet”, and fighting has seen no let-up.
other sources with knowledge of the talks said the sixth round in May ended
with unease on both sides, but since then informal meeting had taken place to
work out what can be agreed on.
U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has also held
informal meetings with the Taliban leadership in Doha.
on my recent visits to Afghanistan and Qatar, I believe all sides want rapid
progress,” Khalilzad said on Twitter.
an Afghan-born American diplomat has been leading the talks to secure a
political settlement with the hardline Islamist group that now controls more
Afghan territory than at any time since being toppled in 2001 by U.S.-led
20,000 foreign troops, most of them American, are in Afghanistan as part of a
U.S.-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces. Some U.S.
forces carry out counter-terrorism operations.
least 3,804 civilians were killed in the war last year, according to the United
Nations. Thousands of Afghan soldiers, police and Taliban were also killed.
the Taliban leader vowed this month to sustain the fight until their objectives
March, a draft agreement was reached on the withdrawal of foreign forces in
exchange for a commitment by the Taliban to cut ties with militant groups such
as al Qaeda.
Taliban source said both sides were expecting some clarity and results on the
prime issues in the new round talks.
ceasefire and intra-Afghan talks will not be discussed during the seventh
round,” said the Taliban source, who declined to be identified.
Afghan government officials side fear the United States and the Taliban will
strike a deal on the withdrawal of foreign forces, enabling the United States
to get out of an unpopular war but leaving government forces to battle on
Lanka police overturn local council ban on Muslims
Sri Lanka's police Tuesday stepped in to prevent a local council from banning
Muslim traders from a weekly fair in another backlash from the devastating
Easter attacks blamed on Islamic extremists.
local government body had ordered minority Muslims not to participate in the
farmer's market in the town of Dankotuwa, 47 kilometres (30 miles) north of the
got a court order against the Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Saba (council) because we
can't allow this Islamophobia," local police Superintendent K.
B. Kumarapeli told AFP by telephone.
said the local council chairman representing a political party affiliated to
former president Mahinda Rajapakse ordered Muslims to stay away, saying their
presence could trigger violence in the region.
region has a high concentration of Christians who suffered the most in the
April 21 suicide bombings that targeted three churches and three hotels. At
least 258 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded in the attacks.
police said there was no basis for Tuesday's action by the council when
communal tensions had eased and the region was returning to normality after
several days of anti-Muslim riots last month.
have asked courts to take action against the council chairman for causing
tension between communities," Kumarapeli said adding that a hearing has
been scheduled for Friday.
Lanka has been under a state of emergency since the Easter Sunday suicide
bombings blamed on a local jihadi group which pledged allegiance to the Islamic
public uprising militiaman killed his six comrades in latest insider attack in
local security officials said Tuesday that the militiaman killed his comrades
in Qosh Tapa district.
senior provincial security official said Tuesday that the militiaman killed his
comrades in a security check post late on Monday night.
official also confirmed that the militiaman defected to Taliban after killing
the official said the militiaman also wounded two other public uprising
militiamen in the attack.
security situation in some Jawzjan province has deteriorated during the recent
BAZAR, Bangladesh: Bangladesh police killed three people suspected of trying to
smuggle 15 Rohingya Muslim refugees to Malaysia in a clash on Tuesday near the
South Asian nation’s main refugee camp, an official said, the second such
incident in as many months.
900,000 Rohingya who fled a military-led crackdown in neighboring
Buddhist-dominated Myanmar in 2017 live in Kutupalong, the world’s largest
refugee camp, and other temporary settlements in Bangladesh’s beach town of
sensing the presence of our team, they fired on police, and police also
responded,” said Prodip Kumar Das, a police official in the nearby town of
men attempting to smuggle the refugees, who included some girls, were shot and
died on the way to hospital, Das added. The refugees were rescued and sent to
two different camps after initial questioning.
clash, around 30 km from Kutupalong, followed a tip-off to police, Das told
Reuters, adding that they had retrieved three locally-made guns and 15 rounds
men were themselves Rohingya known to be human traffickers living in the area
since their arrival in Bangladesh before 2017, he added.
civilians who left Myanmar have said they faced atrocities at the hands of its
armed forces but almost all such accusations have been denied by the
doubts over whether they will ever return to Myanmar, some refugees in
Bangladesh are being drawn toward drugs and violence, say people in the area
and aid workers.
risks of being trafficked have increased as refugees are lured by the promise
of work. Anti-trafficking groups fear that routes through the Bay of Bengal are
being used to smuggle out Rohingya refugees.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said that Washington is hopeful a
peace agreement to bring an end to the 17-year war in Afghanistan can be
reached before September 1, Washington Post reported.
in a brief visit to Afghanistan, spoke just days before the start of a fresh
round of talks between Washington’s peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the
Taliban in the Middle Eastern State of Qatar, where the militia maintains a
far, the Taliban have refused to hold direct talks with the Afghan government
and Afghan-to-Afghan talks planned for earlier this year in Doha were scuttled
after both sides disagreed over participants.
hope we have a peace deal before September 1, that’s certainly our mission
set,” Pompeo told reporters in Kabul. He stopped in the Afghan capital on his
way to Delhi on a tour of the Middle East and Asia aimed at building a broad,
global coalition to pressure Iran.
accompanied Pompeo as he met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his partner in
power, Abdullah Abdullah, the country’s chief executive. He also met several
opposition politicians as well as former president Hamid Karzai.
underscored Khalilzad’s strategy in the talks, which involves four
interconnected issues: counterterrorism, foreign troop presence, inter-Afghan
dialogue and a permanent ceasefire.
what has become America’s longest war, US troops invaded Afghanistan in October
2001 following the September 11 attacks. Since then, America has lost more than
2,400 soldiers and spent more than $800 billion. The US and NATO formally
concluded their combat mission in 2014, but American and allied troops remain,
conducting strikes on the Islamic State group and the Taliban and working to
train and build the Afghan military. Taliban insurgents, however, control
nearly half of Afghanistan and are more powerful than at any time since a 2001
US-led invasion. They carry out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting security
forces and government officials.
between Khalilzad and the Taliban have focused on US and NATO troop withdrawal
and guarantees from the Taliban that Afghanistan would not again become a safe
haven for terrorists to plan global attack like the airborne assaults on the
United States in 2001. Pompeo said the United States and Taliban were close to
a deal on countering terrorism.
made real progress and are nearly ready to conclude a draft text outlining the
Taliban commitments to join fellow Afghans in ensuring that Afghan soil never
again becomes a safe haven for terrorists,” Pompeo said. He added that
discussions with the Taliban have also begun on US troop withdrawal. “While
we’ve made clear to the Taliban that were prepared to remove our forces, I want
to be clear we’ve not yet agreed on a timeline to do so,” Pompeo said.
and ethnic minority leaders in Bangladesh have called on the ruling Awami
League government to fulfill its pre-election promises by forming a special
commission and making laws to ensure justice and rights for minorities.
the national election on Dec. 30 last year, the Awami League (AL) said in its
election manifesto that a “National Minority Commission will be formed, and
special laws will be enacted for the effective protection of the rights of the
then AL leadership have been silent on the issue, testing the patience of
religious and ethnic minority leaders.
minority commission and special protection law are absolutely essential because
existing laws of the land are failing to ensure justice and rights for minority
communities,” Sajeeb Drong, an ethnic Garo Catholic and secretary of the
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, told ucanews.com.
the absence of a functional commission and law, which exist in neighboring
India, minorities continue to face various forms of violence and injustice with
impunity, he said.
was speaking to ucanews.com at a June 23 press event in Dhaka organized by the
Bangladeshi Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, the largest minorities
rights forum in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.
council’s secretary advocate Rana Dasgupta, a Hindu, said that despite the
country being a secular state constitutionally, the reality is there has been
an increase in abuse and discrimination against minority communities.
council released a report in May that showed a rise in violence against
Bangladeshi minorities during the first quarter of this year. The report said
there were 250 incidents including 23 murders.
were 806 incidents of violence against minorities in 2018 including 104 forced
conversions and 29 attacks on places of worship used by minorities.
2017, there were 1,004 cases of violence against minorities. The number was
1,471 in 2016.
Court lawyer Govinda Chnadra Pramanik believes existing laws cannot protect
minorities because the political will is missing in the country.
lawmakers from minority communities turn a blind eye when their own people face
abuses and injustices,” said Pramanik, secretary of the Bangladesh National
Hindu Grand Alliance.
said that along with a commission and a law for minorities, there should be a
separate fully fledged ministry overseeing all issues related to minorities.
90 percent of Bangladesh’s 160 million people profess to be adherents of Sunni
Islam. Hindus make up about 8 percent and the rest belong to other faiths
including Buddhism and Christianity.
BAZAR: Bangladesh police killed three people suspected of trying to smuggle 15
Rohingya Muslim refugees to Malaysia in a clash on Tuesday near the South Asian
nation's main refugee camp, an official said, the second such incident in as
900,000 Rohingya who fled a military-led crackdown in neighbouring
Buddhist-dominated Myanmar in 2017 live in Kutupalong, the world's largest
refugee camp, and other temporary settlements in Bangladesh's beach town of
sensing the presence of our team, they fired on police, and police also
responded," said Prodip Kumar Das, a police official in the nearby town of
men attempting to smuggle the refugees, who included some girls, were shot and
died on the way to hospital, Das added.
refugees were rescued and sent to two different camps after initial
clash, around 30 km (19 miles) from Kutupalong, followed a tip-off to police,
Das told Reuters, adding that they had retrieved three locally-made guns and 15
rounds of ammunition.
doubts over whether they will ever return to Myanmar, some refugees in
Bangladesh are being drawn towards drugs and violence, say people in the area
and aid workers.
Afghan Special Forces killed a Taliban attack coordinator during an operation
military officials said Tuesday that the Special Forces conducted the operation
in Bagram district on Monday.
officials further added that “The Taliban militant, who went by the name
Shafiq, was responsible for the coordination of attacks on ANDSF forces.”
military officials also added that “The Taliban do not represent the will of
Afghan people – The Taliban speak of peace but their actions prove they have
Afghan Air Force conducted 20 airstrikes in support of the Afghan armed forces.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Tuesday that the airstrikes were carried out in
the past 24 hours.
defense ministry in a statement said the air force conducted the airsrikes to
support the ground forces during the ongoing counter-terrorism operations.
statement further added the security forces conducted the latest operations in
Uruzgan, Helmand, Zabul, Faryab, Kandahar, Parwan, Ghazni, Kunar, Herat, Balkh,
Sar-e-Pul, Badakhshan and Takhar provinces.
defense ministry also added that the security forces killed 50 Taliban
militants during the operations.
former President Hamid Karzai met with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
in Kabul earlier today.
Office of the Former President in a statement said the ex-President Hamid
Karzai, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah met with the U.S.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Dilgosha Palace of ARG Presidential Palace.
statement further added that former President emphasized on the importance of
peace process, calling it a vital need of the Afghan nation.
former President also endorsed the ongoing U.S. efforts regarding peace process
in Afghanistan, the statement added.
Mr. Karzai emphasized on the need to halt violence and war against the Afghans
and insisted that efforts for peace process must be expedited.
police chief warns of suicide attacks if ISIS members are back
top Malaysian police officer warns of suicide attacks as Isis fighters return
home, saying those coming from Syria and Iraq could attempt to spread the word through
of police Abdul Hamid Bador, in an interview with South China Morning Post says
Malaysian returnees from Syria and Iraq are frustrated with their failure to
achieve martyrdom with the collapse of the Islamic State’s caliphate and could
attempt to continue their holy mission in their homeland by staging suicide
is the link where the article is accessible for now:
says there has been a lot of hype that these returnees are frustrated fighters.
have not been able to implement all their ideals, practise what they have been
trained for … so they want to do this [holy mission] back home to release their
paper says more than two dozen Malaysians are holed up in refugee camps in
northern Syria after the fall of Isis in March.
to Bador, all these possibilities are there when they return, based on the
experience of countries who have dealt with returnees,, assuring, “We will
cover all these angles. We will deal with it cautiously.”
blamed tech giants for failing to identify and remove extremist messages
swiftly claiming this has allowed impressionable young people to easily access
harmful material, which ended up radicalising them.
an article on the ISIS returnees, The Independent wrote the threats of
extremism among Malaysian ISIL returnees will be far from over.
Independent reported that recent terrorism crimes by ISIL returnees in
Indonesia are a vivid reminder of what we are dealing with.
a mid-March incident, a woman, who’s husband had been arrested by the Special
Forces counterterrorism squad, became a suicide bomber. The bomb she unleashed
took the life of her toddler and rocked 155 houses in Sibolga, North Sumatra,
causing 166 families to be homeless.
May 2018, a family of six who carried out three church bombings in Indonesia
had returned from Syria, Indonesian police say.
says Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Google are platforms commonly exploited by
Isis and radical groups to disseminate their propaganda and these platforms
were used to radicalise many of the Malaysians now in refugee camps.
says once exposed to this highly inflammatory, extreme literature on religion,
quoting the Quran out of context, they will set up their own chat group to spread
the word and set up a cell.
are fears Malaysia’s arrest of three Islamic State terror suspects recently and
a spate of kidnapping in by suspected Abu Sayyaf-linked gunmen raises the
spectre of suicide attacks in Malaysia with the return of the ISIS members.
March, Al Jazeera says a total of 102 Malaysians travelled to Syria and Iraq to
join Isis from 2013, and 40 were killed in combat. Nine died as suicide
bombers, according to police.
2013 until February 2019, Malaysian police foiled 24 terrorist plots. They also
arrested 457 suspected militants, including 131 from 21 countries. The largest
group of foreign terror suspects came from the Philippines, totalling 47, SCMP
was fired by ex-PM Najib Razak as intelligence official after criticising the
government’s handling of the scandal-hit 1MDB fund.
who spent 15 years in counterterrorism operations in Malaysia and Southeast
Asia, was recently appointed as Malaysia’s police chief for a two-year term in
May after serving as the director of Special Branch, the intelligence arm of
the Royal Malaysian Police or PDRM.
is a crucial element in Dr Mahathir’s hunt for 1MDB suspects and is said to be
a man given a mission by the PM, that is to hunt for corrupt officials every
calls for 'justice' and citizenship for Rohingya Muslims
Malaysia on Saturday said the perpetrators of violence against Myanmar's
Rohingya minority must "be brought to justice", in sharp comments
delivered at a normally tame regional summit.
does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens, instead officially labelling them
"Bengalis", short-hand for illegal immigrants from neighbouring
military crackdown in 2017 drove more than 740,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh,
carrying accounts of rape, mass killings and the razing of villages.
investigators have called for Myanmar's top generals to be tried for genocide.
Myanmar's army and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi have defended the action as
necessary to flush out Rohingya militants from Rakhine state.
talks Saturday with Southeast Asian counterparts, Malaysia's Foreign Minister
Saifuddin Bin Abdullah called for the "perpetrators of the Rohingya issue
to be brought to justice", his ministry said in Tweet.
also said repatriation of the minority from the fetid, overcrowded refugee
camps of Bangladesh "must include the citizenship of the Rohingya."
a Muslim country which hosts a large Rohingya refugee population, is one of the
few members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to speak up
for the minority.
10-member bloc normally abides by a principle of non-interference in each
other's internal affairs.
was heavily criticised by rights groups after a report it commissioned lauded
Myanmar's work on the repatriation issue.
state, the western region home to the Rohingya, remains cut by violence.
a handful of the Muslim minority have returned under a discredited repatriation
vying for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council next year,
Indonesia may face pressure to more directly address allegations of abuse
against the Uighur Muslim minority in China after much silence on the
government’s part, a research note suggests. The Xinjiang autonomous region and
its resident Uighur population have been in the spotlight over the past year
following reports by rights groups detailing China’s abuse of at least 1
million people from the ethnic minority. They have reportedly been forced to
undergo psychological indoctrination programs in camps that Beijing has labeled
as “re-education centers”. At a UNHRC meeting last year, Beijing dismissed the
allegations as baseless criticism. As the world’s largest Muslim-majority
country, Indonesia’s support for oppressed Muslim minorities -- such as
Palestinians and the Rohingy...
protesters dispute generals’ take on transition plans
Sudanese protest leaders said Monday that an Ethiopia-drafted proposal for the
country’s political transition was already “unified” with an African Union
plan, dismissing calls by ruling generals for a joint blueprint.
and the African Union have stepped up diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis
in Sudan, which has been wracked by tensions between the protest leaders and
generals since a deadly dispersal of a sit-in earlier this month.
Sunday, the generals, who seized power after deposing President Omar Bashir in
April, said mediators from the AU and Ethiopia had offered “different”
proposals for the political transition, and called for them to unify their
the protest movement contested that position on Monday.
initiatives (by the AU and Ethiopia) were unified a while ago and were
presented (as one) to all parties at the same time,” said protest leader Ismail
Al-Taj at a press conference on Monday.
Ethiopian and African envoys met on Sunday with the Alliance for Freedom and
Change to discuss this unified initiative,” said Taj, referring to the umbrella
protest movement that spearheaded the anti-Bashir campaign and is now at
loggerheads with the generals.
alliance has already accepted the proposal presented to them by an Ethiopian
envoy, which entails creating a 15-member civilian-majority governing body
during a three-year transition period.
Ethiopian blueprint, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, suggests the ruling
body be made up of eight civilians and seven members of the military.
proposal also suggests that the ruling military council chairs the first 18
months of the governing body, and the remaining 18 months would be headed by a
representative from the protest movement.
blueprint further says that a transitional parliament of 300 lawmakers would
take 67 percent of its lawmakers from the Alliance for Freedom and Change.
remaining 33 percent would be from other political groups, excluding Bashir’s
now defunct National Congress Party.
AU, which has consistently supported the protesters and urged the ruling
military council to ensure a smooth transition, suspended Sudan soon after the
violent dispersal of a protest camp outside army headquarters in Khartoum on
protest leaders and generals had previously agreed on a transitional period of
three years and that 67 percent of the lawmakers would be from the protest
tensions between the two sides surged as a result of the deadly break up of the
violent dispersal of the weeks-long rally came after the two sides failed
during previous talks to agree on the composition of the new ruling body and
who should lead it — a civilian or a soldier.
linked to the protest movement say the crackdown on demonstrators since June 3
has killed at least 128 people, the majority of them on the day of the
Health Ministry says the death toll stands at 61 nationwide.
generals deny they ordered the dispersal, insisting they had authorized only a
limited operation to clear a nearby area of drug dealers.
liberal alliance proposes ceasefire in Tripoli
National Forces Alliance (NFA) on Tuesday announced an initiative to end
fighting in the outskirts of capital Tripoli.
April 4, military leader Khalifa Haftar, who is backing a rival government in
eastern Libya, had launched a campaign to capture Tripoli.
weeks of fighting in the city outskirts, Haftar's campaign failed to achieve
its objective. But the forces remain deployed in several areas around the
NFA, which is an alliance of 58 liberal political parties and several NGOs, has
proposed cessation of hostilities and setting up of humanitarian corridors
around the capital, to pave way for a political dialogue.
initiative also calls on Haftar forces to create a buffer zone and to allow
stranded families to move out of the areas of fighting.
is under turmoil since 2011, when its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was
ousted in a bloody NATO-backed uprising, after four decades in power.
ragtag Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militia remains a security threat, with active
cells in Kenya’s northeastern counties although its capacity to stage regular
attacks has been diminished, the Nation can reveal.
organisation has in the past few weeks focused on targets in the border regions
of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa where it has killed police officers and soldiers
with home-made bombs.
militants’ areas of operation include Sheikh Barrow, Arabia, Fino, Damasa in
Lafey, Alungo, Warankara, Falama, Elrhamu and Garsesala in Mandera County.
in Wajir County they are active in Kotulo, Mansa, Boji, Diif, Konton and Khorof
Harar. In Garissa, areas prone to terror attacks include Liboi, Kulan, Hulugho,
Bodhai, Boni forest, Galmagala, Amuma and Hamey.
Yumbis Border Patrol base in Garissa was the latest to be attacked, last
Friday. Police, with the help of special forces, killed three of the attackers
and repulsed the terrorists.
agencies remain on high alert to suppress and counter Al-Shabaab’s heightened
activity along our common border with Somalia,” said National Police Service
Director of Communication Charles Wahong’o in a statement.
security alert seen by the Nation had warned of impending attacks in parts of
Mandera and Wajir towns.
a separate incident on the same day, an unidentified man was shot dead after he
attempted to snatch a rifle from a soldier keeping guard at the Wajir army
base. No documents were found on him.
is not a problem in Wajir alone but along the entire border from Mandera down
to Lamu, but we are very much aware and doing what is expected of us,” said
Wajir County Police Commander Stephen Ngetich.
senior security officer said Al-Shabaab could be retreating due to heightened
operations in their perceived territories.
African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), a UN-endorsed force of 22,000
soldiers, has succeeded in restricting Al-Shabaab’s operations in Somalia,
forcing them to change tack and use local cells instead of crossing borders to
troops-contributing countries — Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia —
are said to be vulnerable to Al-Shabaab attacks.
suspected Al-Shabaab militants abducted Cuban doctors Assel Herera Correa and
Landy Rodriguez, who were working in Mandera.
two are yet to be found, with the government only indicating that everything
will be done to secure their freedom.
Nation has also learnt that clan rivalry, politics and infighting within
Al-Shabaab in Somalia are fuelling unrest, tension and attacks in the
conflict, pitting the Marehan against other clans based in Somalia and along
the Kenyan border, has led to an increase in Al-Shabaab activities in the area.
The conflict has played out specifically in the Gedo region in Somalia.
there has been a rise in the number of kidnappings of herders in the
northeastern region in a bid to arm-twist the other clans into submission in an
ongoing supremacy battle.
militant group has capitalised on clan dynamics and the porosity of the border
to run numerous illegal businesses dealing in contraband goods, trade in
weapons and human smuggling. The Kenyan government is continuing its plan to
build the border wall and Al-Shabaab has seen this as putting an end to their
business,” a source said.
government dispatches reported that on June 19, at least 18 Al-Shabaab
militants were reported hiding between Bojigarsa and Mansa in Wajir County with
the intention of attacking security postings in Kutulo, Mansa and Bojigarsa.
main target was said to be National Police Reservists (NPR) personnel
patrolling the area.
terrorists were said to be under the leadership of Abdirashid Ibrahim Osman,
from Kutulo in Wajir. Last week terrorists raided Konton centre in Wajir East,
NPRs fought their attackers as locals fled the town. The NPRs ran away after
running out of ammunition,” a filed security report seen by the Nation shows.
Tuesday northeastern regional Commissioner Mohamed Birik warned locals that
they will be severely punished for helping Al-Shabaab.
attacks by “armed terrorists” on villages in northern Burkina Faso left 15
people dead, the country's Defence Minister Cheriff Sy said on Monday.
gunmen attacked the villages of Sagho and Toekodogo, in the Barsalogho
district, on Saturday, Sy said in a statement, describing them as members of
"armed terrorist groups".
attacks unfortunately caused the death of 15 people, 13 of them in Sagho and
two in Toekodogo," he said. The attackers also set fire to three shops and
around 10 motorcycles.
alerted, soldiers and members of the security forces were deployed who put the
assailants to flight, Sy added.
Faso has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a
number of militant groups, including the Group to Support Islam and Muslims
(GSIM) and Daesh in the Greater Sahara.
than 1,000 people have fled their homes because of the unrest in the region,
finding refuge in the capital Ouagadougou, in the centre of the country.
north of the former French colony, near the borders with Mali and Niger, has
been particularly hard hit. The raids began in 2015 in the north before
spreading to Ouagadougou and other regions, notably in the east.
attacks have killed more than 460 people, according to an AFP tally.
violence, often aggravated by the militant violence, has added to the
Tuesday, a militant attack in Belehede, in the northern province of Soum,
claimed 17 lives.
Depressed Soldiers Drugged in Fight Against Boko Haram
— SOME soldiers battling the Boko Haram terrorist northeast of Nigeria are
reportedly suffering mental illness in silence and using drugs to cope with
pressures of fighting the militants.
retired officer has made the revelations at a workshop in the capital Abuja.
General Gbenga Okulate said this problem presented a ticking time bomb for
Nigeria when the war against the Boko Haram was eventually won.
has been noted soldiers are relying on drugs for agility, competence and
boldness during battle," Okulate, now a mental and psychological expert,
highlighted rumours that some army commanders gave soldiers drugs before they
faced the Boko Haram.
are going to have a serious mental issue after the war like we had after the
civil war where hospitals were filled with psychiatric patients," Okulate
is reported Nigeria took 15 years to address the crisis, which emanated from
the civil war of 1967-1970.
will be a repeat of the post-civil war problem Nigeria faced if nothing urgent
and drastic is done to address the mental disorders of soldiers and drug
use," Okulate warned.
Nigerian Army has been battling the Islamist Boko Haram group for the past ten
has been reported troops lack morale.
week, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, accused some
soldiers of lacking commitment in battle.
of Operation Lafiya Dole have rescued 95 men, women and children who were
abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists in Kobe, Boboshe, Dubula and Tafana
villages of Borno State, during an extended clearance operation.
troops, attached to 112 Task Force Battalion and 22 Brigade in collaboration
with members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, discovered the victims in some
camps at Kobe and Boboshe villages on Saturday.
to the army on Monday, the troops recovered four terrorists’ flags, two copies
of Quran, one generator and two bicycles from the villages.
in Dubula and Tafana villages, troops retrieved two boxes filled with Quran,
five bicycles and assorted clothing materials.
military said 24 of the rescued children were administered with polio vaccines
by the Nigerian Army Regimental Medical Officers and officials of the National
Primary Health Care Development Agency.
villages had been previously unreached in the polio vaccination exercise.
acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, in a release on Monday,
said some of the terrorists fled the camps on sighting troops while a few
others were shot dead.
said, “In continuation of the ongoing clearance operation, Halaka Dodo, the
troops discovered newly established camps in Dubula. The following items were
recovered; two terrorists’ flags, two copies of Quran, one generator set and
two bicycles. Additionally, 13 women and 26 children were rescued during the
terrorist cell affiliated with Daesh terrorist organization was dismantled in
the suburbs of central Morocco’s city of Marrakesh, the country's Interior
Ministry said Tuesday.
a statement, the ministry said the cell was composed of four terrorists aged
between 25 and 40.
chemicals and explosive materials were also seized.
investigation shows the cell was in contact with foreign elements and was
plotting a "terror attack" in the Kingdom.
in April, Moroccan authorities dismantled another terrorist cell linked to the
Daesh terrorist organization.
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